Sunday 31 October 2021


 Good morning.

I spent some of yesterday catching up on a backlog of blog reading.  I think I have caught up now and apologies if I've missed anyone.  Now to keep up and comment!

I had a very welcomed letter yesterday, reminding me of the winter fuel payment.  I'd pretty much forgotten about this until Sue mentioned it on her blog.  It means I can turn the heating up a bit, if needed, without too much worry although, obviously, I'd rather not.  One reason for knitting a couple of chunky cardigans is so I have something to layer up with, if needed.
One of the advantages of being nearly a golden oldie - well, an oldie anyway!

Today was an early start, of course, with the time change, but I woke feeling great for the first time in about a week.  I've been bustling around getting things ready for a good old roast dinner with Beth and Alex.  I've made the bean crumble for Beth, the bread sauce, the cranberry sauce, the batter for the Yorkshires, prepped all the veg and generally got as much done as possible short of actually starting the cooking thereof.

You never know - I might even get the ironing done today.  It's chucking it down outside so there's no way I would want to go out.
What's the weather like down your way?

Have a lovely day; stay warm, dry and happy.  xx

Saturday 30 October 2021


 Good morning, everyone.  It's a dull old morning again and we've had overnight rain.  Yesterday started sunny and then the clouds blew over and it absolutely poured.  I was very glad I wasn't going anywhere.

Thank you very much for all your kind messages.  I'm feeling much more me this morning, thank goodness.  The back is much easier and all the aches seem to have gone.  
I spent a lot of yesterday dozing, on and off, and when I wasn't dozing, I was knitting and watching telly.

The knitting is growing rapidly now and I have sussed out how the front works with the front bands included.  It's knitted all in one, up one side, shape the shoulders (no neck shaping, it just seems to happen), carry on with the band rib around the back, then cast on the shoulders and knit down to the bottom of the other side.  I've never done that before so - well, we will see, won't we?

Another little treasure I brought back from Dad's is something that belonged to my Dad's dad, my Grampy.  He died suddenly in September, 1970 at the age I will be next year (eeek), a few weeks before I left home for college, but I do remember him quite well.  He was a lovely chap and, in his time, a very successful and hard working owner of his own business in partnership with a friend.  As it was in Kettering, it was boot and shoe related, of course, just as my Mum's dad had a boot and shoe related business.  They were not connected. - Mum and Dad met through the church.

Anyway, Beth and I found this little book tucked away in the office bureau drawer.

On the inside of the front cover it says "From the Y. M. C. A. Hut, Dec. 5th 1918  Fulham Military Hospital and on the facing page, all the addresses he, Nanna and my Dad lived.  I don't mind showing them, there's none of my family there now and they are just addresses.
Grampy, like so many of the young men who fought in WWI, never, ever spoke about it, not to anyone, even Nanna and Dad, so I can only guess of the traumas he suffered and why he was in a military hospital just after the end of the Great War.
There is no way I could have let this treasure see the inside of the bin.  It will go into my memory box and when I go, Beth will treasure it too.

Today I'm not going to push things.  In spite of everything, I achieved some things.  There's a goodly collection of Delia's sausage rolls in the freezer now and there's some raspberry gin and blackcurrant vodka steeping in bottles, to be shaken every day for a fortnight and them popped away in a dark place.  In about a month or so, I will need to strain out the fruit as the pips tend to give a woody flavour if left in too long.
The blackcurrants were from Chris, picked from her bushes, so she will get some of them back in drinkable form!

So I might do some ironing, I might do some housework, but that chances are I will watch telly, knit and snooze.  As Beth and Al are round for Sunday dinner tomorrow, I will do a bit of prepping for that too but, all in all, another very easy day!

Friday 29 October 2021


 Good morning.

First of all, for Laurie and anyone else interested, here's the link to the vegetarian sausage roll recipe, courtesy of St Delia.
There is, of course, a background to it, a family story.

Beth decided that she wanted to go vegetarian at around the age of ten.  Knowing my Beth, I knew it wasn't a 'fad' - she didn't really do fads - and I knew she had thought it all out very carefully so I was happy to accommodate her wishes in our family meals.  It wasn't difficult.
My Mum also picked it up and ran with it, bless her.  She was particularly concerned that Beth would not feel left out over Christmas, always a big family celebration, so she did some trawling through the cookery books.   She found various recipes including this Delia recipe and gave it a go.  It was such a success that all the vegetarian sausage rolls were devoured by everyone while the meat ones were more or less left on the table.
So every year from then on, we have Delia's vegetarian sausage rolls.  We all love them.

Another item I brought back on Wednesday was a pot.
Many of you will remember that a few years ago I reconnected with an old college friend, Suzanne.  She invited me to share a holiday with some French relatives on their estate in Trados.
At college, Suzanne's second subject was pottery.  She was a very gifted young potter and gained a very high end of course mark.
She gave Mum and Dad one of the pots she had made, a small, thrown pot using her 'signature' glaze that she used quite a lot.  It is this pot that I pulled out of the cupboard Beth and I were sorting out, thought 'I recognise this style' and turned over.  Sure enough . . .

Apologies for the inconvenient shadow.

I will look for a small plant in a pot to put in it - it will definitely be used.

I'm still not feeling all that good so I'm staying in and have let Jen know I won't be at SW today.  The cleaners come this afternoon but I can go upstairs and hide!  It's nothing 'nasty', just very worn out and weary.
Yesterday's List Of Things is still valid, if I feel like it, in my own time and at my own pace.  It'll be fine.
Take care, stay well and have a great Friday.  xx

Thursday 28 October 2021


Good morning, everyone.  It is a lovely morning; the skies are clear with vapour trails drifting across and it seems mild, although that might be because I woke, for once, after the heating came on, not before.  I haven't been to the shed yet.

Yesterday was busy.  We set off for Dad's, Beth and I, arriving there after a very easy journey (no school run this week, of course) and set to.  We did all sorts of bits and bobs, taking stuff downstairs and into the car port, sorting out some of Dad's office (and finding a key that was needed - yay!), making up beds for when John, Gina and Nathan come in two weekends' time, sorting out one of the floor cupboards in the kitchen, and so on.
It doesn't sound much when listed like that but I was really glad to get it all done.  

Unfortunately, I tweaked my back a bit.  Nothing bad, I'm not complaining (much) but it did rather curtail things but we were both flagging by then anyway.
We had a feast of leftovers from Beth's birthday meal for lunch, all warmed up in the microwave.
And I brought the used bedding home - Dad's washing machine is a bit unreliable and anyway there wasn't time to wash, dry and iron the bedding for two beds.  So that's on the list for today and then I must remember to take it back next time I go.

I also came back with a few more bits and bobs.  A couple of books and some pottery.
One of the books is a little Christmas book that can go with the little collection I have that comes out at That Time - sort of 'coffee table' things. 
The other is an old hardback of the London Family trilogy - A London Child of the Seventies, A London Girl of the Eighties and A London Home in the Nineties, by M V Hughes.  The fourth book, A London Family Between the Wars, is not included but I have that as a paperback.  I wasn't going to let this particular book go anywhere else but onto my own bookshelf.
I am sure many of you will know these books but, if you don't, I thoroughly recommend them.  She was a remarkable girl/woman in her own quiet way and there's an awful lot about early education for girls in the books.  A very clever girl, she attended the North London Collegiate School and her stated aim in writing the books was  "to show that Victorian children did not have such a dull time as is usually supposed".  They are very readable, I think.
If you get the opportunity, do give them a try.  

