Monday, 19 March 2018

A little vid

Hello. It's been a busy day. Crafty Club this morning, not many people came, there is still a lot of ice about on the roads and pavements. Ok for me, it's only a three minute walk there. I called in to see my friend Angela, we had a coffee and a natter. After lunch I finished delivering the Parish Newsletters, so I have been out of the house for most of the day.

I uploaded this video onto Yooootoooob yesterday. I thought I had better show what I had done with the Dorset Buttons, in case anyone seeing the first two videos were making some and wondering what to do with them. 

I am feeling a bit tired now, so I'll retire to bed. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Wonderful Today by Pattie Boyd and Penny Junor. Book review

Hello. Woke up to a blanket of snow this morning, some of it had blown into deep drifts. I woke at 4am, because I went to bed at 10 last night, six hours is about right for me. I made a coffee and went back to bed to drink it, and finish the last few pages of a book. My sleeping partner decided to have a lie in.
Oh dear, I hope it soon melts. I ain't going anywhere if it stays like this all day.

Little paw prints heading for my back door. Mickey cat was under that table and came out when he heard me pottering about. Oh well, still got some of Garcias food left so he might as well have it.

This is the book I have just finished. Pattie Boyd was a model in the swinging sixties, she caught the eye of George Harrison, and later married him. As an avid fan of the Beatles I bought any magazine they were featured in, and watched all the pop programmes on TV to catch a glimpse of them. Paul was my heart throb, and when he took up with Jane Asher my heart was broken.

Pattie was very pretty and I was so so jealous of her seemingly exciting life as a pop princess/model. In the book she talks about endless parties, name dropping some of the most famous people in the music industry, her life was one hell of a whirlwind of travel and big houses. The marriage was not perfect when Eric Clapton came on the scene, and wooed Pattie away from George. She divorced George and later married Eric. This marriage also hit the dust, drink, drugs, and infidelities were to blame for it's demise.

It is well documented that fans often threw themselves at their pop idols, we saw it on the TV screens. I wasn't aware at the time, (being young and naive), just how endemic sleeping around really was. In the book Pattie shares her heartbreak at having to share her husbands with whoever made a play for them.  She did join them on tour sometimes but it was too painful to watch. The drugs and alcohol were also a problem. She joined in with them on many occasions,  but eventually saw what it was doing to everyone around her.

So, fast forward, two broken marriages and one failed relationship, and she has rebuilt her own life. I wouldn't have wanted to go through half of what she has been through. It must have been very exciting at times, but oh so destructive.

It's a good read if you were growing up in the sixties and followed the pop scene. Penny Junor is a renowned author and biographer. It's packed with drama, and documents how Pattie Boyd survived her whirlwind of a life.

Thanks for popping in, enjoy your snowy Sunday, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Keeping warm

Hello. I was out delivering Parish Council newsletters this morning, oh boy was it cold. The snow was swirling all around, I was battling against the wind, my fingers were numb with cold, and I was flippin freezing. I stuck it for as long as I could, then gave up and came home. I'll go back and finish it tomorrow, or the day after if the weather is no better. 
I've got the heating on, the cats are snuggled up to the radiators, and I was still a bit cold even with a six sizes too big fleecy dressing gown on over my clothes. I needed something to cover up my head and neck, I know, I have a very large headscarf in the wardrobe. 
If a headscarf is good enough for the Queen, it's good enough for me. 

What do you think, stylish eh!. I may even be brave enough to wear the scarf when I go out tomorrow. I don't think it matters what you look like as long as you keep warm. I think these girls who wear skimpy dresses and go out in the cold should at least wear a head scarf. They must be barmy tottering around on six inch heels, with chesticles over flowing and their arse hanging out. Get covered up girls, get yourself a granny scarf. 
Thanks for popping in, keep warm, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Friday, 16 March 2018

A pot of flowers. Latest art project

Hello. At last, it is finished. The Dorset Buttons-curtain rings wrapped in wool-pot of flowers thingy. I'm very pleased with it. The size is 22 inches by 18 inches. Same dark blue fabric on the back as the front, added after it was all finished on the front. In the middle is a piece of thick wool type fabric to give stability to the rings and hold the weight without sagging. 
Two shades of green felt for the stalks and leaves, the darker one is a bit I had left from the snooker table which was recovered at the club.

