Thursday 25 February 2021

Nothing Much Here

The rendezvous was unobserved, or, at least, uninterrupted. It was nice to see brother. He has been a hero in our family for years, and I try to be careful not to take advantage of him. He ran around after uncle, for no thanks, looked after my mother in her last months, looked after our very challenging great-uncle and spent quite a few years with his life on hold. He not only swapped over the laptop but handed over some hyacinth bulbs he had for me, as he knows that I love them. It was dark and damp. The car park was huge but almost empty and a lot of the lights weren't on, so the shadows were long. People were scuttling to the store and ignoring us. It was very noir and clandestine for a twelve year old laptop and some hyacinth bulbs. 

Fifitr - I think an auction lot of washing up liquid is something I aspire to. I've got a fair stock as well, though I've finally run through the Amazon delivery. In my experience, water with washing up liquid will clean most things. I'm gradually easing over to Method for the spray, through Amazon Subscribe and Save, and with white vinegar, that's all I usually need. Not that I am a good example of housewifery, but I believe that great housewives usually have less products under their sinks rather than lots of fancy items. Bear, to his credit, isn't too bad wanting the 'latest' but I can see him getting into the really good stuff - not flash, but good - as he gets into computers. He wants to be a programmer, so I can see us spending a lot of money on tech. 

Pam - I kept giggling during the meet. 

Sharon - it's been a challenge, and I think the next few months are going to be interesting. And some days I'm grateful for any steps at all. 

Today has been one of those days. I didn't get enough sleep, so at 9.30am I thought I would try and get a quick nap to catch up, knowing that the Co-op were dropping off a few bits (including rum) at 11am. I was drifting off as soon as my head hit the pillow. Next door decided, at around 9.37, that they really, really, really needed to bang saucepans with wooden spoons for long periods of time right next to my bedroom. I gave in around 9.45am. It sounded like banging saucepans with wooden spoons, but it may have been something else, because it kept up all day.

I was so tired, I was fit for murder! I was supposed to be going to the tip, but I didn't think I was safe to drive. My eyes hurt. I've been trying to be around for bear, which he more or less appreciated. Unfortunately this means that I've taken on enough caffeine to fell an elephant, so now I'm not sure that I could get to sleep. I may use that rum.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 24 February 2021


Fifitr - I'll try those ideas, but it varies from week to week what bear will eat. I am considering second freezer to keep stuff like that on hand. I currently have a drawer with home made soup in, which I regularly have for lunch. I just need to pull myself together and get organised.

Today's issue is the laptop. Bear has an extremely elderly laptop that once upon a time belonged to father (who passed in 2015). It wasn't brilliant to start with, and time has taken its toll. Currently it will only charge if the thingy is physically held in place. My awesome, awesome brother is setting up another laptop for bear for his school work, and I will be doing an illicit exchange in Tesco carpark tonight. 

It's probably okay, as it's a necessity for bear's school, and it will be in the open and we will be as appropriately distanced as possible, but it still feels like I'm smuggling weapons' blueprints out of Nazi Germany. I will be expecting wobbly searchlights at any moment. 

Bear has an Xbox, which he can't use for school, and a PC which has been having issues for years but until awesome brother can get into the house, we can't do anything about that (something something space Windows ram something something). It won't run Word or any of the stuff he needs for school and limps through practically anything.

The laptop brother is kindly lending is even more elderly, but at least it will charge. Bear will be back in school soon, but I think we will still need to find him a better laptop. In three year's time he'll be in sixth form and I think he will need it then. If we get a decent one and nothing bad happens, it may last him until he goes to university (if he goes). The days of cheap refurbished laptops vanished when the lock down hit. So many people now need to work and study at home. I'll see what we can do, though. I'll have to be better at saving.

Speaking of (not) saving, I would like to recommend these.

