Monday, 30 December 2013

Pics

A Minion hat & a stripy pink hat with a flower on & a matching scarf 

Friday, 27 December 2013

What would you do if?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2529724/Why-lottery-winners-like-end-losers-love-Every-week-couple-splits-scooping-Lotto-jackpot-Read-11m-winners-car-crash-story-youll-understand-why.html

I've just read this article in the Daily Wail & funnily enough the same subject came up when we went out for a drink with my L&M's work colleagues, one of my L&M's colleagues was musing on what he would do with a lottery win & trying to work out how much he'd need to win to enable him & his wife not to have to work again. It is a subject he often talks about, I think he sees it as his only way of escaping a boring job.
Obviously my L&M & I wouldn't need as much as they would, we are in our late 50's/60's, they are in their 20's, but my L&M was explaining how to work it out. Unfortunately my L&M's colleague has no hobbies & no interests apart from retail therapy, so he'd need to win a huge amount of money to enable him not to work ever again. Whereas we could retire in the mortgage was paid off as our our pensions would cover our other bills, it wouldn't be an exciting life, but then we aren't really looking for excitement.
There have been a few people in the news recently who marriages collapsed after a big lottery win, were their marriages struggling anyway, did they argue over what to do with the money, who knows.
Money can often cause more problems than it solves, I'm sure that at least one relative of ours would die quicker the more money he had as he would drink himself to death or kill himself in an drink driving accident.
Until recently I always said I'd continue to work if I won a lot of money as I don't believe doing nothing is good for anyone, now I'd have to do voluntary work as I am past retirement age.
So how much would you want to win & what would you do with your winnings?

Thursday, 26 December 2013

How little can I spend this month

We were paid on 20th December so we have 5 weeks until we are paid again, I'm not expecting this to be a big problem as we haven't gone mad & spent much on Christmas gifts. We both made a transfer to our bills account the day we got paid & it will sit there until it pays the bills..
We haven't rushed off to the sales as there is nothing we need, but I may go for a mooch around the local charity shops on Saturday.
We have plenty of meat left from our meat hamper, plus 8 pork chops, lots of cheese & butter in the fridge, lots of fruit & my larder cupboard is full of all the basics such as flour, sugar, tea bags etc.

I have 20 eggs in the fridge & another 20 will be delivered on 4th & 18th, they will cost £8, I will need milk, probably another £8. A loaf of white bread a week for my L&M and half a loaf of wholemeal for me, £7. We still have veg growing in the garden & a big bag of frozen peas. I'm going to aim to spend no more than £30 until the end of the month.
The leftover beef will be sliced & frozen in gravy.
The turkey breast will also be sliced & frozen in gravy.
Half the ham will be frozen to be used to make sandwiches, the other half will be made into pie filling with the dark turkey meat and a few mushrooms., this pie filling can also be served as a pasta sauce.
I shall make a batch of soup with the left over broccoli & cauliflower & some Stilton, this we do for some of my lunches when I return to work on 6th January.
My L&M was given 20 bottles of assorted lagers so he won't need any more for a while. If I need to spend more I will do so but the less I spend, the more money will go into the savings account & from there into the mortgage account.
I've also found 2 more books to sell on Amazon, so I'll list those tomorrow.

Stuff to do

All I've done today is 2 loads of washing, I didn't manage anything else, I've spent most of the day on the sofa, snoozing, even knitting feels like too much effort.
I'm beginning to feel better now so hopefully I'll get more done tomorrow, I'd like to get the ironing done soon, so everything is ready for when we go back to work.
My L&M has been pottering in the garden, and has drawn up his planting plan for the coming year, I like to see him busy & cheerful.
DD, Lizzie may visit tomorrow with the children, it will be nice to see them & give them their gifts. 
I have ordered some thumb stones, amethyst, lapis lazuli & rose quartz, I'm trying to concentrate on aspects of my life other than work & the negativity involved.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Lovely day

We've had a lovely day today, usually it's just my L&M & I on Christmas day, but today both my son's came for lunch along with Tom's girlfriend, Tom looked very dashing as he was wearing a hat, he was most impressed when I recognised it as a fedora, most people think its a trilby, but a fedora has a wider brim.
We had dinner & lots of chat & laughter, especially when my L&M's phone rang, he answered it to be greeted with a list of complaints about someone suspicious hanging around outside a building. He listened patiently until the caller ran out of steam & then said 'I'm very sorry to hear about the problems you are having, but I'm a school caretaker, I'm not the police, it seems one of the local PCSO has a similar number.
Apart from cooking & eating lunch with the family I've also managed to fit in watching a couple of different versions of 'A Christmas Carol' it's a story I've loved since I was a child, it also reminds of my ex & makes me appreciate my L&M even more.
My sons were both delighted with their gifts, a chess set for Tom & a mug with an offensive saying on it for John. I also bought both of them a fleece snood/hood, John had been meaning to buy one for his forthcoming ski trip & Tom wanted one to keep his ears warm when walking to work.
Tomorrow it will just be the 2 of us & I will spend some time making room in the spare room for my L&M to erect 2 plastic green houses & start his planting. I'm not cooking tomorrow as we lots of leftovers to use up, so I will also spent some time sitting with my feet up & having a rest.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Celebration

We had our Yule celebration on Sunday today as my L&M was working Saturday.

We had turkey with all the trimmings, I didn't do a starter or pudding. 

My L&M is at work again Monday & Tuesday, we have family visiting on Christmas day so we will have another celebratory meal then & I will do a pudding to go with that meal.

After dropping my L&M at work, I treated myself to ten new tea towels, mine are all grotty from being used as extra oven gloves, I also bought a new pinny.
I received this lovely wind chime from the Secret Santa at work, I think it is too nice to hang outside except on special summer days.


This my Yule decoration this year, we have reorganised the room and there is nowhere much to put anything so this is all I have.


Saturday, 21 December 2013

Solstice Blessing

Solstice Blessing

May you know peace, joy & love.
May you experience wonder and magic even in the simplest
things.
May you delight in your life and all its intricacies.
May laughter be the balm that heals all wounds.

