Friday 30 December 2022

What was in my freezer on Christmas Eve 2022?

 Warning - very dull post documenting my kitchen fridge freezer stocktake. I am on with this now as I had a very bad habit of buying stuff then shoving it in the freezer then forgetting about it. I did it in September and really made the effort to shop from it and meal plan a little better. It is full to bursting and I need to shop from it for the month of January and beyond. 

I have had this American style fridge freezer for over ten years but I still call it my new one.  Years ago when the children were little because we claimed some kind of tax credit, in the early days I was offered a Government Gateway account and it was a scheme to get folks saving. ( My two missed out on that child trust fund thingy ). Anyway for every £2 I saved they gave me £1. I had to save £25 a month and the max was £800. Anyway I did it - it was with the Halifax and with the £400 top up I went and bought the fridge outright! They seem to have come down in comparable price these days but it came with a water filter and ice maker and I had to have them come round and assess if the floor was strong enough! It was, it's solid concrete! My old hotpoint traditional fridge freezer is in the cellar. It worked fine. Still does. But the old chest freezer we had down there was not working properly and stuff really did go in there to never ever resurface!! Anyway the freezer is  also full down there - need to stocktake but I mostly keep a few SW ready meals, bread and milk and duplicate frozen veg.  I've a couple of those ready to roast from frozen joints in too from Iceland. Brilliant they are. The fridge down there is rarely full and it is a blessing at Xmas but I will fill it with milk bottles with water in once empty to improve the efficiency and energy usage from now on.

So  back to The Kitchen One - it is a narrow side by side and it's not that great for storage - however I've got such a lot in it! 


fine beans 3/4 bag

sliced carrots full bag - great for chucking in the slow cooker with froxen cubed stewing steak and frozen onions for a really cheap quick stew! 

country mixed veg - 3/4 bag

sliced peppers 3/4 bag

broccoli for soup - 1/4 bag

spinach balls 1/2 bag

butternut squash cubes - full bag

tenderstam broccoli - full bag

peas - full bag plus 1/4 bag

mushrooms - 1/4 bag

Spag bol portions x 3 - used last night for easy tea.


M & S Yorkshire s  x 6 ( what???? yes even I buy them sometimes haha )

M & S crinkle chips 3/4 bag

M 7 S straight chips x 2 portions

Roasted root veg - x 2 portions

Sweet potato fries x 1 portion

Aunt Ressie's ( ie my own ) jacket potatoes x 2


Organic whole chicken - 1 large

12% Minced beef - x 1 tray

Organic shin beef - x 4 portions for stew

Organic chicken breasts x 2

Chunky haddock portions x 1

wholetail scampi - full bag

spam fritters x 4

lasagne -x 1 portion

chicken pasty x 1

steam fresh golden rice and veg x 2 bags

Arctic Roll - 1 full box

- The organic stuff was in the flash sales of my Christmas Ocado shop. I cannot miss a bargain like that! The beef shin looks so good and was only £1.12 marked down 80% ! 


Frozen chilli, garlic, herbs

Frozen fruit bags inc

blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, nectarines, cherries

Organic whole milk - 1 pint

hot dog bun x 1

pitta bread x 2

thins - x 3

seeded roll x 1

Doggy icecream x 1


Rhubarb stewed unsweetened - 500g x 2 ( SW Healthy Extra B choice )

Rhubarb stewed sweetened for crumble or pie

Apple - stewed

Quorn sausage - 6

Prawns - large full bag

Hash brown bites - 1 full bag


Mainly from the butcher

minced steak - x 1

chicken breasts x 5

burgers x 2

minced pork x 1

lamb leg steak x 2

streaky bacon x 1lb

Minute steak lean - x 2 potions

braising steak x 4 portions

thin pork sausage x 12

pork cocktail sausage x 28 

So I will only need to shop really for fresh fruit/veg and dairy. Plenty of choice and variety for some good wholesome healthy eating over the next few weeks. I think I'm going to make some rumbledethhumps as I've plenty pf potatoes and cabbage and cheese in and if I freeze some - it's an easy tea with say the chicken breasts or the braising steak. 

Looking at my lists from September the only thing still in there to be used - the minced pork - will have been bought for a certain recipe I fancied at the time as it's not something I normally buy. The lamb leg steak - bought to make the Hairy Dieter's doner kebabs - a fab recipe.The frozen fruit and herbs and garlic are a perma fixture and the roasting  veg was a full bag as were the fine beans. The apple sauce and rhubarb are also still from September - but they were freshly made then. I will use them this coming month. 

My tins and dried goods cupboards are full too. I like that feeling. Though with 14 tins of tomatoes in I won't buy those for a while! Unless on offer - I do like the Mutti brand - they do taste better when the tomatoe is a major factor in the dish - rest of them are smart price own brand. I don't have a problem with those at all. But if you see the more expensive branded tomatoes on offer - give them a go at least once! You are worth it! Hahaha 

Right - have been busy finding all the post Christmas recycling and need to go do a bit more. Or I can try do some some of this gorgeous but very hard on the eyes jigsaw! 

Love from 

Rachel * must crack on whilst I am in the mood* Radiostar xxx

Monday 26 December 2022

He got me a new iron!!!!!!

 Honestly. But before you all think I should probably brain him with it there are a couple of things you ought to know! 

