Sunday 30 September 2018


Just a quick one today.  Back properly tomorrow.
Have a lovely day and enjoy whatever fine weather there is around.  :-)

Saturday 29 September 2018


Good morning, everyone.

There's not really much to mention this morning.  Yesterday passed as days often do.  Just small, everyday stuff.  It was warm during the day if you were sheltered but a bit chilly in the breeze and I gather the next fortnight or so will be much the same.  Good news for my holiday!

I've just remembered that two parcels arrived yesterday.  One was a swimming costume.  I will be swimming every day on holiday (unless I have a day off) and one cossie really isn't enough.  I do have two in the next size down, bought for less than half price in a sale, but I tried them on and . . . well, no, not quite.  Another half stone down and they will be fine but not right now.  So now I am set for my holiday.
The other was some ankle boots from Hotter,  Last week, as you may remember, I discovered that I can now get into normal width footwear.  I tried on some ankle boots in Matalan.  They fitted fine but the soles weren't all that comfortable.  So I went to good old Hotter and ordered from there.  Much more expensive, I know, but they will last and were extremely comfy.  I've always wanted bootlets so I feel not the least bit guilty and I'm now very well set up for footwear.

Today looks like being more of the same but without parcels!  :-)

Friday 28 September 2018


Good morning, everyone.  What a gloriously autumnal day it was yesterday, sunny with a clear blue sky and warm too, but not uncomfortably warm.  It was one of those cheerful days!

I met up with my friend and we had some good coffee while we talked.  How we talked!  We were still going strong when A had to leave for another appointment.  When two ex teachers come together, some of the subject of the conversation is inevitable and we certainly aired our views!  It was great and we will make this a regular thing in a way that neither of us could do while we were working.

After tuition it was weigh in and, cheers, another pound and a half off.  That'll do me!  For those who do SW, I got my bronze body magic thing.  A twee name for 'exercise' but it's good that they encourage members to get moving a bit more.

Today I am off to my parents' home so need to get the house sorted a bit.  It's not nice to come home to a mess, after all.  I need to go to Morrisons so that's my bit of exercise.  I know it's not much but it is much better than nothing.

But first - coffee!

Thursday 27 September 2018


Good morning, everyone.  I was awake too early today (just after four) which is going to make a long day but never mind, I can have an early night if it is really necessary.

Yesterday felt quite busy at time.
I walked down to Morrisons to off load some too-big Tshirts into the Sally army recycling post.  Happy and sad at the same time - happy because they're now too big but sad because some of them are less than a year old and I used to get years of wear from my clothes.  I'm glad to know they will be going to people who need them though.

The governors' meeting was quite long but mostly very interesting, as they often are.  It's a good way to stay in contact with the school I worked in for so very long.

Today I have an early date with a friend at the Writtle coffee shop but after that the day is pretty clear really until tuition and then weigh-in.  Fingers crossed.

Wednesday 26 September 2018


Good morning, all.  It's jolly cold again outside and it wouldn't surprise me if there was another frost although it is too dark to tell right now as it's too early for street lights.

The bus got me into town in plenty of time so, on the way to the opticians, I popped in to Primark and popped out again with some Harry Potter socks.  Very childish!

The tests were fine, albeit tiring.  You have to concentrate so hard, especially in the hearing test but the outcome is some new, swish hearing aids, bang up to date and with a number of features that should be extremely useful.  I also have new glasses on the make although my eyesight only shows slight changes which is great
I bet the bank manager winced though!

Today I shall have an early swim and then the lovely Sharon is coming to sort my hair out.  After that I have a few spare hours, which is nice, before tuition and then almost straight out for a governor's meeting at school.  I must remember to set Great British Menu to record!

Tuesday 25 September 2018


Good morning, everyone.  How are you all? 
It's a lovely clear early morning here so, of course, it's jolly chilly.  I nipped out to get something from the freezer and nipped back in again quickly.  No hanging around to count the tomatoes today!

After a good swim, I got stuck into the planning.  There's a bit more to do but it's not too bad.  I also did two loads of washing out on the line which didn't get bone dry but fine for ironing/airing.  I did the ironing in the evening so that's all done and out of the way.

I've finally finished the DS9 box set (sad, sweet ending) and started the last set Dave gave me - Voyager.  I never saw the first few episodes when it was on originally so missed how they got there in the first place - now I know!

And finally, I started my list of Things To Take.  It'll be refined down, of course (I hope).

Today is a packed day.  I'm taking the bus into town this morning for hearing and sight tests.  The sight test is the usual regular one and the hearing test is because I know I need new hearing aids.  That will be more than a bit money-ouch but needs must!

Once home, it won't be long before tuition so really is all go today!  Better get moving!

Monday 24 September 2018


Good morning, everyone.  After some heavy rain yesterday, in the afternoon the sun managed to break through and all was bright and cheery again.  I think today is supposed to be pleasant too; sunny but quite cool.

The puddle test was most satisfactory and my feet remained dry.  Excellent.

