Wednesday, 31 August 2011

All wrapped up

And here we have Ilona, modelling our latest snuggle warm fashions from our Winter Collection. As you know Ilona does not give in to the dreaded gas guzzling central heating untill the icicles are hanging from her nose and her fingers are turning white with frostbite. Tough old stick that she is :o)

As most body heat escapes through the top of her head, it makes sense to put some insulation up there, a fully lined wooly hat is just the job. Because she has recently had a haircut, a free one I might add, her nephew who visited is a hairdresser, she needs to wrap a long wooly scarf several times around her neck to keep the cold out. This plum coloured one is perfect.

Now Ilona spends a lot of time at the computer, and so it is very important that she retains some feeling in her fingertips. This is where the fingerless gloves are ideal. No need to buy a special pair, just get any old cotton gloves and cut the finger ends off.

To combat the cold around her knees, Ilona has come up with the idea of wearing an extra large mans fleecy dressing gown, over the top of her clothes. This one was given to her three years ago by a friend who emigrated, he has no use for it in Malaysia ;O))

I am sure you will agree that Ilona has colour co-ordinated her practical snuggly warm outfit perfectly.....except for her feet. The furry pussy cat slippers are ginger as you can see, but beggars can't be choosers, they were a gift and you can't look a gift horse in the mouth.

This whole outfit comes in at just over £2. The hat was a freebie, the gloves are ancient, and the scarf was a cheapie from Matalan about four years ago. So you can see it needn't cost a fortune to stay warm this winter. What have you got in your wardrobe to keep you warm?

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

It's coming down

I am mighty pleased with myself today, I have managed to save enough money to make an extra payment on my mortgage. I was in a position to pay this in January, but as you know I had to put the money towards a new car. Now, after much scrimping and penny pinching I can write this cheque.

Still a bit more left to pay, but it's coming down slowly. Every month I check my bank statements, I know exactly what I have coming in and going out.

Some people might poo poo my ideas about money saving, but they work. I know the majority of people who read my blog understand my lifestyle, because a lot of you are leading similar frugal lives, but I don't know one single person who cuts everything down to the bare minimun as I do. Every penny I spend has to be accounted for, there has to be a good reason for me to open my purse. Of course I allow myself some treats as you know, but they are things that are important to me, and I save up for them. All other times I spend nothing at all.

I have lots of no spend days, I don't go out of the village, I keep myself busy round here. I have stopped going in the local shop, before I was always popping in for a bar of chocolate or a packet of crisps, not any more. We have two pubs which I never go in, we have a Chinese takeaway which I never use, and we now have a Coffee Shop which I wouldn't dream of using when I can walk two minutes home and make a drink in my own kitchen. There are such a lot of things which I have stopped buying.

I am off camping at the weekend with a group of walkers, I don't know what they will think of me when I don't join in paying for rounds in the pub. I shall explain that I can't afford to, and I am happy just to pay for myself. If they think I am being stuffy then that's tough. I shall pay for my pitch, take my own food for breakfast and the day's pack up, and buy a meal in the pub at night. I shall join in with the fun and merryment, having only one or two drinks. I don't need loads of alcohol to have a good time, good company and a good laugh are more important, and that's free. Toodle pip.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Making a meal out of not very much at all

I've had a day in the garden today, that's after I tidied the church grounds of rubbish. I don't like going out on a Bank Holiday so I am happy to stay at home. I've mowed the lawn, biggish lawn, trimmed some bushes, and pulled some weeds up. My garden is not perfect, I like to leave some rough spots for the frogs, and places for the hedgehogs to hide.

I'm getting a bit low on food. I've got some cans and stuff in the freezer but not the right things to make a meal with. I need to go shopping.

Good job I've got the garden. These three raised beds have spuds in them. the tops have died off but the spuds will be ok in there till I want to use them. I just have a firkle with my hand and pull a few up. Last year I had enough to last till nearly Christmas.

