Monday 27 April 2020


Good morning. It's Monday and cold and sunny and bright

As I made my morning coffee - this morning I went for a pretty stripy pod! 
I pondered about yogurt. I love the stuff and whilst I have not checked for a response from that shop about the substitutes, I was dredging up some knowledge from the dusty shelves at the back of my brain. A quick check on google proved I wasn't mad. If you strain plain yogurt, you get a thicker creamier greek style yogurt! So that is what I shall do! And then I wandered off down memory lane trying to think of my first memories of the stuff and the earliest I can go back is my 8th birthday. Memorable because I had my tonsils out that day! No parents were allowed to stay and because I couldn't stop screaming when I came round - it HURT - the matron came in and smacked me for upsetting all the other patients! Could you imagine these days!

The hospital was just round the corner from my childhood home and was one of those hospitals without a casualty department. Its a housing estate now.  
In fact our City had 4 hospitals. The main infirmary, still there now, the original building intact and now  is the main oncology department. The site is much bigger now with new and more modern buildings being built in recent years, the one where I had me tonsils out, and two asylums. Yes TWO!

 One opened in 1816, that held 2300 patients.The other later just for children - who in turn never left and became institutionalised adults. Bearing in mind people were admitted for things like being an unmarried mother, being born with a club foot or Downs and  another for severely disabled ones. One official name states 
Asylum for Idiots and Imbeciles, a charitable institution. 

As you know I like to remain as anonymous as I can, so if you'd like to know the names of these establishments - drop me a line.
Information gathered from a bit of research....
At a time when the dominant legislation (i.e. the 1845 Lunacy Act) muddied distinctions between learning disability and mental illness, the   ****** was set up specifically for the care and education of children with learning disabilities. Admitting its first patients in December 1870,  its primary focus was on those young people with learning disabilities aged between 6 and 15 years who, ideally after 7 years in the institution, would be able to leave and lead useful lives in the outside world. Of the 662 patients in 1909 85% were under 15 and 504 of its total number had been there less than 10 years.
This is in stark contrast to 1948 when of its 886 patients 45% were aged over 35 with only 12% being under 15; furthermore most of those living there could be classified as long stay patients. While the earlier asylum had been designed to prepare young people for wider world, now its primary purpose was to segregate individuals of all ages from that same environment. In line with these developments the numbers continued to rise, so much so that during the 1960’s and 70’s the hospital experienced serious overcrowding with the patient population exceeding 1,000. 
I vividly remember as a child we would play games where we'd be chased and scared of people escaping from these places! The buildings themselves are magnificent and are now developed into a college and posh over expensive flats and apartments! The extensive grounds now great swathes of houses. 
Isn't it mad how a memory of yogurt creates a blog post!

Anyway once home Mum bought me Mr Men banana yogurts. Those and SKI yogurts in churn style tubs are the ones I remember. Thanks to google for the images! It was the only thing to soothe my poor throat.

Actual video footage of me this morning in the shower!

Thank you for your comments on the garden and my wall. My garden is literally a rectangle shape and that is my one border - the opposite side has a fence and a lawn that is slowly being wrecked from being a dog owner! But I took some photos of the peony buds and the alliums.

It's crazy how this tight little cherry sized ball will become a huge bloom!

This one will bloom the last and needs staking as the heads are massive. You can see the sticky sap oozing that will have the red ants invading in a few days. The other peony plants do not do this. 

Day 5 - I'll call this one Alfred Allium

And this one Alex Allium

Finally, I have been working on an embroidery project for work. We have a set of twelve values that we focus on each moth and thoughtfulness IS NOT ONE OF THEM! Had I been thoughtful, I would have checked before setting off Vera my machine. Ho hum, The correct word is Truthfulness! It'll not go to waste - I can use it somehow in my room! Ive been trying to come up with a little slogan for it.
Try a little Thoughtfulness.

Lots of love from
Rachel * yogurt chops* Radiostar xx

Saturday 25 April 2020

Sunny Saturday

It's been a lovely Sunny Saturday here and it's been mostly been spent in the garden. Because I was in work last week it did actually feel like a real Saturday this morning when I got up and not a lockdown one.  It still has that feeling now. Signs of the lockdown were there though. I had my butcher deliver my meat instead of traipsing uptown for it. The roads and skies were quiet and every single parking space was occupied on my street.

So for years, I've had a compost bin down the bottom of the garden, and it was kind of in the way of the back gate. Was not a problem when we didn't need to use it but since Bluebell, when we have used it is it so easy as the back ginnel does lead directly onto the playing field where I walk her and not only that - coming in that way especially after the rain means I can hose her off in the garden = less mud through the house! Plus it will be easier to put the bins out! I have called our compost bin the tardis for years!

