Thursday, 31 December 2015

Happy New Year to The World

May 2016 bring Peace, Health and Happiness to everyone reading this message no matter where in the world you happen to be.......

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Yellow Stickers and Budget 2016

I hope you have all had a lovely couple of days.  We spent Christmas day at our DD's being looked after and fed lovely healthy Christmassy food!  Unlike other years, I didn't fill myself to bursting point though but ate a reasonable amount of nut roast, lovely veggies and roasties followed by a small portion of Christmas pud and custard.  I did, however manage to drink 4 flutes of Prosecco throughout the day as I wasn't driving :)

On Boxing Day they all came to us and I did salmon en croute with baby boiled potatoes and peas.  Tea was warm baguettes with cheeses and ham and lots of salad as we were sitting again :/  this time playing a game of monopoly which lasted around 3 hours! My GD hated spending her money even though it was monopoly money, I wonder who she takes

I had a good sound sleep last night for once and felt refreshed and in need of a walk of some sort this morning so, as we needed fresh bread for tomorrow anyway,  I went into town and decided to pop into Mr M's for it.  I really didn't expect there to be any yellow stickered food so was very surprised to see these.....

The trays of prepared carrot and parsnip normally retail at £2 per tray (HOW much?) so at 29p each I couldn't resist them.  One will be cooked tonight and served with the leftover pork for OH and veggie sausage for me, the other 2 are frozen for another day.  The trays will be washed and re-used for roasting veggies another time too.  The carrot and peas assortment was down to 29p from £1 and will be used tomorrow, the casserole veg down to 19p from 70p will be used to make a pot of soup.
Total original cost : £7.70 ....price paid £1.35 ! Yay!  I hope this is a sign of things to come in 2016.

When I came home I felt a bit peckish and suddenly realised it was almost 2 o'clock, so lunch next....a HM pizza base topped with leftover baby tomatoes and grated cheese served with a bit of leftover salad...tasty....

Someone had bought me a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon for Christmas so I felt a bit naughty and opened it but only had a small glass to go with lunch....  :)

Actually, it was lucky I restrained myself as I decided to tot up the bills for 2015 and work out a new budget for 2016.  We have come within budget for 2015 so I have only put a small uplift on the figures for next year.  I have added a figure for dental bills this time as OH always seems to breaking a tooth or a filling lately.  3 o'clock on Christmas Eve saw me driving desperately to get him to the emergency dentist before they closed at 3.30pm for the holiday.  Our regular one was closed until 4th January and OH had a gaping hole in a back tooth after his filling fell out....again... paying £51.30 at the 11th hour was no joke :(  It might need taking out altogether in the new year so funds will be needed.....

Dear FiL is not so well today.  He was really tired on Christmas day although he did come to DD's with us but he declined an offer to go out yesterday and he sounds exhausted again today.  He has plenty of ready meals in the fridge and freezer so is ok for food.  93 is a big age, isn't it....

Enjoy your day and thanks everso for popping in x

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas Everyone

I am DONE! All the food is packed away ready for the next 2 days (and well beyond) and anything I have forgotten will stay in the shops. Our LPG tank has been topped up so we are ready for the celebrations to begin....

Wishing all my readers a happy, peaceful Christmas wherever you may be x


Wednesday, 23 December 2015

A Quickie

Just a quick post today...

Advent update

Day 21 book to CS
Day 22 man's winter coat to CS
Day 23  a promise to feed neighbour's cat for the whole of February while she is on holiday

Day 24 will be paid forward today....more items to the food bank.  They will be needed more than ever at the moment.

I feel that my reverse Advent this year has been very bland and dull, for which I apologise. It could and should have been much more inspired. Must try harder next year....

Oh, and my letter arrived from the hospital to say that my mammogram was clear so the boob squashing has been worth it.  I was amazed the letter arrived so quickly, well done Worcester NHS !!  

Have a great day everyone x

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Christmas Choir, Lazy Days and Bargain Socks

We had a fabulous time at the carol concert last night.  There was a good turnout and although the choir consists of locals of varying vocal abilities :?  it was wonderful.  The congregation (if you can call us that) was called upon to join in with several carols and during the interval we were given a small glass of wine (included in the £5 ticket price) and mince pies and cookies were distributed (sadly my friends and I never got a sniff of those!) It's a lovely little church and the church bells were ringing as we arrived. If you look closely the bell ringers can be seen in the tower.....

