Thursday 25 November 2021

Planting Britain

We are starting to plan the garden and popped to B & Q yesterday for six small slabs to site the storage box on behind the garage so that it will be out of sight of the living room. At the entrance there were loads of the usual big Poinsettia plants on sale for Christmas at just £4 each.  With my Eagle eye  I spotted some with red stickers...half price at only £2 we snapped up two of them ; one for us and one for DD.  I can never keep houseplants going but will give it my best shot....

Earlier in the week we had purchased our first tree; an Amelanchier 'Snowflake' which should be covered in white  blossom in the Spring.  Apparently, insects will love it and then it will give a display of red leaves in the autumn.  It won't grow too tall but will spread a bit over the years so planting it in the right hand corner of the garden  will ultimately give us some screening from the bedroom windows of the neighbours at the back.  It's another expensive stick right now but should be lovely in a few months time....

The area beside the garage is intended to be our 'pots paradise' area.  G intends to gravel the area and arrange decorative pots in a visually pleasing manner ๐Ÿ™„ The jury is out on that one at the moment.  As it is, it's more a plant graveyard! The conifer there will be brought onto the patio and decorated with Christmas lights any day now ๐Ÿ˜€ and the roses trimmed back against any winter winds, then we will decide what to do with it in the new year....

The bird feeding station from the old house has been set up at last and we have had our first visitor, a lovely little Robin ๐Ÿ˜€  We also have Sammy, the resident squirrel,  who might help the birds to empty the feeder I think ๐Ÿคจ Watch this space....

 Now we are debating which other tree to buy.  We know we would like another but can't decide between a Rowan or an Acer with big red leaves like Autumn King.  I'm swaying towards Rowan because of the berries for the birds.  The Rowan at the last house only had around a dozen berries when we left though. What would you go for?

The neighbours here have begun to decorate the outside of their homes with spectacular Christmas lights.  The street is already looking fantastic.  I've ordered a door wreath for collection in a week or so but really hope it will be ready early.  Fingers crossed ๐Ÿคž On December 1st I will allow myself to get excited ๐Ÿ˜Š   Are you preparing decorations yet?

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

Saturday 20 November 2021

App-y Bargains! & Christmas Planning

I have never been a fan of downloading Apps for this and Apps for that on my phone.  My phone is for calls, texts and the odd photograph but I did download the Nectar app in order to make use of collecting loyalty points.  We have a weekly Sainsburys grocery delivery which is an enormous help as neither of us can carry heavy shopping any more but we do miss having a bit of a browse instore.  I have discovered not only that our new local Sainsburys is fairly quiet early on Saturday morning, but that my Nectar app offers me discounted prices on some of the items I usually buy.  So I popped in this morning and got the following:

Skimmed milk usually 89p for 2 pints , my price 60p (I bought 2 to last the week).....

4 Nut Cutlets, usual price £1.75, my price £1.23 (I bought 2 packs which will make a total of 8 portions @ roughly 31p each)  I pop a couple in the oven when I'm making roast potatoes and serve them with lots of extra veg and gravy.  No meat required for G! .....

Really nice British vine tomatoes usually £1.95, my price £1.37.....

Oh and 2 tins of pears in juice usually £1.00 each, my price 75p  We like those on our breakfast cereal with a big dollop of thick, live yogurt......

I saved a total of £2.70

With Christmas fast approaching I know that the delivery slots will fill up fast so any extras I can get to fill my cupboards and the new freezer are very welcome.  I think I will try having deliveries every 2 weeks instead of weekly for the time being.  It will free up a slot or two for someone else whose need might be greater and we can make the 5 minute drive to the store instead just to top up on bread, milk and fresh stuff.   I have already pre-ordered some salmon for us and the family on Boxing Day and have some boxed bitty things like spring rolls and Indian nibbles in the freezer already.  I have bought a Christmas cake.  I don't feel up to making one this year and we are all usually too full to eat cake on the big day anyway.  If G wants a slice he can make do with shop bought ๐Ÿ˜

Just before I popped out I found a scratchcard in my handbag.  It must have been purchased weeks ago and forgotten about, so I scratched it off whist finishing my cup of tea.....

