Sunday 24 January 2021

The books are done!

 It’s that time of year where I do my absolute best procrastinating and my moaniest moans. I’m talking about the HG’s self assessment by order of HMRC. 

They are done! 


I’ve made a start on the next year’s! And I’ve vowed to


On top of them from April ! 

Yeah right. 

This weekend has been lovely as in I did the books and we had a takeaway for tea tonight - no washing up! A lovely FaceTime with the daughter and started watching The Bay. Wow the first episode was so good! We have decided to take them slow! As with Finding Alice on shortly. Yes I do love a binge watch but there’s something delightfully old fashioned about waiting a week in between episodes! 

The woman on Who wants to be a millionaire is getting on my nerves. 

I’ve done no knitting or sewing but I don’t think I showed and told what I made for Christmas gifts did I? 


 Made a fabric basket, matching wash bag and a whole pile

Of reusable make up pads for Miss 26. 

A fabric box for my friend at work.  A Dog bag for my friend. A dog bag but with rucksack type straps so she can wear it on her back for my daughter. A mug rug and fabric box for my friend and I also gifted some friends and family peg bags. 

A lot of pics and phone went a bit doolally! Not risking messing with them! Also I made some bowl cosies commissioned by my friend and I made the gingerbread men for lots of people young and old! 


My programme is on 

Lots of love from 

Rachel *square eyes * Radiostar xx 

Thursday 21 January 2021

Warm again!

 Thanks all for sympathies after my last moany  self pitying post! 

The boiler man came, laughed and said it did well then - he was the same miracle worker who came out in March to fix it. Anyway it’s working but it is costing us a fortune really in monthly insurance payments. So 

We went ahead and booked a covid safe quote for a new boiler! Holy radiators, new boilers are expensive! Don’t you just love it when the salesman says “It’ll pay for itself” !!! 

Well if that were true I would have let my old boiler go years ago because new ones pay for themselves! I understand the science behind that phrase but I’m not as green as I’m cabbage looking ( another daft phrase hahaha ) and took the one holy thermostat British Gas quote as a benchmark and accepted all his earnest upselling of filters and powerflushes with a nod and a smile and I’d almost say that I’d been mansplained to too - now that is a phrase I cannot stand . In old fashioned times we’d simply say he was patronising! Anyway 

We’ve looked at Boxt and will also ask a local before we decide. I will say for British Gas though, the repair guy gave us his family and friends discount which at 25% gave us £1000 off what it would have been!! 

I worked in school yesterday morning and it was a joy to do playground duty with the Y1/2 bubble. Six little characters who say the funniest things that make me laugh out loud. Of course, you’d think I share one with you now! But I can’t recall the exact thing- sorry!! Then I worked from home in the afternoon. After work, I asked Alexa to play three good singalong tunes whilst I cleaned the kitchen. Mr 23 had had to sort her out because she’s been sulking after we put Siri in the living room! I say ‘we’ - I of course mean my ‘in house’ tech guy! I now don’t even have to lift a finger to switch my big light on or off. AND I can have whatever colour I like! 

Here are some I just did now! Hey Siri make the lights yellow, blue, green and I tried turquoise off the cuff and SHE DID IT!!! I can also have her turn them up or down! She can also do daylight settings! It does help to warm the room up having her set the lights orange! Now if Siri could tell Alexa in  the kitchen to make me a cup of tea I’m sorted. 

Anyway my songs of choice for my Kitchen Kareoke 

1. Video killed the Radiostar - sink, pots done

2. California dreaming - dried up, dishwasher on, sides wiped 

And for the finale.....I brought out the big guns ..whilst I made a brew for me and the HG. We even sang to each other a bit because that’s how romantic we are haha 

3. Always - by Bon Jovi

Eeeh a good sing song is good for the soul. Yesterday was the first real time in the whole of the lockdown pandemic thingy is where I felt real resentment at not being able to just go out somewhere. Anyway my KK soon helped get rid of the doldrums. 

