Friday 30 November 2018

Getting rid

CHS is finally rid of his three day ECG and greatly relieved too, it was getting on his nerves.
He's not been well today, nothing to do with his stroke, an upset stomach.
Hopefully he will feel better tomorrow as he has an eye test, it's already been cancelled once and he is desperate for new specs, he's going to go for reactolite specs this time.

W, definitely no salt or sugar, maybe I need to wash my mouth out with soap.

Thursday 29 November 2018

A day of therapists

Today CHS has been visited by the psychotherapist and the physiotherapist.
He's been given more exercises and activities to do.

Yesterday another boater gave us a leg of lamb and two joints, one of pork and one gammon. He is given a meat hamper every year but only eats beef and turkey. I cooked the gammon today.  The lamb and pork I managed to squeeze into my freezer by being ruthless with some packaging and cooking today's and tomorrow's meals early and putting them in the fridge.

Huge hugs to those who are struggling and have taken the time to post supportive comments on my blog, especially anonymous who's husband has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, it's a cruel disease.

Frugal food 1

There was a post on the MSE forum asking for advice on living on £1 a day for food.
I posted about some of the meals I'd served my family when we were skint.
I hadn't costed them out, they were designed to feed six of us as cheaply as possible.
Tessie suggested I do a blog post about the meals so here it is.

Porridge for breakfast, it's the cheapest option served with a sprinkling of sugar.

I was working full time so didn't have much spare time but every autumn I dug a long trench and threw all the tea bags, peelings and the contents of the guinea pig cages into it. I grew runner beans, shedloads of the buggers. They were the mainstay of our vegetable intake.

I'm not claiming this is a perfectly healthy diet, it's what I did to ensure my kids didn't go hungry when money was in short supply.

I usually prepped a weeks worth of meals on Sunday whilst cooking lunch. I cooked a sponge traybake or a batch of biscuits as well. These did for packed lunches for the kids and instead of puddings.

Everlasting chicken, we ate a lot of chicken because it's cheap.
Roast chicken, one slice of chicken each served with Yorkshire pudding, stuffing balls, roast potatoes and assorted veg usually runner beans, carrots because they are cheap and  frozen broccoli/cauliflower in a cheese sauce because most people will eat veg if it's covered in cheese sauce.

Strip the meat from the chicken, don't forget underneath the chicken too.

Put the carcass, skin and gristle in  pan and cover with water, bring to the boil and then simmer until the last scraps of meat fall off the bone. Strain and leave to cool.

Divide the rest of the cooked chicken into three piles.
Use one of these piles to make a chicken pie by adding any leftovers from Sunday lunch including roast potatoes, veg and stuffing, add some thick gravy and top with pastry.

Use the second pile to make a pasta bake. Make a white sauce, stir in the chicken, add sweetcorn, cooked mushrooms,  a chopped up slice of ham, cooked broccoli or leeks. You don't need all of these just what you have. Cook the pasta, drain and stir in the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with a mixture of grated cheese and breadcrumbs. 

The last pile of chicken can be made into special fried rice by adding it to cooked rice. Soften a sliced onion in a tsp of oil, add cooked rice, any other veg chopped small, the chicken, just scraps will do, seasoning of your choice, shove the mix to one side of the pan, crack an egg into the space, beat it as it cooks, break it up and stir it into the rice mix.

Stoup, half way between soup and stew. Using the chicken stock add a large sliced onion, potato and carrot plus any other veg that is looking sad. Add a large handful of red lentils and one of pearl barley. If there was any breakfast porridge left in  the and pan that went into the stoup as well. Add seasonings to your taste. Bring to the boil and then simmer until cooked, I used a pressure cooker so it didn't take long. Sometimes I made home made bread to go with this but white sliced is fine too. If you prefer a smooth soup use a stick blender. We ate ours lumpy.

If you are wondering why money was in short supply with two of us working, well it wasn't but I was only allowed £10 a week housekeeping as this was what my 

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Put up and shut up.

That's what I need to do. Thank you for all your comments. There are many people a lot worse off than me.

 I'm even more grumpy than usual at the moment, the days are dismal and we are crammed in between two boats that block the natural light.

CHS isn't well today, reaction to the nightmare hospital trip I think.

I promised in my wedding vows to give CHS my strength when his failed and I will honour that vow along with all the others.

Tuesday 27 November 2018

What's the answer

The problem with having no life in real life is that it is tempting to spend too much time on line. I need to limit myself.
My birthday meal out was buggered up by the restaurant being overrun by small boys and I can't reschedule as I was only able to go because CHS had a visitor.
I'm sometimes at a loss to know what to do with myself. 
Lucy at Attic24 is releasing another crochet along starting in January, I may see if I have enough yarn to follow her.

I know things will get easier in time, though the discharge team have now decided that CHS is not to be left alone until the end of January.

He is still having visits and appointments with assorted therapists, two or three a week.

