Friday 30 November 2018


Good morning, everyone.

One and a half pounds off at weigh in yesterday.  I can live with that!

It was worth making that list yesterday.  By the end of the day, everything was ticked off, including a few things that had been waiting to be done for quite a while.  I even managed to promise on my now too-large jeans to a friend.  Four pairs that are not all that old and still in great condition, just too big now.  I'm really glad someone else can use them now.

Today I have the usual Friday morning stuff including getting the siurfaces clear for my cleaner.  People smile when I say this but I maintain that I want her to clean, not to spend all the time tidying up after me so it's worth the twenty minutes maximum that it takes to get things ready.

If I don't post anything tomorrow or Sunday, don't worry; I will be back on Monday.  In the meanwhile, have a splendid day and stay safe.

Thursday 29 November 2018


Good morning, everyone!

You know what they say about the best laid plans!  I didn't get half the stuff done yesterday that I had planned to do.  I pootled off to Sainsburys because I had decided to get one of their Christmas cakes this year as Beth is way too busy to make one and I am not confident enough.  I also trawled around their clothes and - er - bought some!  I am getting very naughty about this; it never used to be a 'thing' but it is now because I can!

I was also pleased to get something - or somethings - for little gifts for our girls' lunch.  You may remember that a small group of us meet regularly, albeit not frequently, for lunch or dinner.  December's is going to be lunch here at mine.  At the one just before Christmas, we get each other a little gift, nothing costly, just a token really but not tat!  I won't tell you what because they might be listening in but I'm really happy with what I have planned!

I then decided to detour to Wyvale on the way home and I'm glad I did because I managed to pick up a few bits and bobs for the hamper gifts plus a lovely poinsettia that should, treated properly, last into January and beyond.

Having rather idled yesterday away, I have made a list, a written list, for today so I'm hoping it will be a more productive time.  It's a free day (checks diary to make sure - yes it is) until tuition so I should achieve more than before!  And in between tasks, I shall get on with my knitting!

I hope you haven't been negatively affected by the bad weather.  Stay warm, dry and safe and have a lovely day.  See you tomorrow.

Wednesday 28 November 2018


Good morning, everyone.

It's yucky-wet outside right now but there's very little wind.  That's for tomorrow, according to the BBC.  The rain is a different matter; it's forecast to last more or less all day so it's a stay-inside-and-get-on-with-stuff sort of day today.

I know I said I'd make the vegetarian sausage rolls today but, when it came to it, I made them yesterday and they are now in the freezer, as safe as something like that ever is in my house.  Beth tasted a couple and said that they are well up to the family standard so that's one item ticked off my list.

We started making these when Beth was a young teen who had decided to become vegetarian.  Delia's Christmas book was new out and my Mum, being a great Delia fan, had the book so decided to give them a go.  The rest, as they say, is family history.

I also did some crafting with Beth, made some very tasty spicy red lentil soup, planned and delivered some tuition and generally had a useful day with the dishwasher working overtime!

Today looks pretty free until tuition time so I will seize the opportunity to get on with some Christmas prep, some clutter-clearing and get my ironing basket emptied.  There's some stuff to chuck out, some clothes to recycle and a few things to wrap which means a trip down to the garage to get the Christmas wrapping paper out.  I might also get started with the cards.

It should be a very useful day!

By the way, if you're interested, Delia's recipe is here.   I bought puff pastry and I used soft cheese rather than cream as that's what I had in.

Tuesday 27 November 2018


Good morning, everyone.
Thank you all for your kind comments yesterday about the decorations.  Every time I walk past, the colours lift my spirits and yesterday's student said he loved it!

I managed to get a fair bit of sorting out done yesterday and a few corners look much better than they did.  In the afternoon I was at school and the Infants were having a full rehearsal (all the classes together rather than just practising their own bit) so I went along to watch and immediately took a dive back into my own recent history.
Longer term readers will remember that, as KS1 coordinator, I was responsible for the Christmas Show for several years and at this time of year my entries were filled with moans, groans and worries.  It always came together on the night and this one will.  It's lovely and the singing is fabulous!

I've been invited to the full dress rehearsal next week and then to the first full performance and am looking forward to it immensely.

After that it was tuition and, as I've said before, it is so lovely to work with a student who really cares, wants to make progress and just gobbles up what you give them.  Such a delight.

Today is a little less busy.  I need to pop to Morrisons to get a few things as I want to make our traditional vegetarian not-sausage rolls for the freezer.  It is a Delia recipe and we, the family, absolutely adore them.  I'll probably make them tomorrow.  Beth's round so the sewing machines will be out and we will be busy.
Then a bit of tuition finishes off the day nicely.