It was a standard issue one from our local council about 20 years ago. I will be honest, I'm just not that into gardening anymore! I was super keen and I've had my vegetable patch and bed and been a keen grower.  I've grown food in pots. I had my lovely display of blue delphiniums that got destroyed one year by slugs. Coincidentally was the same year I had to put black plastic down to cover the soil to stop a certain someone eating the stones in the soil. I still like it to look pretty. I still only put in purple and blue plants but I don't go mad with bedding plants etc like I used to.  Anyway, one of my real life best friends has started out in the world of Floristry and has begun to develop her huge garden into flower beds where she is growing her own flowers for cutting. She is going to inherit the Tardis. It is going to a good home. I topped up my pots - ready for when I do go pick up a few pretties, I also emptied the herb tub, replanted the sage, tarragon and thyme in my pots of purple and blue.

Bluebell was taken for  long walkies by Mr 23 whilst we did the messy stuff because she is too 'helpful'. It looks nice and tidy now. Soon the bluebells will make way for the irises.

I've taken a photo of the allium. and if I can be arsed when it's finally open I could do a time lapse thing!

 We will see. For tea, I made deli plates Rachel style of cheese and biscuits, salami, roast chicken finger sandwiches and some posh salt n vinegar cracker crisps things. Very beige! Although I did have some juicy cherry tomatoes. Really nice for a change. BBQ tomorrow if the weather holds - though the forecast is set to change back to normal. My prickly heat came out with a vengeance - forgot to start taking ant histamines and didn't put sunblock on. Nevermind.
I saw this jigsaw whilst on facebook and am dithering if I could spent £18 on a jigsaw. Dithering towards a no right now. Too expensive.

 Well, we just watched BGT. Loved the singers tonight. As a rule I complain and say things like - they should go on x factor ( Moaning old biddy I am ). Loved the New Amsterdam I watched last night. But to my joy, tonight, we've found a Louis Therous we haven't seen before. I love his documentaries. So am signing off now and will look at and reply to any comments tomorrow and do a bit of bloggy catch up.

Lots and lots of love from
Rachel*will sleep tonight* Radiostar xxx

Friday 24 April 2020

Friday hoorayyy

It's been boiling hot. We had 3 beings at school. I am tired and glad it's the weekend. The dog has had the paddling pool out. The peony is out as I predicted. And the dead tulip is resurrecting a bit more alliumesquely every day!

We had cottage pie for tea. I had a shopping delivery from the supermarket. A few substitutes that were close enough to live with. Eg cooked turkey was what I wanted, cooked chicken is what was sent. But Grommit they sent The Wrong Yogurt!
Has anyone seen that film with Michael Douglas in called Falling Down, where one day he just snaps? I could make the sequel about the yogurt. Specifically Alpro Greek Style - was the Alpro Go ON Plain, until a few months ago. Totally different taste and texture the the bloody revolting Alpro plain yogurt that they sent me. Not a happy bunny. It is not a problem, I could just request a refund. Except couldn't find the gubbins to do it
it said

I have a substitute item in my grocery order that I wish to return.

We will send an email to your registered email address outlining any substitutions we have needed to make to fulfill your order before we deliver it. Due to social distancing, we are temporarily not accepting returned or rejected items at your doorstep. If you would like to request a refund you can do this online. There are two ways to do this:
  1. If you've received an order within the last 24 hours, simply sign in and click on the 'Need a refund?' button in the 'Welcome back' box at top.
  2. Sign in to your account and click on the 'Orders' tab. Go to previous orders, find the order you're looking for, and then click on the 'Request' link under the 'Refund' 
  3. section to request a refund on that specific order.
SIMPLY SIGN IN AND CLICK. I looked and looked - nothing to click.
However I have fired off  a strongly worded email.* and await ....

Look at what the teachers in school today did with the children.

My handprint is on here_ I think it looks awesome on our school gates and wish it could somehow be turned into a permanent fixture!
Last night, the clap on the street was full of clappers and the little tot down the street  had his little drum kits out -  very cute.  No fireworks thank goodness. Anyhoo, time for a bit of telly, we just saw that some new episodes of New Amsterdam have been released on Amazon Prime. It's such a good feel good drama. 

Lots of love from
Rachel * The strongly worded email was a polite request for help actually, may have mentioned I work in a school for added sympathy* Radiostar xx

Thursday 23 April 2020

Wednesday and Thursday this week.

