Sunday 23 October 2022

Christmas Comes Early, A Conflict & Avian Flu

Just in case anyone in the UK doesn't know yet... Sainsbury's are releasing Christmas delivery slots from tomorrow onwards.  I can hardly believe it's so early on, but I'll be booking mine if I can, to help with delivery of the heavy stuff and kitchen staples if nothing else.  I'll just fill a basket and check out then adjust it closer to the time.  Hope it helps .....

On Monday we spent much of the day trimming back our poor apple tree in order to comply with the rules of the allotment.  It used to be a recommendation that trees must be below 3 mtrs high but some bright spark on the committee has decided it must be mandatory and, as we inherited the tree (which was over 3 mtrs to begin with) and which has been pruned each year we've been there, it's particularly galling.  It will need another light haircut later on once the leaves have dropped and we can see what we are actually doing to it 😕

The compost heap will need a little help to break all this dry stuff down....

Afterwards we both ached like billy-o but went to the annual allotment meeting on Tuesday evening anyway.  There, one old chap, a right job's worth, drew us into a 'discussion' he was having with another couple who had received a warning that they had too many weeds on their plot.  He was laying down the law in no uncertain terms and commented that G & I  have too many bark chippings on our paths between raised beds and are 'ruining the soil'.  Once again, I couldn't keep my mouth shut and told him politely that he could have weeds as well on our plot if he wanted but the bark is laid on membrane to suppress them and WE ARE NOT RUINING THE SOIL!  Even if the bark was laid directly on the soil, it would take up Nitrogen and then release it back to the soil as it breaks down.  G said nothing 😟

A buffet of sandwiches had been laid on but I was so incensed on G's behalf, because he is so inoffensive and has worked hard on the plot despite being in constant pain with his neck and back, that I walked out at the end of the meeting.  I hate confrontation and my digestive system does too so I didn't sleep well on Tuesday night. The allotment has been our refuge during the last 3 years of Covid (and a horrible neighbour) and I refuse to let anyone spoil it 😡 

Changing the subject, thank you for all your comments on my last 2 posts, I really do appreciate your input.  I'm sure there was a comment on my last post from Sue Hall but it's disappeared 👀  I have no idea what happened to it.  Did I delete it in error? Not sorry Sue.  I did read it on my phone before it disappeared into the ether!

Avian flu has been found in our local area.  This is potentially devastating as we have a high number of ponds and wildlife preservation sites around here.  G and I were only recently commenting that we have seen no small birds in our garden, despite cleaning and re-stocking the bird feeders.  It's very worrying. Could this be why we have an egg shortage, I wonder?

PS: I had my Covid booster yesterday afternoon.  I went to bed with a slight headache last night but, apart from a sore arm this morning, I feel ok 👍

Have a lovely day everyone. Stay safe x

Thursday 20 October 2022

44 Day Laughing Stock Alert

 Sorry folks, but I can't keep my mouth closed yet again.  For anyone who doesn't yet know I'll shout it out loud....

Liz Truss Has Resigned as PM !

Bl**dy hell,  our country has absolutely NO dignity left.  After just 44 days as Prime Minister, in which time she and her Chancellor wreaked havoc on our economy, she is calling it a day.  I don't normally swear but FFS get a grip! Now I hear that Boris might be putting himself forward as her replacement.  Words fail me.....

It's been a miserable, dark, wet and windy day so the announcement is the absolute icing on the proverbial cake.  I feel utterly as miserable as the weather. I need to find reasons to be thankful:

For a happy phone call from our Daughter this morning.  Her husband is still Covid positive but she is cheerful, bless her 😊

For the WhatsApp video from our Son in Australia showing our 6 year old Granddaughter asking for sweets for the umpteenth time (she was not allowed any more that day) She spelled it out because her parents threatened to deduct 10c from her pocket money every time she said the word SNACK! 😂

Don't you just love kids 😂😂

Ok...I'm smiling now...

