Monday 30 September 2019


Good morning, everyone.  After a rather damp day yesterday, it's now a clear and chilly morning (almost morning, anyway).  BBC weather tells me that it's going to be a bright, dry morning but we'll get some heavy rain late afternoon and through the night.

It was a quiet, pleasant day yesterday.  Dad relaxed and read while I was busy in the kitchen and, when Beth and Dave arrived, we chatted and caught up with our news and generally had a nice family time over dinner and afterwards.

Dad left in time to catch the shop at his end before it closed and Beth and Dave stayed on for more chat.  We talked about my running ideas and Dave recommended a running specialist shop that I go past every time I head off the the gym but had never noticed before which sounds just the ticket for advice and equipment.  He said that I might be able to get some sort of headphones that would work with my phone and my hearing aids and they would know what is available.  Very useful to hear, that was, and, depending on what they say, it might open up my world a little bit to music, spoken books and the like.  All very interesting.

In the evening, I watched the Strictly update and, without spoilers, thought the correct decision was made.  I thought it was obviously one of two couples but I don't usually get it right.

This morning is a different morning.  I've woken at a more reasonable time - for me, anyway.  I shall bustle around getting everything done, including some washing, and then I'm off into town to meet up with a group outside the Riverside Centre for my first Heart and Sole walk and I'm looking forward to it very much.  Then, on the way back to the bus, I pass that running shop and I think I will pop in and have a chat.  I'm getting very brave!

In the afternoon, I have a shopping list to make for tomorrow and an hour of tuition before settling down for the evening with a book, the ironing board and the telly (not all three at the same time though).
I hope you have a good day too.  xx

Sunday 29 September 2019


Good morning!  The rain started yesterday evening and, as far as I can tell, it's been chucking it down most or all of the night.  It's still raining now and looks set for the rest of the day, according to the Beeb, so that'll be another blight warning pinging into my mailbox at some point.  Ho hum!

Yesterday turned out to be a lovely day.  I did a walk/jog to Morrisons early to pick up the paper for Dad and do my daily exercise at the same time and then, after breakfast, we set off for Oaklands Park and the museum.
There are some very interesting displays of the work of Marconi and Crompton (both based in Chelmsford) and, because Dad's degree is in engineering (mechanical and aeronautic) and because he had dealing with Marconi's in his job with British Aerospace (BAC then) well before I moved there, he really enjoyed them and told me a lot about his earlier days as a student and young adult as we looked round.
Then we went upstairs and looked at the bees after which Dad spotted the Essex Regiment museum part of the building so we had a good look around there too.
Finally, we looks around the first 'room', the one about Chelmsford (or the area, anyway) in prehistoric times.
By then, Dad was getting tired and a bit wobbly so we stopped, promising ourselves at least one return visit in the future.

The afternoon was spend in indoorsy things - difficult things like reading the paper and pottering in the kitchen!

Them in the evening, we watched Strictly.  I never realised Dad was a closet fan; they never watched it when I was around each fortnight over the last however many years and I used to have it on my laptop on my knee while they watched something recorded.  However, it looks as if it was Mum who didn't like it much, not Dad.  You learn something new every day, don't you?

It's another early start for me today - it's getting a bit boring really, all this waking early, but I know it goes in cycles so I just go with the flow!  Dad is as deaf as I, so I know I don't disturb him in the slightest!

We won't be going out again.  Apart from anything else, the weather looks like being bad, but I will be a bit busy as Beth and Dave are coming around for lunch with me and Dad.  I also want to get all the planning sorted for the week and get Tuesday planned - tell you about that when the time comes.  It's going to be a busy week all round as there are a few things organised and I'm off on holiday on Friday so have to be ready for that as well.  It should keep me out of trouble anyway!

Have a lovely day, everyone, and I hope the weather is better where you are.

Saturday 28 September 2019


Good morning.  I'm so glad we didn't try Hyde Hall yesterday, me and Dad, because the afternoon was dreadful at times.  Lashing rain and high winds.  We didn't even fancy turning out for Oaklands Museum so that's in the timetable for today.

Dad had a good journey down, a bit slow in places but no real hold-ups.  He settled in quickly and it was so nice to have him over again.  It's been a number of years since he (and Mum) were last here as it because just too difficult for Mum so there were a number of changes to exclaim over.  'The garden's looking nice', said he, which is quite a compliment as he was a great gardener in past times.  He liked the bathroom too and is going to advise as to where to have the 'grab' rails placed so that Matt can get them fastene when he comes later in October.

So we had a quiet afternoon chatting, reading, snoozing and generally doing ordinary things in an ordinary way.  Nice.

Today, I will pop to the shops at eight to get the paper for Dad.  Hopefully, we will pop to Oaklands. Fingers crossed we can get a parking space close by, using Dad's Blue Badge thingy.  We can take it slowly around the museum exhibits and there are plenty of places to stop and sit, should it be necessary.  Mum and Dad used to spend short breaks in towns/cities all around the country and one of their things was to visit the local museum.  They really enjoyed this so I'm hoping Dad will find it interesting.

The rest of the day will probably be spent back at home doing the usual - reading, chatting and snoozing.  It should be a very pleasant day for us both.

Friday 27 September 2019


Good morning, everyone.  Today's weather is a very mixed bag.  Sunshine to start, then rain, then maybe more sunshine.  I'm glad we shelved our plans to visit Hyde Hall.

Yesterday was, as I expected, quite busy but all is pretty much in order, meals are planned and the place is as tidy as it ever will be (not that tidy then!).

Dad should arrive, all being well, some time before lunch and I am wondering if we might pop out to the Chelmsford Museum in the afternoon.  He and Mum visited it ages ago, when they were here and I was at school but it has changed a lot since then.  Apart from that, there are no definite plans so today's entry is short, making up for some longer ones recently!
Have a good 'un!  xx

Thursday 26 September 2019


Good morning!  Well, summer really has left the room and closed the door behind her, hasn't she?  We had rain yesterday, rain overnight, and it looks as if it's still raining a little bit as far as I can tell.  Dad and I had planned a trip to Hyde Hall tomorrow but it's just too uncertain.  In past times we'd have wrapped up and gone, but there's no way he could dash for shelter nowadays so we'll do it another time.  After all, Hyde Hall won't go away, will it?

Yesterday turned out busier than expected, one way and another.  Jeff, bless him, turned up despite the rain and dodged the raindrops.  Fortunately, it cleared up for a while and he dismantled the runner beans which were well and truly over.  The tomatoes are still giving and giving although, with all the damp weather, I keep getting blight warnings so how long they will last is anyone's guess.  I need to look over the cucumbers carefully; there's one more nearly ready to pick but all the little ones seem to be going nowhere much.  Too little sun and light, I expect.

However, the raspberries keep giving but just a few at a time.   Next year, I need to get into the habit of popping them in the freezer instead of scoffing them straight off the plant!  A few jars of yellow raspberry jam would be wonderful!

