Thursday 31 December 2020

Financial Review & Getting To Grips

 The snow continued on and off for a couple of days and the temperature plummeted during the night so that the days have been cold and icy.  This morning we have some lovely sunshine which is melting the last of the snow and clearing roofs.  Long may it continue. It's new year's eve and time to remove the traces of Christmas decorations so that I can give the living room a good dusting at last.  G is outside removing the lights from the little tree but I think I might leave the wreath on the front door until 12th night.  It still looks fresh and pretty and a shame to waste it.

Today we have been placed in tier 4 which is really another name for lockdown.  Nothing will change for us, we seem to have been under lockdown for months anyway.  We will still be allowed to drive the short distance to the park for a walk but our favourite garden centre will probably be closed.  Hey ho...we will sit it out and await our turn for the vaccine.  I hope it will be the Oxford one because it is much cheaper (around £3 per dose) and easier to store so perhaps our GP or pharmacy will be able to administer it.

Good news....the Consultant at the hospital rang G a couple of days ago and informed him that his lump was benign and there is no need for any follow up treatment, thank goodness.

As the last day of the year, I have been writing up the financial bits and pieces and have just fixed our energy costs until June 2022.  I think costs will rise anyway and I would rather do it now and know what we will be paying for the next 18 months.

The TV licence fee has been paid and at £157.50 for a year's viewing is not too bad providing we get some decent dramas in the new year.  I live in hope anyway!  Over the last several months we have been bingeing on series 4 of The Last Kingdom on Netflix as well as all the Spooks episodes on i-player ; all 86 of them (10 series) What can we binge on now?  Any suggestions please? 😀

As we are back under lockdown conditions I am eternally grateful that we can continue to get food delivery slots.  I have a delivery booked for next Tuesday 5th but have checked and we still have plenty of food in the fridge/ freezer and store cupboard to last until then.  Today we are having the last of the curry which DD sent us on Boxing Day with some rice and the home baked samosas.  We can have ice cream to follow.

I really want to get a grip on the food budget in 2021 as we spent way over the £50 per week we had allocated at the start of the year.  To help me with this, I will record here what we are spending and keep a running total.  The aim is to keep as close as possible to £50 per week for food, cleaning products, washing powder etc.  I will count actual money spent but anything bought with loyalty points will be a bonus and not counted as actual money IYSWIM.

Lets see how we go......

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy new year.

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be, and a warm welcome to a couple of new followers x

Monday 28 December 2020

We Got Snow!

I got out of bed at 6.30am this morning, peered through the blinds and realised it was snowing!  So I snuggled back down for another couple of hours and woke up to this.....

I quite like snow if I don't have to venture far and we definitely don't need to go anywhere today.

Yesterday, I realised that we were out of fresh milk.  We do have a few cartons of longlife milk but, being heat treated, it tastes different and G is not so keen so I popped into the local supermarket.  There was hardly a soul in there apart from the staff  so I grabbed 4 pints of skimmed milk and a fresh loaf.  I spotted these potatoes and snapped them up too.  They were a bargain at 40p but 12p for a bag of 10 potatoes was too good to miss.  I baked one for my lunch to have with various salad bits from the fridge and found 3 sprouting baking potatoes too.  I rubbed off the sprouting eyes, peeled and cut them up and made them into mash, adding cheese to make a pie.  It's  sitting in the fridge to be reheated tomorrow.....

 Today we will be having a roast type lunch with veg roast, roast potatoes,  the last of the sprouts , carrots and gravy.

I hope you all had a really lovely Christmas.  We did manage to go to eat lunch with the family,  a proper turkey dinner (even I had one slice of turkey) I took along some homemade sage and onion stuffing in a dish which was reheated in the oven with the roast veg. We had roast potatoes, sprouts, roast parsnips, carrots and cauliflower cheese followed by Christmas pudding and brandy custard.  We played charades and watched Strictly on TV.  We didn't stay late and our daughter sent us home with a turkey bap for G to eat later.  It was lovely to have a hug from everyone even if we were wearing masks at the time 😷

On boxing day DD texted to say turkey curry would be ready to collect just after noon if we wanted some. I collected a big portion of curry as well as 8 homemade veg samosas 🥰 There was enough  curry to freeze some for another day.  Our DD is so kind 😚

Just for Sue Hall  😉... this is what was in my parcels.....

G got much needed slippers and a big box of chocs.  He'd better share!!

How was your Christmas? Do you have snow?

