Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Tuesday, 31-01-23

Morning, all.  Another early wake for me (around four am) after a very satisfying spell of sleeping until around six thirty to seven.  Ah, well, I can go with the flow nowadays so it is in no way a problem, thank goodness.

At the beginning of January, I tentatively jotted down in my diary a few 'goals' that I would like to meet/achieve in January.  I don't really do this much, tending towards a shorter term thing - i.e. 'today I will . . . ' but thought I'd give it a go.
This is what I put:
I will . . .
1. get back into the ten something (relating to SW). . .
2. eat from freezer and stores
3. defrost, sort out and audit the upright freezer
4. ditto the chest freezer
5. keep an eye on spending

And . . .
1.  tick!
2, 3 and 4.  done/achieved and more, as you know, having accompanied me through them all in unnecessary detail.  :-)
5.  I'm pleased with this one as I was getting a bit concerned about my lack of 'grip' on my spending since Mum and Dad passed away.  I've checked pretty much every day, recoded everything on the Excel template I learned how to set up before Christmas (and which works, yay!) and know exactly how much I've spent and, thankfully, how much I have left over.  It's a great relief and no hassle.  It's ongoing now.

I think I'll carry on with this goal setting for smaller things - different ones, obviously - and hopefully it will work in February as well as it has through January.  I know it's just small things but I like it.

I really didn't do very much yesterday and it was lovely.  I went out to circuits; it was just two of us for half the time before H turned up so there was plenty of opportunity for chatting between puffs!  It was a sunny day once the skies had cleared but I really MUST clean my French windows - they are in a shocking state.  The low lying winter sun shows them up so very much!

There was no shoe tidying and no stash sorting but they can wait, it isn't urgent.  The four ply stash blanket is coming on a treat and is growing very quickly.  I'm doing all the sewing in of ends and joining as I go so apart from a border, once it is big enough there won't be much else to do.
I said to Beth on Sunday that when I pop off, her main problem will be what to do with all dear old mum's knitted and crocheted blankets!!  I think I need a holiday cabin somewhere where they will look just right (if only!).

And finally, Matt the Plumber emailed to set a date to come and fit the new water softener - three cheers.

Today begins with Groove but there's nothing else in the diary.  The French windows - one pair anyway - is top of the list and I need to add to the small collection of things to pack on Friday.  If the weather is good, I might pop out for a walk too.  It should be good.

Have a happy day, everyone.  xx

 

Monday, 30 January 2023

Monday, 30-01-23

Morning, everyone.   I woke at stupid o'clock for the first time in a while but, to be fair, I went to bed quite early and fell asleep quickly so I thing I've had my fair share of sleep.

It's not cold out at the moment and it's dry.  We ended up with some lovely sunshine round here yesterday . . .



. . . and we had an amazing sunset.

The photos have come out too red - it was closer to a very intense pink really.


I'm glad I caught it.




Beth and Alex came over for a roast dinner and a chat.  It's pretty much the only time I have a roast dinner - roasting for one is a bit lavish - although I do freeze leftovers.  It's not quite the same thing though, without the cooking experience.
(not complaining, just saying!)
In the afternoon, we talked holidays.  For several years now, the three of us have wanted to take another holiday at Center Parcs together.  Covid put paid to that for a while but it's time to think again so we looked up some prices, etc, for later on in the year - September/October time, maybe.  It will be nice if we can get it organised although it's not so simple now Beth has to book time off.

I didn't do much else except for sorting out parts of the fridge.  The top shelf and the doors were rather crammed with sauces, jars, etc - the stuff that needs to be chilled once open.  After chucking away everything that was going fluffy, I made a note of what was left, wiped everything down and put it all back neatly.  Another tick on the list - yay!
The rest of the fridge was fine, it was just the jars, etc.

Today is the usual Monday.  There's a Snippet first thing (a short exercise routine) and later on it is Circuits at the studio.
I'm leaving any washing for Wednesday so all the stuff I want to take with me to Five Lakes is clean and not re-worn.  
I often do a food shop on Mondays but I won't need to do one this week.  I'm out of milk but have some almond milk in the freezer so can have that, if needed.  I'm also out of carrots but will ride that disaster!  :-)

I'm trying to think of what I fancy decluttering today.  I do need to sort through my shoes and there's always the chunky/Aran yarn, if I can find the boxes.

Also, I must start to gather things together for next weekend.  It won't be complicated but I must remember things like swimming cossie and sportswear.  If I do forget anything crucial, it's only an hour for both home and back but, obviously, I would rather not!

I'm sure I will find stuff to fill the time . . . on the other hand, next week looks super busy in places so I will work to feel no guilt at taking it easy in advance.   😉
What are your plans for today.  

Sunday, 29 January 2023

Sunday, 29-01-23

Good morning, everyone, and a happy Sunday to you!  
It's another dull start to the day but that's OK.  It's not cold and it looks as if it's going to stay like this, more or less all week and through next weekend - which is fine by me.  As long as the roads are OK . . .  :-)

Yesterday went very much as planned.  
I now have all my DK yarn stash in boxes which makes the whole cupboard look so, so much neater.  Well, the top half anyway - there's still one shelf that has all my chunky and aran yarns and I need to consider how I'm going to organise that - maybe two larger boxes which I think I have somewhere.

Once I've finished the 4 ply blanket, I think I will start making some jumpers for the Sally charity drop off again.  There's still more DK yarn than I thought until I got it all out yesterday.

I also tackled another kitchen cupboard.  Again, not too many surprises as it's a 'working cupboard' but it is now all nicely organised and much more logical.  Just a few out of date things to discard but nothing too embarrassing.  It took longer than I expected what with going up and down the stepladder, etc, but it wasn't too bad really.

The other main thing was to check my governor mailbox and I'm so glad I did because there were several things there that needed a response.  There's not loads of extra paperwork for the meeting next week, thank goodness, but the one I need to go through didn't open in a legible form so goodness knows what's wrong there.  I've let Heather, the clerk, know.
I find that there's a meeting for the committee I am on, the day I come back from Five Lakes - that should stop me pining about having to come home, don't you think?

The other day, I got a request for tuition that really challenged my decision to stop and not to start again, made last year.  I knew I could do a good job and I was so tempted but thought 'do I really want to put in all the extra time and effort it would take to do it properly?' and the honest answer was 'No, I don't'.
So I said sorry but no and as soon as I'd sent the email I knew it was the right decision.  I'm a bit sad, all the same, though.

Today, Beth and Alex are over for Sunday lunch, so I will take some time in the kitchen this morning to prepare everything.  I haven't seen them for a while so it will be so very nice.  Apart from that, it is the usual stuff and it's Throw Down this evening to finish off the day nicely.
It should be good! 

How's your de-cluttering/re-organising going?  xx

Saturday, 28 January 2023

Saturday, 28-01-23

Good morning, everyone.  It's dull and mild but, thankfully, dry and clear outside this morning and I'm sitting here, comfy and cosy after a pretty good night's sleep.

Yesterday was, as usual, pretty good.  
Slimming World was brilliant.  The place was buzzing, loads of people stayed for the second half and the atmosphere was fantastic.  It's really picked up since Christmas, despite the problems with the hall, and there are plenty of new members coming along as well as old friends returning.
I lost a little bit of weight which I'm happy with and I won the raffle yet again - I seem to have a lucky streak at the moment.  This week it was bread type stuff - a loaf, some pittas, some wraps and a box of the new Hi Fi bars.  The first three are now in the freezer and the last tucked away.

I gave someone a lift home and, as I dropped her off in Morrison's car park, I decided to get the few bits and bobs I needed while I was there.  It was a very small shop and it means I won't need to shop next week at all, which is good.

I got ironing, etc, all done and sorted but I didn't get round to sorting the cupboards.  I'll do that today when I've finished on here.  It's not a big job, it just needs doing.

