Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Technological Triumph

It was a triumph for me, run of the mill for anyone else.

I actually managed to end my old phone contract and get the code to carry my number over to the new one.  I feel like I've completed one of the labours of Hercules.  It took some fancy typing.  I went on live chat as I knew it would be far harder voice-to-voice.   But now I have a decent deal with Tesco Mobile and get clubcard points with it.

Also bear is still watching the Edwardian Farm series.  I am concerned about what we will end up doing in the garden.

Thank you for the suggestions for champagne.  The school don't have a school fair or tombola.  They ask for donations for the hamper to raffle to the Reception class, but they are quite clear that there should be no alcohol.  I could try the idea of champagne jellies.  I've made coffee jellies before now.  It's a recipe from Mrs Beeton.  You take some strong coffee, spike generously with rum, set with gelatine and top with whipped cream.  It turned out quite well apart from teh coffee.  I don't drink coffee, but I used to make it for my late mother who liked it STRONG.  She used to joke about sucking instant coffee granules from a spoon.  DH likes his coffee strong and black.  I saw the coffee my late mother drank as normal (I've been educated since) and when Mrs Beeton's recipe stressed that the coffee should be strong I went all out.  The jellies were so caffeinated that we were practically vibrating afterwards.

I'm not sure the stuff is fit to drink after all these years.  If it was the vintage stuff then I'm sure it would be fine, but I'm not sure about the cheap stuff that is on offer at Christmas.  I suppose I could try drinking some with orange juice and if it wasn't fit I could use it as drain cleaner with baking soda.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Nothing much to see

As the title said.  Today has been very quiet and I am exhausted.  Bear has been around ninety percent leg, like only young lads can be, sprawled out watching YouTube and dvds.  He's been watching the Edwardian Farm.  I can tell I will be getting expectant looks at me and then the desolation that is our garden.  I'm going to fill the damn thing with lavender as so far it's the only thing that seems to have survived the feral slugs.

We have some bottles of champagne in the cupboard.  I'm not sure how fit some of them are - I suspect most of them are older than bear and they were all gifts.  Father never drank the stuff, DH is on tablets and I have never liked champagne any time I've had it - though I'm not a sophisticated palate.  The only thing I like with bubbles is diet cola.

We don't know anyone to give them to (I'm not entirely sure that all of them are fit to drink after all this time, none of them are the proper vintage, they're the £9.99 New Year's Eve type) and I can't donate it to the Methodist Church as alcohol isn't allowed on the premises.  Mrs Beeton recommended using gin and old silk handkerchiefs to clean mirrors but I can't think of any sort of housewifery that uses champagne unless it's how to cheat and get asti instead.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Being Quiet

We are all a little quieter than normal and quite shaky.  Otherwise entirely fine.  I need to pull myself together.

I got distracted by this story - crop circles in Wiltshire.  A part of me really wishes that they were real, but they aren't and they do a lot of financial damage to farmers.  With the weather this year, I'm sure that it's the last thing the poor farmer needs.

If you follow the link you will see the pictures, but I think they're copyright.  Here is a non copyright pic of a crop circle.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

No One Hurt

Of course, it may be too soon to say.  You see all sorts of strange things on TV but as far as I can tell we are all okay.

The car in front of the car in front of us slammed the brakes on.  The car in front of us managed to avoid going into the back of them but we went into the car in front.  Poor DH is all shocked, bear and I are okay.  We were only about half a mile from home so bear and I walked back.  I'm sort of writing this straight away as I feel like I have to tell someone.

When we left the poor car, it had a buckled bonnet and I think the radiator was a mess as liquid was all over the place.  I hope it can be fixed, but it is an older car, so there is a chance that the repairs will be worth more than the car.

It's such a lot of naff raff.  No matter what happens to the poor car, there's going to be paperwork in stacks.  DH is going to have to do a lot of sorting out to make sure he can get to and from work.

I also hope the car in front of us's driver is okay.  He was really nice, we were all shocked and he was being incredibly sensible and calm about things.  He seemed fine.

Bear seems unaffected now, though he was shocked at the time, but I'll keep an eye on him.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Sorry I've been Absent

I'm naff raffing around a bit.  I suppose the death of uncle has hit me harder than I thought - I hadn't expected it to shake me so much as it was so expected.

However things are much as normal here.  I decided it was definitely the Zoflora that was making me feel poorly.  I decided that after I had splashed some around in the bathroom to hide the smell while I unblocked the toilet.  Eventually it cleared after I squirted a large dose of washing up liquid down and walked away, but it was complicated at times.  I scratched the bowl while I was trying to prod it free with a toilet unblocker as well.  I suppose we are going to have to really concentrate on saving up for a new bathroom sooner rather than later.  Also, bear's pal couldn't come for a long booked play date because, well, we had a blocked toilet.

Of course, this is added to the extremely encrusted freezer which is barely fit for purpose and now we find the top of the fridge is all cracked and broken.  We think it may be because of the Halogen cooker we have on there, but in our defence, the cooker never damaged the last fridge.  Neither of those are 'must replace tomorrow' standard but are pretty much 'must replace next month'.

Bear is currently into Lego, which is great except he likes to keep his masterpieces on display and we don't have that many flat spaces.  I have also needed to sit down after seeing the cost of some of the kits bear is looking at.  Negotiations are ongoing.

On the bright side, I got some coupons from Sainsburys.  If I spend a minimum of £60 per shop for the next three weeks I get £9 off which is a good deal.  If I spend a minimum of £60 for the three weeks after that I get £12 off which is even better.

Sunday, 6 August 2017


I am reading all the comments and I'm very grateful for them.  I feel hugged by them all.  I'm skating along the surface at the moment, so I haven't replied to them individually.  I sincerely apologise.  I don't want you to think that I'm not appreciative.

I was reading up on Zoflora online.  It looks quite interesting, the site is here.  I've used one of their photos and as it is sort of promoting their product, I'm sure they won't mind.

I'm currently using Spring Bouquet but when my stock runs out I'm definitely going for the citrus.  

I saw it recommended as an air freshener so thought I would try it.  I should have paid more attention to instructions.  I didn't realise just how concentrated it is.  You need 4 capfuls, and the cap is very small, to one and a half litres of water for general cleaning.  I put a large slosh into around a tenth of a litre in a jug on the windowsill in the study and around the same in an old candle jar on the kitchen windowsill.  It's a little too strong.  I feel like I've been punched in the nose from the inside, but in a good way.  The scent is lovely.  

I have a stock in, a combination of father asking for some and there being an awesome offer on.  I'm sure that if I combine it with a microfibre cloth I will be able to refresh the house a great deal.  

I am not working on zoflora tomorrow.  Tomorrow is all filled up.  We start with a walk to Makro which isn't far.  It is ostensibly for bread but really we're going there for the walk.  School have suggested that bear bake in the holidays so we will be making something incredibly simple, for my sake.  Then I'm tackling the dining room which is barely functional and will probably occupy a lot of this week.  I'm also trying to set myself a small task every day, those little jobs that I keep thinking I'll get around to and never do.  Tomorrow I intend to replace and sort the cutlery drawer.  I'll check in and let you know if any of that happens!

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Always a Silver Lining

I tried one of those 'Life Tips' today.  The kitchen sink hadn't been draining well so I poured a large amount of baking soda into the plug, followed it with vinegar and stepped back smartly as it foamed all over the place.  I thought it wouldn't work as all the froth seemed to come upwards, but it seems to have dislodged whatever was blocking, so that's a win.  I should do it weekly I suppose.

I had a fail with a sweater.  It's the second time I tried to knit the pattern, and this time instead of miscounting and having to unpick the whole dratted lot to work out the neck and not being able to face it, I used some alternative yarn and the armholes haven't worked out.  I have only myself to blame.  If I had knitted a tension square I would have known that it needed adjusting.  I've just unravelled the almost-finished back.

However there is an extremely bright silver lining.  I really, really really want to try this shawl pattern.  I had promised myself I wouldn't start it until I had finished the sweater.  It seems a shame to put it off now that I've given up on the pattern.  And fortunately the yarn was only delivered yesterday, so it's like it's meant to be.

I did play fair with the sweater.  I don't think I can carry on with that yarn.  However I have some ideas that may look awesome - but I'm not trying them out until I've finished the shawl and another project outstanding.  I'm promising myself that!

Friday, 4 August 2017

Shopping Was Useful

DH and bear kept busy while I was at the funeral.  As bear is enjoying Harry Potter, they made wands.  The night before I looked out my glue gun.  I've never used it.  I kept meaning to use it, but it seemed such a big deal so I never got around to it.

They had a run out to pick up the chopsticks (comparatively hard to find) and they made grips with the glue gun and painted them up.  I came home and admired them.  DH decided to go out again on Thursday for dowling to make sturdier wands.  I asked if he would like some sandpaper and the use of a multi function rotary tool (similar to this).  DH was surprised I had stuff handy but said he would find it very useful.  So he went off to get the dowling and mentioned he could also get some varnish as the chop sticks, I mean, wands were already getting chipped.  I told him it was okay because I already had the matt spray varnish that was perfect but I insisted that he spray it outside.

All in all, he found things a lot easier because of all the shopping I had done for the craft I had meant to do.  The next craft project is going to be a new lamp shade for bear's bedroom light.  The current one was a piece of brilliance on the part of DH.  It must be at least five or six years ago and I was keeping bear occupied downstairs while DH sneakily changed the shade to a new Ben10 one on Christmas Eve.  Then when DH came down I grumbled about hearing noises on the roof/upstairs and when bear went up he could see that Santa had sneaked in earlier and changed the lampshade.  He was stunned and it was awesome.  Bear has decided he wants a new one which would be, in his words, more manly.  I have noticed the existence of lampshade kits and I have Doctor Who fabric so, on the strict understanding that there are only low voltage bulbs used, we can go with that.  I may even be able to dig out an old lampshade to re-cover.  I can't do that with the Ben10 as it is just a plastic sheet with no frame.

Today we went to Roundhay Park again.  Justjill - there's no farm there now, but there is still plenty to see which is free.  We just had a great walk and met a lot of friendly, happy, well trained dogs.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

I was Late for the Funeral

I can't believe I was late for the funeral.  A train broke down which meant the train I was supposed to get to make a connection wasn't running and the train after, which should still have made the connection, had to go on a diversion which meant that I couldn't make the connection I needed and they held the funeral back fifteen minutes for me.  They couldn't have done this for a cremation, but it was a burial, so I flew out of the train, into a very expensive taxi and sat on the edge of my seat for the next six miles.  When he slowed to 20 miles an hour (the local speed limit) I nearly cried.

The funeral itself went well, as did the gathering afterwards.  Then I picked the wrong train to get home as it stopped at every hedge corner.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed seeing the beautiful countryside, but I thought I would never make it home before midnight.  I trundled past Delamere Forest, pic below.  They shot, 'Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves' there and when I was young I got the entire family lost by mis-reading the trail signs.

I managed to get home in time to say goodnight to bear.  Now I am making typos and losing the thread of what I'm supposed to be saying, so I'll catch up tomorrow.