Monday, 31 December 2012

ANOTHER YEAR ALMOST OVER

Well, thankfully Christmas has come and gone and I managed to cook a meal to be ready all at the same time. My Mum came as son and DiL were away. Mum said the meal was beautiful (wouldn't go quite so far as that) I did chicken breast basted with honey done in tin foil. I partly cooked veggies and steamed at last minute (not a thing I would normally do but this was an exception, I normally just steam them in time). We had a cheesecake for dessert, rather than a heavy pud. I hate feeling full and like to be able to nibble things at Christmas.

I hope you all had a good Christmas and did just what you wanted to. We all have different ideas of what we like to do.

Whew! I have just had three days husbandless as he took over a Land Rover to the Isle of Man. It was a nice change to have the house to myself, watch what I wanted on TV (he is now watching that AWFUL programme Impact Wrestling, which I can't tell you how much I hate, I can't stand listening to them talking! I used to watch wrestling on the TV with my Dad when I was still at home but this is all sheer hype. Sorry I just HATE it.

Went to collect TH from Liverpool airport and missed one of the turnings on the motorway changes and ended up doing a scenic! tour of Liverpool suburbs in the dark. Fortunately I am far better finding my way on normal roads than nameless motorway junctions and managed to find the route to the airport quite easily. It was dark and chucking it down, the little Beetle didn't really like it.

Yesterday I actually ventured out on the bike, I'm afraid only a couple of miles there and then back again, feeling the need for some exercise. Just needed some cat food as the poor thing would have been starving by New Year's day. I believe we're going to be having some warm weather after this week, so hopefully I will be able to get myself back into the swing of doing a bit of cycling.

Whilst TH was away I had a go at a sock knitting loom, which I had bought very reasonably from a lady on a knitting loom site. She apparently had two and I was happy to buy it at such a good price, in case I didn't like it. The funny thing is, when you are wrapping the wool around the pegs you have to remember to hold it tight at the end, otherwise it just jumps off and you've got to start wrapping again. So very frustrating. I did just a few pegs, maybe will make a phone sock, I know there are some mistakes but it won't matter. Whether it is faster than four needles I can't say at the moment. I'll post some pictures, when you can see the front side of the sock, it's not quite long enough yet.

Anyway, I just want to wish you a very Happy New Year and hope it brings you what you want and more.




Friday, 21 December 2012

YOUNG APPRENTICE

Well, we watched the final in the Young Apprentice last night. I'm pleased Ashleigh won, I thought she was the best of the bunch of the finalists. The Irish girl, who had such beautiful eyes, was a little too mouthy for my liking. I don't know what we will watch on Thursday nights now, although TH watches Strong Man, I'm not interested in that.

Had a trip to the hospital yesterday for an XRay for the sciatica. Hope there are no major problems and that the physiotherapy I have booked for February will work. I spent a lot of money the last couple of years with acupuncture, which I quite liked but not paying for it.

We went to collect a Land Rover for M in Law on Wednesday. It is a Series III (80s) and on the way back it broke down, with a pin falling out of throttle cable. TH is very much a 'man who can' man and despite not having brought his tool kit with him, managed to find a piece of wire and do a temporary fix. He walked down the road hoping to find the pin, if it had dropped on the road, but that's an impossible task. I must say I was getting pretty desperate sitting in my vehicle, and needed the loo. It was also cold which didn't help. Quick decision, out of vehicle, over a bit of verge, and behind a mere vestige of hedge and - ladies loo! Would any of you have done that? Desperate measures, etc etc!

TH will have to go over to the Isle of Man to take said Land Rover over, on the ferry then probably stay a couple of days and come back. I'll have a couple of days to watch a DVD I want, eat salads and go to bed early and drink wine - ooh, what a treat for a change. And, no, I do not want to go.

