Friday 30 April 2021

End of the Week

Fifitr - I've been trying to find the phone number for the store for years and they rang from the landline. I have saved it in several places!

I don't know where the week went. There seems to have been some sort of blur. Today has been a sort of nothing day. I've got some writing done, and called in on my brother who had some gluten free pasta that he had picked up for me. He thinks that I've left it too late for some of the seeds I had planned to plant, and I suspect he may be right. It's just been so cold that I haven't felt right. I think I'll have a go and see what we get. We had a nice chat in the garden and I had a cuddle with his elderly dog. This dog was a rescue, over ten years ago. He's as old as bear, probably, but no-one is quite sure about his start in life. As it is, the woofer found his place with my brother and his partner. He could not have been luckier. He gets great walks, proper doggy treats, and lots of love. The dog is elderly now, and a little dafter, but still has a laser like focus when it comes to treats. He is probably part labrador, possibly some elkhound and a lot of cuddles. He also sheds to Olympic standard. 

It's my last antibiotic tomorrow, and I'll be glad to be off them. I am definitely feeling run down. I think I'll pick up one of those probiotic drinks next week some time. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday 29 April 2021

I Asked for the Manager

Susan - thank you!

Fifitr - I'm back at the dentist at the end of May. It's getting better. Thank you for the good wishes.

I'm feeling a little fed up still, and under the weather. I don't seem to be up to doing much at all. However when we got a delivery and the van was getting caught by the branches, I went around to Matalan and asked for the manager.

I asked nicely for the manager, accepted that they weren't available, explained what was going on and left my phone number. The manager not only rang me when they were free, but have promised that it should be cut back in the next few weeks. 

I was floating on air after the phone call. It almost made up for the letter 'to the occupier' letting me know that Yorkshire Water are investigating the local sewers. There may be some disruption. Apparently when the area was flooded, it may have affected the sewers. I'm carefully not thinking about it. I'm glad in a way, though, as I suspect the sewer on our street is in a bad way. I can walk to two fish and chip shops, a pizza place and a chinese/thai takeaway in less than five minutes from our house. It is bound to have an effect. 

I shall wait and see. They may decide that nothing needs doing. But as I drive around, the amount of roadworks that are popping up around every corner make me think that they're just looking for an excuse to bring in an excavator.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 28 April 2021

Taken a Day

Sharon - thank you. I have been on the walk a few times and hope to take more walks there.

Tooth continues.

I've taken it very quiet today. I was planning on finishing the net curtains for the porch. We need them, as the angle means that if you approach right, you can see into the living room. I do not approve. I have been struggling as the fabric is scratchy, awkward and I have come to loathe it with a searing passion. Today I decided to junk the dratted thing. I went onto my friend eBay, which was not a good idea. Did you know that you could get organza embossed with gold bats? There are all sorts of sparkling, shimmering, strange and interesting fabrics that could go in the window. And the neighbours wouldn't mind. Well, I don't know about the flats, but next door and next door but one are pretty open minded, so could probably live with all sorts. Out of respect for bear, however, some cream muslin is on its way, with some trim (and the trim is another story altogether! I could have been lost in there for weeks!).

I've finished the wool blend blanket.

It was the yarn from Aldi, and I had three balls of 200g each, so it was 600g. I wish I could remember how much it cost. A similar one on the website is £3.99, which sounds about right. The blanket ended up around 50 inches by 40 inches (about 100cm by 128cm) and is surprisingly soft now that it is knitted up. At some point I must remember to sew the end in. It's broken rib with a garter stitch border, which is nice and cosy, but it would have probably been longer if I had not used a rib type stitch as I think that they take up more yarn. I still love the colour. I may use it in the car when it's chilly. I can end up waiting for bear for quite a while. It's not too bad for a great deal of entertainment while waiting for bear plus a decent throw for £11.97.

I'm now off to get ready with another ongoing, very easy project (I daren't try to knit the jacket while feeling so off) and settle down for the Great British Sewing Bee. I shall marvel at their machining skills, knowing that I shall be sewing the porch curtains (not too wide, but with fullness around 50 inches and a 46 inch drop, with trim) by hand. 

Hugs and good health to all.

Tuesday 27 April 2021

It Goes to Show

 I have an abscess on my tooth. I am not guaranteeing that anything after this will make sense. 

