Friday 31 March 2023

Friday, 31-03-23

 Morning, everyone.  Yesterday's weather was very March/April like with bouts of lovely sunshine and sudden, pretty torrential showers.  Today is expected to be wet too (it already is) and the builders have already said they won't be back until Monday.

They arrived pretty early and spent the first half hour or so talking to Seth before getting going with the big, noisy Destroyer of Concrete.  

I forgot to take a photo until after the work had started but you can see what it looked like - pretty messy as a front of house, huh?

By the end of the day, it looked like this.  There's a patch that has been broken up but not removed and they had to keep stopping because of the pouring rain.

Next door can park to the left in front of their garage and Elaine and Neil next door other side very kindly offered the space next to their car (the red one you can see) while the work is going on so that's all very satisfactory. 

They won't be back again until Monday as mentioned above and on Monday they have the digger!  Exciting stuff.

Not so exciting, as some of you will already know, is that poor Beth does have Covid after all  What a waste of precious holiday time for her.  She has had to cancel all sorts of exciting arrangements and is highly miffed about it.
However, she said she's not feeling nearly as poorly as she did last time which is a relief because last time she really was pretty unwell..  I took some meddy stuff over this afternoon (keeping my distance) so she's well set up.

I had my chat with Chris and lunch with Val and all of that was really very, very pleasant.

The printer arrived, I took a deep breath and followed the instructions.  It was a bit long winded but all perfectly clear and easy to follow, all done via my phone.  It is so much quieter, it make me realise just how rickety and clunky the old one was.

Today, being Friday yet again, starts with SW group.  I am umming and ahing about whether to do a shop after group or leave it until Saturday morning - I think it will be the latter for the rather silly reason that it is still March today!  So it is going to be a homey, easy sort of day which sounds rather pleasant.
How do you see your day going today?  xx

Thursday 30 March 2023

Thursday, 30-03-23

 Morning, one and all, and welcome to Thursday!  It was beautifully sunny earlier on, really lovely, but the clouds rolled over and it has started to rain which is such a shame.

Yesterday was all change.

Lindsey got back to me saying she couldn't do the afternoon PT session (I had cancelled it, if you remember, because I thought I'd be having a spa day) but why not come to her morning small group circuits session?  So I did.  It was nice to meet a new group of people and the actual session was as good as they always are (in other words, excellent).

A bit later, I set off for Beth's, totally missing the message she had sent to me saying don't come because she was feeling very rough (but not Covid-rough).  So I turned up to find her in bed with anxious cats prowling around (they always know, don't they).  Poor old Beth.  I think she's picking up a bit now.

After lunch, Alex turned up, having gone to the library in town to do his copying.  We went through some things together and I suggested he consider buying his own printer.  My new one should be arriving today, hopefully.  It's not as 'big' as the defunct one but it has reasonable reviews that say it's fine, basically.  The ink is expensive but I won't be needing it all that much really and it's reliable.  Importantly, it scans and copies.
I'm not looking forward to setting it up - it's not as simple and plugging it in and connecting it to the box nowadays, is it - but if I follow the instructions it should be OK and there's usually idiot instructions online, if needed.

Once Alex had left, I had a time of calm which ended when I went to the governors' meeting.  I'm so glad I got the training done - we are now 100% OFSTED compliant.  Did you know that if even one governor is out of date with their safeguarding training, the whole school can fail and be deemed unsatisfactory?  That's how stupid OFSTED is.
I'm not saying safeguarding isn't important; of course it is, it is absolutely crucial but . . . one governor?

When I went to the meeting, the skies were clear and it was mild so I didn't take a coat.  You can guess the rest - the heavens opened half way through and I got quite damp running back to the car.  Oh, well . . .

Today, I woke with a start at around half seven.  I haven't slept that late for absolutely ages.  Not a good thing when the builders are arriving to start the work at the front.  So I whizzed through bath and getting dressed and came down just in time.  As I started making coffee, the van turned up!
They've been drilling loudly (I have apologised to the neighbours) but it has all gone quiet now because it's raining.

I'll be going over to Chris for out Thursday coffee and chat soon and then Val is coming for lunch.  I look forward to seeing her and having a good old chat.  The rest of the day is my own so I will get the house cleaner-ready for tomorrow and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet (I can hope!!).
Have a great day, everyone.  xx

Wednesday 29 March 2023

Wednesday, 29-03-23

Morning, everyone. How are things today. I'm up very early again - I rarely have much trouble falling asleep but I do wake at stupid o'clock and sometimes find it hard to get back to sleep again. Still, not to worry, there are plenty of worse things.

Like a lot of you, the weather round here wasn't very pleasant yesterday. Cold and wet pretty much all day and I was glad I didn't have to go out. I gather today isn't supposed to be great either but not to worry, it has to cheer up sometime, doesn't it?

I decided not to go to the garden centres.   It just wasn't the sort of weather for wandering around the plants and deciding what to get and also not the sort of day for garden pottering either. There will be other opportunities soon, that's for sure.

However, I did manage to do a bit of shed work and now pretty much everything that's left there will stay there until just before the work starts, whenever that will be. Things like the garden furniture and some little fold up tables, etc.
The bin is now full but tomorrow is bin collection day and then I can start decluttering the stuff in the garage, relating to allotment rather than home. It's all in a bit of a mess and could do with a good sort out and tidy up.

I've now got an appointment with the solar panel people "for Tim our surveyor to visit you and discuss anything you need" next week.  That's when I will really know what's going to happen and, possibly, when too although it won't be until mid-May at the earliest.
I can't quite believe it is happening.  As I said to Jackie in a comment yesterday, it has been a dream, an idea in the back of my mind, for so long now and now it is going to happen.  Fantastic!

Groove was, as always, great fun.  That's another thing I sometimes find it hard to grasp after being a very overweight slumpy sort of person for most of my adult life.  Still, better late than never and even gallbladder troubles can have a silver lining!

And, finally, annoyingly, my printer finally gave up the ghost yesterday.  To be fair, it's lasted for ages and has worked very hard over the years - at the height or my tuition years it was on the go every day - so I shouldn't grumble, even if I did!  It's annoying because Alex needs to print out some stuff and was coming round today.  He says he will try to sort it out but I don't hold out much hope - it's been making alarming noises for ages now.
If he can mend it, he can have it, I think.

Plans have changed for today - Beth and I were going up to Colchester to have a day at Aqua Springs spa but, sadly, she isn't feeling so great so we will reschedule it another time.  I'm not sure when her next week off work is happening but maybe then . . .

I'd cancelled personal training today but have contacted Lindsey to see if she had made alternative arrangements at all.  She probably has but you never know, maybe I can still go.

The other thing in the diary is a governors' meeting at school this evening, hence the need to get that training done.  It doesn't promise to be all that exciting but at least nowadays it generally sticks very closely to time and doesn't go on - and on and on and . . . like it used to.
(Must remember to charge up the laptop!)

I might pop over to Beth's for coffee, depending on how rough she feels, and I do need to give the living room a good tidy up and sort out my desk.  It does get so very, very messy!

So that's today.  Rather different to plans but that's life and it should still be good.  Take care, everyone, and stay warm and dry.  xx

Tuesday 28 March 2023

Tuesday, 28-03-23

 Good morning, everyone.  For a while, it is again too dark to see what the weather is promising for today although the BBC promises 'light rain and a gentle breeze' which makes be glad I got some outside stuff done yesterday.  If it's an inside sort of day, I can catch up on sleep; it's not been a very good night's sleep and I am sure I will need to catch up at some point today

Yesterday ended up a most satisfying and energetic day with plenty of stuff achieved.

I did all the washing I had planned to do (two loads of whites), dried it all outside, ironed it and put it all away.

I finished sorting out those cupboards over my bed ready for Ray to sort out the lighting.  There was a lot of stuff to discard, I have advertised a few things and I've decided one of the cupboards is going to be for seasonal clothes storage.  And the dust - oh, my!

I did some shed.  Now, all the stuff I had sorted to go into the garage is in the garage and there's not a lot else to move for now.  I mean, there is stuff but I need to sort it before moving it and there's plenty of time for that.
The garage is now looking extremely cluttered and I can see that there's stuff that needs sorting, especially stuff for the allotment, so I've put that on my list for April.

