Wednesday 30 November 2022


 Morning, everyone.  I'm a bit late this morning after an early wake and then getting back to sleep and getting up later than I expected.  I was going to do a very early shop but no chance - I'll do that tomorrow during the day.

Yesterday pretty much went according to plan.  Groove was it's usual good self and I was able to leave straight away, rush home, freshen up and dash out to school, remembering to take the cupboard stuff with me.
The visit involved talking to some children about stuff and they were absolutely delightful, all of them, followed  by a chat with N, the head.  There were three of us visiting so I don't have to write any report, thank goodness.

Once that was over, I came home, did all the ironing ands some more washing before sorting out a little bit more stuff.  I've got my Christmas jumpers out and into my room - must dress the part!

Today, after the unplanned start, has turned into a noisy, banging day as I'm having my kitchen window replaced.  It was supposed to be Friday but they got through more work on Monday and Tuesday than they expected so here they are!  It will be nice to get that done.

Personal training is a bit earlier than usual but that's OK, I don't need to stay home while they work.  Then, early evening, I have the governors' meeting for this half term.   So quite a busy day but I am sure I will manage to get a bit of sorting and tidying done this morning.
That's about it - short(er) and sweet - so have a lovely day, everyone.  xx

Tuesday 29 November 2022


Morning, everyone.  It's another very early start to the day but I've learned to go with the flow and take it as it comes.   With my relaxed lifestyle nowadays, I can catch up on sleep later, should I need to.
It might be partly because I have a busy morning today but more about that later.

Yesterday went really well and I got loads done - it felt like loads anyway.
First of all, I have finished That Cupboard.  Three cheers.  I heard back from Natalie who is happy to take certain items but not the tuition/study books so they will go upstairs for now.  Maybe, at some point, I can sell them on but, for now, I'm thinking never say never again - I don't think I will be doing any more tuition but . . . 
I fired off an email to one of the Foundation Stage teachers because I found some coloured card and some A4 paper with Christmas borders which I though they might be able to use and yes, please, came the reply.
Quite a lot of this stationery stuff is from Dad's office and some left from my teaching days, too good to just chuck, so I am very glad it's going to be used.
As I thought, the bottom shelf was just a question of taking stuff out and putting it back again more neatly and I found my good pencil sharpener that I've been looking for for absolutely ages.  That's good.

Then I went off for circuits which was as good as ever.  It's funny how we are all 'good' at different things.  I struggle with the plank as it hurts my wrists a lot but I can do sit ups and related stuff that others struggle with.  I keep telling myself I ought to practise the plank at home but I don't enjoy it so - I don't!

After that, I got the washing out of the machine but by then it was clouding over so it went on a rack inside.
Then I went upstairs and sorted out the guest room and, yes, I did put on the Christmas bedding and I also put up some Christmas bunting too and covered the other bed with a tartan throw thingy which makes the room look very festive and warm.  It isn't actually warm yet because the radiator is off - must remember to turn it up on Saturday.
So that's another one to cross off my list, isn't it?

Today, I have a busy morning, starting with Groove down at the hall.  When that's done, I have to rush back, freshen up, change and be in school for a Governors' thingy, remembering to take two bags of stuff from the cupboard with me.  It's by the front door now and I will put it in the car when I leave for Groove.

This afternoon is easier and I will see how I feel - I might have a snooze first thing and then there's ironing and another couple of shelves to tackle.  I'm eating that elephant one bite at a time and it is working.  Oh, and I have a shopping list to write for tomorrow too.
It feels busy but I'm loving my life at the moment.  Hoping you all have a super day too.  Stay warm.  xx

Monday 28 November 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  For once, it is a fine, dry start to the day and the BBC is optimistic for the whole day.  I slept until nearly seven this morning and feel great so all's well in my world right now!

Beth drove Alex over and stayed for a quick coffee so we had a lovely chat.  We changed Christmas Tree Day to next weekend which is great because it means I'll have the tree up for longer.  I dearly love the sparkle and colour.  Minimalistic I am certainly NOT - not where Christmas is concerned anyway!

I wanted to find a couple of tuition books for Alex so decided to tackle That Shelf in That Cupboard and now it is almost terrifyingly tidy.  Mind you, there's a whole stack of study books - KS 2 and 11+ sitting around while I hear back from Natalie as to whether she could use them in school but I can take them upstairs and out of the way until I hear .
I might even tackle the last two shelves - one is another nightmare but the other is just a case of taking things out and putting them back in more neatly as it's things like the shredder and the paper trimmer and a bag of bags (gift bags, saved for re-use rather than thrown away).

I started the bag of bags when I retired as I was very kindly given so many gifts and most of them were in lovely gift bags that it would have been wrong to throw out.  It's been very useful ever since, one way and another, and Beth often gives one back to me to re-re-use!

It was so nice to catch up with Alex and share a meal with him.  Such a lovely day.

Today, Monday, all I have in the diary is circuit training so I will carry on and, fingers crossed, get That Cupboard finished and off my mind.  There's a couiple of loads of washing to deal with and I might also get the Blue Room ready, seeing as Beth is staying over next weekend now, not the weekend after.  It's tidy enough but the bed needs making up and the big question is - is it too early to use the Festive bedding?  It will be December, after all.  What do you think?

Well, waking later means that I have just glanced at the time and I should have done my Facebook admin stuff a while ago so I had better stir my stumps and get moving.  Have a great day and I hope you have nice weather.  xx

Sunday 27 November 2022


Good morning, everyone.  It's early, it's raining outside and the heating hasn't clicked on yet so I am all snuggled up in warm, cosy pyjamas, slippers and oodie and very cosy it is too.  And there really is nothing quite like that first hot coffee, I think.  Bliss.

 Yesterday was slow and quiet and lazy.  I did some tidying up in the kitchen and then pretty much chilled for the rest of the day.  Very quiet and not at all interesting to write about, the biggest excitement being nearly ruining my on-the-hob steamer by setting it to steam some beans and broccoli without putting any water in the bottom.  Ooops!  I can still smell charring this morning.  I think the pan is OK - I hope so; I use it very regularly and like steamed veg.

Today, Alex is coming round for lunch.  Not Beth as she has some study to catch up on but she will be bringing Alex over and I'll drop him back home afterwards.  It will be nice to have a catch up session.

And that's about it really.  Have a lovely Sunday and stay safe and warm.  xx

Saturday 26 November 2022


 Morning everyone.  Sorry this is a bit late - I woke early, did my SW blog, sat down in my easy chair to enjoy my coffee and went back to sleep!  Still, I feel much more refreshed now.

SW yesterday was great.  I was Slimmer of the Month and also won the raffle which was a tea light candle Advent calendar and holder which was most acceptable.  I'm doing rather well with SW raffles at the moment - three of them in the last couple of months!  That's probably it now for the next year or so.  

Then I came home and got everything ready as far as I could - cutlery on the table and so on - before doing a bit more sorting and tidying.  To be honest, that is all I did really; the rest of the day was spent reading and knitting.

It was lovely to see Dave and Anna again.  I think (hope) they enjoyed the food and we had a great old chat.  It was past eleven by the time they left and, although they're not here on Christmas Day, they are coming over on the Thursday evening (22nd, I think it is) for a pre-Christmas thingy.

Today the sun is shining at the moment but, after a skinful last night, I don't feel very inclined to go out anywhere so I am going to be nice and idle (again) and just do potter-ish sorts of things inside as the spirit moves.

