Saturday, 18 February 2017


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                                                              MY QUIET LIFE IN SUFFOLK                                         
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Friday, 17 February 2017

A few bargains

Ham-pieces from Aldi £1.65 for 400g
 They always have this smoked and un-smoked. I would prefer smoked but that gives Col indigestion. It varies each time with different sorts of ham and you have to watch the use-by date. Sometimes it's only 2 days ahead rather than 6 days which is more useful.
It can make us................................... Ham and Chips for 2
                                                          Pasta, ham and broccoli bake for 2
                                                          5 days lunch sandwiches for 1
Yes, it would be cheaper to go Vegetarian but we're not.

Savoury Biscuits from Poundland . These are £2 for 250g everywhere except Poundland  where they are £1 for 250g, it's a no brainer!
Yep, plain cream crackers are cheaper but a bit boring.

I look at the junk mail that comes through the door, sometimes there might be a bargain.
Premier shops are small convenience shops often at petrol stations and small shopping precincts on estates. I've only ever been in our local one once as they are very expensive, but sometimes they have bargains.
Like 80 PG Tea Bags at half marked price - £1.32 that I spotted on the latest leaflet.
 Even beating Morrisons special offer of £2.
Yes, there is probably cheaper tea out there, but PG is reliably consistent +good and strong.

And finally I spotted this in the Hospice charity shop for £10, we'll need some extra chairs for the bigger space of the cottage................... can't be many chairs around for £10 I thought.
A pretty cushion will make it a handy chair for the spare bedroom and light enough to carry downstairs if needed.

Welcome to someone new following.

Back with moving news I hope

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Recently Read or Returned Unread

Product Details

I read "From a Distance", her most recent book, when it was published in 2014 and have read a few of the other 8 since then. "Come and Tell Me Some Lies" was her first book, published in 1994. Although it's fiction it has hints of her own life.
 Raffaella Barker was the daughter of a poet and lived in Norfolk with numerous siblings. The main character in the story - Gabriella is the daughter of a poet, lives in a ramshackle house in Norfolk and has several siblings. See what I mean?
I enjoyed the story, a quick read but thought it was almost something for teenagers.
I also had another of her books "A Perfect Life" on loan but couldn't be bothered with it as the story was obvious from the beginning and very similar to "Hens Dancing" and "Summertime" two of her other books.
"From a Distance" is probably my favourite of her books.

 I've  read Angela Thirkell's  "Peace Breaks Out" set at the end of the war in the fictional county of Barsetshire and re-read  one of the others -  "Pomfret Towers". Easy light reading for dull February.
Also "The Expert" by Bernard Knight. One of the seven of his old crime fiction books reprinted from the 1960s. This one was actually readable compared to some of the others.
Back to the library unread went A Perfect Life, mentioned above. "Gingerbread Mansion" by Lizbie Brown because it had tiny strange typeface which I couldn't read.

Next I'll be re-reading a couple more of Angela Thirkells books unless I go and collect another of the British Library Crime Classics which is now on the reservation shelf for me or even better, "Death of Kings" the 5th and new Rennie Airth book in his Inspector John Madden historical crime series. There is a three year gap since he wrote the 4th so I've forgotten all about the character but I know they are well written.

Back Soon

Monday, 13 February 2017

We were hopeful but..............

We were hoping for exchange last Friday but it didn't happen - no surprise there 😒 Our solicitor said she phoned Mrs F's solicitor 9 times Friday morning with no returned call. Then on Saturday morning we had a call from Mrs F. Seems  there will be further delay as the boiler in the house that she is buying should have been serviced before she buys the house but when someone went to service it there was no oil in the tank so it couldn't be done! Her solicitor has advised her not to move unless the service is done. For goodness sake they've had since mid October to sort this out!!
Now we don't know when exchange and completion will happen......... maybe next week? What I want to know is if the boiler fails it's service will we then have to wait while they re-negotiate? We were trying to be helpful by letting her choose completion date, now I'm getting just a tad annoyed.

Anyway, enough of all that hassle which I wasn't supposed to be mentioning  again.

 What have we been up to over the last few days?

On Thursday we went to the viewing afternoon at an Auction house to look at a rug. The living room at the cottage has a wood floor so we need something to make it feel warmer and I'm trying to avoid buying new things. The rug I'd found on their online catalogue wasn't so good in real life (which is something we often find!) but there was another smaller one much nicer, so we left a bid on it. 

