Tuesday, 28 February 2023

Tuesday, 28-02-23

 Good morning, everyone.  I thought I felt a bit cold when I woke up and, sure enough, we have a bit of a frost; not a heavy one though and I'm sure it will go soon enough.  I am SO glad I bought my oodie - it has been perfect for these colder mornings.

I forgot to mention that, on Sunday, Beth and I also decided to have a girls' spa day together, going back to the Aqua Springs spa in Colchester where we went to a couple of years ago.  It's a public spa and really very nice, we thought, with different pools, steam rooms, etc.  So we have a date in the last week of March, when Beth has her next holiday and I think it is her treat.

I found this on Google Images.  The foreground is a pool for swimming - not huge but big enough.  Above it to the right and beyond the curved railings is the warm bubble pool and to the left of that behind the straight rails is a stronger currant pool.
There's also an area for meals/coffee and an area for relaxing plus an 'ice cold plunge' which I will NOT be using and several different steam/sauna rooms!
Last time, we had a lovely day and it is very reasonably priced.
(The photo is from Google Images.)

As soon as I was dressed, I went out and got those freezers defrosted.  As expected, it wasn't a major task which told me I really should make a point of doing it more regularly, possibly monthly - while the weather is cold, anyway.  So that's a tick off the list.  I also did a bit of shed tidying, which is a bonus point.

Talking about lists, it's the last day of Feb so let's take a look at the list of goals I set on Feb 1st:
keep the food audits up to date - tick
sort out the garden - not quite but I have today and there's only a little bit more to do
sort out the chunky/aran yarn - I'd forgotten about this one so that's on today's list
keep up (down?) the low spend - tick.  Yes, I have shelled out what looks to be a lot but some is for the water softener, some is a contribution towards something Beth needed and the last is for the Center Parcs holiday (paid with money I have not spent over Jan and Feb) so I'm calling it a success.  Add to that the fact that I am feeling a lot more comfortable all round about my finances and spending; I just feels 'settled' and on top of it now, like I used to do before Mum and Dad passed away and inheritances muddied the waters.  No complaints, just saying it did disturb everything for quite a while.

Now to get March's goals worked out.

There were four of us at circuits and it was such a lovely, sociable time.  Great fun and good for us too.  

Today starts with Groove, as always, but there is nothing in the diary apart from that.  So . . . list alert
finish sorting out the garden
deal with the stash of aran/chunky yarns
get the shopping list finished for tomorrow
sort out when exactly the meeting is this week - there's been a bit of a muddle over the day/time of this and I need to find out exactly when I need to be connected up to the computer for it
pick up some meds from Morrisons - a good excuse for a bit of a walk

All that should keep me gainfully occupied, don't you think?
Do you have a busy day planned for today?  xx




Monday, 27 February 2023

Monday, 27-02-23

 Good morning, everyone.  A new week and pretty much the end of this month.  I've been doing end of month-y sort of things - reconciling bank statement stuff, etc, over the last few days and it feels odd that the month has gone so very quickly.  I know it's a shorter month anyway but even if it ended Friday or Saturday, it would still feel shorter.  Maybe it is because the days are picking up, the post Christmas slump has vanished and there's an urge to meet spring head on.  Maybe, what do you think?

It's certainly nice to have these earlier dawns and later dusks again.  I was checking when the clocks go forward but it's not for another month, March 26th, that being the last Sunday in March.  By then, the mornings will be so much lighter, we won't notice the later sunrises much but we will certainly notice the longer evenings.  Won't it be lovely!

Yesterday was a really good day.
I pottered around first thing, getting everything ready for a 'proper' Sunday roast.  This week it was turkey; last Christmas - or was it the one before that? - I ordered a rolled turkey breast as well as the proper turkey and cut it into four much smaller joints for the freezer.  Yesterday was one of those and it was as delicious as Kelly turkeys always are.  I had some stuffing balls left over from this last Christmas and frozen, and I did all the usual sides apart from pigs in blankets.  Beth had a bean crumble.
I was very happy that, apart from the turkey itself, there were no leftovers apart from a bit of cranberry sauce and gravy.  Good-oh!

After dinner, the three of us clustered round the computer and we booked a holiday together at Center Parcs.  This has been in the pipeline for a quite while now.  We all but booked a week just before lockdown but covid put the clappers on all holidays for a while and, since then, we have talked about it but not done anything.  Yesterday we did - we booked a Monday to Friday at the Elveden Center Parcs in the autumn in one of their 'new style executive three bed lodges' which sounds ever so posh.  It even has a sauna!  Wow.
Even with a bedroom each, it really wasn't terribly costly per person although, of course, there will be food, etc, on top of that.  When we have been before, we have used the hotel but it feels really nice to be back in a lodge/chalet/whatever again.
I feel really excited now.

Alex and I talked about our meal out in about ten days' time.  He's lost a considerable amount of weight and now looks amazing so we will be going on a clothes hunt after our meal.  I'm looking forward to that very much too.  Isn't it nice to have things to look forward to?

In the evening, I sat down and went over the finances and was really happy that the savings I have made this month, added to last month's, has paid for my part of the holiday so I don't have to dip into savings at all.  Most satisfying.

I nearly forgot - I also changed the sheets and got them washed and dried outside - that was satisfying too!

Today, the diary tells me that it is Circuits so I'm looking forward to that.  I have neglected my 'running' over the weekend so I must do some of that, probably earlier this morning and using Lindsey's Energiser Snippet as my warm up and, as it's quite chilly, as soon as I am dressed, I will get the freezers defrosted which really will take no time at all.

There's lots of little things to do at the change of month.  Sharpen my knives, for example, and check over my February goals and think about new ones, just little, achievable things, nothing mega!  Also, I am doing my next shop on Wednesday morning so I must check the fridge and make the list - I want what I get to last for ten days to a fortnight.

Time to get moving, I suppose.  It's been nice chatting, thanks for reading and have a lovely day, everyone.  xx

Sunday, 26 February 2023

Sunday, 26-02-23

 Morning, everyone.  Another sunny but chilly start to the day with temperatures just below freezing but no frost.

I got a parcel yesterday.  I wasn't expecting it until Tuesday so that was good but it wasn't anything very exciting.  My new water softener only takes salt pellets/tablets < goes to check bag > and Matt left the rest of a big bag of them.  The softener doesn't seem to be getting through what's in it terribly quickly but the time will come when I need to get some, thought I, so I drove to B&Q last Thursday only to find that they no longer seem to sell the stuff - at least, they didn't have any in stock and the shelf where the bags have always been was full of something quite different.
So, to make life easy, I looked on Amazon and bought a couple of 10K bags.  You can get 25K bags and it's cheaper that way, but I can't lift them, they are just a bit too heavy.
However, I have the remains of the first bag plus these couple more so that'll keep me going for a while and it will be interesting to see how long.  In the meanwhile, I can look for a local supplier.  There has to be one, surely.

Apart from that bit of excitement (!!!), it was a sort of plodding, end-of-the-month sort of day.  I checked the chest freezer and it was pretty much up to date but it had warmed up a bit by the time I did that so I didn't defrost - it hardly needed it anyway.  I spent some time in the kitchen, concocting soup for lunch and a pie thingy for dinner.  I caught up on a bit of telly and I did some knitting and that was that really.