When Beth came round, we had some home made tomato soup (tasty) for lunch and then we got out the sewing stuff and made that owl cushion apart from the stuffing as Beth had that at home.  We'll get it finished on Tuesday and posted off the next day.
We've made four owl cushions now for this particular friend, for her daughter, one for each year she has been at university.  A rather nice mini-tradition to set, I think.  This will be the last one unless we are asked to make one to celebrate graduation.

The sewing machine was making some rather clunky noises - I think it will need to go off for a service at some point soon.  There's a shop in town that does this sort of thing but it will be a two handed job, one pair to drive and the other pair to whisk out with the machine and drop it off.  Parking is dire round there.

Today I am going to have an early morning swim and then I intend to set to and do all my planning for the week.  That's because every other day I have something scheduled which is rather nice and I don't want to have planning hanging over my head.

I'm also going to start prepping for my holiday.  I find all the pre holiday stuff great fun and it adds to the enjoyment of the event no end.  I might even be able to get some of the food stuff ready; it is self catering and I'm blowed if I am going to buy things like salt and pepper or even buy them there.

Well, the first coffee is now a memory so I'd better get moving if I want to be out in an hour's time.  Back tomorrow and I hope you have the day you really want to have.

Sunday 23 September 2018


Good morning, everyone.  Yesterday was a dull, dismal day.  It started raining before nine and continued at various rates all day and, I expect, through the night too.  It's still drizzling lightly now.

I got to the pool just after it opened and it was nearly empty.  It's a good time to go because at nine there's an aqua class so people don't really bother to go earlier.  As I am aiming for forty minutes of swimming each time, that suits me just fine.  I get out of the pool and into the spa as the class starts and spa, changing room and showers are well nigh empty.

The gym is in a small centre called the Riverside Centre so I popped into a shop to get another ream of paper for my printer before wandering around Matalan where I got a slightly too small jumper and a long cardigan that fits perfectly!  At the moment I do like to have a few things in the next size down to act as a motivation and a measure.  Scales are helpful but they don't tell you everything.

Then I came home and did precious little for the rest of the day.  :-)

Today Beth is coming over and we will be making an owl cushion for a friend's daughter.  I have some washing, drying and ironing to do and I must start planning what to take to Center Parcs with me.  It's less than a fortnight away now.

I also have a few things to get from Morrisons so I will road test (or do I mean puddle test?) my new shoes to see if they are as waterproof as they claim.  I need a bit of exercise today and the walk, short as it is, will fit the bill nicely.

Sharon, thank you so much for the tip about St Botolph's Priory.  It seems that there is so much to see and do in Colchester town centre; I am thinking of making a long weekend of it at some point.  There's a Premier Inn close by and I could have a long weekend of it, arriving Friday afternoon and leaving Monday morning.  I'd have a day there first, just getting my bearings and noting where everything is and then have a weekend there next spring, maybe.  Exciting!

Saturday 22 September 2018


Good morning, everyone, welcome to the weekend.

I thought I'd answer yesterday's comments (thank you all) here instead of as another comment, just for a change.
Matt the Plumber did indeed warn me that the bath would be short and that I couldn't lie down in it.   I think he was bit concerned that it is totally the opposite of my corner bath.  That's OK, I sit up with a book (or Kindle) perched on the side nowadays.  I used to like a long soak kind of bath but maybe I'm getting too old - they no longer appeal!  And just think of the saving in water, not to mention the time it takes to fill.
I also think it will be a lovely thing when it's finished and just having a bit more space will make a big difference.  Instead of baskets holding all the bathroom clutter, I am envisaging plants.
Thank you for the kind comments about my ongoing weight loss.  I haven't done it all with Slimming World, of course, it started when the gallbladder played up, but SW has certainly helped when motivation was seriously faltering over the summer and has got me right back on track again.
Sue, I think you would love Coggeshall; it is well worth a visit.

Well, I had my outing as the sun was shining brightly and the sky was clear.  It was more than a bit windy and, surprisingly, it was jolly cold too.  I really could have done with one of those jumpers I bought on Thursday.

I won't go into detail as I'll do a separate post which means now I have four posts to work on - Coggeshall, St Peter's, Chelmsford Cathedral and Greensted church and how I am going to select from the thousands (it feels like thousands) of photos I took is beyond me!

Looking at the bus map beforehand, I realised that the bus took me right past St Peter's so I got off there, did the church first, then walked down to the centre and down again to the Barn and Abbey Lane before walking back again to Paycocke's where I caught the bus home, stopping off at a sheltered spot by the River Blackwater to eat my lunch.  It was a very pleasant walk, not too far but enough for me to feel I had a good workout.

I'll just post one photo here.  Coggeshall was a centre of the wool trade in the 16th century so the village sign is very appropriate as well as lovely.

On the way back, I had to fight to stay awake so guess what happened when I got home!!!

I had a lovely day.  It's a place I will go back to again and again, I think, and seeing as the museum only opens on Sunday, guess what!  Not tomorrow though.