I got onto Direct Line and changed my car insurance from monthly to annually (because I could!), saving myself nearly £67 on the cost of credit as well as upping the monthly amount I have to 'play with' at the same time.  I'm not sure why I didn't change a long time ago - I suppose it was just easier to go with the flow.  Oh, well, it's done now.

I heard back from Maxine, Seth's admin lady, and they are probably starting repaving the front on Monday.  Must let my lovely neighbours know and it will inconvenience them for a few days.

Finally, I accepted the solar panel proposal and paid the deposit.  It feels exciting now it is really going to happen rather than just an idea in my head.  I should hear back from then in a few days regarding what happens next.  I don't want it done until the new smart meter is fitted but I doubt that will be an issue at all.

I went to circuits, of course.  As good as ever and all six of us were there so it was very chatty indeed.

Today should be quieter!
There's Groove class first thing - I so enjoy this semi-dance/semi-aerobics exercise class with a different set of people from circuits on Monday.
Unless the weather is really horrible, I rather fancy going back to Longacres and to B&Q to treat myself to some bedding plants to go into a few pots at the front of the house.  It's nice to add a bit of colour, isn't it?
Apart from that, after yesterday's busy day, I am going to take it easier today, have fun searching for recipes (I always enjoy that) and get on with my crochet.  I might change the sheets but probably not as it's not supposed to be a good drying day.

And I am sure a few snoozes will be enjoyed too.

Have a great day, everyone.  xx

Monday 27 March 2023

Monday, 27-03-23

  Hiya, everyone.  It's jolly cold - comparatively speaking - this morning, hovering around zero.  There's ice on the car but no frost.  The sky is pretty clear so I'm hoping for sunshine; that would be so good.

Yesterday was pretty quiet, restful, peaceful - and wet!!  It dried up later but I had no inclination to go and do shed stuff so I didn't.  
I checked the granny square blanket on my bed.  It's long enough but not wide enough so I'm now adding squares along each side.  I'm pretty sure I will need some more white for the border but that's not a problem.

Today, looking in the diary, has only one thing which is circuits.  That means it's an ideal day for shedding and other bits and bobs, so let's see how it goes.  Not an exciting day but it might be a useful day.
How about you?  xx

Sunday 26 March 2023

Sunday, 26-03-23

 Good morning, everyone.  It's dismal here at the moment and not because the clocks have gone forward.  Yesterday, after rain in the morning, we had afternoon sunshine which was really nice.  Maybe it will cheer up later on today too.  Hoping so, anyway.

I did the SET online class yesterday morning and, thankfully, there were no issues with the connection.

I bit the bullet and did that online training.  It was for governors so wasn't concerned with individual cases, which was a relief, but to do with strategic leadership rather than 'operational' management.  It was heavy though, hard on the old brain cells and I was shattered by the time I finished.  It took around four and a half hours plus a meal break and I could have split it into chunks but once started I just wanted to get it all done in one day.
I used to be able to take in all that sort of stuff pretty quickly but not nowadays.  The language was very accessible but I did have to re-read several parts to totally understand it
I still have a load of reading around (The 'Keeping Children Safe In Education' thingy for a start and also various school policies) but I've done the necessary part so, if OFSTED < spit > did come a-calling, it's OK.

But, oh, those acronyms!  Why is education so fraught with acronyms?

So I spent the rest of the day chilling rather than doing anything more worthy!

Today is, I hope, the day I do what I'd planned yesterday.  Fingers crossed.  If the weather improves, I have a load of stuff that I need to move temporarily from shed to garage until the garden room is completed and then it can all go back into the new storage in the garden room.  It's not hard or heavy but not something to do in the rain.

But for now, I will finish off my social media responsibilities and then I'm going to empty the dishwasher, prepare the veg for today and then chill with another coffee.  A very nice start to a Sunday.  
Take care, stay safe and warm, everyone, and have a lovely day.  xx

Saturday 25 March 2023

Saturday, 25-03-23

Good morning to you all and happy Saturday!  It's dull here but it's dry at the moment although it sounds as if it is going to be a very typical March day with gusty winds, rain and some sunny intervals.  Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous until early afternoon when rain started without much warning, I had to run out to bring in the washing from the line (nearly dry, thankfully) and it continued raining on and off for the rest of the day, interspersed with sunshine.  It does sound as if today will be much the same.  It's mild though - that's good.

The spam catcher seems to have worked overtime through the night - thirty eight items in the spam folder, five or six which were genuine comments but from a long time ago while the rest were the usual rubbish.  I don't know whether they had been 'harvested' from posts from a long time ago; I used not to check the spam folder much at all so all sorts of rubbish could have been posted and just left there.
Anyway, the legit comments are now back where they should be while the others have been banished into oblivion.

Slimming World group was as good as ever it is yesterday.  It's so lovely that loads of people are now staying for the second half.  I've never quite understood why people pay to just be weighed and then go without accessing any of the other support available at group.  I know a few are very short of time but not all.  Anyway, those of us who stay really enjoy ourselves.  It was the Couple of the Year award yesterday and the winning couple said, among other things, that they really enjoy the social side and feel they are among really good friends.    That's so nice.

After breakfast, I popped to Morrisons to get some needed fruit and veg.  Now I am well stocked up again although it was ironic that I won the raffle at group and this week it was a selection of veg and some foil roasting trays.  I was well happy with that.

For the rest of the day I did some sorting, I got the ironing done and the clothes hung up to air as they were a bit damp from the rain and I watched some YouTube.  Easy and quiet.  The cleaners came, worked their magic and left again.

Today starts with an online SET class at half past eight.  It's part of my Snippets package and I could do it as a recorded class later on but there's something about doing it live that is more motivating.  Fingers crossed my connection holds today.

As long as the weather holds, I will do a bit more shed and a bit more bedroom cupboard sorting and then I am going to have an enjoyable day planning the week's meals and getting on with the crochet, etc.  I must take what I have put together upstairs and lay it on my bed to see whether it is wide enough - I suspect it isn't but that really isn't a problem in any way, not with granny squares.

I've just remembered - there's one biggie that I really MUST do though and that is some online governors' child protection training.   I'm not looking forward to it one but and have been putting it off but it has to be done.  Ah, well!

Better get going.  I need another coffee and I must do my Facebook stuff before getting dressed for SET.  Have a lovely day, whatever is in your personal diary.  xx

Friday 24 March 2023

Friday, 24-03-23

 Good morning, everyone.  It'd rather lovely outsider right now.  The sun is shining and I'm sitting, towel round me after my bath and not feeling the least bit cold.  Great!  Long may it last.

Yesterday was pretty busy, mostly with nice stuff.  SET was good although it cut out during the tone part - I'll catch up with it on the Snippets page later.
Then I wasted a good hour getting in contact with Direct Line.  All I wanted was to change my car insurance payments from monthly to annually after noticing how much I was paying for the privilege of monthly payments - borrowing (which is what it is, effectively) is so costly and, seeing as I can do an annual payment, why not?  It was a bit frustrating and I wasn't able to complete the payment so I will try again today - it shouldn't take so long because now I have a link and a password.

Then Chris and I drove over to Longacres and had a lovely wander around the plants before heading to the café section.  I had a rather tasty cheese and tomato toastie and a good black coffee and tried not to faint at the prices.  I've had a wee rant over on the other blog so got it our of my system.
I didn't buy any plants because I decided I will come back next week and get some then - pansies and primulas, for example, to brighten everywhere up.
Chris came back to mine for another coffee and to continue our chatting for a while.

When Chris had gone, I decided to pop over to Matalan.  Yes, I went yesterday but when I got home, I discovered that the blue one still had a security tag on.  Why it hadn't raised the roof when (I walked out yesterday, I have no idea, but I had the receipts so that was OK.  I walked in, brandishing the receipts and expecting am embarrassing moment as the alarm went off and everyone looked at me but no - silence.  Phew, obviously a faulty thing.  So that was OK and sorted.

Back at home, I gave the fridge a bit of a clear out because when I opened it earlier there was a bit of a whiff of something and that sort of pong doesn't go away.  All done now.  Then I sorted out my folder of manuals in the filing cabinet and managed to chuck some away.  I probably need to sub-sort them but not today (or yesterday).

And that was that.