 Yay! I won £25 (doing a happy dance!)  As I'm pretty broke until the end of the month (crikey...still 10 days away ๐Ÿ˜)  I'm 'made up' as they say.  I actually have bank notes in my purse right now ๐Ÿ˜Ž

As I have been unable to go anywhere much due to my back pain, I still have half a tank of fuel left too.  I will savour this moment of having cash in my purse, petrol in my little car, and I've dropped a few coppers into an empty coffee jar to begin my Sealed Pot Challenge for 2022.  Yes, I know it's not sealed but I can resist touching it until I can find a cheap sealed tin to put it in, I swear!

It's dark and dismal here with snow forecast for the middle of next week. What are you doing this weekend?

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

Thursday 18 November 2021

Roundup For The Week

After G had gone to work on Sunday morning I went to put the kettle on for my morning cuppa and was greeted by this.... 

We have a dishwasher for the first time in 12 years and it was empty, for heavens sake, so why not tidy up his breakfast stuff?? Even my hare looks stunned ๐Ÿ˜จ๐Ÿ˜ก ๐Ÿ˜‚

Progress this week has been:

New light fittings in the sitting room, 

A 2 way switch fitted ( free of charge by the builders) to the lights in the hall so that we can turn them on as we come in the front door and turn them off by the sitting room instead of having to retrace our steps and walk in the dark,

Today the lovely electrician also fitted a double light switch in the sitting room for us for just £20 so that we have the choice of having one set of lights on at a time instead of both together, thus saving money, 

Our dual fuel bill arrived for the month in the sum of £76.26 We are on the standard capped rate so can do nothing yet. Bill paid.

All changes of address notified (as far as we can tell) at last!

My £100 winter fuel allowance has gone into the joint account. G still waiting. 

The last of the brocolli has been harvested from the allotment along with a few delicious Brussel Sprouts ๐Ÿ˜œ

There's not much left growing there now, just sprouts, winter cabbage and a bit of lettuce.  Homemade compost has been spread on the empty beds ready for spring planting.  My back is still painful so I have been unable to do anything to help other than pick sprouts ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Stay well everyone x

Saturday 13 November 2021

Freezers, Stash Cupboard and Christmas Plans

 My new freezer arrived just before 6pm on Tuesday and was placed, at our request, in the garage.  The delivery driver was very angry at the work load he had been given as it meant he'd worked a 12 hour shift.  Some difficult delivery and fitting problems (as well as awkward customers) had pushed him to the brink apparently.  He had one more delivery to make then he was quitting his job ๐Ÿ˜• To be honest, I could understand his grumpiness but felt really sorry for the young lad helping him.  He looked like a school leaver and must have had a horrendous day working with such an uptight driver.  I really hope his next companion will be more laidback....

Anyway, in the cold light of day we could clearly see that our new freezer was damaged...

.... the remedy entailed submitting the photo to customer services and then phoning them, waiting in a long telephone queue for 11 minutes until picked up.  We had the option of ordering a replacement and waiting in for delivery and collection of the damaged one or accepting a discount.  I was offered just 10% which I refused, then 15%.  As the damage appears to be cosmetic and on the less visible side of the freezer once in place,  we decided to keep it.  The £25.35 refunded has been used to buy some frozen fish and vegetables to begin filling it up.  Luckily, it will still be covered under warranty.  Why is NOTHING simple?

Since Monday I have had a dicky back.  I have no idea what triggered it but bending without thinking gives me the 'electric shock' effect of a nerve being pinched.  Quite apart from being painful it makes getting into the car tricky, sitting uncomfortable and for wobbly walking.  There is so much I wanted to do this weekend whilst G is at work and I can't do any of it, not least of which was sorting out my craft stash to minimize storage boxes in the 'understair' cupboard.  Yes, I know we now have a bungalow with no stairs but it's a habit I can't seem to break ๐Ÿ˜‚  It's just going to have to wait.

DD and the family are coming over tomorrow afternoon as Son in Law has promised to fit some new light fittings in the sitting room for us.  They will look heaps better than the bare bulbs left by the builders.

Reading about people already writing Christmas cards has spurred me on to begin present shopping.  The gift list since Covid has shrunk to miniscule proportions as we have mutually agreed with others that we can't face physical shopping again this year.  I have bought gifts for our Daughter & Son in Law, the Grandchildren prefer money and a small gift to open on the big day, and I'm popping a bit of cash in a card for each nephew, niece, and youngster whom I like to acknowledge.  I've sent a little money to our Son in Sydney so that he can buy and wrap a small gift from us for our 6 yrs old GD.  Effectively, my Christmas gift shopping is done!