So there it is - nice and short today.  Do you have any good weekend plans or are you just having a good old rest?  Take care and stay positive!  xx

Friday 25 November 2022


 Morning, lovely people.  How are you this Friday morning - or whenever?
After a pleasant morning yesterday, followed by an increasingly cloudy afternoon and an evening of torrential rain, today looks like being lovely and sunny, according to the BBC.  That would be very nice so fingers crossed.

Early yesterday morning was a busy time, as I said yesterday and I ended up with ten uncooked mince pies in the freezer, still in the tin while they hardened.  Unfortunately, they then stuck so needed prizing out with a knife but I think only one has a hole in the side while a few of the others are slightly dented - not a disaster!  I'll remember that if I make any more and use some easy leave to line the holes in the tin.

The rogan whotsit and the butter chicken are now in the fridge, flavours developing, to be re-heated this evening.  It means I will have very that needs doing this afternoon.  A table to lay, rice to cook, curries to reheat, a pavlova thing to assemble and various bits and bobs to warm up or just lay out in dishes.  I do like to get as much as possible done in advance.

I did some more sorting in my bedroom but not in the cupboard downstairs.  That's because I emailed the school head, N, to ask if they could use various items I have, such as the 11+ study books and a ream of cm squared paper and it makes sense to await her reply before taking anything out really.  

I think that today I might go through all the Christmas stuff I have in the guest room cupboards, not to discard but just to get into order and lay out on one of the beds.  Things like tablecloths will need ironing so I can get that done.

First of all, though, it is Slimming World, which I am looking forward to very much.  If the weather is as good as BBC says, I can walk there.

Have a very lovely day, everyone, whatever you have planned.  xx

Thursday 24 November 2022


 Good morning, one and all.  How can it be Thursday already?  This month is just galloping away from me at the moment.  Are you finding that too?
After some heavy rain in the morning yesterday, the sun came out and the rest of the day was really lovely.  Today is predicted to be quite the opposite, starting off fine (not necessarily sunny) and turning rainy after a while.  Oh, well, what will be, will be and there's plenty to do inside so no complaints.

I'm getting on with the sorting out!  I tackled one shelf of That Cupboard and got it sorted - there was quite a bit of rubbish and now my bin is full so it's just as well collection day is today.  I sorted out my knitted tops and the like - there were some I had almost forgotten about and let's just say I will have no excuse for not staying warm this winter.  I had to be pretty hard hearted and Lindsey now has a good bagful to start things off.

Personal training was brilliant, really good fun and Lindsey is working me harder which is just what I need.  I've got some homework to keep me going until Monday when it's circuits.

Apart from that, I got the ironing done and then chilled with crochet, Kindle Fire and Telly.  That's the life!

Right now it is around 5:40 and I've been up for a while, bright and breezy and raring to go.  Remember I said I had decided to buy the mince pies this Christmas.  Well - I've changed my mind (and why not) so when I got up, I found the Cookidoo recipe for 'rich short crust pastry (it has butter, sugar and egg yolk in it - very naughty!) and this morning used Thermione to make a batch which is now chilling until I want to make them up.  I have some mincemeat left over from last Christmas and, if it's a bit dry, I can add a glug of the Cointreau I am using to feed the cake.

Then, as I had an egg white going spare, I whisked up some meringue and that's slowly dehydrating in Nellie the Ninja - the dehydration function makes brilliant meringues.
You see, I have Dave and Anna round for dinner tomorrow.  I'm going to make a couple of curry dishes so I have smoothed this meringue mix over the bottom of a small rectangular lined baking tray with the aim of making a small pavlova - I have some thick cream left over from making the veggie sausage rolls last weekend so it will use that up really well.   It's not going to make a big dessert but I can pile nice fruit around it as well as on it.   I just have to see what fruits Morrisons has later on today.

So that's what I do when I wake early!!

As it's Thursday, Chris is coming round and after that I'm popping to Morrisons to get what I need for tomorrow's curries.  I think I have lamb already in the freezer and I know I have chicken, so it is just bits and bobs really.
I would like to get the curries made today and into the fridge - they do develop so much more flavour second day, I think.

On the sorting out front, today it is hanging tops (shirts, etc) and, perhaps, socks (which will NOT go to Lindsey!!), plus one more shelf in That Cupboard. Keeping it manageable seems to be working for me - I'm not employing avoidance tactics yet!

So - quite a busy day but a nice one too.  Now I'd better pop out the the freezer to hunt for the lamb and get in the chicken so it defrosts.  Also, a second coffee seems to be in order.
Have a super day, everyone.  Stay safe and dry.  xx

Wednesday 23 November 2022


 Morning, everyone.
After a very bad night over Monday night and after fighting to stay awake until a half sensible time last night, I gave in at about half past eight, went to be and slept like a log all night.  I feel so much better again this morning, thank goodness.

Yesterday turned out to be a really pleasant day, although pretty cold, especially in the hall where we have the Groove class.  There are heaters but they are those 'hang from the ceiling' electric ones and the place gets hot very quickly.  Mind you, once we got going, we generated enough heat to steam up the windows!

In the New Year, Lindsey is having an open house to sell re-used clothes - or as we say nowadays, 'pre-loved' which sounds so much nicer than 'second hand', I think.  Anyway, it is an ideal opportunity to move something to the top of my clearing out list and do a good wardrobe clear-out.  She's taking things from now onward so if I really get going, I can take a bag load over to her when I go for personal training today.

I spent the rest of the day sorting things out, doing some washing, etc, etc, etc.  I feel I am getting there, although I took one look at the big cupboard and shut the door again - don't want to tackle that in one go.  I think a shelf at a time is the way to go, for sure.

I'm loving my Fire.  It is a lot easier to use than I expected and the little clip on keyboard is great.  The only thing is that when it is on, the keyboard doesn't go right round to the back so I went on to Amazon and got a very cheap and basic little stand which I can use for the old Kindle and my phone as well, should I need to.  So that's all good.

Today, therefore, is bedroom sorting this morning, plus some ironing.  Then it is personal training.  In the afternoon, I will tackle one shelf, maybe two if I'm feeling brave.  There's some stuff that could go upstairs into the small bedroom and some stuff that I no longer need, now I am not doing tuition any more (and won't be).

Have a lovely day, everyone.  The days may be getting shorter in this neck of the woods but we can still pack plenty into each day if we want to.  Keep smiling!  xx

Tuesday 22 November 2022


 Morning, one and all.  How are you today?  
Goodness, we had some rotten weather again yesterday.  It started mid morning and just poured and poured.  It was still raining when I got back from Iceland around five but not so hard, more just a drizzle.  Excellent for refilling those reservoirs, for sure.

I had an exciting delivery - my new Kindle Fire.  As some of you suggested, I did wait until Black Friday and it was a bit cheaper although I also got a detachable keyboard/case to go with it which upped the cost.  I was tempted by the bright pink one but it was a tenner more, so no!  Black it is.

The box arrived just as I was leaving for circuits so I had to be patient and not open it until later.  In fact, I didn't get going with it until early evening as I charged it up first. 