The pottery was a real blast from the past but I will write about that tomorrow as this is already too long!

I'm a bit frazzled today (it's always emotional, going back to Dad's, even more so when fondly remembered things have to go in the bin) so, apart from one thing, I am taking today and tomorrow to  r&r.  I don't mean they will be lazy days, they won't.  My list includes:
the weekly shop (the one scheduled thing)
making the family traditional Delia Vegetarian sausage rolls for Christmas
making some fruit flavoured gin and vodka, also for Christmas
bit of ironing, etc

Oh, must mention - Beth really likes the cardigan I'm making, the one with the herringbone type stitch, so when I've finished it, I'm starting one for her for Christmas.  I have warned her that she might not get it bang on time - she is somewhat larger than me so it will take a lot more knitting!  She even likes the colour but I'll show her the other colours she could have before getting anything.  I can make all my mistakes on my one before starting hers!
Nice to have that one sorted!

Better go - I have some shopping to get done!  Have a good day and take care.  xx

Wednesday 27 October 2021


 Morning, everyone.

So here it is - my version of the loaded chocolate cheesecake.  The Destroyer of Diets, the Calorie Catastrophe!

With wonky candles!

It was lovely but very, very hard to slice.  Extremely rich too - I couldn't manage much.

We had a super day but it's time to move on now.  Today Beth and I are up to Dad's to do a bit more clearing, just for a few hours.  I want to leave for home by four o'clock but we can do quite a lot in those few hours.
That's it, really.  Hopefully, back to normal tomorrow.  Be good!  :-)

Tuesday 26 October 2021


 Good morning, everyone.

Well, my culinary efforts turned out well yesterday.  I now have a most delicious looking and smelling rich fruit cake which I will start feeding in a few weeks' time, now wrapped up in parchment and foil until I get around to finding the right sized container.  Now I have to decide how I want to ice it - plenty of time to explore possibilities but I am am umming and ahing about plain icing and some little figures on top.
In the fridge, there is the basics of the cheesecake; the recipe worked really well, it tastes lovely (I had to check, didn't I, before allowing the top and the bottom to meet?) and it's going to be great!

First of all, though, I went into town good and early, to have a meander around my favourite shops before the hearing appointment.  I looked round Wilkinson's and got festive air freshener thingies and  a scanted candle - got to have festive scented candles - before walking on to a few other places, including M&S, where I got a two pack of leggings.  It's getting colder and I find leggings under my jeans helps me keep warm - long johns for the 21st century!
H&M was dreary - all drab beiges and fawns and very few pops of colour.  Disappointing.

At Specsavers, I saw 'my' audiologist chappie who was most apologetic and assured me that all the info was now on the system (about flippin' time, I thought, but just thanked him - oh, the demands of a civilised society) before getting out my right aid, which is new as it wasn't worth repairing the other.  No wonder it wasn't working.  He also got them both tuned to my new prescription.  It's so clever, all done with technology.  He put both my aids next to some gadget that was connected to the computer, clicked a few buttons and it was all done they are now tuned to my latest audiology results and, fair enough, I noticed a positive difference straight away.  

After that, I meandered down Bond Street and into John Lewis where I found something I've been looking for for ages - a small, glass measuring jug.  I get a bit irritated when I need to use my big pyrex jug for small amounts but this one is a maximum of 250 mls and just what I've wanted.  Lovely!

Once home, I checked emails and discovered that Lindsey had cancelled circuits.  I know hardly anyone was able to go as it was half term so fair enough and, to he honest, I was quite glad as there was lots to do.  So I started in on the cake and cheesecake and got it all done.

Today is VERY busy and I am more than glad that I have various supplies in the freezer.  It's Beth's birthday and she and Al, Dave and Anna will be round for dinner this evening - Beth and Al are coming mid afternoon.  She's asked for jacket potatoes with topping so out of the freezer I have dug some bean/tomato mix and some pork mince bolognaise stuff to turn into chilli,  That, with grated cheese, soured cream and a mixed salad, plus the cheesecake and assorted drinks, will do the trick nicely and will provide leftovers for tomorrow.

However, it starts with an hour of tuition, changed from yesterday because of the hearing aid appointment.  It's half term so it's an early morning thing.  Then I will go shopping for last minute stuff, then it's home to get sorted, make sure the guest room is ready and generally tidy up.

Better got going, hadn't I?  It's going to be a good day and I hope yours is as well.  All the best and stay safe and well.  xx

Monday 25 October 2021


 Morning, everyone.  Monday again and the start of half term round here.  Here's hoping the weather is good or at least dry.  

I got a fair bit done yesterday.  As always, things took longer than anticipated and you'd think I'd have expected that at at my age.

The herbs and spices are now sorted and much more accessible.  There were a whole load of herbs in particular that didn't have any fragrance at all.  Goodness only knows how old they were.  They all went straight out.  The spices weren't so bad as I tend to use them more; herbs come from the garden where possible.  Despite all the stuff that went in the bin, there's nothing I need to actually replace as I have recently replaces things like paprika, chilli flakes, etc - things I use more.

The high cupboards were easily dealt with, apart from the one with the medical box.  Must do that one this week.

I got a fair bit of washing done but not much ironing.  That's carried over to today - probably this evening, in fact.

Them, in the evening, Strictly and knitting kept me busy.  They're also reshowing a series called Back in Time for School so I caught up with that as far as it's gone on iPlayer.  I really loved the Back in Time series and wonder if they will do another one at some point.
(I've just Googled and, yes, Back in Time for Birmingham, scheduled for 2022 - yay!)

On to today.  It starts off with my appointment at the audiology section of Specsavers for which I have received notification on both mobile and as email.  They've learnt!  I'm hoping there will be time for a little wander around H&M and Wilkinson's as well.
Then it's home for breakfast and then circuit training, after which I have an afternoon of goodie baking.  Christmas cake and birthday cheesecake (Beth's birthday tomorrow).  I'll tackle the cake first and, while that's slowly scenting the whole house, I'll do the basics of the cheesecake which is a no-bake one.

Here it is, scanned from the Good Food's Homemade Christmas magazine.  I'll make the cake today and decorate it tomorrow.  No point having temptation in the house any more than necessary, is there?
( sorry, it scanned squiffy)

And then, in the evening, telly, ironing and knitting.
A nice, positive, productive day today.  It should be fun; I hope yours is too.  xx

Sunday 24 October 2021


 Good morning, everyone.  Apologies for the lateness of this one.  I woke late (late for me anyway), had a slow start, got going in the kitchen, did some social mediating, and have just got round to this.
It's nice and sunny outside although the sun is low and it's not all that warm really.

Yesterday was also a slow day although I felt myself getting better as the day went on and now I'm fine.  The moral is stay off the sugar free gum!!

Really, I just pottered yesterday, doing bits and bobs between knitting rows and - well, pottering makes you feel you aren't doing much but, looking back, it wasn't so bad really.

Today, to make sure I do things, I have a list; a real list, not just one in my head.
high cupboards (I know which ones I mean)
herbs and spices
Christmas cake
finish washing
do ironing and putting away

It might not all get done, of course, but there's several idle days to catch up on and I'll do my best.

