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Monday, 31 December 2012

2013 Bring it on !

Well here we are, the last day of the year. It's the time when people look back, and then look forward. I am a looking forward type of gal myself, with the ocassional look over my shoulder to see what went before. I don't think there's much point in fretting about all the things I should have done, or what I did do, but shouldn't have done. What's gone is gone, move on.

I am not going to make long lists of resolutions, probably won't make any resolutions at all, can't think of any at the minute. I have a few plans in mind, they may or may not happen, who knows.

As always, all I need to do is be happy within my own skin, and within my own head. I opt for a simple life, with me it's either or, black or white, it's the grey issues in the middle that bring me grief, I try and avoid those. I try and live an uncomplicated and stress free life. To be perfectly honest, there is only one thing that stresses me out, and you have all had a sample of this just recently. I get totally beside myself with grief when I hear about animal welfare issues. It's something I can't cope with, but I have to try. I shall continue with helping homeless cats, walking dogs, and donating to animal charities. I hope I make at least some animals lives a little better.

I will just add a little snippet of news to this bit, we rehomed two cats last week. They had been with us since March, and they are settling down just fine in their new forever home. And a bit of sad news, remember Jessica the blind dog that I used to walk, she died on Saturday night. I had an email from Julie, they have been living in Spain for the last six months, Jess was poorly for a while, it was age related. A lovely dog, full of fun and quirky ways, she had a fantastic home and a fantastic life, despite losing her sight. Much love to Jessie.

Not a lot else to say really, except I hope you have a very Happy New Year, don't get too drunk. I shall be at home with a glass of wine and my cats, probably reading a book. I hope that whatever you wish for in 2013 comes true, do your best to make it happen. Thank you for reading my blog. Now have a laugh at my little video, OMG the facial expressions !!! Not rehearsed, off the top of my head, and I didn't get tarted up. What you see is what you get, ha ha.  Toodle pip. See you next year.


Sunday, 30 December 2012

Time to Say Hello, Katherine Jenkins. Book review

Hiya, I've just finished reading this book.
Katherine's story reads like a fairy tale. Girl from a working class background who lived in a semi detatched council house in a small Welsh town, becomes an international singing star. She started singing at the age of four, when her mother taught her a simple song so she could enter a talent contest at school. Even at this early age Katherine had decided that all she wanted to do was sing. At every opportunity she would sing, joining several choirs.

She won the title BBC Welsh choirgirl of the year, and soon after she won a place at the Royal Academy of Music. The early death of her beloved father saddened her, but she was determined that she would carry on as he would have been proud of her.

She was summoned to the studios of Universal Music and sang before a panel of experts, and was offered her first recording contract. I won't tell you any more as it will spoil it for you if you want to read it. It's very easy reading, a lovely story to snuggle up with at bed time.

I've found a little clip for you. A stunning performance with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Bypass the first minute of it, move the slider along.
 
Toodle pip.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Drowning in a bath towel

Here is a picture of me holding up a very big towel, I think it is what's called  a bath towel, or maybe even a bath sheet. Anyway, it's far too big for me, I only have a small body and don't need something this size to dry myself with. Oh I know some people would get out of the bath and wrap a big towel around themselves, then lounge about in it for an hour afterwards. There's none of that here, far too flippin cold. It's a case of a good rub down and put my clothes back on before I freeze my tits off.
The towel was given to me, it's a good quality towel bought from Dunelm. The thing is, if you have a very big towel, only the middle bits get used, so therefore you are washing a lot of towel for nothing. It also takes up a lot of room in the washing machine, meaning more loads are needed which will cost more money in electricity, water, and wash powder. Anything which is going to cut down the amount of washing has to be a good idea. 
So this is my idea. Cut the chuffing thing in half. Fold it equally in half and cut it down the middle.
Get two pieces of broad ribbon, fold it in half lengthways and iron flat.
Sew it along the cut edges to prevent fraying. I did two rows of machine stitching on each half, so it won't come adrift in the washing machine.
Now I have two, more practical size towels, which will easily do the job. Good idea eh! If there's anything not quite right in this house, there's always a simple solution. So, if you are running out of smaller towels, don't go out and buy new if you have one of these in your cupboard. Just cut it in half.

