Sunday 29 November 2015

Sunday again already!

It quite literally doesn't seem like two minutes since I was rambling on last Sunday! 
I've been up since 6am after a relatively early night. 
There is a story of course! 
We put a film on. Quite possibly the shitest film I've ever seen of late. It had a stellar cast; Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, James Corden to name but three. The storyline was woven beautifully. It was called Into The Woods. It was ( allegedly ) a musical. All the classic fairy tale characters were there. Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack, he of Beanstalk fame, ugly sisters, a wolf, etc. The scenery was fabulous. BUT THE SONGS WERE BLOODY AWFUL! I say 'songs' it seems to me it was one long tuneless dirge. Talking/singing all the way through it. I gave up and went to bed! It was so annoying and to quote one of the children in my class this week, it made my teeth itch! 
Yesterday the HG and I dropped Miss 21 off at work and went to Skipton. I love Skipton, it's such a nice place to be in. Except it absolutely chucked it down on us all day AND we never stopped for a brew and cake. 
I did however 'look' at lots of nice things! 

I looked at a sticky toffee pudding stall, sampled their wares and then looked at some ginger pudding. 
I looked at some wool. ( cotton actually )
and got chatting to a lovely random knitty lady who then directed me to a Mill where I could look at lots of other lovely stuff! 
I was on the lookout for some Christmas Panels because Suzanne at No38 seduced me with hers with her blog!
I failed to see any such panels with an exact square pattern print but I did find one panel to look at. 
Isn't it gorgeous ! I looked for some backing fabric and at 20% off all Christmas prints and ribbons my looking was quite purse friendly!! 
Isn't it pretty! 

So today, me, Beryl and Paul have been busy. 
We've made baguettes with 
We've made a bloomer and some cheese and bacon bread. I've tidied up the kitchen as I've gone along, I've made a rich beef casserole for tomorrow. I have to say the gravy is the nicest I've made for a long time. Maybe it's the glass of red wine I slung in it! 
That's for tea tomorrow night. Tonight I'm stretching a M&S dine in for two for £10 for three of us. The fourth will have sausage! 
For ten pounds I got a piece of gammon ready to roast, some ready to roast root veg, two posh raspberry and vanilla panna cotta AND a rather cheeky bottle of chenin blanc normarily priced at £7! I got a whopping cauliflower so that'll go with too. ( Avec le  sauce fromage )! 
I'm quite looking forward to it! 
I'm also looking forward to my bath in the morning! It really did make a difference to my whole dispotition last week. I can't believe I've only 15 'nasty get ups'left before we break up. We are making salt dough gingerbread men to sell as Christmas ornaments as well as hosting a few games. At school each class has a stall and activities and usually in a completely crazy hour or so we make a good chunk of money! There's the Nativities to get through and the parties. In amongst that we've the serious prospect of actually proving that our children have made real progress by testing them! Poor things! 
Right I've bacon to crisp and cheese to grate for me buns! Catch up soon, I'm off to fold my third load of washing! 

Lots of love from 

Rachel *thought Sunday was a day of rest* Radiostar xx 

Friday 27 November 2015

Easy like Friday morning

Good morning sweet people of  Blogland, it's twirly and I've already had a coffee and get this...SOME  ( not 'a' ) rich tea biscuits...or Richard Tea biscuits as they are known in this house since that's what a two year old Miss 21 called them all those years ago. You will also find me eating Salad Cream biscuits rather than custard creams because that's what a diddy Mr 18 called em! The biscuits ( number undisclosed ) have been dunked and scoffed! Rock and blooming Roll people! I'm also watching Gogglebox and am sat sniggering away on my sofa.

An outburst this week in class has kept me smiling too! I'll be honest, it's been a bloody hard week geometry wise!

Teacher: right, get your Maths books out

Me: ( inwardly nodding thinks to self ) OH GOD PLEASE PLEASE NO MORE SHAPE 3D. 2D. NETS ANGLES OR PARALLEL LINES. MY brain can't take any more supporting children who don't get the concept of shape!!!

You'll be relieved to discover we moved onto the much more palatable conversion of metric to imperial and plotting it on a graph!

