Saturday 31 May 2014

Finally Finished Frozen dresses

This is Norah's dress

Here they are the Finally Finished Frozen dresses, lets hope these two are enjoyed as much as the first one was.

Two down, one to go

This dress is for Eileen, she is 3 years old, the cape looks strange as my coat hanger is too big for the dress, I've made the cape shorter & less full as I think it will trip her up otherwise.

Friday 30 May 2014

One delighted DGD

As DGD is a LAC these are the only pics I can post of her in her dress

Thursday 29 May 2014

One down, two to go, with instructions & costs

I haven't used a pattern to make the dresses for my DGD's, I have a size chart that I googled & printed and I'm working from that.
I haven't seen the film but the images I've found show lots of different dresses, so I've gone for a sun dress style with the cape attached at the back, I'm hoping the pretty colour with a sparkly cape will fit the bill for the DGD's
I've made the dresses with ribbon ties at the back to save the expense & stress of trying to sew a zip into this nightmare fabric.
The dress is made entirely from rectangles:-
A large rectangle for the skirt, at least twice or three times the hip measurement maybe more, depending on the fabric used, mine is quite stiff, but if using a finer, more flowing fabric you could use more.
A rectangle for the bodice, the chest measurement plus seam allowance plus ease.
Two rectangles for the shoulder straps.
A rectangle for the cape, this is gathered & attached to the back of the bodice along the shoulder straps.

The fabric cost £25 for 4 mts of the blue &  3 mts of the sparkly. I've made one dress age 9, one age 6 & one age 4. I have enough fabric left to make another dress age 6 & I've only used about half the sparkly fabric.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Production line

As I have 3 dresses to make I've started a production line, all 3 dresses are cut out, all 3 capes are cut out & I've started sewing. All french seams as the fabric frays like buggery.


Monday 26 May 2014

Fear not, I still have my SABLE

No, not a really posh fur coat, SABLE = Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy.
Although I'm getting rid of a lot of stuff, I'm hanging on to my yarn as I can still crochet granny squares, I can make then in the dark & with my eyes closed, so deteriorating eyesight won't stop production of those.
I'm also keeping my fabric as I can still use one of my sewing machines so I can still make clothes & quilts for now.

Sunday 25 May 2014

Coming to terms, clearing out & moving creepies

I'm coming to terms with losing my eyesight in fits & starts, the first step was getting a kindle, the enlarged font facility means I can still read even though I can no longer read real books. I just wish the index pages could be enlarged as I have trouble seeing them. 
I've been giving embroidery fabric, threads & some kits to a work colleague, but only odd ones as I come across them. I have only been clearing my stash out bit at a time, as getting rid of it all at once was just too depressing.
But today I am clearing out my stash properly, I'm getting rid of my knitting patterns & my crochet patterns, I'm also getting rid of the last few embroidery kits, ones that I particularly liked. I'm also listing my overlocker on eBay and one of my sewing machines, it has a touch screen & I can't see it any longer.
Even if I have surgery this summer (it was put off last year as I was in hospital with another problem) the surgery is only on one eye, the other eye has a different problem & will deteriorate & then be fucked.
Finally, my creepies have moved, you know that sensation of something moving over or just under the skin, it is a common menopause problem, well my creepies have always been on my back & shoulders & now they are moving up my neck.
You know it's one thing to go through the menopause, but it's a real bugger when some of the symptoms never go away. I haven't had a period in over 20 years, but I still get hot flushes & I still get the creepies. Still look on the bright side, I'm not dead, I'm still here to moan about things!

Saturday 24 May 2014

Top up shop

As I said before this is a particularly long, tight month, so I checked the freezer & cupboards carefully before I shopped.
I bought:-
I spent £7.08, egg delivery again tomorrow, that will bring this weeks shop to £11.08. This should last us until payday at the end of the month.
We have a weeks holiday now & have a couple of cheap treats planned, we have a £10 voucher for a local pub & that will cover a lite bite meal & dessert for the 2 of us. We will also use our bus passes to go into town & have a meal in the Wetherspoons, they also have meal deals, usually a meal & a drink for £10 for us both.

I have a banana in my shoe

Does that make me weird?
Actually it's a piece of banana skin as I have a verruca, I cannot use a normal verruca treatment because of the position of the verruca, I'll try this for a few weeks & let you know how I get on.
Many years ago a friend of mine's 5 year old son had problems with warts, his hands were covered in them & the other children in his class were teasing him & refusing to sit near him. My friend is a charismatic evangelist  & so was not keen when I suggested buying the warts from her son, eventually after trying many other treatments & many visits to the Dr's she agreed. I gave her son 50p & explained that I was buying his warts, he was worried to start with as he thought I was going to start cutting them off but I reassured him. By the end of the following week all the warts had disappeared. 
DD phoned a couple of days ago, she has mastitis, I suggested a cabbage leaf in her bra, it is quite a well know remedy.
I always prefer to use a natural remedy whenever possible, honey to help heal wounds, clove oil for toothache etc.
The reaction of one of my colleagues shows why, many years ago, old ladies who had a lifes worth of country knowledge were burnt at the stake!

