Friday 25 March 2016

It's been a Good Friday!

Mostly because it's felt like a Saturday, then you get a quick boost because you realise that tomorrow is actually Saturday!
It's been sunny and warm ( in the car ) and sunny and a bit cold with a chill wind  ( out of the car ) . We couldn't decide whether to head North up t'Lakes or East t'Wensleydale and cheese! 
Well, seeing as I'm on a ( yet another ) FINAL weight loss thing, we thought the cheese shop best stay out of reach! So we headed to the Lake District. It was bustling with throngs of human beings out enjoying the sunshine. 
Of course I couldn't go home without a trip to heaven aka Lakeland. I'm lucky to get to go to their Flagship store so often! And I'm doubly lucky to have a very generous HG! He lets me look at all the things! 
Today's haul... I looked at...
A new baking sheet, int sale 
A new Yorkshire pud tin, int sale
A spare oven shelf - genius- int sale
A new grater, int sale
Some roasting film, to try, int sale
Parchment lined foil FULL PRICE!! 

Two new loaf tins, but one get one 1/2 price. I thought they looked interesting and one of mine needed replacing and I didn't have a small tin. The soda stream stuff had £1 off. The Vit C is for my bread. My old school recipe used to have us taking in half a vitamin C tablet to crush up and to add in. I think it helps with preservation - like my bread lasts long enough!! But I am intrigued to see if it does anything to the flavour. The refil cartridges are for our portable dehumidifier and the sealed bags? For the HG maggots!! 

For tomorrow's tea we procured some Herdwick Lamb, absolutely the nicest lamb to eat ever. Not from a field or anything, we bought it from Booths! Booths is a bit like a Northern Waitrose, but I think they've been around longer.

On the way home we stopped at a place called the Heron Corn Mill. It is a working mill but the original has been preserved and restored so that folks can learn stuff on a jolly nice day out! 

At first I thought it was plastic ...

But nope, t'was real. This was the river downstream that feeds the water wheel.

This is the waterfall upstream. 

Taken from inside the water wheelhouse. 

This is the drying room or the kiln room. The oats - corn was the generic term used for any grain - were laid out on this tiled floor and a fire was lit underneath. 

The kiln fire. 

The tiles had little holes in it to let the heat through. The grain was then poured through various hoppers and ground into flour. 

One of the old millstones. Almost as big as me! We are the same round size though! 

This was turned by the waterwheel. The rhythmic sloshing was loud and persistent and had me rushing to the loo!!

Bad photo and I did shoot some video but it's not loading up for some reason! 

Anyway once we were ready to leave I bought three bags of their flour and I got a free bag! Bargain. 
The weather is supposed to turn overnight so I'm glad we got out today. 

Lots of love from 
Rachel *Going to bake bread tomorrow* Radiostar xxx 

Wednesday 23 March 2016

Nowt much to report - again!

It's cold. I've had a mini bout of man flu. 
I've some lovely blue in the front garden 
I got all nostalgic with Suzanne from Number 38 about string art kits we got for Christmas as kids. Mine was a peacock, hers was an owl. I couldn't find my exact one, despite a good hour and a half lost in Google! Mine had its full tail up in a big fan. The board was large. It had silver nails banged in and I must have followed a paper pattern. The thread was all sparkly. It took me hours but then my mum hung it on the chimney breast in the dining room and it was there for years. 

( photo off google images ) 
People are flogging these on eBay!!! 
It put me in mind of another favourite that I played with for years. Spirograph. My luxury set had 5 coloured biros. Cerise pink, lime green, burnt orange and vivid purple and my favourite deep turquoise. I spiralled for hours and hours! 

My last photo I wanted to share was a screenshot of some of the comments I'd got in my spam folder. They made me howl with laughter!!! 
Sadly I can't have screenshotted it properly because I can't find it. But one called me Dear Mark, and proceeded to tell me at length how I could increase girth and length! It didn't involve expensive medication or equipment apparently- there was a link I could click so I could input my bank details to buy their secret. Hahahahaha!!! 