When Jeff had left, I decided to pop over the other side of town, first of all to Aldi and then to the nearby Tesco for anything Aldi didn't have (there's sometimes a few things).  I had a list but went off track a bit - nothing too wasteful though.

Once home, I unpacked and put away, sorted out a load of washing and then started making a nice big batch of savoury mince with the 5% pork mince and beef mince I got.  The beef was cheap in Aldi and the pork was cheap in Tesco and I do like them both in a dish.  This is where the slow cooker aspect of the Instant Pot comes into its own and before long the house was smelling wonderful!

I did some exercise stuff and then Beth turned up so we had a chat and then, shame on me, I fell asleep!  Well, I did have a very early start to the day.

Later on, I followed up on the Heart and Sole info and have decided to go on a walk on Monday morning, weather permitting.  I can get to the starting point on the bus as it's only a short walk from the bus stop and it's about time I put on my walking shoes again!  It's along Riverside, an area along the river in the middle of town and really quite nice.  It's a mile and a half so very manageable, should take around thirty minutes to complete and the bumph says:
"This route follows surfaced paths through the open green space of the River Chelmer valley where we pass through the local nature reserve."
Sounds nice, doesn't it?  Not too muddy either.

Given that my gym is over the road from the meeting point for this walk, I have cottoned onto the fact that I could get the bus to the gym too, except for very early morning swims (can't use the bus pass until after nine on weekdays).  This is good news, especially nearer Christmas, when parking is rarer than hens' teeth around there.

Today looks busier but I bet it isn't really.

This morning I have to sort out that bedroom that didn't get done yesterday, continue with the washing, do some ironing and some tidying up before I get going with a bit of planning for tuition.  By lunchtime, I want the house to be ready for Dad's arrival tomorrow morning.

I'm off to Lindsey's over lunchtime for my personal training and I need to remember to ask her about running shoes. (don't laugh!)

After a short tuition session, I will be getting ready for SW group.  It's 'party week' this week - SW is fifty years old and celebrations are in order.  After a lot of dithering, I have decided to play safe with my tester and take in some of that mince with some pasta and some grated cheese to sprinkle over the top.  I know that will taste good and I can keep the mince and the pasta warm in flasks until it's time to eat.

So a busy day but an enjoyable one, even if the weather doesn't play ball.  I hope yours is the same.  xx

Wednesday 25 September 2019


Good morning.  After going straight off to sleep last night, I woke at half past two and can't get back to sleep so I'm up and doing.  It's a really dark night, street lights are off, the rechargeable lights in the garden didn't get much power yesterday so are almost out and I can't tell what the weather is like except that it's cloudy! I daresay I will feel tired later but have to be up and dressed by seven thirty because Jeff is coming to garden.  Grrrrr.

In my interest in parkrun, I had totally forgotten about Heart and Sole, the local health walks thingy, until the new timetable pinged through my mailbox yesterday.  I do intend to get involved in that too and will investigate some of the walks - much less intense than parkrun and definitely walks, not runs!

Swimming was great yesterday.  I seem to have clicked with the aqua now, I've got the pattern and the rhythm and felt I'd really worked.

Apart from that, it was a gentle day.

Today starts with Jeff, weather permitting.  Then I intend taking the long way round to Morrisons to get a few things before arriving home and starting on housework.  I made a note to myself yesterday.  Get beds ready and do washing.
That's because this weekend, instead of me going to Dad's, he's coming to me, so I need to make sure the guest room is ready and tidy.  At the moment, it has the quilts, wadding, etc, all laid out on one of the beds so that will have to be sorted out, and the hanging space is full of Mum's coats, so some of them will need to be moved.  Actually, probably some needs to come downstairs soon anyway.

The washing basket is pretty full so that needs sorting too.

Apart from Jeff, there's nothing else in the diary so it's a perfect opportunity to get a few things sorted out.  Good.

And I daresay I will fall asleep at some point too!  :-)

Have a great day.  I'm off to make a strong coffee!  xx

Tuesday 24 September 2019


Good morning, everyone.  It's raining, sadly, this morning.  Not nice at all but not unexpected.  I don't think I will be going on any unnecessary walks this morning!

Firstly a question.  Is there any way to get printouts of the podcasts (which are auditory, aren't they?) of the Couch to 5k thing.  I have a feeling it's not going to work all that well with my hearing issues and my in-the-ear aids.
Actually, I suppose the whole idea is to have them playing while you run so a transcript isn't going to be any sort of substitute.
Shame.  Ah, well . . .

Yesterday was, indeed, a gentle day.  I did my salsacise and my 20 minute walking clip before making the most amazing breakfast (pumpkin oat pancakes, yum) before bathing, etc.  I didn't even get started on sorting anything out because I didn't feel like it, but I did take a walk to Morrisons the longer way and foraged a few apples on the way because they may need chopping up but they are simply delicious!  And free. 

Today is a little less lazy as I have booked an aqua class at midday.  What I do is I turn up early to have a warm up swim, do the class and then, while everyone else gets out, I have another swim to let the crowds die down a bit before getting into the spa and relaxing in the hot bubbles.  Really nice.  And being at midday, it will cut the day in half very neatly.
I have a tuition session as well but that's really more or less it.

I wonder how long the rain will last.  Have a good one, anyway.  xx

Monday 23 September 2019


Good morning!  It's dull and gloomy but dry (for now) and at least I didn't need to water the plants yesterday.  Surprisingly, the tomatoes, cucumbers, raspberres and chillies are still reproducing and I'm talking to them very nicely indeed, just to keep them on side!

I had an idea about getting used to a bit of jogging.  I'm at Center Parcs in under a fortnight and I always have an early morning walk, taking the 'scenic route' (ie, the longer way) to the shop to get supplies for the day.  I could use that time, before anyone is out and about (apart from the morning runners), to try to jog a little bit, couldn't I?  I'll be careful!

On to yesterday - the swim was lovely and the spa afterwards was gorgeously hot and bubbly.  I still felt pretty stiff through yesterday but this morning things are absolutely fine, even the ankle, so three cheers for that!

Later on, Beth came round and we had a mega card making session together, based on some Christmas fabrics we have in store, although Beth also made some padded cat cards and some birthday cards with some toppers she found in a box and which she bought for her 30th birthday party  invites a decade ago now!
That, interrupted by lunch, kept us going all afternoon, any by the end we had loads of cards that didn't cost much to make so will be quite reasonable to buy are whatever fairs Beth goes to.
I've just been up to see if I can photo them but I think she must have taken them with her when she left.  Never mind.

After that, I knitted, read and watched telly.  It was a really nice day.

This morning, I have nothing scheduled until tuition, so it's another easy day.  I will do my exercise for the day and then settle down to clearing another cupboard in the kitchen, I think.  It's brightening up a bit now so maybe the sun will come out in a while.

Have a good day, everyone.  xx

Sunday 22 September 2019


Good morning, everyone.  It was another lovely summer/autumn sort of day again yesterday, not too hot and cool around the edges of the day but glorious.  Fingers are crossed for today as well.

