Sunday 30 April 2023

Sunday, 30-04-23, Five Lakes

 Good  morning, everyone!  I've only just woken up after a brilliant night's sleep.  There's a light mist hovering over the golf course but the sun is shining brightly and I am thinking gleefully of working solar panels, full batteries and power being sent on the the Grid.  lol

No, not really.  I'm actually looking through today's programmes and trying to decide what to do.

I was very pleased with myself yesterday - I managed three exercise classes AND a walk, not that the walk was anything to boast about, but it was lovely, taken in the bright sunshine that had more than a bit of warmth to it.

I started off with the SET class at eight fifteen which was very well attended before enjoying a lovely breakfast of fruit, yogurt and seeds - which sounds horrendously healthy, doesn't it, but it is what I really fancied and it was lovely.  I didn't go to the strength class - it's pretty much all mat work and my body doesn't take too kindly to stuff done flat on the mat - I turn a bit giddy and nauseous.  A small amount is OK but not forty five  minutes of it.

For the rest of the morning, I enjoyed listening to a quiz and then I popped out for a stroll down to the boating lake and back again, stopping to chat to various members of the party on the way.
I took a few photos on the way so here's a selection - I'll continue below them.

The nesting swan seemed totally unfazed by everyone passing about twenty metres from the nest - which is just as well.  And I am sure no-one wanted to get too close either.

After lunch, several of us decided we would go up for a 'rest', aka a snooze!  It was necessary!  I went to the circuits class which was very different to our circuits at home and then on to Groove.  I have to admit that by the end of Groove I was dropping and the last quarter was a bit lack lustre on my part.  It was all brilliant, though.

After dinner, it was Bingo and then various shows.  Despite the loud music, I was falling asleep so gave up and just after ten and came back to my room.
Brilliant day.

Today starts with circuits before breakfast (I have a banana to give me some energy) and Groove after breakfast.  There's plenty of Potters stuff too with quizzes, line dancing, silly sports, live music and so on.
The Lindsey offering in the afternoon is SET which I will go to and Strength which I won't.  Instead, I will come up, pack as much as I can and get stuff into the car so there's almost nothing to do tomorrow.
 The evening show is 'Cool Britannia which I have seen before (but it's very good and worth seeing again) which focuses on classic British pop music (in its widest sense) from the 1950s to modern times.
Will I be able to stay awake?  No idea, but I'll give it a good go!

I managed to get a photo of Lindsey - several, in fact, but she never stops moving and they were mostly blurred.  

And one more - some of us round the lunch table - the chap on the left is Johnny Mac, one of the entertainment team and a very nice guy indeed, I am second from the right and on my right (your left) is Diane - tell you a bit more about Diane tomorrow, maybe.


Ooops - better go and get dressed or I will miss Circuits.  Have a lovely day, everyone, and I hope you are getting bright sunshine too.  xx

Saturday 29 April 2023

Saturday, 29-04-23, Five Lakes

 Morning, everyone.  Welcome to the start of the first bank holiday weekend of this season.  It's a bit chilly but already gloriously sunny and predicted to feel warmer in the wall to wall sunshine.  Good oh!

It was nice to feel so organised yesterday.  The packing was pretty much done, the house was as tidy as it's ever going to be and it really was just little bits and pieces that needed doing.

I went off to SW group; it was so nice to have Jen back after her break and I was very pleased with my half pound loss after Sunday's feasting.  As always, it was a great time, loads of laughs amongst all the useful stuff and the hall didn't feel as cold as it usually does which was a bonus.

When I got home, the washing had finished so I popped most of it into the tumble dryer for speed.  I checked and it was using my own electricity rather than grid power so that was great.  Once dry, the sheets went straight back on the bed, ready for Monday evening.

The journey to Five Lakes, all forty minutes-ish of it, was fine.  The A12 was quite busy but moving and I'm not on it for long anyway.  There is a way of getting here without using the A12 by heading towards Maldon and I might try that some time.  I know the road to Maldon but not beyond that but it looks straightforward enough and, anyway, sat nav!  My room is nice.  Smaller than the last time I was here but that was an upgrade, of course.

Window to bed - a most comfortable bed too.

Window to door showing the rest of the room.  Plenty of space.  The bathroom is the closer door.

View from window - to the front this time; that roof you can see to the right is the entrance.  Sitting here at the table, my view is looking over the roof to the golf course and it's lovely.  All clean and sparkly in the early sunshine.

I decided not to go on the walk which was the first of Lindsey's planned activities.  Instead, I spent some time sorting out my clothes, etc, and then I enjoyed a coffee before finding the Mersea Suite for Groove.

It was such fun.  Everyone was in holiday mood and Lindsey had planned some great sequences.

It was quite energetic so I went to have a bath and that's when I discovered I had left at home my deodorant and talc.  Ooops!  Thankfully, there's a little shop on site for just such emergencies!
There's always something one forgets, isn't there? 

This was my pre dinner drink - prosecco and campari.  Very nice  but not something to have many of, for sure.  

After dinner (three courses but, again, not to have too often, lovely as it was), we all headed off to the Theatre for the evening's entertainments - a 'meet the team' session followed by a quiz and then the show which was absolutely brilliant.  Lights, Camera, action - music from  'thirty of the greatest movies ever made'.

I was dropping by the time that finished so it was bedtime for me  but I expect some of the others then danced the night away.  

Today is another packed day.  I'm definitely going to Lindsey's first class, SET which starts at 8:15.  Then it is straight to breakfast and I have to be sensible over breakfast choices because at 10:15 she's doing a Strength class.  I've never been to one of those so it will be interesting.
This afternoon, there's circuits in the gym and then another Groove class and I'll see how I feel about the second of those two when the time comes.
There's also a full day of Potters led stuff as well so goodness knows what I will end up doing.   I do want to stroll around the golf course/grounds at some point, making the most of the lovely weather.

Anyway, that's today and it is going to be good.  Have a lovely day too, everyone, and be happy.  xx

Friday 28 April 2023

Friday, 28-04-23

 Good morning, everyone.  The day has started with rain but it's expected to dry up somewhat as the day goes on and it is supposed to be quite nice over the weekend.  Fingers crossed.

I got everything done that I had planned.  SET was really good (I'm sure Lindsey has upped the tempo somewhat!) and it was great to catch up with Mel - hopefully, now she's more available during the day, we can do that again soon.
While that was happening, the early morning clothes wash was drying on the line.

In the afternoon, I got the packing done, did the ironing, sorted out a few messy patches and then got on with my knitting.  At some point it started raining;  I'm not sure when as I just looked out and there it was - wet!!

So this morning I'm pretty much ready for the weekend really.  There's just a bit more to pack and I think I might change the bed so that I come home to fresh sheets - that would be very nice and I do have the time as I really can't leave before two; even then, I'd get there a bit too early.

First of all, though, there's Slimming World group which I always look forward to so much.

I won't be posting in my other blog over this weekend but I'll post in here.  I'm so looking forward to it all!

Have a lovely day, everyone, rain or shine.  xx

Thursday 27 April 2023

Thursday, 27-04-23

Good morning, everyone.  Thursday already and it's a nice, fine morning.  It is supposed to rain later on but not until late afternoon/early evening so it is worth hanging out the washing!

