Monday 31 May 2021

Keeping Busy

I keep forgetting to post. I feel poorly quite easily at the moment, but I'm trying to get bits done in short bursts. 

Saturday I thought I would tackle my fear of the slip road and head onto the bypass and northwards to Lawnwood Cemetary. I was bracing myself for going at speeds up to 60 miles an hour - but there were road works. Imagine my exhilaration (or lack) at bumbling along at 30mph. I did get to manage a few longer bursts of speed further on, though, and the car feels better for it. I still don't feel comfortable. I'm never going to be a speed demon. 

I couldn't find where to park at Lawnwood Cemetary so I kept going and ended up at Golden Acre Park. This is a wetland park with lots of marshy bits, like here, which is apparently Skunk Cabbage (I may have posted about it before).

It is quite marshy, and after a while I had to turn back as I didn't fancy wading through mud in slippers.

There were also trees like this, which is perhaps mistletoe? I'm not sure.

There not nests, but like green plants. Unfortunately, it was bog next to the tree so I couldn't get closer.

I got a load of doggy cuddles, so that was good. And I called into the big Asda on the way back, which was something of a win for me. It's a little awkward to get to. I'm not sure if it's a good or a bad thing that I found a non-dual carriageway to get to it. The 'free from' section was amazing, though, so I should go back, whichever route I take.

Yesterday I got a few bits done in the garden and enjoyed bear practicing the piano after a long absence. I got the edging in for the centre bed (seriously, it's smaller than most coffee tables and the entire garden is tiny, but it sounds grand) and I've got some runner beans planted. The lilac is still filling the garden with scent. It's the first year that it really took off. It must have liked the odd spring. The apple tree is absolutely full of the set blossoms. I'm going to have to thin them. And all the hawthorn trees are full of blossom. I took this pick this morning on my walk.

There were goslings as well on the pond, which were sweet (and well supervised by the scary adult Canada geese)

I have such a list of things to do tomorrow (which I daren't share). I'm just having to pace myself. Perhaps I need to speak to my GP. I have no idea what's going on. 

But things could be a lot worse.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 28 May 2021


 Jean - thank you!

I dropped bear off and spotted a couple of ducks sleeping in the car park. I was there just as the store opens, but it is a corner that fills up quickly. I took a pic, but my main purpose was to disturb them just enough to not get squashed when the cars started rolling in. They were both completely asleep but stirred when I got near.

I popped in for some fruit and cars were parked in their place, but no sign of squished water fowl, so they were hopefully fine.

I also called in to Home Sense on the way back. My lovely neighbours next door but one will be leaving soon, and I wanted to get them a small housewarming. There wasn't much in the way of candles (my favourite housewarming gift). I may go back and have another look on a different morning as I still haven't found a decent vase.

I've been taking things easy and watching the second half of Lucifer Season 5. There have been some wonderful moments. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday 27 May 2021

Some Good News

Ranee - that makes sense. I can't imagine driving a trailer at all. I'm quite happy with my little hatchback! I think there's something similar here. There are plenty of places with lots of narrow roads and twisting corners like the Lake District, Snowdonia and the Highlands of Scotland. You would take the RV to the campsite and then tour with the more manageable and economical car. MN is Minnesota? It's nice to see you. 

Eileen - Whatever happened Tuesday has been pushed to one side. I suppose I should speak to the GP, but I don't feel up to it at the moment. Thank you for the hug.

Fifitr - seeing a house on the back of the lorry must be something! And yes, I'm in Yorkshire, but West Yorkshire, and this was taking the M62 motorway(!!!) towards Hull. Thank you for the hugs, I'll be careful.

Patti - glad that the lilac brought back good memories. Thank you for the hug.

Libby - thank you, I'm feeling better. There are quite a few lilacs around here, and they cheer me up as well.

Bear got signed off from another specialist today. He's doing really well and growing like a weed. It's just physio now. He's in such a better place than he was this time last year when I was really worried. Long may that continue!

Taking him to the hospital was exhausting. I feel absolutely flattened. I plan to take it easy tomorrow (yes, I'm taking a risk saying it, but fingers crossed). I'm a big fan of the tv show Lucifer, and the second half of season five comes out tomorrow. I shall spend some time enjoying that with my knitting. At least, if everything goes to plan.

I should call in to a shop first to pick up some fruit. The men are having plenty of smoothies, and I'm all for it.

Now to catch up on some of the highlights of the first half of Lucifer Season 5!

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 26 May 2021

Doing Okay

 Pattii - thank you

Jean - you sounded lovely and caring

Deborah - that's something to think about.

It was pain in my left arm (which was excruciating) and a feeling of pressure on my chest. I did not appreciate it.

Things are okay. Our lilac bush is looking good. I walked past it this evening and the scent was heavenly. 

