Tuesday 30 November 2021


 Good morning, everyone.  The last day of November - tomorrow sees the start of some fun and colour!  It feels a bit warmer this morning but, as it's too dark to see out yet, maybe it isn't really, I can't tell.  I've turned the heating onto morning setting anyway.
Loving my electric fleece.  Such a good buy and lovely to snuggle into.

Poor old Lindsey.  Not long after I posted yesterday, a message came through from her that her test results show that she is also positive.  She is perfectly OK, doesn't feel the least bit unwell so fingers crossed it stays that way.  She's having to deliver all her classes online for a few weeks now and is very thankful that she knows how to do it, having worked it all out through lockdowns.  Our circuit training yesterday was very good, despite the lack of equipment, well structured and pacey, unlike the Goldster class earlier which was so slow I hardly warmed up at all.  I guess it is aimed at us golden oldies, some of whom don't do fitness classes.
So I won't be trying that again.

My little tree didn't arrive yesterday but I've heard it's on the way so maybe today.  I wasn't able to sort out the planting of the other two because the soil was frost hard most of yesterday so I must do that today, hopefully.

It was with great glee that I paid several visits to the garage and now all my Christmas china is in, washed, dried and away in some specially cleared cupboard space.  I will start using it tomorrow.
I always say I have a Muddle of Christmas china.  All sorts of bits and bobs ranging from Portmerion and Villeroy and Bosh through to HomeSense and Matalan, no sets of anything unless you count the four tea plates in the Spode Christmas Tree design and the set of cake forks and spoons.  Mostly just odds and ends from eBay, charity shops, etc.
They, with some star or tree shaped serving dishes make my Christmas buffet table took really cheery.
Would I love a complete set of Christmas china.  No, not really, it would only get used once or twice a year and I love my bits and bobs so much.

As always, I loved tuition.  When I got there, I found that A had put up the decorations and the tree and it was all very cheering and happy.

Today I have an empty diary so it is a List Day.  There's a fair bit of clutter about connected with wrapping and generally getting things out so there's plenty to do.  Also, I think I will change to the Christmas bedding today and I can get the other bedding washed, etc, and away.  I'll probably cheat and use the dryer so minimal ironing!
And I need to make a shopping list as there's a few extra things to get and if they're not on the list I may very well forget.

There's four Goldster classes I am interested in too.  Two are pilates classes and I'm not sure which (if either) would suit.  There's one on ballet barre exercise which I do want to do, if I remember at the right time, and one entitled Old Masters Academy which seems to be about analysing the work of some of the old masters.  When we did the art module for the OU foundation course a decade or so ago, I really enjoyed it so - well, I will see.

So, nothing in the diary but a full on day, all the same.  Do you find that often the busiest days are when there's nothing in the diary?
Have a great day, stay safe and take great care.  xx

Monday 29 November 2021


 Morning, everyone.  The start of another new week with various excitements looming in a few days.  I can't wait - but I will have to!  It's still jolly chilly, is expected to warm up briefly and then gat colder again.  I guess it's what one should expect in winter.

The Contemporary Dance class yesterday was really good.  If you've ever watched the yearly World Ballet classes, you will know what I mean when I say it was a few much simplified barre exercises and a very little bit of simple floor work.
It made me realise that, although very much improved, my calves and ankles aren't back to full strength and has given me some ideas for daily work on them.  Walking on my toes was virtually impossible!
Definitely one to do next week (assuming it is on again).

Since I lost such shedloads of weight, I'm feeling the cold much more than before and there's a limit to how much one can turn the heating up.
So I have splashed out and bought a heated fleece made by the same company as my electric blanket which I am very pleased with.
I only ordered it on Saturday and it arrived yesterday which seems remarkable speedy.  Given it's so cold, I tried it out straight away and it is brilliant.  Heats up quickly and is very soft and comfortable.  I look upon it as an early Christmas present to myself!

A correction or two:  Beth's tum is fine, she has a very sore throat but she is definitely covid negative and the new variant is not here, it's further south in Brentwood.  Still too close for comfort but not just round the corner.

On to today and I should be going to Lindsey's for circuit training.  However, her poor husband is covid positive which has really put the cat among the pigeons for her.  Lindsey herself has tested negative but is delivering as many classes as possible - large group, small group and one to one, online for a few days.  Poor love, she really could have done without this.  R isn't actually poorly as such just, as Lindsey puts it, 'very snotty'!  So circuits is online today and I've said I am happy for Personal Training to be online this week too.

Later on, it's tuition as usual.  That should be fun.

To finish, Beth posted this on Facebook yesterday.  I think it's brilliant and a reminder that we do not this lovely world.  Take care, stay safe and be positive.

"The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage,
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,
Is the same moment the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can’t breathe.
No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
Climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round."
~ Margaret Atwood

Sunday 28 November 2021


 Good morning, everyone!
Brrrr - I've just been out to the shed to get the day's supplies from the freezer and, while the wind has died down considerably, it feels very cold out there.  I was glad to get back in again.

I think we have been very lucky with the weather around here over the last few days.  No really bad winds and no snow, just sleet and not much of that either.  Something we haven't been too lucky with is that I read somewhere this morning that two people in the UK have been diagnosed with this new variant and one of them lives around here.  Yippee-doo!
Yet more reason to keep being very careful, wear my mask and avoid gatherings of people as much as possible.

As hoped for, yesterday was a gentle day.  I did some wrapping of gifts, loads of knitting, some housework, some reading and plenty of telly including catching up on Who Do You Think You Are on iPlayer. 
I looked in on the Goldster class and it was fine - not as challenging as my sessions with Lindsey but I didn't expect it to be.  I'm beginning to think that I may very well continue membership for a while (this first month is free) as I do seem to be getting quite a lot out of it.

Today starts with a disappointment.  I was going over to Beth and Al's for lunch but Al messaged me yesterday to say that Beth has 'the lurgy' so please could we cancel it as she was worried about passing it on to me.  To my anxious inquiry, he confirmed that it was not Covid, thank goodness, just a stomach upset by the sound of it.

I don't intend to go out today.  Apart from the fact that it is expected to be very cold, there are enough things to keep me happy indoors. 
I want to give another Goldster class a try; today it is (don't laugh), Contemporary Ballet.  It says it is 'a class of low impact, full-body exercises, set to music, aimed at promoting good posture, balance, coordination and concentration.'   If you ignore the word 'Ballet', it sounds just the ticket so fingers crossed.
I have more wrapping to do and want to work out properly what else I need to get.  I have some ironing and some tidying up and, with just three days to go in November, I am starting to look forward much more to starting all the Christmas stuff - Advent calendars (in the plural!), the candle and the things I plan to do from day to day in order to make this home Christmas-ready!  Not to mention Christmas jumpers, etc.  And starting my Blogmas stuff in here.  That's another thing I want to do today - sort out some more Christmas music!

Actually, it sounds quite a busy day, doesn't it, but all very pleasant and happy. 

Have a lovely day, everyone, whatever your plans and, as always, stay safe, warm and content.  xx

Saturday 27 November 2021


 Good morning, one and all!   We seem to have had a jolly cold night but, as far as I can tell, there haven't been anything like the terrible winds they have had further north.  I do hope everyone is OK and that there hasn't been any damage where you are.
Today we are forecast to have sleet showers and a 'fresh breeze' which probably means just rain round here.  We did have a bit of snow overnight - I went along to the loo and peeped out, as usual, and there was just a little bit of snow settling but it seems to have gone now.

