Wednesday 31 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  Yesterday was a beautiful day round this way.  Lots of sunshine, not too chilly after a morning frost has thawed and no rain.  Today looks like being OK too, according to the Beeb.

As soon as I was ready yesterday, I whizzed off out to do some shopping.  First stop was Hobbycraft where I got what was on my list plus a few other little things that I didn't know I needed until I saw them (that's my excuse).

Then I went on to Wyvale and got my more expensive (and, hopefully, much harder wearing and long lasting) secateurs plus a couple of bottles of spiced ginger punch which were 70% reduced for my Dad, who loves it.  Last stop was Morrisons for a few bits and bobs of veg.

By the time I got home, it was almost lunch time and the washing I had put in earlier was done so that went out on the line as the sun was shining merrily.  I checked over my planning and did some knitting and some tuition before Beth came over after work.  No gardening though.  After dinner, we both settled down with our crafting - Beth with her quilt and me with my knitting and we had a companionable couple of hours before she went home.  Lovely!

Oh, and the washing just about dried, so that was good!

Today is fairly packed too.  School for a while this morning, then I am taking someone to hospital for an appointment and after that it's tuition.  The evening will be quiet and undemanding, I hope - just telly and ironing!

I noticed that Wyvale had seed potatoes in so Beth and I discussed what to get for the allotment.  We're neither of us very adventurous and quickly decided on Maris Piper and Charlottes.  We both like those.

Better get going - there's a lot to do before I go into school.  Have a super day and I hope the sun shines on you.

Tuesday 30 January 2018


Did my gardening readers catch a new programme last night?  Big Dreams, Small Spaces.  Monty Don was helping people with small gardens to re-design and built.  It wasn't one of those 'go away and we will surprise you' things, the owners did pretty much all the work, supported by Monty. 
I really enjoyed it and am so pleased that it's on again tonight, BBC2, 7:00 (I'll watch it on iPlayer later).

Good morning, everyone.  It's a dry start and BBC forecasts sunshine.  If they're right it is Ho! for the garden!

In said garden there's promise of things to come as both my chives and my oregano respond to the mildness at the moment.  Not enough to pick yet but . . .

Yesterday's busy day turned out really well.  I had a lovely chat with C over the biscuits and school was such a pleasure.  I hadn't realised how much I missed it until I've started back again.
I didn't manage to do much in the garden as it started chucking it down and, being a fair weather person, there's no way I was going out to get soaked.  I did tidy up a few containers earlier which, I suppose, is better than nothing.
Sadly, tuition was cancelled due to illness but, looking on the bright side, at least that's one less to plan for next week.

And I really enjoyed the evening's TV.

Today, Tuesday, the first thing I will be doing is popping out to Wyvale to get some more secateurs after mine fell apart over the weekend.  I intend to spend more than I have done before so hopefully they will do a good job.  I also want to pop into Hobbycraft (don't smile) to get some yarn for a special project for a little friend.
Then, fingers crossed, it will be finer and I can get a bit more clearing done.  It's mostly going to be a stay at home day so washing, drying and ironing are both on the list.

Better get started then!

Monday 29 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  Wasn't it a pleasant day yesterday.  It was here, anyway.  Not quite wall to wall sunshine but fine and dry and not all that chilly, now when I was energetically gardening anyway.

You will gather from this that I managed to motivate myself to start sorting out the garden.  I braved the worst section first, the far right corner that has the tomatoes in pots and the potatoes in bags and around which had gathered stacks of leaves, seed cases and other general clutter including twigs from next door's lovely birch tree.  I did that in the morning, starting by going through the soil in the potato bags (found about ten more potatoes, very little ones, but enough for a couple of meals) before sorting the rest.

In the afternoon I tackled the herb and foliage bed.  It took longer than I expected and while I was pruning the rosemary, my secateurs came apart in my hand so I didn't get that finished - and won't until I can take a trip to Wyvale or B&Q for a new pair.  I think I might pay a bit more and get a really decent pair as the last two cheaper pairs haven't lasted all that long.  I suppose they do get quite heavy treatment one way and another.
While I was working on that bed, to my delight I noticed that both the chives and the opregano are coming up again.  It won't be long before I can snip a few chives, unless we get another big chill.

So that's two little areas done.  I decided my best bet would be to partition it off and tackle one bit at a time as there's so much to do (small garden but big mess).

Some of the planning is done now, but not all.  No worries, there's not a lot to do!  After the second lot of gardening, I was a bit shattered so I came in, sorted out, sat down and knitted while watching whatever it was on the telly - obviously not all that memorable as I don't remember.

Today I have a friend round for coffee this morning so I have just made some shortbread biscuits, christening my new cookie cutters.  Very pretty they look too.

After that I will be off for Knitter Knatter club and then to do my bit in FS before coming home for tuition.  A busy day so not much time for the garden but I might prune off last year's fuschia branches before this year's start poking through which is about a five minute job and which I should be able to do with the kitchen scissors.

I like busy days - they keep me from nibbling and occupy my brain.  Hope you have a good one too!

Sunday 28 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  I'm hoping today's weather is better than yesterday afternoon's which was a bit miserable really.  At the moment it seems dry but and BBC weather is optimistic so fingers crossed.

It was good in town yesterday morning.  No, I didn't buy very much but it was fun to look round a few shops.  As I parked in its underground car park, I went to John Lewis first.  They do have a lovely kitchenware department and I succumbed to a set of leaf cookie cutters which was a bit naughty, but I also found a very nice, basic skirt pattern, multi sized, two styles, two lengths (although one can really make it any length one likes, of course).  As I have got back into sewing since I became time rich after retirement and have a small stash of skirt fabric (as opposed to quilting fabric), I will use this pattern quite a lot; in fact, I might even start on something today.  Paper patterns are shockingly dear but choose carefully and treat them gently and they will last for ever.
After that I walked to the high Street, taking in the White Company on the way.  They had a sale advertised but little evidence of one inside, sadly.

Walking past the market stalls, I bought some eggs, drooled longingly over the cheese and the meat and if I had needed to stock up on veg, I would have done, but I don't so I didn't!

Then it was into M&S as I had a small list of things to get - a new bra, some lavender perfume and, an impulse buy, some pjs (washed and worn last night and very comfy they are too).

