Wednesday 28 February 2018


Mutter, mutter, grumble . . .

My boiler won't ignite.  Looks like it is ice in the condensate drain (I've been reading the manual).  Thank goodness for electric heaters and immersions switches!!!


Good morning, everyone.  At last we have had our share.  We have snow - and it is still falling with a forecast of more to come.  Brrr - it's so cold out there and it's not warm inside either, having been on overnight setting.  I've just turned the heating up so it should warm up pretty soon and in the meanwhile a nice coffee will help!

Yesterday was glorious sunshine, interspersed with heavy but very short snow showers.  It was an absolutely beautiful day but, obviously, so, so cold. 

The lovely Sharon didn't come.  Our appointment was an evening one and she was concerned about getting home, living as she does in the country and having to drive on icy, untreated, unlit roads.  She made another appt fort me this morning and for Beth tomorrow evening but whether she will be able to keep it, given the snow and the forecast, I don't know. 

So Beth and I had the evening to ourselves although she didn't stay too long as she was also worried about icy roads.  We had time for a good old catch up chat and both thoroughly enjoyed the good, old fashioned baked beans on toast with grated cheese.  It's one of our favourites!

Today is now shrouded in uncertainty.  I was going to watch FSs family assembly but that now depends on whether the school opens at the right time or delays opening until 10:00 and THAT depends on road conditions as a number of key staff live out in the sticks and have to negotiate untreated roads.  I'll keep my eye on the school web site.

Then it was Sharon, as already mentioned, and then school again pm to do reading with Y1 followed by tuition. 

So it could be a busy-ish day or it could be a fairly quiet day, all depending.  What I do know is that it will be a cold day!  So stay warm and be safe.

Tuesday 27 February 2018


Good morning.  Has the beast pounced where you are?  Not much snow here, just a sprinkling that barely covers the flower beds so I think the children will be disappointed.  Me - not so much.  :-)

I left Mum and Dad's straight after breakfast yesterday as I didn't want to get caught in any snow.  I went through a couple of snow showers on the way but it was a good journey
Once home, the washing went on (but not out, it was far too cold) and off I went to school for a very pleasant afternoon.  In fact, the rest of the day was really nice.  A bit of snow but nothing to cause any worries.  I popped into Morrisons for a bit of fresh stuff but, really, I have so much in, I could manage through a long blizzard.

One other thing I did was to get the little used snow shovel out of the garage and propped it up against the back door.  Just in case, you know!  It can stay there through this week.

Today is a staying in day.  I'm making some wholemeal bread and later on the lovely Sharon should be coming to work her usual magic on my hair.  Beth's coming round after work too so I'm looking forward to a lovely day!

I hope yours is as pleasant.

Monday 26 February 2018


Well, here we are: new week and nearly a new month.  Time is flying right now and I wonder what the week will bring.  We all know the forecast so fingers crossed, eh?

Yesterday was as quiet and gentle as I expected.  Really nice and restful and spent with two of my favourite people, Mum and Dad.  I appreciate these times very much - I feel very fortunate to still have them both and want to make the most of the time we have.

I reworked that doll's cardigan and it worked, three cheers.  Now to adapt it to a V necked jumper so I can do it in school uniform colours.  Fun!

Today, real life picks up again.  This morning is general homey type stuff including washing and making a nice spicy lentil soup for lunch, then it's Knitter Knatter club followed by helping in FS and finishing off with tuition.  Busy but enjoyable.

Telly is good too.  Only Connect, which I absolutely love, followed by either Uni Challenge or Classic Mary Berry so thank goodness for iPlayer.  In the Bad Old Days, I'd have had to make a choice and having to choose caused a lot of arguments one way and another.  :-)

So - I look forward to an enjoyably busy day!  I hope yours is good too.  As I so often say - stay warm!

Sunday 25 February 2018

After the op

Sooze asked:

" Do you still need to follow any kind of eating guidelines after the op?"

Good question.

Assuming the op goes well and achieves what it is supposed to achieve, I won't need to go so low fat and I won't need to stick with the liver shrinking diet which is purely a pre-op thing.

However, since November I have lost masses of weight but there's still more to go, plenty more. I'd be daft to go back to my old ways, wouldn't I? Despite the regular pain, I'm feeling so much better in myself, fitter, more comfortable, both mentally and physically.

However, the regime I am currently following won't wing it. For a start, it is designed to be a short term, pre-op thing with specific, medical outcomes which is why I am a bit worried when I have to change anything. The info I have specifically states that it is not a diet that provides all the essential vitamins and minerals that my body needs so I'm taking a multivitamin and mineral tablet every day. I'd like to stop that.