Yesterday was definitely a Good Day, despite the cold weather.

I meandered along to the Slimming World meeting where I did my usual thing of manning the scales.  My own results were great so I was extremely happy and lots of others had lost a few pounds as well; it's lovely to see people so pleased.
The actual group part was also really cheerful and jolly.  So nice.
The raffle was something I have been looking for in vain - a bottle of Vimto Winter Warmer which is a lovely spiced dilutable drink that one is supposed to have hot.  I've been looking for it everywhere!  I asked Jen and she said Asda, not a shop I usually use as it's further away than any of the others.  After meeting I drove over and yes!!  Now I have my supply of Winter Warmer drink.

I also have yet another Christmas top but this one is a long top, almost down to my knees.  It looks really good over leggings and, I guess, thick black tights (I think I have some).  It's plain black with sparkly stars across the top, not gaudy at all but, I think, really nice.  No, I don't need another top but . . .
I Googled and found this photo.  I think it's nicer than it shows here and it looks longer on shorter me but you get the idea.

I also found some red, spicy scented candles for my candle sticks.  I have a feeling I'm going to get through a lot of candles this Christmas.  Now, where did I put my candle snuffer?

In the excitement of all that, I totally forgot I had been intending to attend a Goldster class but never mind.  I did try to get in very late, just for a taster, but couldn't get in.  Fair enough, it must have been close to finishing.

My minarette fruit trees have arrived!  Well, two of them, the Braeburn and the Victoria plum - the third is arriving in the next few days.  
I braved the cold and planted them in their pots and then, later on, while idly reading the leaflet that came with them, realised I'd done it a bit wrong so today I need to go out and make adjustments.  Poor little trees, arriving just as a cold snap starts.  I will pop them in a sheltered corner and might tie some bubblewrap around them.

The one that's coming is a pear called 'Beth'.  If you remember, I said earlier in the year that I absolutely HAD to buy that, just for the name!  I'm very much looking forward to seeing how they do after this year's success with the Flamenco apple.  Only seven fruit but they were a bonus in the first year and each apple was an absolute delight to eat!

The rest of the day was spent in household pottering with a bit of a celebration of my good results at SW (silly, I know, but . . .).  I started Beth's Christmas cardigan and finished the Christmas gifts I was making.  

Today is more of the same really.  Fingers crossed I remember the Goldster class today.   I have to freeze to death as I sort out the muddle I have made planting the little trees, I'm hoping the pear will arrive so I can plant that and I want to get on with some meal planning.  Oh, and there's a couple of loads of washing to deal with too.  And knitting.  Always knitting.

What's it like your way?  Have you had snow and/or high winds?  However it is, take great care, stay warm and safe and have a lovely day.  xx

Friday 26 November 2021


 Morning, everyone.  I've just been out to the shed and brrr, it's pretty chilly but didn't feel frosty.  We're supposed to be getting rain today and sleet tomorrow which is a shame after all the lovely sunshine but we can always turn on the lights, whop up the heating and, in some cases, remember the winter fuel payment!  Must check if mine's in yet.

Yesterday was a pleasant day.  

I popped over to Chris' and we had a jolly good natter about all sorts of things.  These weekly get togethers mean a lot to me and I so appreciate them.

Then I came home and started watching the Life Coach and Wellbeing session on Goldster but it wasn't for me.  To be fair, I gave up after twenty minutes as it was all eyes closed relaxation stuff.  As I need to keep my eyes open and lip read as a hearing support, it was all a bit - ell - for me, a waste of time.
The Age Well session was much better and there were some useful 'lesson notes' attached which I printed off.  I came out of it feeling that actually I was doing OK.  Nice.

Beth came round in the afternoon and we sorted out some dates and had a good chat.  She had the afternoon off as she was at a work related course on Wednesday evening.  We sorted out when she (and Alex) will be over on several dates through December so I think I have got a fairly good handle on it all now.  Also, the yarn for her Christmas cardigan has come and she was really happy with the colour.  It was her second choice as the first choice wasn't available anywhere, not in enough quantity.

Today starts with our Slimming World meeting and later on in the morning there's an online session entitled 'Nutrition Focus', delivered by the same lady as the one on Wednesday which I enjoyed.  I have a month's free subscription so I'm trying out loads of different  sessions to see if it's worth continuing longer term.
This afternoon my lovely cleaners arrive and the house is pretty much ready for their ministrations.  I love the way everything shines afterwards!

Well, that's about it, I think.  It should be a pleasant, satisfying day, hopefully.  I hope you all have a good one too with lots of happy things.  xx

Haven't killed it yet!   :-)

Thursday 25 November 2021


 Good morning, everyone.  I was expecting a frost this morning but we seem to have escaped it.  However, it is exceedingly cold with a very keen breeze coming off the field over the road.  I am very thankful for my warm home and a day when I don't have to go out much.

I enjoyed yesterday's early morning shop.  My list was short, mostly fruit and veg, and wandering round the shops early morning is quite a pleasure at the moment.  Oddly, very little actually tempts me, but it's nice to see what's there and, maybe, get ideas.
I was, however, tempted by the fact that Aldi has their usual snowman loo paper in and, as it tends to sell very quickly, I got some as I do every year when I can.

Then I came home, put it all away and settled down in front of the PC for my first ever Goldster session which was about emotional eating.  I though it was good, well presented and informative although I don't think I learned anything new except that in the wider scheme of things I'm really doing quite well.  I don't go off track all that often nowadays.

Then it was all change and off to Lindsey's for my hour of personal training which I really did enjoy.  I'm not terribly fond of the exercise cycle but I do enjoy the cross trainer and I love the weight and stretching elements.  I always leave feeling energised and happy.  More than worth every single penny.

After such a busy morning, I was able to rest in the afternoon.  I caught half of another Goldster session which I wasn't so impressed with, mainly because it was a cooking demo and the lady showed very poor kitchen hygiene which rather put me off.

There's three things in the diary today.
Firstly I will be popping over to Chris' home for our weekly coffee and chat.  
Then Beth has the afternoon off work so is popping round after lunch for more coffee.
Finally, I'd like to watch two Goldsters sessions (making the most of my month's free trial), one being a 'life coach and well being' session and the other entitled 'how to move to age well'.
Of the latter, I have missed the first session but, if this one is helpful, I will try to attend the others too.  A lot depends on the presenter really.
Here's what's on offer:

18 Nov 2021 - How to eat to age well
25 Nov 2021 - How to move to age well
2 Dec 2021 - The importance of sleep
9 Dec 2021 - How to stay engaged
16 Dec 2021 - Creating an age-well environment
23 Dec 2021 - How to age well at Christmas

That last looks intriguing.

So that's today.  It should be a good and purposeful day in small ways, just what I like.
I know Eileen does but does anyone else use these online sessions (not necessarily Goldster, any ones)?  What do you think of them?

Have a lovely day, be positive and stay warm and well.  xx

Wednesday 24 November 2021


 Good morning, everyone!
It sure is cold outside today.  There's a frost and it's also slightly misty which might look really nice once light dawns.  Definitely window scraping weather at the moment.