Today starts with group and then I'm going to Morrisons.  I don't need to do a proper shop, that can wait till next week, but I do need a bit of fresh stuff.  I'm quite pleased with the way the shopping has lasted me out and that I am slowly working through my supplies of this, that and the other.  Good stuff.
The house is ready for the cleaners so I might do a bit more shed.  That would be good.

I'd better go - I need to leave early for group and there's things to do.  Take care and have a wonderful day.  xx

Thursday 23 March 2023

Thursday, 23-03-23

 Good morning, one and all.  It looks quite promising outside this morning.  The ground is dry and the clouds are high.  Unfortunately, the BBC isn't so positive but not to worry - what will be, will be and the one certainly is that we can do nothing about it!

I enjoyed myself very much yesterday morning.
I didn't find a clock - there were hardly any timepieces at all in Homesense, but I did find a plastic box just right for my peelings, etc.  Until no, I have used a colander to put peelings in before they go onto the compost heap but sometimes I need it for it's right purpose.  Now I have this box with a clip on lid which is just right.
(Just to say, I do empty the box into the compost at the end of the day - it doesn't sit there for days!)

I also got a pretty little bunch of 'silk' flowers, very spring like and sheer indulgence.

I did fall rather hard in Matalan though - but not in a 'not needed' way.  They had some very nice jackets and I 'need' (could do with . . .) another jacket.  I have a few that were Mum's but they are rather square cut, old fashioned and one is a bit too big for me.

I got these photos off the Matalan site and, seeing as I have bought them, I don't feel too bad about it.

The black one is open with no buttons, they're both lined and both machine washable (I always check!) and look a bit longer on me than on the much taller models, which is just what I wanted.

They both have just a bit of shaping and make me look really nice and slim - three cheers!

The black one was a no brainer but I dithered for ages over the blue one.  I do wear a lot of blue, however, and it is light and summery so I think it will be very useful.

So much for 'no more clothes' - but it could have been a lot worse and, while on the cheaper end of jackets, treated carefully, they should do me for quite a while.

Personal training was, as ever, really good.  Arm strength is definitely improving, as is stamina - I can do my time on the exercise bike without getting terribly puffed out and recovery is faster afterwards.

Today is cut in half by a meal out with Chris to celebrate both our birthdays.  When I say 'a meal out', it's nothing posh, just lunch at a local garden centre and a wander around the plants.  Also, if Chris has no objections, I will pop into B&Q for a new smoke alarm (I'm not convinced the old one is actually working 100% and they're not that costly) and a few things that I need for when Ray comes to do the various jobs, whenever that will be.

There's also the online SET class first thing so it's all going to be good and I can slot in all the other stuff as and when (or defer them for another day).  Definitely an 'enjoy retirement' day today!

Hoping you all have a good day too with lots of things you really enjoy.  xx

Wednesday 22 March 2023

Wednesday, 22-03-23

 Good morning, everyone.  I was wrong about yesterday - half way through Groove, the sun came out and it was absolutely lovely, really spring-like.  It disappeared behind clouds from time to time but never for long.  It is actually raining as I type this but it may clear up later, fingers crossed.

I can't believe it is Wednesday already - it is seriously scary how quickly the days are passing.  Whether it is down to getting older, being busy or what - slow down, life! 

Although I didn't have a long list yesterday, I seemed to have plenty to do.

First thing was Groove.  As mentioned, half way through the sun broke through and you could feel the energy rise in the hall.  You could feel the warmth too - we do generate a lot of heat on the coldest of days - and I must start taking a towel or flannel with me now it's warmer again.  Anyway, it was a really fab session, most enjoyable and invigorating.

When I got home, there was an email from Jeff asking if he could possibly come at around twelve instead of the afternoon.  This actually worked better for Beth than the morning so that was good.  The garden definitely looks better now and the bulbs are brightening everywhere up so nicely!

I accepted Ray's quote for some work and now wait for him to say when he can do it all.

In the afternoon, I went round to Beth's and we sorted things out.  Ever since Alex was a very little boy, Beth has had a life insurance for his benefit that I have been finding and now she is on a firm financial footing it is time for her to take over the responsibility so that's what we did.  Like all these things, it was easier to do than we thought.
At the same time, I arranged for a smart meter to be installed - I've resisted them so far but my meter IS very old now and, what with the solar panels, etc, it makes a lot more sense.  So I have a date and time and now I can let the solar panel people know and get that arranged too.  Brilliant.
My goodness - all this adulting!

By the time I got home, it was chill, read and crochet time so that's what I did!  Nice.

Today, as I don't have anything scheduled until personal training, I thought I would take a drive into town to the Riverside retail park and have a look at clocks in Homesense.  I may also find myself wandering around Matalan too - I haven't been there for simply ages - and there's the new Iceland shop too plus Home Bargains and Poundland.  No, I don't intend buying anything unless I see a clock I really can't live without (!!) but you never know.  I'll probably have to dodge the raindrops but that's OK.

Now I have accepted Ray's quote, I really do have to get those drawers over my bed sorted so I am definitely starting on them between getting home from town and personal training.  It's a must now.

I do hope the rain stops and the sun comes out again during the day - it was so very pleasant yesterday, almost nice enough to sit out in the garden.  Wow.
What's it like your way today?  xx

Tuesday 21 March 2023

Tuesday, 21--03-23

 Morning, all!!  Another mild, dull and dreary start to the day, it is predicted to be much the same all day (and for the next several days too).  Oh, well, it can't last for ever and I do feel for those of you who are still getting snow and yet more snow.  That can't be much fun any more.

Do I have any cleaner windows?  No, I do not.  Bad me, I just couldn't be bothered.  Maybe today.  But I did sleep in clean sheets which is always one of life's great little pleasures.
Apart from that, yesterday was very much as expected except that I got my quote back from Ray and will be going ahead with that in due course.  Thinking of all those niggly things getting done makes me feel really happy!

Today it's Groove first and then, after breakfast, I'm popping over to Beth's to get something done and after that it's the usual houseworky stuff including, perhaps, a few windows.  Jeff is round this afternoon to help me with a bit of outdoor stuff and that's about it for the day.  Not particularly exciting today.

Maybe your day is more exciting.  Hoping all goes well, whatever you need or plan to do.  xx

Monday 20 March 2023

Monday, 20-03-23

Morning, everyone.  So another Monday rolls round and another week starts.  Two thirds of the way through March - time is just flying! 
It's mildish and very dull outside and the forecast is for light rain.  Ho hum!
However, it's lovely and cosy inside and the house smells warm and delicious with a chicken carcass simmering in the slow cooker and a tomato and roasted red pepper soup in Thermione, just needing to be reheated at lunch time.  It's quite surprising how far a small roast chicken can stretch with only a very little extra thought, isn't it?

Just one more comment about the granny square pattern - Marjorie, quite rightly, pointed out in the comments that an English treble stitch is the same as a US double crochet so I though, to make it quite clear, I would highlight it here as well.  Thanks, Marjorie!

It was a lovely day yesterday with Beth and Alex round for lunch, Beth staying longer for a good old chat about this and that, some of it quite serious.  We went through various financial stuff and simplified things (not going into any more details), discussed music we would want for our funerals (yup, it was a bit random) and all sorts of other bits and bobs.  Really enjoyable; thanks, Beth and Alex, for coming over.  xx

I got all the ironing done and even put away before they arrived so that was off my conscience so I was able to spend the evening doing the usual homey stuff.  Nice.

Today, I think I will change the sheets and get that all sorted, I want to clean a few windows (actually, maybe 'want' isn't quite the right word, 'need' is more truthful), I have a bit of finance to sort out and it's circuits.  All nice and productive without anything too startling!  
I hope your Monday goes well and that you get everything done that you want (or need!) to do.  Take care, stay dry and be happy, everyone.  xx

Sunday 19 March 2023

Sunday, 19-03-23

 Morning, everyone.  After all the rain yesterday, it looks pretty pleasant at the moment and the forecast looks pretty good too.  Nice.

Someone (sorry, I don't know who) asked how I do the granny squares.  I'm assuming, from what you said, that you've made them before so . . .

I start with a magic ring although a chain ring (around eight, maybe?) would be fine.  I like using a magic ring (or magic circle) because it provides a firm base and can be pulled in so there's no hole in the middle.
There are loads of instructions for this on YouTube.  Here's a link for one.