It's too restrictive and rigid.  There's enough food to stop me feeling hungry but the way it is organised doesn't work that well.

I can't have protein or fruit for breakfast so no boiled egg and no fruit with my porridge as the two portions of fruit are for snacks.
I can have two protein portions for lunch but no carb. so I could have boiled eggs (two per portion) but to toasty soldiers to dunk. And it is not fun to try and force down two portions of tuna without the addition of some mayo! (fats are strictly limited)
Dinner is better but only one small portion of veg isn't great.

It isn't as frugal as I would like either with a lot of lean meat and fish.  As I have most stuff already in the freezer, I'm not spending more but I would be if things were different.

And don't start me off again on the limited veg!  :-)

I have a backlog of recipes to try and, while I don't want to go the WW2 rations route that some of my bloggy friends are taking, I really want to try some of their recipes.  It's frustrating!

However . . . I've had precious little gallbladder pain since I started on it and it's keeping on the straight and narrow.  And the weight is still coming off.

So - after the op, I think I might continue with a much less restrictive form of this diet which is what I was doing after I had the first attack until recently.  Less protein, more veg, less rigidity as to what to have and when.  I'll stick with low fat but with flexibility.  And if the weight stops falling off, I can always go back on it as a short term thing.  It's not, hopefully, a need but it certainly is a sensible thing to do.

Of course, there is always the chance that the op doesn't sort out the pain in which case I'm stuck with low fat and bouts of ouching for ever.
But I'm not thinking of that!  :-)


Good morning, everyone.  Yes, it's cold, but wasn't yesterday a glorious day?  So fresh and clear and sunny, it was the sort of day that just lifted my spirits and made me smile.  Inside was so warm as the bright sun shone through the glass.  Glorious!
And today is expected to be the same.

As expected, it was a quiet day yesterday.  I did a bit of early morning shopping, cooked meals, washed, dried, ironed and put away and then knitted.  I'm still making clothes for little knitted doll and I was attempting a raglan V necked cardigan (knitters will know what I mean here).  I worked out the pattern for the back and the two front sides absolutely fine but made a right mess of the shaping of the sleeves.  If her shoulders had been where her ears ought to be, then it would have been the right shape!  So I set to with pencil and paper and wrote it all down (which is what I should have done first time) and I think my second bash is working out much better.  I must show you photos soon.

I had to smile.  I was reading the weather forecasts and, of course, there are weather warnings out for the expected snow.  Down at the bottom of the article, there was a reminder to check on 'the over 65s' to make sure they (we) are OK and managing.  I really think that needs changing.  After all, people are now expected to be fit and able enough to work until they are 66 and 2 months!  I will just be checking that my parents are OK but I know they will be - but one must make sure.

Goodness, it is nearly 7:15.  I slept rather longer this morning so everything is correspondingly later too.  I have to say, I am sleeping jolly well on this liver shrinking diet and not waking feeling hungry.
Better go and get the day started.  I hope your Sunday is good and that you can stay safe and warm.

Saturday 24 February 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's still cold, the forecasts get more and more 'severe' and it looks as if there will be some snow around next week although when and how much isn't totally clear.  Well, what will be, will be, and I'm plenty prepared, no point me worrying so I won't!

It was lovely seeing Alex yesterday and we had a really good chat about this. that and the other.  He's become much more articulate now, which is great.  He enjoyed the full English I made for him while I enjoyed my apple (really, I did, it was lovely!).  After I took him home, I got on with my planning so now I am ready for Monday.  I do like to get ahead a bit.

Today looks like being a quiet day.  There's nothing scheduled really so I will probably knit, plan a bit more and generally chill.  Nice and undemanding.

Have a great day.

Friday 23 February 2018


Good morning, everyone.  There's a really heavy frost out there today so the heating is on and so are the dressing gown and slippers and, with a hot coffee at my side, I am cosy.  I'm glad I don't have to go out too early though.

My lovely cleaner came yesterday, for once, rather than today, and it was a two hour job so now the house is a clean and tidy and it ever is!  Before then I had done two loads of washing and because it was sunny and breezy (and cold!) both loads dried outside on the line.  It's all now ironed and the basket is empty which is a nice way to finish the week, isn't it?

Apart from that and the tuition, it was an easy going day and I enjoyed it.

Today is a bit more complicated.  Alex is home from uni again (it's a sort of 'do something different' week - in other words a grown up half term) and he's coming round this morning for brunch.  I won't be able to join him in that so I will have one of my apples!  Not quite the same, is it, but fried food is out and the diet info doesn't seem to look very kindly on processed meat like bacon or sausage quite apart from the effect it might have on the poorly gallbladder anyway!  That's life: at least I can enjoy the aroma and make myself some good coffee.  :-)

Have a good day, whatever you're doing.  Stay warm and enjoy the sparkling frost!