Friday, 20 December 2013

End of term

I'm so tired that I'm shaking, but term is over & I don't go back 'til 6th January, I shall be off to bed fairly soon as hubby has to be at work about 7:30 tomorrow. 
I need to get some wrapping paper tomorrow, collect a parcel from the local sorting office & have the gas topped up in my car's AC. When I get home I shall spread all the presents out on the floor tomorrow & work out who's getting what & start wrapping.
We received an email at work yesterday stating that any mugs left in the kitchen after lunch today would be disposed off, I'm not sure how many people will have read the email so I collected 6 boxes of mugs & bought them home, I've put them through the dishwasher & I'll stack them in my spare room for a couple of weeks, if they are allowed to be returned to work I'll take them back, if we are not allowed to keep mugs at work, I'll take them to a local charity shop.
I was given a huge bag of Lego today, one of my DGS's has a lot of Lego, the other loves Lego, but only has a small quantity so he is going to be delighted when Santa delivers the bag to him. I was also given 3 boxes of chocolates that I will re-gift. I've already given my DD Lizzie the Christmas Jumper I wore today, so she has it to wear on Christmas day.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Mortgage

My L&M and I have decided to throw all our spare pennies at our mortgage next year. We have reduced it fairly well so far as we took out a 25 year mortgage 10 years ago & we only have 9 years 2 month left of the term.
Unfortunately we had a few years when I was the only one in regular employment & for a while we had an interest only mortgage,otherwise we'd have paid off even more.
Now we are going to make a concerted effort to pay off as much as we can, as soon as we can.
We have £67.703.19 left to pay!

We have upped our payments by £100 per month from our joint account & I'm also going to try to pay an extra  £39.97 out of my account each month. At the end of each month, any money left in our joint account will be moved to our savings account & then transferred to the mortgage every 6 months. No doubt something expensive will now break down & scupper all our plans, so we can but try.

Aren't I lucky


A gift from a new colleague who has felt somewhat overwhelmed occasionally.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Career change

My L&M has decided on a career change

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Hair today, gone tomorrow

My hair is driving me mad, it's now so fine & flyaway. I'm suffering from regular bedhead, in fact I'm suffering from bedhead, snoozing on the sofa head, windy weather head, lets be honest I'm even suffering from OMG I sneezed head & my hair's sticking up in all directions

Saturday, 14 December 2013

MEN!!!!!

Having spent the last 10 years repeating things twice, three times and sometimes even more to my beloved L&M, who refused to accept that he was deaf. I finally persuaded him to go to the Drs, who referred him to the hearing unit at the hospital, who fitted him with hearing aids. I am now dealing with someone who speaks very quietly and who gets annoyed when I don't hear him & ask him to repeat things!

Another visit

This morning DGD Eileen visited, she was very keen to come & see us and had her coat & boots on ready when I went to collect her. She was, as usual hysterically funny at times.
I now realise why the menopause is a good idea, I stopped at the little Tesco's to buy a loaf of bread, cheese & some fruit and to let Eileen choose some sweets, it took 40 minutes. I came out with the fruit but no bread, sweets for Eileen & her siblings & no cheese, we also left most of the customers & staff laughing, especially as Eileen insisted on paying with plastic money & the assistant obliged even though it made counting the change somewhat challenging! When I was younger I shopped with 4 children and managed just fine, now I find it a lot more difficult even with just one child.
We made biscuits with icing & sprinkles, more sprinkles went in her mouth than on the biscuits but she had fun making them & they tasted nice.
Eileen's visit was just the antidote I needed to cheer me up after a depressing  appraisal at work.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

I need to get sorted

I'm worn out, I'm grumpy & I look like shit. I'm not sleeping well, I'm getting woken up by a neighbour & my L&M's shift pattern doesn't help. One more day left of this week but I've a lot to do at the weekend, including defrosting one of my freezers. Then one more week to get through, am I going to make it? I can but try.
I shall try to rest at the weekend, I need to take DGD Norah to gym club on Friday at 4:30 for an hour & DGD Eileen is visiting for a couple of hours on Saturday, I don't want to give up these visits as they are a treat for me & my L&M.
So onwards & upwards, all I can do is keep slogging away & try my best.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Frugal living is nothing new

In the mid 1970's when I was first married I had a copy of the Pauper's Cook Book by Jocasta Innes & Delia Smith's Frugal Food. I still had both the books 25 years later but lost them when I moved house 4 times in 10 months during my divorce. 
In 1986 Shirley Goode was on TV in The Goode Kitchen Shirley still writes a blog today http://shirleygoode.blogspot.co.uk/, I have 2 of her books and I think there was a third. In 1989 Bernadine Lawrence released The Benefit Book or How to feed your family for £4 a day.


I don't use the books so much now, not because they aren't useful, but because after 20 odd years I make the dishes without referring to the recipe books. I still regularly make the Bacon, onion & potato hotpot from The Paupers Cook Book & I still cook a lamb & cabbage dish from Delia's book.  I'm not convinced that all the recipes in The Benefit Book had been tested, some were not successful, but then most of the Jamie Oliver recipes I've tried have failed.
I always found Shirley Goode's recipes very successful & I found her chapters on how to price meals to be invaluable.

 For an assortment of reasons I've been poor or frugal for long periods of time since I moved into a bedsit at 15 in the 1960's. It has made me grateful that now I am warm as I was cold & went hungry in my first bedsit! I couldn't afford to put money in the meter to run the electric fire or to buy covers for my bed or enough food for a week, I eventually realised that it was cheaper to put the gas oven on to cook something & sit beside the oven. I took to making a huge bread pudding every Saturday that lasted most of the week when a friends mum gave me a huge drum of dried fruit.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Wow

I've sold both the books I put on eBay, I've not made a fortune, but every little helps. I shall have a look for some more I think, but I don't have many left as I had a book purge a while ago.
I'm worn out & it's only Monday, all rush, rush, rush at work, we have 3 team members out sick & one on Jury service

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Busy Day

We had visitors today, they were supposed to be here at 12 for lunch, but they were running late. I did pork chops in cider on a bed of sliced onion & red peppers from the garden, I added some sage from the garden too.
I served the chops with mash, HG leeks, sprouts & carrots, I made brownies for pudding & had cream & ice cream to go with them. 
Tomorrow I'm collecting the DGC & bringing them here to see the lights at the end of the road, that way Lizzie can walk the dog in peace. 
I don't put up a tree any more, we gave our tree to Lizzie last year as there isn't room in the living room now we have a different sofa. I have a couple of illuminated houses, a snow globe & some ornaments, I shall also pick some greenery & bring that inside to go with a lovely poinsettia our guests bought over.
The downstairs is all tidy, so a lazy week for me next week I also have enough leftovers to make meals up to Wednesday & a batch of soup for my lunches.
I listed 2 recipe books on Amazon this morning & have sold one already, £6 in the coffers.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

