Wednesday 30 September 2020

Normal Wednesday

 I have a slightly upset tummy so I only managed a quick walk around the pond this morning. I had been considering taking some bread to scatter on the grass. I know that you're not supposed to feed ducks and geese bread, but they are used to it and it will hopefully eke out their rations. Besides, there are quite a few seagulls which are, frankly, outrageous scavengers and some pigeons. This morning I walked past this lot.

And there were quite a few seagulls around the whatever-it-is on the island in the middle of the pond.

I think if I threw down a few bits of bread, I'd never get away alive. The canada geese alone would have me!

It's now getting cooler. I think I will settle down for an early night.

Hugs and good health to all.

Tuesday 29 September 2020

Epically Epic Fail

 Tonight was supposed to be chicken curry. Then bear got into the car and told me about the awesome curry he had for dinner. I thought I could fry up the chicken (which really should have been used yesterday but there were timing issues with baths and stuff) and add a jar of sauce. Unfortunately the chicken was going rapidly from raw to inedible leather with no stop in between and some suspicious grey bits. I abandoned it. I was baking potatoes, so I bunged in some frozen breaded chicken and hoped for the best.

The breaded chicken and potatoes were nice. I also tried to make baked apples in the microwave. I didn't add sugar, as I was stuffing them with chopped dates, but I added butter and mixed spice. The result was so sour that you could have used it to polish brass. 

As I was washing up, I managed to drop a pan with a fine sieve and a litre pyrex glass jug. The jug shattered. It burst into tiny fragments all over the floor. It took me ages to find them all, and I threw out the pan and sieve. The sieve was very fine mesh and I would never be confident I got all the fragments out, and I looked at the pan and realised I hated it. I had reached my limit.

Then, as I was continuing with the washing up, the sink backed up. At this point I turned everything off and decided to call it a day. 

On the bright side (there is always a bright side) I had a little walk this morning where I spotted some pineapple mint mixed in with some chives in one of the fancy borders of the park.

I also knocked over a bag with a seriously large ball of yarn in and realised that the ball was looking ragged and I thought I would start knitting it up before it fell to knots. There was a blanket pattern attached, but I ignored that and just cast on some stitches and started knitting. The ball looked like this

(my photos really aren't up to much today, but you get the idea).

It's called Warmly and is a Spanish brand of mainly fluff. I had to dig out a suitable circular needle. I may have to do some sorting there.

The yarn is a challenge. I can tell that it will be evil to knit, a devil to wash, a magnet for every scrap of lint and fluff - and the most soft and cosy blanket I could wish for. 

I think I shall have some alcohol and go to sleep now.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 28 September 2020

Weird Sort of Monday

 I kept bear off one extra day. He's still not 100% but it's not long to half term. Besides, DH had the day off so we could spend the afternoon hanging out. The family that coughs together, stays together. 

I had a little walk around Dewsbury in the morning. I had hoped to pick up some fruit and veg in the market but it was mainly closed. I'll try going back on Wednesday, the market day, and see what's there. I want to support the small traders. I ended up picking up some bits from Tesco. There is Christmas stuff sneaking out already. I think it's quite depressing.

It was good to spend some time together this afternoon. I think we are almost resetting the way we keep together as a family. I think this time will make or break a lot of families. 

Writing stuff - last flash fiction before October, so a short story that isn't spooky is here

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 26 September 2020

Negative Test

 Bear's test came back negative. That was a huge relief. Poor kid is still full of aches, pains, sniffles, coughs and a cracking sore throat. We are eating a lot of soup.

DH is poorly as well, with an awful cough. I feel full of cold and completely exhausted. Still, at least I can get to the shops now. I cancelled the online shops I had booked. I think right now that if I can get out, I should, and leave the slots for those who are isolating.

I got a great review from Coffee Time Romance and More. I feel hugged.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday 24 September 2020

Getting a Test

Bear needs a negative test before he can go back to school. Getting a covid test in the UK right now is hard. I logged on to the government website and refreshed every few minutes and that was my morning. Eventually I got a local test for this afternoon. I was a little worried when I saw that bear would need photo ID. He hasn't got a passport or driving licence. I spent even more hours on the phone trying to find out what to do. I ended up taking his bus pass with us, which has a pic, but isn't exactly a guarantee, but fortunately for us, they didn't ask for anything.

