Friday, 17 March 2023

Bargains and Not-Quite-Bargains

Bless - thank you. I think the plans are in case I accidentally do something I should.

Eileen - I think rewriting the lists regularly may be useful for me because it will keep tasks at the front of my mind. I am forgetting far too much.

I am so tired as I type this, but it's not been a bad day.

I did a walk! And I went a little further than normal which I'm pleased with. It still wasn't far, but it was something.

These aren't near a river or anything, so I am somewhat bewildered why these trees should look dip-dyed.

It was unexpectedly muddy. I don't usually take this path.

There is a moss appreciation society on Facebook and I'm considering entering this. 

I love seeing flower and fruit together but I've no idea what it is. I would guess at a type of laurel, but otherwise I've no clue.

And I've always loved grape hyacinths.

I picked up some bits in Aldi and another sweater kit. I'm making slow progress on the sweater kit that I picked up a while ago to knit for Lent. It's knitting up fine - when I make time for it. The yarn feels so lovely and cosy that I was thinking what a snuggly blanket it would make - and there was one pack left. It had been reduced from £14.99 to £9.99 and contained a pattern (which I already had) and 800g of yarn, which is a pretty good price. It's not a bargain in one way as I already have too much yarn, but it is a bargain in another as it is a good price for the yarn and lovely and warm. 

Then I called in quickly at Tesco as I wanted the stuff for Mother's Day (we're having steak). While I was there, I picked up three veg stewpacks, 1kg of swede/onion/parsnip/carrot mix marked down £1.10 to 80p. Those are now peeled, chopped and in the freezer. That's one decent casserole and probably 8 portions of soup with some lentils and flavourings. I also picked up some marked down organic brown onions which totalled £2.32 for 1.5kg. This compares well with the ready prepared frozen onion which is £2.40 per kg. There was a little waste with the peelings, but not too much. I haven't finished putting those up. I'm now on the look out for marked down mushrooms as we're almost out of the ones I've previously chopped and frozen. I also picked up three jars of Sweet and Sour sauce, which are three for the price of two. I've seriously stocked up on jars. I don't think that I'll need to buy any more for a good few months. 

Today I've done little bits - I've done a load of washing, I've given the bathroom a quick clean. I've done some writing, I've eaten a proper lunch, I've managed a little knitting, I've made a dinner, put up the veggie bargains and now I am nodding off as I sit here. It could be a lot worse. I left the house at 7am this morning and got home at 9.47am. Then I left the house around 2.15pm and got home almost dead on 5pm. I admit, I'll be glad when the school run is finsihed. It takes so much out of my day, and the driving was awful today. My emergency stop had a good work out. 

Now I'm nodding off over my keyboard, so I think I will aim for an early night.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday, 16 March 2023

The Week is Slipping By!

Bless - thank you - I am so proud of him.

Sharon - thank you. Sometimes I think that my car is sniggering at me.

Eileen - bear was wearing the blazer that is compulsory for school and a thin shirt. He utterly rejects coats. He hadn't bothered with a hoodie either. I haven't been able to get him to wear a vest, no matter what, since primary school. 

I managed a walk! It was only a little one, but it's something and I really wasn't in the mood. There were signs of the recent storms. 

I've not been brilliantly successful, but I've done bits. I've changed bear's dentist appointment so that it didn't clash with his extra revision classes that he volunteered for. They're for the new college and are for people expected to do well in maths. Bear is really looking forward to them. I've sorted out some notes and started to get back into writing things down in lists again. That has always made a positive difference. I've managed a load of washing as well.

Mind you, I'm somewhat unimpressed as bear told me at just after 6pm that he needed some stuff washing as it was a non-uniform day tomorrow. I need to get everything ready for him by 6am. I may have been a little sarcastic about it. 

Now I'm going off to plan what I'm doing tomorrow. It won't happen (because it never does) but at least I'll know what I should be doing. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday, 15 March 2023

It's Wednesday?

Bless - Bear has to be coaxed out of that black blazer sometimes, to say that he utterly rejected it before the interview! Thank you, I'm feeling better. I hope that your lovely garden gets the benefit of the rain.

Rae - You sound like you have been really poorly - I hope that you are feeling better. Sending all hugs. That snow sounds scary!

Sharon - I have never been so grateful for a closed school! And sometimes I feel at the mercy of the car's sensors!

Eileen - Thank you - I really appreciate your kind comment on the pic. I'm sure that you knew that about Tesco, but I thought I would share just in case. I know far too much about Tesco and it's sort of a claim to fame.

I'm sorry that my posts and comments are a little erratic at the moment. There's some writing stuff going on, and of course the school run which has been a little more trying than normal recently.

