Wednesday, 30 November 2016

End of the month

First of all thank you all for the comments about our nasty shock regarding the cancer. It almost feels that we have wasted the whole year with chemo and hospital, but it had to be done and Col is better now than he was at the end of last year. Plus we now know that we don't like living in town, hate not being able to be even a little bit self-sufficient and I've become a confidant driver  so it's not all bad!

Anyway we've got to the end of  low spend/no spend November.
There are a few bits to be added
Spending at the Christmas Bazaar (charity) £3, Fresh fruit,vegetables,eggs,milk and things for lunches this week £13.50
Filled up with diesel again after our Surrey trip £30- should last most of December
Few more edible presents £5
Total November spend £591 + the phoneline and  broadband Direct Debit which goes out later today.
It's very handy having a month with no big bills!
Next month there is the electric/gas bill, car insurance and cash presents - No way can December be low spend. I'm extremely envious of people who can do Christmas for under £100 but with 3 children and their partners, 2 Grandchildren, 2 sisters and brothers in law, one Dad, one brother, 2 nephews and a niece, it's never going to happen here. Especially as I don't do the sort of crafts that make presents.

I shouldn't really be fiddling on the blog because there is a December job list to be written and I must start writing Christmas cards as the Ipswich Scout Post-boxes closes on December 8th, they have one at the Oncology out patients which is handy, we can pop them in next week when we go and speak to the Cancer specialist nurse, 25p a card this year so still under half the price of a proper stamp and I need to pop my repeat prescription form round the corner before it gets dark.

Thank you again for all the virtual support.......Onward and Upward

Back in a day or two

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

I think we are allowed to swear..............

..........................but there would be no point.

We could jump up and down, stamp our feet and yell that it isn't fair...........but there would be no point in that either.

Because, Col's mantle-cell lymphoma hasn't gone , instead it's coming back. The results of the bone marrow sample taken a couple of weeks ago were not clear of it, the CT scan showed the spleen is enlarged.
We should have known really from the fact that the platelet count wasn't rising.

So after the shock we are straight onto plan B. A new, specially applied for and very expensive (another heart-felt thanks for having an NHS!) medication, new as in it's only been available for 2 years, but has shown good results. Then another stem cell transplant, this time from a donor and luckily one of Col's siblings is a match. This treatment will be based mainly at Addenbrookes in Cambridge so I envisage lots more traveling, but not quite in the way we had planned.  :-/

The tablets start immediately, and  have a mile long list of side effects so we have no idea how he will be feeling in a few days or even a few weeks time. Next week we meet with the specialist nurse for more information about time scales as we were almost too shocked to take in all that the doctor told us yesterday afternoon.

On a much more cheerful subject, this morning we've been over to see our beautiful granddaughter Florence, 7 weeks old today. Our youngest told us the best time to come to see her awake and we managed to make her smile several times. It will be lovely to see both grandchildren together at our son's wedding next month.

Back soon

Monday, 28 November 2016

Visiting our Grandson

We popped down to Surrey for the weekend to see our eldest, son in law and of course baby Jacob, 6 months old now - how did that happen?
Poor little man, red eyes and snuffly nose - a horrible cold
Our visit coincided with him having a grotty cough and cold, poor little fella, he's not keen on having his nose wiped that's for sure. I'm puzzling how we used to give Calpol on a spoon to poorly small people as now there is a clever syringe and even that's not easy when baby spits it all out!

We walked through the woodland to the village because there was a Christmas bazaar happening and I found this little cross stitch kit  for 50p on the Scout stall and won biscuits and buns on the WI tombola. My favourite sort of tombola - when every number wins a prize!

We ate the buns with a cuppa when we got back to H's house and I gave our neighbour the biscuits as a thank you for feeding the cat.

The car gave a strange hiccup followed by a puff of black exhaust smoke on the M25 not far into our journey home and I had awful visions of being broken down on the side of a motorway, but luckily there were no other symptoms and we got back without anything else happening.

Thanks for lots of comments and Hello to another new follower

Back Shortly

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Some books have been borrowed and read

Came home from the library last week with these that I'd reserved online.