Today is a family day as Beth and Alex are round for lunch.   I'm really looking forward to that.  This evening it's Throw Down and that's always good.  
I've already got Sunday lunch prepared - I like to potter rather than rush around in the kitchen and one of the ways to do that is to prep well in advance.  It makes for a much more relaxing experience all round.

After a comment the other day, here's the link to my food/Slimming World blog if anyone's interested.  That's where I talk about meals, recipes, etc.
You'd be very welcome - as would any comments.  Positive ones, I mean!   😇

https://my30-30challenge.blogspot.com/

(It has undergone several changes since I started it, hence the difference between the URL and the blog name now)

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone.  xx

Saturday, 25 February 2023

Saturday, 25-02-23

 Good morning, everyone.  It's a very pleasant and sunny start to the weekend here; fingers crossed it keeps up.

Slimming World was good fun again yesterday.  Loads of people so we were busy on the desk but that's good.
When I came out, it had started drizzling and I felt very cold so I went home and stayed in - no bus and no town.  There's plenty of time!  So it was a pottering sort of day - bit of clearing, bit of  ironing, but of exercising, bit of . . . oh, stuff, you know what I mean.

The diary is blank for today which is nice.  I still have bits and bobs to do and, as it's still chilly, I might lift the bags out of the chest freezer and just do a quick defrost (it will be very quick) and audit of contents.  I've kept pretty much up to date with it all but just to check.

There's a bit more garden work to do and I will plant out those lovely primulas from Chris.  I'm thinking I might get some more if anywhere has them when I go to do my shop next Wednesday.  They are not terribly expensive and they give such joy.

I hope everyone is safe and well and keeping warm.  xxx

Friday, 24 February 2023

Friday, 24-02-23

 Morning.  Happy Friday to us all.  I thought it was turning colder yesterday and, sure enough, we have ourselves a frost this morning.  It's quite cold but on the plus side, the skies are clear and the sun is starting to shine, making everything look beautiful.

Yesterday, SET was good and the chat with Chris was most enjoyable although something quite unpleasant happened over Wednesday night/Thursday morning.  Three of the garages that are actually in the cul-de-sac were broken into - I say 'broken in' but, in fact, 'they' managed to unlock the doors without causing any damage and you'd only know they had been opened because they were left open until morning. Chris and their next door neighbour and the next neighbour to him all had their garages opened.  Chris and Steve didn't lose anything as they keep their car in and there's very little room for manoeuvre or anything else but the other two lost stuff.  My neighbours, Tracy and Terry, park their car in front of the door so it can't open and none of the garages at the back (where mine is) were touched.  They all have garage defenders on them now which does make it much harder to break in.
What came as a bit of a shock was how easy it seemed to unlock those doors and the cheek of doing it in a well lit and built up, overlooked area.

After our chat, I came home and got on with stuff including washing, etc.

Later on, Chris turned up with a little treat.

While they were away last week, I kept an eye on things and moved their post from the doormat each day and she bought these as a thank you.  Wasn't that lovely of her?

As soon as it warms up a bit, I know where I will plant them.  For now, they are brightening up my kitchen window.



Today it's Slimming World first with weigh in and taster.  Then I will come home for a quick tidy up (for the cleaners - it won't take all that long) before setting out to take the bus into town, partly just for a little nosey round and partly just to suss out the new route, etc.  I'll take a mask so, if the bus is busy, I can wear it.
However, if the weather turns, I will stay in and chill.
Have a really good Friday, everyone.  I know some of you are experiencing extreme cold at the moment - stay warm and safe as much as ever you can.  xx

Thursday, 23 February 2023

Thursday, 23-02-23

 Morning, everyone.  How's things.
Another gloomy start to the day with rain predicted.  I'm afraid the rain was ahead of me yesterday - before I was dressed, it had started, so the garden got left to its own devices, as did the shed.

I did a bit of sorting out inside, got my financial tracking up to date, did several older Shimmy Snippets and generally pottered around until it was time to go to personal training.

I've heard about my state pension now - yes, it's going up, phew.  Not a lot and tax will account for some of it but it all helps.  Actually, to be fair, it looks not a lot per week but it lands every four weeks .
Now I'm waiting to hear about the teachers' pension.

I went through my latest SW recipe book and tagged all the recipes I would like to try . . .




It will keep me busy, won't it?






Today is a bit busier.  First of all, I have SET class online before I pop over to Chris for our chat.  I'm really looking forward to hearing about her holiday last week.  I will also do C25K but, probably, inside - running in the rain sounds miserable.
I have the coloureds to do today as well as SET is the last long class of the week.  
And finally, sadly, I need to go shopping.  It's only for some fruit but tomorrow is a taster session at group and I'm just taking a selection of fruit rather than anything complicated.  Hopefully there will be enough to make a nice selection.  I won't be getting loads though, because I am making a longer list for next Wednesday.

That's it for today.  It's nice that things have got back to normal again after the half term break.

Have a lovely day.  xx


Wednesday, 22 February 2023

Wednesday, 22-02-23

 Good morning!  It's rather a gloomy start to the day and BBC weather suggests that it is going to rain today.  Shame but it's been a while since we had any rain so fair enough.

Yesterday started with Groove and it was lovely to be back in the hall with everyone.  Lindsey had put together a new playlist and new sequences and they were really good - challenging but do-able.

Then it was home for pancakes - and very nice they were too.
I read an 'article' online that warned of the 'dangers of improperly disposing of  leftover batter'.  Leftover batter???  I mean, is that even a thing?  Who has leftover batter?  Just make another pancake, for goodness sakes!  😋

I had a successful fail yesterday, or perhaps I mean a failed success.
I took a deep breath, pulled on my Big Girl Leggings and decided to do C25K on the streets rather than in the garden.  I have to admit, I felt a right prune but I did it!  However, I got really puffed out and could only manage half of it which rather dismayed me until I remembered two things
1.  I'd done quite an energetic exercise class earlier
2.  It was probably a bit too close to breakfast which I had after Groove.
So I'm not really sure if it was a success or a failure but I'm going for the former, I think, confidence being an aim for the year.
I'm staying on week one for a few more sessions.  Definitely!!

I spent the rest of the day doing this, that and the other - you know, housey sort of stuff.  I did some more gardening and have started thinking about what to plant.  Tomatoes in pots, obviously, and I have the strawberries that all seem to have migrated down to the end of the bed for some reason.  They can stay there and I will use the other space for something else - not sure what yet but it might be a couple of tripods of runner beans.  I missed them last year.  Also cucumbers but they always grow in a pot, not the bed.

The only thing in the diary today is personal training so I need a little list so I don't just waste the time.  It'll include more garden work, assuming it's not pouring with rain, and, just possibly, a bit of shed too.  Stranger things have happened.  I want to do some meal planning and look for some likely looking recipes to try.  Also, the box room upstairs really is in a state and I ought to tackle that very soon too.  

Well, if I intend doing any work in the garden, it had better be earlier rather than later so I will love you and leave you as dear Diane used to say, get my Facebook stuff done, bath and get dressed.  I'm not gardening in a long oodie!!
What are your plans today?  Do you have a little list?  xx

Tuesday, 21 February 2023

Tuesday, 21-02-23: Pancake Day

 Morning, everyone.  Another dull start with the promise of maybe a bit of sunshine this afternoon.  We will see.  Yesterday turned out beautifully sunny and I got my washing out on the line where it pretty much dried in the sun and the breeze, making it loads easier to iron.  I did two loads of whites because there were towels, tea towels and kitchen cloths to add to the pile but will wait until Thursday for the colours because then I can do all my gym wear - I wear 'proper' gymwear for classes but any old leggings when I'm at home.  The former hold me in better and support more!  Bit of vanity showing there!