I took the car to the garage and they said that there was an intermittent problem with the ABS sensors. They do things with computers these days. I remember when it was a bloke with greasy hands leaning under a bonnet. They were lovely and as they didn't do anything, they didn't charge me. I plan to take in biscuits for them. Apparently the sensors for Citroen and Peugeot can be incredibly sensitive and a little twitchy. I described my car's sensors as more sensitive than a mother-in-law and the lovely man laughed. At the moment all is working well, so I am leaving well alone. When the weather calms down, I'll take her for a seriously long run which should help.

Bear did awesomely in his exams. He's getting the sort of grades that look like they're faked, so I won't share the exact details, but he has been epically brilliant. Even his English score, which is comparitively dismal, is pretty good. I am so proud of him.

I am also proud of him for how he was this morning. We had unexpected extra snow, which froze. Unlike last time, where the snow just knocked off, I had a dreadful job clearing the car. Bear was wonderful and cleared it from the windscreen when I was just about finished with the cold. He didn't complain, either, and volunteered to help out. That is the sort of thing I am desperately proud of. Mind you, today showed how the school run could be. We were late as it took around twenty minutes to get the car properly cleared and defrosted, even with the heated windows, scrapers and spray. It was frozen on and I wasn't very scientific about it. So while I left the house at 7.10am, I didn't get bear dropped off until 8am. I got back to the house around 9am, with traffic, then left the house again at 2.30, the normal time I would leave the house for pick up. To be fair to bear, he had told me that he wasn't going to be leaving school until 4pm due to some sort of thing with drama, so I took the opportunity to pick up half a dozen more sauces at 3 for 2 at Tesco. Then I settled down with my knitting and waited. And waited. And waited. Due to one thing and another, bear didn't get to the car until 5.50pm and it was well after 6pm before we got home. Please let bear get the college place that is 15 minutes on the bus!

Writing stuff - this week's instalment of Invitation Accepted Chapter Six is here.  I am having a lot of fun with it. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday, 12 March 2023

Please Hold

Yesterday I took this picture to show blossom and snow

And if you look carefully, you can see snow on one side of the lake but not on the other.

I think it was which side gets sun. 

Just after that, all the warning lights came on in the car while I was stationary at some lights. I eased myself gently home and had a moment once I got there. I then positively glided through Sunday morning empty streets to drop bear off at his school for some extra lessons. The brakes and steering were all responding fine, otherwise bear couldn't have gone as it was too early for the buses and I wasn't taking him anywhere if I thought the car wasn't safe. All the warning lights with extra beeps stopped, without warning, after dropping him off. In the past, the sensors have been a little sensitive, so all bets are off. I am getting the car to the garage asap. 

I feel poorly. I have a headache, sore throat, earache and my joints are hurting. I do not approve.

However I am in a better place than the lady next door but one. She has had a spectacularly bad run of luck and her car was set alight on Friday night. It absolutely burnt out to a shell, melting the fronts off the nearby wheelie bins. We weren't affected, but I felt for her. It was quite late at night and the lights of the fire engine shining through smoke and steam were incredibly eerie. 

I'll hopefully be back tomorrow making more sense.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday, 10 March 2023


Eileen - before I forget, Tesco switch over their offers on a Tuesday, so they run Tuesday to Monday. You can check online without signing in, eg which is Pizza Sauce, but they have a load on, including curry and pesto. It will also tell you the date the offer ends online (21 Mar 23 in this case) so you know if you can pace yourself or whether you need to get what you're getting now. You need a clubcard for most of the offers, but that's easy to get and the offers like the sauces come with the free version of the clubcard. There is small print. For example, if you get three of different types, the cheapest one is free. I know with the frozen deal a few weeks ago they only allowed so many of the discounts per transaction as well. So I will be going and absolutely getting the pesto, the curry sauce and the pasta sauce and putting them through in separate batches of three. And as the pesto I like is cheaper than the pizza sauce, I'll be careful to group the pizza sauce together so that one of the more expensive ones goes through as the free one and not a cheaper pesto, iyswim. 

Sharon - you are awesome. I told bear that the other drivers were the scariest thing about driving in difficult weather. Some areas near here had a warning for 40cm and I also will be glad of spring.

We had lots of snowflakes last night. At 5.30 it looked a little like this.

At 6am I got the text that school was closed and I was extremely grateful. Bear was also extremely thankful. We've been quite warm as we have good double glazing and the sun was on us this afternoon so a lot of it has melted, but we are forecast -6C here tonight so it will be ridiculously slippery tomorrow. 

I have a stonking headache and queasy stomach again. I suspect that not only is something I'm eating setting me off, but my sinuses are also playing up, so I am not a happy bunny. I shall have an early night.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Several More Flakes

Eileen - my coat is vital to me, even as a teen, but then I've always been nesh. 

