Thursday 31 August 2023

Thursday, 31-08-25

Good morning, everyone.    It was sunny earlier but now it's clouding over.  Mind you, that happened yesterday but apart from a very few drops of rain, it was a lovely day.  We will see.

It was a three load drying day yesterday.  One load was very small but even so - great!  It was a two load ironing day too - I have just a few things to finish today and, to be honest, I only did them because I need them before I'm likely to have a full load again.

The session with Lindsey was helpful.  She gave me a short sequence of exercises, very careful and gentle, and made sure I was doing them accurately and was mindful of what muscle was working for each one.  I feel confident that they will be very helpful.  The massage was also helpful and loosened things up nicely.
It's now a fortnight until the next PT session so we will see how much it all helps.

Today is a quiet day.  Chris is round in about half an hour for an early chat, I have that ironing to do and I think I can safely get that mattress onto one of the the guest beds and make it up again.  I will also do the duvet swap - it's getting quite chilly over night and I was much cosier in pjs last night instead of the cooler nighties.
Are you finding the same or is it just me?

I also want to place a takeaway order.  Tomorrow evening, Anna and Dave are coming round and we're getting Indian takeaway.
I find they are much fussier - I mean, more particular - about their takeaways than I am (to be fair, I hardly ever have them anyway) so it's easier to let them choose, knowing that I will enjoy it anyway.  So I have a list of things to order and will get that done today.
They're bringing the drinks, which is nice.

The last thing that I have to do is make my shopping list for tomorrow.  New month so I will need various longer term things like loo rolls, etc.

Well, better stop rambling and do a bit of tidying up before Chris gets here although I'm sure she wouldn't mind how messy it was.  I'm umming and ahing about whether to sit outside or not as it's a bit dull and cool.  We got into that habit when lockdown eased and people could meet outside, socially distanced - do you remember.
We'll decide when she gets here.

Have a lovely Thursday, everyone.  xx

Wednesday 30 August 2023

Wednesday, 30-08-23

Good morning, everyone.  How can it possibly be the penultimate day of August, eh?  September in two days' time.  Mind you, new month, new budget!  Nice!

I'm trying to think what I did yesterday.  Obviously nothing terribly memorable!  I got all the ironing done - sheets, mattress protectors, etc - with only minimal discomfort so I was pleased about that.  Today looks like being fine; not terribly warm but dry and sunny with a bit of a breeze and perfect for drying so I've got two loads I want to get done.  One is a very hot wash of tea towels and wiping cloths so I will start them off soon and by the time I get back from PT, they will be ready to go out.

PT?  Personal Training and, yes, I have a shorter session this morning, focusing on exercises to help and strengthen my back and some massage.  It should all help tremendously.  It's the only exercise class I have this week and Lindsey is away next week so these are exercises that I will be able to do every day until classes resume second week in September.  At least, that is the intention.

Remember those hexagonal granny 'squares'.  I ended up making a shawl with them, the sort of thing you can slip over your shoulders as the evenings get cooler and it's been jolly useful this last week as the evenings start cooling down.  So useful that, in fact, I am also making a lap blanket, another of your suggestions, as well.  I've had to buy white yarn which is the edging that ties it all together but it should be very useful so I don't mind.
Mind you, I will look like Red Riding Hood's granny all blanketed up but I don't care - there's no one there to see, after all.
So I can get on with those too.

At some point I will re-start my slightly busier life, probably next week as I have two lunch dates with friends (Suze, I will be emailing you) as well as the usual stuff.  Looking forward to that as these last two weeks have been rather dull and sad really.

Take care, everyone, and have a splendid day.  xx

Tuesday 29 August 2023

Tuesday, 29-08-23

 Morning, everyone.  When I went out to do the early morning tomato pick, it felt a bit chilly and smelled very autumnal.  You know what I mean - a bit smoky and 'leafy'.  I love that smell, it's so evocative.

I got a fair bit done (gentle!!!) yesterday including two lots of washing and some more leaflet posting.  No sign of Peter yet - it's all very worrying and sad.

The biggie was paying the rest of the cruise money.  Now I am up to date and feeling impoverished.  lol  Diane's going to pay hers in the next couple of days (well, she has to) and then it is really on.  Woo hoo.

Today, I'm off into town first thing to collect those new glasses and then I will be home to get on with some ironing and other housework.  And that's about it.  They say there's a mini 'heatwave' coming to start September off.  Mind you - I'm really not sure around 26C is a heatwave, just pleasantly summery but maybe it is compared to what we have been getting.  Today is supposed to be pleasant enough and no rain until evening.

And I am sure I will snooze at some point after a bad night (not back related) and am very thankful that I can.  
Have a great day, everyone.  xx

Monday 28 August 2023

Monday, 28-08-23

 Morning, everyone.  It's started sunny again, just like it did over the weekend.  Today looks to be fine all through the day, according to the BBC, which is perfect for a Bank Holiday Monday.

Thank you all for your concern re moving the mattresses around.  I know it sounded rather counter productive but I took it very slowly, thought each stage through and used quite a lot of knee power which was surprisingly effective.  All thanks to Lindsey for working with me to improve all round strength these past years and all thanks too to my lovely Mum and Dad who treated me to lovely posh mattresses so they would be comfortable when they came to stay over.
My bedroom is done.  The guest room has a mattress leaning against the wall and later on in the week I will get that back on the bed.  I want to see if changing the mattresses makes any difference so no point doing any more straight away.  
If necessary, I can ask the lovely cleaners to just lift the mattress onto the bed for me - I am sure they will be OK about doing that and it will take two of them seconds.

I took ibuprofen straight afterwards, just in case and because, yes, it was aching (but no more than before I started) and I took some more before I went round to Beth's to help with a leaflet drop because Peter has gone missing again, pesky cat!

And I woke up this morning after a good night on the 'new' mattress with a totally pain free back!  There is just the slightest hint that there's been something wrong and that I must still be careful but such a difference.
Is it the new mattress, is it the gentle exercise I took yesterday (moving the mattress and the walk around Beth's area), is it that the ibuprofen dealt with some residual inflammation or is is just One of Those Things?  Who knows, but I am extremely thankful.

I'm still being careful though.  I'm not doing any fitness classes this week except for a shorter personal training if Lindsey can fit me in (it's been Mondays through the summer holiday but it's Bank Holiday today) involving some careful stretches and back strengthening plus some massage, if she thinks it appropriate (she has been trained in all this) and next week she is on Holiday so I have two weeks without classes which sounds just fine to me.

And I'm going to stop rabbiting on about it now, having bored you all to tears with it last week!

Today I need to finish off my bedding - I washed it but left it in the machine when it started raining and then pretty much forgot about it.  So it will need another quick wash before I get it all out on the line.

Beth's going to let me know if she needs me to help with more leaflets.  There's nothing on Messenger so I am guessing Peter is not home yet and she will appreciate some help.

I might do a bit of baking.  I want to make some pizza pases that I can half cook and freeze so they are there when wanted.  Thermione will do most of that though!

And I need to do some gentle and careful tidying up as things got a bit messy last week.

And that is that.  How are you spending your Bank Holiday Monday, feasting, fasting or asleep (to misquote a rhyme).  Have a good one, anyway.  xx

Sunday 27 August 2023

Sunday, 27-08-23

Morning, one and all.  It's sunny again and fingers crossed it stays around a bit longer than it did yesterday although, you know, good for the garden, etc.

I didn't get those sheets sorted yesterday but today I must do, rain or not.  I've decided that my mattress is not terribly helpful at the moment and, as I have two excellent mattresses on the beds in the guest room, I am going to swap one of them them and then look for a replacement.  I'll be very slow and very careful, I promise, and if I only get half done, there's the other bed in the guest room I can sleep on so no worries.  But it needs doing and that's for sure.

Then I can wash those sheets!

Apart from that, I did very little yesterday.  The meal out didn't come off so that's on the cards for another time.

Today, apart from the mattress shifting which will take ages, I expect, is another gentle day with nothing in that diary so I can rest up and take life slowly.  Looking forward to it.
Have a lovely time too, everyone, and stay safe.  xx

Saturday 26 August 2023

Saturday, 26-08-23

Good morning, everyone.  It's a lovely, sunny start to Saturday and I'm hoping it stays around for a little while.  It feels very restful.

I haven't posted any photos for a while but took these three snaps around my frankly messy and disheveled back garden half an hour ago.  The weeds have really taken advantage of my inability to bend over and pull them out of the paving cracks but their time will come.  Not sure when, but I will get my own back!

Anyway, view from top left, to lower to top right.  I couldn't get them side by side without making them too small.  Apologies for the tattiness but it is nearly Autumn and this is Real!  :-)

Yesterday was a really pleasant day.
We had Jen back to lead the group.  The consultants who filled in were both lovely but there's no-one like Jen really (I'm sure most groups say the same about their consultants).

I had gained half a pound but through yesterday the bunged-upness resolved itself and this morning (on my own scales) I was three pounds down.  Bit frustrating but it should show next week.

Sharon turned up, gave me the usual expert attention, we had a good old chat and now I feel loads better.  We also set the dates for the rest of the year, working back from the week before the cruise, so that's all settled.

And then the cleaners came so everywhere is nice and shiny.

As for the back, it continues to ease.  I only took one lot of meds, first thing and, today, I'm going to try none and see how it goes.  Yes, it is sore/achey most of the time with the occasional reminder to be careful but nowhere near the fist half of the week and that's without meds so it's all good.

There's very little in the diary today.  I want to change my bedding though - I didn't last week for obvious reasons and it doesn't feel nice.  It's a great drying day at the moment so let's go for it.

I might be eating out this evening but, right now, I am assuming not and planning meals accordingly.

In between sporadic activity, I am going to read and watch rubbish.  I have the new SW magazine to devour and I have a book called 'A Southwold Mystery' which is one of those 'group of odd characters get together to solve a murder' type things and quite witty in a very understated way.

Have a lovely day yourself.  Do you have any special plans?  xx

Friday 25 August 2023


 Morning, everyone.  How's the week been for you?  Crazy to think that we are only one week/seven days away from September, the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness (I know that's Autumn, but you know what I mean).

We did have some rain yesterday but it cheered up later morning so I got my washing out on the line (carefully) and even got all the ironing done (slowly).  I was very pleased about that.

The weekly chat with Chris was lovely.  It'll be here at mine next week although I think it is about time for lunch out maybe.  I'll see what she thinks.

I'm afraid yesterday I was a bit naughty.  I had got very low on certain veg and on fruit generally but didn't want to test too far by pushing a trolley around Morrisons.  Amazon Fresh doesn't deliver round here (said the Internet) so I did a Deliveroo shop.  NOT cheap but apart from that I was very impressed - half an hour after I sent the order, the delivery person was on the doorstep.  And now I am OK for fruit and veg over the weekend.  
Not something I would do that often but as a one off in time of need, extremely helpful.

That was about it really.  Things are improving very slowly and I managed to stay off the pain-killers all day, just having some first thing and early evening.  That's a decided improvement and I do feel better for it this morning, I think.  
I'll probably take some before going out to Slimming World and then see how the day goes.

There's two - no, four - things scheduled for today.
The first is Slimming World, of course.
Then I have to just tidy up a bit for the cleaners.  If I take it slowly and carefully, that should be OK.
Thirdly, the lovely Sharon is round to sort out my hair again.  Looking forward to that.
And finally, the cleaners, those lovely ladies who make my home all shiny clean!

I've just thought of another - I need to move some money from long term savings to pay the balance for the cruise.  Excitingly ouch!

Well, I'd better get started by drying my hair.  It is an early-ish start on Fridays as we are still having to use the temporary venue for Slimming World.  Two more weeks and we are back where we were as they have managed to get the repairs done at long, long last!
So I will love you and leave you with hopes that you all have a lovely day.  xx

Thursday 24 August 2023

Thursday, 24-08-23

 Good morning, everyone.  Another early start to the day, it is still quite dark and it's hard to tell what the sky is like but the forecast is for 'light rain showers, a distinct improvement to what it said yesterday for today which was storms.
I don't mind - the only going out for me today is over the cul de sac to Chris for coffee and chatter and rain will cool things down a but - it's felt fairly humid recently.  Oh, and I might get some washing on the line too.

Thank you for your kind messages yesterday.  I'll go back now and answer them.  Hang on.

Done!  :-)

Yesterday was a day where I managed to get things done at last.  Very slowly and carefully and the air turned a bit blue a few times, maybe, but I did things!

I had a go at making some English muffins.  Like many wholemeal bread products that Slimming World caslls a 'healthy extra B', they are difficult to get hold of and I'm fed up of searching for them, bagels, and the line without any luck.  So, I've mastered bagels and yesterday I used wholemeal spelt flour to have a go at English muffins or, as well call them in GB, muffins!!
They certainly came out edible and delicious but, perhaps, a bit 'heavy'.  That might just be the wholemeal element, of course.  Anyway, I had one for lunch, froze the rest and will try a different recipe when they are used up.

I have been a naughty girl and bought a tortilla wrap press - just a machine to press balls of dough into wrap shaped flat thingembobbydoos.  That was not a necessary purchase, I admit, but it arrived yesterday and I might have a go at making just one for lunch.

The next thing I did was some washing.  That was a bit of a farce and took me ages.  First of all, I kicked the washing down the stairs because bending and picking things up was so painful.  Then I knelt down oh-so-carefully to put the clothes in the machine, put in the soap, etc and start it off.
The funniest bit was getting the washing on the line - I managed to drag the filled basket to the back door before realising I really wasn't getting it over the step and along to the line so I went back and forth with a few items at a time.
Luckily, it tickled my sense of humour.
Getting them in was easier.  I dragged out a lightweight chair, put the empty basket on it and took the clothes down.  They were dry so much lighter.  Getting them in was a pain but not impossible.

So today, fingers crossed, I have a stack of ironing and another load of washing.  I'd like to get it done but it can wait if necessary.

The third thing was that Beth picked me up, we went round to Julia's for fish and chips and it was really lovely.  We had a great old chatter in Julia and Harry's beautiful little garden under their gazebo and we'll be having another one next month in between holidays but at mine this time.

So things are definitely looking up again.  There's a distinct improvement since this time yesterday morning and I am going to be oh, so careful today and not take things too fast.  
I've decided that I will cut exercise classes again next week apart from Personal Training, if that's OK with Lindsey, because she can give me some massage and some helpful exercise.  The following week she is away so that's a nice long time to really recover and work back up again slowly and carefully.  I'm missing the classes very much but one has to be sensible.

It's light now and definitely on the gloomy side.  I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if it rains soon so better go out now and pick the day's tomatoes.
Have a lovely Thursday, everyone.  xx  You've been lovely and supportive, everyone.  Thanks very much indeed.

Wednesday 23 August 2023

Wednesday, 23-08-23

 Good morning, everyone.  Back after a day off, the reason being I was feeling darn miserable that I didn't want to inflict a moany, whingy post on all you lovely people.  Today, the back is still pretty ouchy but I'm just feeling more cheerful again so that's good.

This all started last Thursday when I woke with a slight twinge.  I made the decision to have a go at SET online and that was a mistake because ten/fifteen minutes in and I had to stop.
For a couple of days it was just sore when I stood up or sat dawn but OK-ish in between so I went on out very gentle, somewhat geriatric walk in the city parks on Saturday with the SW group and, just maybe, that was another mistake because on Sunday it was really horrible, ditto Monday.
Yesterday, Chris got me some co-codamol from Morrisons and it's helped a bit although I'm ringing the changes with ibuprofen as you do have to be careful.  Certainly, it stopped some of the spasms and once they stopped I was able to relax a bit and other parts stopped aching.

I think today it might be just a little bit better but it is hard to tell.

There's been some funny moments.  Trying to get powder in the dishwasher must have looked very funny (didn't feel funny), like a section of a sit-com, and the air turned blue a few times when I dropped things.  And why do I keep so many useful kitchen things low down so I have to bend to access them, eh?  At the moment, there's some clutter on the work tops because I can't get things away again but I will, as soon as I can.

Of course, all the fitness classes are off schedule for this week and we will see about next week when it starts - I suspect I will want to be sensible!  The following week Lindsey is away anyway so that gives a good recovery time.

However, I am hoping to get to our Girls' Fish and Chips dinner this evening.  Beth's coming to pick me up.  And I am (almost) sure I can hobble over the cul de sac to Chris for coffee and chat tomorrow.  In between ouchiness, this week has been very boring so far.

And also however, when I lie down, there's little or no pain so I have been sleeping extremely well, thankfully.  One can cope with a lot on a good night's sleep, don't you think?

Anyway, that's the update, thanks for bearing with me and have a lovely Wednesday yourselves.  Take care!  xx

Monday 21 August 2023

Monday, 21-08-23

Good morning, everyone.

A very quick one - the back is a bit of a nightmare at the moment, I didn't do much yesterday and I'm doing even less today so it's all a bit boring at the moment.

I'll be back.  xxx 

Sunday 20 August 2023

Sunday, 20-08-23

 Morning, everyone!  So here was are starting the last third of August and autumn is definitely beckoning from just round the corner.  Yesterday was lovely after a cloudy start and today looks like being much the same.  Bring it on!

I did a montage of the cucumbers to go with the tomato one.  There are actually more babies than this.  Counting them was a bit like trying to count those standing stones in Ireland - they say it is impossible.  After over a week of no flowers, they have decided to get their act together again.  I keep seeing more, some very tiny, some obviously determined to stay around and grow.  
I feel a glut coming on!
That big one will be ready to cut in a few days, just in time because I had two in the fridge but the second one is nearly finished and has lost most of its crunch.

I'm glad I didn't try doing SET yesterday.  The walk was much better for the back and, while it's still sore, it is now sore without meds, rather than with meds.  Big improvement.   And if I sit up and use my core muscles, and when I'm moving around gently, it is also much better.  It's the transitions really.  So that's very good.

So, the walk was lovely, very chatty and very happy and the weather was just perfect.  Warm, not hot, sunny and with a gentle breeze.  It couldn't have been better had we ordered it from Harrods!  :-)

The rest of the day was very chilled.  I did some tomato processing and pottered in the kitchen making a pizza base and toppings for lunch and, after lunch, I am not ashamed to say that I dozed off and had a delightful snooze.

I have been umming about going into town to pick up my glasses but I think I will leave that for tomorrow morning as I'm giving Family Circuits a miss.  I can go in early (no school run to complicate things), pick up the glasses, have a little wander around and come home when I want to.

Today, I have some washing to do so will take advantage of the continuing nice weather.  The sun is hiding right now but it'll be fine again soon, just in time for the first load to go out on the line.

Then, this afternoon, I'm over to Beth's for coffee and chat.  She has something for me that's exciting - no, I'm not saying what and I may not bring it home anyway, I think it's really for Christmas, but she wants to show me.

And, of course, somewhere there is a football match that everyone is talking about!  Good luck, Lionesses!!
( UK readers, are you watching the football or not?  )

Have a great day, all.  xx

Saturday 19 August 2023

Saturday, 19-08-23


Early morning tomatoes . . .

Good morning, everyone and a happy Saturday to you.  It looks promising outside at the moment although you can see from the tomato montage that we had some rain overnight - maybe quite a lot by the looks of it.  When I went to bed last night, it was very humid but I woke early feeling chilly so snuggled under the duvet to get back to sleep.

Thank you for your very kind wishes about my silly old back.  It's definitely more comfortable but not right yet so I'm being careful and sensible.

Slimming World was, as always, good.  Jen (group consultant) had the week off so we had another local leader, Jenny, who did a grand job.  It can't be easy taking on someone else's group, especially one as lively as ours, but I guess at least you are going to get feedback from everyone and no embarrassing silences.  We don't really do silences!!

I didn't get round to doing any tomatoes so they're on the list for today.  What I did do was have a sudden wish to have a go at making bagels - as you do!!!  So I dug out a recipe, started Thermione up (she does all the messy kneading, etc, for me) and off we went.  It was great fun, especially the shaping, etc.  I thought it would be complicated but watched a YouTube clip (how did we manage before . . . ) of the great Jamie demo-ing it and it really wasn't, it was simple and very satisfying.
They weren't perfect by any means, but I ended up with nine recognisable bagels with proper holes, one to taste and eight for the freezer and it was very tasty.

In the evening, our group of SW walkers went out for a meal together and it was a really lovely evening.  I had a chicken Caesar as my first choice, a smaller plate scampi and chips, was off the menu.  
I got an lift so it was all very trouble free and we've decided to have another one in the New Year.

Today, I am skipping the SET class - as I said above, the back is still troublesome and I don't think the bit I did on Thursday helped much at all.  It seems OK when I'm walking so I will go on our SW group walk from Tower Gardens to the coffee shop, round the lake and back again.  That should help, especially if I pop a few pills beforehand.

I plan to spend the rest of the day pottering in the kitchen, reading, etc.  Taking it gently, in fact.  After all, it IS Saturday, isn't it?

Enjoy your Saturday too - are you doing anything exciting?

Friday 18 August 2023

Friday, 18-08-23

 Good morning, everyone.  Half past five and it is just lighting up outside so I've done the morning picking and have several tomatoes and two courgettes, one for some fritters and one to take to Slimming World for the Slimmer of the Week hamper.

I'm going to have to process some tomatoes today and get them into the freezer.  I will just skin the little ones and freeze them whole while I might make some tomato and red pepper sauce with some of the bigger ones - that's always nice and very useful too.

Yesterday was really nice although I've done something to my back so SET class was not great and I pulled out after the first fifteen minutes.  No idea what I've done but it's happened before, same thing, so I guess there's a weakness there.  Thank goodness for the old pain killers!

It was beautifully sunny and Chris and I sat in the garden for our coffee and natter.  Half way through, the car was delivered back so now I have a thoroughly roadworthy car that is also clean inside and out (they do a 'complimentary' valet thingy as part of the service) and that's the legal bit sorted until the road tax is due next year.

Chris left, Val turned up and the lovely, social day continued.  It was warm and sunny and very, very pleasant.

A shame about the back - it's still sore when I get up and move about but then sort of eases a bit for a while - but, dear me, there are much worse things around so keep smiling!!

Today, being Friday, it is Slimming World this morning so I'll be there, doing my bit.  After that, the diary is clear apart from an online chat with Alex until the evening when the small group of golden oldies from SW who have those occasional Saturday walks are meeting at the Hare for a meal together.  I am very much looking forward to that.  

Before then, my lovely cleaners will have done their best so all will be neat and tidy and clean.  Such a nice way to start the weekend!
We're supposed to get some rain here today - good for the garden - but that really doesn't matter in the least and I'm sure it will be a lovely day - hoping yours is too.  Take care, everyone.  xx

Thursday 17 August 2023

Thursday, 17-08-23

Good morning, everyone.  Happy Thursday to you.  When I woke it was still dark but I pulled back the curtains so I can watch the light grow and I've just been into the garden to pick a few tomatoes and encourage (bonkers?  Moi?) the courgettes and cucumbers.

When I was in Aldi on Tuesday, I treated myself to a couple of bunches of alstroemerias and they are just coming out nicely now.  

Yesterday felt 'odd' with a strange car on my driveway.  What the garage I use does for a pick up is send someone out in a company car and then swap them over.  I don't get the use of it or anything, it's just there.  By the time they had finished with my car and I'd done an online payment, it was too late to clear before the garage closed so it's still there and the other car is still here.  They'll bring it back this morning, probably right in the middle of my online SET class but no worries!

After SET, Chris is round for our weekly coffee and chat in the garden, I hope.  Then it's a quick sort out and some food prep and Val is here for lunch.
So it's going to be a really lovely day of friendship and sharing.

I've heard that my glasses are now in and ready for collection but I'm not going to be able to get in for a few days.  I wonder if they open on Sundays - hang on while I check . . . yes, they do - nine till five.  Well, that's definitely an option.

I'd better stop rambling and get on with some other bits and bobs before the day starts getting busy.  Have a lovely Thursday, everyone, whatever you're doing.  xx

Wednesday 16 August 2023

Wednesday, 16-08-23

   Good morning, everyone.  Another fine, clear start to the day today after what turned out to be a beautiful summer day yesterday.  

Getting the idea at last.  As the little tomatoes slacken off slightly, the bigger ones are finally starting to ripen.  These will be yellow pear shaped fruit, not huge but not tiny either.  I'm hoping they taste as good as they will look.
Also, the courgettes are continuing to give and there are two little cucumbers coming along nicely (with a whole one in the fridge).

Yesterday seemed busy with lots of bits and bobs to be getting on with.  I went to Groove (great fun again), did my fortnightly shop at M&S/Aldi and fingers are crossed that apart from a bit of fresh stuff, that's it until September now.

Back home, I sorted it all out, portioned and froze stuff, hung out the washing, emptied the dishwasher, cleared the car, brought the washing in, ironed it, did various cleaning bits and bobs and general kept myself occupied.  It was very satisfying.

Today, someone is coming to pick up the car for its annual MOT and service.  I haven't noticed any problems or issues so let's hope it won't be outrageously costly.  While that's being done, I am giving the house a good clean as I have a friend coming round for lunch tomorrow and some of the corners and surfaces are a bit messy.  No circuits today as I have to stay in (for when they pick up the car between 8 and 11) and it's not one Lindsey can deliver online (I asked) so no worries, I will find something to do.

Just another ordinary, enjoyable day in my life.  Nice.
Wishing you all a very good day too.  Take care.  xx

Tuesday 15 August 2023

Tuesday, 15-08-23

Good morning, everyone.  Opening the curtains today shows a much more pleasant start than yesterday and BBC is optimistic, which is nice.  To be fair, much of yesterday was nice but there was also some rain and it was quite humid at times.

I need to make a correction to what I said in comments yesterday.  I misunderstood a message from Beth - Alex didn't manage to get a GP appointment yesterday so will be trying again today.

Because of the rain, I decided not to go plum picking - I know what it's like under those little trees, picking fruit and getting showered with water each time.  No thanks.  I may want plums but I don't NEED them really and had already had my shower.  And they (the plums) will be available for a short time to come anyway.

That made the morning much easier to negotiate.  Family circuits was great - there were two families there, six children and three adults and it was such fun.  Next week is the last one for this summer but it's been a great success so maybe Lindsey will repeat it next summer.

Personal training was also great - she's definitely upping the level again and I feel very worked - which is what it's all about.

Today is Groove and then I have several little things to do.  Making a shopping list and doing the food shopping for the rest of August (more or less) as it is half way through the month, getting the finances up to date and housework, that never ending housework.

Just a quiet, normal day in the life of a retired girl!!  :-)

Monday 14 August 2023

Monday, 14-08-23

 Morning, everyone.  It's just turned five and it is still dark.  I suppose it is to be expected - we are almost two thirds of the way through the year but it still comes as a bit of a surprise.

Thank you all very much for your good wishes for Alex.  He is fine now and seems remarkably unmarked apart from a bruise on his forehead where he hit Beth's bedroom door as he fell.  Even the backs of his hands and his arms where they tried to take blood are unbruised and he said nothing ached.  That's very good.
I showed him how to use the monitor (which I have left with him for now) and his BP is in the normal range now.  Phew.
I think the worst bit will be trying to get an appointment with the GP this morning as requested by the doctor who treated him at A&E.
A great relief all round and now a new week starts.  

It's a busy-ish day today.  I plan to go plum picking at Lathcoats first thing this morning as it's the only nine to ten slot I have free all week.  Then it's home for breakfast before going to Shimmy Studio for family circuits.  I'll be back there again later in the afternoon for personal training.
In between those two sessions, I will have lunch, process any plums I pick and generally get the house in order after the weekend.  There's enough there to keep me out of trouble for the day, I think, and after two fitness sessions, I ought to sleep well tonight!

Have a lovely Monday, everyone, whatever your plans.  xx

Sunday 13 August 2023

Sunday, 13-07-23

Good morning, one and all, and a very happy Sunday to everyone.  The sun is playing hokey cokey at the moment and the forecast is for a bit of rain but also quite a lot of fine and sunny weather too so it's fingers crossed and hope for the best.

Yesterday ended up a very 'odd' day.  
I had a very early message from Beth telling me that there had been a bit of a medical emergency over Friday night and Alex had been bluelighted to our local A&E following a dramatic faint and several spells of super low blood pressure and heart rate.  They were home again , Alex was stable again and they were sure he was OK, tests showed nothing but he needs to see his GP this week for further tests and try not to worry.  (I wish!)
(Was that why I didn't sleep well that night?  Who knows.)

He was fine all day yesterday although a bit battered and bruised from when he fainted rather spectacularly through Beth's bedroom door - no, not literally through, he knocked it open - and subsequent attempts to take blood for testing (they couldn't - he is like Beth in that way).  Poor man, he hates needles and really wasn't happy at all.
Beth said the paramedics were superb, the resus team were waiting for him so there was no hanging around in A&E and all in all, thank goodness for our wonderful NHS service.  But there's no arguing that Friday night was not an experience either of them want to go through again in any kind of hurry.

I'm taking my BP monitor over later this morning - Alex may as well have some current readings for when he sees his GP.

So, one way and another, that mucked up the day.  I didn't go round - they both just wanted space and time to try to relax and sleep - but I did have an online chat with Beth.  Just a short one as she was tired and aching all over.
We didn't have the fish and chips - I suppose we could have met without Beth but that seemed very mean and anyway I wasn't in the mood either so we have rescheduled.  No problem.

After that drama of a day, I'm hoping that when I go over, all will be well.

And I am hoping for a calm and gentle day today doing nothing very much and not worrying.  For all of us.
Take care.  xx

Saturday 12 August 2023

Saturday, 12-08-23

 Good morning, everyone.  Today is starting much brighter than yesterday so fingers crossed.

The big tomatoes are starting to catch on.  Whoop whoop!! (as they say).

Yesterday went OK.  SW Group was thin on the ground but still enjoyable but when I got home there was an email saying that due to illness, the cleaners could come.  Oh, the hardship!  Guess what I'll be doing today.

 But first, back to bed shortly as I had a bit of a rough night, sleep wise, and have a right headache at the moment.  Later on, I will be doing some hoovering and a bit more in the garden and come the evening I might be having fish and chips with Beth, Linda and Julia although that's a bit up in the air at the moment.

Just a quick one today - have a lovely Saturday, everyone, and stay safe.  xx

Friday 11 August 2023

Friday, 11-08-23

 Morning, everyone.  Not a promising start with clouds and a breeze but BBC is optimistic for sunshine so all good!  Yesterday was lovely.  Sunny all day and, come the later morning, pretty warm too.  Dargening was a pleasure.

I saw this on Jay Blades' Facebook page yesterday and I think it is brilliant and so very true.

If the grass looks greener on the other side...
Stop staring.
Stop comparing.
Stop complaining.
And start watering the grass you're standing on.

Isn't that good?

I was pleased to get most of the stuff on my Little List done and dusted in the afternoon after quite a busy morning. First of all it was SET class online, then I went over to Chris for coffee and chat and then, after a quick breakfast, I took some courgettes over to Beth and we had a good old chat over coffee in her break. It was all good and very enjoyable.

That left the afternoon to do the List stuff. The blue room took no time at all once I had decided where stuff should go and I did a fair bit of weeding and some of the sweeping but not all, so that carries forward to today.

Today, being Friday, starts with Slimming World, as usual, followed by breakfast and then just making sure the house is cleaner ready. By then, the sun should be out and I will get the garden stuff finished off.
And that's how I hope today will go.

How about you? xx

Thursday 10 August 2023

Thursday 10-08-23

 Good morning, everyone.  It's another lovely start to the day although we are now a third of the way through August and it was still almost dark when I woke up this morning at my usual time - around five.  It didn't seem such a chilly night either - when I woke, I was snuggly warm and it was so cosy and comfortable.

Now, what was I saying about 'just enough' courgettes?

Some for Chris and Steve, a couple for the SW slimmer of the week basket and, by the weekend, some for Beth and Alex.  And some for me.
Lovely jubbly!

Circuits yesterday was really good (when is it not, mind you?) with three of us and one who came half way through.  Lindsey is so good at adapting the various elements to the individual so I always end up feeling successful and a bit extended.

I didn't start on the blue room but I did think about where various bits and bobs could go and came up with a little plan - well, not a plan, just a few solutions.
However, I did scrape away at the weeds in the cracks between the paving slabs (it took a while) and this morning I'm going to get out my stiff broom and give the whole of the back garden a good old sweep out right to the corners, behind the compost bin, etc.  That should make a big difference.
I want to check the car tyres too, especially the suspect one.
And I'd like to start in on the blue room but it's not any kind of problem if I don't.

But first it will be an online SET class and then a chat with Chris in her garden.  She's still very tired at times and has a troublesome cough but it sounds as if she's loads better now.  Excellent.
(Must ask her if she actually wants another courgette).

Just a nice, normal, pottering sort of day - the nicest kind.
Hoping yours is really good too.  xx

Wednesday 9 August 2023

Wednesday, 09-08-23

Morning, everyone.  We must have had some very heavy rain overnight as the garden is absolutely soaking at the moment.  I've just gone round the tomatoes, shaking as much excess moisture off them as I can - a little anti-blight trick my Dad told me about a long time ago.  Does it work?  Who knows; it is hard to prove a negative.
Anyway, it's been wet, it's cold (single digit temp) but the forecast for the next few days is really positive so that's cheering.

My lovely next door neighbours have just had all their fencing replaced and when I walked past the back gate yesterday I saw this.  What on earth??? 
Why cut a hole at the bottom of a brand new fence?  They don't have a cat and anyway, cats can jump.
And then I saw a Facebook post and all was made clear.  They have regular hedgehogs visiting each night and this is for them to continue to be able to get in.
What lovely neighbours.

My Little List worked wonders.
After Groove and breakfast, I started weeding and dead heading round the front and got pretty much all of it done before the first few raindrops fell.  When I realised, I quickly got out the mower and cut my little green patch of < cough > grass.  I didn't get any of the back done but that's on the list for today.

Sorting out the freezer is a job that doesn't require fine weather so I went to the shed and got that done too.  There's still a few items still in the front opening freezer, mostly bits and bobs I am working to use up but I am very hopeful that it will be sorted and empty by the end of this month.  It's only taken eight months, that's all!!  

As almost always, sorting out the kitchen didn't take much time at all, just a bit of putting away really.

Today, I have circuits at the studio and my Little List consists of finishing off the front (weeds between the slabs and a good old sweep up) before moving onto the back for more of the same.  
I have just added another item to the List - the blue room (guest room really) is a fair old mess and, while I don't think it will take all that long, it does need a good tidy up.  It's far too easy to just dump things on one of the beds rather than put them away properly.

Getting there . . .

The sun is shining now and I need to move on to social media stuff for a short time before starting the day.
Hoping your day is as useful and satisfying as I hope mine will be.  Stay safe.  xx

Tuesday 8 August 2023

Tuesday, 08-08-23

Good morning, everyone!  After a pleasant, sunny day yesterday, today seems to be starting off the same although drizzle and then rain is predicted for this afternoon. 

I feel I can hardly call this Little Runt any more although he's still a lot smaller than Heir (second photo) or Spare (third photo).  All three are giving enough to keep me and friends in courgettes but not an overload - fine by me.

Here's Heir in situ.  I'm going to change the content of this bed next year, once the walls have been repaired and the soil cleared and improved.  The strawberries haven't been great again this year and, what with Lathcoats close by, I hardly need them really.  There used to be tomatoes where the strawberries are until they got blight one year.
Anyway - my idea is that where the strawberries are, I will plant a yellow courgettes and where Heir is, I'm going to try runner beans again.  I used to have runner beans but not for the last three years and I've missed them.  There's room in that bed for a couple of wigwams which will be enough for one.
That's the idea at the moment but it might change.  :-)

Here's Spare, still looking pretty decorative among the bush tomato and black bamboo.

Yesterday didn't start all that well.  I turned up at Specsavers only to be very apologetically informed that my glasses hadn't arrived yet.  Well, they could have told me a bit earlier, maybe.  So now I have to wait for them to contact me, whenever that will be, and make my way back into town to pick them up.  I think I will take the bus - more time consuming but a lot cheaper!

I had a good meander around town though.  I picked up (and paid for!!!) a few sets of pretty earrings for when I can ring the changes and also a nice top from Next, a small, quite pretty backpack handbag thingy which will be nice for the not posh evenings on the cruise and some thin tights for ditto (as well as the posher evenings).
Then I took the scenic route home and stopped at Hobbycraft.

At some point last week, I sorted out what I optimistically call my jewellery box.  It had an awful lot of toot in it which is now goodness knows where after being chucked (It wasn't even worth donating, believe me) and I found a little collection of molto cheapo dangly Christmas earrings on clips that I never really wore because they hurt and I'm a wimp.
So, at Hobbycraft, I got a pack of hooks for pierced ears and a pack of split rings (I think that's what they're called) and yesterday afternoon I pulled the little Christmassy things (Snowmen, Santas, stars, trees, etc) off the clips and fastened them to the hooks using the split rings and now I have a nice little collection of fun earrings to wear in December - you know what I'm like about Christmas!  I can wear them in matching pairs or ring the changes!

I did a bit of weeding and so on before driving over to Lindsey's for personal training which was, as always, really good.

Yesterday was a nice day!

Today starts with Groove (yay) and then I have a list of Things To Do
1.  more weeding
2.  mow 'lawn' (it's shockingly long!)
3.  move stuff from upright to chest - I have more space in the chest freezer and I'm hoping I can pretty much empty the upright by the end of August.
4.  tidy kitchen - there's a lot of stuff that's just sitting on the working space and which needs to be sorted and put away.

That should give me plenty to be getting on with!

Do you have  Little List today?

Monday 7 August 2023

Monday, 07-08-23

Good morning, everyone.  Here we are, back at Monday again, the second week in August, pretty much, and it looks as if it will be a really pleasant day - week, in fact, as the forecast is very promising.  Nice!!

The fig that I thought the cold weather had killed and nearly threw out.  I am very glad I didn't. 

Yesterday was the laziest day I have had in a long while.  I slept an awful lot and still slept well all night so must have needed it.  I watched telly, read, knitted, cooked meals, planned meals for next week and generally totally chilled.  Lovely!

Today is a bit burier.  I'm off into town in a while to pick up my new glasses and then I'm going to have a good old wander around parts of town.  I might even treat myself to a coffee, something I generally don't do when I'm on my own.

When I get home, there will be the usual homey stuff before going off to Lindsey's for personal training which has changed to Monday's over August.  And that is about it.  It will be nice to get my new glasses and looking around town is always fun because I hardly ever do it nowadays.

Hoping you all have a lovely day too.  xx

Sunday 6 August 2023

Sunday, 06-08-23

Morning, everyone.  It looks a lot nicer this morning after a shocking awful day yesterday with some torrential rain and the temperature dropped so much I got the oodie out again and wore it all day.  OK, so it wasn't anywhere near freezing, of course, but it was chilly, damp and 'orrible!

The sun is shining and the sky is clear.  Lovely!

I can't wait (but will have to) for these to ripen.  They hang more like grapes than tomatoes but are pear shaped and should ripen to yellow.  They should be so nice so come on summer, where are you?

The early morning SET class was great - I appreciate being to access it online but at the studio just has such a good vibe.  By the time it finished, it was starting to rain a bit and by mid morning, that was it until late afternoon when the sun came out for a while.  Then it clouded over again, the wind got up and that was it.  Understandably, the walk didn't happen.  I missed the last one too as I was committed to something else.  Oh, well.

It was a nice, cosy day though, once I'd out my faithful oodie on and bed in the evening was good and snuggly with the electric blanket keeping things warm.   The main issue is that it's not November though, it is August.  It's predicted to improve soon - fingers crossed.

Today there's absolutely nothing in the diary and nothing much that needs doing that urgently so I'm going to have a lazy me day.  I might dig out an old DVD or something and just chill.  If it stays nice, there's a bit of weeding to do, especially around the front.  I'll see how the spirit moves.

I hope it's nice where you are today and that you can have a lovely Sunday.  xx

Saturday 5 August 2023

Saturday, 05-08-23

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the weekend!  Here, it is cloudy and the forecast is for rain and thundery stuff but yesterday was a beautiful day despite areas around getting torrential rain - Chris's mum, for example, in Heybridge (Maldon way and pretty close by) had some very heavy rain.  We were lucky here, for sure.

Slimming World was good.  There were a number of people from other groups coming to be weighed although they didn't stay, which was a shame.  A number of our own folk were away so the group was smaller but still just as much fun.

The cleaners turned up much earlier than usual so I was glad I'd got the house sorted out in time.

For the rest of the day, I did homey stuff, including changing the sheets and getting all the washing done, dried and ironed.  Some of it now needs putting away but that won't take long.

Today, I'm off the Shimmy Studio for a SET class and later on, providing the weather holds, it's our SW group walk but that won't happen if it's wet.

There was a message on Lathcoat's Facebook page saying the plums are ready for picking.  Three cheers.  So I need to look at the diary and see when I have a nine o'clock space to go and pick.  Normally, it would be Monday but this coming weekend I am off into town to collect my glasses.  It might have to wait until Thursday.
Oh, well, at least I CAN go at some point.

Better go and get on with stuff as I have to be out in an hour.  I hope you have a lovely Saturday filled with good stuff.  Be happy.  xx

Friday 4 August 2023

Friday, 04-08-23

Morning, everyone.  It's quite early and just before sunrise, the ground is dry and the sky looks relatively clear but the forecast is for 'thundery showers' later on.  We will see.  
It was quite pleasant yesterday and I managed to get some washing dried outside which was nice.

It was really lovely to catch up with Chris online.  She's now testing negative, thank goodness, and is feeling loads better again.

When Matt the Plumber came, he checked things and said it was fine.  An unusual thing to happen, said he, but not unheard of, and it's usually to do with pressure in the pipes sucking hot into the cold water pipe.  When I turned off the taps and came downstairs to text him, it gave the pressure a chance to equalise and so things went back to normal.
So no problems and just to let him know if it happens again.
And he didn't express any doubts that it happened - < grin >.
So that was a relief.

I had a lovely chat with Mel when she dropped off my Avon order and the house is now in slightly better order although I feel a blitz of the guest room coming on in the near future.

And I nearly forgot - I cut Little Runt's first courgette yesterday.  Small but perfectly formed, as they say!

Today it's Slimming World, of course.  Things ease off during the holidays and a number of folk with school age children don't stay for the second part, understandably, but we still manage to have a great old time and I always look forward to going.

Then I have more washing, ironing, etc, to do before the cleaners arrive.  I'm not lacking things to be getting on with, that's for sure.
Have a great day, everyone.  xx

Thursday 3 August 2023

Thursday, 03-08-23

 Good morning, everyone.  It's a bit earlier than usual as I woke at stupid o'clock, something I haven't done for a while now.  I hope it's not the start of a waking early pattern, although I know why - I was so shattered yesterday evening that I was in bed and fast asleep ridiculously early.  Maybe, if I can catch a snooze this afternoon, I can last out this evening until a more sensible bedtime.

Yesterday was brilliant and we were so lucky with the weather.  Driving over to Diane's, I went through some really torrential rain and I did wonder . . .  However, her end was pretty dry and, while there were raindrops in the air at times, the only heavy rain we had was while we were in a shop.  Then, just as I hit town coming home, the heavens opened again.  So, so lucky!
Also, no thunder as far as we could tell.
The garden got a really good soaking so that's good.

It was a bit of a spendy day but nothing 'silly' (unless you count the ear piercing!).  We actually started by going into Basildon to the Claire's there and then to visit a shop Diane loves called Fever which sells shoes, bags and jewellery, basically. 
(By the way, thank you to those who commented on Claire's - it was too late but I really appreciate you taking the trouble and, thankfully, my experience was good)
I came away from Claire's with cleaning solution and pretty ear lobes - and it really didn't hurt a bit.  They're still fine this morning.

Anyway - at Fever we both got some earrings and I found a lovely bag in the sale of a style I have been looking for - I love back pack handbags as they leave your hands free and are so comfortable.

After a coffee, Diane directed me to Freeport.  I find Braintree very confusing to drive through although I'm sure I would get used to it if I lived more local.

While there, I did a bit more retail therapy - a couple of what they call 'gin glasses' because I had one that I used a lot (for fizzy drinks, etc, not for gin, I hasten to add) and broke it recently.  As a retail outlet, most things are reduced and these, in Villeroy and Boch, certainly were.  It the Tefal shop I bought saucepans.  I use and love the Ingenio range but my saucepans were very battered after twenty years, pretty much, of use and I had decided to replace them.  Not the handles, not the lids, not the frying pans, they are all fine, just the three saucepans themselves and, in Tefal, there, on the half price table was a set of three pans, no lids, and one handle.  Ooooh, said I, and now they are in my kitchen cupboard!

We tried on clothes, looked at china (Diane got some pasta bowls that she needed in Denby), talked endlessly and had salad and a cold drink at Pret a Manger and it was all just lovely!
Now I have to be a bit frugal for a few weeks but that's OK.

Today is a stay at home day.  I have an online chat with Chris; she's feeling a bit better but is still testing 'vaguely positive' so it's better that we don't meet up.  It's been ages, three weeks, I think, so there's a lot to catch up on.

Around lunch time, Mel is delivering my Avon order (just shampoo and conditioner) and is staying for a little cuppa.

Then this afternoon, Matt the Plumber is here.  I had a really weird experience the other day when both the cold taps in the bathroom started running hot instead of cold.  Downstairs was OK and upstairs righted itself but Matt is coming to just take a look at things.  I suspect he will think it is just me getting old but it wasn't imagination.  Anyway . . . we will see.

And in the rest of the time, I have a SET class to do and a much neglected home to sort out.  I'll be busy but it will be worth it.

What are your plans for today?  xx

Wednesday 2 August 2023

Wednesday, 02-08-23

Morning, everyone.  After quite a pleasant day yesterday, I have woken to a very dismal view from the window.  A very dismal forecast from the Beeb too, see . . .

Oh, well . . .

Yesterday was a good day.  Groove was great fun and there were loads of people there.  During the summer weeks, Lindsey is running a sort of 'drop in' system and, as Groove continues at the Hall, not the Studio, numbers are higher.  There were people there I have never done a class with but who I recognise from the Potters weekend, which was nice.

After breakfast, I drove off to do my food shop.  Chris is still not very well so I had a few things to get for here as well.  Once that was done and all put away, I did some gardening and, noticing that the lower leaves on the tomatoes were looking bedraggled and stopping the sun (I know - what sun?) - OK, light - getting to the fruit, I cut them back up to the first truss.  It also helps the plant to dry off more quickly after rain; blight is an ever present danger when it is mild and damp.  
I wonder if Blightwatch is still operating.  Must check.

Today, I m having an early (for me) breakfast and then driving over to Diane's, and we are going to Freeport, a shopping outlet fairly close to her.  We'll have lunch there, of course, and we want to look around an 'outdoor' shop with a view to considering what we could get for our Christmas jolly.
And I want to get my ears pierced.  I had them done ages ago, decades, in fact, but stopped wearing my studs and they closed up.  There's a 'Claire's' in the centre and they might be able to do me today.  If not, I can go back, no problem.
Isn't that frivolous?  :-)

I have no idea how long we will be out but I doubt I'll do anything else today apart from the necessaries.  A shame the forecast is so bad but maybe it will keep the crowds away.  

Have a lovely day, everyone.  xx

Tuesday 1 August 2023

Tuesday, 01-08-23

 Morning, everyone!  Sorry I'm a bit late, stuff got in the way.  I'm just back from Groove on a lovely, sunny, comfortably warm first day of August feeling full of the joys!

The two tomato plants Chris gave me are trying to escape.  What have I done wrong????  :-)

I got confirmation that the surgery received my results so now it is a case of wait and see, I guess.  That was good - not quite so good was an email from the chap organising to coach trips saying that there hadn't been a big enough take up of the Warner Brothers thingy so it wasn't happening.  That's disappointing but I don't think it is going anywhere and there will be other opportunities so not to worry!

I managed the two exercise classes fine.  It helped that they are very different - circuits this week was mostly aerobic exercise while personal training is warm up and then strength and tone stuff.
Mind you, I slept well!

Today, now groove is done and dusted, I'm home for breakfast and to finish off my shopping list and then I'm driving over to M&S and Aldi to do the first shop of, hopefully, two this month.  AFter that, it is just homey stuff.

And that's that for today.  Nice and simple and straightforward.  I love days like this.  

Take care, stay safe and happy and have a great day, everyone.  xx