My last stop off was at Lakeland and I could have spent a fortune but didn't.  How's that for self control.  Then, on the way back to the car, I noticed that a Cotswold shop is opening next month so that means another trip into town in the next four weeks or so.  I always love looking through their catalogues.

As I arrived home, it started raining - how's that for timing?  So instead of doing some more gardening, I did something I've been meaning to do for ages  and - er - tidied away the Christmas tree!  I know, I know, no rude comments, thanks!

Then, after lunch, Beth and Alex came round.  Alex looks very well and is still enjoying uni while Beth and I had what turned out to be a most immature and giggly conversation on the subject of me buying a Wii Fit bundle.  Yes, I had one ages ago but it all got rather battered and I stopped using it so in one of my fits of organisation, handed it on.  Ho hum!

So that was yesterday.  Today I want to get all next week's planning down which won't be as time consuming as it sounds as in most cases there's resources left over from the previous session.  I want to attack the mess in the garden again.  And then maybe I will unpack that pattern and see how it all works.  Alternatively, I will get on with the duvet cover I started last summer and never finished.

Plenty to do today!  You have a good one too.

Saturday 27 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It feels chilly this morning and, for the first time in days, I shivered as I came down stairs although there is no frost.  The heating is now up!  I gather the morning is likely to be quite pleasant but the afternoon may turn wet and all day will feel chilly.

Yesterday turned out quite industrious.  It was lovely to hang the washing outside in the winter sun, even if it wasn't dry by the end of the day and the sun tempted me out into the garden where I started dealing with last year's debris.  You can now see the snowdrops in the middle bed and very pretty they are too, hence the new heading photo.  A little bit done every day should soon see things ship shape and bristol fashion again, ready for the new growing season and it will certainly be a much more pleasant view again..

(Note to self - remember to put the brown bin out next Thursday!)

Today I intend to pop into town, not because there's anything major I want or need to get but just because I haven't been in for ages and would quite like to look round some of the big shops:  John Lewis and M&S come to mind, not to mention Debenhams, while Lakeland is always worth a visit too.  I might splash out on some fresh eggs from one of the market stalls too, if they are not too dear.

Then I will do my bit in the back garden - I think today I will sort out the herb and foliage bed and clear the containers - before coming indoors and chilling (or warming) for the rest of the day.  Oh, and I might get the leaf hoover going and clear a few corners of their leaf collections too while things seem pretty dry before coming in.

The first coffee is going down a treat, the kitchen is tidy but the dishwasher needs attention so I'd better go and deal with it at some point after I have sorted out the menu plans for the day.
Have a lovely day and, Diane, continue to get well and I hope you will be back to 100% soon. 

Friday 26 January 2018


Good morning, everybody.  It's Friday - last day of the working week for many.  Do you have a good weekend planned?
Yesterday was a lovely day, weather-wise.  I wish I'd got some washing on early enough to take advantage of the sunshine so today I popped a load in about half an hour ago, early enough to take advantage of the cheaper rate (I hope).  Mind you, what's the betting it will rain now and I will have washing draped over the drying rack in the living room.

I did cook the haggis which I found in the freezer surprisingly easily and with it I made a sauce from some onion, mushroom, creme fraiche and grain mustard with seasonings.  It was tasty!

Apart from the usual housework, it was a lazy day.  I knitted quite a lot and I watched daytime telly, dozing off from time to time.  Today I woke at a much more sensible time (I call 4-30 much more sensible than 3-30!) so shouldn't be so sleepy.

Don't laugh - don't let me hear you laugh anyway - but I dug out my old Rosemary Conley Salsacise DVD and, as part of my 'get-myself-fitter-in-case-I-need-that-gallbladder-operation' project, I have been doing some as many early mornings as I can manage.  Yesterday I was ridiculously pleased to be able to move from the couch potato level of the first section to the slightly more energetic both-feet-occasionally-off-the-ground-together level.  Yay!
However, this is one of the many times I am glad I live on my own.  It's not a pretty sight!

Today I need to get the place tidy for the cleaners, I will have ironing to do, whether or not the weather permits outdoor drying, and I might pop out to do a little bit of shopping at some point as I need milk and a few other bits and bobs.  I'm also going to start the fun of Planning The Route (for my break in the remote outback of North of Cambridge) and looking up about Wimpole Hall and Angelsea Abbey.

Time for coffee no. 2 so I will sign off with the hopes that you have a splendid day full of good things.

Thursday 25 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  Goodness, wasn't it a wild day yesterday.  Wall to wall rain and some very blustery winds at times.  No damage done, thankfully, but a lot of bins were blown down (and left down, sensibly, until things settled a bit) and most playtimes were wet ones.  I was in school when all the Y1s lined up and marched out to play, only to reappear a minute later with disappointed faces - and that was the teachers!  I'm not sure the children minded so much.

It was, as expected, quite a gentle day.  I enjoyed my time in school with Y1, my favourite school year and age.  I enjoyed tuition.  Evening telly turned out more enjoyable than I expected.  It was all good.

Today I have no external commitments until the evening tuition.  I need to finish off the planning for that this morning and then maybe I can blitz a few of the more chaotic areas of my house.  Or maybe I will defer that and be thoroughly lazy!  Decisions, decisions!

It's Burns' Night today.  Well, this evening.  I have a bit of sliced haggis in the freezer, if I can find it before frostbite finds me, so it seems appropriate to do something with it.  It won't exactly be traditional as I have no whisky (horrid stuff) but I'll concoct something and will probably enjoy it very much.
Hopefully . . .

Wednesday 24 January 2018


It's not quite Burns Night yet, that's not until tomorrow but, as he wrote . . .

The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

And so it was yesterday!

I thought I was going to have a full afternoon and evening yesterday.  However, Beth banged her head on a cupboard door on Sunday and ended up at A & E with concussion.  She was off work Monday, went back yesterday but felt that she'd need to go home and rest rather than go out which I thought was very sensible.  On top of that, tuition cancelled due to bad colds.  So I had quite a lazy evening which was nice, just not as nice as it would have been!   

Poor old Beth but she is feeling a lot better now.  Her head is sore though!  I had the grief and she had the pain!

Good morning, everyone.  It was a dull, damp and dismal day yesterday and I gather today will be the same so it's nice not to have to spend much time outdoors.  Having said that, I really HAVE to do something with my poor old garden which has been thoroughly neglected for weeks months.  I guess that if I get the brown bin pushed round and into the back, that would be a start as I could do a little something each time I went to the shed and have somewhere to put it!  Not today though - I've checked BBC weather and it says solid rain until about five o'clock.  Not great!