I'm losing more and more confidence in my driving. I should have just gone along a dual carriageway, but I didn't have the courage. I ended up going the long way around. Still, it wasn't a long ride and we got the test. Now we wait for the results. I suspect I will be getting more tests along the way. I don't think I'll need one unless I become very ill, as I can stay at home, and DH is now working at home, but school is likely to be another matter. 

We just had soup for dinner. I roasted some tomatoes that were getting past their best and added spices, lots of garlics and a jar of the roasted peppers. I'm going to miss those peppers when they run out. The soup worked, though. Now I am pretty much exhausted and ready to crawl off to bed.

Writing stuff - I'm getting everything ready for October. If all goes according to plan, there will be a supernatural post on my writing blog every day throughout October and I will be part of the October Frights again. It will be around two thirds old favourites and one third new flash fiction, but I hope everyone will like to enjoy it. I've written a little more about it here

Hugs and good health to all.

Wednesday 23 September 2020

Not Penmanship

Bear is doing better. Of course, we are still isolating as per instructions, so he is doing schoolwork at home and we had to get his prescription delivered. I felt guilty about that. If we have Covid-19 then we need to stay away from people, but it doesn't feel like it. 

I seem to have spent half of today on the phone. First of all Scottish Power rang to arrange a service of the boiler. I cancelled the coverage last month. The people on the phones at Scottish Power are lovely - real sweeties. Unfortunately it appears that despite all my efforts to cancel the dratted thing, it's still haunting us.

Then I was in contact with the school. Isolation ends for bear next Wednesday but he can't go back without a negative covid test. I can't get a test. Trying to work that out took quite a while. 

Then I had to get hold of a prescription for bear that I couldn't collect on account of the whole isolation thing. I know the pharmacy, and they are having issues with their phone system, so that took a large slice of time listening to hold music and ringing back.

Fortunately we had an easy soup for dinner. I bought one of those packs of prepared soup vegetables, just add water and a stock cube. I also added lots of garlic, tumeric, cumin and garlic with a generous portion of lentils. I could probably make it cheaper if I made the effort. I didn't make the effort. 

Writing Stuff - for the last few years I've made a thing about posting every day in October. This year I want to do the same, despite deadlines. I've signed up to October Frights (10-15 October, links will no doubt follow in large numbers) and I've started mapping out what I need to do. I'll be honest, of the 31 posts in October, 20 will be re-posts of stories I have shared before. I hope people will enjoy another look at the old stuff rather than think that I'm cheating (I feel like I'm cheating, but I still like some of the old stuff). The other eleven posts will be new stuff - just little bits of flash fiction and small stories, but I hope lovely and spooky. I've been working it out on pen and paper, and here is a list of the stories that I am like to reuse, if you can read my writing. It's still part way through the organising phase so lots of stuff gets crossed out and added in appalling script. There's a reason I type most things.

If you can work it out, be warned, it's likely to change. 

I have lectured, nagged and encouraged bear to improve his atrocious handwriting. I'd better keep this hidden from him, or he'll know where he got his bad writing from!

Also, I got another good review. I feel so giddy about it - here

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 22 September 2020

Not My Birthday

 I'm always a little cagey about putting my birthday online. It's one of the ways that you can lose your identity. However it's required for Facebook etc, so I lied and put today. No-one I know has a birthday to day and I just picked it.

My Facebook page is the author one. I accept practically all friend requests because, well, it's my author page and it may be someone who likes my writing. I don't update it as much as I should, but I have over four thousand friends on there. Some are awesome people. Some are not awesome people. A mix of over a hundred people have wished me happy birthday. I have said thank you, and meant it very sincerely, but I feel a complete fraud.

Also, I nearly walked in on bear's school lesson. 

So DH will be working from home for the next few weeks, even months. It's worked out well for us, but it will be odd if I'm taking bear to school. Quite a few have been sent home already. I really feel for the teachers. They must be getting frantic.

