Sunday, 31 October 2010
I used to be tempted to pop into the local shop when out for a walk, should I get chocolate or sweeties? I would tell myself I deserved a treat. Why? I dont know, it just made me feel better. I ended up having a treat nearly every day, how silly. Now I don't take any money with me, easy, I don't need a treat. I nearly bought a bottle of wine yesterday, but then I remembered I had one last weekend, so this weekend it was fruit juice from the fridge diluted with half water. I survived without the wine.
I am sitting here wearing two sweatshirts, one I bought for work six years ago, and one which was given to me. My cheap slippers look a mess, they fell apart and I stuck them together with gaffer tape. I am wearing three teeshirts, two were cheapo's from the market and one was given to me. My socks were also given to me. I have got a wardrobe full of clothes, some of which are very old, some from charity shops, and some were given to me. I dont buy new clothes, but I might make an exception next week. I need some decent looking warm casual jog type trousers for my trip to London. First I will look in the charity shops, then the discount stores, or the sales.
I have no heating on, I don't need it. Although it does work, (thanks to the government Warm Front grant), I am resisting the temptation to switch it on, until I am freezing. I am saving my money for my trips out.
Keeping things simple has also helped me fill out my tax return, I have just done it online, it was very easy. Most of it was completely alien to me, and required no entry in the box. I am so glad I have no spouse, no dividends from companies, no money from trusts, no interest from gilt-edged and other UK securities, no life insurance, and no stock dividends. My goodness what a headache that would be. Life is much simpler if you have nothing.
Saturday, 30 October 2010
I watched a very interesting programme called The Big Silence, it was about five volunteers who went to Worth Abbey in Sussex to learn the value of silent meditation. Then they stayed at the retreat, St Beuno's in North Wales for eight days, where they lived in complete silence. Or they should have done, there was a bit of whispering going on as some of them found it hard going.
Abbot Christopher Jamison was the Benedictine Monk who was in charge. He said silence is the gateway to the soul, and the soul is the gateway to God. The volunteers were all looking for a more spititual dimension to their lives because they thought there was something missing. They were hoping to make silence a part of their everyday lives.
Abbot Jamison said something that struck a chord with me. he said, 'When we enter periods of silence, we start to see things with greater clarity. we come to know ourselves, and get in touch with the deepest part of ourselves. That is our soul'.
I am drawn to walking alone in the countryside because of the quietness of it. So peacefull, alone with my thoughts. I am not a religeous person, I do not believe in God, but I do believe that everyone has a soul. For me, to be at peace with yourself means turning inwards, with no outside influences to confuse and cloud your judgements. I could easily spend time in a retreat because I could live inside my head with only my thoughts for company. I would like to try it one day.
Thursday, 28 October 2010
I left the road and followed the footpath up the fields, there are gentle rolling hills around here, nothing too strenuous. This path goes through the middle of the field. Next to the wooden finger post is a smaller concrete post with the name Godfrey on it. I'm not sure what that means, maybe it's some kind of memorial for Godfrey who liked walking there. Someone had plonked a wooly hat on top of it.
Here is another field with the path going straight through it. The kind farmer has run his tractor over it, just so us walkers can find our way. You would think the path would be round the edge, but no, the signpost says it goes diagonally across.
Coming into Worlaby I saw this fountain, the date carved into the stone above it said 1874. It's a shame that there was no water, I decided not to toss a coin into it and make a wish.
From Barnetby I was walking along the side of the railway line towards Melton Ross, when I saw a dodgy looking bloke lurking. I thought it a bit odd that he should be just hanging around doing nothing, his bag on the ground next to him.
So nosey me said hello and asked him what he was waiting for. It turned out that he was a train spotter, from Reading, which is over 200 miles away. My goodness they are keen aren't they. He told me he was waiting to take a photo of a goods train because that particular make was becoming quite rare, and in a few years there wouldn't be many left. Well each to their own I suppose.
As I got back onto the road there was two more trainspotters on the bridge, I asked them where they were from. Sheffield, they said. Ah well, not quite so far away.
I have to remember that the days getting shorter, and I still want to pack as much as I can into them. The sun had gone and it was becoming overcast, best not push my luck, time to head home. I got back to the car at 5.45pm and needed to put the headlights on to drive the 13 miles home. Glad I have a bowl of home made soup to warm up in the microwave.
Today I have walked 14.77 miles, getting back into the swing of it now. I must keep it up through the winter months, so I don't seize up. Back to dog walking tomorrow.