I had a lovely day yesterday.  As always, I enjoyed circuits at Shimmy Studio very much.  Then, after a while at home and hanging the washing out (which dried quickly - nice) and bringing it in again, I set off into town to meet up with Beth.  
It was such a pleasant afternoon.
Lunch first, at Prezzo; I had my favourite penne arrabiata with chicken (wish I had a recipe for that lovely sauce) and Beth had her favourite, macaroni cheese.  Then I had coffee while she enjoyed lemon meringue pie!
Then we shopped.  Beth took the lead because, as I pointed out, I can come into town pretty much every day whereas she really can't.  We went all over - into Flying Tiger, Bravissimo, Yours, Lush and various other places, finishing off in Primark.
In Lush, I treated myself to an avocado, lemon grass and something else bath bomb which I will be cutting up into at least four as they are huge and my bath is small!   Beth loves Lush products and pretty much brought the whole shop!! 
In Primark, I got a back bag, three pretty but exceedingly cheap T shirts, some trainer socks (always useful), some tights for this coming weekend and a jacket.
I really like the jacket.  It is tailored, double breasted but just a single pair of buttons and a summery oyster sort of colour.  I think I will wear it quite a lot.  I had spent ages dithering over another jacket, same colour but with a wide brown pinstripe.  I liked the jacket but not the pinstripes so I put it back and then, as we were leaving, we saw the one I finally got and pounced!
So money was spent but it's the end of the month and I had it surplus so that's OK!

Then we parted company and I came home and crashed with a coffee - shopping is tiring!  😉  Then I did the ironing!

Today, I already have a load of washing in and doing and will get that out on the line before leaving for SET at the studio.  Once I get back, a friend from Slimming World is coming round for coffee and a chat - not Chris though - she's away.
The rest of the day will be spent packing, getting the house cleaner-friendly, ironing, etc.  Just one day to go.

Have a lovely day, everyone.  Do you have any exciting plans for the Bank Holiday weekend?  xx

Wednesday 26 April 2023

Wednesday, 26-04-23

Hello, everyone.  It's Wednesday and the week is going so very quickly.  That's nice because of the exciting weekend coming up but I don't want to wish my life away either. 
It was a gorgeous day yesterday, pretty much sunshine all day long.  Today looks OK, no rain is predicted but you never know.  I hope it doesn't!

Yesterday was a day of little things.  Well, Groove wasn't little but it was brilliant.  We did the new sequences and playlist and it's a good one this time!  Well, they're always good but this one was super-good, if you know what I mean.

I had a really nice chat with Beth and we sorted our arrangements for today out. 
A friend came round and we had a nice chat on the doorstep.  She wouldn't come in because she was pretty busy so we just had a quick exchange.  She brought round a birthday card with a token which I might spend today.  
I treated myself to a couple of Kindle books by Tracy Borman; The Private Lives of the Tudors, and Crown and Sceptre: a history of the monarchy from William the Conqueror to Charles III.  They're not novels, they are non-fiction and she has a very easy style that draws me in; I have started the Private Lives one and am enjoying it very much.  There are several others that I'm interested in but these two will do for now.

Today starts with a Circuits class - the one I couldn't go to last week (because of an online Governors' meeting) which was to replace the Monday one I also couldn't go to last week (because of solar panels).

Then I'm home for a freshen up and change of clothes before setting off into town to meet Beth for lunch and a sort of Mother and Daughter window shopping afternoon (and maybe not-so-window, you never know).  We're eating at Prezzo as I have a two mains for one voucher they sent me on my birthday and we both like it there very much.
So I won't be going to personal training but I'm not fussed because I will have plenty of exercise over the weekend.
Here's the programme . . .

. . . this is just what Lindsey has put together.  There's also a full programme of things to do that is the usual Potter experience as well as my new books to enjoy so the one thing I can guarantee about this coming weekend is that I will not be bored!!
Nor will I be lazy by the looks of things.  I won't be doing everything - I'm not energetic enough for that - but I will give it a good go and get my money's worth!
It's going to be so good!

Have a fab day, everyone.  I hope the weather is kind to you.  Stay safe.  xx

Tuesday 25 April 2023

Tuesday, 25-04-23

 Good morning, everyone!  The sun is shining, the rain of yesterday afternoon has gone and it's all looking bright and cheerful outside at the moment.  It's not supposed to last but fingers crossed!

Yesterday was pretty quiet but very pleasant.  I went to circuits and enjoyed both the work and the birthday greetings and especially what one lady said which was a guess that I was sixty.  As I said, I wish!!

Actually, no, I don't wish at all because I was still working at sixty and extremely overweight.  I wasn't unhappy then, not at all, but I'm fitter, healthier and enjoying life so much more now, eleven years later.

Nice to be thought so much younger though!

Today starts with a quick pop to the shop as I am out of a few things that I need and then it's on to Groove.  There's nothing in the diary after that but I must arrange a chat with Beth to sort out what's happening tomorrow.  Maybe I could pop round at lunchtime?

Apart from that, I want to start sorting out the clothes for Potters and do the usual houseworky stuff that rolls around on a daily basis, pretty much.  I can also do another bite of garage although that's gone quite well and it's loads more organised now, thank goodness.

And that's today.  Take care, stay safe and have a really good day, everyone.  xx

Monday 24 April 2023

Monday, 24-04-23

 Morning, everyone.  It's a gorgeous, gloriously sunny start to my birthday and it doesn't feel all that cold either.  Sadly, it's not predicted to hang around as the clouds are expected to roll in but not to worry, I will enjoy it while it lasts!

Here are the flowers.  Didn't Victoria do a lovely job with them; they were just what I had hoped they would be.

(apologies for poor light - it really was a very gloomy day)

Everyone turned up after the alert thingy (two minutes early!) and I had a really lovely time (and I hope everyone else did too).

I managed to take one photo before we all dived in but was too busy enjoying myself to remember to take any more, sorry!  I hardly ever use my 'pretty' china and have decided that I must get it out a bit more often . . . see below for more.

I thought I had made way too many sandwiches but I really hadn't.  There were five left which Alex took home but all the crisps and all the vegetarian sausage mini pasties went in a flash (everyone in the family loves these Delia nibbles) and we decided we much prefer them done as mini-pasties rather than sausage roll-style.  Same recipe, different presentation.  

There were some leftovers, of course, but between the five of them, pretty much everything got taken home.  I have half of the ice cream still (Sooze, it was mega enjoyed and I am definitely making it again, thanks for the recommendation) and I've just taken it back out of the freezer to soften a bit before dividing it into sensible sized single portions for weeks to come.

The pretty china:
Quite a long time ago, I was strolling around in town in either Debenhams or Bolingbroke and Wenley (the two department stores we hade - both sadly now closed) feeling rather low (probably peri-menopausal, looking back) and heard this lovely china calling to me.  On impulse, I got a set for one - cup, saucer, tea plate, teapot, milk bowl - I think that was it.  This was in the early days of eBay, when it was genuinely a really good place to find bargains rather than a re-sellers-for-profit paradise.  I looked up this china (it is Royal Albert bone china, Belinda) and got quite a bit more of it, really great value at the time but it means I have bits and bobs rather than a full set - loads of cups, saucers and plates but ones and twos of other stuff. 
Nowadays it is jolly expensive (I have just looked on Amazon and a cup and saucer is £25, which is shocking), even on the second hand china sites so I will never have a complete set, just the bits and bobs I already have, but that's OK as it is usually just me.
Anyway - I have decided I will use it more and enjoy it.