This morning I have to start by tackling the kitchen.  To my shame, I didn't load and set off the dishwasher last night so that's the first task.  Then I shall organise things for today's meals (I like to get that all sorted good and early) and then I will get washed and dressed before doing tomorrow's planning and checking the old bank balance.  There's a bit of washing to do (I like to keep on top of it, if possible) and a bit more bedroom to tidy.  Enough small tasks to keep me out of trouble, that's for sure.

This afternoon I am in school to hear reading with Y1.  Due to various upheavals this school year, I have not been going in regularly and it's about time I remedied that.  Then it's home for tuition and this evening it is the Tom Kerridge programme to look forward to.

So it should be a nice, gentle, positive and productive day, whatever the weather.

Tuesday 23 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  Nit so cold again and maybe the sun will shine as it did yesterday.  It was very cheering after so many dull, cold days!

I didn't have a very good night.  No idea why, it was just hard to get to sleep and I woke just before three so I am sure I will sit and snooze later on.  It's a right pain, having these short nights but at least I don't have a day at work to get through any more.

Yesterday was good.  I did some washing (never ending, isn't it?) and got it dried and ironed before the end of the day.  I did some planning.  I did tuition (most enjoyable) and I went to Knitter-Knatter club which was fun.

Today Beth will be round for dinner and I'm doing a vegetarian lasagne so I'll be prepping that this morning.  I'm also making her a couple of loaves to take home.  I'll have my daily dose of Hugh F-W and will hopefully finish the planning for the week.  So it should be a productive day!

I hope your day is good too.

Monday 22 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's significantly warmer today.  I always wake before the heating comes on and there's a big difference between yesterday morning and today.

Yesterday was nasty - heavy wet snow in the morning and lashing rain in the afternoon.  Definitely not a day to have to be out and about and the few people who walked past walking their dogs looked thoroughly miserable.  Today is supposed to be better so fingers crossed.

Today I am off to the newly formed Knitter Knatter club at school.  Longer term readers may remember that I helped out last year too.  It's a club for Y6s to learn how to knit basically and just lasts one term.  I couldn't go last week which was the first week and that was a shame because I gather it was more than a bit hairy!  Today will be interesting!

Then it's home to prepare for tuition.  I've done the planning for today so I will get on with tomorrow's planning.  I do like to keep ahead, if I can, just in case something happens to prevent me from planning.  You really cannot do a one to one hour without any planning!

Time to get going so I'll say goodbye.  Have a great day and I hope the weather is kind to you, wherever you are.

Sunday 21 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's still chilly, still wet, yesterday was horrible with rain and sleet all day and I gather today is expected to be worse with really heavy rain and maybe snow for a short time.  We're too far south for any of it to lie but I'm glad I don't have to go out in it today.

I did go back to sleep yesterday and didn't wake again until nearly eight o'clock.  That's middle of the day for me!!  It was nice once in a while but it did unsettle my routine which is based on an early rising, of course.  Once in a while is a treat though.

I got all the washing, drying AND ironing done which I'm pleased about.  It's a pain to have washing hanging around and it was damp enough outside without being damp inside too so I was lavish and used the tumble dryer.  There's a time and a place, after all!

And I booked a mini-break for myself after checking the house sitter could help out.  It's nothing lavish, just a Monday to Thursday stay in a Premier Inn north of Cambridge.  There will be two full days there and I though that one day I could visit Anglesea Abbey and the lode mill and the other day I could go in the opposite direction and start off at Burwash Manor (which is a sort of farm centre with lots of independent little shops) and then go on to Wimpole Hall.  I could go into Cambridge, maybe, I'll have to see what the transport links are like and whether there's a convenient Park and Ride.  Do any of my readers know?

Both Wimpole Hall and Anglesea Abbey are National Trust places so I will make sure I have my card with me!

I know people mock Premier Inns but the few times I have stayed in one, I have been extremely comfortable.  The rooms are warm and very clean, the beds are extremely comfortable, there's wi-fi and a big wall mounted telly and enough room to swing a cat.  The breakfasts are brilliant and there's an evening meal in an attached eating place, if wanted (it will be). 
I have booked a double bedroom and it wasn't too expensive either

I am still looking to have a spoil myself week either in the Warner's hotel in Nottinghamshire or at Centre Parcs later on in the year but this will do nicely for now.  I'm getting the official scan results the week before so there's no way I will have any operation (if I need to have an operation and I may not) for the following week or so; it will be a much longer wait than that as it is no way any kind of emergency.

It's just three weeks before I go so I can start the planning that is a huge part of the fun and games!

As for today, I won't be going out if the forecasted weather materialises, I will be staying indoors and pottering around happily.  There's not an awful lot to do so I will get on with my knitting and reading.  What a hard life!

Saturday 20 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's another cold start and the weekend isn't looking promising, sadly.  Rain today and heavy rain tomorrow although it's expected to warm up a bit as it rains.  I'm thankful that I have very little that I need to do that will take me outside for any length of time and I must remember to have the brolly by the back door for when I need to go to the freezer.

Yesterday morning I worked on my report of the school meeting and fired it off for approval.  It came back as fine, just a few typos.  Why is it that it's so easy to see others' typos but not your own?  Most annoying. 

Anyway, I amended those and crossed that job off the list before getting the house cleaner-ready.  I always feel slightly daft but, as I want the cleaner to clean, not to tidy up after me, it has to be done.  I'm been a reformed character recently so there really wasn't very much to do.  The kitchen is usually the worst offender but since I got a dishwasher with a timer I've been doing a load overnight which means that the kitchen gets a tidy before I go to bed instead of me leaving it all until the morning.  I have to say, it's quite nice to go into a tidy kitchen when I get up!

Today is a washing, drying and ironing day, bedding and all.  I'm looking forward to when the days are longer and the sun warmer so that I can dry my washing outside again.  There's nothing nicer than a sheet that smells of sun and summer breeze and they do iron very well.

I'm doing a Christmas dinner today!  No, I haven't got my days muddled, it's using up stuff.  The meat is part of a large turkey breast bought before Christmas while the stuffing and the cranberry sauce are all leftovers from December.  The veg is just veg, roasted, and the only thing I'm making specially is a few pigs in blankets - can't have a Christmas dinner without pigs in blankets, can we now?

