Friday, 31 January 2014

Which one are you?

Saw this on the t'internet somewhere this week. I'm not sure if it's real. But I am apparently Arabian. To me this means sleek, exotic and sumptuously wealthy. Yes, that's me to a t.  Umm ok. May be not sleek or exotic or sumptuous or wealthy ... But my toes definitely do go down in a straight line. My HG is Roman. One of my favourite films is Spartacus. We were destined to be together!!! 
I do love a bit of Friday feeling! 

Which one are you? 

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Sunday Morning gales, IT, cake and books.

I am laid in the dark, under my full fat winter quilt listening to the wind howl down my chimney and the rain lash my windows. I love it!

Today has a lazy feel about it. Depending on the weather we may venture out, we may not.  I am currently in a 12 round full on fistfight with my laptop. I think it's been sulking. It's true that since we got tablets, it has been neglected. But I do need it from time to time for Flash Player purposes ( come on Apple - get a move on and get Flash ) and I prefer to complete the HG's Tax thingy on my laptop.
So,the deadline is looming. 31st January is very important for Self Assessment Purposes. I am in a rush to get this done. 

 The laptop is firstly doing 1 of 32 updates and would I not power it down whilst this happens.

Three days later, I finally get to my homepage and OF COURSE my effing internet security has run out behind my back. Not to worry. I have a freebie internet security thingy for five devices I got free with my broadband. I had to uninstall the now ex out of date security. It didn't take lightly to this. Kicking and screaming, I finally evicted it. Downloaded the new. 

Completed the HMRC nonsense. 

Then set about loading CDs into iTunes. I bought 'Now That's what I call Disney' for Night Owls. Now I love a good sing a long and wanted to make sure I knew all the words before I delighted the owlets with my full on Glee esque show stopper routines!!!


OF COURSE it needed updating. *rolled eyes*

But then disaster struck. I have no idea if it's because I was clicking like a demented fool to stop things happening or if it was frankly, completely and totally knackered to start with, but it kept asking me if I had enough privileges and my Library C ++ visuals run time error failed. I also helpfully had error code 1114 flashing up at me.

Not to worry, I have plenty of weapons in my arsenal against such deadly foes. I have Mr Google and

He set to uninstalling, re booting, patching, re starting, system scanning etc.


Last night afore bed, I had one more try. I thought I'd try a system restore back to when it WAS working. I did this.

I now have NO internet security....and it still isn't playing. I found a helpful little sequence to try when removing Apple programmes because the Mobile thingy was refusing to leave. It helpfully told me you have to remove things in a certain order. I, of course, had NOT uninstalled things in that order. Aaarrrrggghhhh.

I switched it on and off again.

I just pulled the plug and went to bed.

Today I am having. One. More. Try.

It might have to go to the Laptop Hospital. Or to Laptop heaven. Thank goodness for my iPad so I can bore the pants off you all here with my thrilling adventures!

The rest of my day will involve knitting by a roaring fire. We might venture out to a Farmer's market to look at all the overpriced artisan rustic loaves. I think I'll make a loaf myself. Not cake though. I need to stop eating cake! 

Last weekend I made the world's sickliest cake! It wasn't a pretty cake. But it's vanished so it must have been ok. ( It was bloody delicious !)
Toffee cake with caramel buttercream icing!

I was super excited to rescue this book from the bin at school. These stories were my all time favourite to read as a little girl. Infact, as I went to the school I now work at, it's very probable that this isn't the first time my fingers have turned the pages! Imagine my delight when the stories were televised! 
 No Sunday afternoon was complete without a trip to LHOTP on the TV. Ma was an angel and Pa was a saint. Now I like to watch it just for swooning over Michael Landon purposes. Thanks to my lovely friends Nicole, Hannah, Eryn and Nan I know the truth and that he was not good looking in real life! ( Or actually very nice!!! ) 

I am going to read these books again with grown up '28' year old eyes! I might even blog about what I think! I just need to get the other books now. They are not available on Kindle as Laura Ingalls 
Wilder has not been dead for long enough, apparently. I've been hunting in Charity shops for ages to no avail. I am going to treat myself to the others as long as I can find them cheap enough!!