The rings are stitched on with matching cotton The larger ones are stitched close to the centre, and also around the inside of the circle close to the ring.

One row of running stitch in a lighter shade of blue around the edge. I was going to do three rows, but it is not needed. Orange felt for the pot.

The light today is not good for photographs. As daft as it sounds, the best place is on the kitchen floor with light coming in from two sides. I took some with the old Fujifilm camera, and the new Canon, the Canon is better. Thank goodness that is finished, it's taken a while, now I can move on to other things.

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

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Goodbye my little friend.

Hello. I was invited to go and see Garcia yesterday, as his owner J, thought he wouldn't be here much longer. When she came home from work I went straight round to the house and found her on the phone to the vet. It was obvious that he had to go straight away. I offered to go with her because there were no other family members around, and she was understandably upset. I couldn't let her go on her own. We were there in ten minutes, and Garcia went off to pussycat heaven. 
This is how I will remember him, lying in the sunshine, sleeping peacefully on my window sill. Almost every morning he would be waiting for me to open the back door, and would stroll in, and help himself to whatever food he could find. He sometimes stayed a while, and sometimes went for a wander, but would come back later looking for more food. He didn't have a cat flap at his house, but he knew he could get in here. 
He was wary of Rocky and warned him off a few times with a hiss if he got too close, even though Rocky liked cats. Garcia would sleep anywhere in the sunshine, in my garden, in next doors hedge bottom, even on the tarmac pavement somewhere between his house and my house. He was always at his own front door waiting to be let in when they came home from work. He will be buried today in his own garden. Rest in peace my little friend.

I've just found a little video of three cats mooching around the garden. Bugsy, Lily, and Garcia. Had forgot about it, can't remember doing it. I can't find it on yoootooob, and there are no links to embed  it here. If you click on this link it will take you to the page 3rd April 2011, scroll down to the bottom. All the cats are gone now, but this is a lovely way to remember them, in the sunshine, in the garden. 

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

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Looking forward to a new adventure.

Plans are afoot for another walk. After much consideration......... I thought about going to Norwich on the train and walking back towards home and possibly finishing at Lincoln where I can get a bus home. But, it would mean buying more maps, and carrying them with me, too bulky and heavy. So, I am going back to the beginning, the first walk I did was from Blackpool to the Humber Bridge, 137 miles in seven days. I already have some of the maps.

I will choose a different route, coming across the country a bit lower down, Preston, Blackburn, Bingley, Leeds, Selby, Howden. I will start at Cleveleys at my friends house, so a bit further north than Blackpool. Should be a similar distance and time as the previous one.

So, planning to do, what to take with me, travel light with the bare essentials, scale everything down to fit in a backpack, and buy a train ticket. The weather here is good, I am hoping for a rain free week.

Other news, the new wall hanging is progressing nicely, not far off finishing, it's looking good. The room looks a lot more tidy now the cross trainer has gone and I have more room to spread out with the arts and crafts.

Sadly, it's looking like the demise of Garcia is looming. I have been invited to see him later today. One last chance to say goodbye.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon. I'm leaving the comments settings as they are at the moment, because it's bliss not getting any junk coming through.
Toodle pip

Sunday, 11 March 2018

A stomping good party

Hello. I had a lovely time at the party yesterday. The house was full to bursting with friends and family, the very posh shed in the garden was also open for people to sit and chat. It was an open house so people came and went to suit themselves. I met new people, which was very nice. 
The buffet tables were laden with all kinds of scrummy food, something for everyone. Hot food was brought out later. The home made cakes and fresh fruit kebabs looked very colourful.
All under cover waiting for the hungry guests to help themselves. Apologies for the poor quality of the photo, due to the light from the window.