Friday and off to visit our youngest daughter and our little Grandaughter. She is certainly growing nicely.

Saturday out again.
 First stop was The Potato Day (You can see more about East Anglian Potato Day  HERE  or on my 2014 post HERE or 2015 post HERE) for a few seed potatoes. We are only going to grow a bed with half first earlies and half second earlies so only needed 10 of each. Mid Suffolk District Council were there, as they always are, giving away their jute shopping bags - picked up one of course, that's about the 12th I've had from them over the years! Then onto the auction house to collect the rug which we won and look round the charity shops in the town - nothing of any interest seen in any of the 8 or was it 9? And harking back to my moan on the last post......the Oxfam shop was closed for a refit!! But in Poundland we spotted more alive-looking raspberry canes so £3 spent. We'd taken a flask as always so didn't need to splurge out for anything. Then  home.
The raspberry canes were put in a pot and the potatoes are chitting.
 It feels so good to be doing things we love again.
 Saturday pm and more rugby on TV, I also wrote a bit for the Suffolk Smallholders Newsletter to see if anyone has any tree seedlings or saplings that they don't want. We are life members of the Society because of all the work we did running it many years ago so have been getting the newsletter even though we'd left the smallholding. I'm quite keen to get involved with the society again ..............will see how I feel when the AGM comes round in September.

Too cold to venture to a car-boot sale Sunday morning, in fact there was a covering of snow first thing. I did go for a brisk walk down to Aldi for milk but glad to get back in the warm again. More Rugby and then Snooker on TV. In between all the sport we have been sorting out and filling more boxes. The cupboards are almost empty as is the chest freezer............. just a few bits left for meals this week, after that I'll be daily shopping for what we need until You-Know-What!

Welcome to Felicity, LJL and Cherie who are new followers and thank you everyone for comments on posts last week and to Briony who said she loved the blog, plus W at MidSuffolkMeadow who reminded me of another good charity shop that I will be visiting frequently once we move.

Back in a day or so

Friday, 10 February 2017

An Old Fashioned Charity Shop

Do you remember when charity shops were full to the brim with all sorts of interesting things?
 Before the days when they felt the need to keep up with posh clothes shops, before the days when they had a re-fit every other year and all their hangers had to be the 'right' way round.
The chain charity shops all seem to be much the same now....... Neat, tidy and  colour coded!

Luckily we have the Emmaus Charity shop  not far from us which is still a lovely place to search through and I found a couple of old interesting items in there the other day
The tin is an old biscuit tin with Chinese pictures - it's going to be our tea-caddy and the bottle is made of very thick glass, tinted green and full of imperfections. It has J.K & S on the base which I googled and found it means it was made by John Kilner and Sons sometime around the mid 1800's. It will be good for a few flowers on the deep window sills in the kitchen at the cottage. ( The old part of the cottage pre-dates this bottle!). I dithered over them for a few minutes but decided I would regret not getting them so £3.50p for the charity shop and they came home and made me very happy.

Welcome to  new followers Lyssa,Linda,Jane, Sarah and Sparrow.

Back Tomorrow

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Worth a try

The fruit I missed most last summer after leaving the smallholding was raspberries (and strawberries, apples, pears, plums, gooseberries, cherries,apricots and figs but mostly raspberries!) There are no raspberries at the cottage - shame - just a couple of blackcurrant and gooseberry bushes plus one each of apple,pear and plum trees.

A couple of weeks back I bought three packs of summer fruiting raspberry canes from Poundland for £3, they didn't have any more but today I noticed Wilkinsons had packs of 3 canes for £2.50 each and they also had a Fig for £3.50,  at that price they were worth a go. If I wait until we move and then order from one of the big seed/plant companies I might have to pay 3 times that. Although we may well get more later from somewhere. The raspberries have just been popped into a pot of compost and kept just damp in the summerhouse shed.The canes will go in one of the beds at the cottage as soon as they have been weeded. The fig has been planted up properly in a medium pot and will go in the greenhouse at the cottage until we decide it's best place outdoors.
 I would have preferred to have 6 canes all the same rather than 2 each of 3 varieties but this will do for a start. Will need to separate the Polka from the rest as I've discovered they are proper Autumn fruiting rather than just a very late summer, so need different pruning,didn't realise that when I got them. 2 canes of Autumn raspberries are not much use really so I will need more of those.