All is pretty normal here. I wish it was a little warmer. I am hoping to still start some seeds off in the next few days (aches and pains permitting) but I still have to worry about frost and local pigeons that are roughly the size of vultures. The red hot poker plants that I planted a few weeks ago are doing okay and the parsley is also limping along. They could do with a good water, but it looks like it is about to pour with rain. I am caught in a dilemma. Do I risk watering the plants and then they get over wet followed by a chill? Or do I count on the rain? The weather forecast is inconclusive.

Someone commented on a post I made about an online test that checked for dementia here. The question was, how is a hammer like a corkscrew and the commentator noted that both could be used to extract things. A claw hammer will get out nails and a corkscrew gets out corks. It does go to show, though. That post was made on 13 January 2014 - over seven years ago! Nothing you post online ever goes away. I hope that the nice commentator enjoyed the post. 

Writing stuff - latest flash fiction here.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 23 April 2021


Fifitr - when nobody talks about loss, people feel isolated. They feel alone and I think it makes things worse. I remember feeling completely adrift. Mind you, I'm not sure that I'm that maternal myself. Especially if bear is being more bear than usual! I'm nervous about hacking back the laurels even more. I took quite a few branches off over the winter when it was snowing, and it didn't make much dent. Besides, it's where the magpies are nesting and I don't want them to hold a grudge against me. They used to bully the lad next door but two something awful. As for the football, it was an epic fail of judgement that dwarfs all of my epic fails, even if they were bundled into one!

Libby - the fans have indeed spoken! I think the owners are crazy to have not checked with their fans. I believe it's very different in the US, where the Liverpool and Manchester United owners are based. And the walk was awesome!

I managed a quiet walk, and a very small shop, then didn't really get moving. I'm hoping to keep on tonight as the men are busy. The walk was lovely, as it was comparatively early and the shadows were long and golden. They have been cutting back the growth along the paths and had the dead stuff heaped up.

And if you look very closely below, you can see what happened when I tried to take a pic of a yellow wagtail. It was quite a distance away, and a little uncomfortable having someone point a phone at them, so all I caught was a brief flash of yellow in the smallest patch of sunlight, just as it flew off. 

For contrast, I found this pic on WikiCommons. The pic was taken in Ethiopia, but apparently they also live in the UK and most of Europe as well as parts of Russia, India and will overwinter in Sub Saharan Africa. It sounds quite exotic to say that my blurred gleam is Batley Park!

Bear is having drama with drama. I'm not exactly sure of the details, but I have been spending many hours waiting for him in a supermarket car park. Apparently he needs to do some sort of group work, which he has been rehearsing before and after school, but some vital members of the group are now self isolating. This means that they will have to fit the performance/marking after school as the timetable is moving on. On the whole, by and large and in general, I don't mind waiting in car parks for bear as I get quite a bit of knitting done, but I could do without it right now. 

And the people at the back have just started up another argument. It's a cracker. I can't quite make out the details but whether someone has told the truth or not seems to be in question. I'll put my headphones on. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday 22 April 2021

What happened to the Week?

 Winters End Ram - I am so, so sorry. Hugs. I hope I didn't upset you.

Honestly, I could swear that it's only Monday. Where has the week gone? I seem to have been moving around a lot but I don't seem to have done much. I've done quite a bit of work on some writing today, so that's something.

I have reduced the ironing mountain a little by splitting my time with fifteen minutes ironing, fifteen minutes writing, fifteen minutes tidying, fifteen minutes writing etc. There are no great and wonderful successes, but it's been okay. I'll be carrying on with the whole 'fifteen minute' thing, though not tomorrow. I'm planning to actually take exercise and go for a walk, stock up on some shopping and then catch up on some more writing. I'll let you know if that actually happens. My track record in following plans is so bad you can see the fail from space.

