Sunday, 20 August 2023

Catch up Weekend

Hi everyone, I love catching up with all the blogs I read and it made me wonder, not that I write this ‘for’ anyone as such, and some kind souls do say they like it when I post, if a new post from me, ‘delights’ in the same way those new posts of others delights me! 

Firstly, though, I’d like to say a great big fat thank you for those checking out my attempts at loading videos and then taking the time to comment. It is much appreciated. I may post more in the future now they work! ( Sooze I I changed the settings x ) 

I have so many favourite blogs to read and I think it’s because I would be friends in real life with the people who write those blogs. The internet is a strange old place. Twitter can be vicious, horrendoes, scary and poignant, emotional and joyeous. I’ve connected with a few folks on there but the way it’s going I’ll not be on there much longer

It’s late Saturday afternoon here, the wind and rain from Storm Betty’s outer reach have bogged off and it’s sunny now. The rugby is on the TV and Wales just got absolutely trounced by South Africa.  I’m making a chicken korma for tea tonight and there’s poppadoms and naan breads to go with - though I won’t have the naan. I’m off bread and am actively avoiding it much as it kills me. It kills me though to eat it! Even my own homemade sourdough starter loaves are hurting my joints and  I’ve got a right spare tyre bulge that bulges worse after bread! I know I’ve said it so so so many times before on here and on the other blog - very neglected that blog is ) I am boring! 

Bluebell went out for a lovely long walkies with Mr 26 and has dined on a treat of high quality Turkey n veg tinned food, a few biscuits and some magic seaweed powder that cleans her teeth! She’s at the vet Tuesday for annual jabs and check up. We are then going over to see Miss 29 and her beau for a few days away as the HG has a legitimate week off work. 

I say it like that as in the last few weeks work has been very scarce and he’s been home more than me! 

My neighbour’s hubby has just been made redundant in a last in first out way and as he’s not been there 2 years he’ll not be eligible for any payout. His wife has just got a new apprenticeship role as a Prison Officer so will be starting that ( £30k ) but said with their high mortgage they will struggle to manage. They’ve two young children and hopefully he will find something soon. 

We have less than 12 months now on our mortgage and when that’s done I think the HG will want a new car. On one of the blogs I read, the author is a teacher who has just retired and is enjoying the first none starter of the school year. That’s two retired teacher blogs I read. No three - Tracy, Joy and Luna’s Mum - Bloody hell that’s her name and my own 2nd blog’s name I cannot bring to mind whilst writing this. Scary. I hate it when my brain does this. I could, of course, look them both up before writing but wanted to record it here. I am a bit tired. But not too badly. Could be menopause - though the menos  have to to permanently pause. I got to 156 days without then like buses, two came along at once! Could be early onset dementia- I am seriously considering finding out. It’s scary to me when my mind draws a total blank. It happens a lot with people - not just names - but actual real people who will chat away to me and I don’t even recognise them - not - ahh I know you but shit  what’s your name type scenario. Actual zero recollection of knowing them. I’ve got quite good at masking/bluffing my way through. 

I had my hair done on Thursday and loved every second of it. I finished a jigsaw that I enjoyed doing so much I eked it out.

I have blocked out the little matinee jacket and will sew it up tomorrow.

I’ve enough of the wool left to knit some little bootees. I’ve not been baking much because I don’t want to eat it! Having said that, today at Aldi I bought a tub of clotted cream for some scones I plan to make tomorrow! I’m going to put the tea on shortly and then as the sun is shining I will sit out with my feet on my Revitive for an hour and read my can’t put it down book! I’ll share that next post. 

I’ve spent some time with my friend today. The HG replaced some glass in a kitchen window for her daughter and we went to have a look at the dooer upper she bought. It’s lovely and cute. We have been invited to the wedding next March and it’s something to look forward to. Also something to look forward to is the World Cup Football match tomorrow. Not a fan by any means but I do follow the major tournaments somewhat. I much prefer watching the women - they are faster and more interesting than the men! I hope the England girls can do it. 

The news yesterday was heartbreaking for the parents of those tiny babies murdered by a monster doing her evil ways hiding on plain sight. I cannot even begin to imagine what state of mind you’d have to have to want to do something like that. I feel for HER parents and wider family too. I think she should NOT be allowed to choose to not attend sentencing. She should be cattleprodded out and up the stairs into the dock to face her fate. I doubt it will bring any comfort to those bereaved parents at all. 

It’s now Sunday 6am ish. The HG already got up with Bluebell and it is absolutely bouncing down out there. I’ve the shopping coming at 9-10 and I was very very good this time, meal planned the week ish. Only bought what I needed to supplement some freezer meals and decided I was worth the £ for the lightly dusted cod fillets I like! Last night I made a rather delicious chicken korma - the HG is such a delicate flower you know and can’t go much hotter than that! I’m no chilli fiend and cannot understand how some people would want to burn their mouths out! We also then shared some licorice allsorts . Not as good as the ones I recall from my youth. They seemed sweeter and softer. The meals this week will be a little varying but no hardship to me the main cook. For example, the HG and Mr 26 will be having pork chops with veg etc tonight for tea - it was a pack of 2 chops from the freezer. I will have the same veg but with the leftover chicken curry! I’m not that fussy about what will go with things! We will all have gammon steak on Monday - with actifry chips and peas - I’ll have a side salad. The boys will have bread hahaha somethings I’ve bought that were on offer like some chicken kievs - not had them in ages and again a pack of two. I wasn’t buying two packs because I didn’t want a spare one in the freezer as I’m trying my best to empty the darned thing! I’ve written about it before and I’d never buy one again! It’s a side by side American style fridge freezer with water and ice dispenser and it must be getting on for 15-20 years old now. Each side has three shelves and then 3 drawers but the freezer side is smaller and if you don’t have things level - they will slide off the shelves and out of the freezer every time you go in there for something! Next time I’d still want a water and ice dispenser, but they now do them with the fridge on the top and big freezer drawers at the bottom. I’ve decided for now to keep the fridge freezer downstairs in the cellar switched on and I do like a store of bread and milk in it. I’ve also got things like frozen cauli rice and big bags frozen veg in there and it’s handy for frozen pizzas because it’s got wide drawers! 

