Tuesday 28 November 2023

To walk or not to walk???

It's certainly colder and yesterday and today have been slow days. The garden tidying has been halted and porridge is back on the menu for breakfast. I do really like it but with sugar! Dh's grandson eats it regularly... plain!.. In weather like this, cold and 'misserly' rain all I want to do is stay in the warm, with my book and maybe a nibble or two, except I am staying strictly on the SW food plan, so sweets, crisps, biscuits are not on the plan.  I'm fed up of fruit and so its not easy, but I can make an orange last a long time. In the long ago days, when I was  young, I used to have an orange cut up with thick cream and demerara sugar and never put on an ounce. Well truth be told, I might have, but I never weighed, in fact I didn't even own a pair of scales.

My cousin has lost five stone since June and I've struggled to lose  one! Ok she's much younger than me and walks everywhere. So I need to walk more.  Yesterday we needed some more top soil and there were no suitable parking spaces outside Homebase, so we parked a considerable way away from it. But it was ok, I walked there and back and round and up and down the aisles of the store. The thought of new plants will spur me on to walk!

I'm thinking of getting one of these 'Walks' that are a virtual visual of different places,   Kirsten of  A Letter from Home is doing this and I think it would suit me as 2000 steps a day is about what I can do. I find walking on the treadmill really boring, so this would be ideal. Have you seen them advertised, what do you think?


Thursday 23 November 2023

A pleasant afternoon, but am I getting too old?

 I've spent a very pleasant hour in the garden; these cosmos were well past their finest! I'd left them because I couldn't decide what to put in the pot instead. Then I could picture tulips towering above Wall flowers.

I'd bought the bulbs a few weeks ago, but then we had days and days of rain. My days of gardening in the rain are gone. I did once dig over a veg plot in a storm, ducking in the shed when there was lightning! I must have been mad. No just young! 

I didn't buy the Wall flowers, why? Because I didn't have the picture in my head then. Of course when we went to buy some yesterday, there were none anywhere.. So I bought polyanthas instead.
And it looks very nice, can't wait for them to flower now. 

 And here are the bulbs I planted a few weeks ago.
They have start to shoot already, after all its only 29 days till the shortest day of the year, (22nd Dec.) and then we are down hill to Spring! 
I also pruned the grape vine and tied in the main branches on to the post.
All the dead growth of my Sea Holly was cut back;

and this Verbena Grandiflora Brampton, old growth, gone.
Two of my absolute favourites, especially the Verbena, it's so delicate.

Three roses lightly pruned, and a few weeds pulled
I'm pleased with what I did but I'm really feeling my age, I didn't find it as easy as I used to..
Dh weeded and feeded the grass, front and back, as it is very tumpy because of the big dandelions. So hope it will look a lot better next year. Truth be told, the garden is a lot bigger than we wanted, but we'll keep going and then find a gardener when it really is too much for us!
How is your garden growing?

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Do you binge?

 Usually on a Monday we have a 'Diane' morning.. ie cleaning, called that because our cleaner we had, while living in Suffolk was called Diane. We needed someone to help with the cleaning immediately after my arm/shoulder ops. I am sometimes reminded of her when I use my face cream every morning, because she used to screw the lids back on really tightly. I suppose that was because she had picked them up when she polished my dressing table. But on Monday morning we were waylaid with the need to find out how Helen was in The Archers.

The Archers, is no longer a radio programme of the 'Everyday Story of Country Folk,'  its a lot more, but we still like it and listen to it every day, except last week we missed a five episodes. The Archers Face Book group were discussing Helen's plight, so we had to listen to find out how she fared.

    Rob Titchener, Helen's ex for whom she went to prison, because she  stabbed him, has come back into their lives. Now dying of a brain tumour, he'd ask the local vicar to Baptize him. It divided the village and caused unpleasant memories to immerge for Helen and her family, as there's Jack, age seven, his son; the result when he raped Helen.