There were only two of us at circuits to start with and then H turned up half way through.  It was almost as good as a personal training session in the sense of individual attention and, again, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Later on, I went into town to the pre-opening thingy.  I got there early so had a nosey around HomeSense and I'm glad I did because there was a largish Spode Christmas Tree serving dish, high sided and calling out to me.
Iceland was loads bigger than the old store right in town but not really all that different.  Goodness, I'm not sure I have ever seen so much beige stuff under one roof before but some stuff looked really good and I might take a trip there just before Christmas for just a few nice bits and bobs - buffet type things.  I will have to be a Tuesday, of course.  Pensioner's discount.
I did buy a few of the SW ready meals to try and also some wild salmon, some beef stir fry strips and some vegetables, all very worthy to keep my conscience clear.

Then I came home and had a go at setting up Fire.  It has Alexa, something I've never used before so that should be fun.  The actual setting up was easy - it took me through step by step and it was a lot less stressful than I had expected so that's good.  I've got the Readly App now and it's a lot easier to use than the PC version. 
My Kindle books didn't download automatically but I looked it up and now I know.  I have to connect the Fire to my PC and then it's straightforward.
All in all, I am really pleased.

I've3 still got to connect the keyboard to it but I'll have a go at that today.  It is a Bluetooth thingy.

On to today and it's Groove first thing after which the day's my own.  I've had a lousy night's sleep so I expect there will be a few nodding off sessions through the day.  I have another cupboard to take a look at - I think this one will be harder - and a whole load of things to bin, recycle or take to the garage - it was just too darn wet yesterday so there's a lot of stuff piled up by the back door and on the dining table.
Finally, I want to defrost the upright freezer - it's getting very iced up!

So that's today for me.  Plenty to be getting on with, that's for sure.  
Have a good day, everyone.  xx

Monday 21 November 2022


Morning, everyone.  It's been a chilly night here and I strongly suspect we have a slight frost - not that I am planning on going out and checking as I'm nice and cosy in pjs, slippers and oodie.  Today looks like being a bit 'orrible, according to the BBC - heavy rain and a moderate breeze, starting mid morning and going on all day.  Oh, well, it is what it is!

Yesterday was a really lovely day.  Just one of those gentle, pottering, satisfying sort of days.  I got a lot done . . .
made the Delia veggie sausage rolls 
made the pigs in blankets
made the Christmas puddings
brought in the Christmas china
sorted out two cupboards so the Christmas china is now away behind doors
bit of washing and bit of ironing

The not-sausage rolls and the piggies are in the freezer now, having been open frozen so they are all separate while the puds will go in this morning, having cooled thoroughly overnight.  They smell absolutely amazing, all spicy and 'plummy' and festive.
I had decided to buy mince pies this year rather than make them but, after yesterday, I am wondering whether to make them myself as I had so much fun.  My shortcrust pastry is naff but Thermione would do all that for me.  If I do, do I freeze them raw or baked?  Decisions, decisions!

Strictly was a bit of a surprise as both those I thought would go weren't even in the dance off.  No spoilers but we are now well into the last part of the competition and pretty much any of them could possibly win.    Of course, it is as much a popularity contest as a dance contest - the judges provide the dance critique, both on screen and afterwards privately while the public vote is about popularity - and I'm as bad as anyone in voting for favourites, whether they have danced that well or not.

On to today and there's two things in the diary.  The first is circuits at Lindsey's which I always look forward to.

The other is something I'm looking forward to - we have a new Food Warehouse (aka Iceland) in town, opening tomorrow.  This new outlet is on the same precinct as Matalan and HomeSense and much easier to get to that the current shop which is in town and doesn't have much of a car park.  With frozen goods, that's quite important.
Anyway, there's a pre-opening thing called the Slimming World Event (Iceland are the sole sellers of the SW ready meals, etc) from four to eight this evening with 10% off everything for SW members.
I don't have much freezer space but I do love a good nosey round, as you know, so I'm looking forward to it and also pleased that I'll be able to buy SW meals more easily from this time on.  I don't use them much, don't like quite a lot of them, but there are some that I think delicious and having a few in the freezer is always handy.

And while we are on the subject of Iceland, I only recently learned that they do an ongoing 10% off for over 60s on Tuesday's, no minimum buy needed.  That's another reason why I am interested in having a good nosey round this evening as I'm not all that familiar with what they actually stock.
Do you use Iceland?  What do you get?

In between those two events, there's the usual - housework, more sorting and clearing, and so on. Not nearly so interesting but very necessary!

Have a lovely day, everyone.  I hope any bad weather doesn't spoil your plans.  xx

Sunday 20 November 2022


 Morning, everyone.  It's two for the price of one today as I've just posted about today - Stir Up Sunday.  

It's damp outside; yesterday wasn't so bad but we have obviously had rain overnight and it doesn't look all that promising for today.  Also it is noticeably colder than last weekend although, to be fair, last weekend was unseasonably warm, almost like summer.

I can't say I had a lazy day yesterday because I didn't, but it felt lazy because I stayed in pjs and my long oodie all day.  It was lovely, warm and cosy!  I had planned to pop to Morrisons but I didn't so I'll probably be waiting outside at ten today!

I decided, after reading through the puff pastry recipe on Cookidoo, to make it yesterday rather than today.  It's so, so easy - you cube 200g butter and pop it in the freezer for half an hour.  Then, in the Thermomix bowl you add 200g plain flour, the hard, cubed butter and 90g cold water (plus salt but my butter was salted so I didn't bother) and give it a quick zizz.  It all comes together beautifully.  Then you tip it out and shape it into a 'brick' before wrapping it and popping it in the fridge for half an hour after which time you do the folding bit once and it's ready.  Pretty much 500g of pretty good puff (or do I mean flaky) pastry.
I did a couple more folds through the day because - you know - puff pastry and Bake Off lamination and it's all ready to use today when I make the veggie sausage rolls.  They will go straight into the freezer, uncooked, on a tray to freeze before bagging so they can be used up a few at a time.  Lovely!
Any pastry left over can also go in the freezer in squares that fit my little dishes so I can use them to top a little pie from time to time, or make an individual sausage roll, some cheese straws, etc.

I dealt with a couple more cupboards and found a whole lot of diffuser oils which I plan to try out.  If they've lost scent or I actually don't like them, they can go in the bin.  So my home is going to smell rather interesting over the next week!  I am finding that I now have room for various kitchen stuff that was sitting on the side and, as a result, the kitchen is looking so much better.

I recorded some Christmas films, mostly American, most of which seem to feature some lovely girl in an unfamiliar place, trying to do something Christmassy, helped or hindered by some rugged type hero and . . . oh, you know.
They're probably rubbish but, thankfully, they cost nothing and are easily deleted, if (when) necessary!

Strictly was good last night, I thought.  The first perfect ten (and I agreed) and some other great dances but, oh, dear, it was hard to vote.  The couple who should leave this week are a couple I don't want to see go.  I'm avoiding any spoilers - do you avoid spoilers or do you like to see who has gone before the programme?

I really enjoyed the special meal last night.  It didn't look special, it was very simple and straightforward really but it was delicious, washed down with a mini bottle of red.  Lovely!  I am so glad I have such lovely memories of my Mum and Dad.  I miss them very much but how lucky we were to have them for so long.

Today is another semi-busy day.  I must do that bit of shopping and then I will make the not sausage roll filling and leave it to chill before stirring up the Christmas pudding mixture (from East to West maybe - if I remember) and setting them to steam in Thermione.  I use a lighter recipe which doesn't take as long to cook.  It's not dark and gooey looking but it is absolutely delicious and it's now my go-to recipe.
Here it is:
I use Cointreau instead of rum and I adjust the fruits to allow for some cranberries too.  The fruit has been steeping in the Cointreau overnight.