Lots of love from 

Rachel *or is it Mark?* Radiostar xxx

Sunday 20 March 2016


I don't want to harp on how difficult having ALL the feels around Miss21 embarking properly on grown up life is but I'd like say say thank you for all your lovely comments X 

We took her bed and all her 21years collection of things up yesterday. 
On the way there....
The view over Newcastle from outside her house...
Which is just lovely. Two big bedrooms, large airy lounge, smallish kitchen and huge bathroom.  It needed a bit of attention. I met the beau's  Ma n Pa for the first time. Lovely lovely people. We hit it off straight away! They'd already been round cleaning and decorating. So I cleaned out the kitchen cupboards, worked out the boiler, helped make the bed and get rid of rubbish etc. His mam painted the kitchen walls and cleaned their MASSIVE bathroom. His Dad sorted the lectrix for the telly and the HG fixed the windows, built the bed and hung the mirrors, pictures and clock. I also nipped to the shops with them to buy some cleaning essentials ( laughing as I bought them one of those 16pack of loo rolls saying to HB there'll last you a week ) and we happened upon the fridge of reduced stuff. Got approx £60 of meat for £15! 
We then gave them some money to do their first proper stock the cupboards n fridge/freezer and said our farewells. I only wibbled a bit when I told them to 'be happy' ! 

On the way back! 

The rest of yesterday was mostly taken up with watching the rugby. 

It's lovely and sunny today but cold with it. Had a busy week. Four days of Holy Week at school then four lovely days off! I need a rest!

Hope all's well in your world. 

Lots of love from 
Rachel *clean line dried bedding tonight* Radiostar xxx

Tuesday 15 March 2016

Cinema Day

Today, myself and a work chum are taking a little posse of children from my class out of school. In readiness for their next steps we will be watching them from a safe distance as they get on a bus, buy a ticket and get off at the right stop. They've never been on a bus. Yet in six short months they'll be catching them daily to their new High School. This group need extra transition work.

We will then watch them and follow them as they walk through town to the cinema, buy a ticket, various snacks and settle down on a pre independant afternoon at the flicks. We will be watching Kung Fu Panda 3 in 3D.

They'll then get themselves back to the bus station ( me and my mate in hot pursuit ) and then back to the safety of our little school.

Next trip will be catching the bus to their new High School.

It's a glorious day.

Before I set off, I'd like to thank everyone who was so kind to comment on my last post's anguish! Miss 21 and TB ( from here on in The Beau ) are currently living it up in Berlin.
Oh and a few people wonder who or what I am talking about when I say the HG. As it says in my bio >>>>>>>>>>>
The HG is my HunterGatherer!
Miss 21 is my firstborn and Mr 18 my second.

I have to stay as anonymous as I can online because of the job I do, which is why I don't name names or show personal photos. If you bear with until I win the lottery or retire, then I might! Although I shall have to get someone at the Nursing Home to show me how to do it!

Right, best be off,

Lots of love from

Rachel *Must resist the toffee popcorn today* Radiostar xx

Sunday 13 March 2016

She's all grown up now

This is it. 

Well, the bet from a few posts ago remains unwon. Miss 21 has failed to rile on all fronts! She's been jet lagged. She's done all her washing. She brought us lovely gifts - I'll show you another time. 
She's making me so sad. Sad because she really will leave my house on Thursday for good. Yes she'll visit but this is it. She's going. Moving out for real. I'll be honest. I'm not coping. 

I have been laughing it off with my 'can't wait for my craft room ' banter but I'd give it up in a heartbeat. Oh to turn the clocks back. 
*puts on that Abba song that Meryl Streep sings in Mamma Mia* Slipping through my fingers. Ya know for added drama llama sympathy. 

Even writing this is making me sob! I don't know if it's harder because she's not going to be just round the corner. She's going to be three hours drive away. Permanently. Not just at uni. Not just staying at the beaus. Not just on the other side of the world for eight weeks. They are moving to Gateshead. I don't care about the way I've brought up a smart, balanced, gorgeous, warm hearted, kind, loving, sweet beautiful girl, perfectly equipped for grown up life in a grown up world. I don't even care she's 21 and a half! She's frankly TOO YOUNG AND NEEDS TO STAY WITH HER MAMA!

And you lot can quit with the Miss Havisham scenarios! 

Since she's been back from NZ, her and the beau have been slowly emptying her room and filling my dining room with boxes and stuff. You can tell she's here because I'm finding bobbles and hair grips everywhere ( usually left to give rusty marks on the bathroom surfaces ), the loo roll gets used up at an alarming rate, the kitchen is being taken over and the fridge emptied and my towel cupboard is empty.  I'm not even getting mad about this! The piles of stuff in the dining room is reminiscent of getting ready to take her to uni just minutes ago. I was a blubbering wreck too then if you remember! In amongst those boxes of dinner sets, cushions, pegs, kitchen utensils are snippets of her childhood. Her teddies, her twilight posters, books, daft souvenirs she's kept from holidays. 

