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