The sound system was brilliant and we had a local violinist, flautist and drummer adding their own pieces to the music. 

Two hours simply flew by and we then walked to the pub en mass in order to continue the feeling of festive spirit ;)  This is what village life is all about!

OH is working again today (I know it seems like he's always at work but it's just every weekend, honestly ...) and to my shame I didn't wake until 9.40am.  I stripped the bedding and put it into the machine so that it looked like I had done something, did a bit of dusting, tidying and ate an early lunch of leftover veggie hotpot from yesterday. I like to eat it from a pasta dish so that no stock is wasted.....

Then I set to with making mini pizza bases for the freezer along with some banana pancakes (really drop scones) using Jack Monroe's recipe but adding mixed spice and vanilla essence. These have also been packed into boxes, labelled and frozen just keeping back 2 each to eat with ice cream for dessert tonight.  Dinner will be HM quorn lasagne with roasties and sprouts. After all it is almost Christmas :)
I just thought I'd show you my bargain of the week.  I have a Debenhams store card which I have held for years. I use it occasionally when it offers a discount on something I need.  Out of the blue I had a letter from them with a £5 voucher in it to spend in store if I used my account card.  I bought these socks which cost £6 therefore they only actually cost me £1.... 5 pairs in the pack so 20p a pair....bargain!  They will go in the underbed drawer until I need them or perhaps they'll be a gift for someone.....

Well I was going to take the recycling and the rubbish to the bins but it has begun to rain so instead, as it's almost 3 o'clock, I will make a cup of coffee, pour in a drop of Bailey's Irish Cream and find something Christmassy to watch on the box :)

Anyone else having a lazy day?

Have a brilliant day whatever you are doing and thanks everso for popping in x

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Life Update, Budget and Carols Galore

Crumbs! Where has the week gone?  Tuesday afternoon saw me sitting on a tiny wee chair at school watching the Nativity production called 'Hosanna Rock'.  It was fab.  It brought a song to my heart and a tear to my eye watching these juniors put their all into their own special part.  It's a multi-cultural school and all of the children took part.....wonderful!

Wednesday was a 'chores' day:  housework, online bill paying (a whole year's BT line rental paid in advance & TV license renewed) so that just leaves a top up of the LPG tank before Christmas and then I can review the year's expenditure and make a new budget for 2016.  I have just £9 in my purse and £11 in my bank account to last until the end of the month.  I do, however, have my (separate) food budget under control so there is enough left in there to buy what we need until the new year.

On Thursday we took dear FiL shopping and then to the local carvery for lunch.  He enjoyed it but seems to get more tired and frail each week.  He'll be 94 in April 2016......

On Friday OH and I  felt desperately in need of some exercise so we drove to Himley Park and had a good brisk walk right around the lake.  The weather was chilly but incredibly good for December and with our walking boots on we were muddy but exhilarated afterwards.  It cost just £1.20 for 2 hours parking, a bargain!

Photos from Himley Park website

Last night we were invited to a neighbour's house for a get-together.  It was lovely and we had a little sing song once we had downed a couple of glasses of wine buffet food too (licks lips...)  I slept like a log for once.....

This afternoon will be spent making a big veggie hotpot, enough for 2 days, as I am off to church tonight to the carol concert to hear the community choir.  OH is working late so will have to reheat some for his dinner, then he can take a portion to microwave at work tomorrow for lunch.  I'm really looking forward to tonight.  I can't sing very well but love to try....

Advent update

Day 16  A book to CS
Day 17 A handbag to CS
Day 18 Bottle of wine given to neighbour
Day 19 Bought the lovely CS staff a tin of chocs and took it with a Christmas card

Day 20 will be paid forward tonight by a donation to the church

At the moment (2pm) it's so very dark here that I am struggling to see properly :/  I don't want to put the lights on yet but I will have to soon.  Roll on 22nd December as it will be the shortest day and then the crawl towards Spring will begin...Yay!

Have a lovely day everyone.
And thanks everso for popping in x

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

A Christmas Bonus

My Christmas bonus courtesy of the Government reached our account last week. After due consideration and, like a child with her pocket money, I carefully mulled over what to spend this bounty on.  A whole £10 was mine to spend!  I finally decided on a half bottle of brandy priced on special offer at £11.  I could have had a cheaper version but this will taste better and last me all winter with just a tiny drop in coffee when I need warming up or a small glass after my evening meal on a cold, dark winter night.  OH doesn't drink it so it's mine...all ;)  and if you look closely the seal is already broken...oops!