Thursday 22 February 2018


Good morning, everyone.

Yesterday was lovely.  After a quick visit to Morrisons and some home pottering, I set out for J's house where we had lunch and a really good catch up chat.  She had made tuna salad, which I could have with a reasonably clear conscience, and it was very tasty.  We talked about this, that and the other without stopping.  I've known J for many years now.  In fact, the first time I met her was at the photocopier at school as she waited to go in for her interview and I had just started there and was doing two terms of maternity cover.  I made a few 'good luck' comments before whizzing back to class to relieve the TA.

After I got home, tuition also went really well and I felt I had made a significant difference to the student's learning and understanding - always a great feeling.

So I went to bed feeling satisfied, if you know what I mean.

Today is not quite so busy but there's still plenty to do.  I have some washing (which will probably have to be dried indoors), the cleaner is coming a day earlier so I need to get the place ready for her ministrations, I have some planning to do and I need to check my bank balance online and make sure my spending and saving records are all up to date.

I used to get paid each month on or before the 26th which was very handy if things were a bit tight at the end of the month.  It saved me umming and ahing about transferring a bit over from savings.  I was always very strict about not actually dipping into the next month's money but didn't want to worry about perhaps going slightly overdrawn.
Now, my teacher's pension lands in my account on or before the 23rd, which is equally useful in terms of not needing to worry.
As my dad says, it's all numbers on a slate really but it works well for me.

It's getting jolly cold again, isn't it?  There was a fairly stiff breeze yesterday afternoon which didn't help, and I turned the heating up come the evening.  I think I'm getting soft in my old age!

Well, better stop waffling on and start on the chores.  Have a great day, everyone, and stay warm.

Wednesday 21 February 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's Wednesday: it used to be my least favourite day as it was such a long day at school with staff meeting tacked on the end so the rest of the school work had to be done well into the evening after that which shattered me for the rest of the week.  Now, I rather like it.

I know some of you had sun yesterday but, sadly, here it was rain most of the day with just an hour when the sun struggled to break through.  However, by three it was raining gustily again in time for schools coming out and that was that!

Beth came round for dinner and we had a lovely natter.  Work is going well for her which is lovely.  Alex was home last weekend and seems to be doing great.  He'll be home again soon and I hope to see him then.

Today will be a busy day.  I have various bits and bobs to do first thing, then I'm off to a friend's house for lunch and a good chat and catch-up before whizzing home for tuition.

The liver shrinking diet seems to be going well enough, despite the challenge of devising meals with fairly restricted amounts.  I think I am getting into the swing of it now and there's no real problems (yet).  I think that because it is medical, as opposed to primarily cosmetic, there's an added motivation there.  It's not a long term eating plan but it could be with a few minor tweaks.

Well, I need to get going with the list of things to do before I see my friend, so I will get going or they will never be done. 
Have a super day, everyone.

Tuesday 20 February 2018


Good morning, everyone.
It's raining again this morning after a pretty damp day yesterday too.However, it doesn't feel all that cold so that's good.

Yesterday felt pretty busy although it was good fun.  The young knitters at Knitter Knatter Club had worked quite hard over half term so there were quite a lot of tangles to sort out.  One young lady has started knitting squares for a doll's blanket and another has been learning single stitch cable (I suspect mum is a knitter).  Listening to their chat as they knit away was very amusing.
Then I helped in FS before coming home for tuition.

Today promises to be a quiet day so I will get on with planning, tidy up and sort out the guest room, which got just a bit disordered over Christmas, and do some knitting and maybe even some sewing.  At some point soon I MUST get on with the patchwork quilt cover.  I also want to work out a few more recipes that will fit with this medical diet I am now on.

It's coffee time now so I will stop rambling on and get myself into the kitchen.  Have a good day and stay dry!

Monday 19 February 2018


Good morning, everyone.  I hope you all had a very pleasant weekend with lots of the same sunshine we had around here.  It's wet underfoot now so we have obviously had some rain overnight so goodness knows what today will bring.
Have you heard or read the sensational headlines about the 'beast from the east'.  Apparently, there's some cold weather coming our way from the east but I'll believe it when I see it.  Like most of us, I'm fed up with these over the top weather warnings that hardly ever materialise.

It was such a lovely day I decided to change my sheets and got them washed, dried and ironed.  Sheets do iron so much better when they've been line dried, I find.  I finished my meal planning for this coming week as the liver shrinking diet starts today.  I mended some clothes and got on with mini-clothes for the doll.
All in all, a quietly productive day.