Are you buying less this year?  Or do you want to make up for last year?

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

Wednesday 10 November 2021

Books, books and books!

I must confess that this post was inspired by the ' 2  Sue's '  ๐Ÿ˜€  Both are book lovers and will happily confess to that;  Sue from A Smaller and Simpler Life and Sue from My Quiet life in Suffolk.
Like you I love my books although I had to sell or donate a very high proportion of them when we moved last time.  Now that we have the bungalow,  I still have my new acquisitions guarded by my book dragon in the bedroom. I'm about to begin the Milly Johnson one very soon.....

But there is now room for a display cabinet in the sitting room which just happens to look much nicer with a few colourful books on the shelves  ๐Ÿ˜‚....

Whilst unpacking my few remaining books I re-discovered my Bible which my Sister and her (now) husband bought me for my 6th birthday...... well as my well used school Hymn book. It's a bit battered but it's 60 years old after all....

Inside is the not very neatly written school hymn.  Talk about blots on my copy book!

I can't part with these two for sentimental reasons.  I wish now that I had kept my Sunday school prizes.
How long have you had your oldest book?

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

Sunday 7 November 2021

A Catchup Post

 It's been almost a week since my birthday already.  Thank you so much to everyone who commented and left me lovely birthday greetings.  I appreciate each and every one of you ๐Ÿ˜Š  

Our meal at the local steakhouse with the family was nice, but unremarkable, and very expensive and I felt guilty that our Son in Law insisted on treating us.  The Grandchildren really enjoyed their meal and ate almost every scrap though so it wasn't money wasted.  G and I just had a main course and soft drinks .  I don't think we'll be going there again any time soon but it was lovely to see the family.

Our post was late with my birthday cards.  We had a great wodge of post two days later including  4 cards.

Thank you for your suggestions for finding groups to join.  The  facebook WI group does seem to be inactive.  I popped into the village library on Friday, filled in the form to join and was given a card there and then.  What a revelation it turned out to be! The two ladies on duty were veritable mines of information regarding walking groups, exercise classes and craft groups etc  I will investigate and decide what I want to join soon.  They will be restarting classes at the library during the afternoon too.

I noticed when I did the online shopping that the delivery slots are creeping up in price, possibly due to increases in fuel prices and wages of delivery drivers.  My usual slot has gone up from £1 to £3 so I've changed the time to a cheaper one and after careful consideration we have ordered a small chest freezer for the garage.  It is especially suitable for outbuildings (so the blurb says) and is ok down to -15 C. This will mean that I can batch cook and portion it up to freeze for when I really don't feel up to cooking, which seems to happen more and more lately ๐Ÿ˜• and during the growing season I can freeze allotment produce.  Meanwhile I'll top it up with supermarket veg, meat for G as well as fish, just in case we get a hard Winter.  I ordered the freezer last night and it will be here sometime on Tuesday.  They will apparently text me a 4 hour delivery slot on the day.  Not bad at all for a total of £169.

Wow, 1pm and my tummy is growling at me.  Time for lunch...

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

Monday 1 November 2021

Another Year Lived

 Today is my birthday. I find it hard to believe that I'm 72 years old already ๐Ÿ˜ฑ DD and the family came to visit on Saturday and Son in Law fitted a security light up for us in the back garden. Now we are more countryside than town it's quite dark in the garden at night and I don't want to be tripping up when I go out to the bins. I have fancied a big open faced clock in the kitchen, placed above the table, ever since I saw theirs in the garden, so they bought me one as a surprise birthday present. It's a lovely 'rubbed' silver colour wlth black hands and I love it. No excuses now to be late for anything!

I really want to start getting involved in village life as I rarely go out other than on errands so I've been trying to track down local WI groups without much luck. I applied to join the Facebook closed group (no response whatsoever), the local church is closed and you have to still book to attend a service, and I can't find a theatre group anywhere.  How do you go about finding these groups? I would also volunteer at a food bank if I was needed. I'll just have to keep looking.....

Since we moved our post has been delivered about once a week, if we're lucky, so I might or might not have some birthday cards today! I've got 3 anyway ; one from my very best friend, one from DD and one from my Grandchildren. We are meeting them tonight for a pub meal as it's Son in Laws birthday today too. I'm looking forward to that ๐Ÿ˜

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

It's OK.....

  Angie ๐Ÿ’“ xx