Sunday 25 August 2019

It's Life, Jim, But Not As We Know It

I might be quoting Startrek's Mr Spock in the wrong context here but, boy, life is changing quicker than you can quote the above phrase.

Has anyone noticed how empty the supermarket shelves seem to be getting?  Their value ranges seem to be getting harder to find each week.  For example, we like Sainsbury's basics pineapple pieces.  Costing 35p a tin, we eat it on breakfast cereal with a dollop of live yogurt on top or with a scoop of ice cream for a dessert.  They haven't had any on the shelves for weeks so I was surprised and pleased to be able to snag 3 tins yesterday....

Milk was a different matter.  I normally buy 4 pints of skimmed red top which lasts us 4 or 5 days but yesterday I was shocked to find hardly any milk on the shelves at 11am.  NO one pint, 2 pint or 4 pint of either skimmed or semi skimmed milk at all.  There were a few whole milk and some 4 pint cartons of 1% fat orange top.  I had never bought it before but we don't like whole milk so orange top it had to be.  It actually tastes much the same as skimmed but what on earth happened.  Delay in delivery? No staff to stock up the shelves? Change of supplier? What?

I have a feeling they would have sold out completely by noon.  And lots of other shelves were also half empty.  It can't just be the 'B' word ….can it??

Our house move is getting more complicated too.  We have discovered that the development has a management company to manage the green spaces (the council, apparently, has decided it's a good idea to disown the green spaces and let someone else pay to mow the grass) At the moment the annual fee is set at £111 but we have no idea how the figure was arrived at nor by how much it will increase annually.  Our solicitor is checking this and finding out if a contingency fund is being set up so that we don't end up with an enormous bill at some point in the future, for example, when the play area needs renewing. Why is life getting so complicated......

On a happier note, I'm going to spent a couple of hours crafting now.  The kettle is on...oh, and I made another £10 on eBay this week from a craft sale...yay!

It's roasting here today so enjoy the sun if you have it.

Stay safe everyone and thanks for popping in x

Saturday 24 August 2019

A Thank You & A Snowman?

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you who took the time to comment on my last post.  Your comments were sensitive, sensible and a great comfort to me.  Philip hit the nail on the head when he suggested ( and I paraphrase) to give the benefit of the doubt, 50% of the time I could be wrong but 50% of the time I could be right.  How true.

I seem to have 2 new followers but I can't tell who you are.  A big welcome anyway :)

At the moment there seems to be so much to do.  I'm making lots of lists but have already encountered 2 things I forgot to write down and they are  a)  my bus pass had expired and b) my driving license was due for renewal on my next birthday which is November 1st
I am determined to keep on top of things with the move approaching at the end of the year so went online (go me!!) and renewed my bus pass in a trice.  My license was a tad more complicated (for me anyway) but I managed to do it.  Both bits of plastic arrived this week, yay! Success!

Today I received an email reminding me that my car is due for service.  I might need to delay that for a bit but I certainly can't delay the need for an MOT in December.  On the list it goes....

Now you might think I've flipped at last posting a picture of a snowman on a hot summer's day but when I went to sainsbury's this morning that's exactly what I saw.  I saw a poor chap wearing a snowman costume whilst assisting customers with the self scan checkout.  Who's daft idea was that?
Now, as a crafter, I like to prepare for Christmas early but on principle I don't start until the children go back to school.  1st September is my usual 'get thinking' date.  Whatever next.......

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

Thursday 22 August 2019

A Lovely Day & A Moral Dilemma

Well, we had a lovely day on Monday.  I got to DD's in plenty of time for her to go off to her hospital appointment, the GC greeted me enthusiastically :)  GD made a mug of tea for me and a hot chocolate for herself and her brother and we curled up to watch Mamma Mia - Here We Go Again on TV.   It was a wonderful couple of hours of pure relaxation.  DD returned just after noon and made us all toasted cheese and onion sandwiches.  Simple, delicious food shared with a loving family, who could ask for more :)

Yesterday, G and I encountered a moral dilemma.  In town we were approached by a woman who appeared in some distress.  She said she had just walked out on her partner and needed to get to her mum's in Birmingham.  She had very little money (£3 she said) and just the clothes she stood up in (kind of leisure, housework, lounging type clothes) she was slightly unkempt looking but swore she didn't take drugs, she just needed to get to her mum who would take her in.  She said the train fare was £6.90 and she didn't have enough money and could we help.  My heart wouldn't let me risk this not being a scam. G and I looked at each other and, as I reached for my purse he pulled out his money. I gave her my last £5 note praying inwardly that she wouldn't use it to get a fix.  Did I do the right thing do you think?

