Saturday 30 July 2016

A Good Day

I helped with the Church Fair this morning.  It was okay.  Not brilliant, not amazing, but okay.  The hook a duck stall has gone missing, which was rather embarassing as I had splashed it's charms all over face book.  Still, the other stalls were there and a good time was had by all.  I was in charge of the roll tuppenny, where two pence pieces are rolled down a wooden groove and they are lost or, depending where they land, the win a prize.  I made £2.04, and while it was a drop in the ocean of the profits, lots of little kids had a great time!

Bear is being very bear.  He is well able to inhale three weeks worth of sugar in a sitting, and has set his sights on eating his bodyweight in sugar in a day, but today he refused an offer of a free cake (very politely!) and has just insisted on going downstairs and peeling and chopping carrots to snack on.  This week he is very focussed on healthy eating.  I have no idea what next week will bring.

Bear has had a good day.  He went to the big adventure playground with DH while I was at the fair, calling in for a quick play of the roll tuppenny game and an ice cream float (he wasn't entirely virtuous), before going out to see a production of the Addams Family by a youth theatre group.  It was a lot of fun, really well staged.  Then we had tea at his favourite cafe and now it is a quiet evening.

Thursday 28 July 2016

Bear has Expectations

It's all my fault.  First of all I let him watch Eat Well for Less.  I thought it be helpful when he was older.  Bear has approved the Tesco Wheat Biscuits but does not approve of the frozen berries.  He insisted on defrosting them, and it was a long and careful process using the microwave in ten second bursts.  I don't think that helped.

So he has Views on what he wants to eat, now he wants to cook it.  My kitchen is a state.  The main issue is that I am a dreadful housekeeper but it isn't helped by issues with the cupboards and all sorts of stuff emptied everywhere as the man still hasn't come to do the electric.  So I have to do some serious sorting to allow for bear to cook.  I have to move quite a lot of stuff around.  Ideally I would sort out the walk in cupboard first, but that's not going to happen in bear's time frame.  Then I need to clean.

On the bright side, my leg is still very bad and short bursts of activity will be great.  Also I have repotted Dilly and Dally.

This is Dally in her new homw.  I pruned them strongly before I repotted, so you are seeing Dally after she was cut back.  Here is the prunings.

I can't think of anything useful to do with scented geranium leaves, though it seems a shame.  Out they go.  

Influenced by Television

Last night bear was allowed to stay up later than normal to watch Eat Well for Less (scroll down to get the recipes instead of the programme links).  No matter what time of year, no matter when he goes to bed, he is up at the first cough of the sparrow so he needs to get into bed fairly early.  Last night he didn't go upstairs until 9pm.  We all thought it was worth it.

One of the items tested were wheat biscuits - brand name weetabix.  Bear piped up that he liked weetabix, could we get some in.  I love weetabix, but obviously can't.  Sigh.  Bear sometimes loves them but sometimes doesn't.  I've taken a risk and last night added a pack of the Tesco wheat biscuits that came top of the blind taste testing last night and some frozen berries.  I hope bear will eat them.  This is what they look like on the website.

So more stuff has been added that we wouldn't have otherwise, but it's a lovely, healthy breakfast if bear will enjoy it.

It is lovely to catch bear out sometimes.  Bear was being very vociferous and insisting he would have always tried the cheaper version.  One of the things tested was the value muesli from Tesco that bear had utterly rejected.  He has conceded that he may try it again but with berries.  I shall wait and see.

Wednesday 27 July 2016

Forty Two Days

Bear has just had his last day at school until 6 September.  That's a long, long time.

I am looking forward to the break from school uniform.  There will still be plenty of rushing around - next week bear has morning football lessons then in three weeks' time there is a sports type camp - but at least I will have a break from school uniform.  Bear's school shoes have held out until the last day of term.  They will not be fit for another week.  Fortunately I can't see anything coming up that will need them.  He will get new ones on 5 September.

Apart from the two activity weeks, DH has got a week off and bear has promised to teach me how to play minecraft.  We have threatened to record it and put it on YouTube.  Fortunately, from my point of view, we haven't got the equipment.  I don't think bear would appreciate the world knowing how often I called him a silly sausage.

