Thursday 30 June 2016

Half Asleep

I am definitely out of it today.  Fortunately the electrician that should have been coming tomorrow will now not be coming until Tuesday, so that gives me enough time to hire a flamethrower.  I'll need a flamethrower because I think it will be the only way to clear the place!  I found another seven rolls of the nice, large bin liners and about another dozen of other types.

I'm off to have a sleep and consider my habit of over-buying.  Possibly in that order.

Wednesday 29 June 2016

Perils of Bulk Buying

I have just started a new box of Ariel.  I have several more boxes left.  I got them at £5.50 for the 40 wash size instead of £11.

They are currently back on sale at £5.50, which is the least expensive they have been all year, according to  They don't get that good a price very often.  However I am not buying any more at the moment.

There are several reasons.  I have a few boxes left and I don't know how long it takes me to get through a box (starting the record now).  I don't have much space currently to store stuff as there is a large stockpile of stuff in general already, including the 27 rolls of binliners.  Also I don't want to spend the money.  I need to spend £200 on electrics on Friday and our fridge needs replacing quite urgently as at it's coldest setting it is hovering around 6-8C, or two to four degrees higher than recommended for chilled food storage.  I also want to book bear into some activities over the summer, and I'm looking at a large chunk of cash for that.

I think this is going to be a tough month.

Tuesday 28 June 2016

Happy With This

I am limping gently on with the dining room and kitchen.  I haven't got that far, but I am cautiously optimistic.  I've been going through piles of stuff I've put there 'for now' and that haven't been touched for months or, in some cases, years.  The most recent of the piles has been interesting.  I found 27 packs of 25 extra large pedal bin liners.  I am ridiculously protective over my living room and study bins, and bear and his pals generate large quantities of rubbish (to be honest, so do I), so I get through quite a few of the liners.  I couldn't even use carrier bags because the bins are too large.  These ones are strong, slightly scented, fit wonderfully and were 75p per roll, or 3p per bag.  The closest ones on the Tesco website when it came to size and quality were around 10p per bag.  I wonder how long it will take me to get through 675 bin liners.  I need to generate less rubbish.

Monday 27 June 2016

Continuing Bear

Bear is off today but likely to be back in school tomorrow.  He has a stonking cough and is apparently without bones and ninety percent leg, but the doctor and I agree that he will be fine.

I have made a very limp start to clearing out the dining room and kitchen that need to be fit for a workman by Friday.  I am not optimistic.  I suspect there will be heaps of rubbish under throws in corners on Friday morning.

I have just thought of an awesome set of short stories for the series of the Forgotten Village.  That series that I thought I had run out of ideas for.

Tonight there are issues - England playing Iceland or the Great British Sewing Bee - decisions, decisions!

I think I have whatever bear has had.  I'm feeling very lightheaded.  I hope this post makes sense.  Or at least is properly punctuated.

Saturday 25 June 2016


I am sagging, I am really not keeping up.  I was up at 6.30am after a tough night and now I feel faded.

Today we went into Leeds and DH bought bear some much needed trainers, which may last more than a month, while I dived into Love Aroma.  They were selling cakes and raffle tickets to raise money for Macmillan Nurses, who were awesome when my late mother had cancer.  While I was there I picked up the usual candles for the end of term gifts for the teachers and a replacement candle for us.  As I had spent a small fortune I got a free Yankee candle and some points on my loyalty card.  I plan to use the card to pay for Christmas gifts for the maths tutor (who is awesome) and the piano teacher (who is also awesome).

I am now off to watch Wales v N Ireland and I hope I do the occasion justice!

Friday 24 June 2016

The C Word

I mean Christmas.  I bought my first presents this week.  If I was in any way organised I would have started in January.

To be honest, there's not much to buy.  I have a brother who gets a magazine subscription, his partner who also gets a magazine subscription, and my sister-in-law and her family who usually get money in a card.  Of course, then there is bear.  Today I got the delivery of a box from The Book People which included eight 'Goosebumps' books and an autobiography of Steven Gerrard which bear will love for Christmas.  I think I will otherwise try to get back to doing surveys for Amazon vouchers which will pay for a lot of bear's goodies.  I also still have a lot of wrapping paper left.  There may no longer be the fifty rolls that I found last summer, but there's plenty for a while yet.

