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


  1. This was a lovely post today and thank you for answering all the questions which means I do know more about you than before. Hope your chips were tasty-I keep swithering about an air fryer but can’t really justify the cost! Catriona

    1. They were lovely, thanks. I think air fryers are like solar panels in that you have to take the longer view, if that is possible. If having one means that you rarely need to turn the electric oven on, then, in time, it could save you money. If not, then I guess they become more a luxury and less a financial help/

  2. I was lovely to learn more about you. Thanks for answering all those questions.

    God bless.

  3. A nice glimpse into your life and your past, Joy! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Chris. I enjoyed doing it. xx

  4. Thanks for the answers Joy.
    I have both a Thermomix and a Ninja 15-1 and use one or other nearly every day.
    I asked because you don't often mention them.
    Ironically you have mentioned making bread today!
    I would love to hear more about them unless that would be regarded as advertising a product.
    Do you mention them in your other blog?

    1. Thanks, Sue. I guess I tend to mention them more over in the other blog because that is more food related. Please do feel free to wander over there and read (and contribute, if you would like to)
      I wouldn't call it advertising a product, just talking about what I'm doing.

      How do you find the 15-1. it was something I considered before getting the dual zone.
      What do you make in your Thermomix?

  5. That was a most enjoyable read. Thank you.

    1. Thank you and thanks for your questions. I'm glad you enjoyed the answers. xx

  6. Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. I know how much time and energy is involved in maintaining an allotment.


    1. It's a pleasure Rose; thanks for asking. xx

  7. I loved reading this, thank you x
    Alison in Wales x

    1. Thanks, Alison, for reading and commenting. xx

  8. Some brilliant answers there, and you had some good questions asked which brought out all sides of you in a very good way. A good little exercise, and perhaps one that I should do again because I seem to have a lot of new readers asking the same questions as they join.

    1. Thanks, Sue, that's a lovely thing to say. They were good questions, weren't they?
      I look forward to your answers now. :-)