Tuesday 26 July 2016


Bear is watching a YouTube video on how to do first aid on a leech bite.  The man in the video used hydrogen peroxide to clean the wound.  Bear falls apart at antiseptic wipes.  He is not stoic.  I hope he never gets a leech bite.

Fortunately bear may get sidetracked by maps.  School had them do a project where they worked out the miles between various towns on a round trip of England - Manchester, Birmingham, London etc, twelve places in total.  Bear got happily engrossed in that, then last night got caught up in a huge atlas of mine.  It was £10 second hand about twenty years ago and it is a proper OS, very detailed, set of maps of the UK.  Bear loved it.

I would rather deal with a pile of maps than leeches.

Monday 25 July 2016

Talk Me Out of It

I keep wanting to get veg boxes.  They are so full of promise and the pictures are amazing - but I never use them all.  I used to get them from Leeds Market, and the quality was amazing, but they don't deliver any more.  Unfortunately I have found a new supplier.

I really want to be good with veg boxes.  I want to get the box and rub my hands and plan all sorts of meals.  I want the inspiration to try new things, the joy of new flavours instead of the same old same old.  It won't happen, especially not at the moment.  I know that I will get a box, look at it blankly and reach for the frozen peas.  I really want a fruit box as well.  I know that I can shovel all sorts of stuff into bear, but his pals are more of a problem.  Sometimes I worry that bear isn't getting what for him are treats - celery sticks and cherry tomatoes - as his usual pal can't bear the smell of them.

Here is a picture I have found

The dog in the house behind has learned to yodel.  It is incredible.  It's a hound of some sort, you can hear when they go out as he grumbles.  Being a hound, the grumbles travel, but it doesn't sound in distress.  It sounds like a teenager complaining things aren't fair, but in a fairly musical hound-type grumble that isn't quite a howl.  Now the hound is getting into his stride.  He starts off with a few musical moans and then warbles.  Aowaowaowaowaowaowaowaow.  It could be worse.  It's not so long ago that the previous tennants were playing Tammy Wynnette, 120 decibels at 3am.  A hound yodelling is far more acceptable.  It is also a lot more musical than the Jack Russell next door but one who does not suffer in silence.  He does not do anything in silence.  The noise he makes when he gets a ball stuck behind the plant pot has to be heard to be believed.  He is an excellent warning system as he nearly explodes when a human goes past without giving him a cuddle.  He really is a sweetie, though.

Witch Hazel  - you are awesome!

Saturday 23 July 2016

Sorting the Wheat from the Chaff

We went to Temple Newsam again today.  There was a time traveller's fair, and the first thing we saw was a demonstration of Anglo Saxon bread making.  First they had the kids thresh the corn.  It was not very efficient, especially as the free range goats that wander around the Temple Newsam home farm took an acute interest.  They had to be repeatedly dragged off.  Then there was some very inefficient winnowing, separating the grains of wheat.  They kept referring to 'wheat husks' instead of chaff.  So here is the wheat/chaff

Then they had the kids take turns grinding the wheat in a replica stone quern.  They had some flour ready to show how the dough was made as, darn, it was hard to get white flour when using two rounds of stone rubbing against each other.  My respect for our ancestors grew!  Bear had a go at a shield wall, using this shield.

Hands, feet and legs all very swollen today.  I think it is time to take it easy.

Friday 22 July 2016

Went Out!

I am not going to get many more chances to go out now, as the school holidays are almost on us.  My feet are really swollen.  I have just come in and daren't take my trainers off because I don't think I will be able to get them on again.  Apart from the heat, the big problem is I am not moving enough.  I could do stuff like go for a walk, but I keep bursting into tears when I am outside the house.  If this was a proper blog you would now be able to follow how I pulled myself together and started getting out and about and things miraculously improved.  As it is, it's just me and I think I have a bit to go yet before I can manage a daily walk.

It wasn't an amazing shop.  I picked up a few bits, some biscuits for the teachers, a candle for us, and (feeling like a vulture) I spent some money in BHS.

I can't believe that BHS have gone under.  I went to their store when I was a little girl to have a lunch with my grandmother, it was always one of the highlights of a visit to Liverpool.  To be honest, there hasn't been much in there that I have liked for a few years, but it is still sad to see it go.  I picked up a shirt and waistcoat for bear.  DH's auntie is visiting and may want to see him, so he will need to look sharp.  I also got him a onesie in the next size up that I will stash for Christmas, two shirts for DH and a shirt for uncle.

Here is a picture of a ripe blackberry.  What is remarkable is that the picture was taken today, which is quite early for ripe blackberries and the orange blossom, usually over at the end of May, is still out in some places.

This is a picture of the back yard of the local landlord.  He keeps his rental properties to the same standard.  I am so glad I don't rent from them.

Thursday 21 July 2016

Nobody Told Me

Eat Well For Less has started again, and I didn't realise!  It's on catch up so I have watched the first two now.  I was just stunned that in five years the first family had never made a dinner that included their youngest daughter.  I hope that they were exaggerating for the programme.  For five years the youngest daughter had had microwave meals separately because she was a vegetarian and everyone else loved meat.  I mean, I know there must have been times when people ate separately, but there must have been times when they all sat down to a veggie pizza or a nice ratatouille or something.

Bear has been watching with DH and I.  He quite enjoys it.  We include him in our discussions and I see it as part of his education.  The discussion after last week was lazy garlic.  We have a jar of lazy garlic.  It lives in the fridge and we occasionally add a spoonful to something.  A jar is £1.45  Here's a picture to make the blog pretty, picture taken from Tesco, where I get it.

I could get a pack of 4 bulbs of fresh garlic for 89p, but I don't use garlic all the time.  The first bulb would probably get used but the rest would wither and rot before I got round to them.  However a jar keeps nicely in the fridge for months.  I couldn't justify pre-chopped onions, though.  We use onions all the time.  However if I only used them once or twice a month but wanted some on hand, I would consider keeping a small bag of chopped onion in the freezer.  Often frozen veg is fresher than the fresh stuff, as it was frozen within hours of being picked instead of being carted around the country, and sometimes across countries.

I've ordered the recipe book from Amazon here.  It's an extravagance, as it will be on offer very soon, but I'm hoping I save the price by using the recipes.

Wednesday 20 July 2016


I had looked sceptically at the weather forecast.  While everywhere else is due to get a week's worth of rain, we are likely to stay unreasonably hot and dry.  However there were hints that the skies could open around bear's play time so I sent him to school with a rain coat.  I suggested he carried it, he wore it.  The playground was interesting.  Most were just in shirts or blouses.  Two, a brother and sister, were in full winter coats - and done up too!  One or two had a cardigan or sweater - why?  8.55 am and it was already baking hot!

I felt slightly justified when at least thirty rain drops fell while the kids were waiting to go in.  I really can't wait for this weather to break.

Tuesday 19 July 2016

No Bees

We haven't got bees in the chimney anymore.  We've had them there for years, now there are none.  There have been gaps before so I hope that we get another nest soon.  I miss them.

Our chimney is quite a good pitch for the bees.  There are masses of lavender in our garden and a swathe of sweet peas are coming out.  Apart from these, the fuschias, the roses and the honeysuckle, there is a lot of greenery and gardens around.  There is plenty of foraging for local bees.  The chimney is over a gas fire and is undisturbed.  I've even left damp sponges and shallow pools of water out for them in hot weather.

Still, when one insect moves out, another moves in.  The garden is alive with ants.  As long as they don't come into the house, I'm fine.

I am not coping well with the heat.  It is not yet 11am as I type and already my hands and feet are very swollen.  However the weather forecast is 'normal for Yorkshire' in a day or two, so I will be fine.

Hester - bear is quite relaxed about the whole Shakespeare thing, but I think he is a little young for it still.  I won't stop him looking, and if we get a chance to see a good comedy then we'll take him, but I am not trying to push him.  I think he will love Shakespeare in time.  There's no rush.  Mind you, as he cannot cope with all this kissing and romance stuff and leaves the room at the first hint of anything 'mushy' on tv, perhaps he won't get hooked on the comedies straight away.

I admit, I'm looking forward to the day when I stagger downstairs at the first cough of a sparrow to find bear watching a YouTube video of a clip of Hamlet instead of Fifa, Minecraft, Pokemon, Thermodynamics (that was a fun surprise - he explained it to me), the periodic table, science lectures or funny cats.