It sounds lovely, doesn't it?  Here's to a good day for us all.

Monday 26 November 2018


Good morning, everyone!  I hope your weekend was enjoyable and restful too.

I had a pleasant time.  The morning was spent in a bit of the old housework and some cooking while the afternoon was spent in a bit of gentle crafting.
I turned a pile of bought stuff into one of my Christmas  sideboard arrangements.  A bit early but it seemed daft to put it all away and then get it all out again and the tuition srtudents will like it so . . .
(terrible light, sorry)

Today is a bit full.
This morning, I have planning and then I want to tackle a few very untidy piles of 'stuff'.  After lunch, I am off to school to help out in FS before coming home for tuition.  It should be a pleasant day and I'll get plenty done which is always satisfying.

That's about it, really.  How about you?

Sunday 25 November 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's dull out there and looks damp but I haven't been to the shed yet so have no idea if it's chilly.  I'm glad I don't need to go out.

I'm also glad I made the effort to go into town yesterday.  I think it must have been 'meant' because the bus was waiting at the stop on the way there and turned up just as I reached the stop in town on the way home.

I think the Christmas Fair would have livened up later on and by the time the lights came on late afternoon, it would be rocking, I am sure.  It was OK in the morning, some good stalls and plenty of food (no, I didn't).

Each Christmas I have a little personal tradition which is to buy a new tree decoration, but only if I see something I absolutely love.  Some years I haven't bought anything at all.
However, one of the stalls was a 'fused glass' stall and they had Christmas decorations for sale.  I bought not one, not two, but three.

(apologies for the bad light quality)
Cute, aren't they?

I also went to Lakeland but was very restrained.  I got a lovely big roll of parchment and also some Christmas pasta.  Nothing else though, and I could have, believe me!

On the way back to the bus I popped into a 'candles and craft' sort of shop and bought my Christmas candles.  They also had some little Christmas tree shaped bowls that one can use in the oven so I bought a couple.  At £2 each, I couldn't say no, could I? 
No, I couldn't.

Today, Beth is round for lunch so it should be a lovely day.  I'm looking forward to it.  I hope your Sunday is good too.

Saturday 24 November 2018


Good morning, everyone.  Another chilly, dull start to the day out there but I've got what I need from the freezer in the shed so I can now warm up again.

After picking up my now fully functional hearing aid, I decided to have a stroll around the town.  I meandered down to John Lewis and found a beautifully soft, burgundy jumper, just my colour, looked at the price label and hastily returned it to the rack.  Ouch!
If I was at target weight, I might have considered it as an investment sort of thing, but not yet!

I consoled myself by finding some toggles to finish off the Aran cardigan and some navy gloves that were on my list.  I wore them home and they are very comfortable and cosy-warm.

I found a few hamper things in M&S, which was great.  I saw a few more items in other shope that I need to consider.  I can go back in another time - it's so easy on the bus.

Thyen I went to Morrisons to get some shopping for me and also some things for Beth.  After that, Beth arrived and we pottered around doing this, that and the other.  I spent the evening ironing and watching telly so that, at least, was profitable.

Today I have no definite plans although I notice I have written about a Christmas Market in town which I might look at (bus again - no parking worries!).  I know - going into town two days on the trot but hey, I'm retired and it's coming up to Christmas.  Any excuse.
Actually, I have just thought of a reason to go - I need more parchment and Morrisons didn't have any in testerday.  Lakeland, here I come!

After that, I'll probably fall asleep!  What a life, eh!

Friday 23 November 2018


Good morning, everyone.  Wasn't it cold yesterday?  I didn't really get warm all day and resorted to some jogging on the spot and a bit of step exercise to warm up in the end.  I never used to feel the cold like that!
It seems a fair bit milder today.

Val turned up and we set off for Harlow.  It was an easy enough run except for the roundabout where the 414 crosses the M11 - that's a biggie but the lanes are well marked so it could have been a lot worse and coming back was easy.

As for the Range, my overwhelming impression was that it's confused and messy but it did have a lot of stuff.  I bought a few crafty bits and bobs for a little friend, some crackers and a table decoration which will work for both the Christmas meals I am cooking this year so it was worth going but it's not somewhere I would return to in the way I return to Hobbycraft, for example.
There were some super Christmas decorations though - loads of them!

