Sunday 31 May 2020

Someone is two!

Apologies to those who also follow me on other forms of social media for you will have seen these photos already.
 I do not know how I have survived - as in 8 weeks time will be the 2nd anniversary of the day we went to get her!
But for now, this little gorgeous puppy has grown into a beautiful, fairly well trained, best dog in the world.
Of course, being a birthday meant there had to be cake. I mixed porridge oats with a mashed ripe banana, a spoon of honey, two spoons of natural peanut butter and two eggs and baked in a medium oven till firm. I passed a couple over the wall for the neighbours little puppies.

Happy Birthday Little Miss Bluebell Flowers xx These photos are not in order. And chances are you have seen them already!

This was the day we brought her home. 

This one made me chuckle as she loves apple and normally she will have chunks of it or wedges. As it was her birthday she was over the moon to be given a ball that she could eat - though it took her a while to figure out what to do with it! Once figured, soon scoffed! 
Please note I did core the apple as the pips are toxic to dogs.

The rest of the day was spent playing in her paddling pool and generally being adored - much like any other day really!

Back to school tomorrow - INSET and a conference call.  I will welcome the cooler forecast  weather for a few days. And my lockdown will not be relaxing much I can tell you. I think it's too soon. Besides - I love staying at home! Am looking forward to the long lost family special TV programme tomorrow night about two babies that were abandoned from birth. I bet you a million quid I will cry in it. I cried watching a programme about elephants last night! Doesn't take much!

Lots of love from

Rachel *happy just to be healthy* Radiostar xx

Friday 29 May 2020

Friday’s thoughts.

I have plenty!
I think my dander was got up by a hateful comment on a dear friend's blog that was frankly unnecessary.
But in all honesty, a LOT of the people living in my vicinity have been interpreting the rules their own way.
Delayed gratification is what I HAVE to teach the cherubs in my Nurture Group. It's basically a temper tantrum, way past the age of two, because they cannot get their own way and that's whats happening now for a lot of brats. The people up the road having parties for VE day with no social distancing?  Brats. Massive gang of teenage girls sat on the field where I walk Bluebell, clearly thought the clouds of extra strength perfume would protect them and hide the stench of the weed they were smoking - Brats.

I blame the parents!
The VE party Brats - I nipped to the Spar having JUST watched the news where we'd been told that as from Monday, up to 6 people can meet in a garden as long as they are 2m apart - the car with the mother in almost ran us over speeding round the corner - I joked to the HG, bloody hell, now it's been on the news , off they go....lo and behold on our return - said car parked up. Obviously in too much of a rush to hear the From Monday bit.

 It's now a very long time since I have seen my daughter in the flesh, but I am still willing to wait a little bit longer in order to keep her and us as safe as possible. The stories I've seen about the disease keeps me sticking to the rules as much as I can. Brats obviously do not care about the fact it is WEEKS in hospital if you are unlucky to be one of the ones who don't have a mild case and only now the recurring issues and difficulties of recovery are coming to light.  What do Brats not understand about ORGAN FAILURE?? They clearly already sufferrom some extent - their key porgan being the brain.

School - Ours has never been shut, and I have continued to work both in the building and at home. It makes me laugh to see some of the Brats who were the first ones calling for the schools to shut  at the start of the pandemic -  openly berating the school and staff on Facebook are the same ones now wanting schools to reopen, berating the staff for being lazy and getting paid for nothing. Hideous, hateful Brats. Incidentally, the packs of work you requested  from your offspring at the start, because you had no internet to download things from the massive amounts of online learning my colleagues put on, is STILL waiting to be collected in the school foyer. I think maybe you used up all your internet slagging the school off on Facebook and you've been too busy none socially distancing with all your bratty mates to call in, or maybe it was because your arms were too full of crates of beer for afore mentioned party that you couldn't possibly collect some printing full of fun activities you could be doing with your feral brats.

OOOOOO I got a little bit Miss Ranty Pants there didn't I.
I think the Welsh have it right. Stay Local, for now.
Having said all of that, there are plenty of Non Brats out there, following the advice, trying to stay as safe as they can and doing a brilliant job of home schooling. I cant talk, at the start of all this, with all the training I was going to do with Bluebell, we'd be the next Ashley and Pudsey on Britain's Got Talent!!

However, she is beginning to trot a little bit with much persuasion and biscuits but only sat down. Going take a massive bag of sausages I think to get her doing it standing. If you look in any Springer Spaniel book, it tells you they are eager to please. Yes, THEMSELVES!

