Sunday, 30 December 2018

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year to everyone, wherever in the world you happen to be.  May 2019 be a happy, healthy and productive time.  Stay safe.
See you in the new year.
God Bless x

Monday, 24 December 2018

News and a Merry Christmas Wish

 
I'll start this post with the mundane news just in order to clear my head.  Most of  the gifts have been given out with just the family's ones left to take tomorrow, the food has been purchased apart from a few bits left to buy this morning, and we are booked into the village pub for lunch on Boxing day...Yay!
 

On 27th Dec G has a hospital appointment for a test injection as a day case (long story), I'm still sleeping on the floor, and, Oh yes, we had a car accident last Tuesday.  The driver of a transit van overtook us and then drove into the front of G's car causing over £2,230 worth of damage.  Luckily no-one was hurt and a pedestrian saw everything and has provided a witness statement to say that G was in no way to blame.
 
Yesterday afternoon our next door neighbour died suddenly at home leaving a husband to grieve over Christmas. The poor man, the poor family....
 
I feel drained and totally in need of some good news so I'm signing off until the new year when I might set myself a challenge.  I need to think....
 
 

Wishing you all a very happy, peaceful and totally wonderful Christmas.  May 2019 bring you health and happiness in spades.

Stay safe wherever you are in the world. Lots of love x

Friday, 14 December 2018

The Weirdest Conversation Ever!

I've just had the weirdest telephone conversation with the manager of our local food bank.  I rang to ask if they are short of anything in particular as I will be shopping tomorrow and she said a resounding NO!  She says they are overflowing with food and Christmassy stuff with nowhere to put any more!  She asked me to hang on until the new year before I donate anything.  To be honest I was gobsmacked.  It's great that they have plenty of food but surely at this time of year the need is pretty full on.  I know they only open 3 days a week for people in need but I'm amazed, to say the least, that they turned down my offer.  For the remainder of my Reverse Advent period I will therefore concentrate on doing good deeds and donating toys instead.

Has anyone else had this response from a food bank?

Have a great weekend everyone. Stay safe wherever you are x

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Craft Fair & Reverse Advent

Thank you so much to everyone who commented on my last post, especially Marlene who offered to lend me a mattress (sadly too far away) and Jean in Canada who shared her own experience of Dystonia and Torticollis.  I am overwhelmed by your kindness.

Todays craft fair was the worst ever.  I took a solitary £1 coin :(   My day was made worthwhile, however, by a lady with learning difficulties who wanted to buy one of my £1 heart shaped brooches.  I only had 2 left and she struggled to choose between red and gold.  She chose the red one, paid for it and then I decided it was silly just having one left and gave the gold one to her free of charge.  She made my day by bringing me a gift of a mince pie just before she left, thanking me for being kind to her. We hugged and smiled together :)



As it was the very last fair until March next year I decided to spend the £10 from my float on stuff for the local food bank.  I like the idea of taking part in Reverse Advent each year and have started off as follows:

Dec 1st 2018
Day 1:
I bought the homeless young man in town some lunch.  He chose a hot cheese and onion pasty and a tea.  On my way past him back to the car I gave him a box of mince pies (which he said he enjoys), an apple and 3 satsumas

Dec 8th
Days 2-14:
13 items popped into Sainsburys collection box including tinned ham, tuna and corned beef, 3 shower gels/baby bath, tinned soup x 2, spaghetti, toothpaste and baby wipes, tinned custard, cooking salt

This gives me a bit of breathing space but I will buy a total of 25 items before Christmas

Anyone else doing the Reverse Advent this year?  Are you including good deeds as well as actual items?

Stay safe everyone wherever you happen to be. Take care x

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Busy, Busy, Busy

Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post, it's much appreciated.

One week on and we have had a very busy week.  G's NHS letter was, indeed an appointment; January 4th 2019 !  DD suggested we ring the hospital and ask if they have a waiting list for cancellations which G could join.  After making 4 fruitless attempts to ring the number on the letter, being put through to the wrong department each time, I got a strop on and made the executive decision to get in the car and drive to the hospital (local luckily) to get the correct phone number from reception.  Guess what?  They couldn't find it either, but we were exceptionally lucky to find the consultant's secretary was in the office and she very kindly came to speak to me.  They don't have a cancellation list but she suggested we call them periodically on the off chance.  Both the ladies we spoke to were pleasant, sympathetic and helpful.  I couldn't believe our luck when that very afternoon the secretary rang G to offer him an appointment 2 days later, on Wednesday! 

I went with him to the appointment and the consultant has decided that he will try injecting an anaesthetic into the neck muscle first to see if it helps.  If so they will know they have the correct place to inject Botox into.  It will be a long winded process as we now have to await a letter for the next stage and then another for the third stage and so on.  At the moment I'm sleeping on the floor in the spare room in a sleeping bag so that we can both get some sleep (we only have a double bed in our usual room) so I can't wait to get the problem resolved.  I can get on the floor to sleep but getting back up in a morning at the age of 69 is a bit problematic to say the least....lol  :/ I don't know how much longer I can do it for.....

 
 
 
 
Meanwhile, G is paying for Osteopathy every couple of weeks because it helps his neck and shoulder pain to keep it mobile.  He has been diagnosed with Torticollis and he asked the Osteopath if she had any idea what could have caused it. She says it could be caused by an infection or a virus and asked if he had had any dental problems.  Remember the year long trauma between having an extraction and then an operation to complete the job properly?  I rest my case..... Grrr…..
Now...we need to watch the post carefully for the next letter.....
 