Thankfully the weather was eventually good enough for us to walk to the library,  as I was down to my last library book although I've always got a goodly amount of TBR of my own.
Also brought home a letter about more cuts needed to library funding to balance the books. We just hope they don't feel the need to start charging for reservations or, now we are moving back to the country, cut out mobile libraries completely.

I've not done any book reviews lately but this is what's been read in the last couple of weeks.

Marlene C Miller - Called to be Amish [Non Fiction 2015]. One of my own books.
Then 4 library books
Christopher St John Sprigg - Death of An Airman [British Library Crime Classics 2016 (originally 1934)]                         
George Bellairs - Death of a Busybody [British Library Crime Classics 2016 (originally published 1943)]
  Michael Foley - Ready for Anything, Essex at War [Non Fiction 2006]
Freeman Wills Crofts - Mystery in the Channel [British library Crime Classic 2016 originally 1931]

Also now read the book on the top of the library book pile - Thread of Evidence by Bernard Knight. Like the BLCC this is also crime fiction re-published from a while back. Between 1998 and 2010 Bernard Knight wrote a series of historical crime set in Exeter during the 12th Century and then  a trilogy set in the 1950's. Rather oddly the series  of 7 (Thread of Evidence is the 2nd)set in Wales written in the 1960's are not mentioned at all on Fantastic Fiction, I wonder if he wanted to keep quiet about them as they are not as well written as he more recent titles!

Yes, I do seem to read a lot of crime fiction. Why? Probably because they always have a proper ending which you don't always get with an ordinary fiction and they rarely reduce me to a blubbering wreck! And of course authors who write crime tend to write several.

Back Very Soon

Friday, 25 November 2016

Adsense + latest doings

Do I need an extra £35 a week, well frankly ......YES
According to a box that has appeared on my dashboard page my blog now qualifies for having ads and I could earn up to £35 a week ( subject to traffic) by joining "hundreds of other bloggers making money through Adsense"
Will I be doing this...............NO, although I can see the attraction, but it's not a way I want to earn money.
Does anyone with ads actually earn that much?

When we move to the cottage we will be halfway between 2 towns for shopping, Stowmarket and Diss although we've not been to either for a while. We know both well so maybe we'll alternate. As we'd not been far this week a trip out of Ipswich to Stowmarket was taken . We parked at Asda and over the hedge there was a huge crane/ digger/machine thing just starting to demolish a lovely big house that's stood there for years, in fact while I was at Grammar school in the town it was where the headmaster lived. By the time we had walked around the town  and got back to the car the house was gone - blimey. I expect next time we go to town it will have been replaced by a dozen new houses.
 As usual we looked in all the charity shops and Col got himself another warm work shirt which he likes over a t-shirt for winter for £2.99. We walked down the street and at the menswear shop similar were on a rack in the doorway for £16. Then we  bumped into someone we knew from way back when we lived in that area.
  I found these in The Works,  to finish some Christmas cards I'm stitching..............for next year!

I'm in cross stitch mood at the moment- so getting ahead in case I don't get in the right mood again and thought £1 wasn't too much of a crime in my No/Low spend month.

November spending £527 + Shirt £3+Craft stuff £1+Pharmacy £1+Veg and Store-cupboard food £8=£540

December spending will be MUCH more as apart from the cash presents for our 3 and their OH's, 2 nephews and a niece, there will be a large electric/ gas bill because the last one was estimated low, plus  car insurance. Oh dear.

Back Soon

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Bloggy stats

Every now and again I have a look at the stats just to see what's what.

Below is a weird happening in page views, I think that's what you would call a spike!

Graph of Blogger page views

In Jan 2016 I had  71,140 page views, more than any other month
Graph of Blogger page views

What was happening in January 2016?

Colin was diagnosed with cancer, was it this that made everyone look or was it because I posted on 29/31 days or was it because it was winter and everyone had nothing to do except peruse blogs?

Then there was that odd month with dozens of mysterious page views from Russia............ that made the Russian bit of the all time map turn green

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
Although  on a normal day  it looks like this
Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers

According to one bit the most page views over all time are......
31 Jul 2015, 17 comments
31 Dec 2015, 64 comments
17 Oct 2016, 90 comments

But look, what about this post with 1698 page views it ought to be in that list above
Edit | View | Share | Delete

(Whoops,it's disappeared over to the right, cant get it back!)
And so should this with 1773
Edit | View | Share | Delete
And on the post page number one should say 2211 not 1837

Oh goodness me, there have been 16,028 comments!



