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. 

Friday 10 February 2023


Eileen - thank you!

Cherie - thank you! The time crunch was seriously getting to me, and Halifax town centre can be scary. I was glad to get home. 

Hazel - thank you!

Lovely Unknown - thank you! And thank you for the kind words for me and DH. I give bear pretty much all the credit, though.

Bless - thank you! It was the time that bothered me the most, though I wasn't keen on going 50mph on unfamiliar roads with some serious bends. I was glad to get home.

Sharon - thank you!

Wherethejourneytakesme - thank you! One day we will meet! Pudsey is horrible to get around if you don't know it. I lived there for a very short while a long time ago, and it is full of small corners and funny nooks with it all spread out on side roads. It's not a bad place to live with some lovely people, but it's not a straightforward place to drive around.

Ruth - thank you! I was using Google maps on my phone and accidentally turned the volume down. I was unimpressed at my lack of skill with tech! I got bear to reset it (again)

I think I've spent today recovering. I had a shocking night, which meant that when I remembered that bear's sports kit was still in the washer at 4am, I was awake! I tiptoed down and hung it up because it's not supposed to be tumble dried. I don't want to have to replace shrunken kit at this stage - his last games lesson is likely to be in April or May!

A car a few doors down got broken into last night. We had the police around this morning asking to check our CCTV. It's just as well it's there as we fail completely at noticing what is going on in the street. I'm glad it wasn't our car. 

And speaking of cars, I swear mine has a personality. She doesn't like the cold, she doesn't like first gear and she grumbles on short runs. She is running a lot better after yesterday as I ended up on some faster roads a few times and we covered a few miles and it seems to suit her. She's still got something of a rumble going on, though, since the cold snap in December. I'll keep an eye out on her. 

I am planning a quiet and early night.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday 9 February 2023

He Got the Offer!

Thank you all for the good wishes. I'm absolutely confident that they helped! Bear has got his conditional offer. All bear has to do now is get 7s in the relevant exams, and he got 9s in his mock exams, so hopefully he'll be there. 

My day has been as follows. I dropped bear off, went to visit my lovely friend in the Penines, left to pick up bear in plenty of time and took a wrong turn. My satnav was inaudible and I got epically and heroically lost. I went around Halifax town centre at least three times, was in the wrong lane or wrong gear unnervingly often and ended up on scary dual carriageways at 50mph. I also found myself on all sorts of narrow roads, residential streets and at least one commercial estate. I screeched into the car park where bear was waiting five minutes late and then rattled home as fast as was safe as tonight bear has extra classes for maths. The college is putting them on for free for anyone interested. Bear is, of course, interested, and we got home in time by the skin of our teeth. 

My leg still hurts but it could be worse.

I am now going to collapse in a corner and recover. Also - celebrate because bear did it!

Thank you for all the good wishes.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 8 February 2023

Still No News

Eileen - thank you! I came to terms with not having a clue about it a long time ago.

Sharon - thank you. It's great to see growing things. 

My leg continues to ache and I feel run down. I don't think it's anything except that it's February. I'm also on pins as we still haven't heard from the fancy college. 

I think tonight is definitely a knit-and-early-night night.

Hugs and good health to all.

Tuesday 7 February 2023


Sharon - thank you! I always turn to a good book as well, and chocolate.

Bless - I'm crunching the numbers for that shop to the best of my ability 

Eileen - thank you! We are all keeping everything crossed. Bear is checking his emails every five minutes, just in case.

It's been a funny sort of day. I found this

Apparently bear knows what it means.

And there are some lovely fresh leaves on the rose as well, which I have failed at photographing.

And I'm cracking on with editing and writing - which was disturbed by workman who had come to paint the street sign. You see, the name of our road is on a street sign placed half way up our house. It has been barely legible through rust and muck since we came here in 1994. Today they removed the rust and painted it white, and they're going to come back and paint the lettering black. I have no problem with that, but I was a little surprised when they turned up as no-one had thought to let us know. 

I think I have a touch of sciatica as my leg is in so much pain. I can't sit or stand comfortably for love nor money. I think that I will take a couple of painkillers and turn in for the night.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 6 February 2023

Same Old Same Old

Bless - Thank you! meal planning here has to be the basic scaffolding at best because everything changes! I like a nice curry with rice, and while I use jar sauces, I always add extras like more onions or veggies.

