Sunday 31 December 2023

New Year's Eve

I'm full of cough and cold, I feel deeply out of sorts and achey and I'm seeing in the New Year without a drink because I've dropped bear off at a New Year's Eve Party full of teenagers and I need to be able to make the horrific drive to pick him up if he needs me. 

And it still feels like all is right with the world.

Hugs, good health and a prosperous New Year to all. 

Saturday 30 December 2023

I Went Out

This morning I nipped out and sat for a while, knitting and feeding the crows. The weather wasn't brilliant but it was incredibly relaxing.

I didn't get much in the way of pics as I was staying in my car away from the rain - and keeping the windows mainly up away from the rain, but at one point I had the tree next to me full of magpies, watching me intently. It was like a snippet from The Birds.

I've no idea if bear is supposed to be taking a bottle. Last time he took Pringles. I've told him that he shouldn't buy alcohol. Instead he should let me buy it for him and I'll get the points on the Clubcard. It made him chuckle and I don't think that he's likely to drink much, but I'll keep an eye out. If I'm buying him anything it's going to be low alcohol. Mind you, that makes me a complete hypocrite considering what I got up to at his age. 

And I don't want to think of the sort of romancing that could be going on.

Bear was poorly before Christmas. DH was very poorly over Christmas. I am now feeling very under the weather with perfect timing for New Year. There's been some nasty coughs going around, so I'm not surprised.

I'm planning on spending a lot of time hunkered down, staying warm and relaxing over the next few days - between coughs, of course.

Hugs and good health to all.

Friday 29 December 2023

Quiet Continues

I didn't post yesterday because nothing much happened. I can only post about hanging out with the men and watching old Doctor Who episodes so often. However I made up the hat I made from the gifted yarn.

The pattern called for 2oz of yarn, or around 50g. I used a 100g ball of yarn, but there was only around 20g left over. I'll maybe keep any left overs for stripes in a hat or scarf - I'll see what happens. The pattern is a genius. The loathed 2x2 rib is wonderfully stretchy, and 120 stitches will fit most heads. It will either be stretchy to expand to most head sizes or the rib will stick to small heads. You rib for 12 inches before shaping the crown. Again, that means that the hat will fit most heads, deep enough for most heads but with the possibility of turning up the bottom edge to make a kind of cuff. It's brilliant. I cast on another hat so that I didn't lose the needle which is a perfect length for this.

This is more of a green variegated yarn. I've also put a few inches on the scarf as well, while watching Doctor Who and the Aztecs. 

Bear has been invited to a New Year's Eve Party. I am terrified. I'm fairly confident that he'll be sensible, but there are so many possibilities when teens and alcohol mix. Still, he knows that he can call us any time for a lift, and that we won't judge, so he should be fine. I can't keep him wrapped in cotton wool. I'll just stick to extracting the address and name of an adult likely to be around. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 27 December 2023

Another Wonderfully Quiet Day

Bear went out to meet friends today. This translates to meeting other students and revising in the university library before wandering around the town centre. I don't know how much studying was done overall, but I'm impressed that any happened.

I took the opportunity to go with DH to feed the crows. We had a wonderful time and I can see it becoming a regular thing. Poor DH is really suffering with a cough, but the drive out did him good and the crows and magpies were definitely entertaining. There was a considerable amount of squabbling, some incredible flying and a very cheeky squirrel in the mix. 

That is the magpie that swooped onto the car to get a monkey nut left on the car bonnet. It was incredible - the bird just swooped in, grabbed the nut without landing and was off before we could take a pic.

That, unfortunately was the best pic that I got from the squirrel. The crows hid some of the nuts in the long grass and I think that the squirrel was after them. I'm pretty sure that any nuts were hidden away from the dogs that get walked there. 

Apart from that, nothing much happened today and I'm hopeful that nothing much will happen tomorrow.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 26 December 2023

I Have Eaten Far Too Much

We have had a wonderful Christmas here. Bear was very happy with his presents, even though there was only a small selection. I got some wonderful things, including a candle that bear got for me in particular. He usually relies on DH or I to pick up stuff, but this is one that he went out of his way to get. I'll take a pic later - it's a candle and I think that I'll keep the container forever. 

DH made Christmas dinner, which was mighty, and then we had a wonderful time just spending time together. We watched the Doctor Who Christmas Special together and just had such a good time. I also watched King Charles' Christmas Speech and I thought that for the first time I could see his father in him. 