The other thing I want to do is, after maybe a strong coffee, tackle the cupboard that has piles of candle in it.  I am sure I won't need to but any candles at all this year but they need organising and sorting out.

I'm looking forward to today and wish you all a lovely day too.  xx

Stir Up Sunday

Today is Stir Up Sunday.   It's an old Victorian custom, peculiar, I think (although I could be very wrong here - please say in the comments if I am) to the British Isles, linking church and home.

The BBC Good Food site says:

What is Stir-up Sunday? Stir-up Sunday is a centuries-old annual tradition where home-cooks spend the last Sunday before Advent 'stirring up' their Christmas pudding. That means it's not on the same date each year, and falls somewhere at the end of November before Advent begins.

The link with the church is that the collect for the Sunday before Advent begins:

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people . . . 

. . . which reminded housewives that when they got home it was time to 'stir up' their Christmas pudding, not that they needed reminding, I am sure!

There are some customs that surround this tradition.

1.  The Christmas pudding should have thirteen ingredients to represent Jesus and his disciples.  Mine doesn't, it has fifteen, but then it's hardly a traditional recipe.

2.  The pudding should be stirred by
each member of the family in turn while making a wish, from east to west to represent the Wise Men to travelled to see the baby Jesus.  
This one is easy as it will only be me.  :-)

3.  The garnish of holly on top represents the crown of thorns.  Holly berries are toxic so be careful of this one!

4.  People used to add silver charms or coins to the mixture which were said to bring one luck.  These could include a wishbone for luck, a thimble for thrift, a ring for marriage, and an anchor for safe harbour.  They could also bring an emergency visit to the dentist to mend a cracked tooth!
I don't - do you?

. . . and next week, Advent officially starts.  Eeek.

I've always loved this extract, from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens:

“Mrs Cratchit left the room alone – too nervous to bear witnesses – to take the pudding up and bring it in… Hallo! A great deal of steam! The pudding was out of the copper which smells like a washing-day. That was the cloth. A smell like an eating-house and a pastrycook’s next door to each other, with a laundress’s next door to that. That was the pudding. In half a minute Mrs. Cratchit entered – flushed, but smiling proudly – with the pudding, like a speckled cannon-ball, so hard and firm, blazing in half of half-a-quarter of ignited brandy, and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top.”

Saturday 19 November 2022


 Morning, everyone.  It's too early to see what the weather is but yesterday was beautiful with wall to wall sunshine, pretty much.  What a contrast to Thursday!  The Beeb seems to think that today will be dull and a bit damp - and cold!  We will see.

Well, I finished it!  I wasn't able to get a good angle for the photo as it's not a big bedroom and the light isn't great but you get the idea.  I had it on the bed overnight and it was really lovely and cosy.  I thought it might be too heavy but it wasn't, not at all.

Making that has reduced my DK stash considerably although I still have plenty, in darker colours.  I'll have to think about what to make with them.

Also, I have loads of chunky/Aran weight yarn and also 4 ply and sock weight.  I've really enjoyed making the blanket but I don't need another one.  I could maybe use some of the chunky to make one for the Sally Army drop off - yes, perhaps I will.  It will grow faster, won't it and if I make it the same size, it will be big enough for either a single or double bed.

As far as knitting is concerned, Cherie has inspired me to use the entrelac knitting technique to make a scarf for myself after seeing her beautiful creation.  I have some rather posh yarn called 'Smoothie', I think, although I will have to check that.  It's lovely and soft, almost silky-like and is a dark grey so will go nicely with all my coats, etc.  I've had it for ages; I think it was reduced in a sale.
If you're not sure what entrelac is, here's a YouTube video that shows how to do it.

I did some more sorting out yesterday and, again, it was more a case of reorganising than throwing out.  I've now got a nice big space in the over the stairs cupboard in the small bedroom so, I think, in January I might use that space for all my festive bits and bobs, freeing up more useable space in the guest room.  

Slimming world was good, as usual, and I have got everything needed for tomorrow's cook-fest except for plain flour - I thought I had plenty but I don't, darn it.  So that's a walk to Morrisons at some point today!

I have a couple more cupboards earmarked for sorting today.  They might be a bit more tricky but we will see - I am pretty sure I can free up some more space which would be good.

Some of you might remember that this time last year we had a discussion about how I could 'commemorate' my lovely Dad's birthday which was today.  Mum's birthday is Christmas Cake Day, of course.
I had written:
"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."

Cherie answered:
Why not have a 'dad's dinner day' Cook yourself a nice steak and open a small bottle of wine. Raise a glass to your lovely dad. x

. . . and lots of you agreed with her so that's exactly what I am going to do.  I have a nice piece of fillet (lavish!!) steak, some corn on the cob from my garden (in the freezer), one of those tiny bottles of red wine and I will make chips.  Today is officially Dad's Dinner Day!  Woo hoo!

Well, I'd better stop now and get into Facebook to do my admin duties there before starting the day by tackling one the cupboards>
Do you feel the urge to sort things out before Christmas?  Or are you one of those wonderful people who deal with stuff before it gets to mega-sort-out stage?  
Take care, have a great day and stay happy!  xx

Friday 18 November 2022


 Morning!  Round here, yesterday was an absolute shocker with heavy rain at times and a strong wind until around two o'clock when it cleared up a little bit and we might have had a few moments of sunshine at one point.  Poor Chris had to cancel the trip she had planned with friends to look round the Beth Chatto Gardens so we did get our chat after all and very nice it was too.  Hopefully, she/they can go today.

Then I drove to Val's and had another lovely time, this time with lunch thrown in.  She's coming to me next month so I will have to think of something light and festive.

Talking of festive . . .

.. . I really can't be bothered to take these upstairs.  They can sit in the corner and look exciting!

It was jolly chilly come the evening so I snuggled under my electric fleece and stayed nice and warm and cosy.  Lovely!

Today, like pretty much every Friday, starts with Slimming World, moves on to housework and getting the house cleaner ready and then some ironing and/or some more sorting out and clearing which is proving to be not quite as bad as I thought - there's not an awful lot to get rid of, it just needs a good tidy up.  In between SW and housework, I'm doing a shop at Morrisons.  I have a shopping list - does anyone go shopping without a list nowadays? - so I have everything I need for Stir Up Sunday and also for tomorrow - but I'll tell you about that tomorrow!

Have a fantastic Friday and stay warm.  xx

Thursday 17 November 2022


Good morning, everyone.  Where is the week going?  I'm sure it can only be Tuesday in reality!  Not only are we nearly at the end of the working week, we're also more than half way through November and that is just ridiculous!

It's raining out there - what a surprise!  To be fair, yesterday morning was rather nice with some bright sunshine although by around two, that was fading and the rain started not long afterwards.  Beeb seems to think it will rain pretty much all day but I can hope!!

I got quite a lot done yesterday.  The cupboard under the stairs was not nearly as bad as I thought it was and I found some items I thought I had lost, including my iPod.  It's been years and years since I used it and I've forgotten passwords, etc, so I've found a YouTube video (is there anything YouTube doesn't cover?) that tells me how I can reset it.  I'm not used to apple stuff so it feels a bit clunky but we will see.  I've managed without it for years so it's not the end of the world if I can't manage to change my password, etc.

Sharon came, did her usual and now I feel neat and tidy again.  Phew.  Which reminds me - I didn't pay her.  Hang on . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

Done.  I always do an online payment nowadays.  It's simple (as long as I remember) and Sharon prefers it.