Lovely unknown commenter - it's like the pic from Scott of the Antarctic, with him all bundled up with the rest of his team and a Yorkshire lad in a t-shirt saying, 'What? I've got a sweater around here somewhere.' I was born and brought up in West Cheshire. We didn't do snow.

Bless - so far, so good. Most of the route is main roads which are gritted, so I should be okay.

It's been a funny sort of snow day. After the weather forecast last night, I expected to wake up to Snowmagaddon. There was hardly anything at all. It's been fine snow with a lot of rain mixed in. We've got away with it a lot. This is what it looked like midday

It was snow falling, but it wasn't sticking. There were a few inches settled in the countryside between us and school, but the roads were okay. There was only one moment on the way home tonight when I could see slush on the road itself, but the drive was fine. I should add, I got an ear full of snow when I was topping up the bird feeder, but there wasn't anything worth worrying about. 

It was non-uniform day today and bear looked awesome. He was wearing the black blazer from his interview, a black shirt, black tie, black (school) trousers and polished shoes. I am absolutely not asking him about his romantic situation. 

He got really good marks in maths and further maths, and he got 52% in the Physics Olympiad, which makes me incredibly proud of him. 

Tesco are doing 3 for the price of two on jar sauces. As DH has one pasta bake per week, every week, I got six. I'm considering getting more, plus a load of the curries. We may use one jar every other week, but the jars last for ages and the way prices are rising, I would be mad not to. I'm definitely only getting the ones that we use regularly, though. They also had Heinz beans, 6 for £5.50 the other day. I can remember when it used to be a bargain when you got 6 for £3. As it was, I regret only getting one pack. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday, 8 March 2023

A Few Small Snowflakes

Bless - thank you. Bear is being awesome about it (in my very biased opinion). I think I'm going to have to track my water intake.

Sharon - thank you - that means a lot about the photo

Cherie - I get headaches sometimes with upset stomachs when I've eaten something that doesn't agree with me. Cheese is a main culprit but I know that there are a few additives and bits and pieces out there that also trigger. I just have to let things work through my system. I suspect that some gluten free biscuits set me off initially but as they are great as comfort food, I've kept having them before I realised. I hope that I'm finally dragging through the end of it.

Eileen - bear would very much like to aim for all nines. From looking at his results and reports and talking to teachers, 9s are a reasonable possibility in Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths, and Further Maths. They are a chance with a bit of luck and a lot of study in History and Business Studies, but 7s or 8s are more realistic. A 9 is unlikely for Drama but not theoretically impossible. A 9 for English Lit or English Language is something of a distant dream. If he gets a 6, which is still respectable, he will be reluctantly okay with it as it gets him into the courses. 

Today we saw at least three snowflakes in the afternoon.

It was very light, didn't affect the road and barely affected visibility when driving bear home. On the other hand, we have an Amber warning for snow tomorrow and I'm a little nervous. Our home isn't particularly high up, but Heckmondwike is on the edge of the Penines, which is forecast to be quite hard hit. The problem is that our area isn't set up for snow, which happens about five days a year, so while I'm planning the routes with care to avoid the worst of the hills and the trickier corners, it is still all main roads which should all be gritted. It should be okay if I avoid the worst of the hazards and pick my route. There is one roundabout in particular that has been vile in the last few days, with a lot of traffic and it being tricky to get out. It's been - see a small gap and hope for the best. That won't work in snow. 

Bear is completely rejecting a hoodie or heaven forbid a coat. Negotiations are ongoing, but I don't feel optimistic. 

Today I got a coupon from Tesco for £2 off if I spent £12 or more in the Home Department. It seemed rude not to indulge.

Writing stuff - I've given a brief update here about plans for the next month of writing. As my track record of sticking with plans isn't brilliant, it may be taken with a pinch of salt, but I'd welcome all opinions, if you feel like commenting. 

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

A Middling Sort of Day

 Sharon - I keep wondering where I went right! I can't take any credit.

Bless - it's really taking now. Your daughter sounds awesome.

I didn't post yesterday because some writing stuff is happening. It's all sort of difficult and I can't share yet. I'm still a little in the fog about it all.

I managed a very small walk this morning.

There are some very faint traces of spring

Early morning was lovely and golden against the shadows

Bear has had a few more results back. He missed out on top marks for History and Business Studies, but he's confident that he'll do better in the exams.

My headache is back with a vengeance. I think I'll be crawling off for an early night.