And just to show that the world continues to be odd, I saw a caravan towing a car today. I nearly stalled the car at the traffic lights as it swung across - it looked so peculiar! It was a motorhome or RV towing a small family car, so I suppose it made a sort of sense if there was only one driver but they would need two cars later. It just was against the natural order of things - a caravan towing a car. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Bit of a Rollercoaster

I spent most of yesterday evening in the hospital with a suspected heart attack. It wasn't. It looks like my heart was okay. The symptoms are probably stress. I am still in pain and struggling a little, but I am determined to keep positive.

Worried about bear. I didn't get home until after midnight and I am worried that he didn't get enough rest. I'll be keeping an eye on him. He was quiet this morning.

But in other news, on Monday I managed quite a good walk. I'm sure I saw a fox disappear into the bushes at one point, at the edge of the park and near fields, but I don't expect it to stay long as the park is very popular with dog walkers (I get great doggy cuddles).

I took some nice photos that may turn up on my writing blog as they are sort of woodland paths.

Then I stopped off in B&M to pick up stuff for the garden and I took the time to take a photo of another graffiti WAKE UP. It's on a substation thingy near B&M.

It's also very near the graveyard, about a hundred metres or so.

My mind instantly went to the grumpy, Yorkshire inhabitants of the local graveyard insisting that they weren't waking up for anyone and can we keep the noise down.

I may have a walk around the graveyard one day. It looks very nice.

Hugs and good vibes to all. 

Sunday 23 May 2021

Another Quiet Weekend

Wherethejourneytakesme - I can see me going out next week with the watering can in the rain - I've always used liquid fertiliser, and I think some of our plants would benefit. The weather forecast isn't showing many dry spells.

My internet is coming and going, which is an irritation. All the other devices which get internet are picking up the wifi without a problem, but my laptop is very grumbly. I think that there's something going on in the background that is taking up a lot of space. I've cleared cookies a few times, and I restart regularly, but it's still hit and miss. I apologise for any gaps.

DH and bear have been enjoying smoothies over the last few days, and I'm happy to encourage them. I got a delivery on Friday with what I thought was plenty of fruit, and it was looking seriously raided by Saturday afternoon. I thought I would have a quick run out and went to Dewsbury Market. 

It wasn't busy in Dewsbury. The carpark looked like this. And it's only 40p for an hour on a Saturday!

The market seemed quiet as well. It was at the end of the day, and some stalls were packing up, but it still felt quiet. Even when you were walking past people, it felt subdued. Unfortunately there were lots of wonderful fabrics on the market, as well as stalls full of notions and trimmings. My magpie instincts were very intrigued. Most of it was geared towards the South Asian market, with the trimmings for saris, but I'm sure I could think of a few things that would be awesome! I managed to resist, and came out with only fruit - just under £10, but it did include a pineapple. 

Today I had a quick clear out of my handbag and purse. I took photos of my vaccination card just in case. I also nipped out quickly as a parcel had come to Morrisons in Heckmondwike, and bear's prescription was at Boots at the Birstall Retail Park. I also picked up some suncream for bear on his walks and some spinach for DH's smoothies. 

I'm still using notebooks, though I think I should use them more, and they are definitely helping. I am getting a little more organised as I go. I've spent some time this evening jotting down the shopping I need to do tomorrow and the best order of things. I wouldn't say it is a thing of beauty, but it's a help. I particularly want to work on the shopping as it is too easy to be popping into shops all the time. If I plan correctly, I can do a biggish shop tomorrow and then stay out of the shops until perhaps Friday. Next week is quite busy, and I'm checking my diary a lot to try and avoid clashes. I need to be efficient. I do not necessarily have a good track record here.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 21 May 2021

Normal Service Will Resume Shortly

 I'm posting from my phone. 

My laptop isn't talking to the internet. I loathe posting from my phone as I text with one finger but touch type on a keyboard. I'll post properly later. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 19 May 2021

Nipping In

 I'm posting when the going is good. My internet is not a happy chappy. Watching almost anything is out.

Kate - that sounds awesome. I'm having a quick look around the garden to see if I can use anything similar, but all I have is the fuschia, which will be the size of the bathroom again if I'm not careful and will definitely out grow runner beans.

Not much to add as lots of pain in various places here, but thought would add this.

The arch was put in Sunday morning, and when I went to put the bin out last night, the shoots had started climbing. I hope that this is a good sign.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 18 May 2021


I am grumbling along today. My lady bits are unco-operative and my back hurts. I have had a very unexciting day.

I have also bought a courgette plant from Morrisons. I have never had any success with courgettes so far, but I've stuck it in a pot and I'm hoping it all works. Fingers crossed, tomorrow I'm planting some runner beans. They look a little big for the pot, so I'm hoping that they take off.

Of course, now that I've made a plan, all bets are off. I can expect anything from sabotage from pigeons up to a meteor strike.

Hugs and good health for tomorrow. 

