Thursday, 30 November 2017

Its very cold here Peterborough and has been for most of the day.  We have even had news that out Wisbech way there was a flurry of snow -that was this morning.  It turns out that we had a flurry of slow this morning in Peterborough.  We have also had a few flakes of snow whilst I have been in town.  I think the snow looks pretty but on a practical basis it makes it difficult getting around.  We shall see if we have any overnight.  Those of you who have the snow just take it steady and keep safe.

I have a lovely thick jacket that OH bought me to keep me warm but today because of the biting wind it seemed to go straight through me.  I took my shawl that I keep at work out with me to try and keep the wind blowing through me when I finished work as I needed to go into town to look for a present for a friend.  

So off I pootled phone in hand  - then it died.  The arrangement was that OH would come and collect me when I was ready and all I had to do was phone.  Trouble is with the phone dying on me I did not have his number so when I had finished my shopping I went and caught a taxi home. Not before I had been to M & S and bought some food for tea.  I also treated myself to a bottle of "Mulberry Gin".  It was on offer.  I don't think I have ever had Mulberries before, but then again I am not sure.  I seem to have a faint memory of them featuring in my early years but do not know why; just seems to be a memory that is slipping bit by bit through my fingers like quicksilver.

Oh it was so good to come into a lovely warm home.  One thing I do not skimp on is heat  as without it my medical conditions get a lot worse if I do.  I would rather cut corners elsewhere.  I then set too and cooked tea.  An M & S Steak pie with Old Peculiar Ale in the mix.  Delicious served with mashed potatoes, stringed beans, mixed veg and mashed carrot and swede crush with lots of onion gravy.  It has gone down very well especially with it being so cold.  But at least we now have insulation on the inside so to speak.  The cold makes me hurt on the inside - that is the only way I can describe I and sometimes its like toothache in your bones.

Talking of heat though I would be happier if I had a couple of log burners to help heat the house.  I think you should have a couple of options at least when it comes to cooking and heating your home; whereas in reality this house at least is heated via a gas boiler and that is it.  That bothers me but there is not a great deal I can do about that here.

OH apparently was late up this morning in any event - unusually for him he switched his alarm off and ended up going back to sleep and then waking up in a panic.  I was completely oblivious as I was out for the count too and then nearly did not make getting up at regular time anyway.  I am very tired and I know he is.  However lots to do over the next week so I do have to get stuck in.

We have a works party (his) to go to over the weekend as well so that should be interesting. I like good company but I also hope that we will not be massively late either.

Right had better get a wriggle on things to do still before I get to bed.

Catch you soon.



P.S.  Nearly forgot would like to welcome a new follower Kate from Oregon who is very welcome.  Put the kettle on, make a brew, pull up a chair get yourself comfy and then start reading.  There are lots of ramblings to go back on.  Hope you finds something useful and of interest and a lot of like-minded ladies.


Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Good Evening Everyone

Since the Sunday shennagins (when indeed I did cut my leg) things have been a bit quieter I hasten to add. Phew!

I am still very busy here at home as I am at work but that is par for the course.  I am on holiday next week and I really have a heck of a lot to do to the house prior to Christmas and prior to an inspection which is due to take place on 18 December, when again I am off for the week before Christmas yay!  I also need to lick the first part of the back garden into shape.  I have plans to get a couple of small Christmas trees, some more bay trees - standards, and probably some outdoor cyclamen if I can as well as a couple of holly standards.  I have Ivy hanging baskets already although I could do with another couple of box.  I have two large white lanterns which I intend to pop some pillar candles into - to set the scene.  I also have the shed to stain - I chose Seagrass colour which should show up nicely if it snows but also go with the small cafeteria table for two I bought in the summer.  I also bought some solar lamps inn the shape of Victorian lanterns during the summer months so I may well put those out as well.  The pavements are going to be cleaned with the pressure washer I bought the other week.  The garden will certainly be tidied this weekend and the shed will be stained during the course of the week a little at a time when I can spare a few moments.

When the house is all sorted then I might be able to get to play properly with my new toys, do some patchwork and some embroidery as well as anything else that takes my fancy.  I am so ready for a nice long break where for once I will be able to chill.  That is if I get the house sorted out in good time.  So a week off next week but no lay ins and plenty to do.  Sorting the house out also means sorting the garden - the chap wants to come and fit the new fence after nearly two years without it!  Maybe I will get the new bathroom suite and the new double glazing for the back of the house after all.  Fingers crossed and toes plaited!

Fortunately I have the second week off as well (week before Christmas) so I will be able to do a lot of the cooking, wrapping etc. and get stuff delivered as well as any last minute shopping sorted then.

Also on the cards is a massive sort out of my clothes - some are far too big for me now and so will be going round to the Charity shop.  I need the space in the wardrobes in any event to get some of my newer clothing in.  Some of it will hit the rag bin.  I need some new trousers so I will be looking out for some of them or alternatively I may well make some.  Will see how it goes.