I had a lovely surprise yesterday afternoon.  I was sitting cosily knitting when there was a knock at the door and the courier handed me this.....

A gift from my lovely Niece and her family who live in Suffolk. I am very lucky, isn't it gorgeous!

Later today I am off to DD's to see the GC in their school production.  I simply love to see the children strut their stuff on stage, it never fails to bring a lump to my throat or to bring back memories of both of my own children in their school plays and my own schooldays when I was usually picked for speaking parts or for bible readings.  I remember being at Junior school and wearing my Sunday School Anniversary dress (my one good dress) when I was playing the Angel Gabriel and having a pair of wings tied to my back over the top of it! I remember desperately trying to spot my mum in the audience so that she would be proud of me. Oh happy days :)  It's such a shame that you are not allowed to take photo's of the children anymore.  I have lots of photo's of my own children in their productions and they bring such lovely memories.  What a pity I can't do the same with my GC.  It's a sad indictment of the world we live in.

Advent day 15

There is usually a monetary collection at the end in aid of third world countries, as well as a 'programme' (a one sheet photocopied guide) costing £1 so my Advent donation today will be money to the school.

Stay safe everyone and thanks everso for popping in x

Monday, 14 December 2015

I Should Be So Lucky!

I am heartily sick of being bombarded by rubbish spam emails offering bogus goodies.  This morning, for example, my emails say I have won the following:

A MacBook, ipad, iwatch and iPhone
An Apple bundle worth £2000
Aldi voucher
£3,500 Asda voucher
£1000 Tesco giftcard
An Asda voucher for an unspecified amount
Samsung Galaxy S6

and  I can test and keep an iPhone 6S

At this rate of wins I will be a millionaire within weeks!  I delete these things immediately but there must be some people who, perhaps out of desperation or boredom, will actually click on the links and give away their personal details to a stranger who is often in another country, it seems.  If you scroll to the bottom of the email the details are there regarding country of origin.  My advice is DO NOT CLICK !  Genuine winning emails will address you by name and you will have some inkling about entering the draw in the first place.....

Does anyone else get these kinds of things each and every day? Or do you know how to block them perhaps?

For some reason yesterday I felt unusually energetic so instead of doing the ironing (any old excuse!) I decided to empty my kitchen wall cupboards which hold all my crystal as well as my drinking glasses.  I don't want to be caught out at Christmas by fetching out dusty glasses when I offer guests a drink so the 3 cupboards were emptied, thoroughly cleaned, all the glass washed and put away tidily. 
Advent day 13 

Some really nice glassware, which I never use, has been wrapped and boxed for the CS
We did the big food shop today and the Trussell Trust had a collection trolley in Mr M's so... 
 Advent day 14
Another 6 items were added to the food bank collection

I also had a word with the nice lady guarding the trolley and they are short of volunteers so I might try to pluck up the courage to visit them at the church and offer some help (insert a scared face smilie)

Have a lovely day everyone and thanks everso for popping in x

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Free Stuff and Sleepless Nights

Last night was another of those miserable nights when I go to bed tired but end up awake for hours.  I dropped off in the early hours only to be woken by OH banging about in the kitchen cooking his bacon breakfast and switching appliances on and off as noisily as possible, well that's what it sounds like anyway.  The kitchen is right next to the bedroom and my head is close to the dividing wall so I hear everything. He works every Sunday so feels he needs to wake me up too :(  Thank heavens he has tootled off and I can come to a bit more slowly.

After braving the rain yesterday (it was very cold having been spoilt with the mild weather so far) I decided that I might as well get a few more bits for the Christmas food store whilst I was out.  I dipped into my savings pot....

....and bought a couple of bottles of wine for the rack, some frozen scampi tails (on offer) and stocked up on enough pickles and sauces to last until new year and beyond.  That's another few things crossed off my list.  I am trying to stockpile as many non-food essentials as I can (within my normal budget, of course, otherwise it would be a pointless exercise) so that I can spend a minimal amount each week out of the food budget in 2016 and save the rest towards our holidays.  There is still so much of the British Isles to explore and now we have the caravan we want to go away as much as possible whilst we are fit enough to do it.  Each year brings more aches, pains and stiffness and we need to get a wriggle on!

I remembered that I had some loyalty points to spend on my Boots card so got these. I love the smell of the Aussie shower stuff but it's quite expensive, over £3 even on offer so will enjoy using this one.  Talc seems to have gone out of fashion but I do like a little sprinkled here and there after a shower :) The tiny hand gel is useful to keep in my handbag for when out and about with the GC. 
Total cost: FREE ! 

