Thursday 31 December 2020

Day eleventy one

 In the Radiostar Mansion,

She got up at 6am and marvelled at the white frosty clear morning - frost on the grass = nice hard poos to pick up! One must find delight where one can. She had a frothy coffee and a pint of water and a cuddle off a Springer Spaniel or two. 

She ate the rest of the Thorntons, a whole load of cheeeese and a banana.  She changed the shower curtain. She washed dishes, clothes, pots and herself. She pumiced her feet. She jigsawed and facetimed her friend who is bedridden with covid. She watched the news and went into Tier 4. decided it makes not a jot of difference but she did go online and secured a delivery slot as planned anyway. She will be back at work on the 4th so she will enjoy what's left of her freedom. 

She planned to make healthy chips in her actify then thought bugger it for another day and used the pint of leftover cream on dauphinoise potatoes. ( with leftover roast beef and green beans. She also watched the very funny Christmas Edition of Motherland. The tree is still up. And will remain so until the 6th. 

She says TTFN, normal service might return tomorrow. Might. 

She also says it’s now NYE and she forgot to press publish! Dopey mare. 

Tuesday 29 December 2020


 I love that word. 

I was utterly utterly convinced it originated from Dickensian ye olde worlde  English. 

However, after a good old chit chat with my good friend* Susie Dent. I can reveal 

“ English lacks a word for the blurring of time during the Christmas holidays, when the boundaries of our days recede, the weeks seem to stretch and we lose all touch with the calendar, briefly and blissfully unaware of the date, the day or even the time.“ This is the word she chose...

Merryneum but then goes on to describe it akin to a certain body part - whispers ‘down stairs’ and points downward with finger - so Twixtmas is the one I am sticking with. 

Firstly thanks for all concerns re the C19 word. Both of us are absolutely fine if not somewhat hypochondriacs. 

So I did Roast Beef last night for tea and it was good. Tonight I think I yearn for a good old jacket potato and salad or something.  I have been enjoying doing my jigsaw and think after some gentle tidying around, some hand stitching of some sort will be enjoyed. It’s cold and frosty outside so no coast today because it’s far too cold for Bluebell in the sea brrrrrr - she’s super skinny and not very thick coated. 

I love these lazy days and whilst I may start dismantling some of the minor decorations the tree stays up as per til 12th night. I’m still fully enjoying the twinkly beauty of it all. Speaking of twinkly beauty, I watched the Christmas at Warwick Castle programme I’d recorded. It was fantastic. We went there years ago for a day out with the kids when they were maybe 11 and 7 . We got there at opening- think we had a parents go free ticket off the cornflakes box and we were some of the last to leave. So much to see and do and wander about and enjoy! The  live trebuchet launching was my favourite bit of all! So it was nice to reminisce about the day whilst we watched it. We are always like that especially on those TV type programmes that Julia Bradbury or Robson Green does! Ooo we’ve been there, we went there etc! That’s the beauty of holidaying in this country! And that’s led me to think about that TV Holiday programme Judith Chalmers did! Why why why did they have that on? I wonder who commissioned it?! She was always swanning off abroad here and there, eating out and then telling us all about how much it costed etc 
I do t even know why we used to have it on as Mum and Dad could never have afforded to take us abroad! Maybe it was the closest thing they could get us to travelling abroad!  Well one of my sisters now lives in Spain and the other has travelled the world extensively!  Me? No thank you! Feet firmly on the ground 
I would go to the USA to meet my long time best friend who lives in Washington State near Seattle which is like the farthest away from me she could live AND 

I watched a TV programme about Finland - can’t recall what is was called etc but I was transfixed with how beautiful it was. So

Maybe Judith Chalmers was on to something!!


Have a lovely day whatever it is you are doing

Lots of love from 

Rachel *never met her in my life* Radiostar xxx

Sunday 27 December 2020

Christmas Day, Boxing Day

 Two days of quiet, chilled pleasing ourselves. Sad not to have our daughter here with us and my ma in law. The 17lb turkey was cooked to absolute optimum fineness and was tasty and plentiful - indeed I have just sliced it and frozen it in handy meal packs and with the massive bag of chunks for a turkey curry, it’ll have provided enough for ten meals! 14 if you count the drumsticks and wings expertly butchered off by the HG for Bluebell ( and Freddie when he is here )!  I didn’t order a 17lber it’s just what came! 

Christmas dinner was a lot less on the plate than I used to do years ago and no one knows how we actually used to manage it all! 

