Wednesday 31 December 2014

Early morning visitor

At 6am this morning I was sat having a quiet cuppa when I heard the front door open and close, I thought at first that we were being burgled, but soon realised that it was DD1, Helen, desperate for some sleep (both the twins are unwell and not sleeping) she had left the children with her hubby and come to take advantage of the peace and quiet here and sleep in our spare room. 

I made her breakfast, she had a sleep and a shower, then I made her lunch and afterwards we went to Aldi and I bought some more yarn, not that I needed any more I know.

I didn't get much decluttering done today apart from giving Helen some large kitchenware that I don't use anymore, I did give the kitchen a good bottoming whist Helen was asleep.

Tomorrow I shall carry on sorting out my sewing room, I'm getting it sorted & tidied, but I'm not decluttering my stash, if we manage to downsize & I retire I won't have money to spend on fabric and yarn but I may have more time on my hands to pursue my hobbies.

Monday 29 December 2014

A worrying day.......Update

DD2, Lizzie has been in hospital, I took her in this morning at 7am, she went down for surgery at 1:30, it is now almost 7pm and she is in Recovery, we have been told to phone after 8 when they will have more news.
The surgery was planned, not an emergency but the weren't sure what they would be doing until they got inside & could see what is going on.

I had a message from my son in law just after 8 to say he's phoned the hospital & that Lizzie was out of recovery & back on the ward, she was in theater for just over 5 hours. 
At 9:15 Lizzie rang me as she knew I'd be worried, it looks like everything is OK and with any luck she'll be home tomorrow.
Great relief all round!

Sunday 28 December 2014

Mind the gap

Mine & hubby's present to each other was a music system, our old one bit the dust about 6 years ago & we missed it dreadfully so we bought a new one and it came with a years subscription to Deezer.

It took a visit from out lovely son in law to get the thing set up as hubby was trying to use blue tooth instead of Wifi, but now it is all up & running

Today we have had great time today downloading music, me on google tracking down song titles & artist when he can only remember scraps of the lyrics.

This is where the gap comes in, I'm 5 years older than him so I'm suggesting songs that I used to dance to at the Wimbledon Palais aged 15 upwards & him saying 'I was still in school when that song came out' or 'I remember my Mum singing along to this'

So far we have found every track we've looked for from Abba to Zappa via Jilted John, 3 of our granddaughters have names from songs so their songs have also been added along with all the Motown from my teenage years.

We have Crazy, by Gnarls Barklay & Crazy by Patsy Cline, our taste is nothing if not eclectic 

Better late than never

Yesterday afternoon I finally received my one & only Christmas present.

I'd asked my kids to club together & buy me a digital photo frame, the job was delegated to DS2, he bought the gift, wrapped it & took it to Somerset with him to visit his GF's family.

He was supposed to drop it in before he left & he forgot, he did ring me & explain.

I have got it working, loaded it with photos, all I need to do now is decide where to put it.

Saturday 27 December 2014

Start of a rainbow blanket

A friend is expecting a baby & has requested a bright & cheerful blanket. I can't decide whether to put a row of white next, or reverse the order so the next row is indigo, I think if I go back to red it will give everyone eye wobble.

Friday 26 December 2014

Plots & Plans

The New Year will soon be here and there are things that need to be planned for, things that need to be done.

The decoration have been put away, I did that early after yesterday's upset, I've also packed up all the tablets ready to return them.

This morning I'm emptying & counting the savings jar, I'll pay it into the bank & start refilling the jar when we have change.

We may be moving next year so I need to declutter ready, it will make it easier if we do move.
I've started by getting rid of a lot of saucepans that I didn't need, I passed them on to DD2.

So it's one room a day until I return to work, tomorrow I'm sorting out the bedding & getting rid of all the extras.

Thursday 25 December 2014

Thank fuck it's over

The decorations will be put away in a sec, I have some very upset grandchilden & an equally upset husband.
Hubby had a little extra money this year so he decided to buy each of the DGC a tablet, not expensive ones as the children are quite young, but he knew all the children would be delighted.
An hour before we arrived to give them the tablets my ex dropped by & gave them a tablet each. There was no point in giving them 2 so we now look like mean & stingy grandparents & my beloved is so upset that his planned treat was spoiled.
We also have some brand new tablets that we don't want, can't use & probably can't get our money back on.

Tuesday 23 December 2014


Who need Jeremy Kyle when you have Facebook!
A few months ago I had a couple of items to get rid of so I offered them free on Facebook. To enable me to contact the person who wanted the items I had to 'friend' them, I had intended to delete them from my friends list after they had collected the item, but to be honest she leads such an interesting life that I am now loath to unfriend her. Her life is like something from a soap opera, 4 children, 4 different fathers, money problems, custody fights, arguments & punch ups with family & friends, boozy nights out wearing inappropriate clothes, picking up inappropriate men. Even sometimes a lack of any clothing at all. It's all enough to make my eyes water!

Monday 22 December 2014

No wonder Tesco's profits are plummeting

I ordered some shopping from Tesco, the only delivery slot I could get was between 9 & 10 yesterday evening. I hate having a delivery that late as, even if the delivery is on time, it still takes a while to put it all away.
As it happened the delivery turned up at 10:15, so not too bad, but whoever picked the order obviously can't count!
I ordered 3 packs of lager and received 5 packs, 3 packs of small bottles of ginger beer and received 16 large bottles of ginger beer. I also received 12 cans of 7up and 4 large bottles of coke, neither of which I ordered.

Sunday 21 December 2014

One of those 'Oh bugger' moments

My L&M & I visited friends recently, the husband is a friend of my  L&M & I get on ok with the wife, though we are very different people. The husband is 10 years younger than the L&M & she has never admitted to her age but always implied that she is a lot younger then me. (I've always thought that if this is so she's had a bloody rough life & I'm no oil painting.)
Whilst chatting they happened to mention their plans for Christmas day. They had decided which local restaurant they would be visiting for Christmas lunch. They always eat out on Christmas day as they are both estranged from their families. They are paying £76 for their lunch and it sounds like a lovely meal.
The husband then said casually 'We use her winter fuel payment, we always do, have been for the last 7 or 8 years'!
Well if looks could have killed, her poor husband would have been 6 foot under, he wittered on for a while longer about her pension etc. She glared at him but he carried on regardless, oh boy I bet her got an earbashing after we left.