Another swap

I've also swapped from tuna to sardines/pilchards in my sarnies/salad packups occasionally, this makes me very unpopular at lunch break as some of my colleagues don't like the smell of fish. Tough!

Wednesday 21 May 2014


I used to make my L&M's ready meals (spicy chicken & rice) with chicken breasts, a few years ago I swapped to chicken thighs.
I swapped good steak for the butchers peppered steak & this is only on high days & holidays.
I've now swapped bacon rashers for bacon scraps.
I've swapped lamb chops for mis-shaped chops.
I buy the cheapest mince & stretch it as far as I can.
I can't afford to buy a decent strong cheese
I eat mostly vegetarian meals when my L&M is on the late shifts.
Sometimes I get really pissed off & I wonder what I'm going to give up next.

Sunday 18 May 2014

Garden 18th May

Hispi cabbage & Little Gem lettuce




Beetroot & Kale

Dogs are definitely not allowed on the furniture


I bought this bright & cheerful apron to wear when cooking with the grandchildren. For some reason, Eileen, who is 3 years old doesn't like it, it scares her & she insists I take it off when she visits.

Saturday 17 May 2014

More month than money

It's a long time between pay days this month, and next month will be tight as my L&M has signed up to the pension scheme that means he's losing 5.8% of his salary we will adjust but it always seems to hit hardest the first month, that is if it done correctly, there may be problems. 
The following month there is talk of moving our pay day, this will not go well, years of experience lead me to assume that the whole salary system will go tits up for a few months.
I'm doing a cheats roast dinner tomorrow, pork chops for my L&M with all the trimmings, he is on lates again next week & there are some ready meals in the freezer for his lunches. There is still plenty of food in the freezer, coley, salmon, minced beef, sausages & chops, I also have tins & packets of beans in the larder & money in the envelope for milk, eggs & bread. I need to keep the shopping bill as low as possible for the next few months just in case disaster strikes with the pay day change.
I went shopping today, I dropped my L&M at work, dropped off DGD, collected mad dog & DD, dropped DD at work & went to the bakers nearby, I bought 6 soft rolls, my L&M will eat anything if it is in a roll from the bakers. I also bought nectarines & a plantain, I like plantain but my L&M won't eat it. I'm now home with mad dog, who is a bit confused but happy enough, she keeps coming in from the garden for a reassuring cuddle & is doing a great job scaring the visiting cats away.

Friday 16 May 2014

I love her but

I love my DGD Norah to bits, I really do but sometimes I wonder why. On the way home tonight she said 'Nana, I'm really glad you married you L&M'
'Are you, why's that?'
'Cos I wouldn't bother to visit otherwise'
I'm sure she'll learn tact as she gets older!

On Wednesday I had DGS Mark over for a couple of hours after work, when we got home there were children playing outside, Mark asked if he could go & join then. I agreed & showed him where he could play & how far long the road he could go. He played out for an hour or so.
On Thursday I got home from work, I was pottering around doing a bit of housework & a bit of reading & there was a knock on the door. There was a small boy stood there 'Is Mark coming out to play?' he asked, I explained that Mark didn't live with me & had just been visiting. Four more small boys knocked on the door to call for Mark during the afternoon. I'm thinking of having a sign made up so the local kids will know whether to knock for Mark or not.

Mum & babies have been allowed home

Monday 12 May 2014

Piss up in a brewery part twot

I was given my letter to tell me I'm being enrolled in the government pension scheme, not just a generic 'Dear Colleague' letter, this is a 'Dear Mrs Bloggs'. Great, wonderful, just what I wanted, the first 3 lines of the letter list those who are eligible. Those earning over £10k pro rata, those over 22 years of age, those under state pension age!
Ye gods & little fishes, This is a company who does the salaries for thousands of staff in hundreds of companies. There was about 10 pages of information included in the letter, what a waste of paper.

Piss up in a brewery

At work today:-
No porridge as they had run out of bowls.
No milk for tea as there was an argument over whose responsibility it was to put the jug out (this is the tea that cost just over £1 a cup).
No food as there was no way of paying for it as the payment machine was down.
No toilet paper as the cleaner who replaces empty rolls is on holiday.
No network, no idea why.
No print facility as there is no network.