Monday 17 May 2021


Rae - I quite like the rubbing alcohol suggestion. I have some in, and, while it may take a few goes, it sounds plausible. Bear has had some issues with previous ink stains in his blazer pocket migrating to shirts after sanitiser has leaked there, so it sounds like it may help. I'm not sure about the hairspray, but I could also try the toothpaste. I'll share when I have the courage to attack it. 

Wherethejourneytakesme - That's helpful to know. I may see if I can get to that retail park. I've been around Huddersfield town centre several times - that is, every time I visit on my own, I seem to go around and around several times! It will do me good to learn the way.

Today seems to have been busy. I went for a very quick walk in the park. The branches that I saw earlier have just been left and now have nettles growing through them. I suppose that they are now a 'feature'.

After that I called in at Aldi for the particular sauce that DH enjoys for his pasta bake. Then I called in at Tesco for the washing line to put up for the honeysuckle to use. Then I called into the farm shop to pick up a replacement tomato plant for the one that had a suspicious peck mark to the base of its stem. Then I called in to a garden centre which didn't have the chilli plants that I wanted. I picked up a black chilli plant and a courgette plant, and they seemed very expensive after paying 95p for the tomato plant at the farm shop. 

I managed some washing, a little pottering and then settled down to some admin and writing. Before I knew it, it was time to pick up bear and then afterwards I took him to climbing. I'm settling down for the night now as I'm utterly shattered. 

Writing stuff - latest flash fiction is here.

Hugs and good health to all.

Sunday 16 May 2021


The stiffness that I expected on Friday hit me this weekend. I have not felt like moving much at all. I've still got a few bits done, though. I did a little washing (on a Sunday!) and I'm faced with this.

Bear seems to have had an incident with a green pen. I have some stain remover, but I'm not sure that it's worth trying. It's one heck of a stain to remove. There are also some pale spots on his trousers that look a little like paint or something. He's going to have to go to school in them tomorrow. The marks are barely visible, but I can see me having a conversation with him tomorrow.

Mind you, he's in my good books. He put one of the trellis arches together, but he was fed up as the struts were bending so much. In fact, we dumped the third one in the recycling. I shall be looking for something sturdier for the mass of honeysuckle currently growing up on the side. The one he put together (incredibly well and pretty quickly) bent and is currently being propped up by the bins. 

I'm picked up some washing line tomorrow and I'll tie it to the lamppost.

My internet is still glitchy. I'm trying to watch the Women's Champions League (Chelsea are losing by four goals to Barcelona at half time, they need a Liverpool-style miracle to come back) and I keep getting kicked off. 

Speaking of Liverpool-style miracles, there's been another one. Liverpool are known for their comebacks when it matters. Today Liverpool's goalkeeper scored their winner, in stoppage time, and with a world class header. Anyone who missed it but enjoys soccer should check it out on YouTube. It was a stunning goal by a goalkeeper. Forwards would have been proud of it. It's times like this when I really miss father. He would have loved it.

On that note, I think I will have an early night.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 15 May 2021

Nearly Got There

 This may be less than flowing, as my computer is having a glitch day.

Sarah - thank you! I have a lot of eczema, so dandelion salve is probably not for me. If anyone wants to read about the proper use of herbal remedies, Sarah's blog is here. She is incredibly knowledgeable, while I'm not sure that I'm a good example in such matters. When it comes to stuff like herbal salves, and practically anything involving actual ingredients, I take a 'near enough' approach that may just about work for things like casseroles but it can't be trusted with something more important. Sarah is much more reliable.

Wherethejourneytakesme - I looked at Sketchers. I have always been a bit cheap with shoes, and I suppose I'm paying the price now. I may see if I can try some on  if I have a good day. On bad days, I can't get socks on - lymphodema - and I don't like trying shoes on barefoot. I feel your pain with formal stuff. 

There has been some rain here. Bear and I were out. I did a little pruning and I potted the tomatoes (not particularly brilliantly, but at least they are done. The pots held some mint that was not doing much at all. I tipped the tubs out next to the trees opposite, on the grounds that it couldn't make things much worse and there was already a drift of beer cans and crisp packets. I need to crack on with fighting back the weeds. 

Bear started putting together the arches, but the rain got too heavy, so we came in. After that we had a wonderfully calm afternoon, and bear had an early night. At least, he went to bed.

I can smell smoke. It's driving me nuts. It smells sort of like cigarette smoke. Given that next door at the back have had some very loud rows with threats to burn the house down, this isn't reassuing. However I suspect that I may be getting cigarette smoke from their house as I am next to the chimney which can have a draught, and that is next to their cellar, and it really hasn't been the weather to smoke on the doorstep. I had a little sniff around the kitchen and there wasn't anything there. It seems to be concentrated near my chair. I can't relax now. This isn't helpful as I had bad sleep last night with a lot of nightmares and I could do with settling down myself. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 14 May 2021

Keeping Moving

Fifitr - I hadn't heard of the granite trail. I shall have to look it up. I love looking at old buildings, but I haven't got a clue about architecture. When bear was younger, and we were on the bus in Leeds, we used to look up at the buildings on Park Lane and nearby and point out the statues as Weeping Angels from Doctor Who.