Have any of you had any experience with Cervical Torticollis?  Any tips on coping please?
 
Today has been spent cleaning the house, putting up a few decorations (we never have a tree indoors these days) and a bit of crafting in preparation for the last craft fair of the year next Saturday.  Now it's time to prepare our supper and settle down to watch Dr Who and I'm A Celebrity with a nice glass of red wine in my hand :)  Any one else watching either prog?
 
Stay safe everyone and thanks so much for popping in x

 

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Who Stole The Week?

Where on earth has this week gone? We have been catching up on various tasks that we've been putting off for ages. We've laid plastic down on the allotment so there's nothing more to be done until March/April when we can begin to peel it back and start cultivating (the wooden pallets will be re-purposed into something) ....



My Sister in Law had a 'big' birthday and someone (not me!) made her the most amazing cake.  She loves bingo, horse racing, the lottery anything, in fact, which involves a bit of a gamble.  If you look carefully there are even some edible £5 notes on the base !.....




G and I have been window shopping for gardening equipment that we might need next year and for some kind of reasonably priced storage box to take to the allotment. We visited Webbs of Wychbold where I drooled over the wonderful Christmas lights and decorations as well as having a mug of tea for £1.89 each in the (very busy) coffee shop. All I bought were a few bits from Hobbycraft for my card making so not too much spending going on.

On Wednesday, I went Christmas gift shopping with DD to our local shopping centre and managed to complete my gift buying, DD having to go back the next day too to finish hers.  Some money saving ways are definitely rubbing off onto her because she researched prices online before she went back so that she knew exactly where to buy things at the cheapest prices :) That's my girl!  I might start the gift wrapping next weekend when I put up the decorations.  It will be 1st December and perfect to begin the festivities.

G is still suffering with his neck so can't sit still for long.  Fair enough, but it means I can't sit still for long either and my crafting 'me time' has flown out of the window because we have to go out every day at some stage and it gets dark really early now so the light has disappeared by about 3pm.  I also miss my quiet reading time.  I will have to try to be a bit more organised at the weekend when G is at work so that I can fit in a bit of both reading and crafting.  The housework will have to be sidelined methinks ;)

Update:  the postie has just delivered a letter for G with NHS emblazoned across the envelope.  A hospital appointment hopefully.  Watch this space...

A warm welcome to Milentry, my new follower.

Have a lovely weekend and stay safe wherever you are x

Friday, 16 November 2018

Stash To Cash Results



Just a quick post to report my total and therefore record it for future reference.  I had a small eBay craft sale of £11.85, £2.80 net at the last (pathetic) craft fair making a total of:

£191.67
Add to that my sealed pot total of                       £30.20

Grand total £221.87

I'm now calling it a day as far as the challenge is concerned.  The sum will be enough for Christmas gifts and I'm going gift shopping with DD next week.  For her family I'm buying a practical gift each (PJ's have been requested...yay! ) for which I need DD's input, plus a couple of surprises each to make up a gift bag.  This year has been so much easier to plan for than ever before so I might start another challenge in the new year.

I just have the food to sort out but will use my Nectar points for most of that.
How are your plans going? How many will you be catering for? There will be just 6 of us this year.

Thanks everso for popping in and stay safe wherever you are in the world x

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Remembrance Sunday



Thinking of all our service personnel past, present and future.
  God bless you all.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Saturday Already! & Allotment News

Saturday already!  After a night of torrential bursts of rain, the day dawned damp but sunny.  My sore throat has gone and, although I still have the remnants of a cold, I feel much better.  The craft fair opened for setting up at 9am but, as I was already awake at 5am courtesy of G, it was no hardship.  The footfall was not brilliant again despite radio ads and leaflet drops so I might give it up after the December one which I've already paid my £5 for.  Takings today were the grand sum of £7.80 so it's just not worth the effort :(

We spent a couple of mornings at the allotment and it's looking much better already....



After strimming, we can see just how big it is and the piles of 'rubbish' at the end can ultimately be used to fill some raised beds. As you can see , there are 3 wood edged areas where turf has been dumped, along with other stuff which should break down....





Next week we will cover three quarters of the area with plastic sheeting weighed down with some pallets that a chap very kindly took to the allotment for us.  Once we start cultivating the plot in the Spring we will re-use the pallets to make something like edging or a structure / shelter at the far end.  We are not allowed to have a shed (sob!) and no chickens are allowed either :(

There are some toilets on site; the composting variety!







The instructions are on the wall for the mens' room and although I haven't yet investigated the womens' version, I'm sure all will become clear ….lol....

Has anyone else tried a composting loo?  Who the devil empties it? Or is it a soakaway?  AArrgghh!

Have a great weekend everyone.
Stay safe wherever you happen to be x

Monday, 5 November 2018

Allotment News

Firstly a big welcome to Eileen, lovely to see you :)

We have a bit of good news. G has been offered the chance of a half plot on our local allotment.  Now, we have been waiting for over 8 years and had virtually given up on getting anything so the offer was unexpected to say the least.  We took a look at it on Friday....


It measures approx. 13 ft by 90 ft and is overgrown to say the least.  To my eye it looks daunting but G is a qualified horticulturalist and has been used to clearing such a space for customers in the past.  With his ongoing neck problem he will have to take things slowly but I'm hoping it will give him something to occupy his mind.  He will get fresh air, a bit of exercise and, hopefully, someone new to talk to. We will tackle the work together mostly.  For now, we have ordered a giant length of black heavy duty black plastic so that we can strim down all the weeds, lay the sheeting down to kill off the weeds during the Winter and then slowly (starting at the front) peel it back to begin planting.  G will make some raised beds so that it will be a 'no dig' plot and therefore easier on our joints.