Tea was sausage mash n beans for the menfolks and I had a vegetable stir fry. Tonight I am making a full on chicken dinner with carrots, cavelo nero and roast  potatoes.

TV chatter

 I’m just finishing refreshing my memory with The Bay series one with my morning coffee as the next series has just started. I’ve the Pembroke Murders stacked up to watch and Finding Alice got off to a good start. I’m loving the new quiz show Lingo if I can catch it. Also I admit to taping the masked singer so I can whizz through all the filler bits. For what it’s worth, if anyone is watching, I think Hotdog is Sheridan Smith and she’ll win it! Dancing on Ice gets taped for the same reason - fast forwarding through the adverts. It’s a rare find for us to find something that we all enjoy and so at the moment we are liking Taskmaster - new to us so plenty of episodes to go at - just easy daftness to watch!  Bulletproof is a crime fighting show set in London, a bit far fetched but good all the same - I discovered it after seeing its creator on Graham Norton. Something else we found is Superstore - the US version of Trollied - even though google reckons it isn’t. It so is. I watched the Inauguration of Joe Biden. Lady Gaga was fabulous I thought. JLo was as good and Garth Brooks who did Amazing Grace had amazing legs! The young poet was spellbinding ( but I thought a little long ) and the whole thing was history right in my living room. Dr Jill looked gorgeous and I totally coveted the Vice President’s leather gloves. 

I’ve just finished my Audible Christmas treat to myself and well! Called  

read by Victoria Cohen-Mitchell - there I was, absentmindedly peeling my potatoes, listening and grinning as I’d worked out the ending mid book - it suddenly got a bit steamy!! And I’m not talking about my kettle

Coming to the boil

And not switching off!! I was blushing to the roots of my hair as the characters got a little less socially distanced than we are used to!! I am such a Victorian Prude!! I cannot believe she read it out loud hahaha I wouldn’t have been able to. Don’t get me wrong, it was not even as strong as a Jackie Collins but I was still reverted back to my inner 10 year old schoolboy! 

I’ve still got some Alan Partridge podcasts to listen to which have me laughing out loud but think I’m going to listen to The Friday Knitting Club next. 

Storm Christoph is doing it’s worst outside - thankfully only a bit windy and rainy cold here. The TV news is showing me flooding and snow elsewhere. 

Finished my jigsaw- I am so rock and roll. 

Not knitted anything for a while. I’ve a jumper I started for Bluebell. Might pick it up again later. It’s the ‘doing the tax return’ time of year and I need to get it done and out the way then I can get my sewing machine out again and maybe pick up the knitting needles. 
In the garden, the spring bulbs are starting to show. I long for warmer times where I can just shove my feet in my flip flops and I don’t have to hunt for a pair of socks! 

Stay safe everyone 
Lots of love from 

Rachel*working from home today = emails in pjs with a Bluebell on my knee* Radiostar xxx

Friday 15 January 2021

C c c c cold!

 I don’t know what’s been up, but I’ve been having a right ‘mare with blogger not loading. 

As if things aren’t bad enough!! 

The HG dropped his iPad and smashed it. By accident of course. 

Then the toaster set on fire and stopped working. 

Then I made the fatal mistake of switching the boiler from constant to timer and it didn’t come back on! The miracle worker is expected to

Come and perform

Miracles this afternoon. 

Fingers crossed!!! 

Lots of love from 

Rachel *thank goodness I’m northern and my big coat will suffice* Radiostar xxx

Saturday 9 January 2021

Week 1 and a bit

 The start to the New Year has gone fast.

Day 9 already! I had a lovely break from work. Seemed to last for aaaages. Whether that's because we had nowhere to go except laze about and potter which as everyone knows is me FAVOURITE thing to do ( except beach walks and hot tubs and drinking cocktails mmm I love a cocktail ) or because we had nowhere to go and we had to stay in and I could laze about and potter and just be at home! 

