Thursday 30 November 2023

Thursday, 30-11-23

Morning, everyone, and a very cold one it is too.  The heating was on when I meandered down to the loo in the middle of the night (I have the thermostat set pretty low for overnight) which says it all really.
However, the forecast for next week looks significantly milder than it did yesterday so they must anticipate this being a short snap rather than a longer spell of icy weather.  Fine by me!

Well, the cupboards are in, the doors are on, they are in the middle of putting on the gizmos that will mean no need for handles (yay), putting the shelves in and finishing off around the cupboards, adding and painting the skirting boards, etc. 
The radiator is keeping it nicely warm.  I turned it down overnight and it was cold when I looked in this morning to turn it back up again but the room didn't feel cold.  Good insulation!

 In the shed section, it looks almost ready to put back the freezer.  There's a sort of sub fuse box on the wall so I can shut off power to the room(s) if needed without fussing around with the inside fuse box, the skirting board is in and painted and it looks pretty finished - although what do I know?

Now that there's power in the shed, they don't need to run a cable from my inside socket and, as I could keep the door shut, inside was significantly warmer yesterday - thank goodness.
I couldn't get much of a photo of the shed part without moving some equipment around so I took another of the room section from just outside.  I LOVE that storage, it is just what I wanted it to be and, if I were to redo my kitchen (which I am not, not yet), I would go for something similar.

Having it finished by tomorrow is looking increasingly a possibility although tidying up the garden might take a while - they say they will leave it as they found it - with the obvious differences, of course!

I've just remembered - they also need to fit the water butt; I don't think that will take so long though.

Finishing the walled beds is a different matter.  It's too cold at the moment so they will just have to wait.

It was a day for 'workmen' yesterday.  Jeff came round as planned and, while he couldn't do anything in the back garden, he sorted out my front which is now looking civilised apart from the grass needing a bit of a trim.  We will arrange a date for the back next week - he's giving me a couple of sessions as payback for some garden equipment I gave him.  That arrangement suited us both.

Later on the window cleaner turned up.  He comes when he comes and if I'm not in, he leaves a card and I pay online.  They will get all dusty again, of course, when the bricklayer resumes work, but it was nice to be able to see through them a bit more clearly.

I'm feeling loads better now, thankfully.  I would have been very sorry if I didn't feel OK today as it is Suze's funeral with the opportunity to say 'goodbye'.  Please spare a thought today for those who must be missing her so much - her husband, her family and her close friends.  It was just too soon . . .

Stay warm, everyone.  xx

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Wednesday, 29-11-23

Good morning, everyone.  It's a cold, cold morning; I've just checked the Beeb weather page and brrr - maximum of 3C and down to -4 tonight.  That's chilly!  No precipitation though - that kind of cold tends to go with clear skies and daytime sunshine round here.

Many thanks for all the get well soon wishes, etc - so lovely, cheering and comforting.  What a lovely lot you are.

A good day's work on the garden room yesterday.

The flooring is all in, the electrics are all done - I love the outside lights which can be switched on and off but are also controlled by a motion sensor .

The storage cupboards arrived and are now in but doorless at the moment.

All looking good and might it be finished by the end of the week?  I wonder.

I'm still not feeling great, it's mostly aches and tiredness now, so I'm taking another day out of general circulation.  I used to push on through but why?  It was different when I was working but now . . . I just want to take another day to feel better again.
So I am . . .
(definitely getting old!!  lol)

Lindsey has been most understanding about me missing three of her classes - in fact, she kind of suggested I take another day out and we can sort out catch ups as and when.  I was grateful for that.

Have a great day, everyone, and to those of you also affected by these viruses that seem to be going the rounds at the moment, get well soon and be kind to yourself.  xx

Tuesday 28 November 2023

Tuesday, 28-11-23

    Morning, everyone!  
Yesterday was a bit of a dampener - the mild aches, tiredness, etc, of the last several days landed in the form of a coldy sort of virus thingy.  You know the kind of thing.  So yesterday was a rest and sleep day and today looks like being the same.  Diane isn't coming over - I have no wish to share it and she has no wish to catch it! - and I won't be going to Groove either.
The best laid plans . . .

The GR is coming along.  No bricklaying yesterday as it was pouring with rain but I think the wall and ceiling painting is pretty much done and the floor is down in the room part, but not in the shed.  The radiator is on the wall although not yet connected up.
Getting there.

I'm off to snuggle in my recliner with a book and, most likely, fall asleep!
Have a great day, everyone.  xx

Monday 27 November 2023

Monday, 27-11-13

Good morning, everyone.  Well, the fine spell seems to have thoroughly broken overnight.  It's warmer this morning and it's also pouring with rain, a situation BBC seems to think will continue all day.

I guess that puts the clappers on getting the walls finished off today but there's plenty of other stuff to do, inside the room rather than out in the garden.  So maybe finish the painting, put in the flooring and skirting, etc, get lights and sockets in and working, get the radiator on the wall and get the storage in, move the freezer back out . . . no, they won't do all that today, of course, but maybe by the end of Wednesday?  I can hope.

I forgot to mention yesterday, on Saturday the new newsletter from the Broomfield Coach group landed and I've booked up for a couple more day trips next year.  The first is to Battersea Power Station (including the lift) in the morning and a tour of the Royal Albert Hall and a buffet tea there in the afternoon.
The other is to Buckingham Palace.  I had a trip booked with another group a few years ago - lockdown happened and it was cancelled.  
I'm very much looking forward to both, having had them at the back of my mind for a while now.
There was also a trip to Bath but that's a bit further and more of a self-organised time when we're there.  Maybe for the future . . .

I also forgot to mention that when I checked my bank account, my winter payment had landed.  Excellent!  

Yesterday was a bit of a chill out kind of day.  I finished off a bit of ironing and tackled one of the mess corners, the one in yesterday's photo.  I now have that little Christmas tree decorated in silver and white and ready to go out and I've sort of sorted out a couple of the boxes, digging out the Christmas cards and gift tags and wrapping the few gifts I already have and putting them under the big tree.

Today, apart from small group circuits, I'm not sure what's on the list although the washing basket looks a bit full and I do need to change the bedding at some point.  Given that I'm drying my clothes inside at the moment (because of the dust), it matters not one little bit that it is pouring with rain.
I would also like to dig out a few recipes for things to give as Christmas gifts.

So not a particularly busy day but I'm sure I will find enough to fill the time available.
Stay dry, everyone, if you have rain, and take care.  xx

Sunday 26 November 2023

Sunday, 26-11-23: longish post alert

Morning, everyone.  There's quite a hard frost out there this morning.  If my garden wasn't such a building site, it would look absolutely lovely, I think.  I hope it warms up later because I want to do a bit of garden sorting this afternoon.

Yesterday - Christmas Tree Day - was great. I had spent the morning getting my exercise by lugging the tree and the various decoration boxes from the garate into the house (great exercise) before putting the tree together and fluffing out the branches/twigs so it was ready for the lights. 

Then I started the buffet prep, got out the festive china (Spode's Christmas Tree) and git out some other decorations.
The Guardians of the Christmas Tree are my old teddy (left), my brother Dave's old teddy (right) and Beth's first teddy.

. . . together with their attendants (plenty of knitting there!).

(does anyone else have these quirky little naming traditions dating back to when children or grandchildren were little?)

Santa was Mum's and I knitted Mrs Christmas.  Obviously not originally a set but they are now!