We are lucky that the dip tank for water is on a corner of the plot so it will be fairly easy to water the plants...….



It's an organic site so we need to be careful what we use on the soil but at the very back of the plot the previous owner piled lots of turf upside down in a heap.  It should break down into useable compost to fill the raised beds eventually.

In a spurt of enthusiasm, G has loaded the car with his petrol strimmer and gone off on his own to survey the plot and make a start.  I offered to accompany him but he declined. It will only be 2 hours until it begins to get dark so he can't overdo things and it gives me a couple of hours to relax and catch up on some crafting.  I have another craft fair on Saturday and have some prepping to do.....
AND I have a nagging feeling that I have a sore throat coming (courtesy of the GC I think) DRAT!

Thank you everyone who commented on my last post.  I do so appreciate each and every comment, even if I don't get around to replying.

Stay safe everyone, wherever you happen to be in the world x

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Winning Big....Yay!

I went to Sainsburys this morning and put my monthly £10 worth of petrol into the car.  I handed over my 200 points voucher and could have kissed the cashier when he said " Oh, you've got the big one!" 


I had won 5000 points worth £25. It will be a massive help with the Christmas shopping.  I celebrated by treating myself to a skinny cappuccino in M & S....




Then I went into Sainsbugs to get a few bits of shopping for the weekend where I also picked up some staples for the food bank (toiletries as well as pasta & sauce etc) My 5000 points were added to my Nectar account immediately.  As I had spent £13 the till churned out another voucher worth 500 points (£2.50)….
 
 
 

 Oooh I like this game :)
 
My Nectar points total has risen to an amazing £66 so far, so I won't have to worry about food for Christmas.  This will be particularly helpful because DD is finding it a struggle at the moment so I will be able to help her out too.  This also means that I can happily use my sealed pot money (pot opening day 1st November) to buy gifts. I'll let you know the total of that soon.

I have had a small craft sale of £10.37 nett to add to my Stash to Cash challenge...

Who else has had a good result at Sainsbugs?

Stay safe everyone and thanks everso for popping in x

Stash to Cash Total £177.02

Friday, 26 October 2018

What Do Points Make?

G is driving me mad at the moment.  Not only am I getting little sleep but I have to keep doing things during the day to keep him occupied and tire him out!  Personally, I prefer a little chill out time each day to keep me sane.  An hour quietly reading perhaps, or a couple of hours crafting.  I'm happy to go out at some stage each day either walking, shopping or tidying the garden but then I need some QUIET time.  I have just sent G out for a walk round the park so that I can relax and, at least, write a blog post in peace.  He has had acupuncture again this morning and I'm sure it's livened him up :/

Do you relish time on your own too? Company is lovely but not all the time! How do you feel about it?  How do you relax?

A heads up for anyone with a Sainsbury's nearby.... it's SCAN & WIN time again...yay!...  If you spend £10 or more, just scan your Nectar card and you will win at least 200 points (worth £1)  This is my win....


Tomorrow I will go and buy some fuel so should get another crack at winning big.  I won 5,000 points last year (worth £25) which was an enormous help with Christmas stuff. Do let me know what you win..... Good luck! :)

Stay safe everyone, wherever in the world you happen to be x

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Sleepless in Seattle and Plucking up Courage

Yes, I know I've been decidedly AWOL but life has been throwing a lot of lemons our way lately. G is still suffering with his twitchy head and we have both been losing enormous amounts of sleep.  He has had Physio at the hospital, visited an Osteopath and had manipulation as well as acupuncture in his neck over the last 3 weeks, all to no avail at the moment.  He is now on the hospital waiting list for Botox injections but the appointment could be 2 months away.  It's currently costing us £90 a week in fees :/  He is very stressed by it all but I really don't want him to go down the slippery slope of taking Diazepam.  He is already on pills for other things including high blood pressure.  The reading has hit the roof and he was prescribed Calcium Channel blockers early this week.   Last night we both got around 2 hours of restless sleep and I have felt like a zombie all day.  G was brave and went in to work.  He'll be back around 8.30pm tonight.

This morning I set to and sorted the spare room out.  The wardrobe has been cleared of unused 'stuff ' most of which went to the CS but I gave an artist neighbour a nearly new easel, gave a hardly used backpack to a cheerful young care worker, who visits a neighbour and took several black bags of rubbish up to the skip.  This now means that, if necessary, I can sleep in the spare room on the floor in a sleeping bag so that G doesn't worry so much about waking me up when he has to get up for painkillers or to put the kettle on or put his heat wrap in the microwave.  When your bedroom is right next to the kitchen in a park home every click and rumble is LOUD !

When I was in town I plucked up the courage to speak to a young man who appears to be homeless and who sits on the pavement in all weathers.  He made eye contact and said hello so I asked if he minded if I offered to get him a drink.  It was blooming cold.  He asked if he could possibly have a hot chocolate so I bought him one as well as a slice of hot, fresh pizza.  Now that I know he doesn't mind being approached it won't be the last time I buy him something.

My craft sales have been a bit neglected over the last 3 weeks due to me being exhausted most of the time so I can only add £11.50 to the total.  I am, however, determined to keep going....

