Sunday 7 November 2021

The return of the SNB’s.

 The SNB’s are what me and my friends call the Sunday Night Blues - my lovely long first time ever in my 26 year career two week half term is at an end and my days will be full on, unpredictable and possible fraught with danger for the foreseeable! 

The planned building works ( the reason for the two week break ) is OF COURSE not finished meaning three toilets and sinks to serve 60 infants. It’s going to be interesting! 

And the knowledge that also we have to payback the extra days off as twillighty insets burns!  Always a bloody yang to the ying! 

Today we went to see my Ma in law who was diagnosed with mixed dementia at the start of covid. 

I cut her toenails and we laughed as they pinged everywhere!! Then I hoovered the offending pingings up and prepared her hot lunch. We sat and chatted first. Today she looked older than she normally does but was with it mostly and conversant. She asked for some of the old photos down off the unit and spent a while looking at them and naming people in them saying that my HG looks like her Grandad. I did her little bit of washing to save my Sister in law a job. She is doing all the main caring during the week. We do have carers in place morning and evening to give medication. The HG calls in most days after work and I go at a weekend.  She had all the aids available to assist with independent living and is about 50 years back when she has a confused episode. We are grateful for the time of year as she hates dark nights so is less inclined to go a wandering. Also the children on the cul de sac are not playing out drawing her attention. Her ‘thing’ is she’s worried she’s lost the children and goes looking for them. At first it was our children but the last time it was the HG and my Sis in law. 

It’s such a shame to see her like this. She’s 80 in January and has aged about thirty years in less than a decade if you get what I mean. She has always been young at heart and full of life. She used to come see us every week, and run home ‘beating the bus’ - she lives a good 45 minute fast walk away! 

I’ve written about her illnesses before. It all started when she was admitted to a and e with AF - her heart rate was up at 175.  Anyway she had a heart valve replacement - we learnt that she’s one of the last people to have the reason for this being a side effect of a childhood bout of St Vitus Dance and rheumatoid fever - not long after she had it- the antibiotics weee created to combat it. When she was in hospital they made a pint of showing her case to student doctors because as her generation is leaving this world, cases are getting rarer to find. So because of this heart condition her dementia is vascular and she also has Alzheimer’s but I just found out they call it mixed dementia. 

Getting older is a bit pants really. 

So this week I’ve faffed about a lot. Walked the dog in the rain a lot, bathed her a lot. I e caught up on some Walking Dead programmes. I’m addicted! I’m 3/4 way through The three of us by Ruth Jones and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. 

I have just started a little knit to pop away in my ‘if I ever have grandchildren’ stash. This is because I’ve knit for so many other people’s babies and given loads and loads away ( and loved doing it ) but I feel bad now I’ve not done it for my own children and there may come a day I can’t do it. This wool is some I had leftover from another blogger and it knots up lovely. This is the first time I've done this pattern. Only took me a day to do the back. I plan on doing a little crafting every night after tea. I’ve another re using sewing project on the go. 

Well I best get thinking about going to bed soon, as every single day without fail in the holidays, I’ve been awake and ready to get up at 5am.  Tomorrow morning I’ll be hard and fast asleep. You watch. 

That’ll do for now.

Friday 5 November 2021


 My last post mentioned a mishap with a Camembert. I knew nothing back then. But it then led me to recall the predecessor incident, where I knew even less. Living where we did, we would frequently take picnics and spend the days in the Lake District where us kids would roam free in the forests and woods having a great time. Mum and Dad would often set up base near the car and me and my sisters would go exploring. This was the 70s where we children had much more freedom and there were less health and safety rules haha. 

Anyway, this hot hot hot day, we were playing, not far from the car, we were kept an eye on, and I said to my sisters, let’s pick some of these pretty white flowers as a surprise for Mum. We were probably playing Red Riding Hood!