I got an extra couple so that I can keep cycling them in the daily wash. They are 100% cotton and are scourers. I already have the microfibre cloths that have been going for years. These are a supplement for the tough stains. They rock. They get off burned on jar sauce, all the dark bits in a pan - everything. They're better than the magic sponge/eraser thingies and up there with steel wool but non scratch. And they wash. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 23 February 2021

Gentle Improvement

Wherethejourneytakesme - I put garlic in everything. We are definitely vampire resistant in this household. I feel for your daughter so much! I have to check labels and Sodium Metabisulphate seems to be in everything! It must be hard to be so vigilant.

So far today I've done a few loads of laundry, made dinner (mushy peas, potato products, fish fingers for bear and I and the other half of the pasta bake for DH), taken the recycling out, contacted one of DH's elderly aunties for a chat, kept up with bear and took out the recycling bin. I've done a small amount of sorting stuff, a certain amount of writing, and I've generally been positive. 

Bear got a good report. I feel for the teachers trying to keep going in this mess. Bear's school has kept up to live lessons so bear has been logging in and having teaching time, but it must be so hard for the teachers. As it is, bear has got some great 'attitude to learning' scores. Some of the attainment scores aren't brilliant, but that's okay. We can work with that when things get a little more stable. 

It's going to be a shock to the system when bear gets back to school. I think bear would quite like to not go back to school, thank you so much, but at least he will have some separation between home and classroom. I must remember to take bear's blazer in to be cleaned. 

Soon I am going to head out and pick up bear's prescription. Hopefully I'll hit the sweet spot between the end of rush hour traffic and the store closing.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 22 February 2021

Slightly Better

Wherethejourneytakesme - avoiding garlic must be tricky. It sneaks into so many places. 

Fifitr - thank you for the support. I feel hugged.

I am gluten free, and I have issues around dairy. Bear isn't brilliant about dairy either.

Around six or seven years ago, bear started with an upset stomach that went seriously wrong. For several months he couldn't eat, had weird reactions to food, had violent stomach pains and was often sick. He couldn't even manage chocolate and this stretched over Christmas - the poor kid missed out on most of the treats. I had him back to the doctor plenty of times, but without any luck. We were just told to give bear milk of magnesia. We went through bottles of the stuff. It left a real mark. I don't want to go into too much detail, because it's bear's business and not mine, but there were times when I was desperate for him to get any food in him at all. Things have settled down somewhat now, but it can still make catering a challenge. 

I did some driving today. I called in at Boots, near IKEA, to try and get bear's prescription. Apparently there are manufacturing issues with one of the tablets so they had to ring my GP to sort out whether the thingy could be varied. I showed complete lack of discipline and walked out with a load of stuff, though, to be fair, a lot of it was half price. It was wonderful to browse new things, and the only thing I regret buying was the fancy handcream for £1.75 instead of £3.50. My hands did not react well and now I'm trying not to scratch my skin off. 

I also cleared out half a kitchen cupboard. I used my judgement. I didn't get rid of the unopened dried onions that were a month passed their 'best before' date, but I ditched the unopened dried carrots that had about a year left because they were definitely past their prime. 

Then I got the text to say that Boots now had the prescription ready, but I got there just as they were switching off the lights. I called in at Aldi for a few bits, so I stretched the wheels, and I'll go out again late tomorrow as it seems lovely and quiet. I'll try and just do a straight dash to the counter and out again, though, with no shopping detours!

Writing stuff - I try to have something on my writing blog every Monday. Today's piece is a little dark, so I'm not linking it, but it's what I 'heard' and so it's what I wrote. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 21 February 2021

Feeling the Fail

DH and bear both were in transports over the chicken tikka masala they had for dinner tonight. I found it somewhat depressing. The sauce was Tesco Tikka Masala Cooking Sauce and cost 75p. I might have a chance of making something similar, or something equally tasty, but not at that price. Tomorrow DH is having a pasta bake out of a jar. He really loves that pasta bake, and it's incredibly inexpensive from Aldi. I can't match it. Bear and I will be having baked potatoes with baked beans, and enjoying them a great deal. 