Today was our 32nd ? anniversary and, guess what? He forgot! I really couldn't be bothered making a scene and telling him but I'm a bit miserable about it. It seems we are never to celebrate the event mainly due to when it is, it's too cold/near to Christmas to go anywhere, even if he could afford it. Pretty bad timing, hey? I tell you, next time I'll get married in June (hahahaha) Sorry for the moan.

Just this photo, one of my Ebay customers sent it to me, at my request. It is Tattershall castle in Lincolnshire, a place I remember from my childhood. In this photo it looks just like a Camelotish castle, I love the mystique. It is medieval, built of brick and towers above the landscape as it is flat.




This last one I dragged off the internet. I had completely forgotten what it looked like but it has brought back the memory, it was a strange shape.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

MAKING SOMETHING

I am very pleased that the phone sock my D-i-L asked for is finished and so I can wrap her Christmas present.

Would you like to see it?

I used a mix of Bamboo with a little wool  and the colour is a beautiful magenta-ish shade, don't think the picture is too good as I took it in artificial light. I did alter the exposure and shades but I'm really happy with it and hope she is. I found the button for the centre in my button box, one of a few Mum bought me to use in craft works. No, it just looks burgundy. Think magenta and you might just have it.


In between cooking some mince I bought to put in the freezer for TH's hot pot, shepherds pie and whatever else is left, I wrapped a couple of presents, finished off my cards and just hope one of my old work colleagues will reply to my email asking for his address. I kept the card from last year for ages but now, when I want it, can't find it. I unfortunately hadn't put it on my card list, as it was a new address. I still get Christmas cards from all my old bosses, from way back to the mid 80s, one I moved to Preston to help him set up an office there when our company was selling part of the company which was a joint venture doing bitumen with Fina, the oil company. I went there for six months, came back and our own company was being bought out by a Venture Capital Company. I'm still in touch with those management now and am chuffed that they still think of me, after all this time. I left in 2000, and the bosses there left before that. All retired now. I always leave it to receive their cards, so they don't think they have to reply to mine!

We've had another lazy day, at least I have, TH has been on his knees (yes) sorting through 12 months bits of paper and putting them in piles. He's got them all in folders now and tomorrow will sort them. I'll give him a hand to do that, although I do have to go to Mum's for a couple of hours. I heated up a quiche from Aldi, very nice too, with some shredded cabbage, onions, peppers, cucumber and capers, mixed with - yes very ordinary salad cream as I didn't have any nice mayonnaise. Very tasty. Then a trifle, just too nice and have managed to leave some for tomorrow.

Think that's all for today, speak to you again.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

GREY DAY


I've had a really good day today, TH stayed at home doing some paperwork and it was just so relaxing, discussing what he was going to write, making cuppas here and there, and eggy bread, sausages (for him) and fried tomatoes for lunch. I've succumbed to raiding the mince pies, don't know why I'm not really keen on them but needed something sweet. We're going to have another day tomorrow, as he's got to attack his accounts. He is terrible and leaves them because he hates doing them. It makes no difference if I nag or not, there is always an excuse. I don't understand his business as it involves fixing car bodywork, rebuilding engines and he obtains parts from one place or another but the parts don't necessarily go on the same vehicle. It would be impossible for me to do this sort of accounting, it's not like getting a boxed part and using only these for a job. Anyway, I do everything like gardening, decorating and everything else, so I really don't feel guilty at all for not doing them.

I printed off a recipe that I got from a bloggy friend which is no bake biscuits. I'm going to try them this morning as I'm out of biscuits. They are chocolate no bake, and you can make them without chocolate and add peanuts. I'm all for doing things a time saving way so here goes.


Here is a picture of some mitts I made for one of my followers (Dreaming of a cottage by the sea) too, I forgot to take a picture and so she kindly took this one for me. I crocheted them sideways and seamed them on the outside, making a thumbhole in the main body of the mitts. I didn't use a pattern (well, really, they're just straight crochet) but hopefully the second one was the same as the first one!!! I won a giveaway on  her site, the lovely blanket which I photographed a while back and I felt I wanted to make her something in return. The wool was interesting to work with and I hope they give her as much pleasure as I got from making them.