The afternoon was spent knitting in front of a warm fire and I managed to finish the second front of my cardigan, just the sleeves to go.  Somehow a hot chocolate found it's way into my tummy at the same time ;) the order of the day is: get off  the PC, shower, dress, do the ironing (groan...) then I can do some more knitting (yay!)

Stay warm and safe everyone and thanks everso for popping in x

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Advent Day 12 and Rain, Rain, Rain

Just a quick post today....

Advent day 12

I have been experimenting with bits of felt and making brooches. They were quite easy to do and should fetch a bit of cash for the CS.  If you click to enlarge the first photo you will see the little knitted baby bootees at the back too.  By putting a tiny bit of stuffing inside they made nice little brooches too.  The clasps can be bought quite cheaply off the internet....

It's pouring with rain yet again this morning so I'm dragging my feet getting ready to go out and do the weekend top-up shop :/   We are running out of milk and I need to bake some cake so I simply have to bite the bullet and go out.  OH is at work until 7pm today so I will be climbing the walls by then if I don't go out this morning.  I can then come back into the warmth of the house and settle down with my knitting :)

Stay safe everyone x

Friday, 11 December 2015

A Winner Is Announced! Congratulations!

The names were put into a bag, shaken about and one pulled out. The winner of the notebooks is .... SOOZE!  Could you send me a message with your address please Sooze and I'll post them off to you. My email addy should be in my profile but any problems just speak up :)

My Christmas cards are written and I have posted the few that need posting.  We will be seeing friends on Monday so will take their gifts with us as that's the last time we will see them before January.  The husband has been quite ill so they are going to Spain for a couple of weeks over the Christmas period, and I can't say I blame them.  They are both in their 60's, have planned for a happy retirement and have had nothing but bad luck healthwise since he retired 3 years ago.  My best friend is being forced to retire at 66 to look after him.  Life can really throw a curved ball sometimes....

Stay safe everyone x

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Reverse Advent & Do More Good!

I never make new year resolutions as a rule because I know I will be doomed to failure.  As soon as I put pressure on myself to lose weight or something I fail at the first fence.  I do, however, have a new mantra for 2016 which will be

Do More Good!
I am again taking part in the Reverse Advent challenge.  I enjoyed taking part last December and intended blogging about it this year but another blogger mentioned that she thought it 'show offy' so it put me off.  Now I find she is putting up photos of her items anyway.  Oh bug*er, I should have gone ahead and been 'show offy'.  Anyway, 6 items so far have been dispatched to the CS and I have given extra to the local food bank. Another bag of items will go to the CS today.

To 'Do More Good' I needed to find a recipient for my handmade goods and I have found a lovely lady at the local Hospice CS who is delighted to accept my baby knitting.  One of her volunteers gathers all the new hand knits and sells them at craft stalls throughout the year as they can get more money for them that way.  I took in a bag of baby tops and hats and she was very pleased with them.  More will be knitted for them once I finish my new winter cardigan...I have lots of small balls in my stash which I need to sort out... and I have a quantity of my handmade cards to donate today too.

Is anyone else doing the Reverse Advent?

Changing the subject completely, I can hear the rain lashing down so I expect there to be some flooding on the local roads again :/  I have to go out to take dear FiL shopping but that's nothing compared to what some people are facing  My heart aches for the people in Cumbria who have lost all their possessions yet again in the terrible floods. The TV footage shows the sheer devastation caused by the water breaching the flood defences. It makes me feel so helpless for them....

Stay safe everyone x

PS I'll make the draw for the notebook giveaway first thing tomorrow so if you're interested, get your comment in quickly :)

Monday, 7 December 2015

Rain, Boobs and a Giveaway.

The rain here has stopped at last.  Heavy driving rain all Friday night turned into drizzle which persisted on and off all over the weekend. Consequently everywhere feels damp and dismal but we are so much luckier than in other areas where the flooding has been horrendous, and is still not over.  I have been told that the flood defences in Bewdley have been put into place and the river is rising scarily fast.  Recent high winds have brought down trees and branches which are now in the river and travelling downstream where they will end up stuck at bridges making the angry water rise even higher in places.  What a nightmare....