Today the children are back to school so I will be there for the knitting club and then staying to help out before tuition after school.  Back on the wagon again until the Easter holiday!

Have a super day, wherever you are and whatever you are doing.

Sunday 18 February 2018


Good morning, everyone, and welcome to Sunday.  It's cold and dry with a nice frost and, as I have some washing, it would be nice if it stayed that way for the day.  Fingers crossed.

Yesterday I started off the day by pranging my back.  I reached up to put a plate away, twang went my back and '****' went I!  It was in the same place as the pain I'd been having for a few days so I was a bit concerned but, as it reduced a bit, I reckon that I've been holding my posture very awkwardly all week and something just sort of 'gave' because for the rest of the day I was more pain free than I have been for a week.  Certainly the gallstone ouch has gone (touch wood) and the other is now just an ache that reminds me to get up and sit down carefully.  Didn't stop me sleeping, that's for sure.

It was a lovely drive to Sainsbury's - all frost and mist with the sun breaking through - and when I got there I treated my car to a wash and wax while I shopped.  Inside, there were ads about 25% off Tu clothing so I bought a few bits in a smaller size as some of my clothes are now falling off me.  All that helped me finish off the holiday money I didn't spend!

Then it was home to do some ironing and then rest.  I'm sure it's helped considerably and it is so nice to feel well again.  I didn't get out in the garden so maybe I will today and I still have plenty to read so the holiday continues at home, doesn't it?  Lovely!

Saturday 17 February 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It was another really lovely, sunny winter's day yesterday with a frost first thing.  Really cheering although I MUST wash the back windows.  That sun really revealed the shocking state they are in!

I didn't do an awful lot really.  I found a bit more washing so I got that done and dried outside and really that was about it.  I slept, read, slept again.  It was rather nice!

Today I have to go to Sainsbury's and I must do a bit of planning and, if I am to start of the liver shrinking diet on Monday < spit >, I must go through the fridge and sort out what either needs using this weekend or prepping and freezing until afterwards.

I gather it's going to rain today but, if it doesn't or between showers, I want to do some more gardening and I must put out the snowdrops and irises I got from Anglesea Abbey.  A good time to do this because I can see where all the other snowdrops and other bulbs are.

Have a great day.  I'm just off to make coffee - proper coffee today, I think!  Nice!

Friday 16 February 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It is so good to be home again that I care not what the weather is doing.  Mind you, yesterday turned out quite nice and I got two small loads of washing line dried in the wind and sun.  It was the nicest day we have had all week.

It could have been a pleasant week away but wasn't, mainly because of the gall stones.  It might have been my unwise choice on Monday evening which certainly didn't help, but it had already started at Mum and Dad's over the weekend and just continued. 

A bit of a shame but never mind, I am home now and there were some good bits!  Anglesea Abbey was lovely and I enjoyed the shops at Burwash Manor:  I'll definitely be going back to both when the op is over and done with.  It wasn't the fault of Premier Inn that I didn't feel well enough so I shall be going back there too.  The food looked great and the room was very comfy.

The journey home was all I could have asked for.  Easy onto the A14, easy onto the M11, easy on to the A120 and a delightful drive on the back roads into Chelmsford which brought me into the back of my road.  Sunny, light on traffic and took about an hour because it was mostly fast roads.

Eventually I cracked and went to the pharmacy yesterday afternoon to see if they had anything stronger than the usual stuff, coming home with co-codamol and dire warnings about addictiveness.  I shall be very careful and maybe just have it now and again when the ouchiness gets a bit too much for the usual stuff.  There's no use troubling my GP with an op on the horizon, still on schedule for mid March although I don't have the date yet.  What I do have is the liver shrinking diet that I have to do for three weeks before the op so I should get the date soon and then there will be light at the end of the tunnel.  I have had a good old rant about the diet on The Frugal Factor so I'll keep this blog rant-clean!

Today (and for the weekend) I am taking things easy.  I'm tired, uncomfortable again (but had a good night's sleep under the influence of co-codamol) and there's things I want to catch up on via iPlayer and the like anyway.  There's a bit of ironing to do and sheets to change but I'll see how the innards feel.  I have a bit of planning to do but can get on top of next week's work reasonably quickly.

Hoping we all have a good day and tomorrow I am determined to be more cheerful!  :-)

Thursday 15 February 2018


Morning, everyone.