It was so good, still the evil sociopath, trying to manipulate Helen on his death bed, but she resisted, yeh!! Good on you Helen. We were almost cheering, daft or what.. I can get very invested in it and I cried buckets when John died; he was killed when his tractor over turned. (1988)

I've so much of my life involved in this programme, I started to really follow it in 1964 when I was a young married house wife. I just love it!!

Have you ever listened to it?

Monday 20 November 2023

What to do when you're fed up with rain and diet...??

I'm not a person who likes rain, I know its good for the garden, (in the summer) but I hate getting wet, so avoid going out if I can.
It's been like this off and on all day.

So what to do?
I picked up my knitting. I have had a request for knitted socks from my youngest grandson.
He's the one in the middle, finished UNI with a First in Law. He is now practicing as a Paralegal.  When asked what he wanted to do when he was a grown up, he always answered ' a job where you wore suits and did a lot of talking!' And when he had a Saturday job as a teenager, his first buy with his wages was..... yes a suit! He is very chatty on the phone and I've always said to his parents, 'Don't speak secrets in front of him!'
He has to tell me what's happening.. a lovely young man, who likes every thing tidy and when he did leave home, my daughter really missed him, as it was he, who whizzed round with vacuum. I just love him to bits!

So more socks it is..The navy cuff and heel caused me big problems. as it is very difficult to knit a dark colour, in artificial light. I had to get out the spot light I used for cross stitching and wear my reading glasses rather than my varilex.

And then when I was feeling fed up with not eating cake, this popped up and it freezes. Unfortunately, we are very good at de-frosting too!
One of the trees, I bought for the new bit of garden in front of the new fence, was a Bramley apple tree with apples on it! So perfect for this....  Bramley Apple Cake.

275g plain flour.

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon 

150g butter

150g soft brown sugar

250g Bramley apples peeled and chopped into small pieces.

1 egg

2 to 3 tbl sp milk

Demerara sugar to sprinkle


Add baking powder and cinnamon into flour

Rub butter into flour until it resembles fine bread crumbs.

Add apple

Pour in milk with egg mixed in.

Mix all together.

To cook

Spread mixture evenly in a greased tin and bake 200 C/ 180 CFan oven for 35 to 40 mins until golden brown and risen.

Sprinkle over demerara sugar while still warm.

Allow to cool in the tin before tipping out and cutting into bars.

You should get 16.


So not a bad afternoon in the rain was it?


Sunday 19 November 2023

A Pick Me Up

It's nearly 50 years since this amazing singer died.. just loved her and she raises me up!

What do you think?


Saturday 18 November 2023

Good advice? But do we need telling?

 In 'old fashion' terms I'm a bit down in the dumps and can't for the life of me pull myself together. The weather doesn't help. dull and dreary and although its not actually raining, its very drippy out!

I am not usually affected by the weather, although a sunshiny day makes me feel happy and more capable to face anything.  But yesterday I felt so old and weary.

According to Professor Chris Whitty,  Chief Medical Officer of England, older people are at a disadvantage. People are living longer but some are in bad health.  Certain areas of the country have a higher aging population and these areas are poor cousins of the big cities, that have more than adequate provisions for the population.

He advocates that 'we'  (The Government?) need to get serious about these areas or we'll end up with large numbers of people leading much more dependent lives. So providing services and an environment in these areas is an absolute priority.

I love,  but also was a bit cynical about his advice for us oldies, to look after ourselves the 'old fashion way.'  ie Eat healthily, exercise and keep fit, I would add to that dress warmly! We already know that and its within our own capability, money allowing ( I do acknowledge that some older people have only their OAP to live in)

He also suggests that housing, transport and other parts of the environment are made more elderly friendly, so people can live out their lives as independently as possible.

Shame some local councils haven't read his report, because here in my home coastal town, a redundant £2.8 million bus terminal is being built, but all but two buses have been cancelled! And its away from the town centre, so why was all that money spent on what the towns' people are calling, the youngsters hang out place?