This week's haul from the supermarket was a bag of chopped onions 19p, 4 bags of stir fry veg at 24p each ( destined for veg and lentil soup and a chicken stir fry ), stock cubes were down to £1 and I stocked up ( groan ) on veg, chicken and beef and a large muscovado glazed British gammon down from
 a tenner to £3. In the freezer for Christmas. To be honest I'll probably wash the glaze off and cook it in cherry cola or ginger ale in the slow cooker as normal. If it had been not British I'd have left it in the shop. I never ever buy Danish or EU bacon. It has to be British. The other yippee prize was a top notch chunk of prime Scottish beef down from £20 to just as midge over half price! That too is now resting in the freezer ready for Christmas.

I've seen a recipe for a corned beef pie on  that I'm definitely going to try even though it uses the same ingredients I use in my corned beef repertoire! It's just slightly different!  My corned beef pie recipe on Tuesday is just a cottage pie but made with corned beef instead for a quick and easy store cupboard tea.

You probably have your own ways and recipes for this but just in case you have not tried it this way: 
Serves 3 really fat greedy pigs, 4 healthy appetites or stretches to 5 decent portions but add extra veg on the side!!
1 large onion chopped
2 medium carrots diced
1 tin corned beef diced this week mine was reduced salt ( on offer )
2 oxo cubes
Boiling Water
Cornflour/gravy granules
Frozen peas/petit pois
 Potatoes - peeled, boiled and mashed with plenty of butter and black pepper

Here's how I do it
 Fry onions and carrots until soft
Add corned beef
Crumble over the stock cubes ( just watch the salt content here - taste it with one first ) ( normal corned beef can be salty )
Add boiling water to cover
Stir and simmer until carrot is cooked through, lid on pan
Slake some cornflour or add some gravy granules just to thicken it then pour into you normal cottage pie dish
I always stir through some frozen peas this point.
Meanwhile boil n mash yer spuds as you do

Top the beef with the mash and bake in hot oven til potato is golden brown and crispy.
Serve with beans - tinned or green!

Cheap, cheerful, filling and tasty!
Or I would normally 'sling hash' as Pam would say, using any leftover hash to make pasties!

Knitting wise I've knit and pulled back the same three rows now thrice on the lacy matinee coat. It's back in its bag and I'm itching to start something new!

This is the second Christmas jigsaw I'm on with! 

Right time to get my wriggle into gear and have some breakfast ( despite the feasting on biscuits )  before going to work. Have a great Friday people X

Lots of love from
Rachel *please don't let it be shape* Radiostar xxx

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Easy like Monday morning.

Well Monday arrived and as I'd failed in my quest lotterywise to be a millionairess, I decided it was probably best if I go to work! 
I didn't have my usual shower. No, I went mad and despite starting at 8am ( or just after as it turned out ) I had myself a bubble bath! 
I don't know when Google Images sneaked in and took this photo of me! Or this one
How outrageous!! 

It was lovely! I set my alarm and had myself 24 minutes. A bit of easy luxury meant I ( eventually ) got to work smelling gorgeous and feeling relaxed! I thoroughly recommend it! I was only a few minutes late due to faffing around with laundry! But as I work ten minutes for free everyday I decided not to fret over it! 
As a result, I think, of my bath, I was less stressed at work and it was a good day! 
( I may do this every Monday. Today I'll be having a shower. )

The ones who make me laugh, made me laugh. Yesterday's biggest giggle came from a piece of work about being peaceful. The children had written on olive branches ways of getting along, forging and maintaining good friendships. As I was cutting them out for display I noticed the one that declared 

" Quit being a jerk."

It just made me chuckle. Technically correct, just slightly inappropriate language!! I've left it there on the wall for all to learn from. Sometimes when dealing with these cherubs when they are being troublesome I want to yell at them 
To quit being jerks ( and other stuff, slightly more sweary ) but of course I don't!! Imagine the parental lynchmob! 