Bear is getting better.  He is explaining Fifa16 to me.  I have absolutely no idea and am more confused at the end than the beginning.  I believe this is normal.

Thursday 23 June 2016

Stockpiling toilet paper

Thank goodness I do!  Bear has a runny tummy and it is not a nice time for him.

I had a bad night, bear had a bad night, today is a duvet day.  In bear's case it is a computer day with frequent, unavoidable breaks.  Poor lad is all washed out.  He is, however, driving me fairly nuts as I am not on top form and he is currently playing on the Xbox while watching a YouTube video of someone else playing the Xbox - at double speed.  The commentator has a south London accent and it doesn't sound clearer for being speeded up.  He doesn't always pause it as he dashes for a toilet break and it's grating!

I may abandon any further attempt at anything constructive and just play patience.

Wednesday 22 June 2016

Shopping Happens

I was putting together my Tesco order and realised that they had an event on.  If you bought four or more of one of the qualifying products, you got 25% off.  The qualifying products were over a thousand cleaning products.  I was interested to see that some of the Everyday Value range was included as the really cheap stuff is usually not included in this sort of thing.

Big boxes of Ariel were included in this, though I'm holding out for them going to half price.  I seem to remember that Tesco had a similar offer this time last year, so I shall be using my Bullet Journal to track the sales.  I did my usual trick of bunging on anything that caught my eye on to the online shop and then taking off what I didn't actually need.  Thanks to the 30 day cleaning thingy I had an idea of what I already had, which was lots.  I still got carried away - it was up to £150 at one point - but I've whittled it down to around £60.  One thing I stocked up on was the little sponges.  I do like them but I wear them out quickly and while a pack of 8 of the Everyday Value ones is only 40p, I still save tenpence a time.  I got two packs.  I also stocked up on the only bin liners that fit my kitchen bin.

So if anyone is interested in stocking up on cleaning products then the Tesco offer of 25% off qualifying cleaning products runs until 28th June.  I am considering my storage space.

Bear is triumphantly awesome

Every year the school run an equivalent of the Olympics.  The school is split into teams and each team is given a country name.  This year bear was in the China team.  And the team got bronze!!!!  It's the first medal bear has got, and he is very proud of it, and I am proud of him.

The best bit for me is knowing that bear will have given 100% of himself and will have fought so hard to win.  One of his pals from further down the street was scuffing down the road and grumbling that medals were stupid (no medal).  Bear has gone through lack of medals for years and I am so proud that he has never taken that attitude.

I am very lucky with bear.

And Continuing

Actually, I'm doing okay in myself today, though I thought I heard a rat in the next room!  There was a squeak and a noise - it was the landlord of next door doing something.  I have a new laptop but it is having a few issues.  I got it through the Tesco outlet store on eBay which seems very easy to deal with.  The last few bits I've done with Tesco they have given excellent service and so I got one refurbished (new but with damaged box) laptop at around £100 off.  It is having a few moments as I get things moving, but it is wonderful that I can not only go on the internet but I can also type!

Bear had a bad night.  He couldn't sleep.  He was a tired, hollow eyed child this morning but even though I actually offered to keep him home he insisted on going in as it was a sports day.  Tomorrow may be a different battle!

Thank you for the good wishes.  I am very grateful.

Tuesday 21 June 2016

Self Indulgent

The hospital yesterday went okay.  I found a different bus company were running so I only had a ten minute walk.  I have become so used to walking just a few yards.  I may make a habit of getting the other buses as I need the exercise.  I really need it.  I am aching from yesterday, but I always seem to suffer walking in hospitals.  It's strange, but true.  I have walked far further without any issues but walking in hospital always seems to drain me.  Mind you, the LGI is a route march.  Looking back, I checked the time when I got to the hospital because I was worrying about finding the right clinic and it was 12.55pm.  I got to the clinic at just past 1.20pm, but I had had to stop and ask directions twice (my appointment was at 1.30pm and I was the first to go in - after 2pm!).  I was hoping to get back in time for bear, even though DH was there for him, as I didn't want him to fret.  Fortunately he is much more assured and relaxed than he was this time last year and I wasn't home much after him.

