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Thursday, 25 February 2021

On Screws & Charity Bags

Yesterday started off quite wet and windy, but by afternoon things had improved enough for G to get into the garden.  He's bought a self assembly cold frame/greenhouse type kit and I was glad to usher him outside to construct it and to leave me in peace 😊  After a while, I was observing his efforts through the window and saw a small plastic packet fall from the patio table to the ground so I shouted "is there anything important in that packet? It just blew off the table".  "Yes" G replied "the screws".  At that point another gust of wind skittered the packet across the lawn to the end of the garden and by the time he had sauntered over and picked it up, guess how many screws were left?  That's correct...NONE! It took me almost half an hour to locate about half of the dozen or so missing screws.  G couldn't find a single one. Men!   Why were they not in his pocket? 😏 We'll be finding them on the lawn for months....

Anyway, Spring is almost here.  My tete-a-tete daffodils are showing their pretty little heads.  The pot is far too big to show them off properly but it was the only one we had available at the time....


Today the weather is gorgeous.  I put G's tatty old gardening jacket into the machine first thing this morning and then pegged it out in the sunshine.  It's virtually dry.  I'll do mine tomorrow if it's sunny again.

Since we moved, over a year ago, the delivery of charity bags through the letterbox has been non-existent for obvious reasons.  Neither have the charity shops been open and so I have been popping odd unwanted items into a carrier bag in the wardrobe.  Today we received this.....



I have until Sunday evening to have a bit of a sort out and get rid of some unwanted items to a good cause so that's my task for the next few days.  I would imagine that charities have lost an awful lot of revenue due to Covid and they will be gearing up to reopen at some point soon.  Do you get these collection bags in your area?

Thank you everyone for your comments on my haircut post.  They brought a smile and sometimes an outright chuckle too.

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




Wednesday, 24 February 2021

The Cost of No Haircuts !

I usually get my hair cut every 7 weeks at a local hair salon, costing £19 for a shampoo, cut and finish.  The very last time I was able to go the cost had been increased to £21, presumably to make up for revenue lost during lockdown and subsequent social distancing measures.  Anyway, by now I would have just had my second trim of the year.  I have saved £42 plus tips but IT SHOWS!!

This is me today......




And this is how I like to look!  Spot the difference......








I can't wait to get it trimmed but dare not tackle it myself.  Perhaps I should ask  my daughter to get the clippers on it once we can meet up in the garden.  After all, she's been trimming her son's and hubby's hair all through lockdown 😷

Have you trimmed your own  hair? How did it turn out?

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

 

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Finances & Bargain Renewal

 Gosh, we're almost at the end of yet another month and time to check the finances.

My car insurance is due in the middle of next month so I listened to Martin Lewis 😀 and searched via a price comparison website for a new policy.  Last year I paid £229.98 and although the renewal came in lower at £203.56 the comparison site came back with a quote of £160.16 including protected no claims discount (which I didn't have before) so it was, as they say a "no-brainer" to go with the new, well known, company.  They sent out the documents within a couple of days too which is impressive.  The last company was online only so a bit trickier to get the documents. Anyway, I'm very happy with the price and I can travel 3000 miles in the coming year! That's a laugh isn't it 😂  I wish....

I've checked the gas & electricity accounts and we are on track with our monthly DD payments of £36 for electricity and £15.66 for Gas but I want to ensure we don't waste any electricity as that account is close to the wire, as it were, with a predicted mere 20p credit balance at the end of the plan.  I fixed the new tariff for 2 years (again thanks to Martin Lewis) so we know roughly what we will have to pay in coming months but we need to be aware of wasting electricity so .....

1) Ceiling lights off and table lamp on in the evening

2) The Humax box will be turned off until needed rather than left on standby

3) Mobile phones and tablets to be unplugged as soon as charged (and not left on all night G!!) 

4) Don't overfill the kettle for 2 mugs of tea G ! And don't switch it on at all if you don't intend to drink said mug of tea 😒

Do you have any tips for saving on electricity please?

The Council Tax bills will be dropping onto the mat soon. According to the internet the rates are increasing to a higher level than last year but I'm not too worried about it as I've allowed an uplift of 5% in the budget for 2021.

GOOD NEWS:

There was no party again next door this weekend...hooray!....😀  It was absolute bliss so I think she had gone out again.  Long may it continue....

The biggie yesterday was Boris's announcement of the 'road map' out of lockdown with schools to reopen on 8th March  ( I can hear all the mums cheering!) and I will actually be able to meet our Daughter in an outside space for coffee together from the same date.  I can't wait....😂

Unfortunately there will be no haircut until at least 15th April and it depends on Covid numbers falling at the expected rate.  It's all down to behaviour folks 👀 My hair needs a tidy up!