Well, yesterday wasn't as successful as Tuesday.  It started off well with a stop off at Burwash Manor where I noseyed round the shops and bought a couple of things and some pretty fabric for (probably) a summer skirt.  However, that was a bit of a mistake because by the time I got to Wimpole Hall fifteen minutes further down the road, the somewhat limited car park was chokka-full.  At the moment, their overflow car park is closed and several areas of the main car park were also cordoned off and you could see why.  I truly wouldn't fancy trying to get my car out of the mud - actually, I wouldn't like to try getting myself out of my car through the mud either.

After driving round and round with more cars arriving and none leaving, I decided to give up, came back, had a little drive around Cambridge (some lovely old buildings) and then went back to my room to chill.  Actually, it worked well for me as I had rotten backache and then it started raining a bit so I reckon I was in the best place.

I'd brought magazines and hadn't read any of them as well as having my knitting, so it was nice and cosy with plenty of coffee and with healthy fruit and natural yogurt for lunch.

If  I leave the hotel straight after breakfast I could take a detour and go to Wimpole this morning but at the moment I just want to get home really.  This isn't a pity party, it's just how it is.  I will definitely come back again though, once everything has settled down again. 

See you all back home again!

Wednesday 14 February 2018


Good morning!  No idea about the weather yet as it's dark out there but it hasn't snowed and I doubt it will now.  We seem to have escaped that in this part of the country.

I'm having a very pleasant time here but at the same time looking forward to getting back into my own routine again, especially with food, having been paid back for my indulgences of the last few days.  Today I am going gentle into the dining room!

Getting to Anglesea was easy enough, all well signposted along the route, and I was there early enough not to have to worry about finding a parking slot.  It wasn't raining although the clear skies had gone and it felt cold but, wrapped up in my warm coat with scarf and gloves, it didn't matter.  Quite a lot of pathways were roped off and you could see why - the grass had taken a battering and needed resting.  To be honest, I wouldn't have wanted to go along those ways anyway as it was very muddy.  Nicer to stick to the proper pathways.

Despite the bleak conditions, there was colour and growth and it was so lovely to see signs of life.  The snowdrops were beautiful and I must come back one day in summer.  It's a very long time since I was there and quite a lot has changed/developed since then.

I had a jolly good wander around.  There were enough people there to make it friendly: lots of children with grandparents, it being half term, but not so many that it felt crowded in any way.  I was very pleased that my ankle/foot coped with the walking and the standing really well with barely a murmur until right at the end and even then it was only a twinge, not a pain.  It is definitely getting stronger.

After looking around house and gardens I went back to the visitors' centre and had a light lunch before tackling the shop.  Of course, it was a classic NT shop but they had some lovely snowdrop things in.  I was much taken with a snowdrop coffee mug until I looked at the price!  That went back on the shelf hastily and I went for the real thing instead, still dreadfully expensive but a nice souvenir for the garden and I have just the spot for them.  I also indulged in a pot of mini irises for the same reason, a beautiful deep blue and very pretty.  To make up for the mug, I went for a pretty little enamel snowdrop badge instead.

By that time it was chucking it down with rain and blowing up a storm so I came straight back to the Inn, made a nice cuppa tea and settled down with some knitting until dinner time.  Very nice too!

After another great night's sleep, I'm ready for a trip to Wimpole Hall today, stopping off at Burwash Manor on the way (or maybe on the way back, depending on how early I set off).  There's one or two shops I am particularly interested in visiting - can you guess which?

Well, it's nearly seven and time for a nice hot bath before getting ready to face the day so I will stop now and just leave you with a few photos from yesterday.

Tuesday 13 February 2018


Good morning, all.  I've woken early (what a surprise!!) after a splendid night's sleep in a very comfortable and roomy bed in a room that is just right for temperature.  The kettle is on and there's no essentials on the list for today.  Once in a while, that is nice although I don't think I would like it all the time, do you?

The drive up was surprisingly easy.  Even the M11 and getting onto the A14 was a lot less hairy than I had anticipated and once on the A14, I was nearly here anyway.  On the way I located Wimpole Hall (tomorrow's little jolly) - couldn't miss it really - and Anglesea Abbey is also dead easy to get to from here today so all is well.  I gather the snowdrops are lovely at Anglesea right now and it's opening earlier than usual which means they are expecting plenty of visitors so I won't hang around too much after breakfast.

Dinner was delicious, all the nicer for not having to clear up afterwards.  I do love brie, bacon and cranberry and the chips were crunchy without and fluffy within - everything a self respecting chip should be.  Thankfully, there are no after-effects (yet), just that dull ache that I can live with if I have to.
It didn't stop me sleeping anyway!

Hopefully I will have some photos for tomorrow's entry.  In the meanwhile, I will enjoy my coffee and wish you a lovely day, whatever the weather.