The media went beserk with Covid hysteria. First school was open then it wasn't then we were all top tier and then we went over the top into lockdown except with so many exceptions the roads are no quieter etc. It's breakneck speed news and opinions and every chuffing one is a bloody expert these days! 

We were down for Inset anyway on that Monday - so I stayed home as we had already covered it in two twilights ( Up to date phonics training actually - very educational for me as I've been KS2 for ever and out of class for three years )- talk about being brainwashed led me to a memory right now how a childhood visit to the library - I loved books and in those days I think you could only get 4 a week, now it's about 140 - and there was a section of new books in the little halfmoon bookcase . The doors were magic to go in and out of. They were like 'kissing gate' doors - two sets -  one to come in and the other to go out. Beautiful. Our town library was an absolutely gorgeous building, full of character, that 'smell', ornate carved solid oak bookcases and remained that way for all my childhood and most of my children's childhood until the mid 2000s when the children's library side closed.  It went into the main bit, the wooden bookcases were replaced with hideous metal new fangled shelving and minding bending black and white flooring. It was opened at night and used as a music venue which was a good idea. I never went but apparently a young Adele and Ellie Goulding performed there. It had great acoustics. And it was wipe clean now. Anyway I have digressed. The new books that I brought home were absolutely unreadable for me - like a different language, they had little funny marks on the letters and it turns out it was all phonetically spelt!! 

I leaned to read with  Dick and Dora who had a pet cat and dog called Nip and Fluff. 

 Peter and Jane were back up Ladybird books and then there were a set of readers with colours that I read through and a few years ago I actually found a copy at work! I might have to go on another search and rescue it for posterity! 

I loved these stories. 

I have strong memories of being in Primary one ( you'd know it as Reception these days )  loving it when Mrs Witherington would read us the Meg and Mog books at storytime, 

Gosh that was a long ramble way from my phonics inset!! Anway

the Govt then unleashed panic stations mode for primary schools and we had Tuesday as an emergency inset and I went to work, and spent the day contacting the Parents of children on our SEND and Vulnerable lists offering places for their children as they had absolute priority. The Office staff were inundated with frantic parents trying to fathom out all the key worker rules etc and Wednesday we were very much open with our strict Risk Assessment in place and the bubbles set up very much as it was in March. The children were more or less the same ones as then, the staff are on a two week rota and it was smooth sailing and very safe. Thursday and Friday ensued and I think from Monday we can expand our bubbles to 12 children in each. Its home learning but done in the classroom for those children and I am full on pastoral role for the time being making sure all our vulnerable children are ok at home and offering help and support to those families that need it.  So that was the first working week done and it ended with it SNOWED proper big fat blizzardy snow that settled. 

It was Bluebell's first experience of proper snow. Now prior to this snow, it's been really cold, icy and proper hard frost - which she has NOT loved. Getting her to go out to the toilet has been a pain. 

However snow? She LOVES IT! Running up and down the garden, throwing snowballs for her to fetch has kept me very amused. Especially when she catches one and brings it to me then is bewildered as to where it has gone!!! Then when I could finally get her in, we had much staring and squeaking and pleading and running back and forth hopefully to the back door so she could go back out and play for a good couple of hours! 

Tea was mostly based on the jam roly poly in the fridge. The menfolks had beans on toast and cheese on toast as a starter - then it was JRP and ice cream for Mr 23 and JRP and hot custard for the HG! I just had custard as I'm not a fan of JRP! Saturday began for me at 1.20am when I woke up needing a wee, then 4 am woke up with a hurting shoulder after laying funny on it. I dozed till 5.22am when I got up for painkillers. I decided to give up and get up and me and Bluebell have enjoyed a lovely quiet cup of coffee and a few episodes of the brilliantly funny comedy Motherland. 