On Friday I had my triennial boob squashing session at the local hospital.  I dread it.  I know some women aren't bothered by it but I find it quite painful when they do the 'side to side' image.  Even now, 3 days later, I have an ache on one side which kept waking me up last night.  I know it's absolutely necessary, so do attend every 3 years. My mum survived breast cancer, my cousin didn't so I really do need to be checked regularly.  I can't heave a sigh of relief yet as the results take about 3 weeks but I must put it out of my mind until the letter plops onto the mat.

A Giveaway

I promised a giveaway and here it is; a set of 3 notebooks with lovely suede feel covers.  The largest A5 size has plain paper, the middle one squared paper and the small one lined paper.

If you would like them for yourself or to give as a gift just leave a comment to that effect and I'll make the draw on Friday next (11th Dec) then they should arrive before Christmas.

I still can't get my camera app to work on the PC so I uploaded the photo above from a tablet.  It has to be Windows 10 which is the problem...

Have a lovely day everyone x

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Sincere Apologies

Hi everyone,

My sincere apologies for the sudden disappearance of my blog.  I wanted to change it around and refresh the whole thing but messed it up so had to take it down instead, then I couldn't get it to work properly in order to put it back.  OH has upgraded to Windows 10 and now my camera app refuses to work and I simply cannot download any photos :(   I despair at technology sometimes...

I can continue to read other blogs but my posts will be dull in the extreme if I can't use photos.
Please bear with me....

Thanks so much for popping in x

Thursday, 26 November 2015

On MOT's and I'm a Celebrity...

My car passed it's MOT with flying colours, thankfully, so it only cost the £29 test fee and I got a complimentary wash and vac and a winter 'Health Check' too.  I decided to wait for it to be done and enjoyed over an hour relaxing on a comfy sofa, reading my kindle and sipping a free hot chocolate.  Simple pleasures ;)
Now my car has been checked and I know it's ready for winter, that's another item ticked off my list....

1* Christmas gifts bought and wrapped...check!
2* Car examined and MOT'd....check!
I now need to finish making my cards, write them and pop the necessary few in the December post.  I hand deliver as many as possible, partly to save on postage but also because some of my creations are quite thick (being 3D) and are a bit fragile to trust to the post.  Then my attentions will turn to food and stocking up the freezer in earnest in case we get bad weather.  I'm sure we wouldn't actually starve but I like to make sure!
Changing the subject completely, is anyone watching I'm a Celebrity...Get me Out of here? I don't know why but I find it strangely fascinating and can't drag myself away.  Last night I watched in fascinated horror as the argument unfolded between Lady C and the rest of the camp.  Is that woman for real? A lady she is definitely not! I know the contestants play to the camera but she spits venom whenever possible.  How horrible....
It's dark and dismal this morning but we need to take dear FiL shopping so I must get a wriggle on.
Have a good day everyone x

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Thrifty Carrots, Warming Food and a Bargain Cake

When I did the food shopping yesterday I needed some carrots. When the weather turns cold I think about making soup, veggie casseroles and sausages with mash and gravy. Carrots are essential . There were some very pretty ones with lovely bright green fronds on the top but at £1 for 6 small carrots I left them on the shelf and bought these.....

They are certainly not pretty but they come from the UK and will taste delicious once cut up and cooked, one is broken but I will simply use that one first.  At 35p for 1kg...a bargain!

I also wanted to stock up with onions, another essential for hotpots. 1kg for 55p also UK grown...

I had a £5 Morrisons voucher from the loyalty card and used it to buy this lovely Christmas cake which was priced at exactly £5 and so FREE to me :)  I used to make my own cake but they are so rich that we usually eat a slice on Christmas or Boxing day and then have had enough. It's just not worth making one.  This one will be shared... half to my DD, a big slice to FiL and the rest for us two to add yet another inch to our waistbands ;)

Whilst waiting in the queue to pay, I discovered another coupon in my purse for £4 off a £40 shop.  I didn't think I would spend enough to use it but with a bottle of wine to add to the wine rack for Christmas, the cake and some cans of cider for DH (for which he paid me) I reached the target. The total came to £53.83 but I had coupons worth £10.80 making the final total £43.03. OH gave me the £5.80 he owed me bringing the shopping down to £37.23 I was really pleased with that as it included a large box of washing powder as well as some bits and pieces to stock the freezer up with.

A meal plan has been prepared for next week so I shouldn't need to buy much more, perhaps some bread and milk at the weekend.

Now that Mr M has changed the criteria for their loyalty cards I don't think I will be getting so many points, and vouchers will be few and far between.  Does anyone else have a card and do you think the new system will be better or worse?