But enough of this fiddling about...........................

Do you know this quote................
Lies, damned lies, and statistics. ... The term was popularised in United States by Mark Twain (among others), who attributed it to the British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

Back to normal soon

Monday, 21 November 2016

Still trying not to spend too much

Another viewing on Friday,  "sorry too small".........again....
Another viewing Tuesday morning will probably be the same

We had visitors on Saturday so there was a bit of extra spending for food. But what I bought will also feed us for a couple more days too, so that's OK

We took our friends over to see where the cottage is, just to make it a bit easier for them to find - it's not easily found! I rang to tell the lady who owns it that we would be walking by just to show our friends where the house was and she said she wouldn't be there but we could peer in the windows, which felt much to nosy to actually do.
So we just walked by and got all excited again about getting there as soon as we can.

Sunday was a grey dismal sort of day, we thought about walking to the library but didn't bother to go out at all. I got the tapestry glasses case finished by lining the back of the stitching with a piece of felt, then stitched myself a new scissor-keeper and made one small Christmas card from a free kit that I've had for ages. We also watched Andy Murray  play in the final to become top tennis player at the end of year - brilliant.

Got a bit worried this morning when our youngest said she would call in to see us after taking Florence for an ultra-sound, but it seems all breech babies have a scan to check for hip problems. She's  six weeks now and growing but is still a titch, just about got a small smile.

Hope everyone is surviving the varying weather in other parts of the country........ windy weather that caused so much damage in Somerset, Devon and Dorset, floods and snow up north, we've missed most of it so far.

Welcome to some new followers and thank you for comments

Milk, Fruit and veg plus some other things for meals with visitors and store-cupboard items £17.50
running total now £527 ish and still several days left until the end of the month - bother.

Back shortly

Friday, 18 November 2016

Tracks of my years

I've never ever seen this done on a blog before so this may be a First. Ever. in. Blogland!

If you have ever listened to The Ken Bruce programme on Radio 2 weekday mornings you will have heard a celebrity choose 10 music tracks that have featured in, have a special meaning or are favourites in the lives.

Here are my tracks of my years and the reasons for choosing

1. Tommy Steele - Little White Bull  from 1959
When an uncle bought himself a new record player he passed his old one onto us probably around 1960 and this is one of the first records that mum bought to play on it. I would have been 4 when this was a hit. It was taken from a comedy musical - Tommy The Toreador starring Tommy Steele,
We probably only had 1 or 2 records so this was played to destruction......and I know all the words!

2. Don Spencer - Fireball XL5 from 1962.
Maybe I had this record for a present. It was the theme tune from a Gerry and Sylvia Anderson TV puppet space adventure, before Thunderbirds, I can't remember the programme but kept the record for years.

3. The Beatles - She Loves You 1963
The first of several Beatles singles I owned, I stupidly gave them away in the 70's to someone starting a disco.

4. Matt Monroe - Born Free 1966
Don't know why I like this but I just do
( and also love him singing On Days Like These which was the theme for the Italian Job)

5. The Kinks- Waterloo Sunset from 1967
For some reason this reminds me of summer holidays at the Beach Station Caravan Site in Felixstowe. Mum owned a caravan there which was let out but we would go down quite a lot in the summer holidays. We roamed the site making friends with other children whose parents owned caravans there and with people who were just there for a weeks holiday. A girl whose name I can't remember ( but her Dad owned a butchers shop in Mendlesham) and I would sit by the check-in place on Saturdays to see if any nice looking boys were arriving...........We were about 12 or 13 years old!

6. The Monkees - I'm a believer 1967
I had Davy Jones pictures all over my bedroom and loved the TV programme

7. David Essex - Myfanwy 1987
This is a song from what was to have been a musical about John Betjeman . The musical never got made but I have a CD of  his poems that were set to music and performed by all different artists

8.The theme from Dances With Wolves by John Barry  1990
 Just a couple of minutes of this  and  I'm in floods of tears......... weird

9.Take That - Want you back 1995
Yes I was a 40 year old Take That fan!