Todays plans are shower, shopping away, take Bluebell for a run on on the field at the back of us,  brunch - bacon, sausage, hash browns, tomatoes from the garden, scrambled egg, beans and mushrooms with toasted soda bread for them ( no bread for me ), clear away, go see Ma in law to make her lunch and watch first half of England v Spain, go see my Mum and watch second half of the game, home, knitting/jigsaw/relax/tidying away more In my bedroom - I’ve been vacuum packing clothes away that don’t fit but I will get back in to them  in preparation for us getting new wardrobes. Vacuum packing things is as addictive to me as power washing! I find it strangely hypnotic! Make the tea, clear away, stroll the dog and go back to Kingstown* for a couple episodes then bed! Who knew life could be so exciting! 

This  made me laugh this week. 

Love from Rachel *lucky to have these days of non adventures described in my blog strapline* Radiostar xxx 

*Mayor Of Kingstown - TV programme by Taylor Sheridan who did all the Yellowstone series. It’s on Paramount+ which is a streaming service like Netflix. We had to watch the first episode a couple of times to get the jist and it’s a bit violent and far fetched but perfect escapism! 

Monday, 7 August 2023

Bit of a test post EDITED

 If anyone could check that the videos I’m posting today work and comment and let me know I’d be really grateful! 

Thanks to all who have watched. I hope they can be seen properly now - something in the privacy settings! 

They are of clever Freddie using indoor voice and then both doing tricks for breakfast! 

Both from 2019 I think! They are both clever in different ways. She knows at least 20 toys by name and will find them and tidy them into her toy box on command. She also will find socks and put them in the washer for me! Freddie will fetch whatever you point to on ‘Fetch’ and Bluebell will respond to ‘Bring’ in much the same way except she gets frantic and brings all sorts first before the one you are pointing at! Bluebell will NOT do the indoor voice trick at all. Freddie won’t play hide and seek but it’s Bluebell’s favourite! They both have the basic sit, down, leave it, roll over, paw, put ‘em up more or less equally. On a walk they both pull like trains on leads/harness despite hours of training, but will walk to heel off lead perfectly. Her recall is 99% - I’d say his is 98% 
Never say 100% because they will prove you wrong! Freddie is super cuddly and daft and the reason why we got her. If it was the other way around….. she barks and barks when on a walk. Think it’s just excitement and demanding the ball. That’s something I’d not do if I got another puppy. But the barking gets on my nerves. Interestingly she doesn’t bark for my son or the dog walker! She is a spoilt brat! I have been advised to go cold turkey with her but because especially in winter I need her to have a good run in a short lunch hour - retrieval it is interspersed with hunting games and a bit of training. Freddie is quite happy to just bimble along and if someone throws the ball, happy days! 

I’m writing this boxed in on both sides by spaniels. Freddie is a deep booming woofer when he thinks someone is at the door. The house uo the road is having a loft conversion done so there’s been skip wagons to bark at and scaffolders and big delivery wagons. Plus it’s bin day. He jumps up at woofs then Madam Barkypants joins in. It’s all over in a few seconds but I keep using the phrase 

‘Bloody dogs’ 

Either muttered to myself or out loud! 

It’s the start of the third week off. I think my first tomato will be eaten today -

I’m going to wait until it’s been warmed by the midday sun to pluck it and stick it on a cracker with some cheese! I’ve no idea what variety it is as it was a surprise of my friend!

I picked a little posy to dry for my other friend who is collecting samples for wedding nonsense next year for her daughter. Those frilly poppies are just gorgeous and look like taffeta or silk fabric to me. 

It’s a mixture of sun and clouds today - got three loads dry yesterday and have washed the dogs car crate cover and blankets just now ready to peg out. I’m awaiting three parcels today and am undecided wether to do roast chicken for tea or lamb koftas. Think the chicken so then can have leftovers! I’ll do it with some hasselback potatoes I’ve decided and lots of lovely veg. We had a full English for tea last night. Really enjoyed it for a change. After the parcels come I’ll stroll the dogs. 

Not to the big handy field at the back of us because bloody travellers have different horses illegally tethered on there. I’m reporting them daily to the council for two reasons. 

1. The welfare of the horses - no shelter, no freedom to roam, danger from kids, dogs etc also some of them are vicious and will move to you to kick and bite. 

2. If you want a horse, buy or rent a sodding field. I’d have to. I actually do not give a flying fox about their Romany Gypsy heritage or whatever it is they will claim again for two reasons

1. The people who own the horses live in houses year round. Houses, fixed to the floor, made out of brick. Yes they may travel to Appleby horse fair but so what? That’s just like going on holiday. 

2. The field is not common ground. They are free to graze their horses on common land as os their right. That field is for public use. There’s two football pitches on it. There is horse muck all over. Great circles of grass are ruined with hooves and over grazing. Churned up mores especially after the downpours we’ve had. 

I was chatting to a man who knows a bloke at the council who are on the long legal process of doing things. So there’s loopholes. It beggars belief! These people who live in a house are also parking their carts and vans on the field - it gets me MAD. 

The council have to post a notice on the field saying whoever owns these horses has 4 days to move them else the council will come get them. 

