Friday, 31 December 2021

Happy New Year!

 



Wishing you all a very happy new year!

May it be full of love, happiness and new adventures.

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

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

New Book and Sharing The Spoils

I have had the new Richard Osman book for a few weeks but have been saving it until after Christmas so that I had something to look forward to. I began reading yesterday and am loving it. I can hardly bear to put it down! He writes in a style which shows he understands certain characters so well and portrays them in a very entertaining manner.  The police officers are.... Um... unusual..... but they are brilliant 👍😂




After being indoors for several days, G and I felt the need for some fresh air so this morning I made sandwiches and we tootled off to the allotment to check everything is ok. It's looking very bare apart from the sprouts... 


We cut some and gave the larger one to my brother and the smaller one to some new neighbours. And, yes, we did check that the neighbours don't actually hate sprouts first 😂 There are loads more left for us and our daughter's family too.  I can't wait for Spring so that growing will begin again in earnest.

We found a couple of damp patches in our old shed which will need attention at some point, just not today. Gaps in the wood will require filling at some point. A dry day is needed to do it.

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

Monday, 27 December 2021

My Word For 2022 & Planning Ahead

I hope you all had a super Christmas and spent it in the way you love best. At this point in the year I always feel that Christmas is over once more and I want to get on with planning the new year ahead.  We don't bother much with new year celebrations (despite me having Scottish heritage!) so I like to dismantle the decorations on New Year's Eve in order to begin the new year with a fresh, clean slate.

We spent Christmas day with our Daughter and her family and it was extra special.  Santa forgot to come to our new bungalow, he must have forgotten we were moving, but he left some of my favourite perfume at their house 😃 A smashing turkey dinner was cooked for us followed by a tea of salad and hot nibbles.  It was lovely.

They came to us on Boxing day and I cooked a ready prepared salmon & trout roast with dauphinoise potatoes and peas followed by white chocolate & berry cheesecake.   Tea was again salad and hot nibbles followed by cup cakes.  We all felt full but not full to bursting.

When the Grandchildren had gone I found these notes tucked under the energy display thingy!  They used to write on my wall calendar but I haven't got one here so they improvised with a tiny notepad found in one of the crackers 😂  The monitor shows today's useage but I have done 3 loads of washing and some tumble drying today.  The beds were stripped, washed, dried and ironed today 😇



I never make a new year's resolution because I know I will soon fall by the wayside so I'm taking a different approach.  I have decided on a new byword for 2022 and it will be :

                       COMPASSION

Hand in hand with compassion goes kindness and I will endeavour to show more of both during the forthcoming  year.  We have been so very lucky to get our new bungalow and are hopeful that we can pass on a little of our good fortune to others in need.  I don't as yet know what we can do, or how much, but we intend to try.


A weekly food bank donation will be a good place to start.

I'm also planning a challenge from 1st January to begin our Frugal Year on a Tight Budget.  I'm just working out the details and will let you know soon how I plan it to go....

Do you have a byword for the new year? Or any resolutions?

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

Friday, 24 December 2021

Christmas Love

                     Wishing you all a very happy Christmas. 

May it be full of love, laughter and hope for the future.

                                             ❤♥♥

Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Only a Matter of Time!


We put up the bird feeder in the new garden hoping to attract birds to help with slugs in the future but look who I spotted this morning.  It was only a matter of time!  We are happy to share....

Thank you everyone who commented on my last post about sewing at school.  The responses all brought a smile.  You experienced hated aprons, huge french knickers and the dreaded school dress among other things 😂😍  Unfortunately, we didn't have sewing classes at High School so I swayed towards knitting afterwards as a ball of wool was something I could buy with my pocket money.  Happy days, eh? 😄 

Yesterday, we visited the garden centre and bought the new tree.  We did plump for a Rowan; Sorbus Pink Pagoda.  It shouldn't grow too large but will have lovely pink berries for the birds to feed on.