Mashed potatoes, goose fat roast potatoes and parsnips, glazed carrots, I did fancy sprouts this year - individually leafed them, chopped streaky bacon fried till crisp, add massive knob of butter and stir fry the sprouts and add chestnuts - lovely! Pigs in blankets, yorkshires which were huge and gravy  which was delicious this year.

Typical really isn’t it - house beautiful and clean and tidy, decorations perfect and best tasty dinner in years cooked to perfection - just us and no visitors!! 

We ate about 3.15 and nobody wanted a pudding! I walked Bluebell just afterwards  in a bid to feel less full! The menfolks finished the tidying and cleaning and  I enjoyed a bit of freezing cold air and looking at peoples festively lit homes.  I think we watched Corrie and Emmerdale. I can’t really remember ! 

The fire was lit, I had some baileys and just enjoyed the coziness of the tree lit room. 

We all opened some lovely gifts,  I had some cute little earrings off the HG. 

Bluebell opened her present like a pro after sitting by the tree thinking they were all for her 

We ended the day by watching the opening credits of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and the rest through our eyelids! 

Boxing Day menu as readers of my decade old blog should know is always cold turkey, home made real thrice cooked chips ( I did crinkle cut this year - fancy! ), peas and gravy with stuffing and left o we pigs in blankets on the side. 

We didn’t eat it at lunchtime, however, breaking with tradition we opted for a late brunch of perfect dippy eggs and soldiers. They were so so good! 

I then opened up my jigsaw and as the HG snoozed, I sorted it all and completed the edges

before taking Bluebell out onto the field for a run and a play with her new Christmas ball. It was cold but thanks to my new warm  craghoppers leggings from the HG I was fine! We had the field to ourselves and had a good 45 minutes before the wind and icy rain chased us home. Mr 23 then showered the mud off Bluebell and we gave her another present box to open. 

We had tea ( Nom ) AND a pudding - meringue, mandarins and cream for the HG, warmed mince pie and icecream for me and a mint magnum for Mr 23. Washing up done we settled down and watched the brilliant Dawn French in the Beatrix Potter and Ronald Dahl drama we’d taped on Christmas Day. It was heart warming and utterly charming. Loved it. 

We then laid about again until bedtime. 

This morning after a stormy night’s sleep ( 4am the wind finally dropped ) thanks to Storm Bella, I got up and processed the turkey. Tidied the kitchen. Sorted my Christmas Flaars 

Had a luxury choca mocha coffee and a chocolate for breakfast and fast forwarded through The Mask

And finally just before I go and get dressed as it’s 10.45 ish 

The Covid test I ordered just arrived. 

As you know the HG was self isolation via track n trace. My best friend contacted me to say she tested positive and even though the only contact since we broke up from school ( I’m lucky enough to work with two of my bestest friends ) she doorstep delivered my Christmas present and I gave her hers, we maintained a more than 2m distance and she didn’t know then. But I felt shivery on Christmas night and started an annoying cough. Probably jumping the gun considering my negative test on Friday 18th but I need to know. I know it’s Sunday but the priority post goes at 12 noon so I  wed to do the test and get it posted just before then for accuracy. Fingers crossed it’s just a common cold! The HG declared he couldn’t take another ten days self confinement ! I may suggest he goes stays at his mum’s hahahahaha 

He’s got toothache! So that’ll be an emergency dentist visit tomorrow for him - first day of his freedom and we are hoping to see Miss 26 and exchange gifts. 

It is absolutely pouring down here. 

Maybe it’s Mr 23’s turn to walk the dog! 

What are our plans for today? 

Lots of love for now

Rachel *lazy mode* Radiostar xxx

Thursday 24 December 2020

Christmas Eve 2020

This goes with the sleeping Bluebell caption! 

Tree 2020
Bluebell Dec23rd 2020

Some little gingerbread men I made for children in my family. 

Fast asleep after putting these all over the bed...

See photo at the top! 

Not sure if this video will work! It’s just some of my dining room! 

 Hello my little festive bloggers, 

First of all I would very much like to say from my heart, thank you for all your kind words after my last post. Thank you. X 

Wishing you all well and the very best day you can muster tomorrow.

My decorations look the best they’ve ever looked and the house is pretty tidy too. Just the HG, Mr 23 me and the dog and a 17lb turkey ! 

When we were hosting Miss 26 and my Ma in law Id asked the but her for a largish one as I always like to freeze a  full breast for mid January. The HG turns it into a crown by taking off the legs that are cooked separately and stripped for the dogs. John the Butcher turned up and apologised as my Turkey wasn’t the size we wanted - I was truly elated,  I thought,  phew he’s giving  me a smaller one! Nope! BIGGER but he didn’t charge me full whack so basically he’s given me

Some free turkey! 