I now have two Nativities.

I got this wooden set when Beth and Dave were little so it is around forty years old, bought from a West Country craftsman after I saw it in a brochure round a friend's house.  Well before the internet, of course.  The angel on the right is not part of that set, neither are the wooden trees.

And here's the Jean Greenhowe set I made for Mum a couple of years before she died.

I was making a set for someone else and Dad mentioned that Mum would love that so, once I had finished the other set, I knitted like crazy and managed to finish it just in time for Christmas.
I found the stable in John Lewis!

 Beth and Alex turned up at around two, we started in on the first drinks and then attacked the tree.  It's taken us twenty years but at last we have learned how close together each circle of lights has to go to the one before to finish them at the top of the tree.  This year, for the first time, I won't have to play 'Find the end of the lights' on Twelfth Night.

We have our method, honed after years of experience.  😁

Lights on first, of course.

Then we sort out all the 'specials' - decorations that, for one reason or other, have a special meaning.  There are several that came from Mum and Dad's collection, there are baubles that children in my class gave me, a selection from a local glass artist, there are ones I saw and really loved . . .

For ages, I bought one new decoration each year but it had to be special, one I just couldn't leave behind.  I would have done the same this year but I haven't seen one - yet.

Then we fill in the gaps with the ordinary ones.  For days to come I will see gaps and pop another one on.  By Friday, it will be done and I will put the rest in the new (and, hopefully, finished) shed.

That, done, we started on out second drink and watched films/DVDs.
I chose The Snowman and Father Christmas (on the same DVD)
Alex chose Paddington 2
And Beth chose The Muppets' Christmas Carol.

We pigged out on Festive Food - and that freezer should be back in the shed by Friday, I sincerely hope.  It is nice not to have to go out to get frozen stuff in but not nice enough for me to want it to stay there, spoiling the view.

Beth took this photo to post on Facebook with the caption "Christmas Tree Day at muvvers. Sparkly lights, mini stollen and Father Chrismas (sic) dvd on. Blooming marvellous."
It makes everywhere look so neat and tidy.

So I took this one this morning.  Other end of the room, other end of the spectrum!

It's all stuff for the garden room/shed.
The big boxes will end up in the garage again in the New Year but, for December, they just stay in the shed.

While sorting out decorations, candles, etc, yesterday, I picked out any silver/white stuff for the garden room, I found a little tree that I used to put up in my classroom so that can go out there for Christmas and there's that corner unit which was where the Christmas Tree is so had to be moved.

I am really hoping that this mess will all have been sorted by Friday - it gets me down a bit but I can put up with it for a few days.  It gives me the chance to sort through those boxes again and, perhaps, get rid of stuff I'm not using any more.

Beth and Alex left just in time for me to catch Strictly (by accident, not by design) so I watched that, then caught up on the new Doctor Who special on iPlayer (so enjoyable) before wending my way rather erratically up the stairs and into bed.
I really deserve to have a hangover this morning but have managed to escape and I'm straight back on Slimming World guidelines again now.

I am feeling rather weary though, so I'm planning an easy morning before heading out into the garden after dinner (if the weather holds) to deal with some of my own garden rubble.  I know Jeff is coming on Wednesday but there's no guarantee he will be able to do much in the back garden.
Note to self:  must get his Christmas Card ready.

So Christmas Tree Day is done and dusted and it was an absolute joy coming down this morning and turning on the lights.  I love the run up to Christmas.

Have a really good Sunday, everyone, be safe and stay warm.  xx

Saturday 25 November 2023

Saturday, 25-11-23: Christmas Tree Day

Morning, everyone.  It's a bit cold outside.  The chilly wind of yesterday has died down and we have a frost this morning.  Brrrrr.  Inside, the heating is doing its thing and I have my nice furry slipper boots and fleecy dressing gown on, feeling cosy and snuggly as I enjoy the first coffee of the day.

Apologies for the photo quality - by the time the team has tidied up and left, it's pretty much dark.  However, you can see what they've done; this is the right hand bed which is finished.  The other two have the lighter bricks on but not the top row.  I really like how it looks (it looks a lot better in daylight) and it is so much more substantial.  I can't see that falling down for a decade or so and, if I wanted, I could have little pots on the wall as well as beside.  I'm not planning to, but I could.
They also started painting the inside of the garden room so I guess Monday will consist of finishing the walls, finishing the electrics (they checked with me again exactly what I want in the way of sockets yesterday) finishing the painting and, perhaps, getting in the flooring.  And after that, the storage cupboards and a final tidy up of the garden.

Looking ahead, this next week is a busy one.
Monday is as usual - circuits and I may go into town.
Tuesday is Groove and then Diane is over for lunch and a good old natter about where we both are with cruise stuff - really looking forward to Tuesday!
On Wednesday, Jeff is here in the morning to help with garden work - hopefully, he can get into the back garden but, if not, no problem.  He owes me a couple of visits so this is in the nature of an extra and it will be so nice to get the front trim and tidy and ready for whatever winter brings.  Then there is personal training and a governors' meeting come the evening. 
Thursday is Suze's funeral so it will be an extremely sad time.  I probably won't go to the 'and after' part though.
Friday is Slimming World and the Christmas Wreath workshop that I always enjoy so much
Oh, my gosh!!!

But today - today is Christmas Tree Day.  You know what it's all about; I have mentioned it several times in the past.  By the end of the day, my home will look lovely and festive.  Yes, it's a bit early but that's the way it worked this year.
This morning, I will brave the garage (eeeek) and excavate the Christmas tree and decoration boxes (great strength and aerobic exercise there), get down the Christmas cushions, the Christmas tablecloth and get out the Christmas china that I want to use this afternoon.  I need to sort out the food, work out when to pop stuff in the oven and generally get myself organised.  And, of course, it is Christmas jumper and earrings today too.  I'm so looking forward to seeing Beth and Alex for the first time in a few weeks;

Well, I'd better get going with my other social media stuff but, first of all, I need (yes, I do) my second coffee.
Have a lovely day, everyone.  Stay warm.  xx

Friday 24 November 2023

Friday, 24-11-23

Morning, everyone!  What a lovely Autumn day it was yesterday.  Not so warm but wall to wall sunshine and the trees looked amazing in the light.  Such a gift.

You've heard of the wrong snow and The Wrong Trousers.
Well, yesterday was the wrong bricks.

When Seth and his team arrived, they started taking the top layer of bricks off the walled beds and, in places, the next layer too.  When that was well under way, they went to the garage to start bringing in the bricks and that was when they discovered that they were the wrong bricks.  Put simply, they weren't good enough quality and not fit for purpose.
The whole point of this is to make it all secure so that, basically, it sees me out.  The ones you see here are over twenty years old and most of the walls are fine, it's just on the tighter curves really.
So what Seth and his bricklayer said was to take off all the top layer, as you can see, and any other other damaged bricks, build another wall around and join the two with capping? - coping? - whatever the word is - bricks placed the other way to that the two walls are joined at the top, creating a thicker wall and giving the whole thing more strength.  but not with the bricks that were delivered.
The right bricks arrived mid afternoon and the wrong ones taken back but it was too late to start and anyway the bricklayer had gone elsewhere by then.
However, the lads got everything ready and then swept and tidied so, to be honest, the ground is cleaner than it was before and it is all go for today  (I hope)!!
They also finished off lots of bits and bobs on the outside so it wasn't a wasted day, just a day off plan.

The next tasks, apart from the walled beds are flooring, painting and finishing off the electrics.  Then, I think, we are nearly there.

Today is Slimming World day so I will be buzzing off at around eight twenty, walking because it's only a short distance away.
Then it is home for a very quick wash and brush up before Chris and I go for a lunch together.  Usually, it is just coffee and chat but we celebrate birthdays and Christmas with a lunch out and this time we're off to Longacres Garden Centre to look round the decorations and enjoy something like a toastie or jacket potato.  Chris says they have a few festive choices now as well as the usual menu.  Nice.

It should be a pleasant day, don't you think?  xx

Thursday 23 November 2023

Thursday, 23-11-23 - rambly post alert!

Morning, everyone.

I love the 23rd of each month.  That's the day my Teachers Pension lands in my account.  Obviously, it is not to be touched until the next month but it always gives me a feeling of security that if I did go over at the end of the month (which I don't but if . . .), I wouldn't go into a deficit.
And talking of pensions, I see the state pension will be going up in April.  Not a surprise but it's nice to know.  My Teachers Pension is index linked so I wonder how much that will increase by.
All reassuring and comforting in difficult times.

I've been thinking about next year and spending and so on.  Obviously, my short term savings have taken a big whammy in the last couple of years, what with window and gutter replacements, solar panels, garden rooms (one, anyway) and various other smaller home improvements, not to mention the cruise.  I have two short holidays booked for next year,  amounting to about nine days altogether but they have already been paid for completely.  I have various one day coach trips at intervals which have not been paid for but which won't break the bank.  
However, my savings are much depleted and next year is the year I start to build them up again because at some point my car will need replacing and there's always something in the house that needs doing, isn't there?

Time to stop anticipating New Year  expectations and get on with today's blog . . .

The team was back in force yesterday.  No bricklayers but lots of drilling and hammering as they finished things off, got the wiring sorted out and so on.  I gather the bricklayers will be here today.

I escaped to Tesco and then to Asda, mostly just to have a nosey round but also to get a few bits and bobs and - finally - success.  Tesco had jars of roasted red peppers in brine.  Three cheers.  I stocked up!
Mind you, the price hasn't half gone up while they have not been available.  Quelle surprise!!
Apart from that and stuff for Saturday, there really wasn't much to look at in either shop.  I won't be making either shop a more regular thing.

Another thing that made me happy was that when that very old casserole steak thawed, it really wasn't in bad nick at all.  A tiny bit of freezer burn but nothing too bad so I was able to cook the lot overnight in my slow cooker and it's absolutely lovely - savoury and tender.   It'll go back in the freezer in single portions, of course, but probably not for very long.  

Today starts with online SET, moves on to coffee and chat with Chris and then, in the afternoon, I have personal training, moved from yesterday to today at Lindsey's request.  In between all this, there's keeping the lads happy with coffee and biscuits.  Seth tells me it is bricklayers today (repairing the walls of the raised beds), finishing off the electrics and he also might do the flooring today - a nice, light grey laminate wood effect flooring.  I'm not sure about the painting.
Apparently, the cupboard units are due to arrive tomorrow.  If they do and if they get them in, I can perhaps start moving stuff out over the weekend.  Three cheers.  I'll check on that though.
We're getting there!
(note to self - must get Seth to show me how the bifolds actually work)

It's getting colder, according to the Met Office/BBC so stay as warm as you can, everyone.  xx

Wednesday 22 November 2023

Wednesday, 22-11-23

Morning, all.  Yesterday started off dull and a little bit damp but not enough to stop me and Chris from walking down to Groove and back again.  BBC said it would gradually clear but they were wrong.  It didn't rain hard but there was plenty of drizzle, enough to be pretty damp and miserable.
Today started off with a very pink sky but things do seem to be clearing a bit.  I live in hopes.

I really enjoyed Groove yesterday, all the more so for having missed the week before.  The walk there and back was good too and I don't really know why it's taken me so long to start doing this - perhaps because now I have someone to walk with.

I did quite a bit of clearing and sorting during the day.  Now I KNOW I don't need any more festive candles, the Christmas jumpers and pjs are out and ready and I have earmarked stuff for moving to different places.  I can't start that until; the garden room is finished but I will and a bit of mental organisation never went amiss.

Yesterday, a bag of bricks arrived.  They are for repairing the walls around the raised beds and Maxine said the bricklayers will be here today.  It will be nice not to worry about the walls collapsing soon.

Today, the team is definitely back onto it; at least one is.  He's wandering about looking lonesome and waiting for someone else to arrive.  

I'm popping out at about nine, first into the big Tesco in town and then along to Asda.  Just to look (ha ha), you understand, but I have a little list of things for Saturday when Beth and Al are over as well.

I sorted put another bag in the freezer and found, right at the bottom, some really old casserole steak.  I'm thawing it out in hopes that some will be usable although there is bound to be freezer burn.  If I can, I will be slow cooking it today.  If not, it's bin day tomorrow!

Add to this mix some more sorting out (nothing is that bad but regular sort outs stop things from getting too daunting, don't they?) and that's most of my day, finishing off with personal training and a nice, quiet evening.
What does your day look like today?  xx

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Tuesday, 21-11-23

Good morning to one and all and welcome to Tuesday!  Yesterday was a dull, dry day and the next few days look like being quite pleasant really.  Not warm but not cold either.  That's fine by me.

I took a close up of the wee angel just because I do think she is very sweet (look at that face) and I love how the star lights up.  She was intended for the garden room but I think I want here in here really.

She'll probably come with me to Slimming World and before you think 'What???', as the weigh in person, I have a little tradition and that is that for the four meetings I go to before Christmas, I take something festive and cumulative to put in my 'area' - in other words, first week the angel (for example), second week the angel and a Christmas mouse (knitted), the third week the angel, the mouse and . . . you get the idea.
It's also when I break out the Christmas jumpers and earrings.

Now, as I will be missing the last meeting before Christmas - I'll be in a different party by then - my four weeks starts this Friday.

OK, bonkers, but not as bonkers as it first seems.

I was so pleased yesterday at Matalan to find my second really lightweight suitcase, not that expensive (compared with others I have looked at) and not a bad match for the one I already have - a slightly different size and style but same coating pattern.  Not that it matters, it's just an added niceness.
I also got some new knickers (sorry, but I did) and looked around at the clothes, etc.  I was looking for gifts for when we have our Girls' Chat online (J is still isolating, L is recovering from a hip op and it will be too cold to meet outside) but I think I have decided to go for home made again - fudge and shortbread, maybe?  Perhaps a mug to put the biscuits in?  I'll think about that.
I popped into HomeSense for a good nosey round while I was there as it is constantly changing, but didn't get anything, I just went for the pleasure of looking at all the sparkly stuff.  
Finally, I visited the Food Warehouse (aka Iceland) and bought some mini vegetarian spring rolls because Beth absolutely loves them so I want some for Saturday.

Seth's crew didn't come and, when I thought about it, I realised that they wouldn't as the plaster needs time to dry.  I don't know about today but it doesn't matter either way really.  If they come, they come.  I have biscuits!!

Today starts with Groove and Chris and I have decided to walk down whenever the weather permits.  It's a ten to fifteen minute walk, so not too far, and saves on the petrol as well as getting more steps in.
After that there's nothing in the diary so it's about time I get that sorting out done, isn't it?   More than time.
I have washing, ironing, etc too so there's plenty to keep me occupied.

Have a lovely day, everyone, and stay safe and well.  xx

Monday 20 November 2023

Monday, 20-11-23

A very good morning to everyone.  A new week starts as November races away.  Will this be the week the garden room is finished.  I have absolutely no idea but live in hope.

I've checked the milk, the coffee, the tea bags and the biscuits.  Yup, all prepared!  Bring it on again.

Yesterday turned out to be busier than I anticipated.
I went out to B&M and had a wonderful time wandering around.  When you don't go to these bargain shops very often, it's a lot of fun to see what stuff they have on the shelves - it can be so very random.
There was not a sniff of suitcases but I got a couple of gifts, a few grocery items, a very cute little angel decoration (no, I didn't NEED it) and when I looked around the flat pack area, new since the last time, I found a simple shoe rack (for the hall) and a five shelf corner unit for the garden room - cheap and cheerful (and reduced)!

Then I crossed the road to Aldi, still hunting for jars of roasted red peppers in brine.  No luck but they had some thin cut steak slices which will be perfect for steak sarnies, etc.  I think they used to be wrapped around a stuffing and called beef olives which has a nice Mediterranean vibe to it!  I can use them for all sorts of things and they weren't terribly expensive either.  Oh, and some little stollen bites for Christmas Tree Day next weekend.

I dithered about going on to Lidl.  It's very close but the roundabout (the Army and Navy for those who know the area) was a bit of a nightmare.  In the end I did and, as the traffic lights were on, it was more ordered on the roundabout than I expected.

Don't know why I bothered though.  I was reminded of why I never go to out local Lidl.  It was chaotic - stuff all over the place, piles of stuff on the floor - I know you can't expect Waitrose level displays in Lidl but if Aldi can manage a degree of organisation . . .
And no, they didn't have any roasted peppers either.  Nor did Farm Foods next door.  Looks like there's a genuine shortage around here.
To add insult to injury, when I watched a YouTube cooking haul vlog later, what did she flaunt?  Yup!  Huh!!!

When I got home, after unloading and putting away, I first put the shoe rack together.  Dead easy except that I needed to give it a few good bangs with the meat tenderiser to keep it together.  At £6, what can you expect and it's fine now.  

Then I set to with the corner unit.  It should have been easy if I had read the instructions more carefully!  Anyway, I mantled it (opposite of dismantled, you know . . .) - note to self - get an electric screwdriver kit - and it was all wonky.  Aaaarrrrgggghhhh.  So I sulked, had a splendid roast dinner, re-read the instructions, took it apart and started again.  And got it right.  It was easier second time, much less wearing on the wrists.

So here it is, looking right out of place out of the way in the living room next to one of the chairs that will also go into the garden room.
It's cheap and cheerful but I think it will be just right (for now) and, like the shoe rack, what more can you expect for £30?

The little angel is on the second shelf although she might not be that clear in the photo - she is also garden room bound..

By the time I had finished that and tidied up all the packaging, I was a bit done so the sorting and the washing have been deferred.  It's not urgent.

Today consists of coffee making, small group circuits and Matalan (looking at suitcases).  Actually, I only need one.  I remembered that I have a quite old but hardly used suitcase and when I popped it on the scales to weigh it, it was, surprisingly, very light.  That will do for one so I just need one more; fingers crossed for Matalan - several of you have said how good Matalan is for cases.

I might do sorting and I will do at least one load of washing because I'm going to get it in early.  Apart from that (and the usual stuff), that's my day.  Circuits will be great fun, I think, and I'm always up for a wander around a shop for a short while.  If I feel like a bit of kitchen creativity, there's always mince pies to make.   :-)

Happy Monday to you all.  xx

Sunday 19 November 2023

Sunday, 19-11-23

 Good morning, everyone, and  happy Sunday greetings to you.  How are things?

This may sounds daft but I'm starting by wishing Happy Birthday to my Dad.  He would have been ninety five today.  I still miss him (and Mum) terribly - that won't stop - but once Mum passed away he was very unhappy most of the time and I'm glad he didn't have to be so sad for all that long.
Love you, Dad.

Moving on - the plasterer turned up as promised, finished plastering throughout in between drinking numerous mugs of coffee, cleared up and left mid afternoon.

Meanwhile, I did the SET online class and then settled to some most enjoyable kitchen stuff.  
I baked a couple of small loaves of bread which I have just sliced and popped into the freezer.
I made a couple of portions of tomato, roasted red pepper and lentil soup, one for this evening and one for the freezer.  I threw in the very last remaining garden tomatoes that have been patiently ripening by the window so that really is it for the year now.  I have some passata and peeled tomatoes in the freezer and that's all.  It's been a good year for tomatoes, I think.
In the afternoon, I used Thermione linked to Cookidoo to make some rich shortcrust pastry which I then used to make some mince pies using some black forest mincemeat from last year (bought, not home made).  After taste testing two (just in case the first one was a quirk, you understand), the rest are now in the freezer and I think I will make one more batch another time to finish off the jar of mincemeat.

I put a battery in the clock I bought and used one of those new no-damage stick-on hooks to get it up as it's really very, very lightweight (and cheap!!)

In a way, it's a try out.  I was so unsure about size, etc, or even whether I would really like it as much as I thought I would so, when I saw this one which wasn't all that much really, I bought it.

I rather like the effect although I think when I get a better one at some point in the future, I think I will get one slightly bigger.  It doesn't help that the sideboard is somewhat cluttered at the moment - I must get that sorted out.

Strictly at Blackpool was pretty good although I though tens were scattered around like confetti and, maybe to contrast, Craig was even more nit-picky than usual.  To me, it's fairly clear who ought to be in the dance off and also who ought to go this week.  No spoilers here; it makes me sad but fair is fair and I suspect they won't get the 'fan vote' as much as the other couple.  It's decided now, of course, but I never go looking for spoilers.

Today I want to pop out to B&M, pretty much the last molto cheapo big store I haven't looked through yet this season.  Suitcases are on the list, of course, as well as starting to look for Christmas presents for friends.  Also on the list is roasted red peppers which sounds a bit random, I know, but I always have a jar in use and haven't been able to get any for love or money over recent weeks which is quite frustrating.

Once home, there's washing to start and then I have a list of 'sort outs', just small tasks that never seem to get done.  I also want to dig out one of Lindsey's workouts - I always feel invigorated afterwards and it warms me up so nicely.
So it will be an easy, satisfying, gentle, pottering sort of day.  Nice.
How about you?  What's on your list today?  xx

Saturday 18 November 2023

Saturday, 18-11-23

Morning, everyone.  The nicer weather has broken and it's raining this morning.  Not very nice and I suspect that means the walk is off as we are all in our seventies and, let's be honest, maybe a bit more wobbly than we used to be.

SW was great.  I lost a bit more and am now right on my exact target weight again.  Once you're a target member, you're 'allowed' a leaway of three pounds either way - so a range of half a stone - which I think very sensible and practical.  When I say 'allowed', I mean if you're outside that range you have one week of grace and if you're still outside, you will be expected to start paying again (target members don't pay).

Because of the cruise, I would like to lose a little more to give me a buffer but we will see how that goes.  

When I came home, Seth's lads had done a reasonable clear up of the garden, left and the plasterer was busy at work.  He's coming back this morning to just clear up and finish off (not in that order!!) and I gather the radiator is arriving at some point in the next few days.

Just after the cleaners arrived, I set off for the Clock Tower shops - good timing as I like to keep out of their way - and had a lovely time wandering around Dunelm.

Yes, I got a couple of big artificial plants which look OK - I mean , they don't look real but they're actually OK.  The two on the right are the ones I got and I might get a third at some point, three always grouping better than two.
I might take a trip to Tescos at some point (thank you, Ruth) to see what/if they have.  Also to look at their clothes and Christmas stuff which is always fun, even when you don't buy anything.
I also got a couple of wall clocks, one bigger one for the living room (remember I mentioned wanting one months ago) and a small one for the garden room.  Very cheap but they will do for now.

And two nice Christmas candles.  Once I have to draw the curtains before dinner, out comes the candle that I burn beside the telly.  At the moment I have one from Home Bargains - warm apple and cinnamon - which is really nice.  The two candles I got yesterday (one from Aldi, one from Dunelm) are clementine and cinnamon + sandalwood.  Just my sort of thing and, to me, so festive.
I got some groceries too which saves me needing to shop next week.

After putting everything away, I settled down with the happy thought that all the chores were done and I had what was left of the afternoon and evening for relaxing things like crochet, catching up on YouTube and reading.

So that's just what I did!

I've just had a text from David saying the walk is off - no surprises there - but in a few minutes Lindsey will be calling me to the online SET class so I'd better hurry.  Once that's done I want to make some bread and I thought I would make a batch of mince pies for the freezer seeing as I found a jar of mincemeat from last year at the back of the cupboard.  
I have some washing to do (which might mean ironing this evening) and some meal planning for the week ahead.
I was hoping to do a bit of gardening, seeing as most of the clutter has been cleared but, unless things significantly improve, no way!!

Better stop and get ready for SET.  Enjoy your day, whatever the weather, and take care if you go out.  The underfoot leaves can be very slippery.  xx

Friday 17 November 2023

Friday, 17-11-23

Good morning, everyone.  Friday already and time is flying!  Yesterday was supposed to be wet and nasty but, while it wasn't lovely, it remained dry which made it nicer for the lads.  Today is predicted to be lovely and sunny - I'll take that with thankfulness.

After a failed online class (connection wasn't great), I headed over to Chris for a good old natter and laugh.  It was nice to get away from all the noise and disturbance - I know it was unavoidable, but . . . 
I feel for my neighbours, I really do.

Thankfully, by later in the afternoon, the connection sorted itself out and the Teams meeting was undisturbed.  I kept quiet, listened and learned - appropriate for a newbie.

I was getting a bit stressed about the cost of it all yesterday - not just the garden room but the holiday and the extra expenses connected with that . . .  Daft really, given that I worked it all out very carefully and the money is there.
Then I remembered that this month is double pension month and winter fuel/cost of living payment month (or maybe December, but it's coming) and the wibbles went away again.
Come January, I plan a couple of minimum spend months to get everything back into balance again.

More spending - Lindsey very kindly got her suitcases down but they weren't really suitable for me to borrow so I will be looking further afield.  Maybe I will go to Dunelm today which is on the Clock Tower precinct where M&S and one of the three Aldi shops are (yes, three, no idea why), take a look in there and also do my food shop.  There's not much to get but I want to get a few M&S nibbles for Christmas Tree Day next weekend (not tomorrow).
Dunelm usually has fun Christmas things in which I'll enjoy looking at (but not buying!).

So, today is off to Slimming World, home for breakfast, off to the Clock Tower . . .  I do hope Seth doesn't need me to make any decisions!

Talking of Seth . . .

. . . he's the one on the left.

Putting in the frame.
Finished.  I guess it is now pretty much weatherproof.
Plastering today, perhaps?  Then that can dry over the weekend.

There's still a bit to do.  The electrics, the plastering, the painting, the units and goodness only knows what but really getting there.  Yay!!

I wonder if Dunelm does artificial plants - I want one or two for the room - I can't kill artificial ones, can I?

OK, better go.  I need to be dressed and ready when they arrive, after all.  Have a great Friday, everyone.  xx

Thursday 16 November 2023

Thursday, 16-11-23

Morning, everyone.

Things are moving fast.  There's now an inside wall between the shed part and the room part (on the right in the photo), the plasterboard is mostly up and the electric wiring is in.  The bifold is here (or should that be 'bifolds are'?and will be in this morning and Seth reckons the plastering will be done today too.

See the nice, outside lighting.

However . . .

. . . the cupboards I chose won't be available until after Christmas (booooo) so I spent yesterday evening looking through a site Maxine sent me and have chosen a very similar style.  Seth can do all the measuring, etc - I have more confidence in him getting it right than me.  :-)

There's been a slight change of plan for today as Val can't come over now.  So today is SET class online, chat with Chris, housework, Teams governors' meeting late afternoon.  Bet I sleep well tonight!

Have a great day.  xx

Wednesday 15 November 2023

Wednesday, 15-11-23

Good morning, everyone.

Here's the link to the warm hat.  I'm really pleased with it; it is furry inside, not heavy, secure on my head and so, so cosy.  And the hearing aids don't protest.  Yay!!
And after your helpful comments on Yaktraks, I went and ordered some.  They look 'safer' somehow, than the spiky ones (which also arrived yesterday).  I'll compare and return the ones I don't want.

Oh, it was a horrible, wet day yesterday around here.  I felt so sorry for the men but they are able to work inside the room a lot more now which makes it a bit better.  It is coming along; yesterday I made decisions about position of sockets, etc.   I'm looking forward to them fitting the bifolds - it will look much more 'proper' then.

The water butt isn't in place yet but the down-pipe is there at the top and the rain was gushing through it.  Good oh!

And looky look - I have a side door!  That's into the shed section!  It looks great.

The difficulty with taking photos at this time of year is that by the time they've finished, it's getting dark.  I've lightened this one and you get the idea, I am sure.  Must ask Seth about hanging baskets - I mean whether it's OK to drill into the cladding, etc.  Two hanging baskets and one of those arched garden mirror thingies might look rather nice on the right.

Yesterday was a bit of a nothing day.  My tum went on me as part of whatever-it-was-but-most-likely- migraine-ish thingy but all is well again now, thankfully.  Thank you for your concern, you lovely people.

Today, the only thing in the diary is personal training later on and I'm going to give downstairs a clean and tidy as Val is over for lunch tomorrow.  I'll probably prepare the lunch as I rather fancy making cheeseburger pasta and some of that can be prepped in advance.
And I wonder if the bifold doors will be fitted today.  

Have a lovely day, everyone, whatever the weather or temperature!  xx

Tuesday 14 November 2023

Tuesday, 14-11-23

Morning, everyone.  Sorry this is a bit late - I woke with a migraine threatening so I've been resting up a bit.  It's going slowly although all the drilling and sawing in the garden isn't helping.

I did a bit more cruise shopping yesterday - after some research, I bought some ice grips for my boots; they will arrive today so fingers crossed they fit.  I did read up about it before ordering as there seem to be different kinds.  The ones I've ordered are not for glaciers, mountains, etc, but for icy/snowy ground.  They still look vicious though!  I think I am going to need to practise walking with them on - not in the house though!  They will be useful, should we get icy weather here - it can be hard walking up the slight incline of the cul de sac when snow freezes and our road is rarely gritted.

I also chose a nice, warm hat with a bit that you can cover your mouth with, if needed - a sort of adaptable balaclava.  My hearing aids might not like it but tough!
I'm getting close to having everything now, I think.  Must go through my list again.

Also, I drove to B&Q and bought a couple of samples of handles.  I've asked Seth if they can fix the top door and the bottom door of each unit so that they both open together so I will only need one handle per unit.
They're working on the roof today and Seth says the bifold doors will be coming in the next few days.  We're getting there.

I didn't go to Groove this morning and, when I've sent this, I'm going back to my recliner to relax again - things should be much better by lunch time.

Have a great day, everyone.  xx

Monday 13 November 2023

Monday, 13-11-23

Good morning, everyone.  It's stupid o'clock, sadly, but I have realised I forgot to have my night time berry drink yesterday evening so maybe it's helping more than I thought.  I have a fairly full day so perhaps that will keep me going until the evening.

Yesterday ended up quite busy.
I took my list to Sainsbury's, arriving more or less as they opened, which meant it wasn't too crowded and had a really nice leisurely stroll around, picking things up that were on my list.

I tried three things on.

First of all a sparkly green knitted top which I really liked except that the neck was just plain round and needed something to decorate it and it was, perhaps, just a bit short.  And I don't need any more overtly Christmas tops.

Then I tried on some wide legged trousers which looked nice on the hanger but - well, I think you need long legs to carry off that look and I don't have long legs!  So no!

But the one thing I had on my list was 'long sleeved pjs' because I'm needing a bit more cover up as the nights get colder.  This was not what I had in mind - I was expecting to get some stretchy pull on ones but, again, there were a lot of seasonal designs that were too specifically festive to be of much use and the few I liked didn't have my size.
And then I saw these and they just jumped into my arms to try on.  Maybe it's daft trying pjs on but I'm still learning to accept the size I now am - when you've been plus/double plus sizing most of your adult life, it takes a long time to change that mindset, I think.  Anyway, size 10 fitted and I actually have them on as I type.  They are cosy and comfortable and I love them.  And they were on my list so my conscience is clear!

We had the eleven o'clock silence, of course.  I nearly got caught out by not hearing the announcement but it was pretty obvious when everyone stood still and the shop fell uncannily silent.  I always find it very moving.

When I got home, it took a while to put everything away before I started making the strawberry gin which is now shared between two bottles, gin, sugar and strawberries, steeping until next month and the family get together (hopefully).  They will sit on the side for a few more days to be given a bit of a shake whenever I look at them and then into a cupboard.
This is the recipe I use, from BBC Good Food.  It's very easy.

Then I set to making the not-sausage rolls - well, assembling them anyway.  Now I have, in the freezer, fourteen mini-pasties although I don't know how the pastry will behave for the last few as it was the scraps squidged together, three mini conventional shaped little sausage rolls to use up the last bits of filling and five rounds of pastry to make pot pies using my little ramekin dishes.
So that's all the filling used and all the pastry.  Excellent.
And here's that recipe - ignore the pastry bit and buy it (or use your own recipe/technique if you have an un-bothersome one)

We have had these every Christmas since Beth was about ten (she's now forty five).  She decided she wanted to turn vegetarian and you have to respect decisions like that, don't you, whatever the age.  So I let Mum know because we always went there for a few days around Christmas and she, bless her, did loads of research  and came up with two things that have become family classics.  One was a beany crumble for Beth's Christmas lunch and the other was these not-sausage rolls.
Both proved so delicious and so popular that us omnivores were queueing up to have them too and, since then, every family Christmas has seen a plateful of these little parcels of deliciousness on the buffet table - and they always go long before the meat ones (also home made and very nice).

(The beany crumble is also a regular, not just for Christmas either, although for Christmas I add crumbled chestnuts to the topping)

I also did two loads of washing which have dried on the rack and now need ironing.  Hopefully, that will keep me awake this afternoon!

I wasn't surprised at the result in Strictly and I have a feeling that the other pair in the dance off will be facing the chop at Blackpool, much as I don't want them to.  Fair's fair though.

On to today.  First of all, I'm off to B&Q to seek out some handles for the cupboards in the garden room.  I didn't quite go for the ones on offer - or maybe it is just that I couldn't really picture them.  Anyway, fingers crossed.  I need fourteen of them.
(and I might pop into Longacres to look at their festive displays while I'm there - may as well.)

Then it's home for breakfast and off to small group circuits followed by general housework and that ironing in the afternoon, in between making coffee for the lads.
And doing my best to stay awake.  😌
Have a lovely day, everyone, and be happy!  xx

Sunday 12 November 2023

Sunday, 12-11-23

 Good morning, everyone.  Welcome to Sunday morning.  It's still dark so no hints about the weather to come yet but yesterday was another truly beautiful day.  Cold, mind you, but inside, with the sun shining through the windows, was cosy.

Yesterday was gentle but nice.

Lindsey's live online SET class was a great start to the day.  The connection dropped at one point but I got straight back in so didn't miss much at all.  SHe should call them Winter Warmers - they really warm the blood and get the circulation going and I ought to access them daily (she has recordings on Facebook)

The newsletter from the Broomfield coach trip organisers came through (it is monthly plus top ups if needed) and I now have a day trip to Canterbury booked for next june or July, I forget which.  It's somewhere I've always wanted to go but never have, packed with history, a Cathedral and so on.  Plenty of time to do some homework, book things if necessary, etc.  You always get more from a visit with a bit of planning, don't you?

During the afternoon, I went into the kitchen to make some quick puff pastry in Thermione.  I used to subscribe to the Delia school of 'life is too short to make your own puff pastry' but it really is easy with a thermomix (or any decent food processor, in fact).
It takes time, like bread, but you're not at it all the time, it's the resting times, and it does make a really nice pastry.
I now have a block of it sitting wrapped in the fridge, I have just taken out the filling for Delia's not-sausage rolls and later on I will put the two together.  I won't need all the pastry so the rest will freeze in small amounts - you don't need a lot to top a pie for one, do you?

This next made me very, very happy - I was trawling through the blogs I follow and comment on and when I read Sooze's, I was so pleased and so glad for her.  After waiting quite a while, she and 'him outside' have been offered a bungalow to move to.  They're going to look at it quickly and my fingers are very firmly crossed that it will be just perfect - or as perfect as it needs to be because, after all, one always wants to put one's own stamp and vibe on a home.  But isn't that brilliant?

Today, Sunday, has a few things on the list.
I am off to Sainsbury's at ten.  That's because I'm running out of non-food items like dishwasher powder, washing up liquid, etc.  I tend to get more than one this this sort of thing so it's not a weekly or even a monthly things but now and again . . .
There's also some foody bits and Sainsbury's has some of the food I want to get so . . .

I will make those not-sausage rolls except that they will be little pasty shaped thingies rather than cylindrical.  And they will go back in the freezer - yes, refreezing the middle, but there's no animal products in it and I will be quick - and I've done it before.  It's not dangerous as meat would be.

In the freezer I found some chopped strawberries (from Lathcoats) intended to make strawberry gin so I will get some gin this morning, add sugar and the strawberries and after several weeks of shaking and standing, Bob's your uncle - a strawberry gin liqueur!

In between times, I'm getting on with yarn stash reduction by making more granny squares.  I can really see a difference not - some of the balls are tiny and will be gone soon.  It keeps my hands busy and warm too and I feel less guilty about sitting 'doing nothing' if I'm working on something.
(I know that doesn't make sense but I know what I mean!)

