Thursday 31 December 2015

Ham, ham, ham

I was passing the butchers and noticed a large piece of ham reduced from £12.99 to £6.99.
I do have plenty of ham in the freezer, but my L&M loves ham so I bought it, cooked it & my L&M sliced it. Half of it is in the freezer this is the other half, thicker slices to be served with egg and chips, these are also ready to be packed away.


Not the singer, but something I always make after Christmas as a way of using up the last of the sausage meat.

Mix together equal quantities of raw mince and raw sausage meat, if you want to stretch it further add some made up packet stuffing. 
Add a generous squirt of ketchup and some mixed herbs if not adding stuffing.
Mix it all together thoroughly.
Mould into a loaf shape or put it in a loaf tin lined with baking parchment.
cook about 180 for about 40 mins to an hour depending on the size.
This is nice with mash, cabbage and gravy and can also be sliced and used as a sandwich filling.

Wednesday 30 December 2015

Another payment,

Another month off the mortgage term.

The mortgage company, of course, had to play silly buggers once again. 

Last time I made an overpayment, I was told I had to pay £500, any other amount would only reduce the monthly payments and not the term.

Today I phoned to make a payment of £500 and was told that any such payment would only reduce the monthly payment and not the term.

Cue a conversation through gritted teeth, the chosen amount this month it seems is £562.09 exactly.

A payment of £562.10 would also only reduce the month............... You get my drift by now I'm sure!

Barring any unexpected bills, we may be able to make another payment next month, depending on whatever exact amount is needed by then.

Tuesday 29 December 2015

My L&M

Cheryl, he even comes up on my phone as My Lord & Master, it makes everyone laugh.

Someone pass me a wooden spoon

I felt the need to do some stirring.
I gave one of hubby's colleagues a lift on Christmas eve and he was telling me all about a vehicle technician  apprenticeship his 16 year old stepson was doing.
It is allegedly the same as my son did about 12 years ago.
But there seem to be some major differences.
When my son did this he was employed 3 days a week and at college 2 days a week.
The stepson claims to go to college 2 days a week but has no employment on the other days.
My son got paid, not much admittedly but something.
Stepson claims he needs £500 pcm payment in cash for the college course, I asked if there was any paperwork to backup this claim but it seems not!

This morning the same colleague asked for a lift to hospital and I agreed. It seems my concerns regarding the 'apprenticeship' were passed on to the colleagues wife, she's not happy with me as 'I'm just trying to cause trouble'.

I wasn't trying to cause trouble, but I am now. 
I've been on to the appropriate websites & forwarded the links, the 'apprenticeship' the stepson claims to be on doesn't exist, and they have been paying stepson £500 in cash every month since September!!!

Monday 28 December 2015

Good Idea

Jean has suggested a headband with speakers in, thank you, I will try that next.
I will remove the speaker from the pillow and make a headband to attach it to.

Today I am Leftovers Queen

All the turkey, ham & beef have been sliced and frozen in plastic containers.

The scraps of ham and turkey have been mixed together, I will add some mushrooms, onion and white sauce. I will cover it  with puff pastry to make a couple of pies and then freeze them.

The scraps of beef have been made into potted beef by adding some cooked onion, herbs and butter. 
I whizzed it all together and will serve it on toast.

The last three slices of french bread have gone through the whizzer and are bagged in the freezer, they will be used next time I make a lentil loaf.

Today I'm making bubble & squeak with the left over veg I will serve it with a fried egg and some pigs in blankets.

Sunday 27 December 2015


Thank you to all those who have commented on my posts, I have now had an answer to why my local shops have 'Seattle's best Coffee' signs out side, so thank you to Ana and Lilly's Mum for the information.

Also an anonymous commenter asked what my L&M stood for, so for anyone who doesn't know it stands for my Lord and Master. This is a bit of a joke as everyone who knows us knows I wear the trousers in our relationship.

How many no spend days

can I manage in January?