Into the magic ring I ch3, two tr (English trebles), ch2, 3(3tr, 2ch), join to the top of the first 3ch with a sl st.
So you have four blocks with two chains between each block and those two chains are the corners.

Then sl st along and into the next 2ch space.

Each round after than starts with 2ch, 2 tr to create the first block.  All the other blocks are 3tr and the spaces are 1ch along the rows and 2ch at each corner.  I find that makes a really good square without any pulling in at the corners and no need to pin and steam press into shape.

Changing colour - pull yarn through after you have joined with a sl st and cut.  Start the next round in whichever ch space you want to use.  I like to separate the starts as much as possible because of sewing in afterwards.

This square doesn't turn - you are always going the same way round.

If you don't crochet, this will look like gobbledegook but if you do, I hope I've not left anything out.

The weather yesterday morning was horrible on and off and never better than drizzly so the walk was called off.  It's a shame but we are all golden oldies and none of us relish getting soaked.  I got my exercise anyway doing Lindsey's SET class online.
I did the washing but not the ironing so that's on today's list.  The rest of the day was just nice, gently, idle stuff - reading, crochet, watching various history videos on YouTube (there's some really interesting stuff on YouTube once you go beyond the vlogs and the 'influencers').

Today, Beth and Alex are coming round for Sunday lunch which I am really looking forward to.  I'll get the ironing done before they arrive, I've already prepped all the veg and, apart from the actual cooking, all I need to make is the cranberry sauce, hardly and arduous task.

Once they've gone, it will be the usual late afternoon chilling with my Kindle and my crochet before dinner.
Just a typical and very pleasant Sunday.  Nice.
Have a good one too, everyone, however you spend your SUnday.  xx

Saturday 18 March 2023

Saturday, 18-03-23

 Morning, everyone.  It's a damp and dreary Saturday morning but not cold in the least so that's good.  It's also my brother, John's birthday so Happy Birthday to him.  He doesn't read in here as far as I know but even so . . .  :-)

Yesterday was a lovely day.  Now particularly exciting, just lovely.
At Slimming World, I lost a pound so I'm very happy with that - I aim to lose between one and two pounds a week at a steady, sensible pace.  The place was absolutely buzzing with a new member and a couple of transfers as well as all the usual gang.  It was a hoot with lots of laughs during Image Therapy (the fancy name for the talkly bit as well as plenty of advice, hints and tops.  

On the way home, I decided to detour to a local garden centre where I bought a primula.  Yes see, I have two days to particularly remember my lovely Mum as she passed away early on the morning of Mothering Sunday.  I have a collection of primulas, three from Chris and four that I got myself, and tomorrow I will plant them in a bigger container to go out the front of the house and remember her with love and thankfulness.

The long winded flour saga has ended with my Amazon delivery yesterday.  My jar is now full and there's bags to spare inn the freezer.
Sooze will laugh but I was most excited yesterday to have the room to move my freezer bread products from the front opening freezer to the chest freezer.  That doesn't mean I have an empty tray because the flour has gone in there but it's a start and I'm very pleased.  For those who don't know, I need - well, want, really - to go down to one freezer before the garden room starts and now I have4 paid the deposit for that and it is really happening, I need to push this through.

And, on the same subject, I got an email from Maxine, Seth's 'office' lady, asking if they could possibly start paving the front at the end of this month.  That's one of the improvement projects I have in the pipeline so it's exciting to have a tentative date for starting.

Today, I have already done my early morning online SET class with Lindsey and I was going on a walk with some of my Slimming World buddies but it's raining - sometimes light and sometimes hard, so I've pulled out as the forecast is for more of the same all morning.  Not nice.
So I might do some clearing and I will do some washing as I have a load of darks.

The granny square blanket is coming on.  However, it is really weird how, when you are worried that you don't have enough yarn, it disappears like snow on a summer's day but when you want to use up excess, it lasts and lasts and lasts.

I saw a photo of a sort of cardigan made of granny squares so I am pondering about that although there's still a fair way to go with this blanket really.

Well, sitting here rambling won't get the washing done so I will love you and leave you.  Have a fab day, whatever the weather and whatever your plans.  xx

Friday 17 March 2023

Friday, 17-03-23

 Good morning, everyone.
The forecast isn't brilliant for today - light rain for most of the day.  We were lucky yesterday; the sun shone, it was really mild (up to around 15C) and the radiators were off all day.  I put on my coat when I went into town and by the time I was heading back to the car, I was boiling!

I did my online SET class, interrupted when the internet dropped.  Grrrr.  It's been doing that; I gather there's some local work going on but it's always been mid afternoon before.

Then it was over to Chris for your good old natter.  She's feeling 100% now and has been out and about all week doing birthday things.  We're going out for lunch together next week to the cafe at Longacres (was Wyvale) which does really nice lunchy things like jacket potatoes.  It's to celebrate both our birthdays (mine's in April).

After breakfast, seeing as the weather was so nice, I drove into town and went on a flour hunt.  The shops I tried!!  Nothing in the Grape Tree, nor in M&S, Holland and Barratt or even the very big Tesco.
There were other flours galore, 'ethnic' type flours, flours I'd never even heard of but no wholemeal SR flour.  So that was disappointing.  However, in Tesco, I got my bag of frozen pineapple chunks and in Lakeland I found two little trays that fit inside Nellie the Ninja perfectly, so it wasn't a wasted journey and it was nice having a wander round.

When I got home, I resorted to good old Amazon and found a supplier that wasn't asking an arm and a leg for the flour.  I had to buy more than I needed but I checked and flour keeps well long term in the freezer (did you know that?) so I have some winging its way to me today.  I could have ordered some direct from Dove but it was more expensive, there was postage and it just wasn't worth it.
Mind you, wandering around the Dove site was very tempting!!

When I got home, there was a little parcel on the doorstep - it was my new little clock that I thought was coming today.  No complaints:  I got it set up and it's working away nicely.  I didn't realise how often I glanced at the old clock until it wasn't there any more.

Today is Slimming World day, of course, and Gabriela emailed to ask could my cleaners come this morning, so the house is all nice and as ready as it ever is good and early today.  I might still be out when they come.

There's nothing else in the diary and I'm going to make no plans but just go with the flow, so to speak - see how I feel.  Realistically, that means crochet and YouTube for a while and maybe a walk as long as it's not raining.  We'll see.
Have a great day, everyone.  xx

Thursday 16 March 2023

Thursday, 16-03-23

 Morning everyone.  It's mild and damp, better than cold and frosty but sunshine would be loads better.  :-)

I got my early morning shopping done.  It wasn't as 'bad' as the last one and there were a couple of items I couldn't find but I think I am OK for two weeks now.  I might run out of some fresh veg but have freezer veg too so that's fine.

I decided to9 drive on to Lathcoats as I thought they might have what I wanted there.  They did have frozen cherries in their scoop and bag freezers and I also got some frozen blackberries but they didn't have what I really wanted which was wholemeal self raising flour.  Not everywhere stocks it but I've always got it from Lathcoats before so I was a bit disappointed.  I can, of course, get some plain wholemeal and turn it into SR with bicarb and baking powder but . . .

I popped into Dunelm to look at the clocks.  It's easier to tell what I don't want than what I do so I guess it is a process of elimination really.  There's plenty of time and plenty of places to look in so that will be fun.
What I did get in Dunelm was a pair of fluffy slipper boots (lovely and cosy), a couple of curver boxes for the clearing and tidying stuff and . .  a wooden board.

Going back to Saturday, the reason Gizmo was on the hob was because I didn't want to use it on the working surface.  I decided a plain wooden board would be the thing to get and, among fancy and expensive ones, there were a few plain and not-so-expensive boards so I bought one and now I can stand gadgets on it when they are in use.

So the shopping trip was a bit more expensive than expected but useful.

At home, instead of starting my bedroom cupboards, I re-organised the yarn.  I know I've not long done it but those curver boxes are ideal and I can get far more into them.  In fact, next month, I might go back and get a few more.

Personal Training was great, as always.  Lindsey is pushing me which is just what I need.

Today is pretty much the same as every Thursday - SET class online and then a good old chat at Chris' over coffee.
Then, I think I might just pop into town.  When I was in town last week with Alex, there were several places I'd liked to have looked in but didn't because it was Alex's shopping trip, not mine.  I might be able to get my flour in town too.  If it's pouring, I won't bother, but if it's not that bad, maybe I will.  I'll see.