It's raining here again in my corner of North Lincolnshire. Hope it's better where you are. Enjoy your weekend. Toodle pip.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Organised food.

Now I have eight pots of home made vegetable curry, which cost very little due to the veg being reduced. All this lot for under £1. I have divided it up into different size pots, the bigger ones can be eaten as a snack type lunch on their own, and the smaller ones can be added to something else to make a bigger meal. They have to be taken out of these pots and put into a microwaveable bowl for cooking, or they can be heated on the plate they are to be eaten off.
I've put together a few items which can be added to the curry to make a decent meal. I keep my portions quite small when I am eating something like this, it isn't necessary to pile your plate up with mounds of rice or pasta. Sometimes I do a potato in the microwave, cut it up on a plate and put the curry on the top. For a lunch I might make a cuppa soup, and pour it over the warmed up curry just before eating it. To bulk out curry or any kind of stew I use porridge oats and sultanas. There is wholemeal pasta and brown rice, cous cous, sweetcorn, baked beans, or any beans you have. 
I always buy Nescafe instant coffee because I like it, but sometimes I can't find any on special offer. So what I have done is to buy a cheaper alternative and now I am going to mix it 50/50, and keep my eyes open for when Nescafe comes on offer again. Actually the Maxwell House isn't too bad, there is only a slight difference, and it's quite a bit cheaper. I wouldn't buy any other make to do this though, because some of the very cheap coffee is absolutely awful.
Here is my lunch for today. I have some eggs which need using up, so what I've done is to fry some mushrooms in a little toasted sesame seed oil, added some garlic puree, then when it is cooked break two eggs into it and keep stirring till they are scrambled. It doesn't look too appetising because the eggs go a mucky colour, but it tastes delicious. Serve on a bed of watercress and salad.  
Just before I go, you might like to take a look at a great programme on the BBC iplayer, I've just watched it and it's very interesting, all about the little areoplanes that fly around the Scottish Islands, and the people who work on them. The landing on the beach at Barra is awsome, it's the only airport in the world where planes land on the beach. I want to go there. Girls, take a look at the dishy pilot with Logan Air on the back of his yellow vest. Wow, even better than George Clooney. And there's a lovely lady pilot as well, one for the fellas. I can't find this on Yootoob, so I'm sorry if you can't access this link. There are English sub titles.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01pkm8g/Seo_am_Pleana_Island_Flying/

I've found a short video of the beach landing if you are interested.


Toodle pip.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Eat plenty of greens.

Nothing very exciting is happening here at the moment, so you'll have to forgive me for posting more pictures of food. This is my lunch. A piece of salmon, yellow sticker 50p. The last of the prawn cocktail, on a bed of watercress and a sliced mushroom. Lovely jubbly, nice and healthy, and cheap.
Dinner tonight was the beans left over from last night, they were hard, and some sprouts. I love sprouts.
I bought a tub of houmous for 11p.
Scoop a bit out and stick a sprout on my fork. Fabulous.
Followed by fresh pineapple and yogurt. Delissshhhhhh.

This morning I put the posters up about the found pussycat, some in shop windows, others pinned to telegraph poles. Let's hope someone might come forward to claim the cat

I've cooked up another two bags of prepared vegetables and made a big pan of curry for the freezer. They needed using up before they went off. Should be another six or seven portions there.

We are nearly at the end of another year, where has it gone. It's a time for looking back and for making plans for the next year. I would like some more days out and holidays, where did I go this year? Whitby, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Sherwood Forest, Scampton, Long walk Morecambe to Humber Bridge, Flamborough Head, Bradford, Earby, Blenheim Palace, London, visit Carol near Alton, party at John's near Bognor, Portsmouth, Arundal, Chichester, Crowden, Long walk Ellesmere Port to Bakewell, and lots of local walks. My new year resolution is going to be, go out more.
Toodle pip.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Cat rescue AGM

I've just been printing some posters for a cat that has been found wandering in the next village. A young man rang me and asked if we could take it in. We can't at the moment so I said I would put these posters up to try and find the owner. It has been wandering for just over two weeks, so it might not be a stray, maybe it just goes walkabout sometime. I'll go and put the posters up in the morning. 
This is the base coat going on for my wing thing. I'll call it wing thing but it won't have wings. I found out this morning as I started to add another colour, that it's not a good idea to paint over the top of it in yellow. It is taking several coats to cover the darker blue. Oh well, too late now. I am aiming for boldness and contrast so I will have to carry on with it, and do several layers of the lighter paint.
I had a lovely afternoon today, in the company of Janet and Sue, at Janets house. Paul her husband joked that we were having an AGM for the cat rescue, ha ha. A good chinwag, a nice glass of sherry and a piece of Christmas cake went down a treat.  
Tonights dinner was cheap, quick, and easy. Didn't feel like cooking so I warmed this in the microwave. Three vegetables reduced to 63p, from £2.50. Six minutes, then ping, then add some grated cheese. There was rather a lot, well it is four portions so the box says. I left some of the beans because they were a bit too hard, I will put them in the steamer tomorrow night with some sprouts.
Toodle pip.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Frugal Christmas dinner.

I've had a very quiet and simple Christmas Day, doing much the same as I would do on any other day. First thing this morning I had breakfast in bed, cereal and yogurt, and watched Coronation Street catch up on the laptop. A nice gentle start to the day. Then after doing a few household chores I fixed the broken table/work bench outside the back door, so now the pussies have something to sit on in the sun, and shelter underneath in the rain.
Lunch was salad, prawn cocktail, and the second posh salmon fish cake, very nice. 
I had a lazy afternoon watching some more comedy on Yootoob, Catherine Tate is such a scream when she plays the part of Nan. Oh dear, the air is blue with her swearing but I have to laugh.
My Christmas dinner was a vegetable curry, made with a 15p bag of beans and veg. I added some more carrots which needed using up, and an apple and some sultanas. This is the first time I have made a curry properly with curry powder, I usually use a packet sauce mix.  
It turned out very well, quite delicious in fact, all washed down with a can of pear cider. There are three more portions to go in the freezer for another time.  
Almost at the end of another Christmas Day. I hope you have enjoyed yours, I certainly have. I'll leave you with one of Nan's comedy clips, If you are offended by bad language don't watch it. If you do, watch to the end, it's funny. Toodle pip.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Hanging around paid off

Oh dear, I didn't notice the time. I'd better write a few words before I retire to beddybyes. Got a bit absorbed with watching old sitcoms on Yootoob, can't beat a bit of old fashioned humour. Remember The Liver Birds, and Keeping up Appearances. Mr Bean is another good laugh, they're all on there.

I did the dash to Tesco tonight, had to hang around till 7pm though to get the real bargains. I got there a bit too early really, but didn't want to miss out by being too late. I was struggling at first to find things which were cheap enough, then I spotted the man on fruit and veg with the ticket machine and bingo, I was on to a winner. My fridge is now full to bursting. Total shop was £20

Just a few examples, mushrooms were 97p down to 10p, sprouts were 75p down to 8p, prawn cocktail £2 down to 50p, houmous £1.10 down to 11p, prepared pineapple £1.40 down to 14p, casserole veg £1.50 down to 15p, salmon fish cakes £2.63 down to 63p, steamed salmon £4 down to £1, salad in bags £1 down to 10p, fruit pies £1.80 down to 45p, and lots of other stuff. I've got loads of veg, I quite fancy a veg curry for tomorrow, will make a change from stew.

