Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Things to do:

I have a million and one things to do as usual and as my memory is not as good as it used to be short term here rather than long term I thought it might be useful if I put things down as I think of them and then get them actioned so that they are not floating around in the ether.



Business cards for Reiki and Mediumship


Reiki Leaflets

Website and Email address

Bank account


Sort the front garden so everything is nicely sorted, tidy and looks presentable.
Bathroom.  Needs stripping out, new sink, new bath.  Needs tiling.  Needs shelving.  Needs a couple of storage units and needs painting.  Also needs an extractor fan/fans.  Needs new flooring.  Bathroom doors need re-varnishing and sorting out.

Kitchen.  Needs stripping out.  New sink units and if I can get a couple of pine doors to go on that would match it in with rest of units.  Needs mixer tap.  Needs re-tiling, and plasterwork needs mending. Cupboards need re-organising and more use made of what do have. Needs painting out.  New flooring required.  New blind, new nets.  Needs gingham curtains making for kitchen skirt, under units. Doors need re-varnishing and sorting out.

Nets and blind have been sorted
Pantry: needs sorting out, stripping out and then repainting.  Needs new flooring.  Door needs re-varnishing and sorting out.

Dining Room: needs sorting out.  Wallpaper needs stripping, plasterwork repairs made. Redecorating, new flooring and new blind, net curtains and curtains.  Needs new fire hearth surround and need Landlord to take the Gas fire out.  Possibly put in an electric one.  Doors need sorting, re-varnishing.  Side cupboard doors need stripping.  Pine furniture needs stripping and re-varnishing.

Nets and blind have been sorted
Under Stairs:  Plasterwork repairs need to be made.  Shelves need stripping and recovering. Needs painting out and new flooring put in and revising space available and organising it.  Door needs stripping and re-varnishing. Needs new doors.

Back Bedroom: Needs totally renovating. Mirror Wardrobes put on the dividing wall.  Have big metal framed bed and mattress.  Thinking aqua colour here probably with mirror furniture.  A bit Art Nouveau’ish.  Needs painting and papering.  Room needs totally sorting out and what is in there thinned down.  It is box city at the moment.  Needs laminate flooring.  Idea of fitted wardrobe is that it would hide a lot of my crafting stuff plus have an overshoot wardrobe space. Have seen some nice bedding in Dunhelm today also some nice bedside lights.  This room is a bit glam compared to the rest of the house a slightly different theme.  Also need some Aqua coloured rugs One large and two for down the side of the bed.  New doors.

Nets sorted
Study/Computer room: Needs cleaning and tidying.  Not long decorated,  Has laminate flooring anyway.  Ideally shelving but I don’t think OH will have any of that.  Just a general tidy and good clean up.  Attention to detail.  Single bed for using as a couch.

Hallway: needs  painting and wallpapering, needs new stair carpet and bookcase with lamp at top of the stairs for some extra book storage.  I have a load of books yet to read.

Lounge.  Needs sorting out.  Decorating with wallpaper, painting.  Gas fire needs taking out and an alternative sourced.  New curtains and rug.  Bookshelves need sorting out.  General good clean.  Carpet needs cleaning.  Leather settees need touching up.

Main Bedroom:  Needs totally stripping out.  Wallpapering and painting.  Laminate flooring.  Three rugs.  Does not need new curtains or nets. May need a new blind.  Need new bedding and new Duvet.  Possibly a dressing table and chest of drawers. New doors. One for entrance to bedroom and one for walk in wardrobe (used to be airing cupboard) and is also entrance to loft.

Loft: Needs flooring putting down for extra storage space and also a loft ladder.

There are still no end of things to be added to the list.  This is just my general initial thoughts on what I would like to achieve to make this house liveable and will be updated from time to time.  I am aiming to get everything sorted before Winter sets in.

Catch you soon.



Food left to rot

I was a bit taken aback by this article as in my mind's eye it raises a number of issues.