The carrots are doing surprisingly well. There are too many of them in this bed because I just scattered the seed and let them get on with it. I am pulling up the bigger ones to give the tiddlers a chance. The sticks over the top are to keep the cats off. I caught Mayze in it trying to catch a frog, naughty girl.

Only one courgette plant survived for some reason :o( but I am getting quite a few from it.

Not quite as many runner bean plants this year, I didn't buy any fresh seeds, just used up the ones I already had. There's still enough beans for me though.

This is something new I have tried, parsnips. I sowed them a bit late, so I have no idea if they have enough time to grow big enough to eat. We shall see.

Right, what to have for dinner tonight. Amazing that I have red and white skinned potatoes in the same bed, I can't remember planting two different varieties. A few carrots and beans. I have half a courgette in the fridge so I don't need to pick another.

The vegetables go in the steamer along with two shop bought onions from a cheap Tesco Value bag. For the sauce I used a tub of frozen carrot soup, and added turmeric, garlic powder, lemon juice, squeeze of tomato puree, and a sprinkling of mixed spice. Into the microwave for a few minutes. I tasted it and it was a bit too spicy so I put a flat teaspoon of sugar in it. That did the trick, more to my liking.

I am now sitting here with an empty plate, it was delicious. The sauce was not like a conventional packet sauce, thick and gooey. It gave just enough flavour to make the vegetables interesting, without smothering them. I hate it when you lose the taste of the vegetables under a mound of sauce.

Total cost of the meal? Oh, I don't know about 25p or thereabouts :O)

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Control Freak

I can't resist taking a look at Coronation Street to find out what's going on. I know, I'm sad, but for me it's a bit of lighthearted entertainment while I eat my dinner. The storylines are becoming more and more ridiculous. and so far fetched they are completely bonkers. The soap is becoming more like Eastenders all the time, which I completely gave up on years ago. Just how many murders, rapes, drunken brawls, fights, extra marital affairs, train crashes, explosions, and fires can you have in one street in the space of a couple of years.

I watch it anyway, and laugh because it's so barmy. It's the actors I feel sorry for, how do they feel when they read their scripts for the forthcoming episodes. The next story line is going to be Carla changes her mind about marrying Frank, he gets annoyed and rapes her. Then Frank starts a liaison with Sally and ends up raping her. Yawn. I can just imagine what they might say. 'Oh God, we haven't got to do that again, have we!'

When you think about it actors are just doing their job, and television is watching other people work. It's a funny sort of job, they are in a goldfish bowl and we are peering in at them. They are always portrayed as leading a glamorous life away from work, parties, socialising, no wonder youngsters aspire to become famous.

I wonder if soap actors ever get fed up of their working life being controlled by script writers, directors, and producers. How would you feel if every move you made was scrutinsed while at work, down to how you dress, walk, talk, sit down here, move over there, now punch him in the face. I know they are adults and can decide where to work, but once they have signed that contract they lose control over a large part of their lives. They sign away their soul.

I had a taste of this, not just from filming Tightest Person and Super Scrimpers, but a few years ago when I had a film crew out with me on the lorry. Some of the things they wanted me to do, the words they wanted me to say, really annoyed me because in my mind it was too silly. I'm afraid I became a diva, threw a tantrum and refused to do it. I wasn't being paid so they had no claim over my time, and my inner voice told me I would not be dictated to.

The youngsters in Coronation Street are probably pleased that they have a regular job, and are more than happy to go along with whatever storyline the scriptwriters have concocted for them. But I wonder about the older members of the cast. Some of them must be praying for the day their contract ends, so they can reclaim their lives and become a human being again, instead of some motorised puppet.

I think when you are young you go along with being told what to do, I certainly did. My transport managers controlled my working day to a certain extent, but once I was out on the road I did have a degree of freedom, chosing the routes I took, parking up where I wanted to be. At least they weren't actually sitting in my cab. Towards the end things changed, vehicle tracking came in and their grip on my freedom became tighter, I started to feel strangled.