On to today and, after the prosecco/champagne, I slept very well and had what was, for me, a lie in.  I've opened the remaining cards and a gift from Chris, smiled at the flowers (I can't get over how very lovely they are - Mum and Dad would have been so pleased).

I have circuits later on but that's all there is in the diary so I am just going to do what I fancy doing and have a nice, me-day.  I want to put my new garden tool into use digging out the white bell bulbs as they are showing bids - they are so invasive and I wish I'd never planted them, to be honest.  I suppose I could replant a few in a pot - yes, I might do that.

Right, well, I am off now to get myself sorted and start the day.  Have a lovely Monday, everyone, and stay safe and well.  xx

Sunday 23 April 2023

Sunday, 23-04-23

Good morning, everyone.  We have quite obviously had some rain overnight and everything is soaking, but it's not raining right now.  The forecast for this morning is not great but the BBC thinks the sun will come out between showers this afternoon - I hope so, that would be really nice.

Yesterday was lovely (although chilly) with plenty of sunshine.  It clouded over later on but by then I was back inside.

The day started with the SET class at Lindsey's Studio while a load of washing did its thing at home.  When I came home, I had breakfast, hung the washing out, put a new load in and set out for another garden centre visit.  I didn't really have enough for a full load but, as I'm away next weekend, I will have enough washing to clear the baskets next Thursday and have a full choice for packing.  

At the garden centre, I treated myself to another garden tool in my set.  I really like the Wolf Garten equipment, the kind with the changeable handles, and the one I got was the weed extractor.

This is it, photo borrowed from their site.  You can see at the top there should be a handle - I have a nice range of handles so didn't need one.

I think they are lovely tools, easy to use and there's such a wide range.

I am considering this a birthday pressie to myself, from me!

When I got home, I set to and worked on the front 'garden' - I call it a garden for want of a better word but, really, it is just a strip of soil along the house, before the car standing space.  It does look a lot nicer now and incomparably better than the whole space looked before the paving was done, although it will be improved when the bulbs have died back properly.

There's not a load of colour yet because established things are still coming up and I put in a couple more perennials, a Veronica and something called Felicia, a sort of daisy-like flower, as well as some bedding which should (fingers crossed) last most of the summer rather than look colourful straight away.  I also planted up the two pots which stand by the front door.
There's some trailing lobelia and violas left and I will pop them in the raised flower bed.

I got all the clothes dried and the ironing done so, all in all, a good day's work!  Oh, I nearly forgot - I also baked a loaf of bread as I was getting short.  I've got the afternoon tea bread but I'm not sure how much of that will be left over.  

Today, there's plenty to do but it is intermittent and none of it is hard work.  I've already sliced the ham, boiled the eggs for egg mayo filling, sliced the loaf and put it in the freezer and got out the two loaves for sandwiches.  I won't be getting the cakes out until later.
In case you're wondering, the two loaves are medium sliced and I slice my everyday bread more thinly.  I'm rather expecting Beth and Alex will take what's left home with them - Alex has already indicated a doggy bag or two would not go amiss, bless him.

I'm expecting Victoria round later on - she's the lady who has her floristry business (she runs the Christmas wreath evenings I always go to) - with a bouquet of flowers.
This may sound silly.  I got the idea from Val who does something similar.  These flowers are bought using a bit of my money from Mum and Dad and I am considering the flowers a birthday gift from them.  Yes, silly, maybe but comforting.

Well, it has brightened up a bit now although the sun is far from emerging, the solar panels are earning their keep and all is well in my little world right now.  Time to have a second coffee, I think.
Have a lovely Sunday, everyone, whether the sun shines or not.  xx

Saturday 22 April 2023

Saturday, 22-04-23

 Good morning, all.  It's Saturday again, and Saturdays still feel like the weekend, even though they are now much the same as every other day.
Yesterday was damp and miserable until early afternoon and then it cheered up and we had some sunshine.  It's still cold though and I gather it will get a bit colder before it warms up again.

I went to Slimming World (another pound off - yay), came home, had breakfast and then set off to Longacres and B&Q where I got some flowering things for front and back.  I'll put them in tomorrow and hope. 

And, yes, I did a bit of garage too.  All the kilner jars/jam pots/etc are now more organised and in plastic boxes to keep them all together.  I still have to do a proper sort out of the plastic stuff - not looking forward to that one little bit.  But getting there.

I was thinking about the forthcoming week; there's a number of very nice things scheduled.

There's the afternoon tea on Sunday.
There's my birthday although I don't have anything special planned for that.
On Wednesday, Beth and I are having our delayed Mum/daughter day.  We're going into town (money may be spent) and I have a buy one, get one free on mains at Prezzo so we're having lunch there.  I booked the table today.
And then on Friday I'm off to Potters at Five Lakes with a group organised by Lindsey for a fitness and fun weekend.  I'll tell you more about that nearer the time.


Today, I have an early morning SET class at Shimmy Studio and then I'll be doing some more garden stuff (unless it is pouring), getting the new plants where I want them for the summer.  Now I have tidied up the bed at the front, it's looking quite nice but needs some colour.

Inside, I need to sort out that china and get a job list done for Sunday so I don't have too much of a rush on the day.

Have a good day, one and all, whatever you have planned.  xx

Friday 21 April 2023

Seeds giveaway

Really sorry, I totally forgot to do this on Wednesday.  Ooops.

Two people entered, names went into a box and Viv from 'Where the journey takes me 2' was drawn out.  Well done, Viv; sorry, Jo.  

Viv, if you could contact me - via pm on Facebook, perhaps - and let me know where to send them, that would be good.

Friday, 21-04-23

Morning, everyone.

Yesterday turned out to be quite a busy day - by that, I mean I seemed to be doing something specific all the time.

I did the SET online class before popping over to Chris' for coffee and chat.  Lots of laughter and great fun.

Then I came home and started in on the front patch that was a bit mauled about when the car standing was paved.  I mowed the little remaining patch of grass, dealt with some weeds, swept up some bits and bobs, moved soil around and now it all looks rather more presentable.  There are some gaps so I am going to treat myself to some pansies, etc, to give some colour and fill up the spaces.  

Then I went round the back and attacked the weeds there too.  And while I was weeding round the strawberries, just look what I found.

Woo hoo!

Getting the back garden into some sort of shape took quite a while and then it clouded over, a wind got up and brrrrrr.  So I came in and chilled with my crochet instead of outside!

On and off for several hours, after wandering around my electricity provider's site, trying to find out my options for paying for my grid usage and not really getting anywhere (probably just looking in the wrong place), I clicked on the link to Facebook and had a conversation that way.  I have to say, it took a long time as there were gaps between questions and responses, on my side as well as theirs.  It most certainly wasn't what I think is called a synchronous conversation.  However, after reading my explanation about having been asked to up my direct debit by an absolutely stupid amount (£70 more) under the circumstances, solar panels, etc, the guy at the other end couldn't have been more helpful and, after explaining my options to me, has changed me to variable direct debit where I just pay for my usage - I must remember to read the meter and send it off in May and then, in June, I will have the smart meter so it will do it automatically.  Perfick and a shout out to him for explaining clearly and making it so easy.
It will really help me to judge how it's all going too and how much grid electricity I will have to use.  It most certainly won't be anywhere near what they are expecting me to pay monthly for at the moment.