I'm still a little shaken by the whole Super League thing. For those who don't follow football, or soccer, look away now. But I've been a passionate Liverpool supporter all my life. I remember seeing them at Anfield when King Kenny was playing and Hanson and Lawrenson were the impassable defences. I can't feel the same about them now. I wonder where things will go from here. To be fair, I think that the Fenway Group, who own LFC, were taken by surprise and John Henry's apology seemed pretty genuine. It just feels like something important to me is suddenly a little tarnished. I don't know where it will go from here. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 21 April 2021

Still Trees

Sharon - Thank you. I think that I could have written a murder mystery. It was the sort of overfilled, late middle aged man with no volume control that tends to latch on to people. It's usually someone who is younger than them and that looks too polite to tell them to go away, so you are stuck, glassy eyed, looking for escape. He said a brief word when he used a chair from the table I was on, but I smiled, nodded and concentrated desperately on writing in my notebook. I wasn't actually writing anything at that point, but I kept the pen moving until he went away. I think the man in the corner was too old so he picked on some young lasses in the corner until one of the staff rescued them by triggering a tannoy announcement about mixing groups and bubbles and he sort of huffed and moved on.

I managed some ironing and a little tiny bit in the garden, as well as some writing, so today has been okay. However, I'm still worried about the trees opposite. They seem to be leaning over further than ever. I don't know if it's the new growth or the flowers, but I swear it's getting worse.

It isn't much, but it's the only pic I got where I remembered that I had a new case for the phone and that I needed to move things so that the camera worked. Sigh. 

The thing is, the trees are seriously bowed over, and the new growth and flowers aren't going to help. I was worried about them when the soil was wet, but now that the soil is drying out, I'm not sure it could be worse. The weather forecast isn't showing much in the way of rain for the next month! I'll have to spend the time and get some proper pics.

Now I'm off to watch the Great British Sewing Bee. I'll worry about the rest tomorrow.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 20 April 2021

Still Plodding On

First - want to cut and paste from Sarah Head's post about bereavement resources. It's so hard to go through a miscarriage, as so few people seem to talk about it. 

 It is never too late to talk about personal feelings of loss. When we were going through the retained organs scandal in the NHS, many CHCs (Community Health Councils, the patients' voice in the NHS until 2003) had women in their eighties arriving in the office to beg for the opportunity to tell someone about their lost baby or miscarriage. They'd all been told to "get on with life" and forget their loss. My mother had two miscarriages, both boys, both after a month of bedrest. She noted the first in my baby book but it took her eighteen years to admit the second one had happened. There is a Miscarriage Association which offers support and Cruse is always at the end of a telephone or available for an online chat about any loss. Sometimes it is the small things which help - lighting a candle, dropping a note into running water or planting a commemorative tree. For others, it can be making some kind of meaning from a seemingly meaningless occasion. 

All hugs gratefully received.

I've not much to post about, really. I've been working on a writing project and keeping up with bear. He was at climbing last night, and while I was waiting for him (and forbidden to knit because it's so embarrassing), I wrote, with pen and paper instead of a keyboard, the flash fiction here. It's a brief poem which is far from brilliant, but it was done in a noisy cafe with a middle aged man loudly lecturing anyone who stood still long enough and with modern techno music in the background. So I'm sort of pleased.

And I even used a pic that I  took myself. It's not up to the standard of Sharon and the rest of the wonderful artists who comment, but I'm sort of pleased with that as well.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 14 April 2021

Wild Morning

We left the house early this morning for school, and within about ten minutes we were passing a field with a hare in it. I only caught a slight glimpse as I didn't want to drive into anything, but bear said that there were two and that they were running towards each other. I suppose that they may have been rabbits, but they were a lot larger than I would have thought and my instinct was, when I had that glimpse, was 'hare'. 

Then as we were cutting through a corner towards Batley, we saw a squirrel running along the side of the road. It was a part of the road where I couldn't go fast, and I slowed down even more to pass the poor thing. There are a lot of squashed squirrels on the road at this time of year. 

And then, after dropping bear off and heading for the park, I saw a rat run across the car park. I thought that was quite enough wildlife for the morning. 

At the park, I saw this.

I have no idea what it means. It ought to be a significant part of a story and a recurring theme. I suspect it's a conspiracy theory thingy.

It's been another quiet day. I'm getting more done working with a sort of Bullet Journal idea, but there's still a way to go. I'm not worrying about it tonight, though. Instead I plan to settle down with my knitting and the first in the new series of Sewing Bee and relax. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 13 April 2021

Keeping On

Thank you for all the good wishes and hugs. I think that the experience is sadly more common than we would like, but rarely discussed. Sometimes I think it's good to quietly say a small something. 

Bear wanted an early start this morning, so it wasn't even 8am when I dropped him near school. I thought I would have a (very quick) walk in the park as it was quiet. It was interesting to see how the frost was laying. I hope this pic works - it's a bench where the frost has gone from the grass apart from the spot covered by the shadow from the bench.

