Saturday, 28 February 2015

Rest in Peace Leonard Nimoy

It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of actor Leonard Nimoy yesterday. As a teenager I became hooked on the TV sci-fi  Star Trek.  I had never before seen anything like it and I have never lost the excitement of seeing the episodes over and over again.  Each film released at the cinema had me buying tickets and then watching again as it was released on TV or DVD. This is how most of us will recognise Leonard...

as Mr Spock with pointed ears, unemotional and entirely dedicated to duty.
Thank you, Mr Nimoy, for a lifetime of wonderful entertainment.  God Bless.
" Live long and prosper"

images from Google

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Excess Signs & Speeding Fines

Welcome to Fran, my new follower :)

In the post this morning was a white envelope containing a green coloured speeding fine ticket. OMG! I have been driving since I was 19 years old and have always taken care to drive safely. I have never had one before and my heart sank.  I had been snapped by a speed camera :/

Now on this particular stretch of road the speed restrictions go from 60 to 50 to 30 to 50 to 40 to 30 mph all within about a mile and a half.  I was caught doing 36...yes...36mph in a 30 mph zone.  Just a momentary lapse of concentration meant that I had forgotten the restriction was 30. As soon as I realised I took my foot off the accelerator but it was too late...Bu**er!  It seems I can either accept the £100 fine plus 3 points on my license or pay just £85 and take the Speed Awareness course, hardly a difficult choice, is it.  Let me say that I do not condone breaking the law in the slightest but when I think of the number of drivers, even over recent months, who have cut me up or tailgated me when I was observing the speed limit, or who have driven after drinking alcohol, it makes me quite cross.  This is clearly quite a notorious stretch of road as the offending camera has been set on fire on more than one occasion.  Oh well, the phrase "you did the crime now pay the fine" spring to

Has anyone else been ticketed lately? Please tell me I am not the only one to slip up in this way...

I feel totally discombobulated (what a lovely word) :-)

Stay safe everyone x

Saturday, 21 February 2015

More Signs of Spring and Teaching Young Pups

When I go to feed my neighbours cat in the early morning, I like to have a little walk in the fresh crisp air too.  Yesterday, I noticed so many signs of Spring that I had to fetch my camera and take some snaps.  There were more snowdrops ...

Some beautiful lilac crocuses...

And some Cyclamen Coum, which are one of my favourites.  We bought them from Ashwood Nurseries in Kingswinford and they come up year after year.  These ones are in what we smugly call our 'Seaside Garden'!

This little gem has seeded itself in among a weedy bit of ground.  Perhaps a bird helped out, I don't know but it will stay here in the little spot it chose for itself....

This is the other bit of our Seaside Garden and this is probably the closest we will ever get to living by the sea!  I love this colourful, naff little lighthouse because it contains a solar powered light and has been shining bravely on throughout the cold, dark February nights.

My 66p Tete a Tete daffodils are also showing their sweet little faces to the morning sun.  A real treasure in the dismal days we are still having at the moment....

Nanna's Calming Craft Club

The family came over for the day on Wednesday and as it is half term the children were energetic and bouncy with joy so we needed something calming to occupy them.  At their request we decided to try knitting.  Now I have been a knitter since I was a child but have only recently rediscovered my knitting mojo so I have lots of cheap, small balls of yarn in my stash. DD tried her hand too.  She has never really wanted to knit but was swept along by the GC's enthusiasm, I think, so here is her first effort......

I taught GD to knit 4 years ago when she was six so her piece is quite neat.  She is knitting a little cardigan for her doll.  Guess what her favourite colour is?  lol......

GS couldn't quite get to grips with knitting so he modelled  some wrist warmers I had made earlier (Blue Peter style!)  They are not posh but keep my hands warm when I need my fingers free....

They all enjoyed the session which they christened Nanna's Calming Craft Club :0)

Boy, did I sleep well that night!!

Have a lovely day everyone x

Monday, 16 February 2015

It's National Chip Week!

Today is the start of National Chip Week! Now to me, chips should be chunky with crispy bits on the outside but soft fluffy middles, not these salty sticks called French Fries :)
In celebration of chip week Morrisons is selling their 12.5kg bags of unwashed potatoes at half price once again.  They were £4  now reduced to £2 which, to me, is an excellent buy as bags of frozen chips cost so much more.

The variety is Innovator which is a kind of Russet with rough, tan coloured skin, creamy texture and pale yellow flesh.  They are recommended for brilliant roasties and jackets as well as chips.  Yummy!

I often buy these big bags of bargainacious spuds (regular readers will already know that) as I find that if I store the bag in the shed where it's cool they will last for weeks.  I just collect enough on a Sunday to last the week  then fold the bag back down. They work out at just 16p per kilo which is brilliant value.  What can beat a lovely jacket potato with crispy skin and a fluffy inside :))

Who else loves potatoes?  I think I developed my love of them when we were young and money was very tight.  Mum used to fill the oven with big potatoes and we could smell them baking from the street where we were playing!  Then later on our own son would eat mounds of mash with his meal.  He was so skinny but very hard to fill up!

Thanks for popping in once again x

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Knitting For Charity... A Question...

Phew! What a busy couple of days we have had.  It was a lovely, mild, sunny (ish) day today so I decided to have a blitz on the venetian blinds while I had the house to myself.  They get so very dusty and are a right pain to clean but they had to be done.  I also did a bit more de-cluttering and a black bin bag full of useless 'stuff' has been put into the skip.  It couldn't be recycled and wasn't good enough for the CS so it has been binned.  I always feel a bit guilty each time I bin a bag of rubbish but the alternative is to keep it which would be silly.  The big pile of washing too has bitten the dust...hooray!...but I now have ironing...Boo!...That will have to wait until tomorrow.