Today I went out for a short stretch of the wheels. I went to my usual car park and I fed the crows. I only threw a few monkey nuts because there are a lot of dog walkers there and I wanted to make sure that nothing was left over for an unsuspecting dog. Trust me - nothing was. The crows were quite emphatic about that. 

I also called in to Tesco briefly. I felt mortified. I was being the sort of shopper that means that the staff have to come in on Boxing Day. I had unfortunately got more Christmas pudding than cream, so I called in. The car park was quite empty when I arrived.

I was still glad to get home. 

I've finished the hat, but haven't sewn it up yet. I'll need to get onto that tomorrow or I'll forget it altogether. I've started on a scarf, as the yarn is quite pink. I thought I could donate it to the Salvation Army or a homeless charity once it was finished.

The pattern isn't perfect but it could be a fun scarf for someone. I may stick to hats after this, though, even if it's pink yarn. I think that there are some homeless shelters that can use them if I don't send them to the Mission to Seafarers. btw the pattern for the scarf is double knitting on 5mm needles (bigger than advised) to make it a little more lacy, then three rows of plain knit, one row of purl, three rows of knit, one row of twisted drop stitch, three rows of knit, etc. 

We had another big dinner today and I'm feeling rather stuffed. We've spent the evening watching the original series of Doctor Who with William Hartnell and it reminded me of how experimental the sixties really were. It's been fun. 

Writing stuff - the response to the writing prompt from last week was automatically posted here as confusion continues in the White Hart. This week's writing prompt is here

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 24 December 2023

One More Sleep Till Christmas

DH was out today meeting up with friends to exchange presents until around 2pm. I did a little pottering around and savoured the peace. I had a run out after DH got home, as I fancied stretching the wheels. I called into Tesco but there was practically nothing marked down. I believe that the food that reaches short date today is donated to shelters and places that help those who need the food this Christmas. I thoroughly approve.

I still picked up some Tesco gluten free chocolate mini muffins which are glorious. 

We've got a big candle sitting between DH and I for the rest of the holidays.

We had it lit during A Muppet Christmas Carol and it hardly burned down at all, so I suspect that it may last until New Year. 

We watched the Muppet Christmas Carol after dinner and then just chilled while listening to carols. I knitted a couple more inches of the hat. I think that I need to put some decent work into the knitting to get a few done by the end of the holidays. 

I probably won't post tomorrow, so I'm wishing everyone a wonderfully Happy Christmas, a peaceful and prosperous New Year and a generally awesome time over the holiday season.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 23 December 2023

Groceries are Here

All the groceries are here now. We've got an abundance of stuffing, lots of fruit and nuts and a few sweeties. Nobody really eats the biscuits, nobody really enjoys the mince pies or fruit cake - we don't mind them but it's not a big deal. We have Christmas pudding ready to go, of course, and if we suddenly feel a craving for anything we can nip out after Boxing Day.

I have completely failed to take pics.

There was still a huge delivery. There was alcohol (for me), lots of meat, vast amounts of gluten free stuffing and all sorts of bits and bobs, like a bottle of fancy grape juice for Christmas dinner. I got all the good things and still only paid out about £30 as I used all my Tesco Clubcard vouchers. 

I haven't done much else today, but I'm feeling pretty good and looking forward to tomorrow. Bear seems content, which is the big thing, and DH is relaxing.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 22 December 2023

The Holidays Have Started

DH has finished work, bear's winter break has started and the lights are now on permanently. I've got the treats out to nibble on and I've turned the heating up. It will be incredibly cosy here until I turn the heating back down on 2nd January. 

Gladys is not looking her best after the storms. I'll need to go out and prune over the next week or so.

I don't know what I'll write about now that she's dormant. 

The car had a full service. Once again I told them about the intermittent issue with the clutch. Once again they couldn't find it. They said that the car was in good shape and she drove like a dream on the way home. The guy who normally jokes about my knitting (in a lovely way) wasn't there and that's perhaps just as well as I didn't finish the scarf. I've added a few inches to the hat, though. It would be wonderful for me to knit for a purpose over the break and then assess where I am on 2nd January. 

We have the grocery delivery tomorrow, which will give me time to pick up anything that's missing, and bear will no doubt keep me busy with lifts over the break. Otherwise we plan to do nothing special. We want to hang out, spend time and relax. 

I plan to knit and read a load of Amanda M Lee's books. She writes paranormal mysteries which are fortunately on Kindle Unlimited. There are dozens of them, and they feature snarky and difficult witches and their adventures. The romance doesn't make me blush, the action is fun and the amazingdialogue reminds me of my family when I was growing up - arguing for the sake of arguing. I keep finding myself laughing out loud as the situations get away from the poor heroine. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday 21 December 2023

A Little Draughty


The bins were blown all over this morning. DH went and dragged ours back, but it's been very windy here. I was glad when bear got to college safely.