Stay safe everyone and thanks so much for popping in x

 Stash to Cash total £166.65

Sunday, 30 September 2018

On Frost and Planning for Christmas

After a frosty start, yesterday was a gorgeous day.  The sun shone, the birds sang, I did shopping and so much washing that my basket is almost empty.... a satisfying day.  We had so little sleep on Friday night that I felt like a limp rag yesterday morning but lots of activity interspersed with 'feet up' moments meant that I got through the day far better than I expected to.  Luckily, last night was a good night for G regarding getting off to sleep so it benefitted us both and we woke up refreshed.
I have a craft fair next weekend so I'm busy prepping for that and I have also had some modest sales on eBay so I'll update my challenge total next weekend.

This year I have really struggled to make any savings for Christmas out of the weekly food budget.  At the moment I have just £15 which won't really buy much in the way of festive groceries and we're three quarters of the way through the year so I think I will have to use my sealed pot savings on food instead of gifts this year.  I will be opening the pot on 1st November so I'll let you know how much I have then.  Gifts will be paid for from my Stash to Cash challenge money.  I have written a list and will need to allocate a certain sum for each person.  Some (mainly little ones) will get cash in their Christmas cards instead of a gift.  And I'm on the lookout for brilliant bargains to snap up!

Anyone else written their lists yet?  I absolutely have to have lists!!

The family came to visit this afternoon, so we had a lovely catch up. The GC, at the ages of 11 and 14,  are so much easier now.  They chat, occupy themselves, help with cooking tea (pasta bake, lots of salad and warm crusty baguette) and darling GD dried up the crockery afterwards without being asked to.  They have gone home so I have my PJ's on and am ready to watch some TV.  Vanity Fair is on later, shame that Bodyguard has finished :(  Anyways...….

Stay safe wherever you happen to be and thanks so much for popping in x

Monday, 24 September 2018

Brrr...Get Ready For Autumn



photo from Google
 

Brrr...it's chilly this morning.  The central heating thermostat is set at 13 degrees and it clicked itself on at 7.30am this morning, a sure sign that it is indeed officially Autumn.  Half an hour of heat has warmed us up enough to get out of bed without shivering :)  And the sun is out now so, hopefully, it will warm up a bit before we go out to do the 'big' food shop.

The thicker duvet has been put back on the bed, the LPG tank was topped up last week (£57.34 so not a shock thanks to the hot summer) and the boiler serviced (£65)  Our bill for 6 months electricity dropped on the mat last week too so another £269.16 left our account, but that should be it for the rest of the month then it's just council tax by direct debit in early October.  My budget calculations seem to have worked out pretty well and there might even be a bit of a surplus at the end of the year but I don't want to jinx it by being too confident.
 
Has anyone seen the Halfords offer of a free MOT with any purchase?  I found out from the Martin Lewis website.  I bought a chamois demister pad for £1, thinking that there was no way I would qualify with such a small purchase but, several days later, I received an email containing a code to input in an online booking. Voila! Free MOT booked for end of November!  I hope it doesn't mean that they will try to find something wrong so that I have to pay them something but my car is 8 years old (never failed before) so its' a possibility.  I'll let you know how it goes....

The craft fair 2 weeks ago was very slow, hardly any footfall at all, and takings of just £7  but I have another coming up in 2 weeks time so intend to have a bit more Christmas stock just in case people are more in the mood by October ;)  I take comfort in the fact that other stallholders had disappointing sales too, it wasn't just me.

Anyway, I'm off to check cupboards, fridge and freezer and make a proper shopping list.  We will need comforting food soon I'm sure, and there's a budget to stick to!

Stay safe everyone, wherever you happen to be.  I need to catch up with reading my favourite blogs.  I've missed so much...

Thanks everso for popping in x

Monday, 3 September 2018

A Quick Update & Peppa Pig!

This is just a quick post to update my Stash to Cash total.  My sales on eBay have been small but steady, with a total of £44.23 to add to the pot. This brings it up to a satisfying £155.15 and I have the monthly craft fair next Saturday too.  Is it too early to put Christmas stock on my stall do you think?  I know many of you, like me, like to start preparations early (I already bought 2 small stocking fillers)  Ooh, decisions...decisions.... :)

On the home front, G is still suffering with his neck problem although he has seen a consultant physiotherapist for an assessment at the hospital and is awaiting an appointment for more physio treatment.  He is still on tablets but, at least, this means we are getting some sleep now albeit sometimes broken sleep. We would love to take the caravan off somewhere for a couple of nights before Winter sets in but simply can't at the moment until G's appointment comes through. I thought that last year was bad with G's 'toothy troubles' but this year has been even worse somehow.

It has been GS's and GD's bithdays within 5 weeks of each other so I was very glad of having my Stash to Cash money.  I put money in their cards instead of buying a gift they didn't want or need, which they were really happy about. They both bought new clothes and/ or trainers so I feel it wasn't money wasted :)  I will carry on with my challenge until the end of the year, only now it will go towards Christmas gifts. Oh, and I'll send something to my little GD in Australia.  She will be 3 at the beginning of November and I usually send birthday & Christmas things in one parcel.  She is in love with Peppa Pig and dinosaurs! Has anyone seen any Peppa Pig clothing at a reasonable price please? It needs to be as light as possible due to postage costs and with short sleeves because it's Spring in Oz.  A bit of a task, I know.....

Well, considering this was to be a short post, I've rambled on a bit!  I felt quite down when I woke up an hour ago but feel that I've been talking to friends and feel a lot more cheerful.  Thanks for listening....