Thursday 18 December 2014

Thank you

Thank you for all your comments, especially Kethry for all the information.

I'm suffering brain overload at the moment, not from Christmas, that's all sorted & paid for.

We have a lot of staff off sick at work plus lots of extra work to do that is not usual in the run up to the end of the Christmas term.

There are plans being discussed that, if they come to fruition will means a total change in mine & my L&M's life, but I'm not saying more until there is something definite to say.

It’s nearing Christmas and some people are going mad spending money, often money they don’t have. Someone I know has run up £10000 debt in 8 months, but is adding to that amount as ‘they need to have a good Christmas’!  
Recently there was overtime on offer where hubby works, not much but about £50, hubby offered it to his colleagues as we have our Christmas spends covered this year. Both his colleagues refused the overtime, they didn't think it was worth working a couple of hours for £50, so hubby did it & earned the £50, I dog sat & earned £30. His colleagues both went shopping and spent over £500 between them.  Then came to work on Monday & moaned about being skint. I went shopping & bought carrots, cauliflower, potatoes & a £3 jewelry kit from a charity shop.
I got to thinking about all the things we’ve done to earn extra money over the years we’ve been together.
Hubby hasn’t done a variety of things, his work always involves some sort of building work, but he always does overtime when offered & often help friends on jobs they are doing.
I have taken in lodgers, done temp work during my holidays, done office cleaning before & after work, dog sat, worked overtime, done first aid, playground duties, made tutu’s to sell, knitted scarves to sell. Not all of these earned a lot of money, I made approximately £3 per scarf, the first year I made 20 scarves, the 2nd year I made 150! The following year they were no longer fashionable so I had to look for another way of earning extra money.

We both feel that any extra we bring in is always worth it and all those little bits add up towards larger amounts. So we will not be spending or splurging this Christmas, we know what we can afford & that is what we will spend.

Sunday 14 December 2014

Sewing and Crochet

 The Santa Claus outfit is nearly finished, just a bit of hand sewing to do and a bobble to fix on the hat. The lodger wanted to be in the photo too.
My CAL blanket from is also finished, this is as big as I'm going to make it as some of the yarn I used was odd balls and I've run out.

Saturday 13 December 2014

All change

I was at the Dr's on Friday, still no idea what the problem was but failing anything else he suggested change my diet to eliminate some things that may be part of the problem & that I get down to 6 stone on the basis that it might help, it might not but at least it can't do any harm.
To this end I was sent to talk to the practice nurse, now lets face it, we all know what to do to lose weight, it's getting down to it that's the problem.
I also find it entertaining to have a long conversation with an 'expert' who actually has no idea of what I can and will eat.

PN 'So, what do you eat for breakfast?'
Me 'Porridge in the winter, toast in the summer'
PN 'Porridge is ok as long as you make it with water not milk & no sugar, just use a sweetner'
Me 'I don't use sweetners, I don't eat stuff with chemicals in it'
PN 'Ok, what do you have on your toast?'
Me 'Marmite or marmalade'
PN 'No marmite, it has too much salt, no marmalade, it has too much sugar'
Me 'So just dry toast then?'
PN 'You can use a low fat spread'
Me 'I don't eat margerine or spreads as they contain too many chemicals'
PN 'Well how about museli?'
Me 'I not allowed to eat museli because of the dried fruit and nuts'
PN 'You could try a fruit and nut free museli, as long as it's sugar free'
PN 'What do you have for lunch?'
Me 'A sandwich or soup'
PN 'Soup's not good, too much salt'
Me 'I make it myself'
PN 'Ok, but don't add salt when you are making it just add a stock cube'
Me 'But stock cubes are loaded with salt'
PN 'Are they? I didn't realise and if you are having a sandwich, use granary bread, it's better than white'
Me 'I can't eat granary just ordinary wholemeal'
PN 'And no butter, just a low fat spread & add salad, tomatoes & cucumber to keep the sandwich moist'
Me 'I don't eat low fat spread & I'm not allowed tomatoes'

So, no more chocolate, no alcohol, I don't drink often but I was so looking forward to my damson gin, hey ho.

I still won't eat food with chemicals in it, so I will be eating dry toast & sugarless porridge, lol.

I know exactly what I can & can't eat and I have already stocked up today with extra veg & some tinned tuna to start with but it's just so irritating to be told, yet again, contradictory advice, bananas & avocado to help with the potassium levels, but no avocado as it has the wrong sort of fat in it & no bananas as they are too high in sugar.

Oh and I'm not going to lose as much as they want as I refuse to drop below 8.5 stone.

Thursday 11 December 2014

It was a Lulu lady

My L&M was awake during the night so he turned the TV on, I don't mind, mostly I sleep through it or wake briefly and go back to sleep. This morning I couldn't and why? It was the Lulu lady, nothing to do with a diminutive Scottish singer I hasten to add.
My father loved opera and I can remember him when I was a small child turning up the volume on the radio when certain songs were played. I noticed the difference between ordinary songs & my Dad's beloved opera & I used to call out saying 'Quick Dad, turn up the radio there is a Lulu lady singing!'
This morning, whatever my L&M was watching included a small burst of opera & suddenly all these memories of my Dad came flooding back.
It was my Dad that took me to see my first opera Turandot and my first ballet Peer Gynt, both of which I still love today.
In later years my Dad lived in Kensington and was, with my stepmum a regular attendee of many operas, ballets & plays.

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Bloody muppets!!!