I seem to have my knitting mojo back!  I used to do a lot when the kids were little then lost the urge when it seemed more expensive to knit my own than to buy ready made.  I have been knitting baby things (don't read anything into it though, my poor OH did a double take when he saw what I was No, I just like knitting baby clothes. They are finished quickly and the patterns are fairly easy to follow.  This is my latest creation to fit a baby up to 6 months old....

A question for you, dear reader. Does anyone know of a charity which can make use of hand knitted baby items?  I mean things like the little top above, hats, bootees and such like?  If you can point me in the right direction I would be more than happy to make and donate more items.

Does anyone else knit and donate things to charity?

Sorry this is a short post but my quiche is now out of the oven and I need to get into a hot shower to ease my aches and pains :/  See you all tomorrow...x

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Little Pot of Spring & a Singing Neep

When I did the food shopping on Monday I saw this luscious little pot of Spring daffs in Morrisons for just 66p.  I couldn't resist them for that price.  Similar ones are on sale in Poundland so these were a steal.  So loverly.... :)

Now on a different subject entirely, I love mashed swede but hate preparing the things as cutting them into chunks ready to cook hurts my hands.  Has anyone heard of the Singing Neep?  I don't know how to post a link but if you Google Singing Neep on U-Toob there is a video explaining how to do it.  I just wiped the swede clean  (no piercing required either) placed it onto a plate in the microwave and zapped it for about 20 minutes, turning it over half way through.  I was sure it would explode cooked it perfectly.  After a little rest (the neep, not  I just cut it open and scooped out the flesh....

.....which was then gently mashed a little more in a bowl with a fork...perfect mashed swede.

Apparently, the name comes from the sound the swede makes when it's cooking.  I can't believe I have had to wait until my 65th year to find this super little trick.
Has anyone else tried this? Any more tips I have missed during my lifetime of cooking?
Thanks so much for popping in x

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Snowdrops and Kitties

Both cats were waiting for me at 8am again this morning which was much easier than trying to call them in. The tabby at the rear is the interloper :/ and she is much bigger than she appears in the photo. Both cats are female and seem to enjoy each other's company so it's quite difficult to keep the interloper out of my neighbour's kitchen whilst feeding Puss.  I have to go in and close the door, prepare both lots of food and put Fudge's bowl outside in the little shelter whilst Puss comes in the house to eat.  Cor, it's like being a juggler at times!
Here is Puss managing to eat in peace.....

 She is a lovely cat with a thick, glossy coat but is very timid.  She will not come if there is a man near, even if she just hears his voice.  She just appeared in the area about 6 or so years ago as a scraggy, thin little kitten but various people fed her until she decided she had fallen on her feet when she adopted my neighbour.  I am lucky that she seems to like me too and will brush my legs and allow me to stroke her gently.

On my way back home I spotted these on the frozen bank and just had to try to get a photo.  It turned out to be a bit of a task as the tabby thought it a marvellous game to fly into the shot just before I clicked the button.  Consequently, I have several shots of the fur on her back instead of the Snowdrops!

These little beauties are my Small Treasure for today.....

Enjoy the lovely sunny day if you can, and thanks for popping in x

Monday, 2 February 2015

On Cat Sitting and a Tortoise Called Ernie

This morning my cat sitting began in earnest.  I set my alarm for 7.45am just in case I slept on but I was awake long before that (you can see I take my responsibilities seriously :/ )  I had not one but two cats waiting for their breakfast....Eek!...Now I am not a 'cat person' having never owned one in my life and am naturally a bit nervous around animals anyway.  If I confess that I was nervous around our family pet mongrel as a kid, and he was a friendly happy chap, then perhaps you might forgive me.  Anyway, my neighbour's moggie is a stray which she took in a few years ago and she is an eat-and-dash-off- again sort of cat, no bother at all really.  She will come around my legs for a greeting then eat and away.  The visiting cat (named Fudge) is twice her size!  She muscles in when she can smell food so I had to feed her too by placing some in a dish outside, leaving me a bit of space to feed Puss. Ah well, this is day 2 of a 28 day mission :-0

My next task is looking after a tortoise called Ernie who just happens to be hibernating in a fridge at the moment.  My childhood tortoise was hibernated in a shoe box under the stairs but these days it has all become very technical and apparently a fridge is the way to do it.  Luckily I have contact numbers if I have any worries but I have no idea how long these creatures hibernate for.  Do they move at all? When will he wake?  I sincerely hope he will sleep through the time he is in my care.

Has anyone else got a tortoise? What do you do with it during the winter months?

Thanks ever so for popping in x

Sunday, 1 February 2015

A New Month & The Key

Don't be discouraged.

It's often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.

Wow, a new month already.  This morning I turned my calendar over to the new page and the quote above was revealed.  How true it is.....  I have often almost given up hope that a problem will resolve itself only for the solution to appear as if by magic at the eleventh hour. The 'key' (pardon the pun!) is to never give up hope.  However hard life is at a given moment just remember that nothing lasts for ever, things always change.  When my first child was born on Christmas morning in 1972 (he has never forgiven me for that) he hardly ever slept and consequently neither did I.  A good friend assured me, as an exhausted and bleary eyed new mum, that this phase would pass.  And, of course, it did.  When I injured my back and was in so much pain that I thought I would never walk far again, I kept that thought in my head.  A year later things did begin to improve and I was able to get back to work with a brand new job which was easier on the poor back.  I still get flare ups but can now cope knowing that it won't last for ever.
No one sails through life totally unscathed so whether you are coping with sickness, injury, struggling with debt or a myriad of other things life throws at us, then  Don't be discouraged.  The last key might be the one!
Have a happy Sunday everyone and thanks for coming to see me x

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