Wherethejourneytakesme - I am deeply envious of your daughter. I haven't been there often, and never blessed with a glimpse.

Val - it was awesome, and lots more shopping opportunities left!

Today has been quieter, of course. I picked up a parcel that had been delivered to Matalan, which was heavier than I had expected. I felt a complete wimp as I staggered the few yards from their car park. Next time I shall bring my car around and put around 0.2 miles on the clock.

I also called in on the farm shop as I wanted some eggs for DH. I noticed that they had plants for sale, so I will be sorting out the garden this weekend. Well, theoretically at least. The way my plans work out, anything could happen, but I'm hoping it will be the garden. I'll be getting rid of at least some of the weeds anyway. I picked up three tomato plants while I was at the farm shop. They were 95p each (Blue Hill Farm on the A58, Birstall, if you are passing). I will see how they do. They look healthy, but I am not a caring gardener.

They had an alpaca and donkey grazing near the car park. I tried to take a pic of the alpaca, but the donkey kept photobombing, and I was having trouble seeing the screen with the way the light fell.

Speaking of weeds, I saw a video on YouTube about making Dandelion flower salve for aching joints. I asked bear if he would like it for his joints, because I could make some. The expression of mixed baffled incomprehension and utter rejection and revulsion was a triumph of teenagerdom. I may still make it for myself. 

I checked out the Salvation Army charity shop in Batley but didn't find a vase that I fancied. I plan to try a different charity shop every day I'm doing a school run. It will mean that I get some exercise at least, if only walking around car parks. Bear has forbidden me from buying anything for him, but I'm sure that I'll find something that's needed now and again.

When I was lugging the box back to our house, I realised that two or three years ago, it would have been impossible for me. I could not have done it. I couldn't have walked around like I did yesterday either. If I had tried, I would have been crippled today, and I wasn't. I have new slippers with memory foam in them, which helps, but I am in a better state than I have been for years. I'm not in a good state, I should add. The free step counter on my phone had me walking around 5.5km, or 3.4 miles. That isn't a lot for an entire day. I should easily do double. But it is a start. 

Now all I need to do is follow through with plans. I let you know tomorrow if I manage to do anything at all in the garden. 

Hugs and good health to all.

Thursday 13 May 2021

Today Was a Win

 Sharon - thank you.

Today was a win. I dropped bear off at school, had a quick wipe over the car and then off and met my friend. We were looking for charity shops. I want a vase and she wanted, well, to have a look. We had a wander around Hebden Bridge with their market, and then went on to Huddersfield where we had a wander around there. We had a lot of gossip to catch up on.

It was nice to get out and about. Kirklees have some great covid signs, by the way. I keep meaning to take pictures of the six footballs or two cricket bats that demonstrate the two meters we should stay apart, but I found this.

Felix and Bolt are the Huddersfield Railway Station Cats with a significant internet following - their facebook page is here.

I drove 62 miles, some of it down extremly narrow, single car width lanes with passing places. I went up some serious hills and down them. I took corners that were ridiculous and I had an absolute blast. I even got up to around 55mph on the dual carriageway at one point. What is even better, I didn't buy much. I picked up some black bread for DH, which he really likes, but I didn't pick up anything else. That, for me, is a big win. 

Then I had a wonderfully quiet knit in Morrison's car park while I waited for bear, and then drove home. I made dinner straight away, got washed up and now I am abot to collapse.

It's a win.

Hugs and good health to all.

Wednesday 12 May 2021

Taking the small wins

Kev - I suspect that you are right. I can't see it as urgent, though, in this medical crisis. Thank you for the hug.

Wherethejourneytakesme - I'm impressed at what you do with your resources! It's quite inspiring.

Still tired, but ticking over. The thunderstorm last night was epic and it was a wonderful feeling to lie warm in bed with the thunder and lightning safely outside. Bear slept through it. Bear had a hospital appointment today (routine physio, all good), but that took the morning. Then I spent most of the afternoon trying to get my internet connection to play nicely. This evening has been a little washing and the sewing bee. 

There seem to be a few rumbles of thunder around this evening. It could be people reclaiming their bins after bin day, though. The thunder was so loud last night that I honestly thought a nearby building had been hit, and I'm still a little worried that the trees opposite will be a target. They shouldn't, as they are at a low point, but they are in such a state that I don't want to rule anything out.

One thing I did was clear a very small corner. There wasn't much to move, just a few bits and some odds and ends to throw away, but it was stuff that I had been ignoring for months. If I can keep doing more of that, the house will end up much better. It wasn't a significant difference, but it was a positive difference. I'll keep an eye on that corner and keep moving things that get dumped there. I'm taking it as a win.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 11 May 2021

Ready to Hibernate

 Thank you for all the kind wishes. I feel hugged.