Armfuls we gathered. Armfuls. And when mum and dad were not looking we hid our treasures in the car. In the boot and some under the seats. Gleeful with our bounty and the look of surprise on mum’s face when we gifted her ALL the flowers.  

Oh my stars. It was a hot hot hot day, and the stench in the car was beyond anything else we’d ever encountered. I remember my dad swearing at my mum in the front - along the lines of…what the bloody hell is that smell? It was rank and putrid. I can retch and gag just thinking about it. Happy days. 

Can you guess what type of flowers we had gathered? 

I have always had a sensitive sense of smell I guess. Not that sensitive however or regard for my poor Dad if you fast forward a few years to when I and my friend discovered fake perfume parties. My go to scent was Loulou, hers was opium. We would get ready for a night out and my dad would give us a lift into town. Getting ready included

Having a bath loaded with Fake Loulou bubble bath, I’d wash myself with Fake Loulou soap, wash my hair with Fake Loulou shampoo and condition it with Fake Loulou conditioner. I’d then use my Fake Loulou talc, body lotion, deodorant and body spray. Once dressed, there’d be a liberal application of Fake Loulou perfume. Across the road, my friend would be doing the same with her Fake Opium products. I think I also had a set of Fake Obsession and she had Fake Poison. Sadly they didn’t do hairspray so it was mixed with a whole can of extra hold hair lacquer. It was the mid to late 80s. I had hair that needed back combing to within an inch of it’s life! 

Anyway we would emerge into my Dad’s car in a cloud of toxic Fake chemicals! We thought we were ‘it’.  My dad’s COPD was probably set off by this overpowering olfactory offence ! 

Fast forward a few more years to morning sickness when I was pregnant with Miss 27. I had terrible morning sickness and any scent would set me off retching and gagging. I couldn’t stand the smell of cleaning products, pledge or mr sheen polish, the duster, even the thought of picking up the duster would set me off. Even the smell from the hot tap running would set me off.  I couldn’t Hoover, use deodorant, wash up, clean. Couldn’t eat anything apart from an apple maybe if it had been cut up and washed in cold water. I couldn’t stand the smell of the fridge opening. We once got on the bus and I was doing ok until a rather unhygienic person got on and I started heaving and retching. The HG was mortified haha and we had to get off the bus at the next stop! I couldn’t be near the kettle when it was boiling because the smell of the steam would set me off. THE SMELL OF THE STEAM!!!! 

Now I’m still a little sensitive and only like certain cleaning products and personal scents. I much prefer a citrus based scent to a floral based one. Funnily enough I’m perfectly fine with Madam Bluebell and she can get VERY stinky.

Did you have any smelly mishaps in life? I’d love to hear about it! 

Wednesday 3 November 2021

Early morning blog catch up

 Bluebell is still suffering from jet lag re British Summertime so when she needs her last week it was 6am wee, she doesn’t care that this week the clock says 5am. She takes after me. I’ve used my time wisely -sat wrapped in a blanket on the HG’s electric recliner with my feet up ‘just so’ and she’s resettled on the chair arm next to me, reading through the blogs I follow - I’ve been commenting and trying my best to comment but blogger keeps coming at me with error messages! 

I do follow a lot of lovely people and one of them is Tracy who is a dear dear real life friend even though it’s been a few years since I saw her in the flesh and she’s just made me laugh my head off and recall a childhood memory that also makes me laugh! 