For my next 'adventure', I will either get off in Braintree to visit the museum there (I used to take Y1 on a history experience day so it will be nostalgic) and also to visit St Michael's church which looks interesting or I will stay on the bus and go on to Colchester.  The bus station isn't far from Colchester Castle and there's loads of things to do there.  The only disadvantage is that I can't use my bus pass before 9:00.  I had forgotten that but the nice driver let me on yesterday anyway, bless him.

But that won't be for a while now!

So that was yesterday.  Today is back to ordinary.  Early morning swimming, then home for housework/washing/ironing, etc.  And, of course, the first Strictly show.  Could life hold more?

Friday 21 September 2018


Good morning.

I intended to mention the bathroom plans yesterday and forgot, so here goes.  It's a very small room, my bathroom is, and I did um and ah about turning it into a wet room but decided not to in the end.  Matt the plumber has sourced a shorter bath that is just 120cm in length and which will tuck in nicely beside the loo.  To be honest, I will miss my nice big corner bath but I no longer need the extra width for comfort (yay) so it will work fine and be far more economical with water.  At right angles to the bath will be a vanity unit and sink and then a bit of floor to ceiling storage which means I can repurpose the wicker baskets I use at present for loo rolls, soap, etc, and it will make it all so much less cluttered.  By the door I will have a floor to ceiling heated towel rail thingy.  Ceiling spots and an extractor fan will finish it off nicely.  All I now have to do is choose tiles and floor covering and Matt will do the rest, project managing everything.  Quite apart from the fact that he's a jolly nice chap with an excellent local reputation, it's great to be supporting a local business - and I taught his daughter (now at uni) in Year 1!
I think it's going to be lovely when it's all done (next Spring).

My trip into town turned out to be 'productive'  i.e. I produced my debit card and came home with a bag of things.  You might remember I went into town about a fortnight ago to look at clothes for the winter and came back with good ideas.  Well, today I did an M&S shop, coming back with three jumpers and a cardigan but the biggest and best thing was that I had to get medium sizes.  I don't mind saying now that this time last year I was XXL or more so I'm thrilled to bits!

I also bought a watch.  I've needed one for ages but they've not been comfortable on my - er - generous sized wrist and that annoyed me.  Well, the one I bought yesterday fits a dream and it's pretty as well, I think.

And when I went to Slimming World in the evening, I had lost a pound and a half since last week which, with last weekend away, was a great relief.  AFter a summer of ups and downs, more ups than downs, I have now got back to where I was around June and it will be back into unexplored waters with the next loss.

Today is adventure day - sort of.  Bus into town, bus out to Coggeshall, a good wander around with plenty of photos and a picnic and then home again, jiggity -jog - or maybe I mean bumpity-bump!!
No tuition so the whole day is mine.  Fingers crossed for the weather which looks OK as far as I can tell at the moment.  If it does pour with rain it's no problem.  I will simply go another day instead. 

Well, I'd better get started.  There's a few things to tidy away to help the cleaner and I have a backpack to pack.  Fingers crossed for a good day - for us all.

Thursday 20 September 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It was a fair old windy day day yesterday; nothing too bad, just gusty.  I'm down south so I hate to think what it was like further north and we are due to get more and worse over the weekend.  It's a real pattern now and I'm sure we never used to get such storms and so regularly.  Climate change?

Yesterday went according to plan until the evening when a family crisis turned everything topsy turvy but I think it's all settled now.  I hope so anyway! 

Today I plan to pop into town this morning, just for fun really, although there are a few things I want to look for.  On the way back I will stop off at Morrisons for a few bits and bobs before going home to polish up my planning.  Then this evening it is weigh in time.

Have a lovely day, everyone.  :-)

Wednesday 19 September 2018


Morning, everyone.  I hope you've all slept well!

Just a quick one today as I overslept a bit and want to go swimming soon.  Yesterday was great, the dinner with Alex went really well and all that was left was some of the chicken and a bit of cranberry sauce, portions of which will make a great topping for my jacket potato this evening!

Beth and I went to the allotment in the evening and, although things are slowing down a little, came back with a few bags of goodness which I will deal with today.  She and Al harvested on Sunday so it was good.  There are not many pears left now, just a few, and the corn is just about over.  We may clear the latter on Saturday or Sunday and then we can cover one strip of ground in preparation for keeping the winter weeds down.  We ought to plant wintering veg really but we don't right now - maybe that's for the future although we do plan to try some aquadulce broad beans this year/next year and there is the asparagus, of course.

Today, Matt the plumber is coming to sort out my condensate pipe and then to talk over the plans he has made for my new bathroom.  Exciting or what!

I have a new student coming later on and that's it really as far as scheduled stuff is concerned.  However, I didn't properly sort out the kitchen yesterday so that is top of the housework list for today and also the chicken carcass his been simmering gently away in the slow cooker and needs dealing with today.  Lots of lovely, delicious stock for soups and gravy.

Better stop - time is flying past.  Have a great day!

Tuesday 18 September 2018


Good morning, everyone.
It was positively hot yesterday afternoon, hot enough for me to put the fan on for a time.  How daft is that - one week the heating is clicking on and a few days later the fan is on.  It's supposed to be lovely and warm again today with none of the rain and high wind forecast for the north.