There is always room for another one

DGD Norah is fast asleep in the spare bed, she is in the middle, surrounded by teddies, snuggled under the duvet & there is a fluffy blanket on top of the duvet & her beloved Arsenal blanket (fleece) is around her shoulders. She hasn't slept without the blanket since she was a babe, it is huge, big enough for a single bed & a strange shape as a large square has been cut from one corner & was used when she was in the buggy.
I took her to gym club last night, we then came home to drop her overnight bag off & went out again to look at a neighbours house as it is covered in Christmas lights. The garden is full of strings of lights, Santa's, snowmen & reindeer. We returned home, had tea & played a very complicated game with the seven teddies where Norah was running the gym club & some of the teddies were very naughty. Later we drove to work to pick up my L&M, Norah had a wash, cleaned her teeth, I read her a story & she fell asleep almost instantly.
When I collected her yesterday her little sister Eileen said, 'I like your house Nana, me come too?' I promised her she could come next time, she was upset but eventually agreed to wait as long as she could have the photo I keep of my L&M on my key ring. When I drop Norah home I'll see if Eileen wants to come back with me, if she's changed her mind about an immediate visit, she can visit next Saturday.
I have to go to the local sorting office this morning as there are 5 parcels waiting for me, I have no idea what they can be as I only have one parcel outstanding.
I'm still waiting to find out if we have visitors for lunch tomorrow or nor, I'm going to cook Moroccan lamb or pork & leeks in cider, if they are coming over, if not I will do a pork chop with roasties for my L&M

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Soggy start to the day

I reached for my phone in the early hours this morning to see what the time was & I managed to knock my glass of water over, it went in my knicker drawer, in my shoes & all over the floor! I threw a towel on the floor to mop up the worst of the water, the glass didn't break but even though I scrabbled around but I couldn't find the glass anywhere, I didn't want to turn the light on as my L&M was still asleep.
I couldn't get back to sleep so I was up & in the shower by 5:30, fortunately I had dry underwear on the airer as the everything in my drawers was wet, I also had to stuff kitchen roll in my shoes to dry them out. Not the best start to the day, but at least I got to work in plenty of time

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

We're pagan, so we celebrate Yule rather than Christmas but I love both of them, I love lights & sparkle, music & feasting, all the things that make Yule special. I love Christmas music, everything from Slade to carols.

There really is no reason to spend lots of money to have a lovely Christmas, you don't need new furniture & you don't need to buy in every foodstuff known to man.

I once had a neighbour who spent a fortune on his daughter every Christmas & had the bailiffs in every new year.

Here are a few tips for a frugal Christmas


Buy an artificial tree it will last for years. If you cannot afford a tree, hang some baubles on twigs in a vase.
Don't follow fashion & change the colours scheme on your tree every year, that way you can use the same lights & decorations year after year.
Tell you children when they are small that Santa fills their stocking, everything else has to be paid for, this will cut down on too many unreasonable requests.
Take a walk with your children  round your neighbourhood to look at the houses decorated on the outside.
Start some free/cheap Christmas traditions of your own such as watching a Christmas film on TV with popcorn & hot chocolate.
Bringing in the Green, go out around your garden/local area & cut some greenery to decorate your home, I have cottoneaster & rosemary in my garden & use these.
Popcorn garlands, thread popcorn on to strands of cotton & drape on your tree.
Make paper snowflakes & snowmen

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Chop chop chop

Slight cockup on the shopping front, I received an email from the local butcher with their special offers. They had 12 pieces of sirloin steak for £12 & one item that really caught my eye, pork chops. My L&M loves pork chops & they had some lovely large thick ones, they were a bit expensive so I ummed & ahhd for a while. Eventually I decided to by him 4 pork chops, I don't eat pork so I only got four.
Yesterday I collected my order from the butchers, I thought the box containing my order was rather large & when I got home & started to unpack I realised why. The price was for a pack of four pork chops, I have 16 pork chops in the freezer, my L&M is in pork chop heaven!

Filling up the oven







I fill the oven up to save money on my electric bill, on Sunday I cooked 2 pork joints, top shelf. 4 jacket potatoes, middle shelf, rice pudding & fruit crumble, bottom shelf. I also cooked beef in beer & a fruit cake. The oven was full all the time it was on, don't waste money on buying crappy frozen jacket potatoes & ready made crumble thinking you will save money on your fuel bills


A failure & a success

I'll admit it, I've failed, I've tried but I couldn't do it, I've had to give up on the free porridge, yesterday it was like concrete and nobody ate it. Today's was yesterday's with extra water added, so it was runny with lumps in. I will eat most things but even I cannot stomach the porridge on a daily basis, this puts paid to saving a few pennies every day, I'll have to think of something else to cut back on.

On the other hand, I've spoken to our mortgage company today & arranged to pay an extra £100 a month to bring the term down. The chap I spoke to was a bit bemused, this close to Christmas I expect more people are taking a mortgage holiday of falling into arrears. 

Helen went for another scan yesterday & both babes are coming along nicely.
Lizzie went for an interview yesterday & was offered the job on the spot, she starts in the new year when the current incumbent leaves


Sunday, 1 December 2013

On a winning streak

I think I'll rush out & buy a lottery ticket as I seem to be on a winning streak.
Firstly I won a £20 Amazon voucher by entering a competition on here http://frugaldom.blogspot.co.uk/
Secondly I did an online shop at Asda & when I did the price compare Morrisons were cheaper, so I have a voucher for £6.57.

