Thursday, 31 August 2017

You can't have too much colour in your life.

Hello. You may remember these ply board off cuts, rescued by me, a friend was going to dump them. I painted them with the intention of making some kind of artwork. Well they have been hanging around in my living room while I waited for some inspiration to pop into my head. I jiggled them about on the floor, arranging and re arranging, hoping that they would tell me something. Yesterday it happened. A simple idea, don't know why it took so long. 
The inside of my front door is a bit dull, looks a bit grotty to tell the truth. It needs something.

Cue fanfare. Perfect. It's turned a dark corner into a blaze of colour. Makes me smile, just like the colourful painted stone on the fireplace. I'm chuffed.

Changeable weather today, I'll pop out after lunch. Not walking today, having a day off. Will resume tomorrow. Don't forget to check in with your miles tomorrow the 1st of September.

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

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

It's amazing what you find in a skip

Hello. It's 6pm and I'm beginning to wilt. It's a bit early for bed, I'll try and stay awake a little while longer. My fault entirely. I woke up at 3.30am this morning, closed my eyes and dozed for about half an hour, but was unable to drop off to sleep again. After tossing and turning, Mayze wasn't too chuffed that I was disturbing her, I decided to get up and make a coffee.

I sat in the comfy chair downstairs and dozed a bit more. Then I thought, this is daft, I could be doing something, so I got dressed, put my trainers on, and went out at 6am to do my walk. I was wide awake, and it was bloomin great. The air was fresh and clean, it was quiet, one or two people were in their nightwear putting their bins out, early birds were going to work, night workers were returning home, some on bicycles, and two ladies were doing the same as me, an early walk. I stopped to say hello, they said they walk every morning before going to work.

I think I might do the morning walk again, if I happen to be awake. I won't be setting the alarm clock for it though, but it made a nice change. Anyway, do you realize it's the last day of the month tomorrow? How is your walking going? I am bang on 800 miles. Three cheers, my new target of 100 miles a month seems to be working. Friday the 1st of September will be checking in day for the Walking Group, so one last push for this month. Let's hear about your progress, how many miles this month, and the total overall. Don't forget, any miles are better than no miles.

My yoootooobers want more videos, so here is another one. It's ten minutes long, oh dear, I do waffle on a bit. Blimey it's only been live for half an hour and they are watching it already. I seem to have a fan in Texas.

I'll leave you to it then. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Like mother like son.

Hello. The lady who took two of Heidi's kittens sends Janet update photo's of how they are getting on. They absolutely adore Archie and Alfie, and the cats absolutely adore each other. Here they are snoozing on the shelf above the radiator. Now where have I seen a cat dangling it's back leg and tail over the edge before? 
Aha, mummy Heidi of course, she does the same thing.

These two are inseparable, they have a blissful life together.

Has anyone seem Mayze? She is very difficult to find. Sometimes I search the whole house. Then I think she is outside, and after looking all round the garden several times, there she is in a new hidey place in the house.

There are two lots of water outside the back door. This morning I found Mr Frog was enjoying a soak. An hour later he had hopped away.

Helen asked what did I use to stiffen the new sun visor.
Quote from the post
Remove the fabric, cut through the stitches with nail scissors. Underneath it is pink, the original colour when I bought it new for 50p a few years ago. 
Answer - I used the old sun visor. 

 This is the first covering it had.

Then it had the pink one.

 Now it is purple. It's the same one covered three times.

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

Monday, 28 August 2017

A great family show

Hello. We had a busy day at the Epworth Show today, and raised lots of money for the rescue cats. We had a big pitch inside the craft tent, and the corner position gave us a bit more space. We take four big tables. All the shopping bags sold, I'm pleased to say. We have plenty of bricabrac to choose from.

I went a walkabout to see what was going on outside. The Classic Car Club from Doncaster were there.

I was chatting to the lady who owns this car. She is nearly 80, she drove it here herself, and she describes herself as a petrol head. Her other car is a Jaguar. What a gutsy lady.

 I loved this car. The man was here on his own and said his wife doesn't like the car so she stays at home. I thought she must be mad, I would love to have a ride in it, because it's beautiful, and it would be a lot of fun.

