Friday, 24 October 2014

We need more art

Hello. It has been reported that we are going to get a massive new factory on the banks of the Humber not far from here, and it's going to build new wind turbines. People are excited and rightly so, because there will be a few thousand new jobs created which are desperately needed for the area. Training has already begun in anticipation of this. 
I am in favour of exploring all sustainable energy sources, because one day the oil will run out. I know there is a lot of controversy around wind farms, but this post is not about that. One criticism is that they are ugly, but I have a solution to that. Why do they all have to be the same boring white colour? Who has decided that, the designers or the manufacturers? Was it put to a vote, or did one person sit at their drawing board and say, that's it, this is how I want them to be made, and they will be white?  
Well I have a better idea. Why not paint them different colours? Why not make them works of art? Paint hippy style flowers on them. Make them into trees with three branches. Put lights on them so they glow in the dark. Make them tourist attractions, start a turbine spotters club with a book so people can travel the country ticking off and photographing all those they have visited. Sell turbine spotters all inclusive holidays, it would do wonders for coach companies looking for business.

We could be the first country in the world to start a collection of artistic turbines. We could have visitor centre's selling mini turbine models. Trips up to the top of them for fantastic views. Helicopter rides to view them from above. There are endless possibilities. What we need at this new factory is someone with vision, someone who can exploit the full potential of money making spin offs. Even more jobs could be created.

As I walk around our towns I see lots of opportunities for improving the environment we live in. The dull drab exteriors of derelict buildings, empty shops, and groan inducing general mess of the place. I don't mean just litter, the way signs are put up everywhere which do absolutely zilch to cheer things up. What we need is lots of paint. We need empty shop fronts to be turned into works of art, posters to brighten them up. Brightly coloured waste bins. We need to think outside the box, not just take the easy option and stick with what it's always been like. We need more art.

Where is the creativity in every day life? Why keep doing something when with a bit of forethought things could be made better? Creative thinking and ideas should be encouraged, not just in schools, but throughout everyday life. We should not be accepting of, 'that's how it's always been', we should be doing things differently. We are moving forward in medicine, technology, and engineering, so why do we have to look at white wind farms when they could be so much better.

Now let's see what ideas you can come up with. What could be made better using art where you  live? Or has your council already come up with some good ideas?
Toodle pip

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Top up shop to keep me going

Howdy. The stew is still on the go, though with the addition of curry powder, it is now a not very hot veg curry. I added the last of the cauliflower, steamed with a couple of spuds, to bulk it up a bit, and it went down a treat at lunchtime. I took a bowlful with me to eat at my friends house while I sat with her dog. You remember Henry the choc lab. While the curry was waltzing around in the microwave I heard a pop, oh dear, it had exploded and splattered the inside. Oooops. Anyway, I waited for Helen to come back, as she had texted me to say she wouldn't be long. My payment for the dog sitting was four mucky carrots and an exotic cauliflower. A good swap I thought.   
I was thinking about doing the yellow sticker dash tonight, but now I can't be bothered. I decided to call in at a couple of smaller shops on the way back, and see if there was any reductions. Managed to find a few items, so the big shop can wait. These will see me through the next few days. 
The list is as follows.
The Co op shop.
Packet of 4 cheese tortelloni. Was £2.50, now 89p
Packet egg noodles. Was £1.00, now 55p
Large cheese pizza. Was £3.00, now £1.05
Seeded bread. Was 65p, now 25p
Bag spinach. Was £1.00, now 55p

Small Tesco.
Another bag spinach. Was £1.00, now 33p
Four flapjack bars. Was 90p each, now 9p each.
Vitalite spread. Full price, £1.00
Three packets of ground almonds. £1.05 each, buy 2 get 1 free.

Total spent £7.08.

I think Pizzas are a bit of a rip off really. I wouldn't normally buy one, but as it's reduced I'll have it for a change. A big crust of bread with a skimpy topping.

I need to go to town tomorrow to pay a bill. Could do with some bananas, soya milk, and eggs from Aldi. Then I should be ok till the beginning of next week.

A quick note here, thank you to Caroline for sending your old towel rail to Helen, for me to pick up. I now have a second one exactly the same as the first, for another piece of artwork. I've got enough projects floating around in my head to last me through the winter now.
Tatty byes and toodle pip.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g the stew

Hello all you foodies out there, come share my meals with me. I am getting down my food supplies, the fridge is bare apart from half a lettuce, half a cauliflower, some green grapes, and half a tub of plain yogurt. Putting off going shopping, I haven't been for almost two weeks, but might do a yellow sticker run soon. 
So, I am using stuff up. Yesterday's lunch was some of those not very nice beef style soya strips cut in half and cooked in a drop of oil with half a tin of chick peas, and a shake of garlic powder. After a few minutes when the strips were soft, stir in two eggs and scramble. Eat straight out of the pan to save washing up. Nice and filling.  
Yesterday I dug up one bed of potatoes, in all that wind. Got a good haul, still one more bed to go. I spent £3 on seed potatoes, and so far have done well out of them. Haven't had to buy any for months.

This is my food experiment for the week. I made a veg stew on Monday in a big pan. The ingredients were potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, one onion, bulgur wheat, garlic powder and half a packet of sauce mix. Yesterday I added a tin of chopped tomatoes, and the other half tin of chick peas. I transferred what was left after dinner last night, to a medium size pan. I've just had some for lunch, zapped in a bowl in the microwave, and now the pan is sitting in the fridge.

I'm going to see how long I can keep it going for, by adding to it each day. It will last till Friday, possibly longer, but I might have gone shopping by then so I might eat it and finish it off. As I said, I haven't got much food left, but this is what I thought I could add to it. Any tins because the contents are already cooked. I could cook some rice, pasta or noodles. Sultanas are a good addition to stews.

From the freezer. sweetcorn, ready cooked rice, more runner beans, cooked swede and carrots, and the last of the beefy strips. I could cook the onion and the potato in the microwave and add them.

These should keep it going, plus some spices, or veg stock cube, or curry powder, and porridge oats to thicken it.

Have you had a look in your cupboards and freezer to see if you can make an everlasting stew? What will you put in it? Can you stretch your weekly shop to ten days or even longer? C'mon, spill the beans :o)
Toodle pip.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Shaping up.

Hello. I really shouldn't be showing you this because it will spoil the surprise, but what the heck, I haven't anything else to write about today. It's looking good so far, still more work to do on it. 
More stitching needed on the blue tree, red one still to do.

Still thinking about what colour this tree should be.

More leaves wanted.
It's shaping up, all the loose ends have to be tidied on the back of it. I'll get there eventually.
Toodle pip