The big update for yesterday is parkwalk, of course.  I did it!  I only went and did the whole distance, all 5K.  Not a lot in the wider scheme of things, of course, but for me it was an achievement.
It took me fifty five minutes and I came last, which I expected (out of over 750), but it isn't about position, it is about doing it - and I did!
I really don't like jogging or running.  It jolts me from toe to tip and it's not wise with a past history of dodgy knee and ankles.  As it was (and it's not a whinge, just saying), I could 'feel' my left knee and (especially) right ankle towards the end and it was quite ouchy later on as it stiffened.  I can still feel it now although it doesn't hurt any more, and I'm looking forwards to my nice, supported swim, in a few hours' time.  That should sort out the residual stiffness.
I definitely have a lo-o-ong way to go down the fitness road.
But I am so pleased that I did it!
Will I go again.  Yes, I certainly will.  I can't go for the next three weeks but, weather permitting, after that . . . and in the meanwhile I will try to do a bit of jogging and strengthen that ankle.  I don't mind being last - someone has to be, after all and most of the runners were an awful lot younger than I - but I could try to improve on my time with a few spells of jogging, especially in the first half.

The rest of the day was spent in reading, knitting, sleeping (I tried not to but . . .) and cooking nice meals for myself!

Today starts with a swim at the gym.  Beth is turning up later and we are going to have a card making day for a 'shopping day' run by Lindsey (my PT) to raise funds for Kids Inspire, a fantastic local charity.
I will do some planning for the week's tuition although there's not really all that mush to do and some knitting and a bit of tidying up and generally keeping the mess down!
And really, that's about it.  A gentle day!

I hope yours is good too.

Saturday 21 September 2019


Good morning.  Yet another nice day has been promised for today which is great.

Yesterday sorted itself out very nicely.  I got into the pool just after quarter to seven and there were a surprisingly large number of people in.  However, after about fifteen minutes of up, down, up, down, most of them got out leaving the half I was in to just two of us.  Nice.  I did three quarters of an hour before getting into a lovely, hot, bubbly spa to relax.

Once dried and dressed, I got in the car and realised petrol was rather low so I decided to go to Tesco to fill up and, as I was there, I may as well do my week's shopping.  I had no list (not a good idea) but a pretty clear idea of what I needed.  Having to get new ink for the printer forced the bill up considerably but I came home with lots of lovely, healthy goodies to keep me on track so that was good.

I pottered around getting the house tidied before Carly arrived and then we set off for Robyn's Nest where we each had a salad, hers a quiche and mine the house salad with dressing on the side (all places seem to do this now, if you ask).  After a long meal (we were talking so much and catching up), we wandered back and sat down at the pond on Writtle green and talked some more, only leaving when Carly had to get back.

Then, later on, Dave and Anna came round for a meeting they had arranged (my home is more suitable for this).  It was very nice to see them again.

So that was a lovely day!

Today starts with a bang!  At just after eight, I will setting off into town because I am taking part in my first ever parkrun or, as I call it, park-gentle-saunter.  Part of me really wants to do it and part, the part I am ignoring, is telling me that swimming would be much nicer!  The thing is, if I don't have a go today, I can't next week (Dad visiting) nor the following week (holiday) not the following week (at Dad's) so I have to really . . .

I think I know where to go and anyway, seeing as around 700 come every week (I had no idea it was so big) I should be able to see where people are heading.  Normally, I can get the 8:28 bus in but newbies have to be there by 8:45 for a talk and I doin't thing the later bus will quite be on time.

I'll let you know!

I don't have any other plans for the day - yet.  My back pack is packed including my bus pass and a water bottle so wish me luck!

Friday 20 September 2019


Good morning, everyone.  My fingers are crossed for another day as lovely as yesterday.  I'm loving this warm, bright weather, aren't you?

Yesterday proved to be a really pleasant day.
At Vals, we went out to the Blue Egg ( ) where we both had a simply divine goats' cheese salad which was by no means low calorie but was packed with good things.  I did enjoy it!
On the way back, we stopped off at a great wool shop as we were both wanting to start knitting something for the winter.  Val bought a cardigan pattern and I bought a jumper patters (which we will swap when we're made the garment) and we found some lovely yarn, Brett's double knitting with merino, which felt gorgeously soft and good to work with.  I gather it's quite new out; I've not seen it before anyway.

It was a bit of a rush to get home for tuition but I made it with about five minutes to spare.  I was glad I'd got everything out and ready and I just had to fire up the laptop.
It was my last session with my eleven plusser so good luck, J, on Saturday.  They are looking forward to it very much which is a great attitude.  It's so positive when a youngster loves learning so much.
I was given a lovely card and a thank you gift which was super kind of them.

Then I whizzed around, getting stuff done, picking tomatoes (all my large tomatoes have decided to ripen at the same time) and so on before setting off for SW.

Weigh-in was, as expected, not good news (3.5 on) but it wasn't as bad as it could have been so that's OK.  I'm fired up and back on track again so no complaints.

Today is starting with a swim.

Then, after breakfast, I will deal with those big tomatoes (skin, chop and freeze) and do some general tidying up before the cleaners arrive.  At midday, a friend is coming to pick me up and we're off to Robyn's Nest for lunch and a chat.  It's been quite a week for meeting up with friends and very nice too.

After that, I think it will be time for a sit down and some reading and knitting before making dinner.

And that's today.  Nice and social.
What do you have planned for today?

Thursday 19 September 2019


Good morning!  The sun is shining and it promises to be fine all day.  Lovely!

Yesterday was a weird day.  Personal Training was great, the governors' meeting was long but fine and I got sheets changed, washed, dried and ironed too.
But I had an eating crash which I won't go into in any detail except to say I'm climbing back on the wagon now!

Today is another busy day.
I'm meeting a friend for lunch, then I have tuition and then my SW group.  It's all go.

Better get started.  Planning calls!
Have a good day!

Wednesday 18 September 2019


Good morning, everyone.  Wasn't yesterday lovely?  Not so warm until the afternoon but such gorgeous sunshine!  Long may it continue.

Well, yesterday may have been busy, but it was a good day.

I met up with my friend at Robyn's Nest, a nice little cafe in Writtle and we talked and talked and talked over two large coffees (each - I was bursting by the end).  It was good to catch up on things after a couple of months of no get together.  And the coffee was good!

Then Sharon turned up and now both Beth and I look half human again.  I find it very relaxing and restful, having my hair done, not to mention the feeling that I look a lot better afterwards.

And then my parcel turned up.  It was an actiftry (yes, extravagant and unnecessary and bloomin' expensive but, dear me, what's a saved lump sum for, eh?) so I spent the next hour or so getting it all out, wiping it all down, reading the minimalistic instructions and making a batch of chips (well, you have to, don't you) for Beth and me to share.  And they were Very Good Indeed (and SW friendly)!  I used it to make dinner too - a sort of cajun chicken and veg - and that was also good.
I dearly love a new toy!