The Bernese dogs were there with their decorated carts.

Time for a rest in between demonstrations.

It's a very popular family show, something for all ages.

Lots of animals to see.

The flower and produce tent had some beautiful displays.

All in all, it's a great show. It's not too big so no crowds to push your way through. Plenty of space to have a picnic. Beer tent and food vendors. Funfair for the kids, and shopping for the adults.

Probably for the best that I've kept myself busy today. Thank you for your comments on the previous post. Time flies, one whole year has gone by in a flash. Makes you think that you have to live for today

I'm pooped, it's bed time for me. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Miss my boy.

Dear little Rocky, one year has gone by without you and I miss you so much. Sleep tight my sweet.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

A dead cool sun visor

Hello again. What do you do when your sun visor is looking a bit faded and grubby? I wear this almost every day when I step outside the door. I hate the sun in my eyes, it makes me squint and sneeze. I don't have prescription sunglasses, nor do I have lenses that go dark when the sun is out. Everyone is used to seeing me wearing a visor in my village, it's part of who I am, it's like it is stitched to my head, ha ha. 
So, this visor has past it's sell by date, and has to go. I suppose I could buy another one, but that would be daft when I can make this like new again.  
Remove the fabric, cut through the stitches with nail scissors. Underneath it is pink, the original colour when I bought it new for 50p a few years ago. Use these pieces as a pattern to cut some new ones.

Bingo, a new sun visor. I fancied purple this time. Velcro to fasten it at the back.

Don't you think I look dead cool? No one in the whole wide world has got one like this. It's a Meanqueen exclusive design.

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

Erm....excuse me

Good morning Garcia. I didn't know you liked reading MSE Forum, tell me when you want me to scroll down. Have you finished that page? Ok, I'll turn over for you. What would you like to see next? Pets? Ok then, here we go. 
I'll leave you alone for a minute, just hit the keyboard when you want to change the page. No, don't eat the mouse, you won't like it. It's not a real one. Don't forget to log off when you have finished.
I'll be back later.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Bags of bags

Hello there. I'm not making any more shopping bags for the Epworth Show on Monday. Thirteen will have to be enough. We have loads of stuff to sell anyway, the tables will be full. If anyone is around they can find us on our cat rescue stall in the Craft Marquee. We would love to see you. It will be me and Janet on duty. 
Pleased to report that Heidi is looking fine this morning. She scoffed her breakfast and is now sunning herself in the garden.

I've had the car tyres checked because I have another longish journey coming up, and they are fine. Can't be too careful where tyres are concerned. Jobs have been ticked off the to do list, still a few more to do. The move over to Tesco for my mobile phone is completed, it's looking like the O2 coverage for this area is pretty good, better than Vodafone.

It's a lovely day here, I think we will be lucky for Monday, the forecast is good. I'm off outside for a while, too nice to be in. Thanks for popping in, enjoy your weekend, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Friday, 25 August 2017

Free hairdressing

Hello. It's that time again, I can't remember when I last cut my hair. It's starting to get on my nerves so it has to be done. I've trimmed my fringe a few times, but the length in my neck is bothering me. 
 I know a very cheap hairdresser, it costs nowt, and she makes a good job of it. I don't have to go very far, just outside the back door. That's better. I don't take too much off because it doesn't suit me. A tidy up is all that's needed. A few chops here and there with the scissors. Not so much weight now, dragging it down.

Yes, that will do nicely. Come back in six months.

I've got some new specs on the way, thought I ought to, I haven't changed them for four years. The optician says my eyes are fine, a slight change in prescription. Specs ready on the 4th.

Had to take Heidi to see Marian the vet this afternoon. She was drooling excessively and crying. Marian couldn't find anything amiss and the drooling stopped. She seems alright now, and has just scoffed a pouch and a half of food.

My train ticket has been purchased, £15.50 from Blackpool to Carlisle. The hotel at Carlisle has been booked. Then I start walking. Hope my body holds out, it isn't getting any younger, ha ha.