Have a great Sunday, one and all.  Stay safe and be happy.  xx

Saturday 23 October 2021


 Morning, everyone.  Cloudy and rather chilly this morning and the heating doesn't know whether to be on or off - I keep hearing the thermostat clicking in (or out)!  

Well, after saying things were better yesterday, I had a bit of a relapse and I was so, so tired I slept most of the afternoon away.  Oh, well, at least I can rest, if necessary.

I got the shopping done and put away so that was good.  I also managed to sort out two more bags of stuff in the freezer which was also good.  And got on with some knitting in between dozes.  Now I just feel worn out really.  Maybe it wasn't just the sorbitol, who knows?

Today, I had planned to mix and make the Christmas cake but maybe I'll wait until tomorrow.  I'll see how I feel later on and decide then.
I also have some washing and ironing but, again, nothing urgent.
What I do have to do is some slow cooking.  When I sorted out the freezer, there were some random and very old lamb chops and lamb sizzle steaks (don't ask - I have no idea) which I remember were very tough so they have defrosted and I'm going to slow casserole them until falling apart, get rid of every little bit of fat and then re-freeze in single portions for things like lamb hotpot, etc.  Can't waste lamb, even if it is old or tough.

So it's another gentle, undemanding day and, maybe, I will feel a bit brighter tomorrow.
Have a great day, take care and I hope everyone is OK.  xx

Friday 22 October 2021


 Morning, everyone.  Yesterday felt pretty chilly, even in the sunshine and, yes, we had more rain.  I have no idea what it's like right now, it's far too dark and the house is just warming up so I won't be opening any doors yet.  :-)

It turned out to be a rather weird day.

First of all, Chris and I had our chat online.  Last Sunday Chris and her husband were at a friends' place and they have since then tested positive to Covid.  C & S have tested negative and will test again at the weekend but they are taking a better safe than sorry approach and isolating a bit.  They're going to pick up a click and collect tomorrow but that's it.  They both feel fine so I think things will be OK but it's a bit of a worry.

The next might be tmi so feel free to skip it.  I set off for the Clock Tower shops but, as I drove in, I though 'I'm not going to make it,' so drove straight back home again - and I wouldn't have made it - which would have been highly embarrassing.
I had over indulged in sugar free chewing gum and - well, you can guess the rest.
I'm fine now, just feeling a bit empty as I didn't feel like eating for the rest of the day.  Actually, I didn't feel poorly just . . . er, windy!

And then, after knitting the back plus one and a half sleeves of the jacket I'm making, I decided that I was making it a size too small (something I have been wondering about all week and should have acted on much sooner) so I spend some time unravelling it all and starting again.
A nuisance, yes, but the yarn was not cheap and what's the point making something if you're not sure you will wear it?
So I've started the back again and, to be honest, doing it much better this time.  The stitch wasn't easy to correct when I made a mistake.

So, yes, a weird day!

Today starts with Slimming World and then I'm going to pop straight back to the shops to do my weekly shop that I didn't do yesterday.  The house is clean and tidy but there's washing, drying and ironing to keep me occupied so I won't be too lazy.
Have a great day, everyone, and stay warm.  

Thursday 21 October 2021


It's very mild at the moment round here.  After teeming rain in the morning yesterday, out came the sun and dried up all the rain so I am sure Incey Wincey got climbing again.  In the afternoon I opened the French windows which was very pleasant.

Personal training was great.  Now that the calf/ankle problem is minimal, I really feel 'worked out' each week and the circuits session on Monday keeps the feeling going.  There's a big difference between  just doing your own thing and having someone there to encourage and keep you going.  There is for me, I mean.  Probably others are a lot more motivated!

I sorted out another bit of my freezer and now have another section to add to my list!  Shopping is going to be much cheaper for a while - no complaints here.

Yesterday was a nice, quiet day and today looks like being the same.  I'm not sure whether I will do my shop early morning or leave it for a while - I think I will just see what that particular precinct is like late morning.  I'd like to take a look round Dunelm and that's always closed when I usually go.

I have the usual weekly coffee and chat with Chris at ten.  I'm looking forward to hearing her news.  Then I'm off for the shop.  This afternoon, the cleaners are coming instead of tomorrow, just as a one off.  That works well for me so I am happy to go along with it.  It will be back to Friday again next week and I must thing about contacting Gabriela (in their office) about Christmas arrangements.  I usually treat myself to an extra clean over Christmas but have to get in early as there are limited extra times available.
So stuff is happening but it's all nice and gentle.  

Have a great day and be happy.  xx

Wednesday 20 October 2021


 Morning, everyone.  It's not nice outside - it's been raining hard and still is a bit damp.  However, the sky seems to the brightening up so fingers crossed.

I slept very badly over Monday night and it was a struggle to keep awake yesterday but worth it - I didn't wake until nearly seven this morning.  For me, that's a serious lie in and it feels great!

I started yesterday by hopping into town to do a couple of necessary things and a bit of looking around.
They were very helpful in the bank.  I had a chunk of money to send over to John to help pay the tax bill on Dad's estate.  It can't go to probate until that's been paid which seems a bit mean to me and not everyone is foresighted enough to make provision and therefore people have to borrow against their inheritance - and that's expensive.  Anyway, without going into details, Dad had made provision, I sent a large chunk over to John with the bank's help, he got the money by yesterday evening and things can move forward.  It's getting there!

Then I went to the hearing aid department in Specsavers to ask a few questions and nearly had an argument.  Not quite because I don't do arguments but I was quite annoyed.
I've been waiting for them to contact me about returning one of my aids that needed a repair.  I specified text or email as I don't do phones.  I heard nothing for a while so, as I was in town, I thought I'd ask.  You can guess the next, can't you.  Yes, they've been phoning.  I was rather cross as I had stated specifically and given the audiologist my email and mobile number (which didn't get into the system) but I was more cross when one of them (who really should have known better) said 'Can't you get a neighbour or family member to help?'
So I pointed out that they are assuming that I don't live alone, which I do, and that I have neighbours who can drop everything when my phone rings and get to my house before the phone stops ringing, assuming that they are not out at work (which they are) and anyway . . . 
After all - they are an audiology department - they should know all that and certainly shouldn't be saying something like that to a customer who has made their preferred method of communication clear in the past.
I went all teacher-y and firm and the capitals above are emphasis, not shouting.  I laughed about it afterwards; teacher instinct still clicks in, even after over six years retired.

I came away with the reassurance that all this would go into my 'details' (lord only knows what they will put but I don't care) and carefully wrote down my email (which I know they already have) and mobile (ditto) plus an appointment for Monday morning as the repaired aid needs tuning in again.

Then I had a meander around, got a few bits and bobs, was tempted by some Christmas PJs (no, I didn't) and meandered home for a late breakfast.

The rest of the day was homey things, starting off the Christmas cake and so on.  It's amazing how lovely dried fruit and alcohol can smell, even when covered with cling film.

Today is just personal training so I will fill it with more homey things.  Gentle, peaceful and satisfying.
Have a lovely day too - and stay safe and well.  xx

Tuesday 19 October 2021


 Morning, everyone.  We've had rain overnight and it's still drizzling as I discovered when I took my early morning trip to the shed to get today's supplies out of the freezer.  Very mild though, which is good.

Yesterday was a much more active day that the weekend.  Lazy is all well and good but a bit of action is more fun.