The hospital visit was because I have been diagnosed with a rodent ulcer.  It is a very slow growing, almost benign spot that will keep going and going until it is cut out and as it is right on the tip of my nose I will need to have a skin graft to cover the space with skin from behind my ear.  I am worried about bear and how it will affect him and how I will organise him getting to and from school and whether he will be teased for having a mother with a dressing on her face.  So much fretting over what is something quite little.

Sarah - thank you so much for your message.  I have been worrying about you, and hope you are taking care of yourself.  It is lovely to hear from you and your lovely message.  I definitely don't feel worthy.  I am falling apart.  There are days when I spend time sobbing for hours.  I am getting increasingly shut in and find the thought of leaving the house for anything other than bear daunting. I'm not agoraphobic in the sense that when I am in an open space I am fine.  It just seems that going out for any other reason than bear is so overwhelming complicated and difficult and not worth the trouble.  The house is a mess, everything is a mess.  It isn't just one thing, and it isn't really my father.  It wasn't unexpected and it hasn't been complicated.  I have just fallen apart.  I keep blogging here and trying to be positive because it is incredibly helpful to find the things that are good and there is a lot of good.  Bear is, as ever, awesome and a source of much positivity.  I worry, though.  I was about his age when I watched my mother have a breakdown and it wasn't good.  I am trying to consciously joke around with him. It is going to be fun learning to sew things together.   However I can feel myself slowly shutting down.  I have started having very bad reactions to antidepressants, so I don't want to go back to those.  I wouldn't be able to look after bear.

After that gloomy and self indulgent waffle, I think I should post this.

Also, what's a foot long and slippery?  A slipper.

Off to find more jokes.

Sunday 19 June 2016

Father's Day

Bear had very clear ideas of what he wanted to get DH for Father's Day.  After a certain amount of research bear got a large sketch pad with high quality pencils.  DH can draw, and does sometimes, and bear wanted him to have something he would like.

Steak tonight for the men.  They have steak on their birthdays, Christmas and Father's Day.

Tomorrow I need to go to hospital and the buses are on strike.  I don't know what is best.  I think I will try walking it.  I'll have to allow an hour and a half minimum as I walk slowly these days, but it won't hurt me.

Bear and a football have just happened to the fuchsia in the garden.  I don't think it will ever be the same again.  Mind you, the garden is in dire need of something happening to it, I'm just not sure that it should be a small boy with a football.

Saturday 18 June 2016

Calm Day

Bear has watched an instruction video on how to thread a sewing machine.  He thinks it will be tough, but it hasn't put him off.  It terrifies me!  I am totally stealing Witch Hazel's idea about bunting.  It can be in Liverpool FC colours or Doctor Who colours, or any feature in between.  I shall let him run with it.

Tonight we had a picnic tea, with scotch eggs and pasties for DH and bear, salad for me (which I very much enjoyed) and we watched the Ant Man film on dvd.  I love the Marvel Comic films.  I think they are well constructed, well paced and coherent.  They are also wonderfully spectacular and aren't too scary for me.  This is a consideration - I am pathetic when it comes to films.  

Apparently the next Marvel film is due out in November.  I wonder if I could get a babysitter for then.

Friday 17 June 2016

Great British Sewing Bee Strikes Again!

I watched the first series of the Great British Sewing Bee with interest by myself.  Once DH watched it, he became enthralled and I ended up buying a sewing machine (sadly underused - I have done at least two seams).

Bear watched some of one tonight.  Then he insisted on seeing another one.  I have been forced to promise that over the coming week I shall clear out enough rubbish so that he can do sewing with me the next weekend.

I wish I knew what I was doing.  It will be the blind leading the blind.  More particularly it will be the blind leading the colour blind.  I suggested that we try just sewing bits together and seeing what happened, and then perhaps cushion covers.  Bear suggested sewing himself a complete Tudor outfit.  I suggested that we work up to it.  I think if bear continues interested then I'll learn loads.  I've learned not to let bear watch those sort of programmes for a start.