It was so good to get back to Circuits.  There were just three of us and we had a good old natter as we worked.  The C25K is obviously making a difference - I managed proper star jumps and, when it was jogging on the spot (Happy Feet, Lindsey calls it), I went out and ran up and down her garden.
We all finished off working outside in the sunshine and it was really lovely!

I exchanged some messages with Alex and the outcome is that he and Beth will be coming over on Sunday for lunch and then he and I are meeting in town the second Friday in March to have lunch together in Prezzo - so much for low spend but not to worry.  I've decided I will take the bus in so I can have a drink if I want (I may not but just in case) which means that I need to do a bit of finding out.

Yu see, the bus numbers and routes have changed since lockdown and I haven't used the bus at all since then.  It really is time to dust off my bus pass and get moving again so I've had a look at the timetable and am planning a trip into town, maybe tomorrow, maybe Friday.  I don't plan to buy anything but I do want to look in the Grape Tree and I think Paperchase has a closing sale on.  Also, I read the other day that there's a new-to-me shop that sells stuff in self service dispensers - pasta and the like although I can't find it now and I can't find any mention of it elsewhere so that might not be right.  Also, I gather The Range is moving into the big Debenhams space so I want to see whether the conversion work has started.  I might even be very naughty and have a spot of lunch in town (which means going on Friday after weigh-in)!

The day finished off with a lovely girls' chat and we decided that by April we should be able to meet outside f2f again.  Looking forward to that.

Today, being Pancake Day, has to mean pancakes for breakfast.
When I was little and at primary school which was a C of E Village school, we always got Shrove Tuesday as a half day holiday.  Before school and during morning play, we would all link our arms and stomp round the playground chanting:

Pancake Day!  Pancake Day!
If you don't give us a holiday, we'll all run away.

and then the head would go round the three classes after playtime and tell us he didn't want to see us in school after lunchtime and we'd all cheer.
We knew it was so, it was the same every year, but there was always that slight feeling of 'What if he doesn't . . . ' - I guess he enjoyed the little tradition as much as we did.
So John and I would go home and Mum gave us pancakes for lunch - and then more pancakes, always with lemon juice and sugar, until we were stuffed.
With that and no school in the afternoon, we thought ourselves the luckiest children ever!

I'm looking forward to my pancakes!

Do you have pancakes today?  xx

Monday, 20 February 2023

Monday, 20-02-23

 Hi, everyone and welcome to Monday and pretty much the last week in February.  It's bonkers how quickly February has flown past.  I must look back in my diary to Feb 1st and check the things I said I wanted to achieve/do this month because time is short.
It's a dull old start to the day; not cold but not mild either, but we might have some sunshine later on.  I hope so as I want to do a bit of washing and drying outside would be nice.




One of my mini-daffs has decided to flower.
So pretty.



And the chives are coming up again.  They grow fast so I will be using them soon in my meals.  Lovely!





Yesterday was very quiet and very pleasant.  I really didn't do anything much at all, just read and knitted (nearly finished another random stash jumper) and caught up with YouTube and telly.  

Half term is now over and Lindsey's classes start again.  I'm glad; I missed them last week.
So today it is circuits and I will also be doing the C25K because I didn't yesterday.  I'm staying on week one for another week, taking it nice and slow.  This time, I will try listening to a podcast and see how that goes.  And I am bracing myself to venture outside the garden sometime soon.  Eeeeek!

The other nice thing today is that I'm having an online chat with The Girls - Beth, Linda and Julia - this evening.  I'm so looking forward to having a good old catch up.

There's washing, there's the usual housework stuff and there's always reading and knitting.  

It should be a good day and I hope yours is too.  xx



Sunday, 19 February 2023

Sunday, 19-02-23

 Good morning - happy Sunday, everyone.  It's mild outside and we're expected to have a sunny day; we had sun yesterday afternoon and inside was toasty warm, thanks to the sun through the windows.  Beautiful.

Yesterday was a day of two halves.  The morning was a restful time while I waited for the slightly muggy head to clear before having a bath (lovely soft water again!) and getting the usual daily chores, etc, done in the afternoon.  I had my garden joy, wearing the right shows this time and they certainly made a difference.  Nice and supportive but flexible and springy.  I'm glad I bought them now.
I used some YouTube music, I have no idea what but it was rhythmic and steady at 140 bpm and seemed to work for me.  I'm a bit surprised to find that already the minutes of jogging are getting easier.

I suppose the next step (ouch) is to get out of the back gate and run around the garage block, up to the road and back to the house - a slightly longer circuit with long straight sections rather than continual turns.  I need to apply confidence.

But today - back garden.

Apart from that, there's nothing in the diary and, given that it looks like a fine day, perhaps I might start the shed.  Stranger things have happened, after all.
I've a couple of little trips planned, one to Hyde Hall and one to Marks Hall Arboretum.  Both are garden-y sort of places, neither takes for ever to get to and the bulbs should be starting to look good.  There's other winter planting too, of course.

For now, time for another coffee and a nice shower and hair wash.  Have a lovely Sunday, everyone.  xx

Saturday, 18 February 2023

Saturday, 18-02-23

 Good morning, everyone.  I'm feeling decidedly morning-after-the-night-before-ish right now, totally self inflicted so no whinging!!  A second coffee is helping considerably!   :-)

Yesterday was a lovely day.

Matt turned up ten minutes early, bless him, so I was able to see him started and then whizz off to Slimming World and not be late.  I had a loss so was very happy with that.

When I got home, Matt was hard at it.  The new water softener required a bit of re-plumbing but is now all in and working and, Matt said, the water should all be soft now.  It obviously works a lot more efficiently than the old one - I suppose, twenty years further on, that's only to be expected really.  

The cleaners came earlier than usual, as promised, and that gave me a nice clear run to finish off the curries, etc.  I have no need to worry about any no-gall-bladder repercussions as I made them myself and know they are all low in fat/oil so it's just the wine-induced muggy head and that will go soon enough with plenty of water to rehydrate me.  It was really lovely to see Dave and Anna again and catch up on all their news.

Today is an easy day, I think.  Everything is cleared up from last night so this morning I will sit and knit, catch up on sundry telly things and generally take it easy.  This afternoon, I will do the garden jog and a Lindsey class.  Thank you all very much for your advice and info regarding music to run to.  I will explore Prime music and I have discovered a corner of YouTube that has running playlists at various speeds and I think I've found one to suit me.   Also, Slimming World does some podcasts that I keep meaning to start listening to.  I've checked and when the C25K podcast says something (like 'time to start running again - go')  the music fades so I can hear it.
For those who don't know, I have hearing aids and the phone connect directly to them via a Bluetooth connection which is very clever and extremely helpful.  I was a bit concerned as to how two sources of music would work but it looks as if it's OK.

I did have a laugh at myself yesterday.  The first day I did a C25K garden jog (Wednesday, I think) I wore my running shoes which I bought in a misguided moment a few years ago.  I didn't enjoy running ion them, they felt very heavy and clunks, so on Thursday I used my trainers that I do my workouts in.
Yesterday, I tidied up some shoes and what did I find?  My running shoes.  What I had tried to run in were my Hotter walking shoes!  Small wonder they didn't work!  It just shows how little I use both pairs, doesn't it, something I must remedy!