We feel very blessed that we were able to buy this bungalow and had the money, to make it comfortable to suit our needs; and we're still able to look out for ourselves.    So there's no real need for me to be down in the dumps, the rain has started, but its doing my garden good, with very sandy soil it needs it.. so pulling up my big girl pants and with the radio up loud, I can face what ever life throws at me!

What do you think?


Friday 17 November 2023

Such heart ache.

 This morning at SW the scales showed I hadn't kept to the plan, a half pound gain, so not too bad.. but on the way out, June stopped me to thank me for commenting on her FB page about her mothers' photo and I started to weep. My mother would have been 106 on the 13th of November, and I never knew her. I was just two and a half when she died. This photo was taken when I was nine months old. 

Although my grandmother bought me up. it wasn't a happy childhood and really I was in the way; pushed from pillar to post, to different relatives on buses and trains each summer, to make room for the summer guests.  Born 1887 she had a Victorian attitude and so when I was home, she didn't spare the rod and often screamed at me she could have let me go to the workhouse.
My father had remarried and it was all arranged that my grand parents were to be my legal guardians. Speaking to June brought a flood of memories to my mind and this too. 
I remembered that instead of going home to this pretty little bundle of joy....

There was this on the spare bed. All her things, her bed, blanket, cushion which she loved and her coat with its hi-fiz stripes so she could be seen safely at night, and lead washed ready for the charity shop.

Who would think we'd have such heart ache, I can't stop crying.

Thursday 16 November 2023

An Evil man but a delish mince pie.

 This was our Library book group choice for November. 

    I read it and it was readable, but in my opinion 100 pages too long! I wouldn't recommend it as a good read, in fact one member of the group gave up on it, as she found the main character, a man got into her head, as he was so unpleasant; a sociopath, I knew what she meant. Of the seven of us in the group only myself, my husband and one other member read it. It wasn't liked by any of the others and so they didn't read it. I was disappointed as when we were first given it,  I recognized the author as John Fowles, who wrote 'The French Lieutenant's Woman.' But this was a book of an evil man, a disturbed obsessive who stalks and ultimately captures the object of his desires, a young woman, it was creepy and horrifying.

But when we left the library, the sun was shining so we decided to walk into the town for a coffee. (De-caff in the afternoon or I'd never be able to get to sleep) and with it we indulged in a warmed mince pie with squirty cream and it was delicious! Such a very pleasant change in the weather. We strolled to the fruit shop, bought some russet apples, Dh's favourite and some pears for me. 
We drove home along the sea front; the sea had just some gentle ripples as it came up over the rocks and with the setting sun quite lovely.

It's such s lovely place to live.


Wednesday 15 November 2023

Wheeeeeee !!

Could I do this?

If I could, how do you get up off it when you got to the bottom???


Tuesday 14 November 2023

On a wet afternoon.

 What do you do on a wet horrible afternoon? Well if you're a person who likes to cook, you make marmalade!

Its not Seville oranges season yet, so today Dh has used the prepared tin of marmalade oranges you can buy. Something he didn't know about till he married me! He always used oranges. One year when we were living in Coventry, we hadn't seen any of the oranges for sale, so when someone I knew in my  library book group told me about a green grocer who had some, of course we had to go.
As soon as he got home from work, we shot off to find the shop.
I waited in the car, and then suddenly at the other end of the car park, there he was, running and jumping, holding a bag up above his head.. my Dh over the moon with his Seville oranges!

While he was busy I've donned  my 'Tiara' and cleaned the bathroom.. why a tiara?? Well, I once said to a friend, that when I clean the toilet, I often think  'I bet Kate Princess of Wales doesn't do this,'  and her quick reply was... do you wear a tiara??

I've tidied and cleaned in our lounge..who makes such a mess? Books, papers, empty envelopes, the odd sweet paper and some sewing bits waiting for me to put a tuck in some knicker waistbands, because they are too loose. I must get round to doing them! 

And then I sat in the warm, admiring my lovely cyclamen. 

What are you doing on these wet days?