Monday 31 October 2022

Half term Tuesday etc

The photos are in the wrong order! 

 Day two of the holidays was as marvellous as the first!
 As was days three, four and five. I never count the weekends because we get those anyway. And the bonus is, I’m also off today and tomorrow! There’ll be a hideous late twilight or four as payback but the feeling rested from extra days off is worth it! 

I’ve been sewing a few more of the Christmas ornaments I’m selling this year. I’ve baked a few recipes out of the new Hugh Fearnley Eatsitall as I call him book. The oat dunkers are delicious as is the brown butter wholemeal shortbread. The leftover porridge soda bread was good too. Not so good for my waistline! 

I’m in clocks going back jetlag mode! Still not sure what time it is! Writing this at 04.15 - have already been up an hour. Think I’ll be having a nanna nap later. 

I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but round here, there’s a lot of fireworks being set off and for the first time in her 4 and a bit years, Bluebs is terrified every time she hears one. I’m doing all I can to help her relax. I’ve plug in callers, she’s wearing a calming collar. I’ve drops and potions all claiming to work, vince the vet stuff, a thunder shirt, calming food and treats and a daily supplement. We take her for a really good run out with her ball. Brain training games at home to tire her out. She’s her crate, her safe spaces and the open house to run anywhere to, lights and tv on. We don’t react or change our reactions. I’m at a loss now. She trembled head to toe, heart going like the clappers, ears down, eyes wide, panting, licking lips and won’t be distracted. Her usual king toys and favourite chews from the box of death don’t work either.  Obviously I expect them on the 5th. We normally celebrate it with friends, and there’s been Diwali too but I’m more talking about the morons living near me who set off those industrial strength ones and sound like we are living in a war zone. Thoughtless idiots. With probably illegally tax free I’ll gotten gained money to burn. Knobheads, the lot of them. I used to think this before we had Bluebell. Also wonder how some of the Ukrainian people fleeing from their war torn country living here feel about them? 

I turned my mattress the other day, no mean feat given my arthritic shoulders ( the sewing does not do this any good ) and it’s a big thick heavy superking sized one. Then adding the fitted sheet mattress protector - ALWAYS ALWAYS get it the wrong way round at first. Much swearing. I locked Bluebs out of my bedroom when I did this as she often ‘helps’ by leaping on and off the bed, jumping about on the bed, wrestling the sheet with me if she’s feeling particularly helpful and my favourite help is when the wafting of the  sheets triggers her zoomies! That’s barking, spinning, on and off the bed at 599 miles an hour for a good few minutes. She is laid next to me claiming not to know what I’m talking about. She says how boring it must have been to change the bed without her help. 

Right it’s 4.40am and I’m going to see if I can have another 40 wiinls before the alarm goes off. It’s meter reading day for me too and payday! The day where I look we’ll off tor approx 3 minutes before it all gets direct debited away! 

Have a wonderful day. 

Love from 

Rachel *still on holiday* Radiostar xx 

Tuesday 25 October 2022

Half Term again!

 I do love me a half term!

Day 1 yesterday was spent with my Breakfast Club gang. We went to a Brunch Cafe, called Journey Social, meeting at 9am. The menu was basically super posh delicious goodness and yumminess! Also - every single option can be catered for with alternative dietary needs alternatives. I think! PLUS didn't know - but dogs are welcome too!

The food - OH MY GOODNESS. 

At first I opted for a savoury dish but was quickly powered by peer pressure in the case of I want what they are having and I ordered this. 

Which was tooth achingly divine. Thinking about it now makes me feel a tad sickly and I would never order it again! 

Sticky Toffee Eggy Bread Brioche, about 4 inches thick, topped with a caramalised banana half ( to be honest I wasn't that fussed over the banana - not really a fan of warm cooked banana - but it was dripping in toffee fudge sauce so I managed to eat it!!!!!