It is very very hot and sunny so I was out before 7am this morning with her and we went to the park where they are not cutting the grass in areas and it looks lovely and gives me brilliant photo and video opportunities. It was already showing as 14C on my watch at 7am but it did feel warmer. I was careful not to let her run around too much.

I do have a video of her springing about but think I have to add it to you tube first so I might have a look see later. 

I also did a very pleasing activity yesterday. Having raided my haberdashery for the trimmings for the little cardi, I sat with the boxes in the sun and untangled, and stroked and admired all my trimmings, recalling fondly of the projects I had in mind when I was buying it all!!

I'm going to knit a row or two of the matinee jacket outside whilst I fill the paddling pool for Mrs Springypants. She is currently sprawled, legs akimbo on the sofa next to me.
I think a slow cooker beef curry in on the cards - I have some lovely lean braising steak to use - cannot really be faffed to do it traditionally with mash n veg!

Have a very very lovely socially distant day everyone!
I loved this that someone put on twitter.

If 6 people think they can meet up in my back garden as of next Monday, they can piss off.
I am not the fucking  National Trust!

I am both NT and EH an I think we can now book online to visit places. Mind you , if it's anything like the supermarket delivery slots, I'll look forward to a visit Mid November!

Lots of love from

Rachel *Day 4 of no biscuits, maybe that is the reason for my snarkiness* Radiostar xxx

Thursday 28 May 2020

News of sweet new life!

First of all let me tell you that my friend is now the proud Grandma of a gorgeous little Grandaughter, safely delivered on May 23rd around lunchtime. She's a really good weight considering she was a few weeks early and Mum and Baby ( and Dad ) are all doing well and hopefully home Thursday Friday.
Id started knitting the other week and I was waiting to see what flavour the baby was going to be before I finished the button bands. Yesterday I was dithering which buttons to use but in the end I went with some little crystal ones that set the silver grey off perfectly. I almost went with the pink - but then thought neutral is best for matching!! I love it when I get  photos of  my  creations being worn/used and I log it down in my personal portfolio, even if the cardigan/creation is only worn/used once for that photo!

Hope they like it. I've started another little baby knit, but this time it's for the 'in case I have Grandchildren and I am unable to knit anymore drawer' as it would make me incredibly sad to think of all the babies out there who have worn something I created and my own children couldn't be gifted anything like that. Of course I will show you all once done. It's an old fashioned Matinee set - my absolute favourite to do. Although this one is not my favourite one as it has flipping MB all the way through it! For those non knitters out there it stands for Make Bobble and it's teeny needles and fine wool which is fair tricksy for me to do. it's in white with a hint of sparkle!!

The murder mystery night for Macmillan was brilliant fun. I was Bery Belter and the host sent us out our scripts and instructions. Everyone dressed up and got into character and much laughter ensued given the dodgy accents that were being banded about! I was NOT the killer and actually none of us bar the HG ( who wasn't taking an active part - just watching and listening ) worked out the real killer! Not saying who in case it's a one size fits all and others reading this might do it. It was by Macmillan for Macmillan and our little group managed to raise over £100 for them. It was fun.

My sister brought me an emergency lockdown jigsaw to do. She brought two - this is the first. Its' a London scene and I've done the edge pieces so far and a few red bits. I do try to pace myself eeking it out a bit!

Here is Madam Squishy Lips with her favourite ball. That she destroyed yesterday. I had to take it off her because it was a light up one and I could not risk her swallowing any of the innards of the workings. 

Add caption
It's going to be a scorcher so I am going to do a bit of weeding before it gets too hot and a quick squizz round with the hoover. I think Mr 23 is going to stroll Madam before it's too warm and she will be having her paddling pool out this afternoon I should think. I'm on the anti histamines and my allergy Factor 30/50 for prickly heat. The the none drowsy anti histamines wiped me out and I fell asleep at 7.30pm last night missing corrie and the sewing bee. So I have those to catch up on too. Think it's BBQ for tea, burgers and chicken kebab skewers. I shall drag myself to the shops for some lettuce as I have run out! I might  see how out of date the seeds I found in the shed are and plant some and pray!!

Right off I go
Lots of love from
Rachel * is going outside and she may be some time * Radiostar xxx

Saturday 23 May 2020

Weekend Mysteries indeed - attempt 2

Well well well, who knows what type of gremlins got into my post this morning. I'm going to copy and paste it over and fingers' crossed it works....