Well I have enough food to feed a small army, apart 

from leftover turkey, ham and beef, all cooked, sliced

and in the freezer I have minced beef, liver, a 

couple of pork chops and 3 or 4 packs of frozen white


I shall need bread soon, but that is all. We still have 

beetroot, leeks, cabbages and brussels in the garden.

Two of my DGD's have birthday's in January, I've 

already bought their gifts, Frozen dolls, £9 each, 

reduced from £27.

Hopefully I will managed at least 15 days when I 

don't spend anything, I'm not counting bills, they all 

come out on 1st of the month.

Saturday 26 December 2015

Seattle, really?

I live in Berkshire in England.

So why are there signs outside two local shops claiming the sell the best coffee in Seattle.

Seattle is 4,762 miles away, if the coffee has travelled that far I'm not convinced it would be any good,

Friday 25 December 2015

Sleep and the lack thereof.

My L&M wanted to buy me a go pro camera for Christmas, I think he wanted to put in in the car!
No bloody chance, he witters and whinges throughout every journey when he is in the car with me. The last thing I need is him recording all the journeys I do alone and then critiquing them afterwards!

My L&M is still having trouble sleeping so is listening to sleep music, he tried  sleeping in headphones but nearly strangled himself. 

So he tried playing the music through his phone, hanging the phone from the bed head. Unfortunately he is so deaf that he needs the music quite loud, put it this way, I can even  hear it in the bathroom when I get up in the night!

In the hopes of getting some peace I bought him a speaker pillow , no good he can't hear the music through the pillow (I can)!

So it's back to hanging the phone from our metal bed head.

Last night the problems were twofold, firstly my L&M was restless so as he tossed and turned the phone was swinging around and every time it hit one of the metal bars it went BONG!

Secondly the new pieces of music our SIL downloaded has bells on it, so every few minutes after a few long drawn out notes the phone plays a very loud 'TING'.

I used to have recordings of some Bach that was very relaxing to listen to, but I cannot remember what it was, I will try to track it down.

My beloved has now decided that the best thing would be some small speakers!!

Oh let joy be unconfined, hopefully if  he get decent speakers the music will be less distorted and easier to listen too.

Wednesday 23 December 2015

You can't have Christmas without a new.......

Well I finally succumbed, I've seen all the adverts telling me that my Christmas won't be a success  unless I refurnish my entire house ready for any passing visitors.

So today as soon as I'd dropped hubby at work I rushed to the local shopping centre to make my purchase.

Actually a friend mentioned that B&M had a lot of cake cases & sprinkles reduced, I get through a lot of both when the DGC visit as they love to bake. I stocked up with four tubs of cake cases, two packed of petit-four cases (ideal for making sweets) and 16 different types of sprinkles.

I also bought a new bath mat, I splashed hair dye on the cream one in the main bathroom & nothing would remove the stain. So I bought a lovely thick fluffy blue one, it cost £6.99. Cheaper than buying new furniture but just as nice.

Monday 21 December 2015

And finally

Some good news, DD has had some money from a PPI claim, hopefully enough to buy a new cooker, the door has fallen off hers, and also to fit double glazing to her house, woo hoo!

Sunday 20 December 2015

The Managment

There are many different management styles, some work better than others.

Two of my four children work, or have worked in positions where they have been in charge of a team of people. They both received regular training to enable them to do their jobs.

When I had my own business I had people working for me.

I remember one of my employees criticising me for making tea for my staff. 
She felt this was beneath me as the boss. 
We worked as an assembly line but as I was constantly called away to deal with phone calls from suppliers and customers I couldn't be part of the assembly line. 
Therefore I made tea and sorted out any problems that arose etc.

We have a couple of teams at work where the management style is of the bullying kind. 
One person is chosen to be the scapegoat and then that person is harried and bullied mercilessly.  
This keeps the rest of the team in check as everyone is scared of being chosen as the next scapegoat.