Once home, it was tuition and then off to Slimming World group where I found I've lost (how careless!!!) another one and a half pounds.  That has got me the one and a half stone award (certificate and sticker), not to mention being very encouraging indeed.  My BMI is now nearer to the healthy banding than it is to the obese banding - I'm very happy about that!

Today I am off into town  to pick up my repaired hearing aid.  I've been wearing my old one in that ear which has been OK but the hearing quality has been very lopsided.
While I'm there, I might possibly find myself - accidentally, of course - in a few clothes shops and I do want to look around M&S food hall for things for a few hamper gifts I am making up.

Beth will be here when I get home so it's going to be a very pleasant day indeed. 
I hope yours is too.

Thursday 22 November 2018


Good morning, everyone.  Another cold start to the day, inspiring more gratitude for adequate heating.  There's a good old frost out there at the moment but that should go before I need the car!

Well, I had a good time in town after handing in a non-functioning hearing aid to be looked at.
I found a Christmas jumper which is not fantastic but it is OK.  I also got a nice, warm, fluffy long cardigan, some Christmas socks, a scarf that goes nicely with my coat, hat and gloves and some new bras (yup - next size down).
It was nice - the sun was shining and everyone seemed happy and smiley.
The hearing aid is repaired now and I will pick it up tomorrow morning
And, to cap it all, my bus came along just as I got to the stop.

Tuition was great.  I like doing maths with year sixes - they use the proper terms for thing such as 'improper fraction' instead of 'top heavy fraction' and we went through the four 'rules' for fractions: adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing, with the little 'tricks' that can be used.  All jolly good fun.

Then it was off to governors' meeting which was a really good one.  Most enjoyable.

Today is equally busy!
This morning, Val is turning up and we are off to look round The Range, in Harlow.  It was recommended to me as having a good crafts area plus other stuff and it also has a cafe so we will have lunch there.  I'm not fond of driving in Harlow but where we are heading is right on the edge and is this side so I don't have to go through or round.
Then it is tuition and after that it's Slimming World and weigh-in. 
In-between times I need to do a bit of planning and also some tidying up and there seem to be little piles of clutter that keep growing.

It'll be a good day and I'm looking forward to it very much.  I hope your day is good too.

Wednesday 21 November 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's cold again and likely to stay that way, I gather, but the skies are clear so fingers crossed for some cheering sun! 
A coat, hat and woolly pompom hat day today!

Yersterday was pleasant.  Beth was round, I had coffee and chat with C over the cul-de-sac and dinner was delicious.  What more could one ask for, eh?

Today is busier.  I have to pop into town this morning, then there's some planning and tuition and then a governor's meeting this evening.  It should keep me out of trouble, shouldn't it?

It's short and sweet this morning so have a super day and see you again tomorrow.   :-)

Tuesday 20 November 2018


Good morning, everyone!  It's pretty cold out there this morning, the heating is on and so are my dressing gown and slippers.  It feels like Autumn is over and hasn't it been a colourful one this year!  On the way home yesterday, I noticed that what leaves there are left and mainly  yellow - all the red-based ones have dropped now. - while many trees are now totally bare.  They looked chilly!

On the way home I stopped off at the Sainsbury's near Mum and Dad's and now I not only have my full compliment of jeans in the now size, I also have one pair as my target pair in what I expect will be my final size.  I'm finding it hard to believe but it feels great.
I also saw a very pretty top - I think it's pretty anyway - and that is also now hanging in my wardrobe.  All this changing sizes is expensive but it's exciting too.

After spending out in Sainsbury's, it was good to receive, in the post, notice that my winter fuel payment will be arriving shortly.  I'm glad of this because I'm feeling the cold much more than I used to and keep turning the heating up on those chilly days.  It's only disadvantage of losing all that padding!

Once home, I pottered and meandered about and generally enjoyed being back in my own space.  It's nice to go away but it is also lovely to be back at home again.

Today, Beth is round to work using the sewing machine that we share and keep here as I have the space.  I shall be popping over the cul de sac for coffee and a good natter with my friend, C and I do need to go shopping for groceries at some ploint.  The list is too long for me to walk really, unless I nick a trolley for the walk home!

Then I have a little bit of planning to be getting on with, including next week's meal plans, and I need to get uip to date with my bank account.  And there's some washin with all the resulting drying/ironing. 
It should all keep me out of trouble today, that's for sure.
Have a good one.

Monday 19 November 2018


Morning, everyone!

Yesterday's mist cleared and by ten it was lovely and sunny, staying like that all day.  I was able to get out for a walk in the afternoon and it was perfect.  Not too cold for nose and ears!