Then I went off to Lindsey's and had a good old workout there.  I'm definitely over that virus now, it felt so much better than last week.  I never thought I would say this but I really do enjoy my one to one sessions and always feel much brighter afterwards.

I really am on the last lap of the C2C blanket now.  I might even finish it today, if I can remember how to do the very last row which I want to be the same as that small blanket I made as it really gives a good edge.  Goodness, it is a heavy thing though.  I never thought it would be so very heavy but I suppose it has to be considering how much yarn is in it.  It keeps me beautifully warm as I work on it too.  Between oodies and blankets, if the power does go off, I should be toasty warm!

Today, usually, Chris and I meet up for out catchup but she can't make it today so I will start the day with a bit more sorting out.  Later on, I am off to Val's for lunch and that's pretty much the day gone really.  It will be lovely to see her again and catch up on things.

Well, I'd better stop meandering and go over to Facebook and do my duties there.  Have a good day, everyone.  Stay warm and dry if you can.  xx

Wednesday 16 November 2022


 Morning, everyone.  What a change in the weather!  We had some very heavy rain all morning yesterday although it cleared and we even had a little bit of sunshine later.  Today looks like a mirror image - dry in the morning (no sun predicted though) and rain in the afternoon and through the night.  And it's very much colder than the weekend.  I'm back in my oodie as I type this.

Yesterday started with a lovely exchange of messages with a dear friend I've known since my early Open Uni days and stayed close to ever since.  She's been living in Germany but is back in the UK now and is coming over for a Christmas weekend in December.  As she's an early riser, like me, we sometimes have these early morning 'chats' and it's lovely.

I dodged the raindrops running from car to hall for Groove for a thoroughly enjoyable class.  Lindsey plans in half term blocks and I really like this current block; it's a bit challenging but lots of fun.

After that, it was home, James, for breakfast and into some clearing and sorting and some more crocheting.  I've just realised this Sunday is Stir Up Sunday, so called because the Collect for the day starts with the words:

"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."

. . . so I need to make a shopping list of things I need by then.
This is the recipe I use, using Cointreau instead of rum and it is delicious.  Not as stodgy as the traditional cake and it steams a lot faster too.  Win win.

I might go the whole hog and make Sunday a baking day, making the veggie sausage rolls too.  As there won't be that many of us this year, I have decided to buy mince pies instead of making them - there's some lovely ones to be had out there.

The festive feeling has arrived early here.  There's a pile of wrapped gifts in a corner of the living room (where the Christmas Tree will stand) which I ought to take upstairs really but they look so nice.

I've started watching the Nigella Christmas programmes on YouTube, interspersed with Hairy Bikers, Nigel Slater, James Martin and the occasional Jamie offering.  Goodness, there's some fussy old recipes out there but now and then there's a gem.  I picked up making biscotti from James Martin and make some every year both for us and as gifts.  I can't remember who started me on stollen but I can't make that until I know if I have enough marzipan left over from icing the cake.

Anyway, enough of that!  Sorry!

Today starts with me getting my kitchen into a tidier state as the lovely Sharon is coming to sort out my hair and we use the kitchen.  I think, also, that I will follow Eileen's excellent example and sort out my under the stairs cupboard.  I know there's an awful lot of rubbish in there and I need the space.  I might also do a couple of cupboards, if there's time.

After Sharon has gone, I will be driving to Lindsey's for my personal training session so I'm looking forward to that too.  

It should be a good day. one way and another.  How about you?  xx

Tuesday 15 November 2022


 Good morning, everyone!
I have no idea what the weather is like yet, it's too dark, but Beeb says heavy rain and a moderate breeze to start in a couple of hours and go on all day.  Nice!!!  There's plenty to do at home so I won't be bored.

First of all, a Little Pete update.  He's no longer little, he's now eight months old, believe it or not, and a very handsome teenager, even if the ears are still big.

He's a right character too, pretty mischievous, and now all the cars seem to get on reasonably well together, despite the occasional scrap or 'putting Peter in his place' from Fred or Lucy.  The colder weather sometimes sees them all snuggled up together for warmth.

This is what I've done with the Christmas books.

I cleared all the clutter off this table which is next to my recliner chair and which is extremely tatty, having survived for twenty four years and a good deal of battering (I did photoshop the top - it looked shocking in the photo and has made me realise I ought to think about replacing it soon).

I might pop a candle next to them for a festive vibe.

The bookends were Mum and Dad's.  I forget, perhaps never knew, where they got them but it was on one of their travels.  

They are rock; very, very heavy and solid and I have always coveted them so it is so nice to be able to use them.  There's another pair too, shorter ones.

(apologies for the bad lighting)

Talking of candles, I have decided not to get a big Advent candle this year.  One of my Advent calendars has a small scented tea light for each day so it seemed sensible not to shell out for a big one as well, especially as I also have quite a stock of scented candles to work through this Christmas as well.

(I do love a candle)

What a waste of time it was, driving over to B&Q.  Absolutely no granular salt to be had and the Christmas stuff wasn't looking at really either.  I came home, looked online and good old Amazon came up trumps.  A bit more costly than B&Q but not that much more and it was on Prime.  And what I have ordered should see me through to Spring when, hopefully, B&Q will have restocked.  Hopefully!

I was glad to get some stuff in the garage; it has been hovering by the back door for ages waiting for me to get round to it.  I also started bringing in Christmas china - just mugs and mug mats for now - and will start using them soon because it's fun!

After circuits, I drove over to Beth.  She said she had a pe4rsonal study day relating to a course she is doing so would I like coffee and a chat.  It was so nice.  Three out of four cats came to sniff, size me up and decide to stay around and we sorted out this, that and the other as we chatted and drank coffee.  I didn't stay long because she needed to get back to study, but it was really nice.

Today starts with Groove and moves on to more clearing out and getting things in order.  I was thinking of a trip out to Longacres, a nice garden centre on the 414 towards Ongar way but, if it is pouring, I'd rather stay inside and potter, to be honest.  There's plenty that needs doing, after all.

What do you do when it rains (or snows!)?  xx

Monday 14 November 2022


Good morning, everyone.  I was right about yesterday - when the fog cleared, it was a nice, sunny day.  However, the mist didn't properly clear until the afternoon so there were only a few sunny hours before darkness but it was lovely and warm - incredibly warm for November.
It's misty again this morning so fingers crossed.

I enjoyed yesterday.  I did a bit of this, that and the other but generally I was thoroughly lazy.  I looked up my saved Festive recipes, found last year's planning which was helpful and, brought down some Christmas 'coffee table' Christmas books - Nigella, Delia (x2) and Nigel.  Jamie can join them in a few weeks!  Mind you, I had a panic as I couldn't find a single one of my Delia's books until I moved the covered clothes rack and they were behind it.  I KNEW I wouldn't have got rid of them!!

Wasn't the professionals' dance at the start of Strictly a lovely thing?  A simple, heartfelt, 'it's not about us' ballroom dance to my favourite melody and the costume was just perfect.  Definitely a tears in the eyes dance.
As for the result, I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't watched the show yet and wants to avoid spoilers but all I will say is it's a shame it happened like that but I think they made the right decisions.

Today, the only thing in the diary is the circuits class at Lindsey's but I have realised that I'm getting short on granular salt for water softener.  I tried to order online but they said there was none available for online ordering and delivery so I am going to pop over to B&Q after the school run this morning - hopefully they will have some there on the shelf, so to speak.  If not, I will need to search wider although it might be a 'national shortage' thing, I suppose.