I've not been hugely productive today. I've checked off a few boxes, but I wanted to do more. Never mind, I'll start again tomorrow. 

I popped out this evening for what I hope will be the last supermarket run of the year. No doubt I'll have a trip or two to the local shops, but I'm hoping that I'll need nothing much more. I waited until the wind died down, along with some of the crowds, then nipped out around 7.30pm. 

On the way there, in the dark I saw a grey bird zigzagging low over the road before landing in the middle of the lane right in front of me. I put on my hazard lights, slowed down and tooted my horn. It was a Canada goose and I swear that the darned thing hissed at me. There was definitely a 'come and have a go if you think you can take me' vibe. The goose would have won, feathers down, but it eventually got out of the road. I was glad to be safely passed it. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 20 December 2023

Kind of Busy

I was up really early this morning. It was one of those decisions that I had completely overthought. You see, I had to pick up my new glasses, and for that I park in a Morrisons car park. As it's the week before Christmas, and it's insanely busy at the best of times, I booked to pick up as soon as they opened at 9am. It's not the Morrisons where I picked up bear, but around a twenty minute drive away, so I could leave at around 8.30 without issue. But then I realised that the only plausible route took me past two schools and it would be hell at that time. By the time I'd chased my worries round and round, I ended up leaving the house at 7.10am, getting there at 7.25am and then hanging around until 9am. I picked up a few bits from Morrisons, nipped into the opticians - and I was two days early! Fortunately it was all okay and I could pick up the glasses and get myself home. 

This is just as well as I have booked the car in for a service on Friday. I think it's overdue as when I tried to get into reverse this morning, the car wasn't having it at all. The lovely people at the garage always chat and as I'm always knitting there, I get asked by one when I'm knitting him a sweater. I thought I'd knit him a scarf. I've one that I started ages ago so I thought I may have a chance to finish it tomorrow for him. I hope that it's masculine enough. 

It isn't from the yarn that was gifted, but I wish I was more organised and not taking time away from knitting for the Mission for Seafarers. 

I used at least half a pack today. The wipes are small, which were perfect for bear when he was tiny, and the woodwork on the stairs was filthy, but I made a dent and I feel better for it. Up and at it again tomorrow. 

Writing stuff - there's a chatty piece on my blog about why I'm using the writing prompts here and a little bit about the problems of writing in British English when most of your readers use American English on #HazardousToYourSanity here

I need to make a 'to-do' list of stuff that isn't recurring, especially of writing stuff. If I get going, anything could happen!

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 19 December 2023

At Least I May Be Clean

I've been clearing out some shelves. Thinking about it, this house hasn't had a proper turn out since before bear was born. There have been, however, a few half-hearted attempts which left stashes buried and forgotten. Today I've been clearing out a neglected corner and found a stash of over a dozen packets of wet wipes that must be around fifteen years old. I opened one packet and they were still dampish. I may no longer need them to mop up a toddler, but I think that they aren't fit to donate so I'll use them to dust and wipe around the house. It's a great excuse to get me going. I also found around a dozen bars of hand soap. Both of these would have only been pennies, because I only bought that sort of quantity when it was a real steal. They say cleanliness is next to Godliness. I have at least a chance of being clean. 

When Covid hit at the beginning of 2020, I didn't panic buy toilet rolls. I already had a stash, well, a mountain really. I'd put the toilet paper on Subscribe and Save on Amazon and rather over bought. I cancelled the subscription at the end of 2019! I was giving the stuff away. We're finally getting back to buying normally. I also have at least a year's supply of black bin bags. I'm rethinking my buying habits. 

I've only been in the garden as I've been too tired to drive. I'm a little worried as I spotted some shoots on Deirdre, the overgrown honeysuckly by the gate, and I hope they aren't caught by the frost. I'd hate to lost that plant.

It's not a brilliant picture, but while I got some great pics of rats swarming our garden, I'm not sure about sharing them yet. It was a lot of baby rats, which look cute, but I'm not sure I want to share that. I'm not surprised. They've been doing something to the sewer in the street again and the beck has been running high after a lot of rain, so I think a lot of rats were disturbed. I really don't want to encourage them into our garden. We may have to abandon feeding the birds. Well, apart from the berries from Gladys and Deirdre. 