CHS fortunately has a couple of people he can chat to on the marina, he also tires easily. Two ten minute walks a day and a ten minute chat is all he needs to stop him going stir crazy.

We collect one of the dgd's from nursery once a week and take her for lunch and we shop once a week.

We don't go out at the weekends as everywhere is crowded and he cannot cope with crowds.

We went to a local retail outlet for coffee once but the fire alarm went off so he won't go back now. Mind you at £10 for two coffees it's not something we would do regularly.

I had planned to attend a local crafternoon but I had to withdraw. I was looking forward to some conversations about something other that boat porn.

It's time I stopped whingeing isn't it!

Proper cracker knackered

Phew what an afternoon.
We left the boat just after 1 o'clock as CHS had a hospital appointment to have a three day ECG tape fitted.
It was pissing with rain and there was nowhere to park, so I dropped CHS of at the drop off point.
I drove round and round trying to find a parking space to no avail.
CHS was phoning me because he was having an anxiety attack and can't remember where he is supposed to be.
We checked the hospital map before we left home but despite the map showing him he needed to head towards the eye clinic he'd gone via the hearing unit and got totally lost.
I drove through the hospital grounds until I found him and set him on the correct path. I still hadn't found a parking space by the time he was ready to be collected.
He found his way back to the hearing unit and I picked him up.
He was quite distressed but calmed down after a while.
By the time we got home it was pitch black and still pissing with rain.

I'm cooking spaghetti Bolognese for tea with garlic bread, then it's back to the knitting.

Monday 26 November 2018

What a lovely evening

I'm sat in front of my stove, it's cold outside but the boat is toasty warm.

I'm watching Miracle on 34th Street on TV, one of the few Christmas films I like.

My neck light is working really well and I'm knitting my shrug.

What more could anyone want.

Sunday 25 November 2018

New stuff

The Swedish fid I ordered for CHS to help him splice rope has arrived, it's bigger than he expected but hopefully it will work ok.

My neck light has also arrived, it makes knitting and crochet so much easier.

It makes CHS laugh as it illuminates my nipples as it lines up with them perfectly.

Never again

I went out last night with my children for a belated birthday celebration.

We went to a small local Italian restaurant, we didn't stop.

Unfortunately the local under 11's football team had booked at the same time. Three long tables, two containing the small boys and one containing the parents. The noise was indescribable, the boys running riot and being ignored by their parents. 

We were the only table not occupied by the footballers. 

After 10 minutes we left, there was no pleasure in being pushed, shoved or deafened.

Saturday 24 November 2018

The wrong coal

As we can't get out on to the cut we cannot buy our coal from the fuel boat.
He is not allowed in the marina.
So we are stuck having to buy our coal from the marina, it's £15  bag instead of £11 and it doesn't burn well.
Still needs must, without it we'd freeze.
As soon as we are able we will move out for a couple of days to somewhere that the fuel boat can get to.

Friday 23 November 2018

Black Friday spending spree

I ordered some gloves from Amazon a couple of weeks ago, this morning I checked up to see when they were due to arrive.
I'd have been waiting along time as they were saved for later.
I moved them to the basket and had a  browse, I've seen people recommending neck lights and they look like a good idea. I struggle see to knit or crochet now the evenings are drawing in. When the weather is  bad there is no TV signal, I usually only watch an hour a day but even that is denied me if it is raining or snowy. I found a neck light on special offer, £6.50 so I added it to the basket and ordered both items.
That's my Black Friday splurge sorted.

Thursday 22 November 2018


As in keep it simple stupid.

If there is one thing CHS loves it's a good panic.

One day last week he turned the light on in the living room and nothing happened.
I went to walk past him to the electric control panel by the door in to the boat.
The panel has two rows of switches that need to be in the on position for things to work.
He insisted I sat in a chair until he had isolated the fault.
He rushed up and down the boat, flicking switches, peering at dials and checking the solar info. Eventually he decided the only thing to do was to crowbar the ceiling down.
Whilst he was hunting for the crowbar I went to the control panel and flicked the switches into the on position. The light came on.
Unfortunately because of the position of the control panel anyone coming down the steps into the boat wearing a big coat or with a fat arse is likely to knock the switches inadvertently and that is what had happened.

This morning the water was spluttering as it came out the taps and the water pump kept trying to run.
I tried to explain that as I've been unwell for a couple of weeks now the toilet was being flushed a lot more, I was washing my hands more and I'd done some extra loads of washing.
Brushing my explanation aside and after lifting various hatches, he phoned the local boating engineer who suggested filling the water tank would be the first thing to try.
We did, problem solved.
Because he is usually at work these are the sort of things I deal with regularly, he has been unaware of these minor problems and assumes everything is a crisis.

Wednesday 21 November 2018


CHS and went out for a meal yesterday, he was determined to take me out as it was my birthday.

It's the first time since his stroke that we have been out in the evening.

He's managing the supermarket now, we go to a small supermarket that runs purple Tuesday's so the shop is quieter. 