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
'The test done at the session indicated that you might have had a low haemoglobin level'. Strange, I was told I did have a low haemoglobin level.
'After reviewing your results I am pleased to report that your haemoglobin level is normal'. Well that's alright then.
'Your haemoglobin, on the day of the session, was in the normal range but just below the level for giving a donation. As you know, we must allow a safety margin to ensure that the haemoglobin level does not drop below after normal'. Ok I understand that.
'Our records show that this has happened a few times. With this in mind, we think it best to stop calling you to the donor sessions, at least for the time being. We could review this after a year or so, and please let us know if you would like to start receiving session invitation letters again'. Oh, so does that mean I can't donate now, or I can donate when I feel like it, or should I just receive the letters then think about it, or will they tell me if they run short and my donation will be welcomed? Or maybe in a year they will change the goal posts and I will once again be able to donate? I will wait and see what happens.
Today I took my car into my one man band mechanical repair man who works on his own, so he could take it for it's MOT and put right anything that needed doing. I left it with him and as it was a nice day I walked nine miles back home. Here are a few photo's I took along the way.
I love these shiny pipework factory thingys, when the sun shines on the stainless steel and it all looks sparkling new. The yellow bits add a bit of interest. Fascinating to look at, I often wonder what is whizzing through all those pipes. This is a BOC plant, doesn't it look pretty?
Oh dear, someone has chucked their Valentine card in the hedge bottom. Never mind, it is October and anything could have happened in the last eight months. I wonder if they are still together. Don't tell Colin's wife that he has dumped her card.
We have a lot of these 'To Die For', signs up all over the place, warning motorcyclists not to ride too fast. I wonder what smashed into this one.
And here are the seven shopping bags I made from them. Each one measures 18" by 19.5" a similar size to one of those plastic bags for life but mine are a bit longer.
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Last night I cooked my stir fry in a large saucepan, starting it off in olive oil, and adding any flavourings that came to hand. Tomato paste, grainy mustard, lemon juice, garlic granules, black pepper, and turmeric. I can't be bothered standing over it continually stirring with a wooden spoon, so I added some water and let it simmer while I went off and did other things. At this point it usually turns into some kind of stew.
After 20 minutes I dished up a portion into a bowl and sat down to enjoy it in front of the computer. As I started to chomp away I didn't seem to be making much headway, it was taking ages to break it down into smaller pieces. At this rate it was going to take a long time to finish it, and my poor stomach would be protesting loudly as I demanded that it do the work that my teeth were supposed to be doing.
Only one thing for it, stick it in the blender and mush it up. I added a drop of boiling water from the kettle to improve the consistency, but bingo, it worked, and it tastes lovely. I had two bowls of my baby food last night, and I have this third bowl in the fridge which I shall microwave for lunch, with a few chunks of out of date crusty bread. Just the job on a chilly autumn day.
Monday, 25 October 2010
Sunday, 24 October 2010
For my lunch I am having smoked salmon and prawns, on a bed of fresh baby spinach leaves and chopped cucumber, with a houmous dip and garlic bread. Don't worry it hasn't cost me an arm and a leg, all reduced, from Tesco on Thursday night.
Later for my dinner I shall have a large portion of brocolli and green cabbage, with other vegetables and the rest of the salmon. I need to up my iron intake because tomorrow I am going to attempt to donate a drop of my blood, that's if they want it. At the last two sessions they couldn't take it because of the low iron level, even though I felt fine. They said I needed it more than they did. So lets hope the spinach works, if it's good for Popeye then it should be good for me.
Saturday, 23 October 2010
While I was there I also had a browse round the charity shops. I found these pretty curtains which will make lovely shopping bags. The fabric is that blackout material which is quite thick.
They were £3 which I don't mind paying to the RSPCA shop as I know the money will stay with the local branch. I'll make a start on them tomorrow.
Then the post man showed up. He parks his car in front of my house and the bags of post are dropped off there by the van. He had collected his bike from further up the street and was loading it up, when he pulled out a couple of letters and handed them to her. The woman then frantically ripped the envelopes open and scanned the contents, then she comes over all emotional and wiped the tears from her face. They spent the next 20 minutes chatting, the postie in his full cold weather gear, and her shivering in her night wear. By the time he rode off on his bike her mood had changed, as if the shock of the news she had just read about had completely slipped her mind. Now she was all smiles.
I put the kettle on, wondering what the little drama was all about. My very own soap opera through the window. Oh well, spose I'll have to guess the end of the story.
Friday, 22 October 2010
11am - collect Ben, walk for 1 hour, bring him back here.
2.15pm - a quick walk round the block with Ben 20 mins.
3pm - go and pick up Ollie and Alfie from round the corner, walk for 1 hour. drop them back at their house.
5.30pm - another quick walk for Ben and give him his dinner.
6.15pm - back to Ollie and Alfie, quick walk 20 mins, and feed them at their house.
Then get my dinner, a stew I prepared earlier.
9.30pm - Ben's bed time walk, half an hour, he is staying at my house.
10pm - Ollie and Alfies bed time walk, 1 hour, they are staying at their house.
7.30am - let Ben out onto the back garden for his toilet, have a cup of coffee and a small bowl of bran flakes.
8am - take Ollie and Alfie out for their first walk, 1 hour.
9.15am - take Ben out for a walk, half an hour, and drop him back at his house.
10am - drive to Henry's house, take him for a 1 hour walk, and play with him in the back garden, get home at 12.15pm. Grab a bite to eat.
12.45pm - take Ollie and Alfie out for a 1 hour walk.
2pm - call in at the shop on the way home and grab a bottle of wine, phew, I need it, ha ha
Thursday, 21 October 2010
Luckily Sue has rehomed three kittens and a place was found for them in a chalet in her garden. Now they have a snug little house with heating, and a secure run in which they can see what is going on in the garden. I guess they must have spent a lot of time outdoors before they came here, so it is only fair that their sense of curiosity and freedom is not taken away from them.
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
It was a lovely sunny morning, me wearing the latest fashion in sunshade.
I am not sure how long it will stay like this though, once the youngsters find it they might decide it looks a good place for a rave party and a bonfire. We can live in hope.
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
You can see his undercarriage is wet in this picture, yes he has been in the dyke. Thank goodness the water levels are high at the moment so there is less mud to stick to him.
I love to see the deep furrows cut by the plough, it's amazing that they make such straight lines.
Monday, 18 October 2010
A couple of weeks ago I had a letter from a garage who had resprayed one side of my car after it was vandalised. I only went to that particular garage because the insurance company specified it. Now they think they are my best friend. They wrote, We note that your MOT certificate is shortly due to expire, if you would like to call us we will fix up an appointment for you, and by the way we can also service your car as well. Well no bloody thank you, I muttered as I binned the letter.
Yesterday I had a call on my mobile, not recognising the number and apologising to the person I was having a conversation with, I took the call. Was I miffed when a male voice said, 'Hi it's Darren from Stoneacre, our records show that your car is due for an MOT test.' I replied, 'Dont worry Darren, it's all taken care of, it's booked in with my man for next week'.
Good grief, they know everything about you don't they, there is no privacy at all, they are lurking round every corner, just waiting to pounce, like vultures.
I had the same problem with the Ford garage who did the repair on the dashboard. They also sent me a pally pally letter, with their special offers. They had the cheek to check over my whole car while it was in there, I never asked them to do that, telling me about the tyre that was down to 3 mil, and the link rods on the front that will need attention. They even said they have to check these things and tell me about any jobs that may need attention. 'Have to' my arse, they are just touting for business.
That same Ford garage sent me a letter about a year ago saying they have found a buyer for my car, someone had taken a fancy to it apparently. In the next sentence they told me about a very good deal on a new car. Me smelling a rat, I rang them, and asked what car I have. They replied, the escort estate. I gave them a right roasting, saying I changed that car two years ago, and don't tell lies about someone wanting my car. More underhanded sales patter.
Every time you go into a shop these days, just as you are about to pay for your purchases, the girl on the till says, 'We have five rolls of pepermints on offer for one pound, would you like some?' I feel like saying, 'Why does my breath smell?' They are like robots, 'Would you like a top up, two bars of chocolate for the price of one, a new slimline rollerball pen, only a quid?' No, for God's sake, NO.
Today I spent £4 in the British Heart Foundation charity shop. As she was giving me my change, she enquired whether I knew about the late night opening and which dates they would be open for Christmas shopping. I said, 'No, I am not interested because I don't do any Christmas shopping.' In fact I don't normally go into that shop at all because the prices are too expensive. She kept on, 'There are free buses as well on the 64 and 28 routes'. Oh I give up.
Sunday, 17 October 2010
The rising sun brought these berries up lovely against the cottage wall.
The mist is starting to come down.
That's one way to grow your beans without sticking canes into the ground. Use a greenhouse frame but don't put any glass in.