I started off getting myself into a bit of a muddle with times.  After a meandering start, I set off to specific shops without checking the time.  When I did glance at my watch, I realised that I needed to get a move on in order to be home in time for circuit training which Lindsey was delivering online instead of face to face (for very good reasons).

I got a few of the things on my list but not everything but the rest can jolly well wait!

Circuits was good but because I'd unintentionally missed breakfast, I snatched a banana and an apple just before it started and the energy was just beginning to flow towards the end of the session.  Oh, well, I'm sure it was good for me anyway.

Tuition was fine as usual.  I'm blitzing the beginnings of algebra with my student and they are starting to get the hang of the very first steps.  I was terribly confused about algebra when I started it (at secondary school - they start it earlier now) so I am being as careful as I can be to make sure they really understand each step of the journey.

I discovered something about my new little coffee to go machine.  It makes jolly good herbal/fruit tea!  I fancied lemon and ginger, being all coffee-d out, so thought I'd try one tea bag, just to see how it worked, and the results were just how I like it - not too weak and not too strong.  As I type, I'm enjoying a spiced apple one and it's equally nice and so much easier than a bag in a mug.

Today is Christmas Cake start day.  It was my lovely Mum's birthday on Oct 19th and it always marked the day when the dried fruit met the alcohol for the first time.
She and I use/used Delia's classic cake recipe although I modify it somewhat with dried cranberries and I use Cointreau, not brandy, because it's lovely!
So later on, that's what I will be doing.  The cake itself will probably be mixed up and baked Friday or Saturday, I'll see how the time works out.  It's not hard but you do have to be around!

The other thing for today is that I have to go into town to my bank so I thought I would take the opportunity to mooch around and do a bit of window shopping.  I still haven't got the courage to travel by bus though, something I used to love doing.  However, there's a fair bit of Covid amongst the local teens right now, spread in school, and while they won't be on the bus, contacts might be.  I'm not risking it and will take my car.  At least the petrol thing has sorted itself out, fingers crossed.

I meant to sort out my herbs and spices shelf at the weekend but never got round to it so I could do that this afternoon.
And there's a pile of washing awaiting my attention . . .
Oh, well, it keeps me going.
Have a super day, everyone, and stay well and dry!  xx

Monday 18 October 2021


 Good morning.  It's really misty this morning.  Maybe that means sunshine later on, that would be really nice.

Yesterday was, as expected, another pretty easy day, the big difference being I got dressed!  I did a fair bit of pottering inside, sorting, tidying, cooking, etc and it was all thoroughly satisfying.

Today is going to be more active.  There's three things I need to do.

The first is a bit annoying but it's my own fault and lack of thinking ahead really.  I've run out of things that I need before my next weekly shop, grrrrrr.  I think I will go to one of the 'cheap' shops as they are more likely to have what I want in.

At midday it's circuit training which, due to unforeseen and essential circumstances, Lindsey is delivering online today.  It's a shame because it's nice to work with others but she does online well so no worries there and it will save me travelling time and petrol.
(Better remember to set up my webcam ahead of time.  Now where did I put it?)

And finally, it is tuition after school.  After getting rid of unneeded tuition stuff I've gone and bought another book but it will be useful for this particular student so I'm not sorry!

Well, this is short (for me) and sweet and I will now pop over to Facebook and do my admin duties there.  Have a great day, one and all.  Stay safe and well.
See you tomorrow!  xx

Sunday 17 October 2021


Good morning, everyone.  It's Sunday, it's dark and cool enough for my nice long towelling dressing gown.  The forecast, yet again, it 'light clouds and a gentle breeze'.  I'm not complaining; much better than those autumn storms we can get at this time.

Thank you to everyone who answered my question about soft coffee pods.  I actually have some coffee bags which I might try - the soft pods sound just like them apart from the shape.  I sometimes use the bags in my cafetiere instead of loose grounds so worth a go.
What I like about my new little machine is that the coffee collects in an insulated mug with a lid.  It makes enough for two of my mugs so it's sitting beside me as I type, keeping the bottom half hot while I drink the top half (in a mug!).

Yesterday was the laziest day ever.  I can't remember the last time I stayed in pjs all day, even when unwell.  It has to be well before I retired and even then the weekends were generally too busy not to be dressed.  Obviously, I didn't go out.  I spent some considerable time going through all my recorded programmes on the telly, deleting loads and watching some before deleting.  Then I went to the shed and sorted through one bag of stuff, the beef and lamb bag.  You won't remember, I think, that last year I bought some big, fairly firm sided bags (like boxes with handles) and gave my disgracefully messy freezer a good sort out.  Now, it is so easy to just lift out one bag at a time and tidy that one without feeling I have to do the whole job.  Today I will do the chicken and fish bag.

I enjoyed Strictly.  Week four and, as the judges kept saying or implying, they're expecting more now and their marking was correspondingly lower.  I enjoyed it very much, I know who I think should go this week but it doesn't always happen the the worst dancer goes - think Anne Widdicomb, for example, or that newsreader whose name temporarily escapes me - John Sergeant, that's the one.  I don't count Ed Balls in that - his dancing was definitely in a league of its own and deserved to go through for several weeks - will anyone who saw it ever forget that Gangnam style dance?  I know I won't.  

Today is another stay at home day but I'm definitely getting dressed today - it was oddly unsatisfying, despite getting a reasonable amount achieved.
I want to sort out the chicken and fish bag in the freezer (I really just need an updated list of what's there, it's not terribly untidy really) and then, as the weather looks reasonably good, I want to give the garden an autumn haircut!  There's hardly any tomatoes left on the plants now and what's there is not ripening so they can all go into the brown bin or compost heap and the beds need a good tidy up.  An hour or so will do the lot, there's not all that much really.
Inside, I need to sort through my spice shelf.  It's getting hard to find what I want and some of my herbs and spices are very old and lacking in any punch now.  Some I can just discard, I think, and some need replacing.

It should be a satisfying day, I hope.  Have a good one too, everyone.  Any special plans?

Stay safe and healthy and be happy.  xx

Saturday 16 October 2021


Good morning, everyone.  Today is another dry but slightly dull sort of day but maybe the sun will come along later. 

I have a correction and a question . . .

The stitch for my knitting project isn't 'honeycomb' (my fingers obviously developed a mind of their own at that point yesterday), it is a sort of herringbone effect.  Well, they both begin with H!  It's growing fast, even though the stitch itself is quite slow.  I haven't knitted much chunky in the past, preferring Aran patterns, but I'm really enjoying this.
My other yarn arrived yesterday nicely packed in a couple of fine gauze bags which will come in useful long after the yarn has gone.  I've not ordered from LoveCrafts before so it was unexpected.

The questions is . . .
Well, I ordered a 'coffee to go machine' from Aldi (dead cheap and makes smaller amounts than my large percolator) for which you can use ground coffee or 'soft pods'.  
My question is, what are 'soft' pods, how do they differ from the other (hard??? pods).  Diane, you're a coffee expert, can you help, please?  I just don't want to be getting the wrong sort of thing (and I want to try them although I'll almost certainly go with ground coffee usually).

Today is going to be a quiet day with lots of knitting, I think.  Have a lovely one too and stay safe and well.  xx

Friday 15 October 2021


 Morning, everyone.  It's still dark, of course, but I've been out to get supplies for the day from the shed and it's both dry and milk so fingers crossed for a pleasant day.

Yesterday passed gently with one surprise.