Yesterday was a nice day, not that I did very much but never mind.  I did pop out after breakfast, to a couple of shops to get a couple of things and look for a few Christmas presents and when I got home I went online and found some 100ml little bottles which will be perfect for bottling the fruity gins/vodkas for Christmas presents in a few weeks.  They even come with a little funnel which strikes me as not only thoughtful but also sensible and useful.
I also came back with a hair dryer.  Mine is making some very funny noises and I'd rather have a replacement to hand, should it go on me mid-dry.  I'll just tuck it away until needed.  I also came back with some cans of fizzy pop sugar free or no added sugar) for consumption over Christmas.  I know it isn't good for you but it helps keep me on the straight an narrow in other ways so . . . lesser of several evils, I reckon!
And finally, I came back with my first poinsettia of the season.  Can I keep it alive until Christmas?  Time will tell but experience says 'not very likely!!'

Did I get any gardening done?  Well - er - no.  Ooops.  Maybe today . . . or maybe not.

Today is a bit packed until the afternoon.

First of all, I'm doing my weekly shop.  It's not a big one but there are a few bits and bobs.

Then, having finally got round to signing up to Goldster (thanks for your help in this, Eileen), I want to join the Nutrition Club session this morning which starts at ten.

And then I have personal training with Lindsey over midday.

So no plans for the rest of the day; I'll just see how I feel, although I usually feel quite invigorated after one of Lindsey's sessions.

Aren't these lovely?  I got them from Aldi last Wednesday.  They were almost completely closed up and have gradually opened through the week.
I love alstroemerias . . .
. . . and that's something crossed off this week's shopping list as not needed.  

Well, better stop waffling and start the day.  If it's cold where you are, please wrap up well and keep warm.  Have a wonderful day!  xx

Tuesday 23 November 2021


 Good morning, everyone.  It felt really chilly yesterday but it wasn't so bad according to the thermometer.   My newly knitted cardigan really came into its own however.  Definitely worth the knitting as it kept me toasty warm.
The wind seems to have dies down at the moment and in the moonlight, I can see the skies are fairly clear so fingers crossed for a nice day.

Yesterday passed happily.  I got bits and bobs done inside, including washing and a bit of ironing.  I knitted some more Christmas gifts.  Most importantly, I got my Covid boosted jab booked.

The notification from the surgery only accessed places like Maldon which seems a ridiculously long way away so I went online and, to my surprise, wasn't offered anything local.  You wouldn't think I live in the County city of Essex from the lack of vaccination centres.  So I had to book for somewhere in Runwell which, I suppose, isn't terribly far away as the crow flies and I have a car.  What about people who don't have their own transport?

Then I discovered that they only available times for the next couple of weeks or so were late afternoon and, frankly, there is no way I am doing that journey in the dark and in the rush hour.  So I scrolled on until there were morning gaps and booked it for the middle of December.  It's in the diary so I should remember.  

I'll be well over any side effects by Christmas, if there are any.  I had a sore, achey arm after the first one, shivers and an upset tum with the second one and extreme tiredness for both but nothing that paracetamol/ibuprofen/imodium didn't sort out and, to my mind, the vaccine is well worth the slight discomfort afterwards.  It was nothing worse than the flu vaccine anyway!

Circuit training was good fun and tuition was also enjoyable so, all in all, a very pleasant day.

I'm looking at a blank page in my diary today so I will give the garden a bit of attention, I think.  It's long overdue, to be quite honest, and will look so much more pleasant when it is done.  And then I really must think of my poor, neglected allotment, I really must!

Also, there will be a bit of washing to do, a bit of ironing and a shopping list to write for tomorrow morning.  That should all keep me out of trouble.
What's in your diary today?

Stay safe and warm and have a great day.  xx

Monday 22 November 2021


 Good morning!

It's all about Christmas in the Clark family.
The Christmas puddings are made and smell amazing.  I managed to steam them both in Thermione, one in the simmering basket and one in the Varoma on top (if you've got a Thermomix, you will know what I mean) which was great space saving.  I'll do the same when warming one of them up on The Day.
For now, as the recipe isn't a 'keeping pudding' recipe, they will go into the freezer, well wrapped and I have cut one of them up into wedges to make it more 'accessible'.

While the Cointreau was out, I unwrapped the cake and gave it its first 'feed'.  Oh, it did smell lovely - dark and rich and 'plummy'.  Christmas personified.  I'm glad I'm going childhood-Christmas-style for the decoration this year; it feels 'right'.

And Beth has put up her Christmas Tree.  She wanted sparkle and brightness in her living room.  Dad helped her make it and I think this must be the seventh or eighth year she's put it up - maybe more thinking about it.  A great space saver when space in limited.
Isn't it lovely?

I'm getting excited about my tree - twelve days to go before Christmas Tree Day.  Not long.

Today is same old.  Circuit training and then tuition.  Maybe I could find an excuse to go somewhere this morning before circuits - if excuse is needed.
Or I could stay home and work out my Blogmas carols.  Yes, maybe I will do that.

It's cold today - stay warm, everyone, stay safe and be happy.  xx

Sunday 21 November 2021


Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Morning, everyone, and welcome to Stir Up Sunday, aka Christmas Pudding Day!  It looks a bit more promising outside this morning after a very dull and dreary day yesterday.  It's a lot colder though; there is a decided nip in the air this morning. 

Yesterday started off well but, sadly, my tummy went on me which wasn't great.  This happens from time to time, as regular readers will know.  I think it is probably a residual effect of not having a gall bladder; it seems to be a recognised thing.  I was rather shivery too so I whacked up the heating, wrapped myself in my fleece, found something unchallenging on the telly and promptly went to sleep!!
The rest of the day was spent taking things easy and doing a lot of knitting and reading.

The day wasn't entirely wasted - I got a few bits and bobs of ironing done and now the basket is empty again.

Today I feel absolutely fine, so that's good.  I will take it easy though.  The main item on The List is to make that Christmas pud.  I have everything ready and the dried fruit is steeping in Cointreau as I type.  I'll mix it up this morning as the steaming takes for ever.

That's it really.  Short and sweet today.  Have a lovely day, everyone, and stay warm.  xx

Saturday 20 November 2021

Saturday, 20-11-21

 Morning, everyone.  How quickly the time is flying past; we're now in the last third of November and the shortest day is pretty much only a month away.  
Yesterday marked a bit of a change in the weather.  It was mostly rather dull and dreary although we did get a bit of sun occasionally,   The curtains were drawn early though - it's much cosier when they are shut.

It was so nice to get a first comment from a regular reader - thank you, Jeangenie.  I know I have a fair number of silent readers - which is lovely - and it's really encouraging to get a comment from one of you.

Yesterday was a quiet and gentle day.  The SW meeting was good, as usual, and afterwards I popped into Morrisons for a few items I forgot to get or couldn't find on Wednesday.
Then the cleaners came earlier than usual and worked their usual magic.
I spent the rest of the day pottering, knitting, reading and thinking loving thoughts.

Today I must just go over the Christmas pud recipe and make sure I really do have everything I need.  I also want to rearrange a few things in the freezer.  As readers of my other blog will know, I've been using up some of the considerable contents of my freezers and now I think I can get all the Christmas stuff on one shelf which would be good.
I think I might be able to finish the jacket I am currently knitting after which I have a few ideas for Christmas pressie knitting!  Also, I must see if the yarn I need for Beth's gift is now in the online places I use.  I've warned her that she might have to wait until after Christmas to get it but fingers crossed anyway.
Also, it's about time I looked at the little gifts I have and make sure I haven't missed anyone out.  Easier said than done.