It will be nice to play no matter what.

I am also picking up the odd decorations here and there (more on that later) and also items for the house; I have bought another rug, red and creamy white with reindeers on which goes with two fleece blankets bought last year and also a couple of throws which were bought a few years ago.  It also goes with the red and green throws bought last week so I am confident that we have something warm and soft to curl up under whilst watching the TV or films over Christmas.  Makes all the difference on a cold winter afternoon to be nice and cosy.  Now if I had that Aga/Rayburn or indeed a couple of log burners I would be in seventh heaven.  However I do not think that is going to happen here.  Maybe somewhere else but not here.  I also need some new cushion pads for the front room. I have bought several seasonal Christmas cushions which are only cheapies but they will look better if filled out with a proper pad.    I also intended bringing home half a dozen decorated glasses in champagne flutes and a smaller flute from TK Maxx.  However the fell of my basket and broke before I had paid for them.  I told the Shop Assistant who took them off to stop anyone getting hurt. I was a little upset at this as I really liked the glasses.

I have also picked up a single large white pottery cake stand -  I am hoping the large glass cloche I picked up last week will fit nicely on it - If not nothing lost.  It will be ideal for a cake or indeed for putting candles on to create a central display on the table.  There is always a way that you can use them to create a display or show something off.

I also picked up a deep rounded mince pie tray in a cream enamel. Should have been £20 picked it up for £4.99.  That is what I call a bargain. Nice and deep so that I can snaffle away some mince pies into the freezer and then just bring them out and cook them as we need them.  Talking of which I need to sort the freezers.

I also collect jelly moulds; just recently I have found three different glass moulds with different patterns in the base.  I pick them up from the Charity shops for next to nothing and then give them a good scrub and use them.  Ideal for Christmas when traditionally home made jellies from fresh or frozen juices were made.

Today I managed to find a large green glass bottle which will be ideal for vinegar or oil just need to find a closure to fit it.  I always check the charity shops out for things like this as it is satisfying to reuse something time and time again that has been discarded by someone else.  There is nothing sadder than an empty bottle.

I also managed to find four gold decorated tumblers.  They are large and they are decorated in gold script. If I remember correctly Woolworths had this type of glass in many years ago.  I did not buy the tumblers but I think I bought some Irish Coffee glasses or similar.  As many of you regular readers probably already know I collect different types of vintage glassware with gold accents and then I mix and match them for the Christmas table.

Right had better get a wriggle on.

Catch you all later on.


Sunday, 26 November 2017

If it wasn't so funny I could cry

About four months ago we had a house inspection where I gave the person who inspected the house a whole list of items that needed doing including that we needed a new toilet pan/bathroom as the toilet pan was cracked and the bath is rusty in the bottom (it was when we moved in and the Landlady the current Landlord's mum chose to do nothing about it - that was 30 years ago.

Nothing has happened at all since that inspection and another one is shortly due.

This morning I nipped to the loo, sat down there was a hell of a clatter and I sank looked to see what had happened and there was a large chunk of porcelain on the floor from the toilet pan.  The toilet pan had broken so that we could not flush it.  Major problem.  Sunday morning panic (late Sunday morning).  I came up stairs to report to OH  told him what had happened and tried to resist the need to bust into fits of giggles, but it was very clear he was  not at all happy!  I simply had not done it on purpose.  (Please no jokes about me being overweight I am just not going to live this one down).  I think I must have accident waiting to happen tattooed on my forehead!

So off we went to B & Q.  Have managed to find a replacement pan and cistern at not too exorbitant price, but ours was an old style loo like the porcelain ones that you used to get in public toilets.  The hole goes straight into the floor rather than at an angle like the newer versions.  Picked the brains of an Assistant who did his best in the circumstances and we found what we needed to make it work with our set up.  However OH needs daylight to see what he is doing and it was by the time we got back losing the light. Our loo room is tacked onto the end of the main bathroom and does not get much light anyway.

I have stripped everything out and washed everything down for him to hopefully get it replaced soon I have made sure it is hygienic.  In the meantime some silicon and monster gaffa tape are holding it together so that we can go in the meantime.  I am just praying it does not go on me again as that I would never live down!

I do hope everyone else has had a lovely Sunday.

We have had a very nice Sunday dinner a little roast pork and crackling, with mashed potato, mixed veg (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower), and then peas and shredded cabbage with lots of gravy and apple sauce.

Me I am off to carry on.  Have a programme to watch at 9:00am and then some ironing for our clothes tomorrow.  I have a feeling it is going to be a really busy week.

Catch you soon.



Thick Sterilised Cream

I have been searching for this for yonks and as I had not found any I thought that with the take over of the company that I had sourced it from originally i.e. Fussells and there was another supplier as well, that with so many useful products that was it.

However I was talking to a friend at work who completely out of the blue mentioned it and I remarked that I had not seen it for years and she said that her mum had got her it recently from B & M, but it is called something slightly different to what it used to be.  Knowing that some of you will also remember this very useful little product I thought I would share.

So a trip to B & M was in order.  I subsequently went and I found it and snaffled seven tins for the pantry shelf as this is something that we always used to have with jelly and fruit for Sunday evening tea.  I am so pleased to have found it again, thanks to a friend at work.

I had some last night with pudding the rest is in the fridge just "chillin" for me to have with pudding tonight.  I can also categorically state that its the same as it always used to be.

This is what it looks like now:

I remember as a child that everything either used to be bottled, came from a tin or came fresh from the veg market, fishmonger or the Butcher. No supermarkets.  People today do not seem to keep a tin store like they used to but this is something that I regularly do or have done to date as a quick meal or pudding can be obtained quite quickly or they can be cooked and turned into something else.  Do any of you also keep a tin store and is there an ingredient/blast from the past that you have not seen for years.

Love to hear from you.



Stir up Sunday

For this year is today. The first Sunday in advent, the time to light the first Christmas candle and the day when Christmas puddings are traditionally made.  So if you have not made them yet now is the time to get cracking if you can and get them made so that they are matured in time for Christmas.  Do not forget to get the family all lined up to give a stir of the pudding (and make a wish) for good luck for the coming year (whenever you make it). There is nothing quite like a home made Christmas pudding. Full spicy, tasty and then there is the ceremony of pouring spirt over the pudding and flaming it on Christmas Day.

Below are two previous posts I have written re the Christmas pudding including the recipe I use which is a Delia one.  The only real amendments I make are that  I use a combination of Guinnes and Cider to mix the pudding and I also add a grated carrot and and a grated apple.

If you have already made your puddings (I have) then well done, and to those of you who have not had a go I would urge you to try the same.  They are not complicated (as many of you will know).  I use greasproof paper to top the pudding and then wrap with foil to steam the pudding not a pudding cloth.  Once the pudding has cooked the greaseproof on top can get a little greasy so I do sometimes replace the foil only and then overwrap with a muslin pudding cloth to store it cleanly in the pantry.

Right I am off to get on with some other bits and bobs.

Catch you soon.



Saturday, 25 November 2017

Very cold here and Tales from the kitchen

Just a quick pop in.  Bitterly cold here today.  Very much soup weather.  So rather than making my own like I usually do I gave in and bought some from the Co-Op. The only reason being I was so cold I did not want to end up with a cold and good warming food usually ensures that you keep healthy.  I bought Minestrone but we were not keen.  Even OH tried because it was Minestrone, but its not what he thinks of as Minestrone.  So I will not be buying that again and will be making my own from now on in.  The only reason I bought was that I needed a solution to an immediate problem.  OH informed me that I should carry on with my usual practice of adding in what I think rather than following a specific recipe as he thinks it is more flavourful that way on. (Back-handed compliment?  Not sure).

Never mind I have bought two chickens; they will be roasted together. One will be for dinner the other together with the pickings from the first chicken will go towards some individual pies and also soup/stew and stock and if enough meat left over will go towards Coronation chicken for pack ups.  I would emphasise that they are the larger chickens.  The stock of course at this time of year is always useful and gives more flavour.

I have also bought a joint of pork for roasting for dinner tomorrow with home made stuffing that should make a good meal with home made apple sauce as well and then any left overs for serving cold on Monday night with some bubble n squeak.  Goes very well with cold cuts.

I may if I get the time also make a Treacle sponge pudding with custard and a crumble for OH.  (Too much sugar in the Treacle one for him).

I have a few bay leaves drying at the moment.  Not many but enough to put into a jar to go into soups and stews and gravies and sauces.  You can also grind them down into bay leaf powder and just add a little here and there.  You do not require much.

I need to get veggies from the veggie shop.  I bought some chestnuts that had been reduced and intend to have some hot later on as a treat.  I have picked up what would be the equivalent of two nets for £2.  They will come in handy.  I did not tarry as it was so cold and told them that I will be back later on which I will.  When its told you really do need to have nice warming food to keep well no matter how simple or that you do not have loads of vegetables.  I often find that simple is best.

 Right had better get a wriggle on.

Catch you later.



Some Wraps and things

I hate to be cold and you can in an old house get very cold very quickly so on the rare occasions I sit for any length of time I do get cold.  I went to TK Maxx today and found two lovely lightweight wraps to pop over my legs for when I sit.  They are in a beautiful cherry/Christmas red and lovely limey green; both Christmas colours.  I am extremely chuffed with these.

I have also managed to source some white linen napkins with a gold star on each - I could not find anymore plain ones but I will keep my eyes open for those.  I think they will put in an appearance before long and then I will use them to embroider something on.  A good idea for some Christmas presents or a housewarming present once I get to grips with the embroidery machine.

I must admit the more research I am doing the more beautiful designs I am finding and am excited at the prospect of actually doing some of these wonderful things for myself.  But that is for another time.

I have also managed to find another large glass cloche which I think will be perfect for a cheese board that I purchased last year.  I think it will be the ideal size.  There was only the one; I tend to buy things in twos as a rule.

This year I also have a thing about stars.  I have found a wooden Christmas star decoration which will be ideal off one of the garlands or just hung in the window.

I have also purchased some new jumpers today as I was in dire need of them as I do really feel the cold.  A lot of my older ones are getting past their best by date for me  and I have lost weight to what I was when I bought them, and as I have to look smart for work will probably end up in the Charity bag.  There is still a lot of wear in them but I do have to look smart!

It has been a very busy week this week and I am shattered but I do have a lot to do over the weekend.  I am afraid therefore that I will have to catch up when I can as I have an awful lot to achieve.

Catch you soon.



Friday, 24 November 2017

Being Hacked

I have a Paypal account.  

Someone has tried to hack my account this account this week.

It all started with what appears to be a simple email from Paypal. 


We apologise for the inconvenience but we don't recognise the device for your security, we need to confirm your identity.

1.  Download the attached document and open it in a secure browser.
2.  Follow the verification process to protect your account.

If you have bought a new computer or are using one you have not previously used.  You may have changed the settings on your browser or switched to a new browser.  You may have deleted your cookies.

Your Internet Service provider may have changed settings on their system.  And remember you can always log in directly to Paypal in the profile settings areas.

Yours sincerely

I suspected that it was not a legitimate email.  It invited me to download a document in order to contact them.  I have chosen not to do this, preferring to go independently via the Paypal account to see if there was a problem on their message centre.  There was nothing as far as I could see. So I emailed them via their secure account.

I have had some Cyber training at work which chiefly has told us that if we receive an email and we are suspicious even though it may be purporting to come from someone we may know of or an organisation such as Paypal THEN WE ARE NOT TO OPEN IT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. At work we are told to go to straight to IT but at home you are your IT Department.

If your gut instinct is telling you that something is wrong then it normally is.  Do not ever access any attachments to such emails as you will end up losing personal information in effect you are being hacked and then they may be at liberty to use your information as and when they please.

Always check the source address i.e. in the top left hand corner of your screen.  If it is a legitimate email address it will have said details at the top.  Not something else or something that could be related to something or someone personal.  This email even had a logo similar to Paypals.  So be very wary.

When I checked the address instead of Paypal details the source address  was something else completely a persons name plus extra.  (and no or com on the end. (on the particular one I had although this may differ on other scams) DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES GIVE ANY PERSONAL DETAILS ETC. VIA EMAIL.  IF NOT SURE CONTACT THE COMPANY DIRECT BY TELEPHONE A legitimate company will not do this. There are also likely to be errors in the letter itself like Dear, instead of your name and the content of the letter might be a little iffy and contradictory. Sometimes the emails seem innocuous but have a hidden sting.  I have reported this to Paypal.  They have come back to me pretty promptly with full details on security and phishing scams and ultimately have confirmed it is a virus and they will follow through with it but with instructions to delete it off my system.

I chose to keep it in my email box until I had heard what they wanted me to do.  I have subsequently emailed it to them and on receipt of their instructions I deleted it.  I have subsequently changed passwords as well on various accounts as well.

I had to look twice; so please be careful as I would hate anything harmful to happen to any of you.




Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Evening all

Its been a bit busy here again this week; do not seem to have five minutes to myself so I am grabbing these few moments just to pop in and let you know I am just about in the land of the living.

Its very rough with the wind outside at the moment blowing a right hooley yet it seems mild - no heating on in the house at the moment will probably go on a little later, but not for the moment.

I popped into B & M at dinner and ended up bringing home a few bits and bobs.  I think I will be popping back for a couple more bits and bobs over the next few days or so.  Its good for foodie bits as well so some more supplies for the pantry have also found their way home.  The Ferrero Rocher chocolates are the cheapest I have seen them so far this year at £6 a tray (the larger tray) at the moment.  I have also bought some little artificial candles in a pack of 12.  I might get some more as I might be able to make some embroidered candle holders to go around the outside and with these little artificial lights there is no risk of something burning. 

I may well get some more and then start a stockpile of Christmas presents from the beginning of the year.  In all honesty I have not had the time to do any Christmas presents this year although my intention was to do the same.  Next year is going to be very different.  I am really going to play with both my sewing machines over the Christmas break whether OH likes it or not.  I might even be able to get to some of my UFOs as well as well as use up some of my fabric stash which seems to be ever growing at the moment.  I have had some more jelly rolls arrive today.

My step-son and his wife are in the process of buying their first home together.  So I may well in due course make them a patchwork quilt.  Will see how it goes.

At B & M they had some nice lanterns at a reasonable price which I might also get a couple of as I like proper candles in any event, but sometimes you cannot for safety reasons use the real thing.  That is when you can get away with some of those candles that look like the real thing but are not.  B & M had quite  a few of these as well. 

Tonight we have had fish for tea.  OH has had haddock which I floured and then gently fried and I have had smoked undyed haddock which was a delicate smoke but very tasty served with butter and a couple of poached eggs and brown bread and butter and it has gone down very well.  I just fancied some fresh fish today as I did not want a heavy meal.  OH was supposed to do tea tonight but I spotted the fish so its his turn tomorrow.  I have cooked a couple of times already this week.

Right I had better get a wriggle on, lots of things to do as usual so little time to do it.

Catch you soon.



Saturday, 18 November 2017

A busy day

But boy has it been cold.  I have been busy in the kitchen sorting out a lot of my preserving stuff.  A lot of it does not live in the house as a rule but lives in the shed.  I am talking preserving jars, and large pans, the stuff that clutters you up but not the expensive equipment.  It has all been sorted ready to be transplanted back into its original home and then I can start to get a little tidier in the house.  Everything has a home and everything a place.  This has entailed an awful lot of washing and drying by hand.  But it needed doing.

We then walked Missy - Not a lovely sunset like last night not a flicker of one all overcast cloudy grey and orrible. I was glad I had my lovely thick jacket on and my gloves.  We gave her a good run in any event she is like a rocket when she is let off.  She frightened herself tonight as without realising it she put a rabbit up - it startled her  but she ended up going in the wrong direction and chasing around after nothing. The rabbit had long gone.

I was glad to get into the warmth of the house I had turned the heating on before we went out so it was all nice and snug when we walked in.  

Then a load more washing.  This time it was bath time for Missy as her skin condition had flared up again and as she is not well behaved if OH is around come bath time and will not do as she is told.  If left with me on her own she is as good as gold. So that is another job out of the way with although she paid me back by making sure I was as drenched as she was.

We have toad in the hole for tea tonight with mash, spring cabbage and carrots and plenty of gravy followed by Streudel and custard.  Felt in a comfort food mode - probably because it is so cold out.  A hearty meal is just as good for the soul as well as the body and I am starving as I did not have much for my tea last night and I am hungry.

Right better get things ready.

Catch you soon.



Some Finds For Christmas

I nipped into the Charity Shop yesterday and picked these two meat platters up for £2.  They are in  excellent condition and I am very pleased with them.  They will be put to good use over Christmas and will blend in well with the Ivy crockery I already have.

Then there were the silk flower decorations.  They match well with some items I had already bought. These are for the front room/lounge -  some have missing flowers but I should be able to save those to make a good set.

I also managed to source another four gold glasses with twisted stems.  I bought a few of these last year but I collect gold coloured glasses in particular especially for the Christmas table. It is an ongoing collection.  I did find some nice new ones in Dunhelm but I am not paying £28 for four glasses.

I also found two amber/gold matching serving dishes with a pretty fluted edge for £2 the pair during the week as well so it will all blend in well with the existing decorations and glass and pottery pieces I have.  These collections are pretty much ongoing year to year.  I specifically target gold coloured glassware or good quality cut glass items as although not a perfect set they match in well with each other and make the table look interesting antiquey and charming and it does not cost very much and goes to help a worthwhile charity; so is a win win situation all the way round.

When I was in Lincoln the other day; I treated my cousin to some bits and bobs for her sewing and I thought I had got away with it.  That is until it came time to come home and she presented me with six little Christmas panels and suggested that I make my first Christmas table runner.  Here are the panels - I just need to find a red cotton or red and white spotty cotton to mount them in and then to hand quilt.  Colourway is exactly right for my Christmas table this year. Silver, white and red.  I have silver Mercury Glass items (various) and lead crystal glass items for the centre of the table and my two Stag Tealight Candleabra.  So lots of lovely items with which to decorate the house with and not much money spent.

Whether or not I get it finished for the Christmas or not I am not sure but if not it will be ready for next year.  Sometimes with the greatest will in the world there is just not enough time to do everything; but at least the greater percentage is achieved.

It was very cold here overnight and is still icy this morning.  I will be heading to the garden soon to get some fresh air although I will be wrapped up to the dozen to try and tidy the back door garden tidied up and the pressure cleaner out to clear up the moss.  I need it to look really tidy.  The shed can be done a bit at a time.  I chose Seagrass for the colour of it and hope to get the planters done as well.

Right I had better get a wriggle on. 

Catch you later on.



P.S.  I also forgot to mention that my cousin had made me a pinny for Christmas.  Here is the pinny excuse the model she is in training!

Friday, 17 November 2017

The Sunset tonight

Was absolutely stunning but I fear my pictures taken on my  mobile do not do it justice.

Catch you soon.


Thursday, 16 November 2017

Playing Hookey and a bit of a mish mash

I have been out again today and not doing what I should be doing.  Big sigh!  This time to The Range and I have come back with some goodies. I like The Range.  As usual I have a couple of things on the go and I am busy collating bits and bobs towards those things. I have even this year sent for a Christmas bedding seen in golds and creams.