Anyway - enough rambling.  I need to do my Facebook duties and then I will chill with Kindle, TV and knitting.  Have a lovely day, everyone.  Are you taking it easy like me or are you busy with anything?

Take care and be happy!  xx

Friday, 17 February 2023

Friday, 17-02-23

 Morning, everyone.  It's quite mild this morning but there's a bit of a wind and, I gather, further north they will be having some very strong winds connecting with Storm Otto.  It doesn't sound nice and if you're affected, I hope everything will be OK for you.

I whizzed out to do my shopping and found the whole precinct pretty deserted.  There were some cars but not nearly as many as the last time I went which was over a month ago, I think, maybe even before Christmas.  M&S was busier than Aldi, oddly enough, but neither was what you might call bustling.  I'm hoping I have enough fresh stuff now to last until March.

There were a few items that I couldn't get there to later on I popped into Morrisons.  Last week, Morrisons had no fresh peppers; this week there were peppers but absolutely no tomatoes.  M&S and Aldi had loads though and, as I get through a lot of tomatoes, I have enough.  Nowhere had bags of frozen mixed peppers though.  I'm glad I got enough for both cooking and salad needs and I might slice and freeze a couple of them - I'll see how they last.

Sadly, Val couldn't come for lunch.  Her husband (I've known them both for decades) has tested positive for Covid and, as she said, she's likely to get it too now.  Fortunately, they are both up to date with their vaccinations but Mike is rather 'vulnerable' so fingers crossed he won't feel worse than coldy and tired which was the case yesterday.  Sending them loving and healthy vibes.  :-)

I popped Val's portion in the freezer - no point wasting it - and had my lunch before clearing things up and starting on the ironing.  That's all done now and away too.  I did my garden jog earlier than I expected - it seemed to go quicker than yesterday.
Thank you for your ideas about music/listening to podcasts rather than music, etc.  I ran along to some music in my head - Song of Joy (Beethoven's 9th and most appropriate, don't you think?) was the right tempo and I am wondering about some Vivaldi or Albinoni - that sort of era/genre anyway - as it tends to stick to a steady pace.
I'll have to see if two separate sounds work with the bluetoothing that I have on my phone.  I think they should but I have never tried.

Today is a bit busier.
At half past eight, Matt is due to arrive to put in the water softener.  I've emptied under the sink; a very easy task as I put everything into bags after last week was aborted.
I don't need to stay which is good because it's Slimming World at the same time.
I've asked for the cleaners to come earlier and everything is tidy for them.
Then I will be preparing for Dave and Anna coming round.  Two curries are made and just need reheating and finishing off, the chicken tikka has marinated overnight and the Mumbai potatoes shouldn't take that long.  I know it sounds awful, but I'm using a can of potatoes.  I decided against making flatbread in the end and will get some pitta bread out of the freezer - it's all much of a muchness really and if we want to stuff the pitta with curry and eat it that way - well, why not?!

Better go and do the social media stuff.  All the best and have a great day.  xx


Thursday, 16 February 2023

Thursday, 16-02-23

 Morning, one and all.  No frost this morning.  In fact, I think we might have had a bit of rain overnight as the ground is damp and, in fact, the forecast is for light rain at times.  It looks like the sunshine is over for a while.

The bulbs are all popping up now and the early ones are looking lovely.  I took a few photos, the first from the back and the second at the front.  Very pretty and they make me happy.


(We will ignore the hiding weed, OK?  It's time is nearly up!)

I didn't do an awful lot yesterday but I did, at last, start the Couch to 5k thing on my phone.  The first week comprises one minute running and 90 seconds jogging times seven plus a warm up and a cool down.
I know one of my words for the year is 'Confidence' but, as yet, I don't have the confidence to go out and run so it was a case of round and round the garden like a teddy bear!
It was perfectly manageable as far as strength/stamina was concerned but it was boring, I'm afraid.  You have to find your own music and I don't know how to on my phone, nor do I have any subscriptions.  Advice, please.
Anyway, you are supposed to do it every other day, building up as the program says, but I think for a while I will repeat the first one but daily, to get me into the pattern.   My ankles don't hurt at all which is great because I rather expected they would and, while my jogging would win no prizes for style, at least I CAN and for a number of months after I injured my ankles and calves around two years ago, I thought I never would be able to again as there was no 'springiness' in them.
So it's all good!

Today there is stuff in the diary again!  The first is that I will be going shopping earlyish this morning and the other is that mt friend, Val, is round for lunch.  I've prepped most of what we are having for lunch and am really looking forward to seeing her again.  She lives about twenty minutes' drive away and we try to meet up once a month.

Well, better go - there's stuff to do before I can  go shopping.  Have a lovely day, whatever the weather is like your way.  xx


Wednesday, 15 February 2023

Wednesday, 15-02-23

 Morning!!  More frost this morning and it was misty earlier although no longer and the frost will go soon.  I do like a frosty start to the day as long as it doesn't hang around!  It is supposed to be sunny again, like yesterday when the temperature reached 15C.  Fine by me.

For an easy day, I seemed to get plenty done yesterday, working through my list.

I changed the bedding, washed it, dried it and ironed it.  Next time I need to remember that I hadn't remade the bed until bedtime!!  Slightly annoying but my own fault!
I did some other washing too and dried some on the line.  This morning, once I am washed and dressed, I have a little stack of things to iron and put away.
There's one more load to do.  I usually do all my washing at a low temperature but now and again I like to give some of the whites a hotter wash.  As it's the only washing, maybe I'll do that today.

Did I start the shed?  No!  However, I weeded not one but all the beds and did some other stuff too so that's my excuse. 

I spent some time in the kitchen too, cooking for Friday.  I didn't do the flatbreads but I did the beef curry and that's not in the freezer with a small pot of the sauce/gravy/whatever you call it, to add to mince, maybe, another time.

Today is the last day with nothing in it.   I keep thinking it is time to go to Hyde Hall again but it will be busy over half term and maybe I will wait a few weeks until more of the bulbs are out.
I have a bit of washing, some ironing, some gardening and that shed so I'm not short of things to do.
Also, Val is coming round for lunch tomorrow so today I will make some Mexican pork one pot for us both (using up another Simply Cook kit in the process).
Finally, I MUST do a shop tomorrow so I have to write the list.  Without a list I always forget things and get unnecessary things.  I think it will be M&S for fruit and veg and then over the car park to Aldi for the rest.

Have a lovely day, everyone, and take care.  If you're not 100%, stay warm and rest up - thinking of you.  xx


Tuesday, 14 February 2023

Tuesday, 14-02-23

 Good morning, everyone.  It's a cold, frosty and slightly misty start to the day but the sun is there, above the mist, and will burn through soon, I think.  In fact, Beeb weather predicts bright sunshine and a high of +13 which is positively spring-like, isn't it?  Delightful.

I was so lazy - er, I mean me-centred < grin >, yesterday.  I nearly stayed in PJs and oodie all day but it just didn't feel right so I got dressed eventually.  I didn't start the shed and I didn't do any washing.  I did make a curry for Friday (when Dave and Anna are round) and that's in the freezer now and I did make some nice meals for the day.  I don't usually post my meal photos in here but, just this once, this is what I had (plus yogurt and a fruit).