Just before all this hit, I downloaded an app that checked how many steps I do. I'm not hitting the target. I think I'm going to have to force myself out of the house and see how it goes.

Hugs and good health to all.

Monday 21 September 2020

About Even

 It's been not quite a win, but not really a fail. I've kept everyone fed, washed some clothes, ironed others, washed sheets (as per cleaning schedule), dejunked the porch (as per cleaning schedule), failed to vacuum and mop where I should (as per cleaning schedule) and could perhaps have done more with the cleaning. 

On the bright side, sort of, my editor is sort of keen on me getting  the next book out, but due to me getting things wrong earlier, I'm on a very tight schedule. And while I don't have to do the school run for the next few days, I do have to supervise lessons. The entries for the next few days may be a little sparse. I will still be sort of mostly following the cleaning plan, though, so I hope I can share some triumphs.

Hugs and good health to all.

Sunday 20 September 2020

Cough Central

 Bless - sorry about that! I've fixed the link. 

Jean - I guarantee that you are not as lazy as I am.

I have, in fact, had a very lazy day. I'm staying on top of the emails, which is satisfying, and we had a nice dinner. It was just breaded chicken with potato wedges and baked beans, but it really hit the spot. It's starting to get colder now, so I plan on making a lot more stews, soups and casseroles.

Poor bear is coughing and fed up. His throat is sore and he's croaking. He is also sniffling and snuffling with lots of sneezing. I haven't been able to get hold of a local test. The only time I came close to get any sort of test was in Blackburn, which is a long drive either on the motorway or across some tricky hills. The thought of a couple of hours driving with bear being so poorly doesn't seem worth it. He's just laughed from the other room. He's reading a Terry Pratchett and enjoying it. I'm keeping a close eye.

Tomorrow's plans are cleaning and writing, with four hours I won't be spending on the school run. I wish I had got the time in other ways.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 19 September 2020

First Full Day

Bless - thank you for the good wishes.

Fifitr - they stay picky! But I'm hoping to make the most of the time. I have no idea how it is going to work in schools, and a lot of them are going to be faced with the same issue. 

I can't see how it will work. A kid will have symptoms of a cough/cold/flu which overlap with covid, and they have to take precautions. The child will be sent home and have to isolate. I don't know if the parents will have to as well. It's going to be a nightmare for everyone. And I won't be surprised if, once bear is back at school, he gets sent home because of one of his classmates having symptoms so he has to isolate. I can see this being on repeat until the crisis is over.

I'm trying a new cleaning regime. It has to be an improvement on my usual complete lack of structure, effort and focus. I'm sort of following The Secret Slob which is a kind of pared down Fly Lady. I usually have a surge of energy at this time of year and so I thought I would have a go. Today I went through my emails and deleted three thousand in total. The school run could easily eat four hours a day with the way that the traffic has been going, so it's a great chance for me to try and get the house fit for any sort of purpose. I've been trying for around three weeks, with very minor steps at first now building up to some serious actual cleaning. Of course, I've got to clear floors before I can clean them, but I can see a miniscule difference. The isolation gives me a little more time. Of course, I can't go to the tip or donate anything, but I can put stuff ready. I hope I can keep this going, at least until half term. I give up so easily. And I never manage to do what I say I will on here, so I'm taking a risk. But I blog about what I do, and there may well be more about cleaning.

Another YouTube find for me (after Bardcore, which is awesome) is 'Relaxing Music for Cats' which seems to be several YouTubers doing very long playlists of incredibly relaxing music. The only reference to cats seems to be the pic on the video, but I can live with that. I've heard cats 'singing' and I'd rather stick to the chilled piano music.

Hugs and good vibes to all. 

Friday 18 September 2020


 Bear has a sore throat, a cough, and a runny nose. He can't stop sneezing. I've had a telephone consult with a doctor who believes he has tonsilitis. It's one of the bugs that go around whenever kids get together. Unfortunately, it's a pandemic, and the cough bear has, while sounding just like the sort of cough you get when you have a bad cold or flu, means that we all now have to self isolate and I need to try and get hold of a test for bear. When I tried to book one earlier, there were none available. It could be worse. In a month, university starts and that's when glandular fever usually starts the rounds.