I have happier news to report! Also I think a slight mystery solved. Just as it came light and I was stood faffing with laundry I was watching one of my heavily food laden bird feeders, I saw a coal tit and a blue tit. Only one of each, but a start I reckoned. I could also hear someone rather indignantly shouting his beak off. I shifted slightly in my stance and there, right in the middle of his suet filled kingdom was a fluffed up, most indignant, ferocious fat Mr Robin! He was shooing away the little group ( I could see more ) of assorted tits! He rather begrudgingly allowed a coal tit to grab a black sunflower seed - something that he doesn't even eat- and fly off to the safety of the other fence! Indeed I saw Mr RobinRedbreast  blatantly IGNORE his own specially designed Robin feeder filled with specifically bought Robin food to gorge himself on the suet nuggets! 
Now I know robins are famous for being territorial with other robins, often fighting to the death, but not with other birdies. So I cannot put all the blame on NDFC after all!! 
I'll keep an eye out to see if my family of sparrows come calling. I'd love a chaffinch or two. I love chaffinches. 

Tea was leftover chicken curry for me and the menfolks had fishfingers and actifry chips and peas! I always like easy teas on a Monday. I only had leftover curry because Miss 21 is in Newcastle with the beau for a few days. She came in from work on Sunday and then went straight out without her tea! So I had it ! Day old curry is always nicer than on the day. Because she knows how I love them and because she is a darling, she sent me some photos of Fenwick's Windows! The theme wasn't clear but she tells me it's 'When Santa got stuck up the chimney'
Not so clear but here you go, if you can zoom in you can see the exquisite details. 

It's amazing the crowds these windows gather - a quick look on Google shows last year's crowds infront of last year's Alice theme ( that we saw ) 

Look at all the people!! 
I wish I'd seen this one for real 
Gulliver! Just wow! 

I wonder what they do with all the stuff once it's done with? 
Ah well, it's time to go get my wriggle into gear for work and make sure Mr 18 is up! He's loving his job. I just thought he's half a Centuary to go, I wonder if he'll still love going to work then! 
I cannot wait to retire!! I do love my job but I do love my time when its all mine to do with as I wish! 

Lots of love from 
Rachel *rambled on a bit there* Radiostar xx 

Sunday 22 November 2015

Easy like Sunday Morning.

This blog is brought to you from under my covers in bed at 8ish on a Sunday morning. The X Factor is on and I'm 'advert blogging'. Before Sky and the Magic FF x2 ( too slow ) X 6 ( oh come on ) X 12 ( much better ) and X 30 ( bloody hell TOO FAR , rewind! ) I used to do ' advert cleaning'. It's amazing how much you can get done in 3 minute bursts!! 
But because the thingies we got to work the telly upstairs don't work, we can watch Sky but have to endure the adverts and in the case of the X factor , all the crap that goes with the singing! 
Anyway, Cheryl looks dreadful, she's so skinny, she looks ill.  She makes Rita look huge! I'm not normally so Judgey McJudgey but I don't understand why her 'team' and she'll have one, seem to be doing all they can to accentuate her emaciated body and face. 
Anyway I don't even know why I'm watching this as I vowed I wouldn't after Louis Walsh  booted Paul Akister off last year when he had the chance. 

It's been a crazy week. 
We got a call at school on Monday that sent everyone into PANIC mode. We were being inspected. We are a CofE school and they send an Inspector from the Diocese to judge us. In a one day visit. It just meant that everything we do anyway had its eyes dotted and tees crossed. Including the Worship club that is run by and owned by the children in my class. 
I helped them to smooth it out and typed up their notes so it was more 'professional'. I was also in charge of operating the laptop for them as they always make a PowerPoint to go with their worships. 
The night before the inspection I woke up with a start at about 2.17am ( it was 2.17am )
I dreamt that as I pressed play on the you tube video clip the kids had found to illustrate perseverance - the theme of our worship ( Google Ormie the pig wants a cookie ) it came on on the big screen, in front of all the staff and children and INSPECTOR... A porn film. I could see all my colleagues faces in slow motion horror as I frantically pressed buttons to get rid of it. But each press of the button made it bigger, louder or more porno!!! 
I had to go to work an hour early just to set up the computer and check the video about ten times!!
Could you imagine! 

Anyway it went smoothly and the results of all our efforts will be published in due course. 

I've sent the easy read murder mystery book off to Mrs G and if you look inside the book,Mrs G there's the postage stamps ready for when you've read it to pass onto Pam.  Hope you like the little extras! 