Mystery 1 - solved.
Yesterday I posted a photo of a flowering bush I've had in the garden for years - but I've not had flowers on it for a couple years...after some kind commenters identified the plant for me - a quick internet search revealed.....
( and it is here that I wonder where it all went wrong when I pasted in the internet quote.) 

Do you cut back weigela?

It is best to prune weigela shrubs in the late spring after they have finished blooming. Trimming weigela bushes right after they bloom will keep you from inadvertently pruning off next year's flowers. This is because weigela bloom on wood that it is a year old. The wood that grows this year will bloom next year."

I've probably hacked it back pruned it at the wrong time of year.   Also I am well aware, that a couple of posts ago I declared myself to be a none gardening fan - and yet here I am waffling on and showing off the flowers and plants in my garden! 

Mystery 2 - unsolved.

I woke up this morning with my mouth tasting of yak. So off I popped to clean my teeth ( been in Blogland since waiting for the minty goodness to subside before my morning coffee!) and whilst cleaning my teeth, despite me cleaning the bathroom and all the windowsill gubbins regularul;y, I only just noticed today that there are 7 toothbrushes in total. There are only 3 of us living here. I have one pink one on the go - so I remember the pink for girls one is for me! Sooooooo who do the other ones belong to?? I must ask the menfolk to do a stock check. Then I will snaffle the discards for the grouting!

Mystery 3 - yet to happen. 
Tonight, at 8.30 - there will be a murder. My friends are hosting a virtual Murder mystery evening in order to support Macmillan Cancer Support via zoom! I've never done one of these before so I am looking forwards to it. My character is Beryl Belter. I do have some long black gloves somewhere. I shall fashion a headband and I have a feather boa. The HG will wear his peaky blinders hat and waistcoat and we will have alcohol and nibbles! We always have good fun. 
I will report back to share if I am either a murderer or a murderee! I have 3 pages of storyline to read first but then NO FURTHER until 8.30pm tonight! It will be fun.

Mystery 4 - Where has all the flour gone?

Why the flippingty heck is flour and packaging production not back to full swing ( Social distancing etc allowed ) yet or at least solved out to rationing purposes? Toilet roll shortages didn't bother me - but my teeth are starting to get itchy now dues to the LACK OF FLOUR for me to buy off the shelf without too much hard work!

Mystery 5 -   As yet undecided

What shall I do today? The craft room is calling me. What should I make for tea? Think it's going yo be beefburgers as my butcher delivered today. His name is John and he is just about as Northern as one can be!

So, It is now just gone 5pm and I am amending this post so I can tell you exactly what I have done today. Sweet Fanny Adams really. Pegged out in the hurricane with a comedy amount of pegs on each item. The HG is walking the dog who has also been lazing the day away. Perhaps it was much needed! I tell you what though, her poo has been rock hard and WHITE a la 70s today! No mystery there though... Nextdoor's Mum gave us some beef rib bones from the butchers for the doggies. Bluebell scoffed one last night. It is good for their innards and their teeth and for naturally expressing their anal glands. I shall make her some cakes to say thank you oince I get some flour. I did nip up to the spar and they had bags and bags of posh 00 pasta flour!! The 00 just means extra fine so would have done has I really wanted som ethat much. I will confess to buying ( GASP ) a bag of ready made crumble mix as the rhubarb is finally pickable.

Right I really really must read this script and get sorted out for later! Hoping this post posts properly and not criss crossed. If it doies then I guess I am cursed! I could do with everyone's bloggy love and prayers sending via the internet, via me to one of my beautiful best friend's daughter in law who is currently 1cm dilated with her first very much longed for IVF baby. She's a few weeks early but hoping all goes as well as it can and all are safe and well.
Lots of love from, 
Rachel *Sherlock* Radiostar xxx

Friday 22 May 2020

Blowing a gale

It's Friday and officially half term. I have just finished a zoom staff meeting where I never know where to look with my eyes! I wanted to post a few pics for posterity. I have no idea what these pink flowers are but they are back after a two year holiday! The bush has grown and I likes the leaves but the flowers are here for now! 

Rain drop or diamonds?

My pride and joy

rain drops

The beautiful Bluebell with Ear of Bambi in her mouth. 

Lockdown makes her happy! 
Nothing much to say. Going to check the washing is still on the line despite 20 pegs per item!
Back soon
Lots of love from
Rachel *burned out/burnt out  - too tired to think of the correct tense* Radiostar xx

Tuesday 19 May 2020

Slimming World Lasagne....and cake

So I finally got my butt into gear and made the lasagne that I said I would do to the members of the SW Zoom meetings for the last three weeks.  I also made cakes.

