Monday, 20 February 2017


Hello. I've had a morning sitting in the warm Village Hall with the Crafty Club, have to take some layers off when I'm in there. I'm still working on the woodland picture, such a lot of stitching to do. 
In the meantime, the jigsaw puzzle is finished. I couldn't find the exact size frame for it, so a little bit of the edges are lost. It's eleven inches square. I think it's superdooper, and the bold colours really stand out against the black frame.  
I used a jigsaw as a template, removing the pieces one at a time and outlining the shapes with a thin liner pen. Once painted I went over the black lines again. 
Two shopping bags made. I gave three away last week in Tesco, so I keep making some more. The one on the right is fabric from one of the beds my friend was throwing out. I stripped them down and rescued as much fabric and wood as I could.

It's a bit blustery but dry, so I'm off out to walk. I'm aiming for another 100 miles this month, so trying to fit in a little extra walking. I have a day out on Friday with my walking buddies so that will boost it a bit.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip.

Sunday, 19 February 2017


Hello. Sunday morning and it's sunny, what could be better. The whole day ahead of me, brilliant.

Something I need to get off my chesticles. Oh no, not that chuffin Troll again, yep, but this is something I have to explain. Many people have said I should ignore and delete the comments, and if I publish, it only feeds them. Troll will be jumping up and down with glee knowing they have got the publicity they crave and knowing they have got to me. Well I don't see it that way.

I don't give a toss about the feelings of the Troll, the only person I care about is me. Self preservation is the name of the game. It isn't about a battle between them and me, it's about me feeling good about myself. Bottling something up inside is a form of self destruction, letting it all go is opening the pressure valve and that's what I did. I don't spend a lot of time feeling sorry for myself because why should I? I have a great life and no one can take that away from me. My life is what I have built for myself, and always will be.

Something festering needs to be released. I was getting annoyed by this person who came back time and time again to bully me. I tried the recommended approach, ignore and delete. Yes, that works for a while, and for anyone who has not been bullied in this way, that's easy to say, and not so easy to carry out. Systematic bullying does wear you down even a strong person like me will feel despair at times. Yes, I am resilient, I can bounce back, but there comes a point that whatever you are doing to cope is not working.

I got to that stage, and that's why I had to fight back. As I said, bottling something up, something that is bothering you, putting on a brave face, can lead to all kinds of mental issues. Something has to give. I am a person who needs to be up front, honest, and not afraid to show my true feelings, that's why I am writing as I am now. Secrets fester, putting on a show is false, being something I am not is false. It's the old cliche with me, what you see is what you get.

The Troll is opposite to me. Someone who who is secretly bullying someone under the name Anonymous, has issues, there is something not quite right in their life. I would say to this person, or any bully, get a life. Look inside yourself, do you like yourself, why are you so nasty? Get yourself sorted out, and if you don't there will be Karma, you will one day find yourself in a place you don't want to be.

So, I did what I did for me, I needed to let go of the of the build up which was beginning to take place in my head, and how I do that is by speaking out. I thank you all for your support and advice, I take it all on board, but ultimately it's down to me how best to deal with it. I take full responsibility for my actions.

There have been a couple of  'Sorry, goodbye', comments, which may or may not have been from Anon Troll. To be honest, I don't care if they are sorry or not, it's they who have to live with themselves. My exposing them wasn't about revenge, it was about me being honest, me releasing the pressure, and me doing the best for myself.

The matter rests for now, I have a life to live.