It really was a glorious morning.

I also took my car to a car wash. They were incredibly busy.

Tomorrow is another early start and I plan to see if the place where I want to plant the red hot pokers is frosty or not. It's very sheltered and near the central heating vent, so it may be safe.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 12 April 2021

Sad Writing Stuff

 Fifitr - I'm sure you're weather will be fine in May, although I guess it depends where you are. I remember staying in Pickering in North Yorkshire one May and we had snow and sunburn in the same week! And I also count the layers.

The view from inside my car this morning - total frost over the windscreen.

Lots of Writing Stuff and talk about loss and miscarriage.

I practically never write about my own experience. The advice to writers is that you should write what you know. My first self published novel, The Forgotten Village, was a story set in a Post Office and shop (I've never worked in a post office and I last worked in a supermarket in 1986). The heroine was a neat freak (I am really, really, really not). And it's a village filled with vampires, werewolves and boggarts (no comment). It seems to have worked, though, and I got some good feedback. 

Another example is a short story where I wrote in the persona of a rejected mistress (here, if you're interested) and I was contacted by someone who had been in that position. I didn't like to judge, but I had never been anyone's mistress. I've never been with anyone who had another partner at the same time. It obviously resonated with her and rang true, and I felt for her pain, but I couldn't offer any insights. 

All this to say, just because it's in my fiction pages, doesn't mean that it's anything to do with me. It's quite likely that it's not. Writing anything about me is boring.

Today is an exception. Before I had bear, I had a miscarriage at 13 weeks. I know lots of women reading this will have experienced this or know people who did. I am sure that lots of people have had far more painful experiences. However I still feel a little lost. I went to the hospital and confirmed that I was losing my baby, but then I went home and that was it. I was sort of adrift. Apparently I should have been offered counselling and stuff, but it didn't happen. 

Today would have been my child's due date, and possibly their birthday. They would be fifteen. Normally I just keep it to myself, but I thought that as the flash fiction fell on this day, and the story was calling, I would share this piece of my experience. 

Sincere condolences and good wishes to all who have gone through this.

Hugs and good health to all.

Sunday 11 April 2021

Another Quiet Day

Fifitr - I'll have to go digging. It was really pleasant, although a little spicy for me. 

I could get used to quiet days. Bear helped me make dinner, which was frozen 'gammon joint in tin' plus frozen wedges but also onions. He had me slice the onions (he really suffers with onions) and then he added a little oil, cumin, turmeric, chilli and sugar and put them in the oven with the ham. They were gorgeous. 

Back to school tomorrow after a break. I'm not looking forward to the commute. We had a few flakes of snow earlier, and it's quite damp. I'm worried about ice. 

I mean, it's not much snow, but it's still there. Fortunately, I don't have any shopping to do. Another bonus, as our house is south facing with double glazing, and there has been some sunshine, it's lovely and snug inside. I may also be wearing a sweater etc, but it's still nice. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 10 April 2021

Bear had a Win

Fifitr - apparently 22% of the British population had met or seen the Duke of Edinburgh. To see him so close and interact must have been special, though. He was indefatigable.

Libby - I really feel for the Queen. She is a distant figure in so many ways, I have no idea about her apart from bits seen from the news. But she is a human being who has lost someone who was close to her for 73 years, and perhaps the last person that ever called her by her name.

 Bear made dinner. 

He gave me a list of ingredients, which included chestnut mushrooms (expensive), kale (couldn't find it anywhere), kashmiri chilli (wut?) and black mustard seeds (unknown in local shops). I could probably have found the spices if I had taken the time, as I live in an area that has a lot of people from the Indian subcontinent, and it's coming up to Ramadan. I didn't feel that I had the time! I loaded up on the mushrooms, got a sweetheart cabbage for the kale and ordered the spices from Amazon. If I had more time, I would have gone to Just Ingredients, which I've used in the past, and I've had good experiences. As it was, the spices arrived like this.

It make take some time to get through them. There's around a pound of each! Tesco had the fennel seeds and cumin seeds, along with the motar and pestle that was suggested. I'm not sure that I have anything useful  to bash with, and I suspect that bear will get some use out of that bit of equipment. The fennel and cumin seeds were also in fairly large bages, but I'm sure that they'll get used. Bear very much enjoyed making dinner and it was AWESOME! He also cleared up a lot of the mess as well, so I'm very impressed. He's cooking again next Saturday. 

Not only did he choose and follow a recipe, but he was looking at it and wondering how to adapt it to other veggies and perhaps chicken or beef. 

I use Just Ingredients for the dried minced onion, which works well for a lot of my stuff. I also pick up my Italian herbs in bigger bags. In the past I've got things like ground tumeric and ground cumin, which turned out a lot stronger than the stuff in the little supermarket glass jars! I had to tone down my seasoning quite a bit. I love looking through the herbs and spices. They stock stuff like Devil's Claw (which is apparently a herb) as well as things like garlic pepper.

I have a lot to do tomorrow, so now that I have been well fortified by a wonderful dinner, I'm going to crawl off for an early night.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 9 April 2021

Sad Day

I didn't expect to feel so sad when I heard that Prince Philip had passed. It's not exactly unexpected for someone that elderly, and I don't think I was ever in the same town as him. So when I felt so lost and upset, I also felt surprised at my feelings.

I posted on Facebook and I'll post the same sentiment here. I think he got some things right. I think he got some things wrong. I think he did his best and he did his duty. 

It feels a little like one of the certainties that made up our lives have gone, and there's a shaky feeling as we try and regain our balance without that reassuring continuity. Whether you loved him or loathed him, he was there. And now he isn't. For what it's worth, I'll pray for his family. They must be devastated.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 7 April 2021

Red Hot Pokers

Helen - I think that you are absolutely right! I shall steer clear of putting the basil out for a while. 

Fifitr - We had the Wicked brand Black Olive Pesto. It really hits the spot with us. It's vegan, which is helpful for the various food intolerances, with cashews and basil as well as olives. I quite fancy a curry now, especially as it's so cold. 

And it is cold. I was looking at the long term weather forecast and I probably shouldn't plant anything out for at least another fortnight, if not a month. Long term weather forecasts are not an exact science, and the observations from commercial airlines have been massively reduced with the lack of flights, but the general feeling seems to be that it's likely to stay cold here for a few weeks. On the bright side, it gives me a chance to clear the garden and perhaps get some seedlings going.

I should have checked earlier. I was dithering about getting something for the concrete planters that father brought. They need to be emptied and to have a good clean (like everything else) and I definitely can't move them easily. 

(apart from the grass in the cracks, the creeper in the background is honeysuckle which has rather got away from me)

And I saw some red hot poker bulbs for sale in Morrisons a few weeks ago, but they had them on the way out, so I'm not sure how you are supposed to buy them, especially as they still have a one way system. Eventually I weakened, and bought two small plants from eBay. I love red hot pokers. My grandmother had a huge bank of them, and they bring back great memories. They should look something like this.

But mine came in a small, very damp package that looked like this.

I've got them inside, in the porch. 

The porch is unheated but should shelter them tonight. The growing instructions suggested that the plants should be planted straight away. I don't think even the hardiest would survive. I can't move the stone planters, so I couldn't plant them straight up and then bring them in and out. I think I will have to put the plants in some temporary tubs that I can bring in and out and see how the weather goes before putting them in their final position. The planters are a little cramped, but I'm hoping that a combination of a hardy variety and plenty of feeding will help. I'll keep them in the porch at night and then out in the daytime. 

By the way, don't be fooled. I really don't know what I'm doing when it comes to gardening. I'm just making it up as I go along, much like everything else.

Dinner tonight was gluten free chicken nuggets with pasta and pesto and I softened up some mushrooms, half an onion left from bear's guacamole at lunch and some mushrooms with some italian herbs and gluten free worcester sauce. It was a very pleasant meal. I really need to use up the purple sweet potatoes soon, though, so I'm wondering what I can do with them. I've seen some nice recipes for roasting them, but I'm not sure what to have with them. There isn't that much in the freezer and I'm not in a rush to go out. I may fry some eggs. Why complicate things?

Mind you, bear is quite keen to try tofu. I have no idea what I'm doing with that, so I'll let him take the lead and make the suggestions. He's much more imaginative than I am.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 6 April 2021

Serious Shopping

Fifitr - I think my rosemary is here for the longterm as well, and I've some mint and oregano in tubs from last year which are starting to show life again. Mind you, mint is pernicious. Keeping it alive isn't the problem. It's getting rid of the stuff if you put it in a border. The stuff I planted over the weekend is definitely looking sorry for itself, and I think the basil has had it. I'll see what I can do with the windowsills.