Anyway, must dash as I need to take my little car for it's MOT.  It will cost £29 to get it done and I really hope it will not need any work.  It was treated to 2 new tyres not so long ago so I live in hope!  It rained heavily all last night so there should be no frost to scrape off the windscreen, thankfully.

Catch up later, have a great day x

Monday, 23 November 2015

A Frosty Morning, A Birthday Cake, and Christmas Preparations

We have our first serious frost this morning, everything looks cold and sparkling and fresh.  It's lovely seeing it through the window from my warm living room but I need to go food shopping later on so I will definitely need to wrap up warmly.  I think I will leave it a while until the streets are aired :)

Since I last posted (crikey.... 3 weeks ago) I have been taking things a bit more slowly but I have bought and wrapped all my Christmas gifts, managing to buy things I know the recipients wanted and even having £3 left of my budget too, which is marvellous. There seems to be quite a lot but everything was bought at a discount from various stores....

On the 1st of November it was my birthday and I was really pleased to be given a voucher from Morrisons, along with my change, for a free bunch of flowers. I didn't spend it right away but waited until 2 weeks later when I felt a bit better.  I could choose something up to the value of £2 so I chose these.  They are still going strong after 9 days. Aren't they a lovely cheerful colour.....

I share my birthday with my son in law so DD invited me to Sunday lunch on the very day and brought out this...

The candle plays 'Happy Birthday' !! Now I have only ever had a birthday cake once before in my whole life so to have one at the age of 66 is wonderful, even if I did have to share was delicious too.....

There are just over 4 weeks left until Christmas so I need to get a wriggle on and finish making my Christmas cards, especially the ones which need to be posted.  They need to be tackled this week, I think.  I have made a start on giving the house an extra tidy too. The fridge/freezer has been turned off, defrosted, cleaned thoroughly and is now back on ready for the winter stores of food in case we get any snow.  My feet seem to go off in different directions the minute I try to walk in snow so I need to be prepared ( and, yes, I was a Girl Guide once!)

I am planning a giveaway in the next few days so watch this space...

Have a lovely day everyone x

Friday, 6 November 2015

Life Getting In The Way

It has been ages since I last posted, for which I apologise to anyone waiting for my input :)  but life just keeps getting in the way.  My eye is still very uncomfortable although I am hoping the issue will eventually resolve itself but with other issues surfacing almost on a daily basis I am finding it too much of a chore to keep my blog going.

Please bear with me. I will continue to read and comment occasionally on other blogs I follow and I hope to be back again soon ...

Take care all of you x

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

On Eyes and Traumas

What a funny old week we have had yet again.  Last Friday, the 16th, was our wedding anniversary; 44 years of wedded bliss (well, sort of anyway!) We went to a local hostelry for our tea and a celebratory drink only to be interrupted several times by the ring of OH's mobile phone as he was covering for the manager who is on holiday.  Whatever did we all do before we had mobile phones? Relax

For months now our computer chair has been playing up. I sit to type a blog post or to read my emails and the chair gently lowers itself until my chin is touching the desk.  I pump it up only for it to happen again ...and again... so in exasperation I went to Staples and chose a new chair, half price in the sale! Lovely!  Until we tried to assemble it and found something missing.... only the blooming castors GGRRR!  They handed us as set of castors while remarking "oh yes, that's the second one we know about". Fair enough but it's taken an extra journey and more fuel to return to the store. Whatever happened to quality control?

I have also had quite a worrying few days.  On Sunday, I noticed that there was something wrong with my left eye.  I was seeing 'flashes' and 'floaters' you know the kind of thing that is like a ghostly shadowy dot moving slowly around as you move your eye, but bearing no similarity to the direction your eye is moving in. Weird but very unsettling. I have had floaters before and they either disappear or the brain shuts them out (I don't know which) but these were new and I've not had flashes since my migraines ceased.  On Monday, I rang the optician and booked an appointment for today as they had nothing available until then.  A phone call to the GP received the same response, no appointment available, see your optician, so I waited.....

At my appointment today the Opthamologist put drops in my eye to dilate the pupil and had a good look around the back of the eye with a very bright light.  I am very squeamish regarding eyes, but she was very good, very kind and very thorough.  She took lots of retinal photos and assured me that she can see no signs of retinal tears or detachment at which I heaved a great sigh of relief.  To say I was petrified that I might need treatment would be an understatement.  At the moment, my left pupil is still enormous compared to the right one so I look a bit freakish but, I am assured, it will be back to normal by tomorrow.  I have to go back again on Sunday for a sight test and she will check my eye again.  God Bless good Opthamologists.