I’m not particularly fond of ironing, never have been, though I’m at my most likely to iron when I’m angry - usually at the HG and I will do bad tempered noisy ironing in a look at me, I do ALL the things, kinda way. 

Mostly, with the advice and blessing of my Ma in law, I smoooooth things! 

I already have 3 irons. One is a giant huge beast that sits on its own steam tank, I’ve had it a good few years now. It probably needs dusting. I’ve a smaller Morphy Ruchards that’s in my craft room along with my teeny tiny hand sized Prym iron, oh and I’ve one of those super teeny tiny Clover irons that is about the same size as a 50p piece with interchangeable heads that fix into the wand - about the same size as my Mum’s old Braun Independent hot brush! ( Remember those ??? ) for someone who doesn’t iron regularly, it’s a lot of irons hahaha.

ANYWAY THIS IS MY NEW BEAUTY! I’ve wanted one of these for so long, ever since I saw it on a craft show. It’s originally from America and you couldn’t get them here. The beauty of it is it lifts up when you take your hand off it! Meaning so easy and safe to use when I am sewing! Yes it’s for sewing purposes mainly. My little Prym one sits on a silicone mat and does turn on and off fairly easily but it’s light and I’m always worried I’ll knock it off my little stand I have next to my sewing machine and it gets SO hot I’ve burnt myself a few times! Also it’s got the world’s smallest water reservoir for steam. My Morphy one too has a silicone mat but I dislike leaving it plate down on there and sitting it on its heel, in the traditional manner means it is unstable! 

I sound like I am justifying myself! But they are my perfectly logical reasons for wishing for this! 

Also he bought me a new wool ironing pad too. Me and him made a portable ironing pad years ago and it’s done me in good stead, but this is the Bee’s knees! 

I was also lucky to get 3 lovely new jigsaws amongst my presents and some festively packaged coffee pods - one of which I’m having now as I blog. It tastes fruity! On closer inspection, it’s  got raspberry in it! Not sure yet, but I’m drinking it! I often suggest they buy me some coffee pods for my machine when asked what do I want for birthdays or Mother’s Day etc because I love to enjoy a lovely frothy coffee and think, my kids bought me this drink! 

Freddie, quick, do your best begging eyes like me! 

I’m sat here betwixt two sleeping spaniels. They were so funny yesterday, especially Bluebell who thinks every thing new in the house is for her! ( That is because it generally is ). When we got up and discovered Father Christmas had been ( ok, we had to put the presents out Christmas Day morning because she’d have been into them for sure! She was dancing about, tail wagging non stop, kept going sitting in front of the tree like the goodest girl and then squeaking at us! Her and Freddie got their presents. He opens his so gently and carefully. She goes at it like a frenzied piranha attack. She then parades her new toy around and around and then invariably goes and pinches Freddie’s and goes around with both presents in her mouth! He is so patient and doesn’t bother! 

Please can I have a present?

Impatiently waiting
I cooked the dinner and my Yorkshire Puddings were magnificent! We didn’t have Turkey, by choice. We had roast beef instead. I ordered a large piece from the butcher but chopped it in half and froze half for end of January. 

We had chicken liver pate on toast to start. 


Roast Salmon cut of beef

Goose fat roast potatoes and parsnips

Carrot batons and sprouts plainly steamed but buttered

And despite me declaring it doesn’t go , I did do some shredded stouts with bacon and chestnuts with the chopped sprout tops. Nice but didn’t go but everyone had some! 

Mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli with a homemade cheese sauce on top and wonderful gravy! I turned off my smart meter display yesterday! Might take a sneak look back tomorrow! 

Pudding options were Christmas pudding, a cheeky Arctic roll or the one that everyone went for ..meringue nest , tinned mandarin oranges and lightly whipped double cream. I didn’t have any. I was too full. I’d washed up as I’d gone along with some bits and the dishwasher took care of the rest. I never mind the washing up after. I like to stand after a big meal, in the quiet kitchen with carols playing and just tidy up knowing everyone is fed and happy and settled in the lounge. I was all done and dusted just in time for the King’s Speech. It sounds very alien on the tongue. I thought his message and the footage was apt and wonderful. I got a little bit teary when it ended with the choir singing because my Ma in law ( who has mixed dementia) had been a little quiet - sometimes the art of conversation has left her - sang along to the carol word perfect. I remember my beloved Nanna would do that well into her dementia. So moving. We had the fire going and then we watched a really good Christmas film where this office worker tries to organise a party for all the people in his train carriage on his daily commute. Some big name actors were in it too and it was one we all enjoyed. 

We squeezed the tiniest plate of ham, pork pie, cheese and beetroot in about 6.30pm. They were like Borrower’s proportions and no one wanted anything else after that! We watched The Wheel and then the Ant and Dec game show. The HG  and I then took his Mum home. Settled her in, gave her her meds and came home. We watched the new festive Motherland then left the kids and the dogs to it and went to bed and fell fast asleep! 