I'm not a Christmas person, sorry all who are, there have been so many upsetting Christmases I would just rather have a few quiet days without any fuss. I do like buying/making people Christmas presents, providing I know or have an idea what they would like. This year I asked my D-i-L (last year I just made a few things) and she gave me a list to choose from. I went over to Manchester to get the things she asked for, no doubt she intended me to get one of the items. I also made her a phone sock, crochet and I've yet to fathom out how to decorate it. It's just a little envelope in a delicious shade of cyclamen pink. Maybe a flower like on these mitts? What do you think? Also a shell edging at the top. I don't want to make it too difficult for her to get into the sock, as I know how long it takes me to undo my phone and I find it goes onto voicemail by the time I've, (a) found it and (b) opened it.

I sold my Contax camera the other day for a very good price and the guy who bought it left me great feedback and also wrote to me thanking me for the speedy delivery and the good packing and condition of the camera. I was sorry to see it go but am glad if is going to a collector. I keep plugging away at Ebay but I think that will be the last going on before Christmas as it is doubtful if anyone would get an item and a buy it now costs a bit to put on.


Friday, 7 December 2012

NOTHING REALLY TO SAY

Life is so unexciting at this time of the year! Nothing happens, the skies are grey and it has rained so much over the last few weeks. Poor people in flood areas have had homes and possessions damaged and even a whole row of houses in Whitby (I think) is in danger of collapse and their occupants have had to be evicted as the gardens just slid down the hill, endangering a house below. My brother and sister in law live in Somerset and put on Facebook photos of the devastating flooding in the area, 3/4 of a nearby farmer's land is under water. They are lucky as they live on a rise and have managed to avoid flooding. When you look at that, it does make you feel very lucky that all you have to content with is a bit of rain.

We went to Knott End, on the opposite side of the river from Fleetwood on Sunday looking at a Series Landrover for TH's mother. We sat and looked at the sea and hills of the Lake District from across the bay. In part the sun was shining but then it became very grey. We drove over to Bolton and collected a Land Rover on the way back.

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Look at the hills in the distance and the sea wall covered by water.

That is Fleetwood over the water. There is a proper little squat ferry that goes backwards and forwards, it seems to be rounded at both ends. You can just see it nestled to the left of the red bouy, near that low roof.

That is looking from the path at Knott End up river. Look how grey it has become.

The weekend before we went to a club lunch and I was sitting next to a very nice lady who unfortunately had not quite recovered from a virus, which she managed to pass on to me. Had I been in that position I wouldn't have gone. I have had it for a week and a half and still feel bunged up, chesty and dizzy with being bunged up. Some people just don't think, lovely lady though I know she is. Now TH has come down with it and for him it is not funny, he has had heart problems and is diet controlled diabetic. Mind you he does admit to having 'man flu' - and says he is a wimp. To which I agreed, wholeheartedly. Just keep dosing him with max strength Vitamin C fizzy tablets. He does take VC every day, and has an apple and orange with his lunch too, which is more than I do, forgetting to do so for myself. My vitamin taking is extremely sketchy. The only thing I really do watch out, is my eye drops every night for pressure, a result of my old eye surgery.

Right, have had that moan. I've been crocheting things for neighbours for their Christmas presents and daughter in law would like a phone sock, preferably hand crafted. I called into the Black Sheep wool barn and bought a ball of cerise cotton, which will keep its shape and not bobble in her hand bag and will also go with the bag I made for her last year, if she uses it (maybe she does, after saying that remark). She gave me a list of things to choose from, none of which are expensive, so she is getting the lot. She doesn't do computers much and doesn't know about this blog, so I'm not giving any secrets away. I have sent my mitts to my friend in Easingwold and I hope she gets them soon as she has just written on Facebook that her car is a write off, think it's repairs rather an an accident, and will be feeling pretty wretched, as it is 22 miles into York where she works. I have also finished my curly scarf for my friend but not photographed it yet.