10. Then I hit a problem as I couldn't decide which of several other tracks from lots of different artists so.......

10a  Josh Groban -So She Dances (from his album Awake)
10b  The Divine Comedy -Absent Friends
10c Chris Difford -  Cowboys are My Weakness
10d Amen Corner - (If Paradise Is) Half as Nice
10e Will Young - Leave right now
10f  Robbie Williams - Road to Mandalay
10g  Beautiful South - Need a little Time

 There may be more - given time - but I'll stop there.

OK - Your turn

Back soon


Thursday, 17 November 2016

The ins and outs of life at Number 9

Monday IN and OUT was just for a walk, coming back via Aldi.

Tuesday morning OUT to visit A and Florence. Because A is having to take antibiotics she has gone onto formula milk which Florence isn't keen on. She never did get the hang of breast feeding as she always fell asleep after 2 minutes! Florence that is not A! Although A is well known for falling asleep on a 5 minute car journey! I had big cuddles with Florence while A and grandad Col took the dog OUT for a walk.

And IN again for lunch.

Tuesday afternoon OUT to hospital where Col had the 100-days-after-stem-cell-transplant bone marrow sampling - Ouch - he had gas and air. This is how they test if there is any mantle cell lymphoma or what percentage is left. Blood test too, platelets are the same as last week - bother, but at least not down.

And IN again for dinner.

The XL moon was IN and OUT behind clouds but I zoomed IN and caught this. I think a day too late for the full moon.

Wednesday was IN and OUT....................of the car.
On the way to Colin's sisters we called IN at the Needham Market Wednesday boot sale .........4 books for Col £1- very unusual for him to find anything

 and 3 packets of biscuits £1 . We've returned the wheelchair to sister and hope it will be many years before we need it again - if ever.
Then we stop/started up the A140 - volume of traffic? accident?roadworks? we shall never know as we turned off via Mendlesham to call IN on my sister. Coffee with them and then to Col's Dads to pick up some money from Col's brother as I bought my own Christmas present, wrapped it up and delivered it there so all Andrew needs to do is write on the label! He thinks it's an excellent way to do his Christmas shopping! (BTW the present I bought myself was a small tapestry frame and tapestry of poppies to do - both from the Sense charity shop. But don't tell me as it's a secret!!)

And IN again via Asda for diesel still £1.10/L there but £1.17/L everywhere else.

Found half the washing had come off the line and dragged on the ground so it had to go IN the washing machine again before it could go back OUT on the line.

I didn't go OUT anymore because tennis was on TV but Col went OUT for a walk, although the Andy Murray match was very looooooonnnnnggggg so I could have gone OUT because the score was still only 2 : 2 in the first set when Col got IN again.

OUT this morning for Col to be measured for his wedding waistcoat.......only 3 weeks now - exciting.
Then IN to town for a bit of shopping and mainly to get Col a new battery for his watch. £14!!!!! In a No spend month! But no choice really. Spent £6 of my Grape Tree vouchers for some savoury bits for us for Christmas as the hampers are sorted. Two more  Christmas gifts also sorted.
Col is OUT again later to hospital for a full body CT scan, not sure why really but we presume to check the chemo hasn't affected any vital organs or maybe to look for possible blood clots.
I don't need to go with him so I can stay IN. Good! all this IN and OUT is making me dizzy!

 Aldi, Asda and greengrocers- fruit, veg, eggs,bread, store cupboard stuff £11
Christmas gifts £10
Diesel £34
Col's books £1
Watch battery £14 (much too much , what happened to wind up watches?)

The  Annoyingly Not so low/no spend November £439.50 + £70 = £509.50ish
Back Soon

Monday, 14 November 2016

A few more days into November

We walked round to a table top sale at the Baptist Chapel on Saturday morning and even though I said "it's low spend/no spend month" Col decided we would have coffee and cake. I couldn't argue could I? Then he saw a stair-gate with all its fittings for £5, bargained it down to £4 and got that ready for the cottage. By the time we move in and the Surrey family come to visit Jacob will be crawling so we'll need the stairs fenced off.

It was a very sporty weekend......... as in on TV................not actual doing! Lots of rugby - both league and union, snooker, tennis, not everyone's cup of tea but each to his own. Then there was Strictly........gangnam style?.............. nuf said!