It's really cold this morning, just 2 degrees, so we will be staying in and watching TV now that the chores are finished for the day.  We have found Lost In Space on Netflix (our daughter set it up for us on her subscription) It's category age is 12 so we shouldn't be too scared 😂

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

Sunday, 19 December 2021

Veg War and An Education in Sewing

It's difficult not to notice the veg price war going on at the moment.  When I popped into Sainsburys there was a whole load of veg bags near the front entrance priced at just 19p each.  I bought 500g parsnips, 500g of sprouts (we still have some growing on the allotment but I thought we could save those for later in the new year) and another swede all at 19p each.  They are beautifully fresh and I noticed there are potatoes, carrots, red cabbage and white cabbage all in the offer too.  I might get some more next week....


......A bit of research shows that Morrisons have theirs priced at 40p each or £1 for 3,  Tesco's are priced at 19p but you need to have their loyalty card,  Aldi have a variety also at 19p.  I just wish they would use veg as a loss leader more often.  It would be a big help to families struggling to put food on the table.

Thanks to all who commented on my last post and the 'Singing Neep' 😀I thought I would just reiterate how easy it is:

Take a swede (unwrapped obvs!) I give mine a rinse and pat dry but you don't have to, and bung it in the microwave sitting on a plate (because it gets a bit messy) there's no need to pierce it Microwave on full (mine is 800w) for about 20 minutes, turning it over a couple of times as it cooks.  When a sharp knife goes in easily, it's done.  I let it rest for a few minutes then cut and scoop out the soft flesh.  It will keep in the fridge for a day or two or can be frozen and reheated another time. Easy peasy and delicious too!

This morning I have enjoyed ironing for the first time in months. I set up the board in our lovely warm kitchen and listened to the Christmas music and carols on Classic FM.  It was lovely 😊  I washed a load of towels, tumble dried them and put them away at the same time.  Then a sandwich and a bowl of yesterday's homemade veg soup for lunch.  Satisfying 😜

Whilst ironing I noticed how tatty my T shirts are becoming.  They've been worn almost non-stop over the last 2 years and are shabby.  I cut up one of them with my pinking shears to make a couple of  lint free cloths for cleaning windows but need to make the others last until Spring.  I do have a couple of newish jumpers to wear over Christmas. I haven't bothered to buy anything new because we could be under lockdown again at any time and, anyway, money is tight since the move.

I got to thinking about sewing....

When I was at junior school I was taught to use a sewing machine, the kind where you turn the handle, and at the age of about 10 was tasked with making some pyjamas for myself.  I can't remember whether mum had to buy a pattern as well as the wincyette material to make them but I know it must have been difficult for her as I am the middle one of 3 children and she didn't work.  Anyway, I got the pattern and material and really enjoyed making my PJ's.  I did the buttonholes by hand and I do remember they had a collar too.  I LOVED those PJ's and wore them until the hems almost reached my knees and the buttons were stretched to bursting point across my chest!!

What was the first thing you made?

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

Saturday, 18 December 2021

Too Close for Comfort & A Singing Neep

 Just a week to go before the big day and, just when I thought things might go according to plan, I heard this morning that our Granddaughter's close friend has tested positive for the Omicron variant of Covid.  GD has had one jab but couldn't have her second because she had a heavy cold at the time and the girls dance together at school 😏 GD has been told that she doesn't need to isolate which seems daft, so she's staying in anyway and will be doing lateral flow tests every day right up to Christmas.  G, me, and her mum and dad are triple jabbed but can still pick it up by all accounts 😖

Too close for comfort.....

As they can't visit today I've been making soup for the freezer.  I emptied the bottom drawer of the fridge of bits of carrot, potato, onion etc to use them up.  I also found a swede so did my 'singing neep' trick of microwaving it whole and then scooping out the middle with a spoon....



I've divided it up into two plastic boxes, one of which can go in the freezer for a quick addition to another meal later on, and the other will be reheated and eaten tomorrow. It only takes about 20 minutes to cook it and saves the pain of trying to chop it up by hand.

It's now 4pm and DARK!  The days seem to disappear in a puff of smoke lately.  As the church concert has been cancelled tonight I have no idea what we can fill our long evening with.  There's not much of  interest on TV for us.  I've seen all the films on offer; Desperately Seeking Susan, The Full Monty and Kinky Boots so we might have to try The Equalizer 2 starring Denzel Washington which is on at 9pm.  Has anyone seen it?