It's sort of hard. I suspect that bear 'just' has tonsilitis. Poor kid is not a happy bunny, but he's doing his best. He has a throat spray and antibiotics. So it makes me feel a little off getting a test for him when it's probably negative and tests are in short supply. On the other hand, I could be wrong. I last had any sort of first aid training in 1977 (it was awesome, I went with the Girl Guides and the Scouts to the local TA and we had a wonderful fierce staff sergeant training us. They did fake wounds on a couple of us and sent us home to unsuspecting parents and we rode in the back of an open lorry). What if bear does have covid and needs a test? I'll keep trying to get one tomorrow.

Fortunately we had a Tesco delivery already booked for tomorrow and so I added a few bits. It's not like it was six months ago when you couldn't get deliveries for love nor money. There are various celebrations during this month, so we're having steak. I just added a few bits.

It has thrown some plans out, but it could be worse. DH has to work from home again, which helps all of us, and I don't have to brave the crazy traffic. 

On the way back from picking up the prescription (which I'm not sure I should have, but I didn't know at the time) I saw these berries. It's the most berries I've seen on a hawthorn. 

All the berries and fruits are making the hedgerows really colourful.

Hugs and good vibes to all. 

Thursday 17 September 2020

Another Epic Fail

Sharon - I guarantee you are more organised than I ever will be.

Yesterday I put up pretty pictures of bad handwriting in a notebook. and a plan to organise my shopping. Today I forgot the notebook and I decided that I was going to go to Tesco instead. Fortunately, I didn't pick up anything extra, so I'm at least happy about that. 

I also had the motivation to have a morning walk. 

It wasn't a very long walk, but it was better than nothing. 

When I was waiting to pick up bear (I get there ridiculously early due to the way the traffic runs) and I called in to the Salvation Army charity shop. They aren't accepting donations at the moment. I think because everyone has had a chance to have a clearout. I may have a sanitsed rummage to see what is in the charity shops and if it will be any good for bear or DH.

Writing stuff - I got another good review here, and another separate good review on Amazon. I'm feeling pretty good. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 16 September 2020

Trying Something Different

 I can see me shopping at all sorts of places over the next few months. Partly it's because I'm a restless sort of person and it gives me something of a challenge. It will mean that I'm not dropping bear at school then driving the same way home every day. To be honest, I avoid that as much as possible, but it's good to have a reason.

I'm also confident that prices are going to go up. I think the combination of the current virus and Brexit is going to cause a lot of problems. I also need to track my shopping lists. Due to my issues with gluten, my preferences and the preferences of the men in my life, I know that if I want a quiet life I'll pick up lemon sorbet from Aldi, fresh minced beef from Tesco, frozen minced beef from Morrisons and protein bars for DH from Amazon. And to make my life interesting I'm hoping to look in places like B&M Bargains and Poundstretcher for some cleaning stuff and the market for fruit and veg. I dug out a notebook I got some time ago, together with some highlighters, and this is my first attempt. It's small enough to fit into my medium handbag.

People who bullet journal do fancy covers and layouts, and I can't draw at all, but I stole a few ideas. At the front I'm numbering the pages and making an index.

On one side (page 1), in my appalling handwriting, is a list of the shops I'm likely to use. I'll add more as I go along. I've also put colours next to the shops I'm likely to use the most often. This is where I'll keep the shopping lists, by store.

Opposite, on page two, is a list of shops where I keep a list of the best prices. At my last check Tesco were doing Heinz baked beans for 50p (well, 6 for £3), which is the best price I usually see, and Morrisons were doing Heinz Tomato soup also at 50p (actually, also at 6 for £3). I usually commit at that price, but I know I've got a smallish stash already, so I'm only picking up one pack. Those are quite generic items, that will go to those prices in all sorts of stores. I may add a page later for generic prices. I can usually remember beans but I can't remember whether I got a good deal or not on pickled onions at Aldi this morning. So I plan to add a list of prices for particular stores on separate pages from the shopping lists. 

Tomorrow I will drop bear off in Morrisions car park and I could do with picking up some frozen mince there as it is the only frozen mince that DH finds acceptable. I like to have it in as it is an easy way to get a quick meal on the table. According to Morrisons website, it is £3.30 for 500g or around 1lb of 5% fat minced beef, which is frozen, so can be stored for some time, cooked from frozen and tastes fine. The current price of fresh 5% fat minced beef at Tesco according to their website is £2.59. This is harder to cook from frozen so makes it less convenient for a quick meal and takes up more space in the freezer, but now that I've checked the prices, the difference is making me reconsider.

Regardless, knowing that I would be calling into Morrisons tomorrow morning, on page three (you can see above that there is a very badly written '3' next to Morrisons to tell me that the shopping list for Morrisons is on page 3) I've written what I need and I've highlighted the corners in the Morrisons colour to make it slightly easier to find.

My awful writing says, 'wraps, frozen mince, Tom soup (if 50p)'. Some bullet journals are works of art. This really isn't. But if it makes me track prices and stops me forgetting things, then it will be worth it. I'll let you know how it works out.

Last night there was a power cut in our area and this morning some of the traffic lights were still out. Getting onto the main road for bear's school was terrifying! I'm coming up a steep hill, and I have no chance of seeing what is coming from the left because of rails in the crossing area. Normally it's fine because of the traffic lights. This morning I think I accidentally cut up a lorry. I was so relieved that they were fixed by this afternoon, but unsurprised. These are busy junctions.

Dinner tonight was curry with baked potatoes. I really need to get some regular vegetarian dishes going other than soup as I think it would be better for our health, the planet and our budget. Perhaps tomorrow I'll make dhal. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 15 September 2020

Is It Tuesday Already

 I usually leave the writing stuff to the end, but I've been up to my armpits in it. My editor is kindly pointing out where I've had people come out of a room twice in the same paragraph. Fifitr - the lovely Three Furies Press have two editorial processes. The first is development, which is the the whole, 'are you sure you meant to write that' phase which I am now starting to see the end of. The next phase is line editing where some poor soul will have to deal with my punctuation. I have to agree all the changes, though, and I worry that I get things wrong. 

Today has been warm so we just had wraps for dinner. I had a quick walk this morning, with some lovely doggie cuddles. The park at Batley is beautiful at the moment.

And I was there early enough to catch the dew

There are a lot of berries around. I took this pic in Heckmondwike while waiting for bear.

The school run in the afternoon is a challenge. There are two secondary schools in the centre of the town, both of which have over a thousand pupils, I think. One is the standard secondary school with most pupils living nearby but the other is bear's school, and many come from some distance. Several come from eight or ten miles away in Leeds and up until this crisis, they came on the buses. These days, due to social distancing, only about half or a quarter of the kids can take the buses as there aren't enough seats. Besides, there is the added risk of infection. So many parents are taking their kids to school in their cars. The roads in the centre of a small town are getting gridlocked. It is absolute bedlam. If I want to be in time to pick up bear, I have to get there early or I risk getting caught in traffic. I went in what I thought was good time the first day back and I crawled two miles in around an hour. So now I set off ridiculously early and get knitting done. 

Today it was baking hot, but I did see this, and it made me think of fast forwarding out of 2020.

Although, when I think of it, it looks more like a rewind button and I really don't want that.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 12 September 2020

Quick, Quick, Aargh Bugger, Slow.

 Kate - doctors are either awesome or utterly dreadful in my experience. Sometimes I think if I went into a doctor's office with a broken leg, they'd tell me it's depression. I hope your arm feels better soon.

Fifitr - I've used a stick sometimes, as it feels like my leg is going to go. I've been heckled in Tesco for 'faking it' as I didn't need it for every step. Today I spent a lot of moving time leaning on things. I hope you feel a little more confident soon. A fall shakes your confidence so much. I think that a fall as an adult has far more than physical effects. 

Jean - thank you!

I visited Lidl. I don't think it has everything I need. I wanted to go there because of the new loyalty card, but they also have a gluten free shelf. They didn't have it any more. I may use it a little more, but I don't know how much. Still, I had £5 off if I spent over £25, and I picked up some nice tomatoes, a sack of potatoes, some inexpensive silverskin pickled onions, about a third of a jar went in tonight's casserole, and some equally inexpensive olives which would also have gone in the casserole if I could have got the lid off the jar. 

The casserole was a success. I'm starting to mentally price things up. The diced chicken was £3, but I should be able to find cheaper alternatives. Then a jar of roasted red peppers that I got at a discount from Bargain Foods and, as I bought a tray of 12, cost 50p. I estimate that there was 12p for the pickled onions (the jar was 36p and I used around a third) and I think that the mushrooms were 89p. If I allow 30p for the teaspoon of lazy garlic, the heaped spoon of herbs and the stock cube, that is £4.81. Then I did a big pan of mash, which even with getting an inexpensive sack from Lidl was still 50p. Then there was icecream afterwards from the farm shop which is incredibly good quality, but not inexpensive. I think if I start pricing each meal, then I'll start getting an idea. Mind you, tomorrow is looking remarkably soup shaped and that will easily feed us inexpensively. 

I shall investigate the farm shop further. They do big packs of chicken breasts which I could split up and freeze. I shall have to do a test purchase. And speaking of the farm shop, the last time I visited, I took a picture, but it didn't come out well.

It's part of a fairy ring. It was really clear and the mushrooms were huge. What it doesn't show is the wire fence cutting through it on the left hand side. It looked very incongruous, a fairy circle cut by what looked like iron or steel wire. It made me think of stories.

Writing stuff - I've got the edits back on the sequel to Out of the London Mist, and the editor agrees that it is a much better story. I've got quite a bit of work to do on it, but I hope to get the developmental edits sorted this weekend. Then I face the line editing which means punctuation. I am not good at punctuation and always feel guilty for inflicting it on an innocent editor. And if I'm gearing up for the October Frights again, I need to get some new stuff together for that. I need to up my daily word count.

Hugs and good health to all.

Friday 11 September 2020

Self Indulgent

 Some days I have bad days. Today, as I was walking across Morrison's car park, my hip went and now I'm limping like someone auditioning for a zombie movie. I'm absolutely failing. I can't seem to keep my weight on it.

Sometimes when I want to make something lighthearted, and bring a smile, I sort of struggle. There's probably a message in there, but I can't find it today.

So, what do you call a really fat knight?

Sir Cumferernce.

Hugs and good health to all

Thursday 10 September 2020

Where to Start

Bear was back at school for the first day. It sounded very difficult and chaotic, and I feel for the teachers. Getting to school was tough, but getting to pick up was horrific! The traffic was dreadful. There are not enough places on the buses for pupils and, with the additional threat of Covid, I think a lot of parents are driving their kids too and from, even when they didn't before. I'm going to have to get there quite early to be able to have any sort of safe drive. I ended up with cramp in my left leg as I crawled around two miles an hour along for half an hour. If I get there early, it's a great chance to get some knitting done. Bear is quite excited about the lessons, which is helpful.

I've finally finished the sequel to Out of a London Mist, and it's now with the editor. I hope she's kind.

I am now beyond exhausted so I am planning a ridiculously early bedtime, possible after some alcohol.

Hugs and good health to all.


Tuesday 8 September 2020

Still Feels Like Monday

 Sharon - thank goodness we have the outside, but they were backed up at one point. When the tips all closed, there was a huge outbreak of flytipping. I never saw the tip empty before this, and I went at the quiet times! Now you have to book a slot if you want to take rubbish there. And, like you, I dread to think what it will be like when winter hits. 

I have to wear washing up gloves or the skin on my hands is wrecked. Today I threw out a pair of washing up gloves because, while they had seen good service, one had started leaking. I put on a new pair, and the first thing I did was spike one on an unexpected fork and make a large hole near the wrist. And that sums up my day.

I have the tyres sorted out, thank goodness. I got to a garage who sorted it all out for me, so that is something. Bear goes back to school on Thursday and I plan to do a large shop then. Leeds is now a hot spot, and I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't issues at school and lockdowns and isolations that affected our household. I think I want to make sure I have a week or so's stuff at hand, just in case. 

Hugs and good health to all.

Monday 7 September 2020

Eighteen Bags for Life

 I had been tossing the bags for life in a heap in a corner. As you may guess, I am trying to get things cleared up so I thought I would tackle the heap. I wiped down and folded eighteen bags and put them in a nineteenth bag. This does not include the multitude that are stuffed in my car, scattered around the house or are being used for laundry, knitting projects, items for charity shops, paperwork, etc etc etc. I just need to find a good place to keep them, because if I always have them in the same place, I can always grab one. Failing to grab one has led to a lot of bags.

I freed up two extra as I finally got around to taking all the empty jars to the bottle bank. It seemed to take forever, posting several months worth of jars into the recycling while several of the local old ladies judged.

I made it to the farm shop where I bought vast amounts of ice cream and a few bits. I didn't make it to Aldi, however, as the car wasn't driving properly. The tyre check pressure light came on. I checked the wheels, and they all seem fine, but it wasn't as good a drive as usual. I tried taking the tyre pressure for the first time and utterly failed. I may have even let air out of one. I think it's under pressure but not flat, so I think I will take it to the garage to see if I need to get it up to pressure. I know that there are places with air that I could use, but until I learn how to take the tyre pressure, I had probably best not. 

Also, Scottish Power. They have such lovely people answering the phones, but they have cursed accounts. I think that I am almost switched away from them. They weren't going to cancel the dratted boiler cover, either, so at least I caught up with that.

I can feel the call of yarn. I feel so low and tired and I'm vulnerable to eBay who lets me buy things when I really shouldn't. I'm trying to stay strong. I'll let you know how that goes!

Fifitr - there is no such thing as useless knowledge. Also, I spend far too much time on Sporcle, and it's surprising what you pick up when you're guessing answers to quizzes.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 6 September 2020

Every Day is a School Day

There's a lot of writing stuff in the blog at the moment, because I'm doing a lot of writing stuff, and I'm always pausing to check facts and have a quick overview of, for example, how well tar burns (very well, apparently) and I find out all sorts of stuff. I am also dipping into a lot of craft videos and finding odd things there. For example, there is a channel called Darkest Raven Designs which is an artist who creates the most amazing things, including taking a rather saccherine bear from a thrift shop which is as cutesy as you would expect and making it into something of a dashing steampunk bear - here. I don't know how to take screen shots, so I can't share, but I am in awe of someone who can use fine art brushes and do delicate designs. 

Completely unrelated, I found that there is a type of music called Bardcore. Here is Dolly Parton's Jolene done in the style of medieval music. There is loads on YouTube. I can see me getting caught up in that. Currently listening to 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' in Latin. I'm glad that there are still uses for a classical education.

As I get caught up in writing, I'm likely to find more fun bits, so I'll share the good stuff.

I'm still chipping away at the chaos that is this house. I have been nibbling away at the stuff in the kitchen and have just loaded two bags for life filled with empty jars. I've been putting them to one side here and there and I finally rounded them up from all the corners and I can take them to Tesco tomorrow.

I'm planning on something of a trip tomorrow. The men are out of their favourite ice cream, so that means a trip to both Aldi and Blue Hills Farm. I might as well have a look in at Lidl and see what they have as well, and I need some bits from Tesco. When bear is back at school, I hope to be able to do a different shop each day after drop off, but this week I think I would rather just get a load in tomorrow, and then concentrate on getting bear ready for school on Thursday. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 5 September 2020

Less Shopping is More

 Kathleen - it's good to know that I can use the Lidl app elsewhere. Thank you.

I only called in to Aldi and Tesco today. I picked up some bits, forgot less than normal and got home quite quickly. I think I need to work on getting in and out quickly during this time. I've finally got around to turning out the cupboard that bear 'helped' me with. I now have a fighting chance of knowing what I have in and what I need, at least for tins. I need to check out noodles and pasta as I have randomly picked up noodles for bear and I have my own gluten free stuff, but I think I'm pretty good with that.