I can barely see to type through big fat snotty tears. Crying silently so she doesn't hear. She's so excited to set up her new house. His family have been there decorating and cleaning it for them. The HG and I are doing our bit by buying them bits n bobs for the flat. I cried yesterday when I ordered her some new fitted sheets! I am an emotional wreck! 
I know lots of you lovely lot have grown up children and have been through this, and survived. BUT I DO NOT LIKE IT ONE BIT. 

They are off to Berlin today around lunchtime. I'll probably Be Brave until then and then try not to alarm Mr 18 by going all out wailing banshee on him. The HG has taken himself off fishing - to ( I think ) avoid any *scenes*. They'll be back Thursday. Then they'll try and pack as much as they can into the beau's little mini and they'll be off. 

( We are taking the rest next weekend, and probably every subsequent visit for three years! She has a lot of stuff - including the telescope that's been in my room for ever! That's one thing in not sorry to see go. Think Hubble - it's that big! ) 

Right I'm going to get up and busy myself with some baking, laundry and back to back episodes of the Walking Dead and knitting. 
I need to quit bawling. And get a grip! *Mentally slaps face saying snap out of it!*
I know this much:
Mr 18 needs to man up and get ready for some extreme mothering. 

Think I'm gonna need more of these...

Lots of love from 
Rachel *They don't tell you this in the baby books* Radiostar xxx 

Thursday 10 March 2016

From hero to zero

Yesterday was the hero bit, today was the zero. 

I've been one of three TAs running our school's first set of Lego Therapy courses. We call it Lego Friends because therapy sounds so awful! 
It's an hour a session. It's very structured and it's a scheme to help children learn how to become more confident in social situations really. It's a really safe environment for them and it's just absolutely brilliant! Three children, three adults is how we have done it for KS1 and three children two adults for KS2. 
Well yesterday was the last session for both of our groups. The children expressed their sadness at the news! They've really loved coming. One KS2 person told me that it really was the best 8 weeks of their whole life, their happiest 8 weeks in any school ever. I was almost bawling! I told them that I was proud of them and that it'd been a privilege to have worked with them for 8 weeks! My fellow TAs were equally as moved and it reminds based me why I absolutely love doing what I do and that I DO make a difference! 

Quickly drag that needle across a record 


Today on playground duty
 Child approaches me in tears 
Said child finds playing with peers difficult, is a bully, is rough and the peers just avoid at all costs. Said child is also spoilt and dictates things at home. 

Child: waaaaaaaahhhhhh
Me: ( concerned ) what's the matter??
Child: I'm playing tig and they ( points aggressively towards another child in the same class ) always tigs me first. And it's not faaaaiiiirrrrr. 

 Please bear in mind that I've had this conversation with this child and the peers 28976543  times. Also bear in mind every. Single. Staff. Member. On. Duty. Ever. has had the same conversations. 
What happens is child X plays tig, gets tug and then won't acknowledge it and won't be on. The others get sick of this deliberate flouting of tig rules. I tell them if child X is not conforming, don't include them in the game, don't chase, don't tig, ignore. I tell child X to find someone else/another game to play. In fact tig has been banned a trillion times over! 

So this is how it panned out. 

Me: well, like I said yesterday and last week, if you don't like it, don't play it. 

Child : But they keep tigging me first. Everytime. 

Me: if you don't like it, don't play it

Child: but I want to play

Me: well just be on then. Accept you've been tug and move on

But it's not fair, they ( child Y ) always go for me

Me: right if Child Y is on, sit this game out then join back in at the start of a new game

Child: but I wanna plaaayyyyy

Me: well off you go then 

Child: but Child Y always gets me first

Me: ( getting MIGHTILY PISSED OFF NOW yet speaking softly ) I'm not going to go and tell Child Y who to tig and who not to. Have you asked them to give you a chance? 

Child: no but I'm always first to be tug? 

My colleague: why do you think that it is child? 

Me ( thinking : it's because you are the slowest and they don't like you because you hurt them ) 
If you don't like it don't play it. 

Child: I wanna play but Child Y always tigs me first. 

Me: what do you want me to do? I'm not going to tell Child Y off. If they are on they  can tig who they want. Look ( points to child Y chasing Child Z)  child Z has just been tug and is laughing, they've not come crying to me about it. 

