Friday, 27 November 2020

Not Exactly Unexpected

Bear has been very keen to make pickles and jams. He has been researching recipes and planning weekends. Unfortunately he has decided that the chutney he made doesn't agree with him, so he isn't making any more, nor is he making the pickles for which I got the pickling onions and pickling spice. I suppose all the empty jars I have been saving will now go to waste (well, recycling).

I may well make some stuff and see how bear and DH take to it over Christmas. 

I won't be doing it this weekend, though. DH and bear are away so I plan to spend the weekend either drunk or asleep. I will catch up on Monday, hangover permitting.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday, 26 November 2020

New Door

We finally got the front door and porch door replaced. Both were showing signs of wear. The lovely man who installed them had to use a crowbar on the porch door - the door between the porch and the living room. The frame had been there since the house was built, and it was comfy where it was. I took some pics (was impressed I remembered)

There is now a lot more light and a lot less draught. 

I spent the day on the computer nearby, freezing from the huge gaping hole where the doors had been, getting a headache from the fumes and unable to concentrate on account of how loud his radio was playing (I didn't begrudge him, though).

Now I am crawling off to bed, as I am somewhat shattered. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

A Month

I don't know what to get bear for Christmas and his birthday. I wish that they weren't so ridiculously close. Normally I commit heavily to the Book People, but they have closed down. I have just spent a ridiculous amount at The Works online (via Topcashback), and I hope that I have something sensible. I have no idea what bear would enjoy reading, and apparently neither does bear. If he did have an idea, he didn't share it with me. I feel very out of touch. So bear has a selection of classics like The Lost World, and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea ordered for him. He has different taste to me. He loved 1984 and Animal Farm, which I found incredibly depressing. All I can do is my best guess. He is getting a few bits and some money. He's nearly fourteen now. I can't get away with a selection of fancy pencil sharpeners wrapped separately. On the other hand, he's now old enough for a Lynx gift set in the stocking so that is something.

With Christmas now a month away, I've been having an internet rummage. I've ordered a large quantity of stuff from Wholefoods online and Justingredients, and I'm looking at getting some fruit and veg boxes cued up for the festive season. The thing is, we don't want much. However I may have to isolate at any point - I could get ill! So I need to get things sorted out early.

To be honest, I already have some goodies stashed, so I may try and stock up on frozen food next week and then it will just be any fresh stuff. 

And I know that I am really lucky. I know that lots of people will struggle over Christmas. Our family can afford food, heating and presents, and I am very, very grateful. Remembering this puts my whining into perspective.

Hugs and good vibes to all.

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Quiet Day

 Fifitr - If you want deep purple, then purple carrots are the way to go, and the colour runs so everything goes cadbury coloured.

As for homework, well, I may be making it sound easier than it has been. Primary school set regular homework. This led to regular arguments and occasional warfare between him and I as he wrestled with writing two paragraphs about a pet or learning spellings. There were times that it was very tense indeed. I always tried to be supportive and helpful but refused to do two things - do the homework for him or make excuses to the teacher for him. A few times, when we were both at the very end of our resources, I was very helpful indeed, and I may have dictated one or two pieces, but on the whole, homework was on him, along with bribery, despair and hissy fits. I don't really approve of homework for primary school kids, but it was a helpful training ground.

When bear got to secondary school, the homework was definitely all on him and I couldn't help him much at all. I made sure that he had his desk and computer set up and a supply of pencil sharpeners (I bought a pack of fifteen in September and I think we have most of them left, which is a miracle in itself as they seem to evaporate in this house) and let him get on. I was blunt. If he got into trouble for not doing his homework, that was his problem and I would enforce detentions and raise Cain if he got into that much trouble. So while there have been scenes fit for the more intense late night dramas over homework, he now more or less gets on with it. There is still the occasional fit, or even quite regular fits as they have a lot of homework, but I nod, smile and let him get on with it, occasionally providing peppermint tea or toast as required. This means that I am sometimes waiting in the car for him to finish the dratted thing in the morning, but it's done, and I haven't had to sign off on a detention.