Today I think we shall errrrr stay in!! It's the law. There will be a dog walk and I plan on making SOUP

following an actual recipe for once, rather than chuck the manky veg in a pan with a stock cube and random spice rack sprinkles, from a lovely long time bloggy internet friend Rubbish Wife, 

Her blog is here

Mr 23 got a copy of 

and he's on with a mass cook of chicken chasini I think it's called. He requested 8 onions from the Sainsrobbers shop so I think I will get in and out with my courgette soup before he even gets up! 

Right that's enough for now. Have a great weekend everyone. 

Lots of love from 

Rachel *starting a new jigsaw today* Radiostar xxx

Sunday 3 January 2021

The start - edited

 Bugger I missed it! Further down this post I write about how long I’ve been blogging! Well turns out it’s ten years AND A DAY! 

Here is a screenshot of my very first post! Turns out some things never change HAHAHA! Point still available!!

My last loaves of 2020

The calendar that my friend bought me is very funny
Bluebell sleeping like this makes me laugh. 
I won this gorgeous hand painted bauble, made by my friend’s talented daughter, simply for being her 1000th follower on her new business page. Unique Ink. 
Final fire of 2020
I treated myself to this gorgeous Chas Jacobs calendar

 ( hangs on the toaster wall )

Finished the jigsaw - really enjoyed it! I’ve jigsaw swapped it on with one of the girls n our jigsaw circle! 

Well tier 4 is really not much different for me than all of the others. NewYear’s  Day tea was a delicious ham joint, served with the last of the carrots and parsnips, with cabbage and peas. Delicious.  I’ve shopping coming today - normal stuff really except we bought Mr23 a curry guys book and he requested 7 onions amongst other things to make a giant batch of basic curry sauce! 

Thank goodness we had a cheeky takeaway last night so I’ve plenty of Tupperware tubs for the freezer!!!

Although we do the thing where it’s frozen in a reusable plastic bag in a box that can then be removed and stacked nicely. I’m not one for resolution making at all but I am going to vow to TRY to be better at freezer management! 

Return to school is full of controversy and angst and union letters and discord. Fortunately Monday was always a planned inset day and I’ve no doubt in my mind I’ll be at work Tuesday no matter what wether it’s open as normal or in the rota for key worker and vulnerable children. I know three of my colleagues won’t be at work because they have Covid or are track n traced to stay home. 

Well it’s Sunday, my tree is still up but the rest will started to be dismantled today once the HG retrieves the storage boxes from the loft for me. I’ve decided I’m keeping the battery operated lights down and in my vases etc because I likes them and there is still battery life to use.  It will make me sad to see it all down - but that’s what makes it special- if I did keep it all year like I keep threatening -  it would lose it’s appeal! I’ve also announced the retirement of my glorious Purple robed Santa Claus Tree topper - because my tree is in the window, the back of his robes have faded to a pinky colour! So I will be on the lookout next year for something glorious to put there instead! No angels or fairy’s. It’ll be a spike probably like my Mum had - that’s what I’ll be aiming for. 

It snowed yesterday but has been cold for days, the heating has been on low constantly and the boiler is that old I’m scared to turn it off!!! I’m grateful for the overpayments meaning the £300 credit built up will hopefully have covered this festive period! Temperatures are set to rise slightly next week so it will go back on timed. 

January means it’s time to do the HG books before the 31st. Something that I always complain about! It also means that in less than 6 months I will be 50! Gulp. That also means I have been blogging for 10 years! I need to go find my first post to see the exact date. Some of my readers have been here from the start and are true real life friends. Others are true real life friends picked up along the way! I truly love you all! Maybe I’ll do a giveaway or something to mark the occasion. 

Today will

Involve a walk for Bluebell




Jigsaw starting

TV watching 

Telephone chats

Perfect really. 

Lots of love from 

Rachel * only 174 days left** in my 40’s* Radiostar

** if my maths is correct