Monday 18 July 2016

Affected By Brexit

I'm trying to avoid politics.  The UK is having a serious and undignified political hissy fit.  It doesn't make us look good internationally.  I would also like to apologise for Boris Johnson.  Just in general.  I'm sure he will happen with panache, vigour and to the detriment of the respect for our country.

Now it has hit home.  My favourite indulgence is Reese's Cups.  I love them far too much.  If you are not familiar with them, avoid!  They are chocolate cups containing good quality, smooth peanut butter and are desperately addictive.  They are an import from the USA.  This is a picture of what I get from Tesco, which is where the picture is from, a pack of four lots of two cups instead of the bigger three cup packs in a vain attempt to limit my calorie intake.

My favourite American snack - and that's the problem.  The exchange rate has changed sharply.  I don't know if the actual cost of the Reese's Cups has changed or whether the shop has taken advantage of the hysteria to change the price but it has changed.  For well over a year the price has been stable at £1.99 a pack, or sometimes less if there is an offer.  Now it has jumped to £2.30.  I can't work out the percentage difference, but it feels like a lot.  I wonder if my lovely woodwick candles will be affected - probably.

I have no crystal ball to see what will happen, but I expect that all sorts of things will change price - many of them without reason but just because the supplier can.  I'm going to be brave, learn to love haribo (factory less than thirty miles away) and get over it.  I'm currently comfort eating - with fresh peas.  There are still plenty of luxuries left.

Sunday 17 July 2016

Another Day Out

We went to see The Tempest.  I wasn't sure that bear was ready for Shakespeare but the lady on the phone promised me that it would be fine.  I took bear's tablet, just in case.

Bear found it a challenge, although he sat still, didn't need his tablet and didn't chatter.  It wasn't helped by being out of doors on a windy day so the words were always going to be a little indistinct, and it wasn't the most awesome production ever, but it was fun and bear wants to keep having a go at Shakespeare.  I suspect some of it is because father adored Shakespeare (he got to watch it at Stratford upon Avon when he was a squaddie) and also bear does not want to be left out when DH and I go to the theatre.

There's quite a lot going on in Leeds.  Coming up is a bat and broth night at Temple Newsam.  If you don't believe me, here's the link.  I don't think that we'll go to that but we will certainly be checking out what's on.

Though after the cost of a baked potato out, we are definitely taking our own lunches!

Saturday 16 July 2016

Ghostbusters is Awesome!

I really, really, really wanted to see Ghostbusters.  Bear's maths lesson this weekend was cancelled, so I thought it was a great opportunity.  I read the reviews, and I was a little nervous about taking a nine year old in.  As DH had already introduced bear to Doctor Who I wasn't as worried as I could have been, but I kept an eye on bear all the way through the film.  So far bear has been fine, but the proof will be whether there is a three am nightmare or not.  I doubt it.  It was scary, but less than some Doctor Who episodes, and bear was giggling a lot of the time.

It wasn't the same as the eighties film (which I watched three times at the cinema and danced in the queue as I waited) but I think it was just as funny, and a little edgier.  It just worked.  I enjoyed the cameos by the original cast as well.

I want to go and watch it again!

Bear has been to a birthday party this evening.  He came back full of sugar and full of fun.  He had an amazing time with some old friends.

I really want to see it again.

Friday 15 July 2016

Passing Through

The lady (or gentleman) who posted as Unknown, I hope you don't mind me quoting you, I think it is a good example of what happened.

My sister and I had blouses made of parachute silk and were the envy of our mother would never tell us where the material came from but it made us so happy. Clothing coupons were a nightmare as they had to cover knitting wool and clothing and we used to let my brother have our sugar ration in exchange for coupons to buy material for dresses. Our dressmaker used to make duffle coats from army blankets and.............yes..........we did wear them

I remember a Punch cartoon where two ladies of the house were magnificently ignoring the German paratrooper and gleefully discussing what they could do with the silk from the parachute!  People recount stories about drawing lines on the back of your leg with gravy browning to make it look like stockings, but there were all sorts of other rules that affected those trying to keep the family clothed decently.  Fabric for sewing and knitting wool were both rationed.  Boys were forced to wear shorts until they were twelve (iirc as I can't find the article, but I've read it in a few places).  Dressmakers were encouraged to make clothes with the minimum of excess material - no flounces or gathers!  I found this...

Rationing was severe and where economies in designs could be made they were. In 1942 under the Civilian Clothing Order the British government introduced sumptuary laws designed to give weight to the Utility scheme.  The laws made it illegal and unpatriotic to spend time embellishing clothing for sale, and forbade manufacturers using the CC41 label shown in the header from using fancy trimmings, unnecessary buttons, extra stitching or tucks or pleats or pockets more than was essential to function.

And then there were the endless worries over getting soap, toothpaste (you were encouraged to bring the empty tube with you when you bought it), paper, and even brooms.  In fact, it was so hard to get hold of a long handled broom that doctors sometimes prescribed them for their patients!  And I say again, Britain had it lucky!

In the same spirit, Tesco have a double points weekend.  All purchases between today (Friday 15th July to Monday 18th July 2016 attract double points.  I shall consider my options.  The details are here.

I managed to get into the town centre today.  I am feeling very proud, though I didn't do much with it apart from wander on the market a little (bear got cherries).

I caught the sun while watching bear at sports day, even though it wasn't particularly fierce.  My neckline now looks like coconut ice, according to DH.  I can't argue.  I'm not taking a picture of my chest for the blog, so here's some coconut ice.  I promise you, the likeness is extraordinary and a good deal more marked.

Thursday 14 July 2016

Thank You!

Thank you for the amazing support I get from here, it makes an amazing amount of difference.

Sarah - thank you for the advice on panic attacks.  I'll start working on that today.  It's getting quite bad.  Thank you for taking the time to share that.  Funnily enough, yesterday when I was going dippy getting everything formatted and posting on places like facebook I was fine.

Hester - I am glad you enjoyed it.  I had far too much fun writing it.  The novel I am determined to finish before bear finishes school on 27 July (only 25,000 words, plus revision, plus working out the plot - may be a challenge) has Darren in a supporting role.  He is still gorgeous and he still has the emotional warmth of a washing machine.

Witch Hazel - thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for spotting the typo.  Unfortunately I saw your post after I copied and pasted to put on the Amazon website.  Darn.  I'm going to have to work out how to alter that.  I'll brace myself for that.

I thought I would share a picture from the Daily Mail showing the latest hissy fit on Downing Street


It's between the cats belonging to the quarters of the Prime Minister and the Foreign Office.  I wonder who will end up top dog.

A Reminder

I saw this article on the BBC, about a dress made out of the silk maps used during WW2.  The silk maps were sometimes sewn into the lining of pilot's jackets or used for special operations.  Here it is...

The silk maps must have a real boon when clothes were rationed.  The rationing didn't end until 1949.  People must have been frantic trying to stretch out the clothes that the kids needed, never mind their own.

Both of my parents were children during WW2 and I heard stories from them about stretching the rations and making do, about wedding cakes made of plaster with a very small Victoria sponge underneath and cakes made with vinegar, and trying to work out how to repair the blackout curtains destroyed in an air raid - and Britain was lucky!  So much of Europe had it far, far harder.  Some of their stories are truly chilling.

I am going off to count my blessings.  Also, the dress is lovely and must have taken some skill to sew.

Wednesday 13 July 2016

Dinner at Dark

Giddy, giddy, giddy, giddy....

Here it is, a short story by yours truly where housekeeping meets horror story.

For the first time ever I've paid for a professional cover, provided by the amazing Melissa Alvarez at BookCovers.Us  I am so giddy about it!

The story is available at Smashwords here, Amazon here, and will be shortly available at all good ebook retailers.  It is only a short story so I have kept the price low.

All feedback gratefully recieved.

Tuesday 12 July 2016

Monday Feeling on Tuesday

A bit of a strange start to the day.  The short I wrote was rejected.  I'm not entirely surprised.  It is 'quirky' and I don't think it fitted into their brief.  I'm going to go for self publishing as it's too long to put in a blog post.  The working synopsis is, 'How would Martha Steward deal with a dinner party where two of the guests were vampires, four of the guests were werewolves, one of the guests was completely unaware of this and one was a housekeeper with very high standards?  What happens if you buy Holy Water from the internet?  When eight guests are trapped in the rugged British Pennines, the dinner party at Darke Manor takes an unexpected turn.'