I made some more shopping bags today for the cat stall on Monday. Another friend has donated stuff to sell, I have to go and collect it in the morning.

I'll sign off now and go for a walk before bed time. Thanks for popping in, have a nice weekend, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Free booze

Hello. My friend was having a sort out in her garage, my has she got some stuff in there. She found a load of booze left over from a party yonks ago. It was in a box in a long forgotten dusty corner. Her hubby was all for pouring it down the sink and recycling the bottles, until my friend stopped him and said she would ask if I wanted it first. 
There was some lager beer which I have given away, bottles and cans of cider, which I will keep, and three of these Bacardi Breezers. I've never had this before so I thought worth a try, and it is free. 
Looks alright, it's fizzy, smells alright, like watermelon, and it tastes alright. Guess how much out of date it is.

Only eight years out of date, ha ha.

Never look a gift horse in the mouth. Strange saying that, I think it means accept whatever is given to you. I'll let you know if I am up half the night sitting on the lavvy, ha ha.

Would you have drunk it, or chucked it? Old wine is supposed to be good, I have never tried any. What is the oldest alcoholic beverage you have drunk?

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

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Getting a refund.

Hello. I've got a list of jobs to tackle, been ignoring them for a while. Now is the time to get organized. I bought a spiralizer last week, and I am not happy with it, so today I took it back to The Range for a refund. This is it.

 I thought it was very poorly designed, , the spirals don't come out in one long string, my carrot ended up as lots of small slivers. Also the picture doesn't show that the centre core finished up as a long stick, and I want the whole of the vegetable spiralized, not just the outside. The blades are about four inches long but only the inch at the top does the cutting, so why have they got such long blades. 
I took a carrot with me and had three staff members trying to work it out. They thought it wasn't very good, but they said only the manager could authorize a refund, so I asked them to call him. I was not going to be fobbed off. It genuinely isn't fit for purpose. The handle is flimsy and I imagine it wouldn't be long before it broke. And I don't want the centre of the vegetable coming out in a long stalk. I was hoping it would cut down the cooking time in my steamer, but the pieces are that small I would be scraping them out of the basket. Anyway, the manager came and I had a refund. If anyone else has got one of these, how are you getting on with it? I Don't think I'll bother looking for another one. 
Next stop was Tesco. I had notice about six weeks ago that my Talk Talk Vodafone was ending it's PAYG option, and anyone wanting to stay had to sign up to a contract for £10 a month. Well I don't want that, so I found out that Tesco has a similar PAYG, so today I got a new sim card and the lady on the desk went on the web site and changed my number over to them. It will become operational on Friday. I put a £20 top up on it so that will last ages. It's on the 02 network. 
While I was there I had a quick look at the reductions. I was too early for the final and third sticker, but I did get a few bargains. There must have been a hundred or more avocado's, so they were slashed down to 10p each. Ten for £1, a bargain. 
Salad leaves.

Green beans.

Big juicy tomatoes 10p each.

That's it. I must go and do my three miles now, so I'll leave you to it. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

A good decision

Hello. Just when you think you are troll free, up pops another nasty comment. I have to admit I laughed when I saw it, the way people get their knickers in a twist is a source of amusement for me. It's been quiet for a while on the troll front, but something I said on the previous post must have touched a nerve. The words sanctimonious, entitled, perfect, and gloating were included in the comment. At least they were able to stick to only one mildly sweary word, but I did sense the bitterness in the tone of it.

I won't bother publishing it, because this person clearly has some issues. I just hope that one day they are able to find some clarity and peace in their life. It's wasted energy when someone feels the need to attack another just because they haven't had a particularly easy life themselves. It's like they blame others for all their problems, when they should be focusing on making the best of the situation they find themselves in.

Again, going back to the message from yesterday, it's about choices. Anger is a destructive trait, I choose not to be angry, so in the trolls eyes that makes me sanctimonious. It's funny that troll says, 'entitled yellow stickers'. I have said many times that there is very little that I am entitled to, and yellow stickers isn't one of them. 'Knowing that you are perfect', another quote. I know full well that I am not perfect. I make mistakes, but at least I don't go onto other people's blogs and slag them off.