With age comes a change in attitude, time becomes more precious, and for me control over my time became more important. I was not willing to give away so much of myself. I notice that Emily Bishop, Ken Barlow, and Rita Wotshername feature less and less in the episodes. Maybe they too are starting to think about reclaiming back their lives.

We all have to put up with a certain amount of control over what we do and how we live, how much control you are willing to give up to others is up to you. A thought to leave you with, how much does money control your life, or do you control your money?

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Be kind to your gut and your purse

Firstly I must apologise if anyone was eating their dinner when they came across my photo yesterday, hope it didn't put you off too much. I'll explain how it came about. I haven't been feeling too well in the digestion department, mostly during the night and first thing in the morning. All other times I am hunkydory, fit and feeling great.

My GP decided to send me to the hospital for one of those camera thingys down the throat, to check what is going on in the depths of my innards. I am pleased to say everything is just fine, and any future symptoms can be treated with acid suppression medication as and when required.

I saw all the photographs, and I must say I didn't expect them to be so clear. Looking at the different views as the camera went down into my stomach, I was struck by how beautiful my innards are.

It's made me realise just how important it is to look after the inside as well as the outside. I am going to be even more aware of everything I put into my mouth from now on. Eating the right quality and quantity of food is very important. Although my eating habits are quite good, there is always room for improvement.

No more scoffing a whole packet of biscuits and bunging up the system. Only one or two glasses of wine at a time, not half a bottle. I have been wandering into the cake department at the supermarket a few times, especially if they have been reduced, that has got to stop.

No more forgetting to eat all day, then having a whopping meal in the evening. Now I will eat smaller portions more often. Allow one lot of food to pass down and go through, before piling more on top. Give my body the time it needs to digest food properly. Make time for my meals, chew everything twenty times before swallowing, digestion starts in the mouth.

My beautiful digestive system has served me well so far, I need to look after it, and treat it with care and respect. I am lucky that I have had the opportunity to view myself from the inside.

To make up for inducing nausea in some of my readers yesterday, here are two more pleasing photo's I took this morning while out for a walk.

It's bright and blustery here, the clouds are skipping across the sky at a rate of knots. I do hope anyone over on the east coast of America is not hit too badly by Hurricane Irene, my thoughts are with you.

Just a couple of notes to finish off. My combined gas and electricity bill has arrived for the period 18th May to 19th August. Gas £15.53. That's for rings and grill on the cooker, I don't use the oven, and a bath every two weeks. The heating has not been used. Electricity £31.73. That's for lighting, upright fridge/freezer, kettle, microwave, computer most days, radio sometimes, and occasional use of toaster.

I could probably cut down on computer use, and I am using the gas ring to heat a mug of water for coffee. (I only have one or two mugs a day) This is the lowest the bills will be for the year as we approach longer nights and shorter days, and the temperature starts to drop. I am going to hang on for as long as I can before I turn the heating on, might even make it to November when the next bill arrives.
British Gas have estimated that if I continue to use energy at the same rate, over the next twelve months, the cost will be £254.42. Sounds reasonable to me, but I have to say that if prices go up my priority will be to use less. I have the same attitude to paying for fuel as I do for paying for anything else. If I don't like the price I don't buy it. I am a tough old bird, having spent most of my working life outdoors.

Our Tesco have just finished putting a new canopy on their store, paid for by their insurance no doubt as the last one fell down in the heavy snow. To celebrate this momentous occasion they have sent out extra money off vouchers which I plan to use. Usually the deal is that you spend £40 and get £4 off, I struggle to spend anything near that amount on my weekly or even fortnightly shop. These new vouchers are £4 off a £20 shop, so that's more like it. There are four vouchers to use over a four week period. So starting next week I will do a shop at my usual time of 7pm or later, to get the last date reduced items, then I will make it up to £20 with bogof's, (food that I know I will eat), and tins and packets for the store cupboard. Over four weeks I will need to spend £80, for which I will pay £64, and my cupboards will be full enough to last me well into the winter. Planning ahead is the key.
Toodle pip.