My morning spent with DFGS was a success, I was a bit worried as he is shy & usually when I ask him a question he whispers the answer to Helen who then tells me what he has said. I need not have worried, he chattered away happily whilst he was here. We made a Christmas decoration, a felt star to hang on the tree, we went to the shops to buy sweeties & we made biscuits. He's a real boy, wanting to know how everything works, twiddling & pushing any & all buttons & switches he can see, he managed to put my L&M's umbrella up in the kitchen, but as I'm not superstitious I didn't mind. A delivery from Amazon arrived during his visit, he asked what was in the box & I replied that I didn't know, he then asked why I wasn't opening the box to find out. I explained that it might be his birthday present & I didn't want to spoil the surprise. He beamed as he realised that we'd bought him a present & didn't try to look in the box. We've bought him Booms, Bangs & Fizzes, I hope he likes it.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Savaged by a mad chihuahua

My DD Lizzie has a rescued chihuahua cross, she's a lovely little dog and very protective of the family, she often sits on my lap for a cuddle when I go over there, not today though.
When I walked in to the house the dog went bananas, she started barking, growling, snarling & showing her teeth. I sat down and held out my hand for her to sniff but she was still upset. She didn't bite me but was very threatening, if some 6 inches by 10 inches can be threatening! When I held out my hand towards her, she ran at me snarling & bumped her nose against me, she was obviously scared of me but knew not to bite, I wouldn't have been upset if she had nipped me as she was obviously scared. Eventually I took my coat off & she calmed down immediately, when I put it back on she started to get upset again, so I took it off & laid it on the floor. She ignored the coat & came over to me for a treat, a stroke & a cuddle. I'm very upset by this because as she ignored the coat when it was on the floor I believe that someone in a similar coat must have hurt her at some time and it makes me sad.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Buying something isn't the answer

I wander around a lot of blogs when I'm online, mainly ones by people who live frugally, some bloggers live this way by choice & some by necessity. It is a very different scenario for these 2 sorts of people, for the frugal by choice there are decisions to make, shall I buy a wood burner to save on my fuel bills, shall I buy some thick curtains to keep out the draughts, or maybe even double glazing, shall I buy a mini oven to save on using the big oven.
For the FBC's, frugal be choice, it's easier, they don't make such a big payment off their mortgage for a month or 2 and they can buy a wood burner or what ever else they deem necessary. They can then spent this money & smugly congratulate them selves on their 'frugal choice'.
For those on a low wage or pension the choices are different,here are a few examples from people I know.
Instead of thick curtains to keep out the draughts, rolled up freebie newspaper stuffed into the gaps round the windows & doors.
Instead of buying a trendy onsie to keep warm in bed put your coat on top of the bedding when you go to bed, the extra layer will help.
Instead of sitting up watching crap on TV go to bed straight after tea & read a library book. Mind you library books aren't an option for us, the mobile library calls when we are at work, a trip to the local library means driving & paying for parking or 2 bus journey's each way.
Finally the example that started this train of thought.
A colleague at work, she is a TA & earns even less than me, was saying that due to her ex not paying what he should, she'd run out money on her prepayment meter for her gas part way part way through cooking her evening meal & she & the kids ended up with cereal for tea. Some bright spark in the staff room suggested she bought a mini oven as it would be cheaper to run.
As my colleague said to me 'Where the fuck am I meant to get £30 to £40 for a mini oven & if I can't pay for the sodding gas, how am I meant to pay for sodding electric!'
So next time those of you who are FBC think that 'buying something' is the answer, it isn't!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Gifts

I've bought some hand made soap from a MSE'er to give as gifts, my photo's do not do he soap justice, it smells gorgeous & is beautifully presented.

A bag of sea shell shapes

Goatsmilk & Bergamot

Goatsmilk & Lavender


Goatsmilk & Garden Mint


Goatsmilk & Honeysuckle

Monday, 25 November 2013

Mandolin

I have a mandolin, not the musical sort, but the 'cut the tips of your fingers off if you aren't careful' sort. It's a fantastic little gadget, it cuts spuds finely if I want to  make Dauphinoise potatoes. It also slices onions finely for when my L&M wants a cheese & onion toastie. When I make him a toastie I slice a whole onion, use what I need for him & then the rest goes in a plastic tub in the fridge to be used up later in the week. No more half onions drying out & forgotten in the back of the fridge.

Birthday gifts

A gift from my oldest son, an illuminated Christmas house.

I had a real problem getting a pic of these, knitted boobs, one pierced one not, they have a squeaker inside each and are sold in aid of a breast cancer charity. Helen said they are to replace the ones I lost when I lost weight!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Good weekend

Firstly, welcome to my new followers & welcome to Frugal Freesia, who kindly commented on so many posts.
The visit  yesterday afternoon from Molly, one of the DGD's went very well, she visits often with Helen, but this was her first solo visit, she made a Christmas decoration, we did some crochet, she helped hubby thin out the carrots, picked lettuce & leeks to take home and we also visited the local shop to buy her a magazine & some sweets. Little things, but as she's had no contact with her real Grandparents it's important that we try to fill the gap.
Next week it's her brothers turn & we will do the same things again, little things I know, but we want to build a relationship with these children. Every child deserves to be safe, clean, warm and well fed, these two were none of those & have come on incredibly well since they moved in with DD Helen. They are extremely excited about Helen's pregnancy, her older foster child (who has been in & out the care system for 10 years immediately said 'Does this mean I have to move out?' when he heard the news. Helen reassured him, but explained that whilst he might WANT to move out when both babies are screaming at once, he doesn't HAVE to move out.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

A few more pennies are squeezed

The milkman left full fat milk this morning instead of semi skimmed, I poured half of it into an empty clean milk bottle & then topped both bottles up with water. I pay 89p for a bottle of milk so put that amount in my savings tin.
I put 15p in the tin every day when I've eaten free porridge provided at work.
There was no free porridge on Wednesday or Thursday this week as they were inset days, but there was a free lunch at work those days, I put £1.50 in the tin for each day.
I found a punnet of mushrooms reduced from 95p to 45p at the garage today when I went to put petrol in the car, so that's another 50p i the tin.
I also put 3p in the tin every day as I reuse my teabags and drink about 6 cups of tea a day.
I don't miss the few pennies a day, but it will all add up over a year.

Catch up post

It's been an interesting week!
What with DD Helen finding out she was expecting twins, she was in shock for the first day but is now over the moon as is her partner, he can't do enough for her, he is a lovely chap.

DD Lizzie is having her coil removed next week, so watch this space!

We got dragged out of bed one night at nearly midnight because the intruder alert was sounding at work & the security company couldn't come out. My L&M has been told he won't be paid for for attending site, he can take time in lieu, he's not happy as the person who should attend gave out L&M's phone number, it's happened 3 times in 5 weeks he won't be answering his phone after work anymore!

It was my birthday on Thursday & I received a beautiful bouquet from my L&M, amazon vouchers, a pamper set & some cream wool to knit baby clothes with.
The best present I received was a bag of liquorish allsorts, purchased by my DGS, who saved his lunch time drinks money so he could buy them for me. I thought this was lovely & told him so, he said 'But think how many days I'd have been cold if you hadn't bought me a new coat'. I bought him a new coat a few weeks ago after his had gone missing from the school cloakroom.

