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.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Mr Grumpy

It's hard work living with hubby at the moment, he's being Mr Grumpy, I'm trying to be patient, I realise he's tired, he's worked 20 days without a break, one day he covered 2 shifts and worked a 15 hour day. He is also still working in the garden after work each day.

He refuses to admit he's tired, he just thinks I'm doing things to annoy him, he seems to forget he's no spring chicken but as he keeps saying, 'Think of the money'.

He has a week off coming up, it can't come soon enough!

Full time next week

After a discussion with my Dr it has been decided that I will return to work full time next week. It will be kill or cure, only time will tell. At least it's not long 'til half term and then I can recover.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Gee whizz, whatever next!

My poor husband has just about got used to having a flat chested wife, I swear of the 4 stone I lost most of it was boobs. But now it seems I'm going bald as well, not sure for why, it could be reaction to having been ill, the hair loss might slow down it might not, hey ho, I'm still alive, lets be grateful for small mercies.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Sponge Bob Square Pants

I was sat on the sofa, pretending to watch the TV, when in fact I was watching the insides of my eyelids. There was a knock on the door, when I answered it there were two small boys stood there with their Dad. 'Sorry to bother you but we've thrown our ball into your garden, could we have it back?' As I walked away one of the boys said 'Dad, dad, tell her it's a Sponge Bob ball or she might get the wrong one' to which Dad replied 'Shh, she won't know who Sponge Bob is' He was wrong, I know all about Sponge Bob, Peppa Pig, Curious George, Dora the explorer and many more. You see I'm a grandma and any grandma worthy of that title ends up knowing about all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff, I'm even quite knowledgeable about football and I can't stand the game! 

Meal Plan

Tomorrow we are having a cheats roast dinner, I have no problem with buying a joint for Sunday lunch as the leftovers can be used to make meals throughout the week.
A rummage in the freezer soon showed that there was no joint hidden in one of the drawers, I'm not really on top of the shopping yet, but I'll get there soon.
What I did find was a lonely pork chop, this I will cook for hubby, I shall serve it with roast potatoes, yorkies, stuffing, carrots and cauliflower cheese, I don't eat pork so I'll eat the go withs and we will both feel like we've had a proper roast lunch.
In the freezer I also found some ox cheek and some kidney, so I'll make a couple of steak & kidney pies, one to eat, one for the freezer.
The other days we'll have:-
Gammon, egg & chips
Sausage and mash with onion gravy.
Vegetarian bake, HG leeks, potatoes and carrots in a cheese sauce topped with breadcrumbs and grated cheese.
Frittata, any leftovers of the veggie bake and sausage added to beaten egg, served with salad which we are still getting from the garden.

Thank heavens for sick pay

I'm lucky enough to work somewhere with generous sick pay, 6 months full pay, 6 months half pay. I was also well organised enough to fall ill just at the end of term and so although I was out of work from the end of July to mid September I only missed a few days holiday work and a couple of weeks at the start of term, all be it the busiest couple of weeks.

I'm back now though only part time, I'm finding it exhausting but then even before I was ill work was exhausting, spending too long on my feet and too much lifting and carrying.

We have a new appraisal system being introduced at work, targets will be set and must be met or exceeded, anyone failing to meet their targets will eventually have to face capability discussions. Anyone meeting their targets or exceeding them will get, nothing, de nada, as you can imagine there is a lot of muttering in the ranks. Not from me though, 3 previous line managers have tried and failed to set me targets, not through any fault of mine or theirs. My job doesn't lend itself to targets. 
The part I really don't like about appraisals is the 'discussion' and stupid questions such as 'How do you see your career path?' I don't have a career path, I'm 62 and should have retired. And 'Where do you see yourself in 5 years?' alive or dead, I don't know which!
There were similar questions to be answered in my 'back to work' interview, such as 'How do you feel about your pattern of absence?' There is no pattern I've had very little time off in the last 8 years. And 'How will you ensure you are not ill again?' Well I can't, my diverticular disease will either flare up again or it won't, I'm eating a healthy high fibre diet, but then I always have, I'm attempting to keep off the weight I've lost, but none of this will ensure I never have another flare up, it's just a case of suck it and see!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Today's harvest

Lots and lots of beetroot, all cooked and skinned, and I remembered to wear rubber gloves so I don't have purple fingers.
I've also made jars of apple butter with a bag of windfalls I was given. 

Thursday, 10 October 2013

A funny story that might give you a chuckle.

Lizzy went to collect her 5 yo daughter Norah from school last week & Norah came across the playground with a face like thunder.
Lizzy asked her what the matter was, Norah replied 'You put you knickers in my book bag!' she started digging in her bag to retrieve said knickers; Lizzy's trying to wrestle the bag from Norah expecting her to produce some voluminous grey item.
Eventually they reach the sanctuary of Lizzy's car and the knickers are exhumed from the bag.
They are size 10 purple and lacey!
The explanation is that it is all my fault, I went shopping & bought 2 new bra’s with matching knickers, the knickers were on a size 14 hanger, but were actually a size 10, I realised before I put them on, rather than dig out the receipt and trail all the way back to the shop I offered them to Lizzy, she accepted them & put them with all the other stuff she had with her and at some point the were transferred to Norah’s book bag!
I suggested Lizzy looked on the bright side, a few years ago it would have been a feather and sequin encrusted thong