When I sorted the shelves in the shed, it freed up some plastic boxes and I'm going to take them up and put my SK yarn stash in them.  It won't free up any space but it will look (and be) so much neater and more organised - and it will take five minutes at most.

I must check the mailbox I have as a governor because I've noticed that we have a Governors' Meeting on Wednesday and the paperwork is probably up there for pre-reading.

Today's Snippet is a full SET class but split into three segments, each around fifteen minutes and not live.  I'll do that at some point this morning too, leaving the afternoon free for 'me' things like reading (fiction and Governor's stuff) and crocheting.

I expect it will be a really nice day - I hope yours is too.  xx

Friday, 27 January 2023

Friday, 27-01-23

 Morning, everyone.  Friday has rolled around again and it's so close to the end of the month now.   It's above freezing here and, although tonight is predicted to get below zero, generally and despite sensational media forecasts about 'snowmageddons' next weekend, it looks as if it will be fairly mild.  I'm very happy with that.

I got the pull-out drawer sorted.  As it's a working area - open and closed several times in a day, there were no real surprises apart from a collection of sachets going back to my Hello Fresh days and which will be very useful now I have found them.  There was a solid block of muscovado sugar but after spending the day in a bowl under a damp cloth, it's soft again and in a proper glass container.  Oh, and now I know exactly how many sugar free jelly sachets I have.  :-)

I sorted out my food cupboard just after Christmas but I think I will give it another go as there's things in the wrong place again and it's not organised enough really.

After the SET class and a really good fun chat with Chris, I got the usual household stuff done, changed the bedding, got that washed and dried (but not ironed), sorted out the aftermentioned drawers and gave the kitchen a tidy.  Apart from the ironing, I think I did everything I hoped to do.

Today, being Friday, is Slimming World and, as always, fingers are crossed!  The Snippet is just a short session today which I will do when I get home from SW.

I had expected to have a friend around for lunch but she can't come - her oven broke and she has to stay in for it to be repaired (hopefully).  We've rescheduled for later in February so I have that to look forward to.

The house is reasonably tidy so there's no big clear-up before the cleaners arrive and I hope to get that ironing done before they come too - not that it matters but they come late afternoon and I really don't want to start ironing early evening today.

That's my Friday - very ordinary really.  Nice and peaceful and, hopefully, leading into an easy weekend.  Have a happy and satisfying day, everyone, whatever your plans.  xx

Thursday, 26 January 2023

Thursday, 26-01-23

 Good morning, everyone.  It's above freezing again today although it felt really cold when I went out to the freezer.  Yesterday was damp and raw, a very bleak day;  I didn't really feel properly warm pretty much all day until I warmed up in personal training.  There's a moral there, I am sure!

Thanks for all your stash comments yesterday.  I think this whole 'keep something set by' ethos is one that's never really gone away.  My own experience is that Mum always had one open, one on the shelf and at least one set by for all the commonly used food products.  For the cleaning products and toiletries it was one open and one in the cupboard.  Don't start me on loo rolls!  They had a big airing cupboard with plenty of storage room!
So I grew up with the habit of never running anything down completely and I'm sure that is part of the reason why I get a bit edgy when the petrol tank measures half full.  It is at the moment and I'm glad it will be February soon so I can do a top up - I could anyway but am trying to budget a bit.
So, for me, it's always been a thing to have a stash, whether it be shelf or freezer which is why I'm doing a no spend!  And I am very thankful that I can.
But for some the very idea of having things left in the cupboard at the start of the week (the shopping week, I mean) is strange and they are happy to, or have to,  buy from week to week.  Sometimes it is necessity and sometimes it's choice.  The latter is absolutely fine, it's just different.  The former is not so good, is it.  Everyone should have enough money for food.

I guess in harder times we all do our best, in our own way, not to waste things.

Apart from feeling cold, yesterday went really well.  I got the shelf stash sorted - sadly, there were a few out of date items that I decided just had to be thrown out (I felt bad about that) and the whole thing was a mixture of longer term stuff and kitchen overflow.  It's all sorted out now, listed and organised with a few things brought in and the same things crossed off my shopping list for next time.

Just as I finished, a message pinged through from Chris.  She and Steve got home from badminton to find that their stopcock had been broken by the plumber working next door to them (by mistake, obviously) and not only was water gushing out, they had no water in the house.  Please could she come over and grab some containers of drinking water?  Obviously, I said yes, and dug out a couple more containers she could use.  Just as we were walking back, up drove the water board van and they got it sorted pretty quickly and, thank goodness, without any need to dig.  But it was a worrying hour or so for them, all the same.  
One plumber NOT to use in the future (although, to be fair, he did get the water board on the job very quickly indeed)!

Sharon turned up and now I feel a bit tidier again.  She always does such a great job, bless her.  Now my hair is short, it can be dry cut so that saves on time and money, both the cost of the cut and the amount of shampoo and conditioner I use.

Personal training was great - it's the start of a new block and Lindsey has definitely upped the ante, especially with the strength stuff.  She's also included more balance type stuff - my balance is very poor due to wobbly ankles and also the poor hearing/middle ear stuff.  So I'll never be great on balance but every bit of improvement helps.

Today starts with the Shimmy Snippet which is a full 45 minute SET class so that will be great.
Then Chris is over for our weekly natter and I look forward to hearing the whole Great Water Disaster story!  After all, very little exciting stuff happens round here.

Then the day's my own so what shall I do?  Well, I think I'm going to sort out my pull-out cupboard in the kitchen.  It's better than it was but it is rather disorganised and, as I'm on a bit of a roll, I may as well make the most of the current motivation.  It won't last for ever.  And I need to change my sheets so that's some washing, drying and ironing to get done - I am starting to long for days when I can dry my washing outside again now.

Better get over to Facebook and do my admin stuff over there now and then I need to get myself sorted out.  Enjoy your day, everyone, whatever the weather!  xx


Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Wednesday 25-01-23

 Good morning, everyone.  It's another above freezing start to the day as far as I can tell (no frost on the car) and, for me, it is also a more leisurely start too which is nice.
I'm working on staying in bed a bit longer, reading maybe, or just relaxing, and it's a lot easier if I know I don't have to be up and dressed by half eight or whatever.

Thank you very much for all the info on dry shampoo.  I will look out for it just to see if we have it round here but I'm not sure I will get any - it's very rare that I would actually need it and, given I am trying to declutter . . .

Lindsey did take Groove class yesterday.  On the surface she looked fine but she did take the easier option for some of the movements and I thought she was flagging a bit by the end.  Fortunately, a few of the clients had cancelled for various reasons and she said she would take those time to rest up.  Fingers crossed . . .

When I got home, I found I had a phone message so checked it out and it was from Five Lakes.
Do you remember, they got in touch a while ago to say that the room they had allocated me needed some work doing so they were upgrading me (yay)?  Well, this one was to say that, if I wanted, I could arrive an hour earlier, between two and two thirty.  I could check in, get all the info and then have a nice wander and read before accessing my room at three.  It means avoiding queues at check in and I am really pleased.  So I phoned them back (working on Confidence here - with my hearing issues I am very nervous about using the phone) and confirmed that it would be fine.

Then the final details popped into my mailbox and I saw that my room is now a 'Hotel Deluxe Plus' (oooh-er) which is only one down from the 'hotel suite'.  Blimey!!  No complaints here but, given how lovely and comfortable the ordinary room I had last time was, it will be interesting to see what differences there are.  I think one thing is a separate shower and maybe it's a bit bigger but I don't know - I'll take photos!

I got the ironing and various other houseworky stuff done before chilling, telly watching and crocheting.

Today starts with a hair wash!!!

Then it moves on to a bit of a sort out.  Having done various audits, I though it would be helpful to take a look through my stash of shelf stable items, check dates, see what I have and whether there are any gaps.  It really does need a good sort out - I brought home a number of food and cleaning products from Dad's last year and just dumped them, basically.  They need sorting.
I won't be aiming to use these items up, they are for longer term as so many people seem to be doing too.  I chuckled yesterday after watching a few YouTubers talking about their 'shelf stable stash' - it's not often I am on trend . . .