Sunday 11 May 2014

Baby pics



Kicking off

It's all kicking off round here at the moment. First we had a visit from the police as there was a break in locally. Probably involving a child as the hole made in the door to steal the keys from inside the door was very smile. Only small high value items taken, mainly jewellery, the laptops & TV's were all left behind.
Secondly a huge ruckus outside, I'd seen a man getting out of a van & thought he looked suspicious, carrying something hidden under his jacket. I watched for a while & saw that he was fitting a clamp to a neighbours car. The ruckus kicked off once the Repo man knocked on the door to say 'Pay up or we are taking your car'. The neighbours either wouldn't or couldn't pay up & before long the car was removed.

Saturday 10 May 2014


Ankles have deflated finally, though one is still painful from being swollen. I've pottered around today, done a few jobs but nothing too energetic. It has been changeable today some sun, some heavy showers. My front garden looks nice, our next door neighbours have had their front done professionally, so we thought we'd better get ours tidied up so as not to let the side down, a friend of ours came over to help. 
The ball point needles I ordered arrived this morning so I can finish some alterations I'm doing for a friend, I broke my last one a few days ago I also found a deal on ordinary machine needles & ordered 100.
DD Helen and the babies are still coming on nicely, we are planning on visiting her tomorrow, Lizzie is coming with us as she's not been able to visit yet. I'm really looking forward to seeing Helen & the babies & I'm trying to focus on the joy of new life. In the background cancer is tearing holes in the lives of family, friends & work colleagues.

Friday 9 May 2014


I'm sure you have all heard of cankles (The area in affected female legs where the calf meets the foot in an abrupt, nontapering terminus), well I've gone one better, I have knakles, my ankles are so swollen they are almost the same diameter of my knees.
I slept last night from 7 pm until 5 am, despite this, by the end of today my ankles are very swollen. To make up for not working yesterday, I started work at 6:30 this morning & didn't leave until 4:15, I then collected dgd Norah and took her to gym club, she hasn't stayed the night as she has a nasty cough & wanted to sleep at home tonight.
I've been home since 6 & have my feet elevated. They will be better in the morning & a weekend of gentle pottering will keep the swelling down. This all goes to show that 63 is too old to go without sleep for 28 hours! 
I've spoken to DD Helen, she & the babies are doing well, we ae hoping to visit over the weekend, we just need to work out who is visiting when, so that everybody get a chance to see her.

Thursday 8 May 2014


Marla Elizabeth, born at 2:18 weighs 4lb 15

Edward Joshua, born 2:42 weighs 4lb 13

Wednesday 7 May 2014

The twins have arrived

DD's waters broke at 5am yesterday, the babies arrived just after 2 this morning.

Tuesday 6 May 2014


After a fairly busy weekend, I was anticipating a good nights sleep last night.
I wet to bed and was asleep within half an hour, two hours later, I was awoken by the most incredible noise, so loud the house shook, ka-boom, ka-boom. The noise went on & on, at first we thought it was fireworks, but it was too rhythmic & repetitive. After about 15 minutes we realised it was coming from the railway line. The line is being electrified & they  were pile driving along the line.
I really hope they have moved further along tonight!

Sunday 4 May 2014

Garden 4th May

Cabbage & kale.

Hispi cabbage

Little gem lettuce & radish

Beetroot & Carrots

Tomatoes, Gardeners Dalight & Ailsa Craig 

Peppers, Ring of Fire

Cucumber, Telegraph

Runner beans Enorma

Potatoes Charlotte

Runner beans Hestia

Caukliflower, don't know what sort

So pleased

I've just heard from DD Helen, it seems the DFGC, Molly & Neal, thoroughly enjoyed their time with us & haven't stopped talking about it all day. What a relief, they were so good & we did spoil them a little. It is one more thing they can talk about at school & to their friends, one more 'normal' thing in their lives, staying with their grandparents. They have been so looking forward to staying with us, as they know the other grandchildren stay sometimes.

Saturday 3 May 2014

Want to learn?

I've just read Froogs post about food poverty & people not being able to cook cheap nutritious food & it made me think.
So if anyone is in the Reading area and would like to learn the basics of cooking, sewing or quilting, let me know, I'm happy to help. If you are left handed I can also show you the basics of knitting & crochet.
I'll add a new page at the top of the blog with more details.

Exhaustion 3 Blogger nil

I can't just keep blogging about how knackered I am, but I'm too knackered to think of anything intelligent to say. Shut up in the back row, I know I never have anything intelligent to say.
The foster grandkids have been with us today, we were going to take them to a toy shop near to a B&Q, but Reading were playing at home, no idea what time but we decided to avoid the area just to be on the safe side. So instead we did gardening & baking with them & then bought popcorn & watched Frozen. The children were in bed & asleep by 8ish, my L&M is heading the same way & I shall follow shortly. Neal will be up about 6 & I need to be able to get up with him. I just need to load the washing machine one more time. I took lots of lovely pics of the children with my L&M, but unfortunately I cannot post them due to privacy issues.

I've shrunk.

I've always been short, 4'11 in my youth and I've shrunk as I've aged. I met up with my oldest grandson on Thursday, he was ...