Friday, 30 October 2009
I like the idea of completely enclosing a bead with crochet so I thought I would have a go. I bought 16 wooden beads for 20p from the car boot sale last week, they are the ideal size, 2cm in diameter. There is a pattern in the book, but I don't understand crochet patterns, they are like a foreign language to me, so I made it up as I went along. The end result was just as good as the book. If anyone wants to try this I found a free pattern here....
Then I thought about covering something bigger using the same principal, start with 4 chain stitches, make into a circle, increasing and decreasing to fit the contours. I had a stone (6cm's across) in my drawer which I picked up off the beach when I visited Spurn Point a few months back, so I started in the same way, round and round. Finally got it covered, what do I do with it now? It needs some decoration, so I found a few pearl beads and stitched them on. Hey presto.....a paper weight.
I am going to cover more of the beads in different colours and string them together to make a necklace. This has set me thinking about covering all sorts of objects with crochet, because you can increase and decrease the stitches to fit, not like knitting, where you have to start with the right amount. When I get really profficient in it I might attempt to cover a damaged ornament of a sitting cat, I could stitch the markings on afterwards. Now there's a thought.
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Close up of the ballast box
I stoppped at Keadby and took this photo of the Stainforth and Keadby Canal, where it joins the Trent. Keadby Power Station is in the background.
On I pedalled through Amcotts to Garthorpe, and looked across the water to the church on the hill, that's where I live, so near yet so far away. I wish there was a bridge here so I could just nip back home, my bum is beginning to get a bit saddle sore. I sat on a stone and had my lunch.
I wanted to go a bit further to Blacktoft Nature Reserve, but time was getting on and I didn't have any lights on my bike, and I didn't think my bot could stand much more pedalling.
I was right to come back at that point, my left knee hurts when I bend it, my left hip aches, and I have a shooting pain from my knee up the front of my leg. I'm off to bed, I'm knackered. Ha ha.
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Finito. One earring tidy.
Monday, 26 October 2009
Thirtytwo tyres dumped in the ditch. I am so angry I cant tell you what I would like to do to the people who did this, well alright I will. Stack the tyres up into a tube, and put the person inside, and roll them down a big hill so they crash into a lot of trees at the bottom, and leave them there in the ditch with broken arms and legs. They wouldn't do it again :-0 I rang the council when I got home, hopefully they will send someone to pick them up.
Sunday, 25 October 2009
Cats are on the tiles in the kitchen.
As well as the chalet's for the rescue cats, she has built an enclosed run over almost the entire garden. They can come and go as they please, from the house to the garden, and are completely safe from any dangers such as traffic. These cats are Sue's whole life she would be devastated if anything happened to them. This is Smudge.
This little cat has only three legs, she has her own chair in a sunny spot outside. She sits for hours on this chair even when it rains, under the shelter of her umbrella. Sue is well known in the village and if any cats are reported lost or found she is always the first person that people ask for help, she is one of life's unsung hero's.
Saturday, 24 October 2009
Wearing a balaclava is advisable, the embarrassment if you are spotted, you don't want people pointing at you in the street. You must do everything to protect your identity, and going out very late when everyone is in bed gives you less chance of being rumbled.
Of course you should be very selective about which neighbours you choose to 'borrow' your reading matter from. Bypass the houses where they read the red tops if your taste is for something a little more cultural, and look out for people who might have the same hobbies as you. Twelve copies of Gardners World could save you a tidy sum.
Please don't misunderstand me, I am not telling you to go out and steal, think of it as a library, you are just borrowing. You can always return them the following week or two weeks, in exchange for a fresh supply. I should add that if you are on very good terms with your neighbours it would be a lot easier if you have an arrangement with them to swap reading matter before it goes to the recycling plant.
How have I saved £6.30? I have seven copies of The Times here to read, at 90p each. :-)
Friday, 23 October 2009
Beverley also has a Minster, it's huge, so quite difficult to get the whole place in one photo.