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

Thursday 24 December 2020

Happy Christmas To One And All

 Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. It seems we are all getting pleasure from simple things right now and gearing up for a quiet Christmas celebration.  Our daughter dropped off our gifts at the front door yesterday and collected the family ones just in case the worst should happen and one of us feels off colour tomorrow or (heaven forbid) one of them tests positive with the rapid test this afternoon.  At least we will have something to open tomorrow 🥳  The blue gift bag is for G, the bottle is to share and I  have the 2 beribboned gifts at the front. Exciting.

The fridge freezer is full and a delivery booked for 5th January so we shouldn't need to go out anywhere if we don't want to.

Wishing all my readers a 

Happy Christmas and a happy, healthy 2021

I'll be back in a few days... 🍷 🥂 🎅 

Lots of love xx

Saturday 19 December 2020

Hopeful News and Simple Pleasures

Thanks for all your comments on my last post, and thank you MM for asking about G.  He was at the hospital for an hour and a half and after having two kinds of drops in his eyes and various examinations, it was decided that there is no major problem.  There is a minor one in that one replacement lens after his cataract op is becoming cloudy.  It's not a problem as it can be lasered off eventually but that's a procedure for sometime in the future, thankfully.  His facial scar after his skin cancer removal has healed beautifully too.  I only wish my own health problems could be resolved quickly but it is looking like both my procedures will be next year.  My skin cancer one is looking like it will be in February according to the consultant's secretary.  I will have had my skin cancer for exactly a year by then....

Christmas with the family is looking more hopeful.  G finishes work tomorrow (until 27th) so can isolate until Christmas day,  I don't go anywhere there are other people 😷, the GC have finished school until new year so they will be isolating and our daughter and son-in-law have booked rapid tests for Christmas Eve so that they don't take a big risk on being a-symptomatic.  If it all works out we can drive the 15min journey for Christmas lunch with them and come home to sleep.  I really do hope it pans out well....

On Friday I worked out that I hadn't been for a walk since Thursday of the previous week.  I had popped to the supermarket once for my YS bargains but otherwise had only driven to and from various hospitals to drop off and collect G.  No wonder I felt sluggish.  We decided to drive to Himley Park and have a brisk walk there even though only half of it is open.  The day was cold but not freezing so we wrapped up well and walked for about an hour up and down the same route.  It was rather muddy so I went to the little stream to wash my trainers.  It was so peaceful around the rushing water and the little ducks....

I spent several minutes standing and splashing in the water, enjoying the peace and tranquility which is in such short supply right now. I felt like a little girl again and it washed the mud from my trainers beautifully..... 😀

Are you finding any simple pleasures at the moment?

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

Wednesday 16 December 2020

A Trace of Normality

I have just dropped G at the hospital (again) this time for an examination at the ophthalmology department. The optician thought he could see a little blood behind the eye so he needs to be checked over.  I'm going to cook a quorn tikka masala with rice for tea and wanted a rice sachet for speed so masked up and popped into the supermarket to get some.   I decided that G deserves a sweet treat too and spotted these cakes reduced from £2 to 10p 😃

I had to pass the fruit & veg as well as bakery and spotted these.  There were loads of them but I only took one of each to give others a chance of a bargain.....


They were all priced at 5p and had todays date on but I  can easily freeze the crumpets and bread rolls for another day.  The cauliflower is white as snow beneath the wilting leaves and will be eaten tomorrow along with some sprouts and a veggie roast for me, sausage for G.  The total price was 79p and that included a rice sachet at 39p full price. It took me just 10 minutes to shop and was an encouraging nod to normality 🤗

Now I just need to wait for G to ring me for a lift home.  Why does time pass so slowly when you are waiting anxiously?

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

Monday 14 December 2020

Christmas is a-coming!

Google image

We don't have room for a tree :(

 Crikey, it's been a week since my last post already and time is creeping ever closer to Christmas.  I have written my cards and posted off the ones I needed to.  Isn't the postage charge a bit much now?  It's going up in the new year by 9p for first class as well.  I've cut down the number I send drastically already but will cut even more next year, I think.  I suppose I could use second class post but it would take an absolute age to get to it's destination.  My handmade cards have been pushed through the doors in plenty of time for them to be quarantined before opening.  My gifts for the family were wrapped at the weekend and are sitting in wait for delivery or collection.

I've just taken delivery of another food shop so I have one more next Saturday before Christmas week and then I will leave it as long as I can before trying to book another slot in the new year.  New Year's Eve will be a non-event so I'm not worried about what we will eat then.  I really hope that we can see our daughter and the grandchildren on Christmas day but time will tell and we will have to 'go with the flow' (or with Government directives).  We will all be so disappointed if we can't get together for at least Christmas Day as we have abided by the rules all along despite seeing others flouting them.  