Then there is the passive/aggressive type of management. I'm constantly in trouble for being bad tempered and negative, so my boss gave me a book entitled 'The little book of sunshine' a book of motivational sayings for people who have difficulty seeing the brighter side of life

Well considering what I am dealing with at the moment, plus one of my DD's has just had an emergency hospital referral, I sometimes think it's a miracle I'm still standing, never mind being sodding cheerful.

Saturday 19 December 2015

An ordinary day

Just an ordinary day here, it started with me netting a corpse out of the fish tank. Then I scrabbled under the TV stand to find the remote control my DGD had lost there.
We have visited the crem to look at plaques, I'm not keen, the garden of remembrance is scruffy and poorly kept. 
I really don't want to have to drive over there every week to keep an area of it tidy.
Hubby saw a plaque he liked, it's £800 his mum would be horrified, I will be talking it over with hubby tomorrow,see if we can find a compromise. 

Mellow Yellow

Lemon zest soaking in vodka to make Limoncello and 2 jars of lemon curd, I made six jars but they proved very popular as Christmas gifts.

Friday 18 December 2015

Co-op meal deal

I often check out the Co-op meal deal though I don't often buy it.
I bought it a few weeks ago when it comprised a chicken pie, chips, carrots, jam rolypoly and ice cream.
The chicken pie did 2 meals each for hubby and I, the jam rolypoly and ice cream made a quick pud for one day when the DGC were visiting.
There are still chips and carrots in the freezer.

The current deal is shown above and comprises a turkey crown, Yorkshire puddings, parsnips, sprouts, roast potatoes, stuffing balls and a viennetta. 

We won't be eating this as our Christmas dinner, apart from the parsnips but all of it will come in useful over the next few weeks.

Thursday 17 December 2015


Neither my beloved or I are sleeping well at present, hardly surprising is it.

I'm managing 5 hours a night and I feel like I need 8 hours, hubby is only sleeping for short periods at a time.

I downloaded some sleep music for him to listen to, it was eight hours to be played continuously, supposed to ensure eight hours of sleep.

Hubby seems to have found it helpful, unfortunately as he is quite deaf he has it playing rather loudly, for the whole eight hours!

I, on the other hand, couldn't sleep through the music playing, neither could I go and sleep in the other room or downstairs as I would normally do.

The loss of his mum has left hubby feeling very insecure and when he wakes during the night he immediately reaches out to check I'm still there, if I'm not there he wakes up in a panic.

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Two more get ups

Sadly lacking in the sleep department at the moment, we had to be up at 5 this morning and we were both still awake at 3 am.

Two more get ups for me, I'm sure I can manage, just about.

Hubby is working until Christmas Eve and then has a 10 days off, he hates Christmas and would rather be working.

I've finished my Christmas shopping, such as it is, I have bought hubby a rose called 'Mum in a Million' I will buy a wooden tub to put it in and am organising a plaque with his Mum's name on it.

Family  problems have reared their ugly head again, FIL is metaphorically cycling round the family, alternately falling out and making up with them again.

We are currently in favour, so we are bearing the brunt of the telephone calls and other communications.

The black sheep BIL is threatening FIL and legal action is being taken over this.

Sunday 13 December 2015

Meal plan

Last week I was only feeding me so I managed with what was in the fridge  and cupboard.

This week hubby will want a meal each evening.

I have chicken thighs and minced beef defrosting in the fridge.

I have leeks, carrots, onions, potatoes and cabbage.

Some of the leeks carrots and onions are sliced and ready to put in the slowcooker with the chicken.

Once cooked some of the chicken will be used with some stir fry veg from the freezer to make chicken chow mein, the rest will be served as chicken casserole with mashed potatoes and cabbage

Some of the veg are chopped finely and in the other slow cooker with the minced beef, a handful of orange lentils and a tin of tomatoes.

This will make a cottage pie and then spag bol, I'm sure there will be enough leftovers to use for some lunches too.