Dave and Anna are round on Friday evening and have I decided to have a curry night so, as well as what I made yesterday to use up leftover turkey, I plan also to make chicken tikka, Mumbai potatoes and beef massaman plus basmati rice.  I have spice kits for all of them so it's just a question of ingredients and, yes, there will be leftovers, although I won't be making full quantities of anything except sauce (which I can spoon off and freeze for an easy curry another time).
I also have a recipe for yogurt based flatbreads which I might make today and get into the freezer.

I'm getting on with the knitting, on the last sleeve so it should be finished today.

So - today.  The diary is still empty and, as yesterday was so idle, today I have donned my List Queen crown.
It says:
make beef massaman and flatbreads
start shed
de-weed one bed
change sheets (overdue now, ooops)
washing
knitting

None of them are that daunting or difficult so fingers crossed.

Today, of course, is St Valentine's Day - which doesn't do much for me at all but, if you plan a cosy up with your beloved, have a fantastic time.
For the rest of us - I'm going to ponder on how fortunate I am in so many ways and I invite you to join me.  Much love to those of us who are missing dear ones at the moment.  Some things just underline it, don't they?

Take care xxx



Monday, 13 February 2023

Monday, 13-02-23

 Good morning, everyone.  Welcome to half term week (round here).  The sun has started to shine and it feels pretty mild so that's promising.

You will be relived to hear that I got the drawers tidied.  Oh, my, what a mess.  You know those home punches - I have a single two hole munch and one that makes to pairs of holes and they were both dull of little paper circles that managed to get everywhere!  There was a lot of other, really old stuff that needed chucking but the rest is now accessible and organised so phew.  I bet you're glad I will stop banging on about them now.

It was a nice, quiet day.  I did a load of knitting to use up some more stash and will carry on with that.  I'm making 'sensible' little round neck, raglan sleeve jumpers for donation - not a fancy pattern but the colours can make them more fun and they don't need any trimmings to finish them off.  Definitely my kind of project.
I'm doing one with stripes but then I think I am going to bring down my big basket of little balls of scrap yarn and making a totally random one, joining where I need to.  I think that might look good fun.

Today, again, there is absolutely nothing whatsoever in the diary.  Woo hoo.  I have a bit of washing and I didn't change my sheets on Friday so I will do that today. 
The shed has become a bit cluttered so I might start dealing with that.  The side the freezers are on is fine, it's the other side where things tend to just be dumped.  Or, there again, I might not!  I'm on half term - once a teacher, always a teacher!!

As that old song goes . . .

I'm busy doin' nothin'
Workin' the whole day through
Tryin' to find lots of things not to do
I'm busy goin' nowhere
Isn't it just a crime
I'd like to be unhappy, but
I never do have the time

I'll go with that!

Enjoy the day!!  xx

Sunday, 12 February 2023

Sunday, 12-02-23

 Good morning, everyone.  Another early start for me today but it is absolutely no problem nowadays.  I used to worry when I woke too early and had a day's teaching ahead of me but nowadays - no worries!  It's a bit chilly outside but not too bad and the forecast is for a fine but dull day.

Yesterday went pretty much as planned.  I got one of the three drawers sorted, the worst one, the one where I had shoved all sorts of office bits and bobs from Dad's office.  It's all sorted now; not exactly tidy because it's a bits and bobs drawer, but organised and that's the main thing.  The other two aren't nearly so bad, thank goodness, and shouldn't take that long.

Apart from that and the usual daily housework stuff, I took it nice and easy.  Lovely!

Today - two more drawers, get the finances up to date, amend all the food audits to account for what I've had this week and finish off the meal planning for the week, plus whatever Lindsey has given us for today's Snippet.  Not a heavy day at all. 
This evening, it's Pottery Throwdown and it's getting much tighter now - it's becoming more to do with who has just has a bad week rather than sorting out the comparative duds (they're all good, of course) and, really, it could be any of them from here on.

I've got a quiet week coming up too.  No exercise classes although there are plenty of pre-records on Facebook and YouTube so no excuses.  Chris is away this week so no Thursday chat and the only busy day is next Friday.   I can live with that!

All the best and have a super Sunday.  xx

Saturday, 11 February 2023

Saturday, 11-02-23

Good morning, one and all.  It isn't frosty today.  Sadly, nor is it sunny - yet.   Fingers crossed.

Yesterday went very much according to plan.  I had forgotten that Jen was away at a SW training weekend so the group was taken by another lady.  I'm glad I got there early because the other lady who usually helps couldn't come so I was able to help get set up, etc.
It can't be easy to take a different group but I thought she did very well really.

Then I came home and did a bit of prep for lunch although most of it was already done.  It was a lovely time; we chatted nineteen to the dozen and Carly seemed to enjoy the meal - if you use Simply Cook, it is the Cuban mojo pasta and it is delicious.

I didn't get those drawers done - again.  No guilt though, I have plenty of time today. 

The cleaners worked their usual magic, bless them, and the house is clean and shiny.

And that was that!

Today I'm feeling quite tired so I am going to have a Me Day.  I'll do some Lindsey pre-records, get those drawers done and maybe a bit of washing - but if I don't, no problem.  I still have to catch up with Pottery Throwdown, I want to meal plan for the week ahead and there's my knitting and crocheting.  I won't be bored, not in the slightest.

What are you doing this weekend?  xx

Friday, 10 February 2023

Friday, 10-02-23

 Good morning, everyone.  It's yet another cold and frosty morning but, like yesterday, I expect it will warm up a bit before long.

Yesterday was quite a busy day but a good one.  I did two of the three sections of Lindsey's online SET class but skipped the last as it was toning and by then I had a few aches.
Chris popped around and we had a really good natter about this and that.
I got on with some chores although not those drawers - I must do them later today or, maybe, tomorrow.
In the afternoon, I popped round to Lindsey's for personal training and she gave me that massage which has helped tremendously, thankfully.  Next week is half term so no classes of any kind but Lindsey has handed out pre-records for those who want to do them and maybe I could also use next week to start Couch to 5K.  To be honest, I don't feel terribly keen but, having signed up for the Race for Life, I feel I ought to get some preparation in and it will be good for me - running and/or power walking just is!  I might find I like it, you never know.  Stranger thing might have happened . . .

And that was yesterday.

Today starts, as always on Friday, with Slimming World.  The group is so much fun and, despite knowing I will have a little gain after last weekend, I am looking forward to going and seeing everyone again.  We're still at the temporary venue and there's no hint of when the usual hall will be back in use again.

Then I have my friend, Carly, round for lunch.  This is the dater we had to cancel before so I'm looking forward to seeing her and having a good old catch up.  In the olden days, she was my student for a term, got a job at the school when she qualified, and the rest is history.  She now has a family and teaches part time.
I've made lunch as far as I can - I'm doing a Simply Cook meal, Cuban mojo pasta, and what I've just done smells fantastic.  All I have to do just before we eat is cook the pasta, finish off the veg to make a sauce and knock up a simple salad on the side.  Should be good!
It is supposed to be for two but I can tell there will be some left over so that  sorts out lunch or dinner tomorrow too.  Excellent!

The house is pretty tidy and there's not much to do before the cleaners arrive so that's good.  I might do one of those drawers after Carly goes to pick up her boys and before the cleaners arrive.  I'll see how I feel.  Also, I want to fit in a Shimmy Snippet in somewhere during the day.