So, I looked at the recipe and I searched my cupboards for the box of lasagne I have in the back of them for everrrrr only to discover I must have thrown it away like Maria Kondo would want me to!
I really could not be faffed with dry frying the mince etc and chopping all the veg, so like a rebel I opened the freezer door and went hunting...
into the pan I poured half a bag of frozen onion, some frozen garlic, some frozen mire poire ( carrot celery and more onion ). I added two red wine stock cubes that I'd dissolved already in a pint of water and then let go cold,  instead of the beef one in the recipe. I added a carton of passatta and some tomato puree - going off piste recipewise. I added the beef and some seasoning, brought it all to the boil and simmered for hours. Tasted vair vair good - am sure it was the wine cubes and the balamic vinegar - I also added a couple spoonfuls of icing sugar to balance the acidity - the calories dissolving away in such a big panful.

I'd already roasted me butternut squash with the SW roast potatoes I did on Sunday, so that was cold in a tub in the fridge. I added the quark, the nutmeg and some extra aromat and black pepper.

Grated 60g of parmesan , and then using handfuls of pasta shapes in place of the lasagne sheets, I assembled it, baked it and marvelled at how actually delicious and satisfying it really was!

The cakes were proverbially burning a hole in my pocket so to speak. I found some wholemeal self raising flour in the cupboard in the search for the lasagne sheets...I also found a bag of rice flour - riddled with mites *shudder* that went in the bin. The thing is right - where do these mites come from?The bag was brand new never opened and stored in an airtight container - hence nothing else was contaminated in where did they come from????

Anyway using 225g marg as my measuring point, I made an all in one method cake using the same weights of flour, sugar and eggs. I used chocolate essence instead of vanilla extract, added a couple spoons of drinking chocolate powder and some chocolate chips. Made fairy buns - big ones. Then whipped some double cream with some fudge icing ready made, and voila! Really light and delicious! Totally cancelling out the lasagne's goodness!

I have worked from home today - attended a Zoom meeting and my first Microsoft teams meeting - the sound is better on microsoft but I do prefer zooming!

Maybe we should have a bloggy zoom meet up! I do try and keep anonymous on here but would love to meet up to say a face to face hello to my trusted blogging pals xx

Hopefully I should have a show and tell to share with you tomorrow. So very tired today. Woke at 4am and didn't really get back to sleep. Got up just before 6, made the HG lunch - his lunch and what I put in his sandwiches everyday could have a little page of their own on my blog! Leftover rare roast beef, a sprinkling of salt and a smear of mayonnaise on wholemeal bread today. Did the dishwasher unload and fed the dog. Stated watching The A word on the say so of a bloggy pal and enjoyed the first two!  Mr 23 took Bluebell out for her main walkies today - she might get a pre tea run on the field or post tea depending on how I feel. I've been proper headachey the last couple of days. I'm making the proper effort to wear my glasses.

Hope you all are fit well, fine and dandy.

Lots of love from
Rachel * Lasagne Queen but it was really a layered pasta bake* Radiostar xxx

Monday 18 May 2020

A week later

Well, it's a wet Monday morning. We were woken early by a barky Bluebell - this is a new recent thing - it is lighter in a morning, but she's never woken before us and barked. Nextdoor are up early and they are really really LOUD so I wonder if she hears them and thinks that its time to be up? I mean we are early risers anyway but I much prefer waking up without a barky dog! 
Anyhoo, I've been up. Made the HG lunch - he is back to work - very safely social distancing - he's got corned beef and brown sauce sandwiches on wholemeal bread - emptied the dishwasher and sided all the pots. Moved some washing, tidied up a bit. Fed the dog and am now languishing in bed with the laptop for a bit. I've done an online shop to be delivered on Sunday - mostly household cleaning stuff - my oven is atrocious! Still no flour available to buy online. I do know shops and bakeries are bagging it up themselves but not available to order it there in the online store. 

So after a busy week at school, again it was nice to have the weekend feeling like a weekend as we'd both been at work.  Over the weekend,  we did weekendy stuff ( basically lockdowny stuff but on a Saturday and Sunday.) 
Apparently it was national baking day yesterday but I just could not be arsed. I rallied and made a cracking roast beef Sunday dinner but that was about it. 

