Saturday, 28 November 2015

Spending Saturday

I've been spending again.

I spent just over £40 at the Works - online of course.  It is on topcashback and had an extra 20% cashback.  I picked up a few bits there were ideal.  I got bear's present to me (I know), I picked up a few stocking fillers, some extra books and a science kit for bear.  It was plenty of bang for my buck, which is quite appropriate as I got the exploding science set.

I also called in at the church fair.  I spent around £5, I got raffle tickets, played name the bear (please let me guessed wrong, it was a plush polar bear bigger than my bear), bought some ludicrously underpriced scones for bear and his pal and indulged myself in a necklace.

The bad news when I got talking at church was I think I have found a kindred spirit when it comes to eBay.  We are as bad as each other.  And she is into crafts.  Darn.  We said we definitely, definitely had to support each other when it came to NOT buying from our friend, seriously, just step away from the screen.

I needed some comfort.  Bear told the piano teacher very firmly that he hated the lessons this morning.  I was unimpressed with bear but very impressed with the piano teacher that managed to get bear engaged by the end of the lesson.

I know bear is a reluctant learner at the piano, and it is because it is the only thing he has to work at.  Everything else like school or the maths tutor or reading comes without a flicker of effort on his part.  This is why, in my opinion, the piano is vital.

My pal from church was talking about bags.  I am probably quite safe to look at my friend eBay when it comes to bags as I can't be bothered with them (yes, there was the accidental purchase of 20 a few years ago, but I haven't worn all of those out).I may go and have a relaxing browse.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Writing Again

I've had a note from the undertakers.  Do I want to add father's name to the Memorial Christmas Tree?  For some reason it flattened me.  So I went onto Light and Shade Challenge and felt better after writing this.

I've not bothered with Black Friday.  There was nothing I wanted at a price that I was willing to pay at the moment.


I wish I had less of an imagination sometimes - not always, just sometimes.  There have been 'lost cat' notices around the last month or so.  I always worry a little about the cat and the owners who will be going frantic.  If it was the cute cat from around the back I may have had to frisk bear who was very keen, but it was a large black and white cat which I have never seen.

Yesterday I saw a notice in the local shop window for people to check their sheds.  We don't have a shed as such, just a small space under the steps which used to be an outside toilet and which I convinced bear was home to a dragon.  He was only little, but I managed to convince half the kids in the street as well.  It kept them out of mischief.  I hadn't been there in a while and it had been jammed when I went to put in the bulbs, but the cat has been missing a lot longer and I have popped in and out.

I tried to open the door.  It was an epic fail.  I couldn't budge the dratted thing.  There was one small section of swollen wood that would not move.  It had been jammed for ages, but I have heard of cats surviving for a long time in similar situations and there were always plenty of spiders for cat snacks.  After ten minutes I went to look for the WD40.  I couldn't find that anywhere.  To be honest I wasn't entirely sure that we had some, and nowhere local sells it.  I had another think.  What if it was a dead cat in there?  What if I had failed it?

There was still a sizeable gap at the top of the door so I squeezed in a generous dollop of washing up liquid and tried to ease it in with a thin knife.  Then I pulled again.  I kept pulling and pulling and was just about to give up when I noticed that the door had opened a tiny fraction.  I am really glad no-one was watching as I was tugging away like a crazy lady and I was getting very stressed about the poor cat that may or may not be in there.  Then the door flew open.  I heaved a sigh of relief and looked around the two square metres of space.  There was no cat.

Now I have trashed a load of spiders' webs, left a puddle smelling of citrus burst and the dratted door won't dratted shut.  I'm still glad I looked.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Black Friday Tomorrow

Happy Thanksgiving to anyone reading this from USA.  I hope you are having a good time with your family.

Thanksgiving hasn't made it over to the UK, but Black Friday has.  I am sceptical about some of the 'deals' on offer.  There is a proud tradition of the Recommended Retail Price being inflated so the stores can look good when selling something like a toaster with a 'Recommended Retail Price' of £250.  Look, they say, we've slashed the price to only £99.99.  Isn't that a deal? but the toaster is identical to one in the next shop being sold at £30.  There are misleading labels that tell you that something is an unbeatable bargain but not that it's the same price as it's been all year.  Then there is a long record of items being artificially inflated just before sales.  I believe there are stores in the outer fringes where an item such as a sofa is put out for sale at an astronomical price so that in the main cities and online the retailer can say that the item has been on sale for the legal number of days at the stated price and now, look, it's half the previous price.  Isn't that a 'bargain'? they say, and can you resist a 'bargain'.

In my case, normally, no.  

There are all sorts of legal hoops that a store should jump through before something is described as 'on sale' and there are people paid a lot of money to work out how to get round them.  Last year we fell lucky and accidentally got a washing machine that was in the Black Friday sale.  I wouldn't have gone for it, but our washing machine had stopped working and I was desperate.  I got a Whirlpool in desperation at half price and loathe it.  That was probably a genuine(ish) bargain, though not as good as it is painted.  

This year I actually would like a lot of new white goods, or big ticket items.  For good and valid reasons I would like a new fridge/freezer and a combination microwave.  I've had a look around, had a think and I know roughly want I want.

Most importantly, I know their starting prices.  I can't really afford anything, to be honest, but I know that if the fridge/freezer I want falls below £120 I will go for it.  Otherwise I won't bother.  I am not going for anything else.  I don't need anything else.  I have set my level and I am sticking to it.  

Looking around my home, what I need is less.  

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Bear Reads Carefully

Bear had been very insistent.  He wanted cat stories.  By this he means stories of what our old cats got up to.  He loves them and can hear them over and over again.

With our old cats (and I suspect with all cats) you never need to make much up.  They are relentlessly themselves.  However over the last month I haven't been up to many stories so in desperation I printed out Cats in the Bible.  Bear started reading.

I had a quick re-read as I printed out to makes sure that it was family friendly.  I quite enjoyed reading it as it was so long since I had written it that if felt almost as if someone else had written it and I could just enjoy it.  Then I realised.  One day bear will be able to read my books.

Actually, bear quite likes Cats in the Bible, so that's okay.  

Bear Does Not Approve

Bear was very pleased with his bubblegum flavoured moshi monster toothpaste.  I was relieved.  Bear has gone through phases of complaining about toothpaste flavours and I suspect that he finds the minty ones a bit too strong.

I said I would have a look out for some  more.  However the flavour came from Approved Food so I may not be able to get it easily.  Bear pulled a face.  Approved Food does food near or sometimes past its sell by date, but it is still fit to eat.  Bear does not believe any food is fit to eat past the sell by date despite all my efforts and looked very doubtful.  He is starting to reject food from Approved Food even if it is within sell by date, because he has reservations.

'Toothpaste does not have a sell by date.' I said firmly.  Bear did not look like he believed me.  Approved Food do have some stocks of it left, but I am not sure whether it would be worth trying.  I shall continue negotiations later.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Tesco is my vague Acquaintance

I have mentioned that eBay is my friend and I have had some success picking up stuff for bear on there at extremely inexpensive prices.  Tesco was getting quite friendly.  However I have had the run up to the Delivery Slots.  For those who have Delivery Saver, the slots will be released early.  They will be released in the early hours of Thursday morning.

This is not a friendly thing to do.  I am not planning to sit up until daft o'clock to get my Tesco online grocery delivery booked for Christmas.  Nor am I getting up before the first sparrow's cough.  My sleep is far too precious.  

Tesco have been lovely to me recently, especially when I missed a delivery because I was taking bear to the doctor, but this is not a friendly gesture.  I suppose they are hoping that the desperate bookings don't crash the server.  

Also they do not apparently deliver on Christmas Eve.  Personally I do not want the delivery on Christmas Eve.  I like to allow a chance for us to pick up anything that is missing so go for the 23rd every time.  However my preferred slot will fill up even sooner.  

My order is likely to be small this year.  Bear and DH have requested steak.  There will be sprouts, there will be stuffing, there will be roast vegetables and gravy.  I'm not bothering with much more.  I may get the minimum order.  

Hopefully the acquaintance will develop in the New Year