This year I made hampers up for gifts and put in nice everyday treats like individual sponge puddings and little pots of deluxe custard so they can have a nice midweek pud and think along the same coffee lines of Rachel treated us to this. Pontefract cakes, chocolate biscuits, ham, sachets of hot chocolate etc they were fun to do but a right pain in the arse storing it all before making them up and gifting them out! I also got Ma in law a new hot water bottle but it had a furry muff pocket on too, half the size of a normal bottle one. So it sits neatly in the lap and she can put her hands in it to keep them warm! She suffers a lot from cold hands! Best present finder me! The kids got a few tokens - new pjs and smellies but we gave them some money. I say kids - both too old now for my liking! I bought the HG a new leather bag for going away overnight with. Some new t shirts, smellies and sweets. 

Boxing Day now - the kitchen is all tidy, I’ve put some things tidy in the dining room and the washer is on. Boxing Day dinner for us is ALWAYS leftover cold meat, homemade real chips and the gravy. Then it’s everyone fend for themselves as I close the kitchen! There will be a dog walk at some point and just relaxing! I may even crack open one of my new jigsaws! 

Lots of festive love 

Rachel *spolit again* Radiostar xxx 

Ps. Wanted to share one of the cards I got from school. Now I’m not in a class as such, I now no longer come away with 30 plus presents of all shapes and sizes and I’m absolutely fine with that! Instead I get a few things gifted from the families I have been working with and these gestures mean so much. This card this year made me smile and hold it dear. I don’t teach this little one in class and wouldn’t have expected anything as an outsider would say the minimal support we have given was negligible but it just showed me what tiny things make a big difference to some people. And the things I’ve done with her are tiny in reality - always a smile and a greeting for her on the corridor - the treat of being allowed to eat lunch in my room ( I say mine - it’s me and one of my best friend in the whole world’s room - it’s our Nurture room and we have it set up so cosy, with toys and a sofa and a kitchen. We lay the table with the table cloth and mats for lunch guests etc )

Anyway, clearly it made a difference! 

Saturday 24 December 2022

Christmas Eve 2022

 Apologies to anyone trying to read my last post! Halfway down its gobbledygook! I call it a case of the fastest fingers! 

It's Christmas Eve and there's only me, the dogs and Harry and Meghan in the lounge, by the light of my beautiful tree. I am watching this and am fascinated. So far the best thing has been seeing them at the wedding reception! I loved that. I've friends who sit very strongly on both sides of the story. I'm only on episode 3. I think they are using media and publicity to tell their story so far of how the media and publicity ruined their lives. I hope they can just now be happy in their lives and be left alone so their children grow up happy and safe.

We are having roast beef tomorrow and inexplicably i still ordered 24 pigs in blankets from my butcher! Yes very laz

Saturday 17 December 2022

And that’s it for school!

 Only for two weeks and a couple of days but it is very much much needed! 

Friday night, was the staff do, I had other plans. Including sitting on the sofa by the lights of the tree! We’ve a lovely lively bunch of party goers who are good fun. So let them play and home I stay! 

I’ve got my coffee table in the middle of the room, where one could argue it should always be! I’ve changed my decorations round a bit and if you squint carefully, you can see the tribute to M&S on the hearth!!! I seem to be collecting those pretty tins haha. I should have lit my candles but I need some more of those button batteries to work them. 

We had chippy tea - the price has really gone up - £10 for fish and chips! I shared a Yorkshire fish cake with the HG.  I ‘won ’ a festive £5 voucher off my next purchase. The shop are running a giveaway promotion! They bought £100 £5 vouchers and were popping them in lucky orders! Glad Mr 25 checked because I’d not seen it! Come next year, the next time we have them, That will pay for 6 chips and a fin! They were delicious  and we ate them on our knees in front of the TV! We started catching up with Emmerdallas as we call it. Moora ( cow farmer lady ) as we call her, had clearly had her annual leave, was so tanned despite supposedly being in Belfast for two weeks! It’s set in Yorkshire, but Moora is Scottish and Amy is from Newcastle and both lay  the accent on so thick! The storyline is so outrageous that I must say ‘as if’ about 250 times an episode! But we keep watching - however I fell fast asleep and missed a lot! Woke up, the fire had died down and we went to bed. Thought it must have been midnight - nope 9.15pm! 

So the HG was at home on Thursday and decided to do some plastering. He’d forgotten how messy plastering is. When I walked in at lunch time I was faced with dusty footprints everywhere! The kitchen floor was covered as was every Sur car, including the rugs I’d only just washed. But the ceiling looked lovely, as did the bulkhead of the stairwell. So as I left he was starting to clean up. When I got home after work, he said, do not go out the back door. Now here we have been enjoying seasonal temperatures of -6C and -7C with it never getting above 0C for a week, so it was pretty treacherous out there anyway. 

Well,  he mopped the kitchen floor and in his wisdom not really thinking brain, thought, ooo I’ll throw the warm water out the door and melt all the ice! 

He said he could see it in slow motion as the water was landing and freezing solid in front of his eyes! It was EXACTLY like home alone out there! So Bluebell has had to slip slide her way to the grass to sniff for bird footsteps and cats etc as we’ve clung on to the back door, balancing , to watch her! 

Yes day lunchtime, the temperature reached a balmy 1C and it started to freezing drain! This adding a layer of jeopardy to everywhere !  I put some dishwasher salt down on the front step but have to then rinse someone’s paws because I don’t want her licking it! She never went on a walk yesterday because it was too dangerous. But not it’s been raining in the night as it’s about 4C so the big thaw is on! Everywhere has looked so pretty. Back to safe old dull and grey- but dull is frankly better Christmas tree light wise! 

