Thursday, 26 May 2016

Just passing through

Bless - thanks for asking.  There is a competition with a deadline for stories of 15-25,000 words, previously mentioned.  I am on 9,000 words and I have to have it finished by June 1 if I am going to be able to submit.  No surgery yet, it's very slow growing, low risk etc and I get another consultation 20 June.

Witch Hazel - remember me mentioning that you could get Holy Water online and what would happen if it was a fake?  There are always things around that lead to stories.

Bear is awesome, we are going to a museum tomorrow.

DH has been on leave and this lunch time we got to hear a lecture on the decline of magic in late antiquity.  I very much enjoyed it.  I'm planning a furtle around as there are audio files apparently and I am sure there is plenty of material there.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Tesco Vouchers Arrive

Apparently this is the last time you can use Clubcard Boost.  I don't have anything particular I want, so I'll keep saving the points towards Christmas.

I've noticed that the coupons that come with them are in the shape of 'extra Clubcard points if you buy x' instead of '50p off x'.  All the coupons except one are for my usual shop, so I shall wait until they are on offer, except for stuff like milk which I get anyway.  I wonder how it will all work.

Something I have noticed about the Tesco people I have been dealing with recently - they are red hot on customer service.  This is, to me, quite a new development.  Years ago, if you rang Tesco's customer service you got a 'waddayawant' attitude.  Now they seem to be really pushing the good customer service.  My experience over the last twelve months has been pretty good.  I wonder if they are going to try and brand themselves as being the supermarket with the best customer service.

I have a guilty secret to confess.  I did bear's homework.  He has been like an over-washed rag for the last week, it is due in today, and it was at the stage of I either did the dratted thing myself or one of us had a breakdown.  It was a fairly hefty one, bear was supposed to list everything in the house that was electrical and say not only whether it was mains or battery powered but whether it was eco friendly.

I thought this was a tall order.  I left out a lot of stuff.  Modern houses are awash with gadgets and I wasn't up to going round each room and checking for plugs.  Children that are more conscientious are going to find this tough - do they list each light individually?  How about the computers?  We have two PCs and four laptops.  Is the kettle eco friendly?  According to the website of one of the power companies, it is more effective to boil a kettle and add water to the pan than to bring water to the boil in a pan.  But the kettle isn't rated with an extra energy efficiency rating.  I wonder how many parents are going to be lectured about eco friendly matters this weekend.

I thought I would look for a picture for this post and put 'electricity' into WikiCommons search box.  I found this.  I thought I would share.  I wonder if they still make them and for what sort of market.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

I Feel Cold

I feel absolutely frozen this morning.  This is interesting, because I have done more today than I have for the last week.  I've cleared up some fiddly admin, rung the council, put on washing, sorted this, dealt with that.  I still haven't done much, but it's amazing the difference a thousand words can make.

I had to ring the council as this morning I saw a rat in the garden.  I was unimpressed.  It wasn't the size in general that bothered me, it was how fat it was.  Later on I had the kitchen door open and now I am panicking that a random rodent could have got in.

I am thinking of borrowing my brother's dog for a while.

For those who love The Great British Sewing Bee - I found this - a blog page with patterns that link to all those on the show, including the incredible pencil skirt.  I thought the initial challenge of making a top out of striped materials so that it met as chevrons in the front and back was hideously difficult. I think I would have made a plain one and then drawn on the stripes with marker pen!  The blog page also has links to tips on how to do stuff like making bias binding and other wonderful things.

Off to write some more.  Time is running out for this week's Light and Shade Challenge.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Great British Sewing Bee

The first episode of the new series was tonight, and I loved it!  There were some really tough challenges in the first show.  May Martin is no longer in the show and instead they have Esme who seems very fiesty.  

Yes, I am still scared of my sewing machine, but yet again I want to have a go.  I think one thing that I like about the show, and which I think is so encouraging to people like me, is that the judges are very kind to the contestants.  They are critical and exacting in their standards, but they are helpful and encouraging during the sewing.  