Fragrance Fail

I was having a very minor attack of trying to get things clearer having a rummage in a box that hadn't been opened for years.  There was an unopened bottle of perfume inside, well, eau de toilette. It was Avon and called Bond Girl.  I just checked, they don't even do it any more, which is a shame as I quite liked it at the time.  The image I found said it was introduced @ 2008.

I thought, well, it has been sealed.  How bad could it be?

The answer has been clearing my sinuses for the last few hours.  To be fair, it isn't that bad.  It's just different and incredibly strong.  It is also unfortunately very robust and I think an extra extreme shower will now be required.

I normally like to respect copyright and share links.  As this is an image advertising a product no longer sold, it's not so straight forward.  The image was taken from and the original product was by Avon and their UK site is here.  I hope that helps.

Thursday 16 June 2016

I am Back Online!!!!

I am back online and happy.

I watched some of the Great British Sewing Bee.  I would love to get into sewing and I considered the possibility of me trying again.  I could look for an earth mother type long, loose skirt with lots of gathers to hide the bulges.  I had a furtle on eBay (my friend).

What I found was that I could get a sort of boho type skirt in my size for under £15, including all postage and it looked really nice.  I could buy a pattern for a skirt, and the ones I liked were all £9 or over without postage, and then I would have to pay for fabric, notions etc and do all the work when I should be doing a load of other stuff.  To be honest, my shape is so peculiar (and large) that I don't think it's worth me trying to sew for me.  I mean, I can get a perfectly adequate tube type stretchy skirt, floor length, in the colour of my choice for under £7 including postage.  I don't wear skirts anyway.  Bear has utterly rejected any attempt for me to sew for him and so I suppose I should just settle down with patchwork and bags.  Sigh.

I was watching the news.  An MP from near here has been murdered.  It's not my MP, but it is on the local news and I could get a bus there in half an hour.  Jo Cox was doing her best to serve her community, listening to her constituents and making democracy work.  It puts my witterings about sewing patterns in perspective.

Those of us in the fortunate West often think of democracy as safe, and a right, and a given.  Threats to democracy are 'out there' in other countries.  If there is a threat to a democracy here, in our safe corners, then it must have come from 'outside'.  In this case, it didn't.  It was someone local, someone who had lived in democracy all his life.

Democracy is fragile.  It is at risk even in England, which is supposed to be safe.  It is in danger from low turn outs at elections.  It is in danger from lack of education and reasoned debate.  It is in danger from people reacting before thinking and shutting down.  It is in danger when people react to bad times by blaming outsiders and 'the other' and retreating to tribal thinking.

This isn't about the referendum to decide whether or not the UK stays in the EU.  This is about people no longer believing in passionate debate and instead reacting with violence.  In the sad death of Jo Cox, someone who cared passionately about others and did her best to reach out and help is lost to someone who would rather use violence.

Monday 13 June 2016


I'm having a lot of challenges at the moment and one of them is my computer.  I cannot guarantee that it works so the posts may be hit and miss.

I can't watch the football as bear has lost the remote with emphasis.

Issues with my legs are getting worse so I can't go for walks easily.

It's even starting to rain.

I shall sit and grumble.  Hugs to all, back when I've pulled myself (and my computer) together, as I type it is trying to translate this page.  I don't like to think.

Sunday 12 June 2016

1500 Points

We get our groceries delivered by Tesco, and I am very grateful for the Clubcard points.  However DH calls into Morrisons supermarket on his way to work for snacks and lunches and he also gets his petrol from a Morrisons garage.  He has a More card.

I haven't really got to grips with the More card.  I haven't got to grips with the Tesco clubcard if truth be told, so I have low expectations of my grasp of the intricacies of Morrisons.  However DH has now got a coupon for 1500 points if he spends more than £20 in store.  1500 More Points are worth around £1.50.

I wish I had known this as some Morrisons do food processors and I could have killed two birds with one stone, but never mind.  The trick is to only use the coupon on something you already want or need and not spend more than £1.50 more than you would if you purchased the stuff elsewhere.  Once upon a time it would have been easy.  Morrisons did some very acceptable offers on Famous Grouse on a regular basis and father would always find alcohol acceptable.  It's surprising how easy it is to spend £20 when it's 14% alcohol or more.

I've had a quick rummage on their site, but I am uninspired by what I have seen.  I think that the 1500 will not be worth the running round.

Saturday 11 June 2016

Bear is Cold!

Bear has insisted on putting the fire on for a few minutes at least.  I think he would not have felt the cold quite so much if he hadn't done sliding tackles on the wet grass at Kirkstall Abbey and got himself soaked to the skin.

My food processor has arrived.  It is a Bosch one, 700w and with more functions than I will ever, ever use.  I can't even make sense of the instructions.  However it was £39 from AO with free delivery and the recommended price is £99 so even allowing for marketing I probably got a good deal and it was one of the cheapest I had seen.  To be honest, the thing that made me press 'Buy' was the little built in drawer to store the blades in.  Heaven knows, it's a small thing, but it increases the chance of it being used.  I am going to be taking pictures of how it all fits together.

I'm hoping I get a chance to see some of the England game tonight.  How bad can it be?

Friday 10 June 2016


We have had extra rain today.  So I walked to Makro and back.  It isn't that far, and it is good for me to stretch my legs.

I actually wanted a food processor as bear is determined he wants broccoli slaw, I am not going to stand in the way of healthy eating but darn I'm not grating broccoli by hand.  Makro didn't have food processors.  Fortunately they did have the perfect sized set of drawers for the dining room for £19.99 plus VAT.  They're only plastic, but will serve the purpose of tea towels and tablecloths.  Unfortunately I thought it was a good idea to walk home with them.  I have muscles like overcooked spaghetti, so even a smallish plastic three drawer cabinet was a challenge.  I have not been moving much at all, so carrying it on top of actually walking somewhere, meant that I got home feeling very hot and sweaty and red in the face.

Of course it rained throughout the walk.  I wasn't too upset as it means I don't have to water the garden.  However the remaining heat, humidity and lack of air did not help.

Now I have a hot, bothered and fed up bear who is over tired with the heat.  I hope it all settles down soon.

Thursday 9 June 2016

Broccoli Fail

Bear heard a reference to Broccoli Slaw and was insistent that he wanted to try it.  What can I say, my nine year old requests something healthy, who am I to refuse.  I found this on the internet linky and thought I would give it a go.

First Fail - I forgot to put cabbage on the delivery so I couldn't make it the first night.

Second Fail - the carrots were really not fit so I couldn't make it the second night

Third Fail - I actually made it.  It smelled, well, of grated carrots, cabbage, broccoli and garlic stirred up with Greek yogurt and cider vinegar.  Bear was impressed.  DH thought it was amazing.  I gave it a final stir and found a large, spiky piece of broken plastic.  The thingies on the inside of my Food Processor had broken off and now there were sharp, clear plastic bits mixed in with the grated veggies and dressing.  There was no way I could pick them all out.

Fourth Fail - I'm having a bad time at the moment and couldn't actually force myself to go into town and pick up a Food Processor.  Tesco don't have any on their grocery delivery and they are all so much more expensive than when I bought mine years ago.

It's a work in progress.

Compost in the Tumble Dryer

Honestly, when I write about another housekeeping disaster or oddity of life, it's true.  Seriously, I tell it very much how it is.  I fudge some details, especially if it involves other people, to protect privacy, and I omit a lot.  I try to avoid anything that will cause too much trouble for bear when he is a teenager, though just being a teenager can be bad enough.  But on the whole, yes, my life is really like this.  I don't want to protest too much, and I am sure that other people have just as interesting lives.  It's just I don't see the same mistakes.

I have a condenser tumble dryer, bought after a great deal of thought and an absolute lifeline. I use it rather than hanging stuff out as there is a smell in the garden that I can't cope with.  I am sorting things out so I use drying racks more, but onward and upward.

Today I emptied the water out of the sort of box thing that collects it.  As it has been a while since it rained here I thought I would empty it on to the apple tree in a tub just outside the door.  Except it's not exactly outside the door.  It's next to the door but around five foot above it.  The kitchen is in the cellar, below ground level.  I could have, and should have, walked up the steps and then the few feet back to the tub and poured the water on the tree.  Instead I reached up and tried to pour.  The box tilted awkwardly as the water moved, the whole thing dug into the tub and somehow a load of the compost ended up in box.

I can't get it out.  I have rinsed and rinsed and rinsed.  There is a small hole and a tiny hole to get the water out.  I can't reach in and rummage.  I can't not use the dryer.  I have already started washing DH's bedding and he likes it tumble dried.  I am aiming to do most of this stuff on the racks with ten minutes of dryer at the end, but at the moment I need the dryer.  I have got the worst of it out after several long and trying minutes in the bath, but the last few fragments are just not going anywhere.  I have compost stuck in my tumble dryer.

I have been repeatedly telling myself that something in a place that collects water is not likely to be a fire hazard, and nothing is likely to grow there because it is always being emptied, but darn!

I'm not going to even try and google this one.

Wednesday 8 June 2016

Trying to Type

My dratted computer is having a time of it.  There are two big black holes in the screen so when I write anything it is a challenge for me to proof read it and check where I am. 

Worse is the habit of my cursor of jumping around and landing on unexpected things.  I touch type, so I will be happily rattling on at 70 wpm when I realise that the dratted cursor has happened.  It wavers all over the page and if it is there too long or if I press something like ‘return’ or use an accidental short cut I find that I have given my machine unintended instructions, and they took effect four sentences ago.  I was half way into signing into Tesco to update a grocery order when it did one of these ‘bounce and random click’ attacks and I couldn’t get it to accept the password as it was busy translating the page.  I wish I was making it up.  As I don’t know how I got there, I couldn’t stop the translation and I had to close the screen and open it again. 

Tomorrow I hope to be picking up a new jacket for bear from Argos (click and collect from my friend eBay).  On Monday he insisted he was wearing a particular jacket.  I told him it was too small for him.  He insisted that it wasn’t , but the cuffs were crawling up towards the elbows.  I am not too grumpy at that, as small boys grow bigger, but I am not happy at the request for £41 for books.  Apparently Dan Freeman is paying a visit to the school and children will be able to purchase signed copies of stories about football.  Bear is currently football mad so of course he is keen.  I am wincing at £41 for seven books.  I get that it costs to print etc and I know how much labour goes in to writing one, but I always look for bargains.  I don’t think bear has much more than four or five books that I have paid full price for.  He may have two bookcases that are seriously full, but I shopped around.  I am a big fan of second hand books, as after all, the words are in the same order.  If I had paid full price for bear’s books I would have paid thousands.  I suppose bear is getting to the age where he is more likely to want particular books and it is more likely to be full price.  It is worth it as he explores the reading world.  

This has been typed into word and cut and pasted.  It may look less elegant but at least it hasn’t taken forever for me to type.  

Tuesday 7 June 2016

Bear is no Botanist

Bear is making progress.  He can now tell the difference between a nettle

and a bramble

And even a dock leaf for when it is required

But I don't think he has worked out what is a thistle

All these photos were taken at the back of a pub whose landlord decided to extend - about eight years ago.  And after a brief flurry, nothing.  It's probably a habitat and edging towards a conservation order by now.  I'm sure it's good for wildlife and may explain the toad that I spotted a few weeks ago, but wildlife also includes rats and the house at the far end has been besieged.  

Sunday 5 June 2016

Paradise Cake

Thanks for all the comments, they are much appreciated and I think that for now I will stick to the liquid soap - well, bubble bath.

I have a cookbook from the 1960s (I think - updated after 1957, but looking old and all in imperial measures so definitely before 1971) called Yorkshire WI Recipe Book.  Those sort of books are fascinating as they show what people were actually eating and have recipes that strike out away from the same old stuff that is in the glossy cook books.

One cake struck me as interesting.  I have no intention of making it.  It does look expensive but the real block is that you are supposed to leave it for six months (yes, six months) before cutting into it.  That's around 180 days or half a year.  I cannot imagine a cake being allowed to sit for half a year here before being eaten.  So on the understanding that I have not tried this recipe and I have no intention of trying it, here it is.

Ingredients: 5oz sugar, 5oz butter, 5oz beaten egg [never seen that before], half ounce of self raising flour, 5 and one half ounces of plain flour, 4oz crystallised ginger, 4oz crystallised pineapple, 4oz cherries [I think from context these are glace cherries], 4oz citron peel [again from context I would say this was candied], one half ounce of ground almonds, 2oz chopped walnuts, 1lb [14 ounces] sultanas.

Cream together butter and sugar and gradually add the beaten egg.  Add the flour together with the remaining mixed ingredients and mix together lightly.  Bake at 360F for two hours and when cold wrap up and put in a tin for at least six months.  Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

I plan to try some biscuits from this book when I get round to it, I'll let you know, but I had some success with the mumsnet microwave chocolate cake.  I am not sure, it lacked something.  DH thought it was too dry, I thought it would benefit from something like added rum essence or more vanilla essence.  Bear ate every crumb.

Saturday 4 June 2016

All Lathered Up

I watched Supershoppers.  I can't find the episode, but as far as I can remember, the facts are this...

It costs a lot more to use liquid hand soap.  A bar of soap can last 400 times longer than a bottle of liquid hand soap, does the same job (even the antibacterial ones) and is considerably cheaper.

I've not long bought fancy dispensers for hand soap.  Okay, they were extremely inexpensive liquid dispensers, but were a considerable cut above re-using the old plastic bottles of previous purchases.

I don't use the normal liquid soaps, I use bubble bath.  I can pick up a litre bottle of reasonably okay stuff for 85p.  The basics soap is 25p for a bar that will last a considerable time but I would have to find a place for it to fit on the tiny cloakroom handbasin that was all that would fit in our bathroom and then clean off the gunky sludge that bar soap can leave.

I also have a nine year old son.  Nine year old boys do dreadful things to handbasins as it is.  I know that one of my duties would now include scraping dirt off the soap.

I think I will continue to be extravagant and use the liquid soap for now.

Friday 3 June 2016

Duvet Day Required

I'm fine.  It's bear that's in rags.

He was full of a virus a few weeks ago, and at the time I sent him to school because of tests.  I wonder if I had been better keeping him off as he is now so run down.  He has also had a torrid time falling out and making up with various pals over the half term.  Bear is a shattered lad.

Today is a 'lolling around on the computer day'.  We had tentatively planned to go to the museum, but tbh all I can see is spending £6.30 on bus fare, plus any treats and snacks that creep into it for bear to have not too good a time because he is tired.

He is currently playing on his Xbox while playing a video from YouTube on his PC.  I'm just keeping my head down.

I found this on and thought I would share.

Thursday 2 June 2016

Damp Squib

Yesterday I sent off the story to Crimson Edge Publishing.  They acknowledged receipt (which is pretty awesome for a publisher) and I can expect to hear within 4-6 weeks.  I am going to be a wreck for the next 4-6 weeks.

There was another deadline yesterday.  I had to clear a hole in the kitchen and dining room as an electrician was due to come and do something for £200.  It's to do with earthing the water and gas, but to be honest, I don't really get what's going on.  Unfortunately he was poorly.  It will now be a few weeks before he comes and does whatever he needs to do.  There is stuff in all the wrong places but it's a good opportunity to sort out.  I do feel a sense of anticlimax, though, having thrown stuff in all sorts of cupboards with wild abandon.

After all that pressure I feel quite flat.

I am very bad at setting goals and sticking to them, but I am going to try.  I'm going to try and get something fit to publish by the end of bear's summer term.  If I can put myself under the same pressure for a self imposed deadline then it will really be a breakthrough.  Not about the writing, but about setting myself a target.

Speaking of which, off to do some research.

Wednesday 1 June 2016


I have written 17k words in a very short time and feel like my brain is on sideways.  Still, the story has been sent off and I will wait and see if anything comes of it.

Not only did I have the deadline for today, but the electrician was supposed to be calling today and the kitchen is all in pieces.

Rats have invaded the house two doors down so I am twitchy about that.

Bear is being awesome.

The garden looks like a jungle.

We went to Liverpool which was a fail but at least we got out of the house.

I'll be back when there is a greater chance of me making sense.