Take care, stay warm and dry and have a lovely day.  xx

Wednesday 15 March 2023

Wednesday, 15-03-23

 Good morning, everyone.  It's a chilly start to the day today with temperatures below freezing but only the slightest hint of a frost.  The forecast is for sunshine - three cheers - and it should warm up fairly quickly.  

The new egg chair cover arrived yesterday and is now in use.  It won't be long before I'm sitting out there in the chair, enjoying the warmer weather when it comes.
The little clock isn't due to arrive until Friday which is a bit of a pain but there you go!  Prime doesn't always work, just usually.

I got one of the sort out things done and now all my tea towels, wipes, dishcloths, etc, fit nicely into the drawer and I have a stack of replacements tucked away elsewhere, ready for when what's in use wears out.  I didn't start the bedroom cupboards so that's maybe something for today.

One reason why I didn't start it yesterday is that I noticed a mistake in the four ply granny blanket.  There's not a lot of patterning in it, the colours are random, but there's is an underlying pattern and I'd got two squares wrong (and stitched them in) so I had to undo edging for about fourteen squares, adjust the order and stitch them back together.  I was very thankful I hadn't sewn those lose ends in and that the joining is by crochet rather than sewing so it was comparatively easy to do.  
You'd never have noticed but I knew and it was irritating me.  :-)

Chris came with me to Groove and, I think, really enjoyed herself.  It would be nice if she could come every week but she's a busy lady.  We will see.  

Today is shopping day.  Once I got down to it, I do have quite a list and am hoping that what I get today will see me through until the start of April apart from maybe a few fresh things.  I'm hoping to take a look round Dunelm and see what they have in the way of wall clocks too.  Must remember to take a few photos.
Later on, it's personal training.
Between the two, maybe I can get those bedroom cupboards sorted - one of them at least.  Fingers crossed but it's no big deal if I don't.  :-)

Interestingly, while I've been typing this, the hint of frost has developed into quite an obvious frost.  Maybe the skies have only just cleared as daybreak arrived.  It's looking quite pretty now.
Have a great day, everyone.  Stay warm and safe and enjoy what you have planned.  xx

Tuesday 14 March 2023

Tuesday, 14-03-23

 Morning, everyone.  It's still a bit breezy but, thankfully, nothing like yesterday which turned into a right gale blowing.  Several times my black bin went a wandering down the side path and, annoyingly, the cover of my egg chair split completely.  The threatened rain never came though and we had plenty of sunshine so I really can't complain.

Everything went according to plan.  The ironing is done and away, I picked up the meds and bought the carrots (and some sugar snaps), circuits was really good and it's a shame there were only two of us there to enjoy it this week, the online meeting happened and was productive although my internet went down half way through for about five minutes which was irritating.

I am sure you will be thrilled to learn that I have finished the dishcloths and am now set for life!  😁  I have noted the mess in the drawer in which I keep tea towels, wipes and - yup, cotton dishcloths, so that's going to be sorted out today!
I used seed stitch, c2c garter stitch and the crochet lemon peel stitch and I think the best has to be the crocheted ones.  Nice and firm and non stretchy.  I have a choice though so that's good.

Gizmo II arrived a day early.  This weekend has been far too spendy and I just hope I've had the three in a row thing now.  Gizmo on Saturday, the egg chair cover yesterday and then, yesterday late afternoon, my little living room clock decided its time was up.  I have no idea what happened - I changed the battery, made sure everything was in place but no luck.  RIP, little clock.  I do need a clock in the living room so I have a cheap, small one coming to tide me over until I choose a nice wall clock, something I have rather fancied for quite a while.  You can get some lovely ones nowadays, can't you?

I've also taken a deep breath and paid my deposit for the garden room so it really is happening this year sometime.  The quote also includes repairing my raised beds walls and repaving the car standing area at the front, something that really does need doing, so it's all good. 
I also sorted out a muddle with the solar panel people who had got it into their heads somehow that I lived in a different house.  I'm just waiting to hear back from them and then I will probably pay that deposit too.
I should hear back from Ray (Hire a Hubby) some time this week.

Things are moving at last.  Thank you, Mum and Dad!

Today, I have Groove first thing and Chris is coming with me.  Open week was last week but, as I didn't go last week, Lindsey said this week was fine.  It's also Chris' birthday today so . . .

(she doesn't read this, but not to worry!)

Once back from Groove, there's nothing else in the diary so, as I'm expecting some parcels, I shall stay inside and do some more sorting.
Apart from the drawer mentioned above, I have some high cupboards over my bed that are going to need to be emptied when Ray does the lights work, and lord only knows what's in them at the moment, so I will move my bed, get out the stepladder and have a good old clear-out.

The other thing is to finish my shopping list.  I've lasted out a fortnight on what I got at the beginning of the month and don't need much in the way of fresh stuff - yet - but I do need other things so I'm doing a shop tomorrow morning and might need to do a fresh food shop before the end of March - we will see.

Once that's all done, I will chill with some reading, crocheting, and so on, as usual.
It should be a very pleasant and productive day, I think.  Hoping you all have a great day too and, if you live in Canada (or anywhere cold) - stay warm nd may the snow stay away!

Monday 13 March 2023

Monday, 13-03-23

 Morning, everyone.  Another new week starts and what a contrast with last Monday.  It's quite breezy but the temperature, according to my garden thermometer, is around 10C, which is lovely and spring like.  The daffodils are opening and there are bursts of yellow all over.  So happy!

I spent a lovely time yesterday doing a slight reorganisation of my storage jars (and contents) yesterday morning.  When I did the big sort out last year, I knew things would need to be changed around somewhat in time and so it was.  I bought a few more jars last week and now some things are higher, some are lower, some are in a different place entirely and everything is nicely and consistently labelled.  All very, very satisfying.

While that was going on, there was washing in the washing machine and a small gammon joint in the slow cooker.
Once the gammon was cooked to almost melt in the mouth (lovely!), I used the stock and some of the yellow split peas I had forgotten I had, even after last year's reorganisation and made a lovely, thick ham and pea soup in Thermione.  That'll see me through about three lunches.
The washing all got dried but not ironed so that's today's task.
After lunch, I watched a Harry Potter film and some YouTube, finished another dishcloth (one more to go), finished the washing and did some reading - just a nice, quiet, productive time.

Today, I will see if I can get the ironing done this morning before I go off for circuits and I do need to walk down to Morrisons to pick up my prescription (should've done that last week really) and I need to grab a bag of carrots too.  I still have plenty of everything else but am pretty much out of carrots and I use them so much.  This afternoon, I have an online meeting that shouldn't go on too long at all and then the rest of the day is mine to enjoy.

Has it warmed up where you are?  Hopefully, Spring can now have its way and soon we can pack away the winter coats and get down the lighter weight stuff again!  Won't that be lovely!

Sunday 12 March 2023


 Thanks to those of you who posted questions.  So here we go . . .

Rose P asked:

Have you given up your allotment?  You don't talk about it any more.

Thanks, Rose.  The short answer is yes, I have.  The longer answer is . . .
The allotment started off held by Beth with Alex helping out as a little chap.  I went along and helped a bit.  Alex stopped helping out as school work, exams, etc, took over and Beth and I did it together with Beth still as the named keyholder.  At some point before lockdown, I think, we became joint keyholders so I could go there by myself to water, weed and so on but we still shared the work pretty much.
I'm a bit uncertain about timing but during lockdown, it was my exercise and pretty much the only thing one was allowed to do outside (apart from shopping, etc).  As lockdown lifted and the world opened up again and as Beth was by now working full time and really couldn't give it any time, I found it was becoming a liability and we both decided it was time to let someone else enjoy it.  
I'm a bit sorry but not significantly so.  I like my life just as it is and I really don't want to spend the time it would take to keep it going properly.

(bit of Spring colour to break it all up a bit)

Jackie asked:
How did you come to start blogging?

Well . . . < thinks back >  I think it was because I started reading a few blogs - Sue C and Sue H, for a start - because I was interested in frugality, started following various Bloggers and a friend introduced me to the whole blog thing.  I think it was Rachel of Eternally 28 but I'm not totally sure; it's a while ago now.  Or perhaps it was the dear late Diane.
Blogger seemed the easiest platform so I dipped a toe in with this blog as my first attempt and one that started off as My 30-30 Challenge (or something - spending £30  for 30 days).  This one, of course, started as 'Diary of a Teacher' - the 'retired bit was added when . . .
The other one has morphed into 'Losing Deliciously on Slimming World'.
I've made some good friends via Blogger and I have learnt so much - it's lovely.

