Saturday, 23 January 2016

A little prick will do it

Hello, a second dose today. That's a sight for sore eye's isn't it, the bottom of my left foot. I thought I felt a twinge, and there it is the little blighter. I always manage to pick up a blister or two between my toes where they are all scrunched up together, ha ha. A needle and a splodge of Germaline will soon get shot of that little devil. Look how supple I am, managing to balance on one leg and turn my foot over on top of the table. Should have been a ballet dancer. 
One healthy yellow sticker lunch today.

 I've been on a mission to cook all the prepared veg before it goes off. Looking at the original prices I wondered why people choose to buy these, given that they go off quicker than whole vegetables, and they cost a lot more as well. Don't people know how to use a vegetable knife? Ok some will say they have arthritis in their hands and can't grasp the knife, or they have a sight problem, fair enough, anything to make life easier. But if anyone buys these because they say they don't have the time to chop up a few carrots or peel a few spuds, or dissect a cauliflower, that's just a lame excuse for I can't be bothered. A 480g pack of peas and carrots costs £1.25. How much does a bag of whole carrots cost, 40p - 50p, and how much is a handful of frozen peas? 20p at a guess. A family pack of broccoli and cauliflower costs £1.65. What would they cost whole if bought separately? In season about £1 for both, or less.

I am chopping the carrots into small pieces to shorten the cooking time.

There is enough for three pans. Broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, beans and onions stew mix, and green beans. The small pan will be zapped with the blender and turned into soup. The other will stay as a veggie stew. It is all cooling now and will be put into margarine tubs to go in the freezer. Lot's of cheap ready meals.

Someone asked what to do with lettuce if it has gone a bit limp. There was a 'turn it into soup', suggestion, which sounds like a good idea, but I normally eat my lettuce before it gets to that stage. I once chucked the last bits of a prepared lettuce into a stew, but I never end up with a whole lettuce uneaten. I make sure I eat it, even if it means chomping on it straight out of the fridge without it ever going on a plate.

The Yorkshire Post article was online yesterday. I read it last night, but there was something in it which I was not happy about and wanted it removed. This morning, Sarah the journalist has done that, but unfortunately she has removed one of the photo's as well, and I thought it was a better photo than the other one which is still there. I have noticed a couple of  inaccuracies, I didn't buy the shorts at Primark, as if I would shop there. They came from a charity shop and cost £1. And I used more than a couple of pallets to build the Summer House. The article overall I feel is disappointing. Why she brought up parts of the old story I don't know. I was expecting it to be fresh and new, like what has happened over the last seven years since the first article. It reads like a series of one or two line statements with nothing holding it together. There is mention of collecting fabric and tin cans, but no mention that these are used for my arts and crafts work. Makes me look like a dotty old woman who hoards rubbish for the sake of it.

The interview was rushed, she kept darting from one topic to the next, not giving me time to gather thoughts and construct coherent answers. I was struggling to keep up with her, and I felt like she wasn't really listening. The online newspaper is so full of advertisements it makes reading anything hard going. I think it might come out in paper form on Monday. Still, it's done now.

The only accurate record I am going to have of my lifestyle is this blog, written by myself. I have never met a media person who is fully understanding of the reasons why I live as I do.

I'm having a day off walking today, too much to do, I'll start again tomorrow on the three miles each day. Poor Jo is struggling a bit now, I've been watching her on and off all day. They keep putting little videos up and photographs. It must make it doubly hard for her with the cameras at her face every step of the way. The way I coped with the pain was to detach my brain from my physical body, to close up and retreat inside myself and fill my head with nice thoughts. Basically you have to try and switch off. She can't do that because as well as walking she has a job to do, performing for the cameras, whether it be joking or despairing, and speaking to her well wishers. If there is anyone out there who is of similar age and stature, who likes a drink and a smoke, and who hasn't done any exercise for 25 years, just imagine how hard it must be for her to do this challenge. I can almost feel her pain.