Now...Brexit is looming too....what will that bring us I wonder? Word is that fresh fruit and veg will be in short supply and prices will increase.  No surprise there then.  I have a few extra tins of fruit in the cupboard but I'm not going to worry.  When I was a child we ate with the seasons and had very little variety regarding fruit.  If it wasn't grown locally we didn't get any.  The same was true of veg.  Winter meals mainly consisted of potatoes, carrots, onions and cabbage.  If we had tinned fruit it would be peaches, fruit cocktail or strawberries (anyone remember tinned strawberries? Yuk! so soggy) all served up with a drizzle of condensed milk.  Sunday tea was usually tinned fruit with a slice of bread and butter.  Happy days ;)  What do you remember eating as a child?

G has just come back from his walk so I need to sort out what we are eating tonight.  I have a small piece of steak for G but what do I feel like eating?  I haven't been out at all over the weekend nor today either so don't feel particularly hungry.  Maybe cheese on toast and an apple....

What are you cooking tonight?

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

Monday 7 December 2020

Christmas Preparations Underway!

We received our first Christmas card  on Saturday and, for once, I agree with the sentiment.  I wouldn't mind a little snow now and again to brighten up the soggy, muddy streets a bit 🎅  I wrote all our Christmas cards over the weekend and posted them today, not that I'm sending so many this year.  With the cost of postage being what it is I have cut down by at least half on the number I usually send.  

We had a lovely surprise on Sunday. G came home from work with this...

B &Q usually arrange a party of some sort for the staff at Christmas 🎄 This year, of course, there won't be one so all employees have been given a gift card.  G usually misses out because he doesn't 'do' parties so this is the first time in 10 years he has actually had something for Christmas from work.  This is so much better in my view than spending an evening drinking with virtual strangers and having to pay for a taxi home 🏡  We will consider carefully what to spend it on, although an online shop in the new year when we are tightening the purse strings is very tempting.

We have a shopping delivery due this evening (with some wine for Christmas) a delivery booked for next Monday and I finally managed to get a slot for Saturday 19th too.  I'm hoping that the freezer will be big enough to store enough food so that I won't need to order again until the new year.  I think slots will be few and far between until then anyway.  I can bake our own bread in the breadmaker if necessary (I have enough flour and yeast i think) we will have longlife milk too so might only need a bit of fresh salad and fruit to keep us going. 

Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post and offered suggestions for online shopping elsewhere.  I really appreciate it.

In other news: My beloved little 10 year old car passed its MOT 🙂 No money to be spent on it until the insurance is due next March...phew!

Anyway, I'm off to clear a shelf in the understair cupboard for the bottles and tins, and a drawer in the freezer for the frozen goodies.  Anti-bac wipes are at the ready 😷

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

Thursday 3 December 2020

What an Eventful Week!

 Thank you to everyone for your lovely, and varied, comments on my last post. It was great fun 😀

Well...what an eventful time we have had since my last jottings.  I expected my skin cancer to have been removed last Friday 27th but due to a mix up (partly my own fault) I discovered (only the day before) that the appointment was actually a consultation for another procedure and I am still awaiting an appointment for the skin clinic.  The Friday appointment didn't go well and I left the hospital in tears and feeling quite traumatised and with no confidence at all in the Consultant.  

Luckily, G's op yesterday was a textbook procedure.  Lovely NHS staff, the lump removed, and lots of information given out both before and after.  I dropped him off at 9am and got the call to collect him at 9.45am.  He has to return in around 9 days to have the stitches removed.  Job done.  Fantastic....

He has so many appointments coming up for GP calls, eye clinic, telephone consultation regarding the non-existent MRI scans etc that he is filling up the calendar for December all by himself 😏  Even his new glasses have had to be returned because everything was blurred when he put them on.

I just feel that we have to sort G out first then I might get my own health sorted at last.  I really don't want my own procedures to be carried out too close to Christmas in case anything goes wrong.  I would be left with no one to turn to if the GP was closed and the hospitals overwhelmed....

Thinking of Christmas, I am really struggling to book an online food delivery slot for Christmas week.  There is absolutely nothing available from Sunday 20th to Wednesday 23rd, after which they are closed for 3 days.  I can bulk up the next 2 deliveries a bit but really wanted some fresh veg and salads the weekend before Christmas at least.

How are you doing? Do you have a slot booked?

Anyway, my little car is going in for it's MOT tomorrow. I really hope that it doesn't need any work because a) I don't want to spend any money on it at this point and b) I need it to run G about to his appointments.  Fingers crossed! 

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

It's OK.....

  Angie 💓 xx