There are many parts of the world that are starving and cannot for one reason or another grow their own crops.  So why are we a particularly wealthy nation compared to many not prioritising food.  Just because of the lack of labour and possibly having to dig in a crop or crops because of the lack of workers.

In all honesty I can understand that the fruit workers that deal with the crops now want security for their families especially in light of Brexit and if they are not being given that reassurance then there are other options as I see it.

Prior to the War years we had workers in this country that used to do this work on a regular basis.  If the fruit workers presently in place will not stay then train up teams in different areas so that the food will not be wasted.  What concerns me is that the work may be seen to be demeaning. It is not.  It is a very valuable work to supply us and the food chain.

I don't think this issue stems from greed or anything else.  I think it is the result of many decisions chopping this chopping that changing this not allowing that which has resulted in this position from several different veins with whoever is making the decisions making the decision for now rather than long term planning.

The other thing that concerns me is that this is one farm.  How many more farms where this decision is being made.  It is utterly ridiculous, wasteful, immoral and downright senseless especially when there are so many people starving, living below the breadline.  If the crop is to be written off why not open it up to those who cannot feed their own properly the same as the waste from supermarkets is not technically waste but not always classed as fit for eating because of the sell by dates.

The food chain in this country is not good.  We heavily rely on supermarkets - where I can I tend to source the independents as some things are too dear in the supermarkets for what they are and you end up paying a premium and through the nose. Supermarkets do not to my mind provide adequately for parents on the pricing to feed themselves and their children.  When you have growing children in the house they have appetites and when you are on a low income you do not necessarily have the wherewithal to feed them properly.  At the end of the day, if there were any other kind of war (which I hope there will not) we will be left to fend for ourselves and stockpile what we can for ourselves and feed ourselves as it stands.  It will be no one else's responsibility but our own.  In reality today that is also very much the case in day to day living. We do what we can with what we have.

If crops like this are going to be continually wasted how about stockpiling it by various methods as part of a Government body or is that too simplistic a point of view on my part.  Then it could be used in times of need for the whole of the country rather than just being wasted.  We pay taxes etc to the Government for the use of this that and the other.  At the end of the day a country should be able to feed its own first, and then any surplus being distributed where there is a need.

I am not sure whether I have voiced my rambling thoughts in their most forceful way but what concerns me is the waste of valuable resources due to a logistics issue.  Use some of the unemployed (who are able, train them up, and if the following year they still have no work - use them again - seasonal work it may be.  Train some of our younger people off.  It is work, not to be sniffed at or too proud to do because you have a degree in this or that!  It is a valuable need.

Could I have your thoughts on this please ladies and gents.  What do you think we should do what system do you think should be in place to stop this WASTE!

l look forward to hearing from you.



How dare it.........


Especially when I had planned to do the Herb garden today - which will still go ahead have just arranged to do it later this morning and have slotted in a couple of other jobs to do first including going back into town.  I have some supplies to get so if I make use of the time now, that means I should be able to concentrate on the garden later on.  I need that extra grow house so I am off to get that and also some new net and blinds for the back of the house.  Well that is the plan anyway.  Just waiting on my phone to charge and Missy and I to have our constitutional cup of tea and then hopefully should be ready to roll.

I am a bit shattered today especially after yesterday's Herculean efforts in the front garden but I am very pleased with the results thus far.  Once completely sorted will pop up a picture. Its not much but its a big start and should be easier to keep tidy in the long run.  

One of the problems is that with having such a huge bush in the garden people were stuffing their rubbish into the bush and then it was dropping into the garden and I have been forever picking up other people's crap. I am hoping it will stop them.  Its the same as with the passage, people go and pee at the beginning of the passage which is distasteful for both next door neighbour and I and we are forever swilling out with disinfectant.  More his side than mine but all the same.   Despite asking for a gate from the Landlord - nothing has been done but then that is par for the course.

Right had better get that cup of tea and write my shopping list.

Hopefully catch up later.

Tara for now.