Two birthday cakes, lucky Kerry.

After the speeches, they were cut, and demolished. Not much left Kerry.

It's Sunday, and dry outside. I have to get my house ship shape, I think I have a visitor coming tomorrow for a few days. Still got one toilet seat to fit, got to find some screws of the right size. You would think they could include screws in the fixing kit. The place looks a tip, spare room a dumping ground, need to get it sorted.

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

PS. I'm going to have to put restrictions on the comments box again. Spam and all kinds of crap are coming in by the bucket load, and they are not being filtered by Blogger. It means I have to be very vigilant and carefully check every one, a hassle I can do without. So, sorry, no anonymous for the next few days. I will review it later.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Extreme bulk buying.

Hello. I was searching the internet yesterday to find the best price for Heidi's cat food. Not the cheapest I know, but she likes it, and it doesn't upset her tum or give her diarrhoea. There are six pouches in a packet. Morrisons £2. Pets at Home £2.09. Amazon £1.66. Zooplus £1.89. Wilko £1.60. Hilhouse £1.49. 
I normally pay £1.49 at Home Bargains or B & M, but they never have many in stock. Sometimes it is on special at Wilko for £1.25, but not very often, and when it is that price it all goes very quickly. I saw it in Tesco on Wednesday night for £2.10. Sainsburys and Asda are the same price unless it is on offer at £1.50, which again isn't very often. I have noticed that Poundland is selling it at £1.50, they are not strictly a £1 shop any more, they sell anything now at any price. I am getting a bit fed up of trawling these shops looking for the best price. 
I set off for town yesterday, again on the hunt for cat food, when I quickly pulled off into the Cash and Carry yard. Haven't been for a while so it was worth a look to see if there was anything new. I was absolutely amazed to see the exact Sheba in gravy that I wanted. They had bought in a pallet of mixed cat food, and this was in the middle of it. The price? £1.20. YAY, I did a jig in the shop.

I was so chuffed I went a bit mad and bought 12 boxes, 8 packets in each box, 96 packets in total, 6 pouches in a packet, at a cost of £115.20.

So how do the numbers stack up. If I had bought all these at the big supermarkets for £2 a packet , it would cost me £192. So, a saving of £76.08. If I had trawled the discount stores for several months and bought them at £1.50 a packet, it would have cost me £144. So, a saving of £29.80.

This will cut down my trips to town, I won't need to go so often, saving me petrol money, and saving me the bother of lugging heavy bags back to the car, or dragging the shopping trolley about. All I need now is for Heidi to live a long life, and not to run away to a better home. Not that she will find one, ha ha. She is showing no signs of illness, so the tablets are working.

Other cat news. Sadly it looks as if I won't see Garcia again. I asked his owners if he was alright, they said yes he is, but they are keeping him in now. His walking was not so good when I last saw him so he is better off indoors. My Bugsy lived on the dining room table for the last six months of his life. The good news is that Tina cat has a new home, with a lady who has one other cat. All is well there.

Have a great weekend. I'm partying, my cousins 50'th. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Friday, 9 March 2018

Furnish your home with free and second hand.

Hello. I'm whizzing this off pretty quick because I have a lot to do today. This corner of my living room used to be my fitness studio, it housed the Cross Trainer, which has been loaded into a friends car half an hour ago. I sold it, because I no longer use it, and someone else who is into fitness in a big way can make better use of it. 
So what is in it's place. More room for my arts and crafts work space. I brought a pine table down from upstairs in the storeroom, aka spare bedroom. This table was given to me, the people next door were throwing it out a few years ago, along with two bench seats. It fits in nicely in this space. I have extended the top of the table by laying three pieces of interlocking floor panels on the top, which gives an extra foot on the length. Also free I might add, out of a skip.
I found this wooden shelving in a skip a few weeks ago. It used to be a cd storage unit. Standing on it's end it had plastic inserts to house a hundred or so cd's. I removed them and turned it on it's side, and bingo, shelves. It's buffed up nicely with a rub of wax polish

This unit was given to me by a friend as she no longer had a use for it. It is the housing for a stereo player, but I am using it as a cupboard.