I've been drinking some more of the red wine tonight, but this time I mixed it with red berry juice. It made quite a nice fruit punch.

It's been raining here most of the day, so I've made a start on the next painting project. Remember the car body panel that looks like wings. It's had a couple of coats of paint and I've made a rough drawing of what I want to put on it. I was going to go outside in the back garden to repair a broken table/work bench, but couldn't because of the rain. That job will have to wait untill we get a dry day.

Anyway, I'll take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I haven't been able to post comments on all your blogs, I may get round to it eventually. Have a good day whatever you are doing.
Good night.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

One more shop to do.

At last, a nice day for a walk. Blue skies, but it was quite windy. I did just over five miles in a couple of hours. Just the job, blows the cobwebs off, ha ha. Not a lot to take photo's of, fields, fields, and more fields.  
Hey, look at me, have I got into the Christmas spirit at last? No not really. I've got the lights out but decided not to bother with the small artificial tree.
I wonder how much electricity these small led lights use, maybe it would be cheaper to use them all the year round and not switch on the room lights at all. Perhaps it might be worth buying some extra sets and some spare bulbs, when they mark them down after Christmas. I do like to leave the light on in the hallway for safety reasons, because I am constantly going up and down stairs and wouldn't want to trip over the cats in the dark.

Well I'm almost ready for Christmas I don't know about you. Yes I have been reading all about your preparations, and mine is all done, except, just got to go to Tesco tomorrow at about 5pm, to buy up all the bargains. I don't care if there is not much left, as I'm not fussed about what I eat, as long as it is cheap and not junk. The shop shuts at 7pm, so I'm prepared to hang around to get those last minute reductions. No don't feel sorry for me because I will be looking for cheap food for my Christmas dinner, in my book, cheap tastes better.
Toodle pip.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Might as well stay in bed

Another day of rain so no walking today. I went to the bank in town and paid my water bill, any excuse to get out of the house. It was busy, shoppers scurrying from shop to shop, loaded up with carrier bags, trying to dodge the rain. I just ambled around thinking thank goodness I don't have to do that. I bought some wash up liquid for 39p from Home Bargains, cooked ham for the cats for 99p, water colour paints for £1, something to play with, reduced crisps from Poundstretcher, and potatoes and sprouts from Aldi. I almost went into Thorntons and bought a bag of treacle toffee but thought better of it. I saw a programme on the iplayer about sugar addiction, the presenter had diabetes, and my friend has recently been diagnosed with it. I don't want to find myself in the same boat, with no teeth left, so common sense prevailed.
There was such a lot of Christmas stock left on the shelves, the newspapers are reporting that sales are down on last year. Only two shopping days left, I can't see them shifting it all. It would be a good idea to buy up whatever you need for Christmas 2013, after Boxing Day, when the prices will be slashed.
The police were out in the town, they had a mobile office parked in the shopping precinct, and these two gee gee's were strolling around being patted by all the small children, and me. They will probabaly be out later on tonight rounding up all the drunks staggering around and collapsing in the street. Gorgeous horses.
A bit of good news landed on my door mat today, a letter from HM Courts & Tribunal Service. Phew, I don't have to go to court, that's a relief. It's also a bit of a shame, I would like to go and listen in on a case or two, just out of interest, but it wouldn't be right to sit on a jury if I couldn't hear every word. I don't think they would like it if I kept saying 'pardon'.
Dinner was quite simple tonight, no picture, you know what a plate of iceberg lettuce and a load of cous cous and grated cheese looks like. I didn't need a big meal as I had a big lunch again, well it was a second, late breakfast actually. My first breakfast was eaten in bed, a bowl of cereal, I didn't get up untill after 10am, no point when it's wet and dark and miserable outside.

I mentioned paying my water bill, it was £42.75 for six months. This is for 9 cubic metres of water, and disposal of the same amount of dirty water. I pay Anglian Water for this. They break the bill down into £13.02 for the actual water, and £14.95 for a standing charge. Then £14.88 for taking it away. There will be another bill coming soon from Severn Trent, they charge me £28 for the surface water drainage.