Child : stamps away from me, face screwed up in a temper. Walks towards the bin, yells I HATE you and boots the bin over. Before I have time to react, runs to go in ( and hide in the cloakroom probably ) stops at the door and screams 
F*** OFF at me. 

Quite simply charming eh?! 

Lots of love from 

Rachel *Im afraid you won't get your own way with me* Radiostar xxx

Wednesday 9 March 2016

Epic journey

She's back! 
She travelled all the way from New Zealand to China then from China to Heathrow London. No bother. 
London to Manchester - took about 6 hours due to xancelled/delayed/broken planes! So after making the requested homecoming meal of bangers,cheesy mash n beans for 8.30pm - her eta. She got in gone 11pm with me resembling one of the zombies on The Walking Dead. I've just finished Season 3. Season 4 looks good! 
Anyway, in she strolled looking tanned but tired! 
It was so lovely to clap eyes on her. The bet of five minutes from the other post went unwon! Tis all rather harmonious! We had a brief laugh and chat before everyone just went to bed! 
Naturally I could not fall asleep despite being wholly knackered! I was just dropping off when the HG spoke and woke me. He complained he couldn't get to sleep! Within three minutes he was flipping well snoring! 
Think it was about 1am when I dozed off.  
3.33am woke for a wee 
4.20am last time I looked at the clock
6am in a sweary mood when the alarm went off because of course I could now sleep for England! 
It said on the news that Georhe Martin had died. I was all Game of Thrones bereft HOWEVER it was the bloke who wrote the Beatles songs. 
Now Adele is singing. Her songs get right on my tits! I like her very much, she's hilarious on chat shows etc. No denying she can sing but for crying out loud it's all shouty angst ridden stuff! It all sounds the same! 
Time for my shower and I think I need to use my *miracle mood improver shampoo! 

Cheerio, I'll probably be back at some point with tales from NZ. Until then, 

Lots of love from 

Rachel *grouch face-heart happy* Radiostar 

*miracle mood improving shampoo does not exist. I might invent it, go on Dragon's Den and make my millions. 

Sunday 6 March 2016

Mothering Sunday

Well, with Miss 21 STILL in NZ and Mr 18 never surfacing till Midday on the weekend, I shall have to get up and make my own breakfast lest I starve to death! 

Ahhh gone are those days of being woken before dawn, by having a tray slapped on you, ending up wearing a few soggy cornflakes, a lukewarm 3/4 milk cup of tea and some burnt toast, as you attempt to come round and sit up, whilst being clambered upon and a card shoved in your face by eager pudgy little hands. I loved those days. *wistful smile* 
Indeed, I remember my sisters and I plonking a breakfast tray upon our poor mum and all three of us used to sit on the bed, smiling proudly as our culinary delights went down - I think we got more adventurous as we got older. One year it was pancakes served burnt on one side, with a drizzle of glacĂ© cherries. We'd lovingly watch her choke it down!! Baulking, often!! My ma never ever used to eat breakfast. Just that once a year!! Poor parents! Bloody kids!! 

Well Miss 21 will land back in Blighty around tea time on Tuesday. Hasn't it gone fast?! Her beau will collect her from the airport and bring her home. Me and the HG have got a bet on as to how long will it be before she narks us! Five minutes is the current shortest estimate! It'll be so lovely to have her back annoying us again! But it won't be for long. As she's being whisked away to Berlin by the beau. He bought her surprise tickets to see 'Hurts' - her favourite band, in Berlin.
I don't think I've ever been whisked anywhere. I just asked. The HG claims that Sainsburys every week counts...

Then it's the biggy. She's moving to Newcastle. Permanently. Gulp. O I know I'm used to her not being here with Uni and NZ but this is it. She's properly fleeing my safe nest.  It's so sooooon. It was only yesterday that she was just a tiny tiny little baby. 
Well she was 9lbs 7oz born so technically never a tiny tiny baby! She was about three months on this photo. 