I'm being terribly lazy today and typing this sitting up in bed.  I think I'm going to carry on being idle and read in bed too.  You never know, I might get back to sleep for a little while.  In my world, waking after four o'clock is reasonable, but that doesn't mean that sometimes I wouldn't like it to be later.

Have a lovely day and if you have rain, I hope you can dodge the raindrops and stay dry.  And if you can't, hopefully you will feel like this . . .

I'm singing in the rain
Just singin' in the rain
What a glorious feeling
I'm happy again
I'm laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I've a smile on my face
I walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
Just singin', singin' in the rain . . .

Friday 19 January 2018


Welcome to a cold and frosty early morning in Middle-Essexland.  Slipper socks and thick, fleecy dressing gown are both warmly appreciated (in every sense) this morning and it is nice to feel cosy and comfortable, sitting at my PC with a steaming coffee beside me.  Small pleasures add up to big contentment, don't they.

It was another fairly busy day yesterday.  The biggie was the afternoon meeting which saw me wearing my school governor's hat but with a changed responsibility, that of being the Curriculum and Standards Governor.  At our school, well managed, well led and with outstanding teachers, there are very few management concerns about standards, but one still has to ask the challenging questions and to keep an eye on the assessment data, the learning environment, etc.  It's shocking how quickly things can go belly up if management is not on the ball and lets things slide.  Knowing the school pretty well, there were no surprises but it was good to look through the latest data and then to have an escorted environmental walk round the school looking at areas like the reading corner, assessment statements, support and learning displays, etc.  I enjoyed it very much.

After that I did the last tuition sessions for the week - all very successful - before dinner and then crashed out for the evening.  I slept really well too.

Today is far less crammed.  I have to write my report of my visit for the governors and really that's about it.  My nice cleaner comes later on and it's a downstairs only week (one week she does the whole house, the next just downstairs).  However, I daresay I will find things to do and I won't get bored!

Well, the coffee has disappeared and it's time for another one while the dishwasher needs emptying so I will say 'Goodbye' and disappear into the kitchen.  Have a lovely Friday.

Thursday 18 January 2018


Good morning everyone.  It's still cold, still no snow, still pretty windy so it will feel colder than it really is.  It's winter so no surprises there.  I think it's going to be a day for soup and other comfort food!

Yesterday was quite busy but I managed to get my daily River Cottage dose by combining it with the ironing.  Because I had sheets to iron, it took a bit longer so I had no conscience pangs (would I anyway?) as watching telly in the morning.

I popped to Morrisons and got the few things I needed, then did some paperwork until tuition which was great.  I love it when they show progress.

The governors' meeting went well and didn't take as long as expected so I was back home in time for my dose of Tom Kerridge.  Personally, I didn't think it was quite as good as the previous weeks but that probably because the things he made were not really things I would make as there were some expensive ingredients.  I do, however, want to have a go at the oil free salad dressing at some point.

By default, because I was too lazy to get up and turn off the telly, I watched 'Trust me, I'm a doctor' which I enjoyed more than I thought I would so I must catch up on iPlayer at some point.  Interestingly, it featured some findings that, contrary to current thinking (it said), it might be better to eat carbs in the evening, not in the morning.  I'm afraid that's not something I have ever really considered and I don't intend to either!
There seem to be quite a lot of  get healthy and stay healthy programmes on at the moment.  I suppose it is the New Year/January, resolutions, get yourself sorted out this year thing and won't last beyond the middle of next month, but it's all quite interesting.  I'd like to see more of the same but with a frugal slant but I bet there won't be.

Today is another busy day.  A bit of housework this morning, then the rest of the planning followed by a meeting in school this afternoon before tuition.  The evening is free, however, and I am bang up to date with the washing so there won't be any ironing to do.

I've been looking at holidays for this year.  I'm thinking either Center Parcs (I love Center Parcs) or a stay at a Warner's hotel or holiday village.  Or maybe both and spend a bit of my saved lump sum - after all, why not, especially if I do have the have the old gallbladder out?  I wouldn't mind booking something for April but until I know if I will need an operation or other medical stuff and roughly when that will be, my hands are a bit tied really.  Still, there's always next year and it seems that it is much more positive for people holidaying on their own nowadays than it used to be!

So that's me!  As busy as I want to be today and still very contented.  I shall be even more contented after my second coffee so I'd better go and make it and clear the overnight dishwasher things at the same time.  Have a great day and stay warm and, for my poorly blogging friends, get well soon.

Wednesday 17 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  Cold, isn't it?  A day for thick, warm, woolly socks and lots of layers, I reckon.  I'm afraid I came down (too early again) and whacked up the heating straight away.  No definite forecast of snow down here in the SE, just cold winds, but I gather they've had a lot further north with some disruption.

Yesterday was another lovely day.  I got all the planning done, I did a bit of shopping in Sainsbury's and found what I have been looking for for simply ages and that's a small, ovenproof dish with sides high enough to make a lasagne for just two.  I have other small dishes but they are only high enough for a one layer lasagne.  So I was very pleased about that.  I shall christen it with a vegetarian lasagne next Tuesday evening when Beth comes for dinner.

After working on mean, median, mode and range with a couple of my students I now have a little rhyme buzzing around in my head.  I guess most teachers will know it.

Hey diddle diddle, the Median's the middle
You add, then subtract, for the Mean
The Mode is the one that you see the most
And the Range is the difference between.
(sung to the tune of the nursery rhyme of the same title)

Clever, eh, but it's driving me bonkers - I just can't get it out of my head!

Being Tuesday and, as our new arrangements dictate, Beth was round after work for dinner and we had a jolly good chat about this and that over the meal before settling down to do the next stage of her quilting project together.  It was the sandwiching of the top, the batting and the back.  She is making a quilt for her double bed and here's what it looks like so far.

She did it round at mine because -
a) it's really a two person job when it's that big
b)  it's too big for her floor space at home
c)  her cats would enjoy sitting on it and generally getting in the way

We then pinned it all together, all over, with safety pins
The quilting will be light, just around each rectangle or square but before that there's some considerable tacking to be done
It's going to be absolutely lovely when it's done.  Isn't she clever!

