Thursday 30 November 2017

How much!!

I treated CHS to a pork chop for his tea last night, it's his favourite meal. He has worked so many different shifts this week to cover for a colleague going to a funeral and another one going for an interview. Then to add insult to injury an email was sent to say all overtime must be approved in advance as the bill was too high. The staff member who has to approve the overtime is the person who is supposed to cover any absence in their team but refuses to do so!

CHS is justifiably pissed off, hence the treat of the pork chop, mind you I nearly changed my mind when the butcher told me it was £3.36, for one chop!

And I'm trying to reduce the food bill at the moment.

We're having porridge for breakfast made with 50/50 milk and water, CHS is having soup or leftovers or jacket potato for his lunch, I'm having tinned tomatoes or egg on toast.

Tuesday we had liver and bacon, I used half the liver, a rasher of bacon, half an onion and 3 mushrooms, I started it off at lunch time on the hob then added some water and an Oxo cube and brought it to the boil. Then I moved it onto the Morso stove and left it to simmer  for the rest of the day, it was thick and delicious by the time we ate at around 6o'clock.

I've just checked the till receipt to see how much the liver cost but it's not showing, it must not have registered when it was scanned. I went to a manned till, not a self serve so it wasn't done on purpose, hey ho, free food, even better.

Tuesday 28 November 2017

It's not just about the money.

I know 2 couples who are both, like CHS and I on lowish salaries.

Ok not extremely low but living in the expensive Thames Valley, low enough to make things a bit tight finanacially.

One couple have numerous store and credit cards, all maxed out to the limit.
The wife refuses to eat food from anywhere but M&S despite working for another food store and receiving a discount on her purchases.

The other couple, have a Tesco credit card that is paid off in full every month, they shop at Aldi & Lidl.

One couple have borrowed £750 from his parents to help them pay for Christmas, this isn't going to go far as the wife has seen a piece of jewellery she must have for Christmas that costs £500. The husband needs a new pc that costs considerably more.

The other couple have bought and paid for next years holiday as their gift to each other.

Neither couple have children or grandchildren to buy for.

Both couples play the lottery regularly, one couple believe that winning the lottery will solve all their problems.

I beg to differ, no amount of money will solve their problems as they will always spend to the max on  everything.

I'm stumped

I'm stumped, hubby has a watch he no longer wears, it was a gift from an ex girlfriend many years ago. It's not his sort of watch, it's very garish and flashy, very blingy.
So he decided to sell it, it would add a few pennies to the coffers or so we thought, but no.

We cannot list it on eBay or Facebook because it seems it is a fake, well we knew that and wanted to list it as such but neither site will accept it.

I tried the local pawn shop and cash converters all with no joy, I could take it to a local charity shop but then they might get into trouble, maybe it would be safer just to bin it!

Sunday 26 November 2017


When my children were younger I used to make a big thing of Christmas, I always put all the trimmings up on the first weekend in December.
We were always the first with our decorations up.
Now everyone seems to be putting their Christmas decoration up already and it's still November.

Friday 24 November 2017

Busy week

I have a busy week next week.
Captain Hot Stuff is working 3 different shifts throughout the week.
Monday I'm cleaning a boat, Tuesday I'm babysitting.
Wednesday, babysitting again but different grandchildren.
Thursday I'm cleaning a boat and Friday I'm cleaning another boat.

This is all to be fitted in around sewing, cleaning, cooking and ferrying CHS to and from work.

This is the day

This is it, the day has finally arrived.
I've been planning for this day since last year.
I've scrimped and saved, browsed all the adverts and offers on line.
I'm sure I can save an absolute fortune, after all it is BLACK FRIDAY.
So I've written my list and I'll hit the shops as soon as I've dropped CHS at work.

Well here it is the list of items I purchased today.

1 dozen eggs
A loaf of bread.

I've saved a lot of money by not getting carried away by all the hype and not buying anything unnecessary.

Thursday 23 November 2017

Next week's meals

I haven't cooked any evening meals this week, Captain Hot Stuff has been at work until 9 or 10 and doesn't want to eat when he gets home.