This week has gone really fast I think. Maybe it is because I have been at work. I've been up very early as per usually betwixt 5.30am and 6.30am. I've been tired at night, I think because I've had to be using my brain! I am writing this now as the HG is watching a 'fascinating' programme on how to make a fishing rod.  When I got in from work last night I had left over curry for tea ( see photo below ). It was, I can honestly say, one of the best curry's I have made in ages. I made up my own spice mix, a bit of this n that etc - ground cumin, coriander, chilli powder, garam masala. A tin of tomatoes. Chopped chicken breasts. Chopped onion . Frozen garlic and ginger from the bottom of the freezer.  Tomato puree, a bit of chicken stock and some frozen spinach added at the end. It was really good Tuesday night when I made it. Delicious and even better last night and so good I didn't mind it 3rd time lucky for my tea tonight! I am a bit sad it's all gone now! Was a cafe tea tonight. Pizza for the HG and chunky fishfingers and sweet potato wedges and corn on the cob for Mr 23. 
Before tea though I sat in the garden and enjoyed a cup of tea in the sunshine. And without my glasses on I though that all the petals had come off one of the tulips.....on closer inspection though, I rather think it's an alium! Forgot I had any. Thought I had some in the front but so far none emerging! The first peonies are almost ripe! Maybe tomorrow the hot sunshine forecast might encourage them out. 
Then after I had cleared away and tidies up. I got myself in clean pjs and all comfy in my chair, reclined to watch the Great British Sewing Bee. I promptly fell asleep after 10 minutes. Not because it wasn't worth watching, I think it was because I was so content and relaxed! I was very disgruntled when I woke up at quarter to midnight grrrrr. But all was well because me and Bluebell watched it this morning. That's when I snapped the photo below with her stinky feet at my nose end!

Possibly the best chicken curry I ever made. 

Fairly healthy packed lunch to take to work and Bluebell and I had scrambled eggs for breakfast. 

This is our morning cuddle. Her feet smelt but I really don't mind! I love her so much!

yellow rhubarb leaf  in the background spoiling the artistic photo hahaha

So yesterday a little one at school had turned 6 on Tuesday. Told me yesterday that they missed being 5! And as I love to laugh Ill share a comedytext  chat I had with my sister and my friend about boobs!

It started off 
Lisa - Harry has his piano lesson via zoom at 11. Better make sure he is not in his pyjamas and the piano area is tidy.
Me - And you've got a bra on LOL
Lisa - First job that when I get up. After William once asked, why do you have a bigger chest in the day at night? He was only about 4 or 5 but still...
Me - Hahahahahahahaaahhhaaaahhha I'm telling Eryn
Me - Eryn - another comedy William moment.
Eryn - LOL That's like when I asked my gramma what her boobs were and she told me I would have them too one day. Will they be so looooong?????I asked 
Me - dead from laughter!! 

I saw this online and thought it very apt for this day and age.

Right now, I'm signing off to go clap outside tonight for the bin men I have decided! Mostly because it has been so warm and the bins must stink! I will be very cross and furious if I then see lots of pictures of stacks of police on Westminster bridge etc NOT social distancing.

Lots and lots of love from

Rachel * STAY AWAY FROM PEOPLE* Radiostar xxx

Wednesday 22 April 2020

Mr 23

My second born turned 23 today. He is now, tall, dark and handsome and a sweet, kind, gentle lad. He also is a black belt in karate, taught himself to play the guitar and ukelele, makes amazing Yorkshire puddings and flapjack and is funny as. Currently single. Not that I'm wanting to get him married off anytime soon!
His cake was baked yesterday. I used 8oz of my precious SR flour stock! I've maybe a pound and a half of each STR and Plain left now. I'm not bragging but I do have an almost full bag of bread flour left and some in date yeast!!
8oz flour, caster sugar and marg, 4 large eggs. I split the mixture into thirds. Once vanilla, one choc chip and one chocolate. Jam, buttercream, nutella buttercream and milk chocolate ganache was used. Milk chocolate to decorate, Cadbury's chocolate fingers and buttons on the top! I made a chocolate 23 and was done! We facetimed his sister to do the candles and Happy Birthday song!

My absolutely beautiful baby boy.

Now then, I saw a top tip where they used the bottom of a pop bottle to help the pouring effect
Two mistakes I made - one I slightly overwhipped the ganache but it tastes absolutely divine so no big deal and 2 I let the melted chocolate cool too much so it didn't run as free as I'd like but I get how it will work next time! Also - it tastes absolutely divine so no big deal!

You can see the effect you'd get if it was pouring better. 
You then remove the bottle and fill the centre.

Slightly broke the numbers pressing them in. I could have melted more chocolate to glue them on but I was already the worst mother in the world for no presents so no big deal!