Does anyone else suffer with 'floaters'?  How do you cope with them?

Sorry about the lack of photos but I have been too worried to take any :(

Take care all of you and thanks everso for popping in x

Friday, 9 October 2015

On Sealed Pots and Christmas Gifts

It has been more than 2 weeks since my last post. How fast time seems to move the older you get :/

Dear Father in Law has been ill and at the age of 93 it's a particularly worrying time.  He has been given some antibiotics which have definitely worked and he is feeling much brighter but is becoming increasingly frail.  We know that it's inevitable, of course we do, but his quality of life is very poor.  We took him out to lunch yesterday but, although he enjoyed his lunch, I think he was glad to get home again.  It got me thinking that we seem hell bent on increasing our lifespan but do we really want to live to be a hundred if we end up dependent on others and housebound to boot?  I know I don't.  What do you think?

This morning has dawned bright, a little misty in the distance and cold.  At 7.30am the heating clicked on at 13 degrees and I am happy to let it warm up the house a little before we get out of bed.  Half an hour is just enough at the moment to allow us to get up without shivering.  We have a full tank of LPG which I have just paid for so we are ok for a while. It's the time of year when I review what we have spent and work out a Christmas budget.  Over the last year any savings from the food budget have been popped into my little pot.  If I have had a £5 Morrisons voucher, for instance, I have used it the following week and put the £5 cash equivalent into the pot.  With careful shopping any money left over at the end of the week has also gone in. It has produced a useful sum of money....

There is precisely £135 which I am really pleased with.  We are spending Christmas day with our daughter so we will buy the turkey and we'll also give her a contribution to the rest of the food she needs to feed 7 people for a whole day. Oh, and a bottle of something nice to say thank you for having us :) Whatever remains will buy us food for boxing day as they will probably come to us then.

Throughout the year I have also been putting loose change into my 'sealed pot'.....

Yes, I know it's not exactly sealed :)  but I have been doing this for several years and have the strength of mind not to keep peeking or dipping into it in lean times.  Whatever is in there will be used for Christmas gifts and it will be opened on 5th November just in time for my annual shopping trip with DD.  Hopefully, it will be enough to cover the gifts especially as I have already bought 4 of them, bargains snapped up when I saw them.  I don't buy as many gifts as I used to.  Now that nieces and nephews have grown up, there are no school friends to buy for and we have ceased to buy for other adults by mutual agreement, it is much easier and less costly. OH has refused to get involved in present buying ever since we married 43 years ago. If it was left to him nobody would get anything!  He doesn't buy me anything either so last year I finally gave up and didn't buy him a proper present either.  This year will be the same.  He has far more money than me, he just can't be bothered.

Are you cutting back on gifts this year? Does anyone else not buy gifts for a spouse? Looking back, I don't think my parents ever bought each other gifts.....

Anyway, have a lovely day whatever you have planned x

Thursday, 24 September 2015

The Dentist and a Reward

I have had quite a busy week again.  Lots of errands to run and a dental appointment for my annual check up.  My toothy pegs are healthy, apparently, but my dentist wasn't busy so he decided to do an impromptu scale and polish on them.  As I'm getting on a bit in years my teeth are quite sensitive (receding gums, don't you know) so a simple scale & polish can be a bit nerve wracking...ouch!  Anyway, my teeth are no more even than they were before (that's another story)  but they are bargain at £18.80, I think.  God bless the NHS.

As a reward, I got home just as the courier delivered this exciting parcel....

In my re-discovered love of knitting I had been browsing the internet and found a lovely supplier on  Lots of their yarn was on offer and I succumbed to some soft chunky knit which was reduced from over £5 a ball to...wait for it.. £1  !!  I bought 10 balls in each of two colours...

I am hoping there will be enough to make a couple of waistcoat/gilet type garments to keep me warm during the cold weather to come.  I did order a pattern from elsewhere (fleabay) but have been sent the wrong one so it has to go back...doh...

I also succumbed to a single ball of this Bouffle chunky yarn.  It cost just over £4 but I'm hoping to find a pattern for a simple hat to knit with it. A free pattern came with it but it's a crochet one and I can't crochet :(  The yarn was delivered in a lovely drawstring bag which I can surely find another use for, Christmas maybe?