Friday, 26 August 2011

An inside job

How do you like my latest artwork? I am so proud of it that I put it in a frame. I think I might just hang it on my living room wall, maybe above the fireplace. I'm going to call it . . . . . . .

My Duodenum

What do you think, is yours like that? I think it looks kinda cute. The good news is there's nowt wrong with it :O))

Thursday, 25 August 2011

How to make a new stand alone page

Jane Rattlebox wants to know how I added a new page to my blog, the link just below the header, I think that's what she is asking.

From Dashboard click on Posting, it opens up a new post. Don't put anything in the box. Next to New Post is Edit Posts, and next to that is Edit Pages, click on that. Here you will see a button for New Page. Click on it. (You can add up to 10 stand alone pages). Then you get a text box similar to when you write a new post. Fill it in giving it a title and click on Publish. You can chose where you want to place the link on your blog. Hope that helps.

Refreshed after my day off, ha ha

I had a lovely day off yesterday. Thank you all for commenting, it was a bit of fun. I went for a walk with Henry, here are some pics. It was a misty morning and I thought this dandelion head looked pretty.

I heard a lot of banging noises coming from the wood the other day, so I went to investigate. Looks like the volunteers have been hard at it restoring and rebuilding some of the footpaths. At the moment they are empty boxes, they will probably fill them in to make giant steps. They are doing a grand job.

Then we met Barry with Scruff, and the two dogs had a chase around game.

I finally got the elderberries stripped from the stalks, and cooked them in this big pan I rescued out of a skip a few weeks ago. Now I need to squeeze them through a cloth and bottle the juice. I will freeze some in ice cube trays as well, to put in cold drinks. Hopefully it will keep the winter colds at bay.

Mayze wanted to help me, she jumps up everytime I am doing something in the kitchen to see if there are any titbits for her. She always wants to share my food, and loves toffee flavoured yoghurt, sweetcorn in mayo, grated cheese, and scrambled eggs.

You will see a link at the top of the page, I'm going to be doing a few stand alone extra pages when I think of some ideas. They will offer a bit more explanation on what I am about for people who come to the blog for the first time. Toodle pip.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Over to you

Today is my day off, so I am handing this page over to you, my dear and valued readers. Today my head is empty, well it is most days actually but I don't let on, so now this is your chance to entertain me. Tell me what's on your mind, tell me a joke, make me laugh, make me cry, swear at me, you have a free hand, any topic you like.

I want oodles of comments, mega oodles, I need comments to survive. I want to break the world record for the most comments, don't let me down, I have every faith in you my lovely readers. I know you can do it. I'm going to sit here and watch those numbers rise. I want the most page visits from all over the world. Don't just make one comment, give me more, I am sure the words will start to flow once you get some ideas. Think of it as a forum, talk to each other. C'mon make a pensioner happy, please, I'm waiting :o)

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

It doesn't matter, it'll do

When I was young, our house should have had a plaque over the door, with the words, 'It'll Do' engraved on it, because that was mum's favourite saying. She was very good at self sufficiency and make do and mend, and if things didn't turn out right she would say, it'll do. The thing is when you are a child everything has to be just right and little imperfections could turn out to be very embarrassing if your friends happened to be around and spot the mistakes.

I remember my first day at Secondary Modern School, I wanted so much to fit in and be accepted by my new class mates. Mum had to save up for the school uniform for weeks before the start date, but she was a pound or two short so she couldn't get me a white shirt. She said you will have to wear your white blouse with the red spots, I was mortified and cried because I would stand out like a sore thumb. Mum said, it'll do. She gave me a note to pass to the teacher explaining that she would be able to get the shirt for the next week. Of course everything was fine. Now when I get dressed to go out I pick something out of my wardrobe full of second hand clothes and say, it'll do.