I think we are in for some milder weather. Which is good. On the 21st, we are having our new smart meters fitted. I’ve definitely been more mindful of our energy usage and my friend, who’s bills are similar to ours, said she’s been running £14- £15 a day when she’s washed, dried and had the dishwasher and heating on. We’ve a good bank of credit and have definitely been mindful of when we use it. I said yesterday though we didn’t put it on until much later thanks to the milder weather we’d had so let’s be chuffing warm! I feel for those who are not fortunate to be able to have that. 

So it’s now 7.04am on Saturday and I’m going to make a start on the day. I’ve a few loads of wading to tackle, presents to wrap and cards to write. I’ve some shopping coming between 9 and 10. Not much. £100 goes nowhere really beyond the basics and there’s a bottle of de icer and some goose fat that wouldn’t normally get bought. It’s a stay at home day, mr 25 will walk Bluebell so I can get on. The HG seems to have picked up manflu but his task is to find a rail to go over the archway ( we have through lounge diner ) and I’ve decided that a temporary curtain needs to go up to keep the lounge warmer. We have a big house and the fireplace in the dining room despite being blocked off does let a cold draught in! 

Anyway I’m off for a shower - I can’t do it in 4 minutes like some fugal folks can! I’ve just remembered the HG is off out for a catch up with his old school chums tonight so me and Mr 25 will have the Chinese chicken curry I made and froze last week! What a treat! 

Saturdays - Love them. First Saturday after breaking up from school? Seems even better! I will leave a few photos here, two of part of the tree, unlit and lit and two of Madam on Wednesday lunchtime- she was most disgusted to be wearing her fleece but it kept her cleaner and drier than without. Once on the field she really didn’t mind it! 

Love from 

Rachel * oo the font changed but I am not scrolling back up to change it now* Radiostar xx

Saturday 10 December 2022

Thirty whole years

 Since the HG and I became a thing! Back then you didn’t do what the young folks do now - talk to each other for months on end before they become ‘exclusive’ then there has to be a decent big gesture or ceremony to become boyfriend and girlfriend. Back then you sent your mate to say my mate fancies you or you ‘got off with each other’ ( just kissing ) and then you were ‘going out with’ each other and were boyfriend and girlfriend. You then just packed each other in if you didn’t like each other!! Anyway 

I’d know the HG since I was 13. But we didn’t start going out with each other until I was 21! 

This is a very rare glimpse at me and mine! Here we are 30 years ago in my room at my Mum’s. Most who know us say we look exactly the same!!  I remember taking it. I had a little Kodak camera and I said let’s try to take our photo because it was the last pic on the roll! It probably languished in my camera until I could afford to take it to Bootsies ( how we say here hahaha ) to get it developed. Oh the stress of remembering where you’d put the little slip of paper because you’d never get them back! 

Then that feeling of delayed gratification of getting that packet of photos back with the little strips of negatives tucked under a flap at the front!! You needed those for a reprint! AND ( I am laughing now to myself ) you used to get the blurry photos back with a little sticker on the front saying ‘poor quality’ 


Today marks a sad day for one of my best friends. Her Dad sadly died this morning. And currently Engerland are trying to score another goal in their World Cup match against France. I’m not a football fan. But suddenly I’m an expert!! In my totally expert opinion, England need to stop passing the ball backwards, complaining to mummy about getting pushed over and learn that the ref doesn’t give two hoots for whinging! Plus that VAR descision in the first half will become the new ‘hand of god’ woe is me badly done to Segway on every single news item and programme on TV about England and the  World Cup! 

Come on England! Here’s to the next thirty years of my and my wonderful HG’s time together. 

Lots of love from 

Rachel * will put up the Christmas Tree tomorrow * Radiostar xxx

Thursday 8 December 2022


 How exciting! Tonight I made a start on a couple of the orders I’ve had in! 

First sale! 
It’s one from a set of 4 that I may have shown you before.

I took my wares into work and thought I’d display them strung across the whiteboard that never gets used in the staffroom. Well, the heating is set to melting point and at a solid gas mark 7 - the sodding sellotape lost its stick and everything was falling off. Much swearing ensued. A colleague helped me arrange them in a basket with the pretty lights wrapped round! I’d devised the world’s worst order form and price list ( business woman of the year ) and left it at that! Anyway a few staff have made requests and I’m up to £60 in sales so far! Happy days! I’m going to use that to invest in a smallish table top LED lit twiggy tree for display for my market/craft stall I’m going to do next year. I will look for one in the January sales. 

How they start off! 

 Yes it does currently, which makes me snigger - but they are for twins -  names B and O! I will finish the trimming tomorrow after work. 

How cute are the little lights?! 

Original plan was to get a little twiggy tree! Plan B turned  out to be useless! 

A jumble of cute things! 

In other news. My phone did an update and somehow the screen saver changed from this

to this.

I love the new look. That’s the HG and Miss 28 with Freddie and Bluebell. 
And finally my success, probably one time ever, win at Worgle! The other week, I wrote decide, then in my head said, no silly, that’s two ‘d’s. Thought,  I’m on my device. Two ‘e’s, oh well. 
Ta daaaaaah!!! 