Wilkinsons had a good range of fruit bushes, lots of different things, some unusual. I might go back for another look although we'll have to buy a bag of compost if I get anything else before we move. But as we don't really know what we'll have room for it might be getting ahead of ourselves.

I see I've lost a follower..........who were you.....why did you leave! ( I am joking here, not serious)

Back Soon

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Library Book Photo

I collected a massive pile of books from the library last week.
I said I wanted to re-read Angela Thirkell now that I have the book about the characters, so I ordered several - I think I may have over-ordered  as there are 5 above and the one I'd already started  - should keep me busy. They'll be easy reading through dull February as we wait.
The Lizbie Brown is curious. I read 6 of her books many years back, they were crime mysteries featuring a private detective who had an office over a quilt shop in Bath. Each title was the name of a quilting pattern. The last one was written in 2001 but while fiddling on Fantastic Fiction website I came across this - not in the crime series - Gingerbread Mansion published in 2009. I have no idea what it is.
The book London Shadows by Valery Avery is an old biography, I've read London Spring a while ago.
Christopher Somerville has written dozens of books on walking. I hope this is a good one.
I've read some others by Rafaella Barker ....... time to try another.
The Expert by Bernard Knight is another of the 7 old books of his that have been re-published, some were OK but others  dreadful.

Thanks for comments yesterday, more moving house news next time............I hope

Back very soon

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

There May Be (Faint) Signs of Movement

We've received paperwork and signed it, deposit money has gone into solicitors client account........things may be happening at last on the buying front. I'll still not hold my breath!

On the selling front we had a couple round to see the bungalow Saturday morning, they didn't say much so don't know what they thought.The agents phoned to say the couple were not sure. Shan't hold my breath there either. We are being pestered by other agents all wanting to sell our bungalow. One company have knocked on the door 3 times and sent a letter, why they think they could do better than the company we are with I have no idea. We might drop the price a bit which will move it back to the top on Rightmove, but not until we've moved out and then the agents can show people round an empty house. I've gone off the idea of letting as we know  things need doing here and we could end up paying out several £1000 before we get anything back.

The weekend was a weekend of viewing sport on TV with the start of the Six Nations Rugby and  Davis Cup Tennis, all good viewing. The GB team got through to the next round of Davis Cup because of the young Canadian player swiping his tennis ball away in disgust and hitting the chair umpire right in the eye therefore getting his team disqualified. Ouch! It was 2 rubbers each so they were playing the deciding match although Kyle Edmunds was two sets up at the time so might have won anyway. Good to see so many GB men doing well and not having to rely on Andy Murray. I think there is Snooker on all week before Rugby again next weekend. While waiting to move we have turned into couch potatoes!

The first Saturday Carboot of the season at Needham Market was a bit of a flop - plenty of boots there but I think half were the same ones who were at Portman Road last Sunday.............tat! all I spent was £2 on a huge bag of kitchen paper rolls which was a saving. Although I use a dishcloth for wiping and rags for cleaning we do use kitchen roll as tissues and a few other odd jobs.

Back Tomorrow

Monday, 6 February 2017

Quickly saving about £5 or more

This is how we save a bit of cash when we go out. It takes 2 minutes to gather mugs, coffee and spoon in small tub, milk in bottle, kettle boiled and pour water into stainless steel flask, edible something in bigger tub then everything into a bag. Done.
Our trip out Sunday morning wasn't very successful  although the idea was good. It was sunny in Ipswich and we decided to pop to Felixstowe just to check the padlocks on the beach hut and spray them with a bit of WD40 and have a cuppa while watching the sea. Halfway to Felixstowe and we ran into thick fog and down at the hut visibility was next to nothing and bitterly cold.

So we walked down the steps along the prom, opened up the hut, checked inside, oiled padlocks and hinges then back to the car, drove along the seafront (avoiding cafes and Sunday market) and right up to the dock view point - but still very foggy. Had our home-made cuppa and cake ( avoiding View Point cafe) and then home again, where the sun was still shining brightly.
Oh well.

Back in a flash

Friday, 3 February 2017

Nothing much

I think I need to welcome new followers but I can't be sure as I've lost track of numbers.