Stay safe everyone, wherever you are in the world and thanks so much for popping in x

Stash to Cash total £155.15

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

On Wine And Sleepless Nights

Thank you to everyone for your comments on my last post.  Some of you naughty ones would try tasting the wine and Cherie really made me giggle!  We decided it wasn't worth the risk.  The first bottle opened with a pop but didn't smell very nice and was full of sediment, the second didn't pop so must not have been airtight.  It smelled awful, so both were poured onto a dry patch of the garden.  We fully expected to see dizzy bumble bees and other insects but they all seemed to be unscathed :)

At the moment G is suffering badly from his neck problem.  His tummy bug cleared up but the last 2 nights have been spent largely sleepless due to this head twitching he is getting.  Last night he was in and out of bed so often that I got up with him and made some tea.  We were still up and awake at 5am.  At 5.15am we decided to try to get at least a couple of hours, managing to doze off until just after 8am.  This morning he has managed to get a GP appointment because this can't go on.  He has more than a week to wait until his physio appointment at the hospital and I'm sure that something more is going on other than a spinal problem.

For this reason my blog will go quiet for a while.  I am exhausted; too tired to think, in fact.  I will continue to read other blogs when I can and I am carrying on with my Stash to Cash challenge until the end of the year so might update the total periodically for my diary.  There is no craft fair this month but I do have some online sales to total up.

Stay safe everyone and thanks everso for dropping in x

Monday, 6 August 2018

How Long Does a Bottle of Wine Last?

When it was cooler last week G decided to tackle the shed at long last.  He hauled everything out from off the floor, added a new shelf and tidied it all up.  So much stuff! There were containers holding just a drop of this or a bit of that so we used up what we could and gave some away, recycling the containers.  Equipment used in his old gardening business which he no longer needed was given away too.  He came across these tucked into a corner in a gift bag....



They are dated 2009!!  I remember a friend of FiL begged some of our rhubarb from the last house and he made it into wine.  We were meant to keep it for 6 months before opening it but we moved here in March 2010, popped them in the shed and completely forgot about them  What a waste.  How long can you keep a bottle of homemade wine for?  Any records out there? :)

In the early hours of Saturday morning G was throwing up (and, no, he hasn't sampled the wine!)  Somehow he picked up a bug which has laid him flat and off his food for 3 days.  Not much sleep was had by either of us that night....

Today the weather is roasting again but it seems that cooler weather is on it's way, thank goodness.  I will be so glad to get through the day without feeling sticky and uncomfortable.  How are you all coping?

I mustn't forget to welcome a new follower: Margaret, I think...hello!

Anyway, thanks so much for popping in, take care xx

Friday, 3 August 2018

Mammoths, Wasps and Village Life

Gosh, such a lot has happened since my last post.  The visit to West Midland Safari Park last Sunday was lovely.  It rained on and off but didn't spoil the day.  It was GS's birthday and the activity of choice for a birthday treat.  There was so much to see that we didn't manage it all so will be grateful for the free return ticket later on in the school holiday.  We were just going into the new Ice Age area when DD discovered a wasp down the top of her ankle boot which stung her several times before I could get it off her.  This necessitated a trip to the First Aid booth and a dressing of TCP applied.  Everyone for miles around could smell us coming afterwards...lol...but she survived.  Anyway, we all trooped back to the Ice Age for an encounter with Mammoths and wild creatures of all descriptions complete with sound effects....




Their Dinosaur area was pretty impressive too but I haven't posted photos because many other bloggers have covered it.  I loved the Bat Cave too (but not the smell !).  As it was raining again after our picnic lunch, we drove around the safari park for a second time when it was much quieter and we could take our time driving through.  GC thought it was ace.

A couple of weeks ago I broke a tiny bit of tooth off whilst eating my morning cereal and the roughness has irritated my tongue ever since so I brought forward my usual check up appointment, thinking that the dentist would smooth it off for me.  Did he heck.  He took one look and when I was lying prone with his gloved fingers in my mouth declared that he would just ( and I quote) "pop a bit of anaesthetic in, quickly whizz out the two fillings and refill them"  Aaarrrgh!  It was a good job I couldn't speak.  Anyway, job done within minutes and a bill of £59.10 to pay.  Great.....  :/

Changing the subject yet again, we attended a meeting at the village pub on Monday where we discovered two ongoing problems.  The first is the potential closure of the village Post Office which would be devastating to village life.  We have many of the older generation here who don't have transport, computers or smartphones and who rely on the PO for all their financial transactions like pensions and paying of bills.  We are looking to set up a co-operative to buy the shop and PO and carry on the business.  Pledges are being made even as I write.

The second, and pressing, problem is the potential quarry development on farm land close to the village.  It would be so harmful to wildlife and crops, as well as the health of the villagers.  At least 3 schools would be in the vicinity of toxic dust and heavy lorries clogging the roads.  We need to do something fast.

Has anyone else tackled anything like this?  Can the 'big guys' actually be stopped from getting their way?  I do hope so....

Anyway, must dash, it's cooler today so I need to get cooking for once :)

Take care and stay safe x

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Rain At Last

Firstly, a very warm welcome to Elaine, my new follower...hello  :)

A few days ago we harvested our potatoes from the trough we had used.  There were 2.5kg of lovely, smooth skinned, yummy potatoes.  They taste creamy and delicious and will last us a few weeks if we keep them cool, as we don't eat an enormous amount of potatoes in Summer.


In their place we have planted leeks (the compost has been totally removed, enriched and replaced)


The garden has suffered a bit with the total lack of rain.  These Hydrangeas were a beautiful purple but are now changing colour as our soil is pretty neutral.  We need to do something next year to bring the purple back...