Take care and stay safe everyone x

Sunday 16 October 2022

What a Farce & Shortages Continue

I don't usually bother to comment on political goings on but, I ask you, how did our government become such a joke? Firstly, Boris is forced to resign and is replaced by Liz Truss (voted in by the party and not the people) who seems to have her own agenda for running our country, said agenda bearing no resemblance at all to sanity! Plans to reward the rich with tax reductions, and kick the poor and disabled in the teeth by not increasing benefits by the rate of the cost of living. I won't even mention pensioners and families already struggling. The Chancellor had, it seems, become power hungry by his sudden promotion to office and initiated sweeping changes which instantly rocked the finance sector on it's foundations.  I don't even pretend to understand finance on such a grand scale, but warning bells rang as soon as the announcement of the 'mini budget' was made.  Now Truss has sacked the Chancellor after just 38 days in office and there has been a massive u-turn in the plans.  Jeremy Hunt has taken over as Chancellor and is talking of spending cuts in public services.  He was a former Health Secretary who did nothing to help the NHS so...... God help us.

Meanwhile food shortages continue.  Our Son-in-Law tested positive for Covid yesterday so I went to buy some paracetamol for us and Lemsip drinks for him.  There were just 2 packs of Lemsips left on the shelves so I just took one, and about a dozen packs of paracetamol (I took 2)

Eggs were missing apart from a few boxes of the expensive Happy Egg ones....

Tea bags in the smaller packs were gone....

 Also missing were: 

 Small tins of the pineapple pieces we like,  G's favourite cornflakes (shop's own brand) and small tins of baked beans (own brand.... and I refuse to pay double the price for branded)

Ok....I'll descend from my soap box now! I'm sorry for the rant but I didn't sleep well last night so am not at my absolute best today 😒

Today is our 51st wedding anniversary.  G is working and, with SiL so ill, I can't see the family.  Today will be spent alone, probably ironing, which isn't my favourite thing to do.  I must find things to be thankful for.....

For being able to have a power nap this afternoon
For 51 years of marriage and 2 lovely children
For a lovely bright, sunny day

Have a lovely day everyone. Stay safe x

Friday 14 October 2022

Autumn Cooking & a Drastic Trim

Now that the weather has turned colder and darker in the late afternoon and evening, I want to start 'cooking once and eating twice' so last night I made a shepherd's pie using 300g quorn mince, a handful of split red lentils and an onion, along with a packet of shepherd's pie spice mix I found in the cupboard, 300ml cold water, tomato puree to taste and a bit of black pepper.  It actually made 5 decent portions so 2 eaten last night with homegrown french beans from the freezer,  2 will be eaten tonight with peas (heated in the microwave) and the odd portion has been boxed and frozen for one of G 's quick meals after work sometime.

While the oven was on, I made crumble with homegrown stewed apple from the freezer and some homegrown fresh raspberries, served hot with a scoop of ice cream. There's more left for tonight to eat with hot custard 👍

G has gone to the allotment this morning and I'm just finishing off here then will join him.  We have been informed that the council visited the allotment last week and decided that we need to reduce the height of the Bramley apple tree to below 3 mtrs.  It's at least 4 so has to be trimmed and it's a job I simply can't help with.  G's neck problem makes it hard for him too so we're hoping that the family will help during half term week.  The poor tree's fruit production is bound to suffer next year with such drastic trimming but we have no choice.  As the tree was inherited with the plot and already well established, it's particularly galling. 

Anyway, must be off, weeding is calling me 😁

Stay safe everyone x

Wednesday 12 October 2022

What I'm Reading Now

When we moved to the bungalow a year ago (blimey, a year already 😳) I had to sell or donate a high proportion of my books to make the move easier, so I felt justified in treating myself to the new Richard Osman one, the third in the series. I had a £3 Amazon voucher towards the cost so not too bad really 👍 I'm really enjoying it too.... 

I had to visit the village library at the weekend because my log in wouldn't work and I was unable to reserve any books. Apparently, I became 'lost' in the new American system the council has adopted and had to re-register 🙄 Anyway, whilst I was there I browsed the books for sale and bought this one for the princely sum of 10p. Its a collection of short stories which will be lovely when I don't have much time to read..... 


On Tuesday, G offered to buy me lunch (when have I ever refused? 😁) and carvery was the order of the day at our local pub.  I didn't have meat as I only eat a little poultry and the day's choice was gammon or beef, so a plate of veg was my choice. Piping hot and delicious for £5.45 and very filling with all the carbs!..... 