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


Friday, 17 December 2021

Nativity at the Church


The nativity scene is in place in the village and looks lovely......



We have tickets for a concert at the church tomorrow night with mandatory masks and social distancing but thought we had better check that it is still taking place.  It has been cancelled.  We are so disappointed  😞  as its the only thing we have been able to book to look forward to.  I went inside the church and lit a candle for our parents who are no longer with us but always spent every Christmas with us over the years. We still miss them....


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

Monday, 13 December 2021

Getting Free Stuff

In my last post I told you about the vouchers for free foodie gifts from Sainsbury's.  I had a restless night on Saturday/Sunday night as my neck and shoulders were quite painful so couldn't sleep well.  I awoke at just before 2am and was still awake at 5am.  I must have dropped off just after that because when I woke up again G had gone to work.  I decided to take the short drive to the supermarket just after opening at 10am to see if they had re-stocked.  They had!  I was lucky to get the crisps and cheesecake on offer;  normal cost £2.50 and £3.00 respectively, so £5.50 worth for FREE.......



Not only did I get them free but I scanned bonus points coupons as an experiment when I went to the Smartscan checkout point ( fully expecting them to be rejected) and they were accepted giving me an additional 650 points worth £3.25  I only had to pay for milk, eggs and pizza @ £2.79 so, when you think about it, I was paid to shop.... 👍


G loves Christmas pudding and I'm not so keen as it's far too sweet so I buy him tiny, one portion puddings at £1 each.  In my food delivery this week they had run out of small puddings but sent me a big version valued at £3 and refunded the £2 difference as a voucher off next week.  I don't mind that at all.  It will feed the family when they visit 😀



Have you managed to pick up any bargains lately?

Stay safe everyone, wherever in the world you happen to be and I'm sending special thoughts to the parts of the US which have suffered the terrible consequences of the recent tornado xx

Saturday, 11 December 2021

An Interesting Offer & A Proud Moment

The first Christmas card from our new neighbours dropped onto the mat yesterday.  This little pug is so cute!


By the way, I keep forgetting to say how much I enjoyed the Dance School show last weekend.  The annual event is usually held in a theatre type venue with a good sound system and lavish costumes but this year, because of all the restrictions in place, it was held in a local gym with jigsaw matting for the dance area and the dancers were all dressed in black leotards and leggings.  It was AMAZING! Ability ranged from tiny 3 year olds with arms and legs all over the place to the precision of the 17 year olds, like my Granddaughter, who has won hundreds of trophies in competitions across the country.. She made me very proud 😊

The postie delivered an interesting bit of mail from Sainsburys.....


It shows that I have shopped with them 42 times this year (not really a surprise as I have my shopping delivered weekly) and have popped loose produce in my basket a measly 5 times.  As I have home deliveries I have no control over that aspect sadly.....


There are vouchers for bonus Nectar points on certain purchases.....


And 3 free gifts!  As we needed a TV guide for next week we took the 5 minute drive to the local store so that I could redeem the vouchers.....


I got ....zilch....the shelves were bare in all 3 sections.  I might have to try again on another day.   I noticed gaps in lots of aisles especially crisps.  Has everyone stocked up on them like they did the toilet rolls??

One interesting snippet shows that I purchased 930 portions of fruit and veg this year.  It sounds like a lot but 5 a day x 365 days equals 1825 !  And that's just one person, so times that by two and it comes to 3650 👀😟  I know we have been eating fruit and veg from the allotment as well but I think there is still a shortfall.  Must try harder.....


The leaflet also shows that I am #6 buyer of tinned pears! 😂😇😂  We like them on our breakfast cereal.  I wonder what the 5 buyers ahead of me do with them?

Have a great weekend and thanks so much for popping in x

Thursday, 9 December 2021

Getting Into The Christmas Spirit!