I went to the local chemist today to buy more dressings for my L&M's feet, 8 weeks & counting & the dressings are still being changed daily.
I'm always irritated when I visit the chemist the staff are slow & stupid & everything I ask for they query & say 'I don't think we stock that' despite me having bought the same items every week for the last 8 weeks.
Every time I put in a prescription & return 10 minutes later to collect it, they've lost either the prescription or the medication.
Today I went in & asked for melolin dressing & I got the usual 'I don't think we stock that' to which I replied, yes you do it's in that drawer there. The assistant reluctantly open the drawer & giggled 'Oh look, there it is'. I then asked for size 12 tubigauze, she closed the drawer & said 'I don't think we stock that'.
I told her it was in the drawer she's just closed, so she reopened the drawer & after a long search eventually found it, all this time she is giggling & saying 'Oh I am stupid' I have to admit I'm close to agreeing with her.
As I said this performance has been repeated weekly for 2 months & my patience is wearing thin!
Tonight the assistant excelled her self, after the usual giggling & inability to find the items I requested she found the tubigauze & this time as she measured it she dropped it on the floor, stood on it & managed to wrap it round her foot!
At this point I lost my temper & told her icily that this was to be used as a wound dressing & I really didn't appreciate it being dragged along the floor before I bought it, she carried on standing on the gauze & giggling, at this point the pharmacist stepped in, sent the assistant into the back room, opened a new box & measured the required length without dragging it along the floor. She apologised for the assistants behaviour, but it didn't make me feel any better. 
I would have more patience if I though the assistant was giggling through nerves, but she isn't nervous, she just seems to be incredibly proud of her lack of ability and she finds her inability remember where anything in the shop is kept hysterically funny.
And yes I would shop at another chemist except that the other one in the village is much smaller & doesn't stock the things I need and the next nearest means a longer drive.

Sunday 7 December 2014

What a mucking fuddle

I ordered a cheap desk & shelf unit for the spare bedroom that doesn't have a bed in it, this is so I can set up my sewing machine again. I arranged for delivery on Saturday, waited in all day as delivery could be anytime from 7am to 8pm. At 6pm I received a text informing me that the delivery would be between midday & 9pm. At 9:30 I tracked the package again this time the message had changed to 'Your delivery has been delayed, if you are out when we deliver we will leave your parcel with a neighbour or in a safe place'.

This morning it took me a couple of hours to fine a phone number for the delivery company & speak to a human being. At first I was assured that the parcel had been delivered, I explained that my eyesight may have deteriorated lately but I don't think I could miss a desk & shelf unit. I was then assured that the driver had attempted to deliver but there had been no one in, I soon disabused the human of this notion, as one of us was in all day.

Eventually I ascertained that they would not be delivering today as their drivers don't work on Sunday's and I arranged for a Monday delivery. 

My L&M then went to buy 3 clown loach & some fish food. We arrived home to find the long awaited delivery on the doorstep. I'm glad my L&M was with me as the boxes were on the doorstep & were covering the keyhole & they were too heavy for me to move.

Friday 5 December 2014

T F It's the weekend

Yesterday morning I was awake at 3am, at 4am I gave up & got up & pottered  around tidying up the living room.
I took my L&M to work at 6:30, went to the bank to get some cash for the weekend, went to the butchers & then came home. I made a cup of tea & sat on the sofa to drink it, I suddenly woke up & I was completely disoriented. I didn't know if it was day or night, whether I should be going to work or going to bed. Fortunately I realised that it was morning & I had only slept for about 5 minutes so I wasn't late for work. 

I really didn't want to be late as we have a lot of staff off sick at the moment, I'm part of a 9 person team, we have one staff member who is about to start her third week off sick, one who was off 2 days last week & one who is planning to be sick next week (this means she's started complaining about not feeling well). All this means the rest of the team & stretched to the limit & this is a particularly busy time of year.

At the butchers I spent £24 & bought a catering pack of bacon I also bought a pack each of lamb chops & chicken thighs. I've bagged up the bacon in 4 x rashers & put them in the freezer. I'm cooking the chicken with rice & will freeze it in portions for hubby's lunches. Half the chops will do for a meal tonight & the rest are in the freezer for another meal. The bacon & chicken will last a month.

I need to buy teabags & bread, but I think that will be it for this week, the egg man will be delivering tomorrow & I have 6 pints of milk in the fridge so we are sorted.

Wednesday 3 December 2014

What a day

Up at 5:30, cooked breakfast for hubby & dropped him at work at 6:30, at work myself at 7:30 with a mouth like a badgers armpit as I can't have any breakfast or a cup of tea. Left work at 8:10 for Dr's for a fasting blood test, back at work by 8:40.
Gave hubby a lift home at 1 as he's doing a split shift due to staff shortages, go back to work 'til 3:20, collect DGS & drop him at after school club at 3:45, go home, cook tea for hubby & change his dressings. 5:15 collect DGS from after school club & take him home. Collect hubby & take him to work he's working 6 'til 10, give staff member a lift home. Time to put my feet up until hubby phones for a lift, I shall do a little crochet.

Sunday 30 November 2014

Cal 2

More photo's of the CAL blanket form Attic24, I've just finished part 2

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Fecking office politics

I fecking hate office politics.
I especially fecking hate it when other people playing silly buggers means extra work for me.

The last 2 nights I've got home around 5:30 & fallen asleep on the sofa until my L&M has phoned to say he's ready to be collected.

I've hurt my toe, it's painful & swollen, Monday it was agony, today it is merely uncomfortable, I wore slippers to work as I couldn't get my shoes on.

I'm eating loads of jacket potatoes, salmon &avocado's & I'm still knackered.

I've made some meals for DD2, her hubby is out of the house from 6 until midnight with work, the baby is colicky DD is awaiting surgery & in pain until the surgery happens. I took her a chicken casserole, cottage pie & sweet & sour chicken. It will save her cooking for 3 days, by which time her hubby may be backto normal working hours. If not I'll make some more meals for her.

Sunday 23 November 2014

Meal plan for a beginner

I offered to help a young couple who live near me, they want to economise by cooking instead of living on takeaways. 

During a conversation they were amazed to hear that I cooked every day, but as I explained, we eat everyday so that means cooking.

I tried to come up with a meal plan that wasn't too expensive or too complicated & included a couple of quick & east meals.

They only need meals for Monday to Friday as they eat with his or her parents at the weekend

This is what I came up with.

Sausage & Mash with beans, make double the quantity of mash.

Spaghetti bolognese, cook double the quantity of mince'

Cottage pie with frozen peas, using the leftover mince & leftover mash

Jacket potatoes with beans & cheese.

I'll be showing them how to make the meals after work this week.

Saturday 22 November 2014

Potassium deficiency part two.

Thanks for all your comments.
I haven't had my thyroid tested but when my potassium levels are OK, I don't get tired, so that has been ruled out.
Catriona, sorry to hear about your hubby, my appraisal has been delayed for a few days as there was a major panic at work, someone managed to book 4 events on the same day in the same venue so there was lots of rejigging to be done & lots of emails to send.
Jill, thanks for your suggestion, my kidney function test was fine.
Sarah, I was on a potassium drip last year & the on the ghastly tables for a couple of weeks afterwards. My potassium went back up & has now dropped again. I will check out the recipes on your blog.
Thank you Anon for the tea & soup recipes.
Hilary, I am on BP tablet, but the potassium deficiency predates these tablets by about a year so they aren't likely to be the cause.