Last night I went to a rune reading, it was interesting and a good jump start for the Reader as there were 10 or 12 people there for readings.

Today I have one of the GDD's visiting this afternoon to make a Christmas decoration, which will be fun as she's not visited on her own before, she will be fine I'm sure as she was very keen to come over.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Stunned

I've known for a few weeks that I'm to be a grandma again, DD went for her 12 week scan today & it's twins!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

My Wardrobe


Two pairs of shoes, I also have a pair of snow boots for really bad weather.

One red silk blouse, one black evening jacket, both over 20 years old.
Two cardigans, one red, one pink, both bought from charity shops.
Four dresses, plus the one I'm wearing, 3 from Mr T's sale, two from charity shops.
 I also have 2 bras, 10 pairs of knickers, lots of pairs of tights & a couple of very old thick cardigans.
This then is my complete wardrobe, not a lot, but enough.
Another economy, my hair is now white, I shall no longer but hair dye.

Shopping and eating

I had a money off voucher so I've done an online shop, I didn't need much but I do have to make a load of cakes on Wednesday, so I stocked up on all the bits I need.
I shall make a coffee sponge, lemon drizzle loaf, chocolate brownies & a raspberry & almond traybake
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1868/raspberry-and-almond-traybake
That should be enough for everybody, I refuse to buy 30 fresh cream cakes so people will have to make do with home made.

We were supposed to be going out with BIL and his new GF for lunch today, but they've split up so we will stay in, I'll make spag bol for dinner as I didn't buy a joint for today, I shall make cottage pie too as I have 450gms of minced beef.
I also opened a pack of sausages & cooked 2 this morning, my L&M has one with his breakfast & 1 as a mid morning snack. I shall make a sausage casserole with 3 sausages and sausage mash and onion gravy with the other 3, these, with the cottage pie will mean I only have to think of a couple more meals for next week.

It's easy to be thifty

It's easy to be thrifty when you have money.
You can stock up on special offers when you see them & drive to the cheapest supermarket regardless of the distance. 
You can pay of your loans & credit cards faster.
It easy to increase your mortgage payment when they are 25% of your take home.
It's easy to be upbeat & cheerful when 'doing with out' to save money means only drinking wine & weekends instead of every day, when it means only having two holidays instead of four.
It's easy to save money on your heating bills when you have the money to pay for insulation, double glazing or even extra thick curtains.

It's not easy when you are already just scraping by, at one point, for about a year, when the building trade first took a tumble & my L&M was out of work we were paying £600 pcm mortgage from an £800 pcm wage, after all the bills were paid that left £20 a week for food, it was at this point that my stepson moved in having decided to leave Ireland & come to England to look for work, we weren't eligible for any benefits & it was a struggle. 
Things are easier now, my L&M has been in work for the last 5 or 6 years and we increased our mortgage payments. Ten years ago we took out a 25 year mortgage, we now have only 8 years left to pay. 
This means I have to work til I'm 70 & after my recent health scare I'm not sure this will be possible so I'm looking to increase the mortgage payments yet again.
It will be tough but fortunately I'm well used to managing on very little, I can't bear to be cold as all my joints seize up, but I might just have to knuckle down & put up with it. It won't be too bad as the house has cavity wall insulation & we had double glazing put in when we bought the place. I know that the perceived wisdom is to buy the shittiest house in the best area, but all we could afford was the shittiest house in a crappy area, so the house is only worth about £30k more than when we bought it which is about what we've spent on it.
We have enough equity in the house to sell up and buy a studio apartment on a retirement complex, but my L&M loves his garden so this way we may be able to stay here after retirement

No longer going the extra mile

I've always worked hard, often stayed at work a bit longer, helped out other people who are busy.
But no more, Friday was a case in point, I had a hour when I had no work to do, time was I'd have gone to my line manager to see if I could help anyone else. Instead I tidied my desk and shelves & then sat & read the local paper online.
There have been times when I've had more work then I can get through in the time allowed, I've spoken to my line manager & requested assistance & all I get is a shrug.
So from now on I shall husband my physical resources, do my job & bog off home at the end of the day!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

My sort of shopping

I stopped at the local Tesco y'day, I had no cash on me but I had 2 winning lottery tickets and a £6 money off voucher, I bought milk, cheese, English muffins reduced to 20p and a pack of tea cakes reduced to 39p.
I came out the shop with a £5 note, oh if only shopping was always like that!
I'm going to collect DGD who is 5, we are going to make a Christmas decoration, we will have lots of fun.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Is it time for bed yet?

Welcome to my new followers.
Well I'm knackered, 5 more weeks til I get a break also I never sleep well when my L&M is on the late shift, it mucks about with my sleep patterns.
I have a twitch in my eye & my stomach is uncomfortable.
We have a meal out on Sunday with BIL & his latest squeeze, we've never met her, so it could be an interesting meal.
I left work at 3:30, collected DGD at 4:30 took her to Gym club, dropped her home at 6 & I have to go to collect my L&M at 8.
We've ordered the gym uniform of leotard & shorts for DGD as her Christmas present £27.99, ouch I was going to get her a onesie as well but can't afford it, there are 5 other DGC to buy for.  

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Thank you

To Sal, Mallowlark & Kethry, for you comments regarding my L&M & his hearing aids, I am, despite my comments being very patient and sympathetic with his problems. He has booked an interim appointment to have adjustments made & I'm hoping that he will persevere with them.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Snigger snigger

I know it's mean & unkind to snigger, but we all know one don't we? Someone who's smug and superior because her house/children/husband/pet is so much better than everyone elses, someone who casts us pitying glances whilst telling us patronisingly how we should live our lives. Someone who tells us how they could do our job better than we are doing it, someone who is first in the queue to point out any mistakes to the nearest line manager.
Well you gotta laugh when life throws them a curve ball and it all goes tits up. I'm not talking tragedy or illness, just the normal hiccough that would make most of us throw a plate or swear & shout. To the smug person this is a complete disaster, their perfect image of themselves ruined, cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth, probably made worse by everyone else completely failing to see this as a crisis & either smirking or shrugging. I'm trying to be kind honest I am.
But I'm failing, sorry.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Cause of Death

My L&M has finally been fitted with hearing aids, he's sensitive about them as he thinks people will laugh at him when they see him. Only people with exceptional eyesight will be able to see them as they are very small and discrete.
He is finding them difficult at the moment.
He's constantly complaining that I'm shouting, 10 years of speaking loudly to make sure he hears me is a hard habit to break, then he takes the damn aids out and complains that I'm whispering! 
He's complaining about the constant background noise, it's his bloody fish tank bubbling away!
He's complaining about the washing machine being too noisy!
He's complaining that all the food is to noisy when he chews!
He's complaining that his slippers are too noisy as he walks along the hall!
He's complaining that he can't hear when he's on the phone!
He's complaining if the TV volume is above 10 as it's too loud, unfortunately I can't hear the TV unless it's on 15, still he used to have the volume on 25!
I think there will be a new cause of death. Death by hearing aids, as I will shove them where the sun don't shine & no I don't mean his ears!