Sharon arrives late morning; it will be nice to see her and have a good old chat as she snips away at my crowning glory < cough >.

The only other thing is personal training in the afternoon.  There's nothing on Facebook to indicate that Lindsey is not fit enough although I have told her to cancel if she has any doubts.  Can't do more really.

That's it, really.  By the end of the day I hope to . . .
have tidier, audited stash shelves
have a nice, clean, tidy head of hair
feel a bit fitter
have a few more four ply granny squares

It should be very satisfying.

I hope your day is satisfying too.  Stay warm and be happy, everyone.  xx



Tuesday, 24 January 2023

Tuesday, 24-01-23

 Good morning!  I am very happy to announce that we are frost free this morning.  That means no early morning sun but so nice not to have to scrape the car today!

After I had posted yesterday, I went on FB to see a message from Lindsey saying she was feeling very poorly again so wouldn't be doing classes.  She sent us enough pre-records to keep us going for days so we certainly didn't miss out, bless her.  She says she will be doing Groove as normal this morning but I wish she wouldn't.  I think she needs several days off to recover properly but I doubt she will unless she really HAS to.

I popped round to Morrisons and got what I hope will be the last shop of the month.  As I put everything away (didn't take too long), I got out several boxes of spice kits, meal kits (Simply Cook), sachets, etc, and later on I sat at the PC and made a list of everything I have in that line before putting them all away again.  Oh, dear!  It's just as well I like spicy food, isn't it?  It's also just as well that JD Seasonings and Spice Queen products are all syn free (thinking Slimming World here).
I say 'oh, dear' but actually it's rather nice that I have so many really delicious meals I can make over the coming months.

I didn't get the ironing done so that's top of today's list.

The graphite powder stuff arrived so I got the defender lock from the garage door (it was a struggle to get it unlocked, I can tell you) and did the necessary.  A bit messy but it did seem to ease the situation a lot.  I have a few things to put in the garage today so I will find out if it really has helped then.

I was going to wash my hair this morning, but I noticed Sharon is coming to tame my locks tomorrow and I will have to wash it then anyway.  I'm not an every day hair wash kind of girl so I can live with it for one more day.
There used to be such a thing as a dry hair wash - a sort of powder that you applied and then brushed off and it was supposed to absorb the excess oil.  It wasn't very good, if I remember rightly.  Is it still a thing, does anyone know?

There's no message to say that Groove is off this morning so I am assuming it is happening.  After that it's ironing and then I shall start to think about what I'm taking with me to Five Lakes - I know it's not until the weekend after next but there's a nice pool and a well stocked gym and I do want to make full use of them as well as the other things that are on through the day.  Anyway, packing is all part of the fun.
At least, as it is fully inclusive, I don't have to think about meals/food to take/etc.

Well, better stop rambling and start getting ready for the day ahead.  Take care, stay safe and warm and have a fab day, everyone.  xx


Monday, 23 January 2023

Monday, 23-01-23

 Morning, everyone.  It's jolly cold outside but, compared to last night's forecast on the BBC site, which was for even lower temperatures and freezing fog, it's fine and a relief!  Even better, at the moment my holiday weekend looks like being mild and a bit dull.  As long as the weather doesn't stop me getting there, I'm fine with that!  

The blue room is now as done as it's going to be for the time being.  I forgot I hadn't taken off the sheets after New Year so that was another pile of washing.  It's now all done.  There's a bit of ironing of stuff that wasn't totally dry yesterday evening but that's more or less done for the week.

I have a week's meals planned (although I won't necessarily stick to it), I have my shopping list ready and I did my Snippet.  Mind you, Lindsey posted three Snippets yesterday - a pre record stretch, some HIIT instructions and a live one come the evening.  She must be feeling a lot better and I have a bit of catch up to do now.

I didn't see Throw Down yesterday but it's recorded so I can catch up with it.  The standard does seem incredibly high this year - what do you think?

Today, I have checked the old finances (I'm being much more consistent with this - one of my aims for the year) and see that my Teachers' Pension has landed - not that it's for spending yet, it is next month's income!

I have a bit more ironing to do, I'm going round to Morrisons at some point early to do the shopping for the week and a few days, I hope, as I would like this to be the last shop of the month.

There's a Snippet plus the circuits class today so I should get my exercise in, after which I hope to chill, read and watch telly!  Nice.

And that's what my Monday looks like . . . how about you?  xx


Sunday, 22 January 2023

Sunday, 22-01-23

Morning, one and all; welcome to Sunday.  Aren't the weeks flashing past - only a week and a few days and we are into February!

Yesterday really was a very pleasant day.

It started, as I said yesterday, with a kitchen potter.  I got the day's supplies from the freezer, made some tomato soup (for lunch today), started off a pasta dough and generally sorted things out.  I love pottering in my kitchen.
This is what the pasta dough morphed into . . .

. . . coat hangers can be so very useful!

I had half yesterday and half is for this evening but, really, it's three portions and I must remember that in future as I was pretty stuffed after dinner yesterday!


I hadn't planned to, but ended up doing four loads of washing although, to be fair, two loads were door mats!  There's one more load to do today and then the ironing!

I got a bit of the blue room done.  Not as much as I hoped but I am determined to get it done today because I can feel myself dropping into prevarication mode and that's not great!

I broke my no spend rule but I think it is essential.  The lock on my garage defender was terribly sticky and difficult to open/close the other day so I have ordered some graphite powder which should sort it out.  I remember Dad showing me once and it will be a useful thing to have in store anyway.

I did something I have been wanting to get under my belt for ages.  Any of you with Thermomixes will know that there is a relatively new function that enables you to enter your own recipes that will then download to your machine.  I've wanted to work out how for a while so, as yesterday was a Me Day, I looked it up on YouTube and had a go with a simple recipe and, three cheers, it worked.  It needs refining but it works.  Well, it works on the screen - I need to try it in Real Life now.  Maybe tomorrow.

I did my Snippet, I watched telly and I continued making granny squares with my four ply stash - that, by the way, is what I sorted out yesterday, my stash of four ply.
I seem to have done quite a lot but those of you who said they call it a Me Day, not a lazy day, are quite right.  Maybe it is because we give ourselves permission to do what we WANT to do rather than what we HAVE to do; sometimes they are the same thing while sometimes they are different so the whole day ends up having been remarkably positive and productive.

On to today . . .
a bit more washing, drying and ironing
some meal planning (fun!)
shopping list (minimal, I hope)
a Snippet
the Blue Room - yes, definitely the Blue Room!
telly and . . .
crochet.

Sounds OK, doesn't it?
So off I go to get started.  Have a lovely day, everyone.  xx




Saturday, 21 January 2023

Saturday, 21-01-23

 Good morning from chilly Essex - but not nearly as chilly as it has been.  The sun is shining and the frost won't hang around for long.

Everything worked out fine yesterday.  SW group was really good fun.  There were some new members and some good losses and the hall was buzzing with energy.  A lovely lady was back again with her friend - she didn't leave but she broke her leg very badly so couldn't come.  It was so good to see them both again.

I got half the blue room done - the easier half, I have to admit.  I might do the rest today and I might not.  I'll see how I feel later.
I got the stuff to the garage so that's now out of sight.  
And the cleaners worked their usual magic, bless them.

Today, there's nothing in the diary and I have decided to have a R&R day.  I will probably stay in my oodie all day because there's nothing to take me out unless I decide on a walk and I can then get properly dressed.   :-)

It was going to be a live SET class this morning but poor Lindsey has succumbed to the local lurgy and it taking a day out of work.  However, she has posted a pre-recorded class for us all to use as we wish so I'll work my way through that.  Actually, I've just thought - if I do a SET class, I do need to be dressed in more than nightie and oodie, don't I.