 Am now on the countdown to the end of term. The school is RIFE with coughs and colds. I am still coughing 4 weeks on from Covid, but I think now I am picking up all the different strains going round. Sadly, we have a few cases of Strep A and Scarlet Fever. One little soul is now in hospital on IV antibiotics quite poorly because despite his really good Mum going back to the GP, chemist and A and E, she was sent away with anti histamine and emollient cream for his skin rash. His hands were so sore he could barely hold a pencil. He never complained once. By the time he was admitted, over the weekend, his hands and arms were covered in huge pus filled sores and it took 7 doctors at the hospital to dismiss it before the 8th admitted him. It makes me cry thinking about him. He is seriously poorly now. He was stable last night after 6 doses of meds and his arms and hands are all bandaged up. So now at school we have the stringent covid hand hygiene routines in place - the time consuming ones and extra cleaning throughout the day at tough points is back. The Naitiviies are almost done as are the staff!! 
I was on a training course yesterday all about consent and engagement when working with families. It was a refresher morning and enjoyable to boot! Very useful. The course was held in a building just out of the town centre and was supposed to finish at 12.30pm but instead it was closer to 1pm. I left the venue and walked into town. Nipped into M&S for a sandwich for my lunch and used my ‘lunch hour’ to get back to school as I was helping the Nativity due to start at 2pm. I had no need to go home as the HG was not working so Madam Brown Ears was fully catered for! 

Here is my story! Got to the bus station. Looked at the arrivals board. 

Said 1.38 on clock 

Bus due 1.45

I thought I’ll get the bus be back before 2 - not long to wait 

Then board said bus due 1.45 expt 1.47 

Ok I thought 

Then due 1.45 expt 1.48 

1. 49 


I’m like ffs I could have walked it’s a 20minute brisk walk from town. However, 

I was committed to bus travel by now thinking surely it’ll be here in a minute. There were middle class,  middle aged people FEWMIN where ever you looked. The bus I was waiting for travelled through some vair naice villages….we ALL noticed the 

Bus drivers hanging around - a gaggle of them - I wonder what the collective noun is for bus drivers haha  

I was waiting for the number 55 , and the bus to the Lakes which also goes along where I need to be - number 555 was due at 2.15 - that pulled in very early at 1.59. It then sat there with bus driver n inspector chatting away in it with the door closed. 

2.06 the 55 bus finally pulls in. The hard stare of 150 passengers was upon the poor GREEN HAIRED 12 year old driver who committed that heinous crime off ….when the last passenger gets off…closes the door …and opens his little cage door and….

Driver GET’S OFF! Man there’s gonna be a purple rinse led lynching. Me being me, tried to calm the rising dissent. I said to my closest bunch of allies that he might have been driving since 6am and this is his lunch break now. 

YET  the  bunch of drivers standing about didn’t move. I’m now joining in with the muttering and discontent with the bus hungry wealthy folk. 🤣

Like why on earth was the replacement driver who was going to start at 1.45 NOT THERE??? Anyway 

Finally, the loose change of drivers broke ranks and I swear he was shoved, but like a sacrificial lamb, a chap gingerly made his way through the crows, avoiding all eye contact but he was safe. We are British. It’s in our genes to tut and queue but to never actually say anything about it - anyway that brave little bus driver was  cheered like an Olympic a gold Medal hero!!!

We were all safely loaded on, many of us still commenting about the delay. Not me mind! 

I got to school at 2.15pm. So I didn’t want to creep into the Nativity and upskittle anything so I I went about my usual business until  hometime. 

At home I made two different chicken curries. One Indian using the tub of tikka masala sauce ready made for Slimming World by Iceland - so tasty and quick and easy. And one Chinese style with big chunks of onions, using a SW recommended Mayflower curry sauce mix. Really tasty, and a good store cupboard staple. We had the Indian one with some delicious mango chutney. Yum. 

I think that’ll do for now. So much to record haha 

Lots of love from Rachel *will definitely walk next time* Radiostar xxx

Wednesday 23 November 2022

It was all going so well

 Well, as well can be expected. The stupid cough was hanging around and yesterday it was THE WORST. I felt quite off it by bedtime ( 8pm! ) 

Think I slept fitfully and still felt off it but had a shower and went to work. Felt sicker and sicker so much so I went to the assistant head and said I needed to go home at about 11am as I didn’t feel very well at all. 

I walked home thinking some fresh air would be nice ( literally two minute walk ) and by the time I got in I was throwing up a which was unpleasant to say the least. I got cleaned up and got in bed and slept for a couple hours. Got up, pottered about. Felt better than before I vomited but still not great. Whilst I was sat doing my jigsaw I was sipping a very weak black tea. I didn’t finish it. I suddenly had an urge to ‘run’ to the loo. Great, T’other end at it’. Deep joy NOT. Here’s what I think. I’ve returned to school and picked up the bug that is running riot through the children. Anyway, here I am blogging from the sickbed. 

In other news, I’ve pinched a few bloggy ideas and have decided to gift hampers to the parents for Christmas. The dining table is groaning with goodies that are useful and will provide a nice treat now and then. 

I’ve included things like

Hot chocolate sachets & cappuccino sachets

Individual sponge puddings

Individual pots of luxury custard 

Little pots of fruit in jelly




Posh crisps ( well posher than normal )

Jar of jam ( Bon maman ) 



I put one of those M&S shortbread tins in that will be a light up lantern when you’ve done with it! 

I’ve put some hedgehog food in for one of them, some new chopping boards in another, I’ll put in a little handmade bauble when I’ve made them - each one is personalised a little. I’ve probably spent so much more haha but have enjoyed buying the bits here and there. I went with the hampers from Wilko - £5 each and comes with all the gubbins. I’ve not made them up yet. Need to finish my jigsaw first ! Progress so far! It’s a right tricky one! I likes a challenge. 


Other gifts have been decided upon which is often half the battle! My mum instructed me to not go mad or even give her anything - especially no more gadgets ( last year I got her an electric milk frother jug !! ) 

So I’m half minded to give her the empty whicker basket!!! 

We found these cute little gingerbread man fairy lights that I will intersperse with some of the gingers I’m going to try and sell. 

And I’ve finally finished the little plain cardi for the future if any grandchildren stash 

Also found one in the stash without buttons, so I had a looksee in my button box and have finished that one. 

Fingers crossed for a settled night and a full swift recovery tomorrow. 
Lots of love from 
Rachel *fed up to the back teeth* Radiostar xxx 

Friday 18 November 2022


 Long time readers will know what that stands for. 

We are surrounded! Binks and Simba one way love to and seemingly live to taunt Bluebell silly. She is going mad and starting to get worse when she sees them out of the window. They used to be house cats but now they go outside ( TOILETING IN MY GARDEN GRRRRRR). The other way, Ollie and Bea are much less likely to be in my garden so they are my faves. We've also has a little cute kitten in, dunno where that one lives and a great big huge brown smudgey thing in. Chased off by Madam. I'm worried one day she's going to catch one and they will be injured. But I would absolutely NOT offer to pay any vet bills because she's only protecting her property. They should stay out of my garden. They are all seriously starting to piss me off! 

I went back to work yesterday. Breathless and coughing but think this is how I will be for a while. It was good to be back. 

Now for a rest!

Love Rachel *Bloody cats* Radiostar xxx

Friday 11 November 2022

Covid round 2 Friday morning.

 I wrote that on Wednesday evening I felt the worst I've ever felt and it was no exaggeration. Thursday I woke up and took a cold and flu remedy tablet and I noticed again, I felt a little better. ( The magic of medication! ) I didn't really do much yesterday at all. I did find the strength to chuck some frozen carrots and onions into a pan, along with the slightly aging minced beef from the fridge with some stock and let is simmer away. I added a few scabby potatoes peeled and diced a bit later on and when they were soft, I thickened the gravy and made some dumplings with some wholemeal flour and we had a dish of mince and dumplings ( which is what they have in the NE -I've never ever had mince n dumplings here in the NW ) and I was stuffed to the gills as it was the most I'd eaten all week. I was also jaded after the efforts of making it. There's loads left but my freezer is stuffed to the gills - I will have to do a bit of juggling around to bag it up and squish it in for next week. When I was under the influence of the lunchtime cold and flu tablet ( same ingredients as a lemp sip type hot drink but far more palatable for me ) I did a little knitting and put on this film which is based on a true story and I was 

- and I'm going to say this as the excellent Sarah Lancashire starring as the formidable Julia Child in Julia -

simply charmed by it darling.! 

We get this channel as part of our new deal with the TV/Internet package we changed to. I don't even know how I found it. I'm not liking the new remote but this film was blooming good! I had to watch it in two bits because I got tired and trying to decrease for the raglan sleeve was hurting my brain too so I still need to do some more of that later. 

I am hoping that by Monday I will feel well enough to go to work. I'm coughing as I type and woke up at 1.15am with a sore throat ( a little self indulged dumpling heart burn ) and because I sneezed, a concerned Bluebell almost on my head. I've a strange taste in my mouth that I can't shift either. Covid is bloody rotten. There are folks at school who I know will be scathing of me being off with just a 'bad cold'. Well they can scathe off and when they get there, they can scathe off a bit more. 

I've not made any more ornaments yet but might have a sit at the machine tomorrow and if it's a bright day maybe photograph what I do have on my holly bush! 

The Covid Jigsaw is making slow progress. I am going to scuttle off back to bed now with a cup of plain boiled hot water because the taste in my mouth is distorting everything. Maybe I will be popping by some blogs and commenting later. I might do a read along of a chapter of my book with audible. It's like being at school and helps the covid brain work a bit better!

Must cancel our appointments for our boosters tomorrow. Oh and my poor Ma in Law has now tested positive for it. It's her first time of having it. We are feeling utterly wretched because we probably unwittingly infected her on Sunday when we called although because the HG felt off it, he didn't go near her but still. It IS everywhere. She has carers who wear masks and protection who thankfully are still going - she had mixed dementia though is really good on some days. My sister in law is doing a smashing job of looking after her also - she goes daily to ensure she has a cooked meal at midday - the carers are really to ensure she takes her medications correctly and also a friendly eye and a chat. I am hoping that she only has a mild dose because I'm sure she did just have her 4th booster. I certainly do not wish my symptoms on her. I wonder if my experience is made worse because I have the guilt of not being at work when I should be? 

Anyhoo that's enough for now. 

Rachel * cough cough fluffing cough* Radiostar xxx

Thursday 10 November 2022

Covid round 2, days 1-3 so far

Hello all. 
Please read this at a distance of two metres because I'm coughing merrily away. 
It's the start of day 4. I'm not well enough to be at work and won't be in tomorrow either. I am missng lots of important work with my childers and a big Governors' meeting tonight plus a free tea! Plus I am missing working the after school club with my friend who has been off for the last 6 weeks with torn ligaments! 
Covid - so much to answer for. 
Up til 5pm last night I'd been saying that while the symptoms have been very similar to round one, they've not been as severe. 
Monday wasn't too bad, cough and headache.
Tuesday - coughing gave me such a headache, plus fatigue - I spent most of Tuesday in bed asleep. 
Wednesday - morning - dared to glimmer hope - didn't feel quite so rough. It was Covid judt playing a trick on me because....
5pm last night - it was horrendous. Full on absolute illness.  Sneezing, aching, really painful joints, coughing and generally I felt so miserable and angry and weak.

I drank a lempsip ( supermarket's own - same ingredients, 50% cheaper ) and moaned my way through it. I slept 9pm - 3am. Then went straight back to sleep until the radio went off at 6am. Am now up ish, had some paracetamol and a with a hot cup of tea - ventured into blogland whilst I can be bothered. I've not done anything much at all during my waking points. Managed this though one day! 6/6 games won! 

Cannot be faffed with anything. I've caught up on Handmaid's Tale. Still enjoying it and watched a couple of episodes of Modern Family form the very beginning. But the laughing started me off coughing so I switched it off! I absolutely love Modern Family. The writers know exactly what they are doing and it's just a brilliantly funny TV show. I think I love Mitch and Cam the best but Phil Dunphy is class too. 
Poor Bluebell is having to make do with me throwing the ball for her up and down the back - not that she doesn't complain - it's more me .The menfolks have been home soaking wet every night - the rain has been non stop here - the garden is swamped. I really dislike November weather. it's mild though which is helping during this energy crisis. Thanks for those comments by the way - a new meter and a smart meter is being organised.  Only had the heating on twice to warm the bathroom for them both a shower when they get in from work. We did have a fire on Tuesday evening.

 I buy coffee logs to burn. Quite economical and a few just lasts us each fire. I did use nearly a full box of matched to get it going - the matches were rubbish - I thought's bought long ones, they were short and cheap. So cheap some of them were just sticks of wood! 
Today I am going to rest. Drink plenty. Keep up with the paracetamol and try and read a chapter of my book and put my new boots on in the house to wear them in. 

Happy Thursday everyone

Lots of love from 
Rachel * wearing tena lady due to coughing* Radiostar xxx

Tuesday 8 November 2022

Covid 2 Rachel 0

 Or the second purple line of doooooom.

Welcome to day two of my second go at Covid. It’s very annoying, not only in the coughing sense - which makes my headahe worse, but I had my booster booked in for Saturday. 

The HG started feeling off it on Friday, but had been working outside in the rain and thought it was just that lousy feeling he gets when it’s been like that all day. Bit of a cough Saturday but nowt to write home about and I was right as rain apart from my usual moany aches and pains. Bit of an annoying sporadic cough Saturday but nothing to write home about. We went out to the fireworks and then to friends. Of course now I feel awful for that. 

Sunday, the HG was feeling worse so so I advised he should do a test and I did one too. His was positive, mine negative. So far, Mr 25 is ok. 

Covid entertainment - new jigsaw - a tricky one I think. 
My Wordle guesses yesterday! Annoyed I missed it in 3! 

Monday morning / he went to work as his van was already loaded and he was working on an empty house and apart from the cough said he felt fine. Dosed him off with lemsip just in case and then I retested because the headache and cough were still there. Faintest of lines but still there. Ffs. 

QSo that’s  me, confined to barracks and keeping away from folks. Bit of a sleepless night, but nowhere near as bad as last time. 

Rachel *bloody covid* Radiostar xx

Wednesday 2 November 2022


 I don’t know about you but I always remember the time to the minute when I wake up in the night. I seem to be stuck in an insomnia cycle - something which has happened for years and years. A lovely bloggy chum who no longer blogs suggested I take a magnesium supplement - which seems to work for me - I have run out - I can tell! I have also bought some cream with added magnesium - put some on last night - slept through until 5.30am. That's like a lie in for me! It could simply be a placebo effect, it could be working or it could be a coincidence. 

Back to school this morning. It feels like a Monday so I will be pleasantly surprised by Friday! I went on a little blog hop at the weekend because my reading list seems to have very much dwindled and I do miss a lot of the blogs. I know that some people feel the same when I don't post but it seems a bit presumptuous of me to apologise for it! Maybe I should include the word 'sporadic' into my description. 

So if anyone reading this knows Shelia from ironing teatowels or Pam from Wales in real life - I'd really like to know how they are etc. I have sent emails to their accounts but heard nothing. I know both of them did seem to have real bad health and would just like to wish them and their loved ones well if they are no longer well enough to blog or have taken their leave from this world. I know Suzanne from No 38 doesn't blog at the moment but I am in contact with her and she is well. I see Sadie on the gram most days - maybe she does have a blog but I don't have the latest one - I can easily message her about that. I have followed a couple more blogs and will continue to do so. 