Quick fast forward to Tuesday night and my dining room floor will be once again covered in her belongings and my washer will be full of her washing and my fridge will mysteriously empty itself during the day when I'm at work! But it'll be the last time. For after the 18th March, they're moving into their lovely ground floor two bedroom flat, when she comes home to visit, it'll be with her Beau and I sincerely hope it'll be just the two of them and not the two of them plus double dirty washing!!! ( Although, you, me and they all know I'd do it! ) 

Anyway just before I go I thought I'd show you the napkin rings I got off my ma in law ( who got them off a lady, who got them off a lady, who got them off a lady ).
I'd been telling her about the bargain new tablecloth I'd got which came with napkins. I mentioned I didn't think I had any napkin rings - but just writing this now makes me think I've one ceramic set that matches my really so expensively posh I daren't use it dinner set we got 100 years ago. I'm not sure now at all. I might go looking. 
Anyway she gave me this unassuming box on Thursday. 

I think they are beautiful! Enamel and silver. 
With flash

Without flash. 

And on that note I'm off to make my own soggy cornflakes! 

Lots of love from 
Rachel * can't think of a middle name today so will use my real middle name : Fiona... What's your middle name?* Radiostar xxx 

Saturday 5 March 2016

Saturday again! Blogging from my bed!

Monday - I was mostly doing Young Voices! Set off from school at 11am with 7 other staff members and 71 excited cherubs. We got to Manchester about 1pm. I still call it the MEN Arena. I've no idea what it's called these days but because Young Voices was celebrating its 20th birthday, 'they' renamed it as the YV Arena for the day. 
Three hours of rehearsals ensued. Then tea then the concert! 
Can you see me? I'm the one in the white t shirt! We were on the lower tier just left of the conductor. We got home at 11.25pm. Knackering but awesome day. I partied harder than the kids! 
The girl who opened the Rugby World Cup in London last year Laura something was there and we 'hoooo AAHH'ed our way through her World in Union song! That was awesome. An up and coming popster by the name of Tom Billington came and we sang his song Invincible and the we all joined in with MY song - Video killed the Radiostar!! Also awesome! We also sang Everything is Awesome which I think is the Lego Movie theme tune. That was pretty good!! 

Look at my stats!! The majority of those steps were taking cherubs up and down the hundreds of steps to the toilet!!
I am so unfit, the next day, I could barely move my arms and my knees were killing me!

Tuesday - I was mostly doing whining about my achey arms. You see, I was truly in  'dance like no one is watching' mode. Turns out, the parents who'd bought tickets, had also brought binoculars and there was a three way bet going on, split betwixt me, my work chum who'd organised it all who was next to me and one of the other teachers ( also a work chum! ) sat further back, about who was giving it the most welly.
In the evening it was the usual karate night run and when we got to the HG's Mum's. This was on her doorstep. 
Awww! I said ooooh, your prince has come! Quickly invite him in and kiss him! 
She ran back in the house, almost slamming the door in our faces, screaming 
OH BLOODY HELL DO NOT LET IT IN!  A tad over dramatic! But equally hilarious! 
Poor little froggy must have got the message, because he was not there when we came out! 

Wednesday - I was mostly doing the bare minimum! The tiredness from Monday caught me up, so it was a bit of jigsawing and telly and bed after work. 

Thursday - quote of the week from a sweet little cherub at Night Owls 

Child: ( clutching throat ) I've got a sore throat.
Me: oh no, has it just started hurting? We'll tell Mum when she gets here. 
Child: oh, I think I know when it started. I was practising singing for the concert at school and it was really high. 
Me: oh right, which song? 
Child: it was really high. The Lightning Tree. I think I hurt my voice singing it. 
Me: ( starts singing the high la la la la bit from the Lightning Tree ) ( quite high! )
Child: no, it was higher than that. ( looks around the hall ) 
Me: ...
Child : see that? (Pointing high up towards the ceiling ) see that pipe up there? 
Me: yes, I see it. 
Child: That's how high I was singing. 
Me: ( on the inside ) hahahahahahahahaha 
Me: wow that IS high 
Child: nods solemnly 

Friday - I was mostly rejoicing! Last day at work! There was snow to contend with. And cherubs high on snow to contend with! But I'll show you my latest present from my wonderful HG who spoils me for no reason! 
He got me a floor standing frame holder, so when I'm sat in my Crinoline, in my high backed chair in the window, sewing will be so much easier!! 

 Saturday - that's today, I'll mostly be washing, cleaning, reading blogs and being craftsy! It's sunny, so I might even go for a walk later on. It's also both of my little sisters' birthdays. One of them is 40. HOW CAN THIS BE???? I sent them this! 

Hope you are all well in your worlds and have had a great week! 

Lots of love from 

Rachel * best get up and start the day* Radiostar!!