Here are the things I'm Not buying/making for Christmas this year.
 A Wreath for the front door or for graves; Christmas crackers; A big Christmas pudding; Christmas PJs; Christmas bedlinen; Christmas presents for pets; New decorations; Tacky blow up Santas for outside; Huge model Santa a la Asda *shudder*;Giant lights for the roof or anywhere else; Christmas tablecloth; Christmas plates; Christmas cushions; Christmas Jumper; Christmas socks; Christmas Hair do; Christmas Make up; Christmas jewelry; e cards; Advent calendar; Large tub or small box of Quality street, Roses  Etc; Extravagant useless gifts; Cheap useless gifts; Giant turkey that won't fit in oven; 6 weeks worth of food to last 3 days; Round-robin boasting letter;

Most of these I don't do anyway and many of them I didn't know existed until I saw them on blogs.
 I'm saving our money for trees to plant at the cottage.

Busy week ahead, back in a while

Low/No Spend November
Christmas gifts, fruit and milk,eggs and veg etc from Asda, Aldi and the greengrocers £21.50
Pharmacy £7
Stair-gate £4
Coffee and cakes £3
Total £404 + £32.50 = £439.50 ish

Friday, 11 November 2016

That Was (Most of) The Week That Was

 The thing about living in town in an all mains gas/electric bungalow is that for the first time since 1979  we have no alternative self reliant heating or cooking.
Anyway, with dire warnings of a cold winter and possible problems with electricity supply (something to do with no spare capacity from power stations), I suggested we go and get the gas ring from the beach hut. Now we have the gas cooker out in the caravan and the gas ring indoors, I don't feel so vulnerable, but I will be so glad to get back to the country where we will have a wood-burner and hopefully, eventually, a propane-gas range cooker.

There had been some high tides in Felixstowe near the hut,by the looks of the stones washed up onto the prom and a strange phenomenon............. loads of oyster shells washed into the corners by each wooden groyne.

The weather on Wednesday was awful - rain all day. We didn't get out for a walk at all. I just made a card for the wedding next month, read and then started writing my Penny Pinching News letter which is due to go to friends for January 1st . A very lazy day.

 It was Col's blood test on Thursday morning (platelets are up a bit again thank heavens) and then in the afternoon we got out for a 2½ walk - up to Asda and back and no sitting down halfway. Definitely the furthest he has walked since he started feeling poorly a year ago.

Today he is off out for Brunch with ex work colleagues and I haven't got much that has to be done so will get on with finishing the tapestry glasses case or reading.

I've actually abandoned quite a few books recently, yesterday  the new Ann Cleeves, Shetland series - Cold Earth. I've been spoiled by the TV series and the books are completely different. "The 12.30 From Croydon"  is another of the British Library Crime Classics but the story is told from the point of view of the murderer -hate that! "Antidote to venom" was another the same. A friend had told me about a crime series set in Canada by Louise Penny but I couldn't get into the first of these "Still Life" so that went back unread. I wanted to read "A Woman's Place" by Ruth Adam but had several other books at home I preferred first so it went back but it's still on the shelves at Broomhill so I may borrow it again.

 This is the latest photo of our grandson Jacob which daughter has sent, now 5 months old this is his first time on a (rather too big for him) swing. What a difference from the poorly little fella back in July. Can't wait to get down to Surrey soon to see him properly.

Thank you for comments, I shall mention nothing about the country across the pond and just say welcome to another follower.

Spending up-date in Low/No Spend November
Milk, veg and other bits from Aldi, bread and bits from Asda and fruit from the greengrocers £16.50
That book 50p
Pack of 4 gas cartridge thingys for the beach hut gas ring. £8
Boiler repairs £80 Aaaaaagh!  ( That's rather spoiled the low spend plan)

£299 +£105 = £404

Back when something exciting/interesting/noteworthy happens

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Ooops but no apologies!

We've been extending the walks day by day and yesterday did  2.07 miles, which is peanuts I know for most people but for someone who was in hospital until  the middle of September it's not too bad. This walk took us in a circle via the Emmaus charity shop where we knew he could sit down if he needed to.
Much to my surprise I spotted a Persephone on their book shelves, one I hadn't got. Oh dear, what a dilemma, a No Unnecessary  Spend month but there was a 50p book for my collection.
This wasn't sideways when I took the picture!