Monday 12 February 2018


Good morning, everyone.  Thank you for all your kind messages yesterday.  I'm feeling much better this morning, ready to drive on to Cambridge later on as planned to enjoy a couple of days there doing Anglesea Abbey and Wimpole Hall.  I reckon the fresh (very fresh) air will do me good and as for any precipitation that may dare to fall, isn't that what brollies and boots are for?

I haven't done very much this weekend so am more than ready to get out and about.

Although it's been jolly cold, we only had one short spell of snow yesterday, so light as to be hardly worth the name 'shower' and there doesn't seem to me any more on the way so that ought to work out quite well.

When I get to my destination, I plan to unpack, take a little stroll around (not that it's anywhere worth strolling around really) and then settle in to read one of the magazines I have bought specially for this week before dining very carefully at the attached eating place.  Then it is ho for an evening of telly, planning for the next day and an early night.  So exciting!!!

Have a lovely day, everyone, and stay warm.

Sunday 11 February 2018


Good morning, everyone.
I'm in a grouchy mood - yesterday wasn't nice as the gallbladder was very ouchy all day so it was pretty unpleasant, even with painkillers.  However, I seem to have slept well enough, thank goodness, and the pain has subsided to a dull ache so I think it is settling down again now.  I do hope so.

Today will be mostly resting, taking things easy, etc, I think.  The grouch will go away and I will be back to normal.  😊

Saturday 10 February 2018


Good morning.  I woke at stupid o'clock today.  I wish I could sort of stabilise my waking patterns - a nice, steady six o'clock would do me just fine!   Shouldn't whinge though.  I may wake early but I wake in a warm, comfortable bed in a warm, comfortable home, something I am very grateful for.  I hope lovely house sitter is equally comfortable, but still fast asleep!

Yesterday morning was pretty busy but I got everything on the list done and I was away earlier than expected.  The new suitcase was bursting and I am so glad I bought it.

I have no idea what's going to happen today but I'm sure it will be nice, whatever it is.  Hopefully, your day will also be good.
I think it is time for the first coffee now, so I'll stop waffling and say goodbye for now!

Friday 9 February 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's not so cold this morning and by that I mean no frost and a cloudy sky.  We had glorious sunshine yesterday which was a real treat and so cheering so that's my happy for today.

I've been busy.
As I mentioned before, I am off for a short break on Monday and I'm also away this weekend, going on from there to Cambridge.  A lovely friend is house sitting < waves up the stairs to the guest room >; and I'm more or less organised with a list of things that still need doing, none of them very big.
It starts with 'bin' and finished with 'money', not that it would be a disaster if I left it at home but I'd rather not!  I've printed off the hotel (well, Inn) booking info and know the route.  I have the technology packed and am looking forward to guilt free reading and knitting for a few days.

The little doll now has another set of clothes - a short sleeved jumper and a flared skirt.  She's going to be the best dressed doll in Essex before I've finished.

Well, I'd better make tracks and start working through my list.  Work first, then breakfast.  Have a great day.

Thursday 8 February 2018


G-g-g-ood morning, everyone.  I'm just back from a rootle in the freezer (out in the shed) and it ain't 'arf cold out there.  A hard frost and more or less clear skies.  In the summer I go out to the freezer bare footed but no way today!
At least it's not snowed, unlike yesterday, not that it caused much more than a load of very excited children!  There was snow in the air all day but no more showers and some glorious sunshine which made my wander around town very pleasant indeed.

I did OK in town.  I got some more pjs including (very exciting, this) some a size smaller!  And they fit (just!).  I also got a lightweight suitcase which was my main reason for going in.  I have a smaller lightweight case but next week I will need something larger to avoid having extra bags.  I got just what I wanted in Matalan.  I also found the couple of Landranger maps that I needed (goodness, aren't they expensive?) and had a good rootle around both Foyles and Waterstones.  I love bookshops, don't you?  Disappointingly, neither shop had anything like a guide to Cambridge, so I went onto Amazon when I got home and found what I wanted there, bit the bullet and paid for a fast delivery.  My fault for leaving it until late!

I was terribly lazy come the evening and decided to defer the ironing until today.  As I have a free day until tuition, I shall do it while watching my daily dose of Hugh F-W this morning.  An hour should be plenty long enough.

Instead, I took a nose dive back into total nostalgia.  Anyone old enough to remember The Man From UNCLE?  Oh, that was my to die for TV in the sixties.  How I totally loved David McCallum, as did everyone else at school.  I lived for Thursday evenings.
Well - I can see why, watching it again in my advanced years!  It was funny, tongue in cheek, spoofy type stuff, budget-made, I suspect, but entertaining, very entertaining.  And I could still have a massive crush on Illya Kuryakin!