Today is easy in the morning and busier in the afternoon.  I'm going to do the ironing while I watch the next two episodes of the River Cottage programmes, I have to sort out the daily one thing in my bedroom, I have to plan the tuition for later (I know what I'm going to do but I need to record those plans properly) and after I've finished the tuition, I have a 15 minute break and then I'm off into school for a governors' meeting which won't be too long, hopefully, as there's some good telly this evening.

So a nice, busy day with no time to get into any mischief.  It should be good.

Tuesday 16 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  A really early start for me today, so early that the dishwasher is still on and I can't empty it yet.  I might go back for another little snooze later on.  It's supposed to be turning a lot colder and more wintry today.  Well, we will see.

I got home safely yesterday after missing one turning on the new section of my route but, thankfully, I'd prepared for that and knew if I carried on there was another turning.  It wasn't a particularly nice drive: it was very wet with lots of spray from tyres.  Everyone seemed to be going carefully though, except for an idiot who overtook me as I was doing 30 in a village.  You do get some foolish driving at times.

It's always nice to be home and this time was no exception.  I got some washing in, unloaded the dishwasher and got stuck in to a nice hot cuppa coffee before watching the two 'Return to River Cottage' programmes for the day.  Must check the times for today.  One of yesterday's was the one when he sells his tomato produces at a local farmers' market under the name 'River Cottage Glutton'.  I have to say, his recipes looked absolutely delicious and I wonder if they are online.

Today looks like being more of the same; very little scheduled until late afternoon and then it's tuition x 2 followed by Beth coming round for dinner and a chat.  I need to do a little bit of shopping, washing and ironing (it's sheet changing day) and there's the ever-present planning but it should be a very pleasant day indeed.

I hope yours is as nice.

Monday 15 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  I'm sitting up in bed to type this on the laptop so I have no idea what the weather is like and can't be bothered to get out of bed to look but, according to the weather forecast, it's going to be wet, wet, wet!  I'm driving home from Mum and Dad's this morning so the windscreen wipers will get some good exercise.  Part of Bishop's Stortford is blocked (a new road to a housing development, I think) so I will be going another way Dad told me about ages ago that cuts off going through Bishop's Stortford.  Some of it is country lane which is pretty but perilous - no, not really but narrow, sharp bends and potholes.  We will see.

Yesterday was a quiet day, cold out and warm within.  I read and baked, knitted and chatted and generally had a good rest.  The ouchy gallstone subsided again and (or maybe because) I drank water instead of nibbling.  I'm a shocker at nibbling at my parents' home; they have such tasty stuff around and it does me no good whatsoever!  Their self control around food is obviously a lot better than mine!

Today is a quiet day until tuition happens so I shall put some time aside to watch the old River Cottage programmes on the Good Food channel.  I think it's now on to Return to River Cottage.  As I'm not that keen to make bunny burgers or attract eels into my artisan made basket trap using a road kill rabbit as bait, I can't say I learn very much but it's all very interesting and I love how he makes the most of everything.

Better go.  I have some packing to do, a bath to enjoy and a bedroom to tidy!  Home from home really.  Diane, if you read this, get well soon and the same to Tracey.
Have a lovely day, whatever the weather.

Sunday 14 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  I've overslept - for me I've overslept anyway.  It's past six o'clock - well past my usual waking time - and I've obviously been sleeping on my back with my mouth open as I have a sort throat and a yucky mouth.  It will go soon but urgh!

I tried the Tom Kerridge method for mince, that of roasting it on parchment on a baking sheet for about forty minutes and, yes, it makes quite a difference, a good difference and the bolognaise was absolutely delicious.  I know it takes extra power but maybe I can organise something like baking bread at the same time to use the oven space, because that method is now in my repertoire!

Today is a quiet day, hopefully a gentle day, a day when I can get on with reading The Forsyte Saga - re-reading it, I should say  and for you, whatever you need or want it to be.

Saturday 13 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  How are things?  We almost got some sun yesterday but not quite and it remained dull and a bit chilly all day.  Today is probably going to be more of the same.

Yesterday's scan went fine.  It was scheduled for 9:00 and by 9:05 I was on the 'couch' being gunged.  The results were not a surprise.  Yes, I have gallstones, one big one and probably some little ones as well.  He didn't try to hide the screen and was more than happy to explain, briefly, what the grainy images means.  The full results were available yesterday afternoon but I have an appointment near the beginning of February when the doctor will go over everything including what my options are.  Before then I must do some 'research' (i.e. Google it!).

More and more I can understand why people who can go private.  Quite apart from the free - stress free as well as in monetary terms - parking, the environment is smart, polite, friendly and comfortable and everyone is so nice.  OK, if I was a private patient, I guess I would already have those results and wold probably have a good idea of the possible courses of action, but I'm OK about waiting a bit over three weeks, it's no time at all.  I'm not in lots of pain, just uncomfortable from time to time and, while my paracetamol consumption has gone up,  it's only an inconvenience.  Convenience is a biggie for private patients, I expect.

So that's that for now!

I'm doing a spag bol today and I shall try that tip from Tom  Kerridge when he made the single layer lasagne in the first programme which was to roast the mince for forty minutes before adding it to the dish.  It is supposed to impart great flavour.  Someone I know has tried this and said that it really works so fingers crossed.

Well, I'd better get going as time is passing and there are things to do.  Have a great day, whatever you have planned, and stay warm.

Friday 12 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  BBC tells me it should be dull to start with and then brighten up a bit.  If so, that's better than yesterday when it was gloomy more or less all day.  I think I prefer cold to this boring nothingness!

I got a fair amount done yesterday, which was good.  The ironing is done but there's another small load waiting for me which I shall do first thing and get it out of the way.

This morning I have the ultrasound so it's off to the local hospital with an empty tum!  The bumph tells me it should only last for about ten to fifteen minutes and I suspect that I will want a bath when I get home to wash off that gel they use properly.  Then the day is mine.  There shouldn't be much hanging around but I'll take my kindle with me, just in case.  I'm reading The Forsyte Saga for the umpteenth time so there's plenty to read!

I can have coffee though - any non-milky drink, in fact, but coffee will do!

Thursday 11 January 2018


Good morning, everyone!
I was wrong about yesterday - by mid morning the sun was out and it was all very cheerful.  I had a little walk out and it was lovely - not warm but not cold.  Fingers crossed for today.