These lawless morons pull out the posts and simply switch horses. So then the process starts again. The council ARE NOT ALLOWED to simply just turn up and remove the horses. I mean what kind of state is this country in? I think the council should just risk it and remove them anyway. Or remove the travellers - we always called them Potters as kids. I know a few spoil it for the rest but sadly stereotypes are born because of them doing what they do. 

Anyway. Huff hmph grrrr. 

Let me know if the links work if you can be bothered! The videos are only 8 seconds and you will need sound on ! 

Lots of love 

Rachel *riled up* Radiostar xx 

Saturday, 5 August 2023

Saturday memories

 Well, after reading my lovely friend’s blog here

It sparked a memory of when I got my ears pierced. My Mum had hers done, my Aunty Laura had hers done but my beloved Nanna didn’t! Instead she had an amazing array of clip on earrings. I loved to see her clip one off when she answered her phone and until she was too elderly and frail to go out, she’s wear a carefully coordinated  pair with her outfit. She was very smartly dressed, my Nanna as was the generation I think. ( (1914 she was born ).

Anyhoo, the glittery coloured clip on earrings lived in her jewellery box on her dressing table. I remember going in and trying them on one time, admiring myself in the dressing table mirror, brushing my hair with one of those fancy big hair brush, mirror, clothes brush , comb and powder puff sets laid out on a crystal glass tray! Very much like this one I found after a quick internet search. 

Those earrings really squeezed my lobes and hurt a lot! But she would trot out one of her mantras that pride was painful! Anyway I wanted my ears pierced properly. My Dad said no, if I was supposed to have earrings then I would have been born with holes in my ears

So one day my Mum sent me to the shop for 20 Embassy regal king size and a loaf of bread. I was 7 I think. The route took me past her friend Dora’s house. We’d go there a lot and me and my sisters would play with Dora’s 3 girls. She was Italian and still spoke with a heavy accent and her English wasn’t perfect and she would often get words wrong. Anyway, unbeknownst to me, my Mum had hatched a plan with Dora. 

As I skipped past Dora was at her door and called me in. She said she had something for me to take to my Mum. I said I would go to the shop and then come back. Which is what I did. Back I went clutching my Mum’s cigarettes and a loaf! Ahhh the 70s, the good old days when children could buy fags! 

Dora said would you like me to pierce your ears? I’ll plait your hair over so Mum and Dad don’t know! 

Yes of course I would! 

So I sat in her kitchen on a high wooden stool. I didn’t even know what it would entail! A glass of whisky and a darning needle and cork is what it entailed! I sat still as she did the first one, numbed with an ice cube first and then the second. My ears were throbbing a little bit and she handed me a mirror to look. There, in my ears were a little pair of shiny gold sleepers! She told me to keepa your filthys mitts off little miss! 

Well she then plaited my long hair into two pigtails and told me to go wait in the living room whilst she got the ‘thing’ for my Mum. 

I remember strongly sitting in her brown sofa in her brown living room not daring to move my head a single millimetre! The ‘thing’ was a bottle of TCP and some cotton wool. It took me ages to walk back home without moving my head. I thought they’d drop out. Ahh the 70’s where you’d go to the shop, get maimed and eventually go home without anyone raising an alarm! 

When I got home I gave the bread, cigs and TCP to Mum. She asked me how come my hair was in plaits. I said Dora did it. She always used to do my hair as her girls had short thick wiry short hair whereas mine was long down to me bum and poker straight! Anyway my mum started laughing and asked me if I liked the surprise! The TCP was to bathe them on an evening and salt water in the morning and keep my filthy mitts off! My Dad never said anything in the end. But that was how I got my ears pierced! I never really had very dirty hands by the way! I was quite a clean child! 

I later got them pierced another 4 times as was the fashion when I was a teenager. It really bloody hurts as you go further up! These days I just wear three each side and I rarely change them and when I do, it’s just the bottom ones. 

I wear a pair of thin small silver sleepers ( hoops ) on the top one, then a silver stud paw print - present off Darren, in the middle holes  and then a pair of silver wedding ring earrings in my original holes. 

Thanks for the memory spark Joy! 

Freddie is here with us for the week as my girl and her beau and a load of their friends head to Cyprus for a week’s holiday and one of the group’s wedding. We went for a walk and then for a coffee! Some of us had a swim in the river and then some of us not only enjoyed a carrot with our coffee but we had an ice cream as well! 

Some of us enjoyed a raspberry ripple shortcake blonde  which was scoffed far too quickly for a photo! We then spent the rest of the day snoozing! I’d made a chilli for tea but as I like most things the next day - I had the night before’s chicken curry knowing full well I will enjoy the chilli today! It’s no big deal for me to serve two dishes up! Mostly we will eat the same meal but as I’m cooking, it matters not who has what! ( I can hear some people reading this recoiling in horror hahahah )
We had two lovely days of sunshine, Thursday and Friday but Saturday has started with a bit of rain. I got up at 5.30. I’ve cleaned all the kitchen, emptied the dishwasher etc. just need to sweep, hoover and mop at some point. The butcher is coming today. I love John the Butcher. He’s a proper traditional butcher who switched his market stall to home delivery during COVID and decided it suits him better! It suits me better too as often I would only go into town to go to his stall. Most of the meat comes from his brother’s farm. He has a really thick Northern accent and has a little white cab. He wears a traditional butchers coat and apron and hat and brings my meat to the door on a little fold up table! As we wait for the card machine to warm up, we’ll have a little chat! He texts me every Thursday or Friday to see if I need anything! Now I know I said to Sooze in a comment yesterday that my freezer is full of meat, it is but the wrong kind! I’m just getting some bacon, sausage, gammon and a chicken to roast today. 
I am about ready to do a stock take of my tins - I always have a little dehumidifier trap in the tin cupboard but my refills for it will be here in the week - cheaper from Lakeland than AMA zon and I had a voucher too. I’ll give the cupboard a good clean. I’m trying to find some good old fashioned dettol to do household jobs. I’m finishing I cannot stomach the strong smells of zoohlora and the like. I bought mIlton fluid last time and it’s changed and now smells minty which knocks me sick. I am awkward because equally I dislike non scented products! I usually stick to lemon but flash lemon has changed and again it’s not right! 
What do you use? 
Right enough waffling on. I’m going to run a nice bath for myself for a soak. My trotters need attention! My daughter asked me to paint her toenails for her holidays ( I have one of those home gel nail kits with an LED lamp ) and she did mine! Matching Paul pink with a smattering of silvery glitter! I need to have a good going over with a pumice! Hahah 