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



Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Nectar Bonus & Fancy Food

 Well I said I wouldn't bore you with details of my shopping but I'm excited!  I found that I had accumulated over £40 worth of Nectar points with my online deliveries and have now worked out how to spend them on my next food order.  The result is that I have received £77.14 worth of shopping and only paid £35.89 which helps the food budget enormously.  I even let G have 2 bottles of beer and some chocolate 😂 so he's a happy bunny!  Really pleased about that.... 

More good news is that there was NO PARTY this weekend 👍  Someone arrived around 7pm on Friday evening to pick Young Neighbour up and off they went until I was woken by the door slamming at 3.35am.  She obviously went to bother someone else instead of us.......

When we had the heavy snow a couple of weeks ago, Young Neighbour made a lovely little snowman on the front lawn together with her baby daughter and used sprouts for eyes and buttons, and a carrot nose.  A few days later the snowman melted and the veg has been lying on the lawn rotting away nicely 😏😒 As the rubbish was being collected yesterday,  I picked them up (they really were rotting) and put them in the bin for collection.  I would rather she moaned at me than attract rats.

Would you have picked them up?

Thank you everyone, once again, for your comments on my last post.  I do appreciate it.

This morning we fancied an M & S meal deal as we haven't had one for months and seem to be eating the same meals in the same pattern each week 👀  I drove and G went in on his own to do a recce, then I went in and did the shopping. It was a bit too busy for comfort so I hurried up (no browsing) We now have butternut squash en croute, dauphinoise potatoes and an apple crumble for pudding.  I picked up a nice bottle of French Merlot too which was on offer for £5 instead of £7 and as I had a £2 voucher it actually cost just £3.  I'm looking forward to an easy cook meal tonight!

I don't know about you but I seem to ache all over lately and this morning I reached for the squeegee to clean the shower screen after my shower and pulled a muscle in my back.  Ouch!  I think I have been so inactive for so long that it's telling on me so, when we returned from M & S, we went for a walk around the estate. Boy, the homes are shooting up!  The site looks as though it will be complete by the end of this year, failing any more catastrophies.  I'm glad we bought when we did though because the homes at the rear of the estate are right next to some big industrial units and there are lots of cul-de-sacs which will be used by the kids to play ball games in, I'm sure.

The weather is quite mild today so G is now in the garden sorting out the freshly delivered strawberry plants and pruning the rose tubs.  AND the windows are OPEN!

What's the weather like where you are?

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

Friday, 12 February 2021

A Touch of Nostalgia




 My nephew will soon be 40 years old and I have bought him a special card (he doesn't read my blog!)  which lists all the special things that happened during the year he was born :1981  By golly what a nostalgia trip!

It was the year the first London Marathon was held, the very first episode of Only Fools And Horses was broadcast and a colour TV licence went up from £34 to £46 pounds...wow...it will cost £159 this year 👀  In addition severe snow storms hit the UK with the lowest temperature ever recorded in December since 1874 and the heaviest snow since 1878.  And there was no such thing as Global Warming then ⛄⛄⛄⛄  If you click on the photo above you might be able to expand it to read.  It's quite fascinating....

Changing the subject entirely,  a big thank you to all who left comments on my last post.  I'm always grateful to have the sensible opinions of others and, in this case, the overwhelming feeling is that I should report my Covidiot of a neighbour if she has yet another party.  The good news is that I feel a good deal better than I did in the early part of the week but the bad news is that Neighbour's Grandmother has collected the child this morning so the question remains:

Will there be a party tonight and/or tomorrow?😏

I have checked and found that she can be reported online ( they don't want telephone reports in this area) at the time the party is in full swing.  If we are kept awake again this weekend The Gloves Are Off!  My patience is running out......

It's freezing again outside today although the garden does look delightful in the sunshine.  G has wrapped up like an arctic explorer and gone out for his walk to try to ease the pain in his neck (he's still awaiting an MRI scan on his head, neck and spine) but I can't face going out.  I think I'll tackle the ironing instead.  Things must be bad 😂

Have a great weekend everyone and stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

What Would You Do?

It snowed again during the night!  I awoke at 6.05am, looked  through the window and quickley snuggled back under the duvet ☺  Snow is now still falling in big, fat, soft white flakes so I don't think I will even attempt a walk today.  I can't risk falling.