Saturday, 9 November 2013

Knackered & battered

It was so cold this morning at 6:30 when I got up that the heating had come on despite being set to minimum.
I didn't sleep well last night which has probably made me somewhat clumsy, that and shopping with a 9 year old boy who never stops talking!
I already have a huge bruise on my thigh from walking into a copier and another on my shin from DD2's dishwasher, I now also have a bruise on my knee and a very painful hip from dragging a wonky trolley around Mr T's.
I'm not spending much foodwise this month, I'm trying to empty the freezer in preparation for my Christmas meat delivery:
3lb boned rolled loin of pork
3lb gammon
3lb topside beef
12lb turkey
Sausagemeat
Chipolatas
Streaky bacon
£60, I'm sure I could buy it cheaper, but I like the quality from my local butcher.
Mark has lost his coat, well he hung it on his hook when he arrived at school and at hometime it was missing. It was clearly labelled with his name & form so maybe it will be returned eventually, but he cannot walk to and from school coatless in this weather, so I bought him a coat and gloves and gave him the Minion hat I'd knitted for him. He will be warm for the next few weeks, I'm now knitting hats for the rest of the DGC's, some want Minions some don't and will get stripey hats.
Mark had some pocket money with him on our shopping trip, he spent some of it buying each of his sisters a book before spending a little on some stickers.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Sleepless in Seattle

If only, it's not quite 4am, I've been awake for some time & can't see it changing for an hour or 2 yet, and anyway I need to be up at 6 ready to take my L&M to work.
And why am I awake? Because someone chose to share a child protection issue with me just before midnight last night.
It is nothing to do with the school where I work but I need to share my knowledge with the school concerned, I will also share my knowledge with social services as I'm not convinced the other school's child protection is as robust as the school where I work.
I foresee very little sleep between now & next week when I can voice my concerns, I can't phone social services until Monday as until then I can't ascertain which area needs the information.

Say what!!!

Three times this week I've been amazed at things people have said to me.

1) A parent a DGC's school said she was only now realising that calling her three daughters, aged 2, 5 & 7, Lila, Lola & Leila was going to cause confusion!

2) A neighbour telling me she was having problems with her car insurance costs and couldn't understand why as she'd only had 4 accidents in the last 6 years!

3) A colleague bewailing the cost of her Wonga loan that she'd had to take out to pay for food, she feels that interest free loans should be available for food. She seemed to forget the weekend away in Amsterdam on a hen night that cost £900!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Jiggle Juggle

I was given a voucher from Sainsbugs, £15 off a £60 shop. I didn't need much shopping so I bought some booze for Yule, a small amount of food and booked a delivery for £2.99. I spent the £15 I saved, on stuff for DD2, bread, milk, meat & a few treats for the DGC who have all had chest infections.
I've also received my T'sco vouchers, £43 yesterday, I shall take DD2 with me, double up the vouchers & by some winter clothes for the DGC.
At work we can get a free bowl of porridge every morning, I shall take advantage of this, work out how much I'm saving and pop the cash in my savings tin
I trying to empty my freezer so I'm using up as much as possible to feed us this month.
Monday I defrosted a few slices of sliced ham and made ham, egg, peas and chips.
Tuesday I defrosted a tub of steak & kidney and served it with mash and carrots.
Tomorrow I'm using up some cooking bacon in one of my favourite recipes.
Potato, onion and bacon hot pot, I think it's from a Jocasta Innes recipe book. I make it in my slow cooker.
Finely slice some onion and potato, layer these the dish with some bits of bacon. Make a thin white sauce, pour it over veg & bacon, cook on a low setting. I put it on in the morning and it's ready when we get home, I shall serve it with cabbage from the garden.
There is smoked haddock and liver in the freezer, so they will do two more meals this week.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

A tale of lighting 1

My L&M wanted a light/heater for the greenhouse to lengthen the growing season, during the Christmas holiday he always wants to start planting things but it's still too cold. On my advice, he shopped around (before he met me he'd have bought the most expensive!). He chose the unit he wanted only to discover that the cheapest local supplier was out of stock, but he decided to wait til they had new stock in. He mentioned a few times how surprised he was that there were 7 suppliers of such units in a relatively small area, I looked over his shoulder and remarked that the reason was probably the amount a cannabis growers in the area. My L&M pooh poohed this suggestion.
Eventually we received a phone call to say the unit we ordered had arrived, we went to collect it, there were signs up in the suppliers 'Do not ask for cannabis seeds we do not stock them' There were also lots of cameras and when we offered to pay by debit card the sales staff looked amazed. The unit is so big it barely fitted in the car!
When we first got it home my L&M decided to fit the unit in the shed/greenhouse, he hung it from the rafters, once darkness fell the unit illuminated the entire area, I was convinced the planes would divert from Heathrow and try to land in our garden, on the up side I could tell when my L&M walked from one side of the shed to the other as he walked into the unit, it swayed and I could see the beams of light moving across the garden.
By the following morning my L&M had numerous bruises and bumps on his head and decided that the unit would be better sited in the spare bed room, we already have a greenhouse and two heated propagator in there so I wasn't that surprised by his suggestion. I now await a visit from either the local police, or the local dealers who may think we are going in to competition with them!. Who ever visits I'm sure they will be surprised to find a room full of carrots, peppers and tomatoes!

Thursday, 31 October 2013

All dressed up

Thank you for your comments I do appreciate them.

Well I'm ready, I'm dressed all in black, my mask, witches hat and besom are stood by the door. The pumpkin has been carved & lit. There is an opened tub of sweets all ready for the trick or treaters, some will be little and all dressed up, some will be larger and their only concession to dressing up will be a bin bag or maybe a balaclava pulled down to cover the face.
They will all get a handful of sweets and a Samhain blessing.