The mitts are a little brighter than they appear but not royal blue. 
I joined a seam on the outside of the wrist, making a hole for the thumb without  stitching. It seems quite a lot neater than the others I have done where I have joined them at the thumb side

Well, that's all for today, I am sorry it does seem like a moan but once I have my head unblocked I know I will see things much differently! I have, incidentally kept away from my Mum's house, I must say as a family we always had this rule you didn't visit anyone when you had a cold. And, no, I am not a hypochondriac, just reasonably sensible, as my Mum is 92 and we don't want her getting pneumonia.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A BIT OF KNITTING AND HOOKING

I should really have incorporated some of the craft element in my blog name but just couldn't think of a good enough one. There hasn't been much about Beetles other than Bernard's comments and not a great deal about bikes as I've only done such very mundane cycling it wasn't worth mentioning, like going to the shopping centre - the long way around!

Anyway, it's the time I panic and start knitting or crocheting little things which some poor unfortunate may be the recipient!

I found a pack of mohair in the local Hospice shop, and it was only 50p for 5 balls. It's mostly kid mohair and Picaud too, with what would have been a very expensive price tag on, for when it was originally sold. I don't know how old it is but the label does say a few years.

Anyway, started crocheting a curly scarf, won't say who for just in case but I don't think the recipient will read my blog. It's quite hard to crochet with mohair as your hook keeps 'missing' the stitch because it's so light. I have to do it quite slowly, so even though it is quite bulky, you don't get the advantage of fast growth because of the care you have to take doing it.



A curly scarf. Looks like I might need to go into the next ball!



Look at the lovely way the ball of wool has been wound, you can see it better now I've used quite a bit. It's almost a mathematical shape.

Has anyone any idea why the type face changes after I have downloaded photos. I'm not at all au fait with blogging so don't know all the intricacies of how you set up the layout of the blog. Any advice is welcome, thank you. I have just gone back to it, highlighted it and changed the type face, so maybe that's what I should just do.

I have just got to tell you about my new purchase from Amazon. So very simple but a solution to my laundry drying problems. One of my friends told me I was always talking about drying laundry. She has only herself to wash for so it's not so difficult.

I put up a tension rod curtain pole, the sort you buy for nets, between two walls. This is on my galleried landing between the main stairway support wall and the bathroom wall. I then hang not too heavy stuff over it. I already had one, as I probably have written about before, but that wasn't enough, so ordered one from Amazon yesterday and hey ho, it arrived at 11am today. How wonderful is that? The one I bought doesn't have a large area to put on the wall, like my last one, but I'm pretty happy with it and I hope it works, as all the heat rises from my living room. I will try not to mention it again.

Well, that's it for today. I've some more craft stuff coming soon. I am knitting a cat, one that looks rather like a doorstop type of cat! I did think it was in one piece but realised it would be a spaghetti cat if it was but sadly I have to knit another side. It's in three strands of chunky so won't take too long.














Friday, 16 November 2012

BITS 'N BOBS

I had an appointment in the town yesterday and thought I'd get some Christmas (grr) shopping in whilst I was there, leaving the car in the street next to my Mum's and getting the bus in to avoid parking problems. It's only a 15 minute bus ride into the town.

Not to be, however, as on my way to the appointment I remembered I had to bank a cheque for TH and knew it needed to get into his account, so rushed back to Mum's, had a couple of hours there, then rushed back home, collected said cheque and drove to the bank. Unfortunately that didn't count, they have to be in before 3.30, but at least it was in.

I saw a very funny thing walking through the actual town centre, what looked like a mobile market stall - photo below, was a man walking with a stall around him, pushing a shopping trolley. Very strange. You will see our skittles in the town centre. They were put there after the bomb in Warrington, all the town centre was changed. There used to be a roundabout with grass and orderly plants in the centre, when traffic used to go through. That was when I was a little girl. Then it changed to traffic lights with a polieman on point duty, then no traffic through at all. The streets are quite narrow and there always used to be traffic jams, even before too much traffic.