Writing stuff - today's writing prompt is here. Please feel free to dip in if you think it will be fun, even if you never share anything. Writing is amazingly good for my mental health and as I've written around a thousand words today, I'm doing pretty good. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 18 December 2023

Poor Bear

Bear was up until the early hours with his cough. He slept in this morning and ended up taking the day off. He's talking about going in tomorrow, but I'm not sure that he's fit for rags. It's all the signs of the classic 'winter bug' which will go when it goes. He hasn't taken a test, but I'm not sure that we have a current one in. I'll have to ask him.

Him being home threw me off a little and I didn't get as much done as I would have liked. I still got to tick a lot of boxes on on the list. I even managed to get out as bear wanted stuff for lunch so I ran out and picked up some good stuff for him. 

I also hung some solar powered garden lights to hopefully deter the rats. As we are directly under a street light, I'm not overly optimistic, but it gets them out there. It was just about dusk when I took this pick and you can see the lights starting to glow, even though they weren't fully charged.

I have some other solar powered lights that I want to get out, also from Aldi, but we need to clear some space in the garden first.

Writing stuff - I've worked a response to a writing prompt here

Hugs and good health to all.

Sunday 17 December 2023

Lots of Thinking Here

Today has been quiet. DH cooked an amazing meal for us tonight with the help of bear. I need to keep an eye on bear as he has a cough, but it doesn't look like he feels poorly. I'll get him to take a test before he goes to college tomorrow, but to me it looks like an average winter cough. Poor kid is fed up, though, and I've been feeding him lots of mint tea with honey. 

The squirrel was back on the feeder.

The rats have also been on the feeder. I think that we'll have to consider whether feeding the birds is worth feeding the rats. 

Hazel made an interesting suggestion about using rewards as a way of keeping motivated. My willpower to stick to working for rewards has the strength of candyfloss, but I'll think about how to make it work for me. I'm quite desperate. Apart from anything else, in less than two years bear will be out of the home and he'll need good examples to take with him. 

I'm setting myself up to make it work starting again tomorrow. I've made a list of things that I want to do tomorrow, none of which are particularly huge, and planned out a rough order. I've also gone over my lists and noticed that there are a lot of blank lines. I can use these to add stuff that I need to do now as I go along. 

I've also got a little way ahead with my writing, so fingers crossed that I'll keep going. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 16 December 2023

Thinking About Things

Angela mentioned the Mission to Seafarers in a comment, and I thought I would expand. I knew that they had been a safe place for my uncle when he was in a strange port, looking like a visitor, not knowing the language and in a port which is usually considered an unsavoury part of town. The Mission was a place where a stranger wouldn't be robbed or steered towards drink and gambling. But I remember seeing an article on tv once, years ago, and while I can't remember the details, it stuck with me. 

A ship had been abandoned on the Humber. What had happened was that the owners of the ship had decided that it wasn't profitable anymore so they just abandoned the ship with, I think, half a dozen crew left on board. They weren't getting paid. They were from disadvantaged parts of the world and their families couldn't help them. They couldn't buy food or work, as they couldn't get ashore and they had no papers. They didn't have the education or connections to advocate for themselves. They were in a terrible situation. If I remember correctly, it was the Mission to Seafarers that stepped in and helped them get home. They have a page on ship abandonment here.

I had a quick look and while the Mission to Seafarers is a Christian organisation, they claim that they are willing to approach and support all faiths, or those people who have none. Their website is here

As an aside, my great grandfather was a ship's captain and had his own ship up to the 1920s (I think). According to my late mother, the crew were always grateful as he let them sleep on the ship when they got to port, especially if they got back to his home port of Liverpool. Many didn't have a place to go and were at the mercy of unsafe boarding houses and unscrupulous lodgings which could drain all their money with 'extras' if they didn't steal it outright. Him allowing the crew to stay on ship was, apparently, a big thing. Seafarers can be remarkably vulnerable.

I got out today, but I failed to take a pic. I was in the usual car park, and I was struck how much peace I found sitting away from the usual stressors. I had a quiet knit and found myself really recharging in a way that I don't think that I had since bear finished high school and I stopped the school run. I need to do it more. Here's a previous pic where I didn't take advantage of the peace.

When I used the lists, my productivity soared. Last week, when I didn't use them so much, it sank like a stone. I need to rescue my house, my mental health and my chance at getting a job. Tomorrow I'm going to sit down and work out what's blocking me and try and identify some very small tasks each day that I can do that will erode those blocks. We're coming up to Christmas with all its chaos but starting a new year on a new footing isn't a bad way to look at things. I'll share what I can.

