Friday, 27 November 2015

Black Thursday night

Hello and Good Morning. I've only gone and done it again. I was in two minds whether to do the yellow sticker stroll, can't call it a dash as it involves a lot of hanging around. A slow mooch, hovering between the aisles is called for to lie in wait for when the bargains are wheeled out from the back. I didn't fancy getting tangled up with some early bird Black Friday bargain hunters, but my fridge was bare, I needed to buy food. 
I made the quick decision to go and take a chance, so I jumped up off my chair and was out of the door before Rocky had chance to stir from his bed. I'm glad I did go. There was a sign at the door saying the store would close at midnight and re open at 5am. It's a 24 hour store, so I suppose on this occasion the staff needed to prepare themselves for the surge of customers. 
I arrived at the right time for the fruit reductions and had to wait for the vegetables and salad to come out. There were only two other ladies waiting, so I had a natter with the Chinese lady. We hovered and mooched, and waited. I could have done with a loaf of bread but none were reduced, so before I went through the checkouts I picked up a full price seeded Tesco's Finest loaf at £1.10. 
I had a £3 off voucher to use, but I needed to reach £20. After filling my trolley with reduced I was no where near the £20, so I decided to stock up on a few essentials, soya milk, tins of beans and spaghetti. All things that I will eventually need. Some cooked chicken for the kids also went in the trolley. I tallied it up as I went around and it was a few pennies over the £20. The till totted it up as just below £20, oops, have I made a mistake. I grabbed a small carton of milk to make it up. When I got home and checked the receipt, it shows I got an extra discount as some of the veg items were on a 3 for 2 offer, even though they were reduced to 10p each. 
Rocky inspecting the bags. 'You got anything in there for me?
Fully stocked fridge again. Love it.

Healthy eating for the next week, starting with a healthy breakfast. Raspberries, blueberries, melon, and grapes, with plain yogurt. Underneath are a few bran flakes and home made muesli, made with porridge oats, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds and a splash of soya milk. Chuffin lovely.

I won't list all the items and prices, but you know the score. 90% off the fruit, veg, and salad. Here is a taster of what I came home with.
New potatoes in a pouch with garlic to microwave in the bag.
Prepared iceberg lettuce
Fine beans
Prepared broccoli
prepared casserole veg with beans and leeks
Whole organic cauliflower
Green grapes
Crispy baked potato slices
Button mushrooms
Spring onions
Brussel sprouts
Tobs of prepared fruit
Onion Houmous
Bag green salad leaves
Apple doughnuts

Nornal price to make up the £20
Soya milk
Baked beans
Tinned spaghetti
Small tins cat food
Value Quiche
Pack butter
Bag dry cat food
Cooked chicken

This morning I popped to Barry's and gave him five bags of assorted veg, he was chuffed and was planning his meals around them. I don't need to go anywhere this weekend, so no more money will be spent. The weather is looking a bit iffy so it will be sewing, crafting, dog walking, and maybe a bit of garden tidying.

Someone sent me a link for a programme on Channel 5 catch up. There is a problem with the web site, a lot of their advertised programmes can't be accessed because of copyright issues, which is a bit disappointing. Never mind plenty to watch on BBC catch up. I caught the first episode of a new drama, Capital. It was a bit confusing, very disjointed, difficult to make sense of it. However with an element of intrigue I might watch the second episode to see how it pans out. Toby Jones is the lead actor, I like what he does.

I hope you have a lovely weekend. Catch up soon. Toodle pip

Thursday, 26 November 2015

My top tips for Black Friday

Hello. I was just wondering if anyone is going after a bargain or two, on Black Friday. The sale starts tomorrow if you hadn't already heard. You need to be at the shop of your choice at one minute past midnight, to join in the stampede. In fact best to turn up several hours before that and set up camp outside the door. Carefully select the clothing you are going to wear, because there is every chance that you will have to engage in unarmed combat with fellow bargain hunters. No need to dress up in your best togs. Put on your oldest and smelliest gardening gear, a filthy old coat, a mucky old pair of trousers smeared with hoss manure, and a pair of steel toecap boots. You never know, you may have to stamp on someone's hands if they get to the item that you had your eyes on, before you. If you choose the grubbiest clothes you will find  that other people will give you a wide berth, and you will have a better chance of getting what you want because no one will dare approach you.

The electrical departments will be particularly busy, as everyone has their eye on bagging a new gadget or toy to play with. The ones with the screens seem to be favourite, and the bigger the better. Be assertive at the display as you reach for your prize, to ensure no one challenges you. Grab, grab, grab is the best way to approach this. If someone is slightly ahead of you and it looks like they are going for something you have your eyes on, grab them by the hair and sling them to the ground. Be careful however that you don't do any serious damage, as you might get arrested. Then grab the item you want, and barge your way through the rest of the chaos, elbowing people out of the way, until you get to the checkout.

Forget good manners and politeness at these sales, the order of the day is grab whatever you want. Look into your vocabulary and pick out a few choice expletives, be prepared to use them if anyone gets in your way. Posh people will find this quite daunting, not being used to such course language, but don't forget, it's a case of who dares wins. Open your mouth and throw your inhibitions to the wind. Building site navvies will have no problem using this tactic, just pretend you are at work.

Another trick you can utilize is working in a team. Get your friends and family organized into a line, link arms, and force your way forward through the crowd. People may get pushed over as they lose their balance but not to worry, step over them and continue towards your goal. Doing it this way means you can clear the whole display in a matter of seconds, and you all get a share of the loot.