I'm definitely feeling underwhelmed by my cooking skills. I can cook, but I don't have the patience to be a good cook. I still fail at frying eggs, though I can usually make a roux without much problem. It's not so much the skills, though. It's the will to work out something that will taste okay, not be too expensive, will work with bear's food issues and also the family's various dietary requirements. Tonight's meal cost around £1.20 per head, including the frozen potato product and peas, and the men almost licked the plates. 

I know what we'll be eating for the next two days, but after that I may try a few experiments. I think I'll have a look on the Jack Monroe site and see what comes up. If anything exciting happens, I'll share. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday 18 February 2021

Uneventful Drive

Bless - that sounds like a good idea. I've also seen reverse Advent calendars where you donate in the run up to Christmas. As for the zip - I'm still seriously considering velcro. 

Margie - I think it's a healthy way to look at things. I think that it makes us mindful. I'm trying to get myself in a position where it's easier for me to help and reach out instead of being in such a state of confusion that I can't give all I want. Btw, I hope you are okay with all this weather going on. Sending good vibes.

I rang in for a repeat prescription for bear, and it was sent through to Tesco. Unfortunately, they don't have the stuff themselves, but they were happy for me to pick it up and take it elsewhere. I'll ring around tomorrow. I took the same route as yesterday and it was utterly uneventful. I still feel nervous faced with fitting through small spaces, though. This is unfortunate, as I'm driving through a lot of heavily parked roads with lots of pinch points. I'll just have to keep practising. I picked up some potatoes while I was there, but otherwise I was just in and out.

In other news, YouTube continues interesting. I've been listening to Led Zepplin's  Immigrant Song in Old Norse. It's part of Bardcore, or current music with an old fashioned twist. Have I mentioned Goblincore? It's a fashion and decorating trend which looks sort of cute. I'm not entirely sold on it, but I may pick up some ideas if I ever get the house straight. But if you click on that, then you end up with some very odd videos. Or odder. I have parental controls on my YouTube, and it's entirely for my benefit. I may ask bear for advice on how to keep my feed clean.

Hugs and good health to all.

Wednesday 17 February 2021

That Was Scary

Fifitr - the park is one that is usually reasonably well used, and it's near the Tesco/Aldi/Asda/Iceland group of shops so on the way for lots of people, but there were definitely more than usual. I feel for you - it's so irresponsible. I'm going to have to have a go at the zip. It's a great onesie, and bear has had a lot of wear out of it over the last few months. I shall have to go carefully. Bear was very sweet and said that I was an awesome mum and the ability to replace a zip was unimportant. He is a hero!

I got a delivery today, and of course I forgot the sandwich meat. I had been nervous driving yesterday and considering going back to P plates to warn other drivers that I wasn't confident. Bear was telling me that I had lots of room, but it didn't feel like it when I was trying to squeeze past all sorts of gaps. I felt very uncertain, so I thought I would nip out and pick up the sandwich meat and come home. It was more of a drive to stretch the wheels and build confidence.

I was driving along Bradford Road in Batley. In the middle of the road are lots of bollards. I suppose they are trying to keep cars on the correct side of the road as there are usually lots of vans, cars and lorries parked along as there are lots of small industrial and commercial units. It was dark, but I'm not worried about driving in the dark, and it was raining, which doesn't bother me unless it's really bad, and I was ticking along at just under the speed limit. Coming the other way, swerving through traffic, was a large transit van type thing which swerved into my lane to overtake by a bollard and I managed to stop just in time to avoid getting hit. The thing didn't have any lights on. It was completely dark. Fortunately the car behind me was keeping a sensible distance.  

I did everything right. I was driving sensibly, with appropriate lights, on the correct side of the road. I nearly got walloped by a van with no lights on the wrong side of the road and driving erratically. I feel a little stressed.

I'm now seriously considering going back to P plates to warn other drivers that I'm nervous, and I'll be going out in the car a lot more, to get my confidence back. I'm not planning on doing more shopping.