I actually didn't go as far as I planned today, but I was still out for hours and I seemed to go miles. First of all there was the slot I booked at the tip. It was incredibly busy this morning. I only had a few black bags, so was able to bung them into the huge skips pretty quickly and get away. I've booked another slot on Friday, which I'm hoping I'll use to get rid of some of the garden waste that I plan to generate. I want to cut back, dig up and weed a lot of stuff, so that will be a few bags. It may even include the new herbs, as I'm pretty certain that the basil is done for. I didn't risk watering them, in case the water froze on them. We had snow this afternoon, and hail. The fuschia needs hacking back. Bear noticed that it was just bare branches today. It's been like that since Christmas. 

I'd planned to go to a garden centre in Brighhouse. There are garden centres nearer, but I spotted this one on eBay selling slug pellets that were non chemical and biodegradable, and made of wool. Of course, when I checked to make a link, I found that plenty of places near to me were selling wool slug pellets, including one that's barely two miles away and one in Todmorden which would be a serious drive, and a fun drive as well. As any sensible slug would be buried in this weather, however, I decided against the journey. 

I called in to the farm shop instead. They had some lovely veg. I wish I had taken a pic of the broccoli before we ate it, as it really looked awesome. I don't usually like broccoli either. I picked up some veggies and a gooseberry pie and then on to the next stop. I called in to Morrisons because it was on the way, and it was the nearest place I new that had a loo that was open. I was absolutely desperate when I hurtled in. I picked up some Pringles for the men as they want to eat guacamole with them, plus some nice bread for DH. 

I carried on, and called into the new B&M Bargains with Garden Centre. I was looking for potting compost, to try to start some seeds on the windowsills. The compost was there in the very cold outdoor area, but it was in a big bag and I had only picked up a basket. I picked up a couple of packs of command hooks that I needed, then left. I'll have another trip out later. 

Then I called in to Aldi, but they didn't have the cola I like for my rum, and they didn't have the avocadoes that bear wanted, so I went into Tesco, filled up the car and picked up the last few things on my list. I also picked up a very inexpensive bunch of flowers as the last inexpensive flowers were finally giving up after a fortnight. I perhaps should have switched them before. The petals all had their colour, but when I picked up the vase to change them over, petals and leaves showered everywhere

Tonight we had pasta with peas and pesto, broccoli and the men had chickenless nuggets, followed by the gooseberry pie. 

I think I will have a quiet night and perhaps do all those housewifery tasks I had planned tomorrow. Between all the driving, all the running around and the vast amount of sanitiser that is currently drying out my hands, I'm all in. 

Hugs and good health to all.

Monday 5 April 2021

Cold Again

It's been sunny, but cold. That means that our house has been okay, but outside has been bitter. The basil I planted is looking a little frost bitten. The herbs are starting to revive a little, but the garden is far from looking like a green oasis.

The coriander on the windowsill has been picked over as bear and DH made guacamole for lunch, and it's also looking a little battered, so I'm going to throw the stalks away and pick up some more to plant. 

Today has been a hanging out sort of day, apart from when bear went for a 'quick' walk to test his boots and disappeared for two hours. Normal for a teenager, nerve wracking for me. He was, of course, fine. He also approved of the boots, which was something. 

I made scouse for dinner, but it turned out too greasy. I must remember to really trim the lamb properly next time. A certain amount of fat is normal, but this didn't work.  

I've been watching a lot of junk journal videos. I'm not sure that this will end well. On the other hand, it stops me watching anything worse. I'm keeping going with the journal, and it's helping me organise my thoughts. I'm getting a little more done, and tomorrow, when DH is back at work, I hope to get further on. 

I'm off now for an early night. For some reason, I'm exhausted.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 4 April 2021

Happy Easter!

Alleluia, Christ is Risen.

Bless - thank you, and Happy Easter to you as well! I can't remember where I saw the idea, but using sponges seemed inspired.

I wasn't going to post this, but I thought I needed to be honest. The herbs aren't doing so well. They have all sort of flopped. I took a picture this afternoon.