When I got home yesterday, my new walking shoes were waiting in my 'safe place'.  I opened the box with some trepidation; it's been a long time since I ordered shoes that aren't wider fitting (thank you, Hotter).  They felt a bit restrictive when I put them on but half an hour of wearing them showed me that they were extremely comfortable and supportive so I'm very happy about that.

I had also ordered a small, very cheap backpack that was advertised as waterproof (but I bet it won't be).  It's not all that strong and will fold into a small, zip up bag thingy but perfect for what I want right now.  It has a safe, zip up pocket and is more than big enough to hold water, a picnic and the various bits and bobs that would usually be in my handbag.

So I'm all set for a bit of exploration in my life now!  It's back to Coggeshall (on the bus) on Thursday, I think, weather permitting, to test it all out while looking at the remains of the Abbey and then on to St. Peter's Church which is supposed to be well worth a visit.

Apart from that excitement, it was a normal Monday with tuition (seeing some super progress) and then, in the evening, ironing (all done now).

Today Alex comes for his not-Christmas lunch.  The vegetables are all prepped (apart from the peas), the stuffing has defrosted, the pigs are ready for roasting, the cranberry sauce was made yesterday and the chicken is in the slow cooker on a bed of carrots, celery and onion with some bay leaves and a bit of water.
I've not cooked a chicken in the slow cooker before but I've heard it can be very flavoursome and tender and, of course, I don't have to keep watching it, so I'm looking forward to the results. 

Apart from that, there's tuition and Beth is round after work but we are having a simple meal of beans on toast, maybe cheesy beans, followed by fruit.  I have a lot of pears to eat today as they are starting to ripen now.  We'll probably also go to the allotment to harvest stuff - there must be a lot by now.
I think I will get on with the tuition planning now so it is off my mind and by the time I am washed and dressed, the house should be smelling great.

Have a lovely day, whatever the weather.

Monday 17 September 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's the start of a new week and the weather is still beautiful.  Not always sunny (although it does brighten up by the afternoon) and surprisingly warm after such a chilly start to the month.  You won't catch me complaining though!

The highlight of yesterday was apple picking.  As I mentioned before, there's a sort of communal orchard just down the road and I sauntered along there yesterday, bag over my arm, and came back with a fair amount but, hopefully, not too many.  I'm surprised more folk don't come and pick.  When I get home, I will take a photo of the loot!
Hope they are nice!

Apart from that it was a lazy day.  Lots of reading and snoozing (all of us, not just me) and it was very restful.  Today is rather busier.  I am wondering if perhaps I can fit in a swim before tuition and later on I will have ironing to deal with.  Just an ordinary day really but nice!
Like yours, I hope.

Sunday 16 September 2018


Good morning, everyone!
Yesterday was yet another lovely sunny autumnal day, comfortably warm in the afternoon but nowhere near warm enough to go out without arm covering first.  Suits me - I dislike getting hot and sweaty which is maybe why swimming appeals - yes, I get hot but the water cools me and any sweat is washed away.

Yesterday afternoon I had a lovely stroll around a pary of the Greenway.
The Greenway is a circular path that goes more or less right round the Garden City, designed to be fully accessible for walkers, wheelchairs, bicycles, etc, with interesting stopping off points (such as Standalone Farm) and starting points for other walks.  It's just under fourteen miles in length (no way I would tackle that) but can be done in reasonable 'chunks'.

I have no idea how far I went - maybe a couple of miles altogether - sauntering along, enjoying the peace and the country views, nodding happily to other users and discovering an orchard just off route.  I asked Dad about it and he told me that it is a communal orchard for anyone to go and pick from, planted a while ago by the Garden City Corporation.  That being so, I intend to go back today and pick some but yesterday, not knowing that, I was tempted but behaved myself.

Here's a link to a map of the Greenway (scroll down to the last page).

Today should be another gentle day and I'm looking forward to it.  I hope yours is pleasant too.

Saturday 15 September 2018


Belated good morning to everyone.
I find I have a window of time while Mum is asleep, Dad is reading the paper and the hotpot dinner is merrily bubbling away on the hob so guess who I thought of?  You!

It's a delightful autumn day again after some rain overnight and I'm planning to go 'round the block' for a bit of exercise this afternoon.  I'm more or less managing swimming every alternate day now (apart from when I am here with my parents) and having a little stroll around gives me some more gentle exercise on the other days.  I'm so hoping those shoes will be just the ticket for these strolls around.

Learning how to use the bus (thanks, Alex) has opened up my world.
As I mentioned in a comment yesterday, I've discovered that the bus goes through Coggeshall on the way to Colchester.  Free transport and no parking worries has to be a good thing.  OK, the journey is twice as long (in time terms) but it is a pleasant drive and it's nice to have someone else doing the work.  I can catch up on my reading!
So I'll definitely be back there before long.