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I have a little odd project going on. What is it going to be? Well, I'm not sure at this stage but we will have to see at a later stage.


One T shirt, from the 50p box at the charity shop. Why is it on the floor?

The remains of another T shirt!

Hmm, big knitting. The wooden knitting needle is I think a 3.75, so you can see the scale. It's like knitting with a  brush handle.

Not yet decided what it is going to be. A bag, a bathroom mat? Any ideas?

Friday being the day I would go to the Lavender Barn, I didn't go as it kept getting darker and darker and I didn't want to be stuck in the rain. So I just cycled to the centre instead. Not much at all but I am pleased to say I am getting more used to my Brooks saddle, keep plugging in there.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

VISITORS

I've nothing much to tell you at the moment, except I had a nice visit from a couple who live in Germany and were over here visiting friends/relations. They brought the two people they were staying with and we had a lot of chat and showing of photos. I even baked some scones! Sorry, no photos to show you of the visit. It was a lovely couple of hours and I could have chatted with them for twice as long. I did enjoy it. They do a lot of travelling and write guides in English for cycle tours in Germany and Switzerland.

Just remembered another snipped of non-information really. I had a bike ride the other day, just local when I went the long way round to the bank about 3 or 4 miles away, so I made it a bit more. On the way back I called at some fishing lakes where I had heard they do a mean cuppa. I thought I'd try it for size and report to any of my cycling friends who happen to be in the area.

There is a log cabin clubhouse, very basic, in a typical mens large shed way, with two leather sofas, a great solid table and chairs with the most huge wood burning stove which was the size of a steam train, belting out heat.

The cafe was outside, rather like a mobile one, although it was another hut affair. I had a mug of tea, and a Twix bar for the grand sum of £1.40 and was made to feel very welcome indeed. I'm just going to post a few pictures to show you what lovely surroundings it is if you are into fishing (which I'm not).




Of course, I just found this and though you'd like to see what a sensible cat I have. I went upstairs to find Merlin on the bed on a hot water bottle which seemed to be just about warm, the cover does keep the heat in. He looked so comfortable, I went and filled it where he immediately lay on it. We do have a taste in hot water bottle covers. This is Mole. Mine is a lovely old version of Peter Rabbit.


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

THE REST OF THE YORK VISIT

My friend and I went in El Piano for some lunch, mainly because I thought she would enjoy the quirkiness of the place. It's actually vegan, vegetarian and gluten free but the food is very different and spicy with no additives etc.

We were actually sitting upstairs overlooking the street watching people coming and going, just next to the grand piano, hence the name of the place. The atmosphere is lovely up there, with vibrant coloured walls, and homespun rugs everywhere.

After that we walked the 15 minute walk to where M had parked her car and drove out to Easingwold. I can't believe I didn't take any photos of Easingwold, where I helped M move a washing machine out of a very tight corner to check it was plugged in, then we found the hose was kinked. After a water cannon spray, the connecting pipe was put back.

The poor girl had only moved in a few days ago and the problem was that there was nowhere to put the stuff whilst she build up items of furniture. I was hoping to have helped here but there was so much to do, she said no, she would look at it later.

A quick dash back into York, to catch my later train, in view of the water cannon spray! Mopping up carpet, even the budgies were sprayed!

Well I hope you enjoyed that trip. I did.

This is by the entrance to a park. I can't remember which one it is.

There was a really cold wind. I was on my way to collect my friend who had been rowing.

These girls were just bringing in their boat, after wiping it down.

I just took a pic of this crew and cut it to get a closer view.