Writing stuff - The latest instalment of Invitation Accepted  is here.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday, 5 March 2023

The End of the Weekend

Bless - I'm waiting to see the rest of the results. Bear can get over confident. I'm going to have to find a way of being more disciplined with time. I'm the resident taxi because the other parents live so far away and DH doesn't know the area. There are a lot of strange turns and knacky areas which are difficult to drive if you don't expect them. 

Eileen - I think that this is the last round of mocks, thank goodness! Don't stress about the podcast. I always worry that people will think less of me if they hear me talk. 

Marjorie - thank you - it was a wonderfully uneventful journey.

Sharon - DH has the same love for words and stories as I do. Neither of us are mathematically able in any way at all, although DH is much better than me. Bear just loves his numbers and I am baffled and incredibly proud of him. 

The sick headache is still coming and going. I am unimpressed. 

It is looking more and more like spring, with the honeysuckle coming back.

I just hope that the new growth isn't killed by the snow that's forecast.

I am so lucky with bear. I picked him up from a house where there had been a few of his friends all of his age. He was happy to work with me for a time to pick up, said thank you, and was generally lovely. I have heard so many horror stories and I am grateful that I didn't have any worries.

I'm under no illusions. I'm sure that there will be moments as the years come but for now, I'm savouring the moment.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday, 4 March 2023


I am just coming down from a shocking migraine/stomach upset that almost knocked me out yesterday and today and I have to keep myself going because I am supposed to pick bear up from some sort of party at a house I've never been to in an area I don't know around 11pm, or thereabouts. 

I'll be back tomorrow and hopefully be in a better state.

Hugs and good health to all.

Thursday, 2 March 2023

Where Did the Week Go?

Sharon - Thank you - that's a real compliment from you. I find time running away from me all the time.

Cherie - I always blink at seeing people in pyjamas and dressing gown in shops. But there are standards - I never seem to see them in a nightie!

Bless - thank you.

Eileen - Thank you, and getting lost can give me the giggles sometimes, especially if I'm not in a rush to pick up bear.

I'm sorry that I didn't post. I was lucky enough to be on another podcast that ran for two hours. I'm not used to talking that much and I was fit only for bed afterwards.

Bear got a 9 in his Chemistry mock this time around. Today was his last exam which was one of the maths ones and then we rushed home for the extra maths stuff from the college. Bear was a happy bunny, if you see what I mean. He loves his numbers.

I've been pootling around with a few different bits. I've not eaten well, though, so I'm a little disappointed in myself, but I'll start again tomorrow.

Writing stuff - I can't seem to find a previous post with this, so please forgive me if I've posted this before. I've re-edited Digging up the Past and I've re-published it as ebook and paperback. The ebook is now in Kindle Unlimited. I even got a new cover.

I think it's a lot better after the edit, but I've learned a lot since it was first published in 2013. 

The podcast is here and was me and a gentleman called Joshua Pantalleresco just talking about life, the universe and everything for two hours. He works as a motivational coach and advertiser and I felt very inspired afterwards. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday, 28 February 2023

Wonderfully Quiet

 Eileen - it feels crazy here! Bear is certainly working on it, so fingers crossed!

Bless - I think that it's going to make all the difference. Bear is working hard, but it won't hurt him to make lunch decisions.

Cherie - I have done many things in my time, but I have never gone out in pyjamas and dressing gown. I cannot imagine wandering around the town centre in night clothes but it's a regular sight. 

Today has been very uneventful. I gave a lift to my friend to and from a car dealership, spending some time gossiping in between, and came home. I admit to getting stupidly lost on the way there and the way back, but it was fun. I'd asked bear to get the bus home today as he didn't have an exam so I wasn't under any time pressure. 

And that has been my day. 

Tomorrow I hope to be a little more active.

Hugs and good health to all.

Monday, 27 February 2023

A Very Slight Fail

Sharon - thank you. Yes, sometimes I feel like I have one day on and one day off.

Bless - thank you! I feel hugged.

Eileen - Thank you for the hug, it helps.

I didn't get much done this weekend. Today was... difficult to define.

First of all - I wore trainers! My feet have been too swollen and one of the reasons for my knee pain is (I think) that I've been trogging around Tesco in slippers. As a celebration, I had a half way decent walk. I took a couple of pics as proof.

I went a slightly different route than normal and it was fun. Then I called in at M&S to pick up bear's jeans and DH's fruit and salad. 

I'm pleased about that, but I didn't seem to get much else done. I was distracted by men doing something technical to the telegraph pole outside our house. I had to wait for them to get out of the street because they were blocking the exit, so I was later than I wanted to leave for the pickup. I dropped off some clothes at the Salvation Army clothes bank and some glass jars at the bottle bank and picked up a drink for bear before picking him up. He had the Drama mock exam and he said it had gone fine. I've been a bit hit and miss about food and I could have been a lot healthier.