Chris and I had a good old natter, as always.  I'm sure we talk about stuff everyone talks about - petrol, Covid, the dire state of our national political scene, families, etc.  While we were chatting in her front room, a van drew up and it was one of my parcels of yarn.  Yay!
It wasn't the yarn that I wanted for the pattern I linked to the other day but for one of the free downloads so, surprise, I sat down straight away and started.
It's a nice stitch, a sort of honeycomb effect and one I've not come across before.  It's a bit slow but, hey, it's chunky so 'slow' is comparative!  One good thing is that it is more or less self checking and one couldn't go more than a row wrong without realising - just as well because to pick back and remake would be pretty well impossible.
I've tried to take a photo but the colours are all wrong, they're not the least like the photo - much darker and there's no orange, nor is it purple in the least.  However, you can see the stitch.

I managed to put it down to do my weekly shop and now I have all I need to start off the Christmas cake on the 19th (family tradition).  I'm not going too fancy; just a bag of mixed fruit and peel, some glace cherries, some cranberries and Cointreau instead of brandy.  The house should smell nice while it's all soaking.

The surprise was a text from Alex saying could he come over for a chat followed by something to the effect that it wouldn't be a special chat, just a 'normal' one, bless him.
So I had a lovely chat with Alex.  He didn't stay for dinner because he's not keen on fish and that's what I was having.

Today is the same as usual.  Slimming World, tidy house, cleaners come, nice, lazy evening.  And knitting.  What's not to like there?
May your day be as nice as I expect mine to be.  xx

Thursday 14 October 2021


 Good morning, everyone.  It's quite light now and looks to be another fine but not terribly warm day; 'light cloud and a moderate breeze' says the Beeb.  Fine by me.

Yesterday was nice and gentle but slightly annoying.  Well, more than slightly as neither of my yarn parcels actually arrived despite me shelling out for a next day delivery.  I know there are issues right now but if they can't make the next day, they shouldn't be offering it.

Having said that, I have an email that says one of them will arrive between ten and eleven this morning and if it does, I will forgive and forget.  Maybe the other one will come today too but I only need one to start knitting.

I did get a parcel however.  On Monday, I ordered some Christmas candles.  Most candles are easy to get hold of but I need (ok - want) some that are specific shapes - some ball shaped ones to go on the candle holders I made in pottery a couple of years ago and also some teardrop shaped ones for a specific candle holder.  

Here it is, brought back from Mum and Dad's attic last weekend.  I now have two of them because when Mum and Dad bought this one decades ago (literally decades ago) , they also bought one for me.  I need to replace those shiny bits on mine and will be looking around to see if I can find anything suitable.
So - red teardrop candles which I have to get from one place.  I'm sure they are sold elsewhere but I can't find anywhere else online (I bet someone will prove me wrong now).
I wasn't expecting the candles to arrive so soon so that was a pleasant surprise.

I really enjoyed personal training.  My fitness levels are definitely improving again and Lindsey makes it all great fun.

On to today, usually I am out on an early morning shop at this time but I don't have much to get and am going to the local Morrisons today so I'll go later as I know parking won't be a problem.

Before then I am over to Chris' for our usual weekly coffee and chat and, as that's when the delivery is due to arrive, I will leave a note on my front door asking them to take it there.

After that and when the shopping is done and put away, the rest of the day will be devoted to getting the house in reasonable order and knitting.    Nice.

I hope your day goes really well.  Stay warm, safe and well.  xx

Wednesday 13 October 2021


 Good morning, one and all.

I had a very pleasant time with Val.  We changed our plans and went to Blake House Craft Centre instead as we both wanted something that we can get on with on these longer and darker evenings and I also wanted to get a bit of sale fabric with an autumn vibe and if you read my other blog, you will see why.
Val was very quick to agree - we both love it there and it's pretty close to where she lives.

We started off with a coffee (me) or cuppa tea (Val).  There's a splendid yarn shop at the centre, Sconch, which, until Covid came along, ran classes, had knitting groups, coffee and craft, that sort of thing.  All that stopped, sadly (restarting this month, I believe) and they went over to online sales.  However, the shop has taken over the coffee shop so you can buy your yarn and pattern and then start it there and then over a nice hot drink or a light lunch.
Maybe another time . . .
Anyway, we had a good old chat over our drinks before exploring the shop.

It took me a while but I found a pattern for a jacket in a chunky yarn.  See, I don't NEED any more hand knits but I would like a chunky cardigan/jacket thingy to put on as it gets colder when I'm indoors.  Here's a link to it online although I am adding considerably to the length as I think it's too short for the style and certainly too short for me and, looking at the measurements, it will be looser fitting too.  I've never made a collar like that before but it looks easy enough.  I didn't get that yarn though; I don't want self stripes and anyway they didn't have it.  I found a heathery coloured chunky yarn in the shop but, when she had done the length calculations, allowing extra for my extra length, there wasn't enough in stock, sadly.  So when I came home, I looked online and found something quite different, a marbled chunky in a warm red.  I also found the heathery yarn.  You know what I'm going to say, don't you?  I ordered both and another pattern - I found some free patterns and downloaded them.

At least I will have plenty of knitting to keep me and my fingers occupied now.

Val also bought some yarn to make a baby blanket for a friend; she makes lovely blankets.

Then we moved on to And Sew On where I found my bit of fabric in the sale room.  It's like an Aladdin's cave in both the main shop and the sale room and I could very easily have spent a total fortune.  I just adore wandering around, looking at all the patterns and colours and just soaking them in.  Much of the fabric is for crafting but they also have other fabrics, including for dress making and curtains.  Val found a blouse pattern she really liked, disappeared upstairs and came back down with a roll of fabric that was just perfectly her all over.

We've set a date for our next get together.  Weather permitting, we will have lunch and a walk around Cressing Temple and if the weather fails us, we'll have lunch at mine and have a knit and natter session.  Both will be lovely!

To my delight, as I was feeling quite cold yesterday, my new duvet from John Lewis arrived in the afternoon.  I let it air for a couple of hours and then changed my quilts over.  It worked, I was toasty warm through the night but not too hot.  It's lovely!

The other thing I did that took some time was my nails as they were looking a bit battered.  Nail varnish and computer keyboards are not the closest of friends - at least I assume that's why the fingers I use for my typing (I'm a useless typist!) were the ones with chipped nails.
Anyway, I now have gold nails (which aren't as lurid as it sounds) and have come to a decision about my Christmas nails.  My decoration colours are always the very boring and traditional red, gold and green.  I already have gold varnish so if I can find a nice dark red and a dark pine green, I will have red, green and gold nails to match!  Silly?  Of course it is but it'll be fun!
I'm thinking alternating nail colours but I might experiment with splodges beforehand (and then clean it off again), just for fun.

Today there's one thing in the diary, personal training with Lindsey which should warm me up good and proper.
I'll do some housework as always and might get some allotment digging done, you never know.  However, if any of the yarn arrives, all of that will go by the wayside.  It seems ages since I did any knitting and I do enjoy it so very much.  My fingers are twitching at the thought.

Have a great day and I hope that, as it gets chillier, you are able to stay snug and as warm as you want to be.  xx

Tuesday 12 October 2021


 Good morning, everyone.  Light is just breaking here and it looks breezy and dry.  Fingers crossed for a pleasant day.

Yesterday was a day of two parts.  
The day was lovely - I got some inside homey stuff done before setting off for circuit training which was hard work but very good.  There were three of us this week plus one online (isolating as one of her family was covid positive).  Of the other two, one just couldn't make it and one was halfway up a mountain!