I could also go on to Colchester which I really don't know at all yet.  I've only ever been to Colchester for courses so will need to do some 'research' first but it could be fun.
Ditto for Maldon and 'Sarfend' - a walk down the pier and the train back would be great and I'd love to go back to the Seaworld place.

Exciting times!

Friday 14 September 2018


Good morning, everyone.  Friday rolls around again and I hope you have some good things planned for the weekend.

Yesterday turned into a glorious day so Alison and I drove over to Coggeshall to visit the Grange Barn and Paycockes.

The barn is a stunning medieval barn, originally used to process and store the grain collected from local farmers to pay the tithe tax to the the Abbey.  By the 1970s it was totally derelict, unused and in danger of being totally demolished, especially after it started collapsing.  However, it was made a listed building and in the 1980 (I think) funds were raised and the barn was renovated.  It has 'atmosphere' and is well worth a visit.

Then we walked up the roast and round the corner to Paycocke's House, a fascinating Tudor house built in 1508 and renovated very carefully in the 1900s to the standard it is in today.

Annoyingly, I forgot my camera.!  I borrowed the two above from Google Images
However, I'm going back soon.  There's much more to see and visit in Coggeshall; what's left of the Abbey including a tiny gatehouse chapel that I can add to my list of Essex churches, Gallows Street, the Woolpack (another Tudor building) and St Peter's ad Vincula.  I have a map of a walk that takes me to all these places and I also treated myself to a book, Discovering Coggeshall (Timber Framed Buildings in the Town Centre) so I shall be able to look with more knowledge and understanding.

Also just down the road from Paycoke's, there is a winery and serves delicious meals, I am reliably informed.  Just the ticket after a good walk, don't you think?

After that I took Alison to the station to get her train back into London, did the tuition session and then went off to Slimming World (two and a half pounds off this week - yay!).

It was a super day.

It looks like I will be doing more walking in future months than I have ever done in the past so I have sent off for some walking shoes.  Not the heavier boots, but trainer-like things, properly waterproof, that have been recommended to me.  I just hope they fit my awkward feet!  I am also on the look out for a lightweight backpack as carrying a handbag really does get in the way somewhat and doesn't hold everything anyway.

Today I intend to start with a swim and then to get the house right for the cleaner, not that there's much to do and I've been very tidy with a guest around.  Later on I will be popping off to Mum and Dad's so it should be a really pleasant day again.  The weather forecast is good too.

I hope to be able to post over the weekend but if I can't, don't worry, I will be back.

Thursday 13 September 2018


Good morning, everyone.  What a gloomy day yesterday with cloud and the occasional bout of drizzle but not enough to stop us doing what we had planned.

The car wasn't picked up until nearly ten (it should have been 8:30) but that wasn't a problem and as soon as it had gone we set off for town.

Once there we headed 100 metres left to one of the cathedral entrances.  I won't write much about it as I intend to do a separate post when I have the time (and I know I haven't written about Greensted church yet either) but here's just a few photos.

Once we'd finished there, rather cut short by an lunchtime Communion, we went along the High Street and I finally, at long, long last. got round to arranging my sight and hearing appointments at Specsavers so now I feel organised again.
We went into Costas for a coffee because we both had cards and chatted over an excellent black coffee and, I assume, an excellent hot chocolate before heading back to the bus stop and home.

After tuition and dinner and the return of a now mended car, we watched telly before I sleepwalked up to bed, followed later by my friend.

It was a good day.

Today we are hoping to get to Coggeshall.  I've mentioned this before when I last went and have always intended to go back.  It's a lovely old town with a medieval barn, the Grange Barn, and many other old buildings including Paycockes.
I found a couple of circular walk maps online and we might do one of them (or we might not, it all depends how we feel).  We will definitely visit the barn and then walk to Paycockes, both of which are National Trust properties so I must make sure I have my NT card with me.

Then my friend leaves for a meeting in London tomorrow and after tuition I am off for my weigh in (wish me luck)

It should be yet another lovely day.  I've ordered Good Weather!  :-)

Wednesday 12 September 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's been raining round here but is due to clear shortly.  Again, no need to water the allotment.  Hooray!

I got to the pool yesterday after picking up my prescription and going to Sainsbury's.  No need to shop now for a week or so, I sincerely hope.  I treated myself to some monthly magazines so have plenty to read.

Swimming was good.  What wasn't good was that they seem to have reduced the temperature in the pool again and it felt downright chilly!  The spa also wasn't as piping hot as usual.  Rather disappointing really.  Fortuitously, when I got home there was an email from the company, asking me to feed back on their service so I was able to have a little whinge!  I'm sure it won't have any effect but - well, you never know!

It's nice to get back to tuition and my student worked hard.  Then my friend arrived, Beth arrived and we settled down to dinner.

Today the car is being picked up for some repairs so we intend getting the bus into town and looking round the cathedral.  Should be nice.

Better go and sort myself out before my guest wakes up!  I may not post tomorrow but will (should) be back on Friday.  Have a great day.

Tuesday 11 September 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's a bit early to really tell but the sky looks clear and it should turn out a fine day again.