Back to normality and time is zooming on so I will finish this now.  Have a lovely day, whatever you are doing.

Wednesday 7 February 2018

The doll

As I've had a few queries, it is easier to post about it than rely on replies.

First of all, it is slightly adapted from a Jean Greenhowe pattern.  Here's the link to her site

The pattern is from the Christmas Special booklet and is from the Mrs Claus pattern.
Here she is.

I don't think anyone will mind me posting this photo as it's a big plug for her pattern books

I adapted it a bit - the shoes finish sooner, then I did some white for socks before turning to skin colour, and I knitted a band for the sock turnovers.  The body is white at the bottom (knickers) before going skin coloured again and all her other clothes will be removable.  I'm rather making them up as I go along at the moment!
(apologies for the bad light)

If you like knitting, her patterns are very clear, very good and most enjoyable to knit.

Here's a scan of the hair - not terribly good quality and it was over two pages!

I would recommend you get the booklet though - Amazon have copies and it's not that expensive for what you get.

Hope all this has helped.


Brrrr - we've had a little bit of snow and it looks so bleak and cold out there so today I am grateful for good double glazing that lets the views in but keeps the cold out (and the warm in).

The biggies yesterday were the  'International Song Contest' at school (brilliant, absolutely fantastic, I wished I didn't have to choose winners) and the hospital appt.

Yes, I have to have my gallbladder removed.  Ho hum.  He said mid March to early April and he wants me to lose 10% of body weight.  Not a chance, thought I (but didn't say!), but I have to go on a 'liver shrinking diet' for three weeks before the op and, yes, looking at what I found on the Internet about this diet, I may just possibly get close to it.  :-) 
Diane will know this already, I am sure, but it's to reduce the glycogen stores in the liver, making it smaller and easier to 'avoid' when they're chopping the rest of me about!  Low calorie (of course), low carb, low fat, no alcohol, high(er) protein.  Actually, not too different to what I am already doing really, apart from the carbs and the calories are lower so portions will be smaller - between 800 and 1000 a day. 

Oh, well, it's all in a good cause, isn't it?

Actually, if I didn't want to follow the food plan, I could follow the milk plan ( semi-skimmed, soya or almond milk and multi-vitamins) or the meal replacement shake plan (slimfast and the like).  No way, not a chance in a million!!!  I could manage a few days if I really, really had to but not three weeks.  Eeek.

Mind you, he (the consultant) told me to contact his secretary about sending me 'his' liver shrinking diet, so goodness knows what that will entail.

Today, weather permitting, I intend going into town.  I have bits and bobs to get and some money to deposit (very nice too).  Later on, I'm reading with Y1 and then it's tuition.  Beth was supposed to be coming round for dinner but can't make it which is sad but it gives me an evening to catch up with my ironing.

Well, if I am to get into town by nine before the crowds, I'd better get moving.  Stay warm, everyone.

Tuesday 6 February 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's cold out there, isn't it?  Coming home yesterday morning, there was snow in the air but nothing substantial and it didn't develop into anything.  However, I am continuingly grateful for my well heated home, whether it shows or not.

I enjoyed Knitter Knatter yesterday although it was late starting, thanks to the attraction of 'all day breakfast' for school lunch.  It's always been a favourite and quite rightly - I used to have it when I was still teaching and always enjoyed it.

Today is busy fore and aft with a calm spell in the middle.  This morning I am helping to judge the 'International Song Contest' at school - each year group prepares a 'presentation' which is a song plus other stuff, such as a dance,actions, costume, to enliven it further.  The judging team have to select two winners, one from Infants and the other from Juniors.  It is Not Easy!!!

Thern, in the afternoon, I am, back off to Springfield Hospital to discover what, if anything, can be done about those gallstones.  I have no idea what they will say so who knows.  I think (hope) they will do something anyway as I keep having 'twinges'.  We will see.

I've finished that little doll plus a few clothes.  I have to fasten a little 'band' around her bun and make some more clothes now.  I'm tending to make them as I go, drawing on previous experiences for shaping.  It seems to be working.  At some point I will get out my bits and bobs fabric pieces and see what I can sew as well.

Thankfully, I did not oversleep this morning so it's not nearly such a rush but I have my salsacise to do and my hair needs washing, so I'd better shut up now and get started.  Have a good day and stay warm, whatever the weather throws at you.

Monday 5 February 2018


Good morning everyone.  It maybe cold outside but it's warm within and I slept until after seven.  They have to be my happies for today, don't they?

As expected, yesterday was a lazy day, a quiet day, a do-not-a-lot day and very nice it was too! 
Today will be different as it's Monday:  Knitter-Knatter Club and FS day followed by tuition, for which I have already prepared so no pressures!

