Sunday 25 October 2015


Of course I'm up at 5.30am! It's *really* 6.30am! So with my extra hour, I'm blogging, sat wrapped in a fluffy blanket on the sofa. The washer is on, the dryer is on. 

I'll spend all day today and tomorrow kinda jet lagged! It's made no sodding difference to the dark mornings and its filthy darkness earlier in the evenings now! 
I do not mind this darkness now it's FINALLY half term! 

With the help of you lot and those icing topped mince pies ( one left for a cup of tea later on ) I made it! 
Plans for this half term include lazing, cleaning, knitting, sewing, baking, reading, nutribulleting, rowing ( in my dining room on the machine, not with the HG and the offsprings ) visiting and TV box sets! The oven and the chimney will be cleaned too. 

Before I know it I'll be back at work! Not that I mind, it's coming up to my FAVOURITE half term. When things get Christmassy and glittery!! 

So yesterday, things got Christmassy and glittery! We went to Gretna Green. No, we did not get hitched, yes, I'm technically still a spinster of this parish!!!

The boy had a Karate thing on in Carlisle so after we dropped him off we went to the Gretna Shopping Outlet Village shopping thingy. We went a million years ago when the kids were teeny. It's much bigger now. More shops. Not that we were going for anything in particular . 

I was going to show you my purchases ... CHRISTMAS CARDS!! But I've decided to send a card to my bloggy chums this year if you'd like one! ( Just drop me an email rachelradiostar AT yahoo DOT co DOT uk or alternatively let me have your address in a separate comment - I won't publish it X )
The HG was TERRIBLE - I have a box full of cards already and he was just ENCOURAGING me to get them if I wanted! He said its my hobby, stashing things in boxes! It's true! And even though these were half price to start AND three for two; They aren't  just any Christmas Cards, these are M&S Outlet Christmas Cards!! 

He bought some bargain leather boots from the Clarks shop. Oh and there's a brand new TEFAL shop. We spent aaaaaages in there! ( Not as long as we did in Thornton's cafe - I'll come to that later ) 
After much umming and aaaaring, we bought a heavily discounted Actifry with some Christmas money from last year we hadn't spent yet. My Brilliant Boss leant me hers earlier this year to try and we were impressed. I also finally got a coffee pod holder for my coffee machine pods. I've been looking around at them for ages too! 
The HG picked up the bargain sewing book from The Works for my collection - I need another shelf! And the suet pellets were from 
Houghton Garden Centre which was on the way back to Carlisle. More on that in a minute. 

We needed a brew and decided that the Thornton's cafe was the one to go to. FIFTEEN HOURS I stood in that sodding queue for a brew. Ok ok I'm stretching it a bit, but it must have been close to a 20 minute wait. We were only 4th in the queue. They were SO BLOODY SLOW. The free chocolate was a compensation but COME ON Thornton's, SORT IT OUT! I wouldn't go back. The lattes were lukewarm. The only reasons I didn't complain were 1. I'm British and 2. THE QUEUE WAS TOO BIG and I think I'd have got lynched by the other customers waiting had I caused a kerfuffle up the front! 

Time was rapidly running out so we took our goodies back to the car and went to a VAIR posh garden centre on the way back. I'm sad I was rushed through the twinkly Christmas section and I didn't get to go downstairs to the big craft supplies bit but like Arnold  Schwarzenegger, I'll be back! We bought some of my garden pet's favourites, pictured above, suet nuggets and from the fabulous butchery in the charming farm shop, some Flat Iron Steak to try - ( really dirt cheap ) thanks Joy for all your posts! I also got these - aren't they different looking? 
Beef and Mushroom Truffles for the HG 

Sitting on a disc of black pudding, it's beef mince and in the middle is a chunky mushroom sauce. Two for £3 and they came in the metal tray ready for shoving in the oven! 
I got... 
Pork and mushroom, sat on a disc of haggis! Probably really easy to make but at three quid for two - I think one per portion on a dinner with lots of nice winter veg will be filling, it'd be hard to match the costings. Plus the faff. I'll let you know how they taste! 

We collected the boy who'd graded to 1st Kyu Brown Belt which means next time he grades, it's Black Belt! I'm really proud of him. It's a big achievement- his Karate leader is an ex British champion and doesn't give these belts away lightly. 

So, the washer is nearly done, time to swap the laundry and feed the machine with more! Have a great Sunday. What will you do with your extra hour? 

Lots of love from 
Rachel *loves being off* Radiostar xx


  1. Not thinking straight I put the clock forward so I'm up two hours early.

    1. That happened a few times when I was younger. Had to ring the Speaking Click back then to find the time as there were no readily available digital time displays about!

  2. Loads of nice things in this blog entry. The meat on disks things took absolutely scrummy and I hope you love the steak as much as I. It likes quick frying on very hot!

    Your words on sparkly Christmas things make me feel all sparkly and Christmassy too. I shall miss school Christmas with a class, I know. It was my fave time of year. Time to start planning alternative sparkles in my life.

    J x

    1. I'm sure you'll be in school lots to indulge!

  3. Ooh er, my extra hour went on feeding the washing machine and enjoying a pot of tea with a warm cheese scone, oh yes I baked a bit as well. Love the idea of your meaty feasts, can not abide the thought of black pudding though. I may just have a play at making the porky version, I will have to nip out and catch a haggis first though.

    1. They are a bit tricksy to find this time of year- well camouflaged in all the heather!!

  4. I too was up early but not quite your early. I love "that" garden centre, could so easy spend all day there and it's just up the road from Lakeland. Those burger things look nice. I think I will have a go at something similar.
    I'm so gad it's half Term and we have no plans so L and I will take each day as it comes. Unfortunately M has to work. Note to self - write a new post on my blog.
    Have a great half term.

    1. You too Carol X my HG is at work too. I like the peace and quiet!! Also, he's not under my feet making a mess!

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  6. I'm coming to yours for dinner, they look lush. I do like our local outlet for bargains normally clothes. I hate it when you get your coffee and it's warm, the machines these days just can't make hot coffee. HG is right about collecting stuff in boxes. As for the Christmas section, I alway go with daughters, hubby would moan all the way around.

    1. My HG is better at shopping than me! Usually I'm the whiney one!

  7. We visited the Gretna outlet centre on the way to Oban with Shearings Coaches last year. No hitching done by us either since it was our 30th wedding anniversary. I have 2 halogen ovens (not Actifry) and love the one with the stirring paddle for doing chips and roasties in and the other is great for grilling and heating things up that would go soggy done in the microwave. I have cooked a full roast dinner in mine, but tend to use one or the other in a combination with other cooking methods (microwave, slow cooker etc.) I hope you enjoy using yours. The burger thingies look yummy. I love black pudding. Congrats to your boy on his karate award. Enjoy your week off, relax, put your feet up and return refreshed next week. Love, Helen xx

    1. I love that we've been to the same place!! I don't think I could cook a full roast dinner in my actifry!!

  8. Sounds like a busy weekend. I prefer the sitting home blogging with the fluffy blanket lol have a nice day xxx


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