This got me thinking about how much of my furniture cost me nothing because it was found or given. These two bedside cabinets came from a skip. They work well in the living room, I don't need bedside cabinets.

Looking around, in this room, I have a free dining room table which came from next door. A four piece suite, sofa, two chairs, and pouffe which was £50 second hand. A sideboard bought from a friend many many years ago for a few quid. A desk bought from a second hand office shop for £30. There is a cupboard in here which the previous owners left behind. Free curtains either from a skip or given to me.

I can see no reason why anyone needs to go in a furniture shop and splash out loads of money. There is plenty of second hand stuff available. I see that one of those buy now pay later homestyle shops has closed down in the town. Their prices were extortionate, they robbed the vulnerable by advertising a low weekly repayment scheme, but over the period of the loan they ended up paying hundreds even thousands more than they needed to. Brighthouse is still trading further up the High Street in a similar way, I would like to see them close too.

My lunch and dinner are usually eaten in front of a computer screen. This is what I had yesterday. Pasta, houmous, mushrooms, tomato, lettuce, and crusty seeded bread. I don't put the pasta and houmous on the plate, they are a side dish to accompany the salad. I pick at them, stop when I am full, and the pots go back in the fridge. I like these meals, from fridge to plate, no cooking.

Anyway, must get off. Jobs to do....Tidy up spare room where I removed the table, put it all back straight. Tidy up my crafting stuff here, now I have more space. Two men in a van just delivered three pieces of wood, as big as pallets, I need to find a space for them in the garage. I like being busy.

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

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Plenty of broccoli for the weekend, and beyond.

Hello. The fridge was bare yesterday, now it is almost full but not quite. I did the yellow sticker shop last night, arrived at 7pm. There wasn't much on offer, and the third sticker had not been done. I decided to go around the shop for the other things I needed, then come back when they had marked it down for the third and last time. 
I still managed to get enough, though not much variety. These are my greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, sugarsnap peas, courgettes, and iceberg lettuce. There were a few other things but not what I really wanted.  
I took the two packs of pasta and pine nut salad, I really like this.

Strawberries and melon. Would have liked some berries but none on offer. Never mind, I have frozen blueberries and cherries in the freezer. I like fruit with my breakfast cereal.

Three pots of houmous. Nice with crusty bread.

Hot cross buns, and a seeded very long bagette. These buns are lovely, they are caramel flavour.

These yogurt drinks had been reduced because the packaging was damaged. They are not out of date.

I had some bananas as well, forgot to photograph them. Nine bananas for 26p, a bargain.

Not as much as I have had before, but enough. There were only a couple of other people looking for  stickers, so no scramble. I used some Tesco vouchers, the ones they send in the post, to get my bill reduced even more. £33 was knocked down to £19. I don't usually spend these on food because you can get more for them if you use them for other things, but I can't think of anything else I want or need. 

So, it will be broccoli every day this week, I love those greens. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

My little video on Dr Rangan's book

Hello. The Doctor Rangan book has gone back to the library, someone else has reserved it so I have passed it on. I have already done a book review about this, but I thought I would do a video as well, because not all my yoootooob subscribers come to this blog, and the messages in the book are worth repeating.

My fridge is bare, I will need to do a big shop at some point, maybe tonight. For lunch today I found three small onions which I chopped and put in a small pan. I added two handfuls of frozen peas, and simmered them until they were soft. Vegetable granules and curry powder added, then zapped with the stick blender, to make lovely soup, enjoyed with a wholemeal bread roll. Deeeelish. 

