Tool bar thingy

Saturday 17 September 2022

Where were you?

I started this post on Saturday 10th September ( black font ) It's one week on now. ( Blue font ) Maybe I will finish it!

2022 The Queen

It's very strange to wake up and remember the Queen has died. 

I was at work, having just been in a DSL meeting, the first of the year catching up with all the new information that had happened over the summer for our most vulnerable and at risk children. The meeting had come to a close at 3.05pm and we were chatting more generally. We had been talking about the elderly and the head mentioned that the Queen was so frail and probably dying/at end of life but I took it as a general comment having not seen anything/heard anything at all of her since the Prime minister swap over and I remarked at the time that I thought she must have had cannulas in her hand as it was so bruised. 

"No." said my headteacher. She really is dying, its been on the news, the family is flying in. 

Well, my blood ran cold. I was sitting in her newly decorated office at a white table on a white chair. The hairs on my arms stood up and I became a bit overwhelmed with tears. It was a shock. Which is daft given her recent frailty and her age etc but as it has been mentioned by people on TV you kinda thought she would be here for ever because she has always been here forever. 

I was at the afterschool club until 5.30pm so did not see any more or hear anymore other than the BBC message that she was under medical supervision. 

I got home about 5.40pm and the HG and Mr 25 had just got home from work and Bluebell was doing her don't know who to greet first whilst wagging her tail off routine but as always, she settled with me. The TV was on and we all were chatting about how awful the news was and speculated, as probably every other household in the UK about what had happened/was happening. The HG rang his Mum to chat about her day and she has mixed dementia so she was busy saying she didn't know what had happened despite her having the news on ( an off day ) and I interrupted his conversation to say No , the Queen has died. He didn't hear me at first. I indicated to the TV where the proclamation from the PaLace was being shared. It was a renewed sense of shock and loss. We were a little stunned  - yes, she was 96, yes she was frail but this was the Queen. And that was that. The rest of the night we had the TV on in the background until I could no longer stand the endless commentary from the newscasters and we switched it off. 

I've been moved to tears many times:  the news footage this week of the coffin leaving Balmoral, and then onto St. Gile's , the King's speech, the grief etched on the faces of her immediate family, the heart gladdening of the King and his Queen being recieved in Ireland, the tributes and speeches from the World's leaders, and say what you like about Boris Johnson, he absolutely was spot on with his words. The pomp and ceremony and tradition of The Queen's coffin leaving Buckingham Palace was the most moving and yet spectacular piece of history I will ever know. I absolutely love the Queen, she was an amazing woman, who had this life foisted upon her, through no will of her own and she was incredible. 

Today, my lovely friend has taken the train down to London to go see the flowers and then wait in line to file past the Queen's coffin. I myself, don't have the urge but understand the urge for those who want to. 

Other famous deaths I can think of/meant something to me

Elvis Presley - I remember my Dad telling my Mum. I was sitting in our kitchen and he was telling her and showing her a photo. I was only very young but I recall knowing the name and hearing it a lot on the radio - or wireless as my beloved Nanna used to say. 

Michael Jackson - don't know the year and don't know where I was but know when it is because it was on my birthday! 

Diana Princess of Wales - easy for me to recall when and where. Mr 25 was born in 1997 in April. It was 5-6am ish and Id brought him downstairs to nurse him on the settee so as not to wake the then newly three year old Miss 28 and leave the HG a little bit before getting up to go to work. 

Plus I have always always loved that up first in a quiet house moment and the TV was on a rolling  breaking news thing that Diana had been involved in a car crash but was being taken to hospital with non life threatening injuries - I am pretty certain it was Anne Diamond and that Nick bloke on the sofa but those details are hazy. Not long after and I'd just switched the baby over bewbs wise and the news came that Reuters ( sp? ) were saying that she was dead and then it was confirmed. I stood up, baby still attached and shouted to the HG upstairs who I think had got up. I shouted for him to come downstairs now. He thought something was wrong with the baby - but no I said look - Diana is dead. And we were both dumfounded and I remember immediately thinking of her two boys and how their Mum's death was all over the news like it was. So that's where I was for that. I remember the days passing with all the flowers and I remember watching the funeral on TV but I wasn't a massive fan of her in the way a lot of people were. It was still a tragedy for all her loved ones. 