Actually it wasn't a dilemma at all!
Persephone number 35  "Greenery Street" by Denis Mackail is on my bookshelf.

Thanks for the comments last time and welcome to a new follower

Back Soon

PS I don't do politics or religion on this blog but I'm praying for a sort-of safe result today!

Monday, 7 November 2016

Le weekend (or is it La weekend)

Le or La ? I failed French O level way back in 1971 and have since forgotten most of what I did learn.

On Friday we popped over to see our perfect granddaughter - 3 and a half weeks old now. She's always perfect when we see her but daughter A says she's being a right pain at night!
We went via the house that sells apples, we've been detouring that way because they've got bags of Cox's for 50p and they are just delicious, got a bag for A too. Did a small shop at Co-op in Leiston while we were there as I had a £2 off £10 voucher. Our local Co-op near Aldi has been turned into a McColls convenience store and a Subway and they have sent Co-op members in the area 2 x £2 off £10 vouchers to make up for the inconvenience. There are 3 other Co-ops on the edges of this estate so I'm not surprised that the one in competition with Aldi has been forced to close.
Friday afternoon was wet and nasty so I sorted out another box of books for Ziffit. Whoop whoop now raised just over £100 and cleared about 50 books!

Saturday morning by request of Col we went to the Needham Market carboot  (though I didn't take any persuading!) It was blinkin' freezing then it started to drizzle so we weren't there long. Me being on Low spend November I just bought some pears for £1 and this new bag, £1, plus a half started tapestry kit, 50p, for making a glasses case. I love rescuing half done craft kits and will finish this for a Christmas present. The bag will also be a present for a friend as they have a Sherlock Holmes game which they often play at Christmas. I'll put her other present inside it.
I was able to resist all books as I didn't see a single one I wanted! And Col just bought some washers.

Next job was Cranberry Chutney for the hampers............... should be simple but after searching  Morrisons and Aldi  for frozen cranberries with no luck I looked on My Supermarket and found Asda didn't have them either. Only Tesco, so called at Tesco in Saxmundham on the way to daughters but no, none there  which only left going to the big Tesco on the edge of Ipswich where you have to walk half a mile to find what you want and at last found them.
So, how to mix and match two recipes from different books.

On the left is a recipe from The Good Housekeeping Book of Preserves, on the right it's the WI book I used the other day. I had 400g of cranberries and decided the GH book didn't have a big enough proportion of  vinegar or sugar to fruit (and I didn't want to use sultanas or raisins) but I didn't like the idea of cooking the onions and apples in butter or using brown sugar as per the WI recipe.
So my recipe was (and apologies for mixing metric and imperial but that's how my mind works!)
 400g cranberries
Approx 12 oz prepared cooking apples ( peeled,cored,chopped)
Approx 10oz red onions peeled and chopped ( red was what I had but ordinary would do)
¾ lb white sugar
15fl oz distilled white vinegar
2 tsp mixed spice.

I put the apples and onions in the preserving pan covered with a bare minimum of water and cooked them for about 10 minutes until they were starting to soften. Then strained and put  them back in the pan.
Then I added the vinegar and sugar on a gentle heat stirring until the sugar had dissolved, added the frozen cranberries and left on gentle heat until they defrosted (Should have defrosted first I guess). Then I mashed up the cranberries, brought the pan to the boil stirring then reduced heat to a simmer for about half an hour stirring frequently. After that time the mix had thickened up nicely and was looking good. I gave it another 10 minutes just to be sure all excess liquid had been boiled away and then the wooden spoon dragged across the bottom of the pan allowed me to see the bottom for a second  and I potted up into hot sterilised jars and screwed up tight.
 This made 4 and a bit medium jars, I've taken the photo with one lid off so you can see the consistency. It tasted like a fruity sweet and sour mix of jam and chutney. Should be good with turkey or chicken.

Our son came over Saturday afternoon so his Dad could give him a hand with a car repair. Nice to see  Col back in overalls again. He just has to be very careful not to cut himself because the low platelets would mean blood might not clot.