Today was haircut day so that I can be spruced up in time for Christmas.  DD came for lunch and just before I went out she took this Snapchat photo of me. It makes me look 10 years younger.  What a filter can do, eh? 😅😂  (Hair, clothes and teeth all my own!!)



On my way back to the car I popped into Morrisons for next week's TV guide and succumbed to a scratchcard.  Yay! It's definitely a lucky day today.  £25 to help me to the end of the month!  We can buy a drink at next Tuesday's bingo and I'll buy something for the food bank too. Yay again!


Sue Hall pointed me in the direction of Kath Kelly's book How I Lived on £1 A Day.  I read a bit on Amazon and it's right up my street so I decided to go for it and got the kindle download for £2.08.  It will definitely be food for thought in the new year when we begin our new 'Frugal Year on a Tight Budget'  (I just thought up the title ....might be good... 😊😍 )

Anyway, I cooked salmon en croute for lunch for the three of us so it will be an easy tea, just crusty cobs with ham or cheese and some cherry tomatoes , followed by trifle.  A glass of Bailey's Irish cream could also be in the equation somewhere.  Well the title of this blog post is:

Getting Into the Christmas Spirit !!

How was your day?

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

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

A Rainy December Day and a Surprise

Today storm Barra has begun to make his mark.  Overnight the weather turned wet, windy and freezing cold making it too nasty to venture far.  We took the easy option and drove the car to the village pub as they have bingo every Tuesday at 1.30pm.  We had 3 games for £1.50 including a free tea, coffee or hot chocolate and a biscuit which is a real bargain.  Sitting in a warm pub for an hour and having a bit of company and a giggle for £1.50 can't be bad. We would normally buy a drink each but finances are too stretched today so we couldn't.....


But I won on a line and got these.....


I felt a bit guilty for not having bought a drink but we will next time and we had a warm welcome anyway.

Thanks to everyone who left comments on my last post, they are much appreciated.  Welcome too to my newest followers.  It's lovely to have you pop in!

When I checked the joint account this morning I could see that we have had our government Christmas bonus of £10 each.  The amount hasn't changed for donkey's years as I can remember my mum and dad getting the same amount.  I'm amazed that it hasn't been stopped completely but very grateful for it.  An extra £10 in my purse is a bit of a safety net and will help me eke out my cash until the end of the month, so thank you to the powers that be.

That's all my news for now.  I admire the bloggers who are posting every day for Blogmass, I wouldn't have enough interesting things to talk about!

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

Friday, 3 December 2021

Officially Excited!


 We are now into December and on the countdown to Christmas Day, so I can officially get excited! 😇

We collected the door wreath yesterday and that always puts me in a good mood.  I can smell the fresh foliage every time I lock or unlock the door 😊  We have free tickets to the concert at the village church on 18th (although we will have to pay to get out! Seriously, just a collection ....) and I'm going to see our Granddaughter in the dance show on Sunday afternoon, God willing.  There will be temperature checks at the door and masks are mandatory so I should feel safe for the couple of hours the show lasts.  The school performance on 16th has been cancelled though, which is a shame because all the dancers have worked so hard in after school rehearsals. 

All my Christmas cards have been written and either handed out or posted, money has been popped into envelopes,  gifts, gift wrap and gift bags have been purchased, salmon has been ordered for Boxing Day when the family will descend on us for the day,  supermarket deliveries have been booked right up to 20th December , so all that is left to do is to buy fresh salad stuff on Christmas Eve when I collect the order.  Phew....Order has been restored 😀 AND BREATHE.......

There is enough money in the joint account to pay any bills which are due right up to the middle of January.  G is paying for me to have my hair cut next week and I have a dental checkup on 13th (money from the joint a/c)   My car MOT is due on 15th.  The £47 cost is in the account but I desperately hope it will pass it's MOT as I have no more money.  There's £15 in my purse and 34p in my bank account to last until 31st December 😰

How are you doing with your preparations?

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

30 a Week Challenge Day 7

Saturday meals: Breakfast: Porridge oats with cinnamon (1/4 point) Lunch : Lunch was a bit of a cheat.  I saw this little pot of Red Thai st...