I got all the shopping done, a bit of tidying up and clearing out and then enjoyed a rest with some magazines and the telly.  They're showing the first River Cottage programmes on the Food Channel and I missed them first time.  They're good.  A bit huntin', fishin' and shootin' but very interesting, goes right back to where the food starts and I have a bit of a soft spot for Hugh F-W.  He's certainly not a cheffy chef and there's no 'ponciness' about him.

I didn't get the Christmas tree down.  I couldn't.  I've had to be away for much of the post Christmas period so I reckon I haven't had my money's worth from it this year yet.  That's my excuse anyway!

Today I have, as always, housework and there's a pile of washing and ironing awaiting my attention.  It won't go away so I'd better look it straight in the eye and deal with it.  There's also a bit more planning to do and I'm trying to sort out just one bit of mess in my bedroom each day so that needs doing too.  I've been staring at a stack of sheet music - recorder music - some pretty expensive stuff but I'm never going to use it again.  Some of it is from when I was playing at a higher grade sort of standard so not all of it is stuff I can hand on to the school or anything.  I wonder if the charity shop might take it. 

Well, time is passing so I had better get going or I won't achieve much today.  Have a great day yourself and may the sun shine for you.

Wednesday 10 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's fairly mild, a bit damp and cloudy and looks to stay that way most of the day according to the BBC.  No need to up the heating today, I suspect.

Yesterday went well.  I got all the decorations down and away apart from the Christmas tree:  I couldn't quite get myself to dismantle that so maybe tomorrow, maybe Thursday . . .
It's all looking very plain and dull where the crib and the candles were so I am thinking that perhaps I will treat myself to a couple of plants with interesting leaves to brighten up the wall.  The main problem is that I am usually death for house plants but I have managed to keep one since my birthday last year and the two Christmas poinsettias are still alive and kicking so maybe, just maybe . . .

I'm feeling neat again after Sharon sorted my shaggy mop out.  She always does such a good job and it's a real cheering up job, bless her.  Beth stayed afterwards (Sharon does her hair too) and we had dinner together which was lovely.  I hardly get to see Beth nowadays what with her working and both of us being rather busy at weekends and we miss each other so she's going to come round for dinner after work every Tuesday from now on.  I can't tell you how pleased I am!

On to today.  I'm off to Hobbycraft this morning for a few bits and pieces and then I will stop off at Aldi on the way home for a few things I am out of and perhaps Wyvale to look at the house plants.  Then I might deal with the Christmas tree or I might get on with more planning, depending on how I feel. So nice not to HAVE to do things.

Well, I ought to get going or I won't be going anywhere.  Have a super day and may everything go well for you, whatever you have planned.

Tuesday 9 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  BBC weather tells me that today is going to be 'cold and grey day with mostly overcast skies' but that it should stay dry for most of the day - apart, that is, from the dampness in the air, I suppose!

I have a big grumble.  That rotten BBC didn't show Would I Lie To You yesterday.  Instead it was stupid Panorama with stupid cabinet reshuffle waffling!  I Am Not Happy!

< grin > OK, so maybe it was slightly important but all the same . . .

Anyway - apart from that it was a very good day.  A big thank you to Annabeth for her advice - I have found a couple of likely looking patterns to knit some slipper socks so we will see!  I fussed around in the kitchen, got two loads of washing done and had a few naps.  I'm tending to feel pretty tired at the moment but am sleeping well so I'm putting it down to the dark and gloomy weather and, goodness, yesterday was one of the worst.  Dark, dull, misty and damp all day, really not  nice at all.

Today has a lot going on but that doesn't mean I am busy.  The car's going in for its service today an d I have to clear the boot before they come to pick it up.  I have to do just a bit of putting stuff away, including some of the Christmas stuff and there's a few bits of ironing from yesterday's washing.  Then the lovely Sharon is coming to force my hair to behave itself again;  Beth's too and then Beth is staying for a meal.  I haven't had a chance to catch up with her for ages so I'm looking forward to it.  I want to get up to date and a bit more with all the planning too.

So plenty to be getting on with but nothing too tricky apart, maybe, from paying for the service.  I don't think there's anything wrong with the car so it should just be the basic cost but that's bad enough.  It's always nice afterwards though, to drive along knowing the car is in top condition.

Right now I need to empty the dishwasher which has done the usual overnight.  Then coffee and I shall use my new little cafetiere and Christmas coffee as a nice treat.
Have a great day!

Monday 8 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  Wasn't it cold yesterday?  I gather some places further north (which isn't difficult, to be honest) had some snow.  We had frost here and the garden path was like a skating rink for the first part of the day.  Quite treacherous, in fact.  Nasty.
At the moment it's still cold but it's expected to warm up a bit at some point.  We will see.

Yesterday was a quiet, nothing-is-happening kind of day.  I didn't quite fall asleep at times but got jolly close to it.  Well, they do call Sunday a 'day of rest', don't they?

Today I have washing, ironing, housework - all the usual stuff, nothing exciting.  In the evening it's 'Would I Lie To You' which always leaves me helpless with laughter and I want to carry on with a knitting project!  I was wondering about knitting myself some slipper socks, seeing as I wear them out so quickly, but I don't actually have a pattern except for socks made with proper sock yarn.  I was thinking more of chunky or Aran type knitting.  Mind you, I have something I MUST finish before I start anything else so there's no rush.

I might get out the patchwork duvet cover I was in the middle of making before life got complicated.  I'd love to get that done.  I'll see how I feel later.

Well, I'd better get going now.  There's stuff to do and coffee to drink.  Have a good day, one and all.

Sunday 7 January 2018

Sunday: looking back

Good morning, everyone.  It's awful cold outside: clear skies and a heavy frost.  It will be lovely when the sun rises, I think.  Yesterday was a beautiful winter's day here with some bright sunshine and we could feel it getting colder through the day.

It was a good day.  I got washing and ironing done and Beth came round in the afternoon which was really nice as I haven't seen her since Christmas.  She's coming over to dinner on Tuesday which I'm really looking forward to.

I was looking through the last twelve posts and will do one more about them and that's the end, back to normal tomorrow.

She was a grand old bird: I've never been disappointed with them since I started ordering from Paul Kelly's farm.  After sorting it all out post-Christmas dinner, I've had several good meals and there's still two big pots of meat and one of stock for the next few months.  The bird that keeps on giving!

