Sunday 31 March 2024

Sunday evening, 31-03-24

Five years ago, early on Sunday morning, also Mothering Sunday, my dear Mum passed away in hospital after a stroke.  She was 92.  Today I have been remembering her with the greatest affection.

RIP, Mum.  I miss you greatly.

Good evening, everyone.  Just a very quick post as I've just posted the one about Norwich which is pretty long.
It's been a nice day.  Beth and Alex came over and we had lunch together and a really nice chat through the afternoon.  Just a quiet family time.
The sinuses are still twinging a bit, not bad enough for tablets but I think I will dose up before going to bed, just in case.  I can get some decongestant tomorrow if it's really necessary.

As for tomorrow, I have absolutely no plans whatsoever.  No fitness sessions, nothing.  I'll probably do some washing and some housework and then chill.  If it is nice and sunny, a walk might be good.  I haven't checked what the forecast is and, to be honest, it really doesn't matter anyway.
What are your plans for Bank Holiday Monday?

Sleep tight, everyone.  xx

Visit to Norwich, 30-03-24: very long post alert!

On Saturday, March 30th I went on a Broomfield Coach Trips jolly to Norwich.  Alex was at UEA, Norwich and, had lockdown not been a thing, I'd probably have spent more than a few weekends there but, as it was, I'd never been so it was all new to me.

It didn't start that well.  Over Friday evening it seemed as if I was getting some dental pain (brilliant for a long weekend/bank holiday) and I slept very badly overnight, despite taking the meds.  In the end, I bit the bullet (metaphorically) and took some co-codamol which helped a bit.
By the morning, it was obviously not dental but my sinuses playing up as they occasionally do and it was all just bad timing.  So that did cast a bit of a shadow on the whole day but it was manageable and I kept taking the tablets.
And by this morning (Sunday), after dealing with a threatened associated migraine, it's all fine again. although I'm continuing to apply hot flannels now and again.

Anyway, enough whinging.  
The coach turned up, we all piled on, I sat with Helen, the friend I made when we went to the Cursed Child shows, and off we set.  I managed to sleep quite a bit on the way which was brilliant.
At the other end, we all piled off again outside the theatre and there was a really nice lady with leaflets, maps and information for anyone who asked.  She oriented me with the map and off we all set in our various directions.

I'll post some photos, some with comments and some just photos when it is obvious.

First, we headed to the Forum.  This is a public building, open to all, an inside space that can be hired, and containing the big library, a coffee shop, tourist centre and some very decent loos - which is what we were heading for!

There was a small art display in the centre of the space but through the year there are all sorts of things going on.  For example, next week there's a Spring Craft Fair there.

It's a lovely space.

Helen met up with her friend and I set off to explore.

My idea was to go through the market and head up to the castle and on to the Anglican Cathedral (there are two cathedrals in Norwich).  At around ten, the market had hardly started so it was a bit of a dead space, sadly, but you could see it would be interesting when all the little covered stalls were open.  There were some stalls I was interested in - herbs and spices, a cheese stall, yarn, fabric, that sort of thing and there were also an awful lot of fast/street food stalls too.  If I'd lived locally, I'd have spent at the fruit and veg and the meat and cheese stalls but, as it was, I just looked!

I found it a bit difficult to get my bearings.  As you go up the map you go down hill which confused me at the start and, also, some streets were not obviously named and the map was a very basic one, but people were happy to help and point me in the right direction.

The morning was rather dull so the photos aren't brilliant but you'll get the idea,

This is the castle - shame about the crane!
Norwich is a very old city - the Cathedral and Castle are both Norman - but there was a startling mix of old and modern in places

Can't avoid the crane!

Parts of the Castle are closed for refurbishment at present thanks to a National Lottery Heritage Find project .  It's due to open again in August this year so, seeing as there's the castle, a museum and an art gallery, I decided that I would defer a visit until another time.

Here's the Wiki entry for the castle and its history, if you're interested.

So I walked further on to the Cathedral (getting a bit - er, let's call it 'confused - on the way and being put right by a lovely, friendly lady) and spent most of the time I had there.  There's a lot to see.

The entrance is through a new-ish build, a really nice reception space with some very helpful people there to welcome, explain and direct.  From there you can enter the cathedral, the cloisters and the refectory.

Every hour, on the hour, they run guided tours of the cathedral (free) so I attached myself to one.  It was really very good indeed, very informative and interesting.
There were some lovely wall paintings around the cloisters

I think church organs look as majestic as they sound.  It's not my favourite instrument by a long shot but there's no doubt they are perfect for big church buildings.
Budge, the Cathedral Cat.  He's waiting at the door when it opens each day and prowls around surveying his domain.
Our guide said she has an 'ambivalent' relationship with Budge.  As soon as anyone it the group spots him, everyone stops listening to her - and that's exactly what happened.  
He looked very at home in the pulpit, that's for sure.

The misericords, literally 'act of mercy'.
These fold down to make seating but, in the Middle Ages, monks were expected to stand during service times and, as these could be very long and wearisome, these were shaped to give the monkly bottoms something to rest against.
Aaaaw, bless!
A modern sculpture of Mary.  I just thought it was lovely.
The pelican lectern has an interesting history.  

It is a14th century Flemish bronze lectern and escaped the fate of many religious artefacts during the Reformation (when many items were destroyed) by being buried in the Bishop’s garden. It was uncovered many years later when they were digging some foundations, I believe!

I'm so glad it escaped.
The copper baptismal font, standing on a moveable base in the nave, was fashioned from bowls previously used for making chocolate in the Norwich Rowntree's factory, and was given to the cathedral after the factory closed in 1994.
Osbert Parsley's memorial (he's not buried here).
He must have been quite something, both as a human and as a musician, to survive so many religious changes of direction at a very volatile time.
A bit about him.

I dearly love English Renaissance music, I think it can be hauntingly lovely.
There's some performances of his music on YouTube.

Coincidentally, Lindsey and husband are staying at the Maids Head Hotel this weekend to celebrate their wedding anniversary.  It's just outside the Cathedral grounds.
Also just outside is a memorial to Edith Cavell, a nurse who worked in German occupied Belgium during WWI, nursing soldiers from both sides.
She was quite a character by all accounts and her pioneering work led her to be considered the founder of modern nursing education in that country.