Yesterday I didn't go swimming - so much for a pattern to my days.  By the time the dent man turned up, it was a bit touch and go as to whether I'd bet back for tuition in time.  Annoyingly, he decided it would need to go to the 'body shop' (not the famous one, I sincerely hope) - it's only a little dent but . . .
So we're back to base on this one.

I didn't totally waste my time though.  I planned, I did a stack of ironing including bedding and I made some soda bread for a friend who is coming to stay for a few days this evening.

It was nice to get tuition started again.  I do enjoy the contact with the kids and I enjoy the teaching. 

Today I have to pick up a prescription first thing and then go on to Sainsbury's to do a bit of shopping.  Then I will see if I have any time left for swimming today.  Aqua is at 12:00 and that clears the pool of anyone else, so if I can get down by eleven, I'll have time for a good swim and the changing room will be virtually empty by the time I've finished my swim.

Later on there's tuition, of course, followed by Beth coming round for dinner and my friend arriving.  So a nicely busy day all round and thank goodness for my car!

Better get going with some planning then!

Monday 10 September 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's still extremely dark out there

First thing, as I was getting dressed, I took all the winter skirts out of my wardrobe, the ones I hadn't discarded last time I did a sort out, and took a long hard look at them, trying them on and deciding on whether I would keep them or now.  On the way to the allotment, I dropped a bag of them in the Sally Army recycling point.  It made a very satisfying 'thud' as it went in.
I've now disposed of just about all my old school clothes.

It was very pleasant down the old allotment yesterday.  The sun came out, there was a fresh breeze and it was quiet and peaceful.  I de-weeded and forked over where the new potatoes had been, finding one potato that we had missed before and then I harvested.  I really don't mind the hard work when I come home with this.

I spent nearly an hour going through my old performance management folder from school which was crammed with out of date certificates, old management review records, etc, etc, etc.  I quickly decided that there was absolutely no need to keep any of it so, with some glee, I shredded the lot!  Yay!

Still on the subject of coats, etc, I bought this in Matalan earlier on in the week.  It's a one size and basically a rectangle - very, very simple, but it looks really good.  I shall be able to use the shape to make another one, if I want to.  I haven't worn it yet but I think it will look smart.  What do you think?

Today is a swimming day but I'm going later on because at some point this morning someone is turning up to hammer a little dent from my car and I don't want to miss either that or swimming.
Then later on tuition starts for the new term so it is all go today.
I do like a busy day as long as it's not too busy for comfort!

Sunday 9 September 2018


Good morning, everyone.  Thank you for your lovely comments yesterday (and other days).  I always try to reply to them and really appreciate the effort you make with them.  Thank you again.

Yesterday's swim was, as always, lovely.  Only two of the Gossip Gang Girls were there and there was room in the middle lane anyway so no interruptions as I swam up and down, up and down and thought about the meals I will cook while on holiday next month.

Once home, I went out to the shed and inventorised (is that a word?) the upright freezer.  My freezers have got themselves into a right mess again.  No idea how it happens.  I swear things move about when I'm not looking!
That's now tidied and the contents listed.  However, I didn't have the courage to tackle the bigger chest freezer.  I'll have to take everything out for that and it's really not the weather yet.  But I shall have to have several freezer weeks to use up what's in them both!

The rest of the day was quiet and sleepy - and warm as the heating clicked in for part of the day.

Today I have to be busier.  No swimming but I need to head to the allotment for some autumnal digging which will also be great exercise and I also have planning, a daily event now that tuition restarts tomorrow.

With the swimming, I have decided that every other day will work quite well for me.  It will go in a sort of fortnightly cycle broken by my weekends with Mum and Dad.  On the other days I can either 'rest' or do other stuff like digging, etc.  Now the summer is over, I really need to get a pattern back to my days.

It's dull and gloomy out there at the moment but the forecast is good so it should be very pleasant down the allotment, fingers crossed!  So I'd better get going and organise everything for the day ahead.
Have a super Sunday!

Saturday 8 September 2018


Good morning, everyone!   It's still more or less dark out there but it looks cloudy although very little rain is forecast and that not until much later.  Yesterday was cool but gorgeous though, a perfect autumnal day.

I had a splendid time around and about town, even though I was a bit bewildered at times.  The in colour seems to be browny orangey yellowy mustardy sort of shades and they are the colours I simply cannot wear.  They turn me a sort of jaundiced beige colour all over which is not flattering in the least.

I now know there's an awful lot of stuff I would never, ever want to waste my money on!  I know that the lovely coat I saw in John Lewis would cost me the best part of a thousand (!), I know that I like M&S stuff better than Debenhams stuff and I know that in a while I will be going back into town with a wodge of cash, not necessarily to get a coat though because I have decided I'd really like a duffle coat.  I love duffles.

I treated myself to a very nice coffee in Debenhams (couldn't find a Costa although I bet there is one) and as I walked out of John Lewis, in walked a dear friend who was my colleague for many years, who covered my class during my SENco coordinator time and who left in the summer for a two year sabbatical.  She looked very well and if we hadn't been heading in the opposite directions, I'd have suggested coffee.  We've agreed to meet up soon.