Once through the checkouts, don't let go of your purchase. Guard it because some aggrieved person who was witness to your disgusting behavior may be looking for retribution. Stay alert and look out for the clenched fist aimed at your head, and be prepared to duck.

If you follow my advice, at best you will arrive home in one piece, you will set up your mega flatscreen TV in front of your armchair and will be enjoying a beer, when the police will come a knocking at your door to arrest you. At worst, you will wake up in the supermarket car park, having had seven bells kicked out of you, and your TV shattered into a thousand pieces. Don't worry about the blue light flashing in your eyes, they have come to cart you off to hospital.

The best advice I can give for this Black Friday lark is......

Thanks for popping in. Catch up soon. Toodle pip

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Something's going on underground

Hello. While out on our morning stroll through the churchyard we were greeted with an abundance of freshly dug molehills. Rocky loves to sniff these. One or two have appeared over the last week, and the soil has been moved away, but look at it now, there are a lot more. Mr Mole has been very busy. 
The mole has been digging among the memorial plaques. By the look of the position of the loose soil it must have found it's way blocked and has come up to the surface in between them. Oh dear.

I don't know much about moles so I've been looking at some yooootooob videos. They are cute little furry creatures, and they lead solitary lives. There are a lot of videos on how to trap them, and sadly it seems the norm to kill them. I expect someone will call a pest controller soon to deal with ours, personally I would just leave it alone. What's a few mounds of earth, and a few underground burrows, it isn't hurting anyone. People should watch where they walk. Rocky says, leave Mr Mole alone, and so do I. He will move on when he is ready.

Remember when I did a post about pollarding the trees in the churchyard? This is how they look now, lots of bushy short branches and the leaves are starting to go brown and fall off. I had a surprise when I checked my emails today, someone had found my post about this while they were doing some research. They have some trees which need to be pollarded in their village and they asked if they could use my photo's to put the case before a committe to get their trees cut back. I am amazed at how people find my blog, when they are looking for all kinds of topics. I had another email from someone asking about the heavy haulage lorries I used to drive. I am chuffed that I can help with a broad range of subjects, not just frugal living and shopping and cooking and crafting. I like to write about allsorts.

I've been busy collecting bricks today. My friend had some she didn't want, and I found some in a skip. That's 50 more to add to my pile, 165 in total. Still more needed, but no rush. I'll find some before I start the job. keep looking in skips.

Hey, look at this. I've just turned round in my chair and seen this. Rocky was laid down there first, and Mayze has joined him. These two are the best of pals. I had to put another cushion down, because Bugsy has decided that he wants Rocky's cushion. Aaaah, sweet.

I'm off now, want to watch something on catch up. Thanks for popping in. See you soon. Toodle pip

I've just come back to add a PS here. There are some late comments coming in on the two previous posts, you might like to go back to them and catch up. Some smashing comments and interesting stories. 

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Words of a simpleton

Hello. Glad you liked the shopping video, it brought some interesting responses. Thank you for your comments, I really enjoyed reading them.. I see that Richard over on Down The Lane has asked the question on the forum, 'What do you call a simple, or simpler life?' I have given my definitions and it's started me thinking, what exactly does a simple life mean. I'll expand on it here.

I take it to mean a life with very few complications, and not looking for them. Going with the flow, instead of the opposite and upsetting the applecart. A simple life is one with less choices. I have a rather simplistic view. I tend to see things in black and white, an either or situation. Two choices you either do or don't, you say yes or no, you like something, or you don't. I don't see many grey areas.

There are too many choices in supermarkets, that's why I only walk around say 20% of it, I don't need to know about the other 80%, there is nothing there that I want to buy. I am just the same in other shops, I only go to the departments where I know I will want to buy something.

No complications for me means living alone, it makes for a very simple life. I don't have to fit in with anyone and no one has to fit in with me. The only complications I have accepted are my pets, they need someone to look after them and I gave them a home. That was my choice, I could have said no.

I don't need to get a job, or earn money on the side. I simply don't need any more money. If I did have more  then that would bring complications and create stress. How many times do you read about people who have lost money through poor investments, or who have been conned out of their life savings? That won't happen to me. I believe the less money you have, the less you have to worry about. A bit of a cockeyed view I know.

Work means timetables have to be kept to, being at a certain place at a certain time every day, I know I have done it. Clocking in clocking out, get on with the job, do as you're told, there is nothing simple about that. I don't see how anyone can claim to have a simple life if they go to work. You only find out what a simple life is, when you retire, and can simply lie in bed all day if you want to.

The more money  you earn the more you spend, the more you spend the more you need to earn to pay for the lifestyle you have become accustomed to. That's not simple. Not spending money means not having to earn it, that's simple.

As you know, my cooking is very simple. I don't spend ages in the kitchen preparing a work of art, faffing around with pots and pans and utensils. Most of my meals are made in one saucepan, occasionally I use the grill, and sometimes the microwave. The simplest meals are food that require no cooking at all.

Getting rid of stuff you no longer need is a great way to simplify your life. If you have too much clutter you become bogged down, you worry that you can't find anything among the chaos, and you worry when you lose something. If you move it on out of your life you have a nice big space.

I find that eliminating complications frees up space to think about what matters. And to be perfectly honest, I can't think of anything to worry about.

I've told you how my life is simple, now tell me what you have done to simplify your life. How have you eliminated your complications? What have you dumped because you no longer need it? What changes have you made to how you organize your day? Is your life much simpler now than it was say five years ago, or is it more complicated? I'm nosy, ha ha.

Thanks for popping in. Goodnight and toodle pip.