Tuition was great.  My student had a great time at the Y6 residential week and was full of it.  We tackled stuff that they found challenging a fortnight ago and this week they got it fine.

However, I have found things a bit emotional since the day at Dad's and the evening was quite hard.  Today is fine though.

In the diary there was just one thing - Val?, it said.  We have decided to take a walk round Cressing Temple - we've been before and both love it.  We'll probably have coffee there too.
And that's about it for today apart from the usual home stuff.
Have a great day and see you all again tomorrow.  xx

Just as I typed this last, a squirrel appeared on the fence - we don't get many squirrels round here and, luckily, my camera was close by and I managed to get a few snaps.  

Monday 11 October 2021


 Good morning, everyone.  It's still dark but it is dry and not that chilly and today's Beeb forecast of 'sunny intervals and a gentle breeze' sounds very pleasant.

As hoped, yesterday was a slow moving, gentle day with plenty of time to chill and relax.  I did get the ironing done which I was pleased about, and I sorted through some clothes.

Here's a couple more things I brought home with me.  They're not from the attic or anything, they are a couple of things that were on display and so far I've chickened out of transporting them because they are fragile, one in particular.

This one has joined my owl collection which has gone significantly up-market since I took Mum and Dad's owls.  This is one I actually bought for them years ago as a wedding anniversary gift, I think.  I know it was broken and Dad repaired it but you can't see the join.

Apologies for the light.
I love it anyway because it is owl but I also love the detailing on the 'wood' - such dear little acorns and oak leaves.

This is the other; another of Mum's village collection.  It's the biggest one, in fact, and I love it - well, I love them all really.  I also have a collection of miniature buildings and, when I have them all safely here, I will devote the whole shelf to my own little village (maybe it will be a mini town by then!).

Again, the light is terrible, sorry.  But isn't it beautiful?  And aren't I fortunate!

I didn't get to the allotment yesterday to pick so that's on the list for today.  The other two things are circuit training at midday and tuition after school finished.  I'm looking forward to how the resi visit went but I won't be expecting my student to 'write about it' in any shape or form - they'll get enough of that at school, bless them.

Have a good day, everyone, and may the sun shine on you.  xx

Sunday 10 October 2021


 Morning, everyone.  I'm back again after a day off yesterday because I was at Dad's with John, doing some more sorting out.  It was a gorgeous day, sunny and quite warm once the early morning chill had gone.  Today it's too early to say but light clouds and a gentle breeze sounds OK to me.

The drive up on Friday afternoon was very easy although I don't enjoy these drives now that the house is empty.  I was very glad John was coming down too.  His journey, of course, is a lot longer, all the way from Jedburgh.  It's a straightforward route, just very long.

He arrived about half an hour after me and we had a take away Chinese as we talked about what we planned to do on Saturday and had a reminiscing session.  Bittersweet, sad in a happy and grateful way, if that makes sense.  He filled me in on how the whole 'estate/probate/death duties thing was going (quite well really) and I filled him in on what else needs clearing, sorting out, etc.

So on Saturday John went into the attic and I waited at the foot of the latter and he passed stuff down.  Quite a lot of stuff but Dad and John had 'done' the attic several years ago after which nothing else was put up there because neither Mum not Dad felt confident enough with the ladder, even though it is a good, substantial, pull down one.
So, although there was a lot of stuff, none of it was rubbish stuff.  

This is not long after we started, looking down the landing:  spot John!

John had brought the van down - he manages a couple of scrap stores in the Borders - and we loaded much of the attic stuff into the van because he could either sell or use it in the stores (this was Dad's wish).  There were loads of flashback moments as we found stuff that took us back to childhood and early adult life - the old trunk (which you can see in the photo) had a label on dating  1973 with 'to be collected from Kings Cross' on it from my first term of teaching when I moved to a flat for a few months before marriage.

I have brought home some of the Christmas stuff, including a big Jean Greenhowe knitted Santa (not by me) and a set of Nativity figures that I did knit for Mum about five years ago and which I truly didn't want to lose.  Mum was not well by then; I showed her a set I had knitted for some one else and she loved it so much that I set to and made her a set  in about three weeks flat.  She was so thrilled with it - very happy memories.
I also brought home a few things that Beth made in her Kitty Stitches days and some smocked baubles that they bought from Germany decades ago and which I have always loved plus some other bits and bobs.  They will join my collection of special ornaments.
I haven't unwrapped the Nativity set yet.

Once we had sorted the attic which is now almost empty, we tackled one of the other elephants in the house, Dad's office (the last one is the garage!).  Oh, my!!  The thing is, there's some stuff that needs keeping until all the financial affairs are sorted - we both have a dread of throwing away some piece of essential paperwork - but that left an awful lot of office stuff.  Again, I took a few bits and pieces - some Pritt-sticks, for example, some batteries and so on while John took the lion's share for the scrap stores.

We found stacks and stacks of old family photos from the fifties and sixties and before, which have joined the others that Beth and I sorted in August.  When Dave and co are able to come over from the USA without restrictions, we can have a mammoth 'do you remember' session over a buffet and some wine.

And we found this - an object lesson in why you should get your documents checked by someone else.  Just after Dad retired, he set up his own little company for a while.  I think it just broke even over the years but it kept him busy and occupied in those first years  after standing down from a very busy and satisfying career.
Please don't read if you are easily offended (and that's not a value judgement, I just don't want any reader to be offended) but John and I laughed until we almost cried when we read it.

Oh, dear!

And finally - does anyone remember these?

When I was a little girl, Mum had a whole set of them in which she kept various household cleaning stuff.  I found this in the back of the bathroom cupboard and it took me right back sixty years or so.  I've looked; it's not worth anything but, to me, it's priceless.

By mid afternoon we were both flagging so we tidied up, finished packing and both left.  John had a long journey, of course, but it means that he has the whole of today back at home to R&R.
We got a lot done.  The attic is pretty much completed, the office isn't by any means finished but it's started, the bathroom is now clear of any clutter and we even started in the garage, John taking various tools, etc while I made note of some things I can clear next time I go.  We are still not sure when the house can go on the market but John has been keeping a close eye on sales there and says that houses are selling very quickly, sometimes within a day of appearing, so that's encouraging.

It was a very active day yesterday so I'm feeling quite tired this morning but don't have loads to do really.  I want to plan tomorrows tuition session, get all the ironing done and go to pick stuff down the allotment.  And that's about it really.
Have a great day yourself . . . keep warm, stay safe and be happy.  xx

Friday 8 October 2021


Good morning, everyone.  It's another dull day; it's not actually raining right now but it has been.

First of all, for Chris, these are pigs in blankets.  

They're lovely!

I had a list yesterday and I happily worked my way through the lot.  It was a gentle and satisfying day and it makes today all that much easier.

I'm just back from Slimming World (not good results today but that's OK) and picking up my repeat prescription.  Now I have to do a few more bits and bobs before I pack because I'm off to Dad's to meet brother John there.  We're going to do some more sorting out and John's bringing his van to take some stuff home with him.
Because of that, I most likely won't be posting tomorrow but I'll be back on Sunday morning.
Have a super day.  xx

Thursday 7 October 2021


 Morning.  Sorry this is so very late.  For one, I slept later and then had to rush around to get dressed and get out for my early morning shop.  I managed to get some social media stuff done but not this one.  