Monday, 30 July 2018


I had a lovely lunch with my friend and a good catch up.  I know I said I would not wander into town afterwards but I did and ended up buying some new undies, socks, pjs etc. which were sorely needed.

I then went to Waitrose for a few bits on the way back and the afternoon had gone.

We walked Missy.  When we came back we nipped off to B & Q and got some more gravel.  Came back and added some of it and then started hacking back a very large cotoneaster which has been resident in the garden since before we arrived here some 32 years ago.  Got that all sorted bits of twig and holly leaves ouch all over but managed to get them all up.  Dustbins/Wheelie bins all three of them are now in situ in the front garden.

Windows were washed, door washed, we just have to do the privet hedge and add the new post box and that is the garden (apart from some hangers and planters) all done and dusted.  Must say even though it is not completed at the moment it does look very tidy and smart.

Right have things to do still, hopefully catch up with you tomorrow when it will be a back garden day weather permitting.

Catch you soon.



New Treasure

I have acquired another item to go with all the other bits and bobs I have collated together for my sea themed bathroom.  This is a vintage buy of a shell chest.  It is something I have had my eye on for ages but I had never found one that I quite liked the look of and this one fitted the bill very nicely.  I did not think that it was a particularly large one but it is bigger than I anticipated.  It needs a bit of a clean but that can be achieved.  Because of its age some of the shells are missing on the lower rows but that may be corrected in due time if I manage to find any of the mother of pearl shells to add to it.  I think I have some on a hairbrush that I have of right size and colouring.

This will go very nicely with the ships in bottles, shells, coral, shell ladies, shell mobiles, shell mirrors, picture frames etc. as well as the fishing net, pebble heart, lighthouse etc.  Think it may be ideal for storing in particularly nice soaps, bath bombs or pearls.  All it needs is a little mermaid.

There is an affiliate post on this for Shell Mirror Part 1 and there is shortly to be a follow up to that post.  However I could not wait to show you this little treasure.

Catch you soon.



Rain again - what a blessing

Good morning everyone, hope you all had a lovely weekend.  Here in Peterborough it is a brighter morning not so many grey skies and also the promise of the sun as it is trying to break cover so a much brighter day all told.  It has been raining again overnight, and we have had some showers this morning but after all the heat we have had recently I would consider that a blessing even though my joints have seized a little.  Ah well we need the sun and we need the water.

It is just Missy and I  - OH has gone off to work.  Her tea is made.  Missy knows the word tea and if she is ready for a cuppa gets all excited.  This morning she is choosing not to indulge straight away but it will be drunk by the end of the day if she has not had another one besides before then.  She does not get this every day - she would if she could though.

Bit shattered still after yesterday's Herculean efforts but that is par for the course  - it is not just what I did yesterday it is the weather taking its toll on me.  The humidity is high.

When I go into town later  to meet my friend I shall pop into Wilkos.  I need another mini growing house for the plants and a couple of other things on the plant front for the bathroom and also some tubs.  I also need to nip into Waitrose on the way back.  I am after some Lavender for the front garden and they did have some in there the other day so I am hopeful that they will still have some.  I fancy a partial lavender hedge in the front garden.  The dustbins are kept in the front as the passage and turning into the garden are far too tight to get the bins in, so I will need to leave an opening to get them in and out of where they are.

Hopefully the rain will stop.  We have the hedge trimmer charged so pending the weather the hedge should be getting a hair cut as well as the resident Cotoneaster then we can get that all bundled up and ready to go to the tip tomorrow.

I also have to measure up the back of the house for new nets and also a couple of new blinds.  will probably get OH to assist with that when he comes in later on then can go and get that sorted as well.  Then I get to clean the windows and put up the new window furnishings.  So yet again quite a bit to be going at.

So I had better jump to it.

Catch you all later.