This is Barley Hall, through a window. You can have receptions there. Looks fabulous. 
I wonder what SHE did to get put in the stocks? I hope they let me out soon, or I'll miss my train.
This is a picture of Easingwold, taken from a stock photo. It won't enlarge well. Sorry I forgot to take my own.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

A VISIT TO YORK AND EASINGWOLD


On Saturday I went to York to visit a young friend of mine from the Czech Republic who I met when we were doing German at Manchester Uni and haven't seen her for a while. She's just moved over there from Sheffield area.

I had to go from a station about 6 miles away because of huge renovations at Stalybridge meaning that no trains at all can go through on that route, so I got TH to take me as I wasn't sure how safe the car park was.

Going into the waiting room I was amazed when I saw this beautiful stone fireplace, which could have graced a manor house. There was also a picture of Huskisson and other railway scenes which I would have photographed but didn't want to appear a geek in front of the other passengers.















It had snowed overnight in York and the pavements were wet and lying leaves made them very slippery to walk on, almost as bad as ice.

My first stop after a coffee and toasted teacake was to look at the cathedral, which was looking good in the sunlight with thankfully still leaves on the trees to make a nice photo. Then I noticed the little train which takes visitors to the Rail Museum.








In a little park area there is a monument which I believe is to the dead in South Africa 1899 to 1902. I've been to York many times and never taken notice of it.


I then went into the little streets to check the location of where we were going to go for a coffee, and a bite to eat. It was still there, a little quirky eating place, very brightly coloured with lots of writing ont he outside, called El Piano. It serves Vegan and Vegetarian food, gluten free etc, but it just mainly has such interesting stuff to eat and the surroundings are so unusual, we sat next to a baby grand piano! I forgot to take a picture of the outside, as it is quite a memorable place and serves all sorts of South American food and for the first time I ate corn bread (I think) or was it polenta? Anyway my friend had chocolate made with coconut milk and she said she had never tasted chocolate so nice.

In addition to Betty's which are all over Yorkshire, there is a Little Betty's, which many years ago I went in not realising its fame. Nowadays I'm too careful of my money to go there, where you queue for almost an hour to pay over the odds. Here are pictures of them both.



The last one seems to have cut off the bottom, it doesn't look so cut off in my photo album. Just note the different types of building. I am sure that Liberty's used to be where The Edinburgh Woollen Mill shop was.

I think that's enough of York trip for today, otherwise you will be bored reading about it. I found a nice building I've never seen before, so I'll post those tomorrow.

Although it's only 21.53 I feel as if I've been up for hours, and I actually had a lie in until correct time 10.00, as I was so tired after my adventures yesterday.

Friday, 19 October 2012

RIPPLING ALONG NICELY

I'm really getting on with my ripple blanket (well small blanket) and I really like the colours. It feels so soft and I can't wait for it to be finished, apart from crocheting around the edges and covering up all the ends. I did try to do a 'farmers binder twine join' on the wool but it wouldn't ply together and looked very untidy so I gave up the idea.

I got the idea from Attic24 blog, which is a wonderful showcase of all Lucy's lovely work. I must admit to not having the room for all the stuff she manages to do but I felt I simply had to make a ripple blanket or blankette maybe it should be called.

Merlin is modelling my blanket. Isn't he gorgeous?




Today (Thursday) started off fine then the skies darkened and I took the opportunity before it rained to go out into the garden and re-plant my fig tree in a pot to contain the roots. I also planted very roughly, some border plants from Fiona in Yorkshire and moved a shrub to a better place. I planted a Lavetera plant in a place that would make a fine show from my conservatory window. I have lots of those yellow rod plants which give such a lovely colour in the summer but sadly they are so very intrusive I am trying to dig some up. The roots are very compacted and so I just dug a lump up, turned it over and left it to get the wind and air, then I will shake up the soil and dump the roots around the back of the shed. I'm going to have a mountain of old plants round there, but as I can't see them I'm not bothered.