She wrote 

“ I bought four tins recently that were reduced to just 69p each - two square, silver ones and two cylindrical ones in a red tartan pattern.  These are perfect for gifting homemade cookies, which I will bake just before gifting.  Just a note: one year I bought my brother a gift of a bottle of port and some Derbyshire stilton. I wrapped this up and gifted it a few days before Christmas, but forgot to tell him to put it in the fridge.  He put his gifts under the tree in his house...which was next to a radiator. He and his wife were trying to find the source of the stench.. and only found it on Christmas day when they unwrapped a stinking, moldy, melted mound of cheese... “ 

And it reminded me of when I was a very very unworldly wise naive little 11year old on my first ever trip abroad. We went to France ( St. Omer ) in the 1st year at Grammar School. It will have crippled my mum and dad to actually pay for this but they managed it and off we went. We stayed in a chateaux, the rumour was we’d eaten horse meat for supper. I recall being petrified that I’d catch malaria from the mosquitoes. We were allowed to go unaccomplished ha ha appropriate typo there, unaccompanied  into the town centre ( I know now that the teachers probably were sitting in a cafe watching us, eating croque monsieurs and drinking copious tasse de t√©a or un cafe au lait ). 

And we set about practicing our French. I mean this was the early 80s when it was fine to let little girls go off introducing themselves to strangers and asking where the toilets/library/swimming pool were! I bet the residents of St. Omer would roll their eyes when they saw the coaches pull up year after year haha.

One of my friends bought 3 kilos of grapes. She needed to practice more I think. That was a massive bag of grapes - I think we got told off for having a grape fight in the dorm that night. ( I don’t ‘think’ at all, I know we did! ) We all bought watches on chains to go round our necks and my present to my mum to take home was from the hypermarch√© at Calais. We were eyes on stalks as we pulled up at Mammouth I think it was called. It had everything you could ever want! It was massive! 

So being in France, I bought my Mum something very French. A Camembert. I put it in my hand luggage and off we set. In a hot coach. It was a hot hot summer. We lived in the North. That 5 day trip to France actually consisted of 2 days travel to get there and 2 days travel home again! By the time we were getting up towards Birmingham, the smell on the coach was RANK but none of us knew where it was coming from! Not even me, because I had no idea what Camembert was except it was French cheese. My mum loved cheese, we used to go get some from the market stall every week. I figured cheese was cheese. I am laughing now because it stank! And it was practically walking itself off the coach by the time we arrived back at school. At home I opened the bag to share out the gifts. The cheeeeese had leaked over EVERYTHING and the smell hahahaha. 

So thank you Tracy for sparking that memory! 

Yesterday, I went for a very lovely afternoon tea 

It was delicious. Much better than anything I’ve ever had elsewhere including the iconic Art Deco hotel I live near. It was their festive version. There was a pig in blanket each. The sandwiches were savoury egg and cress. Turkey and cranberry sauce, glazed maple ham and onion marmalade. Yummy. The scones were straight out of the oven ( a little over done but still delicious ) with clotted cream and jam. A piece of carrot and walnut cake, a treacle tart, a Viennese swirl topped mince pie and

a layered chocolate orange mousse thingy which was divine. We had the place to ourselves and we were not rushed out like we were at the afore mentioned posh hotel. We were there for three hours in fact! As much tea as we could drink and it was perfect. It was where my friends had their wedding and the food was outstanding then. We are going back in December as my friend paid for us both so I will have to get the next one! Did you see what we did? 

 I could finally give my friend her birthday present. She absolutely loved it. She was touched and thrilled and was over the moon with it. So here it is! 


She has started up a business as a florist. And I’ve made her an apron to wear when she does Wedding Fairs and workshops. I made it from all used fabrics and designed it along the way, changing my mind here and there. It’s fully lined, with a deep two pocket pocket on the front. It’s made from two pairs of jeans and the only new things are the straps and slider adjusters. 

She does have aprons that have her company name ( badly ) embroidered on - I’ve been aghast at the puckering that the professional embroidery company produced! So I made her something better in my opinion haha. 

So today is Wednesday already. It was almost a frosty start and I think the rain has ceased so I may attempt a bit of garden tidying, especially in the front and will be glad of a none soggy dog walk. 

I’m not sure why my font is different in parts. It all changed when I copied and pasted Tracy’s bit on. 

Time for another brew. Have a lovely day. 

That’ll do for now. 

Monday 1 November 2021

It feels proper!