I had to rush off after that to tuition and had a good time there too.
The evening was spent getting the ironing done and, after airing overnight, it's all ready to take upstairs and put away.

Today there will be more washing as it's time to change the sheets.  They can dry on the line which makes them smell so wonderfully fresh and 'outdoorsy'.

Over lunchtime, I'm off to Lindsey's for the hour of personal torture training.  I'ver been doing a bit each day and really do think I'm toning up a bit, not to mention being fitter.  Not so sure about the weight though as I'm still working off the damage done by the weekend at Dad's.

After that the bedding might be dry and I can get it ironed before Governors' Meeting at six.

So it's all go on and off today but it should keep me out of trouble, shouldn't it?  I hope your day is good too.  xx

Tuesday 17 September 2019


Good morning, everyone.  It's another early start for me after a great night's sleep and it feels decidedly chilly - a dressing-gown-and-slippers kind of morning!

After a good drive home, I got the washing all done and now have a pile of ironing to rejoice my heart this evening!!
I wandered out into the garden and picked some bits and bobs.  The tomatoes are still coming thick and fast but it's just about the last picking of runner beans which is very sad as I do love them and it's been a good year for them.  The chillies are still producing and, while there was no cucumber to pick, there are four baby ones and one medium one although I don't know whether they will mature.  The pace of growth has definitely slowed down.  As you can see, I had to cut off one tomato truss as the stem had snapped.  They will ripen indoors, I am sure.

I took a walk to the shops the long way round and foraged a couple of apples from under a tree beside the road.  The one I had yesterday was lovely.
Tuition went well and the time just whizzed by.
And I did some cooking, enjoying the results for dinner.  I love meatballs in spicy tomato sauce!

So that was yesterday.

Today feels a bit packed.
I'm having coffee with a friend first thing and then whizzing back for the lovely Sharon to sort out my bird's nest hair.  Then it is some tuition and in the evening I have that stack of ironing to deal with.
I'm hoping to receive an exciting parcel as well.
It's all go today!

Time for another coffee so I'll stop now.  Have a lovely day, whatever you have planned.  xx

Monday 16 September 2019


Good morning, everyone.  A new week and a bit of a change in the weather round here.  Much cooler, cloudy - a bit dismal really, especially after such a gorgeous day yesterday.
It truly was gorgeous, wasn't it?  Wall to wall sunshine and cloudless blue skies pretty much all day.

The day revolved around a visit to Diana and Tom's for lunch.  Diana is (was) Mum's half sister.  Before we left home, I made a quick dash to Bickerdikes for a couple of nice little 'thank yous' to take with us so that was my half hour of exercise for the day.  I was glad to get that in because the weekend, as with all my Dad weekends, was very food-naughty!

We had a great time chatting and catching up on all sorts of stuff over a delicious lunch of salmon and salad, followed by a tropical fruit salad.

When we left, before we set off back home, Dad took me on a tour of  Kettering streets with family history.  Both Mum and Dad's families were Kettering folks, born and bred, both sides were in the boot and shoe business in different ways, both grandads (mine) had small boot and shoe companies and both families lived very much in the same area.  So we went in and out of very narrow roads - Digby Street, Bath Road and others, locating all the old homes where Mum, Dad and grandparents were born and/or lived, past the house where Auntie May used to live, finishing off down Kingsley Avenue where Dad's parents finished their days, first in a lovely house and then, after Gramps died, in a smaller house that was built to the side of the property when the big house was sold, where Nanna lived until she passed on.
Diana and Tom live in the house that was Mum's dad's home, the other side of town pretty close to Wicksteeds, so goiung there was also memory packed .
It was all very lovely, happy and nostalgic.  I have very fond memories of childood visits to Kettering.

Today, I'm off home after breakfast.  I'll have some washing and some shopping to do before a bit of tuition and a nice, easy evening.  It should be a really nice day, whatever the weather decides to do.

And there might be tomatoes to pick!  xx

Sunday 15 September 2019


Good morning, everyone!  It's still too dark to say but they tell us today is going to be as warm and as sunny as yesterday was, which is lovely!  It was such a gorgeous day, wasn't it?

In the end, I had no problems locating the Letchworth Nuffield Gym and it was an easy drive.  The pool is slightly smaller than the home one, I think, and was divided into three lanes - fast, medium and slow.  No prizes for guessing the one I chose!

When I got in, there was only one person in each lane, including me.  A few came and a few went in my half hour, including a middle lane equivalent of my lovely 'gossip girls' but it was never crowded.

There was a sauna and a steam room but no hot and bubbling spa - I missed that as it is lovely to relax and 'chill' in the warm bubbles before having a shower.

The locker system is very different though.  Instead of inserting the membership card and getting a key, you have to key in a 4 digit number (of your own creation).  That means not only do you have to remember your locker number, you also have to remember your code!  Guess who forgot both!!!
A very kind lady went out to get one of the people on the desk who unlocked my locker (I did remember that after some thought) and we had a little chuckle about it but it was embarrassing, all the same.  I felt very vulnerable too because, of course, my hearing aids were locked away so it was very hard to catch the gist of what people were saying.  I do wish someone would invent waterproof aids!!!
All my own fault, of course.  I really should have used a more familiar code and next time I will.

The rest of the day passed peacefully.  Dad came home from his exercise class, we both had some home made soup and then he crashed out for a good sleep in his recliner. 

I investigated Parkrun as two members of our SW group went and sent back photos to prove it!  It looks interesting so I have registered (which doesn't commit me to anything) and may give it a whirl next Saturday, although it will be more a case of Parkmeander than Parkrun or even Parkjog.  I just hope I can do 5K!  Maybe I ought to practise! (not entirely serious there)
It seems to be quite a sociable event, is another reason/excuse for getting out and about and it is totally free as I can use my bus pass to get there.  A freebie is always a Good Thing, surely!

Today Dad and I are out to lunch.  Mum's much younger half sister has invited us over for lunch so that's where we're going.  Dad has been slowly going through old photos and has some to take and show, including some of his and Mum's wedding, with Diana as a bridesmaid. 

It will take around an hour to get there, maybe more if the A14 is awkward, so it will take most of the afternoon, one way and another.  I'll get dinner made before we leave and then it's just a heating up affair later on.

And that's today.  It's half way through September, would you believe?  Where is the time going?  In three week's time, I'll be typing this at Center Parcs before going out for my early morning walk!

Have a great day and enjoy the lovely weather.

Saturday 14 September 2019


Morning, everyone!  It's a simply gorgeous morning here; the sun is shining and it's warm but not hot.  I'd love a few more days of this, for sure!

Yesterday went well.  The journey over to Dad's was good and all's well at both ends. 

This will be a quick entry as I have located the Nuffield Gym here and am going over for a swim as Dad is out and about.  As a member, I can use any of their gyms, you see, so I'm testing that one.  :-)
I'll probably sleep the afternoon away after that!