They are looking very uninspired. I'll keep an eye on them, and of course they had a good water today, but the weather forecast is for cold weather the next few days, possibly frost or even a few flakes of snow. I've got a couple of supermarket coriander plants that need to go into something and I am planning on keeping them on the kitchen windowsill. I'll be using the bottom halves of the five litre vinegar containers - well washed out, of course. They fit on the windowsill in the kitchen, but nowhere else. I'm saving the bottles from water and fizzy drinks (far too many) to start some seeds off in the windows.

Speaking of plans, Lent has ended. I decided to try and make more sense and organisation of my life over the forty days, to make it easier for me to go forward in faith, as much as anything else. It's not been a raging success. I always tell the truth on the blog, reserving the right to fudge a few details for privacy. It's been okay. I'm getting a combination of the bullet journal and the Secret Slob's version of the Fly Lady going, and so far it's been a lukewarm success. I've got a huge quantity of paperwork sorted (badly) and stashed as I finally found a place to put it. When I say a quantity, there were bags of the stuff, going back two years or more. I think the shredder is on its last legs as I worked my way through shredding, sorting and binning, but the place is a lot clearer. I've made space in some corners, and I feel that there is a chance for me to make more space as I go. 

Electronically, my emails have dropped from around 4,000 unread to around 1,000 unread, and I've unsubscribed to a few email letters. It's not brilliant, but it's a start and I'm settling in to checking and deleting on a regular basis. My next task is my desk top on my computer. There is actually no more space on my home screen as it is covered in icons. I need to look at that soon. But I'll take the wins that I can. 

It's not very exciting. It's not fantastic success, nor is it a fail. It's a sort of bumping along in the right direction. That makes me hopeful that I'll get there in the end.

And I feel a sort of optimism as I once again start doing the twice daily routine of hauling a watering can up and down steps at least three or four times to get the garden watered. I need to exercise, so that will be a small something. I need to dig out all our seeds and plan for some planting. I'll share if I get that done.

The thing that has helped me most is a battered and rather uninspiring spiral bound A4 notebook where I am just dumping all my thoughts and ideas. I use it as a sounding board and a way of organising how I go on from minute to minute. Sometimes it helps me work out what I should do in the next half hour, or which order I should attack half a dozen very trivial and small steps that get things moving in the right direction. 

I'm very sniffly at the moment. I had some toadflax in the garden, and I relocated a clump to the fence near Matalan as the stuff is quite pretty and will crawl over anything. While I was there, I took a pic of one of the reasons I'm sniffing.

This is the least blurry photo I managed, as the wind was quite strong.

I'll share more about how successful I am with the organising as I go along. Happy Easter and Blessed Eostre. Hugs and good health to all.

Saturday 3 April 2021

A Sort of Progress

 Poppy - I had a similar conversation with an Amazon driver. I can't remember exactly the words, as it was a few years ago, and I may be remembering the dates wrong, but it went roughly like this... 'Hello, Mrs Sybil, you weren't in so I left the parcel with your mother.' I paused for a moment before saying, 'my mother has been dead for three years.' It turned out that it was a parcel that I had sent to my friend and her mother had taken it in. I felt a little sorry for the driver. A cold caller, however, doesn't get the same sympathy.

Sharon - I love my car, though you can't see as much of the colour as I would like due to dust. I've looked at these videos, and they are so lovely, but I wonder if I would ever have the courage to cut up a book, even an unwanted, un-needed, Readers Digest collection. 

Fifitr - I have had some awesome books from library sales. And how do you know that no-one will want the book? I talk about the Readers Digest books, the condensed novels where they've stripped down a book and it would be better to read it in the original, but it is still a possibility that someone would want that abridged read. 

Today has been slightly high gravity - the sort of day when things are more likely to get dropped. I've managed to knock the same pair of scissors into the waste basket three times so far. I'm trying to sew up some net curtains for the porch. I'll share when (if) I finish, but I keep losing the tape measure, the pins and the thread. I can't seem to get the phone to charge either. 

I also managed to take a chunk out of my finger just before planting out some herbs and then sewing some white fabric. Timing is everything.

I hurt my finger prising apart some pots for the herbs. Then when I tried to put holes in the bottom (for drainage), most of them split along the bottom. So I tried out a tip I saw. I got hold of some flat-packed cellulose sponges. I got natural ones because I thought I didn't want plastic getting into what I was hoping to eat. 