So - plenty happening but it should be a really good day, fingers crossed, and I'm looking forward to it all.
Have a lovely day too - stay warm, safe and contented, everyone.  xx

Thursday, 9 February 2023

Thursday, 09-02-23

Hello, there, everyone!!  How are you?
It's yet another cold start to the day with plenty of sunshine predicted for the afternoon.  I'm loving these sunny days this week - when the sun shines through the windows, the heating goes off as it keeps the place lovely and warm.  No complaints here.

Thank you for your concerns about my aches and pains.  I found some ibuprofen (much better than the other kind for this sort of thing) and it really helped. 

I got those drawers beside my bed sorted.  There was a lot of rubbish in them but I also found some useful stuff (including the ibuprofen, so that made it worth doing, full stop) and, while I can't honestly say they are tidy exactly, they are now organised with just the usable stuff in them.  Tick!

I also finished off the ironing.  Another tick.

No weeding though - it was too cold or, more honestly, I was nice and warm and didn't fancy getting cold! And the ground is pretty frozen at the moment anyway.
It will keep and as long as it's done this month, that's the goal.

Then Lindsey got in touch to say her hospital appointment was taking much longer than she had anticipated so please could we put personal training back to today or Friday.  I can't do Friday so it is now today at the same time.  So no massage yet but it is feeling better, all the same.

I remembered that today Matt the Plumber was coming today to replace the water softener so I went into the kitchen and cleared out the cupboard under the sink, glad that I had already sorted out that particular space.  And then I got an email from him saying that he'd gone to pick up the water softener and they had got the wrong one.  It's been reordered and will be put in next week instead.  Shame - I was looking forward to getting my softened water back again this weekend but it can't be helped.
So, this morning, I put all the products back again - but in shopping bags so they can just be lifted out wholesale next week, apart from items I use every day.  I can still find anything that I need but it won't be a hassle to clear the cupboard.

So it is a bit all change again today.  No Matt so I can do the SET class online, Chris is coming over a bit later as a result and it's personal training this afternoon.  I should sleep well tonight.
I will be very careful, I promise, and I've already said that I'll stop if I'm the least bit worried.  As on Tuesday, I can adapt as needed - Lindsey never minds.

On the elephant nibbling side of things, I have more drawers that could do with a good clear out so that's today's little task.  And finally, I have a friend coming for lunch tomorrow and I thought I would use a Simply Cook kit;  I need to decide which one and, hopefully, make it today.

There's plenty there to keep me out of trouble, isn't there?  It should be satisfying.   I hope your day is the same - satisfying, I mean.   Take care.   xx

Wednesday, 8 February 2023

Wednesday, 08-02-23

 Morning, everyone.  It's another clear, cold and frosty early morning with a clear, bright moon and a sky that is just starting to lighten a tiny bit.  It looks promising for the day ahead.

Yesterday didn't really go according to plan.  On Monday, I over-did it a bit at circuits, I think, and by late Monday afternoon all across the top of my back and my neck were aching quite badly.  That carried on yesterday - I did go to Groove but was very careful and didn't put in anything like the usual range of movement or energy that I usually give.  Lindsey understood and gave me alternative actions to do if I needed.  It definitely loosened things up but I took the rest of the day very easy, rested and just kept the shoulders and neck moving gently to keep them as loose as possible.
So no gardening (too cold anyway for a wimp like me) and no drawer tidying yesterday although I want to get the latter done today as they really are a disgrace.  I would like to do the ironing too but that depends on how uncomfortable it gets.

Early evening, I went to the Governors' training and, to my surprise, it was really good and extremely useful.  It was all about our role in monitoring assessments and progress and how to use the school's official data to unpick trends, patterns and achievements and to use these to ask challenging questions of the head teacher.
For example, the figures might indicate that a certain group of students - let's say, off the top of my head, disadvantaged children - are not progressing as well in science as their peers;  it is part of our role to unpick that, ask for any reasons and what is being done to support these children.  A good head (and N is a very good head) will already be aware, will expect questions from us and be ready with answers.
(I need to say - the above really is off the top of my head and in no way reflects reality in any way)

As we are part of an academy trust of seven schools and the other schools were also represented there, we were then given time to look at our own school's data and consider pertinent questions to ask relating to that data.

It sounds a bit complicated, more so than it really is, I think and is very much a central part of the role of the governing body so it was very useful to have this training.

On to today and it's going to be another gentle day.  I will get the drawers tidied but I won't do any gardening and I will see how comfortable or otherwise the ironing feels.
At Personal training, Lindsey will modify the programme and I'm going to ask for a massage too.  I am sure that will help a lot.  Fingers crossed it will all be a lot easier by tomorrow.  
Have a super day, everyone.  Stay warm and cosy!  xx

Tuesday, 7 February 2023

Tuesday, 07-02-23

 Good morning, everyone.  It's a very cold, misty, frosty start to the day today which is predicted to morph into plenty of sunshine once the mist clears.  


I took this over Sunday night/Monday morning.  I peeked through the hotel curtains and the moon was beautiful.  I tried to take a few photos but none were very good, this was the best of a bad lot!




It was an absolutely beautiful morning yesterday - this is the view from my bedroom window.

Id done most of my packing (not that there was all that much) the night before and taken the case to the car so there was very little to do before a ginormous breakfast and the drive home - which was so very easy that I was home just before ten and by ten thirty everything was unpacked and the washing machine was buzzing away happily!

It was good fun at the last circuits class of this block.  There isn't one next week as it is half term (how can it be half term already??) and the new block starts the following week which will be the last week in February (crazy!).  For once, everyone was there so there was plenty of chit chat as we worked.

Then it was home for a quick freshen up and out again to school for a meeting which wasn't too long and very interesting followed by a wander around Morrisons to do the weekly (possibly fortnightly) shop.

Today starts with a Groove class, again the last of the block.  Then I'm home for the day before a Governors' Training session about, I think, assessment and how it is recorded, reported, etc.  Probably it will be two hours of fighting the tendency to snooze and it isn't compulsory, but I feel I ought to go.

The nibbles of the elephant today are to sort out three disgraceful bedside drawers and to do a bit of gardening.  It's brown bin collection this Thursday so it would be good to get some done before then.
There's also the washing to finish off and some ironing to get done.

Also, over the weekend, I am very behind with reading blogs and commenting, so I will try to catch up with that too.  

So quite a busy day but it should be satisfying - most of it, anyway!  I doubt the training will give me much joy but there you are!

Have a lovely Tuesday, everyone.  Doing anything exciting??  xx

Monday, 6 February 2023

Monday, 06-02-23

 Good morning, everyone.  Stupid o'clock here and it's my own fault because I was in bed and fast asleep very early last night.  That's OK, things will level out again in a few days.

Yesterday was such a beautifully sunny day.  It wasn't that warm but far from freezing and they keep the place just comfortably warm - not hot but certainly not cold, just right so you don't notice one way or another.

The day started off with an early breakfast so I could be at the dance studio at nine for the Wake Up, etc, session.  It was very good - these active sessions have certainly improved since the last time I was here which was around ten months ago, just a few weeks after it had opened.

Bit of background.   The Potter family has run an all inclusive holiday resort near Gt Yarmouth (Hopton) for nearly a century now.  In fact, it was the very first permanent holiday camp in the UK.  In 1913, Herbert Potter won £500 in a competition and used it to set up the resort with wooden huts for accommodation.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Five Lakes was a hotel/spa/golf centre.  Lindsey used to bring groups here for spa days - it's closeness to home made it a very achievable outing.    A couple of years ago, it was bought by the Potter family and has become their second holiday resort with more of the Spa vibe than Hopton which is very much family based.