Our GS gave us a couple of sunflower seeds and the flowers are doing quite well.  They obviously love the sunny weather.  This one is the smallest.  I'll let you know how tall they get.  What's the biggest you have grown?


Today is blessedly cool and we had some rain overnight.  It began around 9pm last night and, at one point during the night, it belted down.  Thank heavens.  Let's hope there's a little more to come as the river level at Bewdley is down to 22cm. 

Tomorrow I am going to a wildlife park with the family so you can bet your bottom dollar that we will have thunderstorms and torrential rain!  It never fails...lol...

I hope everyone who needs rain has had some too,

Take care x

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Hot, hot, hot and Rain Song

It's almost 2 weeks since my last post and it's been incredibly hot ever since, so much so that my energy has evaporated like the moisture from the garden.  I still don't feel like eating properly as it's much too hot to cook and we don't really have an appetite for hot meals anyway.  G is getting really fed up with salad but he doesn't know what he fancies, so that's no help. 

Yesterday my GS had his leaving assembly from junior school and I went to the church service.  It was lovely but I felt a bit sad that he will be at Secondary school in September and we will no longer have small children with Nativity plays etc to weep over :/  Children grow so fast, don't they.  I still have a wee GD in Oz but I can't actually give her a real hug over the internet now can I.

Anyway, as I was driving home it began to spot with rain so when I arrived I got G to sing 'Danny Boy'.  His voice is totally off key and it did the trick, it rained gently for over 2 hours! ...lol... Perhaps I should rent him out? It was blissfully cool all evening with a gentle breeze blowing through the open windows and cooling us down.  By this morning it was more hot sunshine but now (4.30pm) the clouds have arrived and it's feeling a tad better.  I must admit that I HAVE HAD ENOUGH NOW! More rain please? The water butt is still only 1/4 full.

I have had a bit more success with my Stash to Cash challenge over the last week.  I cleared £15.30 at the craft fair and a neighbour has just paid me £4.50 for a couple of special cards, therefore the new total is

Stash to Cash total £110.92

I have some sales on fleabay but I will need to buy a few things in the next few days; more double sided tape, some gems and a couple of metres of thin ribbon for bows.  I'll use the fleabay money so won't count the money raised from that sale .

Hope you are all coping with the weird weather across the world.  Take care...

Thanks so much for popping in x

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Talented Talon & Jobs on a Hot Day

It feels like another scorcher today (as it was yesterday) but yesterday evening I spent several hours in the blissful cool of an air conditioned theatre watching a wonderful acoustic band called Talon.  They are known for being an Eagles tribute band but their talents extend far beyond that.  I left on a high, especially after a hug from a member of the band! If you want to hear what I mean try www.talonmusic.co.uk/acoustic and click on the All Of Me video to hear Johnny Miller's version of the John Legend song.  I buy a ticket for the show every year and it's the highlight of my year.  I have to go on my own but I wouldn't miss it for the world :)  Do take a look, they might be playing near you....

This morning while it's a little cooler I need to crack on with a bit of housework.  It's been sadly neglected with the energy sapping weather we have been having, so it's:

  • Change the bed linen and put it in the wash
  • Mop the kitchen floor
  • Clean the bathroom & en-suite
  • Vacuum the lounge
  • Breath.....  ;)
  • Crafting! Yippee!
  • Lunch
  • More crafting ;)
I managed to get my car serviced at last as I put it off last year in order to save money. Because I do so few miles I thought it could wait.  This year I shopped around and, instead of going to the dealer at a cost of over £300, I went to a local chap who was VW trained.  He did the same kind of service for £133; at least £167 cheaper!  This meant that we could help DD out with the GC's school uniforms.  They are growing so fast they will need lots of new stuff for September.

May I offer a warm welcome to Cathy, my new follower …. hello!

I now have another £6.63 after fees to add to my challenge pot so total updated below.  I'm slowly getting there :)

How are you spending your day?  My Son, who lives in Australia, has been COLD.  It's only 20 degrees...Ooh that sounds good at the moment.  What's the temperature in your part of the world?

Stay safe and thanks so much for popping in x


Stash to Cash total £91.12

Friday, 6 July 2018

Relentless Heat & Home Produce

The relentless heat has continued all week, with nights so humid and hot that it has disrupted our sleep.  Last night, in particular, I was so restless that I just couldn't sleep, even with the windows open to let in the cool night air.  My joints ached, my back twinged and I was hot to the extent that I got up at midnight to sit in the cooler living room for a bit.  I went back to bed at 1.30am but slept fitfully. I know I should be grateful but excessive heat really doesn't suit me and my tummy feels bloated because my normal eating patterns have been disrupted :(  Pleeeease let us have a drop of rain soon.....

On a happier note, a very warm welcome to my new follower, Rosemary, I don't always moan I promise you! :)

Also on the plus side, we have been eating some absolutely gorgeous strawberries from our pots, a few tasty radishes too and our potatoes are almost ready to eat.  The flowers have gone over so they should be ready in about a weeks time, I think.  Apparently, potatoes stop growing if the temperature reaches 25 degrees, which it certainly has for about two weeks now, so they could be very small (but perfectly formed, I hope!)  I'll show you when we dig some up.

On the Stash to Cash challenge, after fees and postage there is £25.31 to add to my pot from selling my makes and I have some bids on items closing today on eBay.  I am going to persist with the monthly craft fair until the end of the year because I would like to make a total of  £120 for shhh… Christmas ...gifts and the next one is a week tomorrow. The current  total is below....