Coincidentally I had been sewing earlier.  I called in on the card making class at the Methodist church and did some English Paper Piecing.  I got at least half a dozen hexagons tacked and listened to some impressive gossip.  They are really kind, very patient and incredibly tolerant.  They created the most amazing hand made cards while I stitched.

I am definitely going to have to get out more.  Bear was most put out and made a big fuss.  As far as he is concerned, I was on a limited pass.  I barely got a chance to get in through the door before he pounced for cuddles. 

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Meh

It is well known that the more I write, the more I can manage to do with housework.  I managed just under a thousand words with the Domestic Demon, but I don't think it's going to be enough.  Still I had a lot of fun writing.

Having a late night waiting for the dryer.  I seem to have fallen behind everything.  Still, if I can manage another few hundred words it should see me power through the laundry tomorrow.


Eurovision 2016

I love Eurovision, and I was sober when I watched it this time as well.  For the first time in years I actually enjoyed the British entry.  I am not sure why Australia wants to enter the Eurovison, but their song was great and I do feel that it is the more the merrier.

For all those in the USA who watched it for the first time - well now you know what we have been talking about.  I don't know about the other European countries (plus Israel and Australia) but the music played on British radios is nothing like the Eurovision.

To be honest, I don't think the best song won.  I think the best song of the evening was the parody of Eurovision sung by the hosts between the acts and the close of voting - here, for those interested.  I didn't bother voting for any this year, but I would have voted for that.  Thinking about it, I think the last time I voted for a Eurovision entry was when I voted for Lordi (who won in 2006 and were awesome!)

Jean - I am not surprised that they are so expensive.  Sometimes you just pay for the marketing.  I can't bring myself to pay all the money to try them!

Bless - I did wonder if you had seen the tea plantations.  I don't like to assume but I did think that if anyone knew tea then it would be you.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

A Nice Cup Of Tea

I just watched Supershoppers for the first time, episode 2.  I really enjoyed it and hope they make more series.  One of the things that they mentioned was the price of items marketed as 'artisan' compared to the standard items, and they used tea as an example.  I had a look on Tesco to see what the current prices were.

First I looked at the Teapigs range.  They are supposed to be good and I am confident that they are a better quality product that the standard British cuppa.  Tea Pig jasmine pearl pyramid teabags cost £5.50 for fifteen.  That's around 37p per cuppa.  Tetleys ordinary teabags (for those not from the UK, that's a more standard brew) you could get 240 teabags for £4.99, or around 2p per cuppa.  I am not entirely convinced that there is 35p difference in ingredients between the two, although the packaging is very different.  I was surprised to find out that they are owned by the same company.  I suppose a tea supplier is always going to try and fill a space in every market.  The least expensive tea at Tesco is 20p for forty teabags, or half a penny per bag, and I think they taste awful.

Approved Food have some artisan tea on sale - Petalberry Tea is one example.  At Approved Food's reduced prices it is £3.99 for ten teabags, but it does look good and you get a great tin out of it.  I'm wondering if it is worth buying just for the tin.  The recommended price is £6.99 for ten teabags.  I don't know.  According to the website, the tea is direct from Sri Lanka, which does make it sound fresher.  As I type there is a flash sale on Typhoo of 200 teabags for £2.  I don't personally like Typhoo, but there is nothing wrong with it.

I suppose the moral is, watch out for the marketing.  The quality of teapigs is almost certainly better than average, but is it that much better?  I am limiting myself to one teabag a day (or trying to - a caffeine fail here) so perhaps I could justify spending a bit more on fancy teas.  I have justified spending £1.49 on 50 Chai teabags.  I don't think I could bring myself to spend more.

I wanted a picture, so here is a picture of a Sri Lankan Tea Plantation.


It is hard to believe that they are thinking of trying to grow tea in cold, damp Yorkshire.  I am not convinced.