The first time I visited after the take over and 'do up', the place was just finding its collective feet and we were asked for specific feedback at the time.  This time, the difference is obvious.  Everything is smoother and speedier, from the waitress service in the restaurant to the speed with which one's drinks are delivered to the table or wherever you are.  And the exercise activities are good.  They were fine ten months ago, just a little uncertain, but now there's confidence there.

Anyway . . .
 After the wake up session, I had a quick drink (diet Coke) and went back to the dance studio for something called 'Strictly Potters'.  Basically, it was a bit of salsa, a bit of jive, a bit of samba, a bit of smooth, etc, all put together into a simple routine and it was really good fun, thoroughly enjoyable.

I decided there probably wasn't quite enough time for an unrushed swim before lunch so I went for a walk instead.  These photos are just snaps as I strolled around the golf course and 'lakes' (ponds, really).






After lunch, I let it settle and then went for my swim - lovely!!  The rest of the afternoon was spent in packing, getting the case into the car (less to do this morning) and generally chilling around.

A few quizzes later and a pink gin down, it was dinner (delicious) and by then I was practically asleep on my feet,  To be fair, I wasn't just being a wimp, I did two workout classes, a swim and a walk that day.

I decided that the better of my two options was to have another early night rather than try to stay awake for the show - so, it being holiday and I could do whatever I wanted, that is what I did!  I never was able to dance the night away and now, at nearly seventy one, that's not likely to change, is it?   :-)

Today I will be getting back to normality again.  I'll go down to breakfast at half eight which is when it starts, give it time to settle a bit and leave by about half nine.  Assuming no traffic issues, I should be home by not long after ten.  

That gives me time to unpack, get the first load of washing done and then change for Circuits at Lindsey's.  I have a meeting at school in the afternoon which is just a bit of unfortunate timing really and can't be helped.  Once that's finished, I will pop over the road to Morrisons and get in my fruit and veg.  I pretty much managed to use up all the fresh stuff last week so really do need to do a shop.
And then I can crash out at home for the evening.
Really back to normal again!

It's been a really lovely weekend here.  In some ways, going on my own is good because I can do just what I want to do, when I want to do it, without thinking about anyone else.  However, I know I have only scraped the surface of what Five Lakes offers because many of the activities are much more fun in a group - the clock putting, archery, shooting, all the things in the Games Hall, even the quizzes are better with others.
So isn't it nice that in under three months (end of April) I am back here with Lindsey and about fifty of her clients and other halves for a fun and fitness weekend, all run by Lindsey? 
I can see Five Lakes becoming a Favourite Place for me.  Yes, it isn't cheap but, unless you need to get anything from the little shop or fancy a 'premium drink', there are no other costs whatsoever.  Everything is inclusive from all your drinks and four good meals a day (they provide a late night supper for those who want it) to use of sports equipment in the Games area.  By the time you take all of that into account, it becomes more reasonable and there's the added bonus of being so near home - you have to count petrol costs nowadays, don't you?


Have a great day, everyone.  xx


Sunday, 5 February 2023

Sunday, 05-02-23

 Good morning!   I'm feeling a bit fragile this morning after overdoing it rather last night but  not to worry, I don't have to drive anywhere or do anything if I don't want to.  😉  The coffee beside me on the table will sort me out, I am sure!

Yesterday was brilliant.  I slightly changed my plans as I thought it would be rather a rush to have the swim early.  Instead, I went to breakfast, then to the dance studio for the dance fitness class (which was absolutely brilliant) and had my swim after that.

As I'd had such an early start to the day, I had a chill time after lunch and a bit of a snooze before enjoying some quizzes and a wander around.  

In the evening it was showtime and a game and was very good.  Before I got here, I was expecting the team to give the show - lots of songs and dances, but yesterday it was Darren Day giving us an hour of stuff.  I had heard of him before but that's all really.  Imagine a chap with a bit of a tum, some unfortunately tight trousers and a pair of the most regrettable shiny shoes I have seen in a long while - and a fantastic voice!  

And then it was up to bed!

Today (looking at the programme) starts with Wake Up, Work Out and Stretch (sounds a bit Hi De Hi to me) after breakfast and after a fifteen minute break there's something called 'Strictly Potters' which I am assuming is sort of salsa exercise.  It says 'no partner necessary' so I'll give it a go and am looking forward to it.

There's more quizzes (which are very good fun although I am useless at them really) and I will probably have another swim this afternoon.  The pool really is nice and there are loungers so I could spend some time relaxing between dips.

And in the evening, it is showtime again, the main one being something entitled 'Cool Britannia', commemorating British artists through the decades - people like Elton John, Queen, Ed Sheeran, etc.  Sounds great.

Sadly, at some point, I will be packing what I can and getting it into the car so there's very little to do tomorrow morning.  That's what I always do and I suspect I'm not the only one by a long shot.

Sorry about the lack of photos - there are so many people here, it has been impossible to photo without getting other people in close up.  I'll see what I can do this afternoon.

Right - so it's time for a bath - the bath is so lovely and deep and I treated myself to a bath bomb from the little shop here so I will enjoy that.   See you tomorrow and have a great Sunday  xx

Saturday, 4 February 2023

Saturday, 04-02-23

 Good morning, everyone.  It appears to be stupid o'clock right now (twenty past four) but really it isn't.  I was absolutely zonked yesterday evening after the drive, some alcohol to start the weekend off and a lovely roast turkey dinner so I decided to have a very, very early night.  In bed by eight and fast asleep very soon after that, I have had a full eight hours of solid sleep, despite being in a different bed which usually makes me wakeful.  So, yes, it is early but that's OK and I may very well have another snooze in a while.

Back to yesterday.  Slimming World was, as always, very enjoyable and I lost one and a half pounds (which I probably promptly gained again last night but not to worry).  As always, we had some great laughs along the way.  Would you believe, I won the raffle again but asked for it to be re-drawn.  The prize was some JD Seasonings spice pots and, having audited mine last week, I knew I had far too many already without  adding any more.

I left just before half past one and by two I was parking the car here after the easiest drive I can remember for a long time.  Having worked out where I went wrong last time, it was all plain sailing this time.

I couldn't access anything until three but I had brought some coffee in my insulated mug so I read and drank that until three when I was able to skip the building crowds at the reception desk, unload, unpack and get settled.


My room.  Not the best photo because of the low sun but you get the idea.  It's very comfortable and the bed is absolutely enormous.  It's nice and warm too; even at four thirty a.m., I don't need a dressing gown.  I had dithered about bringing my oodie and am glad I decided not to because it's not needed.

Behind me on the left is the bathroom with a bath and separate shower which is nice.


The view from my window - one of the five 'lakes' which, obviously, are not all lakes - even the biggest one where the boating happens is rather more a very big pond than a lake but it's all lovely!

A bit more to the left but the evening sun got in the way!  Both views are the golf course.


And settling in - the Garden Bar, waiting for the 'Play Your Cards Right' quiz to start.  

Dinner was so delicious.  I skipped the started and went straight on to the roast turkey, etc, before finishing off with a naughty dessert, just for a treat.

On to today and I'm looking at the daily programme of activities which range from various quizzes to things like archery, yoga and a table tennis tournament.  So much to choose from.
I think I'm going to have an early morning swim (the pool opens at quarter to eight) and then see how I feel about dance fitness at ten.  There's a craft session in the afternoon that clashes with a singing session so I will have to choose, or I might work off my lunch in the gym.  In the evening, there's shows, etc, which I really hope to stay awake for although, to be fair, if I don't, I'm back here with a group organised by Lindsey for a fun and fitness weekend at the end of April so will probably see the same thing then.