Enjoy your day folks and thanks everso for popping in x



Stash to Cash:  £84.49

Sunday, 1 July 2018

What a Scorcher! and Blue Eggs

Oh boy, has this week been a scorcher. I remember Sir Terry Wogan saying that everyone complained it was too cold and we needed some sun, then as soon as it warmed up the cry was 'it's too hot for me!'  Well, Sir Terry, it is!  I simply cease to function at a reasonable level once the thermometer reaches above 22 degrees.  The only way I can survive is to close the blinds or curtains on the sunny side, open windows and doors on the cool side and stay indoors until early evening when we get a blissful breeze in the back garden and I can sit and read in comfort.  It's already too hot now at 11.30am and no sign of any letup.  I seem to be drinking gallons of ice cold water and eating fruit and salad almost exclusively.  We could really do with a gentle rainfall now as the grass has turned to straw.  Our strawberries, however, are lush :)

I'm finding sleep hard to come by too, what with the heat and OH's restless head next to me.  BTW I've decided to refer to OH by his initial G from now on.  It seems less impersonal and he deserves recognition after all he is coping with, I think.  How are you coping? Do you like the heat or loathe it?

Yesterday, I answered the door to find my lovely neighbour, J, holding a gift for us, some Blue Eggs! I have never seen any, much less eaten them so it was a lovely treat.  I hard boiled one to have with salad and it was delicious.  The taste was no different to a normal brown or white egg but the yolk was deep yellow and gorgeous.  I'll be having an egg and cress sandwich for lunch today as G is at work until teatime....



Anyone know what breed of chickens lays blue eggs please?

Oh, I want to give a big welcome to Veronica, my new follower...hello!

I have been having a measure of success in my Stash to Cash challenge by selling on fleabay this last week.  The challenge has been really tough going but I intend to stick it out for the rest of this year, not least because I am keeping the cash on one side for Christmas...sorry! I'll whisper the word... Christmas....


anyway, I'll carry on.  My stash is reducing in size (although my makes are growing) and during the week I had a sort out and gave a big box of oddments of card, pretty paper, embellishments and stickers etc to one of my neighbours for her Granddaughters to craft with.  She was looking after the youngest on Friday and needed something for her to do.  Like her older sister, the little one loves to craft and I'm all for encouraging the young to have a go.  My stash boxes are now lighter and tidier, and I found more stuff I had forgotten about...woohoo

I have items on fleabay which close today so I'll update my total tomorrow.

Have a wonderful day everyone and thanks so much for popping in x

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Scan trauma & stuff...

Thank you all for the replies and wonderful suggestions on my last post regarding plastic pollution.  I'm afraid I no longer get email notification from Blogger when someone responds to a post so I don't get chance to read them in a timely fashion, but they are all very much appreciated.

The last couple of weeks have sped by in a blur.  My poor hubby is now suffering with a neck problem.  After a whole year of dental problems (now resolved) he has a spinal problem.  Physio hasn't helped and I took him for an MRI scan yesterday.  He came out looking pale and in pain.  The problem he has is that his head keeps turning to the left of it's own volition and he has developed a slight head tremor too.  He explained this to the chap at the Hospital so, to ensure a good scan, they placed a pillow under his lower spine to make sure his head connected with the table and supported his head as best they could.  The scan lasted just 10 minutes but hubby was in so much pain trying to control his head movements that he almost pressed the alarm button to stop the scan.  He was just about to press when the nurse told him that a few seconds remained so he gritted his teeth and remained there.  He has been in pain today too although he went off to work as normal to try and take his mind off the pain.  I do so hope that the scan shows the problem and something can be done for him.  He has been slowly getting worse over the last 6 months and the future looks bleak at the moment.  He is so restless because he can't sit to read or watch much TV and it's making me feel restless too...….

Whilst he was at work I have been tidying, de-junking and cleaning.  I also had an hour crafting this afternoon...bliss!  Stuff has been listed on eBay so I might have some more cash to add to my challenge fund.  I have a bid on one item already...yay!  I can't find any other local venues for craft fairs so I'll have to persist with the current one until the end of the year unless something changes. 

It has been announced that there is a shortage of CO2 at the moment.  This affects fizzy drinks and the meat packaging industry.  Well I never...you learn something every day.  It won't affect me very much but OH does like a beer and with the World Cup in full swing a lot of people could potentially be a bit miffed.  Has it affected you at all?  Any shortages where you shop?

It has been a wonderfully warm sunny day today and a heat wave is forecast so yesterday I bought a 4.5tog duvet in preparation.  I used my Nectar points to reduce the cost from £15 to £10 so I AM READY! :)  What's it like by you?  What on earth do you find to eat when it's really hot?  My appetite disappears off the face of the earth.  All I crave then is ice lollies.  Help!

Take care everyone and thanks so much for popping in x

Monday, 11 June 2018

Plastic Pollution



After the shocking revelation that we are killing marine life by polluting the oceans with plastic I have been spurred into action.  I do recycle as a matter of routine but wondered if I am letting some things slip into the normal bin by mistake.  As I have said in the past, we have a communal recycling and refuse area and I have lost count of the number of times I have retrieved glass and plastics from the bin (other people's) and placed it into the proper recycling bin.  I have been spending a little extra time each day checking everything before I put it into the proper receptacle.  I keep a carrier bag (plastic, unfortunately, but I will use it until it falls apart) by the back door in the kitchen for recycling and a pedal bin for everything else.  I rinse out containers in the last of the washing up water before putting them in the recycling too.  Since being more diligent I have noticed that I can fill the recycling bag in just a day, which is more than scary.  There are just two of us most days so where does it all come from?  75% of the recycling seems to be plastic of one sort or another.  I know that it's a faff but we desperately need to do something to reduce our use of plastics.  We can't carry on regardless and hope that someone else sorts it out! Canvas bags are used for our shopping so I need to try to buy less stuff encased in plastic.  A lot of plastic wrapping cannot be recycled and I do use cling film...another issue for me to address I think. 