Next week he's finishing earlier so I will be cooking.

The meal plan is, roast chicken on Sunday, smoked haddock with poached egg, beef casserole, liver and bacon, cottage pie, fish and chips. This is probably not the order they will be eaten in apart from Sunday, we will decide each day what we want to eat.

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Layering up

It's not cold living on the boat but I'm not one for wandering around in skimpy clothes and then having the heating roaring out.

I layer up when the weather turns cold.

Captain Hot Stuff asked me yesterday what I was wearing, the answer was two pairs of leggings, a vest, a tee shirt and an over top.

He said that the temperature would be dropping to three degrees at the weekend, I replied that I'd add an extra layer and wear four tops then.

We then had a chuckle when we realised that we had both used the names of 70's pop groups in our conversation.

Monday 20 November 2017

Lazy slob

I've just spent over 12 hours in bed, I went to bed before 8 last night and got up just after 8 this morning.

I babysat on Thursday night for DD2, she got home by 10:30 and it took me 15 minutes to drive home. Unfortunately the Muppet who locked the marina gates made such a mess of it with the chains almost plaited together that there wasn't room to to get the key in padlock!
It took me 45 minutes to unlock the damn thing.

So it was gone midnight by the time I got to bed and I'd been up since 4:30.

Saturday night I met up with my two sons and their partners, we went for an Indian meal and had a great time.

This time the gate wasn't even closed never mind locked so I did it myself once I was on the marina.

Saturday 18 November 2017

Ch ch changes

My beloveds shifts are a complete mystery to me, I know the theory behind them. There are four members of staff, three of them work a three shift system of Earlies, Days & Lates, with the person on the day shift working on Saturday and not working on the Monday that week. The 4th member has different duties and is supposed to provide holiday and illness cover for the other three.

All this is complicated by the times for the late shift changing throughout the week, the finish time varies from 8pm to 10pm depending on outside booking and inschool events, the start time obviously varies to accommodate the finishing times.

Further problems arise as there are certain weekly duties that need all three of the team to attend. For example the weekly fire alarm test, this requires 2 people to be in each of three places so requires 6 people!

There are always moans from those higher up the food chain about the amount of overtime paid to the premises team and announcement made that 'steps will be taken to reduce the overtime bill'.

The latest idea is they should work until midnight and therefore start later, as you can imagine that idea in extremely unpopular.

Thursday 16 November 2017

Oh the joys of a peaceful retirement

I was awake at 4:30 so I wrote some emails regarding the engine on our boat. It's a Volkswagen so we have trouble tracking down parts for it.
I got out of bed at 5, made porridge and a cuppa for both of us,  made a lunch up for hubby and then took him to work for 6:30.

I put fuel in the car and bought some breakfast stuff for dgd who is staying tomorrow night.

I got back to the boat by 7:30, emptied the ash pan, set the washing machine going, topped up the fire and then filled the coal bucket.

I then went and cleaned a boat on a nearby jetty, including the windows inside and out.

I came home had a cuppa and set off to pay the fees for a club I've joined, that took a couple of hours including driving time.

The I answered more emails and then did another boat clean, I finished the 2nd boat clean by 2:15, by then it was time to collect my beloved from work.

Got back to the boat at 3:30 only to find 3 bonfires burning with smoke and ash blowing everywhere, the freshly washed windows are now filthy and I'll have to clean them again tomorrow.

There is a meat pie made by my lovely son in law cooking, mash and peas will be served with it, as soon as we've eaten and cleared away I shall set off to DD2's to babysit!!

Wednesday 15 November 2017


Since the multi fuel stove is lit 24/7 it would be a waste to just to use it for heating.
I have a cast iron casserole and have recently bought a ridge monkey.
I'm basing the bulk of our meals around using these.
At the weekend I did a pot roast, a piece of brisket. 
Yesterday I did chicken in a piripiri sauce with rice, both cooked on the stove.
Today it was spaghetti bolognese, I cooked the pasta on the hob, the bolognese sauce on the stove and the garlic bread in the ridge monkey.