I've spent £3090 Gold coins ( all totally not real ) on a Christmas pack of jigsaws on my iPad!
Nearly finished the first Father Christmas one! 
There's another five packs! I've 7k left lol! 

Need to look out my Advent Counter Downer I got from Avon when the kids were little. It's so cute! It's a little pot chimney and fireplace that FC falls down a day at a time when you slide out the sticks. When I find it for 1st Dec I will show you! 
Even with my jigsaws I don't feel very Christmassy at all yet and there's a good reason. It's still NOvember!! The NO means NO Christmas stuff yet I reckon! But come December the first, the Christmas gloves are off!! Or on!!! 

I've not bought one present yet or even decided on what I'm buying for people.  My most disorganised year yet! But my children are grown ups now and it's nowhere near as fun or as easy as getting stuff when they were little! 

Due to the mild weather this Autumn, yesterday's cold snap was a shocker! No snow here and despite the beautiful blue sky sunny day, the temperature struggled to get above 3C. So the first fire of the season was lit.
Look at the mess on my clean hearth!! I also burnt a lot of wood which lifted a patch of carbon off the fire wall, but only in one bit! Odd. It was TWOT!! Too ( bloody ) hot!! 
Me and the HG strolled round to the church fair where I bought a snowman cake tin for a pound! Might make a gingerbread snowman cake later! Just to try it out! I declined a visit to see Fr Christmas ( £2 a go ) but I did buy some raffle tickets. They hold it in our school hall but because it's NOvember there's NO tree up yet. So it felt distinctly unchristmassy. 

Right I've some knitting to do and three loads of washing! I will also be scrubbing out and refilling all the feeders for my garden pets. I've bloody loads of different sized and styles of feeders. Trouble is the birds. They will not eat the expensive no mess seed I bought them. Bloody things. They can't be that hungry. Worry ye not, I also have kgs of black sunflower seeds, sunflower hearts, Niger seed, suet blocks, suet balls, the much preferred favourite ( and more spendy ) suet nuggets of all flavours, Robin food and meal worms! My next buy is going to be a flutter butter holder and some bird peanut butter! Actually my bird count has been a bit sparse. I have no idea why. It has been milder of late, but my friend round the corner has FLOCKS of birds. What is wrong with what I'm offering??!! She uses the same makes and varieties of bird food as I. I still blame NDFC. Catch up soon X 

Lots of love from 
Rachel *going to have to get up and FF through this bloody awful programme* Radiostar xx 

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Window dressing

I thought I'd share the projects we are working on at Night Owls. I dreamed up the idea after thinking about Fenwick's Christmas Windows and the fact I won't be seeing them this year after Miss 21 thoughtlessly graduated and left Uni. 
So in our hall there are a lot of windows. I asked if we could decorate them. We decided on old fashioned nursery rhymes as a theme. The first one, of course, being The Owl and the Pussy Cat. The grown ups painted the glass and then the children helped with the crafting of the features! I have to say I'm very impressed with how it turned out! The children are convinced it's a real five pound note! 
He really looks good once it's dark outside! 

We are now on with the next one. We are on the hunt for an old soft leather or leatherette handbag or coat that we can cut up! Anyone help an owl out?! 

What do you think it's going to be?! 

On the other side, we have been commissioned by the head for some stained glass windows to go behind the worship table. 
I only helped with the initial drawing of these. My work chums did the painting. 
They will get a second coat and a cross on them tomorrow, and the fake lead! 

Just realised it reminds me of Elmer the elephant!! I'll show you when it's done! 

Lots of love from

Rachel *loves Night Owls* Radiostar xx 

Sunday 15 November 2015

A blustery Sunday

Well, I really don't have much to report really. I'm writing this with my feet up and another abandoned KIP ( Knit in progress ) on my lap, Harry Potter the final film ont telly. 
I have NO idea where I am with this knit! I'm trying to look at the pattern and my notes to figure out where in the blinking heck I was up to!! All the fun of the fair! 
I was going to write some Christmas cards but all my lists etc are upstairs somewhere. Maybe next weekend, I will tackle this. That is. Look for the stuff!!