Good job we loves turkey in this house. 

I have wrapped the presents and made up our bed with the full fat quilt and FLUFFY sheets. We need it, it’s cold right now. It’s snowing in the Nortb East. 

The HG has successfully fixed our leaky fridge freezer. He’s also cleaned the windows today and they are sparky. Shamefully the first was on the INSIDE gasp. It’s one of the side effects of the coal fire! 

We will be having a very chilled out day. Typical Christmas dinner with yorkshires. Pudding if we want it is a choice of meringue, brandy snap, trifle if I make it. Decided against even an individual pudding as there is only me that likes it and I am proper fat enough! We will FaceTime Miss 26 and just celebrate how lucky we are right now.

No matter how hard your times are, there are others in ugh much worse dire straits. I’ve set the festive table. Need to find my crackers and put the clean bath mat down in the bathroom. It’ll be me and the boy walking Bluebell tomorrow - I’m hoping for snow so I can take eleventy billion photos of her in it! No doubt she will need a bath and then a baileys in front of the fire and TV for me. 

Right must go make my Yorkshire batter.

Lots of love from 

Rachel * Merry Christmas * Radiostar xxx

Monday 21 December 2020

Changed my mind


So this was my original title for this post 

What an absolutely shitty week that was.

But after a few days of just pottering at home and a good face to face catch up with a dear dear friend I don't feel as dark.  see if you spot my mood change.

Warning - I am going to sucking lemons big style,  channelling my inner Debbie Downer and Negative Nancy, I will very probably use swear words and it's mostly COVID related and I hate to bang on but I am going to. 

This last week, my Uncle Bill died ( married to my Dad's sister, my lovely Aunty Stephanie )  - he had only recently been diagnosed with liver cancer. 

Then it was the funeral of  Auntie Pauline, the HG's Mum's twin sister, who died in a residential care home where she had been living with dementia - possible COVID. 

My lovely Mum in law was also diagnosed with Vascular dementia and Alzheimer's Disease in April and the news of her sister's death seemed to spark a couple of alarming happenings making us all worry that little bit more. 

Then there was Friday morning's horrible horrible news that my  beautiful friend Tina had died. 

We met in the first year of Grammar school, even though we were in different forms ( separated via alphabetic order ) we hit it off straight away. The whole year did and I'm fully aware I've very probably put my rose tinted glasses on. We all worked in a cafe/ bakery shop/restaurant up town when we all started our Saturday jobs. Back in the day it was very easy to get a job. Your friend just got you one basically.

I'm not sure which of my friend's got me mine, but every Saturday we worked frigging hard actually for the pittance our pervy boss paid us but it's cause us to reminisce and laugh a lot about those times.

The business consisted of  a bakery downstairs and a large cafe upstairs that opened as a restaurant in the evening. There were three floors and I was definitely behind the scenes working right on the top floor making sandwiches for the shop and the sandwiches and side salads and jacket potatoes for the cafe. The kitchen was at the bottom of my stairs. I had a huge fridge and ovens and sinks and cockroaches in there with me. Most of my friends from school were waitresses in the cafe, kitchen helps and then the other two worked the bakery downstairs. 

My job started with me running down the back stairs to get the fresh bread sliced in the' I'm sure you'd have to be insured nowadays ' slicing machine and new to the market back then baguettes! I had very specific instructions on making the sandwiches and fillings were exactly measured out. The filling was to be put in the middle only so when sliced and wrapped it looked like a very full sandwich! NOT TRUE. 

Then I'd have to shell a billion boiled eggs and grate, make coleslaw from scratch, open tins of tuna and mix with mayo, strip chicken carcasses of all meat, open sliced ham packs, make the garlic butter ( Cheap cheap margarine, garlic powder and dried parsley ) 

Then when the cafe opened and the lunch orders came. This is what I hated the most. 

Raaaaaaaach -  would be shouted up the stairs - the waitresses would come halfway up and I'd go half way down. Jacket potato and x y z 

They'd give me a plate with a potato on it - I'd go prepare a side salad ( One leaf, one cucumber slice and one tomato wedge and a sprinkling of a cress. 

Fillings were 

egg mayo, cheese and pickle, tuna and cucumber, prawn cocktail, garlic butter, cottage cheese -  struggling now to think if they did beans? 

Sandwiches - white, granary or brown. Cut in triangles. Served two up, two flat with a mini side salad and some plain crisps. 

A very strange dish of egg mayonaise. On a saucer, a half boiled egg in half, yolks down, cover in mayo and sprinkle of paprika. 