There were shards of bitter sharp caramel, honeycomb dust, meringue, a beautiful panna cotta, some fudge sauce, I can't even remember! It was about 10,000 calories and £9 ! Even the micro lemon mint herbs was beautiful! To be honest it was so beautifully managed - it wasn't too over poweringly sweet at all. But eyes were definitely bigger than my belly to begin with and thanks to polishing it all off the belly was definitely bigger than any other part of me afterwards!

I had a cappuccino which was one of the best shop coffees I've had.

There are 5 of us in the Breakfast Club. 3 of us had the brioche, one of us had mushrooms on toast with extra poached eggs and one of us had halloumi and avocado with bacon and bits and bobs! 

Clean plates all round and much chit chat and catch up. Perfect.

I got home. Did some more sewing of the Christmas ornaments I'm making to sell ( £6.50 each free p&p if you want any! ) 

Just a few examples! 

and then during the relentless downpour I braved the field like the only Spaniel owning idiot in the village - naturally as we just got home the sun came out! I was mostly dry - just soaking wet through in the gap between the bottom of my long coat and my wellies. So I had wet knees. Bluebell wasn't even arsed!

To finish the day I went with my friend to Slimming World - how I had the audacity after that breakfast I do not know. I did not eat anything else all day apart from a small bowl of soup after class! Renewed and ready for some veggies this week!

I binged watched Anatomy of a scandal over Sunday and Monday - it's on N etflix and it is so good. 

(I'm typing this watching the new episode of The Handmaid's Tale.) 

Ok I'm off to publish this, then enjoy my Tuesday! Hope yours is as good as mine.

Lots of love from 

Rachel *relaxed* Radiostar xxx

Saturday 8 October 2022

A little stitching!


Fiiiiiiinally, I am in my craft room making some C things! It was my full intention to begin last week but being proper poorly sick meant it wasn’t to be. So today I have been and had my hair done, also postponed from last week. Incidentally, one of the salon owners where I get my hair done, well, her daughter is on The Voice tonight! 

Anywayyyy, the HG walked Bluebell in the park, annoying over run with Park runners. I get it’s a huge thing, but when it’s on a public  park, it should be shared equally, and let’s just say, some park runner volunteers share more than others! But she had a good old rampage chasing squirrels. She never caught one - just the fun of the chase. We then did some visiting of elderly parents and popped to the pet shop on the way from one to T’other. We called to stock up on the box of death as I call it. The box of death holds Madam B’s chews she has of an evening. Hairy goat ears, braided lamb neck and rabbits feet are her favourites and I get such a weird sense of satisfaction when I pick up a hairy poo the next day after she’s scoffed something furry! I never ever give her rawhide and while she does have some doggy biscuits I tend to be light on those because they give her the most stinkiest farts ever! 

We came home, I made some lunch and then wrangled the washing and dishwasher and finally made it to my craft room. 

I’ve popped downstairs now for a break and a brew and a biscuit. 

Tea is what we all can forage for ourselves. The HG is taking Mr 25 to look at cars tomorrow. I’m not 100% happy with this but his cycle to work that’s quite pleasant in the summer months is very less appealing in these Winter Months coming up. 

It’s been bad enough this week with the horrendous weather. Miss 28 has had a gorgeous day of weather travelling down to Cornwall for a week’s holiday. She sent some photos of a stop off in Worster. Check out the blue sky! 

I’ve just had a fusion cuisine tea of weetabix and Rice Krispies! 

We are watching episode 9 of Bad Sisters and it is SO good. I’m going to finish my little project before bed. I’ve just ordered some new rikrak for the ribbons that will hopefully come tomorrow.. 

Lots of love from 

Rachel*loves a Saturday * Radiostar xxx

Wednesday 5 October 2022

Successful swimming!

Good morning, thank you A and J for my chatty comments! I do love it when that happens! 