There used to be a monastery on the site, and work started on the present church in 1220 and it was finished in 1425. The official website is http://www.beverleyminster.org/ if you want to know more. When you look up and see all the ornate stonework, you wonder how they ever managed to build something of such a great size and with so much beauty. These buildings never cease to amaze me. Imagine if they attempted to build something similar now, they would have all the modern mechanical means available to do it, so how did they put this up all those years ago? Absolutely amazing.
On the way back I had a look round Hull for an hour and took this photo.
A good day out for free, oh I nearly forgot, I treated myself to a Thorntons Cappuccino chocolate bar for 69p, naughty but nice.
Thursday, 22 October 2009
Top left, a light brown suede type jacket, fits me perfect. Next a blue fleecey top, ideal for winter. The flowery fabric is an old fashioned ladies long sleeved dress, I think they call it vintage now. The fabric is gorgeous and soft, I will probably cut this up for my crafts. Next to it is a skirt I bought for the colour, also for cutting up. And there is a pair of dark purple trousers which I can wear. The peach coloured jacket is another gorgeous soft fabric, also for cutting up, although if I am daring enough I might wear it, a real classy style jacket. Also not in the photo, I bought a set of floral curtains for 50p. Quite a few bargains there, all for £2.50, I am well pleased. It doesn't make me feel quite so bad now about buying the boots.
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
It was a little bit drizzley so we went a walk before the rain got too heavy. He has been going to dog training classes for a while, so I was hoping for an easy walk. No, he seems to have forgotten most of what he has learnt, the first thing he did when we got out the gate was to drag me across the road.
I talk to Helen constantly and she updates me on his progress. I have been to dog classes with her so that I can learn how he should be trained, to make sure we are both following the same commands and he doesn't get confused. Boy is it hard work, but it has to be done if you want your dog to be well behaved.
We had a long walk across the fields, labradors love water so he was in and out of the dyke several times, it was great to see him enjoying himself. On the way back I constantly had to stop and start, to keep his pulling in check, treats come in handy as a reward for good behaviour.
Helen had very kindly left me some home made soup for my lunch, it was delicious. She had been having a clear out of her wardrobe and left me a pile of clothes to look through before she takes them to the charity shop. I picked out a lovely red and black patterned dress, a black skirt, and five lovely tops. A great swap I thought for a couple of hours dog sitting.
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
The pieces are half an inch long, I made two holes in each piece with a hot nail, heated over the gas cooker. The holes are not exactly opposite each other because the bracelet has to curve round the wrist, and I didn't want the elastic that is threaded through them to show. Measure the right amount of pieces to fit snugly round the wrist with no gaps. You need to trim the excess plastic from around the holes with a small craft knife. Then tie a knot in the elastic in the centre of one of the pieces so it is hidden. Simple but it looks dead cool.
Monday, 19 October 2009
Sunday, 18 October 2009
The husband has very kindly dismantled it for me, and delivered it, all free of charge. So this is my new challenge, sort all the bits out, clean it up, and put it back together again. Now where do I start? I think it's going to be a two person job so I will have to find a willing helper.
That's my lunch break over, back outside again to finish my hedge trimming, it's a lovely day, too nice to be in.
Saturday, 17 October 2009
I had a browse round the charity shops but nothing took my fancy. I am always on the look out for some sturdy outdoor walking shoes, as I like to have a choice of what to wear, according to the conditions I am tramping through.
I picked up some pumpkin seeds and flax seeds from the health food shop, then went to the library. Had a read of the newspapers, half an hour on the computer, and borrowed a couple of books.
On the way home across the fields, I met a woman coming the other way and stopped to have a chat. It was a coincidence that she was doing virtually the same walk as me, only the opposite way round. Funny how these things happen. We agreed we were both walking because we love the outdoors. I could have easily got the bus but I really enjoy the physical excercise, knowing that each step is doing me good.
When I got home I made a big pan of veggie stew, there's enough for three days, so I wont have to bother cooking untill Tuesday.
Friday, 16 October 2009
He came back. Half an hour later they said they had forgotten to bring a gas bottle for the blowtorch, and they had to go back to the depot to get one. They both went off in the van.