My mum used to cut my hair when I was little. A few snips here a few snips there, then she would push me out of the chair saying it'll do, to make way for my sister. When we were out on a day trip somewhere, which wasn't very often, she would spit on her hanky and rub the muck off my face, and say, it'll do.

My mum was very resourcefull with what little money she had. The kitchen needed some kind of decoration, it was a new council house and none of the rooms were decorated. She wanted to cover the walls with something hard wearing that would last years and could be wiped down. Normal wall tiles were out of the question, but she found a shop selling off odd vinyl floor tiles cheap. She had to go back over several weeks buying a few at a time when she could afford it, none of them matched. When it was finished she stood back and looked at her handiwork. It'll do, she said.

Mum never expected too much, she knew what she could afford and never went over her budget. She came over here to start a new life, from Hamburg after the war, which was pretty much bombed flat. Her own house was destroyed so she had nothing.

Now that I have gone way past the, 'worried about what other people think of me' stage, I find myself using the same two words, 'it'll do', along with the saying I spoke of yesterday, 'it doesn't matter'.

All my curtains are what were left in the house and what people have given me. They don't match the walls but they'll do, it doesn't matter. I could do with some tiles putting on the roof, but it doesn't matter, the house is still standing and the roof doesn't leak. My cooking is not adventurous, but it'll do, I'm still alive ha ha. The elastic in a pair of jog bottoms has stretched and the waist doesn't fit properly, but a safety pin to hold them up works ok, it'll do. I can't get my oven to work, but it doesn't matter because I don't need to use it anyway. The microwave works so it'll do.

I have never wanted to spend lots of money buying nice things, never wanted a flash car, and never wanted to live in a show house. As long as my possessions are functional, a table, a chair, a cupboard, it doesn't matter where they came from. Most of my furniture was given to me or I bought second hand. I have never gone into a furniture shop and chosen something new for myself, with one exception, my bed. I don't have much but it doesn't matter, it'll do.

Monday, 22 August 2011

GRRRRRR v :o) :o) :o)

We've got some very angry people in our village tonight, it's all about the threat of wind turbines being planted close by. The battle has been raging for a couple of years now, and it won't go away. At each hearing the company who wants to build them, have been defeated by objections. Now they are back to continue the fight. Passions are running high and residents are bracing themselves for the next punch up. It could turn nasty.

I am keeping out of it because I prefer to remain neutral. I steer clear of any conflicts which may erupt into full blown war, because I do not allow the destructive feelings of anger to enter my life. In fact I can't remember the last time I was angry, about anything. When my car was smashed up last year by a taxi driver, I was a bit annoyed and had a bit of a rant at his boss on the phone, but there was no point in being angry after the event, the deed was done. Just move on and get it sorted.

A similar thing happened about 20 years ago, my car was damaged by a lorry driver who drove off and left it. The friends I was with were amazed that I took it so calmly. They said aren't you going to throw a wobbly and swear. I said, what's the point, it won't make things any better, it's happened and that's it.

There have been many times when I could have been angry about something that happened to me. The way I was treated by my work colleagues after I became a lorry driver was appalling, I was upset but never angry. The truth is I am no good at conflict, I don't believe the way to fight anger is with anger, that's the way wars start. My solution to the bullying I had to endure was to, first go home and cry, then, come back the next day even more determined to do my job. It takes a far stronger person to walk away from a nasty situation, than it does to wade in with all guns blazing.

A person who often gets angry and lets every little thing bother them, is a prime candidate for a heart attack, and both my parents died of a heart attack. The older I become the more laid back I am. The words which go through my head the most often are, 'It doesn't matter'. Whenever I feel something isn't fair, or not going right, or someone moans to me about something, I just say those words, 'It doesn't matter, it's not worth worrying about'.

