Sunday, 13 July 2014

Sunday snippets

I'll kick off with a thanks today, lots of thanks in fact, to those who read and those who comment. I am chuffed that you are interested in my travel notes. I like to share little snippets of our wonderful island. I try to capture the diversity of it but my photo's don't do it justice, it is far better in the flesh. Thank you for coming along with me, you are very welcome.
What's the recipe today, says she who doesn't do recipe's, I just post ideas, you can make of them what you like. I have an abundance of courgettes from the six plants in the garden, so it's courgettes all the way now. There are still a lot of broad beans to get through, and when they have finished there will be tons of runner beans. Along with the potatoes, these four vegetables will save me a load of money, I won't need to go shopping so often. Here we have one courgette and a handful of  broad beans softened in a drop of oil over a low heat for a few minutes. Added to this is garlic powder, then just before they are ready I added some soft cheese and garlic. You can guess that I like garlic. Served on a slice of wholemeal bread. It was scrumptious and so simple to make.   
I've started work on the picture, on the back of a piece of fabric. I will show updates as I go along as it will take ages to complete.

My gas and electricity bill arrived from Ebico last week. The amounts are pretty low, as you would expect at this time of year. I like this way of paying, with a quarterly bill, pay for the actual energy I have used, after I have used it. No penalties for paying this way, I will not have direct debit on my utilities. My bills for three months are as follows.
Electricity. 131 kilowatt  at 15.91p = £20.84 plus vat at 5% = £21.88
Gas. 145.08 kilowatt hours at 5.15p = £7.47 plus vat at 5% = £7.84
This is what I expected. I'm pleased I left British Gas and got rid of their standing charges.

I have a new brochure from North Lindsey College, they keep sending me one ever since I did a course a few years ago. I keep looking through it to see if there is anything of interest, but often the price is too high. However, I see there are some new courses and the price is a bit more affordable. There is a sewing club starting in September, £40 for six weeks. That's not bad, £6.66 a week, it would get me out, give me something to do, a cheap source of entertainment is the way I look at it, as well as learning something new. There is also an art club, upcycled textiles, and drawing skills which I will consider. Think I will get myself enrolled on something.

Right lunchtime. More courgettes and beans. Have a nice Sunday. The sun has come out here after a rainy start. Toodle pip.

15 comments:

  1. I used to do a lot of local college classes (City and Guilds and RSA) but they got too expensive for my circumstances. A few years ago, I did a free taster course (I think it was 6 evenings for about 2 hours) but then the course proper lead onto something that was only available in the daytime but even so, it was a great way of getting out, learning something and meeting lots of new people. I would definitely do another course on something. Natalie

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  2. Seeing that you have saved yourself a lot of hassle and expense with changing energy suppliers, I`d say go for it and take up a new course! You deserve it!

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  3. I wonder if I should start paying my bills quarterly again. It appears easier to do it by direct debit, but my supplier made massive errors and because I pay a monthly fixed rate I didn't notice for ages. I still don't know exactly what my balance is as I had to take them to the Ombudsman and they have a week left of the time they were given to sort it. when they finally do, I am moving. Are Ebico any good? Your usage is certainly low. I have a houseful so it is much more expensive.

    Your diet sounds like mine - courgettes, runners and new potatoes, all from the garden. The tomatoes are on their way now too.

    Jane

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  4. It's courgettes and strawberries for me every day. There will be a lettuce ready pretty soon - just for a change!
    Love from Mum
    xx

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  5. I have got a small raised bed and have got lettuce, broccoli, runner beans, tomatoes and peppers growing. I've been eating lettuce leaves as they have grown and am looking forward to cutting a broccoli head off for tea tomorrow. It's my first year of growing my own and I love it. You are an inspiration and I aspire to be like you when I retire. Xxx

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    1. Hi Smij, good for you growing food in a small space.

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  6. Like Natalie i've done a few college courses over the years but i usually struggle to fit them in around work because with driving work you never know what time you'll finish.
    I've got a few qualifications to my name but i've never had the bottle to try to get a job in that field. The last one i did was learning to play keyboards but i never got round to keeping it up.
    I think that the world of work would benefit from some sort of mid worklife scheme where you could re-train for a different career that had some way of helping you into it, and also when people get older which could help them carry on working if they wished.
    Dave.

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    1. I know how you feel Dave, the frustration of stagnating in a lorry cab when all you want to do is have an adventure. I felt completely trapped at times, not another bloody jam on the M62, there are better things I could be doing with my time. GGGRRRRRR !!!

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  7. I have to ask, in your delicious looking lunch, what are the red slices? Tomatoes or red peppers? I can't wait to try out the meal. I really have to cut back even more on my food budget than I have already - being retired on a fixed income here in the US, its hard to make ends meet. I envy you and your walking, my knees are so bad that I can't do that or even walk any distance without my walking stick. I need to lose more weight, am very large and walking is my safest way - so much begin to get out more and attempt to walk a tad bit further each day.

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    1. Hi, they are a few pieces of carrot. Sorry, I forgot to mention that. Good luck with the walking.

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  8. Here's something for you Ilona, if you're wanting to do a course. Try one of the free online MOOCS. You can look it up on the interweb, or go to Futurelearn.com or Coursera.com (these are just two of the places offering free online courses, there are loads more), and do a search for their courses. You can do a course in virtually anything that interests you, of a non-practical nature. (I am currently doing Coursera's excellent 'Understanding the brain; the neurobiology of everyday life' with University of Chicago). I previously did a course on The Abdomen (Futurelearn, excellent course), Discover Dentistry (Futurelearn), Human Evolution (Coursera), and am signed up for more courses later in the year. Most last from 3 to 10 weeks, it's all online, totally free, you don't need any textbooks or anything and it it's great fun if you like that sort of thing and want to excercise your brain a bit. And you can interact with the tutors and other learners on the dedicated forums. I'm certainly no boffin, didn't go to college, University or anything and wish I'd done better at school. But I'm making up for it now!

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    1. Thanks Sue, I will have a look at that. Don't want to do anything that might tax my brain, ha ha.

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  9. That meal looks delicious. I love how adventurous and yet so simple your meals are, very inspiring, more people should play with their food.

    You do make me realise how little I have grown this year though, I could have made more of an effort to dot veggies around the place I think, rather than just waiting for the raised beds to be filled and the polytunnel put up.

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  10. Hi Ilona,
    I'm massively impressed by your electricity bill - I try to be frugal but mine's not even close to that! Any tips you can share?

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  11. Hi Ilona
    My house is entirely electric and I have 15, 10, and 6 year old boys who are complete gadget freaks. In the summer we use around £10-£15 a week and winter around £25- £30 a week which I don't think is to bad considering all the extra washing and the 2 showers a day my teenage son feels the need to take (he has discovered girls lol). I put £20 on every week to combat the extra electric used in the winter so it works out I'm paying the same every week throughout the year. I look forward to the day when the boys move out and we downshift to Lee's one bedroom studio flat as the leccy bills will be soooooo much cheaper. Much Love Claire from frugal living xxx

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