I am very much a collector.  The bedroom will get sorted and probably decorated after Christmas but as I have a couple of large mirrors in the bedroom I have been looking for something to accentuate said mirrors.  I have come away with two turquoise butterflies which will do what I want them to do.  I have a few more decorations as well ranging between country folksy and Victorian decorations and some very large jingle bells to hang off some of my garlands.  I have also bought some crafting items.  I have plenty of  Christmas style stamps already and I thought that some of my brown wrapping paper could be stamped in red, green or in clear and then have some sprinkles popped on to create the base for some of my Christmas paper.  I thought simple and then wrapped with ribbon with maybe a little bit of greenery threaded through somewhere along the line.

I have also been to Homebase and picked up two large white box lanterns for £7 each they were reduced to clear and I think will look good with some of those battery artificial candles in outside the back door.  I am not sure about the white colour but we shall see.  If I do not like it then I can always paint it black.  I have bought Cuprinol for the shed and some paint brushes and also a small pressure washer to clean the pavements with as we have a little moss growing where it should not and also a palm sander for me to attack the skirting boards with. I have the front garden as well as the back garden to sort but it needs tidying up.   I have also seen some plants that I would quite like to turn the piece of the garden outside the back door into a tidy winter garden. I have two box baubles from last year and one of the standard bay trees (one of them has died), four wooden planters which are currently dark but which I intend to turn into the same colour as the shed.  I have seen two standard holly trees and also a couple of miniature fir trees which I think will be ideal for out of the back door I have then to sort the shed out. I also have two ivy hanging baskets and I have enough ivy to do two more hanging baskets.  I thought that I might also do some of the black cauldron plant holders I have done out with some pansies. That will probably be early Saturday morning I start on that but this will also depend on the weather as well.  The fence also needs a coat of stain well at least in the bit before the shed.  So I do have a lot to do.

I have also gradually over the past few weeks been acquiring different pieces for the Christmas table.  This year I am going for a silver colourway for the table.  I normally do gold and that is it.  However last year I managed to find two Mercury silver glass candle pillars and two candle lamps.  This year I have managed to find two storm lanterns decorated in white with scenes of deer on them, the two Stag Candleabra from M & S and two small domes that have deer on them for a tea light candle lamp.  I have also found from the Range two small deer sitting with room for a tea light in each.  I am planning on having a pure white cloth and knapkins with a little greenery on the table but also with faux ivy leaves with a touch of silver scattered over the cloth down the centre.  There are a couple of more pieces that I am after but they are not in stock at the moment and that will be the centrepiece for the dining room table sorted out. I have a long 8 seater table made of pine in the dining room. Slowly that part of the Christmas planning i.e. the table centrepiece is coming together.  I have also found at The Range two strings of lights with reindeer on them so I shall probably drape these with an Ivy garland on each of the dressers.  We shall see how things will go but I want it to look as pretty as possible.  I also have to see if I can get some plain green fabric to make covers for the dining room and front room candelabra chains to try and tidy them up a little.  I have wrought iron in the dining room and brass in the front room.  I am also hoping to go back to The Range another day as there were a couple of other items that I could not manage today.

I have also added to my collection of cutting dies for the Accuquilt Go cutter and some of those arrived this morning.   Although there are some more due.  My cousin is a terrible influence on me!

Anyway I am off to do a bit more.

Hope everyone is well and slowly getting there with their Christmas planning.  I am off to get busy again.

Catch you soon.


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

What a wonderful day

Well I managed to get up on town and walk to the Station and I even  managed to get on the right train.  According to the time plan when I first booked my ticket online train should have arrived at about 10:30 am.  Then when I checked up which platform I had to leave from it said arrival 10:00am.  In reality we arrived at around 9:50am and I was waiting for my cousin to arrive outside of the station.

I have had a fantastic day with my baby coz.  We started off in the coffee shop with a bacon buttie and coffee each, then had some cheesecake and then another coffee and then caught a taxi back to hers.  In reality when we were younger we used to leg it around the City but a few years have passed since then and muggins is not as able as she used to be and my cousin sustained hairline fractures to both feet last year and since then has had difficulty walking with her right foot. 

We had a quick shifty around the indoor market which has changed so much not as packed as it used to be but a brilliant fabric store in there.  The main market apparently has been scrapped by the owners of the land the Co-Op, Which is very unfortunate as it used to be a really good market.  Needless to say I bought some fabrics and also some fabric for my cousin - both packs batiks just different colourways. My coz tends to go for autumn colours and I tend to go for the greens, pinks and blues.  She is not a pink person.