No, there is no room for anger in my life, I just don't know how to be angry. I'll let you know what happens with the battle against the wind turbines.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Face up to it

Well, I am now a member, I have joined up. People have been asking me for a long time if am a member, my answer was always, no I can't be bothered, I don't trust it, and I spend enough time on the computer already. So what have I done.....joined Facebook. Don't ask me why, curiosity? Why is everybody in it, and am I missing out on something?

It's been a week now and I am still not sure I understand it. I have put a few photo's on there, added a few friends, made a few posts, then sit back and see what happens. Apparently I need to search for lots more friends, not sure why. I have twelve isn't that enough? Lots of faces keep popping up, other people I might wish to be friends with. These are the friends of my friends, they are people I don't know, why should I want to be a friend with a complete stranger? Very strange.

And there is something called A Wall, everyone has one, so why isn't it like a real wall, bricks and mortar? I wanted to put some graffiti on my Wall but I can't, it isn't there, no Wall. What a swizz.

When I go to my home page, that is my Wall apparently, there are messages popping up on there. Not messages for me, but messages that my friends have been putting on their Wall, and comments they have made on the messages their friends have left. Some of them are very bizzare and don't make any sense at all. It's like hearing one side of a telephone conversation and trying to work out what the other person is saying. All gobboldygook to me.

My Wall seems to be littered with notes on what all my friends are doing. When they add a picture, it tells me. When they make a new friend, it tells me. If they like something that someone has said, it tells me. If they fart, it tells me. Ha ha, not really only joking.

One of my friends has 300 friends, how the heck did that happen, does she really know 300 people? How could you keep up with them? And why would you want to? The mind boggles.

I'm not really sure what I have been missing out on by not being a member, perhaps I am just anti social. I can't see what is good about it at the moment. I'll give it a bit longer and see what happens. My little band of twelve friends are enough for now, it's all I can cope with.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Family barby

hiya, I've been out gallivanting today, down the M1 Motorway to see my family. I have a nephew Adrian, my sisters eldest, brother to Adam who came to visit me a couple of weeks ago. He has a partner and a little boy who I haven't yet met. I thought it was about time I did.

First of all a visit to Uncle Stan. As you can see from the photo he is looking quite perky considering that he almost died from having a pacemaker fitted. He is now 88 and gets a lot of pleasure from pottering about in the garden. It's nice to see his sense of humour is still there and his zest for life is just as strong as ever. Cheers Uncle Stan.

Then round to my sisters and onto Adrians house. Here is Adrian performing on the barby. I had to retrieve my veggie sausages before they were cremated, ha ha.

Adrian's son, Jacob, being held by his Nanna Anna, my sister. Isn't he a cutie.

I told my sister she should be a model, but she thinks she is too old and no one would want her. What do you think? I think she is gorgeous, and just as good if not better than a lot of other models. I can see her in a glossy magazine.

I've had a lovely day, lots of their friends were there and the food was lovely.

Friday, 19 August 2011

53 miles and a couple of bargains

That's my five days walking done and dusted. I got the bus into town today, and walked the five miles back, not much I know but I only wanted to reach my target of 50 miles, which I have done, plus 3. I won't be doing that much every week, I am too busy and can't spare the time, but I need to get into some kind of exercise routine. Perhaps I should start power walking up and down the hill again, I haven't done it for a while.

I paid my credit card bill at the bank. I always post a cheque into the box inside the bank. It was a bigee because it had three hotel costs on it from the long walk, but it was paid in full as usual. I also had an hour in the library reading all the magazines for free.

Because I was walking home I couldn't buy very much. I didn't intend to buy anything at all but these were too good to miss. We have a market stall which has cheap food, it's part of Barnes Cash and Carry which I sometimes call in on the way home. I like these Flapjacks as a filler if I get hungry while out, sometimes I buy them from Holland and Barrett at 75p each. These are six for £1 which makes them 17p each. A bargain, and they aren't out of date till December.