Saturday 12 December 2015

Facebook status

I posted a photo on Facebook yesterday, not something I do very often, but I ended up having DGD Suzy for the afternoon whilst her dad took DGS to football. DGD Eileen was here too as she stayed Friday night.

All the DGC's love my hubby, he is very much their favourite, it's nice as he is their step granddad so there is no blood tie, just love.

Suzy is the only DGC who prefers me and won't go to my L&M, I'm not expecting it to last, I'm sure she will soon warm to him.

I noticed a post on FB posted by an neighbour, she posts the minutiae of her life on FB, mainly about how hard done by she is, on the SW group I belong to. 

She often posts the 'Hit like if you want a cure for cancer' or 'Hit like if you love your daughter' stuff. 

I love all my children and obviously I want a cure for cancer. I don't need social media to acknowledge this.  

So my neighbour had posted 'The one thing you need to know about me is that my kids come first.'

My neighbour is in her 40's and has two children who are 4 & 10.

Knowing her as I do that means:-

First, after whatever bloke she is currently shagging

First, after the bottle of vodka she is currently sinking.

First, after she has had three nights a week out drinking and brawling.

I could go on!

Loving someone especially your children means being there for them, helping them, supporting them. 
Posting crap on social media does not count as love!

Friday 11 December 2015

Christmas insanity comments

Jill, no unfortunately is wasn't said in jest.
Sue, that made me laugh, we are all over 40, three are over 50 and I'm over 60!
Trish, to be fair all the staff that are leaving have been there a few years and there is no pressure to contribute. I will contribute to the collection for one person I know well.
I don't ave any problems saying no, I refuse to join in with most things, I find this helps some people who otherwise would be too nervous to refuse.
And as for the matching red Santa dresses, I have a plain red dress I will wear.

Christmas insanity

It can be an expensive time of the year this Christmas lark. 

We don't go mad, we buy gifts for the grandchildren between £10  and £20 a head. 

We buy extra food so we can feed the family when they visit.

We budget for all this and do it without using plastic or going into overdraft.

But then there is work, 5 people leaving, would I like to contribute £3 towards a leaving gift?

Two Secret Santa's, £5 would I like to join in? Yes to one, no to the other.

It's traditional to contribute to a gift for the line manager, £6.75 this year.

Two Christmas do's, would I like to go? One is £30, the other is £45, plus fares and drinks, no thanks to both.

The end of term buffet, could I please donate some cartons of fruit juice, just a couple of quid.

Lets all dress up on the last day of term, lets all spend £16 in Primarni on matching dresses that we will never wear again.

This comes to about £50 without the Christmas do's.

Simple soup

When you are fed up with festive food and the cupboard is almost bare, try this soup recipe.

1 potato
1 carrot
1 onion

Peel and chop the onion.
Scrub & chop the potato and carrot

Cover with water, add salt and pepper if you want, bring to the boil, simmer until cooked.
Mash it all together or blend with a stick blender.

This is one of my favourite soup recipes, it cost less than £1 for 4 servings.

Thursday 10 December 2015

Getting to grips

With the diet, I finally made it back to Slimming World today, I have put on 3lb, considering what life has been like for the last few weeks I'm very pleased.
I'm back on track and mostly on plan.

With Christmas, I'm not trimming up, I used to, I love all the glitter and sparkle, but my L&M hates it and his constant whinging has worn me down.
I've ordered my fruit and veg from the local farm and my meat from the local butchers.
I have bought most of my Christmas presents, just my L&M left and I know what I'm getting, I just need to get it organised.

With the housework, the house is still tidy, once it was done I've kept on top of it.

With the finances, another lump sum paid off the mortgage this month. Another round of belt tightening next year to see how much extra we can pay off it next year. 

Monday 7 December 2015

No shopping this week.

I have only myself to feed this week for evening meals.
My L&M is on the late shift and doesn't want to eat at 10pm when he gets home.
I don't need to buy anything extra, I have enough food in.