I notice that we have a new programme this week.  Another in the Back in Time series - Back in Time for Tea, this time set in t'North.  As social history, they are interesting but, obviously, very superficial, and I hope this new series is different enough from the previous one to really reflect the differences in lives.  It should be; for a start, it's not being led by Giles Coren.

I'm puzzled over what has happened to Lose Weight For Good.  I saw the first four programmes (out of six) and then it seemed to vanish into thin air, like Eat Well for Less, which still hasn't finished the 2017 series (there's one more episode to go).  I hate it when the BBC plays around like this.

Anyway, I need to go.  It will be breakfast soon!  Have a great day!

Sunday 4 February 2018


Good morning, everyone.  Cold, isn't it?  Due to get colder, I gather and I just hope it doesn't snow, which would be most inconvenient!

I spent a few hours yesterday washing, frying and ironing and, for once there wasn't much to watch on the food channel.  I watched it anyway but wasn't 'engaging' with it.  Today's listings look more promising.

I spent most of the evening knitting, split between two projects.  The main 'body' of the little doll is now up, if not actually running and I'm making a little jumper as a starter for her clothes.  At least, within reason, I don't have to worry about getting the neck over her squishy head!
She has no face and no hair yet but you get the idea . . .

(posting because there's not a chance in a million little girl recipient will see it in here)

My happies today are a tumble dryer that makes short work of the wet sheets on horrible days and being able to knit fun little things for little people.  It gives me great pleasure.

Today will be another lazy day although I expect I will find stuff to do, don't we always?  But it's time to get out of bed, get dressed and sort out some coffee (not necessarily totally in that order).
Stay warm!

Saturday 3 February 2018


Good morning

I now have a nice clean house thanks to my lovely cleaner who comes each week and kindly makes no judgement on the state of the carpet in the living room (when I've been sewing or knitting or generally crafting).

Expressing gratitude seems to be a bloggy thing right now which is nice.  Being part of that happy throng, I thought I'd do the same so today I am grateful for aforementioned cleaner and also for a reliable car that gets me from a to b and back to a again without causing any problems.

Today will be fairly busy with bed changing, sheets, etc, and the forecast isn't good enough for me to place any reliance on being able to dry them outside.  I'm sure I will get some knitting fitted in there somewhere too which will be nice.

I've rather overslept: it's past seven o'clock (on a cold and frosty morning, past seven o'clock, good morrow masters all)!  so I'd better stop typing and get going.  May your day be good.

Friday 2 February 2018


Good morning and brrrr - still chilly out there and it looks damp too.  No frost or ice so it can't be freezing but it must be close.  We had sleet yesterday evening sao maybe other places have had snow.

I worked steadily through my list of Things To Do (to which more was added after I'd signed off in here) and got just about everything done apart from stuff that is ongoing.  It feels good to see the crossings off on the list.

I even managed to get into the garden and tackled the dreadfully overgrown rosemary bush.  I have no idea whether it is the right time to cut it back and I know I won't get many of those beautiful little Mary-blue flowers this year now but it was blocking a pathway and driving me a bit bonkers. 
Just one annoying thing - if I forget to put the brown bin out very early, by the time I remember, they have been and gone, but this week I put the brown bin out on Wednesday evening because it was chock-a-block full and I need the space and when did they collect?  Not until late afternoon! 
So the considerable rosemary trimmings are sitting in a pile in the garden and I will load them all in this morning, weather permitting.  It seems a shame to waste them but I have far more than I could possibly use and it keeps giving all year so no point freezing any either.

Because I was very industrious yesterday, there's now an awful lot to do today really.  I need to give downstairs a quick tidy before the cleaner comes, especially 'my' corner which has balls and bits of yarn scattered around like giant confetti but that won't take too long.  I think a nice, lazy day is top of the list.

Now I need my first coffee - definitely 'need' is the right word here, so I will say goodbye and have a lovely day, whatever you have planned!

Thursday 1 February 2018


Good morning, all.  It's c-c-cold this morning, although there's no frost (yet).  Yesterday we had some hail/sleet which was unexpected, just as the children came out of school. 
It always seems to happen like that - sunshine until about 3:00, then rain!

Yesterday was good.  I did the hospital trip, had a great time in school hearing little readers, tuition was fun and all went well.

Today I have a lot to do so I've made a list (and keep adding to it).
So far it says:
Report for leavers' book
St order for KJB
Garden - prune rosemary, start strawbs

And I bet there will be more before the day is out.
So I shall get started and see how much I can cross off the list before lunch.  Have a good day!