It's odd that when I decided to have a lazy day, I get invigorated.  I've already made some pasta dough which is now 'resting' and there's the makings of a tomato soup in Thermione. 
I might very well get the blue room done!
What do you do on 'lazy days'?

Well, the soup smells done and needs blending so I will stop yattering and get that sorted.  Have a lovely Saturday, whether lazy or busy.  Stay warm!  xx


Friday, 20 January 2023

Friday, 20-01-23

 Good morning, one and all.  It's another chilly start to the day although nowhere near as cold as the last few days; I've just been out to the shed for freezer supplies and that real 'bite' has almost gone. Mind you, the cars are still frosted up in the cul de sac so it's not that warm yet!

Yesterday worked out really well.  The SET class was, as always, really good.  There were five of us accessing it online as well as whoever was at the studio live, so it felt very sociable. 
There are three sections to the class - the first is a warm up with punches and kicks and generally getting the pulse up a bit.  The second is High Intensity Interval Training so all sorts really.  And then there's the toning part, mostly mat work which leads into a cool-down and stretch.  The time goes so quickly, especially once I'm warmed up, and I feel great afterwards.

Anyway, moving on, I popped over to Chris for a very welcome mug of coffee and an even more welcome chat and chuckle.  She's perfectly OK about starting at around 10:05 from now on, so I can do the SET class first.  

Then it was into the car after a good scrape at the windows and off to Val's.  You never know what that road is going to be like but yesterday is was pretty clear once I was out of town so an easy journey along frost free roads.  We chatted non-stop and Val made a lovely lunch of ham and veg soup, cheesy scones and flapjacks - all gluten free and so delicious.  I really do like her gluten free bread - she says it's really good when it's warm and fresh out of the breadmaker but, once it's cooled, it is better toasted.  The cheese scones didn't last long enough to see if they were the same!!

Then it was back home again and I popped to Morrisons as there were a couple of fresh items I am out of so I got some things that were also on my list but stuck to my low spend principle and only got things I really needed.

So that was yesterday - busy but very, very pleasant.

Today looks to be much less active.
It starts with the usual Slimming World Group.  We're still in temporary premises so I must leave early enough so I'm not late to help set up.
After that, I'm home again and < checks diary > the rest of the day is clear apart from the lovely cleaners this afternoon.  That doesn't mean there's nothing to do, of course.  I have a little pile of things to take down to the garage and some storage boxes to bring into the house, I need to change the sheets and the Blue Room is still in serious need of attention (which is why I need the storage boxes) so that's all on today's list.  I can't access the Shimmy Snippet live today so I will catch up with that later on too.
Today should be really pleasant and I'm looking forward to it.

Take care, all, stay warm and have a lovely Friday, whatever your diary looks like!  xx

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Thursday, 19-01-23

 Good morning to you all.  It's still very cold and it look as if we have a couple more nights below zero before things moderate a bit.   The days look to be above freezing so that's good.  


I'm looking ahead a few weeks, two, in fact, because two weeks tomorrow I will be off to Five Lakes for a nice weekend there, arriving on Friday afternoon and leaving Monday morning.  Just me, but I've been before and know how to make the most of the time.  The last thing I want is for the weather to create any travel worries and it looks as if it won't.

Jeff arrived pretty much on time and gave the garden a couple of hours of pretty solid work, broken by warming cups of tea and toast!  The weeds are still there as the ground was hard, but it all looks a lot better and I was very grateful.  

The kitchen got sorted out and looks loads better now.  I keep certain things on the working surface which means that if I leave much more there, it gets very cluttered very quickly so it was a relief to sort a few things out.

Sorting out the freezer drawers was cold work but it's now in good order and I took the opportunity to sort things out a bit better so that one drawer is mostly home made ready or nearly ready meals and the other is bits and bobs like stock, pastry, sauces, cheese, etc.  

The Snippet was very small yesterday, a kettle-timed squat selection.  Personal training was really good.  It was the last of the block so we discussed what to keep, what to develop and what to introduce.  I've paid for the next block so that's a chunk out of my budget but I count my fitness classes as 'essentials'!  The other two classes aren't due until after half term in February and the Snippets have been paid for the whole year.

Today is busy but nice-busy.

It starts with a Shimmy Snippet which isn't a Snippet at all, it's access to a live SET Class online so a full forty five minutes and it should be good.  I've done a few of them as catch-ups in the past and enjoyed them.

Then I'm straight off over to Chris' for our weekly coffee and chat which is always good fun.

After a quick breakfast and freshen up, I'm driving off to Val's for lunch so that's another lovely thing I am looking forward to.  I usually get home again just before the school run/commuter traffic starts.
On the way home, I need to pop into Morrisons as both mushrooms and broccoli are almost gone and I need some for the weekend.  Or perhaps I will get home and then walk round - that might be better as the traffic all around the school is horrendous at that time.

So - a good day, filled with enjoyable things.  I feel like a very lucky bunny today!
Have a super day yourself and stay cosy and warm.  xx

Wednesday, 18 January 2023

Wednesday, 18-01-23

 Morning, everyone.  Another very cold night and start to the day.  It looks beautifully frosty though, very attractive, and it's expected to get above freezing for a time today with sunshine.  It sounds rather nice anyway.


The bathroom cupboard too rather longer than I expected and the bin is rather full of extremely old products (some dating back to teaching days and gifts from children), while the contents of the cupboard show that I won't need much for several months - can't complain about that.

Groove was great fun.  Despite the cold, most of us turned up and bounced our way through the routines.  Phew.

Today the healthy stuff is a Snippet at some point this morning and personal training this afternoon.   I have given up, bitten the bullet and Jeff is coming round to get some initial order into my garden.  I'm hoping that, once he has sorted a few things out for me, I will be more motivated to tackle other bits and bobs.  Let us hope so anyway.

I've realised that I have muddled the contents of two drawers of my chest freezer.  I think I must have put two back where three goes and vice versa and then added things to the wrong tray.  I'll get that sorted at some point - I won't take long.  See how easy it is to get things into a bit of a muddle!

The kitchen also needs a bit of a tidy up.  There are things all over the place.  Again, not a long task, it just needs doing.

If I get all that done, I can read and crochet with a clear conscience (apart from the garden!)
What is giving you a clear conscience today?  xx

Tuesday, 17 January 2023

Tuesday, 17-01-23

 Morning, everyone.  It's such a very cold start to the day here; minus five and, with clear skies, very frosty.  however, the boiler is fine and, fingers crossed, should remain so.

I saw the most beautiful 'temperature quilt' on Beverley's blog yesterday - here's the link; do go and take a look.  Beverley, it is absolutely lovely and the temperature theme is great.

https://meandmysmallcorner.blogspot.com/2023/01/temperature-blanket-2022-finished.html

I got the ironing all done and some of it put away - I need to do the rest today.  Apart from that and the exercise stuff, it was a quiet day.

Today looks like being the same.  There's Groove and there's a short Shimmy Snippet and that's it.  I'm going to tackle the cupboard in the bathroom, I think.  There's loads of bits and bobs in it of all sorts and sizes and it's all out of place - for example, all the hair stuff should be together and it isn't.  There's probably some very old stuff that might get thrown out and newer stuff that's been started and needs finishing.  It will be good to get that done.

And that's about it.  It's far to cold to want to go out and do any gardening unless things change considerably so I will probably stay in, stay warm and potter.
What's it like your way?   Stay safe and warm and, if you have to go out, be careful.  xx

Monday, 16 January 2023

Monday, 16-01-23

 Morning, everyone, and welcome to a new week.  It's cold, it's wet and it's windy outside - truly delightful!!! - but not to worry.  We haven't had any snow and none is forecast.  On the other hand, the temperature is predicted to drop to minus five or six overnight tonight so I will have the hair dryer ready to thaw a frozen condensate pipe tomorrow morning!