I walked down to a local garden centre, about fifteen minutes away, Bickerdykes by name.  It's a splendid place and I wanted to look at the Christmas decorations.  Oh, they were lovely.  I didn't buy any decorations but I could have spent a fortune!  There was a lovely artificial tree that looked, and felt, very realistic.  However, at over £200, no thanks!  I will make do with my old, battered one for another year.

What I did buy was some honey for Dad (he loved his honey) and a warm, fleece lines woolly pompom hat for me as I didn't have one and was starting to feel the need.  I can use the sizing to knit a few others without pompoms so I can wear them under a hood, if needed.  It's a sort of dusty pink which will go with my coat and my padded jacket and tones nicely with my gloves too.  An all round Good Find.

Well, I cooked the steaks and all went well this time.  We both like steaks a little more than 'frightened by a hot pan' (as Diane says) but still a bit pink in the middle and I find four minutes on each side with a bit of resting does the job!  I threw together a mushroom sauce and we also had buttery mash, runner beans (frozen from the garden) and gravy.  A very satisfying meal.  As Dad said, we must do it again sometime soon!

Dad had said no cake, etc, so I didn't, but in the afternoon the lovely lady who helps with their housework turned up with a chocolate party cake.  So we did have cake and now there's sight slices in the freezer, a chunk for G (cleaner) to take with her when she comes today and a small chunk for today which is his actual birthday.

Today I'm supposed to be in school but it is an INSET day so, after I drive home, I'm free until tuition time apart from a bit of planning.  There will be washing, of course - isn't there always - but there should be time for me to head off down one of the country walks for a stroll around, assuming today is sunny!  If it's as chilly as they say it will be, I can test run my new hat too!

Well, better go.  I have some packing to do!  Have a lovely day, one and all, and thank you for all the comments recently - that are very encouraging and cheering.

Sunday 18 November 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's misty and moisty this morning - which reminds me of a rhyme I kmew as a child.

One misty, moisty, morning, 
When cloudy was the weather, 
There I met an old man
All clothed in leather, 
All clothed in leather, 
With a cap under his chin. 
How do you do? 
And how do you do? 
And how do you do again?

Do you remember it - I think it must have been a circle game of some kind?

Tomorrow is my Dad's 90th birthday so we are celebrating it today as I will be off after breakfast tomorrow.  It will be a very quiet celebration at Dad's request - just cards and a nice dinner.  To still have both my parents living till 90 is amazing really.

Apart from that, it will be a usual day - nothing out of the ordinary except that I will be cooking dad's favourite for dinner tonight - sirloin steak.  I hope I don't spoil it!

The connection problem is sorted.  It wasn't my laptop, it was Dad's end and he did a restart of the router after I realised my Kindle wasn't connecting either and he found that his laptop was having the same problems.  No idea what the problem actually was but it's sorted now.  Phew.

Have a good day, everyone.

Saturday 17 November 2018


Good morning, everyone.  Here I am, snug and warm at my parents' home, using Dad's PC as my laptop has decided it doesn't want to connect up.  A right pain!  It was perfectly OK a fortnight ago and I haven't used it since so I have no idea what's happened there.

It was a good journey over, despite the mist which was almost fog on occasion.  I had no holdups, not even through a village where there are usually serious backups in all directions.  Lucky me!

In the morning I managed to get all my usual chores done, went shopping for some stuff to bring with me and made a nice soup for me and Beth.
Beth said something nice.  She said it was nice to see that I was developing some 'personal style' for my new size.  She wasn't being rude, we've talked about this from time to time.  I've been concerned that in the past, because of my size, if it fitted, I bought it, almost regardless.  It wasn't quite as bad as that but I'm sure anyone who has been 'large' will know what I mean.  So I really haven't known what really works for me and what doesn't.  After all, nothing really suited because of size.
Anyway, now most things fit so there's a wide choice and I've had to think a bit harder.  Therefore, what she said was lovely and cheered me up no end, bless her.

Today I am off out early to go to Bob the Butcher's - a local and excellent butcher,  Bob Chapman's, that is well known in the area and which Dad always uses.  Also to Tesco for a few more things they need.  Then it is the usual Saturday thing - washing, ironing, looking after Mum, making the meals, etc.

It's supposed to be getting cold and I almost brought a warmer coat with me but didn't in the end.  I can always borrow Mum's duffle coat if I really need to.

Have a lovely day and stay warm!

Friday 16 November 2018


Good morning, everyone!  It was very misty and damp when I came home from Slimming World yesterday evening and, while the mist seems to have cleared, it's still very damp and rather chilly this morning.  Brrrrr.