Disgusting

Having been admonished by, of course, anonymous, for being disgusting I shall be more disgusting.
I'm 62 soon, married, still in love with my beloved and should not be enjoying a healthy if somewhat unusual sex life, let alone admit to such a thing.
Since my illness I can no longer have sex in my favourite position, no matter, there are many positions I can still manage & enjoy.

Lost weight, need a Brazilian

Being far too tight to buy new hold-ups when I already have loads means I have come across a  problem. The extra large hold-ups I bought to go round my fat thighs are now considerably longer when fitted round my less fat thighs. This means they now reach my bush, which is growing in direct proportion to the speed with which the hair on my head disappearing. The combination of extra long hold-ups and extra long bush means that a tangle occurs that can, at times, suddenly turn a confident walk into a  crouching shuffle. Because of this problem I have decided a home made Brazilian is the only way to go!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Knitting Minions

My DGS Mark loves the films 'Despicable Me 1 & "' or as he pronounces it Dickspicable Me!
I watched it with him a while ago and was amazed at the 2 smaller girls in the film, they are my DGD's, Norah & Eileen to a T!
I have decided to knit a beanie and a couple of Minions for Mark for Christmas, I have to go to town tomorrow for a hospital appointment I shall look for some DK  yarn in denim blue & bright yellow, I have knitting needles in every size so I won't need to buy those.
I'm no where near as fast at knitting as I am at crochet but having looked at the patterns I think Mark will prefer a knitted hat.

I need to grow another boob

I have received 3, yes three letters asking me to go for a mammogram, now this isn't because I've missed an appointment. All three letters arrived within days of each other, each appointment a week apart. 
Now I don't have a problem with going for a mammogram, I find they make my permanently stiff shoulder ache a bit, but apart that it's fine. I did wonder if I should take a map with 'X marks the spot' on is as my once generous boobs have shrunk dramatically since my illness!
I did think about attending twice, once for each boob, but when I received the third letter I could see that growing another boob was the only way to go!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Hair loss

My hair loss seems to be continuing apace, it's not coming out in clumps so I don't have bald patches, just thinning hair. I keep digging my nails into my scalp when I scratch my head as I'm used to having a thick mop of hair. I now have a thin little rats tail of a pony tail and when I get up in the morning my hair stands up in all directions like I've been electrified.
If it carries on I shall ask for a wig for my birthday, something multi coloured and funky.

All mended

Here is the fence, all finished, rather than have one full sized panel and one small one my L&M decided to make 2 equal size panels.

He used individual feather edge boards, it took him longer but if he'd used 1 and a bit panels it would have annoyed him every time he looked at it.
I also found out why the trollop suddenly disappeared, she decided to strike a pose and lent decoratively against the water butt, unfortunately the butt was full, to the brim, and a generous dollop of cold rain water cascaded down her back!

Monday, 28 October 2013

All secure now but definitely soggy.

The fence is repaired, no pics as it was dark by the time my L&M finished the work and it was pouring with rain. The trollop had left him alone for the last couple of hours.
The poor bugger was soaking wet and very cold and went straight up for a shower as soon as he'd finished. 
I'd defrosted some steak and kidney and served it with mashed potatoes and the last of the runner beans from the garden.

Welcome

To all my followers, most of whom remember me from my Hardup Hester blog

Storm damage

I hope everyone is safe & well after last night's storms, we lost  2 fence panels, our greenhouse & part of the gazebo, but the house is OK and so are we, so nothing important is damaged.
My L&M and I have been to the timber merchants to buy stuff and he is now repairing the fence in between showers.
The street trollop is in her element 'helping' him, dressed in skinny jeans and a skimpy top, her nipples are standing out like organ stops. I took them both out a coffee a while ago, I'm buggered if I'm getting wet and cold trying to fight her off  like a dog with a bone. There will be hell to pay if her husband arrives home, but there isn't much the L&M can do  to avoid her, the garden is open as we are missing 2 panels and she's just strolled in! When it rains hard he comes and stands on the decking, he won't go into his shed to keep dry as she'd follow him in there and he has by far too much sense to be alone with her, anyway, he's a man, I'm sure he is enjoying the view!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Shopping and the lack off it

A combination of illness and exhaustion has left the freezer & cupboard somewhat bare, a big shop is needed but I need to see if the L&M's overtime is paid on Thursday before I do a big shop. He was missed off the last pay run, there will be ructions if it's missed again
Whilst I appreciate that Aldi & Lidl may be cheaper the extra petrol used to shop at these supermarkets negates any savings. So I go to my nearest supermarket and shop carefully. I don't shop at approved foods or any of the similar places as I rarely use the sort of items they sell.
I buy my meat from the local butcher, who also sells fish, fruit & veg. We get paid on the last Thursday of the month, so it is a fairly short month to come.
I don't work to an exact meal plan, my L&M is a very fussy eater and also works shifts , this means he doesn't eat an evening meal one week out of three and on this week I eat pasta or egg on toast. I have a list of about 20 meals that I cook, I make sure I have the ingredients for these meals in stock & I decide in the morning what to eat that evening and get what's needed out of the freezer. I also often cook extra portions to freeze to save cooking some evenings.
The minimum I need from the butcher is mince, bacon, chicken thighs and satsumas. I shall give the supermarket a miss and just shop locally for bread and milk, we still have HG onions and potatoes in store and the garden is still producing lots of carrots, cabbage and leeks so we won't starve.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Thank crunchie it's Friday

The L&M and I both have the forthcoming week off, we are planning to spend lots of time in bed and not all of it will be used sleeping!
We have decided to have 2 meals out next week, I have some tokens so one meal will be £6 for the 2 of us, the other meal will be £10, yes I could feed us cheaper at home but we are going to treat ourselves.

When I returned to work I thought I'd wandered onto the set of Neighbours we have 22 new members of staff and a large proportion of them seem to be Australian.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Worn out & knackered

My previous post wasn't a whinge by the way, life is what it is, to be lived, enjoyed, struggled with, whatever you choose, I'm happy with my life, very happy.

I'm very tired today, I babysat for a few hours after work so didn't get home til after 6.