Sue's question is linked.
How long have you had your various blogs, and which one do you consider to be your main blog? Also have you ever had a blog and then deleted it, or are they all out there for everyone to find?

I must have been blogging for maybe around twelve years, perhaps longer.  Well before I retired anyway.  I suppose this one is my main blog although the Slimming World one is important to me as well.
I've got a couple of deleted blogs - one has just a few entries and is called 'try it out' and was never meant to be published and the other is called 'Teacher's Recipes' which I stopped when I started the 30-30 blog.  I can still access them but had forgotten about them until your question reminded me.
So I just have the two that people can read.

Eileen asked several (thanks) so I'll take them one at a time:
Have you ever had a bucket list and if so, have you completed it or are there still places you want to visit and/or things you want to achieve?

No, not really.  I mean there are things I would like to do but not strongly enough to call them bucket list material.  The things I am doing to my property this are are things I have had in mind for a while and it's nice to see them starting to happen.  But generally, my goals are small and short term.

I know how much you like Slimming World. Can you ever see yourself running your own group?

Yes, I do enjoy Slimming World and I did think about it briefly when we had a visitor who talked about this.  However, there are a few good reasons why not . . .
I'm more a follower and a supporter than a leader.  I really enjoy being on the social team and helping with the weigh ins, but that's enough for me.
I'm really not a good Slimming World girl.  I challenge the rules too much and apply common sense to those I think are very silly - those of you who read the other blog will know that!  
And finally, the group leader needs to have good hearing and I do not.  It's not a 'poor me' thing, it's a fact - you need to be able to follow discussions that can be very fast paced and to pick up on almost throw-away comments.  It's not a disability access thing, it's like not being able to sing opera professionally if you're tone deaf!  lol

Do you still play the piano for enjoyment?
What sort of music do you like listening to?

No to the piano but maybe, one of these days, I will spend a bit on a nice little keyboard that I can bluetooth to my hearing aids and then I can tickle the ivories to my heart's content.
As for music - oooh, good one.  I like so much.  It's easier to say what I don't like and that's opera.  As a complete thing, drama, costume, scenery, story and music, it's OK, but opera just as music - no.  I'm a fan of a very vibrato voice at the best of times.
I'm not fond of 'modern' atonal music, probably because I just don't understand it.
I love choral music, I love orchestral stuff generally.  I'm very fond of renaissance choral music - anthems, motets, etc.  I often wallow in nostalgia with 60s pop music.
I think my favourite single thing is Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet - not just the suites but the whole thing from beginning to end.  The ballet, with the MacMillan choreography is my favourite ballet too.

Name your ideal guests for a dinner party. Maximum of 6, dead or alive.

Obviously, I'd go for Mum and Dad first.  Always . . .
I'd love to invite the late Queen Elizabeth - she always struck me as an absolutely fascinating person with so much wisdom, knowledge and experience.
I'd love to meet Molly Hughes, the author of the 'London Child/Girl/Home' books.  She was such a very clever person, educated way above what was expected for a girl of the time and very involved in early higher education for women.  I wondered about asking Miss Buss and Miss Beale (they have to go together, don't they) but Molly could tell me about them.
Going right back in history, I'd go for Eleanor of Aquitaine, the wife of Henry II, mother to Richard the Lionheart and Bad King John and a ruler in her own right in the days when most women just didn't.  She was a fighter through and through.
It's all a bit weighted on the female side, isn't it, but my Dad won't mind so lets go for someone living.  I think I'd go for Michelle Obama - I bet she has a few stories she could tell and I gather she got on very well with her late Majesty.

Dessert Island Discs ... which book would you take and what's your luxury item?

One is allowed the Bible anyway, isn't one?  I think I would like either a Nigel Slater or a Nigella Lawson recipe book because they are far, far more than just recipes and there's a lot to them.  Or - if I had the luxury item, a nice, big book of Bach chorales - that's a lot of music to dissect and analyse, improvise to, develop and generally enjoy without being terribly hard to play.
As for a luxury item - er - I think it would have to be that keyboard I was talking about earlier (with power and assuming I'd have my hearing aids anyway, as they are essentials, not luxury!)

Sue (Beachcomber) asked:  

How often do you use your Thermomix and do you own an air fryer?
What do you cook in them/it?
Are they as useful as you thought they would be when you bought them?

I use Thermione on a very regular basis.    I make soups, steam all sorts of things, make casseroles using reverse spin, cakes, meringues, sauces, lemon curd, things that need continual stirring - she makes a mean risotto - oh, there's so much.  There's an amazing recipe site called Cookidoo.
As I type this, she is steaming my lunch vegetables and earlier she made breadcrumbs out of both ends of the bread for which she made the dough yesterday.
 She doesn't fry, bake or roast but does pretty much everything else.

I have a Ninja Dual Zone and that also gets used a lot.  For example, this evening I will be roasting some veg in one side and making chips in the other.  I've hardly turned the oven on since I got it.
Right now, it's making some chips for lunch and yesterday it baked a small wholemeal loaf.

Yes, they are both very used and useful and I feel so lucky to have them.

And, finally, Jablog asked:

If you could live your life again, would you follow the same path?
Are there any skills yo
u wish the Good Fairy had given you?

Answering that first bit is so hard.  Obviously, I have not lived a charmed life.  Horrible, difficult things have happened at times.  I was desperately unhappy as my marriage was breaking up but, had I not met and married G, then I wouldn't have had Beth, Dave and Alex and I can't imagine that.  
I wanted to be a teacher all my childhood after a brief flirtation with the ideas of being either a famous opera singer or a missionary (inspired by Gladys Aylward after I read her biography).  The first was - er - unrealistic, given I only had a choral voice and don't like opera much anyway and the second died the death very quickly!
So - I was able to get my teaching qualifications despite a less than stellar school career apart from music and I had a career that I truly loved and that I was able to return when I needed and which had a very good pension scheme.
I've been so very fortunate really.
I think, if I am honest, that I wish I had concentrated on my own well being a bit more.  I have only recently slimmed down and become fit, since retirement, and it's fantastic.  
But you can't look back really, can you?  We all have regrets and have made unwise choices and they, as much as our successes, are what make us what we are now.  At this time in my life, I am OK with what and who I am.

As for skills - I have a number of wishes but I think the main ones are perfect hearing (which isn't a skill) and to be a better musician.  I enjoyed singing in various choirs but didn't excel in any way and ditto for my instruments, piano and recorders.  The hearing impacts on the music, of course.

Thanks again, everyone.  Some of these made me think and I really enjoyed answering them.  xx

Sunday, 12-03-23

 Morning, one and all.  Welcome to a mild and sunny Sunday - it is here, anyway, and I hope it is pleasant where you are too.

Yesterday, I forgot to mention a couple more nice things that happened at Slimming World.
One of the newer members (who did look vaguely familiar to me) came us and asked 'Are you a teacher?'  Teachers don't/shouldn't have favourites but this student and their family were both pretty special, I carried on tutoring them when I retired and this lady is godmother to the student.  We had met years ago at an important meeting when she came to support the mum which is why she looked familiar.
The other was when someone walked in who I immediately recognised as an ex colleague.  She was a TA for a while before joining the office staff and I had her oldest twice, once in Y1 and again in Y4.  It was so nice to see her and have a quick catch up chat - she usually goes to another group but couldn't make it this past week so came to ours instead.
It was a lovely group this week for so many reasons.

Yesterday turned out to be 'interesting'.

I got the herb shelf sorted.  I did end up having to throw a few things out but basically they were items I got for one thing, haven't used since and were well past date - and I mean 'well'!
Then I was inspired to tackle the next shelf up which has my stocks, sauces (like soy and teriyaki - that sort of thing), etc.  Again, it wasn't terrible but there were some very old stock cubes (over ten years past date- ooops!) which saw the inside of the bin and it is now all in a more organised state,

Looking at this makes me very happy.  I can see what I have and it's all sorted out.  I should have taken a 'before' photo really but didn't think to.