The garden looks as if I've been over it with a JCB, the lawn is sodden and I went all over it with my size 3 clogs, digging soggy soil which was twice as heavy as it should have been. I'm mad, should really have been doing housework but I got it into my head to do this.

The weeping pear needs pruning too and I'm going to ask next door's brother in law to do it, as he's a tree surgeon. It needs doing properly as it's got a bit knarled underneath by my very inept chopping.

Merlin seems quite back to normal now, he was charging up the stairs and down, then back up again, letting off steam, then he was back to the flaked out position in the conservatory for the rest of the morning. Peace! It was just so nice to see him running around.

In a bid to make my laundry drying a bit more efficient I've been thinking of ways to dry the washing in the winter. The only place is at the top of the stairs, on the gallery. However it's a narrow passageway and I thought my TH might walk into it as he's very tall (you see, TH?) So this morning after a look at the internet, came across some things - a larger version of a radiator rack, only this could go on the straight bannister on the galleried landing, with a piece of wood tacked on the front, to give support for the bracket so it keeps straight. Then had another idea! Wait for it, I can't believe how simple this is - I have a curtain rod which is adjustable from one size to another, which you twist to fit the window aperture. I rushed to find it and tried it on the landing, perfect, although I can't put a sheet or heavy stuff, it will do all that little stuff that takes so much room. All the heat rises up there. I have looked on Amazon and they sell them there so am going to buy two more. Some of the options I have looked at were over £50 and then would have required fitting, as TH is busy at the moment. So, tomorrow I order one.




Tuesday, 16 October 2012

COLD AND WINDY TUESDAY

Well first of all the good news, Merlin seems to be showing improvement. After literally lying on the floor persuading him to eat or lap beaten egg, I put some egg into the chopped up chicken I had cooked for him and - he ate it, then wanted some more. He then went out a couple of times, ran up the stairs and does seem to have improved. I'm going to do some more home cooked chicken for him as he loves it, just to build him up a little.

Don't animals worry you, they're just like kids, except they can't tell you what's wrong with them.

I'm just posting a couple of funny photos of Merlin, who decided to share the cardboard box that a teddy bear was in.

The following paragraph should be after the photos but when I typed in the text, it came out in the text I had used for the captions, I can't be bothered to work it out just now so will investigate another time.

I don't pretend to write a frugal blog, as there are many more people qualified than me to do so. I have my own versions of economy and do read other peoples. There are some things I don't do, as I don't like meat myself, will occasionally eat a little chicken, so I don't have cheap and easy recipes to show you, just try to make the best of what things I have. However, I just thought of something that I wonder if people power might well work if organised properly.

My Mum was telling me of the days when she was young, it was somehow known that tea was going to to up in price. Now in those days folk used to keep lots of stock of tea and sugar. She said that everyone (don't know how it was decided) decided not to buy any tea for about two weeks, as they didn't really need it. And somehow tea came down in price. I don't know how true that is, whether it was just coincidence or what.

Now, if everyone didn't use their central heating for just one day, I wonder what that would do for the energy companies? I don't have my heating on yet, although I can see from the outlets that a lot of my neighbours have. I have the gas fire on for about half an hour in the morning when I have my elevenses, if I am in, then similarly in the afternoon, then put it on at tea time, turning it on low.

Personally I don't think my neighbours would put themselves out or be inconvenienced but lots of people might but how could such a thing be organised? Facebook, Twitter?

I just put something on Facebook about the above (edited afterwards) and one person suggested that simply turning down thermostat every day would result in them losing more 'trade'.

If I lie on it it might go away



Cardboard boxes are supposed to be my property. What's this animal doing in it?

Sunday, 14 October 2012

DRIVE TO YORKSHIRE WOLDS

On Saturday we went for a drive to the Yorkshire Wolds, of course the reason for the visit was to look at a very large piece of kit, ie a chassis for TH's vintage 4WD.