I also spent some time hanging out with the men and watching old William Hartnell Doctor Who episodes on BBC iPlayer. Bear was a little confused about how surreal the sixties could be, but we all enjoyed it and I added another couple of inches to the hat. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 15 December 2023

Sometimes Good Things Happen.

A wonderfully kind friend sent me some yarn that they were destashing.

I've decided that it's a Christmas present. I plan to spend the holidays watching bear play computer games and knitting hats for the Seamen's Mission. You can find some free patterns here, if you want to do the same and there's a free post address. Uncle was a ship's engineer for nearly twenty years and always said that the Seamen's Mission, or Mission to Seafarers, was a safe place to go in a strange and sometimes dangerous port. A lot of crew on the tankers these days are from places like the Philippines and they don't realise how cold it can get once they get away from home. I've already started a hat, and I'm feeling good about it. 

Don't misunderstand me, two by two rib is not my favourite stitch, but there are worse out there. 

Some of the yarn is quite pink, so any hats or scarves that I may make from that I intend to give to the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army isn't perfect, but there's a chance that a woolly hat or scarf will find it's way to someone who needs it, like a vulnerable family. I may also consider lap blankets, depending on how bored I get of two by two rib. But to me, it's sort of a perfect Christmas. We'll be hanging out together, I'll be relaxing with knitting and the men will be absorbed in their games and it will be cosy, calm and just what we need. 

In other news, I have spent the last month reassuring eye and ear doctors that I don't feel dizzy in any way. Today I have been wonderfully dizzy and wobbly. It's been an encouragement to stay sitting. At least I got some knitting done!

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday 14 December 2023

Some Good Parts

I left the house twice today - once to Tesco and once to Aldi for the apples that I'd forgotten. I took a picture of the car park at Aldi late at night as I realised that I hadn't taken any pics.

Shopping at 9.30pm has it's benefits. At least I could park without any trouble. I didn't get much done apart from that. I also spent time on the Christmas delivery. 

I've been ignoring the lists this week and I'm significantly less productive. I think that I'll start again next Monday, while doing my best for the next three days. 

I can't believe that it's so near Christmas! We have decorations up, but it doesn't feel like it's near. I feel almost ambushed. The present pile for bear is a shadow of former years but now he's getting driving lessons instead. Sometimes I look at him and wonder how he got so tall! 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 13 December 2023

Today was a Win

I've not got a lot of stuff done today but I did get to the audiology clinic. Apparently my hearing is great. I just have issues with ongoing static, also known as tinnatus. I remembered to get a pic of the building. It's one of those new ones that are just for one thing.

However it's on the edge of Bradford and no-one likes driving in Bradford.

I may not have got huge amounts done, but I got out of the house and had a medical appointment without freaking out which is amazing. I just have to work with the tinnatus. 

Writing stuff - I wrote a little chat here about gift giving and my memories of it. When you have one parent who treats gift giving as a top level mission and another parent who can't always guarantee to get the month of your birthday right, you grow up with a generous perspective on the matter.

Hugs and good health to all.

The Squirrel is Back

 I've seen the squirrel around, darting through the edges of the street, but today I did a top up of the bird feeder and I was generous with the nuts.

If you look particularly closely, you can see the rats as well near the sideways plant pot. I took this pic through a window, as I didn't have a chance of getting closer, but the pic of the squirrel is close enough. And regardless of rats, I'm not going to cut back on feeding the birds during winter.

I feel conflicted about the rats. The food is supposed to be for the birds, and I'm not a huge fan of rats, but the baby rats are cute and I hate the thought of hurting living things. I suppose that we will have to see how things go. 

In other news, DH and I have been looking at air fryers. On the one hand, they look perfect for the sort of cooking we do. On the other hand, our kitchen is more or less functional and why add to it? We're considering one of those air fryer ovens to replace the halogen oven when it bites the dust. Looking at things rationally, it would make sense for us to get an air fryer. We eat the sort of food that I wish we didn't, like chicken nuggets and pre-made hash browns that seem perfect for air fryers, and it would possibly make the things I feel that I ought to make, like shepherd's pie or roast chicken. It's a lot of money to lay out, but then again, we'd probably get it back in electricity savings over the life of the air fryer. if you have any thoughts, please share.