Should be another pleasant day.  I do hope yours is too.  Stay safe, warm and positive.  xx

Friday 19 November 2021

Friday, 19-11-21

 Good morning, everyone.  Another really lovely day yesterday with plenty of morning sunshine although it clouded over after lunch and I drew the curtains early.

Everything went well yesterday.  The coffee and chat with Chris was lovely and then he workmen turned up and by lunchtime the guttering was all done and up and all angled correctly.  It looks pretty good too.  I shouldn't get water cascading down my walls when it rains any more.
No news on the fan, they are still waiting for that to come in and it could be a while.  That's not urgent though.

I did a bit of washing and drying, some general housework and so on.  Just a normal, everyday sort of day.

Today starts off the the Slimming World meeting and then I need to pop to Morrisons to get a few things I either forgot or couldn't find on Wednesday.
Then it's home to wait for my lovely cleaners who are coming earlier today.  Thankfully, there's no tidying to be done so no rush and panic.

I guess I will be thinking about Dad a bit more today as it would have been his birthday today.  He would have been ninety three and I'd have probably gone up for the weekend with a cake and cooked him his favourite steak and chips dinner.  He loved a well cooked steak (medium rare) and I worked on improving my steak skills so I could do them for him.  Mum always overcooked them, he said!  :-)
Happy memories.

I will have to think of something to do on Dad's birthday, just like Mum's birthday is Christmas Cake Day.  It can't be Christmas pudding - that's on Stir Up Sunday.  I will ponder on that one.  Any ideas?

Time to stop - have a good day, everyone, whatever you are doing and wherever you are going.  As Dave Allen used to say, 'May your God go with you.'

Thursday 18 November 2021


 Morning!  Another early start but not quite as early as the past few days, for which I am truly grateful.  It doesn't feel too cold right now although it looks increasingly likely that next week will start a colder and more seasonal spell of weather.  We will see.

As pretty much always nowadays, yesterday was a very pleasant day.   Sunshine made it even nicer.

It started off with my weekly shop at M&S and Aldi.  I came home with what I need for the week plus some nice, festive goodies, all of which are now out of sight in garage and freezer until needed.  It's always a nice start to the day, wandering round those two shops at a time that isn't too crowded, either on the road or in store.  I'm sure things will get more frantic as we get closer to Christmas but I am aiming to have everything but the fresh stuff in before that starts.

After putting things away, I pottered for a while before leaving for personal training.  It was as good as it always is and Lindsey and I had a really good chat as we worked.  It was good.

For the rest of the day, the washing, drying and ironing got finished and I did a lot of knitting and reading.  Nice.

Today starts with coffee and chat with Chris as always and then I am continuing to work through The List which has a number of new things added.  Seth's team might do the guttering today, providing the materials have arrived but, at the moment, that is far from sure.  We will see.

And that's it so I am guessing the knitting will grow quite well.  :-)

Take care, be happy and have a lovely day xx

Wednesday 17 November 2021


 Good morning, everyone.  Well, Beeb got yesterday's forecast very wrong.  By nine the sun was out and it was an absolutely glorious autumnal day, full of bright colour.  So cheering.

I slouched around doing this and that for a while and then, after breakfast, set off for Abercorn Garden Centre to have a nosey round.  They had a very good display of Christmas stuff, most of which I wasn't tempted by, but I did get a few presents and some pot pourri.

Then I went over the road to Lathcoats, out local PYO that has a nice farm shop.  They are also noted for their apples, many of which you just don't get in the supermarkets at all and I wanted to get a selection - which I did.  They used to do this lovely thing where they had all their apple choices on a table with a few knives and a poster encouraging you to try before you bought.  Sadly, Covid has put an end to that for the time being.
I also got half a dozen fresh eggs.

It was such a beautiful morning, I decided to drive back the country way - a bit further but it can be just as quick as going through town, depending on traffic and so much more pleasant - and realised I was going pretty close to another two garden centres so I detoured a bit to visit them as well.  I didn't get much, just a few bits and bobs I needed, but I did find a nice ribbon for the Christmas cake which is the very last thing I needed to get for it.

After that, I didn't do much really, just pottered.  Lindsey must have worked us really hard on Monday's circuits because I've been all achey - good achey, not unwell achey!  You know you're getting old when, each time you get up out of your chair, you utter a softy 'oooof!'  lol

Today is a bit busier.  This morning I will be off to do my weekly shop which is a bit longer today due to getting some bits and bobs for Christmas.  Anything to make it easier nearer the time!  Do you do this or get things in one fell swoop near the time?

Then I have personal training which will definitely be a bit ouchy but I need it so no grumbles.

Well, I must love you and leave you, as Diane sometimes says.  Have a super day, stay safe, warm and happy and keep smiling!  

Tuesday 16 November 2021


 Good morning, everyone.  It's a stupidly early start to the day for me - a pain because I was so tired yesterday evening that I was hoping for a bit longer in bed this morning but never mind, I'm up and doing and will probably have a bit of a kip later on.
It's mild outside and the forecast is not encouraging - heavy cloud and light winds.  More dull and gray, in fact.  Small wonder people are starting to put up their Christmas lights, etc - it may be early but it does brighten the gloom no end.

Yesterday was busy.

Seth and team turned up, looked around, went off to pick up what they'd ordered and came back an hour or so later most frustrated as most of the order hadn't actually arrived (typical nowadays!) and also with the attitude of the shops.
They had a few bits and bobs so managed to do some of what I'd asked for.  Not the guttering, sadly, but I had a drain with a cover that was a right old trip hazard so now that's flush with the ground, and they have fitted a 'garage defender' so that if anyone does try to lever the door open again, they won't get very far.
They're hoping they can replace the kitchen fan and do the guttering by the weekend but - well, we will see, won't we?

While they were working, I went to circuits.  We got extra good value today - one of us was quite late so Lindsey gave us extra at the end.  It was a bit of a killer but I felt great afterwards.

After school I set off down the road for tuition which went as well as it usually does, so that was satisfying.

In between times, I carried on working through The List.  My desk is now as tidy as it is ever going to be - even the pencil pot (!), the big cupboard to the right of it is also tidy and it's all crossed off.

Today, there is nothing in the diary which feels great.  However, there's a couple of loads of washing to do and, as it doesn't stand a chance of drying outside today, the drying rack will be out and earning its space.
Apart from that, I will keep working through The List.

I'd like to look round a couple of garden centres at some point.  I've heard that their Christmas displays are very cheering.  That will get me out of the house for a while.

Not a very exciting day overall, but it should be pleasant enough.  What plans do you have today?  xx

Monday 15 November 2021


 Good morning, everyone!  New day, new week.  It's dry outside and feels fairly mild right now although I believe we are predicted to get some colder weather towards the end of the month.

Yesterday may have been designated an 'easier' day but I still managed to get a couple of things crossed off The List.  The first one was that the fridge had a good clear out, wash down and rearranging.  I suppose it wasn't that bad really but there were a few out of date jars of stuff that I bought as one offs and never used up and everything was in a big old muddle.  It took a while but now it's all clean, shiny and tidy and it makes me smile happily whenever I open the door!