I was relieved to find that I've lost a pound and a half in the last week.  It seems to be steadying off at about that each week - slow and steady is fine by me.   It means that target is still some way off but, dear me, I've spent more or less the whole of my adult life being overweight or worse (usually worse) so a extra few months is not significant, is it?  And I'm getting closer and closer to a healthy BMI too, which is really important for me.
Another pound and a half off next week and I will get my next sticker and certificate!

Yesterday plodded on and nice, normal days usually do.  I got washing and ironing done and started knitting a warm hat as I don't seem to have one and I do feel the cold a lot more than I used to.  I'm winging it a bit as I don't have a pattern, but beanie style hats are not tricky.

I arranged a few social things for next week, noted a governors' meeting one evening and fixed the date for a governor visit to school.  It'll be all go next week and I will be coffee-logged by next Friday!

Today I have homey things this morning and am off to my parents this afternoon, leaving my home in the tender care of my daughter, bless her.
Hopefully, whatever you are doing, it will be a good day for us all.  Stay warm and dry!

Thursday 15 November 2018


Good morning, everyone.  Again, thank you so much for the lovely comments.  It's nice to know that I was missed and I was touched by your concern for the possible reasons.

Early Monday morning, I was doing my usual social media round when the internet connection dropped.  It has been doing that a bit recently.  It came back, then dropped again.  It became clear that the problem was this end as the router lights were all over the shop and no connections were available (even if Virgin was down, other connections should have shown).  Anyway, Beth helped me contact Virgin (my hearing is not great on phones) and they arranged for a technician to come out yesterday afternoon.  I now have a new router and a V6 upgrade and all seems to be working well and a lot faster than before.

I so missed not being able to go online and it was also a nuisance as I have some of my stuff on cloud storage which, of course, I couldn't access.

Apart from that, life has plodded on as normal.

Today is another day with nothing in the diary until tuition and then Slimming World.  As always, that means a busy day - sheet changing, washing, drying and ironing and I would like to do some sewing at some point as well.

Fingers crossed for the weigh in!

Wednesday 14 November 2018

I'm back!

Really sorry for disappearing, everyone.  Early Tuesday morning my router crashed!  The nice Virgin engineer has just gone having produced a new router and a new (free) V6 upgrade, setting it all up and checking everything.  Can't fault the service, I really can't.

Back to normal tomorrow morning and it is SO nice to be back online.  xxx

Monday 12 November 2018


Good morning, everyone.  The dark mornings seem very chilly now although there's no frost so they can't be that bad.  Maybe I'm just turning soft!

The Aran jacked/cardigan I am knitting is coming along well although my size decision will mean it will be a 'target' garment for now (but not for long, I sincerely hope).  I've decided to adapt the pattern somewhat and add a collar instead of the hoodie.  I think it will be more useful like that; I do already have a few hooded tops and don't really need another one.  Apart from that, given that it is Aran yarn, I will look like the Hunchback of Notre-Dame when wearing a coat.

I will have loads of yarn left over, a disadvantage of not using the set yarn as well as changing the pattern, so I am thinking of making a hat and some mittens (NOT gloves) and maybe even a scarf.  I actually don't have a warm hat so it would be very useful in this cold weather that is supposed to be arriving this winter although I will believe that one when it happens and not before.

Today is a sort of 'free' morning and then I am off to school to help out in Foundation Stage.  Yes, I finally got the times sorted out and am starting again.  I'm looking forward to meeting all the not-so-new-any-more littlies as well as all the lovely adults who help out.  It's been too long.

Then it's tuition again so I have to look over the work although I have plenty already prepared so that won't take too long.

Ooops, I've just checked the clock and it is more than time to have my bath and get dressed so I'd better go and get the day started.  Have a good 'un and stay warm.

Sunday 11 November 2018

Remembrance Sunday

I couldn't choose just one, so I haven't.
Well known poems for today and in particular honour and memory of my grandad who fought in WW I and never, ever spoke about it afterwards.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
           ('In Flanders Fields' by John McCrae )
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
           (From 'For the Fallen' by Robert Lawrence Binyon)
If I should die, think only this of me: 
That there’s some corner of a foreign field 
That is for ever England. There shall be 
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed; 
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, 
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam, 
A body of England’s, breathing English air, 
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home. 

And think, this heart, all evil shed away, 
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less 
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day; 
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness, 
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.
          ('The Soldier' by Rupert Brooke)

Saturday 10 November 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's not yet three o'clock and I'm wide awake.  A right pain, this is!  I have learnt that there's no point tossing and turning and vainly trying to get back to sleep but it's best to come down, do stuff and wait for tiredness to return.  I don't have anything to wake early for so that's OK.  I used to hate it when I had a day's teaching ahead of me but now - no problem.

I had a very pleasant time at the 'do' yesterday evening, despite there being very little I wanted to eat.  It wasn't a problem though, I held off until getting home and I was rather pleased that I didn't actually want it.  Big progress!  What was great was seeing old friends again.  I haven't been into school all that much this term, you see.  To my delight, the hearing aids did their job; I could hear and engage in chat for the first time in ages and didn't feel at all isolated.  Happy!

Earlier in the day, we sorted out some cupboards and Beth took away some stuff to see if she could sell it on eBay.  I wouldn't really bother but if she wants to have a go, all power to her.  A bit of cash is better than no cash at all.

Today is likely to be an easy day.  Beth and I might be going to the allotment to do a bit of planting and make a list of what needs doing which I can then work through in the next few weeks.  It's allotment bed time for the winter now. 

I might prep the roast potatoes for Christmas, not that I really need to do all that much prepping this year.  It's to save time on The Day and that's not going to be a problem but it is always nice to have a few roasties in the freezer anyway.  I need to dig out any frozen cranberries too and make some sauce at some point and I've printed off our favourite sausage roll recipe - Delia's vegetarian 'sausage' rolls.  We MUST have some of them; they are an all time favourite.

The other thing I have to do is deal with a full washing basket.  It's one of those certain things to go with death and taxes - washing (and the resulting ironing)!

I can feel tiredness returning so I will stop now and see if I can get back to sleep.  When your day starts, I hope it's a good one.

Friday 9 November 2018


Good morning, all.  It's Friday, nearly the weekend and I have this weekend at home, the first for four weeks, so I am really looking forward to it.  There's nothing particularly special planned but I do love my safe space.

Thanks very much for all the comments yesterday - I hope I have replied to them all in the same place.

Slimming World group yesterday was great.  I lost a pound and a half, I got my Club Ten award and I won one of the raffles.

The Club Ten thing is when you have lost 10% of starting weight.  Regular and longer term readers may remember that I have already done this once, before my gallbladder operation when the consultant encouraged me to lose 10% before he did the op.  Well, I've now done it again and I might work out what 10% from here on down is and have that as another mini-target.

The raffle prize was a selection of 'free' and 'low syn' goodies donated by members each week.  It's actually meant to be for the slimmer of the week but if they don't stay to group after weighing, it gets raffled instead.  There's nothing there that I won't use although I have a carton of Alpro coconut milk thingy and a pomegranate, neither of which I have done anything with before so I will be turning to good old Google for help.  Any ideas, anyone?  Please comment.

Before group, I had the last tuition of the week.  For once it has been a nearly full week with only one cancellation.  I don't mind people cancelling; I keep the whole thing very easy, flexible and comfortable and, with family stuff, I might have to cancel myself at very short notice so it is swings and roundabouts really.  It all works well.

Today, Beth is over again and I THINK she intends roping me in for some owl cushion making.  I might see if I can make the time to cut up the fabric for my Christmas bunting too.  And there's the knitting.  I have a Christmas nativity to finish for a friend and need to get on with that this weekend with the aim of finishing it next week and getting it posted off in good time.

This evening there's a sort of social get-together at school.  Nothing heavy and it should be pleasant although I'm not sure how my new hearing aids will cope with all the background noise.  They have a setting for that sort of situation so I guess I will find out, won't I?

It should be a lovely day and I hope yours is too.  It's time for another coffee so I'll stop rambling now and get going.

Thursday 8 November 2018


Good morning, everyone.  I've just been out to put the rubbish/recycling where it should go as I forgot yesterday evening and it's dry and cool this morning.  Yesterday the sun came out by eleven which was nice.

When I went out yesterday morning, firstly I collected Beth's cat stuff, wincing at the price, before having a stroll around Options, the mixed clothes shop (names like Wallis, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, etc) but saw nothing that tempted me very much.  In Hobbycraft I got two pairs of short knitting needles; I dislike longer needles, find them awkward to use unless I really have to.  It makes it a bit difficult when there are loads of stitches, but never mind!  Also, last time I was there, I got a pack of Christmas fat quarters to make some festive bunting but realised I haven't got enough for what I want.  They still had some in so that's what jumped into my trolley!