Monday 13 November 2017

I'm bunged up

I'm suffering from stitchers block, I typed sewers block to start with but then realised that might be misconstrued.
I'm trying to make bungs to block the port holes but I'm struggling a bit, I will persevere after I've written this post.

We went to a quiz night on Friday at school, I like quiz nights but got fed up with the ones in the pub when everybody was googling the answers.

We came 8th, that wasn't too bad, we would have done better with fewer team members as one got very drunk and another was adamant that A Tale of Two Cities was written by Shakespeare.

Saturday 11 November 2017

Families, who'd have em!

It's the anniversary of my mother-in-law's death.

Without her restraining influence FIL has hit the bottle, big time and he isn't a pleasant drunk, he is lecherous, obnoxious, paranoid and argumentative, an all round arsehole.

BIL2 phoned last night, he was also drunk as usual.

BIL3 phoned, sober as always he and hubby had a nice chat, winged about the drunks, reminisced about good times with their mum.

Roll on December!

Wednesday 8 November 2017

Side hustles

Still worrying about money and wondering what else I can do to make some extra pennies.

My crochet skills are improving so I'm wondering about trying to sell some of the blankets I make.

Though where to sell them is also a problem, Etsy is huge, so many people already selling on there.
I may try Facebay, there is nothing to lose is there.

I do a few surveys but I'm the wrong age/gender for most of them so I've earned about 20p in the last 6 months.

I still follow MFin3 and I'm glad to see her posting regularly again, maybe there will be some suggestions there.

Also a lot of the things I used to do to save money such as stocking up on reduced food and batch cooking for the month ahead are no longer viable in such a small space.

I have my sewing machine out and today I made a door curtain and some draught excluder snakes to help keep the boat warm.

Captain Hot Stuff's shifts are all over the place at the moment, he's covering for a colleague who isn't well.
I'm losing track and have to ask him as we are going to bed 'What time are you starting tomorrow' I know he is on the late shift, but the times are different each day.

Monday 6 November 2017

I don't wanna talk about it

Captain Hot Stuff doesn't snore whereas I snore like a watchdog, nor does he thrash around awake or asleep.

What he does do however is talk, in fact he has a tendency to ask questions and if I get the answer wrong he wakes up with a start.

When he was roofing he would ask how many tile bundles were needed, I soon learned that the best answer was either 7 or 9. These being the most likely amount needed for the size project he worked on after his accident

Before his accident he did industrial roofing, but I didn't know him then.

When he was doing building work the questions were more varied but I could usually provide an appropriate answer.

A few days ago he announced at 3am that I should be getting a tax rebate and wanted to know if I was going to apply for it. I agreed that I would and he slept on peacefully.

The other thing he does in his sleep is attempt to play Hide the Sausage. I know he is asleep because his approach is different when he's awake.

The only problem with this is that if he does find somewhere to hide it he immediately wakes up, apologises, turns over and goes back to sleep!

Just finished, just started.

I have just finished this book and this blanket

I have just started this book and this blanket.

My tiny fridge freezer

 It's amazing just how much I can fit in it.

Friday 3 November 2017

Helping out

Wednesday and Thursday we helped out DD2, she was offered two extra days work but needed childcare to manage it. We had 3yo dgd both days and collected the other 2 from school.

This morning it was DD1's turn, she needed a lift to the vets as her hubby had their car.

We decided to go away for the weekend as CHS has until Monday off, there is of course no need to pack when we go away, we simply sail away.

We came across the local fuel boat on our travels so we stocked up on coal and diesel, it much cheaper than buying from the local marinas.

It's now 6:30, we've just eaten a casserole that I cooked on top of our squirrel stove and the boat is toasty warm.

I shall crochet for a few hours and then go to bed and read, I'm reading Murder on the Oxford Canal by Faith Martin.

I'm hoping by next week to start adding more photos to my blog, I'm currently using my kindle fire and it won't let me load pics.

I should be back on my laptop next week and then I will be able to add pics.

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...