Thursday, 31 December 2020

Happy New Year

I won't stay up to see the New Year in, I never do.


I don't make New Years resolutions either.


Let's hope next year is a better year.

Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Wittering on

 I've had two mother's in law, one did her utmost to cause trouble, even to the extent of claiming my first born was not her son's baby. DS1 is the spitting image of his dad but you can imagine the problems her comment caused. My other mother in law was lovely. I've always tried to be a good mother in law, offered help but not interfered.


I'm at a loss with the tier four rules but since I leave the boat only to walk the dog a few times a day and to drive Steve to the shop, weekly, I don't think I'm breaking any rules. I actually don't care, I'll just carry on as I am. I've walked with DD2 and her dog, I've not seen DD1 since before Christmas, and then it was just to collect parcels and drop off gifts on the doorstep. I shall continue this way what ever tier we are in.


We had a pump out this morning, it was cold but not raining and we thought it best to get it done before the marina freezes over.

The water pipes on the marina are frozen but fortunately we have a full tank, we will keep an eye on the situation and top up when the pipes thaw.


Steve has complained that we eat too much chicken, he'd like more variety, I suggested that as he does the shopping he buys something different!


Monday, 28 December 2020

A Christmas past

 I've just been for a legal, socially distanced dog walk with with DD2, Beano and Loulou both had a great time and both got covered in mud.


DD2 and I were reminiscing about Christmas when she was a child. The one she remembers really well is the one where I was working until gone midnight Christmas eve. I was getting a cabling order ready for our installers to fit during the Christmas shutdown and was working 18 hours days.

The installers collected the order just after midnight, I then started to prepare food and wrap gifts. The mother in law was staying as she was a widow, she wouldn't stay with her other son as they were JW and  always had egg and chips on Christmas day.

The other in-laws were due on Boxing day, personally I think sis in law used her religion as an excuse to be lazy as she always put loads of Christmas decorations up and gave gifts. I had cooked turkey, ham, beef and pork, loads of different veg, roast potatoes, pigs in blankets and yorkies I'd made lemon meringue pie and trifle. I'd also made three dozen mince pies. I was working from Boxing day onwards so I'd made loads of food so everyone could help themselves over the next couple of days.

Christmas day started early with the children opening their presents, I'd bought my husband a gift voucher for a flying lesson, he complained that one lesson was pointless, he bought me a box of Dairy Box chocolates. The mother in law complained endlessly because I hadn't made a Christmas cake, I never made one as no one liked it.

I served Christmas lunch from my hot trolley and placed the trifle and lemon meringue pie on the dresser beside the table. 

By now I was feeling sick with exhaustion having not slept at all the night before and from working long hours for the previous week.

We took our seats at the table when the mother in law spotted the trifle and lemon meringue pie. She immediately launched into a complaint about the lack of Christmas pudding. Something else I didn't make as no one liked it.

I stood up, walked to the kitchen, slammed a tinned Christmas pudding down in front of her, I'd bought it specially for her, I turned and went to bed and left everyone to it. 

Sunday, 27 December 2020

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Christmas eve

Beano is asleep as we walked five miles this morning.

Steve has taken out his hearing aids out and is watching YouTube at full volume.

I was sewing but my eyes are sore so I've swapped to crochet, I can crochet without looking.

We have no decorations up, no lights twinkling and no gifts to unwrap, Steve hates Christmas with a passion so we tend to ignore it apart from the food.

I've cooked a very small turkey crown and we will have pigs in blankets, cauliflower cheese and roast potatoes tomorrow.

We have three Christmas cards up, one was sent to my DD's address and has teeth marks in it, Albie, DD's dog obviously got to the post first, which makes me smile.

The temperature has dropped and it's very cold out but it's warm enough on the boat.

I hope everyone has a lovely day tomorrow and let's hope 2021 is a better year for everyone.

Making something from nothing.

Over the last year I have received items prettily packaged in coloured tissue paper and chiffon bags. I've saved all these and used them to make the granddaughters Christmas gifts look more expensive than they actually were.

I bought some pretty hair slides with unicorns on and some with shiny frills  and pastel pompous on.
I kept the little toiletries from when we stayed in an apartment whilst having the boat blacked.
I made a few small crochet items and some felt decorations.
I saved some bangles from the bag of broken jewellery I bought from the charity shop.

Each item was wrapped in pink, lilac and peach tissue paper and then in a aww chiffon bag. Each bag had a small sweet in it as well.

I hope the girls enjoy opening their gifts.

Each child was also given some cash but I thought some little gifts would be enjoyed too.

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Bubble bubble toil and trouble.

Yes I know it's a misquote.


DD1's 16 year old was sent home at the beginning of last week along with 49 other students as one member of the bubble had a positive covid test.


DD2's six year old was sent home earlier the same week along with 49 other children as a member of her bubble had a positive covid test.