Winter Ware
They have to go away now as they are mostly specifically Christmas themed.  I might keep the Holly and Ivy one out as it's a bit more general and I might look out for a plate with snowflakes or something winter based but not Christmas.

Exercise and energy
This one's really for the future.  I've done a bit but it's been inconsistent for very good reasons.  I'm not going to beat myself up about it, just determine to slot some exercise in when I can.  I'm getting more energetic though - I've been almost running up and down stairs which is most unusual!

Low fat living
It continues!  My hands are less dry now, thanks to that cream, and having milder weather has also helped a lot.

Festive fish
It was very tasty, that sort-of-Kedgeree, and I have planned it in again for next week sometime, except that I will be using smoked basa rather than haddock, something I found in Aldi last week.  I'm glad I tried this one.

Thermal slipper socks
They're lovely and keep my toes toasty warm.  One disadvantage though - I've always been very hard on my shoes anyway and I'm wearing the heels of the current pair very thin.  I'm not sure what I can do about that, if anything.  Maybe I have to restrict wearing just to those colder days when I really need them.  Mostly I go about bare footed indoors when I'm on my own and always in the summer.

Happy and healthy
Keeping up the positivity in tricky times.  That's the way to do it!

I'm glad I gave them away - I'd have scoffed the lot by now if I hadn't and the scales wouldn't have liked that!  Such a shame about my poor self control around nibbly things, isn't it.

Iced imbibing (I think that's the more accurate word)
Continuing and very nice it is too.  I'm drinking more water than I used to which is good and there's still plenty of ice left - those bags are big!
(note: I gather this word refers to alcohol - I'm talking about water, honest!!!)

Grape juice jelly
Now an ongoing part of my repertoire.  Home made jelly is lovely for squidging through your teeth!

I'm keeping it clean, neat and tidy but not minimal.  Note to self - get more candles!

Taking down the Tree, etc.
Not today, I can't start today, but over the next week it will all go.  I shall enjoy the space left and console myself with the fact that there's always next time!  And - any candle holders that are not specifically Christmassy are going to stay out and burn merrily from time to time - the candles in them, I mean!

Have a great day, everyone.  I hope your Twelve Days were good.

Saturday 6 January 2018

Saturday: The Twelfth Day of Christmas

Good morning, everyone.  How are things your way?  It was a funny old day yesterday - started off mild-ish and dull, then we had sunshine (just a bit) then cloud, bit of rain, bit of wind and it seemed to be getting colder.

This morning it's too early to say what it's like out there although the sky is clear and there's a bit of ground mist but have you noticed that the evenings are definitely getting later now and the mornings earlier - which is just how it should be, I know, but it gives me a little bubble of excitement inside.

Finally, we're on the last of the twelve Days of Christmas.  This is the third time the letter T has come up.  T for Turkey, T for Thermal slipper socks and finally T for Taking down the Tree and all the Twinkly Things.

Yes, it's now over.  I've enjoyed the food, I've taken great pleasure in family visits and shared feasts, I've loved the light and colour and warmth but now it's time to say goodbye to it all with the consolation that next year it will happen all over again as I build on my own tradition of decorating my home just so.
So in the next few days down come the baubles, off come the tree branches, the used candles go in the bin and the candle holders need to be cleaned up before being wrapped up and put away.  The nativity crib set will be lovingly dusted, polished, wrapped, bagged and gently placed in one of several plastic boxes alongside everything else and, one at a time, slowly and laboriously, I will lug the boxes back to the garage -  which is a lot easier than lifting them into the attic).

This year it's been a lovely Christmas, despite various difficulties.  I'm sorry to see it go.

T:   Turkey - dealing with the Christmas bird
W:  Winter Ware - using my Christmas plates
E:   Exercise and Energy - start to get moving over the new year
L:   Low-fat Living - the side effects of a very low fat diet
F:   Festive Fish - kedgeree or the like
T:   Thermal slipper-socks.  Warm feet, happy me!
H:   Have a Happy and Healthy New Year

N:   No-waste Nuts - the joy of sharing
I:    Iced Imbibations (is that actually a word?)
G:  Grape juice jelly - how to use up the leftover Schloer; some of it anyway!
H:   Home
T:   Taking down the Tree and all the Twinkly Things.

Friday 5 January 2018

Friday: The Eleventh Day of Christmas

Good morning, everyone.  It was another chilly, wild and woolly day here in Mid Essex yesterday and I was quite busy.

I went for my appointment with my GP, then popped along to Aldi for bits and bobs and finally to B&Q for some light bulbs and some granular salt for the water softener.  Once home, I pottered in the kitchen for a time and then used a Mamade can of strawberry conserve stuff to make - well, strawberry conserve.  It ended up really quite nice and I will be giving the pots to my parents as they get through quite a lot of jam and marmalade, one way and another.

I concocted a chicken and veg soup (very nice) for lunch and then some bean burgers which were for dinner.  Finally, I sat down with the telly on dividing my attention between one of those 'let's buy antiques cheap and sell them for more' type programmes and the new BBC Good Food magazine that I got in Aldi.

The Twelve Days thingy is nearly over now and there's been times when I wish I'd not started it, racking my brains for ideas and not always succeeding very well.  The Grape jelly for yesterday was really nice, definitely a treat that I will repeat.  I'm just thinking of infusing the grape juice with Christmas flavours - star anise, cinnamon, mixed spice, that sort of thing.  Might be worth a go, don't you think?

Today is another H and I do wish I hadn't used both Happy and Healthy for the last one.  I could mention the very cheap h'electric spiraliser I bought from Aldi yesterday but that's not at all festive.  In the end I have decided to go for 'Home'.  H is for Home.

I've loved the way my house has been a Christmas Home this year, thanks to the candles and the sparklies.  I think there's nothing more festive than candles and if you can get the spicy fragranced ones, so much the better.  They're looking a bit battered now but that's because they have been used.  I lit them last night and enjoyed the h'atmosphere all evening (sorry).  I know it is all window dressing really but it has been really lovely and I will miss it all.