Have a great day and enjoy the lovely autumn sunshine.

Friday 13 September 2019


Good morning all.  Friday the 13th and, I gather, a full moon too, a micro moon no less.
So now we know!

Yesterday was a lovely day.

The PT session was great (never thought I would say that) and, while I know I've worked out, I have no painful muscles this morning.  Lindsey is very careful and keeps checking that there's no actual pain during the exercises.  The format is ten minutes of warm up on the exercise bike (phew), then various stretching and pulling things using a resistance contraption that fits over the door like a baby bouncer.  Then some more cycling to keep the muscles warm and the heart rate up, then some floor work to develop core strength.  Then cool down stretches.
The hour really did go quickly!

I'm starting to ponder on ways and means of continuing with this.  Every week would be rather expensive but maybe once a fortnight would be workable.  I'm pretty sure Lindsey would be OK with that.  I must give it some thought.

Tuition was also good in its own way.  I'm getting to know my new student and it was the penultimate session for my eleven plusser.  Next week I will go through things that they've asked me to review, algebra being at the top of the list.

At Slimming World it was half a pound off.  Better off than on, I suppose.  These last ten pounds or so are being extremely obstinate!  All the work I have done this week should have resulted in a bigger loss than that although maybe the muscle development has sort of balanced the fat loss.  Well, onward and downward.  I refuse to give in at this point because I would always know that I didn't quite get there.  I do feel very strongly about this.  Most of my life I've been overweight or obese and never again!  I really NEED to hit that target - but not in a silly way, in a sensible and healthy way.  No starvation tactics for me!

On to today!  It was light when I woke up, which was nice.  I have the cleaners in later so the first task is to get tidied up so they can do their job properly.  Beth comes round for a sort of planning session over lunch and then I am off to Dad's. 
Plenty to do but no stress - nice.

Have a great day, everyone.  xx

Thursday 12 September 2019


Good morning, all.  It looks as if it's going to be a much more pleasant day today, fingers crossed!  I could do with some cheering sunshine to brighten me up.

I tried to get the space/spare china down to the hospice shop but when I got there it was closed - something to do with training and a new till - so that's first on the list for today.  Before then, Jeff had turned up and did the necessary so now I have a neat garden again.  He took one of the china items away with him, a lidded cake plate that I've never, ever used and didn't think I ever would.

After coming back from the aborted drop off, I had to stay in all day.  I had ordered a new bread knife from Amazon as my old one (very old one) had started rather mangling the bread.  Of course, because it was a knife, there were all sorts of rules and regulations about it.  It couldn't be left by the front door (obviously), nor with a neighbour.  I had to provide photo proof of identity and sign for it.  In the end, it didn't turn up until after six in the evening!

Today there's a bit more going on.  First of all, I've had a lie in!  Yes, I have - I woke before four again but instead of getting up, I thought I'd try the old trick of turning my electric blanket on very low.  It worked well last winter and it worked again today.  I warmed up and dropped off again and didn't wake until nearly seven.  It's just as well I wasn't planning an early morning swim, isn't it?  And I really do feel better for the extra sleep.

In fact, nothing much is planned until midday when I have my second session with my personal trainer, Lindsey.  It'll be a lot more active and energetic this week, she has threatened, with less talk and more do.  Eeeek!
Actually, I am quite looking forward to it in a slightly masochistic sort of way.  It's slotting into my 'up my fitness levels' drive really well. 

Another thing I think I might be looking forward to is an active holiday she plans once a year in Valencia.  This year's one is next week and, obviously, I'm not going on that one, but then she starts taking bookings for the following year and I am seriously thinking of going.  I know it's not everyone's cuppa but, as long as I can have a singe room, it could be mine!
It's four days 'all in', a mixture of activity (the hotel has a roof top pool and a gym so there's aqua as well as other 'classes' plus a bit of sightseeing and, a really good thing, the flight is from Stansted so, if there's no organised way to get there, I can take a bus. 
I hate driving on the A120 around Bishops Stortford on the Stansted side.  When it was a nice, friendly little local airport, it was so easy to get to but now it's so complicated, I just go through the town or round t'other way to get to Dad's.  The few times I've gone the airport way, I've got thoroughly lost!

After Lindsey's session, there's a gap before tuition and then a shorter gap before Slimming World.  So, lazy morning, rather more busy afternoon and evening.

The other thing I need to do today is plan the weekend meals at Dad's.  Usually I work around what he's got in but this time I suggested I plan and get in what I need and he was more than happy to let me do this.  I can go shopping after my swim tomorrow morning and before I set off so that will work really well.

First of all, though, I will just glance through my planning.  I'm pretty sure I have more than enough materials ready but all through my life as a teacher I have had this dread of running out of work for my class.  It's never happened and I could wing it if it did but . . .

Have a good day whatever you have planned for your life.

Wednesday 11 September 2019


Good morning, everyone.  It's too early to tell what the weather is but it doesn't feel chilly inside so that's hopeful (if somewhat subjective).

After yesterday's later than usual post, today is very early after waking, full of the joys of life, just before four.  However, I have had more or less six solid hours of sleep so maybe, as I am getting older, that's all I need.  It seems to be a developing pattern.

Lunch at the Chinese buffet was lovely.  I caught the bus into town which stops just a few minutes' walk away from the place and three minutes later Beth and Al turned up.
It's been a while since I went there; actually, it's been a while since I had a Chinese meal, what with naughty gallbladders and then continuing with the weight-losing.  It used to be a pretty pokey and dismal place inside but now it is light and airy and decorated with bamboo (real) and pandas (not-real!) and it realy is a much more pleasant environment.

The food was pretty good too and, yes, maybe I had more than I had planned, but the plates were small.  It was all very tasty and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  There was a huge selection of choices.
I'm glad I got the bus home as well as it was a chance to walk the first 'stuffed' feeling off a bit.  I went for another walk later on so that, added to the hour's swim earlier, will have balanced things out a bit (I hope, fingers crossed).

In the time before tuition, I sat down at the computer, opened Google Maps and started planning out a new route to get to Center Parcs, going up on the 120, 131 and 134 (I think that's the main roads).  It looks fairly straightforward; the only really busy bit is going through Bury St Edmunds * and I will Google-drive that a few times to get used to landmarks.  I'm a bit neurotic about new routes.

Did anyone see the Would I Lie To You programme when Susan Calman's was that when she had to drive somewhere, she did the journey beforehand so that when she did the journey, she would know the route?  It turned out to be true and I thought  then 'phew, I'm glad I'm not the only one' only I do it with Google Maps rather than in the car!

Apart from that, the only other thing I did was tuition.  It was good fun, as usual.  My students all seem to be happy back at school with their new teachers, which is lovely.

Today, the diary is blank apart from Jeff who will be turning up at seven thirty to put in an hour's gardening.  It's just general maintaining today but I can see that in a few weeks the runners will be all finished and can come down and once the leaves start dropping there's plenty to do.