School was good today. Only one customer, but I rang approx 30 parents to do their weekly welfare check and it left me feeling warm and glowing to hear how grateful they are for the help we are giving them and how thankful I was to hear they are all fit and well. I am tired out tonight.
The HG took Bluebell for a walk this morning and she had a run in with a little black patterdale terrier. I say 'had a run in'.
The woman owner had 3 dogs, 2 on  a lead, one not. The loose one came over to B and bared it's teeth. The HG called B to him, she came, the black dog followed. The woman owner was calling her dog but mostly just carried on walking away. The black dog then 'went' for Bluebell, who jumped and squealed. The HG confessed to thinking about booting the black dog to kingdom come but he was a little too far away  as in he said his leg would not have stretched that far! and the owner did eventually get her dog to come to her. She got told off in no uncertain terms by the HG and I am glad he did. Bluebell seems unaffected by the skirmish, she does have a mark on her hindquarters which I have bathed in salt water and put some wound cleaner on especially for dogs. I will keep a close eye on it. Grrrr - other people's dogs.
We have just discovered Doc wotsit - I forget his name now - and will try to find series one to watch it from. Bloke out of men behaving badly is a grumpy GP in Cornwall. Wordfinding when I'm tired is none existent. I wouldn't mind but an advert for it was literally JUST on!  A remnant of the damage done when I was yellow I think. Plus old age!

Right time for a brew then bed.

Lots of love from

Rachel*They're not babies long* Radiostar xx

Monday 20 April 2020

And work stops play...

The Easter Holidays ended and I was back into work today as the Rota dictated. The same childers attended as before the holidays and whilst I've described it earlier as strange, it was really good to leave the house for a real purpose other than walking Madam B or nipping to the local spar for essentials. It was really good to see other familiar humans who mean something to me and to talk about the shared experience of schooling during the lockdown for key worker children. It was even good to smell the school smell. I just wish it would all just go away and we could get back to normal and I could faux moan properly about the freedom of the holidays going! I do have real real worries for the children I know who have a difficult time of it at home. And by difficult time of it, I mean bloody rotten and toxic and chaotic. It will bring me genuine joy to go back to work on a normal day and see their little faces. Including the one child who told me I was the smiliest person they know but they wondered why I always gave them the biggest smile...( I totally do ) and I replied with a "Do i?"
They said yes because they've watched me do it a lot.  They tell anyone who will listen that I am their favourite teacher. I don't do anything special at all. I just give my kindness, time and big smiles.

My wonderful wonderful work wife always reminds me that I do make a difference. Even when I think I'm doing nothing in particular. Working full time on the pastoral team now means I rarely get into a classroom properly and I do actually miss that. I used to love the teaching.

I thought my Geography and History lessons were fab! I read back some of the blog posts, wearing my pink glasses, you know, the rose tinted ones, about some of the now grown up childers in my lessons and wallowed with fond nostalgia. Remember Lynford? Newer readers here may have missed this early post. Click it to read it. It should work.

Very Poignant Post

I shall just wait here for you to go read all about Lynford, blow your nose after good cry, and settle back down here.

All OK now?! Ha! I've been practising the art of delayed gratification - which what I teach to the childers ( and parents ) at school and waiting to open my quilt kit for two reasons. The first is that I have a wee craft project on the go for school and the other is that I want to 'live' blog it!

I am also making a triple layer birthday cake for Mr 22 who turns 23 tomorrow. What a time to have a birthday! The cake is a layer of vanilla, chocolate chips and chocolate. I'll be using ganache to decorate. And I will have to hunt the candles out. No presents to open for the first time ever as there is genuinely nothing he wants and he really isn't one for stuff to open he neither needs or wants! So money in a card it is! It makes me feel like a TERRIBLE mother.

Lots of love from
Rachel *bad parent* Radiostar xxx

Friday 17 April 2020

Ch ch changes

Well, I have been faffing about with colours and themes and photos. Seeing as it's almost ten years since I began writing this blog. I was dissatisfied with how the photos looked and wondered if it was the background colour. Who knows? Anyway the latest news from our part of the lockdown.

 After a lovely lonely walk along the canal, it was very warm in the garden so the paddling pool was out - much splashing and joy. However, why she insists on standing right next to me before shaking, I do not understand.
Trying to catch the water!
So on Wednesday I made Egg Custard again. Much better this time.

Then I edited the photo because I thought it looked like they were screaming for help!

So I had left over egg whites to deal with. Whisked them, added sugar, popped them on paper, baked them, filled with whipped cream and topped with mandarins and raspberries. The 4 little ones were for chef's tasting only. 


It's a little bit cooler here today so am not sure we will be sitting out in the garden. The washing is out already and we've been to Sainsrobbers so I could buy  a birthday card for Mr 22. Poor him having a lockdown birthday. He will just be getting money to spend on what he wishes when we are released into the wild again.
Observations in the shop were mostly shock at the fact there is still NO FLOUR on the shelves. Where is it all? Who has it all? Not me. I have maybe half a bag of each left. On the plus side - I can't bake much and eat it.
I have been sewing oh and MY QUILT KIT JUST ARRIVED!!
I'll blog t tomorrow!!

Lots of love from
Rachel* new blog design - not sure about it yet mind* Radiostar xx