And if I just happen to wander in the wrong direction and end up in the Christmas decorations, don't blame me!!  OK?

The rest of the day will be just ordinary things.  I need to take a number of items to the garage (such as my summer fans) and I'll probably make the most of the 'journey' by bringing some of my Christmas china into the house.  I'm in a 'clear the decks' sort of mood so I am sure the bin will be a bit fuller by the end of the day, hopefully!

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

Sunday 13 November 2022


 Morning, everyone.  Welcome to Sunday.  It's a bit of a misty start to the day but once that has cleared it might be quite nice and it is certainly surprisingly mild.

I did pop out to HomeSense yesterday but the plates I was after had all gone so I didn't bother with the bowls.  I had intended to have six plates and three bowls (I have three already) which would have made a nice little festive set for the numbers I cater for nowadays but no to worry, I do have plenty anyway.  In fact, perhaps it is just as well.
I did manage to find some gifts though, including Anna's birthday pressie as her birthday is on Christmas Day so I make a point of doing a proper birthday gift as well as a Christmas one.

Then I drove on to Longacres where they had the best Christmas display I have seen around here so far.  It was almost bewildering but I did get a few things including some reed diffuser refill stuff, some oil for my lovely steam diffuser and a few pressies which are now wrapped up.

Once home, I just pottered really, doing this, that and the other.

And today is more of the same.  What an easy life!
I'm finding Christmas ideas and general festive stuff keeps wafting around my brain so I'm going to get out my Christmas folder and my diary and get the things I 'need' (not really but you know what I mean) to do roughly pencilled in.  I did this last year and it made the whole thing a real pleasure rather than a terrible rush.

Have a lovely day, everyone!  xx

Saturday 12 November 2022


 Morning, everyone!

Thanks for the comments about Excel.  I know it's no big deal in the wider scheme of things but it is to me and I'm well pleased.  I can't wait for December to begin so I can use it in reality.  I used to monitor my finances so strictly and it actually feels good to be getting back on top of things again.

After Slimming World (two and a half pounds off, yay), I had breakfast and then decided to stay at home and chill.  I'm still feeling pretty tired a lot of the time which, I suspect, is the longer lasting after effects of the virus I had.  I got the house sorted out and then got on with the C2C blanket.  To my delight, I have now finished the main part and have started the border (which is going to take for ever, I can tell).

I spread it out on the floor and took this photo.  It truly is random apart from a few times when I rejected one colour in favour of another.  It's a bit eye aching but I knew it would be and it will be lovely and warm when (if) the colder weather ever arrives.

It is properly rectangular really - it was difficult to lay out and I had to move some furniture just a bit.

I didn't go out again so didn't get to HomeSense but there will be other times - maybe this morning.  We will see.

The Amazon things I ordered nearly all arrived and I started wrapping them up for Christmas.  It's such a nice feeling wrapping gifts for loved ones, isn't it?  Warm and cosy.  I'll continue that today - it looks a lot nicer to have piles of wrapped parcels than piles of seemingly random stuff.

Apart from that, I may go out or I may not.  I think the weather is going to be good so perhaps a walk out somewhere would be nice.  Or there's plenty to do in the garden and that's a fact.  Yes, I think maybe it's garden today, walk tomorrow.

Is it nice and sunny where you are.  I know some of my Canadian readers have had snow; I hope not too much.
Take care and all the best.  xx

Friday 11 November 2022


Morning, everyone.  Friday again.  It does seem to roll round so quickly.

I'm feeling rather chuffed with myself.  Remember I mentioned about keeping my personal accounts more strictly again the other day (Wednesday, I think) and how numbers bothered my head (mild dyscalculia)?
Suzie suggested a simple excel spread sheet and my brain panicked before telling me not to be so daft! 
I found a really good, clear (even to me), simple YouTube video and watched it through a couple of times, sat down at the PC and, lo and behold, I have a really simple but (as far as I can tell right now) accurate spreadsheet for a month.  I even entered amounts for this month, just to check, and it figures.  It gives me totals for general, subscriptions, food/other, my total spend, totals for income from the month because I work a month in arrears for income and (although I had to look up how to subtract - use the sign, silly), what I will have left.
Blimey - I never thought I could do that.  It's clunky, amateur and very, very simple but it seems to be all I need and I am so proud of myself.  

This is the video, if you're interested.  I'll be watching it again as I couldn't take it all in at once.

Thanks very much, Suzie, Jackie and Eileen for the push.

First thing, I had a lovely chat with Chris - the time goes so quickly and we were still chatting madly as she left.

Another thing I did was go into Amazon and order sundry requested Christmas pressies, most of which arrive today and, because I was in the mood, got round to wrapping up my Twelve Days of Christmas gifts.  There's one that ought to be opened first but the others will be a sort of lucky dip - close eyes and grab!

Today starts with Slimming World, as usual, and then the day's my own.  I might take a drive out somewhere and I have decided that I want to go back to HomeSense to see if there are any of the Christmas Spode plates and bowls left.  There may not be - HomeSense is a bit 'when it's gone, it's gone' - but it's worth a look, I think.
I also have some ironing to do and need to do just a bit of tidying before the lovely cleaners arrive.

Have a great day, whatever your plans.  Stay safe and happy, everyone.  xx

Thursday 10 November 2022


 Morning, one and all.  How are you today?
It's dry outside (and a bit chilly) and yesterday, after some early drizzle, cheered up no end and we had some lovely sunshine, so mush so that I dried my washing on the line.  Lovely!

I got my shopping done in Sainsbury's and didn't go anywhere near the clothes.  See the halo???
I did, however, get a totally unnecessary box of Christmas pasta - which I will still be using next August, I have no doubt!  Oh, well!

I got an email about something I had forgotten.  Just after the Yarn Festival in June/July (I forget exactly when), I went onto the site of one of the stall holder who was an OU friend and ordered one of her yarn Advent Calendars.  Yes, it was eye wateringly expensive but there you go.  Dad's money had come though (or some of it) and I treated myself.  Anyway, the email was to say it was being posted out (it's already paid for, phew) this week so I should get it at some point in the next few days.
Behind each door is some posh yarn and there is a project to use up the yarn.  I'm not sure what this year's project is but it should be fun and, perhaps, a bit challenging.  It's nice to have something to do during the dark evenings and the C2C blanket will certainly be finished by the beginning of December - the rows are getting much shorter again now and then it's just the edging.

Personal Training was also good although I was so tired after Tuesday's bad-sleep night that my balance was even worse than usual.  Not to worry - I left Lindsey's feeling much more energetic and cheered up as I always do.  I think she sprinkles her studio with magic sparkle dust!  (sorry!!)
And she has given me some balance exercises to work on before next week.

While today has started very early, it's not the stupid half past one start of  Tuesday night and I've slept really well.

I've already started a load of washing(to take advantage of the cheaper rate) but I'll leave them in the machine until I can, hopefully, hang them out on the line.

Chris is coming over a bit earlier than usual, as she had friends coming over for lunch, and then the rest of the day is free.  I have housework, obviously, and clearing and sorting out, but I think it will be an easier day all round which is nice.