Thank you to the two ladies  ( Pam and Mrs G  ) who'd like to read the book I mentioned in my last post. I hope it's ok, I'll send it to one of you, with the postage and the address of the other inside to be posted along after you've read it. 

On Tuesday, I walked with six colleagues and 60 children a mile n a smidge to the town cinema to see a free film. Believe. 
It absolutely pissed it down all the way there. Then it absolutely pissed it down all the way back. We were soaked. Like drowned rats. 
I did have my day brightened by a little chat me and a pupil had. 

Pupil: ere Miss, is that a homeless person or a black sack of rubbish? 

Me: *squinting through the stair rod 
rain* I think it's a bag

Pupil: oh I'm glad. It would have really made me sad if it had been a homeless person, out in this rain. 

Me: ohhh, you really are such a lovely caring person. 

Pupil: yeah, I know 

Me: *laughing inwardly at the false modesty*

Pupil: at me old school. I helped out the class wimp.(!!!! )  Taught 'em how to stick up for themselves. Showed them all the classics! 

Me: laughing inwardly wondering what the hell the 'classics' are! 

I'm pleased to report its finally cold oop North and I rejoice in it! 
I have finished the little layette just in time! The baby was born this week. 
It's knit in very soft 4ply 
The pattern is from 1971 so it's ( 28 ) years old!! 
I hope they like it. 

Oh I have news, Miss 21 has booked her plane tickets to New Zealand and Mr 18 has landed himself an apprenticeship in IT. His uni place is still there for him should he decide it is what he wants after all but for now, all seems settled. 

Not so for those poor poor people enjoying a Friday night out in Paris. We really must enjoy each day as it comes X 

Lots of love from 
Rachel *Sunday roast smells good tonight* Radiostar xx 

Still here, just mad busy!

Hi folks,
I've not blown away, despite the ten force gale blowing outside! Just, like the title said, mad busy. I'll pop back with a proper post later! I've finished another knit! Woop!

Lots of love from
Rachel *mad busy* Radiostar xx

Saturday 7 November 2015

My Friday was a bit HOT.

Hello folks, I do love the bloggy love you've been wrapping me in with your comments! I'm way easily pleased and the fact that people read and then take the time to reply makes me feel like I've a million penpals! 

It was lovely to see a comment from Annabeth, especially about Aunty Olive's Gingers! 
The little waistcoat fits it's new owner perfectly! 

Yesterday at work I mostly whinged and whined about how hot I was. I only dress lightly too. I was bloody boiling. I was sweating like a pig! None of this lady perspiring nonsense! Proper shiny face red hot overheating was occurring. But the school's central heating has been cranked on.  I work in a teeny classroom filled with 30 giant 10/11 year olds who talk. A lot. So all the hot air is added too! 
I tell you what, I'm not even *that* age yet, but when I am, I'll be spontaneously combusting and all that'll be left is me flip flops! 
(Googles perimenopause) *cries*
Still, it's something to look forward to....

The BBC weather report showed unseasonally warm temperatures. I'm very ready for it to get COLD. 

Night Owls proved awful in the end. An incident requiring us Mature Owls  to spring into emergency services action left us all a bit shaken. Two first aided ( Me and my chum  who stayed first aiding ) whilst one ( me) rang 999 while one ( my other chum ) herded the rest of the owlets away. Group effort. All was well, all was ok. 
All is well im glad to say and we can relax over the weekend. Hopefully that's all the excitement covered for a very, very very long time. 

So it's Saturday. I think it's stopped raining. The HG is going to power wash the front. I'm mostly going to be having myself a craftsy kinda day. It's chicken, bacon and leek bake for tea. Aunty Olive's and bread will be baked and maybe some Gram flour mince pies. That's because of Pam! 

 I'm just going to read some more of my book first. I get loads of books from my Ma in law. She gets them off a lady, who gets them off a lady, who gets them off a lady. I then pass them on, to people who pass them on etc
I do use the library, but a) it's in town and I hate going into town unless it's absolutely necessary and b) I'm RUBBISH at remembering when they need to go back! 
So this book, I think would be BRILLIANT  for TV. It's an easy read page turner! It's twisty and turny and has kept me guessing throughout. I think I know who the killer is.... 