So Annabeth, I was intrigued by your paracise instructor - what sort of class is it - am guessing at wheelchair aerobics or leaping out of a plane whilst doing sit ups! I’m not sure why the omelette tastes different - maybe it’s the butter for frying, or the salt and pepper - though that’s identical to how I’d normally go about it, maybe it’s because I move it less? Maybe it’s because I don’t add extras to it like normal but I was EXACTLY like yourself pre Julia hahaha my HG loves them and I hated faffing to make them for him and I’d not bother! 

J - correct as always! 

So the swimming was a success and the Childers loved being successful! I started the morning as I meant to go on! 

Nicely quiet during their register task which was handwriting. My way of asking the children to be quiet is to ask them nicely! I explained that in order to do their best handwriting we needed to be sat correctly - went through that - and concentrating and tell them they have absolutely nothing to talk about right now because I’ve not set them a talking task! Plus the register is a legal document and it’s important we get it done! Apart from a few ‘what what’s ‘

What are you talking about? What should you be doing? 

A lively silent concentrating bunch of childers. Then I went rogue and abandoned the French plans left for me haha - we did a little bit of  science - me telling them about their amazing brains and it’s need for oxygen and when we stand up we get a woosh of oxygen ! So we stood up but FIRST we played a game - which table can stand up the quietest and the rest of the class shut their eyes to help us hear - they loved this and again completed the task! These are Y5s so 9 and 10 year olds - only at the beginning of the year so not too hormonal and stroppy yet! It’s a class of 28. Out of those 28, 18 boys 10 girls, 4 boys ADHD, one of those is ASC/ADHD another 2 boys and 1 girl currently on the ASC pathway to diagnosis, 1 child with a physical disability, 1 with really impaired sight and more than 5 living with childhood aces and trauma. It is the tricky class in school but they are all just children and are wonderful little human beings in their own right. After they stood up, we played a few games of change places if and then we sat back down in our home seats. Then guess what ( that is what one of them says before saying anything!! ) I let them do what I’ve written about so many many times on my blog- my favourite thing - SHOW AND TELL or ‘tell and tell’ if nothing to show. This wasn’t planned. They didn’t know I was going to do this! Skills for show and tell needed - patience, listening, speaking out loud, holding information in, dealing with disappointment when not picked, keeping your hand down when it’s not your turn - self control, not reacting in a negative way to others - respect and tact! 

Anyway - turns out one of them had been out walking the fells ( and not one of the one of the childers you’d expect ) and brought in two bits of broken sheep skull in to show - just in their bag on the off chance, one had been to the world fireworks championships at Blackpool, one had lost two Guinea pigs, one had been camping, one was going to see relatives from New Zealand, one baked cakes with mum, one won a show jumping competition, ones horse had a foal ( oh we have a huge mix of economic backgrounds! ) and that was all we had time for. 

Then the swimming 

So apparently last few weeks they’d been so awful it had prompted the head teacher coming to blast them, the ( silly ) teacher to threaten them with banning them, the two usual staff said they were awful etc awful leaving the classroom, awful on the coach - loud, incidents of hitting, punching, swearing. Awful getting changed, awful waiting to go in the pool - to be fair - the timings of the swimming are ridiculous. There’s a school in the pool when we get there, there’s a school coming out from the changing area when we get there, we leave school at 9.40am and the pool is a five minute drive away ( can be longer if traffic ) and we swim 10.10 til 10.40 yet the coach doesn’t come for us until 11.05 

Awful in the pool for the pool teachers. Awful leaving the pool, awful getting back changed. Awful waiting for the coach. Awful on the way back. You get the  jist of this. 

The staff who take them are great - I’ve just re read this and hope it doesn’t come across as they are rubbish and I’m brilliant- they are definitely more relaxed than I am I think! It’s old age hahaha 

So me and my seasoned at going swimming sidekick colleague declared we had been dragged out of retirement and we were going to micro manage this little bunch because it really needn’t be so hard! 

Here’s what we did. I had a genius idea that I’d never had before and it was a success ( Cubicle inspection ) 

I asked them if they liked coming back from swimming after being told off all the time, to the disappointment of their lovely class teacher ( she was NOT the one to threaten banning by the way, their class teacher is lovely and wonderful ) on the whole - they shook their heads! 

I asked them if they could manage to be silent down the corridor to the outside. I acknowledged this could be harder for some but let’s try. I wasn’t saying they couldn’t talk, just they couldn’t talk yet. They agreed to try. 

Guess what? ( sorry hahaha ) they managed it. 

I said Miss M would sit them on the coach and check they were strapped in because that’s the way we did it. A couple of them complained and asked why couldn’t they sit next to their friends? We explained that we didn’t really know this class so we’re unsure who was best friends, but that everyone in class should be able to get on ( we had already through stealth, separated the ones who end up punching each other - but we did it like ninjas ! ) ( ok - it’s just experience ) 

We placed them carefully in the cubicles after separating them into boys and girls - the girls were taken to the toilet first then cubicles and then the boys were allowed to go one at a time after changing. I repeated how to go about making sure socks were the right way out and one in each shoe. Clothes folded. Towel unfolded and placed away from  clothes etc promising them it would be so much easier to get dry and dressed and then they had to just wait with the door open for us to come look see - which we did and pointed out little improvements etc  

They then lined up and were patrolled so they were not too loud - I always say it’s fine to chat, but I don’t want to hear your conversation- it IS diffficult in the swimming baths with the acoustics, but they managed it and they went through and didn’t have to wait very long so unwanted behaviour was missing! 

They went to their groups and afterwards, two of the swimming teachers commented on how better the session was this week compared to last. Coincidence - or was is the effect of the calmer less stressful beginning? We certainly had been watching the three children who found each other’s company conflicting and just by chatting to them and being present, I don’t think they noticed we were separating them on purpose. 

Out they came and into the cubicles. Sure they were talking to each other through their doors - all perfectly ok but in the past there’s been the race culture to hurry up and be ready first meaning children were wet in clothes and then left standing for ages - this was historic from our school having to use the communal changing room and the coach coming sooner - this was more relaxed . They then sat and waited whilst we came round and checked all was on their bags and so we lined and took them outside to sit on the wall to wait for the coach - then ones who brought snacks ate them. A few asked why they couldn’t sit next to their friends - I repeated it was how we did it putting them on the coach and they can sit with their friends at lunchtime. Of course if they kept up this excellent behaviour then that was something they could look forward to in the future! It was noisier on the coach on the way back but we ignored it. Off the coach, they were reminded about walking silently in the corridor and I directed them to wait by the door for me so I had eyes on them the whole time ( think the other staff let them go in the classroom Willy nilly )  then we went in in an orderly fashion and straight to seats for a bit of reading and gather our thoughts.

Time to reflect.  

I asked them how they thought the morning had gone. A few volunteered. A couple commented on how much easier it had been to get dressed afterwards and that they liked the cubicle inspection. One talked about how actually sitting next to someone different might have helped them be less yellow zone ( we use the zones of regulation behaviour system at school ) 

They ALL liked the 10 awards earned for class dojo points and beamed at the Head when she came in to find out how they’d got on! 

It felt good to be back in class and to have a good time with them. It is a class I’ve never actually been in and apart from the usual pastoral bunch I’d not really got to know some of the children in there. It was good. 

I emailed the staff in my capacity as Behaviour Mentor ( did I tell you about that ? ) and tried not to be patronising n explaining what we did and how it went. Immediate reply from the class teacher saying this was wonderful ( it’s her PPA hence she doesn’t  take them swimming ) but nothing from the others! 