Sharon - half of the car theory test answers seemed to involve 'slow down and give space' and I don't think that's a bad start. Bear loves his maths and loves solving the numbers. The other day he was watching maths videos to cheer himself up. I'm bewildered, confused and proud in equal portions.

Eileen - bear won't eat ready meals. I've thought about keeping pizza in the freezer, but he will only eat pizza at school or my brother's house. Some of it is him being contrary, but it's not a battle that I'm ready to fight. The issues he had in the past were very real, so he's getting away with a lot. 

I've just remembered that I've left some frozen stuff on top of the freezer from sorting stuff out this morning. Darn it! I mean, it was a handful of frozen fries and a half bag of carrots that hasn't been touched in six months, and I was planning to throw them in the bin, but I guess they will be a soggy mess now. 

I'm not sure what I've been doing over the last few days. I feel all over the place. I have photo evidence that I changed my phone case.

And bear assembled the new fire for me. It's incredibly warm, even on the lowest setting, and I'm glad that I got it from a charity via eBay. I just wish it had got here sooner.

I've done quite a bit of writing, which probably isn't helping my mental state, and I took part in a podcast about horror movies and The Ninth Gate but I don't know when that will be out. 

Bear got an offer from his third choice college on Friday, only a couple of days after the interview. That was incredibly flattering. This is a more mainstream sixth form college, though, so his predicted grades are quite high for it. He's got a good chance at the school sixth form, and we are all waiting on pins for the maths college. And then he's got to actually get the grades themselves.

I think that I'll do one more 10% off shop with the Tesco Extra Clubcard and then cancel it. I'll still keep the clubcard part, but not the 10% off and the discounts on Tesco higher end own brand. I think I will be better suited shopping most days for what we need and in different shops. But if I'm going to do that last 10% shop then I should go out in a blaze of glory - it's going to be epic. I'll probably need bear to help me. I think that I'll spend the next day or two making a long list. Half term is coming up as well so I can stock up on some goodies for that. I won't get any candles. I think DH would cry if I did! I'm thinking about my storage space, and about getting stuff like tins and jars that will last. Mind you, I don't want to buy for the sake of it.

And when did Heinz tomato soup get to £1.70 for a can? I nearly fell over when I saw that. I picked up a tin of Tesco's tomato soup for 60p instead. I used to get the Heinz soup in bulk before the plague. I'd wait until the price hit 50p a can and commit. 

Writing stuff - I've been on Canva again

I've got a new series planned, with the next installment already scheduled for next week, and you can find the first part here. I think that it will be a lot of fun. It's set relatively locally, so I should revisit the area this weekend. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday 2 February 2023

Shopping Fail

Helen - thank you for checking in. You are always welcome. 

Bless - your blog is full of interest and life. I think some people just sit around but others fill up their time and pay attention to the world.

Sharon - thank you! The homework pile has gone down but there is still loads outstanding. He's looking a little shell shocked, to be honest, but he has another week and then it's half term so he can hopefully catch his breath.

Hazel - thank you! I always feel that I'm here talking to friends. It's like a safe space to chat about things that are important to me. Thank you for coming here.

Eileen - the homework is definitely checked. Some of it last year was just fluff and make work. However today bear told me that there are only sixteen weeks until his first exam and the school are pushing it hard. I have access to a site that shows what homework bear has been allocated and whether it is pending, submitted or overdue. There are ten pieces outstanding at the moment, including a lot of tests and essays. 

Coincidentally, today I did two loads of laundry.

I had a shocking night last night, so I was not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer when I called in for some cola at Aldi. My editing is currently running on cola and Aldi's is gluten free where Tesco's own brand isn't. The car park had an unexpected obstacle. 

These shots are completely undoctored. I wouldn't know where to start with a camera phone. Someone had too much time on their hands and carefully lined up the trolleys across Aldi's car park. 

I was trying to think about dinner. I ended up going into Aldi, where I didn't get anything for dinner, Tesco, where I picked up fresh chicken, cooking bacon and potatoes, and Marks and Spencer, where I could have saved more money. 