Lots of love from 
Rachel *feet like leather* Radiostar xx 

Thursday, 3 August 2023

August Show and tell post

 So I’e been very busy helping my friend with a project with my other friend! They are two of my very best friends in the world and I love them both dearly. ( Last year we had the best caravan holiday ever ! ) 

So my friend J bought this Sherlock Holmes chair off FB for £40 English  pounds. 

This was in October 2021. We finished it yesterday ! She asked my very talented diy gal H to help her do it up. She’d bought the length of fabric because she really liked the cushion she’d bought. The fabric was NOT really upholstery fabric but never mind!

H started off by dismantling the chair piece by piece

and used the original fabric as pattern pieces. She sewed the piping on the chair arms and then asked me if I could help out by doing the chair cushion. So we’ve had a few lovely days together at J’s house. H been bending over the chair at all angles stretching fabric and trying to penetrate what turned out to be the most hardest wood in the whole universe with a variety of staple guns, drills, hammer and nails. Many fingers have been compromised in this chair.

J does not possess a single plaster it was discovered and poor H had to make do with comedy first aid on more than one occasion.

I’ve been sat at the machine sewing and swearing trying to fettle the cushion together. The added stress from H about the coloured spots going the right way! J made breakfasts, lunches, cups of tea and ‘held’ things! 

Her idea was to get the fabric and drape and staple/glue in place. No, said H, we do it proper. So H did all the hard work really. The cushion took a while as when I did the top I didn’t really have the right foot. So then I just did it bit by bit. My wonderful HG took me to the local haberdashery ( love that word ) so I could buy the correct foot and I fell in love with piping! 

So I was determined to have it finished by our next planned session as a surprise that I puffed and panted and wrestled the very stiff foam cushion into the cover. Stood back. Ooed and aaahed and BLEEEEEEPED *^#}{|~>>!!!!

I’d missed catching a bit it. I considered my options. 

A). leave it - it’d not be seen. ( never an option really )

B). Hand sew it and catch it in 

C). Re wrestle it with much effort and re stitch. 

I decided to sleep on it. Next morning, I puffed and panted and tugged and with much effort, took the bleeping cushion pad out of the bleeping cover and re stitched it. I wish I’d double checked it first!! It then went back in, all the time I was praying the zip wouldn’t bust under the strain but finally it was done! At the end, I said we should do a big reveal like we were on an episode of The Repair Shop. An episode? We’d take a whole series!! I said that J should declare it amazing and cry whilst we undraped it. It was pointed out that the use of bbq skewers, bits of card out the garage, screwdrivers being used as emergency chisels because the bleeping bits of wood in the bleeping way were stopping us reattaching the legs, the omg genius R suggestion of carpet tacks being used ( successful for about 8 inches of securing fabric ), the box of nails that were spilt 5 times, the gripper metal stuff that chewed H and J’s fingers to bits, the toilet roll, sellotape,  the automatic staple gun that seemed to fire at will and was more like a deadly weapon than a diy tool and plastic gloves used as  emergency first aid, the bleeping piping on the bleeping cushion that had to be redone with much bleeping might not be BBC friendly viewing! That’s J’s dog ‘helping’. 

J covered her footstool with a little help by herself and should be rightly proud. Finally her chair is in her lounge looking gorgeous. She said she will treasure it forever. I was not allowed to take the cushion and try and wrestle it out again to sort the front edge. You should NEVER  point out your mistakes says Janet Clare ( quite famous quilty  sewing lady)   and she is correct!! But I see it, I can’t stop thinking about it and next time we go round I may just take my sewing machine and fix it!!! 

As we are all Summer born, I made a H friendly black forest gateaux as a belated birthday cake. H friendly has to be gluten, wheat AND dairy free. So my cake is totally suitable for vegans!

I did use a packet mix for ease and this one makes a genuinely can’t tell the difference chocolate cake. I used Dr Oethingy chocolate spread stuff found on baking aisle which again is very convincing and doesn’t taste as artificial as some vegan things can and the grated topping is a tasty vegan chocolate bar that Mr MnS does. The cream is Elmlea plant based stuff that is actually a very good double cream substitute- much softer though and less stable. Tastes just like dream topping if anyone remembers that! I also used black cherry jam and some glacĂ© cherries from Mr MnS. It was the second time I’ve  made this and again it was so lovely! 