Then we caught a taxi back to her home.  I was introduced to her two new moglets Charles Chaplin..... and Orson Welles.... both beautiful black and whites and so affectionate and cuddly they were very fussy with  me the pair of them,

My cousin has put  me through my paces with the Accuquilt; she has no end of cutting dies, including some of the ones I have got but the for the best part we have managed to accumulate different ones and we both have the basics.  I have come away with a list of the ones that I still need but they will have to be built up a little at a time. The Accuquilt certainly makes things a lot easier and will be cheaper in the long run once I have one or two more dies as I will then be able to make my own jelly rolls etc.  We have cut out a few squares and strips for me to play with and some miniature squares to form in effect a scrap quilt.  Her Go machine is the big one which is electric.  Very impressed.  My one is the in-betweenie which is hand-cranked but as long as I do not have to use a rotary cutter very often that will suit me just fine.  I am not very good with it.

She has also shown me what she can do with her embroidery machine (hers is a Brother mine a Janome) - I will need to seriously play but she has given me an awful lot of pointers and instructions even though her machine is very different to mine.  She has produced some lovely lace items.  I am going to have to really play and intend to set some time aside to do this a bit at a time but it has certainly given me more of an idea as to what it can and cannot do.  I owned up when I got there about the machines and the Accuquilt.  The comment well we have gone and done it again.  I said to her that we were more like sisters than cousins as we really are that close.  We do not have to explain anything to each other we just know.  She just laughed when I said to her that really I had come for a tutorial and that I had the same equipment.  So for over 5 hours we have had a really satisfying time and I have enjoyed the playtime.    Trouble is time passes far too quickly.

We went off out for a meal and then they bought me home from Lincoln.  Did not want me travelling alone in the dark.  It was thick fog coming home, so I have asked for them to let me know when they get home safely as otherwise I would worry about them.  Its good being with family and has been a smashing day.  Its ages since I have had a play day so I am really looking forward to experimenting.    I have strips to play with and squares and blocks. Some new fabric, some recycled shirt fabric, so now I am going to have to sew them together.  I really am going to enjoy this.

Right better go and settle myself have a lot to do tomorrow.

Catch you soon.



Monday, 13 November 2017

Busmans Holiday

By the time that you read this post I should hopefully be in full swing in respect of operation Christmas.  I have the radio on and am working away downstairs trying to create order of our chaos.

It is going to be a bit of a busmans holiday i.e. that I am going to be working most of my holiday apart from one day.  But there we are.  It does not look as if I am going to get time to do any crafting apart from my day with my cousin, but hey ho nonny no the work I have to do needs doing. So perhaps it is a good thing that I have booked an away day.  At least if nothing else to get my jelly roll quilt started.  So it is just a brief nip in.

I have determined that I need to get up with OH and do normal hours otherwise I will still be asleep instead of being able to get on. I have to be disciplined about this and despite me wanting to crash it just cannot happen.  I am not firing on all cylinders this morning in any event as I had another bad sicky attack last night probably because I ate more than I normally do although had not stuffed myself silly.  I do not eat as much as I used to I just cannot do.  The joys of getting older.

It was a very cold night last night although we did not have a frost when OH walked Missy this morning it was 2 degrees still brghh.  I opened the door and promptly shut it.  However I will need to venture into the garden at some point so I am hoping it warms up a little when I will be able to take advantage of the same. I also need to sort the shed so that some of the stuff that belongs in the shed can go home and out of the house.  I just have not got there yet.  So Fingers crossed and toes plaited.  It looks as though it is going to be a long day.

Right here we come.

Catch you later.



Items acquired for the Christmas Food Stash Updated 12.11.2017 version 2

A further update on some of the bits I have managed to pull together in readiness for Christmas/New year.  Still some bits to get.

Items acquired so far for the Christmas food stash


Pantry Items

8 bags of sultanas

8 bags of raisins

8 bags of currants

6 pots of cherries

6 pots of mixed peel

2 jars redcurrant jelly (Waitrose own)

2 Jars cranberry jelly (Waitrose own)

2 jars mint jelly

Two bags of whole almonds (needed for Dundee Cake and Christmas cake)

Four bags of ground almonds (these I use a lot of so may add some more bags yet)

4 tins of Strawberries

6 tins of Pineapple rings

I should add that the majority of the above items should take me through to the New Year as the bulk of them are for baking and I do not bake fruit items every week.  I would rather make my own cakes than purchase them.


1 bottle of Delaneys Irish cream liqueur

1 bottle of port special reserve

1 bottle of green ginger wine.