Witch Hazel - I got tested for thyroid years and years and years ago, and it turned out that I was a whisker above the threshold for treatment. 

I am still tired. I've titled this post Ready to Hibernate and that's how I feel, even though it's May. I can give a few plausible explanations. One is hormonal. When I had regular periods, I had dreadful PMS at times. I wasn't snappy, but I was shattered. I used to feel the energy draining from me and I could never get much done. I'm moving (very slightly) more than normal, which could have an effect. This could be coupled with a reduced calorie intake. I'm trying to lose weight (v necessary) so I'm watching what I eat. It could be the after effects of the abscess on the tooth plus antibiotics because it can take a while to bounce back. It could be a tail end of the effects of Covid. I've struggled a lot since I had the virus (probably - it was before testing was widespread) last year. It may be a combination. Whatever it is, I'm going to bed after posting this.

I didn't manage a walk, but I called in for a few bits in Tesco and Aldi, and I've done a few tiny bits here and there. I managed to get a load of washing done as well. The school run was a little nerve wracking. The morning was okay, but the weather in the evening was atrocious. The roads were running with water and it got a little scary.

Bear isn't helping. His schedule is random, so I can't really plan what I'm doing. And, of course, he's a teenager. This morning he gave me a cheerful grin, told me that he was getting the booster today and could he have a short sleeved shirt for school. This was around fifteen minutes before we were due to leave. By some stroke of fortune, there was one clean, ironed and hanging up. I nearly got rid of it last week. I wonder what surprises I'll get next?

Hugs and good health to all.  

Monday 10 May 2021

The Start of Another Week

 Wherethejourneytakesme - thank you.

Today hasn't been too bad. I dived into Morrisons for a few bits. They didn't have what I wanted, but I did dump the tiny jars into the glass recycling. I remembered to take a pic first.

Then I went for a brief walk where I managed to get a blurred pic of a squirrel. There were a few of them around this morning. 

After that I stopped in a car park I had never used before in Cleckheaton, where I looked into a charity shop (nothing I wanted) and a yarn shop (lots that I wanted but nothing I could afford). Then there was the farm shop for eggs and the co-op for the rolls that DH likes. I've had both jabs, and I'm using sanitiser, so I'm hoping I'm okay. I'm hoping for a good look around Cleckheaton at a later time.

For some reason I feel extraordinarily tired. I managed to put on one wash, and tidied a very little, but even the massive thunderstorm just after lunch didn't seem to revive me. I didn't even make dinner as I had to take bear to his activity and so it was snacky food all round this evening. 

I am now about to crawl off to bed. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 9 May 2021

Forty Six

Wherethejourneytakesme - I'm sure that your granddaughter loved the top hat. They are completely awesome and I'm wondering if I could ever have an excuse to wear one. Bear's top hat is a proper stovepipe as well - the crown is eight inches tall! 

I'm planning on making a bag for the hat, to keep the dust off (if he ever takes it off). I've got some fabric stashed. I'm just thinking about the sort of bag I want to make, with a flap over the top. I can perhaps attach stick on velcro dots or something as a closure. I'll share if I make it. Until then, I'll stick it in a pillowcase. 

I can see me getting carried away with the bag. You can make a perfectly serviceable shoe bag type thing with just a draw string. That's two rectangles of fabric, a short length of cord and some straight stitching. I just need to make it big enough for the hat and then have the opening tuck under the hat as it's stored. I could even just keep on with the pillowcase. Unfortunately I have been watching too many craft videos and I'm seeing myself messing around with linings and complicated shapes. It never helps. 

I may have a go anyway as I need practice in measuring and cutting. I feel about five when I say that, but it's true. Do you remember the muslin that I got for curtains for the porch? The ones that were giving me eye strain? I thought I would crack on with them and I finished the top. Then I wanted to insert the hessian ricrac type stuff (which is fraying, I may try fabric glue to keep it together). 

I thought that the easiest way to get a straight line across would be to tear it. Muslin tears easily enough, and surely it would tear in a straight line. It didn't. I think that the original piece wasn't cut true - and I can't blame them. If you are cutting vast swathes of fabric daily, you just cut the best line and assume that the customer has enough sense to check. I don't have that sense. I know that I should have done it. I can't believe that I didn't check. But here we are. I snipped the selvedge three inches below the top casing for the cord and tore. It went in a diagonal, getting higher and higher until it ran into my stitching. I don't know whether you can tell on the pic. If you start at the top right, you can see the depth of fabric underneath the heading and as you go down it gets narrower and narrower until it hits the seam.

I may have said some rude words.

Fortunately I hadn't dealt with the hem, and I had loads of fabric spare, so I tore across both curtain pieces, made sure they were the same size and started again with the heading. My eyes hurt. And the hessian stuff will be applied, not inserted. I'm not tempting fate.