It's a nice day here today, so I'm off out to do my walk. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

My time is precious

Hello. Is it really worth buying a TV licence any more? Is there anything on the box worth watching? I got rid of mine years ago, and what a relief that was, no more planning my life around what I wanted to watch. Buying a programme magazine, spending an hour marking off what I might be interested in, keeping an eye on the time so I wouldn't miss anything. It was almost compulsory for the television to dictate my daily routine.

Later on I got a video recorder so I was able to set it before I went out, and watch my favourite programmes when I came back. I remember coming home from a week away in the truck, and watching a weeks worth of Brookside, my favourite soap, at one sitting. Remember when they had the omnibus edition. Then I found I was glued to the television over the whole weekend to watch everything I had recorded. Jeez, the amount of time I wasted. Mind you, I needed a rest after driving up and down the country for five days, so I suppose sitting in front of the TV was the easiest thing to do.

It eventually dawned on me that I didn't need a television set, and when the licence came up for renewal I didn't pay it. I stopped, just like that. Enough's enough, I went cold turkey. Of course I got the letters telling me I needed to pay, I told them I didn't have a tele, so no, I wasn't going to pay. They hounded me for a few months, some of the letters were a tad threatening, but I sent them back and said I don't have a TV set. They did send someone round to my house, I invited him in so he could see for himself I didn't have one. He said he didn't need to and scribbled a few notes on his board. Eventually the letters got less and less. Now I get one every two years asking if the situation has changed, I send it back and declare no, still the same, still no TV.

I have almost lost touch with what is on the TV these days, I haven't a clue who the so called celebrities are, can't put names to faces, I have no idea what their job is, actor, singer, presenter, or what. I pick up snippets of information from the newspapers I read online, but I skim through a lot of it because I haven't any idea who they are talking about. I see their faces and think 'who is that'.

I think I must be getting old, because from what I see of the current offerings so loosely called 'entertainment', my first reaction is, how can anyone sit through that drivel. What a waste of precious time. From what I can tell, daytime television is dire, littered by people airing their dirty washing in front of a jeering audience. Most of the programmes rely on ordinary people wanting their five minutes of fame. Quiz programmes, holiday programmes, lets move to Australia, let's move to the country, let's make some money buying antiques, etc etc. And don't get me started on the storylines in soaps, what the heck has happened to Coronation Street!

There is such a lot of cheap tele, make a programme for very little outlay. And blimey, don't they stretch it out, in a one hour slot there will be recap after recap, it could be whittled down to 30 minutes or less. I sometimes have a wind down hour where I pick one out on the catchup channels, but have to give up after ten minutes. They do drag on in the most boring fashion.

I've just been reading about the latest idea. Following on from the programme where people get married when they haven't even met each other, now they are working on the idea to throw two couples together who haven't got a particularly stable marriage, fly them to some exotic location, and encourage them to swap partners. If that isn't the height of tackiness I don't know what is. Big Brother has got a lot to answer for, it all started going downhill from there.

As you know I have dabbled in a bit of tele myself, it was something fun to do at the time. Shed of the Year was great fun, but some filming is hard work. Do it just one more time, again and again. I remember some years ago I had a film crew out on the lorry with me, my friend Carol came with me because it was a large load which needed two people. After filming all day on the road, we were filming in a pub on an overnight stay. I was talking to the landlady over the bar, and noticed that the camera had moved away from us and was pointing at the scantily clad barmaid. I blew my top, caused a big stink, and stormed out. We were five days on that job, and after all that they only got 20 minutes worth of film. It didn't get on the tele.

I had a half hour phone conversation last week with a researcher, working on a new frugal/simple living programme. It was fun talking to her about a subject I am passionate about. She wanted to take it further with a skype hook up, and some filming at my house, to see if I was the person they want to work with. I could see that this was going to take up more of my time, with no guarantee that anything would come of it, so I asked her how much they would be able to pay me. Yep, you've guessed it, no payment for my time. She did however say they would pay for my expenses if I had to travel to a different location, but that was dependent on whether I got that far down the line in the selection process. I decided not to proceed. I don't actually need to earn money, I have enough with my pension, but if any payment does come my way, I give it to charity.