Then I was naff raffing about making dinner as bear went for a haircut, and at 6pm there was a zoom call with the maths college about what to expect. It looks amazing but it also looks quite intense. Bear is looking forward to it greatly, so I'm keeping everything crossed that he gets the grades needed. And speaking of grades, he is going to a study/revision thing at Easter organised by the college for those who have had offers made and I need to provide a healthy packed lunch. Given bear's views on food, I am going to take him to the nearest supermarket 30 minutes before the start and let him loose in the 'meal deal' section. It's a very large Sainsburys, so there should be something. 

Writing stuff - Today's story is Chapter Four of Invitation Accepted here. I am having a lot of fun with it. 

I'm giving notice that I will be taking down Dark Picture and Under Dark Hills  on 30th April 2023. I plan to tidy them up, smooth out some of the writing and publish as a book, either seperately or bundled together, possibly with Across a Misty Bridge. As they are stories that have previously been free on the blog, I'll almost certainly have them for free at some point, and I'll try and keep the price down when they aren't on offer. I'm not sure when I'll be publishing them as books, but it will be a while, due to Amazon's rules. I want to make sure that they are tidier and neatened up, and I may add some other new stuff to give value for money. They'll also be available in paperback form, which won't be free, but I'll put on as cost effective as I can.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday, 24 February 2023

Less Successful

Bless - thank you. I'm so surprised at the total of savings. Perhaps I should start counting what I save.

Eileen - thank you. The knee is really sore. I think it's just a matter of losing weight.

Today I failed on the walk. My knee was sore, but it was the willpower that let me down. I feel like today was a fail because I sort of drifted through it. I got some writing done, and I finally remembered to order some jeans for bear as he is going out not tomorrow but next weekend and his current jeans are sadly inadequate. He's growing like a weed, thank goodness.

I've also not been particularly healthy, but I'll start again tomorrow.

Writing stuff - The Forgotten Village is still free to download until 28th February 2023. The way that the Kindle stuff works, I can only put it free there around every six months, so if you're interested (and it's really okay if you're not interested at all) then now is a good time to get it.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday, 23 February 2023

Finally Started Sweater

Bless - bear is bear, that's all I can say! He's hoping to take part in a Physics Olympiad next. These are just practice exams. The main ones are in May and June and the results come out in August. I'm far more nervous about it than bear!

Sharon - the door is the favourite part of the park for me! I must keep my eyes open and see if I notice anything else. I'm sinking under a lot of stuff at the moment and if I find a way of doing things, I'll share. I may try the timer thing.

Eileen - these are the second lot of mock exams. On one hand they're a great way of revising and practising for the real thing. On the other hand, they must be so much pressure for the kids. Bear seems to be doing okay with it, though.

Today bear only had biology, so had other lessons as well. He thinks he did okay. I picked him up and we raced home for the extra maths lesson with the college. This is entirely voluntary and aimed at kids who are likely to score highly in the GCSEs. Bear thinks it's good fun, but hard. I just keep a safe distance.

I didn't want to take a walk today, and my knee is definitely sore, but I did a little walk and here's the pic to prove it. 

I'll try and make myself walk again tomorrow.

I finally finished the bobble hat. I made a bit of a mess of the top and no doubt will have to get creative when I sew it up, but I abandoned it with a sigh of relief and cast on and knit the first rib row of the sweater. It's in navy, so dark and a little fiddly, but it's on. It's a very straightforward pattern - no messing around with increases or such and all plain stocking stitch with colour changes. I think I'll keep the pattern. It takes 800g of yarn, but that may be less if you don't have colour changes. There were two sizes - medium and large and I cast on the large. As I plan to donate it, I thought that would be better. After I cast on 134 stitches, I checked the size and it is a 138 cm or 54 inch chest! The medium is a 44 inch chest. That's plenty of ease in the pattern! I'll share any progress.

I also found the summary of my Clubcard for 2022. It included the discounts I got from Clubcard Extra, which I've got rid of, and the Clubcard prices are a bit of a swizz as they are really the 'normal' price against an inflated one with the occasional bargain, but according to Tesco I saved £995.89 and got over £50 in clubcard vouchers. I have a certain scepticism, but I'm quite pleased. 

I also ate relatively healthily today, and I have at least a little bit of writing done, so I think that I will call today a success.

Writing stuff - The Forgotten Village will be free from tomorrow 24th February 2023 until 28th February 2023 (midnight PST, so timings may be important. I'll remind you again tomorrow and then I'll be cracking on with my usual stuff. 

Hugs and good health to all.

Wednesday, 22 February 2023

I Need More Lists

Bless - your sausage and mash looked and sounded delicious! 