Writing stuff - I'll share the writing prompt (here) today but I probably won't bother too much in future. It's like the writing prompt is one side of a line and this blog is another. I'd encourage you to write, because it's been a lifeline for me, but I don't want to feel that anyone is pressured or feels that they need to share. It's quite selfish. It's a writing gym with a little accountability. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 11 December 2023

It May Have Been a Good Day

I haven't picked up my checklist. I printed it out last night but I've not go around to looking at it today, and I think that I've been the worse for it. Mind you, I've done a load of writing stuff, sorted some stuff in the kitchen, cleared a load of stuff out of the living room and I've covered some basics. I think that I would have got more done if I had been working with the list, though. 

We're adding to the decorations day by day. The tinsel cat left over from Halloween has had a makeover.

And the second tree is up. Was it last year that we couldn't work out why the old tree wasn't lighting up, picked up a bargain at the last minute at B&Q and then found that the old tree worked just fine and revolved? The new tree is still shedding white dust and already driving me nuts. 

I got the coupons from Tesco today. I'm considering them. Not all of them are worth having, to be honest. I'll have a long think. One coupon is for cheese which we usually don't bother with, apart from the grated cheese on DH's pasta bake. Another is for condiments which includes cranberry sauce, but I can't imagine getting £12 of cranberry sauce when one jar will normally see me through the year. On the other hand, I'll happily make use of the coupon for butter or margarine as we are running a little low. 

The lists helped me keep my mind from churning around 'what to do next' and I think that's their most important function. Any improvement on housewifery is a bonus. Tomorrow has to include a full study of the lists. 

Writing stuff - I've been quite busy over the last few days. I've got writing prompts cued up all the way until the end of February, so I don't have to think about them for a while. I plan to use them to revisit the White Hart and some of the characters, just for a brief glimpse, though I can see me playing around with some other ideas as well. I've also posted on #HazardousToYourSanity with a very short story here and I've posted my response to last week's writing prompt here with a little look back at Lady Freydis and her little ways. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 10 December 2023

That Time of Year

 We put up the Christmas tree.

And various swathes of tinsel and light. This is doing nothing for my nerves as I am supposed to be watching out for flashing lights because of my eyes and I'm surrounded by twinkles. Besides, I don't approve of the decorations going up so early. When I was a kid, the decorations went up on Christmas Eve. My mother had a plan. She had us run around getting decorations up, most of them made on the day, so that when it came time for us to go to bed, we were exhausted and went straight to sleep. You can see how that was a fail for her here

I've done some bits today and ticked off a few boxes. I got as far as the bins a few times and got a quick pic of Gladys. 

She's definitely been hit hard by the frost. I don't know what I'm going to talk about when she's sleeping until spring. 

We also had something of a Doctor Who marathon and watched the old episode where Doctor Who first met the Daleks, broadcast in 1963. Bear was suitably impressed. We're planning another session of Doctor Who tomorrow. I got some blanket knitted and it was incredibly relaxing. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 9 December 2023


I know it's not as bad as in some places, but the winds are fierce and the rain this morning was scary. I actually got out of the house and drove to Tesco, but the roads were running with water. There were places where it was tricky to drive because of the water. I considered stopping and knitting, but decided I didn't want to risk waiting. We're not too bad here, but there's a flood alert in the centre of Leeds and Kirkstall and that's been flooded before. 

By the way, if you want to check flood warnings in the UK, you can find the info here. It's a note of all the flood warnings outstanding and it's live, that is, it's showing the updates as they happen.

The only pic that I took today was this.

Tesco have a leaky roof. As far as I can tell, this is the only public part of the building that is affect, but every time that there's any sort of rain, they have to put the buckets out to catch the drips. 

I've ticked some boxes and they are continuing to help. I've also got a lot of writing stuff done, so I'm happy about that. Now I'm about to slope off to bed.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 8 December 2023

Fifty Tins of Beans

I have, or had, a subscription to Heinz Baked Beans via Heinz at home. At one point it was very much worth it as bear was eating a lot of baked beans. He is no longer eating a lot of baked beans and I didn't see the warning that the next shipment was on its way. I already had a bean mountain and it's got bigger. 

I cancelled the subscription but I still have the mountain. To be fair, they won't go out of date any time soon and I plan to drop some off at the Food Bank, but it's not the only food mishap I've had. I ordered some meat bones which arrived on Wednesday. In the past I've roasted them and then cooked them slowly with veggies and they had been awesome. I started roasting them today and they were mainly fat. None of use would eat that, so it was wasted. I'm so annoyed. 

But it could be worse. I made it to the opticians and he did the whole exam and it seems that my eyes are currently healthy. There were a few moments when I found myself freaking out. The experience at the hospital seems to have made me twitchier, and I'm unimpressed. As it is, my prescription has changed and I'm picking up new glasses on 22 December. My eyes feel very tired and I'll be glad when I get the proper fit. Another good thing is that the optician checked and I'm absolutely fine to drive. I was worrying about that. 