My CAL blanket from Attic24

The first 12 colours in my blanket.

Tuesday 18 November 2014


Dr's appointment yesterday morning, more results, more questions than answers. My haemoglobin  is fine so whatever is growing in my colon isn't likely to be cancer.
Unfortunately my potassium levels have plummeted again, I could have a heart attack if it drops too low, this is why they had me on a potassium drip last summer when I was in hospital.
For now I'm eating bananas, salmon, spinach & any other food high in potassium.
The strange thing is that the usual causes of of potassium deficiency are anorexia, bulimia, long periods of diarrhea  or vomiting & malnutrition, as I am suffering from none of these, heaven knows what is causing the lack of potassium.
On the up side, I now know what is causing the weakness, exhaustion, muscle & joint pain, I can rest until the changes in my diet hopefully take effect instead of think I'm just a lazy slob!

Sunday 16 November 2014

As THAT time of year draws near

I'm writing a list
I'm checking it twice

No I'm not talking about Christmas, we celebrate Yule in our house.
I'm not talking about that either, no, it's the dreaded appraisal time again.
I think it's 2 poor appraisals & then it becomes a disciplinary procedure, hooray, what joy.

The training I requested has not been forthcoming, the shelving I was promised has not materialised, but the measurements for it were finally taken on Friday!

I have my paperwork prepared, I have many supportive emails from staff & various other pieces of information. It's now a case of wait & see, I have made my decisions dependent on the appraisal outcome.


Funny things dreams.

A colleague came to my room on Friday & was telling me about some complicated dream she'd had about going to Bournemouth with her husband, only it was really her stepfather & she'd been her mother & not herself & they had had a row about visiting a prostitute.

I'd dreamt that I'd been shopping & bought only ready meals, both events are I gather equally unlikely, but at least her dream was interesting.

Saturday 15 November 2014

Oh bugger

Well lets start with the good news, my weekly shop this week came to £6 42, well it came to £20ish but I remembered to use my vouchers & they brought it down to £6.42, woohoo.

I've made soup for my lunch next week, it should have been broccoli & Stilton but! I didn't have much broccoli but we do have lots of cabbage in the garden so I added a handful of shredded leaves. I also didn't have any Stilton but I did have a piece of Cheddar with tomato & basil, so I added that instead, it tastes bloody gorgeous & will provide lunches for 3 or 4 days.

As for the 'Oh Bugger' one of my work colleagues has posted some very inappropriate comments on facebook about a job move that has just been announced. She will be in so much trouble if it is seem by her boss.

Thursday 13 November 2014

Leftovers for tea.

In the fridge there was a bowl of grated cheese left over from the  spaghetti  we had earlier in the week & a bowl of left over mashed potato that needed using up & I know hubby isn't  keen on mash just warmed up.
So I finely sliced an onion & softened it in a little butter, I added the onions & the cheese to the mash, mixed it altogether thoroughly, formed it into cakes & fried them in a pan with just a smear of oil. I found a tub of leftover sliced pork & stuffing balls in the freezer for my L&M, I had a poached egg with my potato cakes. A serving of peas each & it made a tasty & filling meal for us both.

Tuesday 11 November 2014

How Much

Yesterday morning I ran out of tea bags , I had 2 packets in the cupboard & thought they were one each of decaf & ordinary, but when I checked there was no decaf. So on the way home after work I stopped at the local Tesco Express to buy some I wandered past the reduced section, this is usually empty as this Tesco's is only the size of a corner shop. To my amazement there was a chicken in there reduced to £1. I didn't need or want a chicken but I bought it anyway & rejigged the menu plan.
Instead of pork chops I did roast chicken with potatoes & veg, the pork chops will be eaten later in the week. We had chicken sandwiches for lunch today, I'm making chicken  & mushroom pasta bake tomorrow & I'm boiling the the carcase to make soup for the rest of this weeks lunches! 

Sunday 9 November 2014

Passed in a blur

We've had a lovely weekend, we had to of the DGC to stay from Saturday evening until 5:30 today.
We've done gardening 
And found  this rather grumpy looking pepper.

Along with these more normal looking ones.

We also did some baking, we made choc chip cookies, I forgot to take a pic & made two of these
I call them chutney cakes, no it's not made with chutney.
Every year a friend of mine makes a lovely Christmas chutney  & borrows my maslin pan to make it in. When she returned the pan she also gave me all the left over dried fruit that she uses in the chutney. This included cranberries, apricots, dates, figs & sultanas. So I made the cakes, the DGC have taken one home to go in their lunch boxes next week

Wednesday 5 November 2014

Today in 2000

Today in 2000 my L&M & I met, we can truly say 'We met & there were fireworks!'

We've had our ups & downs, or rather our life has been full of ups & downs, our relationship has grown steadily stronger.

We've overcome financial hardship, mental health issues, bereavements, illness, family problems, in other words, normal family life!

No doubt there will be more good times & bad, hopefully we will carry on & weather the storms

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Bloody cold this morning

Ye gods what a shock this morning, only 2 degrees, brr.
I need to find my scarf & gloves & dig out my winter coat.

I received two letters yesterday, one of them is advising me that I'm on the waiting list for treatment for my eye but no idea of timescale. The other letter was to say that I will be getting the lump sum from my state pension that I deferred for a year. £5000 to be paid off the mortgage & I'm treating myself to some new saucepans & some winter boots with the rest.

We've had a new heating system installed at work, of course it doesn't work, 11 years I've worked there, the heating's never worked properly.

I cooked omelette's for tea tonight, ham & mushroom for my L&M, cheese & tomato for me, I made mine big enough to do for my lunch tomorrow too.

I've managed to finished a green & white baby blanket, I'll try to take pics at the weekend when the light is better. I'm starting another one tomorrow, I just need to decide on the next colour scheme.

My L&M went to have his foot surgery checked today, all is well, no problems & he can return to work on Thursday.

On Friday I should be getting some test results through, but if the Dr wants to see me to discuss the results then I probably won't find out until Monday or Tuesday.