I looked online and found the quilt I wanted.  It's is now winging its way here although it won't arrive until next week sometime.  With any luck, one it's on, I won't have to turn on the electric blanket after the inevitable journey down to the loo and back in the middle of the night.
I was prepared to go into town to go to the shop but I'm glad I didn't have to.

I met up with Lewis and he did a lot of measuring up while I contemplated the autumnal mess and made tentative plans for a good old tidy up.  Next week, weather permitting, maybe.  

After personal training (as good as usual which is very), I went on a bit further to Sainsburys because I want to try to make my own sushi and I needed various speciality bits and pieces.  Last week, I noticed the Sainsbury's had a whole area devoted to sushi stuff so I went there.  I'm sure we have good ethnic shops in town but I don't know where.
It will be a few days before I have a go - probably next Monday or Tuesday.
However - I need a few Brownie points because I went straight from Lindsey's, still in my exercise wear (with a nice long jumper to hide the lumps and bumps) which was very brave of me, I think.

Today it's the usual early morning shop (done) and then a good old natter with Chris (also done but not in the garden).

Then I have a whole list of 'little' things to do.
Washing (I changed the bedding)
Tidy my bedroom (it's not bad but it will be if I don't sort a few things out)
Make and open freeze the pigs in blankets for Christmas - and yes, I do them around this time normally and even thought we're not having turkey on Christmas day, we are still having pigs because what's Christmas without pigs in blankets, eh?
Sort out the fridge - again!
Nothing majorly big, difficult or time consuming but it all needs doing so I'd better get started, don't you think.  It is midday, almost, after all.
Have a great day, everyone.  xx

Wednesday 6 October 2021


 Morning everyone.  It's looking promising out there right now - clearing skies and quite a strong breeze.  Yesterday was definitely a day of two halves.  The morning was gorgeous but then the clouds rolled in and the rain started just before two - when I left home for the dentist it was sunny but I needed my umbrella to go in.

Lewis turned up and we went down to the allotment.  He's quite happy to take on the work and we talked about  where and what.  He will build some raised beds too which sill be nice.  I'm hoping we can go back down today for him to measure up so he can cost it all out and give me a quote.

Then I pottered around at home for \a while.  Chris and Steve came across and he checked the tyres again.  They are fine.  Reassuring because I think that if there had been even a slow puncture, it would show is reduced tyre pressure.
They sent me the link to the gizmo he uses and I have ordered one, to arrive today.  If I can check regularly, it will be a peace of mind thing.  I've also ordered a set of those caps that Diane mentioned.  They're not too costly but will take a while to come.  Not to worry, I can wait.

Then it was off to the dentist.  While I was waiting (they let people wait inside now), someone I know turned up.  not exactly a friend, but one of the check out ladies at Morrisons that I always chat to and she also comes to SW when she can.  If our paths crossed more, I think we probably would become friends as we do get on well.
Anyway, she was having a similar thing so we had a good old chat about it and I stopped feeling nervous.  
All went well, the implant was perfect this time, it feels so comfortable and I not have to get used to not having to sort of clear the gum just there when I'm eating.  It's a habit after all this time.
We discussed the next procedure (there's another gap at the back and I asked about my lower front teeth which are very worn away.  Not until next year though, I've had enough for now.
Oh, and I paid the bill which, as almost always, was the most painful part really.  Good old Lump Sum!

The rest of the day was normal stuff.  Nice and gentle.  A parcel arrived and Cheryl will know what it was, me having admired her acquisitions the other day.  It's all her fault!   :-)

Today there's one set thing and a maybe.  I may be taking Lewis back to the allotment as mentioned above and it's personal training with Lindsey.  I'm looking forward to that.

Oh, and one other - I've found I'm waking up cold in the middle of the night, even with a blanket over the duvet which is a fairly lightweight one but very good quality (and worth every penny as it's still lovely, soft and un-lumpy.  I got it from John Lewis so I'm going online this morning to order a higher tog (do they still use tog measures for duvets?) one for winter.  Another ouchy thing but worth it.

Well, better go.  Duties call.  Have a great old day and stay safe and well.  xx

Tuesday 5 October 2021


 Morning, everyone.  After an obviously very wet night, things are clearing a bit as day starts.  The sky looks to be clearing a bit and the rain seems to have stropped.  The forecast is not great, however - heavy rain and a 'fresh breeze'.

Yesterday was sunny though.  Not especially warm but not cold either and very pleasant.

There were just three of us (out of six) at circuits so we first rotates round three activities before doing some core work on the mats.  It was easier than last week - things are definitely improving and now, if I could only get my calf muscles back to full strength . . . 

Later on, I popped down to the allotment and picked.  Still plenty of dwarf French beans (given the few plants), still some raspberries although not that many now and one courgette.  There are loads of little ones but they're not growing terribly fast in this cooler weather.
Sadly, I was upset to see that all the pears have vanished, every single one.  They haven't dropped, there were none on the ground, and last week there were plenty.  Some &^%**$£*& has come along and picked the lot.  Ditto for the redlove apples.  They have very sensibly left the laxtons which are very damaged and wormy this year.
But isn't that mean?  I've had about four pears this year with two more ripening in the kitchen and Beth hasn't had any.  Now there's no more and there were loads last week, lovely sound fruit.
I will report it, of course, but that won't help - allotments are vulnerable places anyway.  The gate is locked but it's still simple to get in.

It makes me even more glad that I am investing in some little fruit trees for the garden.  At least, next year, and in subsequent years too,  there should be some fruit that is 'safe'.

What with the plum tree dying, the laxton apple being a dead loss and now this, it's not been a great year for allotment fruit.  Oh, well, that's the nature of the beast, isn't it.  Some you win, some you lose and some you have nicked!

Today there's two things in the diary.

The first is the Lindsey's son (Lindsey is my personal trainer) is coming round to see what he can do about fitting some new borders to the allotment beds.  Poor man, I used to teach him in year one so goodness knows how he is feeling about advising me but let's hope he's OK.  I'd like him to have the work, if possible.  It's been tough for him over this pandemic as the sort of work he did in the catering industry has been severely curtailed and what he does now is very prone to delays and cancellations and no work, no pay.
So fingers crossed it is all satisfactory.

The other is what I am trying to ignore - another trip to the dentist.  You may remember that there was a problem with the fitting of my implant last time and I'm hoping that has all been sorted out this time.  Finger crossed.

So that's today.  What with bad weather and dentists, I think I will be glad when it's over but you never know - it might end up being a really lovely day.
I hope yours is great!  xx

Monday 4 October 2021


 Morning, everyone.  Thank you for your lovely comments yesterday.  I am glad to say that I did catch up on my sleep yesterday, had an early night and a solid eight hours overnight, so I'm feeling much better this morning.
It was quite a pleasant day yesterday, not all that warm but sunny with just a couple of heavy showers to add interest!  Today is supposed to be fine but dull and, as is usual at this time, the temperatures are getting a bit lower on average.