She also helped British soldiers, trapped behind German lines and often wounded, to safety.  She was arrested, tried at Court Martial, sentenced to execution and was shot at dawn on October 7th, 1915, alongside others who had been engaged in the same work.
Her execution was legal but cause outrage in the UK - well, it would really.  After the war, her body was returned to the UK and is buried just outside the cathedral building.

Her words are well knows but always bear repeating, especially that last bit - many would do well to take them on board, I think.

I spend ages in the Cathedral.  There was so much to see and so much to think about as I went round.  I found the museum on the way back but decided I just didn't have time to do it justice - another reason to go back again.

There are some lovely, quirky little roads and corners in Norwich - I could have explored loads more if I'd had time.

Just one of many interesting little shops.  It was packed from floor to ceiling with teddies of all shapes and sizes, none of them cheap and some eye-wateringly expensive.  But cute, very cute.

(and I loved the cobbled streets, even if they were a bit ankle-risky!)

By the time I got back to the area around the market, everything had woken up, the market was a-buzzing, the sun was shining and there was a vibrant street cafe feel to everything.  It was lovely but very busy.  

I spend a short quiet time back in the Forum in the library as I was a bit early for the coach.  It came, we all piled on and after a very easy journiny, we were home again - and I was absolutely shattered.  In bed by eight and fast asleep soon afterwards.

I fell in love with Norwich.  There's so much to see and do there and I would love to spend several days exploring.  Maybe I will - maybe, once the castle is fully open again.  Beth had told me Stranger's Hall is well worth a visit but it was closed and, anyway . . . no time.  There's a lovely walk along the river too and I believe they do river cruises.
Watch this space.

Saturday 30 March 2024

Saturday evening, 30-03-24

Evening all.  I'm not doing a proper blog this evening but just to say it has been a lovely, lovely day, we've been so lucky with the weather and I should have some nice photos to show you tomorrow evening.

Tomorrow is a special day as it is five years since my lovely Mum passed away and there's hardly a day when I don't think of her and miss her - there are so many things I would love to tell her, share with her, ask her about.  
Beth and Alex are coming round to share lunch with me and I will spend some time to think about how lucky I was to have such lovely parents.

And, given that we lose an hour overnight, I am having a VERY early night tonight - I've done my steps and more today and I am absolutely shattered.
Night, everyone, sleep well..

Friday 29 March 2024

Friday evening, 29-03-24

Good evening, one and all.  How's things with you?  It's been another day of sunshine and gusty showers, very hard at times.  Fingers crossed tomorrow is a bit nicer.

I had a right laugh today.  I read my gas meter and logged on to send off the reading.  I always take a look at my payments and how much I am in credit; it was something around £400 last month which is a nice, comfortable buffer for if I fancy turning up the heating so I was expecting it to be around that still but no, dear me, no.  British Gas thinks I am £2,305.53 in CREDIT.  Wouldn't that be nice, eh?  I'm not, obviously, but it made me laugh.
Slightly more seriously, there was a message saying this.

"Your recent or upcoming bill may look a little different from usual
It may cover a longer period and show a credit for any payments you’ve already made on previous bills.
Additional credit balance from your payments might appear on your account ahead of the bill but you can be confident your account balance shown will be accurate once the bill is ready."

A little different.  OK, if they say so.
My last statement was Jan 3rd so I should get a proper one next week and then we will see.  
I'll let you know . . .  wouldn't it be nice if . . .  😉

Anyway, apart from that it has been a day of two halves.  This morning was Slimming World and then I went off to Sainsbury's to do a weekly shop.  Oh, my - I think most of the families in town had the same idea.  It was packed.  Never mind, it is all done now.

I spent the afternoon resting up.  I'm really very weary now and have a busy day with an early start as the coach leaves at eight.  Everything is ready, not that I'm taking all that much really as I am sure I will find somewhere to eat in Norwich city centre.  So it's an early night.
I'm not sure I will post tomorrow evening.  It depends what time I get home and whether I can get the photos uploaded so don't worry if there's nothing up.  
Sleep well - I know I will.  xx

Thursday 28 March 2024

Thursday evening, 28-03-24

Good evening, everyone.  What an odd day it has been.  Lovely sunshine interspersed with lashing rain, cold enough for me to look out my oodie and, down in the west country, snow.  Actual snow.  Crazy.

It didn't stop me heading off for Longacres to meet my lovely friend, Diane, for coffee, a good old chat and a look around, after the online SET class and an earlier coffee/chat with Chris.  Loads of chat today.  I came back, freezing cold and slightly damp but with a nice pot of budding tulips that will go into the soil once they have flowered.  Diane treated herself to two beautiful orchids.  As she said, better than a bunch of flowers.

Later on, dear Matt the Plumber came round, showed me how the loo seat went on (easy when you know how) so now it is no longer wonky, showed me how the light fitting worked (ditto) and we discussed some home improvements I may wish to have done some time in the future.  He looked, did some rough measuring and will send me estimates.  What a treasure that man is - not only the best plumber in town but a jolly nice chap as well.

That was the busier part of the day.  The rest involved more coffee, knitting, reading and watching telly stuff.  All very nice and relaxing.

Tomorrow is  pretty much a normal Friday with a bit of end-of-month jiggery pokery.  So Slimming World comes first, then shopping - Sainsbury's this week because of things they have in - and also I need to fill up with petrol.  Then I want to just tie up the end of month accounts because I will be out on Saturday and don't really want to spend Sunday on them.
I've tried quite hard this month to be less spendy and I'm delighted that I can pay for the car insurance without needed to move anything from savings.
I'm still going to have to be careful though because:

    the council stuff starts again and
    it has gone up
    so has other stuff
    my income for April will be what arrived in March, so no usable increase until May
    while the Potters break is all inclusive, Center Parcs is likely to be a bit more spendy
    extra petrol to get there and back - both places

Oh, well, not to worry.  I am so thankful that all this is manageable and, while I pay for Circuits and Groove in April, I won't have to shell out for the next block of Personal Training sessions until May.
Count my blessings - definitely!

Have you had a good day too.  I'm hoping my blog friends with various aches and pains have found themselves feeling a lot more comfortable through the day and we will all sleep really well tonight, no matter how cold and windy it gets.
See you tomorrow.  xx

Wednesday 27 March 2024

Wednesday evening, 27-03-24

 Hi, everyone.  Wednesday evening and I don't know where the week is going, I really don't.  Only four more days until the end of the month.  

Werll, today was one of those days where I got loads done but don't have much to say.  I did washing and it was a lovely drying morning with sunshine and a stiff breeze that dried the clothes quickly.  I got the ironing done too so that's all done and dusted.

I tackled upstairs which I should have done yesterday really.  I just need to give the carpets a sweep over and steam clean some of the floors now.

I went to personal training with a totally trouble free ankle, thankfully.  That's a relief.  Keeping the support bandage on all night worked a treat.  As I left Lindsey's, what should I see but the van of Matt the Plumber so I had a word with him - Matt, not the van.  He's popping round tomorrow late afternoon to sort out a few things for me.

I'm really tired now but happy-tired.

Tomorrow starts with SET class which I'm going to do.  I warned Lindsey that I might stop and substitute something if I feel the ankle twinging but it has been fine all do so I expect it will be fine tomorrow too.
Then Chris is coming over for our usual coffee and chat.
If I don't get the floors done early, IO will get them done after that and before I leave to meet up with Diane for coffee, chat and a stroll around the garden centre.  Not lunch - we both have weigh ins looming!  😇
And then Matt is over.
So quite a full day but a very nice one.

I'm going to shut down shortly and get on with some knitting while watching something a bit mindless, I think.  
Good night, everyone.  xx

Tuesday 26 March 2024

Tuesday evening, 26-03-24

 Good evening, everyone.  How has your day been? 
Thank you for the queries about the carpet.  It looks OK, thankfully; you certainly can't tell that there's been a spill which is a relief.  I'll probably do an area clean using my little hand help gizmo but there's no rush.

It has been all change for me.  Yesterday (Monday), I tweaked my ankle during Circuits.  I thought nothing of it, expecting it to sort out overnight but it was obvious this morning that it hadn't so I cancelled the walk and Groove, dug out my support bandage and rested up.
You see, when I was much heavier than I am now, I used to have a lot of trouble with spraining one or other of my ankles and it has left them both a bit vulnerable.  I've learned that the best thing is to do is what I've done today so that whatever it is has a chance to settle down.
I will be on my feet most of Saturday and don't want too many aches and pains by then.
I'll be able to go to personal training tomorrow , I think, as Lindsey can avoid anything likely to cause issues but I'll think carefully about SET on Thursday - maybe do it chair based.  I'll see.

Something nice - Lindsey is covering a few classes in the town leisure centre and put out a message saying there were spaces if anyone was a member.  I posted a reply (this was Facebook) saying I was thinking about joining for the swimming - the nearer I get to Center Parcs the more I am really looking forward to the swimming - and someone who works these replied to me saying they worked there and she could arrange a tour and a free swim.  Wasn't that nice?  So I have something to look up, research and to think about.

I think I may have found the chairs I would really like for my garden room.  They aren't cheap, I will have to save up and the fabric may be different but I really like the look of both - one chair and one rocker.  I can get some cushions to match whatever fabric I go for - there seems to be quite a choice.

There's also a table and a foot stool which I would need to think about but I do really like the chairs.  They look 'garden-y' and very comfortable, don't they?
I was thinking about a recliner but I like the style of these much better than any of the recliners I have found.

I think I have worked out pretty much what I want to do in Norwich.  Nothing unusual - there's a castle, a museum and a cathedral, some lovely old houses, some shops (including a teddy bear shop) and plenty of places to eat.  Oh, and a market too.
As it's Saturday, it will be pretty busy, I expect, but that's OK - plenty of people to ask if I lose my way at all.  I don't think I will though - the organisers have arranged for someone to meet the coach with maps and tourist information for everyone.

For someone who was resting up, I seem to have quite a lot to talk about, don't I?  In the diary it just says 'Personal Training' for tomorrow so I should have time to do all the things I didn't get done today, hopefully.
Have a great evening, everyone, and a good night's sleep.  xx

Monday 25 March 2024

Monday evening, 25-03-24

Hi, everyone.  Monday evening and it's still a bit light while this morning it was light ridiculously early.  It'll be nice on Sunday when the evenings are suddenly lighter - it is so lovely to sit out in the evening sunshine, weather permitting.

Circuits was great this morning.  Lindsey whizzed us around at a fair old lick and I think we all felt thoroughly exercised by the end.  It's the last one in this block - next week is Bank Holiday Monday, of course, and then Lindsey is away for a week.  I will miss the first of the new block too as I'm away then.  Not to worry, I can attend another class to make up the sessions.

I got plenty of housework done including a deeper clean of the living room so that's all good.  Just a shame I upset a large glass of summer fruits squash over the carpet at dinner time.  I mopped it up the best I could and will attack it with the spot cleaner tomorrow, if necessary.  What a daft thing to do though!

Tomorrow is Groove class with Chris and I walking the longer way round to tap a few boxes as we go and a few more as we come back home again.

There's nothing else in the diary but there's washing to do and, as rain is not forecast until the afternoon, I might get it dried outside if I get it done early enough.  There's upstairs to clean and I would really like to sort out one of my kitchen cupboards that has things in it that I just don't use now.

Have you had a good day?  I do hope so and also that tomorrow is a happy day too.  It's dark now and I'm going to close and post.  Sleep well and be safe.  xx

Sunday 24 March 2024

Sunday evening, 24-03-24

Evening, everyone.   It's been so sunny today, absolutely gorgeous.  I'd say 'spring like' except that it's been blooming cold and windy as well.  I'm not moaning, just saying.
It's been another quiet day.  I've enjoyed cooking meals, knitting, messaging, doing a bit of sorting out and watching telly.

Instructions for the coach trip to Norwich popped into my mailbox and also a request for payment for the June trip to Wroxham and a canal cruise on the Broads.  So I've paid that and that is one more thing to look forward to.
I had forgotten that six days after the Norwich trip, there's the one into London, to the Battersea Power Station in the morning and a tour of the Royal Albert Hall in the afternoon.  I'm REALLY looking forward to that one.

Tomorrow, start of the week, it's busier.  Circuits first thing and then, after breakfast, it's housework.  Downstairs and maybe upstairs too - you never know!
Shutting the PC down now so sleep well, everyone, have a super day and I'll see you again tomorrow evening.  xx

Saturday 23 March 2024

Saturday evening, 23-03-24

Hello, everyone.  Have you had a good day?

After a bad night's sleep and feeling achey and a bit less than 100%, I've had a really lazy - or easy - day so there's not an awful lot to write about.
I did a bit of an update of home made 'ready meals' from the freezer so my list is now correct again.
I did a bit of 'what to do in Norwich' searching in preparation for next Saturday.
I had several shut-eyes - lovely.
I carried on thinking about Center Parcs, now only three weeks and a couple of days away.  Nice.  I have to find out exactly what the gym pass I have bought entitles me to - I've not had one before so it's new and I think I will go to the very nice people in the Visitors' Centre and ask them first afternoon (have I already said that?).  

I like to have a routine going on holiday and it will probably look like this . . .
    out for an early morning walk before the crowds are out and about
    walk, gym or something like a drive to Brandon Country Park which is just down the road from Center Parcs but too far to walk
    back for dinner
    maybe a late swim or a walk around the village centre or a drink on the balcony or whatever . . .

I will need a holiday to get over it, won't I?  Oh, I forgot, a week later I'm off to Potters Five Lakes for a Fun and Fitness weekend.  How lucky am I?

Right, well, I will shut up and shut down now.  It's not bedtime yet but I need to chill and relax.  Thank you for all your lovely messages. Sleep well, everyone.

Friday 22 March 2024

Friday evening, 22-03-24

Evening, everyone, welcome to the blog.  It's not been such a pleasant day, weather wise.  We've had a bit of rain, a bit of sun and it's felt quite cold but that might be me rather than the temperature as I've sneezed quite a lot today and have felt a bit achey on and off.

I had a disappointing weigh in today.  A bit of a gain that I felt was undeserved but that's a daft way to think really.  It's nothing to do with value, self worth, deserving-ness or fairness.  It just is what it is and, thinking about it now, a pound is neither here nor there really.
Anyway, it was a good session, very enjoyable, and not the next week has started.

After taking S home and having breakfast, I set off to do my weekly shop.  I went across town to Asda as there were a few things I wanted that my usual places don't seem to stock.  It was worth it, I got what I wanted and am, now nicely stocked up for a while.
I then went to M&S for my fresh fruit and veg.  M&S stuff is so good and lasts longer without going off.  I also treated myself to a butterflied lamb leg (or part of one anyway).  I think I just roast it as usual but I will Google to check.  I plan to have it on March 31st as not only is it the day my Mum passed away and lamb was her favourite meat, it's also Easter Sunday.
It's in the freezer for now.

For the rest of the day, I just chilled.  I wasn't feeling so great, as mentioned above, so I just took it easy.  I'm hoping to sleep better tonight - last night I did sleep but kept waking.  Not sure why.
Goodness, what a moany blog this evening.  Sorry, peoples, I'm sure I will be bright and breezy again tomorrow.  
Sleep well, everyone, and I hope you have a great Saturday with lots of good things planned.  xx

Thursday 21 March 2024

Thursday evening, 21-03-24

Hi, everyone.  Hope you're having a pleasant evening after a really good day.

A few people were asking about Beat the Street.  It's a six week initiative designed to get people - adults and youngsters - out and about, getting exercise and discovering their local area.  It also develops map reading skills (there's a map on the app showing the position of the boxes and there's also a paper map)  and there are organised walks which make it very sociable.
Also, Lindsey has organised some specials - she's organising walks and she did a thing last Sunday at Hylands, a local big house and park.  Her dad, organised a 'learn Carpet Bowls' thing which I would have gone to if I could and someone else had organised some core balance stuff.  Right at the end, because its the Easter holiday by then, Lindsey is doing a Family Fun Fitness thing in a local hall that has been 'donated' for free.

This is a beat box.  It happens to be the one at the top of the cul de sac, maybe 50m away from the house - lucky for me!

To tap the box, you either use your Beat the Street card, tapping it against the box, or you can get an app on your phone and when you get close by, it registers and you have to slide a button across on your screen to 'tap' it.  Then you have to find and tap another box within an hour to register the points for both.  It's usually ten points per box but sometimes you might get twenty or even more.  It's random.

Occasionally, you are emailed to say you've won a prize.  That is random too.  On last week's walk, we all tapped a certain box and one lady won a prize.  What it was I have no idea.

You can group up with others and form a team.  I'm part of Lindsey's team, Shimmy Shenanigans.  Pretty much all the primary schools are participating and have formed their school team and there's a box very close to every school as well as others scattered around.

If you tap and drive, it registers that you haven't given yourself enough time between boxes.  You don't have to walk, you can cycle, scoot - anything that involves using energy.  You have to register and then the site tells you how many points you have, which boxes you have tapped, how many miles you have covered, how well your team is doing, etc . . .
The children really seem to enjoy it and as for the adults, I think we're worse than the children.

The bumph on the web site says:

What is Beat the Street?

Beat the Street is a free, fun initiative that will see Chelmsford & SWF transformed into a giant game!

See how far you can walk, cycle, run, scoot and wheel in just 6 weeks. There are great challenges to enjoy and prizes up for grabs.

The game will start on Wednesday 28th February 2024 and end on Wednesday 10th April 2024.

Moving on . . .

It was quite a fine day until late afternoon so I popped some washing in and when I came back from Chris' I hung it on the line.  As always, it was a lovely chat about all sorts of stuff.

After breakfast, I decided to trawl a few shops in the Riverside precinct.  I didn't buy much but it was nice to see what was there and it does up your steps for the day, for sure.  I didn't get home until around three so lunch was very late.
I bought some lint roller thingies, a couple of bowls, a vest style T shirt to wear under a couple of slightly transparent tops, some carrots (who goes into Home Bargains and just comes out with a bag of carrots?  Me, that's who!) and one of those really light duster thingies like a feather duster, for dusting fragile and fiddly stuff like my David Winter cottages, etc.  All useful stuff, nothing wasteful.

When I got home, the washing was pretty dry so I got that in and it is now all ironed and waiting to be taken upstairs and put away.

All in all, a useful sort of day.

Tomorrow, being Friday, it is Slimming World and then I have a food shop to do - I'm running out of fresh stuff in particular and I rather fancy splashing out on some lamb for Easter Sunday - as you do.  A big treat.
Weather permitting, in the afternoon I'd rather like to park in Tower Gardens and walk to the lake, have a coffee and then walk back again but the forecast isn't all that encouraging so we will see.

Amd finally - have you been following this WASPI thing?  I haven't really but I appear to be in the age banding it refers to so maybe I ought to.  Time alone will tell . . .

Time for bed (said Zebedee - remember that?).  Time to close down the technology and start preparing for bed by winding down, anyway.  Sleep well and wishing you a very good day tomorrow.  See you in the evening.  xx


Wednesday 20 March 2024

Wednesday evening, 20-03-24

Hi, everyone.  I had a meeting this evening so it's getting a bit late and I'm feeling really tired so just a quick one today.

It's been a beautiful day.  After a dull start, the sun came out and it shone brightly, bright enough for me to hand the washing on the line - I'd hot-washed tea towels and muslin wipes and a good blow in the sunshine was just what they needed.
I also got downstairs blitzed so now it's clean and reasonably tidy.

This afternoon, I drove over to Lindsey's for personal training, as always, really good, and then drove back to quickly freshen up, get changed and whizz back out to the Governors' meeting.
It was just one of those busy days.

Tomorrow is an online SET class, coffee with Chris and then I might go out somewhere for a walk in the fresh air - assuming the sun is shining.  If not, I'd clean upstairs.  I know which one I'm hoping for!!

But for now, although it's not all that late, I'm flaking out and will buzz off to bed shortly.  Sweet dreams, everyone, sleep well and have a great day tomorrow.  xx

Tuesday 19 March 2024

Tuesday evening, 19-03-24

Hello, everyone, welcome to Tuesday evening.
The weather hasn't been nearly as lovely as Monday but at least we had no rain, thankfully.

Chris and I set off for Groove class at quarter to nine, tapping boxes as we went a slightly roundabout way and chatting nineteen to the dozen.
However, when we got there, everyone was huddled in the hall entrance looking gloomy.  The problem was that the cleaners had left the hall floor really wet all over, too wet to safely do a dance aerobics class, and it wasn't nearly warm enough to dry quickly.  Lindsey said she would take anyone who wanted on a walk to tap some more boxes but Chris and I decided to walk home again as she would be a bit pushed for time and I was off to Beth's after Groove so I could be there a bit earlier.  It was still a thirty five minute walk there and back and I've done over 9,000 steps today so not too shabby really.
And I gather the church has fixed with the cleaners that they do the hall the evening before so it will always be dry by the morning, whatever the weather.  That must be a relief to Lindsey - health and safety is something she never, ever compromises on.

I drove over to Beth's and helped with some clearing, tidying and cleaning before coming home for a late lunch.
I got the ironing finished, did some clearing, tidying and cleaning, some sewing and some knitting , before turning on the telly and catching up with the latest Anton and Giovanni adventures.  I didn't know Anton was part Spanish, did you?

Tomorrow is one of just two days when I don't have something scheduled first thing and I'm quite looking forward to a slower start.  However, I want to get downstairs done and dusted and in the afternoon it is personal training followed by a governors' meeting in the evening so I won't be doing nothing.  If the weather is anything like, I quite want to do a bit of garden stuff too, but we will see.  It's supposed to be getting colder again over the weekend but maybe tomorrow will still be OK.
What's the weather been like your way?

Wishing you a very good night with pleasant dreams and a great day tomorrow.  Take care and stay safe.  xx

Monday 18 March 2024

Monday evening, 18-03-24

Hi, everyone, welcome to the blog.  What a lovely day it has been, packed with small pleasures.

The sun was shining as I set off for Circuits.  We were a small group today, two of us to start with (plus Lindsey, of course) and then H turned up too.  It's much easier to feel energetic in the sunshine.  :-)
So when I came home again . . .

. . .  I opened up the garden room, uncovered the egg chair, swept off all the spiders' webs and moved it - like this.

And enjoyed my post workout coffee in the sunshine.

I had my breakfast outside too.  Lovely.

One of the nicest things, for me, about summer is being able to have my first coffee and my meals in the fresh air.  Bliss.

It was just warm enough while the sun shone.  Later on, the sun went in and it wasn't quite comfortable enough so I shut up the bifolds, covered the egg chair and came back in.

I changed my plans a bit after that.
As I had started a sort out in my bedroom, I decided to focus on that and get it totally done so I got everything out, sorted all my clothes, put the Arctic stuff (boots, gloves, hat, yaktrax, thermals) up high because I really doubt I will need any of them before next winter now, made decisions about what to keep and what to donate and packed the donated stuff in labelled black bags so Lindsey won't have to sort them.  They're now sitting on the spare bed waiting for when Lindsey starts asking for donations.  And a few things got chucked away but really not much - I was happy about that.
Once all was tidy again, I cleaned, dusted, swept and, finally, changed the sheets before sweeping the landing too.
I felt so, so good when it was all done - I love getting into a freshly changed bed, don't you?  And the old sheets are now clean and drying.

I walked and tapped my way to Morrisons for some milk as I had run out.  It was definitely feeling a bit chilly by then.  Then, finally, I made a batch of rice pud in Thermione - cheaper than in the slow cooker because it takes under an hour.

Tomorrow starts with the walk to Groove with Chris, tapping a few boxes as we go, and the walk back again afterwards.  
Then, after breakfast (outside?  who knows), I'm off to Beth's.  She is on holiday this week and is doing some clearing out too so I offered to lend a hand.  

Have you had lovely, springlike weather too?  I do hope it hangs around; I've checked BBC weather and it looks to be dull but dry so maybe the sun will break through - you never know.

Have a good evening and tomorrow, whatever you have planned.  xx

Sunday 17 March 2024

Sunday evening, 17-03-24

 Good evening, all.  Back on track again this evening.
Goodness it was a dull, wet old morning although it brightened up this afternoon and we even got some sunshine which was nice.
I contacted Lindsey and, yes, she's doing a pop up shop again in May so the stuff I am sorting out has somewhere to go.  I like that; it will either raise some money for the Blossom Suite or will be taken over to Ghana (I think it's Ghana) for people in a village there.  A really good incentive to continue sorting out and clearing things I haven't worn this winter.

Sunday lunch was a whoppa (healthy and loads of veg!) and, when I sat down after clearing up, I promptly fell asleep.  Nice.
Really, I should have done a bit of gardening but . . .

Tomorrow it's my middle brother's birthday.  I don't see him much but we stay in contact.  Happy Birthday, John - have a lovely day.  
In the diary, there is just circuits but, of course, being Monday, it's downstairs cleaning day and, as last week was a bit of a light touch affair, I need to take a bit longer over it.
I don't need to do a 'weekly shop' but I do need some milk so a nice, roundabout walk to Morrison, tapping a few boxes on the way, weather permitting, is on the cards.
And that's tomorrow.

Sleep well, everyone, and have a great Monday.  xx

Saturday evening - ooops, I mean Sunday morning, 17-03-24

 Morning, everyone.  Really sorry this is late (the other blog is late too); I was so tired yesterday evening that I snoozed the time away and went to bed early-ish.  I had a good night's sleep too so must have needed it.
So it's back to a morning post just for today and the evening one will be up this evening.

Yesterday was a really nice day.  The weather played ball with a bit of sunshine and some warmth although it seemed to chill off later.

I joined Lindsey and the group online for the Saturday SET class first thing before getting out the ironing board and clearing the basket.  I then had a good old sort out in my cupboards before putting the ironing away (and I need to finish that off today).

Lunch with Beth and Alex was lovely.  We went to the Hare, a favourite place in the past.  It went rather downhill after lockdown but seems to have picked up again - service had got very slow and inattentive but it was really good yesterday and the food was nice.  Nothing special, but then nor are the prices anything to faint over, and it was all very acceptable.
We'll go back.

It was late afternoon before I got home and I felt really weary.  Maybe it was the big meal at lunchtime, I don't know, but I turned the heating up a bit and snoozed on and off for the rest of the day, hence this not going up yesterday evening.  Oh, well.

Anyway - on to today.  I want to finish the sort out first.  I know I will have to do another one soon to change over from warmer to cooler clothes but not yet - the weather is just not consistent enough nor warm enough.  
However, there are some things I haven't worn all winter and, as Lindsey is doing another pop up clothing thing in May, I think, I can put stuff aside in bags for when she wants them.

Apart from that, it's just lazy Sunday stuff.  It's now just four weeks until my Center Parcs break so I have started making a few lists (as you do); it's self catering so I need to take basics - salt, stock, pata, rice, just small amounts, as well as dishwasher powder and so on.  I refuse to pay Parc Market prices for basics.  

Back to the new normal this evening.  It is lucky I don't have anything planned this morning and that I woke early-ish but tomorrow morning  there's circuits so I don't want a rush first thing.
I hope you slept well and have a great day.  xx

Friday 15 March 2024

Friday evening, 15-03-24

Evening, everyone.  Have you had a good day?

We actually had sunshine again today - that's two days running.  We did get some heavy rain this morning and my heart sank because I had walked to Slimming World but, by the time the meeting was over, it had stopped and the sun was out again.  Phew.

I have lost this week - two and a half pounds which makes up for last week's gain - and I won the raffle which was some useful food stuff for my cupboards/freezer - pittas, can of corn, onions, a pepper, tomato puree, Italian herbs, pointing the way to making a pitta pizza, I suspect.
Sometimes there's raffle stuff I don't use and then it goes back into next week's Slimmer of the Week basket because there's no point wasting it, is there?

I'd put in a load of washing first thing so when I got home, out it went onto the line where it dried nicely.  I MUST do some ironing tomorrow.

Apart from that, I cooked yummy meals (details over on t'other blog), read, watched telly/YouTube, made some rice pudding in Thermione (a treat for tomorrow) and had a bit of a snooze in the afternoon.  A thoroughly lazy day, in fact.  I bet I still sleep well though.
I made the classic mistake of taking an ovenproof frying pan out of the oven, forgot and touched the handle a few minutes later.  Ouchity ouch!!  Three slightly sore fingers but only one obvious blister - I'll survive!

The biggie for tomorrow is that Beth, Alex and I are having lunch out for Mothering Sunday.  A week late, I know, but it won't be crowded.  I'm really looking forward to that.

Better stop waffling and get this sent.  Have a super day tomorrow, everyone.  Sleep well.  xx

Thursday 14 March 2024

Thursday evening

Hi, everyone.

Today has been another really nice day.  It was cloudy to start with but then out came the sunshine and I actually got a load of washing properly dried on the line.

After a busy start making those flapjacks . . .

 . . . and a nice, big wholemeal loaf, Chris came round at ten and we had a great time.  She took the rest of the flapjacks (four - I made a small batch) home for her and Steve to enjoy later.

Then I just pottered in the house - washing, bit of cleaning, sweeping, etc.

Later on, I went into Teams for this SEND governors 'forum' (that's what it is called) which was actually really helpful and interesting, well worth the time.

Now it is evening, the kitchen is all clean and tidy and I am slowly starting to chill.  Sadly, we have had just a bit of rain this evening and tomorrow looks a bit dodgy but we will see, won't we.  I'd like to walk to SW but not if I'm going to get wet - I'm a softy!

I ought to get out the ironing board but I'm not going to, I'm just going to relax and see what's on telly, YouTube or iPlayer for a while.  How do you typically spend your evenings?
Sleep well and see you tomorrow evening.  xx

Wednesday 13 March 2024

Wednesday evening

Good evening, lovely people, and welcome to my blog.  

It is Dave's birthday today.  Unlike me and Beth, he tends not to make much of a thing about it and, to be honest, wouldn't mind if I forgot completely, but I remembered to send a card and will give him something when he and Anna next come round.

I texted Chris yesterday and she was keen on doing Lindsey's ad hoc Beat the Street walk too so we made plans to walk down to the hall where it started and go from there.

Then, this morning, I got an email saying that my parcel was arriving today at the very time we were going to be out.  However, I followed the link and they were OK to leave it on the doorstep.  As I live down a short cul de sac and the doorstep is hidden by my car and the neighbours' cars too, it's as safe as any place is going to be so I was happy to go with that and do the walk.
I was rather happy it was coming early, to be honest!

And - the best timing in the world - it arrived just as I was leaving for the walk.  How lucky was that!?

It was one of those days where everything seemed to go well.  My car insurance renewal stuff arrived.  I opened it with some trepidation to see that it has gone up by the grand total of  . . . £9.02.  Under a tenner.  Phew, what a relief.
I'm not sure why it is so small an increase.  Maybe it is the age of the car, who knows?  But I'm not complaining.  All I need to hear about now is the teachers' pension increase.

The walk was really good.  I wondered if Lindsey would go around our estate but no, she took us round the next area along at a fairly spanking pace.  Great exercise and I was thoroughly lost for quite a while with no idea where we were.  It was a bit chilly but by the end we were all warmed up and, to be frank, a bit sweaty.  And I'm well over 10k steps today - my target each day is 5k.
I have lost my Beat the Street card though.  It must have fallen out of my pocket during the walk.  I was using my phone to register boxes so didn't miss it until I got home.  Oh, well . . .

Personal Training was, as always, good fun and hard work - as it is supposed to be.  What with that and the walk, I should sleep well tonight.

I've unboxed the cutter and used it.  It's just as expected - works well and is very solid and 'substantial'.  Good oh!  Yes, I've used it.  Never were carrots more beautifully sliced!

Tomorrow it's Chris' birthday.  We have agreed not to do presents for each other but I have a card and I will bake some flapjacks for our coffee and chat time using the basic 3-4-1 ratio.  We don't have any edibles usually so that will make it a bit special.
I'll do the SET class later on to make time for the flapjacks.  Lindsey records this one and pops it onto YouTube so that will be OK.
Then, in the afternoon, I have a Teams meeting with the other SEND governors in our academy trust.  I'm not expecting it to be all that interesting but it will be OK, I am sure.

I'm feeling really tired now.  It's only eight so I must stay awake a little bit longer but I think it's an early bedtime for me.
How has your day gone?  Hopefully, really well.  Sleep tight and pleasant dreams, everyone.  xx

Tuesday 12 March 2024

Tuesday evening, 12-03-24

Good evening, everyone.  Has your day been a goodie - I do hope so!

After I signed off yesterday evening, I was doing a final trawl through Facebook before closing everything down and, in the Thermomix page/group (not sure which), I noticed that the cutter is finally now available in the UK.  This is a grater/slicer that fits onto the Thermomix bowl; it's been out for a couple of years now but until recently has only been available in the UK as part of a new Thermomix deal - highly annoying to those of us who are perfectly satisfied with the Thermo we have and have no wish to shell out £ < cough > on a new one!!
As it has become available in other countries, it has sold out immediately - which should have told the company something about how many they make but perhaps the comparatively late inclusion of the UK is a bit political - I don't know.

Anyway, I went straight onto the UK Vorwerk site and a cutter should now be arriving by the end of the week.  If it is up to the usual Thermo-standard (and I have seen nothing to indicate that it's any less), it will be excellent quality and I'll will definitely be using it a lot.  I've even started thinking of meal plans to include it.  Silly me!

I got a nice surprise when I checked my building society account as the interest for the year had been added.  It is interesting, though, that my premium bonds, which are less than what I've had in my YBS account until December, has paid me more - despite it being pure chance.
Anyway, no complaints about either and it boosts the savings a bit, doesn't it - and makes buying the cutter a bit less 'naughty'.

Today passed as expected.  A drive to Groove which was such fun (the drive and the class), a drive back, breakfast, a Morrisons shop (I have plenty of fresh stuff again now, phew) and a sort out and tidy up followed by ironing.  I didn't do any washing so I really must do some tomorrow.  The forecast is better than it was today (it couldn't be any wetter, that's for sure) so maybe I can get the washing out on the line.  We will see.  

It's Dave's birthday tomorrow so I must get his card to him and it's Personal Training in the afternoon.  Also, Lindsey has organised a Beat the Street walk around here which I might do depending on how the housework and the weather goes.

Have a lovely evening and sweet dreams.  xx

Monday 11 March 2024

Monday evening, 11-03-24

Evening, one and all, welcome to Monday evening.  It's been a dreary old day outside today; no rain, thankfully, but no sunshine either.  

Circuits was great this morning.  Almost a full group and some new exercises to work on, including a very stretchy one on the new standing rack.  We all had a go and we all managed it to some extent.
When I got home, I whizzed around to get downstairs a bit cleaner.  I wouldn't say it was a particularly deep clean but it was OK and I got everything finished, including lunch prep, before Mel turned up.

We had a good old chat and she described the garden remodelling she and her husband are planning for their garden.  It sounds exciting and should look really good.  They're doing it all themselves too; very impressive.

Later, I watched the final of the Pottery Throw-Down.  No surprises, right prevailed and it all came to a happy ending for this series.  I do like how they let us know what each contestant has been doing since their time on the programme.

That was it as far as scheduled stuff was concerned but I did have a good think about the possibility of the Prague trip and decided, after a lot of thought, to leave it for this year.  I am trying to rebuild my savings after a spendy year last year and, let's face it, Prague isn't going anywhere, is it?  I'm sure One Traveller will be doing another one next year, probably several, in fact.
I took into account that not only do I have two short breaks next month, I have several really interesting day trips booked and there's every chance that I might do something with Beth and Alex at some point.
So - no, not this year.

(Unless the old premium bonds come up trumps in which case - obviously . . .)

I don't really mind saying no.  I do have a good old life, plenty of nice things happen so no grumbles at all and one of my targets for the year is Economy, isn't it?

Tomorrow, the weather forecast is Not Good and it looks as if Chris and I will be driving to Groove rather than Beating the Boxes.  Then, I am going to Morrisons to do a shop - I'm getting short on fruit and veg plus a few other bits and bobs like cheese, yogurt and milk.  In fact, I have totally finished off my cheddar and what is life without cheddar, eh?
I have some washing to do and some stuff from today in the ironing basket so, with the upstairs to clean, it's a fairly full day.  

Have a lovely, relaxing rest-of-evening and sleep well, everyone.  xx

Sunday 10 March 2024

Sunday evening, 10-03-24

Good evening, everyone.  We are now a third of the way through March which seems pretty impossible but we really are.  Such a shame today's weather didn't reflect that Spring is so close.  Wall to wall rain pretty much all day, a complete contrast to Saturday.  Oh, well, it takes all sorts of weather, doesn't it?

Today was a bit of a nothing day really.  I slept like a log which was lovely and just did the necessary - meals and clearing up, finished a bit of washing, did some knitting, sorted a bit of meal planning - just the usual stuff.
I had intended to join Lindsey for an online stretch session but I forgot - ooops.

On to tomorrow and it's the usual circuits class first thing before coming home and having a quick downstairs clean and dust before Mel comes round with my Avon order and to stay for lunch.  Really looking forward to that.  The weather tomorrow is supposed to be dull but dry so fingers crossed.

I do hope you all have a lovely Sunday, whether you are a mum or not.  Good night, lovely people, and pleasant dreams.  xx

Saturday 9 March 2024

Friday and Saturday evening, 09-03-24

Good evening, one and all.  How has your Saturday been?  
I've said this before but it sometimes strikes me pretty strongly how, despite being retired for nearly eight years now, weekends still feel 'different' somehow.  I no longer have to rush around catching up with homey things - quite the opposite, in fact - but even so . . .
A really nice feeling.

Let's go back to Friday.

I went to Slimming World as usual before driving over to The Broomfield car park.  An unexpected and disappointing one pound gain but that's the way things sometimes go so I'm not fussing about it.
I was rather early to park (so plenty of room) in the village hall car park so there was plenty of room.  We all boarded the coach and I found myself sitting next to a lady called Helen while the other side were Trudy and Lyn, all of us 'singles' on the trip so we decided to gang up and stick together.  A nice coincidence was that three of us had theatre seat tickets together as well. 

Once we were there, being ladies with aging bladders, we located the theatre (just down the road) and then went into the Cambridge, a pub/eating place next to the theatre to use their loo and have a coffee before going into the theatre.
We'd all eaten our packed lunches in the coach but it looked so very nice inside that we booked a table to dinner between the shows and it's just as well we did as it was packed later.

Outside the theatre.

Before you could go in, there were security checks.  I felt so sorry for the chap doing mine as my bag was pretty full with just about everything one could possibly need - I will know better next time!

I wasn't allowed to take my second healthy wholemeal roll into the theatre but the fruit, the crisps and the boiled sweets were OK, as were the drinks (water and a sugar free thingy) - go figure!

A close up of the nest thingy!  It looked dramatic, even more so later on when it was lit up.

The palace theatre is really quite splendid inside.  It has a really interesting history - I think it's really interesting anyway - but rather than just regurgitating it, here's a link to the Wiki page if you're interesting.
I love that the D'Oyly Carte productions of the Gilbert and Sullivan light operas started here.  Just the first one but even so . . .,_London
Awful lighting and this doesn't show the impact of the four tiers of balconies.

Obviously, we couldn't take photos during the show (although some did) but this was what greeted us when we took our seats . . .
. . . this was after the interval in the second part in the evening.

The whole production was simply amazing - stunning special effects, people disappearing, magical charms, curses, etc, going back and forth through time, scenery changes and the dementors were absolutely fantastic and genuinely scary . . . 
I could go on for ages but suffice it to say, if you get the chance to see these two plays, grab it with both hands.  It was worth every last penny.

Between the shows, we trundled back to the Cambridge for our early dinner.  They were, of course, all geared up to between shows diners so service was very pleasant, quick and slick but not feeling rushed in the slightest.

I loved this on the wall . . .
The food looked great.  Two of us had fish and chips, one had the biggest pie I have seen in a long while - it would have done me three meals - and I had a chicken, bacon and avocado salad which was a proper salad with loads of different salad ingredients - leaves, cucumber, edamame beans, pumpkin seeds, carrot . .  loads of different stuff - and a dressing that wasn't too oily and 'sticky'.

We shared a bottle of white and, fair enough, the whole meal wasn't cheap, but it wasn't outrageous either, good for London prices, we thought.

Just one more photo - the front all lit up before the second show.  Very dramatic.

Afterwards, it was a quick and short walk back to the coach and we were on our way home.  This was the only hiccup; the traffic was heavy and there was a serious hold up at one point caused, we discovered, by a bad crash and a resulting short diversion.
Couldn't be helped and at least we were comfortable and relaxed and not driving!!

The four of us - me, Helen, Trudy and Lyn - seemed to get on really well and have started a What's App group.  If trips coincide again, it will be nice to have someone to go round with.

Sitting on the doorstep when I got home was the Council Tax letter regarding the  new payments.  To my relief, it really isn't that much more.  I get a discount anyway, being  a sole adult occupier, and now I can update my accounts going forward.  Seeing as they don't add anything for paying over ten months, I am spreading the load and keeping it the same.

So that was Friday.

This morning, I woke feeling very achey, especially around the shoulders - tension, I expect - so decided to have a really nice, easy day.

It's Mothering Sunday tomorrow, of course.  Beth, Alex and I are going out for a meal but not tomorrow; it will be too crowded everywhere, we've arranged to go out next Saturday instead.   
Now, as my lovely Mum passed away on Mothering Sunday, I have two days to remember her specially.  I do all the time, of course, but this is a bit more that usual.  Coincidentally, both my vase of alstroemerias and the daffodils Julia gave me just looked a bit too bedraggled so they saw the inside of the compost bin and this afternoon I went out on a gentle stroll around the neighbourhood to tab a few boxes and to stop off at Morrisons to treat myself to some nice flowers in memory.
Any excuse, eh???
It made me smile, how many people were out clutching bouquets, bottles and boxes of choccies.  Hopefully, there will be plenty of happy mums tomorrow.

Lindsey had organised a walk through South Woodham Ferrers to find and tap boxes (SWF is also doing Beat the Street) but I pulled out because I know she would set a fair old pace and I was feeling the effects of yesterday in aching shoulders and a general weariness.  Perhaps that was wrong but . . .
And I did do a bit locally, didn't I?  :-)

It' nearly bedtime and I'm slowly relaxing and getting tired.  The aches have pretty much gone and I'm hopeful of a really good night's sleep.  Or is that Famous Last Words?  
Good night, everyone - sleep well.  xx