Sunday, 29 July 2018

Enuff is Enuff

As the saying goes.  I am absolutely shattered.  Got a little way on with the kitchen but it will have to wait for tomorrow now I am absolutely whacked out.    We went off to the tip for a third trip as well. Early night tonight me thinks.  It is still raining.  I have not been able to get out into the back garden today hopefully will for a little while tomorrow but I have so much to do including sorting the fridges out, doing some more planting, carrying on with the kitchen and some washing and ironing.  I am also meeting a friend for lunch tomorrow so it will be no dilly dallying around  straight in have lunch and straight out this week.  I normally go window shopping!

If I manage to get an early night I am hoping to do a little crochet for an hour or so before I settle down.  With one thing or another I have not for the past week been able to do any crochet.  Will at some point have to do an update. It is slowly growing and I am pleased with how it is developing.  That is for another post though.

OH is watching the Grand Prix at the moment.  I am waiting for 9:00pm and the latest instalment of Poldark.  For some unknown reason OH cannot abide it!  I wonder why.  I am off for some happy viewing in any event.

Catch you soon.



Sunday morning

We were up before 8:00am and I managed to get all the rubbish re-bagged.  It had rained overnight quite heavily and is still raining and there looks as though there is more to come.  We did not want the van wet.  It has since been taken down to the tip.  

I have been in the front garden and have cleared the holly leaves up.  The hedge and the tree and the bushes will get sorted out sometime tomorrow and then the rubbish also taken to the tip.  We have added more gravel and have more to get tomorrow as after 30+ years in living here the gravel that was there has got a little thin.  It is starting to look a lot tidier.  I have two big planters to put into the front garden and a post box to go on the side wall.  Our letter box is in the bottom of the door and I am going to close it off as we get an awful draft round our ankles when sitting in the lounge.  Once all that is done and the dustbins put in their new position that will be the front garden sorted and tidied.  Oh and I just need to clean the front windows which should be interesting.  I have a hosepipe and a brush I hope the hosepipe is going to be long enough.

We had a strip light bulb go in the kitchen and have had to replace that.  I am now just about to start on the kitchen.  No doubt I will have further rubbish for the tip by the time I have finished.  Needs doing though.  I also have washing to do as OH is back to work tomorrow.

For dinner tonight we have a piece of topside with accompanying veggies and home made Yorkshire Pudding for tea tonight.  I also have a smaller piece of beef which I am going to cook alongside it and then use it for pack-ups and salads during the week.  I have a chicken which I will roast and  cook up for tea tomorrow night, together with the ham hock I bought yesterday we should then have a nice selection of meat for use in salads and/or pack-ups for the week, which will give me a bit of freedom as indeed I have an awful lot of things to do in the coming days.

Right had better get a wriggle on as sitting on my backside will not get the work done.  Hopefully catch up a little later on.



Saturday, 28 July 2018

Saturday Continued

…….following on from early on!

We nipped off to the butchers at Willowbrook Farm.  Ended up buying some steak, a topside joint for tomorrow, a whopping chicken, a cooked ham hock, and one or two other bits and bobs for meals during the week.

On the way back I was taken for a drink - just a bitter shandy but it was very refreshing.  We went to my favourite pub The Fitzwilliam Arms (also known locally as The Green Man).  We were even allowed to take Missy in with us and all the bar staff were making a fuss of her.

We have had a series of about three heavy duty storms from mid afternoon through the evening.  The storms have been rough, plenty of lightning, hailstones, flooding in the garden as the rain was torrential and the gutters and pipes could not cope with the ferocity of the rain. We do so oh need the life giver rain and indeed we have received it.  It  will do much good which is the main thing.

Tea was delicious we had steak, with fresh sweetcorn on the cob and onion rings, as well as fried onion.  It went down a treat but as usual I gave myself too much to eat.

Nothing much otherwise.  The real work begins tomorrow.

Catch you soon.



Phew that's better

After last night's storm its freshened everything up a bit thank goodness.  We had rain on and off all night and a shower this morning.  It is comfortable now even though the sun is still out.

This morning has been quiet.  We went off for breakfast at Ferraris CafĂ© something we do every weekend.  See link here:  Ferraris.