Thanks for popping in. Get yourself outside, keep walking, enjoy where you live. We'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Meticulous shopping

Hello. Some food I buy on a regular basis, mostly perishables which have to be purchased weekly or fortnightly. Other foods I buy on an add hoc basis, whenever I see them, and when I find them cheaper. A lot of prices are stored in my head, but there are comparison sites that can be used for price checking. I spend long enough on the computer, don't want to add to that. Besides, remembering things helps to keep the brain in order, use it or lose it. 
I called in the Cash and Carry yesterday on my way back from town, worth a look if passing. Sometimes I get nothing, sometimes a few bargains. Two boxes of  750grm Bran Flakes for £1, so I bought three for £3. I don't know what the normal price for Kellogs is because I never buy it, but I do know that my regular Bran Flakes from Aldi or Tesco Value are 88p. That is £5.28 for six, so I have saved £2.28 by buying these. 
Nuts and seeds can be quite expensive, I am always on the look out for cheaper. I found these pumpkin seeds, (113grm), three packets for £1. I thought this was a good price compared to health food shops, our Asian shop, and supermarkets.

These are meant for baking, but there is no reason why they can't be used for snacking, or as I do, in my mini chopper on the breakfast cereal. Three packets for £1, (250grm).

More dried fruit for breakfast. Two packs of sultanas for £1, (325grm) Normal price for something similar is 88p for Aldi 500grm.

Can't get any cheaper than this, 20p each. Although it says Heinz on the label all the rest is in a foreign language, not sure which country it was made in. Worth a try, if it's horrible only 40p wasted. 
Co op Cat food pouches, seven for £1. Worth a try.

I had a couple of cartons of this drink a couple of weeks ago, it's lovely. 50p per carton. I dilute it 50/50, sometimes even more, depends if I need a long refreshing drink, or a slug of fruit.
Is your shopping as meticulous as mine? I know where I can find the best prices, I call in places when I am passing, and always combine journeys with other trips out, to cut down on the cost of driving. I park in town and walk to places. I have to drive to Tesco at night because it's out of town near the motorway, but I only go once every three to four weeks, and always buy yellow sticker food. I feel that offsets the cost of the four mile each way trip.

I've just seen something lovely, the old gentleman who lives in the next street taking his dog a walk. He has one of those push along frames, he lost his dog about a year ago and was without one for a long time. Now he has a ten year old rescue dog and he is out every day with it. It has given him a new lease of life.

Another doggy tale, I know where a lot of the dogs live in my village and always look out for them as I am walking around. Some of them are looking out of the window and bark as I pass, I give them a wave, daft I know. There is a Dalmation which I used to see out and about quite a lot, always had a waggy tale, She doesn't get out now because she can't manage walks, but sometimes I see her laid on the carpet just inside the front door. I wave to her and she gets to her feet to look through the glass. Yesterday the owner and doggy was standing on the front drive talking to a neighbour, it was so lovely to see her close up and give her a cuddle.

Right, I'm off. Looking like a dry day, so I want to be outside. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Friday, 17 February 2017

Radio Humberside bus is in town

Hello. I've had a fun time in Scunthorpe today, that doesn't happen very often, ha ha. It's usually bank and shopping, with a visit to the Age UK charity shop, oh I do lead an exciting life. 
I went to the 20 21 Arts Centre to collect my picture which was in the Open Exhibition, this closed on Saturday. Outside was parked the Radio Humberside Bus, oooh, maybe I can get on the radio. 
There were two volunteers from the Hull City of Culture, here we have a happy chappie larking about.

There is a treasure hunt planned for tomorrow, and the lady from the museum is explaining how it is going to work.

People were coming and going, I went inside for a quick chat on the radio.

All the volunteers I have met so far are absolutely loving their job. 
The main art gallery is in the church, it has a new building with a cafe, shop, classroom, and more galleries, attached to the side of it.

On the way home I called in at the Cash and Carry and found some great bargains. I'll put the pics on tomorrow.

Right, it's wine weekend, and I have a glass in front of me. I've had a phone call tonight from Jade dog's owner. Joanna is going to start walking her tomorrow, so yippeeee, it's good that I have been able to arrange that, win win all round.

I'll go upstairs now and see what Heidi is doing, she seems to want to stay up there. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon. Have a nice weekend.
Toodle pip

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Replenishing the food

Hello. Thank you for the tremendous amount of support you gave me on the post yesterday. I will read through your comments again to refresh my memory. You have given me a lot to think about. I am a person not to be rushed, things sink in better if I take my time. 
This morning I did a Jade dog walk. Regular walker Ken has gone away again, so I am helping out. I told the owner I don't want to commit to every day, she will have to find someone else. As luck would have it I bumped into Joanna in the High Street, remember the 1939 house? She loves dogs, and immediately took to Jade. Since her own dog died about a year ago she has missed the dog walking, and guess what, she said she would love to walk Jade. So that's a bit of good news. It will fit in nicely with the other things she does. 
This afternoon I made three shopping bags. I think this is fabric that Brenda gave me. It is cotton fabric so I made them double thickness, they are plain green inside.   
Tonight I did the yellow sticker dash to Tesco. Not as much there but still a few bargains. Bananas 14p, mushrooms 10p, bread 21p and 23p, salad leaves 10p and 10p, onions 10p and 10p, houmous 11p, macaroni cheese 82p and 82p. Not much off the macaroni cheese because it isn't out of date yet, I'll divide it into four portions and freeze it.
I've picked up a few things I don't normally buy, to get a bit of variety into my diet. Tagliatelle is £1.25, I can get four portions out of the bag. Frozen cheese sauce, £1.50, no idea what that's like, worth a try. Garlic baguette 32p.

Soya milk is 59p, same as Aldi. Potato salad 35p, two custard tarts 70p.

Six small yogurts £1, two packs of 6 vegetable grills £1 each, six eggs 89p, two blue cheese £1 each, Value quiche £1. That will make four meals with some veg. 
Value plain yogurt 45p, I fancied a milk shake, this was £1.

 A few tins. Peaches 35p, fruit cocktail on offer two for £1.50, rice pudding 20p, mushy peas 20p.
Other bits and bobs were, butter £1.09, cream crackers 35p, pack of 12 scones £1, milk 45p. Total shop was £24.55. I have got lots of vegetables in the freezer so I will be using them up before I buy fresh. I have enough potatoes and bread for a couple of weeks. I should have enough food to last ten days or more.

It's getting late so I'm off to bed. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

I have a set of balls

Hello. I will never understand how people can be horrible to each other, why they feel the need to bully another human being. Is this a behaviour which is learnt, or are people born bullies? My memory doesn't go back to the beginning of my life, but I can't remember me ever bullying anyone. Indeed I was bullied at school, mainly name calling with reference to my appearance, but that's what kids did then and still do now.

What is the point of bullying exactly? Possibly to exert some kind of authority over someone the bully feels is inferior to them, it massages their ego to gain the upper hand. Possibly the bully feels threatened and needs to lash out to re enforce their own feelings of inferiority, again to 'big' themselves up. Or maybe they have a nasty trait in their personality.

Over the last five years or so, Troll has made it her mission to put me down, to criticize, to belittle me, and to ridicule my blog. The comments come in thick and fast, nearly always anonymous, sometimes with made up names, but always from the same area of the UK. I have a tracker on here. Sometimes they go quiet for a while, the Troll tells me they won't be reading any more. But the temptation is too great and they reappear after a gap of a few months. A little bit like OCD, Troll just cannot help themselves.

I call this person Troll, but in reality it is not trolling, it is bullying. This Troll has admitted that we have met face to face. A real Troll randomly posts nasty comments to everyone and everybody, this Troll is bullying me and it's personal.

Although the comments are aimed at putting me down, at undermining my confidence, after this length of time and the fact that I am still here, you can probably tell it's not working. The comments say more about the Troll than they do about me. I publish a few of them here for your perusal. Some of them are a lot worse than this, they get deleted, but I have saved a few of them so you can look into the mind of a bully. My comments in bold follow each one.

I don’t understand why you have cider and pretend it’s wine. Why not just have wine? Why pretend? Silly giggly video. Sipping it ‘like a lady’ doesn’t cut it for you, not when you’ve already demonstrated eating your meal out of a pan! Definitely not ladylike AT ALL! Not to mention the unmentionables, they’re certainly not ladylike!!!! on Save money on your alcohol.
Troll has no sense of humour. Personal comments about my appearance often crop up.

Posh speaking tone? Do you need a hearing aid my dear? There is nothing posh about mispronouncing the English language. As in ‘everythinK’ on Soup of the day.
in response to Ilona, I just had to watch your soup-making video, and thanks, you really made me smile! I agree that a home-made soup is the very best, though I sometimes throw in a small, diluted tin of chicken noodle soup into one of my concoctions just to make a bigger potful. Anyway, quite enjoyed your posh and clear speaking tone 
I expect the Troll is meticulous about using the English language correctly, both written and speech.
I agree, how rude. So disrespectful to call them Charlie and Cami, perhaps she thinks that’s funny. But what else can you expect from someone who doesn’t have a grasp of the Queen’s English, put everythinK in the soup. on Soup of the day.
A second criticism of how I speak, in the same post. 

Not sure you got your money’s worth there. £10 is an awful lot to pay for a bit of hard skin removing and a blob of moisturiser! on Hugo says.....
Another attempt to belittle me.

You certainly need a tripod. Two minutes of a shaky sink left me feeling quite nauseated. Your housework chores must take an awfully long time, it took you 3 minutes to wash one tiny patch of floor!!! on Getting close up to the job
I expect the Troll's household chores to be nothing less than perfectly timed. Critical of my fun post, again, no sense of humour. 

It’s none of your business whether someone gets paid for walking a dog. Tittle tattle of someone with nothing better to occupy their mind. on Fan of Heartbeat
Is Troll still working and is a little jealous that I can do exactly what I want with my time?

Hmmm, I do recall you yourself do put the occasional swear word on your blog, perhaps it’s marked by *** for some of the letters but the meaning is the same. on Mind your language
Troll has really dug deep to discover this snippet of detail from a blog post long past. Very OCD

Bugsy needs to be warm? Shame that you didn’t think that for poor arthritic Rocky. on Bills Bills Bills
Very below the belt. How low can Troll stoop? Very nasty streak. 

Chocolate Santas...its not Christmas again is it?! on Slashing the grocery bill
Chocolate Santas? Ha ha thought that would make you think. Write a post one day saying you don’t indulge in junk food then expose all on your receipt. You’re sure to say you bought them for someone else now, but we’re not all so gullible. Did you NEED all that veg? There were others who would have liked more. on Slashing the grocery bill
More scrutiny of past blog posts. The Chocolate Santa's were in a small packet costing 25p,  five of them, half the size of my little finger. Regarding all that veg, yes I did need it, and ate it, and there was plenty for others to take. Troll being nasty again. 

I don’t usually comment but find a contradiction here! Ha ha! You don’t want food that’s full of sugar and is junk? What’s cake then? Not to mention Chocolate Santas? CHOCOLATE SANTAS! Go on then tell us they’re for someone else, we’ll believe you! on Slashing the grocery bill
Don't kid me Troll, don't usually comment, ha ha. Three comments on the Chocolate Santa's. 

You could always sell trumpets. on Life is good on a pension
This is reference to blowing my own trumpet, which she has often accused me of in the past. 

What’s the big deal? Ok so you don’t like Christmas or socialising. Neither do I but I don’t make a big deal or fuss about it. Choose to stay home? Then stay home! Who cares? One thing for sure – you’re not likely to get invited next year so you won’t have the choice to make! One difference between you and me - I don’t feel the need to pontificate and repeatedly say ‘I am’ and big myself up. I don’t have an ego the size of a house either! on Only available from a supermarket
Troll, there is a big difference between you and me. I don't continually go onto someone else's blog and pull them to pieces. That's a laugh, ego the size of a house. I have never touted for more readers, more followers, and never entered for any blog awards. Don't need to increase my page views, because there is no financial gain for me to do so.

And the reason for this post is........if you are being bullied, get yourself a set of balls. The bully has the problems not you. Be thankful that you are not walking in their shoes, that your brain functions normally and your mind is not warped. Surround yourself with nice people and let the bullies fester in their own swamp.

I'm going to enjoy the rest of the day, looks good enough outside to go a walk. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip 

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

I can do that.

Hello. All my own work. I thought I would go for abstract this time, it's 8 x 10 inches. It's so easy, draw a few  straight lines, use objects as templates, draw round them, then colour in. These tester pots are going to last me ages. Frame from a charity shop for £1, not sure if it suits the picture, I might change it. 

Blurb.....My relationship with my artwork is pure passion. A blank canvas whispers to me and share's it's secrets. My hand is guided in a trance like state to follow the voice in my head. What appears in front of me is a notion of calm, of orderliness, and perfection. I am enthused by colours, they fill me with life, with with hope, and a yearning for a beautiful experience. I am never disappointed.

And if you believe that you will believe anything.
Thanks for popping on, I'm off to the library to change my books. We'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Monday, 13 February 2017

Save money on your alcohol.

Hello. I buy a four pack of cider from Aldi for about £2, probably every four to six weeks. The pear cider is very nice. I drink very little alcohol and regard it as a treat. The cider can sit in my cupboard for ages, I only drink it when I fancy it, not because it's there. So, this post is about how you can save money on your alcohol. 
This secret I will share with you in the form of a short video, so take a look if you are spending too much on your booze. You will also find there are health benefits if you adopt my method.

My dinner yesterday was a bit of this and a bit of that. A mixed bag. I don't care if these foods are not normally served on the same plate, my meals are whatever I have in, mix and match. I bought a lettuce on a yellow sticker for 14p. The last of the cottage cheese which was ten days out of date. The last of the pasta salad also ten days out of date. A few mushrooms from a normal price punnet. One spud in the microwave, from a big bag. Two Lincolnshire style veggie sausages. Plus a dollop of mayo. It was bloomin lovely. 
Thank you very much for your comments on Sam's post yesterday. I haven't had an email from him yet, so maybe he doesn't get online every day.

Crafty Club this morning was good, another new lady started. It's cold out but I have done my three mile walk. I managed to get one in last night after it finally stopped raining.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Letter to Sam.

Hello. It is still raining and I am not getting much walking done. Never mind, I will catch up eventually, in the meantime I am hooked on painting, pictures that is, not walls. 

An email came in a few days ago which asks a question, and as it is a good topic for a blog post I thought I would answer it here, with the writers permission.  

Hi Ilona,
My name is Sam and I am a young lad from Spain. I just felt the need to write you a "keep up the good work" email, since I have been reading your blog for a while now and find you and your lifestyle truly inspiring. Thanks for showing me that you do not need to conform to a traditional lifestyle and that going against the current is perfectly fine. 

I have only recently started accepting that being very careful with spending is not a bad thing. I was so terrified of coming across as tight. Now I jokingly call myself tight. For me, it's all about trading things for experiences. I want my life to be full of experiences and not just things. Deep down, I have known for years that, for me, being rich is doing meaningful work.

I still have a long road ahead, I struggle every day with family and society's expectations. Not craving people's approval is not something they teach you at school or work. What about you, did you ever struggle with your life choices being frowned upon? Any advice on how to cope with it?

Hi Sam, 
Thanks a lot for your kind words. I am chuffed that my blog is being read by all ages, and is helpful to you. I love this phrase you use, 'going against the current is perfectly fine'. That's exactly how I feel. Although there has been periods in my life where I felt I had to fit in and be one of the crowd, I am now in a better place having broken away from mainstream expectations. It is a liberating feeling knowing I can be myself, and take full responsibility for my own well being and happiness. I no longer need approval from others to make me feel good.  

It is natural for younger people to want to fit in. Being an outcast when you are young is no fun at all, such is the cruel way that people bully each other. It takes a very brave young person who hasn't been around very long to stand up and say, this is me, this is who I am. 

I followed the normal pattern of a young girl with no qualifications leaving school in 1964, and worked in shops, offices, and factories, in female type jobs because that was expected. Now of course things are different, there is no such thing as jobs for women, and jobs for men, or shouldn't be, as discriminating on the grounds of gender is illegal. 

There is so much pressure these days on keeping up appearances. Everywhere you look there are influences to spend more money. Credit cards, overdrafts and loans to encourage you to spend more. People walking around with a £500 phone stuck to the side of their head, kids who have rich parents, cruising the streets in the flashiest car they can find, young people hooked into the celebrity culture, all of which will ultimately be their downfall as they become bored or the debts wrack up. 

A young person who can stand up and say no thanks to all this, should be applauded, not picked on. Ultimately I think it is the parents responsibility to teach their children good money management, but as we know, a lot of parents don't have the skills in the first place. It's not like it was years ago when I was a child, my mum managed on very little money, and I learnt from her. 

I wasn't too happy about the names I have been called in the past by the press, skinflint, tight, miserly, among others. Stingy was particularly hurtful. But now I wear my badge with pride, people can say what they like, I know I am the winner. I have no need to fit in.

You ask, 'Did you ever struggle with your life choices being frowned upon?'  Yes it was a struggle sometimes, but I have never shied away from questioning myself, and my identity. I often search my feelings deep down in my heart and my mind, even now, it never stops. The way to all learning is to first look inside yourself. All through my life I have questioned my identity, if there was something I didn't understand I would look for the answers. First within myself, and also with the help of books, magazines, and now the internet. There are such a lot of resources available. 

Yes, I know I harp on about this, but it can't be ignored. I felt I was struggling against a tidal wave when I started lorry driving in 1976. So much negativity came my way, I felt like giving up many times. But I stuck with it, the more people said I shouldn't be doing it because it was taking the job off a man, the more determined I became to carry on. I seem to have been blessed with an inner strength. After being bullied at school and made to feel ugly and hopeless, then struggling through my teenage years wanting to fit in with the gang, at the age of 27 I finally found something that I was passionate about, and my inner strength was there to help me. 

You ask for my advice on how to cope with your struggles. Sam, life is a journey, the road you choose is up to you. There will be times when you wonder what it's about. What you should never lose sight of is that you have been blessed with a life, it is a gift, and you have a duty to yourself to make it the best you can. There will be outside influences pulling you in one direction or another. Think things through carefully and make your decision, do you turn left, or do you turn right? One is a dead end, the other is the way forward. Don't worry if you are going in the wrong direction, we all lose our way at one time or another, just turn round and take a different route. 

I often talk about taking responsibility for oneself. What I never do is blame anyone else for the the position I find myself in. My life has been planned by me, I take full responsibility. I have the power to change things if they are not right. I have learnt to rise above any negativity that comes my way, sweep it to one side and ignore. Practice is what you need, Sam, things will get easier with age and experience.

I think I have covered everything, I hope it has been useful to you. Live your life Sam, in the way that you want to, not in the way that someone thinks you ought to. Best of luck. 

We'll catch up soon. Enjoy your Sunday if you can, it's still raining here. 
Toodle pip

Saturday, 11 February 2017

The Blade in Hull

Hello and Good Morning on this wet and dull day in February. 2017 is the Hull year of Culture, and in the city centre is installed a massive wind turbine blade. I went to see it on Thursday. This is my first sighting of it as I walked towards it. Oh wow, that looks big, can't get all of it in one picture. 
The wider end sits on a cradle quite low to the ground. Close up you can see the the big bolts that fix it to the main tower. It will be a delicate operation when the crane suspends it while the holes are lined up with those on the main tower. It's amazing that those bolts will support the blade however fierce the wind is blowing.

When you look up to the top of a wind turbine it looks as though the blades are straight, they aren't, they are curved. Several seagulls have taken to using it as a resting place.

It is lying at an angle, corner to corner, across Queen Victoria Square.

The narrow end is supported by a cradle, protected by a wooden surround at ground level. 
People can walk underneath it. It looks as though those blocks were put there to stop people bumping their heads as it's a bit low on that end, health and safety and all that.

Fascinating how the cradle works. It rests on some kind of webbing, with rubber buffers each side to clamp it into place. The legs are bolted into the ground, it's all very stable.

Here is a little video, found on yooootooob.

Some have disputed whether this is a work of art. I tend to think it is, because of the surrounding location which has been chosen for it. While it is up in the air sitting on top of a tower, it's a piece of machinery doing it's job. While it's down on the ground and can be viewed at close quarters, with a backdrop of ancient buildings, I see it as art. What do you think? Is it art?

The weather was not good for taking photo's, I snapped a couple as I was walking around the Marina.

I went into the Ferens Art Gallery, but sadly there was a 'no photography' rule, which was a shame, because the Open Exhibition which covered three large galleries, and had several hundred artworks, was fantastic. The talent of these local and amateur artists was very awe inspiring, I really enjoyed looking at them. The Open is on until the 12th of March. I highly recommend a visit.

It's still raining, I'll have lunch, and maybe a quick trip to town later. I've had an email I need to reply to in a post, so that's next on the to do list. Sorry to keep you waiting.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Friday, 10 February 2017

Still baffled.

Hello. I don't think I will ever understand how a piece of art is valued. I was in The Ropewalk Gallery yesterday at Barton, the exhibition was by artist Gillian Ross Kelsey. I like the colours and the geometrical shapes, but what is it that makes the pictures so expensive? This is one of life's biggest mysteries for me, I can't get my head round it. 
Maybe it's because I am a bit of a skinflint, maybe I don't see art as a must have, maybe I am not passionate enough about it. Who knows. 
I tend to look at art in a simplistic way, I either like it or don't like it, or maybe it's just ok, or maybe I get really excited by something absolutely amazing. There are lots of maybe's in art. What I don't understand is what is going on in the artists brain as they create their masterpieces. Yes, I read the blurb alongside the picture, either on the wall or in the catalogue, or on their web site, but I am non the wiser as it is all waffle to me. When does any artist say I made this picture because I like it? Or I was excited? 
I am in no way criticizing Gillian's work, I just wondered how the price is set. If you want to buy any, go to her web site. 
Twelve small canvases at £100 each, £1000 for the set of 12. 

The edges have been deliberately left drippy to show the layers of paint.

Larger picture, £850.

Prints are cheaper.
This picture has been sold, it's only a few inches square.

Reading up about the artist, she has years of experience, lots of qualifications, has studied art at all levels, and is well respected. Maybe it's the name that people buy into, and as art is so subjective, maybe anything would sell as art. It's all a bit bonkers to me.

I went on to the Ferens Gallery yesterday in Hull. They have an open exhibition over three galleries, a wide range of a couple of hundred or more artworks by local and amateur artists. I must say that the standards were very high, some fabulous works there. If money was no object I could have picked out a dozen or more for myself. The exhibition is on until the 12th of March, definitely worth a look if you are in Hull.

I'll be back tomorrow with some pictures of The Blade, but for now, I want to get on with my own art. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Let's go Down The Lane

Hello. I'm going to be a bit busy today, so here is a little something to read to keep you going. You may not have seen it before. Down the Lane boss Richard, has written an article about me, it's on his web site. There are other articles about frugal living, links are on the sidebar to the left. You might want to take a look at those as well while you are there.

The Simple Life

I am taking part in his Frugal February project on the forum. It's in the form of diaries by various forum members. You already know about my frugal ways, but you might like to read how other people are tackling their bid to save money. You don't need to join to read, but if you want to go into the members section at the bottom of the main menu, you will have to join.

Frugal February

I'll leave you to it, have a nice day. We'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Soup of the day.

Hello. The future King messed up my plans today. I was going to go to Hull to see the newly refurbished Ferens Art Gallery, the new Humber Streety Gallery, and the Blade installation. I checked my Twitter and saw that Charlie and Cami were going to be there. Oh bother, don't want to get tied up with a crowd of people, and Ferens was closed until 2.30pm anyway. Weather permitting I shall make the trip across the bridge tomorrow. 
So, plan 'B' is to tidy up the spare bedroom, there is stuff in there which will have to go. I did my walk early to get that out of the way first. Lunch today was soup. I didn't manage to eat all the salad last night so it went in the pan with some carrots, peas, cucumber and spring beans. Also added soft cheese and spices. 
Here is a little video I made as I was about to eat my soup.

Two soups.

Back upstairs. Thank you for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Globe Trekker by Lee Morton. Book review

Hello. I've got a book review for you today. I'm not sure I'm actually going to read the whole of the book, because I'm sort of bored with it now and I'm only two thirds through it. I was looking forward to it as it covers a lot of countries, which should make it interesting, but I am disappointed with the writing style. The character descriptions are almost non existent, and there is a lot of inane and uninteresting details in it. It's as if a school boy wrote it. I was appalled at how many spelling mistakes are in it, on almost every page, was it ever spell checked, it can't have been proof read before it went to print. 
In a nutshell, Lee Morton drank his way around the world, went in this bar, went to that party, chatted women up, plenty of hangovers, stayed in this hostel and that hostel, and had long bus journeys on uncomfortable old buses. The blurb on the back cover is heavily embroidered and does not give an accurate description of what is inside the book.

He didn't have anything nice to say about the Australian people, some of his remarks were rude and condescending, and at times he comes across as arrogant and full of his own self importance. He reminded me a bit of a loudmouthed football fan, getting blathered after the match. 
Amazingly there are more positive reviews than negative on Amazon. I don't know how that happened, but as most of them are from a three month period in 2006, when the book came out, I can only assume they are from friends and family. Now I have talked myself out of finishing the book, I won't waste any more time on it. I can't recommend this book.

My dinner tonight. Yes, I have salad, bought before all the hoohaa about shortages and price rises. I like these Tesco vegetable grills, at £1 for a packet of six. Handy to have in the freezer to add to salad, or steamed vegetables. 
Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Monday, 6 February 2017

Direct debits, friend or foe?

Hello. I like to time my lunch with a listen to the BBC Radio 4 consumer programme, You and Yours at 12.15pm. In the introduction today it said there would be a topic on how to save money on your utility bills. I need to know about this I thought. 
It started with an interview where someone was talking about how they pay their quarterly paper bills into the bank with cash. It makes them more careful about how they use their gas and electric because it makes them mentally connect their usage to the actual cost of it. 
They said what I have been saying for years. They like a paper bill, and they feel more in control rather than having direct debits taken from their bank account. 
The advice given that to pay by a monthly direct debit will be cheaper, is true in one sense, but it doesn't give any incentive to cut down on usage to save money. The mindset is they are going to take the money straight out of the bank anyway, so we might as well use it. Because you are paying upfront and the money is moved from your account automatically, you tend to forget about it. Paying cash over the counter, (a cheque in my case), makes you more mindful of how much it is costing you.

By paying for what you use after you have used it makes sense to me. I don't want the hassle of them taking too much money from me, and me trying to get it back. My supplier does not impose penalties on anyone paying quarterly. They charge the same flat rate for everyone, and there is no standing charge.

I shall continue to stick to my guns and not sign up for any more direct debits, I will not do internet banking or phone banking, I will keep on withdrawing the cash I need from the machine inside the bank and use that to pay for most of what I buy. I use my credit card for petrol and food shopping, and any larger amounts which might crop up from time to time. I clear that every month.

Have a listen to the paying for utilities item on Radio 4 today. Move the slider across to 25 minutes. See what you think.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip