Thursday 29 February 2024

Bear Accepts Challenge

Bear's college has launched a new reward system which can earn prizes for the students who can aim at over 300 badges.

This is a college filled with students handpicked for their mathematical and puzzle solving ability who are now let loose on a reward system set up like a gaming app. This is over seventy kids who are there because they look for ways to solve puzzles which may have theoretical questions like 'how many badges to get the most loot with the least effort?' What could possibly go wrong?

And look what I resisted the other day at Aldi! 

I feel very proud about it. 

Hugs and good health to all.

Wednesday 21 February 2024

Today Was A Good Day

I seem to have got a lot of little things done today. I got round to putting the glass jars in the car boot which I've been meaning to do for ages. I've done some washing, listed something on eBay, tidied a corner here and cleaned a spot there and generally been more proactive than I have been for months. I'm not sure where that's come from, but I'm using my lists. 

Bear was in a good mood as he brought home his gold certificate from the Physics Olympiad. He's enjoying these crazy physics/maths/computer stuff so much and I honestly don't understand half the words he uses. He seems very happy in himself, however, so I'm good with that. 

I'm typing this and my head is nodding down. My sleep patterns are all over the place and I've started having 'anti-naps' where I'm awake from 2am to 4am, or I'm up from 1am but don't get to sleep until the following evening when I'm passing out at 7pm. Despite this, I seem to be getting quite a few bits done. By the way, I found a recipe for Tomato Wine. I'm not trying it. 

Writing stuff - this may be one of the reasons why I'm tired. I woke up at 4am and started writing. I wrote my response to the writing prompt of February 6, which is here. Then I wrote my response to the writing prompt of February 13, which is here. Then I wrote a short piece about whether I should review books here. Now I'm going to bed.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 20 February 2024

What Do I Know?

I had a look at the stats on my blog and one of the recently popular posts dated from July 2016. Most of it was about the bees. For those new here, I had bees in my chimney (not a euphemism) for years, but eventually they left. In the same post I talked about bear and Shakespeare and how I was confident that one day he would enjoy it. I was wrong.

Bear has never enjoyed Shakespeare. He tolerates the Bard at best. This is unlike DH and I who both seriously enjoy Shakespeare and I'm planning on dipping into the Shakespeare Network on YouTube where there is a version of Macbeth with Ian Holm and Penelope Wilton. I will be very happy to settle down with my knitting to that. Bear would rather be excused. Last week he went to a party where he stayed overnight and he was late home the next day because he stayed behind to study maths with his friends. I would rather be excused from that!

Hugs and good health to all. 

Monday 19 February 2024

I Need to Learn Self Control

I signed up to the Knitting Network's newsletter and it's been hard. There are offers about yarn landing in my inbox at least once, if not twice, per day. That's a lot of temptation. When they advertised that they had a mystery box on offer, I caved.

I had absolutely no reason to go for this. I still haven't got through the yarn sent by my lovely friend. But I've always wanted to get a mystery box and I succumbed. It looked like this.

I also ordered enough yarn for a simple, sleeveless, plain sweater knitted side to side. Funnily enough, the same yarn I ordered also appeared in the mystery box. 

The box was supposed to have five balls of chunky and ten balls of dk. The chunky looks like this.

I'm really looking forward to the pale blue one. This is the yarn that I've got for my sweater - if I ever get around to finishing it.

There were some nice looking dk which are absolutely earmarked for the Mission for Seafarers.

But there was also four balls of 100% cotton that looked far thinner than dk. 

They not only look a lot thinner, but I don't think that they'd work for scarves or hats. They're more like dishcloths. I shall have to have a think. 

I'm determined to get through the yarn. I finished the scarf for the nice man at the garage but it's too short. I'm considering unravelling and re-knitting. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 10 February 2024

Saturday Again

We went to feed the crows and magpies as usual, but there weren't many and a lot of them were looking ragged. I wondered if they'd been affected by the weather. They really don't like having their pics taken, but I managed to get this.

We also called in at Tesco and while DH got a coffee and set me up with a hot chocolate, I picked up some salad and bagels. Their discount veggie shelf was well stocked, but I didn't see anything I would use quickly.

Then we watched Doctor Who together. We're still in the William Hartnell era and we may have heckled some of the design decisions when watching. I worked on the scarf for the nice mechanic.

It's self striping yarn, all in knit. I tried doing a pattern but I kept losing concentration so gave up and I don't think it looks too bad.

Marjorie mentioned about being set up for snow, and I think that's a problem here. Parts of the UK get plenty of snow, but here we usually get a few flakes maybe once or twice in a winter and occasionally a decent fall. I wouldn't have worried about driving in the conditions on familiar roads, but Leeds City Centre is tricky.

DH drives in to visit his favourite shops every Sunday, so he's familiar with at least one route into the city. I am not familiar at all, and it's not an easy drive. Part of the problem is that the inner ring road came from Satan's armpit - it's the only explanation. If you get into the wrong lane, you can end up four miles out before you get a chance to go around. It's complicated, badly signposted and changes at least twice a year. Half of the city centre is closed off permanently, some has traffic sometimes and some lanes are for bus and taxis only but you have to be on high alert to spot them as you manoeuvre next to high speed taxis and people who are more lost than you. And the parking is crazily expensive if you hit the wrong car park. Snow does not make things easier. 

This morning's weather challenge was mist, and I was fine with that. 

Thursday 8 February 2024

A Small Amount of Snow

There was a very small amount of snow here. 