This person has vowed not to come back. I'm glad they have made that choice for themselves if they are not happy with what they read here. I would hate to think that my words are going to send their blood pressure through the roof. A good decision.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up later, everyone except the troll that is.
Toodle pip

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Get a life. You have choices.

Hello. I've had an email asking this question....

You mentioned a couple of times in comments that you can afford more now.  But, I was wondering if sometime you would write more about how we can afford more as time goes by when all I hear others say is that money does not go as far and that they can afford less and less.

Yes it's true, prices do go up all the time. I can afford a bit more now because my spending is all calculated, and my self discipline is embedded in my make up. It is probably a bit confusing to some people, how can it be that price rises do not affect me. The truth is that I don't get hung up about it, I am only affected when the regular things I buy are increased in price. I couldn't care less about other stuff because I don't buy it.

When I see that something has gone up which I buy weekly or monthly, I assess whether I want to pay for it, or look for another similar product at a cheaper price. For instance, my soya milk went up in Tesco so I switched to Aldi. The 1kg bags (7 or 8) bananas were changed for five in a bag for the same price in Aldi, so I switched to loose bananas because they worked out cheaper. If I really want to buy that item at a higher price, and I have saved money on other things, I will treat myself to it.

OK, do not listen to others moaning about prices, some people thrive on doom and gloom. Negativity rubs off, it's positive people that you want to mix with. Some people feel hard done by when really they are quite comfortable. People want things they can't realistically afford, it's not because prices are high, it's because they are making the wrong choices. They have a sense of entitlement. They see others around them with the latest this and that, and they want it too. Don't be like a sheep. I say to those people, 'get a life, not a new sofa'.

When I first started this blog I was surviving on a small income, that's because I chose to cut down on my working hours. I lowered my sights, I only spent on things that I needed. After a few years I am now in the position that my emergency fund is pretty much ok, I don't have to worry about when thing break and need replacing. I have saved up the cash.

The key word here is CHOICES. I could choose to splash out and spend my emergency fund on something frivolous, then regret it later. Or I could choose a date to replace my car, which is important to me, and save that money to pay for the car. Planning ahead pays dividends, spontaneous spending gets people locked in debt and possible bankruptcy . The choice is.... KEEP ON TOP OF THINGS, OR FACE YEARS OF MISERY.

It never fails to amaze me that people don't realize they have choices. Read the Debt Free Wannabe on the MSE forum. They are in debt but they don't want to give up the Sky, smoking, socializing, beauty treatments, gym, takeaways, daily coffee in a cardboard cup. OK, if they want to continue in the lifestyle they have created for themselves, always living on the edge, living from month to month, never actually making any progress, then they choose to be poor. I could slap them sometimes.

It's all down to attitude, and expectations, and your entitlements, and how much you think you deserve something. I set my sights low, I am not entitled to anything I can't afford to pay for. My attitude is that I need very little to live, food, and a basic roof over my head. I need specs to help my vision, a hearing aid to help me hear, and a dentist to look after my teeth. If I fall ill I need healthcare. Anything else  that I can pay for is a bonus.

At this point I will remind everyone that LESS is MORE. The less stuff you own, the less you buy, the less you can afford, the less spare money you have, the less decisions you have to make, the more simplified your life will be.

I am an optimist, I think things are pretty good for me at the moment. I have nothing to complain about, even price rises don't bother me. Why should they, I choose what I want to buy. I buy it or I don't buy it, end of. As I said, no point in moaning about it.

Thank you J for your question. Another busy day. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Monday, 21 August 2017

Shed of the year 2017.

Hello. I'm a bit tired tonight, been delivering newsletters this afternoon. Shed of the Year is back on TV, yes, it'a a year since me and my shed was on the box. I've just caught up with the first episode of 2017, there are three more to come, on the next three Sunday nights. Here is the link to the first programme in the new series.
Shed of the Year 2017 episode 1 57 days left.

I see that my episode is still on Channel 4oD,  I'm not sure how long it's there for but if you want to see it click on this link. Shed of the Year 2016 episode 4..

Off to bed now. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Sunday, 20 August 2017

A bit of progress on the latest picture.