Right, Miss 29 is arriving by train later, bringing Freddie for his holidays whilst her and the beau jet off to Cyprus for a weeks holiday and attending their friend’s wedding. Tea tonight is yet to be voted on. It’ll either be a chicken tikka masala or a Mexican chilli. Either way, delicious! 
I’ve been thinking a bit about the using up what I’ve got  method - which needs to be done freezer wise really and then in the cupboard. But. Here’s my thinking. What if I eat all my emergency tins of soup for example - using up what I have - and then maybe replacing them - the cost of replacing is going to be so much more! I’ve plenty of stuff in and just had a shop delivered today but I am going to try not do another big shop now until the last week of August. I’m going to up my regular savings amount direct debit by another £28.28 
I’ve done this the last 6 months or so, and it’s not so much a huge amount I miss, but the odd little 28ps are adding up nicely to the total! I’ve decided this year, as much as I love wrapping and squirrelling little things away for teeny great nephews and neice’s, I’m not this year. I’m going to write them a card and gift them some spending money. I’m going to do this in October 1/2 term to lessen the C word angst I get thinking what to get them! So I won’t be looking in the sales for bargains. It just helps my memory out a bit and I know how short of time I seem at school as 25th Dec looms! 
My lovely friend Tracey who blogs here
does what I have done in the past, and had a Christmas box and a list and pop stuff in throughout the year and it is a good system! But this year, spending money is the way to go for me. Last year I gifted money and a careful wow gift thought out carefully ( I do love giving presents ) but due to time restrictions and other stuff and giving some via my Ma in law who with dementia a had found them and hidden them, the HG’s side didn’t get their gifts until after Christmas. ( I found them carefully tucked under her knickers and vests in the dressing table drawer !! 
Anyway that’s my plans! 

Bye everyone, 
Rachel *loving being off work* Radiostar xxx 

Tuesday, 1 August 2023

Last day of July

 Hi everyone, 

I can’t get to sleep. It’s actually the 1st August …just. Today the HG had no work again. We always have a bit of a laugh about him encroaching on my holidays! It’s daft really but it does irk me when days to myself get cancelled in this way. Not that I don’t appreciate having him around. He’s kept busy today pottering about n doing stinky jobs like washing out the wheels bins. He also walked the dog in the pouring rain and i have pleased myself. I’ve not done the sorting out I’d planned. It just makes me feel ‘responsible’ for the day and he doesn’t get that because of the job I do, I really do need days to decompress. The weekends don’t count. 

Anyway I suppose I’m more peed off with the 

firm/management of who he subcontracts for. Anyway late last night I checked on his self assessment page and we were thrilled to see a wee tax rebate. I said Bank it ( in these uncertain times ), he said we could get a new cooker. I said not until the one we have totally fails - although it probably is not efficient. It did well yesterday and I made a full on Christmas dinner but with chicken and no sprouts and parsnips! Today I had some eggs to use up ( and cream ) so I baked a wee sponge cake. Not pretty but delicious! 

The Weather up north is shocking for rain right now but it is perfect temperature for me and my hot flashes! I’ve done some sewing and knitting ( show and tells coming ) and we sat down with a brew this afternoon and caught up with some recorded TV and we watched the end of The Ashes. 

On my last post I listed all my aches n pains and declared I was fed up of moaning on. So me and the HG had a bet. I bet him 10p that I could go for 24hours without moaning. At first I almost slipped up, but getting ipmn down out the chair, I clamped my mouth shut n said nothing! I did say how hot I was after just cooking the tea, the HG said, was that a moan?? I argued it wasn’t! Anyway it’s the end of day 2 now and I’ve still not moaned! Quite pleased with myself! Also my shoulders and legs don’t seem to be as painful! Are the two things linked? 

I took this photo today out of my back window. It’s to show how rampant my hibiscus shrubs are. They are also a variety of Roses of Sharon ! What a name! And looking them up showed me that to buy plants like mine would be over £100 each! The line is my washing line - redundant this week so far. 

I can feel my eyes getting sleepy now so I will try and get some sleep. Miss 29 is coming on Thursday, bringing Freddie and staying overnight. Her and The Beau are jetting off to Cyprus for a wedding and we are dog sitting. Bluebell will be so excited! 

Right, am signing off

Bye everyone 

R x

Saturday, 29 July 2023

Vintage Knitting Patterns

 Hi everyone, 

When knitting vintage patterns, I think of the ladies who knitted them before me. And how the flippety heck they managed in poorer light of an evening! The writing is SMALL, the picture doesn’t help much when trying to figure out the pattern! 192 stitches took me 10 minutes. My brain was also frazzled because I couldn’t understand how it would get to 184 because I was reasoning it was an INCREASE not a DECREASE in stitches. This is when I need to step away from the knitting!! Hopefully will have a show n tell soon! 

But whilst I have a few books by more modern knitters like Debbie Bliss - I find her patterns quite tricky to follow. My go to favourites are the fancy patterns that belonged to my Aunties, Nanna, Mum etc that are lacy and have a timeless charm. 

So it’s Saturday, the washer is on. But despite the weather saying no rain, it’s bloody raining. 

Everyone is up. Me and my sister have completed all the different word games we do online, messaging each other with how we’ve done. On the whole she is better than me! A new favourite is the connections game- much like the wall on Only Connect. But it’s American so sometimes it’s very tricky to solve. 

I’ve just fed the sourdough. Thinking I might do pizza for tea later so once it’s got going I’ll make a dough to rise for most of the day. A dog walk is on the cards but blimey I am moany today. Me and the HG are outdoing each other for aches n pains but I win today - we go top to bottom hahaha

Me.     Tongue - ulcer.               

Him.  Ok chest up!! 

Me.       Shoulders - arthritis  

 Him.     Upper back - from where he fell at work off a ladder 

Me      Boobs - bloody menopause - got to 105 days hmmmmph

Him      Elbows - wear n tear 

Me      Hips - new to me ache this week - think I’m too heavy for them and as Shakira sang, the hips don’t lie !! 

Him    Lower back - last 20 years moaning about it 

Me     Knees - see hips

Him   Hands - wear n tear due to manual labour and holding his ipad I say 

Me    Winning at moaning old lady yet refuse to get on and help myself!! 

The reason for this is something we use at work called the change cycle. Thanks to Mr G Oogle for the image - I am stuck at pre contemplation. If I’m being brutally honest and as this cycle is fluid I am generally bouncing between contemplation and planning. 

I’ve been successful with it in the past and know how the upward spiral works and makes you feel! It’s self discipline and will power I’m lacking! 
Today I am aiming to aid my parasympathetic system with a walk out in some nature with Bluebell and the HG. I’m currently in Autophage ( Dr M Mosely ) because I am still fasting from last night and am quite hydrated! 
The first week of the holidays is over. I did actually spend the day at work on Tuesday sorting out resources and the room I work in to give me a head start come September when I return. Staff have inset on the 1st September which is a Friday and then the children come in on the Monday. This coming year I’ve a new challenge as I am working one to one with a non verbal child with Autism. I started last September with them as a temporary thing whilst a member of staff was still on maternity. 
I’ve quite the strong views on inclusion and specialist provision. This little one is at the highest end of the spectrum I’d say and should NOT be in mainstream school because quite simply it is doing them a disservice. Mainstream have to work much harder and with no budget to try and meet the needs of the pupils like this. But simply ‘meeting the needs’ in my
 is not enough. That’s the bare minimum. This child deserves to thrive and meet their potential. I was specialist trained over 30 years ago now in ASC but that was set in a specially set up school with specialist equipment and space and highly trained teachers and specialist support with differing timetables suited to each individual. In mainstream, as with so many,the first  Reception year is much more accommodating and ‘easier’ for staff to support and try and enable. Y1 has proved much more challenging for staff to plan and provide challenge whilst assessing for them.  This was not best for them in my ( unwanted  )opinion and  is not sustainable and as this one I’m working with moves into Y2, I have had to adapt my working hours and compromise my other pastoral role in order to have them withdrawn from the classroom all morning ( where’s the inclusion now??? ) - it’s timetabled properly and I’ve worked closely with the school SENCO to provide learning opportunities and to try and help with communication using PECS cards - it stands for Picture  Exchange - I will be free to use outdoors, I have a sensory programme to follow and will be trying to help them with independent learning and focus. But I’m not gonna lie - it’s a right chuffing challenge. I worry - what if I’m getting it wrong? It might sound like I’m protesting at having to do this and honestly a part of me is furious because it’s not really my job. I am human and it’s just my knee jerk reaction. But I also am professional and already have been doing extra research and been planning activities and hopefully learning experiences where they show real progress. Do you know what though, I’m only paid at Grade 6. That’s shit money for doing what I’m going to do. Legally I’m probably too high on a grade for this and mainstream could actually and have done in the past,  put in a Level 1 support - barely above minimum wage. Morally it is WRONG. This child deserves more. But with all the will in the world, it’s nowhere near enough good enough. But hey, I’m not in charge thank the lord, so I will do as I am told. 
Parents absolutely have the right to place their child in the education setting they choose. Like my sister and Harry. He went to mainstream. He’s lucky to be academically bright but that school had to find the funds from somewhere for a specialist Visual Impairment teacher, with the highly specific specialised equipment he needed like a braille machine. And honestly it probably compromised the group of children with some learning needs by pulling support from them. But  then in the same breath why  can this little one at my school not  be afforded the same? Just because you cannot see their needs doesn’t mean they are not as worthy. I have been providing them with special toys and equipment from a local lending library specifically for children with additional needs all last year to enhance their daily experience . This is a free service but they only have so many resources so will be using it again this coming year with the hope I’m getting suit able stuff that will be doing the child good! 
The issue in my mind is that there is no suitable specialist provision locally because the councils shut them down. If my sister had decided to send Harry to a school for blind children - it would have meant a 40 minute drive there in a morning and back again at night. The parents of this child at my school have come to realise that mainstream may not be the best but a look round at two close enough schools have proved that they are not suitable. For one of them, the child is too able physically - on the outside they look  and are physically perfect. For the other school however,  their  needs are too great and they cannot meet them. But also - like Harry, this one COULD be academically bright, I have no way of releasing this potential realistically speaking. 

There are been an issue with the County Council - the parents have been massively let down with the person in charge who basically failed to provide the correct and timely advice and gave them false promise of a place at a newly installed provision - like a Pupil Referral Unit for children with severe behavioural issues - this gives short term respite and insight for SEND - and can allow reintegration back into mainstream with the correct support. The person in charge has now retired. Hmmm. Fishy that. Our school SENCO is great and has done everything in their power including an official complaint to no avail. Sadly, it is really up to the parents now to kick up a fuss with no guarantees they will get what they need for their little one. And the funding that comes with the banding is just not enough to cover any real and meaningful support work in all honesty. 

Anyway, I will strive to do my best by this little one but as I’m having to do this, my other families will have to go without my help or have a longer wait for it as I also have my Behaviour Mentor Role running this year too! Also, the children who have had one to one support for extreme behaviour will now be back full time in class for the class teacher to mange best they can alongside teaching the other 28 children to a high standard.  My school have had to do a lot of juggling about. Two permanent members of expensive to the school budget full time  long term support staff have left this time ( lucky swines - retired ) but they are not being replaced due to the school budget not being able to cover it. Had they not been leaving I think hours being cut for all support was on the cards. But if anything the families are getting needier and certainly since COVID the pupils on the whole have needed more support than ever. I’ve got a bit rambly now so I’ll  not go on but yes, I’ll be providing  SEN support as best as I can in order for this one to stay at Mainstream school where it would seem highly likely they will never ever be able to  access the academic curriculum of their peers. So my controversial view is more special schools please because sometimes, mainstream just is not right. 