Tonight I'm having homemade leek and potato soup, the leek is from the garden, I have some potatoes in the fridge.
I melt a teaspoon of butter in a pan, add the chopped leek & potato. I use the green of the leek and I don't peel the potato, but you can if you prefer.
Stir the leek and potato over a low heat until coated, then add a pint of water, a sprinkle of mixed herbs, salt and pepper. 
Turn up the heat, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the potato is soft.
I blend mine with a stick blender. There will be enough for lunch tomorrow.

Tomorrow I will have hummus and crackers, 
Mash half a tin of chickpeas add a squeeze of garlic puree, little water and a squeeze of lemon juice, I like a sprinkle of paprika on mine, serve with crackers and shredded lettuce as I still have some in the garden, again, there will be enough left for lunch tomorrow.

Wednesday I'm making casserole.
I have a small carrot, half an onion, a few mushrooms and a few broccoli florets, I'll cook these, add the rest of the chick peas and a squirt of tomato puree and a sprinkle of herbs. I'll serve it with a jacket potato.

Thursday, I'll have scrambled egg on toast.

Friday, I'll see what's left and see what I can make without going shopping.

Sunday 6 December 2015


Our visitors didn't bring their child with them so that has made things a little easier.
Because they were waiting for child care they didn't arrive until very late, so I have had a nana nap today.
The house is still fairly tidy, so apart from the washing I'm having a lazy weekend.
My son was intending to visit but he has a lousy cold so he is staying home and keeping his germs to himself.
I feel very sorry for our visitors, they moved to Cornwall a few months ago at the wife's insistence. Her mother had already moved there last year and so they decided to follow.
So far, it isn't working out it, they are too far from the family to get any regular help with child care.
The job isn't turning out as expected, they live a 10 minutes from the coast but never go there.
They love Cornwall and the people but are missing other things.
Hubby & I are taking another look at our budget ready for the new year, nothing major, just a few tweaks to allow us to pay more of the mortgage each month.

Thursday 3 December 2015

Always look on the bright side of life!

I have had my damaged tyre replaced, the manager remembered who I was without me saying anything and applied my son's discount to the tyre, a saving of £20.

I had the money to pay for the tyre so it has been an inconvenience, not the crisis it was when this sort of thing happened  a few years back when hubby and I were really struggling. 

Having fussy visitors due has concentrated my mind on getting the house tidy (I frequently suffer from CHAOS too Lyssa).

There have been some complaints lately at work about certain problems with my work. I have explained that the causes of the problems are twofold. One problem is caused by poor quality and distortions within original designs, these are then being magnified by the machine lenses. The other problem is caused by staff refusing to follow instructions regarding the use of the machine.

My explanations were ignored, other people were tasked with producing the same work on the same machine but of improved quality. This has not proved possible I am already doing the best I can within the capabilities of the machines.

Today an outside expert was called in, he repeated exactly what I had said. The staff need to use the machines correctly and I need to be provided with better quality designs if an improvement of finished quality is required.

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Well bugger me sideways

There was I bemoaning my lack of get up and go, and what happens?
A phone call, from a friend of hubby's who moved to Cornwall a few months ago.
His mum is in a nursing home and has deteriorated suddenly, the nursing home have asked that he visit as a matter of urgency. 
He, his pregnant wife and toddler are coming up this weekend.
Guess what?
They have nowhere to stay, they cannot afford a hotel room for the 2 nights they need to stay.
So I'm clearing out the spare room, there is a greenhouse in there at the moment.
I instructed hubby to inform them that they are welcome to stay but the place is a tip, if they don't like it they can sleep in their car, they have the choice.
Oh well, it might make me do something in the genre of housework, but it won't be much.
Oh and I won't be feeding them, the wife only eats chips and only drinks coke!

Trouble at the big house!

Not long after we moved here we had a visit from a man, Mike, who worked for the housing association. He was condescending and patronising a...