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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Happy Easter, Good News and Talon

I have come down with a nasty ear infection :/  On Friday I felt a bit 'out of sorts' and my neck ached a bit but nothing specific until Saturday when I woke with a headache; not the thumping sort but a general tightness and feeling that my head was too big (now, now, I've heard it all before...lol...) This headache has persisted every day since.  Paracetamol, the old standby, has eased the pain but not removed it and I developed shooting pains in my ear. Uh, oh, time see the GP, I thought.  It has taken me 24 hours of trying but I finally got a cancellation at 8.50am this morning so I'm now on antibiotics.

I decided it was best to stay in the warm today so I've made a few Easter cards.  They are very simple but look effective enough.....

 
 
Some friends are moving to Lincolnshire and J has lent me a cookery book she bought up there....

 
 
Erm, I don't know why it has ended up on it's side in the shot and I can't turn it round so there it will have to stay, sorry.  There are some super recipes in the book.  Lots are meat based but this one is more to my taste....


This one too ....

I might just have to have a go at the cake sometime soon.

Good news!  My Nephew and his wife have had a little boy! He weighed in at a whopping 8lb 9ozs ( makes your eyes water, doesn't it ladies?) He is called Daniel Jacob and is beautiful.  I have only seen photos but he's lovely.  I just had to make a quick card (the toppers are by Hunkdory) and I made the tiny card to put some money in for him.






Tonight, I have a ticket to see Talon, the Eagles tribute band, and despite being in pain I fully intend to go!  OH isn't interested so I will be going by myself.  I saw them last year and really enjoyed it so I have no intention of missing tonight's gig. It cost me £18 after all :)

Thanks everso for popping in x

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Another Film and an Alice in Wonderland Sarnie

I decided to go to the cinema again today, another £3 for a ticket including tea (my choice for today) and 2 biscuits, you can actually help yourself to as many biscuits as you want but I'm not greedy, 2 are enough although you would think that some people are starving judging by the hand full they each put into their bags and pockets :? Anyway, I watched the film Carol, set in the 1950's.  It was adapted from the Patricia Highsmith book 'The Price of Salt' and starred Cate Blanchett.  It's not a film I would have paid full price to see but I'm glad I went today.  After the film I ventured into the out-of-town shopping centre mall in search of some lunch and spotted this in Boots.  It had a 50p price ticket and urged "Eat me quick" ....so I did. I don't have to be asked twice!!  :)


 
 
Has anyone else tried this Silver Cinema thing yet?
 
On arrival back home I had 3 bills on the mat;  LPG £132.29, Rates, water & sewerage £513 and electricity £361.59 Crikey! Over £1,000 in one fell swoop.  The electricity is for 6 months usage, slightly less than this time last year so we have managed to cut down a bit. The bill for rates etc is for 12 months and the LPG should last 6 weeks.  It's such an expensive time of year with all that and insurances too, I'm so glad we budget all year round for these things or I would be panicking.
 
That's all for now, I'm afraid, I need to search the freezer for something for tea.  OH fancies curry & rice and I'm sure I have a few frozen prawns stashed away for him and some quorn for me.  There's a jar of curry sauce in the cupboard too, 84p from Mr M, so I'll take a quarter of the jar for the prawns to cook in and use three quarters to make quorn curry then freeze enough of that for two portions next week. 
 
Thanks everso for popping in x


Saturday, 12 March 2016

Eggs, Council Tax and Fitness Trackers

I always do a 'top up' shop on Saturday mornings.  I look at what money is left in the kitty, find out if the family are coming to visit over the weekend (they never know until Friday night! ) and then buy accordingly.  I had run out of eggs and scrambled eggs on toast often feature in the GC's request for tea so I bought these .....


They are free range (I refuse to buy battery eggs), from British farmers  (so support them too) and RSPCA assured so that I'm as sure as I can be that the hens are having a decent life.  They cost just 85p as they were mixed sizes but these all seem a decent size to me.  None will go to waste....



It's good to have the information regarding actually tracking where the eggs came from but I won't bother as I trust I'm not being misled...


When I got home the postman had been but this was all I had received :/  The Council tax bill...


It has increased by £22 on last years bill which isn't too bad, as I was expecting more and had budgeted accordingly at £1155 so the extra will stay in the account for emergencies.  We pay by direct debit and our pensions go directly into the bank account to cover the bills anyway so that we rarely have any nasty shocks.....


Insurance is always the bugbear. Every year the car and caravan insurances shoot up in price bearing no resemblance to inflation whatsoever.  In  previous posts I explained about the good deals obtained by shopping around for car insurance, now it's the turn of the caravan.  The Caravan Club renewal is requesting £253 but comparison sites have come up with £200 and a few pence so if CC can't match it they will lose our business for that too.  It's too big a difference to just go with it. By just going with the renewal requests we would have spent an extra £213!  Far too big a sum to ignore or be lazy about.  Yes, it takes effort, but it's worth it in my view.  That's 2 weeks pension for me!!! Or a whole month's food shopping and more!!!