Christmas presents have been left on their doorsteps, hugs and kisses mimed through the windows.


Roll on the vaccine!

Monday, 21 December 2020

We disagree

 Steve and I disagree.

About the vaccine.

About Margaret Thatcher.

About Princess Diana.

About the information in the newspapers.

About the BBC.

About me wearing an armful of thin bangles.

About fresh food versus tins/packets.

About home cooked food versus ready meals.

Sunday, 20 December 2020

Weekend

Beano was given a shower yesterday and sulked for the rest of the day, he is less itchy and more comfortable now.


We've had emails from the marina and notifications from CRT regarding the rules for tier four, most of these we will ignore because they don't apply to us. I don't mean we will break the rules but instructions on how far we can move, and using canalside facilities don't apply as we are not moving.


We've had a lot more rain, parts of the canal are red boarded so no movement is allowed. Or if you do decide to move, your insurance is invalid.


Another day here of nothing but housework and dog walks. Roast lamb will be cooked, Steve bought a leg, I may try to bone it as it makes it easier to carve. Once it's cooked and carved I shall freeze some, a leg is far too big for our needs


Saturday, 19 December 2020

Tier 4

We are in tier 4,  the marina is closed, no visitors allowed, the shop will be open for coal and other essentials and they will still do pump outs.

It won't make much difference to us we were planning on Christmas on the boat with just the two of us.

We still need collect a prescription and buy the milk, bread and vegetables to see us over the Christmas period.

I need to phone the Drs to arrange Steve's next sick note, I'm not sure how I'll cope if life gets any more exciting!

Some good news

DD2 was working in a school for children who have been excluded from main stream school and she loved it, unfortunately they were absorbed into an academy and her job no longer existed. She was tuped into a mainstream school but it wasn't what she wanted. She needed the job so got on with it but didn't enjoy her work. She's been keeping her eye on Green Sheets and applied for two jobs working with the sort of kids she loves. One job was only a six month contract the other was a permanent contract, she was offered both jobs but chose the one that is a permanent contract so she has some security.

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Comments

 Just a couple of quick replies.

I've never received a flu jab invite but Steve has, when I enquired I was told I'd be informed when I was due but never heard anything.

I'm expecting to have to chase the surgery to get the covid vaccine.


I don't want to use wire on the decorations as they are for the grandchildren and I'd worry about them picking their fingers.

In out, in out

We are doing the covid hokey cokey here, we are in tier three.

It won't make a lot of difference to us, we shop once every week to ten days, we eat out occasionally, I'm finding it hard not seeing the grandchildren or anyone else.

I had a brief word with DD1 when I collected some parcels today, I'll see her next week again just for a few moments when I drop off the Christmas presents.

Steve won't have the vaccine when it's available as his mum had the flu  vaccine every year and it made her ill!

I'll have it as soon as I can, I've never had the flu jab as I haven't had flu since I was about 16. 




Tuesday, 15 December 2020

What next

 I want to make some felt tree decorations, I have felt, embroidery thread and a box of beads from broken jewellery.


Unfortunately I cannot see to thread the needles, a couple of months ago I could still see to do this. But now even with my daylight bulb and magnifier I couldn't manage it.


The decorations are now on hold until the needle threaded I have ordered arrives. 


So it's back to crochet shawls, I've photographed all my yarn, I just need to choose the colour scheme.


There is a distinct lack of some colours so I treated myself to some more yarn!





I may use the oddments  below, along with a ball of Parchment which is a very pale beigey grey.



Monday, 14 December 2020

Master criminal at work

 Either there is a new scam going around or I'm in deep trouble.


I answered the phone yesterday to hear a recorded message from the Financial Crimes dept Bank of England. The message informed me that there was a warrant out for my arrest and to press 1 to speak to an advisor. I was warned that if I didn't press 1 and stay on the line the police would arrive as they waiting outside my house. Anyone spot the problem with this?


Yeah, I don't live in a house!


I don't think I've ever had enough money to have committed a financial crime.

I have a new man in my life!

 Living with Steve isn't easy and my new man cheers me up and makes my life a little easier.


He always has a smile on his face, Beano isn't keen on him as we always see the man when he's working, he has a noisy job and Beano isn't keen on noise. Beano also prefers women to men. It's taken some time for Steve and Beano to develop an affectionate relationship.


I can only spend a short time with my new man every few days.


We have joked that he could hide in a cupboard on the boat and have even had a practice run.


Here is a photo of my new man hiding in the cupboard.




Henry is 650w so I can use him as long as the immersion heater and washing machine are turned off.


Chris, no the shawl isn't for anyone in particular.

Sunday, 13 December 2020

Shawl number 2

 I've finished the second shawl, I was playing yarn chicken on the last green row!





Saturday, 12 December 2020

Not all at once

The immersion heater heats the water.

Carruthers, our system doesn't work that way.

We run a fridge freezer so when calculating what we can use on the boat this has to be taken into consideration.