Forty minutes later they came back. Have I got a key to open the gas meter box? They had forgotten theirs. Have I got a cloth to wipe up with? Have I got some washup liquid? Have I got a pen? Goodness gracious, it's a wonder they remembered to bring themselves !
Three and a half hours later they had finished the simple job. I said what about no water coming out of the hot taps? He said, 'We'll tell the woman in the office when we get back.'
I told the woman in the office, yesterday, that's why she sent someone round today. A fat lot of use they were. Wonder if I will ever get my free Warm Front central heating and hot water to work !
Thursday, 15 October 2009
From here I went down the other side, a very difficult walk over boggy ground with no obvious signs of a footpath. It was a matter of looking into the distance and heading for what looked like a stile or a marker post. I reached Withens Clough Reservoir and skirted round the edge of it before returning to the Hostel.
View of the clock tower taken from inside the building.
Now it was time to head off for Granada Television Studios, and join the throng waiting to sit in on the recording of a new game show called Heads or Tails, hosted by Justin Lee Collins. There were about a dozen people in front of me, I did wonder at one stage what on earth I was doing there, for a start I hate waiting for anything, especially in a queue. I took a photo of the rather sad and neglected looking gateway which might have been the main entrance at one time. Now it is rather shabby and blocked off.
I shared my cheese sandwich with two black cats who lived next to the canal, and on the last leg of my walk I stopped to chat to a man who was repairing a drystone wall. You meet some interesting people when you holiday alone. I arrived back at the hostel at 5pm and said my goodbye's to the wardens, you never know I might bump into them somewhere else one day.
Sunday, 11 October 2009
I shall also be going to Granada Television Studios for the recording of a game show hosted by Justin Lee Collins, I mentioned it last weeek. I'll tell you all about it when I get back. Toodle Pip.
I am now reluctant to switch it on because I suspect the tank maybe empty. It's not easy to tell with all that cladding on it, but it sounds like an empty tin when I give it a slap. So best err on the side of caution and leave it alone till someone comes to look at it.
Last week Warm Front sent an inspector to check out the work. Sharp intake of breath and a tut tut was heard from the vicinity of the airing cupboard. He called me over, 'See that meter there, they've put it on upside down, they will have to come back and put it right.'
Then he asked where the gas meter was, I directed him to the box outside, on the front of the house. Another sharp intake of breath. 'They've used the wrong diameter of copper pipe from the meter to the boiler, it should be bigger than that due to the distance between them. I'm afraid they will have to come back and change it.'
So now I have to wait for Bodgitt and Slapdash to return with their bag of tools. I suppose another few weeks won't make any difference, I've been without central heating for two years, I am well used to it.
Friday, 9 October 2009
Now 20p might not be a good enough reason to go out and celebrate my good fortune, but at least I came back with more than I went out with, which can't be bad. If I can do that more often then I'm laughing, it all helps to balance the books.
I was listening to Ellen McArthur yesterday morning on Desert Island Discs, Radio 4. She told of the time when she was at school and wanted to buy a dinghy, and needed about £500. The clever girl worked out that if she only had potatoes and gravy for her school dinners, then she could pocket the rest of the money. All the pennies she saved were recorded on a chart, when she got to 100 she put it into a savings account. She reached the magical figure and got her boat. Now that's what I call enterprising. I will put my 20p towards a new car, which I will probably need in about 2 - 3 years time. :-)
Thursday, 8 October 2009
A lovely big puffy cushion I made about 25 years ago. I thought I had thrown it out, I'm rather pleased I didn't. It measures 24 inches across, and I can remember painstakingly hand stitching every piece. The cover has a zip opening, and I made the cushion inside out of an old nylon bed sheet, remember those awful things! I cut the 61 hexagons from a couple of my dresses, again a crimplene/nylon type fabric that never creased and never needed ironing. The back is just one piece of plain dark blue. No great achievement when you think of how big a whole bed quilt is, but it's a big enough project for me to tackle.
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
Yesterday I very bravely entered my spare room, I have been putting off this moment for a couple of months, knowing what I would find on the other side of the door. Anything that doesn't have a designated place in the house, and isn't used very often, gets shoved in there. It's just got to be done, I thought, as I cautiously peered inside. A big sort out is needed.
I like to do this chore every couple of months or so, but you know what it's like, keep the door shut and forget about it, and a year later the clutter is horrendous. Pussycat Bugsy came in with me, hopeing for a game of hide and seek, he soon did a runner when I hauled a lot of the stuff out onto the landing and plugged the Dyson in.
The secret to sorting stuff out, or decluttering as I like to call it, is that you don't put it all back again, like my friend Rosie. Her house is a nightmare, it is packed to the rafters with stuff, and she keeps buying more. As a consequence her life is rather chaotic like her house. I couldn't be doing with having to search through mountains of stuff everytime you want something, I'm sure it was here somewhere, ;-0
Anyway today I feel a whole lot better, like a burden has been lifted off my shoulders. I have some stuff to take to the council dump. Why do I need to keep an electric blanket that could potentially burn my house down, or a padded headboard that hasn't been used for twenty years and probably never will again? I've got a couple of boxes of stuff for the charity shop. I don't need a magazine rack , I keep my copies of Psychologies on the dining room table to browse while I eat, and I don't need a waste bin in the bathroom, I take my rubbish downstairs and put it straight in the kitchen bin.
I have just been in my tidy spare room, there are still a few items I can give away. As time goes on and I haven't used something, why hang on to it, you can't take it with you. Out of sight out of mind, that's what I say.
Monday, 5 October 2009
Sunday, 4 October 2009
My background is that I was brought up in a family with no money to spare, my mother was brilliant at making ends meet, and so I watched and learnt from her. In fact I probably go further than her when it comes to saving money in the kitchen. You have to keep in mind that I live by myself, so it is a lot easier to adopt a frugal lifestyle. Some of the things I do may not be readily accepted by other members of the family.
For instance, cooking a three day stew in a big pan and eating it out of the same pan. I cannot see the point of putting a portion onto a plate, eating it, then you have to wash the plate. It costs money to wash dishes, so don't dirty them. When I make a meal I use the minimum amount of pots and pans, so I don't have to pay for the water, then heat it, and buy lots of washup liquid.
Who says you have to wash the dishes after every meal anyway? It's not set in stone, it's just a habit. Why not put them on the side of the worktop for a few days, and when you need a pan or a plate, take one off the pile. When the pile gets too big or they get too dirty, then wash them. I have been known to lick my plate clean after a particularly delicious meal, shock horror. I don't want to waste any of it. Not very ladylike you may say, but there is no one here to see me, and the plate can be used again. Seems logical to me.
My meals are simple. I use very little oil, I hardly ever make sauces, and never fry anything. For example, you fry an egg, frying is bad for you, it spits oil all over the cooker, time, effort, and money to clean it. Why not boil it in a pan used just for this purpose, you don't need to wash the pan.
I never use the oven, it uses too much gas, and it takes too long to cook anything, and I hate cleaning ovens. Those who want roast meat should seriously think about becoming vegetarian, it's a healthy lifestyle and a lot cheaper. You wont die if you stop eating meat. Which brings me onto the next point, bulk up your food with oatbran, it's wonderful stuff. Put it into everything.
I never follow recipes, it's cheaper to make it up as you go. How many times have you bought ingredients for a special dish only to use half of them, and the other half sits in the cupboard for the next five years! When concocting a meal throw in anything you happen to have in your store cupboard. Only buy items for your cupboard that you know you will use within three months.
When you shop for food don't take a list unless you have a terrible memory. Buy your food on price, good value for money, and nutrition. Don't be a picky eater, buying what you fancy costs a lot more. I don't care what I eat as long as it is not meat, and it is good for me. Food is the fuel I need to keep my body in good condition. I miss out whole aisles at the supermarket, dont do cakes, biscuits, soft drinks, crisps, ready meals, confectionary, sugary spreads, ice cream, and puddings. I might spend some time studying prices and reading labels, but it makes shopping a lot easier if you limit the range of food you buy.
And the last money saving tip is, never ever throw food away. Eat everything you buy.
Saturday, 3 October 2009
Friday, 2 October 2009
And then they were gone.........