In between I'd have to wash up, and occasionally yell to Tina that I needed lettuce or cress and off she'd run to the market to get what we needed. She used to be in command of the radio and would drive us all mad with her love of Fleetwood Mac's tell me lies -  that intro to this day reminds me of her. They were good days. 

We went home just shy of a tenner in a wage packet and stinking of chip fat and cafe smells!

Anyway then came the news that my Sis in law who had only just returned to her hairdressing job in a care home had tested positive following the routine tests and because the HG had gone to the funeral, he was track and traced and imprisoned for 10 days. He is up for parole on 28th December and so far, like his sister, remains symptom free.

It means that my Ma in law has to self isolate too and will now not be coming for Christmas as part of our bubble as planned and neither will Miss 26. 

So I have made use of my time by doing lots of sewing and pottering and pleasing myself. We are still getting the turkey etc and will just freeze half of it for hopefully Feb half term when I have said we will have Christmas together - I also said I can therefore keep my beautiful decorations up! I love sitting in the twinkly gorgeousness. 

Mr Sainsrobbersis coming in the morning with my sprouts and crackers for cheese. My lovely boss went to the cheese dairy to buy the cheeeeese for us. Because even though the HG is self isolating, Im not BUT despite passing my test first time still a teenager and me being insured for our car - I don't drive. I'm too chicken. I have always declared that in an emergency I will get in and drive but so far his cancer and a global pandemic does not count as an emergency! 

Speaking of his cancer - the latest scan proved clear and repeat in 12 months is booked. That will then mark 5 years and he will be discharged. 

I cannot show and tell sewing things until after Christmas for obvious reasons. The reason being that they have been sent to Father Christmas! I've been listening to a really light listening cheesy Christmas chick lit read by Victoria Cohen. SO far I think I worked it out already but I am being charmed by it and I did totally choose it by its pretty cover!. I've restarted Nigel Slater's Christmas Chronicles. 

Speaking of Christmas Chronicles - how many of you knew it was a film staring Kurt Russell? I'd never heard of it until the children at school were telling me that CC2 was out. So I found it and put it on. What a perfect Christmas film! Loved it. 

Well I must away to my bed. Shopping coming early and I am going to the post office tomorrow with some get there when they do cards! 

Lots of love from 

Rachel * full of mince pies *  Radiostar xxx

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Almost there

 And by there I mean, at the end of term! 

My Christmas tree  is up and the dining room is done. Presents are sorted and I have had a very busy day. Me and the dog had the park to ourselves and she brought most of it home on her fur which meant a nice warm shower -  she will shake on command and normally I can whizz the shower curtain across to prevent the mass expulsion of water  and droplet transference from her to ALL THE THINGS  including me.  Alas, I was too slow with my shower curtain whizz and so now I need to clean ALL THE THINGS! 

Thank you for the comments - and re the neck massager it was from Amazon and I will look up the exact one it was and post the link in reply to the comment itself last post.

Also thank thank you to Tracey for her endorsement for my bag! Also to Sooze too for her kind words many posts ago! 

My laptop battery died before this posted and last week Monday has passed. It was the KS1 Christmas Dinner Day and they came in their finery and the turkey was delicious! They then had their own parties in their bubbles and I got to work from home in the afternoon as I had some training online. It was lovely to do by the lights of my tree. I was able to then do some sewing and hoovered through in the ten minute break! 

Today is the turn of the KS2 Christmas Dinner and I've some more training this morning but in work. It's all refreshing and up to dating the mental health and well being training already undertaken and is coming in very handy as life in a pandemic continues.

Have a very very lovely day all of you.

Lots of love from

Rachel *typing by the tree* Radiostar xxx

Thursday 3 December 2020


 Lockdown notices...

after a chuckle from a comment on a Facebook post about how the commenter had had to make herself some new clothes because she'd grown out of her old ones during lockdown, I thought, yes,

 I noticed I seem to have grown out of mine too. 

My work friend and I noticed and puzzled at how the spaces between our room furniture have got a lot smaller!!! 

I have noticed how the news of the vaccine has lifted spirits somewhat. 

I noticed though, that I was a Debbie Downer lemon sucker, thinking, is this too good to be true? It's like I dare not believe. 

I noticed that coming out of National Lockdown into Tier 3 has made not a shite bit of difference to my day to day life. 

I noticed the gorgeous tree lights on my way to work this morning and it made my heart happy.

I noticed a little one at work being ignored at playtime so I went over and asked them to tell me aaaaalllll about their advent calendar and elf on the shelf stuff. 