It is under new management and has been for approximately six months.  I would not go in before as I did not feel comfortable, it did not feel clean and was very Clique!  You did not feel welcome when you walked through the door.  However under the New management of Laura and Johnny the place is clean the food is very good value for money and tasty.  The place is buzzing especially on a Saturday morning.  Everyone is made to feel very welcome and it is now very much a place of community.

Since coming back OH has gone to fetch the van which is now running perfectly.  

I have been to the charity shop and found two more very large pine picture frames for some of the vintage pieces of embroidery that I already have.  These two are a little bigger than the ones found before, but no matter I will get mounts made to reflect this as brand new frames cost an arm and a leg.  I paid £8 for the pair.  I also found two smaller photograph frames for £3.  So a nice little haul which I was not expecting.

Now it is time to get on in the garden.  I have more to do and more rubbish to get rid of.  It will be the tip tomorrow when I have a lot more stuff to go.  I told you that I was having a major clear out, but it is a section at a time i.e. am concentrating on the garden first.  I want to be able to have family barbecues and take advantage of outdoor eating with both family and friends.  I have my eye on some new patio furniture as well which is currently in the sale.  OH promised me a garden swing for my birthday last year as well which still has not materialised so I am hoping to get that as well.  So lots of plans.

Then it will be decorate and sort out the bathroom and put new flooring in as well.  Want all the decorating done in the summer months so its nice and clean and dries out nicely.

Well that's the plan.  Now off to the garden.  Catch up later on.


Friday, 27 July 2018

Janet Street Porter article

I saw this earlier on and it didn't half make me chuckle.

Catch you later.



Its been brewing all day

that is the storm that has just burst upon us.  The heat has been unbearable, the wind got up suddenly and then the rain appeared short sharp and fast.  I am hoping that there will be enough wetness so that I do not have to water up this evening. There is thunder and lightening and Father Christmas chucking his toys across the workshop, thump, bang wallop.  If there is not enough rain then I shall go out and water up.  I was right out there up until it started to rain which is a big first for me as I hate thunder and lightening with a vengeance and tend to hide away.

I have been pottering on and off in the garden again.  I have managed to get those plants potted up into the growing houses however in reality I need a couple of more of the growing houses to accommodate everything.  The cabbages, cauliflowers and kales have all come on a bundle since I first got them and they are all due a feed tomorrow evening when I water up.  I am very excited at having fresh veggies out of my own garden.  I have another water bin arriving during the week.  From hereon in I am going to put the water from the condenser dryer into the water butts and also veggie water from washing the veg.

I also bought two Aloe Vera plants yesterday with a view to growing some more plants on of my own.  I am forever burning myself, just catching myself accidentally and I prefer Aloe Vera or water for burns.  I have popped them into the bathroom for the time being.  Natural things are often the best.

Right have to pop off had hoped to add more to this post will try and do so later on.

Catch you soon.



Today did not start very well. OH took Missy for a walk and the van failed on him whilst bringing her back.  Fortunately he is with RAC who came out and were not at all sure what the problems was.  Van was taken to the garage.  They have since phoned to see whether we need the work doing.  It would appear that we need a new starter motor and also the solenoid as it is not pumping the petrol through. Over £200 again.  Van should be back sometime tomorrow.

When OH got the van he said that there would be no further problem with transport as we had the car and the van.  Because he has been using the van the battery had gone flat.   Battery was charged and he tried to get that going but it was not having any of it.  Very frustrating.  

Once the van is returned we have a visit to the tip.  There is a lot of garden rubbish and more to come to get rid of and the bushes in the garden need sorting out again so that will also need taking.  In reality I see us going on both days to the tip.  There are lots of other things to do inbetween.

I have also been lucky to obtain some blackcurrants from the veg shop for making jam, cassis and also "Beena" cordial.  So some more supplies for the pantry.

Tomorrow I also have more gardening to do.  I have the herb border to weed, tidy up the tubs that are there, add herbs to the borders and more tubs.  Do some flower tubes, do some herb planters.  I want OH to put a shelf up under the windowsills outside the kitchen and the bathroom windows so that I can put some pre-bought planters there with herbs and some companion flowers such as marigold or heartsease.