Sharon - I am soooo tempted by craft stuff. I am determined to get some cleared out before I get more. Mind you, I've said that a few times, right before I bought a bundle from eBay. 

I've spent most of the day failing at writing stuff. The only way, though, is to keep going and that is exactly what I am going to do.

Hugs and good health to all.

Friday 4 September 2020

The End of the Week

I didn't shop. I had a telephone call with someone about one of bear's medical things which ran late. By the time I had faffed about that, it was the wrong sort of time to go shopping. I'll have to go early tomorrow. 

I need to make a list for tomorrow and try to stick to it. I'm not sure about the order of shops, or whether I can get away with skipping one. I need rolls for DH's lunches, and the best ones of those are Morrisons, so far, but I may be able to get the good ones from Lidl. The rolls from Tesco are sadly inadequate. We could do with some more ham, bear has requested cheese, we could do with wraps and tuna, and I think we may be low on butter-type spread. If I plan properly, I could be in and out quite quickly. 

I'm also feeling a craving to buy yarn. I've no idea where it has come from. I have been staying away from the knitting videos, though I may have been watching a few craft videos. I really need to clear my stash before I do anything else.

Writing stuff - Anita Stewart has kindly included me in the October Frights which will run again this year. It's running between 10th and 15th October and it's a group of writers sharing spooky stuff on their blogs. Anita is also setting up a group on Story Origin (I said a rude word when I saw that, because it drives me nuts) so there are likely to be free stories available at that time from the various authors involved (including me). I'll share.

I'm likely to have a lot of writing stuff in October. Last year I shared a different story every day for the month. Many of them were stories that I had previously published, but if I go that way again, I'll make sure that there are one or two original pieces every week. I'll keep everyone updated.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday 3 September 2020


 Ranee- thank you for thinking of me. I'm sorry I've been away for a while. I'm working on a re-write and it's been keeping me busy. Sorry about that.

I've also been trying to sort out bear ready for school. He goes back on the 10th, which is late, but I suppose it's a sign of the times. He has to make sure he has all the kit required, as he can't borrow anything. He has to go into a particular door, which is going to be a nightmare at drop off. He cannot get in early, which he is bitterly resenting. There is going to be masks and one way systems and hopefully lots of sanitiser. I'm stocking up on mini bottles of sanitiser. I don't think I can take his pal with us in the car, as there are all sorts of weird rules and I just don't know what is important and what isn't.

One reason that bear is upset about timings, is that he normally gets to school before 8.00am. School starts at 8.40am. That is the window of opportunity for bear to do a more or less adequate job on his homework. 

He has his timetable. It makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever but bear checked it out and chatted happily about how the random letters meant that he was having this teacher for this subject in this room. He seems quite cheerful about it all.

I downloaded the Lidl app today. I'm a little dubious. You get 'scratch cards' whenever you shop, apparently, which is a random chance to win money off your shopping. If I understand it, scratch cards are notoriously addictive. I've downloaded it, because it doesn't cost anything and I may make some pennies back, but I'll need to weigh up the options. On the one hand, they have amazing baked goods that the men love, and their fruit and veg is reasonable. I believe their meat is good. They have some great deals and the aisle of wonder in the middle is tempting. They also have a gluten free section. On the other hand, the demands of the family mean that every week I am likely to shop in Tesco, Aldi, Morrisons, the farm shop and now Lidl, making things a little more challenging. You have to choose which Lidl works for you. There's one in Bramley which is great if I go to the big Aldi there. There's one in Heckmondwike, which is great if I'm picking up bear but has evil parking. There is a very nice one in Brighouse, which is a nice, if long, drive. I registered in Dewsbury because it's on the same road as Tesco and not far from the market, so I could call in there as well. If the market is still there - it's hard to know what is happening and what is safe. Dewsbury has been hit by quite a few spikes in the virus.

I am getting the hang of washing cloth masks and using a lot of sanitiser. 

Hugs and good health to all.