Starting with yesterday, well, I got it done.  Both my freezers are now pristine, frost free, well organised and I know exactly what is in them.  I have no idea how long this desirable state of affairs will last but, right now, I am pathetically pleased about it.  It feels . . . satisfying!
As Sue said, it was very much easier than I thought and didn't take all that long at all.  Doint it in two stages really worked.

I gave the gardening a miss but I did four loads of washing (including mop up towels, etc) so today ironing is on the list.

Other things on the list are the Monday Shimmy Snippet and, later on, the weekly circuits group.  It's quite a small group this week but that's OK.  Depending on how tired I am afterwards, there's always more cupboards to clear out and reorganise.
And the garden - if I want to brave the cold.  Which I don't!

Have a great day, everyone.  xx

Sunday, 15 January 2023

Sunday, 15-01-23

 Morning, everyone.  It's getting colder outside and the breeze isn't helping.  The Beeb says it will get colder but there's no snow forecast for here, just a bit of sleet tomorrow.  I can live very happily with that! 
Yesterday was wet; the sun did come out for a short while but then it clouded over and the rain started again.  Today looks more hopeful so fingers crossed.

I was right about yesterday's Snippet.  It was the whole class but split into three shorter, fifteen minute segments which confused me until I asked about it.  I didn't have live access to the actual group but the recordings went out live as well as being available later so I got there eventually!

The rest of the day was a nothing day really.  I was very tired and had a number of little snoozes, went to bed just after eight and slept until nearly seven, I think, so I feel loads brighter again today.

As it is colder today and because there might be precipitation tomorrow, I think I will tackle the chest freezer defrost today and get it done.  There's also washing to do (didn't do it yesterday) and the usual houseworky sort of stuff that one does daily anyway, plus today's Snippet which is a short stretch session, I believe.  This evening will be Pottery Throw Down and I am working my way through some iPlayer recording of 'Dig for Britain - not a gardening thing but an archeological programme and really interesting.

So it's a nice, easy day today and I should feel very satisfied by bedtime.  Have a great day, everyone, and stay warm and safe.  xx

Saturday, 14 January 2023

Saturday, 14-01-23

Morning, people!  Did you sleep well?
After a lovely, sunny day yesterday, it is now raining again - I put up my 'ood when I went out to the shed to get today's freezer supplies - and Beeb suggests that it will last all morning.  However, yesterday was lovely and sunny; very windy too so it felt colder than it was but sunshine is very cheering.

The bulbs know, don't they?  

Thankfully, there were no holdups driving into town for SW group.  Jen, Michelle (the other lady on 'the desk' with me) and I were all early so there was no rush to get things out and ready.
Michelle can't always make it as she's a very busy lady with work commitments, but it was good that she could come yesterday because we had seven (I think it was seven, might have been eight) new members so Jen was able to do the New Members talk to them while we manned the desk.  It was buzzing, a great atmosphere and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I'd lost a bit of weight which is always nice and, as I said on the other blog, while I wasn't slimmer of the week by a long shot, I got the hamper as the lady who was didn't stay.  That'll help my low/no spend!

Then I came home, had breakfast, did some tidying up, did my Shimmy Snippet, then had a sit down and promptly fell asleep which was very nice indeed.

Later on, I drove over to Lindsey's and, alongside quite a crowd, had a good rootle through the donations, having already made my donation.  There were a few things I quite liked but not enough to actually take but there was a brand new (it still had the silicon sachet thing inside) clutch bag, very simple, navy and I loved it so I did come home with one thing.  I will take it with me for my weekend at Five Lakes at the start of February, to use in the evenings.  I don't 'dress up' as such, but nice shoes and a nice bag go a long way!

When I got home, the cleaner (just one this week) was in full flow so I kept out of her way.  

And that was the day pretty much over.

Today starts with the day's Shimmy Snippet which, I believe, is a full SET (Strike, Energise, Tone) class live online.  When I did the Thursday one, I was expecting it to be just the first section, a fifteen minute Strike segment, but I could have stayed for the whole class.  Today looks to be the same, joining the SET class at half past eight live and online.  This time I can do the whole class so fingers crossed it is the same as Thursday.  Just think - if I can stay for the whole class, that's five exercise classes per week, plus the little Snippets.  Who would have thought it?  Wherever Mum and Dad are now, they must be laughing their socks off!

After that, the day's my own.  I might do a bit of gardening in the afternoon, if it dries up, and there might be a full load in the washing basket but we will see.

After decades of pretty busy Saturday's fitting in all the stuff I couldn't do from Monday to Friday because of work, I take great delight in looking at almost empty diary pages for Saturday and Sunday nowadays.  I love getting great pleasure from small things . . . how about you?

Have a fab day, everyone.  xx

Friday, 13 January 2023

Friday, 13-01-23

 Morning, one and all.  How are you today?  It's a rather early start for me today but I do have to be out earlier than usual because of Slimming World so that's OK.

Yesterday started with what I thought was a fifteen minute live section from Lindsey's SET class as the day's Shimmy Snippet.  I was wrong though - the section that has been saved on the FB group for reuse as wanted is the strike section but, as I accessed it live, I could have done the whole class.  Sadly, I couldn't, because I had other things to do and I wasn't dressed for a whole class, but I will remember that in future.  I think that's brilliant - the cost of joining the class as a single ad hoc session is much, much more than the cost of a daily Snippet (which is 10p) so, if I do the whole class for a couple of months, it's paid for the whole year's Snippets.
(Does that make sense? - I know what I mean).

So next week and subsequent weeks, if I can, I will be doing the whole session.  Wow!

Then Chris popped over and we had our usual good old natter and laugh.  It is just an hour but it is such fun.

The rain held off so, after Chris had gone, I went out to the shed to sort out just one bag from the chest freezer.  I did that, came in and wrote it all up on the PC and then decided I may as well do another one.  And another.  And . . . well, the rain held off and the worst thing was that I got very cold hands but they warmed up when I came in to type up the contents of each bag.
I only went and got the whole thing done.  Not the defrosting, of course, I'm waiting for the cold weather next week to do that although I did gently scrape some frost off.  Yes, it's all done and sorted and I know know exactly how much stuff I have to use up.  Am I ashamed - I suppose I ought to be but I'm really very happy about how little I am going to need to buy over the next several months.
I then spent some time having fun planning some meals!

And just as I came in for the last time, the rain started!  Lucky or what?

Later on, Matt the Super-Plumber popped round to look at where I want the water softener to go and measure up.  Because I've already got one, the plumbing/pipework is already there so it is just a case of taking the old one out and fitting the new one - less than half a day's work.
He's going to send me info, quotes, etc, and, as it's a small job, will slot me in when he can although it won't necessarily be all that quick.  That's OK, I can wait, knowing he will do it sometime soon.  I'm happy with that.

Today starts with Slimming World and I have to remember to leave earlier although I have checked and there don't seem to be any temporary traffic lights on route this week.  Still, I'd rather be early than late.

Then there's the usual quick tidy up for the cleaners and later on this afternoon, Lindsey has a 'pre-loved' clothes event at her home.  It's not a sale because no cash will be used.  People have donated clothes, you go and choose anything you want and make a completely voluntary donation to the Blossom Suite which is a special room in our local hospital for parents to use when their baby is going to be or very likely to be 'born asleep'.  A giving page has been set up and it is all donations which can be gift aided, of course.

Have a lovely day, everyone.  xx



Thursday, 12 January 2023

Thursday, 12-01-23

Morning, everyone.  It's a dull and windy start again but that's OK.  Maybe it will clear up a bit later - the Beeb forecast seems to think it will so fingers crossed.

Seeing as we had sunshine in the morning yesterday, I got the upright freezer done and dusted.  I was pleased that there was hardly anything that needed to be thrown out.  I hate waste but sometimes it just needs to be done.  Now I am thinking about the chest freezer - that will be easier in a way as I can audit first - just about everything is in bags that can be lifted out, sorted through and placed back until I'm ready to defrost.  And then they will just lift out and back in again as and when.  Maybe I will start the audit today and see how it goes.