The one exception to that was a homework that I swear was set for the parents - build a motte and bailey over the Christmas holidays a few years ago. I found the post here

I did an awful lot of that, though bear approved. He wouldn't mind doing something like this again. I would. Besides, we got the gate house wrong. The towers should have been square. By the way, I am especially proud of my suggestion for the water in the moat - we painted bubble wrap blue.

I think that they have too much homework, to be honest, and it includes stuff like 'draw a satirical historical cartoon about Turkey 1923'. 

I had a short walk followed by a largish shop this morning. I'm trying to get as much of the Christmas goodies in now before the shops get too busy. 

Writing stuff - another review. It's perhaps not brilliant but it does describe the book as intriguing. I may have put too much housewifery into it, but I have a weakness for old cookbooks and it found me out. I'm just happy for the review!

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday, 23 November 2020

Forgetting the Photo

 Bless - I forgot the photo! Today I had bright yellow soup for dinner as I cooked parsnip, carrot, onion and red lentils with garlic and spices and blended - and I rather overdid the tumeric. It was vivid!

Sarah and Elaine - thank you for the suggestions. I'll chase them up with bear. Sarah - authors have to stick together! Glad to share the good stuff.

I was going to call in on Tesco today, but I decided against it as there wasn't anything that I actually wanted that much. I called in at the farm shop and picked up the veggies that I had for soup. They had some nice looking cabbages there as well, so I shall have to think of some good recipes for that. 

It was cold this morning. There was a lot of dew and some hints of frost. It's cuddling in blankets weather. Fortunately, I have a blanket obsession so we have plenty of those. I think this week is a good time to get into Hygge. 

Writing stuff - a little flash fiction here

Hugs and good vibes to all. 

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Food with Colour

 Fifitr - that may be a useful idea, especially when he's off on the school at home thing. I'm in West Yorkshire. Leeds is a hotspot. Bear's school is in Kirklees, which isn't as bad but not brilliant.

Today has been pleasantly quiet. I made a casserole for dinner. I used up the purple potatoes, a jar of the roast peppers (I'm going to miss them when they run out) some 'red' onions left over from bear's chutney experiments and I added some olives. Before I added the chicken (with stock cube, hot water, mixed herbs and garlic powder) it looked like this.

Which is enough to brighten any Sunday afternoon. I should have served it with bright green frozen peas, but couldn't be bothered. It tasted really great and dished up like this.

It looks like purple potatoes are more colour fast than purple carrots. DH dished all the meat, but there was a load of veggies left over, which means my lunch tomorrow is sorted out.

I've finished one of the bobble hats and started the other. I haven't attached the bobble yet as I'm building up my courage. If I manage it tomorrow, I'll share a photo. It came out okay, I suppose. 

I haven't had the courage to ask bear about his homework all weekend. At least I've remembered to sign his planner. Apparently I'm supposed to check but even the bits of his writing that I can actually read don't make sense, I just put my name down and hope.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Floral Saturday

Fifitr - they are getting a provisional timetable, so I will probably talk about it with bear. We have already agreed to discuss some English stuff. He is not sure what they want, although he seems to be okay with the texts (poor lad has the Tempest, which I had at A level and loathed). Tomorrow we are going to throw some ideas about and I can see whether to tentatively broach talking to the teacher. I'll be around for him, and see what I can do to help. He's pretty good at telling me what he's doing. I just struggle to keep up. 

As you may know, I have Tesco Clubcard Plus, which costs £7.99 per month (£95.88 per year). This means that I get 10% off two shops per month plus 10% off certain Tesco own brand stuff, like their fancier homewares and their clothing but not electricals. According to the email, not only had I saved £104 on the big shops but I also had a coupon for a £3 bunch of flowers. I don't think that includes their Clubcard prices (which I think is a lot of marketing but worth taking advantage of if you are going to buy the stuff anyway) and the extra 10% on various bits. I think that I would have saved more if it hadn't been for all the lockdown stuff. I picked up these flowers, shown in front of the dratted boiler (which is currently behaving)

I think I need to get a little more strategic about the Clubcard. I need to be careful not to buy something I wouldn't get anyway. I also have the Lidl thingy which I haven't taken advantage of and around £15 in Morrisons vouchers on their More card. I need to make sure that these things work for me. I'll share any discoveries.

Hugs and good health to all.