I've opened a bottle of red wine tonight, a cheapo one for under a fiver, it will last me three, maybe four days. I must say I am not very impressed with it, and wouldn't recomend it. Typical Spanish plonk, it's called, Las Primas, Gran Familia, Tempranillo. On the label it says it's fruity, soft, and spicy, with berry and plum flavours. I reckon it would do a good job on cleaning up the family silver. I need to go and brush my teeth before they turn a funny colour. Have a good weekend. Toodle pip.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Ladies that lunch, plus gent

I won't need a big dinner tonight, because I've had a big lunch. Well it was a big lunch, fish and chips, but I forgot to take the before picture, so here is what's left of it. I've left the fish skin, yuck, I think it looks horrible and I certainly don't want to eat it. There was a big pile of mushy peas, a bit too dry for me, so I've left a few. The chips were lovely, all brown and crispy, just how I like them.
Four plates, four people. This is Helen, remember Helen, mum of Henry choc lab.
This is Spike and Roy, friends of Helen and me.
This is me and Spike. She is called Spike, because she used to have short spikey hair, it has grown a bit longer now.
We had our lunch in the Bay Horse pub in Winteringham, not at the world famous posh restaurant and hotel called Winteringham Fields. Oh no, couldn't afford that place, the pub was very nice thank you.
I went back to Helen's place for a catch up natter, and Henry posed for this Christmassy photo.
It was a lovely three hour break to get me out of the house. There's been no rain today, but it is very gloomy. Think I'll go out for a walk around the village now to work that big meal off. Tatty byes.
Toodle pip. Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

And the rain came down

I haven't stepped outside the door today, it's been non stop rain the whole time. There are more terrible floods in other parts of the country, here is not too bad, the water seems to be draining away down into the river below. I was listening to the traffic reports on the radio this afternoon, there was a lot more reports than normal, due to all the road closures because of the floods. I'm glad I don't have to go anywhere, home is the best place to be at the moment. I would like to go a walk though, as soon as it stops raining.
Today I've been pottering. I have a big bag of apples given to me, so I stewed several in a pan. This will do for putting on porridge, or bran flakes, and for puddings with some yogurt on top.
I remembered that I read on a blog somewhere about making some coasters, but don't ask me which blog, I read so many. I read things then forget where I saw it. Was it your blog? Think it could have been Mum, or Briony. It is a simple idea, something to pass an hour or two. I cut four pieces of foam. 
Then cut eight pieces of cotton fabric slightly bigger than the foam. Sew them together right sides in, making four pockets. Turn the right way, stuff the foam inside, and hand sew up the openings. Then run round and round in a spiral with the machine. Four coasters. Thank you for the idea, whoever you are.   
I spent a couple of hours catching up with TV programmes on the iplayer. Oh dear, more weeping over 'Last Tango in Halifax'.  Did you see it? It was so emotional at the end, I thought Alan might die. Such a relief when he didn't. I do hope they make a follow up to it. I also caught up with Coronation Street, poor Tyrone, he's certainly going through it at the moment. I caught an episode of Last of the Summer Wine on Yootoob, it's great that you can see tele programmes on there, when they are no longer on tele.

Anyway, I'm off to read a book. Oh nearly forgot, I have enabled comment moderation, something I have never done before. I am getting more and more spam, need to get rid of it before it gets to the publish stage, and I can't be having any more bun fights.
Toodle pip.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Keeping busy

Thank you for your comments on yesterday's post, even though it turned into a bit of a bun fight. Because I chose not to give out all the details some of the assumptions were incorrect. However, that is to be expected. Today Rocky is not outside, so he must be inside, so that's a good thing. Anyway, I have made an effort today to keep busy, as I believe that when something is troubling you, the best way of dealing with it is distractions, and that means filling your time doing something else.

First job of the day was cleaning litter boxes, they are getting a bit smelly. Get them out on the back yard, scrub with hot soapy water, dry with an old rag, and make sure they are bone dry by wafting over them with a hairdryer. Refill with litter.

Next job was to return a power drill I borrowed from my friend two streets away. Luckily Irene was just making a cup of coffee for her neighbour who had popped in, so I joined them for a bit of a chinwag.
Janet who lives next door was having a bit of bother with her car number plate coming adrift, so I ran home and came back with some extremely sticky double sided tape to fix it. It seems to be stuck down alright now, lets hope it stays that way after getting a drenching in the rain. 
Lunch was a bowl of veggie stew which I made last night, and I've also had some for my dinner tonight. There is still some left for tomorrows lunch, four meals out of some reduced carrots, sprouts, beans, and potatoes, with a tin of tomatoes, some frozen sweetcorn, and an onion added. 
After lunch I went into town to the big library. I am struggling to find any interesting books in the mobile library, they don't seem to get many new books in. Far more choice here. 
Here is a list of my books.
Home to Roost, by Tessa Hainsworth. A story about putting down roots in Cornwall. 
Hrecules and the Farmers Wife, by Chris Wadsworth. About a Cumbrian art gallery.
Time to Say Hello. Autobiography of Katherine Jenkins.
Art For Dummies. Discover how to look at art like an expert.
Natural. Simple Land Art Through the Seasons, by Marc Pouyet.
And last but not least....The Quick Experts Guide to Writing a Blog. Ha ha.
I spent an hour reading all the newspapers, enjoying a share of their central heating. It was a lovely treat. It was dark when I came out.
Not many shoppers left in the town. This is the Light up a Life tree. People pay for a light on the tree, in memory of a loved one who has passed away. The money goes to Lindsey Lodge Hospice.
A few coloured lights about. Looks like a mini Blackpool Illuminations.
The church in the centre of town is our art gallery. The new modern entrance building to the right has been added onto the church itself. It has a tree with blue lights on in the courtyard.
Back home for 5.30pm. Now I'm going to look at my books.

Almost forgot to mention. We rehomed two cats on Monday. They are the second two kittens from my cat Heidi, only they are not kittens any more. Two brothers, they have gone to a lovely home.
Toodle pip.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Time will heal

Thank you all my lovely readers for your hugs and best wishes, I can feel the warmth of your kind hearts in your comments. Reading your words has certainly helped me today.

Today my distraughtness has passed and I am feeling very sad. You have probably worked out by now that my love for animals is always on my mind. When they hurt I feel hurt, when they are sad I am sad.
There have been a few more pictures of Rocky just lately because I have been looking after him a bit more often. It has been wonderful to see the happy little fella enjoying himself on his outings with me. When I think back to how he was before, a sad little dog hardly ever going out of his garden, it made me very sad to see him through the fence. Now our walks have suddenly come to a halt, his owner has taken him back.

I have been walking him for about two years, I thought things might come to a head eventually. I suppose I have pushed my luck at times, keeping him longer than I ought to. His owner fell out with me once before but things calmed down and I was able to start seeing him again. But for now I have to play the waiting game. I have asked several times if she would let him stay with me but she says no, he belongs to her daughter. I am stuck really.

There is a lot more to the story which I can't go into here, so please don't ask me any questions about it. All I can say is that little Rocky has stolen my heart. I wish I wasn't so damn soppy about animals, but I am, and it causes me such a lot of heartache. I have to try and keep busy and get on with things, but it's hard when all I can think about is his little face and his waggy tale. Maybe I am still feeling a bit distraught, but I have to try and get over it. Time will heal, hopefully. But at the moment I can't stop crying.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Sorry

Sorry, I can't write a post tonight. Things have happened and I am distraught. Will try tomorrow.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Feeling festive

There was a trip down to Burton on Trent on the cards for today, to visit family, but it didn't materialise. Sis rang up last night so say they had snotty noses and sore throats, so I decided to give it a miss. I try to keep away from people who are walking germ factories. I rang Uncle Stan to cancel my visit, I was supposed to call in and see them as well. Aunty Pat answered the phone and said, I'm pleased about that because I've had the vomiting bug and don't really feel up to any visitors. Fair enough.  
I really wanted to get out for the day so I rang cousin Kerry in Nottingham to see if she fancied a visitor. Luckily she said, yes come on down. Bit of a cheek to ask I know, but in our family we don't wait to get invited, we just turn up.
We had a walk in the park to work up an appetite. A Christmassy dinner was served, Carols were playing, and the tree was lit up with coloured lights.
Tuck in everyone. Two people requested that their mush was not published on my blog, I think they are a bit shy, so here we have the back of someone's head, and one eye peeping into the frame.
Well that's my Christmas done and dusted. It was a lovely day. Toodle pip.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Lunch at the deer park

It was a nice morning so I went to the park. Six large deer had come quite close to the fence so I stood watching them for a while. They were looking towards the gate in the corner of the field, like they were waiting for something to happen.
Aha, that's it. At 12 o clock a tractor turned up and the ranger scattered some sugar beet around. They were waiting for their lunch.
The tractor went away, and came back with a lot more deer following it.
More sugar beet was scattered.
They are mainly red deer, with a few fallow deer, and some that looked like Bambi. I asked the ranger about them. She said they feed them in this corner of the field on a Saturday and Sunday at 12 o clock, when Santa is here. This corner is next to the miniature railway which opens at midday, and the children gather for their turn on the ride round the track. The mums and dads ride with the children and there are plenty of ooh's and aah's and finger pointing when they go past the deer. It must seem magical to them to see Santa's deer so close.  
Then they started drifting away.
And then there was one. What a beauty.
Goodnight. God bless the children.

Please join us in prayer

 
I start my day in tears, words cannot express my deep sadness.

Friday, 14 December 2012

And the winners are.....

This little chap has been helping me pick the winners for the two blue shopping bags. I wrote the names of those who commented on the post, on the back of a cereal box, then cut them up, turned them over, and shuffled them up. Rocky witnessed the draw and made sure everything was fair and square.
So, the winners are.........

Momsav and Cumbrian

Congratulations. Could you please email me your postal addresses, and I'll get them sent off pronto. My email address is on the side bar. Sorry to all the losers, maybe next time. Thank you for reading my blog.

Not much else to say about today to be honest. The weather has been horrible, mostly raining, even Rocky didn't want to go out. It's been so dark indoors, I had to have a light on to see what I was doing. Ah well, off to make my dinner, then I will have a dash to Tesco later for my food shopping. Hopefully the weather has put a lot of people off going out, and they have a lot of stuff left over about to go out of date. Hope I'm lucky. Toodle pip.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Taking water saving to the next level

Sometimes I think people forget that water is a precious commodity, without access to clean water we would die. Think of all those people in the world who don't have any clean water, all the diseases they risk catching through drinking dirty water. Think of all those people who have to walk miles carrying their buckets of water back to their humble little houses. All we have to do is turn a tap and it's there instantly. We take it fior granted and we shouldn't.  
Years ago I remember using water willy nilly, it felt like it was free, but of course it wasn't, we paid for it through our household rates. Nowadays most people have a choice how they pay. Whether to continue to pay the set amount according to the rateable value of the house, or to change to a water meter. For me as a single householder, the best option was to get a water meter fitted. My bill went down considerably, now it is in my best interests to be very frugal with my water usage, because I am paying for every drop. 
There are some properties which are not suitable for meters, if you live in a block of flats for instance, or if access to the property is difficult. If you are a single occupant and you are unable to have a meter, there is a lower tariff that you can go on. Your water company won't offer it, you have to ask for it. Some people are afraid to go onto a meter because they think it's going to increase their bills, especially if they live in a house with several other family members. It is not necessarily the case, because you become more aware of  how you use it, and can make simple and common sense adjustments to your lifestyle, which will help to reduce your bill.
Anyway, as I mentioned yesterday, a man from Anglian Water was coming to check out how I use my water, and help me to cut down my usage by fitting some bits and bobs. Ian the friendly plumber came and did the biz. First of all he checked for leaks, there were none, then he checked my meter and took a reading. He put the information into his computer gadget and was amazed that I had used only £300's worth of water in five years since the meter was fitted. That was the first of several surprises I had for him. He joked that I could probably tell him how to save water. I said follow me.
We then moved to the downstairs toilet. It's got an old fashioned cistern high up on the wall, it works perfectly. I decided there was no point in him climbing up there to fit a gadget inside to convert it into a dual flush. I mostly flush this with rain water, with the ocassional scrub and flush when it needs cleaning.  
Next to the kitchen, here Ian is fitting a new insert into the tap. This mixes air into the water and it comes out in a spray. You don't need to turn the tap on so far, because it comes out a lot faster giving the impression that far more water is coming out. I've always wanted one of these, I thought sprays were for posh houses and public toilets, ha ha.  
Next was the bathroom, Ian was amazed that I hadn't let my bath water down the plug hole, and was using it to flush the toilet. I explained that I couldn't have a shower and pointed to where the edge of the bath wasn't sealed against the wall, and besides, I don't like showers anyway. He said judging by the amount of water that was in the bath (recent bath), and the fact that I am not a frequent bather, I hadn't used any more water than I would have done by showering every day. That was good news for me. I always knew that my fortnightly bath didn't cost any more than a daily shower, in terms of amount of water used. I'm glad it has been confirmed. So I will carry on as I am, having a wash in the sink in between baths.
I thought it would be a good idea to have the dual flush converter fitted into this cistern, as this is the toilet I use most. I am hoping that my morning solids will disappear down the pan on the short flush, thus saving 50% of water each day. It takes Ian less than a minute to fit it. 
Ian rather sheepishly said that he would have to flush the toilet several times to test it, he apologised for wasting water, ha ha. There you are it works perfectly. I already have one of those plastic bottle water savers in there, and by using the short flush it will save me more water, and more money.
There were two other free gadgets on offer, but I didn't need either of them. There is an adapter which can be fitted to the shower which gives a constant 7.6 litres of water per minute, that sounds like a lot to me. I can wash my whole body in that much, in the sink. You'd have to be quick to take a shower in that time. And there is a free digital shower timer, which I also don't need. 
Ian is off now, to his next appointment. I think he enjoyed his visit, he did say that I was the most interesting person he had come across. I was chuffed. I thought it was funny that he called me an Eco Warrior. Thanks Ian, you made my day.  
He left me with this gift, no it's not chocolates, more's the pity, ha ha. Inside are two sachets of water storing gel. You mix it in with compost in your pots, containers and hanging baskets. It swells to absorb more than 400 times it's own weight in water, thus reducing the frequency of watering. There are also a couple of rain mats, which you put in the bottom of a container or basket. They hold the water so it doesn't run out of the bottom, then you only have to water every 7 - 10 days. Sounds good, watering pots is such a chore in the summer.
Anyway, I am quite chuffed with my freebies supplied by Anglian Water, and the nice young man who came to fit them. Here is a little bit more information about the scheme. I don't know if any other water authorities are offering the same service, you will need to check with your supplier.
If you are in the Anglian area and want the free water saving kit, go to their web site. Go there anyway if you are not sure, and put your post code, it will tell you if they can offer you the deal. You can apply online
http://www.anglianwater.co.uk/environment/using-water-wisely/we-products/
or you can ring free 08009755 567

This is not a promotional post, I am not endorsing this service for money or gifts. I sincerely believe that we should all be a little more carefull with our water usage, then there will be enough to go around.
Toodle pip.