 It feels proper to start a month on a Monday. The perfect perfect day to re begin a healthier lifestyle…except I’m going out for afternoon tea tomorrow with my friend for her birthday so maybe Wednesday the 3rd will have to do! 

Have just lit a cheeky little fire log, they are a  great bargain I find for an after work warm! Not that I’ve been at work - half term week 2 and all that ! It’ll last a couple of hours but I will stretch it if we need to with bits of wood from our stores! 

So I’m blogging this, by the light of that fire, warm toes and Christmas adverts on the telly!!! So I finally finished the gift , I’ve spent a good few hours on it and I hope she will like it - I will post a photo on my next post. 

I cleared away some of the debris in the craft room ready for the next project. I have hoovered the stairs and landings ( ( makes me laugh to say that but I have two ! ) ), cleaned and tidied the lounge, dining room, kitchen has had a tickle as has the bathroom so after walking Bluebell this afternoon in between the torrential downpours, getting caught in just one, she had a shower and I had a milky coffee and I watched The Downton Abbey movie for the first time. 

I bloody love Downton Abbey. It makes me sit watching the TV with a daft grin on my face! 

Then the HG returned from work wet through, then Mr 24 came through the door and poor old Bluebs got fed an hour late! Well she is still on Summertime clock. It’s not her fault. She can’t tell the time except she knows to the minute what time 7am and then 5pm equals! 

I don’t think I documented the pinafore I made using a Tilly and the Buttons pattern. It’s made from the softest brown cord and was simple to make. Miss 27 is pleased with it and I can’t wait to see a photo of her wearing it!


Here’s a few more of the floor cushion - they may answer a few questions I’ve been asked.sadly they’ve not come on in the order I wanted! So I will try and shuffle them about! As you can see I failed! You will also see my little helper!! 

 I used an Owl and the Sewing Cat pattern and a jelly roll of Stuart Hilliard fabric - I have no idea why it’s called a jelly roll but it’s basically just pre cut strips of fabric that’s probably more expensive to buy than just the fabric and cut it yourself! The strips were a little skinny for the pattern so I just cut the pattern a little skinnier to fit what I had and instead of sewing the 50 strips together, I sewed 55 together - patching some off cuts to make the 55th strip!!! I then bought some heavy cotton for the backing. The pattern says to fill with beanbag filling but I used leftover scraps of fabric I’e been saving, old bedding, pillows, coats and wadding I had. It weighs a ton!!!  It was hard to finish off due to it’s size and the hardest bit was sewing the button into the middle which is what hives it it’s lovely shape! I originally wanted to make a tuffet, but you basically buy a form and the casters and cover the form. The forms are expensive and I had the filling already so a compromise was reached! Eventually it will go in my bedroom but for now it’s living in my craft room. 

I’ve not managed any more otter sewing today as I could have done some watching Downton but I was trapped by a sleeping Bluebell! 

Simple tea tonight of pasta with cheeeeese. I know that I am heartily sick of hearing about climate change so will be avoiding the news. I’m not against it, I’m not for it per se. I do my bit and have been doing more and more to help the earth. I’m just over hearing it. It saddens me for future generations. And I think the idiots who superglue themselves to the road in order to protest need to find better things to do with their time. So a simple evening ahead for me of relaxing and being in ignorant bliss!! 

Thoroughly enjoying the Hairy Bikers latest TV show. miss 27 saw them filming it and sent me photos from seeing them at Bamburgh Castle! She said they didn’t include the bit they saw. I also adore the Whitehouse and Mortimer fishing programme. It’s gentle viewing as is The Larkins. I’m loving that. Wasn’t sure at first about Bradley never off the telly at the minute Walsh being Pop but the lass who is playing Ma is AMAZING at it! It’s an hour of feel good escapism. Perfick !! 

This was a 50th birthday present from one of my Ma in laws. It’s a little tea light holder. It’s just lovely. 

My next post.  - that’ll do.