I'm glad I got it done because the clouds rolled back over again and by the time I left for personal training, it was chucking it down.  PT was, as always, great; I enjoy it so very much even though it is hard work at times, and Lindsey seems to think I'm doing OK which is nice.

Today starts with a live Snippet - the first fifteen minutes of Lindsey's SET class.  I enjoy the punching and kicking; great for working off any frustrations and gets things nicely warmed up and working.

Then Chris is round for our weekly coffee and chat.  We always seem to have plenty to talk about and it's all good fun.  
After that, as mentioned above, I will start sorting through the bags in the freezer.  I think, in the interests of better organisation, some things can be moved sideways into the upright freezer and it will be so helpful to have a complete list of what I've got to use up.

I really ought to do something much more regularly with the freezers and then it wouldn't be such a major event.  With this in mind, I have written a memo in my diary at the start of March.  Will it work?  Goodness knows but I can try anyway.  Maybe it comes under the heading of 'consistency', one of my goals for this year.  It's not great trying to defrost once the weather warms up and if I get it done again in March, it should see me through the spring, summer and autumn months.

I'm guessing that once I get going with the freezer, the momentum will carry me on and I'll get the audit and organising finished.  As Beeb predicts a few colder days next week, maybe I can do the actual defrosting then.

How often do you do your freezer or are you one of the lucky people who has a auto defrost machine?  (is there such a thing?).

Have a lovely day, everyone.  Be happy.;  xx


Wednesday, 11 January 2023

Wednesday, 11-01-23

Morning, one and all.  Yesterday was another one of those days that made one feel glad to be at home.  It looked OK earlier this morning but the clouds are gathering  and it's not looking hopeful.  On the bright side, I'm really noticing the longer days now, aren't you?  It is cheering.

I'm sure you will be delighted (relieved?) to know that I got that report thingy finished and sent off.  When it came to it, there's wasn't much that needed changing; the main thing was making sure it was linked to the school's SEND action plan by referencing across.
Hopefully it will be OK and I got everything correct.  It's nice to have a clear conscience!

Groove was really good fun - lots of energy, lots of laughter.  I felt great afterwards.  Lindsey really does put her heart and soul into these classes and it shows.  We had a new member who (whom?) I already knew.  I had her daughter in my year one class a long time ago (surprise, surprise!!) and I chat to her now and again if our paths cross in Morrisons.;  She said she really enjoyed it so, hopefully, she will be back.

Today, there's not an awful lot in the diary.  I've done my Shimmy Snippet which was a short 'energiser' and this afternoon it's my personal training session to which I always look forward

Apart from that, I think I will carry on with sorting out the blue room.  It's not shocking, it is just a bit cluttered and needs sorting out.

If it isn't too cold, I will sort out what's in the front opening freezer and, maybe, even get it defrosted - it's so iced up I can't use the top drawer which is daft really.  In fact, I think I will start with that so I'd better get my act together, have my bath, get dressed and get going for the day!
All the best for today - have a good'un, everyone.  xx


Tuesday, 10 January 2023

Tuesday, 10-01-23

 Good morning, everyone!  It's a dull, damp old start to the day today which always makes me so thankful for four stout walls and a roof over my head.  It didn't feel cold when I went out to the freezer, so that's a blessing anyway.

I enjoyed yesterday.

I got the ironing all done and put away and I made great inroads into my paperwork for the governors.  I find a first draft is always too wordy and I fall into 'jargon' far too much so today's task is to read through, re-word, take out jargon and generally make it more easily readable.  I can do that, it just takes a bit of time.  Hopefully, it will be off to school by this evening.

I headed off for circuits and had a great old time with the rest of the group.  Lindsey had planned a minute on and then move to the next one circuit which I really enjoy because by the time the old muscles are starting to mutter it's time to move on to the next thing which uses a different set.
I'd already done the Snippet for the day so my halo felt good and straight!

I was pretty 'good' when shopping.  The only things I got that weren't on my list were a box of descaling sachets for my new coffee machine (the instructions say I should so . . .) and, not quite so virtuous, some coffee pods for the same which were half price.  There's a very wide choice of different coffees you can have in those pods but they aren't cheap so I was happy to get some for half price.  I am also very thankful for my reusable pods too which work really well now I've got the hang of it.
Yes, I looked round the clothes.  Yes, I was sorely tempted.  No, I didn't buy anything.  More halo shining there!!

I must have been tired - I went to bed after nine, fell asleep almost immediately and woke after seven this morning.  I wish it could be like that every night!

Today starts with Groove class and continues with all the usual stuff plus today's snippet and finishing off that report.  If the weather clears, I might pop out for a walk this afternoon but, if not, there's plenty of sorting out and clearing up to be getting on with, and that's a fact!!  It's a never-ending story.

Have a lovely day, everyone.  What's your 'never-ending story'?  Is it the same as mine or something different?
Take care, stay dry and have a happy day.  xx

Monday, 9 January 2023

Monday, 09-01-23

Good morning, everyone.  Sorry this is later than usual.  I went out early to do an early morning shop and then it was time to do the first Shimmy Snippet.  

I didn't get everything done that I planned yesterday but I got enough done, including two loads of washing to dry inside, a tidied cupboard and that loaf.  It started off beautifully sunny but I started feeling cold and, sure enough, when I looked pout, it had started raining and it was pretty wet all afternoon.
I think the same might be happening today as it's clouding over now.

What I didn't do was that paperwork and I really need to stop procrastinating and get it done.  It won't be this morning as there's stuff to do but maybe after lunch.

So, today, I woke nice and early, bathed and dressed and set off to Sainsbury's.  There were two reasons for this - two of the items I wanted I only seem to be able to get in Sainsbury's (although, annoyingly, they didn't have one of them in today) and also I needed to fill up with petrol and they are almost always cheapest in town!

Early morning shopping is good - very quiet, pretty empty and no need to queue at a checkout (I don't really like the self checkouts).   Now, I am stocked up with fresh stuff for at least the week, I got enough of the cleaning products I needed to last me the month, I think, and the only toiletries I needed was a new toothbrush.  It still cost an arm and a leg but only one of each, not both!  And the car is sorted for the month too, barring unexpected journeys.

I enjoyed the Shimmy Snippet, a live fifteen minute energise session.  You may smile but it really does energise.  You'd think it would be the opposite but I'm feeling well worked out and ready to go.

I now need to go and sort out the shopping, have breakfast and another coffee and do a bit of ironing before I go off for circuits.
This afternoon, it's that report - maybe.  No, definitely (I tell myself sternly).
This evening I will catch up on Pottery Throw Down plus other recordings from Christmas/New Year I haven't watched yet.  

So that's what my day looks like.  Have a good one, everyone, and stay warm and healthy!  xx

Sunday, 8 January 2023

Sunday, 08-01-23

Good morning, everyone.  Here we are, already one week into the New Year and the sun is shining brightly after a far less pleasant day yesterday, especially later on.

It started with a sky this colour which was very attractive but . . . this time the saying was correct because the rain started later and it was pretty heavy at times.
(The photo isn't wonky, there is a bit of a slope)
Maybe today will remain sunny - I do hope so.

It was a quiet day.  I stayed in, did this and that, used a new recipe for dinner, did a bit of planning . . .just general stuff.

Today has started busier.  I had half a an of chopped tomatoes left over from last night so I've made tomato and roasted red pepper soup for lunch, cleaned out Thermione and now there's a wholemeal load - the dough, I mean - slowly rising in the bowl.  I'm not planning to go out this morning so there's plenty of time.