Sometimes, I wish I worked at M&S or Waitrose. Mostly for the staff discount and the lack of bringing it home stress. I would t need long or regular holidays like I do now!! 

Right, cup of tea and a wander in the garden looking at the sky now - rainy and cloudy despite the weather forecast and maybe a bit of sewing later. Painkillers on board so will be less moany in about 20 minutes!! 

Have a good day all

Bye everyone 

R x

Thursday, 27 July 2023

Day 1 Summer hols 2023

Hi everyone! 

Monday I started this …. By 9.30am I’d broken one side of my make up mirror. Fortunately it wasn’t the magnified side which I now need all the time. With no sellotape to have I’ve patched the three points of the break with a plaster! I’ve cleared and tidied and hoovered all down the side and behind my bed, bedside table and mantlepiece. I’ve sorted some washing away. Put my make up away and set off the washer. Bleached the bathroom and generally pottered! 11 jobs on the go, none quite finished! 

Pause for a break!! 

Picking it back up, it’s now Thursday. I’m blogging whilst zapping my legs. I can withstand level 70 now. It’s really really made a difference. It also comes with sticky pads that deliver the same electro therapy but also works as a TENs machine. Both have been used and appreciated on my shoulders! 

So each day I’ve tackled a real grot spot meaning I’ve a little bit of cleaner space each day!! Yesterday I did all my lanterns n the like off the sideboard! Talk about a before and after!! I’ll share the filth on my duster! 

I’ve switched things about and now grouped all my house plants onto my coffee table in the lounge. They seem to be clinging onto life in my house against all odds!! Today, just now, I’ve just done my cutlery drawer and tray - how it gets so disgusting when all I put in the drawer is clean items is a mystery! 

Anyway my inner sense of achievement is satisfied today! 

Yesterday I did half an hour of chopping in the garden. My hibiscus plants have gone absolutely beserk this year. So many buds and so many beautiful flowers. 

It’s raining that fine mist just now that soaks you through right now but so got all my washing done yesterday and the HG cut the grass. It’s looking much better now. A couple months ago he scarified it all, levelled it, seeded it and re seeded and feeded haha fed it. We will always be fighting a losing battle because of Bluebell and Freddie is coming next week so double attack!! 

I’m going out for lunch today with my friends from work. It’s an annual event and we usually meet for lunch at 12 and I get home by midnight! 

I don’t think it will be as epic today because we are meeting slightly later and the wet weather will keep us inside and so probably drinking less! 

The HG and Mr 26 will have to fend for themselves for tea! Poor them! I’m

Not sure what I will have. Oo last night I tried a new fish cake from Mr Marks n Sparks and one was enough with some peas for a tasty and filling meal! 100% recommend. Baked in the oven and a good 3inch deep! Very tasty. Probably could make but faffy! My sourdough starter is still alive! 

The news is on at the minute reporting on the energy form profits. Well, I had two new smart meters fitted last December just before Christmas. We’ve one of those scary look at how much it’s costing you to boil the kettle smart devices in the kitchen. Only the gas meter failed to connect and it’s taken me until now with only real action after threat of official complaint to finally secure an engineer AT THE END OF AUGUST to come and connect my gas meter. I’ve been told it’s been operating in legacy mode. Now I do not know what that is but I do know we made a MASSIVE effort to really only put the heating on when it was super cold. It’s a new boiler so efficient and I am proper narked that I’ve no idea what the gas bill truly is. I’ve all the meter readings from the last meter and the day the meter was installed. 
It had better be good news has bill wise I tell thee. I am fully prepared for the bill to be high as even though I am sure I reduced units used, the price hike will have negated any savings. The electric is showing as £1.50 ish every morning before I even get up. So that’s things charging overnight, two fridge freezers, the clock radio, the dehumidifier in the cellar and the three TVs in the house on stand by. 
I’m thinking of emptying the cellar fridge freezer and only turning it on at Xmas. But I worry incase it won’t switch on and I do use the freezer! 
Anyway in other news I’ve joined the local food for all. My reasons are mainly 1. I hate food waste.
2. Need to help out the bank accounts where ever possible. ( know I know, buying M&S fish cakes is not frugal I hear folks saying ) but the HG is self employed and as his firm who he subcontracts to has recently been taken over, work has not been steady and reliable. The money is slightly better but has been nullified by the days where there’s been no work. Sigh. Never better off. But we are lucky to be better off that a lot of folks. 
Right so the dog walker just came to collect Bluebell ( another £££ I could save BUT I am going out for lunch - we have been saving £5 each payday to cover this - with the girls from work and I can now go get ready at leisure without stressing that Bluebell will be on her own!! The dog walker collects her at 9.30 and brings her back filthy and tired about 2.30 for £10 ! Cannot complain! She has her own field and has a group of dogs at once. And she is like a second Mum to Bluebell ! Although Bluebell will need a bath when I get in because I’ve washed her beds ! 
Am rambling on now. 

Bye everyone
R x

Tuesday, 4 July 2023


 Hi everyone, 

The weekend is almost over. I feel rested and relaxed but have not done all that I wanted. But that’s ok! 

I did get my hands on a giant blue spiky thistle

that’s swarming with bees you can see one incoming!!! and it looks lovely in my border.

The lovely Marlene left a comment on my last post saying my garden was posh! 

I carefully crop out the ‘steptoes yard’ bits of the garden because they displease me! My garden is a basic oblong shape with one beautiful original stone wall and along most of this is my one border. At the house end there’s a bit which used to be a rickety but it’s now been one of the area’s the HG stores his ‘treasure’ - you know, bits of timber for jobs etc and we’ve two spare recycling boxes on there that has kindling in. There’s a knackered charming concrete path that runs parallel to the border and I have a lawn which the HG is currently regenerating ( but losing the battle thanks to Bluebell ).