I know some bloggers began to do without plastic completely but I've lost them in blogger ether so don't know if they managed to do it.  Are you cutting back on plastic? Have you managed to cut out cling film?  What changes are you making?

On a lighter note, we bought raffle tickets at the church when we went to the Art & Craft exhibition and today we had a visit from 2 lovely ladies from the church as we have won a prize.  Anyone remember this?.....


In my youth I was introduced to the delights of a drink called  Snowball.  Advocaat with ice, topped up with lemonade and a cherry on a cocktail stick.  Happy days! :)  It will be passed on to DD as a treat.

The craft fair on Saturday was a bit of a flop :(  If we had a dozen people through the door we were lucky.  After the cost of the table I was £4 in profit.  I really need to find another venue as my challenge is really not working for me :/

Ah well, it's a beautiful warm, sunny day today so I refuse to be downhearted.  Onwards and upwards!

Take care everyone xx

Stash to Cash so far £59.18

Friday, 8 June 2018

Craft Fair Preparations

Tomorrow is the village craft fair for June so I hope to be adding a little to my Stash to Cash challenge.  I have had to make a few necessary purchases this month:

Paper bags  £2.25
Cello bags  £2.25
New plates for my Big Shot die cutting machine £5.30
Adhesive  £1.99

Total  £11.79

But I've had a couple of eBay craft sales totalling £13.57 after fees, therefore I have a small net figure of £1.78 to add to my total so far.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow!



See you later :)

Stay safe and thanks everso for popping in x

Stash to Cash Challenge total £55.18

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Painted Treasures

 
Thank you all for your comments on my last post.  It seems that skips are few and far between in some areas, yet very productive in others.  Jules requested a photo of the barrow planted up.  This is how it looks at the moment, a bit green... but it should perk up no end when everything begins to flower.  When there is more colour I'll post another photo...
 
 


For some time now our village has been taking part in the painting and hiding of stones around the village. The idea is to bring a smile to someone's face when they find one and you can keep it when found.  I'd virtually given up until I saw this little chap hiding under a bush! He gave me a little shiver of excitement, especially thinking about the child who had painstakingly painted and hidden him.....

Yesterday afternoon we went to the Art and Craft Exhibition at the village church and lo and behold I spotted this tucked into a fork in a yew tree in the churchyard....


Inside the church was a box of painted stones priced at just £1 each in aid of church funds so I purchased two more; a pansy and a butterfly.  Now they keep each other company in the bare patch where the drain cover is....


Have you found any painted stones? Or have you left any for others to find? I just wonder how long it is before they are found?

Stay safe everyone and thanks so much for popping in x

Monday, 4 June 2018

Skip Diving!

A few days ago, when the family were visiting, OH took the rubbish and recycling up to the communal area and found a wrought iron wheelbarrow which someone had put into the skip.  It was a bit rusty and the wheel wobbled but we were sure it could be saved....


Son in Law sanded, primed and coated it with Hammerite black paint....




It's come up beautifully so he lined it and filled it with compost ready to plant up.  It would cost a fortune to buy new and another item has been saved from landfill....Win, Win.


On the park where we live it's normal practise to put potentially useful items near the skip so that anyone who wants them can help themselves.  A while ago we bought 2 new kitchen bar stools and put the old ones by the skip.  Within a couple of hours they had gone.  Very little is wasted here!

Have you found anything useful in a skip lately?

Take care and thanks for popping in x

Sunday, 3 June 2018

What a difference 3 weeks makes in the garden

I was quite excited on Friday, OH presented me with our first strawberry of the season (you can tell I don't get out much!) and it was a whopper! It was luscious, sweet and wonderful simply because we had grown it ourselves :)



On 11th May I wrote a post called Walk With Me. Do you remember the potato I missed last year and which grew among the leeks?

I pulled out all the leeks to eat (they were quite small and thin)  and then OH emptied the tub in order to use it again.  These appeared in the soil....one meal's worth of spuds... ta da!



The Lupins and other cottage garden plants have really put on a good show since that post …..


The bees love the Digitalis....



The Paeonies are almost ready to open too....


And look at my Lilies! Can you see more potatoes behind them?


This was how they looked 3 weeks ago...


The Rhubarb plant is one that I saved from certain death.  It had no good growth on it just limp leaves and was about to be thrown away.  I paid £1 for it and it has repaid me by producing 3 healthy shoots.  It should be great next year....



 
I bought this single Ailsa Craig tomato plant for 75p from a local smallholder just as an experiment to see if I can get it to fruit outside.  It's doing quite well at the moment although my gardening skills might let it down later.  We'll see....


How is your garden coming along? Do you have strawberries yet?

OH is outside watering everything as it has been quite hot today.  I think it will be another sticky night so I will leave the window open again for some cool night air.  I wish it wasn't quite so humid, yet after the torrential rain we have been getting it's little wonder.

Stay safe everyone and thanks so much for popping in x

On Smart Meters

Our new home has smart meters.....and we were provided with a display thingy which has been sitting in a drawer until  yesterday when I deci...