I have a governor's report to write, some space crockery to take to the hospice shop and a fair bit of general housework so life won't be dull, that's for sure.  I might also tackle another cupboard or a few drawers in the kitchen too.  I also need to plan the weekend meals (at Dad's) and carry on with planning for my holiday.  The house sitter is all sorted and, as it's a self catering holiday, now I want to plan some lovely, tasty meals to keep me more or less on track and so I know wat supplies to take with me.

Well, it's now five and time for coffee number two before I have my bath and get dressed.  Have a lovely day and may all go well for you.  xx

* Later edit - it looks like I don't have to go through Bury, I sort of go round, so three cheers!

Tuesday 10 September 2019


Good morning, all.  Sorry this is a bit later this morning; I had planned an early morning swim and didn't wake until six so things were just a bit rushed.  I'm home now feeling very healthy!

Well, yesterday turned out to be a pretty miserable day as far as the weather was concerned.  Rain more or less all day, not hard but pretty steady.  Just what the garden ordered.  It's nicer this morning although there's not much sun about - yet.

I got one smallish cupboard sorted out.  It was astounding how much I had managed to pack in - stuff I haven't used for years and which I had pretty much forgotten about.  What I want to keep is back in and isn't threatening to fall out any more, chipped stuff is in the recycling box and the rest will go down to the hospice shop now that Beth has taken a few things.

I won't be doing any more clearing today as it's a busy one.  I'm not long back from my swim (an hour today - yay!) and I will be catching the 11:28 bus into town to meet up with Beth and Alex for lunch at a Chinese buffet.

Then it will be back and out to tuition.

All go!

Monday 9 September 2019


Good morning, everyone. 
Despite a chilly start, yesterday turned out to be a lovely autumnal day, wall to wall sunshine, warm in the sun but much cooler in the shade.  Just perfect for a walk in the country.

I set out early-ish for a swim and found the pool almost empty so I was able to grab my favourite place, next to the central dividing thingy.  The pool is divided into three.  Half of it is for those who consider themselves very slow swimmers, a quarter is for slow swimmers and the last quarter is for fast swimmers.  I generally swim in the half part and like the central position as I'm out of the way of any who want to swim in a group - like the 'gossip girls' who turned up a few minutes after me.  It was a good swim and I enjoyed it.

Once home again, I made and ate breakfast and then got on with bits and bobs.

After lunch, it was so lovely outside that, prompted by another blog, I went out into the country, poly-bags in my back pack, for a pleasant walk and some foraging.  I came home with more damsons and more blackberries.  I could have picked loads more blackberries but I'm not sure what I would use them for nowadays. 
Both hauls are now washed, bagged and in the freezer.

Since I last went that way, the verges have been mowed, making blackberrying much easier and, sadly, the hedges have been lopped quite considerably, thus removing some branches of sloes I was going to pick a bit later.  There are some left but maybe I will leave them for the birds - I have the damsons to make fruit liqueur and the blackberries for winter desserts and really don't need anything else much.  I'll pick more blackberries next time I walk that way and that will be fine.

The leaves are definitely turning now and there were acorns and conkers on the ground.  I hope the latter will delight some young hearts in the next month or so, although playing conkers doesn't appear to be the thing it was a few decades ago.  Seeing those glossy beauties, fresh fallen from the tree, brings back some very happy memories.

Once home, I settled down for a good relax, read and telly fest.  It truly was a gentle and happy day for me.

Today I have all sorts of general bits and bobs to get on with including a couple of loads of washing which will probably have to dry inside as the forecast isn't great for today - indeed, I have just picked today's 'harvest' (runners, tomatoes and chillis plus one raspberry that didn't get as far as the doorstep!) and there are a few drops of rain falling from a cloudy sky with a pnkish tinge.
I want to start sorting out my kitchen cupboards again.  I have all sorts of dishes and bowls that I never use now and which someone else could perhaps make use of so it's time to deal with them. 
I also might pop into school to see when the FS teacher wants me to start.  I'm guessing after half term but just want to make sure.

Then, after school, it's tuition.

So there's plenty to do today and it should be fun.  I hope your day is also fun  xx

Sunday 8 September 2019


Good morning, everyone.  It's just starting to get light out there with everything still grey with just a hint of colour emerging.  It feel jolly chilly too although the heating hasn't popped on so it can't be that bad.  According to the BBC, it's going to be a nice, sunny day today, although it won't go up to 20C all day so no sitting out in the garden.

Yesterday I popped into town on the 9:08 bus with a fairly substantial list.
First stop was M&S.  I had a good look at the new range of clothes (mostly yellows, oranges and browns with barely a pastel colour in sight) before popping upstairs to look at their sports bras.  Plenty to see but none in my size so I reckon I will probably order one online.  Then I had a good wander around the food hall (one of the pleasures of life, better than Harrods becauise I can afford M&S) where they had small sweet potatoes so I bought a couple as small ones are hard to find individually.  I also got some air freshener (I love their floral fragrances) and some pitta bread.

Then I wandered onto the High Street to look round the market.  To my dismay, the fruit and veg stall wasn't there - I wonder what happened to it - so it's just as well I got the sweet potatoes in M&S.  However, I had a nice chat to the spice man while choosing four spice mixes (they're cheaper if you buy four), reckoning that spice season never goes away and I really do enjoy a home made curry.  I didn't linger by the fish stall yesterday but I did get my new fortnightly treat, a loaf of wholemeal sourdough, which is now sliced and in the freezer.

I headed through the precinct which is the way to go to catch the bus back where there are a number of shops I wanted to visit. 

Boots first, for hand cream (periodically, I get dry and 'flaky' patches on my hands and it keeps it at bay) plus a few other bits and bobs.

Then I went into the Body Shop.  There's always such a seductively fruity aroma emanating from that shop and yesterday was no exception.  I actually wanted to get some shampoo and conditioner.  It's rather expensive but my hair loves it so now and again I treat myself.  Unfortunately, I was also drawn to other stuff, including more hand cream (gorgeous) and came out again not only smelling like a strawberry cream tea but with the potential to maintain that for a few weeks to come!  And my hands already feel a lot better again!

I searched and searched for the wholefood shop but, sadly, it has disappeared and the unit has been taken over by something else.  I'm gutted; it was a good place and not terribly costly either.  Such a shame.  So I went into the covered market to get some lentils and also some apples which I had intended to get on the market.  I should have known better - they were cheap, sure, but not terribly nice.  Oh, well.

And finally, I was so lucky - there was a number 56 bus waiting at the stop as I got there.

Once home, I had a joyous quarter of an hour dealing with my purchases before settling down for lunch.  The rest of the day passed smoothly just doing ordinary things.

Strictly has started.  I never particularly enjoy the first programme of the series.  I know it is full of the sparkle and glamour Strictly is noted for but it seems rather false, full of show-off celebrities (most of whom I have never heard of) and professionals who try to be delighted when really they're not necessarily so!  However, once that's over and the work starts, when one gets to know the dancers more, it becomes much more enjoyable.  For me, anyway.
(and I dearly love Anton - as do most grannies, I suspect!)