Television is becoming more of the same. There are no new ideas coming through, same old same old with a different format. Send rich people to swap houses with poor people, pick through each others lifestyle, I wonder how many of them are being paid for their time?

My time is precious, so I'm going now to do something else. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Monday, 5 March 2018

Murder in the Summer House.

Hello. It's been a lovely sunny day here in North Lincolnshire. It's amazing when you think that a week ago we were snowed in. This crazy weather is certainly baffling. Crafty Club this morning was busy. I didn't know what to take with me because the ring thing is too big to lay out if we are all squashed in around the table. Had to think of something else. Something small which doesn't take much space up. One of the ladies showed us photo's of the cushions she has covered with the fabric I was sharing out last week. She has made a smashing job of them, her sofa and chairs look lovely now. 
After lunch I went out into the garden for a bit of tidying up. All the food I had thrown out for the birds was now exposed with the snow melting, and looks a mess. I left it there in the hope that it will get eaten eventually. It seems they liked the pizza crust the best because there is hardly any of that left. 
After the windy days the garden is covered in bits of twigs which have blown down off the silver birch trees in the next garden. I found a new use for my litter picking stick, saves bending down.

Disaster in the Summer House, I had forgot to bring the money plants indoors like I usually do every winter. Looks like I might have killed them  :o( I had all that to clean up.

The gardening boots are still functional, only just. I might have to add some more tape as they are coming apart again. There might be a few more months wear in them.

I have just stuffed my face with rice and peas, tomato and lettuce and potato salad, and a veggie burger. Now I need to go and walk it off.

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

Sunday, 4 March 2018

My Special Mothers Day

Hello. Today is Mothers Day in my house. For me it is always on March the 4th, my mothers birthday. Today, in the year 2018, if she was still here, she would have been 100 years old. 
My mother was born in Hamburg on the 4th of March 1918, and named Martha Elizabeth Helen, I don't have many photo's of her before she came to England, these I treasure. I never knew my German grandparents. They were just an ordinary working class family. 
I'm not sure how old she was here, possibly early twenties.

She was married, and divorced, by the time she met my English father. He was in the army stationed in Hamburg in the war. As a single mum in bombed out Hamburg she was left homeless. When I was little I remember her telling me stories of how it was, walking the streets with a little one in a pram. She told me how an English soldier (not my father), gave her some tinned food. She would not take it and threw it back at him. She was a feisty woman. Then she met my father, and came to England. This is the earliest photo I have of her after she arrived.

When I was 18 I left home and got a flat in Blackpool. Mother came to visit, and brought my younger sister.

The three of us in 1967.

A few years later.

I came back home to live, got my HGV licence, borrowed a truck from my employer and decorated it with my friends for a street parade. The theme was, 18 Plus is out of this world.

My mum loved making things and decorating them. She was good with home furnishings and dress making, always on the treadle sewing machine. She entered an Easter bonnet competition with her friend, she won.

Mum was a very thoughtful person, always working out the best solutions to problems. Life had taught her how to survive. One broken marriage, homeless in the war, leaving her son behind with his father in Germany, coming to England when she did not speak a word of English and finding that she was not welcome in many places, a second failed marriage to a man who did not appreciate his resourceful and kind wife, and losing her fifth and last baby at birth.

At 64 she had a heart attack, I was with her at the time. She survived that thanks to the quick response from the doctor and the speed of the ambulance and NHS. Six months later she had another heart attack, my brother was with her at the time, I was away for the weekend. Sadly she did not survive that one. Here she is in hospital after the first one, with her grandchildren. They adored their Little Fat Nanny. A joke in our house, when the other one was tall and skinny. Those little boys are now 41 and 43, and have children of their own.

She was 64 when she died, far too soon. Always in my thoughts.

Today it's raining, so I will get on with some sewing. Thanks for popping in, have a nice Sunday, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip