Thursday 28 February 2019

Soup by the Slice

I am still a cough monster, despite the wonderful good wishes.  However, moving on, I managed some home made soup. 

I washed and peeled some of the veggies from the delivery last week and chopped them into chunks.  I was running short of time, so I dumped them into the pot with some of the lazy garlic, curry powder, water, stock cubes and a dash of oil.  I also added something I was trying for the first time.  I had gone out on a limb and bought some rice and lentils mixed to make a complete protein.  They are normally marketed at vegans, and while I am not vegan, I am not ashamed to take advantage of a good idea either.  Apparently lentils don't have complete protein in them.  You need to eat legumes (lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans etc) with a grain (wheat, rice, barley, rye etc) to get the complete thingies that make up a protein.  Do not take this as absolute fact, and do your own research, but I'm fairly confident that this is an issue.  I added some of this mix to the veggies (which, by the way, may have been the end of last year's crop and pretty bendy, but they were so much tastier still than the supermarket version).  When I blended it up, it was a little thicker than I wanted, but I didn't have time to add water as I had to rush out to get bear from his house drama. 

Bear and DH loved it.  They wanted it again, please, quite soon, and could I make sure to freeze the leftovers, thank you so much, mother.  However DH said that he couldn't permit me to call it soup when it could be sliced, so it's tentatively called curry.  And now I need to pick up some more labels as I have stashed the 'curry' in the freezer but I didn't label it, and I used the same reusable boxes for both the standard soup with butternut squash and this which was more carrot, onion and parsnip.  They will both get eaten, however, so that is something.  And I can't call it a proper curry.  I'm going for spicy stew-type thing, but it's not as catchy.

Writing stuff - I am getting to be a regular at posting a little flash fiction and this week's offering is here

Photo by Kara Eads on Unsplash

Wednesday 27 February 2019

Another Day, Another Cough

Wherethejourneytakesme - my grandmother always had a pinny, but just around the waist.  I splash when cleaning so one that covers my upper storey is a must.

justjill - it is gorgeous stuff, and not just the usual run of the mill clothes.  I love their tunics, they look beautifully cut.

Sharon - thank you - I think I need it. 

The house is getting worse and my subscribe and save order from Amazon came today, which means I am once again knee deep in cardboard.  Also I watched the latest episode of the Great British Sewing Bee and really enjoyed it.  The judges are quite kind but when you see them prowling up and down, missing nothing, you realise that they really are exacting when they come to standards.  They remind me of the best kind of teachers.

Tomorrow I need to collect bear from school.  I will have to cough to the bus stop, cough for the bus journey, wait in the supermarket cafe for whenever bear deigns to exit school and then either cough all the way back in the bus or (more likely) pay a ridiculous amount for a taxi to get bear home in any time for bed.  It's something to do with House Drama.  Now you know as much as I do.  The sooner I pass my test the better. 

Mind you, I'm proud of bear as he ran a few miles today.  He left school and then ran along a shortcut and intercepted the bus route, getting the same bus he would have got if he had got it outside school but as the bus went all around the different estates, bear got some good exercise in.  I'm proud of him. 

Tuesday 26 February 2019

I Have an Apron!

I should say I don't get sponsorship or payment or anything from links on here.  I'm trying to set it up on my other blogs, but any link on this blog is just because it's part of the post and I don't get anything from it, except possibly a smug feeling if I'm sharing a bargain.

It isn't joined up at the back, so it's flexible on size.  I am what may be called a 'fuller figure' (I am grossly overweight) and even allowing for being overweight, I am seriously top heavy.  I haven't found a comfy apron since I got boobs.  This gives me coverage!  Shorter ladies may need to hem it and slimmer ladies may find it hangs, but for me it is the best thing ever.  It was not inexpensive but it is heavy weight cotton and nicely finished and I love it.  I can see myself saving my pennies and spending my clothing budget on Sea Salt stuff as it's the sort of stuff I love and in the colours I like - but unfortunately a lot more expensive than my normal purchases.  Also, I rang up to ask questions before I bought and they were lovely and so helpful and very patient.  

That was the highlight of my day.  I still have a cough and I'm not sure I'm fully in touch with reality, but I have an apron.  Apparently aprons were originally called 'naprons' in the same way as squares of cloth at the dinner table are called napkins, but there was a confusion over the rule of 'an' before a vowel and it shifted.  I should keep taking the antibiotics.    

Writing stuff - I've managed a book review.  I was chatting with the author and thought I would review her book and I really enjoyed it, so I reviewed 'The Ring and the Coin Purse' by Marianne Madson here.  That is a page that may eventually get me commission if you click on links, but I haven't worked out how to do that yet.  

Monday 25 February 2019

Too Much Imagination

I have far too much imagination to be sensible.  Most of the time I enjoy it, but sometimes I regret it utterly.  I also know a lot of random facts which, again, is enjoyable most of the time but can be inconvenient.

I went back to the doctor and he gave me a different type of antibiotic.  I googled to see what the side effects were as the label was alarming and I found that not only was this antibiotic used to treat coughs, but also the plague.  I would have felt more comfortable if the doctor in question hadn't been obviously following an flow chart and making paper notes. 

Plague is still kicking around.  There are usually a few cases in the US every year and lots in Madagascar.  It's easily treated if diagnosed early - usually by the antibiotics I am currently taking. 

However, if you are looking for a story (and I love stories) then I recently bought some Yak yarn (yarn that is at least 25% yak hair) from China.  The evidence from the epidemic that hit Europe between 1347 and 1351 shows that the original bacteria could possibly be traced to marmots on the Mongolian steppe - which is quite close to China and where you could possibly find yaks.  Studies show that the plague bacteria can live in textiles for up to forty days (quarantine came from the Italian for forty days as the Venetians used to make the silk merchants wait forty days before unloading their textiles, just in case).  Theoretically, I could have imported the plague!

Except of course I haven't.  The yarn has been out and about for longer than forty days, I'm not showing the symptoms and I sincerely doubt that bacteria would have migrated to the yarn and then survived the dyeing, spinning and packaging process before taking a loooong time in shipping.  If plague was going to come in with an import then I think Madagascan vanilla would be a better bet, depending on how it was packed (I don't think the bacteria can live on vanilla pods, but perhaps it could survive on sacking).  But it makes a great (if implausible) story. 

I think I may be affected by the temperature I'm running. 

Sunday 24 February 2019

Did It!

Bear is ready for tomorrow with his uniform ready (tie and blazer dry cleaned and it has made a lot of difference), all games kit packed, including both football socks (it was touch and go for a while), and he assures me that the homework is under control (I have severe doubts, but I'll let him get on with it).  The bus timetable has changed, and bear is far more in control of the situation than I am. 

Cough continues severe.  I've set bear up with some breakfast ready and I plan to sleep in.  DH will see him in the morning - I won't let bear go out the house without someone telling him that he has to come home safe. 

Hugs to everyone!

Saturday 23 February 2019

Away with the Fairies

I've been running a temperature all day.  It's been great for creativity.  Fortunately bear and DH have been out for most of the day, so I have coughed, drank lots of liquid and allowed myself to drift a little. 

Tomorrow I have to pull myself together, as bear has school on Monday.  I asked him about his homework.  He said he would do it tomorrow.  In other words, the mental breakdown and hysteria that I asked him to avoid when we discussed homework is about to break.  I am more or less up to speed on washing and I have found both of bear's football socks, but I'm not sure about football boots. 

On the bright side, bear has been discussing his plans to walk home, at least part of the way, which will be great exercise.  We have been talking over maps and possibilities and, when and if I finally pass the dratted test and get an inexpensive car, I can see me picking up kids from random places.  Mind you, I was expecting that.  Bear is very nearly almost a teenager and I am resigned to being chauffeur in chief.  All I need to do is pass my test and master my fear of car parks.

Interestingly, one of the possible manoeuvres in a test is to park in a bay.  If I am chatting about something else I can sweep in without a problem.  If I try and aim then I look like a dreadful warning about how not to park.  I've been really careful not to park near cars, but I think I won't have the luxury of that in the future. 

Thank you for all the good wishes.  It is much appreciated. 

Up to my Neck in Veggies

Today I had two deliveries.  One was from Muscle Food.  I haven't investigated that properly, but it looks very nice and I'll see how I go with it.  The food arrived fine, packed with ice packs, so it's now down to how well I use the stuff. 

The other was a veg box.  This is not the best time of year for local veg boxes, but bear very much approves of soup (lots of garlic, curry powder and lentils mean that the veggies go down well with plenty of nutrition).  Of course, this was ordered before I realised exactly how packed my freezer was.  So I have a load of stuff like this, plus a back of prepared casserole veg, and no freezer space to take the soups!

There is also plenty of tomatoes (bear suggested soup), a cucumber and sweet pepper and I also picked up a fruit box.  This is what it looks like after bear.

Bear has already eaten two pears, two apples, an orange, a mango and disposed of two grapefruit (he didn't actually eat much of the grapefruit, and he utterly rejected grapefruit juice, but the grapefruit aren't here any more).  He didn't approve of the avocado, either, but he sliced it up with aplomb.  The pineapple and bananas are under-ripe, which means that poor bear will be reduced to some more oranges, apples and pears until they are fit. 

I am sure bear will go off soup soon, but until he does, it's a wonderful way to get nutrition into him! 

kate - I'm glad I am not looking at taking a test when I am not only pregnant but two weeks overdue!  I completely admire your courage doing that!  My lovely instructor has booked me in for the end of March, but just past 8am.  I shall be hitting the school run, which will be a nuisance, but it could be worse.  And thank you to everyone for the good wishes and encouragement.  I really appreciate it, even if I don't always write it, and I certainly needed the hugs after this latest fail. 

My cough has come back and I'm feeling very uncomfortable at a time when I need to be getting active with all the food delivered.  Bear and DH are out tomorrow so I may take it as a duvet day before worrying what I'm going to do with miscellaneous carrots. 

Thursday 21 February 2019

Another Day, Another Sniff!

I has a cold.  Again.  It is horrible and unpleasant and my throat and chest are really painful.  It's even affecting my ability to speak.  I am not a happy bunny. Again.  I am surrounded by soggy tissues.

I've still managed to sort out a few loads of washing, hang out with bear, cleared out some stuff in the kitchen and made and froze a load of home made soup.  This was a good and a bad thing.  Bear practically inhaled it, which is flattering.  I bought three packs of casserole vegetables, three for the price of two, or just over two kilos for £3, and cooked up two packs with lots of garlic, curry powder, a couple of stock cubes and some lentils and blitzed it with a hand blender.  I stashed eight portions in the freezer on top of what bear had managed, so it's not bad value.  I probably could do the veggies cheaper but not by a huge amount and it was convenient.  I have one pack left and no space in the freezer. 

And that's the bad thing. I have no space in the freezer and I have veggies to use up.  I have put in a tentative order for a small(ish) amount from Muscle Food, which is online meat sales, to test the water and I have no space in the freezer to stash it!  I am going to have to have a clear out.  Also, bear and I will be having stuff from the freezer for lunch tomorrow.  I am seriously considering the benefits of another freezer as I like having home made soup and frozen pizza in.  I never know how many of bear's pals I will be feeding or when, so I would like to be a little more prepared.  Most of the stuff currently in there is frozen veggies and some chicken breast joints that are tricky for me to cook. 

The chicken breast joints were on offer, make two meals for us without waste (I can't make stock to save my life so I don't miss the bones) but I can't cook them easily.  If I cook them in the halogen, the foil that covers them for the first part of cooking blows off.  If I cook them in the grill oven, the top of the joint gets hard.  The microwave combi oven isn't getting hot enough and if I use my main oven, all the lights go out.  I'm going to have to work on it.

Writing stuff - I've been sorting through some of my stuff and getting ready for OWS CyCon 2019, which is an online book convention in May.  I'll be talking more about it nearer the time, but it looks like it will be a great showcase for all sorts of different book genres.  I've also managed some flash fiction, here, and I'm hoping to be back on the White Hart schedule tomorrow. 

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Staggering Back

Yesterday was not good.  I failed my driving test and I lost my phone.  I admit it, I wallowed in self pity. 

I could have cried about the test.  My instructor was in the back and confirmed what the examiner said - I could have gone a little quicker on some of the country roads.  That wasn't what failed me.  I clipped the kerb.  I was approaching an unfamiliar roundabout, I was checking out the exits, and I lost concentration.  I never clip the kerb during lessons.  I'm always fine.  It was so random.  And I didn't panic, I just carried on.  What else could I do?  I was approaching a large roundabout on a very busy road.  I just dealt with it. 

I drove back from the test (under supervision, of course) and there was an interesting moment when a lorry tried to pull out in front of me when a bus was in the other lane of a congested road.  I handled it.  So I feel that once I have passed my test, I'll be okay taking bear around.  I'm not a brilliant driver, or an experienced driver, but I'm okay.  Now all I have to do is worry about how I'm going to manage in tight car parks. 

As for the phone, I dropped it at Morrisons.  I kept ringing and ringing and finally they managed to answer it before the voice mail cut in (it was locked away) and so bear and I trekked down to the store, thanked the staff profusely and trekked back.  On the bright side, I picked up some of that soup mix which is chopped butternut squash and carrot with ginger and garlic, and I add some lentils and some stock and we had it for dinner.  It was a success. 

Also, back to being full of cold.  I have a sore throat, which is remarkable as my tonsils were severely pruned when I was younger.  I'll be glad when I've shaken this off. 

Writing stuff - I posted a while ago that I had a story accepted into an anthology.  Today I got the first piece of art and here it is...

It is my first foray into steampunk (check out Phoebe Darqueling's free book about steampunk if you are curious) and I had such fun!  I'll share more as I know more.  I know that there are some seriously talented authors included and I feel very privileged to be included.

Tuesday 19 February 2019

Writing Stuff

I was feeling so sorry for myself that I nearly forgot to mention the Guest Post on my writing blog.  The author, Phoebe Darqueling, is amazing and there is a link to her free book about all things Steampunk on the blog. 

I may have failed my driving test, but I feel a little better diving into a steampunk world. 


Failed Test.  Lost phone.  Back tomorrow

Monday 18 February 2019

Getting Nervous

Thank you for the good wishes and the encouragement.  It may well be that the crease is easement pleat mentioned by wherethejourneytakesme.  As someone still scared of their sewing machine, I will accept I could be wrong. 

I took bear to the dentist today.  He had two small fillings, and was very brave.  He needs to go back again to monitor some other stuff, but he is pretty awesome. 

My driving test is tomorrow.  I am not confident.  I'm okay driving but I don't know the roads around the new test centre.  I'm worried about being caught out by the speed limits as there are some irrational changes around there.  There are some strange corners where it's actually a bend when it looks like a junction - lots of fun stuff like that.  There are plenty of hill starts as well, which I can usually manage.

I can park in a bay as long as I'm not thinking about it.  If I'm talking about something else, I just sweep in and hit it perfectly.  If I'm trying I end up in all sorts of strange positions.  I can parallel park fine (last time I wanted to frame it, because I totally nailed it).  I don't want to do an emergency stop as they terrify me (but I've always been fine). 

Also, I'm croaky, and I'm starting to feel an ache in my joints.  I think I will have a hot chocolate and go to bed. 

Sunday 17 February 2019

Not My Best Work

Bear is off school for the next week for the half term holiday.  This means that we are catching up on Doctor's appointments, dentist's visits and I'm thinking of getting him along to the opticians for his eye test.  I also have my next driving test in the middle of the school holiday, which could be better. 

I'm taking the opportunity to get bear's school blazer into the dry cleaners.  Even if I had the nerve to wash the dratted thing, I really am not sure I have the right skills to press it properly.  DH is being a hero and taking the blazer in to the dry cleaners near his work, so tonight I finally got around to mending the sleeve lining.  Bear had stretched and ripped a seam.

I'm not impressed at the blazer.  It cost nearly £54 for a blazer that fits a 12 year old, and I don't know if you can tell but part of the issue is, I suspect, that the crease in the dark lining isn't a dart but just a crease that got sewn in by accident.  I did a 'probably good enough to hold while it goes through cleaning job'. 

It isn't my best work, and technically I do know how to do ladder stitch, but I'm nervous about the material fraying.  I'm planning on going back and re-doing it with fabric glue, to stop any issues with the lining fraying to bits.  You can see the crease clearly in this photo.  I should mention at this point that bear has a very different idea about what 'take everything out of your pockets' means to my definition. 

I'm also sending in his tie.  It is showing quite a few traces of wear and is stained and well used.  I can see me having to get a new one next year.  It costs £6.99 and I'm looking at the tie and wondering whether it's cost effective to dry clean or buy a new one, even though I'm unimpressed at the waste.  I may save all the ties he goes through (that he doesn't lose) and make a cushion from them.  It will be a cushion full of snags and loose threads, but hopefully full of good memories. 

The driving lesson today was completely uneventful.  I drove in places that I hadn't used before and I was fine.  I still don't feel confident. 

Saturday 16 February 2019

Another Uneventful Day

It's lovely.  Nothing has happened.  When I think of all the havoc that I've been dodging, it's wonderful!  Everything has been chill.  We watched the Great British Sewing Bee on BBC iPlayer and hung out together.  Long may this continue. 

I have a driving lesson tomorrow, but even they have been uneventful recently.  My awesome instructor introduced me to driving down country lanes but after all the days out with father down country lanes and Welsh roads, I'm not intimidated.  I may not have practised on them, but I know how they work. 

I'll have to do something that's worth posting!  Until then, sending hugs

Thursday 14 February 2019

It's Getting Better

It's been a calmer day today.  The driving lesson went fine, bear seems okay apart from copious sniffles and I'm cautiously confident that things will pick up.  Bear is on half term holiday next week and I'm keeping everything crossed that we get a quiet time.  It feels wonderful not to have a stress episode to write about. 

DH and I don't bother with Valentine's Day and bear was carefully discreet about it.  I'm not asking him any questions.  He has enough on his plate being 12 without having an interfering mother on his back.  When DH and I first met it was great to make a big deal about Valentine's Day, with home made cards and cooking special meals with romance afterwards.  Now it seems to be all about the commercial side, which is sad. 

Writing stuff - I've got back on the flash fiction, here, and it has a sort of romantic theme, but not quite.  I saw the pic and it just looked like a relic and there was the story. 

Photo by Donald Giannatti on Unsplash

Wednesday 13 February 2019

Half Way Through the Week

I spent a lot of today dealing with a crisis with bear, stuff at school, and it managed to fill most of the morning, then was paused while I went to physio which was a fail.  Apparently I didn't sit in the right chair and they didn't call me so I only got in when I checked again with the Reception to ask what was happening and ended up with just 10 minutes instead of half an hour.  Then the driving lesson was interrupted by a further instalment of crisis, then I was late getting home and bear had lost his keys so he was stuck on the step for hours and is utterly stuffed up with cold. 

But there were no casualties during the driving lesson, the homemade soup tonight rocked and I found out that the Great British Sewing Bee was back. 

Tomorrow will be better. 

Tuesday 12 February 2019

So Tomorrow Will be Easier

I felt really proud of myself.  I had done quite a lot of stuff before my driving lesson that was first thing this morning.  I had done a wash, caught up with a few different bits and made a few necessary calls.  The driving lesson went okay, though I had a complete fail at a roundabout when I forgot where I was going, but I was glad when I got to the end.  My awesome instructor dropped me off in the city centre as I needed to pick up a few bits on the market and sort out bear's bus pass at the bus station. 

Unfortunately, the buses that I use pretty much ground to a halt.  There was an attempted suicide where someone jumped off one of the main bridges in town (to be honest, I'm sounding flippant but I'm still worrying about them, they must have been so desperate), an accident and a stabbing that meant some of the roads were cordoned off.  Also, my buses route had part of the road closed due to roadworks.  It took longer than expected to get home. 

That said, I was still home in time to get a panicked call from bear saying he was on the bus home, he was feeling sick and he was getting off at the next stop which was a bus station.  I had to go and rescue him.  Now I am trying to catch up and confident that tomorrow will be a lot easier. 

Writing stuff - I reviewed 'Patrick's Chocolate Cake for Dinner Diet' here which always gives me a blast of positive energy, and I plan to dip into it later to cheer myself up.  Seriously recommend the book or looking him up on Facebook where he shares a lot of his stuff.

Monday 11 February 2019

New Sweater

I am wearing a brand new sweater from Bon Marche.  It wasn't incredibly expensive (I am cheap) but it was more than I would normally spend at £20.  All I can say is that it is incredibly warm and soft, I mean, really warm so that I'm almost overheating if I'm actually moving (I am desperately out of conditon), and it's lovely and long and forgiving for a fuller figure.  I've actually gone back and snagged another one in a different colour and I got this image
Image from

I don't look like the model in anyway, but it's not a bad image of the sweater.  I haven't included a link as I went through TopCashBack so the link would be weird.  It's already looking quite fluffy, so I suppose it will pill, and I've already caught in on a nail, but it looks like it will be a favourite as it's thin enough to go under a thicker cardigan/wrap/sweater but still layers over a top.  And did I mention that it's warm?

I'm not linking to a pic of the top I'm wearing underneath.  It's a slinky top, I don't think that they are even made anymore.  I bought it in 1997, when I dislocated both shoulders and couldn't iron.  It's one of the last ones left.  I loved that fabric.  It wouldn't tumble dry but it would be fine hung up overnight.  This top has snags and caught threads and has obviously seen a lot of wear, but it is so comfy and practical that I couldn't bear to get rid of it. 

I've been watching Marie Kondo on Netflix and while I'm not sure I'm ready to go that far, it has made me think about the stuff in my wardrobe and that perhaps I really need to have a realistic sort out (I'm not parting with my last remaining slinkys!). 

Bear was fully satisfied with his scones, and I will be taking the advice of wherethejourneytakesme and let him do more problem solving.  I'm not sure what the next recipe is.  It may be a sausage whirl, or a sponge.  I'm sure it will be an adventure.  I shall have to let him make dinner now and then.

I had a driving lesson today, and I did okay.  I could manage the manoeuvres okay and I was keeping up to the speed limits, which is my worry.  I am not a speed demon by nature, but I am very aware that if I don't shift with the traffic then I run the risk of being a hazard.  Also I stalled on a roundabout which was spectacularly bad, but I didn't panic and that was fine.  Another lesson tomorrow.  I shall be exhausted. 

Sunday 10 February 2019

45ml of Milk

First - thank you everyone for congratulations.  I really appreciate it.  For some reason I can't quite believe it's real, but I'm sure I'll be filling up the 'Writing Stuff' section as soon as the anthology is published - quite a few months away.  I shall keep coming back to this and feeling hugged, so thank you. 