So that's today.  Is yours a busy day or a comparatively easy day?  What do you like doing on your easier days - or is that not a thing in your life.
Whatever your plans, I hope you can make it a really good day.  Stay happy!  xx

Wednesday 9 November 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  I'm feeling very bleary eyed after a bad night but not to worry, I can snooze if I need to.
Yesterday's weather veered between absolutely shocking with torrential rain and sunshiney periods that were really pleasant.  It's still not particularly cold; I remember that, as a child, bonfire night was almost always really cold and frost but nowadays it's quite the opposite.  No complaints - any saving on fuel is a Very Good Thing.

Groove was good fun and a lady popped her head around the door to see what was going on and came back at the end of the session to talk to Lindsey.  Another person in the group, perhaps.  Nice.

When I got home and after breakfast, I settled down to the admin stuff that needed doing.  I finished the visit report and sent it off (and it was OK so it's gone on to Heather, the clerk), I did the online DBS application so that should all go through at some point, I read through a load of governor paperwork stuff and caught up with this term's meeting minutes and I filled in the thing Kay had asked me to do regarding my monthly income and outgoings.  Not quite as easy as it sounds because some things aren't monthly so maths was involved but, thankfully, I am still in the state Mr Micawber described as 'happiness'*, despite the personal ups and downs of the last few years and all the price rises (and not counting the money Dad left me).  I've been careless with my monthly accounting with inheritance money coming over in bits and bobs but it is time to tighten up again and make that money do something useful and earn its space!

I was very glad to get all that done - it took longer than one might expect but my mind is easier now.  I spent my wakeful night creating a sheet on the PC so now I can keep up with everything on a regular basis again,. like I used to do.  Maybe I ought to look for a proper (free if possible) program - any ideas?

I can't say I made great inroads into the housework so that is on today's list alongside a trip to Sainsbury's (has to be Sainsbury's as there's a few things I need that I can only get there) and personal training.  And catching up on sleep.

What do you do when you can't get back to sleep in the middle of the night?  xx

*"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."
(David Copperfield)

Tuesday 8 November 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  When I woke this morning, it was nice and dry and looked hopeful.  Now, at nearly eight o'clock, it's chucking it down again but, thankfully, it isn't feeling cold.  The radiators clicked in earlier but they're only slightly warm now so that's good.

Yesterday went according to plan.  I met with Heather, clerk to the governors, at nine and we went through all the stuff that was needed including how the Governors' site works.  I handed over the forms, signed various things saying I was a law abiding person with no convictions, provided proof of identity and met several more old friends, most of whom didn't recognise me at first - it makes me laugh every time.  

By the time I got home, there was an email from Essex Council regarding the second part of the DBS, to be completed online.  What a palaver - rightly so but it is - and I decided to leave it until today.

Circuits was great fun.  A full group today and some more tricky stuff, some of which really challenged (which is what it's all about, to be fair).  Another in the group seems to have had the same virus as I had so we had an enjoyable few minutes saying how horrible it was!  

Once home and after lunch, I got out the ironing board and finally, at long last, the basket is empty (for a few days).  That was a relief as it's been giving me guilty vibes every time I walked past!  Then I sat down, watched telly stuff (an old Jamie Oliver thing on You Tube that was once a video that I had) about Christmas.  Very, very old and there's no way I would go to those lengths but most enjoyable and there were some good ideas.  He makes a good gravy, I'll give him that, and I always follow his advice and put some onion, lemon and orange inside the turkey too!

Today starts, as always on Tuesdays, with Groove down at St Andrew's church hall.  Then I'm home and there's a number of things I need to do.  For a start, I have quite a lot of paperwork/admin that really, really needs to be done and dusted and there's quite a lot of clutter to sort out.  If I get all that done, I will be very happy.

I hope you have better weather than it is here right now.  Stay warm, stay dry and have a great day!  xx

Monday 7 November 2022


 Good morning, everyone.  After a pretty horrendous weekend of rain, this morning looks much nicer.  No sun (yet) but it's dry and calm.

A friend posted this on Facebook yesterday and it made me laugh so much I thought I'd post it here.  I know some of you will relate to it.

The blanket is still coming on and now it's pretty much full sized, it is keeping me beautifully warm as I work on it.  Between blankets and oodies, I won't be cold this winter, that's for sure.

I was very pleased to hear back from the owners of the cottage I would rather like to rent next year.  They won't be opening bookings for next year until the New Year and are currently re-assessing their prices in the light of the whole cost of living thing.  That's fair enough, I will get back to them in January.  Depending on the cost, I might take longer than a week - we will see.  And that will be that for next year as far as longer breaks are concerned.

Today will be nice, I think.  I'm off into school first thing to meet with Heather, the clerk to the governing body, to get some paperwork sorted out including the all important DBS.  Then it's home for breakfast before circuits.
After that, the day is my own but I have some ironing that really does need doing.

And that's about it really.  Take care and I hope your day goes really well.  xx

Sunday 6 November 2022


 First of all, here's the photo I took of the raffle win, Sue.

I forgot the baby corn and the sweet corn in my answer yesterday.  I was very happy with this haul!  The bars have gone, the baked beans are being opened this morning and I'm making a chicken noodle soup so I might add some of the cannellini beans to that as well as some of the small can of corn.

Morning, everyone.  It was a miserable day, weather wise, yesterday and it looks as if today is going to be worse.  It's chucking it down at the moment and looks as if it's not going anywhere else at the moment.

Yesterday started off with a walk with some of the SW group.  It wasn't a long walk which was probably just as well because it was merely spitting with rain when we started off but by the time we arrived at the tearooms where we planned to have coffee. it was raining quite hard.  Sustained with coffee and a diversion into a shop by the female members of the group we finished the walk rather damp and definitely chilly.

I was going to turn up the heating when I get home but no - I had spent a fair amount on an oodie for just that reason so on it want, I made a coffee and within fifteen minutes the shivers had gone and I felt toasty warm again.  Excellent.

After lunch (a nice, warming cheesy jacket potato, yummy), I settled down and went to sleep.  Not for long but it was very satisfying.  The rest of the day was the usual stuff - meal prep, housework, etc - and I wrote that meeting report.  I am so out of practice with things like that and will need to give it a careful read through before sending it off.

There's not much chance I will want to go out today but that's fine.  I have things to do, sheets to wash, meals to plan, magazines to read and there's always the crochet to keep my fingers busy.  I won't be bored, that's for sure.

What are your plans?  xx

Saturday 5 November 2022


 Good morning, one and all.  Welcome to the weekend, especially if you work and the weekend means a bit of chilling and relaxing.

Yesterday was one of those happy days.  SW group was, as always, fun, I won the raffle (again) and brought home a shedload of cans and packets and weigh-in was a happy experience!
It didn't take too long to tidy the house and I changed the sheets so getting into bed last night was lovely.
Finally, I had a lovely talk with Natalie on my governor's visit, looked at some work, did a short observation and went through some stuff from the Self Evaluation plan with her.  Now I have a report to write up.

Unfortunately, I've had a bad night's sleep.  Why I woke at two and couldn't get back to sleep is beyond me but there you go, it happens from time to time.  It's our group walk this morning which will keep me awake and I have no specific plans this afternoon apart from writing up that report so I can chill and snooze, if I need to.

This evening, of course, is Strictly - I always look forward to that.

It's short and sweet today as my brain is on strike right now.  I might go back to bed and see if I can snatch a couple more hours sleep - even a bit would help.
Have a lovely day, everyone.  xx

Friday 4 November 2022


 Morning, everyone.  Thank you for all your nice comments about the Advent Calendar.  I'm not on commission or anything like that, but here's the link if you are interested in getting one.