Saturday 1 November 2014

Nibbling away at the mortgage

In 2012 we bought a new three piece, we had the money saved up to buy it but it was offered on interest free credit, so we paid the savings into the mortgage account & paid for the three piece monthly. We've just paid the last payment so we've started a Standing Order for the same amount to be paid towards the mortgage. This is on top of another standing order we pay monthly towards the mortgage. We have tried to increase the mortgage payments themselves but the mortgage company like to make this as difficult as possible. 
I earned £60 dog sitting this week & I'm just waiting for another payment of £150 for my old car & one of £25, payment for Henry vacuum cleaner  to hit the bank account & then another £235 will also be paid off the mortgage. Sometimes we can go months with no extra apart form the standing orders coming off the total, other times like this month we seem to have lots extra.

Friday 31 October 2014


I'm sat here dressed in black complete with witches hat, mask & besom, we have 2 tubs of sweets ready for the trick or treaters. We usually get quite a lot but we've never had any trouble, they only seem to knock if there is a sign outside, we have a carved, lit pumpkin hanging by the door. The local children seem to be getting used to me answering the door in my witches outfit, last year some of them seemed scared but not this year.

Yet another trip to the Dr's this morning, he says I'm a pain in the bum, literally, I like a Dr with a sense of humour. He tells me that the colonoscopy I had was so thorough that they'd been able to count my fillings! Another set of results, they point to one thing but nothing else does, yet more tests, the results in a week. The list of things I don't have is growing, if there is nothing conclusive next Friday we are considering the 'We don't know what it is but it ain't going to kill me soon ' approach.

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Cheap & Cheerful

We like to eat home made soup at least once a week and I often make a batch to use for lunch, it's cheap & filling especially if I can use our own veg but even with bought veg it's still a cheap meal.
It's taken me a while to convince my L&M to try home made soup, but now he likes it.

I make all my soups the same way, I start by softening some chopped onion in a little oil or butter & then add the other ingredients.

Here are some of my most used recipes.

Simple soup, one onion, one carrot & one potato, one of the cheapest.

Leek & potato is hubby's favourite, we grow leek & potatoes.

Roasted tomato & red pepper, again very cheap when the ingredients are home grown.

Mushroom if I can get a punnet of mushrooms cheap enough, usually I pay about 40p

Broccoli & Stilton is my favourite, I use broccoli stalks & any cheese I have as long as some of the cheese is Stilton, I make it after Christmas as I usually have some cheese leftover from a cheese board.

Today I tried Kings soup, leek & oatmeal, the recipe can be found on Elaine's blog, Mortgage free in Three

I'm also going to make some Cullen Skink as I think hubby would like it, I use the BBC recipe.

Monday 27 October 2014

Funny things you hear

What with the wedding reception & other hotel guests I overheard some funny conversations at the weekend.

There was the couple sat in the bar, the man obviously drunk & was singing what sounded like some sort of Irish lament.
Wife hissing through gritted teeth, 'Will you stop singing that godawful song You always sing it when you're drunk!'
Husband, 'I'm not drunk, I just want to sing this song.
Wife 'Why this bloody song it's horrible'
Husband 'It's an Irish lament, it's part of my heritage'
Wife 'Don't talk bollocks, you're fecking Jamaican, not Irish'

At the breakfast table a couple with 4 small boys
'Mum 'But they had a good time'
Dad 'I know they did, but you told me Legoland was in Bristol!'
Mum 'But you won't travel any farther from Cardiff, so I had to lie!

Guest 1 'Is Martin coming later?'
Guest 2 'Yes & he's bringing his girlfriend'
Guest 1 'Martin has a girlfriend, wow, what does she look like?'
Guest 2 'Like him, but in a dress!'

And finally, my L&M & I were having an 'animated discussion' just before we left for the wedding on Saturday, getting annoyed with me he put his hands on his hips & demanded 'Are you taking me seriously!'. 
I turned to look at him & replied ''Not whilst you are standing there with your flies undone!'

Sunday 26 October 2014

What fecking time do you call this

My poor L&M is still struggling, because of his sore toes & having to squeeze them into shoes for the wedding he's altered his gait. This has triggered the arthritis in his ankles & worsened the pain of his plantar fasciitis. He having great difficulty in getting around so obviously I'm helping him where ever I can, last night I got up a couple of times to help him get to the loo & get him some more painkillers.
At 4:15am I could hear the click click click of the lodger's claws as he paced the floor, he often moves from room to room during the night, but this was different he was pacing to & fro. I got up to check he was OK & he had his legs crossed, so I came downstairs to let him out in the garden. Usually he's reluctant to use the garden as a toilet but I was hoping this time he would as I really didn't want to have to get dressed & take him for a walk this early in the morning! He shot out into the garden to relieve himself, after reassuring him that he'd been a good boy, I made a cuppa & took it up for hubby, the lodger followed me upstairs & went straight back to sleep! 
Me? I'm wide awake, I've hung washing on the line & unloaded the dishwasher!

Wedding & a night in a hotel

The wedding went off well, the bride looked beautiful if 40 minutes late. The service wasn't too long there were 2 hymns & 2 readings. One of them was Corinthians 13, The gift of love, the other was I like you & I know why, by Sandol Stoddard.

The reception went off without a hitch, the food was good, salmon & prawn salad for starter, roast beef for main & profiteroles for dessert, followed by coffee & mints. There was a buffet at 9:30pm & the disco went on until 3ish, hubby & I went to bed way before that.

Our room was lovely & the bed was comfortable, we treated ourselves to a full cooked breakfast this morning as this night away was our holiday this year.

We arrived home at 9:45 this morning to a rapturous welcome from the dog we are looking after, my DD looked after him last night & left ours at 9:15 to take DGS to a party, so the dog had been alone for all of half an hour!

From pzazz to CCC

I like clothes with pzazz, that make a statement, a bold colour or unusual design, but as I buy my vlothes from charity shops my choices are limited.
I now buy my clothes according to the 3C rules

I need to be Clean, Comfortable & appropriately Covered!