Other parts of Yorkshire were hit harder and bear's school was let out early. A lot of his classmates travel some distance and there were real issues for some. Bear hung around Leeds with a friend or two and then DH picked him up. I would willingly drive over snowy mountains for him, but DH is much better qualified for Leeds at rush hour. He said the drive was a little tricky in the dark and wet, but it could have been worse. I was watching the traffic monitors and there were quite a few crashes showing up.

I found a load of comments in the spam folder. I'm sorry that I hadn't answered them. Every time I see a comment, I feel that I've been hugged.

Hugs and good health to all.

Wednesday 7 February 2024

The Cooker Came!

The cooker came and got stuck on the steps.

We have a small outhouse type thing under the front steps. We had to replace the door, which was rotten, and the lovely neighbour that we had at the time fitted a door for us - but it was a door designed for indoor use. It may have been fitted before bear was born, or if not then, when bear was very young. Needless to say, the door is not in a fit state and the handle, the sort you get inside a house, sticks out. In fact everything sticks out. 

Then the dratted thing got stuck in the door way to the kitchen which is a standard sized door. Next time we'll have to pick a narrow cooker. As it was, the poor delivery men had to strip the packaging from the cooker and polystyrene bits were shed all over the kitchen and garden. 

I was a little niggled as I'd made sure that there was plenty of space to park in front of the house but they parked at the top and carried the cooker down. I respect their muscles.

Bear had a parents evening tonight and he picked up his report. I couldn't go (couldn't walk far enough) but DH went and it was epic. Bear is doing really well and they think that he's in a good place to get amazing grades. Best of all, though, is that his behaviour and attitude are really good and there were no complaints at all. That's the best bit, really. 

Writing Stuff - I've jotted down some thoughts about organising my writing and I've posted it here. I've got a lot of work to do. 

Hugs and good health to all. 

Tuesday 6 February 2024

It Could All be Worse

There's not been much to write about. Or at least, I'm not seeing the stories at the moment. So I'm tempting fate and planning stuff to do tomorrow that's worth posting about. 

The hotplate works, but we're still mainly using the airfryer and microwave. Tomorrow I need to get everything ready for the delivery of the new cooker but it won't be taken away and the new one hooked up until next week. 

I actually left the house and went to Tesco today. I picked up some flavoured water that DH likes because I know that there's snow forecast and the water is getting a little low. My impulse buy there was a new bag for life as I had just got rid of a couple of ragged and elderly bags. 

And I think that it's just so pretty.

Writing stuff - Yesterday was my response to the writing prompt here. I also decided that Invitation Accepted needed one last chapter and so posted it here. And today's writing prompt is here and I have no idea what to do with it.

A note about the link between the writing prompt and Back at the White Hart. I cued up a dozen or so writing prompts and then forgot about them. I don't look ahead. I start thinking about the prompts and how they could possibly fit in with the story I'm seeing the day that the prompt is published. It's a lot of fun.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Saturday 3 February 2024

Nearly Normal Saturday

This morning we went to feed the crows and I didn't get decent pictures. They were all moving around so much. Interestingly, the birds turned up pretty quickly when we parked and I think that there were more of them. I know that crows can remember faces, so perhaps they're remembering our car. There were a lot of squabbles and what looked like arguments. I found it fascinating that the crows would take the monkey nuts and drop them in puddles, I think to soften the husk, before eating. Here's a pic of the car park to show that we were there. 

The hotplate came, though I haven't used it yet. I made pasta in a thermos jug and scalded myself (just a little) because it's a fat, meal style thermos and I didn't hold it very well. 

I'm not expecting much, to be honest, as it was extremely inexpensive, but it should get us through the next week. 

Today was pretty quiet. I remembered at 9pm that I needed some mushrooms so dashed to Aldi. The carpark was awesomely quiet - and this Aldi had the car park lit!

I was tempted by these, but decided against it for now.

It's been a good day.

Hugs and good health to all. 

Friday 2 February 2024

Headache Continues

My sinuses are killing me. But we should get a new electric cooker from the insurance (less £100 deductible) next week. Unfortunately the earliest that it can be connected is the week after. As we're getting 'like for like' we're getting what to me is an extremely expensive one. 

After Bless reminded me, I checked and I could saute onions etc in the rice cooker as it's actually a multicooker but we just use it for rice. However it's not as familiar as a frying pan and I caved and picked up a £20 electic single hob from Amazon which should arrive tomorrow. Bear is almost certainly going to university so it may come in useful for him at some point anyway, and I suppose it's useful if there are other problems with the cooker. 

Incidentally, tonight we cooked frozen peas in the microwave and they came out a little cold. Please let the microwave hold on! 

I've also picked up some Merchant and Gourmet packs of grains and veggies as they're down to £1.50 on the clubcard price. Bear wants to eat healthier. I will be chasing my tail a lot here as terms and conditions apply when it comes to what he eats and it can change like the weather. I'm aiming for something shelf stable. I can't have the Merchant and Gourmet packs because they have gluten, but a microwave pack of eg Korean Style Vegetables and Mixed Grains should be okay for bear if he has them with something like the frozen salmon fillets that are on offer or a nice bit of chicken and as there's two portions per pack, it could be a lot worse. 

Speaking of bear, he got A+ in his tests for computer science and physics and is entitled to feel a little pleased with himself. Mind you, the poor lad is shattered today and had an extremely early night. 

Also today I swear I saw a squirrel running past with what looked like a can. I refuse to speculate.

Hugs and good health to all.