Product Details

I'd temporarily run out of library books so read this from my shelves. I'd previously read a book by her called "And then there were nuns; adventures in a cloistered life". Both were good.

Saturday evening, our first ever November 5th on a housing estate. Blimey it was like living in a war zone! (but without the fear). How many pounds worth of fireworks went up in smoke I wonder? I love fireworks, would happily stand and watch all of them anywhere but wouldn't dream of buying any! I noticed the £49.99 one from Aldi lasted  all of 115 seconds.........

We walked to the library again and they had 4 British library Crime Classics in for me. I'd suggested them on the website and they bought them all. LOVE Suffolk Libraries. Also the new Ann Cleeves - "Cold Earth".
I've started the rescue of the tapestry glasses case. It's half cross stitch but someone had done bits one way and other bits the other diagonal.Then they had done some cross stitch which was all lumpy! I took out the cross stitch bit but there was too much to undo all the wrong tent stitch so I carried on the best I could. It looks OK as long as you don't look too closely. Not sure if it will be good enough to make a Christmas present.

Apples, milk, veg, eggs, frozen cranberries, Dreamies for the cat and a couple of other bits £11.63p.
Car boot sale pears £1 and Xmas gift bits £1.50

Total in the Low/No Spend November challenge £299ish

Back Soon

Friday, 4 November 2016

1,000 and counting

Drum roll please........this is post number 1,000.
Who knew that I'd still be blogging after 3½ years. So many things have changed, life is completely different and not by choice and changing again next year.
I hope that I've charted the ups and downs without regrets or too much moaning.

 Many people have been reading from the very beginning - Thank you all  for your encouragement and support.

 Anyway, enough of all that, where have I/we been out and about to so far this week?

 1.Into the town centre to put the Ziffit cheques into my building society and pay a bill. I was foiled at The Grape Tree shop as they've stopped their loyalty card scheme but the lady said if I sent off my card which has 9 stamps on they will send me a £9 voucher. So not completely wasted.
Went in Poundland and got some more items for the 3 hampers. Looked at the all their various fairy lights and Christmas decoration stuff but didn't buy any. Not something I buy every year like so many people do. I don't feel the need for a different colour scheme/theme. It's all a matter of contentment - I have no need to search for a new look!
2. Walking - especially Colin who is now up to 1.5 miles with no stopping and sitting down. I've kept him company on some walks and feel better for it.
3. His weekly trip to hospital for a blood test. Now he's fit again I don't need to go with him to drop him off at the door before driving round and round for a parking space. Platelets still not climbing as they should be D**n!
4.As I'd decided to use the Wyevale voucher for Christmas presents, we thought we might as well go while they were having their "Christmas Event" afternoon and get free mulled wine and mincepie and 10% off some things too. Not impressed by their Christmas decorations just camels and glittery reindeer.
Thought these were just plain awful!

  But the non-alcholic version of spiced drink was delicious and a bottle was 'bought' for us.
  Presents for Col's brother and Dad sorted. Big Tick off the list and all without spending any proper money so not included in the November spend.

"No" Spend November. Dried fruit and nuts for cakes for Christmas gifts + biscuits etc for hampers £16. Dark chocolate bars for Col £2.
Running total £284.

Back Soonish with 1001 ( and I defy anyone my age to say 1001 without starting to sing the cleaning carpet ad!)

Thursday, 3 November 2016

That recipe

My mention of mixing a tin of grapefruit with a tin of cheats ready prepared marmalade mix had lots of people asking for more details.
Here is the recipe from the book  W.I Jams,Pickles and Chutneys

Product Details
I'm making this later so will update this post to let you know what it's like and if it tastes good I'll add the recipe to my separate page.

It works and tastes delicious.
As Pat says in comments - people on statins shouldn't eat grapefruit and it does have a HUGE amount of sugar in it. I've put the recipe on my recipe page with more details.

Welcome to some more followers, hope you enjoy reading.

Back Soon

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

No Spend November...........Well sort of

I'm doing my No Spend November challenge again this year. Last year it was because we had no produce to sell out the front on the stall and Colin was too poorly to work for other people - although at the time we didn't know what was wrong with him. So we started to live on savings and the income we had earned during the year from the campsite, selling eggs and produce and the car boot and yard sales.
This year we actually have more income than last year as we have the Employment Support Allowance of £109 a week until 31st December and a £10 Christmas bonus - WOW! But with the move approaching we will need as many pennies saved as possible

My idea of no spend isn't NO spend but rather limiting spending to paying bills, feeding us and the cat, diesel and Christmas stuff (because if I left present shopping until December it would throw me into a panic). Other than that I shouldn't open my purse.....that's the plan.To keep on track I shall list everything here for the world and his wife to ponder over!

I've also been thinking of ways to buy some presents without money......sounds good doesn't it.
I've got some Wyevale garden vouchers which I didn't use here - I could save them to use at the cottage,but the only things we will need are fruit trees etc and they are ridiculously expensive at Wyevale. so I could go  and see what I can find for pressies. Then if I spend £10 at The Grape Tree on dried fruit I will fill my savings card and that will make £10 to use for presents - chocs etc. The Morrisons saver card has provided me with a £5 voucher after yesterday main November shop - that will buy another present. Then we have about £25 left in the Pay Pal account after selling last years wedding clothes on eBay.....More presents.
 I need to make some more food gifts for the hampers for sisters and brothers in law. Cranberry chutney will be next and then mini Dundee cakes and I came across an idea for altering the tins of the cheats lemon Mamade by adding a tin of grapefruit to make it more interesting.
The makings for a different marmalade

  Therefore.......spent so far..............Direct Debits - Council Tax, 3 months Water and Sewer + Mobile phone + Charity = £200ish, Morrisons November main shop £66 (including Cats £12, things for making items for Christmas hampers and Christmas food gifts £10)

Total £266

On a completely different subject.............we were watching the lunchtime news on Tuesday when they were talking about the government putting more money into the fight against cyber-crime. The reporter said we are used to hearing about computer and phone hacking  but what about your kettle being hacked? I thought I'd heard wrong......kettle?? how on earth?. Of course I'm way out of date and apparently your kettle can be linked to your phone so you can switch it on so it's hot when you walk in the door. Good grief, whatever next. Just makes me want to run away to the woods and heat my kettle on a campfire!

Back Soon

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

A New Month

From one of the books I picked up on Saturday  Celtic Book Of Days-- Samhain - The New Year

From sunset last night to sunset this evening Pagan and Celtic people would have celebrated Samhain. The beginning of the dark half of the year - Not my favourite thing to celebrate that's for sure and I'm still suffering from being awake too soon and hungry at the wrong time of day all due to clocks changing. You'd think I'd be used to it after 61 years but no, I still moan for about a week until my body clock settles.

After getting back from the book sale last Saturday we walked round to the jumble sale at the Scout Hall and apart from 20p to get in only spent 20p on a new notebook/diary in a case that will be a Christmas present.
 Decided I'd better not go to the car boot sale on Sunday (due to spending  too much money at the book sale)  so spent the morning in the kitchen. We were given some windfall cooking apples so I made a pie and used some in the mincemeat mix. Then I rustled up some tomato soup (carrots, onions, tinned tomatoes,tom puree, stock, flour to thicken) cooked some chicken joints for Cols lunchtime sandwiches and finally shoved a tray of scones in the oven as the cake tin was empty. That's the most cooking I've done at once since we moved here as cooking and baking all seemed a bit pointless when I was spending so much time on my own.

Looked on my recipe page to see if the mincemeat recipe was listed there and it is but then I found a couple of comments that I didn't know were there - whoops, sorry folks. Is Upcyclerbypaint still reading?.

 Colin's fitness is coming along in leaps and bounds (hope it's not just the steroid tablets!) and yesterday he decided he was well enough to walk to the library and back........his first time, I've done it a couple of times but really prefer to bike, even if it means pushing the bike up the hills. 0.83 of a mile according to Mapometer, 15 minutes sit down to look at the newspaper and 0.83 home again. It was blinkin' warm walking yesterday, it's up hill nearly all the way home but he was less worn out than I was!

 And about as far away from Pagan customs as it's possible to get, here is part of a poem written for children

Dull November brings the blast,
Then the leaves are falling fast.
(from 'Months' by Sara Coleridge)

Back Tomorrow


The blog here has now finished please add my new blog to your list instead                               You will find it here at    ...