The other childhood books that left a lasting impression were 
What Katy Did and What Katy did next. I devoured the Silver Sword. I never could stand The Secret Garden  or the Railway Children. I loved the Famous Five ( book 2 Five go to Kirrin Island is my favourite ) but hated the Secret Seven. I wanted to go to boarding school SO MUCH. But hoped I'd be enrolled at Mallory Towers rather than St. Clare's with those twins!! I confess to still never finishing Treasure Island. I tried to read it with the boy but still failed. I ADORED The Swiss Family Robinson but never got along with Robinson Crueso. I could go on all day here! 

What are you doing/reading today? 

Saturday, 18 January 2014

My agenda today

It's lovely and early ( 6. 35am  ) and the house is quiet as everyone else is still asleep. The house is warm as the heating is set to come on at 5.30am . The honest reason for this, is... When my two now giant offspring were babies they were early risers and I set the then brand new boiler to come on for four hours in a morning and four at night ( 4.30pm - 8.30pm ). This meant it was toasty for getting up and first feed, and for bath time and bedtime. If it was cold in the day it was put on, or the fire was going.  The reason it is still set is that the clock manual is probably in a *safe place* and I have no idea how to alter it!! So nowadays, it's nice and warm for us all to have a shower and it gets manually knocked off before 8am! I know that some of you frugal lot are gasping at the fact I have central heating and I'm using it .... I make no apologies! I hate feeling cold. Yes I layer up and use hot water bottles ( no radiator in my bedroom right now ) but a warm house is just blissful. The DD goes out every month using up the over payments I made in the Summer so all is well!

So... my agenda for the day
I plan on
Baking some bread
Baking some flap jack
Making broccoli and Stilton soup ( how do you know if Stilton has gone off? No, I'm being serious. I cannot stand strong or stinky cheese and bought it at Christmas to make this soup. I mean it's full of mould to start with!! )
Take stock of everything in my freezers
Make meal plans to use everything up in my freezers over the next few weeks. I buy a lot of meat when it's yellow stickered and shove it in the freezer. Then I forget ( damn you stupid memory ) what I have in there and buy fresh. I've lots of portions of HB meals I've made so I think my meal planner will mostly be for the menfolk and I will eat those. I guess I failed in my pre Christmas eat everything from the freezer quest.
Finish the HG Tax return. Ugh.
Clean the bathroom
Do the laundry
Watch something good on the telly
Catch up on some blog reading and comment.
Maybe  a trip to Aldi - our local one has been expanded and done up - I may sashay on down for a look. I need some Salad too.
Do my nails in a different colour changing varnish ( keeping Groovy, Groovy mums x )
That's like being a proper grown up and everything! Such a treat. I met Liz ten years ago she tells me ( failing memory remember ) and we hit it off straight away. She was the new Year six teacher and I was her slave TA. We had a few fab years working together till her life changed, she met Andy, moved away, married him and had children and moved further away and has now moved a bit nearer again. The bonus to being married to Andy  ( or one of them ) is that he hails from my part of the world and his folks live not too far away, so we manage to catch up when they come oop North for a trip. Well, last year, there was something EVERYTIME stopping us meeting. But not this time!!  Tonight Matthew ( English TV viewers from the 80s/90s will get that phrase lol ) we are meeting at a 'two for one' main meal deal pub!! We do love a bargain! I'm really looking forward to seeing them.
Erm I think that's a pretty full day but you can fill the rest of my list with reasons to get out of doing all the yucky jobs on my list!
Writing this is procrastination number 1!
Oh here are some photos of the new castle, castle mat and people we spent some Night Owls money on. 
Who will save the Princess? 
My colleague and I had a marvellous time putting it together and er testing it out!! The Owlets will get to play next week! It was like Christmas :-)

What's on your agenda today?

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Get into the groove?

A lovely bloggy chum of mine, Kate over at invited me to join in with Groovy mums.
So, why am I doing this?
Well, I need to try and get my funk back! I used to go to gigs and rock n rock  style mama my way through life! Well, my knitting and cooking and baking and tweeting etc is very glamorous rock and roll .... But maybe I can do it with a bit more moisturising and taking care of myself a tad better!