That silver thingy on the bottom shelf is a little, battery, stick on light (which is not stuck on).  I probably don't need it now but it helped me to see what was further back when it was so crowded.

I did take a look at the top shelf too but it hardly needed anything doing to it, surprisingly!

I made up my bread dough in Thermione, as always.  When it had gone through all the rising, punching back and proving stuff, I had a go at using Nellie to bake it and the answer to 'can I bake bread in my Ninja?' is an unqualified 'sort of'.
It actually baked the loaf very well - a lovely crumb, not stodgy but good and even without any big holes. 
(Going off track a bit, does anyone else call these holes 'butter thieves' or is it peculiar to my family?)
It was never going to be crusty; the recipe doesn't make a crusty loaf anyway and I don't want a hard crust, I want it soft so I can slice it and freeze it without too much wastage.
The main issue was that the top rose quite close to the element and ended up darker than perfection expects.  I will definitely try this again because it's so much cheaper than using the oven, but maybe do it for a shorter time, then take it out of the tin and pop it back upside down to finish.  I'll give it a go anyway.

The other 'event' of the day was a bit unsettling and rather upset me at the time although now I am very thankful that it was no worse because it could have been awful.  I won't go over it again but have written about it in the other blog, the Slimming World one, so do pop over and scroll down to the pasta photo to find it if you're interested - it's here.

I didn't get any washing done so it's top of the list for today.  I'll be able to get it all out on the line in the sunshine.
Also, I'm working on my answers (thanks for the interesting questions) and will probably post them this afternoon
Apart from that and a bit of the daily stuff (things like wiping round the loos and the kitchen and the clearing up after meals stuff) I am taking the day to rest and relax.  I feel a bit tense so will do some of Lindsey's tone and relax clips - they always help.

Have a great day, whatever you have planned, and stay warm.

Saturday 11 March 2023

Saturday, 11-03-23

 Morning, everyone.  I've had one of my wakeful nights, getting to sleep easily but waking up middle of the night, wide awake.  I know better than to fight it at times so I came down, flipped up the heating (it's a chilly night), got myself a coffee and have done a few things.

Yesterday was really lovely!
I had a nice loss at SW group (phew) and also got the Slimmer of the Week hamper.  I wasn't the actual S of the W but they didn't stay for group and I was the next one down.  It was a good one with plenty of canned goods and fresh fruit; I was very happy with it.
While I was weighing people, I happened to glance out of the window and was gobsmacked to see that it was snowing heavily!  Where did that come from?  It was very pretty but nowhere near cold enough to settle or even slush so that was OK.  By the end of Group, it had pretty much stopped and then out came the sun.

When I got home, I pottered around for a bit before leaving to pick Alex up.  We were going to make out own ways into town but heavy rain had been forecast a couple of days before so I arranged to pick him up and drive in.
We had to wait for a short while before getting into the car park I wanted to use but, once in, it was easy enough to find a slot.
We enjoyed our lunch at Prezzo and then we attacked the shops.  The reason we were in town (apart from lunch together) was to get Al some new trousers as he needed a smaller size after losing some weight.  We (he) ended up getting a couple of pairs of smart trousers from M&S and some joggers from Next.  We did look in Primark but there wasn't really much and he didn't like the ones he tried on.  I broke my no-more-clothes rule by getting a pink hoodie in Primark which I'm going to wear with jeans today as it's supposed to be quite a chilly day.

I took Al home and had a quick chat with Beth.  Then it was home, James, for me where I warmed up properly before a bit more pottering about, doing not-a-lot.

Today really starts with an early morning SET class online.  Because I missed Groove on Tuesday, I asked could I join today's class.  It's not Groove but that's OK.  Once that's done, I have a few little plans, nothing big or exciting, just stuff I'd like to get done.

I was wondering if I could bake bread in Nellie.  Some say you can and some say you can't so, as my smallest loaf tins fit into the trays very nicely, I thought I would just give it a go and see.  
The other thing is that my herb and spice shelf really does need a good sort out and clean up.  Some of the contents are very, very old and just need chucking.  I plan to dispose of the really old stuff and, if I feel it needs to be replaces (if it's that old, I haven't used it so probably not), I will add it to a list and get a replacement from the market stall that sells herbs and spices by weight very much more reasonably than the little jars you get in the supermarkets.

I also have some washing building up now so I'll get that done.  Maybe it will be bright enough to peg it out - I doubt it will dry completely but it will freshen it up which is always nice.

I had written in the diary about a food shop, seeing as it is ten days since the last one but, actually, I still have plenty to be getting on with so there's no need.  Maybe next Wednesday, I'll see.

So that's today - a homey day and, I hope, productive in a small way.
How are things your way?  Any unexpected snow?
Take care, stay warm and have a lovely Saturday.  xx

Friday 10 March 2023

Friday, 10-03-23

 Morning, everyone.  Welcome to a very gloomy and wet Friday morning here which is a bit sad but infinitely better than a shedload of snow.  You never know, it might brighten up later on.

Thanks very much for your questions.  I'll probably do an answer post on Sunday so keep them coming.  The relevant post is here.

Yesterday was pretty energetic.  I attended the online SET class - I always enjoy that - and then did the usual homey stuff before going over to Lindsey's for my personal training.  It was hard work as it is the start of a new block and she's upped the ante somewhat.  I really liked the new stuff though.

As I missed Groove on Tuesday, I've arranged to join her early morning Saturday SET class online.  Eight thirty sounds a bit early, I know, but I'm always well awake before then so why not?

Today, being Friday, is Slimming World and, as always, fingers are crossed for some sort of loss.  Then it's home for a while before I set off into town to have lunch and a shopping spree with Alex.  I call it a shopping spree anyway - Alex calls it 'buying some trousers and slippers'!

I've made sure the house is nice and tidy for the cleaners so that's ticked off.  Apart from that, I think that's about it really.  When I get home, I will sit and knit, read and watch telly.  Nice and relaxing and gives me a chance to recover from however much the day has cost!!

I think it will be a lovely day and I'm looking forward to it.  How about you?  xx

Thursday 9 March 2023


 Hi.  I was wondering about having a Q&A session in my blog.  Some of you have done them and I have always enjoyed reading the answers and getting to know you a bit better.

It may be that, as I rabbit on so much, you don't have any questions but, if there's something you would like to ask, please feel free to ask in the comments below.
I can't promise to answer every question, it depends what it is and, while I talk a lot in my entries, there's a lot I don't say, but I will answer as much as I can.

So, please, ask away.  xx

Thursday, 09-03-23

 Morning, one and all.  What a miserable day it was yesterday.  snow, sleet, rain, sleet, more quite heavy snow that just melted on landing, sleet, rain.  Yuck and double yuck.  Today, they say we will have rain, rain and more rain.  Not nice.  What's it been like your way?

I ended up not going into town yesterday.  The snow stopped before nine, temporarily, but it was still jolly chilly and very damp and Ray (Hire a Hubby) asked was I going to be through the day as he might finish the job he's on fairly early.  I want to get something organised in that way so I decided to stay in anyway.  I'm glad I did - it may not have been dangerous snow but it was cold and horrible!
Ray turned up at ten to one (letting me know first) and I'm now waiting for a quote.  We went through what I wanted doing and also some other projects that are coming up, before he looked at what I had already got together in the way of light fittings.  Fortunately, he thinks that everything I have got is suitable so phew.  I only have a few bits and pieces to use.

It's been one of those weeks.  I didn't hear back from Maxine regarding the garden room queries so I hope I do today.  I did hear back from the solar panel company though and it looks good.  Expensive, yes, and I have to add VAT on to that, I think (must check that) but actually not quite as bad as I thought it might be and I do have the money tucked away in my medium term savings so that's good.

I finished another dish cloth < grin > and now have just one more ball of yarn to use up.  I was a bit bored of dish cloths (as you probably are reading about them) so I've started crocheting some more squares with the four ply.  After sorting it all out, I have far more than I thought, and it was bad enough to start with, so plenty of colours to choose from.  Nice.

Today is what Lindsey calls a 'double whammy'.  I have the usual online SET class this morning and then I have the deferred personal training session later on.  I should sleep well tonight, don't you think?
In between those things, it is the usual, daily stuff.  No need to even think about going food shopping yet, though, which I'm pleased about.  As the storage jars I ordered arrived yesterday, I can put them to good use today and find some space for them.
A fairly busy day, but a very nice one too.  xx

Wednesday 8 March 2023

Wednesday, 08-03-23

 The north wind doth blow and we have had snow . . . not a lot, just enough to be a pain underfoot.