And then, because of a route change due to road works, I found myself going past Aldi and called in and picked up the bagels that I forgot to get earlier, so I'm feeling pretty good about that. I really hadn't wanted to go, but I did and I feel better for it. 

I completely forgot to take pics.

I've worked out that I feel creakier as the day goes on. I need to be mindful of this and make sure that I do the more physical work in the morning. I've got a month before bear's parent's evening. I need to work on my fitness for that because at the moment I'm not physically fit enough to do all the walking that I'd need to do. I'll see how I go with this. The list stuff is helping. I've not done everything that I wanted to over the last week, but that's okay. I'll just keep chipping away at stuff. Yesterday I peeled and chopped 1kg of carrots, a head of celery and a couple of onions for the freezer. I've got the rest of the onions to do, but I can do them bit by bit over the next few days. 

Writing stuff - I don't know if anyone is interested, but I've posted a review of a book on my writing blog here. I want to make this a regular thing as it brings me discipline and helps me expand my reading. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Thursday 7 December 2023

Quiet Day

Not much has happened. I'm shattered. I've kept up to the lists and they're really helping. 

I've run out of steam for today, but here's a pic of a Victorian vampire slaying kit that I took when I visited the Royal Armouries

It was probably a gimmick even then but it's fun. 

I'll be back tomorrow, hopefully making sense.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Wednesday 6 December 2023

Still Cold

I know that it's not nearly as cold here as it is in some other places, but it's still cold. 

The pics were taken at 11am. I think that I should at least trim Gladys back to the wall now. The flowers are finished. 

I don't think that the car fully thawed all day.

I'm keeping up to the lists. I'm missing some, but on the whole, they're keeping me grounded. It's far from perfect, but it's a start and better than nothing.

I had a Morrisons delivery today. I really wanted the sack of onions at £3.49 for 4kg and picked up a few other things that were on offer. I keep forgetting how bad their deliveries are. The bags are packed by machine so the poor delivery driver has to deal with customers getting bags with the bread on the bottom of a bag and the tins of soup stacked over it. It's so frustrating. I think that I'll just have to drive to Morrisons, which gives me the chance to pick up bargains but ups the chance of impulse buys. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 5 December 2023

Day Two is Trickier

I'm still working on the whole list thing, and I didn't do so well today. On the other hand, I didn't do so bad. I didn't eat well, but I left the house and went to IKEA. I'd seen a lamp that I wanted for the corner.

It was only £8 and is battery powered and not very bright, but it brings a little light to a dark corner after the crow fell and broke. I called into Aldi as well. They have the Turkish delight that DH likes and I wanted to get some in for Christmas. 

While I was in IKEA, I picked up a couple of frames. One was for a pic of the daughter of good friends and the other was, well, me being odd. 

It's around the size of a playing card, and I thought it looked incredibly striking. The pic doesn't do it justice as it's an iridescent green and gold and I thought that I would hang it somewhere discreet on the stairs. It's actually a card that has the product details from my big lamp I got a while back. 

I missed a few bits from my list, but I'm still optimistic. For example, instead of changing the bath towels when I remembered, I have it on a rotation to make sure that the towels are always fresh. I didn't get the fridge cleaned, but checking the list meant that I had the bins sorted out nice and early. I'm feeling quite positive. 

On another positive note, bear was cleaning out his backpack and said, 'by the way, I got a gold certificate in a computer test.' For him, it's just Tuesday. I was so impressed. It's more than one school and quite a few people took part so I'm really proud. He's been doing this sort of thing since primary school. I used to hear about his achievements from the teachers. He's driving me nuts and making me so proud at the same time!

I also booked myself in to the optician. My eyes feel strained and I wonder if I need new glasses. That may relieve a lot of the symptoms I've been having. 

Writing stuff - a minor note here. I'm starting up with writing prompts again as a way of keeping me writing. If anyone wants to use the prompts, help yourselves. The prompts are here, there are no expectations apart from that you have fun writing and you can take it in your own direction. 

Monday 4 December 2023

Good First Day of Planning

Some more of my impulse buy yarn came today. I've got this far.

The pattern was on sale and I downloaded for free. You can see it here. It's a very easy sort of top/sweater in chunky, knitted sideways. Apart from the part where I have to pick up a gazillion stitches at the end, it's fairly straightforward and that suits me.