If I'm buying something it must be under a kilowatt.

A quick wander around any electrical store will soon show you that many kettles, toasters and hair dryers are out of this range along with many other appliances.

I could run a slow cooker but there is no point as anything that needs long slow cooking sits on top of the fire.

We don't have an electric kettle, toaster or iron, my only kitchen appliance is a stick blender.

If I'm heating water for a shower or washing up I can't run the vacuum. If the washing machine is on I can't have a heater running. I can run one thing at a time, not all at once.

Tuesday, 8 December 2020

I've got another one ready

Steve mentioned today that the notebook we use to our shopping lists was nearly out of pages. I told him I'd got another one ready to use. He's considering having "I've got another one ready" engraved on my grave stone. I rarely run out of anything as I always stuff as backup.

Shopping yesterday and more crochet, nothing else of interest.

Today Beano and I walked just over three miles, I managed to collect some ivy that CRT  had cut back and a few snippets of holly. When we got back I took some twigs that were destined for the bonfire and I've made to pentagrams, I'll post a pic once they have the greenery attached.

We had a disturbed night last night, one of smoke alarms started to chirp as the battery was running low. I couldn't work out which alarm it was, we have far too many on the boat, even my son who is a firefighter says so. I had to wake Steve in the end to track down the culprit and replace the battery. It then took me ages to get back to sleep.

I have a few pairs of fingerless gloves but I can't knit or crochet with them on, Keth, the turtle dove ones are lovely.

Being plugged into the electric on the marina isn't like being connected to the mains in a house, what we run has to be juggled as there is only 16 amps to each boat. If we have a heater running we can't have the immersion on, I can't run the vacuum and the washing machine at the same time.

Sunday, 6 December 2020

By 'eck its cold

The temperature hasn't risen above 1 degree all day. Beano's walks have been very short, that's Beano's choice, not mine.

I'm wearing Motown clothes, Four Tops, I'm also wearing thermal long johns, short socks and welly socks.

I cooked Steve a full English for breakfast and roast chicken this evening, it warms the boat up when the oven is on. We have had the stove on too, the kettle sits on the stove so it boils quickly for hot drinks.

Shawl number two is being crocheted thought sometimes my hands are too cold to grasp the hook.  My hooks are either bamboo or have plastic handles so are warmer to hold than metal ones. 
Shawl number one has gone to a new home, this one is done using fewer colours so there wont be so many ends to weave in.



Friday, 4 December 2020

Flowers


 Today was the funeral of a much loved member of the marina staff.

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Visitors

 My son came and his gf visited today, he came to collect the apple crumbles I made for him weeks ago, I now have more room in my freezer. I gave him a couple of cartons of custard too. Beano loves my son and as soon as he sat down Beano climbed into his knee.

It wasn't as cold today so Beano didn't need to be under the blanket. He could sleep on the rug in front of the above but he craves human contact at all times.




Beano knows how to keep warm!

 Being a mainly Jack Russel dog Beano should be tough and energetic.

But yesterday it didn't get above 1 degree here all day.

I managed to persuade Beano to get off the boat briefly a couple of times but he turned for home as soon as he'd performed his ablutions.

This is how he spent the bulk of the day.



Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Cheap and cheerful

One of my favourite meals when it's really cold and dismal outside is bacon and potato hotpot. I originally got the recipe from The Pauper's Cookbook by Jocasta Innes. I no longer have the book but I can make the dish from memory.

I don't weigh or measure anything I just cook by eye, the finished dish looks awful but tastes delicious.

Today I used two and a half rashers of bacon, you can use gammon or even leftover ham from a joint.

Cut up the bacon and put it on the hob in a cast iron pan, cook gently until the fat runs, add thinly sliced onion and potato and stir until everything is coated in the fat. Cook gently until the onion is softened.

Sprinkle some flour over the mix then add milk to make a thin white sauce. This needs long slow cooking so I put it on the multifuel stove where it sits all day.

I think the original recipe suggests cooking in the oven with the lid off for the last half hour but I don't bother. I serve this with baked beans for Steve and boiled cabbage for me.


Steve thinks it would be improved by adding mushrooms but then Steve probably thinks ice cream would b improved by mushrooms!

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

New home

The shawl is on its way to a new home, or it will be tomorrow when I get to the post office.

It is on its way to a dog lover who will not mind that there are Beano hairs crocheted in with the yarn!

I'm knitting a second capelet, the first one was knitted with cream and brown yarn, this one is all brown.

When it's finished, or if I feel like a change I shall carry on with the gingerbread men and women. I have made little Christmas patterned cotton gathered skirts for some of them.

I'm also hoping to make some tree decorations from felt and buttons and I'm planning my next shawl, I shall do three or four rows of each colour next time, that way there will be less ends to darn in.



First frost

We had the first frost of the year last night and the stove went out over night. It's no fun getting washed in cold water in an unheated...