Where we were going was just past York on the A64, in the direction of Driffield, just past Stamford Bridge, where I believe King Harold met King Harald of Norway for a battle in 1066. The bridge itself is a beautiful bridge with little places for people to stand and it is controlled by traffic lights, as only one vehicle at a time can pass.

We found the village which had a green and a main street with a couple of little roads off it. There was a stream ran through the middle. It was a typical British village and the house we visited was so cosy and beautiful but I believe in Winter the wind comes almost straight off the North Sea, being only about 30 miles away, over the limestone edge of the beginning of the Wolds. I always thought I wanted to live on the East Coast but have since had second thoughts as I believe the last few winters have been really bad. Maybe the other side of the country.

I've just added this bit - we were treated to a lovely lunch of home made soup and bread, my soup was sweet potato and rosemary and it is the nicest soup I have ever tasted, the bread was dried tomato, made by hand, not machine and there was also bread with walnut. It was so light and melted in the mouth. I hope we visit there again. How hospitable some people are, we were going to buy something and the first thing the lady said was, "come in, you will at least want the toilet after driving so far" then offered us lunch too!

Our poor little cat hasn't been at all well, not eating and just sleeping. I will take him to the vets tomorrow if he hasn't made a marked improvement. I do worry so, he seems to be a bit confused too. He is about 15 years old not and I so hope we aren't going to lose him just yet, as he is so loved by us.

I love cloud formations, we were just on our way back but it bucketed down on the way home on the M62

This was a bit closer to home.


Our beautiful cat, Merlin! Sorry it's a bit dark, I hadn't edited this one.





That's it for today. I did manage to have a very short bike ride to the centre today, to get some chicken to give to our invalid. He sniffed it but didn't eat!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

BIKE RACING AND A LITTLE GARDENING

I don't mean ME bike racing! Last weekend was the Cycletta event sponsored by Victoria Pendleton which I had been intending to ride. Unfortunately with going over to the Isle of Man, not taking a bike and the terrible weather following, I felt I didn't want to do the ride. Of course, I could have gone along very early on the Sunday morning and entered on the line but hadn't even prepared my bike.

However, there was another event I went over to watch. It was an invitation race where two riders ride a distance together. There is an older rider and a younger one, the younger one paces at the front most of the race then the elder one takes the pair to the finish. This event is a memorial race in memory of Johnny Helms a cartoonist for Cycling Magazine for years and years. He was also well known in walking and caving magazines and did cartoons for many organisations. He was in our club and I knew him from being a little girl.

Well, of course I was wishing I'd participated in Cycletta but after thickish fog early on, the day turned out very sunny.  I met lots of old (in age and time of friendship) friends, some of them my Mum's age. It was great to have a chat with them all, what a lot of collected cycle racing talent there was. How cycling keeps these people so young.

Sadly I was not able to take photos as like the idiot I can be, I had forgotten to put back the SD card in my camera.

I had an area in the garden, one of a few areas, that annoyed me, as it just looked sour and week-ridden. I decided to mix some compost with it, dig it in and plant something. However, the builders had left me a few legacies - three huge chunks of cement. They may even have come from the Ordnance Factory, which was on the site before all these houses were built.

Here are a few photos to show a sort of before and after. I found the bricks in a 'useful corner' behind the garage. There's still lots of stuff to use up.




I forgot to take a photo of the real before, before I dug over.

There was another large rock out of shot

That was the way I put the bricks in before thinking of how to do it.

I really need this tree pruning this year.

That's better, put the bricks at an angle but ran out of foundation bricks and then had to make do with bits. The tree is a fig tree. I must remember to protect it in the winter.



Merlin was lying on the window sill yesterday and when I went to look, he had his head on my Ugg sandals. He at least thinks they are comfortable.



Well, that's all for today, not a lot to say really but I am proud of my little gardening effort. The gravel you see on the picture of garden was laid by me and I had to dig up the grass which was a complete mess when the conservatory was built years ago, I'd just put up with it. It's difficult to do everything in the garden when you have to do it yourself.