Thank you all for your lovely comment yesterday wishing me a lovely weekend.  I haven't replied to any of them individually but appreciate each one.  Thank you.

Hoping your weekend goes well.  Stay warm as it gets colder again.  xx


Friday, 3 February 2023

Friday, 03-02-23

 Good morning, everyone.  How can it be Friday already?  This week seems to have passed so quickly.  It's pretty mild and dry outside and Beeb thinks it will stay that way through the day all weekend although the nights could be colder.  There's plenty of sunshine predicted for the Five Lakes area, more so than here, especially on Sunday.

I got the sheets all sorted yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed reading all your comments about clothes horses, blankets and childhood.  We are so lucky to have such lovely memories, I think.  
It is one of life's biggest small pleasures for me, to get into a freshly changed bed and I slept so well overnight!

I did the exercise class (it was so good again), finished off the washing and ironing, packed as much as I could, got all the other stuff ready and cleared any anti-cleaner clutter.  The chat with Chris was, as always, great fun.  All in all, a really pleasant day.

There's not all that much to do today really.  I will be off to Slimming World first thing and when I come home there's just a few bits of ironing that I couldn't do yesterday because they were too wet.  Then I will load the car.  I'll have time to kill as there's no point leaving too early so I can get on with some more crochet and find some patterns for the next bit of knitting I want to.  What with my patterns I've collected over the years, and the ones that Mum used to have, there will be a good choice.

I should be able to post over the weekend but, if by any chance I can't, don't worry, I will certainly be posting again on Monday.

Have a lovely day, a great weekend and stay happy!  xx


Thursday, 2 February 2023

Thursday, 02-02-23

 Good morning, everyone.  Yesterday was a day of two halves - sunny and then cloudy, gentle and then busy!  

Thank you for your comments yesterday.  For anyone interested, here's the link to the NHS site and the section about the Couch to 5K programme.
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/running-and-aerobic-exercises/get-running-with-couch-to-5k/
It's a nine week program and I think it is three session a week with at least one day between sessions.  Weeks five and six are transition weeks making the leap between short bursts of running and walking and longer spells of running.  I suspect that may be the sticking point but - well, we will see.  I'm planning to start in March when the mornings are lighter and I can do it when there's not so many people around.  :-)

Yesterday morning, I really blitzed the washing.  There's a bit more to do today because I want to change my sheets: that's usually a Friday job but I really don't want to fuss about with sheets, etc, tomorrow and, equally, I don't want to leave it all until Monday.  There's a few other little bits and bobs that can also be washed, dried and ironed today too.

It was so nice and sunny yesterday morning and there was such a good breeze blowing that I tried drying two of my loads of washing outside and, cheers, it worked. They didn't get completely dried but enough to bring in, iron and hang to air, just like Mum used to do when I was little, when she draping the freshly ironed clothes on a couple of clothes horses and putting them in front of the fire to air, turning the clothes horses round after a while.  Then she would sort all the clothes into piles and we had to take them up and put them away. 
In between washing days, she made a tent for us, turning a clothes horse on its side and draping an old blanket over it.  Sometimes we would be allowed to have lunch in our tent instead of round the table as usual which was a huge treat and, very occasionally, we could move the tent outside.
Happy memories.

Anyway, I got the washing done and most of the ironing too.  There's just a few bits left to do today.

Later on, I went to Lindsey's for my personal training session, came home, freshened up and then it was off to the Governors' Meeting at school.  It was good, very interesting, very useful (I hope) and didn't go on too long.

I slept like a log last night, for which I am thankful.

Today starts busy.  I shall strip and remake the bed, as mentioned above, and get the washing on before the online SET class which is the Shimmy Snippet for today.  After that, it is a quick change and then I'm over to Chris' for our Thursday coffee and chat.

After that it is a case of finishing off the washing, getting everything ready for packing tomorrow and making sure the house is cleaner friendly, also for tomorrow, as I really don't want to be faffing around with stuff tomorrow.

So all very straightforward, enjoyable and easy.  Have a lovely day yourself.  xx




Wednesday, 1 February 2023

Wednesday, 01-02-23 - February aims

 Morning, everyone.  It was another lovely afternoon yesterday, although the morning was damp and dismal.  The rest of the week looks to be the same, according to the Beeb, turning colder on Sunday, but fine and bright.  Perfect for a weekend away.

Following on from yesterday, this is what I have jotted down in today's diary page - not the bits in brackets though.

This month I will . . . (apparently, saying 'I will' is better than 'I would like to or 'I want to')
1. keep the freezers and food areas tidy and the audits up to date (hmmm - is that asking too much?)
2. sort out the back garden, one bed at a time
3. lose 6 lbs
4. sort out the chunky/Aran yarn area
5. keep up the low spend and recording
6. sort out my shoes

Fingers crossed . . . and I have already done number 6 which was easier than I expected.
I do have too many pairs of shoes.  None of them are very posh, quite a few are from Hotter's sales and they are all pretty comfortable.
I went through them because I needed to decide what to take with me to Five Lakes, so sorted out a few disgraceful pairs for disposal and a few more to pop in the Sally drop off, but the rest are fine.  So that is another thing I won't need to buy for years - if ever.

Having done that, I was in the right mood so dealt with THAT kitchen drawer.  You know - the one all the rolls of stuff go; cling film, parchment, etc, plus matches, baggies, bin bags, recycling bags, and so on.  I got everything out, chucked away some very tatty stuff I haven't used for years, wiped it out (crumbs get everywhere) and put what I was keeping back in.  It was extremely satisfying!
This is obviously the way to do it for me.  Just one little thing at a time.

By that time, the sun was out and the French windows looked absolutely terrible so, yes, I dug out my glass spray stuff and tacked them and, once they were done, went out and dealt with the car windows too as the inside of the windscreen was pretty yucky!
I would have said my old muslin cloths were pretty lint free by now but they're not - not for cleaning windows anyway.  I need to get something better - I think it's called scrim (?).  Have I got that right?
(you can tell how often I, personally, clean my windows, can't you.  I sometimes ask the cleaners to do them and have a window cleaner but he hasn't been round for a while so . . .)

And to finish off what was going to be a nothing sort of day and don't laugh - I have signed up for a 5K Race for Life in July although, in my case, it is far more likely to be a Walk for Life or even a Meander for Life.  Slimming World is a sponsor and is encouraging all groups to get involved so, round here, all the group leaders will be taking part and encouraging their groups to do the same.  The idea is to do the 'Race' (ha ha) and then all have a SW friendly picnic together afterwards.
5K is fine, it's the same distance as ParkRun, and I certainly won't be running much, but maybe I could work things up a bit.  I think I have the Couch to 5K thing on my phone and I do have running shoes that I spent a fortune on in a fit of madness a few years ago.

This is far longer than I intended so I will just say quickly that today is washing day - there's a load already in and a couple more waiting their turn.  Then I can sort out my clothes for he weekend and then I am pretty much ready.  I want to fill up the car too - it's only half empty but it is a new month and it will then do me all month.
There's also personal training this afternoon and I have a governors' meeting this evening.
Quite a busy day but a good one!

I hope yours is good too.  xx