He does tend to stop dead every so often, oblivious to the people behind him and I have to steer him to one side.

We've been out for coffee and also to a small local church run cafe.

But yesterday we went to a pub, I booked an early table and we only had one course. He managed fairly well but was a bit unsteady when we left. No he wasn't drunk, he had orange juice and lemonade.

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Shopping day

Today we shopped, CHS pushes the trolley, I trail along behind.
I couldn't get any lettuce so I will look for one tomorrow when we go to DD1.
Apple's are a problem, we have yet to find a type that he likes, I'm struggling to keep up with all the leftovers after he has eaten one and decided he doesn't like them. Last week I took a dozen over to DD's and there are still six waiting to be eaten.

As usual I drove too fast (anything approaching 10 mph is too fast) and I went round far too many roundabouts.

A week Monday he wants me to drive him to Derby.
I apologise in advance to anyone in a 50 mile radius of Derbyshire. I'll be the person in a blue Nissan doing 10 mph on the motorway!

Monday 19 November 2018

Chilly day

It's chilly here today so I've topped the stove right up.
We've walked around the marina once already, the occupational therapist is due at one, she will walk him round the marina and get him to practise moving the gangplank.  I will walk him around again after she has gone.
Apart from that I will change the bedding, read my book and do some knitting.
Salmon and new potatoes tonight.
My days are as boring as my blog!

Sunday 18 November 2018

Stretching a chicken breast

I defrosted a chicken breast for lunch today and was then asked to feed four instead of two of us.

I have a sausage that I skinned and moulded into balls, I've made a batch of stuffing and have Yorkshire pudding batter sitting in the fridge.

By the time I've done mashed and roast potatoes, cabbage, sprouts, carrots and peas  I'm sure no one will notice how meager the chicken is. 

I will make a traybake to fill up any corners.

Saturday 17 November 2018

A peaceful day today

Kate, CHS is only expected to walk around the marina and step over so couple of low fences and he's happy to do that. Following the diet he is less keen on! He was a grumpy bugger before his stroke, he is ten times worse now.

It's been peaceful today CHS has taken his blood pressure repeatedly with both the monitor provided by the ESD team and my monitor. He has wittered on all day about the discrepancy between them, I have refused to be drawn into a discussion about it, he then decided that he cannot get the sleeve on his arm unaided, so I've been fitting it for him.

I managed to cut his hair for him so he is looking tidier now.

I have spent most of the day knitting, doing housework and walking around the marina with CHS as he is not allowed to walk alone. I'm now watching repeats of Midsomer Murders and continuing with my knitting. I also have a new book on my kindle by Ben Aaronovitch Lies Sleeping.

Friday 16 November 2018

Still here

We are still plodding on. 
The changes in diet are happening some more willingly than others.
I'm aiming for 80/20 and will be happy with that.
I seem to have a permanently dodgy tummy. It's stress related and should improve as things get easier.
We are still receiving visits from and hospital appointments with the Early Supported Discharge Team.
Unfortunately because we live on a boat they are not happy for CHS to be left alone at any time, so wither I goest, so goeth he!

Wednesday 7 November 2018

It's going to be hard

Whilst I'm sure the nurse does know her stuff, trying to persuade CHS to eat no salt, no sugar, no fat, oily fish and small occasional portions of lean meat with lots of veg is going to be like pushing water up hill.

He dislikes oily fish and most veg and hates unsalted food, I'm going to be extremely unpopular!

Yesterday I  cooked a very tasteless chicken fricassee, tonight it will be spaghetti Bolognese.

This morning it's porridge made with water, no salt or sugar, wallpaper paste anyone?

Tuesday 6 November 2018

Oh the Irony

Today the nurse came to explain the healthy eating regime for those who have had a stroke, basically if CHS likes it he cannot have it!

The nurse is so overweight she struggled to fit in to the seats on the boat!!

Monday 5 November 2018

Rinse and repeat

Still lots of therapists visiting, also some of CHS'S friends and family have visited.

I'm pushing for psychotherapy as well as I know depression will hit him soon, we are also a few days from the anniversary of his mother's death.

One benefit of moving on to the boat was that it stopped contact with his stepfather, who does nothing but try to pit one brother against the other.

I spent a couple of days dealing with a flare up of my diverticulitis but I thinks it's fading now.

I'm knitting a shrug, it's called the Celtic Knot shrug by The Wool Shop Leeds. It's a fairly straightforward pattern but I'm not much of a knitter. Most of it is supposed to be moss stitch but I keep losing count so bits of my version are in rib. I'm using a navy and purple yarn so the mistakes don't show much and anyway I don't care, it's giving something to do.

Friday 2 November 2018

How bloody much

I spent £86 on parking whilst visiting CHS in hospital!

Fortunately although I ate in the hospital cafeteria or bought something from the M&S foodhall in the hospital every day I never spent more than £4 a day so only £28 in total.

If I'd had to use public transport it would have been cheaper but added a couple of hours a day to the journey time.

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...