In other news, it’s raining. It’s definitely darker and therefore I get the need to make a pie last night and I’d promised the HG. On Sunday I’d roasted a piece of brisket. I ask my butcher for it flat rather than rolled. I always have it this way now. It cooks better and slices better. There was lots left so I said I’d make a traditional cottage pie with it but the HG asked if we could have meat and potato pie instead. Not a problem! I boiled some potatoes cut small and drained and cooked. Mixed with the meat and a few spoonfuls of the gravy. I made my shortcrust pastry as I always do…200g plain flour, 50g lard and 50g butter, salt and pepper. Rub in the fats and bring to a soft dough by adding drops of iced water and mixing it through with a butter knife. Wrap in cling and rest for half hour in the fridge- except I forgot to put mine in the fridge this time and actually I liked that it was easier to roll out! 

I did a tip and bottom pie and it was deeply filled. Had it with mushy peas, pickled beetroot and pickled red cabbage. Delicious. Leftover pasty was rerolled out and because I’d put pepper in it, I grated cheese over it and like making flaky pastry, I folded and re rolled and repeated. Then rolled up and coughing out like little pinwheels and baked! Delicious little snackettes! 

Right, washing machine to sort before work. Looking forward to my day. Who knows what it will bring. The y6s are down in that there London having an adventure- I wish I was able to go as I’ve done in the past but having Bluebell prevents this as there’s no one to let her out/walk her in the day. Oh well. They are going to Houses of Parliament, Harry Potter world, the theatre to see Wizard of Oz, on the London Eye, eating out in a restaurant, going to see a Buckingham Palaces, Downing a street and Tower of London and a river boat cruise up the Thames before coming home. Cannot WaIT to hear how they’ve got on. It is exhausting for staff but just a brilliant experience all around! 

Lots of love from 

Rachel *positive mindset* Radiostar 

Ps apologies for missed typos - doing this on my phone - like micro blogging!!

Tuesday 4 October 2022

Much better thank you!

 Thank you lovely Joy and Jenn, I’m perfectly fiiiine apart from the aftermath muscle pain that feels like I’ve done hours at the gym! More miffed that I’d had a ‘wasted’ weekend. The weather was gorgeous and I had plans to fettle the garden. 

Anyhoo back to work yesterday as per and all is well. Today, they are dragging me out of retirement and sending me and my friend also a seasoned pro off to the swimming baths with what’s been billed as the worst class in the school! 

Not for me they won’t be. My friend and I are very much old school firm but fair, no nonsense types! So I shall report back. The issue is they are a chatty lively bunch. And that’s ok, but the teacher in school who, in my opinion, is FAR too over familiar with the children warned them that that was it, they were banned from swimming forever ( which obvs she cannot do as it’s curriculum) the she went in and relented. I have never ever strived the way she seems to to get the kids to like me. It’s not a popularity contest. 

I could go down a very long bitter rant here but I wonder if it’s the voice of experience raging against the machine harking back to the good old days! 

I’m glad my children are not being taught in that school. It’s a very different place and the teaching methods and schemes I strongly dislike. I love the job I’m doing now, making a difference - such small steps other staff may not even realise it on a day to day basis - to the lives of the children and their families that need it. I am not a soft touch with them either!! 

Delayed gratification, patience, manners and good old fashioned values are at the chore of what I do! 

TV wise - I read Sooze’s blog and she is a Strictly super fan. I’m only three series old as a fan but she mentioned something about the stars on this year’s series that I wanted to echo! LOVE Will Mellor but like she said, his week one was far better. On the whole I think Kym Marsh wasn’t as good as I anticipated, the one off Loose Women ( with my favourite crush pro dancer ) was better than I thought, 

Matt Goss- he was a beautiful to look at young boy back in the day when we all adored him and wore Grolsh beer bottle tops on our shoes. I was never a Brosette but I did appreciate his sheer beauty. What I saw on TV last Saturday was a really really stricken person, so uncomfortable with his self - his facial features frozen with procedures, he was quietly spoken and to me clearly therapied up to his frozen eyebrows. I honestly thought he looked like a tortured soul. I was very concerned for his mental health and well-being.  It’s what the game and fortune brought him. He does have a beautiful voice and he is quite a good songwriter but I think preserving that past has clearly taken its toll. He was awkward, self conscious and I wanted to go and rescue him. 

His week one dance showed how nervous he was. Week two - supercringey and those tight white trousers were not at all appealing! but I could see he had relaxed a little. Hats off to the pros who are helping the celebs do all these things. I am hooked. I’m still of the opinion that last year was the best year for talent and I’m still gutted for AJ and her broken leg! ( Get me the expert after 3 years watching! ) 

All creatures great and small is back and gives that charming, relaxed, old fashioned Sunday night family viewing feeling to me. Frozen Planet is stunning but brutally horrific at times.

I am LOVING LOVING Sarah Lancashire in Jillian that is on Sky Atlantic or Skymax if you can get that. She is playing Julia Childs who I love. She’s like the USA version of Fanny Craddock I guess. I first heard of her after watching the film Julia and Julia with Meryl Steep years ago. It’s one of the reasons I started my blog, because there is a blogger in that film, cooking the recipes and then blogging about them. I was intrigued as to what this bloggy world was about! 

Anyway on the programme, Julia appears on a TV show to promote her book - teaching Americans how to cook the French way, and she makes an omelette live on tv. Something that has never ever been seen before - I do knot k ow if this is true - I am going to do some more digging into her life - and I have now made 4 omelettes the Julia Child’s way! 

I’ve never been an amazing omelette maker and I’m certainly not now and the basics are the same! But I like the way these taste more than the ones I’ve made in the past! Had one yesterday for lunch with a portion of my homegrown homemade sundried ( done in the oven ) tomatoes and it was just delicious! Having the same today! Same omelette, flash off hahahaha

Right  best get my wriggle on and get dressed! 

Have a great day all - off to update my other blog! 

Love from Rachel *get to work on time by skin of her teeth* Radiostar xx

Sunday 2 October 2022


Argh photo on wrong place! See below! 
 As the great Monty Python sang! Every comment I make and all comments incoming are ending up in spam! Not sure what is going on. 

It’s Sunday 2nd October, just me and the dog are up. Sat in the dark with a brew and it’s lovely and quiet. I was woken early hours yesterday by horrific symptoms which kept me confined to the bathroom for most of the day so now I’ve got really bad side and stomach pain from the continued retching and feel annoyed that not only did I miss my hair appointment and our daily plans to tidy the garden a bit more. I never stepped foot in the sewing room and basically took to my sick bed. My throat and voice is husky from the acid that came up and I’m tired. 

So very very annoying. I feel ok right now symptom wise, just that post illness fatigue and wrung out dishcloth feeling. 

Last Saturday and Sunday the HG and I were non stop busy with some decluttering and the HG did a beautiful job of repointing the gap between the wall and the pavement in an attempt to block the annoying weed growth. It’s all power washed too and I’m a bit houseproud of my clean pavement !! There’s a bit of an issue where I live of weeds being left to grow at the side of roads, infront of peoples houses and on the pavement. It looks a mess. The bees have plenty of flowers round here without the need for unsightly weeds and the buddlieas left to go out of control are damaging beautiful stonework too. I have a huge 12ft dry stone wall across from my house as it’s the outer boundary of a mansion ( slightly large detached house in its own grounds ) that’s now a housing estate. As a girl we said that witches lived there as it was very gloomy and dark with its trees and big walls and legend had it that of you went too close to the gates you’d be GRABBED by the witch and eaten alive! As a result, up until the age of say 10 years old I ran like the wind past those spooky wooden gates hiding the witches house in the woods!!! 

She never caught me! 

anywayyyyy me and one of our neighbours decided enough was enough. The HG and I tackled the big buddleia and the neighbour scraped off down the rest of the wall and the are looks 100% improved. I just wish the rest of the neighbours had some pride in their walls and got rid of the weeds!!! You can see the discolouration at the bottom. 

I’ll see if I have a photo -  may take some as soon as it’s light. 

I took one but it appeared up there! 


Cup of tea time 

Love R x