Hello and Good Evening. Here is a little update on the needle felting picture. It's coming along slowly. 

I didn't like the tentacles on this little fella so I've changed them. Much better now. Still a lot more to do. I'll keep you posted.

Tonight I made a big pan of curried veggie stew, it's bloomin lovely. I started off with Quorn pieces, Quorn mince, and chopped onion, cooked it in oil and spices, curry powder, turmeric, and vegetable granules. added water and fruit juice, and chucked in a load of chopped vegetables, and a tin of mixed beans. Simmered it for a while. I'm going to be busy for a couple of days, I'll keep it in the fridge and it will just need warming up in the microwave.

I'm getting itchy feet again and thinking it's time I did another long walk. Carlisle to Cleveleys seems about right. A walk through the Lake District, nice scenery.

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

A Norwegian Tragedy. Book review.

Hello. I remember when the news came out about the massacre of 69 young people on the island of Utoya in 2011, and wondered what kind of person could do that. There were some court scenes on the television of the trial, and Anders Breivik came across as smirking, with no remorse whatsoever about what he had done. What usually happens when such murderous atrocities occur is that the perpetrator is often gunned down in a shoot out, but on this occasion Breivik gave himself up. He momentarily decided he wanted to live. 
The newspapers were full of 'how could this have happened,' stories, what kind of a mind could be so evil? This book is a study of Breveik's life from childhood to the time he was arrested, painstakingly pieced together by the author. It charts the difficult relationship he had with his mother, the graffiti gangs he ran around with, and his obsession with computer war games. In his disturbed mind the differences between real life and imaginary avatars battling it out on a screen blurred into one, and was not clear cut. The book digs deep into the psychological profile of Breveik. He was very much a lone psychopath/sociopath who tried to fit in but never really succeeding.

The first part of the book is about the bombings in the centre of Oslo which Breveit carried out. There is a lot about the political climate at that time, which I must admit I skimmed through. Levels of immigration were the cause of a lot of the turmoil on the streets. Breveik's motives were thought to be based on this.

I am always interested in how the human mind can take on so many different personas, and this one is as complicated as they come. An interesting read, but maybe not for the squeamish or easily upset.

This book is reviewed on Amazon.

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

Friday, 18 August 2017

A walk in Derbyshire with my buddies

Hello. I've had a fab day out with my walking buddies today. Paul and Paul as usual, plus new member, Shaun, Paul's brother. It was my turn to drive, and Paul organized the route. It took us just over an hour to get to the starting point the other side of Sheffield. We parked in a layby on the A625 near the Grouse Inn pub, not far from Nether Padley. Most of the walk was through the Longshaw Estate.  
It was lovely and sunny as we made our way through the woods.

After crossing the main road near the Fox House Inn, we went onto Burbage Moor. As you can see it was lovely and sunny, but there was a very strong wind, we stop for a photo shoot and admire the views.

The purple heather can be seen for miles and miles.

Super views which ever way we looked.

This was quite high up, the winds were quite strong at this point.

Time to set off again after lunch.

Fabulous views.

There is quite a long drop down there. It looked as if people down in the bottom were preparing for a bit of rock climbing.

We came back along the river through Yarncliff Wood. This apparently is an old explosives store.

It was a 10.5 miles anticlockwise circular walk, The last part through Tumbling Hill and Hay Wood was a killer. It was so steep, and I was sweating buckets. I slow up on hills so the others have to wait for me. I was almost at the point of collapsing when I got to the top. Thank goodness it opened out into a field with a breeze to cool me down. The rain held off until we were almost back, then I got the brolly out. It was a heavy shower which passed in a couple of minutes.

On the way home it poured down, so we got back to the car just in time. There was a massive rainbow over Sheffield. We had a great day, all enjoyed it, it's good to walk in a different area and see new sights. So now there are four of us in our Elite Walking Group. I look forward to more walks with them.

That's a few more miles to add to my total, I should make the 800 by the end of the month. I hope you are all keeping up with your walking. 13 more days to go to the first of September. Thanks for popping in, have a good weekend, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip