Thursday 31 January 2019


Good morning, everyone.  It's still jolly cold and I was very grateful for my electric blanket when I woke feeling chilly in the night.  I never used to feel cold in bed but age and weight loss have impact, I guess.  I must remember to put a fleece over the quilt tonight; that should do it.

It was cold all day yesterday - in fact in some places the little snow remained unmelted all day and it's still there now.  I did get out for a brisk walk to post an important letter but I was glad to get back inside again afterwards.  I did some sorting out and some tidying up and generally managed to stay busy on little things all day, which was nice.

Today I have someone coming round to talk about insurance and then I need to prepare for the weekend, update my finances and do the food planning for the coming week (I do Friday to Thursday because of SW group on Thursday evening).  Despite the big shop earlier, I have a few items to shop for but they are all things for the weekend with Mum and Dad rather than for me. 

This evening it is SW group and, as always, my fingers are crossed.  It all seems to be slowing down somewhat but I don't care as long as the overall trend is downwards - I have plenty of time, after all.  I've been wearing the next size down jeans this week when I found that I could pull the usual ones down without undoing button or zip which made them feel somewhat precarious!!
The weight comes off slowly but my shape seems to be changing as much or more than the weight right now.

I'll shut up now and get on with some other paperwork.  Have a warm and cosy day with lots of good things.

Wednesday 30 January 2019


Good morning!
Werll, we did get some snow yesterday evening.  By about 21:00 it was quite heavy but it wasn't really cold enough to settle properly and there's just a little lying this morning.  Encough to inspire dreams of fights and snowmen in young brains but nowhere near enough for a snowday in which to have the time!
Not a great photo, taken lateish yesterday evening . . .

Yesterday was lovely.
At pottery I did two things - I made my first attempts at glazing and I carried on with the leaf.

The hedgehog was fired over the week so was ready for the next stage.  Unfortunately, that particular skill involves being artistic - this one did anyway - so I felt it was a bit of a failure - more than a bit, in fact.  It's easy to see what I should have done, not so easy to actually do it.  So now it looks more like a mousehog.

Glaze is funny - it looks nothing like how it will come out of the kiln.  This is supposed to be an oatmeal face and a body called 'muddy waters'.    I wasn't going to post a photo here but I will - for better or worse as the phrase goes.  The face should have been much rounder but never mind - first efforts and all that.  Let's but it this way - the tutor was polite and I laughed!

No need to be reassuring - I think it will be cute, if unrecognisable, but a hedgehog it ain't!

What took most of the time was smoothing off the leaf.  It took ages because I wanted to do as good a job as I am capable of and I was assured that glazing will sort the rest out.  I've found a lovely glaze called 'oriental blue' which is actually a bluey green and is just what I had in mind.  It will all be the one colour so no need to try to be artistic and I think that generally I will do monotone stuff and rely on the variations within the glazes for patterning.  For now, anyway.
It's now in the kiln and I think it is going to be very satisfying when it's finished.  Reassuringly, the tutor was extremely enthusiastic and complimentary about it so I really hope it doesn't break during firing.

Next week I glaze first and then she is going to teach us how to make coil pottery so I need to do some looking around to see what I would like to have a go at.  I found some photos but they look hard.  Maybe I should get some air drying clay to practise at home.

Then I want to make a plate/bowl with relief pottery round the edge - or maybe a set.  I rather fancy the theme of 'seasons' with, for example, holly and ivy around the 'winter' plate, apple blossom around 'spring', and autumn leaves and fruit around one, all in relief  Not sure about Summer but I will think - maybe daisies, roses, butterflies and a ladybird?  That should develop a few skills!  Thank goodness for youtube.

Goodness - how I have rabbited on.  Sorry!

Tuition was cancelled because my student was unwell so the rest of the day was very easy.  I made a scrummy lunch . . .

. . . and then binged on back to back Poirots.

Today I have an empty page in my diary until tuition so will maybe wander into town on the bus if the weather permits although right now this doesn't feel such a good idea so maybe not!.  Or maybe I will do some sorting out at home - I have a small spare bedroom that I have to clear in the next month or so and that sounds a much more likely occupation.  I have to look over the planning too, of course.

Whatever I do, I'm sure I will enjoy it.  I hope you enjoy your day too.  Stay warm and stay safe.  xx

Tuesday 29 January 2019


Good morning. 
Brrr - it's turned cold again and there's quite a frost out there this morning.  Better wrap up warm and cosy.

Yesterday passes without any problems.  I got the ironing done (cheers) in the morning, did my duty at school, enjoyed tuition and had a pleasantly peaceful evening,  Very nice too.

This morning it's pottery class.  I have bagged together all the tools I have managed to collect since last week, packed everything else and even stuck some things into the portfolio.  I'm not a partfolio person.  In spite of (or, perhaps, because of) decades of teaching, I hate setting targets, listing what I hope to learn and how I hope to learn it (how do I know anyway - that's what I'm there for - to find out) and negotiating objectives and steps with a tutor who is way too busy for that sort of detailed attention.  Consequently, those pages are barely touched. 
However, I have looked for ideas, taken photos, etc, and the ones I have used are now stuck in while the rest are just clipped in at present.

After pottery, I have a few hours to myself before today's bit of tuition.

So that's today.  Really quite a good day, I hope.  I wonder if we will get some snow overnight . . .

Monday 28 January 2019


Good morning, everyone.   How did the weekend go for us all.  It seems to have flown past for me and as for where January has gone - just don't ask!!!

I did go shopping but decided that, as I seemed to need more than I first thought, I'd take a drive to Aldi.  I needed all sort of things - dishwasher stuff, washing stuff, loo rolls . . . oh, all that sort of stuff as well as some food so I decided to treat it as a 'beginning of the month' shop (which it nearly is) and now I am stocked up with all sorts of things for the coming month.  It's a very satisfying experience and I now know that Aldi does kind chicken at a much lower price than Morrisons!  They had tomato puree reduced so now I'm all stocked up with that too - I use quite a lot of it one way and another.

It took nearly as long to sort it all out and put it away as it did to buy the stuff in the first place!

The rest of the day went smoothly.  I got three loads of washing done and dried but not ironed so I have that joy to come.

Today is busy.  The morning is clear for ironing and general housework but the afternoon is helping out at school and tuition which all ought to keep me out of trouble!  No knitting club today as the teacher in charge is on a course.

Well - time flies so I'd better stop rambling.  May the day go well for all of us!

Sunday 27 January 2019


Good morning.  It started raining at some point yesterday evening after a very damp and drizzly afternoon and, my goodness, it poured.  How it poured!  I think it's stopped now but it's still extremely wet out there and I'm relieved it isn't snow.  It's nowhere near cold enough for snow.

I had a pleasant time at Beth's.  When I arrived she, Dave and Al were deep in a game of Catan (never heard of it before but apparently it is quite a thing) so I read the rules and tried to understand what was going on.  I failed miserably!

Then we had lunch and a good old chat before I felt myself fading out so came home, snuggled in my quilt and had a very welcome snooze.

The rest of the day was spent in intermittent snoozing and watching telly and I still slept well overnight so that was good.

Beth's over today but she'll be busy so I will be doing my own thing.  I'd like to get the planning sorted for the week, if possible, and I want to look over a couple of dressmaking patterns for the summer, just to go through the instructions and to get into my head how it all goes together.  I used to be able to see through a pattern easily but it is so long since I made anything for myself.  I'm sure it will all come back to me though.

When I last made anything significant for myself, it was cheaper to make than to buy but nowadays it is quite the opposite.  How times change, eh?

I have a few things to get from Morrisons at some point, mainly to get myself out of the house for some fresh air.  I've been a bit stuck in for most of the week and am missing a bit of exercise.

Have a great day!

Saturday 26 January 2019


Good morning, everyone.  It's a damp start to the day but no ice, no frost, no complaints.

Yesterday was OK.  I'm still not feeling great, on and off; this virus keeps nibbling at the edges and then leaving!  However, Beth came over - I'd forgotten she was coming - which was really nice.  I'd only got enough tomato soup out of the freezer for one so I added a good dollop of tomato puree, a stock pot and some water and it was absolutely delicious so that's something learnt!

Beth needed to go to Hobbycraft so she drove me.  They only had minimal pottery supplies but I did get an A4 sheet of red foam to make bits and bobs for the mice (the carol book covers, etc) and they had some lovely sketchbooks on special so I invested in a couple.

Once home, I crashed out on my chair and went to sleep,

And that was about it really!

Today, Alex is home from uni so Dave (my son) and I are going over to Beth's for lunch.  I'm really looking forward to that.  Apart from that, I will take life easy and do some knitting, etc.  I do seem to be doing a lot of that this week, in between coffees with friends.

Have a great weekend, whatever you have planned to do.

Friday 25 January 2019


Good morning, everyone.  I overslept so this is later than usual!  It's cold and damp out there but no snow although we had some very light flakes yesterday morning.

I had a lovely time catching up with F.  We talked endlessly for nearly two hours before realising how close to lunch it was.  We had to go then because our table was reserved for lunchtime. 
Life is funny sometimes - it turns out that F and her family have a cottage guess where - Southwold!  She was able to tell me loads about things to do, places to go, etc.

SW group was good.  It's grown somewhat with a lot of new members after Christmas and New Year and yesterday one of us (not me) hit target which is always a happy time.  I lost a pound, not as much as I hoped but in the right direction so no problems.

I'm going to live dangerously today (or maybe tomorrow).  All being well, I intend to pootle off to Hobbycraft to take a look at any pottery tools they have.  Yes, there's stuff at class but most people have their own and you can't always find what you need easily.   Things like spray bottles, J cloths, pots for water/slip, etc, also seem to be individual.  Anyway, I shall take a look and see.  I can't spend too much because not only have I paid for two holidays, I have also paid a deposit on a new bathroom I am having.  It's just as well I have savings to move across if necessary.

Apart from that, there's nothing in the diary until a food delivery between five and seven this evening,  I still feel as if I'm fighting off this whatever-it-is-virus so I think I'll have a gentle day.
You have a good one too.

Thursday 24 January 2019


Good morning.  It's stupid o'clock and I've been awake since before three with things buzzing around in my head.  That can and often does happen after a governors' meeting and really I should have chilled with some undemanding telly before going up to be.  Thankfully, I'm starting to feel tired so maybe I will get a little more sleep before the day starts.  I hope so.

Yesterday was a really good one.  I met up with A for coffee and we talked our way through the next two hours before we had to go our separate ways.  It's always lovely to meet with old friends, isn't it?

Then I went online and did what I have been planning to do for a few weeks and that's book a holiday.  Yes, another holiday!  Bad me!  This one is before the school summer holidays and it to Southwold.  When I had a holiday in Suffolk a couple of years ago, I wanted to visit Southwold as I've heard some really good things about it from friends and it's an interesting area anyway.  Being on the coast is another attraction.

So I looked around and found a site that had some really nice small flats/cottages/houses in Southwold and ended up booking one just off the High Street.  Basically, it looks like an upmarket flat pack garden room and, indeed, it is called The Garden House.  It is just one room with separate bathroom and fold down bed and it looks very attractive and perfect for one.  The thing that clinched it is that it has private parking which, in a seaside town in summer, definitely adds value.
Here's a link with photos.  Not cheap but this is Southwold!

I can see that I will spend most of my time walking around, enjoying what the town has to offer and my fingers are crossed that the weather will be good - it usually is at the time I have chosen.

So that is me sorted for the year, holiday-wise.

Today, the first thing on the agenda is more sleep, fingers crossed.  This morning I am meeting up with another friend (what a gadabout!) and then it's home for housework, planning, tuition and Slimming World group this evening.  Another semi-busy day.

Right - I'm going back up now to find that elusive sleep.  Here's hoping . . .

Wednesday 23 January 2019


Good morning, everyone.  It's cold and dry out there and I'm quite relieved that I don't need to go out until later because I find that I do feel the cold a lot more since losing a lot of my inner insulation!!

Pottery yesterday was good.  She started us two beginners on slab pottery and thought that the Swiss cheese plant leaf would be worth a go so I had a go.

By the end of the session I had this.

As you can see, it's lying in a bowl mould to curve it up and once it's dried, it will need smoothing off and generally neatening up before firing.
For a first go, I think it will look OK and I loved doing it.

Less happily, I went online to book the course for next term and all the places were already taken.  That was so disappointing and I was more than a bit gutted.  I should have booked after last week when there were still places.  Then I decided to do a Pollyanna and make the best of it.  I went back into the site to see what other crafts they had on offer.  Surely there would be something?  Advanced Knitting?  Crochet for the Cack-Handed?  Sewing for the Elderly?

Guess what!  They also do an evening pottery course and, joy of joys, there were still places.  There's one less now as I booked right away.  OK, it's Thursday evenings, it's not the same group of people and I will have to swap my Swimming World group to the Wednesday group on those evenings but it's nothing that can't be organised.  And next time, I will book as soon as possible without any ifs, buts or maybes.

I'm so glad I looked.

Today I am meeting a lovely friend for coffee and a chat and then there's nothing much until tuition.  The evening is taken up with a Governors' Meeting so it's just as well I'm feeling a bit better, isn't it?

Have a great day, whatever you have planned.

Tuesday 22 January 2019


Good morning, everyone.  It's not nice out there - it's cold and it's wet (rain, not snow) - but inside it's cosy and warm, thank goodness.

Thank you very much for the lovely comments about the mice.  Here's today's offering which I think is the cutest yet.  I love that muff and the little collar (which you can't see all that well) is sweet.

And here's the collecton so far - I shall remake the snowmouse at some point as it was the first I tried and there are a number of errors!
Apologies for the bad lighting.

One more, I think, probably the little mince pie seller, and then I'll have a look at either the nursery rhyme or the fairy tale patterns and see what I fancy trying next.

That was yesterday in a nutshell - knitting and watching DVDs, mostly Poirot ones.

Today, first thing, I have pottery so fingers crossed I enjoy it as much as last week.  If I do, I think I'll book the Summer Term one asap.
Must remember to take my camera with me.

Apart from that, I have some shopping to do and then I can go home and stay warm.  I hope you're able to do the same.

Monday 21 January 2019


Good morning.  Wasn't it cold yesterday!  The morning frost didn't disappear all day and overnight just added to it.  I was awake in the night so I watched a bit of the lunar eclipse but soon got back into bed again to warm up.  Although it's cloudy now, it was as clear as a bell through the night so there was a wonderful view which is great because I gather it's the last lunar eclipse for about ten years

Yesterday went OK.  I stayed warm, watched TV and knitted.  I'm getting the hang of these little mice now, I think.  The trick is in the stuffing and the making up - both quite fiddly and, unlike the Jean Greenhowe ones, you mustn't stuff too firmly.

I still think they are cute.  That lantern is dinky.

Today is supposed to be quite busy but I'm not going to push it.  I've just cancelled tuition and have sent an email to school letting them know I won't be coming.

Earlier on I do need to do a bit of shopping but that will be the extent of my fresh air today.
Stay warm, everyone, it's bitter out there.

Sunday 20 January 2019


Good morning, everyone.  Well, it's a lovely day outside.  Bright and sunny and with a hard frost.  A perfect winter's day.

Thanks for the lovely good wishes yesterday.  In the early afternoon, I came home from my parents, partly because it's always 'nicer' to feel yuck at home but overwhelmingly because two vulnerable people in the nineties do NOT want someone going down with a cold (which I am pretty sure it is, just a bogstandard cold virus) breathing her germs all over them.

So today I have nothing much to do and no major plans for anything.  I will snuggle up in front of the telly and rest, thankful that I have no school work to plan and no marking, assessment, or anything else.  I used to get colds quite a lot but I think I've only had once since I retired.  Says it all really.

Beth might be round to work on the sewing machine which will be nice.  I'll try not to breathe over her.

Have a super day and stay warm and cosy.

Saturday 19 January 2019


Morning, everyone.
Not feeling great so this wll be short.  I'm hoping I don't pass anything on to Mum and Dad and that it's just one of those under the weather things that hits and goes away again as quickly as it comes.
Back in full force tomorrow, I hope.

Friday 18 January 2019


Good morning!  It's staying cold and there's quite a frost outside this morning so I am grateful for the blessing of central heating and, indeed, four good walls and a stout roof over my head.  I gather that yesterday morning it snowed, just a little bit.  I missed thr sight but it was at the time the children were walking to school so I bet they arrived pretty hyper.  Poor teachers!

As for me, I got everything done that I had planned to do.  The ironing basket is empty now and the cupboards are full.

I had time to sit and knit so I carried on practising the mice, changing a few things as I went along.  I think I have more or less sussed most of it, although I realised I have been making the little nose black and it should be pink!
Here's the one I've done - one of the carol singers but without her little carol book at the moment.  I can't understand how that is going to work and I think I might make it with a card cover rather than a knitted one and perhaps I could reduce some actual music for the inside.  The only problem with that is fixing it on and it getting creased and tatty.  I shall have to have a good think - there has to be a solution.
I haven't got the eyes right yet and I've over-stuffed the arms as well as, perhaps, the head..
Anyway, here she is - minus ears but they have now been attached!

I'm doing a little he-mouse now.

At group, I had lost two pounds and, by a complicated route, ended up as slimmer of the week which was nice.  You get a basket of goodies and there wasn't one item I don't use so they will come in very useful indeed.

Today I was planning on a swim but I don't think I will, partly because it is so flippin' cold and partly because it's been a busy week, it will be a busy weekend and I think I will have a peaceful morning.  I'll go for a brisk walk to Morrisons and back to get a few bits and bobs to take with me to Mum and Dad's.

Time for a bath, I think, before I get going for the day so I'll stop now.  Have a good 'un and, whatever else you do or don't do, stay warm.

Thursday 17 January 2019


Good morning everyone.  It's proper cold this morning; there's an icy wind and I was glad to shut the door quickly after getting out the recycling stuff for collection today.  I'm really glad I found that warmer coat the other day.

Well, yesterday turned out to be another busy but very satisfying day. 

I had my swim and it was good.  I think I've found the best time to go which is not when it opens at six-thirty, it's around eight.  I guess the workers have to be off to work and the mums are getting their children off to school so it is just us golden oldies.  They've sorted out the problem with the pool that stopped me going after my holiday to Center Parcs (it was just a degree or so too cold) and it is now easy to get in and start swimming withough shivering.  The spa is lovely and warm afterwards too.

Then I came home to a message from the friend I was meeting with for lunch to say her other half was full of cold so she could come to me rather than the other way round.  She did and we popped out to The Hare for lunch.  I had the soup which was a simply delicious curried cauliflower soup; later on I hunted for the recipe and I'll give it a go next week at some point.

I thought I'd be a good girl and do a bit of looking around for ideas for pottery.  After all, I have a sketchbook/portfolio sort of thing to fill.  I found some lovely ideas and I'll add two of my favourites so far in here.  They look easier than I expect they are.

 I'd love to make some sets of buttons and could use them on my other crafting - on a quilted bag, for example, or on a cushion cover.
I also had the thought that a pendant on a leather 'string' would be rather satisfying too.

I simply love this one - it's gorgeous.

Tuition was, as almost always, good fun.
All in all, a super day.

Today should be less rushed.  I'm off to Morrisons first thing (walking so I hope I don't turn into an icicle) and then off to see a friend who had an op last week and is now OK to have visitors.  That's the reason I'm shopping - flowers and fruit (not chocs as she's a fellow Slimming-Worlder) should be just the ticket, if highly unoriginal.

Then the day's my own so I can catch up with some ironing before a spot of tuition and finally off to SW group.  My fingers are crossed for that one.

So it's just a pleasant, semi-busy day without too much pressure.  Perfick!  I hope yours is too.

Wednesday 16 January 2019


Good morning!  It's chilly but not freezing, a slippers and dressing gown morning but not a turn up the heating morning.  I daresay we'll have a few of them in the next week or so and I am grateful for small mercies!

I set off for the new class good and early and I'm glad I did because when I got there the car park was chokka to the extent that I came out of it and tried to find parking on the road.  The centre is in the grounds of a school so there is restricted parking all round and I had to park about five minutes' walk away.  Not a bad thing as I'm always looking for reasons to walk but if I'd not allowed plenty of time, I'd have been late.
And when I got there finally, there was a notice saying to inform reception if you had douible parked, so I could have done that and saved myself the time.  Never mind, I know now.

Although the title is 'pottery for beginners', it's an established group and there were only three newbies.  One already had some experience and she got herself organised straight away.  The other lady had done some pottery in the past but had forgotten most of it so we were introduced to everything, shown how to make a couple of pinch pots and join them together to make a hollow sphere and then to do it again because our first efforts were - interesting!!
At first I fancied turning mine into an owl but then the tutor found the hedgehog insturctions so I went for that instead.
It was very absorbing and the time just flew by!
This is a photo of part of a photocopy of the set of instructions, hence the lousy quality, and my hedgehog doesn't look quite like this one but I tried.  It's got to dry now and then I'm not sure what happens.  I'll learn that next week.

The others were nioce.  It was already an established group and I was lucky to get a place, but there was no cliquiness; everyone was very friendly and helpful and there was some lovely work out.
I am looking forward to next week and seriously considering signing up for the next one quickly!  After all, it's not really the sort of thing one can do easily at home.

Wen I got home, Beth was here so we had lunch and a good chat before she carried on with her work and I settled to check my emails.  One of them contained some news that made me very, very happy.   I can't say what it was because of confidentiality but it's something a friend and I (and others) have been working for for years and it is just brilliant!

Tuition was also great and after that I was able to settle down for the evening.

I thought today was easier but I've just checked my diary and it's just as well I did because I am out to lunch with a friend.  It's also just as well that I have plenty of work prepared for tuition this evening, isn't it?  I want to go swimming first thing so it's all go!

I'd better stop now and get going.  Have a lovely day, whatever you have planned!

Tuesday 15 January 2019


Good morning, everyone.  It's a cold and frosty morning here in mid-Essex and the heating is well up.  Everyone's saying about some expected snow next week but fingers crossed.  Finally I'm getting too old for snow!  Well, too old to be excited about it anyway although I do love to watch it falling.

Yesterday was a very busy day.  Swimming was lovely and I'm looking forward to going again tomorrow morning.  I also had a wander around Matalan and I'm so glad I did because there was a nice, warm longer coat (longer than a jacket, I mean), showerproof and warmly lined and with a hood.  I tried one on - too large.  Woo hoo!  I anded up with a (whispers it so as not to tempt fate) size 12.  Blimey!!!
I got it, obviously!

Once home, I dashed around doing this, that and the other until it was time for Knitter Knatter Club.  It was the first week so everyone was learning but great fun and they all seemed to pick it up well and without too many holes.

After my time helping out in FS, it was home, James, to look through my planning before tuition and after tuition I whizzed round to Beth's to pick up an old shirt of Alex's and to have a chat.

I slept well last night!

This morning, I am feeling pretty nervous because it's the first session in a nine week pottery course for beginners.  I signed up for it last autumn and it seemed a good idea at the time as it's something I have always wanted to have a bash at.

The bumph says, and I quote:
"From the basic techniques of handbuilt pottery and decorative glazing methods to experimenting with more advanced techniques in pottery for all could be just for you.  Create your own unique, wonderful artefacts."
Ha ha ha!

However, right now I am wondering if I've bitten off more than I can chew.  We will see.
So that's why I needed the old shirt - I don't have any old clothes because of losing all the weight and I have a feeling that my kitchen apron is not adequate to the job.

After that, Beth will be round and then I have some tuition.  Another busy day really so I'm glad I had a lazy weekend!  xx

Monday 14 January 2019

Monday: part two!

Good morning.  I'm home again after a very enjoyable swim and a trawl around Matalan, breakfast to the right of me, coffee to the left!  It feels great!

Yesterday was good too.  It was such a pleasure to get back in the pool after quite a long break and I could feel my mood lift.  It stayed up all day which suited me fine.
I knitted and stitched up and stuffed and generally sorted out all the current projects so now I have a blue bear and a yellow bear and Mrs Frost and a Snow Mouse.

I enjoyed knitting the snow mouse but the construction instructions are not as clear as Jean Greenhowe's instructions are and I had to make some sensible guesses.  It worked out OK though and now I have started one of the carol singer mice.

Then, in the evening, Beth popped round for a chat which was lovely.

Today is quite busy which is why sleeping in this morning was not such a Good Idea.  I have a little time now but then Knitter Knatter Club starts for the term so I will need to get there.  Then it's my stint with Foundation Stage followed by tuition.  It's just as well I planned so much last week that I have everything I need for this week too.

So I will stop nattering now and get everything sorted and ready to avoid rushing later on.  Have a good day, everyone.

Monday, part 1

Morning, everyone.  Just off for a swim and I slept in so don't have much time.  I'll be back afterwards.  :-)

Sunday 13 January 2019


Good morning, everyone.  I have no idea what it's actually doing out there, weather-wise, because I can't be bothered to look, but BBC says it's mild with light cloud and a fresh breeze and they're usually as accurate as anyone!  It sounds like another day of rather dull weather but better that than the very fierce weather we seem to be getting more and more of.

Yesterday started out as a rush and finished very calmly.  I rather slept in and then decided I needed to wash my hair.  I wasn't late in leaving but it didn't help that I stupidly went the wrong way, taking a turning I almost always take instead of going straight on.  That added five minutes or so to the journey buit, fortunately, traffic was light and I arrived with minutes to spare.

It was most enjoyable and some of the recipes were adaptable for SW but there was a lot of oil being used one way and another.  However, the end results were delicious and much enjoyed by everyone, including me, SW or no SW!  I don't stand a chance of working out the syns, etc, so I'm not even trying, just enjoying the memory and getting back on track.

When I got home, I was tired so I didn't really do much for the rest of the day apart from some knitting, sewing up and stuffing which watching telly.  I've nearly caught up with the Christmas viewing now and was busy deleting stuff I've seen and don't want to keep any more.

Today is another day with little in the diary but I am going swimming first thing as I'm up early enough.  It opens at eight so I'll be there soon after that.
Once home, I intend to be jolly lazy (again) and just enjoy the time.  There's a bit of ironing on the list and a bit of kitchen tidying/wiping over, but not much so I hope to finish off the current knitting project and start looking at the mice!.

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone.

Saturday 12 January 2019


Good morning, everyone.  The weekend has started and I hope you've got some good things planned.

Yesterday was a lovely do.  I got loads done although there's still stuff on the list.  It can wait though.

I changed the bed and washed the sheets.  It's always nice getting into a bed with clean sheets, isn't it?  I can understand why the posher hotels change the sheets every day.
I got my corner tidied so when my cleaner arrived, there was nothing in the way.
I drove off to Sainsburys to do my shopping and, surprise, surprise, bought some clothes.  Not loads, but . . . oh, well.  I also got some new bedding for the guest room.  Not an impulse; as when I ironed it all after the Christmas holiday usage, I was shocked at how battered it has become but, fair enough, it has to be a good twenty years old so it's earned its space over the years.  I saw what I liked yesterday so I bought two single quilt covers with pillow cases and another pair of pillowcases as there will be two pillows on each bed.  That's now all washed, ironed and aired and today I shall pop them on the beds so I'm ready for whoever my next visitor will be.
I also got the printer ink (ouch) and various other bits and bobs that added up to an eye watering total  but never mind - this is the month of two state pensions as it's paid every four weeks.
Once home, I sorted everything out, started the new bedding in the machine and generally pottered.  It was all very pleasant.

Today I am out at a Thermomix course over lunch time so I guess that will take up the useful time of the day as when I get home I will sit with a coffee and chill for the rest of the day with my knitting and the foodie mags I bought yesterday.
Lazy me!!!

Friday 11 January 2019


Good morning, everyone.  It's Friday!  Last working day for some of us with the chance of some R&R for a couple of days, I hope.  If that's you, hope it goes well for you today

 First things first:  weigh in was OK, thank goodness.  Two and a half pounds off.  Just a dent in the Christmas gain but I'm on the way again now.

I spend quite a lot of time sorting out resources for a new student.  It all went really well and I think the session was enjoyed by both of us, not just by me.
I got all the ironing done and put away, which was a relief as it had been building up a bit.  Nothing as bad as a family load, I know, but it's surprising how much one person can generate.
I got part way through the recipe files and will complete that this morning.
I did a small shop but will need to take the car for a bigger shop so I may very well go further afield to Sainsbury's or Tescos.
The kitchen remained clean and tidy - as tidy as it's ever going to get anyway!
And I found a few more mouse patterns to download.  I have more than enough now to keep me happy for months.  Lovely!  One of them is a set of medieval mice and I was thinking I might make that for a class at school for the children to play with.  We will see.

Today seems to be a day of bits.
My lovely cleaner comes but it's just a question of putting a few things away and tidying my corner (where I sit to knit and watch telly) which looks bad but won't take long.
I need to change the bad linen - generating more washing and ironing!
I need to go shopping and specifically I need to get some more printer ink; I had to print this week's food plan out in blue!
I'm not going to Hobbycraft, it is too much of a temptation, but I will go online to Deramores to get some mouse coloured yarn.
Depending on how I feel (and the pool timetable) I may go swimming later on.  Now I've got the food back on track again, I need to sort out the other side of it - the exercise.  If I do that, I might very well pop into Matalan and nosey round.

None of the above is urgent and I doubt it will all get done but it's nice to have things to do, isn't it?
Have a lovely day, everyone,

Thursday 10 January 2019


Good morning!  Can you believe we are already a third of the way through January?  Incredible how that time just accelerates away!  It's flippin' cold outside too with a heavy frost.  Definitely a warmer dressing gown morning!

However, I have noticed that the days are getting marginally longer again - it's a bit lighter walking home from a tuition session just down the road and I'm drawing the curtains closed just a bit later.  The bulbs are coming up too.  All very hopeful although I'm sure there will be plenty of darker days before spring.

By the time I had finished sorting out some tuition folders and resources yesterday, I had no inclination to start on my recipe files so that was deferred until today to be done alongside my meal planning for the coming week.
I also deferred the shopping as there's nothing urgent on the list so I decided to wait until after the planning so I can get all I need for next week too.

For someone who deferred so many things, I had a remarkably full day which gives truth to the saying 'work expands to fill the time available, I guess'.  I did discover that I could download a mouse pattern vis the Alan Dart site so I paid my £2.50 and now I have another pattern of Christmas Party mice as well.  So cute!

Again today, I have nothing in the diary until late afternoon and evening but there's plenty to be done.  Planning (tuition and meal), sorting the recipe file, ironing, general housework and so on.  Nothing tricky and nothing too onerous so that's OK.

And it is weigh day!!!  Eeeeek!

Wednesday 9 January 2019


Good morning, everyone.  Welcome to the middle of the working week - not that it should impact on me nowadays but I still see Monday to Friday as 'working days' and Saturday and Sunday as 'rest days'.  I think the only change is that now housework, etc, usually gets done during the week rather than at the weekend.
I wonder if that feeling will ever go.

Anyway - yesterday turned out to be very pleasant indeed.  Sharon did indeed work her usual magic and now I feel civilised again.  It was nice to see her again after so many weeks and to catch up on our news.

Before she arrived, I had attacked the last of the decorations, sorted them all out and bagged/boxed them up.  Off came the decorations, off came the lights, the tree was taken apart, down came the bunting, the candles/holders, etc, were bagged up and boxed and, last of all, the nativity crib was polished, wrapped and put away.  I sorted out the decoration boxes so they are now all organised and in good order again and the Christmas tree bag I got just before Christmas (after the old one fell apart) is just the ticket, holding the big tree, the little tree and a rather large sideboard candle holder thingy.
Later on in the day I lugged it all to the garage so now Christmas really has finished.

Half way through the hair-chopping, Beth did indeed turn up, as I'd hoped, and stayed all day.  She's busy making a weighted blanket for a friend's child and, when she has finished that, Alex has asked if she'll make one for him too so she'll be very busy!  Here's some info about weighted blankets if you're interested.

A few parcels arrived during the day.  One was a knitting pattern I had ordered before Christmas.  I was chatting in here about the Jean Greenhowe patterns I was making and one of you lovely readers mentioned Alan Dart so I had to go and look him up, finding a pattern for Dickensian Mice carol singers on Amazon which was so delightful I just fell, hook, line and sinker.  You can see why, can't you?

I now HAVE to go to Hobbycraft to get mouse coloured yarn.  Oh, yes I do!
I think I am also on a mission to find more patterns of these charming little mice.  If you know where I could find some, please do let me know.

I also got a three way adaptor plug.  My new-ish hearing aids are rechargable but I didn't have a spare socket by my bed so had to have the charger on a shelf instead.  Every flippin' night I got into bed and then remembered the hearing aids so had to get back out to put them in the charger.  A small problem but annoying.  Last night I didn't have to any more!

Tuition went well and was, as always, good fun.

Best of all, I stuck to my SW meal plans all day.  Yay!

Today I have nothing in the diary until tuition time.  However, I do have a bit of  washing and ironing, a bit of sorting out and a bit of Morrisons shopping.  I will defer Hobbycraft until I have finished the current knitting project - I know me only too well!!!

Have a lovely day, whatever you have planned to do.

Tuesday 8 January 2019


Good morning, everyone.  It's very nice to be back home again, much as I love my mum and dad and their lovely, comfortable home.  It's also nice to be back in routine again.

After a very easy journey home yesterday, I got all the usual settling back in tasks done, meals sorted, planning checked and so on before popping out to school to do my bit.  It was nice to catch up with others.  Tuition was great too so all very satisfying.

Two parcels arrived.  One was some stationery that I'd ordered and the other was clothes from Cotton Traders as I fell for a few things in their sale.  However, the jeans I ordered are the next size down which I hope will be my forever size and I could get them on AND do them up!  OK, so they were a bit tight and I wouldn't go out in them yet but wow!  Most encouraging and just what I need to keep me on the straight and narrow path in the next few months.

Today the lovely Sharon comes here first thing to work her usual magic on my hair.  It's long overdue as you may remember I had to cancel my appointment before Christmas, so it will be great to feel less like a yeti and more like a human being again.

I'm hoping Beth will be round.  She hasn't confirmed this and it doesn't matter one way or another but she usually does and it'll be good to catch up on things.  Then tuition finishes the day off nicely!

Christmas tree day today.  Sad, sad, sad!  :-)

When I started writing this, I thought today was a lazy day but actually it isn't, not really, it's got some good things going for it.  Works for me!  Better get going with my usual trip to the freezer to get out what I need and then it is time for my second coffee, I think!
Have a lovely day, one and all.

Monday 7 January 2019


Good morning, everyone.  Welcome to a new week!

It really was a dull, dreary old weather-day yesterday, wasn't it, and I gather that today is going to be exactly the same only a bit milder round this way although wind might make life more exciting further over and further north.

After breakfast, I shall be travelling home and then things busy-up quite a lot.  I have the unpacking, then some tuition to look over followed by a stint in school in foundation stage and then tuition itself.  Not much housework because lovely cleaner worked her magic on Friday.  In the evening, I have sheets to iron as I chickened out of doing them last week.  I'll get that done while telly-watching this evening.

Tradition or not, 'bad luck' or not, I have decided definitely to have one more evening of Christmas lights before it all goes down on Tuesday.  Apart from lack of time today,  they are company and make me happy!

Back to the busy life now which should keep me off food and out of the kitchen quite effectively.  It feels good to get back into routine again although it has been a very pleasant break.

Better stop.  I have other bits and bobs to post and some packing to do before bath, getting dressed and breakfast.  Wishing us all a very good day.

Sunday 6 January 2019


Good morning, everyone.  It was a dull, gloomy but dry day yesterday and I gather today is likely to be the same but perhaps a bit warmer.  No rain is definitely good!

Yesterday went as planned.  I had a nice brisk walk to Tesco to get a few vegetables and in the afternoon all three of us could be found, flat out, snoozing in the warm living room!
The decorations are now down and everything is back to normal again.  I just have to take the boxes back up into the attic, something I will do today when I wear jeans rather than the long skirt I had on yesterday which was highly impractical for an attic ladder!

Today is cooking, ironing and anything else that needs to be done.  I might get a walk in after lunch; we'll see how things are.

Have a lovely day, whatever you have planned.

Saturday 5 January 2019


Good morning, everyone.  I'm  at mum and dad's today, having travelled up yesterday afternoon.  It was an easy journey for once, with only one hold up for road repairs and early enough that the lowering sun didn't cause any visibility problems.

I took Emily (the knitted doll) with me as mum saw me making her and was interersted and she loved the finished thing, so I will leave her (Emily) here.  I quite fancy making another one - it was interesting work.

Today I will be taking down all the decorations for mum and dad.  I'm sad about that as it does brighten up the room but tomorrow is twelfth night so it's time.  Apart from that it's the usual meal making, washing, ironing, etc.  I've brought up the turkey stock and bits off the carcass which I had frozen after Christmas as they both love a turkey stew.  There will be enough to make several portions to freeze as well which will be very welcome.

Well, I had better get going.  Mum doesn't wake for a while yet but there's stuff to do and a stew to prepare which involves peeling loadsa root veg (delicious) before a nice, slow simmer.
Have a great Saturday.

Friday 4 January 2019


Good morning, everyone.  It's pretty chilly outside this morning, definitely one of those times to be glad for the central heating.

I got one of my holidays booked yesterday - the easy one which was another week at Center Parcs.  I've booked at Elveden again because I know it but I notice that Woburn is not too far from my parents' place really so I might book a Monday to Friday short break there at some point  to see what it's like.

It felt like a busy day but somehow I managed to find the time to eat my face off so weigh in results were not great.
Today is another busy day all day so maybe that will keep me out of temptation's way.  Fingers crossed.

Well, it is busy so I need to stop waffling and get working.  Have a great day, whatever the plans are, and if you're feeling poorly, lots of love and get well soon.

Thursday 3 January 2019


Morning, everyone.  How did yesterday go for you?  It was a mixed day, weather-wise.  We had some gorgeous sunshine, some spots of rain and I think it turned colder through the day.  There's no frost yet this morning though although BBC Weather suggests that it will be close to zero today with frost overnight tonight.

I was quite busy yesterday and it was nice to get back into the flow again after a lot of laziness. 

Most of the washing is now done and, while there's some in the ironing basket still, quite a lot has been folded and put away.  The last of the sheets are washing as I type and I shall be naughty and use the dryer for them!

I sat down in front of the screen and went through my banking records for December.  I don't actually do a sort of personal review of the year but I do like to know how each month has gone.  December is never a great month but January looks like being better, being the month when I get two state pension payments, one right at the beginning and one right at the end while February and March are also better as they are the two months when I don't pay council tax or the water payments.

That's just as well because in several months' time, I am having my bathroom re-done (there's a deposit due soon) and in the next day or so I want to get my holidays sorted out. Yes, holidays with an 's'!  I want to go back to Center Parcs again as I had such a wonderful time there last year and I was wondering about a week in a Warners Hotel.  It's something to think about anyway.

I want to resume my bus trips out once the days get longer and warmer - there's already a couple of visits to Colchester half planned for a start.

For most of my adult life, I didn't do holidays so I'm making up now I have the time and the energy!

I'm now looking at the Christmas tree with regret as Twelfth Night approaches.  I won't actually be at home on that day so it will have to wait until next Monday.  However, I think I will sort out all the candles and the bunting, etc, today, just leaving the tree until then.  I'm very glad I bought the new storage bag before Christmas as I don't have to fuss about it now.

Life is getting back to normal in other ways too.  Today the children round here go back to school.  I used to dislike those odd days at the start and finish of a term and I am sure things haven't changed in that respect.  I won't be starting my tuition until Monday anyway, giving me almost three weeks off!

Well, I have a meeting here this morning so I had better think about getting ready for it and I also have a parcel to get posted off.  The coffee mug is almost empty and it's time for a refill while the washing is most likely finished now.  Better get moving.
Have a great day!

Wednesday 2 January 2019


Good morning, everyone.  It's a fine, bright morning but I have no idea how cold it is as I overslept and haven't been out yet.

I finished teddy yesterday.  He's worked out really cute, don't you think?

Now I am making a pair of snowmen - Mr and Mrs Frosty.  Probably gifts for next Christmas, one way or another.

It was obviously the occasion for cute things as over New Year Beth gave me, as a Christmas present (remember, she'd been ill over Christmas), two little fabric owls that are so cute that I think she could easily refine them a bit and sell them.  Well, not them, they're mine, but the idea.  The colours never come out well on my Christmas tree, sorry.
Beth stayed until late morning but Alex hung on for a couple more hours before I drove him home.  It was lovely having them over.  Al is off to uni today, to get on with some coursework, bless him.  I'm very glad I don't have pressures like that!

Everything got thoroughly neglected yesterday so today is a 'getting the house back into order' day.  Looking around, it really isn't that bad but everything needs a bit of tweaking and the carpet certainly needs a good sweep over.  I didn't get the sheets done yesterday so they are on the list for today too.
And it's a new month so I must check the bank statement, move any excess across to savings and generally get it all in order again.

Life is well and truly back to normal again, thank goodness.

I know a number of readers are not well at the moment so I wish them a speedy recovery.  There's a lot of bugs going the rounds - always are at this time of year.  And to all of us - have a fantastic day, whatever you intend to do.

Tuesday 1 January 2019


Good morning - welcome to 2019 and a very Happy New Year to us all.  I've done a separate post about the new year so I won't go on about it here.  This entry is as normal as it gets!

Still no swimming yesterday..  When I got there, the pool was still cold.  They obviously have a major problem.  I'm not happy but grouching won't help.
Couldn't go today anyway as it doesn't open until much later which isn't convenient.

I achieved something yesterday.  Something small but it had been bugging me.  There seemed to be no way of replying to comments in here except as another comment although in my other blog there's no problem and I didn't know why.  I did a bit of trawling through information and, lop and behold, I can now reply directly to comments.  I'm pleased about that.

I achieved something else too - I managed to finish off the Christmas veg, all bar the carrots and potatoes.  I now have more - can't live without my veg!

Later on, Beth and Alex came round and we had a meal together.  Because Beth had missed her Christmas dinner, I did for her what she would have had a week ago.  Alex had requested pizza.  I fancied salmon.
So I decided to give each what they wanted which was actually a lot simpler than it sounds.  For sides I made roasties, sprouts and cajun spiced carrot and parsnip chips plus garlic bread and coleslaw for the pizza lad!  I did loads, optimistically hoping for leftovers today but I really should have known better.  I know I didn't have loads but, somehow, it all went.  Very gratifying.

Right now I have two sleeping beauties upstairs.  I know they have to go home this morning; I have no idea what time but that's not a problem.  Once they are up, I will have sheets to wash, dry and iron and the kitchen could do with a wipe around too.  After that I want to sort out my Christmas boxes - three large, lidded boxes that I keep all the decorations, etc, within and which have a layer of goodness knows what at the bottom.  Today they get sorted out in readiness for taking the decorations down and putting them away for another year, something that always makes me feel sad but which has to be done.

I also need to start thinking about tuition starting next week, sort out the students' folders and generally get prepared.  It's been a lovely break but real life moves on.  Better get going then!  😀

New year's day

First of all, I wish you all a very Happy New Year with lots of good things heading your way.

Like many people, today is the day when I look back and then look forward.  It's just another day really but the date division makes it an ideal time.
So I looked back to last year's post to see what I said because I couldn 't remember.  Here it is - here's the link if you want to look.

There were two sides to it - happiness and health.  Let's take the latter first.  This time last year I really wasn't terribly well.  It was pretty hard at times and I had to work quite hard to remain cheerful some of the time.
Now - well, now what a change!!!  The gallbladder got left behind just over eight months ago, the blood pressure has been more or less normal for quite a while now and, because of all the weight lost, I am just so much healthier than I have been for decades.  I find it hard to believe really.

As for the former, happiness, I still believe much of it is a determined attitude; for me it is, anyway.  In lots of ways it has been a hard, hard year.  It's difficult to cope with the feeling when others are hurting, ill, distressed, because there's really not a lot you can do to change things for them.  All you can do it be there.  There have been occasional times when all the determination in the world hasn't really helped much, but generally it has made a huge difference.  Pollyanna still rules!

So - how about looking forward.  I don't exactly call it 'resolutions' as they tend to get broken very quickly and seem to be a high road to failure.  However, there are things I am going to do . . . and here they are.

I'm going to carry on with Slimming World.  I never expected it to be the help it has been and, when I started, I was dubious as to any positive results but I was wrong, very wrong.
As a result, I am going to continue losing the last chunk of surplus weight and keep it off. 

I'm loads fitter than I've been since a young adult and I'm going to build on that.  I'm going to get back to swimming because I love that, I'm going to find out what else there is at the gym that I could do and enjoy and I'm going to continue choosing to walk instead of taking the car for local journeys.  I enjoy walking now, it makes me feel great.

I'm going to continue fighting for those I love, to support them as much as I can, to try to understand how they feel and why they are as they are and to accept that we're all different and all of equal value.

And I'm going to continue to sustain a positive mindset, looking for and focusing on the good in everything.  Yes, it can be very challenging at times but it works, it's good and  I want to be that person.

Hopefully, I will.