In effect I have been in the garden all day and early evening.  We have had a lot of rain, could still do with some more.  However it meant I did not have to do the watering up which is something.

Right must get on still stuff to do.

Catch you tomorrow.



Well what a busy day

Was up as normal at 6:00am in readiness for the day and whilst it is cooler.  Got OH sorted out with pack up etc (he is keeping my step-son company on a diet) and they are eating a lot of salad at the moment!  

Went downstairs and found a disaster in the little room.  OH put a new toilet in but it needs concreting down.  Somehow or the other it had fallen over and was pouring water everywhere.  PP then wrangling the toilet and getting it stable and stopping the water spewing out everywhere.  Texted OH to let him know of position.  I then went and sat down for a minute and whoa and behold 11:05am and I am late for my hair appointment.  Oohps!  Got up in a bit of a two and eight had my hair done and whilst under the drier I fell asleep.  Bit of a slow start to the day.  I missed meeting friends as well unfortunately due to the fact that the hair appointment took longer than anticipated. 

Has anyone got the impression that I just could not do right for doing wrong today!

Came back from hairdressers and went into town as needed more trays and pots.  Came back with same, including some more flower pails.  Bringing back what I had and then going back into town to finish off.  Coming back with a multicooker which was on offer, and nipping to M & S to get a chicken for tea.  Coming back home and nipping to get a few other things for tea from my Co-Op.

Watering up garden and making sure that all the new plants are doing well.  More to do tomorrow.

Cooking chicken a nice herby one with stuffing and lots of salad bits and bobs.  Went down very nicely.

Scrubbing little room out so that OH can sort out the plumbing.  Putting on tumble drier to finish off partially dried item and fault developing.  Stripping down tumbler and getting that sorted.  Do not have a line at the moment in the garden due to the work going on there.  Hopefully that will be one of the things that is rectified this weekend amongst other things.

Now just have to sort a shelf or two out in the fridge before eventually getting myself to bed.

And on that note I am off up the wooden stairs to Bedfordshire.

Hope things go better tomorrow.

Catch you soon.



Thursday, 26 July 2018

Recycling Large Water Bottles in the Garden

OH drinks an awful lot of water - he does not have lots of tea or coffee preferring a cold drink so it is more sensible to have something he wants and can have.  This leads to an awful lot of water bottles over a short period of time and for the bigger bottles at least at the moment I am recycling them in the garden as cloches for vulnerable plants.  Ideally I really don't want anything plastic that ends up in the oceans affecting our wildlife, but until they ban it all or get off their backsides and stop it with immediate effect rather than two or three years down the line when further damage has been done we either recycle it or bin it.  Not an ideal situation.  Because I am a cheap skate as well if I can utilise something that is then classed as "rubbish" I will do.

The labels on these bottles come off relatively easily after just a good soak in some hot water and washing up liquid

I believe that if suppliers offered an incentive i.e. return bottles and get 10p for doing so then they should go for it on all bottles whether glass or plastic as it may help keeping clutter off the streets as well in the longer term saving resources which is just as important.  I do something similar whenever I give a jar of preserve to a friend as a present I always have one request.  Could they please give me the jars back.  I recycle them but each lid is always new and I do not reuse the lids.  That way I preserve the integrity of the preserve and keep the contents clean and sterile and save pennies on forking out for new jars or bottles otherwise it just ends up in landfill.

I am also recycling standard sized pop bottles cutting the bottle into rings/collars.  I have a lot of cabbages, cauliflower, spinach, Kale, Broccoli, etc in pots but I am also realistic in that we have slugs and snails in the garden.  I remove them when I can and rehome them somewhere else but I will under no circumstances use slug pellets as I have cats and a dog.  I thought that the collars would help give a little protection to the young plants.  With a bit of care they can be recycled again and again and it makes a cheap solution to a prolific problem.

How do you recycle your plastic bottles/jars etc.