Along the back wall is the bike shed built but not finished yet by the HG. Most of my garden is fully double glazed haha. He made the gate. The bins used to be on the other wall behind the goat’s beard but now for ease of access they are attached to the bike shed by the nifty little bin holders that my Dad invented! Behind the rockery is the outside toilet - fully double glazed but half way through getting the roof repaired. Across is what used to be my herb garden. I’ve grown my bay tree from a twiglet and it’s as old as Miss29. The HG will shape it next week hopefully when the neighbours are away. Along the lawn and the other boundary is my fence - once in blue concrete and painted blue. I’ve got the paint to redo it all. Just not enough time at the moment.  You can see the fence here! 

Just Bluebell jumping over some makeshift garden agility! This view out of my back bedroom window shows you the full plot! It’s not changed probably in all the years it’s been here except that big Goat’s Beard was twice the size and in the middle of the lawn when the HG bought the house from his Nanna and Uncles. 

It’s now Tuesday evening, the tennis is on and I’m zapping my legs! It’s really improving my leg health I think! Although, last night I think I went too high at 65 and my legs were tired today!! See how I get on by the end of the week. 

Bye everyone 
R x

Saturday, 1 July 2023

A week on

 Hi everyone, 

My lovely friend gifted me some of these beautiful poppy plants. They are flowering but currently getting battered by the winds. 
It’s a week on from my Birthday. I didn’t have a cake as I didn’t want to make one. Instead I went to the posh garden centre on a good old fashioned middle aged lady day out and bought my favourite favourite lemon crunch cheesecake as a treat. Only one slice too! I was thoroughly spoilt as always. Lots of beautiful cards and I am lucky and thankful of the gorgeous people who sent them. 

The HG asked me what would I like and for once I’d decided! I asked for some money to put towards something. 

I’ve been saving for a bit, there’s my Christmas money, some birthday money from last year and then this year’s. Anyway I decided I wanted one of those Revitive leg massagers that Ian Botham, Gloria Hunniford and Eamonn Holmes advertise. My reasons being I’ve a few veins on one leg and in the  recent heat my ankles turned into cankles and I thought the health benefits would help the HG too who always has cold feet - think his circulation needs a bit of help. Anyway I researched and found the best deal, did it through Quidco and Boots in the end, made £10 cash back on Quidco and it was triple points or something on boots and got £27 ish in advantage card points. 

I decided to go top of the range and it comes with an app so I can control it from my phone! 

A week in and wow what a difference it’s made. 

Confessions of a food addict - never mind falling off the wagon, that wagon is in the distance, on fire. So the old enemy of sugar and carbs has affected me in my joints etc etc and I know all this and I willingly put the toxic stuff in my mouth. In fact. It’s not my brain or mouth at fault! It’s my bloody HANDS!!! Shovelling it in. Anywayyyyyyyyyy boring never ending quest for health moan over 

So I charged it up, sat comfortably with my feet on it. It told me I was well hydrated. Smug. Then I thought hmm is it doing anything? I was getting pins and needles but I thought that was because I was sat just so. 

No you turn up the dial!! It is the weirdest thing I’ve ever felt!!! Like rhythmic thuds and squeezes up your legs and when your muscles contract it rocks!!! My toes are curling here with the electric therapy!!! 

But after a couple of uses the HG noticed that I wasn’t moaning about standing up - you know - getting up with sound effects and walking like a 99 year old lady- I was up and down stairs with less knee pain and my daily steps have increased too. Not sure if it’s because this is new and I’m tracking, if I’m remembering to charge up my watch to count steps or my legs are lighter and therefore I’m standing more and doing more. Anyway a week on and I have a pleasing graph to look at! 

Miss 29 sent me flowers and a lovely spaniel mug. Mr 26 is gifting me a specialist pillow for shoulder pain when it comes - hahaha crikey I am sounding so old but I do have stage 4 and prob a bit more now arthritic shoulders - I need a replacement but in all honesty, I’m scared, so I will wait and put it off. I received lovely pamper hampers from friends, plus a purple flowered filled hanging basket and new solar lights and a spinny thing for the garden. Jewellery, smellies and chocs too!

Here you can see last year’s gift of bee lights from my boss, my new spinny thing infront of my magnificent goat’s beard plant ( that I always thought was an astilebe) which is a legacy from the HG’s Grandmother, who’s house we live in. It’s over 100 years old and is FULL of bees. Plus it used to hide my bins brilliantly! 

I love my garden at night. 

This beautiful globe light hangs by my back door and casts the most gorgeous shadow pattern on the walls and floor. It looks like I’ve a very fancy patio! It’s just plain concrete - the photos do not do it justice. It was almost a scene of an unsolvable crime - last week when we were all in a tropical heatwave, and my age added to the fun with super duper hot flashes, I went outside at 3am to cool off. But it was windy and the floor was MOVING and made me dizzy and almost fell. I was laughing to myself imagining the scene the next day where I’d fallen and knocked myself out and no one could work out it was the swirly pattern from the solar light!!! 

I’m just waiting for my shopping to arrive and then I’ll do another risky peg out of my bedding. Am home today so can operate sky watch and do the rain fetch. I may retire to my sewing room too. I love the weekends. I want to watch that new Puzzles show on Ch5 so when the HG has his afternoon nap, it might be cup of tea and TV time for me! I think I want to knit something too. Not sure what but I’ve plenty of wool and patterns so will have a look. Best get moving a bit. On me new revitalised legs! Will do 10 mins weeding with an ear out for the shopping! 

Bye everyone 
R x