If you'd like to read it after me, I'll send it to you! ( leave a separate comment with your address ) 

Right folks, I'll sithee tomorrow when hopefully, like Annie sang, the sun'll come out. I've a few bulbs left to shove in, er I mean carefully and thoughtfully plant! 

Lots of love from 

Rachel *lazy Saturday face* Radiostar xxx 

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Little waistcoat

FINALLY I've finished something! It went to its new owner today! 
As usual I did my 'which button' dilemma. In the end I went with the darker wooden buttons. 
For once I managed to sew them on straight first time. 
A really easy to remember pattern
Ta daaaah! 

Tea was delicious tonight. 
You cannot beat a home made ( mince only one day out of date ) cottage pie with a lid of crunchy crust, soft underneath  golden mashed potato! 

Lots of love from 

Rachel *must crack on with the other 14 knits I've started!* * not even joking* Radiostar xx

Sunday 1 November 2015

End of Half Term

Hi folks,
I'm already for Halloween seeing as I woke up looking like Alice Cooper. This is because I went out yesterday lunch time for my friend's birthday to the pub. The food was beautiful. I had

"Chicken Trinchado (GF on request)
Brought to South Africa by Portuguese settlers, a dish of diced chicken breast in a thick brandy & cream sauce with a healthy kick of spice, served with artisan bread"

It was absolutely delicious. It came with a hunk. Not an attractive man. A hunk of soft fresh bread and I had a side order of triple cooked chunky chips. This was washed down with two bottles of prosecco, between three of us, the other was on cinzano and lemonade! We do call ourselves 'the coven' and we cackled our way through lunch very raucously indeed! I never drink! I was quite entertaining I thought! There was much laughing at our own jokes! I had a baked Alaska for pudding! It was bloody delicious! One of those things I love but can never be arsed to make at home.

As it was a special day, we'd got dressed up and I wore make up. I never usually bother with it because, as this morning's Ailce Cooper reflection shows, I can never be bothered to rake it off again! I do mean rake as the polly filla has to applied thickly enough to cover the wrinkles!

So the laughter and the prosecco had me giddy enough, but when we left the pub and wandered down the road to our friend's house, the birthday girl opened her birthday gift of Toffee Vodka. This stuff is lethally moreish. It smells and tastes like heaven. I could imagine it on cakes in the icing, on ice cream, in chocolates. It was smooth, toffee caramel looney juice! There was only this much left between two of us!

One of us didn't like it and the other was driving so couldn't indulge!

Much more laughing was done and I'm afraid to report that yesterday, I was *that* drunken woman on the bus in the afternoon that we have all encountered at one point!! I staggered home at tea time. The house was in darkness. Miss 21 was at work, the HG had already phoned to say he'd been stuck on the M6 for an hour already and the boy, who never goes out, had. Gone. Out!! My keys were helpfully on the dining table. So yesterday, I was also *that* drunken person who leans on your garden walls!! Except it was my garden wall! I didn't have to wait long though for the boy to come home and let me in! I was in bed, fast asleep by 8.30pm! I rallied long enough to make the HG a bacon butty for his tea before dozing in front of the rugby!

I woke up at 2.30am, couldn't sleep so played candy crush on my phone for an hour til my eyes closed again and slept till 6.30am. It's been a glorious sunrise. I'm hungry. I look like an extra off

Fright Night


No hangover today!

I think we are popping back to Gretna and that garden centre but we are definitely NOT going for a brew in Thornton's!

I cannot believe that half term is done! I didn't do half the stuff I wanted to. It's INSET day on Monday, so no children in.

Before I go I want to show you my new favourite thing.

I've been sorting out some of my sewing bits and bobs.

My ribbon box

My button box

My sewing box

Is that a lipstick next to the needles?

Nope, it's empty, no lippy in there...

It twists up like a lipstick, but there's some metal inside..

Ooooo it's magnetic! 
And it twists back down..
I love my new needle storage! 

If you all knew what it was anyway, please bear with! I'm a bit behind when it comes to new fangled technology! ( you can see with how today's post looks! I have no idea how it's on a white background!! ) Just need to find all of my other needles to put in it!

Right am off to have some apple and blackberry pie and cream!

Lots of love from

Rachel *easily pleased* Radiostar xx