Catch you soon.



Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Lovely afternoon

spent predominantly pottering in the garden in the sun.  Still got a heck of a way to go but gradually bit by bit we are starting to get there. Later I have some garden shelves to sort out and pop some of my potted plants on to so that I can create further room for potting up plants and displaying them.  It is a case of do a little rearrange it and then do a bit more.  Should be okay in the long term just slow whilst I get things sorted.  

I have been out all afternoon so the Doctor should not complain too much I think I have had my quota of vitamin D for today at least.

The plants potted up are nice, healthy and strong and depending on whether I manage to do what needs to be done they should make some very good plants indeed.  All look very healthy.  They are going to get their first feed this evening.

So plodding ever onwards or as my father used to say slowly, slowly catch a monkey.

I am off to carry on and try and locate the cat who stayed out all night with no supper.

Catch you soon.



Handwashing, Laundry and Life Skills

The washing facilities have moved on a peg since my Grandmother Bagley was a young woman.  A copper, a dolly tub and posher and mangle/ringer were all that she had at her disposal and you thought that you were the bees knees if you had these facilities.

Apparently because there were 10 children in the family plus two adults she used to start the laundry at 6.00am on a Monday morning and not stop until about 6:00pm.  One of the older girls used to set about making a meal for the rest and the others also helped but it was very hard work.

Move on to when I was a little girl in the early 1960s.  Twin tubs had come in and if you had one of those then you really were the bees knees.  It made life so much easier.  I had a habit of following my mum or dad or my young uncle everywhere and on one particular occasion I ended up putting my fingers on the side of the hot tub and scalding them badly.  Apparently my hands blistered up and were in a real mess. - I was lucky there was no scarring. However the twin tub really lightened the load and got things done very quickly.  However mum never got rid of the ringer that went a couple of years before she passed.  Laundry was hard work.

Move yet further forward to when I was about 10/11 years of age 1970/1971.  Mum got a new automatic washing machine.  It was great entertainment watching the washing machine go round and round.  All enclosed did everything for you a great step forward.  However new technology was greeted with slight nervousness  - what if it went wrong.

Move forward to when I was 19.  Mum got another more advanced automatic and so did I.  It was my wedding present from mum and Dad.  I was married a month into 19.  Should have known better, but it is part and parcel of who I am.  Mum and Dad's washing machine was brilliant.  Mine in the course of 18 months I had three new engines.  In the end they gave me a new machine - it would appear I had a rogue one.

Move on to present day.  I have a Samsung one that you can add to mid wash.  You hardly use any soap powder.  I thought they were making a mistake when I saw the size of the holder but apparently not.  The wash is calculated mathematically and how much soap powder/liquid you should use which is miniscule these days. If you are getting white streaks on your clothing you are putting in too much soap powder. So do not put anymore in the tub than the holder will take.  I prefer to stay away from the liquid if I can as you seem to get a better wash with the soap powder and keeping the machine clean is better and easier this way.  I really am pleased with this machine.  It has its own cleaning programme.  It sings to you at the end of a wash and the clothes come out really clean.  For the best part I use lower wash programmes but I could not be without a boil wash as this really brings things up nice and clean.  It has the option of what spin speed you use as well as a range of different temperatures that you are able to use within that set programme.  It is fab and I am very happy with it.

However having a machine does not preclude me from doing handwashing.  I use soap powder and fabric conditioner.  My favourite conditioner is the Lenor Golden Orchid although I only ever buy this when it is on offer and stock up.  It smells lovely.

Alternatively a cheaper version is white vinegar which softens the clothes and it is also good to use in a white rinse as it makes the whiteness stand out even more.  I do tend to buy my white vinegar in bulk from the cash and carry.  Not in individual small bottles.

