Wednesday 24 June 2020

Weird Times Indeed

The last 12 days have been pretty weird as the country begins to open up and begin functioning again.  We have been getting telephone calls regarding attending to repairs/snagging on our new home which were all put on hold during lockdown.  One thing which needs doing is the bathroom floor which was starting to lift.  The chap came to look at it ( we left him to it, keeping a safe distance) and announced that "it's not good news, I'm afraid" :/  Apparently the floor screed is breaking up with the result that the whole floor covering needs to be taken up, the floor re-screeded, and new tiles re-laid.  This could happen next week if we're lucky.  The french doors have been adjusted this morning (they were getting hard to lock) and a replacement vent put on the bedroom window.

Tuesday of last week, I got an appointment at a private hospital which took an hour to drive to and locate.  On arrival I had to sanitise my hands, my temperature was taken and I was given a mask to wear.  I found it very hot and hard to breathe through yet I know it was absolutely necessary.  There were just 2 of us in the waiting room.  I was called through quickly to see the consultant, who was also wearing a mask,  where I was examined and advised that nothing could be done to help me.  It cost  £273  :(

Once a week we are visiting Himley Park for a walk and some fresh air.  We went yesterday and noticed that the little cafe was open.  Only one person was allowed in at a time, food orders were placed on a table outside for collection and well spaced benches to sit on.  I ordered cheese toastie and a paper cup containing tea.  I thoroughly enjoyed eating in the shade of a huge tree with a lovely breeze wafting through but by 3.30pm I was in pain and suffered 'the runs' twice before 6pm when I had to take some medication to stop it.  I seriously wonder if dairy could be my problem.  I have been cutting down quite a bit and have been feeling better up to now.  It looks like it's going to be trial and error with tracking down the suspect foods.....

We continue to have our food delivered every week to 10 days, for which I am eternally grateful, and I'm managing to keep the cost down a little this month helped, of course, by the meat essentials box I talked about on the 12th June.  All the meat is now gone, apart from a portion of Bolognese sauce in the freezer, so I have ordered a pack of lean stewing beef for the slow cooker in my next delivery.  This should make G 3 meals in total.  The delivery will be between 8 - 9pm tonight.  I'm not so keen on late slots but this one only cost £1 and the van was in our area at that time anyway so less fuel being used.

Speaking of fuel, I haven't topped up with petrol for several weeks so there are savings to be had there :)

Now all I need is for a hairdresser to be open!  I have my name down on a waiting list for the village salon where I used to go before we moved to the park home in the country.

How are you coping with your hair?  What are you looking forward to being open again soon?

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

Friday 12 June 2020

Morrisons Meat Essentials Box

My Morrisons food box arrived promptly at 13.41 yesterday and was placed by 'Simon' on the mat outside.  Ooh exciting!
It was in a sturdy box printed with the Morrisons logo (unlike the very first one I ordered which was in a plain box) and there was even a 'thank you' card on the top....

The first item I fished out was the bread....oh dear...a bit squished but never mind....

These were the dry and tinned goods including TOILET ROLLS! (not the kettle, of course!)......

A strange looking tin of baked beans obviously not from the UK..... but a lovely tin of Baxters veg soup, yummy...

The chilled foods were well packed in fleece (which we can use on the allotment) and ice packs so that the meat was still chilled on arrival.....

The apple packaging was undone so that the apples rolled out when I picked them up....

And 2 were damaged so they had to be eaten last night......

The sell by dates on the veg were a bit close (delivered on 11th , sell by 13th)  but they will keep well in the fridge....

The milk is dated 17th so that will be ok and I popped the spinach in the freezer to use later in recipes (Sue from Challenging Myself recommended doing that!)….

G's meaty fix:

There was a pack of mince which I made into Bolognese last night, making G three meals (one eaten as spag bol, two separate portions frozen for later).  I will keep back one chicken portion (they are very big) to roast for a gravy meal with veg, and cook the other in the slow cooker in a jar of curry sauce to serve with rice (although not the one sent in the box because that one's vegetable rice and we prefer Basmati) I will eat a small portion of the chicken curry, leaving the rest for G.  The 6 sausages will make G 3 meals:  2 sausages served with veg and gravy, 2 served as hot dogs in rolls with onions and 2 with streaky grilled bacon as a brunch.

Total : 9 meals plus whatever I can make from the veg, cheese and leftover bacon.  This box should feed 2 people for 7 days  so I need to create another 5 meals from the rest of it.  Baked beans and homemade wedges could be another meal for 2, pasta bake another, also my old favourite cheese on toast....

There is no way that 2 people can get their 5 a day of fruit and veg from this pack as the only fruit is apples and the veg: carrots, onions, spinach and peppers would get a bit monotonous but I do think it's good value for £35 including delivery.

G will get his meat fix and we have fish and veggie mince in the freezer for my own meals. Extra fruit will come from tins and our home grown strawberries.  At least I will be cooking something different for the week ahead!