Yesterday evening, Lindsey posted an extra starter Snippet, so I plan to do that as soon as I'm finished here.  I've also started a 'Flatter Tum' thing for January.  It's nothing magical, just crunches, reverse crunches and leg lifts, a few more each day.  It won't get me a flat tum, not with all my excess skin, but underneath the core should be stronger and that's important (to me it is anyway).

I also have some 'work' to do - I must finish off the report of my governors visit and send it off.  That should take a while.
I was tempted to do my shopping today instead of tomorrow because I'm very low on yogurt but then thought that was a bit against the spirit of the low spend thingy where I make do and substitute so I won't.  I can make do perfectly well, it was just an automatic reaction which I would like to change.

And that's it really.  I should end the day with a slightly flatter tum, a nice loaf of wholemeal bread sliced and frozen and a report emailed off to school.
What do you hope to end the day with?  :-)  xx

Saturday, 7 January 2023

Saturday, 07-01-23

Morning, everyone.  It's about half past five and I've been upo for a while.  Now things have settled after Christmas, my early waking has also re-established itself.  To be honest, I don't mind half four although I would prefer to sleep a bit longer.  It's nicer to come downstairs and start the day (e.g. empty the dishwasher, put in some washing, etc) than to toss and turn trying to get back to sleep.  If I need a snooze later on, no problem!

Thanks for all your comments over the past days.  It's so nice when people take the trouble to engage with a post.  Regarding the Twelve Days gifts, I need to say it wasn't my idea originally.  I think (please correct me if I'm wrong) I got the idea from Sue (My Quiet Life in Suffolk - lovely blog, do go over and read if you don't already) a number of years ago.
Also, apologies - I will post about Beth's nativity joke this Christmas - I have made a note to work on it.

Yesterday was pretty busy but nice-busy rather than the other.

I drove down to the temporary venue for our Slimming World group, totally forgetting how busy that road into town can get.  To complicate matters, there were some temporary road works going on too.  I was afraid I would be late (I help Jen get set up) but everyone was in the same boat so it worked out OK.  Plenty of folk turned up and it was a very jolly time all round.

Once home, I had breakfast and then set to dismantling the Christmas tree.  First the baubles, sorted into 'specials' and 'ordinaries.  Then I pulled the tree out and walked round and round, winding the lights onto a piece of card.  Finally, I took the tree apart.
After a reviving (!) coffee, I made several journeys to the garage (which is separate from my property but very close, all the same), and now everything is tucked away and things are back to normal.
The cleaners coming yesterday was just lucky timing and when they had gone it felt so clean and renewed.  Lovely!

When I had to empty the cupboard under the sink because of the water softener flood, I found a couple of dishwasher cleaner products so I decided to use one of them to give (or help give) my dishwasher a sort out too.  Much needed, I am ashamed to say - cleaning out the filter was not a happy experience - but it's done now and, after the required wash with the cleaner product, it is now shining inside.

Today there is nothing of note in the diary.  I had pencilled in to go shopping and to get petrol but I can hold out until Monday without any problems, so I will.  That being so, I think it is time for some more sorting out of cupboards.
It's rather like painting the Forth Bridge - as soon as you do the last one, it's time to start again - but at least it stops me drowning in clutter.
Apart from that, I have newish recipe books to explore and all the new magazines have landed in Readly so I will be looking through some of them too.
Nice and easy!
How about you?  xx


Friday, 6 January 2023

Friday, 06-01-23

Morning, all.  It's Friday already and it's so nice to be back into a normal routine again.  I know I keep saying this but it really is!  It's still dark but Beeb weather tells me that it's mild and dry outside.  I'll go with that!

Yesterday was quite busy, one way and another.  Everything festive is now sorted out apart from the tree itself, although there's some stuff laid out on one of the beds in the spare room as I want to go through it and re-gift/recycle some things I haven't used this year.
Chris and I went out to Writtle to Robyn's Nest and had a lovely lunch together.  I had a brie and bacon toastie and it was absolutely delicious.  There was a pretty substantial side salad too so I left feeling very satisfied.
In the Evening, Dave popped over to take a good wodge of Christmas cake, the Christmas wine for him an Anna (better late than never) and their Christmas pressies from my brother, John.  He couldn't stay but we are going to arrange a Friday supper together soon and can catch up then.


Today, being the 6th of January, was the last gift to myself day.  I do like reed diffusers and, increasingly, you can get refills for them which is great.  I'll put this one out straight away, I think, probably in my bedroom.

















Right now, I am enjoying the Christmas tree lights one more time.

Today starts with Slimming World and I must remember to leave earlier because it's the first week in the temporary venue which is right in town.  Jen had difficulty finding anywhere during the day, I think, and this is not within walking distance.

Once home, I will be dismantling the Christmas tree and getting the storage boxes back into the garage where they will stay for eleven months.  The house is pretty tidy for the cleaners so that will be OK and I do have to do a small shop for fresh stuff and also drive down to the garage for some petrol - that latter will do me for the month unless I have any unexpected journeys.

Have a good Twelfth Night, whatever you have planned.    xx

Thursday, 5 January 2023

Thursday, 05-01-23

Good morning, everyone.  It's dry this morning.  Quite dull but that's OK, and it feels very mild, which is nice.

After starting this low/no spend month, I had two parcels arrive yesterday but they were all ordered in December (that's my excuse).
One was some Spode Christmas china that I ordered in a 50% off sale and the other was a water filter jug.  There's a good reason for the latter.  I'm definitely having the water softener replaces but it will be a while before Super-Matt the Plumber can do it.  In the meanwhile, I have a lovely new coffee machine that says use filtered water and, anyway, my cold water tap in the kitchen doesn't go through the softener.  I decided that a basic water filter jug would do the necessary si there you go!.

I had another spend too.  Lindsey has started up a 'Shimmy Snippets' part of her business.  I've described it more fully in my SW blog, if you read in there, but basically it is a fifteen minute exercise segment every day for the whole year, some live and some pre-recorded, that are stored so you can have access to any of them afterwards.  At just 10p a session, 70p a week, it is a bargain even though you sign up for the whole year, so I have signed up and paid.  As I am focusing on my health more and more as I get older, I count it as an essential that should get me moving every single day and should give me more consistency in this area.

Personal training wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it might be.  Yes, I got more puffed than usual on the exercise bike and the cross trainer but everything else was fine.  We even increased the weights I use for one part so I was very pleased about that.




I hoped that my old slippers would last out until I opened this Twelve Days gift but they didn't so I had to get some more before Christmas.  Not to worry, I am hard on slippers so when my current ones die, I will have a shiny new pair to use straight away!





Today is looking good.  There's more clearing and sorting out to do and the day is nicely cut in half because Chris and I are going to Robyn's Nest for lunch.  This was supposed to happen before Christmas but due to illness (me and then her) and family stuff, it didn't.  I was very chuffed with myself.  Regular readers will know that I have significant hearing issues and using the phone has been very tricky for me.  As I now have blue-toothable hearing aids, I ought to be able to use my mobile, as the sound should play right into my aids but still have a real fear about it.
Yesterday, I told myself to grow up and gave booking the table by phone a go and - surprise, surprise - it was fine.

We were talking about words for the year.  Positivity is definitely a biggie but maybe I ought to focus on the Three Cs - contentment, consistency and confidence - especially confidence!  < grin >

So that is today and it should be good.  You have a good day too and stay safe and well.  xx



Wednesday, 4 January 2023

Wednesday, 04-01-23

Good morning, everyone.  How is the week going for you?  I seem to have planned much and achieved very little.  

Yesterday started off sunny but by the time I was in Groove class, the rain had started and it didn't really stop all day.  It's still a bit drizzly so could go either way today.
Groove was great although it is surprising how quickly the fitness diminishes.  I need much more motivation when classes are not on, I really do.

For the rest of the day, I pottered and meandered and did this and that.  Not one of my better achievement days.  Maybe it sounds like an excuse, but I think I'm still a bit post-viral; it comes and goes and suddenly hits.  Does that make sense?

On to today.