Bear had a physics exam followed by a computer science exam. He said that he enjoyed them both and even enjoyed the physics more than the maths! I hope that he did well in them. He seemed in a good place when I met up with him, which has to be a positive thing. I shall be on pins far more than him until we find the result.

I failed to have a walk today but at least I had a brief wander around Tesco before picking up a snack for bear. The rest of the day I've been doing bits - I've moved stuff that I've been meaning to move, I've topped up the bird food and checked the seed feeder. I've eaten okayish, though I slipped with a chocolate coated rice cake. I'm also about two rows short of finishing the bobble hat, but I'm shattered so it will have to wait until tomorrow, when I will hopefully finish it and start my Lent project a day late.I feel like I have so many things that I need to do and I need to do them all at once - and I have no idea where to start!

I've also been a little stressed as the traffic today was horrific, both school runs. I was glad to get home. I have a suspicion that a wheel bearing is going and I don't even know where to start with that.

Writing stuff - I still feel a little like I'm being thrown about by a hurricane. The updated version of The Forgotten Village ebook will be free on Amazon from 24th February 2023 to 28th February 2023 but it goes by PST time so if you are interested (and it's okay if you're not - I'd rather have friends than readers) it's probably best to look between 25th February 2023 and 27th February 2023. 

I've written a brief note about it here.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday, 21 February 2023

More Bewildered than Usual

Bless - salads are entirely appropriate. After all, you were the one eating it! 

Sharon - thank you!

Despite lack of motivation, I managed a small walk and took yet another pic of my favourite door.

I'm glad that it hasn't been affected by the storm.

For the rest of the day I completely addled my brain by sorting out the cover on The Forgotten Village while finishing a final edit and formatting Digging up the Past. I found that I had two Chapter Tens and no Chapter Fourteen and had to do some sorting out. The paperback version for The Forgotten Village should be out soon. I am now extremely stressed that I may have got the wrong content matched with the cover and I keep checking back. 

Bear continues fine with his exams. He said he enjoyed the maths exam. I'm baffled.

None of us were bothered about pancakes. I may make some at the weekend. 

Now I need to get the last few inches of the bobble hat done which is perfect for the state of my mind at the moment. I'm going to find a nice documentary and settle in.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday, 20 February 2023

Bear is Fine

Bless - I know that your sausage and mash would be delicious, but they should never be eaten with a salad. It should be fried onions and thin, brown, British style gravy. Or salad. I can imagine that it would be awesome with salad. 

Bear's mock exams started today and he is doing okay. I've got in some fruit drinks that he likes and he hoovered up the chocolate coated rice cakes I got as an after-school snack, but he is doing okay. He says he thinks that he has grown since before half term holiday as he is now suddenly taller than the lockers. I'll have to keep a weather eye on the length of his trousers!

I've had a sort of okay day. I forced myself to take a short walk in the park despite it being very windy and somewhat damp. There were a lot of signs of the recent storms

I looked up and I thought that this was a picture of winter, and most would put it in November or December rather than February, but there were still a few leaves around back then.

But there were some signs of spring. I don't think this pic does it justice - the light wasn't brilliant.

Then I got some more exercise walking around Aldi (cola - I have a lot of editing to do), Tesco (drinks for bear) and Marks and Spencer (salad and fruit for DH)

And then I was working with editing. 

I didn't eat good stuff for breakfast or lunch but I did have a reasonable dinner, which was a tin of Tesco Pea and Ham soup which I very much enjoyed. I'll take the small wins as I get them. 

Writing stuff - the new cover for the Forgotten Village ebook is here and I am confident that a paperback will be available for the first time in a few days. 

The cover is from who are very patient with me. It was written over ten years ago, and I've gone back, edited, corrected and clarified and it's available on Kindle Unlimited. I'm pretty much finished editing Digging up the Past and I'll let you know when the new version is out, but I need to sort out a new cover first. Watch out for offers on this.

The lastest instalment of Invitation Accepted is here. I am having so much fun with it that it ought to be illegal. 

Hugs and good health to all

Sunday, 19 February 2023

Lovely and Quiet

Sharon - Sometimes I look at places as part of research, like castles when I was writing King's Silver. Sometimes I hear stories when I visit. There was a plaque which said that the house was built by the Battly family, but the grandson died in a duel over gambling debts and there were no further heirs. I can't help but wonder, 'what if'. I don't know if you remember, I Never Knew Her Name that I wrote a few years back, but that was directly inspired by something that I saw in a place. It's still one of my favourite stories. 

Bless - thank you! They have some nice gardens and I hope to take some more pics later.

It's been wonderful and quiet today. I'm cherishing every second. I've done a little washing, made a pleasant dinner (sausage and mash, which the men very much appreciated) and done quite a bit of writing. I've a lot to do tomorrow, so after this I will be sitting down and making a list of what, where and when. 