Today, being Friday, is Slimming World group and after that, if I have time, I might pop to a garden centre.  I do have to be home by around midday as someone is delivering something so maybe it will need to wait until tomorrow - we will see.
The cleaners come this afternoon and everything is tidy and ready for them.
Will I do garage today after not doing any yesterday?  Goodness knows but I will try!

Have a great day, everyone.  xx

Thursday 20 April 2023

Thursday, 20-04-23

Good morning, one and all.  Hoping you are all feeling well this morning.  

Yesterday was such a beautiful day with wall to wall sunshine and a gentle breeze.  Still not all that warm but not chilly either.  Today looks set to be the same until mid afternoon and from then on it all goes downhill.  

The meeting yesterday turned out to be quite a long one (but a good one) and by the time it finished my washing was well done so out it went to dry in the gorgeous sunshine.  Seeing white bedding blowing in the sun is one of life's major small pleasures for me.  It comes in smelling of summer and so, so easy to iron (yes, I iron my bedding, folks!).

While that was drying and after breakfast, I drove off to go on a mararon hunt and decided I may as well take my afternoon tea list with me and get most, if not all, of that too.
I had already tried Morrisons and Sainsbury's so next stop was M&S where I got clotted cream, etc.  No macarons though.  So it was further on to Lathcoats.  Nope, no luck, but at Lathcoat's they had some very gorgeous looking madeleines so I got them instead.  I also got a few frozen sweet cherries and they had some mini pots of morello cherry jam.  
I had decided to decorate my mini chocolate sponge cakes with cherry jam in the middle and, on top, cream, cherries and a chocolate button.  I couldn't find fresh cherries in M&S so I went for frozen ones instead.

I really think I am all set up for Sunday now apart from some Schloer light as an alternative to prosecco (which Dave and Anna are bringing) and I can get that in Morrisons.

After a lunch back home, it was time to set out for personal training which was, as always, really good.  Then I got my ironing all done and re-made my bed before it was time for dinner.

So it was a busy day but I didn't even touch any of the other things I had planned to do.  Not to worry, there is plenty of time.

Today I have an online SET class followed by a good old chat with Chris, over at hers.  After that, the day is free so it should be more garage and some gardening, I think, providing the weather plays ball, and I want to sort out the china I plan to use on Sunday and give that a wash as it is rarely used.
And I MUST remember to turn on the dishwasher after lunch!  It just feels wrong at the moment not to set it on timer after I've wiped round the kitchen for the night.  Just plain wrong.  :-)

Enjoy your day, one and all, and be happy!  xx

Wednesday 19 April 2023

Wednesday, 19-04-23

 Good morning, everyone.  After a rather dull day yesterday, today looks like being a bit brighter.  We got a bit of sun but not much and not for long but not to worry, the warmer, brighter weather should be just around the corner, hopefully.
(I know I keep saying that but it's true!)

It was nice to be back in the hall for Groove with everyone else.  Poor Lindsey - her iPod with her playlists for her various classes has crashed in some way and her husband, who is her tech expert, is away for the week so she used a generic exercise background track instead which gave a steady beat but not much else.  It was OK today because she was expecting to use it but yesterday she discovered the problem as she was starting off the first class of the new block which rather disrupted things.

Later on, Jeff came round and now the old water softener is at the dump, bless him.  As Suze said in her comment yesterday, you now have to book so it wasn't just a case of taking it there, even if I could have actually lifted the thing.

I was a bit like a child on Christmas Eve, continually checking out the presents under the Christmas tree yesterday - I still can't access the app that shows me how the panels are doing so I kept running upstairs (nice little calorie burner there) to check the display in the cupboard.  Every time I looked, I was using solar power, not grid power.  And the battery was slowly and surely filling up too.  This was on a pretty cloudy day too.  By the end of the day it was almost empty but should fill again today.
I promise I won't rabbit on for months - it's just all new at the moment and I'm getting used to it!

Today was going to have two Lindsey classes, a small group circuits to replace the one I missed on Monday and personal training - until I discovered that I have an online Governors' meeting first thing, darn it.  I might have the catch up class next Wednesday now.

Then I would like to drive over to Lathcoats.  I've decided a few macarons would finish the Sunday feast off nicely but, after a quick read through the recipe, decided that no was was I attempting them.  Lathcoats (or any garden centre really) is the most likely place to find some, I think.

In the afternoon, it's personal training and in between these things, I'd like to do another bite of the garage and some weeding along the strip at the front.  The lily of the valley and the clump of English bluebells are coming up nicely but can't be seen all that well for weeds.

Well, that's my day.  What does yours look like?  Have a good 'un.  xx

Edit:  I should have said before but if you usually follow Eileen from 'A Bracelet of Days' you will know she's not been around for a while.
She is well, it is just that she hasn't been able to access either her own blog or others' at the moment and is trying to sort it out.  She can now see blogs but still can't write her own or make any comments.
I'm sure she'll be back as soon as possible.  Hope so - I miss her.

Tuesday 18 April 2023

Tuesday, 18-04-23

 Morning, everyone.  Despite being very weary yesterday evening, I am up well before the lark this morning.  I think my brain has been too active overnight so when I woke for a trip to the loo, I have woken up too much.  
Thankfully, it was a gorgeously sunny day all day.  None too warm at times, especially indoors with the outside doors open and a fresh breeze blowing through but that's what warm jumpers are for.
Slightly ironically, it's not predicted to be all that sunny today but I gather sunshine isn't specifically needed, it is light that provides the necessary.  Even so - come on, sunshine!!

Yesterday was pretty much taken up with getting the solar panels fitted and connected.  They didn't arrive until past eleven and then had to stay much later because my internet went down, just when they needed it.   Rather frustrating but it couldn't be helped.  It wasn't anything to do with the actual solar bit, it was connecting the thing up for information, getting an app on my phone, etc, and it needed the internet for that, not just a 4G connection.  Beyond that, I didn't understand.
Anyway, someone is probably coming back at some time today, just to check it all and to sort out the App connection, etc.
(and the internet was dodgy most of the evening all over town, I gather)

It's now all in, set up, running and I don't have to do a thing.  I remember when dear Diane had solar panels, she had to read a meter and let the electricity people know each month but that is all automatic now, thankfully.

The roof is covered with panels - just think of all that lovely power.  They don't look as intrusive as I thought they would and, like most things, one gets used to it quickly anyway.

Can you see them - on the roof and also on the extension roof too, just at the back as that's the sunny side of the house.

It was pretty noisy at time with lots of drilling and banging so I turned on the telly and let my hearing aids bluetooth so I could hardly hear the noise.  That was an improvement.

So that's another goal for 2023 done and dusted to add to the paving at the front.

Today is much more peaceful, I hope. 
I'm going to Groove first thing - it's a new block so a new playlist and new movement sequences.  I'm looking forward to it very much.

Later on, Jeff is round.  He usually does some garden clearing, tidying, etc, but today he is using some of the time to take the old water softener to the dump for me.  It is just too heavy for me to lift so I asked him and he said he would do it.  I gather you have to book a time to go to the dump now which seems a bit restricting although I suppose it will keep the queues down a bit.

Then I have to see what I can get back in the cupboard and find a home for the rest of the stuff and I do have a few loads of washing including the bedding.  I'd like to get as much of that as I possibly can sorted.

I'm trying to think if I need to make anything else for next Sunday.  This is what I have or will have.
Sandwiches - egg mayo (Beth's request), philly and cucumber (Alex's request), cheese and tomato and ham and something, maybe caramelised onion chutney (Dave and Anna's suggesting) in a mix of white and wholemeal bread.
Delia's veggie sausage rolls (except that they are like mini pasties) which as a family favourite.
Ice cream and strawberries
Scones, jam and cream
Lemon shortbread
Mini chocolate sponge cakes.

You know, I think that is going to be more than enough.  If I see any nice little biscuitty cakes, I might get a pack but I don't think I will stress, although I do rather fancy the idea of some mini jam tarts!
What do you think?

Enough rambling.  I think I will sort out a load of washing and get it started.  It's early but the machine is on an outer wall so shouldn't disturb my neighbours and I can take advantage of the cheap rate.
And, rather more importantly, I need another coffee.  😁

Take care, everyone, and have a lovely Tuesday.  xx

Monday 17 April 2023

Monday, 17-04-23: Solar Panel Day (I hope)

 Good morning, everyone.  After a rather lovely Spring day for most of yesterday, the forecast for today has changed again and it's supposed to be warmish and sunny.  Three cheers!!

It was a busy day yesterday, on and off, once I got going.
I did some shopping at Morrisons, pretty much all stuff for next Sunday/baking, etc.  I made the Jamie ice cream, choosing Aero honeycomb to scrunch in rather than mint.  It's lovely but very rich.  It's frozen in a lined loaf tin and I think after we've had whatever we want next Sunday, I will cut the rest into small, Joy-sized slices before popping it all back into the freezer.

I made some lemon shortbread but think I have made a mistake in cutting it into shapes rather than doing it in a tin.  Anyway, the cut sough is in the freezer and I'll bake them next Saturday.  If the spread and look horrible, there's time to make another lot.

Then I made some mini round chocolate cakes - like a Victoria sponge only small portion sized.  They are baked and in the freezer too, for icing next weekend.

I'm waiting to hear from Dave and Anna about what sandwich fillings they would like but Beth likes egg mayo and Alex has asked for Philly and cucumber.  The two loaves I made on Saturday are now all nicely and evenly sliced (I have a useful gadget for producing even slices - this is it - follow the link and take a look.  It is so simple but it is brilliant) and they are now guess where too!

I had a bit of a 'worry' at Morrisons - well, after Morrisons, in fact.  When I got home I realised I must have left my handbag hanging on the trolley handle so I dashed back and, thankfully, it had been handed in by the chap who goes round collecting all the trolleys.  It was inside the shop, all safe and sound.  As I left with it, the security chap came up and said he was glad I'd got it back and he was going to 'drop it off on his way home' if I hadn't come back.  Wasn't that nice of him?

The Beth pear (that's its name) is looking lovely with masses of blossom.  Maybe it will give me a few fruits - that would be very nice indeed.

Finally, I emptied the relevant cupboard for today; I was so thankful it was all neat and tidy and organised and it took me less than five minutes.  I even remembered to empty the fuse box shelf too as they will need access.

Today, I have no idea when the solar panel fitters will arrive but I am assuming not before eight so, by then, I will be bathed, dressed and ready.  And that's pretty much all that's happening today.  I've cancelled circuits but if  anything goes wrong here and I have the day free (please not), I can go anyway.

I'll let you know how it all goes.  Have a great Monday, everyone.  xx

Sunday 16 April 2023

Sunday, 16-04-23

 Good morning, everyone.  Yesterday was a real April weather day with sunshine and rain, sometimes together, and the loveliest rainbow.  The photos don't do it justice at all.

It is very dull at the moment and we have had more rain overnight.  However, the day's forecast is much more positive with 'sunny intervals'.
Sadly, the prediction for the week which was wall to wall sunshine yesterday has changed to 'not really all that nice at all'.  Boo!

Yesterday really was lovely.  As there were spaces at the studio, I drove there for the SET class and it was fantastic.  One of those time when one feels very energetic and prepared to push on through.  Just a great start to the day.

Then I came home and got busy.

I made the two loaves, one white and one wholemeal.  I do cheat a bit and use Thermione to do the kneading and, as I have two bowls, I did them pretty much in tandem.
At the moment they are bagged up and should be sliceable by tomorrow.  Once sliced, they will go in the freezer until next week.

Then I made the scones and all but one are now safely frozen.
I kept one back because I wanted to try baking it in Nellie to see if it worked - and it did.  It was delicious, even though I didn't have anything on it.

Today is, I think, an easy day.

I need to walk up to Morrisons to get a few things for baking plus cream to make the no-churn ice cream on One Pound Wonders.  I also need more SR flour and eggs.
As well as the ice cream, I want to make mini Victoria sponges - I have a special tin, like a bun tin but deeper and with vertical sides.- I might add some cocoa powder and make them chocolate cakes.  Nice.  They will go in the freezer too, for icing next Sunday.
Maybe I will make some shortbread too - lemon shortbread would be very nice, I think.

The other thing I must do is empty the cupboard in the dumping ground room because, fingers crossed, tomorrow is solar panel day and that's where the battery, inverter (I think that's the right term), etc, will go.  Oh, my goodness, it's so exciting.

Perhaps I will do a half hour bite in the garage - it depends on the weather really.  I have no intention of going out there if it is pouring with rain.  When I do get out there, I will be sorting out the jam jars, kilner jars, etc.  That is next on the list.

I'll stop rambling now.  Apart from anything else, I need another coffee.  Have a lovely day, everyone.  xx

PS:  don't forget to say in the comments if you would like these seeds.

Saturday 15 April 2023

Saturday, 15-04-23 and my first ever give-away

 Good morning, everyone.  It is a dull and damp start to what is supposed to be a gradual warm up and improvement in weather.  Indeed, the BBC preducts 'thundery showers and a gentle breeze' which sounds absolutely delightful (!!) but, if you look ahead from today, it appears to be more or less wall to wall sunshine, which will be lovely.  It always was thus - as soon as schools restarted, the weather improved significantly!  It's traditional!

As you can see, I got my little pots of jam made yesterday.  Strawberry jam is a notoriously bad setter but I took no chances, used jam sugar and lemon juice, and it set like a dream.  It was a perfect amount for five little 100ml pots of deliciousness - enough for scones and maybe a bit to take home too.

Now I'm looking forward to the Lathcoats' pick  your own season.

Going back to the start of the day, I had a one pound loss at Slimming World.  I aim for one to two pounds each week for a steady and healthy loss so I was very pleased with that.  Then I went and won the raffle (yet again) and came home with a strawberry growing kit and a pack of assorted seeds - a salad bar selection including radish, spring onion, leaf mix, tomato, cucumber, rocket, cress and lettuce.
Now, I'll give the strawberries a go but I never have any luck with seeds so I thought I'd do my first ever give-away in here - just a little one.

As it is seeds, I must make it UK only.  I'm sure there are rules about not importing/exporting seeds and anyway - postage.
If you would like these seeds, just say in the comments below and in a few days I will choose a name using the very scientific 'Name out of a plastic container' method.  Let's say next Wednesday, 19-04-23, and will post the winner on Thursday's blog.

Moving on, after group I did a quick tidy up before Sharon came to sort out my hair.  I always feel so much better after she has worked her magic.
Ditto for the cleaners - not with my hair, with the house.

I thought today was going to be a bit empty but, thinking about it, no, it isn't.

I was going to do Lindsey's SET class online as usual but she has just posted that there's spaces at the Shimmy Studio so I'm going over there.  It's always more fun doing it with others.

I want to make my bread for next Sunday today.  That's one white loaf and one wholemeal, both using 500g flour.  It's worth turning on the oven for two loaves!
I also thought I would half make the scones - make the dough and cut them out, then open freeze them so I can cook them lovely and fresh on Sunday afternoon.  Dave and Anna have confirmed that they can come which I am very happy about so I will make five fruit and five plain.  I ummed and ahed about making cheese scones too but will ponder that one.  You can have too much of a Good Thing.
(I can see I am going to bore you all rigid with my baking escapades this week!)

After all that, I will see how I feel.  I might go for a walk (thundery showers permitting) or I might just chill with my kindle, crochet and a film or two.  I'll see how I feel.

I hope you all have a lovely Saturday.  Remember to say if you would like those seeds.
Take care, stay safe and be happy!  xx

Friday 14 April 2023

Friday, 14-04-23

 Good morning and a happy Friday to you all.  Yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous day but we're paying back today.  It's just dull at the moment but rain and moderate wind is forecast.  Never mind, it's supposed to be picking up next week so I look forward to that.

Yesterday started with SET at the studio and it was great.  Then I changed into jeans (no way am I going shopping in exercise wear) and popped a bit further along to Sainsburies where I got what I need for the next couple of weeks, hopefully (apart from one day)

I did my time in the garage (it sounds like a penance, doesn't it) but will need to revisit that area as it was all my plastic pots and I found it so hard to discard any of them - you know, 'just in case'.
I also found my mini jam jars but not the bonne maman ones.  Where on earth can they be?

Thank you all so much for your kind comments about the granny blanket.  The colours were totally random really, just using what I had but there was a small underlying pattern.  The yarns divided into two types, plain and sock (which was self patterning) so the first square was plain, sock, plain and the next one sock, plain, sock, changing one colour per square at a time and then trying to avoid putting two same or similar dominant colours near to each other when making it up.  I'm really very happy with it and, again, thank you.  xx

Today starts with Slimming World group and, as always, I'm really looking forward to it.  Once home, the lovely Sharon is coming to tame my unruly locks and I'm just hoping it doesn't clash with the cleaners.  If it does, can't be helped, we can work round it!

Later on, I will be making some strawberry jam, having prepped it yesterday so the strawberries have been macerating in jam sugar overnight.  There is a reason, of course.  It's not long till my birthday and I am hoping the family can come round for an afternoon tea.  I decided to make some strawberry jam and pour into diddy little jam pots so everyone can have an individual pot of jam with scone and cream.  Yummy!!

I want to bake all the cakey stuff.  Being on Slimming World has meant that it's not a terribly good idea to have cake stuff lying around so I haven't baked all that much for ages.  I'm really looking forward to it.

I'll probably also bake a couple of loaves, one white and one wholemeal, for sandwiches but not today.  That's a job for the weekend.  I'm busy collecting good ideas for little cakes and for sandwich fillings at the moment before making a shopping list.  One thing I am definitely making is Jamie's no churn ice-cream from his One Pound Wonders programmes.  It looks so, so good and Sooze said it's lovely (thanks, Sooze).  I might make the rocky road type thingy too.

Time to get back upstairs, dry my hair and get dressed.  Have a lovely day and I hope you can dodge any raindrops.  Stay well.  xx

Thursday 13 April 2023

Thursday, 13-04-23

 Good morning, everyone.  
As predicted, we had a spell of very gusty weather with a bit of rain but, all in all, it really wasn't all that bad and it is now just breezy and the sun is shining again.  When I went to the she to get supplies in for the day, it felt cold so it's warm jumpers again for me!

Yesterday went really well.  I got the rest of the washing, drying and ironing all finished off and put away in my newly organised cupboards and shelves, I managed to get three bags of rubbish into Chris' bin for collection today (it was two but one was too heavy and split, darn it!).

I put in a Lakeland order.  It was the foil I really needed and I got a meat thermometer.  I've never really bothered with one but now I am using Nellie more for small joints. etc, I decided it might be sensib le to check a bit more.  That took me to just below free delivery so I bought a box of poly bags, basically for almost nothing. 
I always use the Lakeland foil.  It's expensive, yes, but very robust and the one time I got caught out and went for some from the shop, it was terrible and I'm sure I used more because it kept tearing.
What I have got now will probably see the decade out - they are big rolls and last for absolutely ages

Personal training was, as always, really good and also pretty hard work.  Lindsey is definitely upping the game just a little bit; no complaints from me, despite the puffing and panting.

Then, in the evening, we had our last online girls' chat for a while and that was lovely.
We think it is the last because next month we should be able to meet face to face in Julia's garden; it should be warm enough by then.  She has a gazebo so even if it is a bit damp, that won't stop us.

I paid off the rest of the cost of the work at the front (ouch, but no regrets whatsoever) and both cars (mine and next door's) are now happily parked where they should be.  Everyone in the cul de sac has been very nice and understanding about the noise and disruption but I'm glad life has calmed down a bit.

Finally, I got around to steam pressing those edges and here is the finished blanket.  I think it looks really rather nice on my bed so it will stay there until the evenings/nights become too warm for it.
Last night was lovely and cosy!

Today there's not an awful lot on.  I will be driving over to Shimmy Studio for the SET class today instead of accessing it online, partly because there's room there and partly because Chris and I can't have our coffee and chat this week so the timings work.

I think I might take some jeans with me to change into and then just pop along the road to Sainsbury's because I'm almost there and Saturday is shopping day.  It seems sensible and better use of the petrol.  My list is ready so it makes sense.

Then, I expect it will be a bit more garage; the next bit is giving all my plastic pots a good clear out and, maybe, I will tackle the jam jars too.  The bin will be empty by then so anything that doesn't go in plastic recycling can be binned.

Apart from getting the house cleaner-ready, that's it for today.  I'm still granny squaring in the hopes of making some sort of cardigan thingy for myself.  It might look awful, it might be fine, but it's keeping my hands busy so that's a Very Good Thing.

WHat do you have planned for today?  xx

Wednesday 12 April 2023

Wednesday, 12-04-23

   Good morning, everyone.
Yesterday was definitely a day of two halves.  The morning and early afternoon were lovely and sunny while the late afternoon and evening were wet, cold and increasingly windy.
I've woken up to quite a pleasant start; in fact, the sun has just emerged which is lovely.  However, there is a weather warning for high winds round here this afternoon so we have that to look forward to - delightful.  It doesn't seem to be bringing a lot of rain with it, thankfully.

They pretty much finished the work yesterday.  All the paving is in place and it looks good.
Unfortunately, the rain arrived before the did the sanding and that has to wait for dry weather now - so not today.  The forecast for Thursday is pretty good but we will see.
My neighbours are very pleased, so that's good.
And I need to sort out that grass!!
Next stop - solar panels on Monday (fingers crossed)

I managed to get some more garage done and sorted and Chris says I can use the space in her bin.  Fortunately, they are emptying the bins tomorrow so I can then start refilling mine again after that so I don't think I will do any more today but will start again tomorrow.

I decided not to venture into town, partly because I wanted to get some washing/drying/ironing done, partly because Beth and I may be going round town at the end of the month and also the only things I really NEED are from Lakeland and by the time you consider petrol and parking expenses, it's pretty much paid for postage.
However, the rain started five minutes after getting the second lot on the line so I had to dash out, get it back in and dry it on the rack so I still have that ironing to do.  Oh, well - it's April with showers and all that!

Today, I hope to get one more load of washing done and dried before the weather deteriorates so it's already in the machine, taking advantage of the cheaper rate which, I believe, stops at eight every morning!  There's the ironing and the general houseworky stuff to do and this afternoon, wind permitting, I am off to Lindsey's Shimmy Studio for my personal training session.
Just a gentle, normal day, in fact.  

The winds seem to be fairly widespread in the south so, if you are affected, take care and I hope it's not too bad for you.  xx

Tuesday 11 April 2023

Tuesday, 11-04-23

 Morning, everyone.  It's another sunny start to the day here which is lovely.  We had ongoing rain yesterday, then showers, but by late afternoon the sun was out and it turned into a lovely bright evening.  A bit of a surprise, that was, because I thought we'd have rain all day.  No complaints though.

It was a good day.  Alex came round a but early which was nice.  Beth arrived in time for lunch and stayed most of the afternoon.  We had a really good old chat.  Because she was unwell during her week of annual leave, she has managed to do a swap so the three days she was actually poorly she can now take at the end of the month.  We had a chat about a day together and decided to leave the spa day for another time and have a girls' day in town and lunch out together assuming the weather works.  If it's wet, we will still have lunch and then spend time either at hers or at mine.  Either way, it will be good.

Today, because it's sunny, I'm expecting Seth's crew to turn up at about eight and to get on with the paving.  They might even finish - that would be good.  I've moved the rest of the money across and have the invoice ready for when it is all done.

I will; be driving over to Shimmy STudio for the second of two Groove sessions over Easter.  I had to do last week's at home because of self-isolation, if you remember, but it's lovely at the studio.
Then I am back for breakfast and after that I am umming and ahing about a trip into town to do some window shopping.  I'll see how I feel after Groove.

Later on, I will do another half hour garage bite to clear my conscience and I do need to do some whites at some point - maybe get them in before Groove so I can pop then on the line afterwards.

And that's my day.  Nothing terribly exciting but all very pleasant.  It should be good.
Hoping you all have a lovely day and, if you're not so well right now, I send you love and healing vibes.  Take care, everyone.  xx

Monday 10 April 2023

Monday, 10-04-23

 Morning, everyone.  It's the first of a seemingly endless row of bank holidays in the next few months and, typically, it is raining and predicted to continue on and off for the whole day round here. 
Such a shame but at least the last few days have been lovely; yesterday was glorious and almost warm enough to sit out although it cooled down pretty quickly early evening.

You may be amazed to read that I actually started eating the garage elephant yesterday!  I had to force myself to start, decided I would do half an hour and ended up doing an hour.  Slow progress as I was moving stuff around as well as sorting out and discarding, but an hour is an hour and I've started.  Just half an hour at a time will see it all done by the end of the month.

That was pretty much the only 'worthy' thing I did all day but I am glad to report that the marmalade isn't too runny at all.  It's on the slightly soft side but just how I like it.  All the jars are now tucked away in the food cupboard

Today, Beth and Alex are round for lunch, both having finally got rid of their Covid virus.  I'm doing the usual roast dinner as Alex loves that.  I do loads and loads of veg as we all enjoy our veg very much and dessert is usually fresh fruit so it's all very straightforward.

Have a lovely Bank Holiday and I do hope no plans are spoilt by the weather.  Take care and stay well, everyone.  xx

Sunday 9 April 2023

Sunday, 09-04-23

 Good morning everyone.  Wishing you a lovely Easter Sunday with, if you like the stuff, lots of lovely chocolate.
Yesterday's weather was glorious, wall-to-wall sunshine.  Today hasn't started off so great with cloud but the forecast is very good with more sunshine.  Bring it on!

I got my little shop done yesterday morning - although it was only little in terms of amount; the money I handed over in exchange didn't feel so little at all!  I did get carrots and parsnips on special though - I get through loads of the latter while the former freezes really well and is very handy for roast dinners.
Then I set off on our walk - there were four of us today - and on the walk we met a couple of other members of our group and have a good old natter before moving on.  That was lovely.

The rest of the day was spent in jam making and general idleness.  The seedless blackberry jam set almost as soon as it boiled which makes me think maybe I should have added more water to the puree but not to worry.  At least it won't be attempting to escape from the toast, unlike the marmalade.  That had definitely reached setting point but it's a very soft set indeed.  I suspect it was because it was actually very old, outside it's best before date but the pulp was canned so perfectly safe to use.  It'll be good for marinades and sauces or adding to pancakes anyway as well as toast, etc, while the blackberry jam will work with meats like pork or duck (not that I have duck but anyway . . .) or, maybe, instead of cranberry sauce.
I got three jars of the jam and six of the marmalade.  Beth's having some and I'll see if Chris is interested in some marmalade.

Today is a quiet day.  Beth and Alex are coming over for lunch tomorrow rather than today so that will be nice.
If it were needed, I have extra motivation to get that shed sorted out.  I KNOW I have some Bonne Maman sized jam jars and lids somewhere in there but could I find them anywhere?  So annoying.  I cobbled together enough jars for what I made yesterday but grrrr.  They will turn up, of course.  They always do.
So, today, I will be doing some garage tidying.  There's not a lot of room in the bin but I can bag stuff up and Chris might have space in hers if I ask - she almost always does, bless her!

Well, still no sun, but not even the slightest hint of frost so that's good.  It will be warm enough to sit out soon, fingers crossed.

Have a lovely day everyone.  xx

Saturday 8 April 2023

Saturday, 08-04-23

 Morning, everyone.  After a gorgeous day yesterday and a cold night (just above zero with just the tiniest hint of a frost) it started off lovely and clear but a bit of a mist is rolling over at the moment.  I am sure the sun will burn it away in a while.

Well, Slimming World was jolly good as usual although some regulars are away; they were missed.  One of our lovely members hit target, much to everyone's delight, but couldn't stay to celebrate as he is a minister and it is a busy weekend for him.  I lost two pounds which I was very happy with!

I was go glad I got the house cleaner-ready because they turned up much earlier than usual.  That gave me a clear afternoon, which was nice.

Something I didn't do the other day is go through the frozen fruit tray in my front opening freezer so I brought the shelf inside and started in.  Apart from the usual, I found a bag of damsons that had been masquerading as blackberries (so that's this year's damson jam sorted!) and, apart from the big, juicy shop bought blackberries, I found two bags of smaller, cooking blackberries, not very nice to eat raw.
Now, I no longer eat or make much jam but those two bags contained the last of the blackberries from Mum and Dad's garden, brought back when I cleared the freezer, so, despite them being pretty old, I wasn't going to just discard them.  
I popped them in a pan yesterday, simmered them and pushed them through my mouli so now I have
seedless puree ready for sugar and a boiling up to make jam.  By the end of today, I should have a nice row of pots of seedless blackberry jam to share out among family and friends.  I shall call it Mum and Dad's jam!

I'm quite looking forward to getting the maslin pan out after such a long time.

While on the subject, I also have quite an old can of Mamade marmalade, also from Mum's pantry, and I want to make that up too.  Maybe I will do that tomorrow.

I'd love to send some of it across the internet for you but - nope, far too sticky to try!

Today starts off with a small shop - it's only a week since the last one but I am out of things like milk (the builders made great inroads into my milk), eggs, some salad stuff and I don't have enough sugar for the jam/marmalade.
(Which reminds me - I need to rootle in the garage for some jamjars - another reason to tidy the place up a bit!)

Then it is our SW friend walk, the first of the year as the organiser has been in Australia for an extended holiday.  I'm looking forward to this.

Once home, the rest of the day is my own and I will spend some of it stewing over a hot maslin pan!

Also, I've pretty much finished the granny blanket.  I just need to steam press the border and then I'll take a photo.  I know it's not everyone's cuppa but I like it.

I popped into the garden earlier and took these two.

The Victoria plum hasn't has loads of blossom but we will see . . .
The Beth pear, on the other hand, looks as if it's going to be absolutely smothered in blossom so, even if there's not much fruit, it should be a real picture and a delight to the eyes by the end of the week.

Well, I'd better go and do the shopping; Morrisons is now open and shouldn't be too busy yet.

Have a lovely Saturday and enjoy everything you are hoping to do today.  xx

Friday 7 April 2023

Friday. 07-04-23

 Good morning, all.  After an uncertain start yesterday, the rain cleared and we had a beautiful late afternoon/evening.  Bring it on for the weekend; that would be great.

It was nice to do the SET class at Lindsey's studio.  I knew a few there from Groove already but each group has its own dynamic.  I'll usually do this class online because of coffee and chat with Chris but, occasionally, I can go over and will.  Next week, Chris is away, for example.

However, this week we had our usual good old chat over coffee which was, as always a lot of fun.

I got on with some more clothes sorting and am somewhat amazed (yet again and I really ought not be) how many pairs of jeans/jeggings/ cut offs/etc I have.  Unless they get battered or too out of date, I really MUST NOT get any more.  For decades!  The shelves arrived and in, easy to fit (slightly wonky but I can sort that easily) and they make such a difference to seeing what's there, even the stuff at the back.  It is most satisfying.

Auditing the freezer contents was so easy.  Compared with last time, just after Christmas, it was an absolute doddle.  Everything was still tiny and it its rightful place; all I had to do was lift out one bag at a time and amend the list.  All done now and the pressure is off because . . .

. . . Maxine emailed back and said it was absolutely not a problem to wait a bit and she would have a word with Seth about doing the bed borders instead.  Phew.

And while on the subject:

It looks nearly finished but there's still a fair bit to do - all the brick cutting and now they have the main part in place, they will need to take up some down the centre to separate my parking space from my neighbours' space.
I'm guessing one more day but it won't be today and, as it's bank holiday weekend, it will get done on Tuesday.
A bit of a shame from the parking point of view but it can't be helped.

It's Slimming World as usual this week although, it being Good Friday, I have no idea how many people will be staying.  

When I get home, I will just give everywhere a visual once-over to make sure it is cleaner-happy.  There's a few things that need tidying but, generally, it is not so bad.  Also, while doing the freezers, I noticed the top of the front opener is really messy and needs a good tidy.  I never notice it usually, I'm just so used to it.

Then, as long as it's dry, I might start on the garage.  Again, it is just sorting and reorganising really.  While it may not look so, it's really in fair nick, just a bit messy and cluttered with stuff that could now go.  It'll take a while but it's that elephant again - one bite at a time and by the end of the month it should be sorted.

Time to go and have my bath and sort out my lighter clothes!  Have a lovely Good Friday, whatever your plans.  Take care.  xx

Thursday 6 April 2023

Thursday, 06-04-23

 Good morning, everyone.  Yesterday wasn't as sunny as Monday and Tuesday but it definitely felt quite a bit milder.  Come the evening, it had clouded over and was raining a bit.  It doesn't look that good for today with light rain forecast.  

Well, they're getting on nicely.    I'm really happy with the drainage they have created to the left - it should stop the rain from just running off and onto my front path.  Looking at it, they're not going to finish tomorrow and it depends how long they work (if they work) on Good Friday.

Despite not sleeping all that well Tuesday night, I had a real burst of energy yesterday.  I moved shed stuff to the garage, moved bedroom stuff to the shed (all wrapped up well so all my friend has to do is pick it all up) and, in the afternoon, tackled my pile of jumpers, etc.  And you know what - I got it all done.  I have quite a good bagful for the Sally Army pick up point and a smaller pile up in a cupboard to get out next winter.
And a nice space in the wardrobe and I feel really good about it.
To get better use of the space, I'm trying some adjustable shelving thingies.  If they work and are helpful, I might invest in some more, but that's something for the future.  For now, I would be really happy if the ones I have ordered do what I hope they will do.

I had an email from the solar panel company - they can start on the 17th!  So in a fortnight, it will all be done.  Tim said it only takes a day.  Exciting.

I got another email which, ridiculously, rather unsettled me.  It was from Maxine (from the builders) saying if it was OK with me, they could start on the 17th.  That's this month, not the October sort of time I was expecting.  Sadly, it certainly is NOT alright with me.  I'm nowhere near prepared, either organisationally or mentally and there are finer points I was expecting to discuss and get out of the way first.  And the freezer that is going to go is not empty yet.
I don't like being awkward but no.  Even another month would work better but not the week after next!
Oh, well, it is what it is and if it is then done even later than I first thought, that is OK.  Just not in eleven days' time!!
I think this comes under the 'confidence' heading, that being one of my aims/words for 2023.  I hate saying no but I can practise on this one.

What they could do is come and do the repairs to the walled beds in the back garden.  That would be fine and I have suggested it.

Today, I definitely want to audit the freezers, something I didn't start yesterday and, in the light of the above, somewhat essential as I have to get one freezer totally empty as it is going as part of the building.  I need a Plan!  :-)
First, though, it is a SET exercise class, at Lindsey's studio this time rather than online and then the weekly chat and coffee with Chris.
After that it is home based stuff - the freezers stuff, more clothes sorting and clutter clearing.  I'm not sure where this current burst of energy has come from but I want to make the most of it.  :-)

Here's to a useful day for us all.  Have a good one, everyone.  xx