4 Bottles of Cherry Glogg from M & S (two bottles for £10 rather than £7.50 a bottle)

1 bottle Jamesons Whisky

1 Bottle of Jack Daniels

1 litre of Baileys

1 bottle of Dandelion and Burdock

1 bottle of Ginger beer

2 bottles of perry cider

2 bottles of Tribute

2 bottles Elderflower Presse


Boughten items

2 tubs of Quality Street
1 Pack of Chocolate biscuits
2 packs of After Eight Mints
2 packs of Mint Matchsticks
4 nets of Christmas chocolate figures for the Christmas tree

2 different sorts of Christmas balls for the tree

1 pack of chocolate bells

2 pkts Hovis Digestive Biscuits

3 pkts Thorntons Chocolate Brazils (on offer at Waitrose £3 a box)

18pkts Chestnut Puree

2 bags Krisp rolls

1 box large Cars water biscuits

2 boxes Carrs cheese melts

2 pkts Sesame seed Grissini

2 Pkts Jacobs Cream crackers

2 smokey bacon pringles

2 Texas barbecue pringles

2 tubs honey roasted cashews

Creamed Horseradish

Gooseberry fruit cheese

Quince fruit cheese

Damson fruit chesse

Lime curd

Blackcurrant curd

Passionfruit curd

Poachers Pickle

Cheesemakers pickle

1 jar Opies cocktail cherries

Cranberry Port and Orange sauce

2 Pkts Orange and Lemon jelly slices

2 large packets of dates

1lb of Walnuts

1 net of Chestnuts

Items made so far for the Christmas food stash (in no particular order)

Seville Orange Marmalade

Strawberry Jam

Apricot jam

Pickled Onions


Apple Chutney

Apricot Chutney

Plum Chutney

Plum Jam

Plum and Apple Jam

Peach jam

Plum Jelly

Greengage jam

Greengage jelly

Flavoured vodkas: Lemoncello, Mixed fruit, Candy Cane, Peach, Strawberry, Rhubarb, Rhubarb and Strawberry. Spiced Vanilla vodka (for white chocolate cocktail); chilli vodka for home made Bloody Mary; 

Elderberry jelly

Bramble jelly

Rosehip Syrup

Dried Rosehips

Apple Sauce

Bottled Strawberries

Five Spice Peaches

Bottled Peaches

Bottled White Fruit Salad

Bottled Red Fruit Salad

Clementine and Passionfruit Jelly

Mulled Pears


Cherry Brandy

Bottled Cherries

Mixed fruit - Jumbleberry jam

Nuts in Honey

Mixed Fruits in Honey

Herb Butters:

Tarragon vinegar

Raspberry vinegar

Apricot vinegar

Lemon thyme vinegar

Mixed herb vinegar

Passionfruit vinegar

Vin D’orange

Blushing Strawberry Wine

Peach Wine

Plum Wine

Orange Wine

Elderflower wine

Black Cherry Wine

Strawberry Wine

Geordie Newkie Brown

Spiced Oranges

Spiced Clementines

Vanilla Caster sugar

Vanilla Granulated sugar

Cinnamon Granulated sugar


Pickled Jalapenos

Chilli jam

Dried Chillies

Dried Sage

Dried Thyme

Dried Lemon Thyme

Dried Rosemary

Home made Mincemeat

Sloe Gin

I make the different preserves by choice and they are allowed for in my budget through the year. They have to last a year in any event. When I make a load of preserves like the last couple of months I cut back on items on the general shop.   I tend to bulk buy meat and then freeze it myself in any event usually restock in the quieter months.  We don't eat masses of meat and that we do have is eked out where I can get at least two to three meals from it, but generally we eat relatively well in the greater scheme of things.  By saving here and there means I can squeeze in some extravagances. Hence me buying ingredients and then making stuff myself a lot of the time.  Nothing is wasted though.

Will be updated as soon as more is acquired/prepared.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Sunday evening round up

Boy is it cold.  I have been so cold today that my hands and joints have stiffened up.  That's usually a sign that either it is going to get even colder or that it is going to bucket it down with rain.  At the moment because of how cold it is outside I can quite easily believe that we could get a little bit of snow especially if it warms up a tad.  But then again we are low lying round here and only tend to get snow when it is seriously bad elsewhere.  I went round to get some extra money put on the gas and electric and it was a lot colder than it had been earlier on.  I am now cocooned in the house where it is nice and warm and I do not intend to venture far either.  May be to the dustbin but that will be about it.

We had the Cornish pasties from the Butchers for tea tonight with a milkshake each..  We were not really hungry so that is why we have not had a roast dinner today. We do not do bad on the food front so when we both are not famished (not that we really know what famished is) but it makes sense to just do a bit of something; a scratch meal.  I am hoping to get to grips with some decent cooking during the week including some home made soups. With me being at home soup is an ideal meal for me not too much of it but it is filling especially with a bit of nice bread.

It will be a working holiday for me this week apart from the day out at my cousins.  I have a couple of more weeks due to have off yet before Christmas.  The second of which will be the week before Christmas so whatever I can get done this week will make it easier for me in the long run and as usual I have an awful lot to do.  Christmas decorations will go up at beginning of December so that I can forget about them and then concentrate on everything else and hopefully get everything wrong.

I also forgot I think to mention that we had also ordered the Turkey when we were at the butchers.  That is something else out of the way and ticked off the check list.

Keep safe and warm wherever you may be.

Right duty calls.

Catch you later.



Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)