I now know that Dior has brought out a new perfume, appropriately named 'Joy'.  I reeked of it for the rest of the day (can't turn down free sprays, after all) and, costly as it is, I reckon I will treat myself to some when I reach my first interim target as a (big) reward.

I know that my wonky ankles are definitely getting stronger - they only started really hurting as I was heading for the bus home.  And I know that getting the number 56 is better than getting the number 54 bus which goes all round the houses!

All in all, a very positive time.

Today I intend to have an early morning swim and be finished before the aqua class starts.  There will then be washing, drying and ironing and maybe I will do a bit in my garden!  Maybe.

Friday 7 September 2018


Good morning, all. 
I've started waking up very early again after a spell of sleeping in until between 5:30 and 6:30.  Could it be the teacher thing coming out as the new school year starts, I wonder?
I've just taken a peek outside and brrrr - the door was hurriedly closed again!  There's a beautiful moon though.

Swimming was great.  The pool feels warmer again - I wonder if they reduce the temperature during the summer months.  At present I am doing 40 minutes at a time which enables the whole thing from door to door to take just over two hours, which is affordable.  It seems to have settled into a three visit week - Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and any extra is a bonus.

I had a lovely time with my friend, Val, over lunch.  She had a second helping of my home made soup which is always a way to my heart!  We've arranged the next get together for next month!

At weigh in, I found that I've lost 2lbs this week which is great!  It all seems to be going really well at present

All being well, I'm off into town this morning, on the bus, of course!  After looking at what I already have for the winter, I realise I'm going to have to buy some more clothes at some point.  The trouble is, when you're very big, you tend to stick to places like Evans or be thankful if your size is on the rail, so I really have no idea what is out there.  We've got some nice clothes shops in Chelmsford, smaller ones as well as larger ones like M&S and Debenhams, so I'm going to take a look.  Just window shopping and trying on, not buying anything yet.  It's a re-education thing, I think.  The only thing I need as a matter of more urgency is some sort of winter coat.  I think I've already mentioned that the coat I have is now falling off me and the older (VERY much older) ones are still a bit too small.
I have a Costa coffee gift card so I might treat myself.
Thinking the above through, I've just realised that one of the nicest things about using the bus is that I don't have to leave too early in order to find a parking space.  Excellent!

Then I MUST get stuck into some planning.  Back to the grindstone now.
Have a great day, whatever you have planned.

Thursday 6 September 2018


G0od morning, all!  After rain yesterday evening (great - no need for allotment watering), it's dry and dull again here this morning.  The sun seems to have gone on holiday after working so hard over the summer.  It's chilly too - I almost turned on my electric blanket in bed last night but managed to resist the temptation.  Maybe a bit too decadent for September!

I didn't go swimming yesterday after all.  When I ran through all the little things I had to do, I decided against it.  I knew I'd be going today and maybe three days in a row is a bit much.  I did walk to the shops and home again carrying a pretty heavy bag instead.

It was a lovely meal with Alex.  The nice waiter managed to wangle just a griddled chicken breast and salad for me and it was delicious.  Al and I are both pretty busy next week so we decided to give out get togethers a miss and the one after that in a fortnight is the last for a while as Al will be off to uni again.  We've decided I will cook him a roast dinner - he loves a roast dinner - of chicken, pigs in blankets, roasted potatoes and parsnips, peas carrots, gravy and cranberry sauce.  Sounds a bit like a Christmas dinner to me.  :-)

After tuition, I had a meeting with a parent and then I was able to relax, having got the ironing done earlier in the day.

Today I will definitely go swimming and then I have a friend round for lunch - the friend I caught up with a fortnight ago is letting me return the compliment and have her here.  I've made a nice tomato soup and we'll have it with grated cheese and some garlic bread I have in the freezer.  I mean, she will have the garlic bread (if she wants it).

Then the day is my own.  I'll see how much time I have left and might do a bit of gardening.  The allotment may look great but my own patch is looking a bit neglected especially the front which is a disgrace!

Remember me telling you about getting some flowers through the post that weren't meant to be for me?  That was last Tuesday.  Well, they are still going strong.  Remember they are now nine days old plus however long it took to deliver.
For a free bouquet, they are really something!

And finally, this evening is Slimming World so fingers crossed.

Wednesday 5 September 2018


Good morning, everyone.  I'm awake really early today so will probably pay for it later but not to worry.  It's nice to have lots of morning time to potter and ponder, plan and produce.

Yesterday evening, Beth and I went down the allotment and came back with this.

There were also several raspberries but they never made it as far as the car!

We shared it all out according to need and now I have loads of produce to enjoy.  Just as my runner beans seem to be starting to give up, the ones at the allotment start flourishing so I will freeze most of them for another time while I finish off mine.  They are still flowering (mine and allotment) but as the days get shorter and generally cooler, the flowers drop rather than setting.