The other was that while I was getting dressed, I took out all my jumpers, tried them all on, discarded a few (for the Sally Army recycling point at Morrisons) and put the rest back neatly.  I have way too many but there you go!  Count my blessings.
You will have noticed that since I lost all the weight, I have been very, very naughty about buying clothes.  I am getting better but after so many decades of only being able to get what was big enough for me to get into, it's a bit Aladdin's cave-ish when I go shopping.
I will grow out of it.

Then I popped down to Beth and Alex's for my Sunday dinner.  Alex had made a good old roast dinner of pork, potato croquettes and four typed of veg and it was absolutely delicious.  Well done, Al.  It was nice to see Beth (and Alex, of course), it feels like ages although it was just a fortnight really.  However, after years of seeing her pretty regularly, every day when she had her workroom round mine, I do miss her at times.  Not complaining, just saying.

Once home, I just pottered really.  Did some knitting, made dinner, watched Strictly Results, did some more knitting and made some biscuits for the men replacing my extension guttering this morning.

O to today and, as mentioned, a team will be turning up at eight to replace my guttering.  I had the guttering of the main house replaced with the windows a short while ago and really should have got the other done at the same time but didn't.  Silly me.
Anyway, Seth and his team are doing it this morning - I have known Seth since I met him in Y6 when his family moved into this area and he has a jolly good company that he has built up from scratch over the years.  They are very busy (always a good sign) so I have had to wait for this to be done.

Then, hopefully, all being well, I will be off to the weekly circuit training at Lindsey's.  Following that, there's tuition.

So quite a busy day today but I am hoping that I will get a few more bits and bobs sorted and crossed off as well.  I think I may deal with the dumping ground I call my desk.  It's actually not all that bad, just messy, and there's stuff I could discard.  My pencil pot needs a sort out for a start.  Yes, little things, but they do make a difference.
And I do need to do my meal plans for the week so I can make my shopping list.

Beth reminded me that next Sunday is Stir Up Sunday.
 "Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people"
. . . so at some point this week I must get the recipe and check that I have everything ready.

I seem to have waffled on for ever and no photos to lighten the load.  So sorry - MUST get back into the habit of snapping stuff.

Have a lovely day, everyone, and be happy and positive.  xx

Sunday 14 November 2021


 Good morning, everyone.  I hope the weekend has gone really well for you so far.

Yesterday was a busy old day.  I left here good and early, when the street lights were still on, and headed over to Dad's.  John, G and N were already there, having arrived Friday midday, and had already made great inroads into the garage which, frankly, had been giving both John and me bad dreams.  There was such a huge load of clutter, old tools, gardening equipment and the shelves around the edge were filled with bottles of this, that and the other - weed killer, other chemicals, paint - you name it, it was there, some dating back decades.  There was probably enough to kill the whole town!
G sorted out the greenhouse and even gave it a good clean out, which was something I hadn't considered.  It looked an awful lot better afterwards.

Obviously, everything had to be disposed of properly, so they had already made several trips to the local dump on Friday where the staff were extremely helpful.  I think John said that all in all they took ten car-loads and there's more to do later, but not much.
Also, John had hired a big van and some of the contents were loaded into that so he and G can dispose of them through the scrap stores he manages up in the Borders.
As the three of them were already well into that, I headed off upstairs and pretty much finished clearing Dad's office (another nightmare) apart from the financial papers which we need to keep until it's all over although we're pretty sure no-one will be interested in tax and finance stuff dating back to the seventies!  I finished off by sorting out some other bedroom cupboards. 

There's still plenty to do but none of it is nightmare stuff now, we've broken the back of it all.  I came home with the remaining little cottages, a couple of walking sticks (no, not needed yet but you never know and these are really good ones), a couple of computer gizmos, a battered Travel Scrabble and enough Yahtzee cards to see me out!  I was particularly pleased with that last because I was thinking of ordering some as we all like a game or five of Yahtzee on Christmas Day.

To cap it all, the journey home was busy but fast and, amazingly, absolutely no hold-ups whatsoever at any traffic lights, roundabouts or junctions.  I've never known a drive back from Dad's like it.

Wasn't Strictly good last night.  I may very well have shed a tear (or several) during Rose and Gio's couples' choice dance.  How beautiful it was!

On to today and I will resume working though The List.  Beth has invited me over for lunch, which is lovely.  Should be a satisfying day.
Stay safe and warm. xx

Friday 12 November 2021


 Morning, everyone.  Welcome to Friday!  I'm in the middle of a stupid o'clock phase so I've been awake for a while but, unlike yesterday when I started on The List early, today I have been reading and relaxing which is a really pleasant way to start the day.
It seems dry outside and it feels pretty mild too.  We saw sunshine yesterday, perfect for a house moving, so let us hope today is the same.

The coffee and chat with Chris was lovely.  I was at hers and we were able to keep an eye on things as the removal people packed everything in their lorry.  Three hours or so later, off they went, leaving J, K and a smaller van to clear up the remains of the move.  By just after midday, they had gone.  Sad.
The new family didn't move in but there was a car outside late afternoon and the lights were on.  Maybe today . . .  it might be a good idea to move my car onto the road, in case the cul de sac is blocked for a while.

I am so pleased with how many things have been crossed off The List and it was so nice to see, in the comments, that other like their Lists too.  There are now plenty of spaces on my bookshelves and the other shelf unit is now holding my own sewing stuff again, moved out of the way when Beth took it over as her workroom/office.  That clears up several shelves in a unit downstairs.  Excellent.

I've started a new List because the old on was getting so crossed out, it was hard to see what was left to do.  It's mostly finishing off and smaller tasks now.  For a while . . .

Today starts with the weekly Slimming World meeting and then the day's my own apart from the wonderful cleaners.  While the spirit moves, I will continue to work through my list and get as much done as I possible can which includes a bit more ironing - where does it all come from?  :-)

Just to let you know, there most likely won't be any blogs tomorrow - I'm out early and will be very busy.  Back on Sunday.
Have a great Friday, everyone.  What's on your List today?

Stay safe, well and happy.  xx

Thursday 11 November 2021


Good morning, everyone.  It's Thursday, coffee with Chris day, ex food shopping day.   It's mild out there and dry; I've just been to the shed to get the day's supplies in and there was no urge to rush out and in again.
Yesterday turned out pretty miserable, weather wise.  It started drizzling in the morning and just continued, on and off, all day.  It was that fine mist of drops that soaks everything and gets everywhere.  Not a day for going for a walk, for sure.

It was a bit of a sandwich of things yesterday.  The bread was my long list of things to do and the filling was my hour with Lindsey at personal training.  These sessions are going so well at the moment, the calves and ankles are almost back to normal with just a bit of residual weakness that will go in time.  It's such a relief to realise that whatever I did didn't do any long lasting damage.

I'm working steadily through my list.  Things keep getting added, of course, but I really feel I'm getting somewhere with it all now.
Yesterday centred around getting to grips properly with the upstairs room that used to be Beth's workroom.  I'm not there yet, but things are gradually becoming more organised and  easier to get to and clutter is reducing significantly.  Definitely getting there.

Today is more of the same.  There's still plenty to do and I want to get it all sorted before Advent starts - that's my aim - not for any specific reason but just because it's a useful cut off point really.
I want to carry on with the room that is no longer a bedroom (I still haven't decided what to turn it into but I really don't need a third bedroom, it's almost too small and it would be a waste of space) and, hopefully, finish that and then to get to grips with my pile of jumpers which is threatening to escape from the wardrobe shelf.  
I'd also like to get out and organise the stack of Christmas soft furnishings - cushions, door mat, table cloths, etc.  They got shoved away rather willy-nilly last January and may need some refreshing.