I've noticed how I have been actively ignoring the healthy stuff. I've also noticed that my will power seems to have fecked off. 

I've noticed how generous people are despite many hardships and trialling times -  she did it, my wonderful daughter ran her 50 miles and raised over £500 for a cause close to our hearts especially now. I am so so proud and full of admiration for her.


£515 of £150 raised8 days left
Raised by 37 people in 56 days
I've noticed how wonderful the people I follow here in blogland are and how much better they are in the art of blogging than me! Gorgeous posts and photos all of you x
Now then, it was the HG's birthday last week and I treated him to a shoulder and neck massager. I already bought him a lower back one and then a full chair one. Anyway the shoulder and neck one was pictured with a smiley lady looking all calm, serene and smiley with her hands in the handy straps enjoying a deep tissue massage. It has three different speeds and heats up. He tried it. Got comfy in the chair and strewed it about his shoulders and switched it on.  You do here a little noise from the motor as the moving parts get to work. ARRRRRRGGGHHHHH he cried out, OUUUUCH, OOOOOOO AAAAARRRRRR periodically  for about 5 minutes, then the  motor shifted and it was more of an OOOOOOOOHHHHHHH and errrrgggghhhhhhhhhh again, for about five minutes, The motors shifted again, he says to me, do you want a gooooooooooo? I declined. For the next five minutes it was more of a grunt and a groan and a moan. The thing heats up and repeats the cycle again. I was busy playing Candy Crush I think ( Level 4500 plus !! dedication right there ) and I suddenly noticed the quiet as the motor is carrying on. I looked over - HG fast asleep, looking so relaxed! 
So once the motor stopped, he stirred and I decided to have a go! Thinking he is such a delicate flower! I got comfy. I switched it on. I suddenly developed Tourettes with bad swear words coming forth with each movement of the nodules in the pad. Bad bad swears, really loud. Then the middle section which isn't as painful and just as I was enjoying it, it changed to it's third cycle. Cue the moaning and groaning. I do hope the neighbours weren't listening!!! Anyway, I didn't notice but, I too fell asleep. It really honestly did feel like fingers. Far superior to the chair massager. And we both noticed our necks had more flexibility and that night we slept through! The affects of that one massage lasted a full week and I'm about gearing myself up for another go!  The few days after my actual skin and muscle was sore to touch!  No pain, no gain! 
I noticed that after a concerted decision to totally not pick up my phone last night once I was in from work and have zero social interaction, how stiller my brain was. I also noticed that when catching back up I had missed the birthday of one beautiful human being I am so lucky to call my friend.  So wonderful lady, I am so sorry for being a shit friend and not sending you a card or anything when you always remember to send one to me  -  no excuses, my brain is full and now full of regret. Please accept my heartfelt belated birthday wishes Tracy. You are one of my most favourite people on earth x 
I must do better at this being organised stuff. 
Right, it's time for a nice coffee and some telly and knitting. 
Catch up soon
Lots of love from Rachel * Giver of Torture instruments * Radiostar xxxx

Tuesday 1 December 2020


 So, thank you all so very much for your well wishes on my last post. You will be pleased to know that Madam B is almost back to her normal self. After a really stressful night of what I now know to be pain, we went to the Vets on Saturday morning at 8.30am and she was diagnosed with Swimmer's tail, aka limber tail. I of course already knew this as I'd been avidly googling. It's very common, especially in labs and springys and its basically a strained tail! Over use. Indeed, the man on the canal behind us on Friday after noon had commented that her tail had not stopped wagging! If you have seen her though, she was panting hard, trambling, she kept looking round at her back end and scooting off frightened to hide, Poor baby. We came away with a £60 bill for reassurance ( priceless in my eyes ) and some metacam - anti inflam and pain relief. And instructions for a couple of days on lead walks. If no better then go back Monday for an xray. Thankfully she was half heartedly nicking socks again by Sunday afternoon! 

I got in from work very late last night after a long Full Governors meeting at 6.20pm. The HG wasn't there. He was at his Mums because we had just found out that her beloved twin sister had passed away that afternoon. So my friend who I work with in the same room quickly came to give me a lift down and there with the HG and his sister and her hubby we sat for the first time in months - all socially distant and me the furthest away to just try and be together and offer some comfort. It was so so hard not to give her a hug but spending my days with germ ridden beings makes me feel like a ticking time bomb. 

RIP Aunty Pauline xxx

I best get to work. Look at the time. 

Love from 

Rachel * Advent Calenders from Hotel Chocolat for the HG and Mr 23 and Im doing the reverse advent calendar at school instead * Radiostar xxx