So in my quest to become more groovy I will carry on cooking the Hairy Dieters recipes I've blogged about and more. I am taking what I call 'old lady tablets' to help me stop creaking in a morning and wincing in this cold weather. I am attempting to slap on the anti wrinkle cream morning AND night. I am going to wear jewellery more often. I am doing my nails with this frankly brilliant new colour change nail varnish I found on Amazon. It changes colour depending on how hot or cold I am!!
This is blue when I'm warm and goes dark purple when I'm cold!! 
I will take more photos for my next Groovymums post!! 

I  am going to continue my Davinas 15minutes DVD for longer than this week - Monday was cardio, Tuesday I did the legs, Wednesday I did the core and today I did the whole lot! I'm going to need my 'old lady tablets' in the morning. Maybe I'll need the whole packet!

On the 9th of each month ( if I remember ) I will blog my progress!! Remember my wrinkle score was an 8?! Let's hope it's a 7 by Feb 9th!!

So - join in if you wanna get your groove on!!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Was a busy day in the end

This sad, tragic photo is what's left of Christmas 2013. But my new swanky Hoover soon cleared it up in no time! I had planned on a lazy Saturday. However, the tree coming down was a three hour job - heart tiring.
Then the Uni one needed her laptop sorting - brain tiring.
I made Lasagne from the Hairy Bikers book 1.
. What a faff! Every pot n pan used. - dishwasher tiring!
White sauce - the speckles are nutmeg and black pepper.
The meat sauce. This is utterly delicious. 
The leeks, prepped to be used as pasta sheets.
50g of Dewlay's Garstang light and 25g freshly grated Parmesan.

It all gets assembled and baked in the oven for 30 minutes. I'd give it an 8/10, mainly for the meat sauce. It's very tasty, a good portion for under 370 calories. The leeks are tricky to cut through though, even though I followed the recipe precisely. 
Layer up the meat and 'pasta' like you would normally. This recipe is for six. I reckon it'd easy serve eight. Sprinkle the cheese on the top layer 

Then add sliced tomatoes. ( Non for the HG! ) 
TA daaah! 
I made the Teenager, who despises tomatoes in any shape or form a pasty with the meat sauce but without tomatoes! 
One for today n the freezer. 

Then I ruined any good work by making this! 
By Paul Hollywood! I did the pastry one handed too!! 

Mmmm cheese! 
 Yum! I have to admit to a slightly soggy bottom!! 

So that was what I did! 
What about you? 

Friday, 3 January 2014

Back to work blues

Right now, at 8:07  I'm feasting by the tree lights whilst I still can!! Ok, I'm grumpily eating breakfast, forlornly glancing at the tree, because
A) it's the only thing left of Christmas - the rest of the house is bare, sparse and barren like a desolate wasteland 

B) because I have to go back to work in 30 minutes. 

I do not *do* traditional resolutions,  but I have just made a pact with the silver humming bird on my tree that,  this year I am going to try to wear matching bra and knickers on more than two occasions. ( i.e. my birthday and Christmas Day ) 
I am going to wear more of my jewellery instead of saving it for when I go out. I never go out!! 
I am going to try and never leave a room empty handed ( my wise old Gran swore this helps keep things tidy )

As the great love of my life Mr Brandon Flowers said, I'm also going to smile like I mean it every day! 
( this may or may not coincide with a matching underwear occasion! )

In other news, in the sale at Mr Tesco, I bought some miracle cream that Davina sells on the telly and it came with a wrinkle guide and a promise that in 4 weeks there will be an improvement. I asked my lovely daughter to help me find my wrinkles on the enclosed guide,
Ladies and gentlemen, she declared me to be 


The scale only goes up to 10. 
The brat! 

Follow my journey from 8 to an 'eternally 28' score of about 5 hopefully!!! And yes, I do know it's all a load of bullocks, so I'd  like to request that from now on, if you look at me, please do so, in soft focus! 

Many thanks 
Rachel Wrinkly Radiostar xx