Friday 24 October 2014

Half term, woo hoo

A week off, great, I'm really looking forward to it.
We have a wedding tomorrow, & an overnight stay in the hotel where the reception is being held, it's the only way we can attend the reception as the hotel is in the middle of nowhere & I wouldn't be able to drive home in the dark afterwards. MIL & FIL are staying too, my L&M & one of his brothers have paid for the room, a birthday gift for MIL.
DGD Norah is staying Monday, I have a visitor on Tuesday, an ex colleague, it will be nice to catch up. Plus I'm having my oven cleaned professionally.
We're dog sitting until Wednesday, it's nice to have a dog around & the DGC love him to bits.
Other plans include housework, crochet, making mead & sewing, all in all a nice break from work.

Thursday 23 October 2014

Death by toenail & a companionable evening

My L&M is not a good patient, he isn't a patient patient, he doesn't watch TV, he does read his kindle but mostly he likes to be busy either at work or in the garden.

His lack of patience makes him irritable, bad tempered & inclined to nit pick, so far I have refrained from killing him but I'm not sure how long this will last.

We have had a a pleasant evening though, we were sat side by side on the sofa each looking at our favourite porn catalogues.
I have the Lakeland catalogue & my L&M has the Selco catalogue, each to his own!

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Triple shit day

1) I've spent three days using the guillotine almost nonstop, today I finally got to the end of the job only to be told there is an item missing so the job will be scrapped. I've basically wasted three days because someone forgot to order something!

2) I spent an entertaining half an hour trying to explain to a TA that I couldn't print email attachments when all she had was a paper copy of the email!
I explained 4 or 5 times that I needed her to forward the email to me, she was unwilling or unable to do so.

3) I had to use my lunch break taking my L&M to the Dr's to get signed off, I don't mind, it's a two bus journey for him otherwise. But I ended the day with a thumping headache as I didn't get my lunch.

Sunday 19 October 2014

People are strange

On Friday evening I listened whilst a neighbour told a long and exciting story about something dramatic that had happened to her husband in a local car park the previous day. The story included police & ambulances & other exciting embellishments.

But it was a pack of lies, I was there for the duration, I saw her husband arrive, I saw him leave. He obviously didn't see me, nothing happened, I know this for a fact. There were no police, no ambulance, no heroic acts.

I don't know if the neighbour is lying, or if her husband lied to her, maybe their life is so boring they have to make up tales of daring & excitement.

I didn't say anything, I just looked suitably vacant & then said goodbye.

Saturday 18 October 2014

Not one but two

I asked for a lightweight vacuum cleaner for my birthday as I was finding it a struggle to lug my Henry up & down stairs.

So my beloved bought me not one but two vacuum cleaners, and the best bit, he likes them both so much he's doing the vacuuming!

Friday 17 October 2014

Gimme a break

What a week, what with trips to hospital, my L&M's surgery, mastering the art of cleaning & dressing his wounds & then dealing with crap at work. Why oh why don't people ask my advice when they want something unusual doing. Instead of which they decide how they think the job needs doing, make a start, decide it's too much like hard work & then dump the job on me. I managed to get it all sorted, but it would be much easier if I'd done the work from the start.
I left work around 3:30, went to the Dr's to collect a repeat prescription, as usual it took 15 minutes before they tracked it down. From there I went to put petrol in my car, I opted for pay at pump & the machine failed, I got my petrol, but couldn't pay at the pump due to a computer error, neither could I pay at the kiosk as I'd requested 'pay at pump' that too a while to sort out. I went from the petrol station to DD's to collect DGD Eileen, who is staying with us tonight. When I arrived DGD Jojo was screaming her head off, the dog was going loopy & DD was trying to answer the phone & pack a bag for Eileen. I took Jojo, winded her, changed her nappy, sat with Jojo in one arm & mad dog in the other so mad dog calmed down & DD could finish what she was doing. Then I returned Jojo to DD, brought Eileen home with me, she did some gardening with my L&M & played with some of her toys & did some colouring & cutting out. I then served tea, ate tea, opened my present from my L&M (more of this tomorrow). Got a phone call from SIL, he'd gone to work without his keys & was outside his house with one of his DDs, I drove over, let them in, & then came home. Next I changed the dressing on my L&M's feet, washed Eileen's hair as she's got something sticky in it.
I put Eileen to bed, read her a story 'We're going on a bear hunt' it's her favourite. She went to sleep almost immediately after the story so I was able to come downstairs& finally put my feet up around 8:30. I'm going to do an hour's crochet before I go to bed as I need to make some blankies for some forthcoming babies.

Thursday 16 October 2014

I have a nearly cold

For the past 2 or 3 weeks I've had a nearly cold, I have a sore throat, I'm a bit snotty, my ears are drizzling & I have an irritating cough. In some ways I'd rather have a proper cold & then get over it!

I've changer the dressing on my L&M's feet, I made a reasonable job of it, his toes are weeping a bit of pus but this is normal, he is convinced he's bleeding to death!

Both my daughters visited him today bringing Get Well cards & small gifts, he was very touched. He also got to cuddle all the babies, I'm jealous.

We have one of the DGC staying over on Friday night, so that will be fun. 

Tuesday 14 October 2014


My turn to be supportive today, I took my L&M to have surgery on his toes, it should have taken 40 minutes & it actually took almost 2 hours.
He has stayed in bed today to keep his feet raised, I returned to work after dropping him home, I left him with sandwiches, a flask of tea, a packet of crisps, a packet of biscuits & a can of coke.
When I got home I made him a toasted cheese sandwich & more tea, the anaesthetic has worn of & he's dosed up with pain killers.
Tomorrow we return to have his dressing changed & for me to learn how to dress the wounds, I've been told I'll need a strong stomach.

Monday 13 October 2014

Gotta love that man

What a wonderful way to spend the day, at the hospital! 
My L&M HATES hospitals but came with me today as I was having drops in my eyes, 5 different sorts, these leave me unable to see properly for 5 hours, I also had to visit 2 other hospital departments hence hubby's attendance to enable me to navigate my way around.

The excitement started early when my beloved noticed I was holding a carrier bag & enquired as to why I was taking a carrier bag of crap to hospital (he probably thought I was taking some crochet with me).
I explained that I was indeed taking a carrier bag of crap with me as I had stool samples in the bag!
A few minutes later he noticed I had a small handful of something light brown that I placed in a sandwich bag & tucked into my handbag. 
'Bloody hell did you just have that in your bare hands?'
'I did' I replied, showing him my hearing aids! which I was taking in to have repaired.