I was taught to launder from the age of 11.  Dad was of the view that his daughter was not going to do what he had had to go through with my mum.  Both sides of the family have always been excellent cooks and homemakers.  Mum was a good cook when they married however like so many other young women at the time they had to put into practice what they had learned in Domestic Science/Cookery lessons which was not always an easy transition and completely different in the classroom than in reality.  Mum had been taught to launder and to starch and when they first got married Dad started to feel a little uncomfy in the nether regions and it turned out mum was washing and starching absolutely anything and everything including his underpants.  Once that little technical hitch was sorted out things settled down and comfort was restored!

As Dad was keen that I should be able to have all the housewifely skills (not a sexist remark just a status quo of the time).  At that time girls were not expected to have a career, but long term were expected to run a home and look after children etc. I had to learn these skills at the knee of my mum to earn my pocket money and golly were there some rows in the process.  I had to help in the house and also be in the kitchen on a Sunday morning to help with cooking Sunday dinner, and mum always whilst she had the oven on used to do a batch bake for the packups during the week.  I had to do my own ironing from the age of 13; mum was working by then part time and also not too well although they could not get to the bottom of the problem.  So I learned very much through practice.  Perhaps it is a good job I did as two years later they realised what the problem was and mum was hospitalised  for six weeks with what was then thought to be a severe liver disease (only four people in the country had it at that time it was that rare - but the prognosis was not good.  Mum held on and was able to undergo a liver transplant and had this for 25 years, but the liver failed in the end.  In reality since then they have had to completely revise their thinking as it is not liver disease per se has proved to be a faulty gene.  This happened as I was taking CSEs/GSEs.  

Social Services did not come in.  I ran the house.  Dad was leaving for work of a morning with pack up; my brother was leaving for school with pack up and I was doing the same.  Of an evening I was contending with a cheeky 11 1/2 year old and the running of the house.  All the laundry got done, the house was kept tidy, brother and I were fed.  Life went on reasonably normal.  Dad was going to Addenbrookes Hospital every day to see mum and was not getting in until 10:00am most nights where there was a cooked meal waiting for him.  I was also studying and taking exams during this time frame.  So Dad's insistence that I learn life skills as it were paid off; we coped and pulled together and dealt with what we had to.  A very positive message in parenting as well.

Even to this day I still hand launder delicate items such as silk (which I do not have too much of) and pure woollen jumpers or nice jumpers with these fancy fibres that need careful handling.   I did a batch of such clothing yesterday.  I find to keep my clothes longer and in good condition that this is a necessary requirement.  I have tried dealing with them in the machine on the so called wool programmes and it has ended up wrecking the clothing.  Usually an expensive item that I love.  So something had to give and back to the handwashing we went.

My Questions are:

  1. Does anyone else do this or am I the rarity?
  2. Do you think that Life skills, such as Laundry and full Domestic Science classes where you have at least five hours of cooking and associated work should take place at school every week?  That was the way I was taught at the School I went to which took the view that not all kids were equipped academically and endeavoured to give them those skills so that they were able to find employment in the longer term.  There was a large garden at the school for those who were good practically and those veggies that were grown there went to the school kitchens.  Snipping around 6 weeks here on one subject and no regular consistency or practice does not cut it and leaves large gaps in information.
  3. Too much emphasis is placed on academic qualifications.  A lot of kids are not academically enabled but they are very good on a practical basis.
  4. I feel and possibly I am not the only one that feels this that so many problems with nutrition, feeding of families, lack of responsibility (in some cases) where the Chatelaine of the household absolves responsibility all add to the problem of families not necessarily eating properly or offspring learning life lessons at the knees of their parents.  Their parents have had things easy and don't want it any other way (not all I appreciate - I am generalising here) they are who I call the ping generation.  Yes I use a microwave but it is only one part of cooking and there are other ways of dealing with things.
What are your thoughts on this do you think older skills have their place in today's society and if proper use of those skills were made do you think that a lot of social problems would indeed be circumvented and that over-reliance on over-subscribed agencies could be put in perspective.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Sorry in my usual convoluted fashion I have gone from one subject to another!

Catch you soon.



P.S. This post is my own particular view point and refers to items I use. It is not meant as advertising in any shape or form.

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)