I have been looking for a fleece body warmer for ages, and today I found one in the Scope charity shop. It was £4, but reduced to £2 on the Sale rail. It will come in very handy when it gets a bit colder. I'm pleased with my bargains.

I've just eaten my dinner which was the same as yesterday, only bigger. Now I'm stuffed. Toodle pip, catch you tomorrow.

Calling all walkers

I'm putting a note in here about a forthcoming two day walk I shall be doing with a group of friends from It will be the weekend of 3rd/4th September starting at Hathersage in Derbyshire. Several of us will be camping Fri/Sat night at North Lees camp site, with a meal at a local pub on the Saturday night. If any walkers want to join in, I am sure the rest of the group will make you very welcome. Let me know if you want to come.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Bumping up the miles

I was a bit late setting off for the walk today, 2pm to be precise. I chose a straight forward there and back route, following the river, through Alkborough to Whitton, and return. I wasn't going to bother taking any photo's because I have posted similar before, but here you go, I took just two.

Alkborough Flats, the flood plain is a bit dry at the moment.

It took me 3 hours 15 minutes to do the 10.43 miles. Add that to the previous three days gives a total up to now of 47 miles. I had set myself a target of 50 miles in the five days, so I only have to do a few more tomorrow.

Now you can see how all the bits add up to make a decent total. It's a bit like saving money really, save the pennies where you can and before you know it you have got a fair few pounds in your purse.

This is my evening meal. Sorry it's not a face, I was in a hurry to eat it, ha ha. Steamed potatoes, runner beans, courgettes, carrots, and a few peas, all from the garden. Salad leaves from a reduced bag which cost 10p. A huge tomato my friend gave me. And a Quorn Tuna Style Melt, two in a pack reduced to 62p. I shall probably have the same again tomorrow night. Fantastic.

Doesn't she scrub up well :o)

Just got time to slot in this quickie. I know a lot of people couldn't do without their daily shower, I am not one of them. For a start I haven't got time to get myself wet, and dry myself off every single day, and I can't see how a quick waft over with shower gel can remove every bit of grime. Shower gel is the biggest con of all times anyway, we didn't need it years ago. Just because someone smells nice doesn't mean they are clean. And what about the extra washing you have to do with all the towels you use for a daily shower? Waste of water and energy.

This is how I keep clean. I have just washed my hair over the bath, and then had my fortnightly soak, full body exfoliation, pedicure, and I still have the water to use for washing my car.

For the hair wash I used Tesco Value baby shampoo, dead cheap at 8p a bottle. All I did for my exfoliation was use soap, (I've got stacks of this hand made soap), and a pair of scrubby gloves, which you can buy at a Pound Shop, they last forever.

I use a pumice stone on my feet, you can't do that while hopping about in a shower. I trim my toe nails over the bath so they go down the plug hole with the last drop of water left after the car wash, another job you can't do in the shower.

That's it, all dead skin removed, squeeky clean and job done. To finish it off I use cheap body lotion on my arms, legs, and neck, and cheap moisturiser on the mush. In between the baths, I boil a kettle of water and wash the bits that matter, thus only heating a tank of water on bath days. Of course if there was two of you, you could have a bogof. Buy one get one free by using the same bath water ;o)

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

A walk along the canal at Misterton

Oh dear, I've gone and done it again, fallen asleep at the computer, ha ha. I was yacking on the phone to my sister last night, then I got as far as loading the pics and couldn't keep my eyes open. So let's look at yesterday's walk, which was far more enjoyable than the previous day. I decided I had to drive a little way out to reach unfamiliar territory. I've almost exhausted all combinations of routes closer to home, and I would hate to bore you or myself by tramping over the same ground.

So here is my start point, Misterton, there is a splendid sign as you enter the village on the A161. It's a few miles south of Epworth, the next village down after Haxey. I parked next to the church, walked a little way down Gringley Road, and got on the tow path of the Chesterfield Canal.