We have a few Walking Group reports coming in, I keep updating the list with whatever you tell me. Some of you are going great guns, well done. Don't despair if you are a bit slow at catching up, you still have 11 months and 8 days left, plenty of time. Don't keep putting it off though, time doesn't stand still. Do a little each day, you don't have to walk a marathon. Anything is better than staying sat on your bum and not moving. Go for it.

Thanks for popping in. Enjoy your Sunday, get out for a walk if it is a nice day. Get out anyway, just wear appropriate clothing. Oooh, nearly forgot, welcome to the new followers. It's good to have your company.
Toodle pip

32 comments:

  1. Hi Ilona
    I read the article. I think we who read your blog will understand but it was a bit patronizing I thought. It would have been nice if they could have included some of your art work and mentioned your walking and not concentrated on the mean aspect of it all.
    Good job every one doesn't believe all they read in the papers.
    Keep up the good work, you inspire us all.

    Hilary in Hunstanton.

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  2. Totally agree. Wish she had shown your wonderful hanging basket as well as other original artwork ... JanF

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  3. I've always heard that interviews never come out quite like the talker intended, but fun that it was written up about our own MeanQueen.

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  4. I think you should write a book, or turn your blog into a book, it would be a best seller!!

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  5. The interviewer is clearly a moron who hasn't made any effort to explain the philosophy for your lifestyle or how amazing you actually are. How talented and inspirational. And generous. I think she is a cheeky madam and I might email them to let them know what I think.
    Walking is going well for me too, I'm getting out everyday, even in the rain. And snow! I shall tot up my total and declare closer to the end of the month.
    Stay fabulous Ilona,xxxxx

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  6. Thaw article doesn't do you justice. You are so much more than the person describe in that article.

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  7. Not having read the original article, I thought this one was not bad. I think it was rather good for someone who doesn't know you and that they gave your blog address is great so then people can really read about what you do. I agree she should have said what you save certain items for though, that part just kind of seemed lost.

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  8. Sorry it did not come off as it should, wondering if she has ever tried to scale back, reuse, create, design, and carry on on small money?
    It would probably give her a better perspective of your lifestyle if she had.
    Most likely she was trying to cover the basics of her readers interests, and not really get too deep. Keep on writing your blog, you have a lot to share.

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  9. Just read the article . On the whole I think its ok. It doesn't matter where you bought the shorts. I think the photo is nice too. You could have written it more accurately yourself , obviously. But you know what journalists are like. At least they have you living in the correct place....unlike Vintage Vixen who featured in one of the "house " mags. She lives in Walsall and is down to earth. They had her living in a 4 bed detached house in Cheltenham ! She was not amused.

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  10. Totally agree with all Simplesista says.
    The person in this article was not the Ilona we all know and love ~
    Kind, generous, full of fun and with a joy for life.
    You inspire so many and have personally inspired me more than you can know.
    Keep up the good work Ilona and carry on making us chuckle.

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  11. As a former media person who reads your blog and understands your objectives, I found the article more than a bit patronizing and lacking in the fact that you are healthy, wealthy in time and energy for the things you love, and content. That's a shed load than can be said for most folks these days.

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  12. Hi.I agree with many of the opinions here re:the article,Ilona.Also I came away from it thinking it was somewhat superficial and not substantive.You are a gem!Thank you for all that you do and for being you.And yes you are in nimble form to photograph that blister...good for you!Bye for now,D.

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  13. MY lettuce bits and bobs go into my saucepans - added to stews or soups. Never buy prepared veg - just do it myself. Natalie

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  14. That's journalists for you, as they say: Never let the truth get in the way of a good story' !!

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    1. As a journalist for 20 years, I can say that most journalists try to gather the facts and put them together in an interesting way. One day the writer's assignment might be a frugal woman, the next day it might be the opening of a metal factory and the next it might be the flooding of a neighborhood. Newspaper journalism moves quickly, particularly in the digital age. And yes, journalists are looking for a good story. Without that they might as well write a textbook.

