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Saturday, 27 August 2016

Great British Bake Off...NOT...Bugs and Books

There was a decided nip in the air first thing this morning and the rain very quickly rolled in.  It has alternately drizzled and poured down all day with a bit of thunder to boot.  Thinking of Autumn, I had seen some bug hotels in garden centres selling for anything from £15 to £20 and upwards but I didn't fancy paying that so I asked OH to see if he could make something similar.  He came up with this.....

It cost less than £2 and we have mesh left over for another project.  I like it's rustic look. Now...where to site it... does it have to be ground level, shady, damp, dry, does anyone know please?

I had to go into town this afternoon for something and popped into the Acorn Children's Hospice CS just for a browse.  Promising myself  NO MORE BOOKS was to no avail as they had a huge table covered in lovely, pristine, once-read, non-taxing to read, fiction, all at 99p each :/  I had to come home with these three.  I have read a couple of Erica James which I enjoyed and many Katie Fforde.  Debbie Macomber is a new to me author but I'll give her a go as the book looks unread; the spine is perfect.  The two books on the left will be kept back until November as they have a Christmas theme, but I do like an easy Christmassy read in the run up to the big day.


As it was still pouring with rain when I got back I fancied a bit of baking.  There was some ready made shortcrust pastry in the fridge so I decided on cheese and onion quiche with jam tarts made from the re-rolled bits.  Heaven help me I am useless when it comes to pastry.  I can make nice fluffy, moist cakes but anything involving pastry inevitably sticks to the tin and can only generally be prised away with a chisel.  Take a look. Go on, you can laugh, I won't be offended!  It tasted ok but both pieces broke up, presentation failed completely.....


My tarts stuck too but, as you can probably tell,  OH is eating them.  He keeps coming out of the kitchen unable to speak because his mouth is full.  How on earth do I stop things sticking?  I have tried greasing the tin, not greasing the tin, flouring it, not flouring it.....help!


 
There was a bit of good news today, however, I had previously bought a scratchcard which I had put in my bag and forgotten about. Oooh....scratch it off quick.....
 

Yippee! Five whole pounds... £5 !!


When I was out this morning I took some more of my handmade cards to the local Hospice shop and my ego was given a terrific boost.  Apparently, they fly out as soon as I drop a batch off so I have promised more, a bigger batch this time as they can sell them for £1 each which is a very useful sum for the Hospice.  That will be my task for any spare time next week.....

Thanks everso for popping in, have a lovely evening whatever you are doing x

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Skinny dipping and checking receipts



Skinny dipping? Not really.....the time is 7.30pm and I have just spent a blissful 15 minutes lying in a warm bath whilst listening to the rain beating down, cold and heavy, on the roof and windows.  Yesterday was so very hot and the night time sultry and still, so that I slept badly.  Today has been the total opposite; cool, wet and welcome respite from the heat of the last couple of days.  I just can't take the heat and cannot understand how our Son has managed to stay sane having spent the last 14 years in Australia :/  I much prefer moderate conditions and, in fact, get great pleasure from walking in a gentle rain as dusk is falling.  When I was in my teens I loved  getting the bus home from school (and then work) and then slowly walking the last half a mile home in the rain under the shelter of my umbrella, dawdling if I thought I could get away with it.  Simple pleasures :)

Oh yes, checking receipts.... I always check any receipts before leaving a store and it was a good job I did this week.  I had been over-charged by 68p on two punnets of soft fruit.  The ticketing was debated by the staff and a supervisor decided the multi-buy offer was wrong but refunded me anyway.  68p is a useful sum of money and better in my pocket than Mr M's!

Does anyone else often find errors?

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Shopping Review

I have been reviewing our purchases from the 'big' Monday shop this week. The non-food items came to £10.49 but that included a big pack of washing powder which was on offer at £6 instead of £9 plus.  I didn't need any yet but it seemed silly to leave it on the shelf until it was back to full price.  We also bought alcohol ( which doesn't come out of the food budget) as we will have family visiting this weekend so a further £16 to come off the receipt total.  The coffee was on offer at £5 so, again, not needed but put into the store cupboard and the caster sugar for baking was a whole kilo for £1 so that came home with us too (that was another £6 I needn't have spent really but they are savings in the long run)


Hmm....I'm afraid these treats found their way into the trolley too but at £1.50 for 4 Magnums and £1 for the tub of ice cream....well it was a no-brainer really, as they say :)  It is Summer after all....


That brings the food shopping (anything that goes into our mouths including coffee and ice cream) to £28.34   I've prepared a food plan and I think we can manage the week even though I didn't buy any meat other than bacon. I will be making vegetable soup for lunches and using eggs in sandwiches for protein, we have some fish and I have some quorn mince in the freezer with which to make chilli and rice tonight.  No prizes for guessing it's ice cream for dessert!


I really want to increase my intake of fruit. OH eats apples and oranges but I'm not that keen apart from the odd banana and, of course, the luscious soft summer fruit including our homegrown strawberries. I have started buying this broken grapefruit.  It costs just 35p per can and it keeps well in a box in the fridge once opened....



and tastes lovely on my morning muesli topped with plain yogurt and will give me 4 or 5 small servings.....


All I need for the weekend now will be bread £1 and a fresh pot of Greek yogurt £1

The sun is shining, I have 2 loads of washing flapping away outdoors and another load whizzing around in the machine.  A productive day....

Take care of yourselves and enjoy the sunshine x


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

A Makeshift Library and Fund-raising Total

Just a quick update today as the weather is so sunny and garden worthy :)
 
On Saturday we raised an amazing  £323.48
 
Earlier today I went to our little on site library of donated books to see what I could find to read next.   It's a basic shed type storage place which gets a bit damp in the Winter so now is the time to get a book before they spoil.  I hate reading dog-eared books :/   Someone has taken the time to sort them all out and file them into rough alphabetical order....
 




There are hundreds of books in there. I just wish we had a damp free place to store them all.....

I couldn't find any Jenny Colgan in there and I'm saving my new (purchased) book to take on our next holiday but I found a Katie Fforde that I haven't read yet....

 
 
That one came home with me and I'll begin reading it tonight :)
 
 
Now...time to think about what to cook for tea......
 
Have a lovely evening everyone.  Thanks everso for popping in x