Today starts off with a swim and probably goes downhill from then on.  It's a bitsa day - a bitsa this and a bitsa that!
There's washing, ironing, tidying, planning, gardening, cooking, reading - all the normal stuff.
As it is definitely getting colder, I want to go through my winter woolies, checking for fit and also starting to decide what I will take with me to Center Parcs next month - in four weeks I will be there. after all!  Come to that, I also need to start thinking about what kitchen supplies I want to take and that requires a bit of meal planning too.

I'd better stop waffling on now and get the day started.  Happy Sunday to us all.  xx

Saturday 7 September 2019


Good morning, everyone.  It's a pleasant start to the day.  Not only is the sun trying to shine, I slept until nearly six o'clock and feel a lot better for it too.

Yesterday, I did actually manage to get back to sleep for a time and when I woke, my head was only slightly 'muggy' so that helped.

The main event, aqua, was good.  A different leader, different exercises, and I really felt I was being worked.  However, the nice thing is that the water supports the exercises so much that, again, I don't have the expected soreness today.  Maybe I am a bit fitter than I thought I was because I was working pretty hard.

I've decided that I won't waste this increase in exercise so have started to keep records so I can get the SW gold Body Magic award.  May as well, seeing as I am doing the exercise anyway.

Today's garden news is that, although the runner beans are now slowing up, finally, finally, the peppers have started to change colour.  Given some sun and a following wind, maybe I will be cutting a few in a week's time.  That would be nice.

Today's main thing is that I'm going into town with quite a long list of Things To Do for once.  I'll be visiting the market, of course, for another sourdough loaf, plus some fruit and veg but there's all sorts of other stuff I need to get/do as well, so I'll be quite busy.  Thank goodness it looks like a fine day today.

Once home again, I have a bit of ironing and, because I've started on the pile of paperwork, I need to get on with that too.  It feels good to have started on it all.

Have a lovely Saturday.  xx

Friday 6 September 2019


Good morning, everyone.  Despite having an energetic day yesterday, I am wide awake way too early.  I've long since given up on trying to nod off again when it's like that so here I am, tap-tap tapping at the keyboard.  With any luck I will get a bit more snooze a bit later.

Yesterday was another gloriously sunny day, albeit not exactly a heatwave!  It's nice to see such bright sunshine and I'm hoping it continues so that the tomatoes keep on ripening!  After all, there's a limit to how much green tomato chutney one can actually get through!

I didn't get the paperwork sorted out yesterday.  It's strange how many excuses one can find to avoid certain tasks, isn't it?  However, I did get a pile of ironing done and put away so that was good.

The personal training thingy was fun.  When Lindsey opened the door to my knock, I thought she looked familiar and she was.  It turns out I taught her son through year one around fifteen years ago - she's changed her name since then so it wasn't familiar.  One of the many things about having taught so long in the same area.
So that started things off well.
Quite a lot of the first session was spent talking.  She asked about general health, diet, aims and expectations, etc, before taking me into her little gym.  After a warm up, she focused on toning and resistance stuff, making notes as we went along.  She will use them to write a full programme for me.
I think it's going to be helpful.

I didn't spend a lot of time in the kitchen but I did skin some tomatoes to freeze whole.  I freeze them in twenties (they are little tomatoes) which is more or less a portion when they're cooked.  I'll probably do some more again today as they're a very useful thing to have and shop tomatoes do get so tasteless in the winter months.

Tuition also went well.  My eleven plusser is now in the final few weeks before the test itself; there's just two more sessions before we stop.

At SW group, I got on the scales with huge trepidation and was very pleasantly surprised to discover that the expected gain was just half a pound.  That made my day, it really did, I couldn't stop smiling.

So, all in all, it was a really lovely day!

Today there's just one thing in the diary - aqua class at one o'clock.  Oh, and the lovely cleaners, so before I go to Aqua, I need to make sure the place is tidy.  I'm sure to be very sleepy later on so will probably have an afternoon post-swim snooze, thankful that nowadays I can!

Well, I'm starting to feel a bit drowsy so maybe it's time to go back up and give sleep another whirl.  I hope you're all sleeping sweetly as I type this and have a great Friday.

Thursday 5 September 2019


Good morning, everyone.  It's stupid o'clock and I'm wide awake but never mind, I can always go back to bed later, if I need to.  I think it's fine outside but it's really too dark to tell.

Yesterday, they picked up the car later than I expected but that's not a problem.  Off it went and back it came, all bright and shiny with a clean bill of health.  The tyres are showing a bit of wear (hardly surprising) and will need looking at carefully in another five thousand miles (they say) but everything else is good.  I'll take it out for a run later.

While stuck at home, I did some cooking, cleaning and tidying, picked some garden stuff and generally chilled.  Nice.

Today will be busier.
I have a stack of paperwork to get sorted and filed.  It's sitting on the work table, looking reproachfully at me, honestly it is!  I suspect a fair amount of it is shreddable and recyclable stuff but we will see.  I'll try to get that done this morning.

At midday, I have my first session with a personal trainer.  I'm more than a bit nervous about this but have only committed to five sessions, one a week, so we will see.

Then it's back to tuition on a regular basis and I have my new student, just for half an hour a week until after my holiday when it extends to an hour.

Then, in the evening, it is my SW group.

No chance to be bored today!

Wednesday 4 September 2019


Good morning, everyone.  Well, we may not have had any rain yesterday but it has certainly made up for it overnight and it's still raining, breezy and rather dark.  No complaints as the garden really did need a bit of a soak but I will need to wrap up to pick the tomatoes today!

Yesterday started off very lazy, ended up very lazy but in between it was pretty active.  I didn't need to leave for Aqua until about eleven thirty and, as I like to go with cossie already on, I saw no point in getting dressed earlier - so I didn't!  I pottered and cleaned and tidied a bit but nothing much.

I really enjoyed the class.  It's been a while since I last went and, maybe it is my imagination, but it seemed much more do-able yesterday.  Maybe I'm stronger than I was then, who knows.  Anyway, I enjoyed it.

Afterwards, I popped into Matalan to look at the new range.  Maybe I have outgrown Matalan, I don't know, but there really wasn't anything I saw that I thought 'Ooooh, I'd like that'.  For a start, the colour trend still seems to be reds, yellows and oranges and the last two do absolutely nothing for me whatsoever.  Never mind, I really don't need any clothes for the winter what with last year's stuff plus what I got from Mum. 

Once home, I had a very late lunch and then just pottered again.  I picked some veg, watered the garden, sorted out the kitchen and watched some telly.  Bake Off is on Tuesday's this year so I enjoyed that before retiring upstairs.

Today, I have to stay around as the car is being picked up for a service/MOT/etc.  It's going to be expensive but it should sort out the various rattles that have materialised recently as well as keeping it legal.  I've moved money across so no problems.

Beth should be round to work so that will also be pleasant.