Bear has the dratted cookery lesson again tomorrow.  Sigh.  Tomorrow he is making scones, but he has to be creative about the dratted things.  Asking a twelve year old to be creative with scones seems to be asking for trouble.  But bear and I threw a few ideas around and so he is going in to school tomorrow with the ingredients for cheese scones, without the milk.  Apparently bear could just use some of the stuff at school.  He kept a safe distance from me when he told me this.  Apparently anyone could measure out the 45ml of milk but it's supposed to be quicker if it's pre-measured at home.  I found this out because the milk in the fridge had turned and I was wondering where I could get milk at 8.30pm on a Sunday within easy distance and whether the local shop would be open early enough for me to go, buy milk, measure milk and pack it safely.  Bear just waved my problem away as not something to stress about.  I stopped stressing and started fuming after all the pressure last time to send in 50ml of milk. 

Back to the rest of the ingredients.  The egg is hopefully safe still as it is wrapped in many layers of kitchen roll and packed firmly in a small, sealed box.  I was considering sending in just a teaspoon or so of the mustard, chilli and sage but in the end we went with sending in the jars and hoping that bear doesn't get mustard on anything I need to wash.

Bear was not in a good place today.  DH is struggling with what I had, bear is stressed about DH and I spent a lot of time just hanging with him and talking nonsense.  Poor lad.  Fortunately, he was out with my Sister in Law yesterday and came back with some amazing things which included computer games, so he could distract himself. 

Friday 8 February 2019

A Funny Sort of Friday

I got another short story accepted and I will no doubt be sharing all the details later on as it gets near to publication.  I'm feeling really giddy and happy about.

This is helping because otherwise I'm feeling very low about stuff.  Also, I'm somewhat meh about the UK Eurovision entry.  Mind you, I'm so out of touch with what's going in music on that I couldn't tell you of a decent British act apart from Adele. 

But I got an acceptance.  So I am taking today as a win. 

Tuesday 5 February 2019

Same Old Same Old

I'm going to be saying the same thing for a few days at least - I'm absolutely exhausted just by walking a few yards.  Today I had a delivery, I've got so much I need to do and I'm failing.  On the bright side (there is always a bright side), at least I'm thinking a little clearer and I'm starting to get back in gear.  So while I've not done much when it comes to housewifery and I thought I was going to keel over bringing in a delivery, I've managed a few other bits.

At the start of the year I set out some goals. I've let them go over the last few weeks but I'm slowly getting up traction.  I've been catching up with the Bible reading and Sporcle quizzes, and I'm even getting back on track with the writing blog (details below).  Just because I didn't keep going with the goals while I was poorly doesn't mean I'm giving up.  Also, I had a driving lesson yesterday and it always helps.  I have another one tomorrow.  I'm looking forward to it.

Writing stuff - I did a book review on my writing blog, and I'm optimistic that I'll have something for the White Hart by Friday.  It's slowly gearing up.  I've also been quite busy on behalf of the OWS CyCon 2019, and I'll share when there's news.  Here's the cover of the book I reviewed.

Monday 4 February 2019

That was Monday

It feels like it's been a week!

I had a driving lesson today (no casualties) and I told my awesome instructor that I couldn't do 60mph today.  I was still flattened.  So we tootled around the Dewsbury area and I did okay.  I just drove.  I dealt with traffic, noticed dodgy pedestrians, awkward turns and while I had a dither at one roundabout, I swept majestically around another. 

Bless asked about my mother's grave.  As noted in previous posts, we are not exactly sure which is my mother's grave.  The church allowed us to have a plot for free, and when my brother sorts out my uncle's headstone it will read, 'Here lies [uncle's name and dates] and somewhere nearby, known unto God, lies [mother's name and dates].  Both of them would have found it funny and enjoyed there being something out of the ordinary in their burials.  I believe firmly that funerals and any burial sites are for those left behind.  Father took the same view and while he (and I) would be happy to be left out for the binmen when the time came, it's not legal so just do the best for those trying to work things out.  My great uncle actually donated his body to science, as while there was a fee for sending him to the place where he was needed, it was a lot less than a funeral and great uncle was a strong believer in being cost effective.   

Bear's backpack has a broken strap, so I have just added the third backpack this year to my Amazon order.  And that reminds me, tomorrow I need to call in to get a replacement for his bus pass as he has lost this one. 

Now I am off to watch YouTube craft videos in the hope that it will give inspiration for crafts bear and I can do in the coming half term. 

Saturday 2 February 2019

Staying In

DH has picked up the bug and is feeling rough.  DH doesn't do the whole 'manflu' thing.  He really does tough things out and gets on, so it's amazing that he is even admitting it.  Poor lad has spent most of the day hanging out watching the Avatar Air bender thingy with bear or napping.  I am giving him fuss.  At least it hasn't gone to his chest yet.

Bear has been slightly under the weather as well.  We have had a discussion about what to do during half term, and we have decided that we are going to do something that will use up the dratted lollipop sticks and spend a week on some crafts.  I have no idea what yet, and neither does he, but I'm sure it will be fun. 

I'm still paggered, but getting slightly better.  I made a list of my objectives and plans for the first 90 days of 2019, which has completely been flattened over the last few weeks, but I'm determined to get back to it.  This means that there are likely to be more writing updates, and who knows what else. 

I also need to look again at my freezer.  Bear has been hoovering up the home made soup.  I stashed eight portions in the freezer and there is only five portions left - after only a few days!  The freezer is crammed full, and I don't want to not buy up bargains when they come up, but there isn't room!  In a few months time it will be Coeliac week again, and I will want to stock up on the three for two offers on frozen gluten free chicken nuggets (which are far superior to normal ones, and, at their normal price, they should be).  And now that bear and DH are eating pizza, it would be great to have a good quality frozen pizza in as a reserve.  It's also great as I randomly feed bear's pals and sometimes any meal I have planned goes flying out of the window and I rely on the freezer.  I suppose I need to look at storecupboard ideas as well, but I am often dealing with fussy eaters.  I need to use the freezer more efficiently, and I need to consider getting a second freezer.  I would have to be convinced that a second freezer would save me the money it cost. 

Happy Imbolc to the pagans reading this.  You are kind enough to wish me Happy Christmas, so it seems only fair to repay the courtesy. 

Friday 1 February 2019


Paggered is the word my late father in law (who was utterly awesome) used to describe being exhausted and somewhat out of breath.  That describes me today.  I didn't even have the energy to look out the window when I heard a man running up and down the road shouting, 'Woof!  Woof!  Woof!'  I couldn't be bothered. 

I miss my father in law.  He was an incredibly wise man with a phenomenal memory and a wicked sense of humour.  He was also an amazing driver, who at one point drove for a living and would have been wonderful for help now I am learning.  He never knew bear, but I know that they would have been great pals.  I have great memories of him going through numbers with my husband's niece showing endless patience and a gentle encouragement. 

Bear has got his second 'Attitude to Learning' report which is an improvement on his first one.  We reward improvement and effort so he will be getting a treat at some point.  Most of the scores are at or above expected level, but he's not really caught up with Religion, Art or PE.  I am not stressing about those as bear seems to be bringing in a good attitude to them.  My concern is his maths skills.  He is achieving above expected levels while more or less doing enough not to fail on the effort side.  This may not seem like a problem, but I worry what will happen when bear actually has to work at maths.   I know it's a great problem to have, but I know I will have to keep an eye on him.  It could be a lot worse.  We are blessed, and lucky, and I don't take it for granted. 

Tonight I am planning an early night with extra sleep.  Hugs to all.