At ten I'm popping round to Chris' over the cul de sac for coffee and a chat.  That will be very pleasant.  Something not-so-pleasant is that Jenni and Keith, my lovely next door neighbours, are moving house today.  They've been looking for somewhere a bit bigger for a long time and, finally, it's all happening.  They have been brilliant neighbours and I will miss having them next door.  Jenni and her parents and brother lived in that house when I moved here - Jenni's the same age as Beth, they were in the same school year but not in the same class.  When Jenni's parents  moved, Jenni and Keith bought the house so she's lived there, on and off, for a very long time.  Both the boys were born there and I had the older one in my class in Y1 and later on I did some tuition with the younger one.  I feel pretty sad really but it will be good for them, they need more space and they're not going far, just to the other end of the estate.

I gather my new neighbours are from Hong Kong and have three young children.  It will be nice to have little ones in the cul de sac again.  I wonder if they will go to 'my' school.

Have a lovely day, everyone, and stay safe and dry.  xx

Wednesday 10 November 2021


 Morning, everyone.  Welcome to Wednesday!  It was another mild and pleasant day yesterday and I managed to get a load of washing dried on the line, three cheers.  Today's forecast looks OK too although it is way too early to see out.

I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday's shopping outing.
I started with B&Q and got what I had gone there for plus some 'damage free hanging' things, in case I want to hang anything.  OK, that sounds silly but I do have some battery powered lights and just wondered . . .
Then I went on to Wyvale - I mean Longacres and wow!  Wyvale had a good display but Longacres has really pushed the boat out.  There was some nice stuff there too, not just the usual.  I found some candles I'd been looking for and some little wreaths for them - you stand the candle on a sauces type thing and then the wreath goes over and down to the bottom.  Very simple but it looks really nice and, of course, comes out year after year after year.  Other bits and bobs managed to find their way into my trolley.

There was one moment where I was nearly overwhelmed.  In Christmases past, Mum always bought Dad a nice big box of liqueur chocolates.  As she said, she didn't like them so they were all his!  When she wasn't well enough to do this any more, I took over.  I saw the display, reached out my hand to get a box and . . .  oh!  A bit of a moment, I have to admit.  It really brought home to me that this will be the first Christmas without either of them.  Maybe that's why I am going a bit overboard?  Who knows?

Anyway, I then drove on to Sainsbury's where I got my weekly food shopping plus - you've guessed it - things for Christmas.  Not loads but the pork ribs (for Christmas day) are now in the freezer as are Beth's Higgidy pies and the strawberry gin is now a thing too.  The campari (my all time favourite) is hidden away out of sight and my Christmas Food List is shorter.

The rest of the day was spent doing more mundane things.  The ironing took ages and I swear the contents reproduced overnight; I'm sure there wasn't so much the day before!
I managed to cross four things off the list so that was good.

Today I have personal training but the rest of the time I will be carrying on working through that list.  It's a bit of a chore, some of it, but oddly satisfying too.  Do you find that sort of thing a pain or a pleasure?

Take care and have a really good day.  Stay well.  xx

Tuesday 9 November 2021


 Morning, everyone.  Yesterday turned out to be a beautiful autumnal day with bags of sunshine and not too cold either.  It's a little less certain today; there's some ominous looking clouds on the horizon but they may not come to anything.

Pretty much everything turned out well yesterday.  It was good fun at circuit training and we had a lot of laughs during tuition.  My student was on top form and is really taking on board the early algebra principles we have been working on.  Yesterday we worked through some multi-step mathematical problems, first as separate calculations and then putting it all together to create an algebraic equation.  They're really getting it which is highly satisfying.

There was one slightly worrying thing.  I got two emails telling me that regular payments on my card had failed this month.  Obviously, I was suspicious but followed it through in the approved way and got it sorted.  It was genuine and there was an understandable reason.  Phew.

Today, the diary is totally empty.  However, my day certainly won't be.

First of all, I'm doing a bit more Christmas window shopping - B&Q (which I have to go to anyway) and the garden centre that used to be Wyvale and which name I can never remember now - er - Longacres, that's the name!
Wyvale used to have very upmarket Christmas products and gifty sort of things so I'm quite looking forward to seeing what's there.

I know I'm doing this a lot at the moment - window shopping, I mean.
What I was working, I used to blitz it all over half term.  It was a family joke that I had Christmas all wrapped up and gift-tagged by November 1st.  I had to - sometimes term didn't end until a few days before and there was no time for anything but food prep, etc.
Nowadays, I have all the time I want and the process is much more drawn out.  I've been making notes of where likely looking little gifts are, getting bits and pieces as I go and generally having a thoroughly enjoyable time.
How do you prepare for the Festive Season (if at all)?

I have just changed my weekly shopping day from Thursday to Wednesday because it works better, but after I've finished in Longacres, I will go just a bit further down the road to Sainsbury's and get it done today.  I may as well seeing as I'm in that part of town anyway.

Then I have a fairly long list of Things To Do so I will work my way through it for the rest of the day.  I should be able to get plenty done one way and another.

I should sleep well tonight!

Have a great day, whatever your plans, stay warm and well and be happy.  xx

Monday 8 November 2021


 Morning, everyone, welcome to Monday.  Verging on sunny and no frost so maybe it will be a fine weather day.
My new duvet really is just the ticket, keeping me cosy warm without being too hot.  I feel that, generally, I am sleeping so much better now (hoping that's not Famous Last Words) and this morning I woke just after seven - unbelievably late.  No complaints, it's rather nice, but maybe I should stop relying on an early start!

Yesterday was marked by one thing - clearing out my knitting bag.  I needed a cable needle, knew I had one somewhere at the bottom, got fed up of feeling around and tipped the contents on the carpet.  
Big mistake!
Apart from the general rubble there, the lid had come off a box of little beads and then went all over the place.

Oh, well, it obviously was long overdue for a clearout.

It took quite a while to untangle some small balls of yarn and to pick up all the beads but it's done now and everything in in its rightful place upstairs again with just the necessities in the bag.

In the bag was a poly bag of knitted squares so I decided to get them sewn together to make a little blanket.  Luckily, there were twenty so 5x4 worked nicely.  Then I crocheted a simple border and now it's in the ironing basket for some blocking and steam 'ironing' before I take it to the Sally Army recycling point.  Some family will be glad of it for their little one, I hope.

I also got on with the wrist warmers and, right now, am road testing how well they work as I type.  They're fine, don't get in the way, and the only problem is one is two rows longer than t'other.  It doesn't stop them from doing the job, it's just slightly irritating, but they are sewn up now and I'm not about to try to repair the mistake.
I'm right, they will make nice little stocking fillers type gifts.

As Sue said in comments, no surprises regarding who was eliminated.  In fact, I was pleased because, while the celebrity is OK, I really don't like the professional dancer.  They create brilliant dances and are a very good teacher, I am sure, but  - well, I have reasons but won't go into them.

The Christmassy thing I did was to go online to order, download and activate my Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar.  It's now sitting on my desktop waiting for December 1st.  