The little red apples are redloves.  Long standing readers may remember that I bought the little tree in memory of my Aunty May; it was in a container in my garden and never did well fruit-wise, producing five or so little fruit that dropped before ripening.  Beth and I transferred it to the allotment and it's much happier, producing abundant apples for the first time.  The one we shared as a taster yesterday was absolutely delicious.
The bigger apples are Coxes and the pears are WIlliams pears and they ripen off the tree so I have to keep my eye on them.  No wrapping them up and forgetting about them.

Today I am debating whether to go swimming or not.  I probably will, trying to find the slot between rush hour and school run when the traffic is more bearable.

Then I am picking Alex up for a 'good luck in year 2' meal at the Harvester at Al's request.  I've been looking up the menu and there are things I can have without breaking the calorie bank which is good.

Then it is back home for tuition before relaxing for the evening,
It should be a good day, whatever the weather.

Tuesday 4 September 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's dull this morning and BBC weather tells me that it will likely remain dull all day with maybe a few sunny intervals.  I hope they are wrong - I've been enjoying these sunny autumn days.

Yesterday passed gently and happily.  Today is also looking uncluttered.  I have tuition after school and then Beth is round so we will pop off to the allotment to harvest.  The pears we picked a fortnight ago have finally ripened (and they are lovely) so I daresay we will be picking more as well as apples and any veg that is ready.  I am now eyeing things up and considering when to clear the decks so that we can get everything covered over this winter and early spring which should make the spring work so much easier.  It was such a problem last year with me needing to be at my parents', then Beth starting work and then me being ill and it made the work this year so much harder.  It'll be so much better this time.

I'm planning to go swimming today as it's been a number of days now since I went.  Not an early morning swim though; it's quite busy at that time with all the young professionals getting their exercise in before work, but a bit later it is usually lovely.  I'll probably go when the school run dies down.

Matalan is next door, nearly, to the gym so I might then pop in to see what winter stuff they are getting in.  I had a quick look at what I have upstairs and I've missed the boat with some of it - I kept things because I liked them, even though they were way too small, but now they are too big.

As far as coats are concerned, I have a quilted jacket type thing that is way too big but which might possibly do and I have a suede coat (it's beautiful) that I have had literally for decades which is too small and also a really good Windsmoor camel coloured coat that cost a fortune (a fortune to me anyway), also decades old but hardly worn, both of which are too small right now, so once all the weight is off I should be OK.  Maybe Matalan has some cheap, warm jackets/coats that would fill the gap.

On the plus side, I have skirts in plenty and smaller jeans are easily available when I need them.

Maybe it is a waste and vanity, but I'd really like one nice outfit for Christmas.  I've never had one before.  I'd also like a Christmas jumper because ditto.
We will see anyway - it might end up as a pair of Santa socks instead!  :-)

Better get going for the day.  Have a good 'un, everyone.

Monday 3 September 2018


. . . and a belated 'good morning' to everyone.  It's a gorgeously sunny morning, not hot at all, just warm, and a bit autumnal although without that 'smoky' aroma you get in autumn.  I suppose it'a a bit soon for that.  On the way home, the changing leaves were very noticeable.  I think it's going to be a very colourful autumn.

It was a pleasant weekend with my parents, given the circumstances and my brother was down from Scotland too.  I've come home with five cobs of corn from Dad's garden which I will enjoy eating or sharing with Beth.

Now I'm home, I've unpacked, watered the plants, harvested some runners, tomatoes and raspberries, popped some washing in, fired off an 'I'm home' email to Dad and I'm now enjoying a coffee before I start sorting out my lunch.

This afternoon, while my ex-colleagues are getting their classrooms ready for tomorrow, I have a tuition session and then a walk to Morrisons after which I can relax and enjoy the evening.  I'll do my ironing while I watch telly.

Tuition starts again for everyone else next week so this week I will do some planning each day so it is all ready.  It'll be nice to see them all again.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy the weather (assuming it is good your way)

Saturday 1 September 2018


Good morning, everyone.  Aren't we having lovely weather at the moment - round here we are, anyway.  Warm but not hot, cooler mornings and evenings and a gentle breeze a-blowing.  It makes walking to the shops very pleasant.  I've always been very lazy about walking to the shops which are so close it's almost a sin to take the car but I'm trying to get off my backside a bit more.  I did it twice yesterday.  Once to Morrison's and then, later on, to a different shop for someone else.  All in all it made thirty minutes of extra foot power which has to be good, surely?

For once, yesterday wasn't a rush round.  Usually I dash around tidying up before the cleaner arrives - and no, that's not as daft as it sounds.  I want my cleaner to clean, not tidy up, and if there's mess all over, she can't clean properly, so I do like to give her a clear run.  I feel guilty enough about having a cleaner (although not guilty enough to stop having her!!!) without her having to clear up after me too!
However, as Jackie was round her yesterday, I made an effort to keep the place - downstairs, anyway - as tidy as it usually is so it was OK yesterday.

Today is a quiet day.  I think I shall find an excuse to walk to the shop again, or at least around the block or down the road, especially as the weather looks promising.  Have a lovely Saturday wherever you are and whatever you have planned.