Goodness, what a load of waffle.  I will stop now and get ready for the day.  Hope yours is as good as I'd like mine to be.  xx

Saturday 11 November 2023

Saturday, 11-11-23

Morning, everyone.  It's a chilly start to the weekend with a bit of a frost but that means clear skies and clear skies means sunshine so no complaints from me.

Slimming World was good and I am in my target range again so big smiles all round.  I would like to lose a bit more to give me a buffer for the cruise, but I'm not stressing and just focusing on more or less healthy food most of the time.

Yesterday was the day things stopped working.  No, that's not quite right - things needed replacing.  Both the radio controlled clock and the TV control just needed new batteries so and were easily sorted.  The third thing (they always come in threes, don't they) was that the halogen light over my recliner chair died.  I do have replacements but they are in the garage and I couldn't face fighting through the clutter plus the lads' van was blocking the door anyway.  So, as I needed to do a small Morrison's shop, I looked in there and, joy of joys, found some daylight bulbs, perfect for lighting up the chair I do my knitting, etc, in.     It does look a bit different to all the others but it certainly makes a difference sitting under it so I'm very pleased.  

Today starts with an online SET class and I want to continue sorting stuff out.  At the moment it's more a case of deciding where stuff should go.  I'm finding there's not really all that much to actually get rid of (which I'm quite pleased about), just stuff that needs using or using up (like candles, diffuser stuff and so on.

Apart from that and a bit of washing, I'm having an easy day and staying warm.  xx

Friday 10 November 2023

Friday, 10-11-23

Morning, one and all.  It's pretty early so no idea what it's like outside.  However, according to the BBC, it's going to be another quite pleasant day.  Not that warm but plenty of sunshine.  It sounds good to me.

Well, guess what.  I went into town yesterday.  Yes - again!  However, there was a very good reason; Specsavers' audiologist got in touch with me about replacing the damaged bit of my hearing aids so I popped in and now not only is it repaired, I know what to do next time.  Many thanks to Jo who patiently showed me and answered my questions.  She also said it is time for another hearing test so I must get that booked.
Yes, I popped into a few shops on the way back to the bus but I didn't succumb to everything.  However, I did splash out on the Body Shop smallest Advent Calendar because it is very supportive of less fortunate societies around the world and also I like Body Shop products but hardly ever buy any so it feels like a real treat.  It gives me something to talk about during Blogmas, to go with the traditional Christmas music.

And just as I got to the bus stop to come home, along came my bus.  Perfect.

Three days in a row and just think of the savings in petrol and parking (says the girl who just bought a totally unnecessary Advent calendar!!).  OK, it took more time but I am pretty time rich nowadays and it's much more relaxing than driving.

When I got home, there was an email from Jacquie Lawson so now I have this year's Advent Calendar on my desktop.
Most people know about these lovely, online, interactive calendars and, for what you get, they are great value.  I'm still doing the daily anagram and pairs game from last year's one although I gather you can set it to run again this which I might do nearer to the start of Advent - just because . . .
I've taken the tour of the new one, done the intro (such lovely Christmas music) and decorated the Christmas Tree.  It doesn't start properly until Dec 1st although one could cheat by changing the date on ones PC but no, that's not right, is it?

But we're a third of the way through November now and I'm starting to feel little festive tingles of excitement up and down my spine.  Lovely!

I've done a bit more sorting out.  Socks and 'smalls'.  Goodness, I had some old stuff at the bottom!  I'm glad that's sorted!

Today is Slimming World but, apart from that, there's nothing else in the diary.  That's nice.  No, I won't be going into town - I think town has seen enough of me this week.  Instead, I will do some meal planning and make a shopping list - hoping it will be a short one.  I might make some puff pastry - and before anyone thinks 'oooooohhhhhh-er', Thermione makes a very easy job of it which requires very little effort on my part.  I suppose it's really what used to be called 'rough puff pastry' and it is very nice indeed, perfect for the Delia not-sausage- roll thingies I make every December and which the family devours!  I can't skip making them, whatever else don't do this year.

And, finally, I am going to sort out some more cupboards, downstairs this time.  There's stuff in there I haven't used for a very long time so - maybe time to go?  It also gives me the chance to make notes on what can go out into the new storage.

I seem to have written a lot about nothing very much.  Thank you for sticking with it to this point., have a lovely day and I hope the sun shines on you.  xx

Thursday 9 November 2023

Thursday, 09-11-23

Good morning, everyone
Thanks you or your such kind comments on my additional post yesterday - I hope Christine sees them too.   Words are hardly ever enough, are they?  Suze was such a lively, vibrant, kind and sociable lady with a real zest for life;  it is hard to imagine that all energy and spirit gone.  Thank you again.  I won't reply there so I hope everyone sees this.

It seems quite pleasant this morning.  The sun is trying to break through and the clouds are high.  Hope it stays that way.
I had a wakeful time overnight, the first since starting that night time berry infusion but I finally get back to sleep and slept until about half past seven, unheard of for me.

The lads turned up yesterday and got soaked.  I don't have any photos, partly because I left for personal training before they had finished and it was dark when I got home and partly because it wouldn't show much because they were working at the back..

I went into town again - when I put in my hearing aids, one felt a bit odd and when I looked the silicone bit that fits in the ear had torn.  I looked on the Specsavers web site but there was no way of making an appointment for a repair, only for a hearing test, so - any excuse.  Unfortunately, the audio-wotsit chap wan't in yesterday but should be contacting me to arrange a date.

I thought that while I was there, I may as well have another wander round so I headed off to John Lewis, taking in White Company and other nice shops.
Yes, I bought a few things.

I'm not sure I have ever looked in New Look before but I wish I had.  They had some really good, classic sort of stuff as well and more casual things, several of which I would happily give wardrobe space to (but haven't - yet).  

This photo is beading/decoration on a T shirt.  They had several different designs and they were all nice but, as I am very much going for the black and silver look, I got this one which looks gold coloured in this photo but is actually silver so works with my cruise colour scheme.
I LOVE these.  They will be perfect with my fake leather leggings and a sparkly top and they are comfortable too.

Our big Debenhams-that-was has been bought by The Range and it's supposed to be opening on December 1st 
It didn't look anywhere near being ready to open but I suppose there's about four weeks to go and a lot can change in four weeks.

As I walked through the market back to the bus, the yarn stall was open and, oh, I was so tempted.  You'll be glad to know I did NOT fall.
However, not I have started using the bus again, I might make the trip into town on a Friday when the fruit and veg stall is there and try it for my veg shopping.  The only extra thing it will take is time and I'm not usually short of that nowadays.  Do they take cards nowadays, I wonder, or is it still cash?  Hmmmmm

It was a bit of a rush later on as I had personal training followed by a quick freshen up and change before governors' meeting.  By the time that was over, I was zonked!

Today is pretty empty.  I will be doing SET online and then the day's my own.  I might pop out or I might stay at home and do some clearing and sorting out.  I'll see how I feel.

Have a good day, everyone.  xx

Wednesday 8 November 2023

Some very sad news.

I've just come off the phone from Christine - some of you will have seen her comment this morning letting me know that she would be phoning - and, as this is about a regular commenter whose name you will recognise, I have some very sad news to share with you all.

My lovely friend, Suze, passed away suddenly and very unexpectedly in late October.  The post mortem was inconclusive and investigations are ongoing.

Suze was a new friend.  She started commenting on here and we both went to one of Sharon Blackman's folk art workshops after I posted info about it in here.  We got on so very well and remained in touch, meeting up a few times.  We had planned a craft day at mine this month and to go to Sharon's Christmas workshop.

Suze had her life ahead of her.  She was, like me, a retired teacher and had just sorted out all her old teaching stuff and moved into retired life with the utmost anticipation.  She was so creative and her machine patchwork and hand needlework was just stunning.
I had a new friend for life but would never have thought it would be so short.

Christine, it must have been so hard to phone and let me know and I really appreciate that you did so with such kindness and courage.  Thank you.

My love to you, to Suze's husband and to everyone grieving for a lovely life cut short.  I didn't know her for long but I will miss her so much.

RIP Suzi.   

Wednesday, 08-11-23

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to a soggy wet Wednesday morning.  A bit of a slap in the face after two such lovely, sunny days but - well, it is November, after all.

As Thomas Hood wrote.

No sun—no moon!
No morn—no noon—
No dawn—
No sky—no earthly view—
No distance looking blue—
No road—no street—no "t'other side the way"—
No end to any Row—
No indications where the Crescents go—
No top to any steeple—
No recognitions of familiar people—
No courtesies for showing 'em—
No knowing 'em!
No traveling at all—no locomotion,
No inkling of the way—no notion—
"No go"—by land or ocean—
No mail—no post—
No news from any foreign coast—
No park—no ring—no afternoon gentility—
No company—no nobility—
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member—
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,

I remember so enjoying this at school - until the teacher set homework to regurgitate what she had told us.  I'd have loved her to set us to writing our own version.  But then that would have been a nightmare for others, I guess.

Anyway . . . moving on . . .

You will be glad to know I braved the bus (first time since lockdown! Why has it taken me so long?), got myself into town and had a good old meander around before getting the thermals I went in for from M&S.  I also got a couple of other things I had on my list.  A pair of 'winter' pjs - long sleeves and thicker fabric - and a watch.  The only watch I have is a fitness thingy and I rather fancied getting something prettier for evening/going out.  Now, if I'd been prepared to spend around the £300 mark, there were loads but no way, but I found one in Next which was pretty much what I had in mind.  
So I came home very satisfied.

No garden room work yesterday.  They missed a couple of really nice days.  Oh, well . . .  Fingers crossed for today.  Not that happy about the delay though.

Today, I have two things in the diary.  I have personal training later on and a governors' meeting in the evening.  I might pop out at some point to do something or I might stay in and be warm and cosy.  We will see.

What's it like your way?  xx

Tuesday 7 November 2023

Tuesday, 07-11-23

Morning, everyone!  It's way too early to see what the weather is like but it's supposed to be OK with maybe just a little bit of rain later.  Yesterday was lovely and sunny but I couldn;t line dry my washing because, at the moment, there's no hole in the ground for my rotary line.  Shame.

It was a pretty gentle day yesterday.  I got a message from Maxine to say the lads wouldn't be coming because of something 'their end' (no idea what) but they will be with me today.  Hope so!   I need a photo for tomorrow's blog!

Circuits was great - really good, as always.  Lindsey is also having some work done, replacing her drive, so we didn't work outside.  A shame because it was so lovely but not to worry.

I got the rest of the washing done plus the ironing so the baskets are empty.  That won't last long, of course, but it is always a nice feeling.
When I opened the little wardrobe door to hang up my new cardigan, it was full of other cardigans so I had a sort out of them.  Some have gone into the summer cupboard, some will be donated as I haven't work them for ages and I have no idea what possessed me to buy one - it's a horrible colour and I don't believe I have ever worn it.

I fixed Christmas Tree Day with Beth and Alex.  It's going to be a week earlier than usual, partly because of time restraints and partly because I want to get my time's worth of my tree and I won't be around for the Twelve Days.
Christmas Tree Day is the day when Beth and Alex come round and we put up the Christmas Tree, have a buffet and a few drinks and watch a Christmas film or two.  It started when Alex was a very little boy and has just continued since.  While I was still working, it was on the weekend before Christmas, when I retired it changed to the first weekend in December but this year it's a week earlier as explained above.

And that was about it yesterday, apart from the daily houseworky stuff.

Today starts with Groove, then it's home for breakfast and then I might go into town on a thermals hunt.  I might even take the bus for a change.  I do know how to live an exciting life, don't I?  😏

Happy Tuesday to you - have a great day.  xx

Monday 6 November 2023

Monday, 06-11-23

Morning, everyone.  AFter a really lovely autumnal day yesterday (such a change from wind and rain), today looks to be the same.  Not that warm but very pleasant and the sky looks clear.  Fingers crossed.

I took a few photos yesterday.  
This is the scarf; it is so lovely and soft and I can see I will need to wash it very carefully to keep that softness - liquid soap and maybe hand wash if I don't have other knits to wash at the same time.

And this is the cardigan.  The fringing at the front makes it look as if it is also a scarf but it isn't, that's just the way the ribbed band is finished off.  No buttons, it's just one of those open cardigans.

I think it will look really good over leggings or jeggings and a plain top - black or navy, for choice and I have both.

And ditto re the washing.

I was thinking about chairs for the garden room.  I don't want to make any quick decisions and now isn't really the time for a good choice in the shops anyway but I do have two chairs like this that I bought from a colleague who was downsizing and getting rid of surplus stuff ages ago.  When I had the suite re-covered, I had the upholsterer make a couple of pads for them.  I have one chair upstairs and one down but they're not essential so, for now, they could go into the garden room.  They're not snuggly chairs so they won't do longer term but, just for now, why not?
The cushions are from Mum and Dad's the one on the left was bought from somewhere but the other two Mum made over the years and there was no way I was letting them go so I brought them home.  
I think a touch of wood and some toning colours will look nice in the garden room.  What do you think?

I popped to Morrisons yesterday and as well as getting supplies for the lads I bought a box of the Night Time Berry infusion bags as recommended by Cherie last week.  She said they have really helped her to get more unbroken nights' sleep and I thought it definitely worth a try.  Well, early results are encouraging.  I woke once in the night, for the loo, but went straight back to sleep and it was good.  I know one good sleep doth not a long term habit make but all the same - encouraging.  And it's a pleasant enough drink anyway!
Fingers crossed, Cherie, and thank you.

Despite it being such a nice day yesterday, I wasn't able to dry my washing outside as I have no hole for my washing line.  So I got out my Dry:Soon rack, which is a heated drying rack with a cover, and dried the washing that way.  I bought this from the same friend I bought the chairs from and it's a jolly useful bit of kit when I have more washing than will fit on my little rack.  And once I have my extra cupboard space, I think I will be able to put it away in the big cupboard space in the kitchen.

Note to self - remember to ask if they could drill the new hole soon . . .

This week there's very little in the diary apart from the fitness classes; even Chris is away Wednesday and Thursday.  I'm happy to have the extra space and the only other thing in the diary is the postponed governor's meeting, now this Wednesday evening.  

A call out to Sooze - it is her birthday today so Happy Birthday to you, have a lovely day and thank you for all your input into my blogs - very much appreciated!

So, today, I have circuits and lots of tea/coffee making.  Plus housework!  And washing and ironing!  😇
Have a good day, everyone.  xx