Well, I'd better get going.  I don't expect anyone will arrive to pick the car up before about nine but I'd better be prepared.
Have a great day, wet or dry.

Tuesday 3 September 2019


Good morning.
You know what - I've just realised what's so great about crossing the line into September.  We won't have to watch/listen to those **^&%£** adverts for PPI any more.  Yippee!

It's a dull old start to the day here with grey skies and something of a breeze.  A heavy downpour would be good; everywhere is bone dry (except for under the veggies which I have kept well watered).  Not at playtimes though - to have wet playtimes on the first day of the new school year would be a dampener in more senses than the obvious!

Yesterday ended up quite busy in a gentle sort of way.  After tuition, I did some washing and drying on the line but not the ironing.  I will do that today.  Then I made quiche using up bits and bobs and it ended up big enough to cut into four quarters, one for yesterday, one for today and two for the freezer.
I also did the lavender; well, I mostly did the lavender because there were a few spikes where the flowers had not dried off so I left them.  The whole plant looks really rather odd now!

I also had a think about my passion flower, the surprise plant that came from seemingly nothing.  The brief history is that I planted one there but it just died, a number of years ago.  However, a few years ago, something started growing there, last year it grew about fifteen inches and this year it has climbed all the way up to the top of the archway, threatening to consort with the runner beans!  Just one stem though so it looks odd.  So I looked it up and, Google tells me that, if I cut it right back to about one to two feet in early spring, it should send out more shoots although it may not flower until the following year.  I'll give it a go and see. 
Hopefully, I will remember that when I do the clematis, also at the same time.

After lunch, I picked up that parcel and then went to Aldi as I realised I was running short of things like longlife milk (for the yogurt), peppers and salad leaves.
You know how Aldi has stacks and stacks of 'bits and bobs'?  Well, I saw some sparkly crayons and bought some for a little friend who was spending the day with Beth.  As Aldi is sort of round the corner, along the road and round the corner from Beth's, I decided to pop them off so paid Beth a short visit.  Nice.

Once home and unpacked, that was more or less it for the rest of the day really, apart from a visitor early evening.  I caught up with some telly, watched a few recordings of Fake or Fortune, read some Kindle and generally chilled until bedtime.

And I slept like a log.  I can't remember the last time I slept until half past seven!

Today is clear in the diary too.  I shall have a swim today, I think, and do the tuition planning for Thursday and I ought to get ahead a bit with my meal planning too.  There's a few piles of clutter to deal with (I swear they breed overnight) and that ironing. 
There's enough there to keep me out of trouble, anyway!

Have a great day and I hope the sun shines on you!  xx

Monday 2 September 2019


Good morning, everyone.

There's a decided nip in the air this morning in spite of sunny, warm days, that reminds me that the year is moving on.  The journey to Dad's and back is along mostly country roads and through wooded areas and tree lined routes and, coming home yesterday,, I was very struck by the colours of the leaves in the trees.  Doing that journey every fortnight for a number of years now, one of the delights is noticing the seasonal changes and this weekend was no exception.  Subtle shades of yellow, orange and brown are beginning to tint the summer green with reminders of autumn and, in the breeze, there were more than a few falling leaves.

And then, back home, going into the garden, things are starting to look just a bit ragged around the edges, just a bit tired and tatty, despite still producing with all their might and main.
I picked a huge, really enormous bowlful of tomatoes and enough runner beans to see me through the week, more or less, plus the cucumber, several chillies and just a few raspberries.  I thought there would have been more berries but not this time.

Up early (sigh) and, as I said, it's a bit chilly, a slippers and dressing gown start to the day, but the forecast is good.  Sunny intervals, a moderate breeze and up to 22C.  Suits me!

It was a good journey home with hold ups only where one would expect to find any decent, self respecting hold up.  This weekend was pleasant and I love staying with Dad but there's always something special about coming home.

Today there's early morning tuition (which is why I came home yesterday and not this morning) and the not-a-lot really.  I have a parcel to pick up at some point which will get me out of the house, and I need to find homes for Mum's books as well as going through her cookery files which have got into a bit of a mess really.  Mind you - any excuse to indulge in a new and pretty hard backed file!

I intend spending some time reading through all my SW books as mentioned in t'other blog and I also ought to sort out my SW recipe files, partly to get them sorted out and partly for new ideas (or reminders of old ideas).

So that's today.  It should be a good one, I hope, for all of us, not just for me.

Sunday 1 September 2019


Good morning, everyone, and a pinch and punch for the first of the month!  September has arrived and we are now in the final third of this year with autumn peeping around the door.

Yesterday was a gentle day.  It started off with an early morning shop to the big Tesco in Baldock to get things for dinner.  Early Saturday morning is always a good time to go; it's not crowded but there's enough people there to make it interesting.

After that and after breakfast, I signed some papers relating to Mum's will (I'm one of the executors) and then I helped Dad get a box of old photos down from the attic as he is slowly working his way through them.  We also had a good look through a very old photo album.  It was bitter-sweet but good at the same time.

After lunch, I set to and sorted out Mum's cookery books.  I meant to several weeks ago, as you may remember, but didn't as things were quite fragile and they would have needed to be left out for people to go through during the week (to see if they wanted to take any of them).  It's different now.
So down they came and there were a few that are now in my car.  Mum was a great Delia fan, as am I, and I also have her files with her hand written recipes and things cut from magazines, etc, which I will go through at my leisure and sort out properly.

Once that was done, I moved the mixer and attachments up to the shelf vacated by the books.  Dad never uses it and hopes to find someone who will be able to make use of it - it's a fairly new Kenwood.  I have the same one but a smaller model, and it's a good machine. 
However, for now, it's out of the way and no longer collecting dust.

Beth and Alex popped up for dinner and we had a great old time talking about family funnies from the past.  I thought I'd made far too much dinner but Alex, with the appetite of a young adult, proved me wrong there.

This morning, Dad's off to a united service in town this morning as I will hold the fort at home.  We're having our main meal midday as I'm off home this afternoon so I'll be raiding the line of runner beans down the bottom of the garden!

Once home, the first job will be to water the garden (assuming it's not raining which, I gather, it might be) and picking the ripe stuff before unpacking and doing a bit of planning for tuition first thing Monday morning.  Everything gets back into regular routine this coming week.  I have lost all my last year's year sixes, of course, plus another who is doing well and no longer needs any support, and I have gained one new student.  School starts tomorrow but it's an INSET day so I won't be resuming my Foundation Stage granny-helping until next Monday.  Even then, they might not need me as the new littlies do mornings only for the first weeks and the staff do their home visits in the afternoons.

I'm now four years retired but, right now, I am still getting that tight little knot of a slight apprehension inside me about a new school year and not being completely ready (as if one ever is completely ready!), wondering how the new class will pan out and whether I will get on with them.  Strange, isn't it?

I'll stop rambling on now.  Have an enjoyable Sunday and, if you are in education, I hope you have a great first week of the new school year