When I downloaded it, I went 'inside' the house, played a few games and did a bit of decorating (you can change colours, light the fire, turn on the lights, etc.

All those games started off as presents.  When clicked on, the change into games that one can play straight away.  The baubles outside only become live on the appropriate day.

A couple of year I downloaded it to my school laptop and each day the children and I opened one bauble and did whatever it was while an advent candle burnt down..  It was such fun.

Enough of that!

I went out yesterday to B&M and then to Aldi.  B&M did have some OK stuff but very little that actually called to me.  Aldi had a lot of nice festive stuff, mostly food based, so I made a few mental notes.  I can't buy anything like that so early; it wouldn't last!  I was so pleased with Aldi - I like to use whole wheat pasta and had run out of spaghetti.  I was sure they wouldn't have any whole wheat but they did!  Excellent!

I'm glad I checked the C2C blanket on my bed because it was plenty long enough so I am on the last lap with it now.  Each row gets a bit smaller!  Now I need to look up some crochet edging patterns - and that will take for ever but never mind.  It's using up the stash and keeping my fingers busy so no complaints.

Today is a busier day.

It starts off, as always, with Slimming World group and this week is a taster week.  It's always a bit tricky for our group which is in the morning but I have put together a fruit platter and flavoured some Greek yogurt.  It's a favourite breakfast of mine so fingers crossed people will like it.  If not - it won't be wasted!!

Then it is home for a quick pre-cleaners tidy up before setting out to school for my first governors' monitoring visit.  I'm not quite sure where my lunch will fit into this but I'm sure any left over fruit will come in handy!

The sun is out and it looks nice outside so fingers crossed for a much nicer day than yesterday - for us all.  Take care and be safe, everyone, and thanks for reading.  xx

Thursday 3 November 2022


 Morning, everyone.  The clock says it is around quarter to seven, it's starting to lighten up and I've just dodged the raindrops to get something from the shed.  The forecast summary is 'heavy rain' for this morning.  Oh, well, it is needed still.

I had a Christmas vibe yesterday - info about this year's Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar came through so, of course, I now have it installed with the link on my desktop.

I took this screen shot of it about ten minutes ago.  It's based on Sussex this year - nice - and, while it properly starts on December 1st, of course, a few features are live.  I went into the house, made some snowflakes which are decorating the window, decorated the Christmas Tree as you can see, turned on the lights which are jolly well going to stay on (!) and played a few games.

Then, because I was feeling the spirit, I went on YouTube and started looking for music for the Advent Calendar I do in here every year.

It felt . . . happy!

I was slow to get started yesterday and then remembered that Nov 2nd was World Ballet Day and I do enjoy watching the live daily class from the Royal Ballet and then some of the rehearsals.
So I didn't get out yesterday but I will today, partly just to look around B&M but also because one of our three Aldis (why on earth do we have three???) is next door to B&M and I do need a few items from there.
From there, I might possibly drive up the road to Hobbycraft too or on to a garden centre that always does nice Christmas displays.  I'll see how I feel when I get there.

First of all, though, I'm over the cul de sac to Chris for our coffee and chat.  I want to hear how her little grandson is getting on.

It should be a pleasant day.

What's the weather like your way today.  I know some of you had some nasty wet stuff yesterday while we had sunshine so maybe you're getting to sun today.  I do hope so.
Have a great day.  xx

Wednesday 2 November 2022


 Good morning again, everyone.  Yesterday's blowing and blustering seems to have gone elsewhere and this morning looks still and clear although it's a bit early to really tell.

I hadn't checked the spam folder for about a week and, when I did, there were nine - NINE - comments inside.  Three were genuine spam and the others should now be where they should be, hopefully with my answers showing!  Sorry about that.

Yesterday wasn't nearly as busy as Monday.  I went to Groove and thoroughly enjoyed it.  New music, new routines and a lot of fun and laughing.  I'm definitely on the mend now, pretty much back to normal again apart from a lingering slight cough and residual weariness earlier in the evening than normal.  I can live with that!

Mind you - I was cross with myself when I discovered a mistake in the C2C blanket along one side.  Thankfully, the most you can do is two rows before discovering any errors but they are now long rows so grrrr to myself.  I don't think it is quite long enough yet to start turning the corner and shortening the rows again but I must take it upstairs and lay it on the bed to check.

I have a couple of other things on the make too.  Neither of them have a pattern and are basically built on rectangles.  One is a jumper using fisherman's rib and the other is something I saw at SW group, a crochet top using ripple stitch.  She didn't have a pattern (I asked) but we had a chat about it and it looks very doable.  The main think is that the yarn I am using was very cheapo and not that soft so it may very well just be an overthing, a top layer, not to be worn next to the skin.  If it works, I'll give it a good wash in that  delicates liquid and use some fabric conditioner and see if that helps. 
It's no big deal if it doesn't - I can unpick and use the yarn for something else.

Today was going to be a bit busier.  I was going into school to meet up with Heather, the clerk to the governors, to go over paperwork including my police check thingy.  I'd got all the paperwork ready, even found my old DBS certificate in case when she emailed to change the date (for very good reason) so it's Monday instead now.

The other thing is personal training this afternoon.  As always, I am looking forward to that.

So that is my day.  I might take a drive out to B&M and look round although there's nothing on my 'need to get' list right now.  It's be nice to look around though.

Take care, have a lovely day and stay happy!  xx

Tuesday 1 November 2022


 Morning, one and all.  November is here starting with All Saints' Day or All Hallows' Day today and All Souls' Day tomorrow.
Thank you for all your interesting comments about Halloween yesterday.  Kay (the financial adviser) said that she had seen a number of groups of teenagers dressed up and wandering about the area but they certainly didn't come here and maybe they were just heading off to a party or something like that.  I hope so anyway.

It was really nice getting back to my normal routine again yesterday.  

The day started with a rummage around HomeSense, Matalan and Home Bargains.  HomeSense was, as always, really good.  It's an interesting place with 'different' sort of stuff and I have learned not to go away and 'think about it' for too long because once it has gone, it's gone.  I was delighted to see that they had some Spode 'Christmas Tree' plates and shallow bowls - soup plates, I think they would be called.  They weren't molto cheapo but they were cheaper than one would usually pay; I got three bowls and might go back for a few more bits but I need to 'think about it' first.

Matalan had some good Christmas stuff but not much I actually wanted.  I had seen on their site some bedding that looked rather nice but, seeing the real thing, it wasn't as nice as it looked on screen.  I came out with slippers (for the twelve days) and a nightie (needed).

I popped into Home Bargains because it was there, really, and came out with the cheap scented candle that will probably smell OK - I hope.

When I got home, it was a bit of a rush to get changed and out for circuits.

After circuits, it was just home based stuff.

In the evening, apart from what Kay had come to do - explore finances, etc - she said that she had solar panels fitted last year and is going to send me the name of the company she used as she was really pleased with what they did.  So that's good.

Today is less busy.  It starts energetically with Groove and it's a new block so there will be new routines to learn.  Then I will probably spend the rest of the day at home as it's a bit wild and blowy outside at the moment.  There's ironing, some info gathering for Kay, generally this, that and the other to catch up with - plenty to keep me busy anyway.

Well, it is nearly seven so I'd better stop waffling and get on with other things, starting with another coffee, I think.  Have a lovely day, everyone.  xx