We have a weeks leave next week, it would have been nice to have gone away, but half term is way too expensive for us to consider even with L&M's overtime, unfortunately someone forgot to sign off the overtime sheet, so he will not receive  payment now until 31st October so we won't have any extra money to spent at all.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Debate

There was a debate on the MSE forums a couple of days ago, someone commented about 'smug pensioners living on benefits paid for by taxpayers money and sitting on savings built up during times of plenty'. Times of plenty? I think I blinked & missed them.
I was born in the early 50's my parents & I lived in a house with no electricity, no indoor toilet & a cold tap in the kitchen, the only heating was a paraffin heater, the bath was a tin bath hung in the outhouse. We moved a few times and by the 60's we lived in a flat with a gas fire in the main room and a bathroom, there was a gas heater for hot water in the bathroom, there was only cold water in the kitchen. Midway through the 60's my parents split up, I had to move to an unheated bedsit & change jobs as mine didn't pay enough to live on. Even with my new job I couldn't afford clothes or bedding, I slept under a couple of coats. Friday was pay day, I bought a loaf of bread and a piece of cheese, I ate cheese sandwiches for 3 days and bread and scrape the other 4 days.
I married in the 70's and coped with the bread shortage, the sugar shortage, the 3 day week. After a while we bought our first property, a 2 bed house with, you've guessed it, no heating. My kitchen consisted of an old butlers sink, an old cocktail cabinet and a freezer, no cooker for the 1st year, I managed with a camping cooker, I had a twin tub washing machine and we slept on 2nd hand bunk beds. We had planned to fix the place up immediately, but by the 80's the mortgage rate went sky high, sometimes as high as 18% or 19%.
The kitchen was finally improved when we needed to move for work and the house was unsaleable as it was.
Life carried on and things did get better, but the kids, 4 by now, and I were always dressed in 2nd hand clothes, most of our furniture was 2nd hand and I still had a kitchen with a mish mash of cupboards and only one ring worked on my cooker.
Towards the end of the 90's, I was left a legacy, £25k, I spent some of it on having a proper fitted kitchen, no more doors hanging off, no more sagging drawers and a cooker that worked, woohoo!
Within a few years the kids had left home & my marriage had gone down the pan & I was living in a small flat with draughty windows, a badly fitting door, heating I couldn't afford to put on and only the clothes I stood up in.
I've worked since I was 15, I had 10 years at home raising 4 kids who are all tax payers, I'm past retirement age, but still working because I can't live on the £110 a month the government kindly allow me.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Blaming Bright House

I've just read FQ's post about companies making money out of the poorest people, and whilst I agree that the poorest suffer, no one forced these people to gamble, to get a Wonga loan or to buy from Bright House. Sometimes things happen, something breaks, goes wrong or whatever, if people are borrowing money to buy food then that's appalling, but too many people borrow so they can buy the latest bit of frippery.
How about if, just for once someone decided to, shock horror, 'Go Without!!!
Read this blog http://hardshipandhope.blogspot.co.uk/ if you want to know about going without, this couple managed without a fridge for most of the summer, I'm not saying it was easy, but they did it.

Today's bargain


Another gammon joint reduced to £4.99, sliced thickly this time, more suitable for ham, egg & chips or ham with onion or parsley sauce, mash and cabbage.

You know you aren't a time waster when

You turn up at A &E, go into triage and get wheeled straight through to a room and from there through every test area they have, X-ray, CT scan, blood tests. Within an hour I was on a ward, catheterised and attached to 3 drips. All this on a Sunday too.
The staff were in the main fantastic, one person was horrible, more of her later, the food was good, but I was unable to eat, the only bad thing was the lack of shower facilities, there was one small toilet with a tiny sink but no shower or bathing facilities for the 6 people on A ward. I tell you you haven't lived until you have tried to manoeuvre yourself, a pole with your drip attached and a catheter which is a large hard plastic container measuring approx 18ins by 12ins and weighs a ton, through a door into a small room containing 12 to 15 'cowboy hats' full of urine that are waiting to be measured!
Of the one unpleasant staff member, Racsha the Remorseless, maybe not actually unpleasant, just uncaring and thoughtless, despite wearing a large and vacuous smile she always left my food out of reach, moved my call button behind my head  (no I wasn't being a nuisance I used the button twice in 7 days). She moved my water out of reach & threw a pair of DVT socks at me. The list goes on, but it was nothing personal she was the same with everybody.

The £60 apple


For my birthday last year Lizzie & my L&M both bought me some small fruit trees, by the time my L&M had bought large tubs to plant them in, extra compost and various other stuff he worked out that he's spent £60.  This is the sum total from the 7 fruit trees, one spectacularly wonderful apple.
It tasted fantastic, but then for £60 I'd expect it to!

A daily Joy

This is the first of a few posts I composed while I was recovering from my illness but was unable to post for an assortment of reasons.


This beautiful lavender plant was given to me by a friend from work, it sat for many weeks on the table on the decking. When I was first able to get downstairs it was August and warm & sunny I sat on the decking with my breakfast (made by hubby) and I ate my breakfast and watched the the fat bumble bees buzzing in and out the lavender. It was a daily joy at a time when I was feeling particularly rough.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

A full oven

So as not to waste money by just using the oven to just cook a tray of cakes I also made a tray of chocolate brownies for hubby to take to work for his colleagues. Five portions of piri piri chicken with rice for hubby's lunches and cooked a gammon joint. The gammon has been thinly sliced, some will be used for lunch tomorrow and served with veg and yorkies and the rest is in the freezer bagged up in convenient portions.

Who needs TV


This is Norah she is sat watching the fish she has just fed, the TV is next to her and wasn't turned on all day, there were too many other things to do.
Colouring to do

Conkers to find

A book to make


Cakes to make

Friday, 18 October 2013

Free money

Today is the last day before I go back to work full time so Lizzie & I decided to earn a bit of dosh.
I had a pile of metal down the side of the house and Lizzie had an old radiator. I also had a bag of old clothes and shoes an Lizzie had 3 bin bags full of outgrown children's clothes. We piled the whole lot into my car and set off, first stop the scrap metal merchants, where we got £17 for the metal scraps, then on to the cash for clothes place where we got £24. I checked the mileage and we'd driven 4 miles, so we feel we've made a profit, not a huge amount but for the sake of a little effort it was worth it.
I've tried comping and never won anything, I've also tried surveys but I always seem to be in the wrong age group, but today was definitely a success.
I also threw some steak and kidney in the slow cooker this morning when I got up and it's cooked now and will go lovely with some mash and HG cabbage. The steak is actually ox cheek that was £2.10p the kidneys were reduced to 40p, I added a thinly sliced HG onion, some seasoning and a cup of water. There are at least 4 portions there.