I went through the herbs and spices today. I felt over run with small spice bottles. There have been so many times when I've tried to remember whether I had something while shopping and grabbed a spice just in case, or bear has asked for something, or I've made something out of the ordinary and forgotten about the spice afterwards. One of the biggest casualties is oregano. I think I got a good deal on it a while ago and had a couple of the small jars, but now I almost always use the Italian herb blend, bought in bulk and kept in a very large plastic tub (and used at a rapid rate). Cooking has been fairly routine and I haven't been baking, and I've not used all the spices that I had in, so a lot of them have drifted out of date. 

Herbs and spices don't really go off if they are kept dry, but they lose their taste. Besides, the spices that I bought recently in the big packs, like cumin and tumeric, are far stronger and more vibrant. I got rid of all the ones out of date. That was forty six small glass jars.

And what is worse, they may be some more lurking in the back of cupboards. All sorts of stuff haas been shoved in all sorts of places. I have a bag full of forty six little jars ready to take to the bottle bank.

I'm so annoyed with myself. I can't believe how much waste there is. I could cry. I've started a book, where I keep a track of herbs and spices and their use by dates, so hopefully I won't fall into the trap of that so easily. I still feel incredibly low. 

All in all, today has been a day which has reminded me that I need to do better. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 8 May 2021

A Long Drive

Wherethejourneytakesme - perhaps not every day...

I went for a drive. It was raining quite heavily and was relatively windy. I should have stayed indoors. Instead I went on a sort of loop around Bradford, via Batley, Brighouse, Denhome, Keighley, Shipley, Calverly and then back home. I didn't get out of the car but just kept going, and drove around 50 miles in two hours. 

I did get over 50mph for a short while near Keighley, but I was going too slow really. It was the national speed limit on a dual carriageway, so I should have been hitting at least 60mph. I did for a very short while, but it was bad weather on an unfamiliar road. It did my nerves no good and Red is still a little asthmatic. 

I did enjoy the drive. I got completely bewildered, I suspect that I slipped a few mph over the limit here and there, got followed for miles by a learner driver, and I'm sure that I clipped a bus lane. I went through towns, villages, and narrowly avoided Leeds City Centre. The best part for me was when I was near the moors. It was quite beautiful, when I could risk taking my eyes off the road.

Red, as I said, is still a little asthmatic, and she lacked power at times. I think she needs a new air filter, which she would normally get with the full service and MOT due in July. I'm not sure that I can wait that long. I may have a go on the motorway when it's dry and extremely quiet, but otherwise I may have to take her in for an early service. 

While I am here, allow me to praise a company. I bought bear a top hat for Christmas (eBay is my friend). It didn't fit. I emailed the company on Christmas Day (not expecting any reply but worried I'd forget) and I got an immediate reply saying that they would happily replace. I then forgot about it completely. I sent the parcel back earlier this week and got the replacement by return of post. It's absolutely brilliant, wool with a nice lining and bear has had it on almost continually since he spotted it. 

I took the pic from their eBay shop. 

So I thought that the least I could do was recommend them. Their shop is here, and I shall definitely go back to them. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 7 May 2021

End of the Week

Thank you for all the good wishes. I really appreciate them. I was surprised when Sharon said that there was a sunlight filter when I had been trying to get rid of the dratted glare, but then I thought again. 

Today has been okay. I need to be more active, that's the bottom line. I find it hard because I'll be knitting/sewing/browsing/writing and then realise that I haven't moved for ages. I'm not going to get much done this weekend with the men around, but I'll see what I can get up to next week. I'll post after I do anything. 

One thing that I'm planning this weekend is a longish drive. Restrictions are easing, and I think the car needs a long run. She's sort of lumbering and grumbling around. Red is surprisingly nippy, even with me driving her. I have the bad habit of shooting away from traffic lights and there are a few sections on the school run where I can usually lose a white van that's too close, but I'm not really a racer. However I'm usually a little quicker out of the junction than I can at the moment. Red is not a happy car and she's stuttering and stumbling and I can't nip out quickly. I held up a huge queue at the traffic lights as I lurched around a corner instead of coasting around and off into third gear as usual. It feels like she is bunged up and has sinus trouble. 

I still haven't had the courage for the motorway yet, and I rarely get near 40mph. However with the roundabouts, traffic lights, junctions and roadworks on the school run, I'm spending more time in first and second gear and it's not good for cars. Apparently they need a good run at a decent speed to clear the filters. Poor Red is more likely to be doing 28mph for most of the school run, slowing down for cyclists, horses and chicanes of badly parked cars. 