It is lovely once more to be lighter earlier thanks to the clock change and I am just about adjusted to the time change and Bluebell is more or less switched over mealtime wise haha - she knows exactly when it's 7 am and 5pm! We had epic hard massive hail last night about 4.35 - 4.45pm. It hammered it down. Bluebell was charging round the house like a lunatic - she really is a nervous wreck with the loud noises. I let her see that it was only hail by opening the back door - she skipped out and came back in straight away! I was fretting for Mr 25 who would be setting off from work on his bike in it. 

He is looking to buy a car still, but the right one just hasn't materialised. Anyway, when he got home, he was wet from rain but said it hadn't hailed at all there! We had one flash of lightning and one thunder rumble but it must have just been a really localised focussed shower. It was ferocious! I did take a photo because the roads, cars and windowsills were thick with hail and it looked like we'd had a snowstorm. But the photos were all blurry. So no show. 

I have made another few things for selling - if they don't sell this year - they will not go off. Some of them I can gift and some I will display in my house! Including this little Father Christmas! Looks cute in my Holly bush outside. I tried my new gluegun out and made a right mess round the back so next one i will simply attach the hat with a few stitches. I also used felt where the pattern is for jersey fabric which I didn't have any suitable ones for. The pompom was a lucky find in an old box of craft stuff which belonged to my now aged 14 year old niece who is simply far too old and cool for such things! 

 I’m taking it with me to work where it will be fallen upon by the children at Night Owls like a pack of hyenas on a fresh kill!

Well, I watched the new series of Bridgerton in my half term. I was hooked and did it in two mornings! I was knitting to try and finish the little cardigan I've been on with for months! It's for my if I'm lucky enough for future grandchildren stash and I want to knit a lot of things for the collection! I've enough wool to knit at least one thing from all the 100s of patterns I have in! The trouble is, the two days of knitting seemed to really affect my shoulders and the pain was noticeable at night. 

A lot of the blogs I read are full of good tips to try and help eke out the £££ in the colder months. Also doing this is Jamie Oliver with his meals for £1 series. I watched the first one last night and enjoyed it. Having done this for years anyway it was a bit like teaching granny to suck eggs but I thought it should maybe included in the curriculum at school to help teach those that are not as fortunate as myself to have watched and learned from grandparents and my mum. ( Dad never cooked meals for us all - a generational thing  - he would do himself beans on toast etc when he would get in late from doing extra work - ) 

This month I will be mainly shopping from the freezer after having just stocked up. I took a piece of flat brisket out of the freezer and we had some of it for tea last night with potatoes and veg. There's plenty of leftovers which will go in a pie for Thursday. Tonight we will have the sausages that I took out of the freezer at the same time by accident and I will chop them up into a casserole in the slow cooker! I will have the leftovers for lunches. I was going to make some soup but I have enough already to eat without making more and my freezer is literally stuffed to the gills. 

'The cost of living crisis'  ( TCOLC )is very much a media driven catchphrase that whilst it IS true that everything is going up and wages are not etc it isn't something new. I certainly am not arguing that it's not real. I am trying to say that everytime I put the telly on  -  which thanks to TCOLC - is not as often as you think haha the news type programmes are ramming it down our necks and to me the hype makes it worse. I do let myself get affected by it and probably go into my siege mentality mode by having well stocked cupboards etc It's entirely self driven and I know I should just carry on as per. Is it a crisis? It certainly is worrying times - lots of food clubs operate near myself and due to working I can't attend - not that I would 'neeeeed' to - but rather that it's all going to waste - like the yellow sticker frenzy I can get myself into!  I could apply to go on the list to use it in the holidays - but I don't need to.  I'd like to.I love a bargain and if it's free and surplus then great. I also can help families who are really truely struggling with foodbanks and clothesbanks etc

I have been really impressed with one blogger's goal to save a lot of money for her early retirement and she recently reached her first goal. I am inspired to not match it because she has a different income to myself, so I will try and do a percentage of what she has at first! Start little and it will grow.  I will open a new savings account purely for this and will set up a direct debit straightway for what I call a wonky amount that I shouldn't miss too much. Ive £37.37 in my head for some reason! I've no time frame but think I might do a standing order for the same amount of months - so if I do do £37 I will do it for 37 months! Three and a bit years. Ill try and forget about it. I will look into this a bit more at the weekend! It's a plan. I'm just loading my EDF energy app to look see at what my latest bill from 31st October 2022 says. 

So they moved my direct debits from £159.00 in May 2022 to £294.00 - outrageous but at the minute we could afford it so we let it stand. 

The new bill shows the £66 added credit from the Govt on 13th October and it says I'm currently £409 in credit and I find this alarming because

Obviously we had built up credit of £1500 

So that means during the Summer months of very light usage, I was billed for £1100

And now they want to change the gas and electricity bill to £362 


Now it says we used 400kwh less electric this year. We did make a conscious effort to stop wasting electric. It also says we used 2000 units of gas MORE last year than this. Again we have a new energy efficient boiler and I've made the conscious effort to use less and be less wasteful. I really need to see if our use of electricity is really so much more than the average household! Maybe I will get a smart meter installed. The actual meter in the cellar does need upgarding - maybe that would have an impact? Ho hum. 

TCOLC - I best get to work - the heating may not be on but I can get warmed by the body heat of 200 childers hahaha 

THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY QUID A MONTH - I mean - that is outrageous! 

Lots of love from 

Rachel * gone into shock at the live news just in from her fuel bill* Radiostar xx