Today, being a normal Monday, there are two things in the diary.  The first is circuit training over midday which is always fun and the other is tuition after school, for which I must plan this morning.  I also have a few items arriving by post so that's nice.
In between those, there's enough bits and bobs of clearing and tidying to keep me occupied all day so it should be a very satisfying time.
Come the evening, I will start my other chunky cardigan project, seeing as I need to talk to Beth about the one I'm making for her Christmas pressie and do some measuring and, as she's not 100% at the moment, it will have to wait. 

Do you have any creative projects on the go at the moment.  I know Sooze is making some absolutely beautiful cards but how about everyone else?

Have a lovely Monday, everyone.  The sun is now shining brightly here and I hope it is doing the same for you.  Be happy.  xx

Sunday 7 November 2021


 Morning, everyone.  It's kind of dull here at the moment but the clouds look quite high so it might end up pleasant.  Yesterday was dull but dry with a bit of sun breaking through now and again so maybe today will be similar.  I'll see what the Beeb weather page says in a little while.

Yesterday was, as almost always, really nice.  After a pleasantly slow start to the day, I drove down to Tower Gardens to meet up with some people from out Slimming World group for a sociable walk.  It was nothing heavy - while I wasn't the youngest there, nor was I the oldest and, when we chatted about it, we're most of us pretty much the same sort of age.
We strolled along the river into town, taking the same route as I took when I went to see the knife angel some weeks ago, if you remember.  That's no longer there now.  We stopped off at the cafĂ© beside the lake (I say lake, it's more like a very big pond really) for refreshments - I had a very welcome coffee - and then strolled round the lake and back to the car park.  It really was a stroll, perhaps a bit too slow for me, but that's absolutely fine, and it was a couple of hours in total which was just perfect.
I think David is planning to planning to make this an ongoing thing, possibly once a fortnight, if people are interested.  I certainly will be and I think others will too.

Then I came home and got on with other homey sort of things before settling down with my knitting later on.  I've finished that cardigan now and, despite earlier reservations about the pattern, it has all come together really well.  Yes, there are a few mistakes, I know that, but they don't matter and you can't tell.  It's very chunky, very snuggly and just exactly what I wanted which was something to put on when it gets a bit chilly, something to snuffle into of an evening.
Perhaps I could have kept to the smaller size but I did want it roomy so I don't regret undoing and reknitting.  I'm still not totally sure about the pockets, or the way they work out on the hem, but they're certainly a bit different.
I took a few photos although it doesn't look particularly right on a hanger - it's too chunky and 'unshaped'.  However, you can get the idea.  The camera makes the stripes seem more pronounced than they really are, I think.

Before I start the next big project, I am using some of the spare yarn to make some wrist warmers - basically fingerless gloves.  It's a nice pattern, grows quickly and will make nice little Christmas stocking filler type gifts - not that they'd go into stockings but you know what I mean.

Strictly was great - I am now having great difficulty deciding where my three votes should go.  Do you watch, this - which is your favourite couple?  Mine is Rose and Giovanni.

On to today and there's a blank page in my diary so I will carry on with the gentle clearing, tidying, planning, prepping, etc.  Get myself set up for the coming week.  Nice.
Take care, stay warm, dry and well.  Happy Sunday to us all.  xx

Saturday 6 November 2021


 Good morning.  It's a milder start to the day here compared with the last few days but the sky looks a bit uncommitted right now.  Fingers crossed that it stays dry at last,

Yesterday was another good day.  Slimming World was good and it's always nice to see everyone.  Doing the weighing, I always get to speak to everyone, whether they stay or not, which I really enjoy.

Then, after SW and breakfast, I set off to enjoy a few more shops.  I didn't get all that much but I did find a twelve-pack of J2O Glitterberry which Alex always loves and asks for at Christmas so they are now tucked away.  I found four little trees (see below) and have a good nosey round the yarn and fabric with no intention of buying (and I didn't - the halo is shining brightly).
I enjoyed myself very much.

I've realised there are two more shops that have Christmas stuff - B&Q and what used to be Wyvale, so that's another nosey round for another day.

Personal Training with Lindsey was good fun, as usual.  We always have a lot of laughs.

I've decided how I'm going to decorate the Christmas cake.  I've had three little Christmas figures that I think I bought at a craft fair,  made from Fimo, for absolutely ages, maybe a couple of decades even, and never used them on a cake.  When I was in Hobbycraft yesterday, I found four little Christmas trees and had an idea.
So this is what I will do (after marzipanning and icing the cake).

It'll be sort of like this.  Then around the front edge, from tree to tree, I will use coloured icing for holly leaves and berries in a sort of wreath and in the space in front of the figures I will put a cake topper that says 'Merry Christmas' or something similar.  A good, old-fashioned decoration, just like my mum used to make when we were very little and definitely NOT arty.
Now I wonder if I can work out how to make the sort of icing that you can shape into spikes like snow - not that snow ever settles in spikes, but you know what I mean.  I know it's not the roll out icing.  Must look at Google.

Today is a quiet day.  I don't think there's any NEED to go out but one of my SW friends has organised a walk in the morning so I think I will go along to that unless the weather is vile.
Then there's ironing (when isn't there?) and I ought to change the bedding too.
I want to sit and do some general and specific planning for the weeks ahead.
In the evening, there's Strictly and knitting.
So quiet but nice.
Do you have any plans to go out or is it an indoorsy sort of day for you?

Friday 5 November 2021


 Good morning.  My goodness, it felt so cold yesterday.  It wasn't helped by quite a strong wind blowing and quite a lot of drizzle.  The wind has vanished now so the frost has returned and it might be quite a nice, sunny day.  We will see!

Yesterday worked out really well.  Chris and I had a lovely old chat, catching up on everything.  
Val and I both felt it was too cold and too damp to brave Cressing Temple so she came over to me with her crocheting and the two of us managed to fill three hours very happily indeed.  During Lockdown, we Zoomed once a week but we've reduced that to once a month now which is what we did before Lockdown, so there's always plenty to say and lots to hear.  It was all so lovely.
 We have agreed that next month will be a festive one and we will share the lunch load, Val doing one and me doing the other course.  That will be nice.

Then I sorted out some washing and made a list of all the Christmas related stuff to do in the house, ranging from 'Christmas Tree Day with Beth and Alex' to 'change bedding' and 'cushions out'.  I felt all sort of Advent-ish and cheery.

I also started thinking about my advent music.  Regular readers will know that through December, I post a link to a favourite piece of Advent music, usually from YouTube.  Favourites remain favourites, so there will be plenty of repeats, but I need to start making a list!!

Today starts with Slimming World, goes on through a visit to B&M, Hobbycraft and TKMaxx (then I think I have 'done' them all) and finishes with personal training with Lindsey while the cleaners work their weekly magic.  It's downstairs this week and it's all fairly tidy after yesterday so there's not much clutter-clearing to do.

The knitting is progressing so well.  It's chunky, of course, so grows speedily, and now we have the longer dark evening, I get loads done after dinner each evening.  There's just a little bit more sleeve and then it's the sewing up.  Fingers crossed that it all works OK.

Well, better stop rambling.  Time is passing and I need to be at SW by around 8:40-ish - there's plenty of time but there won't be if I keep waffling in here.
Have a lovely day, everyone, and stay nice and warm.  Are you making any early Christmas arrangements or plans?