Christian stuff - I know some friends here aren't Christian so I thought I'd put a warning. I'm not a Catholic, but found myself watching this video, from a Franciscan Friar (I think) about not giving anything up for Lent. When my mother was going through chemo, there wasn't much that she could give up, so she deliberately did something extra for Lent to help others. In the past I've done that as well, knitting blankets or sweaters for the homeless. My life is so chaotic and rudderless at the moment, that I'm almost paralysed. I think I will use Lent to try and focus and sort things out. Perhaps then I will have more room to be a Christian.

Hugs and good health to all.

Tuesday 16 February 2021

Another Quiet Day

Wherethejourneytakesme - I still have a weakness for a good documentary. 

Bear's physio was cancelled. I took bear to the park in the afternoon - and it was packed! It was absolutely heaving with people! Many of them were not distancing at all. There was an ice cream van! Then I got back to the car first to wait for bear and realised that I had forgotten my knitting. This was a shame as there was quite a wait as bear got lost and came out of the park in a completely unexpected direction. Also, the snack place that was open was closed by the time bear got back so I ended up nipping to Tesco and picking up a wrap for bear. As bear almost inhaled in on the ride back, I think it was a good call.

It's much warmer here now, but there is still ice in the pond 

As usual, the photo isn't brilliant. There are gulls standing on the ice but behind them are ducks and geese swimming. There are a few bits of snow in Tesco car park as well, despite it being sometime since the last flake fell.

It's looking a little second hand, and I don't suppose it will last much longer. 

Now I have to try and work out how to mend a zip in bear's onesie. He really likes it. It's huge, warm and printed with skulls - what more can a fourteen year old lad want? Unfortunately the zip has gone and I think I'm out of my depth. I've been looking at YouTube videos, but it looks like the zip itself has broken, and I'm not skilled enough to replace a zip. I may see if I can pick up some velcro and use that to replace the zip.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 15 February 2021

No Casualties

Wherethejourneytakesme - I may have a look at that, as I like following the weather. But I don't even speak Dutch! DH has friends over there, so I don't know if the algorithms have got confused. To be honest, I enjoy a random selection. Thank you for saying it's good for bear. It's so important.

Fifitr - I am a fail with scary movies. I used to watch football or documentaries with father. I think the original Nosferatu was utterly terrifying! Have you seen the version with Eddie Izzard? That is worth watching, just for the creeping inevitability. btw BritBox has a whole section of Hammer Horror movies and we plan to work our way through them.

Warning - wittering about writing.

I write sort of horror. It's not very horror horror. I am too much of a scaredy pants to do that. But I agree, the best horror isn't about buckets of blood or gruesome effects. I think the best horror (at least, that I've had the nerve to watch) is about making the viewer's imagination do the work. 

I always feel that horror is about a lack of knowledge, and a lack of choices. I know that there are a gazillion books on it, but sometimes I think it's about not knowing what you are fighting (like most of the characters in The Devil Rides Out) and not being able to escape whatever the menace is. I think of Alien, and being trapped with something unknown and frightening, as a great horror movie (which I don't have the nerve to watch again. I feel that there has to be something claustrophobic about it, or undefined. To be honest, I think that buckets of blood and gore can take away from the horror. The scariest monster is the one that you can't see, and can't understand or predict, and can't escape.

For the last few years I've taken part in the October Frights Blog Hop, and always felt a little inadequate. I have stories about vampires and werewolves, but I don't really think of them as horror. I think that they are nearer an adventure story. My novella Dinner at Dark is sort of horror as the characters are trapped by floods with something awful, but it's short on deaths. For those interested, this flash fiction, Walk in the Park, talks about monsters, but I think of it more as action. However I think that Wanderer in the Mist has much scarier implications and would consider it nearer horror, even though no monsters are mentioned. For me, the older stories were much better at the subtle chills, and it made for a much better story to my mind. 

I should be clear - I'm not saying that I'm a good horror writer. I'm just a writer that attempts horror, or, at least, mildly chilling.

As for the heading of this post, I drove to the tip, then out to the park where I went once around the duck pond (which still has some frozen water even though it is much warmer now) and then home. The drive was awful. I didn't feel confident at all, and I seemed to be scraping through gaps and slowing just in time for the cars pulling out in front of me and then pulling right in so that the car coming the other way wide around a blind corner didn't clip me. There were also lots and lots of horses out and about - some on very main roads, and a couple of tractors. I was a bag of nerves by the time I got home. I didn't come near to causing any accidents, but by the time I staggered in to the house, I was impressed that I had avoided them.

Writing stuff - as for today's flash fiction, I'm still knee deep in other writing, so I thought I would re-post a previous post, a poem that's here.

Hugs and good vibes to all. 

Sunday 14 February 2021


The window in my room, next to my desk, is very draughty, especially when it's windy and I'm getting draughts across my writing. The weather is definitely unimpressive.

I sometimes think that I should choose a box and get in it. I don't ever seem to fit into a category. I usually don't worry about that too much, but I just realised that I may not be a consistent example for bear. The first few suggested videos for me on the YouTube home page are 10 hours of ambience music (writing music), a video about the SAS kit (research), a weather forecast in Dutch (no idea whatsoever), a video giving the difference between monks, friars and jedi made by a genuine monk (research into monks probably generated this), a video about growing sweet peppers and a video with tiny, handsewn patchwork. I think that I may lack focus. On the other hand, I have plenty of things to dip into if I'm bored. 

I have just spent a lovely, lazy early evening watching a film with DH. We saw The Devil Rides Out. It terrifies me. I know it's pretty low key compared to more modern films, but I'm not very good with scary. I write scarier than I can read. I may have nightmares. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 13 February 2021

I Took Pic!

Thank you for the good wishes, Fifitr. My leg is less painful and more numb now, but girly bits are playing up. I am taking a duvet day.

I have no idea what I'll end up doing, as whenever I decide to do one thing I seem to do another, but today is definitely a duvet day. I also had some deliveries. I got the yarn from Marriners which is three hat and scarf kits, a pom pom maker and 1000g of black 4ply. 

I also received the new wrist rest and mouse mat I ordered a while ago as the current ones were disintegrating. A few weeks earlier I had ordered a case for the new phone (that I got to take pics of the old phone, it's a work in progress) and I didn't realise that they had very similar designs. 

By the way, it's a clean sheet in the background and it's absolutely pure white. I don't know what happened to the colours.

The reason I got a phone case was because I am used to a case on my old phone. The case on my old phone looks like this.

The case is battle scarred and thin at the edges. The phone has survived belonging to me for a few years and is relatively undamaged under the case. I believe in phone cases. 

I'm quite impressed by the design of the new wrist rest and mouse mat. The predecessors started as plain black but saw a lot of service, so now are a sort of dim, dark grey with bits. I was worried that the pattern would distract me, but it doesn't, and it's nice to have something pretty.

I'm a little worried about how the winds forecast are likely to affect the trees across the way. However I think I'll just settle down under a blanket and ignore the weather outside. The men are elsewhere, so I can leave them to it.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 12 February 2021

More Ouch

I have sciatica. My left leg is either painful, has pins and needles or is numb. I am unimpressed.


Why was the locomotive so fit? He was always training.

Hugs and good health to all.

Thursday 11 February 2021

A Little Better

Thank you for the kind words. They are sincerely appreciated. Still tired, still itchy, but not as bad. When it is at it's worse, it's very bad. Just now, it's just not good. 

I went to the shops today, after something of a gap. I just picked up one or two bits. I will probably have to go out again next week. 

It was nice to get out and stretch my wheels, even if it was frosty. I'll probably save any more driving until next week, now, when the weather improves. There's not that much driving to do. I'm still trying to be responsible. The shops are tricky. Sometimes it feels like people aren't taking the risks seriously. It's relatively busy. There were a few big gaps in the freezer section. I picked up everything I wanted. 

Writing stuff - Check out the sneak peak for 'Under the Bright Saharan Sky' here.

Hugs and good health to all.

Wednesday 10 February 2021

Not Much Better

Wherethejourneytakesme - I've knitted both of these blankets and they turned out great and ridiculously snuggly. They are also both incredibly easy. There's the Garter Squish Blanket which is all in garter stitch, or plain knit, with an easy edge detail, and the Ombre Ridge Knit Blanket which is a variation on rib and is incredibly warm and comforting. Both patterns are free and if you get the really inexpensive double knit from Marriners Yarns or similar, then neither cost silly amounts to make. They have the added bonus that if you think you are going to have a few moments, you can pick them up and then drop them again when a toddler turns into a whirlwind without worrying about keeping up to the pattern. The Garter Squish Blanket uses two strands of yarn and the Ombre Ridge Knit Blanket uses three strands. You need to keep an eye on making sure that all strands are involved in the stitch, but that's the only drawback.

The blanket I am planning (if I ever get to it) is two strands of 4ply or lightweight yarn. That would probably make it around a chunky weight, which usually knits on 6mm. However with blankets, sometimes it's good to go a size or two bigger as it makes the fabric move easier. I'll cast on something like 151 - 175 stitches (odd number, would consider less), knit probably ten rows, maybe fifteen, then go to 1st row: Knit 10, K1,P1 rib to last ten stitches, knit 10. 2nd row: Knit all. Then I'd carry on until I was nearly out of yarn and knit the last few rows, hopefully the same number as the start. If it ever gets done, I'll share.

Today has been tough. I had something with gluten yesterday. I'm not exactly sure what, but last night my legs were suddenly covered in serious eczema. It's similar to when I first broke out, and it's desperately difficult. I could barely manage to click on the computer, it affects me so much. It takes over - I'm twitching and scratching and I can't even think in full sentences when it's really bad. As it was, I couldn't lie still when I went to bed, I couldn't bare it. In the end, at around 4am, I got up and drank enough rum to knock me out. I would recommend Co-op Navy Rum as remarkably smooth for the price as well as the ability to send me to sleep. I woke at 8am, of course, as bear starts school. I have spent the day hungover, itching and fed up. What is worse, I perhaps could have considered a drive to stretch my wheels but I'm not sure that I'm fit to drive. When the alcohol left my system, I was still utterly exhausted. Thank goodness the ham is already cooked. I was going to do roast veggies with it, but it's looking like pasta with sauce. 

I feel battered. Too much of me hurts. And because it comes through my skin, it can take weeks to settle down. Also, bear keeps his window open (in this weather!) and for some reason, if he has the window open in his room, I get a draught across my shins. It isn't helping. 

I hope that tomorrow I'll be able to be a little more cheerful.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 9 February 2021

Fail Day

I was wondering why the date was niggling at me. Why was I fixated on 9th February, what was so significant about that? Was it a date from last year when we had a lot on? Doctor's appointment? MOT? Deadline?

It turns out that it was the date that the ham joint I had from my last shopping expedition expired. This was something of a nuisance as I had already got a Co-op order with meat for two days plus veg ordered. And DH has the second half of his pasta bake ready for tonight! So I've cooked the ham, with view to eating it cold over the next two days, bunged the Co-op meat in the freezer and grumbled.

And then, while I was struggling with some writing, I was at a low point in my writing and flicked over my emails as a sort of holding pattern while I tried to work something out. Unfortunately, at my moment of weakness, there was an email from Marriners Yarns. That is why I have £30 worth of yarn on its way. Okay, that's the material for two blankets (with previous yarn), three sets of yarn for hats and scarves in England colours (DH, bear and I) and a pom pom maker but I could do without it. 

I've been muttering about getting the black 4ply for a while as I plan to knit it as a double strand, one strand black and one strand this glorious colour, in a very basic broken rib for a snuggly blanket. But it could have waited until the current stash subsided a little.

I have no idea what bear and I are eating tonight. Bear's dinner will probably include horseradish and/or mustard. He has become heavily invested in horseradish, and he told me that he had never had mustard, so I picked up some mild stuff in the last shopping trip. It has been used liberally ever since. It is only a matter of time before the lad is eating mustard sandwiches. And that was perhaps the main reason for the order - bread for bear's toast.

So I failed by buying yarn when I can barely move for the stuff and I have failed epically with meal planning (again) and I'm not doing so bright with writing. I had also planned to have a quick drive to stretch my wheels and help get my joints moving a little better, but the weather made me nervous. I couldn't justify a joy ride, so I've stayed in doors. 

On the bright side - I can't wait to get the yarn. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 8 February 2021

Sort of Snow

Eileen - I think that's a good idea. I may try tomorrow.

Fifitr - my late uncle's house regularly had the garden under water (river at the bottom of the garden) so I know that feeling. 

Sharon - it felt damp!

Years and years and years ago, I went camping in North Wales with the Girl Guides. We had a campsite near the River Dee, just before it hits Llangollen. They call the River Dee 'Merlin's Stream' because it can be unpredictable and dangerous. It's fed from the mountains in North Wales. When it rains, there isn't always much on the mountains to trap the water, so it comes straight down and into the streams and rivers. The river at the bottom of uncle's garden fed into the Dee, and it had the same habit of rising quickly when there was rain on the hills, even if there wasn't any rain locally. Well, it was Wales, which gets a lot of rain, and it was summer and camping, so the risk of rain got a lot higher, so when it was lovely and sunny when we got there, we were very happy. We got the tents pitched and all the camp set up and then it started to rain - heavily. The river at the edge of the campsite (farmer's field, really, the water was from a cow's trough) had been trickling along, a few inches of water several feet below the banks and the level of the tents. As the rain fell, the water rose. It got higher and higher and eventually stopped around an inch below the top of the bank, maybe a whisker less. I don't know how the poor Guide leaders coped! The girls all thought it was great fun. I've never forgotten the relentless way the water rose, though. It was incredibly unnerving. 

Today has been quiet. I've been writing a lot. Bear seems to have been having a wonderful time on the classes, as I keep hearing him chuckling. The weather has been odd. There have been interludes of snow, which then disappear. I'm glad it hasn't settled. I'm not sure that the laurels across the way would take it. If that happens, it's going to be a job of work getting the car out. I'm planning on having a drive tomorrow. I'm not actually planning on getting out of the car, but the act of driving helps my joints. We could perhaps do with some bits, but I may see about a Co-op delivery instead of actual shopping. It all depends on the weather. 

Writing stuff - because I'm working on a deadline, I've re-posted something I wrote back in 2015, Domestic Demon. I remember how much fun I had writing it, and it still makes me smile.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 7 February 2021

All Dry Here

 Pam - thank you! It is unsettling.

The flood has gone, but here is a pic from yesterday.

It's all back to normal. There are still some alerts for the centre of Leeds, but nothing here. 

Today's photos are of the dratted laurels again. I think a branch may have snapped in the rain. 

I've emailed Matalan, and I'm hoping that they do something. I'm worried that the whole lot will come over and hit the cars and possibly even the house. 

There has been snow in the wind, but nothing serious. Apparently we get some tomorrow. I changed the time and date of the Tesco order as there was nothing we needed. This means that I won't be asking some poor delivery driver to come here through possible snow. It's bad enough asking them to brave the bushes. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 6 February 2021

Soggy Saturday

Bless - thank you!

Sharon - instagram is a very visual site and your photos are amazing. I'm still working it out.

Fifitr - I think I'll be holding out as well, with perhaps a visit to the farm shop when absolutely necessary. I've got plenty of lentils and I got a stock of dried minced onions on a deal. The same deal got loads of things like spices so I can change things up. I just have to keep an eye on how the men are doing. 

The weather people hinted that snow might be somewhere near us. We have had steady rain instead - hard, cold and continuing. 

It's up against the bridges at the moment, when normally it's a mucky trickle. That was a few hours ago and the river level information has it still rising. There is a good chance that the beck will flood onto the ring road again. I thought I may have to stay in because of snow, but if this rain continues, I'll have to stay in because of flood. There are flood alerts all along my usual routes, including in Tesco car park! And there are flood warnings, where flooding is expected, near bear's school. 