 Another week with not a lot happening ........... mainly grey, misty or drizzle especially Wednesday when I popped to Felixstowe. The Orwell  Bridge on the A14 takes traffic quite high over the Orwell and it was foggy enough to  feel like being in the clouds, not a bit like this photo below.
Image result for Orwell bridge photo free

There was just a touch of sun Thursday morning when I went to Leiston to look after Florence for a while. She was a real grizzle-guts, too tired to be happy yet too nosy to fall asleep and I forgot to get a photo on the few occasions that she smiled.. It was quite interesting seeing an 8 month old at the weekend and a not quite 4 month old  on Thursday, the difference is quite amazing.
 Leiston is about to lose it's only Building Society -The Norwich and Peterborough Society was taken over by The Yorkshire and they are closing loads of branches. This means that when they build Sizewell C and D Nuclear power stations and the town grows there will be just the Barclays Bank left to deal with the increase in population.We moved there in 1992 just as they were finishing Sizewell B and the town had 3 building societies and 2 banks, 2 supermarkets and a proper Post Office, now there is just the Co-op Solar and the Post Office is inside another shop.  Progress is backwards for some things it seems.

Great excitement........Needham Market (a town that  also lost it's only bank a few years ago) carboot sale starts tomorrow - weather permitting -  and we have someone coming to see the bungalow but as we have boxes piled up making the place look even smaller than it is, I'm not hopeful. I did tell our Estate Agent to warn the man that we are in a muddle but he said he would come anyway.

So all in all not much to write about and no photos.
 When I very first started reading blogs someone had a picture of their hoover cylinder which had come un-clipped and spilled all over the floor and their trousers and I remember thinking 'if ever I write a blog that's something I wouldn't bother to photograph!' and today Ilona has a picture of the  cat litter trays - not going there either!

Have a good weekend whatever you are doing
Back Shortly

Thursday, 2 February 2017

February 2nd

From my Country Wisdom and Folklore Diary

There are lots of weather sayings for February many of them connected to the Ancient Imbolc which became the Christian Candlemas, the most well known is
If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another flight
If Candlemas be dark with clouds and rain
Winter is gone and won't come again.

I'm loving this diary, it has sunrise and sunset times for every day so I can cheerfully say that daylight hours got longer by about 15  minutes over this week - Whoopee!

Many thanks for comments on yesterdays post

Back Soonish

Wednesday, 1 February 2017


02February7.jpg (700×900):
February brings the rain, thaws the frozen ponds again.

So said Sara Coleridge in her months of the year poem.

The picture is from one of the Edwardian Lady books by Edith Holden. I've borrowed the image off t'internet as my copy is...................packed in a box.
 We have aconites and a few snowdrops in our very small garden, not much else although there are signs of other bulbs coming up.

When we were children it was considered lucky to say "Rabbits,Rabbits Rabbits" on the first of the month. They had to be the first words you spoke in the morning. Now I'm wondering ......Why?

According to the shops only one thing happens in February and that's Valentines day. We won't be wasting our pennies in buying any of the junk that is now available - all those silly soft toys - for grown ups? just don't get it I'm afraid. As for hearts on everything? a great sales ploy " Must have special PJs and cushions for Valentines" Really? 

My Books Read page tells me I read 12 books in January, which just proves how much free time is available while waiting to move. Oooops sorry, said I wouldn't mention that again. Actually that should be 13 as I quickly re-read 'Summer Half' one of Angela Thirkell's smaller novels.

My accounts book tells me that we did fairly well in Don't-spend-anything-extra-in-case-I've-done-my-sums-wrong month. Of course there were extras - the new kettle, getting photos of the wedding printed, having curtains cleaned to take with us, half-year car tax, MOT, booking venue for Col's 60th bash ( he wants to meet up with all his aunts,uncles, cousins etc without it being at a funeral!), virus protection for one lap top and paying for a library book that got left at hospital and vanished. We ate mainly from the freezer but still needed milk, fruit, veg and store-cupboard staples. Total spend for the whole month - absolutely everything except Council Tax -  £751.

We need to empty the freezer before we move   (Oh- done it again)so I went through it mid December to see how many main meals I could make from its contents and came up with a list of 32. We were out Christmas day and brought home boxing day dinner with us. Then of course Col had That bug and neither of us ate much for a few days so now at the beginning of February I've still got
A couple of chicken breasts
2 cheese and onion pasties
2 x half pound of bacon
2 very small lamb chops (only useful for curry)
1lb of mince (annoying as I usually split them into half pounds)
2 boxes of home made tomato and onion pizza topping
2 portions of  home made lasagne
2 portions of home made salmon/pasta bake 
A very small ham joint that was meant for after Christmas

So still enough for meals until halfway through February at least.

Back in a jiffy


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