On the allotment front, we have (well G did ;)  dug up the last potatoes, pulled the most enormous onions for drying and storing, pulled up the last spring onions (also jumbo sized), the last carrots and chard too.  G is planting lots of leeks because they tend to be expensive and we love them in veg stews and leek and potato soup.  More lettuce is growing nicely both on the allotment and in a tub to pick at home.  We have shared our produce with neighbours and it's a lovely feeling :)

Time now to begin cooking our evening meal.  Stay safe wherever you are in the world and thanks so much for popping in x

Sunday 18 August 2019

A Good Sort Out

Friday was a fun day!  We unearthed 2 big storage boxes of old photographs to go through.  Unbelievably, there were so many photos of empty fields, assorted cows, seaside scenes which we had absolutely no memory of, photos of groups of people with their heads missing or eyes closed, photos of strangers....what ?? I got out the shredder and we quickly disposed of them.  Old albums which were falling apart were ditched and the good photos saved and popped into envelopes (neatly labelled of course)  We laughed, we shed a tear or two and ended up with a half filled box of stuff we wanted to keep and 2 black bags of shredded paper and rubbish.  How cathartic was that?  VERY!
There is one more box to be gone through and we will be just as ruthless with that one too.

G was persuaded to sell his bowling balls on Facebook selling pages.  They cost almost £100 about 9 years ago and they have been used about 3 times...grrr….they sold in less than 24 hours and £30 has been added to the pot.

This morning we sold a big topiary which G had spent 20 years growing from a cutting and which is too big and heavy to take to the new house.  It has just been collected so another £72 in the pot towards the move. All in all a very productive few days.

The weather today has been lovely albeit a bit chilly.  The sun shone, the wind blew gently and now we have a few spots of rain.  It's almost 5pm and everything smells so fresh and clean.  G is home now and we have HM veg curry (from the freezer) with boiled rice for tea, followed by defrosted berries and ice cream.  DD has a hospital appointment tomorrow to see about removing an impacted wisdom tooth so I will be keeping the GC company whilst she is there.  Mind you, nowadays they look after me rather than the other way around! lol  We could well be watching a film.

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

Wednesday 14 August 2019

A Haircut and Monster Carrots

Well my hair was cut yesterday by my daughter's friend for just £14 instead of the £26 charged in the village.  After all the lovely comments on my blog regarding hair colour I decided to go for purple...she had run out! I  felt cheated!  Nonetheless, I am pleased with the cut and it will certainly last 6 weeks until my next appointment.  I had a lovely cup pf tea and a chat afterwards with DD and the GC before setting off home to see what G had been up to on the allotment.

He had pulled some carrots for tea.  We have not been successful with carrots at all and G puts it down to not having enough time to prepare the soil properly.  If you look to the left (on G's hand) you can see a tiny carrot, which is the size I like.  I bet the big ones are totally inedible :/

We have been unsuccessful with radishes too.  The first few were lovely but the subsequent ones were tough or eaten away .  However, we have eaten some lovely lettuces and potatoes and the tubs in the garden have produced lots of delicious strawberries.

In our mission to sell or donate stuff we don't need I went to offer a ceramic pot of Calla lilies to our neighbour, as he had admired them, and shut my blooming finger in the metal gate catch. Cor, it came sharp....

A big welcome to Terra, my new follower. Welcome aboard!

The craft fair on Saturday was dismal.  It rained and footfall was poor.  I took £5 which was the cost of the table :(  No one took more than about £20 so I have decided that I will do no more.  I can sell more on the internet than at the fair and can do it from home too, so that's my decision made.  I made a sale of £12 last night whilst watching TV with my feet up!

It's raining at the moment and thunderstorms are forecast for this afternoon so I will pop out to post my sale item before lunch....

Stay safe everyone and thanks so much for popping in x

Monday 12 August 2019

Book Treasure Hunt

I have just found out about a lovely thing going on in our village.  Someone is wrapping books and hiding them around the village for people to find!  They are both for children and adults too.  What a lovely generous thing to do.  I might try to find out more so that I can do a bit of hiding of my own :)
Has anyone come across this before?

We had a bit of good news today too.  Our new home is, at last, up to roof level and we might even have completion by the end of November if the weather holds.  I do hope so :) We are going to see the site agent a week on Thursday to finalise our option choices so exchange might not be too far away after that.  It means that we will have to ratchet up the eBay selling and  decluttering but we are making serious inroads into turning our surplus stuff into cash anyway.  Today I took a carrier bag full of nice stuff into the local Happy Staffy CS.  I'm trying to share out the spoils amongst several charities in the area to make it fair :)

I'm off to have my 6 weekly haircut tomorrow so I can combine that with a lovely visit to DD and the GC.  Now the question I have purple styling mousse or boring colourless…'ll let you know!

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

Saturday 10 August 2019

Not So Fantastic Plastic

Where has the week gone?  It has flown by in a rush of entertaining grandchildren, gardening, and alternately wilting from the heat and sheltering from the squally showers.  At the moment it is pouring down.  Luckily I managed to load the car with my craft fair stuff (yes, it's this afternoon) just before the downpour began.  I have an hour before I have to set off so I hope the sun will show it's face by then, otherwise footfall at the fair will be abysmal :(

I want to thank everyone who commented on my last post with sympathy and concern.  I appreciate every single one of you who took the time to respond.  It seems I am not alone with occasional sleepless nights brought on by worry either.  It's such a useless exercise in the middle of the night too.