Thursday 4 November 2021


 Good morning, everyone.  Thursday already - this week seems to have flown along.  It's a dull old start to the day, unlike yesterday which was sunny and frosty.  Maybe it will cheer up later on.  I do hope so.

I thought this entry wanted a bit of brightening up so here's Door Stop Robin.   :-)

I got a fair amount done yesterday.  It started with the weekly shop, at Morrisons this week.  Definitely more expensive than Aldi but Aldi doesn't do Cointreau (for feeding the cake, promise) and Morrisons does.  I also got some Christmas Crackers for The Day.  Every year I say I won't bother and every year I get some.  They just makes the dinner table look more festive.

Once that was all away, I got on with housework stuff.  More washing = more ironing.  Thart's a task for later on today.

In the afternoon, I decided to tackle THAT drawer.  You know - the one everyone has that contains batteries, old keys, Allen keys, radiator keys, keys to the meter cupboards, tools, etc.
Oh, my word, what a mess it was,  I had no idea there were so many keys in there and the annoying thing is that apart from a few, I have no idea what they lock or used to lock so really don't want to throw any away, just in case.  I wish I'd labelled them properly first time round.
It took a while but it's now all neat and tidy with everything sorted out and in bags.  At least now I know what's in there.

Encouraged by this, I tackled the tea towel and general wiping cloths drawer and that's now much more organised too.

The bathroom cupboard will just have to wait!

Today is a sociable day.  Chris is coming over for our weekly coffee and natter so I've done a bit of tidying up.  There's lots to talk about after missing last week.  And then either Val is coming over for lunch or I'm going to Val's and then on with her to Cressing Temple for lunch.  We'll decide which in a little while - it's too early yet.
And there's that ironing - again!  Ah, well, it keeps me out of trouble.

Have a great day, everyone, and stay warm and dry.  xx  

Wednesday 3 November 2021


 Morning, everyone.   Well, I was very wrong about no frost yesterday morning - as dawn broke, it got colder and colder and we did have the first frost of the season.  Sunshine and frost is so beautiful, isn't it?
And the sunshine lasted all day - a lovely, colourful autumnal day.
It's frosty again this morning.  It's what I remember most as a child - bonfire night in the back garden with cold fingers and toes from the frosty weather and Mum's sausages and jacket potatoes to warm us up.

Well, my plans went a bit awry yesterday.  I'd planned to do an early shop and be home in time for breakfast (which I have at eleven, usually) and then I would have time to wash my hair before Sharon arrived.  I got a message from her saying someone had to cancel (the dreaded Covid - lucky for Sharon that she found out before the appointment really) so could she do me earlier.
No problem, I just swapped shopping and hair appointment round, Sharon came and worked her usual magic on my aging locks and then I set off for the Riverside precinct.

I had a lovely time wandering around HomeSense and was sorely tempted.  I did succumb to a few things.  One was a owly Christmas mug - well, I say 'mug' but it's half a litre capacity so will be brilliant for soups, etc.  I think it's rather nice.  I also treated myself to a snow globe - a musical one too!  They really do seem to be a thing at present and this one is not too lavish - just a little winter scene with not a Santa or a deer in sight.  The last thing was a clementine spice reed diffuser which should last all through December.

Then I tackled Matalan and ooops!  Actually I'm really pleased with what I got.
First of all, I fell hard for some bedding.  It's more winter than specifically Christmas which is nice because I can start using it at the beginning of December.  It's not garish in any way and I  really, really like it . . .

The reverse pattern (the shadows are the other side.
And this is the front.

For a double duvet cover and two pillow cases, it was remarkably cheap so it would be unlikely to last long, should I use it all the time, but just for a couple of winter months each year, it's fine.  
I washed and ironed it when I got home and discovered that there was about a three inch gap along one of the seams.  Nothing a needle and thread didn't solve and, at the price I paid, I can't complain.
Here's the photo of it on the web site.  I just really like it.

Then I got some tops.
I need some longer tops to wear with my leggings and jeggings so my bum is covered and these should do the trick.  I've tried them on and all three are just right.  Happy!

They also had a very, very cute robin door-stop.  I usually use an owl one but he can share the responsibility with robin now.
All in all, I thought that was a very successful outing.  Or unsuccessful, depending on point of view!

Back home again, I got out the ironing board and iron and now I have an empty ironing basket.  It's just a shame there's another load waiting to be washed today but that's life!

Today ought to be Personal Training but we have rescheduled it for Friday afternoon instead.  That means I have a totally free day so, as tomorrow is rather busy, I will do my weekly food shop today instead of tomorrow.
There's housework to get on with and I'd really like to sort out the cupboard in the bathroom, if possible.
Are you sorting anything out today?  :-)

Tuesday 2 November 2021


 Good morning, everyone!   Brrrr, it's cold out.  Not frosty cold, I think, but chilly, all the same, much cooler than yesterday morning.

Yesterday was lovely.  It's so nice to feel 100% again and circuit training wasn't nearly as 'hard' as I thought it might be after a week off.  Yes, I'm a bit achey this morning, but it's the right kind of ache.

Tuition, also, was very enjoyable.  What a difference an hour makes though.  Last week it was daylight when I walked home but yesterday it was definitely twilighty.  It won't be long before it's dark by the time we finish.  They only live down the road so it's not a problem, just something to realise!

Flippin' time change though - I was wide awake at three this morning.  Two days ago it would have been four - early enough but not a total nuisance.  Three, however, is no joke!  I guess I will be having a snooze this afternoon to make up!

I thought I had a totally free day today but thank goodness I checked the diary because the lovely Sharon is coming at half past one to do my hair.  What a nice surprise.  Good timing too because the next one will be middle of December, perfect for Christmas.

Apart from that, there's nothing so I'm going to have a meander around one of our shopping precincts this morning.  Window shopping mostly, but we will see.  Now Halloween is out of the way, there might be more Christmas stuff to enjoy looking at.

So that's today.  A nice, quiet, easy sort of day with pleasant stuff.  What nice things do you have planned today?  xx

Monday 1 November 2021


 Good morning, everyone, and welcome to November.  Pinch and punch, white rabbits and no returns!  There - that should cover the traditional bit.

In years gone by, our cul de sac used to be a hotbed of Halloween jollification with lots of young children and enthusiastic parents.  I always opted out - being a teacher at the local school, word would get round and I'd have a lot of little visitors - but they had a good system going anyway.  A pumpkin outside meant callers were welcome!
Nowadays, the children have grown up, the parents have stayed and it's generally very peaceful.  I tend to turn on the telly, connect my hearing aide via the mini loop system and I'm oblivious to external noises, whether they be door bells or fireworks.

Yesterday was very pleasant with Beth and Alex over for lunch.  Beth brought some sewing and I had my knitting and it was peaceful and lovely.

Today . . . look!

Ridiculous, isn't it?  November 1st and I have just picked these from the remaining tomato plants in the garden.
Admittedly, I held off picking until this morning so I could say I picked them in November, but even so.  I can't ever remember tomatoes in November before.

Today is the usual Monday stuff.  Some washing and drying (and it's sunny so outside drying is on the cards), circuit training at Lindsey's and tuition after school.  All very pleasant and satisfying stuff.
I will also take some time to plan a few meals for this week and generally get things a bit organised.

Well, the coffee is made and I need to do my Facebook admin duties so I will say goodbye for now.  I hope you day goes really well and that the sun shines on you.  xx