Yesterday, I underwent a long awaited hospital procedure.   Luckily, I received the letter on Saturday afternoon otherwise I wouldn't have known and would have missed the appointment.  I say "luckily" because it only gave me a short time to worry about it 😬 In addition, we were both kept awake both on Friday  and Saturday night by our young neighbour having loads of visitors and partying until the early hours.  She has broken the covid rules all along and it has got worse since her boyfriend left during the summer.  She has a young daughter, not quite 2 yrs old, and I can only assume that her grandmother (the child's great grandmother ) has her for the weekends.  There would be no way that a child could sleep amid all the noise.  We hear the front and rear doors constantly banging, cars doors slamming, loud voices talking, squealing and laughter outside which carries on until 4am.  G and I were both exhausted on Sunday morning after 2 nights lack of sleep.  Its no use speaking to her about it as we discovered in the summer. As soon as her boyfriend left the noise increased. At one point on Saturday/Sunday there were 3 vehicles parked up outside, not including her Nan, who is in her childcare "bubble" 😡 

She just increases the hurt the rest of us feel in not seeing our families too.  All the other neighbours toe the line.

I'm in pain from my procedure right now 😫  so if the same  happens again this weekend my patience might just snap and I'll report her.  No wonder the infection rates are so high in the area. I've put up with this ever since first lockdown in March.

I don't want to be mean but would you report her?

PS I'm still waiting for my skin cancer to be treated ...

And I want to thank everyone for the comments on my last post.  I hope all your vaccinations went well.

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

Friday, 5 February 2021

We Have Been Jabbed!

 

photo from Google

On Wednesday morning G and I had our Covid-19 vaccine which turned out to be a totally well organized and fuss free procedure.  We were directed straight in by a lovely smiling (despite her mask!) lady and given the Pfizer vaccine, once more asking our consent to give it.  Then 15 minutes sitting on a chair in a well ventilated and well spaced area just to check there were no immediate ill effects and then off home.  I can honestly say, hand on heart, that it was virtually painless and we have had no side effects whatsoever other than an expected bit of tenderness in the muscle of the upper arm where the needle went in.  This lasted from Wednesday evening until Thursday afternoon then disappeared. Our booster will be given in approximately 12 weeks and we were given a small card with the details of the batch number etc of the vaccine we had been given. 

Changing the subject entirely....thank you to all the people who commented on my last 2 posts.  I do read all comments but just haven't got around to responding.  I appreciate each and every comment 😀

As we're into a new month, I did a roundup of the food shopping bill for January. Thankfully, I managed to pull back the spending so that the total for the month is well within budget....

2021 Food Spend to date:

January  £46.35    £93.27   £142.65   £192.58 total 

I don't want to bore you rigid with a blow by blow account of my food spending so I'll leave it at that unless there is something monumental (like massive savings) to report!  I'm still going to reign it all in whilst keeping a decent store cupboard in case of shortages in the long term.

Have you noticed shortages in the supermarket?  My online shop had no decent muesli (the basic one sent was merely dust 😏) and the tinned rice was substituted with a low fat version.  Both items were sent back for a refund and I've been given a substitution voucher for £1.25 which I can take off the cost of my next delivery on Wednesday 10th. Oh and there were no Birds Eye Peas!   Having said that, I'm incredibly grateful for online deliveries still.  I really can't imagine a time when I will be comfortable pushing a trolley around the supermarket ever again.   Ilona from Life Without Money visits Aldi at 8.30pm to do her shopping.  I might try the same at some point....

Anyway, that's all I have to say for now as I'm off to make hot dogs with fried onions for lunch 😜

Nut roast and lots of veggies with gravy for tea too 😁

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

Monday, 1 February 2021

The Pop of Spring and A Call to Arms


As I  haven't left the house since Thursday last we drove the short distance to our nearest park for a good walk this morning.  Now that the Covid testing station has been removed I feel much more comfortable with going there.  There were hardly any people at all  just a few intrepid dog walkers wrapped up to the nines against the cold.  Donning our hats, scarves and gloves we set off at a brisk pace up through the woodland walk.  Boy...it was muddy.  There was evidence of bicycles having churned it all up at some point.  How we long for a good walk which doesn't involve mud! Beneath the trees were hundreds of tiny snowdrops.  They are so beautiful.....



The park usually has at least a dozen wooden benches where we can sit and rest but, do you know, they have removed every single one except for this one which is cemented into the ground.  A step too far do you think? I do....



Along the muddy path we met a little Robin.  He came right up to my feet to feed on the insects lurking in the mud.  Isn't  he lovely 😀



The 'Call to Arms' in the title refers to a phone call I received early this morning asking if we would like the Covid vaccine.  Note I said 'asking' not informing us .  There is  a choice. We both said "yes please" and we will have them at our local community centre on Wednesday.  If it helps others then we feel its the least we can do.  My sister, brother in law and sister in law have already had theirs (last week as they are older than us) and they are not suffering any ill effects.  I'll let you know how we get on  😷

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