The tow path is in excellent order, it looks as if the mower has been along there recently. It was very pleasant walking along in the sunshine and not having to keep looking down at where I was puting my feet. I am walking along The Trent Valley Way

No fishing in this area or you might get a nasty shock ;o(

There were eight bridges and one tunnel along the section I walked.

Only one swan.

I sat and ate my sandwich at this lock, and watched a man navigate his boat through it. The lock gates were operated manually, but it looked quite easy to do. He had sandals on and I noticed his toe nails were painted red, a bit odd I thought for a man of 60ish. I told him it looked very nice, he smiled and said his daughter had painted them. I walked on and he didn't catch me up.

The same lock, in the opposite direction.

This lock had a pretty whitewashed cottage next to it, it was called, erm, Lock Cottage.

I turned the corner at Cuckoo Hill and went under the main A631, then the canal went through a tunnel and I went up to the road and back onto the tow path at the other side.

Passing through a wooded bit I spotted this memorial in the bushes. I see Doug was born one year before me, so sad that his life has already ended.

Here is an old wreck of a boat just ripe for restoration, any takers :o) It's a very quiet and peaceful canal, I saw hardly anyone. A man and his boat, an elderly couple gave me a cheery wave from their boat, two men and two boys paddling a canoe, and a few fishermen. In the fields on the other side the massive combine harvesters were doing their job.

I came off the tow path briefly, into the village of Wiseton. The big Hall is in it's own grounds and hidden behind high walls and big gates. I chatted to a lady clearing the footpath of weeds in front of her house. She told me all the houses used to belong to the Estate, but they have all been sold off now. This pretty cottage had church like windows, it looks very old. It's a shame about the white painted fence though, a wrought iron one would have been much better and more in keeping with the character.

Back onto the tow path, and off again at Clayworth, this is the church. There is a very nice wrought iron arch at the entrance, but look how they have spoilt it with the ugly modern signs. Did they really have to put them right there in your face? Annoying.

It was a quick march through Gringley on the Hill, time is getting on. I keep getting caught out with map scales. I am using a 1:50, and think I can cover as much ground as when I am using a 1:25. Of course I can't so I end up doing more than I intended. The easiest way was back onto the canal, much more pleasant than taking the B1403 back to Misterton.

I wonder what this place used to be, that chimney stack looks far too big for the house.

I'll leave you with a typical English scene. The farmers are busy getting in the harvest and the fields are turning to stubble, which will soon be ploughed back into the soil. I've had a lovely afternoon walking. Today's mileage is 13.89.

Hooray, the chippy is open when I got back to the car. A bag of chips will do nicely as I won't want to cook when I get home. Only one thing left to do, call in at Tesco on the way back to pick up a few knock down last date bargains. £12 spent, that will do me for the week.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

A cobbled together walk

How's the exercising going today, anybody been on any walks? Or bike rides? I didn't get started till midday, it was a bit of a last minute decision as to where I went. I walked from home across the fields to Flixborough. It's a bit posh in Flixborough, look at this bus shelter. It has new double glazed windows, two benches, a notice board, a waste bin, and a new roof. Someone has been busy keeping it clean and tidy.

The Village Hall looks smart as well, with it's two new planters and hanging baskets. They look after things in Flixborough.

My destination is Scunthorpe, in a roundabout way. Passing through Atkinsons Warren I see there has been a bush fire. A lot of bushes are charred and blackened, but good old Mother nature is fighting back with some new growth coming along.

The flower beds in Kingsway Park are a blaze of colour. Nice to see our council making an effort.

Not many photo's today, not much of interest to show. I went to a couple of Cobblers in the town, to get prices for re-heeling my boots. All this walking on tarmac is wearing them out. I was told £16 in one shop and £12 in the other, for the same job. I shall have to get them in soon. I want to hang onto these boots they are so comfortable, it's worth paying for repairs to get more life out of them.

Today's mileage was 12.24. Anyone going for a walk tomorrow?