Monday, 31 March 2008

A sock tree and chicken soup

Not usually one to blog on about 'What I had for my dinner' that is exactly what I am now going to do!

With both me and Mr P having such rotten colds that just got worse today, I cancelled my car service and stayed later in bed.

But, for lunch we had chicken soup. The best kind of chicken soup - made by boiling the bones of a chicken to get the lovely jelly stock. Then cooking up the stock with luverly veggies; and today I added a couple of small tins of cannellini beans for added protein. We sat in front of the fire on this bright, sunshiney, but frostily cold day and ate it. Ah, it did the trick!

I am also experimenting with various types of mash (creamed potatoes) and this evening decided to try potato and butternet squash. Squash seems an apt word, as it came out very sloppy, so I did no more, but 'piled' the roast chicken legs on the top, as if I was a telly chef. Mmmm. And, I'm afraid I did succumb to (another) piece of Mr T's birthday cake - oh, how I love T£sco birthday cake. Though it was bought for him, you understand? That's alright, then.

But, soup and mash is not all I have been up to. There is a chance, later in the year, for me to take up part of a stall at a large craft fair, so I needed to have a think about what I wanted to make.

And, to start with, I came up with these baby socks - aren't they soooo cute?!*

I'm aiming to do some matching hats, and vary the sizes. There are lots of other ideas as well, and at least I have got plenty of time to get my stocks up.

I did make a small blanket as well, for a new baby in the family but, apparently, the parents only like stuff from N£xt, or somesuch so, nanny's lolly dolly pop gratefully received it!

There are also two other little baby girlies who I have the pleasure of knitting for, so I'm keeping busy and getting bored is never a notion I entertain!

* I have now made the other blue one!

Saturday, 29 March 2008

A Penny pinched is a Penny saved?

Now then, at the start of the new financial year, I am a bit stoney broke - enough that I can't afford a holiday in the sun this year, apparently, according to Mr T (the bank manager in my cupboard, for those old enough.)

This is due to having grown up children who still think the money grows on trees at the bottom of our garden, and paying for chiropractor fees. I have stopped smoking which, in theory, should save me at least £35 per week but, for some reason, cannot be found. I am also eating less in a bid to lose some of the six stones that are not helping my back condition (and a pal who is doing the same - I know because I can see all the way down to England - you know who you are!)

I am currently employed to look after two private houses, help with a pal's works accounts, sit on the fostering panel - most of which all pay just the basic wage minimum, or under (the foster panel, which pays the same daily rate as a foster carer would get(!))

So, I need to find ways to (a) save money and (b) make money - any tips, anyone?

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Bits to tell, bits to tell

This is what I have been up to today! I saw someone making a lemon merangue pie on the telly and voila! Here is one for pud this evening.

Plus, I could not look at those bananas going off in the fruit bowl any longer so, two banana cakes made.

I've also gotten some filing and completed two forms that must be sent off this week; as well as applied for my Tes£o vouchers towards my OU course for this October - A363, Advanced Creative Writing. All of us on the A215 Survivors are gagging for this next course to start and soooo pleased that, at last, the registration is open. Luckily, I also have Individual Learning Account money to use (as I live in Scotland) so, though we're poor at the moment, we are fed and my brain will be, too, with the next course. Just got to get going proper on the current course. Ho hum.

Speaking of food, we went off to Oban for a long weekend last week. We both needed the break, to be honest and were not disappointed with the weather - cold, wet and stormy. And, unfortunately, as Oban is not famous for its food, we were'nt disappointed with that either.

However, this was the view from our bedroom window, which was a joy to wake up to, even if the sun was not shining.

I took this while sitting in my bed, with a good old morning cuppa and, there was a car park, road and pavement between us and the sea, but the ferry (which was off to the Isle of Mull, with the Isle of Luing in the picture) seemed so close to us!

The food in the hotel was apalling, except for the morning porridge, and the cooked breakfast they served was 'A Full English!' I don't know how they get away with it. Though we were told that the company is English owned. However, we had a lovely, lovely rest and the staff were more than helpful at the Best Western Hotel - I raise my glass!

But, the very best meal we had was lunch, on the beach, in the car!

With a hot cuppa, you can't beat it.

I had a very busy week this week, what with some babysitting etc. and am k-nackered, but oh, so pleased to be up and about again.

I am due for an MRI scan on my back shortly, which will, hopefully, tell me what might be amiss and what I can do about it.

Meanwhile, it's onwards and upwards. At blimmin' last.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008


My brother, wicker man, has been sober for FOUR MONTHS TODAY!

How wonderful is that?!

It has taken him a lot longer than that to do the 'work' required to at least get to the point of not taking alcohol. Ever. Again.

Wicker man is a wonderful man, a fantastic brother to all of us sibs, a great friend to his sibs' partners, children and grandchildren. He is a son second to none and a father of the first order. This man deserves to be sober.

Thank Goodness or whichever higher power he believes in, he now knows that he can and is all of the above to Himself.

We all love wicker man, sober, stoned or drunk.

All we need now, is for him to continue to love himself.

Big, big Hugs and Kisses to Wicker Man. xxxxx

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

The sunshine is ..... shining

Hasn't the weather been brill lately? The sun has been shining beautifully here in the middle of Scotland - in between the snow and the wind, of course.

It has had the effect of making me feel lighter and brighter, which is such a relief after the last few months.

Maria, the lovely chiropractor, was as impressed as me at the progress I am making with my back.

'Not bad, for someone who is supposed to be disabled, eh?' she remarked today.
Referring, of course to the twatting physio who had me written off a few weeks ago. Hah!

I have actually been to the hairdressers as well this week. Ah, the bliss of actually looking like me again. Spent too, too much money on it, of course, but who gives, eh?

I am twittering on here and I've got loads of stuff to do, including about three weeks of a course I am only four weeks into, oops.

There are grant applications to be made for our local community hall, now that the the ladies are near to making some sort of sodding decision about what exactly it is they require in the new kitchen, after only, oh, about five meetings - still gives them plenty of time to change their minds. As well as crafts to complete for competitions - a man's tie, a pair of slippers, a hooded jacket, a jar of marmalade, and various items. Luckily, I hold the view that these are just a bit of fun, and it has the added effect of making me do things.

At our local craft group, one of the ladies agreed to teach us Hardanger embroidery. This involves making stitches in a group called a kloster, making a pattern or frame out of these and then snipping away threads. The most important instruction we had when making these snips was to breathe! Oh, I was quite blase after my first one had gone very well. I then came home after buying some materials and special scissors with which to cut, but oops, twice, yes twice! I mucked up the blimmin' thing. So, now have to start again and get it right. I am soo looking forward to tomorrow, when we learn the next bit. And, I now have plans for everything I can do with Hardanger. I have plans.....