Bear doesn't always want dinner with us, and if he did eat with us he won't touch quorn mince or the microwave rice that I would use for a quick meal for DH and I. He likes the chickenless vegan dippers with beans, but I'm trying to shake up his variety. But he could have that. DH had talked about having more soup so I picked up the cooking bacon in Tesco but realised that I needed carrot and celery as I left the car park and that I needed bread rolls for DH if I was going to make soup, so I ended up in Marks and Spencer for the veggies and rolls. Bear won't eat soup. He also won't have cheese or eggs but he likes a quick meal when he gets home. I am finding it a challenge. 

Bear took part in an online maths class today. It's aimed at those doing well at GCSE and bear loved it, It finished at 5.30 so I had time to do a nice chicken curry with rice from a rice cooker. DH has had toast with the rolls. I'm planning the soup for me for Friday lunch, Saturday dinner and Sunday lunch. Tomorrow's dinner for me and DH is chili but with quorn mince and microwave rice while bear has his usual Friday treat of raiding Tesco's meal deal. I have to have a quick meal tomorrow as we are hopefully calling in on DH's auntie after school so I want to be able to feed DH as soon after I get home as I can. And this is why I cook so much beige stuff.

And then I got stuck behind someone doing 25mph in a 50mph zone. I kept a respectful distance. If someone is going that slow in a relatively fast zone it means that either they are feeling unwell, or they are feeling 'unwell' and don't want to be stopped and breathalysed, or that they have a body in the boot. (I'm a writer, and I imagine things).

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 1 February 2023

Still Dark and Stormy

Bless - thank you. I always feel hugged reading your blog.

Hazel - Our freezer is upright with drawers, but there is still lots of corners and stuff that migrates to the back. I think I need to have a further rummage and I'll have a pile of veggies tomorrow with any single sausages or grills that I find. It's too good a deal to waste, even for things like peas!

The Awesome Unknown - thank you! Everything that I write here is true. Sometimes I fudge a detail for privacy, and I definitely avoid posting about some sides of bear's life, but at least I feel honest. As for the quotation marks, I'm armpit deep in editing Digging up the Past and I am ashamed. I feel like I am translating parts of that into English. I never criticise spelling or punctuation because I know that the second that I try that, all my errors will show up!

Eileen - thank you. And I am all about the bargains. And I find your blog inspirational in all sorts of quiet ways. Thank you for sharing.

Weather continues just as stormy. I was glad that I didn't have to do an early school run. The strike must have caused chaos and quite a lot of hardship in some places, but bear was glad of it. He could chip away at the mountain of homework that he's facing.

I was thinking about the 'boring' comment. Sometimes I feel like the blog is a diary that anyone can read. There are dull times when it's very much a case of, 'Did two lots of washing today, weather continues fine'. Then there are scary times, like a few years ago when I had two separate cancer checkups in the same week, one for skin cancer and one for breast cancer. I think aloud here, show my pride in bear (who is getting taller and skinnier by the day, I swear!) and share my triumphs and disasters. One disaster today was leaving a carton of perfectly good icecream on top of the freezer as I was sorting things and it wasn't found until it had melted and had to be thrown. 

I think that it is important to be honest (within reason). I'll share the fails as well as the wins, because I think that helps those who have had a fail day feel less alone. And the blog has helped me a lot. I've identified a lot of patterns in my life which I am intermittently working on. But also there have been times when coming on here and posting whatever nonsense is going on in my life has kept me from shrinking into a dark corner and freezing up. The wonderful people I have met through here, and the amazing encouragement and support, are something I seriously treasure. 

Onto something more pragmatic - I did a 10% off shop today. I get two per month with the Tesco Extra clubcard but I think that it's more trouble than it's worth. I saved around £12 but some of that was frozen chicken on the 5 for 4 deal. I think it is designed to encourage people to buy a little more than they need to 'get their money's worth' but I want to run our stocks down. At the moment, it would suit me more to pop into which ever shop suits me best on a daily basis. I'll start stocking up again in the autumn and for Christmas, but I can re-subscribe to the Clubcard Extra then for a few months and then cancel. Besides, I always forget something. Tomorrow I need to pick up potatoes. 

And I forgot to take a pic, so I've dug this out.

Hugs and good health to all.