The Composty sponges are cellulose and come in compressed sheets. When you add water, they swell up.

I lined the pots with them, instead of using stones. They should help retain water.

I remembered to get a pic of the pots before they were filled. I'll try and remember tomorrow to get a pic of them with the herbs in - coriander, parsley and basil.

I didn't do a fancy job of planting them. I just bunged them in the pots with some compost from Aldi. The compost seemed very robust, with lots of lumps and bumps and a few stones, but I'm sure it will settle down. And on the plus side, I've now got the exercise of watering the plants every morning and night.

I've got some washing done, and I've sorted out some paperwork. I'm planning on a quiet evening with some writing, interspersed with swearing at the net curtain I'm trying to sew.

Hugs and good health to all.

Friday 2 April 2021

Tearing Up Books

Slimsdotter - I'm sharing your post on here so it's easily seen.  The one I got today, started with "can you hear me ok"? Then if they get your voice saying "yes" they can say you agreed to whatever they are selling. I said "I can hear you", which didn't fit their plan and they hung up on me. Thank you for sharing this. It just goes to show that you can never be too careful!

YouTube happened again. I found this video - do not click if you don't like seeing books torn up. The YouTuber is making small envelopes out of pages of books, ripping them up and stamping them and generally being crafty, using old books (one was a grammar from 1896) as materials. 

The thing is, I know that there are books out there that will never get read. Lots of charity shops can't shift all the books that they get. There is usually a row somewhere of Readers Digest abridged books that no-one can shift for love nor money. I know my mother was very upset when she passed a public rubbish bin just outside a charity shop and saw it full of books. So many will be getting pulped. It makes sense to use them for decoration. It just doesn't seem right. 

On the other hand, newspapers are always being recommended for things like papier mache, as well as various cleaning uses. I miss having father's paper for scraping the rubbish from the bottom of pans and clearing out the gunk in general. That is sort of the same, but it doesn't feel like it!

I think I shall continue to enjoy watching the videos, but I don't think I will be using any of the ideas unless I use printed papers or similar. To be honest, I'm not sure what I'd do with one of the journals she creates. They look amazing, but I think that they wouldn't get used, which is sort of sad. If you knew someone liked that sort of thing for a gift, it would be great. 

Mind you, I've been dipping my toe into Bullet Journalling and I can see how it could get out of control. I keeping going back to goblincore ideas, and then look at bullet journals (some of which are true works of art) and then at my spartan lists. I really need to resist this! 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday 1 April 2021

Colourful Day

I called in to Aldi last night when it was quiet, and I picked up this.

It's a 16cm (just over 6 inch) and exactly what I want for sauces and eggs on the stove. It's also just the size I want for a few peas or some carrots - just a small milk pan that will do for all sorts. I think it would also be perfect for just a little sauce (I can make a roux easily enough) and even the noodles that bear likes. I haven't tried it yet, but it's supposed to be ideal for induction hobs. It is also green.

I also saw a car on the road that not only was the same make, model and year as mine, but also the same colour. You don't see many cars that are a royal purple. I found this pick in a post from two years ago that shows my car's colour. It's not common at all. 

Today I got a sales call that started with, 'I'm not trying to sell you anything'. This is never a good sign and I am always immediately on guard after an opening like that. I think they were going to try and sell me a new boiler. The thing was, I didn't want to answer their questions.

Someone who is cold calling has a rotten job. They are likely to be paid pennies, and only on commission and not a salary. They have a script and they don't have much leeway. However they are trained to get you to engage with them. If you give them a reason why you don't want to do something, they are trained to attack those reasons and dismiss them. If you say that you can't afford it, they will find a way to get you finance. If you say that you are happy with whatever it is, they will find a way to prove that their thingy will make you happier. It is dangerous to give them an opening. And if you say that you are not interested, they will persist in asking why until you have to hang up on them, which can lead to them repeatedly ringing back. 

So today, when they asked me the age of the boiler, I answered, 'purple'. That's all I said. Whenever they asked me a question, I just said, 'purple'. Bear was in stitches (he could hear the caller on the other side of the room, she was loud). In the end, they gave up. I hope it gave them a chuckle at the mad woman while confirming that I don't like to be cold called.

And we even had purple carrots in the beef casserole tonight. So a very colourful day.

Hugs and good health to all.