I've got to keep an eye out for bear. He's being remarkably chill but has two exams tomorrow so will need a little fuss.

For those interested - a link to Sporcle and a quiz about terrible puns here. No-one who knows me would be surprised that I got 100%

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday, 18 February 2023

A Little Day Out

Briony - I understand about kneeling - it's a distant memory for me. I hope that your kitty gets used to it. Evil cat always seemed energised by the fights, but then she had a very straightforward way of looking at the world. 

Cherie - Alexander sounds amazing. Bear knows how to cook things. He just prefers me to do it. I've also said that I'll probably leave him in charge of his laundry from next year. Truth be told, I'll probably do a lot of it, but I want him to understand the rhythm of it and some of the pitfalls before he goes away for University (if he decides to go - I don't want to put pressure on him). I just want him to feel comfortable dealing with the world.

Apologies, I forgot about blogging yesterday. Mind you, nothing much happened so perhaps it's just as well.

Today I had a little run out to a nice car park. I didn't get much knitting done, but I read (kindle app on my phone) and relaxed. It wasn't so cold but I put a blanket over my legs for the cuddle of it. I also had a quick look around Oakwell Hall, which is free to visit, but I'll have to go back again when I have more time. It's worth a look and there are some nice walks in the grounds.

I'm not sure whether you'd get a good fire in here, it looks a little small.

There is such a story in here

I don't know what flower this is, but I thought it was beautiful.

Writing stuff - I got included in a Podcast discussing the horror film, The Ninth Gate here. I had a blast. Julia, who was hosting, is such a sweetie and I had such fun. I will have to see if I can cadge invitations to other podcasts, though I don't expect them all to be as lovely as Lynn and Julia.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday, 16 February 2023

Where Did the Week Go?

Bless - I am sooo well stocked. I am definitely going to be running things down over the next few months. 

Sharon - my failure to meal plan is legendary, so you are ahead of me there. Aldi is so convenient for me that it makes sense for me to call in there, though I pick and choose what I get. I love the sound of your car - a real pioneer spirit!

Cherie - I'm sure that bear is being awkward, but nuts are sometimes a hard no, sometimes a possibility. It seems to change with the wind. Berries are also hit and miss. He will eat cheese on pizza at school and at my brother's house but otherwise treats it like toxic waste. I am seriously consdering putting him in charge of his own food next year. If he gets into the good college (fingers crossed) he is in the centre of Leeds which is overflowing with options. If he doesn't, practically all the other choices are near decent sized supermarkets, or I could give him a lift and wait in the car. I also fail at getting him to take supplements. It is also looking very damp outside, so hanging clothes on an airer in the kitchen continues.

I know a lot of people who read this are into textiles of all sorts and while doing research I found a YouTube video about woollen cloth production in Yorkshire here. I found it fascinating, so I thought I would share.

I completely forgot about blogging yesterday, but I didn't get much done so perhaps it's just as well. 

Things are definitely growing.

The pic is rubbish, but the new growth is really coming on, and it's early as well. I'm going to have to get out there and sort out the garden.

Today I've given the bathroom a good clean, sorted a load of rubbish from the porch, sorted through the new cover for Forgotten Village (watch this space), done a couple of loads of washing, ate sensible food for once and written a couple of thousand words. I've also cleared a few bits of admin so I'm feeling quite smug. I've no idea where the energy came from, but I hope that it can continue tomorrow. 

Hugs and good health to all.

Tuesday, 14 February 2023

Accidental Delivery

Bless - if you have an Aldi near you and it's safe to go in, their yarn is okay. It's cheap, and isn't bad. I had a look at Aldi US, and didn't see any yarn there, but it may pop up on their specials and apparently they have started doing curbside. Here we can get stuff mail order - and I frequently do! I'm looking forward to the sweater!

I'm not sure what I've done today. I got a Morrisons order because I forgot to cancel it. Fortunately there was no frozen stuff (there is absolutely no room!), but I'm going to have to use up a lot of potatoes. That's not exactly a hardship, though. It wasn't a big order, and it was stuff that I can use, so it could have been worse. One thing that regularly annoys me is that they turn up early and don't warn me. I'm always caught halfway through stuff. He was pleasant enough, which is always a bonus, so I'm not grumbling too much.

I've done some washing. I didn't put it out in the garden as it was quite damp early on. I should have put it out later in the day. I'll know next time. Our garden doesn't get sunlight between November and February because of the shade thrown by the laurels across the road, but it's getting to the point where drying is possible. Instead I hung it on an airer in the kitchen rather than use a tumble drier. I'm also doing an extra spin cycle to help clothes dry quicker.

