Sunday, 14 February 2016

Oooo errr, my bed is wonky

Hello. I've done a bit inside and a bit outside today. This morning I added some more strips to the curtains, both of them are at this stage, the patchwork creeping closer to the edge. I have used up most of the scraps now, and will probably have to cut a few more pieces to complete the job. 
It's been sunny today so I've made a start on the outside job of reducing the sizes of the raised beds, replacing the rotten pallet wood with bricks. Oooops, something's not quite right here, there shouldn't be a gap on that corner, ha ha. A slight adjustment is needed. A big black cloud came over so I abandoned ship and went inside. Just as well, it started snowing. I want to get these sorted out so I can start planting for spring. I'm having a change and growing flowers instead of vegetables. I need to find out which plants the slugs don't like.

I have a big bill to pay this month, the credit card statement is a whopper. Car insurance is on it, £100 for animal treatments, blood test, injection, and flea treatment for all of them. Then there's Tesco for food and petrol. Just when you think you are doing well, a big hand appears and grabs a big chunk of it. And that's not all, the car needs taxing by the end of the month, and it's time for a service. Early next month the utility bills will come, it's a busy time for money going out. No worries, I have the funds to cover it all.

I've been watching a smashing short series on BBC iplayer, there are three programmes, it's called The Real Marigold Hotel, has anyone else seen it, if not I recommend it. It's about a group of eight senior citizens who go to India to see if it is a good place to retire to. It's like a travel programme/reality show, but interesting and good fun. The first episode is on yoootoooob, it's 58 minutes long. Beware there is a short scene 15 minutes into it of a market where they choose a live chicken for their dinner. You can guess what happens to it.



If you don't want to watch the whole thing, here is a short trailer.



Thanks very much for your Valentine wishes, and thanks for popping in. Catch up soon.
Toodle pip.

29 comments:

  1. Watched all three episodes of this program. Interesting.

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  2. Love the way your curtains are going. Hope you did not get to much snow it's been a lovely sunny, cold day.
    It's a good thing we plan our money so we don't get caught out with unexpected bills.
    Enjoy your week.
    Hazel c uk

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  3. I've watched three episodes of the real marigold hotel and have thoroughly enjoyed it.
    I really don't think I could live there though. Malta is more my cup of tea!
    Your soil in the raised bed looks wonderful. What do you do to it to condition it?
    Even though I'm still going to plant veg, and already have a lot of flowers that grow throughout the summer months. I'm going to plant even more, to use as gifts for family and friends.

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    1. Hi. The soil is mainly compost, I constructed the beds seven years ago on the top of a lawn, so very little soil in it. I started it off by buying bags of compost, then collecting free compost from the corner of the churchyard, and asking horse owners for free manure. I have also been making my own compost from veg offcuts and lawn trimmings.

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    2. If you have merigolds in the UK, slugs don't like them.

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  4. I watched all 3 episodes of the Marigold Hotel and really enjoyed them. It was lovely seeing India through their eyes, and also getting to know some of the celebs better. At one time Jan Leaming was married to the headteacher at the school 2 of my children attended, but I hadn't realised she'd been married 5 times altogether. Like you, the start of this year is proving expensive; I've just forked out over £300 for a new washing machine. Also like you, I have the money saved to pay off the credit card bill so no interest to be paid.

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  5. I have watched it too and thoroughly enjoyed it. Think I could move out to India for part of the year too. Not there yet but who knows. It was an interesting view. A

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  6. In my garden the slugs don't eat the pinks so maybe you could try them in your new plantings

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  7. I watched it too but had to turn away when the chicken scene came on!! I definitely wouldn't want to live there. I agreed with Jan Leeming though when she said she only eats fish when at the coast. I definitely wouldn't fancy it from an Indian market for sure.

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    1. I wouldn't want to live there either.

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  8. Thanks for the tip on the videos - and for your Canadian readers the BBC video works in Canada! It is usually blocked but not these ones!

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  9. I had to turn away from the chicken, too. But, I loved this! I hope i can see the rest of the programs! It's all very colorful. I'm not sure i could do well with all the noise and distractions. It looks like crossing the road is asking for trouble. Fun! I don't know the people on the show but i do like the dancer and the woman from Harry Potter fame. (Never saw the movies or read all the books; i did START the books at one time…) I'm going to see if i can get the next two shows. Thank you for sharing!

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  10. love your curtains!
    Do you have a good source for free / very cheap soil for your raised beds?
    Nothing here is, garden goods are extremely high, no compost here too many rodents, snakes and bears come through at night.
    Not sure about all flowers but slugs love zinnias, sunflowers, nasturtiums, and will climb high trellis for pretty petunias.
    They don't seem to bother my coleus, morning glories, clematis and day lilies at all.

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  11. My friend has visited India and says that westerners are pestered constantly by beggars. She says that had there not been a film crew (and probably security)they wouldn't be able to walk anywhere without a flock of children and/or adults tugging at them and begging. I think in theory it would be lovely to live there but the reallity would be a totally diffrent thing. Another lady that I used to know was (is) maried to the man that was kidnapped while they were touring out there (Keith Mangan) The men in the group were all taken away and never heard from again. I think the body of one of the men was found. Give me good old blighty any day.

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    1. Thank you for that Cherie, I thought the presence of the film crew would not portray an accurate picture of the place. I would not go and live there, not sure if I would even visit.

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  12. Hi I am indian although born in the UK and vvv british. I am watching it too. I went to India a few years ago and although the scenery was stunning i found it worrying. In the UK you can go anywhere without being followed, Women are safe here. We were followed wherever we went. So glad we live here. This is the best country in the world. We can do anything and are not questioned. There men have more power.

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    1. Hi Kit, thank you for that. I prefer the western world, and hate places that treat women as second class.

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  13. Love the way the curtains are coming on. Watched the programs, interesting but I wouldn't want to live there.

    We have just changed to a smart meter which comes with a gadget (size of a mobile phone) that shows you how much gas and electricity you are using. It was fitted for free, we had the leaflet about it through the door.

    It has really set us on the path to using less. We have lowered our heating and are turning lights off apart from the room we are in. We hadn't realised how much lights use. Every time we do something money saving in our house now we say "Ilona would be proud of us"

    My blog is usually about my chickens but I have just done a post called "open fire" about trying to be more frugal. You might like to take a look. All our furniture came from antique shops (cheaper and made to last) and the gramaphone horn by the fire came out of skip, something else that made us say "Ilona would be proud of us". You have really inspired us.

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    1. Glad you are finding your smart meter useful. I was offered one by Brit Gas but turned it down. I don't need one, single person, only me to switch things on and off. I will have a look at your blog, thanks for the info.

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  14. I've got this all recorded on our Freesat box, so I think a big catch up session is in order once all my jobs are done .... haha ... who am I kidding sat here at the computer for the last 30 minutes ;-)

    Love your patchwork, is it all hand sewn or do you have a sewing machine?

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    1. Hello Sue. I have an electric sewing machine a cheap Janone just under £100 bought from Dunelm, twelve years ago. I also have a hand machine upstairs which I really ought to get out and use. Plus a very old treadle machine which is a bit wonky and needs some TLC.

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  15. Hello Ilona, I am new to your blog. I live in Australia but Welsh born. I am loving reading all your blog posts, not sure if I will read back to 2009 when you started but will have a good go. I thoroughly have enjoyed all that I have read so far. We live very frugally, hard work in Australia as its so expensive here. I plan to spend sometime in Wales in 2017 so a savings plan is in action. You are an inspiration.

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  16. Good luck avoiding the slugs...they seem to like almost anything to munch on. There is a movie about seniors moving to an India hotel, and it's really funny with some great actors.

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  17. I watched the trailer but have not yet watched the full program. I have seen both Marigold films with Judi Densch (probably sanitized versions of living in India) and enjoyed them. I would not want to live there.

    For anyone interested in India, one of Ilona's blogger friends (on sidebar) Vintage Vixen has just returned from a month in India and has a lot of photos on her blog. Vix has been there many, many times and really knows the ropes. She and her partner (husband? Can't remember if they are married) sell vintage clothing throughout the UK and have a very interesting blog. (I sound like I am her PR person.)

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  18. I watched all 3 episodes of the Marigold Hotel, It is not for me, I could not live in a country where women were classed so low and had no say. The poverty of those people is appauling , yet the government of that country are all well fed and clothed nicely. No equality there. Ilona will you not miss picking your own beans etc and digging the first potatoes, I know I would, I grow things in bags and tubs and love it when I can reap my own veggies. I do grow flowers but only the type that come up every year(perennial) Cold and very frosty here in Scarborough and looks as tho the frost etc is staying around, the big gritter lorry has just gone past my bungalow. It will be an early night under the Duvet I think,with my book, saves on fuel.
    Danneke

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  19. Hi Ilona, thought you'd be interested to know this. All the best :) Richard, Kent x

    http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/news/a783675/the-real-marigold-hotel-will-be-back-for-series-two-and-a-christmas-special/?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=dsuk&utm_campaign=fbdsuk

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  20. New follower from Sweden here. We had a dreadful slug year here. I recently read about a woman using net used for chicken enclosures nailed around the pallets with great success. She used it to keep rabbits out of some pallets. All her none-netted pallets were heavily infested by slags. Give it a try if you have some spare. The theory is that they dont like moving over a netted surface. I guess that goes for all slugs (these were the spanish ones). Have nice day!

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  21. I lived and worked in India for six months a few years ago. I enjoyed it, but I was in a hill station where it was cool (and even downright cold) most of the year. I couldn't bear the heat of the plains for too long. The problem with India is that to have a 'western' life, ie, live somewhere with sanitation, air conditioning etc, it is actually quite expensive but it is assumed you are wealthy, and you have to pay for private medical insurance etc. I would say a better frugal destination for the winters would be somewhere like Malta, southern Spain or Portugal or the Balearics, where you can live very cheaply and enjoy EU benefits (while we still have them!)

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