Then it was home, James, for lunch and then some planning, not to mention a bit of sorting and tidying.

Today's page in my diary is blank until tuition and Slimming World so I might get the sewing machine out and start on some Christmas placemats I want to make.  Indulgent, yes.  Unnecessary, totally, but I have the perfect fabric, some heat resistant batting, cotton to match and am looking forward to making them.  I have a bit of planning but not all that much really.

I think today is going to be very pleasant, one way and another.  Fingers crossed for the weigh-in this evening!

Wednesday 7 November 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's a bit miserable out there right now.  Rain, rain and more rain and I shall get dressed before dodging the raindrops to the shed for today's frozen supplies!

As planned, yesterday afternoon Beth and I went out to one of our retail parks.  Beth needed stuff for her cats and I wanted her to help me look at sat nav thingies.  After lots of waffle and a helpful talk to a sales assistant, I went for a Garmin one with a fairly big screen and wifi connection.  Beth's back on Friday and she will help me set it up - she already has one so, in this case, is the one eyed king leading the blind - me!

I do have an in-car sat nav but it is very limited and doesn't take postcodes which has been a right pain in its time.  I'm hoping this one will be much more useful.

Apart from that, I cooked (nice soup), knitted, planned, cleared the kitchen and generally pottered around while Beth got on with her sewing and other stuff.  Tuition was great; a nice end to the day.  Sharon worked her usual magic too so now I feel presentable.

Today I have to go back to the precinct to pick something up for Beth that the pet shop didn't have yesterday and I may just possibly have - yes, have - to pop back into Hobbycraft.  I also have to go into PC world for some more printer paper so I will be killing several birds with one stone.  There's also a shop that is several clothes shops in one.  Not that I need anything but it would be nice to see what there is and I am still looking out for that Christmas jumper I have promised myself.

All of that, plus the tuition, should make for a useful day.  It should be fun.  I hope yours is too.

Tuesday 6 November 2018


Good morning, everyone.  Back to my normal waking time today which is a relief as I have plenty I want to got done and dusted.

Yesterday worked out well.  The meals were tasty (good old Slimming World)

and tuition worked well.

Today there are two biggies.  Beth is round for the day and the lovely Sharon is coming to tame my hair again.  It was feeling 'shaggy' all weekend so I was relieved to check my diary and realise it would soon be sorted.  Apart from that there is the inevitable tuition planning and plenty of tidying up and knitting to keep me occupied.  Nice.

Last week I had a bit of a 'scare' when I opened my fridge door and all was black inside.  At first I thought it had gone completely and, as one does, immediately started pondering about replacements (I'd like a little freezer inside for a start).
I grabbed the fridge thermometer and, to my relief, it showed the temperature as it should be.  It turned out that just the bulb had gone.  I've never had that happen before in any of the fridges I've ever owned so that's why it wasn't the first thing I thought of, I suppose.
Anyway, I did nothing over the weekend but yesterday I Amazoned the item and got a replacement.  Goodness, they ain't half expensive!  Apart from the paying, it was a remarkably easy and simple process and it reminded me how fortunate we are nowadays in so many ways.  The Internet can be such a blessing.
Now I just have to wait until it arrives and until then my fridge will resemble the black hole of Calcutta (the cold version).

Have a great day.

Monday 5 November 2018

More Monday

Hello again!  I'm home and waiting for the kettle to boil.  :-)

I was thinking (a rare event!!) and realised that it is a year ago to the day when I was discharged from hospital after my cardiac-which-turned-out-to-be-gallbladder scare.  Since then there have been ups and downs, there've been family illnesses and heartbreaks but for me, despite the discomfort in the first part of the year, it's been a positive time.  I am now minus a gall bladder and am five stone lighter, all but two or three pounds.  I have a new collection of clothes and more or less a new life.  I'm fitter, healthier and much more outgoing than I was.

Week by week you hardly notice it but taking the longer term can make you realise how much things have moved on.

I'm pleased!

Yesterday was very busy.  I did washing, ironing, made meals for the freezer, did some sorting and tidying and generally kept active all day which, I hope, fingers crossed, will slightly compensate for the liquorice allsorts that kept jumping into my mouth.  Oh, dear, never mind, at least I managed to say 'no' to the wine!

Today, now I am home, there's unpacking, putting away, a bit of washing, a dishwasher to empty and some planning before tuition.  It is so nice to be home.  It's my safespace, my comfort zone and, much as I love my parents and their lovely home, there really is no place like your own home, is there.  I count my blessings every day.