Health and Fitness

The Nuband tracker my DD bought me for mothers day has come in very useful.  I have worn it constantly (except in the shower as it's not waterproof) but I have found a glitch; it doesn't track steps unless you swing your arms as you walk :/  Yesterday was such a lovely day that we got the village bus into town and had a good brisk walk.  My tracker showed 5,174 steps but OH's phone showed 7,158.  It dawned on me that I was the one carrying the shopping so my arm with the tracker was often straight down by my side holding the bag handles...doh!  It has shown, however, that I often do nowhere near the recommended 10,000 steps per day and I need to work on that.  It tracks sleep too and I have discovered that if I watch the late night news my sleep is more disturbed than if I go to bed without watching it.  Game over...I will NOT watch late night news and worry about the state of the world during the night.  My worrying will not change anything.  Deep sleep here I come......

Have a lovely weekend everyone, whatever you have planned.  Thanks so much for popping in x




Tuesday, 8 March 2016

A Cinema Treat & 'The Fund'


I have just returned from the cinema, Silver Cinema to be precise.  OH is working today (his voluntary job) and I didn't want to sit at home worrying about things so tootled off to the 11am showing of Bridge of Spies.  It cost just £3 and I got a paper cup full of delicious coffee and two digestive biscuits included in the price .... a bargain!  I got over two hours worth of escapism for my money and didn't succumb to the overpriced snacks either.  Knowing I would need another drink during the showing I took a small apple juice carton in my handbag so rather than spend £1.99 (How much!)  on a small bottle of water it cost me less than 19p for my juice drink.  When the kids were small I used to make sandwiches to take with us and pop them in my biggest handbag because my son, in particular, was always hungry and could eat for England :/  I never had money for food out then so the habit has kind of stuck with me. I'm sure I'm not alone in doing this.....

A 'birthday fund' update.....Two small items have sold on fleabay so another £7 has been added to the fund making £43.69 in total.  I set my heart on making £50 for DD's birthday so I am almost there with 2 weeks to go :)  I have some card orders from friends so payment for those should nudge me ever closer to the £50.

For my year of 'Do More Good' I sorted out my costume jewellery drawer at the weekend and have taken a bag full of items to the Hospice shop along with another half dozen handmade cards for them to sell.  I am also currently knitting another baby cardigan for them which I hope to finish by next weekend.

Have a lovely day everyone, whatever you have planned x

Monday, 7 March 2016

On Mothering Sunday and Monday Bargains

Since yesterday I feel a little more uplifted. Three caring people left comments on my blog post and DD and her family took me out for a lovely Mothering Sunday lunch.  They bought me my first ever floating balloon :)


And a fitness tracker!  There are numerous bloggers at the moment debating how to lose weight and get fitter and I was thinking along the same lines over the last week or so.  This tracker will count my steps, calories burned, beep when I have reached my target number of steps and track my sleep patterns.  I'm hoping that getting fitter will mean that I will feel stronger mentally too.  There's no way that I can run but more walking will figure largely in my new regime.  The sun is shining and Spring will not be far away.  By the way, have you ever tried photographing your arm using the camera on a tablet?  It's not easy..... lol...


We did the 'big' shop this morning and I spotted these at £2 for a pack of 9.  They are great value and feel good quality too.  If they are still around next week I'll buy another pack (mental note to self...I must sort out a storage cupboard for these kinds of bulk buys) it will save money in the long run.


The company is also involved with tree planting and the Woodland Trust.  At least £80,000 per year will be donated to the Trust from sales of Nicky products.  This fits in quite nicely with my year of 'Do More Good'.......
 

Since reaching pension age I seem to suffer more heartburn (nothing to do with my cooking, honestly!!) and have been taking Gaviscon at night.  It's really expensive so I have decided to try Morrisons own version which cost £1.88 as opposed to £3.89 for a small bottle.  I could get similar stuff free on prescription now but I know that the NHS is hard pressed financially and don't want to drain resources on something (in my view) trivial.  Lets hope this stuff works, it will save me a fortune :/



At the checkout I was handed a voucher for 5,000 loyalty points if I spend £40 on the next shop.  The points are worth £5 but I will have to consider whether or not I actually want to spend £40.  I won't do it unnecessarily.....

Well.... it's wonderfully sunny at the moment and I have washing blowing on the line.  Doesn't it smell good afterwards?  OH has just planted my seed potatoes in a big tub and I need to have a think about what else we have space for.  Anything we can eat will be great but we must think about the watering aspect.....whilst we are off in the caravan later in the year the plants will need to be either self sufficient or able to be watered by drip feeding from plastic bottles.  Hmmm.....I'll let you know.....

Clear skies will probably mean frost tonight so wrap up warm! Thanks so much for popping in, I really appreciate it x




Saturday, 5 March 2016

On Insurance and Lost Mojo




For some reason I seem to have lost my blogging mojo :(   Dear Father in Law is quite poorly and so too are lots of our friends and neighbours, so we both feel a bit down about life in general.  But.... I didn't want to abandon my blog completely so todays missive is a bit of good news.....
I have been searching for car insurance.  Both OH's car (our main car) and my little runabout are due to have the insurance renewed in a few days.  It's taken ages but I think I've struck a good  deal on both vehicles.  The renewal premium on the main car was £393 and the new policy is £291, a saving of  £102.  My runabout's renewal premium was £248 which I've squeezed down to £190, a saving of £58....Total saving £160 which I'm really pleased with.  The old and new policies are identical in what we are covered for and, in fact, my voluntary excess is lower so it definitely pays to shop around.   Whoop, whoop!  Why do insurance companies hook you with a great deal the first year then hike the prices up in subsequent years.  Do they think we will be so lazy as to pay without comparing deals?  I think not!

Thanks everso for popping in and sorry for the boring post.  Let me leave you on a smile....... Take care x