I could start the process now, except I can't work out how to deal with the cover.  I can get exactly the cover I want using Word.  Unfortunately I can't get that to turn into a jpeg file which is needed for the publishing bit.  Darn.  I looked at the art package recommended by Smashwords, and I couldn't understand a word of it.  I am working on it.

On the other hand, stuff that is happening in the background is making it harder and harder for me to get out of the house.  I am genuinely getting worried.  I am not sure whether I will be able to continue to take bear to his maths tutor.  The panic attacks are getting worse.

I am also extremely sleep deprived.  The fridge is being delivered today, so I was up ridiculously early in case they delivered at 7am, which is a possibility.  Around 7.30am I got a text from them and it looks like they will be delivering around 4pm.  So that gives me plenty of time to swear at the computer to get the plain cover I want!

Sunday 10 July 2016

A Very Quiet Weekend

It has been all wonderfully quiet.  Nothing dramatic has happened.  There has been a very low level of tension.  I even got a little knitting done.

Please can this carry on?  It may make for a dull blog, but it is a wonderful change.

Friday 8 July 2016

Bear gets his report

Bear has got a pretty good report.  He has not done so well at PE and Art, but has been awesome at maths and science.  I'm pleased and he doesn't have to pay back the cost of the books that he wanted.  Apart from PE, all his marks were at expected levels or above.

He is currently claiming utter exhaustion to avoid his homework.  If he put as much effort into his homework as he does avoiding it, he would be finished in seconds.

Thursday 7 July 2016

Bear Has More Trainers

Apparently bear should have been wearing trainers at school.  I thought he had pumps, but apparently he doesn't.  I have no idea where they could have gone.  He said nothing, school said nothing, at least until yesterday when bear was given the hard word - trainers for Sports Day on Friday morning - or else.  Bear is really keen to take part in sports day.

This is why I love Amazon Prime.  I clicked and ordered trainers to arrive the next day at DH's place of work as I was confident they would get there in work hours and we had a maths lesson tonight.  Except they didn't come.  They are currently somewhere in Germany.

This is why I love late night opening.  We were able to go to Sainsburys and get a pair of supermarket trainers that are okayish and (importantly) £8 and will do for tomorrow.

This means that bear will have two pairs of trainers.  I am okay with this.  There are 42 days of school holidays starting in 20 days time and I very strongly suspect that the trainers will wear out long before they are outgrown.

Witch Hazel - I agree, it's great when the sewing contestants were helping each other out.  I think that is a big part of the show's attraction.  It was a great environment.  Bless it's the fourth series that has just finished.  I don't know if you'll be able to see any others (if you want to), but they all have been similar.  Fingers crossed for another show next year.

Wednesday 6 July 2016

Need to get out more

Bear's school summer holidays start on 27 July.  After that I won't have a moment to get my head clear until 5th September.  I really should be getting out while I can.  It's just I feel like I ought to be doing stuff at home.  I will make a conscious effort next week.  Getting out at all is a big deal.  I know I would feel better for it.  It's just making that step to actually go for more than a few hundred yards.  If I do get out, I'll let you know.

An electrician should have come today.  He should have come last week as well.  I hope he will turn up next week.  Until then there are heaps around as I've cleared out the cupboards where he'll need to work and stuff is piled on top of stuff and I can't get at anything.  It's worse than usual.  However I have found a few bits and pieces I had forgotten, so there's always a bright side.

Kathy - bear was very taken with Jade, as she was the youngest contestant.  I was impressed at how much she grew over the series.  She was so much more mature at the end.  I love the sewing bee because it is a kind show.  You can tell how exacting Patrick could be, and I'm sure Esme could have her moments, but they are actually very understanding of the sewers.  I wish there were more shows with that kindness.

Tuesday 5 July 2016

What Now?

The Great British Sewing Bee has finished and there is a big hole in my life.  What am I going to watch now?  Actually there are eleventy ten films and series saved on the tv and a stack of dvds, but that's not the point!  I am going to miss it so much.  It seemed just such a kind show, and even though they were competing they still helped each other out.

An ice cream van had parked at the school gate.  I hadn't taken any money with me, but bear decided that was okay, he could go to the local shop instead, picking up my money en route.  I was happy to indulge him this once, and I suspect that the van will be moved on, but I will definitely be rationing this.  Apart from anything else, it was expensive!

Bear was consoling himself with the ice cream.  He has also enjoyed the Great British Sewing Bee.  I won't say who won, but it wasn't bear's favourite.  He still enjoyed it, though, which was the main thing.  It was too late for him to stay up and watch so he put it on catch up when he came downstairs this morning.  It's funny really.  Bear, DH and I are all completely addicted to the Great British Sewing Bee but bear and DH don't sew and I'm scared of my sewing machine.

The school holidays start in twenty two days time.  I think I will aim to finish some outstanding projects then.  It will help save my sanity.  First project - learn to love the dratted sewing machine!

Monday 4 July 2016

I Ate Cheese!!!!

I ate cheese and I wasn't sick!  This is amazing.  For the last few years I haven't been able to touch the stuff.  A few crumbs of cheese would flatten me.  I would have a blinding headache, be repeatedly and violently ill and be unfit for purpose for at least two days.

Apparently - and don't take this as confirmed science - a lot of people with gluten intolerance have damage to their gut which results in dairy intolerance.  In theory, and I would take care with this and double check and be extra careful, if the gut heals then dairy can once again be taken.  I miss cheese.  I could eat all the cheese I wanted when I was younger.  I grew up in Cheshire, where cheese is taken seriously.  Cheshire cheese was known to the Romans and mentioned in the Domesday Book.  There are salt mines underneath the beautiful green fields of Cheshire and there is a theory that it gives a special tang to cheese produced there.

I think only those on a restricted diet would appreciate the risk I took.  I love quiche and there was some gluten free quiche reduced for quick sale yesterday, from an hysterically high price to merely ridiculous.  I couldn't resist it.  The cheese concerned was feta, which is a low risk cheese, and I thought, darn it to heck, I have got to have a go.  I miss eating normal food.  I miss not having to check everything on a menu.  I really miss just being able to take advantage of a good offer without checking the ingredient list.  So I ate the quiche - and nothing bad happened!

I'm not going to start stuffing myself with cheese, not even Cheshire, but it's taken the pressure off at least a little bit.  My skin is also massively improved.  For the first time in over two years I don't have open scabs on my hands and only a little on my legs.  This time two years ago I was a mess.  Now all I need to do is deal with the panic attacks that are taking up so much of the day.  I'll start by focusing on this picture of the fields of Cheshire, near Nantwich.

File:Grassland - - 793841.jpg
Image from WikiCommons, taken by John Poyser and used under the Creative Commons Agreement

Sunday 3 July 2016

Medieval Treat

Poor bear.  He loves his maths tutor and their lessons but she had to miss again!  It worked out quite well, though, as we went to a Medieval Day which was amazing!

It was held in Leeds Museum and was free to attend.  Bear had the most amazing time.  The first thing he headed to was a stall manned by people from the Royal Armouries and he got to try out some of the weapons.  His favourite was the battleaxe, which was nearly as big as him, but I got this picture with a sword.

Bear had a go with a medieval style pen, held some of the minerals used for medieval manuscripts and drew his own coat of arms.  He made himself a (very small, thin) book and had a go at an Anglo Saxon sculpture type thing.  He didn't hold all the minerals as they included cinnabar and realgar and both are poisonous (cinnabar contains mercury and was used to produce red, and realgar contains arsenic and was used to produce yellow), though both were used by scribes in the middle ages! They did have samples, but ones safe in boxes.  As it was, after handling the graphite and haematite he needed to go and wash his hands.

There is another event coming up on Thursday and bear is at school!  I'm going to try and get him there straight after school and we should be able to catch the last two hours.

Saturday 2 July 2016

Bear has a Weak Point

We were watching Despicable Me 2 while eating a very pleasant snacky dinner.  I don't know how it ends as DH and I switched it off after bear fled.  He left the room at a near run with his hands over his ears - there was an almost kissy bit.

Bear reacted with similar horror when Hotel Transylvania turned out to be a film that involved a romantic plotline between a girl (well, vampire) and a boy.  Those moments in films which involve how desperately, toe curlingly embarrassing it is to actually make eye contact with someone of the same age but opposite sex when you are between around 13 and 15 have bear fleeing every time.

It may be my secret weapon when it comes to getting him out of the room and up to bed.