It meant no cooking and just a simple tea later on.  And it helped support the new landlord too, so win win 👍 We still want to eat out occasionally if we can, otherwise life is a bit boring, isn't it. 

Are you still finding affordable places to eat out?

BTW we had our flu jabs yesterday with no issues so far other than a 'heavy' arm feeling. One down, Covid to go. 

Stay safe everyone x

Saturday 8 October 2022

Look No Hands! Backs and Jabs...


After my challenge last week, I felt more energised than I have felt in weeks so carried on trying to get more variety into our diet.  I baulked at posting more shots of our meals so just kept a list for my own records.  By today, I have reached 21 points and intend having a veg curry or something for lunch which will add a few more points to the total.  I really need to keep eating more healthily!

Having said that, I was cleaning my teeth at the sink on Wednesday, leaned over to rinse my mouth and my back 'gave out' 😖  There was a sharp 'electric shock' of a pain and since then I have been unable to bend without pain and more twinges.  I do get this every few months, and... yes.... I know it gets better, but it's so debilitating not to be able to pick things up from below knee level, or even load the washing machine or dishwasher easily.  This morning, I have stripped my bed and loaded it into the machine with my foot.  Now all I need is to be able to get it out again to dry it.  G is at work until 6pm so can't help me.  I'll try the foot trick again....

We have our flu jabs booked for Tuesday afternoon.  We are both eligible for yet another Covid booster but I want to wait a while until I feel I can cope with any after effects.  We've already had 3 shots.

Are you having another booster this Winter?

Take care everyone x

Sunday 2 October 2022

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 style curry in the reduced section and decided to buy it for lunch.... contains wild rice (a grain), yellow split peas, edamame beans and baby spinach (plus rice and carrot, neither of which count for the challenge)  After just 4 minutes in the microwave, and with a glass of orange juice, I could add 5 points to my total.  It was healthy and very tasty 👍

Evening meal:

Another bargain spotted was this delicious quiche.  I've eaten it before and it's really nice.  I wouldn't pay full price for it but at £2.15 it will make 4 decent portions @ 54p each.......

Served with a good handful of  Bistro Salad (Nectar price 90p) containing beetroot, lamb's lettuce and mixed chard .... 3 points.....

.... plus couscous and spring onion from the allotment... 2 points.

Uncannily, that adds 10.25 points to my total, making 30.5 for the week.
Success? or cheat?  I'm not sure 😨

One thing I do know is that I seem to have more energy this weekend.  Coincidence? or the result of eating more variety over the last week?  I really don't know but I have learned that planning is the key and I need to introduce more herbs to my cooking, even if it's just a sprig of mint for garnish. Next week we will be eating even more different veg;  swede, cabbage, & broccoli, for instance, but I won't be logging it all! Phew 😆

Thank you so much for following me with the challenge.  Stay safe everyone x

Saturday 1 October 2022

30 a Week Challenge Day 6

 Friday meals:

Breakfast: Muesli with half a tinned pear (in juice) & spoonful of live yogurt

Lunch: Sandwich made with wholemeal bread, tinned salmon and cucumber slices 

Evening meal: Spicy beanburger on a bread bap with salad 

We weren't very hungry for our evening meal so a beanburger just hit the spot. It only added 1 point to my total though, for the mixed bean content, as the salad stuff had already been ticked off.  This challenge is even harder than I thought it would be 😏

The total stands at 20.25 this morning and there is no way I will eat 9.75 portions of fruit and veg today.  It looks very much like a fail..... 

It poured with rain yesterday as soon as we ventured out, so we didn't stay out very long.  Driving rain forced us to eat our sandwiches in the car then we bought the grease bands and came home.  The heating was turned on for about an hour to warm us up and dry our coats. Later on I went outside to read and photograph the gas and electricity meters in case the smart meters fail to submit a reading tonight.  It would have been a bit daft to try and do it in the dark tonight so I might take another reading in the morning so that we get the cheaper rate for as long as possible if the Smart fails. What a palaver...

Stay safe everyone and have a great day x

It's OK.....

  Angie 💓 xx