See what I mean.  Contrary to what I said yesterday, the snow has reached us.  It started early morning, has been heavy for a short while and is now turning to sleet, I think, much to the relief of primary teachers everywhere who would have visions of Welly Parade eight times a day if it stayed around (and indoor play for those foolish enough not to have brought wellies) plus radiators laden with wet gloves, hats and scarves, not to mention hyperactive children and newspaper all over the floor to catch the drips!

On the other hand, the children will have to abandon hopes of six foot high snowmen built during fifteen minute playtimes, etc.  Bless.

Morning, everyone!  Brrrr - a chilly start to the day, right enough, and I truly didn't expect it.  However, it is very wet, the temperature is above zero and I am sure it won't lie for long.  On the paths and pavements, it is just slushy; quite slippery at the moment but not icy.

I got quite a lot done yesterday, starting with a drive to pick Alex up and then on to Trinity Church hall.  Trinity is the big Methodist church in the centre of town and, like many central churches, is very active in the community.  They have a very active operatic society that does really good local shows at the Civic Theatre and  a coffee place open at times during the week.
The hall was very well appointed with a good kitchen, an urn that was sort of plumbed in so no filling, etc, needed, and the lady who opened up was absolutely lovely and very helpful.  If I ever need a hall for anything, I would seriously consider that one, the main problem being only a small parking area.

Vincent was already there and, between the three of us, we got the place ready.  Tables, chairs, flowers and so on, plus the refreshments I had in my car - M&S sandwich platters and a selection of luscious cakes, washed down with tea or coffee.
When Beth arrived, Alex and I vanished.  She told me later that it went very well, the hall looked great (phew) and she knew the nice lady as they had done voluntary work at the food bank together in past times.  Small world.

That being done, I came home, had breakfast and decided that, as it was pretty damp, to stay home.  I braved the shed for a purpose - I knew I had bought some light fittings in the past but never got the work done so I fished out all I had and I was right, there's not much I have left to get.

Then I got busy online.  I moved deposit money across (for the garden room), fired off an email to the solar panel company Seth recommends and uses and contacted Hire a Hubby!

I think Hire a Hubby is a franchise (could be wrong there) and Ray (the 'hubby' of the title) has done work for me before - nice chap and good worker.  I want him to do the lighting work and I also want to discuss painting when the garden room is finished - the room and also the fence panels.  I also have a few other little things that need doing.   Last time I saw him, he suggested that, as there's a call out charge, I should wait until I have several things that need doing and he can then do them all together.  So that's what I have done.
There was an email back from him this morning when I looked, so that was good.

By the end of the day, that bit of inheritance that I mentioned was in my account and there was a nice, long email from John, full of chatty bits and bobs.  Lovely!

While browsing through Facebook, I saw a post about dishcloths, would you believe.  It happens - Google and Facebook 'talk' to each other and, if one searched for something on Google or mentions it in email or blog, up come related posts and adverts all over the place.  A warning not to mention anything you don't want to get out there!
Anyway - this person had used a crochet stitch called lemon peel stitch.  I looked it up and basically it is a row of one dc, one treble and then the next row is the opposite so you do a dc into the treble underneath and a treble over the dc.  The crochet version of seed stitch, if you like.
I tried it - it grows very fast and I have another dishcloth made, but it is heavy on the yarn, using pretty much a whole ball.  Not that it's a problem, given I started off with four of them, I'm just saying.

I was planning to take the bus into town this morning but, in the time it has taken to type the above, it's turned back to all snow, the flakes are bigger again and it's quite heavy so I guess I will shelve that plan for now.  Maybe later on, if it clears a bit and, if not, no problem.
Poor teachers!!

There's no personal training this afternoon as Lindsey is going to a funeral so, unusually, I have a free day.  I'm hoping that Ray can come over to discuss the work I'd like him to do but am waiting a reply from him.  If the snow clears by about eleven, I might go in but, if not, no problem.
I will finish my seed stitch dishcloth, tidy round my living room which is looking a bit superficially messy and enjoy watching the snow (assuming it continues for  while).

I'm assuming that if we have snow here, it will be fairly widespread so take care, everyone, stay warm and be safe.  It's likely to be quite nasty underfoot so go steadily!  xx

Tuesday 7 March 2023

Tuesday, 07-03-23

 Morning, everyone.  After a not that cold but damp day yesterday, today looks like being colder and just as wet, on and off, although it looks OK at the moment.  Possibly a bit of snow overnight too, although I'll believe that when I see it.

Yesterday was quiet.  I did houseworky stuff as needed, including changing the sheets, washing them, drying . . . etc, etc, etc.  It was too wet to do any shed clearing - well, too wet to want to, anyway, so I didn't.

So the height of my exciting life was finishing off one dishcloth and starting another.  Seed stitch this time.  Google tells me that seed stitch is when the knits and purls alternate in each row and moss stick is when they alternate every two rows.  So now I know.

This morning started well.  I had an email from brother John regarding sme more of Mum and Dad's slow release investments.  It's all accounted for with the IR, etc, we just have to wait while it is released in dribs and drabs.  So a bit more should be landing in my account by the end of the week.  Most of it will be saved but I have a couple of wants that are almost needs - a few more storage jars and a new keyboard for the PC as the one I'm typing on keeps cutting out on me.  I was going to wait until the end of the month but I won't now.

It's going to be a busy morning.  Without going into details, I am helping out at a funeral by getting a hall ready for when the attendees come back from the crematorium.  Once that is done, I will come home and catch up on my exercise with a Lindsey YouTube thing as I will be missing Groove class.

After that, I have to move some money (garden room deposit) and discuss something with Seth's company.  Then, I may very well pop over to B&Q to look at light fittings I need to get.

That should all keep me happy and occupied, don't you think?  What's keeping you happy today?  xx

Monday 6 March 2023

Monday, 06-03-23

Morning, everyone.  It's cold, the clouds are high, we might get some sun later - pretty much the same as it has been all week really.  :-)

As hoped, yesterday was very quiet and easy.  I got all the ironing done and put away and that was about the limit of the housework apart from the daily stuff.

I finished the little red and black 'Dennis the Menace' give-away jumper I was working on.  It's really quite cute!

It reminded me of when Beth and Dave were little.  They were both addicted to the Beano and Dennis the Menace in particular.  Unbeknown to me, Beth wrote off to Timmy Mallet and WAC to say they had written a Dennis the Menace song (not that I would call it a song, more a shout) entitled 'I Wanna Be A Menace' and would like to be on Talent on the Telly (anyone remember that).  Someone from the show phoned - which was the first I knew about it - listed to them performing it down the phone and invited them to take part.  They got time off school, the head got them to perform in assembly, they performed wearing their matching black and red sweatshirts (I think they were from Clothkits) and we spent a day and a half in London.  I still have the clip of their performance on video somewhere.
For me, the funniest bit is after their slot and after the adverts during which time Timmy got Beth to draw a DtM picture on the board. After the break, he went OTT praising it before ushering her off screen while Beth muttered in slightly disgusted tone of voice 'It's not THAT good!', loud enough for the sound to pick it up and broadcast it out.  It was a live show, of course.
Happy memories.

Anyway . . .
I thought I might go back to the four ply crochet but then I remembered that I had found four balls of dishcloth cotton when I was sorting through the bag of stuff I got from Mum's stash so I decided to knit some dishcloths instead.  I often use sponge scourers for washing up but they do go smelly after a while and then you have to chuck them.  Proper dishcloths go on and on for ever and, being pure cotton, wash like a dream.
I did a corner to corner approach, increasing at the start of every row to sixty stitches and then decreasing back to one.  Knitted dishcloths go out of shape very easily but maybe this will hold its shape better that a straight up style.  Time will tell.
Anyway, I finished one (to be put to use today) and started another.  I think I will get two from each ball.

And that really was about it for yesterday.

Today, there's circuit class and I think I will change the bedding today too.  Then I guess it is more shed - if it isn't too cold - or, maybe, the dumping ground, aka the box room.  There's enough to keep me busy, for sure.
Have a lovely day, whatever you have planned and stay warm during this cold snap.  xx