So 3 departments in 2 hours & then an hour to get home as there was disruption to the bus service & 2 more hours of vision problems.

Hey ho, all done now, I'm on the waiting list for treatment for my eyes, my hearing aids now work & as for the samples, I'm burying my head in the sand until I hear back!

Saturday 11 October 2014

Every Bloody Time

I received an prescription reminder via email, so I logged on to my surgery website & placed an order for a repeat prescription, it says to allow 48 hours before collecting the prescription, I left it 3 days.

I attended the surgery to collect my prescription, they could find no trace of it, this happens every time, 6 times in all & counting. They asked when I had requested the prescription as they could find no trace of my request.

I explained that I'd emailed my request & told them the date, they checked the system & sure enough, there was my request, and it had been marked as prescription printed. Another rummage in the box, but still no sign of my prescription, they then went through all the outstanding prescriptions & finally found mine, out of order, as usual.

Then I walked to the pharmacy & handed in my prescription, it would be about 20 minutes, as always, did I want to wait or come back later. I opted to return later, visited my daughter for half an hour & then I returned to the pharmacy to collect my medication. No sign of it, no trace of me putting the prescription in & no packet of pills for me to collect. I explained that I had left the prescription about 30 minutes before, another rummage in another box & eventually my prescription turned up, marked 'FILLED'. A few minutes frantic searching & my medication eventually  turned up. 

This happens in the Dr's surgery & the pharmacy every single time, every month for the last 6 months. I can't decide if it because my surname can also be used as a first name, or if none of the staff know their alphabet.

Where did it come from.

My husband does make me laugh, he's gone off to meet a friend for a drink today, he was rummaging in the cupboard for his coat & muttering about needing a new one. 

He put on a lot of weight when he gave up smoking 3 years ago & is now losing it again. He emerged from the cupboard holding a fleece

'Is this yours or mine? ' he asked.

'Not mine' I replied

'Are you sure?' 

'Yep, it's way too big to be mine'

He tried it on & it fitted really well, he put his hand in the pockets.

'Ooh look, it must be yours' he said 'there's crap in the pockets' waving a till receipt & a £10

He started to read out the  details.

'It's from the corner shop, malteasers, onion, mushrooms, it must be yours'

Then he read more, the name of the bank account, Nat West, I bank with HSBC with hardly a pause for breath he said.

'I knew it was my coat, it fits a treat' he grinned & sailed out of the door looking pleased as punch.

As for the coat, I haven't a clue, I've never seen it before, it has a very distinctive logo on it, not the sort of thing I'd buy new as it would be very expensive & not something I'd buy 2nd hand because I don't buy 2nd hand clothes for hubby as he wears a uniform to work & tends to live in his uniform for his previous job the rest of the time.

Friday 10 October 2014

Hospital visits

I am spending Monday at the local hospital, I have to go to 3 different departments, sounds like fun doesn't it!
My L&M is booked for foot surgery on Tuesday, on Wednesday I have to go & learn how to change his dressings. I have been assured that his wounds will look so horrific that I will be unable to change his dressings, I'll wait & see.
I purchased the dressings needed from our local chemist shop, £26, & that's just for the first couple of days!

Wrong planet

This morning I had one of those conversations where I wondered what planet this person was from, it went like this.
'Is that your car parked in the front row of the car park?'
Me 'Yes it is'
'How come you always manage to get a good parking space?'
Me 'Because I get here at 7:30'
'Well I can't get up in the morning, so I don't get here to 8:30'
Me 'Oh I see'
'I think the people who get to work early should have to park in the muddy spaces, so those of us who arrive late can have some of the good parking spaces'
WTF, why should I wade across a muddy field just because she can't drag her sorry arse out of bed!

Tuesday 7 October 2014

This weeks cheap food

We had a very expensive weekend thanks to a meal out with the inlaws, I'm having a very economical week foodwise to compensate.

Breakfast, Porridge
Lunch, Marmite or Peanut butter sandwiches & a handful of HG  tomatoes
Tea, Cheesy pasta bake, packet of penne pasta, 47p, pint of milk YS 15p, stale cheese from the fridge, tbs of cornflour & knob of butter, topped with breadcrumbs made from slice of old bread. Enough to last me the week, nice & cheap.

Monday 6 October 2014


Well I've heard people talking bollocks many times, but yesterday I heard the biggest load of bollocks ever.
Someone asked hubby if he'd still given up smoking, he has & it's been a few years now, the same person then asked another person if they'd ever thought of giving up smoking as cigarettes are so expensive now, this was their reply.

'I don't need to give up because every 6 weeks I go somewhere nice, Berlin or Lisbon or Paris for the weekend, I buy enough cigarettes to last me 6 weeks & I save enough on tax to pay for my trip. So really I get my cigarettes for free.'

Sunday 5 October 2014

Jaw dropping

On Saturday I took a parcel in for a neighbour.
This morning, I saw her car was on her drive so I popped over to drop the parcel off.
Now I'm not a tidy person as any of my friends will attest, but ye gods, her house made even my jaw drop, it didn't smell & wasn't dirty, but it looked like a tornado had torn through it.
It reminded me of the yellow pages advert where a guy takes a girl home & pretends he's been burgled rather than admitting that his place is always like that.

Whistle Blower or Shit Stirrer

I'm all for whistle blowing if it means the vulnerable are protected, but sometimes it's just an excuse for petty spite & tale telling.
We've had one of those horrible emails round at work, you know the sort that say 'It has been brought to my attention that some members of staff are spending too much time on their mobile phones/internet'
I rarely use my mobile at work, but does than mean someone has reported me for the call I received from DD asking me to collect the DGC from school as she was in hospital, or for the call I received from the engineer to tell me he was on his way to repair one of my machines, or is it aimed at someone else? I hate the vagueness of this sort of email I'd rather I was told directly if I'd been reported. That way I could defend myself if necessary.
But then we've also had 3 recent incidences where people have been reported for 'alleged misconduct' no proof has been provided but people have been 'spoken to'. Along the lines of 'it has been alleged that 3 weeks ago you were doing xxxxx' Me? I can't remember what I was doing yesterday, never mind 3 weeks ago. I'm not sure which is worse, either way it makes for an unhappy workforce.