Well, better get going . . . have a lovely day, one and all.  xx


I'll post properly when I get home.  I have overslept AGAIN!!!

Sunday 4 November 2018


Good morning, everyone.

I'm having a quiet weekend here with my parents.  It's nice to have the time to really get on with my knitting and I've started the Aran hoodie to ring the changes from the self striping jumper which is just stocking stitch.  I do enjoy Aran knitting and this one, albeit simple, is nice to knit up.  Because it is so structured, it's easy to see what to do next (knitters will know what I mean here) and it grows pretty quickly too.

Today I will be doing some washing and semi-inventing a recipe to use up some roast chicken from yesterday.  I might go for a walk this afternoon but I was daft and left my walking shoes at home which is a pain!  Never mind.

Have a lovely Sunday.  See you tomorrow!

Saturday 3 November 2018


Good morning, everyone.  No proper post this morning as I slept until nearly half past seven (incredible) and must get up and do stuff.  I'll be back! 

Friday 2 November 2018


Good morning, everyone.  After a mild and extremely soggy day yesterday, the skies cleared overnight and we have another frost this morning.  This is how I remember early November from childhood - Bonfire Nights with hat, scarf, gloves and very cold toes!
Also that Autumnal smell - slightly smoky, a bit icy, sort of leafy . . . lovely!

Beth couldn't come over yesterday so we didn't go out for a sat nav/tom tom/whatever.  It will keep for another time; I'm not disappointed.  However, I did dodge the raindrops in order to get some more printer ink, as the printer was running out and I had resources to print.  I usually keep a spare but this time I had slipped up.

Tuition was great!  I love it when things sink in and there's that look of 'Oh, I get it now' on their face.  That's always given me a real buzz as a teacher and I may be retired now but some things don't change.

Taster night at Slimming World was good fun.  Lots of new things to try, some of which were really delicious!
Not so good was that I'd gained half a pound although this was not unexpected after last weekend.
I still weigh at home on Friday mornings because that's what I've done since before SW and I want to keep that going.  Different day, different time of day and according to my own weigh-in, I have lost a pound.
So I'm not disheartened at all.  Next week will be an all round down again, I am determined!

Today is a home based morning before I go to see my parents.  I have hair to wash, a pile of ironing (so I can watch some telly as I do so), a bit of housework and maybe a walk to Morrisons.

Should be good!  Hope yours is too.

Thursday 1 November 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's much milder this morning again - no frost and it is, or recently has been, raining.  That always brings the temperature up.

Thanks for your lovely comments.  I felt fine all through yesterday so whatever it was it was short and not sweet!

I decided to go out and about yesterday morning so drove down to out fairly new Aldi as there are some things I like to get from Aldi, including washing capsules.  It's lovely and big and is typical Aldi.  As Morrisons didn't seem to have any bags of frozen fruit, I looked  for them and was rewarded with mango, pineapple, raspberries, blueberries and - I forget, something else anyway.  I do like to have frozen fruit available as it's so very useful and, out of season, much cheaper than the fresh.  The flavour is fine too.
I also got some frozen peppers and butternut squash (not mixed together) as they are also very handy and great value there.

Then I meandered through Dunelm and finally through M&S flood hall, both of which have shops in the same precinct.  In Marks, they had Christmas loo paper (one of my silly little traditions is to have festive loo paper) so I got some for using through December.

I had fun!

I came home to some cancelled tuition (Halloween!) so had quite a lazy afternoon and evening.  I wandered out to take photos of the carved pumpkins in the cul de sac.  We have a tradition down our cul de sac - if the pumpkin is lit, then call for Trick or Treat.  I don't participate as I've always had a dislike of what it represents (demanding stuff with threats), however mild it may be in practice and, as a local teacher, it wasn't a good idea to be available for T or T.  I'd have been inundated!
The above isn't meant in any way to be a criticism of anyone else, it's just how I feel, personally.
Anyway, the pumpkins were great!  The children had obviously had a good deal of fun!

Matt the Plumber called round yesterday.  He sorted out my cold radiator (just the one so it wasn't a major problem) in ten minutes flat and refused to take any payment.  That's what I call good service.  I know I use him whenever I need that sort of thing, for boiler servicing, etc, and I know he's putting in a new bathroom for me next year so I'm a good customer, but I was prepared to pay so was very pleased and thankful.

Today Beth is round again and we are off out to pick up a parcel and to see if we can get me a navigation thingy of some sort.  My in-car one isn't brilliant so I'm seeing what's available.
This evening it is weigh in.  Ooops!

Have a lovely day, everyone.