Over the weekend I finally finished this hateful jigsaw. It's one of those wasjig things. I have no idea why I would have bought it for my child years ago. The picture is awful. The picture on the box is NOT the picture of the jigsaw itself but clues to it  - no idea how it worked so I literally did this blind. Edges, then writing pieces, then the railings, then the blue, red and yellow areas to discover...all that effort ....

A flipping piece missing. I have conducted a search of the surrounding area that Quincy would be proud of. The thing is, that piece could have been missing for years! I'm annoyed for two reasons, one - arrrrgh a missing piece of a jigsaw I just did and two, I was going to flog it on ebay!  They are quite popular. Can't now. It's going in the recycling! 

Sadly Albert succumbed to NDFC so he was brought in to look pretty in my kitchen. 

Now I have to say I am biased, but what bloody brilliant shots I got of my dog in the park on Saturday. Enjoying her life to the very best! 

So I am working from home this week and then it's actually Half Term next week and the head decided our school will close for the half term and has said that all staff must not do ANY school work whatsoever. I'm totally fine with that. There is a local childcare hub for key worker children who come to our school over half term if needed. Then the plan is we have INSET day on June 1st so we will be seeing what is what then. I'm half minded over the opening of school really. I am concerned that children of families who have not been socially distancing will be then mixing with those (of us ) that have been, which makes all the strict lockdown stuff  all seem a bit pointless. The way the Govt say half a class in each classroom etc and the guidelines will be very difficult to put into practice, but if they say we have to, then we will. However, I do not believe many of our parents will send their children in if they don't have to. Maybe it is too soon. Who knows? Only time will tell. If mine were Primary age then they would only be going back as a last resort.

My sister said
" They wanted to flatten the curve so the NHS can better cope.....well I do not want to catch the Virus, they said more cases will happen but we will be in a better position to deal with it. They said they would be better prepared to deal with more cases. Well I couldn't care less if Florence Flipping Nightingale came back to life to nurse the sick, I don't want to catch the Virus! "

Wise words indeed that also made me giggle.

Even though we can now drive to destinations to exercise - which is what I have been dying to do with Bluebell, we decided not yet. We can quite happily exercise her and ourselves round here. We can wait until all the idiots get over the novelty and spoil it for everyone else. I am still managing with the deliveries of shopping. I did pop into Aldi on our dog walk to pick up some bits and bobs, but I did not wear a mask, and it was probably a 50/50 split of those who were. Social distancing was not too bad BUT the perspex at the tills was not thought out well for short people like myself! My breath was free to hit the cashier's boobs!! I was glad to get out though back into the fresh air. I am quite happy being in lockdown mode - except I am missing Miss 25 now. We are used to not seeing her as she lives away. I guess its the freedom of choice at the moment that I miss.  I think this CV19 is something we are going to have to be wary of for ever actually. Until there is a vaccine like small pox - eradicating it simply will not happen. That's my twopennorth that's not worth a ha penny!!

TV info - well, she says with a raised eyebrow and pursed lips, after seeing a couple of my friends rave on,  I watched a series called 'Normal People' on th'i player.  It is not one to watch with your mum, children or Great Aunt Gertrude in the room if you are a bit of a Victorian Prude like myself!  But oh my word, the acting was the most brilliant I have seen for a long time. The direction of the show, the way it brought the emotions it was portraying to life and it had me hooked and I watched the lot in two days flat!
I also started watching Killing Eve with the HG, but very annoyingly he watched the second one  through his eyelids so now I am in that quandary where I know I am going to break ranks and watch ahead knowing full well the sulking and performing I do when he does that to me!!
I heard that Car Share is available to watch again so that is a must. We also found a little road trip programme by Ralf Little and Ricky Tomlinson where they are travelling round the North in a camper van and it's been quite charming so far.
One non TV thing I am looking forward to is next Monday when BBCR2 are having a Popmaster DAY ! I shall probably park myself in my craft room for that one and enjoy to my heart's content.

I am making a SW lasagne today for tea - using butternut squash as the white sauce! I know! It sounds bizarre but I will try anything once and real people I know have made it and declared it delicious. I know some would say just have the white sauce but I am getting fatter by the day so need to take action! And a butternut squash has been sacrificed at the altar, cut up and roasted yesterday whilst the oven was on. I have the 5% beef mince and the quark! Let's see what happens!

Right I am now going to let the dog out of my room, the one who manages to open the door by herself to go down if I get the hairdryer out. Yet she's now just sat starting at it and squeaking forlornly as she heard Mr 23 still not back at work yet, go down for his daily porridge and toast!

Lots of love from
Rachel *slave to that bloody dog* Radiostar xxx