It's odd. I only started checking for flood warnings when I was writing this post, but checking the AA traffic news and looking at the flood maps is unnerving. The road I was walking along when I took this photo is now closed - probably because it has flooded. 

While I'm fussing bear (his ear is on and off) and thinking about dinner, I think I'll look out our torches, just in case the electric goes with the floods.

Hugs and good vibes to all. 

Friday 5 February 2021

Slightly Busier

Wherethejourneytakesme - you have my complete respect. 

I've not been busy as such, just busier than nothing. 

Writing continues but I nipped out to pick up bear's prescription and some stuff from Tesco. I made the most of it, and I have moved the Tesco delivery from Monday (when snow may be possible) to later in the month. We don't really need much.

It was odd seeing the gaps in the shelves. I wonder how things will work out now. 

It has been dry(ish) here, but I did notice some badly parked snow.

I'm looking forward to a quiet weekend.

Hugs and good health to all.

Thursday 4 February 2021

Another Very Quiet Day

I've been writing a lot, and then there's just the usual bits like feeding the men and washing up. I feel somewhat of a fraud posting on here.

Bear now has earache. I know absolutely nothing, and I'm very wary about looking on Google, so I'm at a loss. I had a good look and his ear doesn't look red or inflamed inside, so I suspect wax. If it hasn't eased off tomorrow then I'll add some olive oil and/or call the GP. At least his back is a little better and he can move. 

I have to go out tomorrow to pick up a prescription for bear. I'll pick up whatever I need, and there's some dry cleaning I need to collect. I may as well get bear's blazer cleaned ready for whenever it is he goes back as well. I'll sit down and make a list of exactly what I need to do and try and keep to one wide sweep of errands with lots of sanitiser. At least I'll have something to post about. 

Hugs and good health to all.

Wednesday 3 February 2021

Second Phone

 I bought a second phone for £35 (refurbished from Tesco) to be able to take pics of first phone (which was a lot more expensive) and hopefully be able to get the hang of instagram. I did look at cameras, but they are relatively expensive and I can't work out how to get pics onto the laptop or onto instagram. It has been explained to me several times, but the explanation slides off me like a duck trying to land on a frozen pond. I took a pic of my real phone in its case.

I may need some practice. 

The case is pretty battered, but the phone inside is fine. I have dropped my phone, bunged it in bags, shoved it in pockets and it has rattled around the inside of my poor car in all sorts of places. The case has taken the beating, but not the phone. This is a miracle. I've tried to encourage bear to use a case but apparently it isn't the done thing at school. My real phone is a little worn, as I've had it two or three years, but it's not in bad shape - as shown below.

I still need more practice. But that is a pic of my phone, with the kindle app on it, showing my latest. 

Actually, today has been a bear day. I've had phone consultations with two health care professionals about his ongoing joint problem and he did something interesting to his back this morning which left him barely able to move, poor kid. As far as I can tell (I have the medical knowledge of the average banana) it was a muscle spasm, but with everything else, it gave him a really hard time. It's easing off now, so I'm hoping for an easy night for all of us and I will keep a close eye on him. 

Hugs and good health to all.

Tuesday 2 February 2021

Writing Continues

There's not much else to say. I've not been out apart from last night when I went late to the shops for some bits to keep us going until the next delivery. 

We had snow overnight. The laurels opposite are once again pushed down. I'm going to have to go out there with a step ladder and a saw!

School have been pretty good. I have had a few calls from teachers just checking that all is good, and they are keeping the kids pretty much on the timetable. It helps keep bear on a rhythm. Mind you, his next lesson is 'games' which will almost certainly involve the Xbox. I've been taking him out for a few walks over the last week or so, which is something.

Today is Candlemas, or Imbolc. I had a quick scan of the various Wikipedia entries and it's a pagan festival taken over by Christians and is a festival of lights and perhaps the first stirrings of spring. And the days are getting longer, by over three minutes every day where I live - I looked it up here. And there has to be a little hope on the horizon, if only for a little more sunlight. 

Writing stuff - I squeezed in a little flash fiction here, about Candlemas, and now I am back to writing.

Hugs and good health to all.