I'm going to try and stretch her wheels over the weekend. Heavy rain and wind are forecast here, which makes it even less likely for me to head to the motorway or any speedy roads, but perhaps a good long run will help. I'll see what the weather does. I have no idea which direction I'll go in if I go out. I'll find out when it happens. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday 6 May 2021

Failed Again

I didn't go for a walk. At the moment my feet are too swollen to fit into anything but slippers, and it hurts to walk any distance in them. I ordered some extra wide trainers which came today, but my feet won't fit into them. Also, I'm almost certainly going to have to go to the shop tomorrow as well instead of leaving it until next week. Darn it to heck. I haven't even got any pics. Today has not been a raging success. 

It did prove, however, that the moment I mention anything I plan, it all goes horribly wrong. I haven't even touched the sewing I was talking about for the last day or two! I am not mentioning plans on here again - it's too risky.

And they still haven't cut the trees back.

To cheer myself up, here is a pic of a cross eyed cat

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 5 May 2021

I Remembered Pictures

Sharon - wildflowers sound amazing.

Today I was quite proud of myself. I went for a short walk in the park, which was lovely - and I remembered to take the pics!

There had been high winds and the ground was covered in new leaves. 

Then I tried to take a pic of some bluebells just coming out.Instead I got a pic of sunlight on my phone. 

I had the phone at a slightly different angle. I'll keep an eye on these bluebells, weather permitting. 

I then called in at Tesco, Aldi and the Farm shop. I don't think that I'll need to go the shop now until next week. I have a delivery booked for Saturday and I'm hoping that I don't need to go anywhere else. It does, of course, depend on the men. 

I hope to still have a walk tomorrow. It's on the way to and from bear's school. I wonder what the weather will be like. I saw snow on the tops of the hills in the distance on the way to school this morning, but I swear I saw swallows at the farm. I also saw a rat in the woods, but I don't count that as a magical wildlife experience. I think I am prejudiced.

Now I am settling down to relax before the Sewing Bee tonight. I'm really looking forward to it.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 4 May 2021

Another Wet Day

Sharon - at the moment, stuff is getting stuck randomly. I have no idea what I will do next, but that's familiar territory for me. My mother could crochet a little. She also made blankets, but instead of knitting she made blankets of crocheted squares, like the granny blankets. She was always scouring charity shops for oddments of yarn and then the blanket would be donated. She always asked that the blankets be put in a raffle, or guess the weight of the yarn, or guess how long it took. No-one would pay enough to cover the yarn, let alone the time involved if it was just sold. I could never work out how crochet should go.

Fifitr - This morning, I turned off my windscreen wipers before driving through the branches in case they caught. My little car doesn't fit under them anymore. As for the lists, I'm finding that I get a lot more done if I just sketch out the order of things for something like the next hour. Even that little bit of structure helps. And if I try and plan for anything longer, it usually goes wrong. 

Speaking of changing plans, bear texted me around 11am to ask if he could be picked up later. This meant that the meals planned and the tasks for the day went out of the window. I don't really mind, but it shows that I need to be flexible and maybe just plan an hour at a time. I managed to get some bits done, regardless. Meal planning continues to be a challenge. 

It was quite cosy, waiting for bear. I'd had the car heater on as I drove there and it was roughly the temperature of a tropical rain forest. It felt like a lovely, snug, peaceful hideaway as I sat knitting quietly with just the sound of the rain hammering down. 

And speaking of cosy, I took a photo of the flowers that I got on Friday. They were just cheap supermarket flowers (I am so cheap sometimes) and they were guaranteed to last 5 days. Well, today they look like this. 

I really want to try and get a pic in every post. It helps me look at the world properly when I'm taking pictures. Mind you, it's not original or striking, but I think that they look nice. 

(candle was on offer as well...)

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 3 May 2021

Trees Continue

Fifitr - I say go for it! I've never got the hang of crochet. I find knitting, especially plain knitting, incredibly soothing, and I've never minded sewing by hand, so it's easy for me. Crochet is not easy. Sending good vibes and hope that you can find the right hook and yarn. If you feel safe, I'm sure that the charity shops will be stuffed with inexpensive goodies.

Eileen - There seems to be nothing much about writing in any of the journal videos I've found. And, as you can tell, I'm all about the words. I've stuck down some random bits of tape, which I've enjoyed, but I think I've got a way to go. Some of the journals look beautiful, even if I can't work out how to use them.

Bless - I hope you find the perfect drapes.

I'm sort of getting in to journalling. I've got an A4 notebook with plastic over covers which I use to jot down whatever thoughts are currently passing through. I'm finding that it helps me organise my thoughts, and I also use it as something of a scratch pad so that I can look at the afternoon and jot down all the things I need to do and work out their order. I've stuck some washi tape over the cover, and every now and then I stick some tape, but my heart isn't really in it.

I also have a huge lever arch file, which is older than bear. I first started using it around twenty years ago. I was in such a bad mental state that if I had to do something like make a phone call I had to write down a list of how to approach it, like 1. pick up receiver 2. dial number etc etc I'm sort of using the bullet journal method, but with my own spin. I have a list of days, with what is happening, and I'm using an impulse purchase of highlighter pens to colour code stuff on the calendar, so that one colour is bear, one is me, one is DH, one is writing stuff, household and bills, car stuff etc. The idea is that if I need to refer back to when I spoke to Matalan, it's easy to find. 