I won't bore you all with a daily meal plan.  Sue, from Challenging Myself is so much better at it than I :)

Thanks so much for popping in. Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Thursday 11 June 2020

Pink Perfection

Thank you to everyone who left comments on my last post.  Everyone, it seems, has noticed food bills increasing at a phenomenal  rate due to a combination of the loss of YS bargains, delivery slots offering branded / more expensive products, eating more treats due to lockdown boredom and shortages in general (flour for instance) which rockets in price with each sparse delivery to the shops.  At least I know that it's not me being lazy and shopping badly!

It's just begun to rain; another gentle drizzle keeping things cool and nourishing the garden and allotment.  When I looked through the window just now, I saw the pink roadsweeper.  The cheerful pink of it never fails to give my spirits a lift.  I just wish the neighbour would put the car on the (empty) tandem drive instead of on the road so that our bit of gutter could be cleaned of builders mud! You know what they say "you can't put an old head on young shoulders".......

I'm expecting delivery of my Morrisons food box soon.  I had a text this morning to say that Simon will be delivering it between 13.34 and 14.34 which is very precise.  And it seems that all DPD delivery people are called Simon.  He has delivered many packages to me over the last 6 months and is never the same person!  Is it because the company wants to appear more friendly do you think?
I'll let you know what's in the box in another post....

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

Monday 8 June 2020

Food Overspending

Last week I added up the amount spent on food deliveries for the month of June.  Our budget is £200 per month for food, toiletries, treats and household cleaning stuff but the total came to a shocking £273.95.  This cannot continue because it will eat into our contingency fund and if G can't ultimately go back to work after the pandemic then we will not be able to replace it.  We have saved on eating out and visiting coffee shops etc but have spent additional money on bits and pieces we couldn't get delivered (and which are usually included in our normal budget, for example: hand gel, soap etc)
At the weekend I ordered another Morrisons meat essentials food box for delivery towards the end of next week.  For £35 it should provide enough meat for G for two weeks worth of meals as well as basics such as bread, milk, veg, pasta, pasta sauce, cheese, butter etc  I need to make a meal plan.  Sue from Challenging Myself has planning down to a fine art.  Her new challenge involves eating from a vegan food box over 2 weeks.  She is brilliant! Do check out her blog you will find it on my side bar.

Have the prices gone up in the supermarket? Or is our overspend due to not physically going into supermarkets and missing our usual bargains? Maybe because the basics ranges are not available to online shoppers ?

Have you found that you are spending more too?

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

Thursday 4 June 2020

On Strawberries and a Little Freedom

The weather has continued to be lovely.  We had a slow, steady fall of rain for most of yesterday which has done the garden and allotment the power of good.  For once, I didn't mind staying in.  The gentle rain was relaxing and I did my chores then sat reading for a while. The rain refreshed me as well as the garden.  I ventured into the garden in search of some strawberries and found these; the very first of the season....

DD is growing some too so I texted her a photo.  We are now going to have a competition to see who can grow the largest!  With hindsight I should have weighed the big one but I forgot and shared it with G before remembering :/
This morning I picked another couple to have on my cereal and remembered to weigh the biggest.  Unfortunately, it was smaller than the one yesterday but still came in at 29g......

From the allotment we have been eating:

Lettuce (small but tasty)
Radishes (disappointing)
Cabbage (a few leaves taken and left to grow on...tasty)
Spinach (ditto)
Rhubarb (delicious just stewed with custard, ice cream or cream)

G has tootled off to put in some pea plants this morning now that the rain has stopped.  The broad beans have had the tops taken off (as we learned our lesson last year with blackfly invasion) and they are looking really healthy.

Himley Hall has reopened the park.  It's less than a 10 minute drive for us so we are now going once a week to walk and get some much needed fresh air and exercise.  On Monday we took our lunch and sat under the beautiful copper beech to eat it.  The park is enormous with wide green spaces and some woodland walks and it's fairly easy to keep the required 2mtrs apart.  We did, however, notice that many groups were forming and mingling freely together.  It doesn't bode well for that important R number, does it.....

After we had eaten our sandwiches we fancied an ice cream.  Two vans were on site.  The queues were small and social distancing observed so G joined the queue.  The salesman wore gloves and the cones had metallic type paper covering at the base so G bought us 2 whipped cones with a flake and strawberry sauce.  It was the best ice cream we have had since lockdown!  They were £2.50 each (contactless payment) but well worth every penny :)


For an available local open space to relax in and to B* R*E*A*T*H*E

For Springwatch on TV so that we can enjoy even more nature from our sofa

For a little more freedom and the opportunity to meet DD and the GC in the park next week (2 mtrs apart obviously)

Please don't ruin the chance of freedom, people of the UK

A message for Marlene :  If you are reading this, my lovely, I hope your move went well and that you can now relax and enjoy this next phase of your life. Stay well x

Thanks for popping in and stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x

It's OK.....

  Angie 💓 xx