Victoria Wood - still devastated by this. Genuinely gutted about this one. My Dad mended her first husband's car you know. But she was genuinely one of my favourite women on the telly. 

Rik Mayall - saddened by his death, not sure when. Comedy genius. 

David Bowie - can recall being stunned to hear he had gone. Not a super fan or anything but understood his importance to Music.

George Michael - I think it was on Christmas day, not sure of the year. Wasn't surprised or overly moved. Very talented and tortured soul - same re Amy Winehouse - though couldn't stand the sound of her voice and couldn't see what all the fuss was about BUT a beautiful girl who missed out on so much life. 

I cannot bring to mind any more and it's now teatime so must go. 

Hitting publish. 

My friend has a wristband to go into the room where the Queen is lying in state between 6 and 7pm. I'm still not sure on the need and the extra buzz/joy of the fact the grandchildren may be there on show. It doesn't quite sit well with me but horses for courses and she was compelled to go, so she went. So far my lasting memory will be the sights and sounds of the coffin on the gun carriage being taken from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey - that's what I would have liked to witness in person. The sombre mood, the sheer synchronisation of the marching troops looking splendid, the way the King and his siblings marched all that way ( and it is a long way for an old man ) in time with the hypnotic back and forth side to side movement with the drums and the brass band. Long live the King and the Royal Family.

Love from 

Rachel *proud to be a royalist* Radiostar xxx

Thursday 1 September 2022

September = School









Soon be half term. 

Freddie and Bluebell last week at Miss 28’s. 

It’s that time of year! It’s not been six weeks off! It’s been five weeks and three days off! We have two days of inset now and the childers are back Monday. 

I’ve allowed myself to listen to the flipping news of doom and got quite stressed yesterday about the energy price hike that’s looming. I did a little maths yesterday and concluded that I think I need to get my meter checked! Last month I used 499 units of electric  and Google told me the average house uses half that! We used 11 units of gas. Both with Edf on standard variable 


You need  a degree in something in order to understand the calculations on the bills! I’ve been carefully recording the meter readings since March. Something I’ve never really done to be honest. Oh quit with your audible gasps ! 

So there’s 3 adults here. 3 lots of devices on charge at some point in the day/over night. True it’s been the holidays and I have watched all of Game of Thrones but our TV is a new one so energy smarter than the old one but I’ve turned it off more of late rather than just leaving it on. My oven is electric. I’ve two fridge freezers. I’ve used my sewing machine a lot. I’ve electoral devices in the kitchen in daily use - the toaster! I’ve a washing machine and tumble drier. Both fairly new and energy efficient. I’ve used a lower spin this summer because clothes will drip dry etc. not as good when the drying window outside is shorter . I do have a heated clothes rail from Lakeland with a cover that is great and heats the room somewhat so will use that more. This month I’m going to not wash as much, spin less, shower shorter! To be honest this makes me sound like I’m over extravagant with my electric but I’m really not. We are at the moment in a big chunk of credit and are all working so 100 % better off than most. I really feel for those who live alone and no one  to share - there are people I work with who struggle already. There are food banks and food clubs already well used and over subscribed in my locality. I’ve access to emergency food boxes for those in need at work.  I strongly believe they will be more needed as the term goes on. I’m not so extravagant and wasteful as such, and there are many more out there more frugal than me and we could be a lot more frugal than we are now but I suspect that when one of us has had cancer and survived it, and the other had sepsis and survived it then it does lend itself to a more ‘f*ck it* attitude. 

Things I know I am guilty of ( those of a frugal disposition look away now! )

Shopping - the weekly food shop is mostly done online. Not at the cheapest supermarket in person as I could do. If there’s anything new or on offer, I cannot resist! I am a marketing man’s DREAM! I know all of their tricks and wily ways to get folks to buy! I do. 

I do buy treats - things that are none essential. Mainly for the HG and the dog. 

Buying way too much stuff - the tins and dried  cupboard is rammed, I bulk buy things when they are on offer. Probably a good habit. I’ve done this a lot. Fear of not having enough? Hoarding? Yes.

I have of late ignored the salad drawer in the fridge and not eaten all that I buy. 

Leaving electronic things on 

I do have some good habits going on! 

Well actually I always used to watch TV first thing with a coffee and the dog but now I’ve decided I’m not going to everyday. I can use my time better - in blogland for example haha. When I am at work, I do like to leave the TV on for Bluebell. I will endeavour to buy less and eat what we buy. I did do a stock take of the freezer in June and used lots of the things in there. Time to do another one. And I am enjoying free tomatoes grown from the seeds of a shop bought pommarino ( sp) tomato.

I have been much more mindful of late of the lights being left on and switching more things off at the wall but stuff like the TV and the various boxes that my son has linked into it need to be left attached to the electric because they’d all reset every time and it’d be a right ballache if I quickly needed something on screen. 

I am changing our internet/tv subscription from Virgin to Sky making a huge saving ( I just hate the upheaval ). 

TV watching is one of my loves! I love watching TV. I do. I’m not right interested in the reasons and whys  that some people have to not watch it or own one, their choice, that’s ok, it doesn’t affect me in the slightest bit oh my goodness the other way around? There are some right TV snobs about!! 

I’ve loads of free ( at least for ten years ) ways to occupy myself too. 

Walking the dog, knitting ( I’ve enough wool now in my stash to knit til kingdom come and beyond ) same re sewing and reading to name but a few. 

Right I’m boring myself now and losing my train of thought! A pictures interlude … 

I finished my Lego set of the bunch of flowers my son bought me. I’ve LOVED doing it and I really love the different colours and shapes of the flowers! I’ve yet to arrange them totally to satisfaction but here are some photos for you to get the jist. 

Also I finally sewed the coat pattern for my Luna Lapin. It was the one thing I saw at the knit and stitch show a few years ago that sparked my curiosity and admiration. I thought it was just exquisite and amazing and I never thought I’d be able to replicate it. Well I did and I’m dead chuffed! I made two! One from an Asda Tea towel and one from the beautiful boiled wool felt from Coolcrafting. 

My mum was 70 last week so me and my two little sisters took her for Afternoon Tea and it was just lovely. We are not all together often so Mum really loved it. My nephew had made her a school cake that the staff let us surprise her with after we had eaten. I love the food at the hotel we went to. It was all absolutely delicious! 

We then enjoyed lunch at a pub on Saturday ( I had scampi and chips no photo but it was delicious ) with Mum’s brothers and sisters, cousins and friends. I live that her best friend from school was there with her hubby. True romance story…. Mum’s friend was not a potter as locals say  but her beau was, they eloped to Gretna Green as soon as she was 16 to get married as they’d been forbidden to by his family! Over 50 years later - still happily married! THEN we went out for Sunday lunch at a different pub! 

I had roast lamb.

with my middle sister and her 4 children and me and mine as Miss 28 had come over from Newcastle with her Beau to celebrate! It was quite the shock to the system to have to cook for myself n Monday! 

Right best get a wriggle on and get sorted to go to work. Gonna be honest, I’m not right arsed about going back and I cannot stand all the faux joy and jollillity on getting back together hearing about everyone’s amazing holidays! But I will smile and fake the love for those that I must! 
Once back I will be fiiiine- it’s just the transition from full on laziness and pottering about and doing as I please and being with Bluebell all day that is the heartbreak for me! I’m fully aware also I do a good job, I’m good at my job and it pays for the nice things I like to spend ££££ on ! 
 Lots of love from 
Rachel *bra on, smile on* Radiostar xxx