I'm also planning (starting tonight) to have a page where I can list anything I feel proud of accomplishing, even if it's just something like washing up when I really didn't feel like it. I also think I shall have a page where I record nice quotes and sayings. The founder of the Bullet Journal method said that the method should be a way of organising things, planning things but also a means to mindfulness. I way of making sense of things. I thoroughly approve of that. It's not exactly like the exquisite journals that you see on YouTube, but it's a way of trying to keep me at least near on track and slightly more upbeat. I'm not sure if I'll add washi tape. I may. I like it, and as long as it doesn't get in the way, I may as well enjoy it.

And speaking of Matalan, the rain has been heavy here, and I think the water is weighing the branches down more.

The branches are getting ridiculously low and are almost as low as my bonnet. I hope that they can get cut back soon.

Writing stuff - today's flash fiction is here

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 2 May 2021

Eye Strain

Sharon - doggy cuddles are awesome. I'm actually nervous around dogs, as I was bit on the face when I was very little. I am still one of the biggest soft touches when it comes to woofers, though, and I'm always good for a cuddle. Please pass on a cuddle from me to Shasta. And I may have branched out into washi tape here. I'm not sure what I'm doing with it, but it's shiny, pretty and I got a bundle unfortunately inexpensively. It's only a matter of time before the papers follow, and I'm not nearly as talented as you. I will have nothing to do with them.

Hazel - I have so much respect for you, learning knitting like that! The thing is, when you see a good deal, it's hard not to commit. The lesson is, you never know where a bargain will take you. Also, infinity scarves are awesome!

I want to make the curtains for the porch. Yesterday the fabric and trim arrived. Today Amazon arrived with the twine (to hold the curtain) and matching cotton. I may have been watching the 'track my parcel' on Amazon and unnerved the driver by waiting for him sitting on the step and jumping up as soon as the van parked up. I admit nothing.

Then, after a very short while, my eyes started to hurt. I suspect I need different reading glasses. Actually, I can't find mine anywhere. I use the glasses for the computer most of the time and they usually do fine. Regardless, stitching cream fabric with cream thread, even under a decent light, took its toll.

I have some rustic trim to add. I didn't know what I wanted, so I had a good browse and I found this.

I need to work on the whole lighting thing. It's a sort of cream with a jute string inner eyelet. Now I need to decide - apply or insert. It really should be inserted, but it will take some time and if I carry on like this, it will be autumn before I can enjoy the warm, floaty muslin drape. 

As I mentioned above, I've been caught by some washi tape, and I keep looking at all these junk journal tutorials. It's only a matter of time before I start gluing. I do have some reservations, though, which are currently keeping me honest. These junk journals are full of stickers and buttons and envelopes and cute papers and stamps and pretty paper, but there doesn't seem to be anywhere to write stuff! I am journalling, as in, I'm writing in a journal. So far there are no flaps and envelopes, but there are a few strips of the washi tape between paragraphs. I may try pressing some flowers or similar. It isn't one of my fancy notebooks, though. It's a wirebound cheapo thing from Wilkos. It's great for writing in. I'm not so sure that it's 'journalling'.

I think my life would be a lot easier if I didn't ask awkward questions like, 'does it wash?' or 'will it fit in the car?' Or 'when in the name of goodness would I use it and how?' Then I could get into all sorts of stuff with all the bits and add ons and enjoy myself. Mind you, looking at some of the stuff stashed around, perhaps I should ask those sort of questions a little more. Life would be duller, but a lot less cluttered.

Hugs and good health to all.

Saturday 1 May 2021

A Close Shave

Shopping is getting out of hand. It is a regular theme that comes up here. Every now and then I cut back, and I do quite well, but then I have a little moment and anything could turn up. I have been feeling a little low, with the tooth and other stuff, and for some reason thought it was a good idea to bid on a bundle of tablecloths. There had been no bids, the starting bid was 99p, and I was caught up by the bargain. There were 105 tablecloths! What did I think I could do with 105 tablecloths? I have a dining table, a kitchen table and some desks. I cannot imagine what I would do with 105 tablecloths. 

Bear asked the sensible question. He asked who on earth would have 105 tablecloths, and I told him it would be me unless someone outbid me. There was less than a day to go on the listing, and I felt the tension all the way through until it finished. 

Fortunately I was outbid. I have never been so relieved! As it was, it didn't look like it reached the reserve as it was relisted with a start price of £60, which seems a little more reasonable for 105 tablecloths. 

I have bought a bundle of dozens of neckties in the past, and the consignment of handbags was another cracker, but hopefully this will be the shock to the system I need and I can have a spell of shopping a little more rationally. 

Hugs and good health to all.