Even the pattern I ordered for another project came in a sturdy board envelope...

The packaging from Loveknitting cannot be faulted and at the bottom of the pink bag were these!  How lovely!

(BTW I have not been sponsored, these opinions are entirely my own unsolicited comments)

Now does anyone know where I can find a free pattern for a simple hat to knit with my Bouffle yarn please?  A turn back brim would be great, if possible.  My skills in adapting patterns in a different yarn are too risky to try and a trawl around the internet has so far drawn a blank. Help! It's already officially Autumn!

Have a great day whatever you have planned and thanks everso for popping in x

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

On Arachnids and Happy Crafting

Sunday turned out to be a lovely crafting day as promised.  I had the day to myself from 9.30am until 5pm. I rang dear FiL at 11am as usual then was totally undisturbed all day...bliss...

I made a start on some masculine cards which are often a bit tricky but The Eagles at high volume in the background certainly helped! Does anyone else like The Eagles?  I often go to see the tribute band Talon when they play at our local theatre.  They are fab!  Anyway, family cards made and a few to spare....

After my lunchtime soup I sat a bit and finished off some baby knitting.  I always leave the sewing up until last as I don't really enjoy that bit although it was satisfying to finally see the finished articles.  The patterns all come from Marianna's blog, lazydaisydays, she is a very clever (and generous) lady. They will all be going to charity.....

I have received a message from a very kind lady called Sharon who has just found me and who has offered to finish my little fabric dog for me and to post it back.  What a wonderfully kind gesture.  Unfortunately, Sharon, frustration got the better of me and I 'disposed' of the little creature only last week after another futile attempt to assemble him only to realise what I had done...I had cut him out with no seam allowance...doh...(insert a blushing face smilie)  Your kindness has, however, brightened up (several of)  my days, thank you, thank you x

Venomous Spiders

Although I can't call myself an arachnophobe , I certainly don't like big spiders as they can definitely bite!  Small ones are no threat and I scoop them up and throw them outside quite easily but articles I have read lately warn of spiders now entering homes to get warm, and to mate, and there is one venomous spider called a False Widow...what?...aaarrgghh!  I have become very vigilant suddenly :/

DH has just come in for some HM potato & leek soup for lunch and has handed me these which he picked up whilst clearing the park.....

Other neighbours swear that placing conkers beside vents and doorways, even windows will help prevent spiders from entering.  I have my doubts but conkers or bonkers, by jove, I will try it out.  Has anyone else heard about this?  Does it actually work?

Right! Lunch things cleared away, back to card making I think :)

Have a lovely day, whatever you are doing x

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Mistakes and Cakes

Well who would have thought I could show these today.....

Today dawned very cold and misty, so misty that it obliterated the view of the distant trees that I usually see as I open the curtains.  The heating had clicked on at 13 degrees.  Autumn is racing towards us, or so I thought.  By the time I had done the food shopping it was so warm that I had removed my fleece and opened the car windows.  Right, I thought, washing here we come! Two loads later, flapping in the breeze, I decided to put up the new bedroom curtains.  The ones I have had up all summer are floor length but we have a radiator under the window so winter ones need to be sill length so as not to block the heat.  I had ordered some cheap cream curtains off eBay and they arrived yesterday so today they needed pressing and hanging.  The word 'cheap' should have alerted me. BIG mistake :/  They are practically transparent.  Luckily we do have venetian blinds too although, unluckily, the mechanism is broken so they stay fixed at half open (or half closed depending how you look at it) As I was trying to put the rail back I fell off the dressing stool that I was standing on (insert an embarrassed face smilie) falling backwards and landing on the bed with a bounce, knickers akimbo and legs pointing skywards...doh! I must make a mental note to get undressed and dressed in the dark for a while until I think what to do about the curtains.

I realised that we have run out of cake, a catastrophe as far as OH is concerned so made a mincemeat cake, the recipe for which was shared recently by the lovely Sue from Our Quiet Life in Suffolk. It turned out really well despite my cake tin being 8" instead of 7.  It just cooked a little quicker at 1hr 5mins.

It's beautifully moist and tasty....yes, I know....I HAD to try it to make sure it was palatable :)

Tomorrow is going to be a craft day for me. OH will be at work and the family otherwise occupied so I should have no interruptions.....I hope....

I seem to have acquired a new follower but I can't tell who you are.  Welcome anyway!

Have a lovely weekend folks, whatever you have planned x

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