The Twelve Days gift was this - a shampoo bar, again bought on holiday in Derbyshire.
I quite like shampoo bars, they seem to last ages and my current shampoo has nearly all used up so this is a timely gift.

Just two more gifts to go, two more not-surprises.  I know it is a very indulgent thing to do but I am definitely doing this next year.  The trick is to start early, wrap early and hope you forget what it is!  I had forgotten some but not the last two.  

I wonder about a theme - maybe a crafting theme? - next year.  Do you have ideas about this?


There's very little in the diary today.  I have Personal Training this afternoon and need to book a table at Robyn's Nest for tomorrow.  Chris and I usually just meet for coffee and chat, as you know, but we have had this planned for ages and it has never come off.  Even last week wasn't possible although perhaps that's just as well as the place was shut from before Christmas to today.  

I must also get all my recycling organised and out as tomorrow is the big, post-Christmas one for the black bin (normal stuff), glass/cans and card as well as the weekly food waste.  My card sack is full, as is the bottles and cans box.

It's a good opportunity to have a good sort out so please send get-it-done vibes this way!   :-)

Take care, stay warm and dry and all the best.  xx

Tuesday, 3 January 2023

Tuesday, 03-01-23

 Good morning again, everyone.  I'm up earlier today so it's still very dark and feels a bit chilly; the heating has come on and my lovely oodie is doing what it was designed to do very effectively.

Beth and Alex were both late awake yesterday after having some difficulties getting to sleep.  It was late morning/early afternoon when they left and it was so nice having a leisurely late breakfast together.  Nothing fancy, just toast and scrambled egg or, in Alex's case, bacon sandwich.  It is nice to sit and chat round the table.

I got the washing sorted but not any ironing so that is on today's list.  
As mentioned in my other blog, I discovered two biggish blocks of cheddar behind the cheese box (how dod I end up with two?) so I dug out my food processor and reduced one to gratings which are now in a clip top plastic container in the freezer.  I'm glad to find a use for that container - it was one Mum used to store oats but it's a bit too big for my cupboards; however, it's too good to get rid of so I've been holding onto it.
The other block has a long shelf life so it can stay in the fridge for now.

I had a short walk, not the one I had planned but not to worry, it won't go away.


The Twelve Days gift today is this.  I bought it before I cleared out some cupboards and realised just how many notebooks I actually had..

I think I will keep this one solely for school governor stuff.  Notes from meetings, etc.  It'll be good to keep them all in one place and it can go in the relevant section of my fining cabinet between times.






Today really is back to normal with Groove first thing.  Once that is over and I've freshened up and had breakfast, I need to drive down to Writtle, to Robyn's Nest.  Chris and I had planned to have lunch there last week but other things got in the way so this Thursday we are lunching there together and I need to book as they can get pretty busy over lunch times.

After that, it's just normal things.  More clearing up, housework, etc, and I have a couple of cupboard shelves to tidy up/clear out/etc.
I'm getting there - slowly.

Have a super day, everyone.  xx

Monday, 2 January 2023

Monday. 02-01-23

 Morning, everyone.  It's dull but dry outside at the moment and Beth and Alex are still warm, snug and, hopefully, sleeping peacefully upstairs.  And why not?

Thank you all for such lovely comments yesterday.  I'm so lucky to have such lovely 'commenters' in here and always appreciate what you say.  Thank you again.

Yesterday went pretty much according to plan, thankfully.  Beth and Alex arrived around four and we watched the Festive Pottery Throwdown (I'd already seen it but Beth and Al hadn't).  Then we started playing Yahtzee, had our buffet, played some more and went to bed when we wanted to - me before the other two but that's OK.

Poor light, but you can see what we had (I forgot to take a photo before we attacked the food, sorry).  It pretty much all went apart from the cheese and the Christmas cake, obviously.  The cake will keep longer term, properly wrapped, and I'm hoping Beth will take some of the cheese while I will grate and freeze the ones that will grate and freeze. 
Must remember not to buy so much cheese next time (yeah, sure!!!!)

Rather more seriously, I am considering making a much smaller cake next year, probably half quantities.  That would make a lot more sense.

So now it is Monday.  Circuits class doesn't start until next week because this is a Bank Holiday, but we're back to Groove tomorrow and from then on all is back to normal routine.

Beth and Alex will go home at some point this morning and I am thinking I might drive down to the Tower Gardens car park and have a stroll around the parks, weather permitting.  I think that would be nice.
I've got rather lazy over the last few weeks and am thinking about definitely having some sort of walk the days I don't have a class, all depending on weather, of course.  The problem is motivation so please send the relevant vibes in this direction, if you can spare them.  :-)
I did this during our lockdowns - walked quite a lot, I mean - and it was really rather nice.

Here's today's Twelve Days gift, bought in one of the Crompton Mills shops in Matlock.

The one on the left that looks like a sponge bag unzips into a back pack while the one on the left is a shopping bag.  They're both very pretty and I think I will get good use from them, especially the back pack when I go on these walks I plan to have.  

Once Beth and Al have gone, I will do a bit of housework but this morning I have some washing in the machine that needs redoing (ooop) and I'm going to start dismantling the Christmas clutter.  Not the tree and the bigger things, they will stay until Thursday/Friday, but things like candles, cards, etc, perhaps even the nativities.
By Friday afternoon, I would like everything to be back to normal to give the cleaners a clear run 9of the place.

Have a great day, everyone.  Stay well and be happy.  xx



Sunday, 1 January 2023

Sunday, 01-01-23

 Good morning, one and all, and again a very Happy New Year to everyone.

It wasn't that long ago that I realised a 'word for the year' was even a thing.  It seemed a bit odd to me to define a forthcoming year in one word although I can see that having one or two specific foci in your mind as you start a new year can be very helpful.

I think back to the time when the world seemed to be closing down.  We had Brexit, we had a terrible government (still do, IMO, but let's not go there) and we had this virus thingy that was spreading round the world like wildfire, causing so many deaths it was designated a 'pandemic'.  We were locked down, shut in, isolated (some of us), Zoom was just a murmur on my horizon and - oh, dear.

It was then, I think, that I made the decision to work on positivity.  I've always been a fairly positive person but when so many things go wrong, it's hard to keep it up without a specific effort.  It wasn't New Year but it helped so very much.
It's been so helpful that I'm holding on to it - or, rather, keeping it in the forefront of my mind because it's pretty much a habit now so I just want to be mindful about it all.

So no 'resolutions', just an ongoing word (and an unrelated challenge in my other blog).

Yesterday did NOT go according to plan.
It was a very mild, very wet, rather windy day so no incentive to get out into the fresh air.  I pottered in the morning, tidied up, made up the beds in the spare room and generally got ready.  Sadly, Beth wasn't well so they are coming round today instead.
I spent the time nibbling stuff and watching more Christmas recordings and was fast asleep in bed well before midnight.
It seems to be a family weakness.  My late Mum used to get regular upset tums, as do Beth and I from time to time.  Just one of those things, I guess.

So today looks like being similar.  They're coming in the afternoon but might not stay overnight - I have asked and will get a reply at some point this morning.  Everything's ready so that's good - no bed making needed today.  I have a bit of ironing that I can do this morning and the weather forecast looks quite nice so I might very well go for a short walk as well.

This is today's  Twelve Days gift to myself.  It's a box with nine little soaps inside, bought, like the lemon soaps, in the Peaks while on holiday.

I dearly love a nice soap and these are gorgeous.  They're small, just right for hand basins or, as I like to do, putting out on top of the guest towels if I have a friend to stay.  It feels such a nice, welcoming thing to do, don't you think?  

So that's today's gift, a sort of repeat but also quite different.


Do you have resolutions or 'words for the year', challenges, goals or similar at the start of a new year?  I expect I will read about some of them when I go a-Blog exploring shortly.

Have a lovely first day of the New Year, whatever your plans.  Stay safe and well . . . xx