Changing the subject completely....there has been so much talk about plastic recently and how we all depend on it and use far too much, only to fill the oceans with it or send it to Malaysia.  It's horrifying really.  I always thought that I used plastic responsibly and recycled everything in just the right way.  Now I am not so sure.  I have taken another look at our use of it in the home. Years ago I used bar soap but ditched it in favour of  liquid soap dispensers because of the soap scum the bar left on the sinks and bath.  I have now bought a soap dish and a bar of Pears soap in order to make a fresh start on buying less plastic.   The dish cost £4 and the soap 59p.....

Can anyone recommend a soap bar that is PH balanced and which smells fantastic?

I think I am going to struggle with changing other things though.  For a start, I haven't found anywhere which sells refills for washing up liquid etc  The one I use has a totally recyclable bottle and cap but how can I be sure the council will do the right thing with it? Washing powder is ok because it comes in a recyclable cardboard box but what about fabric softener?  I have discovered that most bread wrappers can be recycled with carrier bags in the bigger supermarkets...yay!

What else can I change to ditch plastic?  Suggestions gratefully accepted :)

Stay safe everyone wherever you happen to be x

Sunday 4 August 2019

What a Silly Thing

I had a terrible night's sleep last night.  It was not for want of being tired either.  I'd had a busy day shopping, cleaning, tidying whilst G was at work until 8pm but as soon as my head touched the pillow I just couldn't clear my head.  I was a bit warm too, although the window was open to let in some air, and I tossed and turned from 10.30pm until 2am when I gave in, quietly turned on the light and read my book for half an hour.  I finally dozed off around 3am only to wake at 7.20am feeling disorientated and a bit sick.  I know it's silly but I lay there worrying about the future ie will G get worse? Are we sure we can really afford to spend all our savings on the new house? Will G have to give up work and put us on the breadline? How on earth will we manage the move as neither of us will be on the right side of 70 years old etc, etc  We have been through all of this in our discussions and I've done the sums over and over again but everything seems so much worse in the dark, don't you think?  I haven't told G I was worrying all night it might set him off.  I'm usually the rational

Since we decided to move we have been watching our spending.  We won't have to pay our site fees in December this year so today I've been able to move some of the money saved for that to the savings account for the new house.  My Daughter recommended her friend , who is a hairdresser working from home, to cut my hair.  I was a bit nervous at first but she's fine and charges just £14 for a cut and blow dry instead of the £26 charged in the village, a potential saving of £108 per year based on 9 appointments  AND I get to see DD for a coffee on the day I go (every 6 weeks) :)

I think we might ditch the expensive broadband when we move too.  We are locked into a contract until mid December and pay over £51 per month which seems like A LOT.  The TV is Freesat. We are toying with the idea of ditching a landline and using our mobiles too. G is on a cheap contract and I'm with Tesco PAYG who triple £10 a month top up to £30 which is more than enough.

Has anyone else ditched the landline? Or is it risky?

Whilst sorting out the cupboard I came across an opened packet of sultanas with a best before date of end of August 2019.  Oooh a soak in some strong tea then made into a quick teabread while the oven was on for something else, waste not want not, as my mum used to say :)

Anyway, the slow cooker is on with a lovely beef stew for G today so I can just relax and enjoy Poldark this evening.

Here's to a better sleep tonight!
Stay safe everyone wherever you happen to be x

Friday 2 August 2019

Making Progress

Thanks so much to everyone who left positive comments on my last post.  You are quite right, it probably is much better to live amongst  people of all ages otherwise we could become older than our years, I think.  Oh, and welcome to my 2 new followers although I can't tell who you are :/  A big welcome anyway :)

The title Making Progress refers to gradually reducing my stash of craft items to manageable proportions at last. I have given away lots of items I no longer need or want to neighbours and charity shops,  and have sold a fair number of my makes on fleabay too.  All the money has been carefully put away for for birthdays, Christmas and emergencies.  I have another craft fair coming up a week tomorrow so I'm having a lovely afternoon crafting whilst G mows the grass.  These are my first makes today and I have lots of ideas buzzing around my head for later on once I've finished this post :)

Do you remember my tall craft cabinet of 6 drawers? Well this is what it looks like now....

The top half has been emptied and is now sitting in the shed ready for G to fill with all the small items (jars of screws, nails, fertilizers etc) that he wants to take to the new house.  I still have lots of craft stash left to carry on with my stash to cash project but I already feel lighter for jettisoning the excess.  I only wish I could do the same for my waistline! Lol....

We have been shopping less and using up the stuff in the store cupboard too.  I want to have to pack up and remove as little as possible in December.  The cupboard looks better already.  Baking tins that I haven't use in an absolute age have either been given to DD or taken to the CS.  The remainder is what I use on a regular basis.  The cupboard has been emptied and thoroughly cleaned too.  What a good feeeling!

G is working on the allotment a little at a time and we have been eating:

Spring onions

The sprout plants have been nibbled by caterpillars but are coming along nicely and I hope to be able to eat some around November.  They are one of my favourite veg....I know, I know....some of you hate them but I LOVE them :)

Anyway, stay safe wherever you are ( I do hope you are not being flooded with all this heavy rain)
and thanks so much for popping in x

It's OK.....

  Angie 💓 xx