I didn't do much yesterday but got one thing sorted.  I'm pretty useless where car stuff is concerned.  I reckon that's what services are for and leave it to them to dig out and sort any issues.  However, last week the tyre decompression warning came on.  It's happened a couple of times before and each time it's been a slow puncture.
However, what with fuel issues and not getting out and about much, combined with an obviously happy set of tyres and no 'drag' while driving, I didn't do anything about it at the time.  However, yesterday, I asked Chris if Steve (her other half) could possible just check my tyre pressure (I really MUST get one of those gizmos) which he did and found do problem, no deflations, nothing.  So I will keep an eye on it and wait and see.  He said he could check it again in a few days.
Actually, Steve said his gizmo came with the car so I must take a look under the carpet in the boot and see if I actually have one myself.  I may very well do - I know there's a spare and a jack there.  If not, it's ho! for Amazon!
Yes, I ought to know already but I don't!

In the handbook there are instructions for doing a temporary puncture repair but it lost me after the first two sentences.

I watched Strictly, of course, and I feel justice was done in who was eliminated (no spoilers) but was sad because the professional concerned is one of my favourites and it always seems very tough to be the first pair out - after all, they've hardly started.  However, I'm glad it was them and not the other couple in the dance off who I didn't think deserved to be there.

Today there is just one thing in the diary.  Usually there's two, circuit training and tuition but my student is off on the Y6 residential trip this morning so - no tuition this week.  I hope they all have an amazing time and I admire the staff who cheerfully volunteer to go with them, year after year.  I never did!  lol

So that leaves the Monday circuit training with Lindsey.  She's said to bring our mats so that means more ouch!  :-)

I'm also going down to the allotment, not to work as it will be sodden after all the rain, but to pick green beans, courgettes and raspberries and see how the autumn cropping broad beans are doing.  Last time I went, there were mini pods developing.

Then it is just the usual, every day homey sort of things to do, the things that oil the wheels of a happy life and keep everything nice and friendly at home.
Enjoy your day.  xx

Sunday 3 October 2021


 Morning, everyone!  After a shockingly wet and rather windy day yesterday, right at the moment (just after five), it is dry and calm again.  I haven't checked Beeb but it doesn't matter to me because I have no plans to go out.

After several nights of great sleep, I awoke at around half three in the middle of a very vivid and not nice dream.  It was weird and very much showed the sort of anxieties I had as a teacher, in idiotic form.  I had heard about a post in school that had been advertised so I had said I would go for it, although I had no idea what it was.  The next moment (as dreams tend to progress) I was watching another candidate teaching a group of four and realised I had no idea what the job was and what I was supposed to be teaching.  I asked the head and the deputy who were observing along with several governors and someone from the LEA but no-one would say.  I was going to pull out but wasn't allowed to.  Then to 'my' observed lesson in my own old classroom - no plans, no learning objective, no outcomes, no resources apart from an old fashioned white board on a easel with kitchen paper bulldog clipped in (that's going back a good few decades now, isn't it?), a whole class of children I didn't know, restless and unsettled and aaarrrggghhh.  I woke just as I was getting into my stride with some waffle about healthy minds and bodies and what to do when you feel fidgety!  It was terrible.
And then I couldn't get to sleep again.
Never mind, I can snooze during the day but, for me, it was a horrible dream and where it came from, I have no idea.

Yesterday was a lovely, easy, self indulgent day.  The hair is clean, the nails are shiny and I have caught up with some new QIs that I recorded as well as vlogs I follow before shutting the bad weather out by drawing the curtains before six.

Strictly was good.  I have my own thoughts as to who should go this week but we will see this evening.  I know there are spoilers out there saying who has gone but I don't go looking for them.

And the apple was totally delicious.  Very juicy, sweet with a bit of tang to it, crisp - everything that a good apple should be.  I'm looking forward to the next one now, whenever that will be.
I'm also looking forward to my other columnar trees being delivered some time this month, I believe.  A pear, a plum and a Braeburn apple.  They should be fine outside and if really severe winter weather is threatened, it won't be too hard to bubble wrap them for a bit of protection.

Today is another quiet day although I will do a few more chores around the house.  I have some presents to wrap for Beth's birthday later this month and a few more Twelve Days of Christmas presents to wrap too.  I'm doing them early in the vague hope that I will forget details although I will remember one which is a book!  I think I'll make sure that's opened good and early, maybe the 27th!
With some nice meals planned, it should be a good day.  I hope yours is too.  xx

Saturday 2 October 2021


 Good morning!  It's dry this morning, unlike yesterday when it absolutely lashed with rain until around ten o'clock, but it is clouding over and the Beeb forecast is absolutely dire . . .

. . . as you can see in this not terribly clear screen grab.

So it's just as well I have planned a nice, self indulgent, inside day today anyway!

Yesterday first though.
Because of the rain, I drove the short way to Slimming World rather than walking where I was on the weigh in desk after weighing myself.  One and a half off - yay!  For those unaware, I did get to target last summer but in the unsetting times before and after Dad's death in June/July, I comfort ate and drank and gained again so it's steadily working back down to my target range again.  As we say, slow and steady wins the race and, if you follow my other blog, you will know I eat well and widely.  No diet deprivation in this house!  :-)

After that, it had stopped raining so I decided to take a little drive to the two closest filling stations, just to see if.  The first one was closed but the second one was open and the queue really wasn't that long, mainly because it was limited to £30sworth per customer.  That was fine for me, I wasn't anywhere near empty, just at the point where I was thinking about when to fill up.

You see, for the past five years or so, while first Mum and then Dad were not 100%, I got in the habit of making sure I always had enough duel in the engine to get me to their home and back again, just in case there was an emergency (and there were some from time to time).
So now, when I get to that point, I start feeling slightly uncomfortable, even though the need is no longer there.  Habits are hard to make and harder to break, don't you think?

So I got my £30 of petrol and drove home with a lighter heart.

Once at home, I had a good hard look at the living room and changed some furniture around to accommodate the coffee table more attractively.  Now it is set diagonally in the corner which really works and shows off the more interesting side really well.  I am happy with it where it is now.  It also helped to finally sort out some long standing clutter and get the gopak table folded up and in the shed - it's been out way too long.

Then the cleaners came, worked their weekly magic and left after admiring the table.  :-)

That was it really.

So - today.  I plan a me day with just a few chores.  There's one load of washing to dry and iron and then I want to get my old trainers washed (fingers crossed).
I'm going to wash my hair, not that that's anything special, and then give my nails a doing.  I've only just started giving them any attention or wearing varnish, etc, but I'm liking it so hope to make it a weekly thing.  Don't get me wrong, I always keep them clean, obviously, and neat but not polished and shiny.  
Then I have some new magazines to snuggle into and some telly to catch up with and I might dig out a counted cross stitch kit to start.  And if I feel chilly, I will turn up the heating without any guilty pangs.  It's going to be that sort of day.

And look . . . the first apple from the flamenco ballerina tree.

Simple things please simple minds, says the proverb.  I reckon simple things please happy people and I feel happy.
Hoping you all have a happy day too.  xx

Friday 1 October 2021


 End of September, beginning of October, pinch and punch for the first of the month and white rabbits!

Morning, everyone.  It's wet again today although we did get some sunshine yesterday later on which was nice.  There may be more sun today, we will see.

Yesterday was another nice day.  I mentioned the shopping yesterday; after that I got a basketful of ironing done and put away and prepped for the evening meal with Alex before leaving for my personal training with Lindsey.

Dinner was good - Al and I had a good old talk and enjoyed the food together.

Today, being Friday, it is Slimming World meeting first thing and then I need to get a few corners sorted out before the cleaners come this afternoon.
And that's about it really.  Have a lovely day, everyone.  xx