Saturday 4 October 2014

Drunk & disorderly

I currently wouldn't be able to pass an American sobriety test, you know, the one where you have to walk in a straight line. Yesterday I was bumping into walls as I wandered the corridors at work. Before you ask if my job has finally driven me to drink, no, I have an ear & throat infection, hence my inability to walk in a straight line. I have a sore throat, cough & sticky ears, so I'm having a lazy day today in the hope that my body will effect a rapid repair.

I have also diagnosed another problem, I don't have a solution yet, but understanding the problem is a big step forward. I get up 3 to 5 times a night to go to the toilet, I then frequently cannot get back to sleep, so I'm knackered the following day (nothing new there then). I have tried cutting down on my liquid intake during the evenings but it made no difference. I eventually realised that the more swollen my ankles were at the end of the day, the more times I was disturbed during the night. I think what is happening is that the fluid is draining away throughout the night via my kidneys & so causing the sleep disruption. I do try to walk as much as possible at work, but there are a few jobs where I stand for long periods & this is when my ankles swell. There is no way of avoiding this, the work has to be done, my ankles also swell if I sit for too long,This isn't a problem at work as I have a low seat & a foot rest, I'm also OK at home as I can alternate between sitting/standing/walking, it happens when I'm in a restaurant or pub or visiting friends  mainly because my legs dangle because I'm such a short arse.

Thursday 2 October 2014

I'm with her

Well my last post seems go have struck a chord with some people, Irene, I think I'd have to dig a hole & fill it after me to avoid people like this. I seem to be surrounded by them at work & in my neighbourhood.

As I've said, I'm pootling through making a quilt or two, I'm also crocheting a baby blanket, as always I'm doing both of these on the cheap. Mean Queen reposted a comment someone left on her blog about her quilting & how she used scraps & leftovers to make her quilts, they found this less intimidating than some blogs that list a scary & expensive amount of equipment & fabric needed before a single thread is cut.
Like Froogs I use a decent batting, I won't use polyester wadding because it threads, but for fabric, apart from some that was gifted to me I'm using old shirts & skirts & for my crochet baby blanket I'm using odd & scraps given to me.

Wednesday 1 October 2014

More madness

So what do you do when you've spent all you money on trainers & makeup & you can't afford to eat without borrowing money, of course, silly question, you spend £200 on a fecking tattoo. At the same time telling people that it's not fair & some people are really lucky 'cos they have a freezer full of meat & they  can afford to eat!
And what do you do if you don't work/have never worked & you are depressed? Spend £450 on a fecking puppy! I'm all for people having a pet to cheer them up, but do you have to spend £450, especially when you already have 4 fecking dogs!

Sunday 28 September 2014

Waste not want not, recipe for a sandwich filling

I try to waste a little as possible of the food we grow & buy, when we buy a joint of meat my L&M slices it with out meat slicer, he did that today once I'd cooked the turkey crown. The sliced meat is now frozen in 2 portion packs, but we are left with this.

A bowl of turkey scraps, this is what I did with it.

 I softened some chopped onion in a knob of butter, don't let it colour, just cook it until it is translucent. Then add the turkey scraps & some seasoning I added pepper & some sage. Then I blitzed it with my hand blender, or you could use a food processor. Once blended I put it in a small pot & chilled it in the fridge.

Here is the finished result & it will make a tasty sandwich filling for lunches tomorrow.
You can doo this with most meats, if using beef a little horse radish is delicious added to the mix. I've also used ham & chicken together, mushrooms can also be added.

Saturday 27 September 2014

Who's mad, them or me?

A colleague of my L&M has been bewailing his family's lack of money, they've had to borrow from the inlaws as they didn't have enough food to eat, 2 days earlier they had spent £180 on a pair of trainers for him & £80 on make up for her. These purchases were defended on the grounds that he couldn't be seen in cheap trainers as people would laugh & her makeup will last a month. 
I went to the butchers today & spent £60 on meat, I'm expecting it to last a lot longer than a month, we won't be borrowing money from anyone & we will be able to eat this month.
I bought pork chops, neck of lamb to make a casserole, lamb shanks to do a Sunday roast, minced beef, a piece of gammon & a turkey crown & some peppered steak.
We have just taken down the sweet corn, most of the cobs are for our son in law, but I will make some corn chowder out of the poorest cobs.
My L&M has been on lates for almost 3 weeks now & I've been living on egg on toast & beans on toast, so we are having steak & HM wedges with mushrooms & onion for tea, I'm really looking forward to it.

Friday 26 September 2014

Cake Sale & other stuff.

A colleague organised a cake sale at work today in aid of Macmillan, she does this every year as she lost her sister to cancer some years ago, she raised in excess of £200, better than last year.

I has my hair cut yesterday & it's a bit of a pigging mess, hey ho, it will soon grow & it was only £13.50. I've paid £40 for a hair cut before now & still had a crappy result.

The washing line my L&M put up under cover is proving worth it's weight in gold, I'm finding it extremely useful.

I will probably see some of the grandchildren over the weekend & I'm also hoping to spend more time on my quilting.

I will post the recipes I'm using in my boozy Yule hampers over the weekend.

Tuesday 23 September 2014

She has a name

Here she is Jolene Suzy

Getting ready for Yule

The bottles for the damson gin  blackberry vodka have arrived, as have the jars for the whiskey marmalade, I shall be giving all my family boozy hampers for Yule..

I bought a punnet of mushrooms for 45p so I've made a pot of soup.

I was given a bag of bananas so I shall make banana bread.

Sunday 21 September 2014


We had DGD to stay Saturday night, we also dog at, DGD & the dog soon formed a mutual adoration society. 
I took the dog for a couple of walks Saturday & Sunday, the poor dog was most offended at one point, we were walking under a conker tree when a conker fell on him, he gave me such a dirty look I'm sure he thought I'd thrown it at him. I did apologise, but it took a doggie treat to mollify him.
The dog & DGD both went home at lunch time, I came home & had a nanna nap, afterwards I felt a bit more lively & so I vacuumed through. I also made a huge pot of borscht, the pic isn't very good, it is the most beautiful purple but looks red in the pic.

I also managed to get another border on my quilt

Friday 19 September 2014

Fruit and veg box

 This is what was in my box today. Carrots, cabbage, spinach, avocado, apples, oranges and a huge beefsteak tomato. I've already eaten a...