I ticked quite a few boxes today. I didn't tick the 'five minutes in the garden' as it was cold, wet and miserable. I've done a fair amount of online shopping, though. I think that I'm just about done for the holidays. DH and I don't spend much on each other, and bear is getting driving lessons paid for, although we still haven't applied for his licence, so I'm not getting so much for him. I've just got a few bits lined up. And apart from the shopping, I've done all sorts of little jobs that I was just not getting around to, so I'm pleased. Hopefully I'll get a little more done gradually as I go along. I'm feeling sort of good about it. 

I think having the list, but feeling free to not complete the list, has really helped. I think that it's really important that I don't feel the need to be perfect. That has taken a lot of pressure from me. I can see me adding to the list over the next few weeks, but so much of it is stuff that is really small, like checking my bank balance on a daily basis. I can do that as I eat breakfast if I use the app, and it keeps me a little more aware.

Speaking of aware, I'd been keeping the Heinz at Home subscribe and save going. DH really likes Heinz baked beans, so I ordered them direct. I'd planned to skip the next delivery, but I kept thinking that I had time to cancel. However I got a notice to tell me that the beans are on their way. All the other subscriptions that I've had will at least give a warning! I already have a baked bean mountain and I think that it's going to be growing. I've cancelled the subscribe and save and I think that I'll concentrate on watching the sales in the supermarket when we finally run down the stockpile. 

And speaking of supermarket sales, did I mention that Tesco are currently doing a 3-for-the-price-of-two on Yankee Candles and their Naturewick brand. I've found that their Naturewick is pretty good so I plan to stock up emphatically.  

Hugs and good health to all. 

Sunday 3 December 2023

I Finished a Project!

I finished the keyhole scarf that was part of the hat and scarf kit.

It was a close thing. Normally I cast off a row before I need to as I have no faith. This time I ran out of yarn as I cast off.

Fortunately I'd kept the scrap left from finishing the hat, so I joined new yarn for literally five more stitches! There was only a few inches left from the 150g and I'm really happy about it. 

I didn't get out much today. I'd booked a delivery because, according to the weather forecast, it shouldn't be too bad and I went out of the door to get that from the garden. I felt a little bad as I had consulted the weather forecast and today wasn't supposed to be too bad here. This morning it looked like this.

A lot of it had melted by the time the delivery arrived and we gritted the path but I still felt a little guilty. But at least I got out a little and I didn't feel bad that I didn't go out more. 

We spent the day hanging out together and DH and bear made an amazing home made battered fish with baked potatoes and fresh green pea puree. 

I've got the sheets printed off for tomorrow and some notes about plans, so I'm feeling quite good about things. I'll see how I go tomorrow. If I get a tiny bit done, I'll be pleased. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 2 December 2023

Knitting Happens

A knitting kit was delivered this morning, around 11am. 

It was just under £10, including everything and I'm very pleased with the service. The hat looks like this. 

And it fits very nicely. I'm around 25 inches or around 65cm into the keyhole scarf and I'm feeling quite relaxed about it. The only thing is that I'm using the needles supplied in the kit (and 150g of ostrich yarn and two pairs of needles for just under a tenner isn't bad) but they are short, plastic straights and I keep forgetting where I put the other needle if I'm broken off. 

I just went out to the bin today and not much else, but I'm okay with that. I've been taking it as thinking time as well as knitting. I feel quite relaxed. It's been great to hang out with the men as well. 

It's still quite chilly. Gladys was still frosted at lunchtime today. We have snow and ice forecast so I think it's the end of the season for her, though she's been remarkable. 

Writing stuff - I had a little bit of fiction on Hazardous to Your Sanity here. It was far too much fun to write. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 1 December 2023

Shopping May Have Happened.

I've done a few bits but on the whole I would say that today wasn't very productive. I managed to do things like take vitamins and cook and wash up, but I've not managed spectacular things. 

I managed to get outside for a few steps when I took a cup of coffee to the poor frozen man who fitted a new dash cam on our car. The old one wasn't working well and kept falling off the window. The first thing this did was fall off the window. I can see keeping the darned thing in position is going to be a job of work. 

Gladys is showing the effects of cold and I'll probably cut her right back after Christmas. 

I didn't get many pics, but I took this of the faint trace of snow and definite clear ice on the step to show why I wasn't going to go far. 

I really miss Marriners Yarns. They had lovely inexpensive yarns that had much less guilt when I gave in to temptation. I was feeling low last night and I may have indulged a little. Yarn is heading my way. This would not be so bad if I didn't have enough yarn to knit blankets for all of Yorkshire. I should create a tracker for yarn. 

Hugs and good health to all.