I've been curiously proactive today, possibly because I'm avoiding some writing, but I've got some ironing done and cleared out a few bits. I need to crack on with the bobble hat because I suspect I'll need those particular sized needles for the sweater kit for Lent. 

Bear hasn't eaten a lot today, and has done a lot of computer gaming. I'm keeping an eye on him. On one hand I need to encourage him to revise. On the other hand, I want to respect his mental health. I'll see if I can pick up some healthier junk food for him. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday, 13 February 2023

Needs and Wants

Bless - thank you! I'm hoping to get there this week. I'll take a load of pics. I also would love a floor plan to use for writing purposes as a reference, but I can't find one anywhere, so that's on the list.

Marjorie - thank you! I usually have one on the back seat for the waits during school runs, and I'm glad of them.

Cherie - that sounds like heaven!

I am actually quite good about the difference between what I need and what I want, but I fail at resisting 'wants' when I should stick to 'needs'. For example, extra yarn is possible the absolute last thing I need but I saw it in Aldi and, well, I failed at being sensible.

The sweater kit won't fit me and the men don't do sweaters but I thought I would make it for Lent. I've got an idea of what I may give up, but I also like to try and do something postive for Lent like make something like clothes or a blanket and then donate it. I've not been dedicated for the last few years but I hope to turn it around. Also, a blanket's worth (or possibly two) of pastel yarn for £9 per pack was a strong temptation and my willpower has the strength and resilience of a dandelion clock. 

By the way, I went on Aldi's website to check the price and they are apparently doing cashback through TopCashBack now. I put the TopCashBack extension on my browser and now it gets in the way on a surprising number of sites. 

I also called in at Tesco. Today is the last day of the 5 for the price of 4 freezer event. All I can say is that bear is good for at least a month or two of after school snacks and I will not be buying main meal stuff for between six months and a year! I'm also planning on giving up the 10% off Clubcard Extra as it's getting me to buy more than I really need and restricting me from shopping around. It really came into it's own with school uniform, when 10% off bear's stuff was a real blessing, but it's just not worth it now. I decided to do one last 10% off shop. I didn't really want that much but I stocked up on some tinned soups (as I haven't much space for my own soups in the freezer for some reason like going mad on things like frozen diced chicken) and the jars of curry sauce that work so well for the men. I spent £91.19 in total, but the savings were £25.08. There were a few bits like fruit and salad, but most of it was storecupboard stuff that will keep us going for some time. I'm pretty sure I got some long term 'needs' and not 'wants'

Writing stuff - This week's fiction is here and it's Invitation Accepted Chapter Two, following on from the first chapter last week. I've almost finished Chapter Three for next week and I hope that I can use the extra time over half term to finish off most of the story. After a while, I'll take it off the website, tidy it up and publish it as a book. The plan (and let's be honest, I fail at sticking to plans, but here's the intention at least) is that there will be a roster of books that have previously been published on my website (and Substack) and that if I get things right there will be one of them free to buy most months. There will also be other stuff (if I get it sorted) that won't be on the website or put regularly on for free. I'll keep you posted.

The thing is, with bear going to college and then possibly to university, I need to be more professional and businesslike about writing. I'll still try to always play fair, though. 

Hugs and good health to all

Saturday, 11 February 2023


Majorie - thank you! I know that satnavs have their uses, but sometimes a traffic police officer or someone in the know will do a much better job! That sounds like a nervewracking journey. I'm glad that you got out of there okay.

Bless - my car was always bound to have a personality lol. Father had one that he bought for £25 back in the eighties that had more personality than a lot of people. We called it Chugaboom, like the Anthill Mob in Wacky Races, and father somehow kept it going for years, back in the days when you could do a lot of the maintenance yourself. 

Today I settled in for a nice knit in the car. I called in at Tesco for some treats and then found the car park near the park. It was insanely busy as there was a park run, but I found an out of the way corner, which is what I prefer. I had a blanket that I knitted a while back over my legs and it was seriously snug. 

It was inexpensive Aldi yarn that was a percentage wool, and it made such a difference. Next week I'm going to pack another one to go around my shoulders. 

As the kiosk wasn't open, I called in at Oakwell Hall for a quick bathroom break and a walk around. I may call in next week as apparently it's free to visit now.

I wondered why this small building should be so dangerous. 

Then I looked around the back

It was lovely to just sit and knit quietly with a blanket on my knee and the relative quiet all around. It does a lot for my mental health. As I said, next week I think that I will take another blanket to put over my shoulders and I'll try out the car kettle I got last summer for perhaps a tea or an instant soup. 

I'm already looking forward to next weekend.

Hugs and good health to all.