T:   Turkey - dealing with the Christmas bird
W:  Winter Ware - using my Christmas plates
E:   Exercise and Energy - start to get moving over the new year
L:   Low-fat Living - the side effects of a very low fat diet
F:   Festive Fish - kedgeree or the like
T:   Thermal slipper-socks.  Warm feet, happy me!
H:   Have a Happy and Healthy New Year

N:   No-waste Nuts - the joy of sharing
I:    Iced Imbibations (is that actually a word?)
G:  Grape juice jelly - how to use up the leftover Schloer; some of it anyway!
H:   Home

Thursday 4 January 2018

Thursday: The Tenth Day of Christmas

Good morning.  Bit of a storm yesterday, wasn't it?  I do hope you are all OK and have suffered no damage.

I have an early start today - down to the GP for a med review.  I quite like early appointments as they mean I HAVE to get washed and dressed instead of lounging around in dressing gown and slippers.  OK, I get work done anyway, often quite a lot, but it doesn't feel the same somehow.  I really ought to get ready for the day earlier which could be today's G thing but isn't!

Today, G is for Grape juice jelly which has a nice alliterative tang to it, doesn't it, even if only one word begins with the right letter?
After years of muttering over unsuccessful experiences with powdered gelatin (another G), last week I had a go with leaf/sheet gelatin last week, using the leftover juice or syrup from the tins of fruit I opened to make the Christmas fruit salad.  It was a great success (and dead easy too).  Basically you soak the sheets on cold water, one sheet for every 100mls of liquid, and then squeeze the water off the now softened sheets and add to the warmed liquid, whisking it until it dissolves (very quickly).

I have some grape juice (really grape juice, not wine) left over from Christmas so today I'm going to have a go at making grape juice jelly.  I'm hoping it will be really nice and will feel like a treat.
I'll let you know

The only problem.  Red grape jelly or white grape jelly?

T:   Turkey - dealing with the Christmas bird
W:  Winter Ware - using my Christmas plates
E:   Exercise and Energy - start to get moving over the new year
L:   Low-fat Living - the side effects of a very low fat diet
F:   Festive Fish - kedgeree or the like
T:   Thermal slipper-socks.  Warm feet, happy me!
H:   Have a Happy and Healthy New Year

N:   No-waste Nuts - the joy of sharing
I:    Iced Imbibations (is that actually a word?)
G:   Grape juice jelly

Oh - and, Margaret - I'm getting lemons when I go shopping today!  Then I can be 100% posh!!!  :-)

Wednesday 3 January 2018

Ninth Day proof

And it tastes so much better!

Wednesday: The Ninth Day of Christmas.

Good morning, everyone.  How are things settling down after the enjoyable interruptions of Christmas and New Year?  Our local school is starting again today although I know that in some areas they didn't break up until the Friday before Christmas so have until the beginning of next week before they have to go back.  A lot of people have taken down their decorations now but I'm waiting until the 6th (or thereabouts) and am still enjoying the bright sparkles and twinkles.

Today's letter is I.  Oh, I have had such difficulty with this one.
I thought of putting 'I'; (i.e. 'myself') first but I reckon I do that enough/too much already.
In despair I thought I'd make it 'In your hands' meaning 'do you have any ideas?' but that's just a cop out!

And then I remembered that in my freezer I have a bag of ice which I bought for Christmas and didn't really use much apart from Christmas dinner in the water jug.  It may sound silly but I think a few ice cubes chinking in a cold drink makes it more special and definitely festive and as I am trying to stick to mostly water, it really helps.  So I think today and in the next days I will use those ice cubes to give my cold drinks a bit of interest (oooh, another I word there) and make me feel I am spoiling myself.

So I is for Ice.  Unless you know better, of course.  :-)

T:   Turkey - dealing with the Christmas bird
W:  Winter Ware - using my Christmas plates
E:   Exercise and Energy - start to get moving over the new year
L:   Low-fat Living - the side effects of a very low fat diet
F:   Festive Fish - kedgeree or the like
T:   Thermal slipper-socks.  Warm feet, happy me!
H:   Have a Happy and Healthy New Year

N:   No-waste Nuts - the joy of sharing
I:    Iced Imbibations (is that actually a word?)

Tuesday 2 January 2018

Tuesday: The Eighth Day of Christmas

Good morning, everyone.  Did you see the moon overnight.  It was so bright and clear it lit everything up so clearly.  Really beautiful.

Today's letter is N.  N is for No-waste Nuts.
Before Christmas I bought a big bag of mixed nuts, raw nuts, and they didn't get eaten as much as I expected so I needed to find ways of using them up.  I scoffed some last week but there were loads left so I've given them away to someone who I know will use them.  That's a nice, Christmas-spirit-type thing to do and it means they will be eaten before they go rancid and have to be thrown away.

T:   Turkey - dealing with the Christmas bird
W:  Winter Ware - using my Christmas plates
E:   Exercise and Energy - start to get moving over the new year
L:   Low-fat Living - the side effects of a very low fat diet
F:   Festive Fish - kedgeree or the like
T:   Thermal slipper-socks.  
H:   Have a Happy and Healthy New Year

N:   No-waste Nuts

Monday 1 January 2018

Monday: The Seventh Day of Christmas

. . . and a very, very Happy and Healthy New Year to us all!

Pure coincidence but, as today's letter is H, I am going to cheat.  H is for Happy and Healthy New Year.  Both take commitment, effort and sheer act of will at times, don't they, they don't just happen?

Happiness  isn't just how you feel when things are going well although that certainly helps.  You can be 'happy' when things are not going so well by doing what Diane did in her blog and looking for the good things around you or being a Pollyanna and playing that 'Glad Game', determining to focus on the good as well as the not so good in your life.  And no, I don't think it is always possible, but making the effort is a mindset that makes a huge difference.

As for Health, don't we take it so much for granted until stuff happens that makes us realise things are not quite and healthy as we thought.  Healthy mind, healthy body.

So what will I do.  Well, I think I do already try to look for the good, the positive, the things I can be glad about and I intend to keep that up.  As for the other - ooops, not so great, but I shall work on it in my own way and at my own pace and maybe I can reach Christmas 2018 in a healthier state than Christmas 2017.

It's worth a try anyway.

T:   Turkey - dealing with the Christmas bird
W:  Winter Ware - using my Christmas plates
E:   Exercise and Energy - start to get moving over the new year
L:   Low-fat Living - the side effects of a very low fat diet
F:   Festive Fish - kedgeree or the like
T:   Thermal slipper socks - warm toes = happy me  

H:   A Happy and Healthy New Year