      I think this writer did a decent job. Having been in her shoes, I'm giving her a break.

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  15. Read the article, thought it did not portray your personality and zest for life like your blog does. Think reporter was just getting the facts and not much else.
    Love your blog, love you, love the fact you inspired me to do the 1000 miles in a year.

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    1. Good for you, tigerlove. That's what I like to hear, people getting up and exercising.

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  16. Ilona, why do you call yourself MeanQueen? I've always wondered.

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    1. Hello Barbara. I was a keen poster on a forum before I started blogging, and had to think of a name when I signed up to it. I use the word mean, to signify my meanness in spending money. I would rather get things free than buy them. Mean rhymes with Queen and it rolls off the tongue easily. It is now so well known, and it's quirky, and I still like the sound of it, that I cannot change it.

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  17. Just read the article. I consider you NORMAL, it's everyone else that isn't. Natalie

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  18. Ouch, that looks uncomfortable. It is usually my heel that blisters and they take ages to clear up too. I am ashamed to say that I am not getting out every day as I had planned. I will catch up but only when it is a bit brighter. I don't mind the cold and I love a good long walk but I hate grey dreary skies.

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  19. Hi Ilona, I enjoyed the article but I read it on the Daily Mail site so it's now gone national! Fran x

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  20. Just seen you in the Daily Mail online!

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  21. Made it to the Daily Mail pages now!!

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  22. You're in the daily mail :-) That's amazing, you're famous

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  23. Crikey Ilona, you are now the top story in the Mail. I hope you don't mind the intrusion. Strangely (so far) the majority of the comments are supportive (we all know what DM commentators are like). Good luck with your celebrity. Anna

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  24. What is so sad about the write up is that they totally don't get why you do what you do. If they focused of the quality of life you have ie Healthy, run a car, Brilliant crafter/artist it would encourage others to at least try to cut down on their materialistic lives and get fitter in the process. You prove that to be happy and content has nothing to do with trying to keep up with the joneses or spend spend spend. Grrrr journalists.

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  25. just seen you in the mail...looking great

    tessa

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  26. I enjoyed the article and I liked your photo, great shot of the summer house. When reading about you collecting things I didn't automatically think you were a hoarder, I assumed you just reuse things, but then again I already know about your lifestyle from your blog. I wish they wouldn't put so much emphasis on your heating though because it makes people think you are actually depriving yourself of something - you put your heating on when you need it. Not to worry, hopefully it will have been interesting to someone who is struggling with debt or that post Christmas consumerism. Debbie.

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  27. Whilst admiring the thrifty lifestyle, I do have to query one thing on your post - you say that everyone has time to cook with unprepared veg. That simply isn't the case. I'm a mum of 3, working 70+ hours a week, with a disabled husband and a severely disabled middle child. I'm sorry - I don't have the time during the week to prepare veg. I'd prefer to spend quality time with my family instead. If that costs a little extra, then so be it. When I retire in the future, I'll have the luxury of time on my hands to do these things, as you do. However, please bear in mind that people live all sorts of different lives and not everyone is as time rich as you.

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  28. Have you tried just popping the bags of ready prepared veggies in the freezer. As long as you give them a scrunch or two as they are freezing they will stay free flowing and then you can pick out just as much as you want to use. This is what I do now, I used to faff about blanching things but I've since found that as long as you use them within months rather than years it didn't make any difference to just chuck them in as they are.

    I'm going over to read some of the Mail stuff. Please don't let trolls, idiots and folk who have never read your blog get you down, there are some daft people out there. Your regular readers get what you are about :-)

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  29. Oh my goodness, just went onto Yahoo, to look at my mail and who should I see but you, Ilona, honestly it makes me laugh how they describe things, but it does annoy me how they make it out that charity shop buying is depriving yourself - I always buy from them and did so when I didn't need to. Well done anyway, being in the 'headlines' on Yahoo. Not been looking at blogs again, spending too much time on the computer.

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