Thursday 29 February 2024

£20 a packet??

I used to smoke, stared as a nurse because every body did in those days and the dangerous effects weren't really known.

It seems the Government wants to raise the price of a packet of cigs to £20, to deter people from smoking, presently they average £14.59

I found it very difficult to give up, I was hooked... but when my youngest son was shown films in school about the dangers of smoking each time I lit up, he used to get upset. I think he thought I was going to drop dead there and then. So I decided to make a real effort to give up, it wasn't easy. First I went with a friend to a hypnotist. For 2 days I was fine, didn't want a cigarette, then I was crawling the walls for one. Really I should have gone back and had a second session, but I didn't.

A year later I decided I'd try acupuncture. I remember it well. It was the last week of the summer holidays. So my four children and I drove to Southend, where I had made the appointment at an acupuncture clinic. I left my children in a MacDonald's. My ex was away with his work.

As I walked the short way to the clinic, I took the packet of cigarettes from my pocket and went to put them in a bill.. I hesitated and thought my world would end, but I did it! It was so hard, I was really addicted.

The next day I tried pressing the pin 'thingy' in the side of my ear, it didn't feel like it was working, but I knew what to do. Go to places and do things where I never smoked. So we piled into my car and we went to Southend as soon as we'd had breakfast, because I never smoked in the open air. 

The children played on the beach, the sun was lovely and I sat and watched them and read. We had sandwiches and crisps and fruit and I drank squash, not tea or coffee, I didn't fancy a cigarette with squash. When we got home, I went straight into the shower and my daughter, then 15 made our evening meal with my youngest son then 7 helping. I ate the meal and went straight into the bedroom, I never smoked in the bedroom. 

I did that for 5 days, it wasn't easy but with the help of the aquapuncture 'thingy' and my own children I did it! I had been a smoker for 20 years!! 

So would I pay £20 for a packet if I still smoked? Probably, it's a drug and once you're addicted it not easy to give up. I'd never smoke again, not just for health reasons,  but I don't think I could give it up again! I had the odd occasion in the past, when  I saw people smoking in old films and I remembered that feeling of immense calm with that first inhalation, but of course I wouldn't.

Did you ever smoke? 


Wednesday 28 February 2024

Have we lost Freedom of Speech?

 Dh and I are always careful speaking to other people, when we are out, because you can be accused of being prejudicial or non woke, for anything these days. Although I am happy to stick my head up above the parapet and state that I agree with J K Rowlings, that a woman is a person with a uterus. 

I see that once again she has been trolled for stating her opinion. Difficult these days as Angela once said in a comment, about freedom of speech. 

When we were living in Suffolk there was someone in one group we belonged to who was a 'trans' He/She was in her late twenty's, her name was J. She had longish hair, wore make up and female clothes. However J's choice of clothes were like those that teenagers wore.  Some very short, with tops that had parts cut out, they always looked a bit out of place, but that's just my opinion. 

It was  difficult to accept her as female, her face was very angular and although smooth did not look feminine. Tall and with muscular legs, J did not look like a young girl.. One week something upset J and she started to cry, I did feel sorry for her, but no way did J ever look like a female to me.

So am I allowed to say that?

It is very difficult, I would never hurt anyone's feelings. When we met her in a local supermarket and she smiled and approached us, we chatted to her as you would anyone else. On the same supermarket visit we met and chatted to our Dr! That what happens when you live in a small town.

What do you think about freedom of speech, have we lost it?


Tuesday 27 February 2024

A Singles Holiday.

Friends are the best and as you get older, they are even more precious. I still have two friends I was in school with, one in Junior School and one from my boarding school.
When we talk of course we speak about those times when we were younger, however my friends I made in later life are my bestest friends.

I met them through holidays with Single Group holidays. After my divorce in 1987 I joined several groups to go out socially. One group went to the theatre or cinema, others just met up for drinks or walks.

Through the one I met up with Hillary, we looked for holidays for single people and found a firm called 'Small World.'  For our very first we booked a New Year weekend in a hotel in North London.  Going together we saved money, because we shared a room, even though it was for Singles there was still a single supplement, unless you shared. 
We agreed we wouldn't sit together or say we were together,  so we could circulate and get to know other people.

We loved it and because we had done some ball room dancing we could do regular dances as well as modern, jive and the usual shuffle that a lot of people do. I loved dancing, and the nights went on till the early hours of the morning, so it was exhausting. We used to met up in the afternoons for a rest on our beds and there we used to chat and giggle about men we had spoken to.
Hillary spoke about one man, who she had sat beside, who was asking did she own her own house. We never said we did, but that we lived with a son. This man wanted someone to buy a property together with him in N Wales, to make it into a Singles Holiday house. Yes, he did ask me too and I had to say sorry, I didn't have a house to sell!
On the Sunday of that weekend we decided we would sit on the same table on the last night with 6 other people and none guessed we were friends and neither did we say, but we were both were nearly hysterical laughing when the 'do you own your own house to set up a Singles Holiday home' man sat with us. He must have asked so many people he'd forgotten who he had asked!

I really did enjoy that first weekend away and although I never went to them, to meet men or for a partner, I did dance with a lot of men and one really lovely man who was wearing a lovely aftershave and he could dance. I remember it because the band was playing 'Lady in Red' and Hillary and I had been to a Chris de Burgh concert the previous year. We even danced together on the next evening too. I wonder what happened to him.

 It was such a fun time of my life, and reading this, have you noticed I haven't mentioned the food, it was all very good, but it wasn't a big thing in my life in those days, I was 47 and slim!
I worked hard at my teaching job, paid the mortgage and bills but had a holiday fund.  It wasn't easy being single with older children to support in Uni and one still in school, but every year I went on at least 4 weekends away, plus a holiday abroad. Often with Hillary, but I met three other women and we went on holidays together as well as visiting each other for weekends,  I loved it all and them. 
That firm went bankrupt, which was a shame, because it was so good

Those were the days!

Monday 26 February 2024

How is he now?

I stood at the French doors yesterday  and stared out at the sheets of rain across the garden thinking, there must be a man called Noah in our town for us to have all this rain; tipping down was an understatement!

I had thoughts of my youngest son, Michael,  whose birthday it was, he will be 53.. but I haven't seen or even heard from him for nearly 15 years, you may ask why? And I'd have to say I don't know why, he decided I'd said something?? He won't talk to any of his brothers or sister either.

He was such a loving little boy When he was about 8 he used to crawl around the bed to my side and whisper 'Do you want a cup of tea Mummy?' It was usually crack of dawn! 

We did a lot together, he was the youngest although not that younger than my other three children. So yesterday morning staring out at the rain on the garden I couldn't get him out of my mind. I send him cards and even postcards, but to no avail. 

Such a heart ache to think of him, but he was always very able and is a very successful business man owning his own business.

He started off as an electrician and I wonder if he remembers how I encouraged him and paid for his college course, when he had a breakdown and moved in with me for 18 months. He was wonderful then and helped me get that house sorted, as I had sold a big house and down sized to a three bedroomed property, to allow me to leave a teaching post I hated.

We spent hours most evenings talking about his situation and that money alone doesn't make you happy, and he was happy to give up what he was doing to learn a new trade. I had 8 extra wall points in the two biggest bedrooms and extra wall points all over the house put in by him.

He went on and trained to do plumbing and a gas safe engineer. So his business is kitchen, bathroom fitting and alterations. That was over 25 years ago and he always did well. It was he who fitted my new kitchen and it was amazing. I went on holiday and came home to a perfect kitchen. He is a perfectionist and Dh and I said once of one workman we had here, that's not up to Michael's standard and I let him go and got someone else!

So I hope he opened his card, although who knows he might have recognised my handwriting and binned it, but as Dh said, I've tried. 

I joined the watery rain and some tears fell while I was thinking about him


Sunday 25 February 2024

Thank you

 ,,, for the comments on my previous post about Shamima Begun,, To answer some questions.

Her daughter died at a year old of malnutrition, her second child a boy also died of malnutrition, her third child another boy died only weeks old of pneumonia.

Yes, she is having Legal Aid and yes I guess we the tax payers are footing the bill. 

Is she dangerous? I don't think so, anyway she'd would be tried as an enemy of the state when she returned and possible imprisoned.

The court case is to revoke the stripping of her British Citizenship which made her Stateless and is illegal according the 1981 British Nationality Act.

I still say she was just a school girl, a 15 year old, not mature enough to recognise what she was being dragged into. When asked would she get back with her husband. when he was released from prison, she said a very emphatic no, she would never stay with him. She was just used by him. 

Imagine, 15 and pregnant away from home and no friends. Of the other 2 girls, one was killed in an explosion and there is a strong possibility that the other one is dead too. They were all separated right away so not together to support each other. 

Good to read others opinions about this..Thank you

However, she is a non white Muslin, and I'm ashamed to say that there are people at all levels in this country who are Islamophobic, even an MP has been sacked for suggesting that Sadiq Khan was being controlled by Islamics. There are rumours that the police are Islamophobic, who can we trust?  

Thank you

Interesting to read all the comments.


What do you think?

 I'm probably in the minority to say this, but I think this young woman should be given a chance.

Shamima Began went to Syria age 15 and argues she was lured there and exploited as a child bride. She was indeed married to an Islamic state fighter within days of her arriving there and consequently over the years had 3 children, all of whom have died.

Now age 24 she has asked to return to Britain, her British Citizenship was stripped from her in 2019. It was said that she had dual citizenship, that she was Bangladesi,  however she is not recognized as a Bangladesti citizen , altho her parents were. She was born in UK and had never applied for a Bangladesi citizenship, so it is argued to revoke her UK Citizenship was illegal, as it would make her stateless,

Her lawyers are fighting for her to be allowed to return to the country she calls home.

The powers that be argue she is dangerous person and a threat to UK security? She is a young woman, do we really think she can outwit the British security? If she returns she could be tried as an enemy of the state and imprisoned, but that would be a hundred times better than the camp where she is now.

It seems to me this is a political argument and who would believe a politician these days?

I may only be looking at this from the view point of a mother and a woman. This young girl was one of three who were radicalized and trafficked to go to Syria and marry young men. She was only 15 and I can imagine after all they had been fed, the stories of young soldiers fighting for a cause, it seemed as though it was an adventure. She was introduced to the man she was to marry and 10 days later married. Her status as a female was to be a slave to her husband, to totally do what ever he asked. She had 3 children all who died and she has ended up in a camp, from which there is no escape.

Her mother talks of how her daughter's school clothes still hang in her wardrobe, how on her last birthday she asked for pizza instead of a Birthday Cake and still each year on her birthday, the family have pizza to remember her. She was only a school girl when she went.

The recent court case was to appeal against the removal of her UK citizenship and was dismissed and she is to remain in al-Roj camp, where the conditions have reach a critical point, with near starvation and disease now seen daily.

She made some very immature statements when interviewed, but some times when a person is backed into a corner, thoughts don't come easy. And was she afraid to say anything that could endanger her life?

I think she should be allowed to return home, she has suffered enough, 9 years of her young life has gone, some one in power must see the compassionate side of this situation.

What do you think?


Saturday 24 February 2024

A fancy?

 When you're always watching what you eat, spicy recipes catch your eye.

I saw this and it appealed to my taste palate. I could see it along side a burger meal, beef sandwich, or even the SW dirty rice, which is basically beef mince, chopped veg, spices and rice, its very tasty.

This is easy to make and we have this little preserving jar. (Cute isn't?) 


Tsp Salt.
6 ml white vinegar
2oz sugar
2 inch Fresh Root Ginger
4 Stem ginger


Use a fork to score down the sides of the cucumber to produce the fluted edge when sliced.
Thinly slice the cucumber and place in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt, turn slices so all get the salt, leave for 10 mins.
Then rinse and drain and return to bowl.
Grate root ginger and cut stem ginger into thin strips.
Mix, salt, sugar and vinegar 
Add in the 2 types of ginger and cucumber, mix well.
Decant into a jar and leave in fridge over night.
Then its ready to eat!

I love this sort of taste. My picky food in an evening is gherkins they satisfy my fancy-ing! 

A leader of a slimming group was once trying to say, that sometimes when you think you're hungry, you're really only fancying.. she gave this example.
'You go to the fridge and inside is just raw liver, would you eat it.?'

All the group were saying 'ugh,' but I thought if it was pigs liver and I could just seal it in a hot pan, I'd eat it!! I do really like pigs liver and happily eat it with fried onions, mash, peas and gravy. And we do have it some times for an evening meal.
I remember I was once cooking some liver for my little dog, Mari. When my ex came in and said 'that smells nice,' I replied, 'its for the dog!' No more was said!!

This week after my disappointing loss of half a pound last week, I've lost 2 pounds, so that's 4 1/2 pounds in February, so quite good.. 2 more pounds and I'll drop down into the next stone level, yeh!

So we are carrying on, and going to vary our breakfasts, not porridge every morning! So we might even have toast, altho that's very dangerous for me because its a 'trigger' food. I could eat a loaf of bread spread with butter and marmalade.. best end this post here, its too tempting to even think about toast!
Pass the gherkins!


Friday 23 February 2024

I might be old, but I am also blessed.

° * • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •°      

。★★ * 。°*°.
° ˛˚˛ * _Π.°_*°_* .
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/ \*
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚
田田 |門

Alwayssmiling * ˚•

° * ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •° * 。* ˚ ˚ 

When I was feeling down last week I actually posted on FB that I was struggling and a feeling 'blue' Something I had never done before. Several people who knew me, either left a comment or responded by a heart or other response.

But 4 of those persons knew me really well, and if it had been me seeing my friend was feeling down, I'd have phoned them, but none of them phoned me. I wasn't upset but wondered if the internet has really taken over from the old ways of contacting each other,

A couple of days later I posted I was feeling fine and people who hadn't responded when I said was down, suddenly wanted to say, so glad you're feeling better! Odd?

I don't understand this modern mode of communication, am I old fashioned,  or non tech or should I just accept the ways of  the internet? What ever I found out who were not my real friends.

So they're off my Christmas card list, ha ha! 

They probably wouldn't even care to have a Christmas card anyway, sad isn't it!

Yesterday I had two long telephone chats, first with Ros and we laughed and laughed about past holidays and talked about our grand children. It does us good to talk, I felt so good after it. 

Then with my school friend, who kept moaning about slowing down, to which I reminded her 'you are older!' Aren't we oldies funny, we expect to still be able to do things we did when we were 30 years younger. I know I do, and get frustrated when I can't garden all day. I have to have a rest every 30 mins or so, it takes longer but I am happy when I've just weeded about one side of a flower bed. I do have to have a fork stuck in the ground to hold when I bend over with my long handle trowel, otherwise I can over balance!

Old age is strange, you slow down without really noticing, then it hits you when you go to do something and you can't. 

We have a walk in shower, what's called a comfortable height toilet and a sturdy hand rail on the steps from our French doors on to the patio, we have these to make our life easier. 

We love what we've had done to this bungalow, its all to make our lives comfortable. I think some one is looking out for us and this was always 'His' plan. We've been truly blessed and I  never take it for granted.


Thursday 22 February 2024

I never want to go back to that time!

We have been watching the ITV Drama 'Breathtaking'  about a hospital ward in a hospital trying to deal with the tsunami of patients suffering from covid. It immediately took me back to the anxiety feelings I had when covid struck.

On the Friday before Lockdown, we decided to go to a farm shop for our weekly veg. It was being advertised as being willing to deliver, but we fancied the drive out to it, called the Railway Farm shop, because it was in an old Railway Carriage in the next little town.  We bought a box of mixed veg and then decided I'd get one for my son. We didn't need anything else, the sun was shining, and we had a pleasant drive home. Little did we know that on the following Monday we'd be in Lockdown and we didn't get out to shop ourselves again for over 18 months. 

We'd moved to Suffolk in the May of 2017 and were happily getting to know the surrounding villages and places to visit. So when we were thrust into on-line orders and competing for delivery slots,  it was stressful, although we did have dry goods in our pantry, milk and dairy products were our main needs. One week we decided to skip our attempts for a delivery and drive to a different supermarket in Lowestoft for a click and collect order. The drive was about 25 miles and was lovely, we were already fed up of not going anywhere and it had only been a 6 weeks! We took Nell with us, as she travelled very well and on our return journey to our delight, there was a Costa drive through. We got a toastie and a coffee and a biscuit for Nell. We stopped on the edge of a village in a tree lined lane, to enjoy them, the sun was shining, the leaves were green and we had a car boot full of groceries and in our freezer bag some ice cream; it was as though nothing had happened.

But of course it went on for a lot longer and 1000s of people died

This ITV drama was emotional and harrowing to see how it was for our NHS staff. Poorly equipped, understaffed and trying desperately to adapt to the unprecedented situation.  Was it like how it was shown, as it really was, or just a story? I really believe it was just like that, Drs and Nurses at their wits end, trying to do their jobs but being told to let patients go home; some discharged back to Care Homes, where the rest of the people there became infected and 1000s died, to make room for covid patients. How stressful it was the ward staff taking orders from NHS England, but seeing the devastating results first hand.

I had to choke back tears at some scenes and the awful panicky feelings I had come flooding back. We were very blessed living where we were then, not many people, a large house and a large garden. We had planned not to grow veg, when we moved to Suffolk, but with lockdown, there was nothing else to do and Dh soon knocked up a raised bed and we grew everything. It kept us occupied and we were able to talk to our neighbours, our age and gardeners, over the fence. But my poor son was alone in a town about 3 miles from us. As soon as we were allowed to make a 'bubble' with a family member, he came to us and we sat 2 metres apart in the garden. We used to drive to his house with food bits for him and we left it on his door step, keeping the 2 metres distance. He still went to his local supermarket so was getting about, but self-employed he had no work, saw nobody and felt very lonely.

It was a horrible time for everyone and I shouldn't complain as compared to many people we were well cared for and in a very good situation. We totally self isolated and had everything we needed delivered. But I hardy slept, I worried and felt anxious all the time and I only coped because I had my lovely husband, who made cups of tea and toast in the night times. Nell loved it, as when we were awake at night she was with us on our bed.

If you haven't watched this drama, it is good with amazing acting from Joanne Froggatt, Bhav Joshi, Stephanie Street and Thom Petty, who was a Medic consulted on the drama. It is not an easy watch but well worth it. 

The inquiry is still onward going,,,There were 227,000 deaths recorded from covid up to the end of 2022. There were 1,490 on one day in January 2021! Too many wrong decisions by government, parties, wrong information, the inquiries go on. We can only hope and pray that we never have to go through a similar situation. 

We have never gone back to doing our own shopping and still have a weekly grocery delivery.

I never want to go back to that time. 


Wednesday 21 February 2024

A very Pleasant Tuesday Afternoon.

 We went off to our choir practice yesterday afternoon in bright sunshine, I wasn't really looking forward to it because I was tired after a sleepless night, well not so much a sleepless night but I could not get to sleep till gone 2:30 am,  but I made the effort and went.

After as little as 10 minutes I was glad I'd gone. Getting your mouth around the words of 'Doobi doobi, doobi, doobi, doobi, doobi doobi' repeated several times at speed, had me buck up and singing along with gusto, the Rhythm of Life!

Singing in harmony does produce a lovely sound, and we were practising to sing at an Old Peoples home on Friday. There was loud laughter when our Musical Director asked for more sound and smiles, to ensure that our audience didn't fall asleep! There are cups of tea and biscuits and a chat after the session. We chatted to another husband and wife and that was nice, we're gradually getting to know people, which hasn't been easy since moving here.

We came home with our endorphins at a high level and smiling.

So we had a walk around our garden before we came into the house, checking our rhubarb, 2 good clumps that Dh has covered to encourage growth.. there were buds on our grape vine, and daffodils are flowering in abundance as well as the crocus we planted in the front lawn, so we were pleased. These delicate looking daffodils are my favourite and I keep them safe over the summer and plant them again in the Autumn.

But these are left in the ground all year round and so far are popping up each spring, they brighten up our odd shaped front garden.

And we're very proud of these crocus planted in the grass, which is very weeded, but they give people who walk pass something to look at.

We still have the back garden to tidy up after the winter and we will once the weather warms a bit more. How is yours?

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Found on a beach.

 Well who would have believed it, 2 nude forms on the beach, bit too cold for me! Some people are so creative and have a great sense of fun! I think very artistic too, so clever. I love her bum, so rounded and firm looking!

But then this was washed up onto the beach today, a large cuttle fish. You can sense its size by the footstep in the sand beside it. For regular beach walkers they've said, it is one of the largest seen for years. This was on Sandy beach, a very popular beach in the summer months.

And these were found on Rest Bay beach, where there is the  Surf School. Even in the winter surfers can be seen using the waves. 

These were suggested to be small ray fish. looks scary to me!

Along the coast at Newton Beach, there are sometimes found washed up sheep and even cows. Brought round the coast by the currents from Southern Down or Ogmore. The sheep roam free across the sand downs and when they fall into the Ogmore river, the current is much too strong, so they're carried out to sea and drowned. 
The council are requested to remove them from the beaches, but they are very slow, so you can imagine the stink if left!
Rubbish on the beach is  collected by volunteers all year round on a Sunday morning. A lot of the rubbish is brought in on the tide, plastic being the greatest waste collected.

Families join in the 'Beach Clean' such a great bunch of people. 

And here is a patient man fishing off the beach. Fish could be bass, mackerel, pollack, mullet and even conger.

And at the end of each day, there is this for the promise of a sunny day tomorrow.


Monday 19 February 2024

A shock as a new nurse.

 So much talk again about the triple jab to avoid measles reminds me of when I was a student nurse back in time, 1961 to 1964.. There were a lot of children admitted to the hospital, where I was, with the affects of measles and sadly some die  I trained to be a Qualified Nurse in a hospital, unlike today when young people get a University degree then go into a hospital. 

Different training than today's nurse. I did 3 months Pre-Training School (PTS) where we had lectures on human biology, various nursing procedures and general nursing. I can remember the cleaning staff were our patients! Each year we had a 6 week block of lectures and at the end of each one, we had written and practical tests.  

We went onto the wards for just half days at first, before we were allotted to our first ward. Mine was the Eye Ward, and Sister Watkin was in charge, I remember her well. She was lovely and patient with the patients and with us nurses especially me, new, just 18 and very nervous. A nurse was put in charge of me and on that first time. I knew I wouldn't be asked to do much more than helping to wash patients, serve meals and generally be useful, but I was still nervous!

We learnt on the job, different tasks had to be completed and we had a work book where the tasks were listed and when we had completed each one, it was signed off by a senior nurse. I remember the first time I had to remove stitches, the woman was more nervous then me and kept up a nervous chatter, I passed and my task signed off. 

That first week was so tiring, my legs ached, my feet ached and so did my head with all the things to remember. But I enjoyed it.. and I remember in that first week I did something I had never done before and although we'd been told about it, it was still a bit of a shock. My Senior Nurse and I were sent off into the male ward, to make them comfortable which included treating the older men who were bedridden. It meant soaping their buttocks, rubbing them to get the blood to circulate to prevent bed sores, then they were dried and powdered.. I was allowed to powder this old man's bum! I hadn't grown up with a man in our home, my grandfather had died when I was 7, so it was a surprise! And that was my very first introduction to nursing care of a patient! Honestly I had never seen a man naked before.

I loved that ward, perhaps because it was my first, I soon learnt to be more efficient and very gentle. In those months on that ward, I gave my first injection, as well as feeding blind patients and washing them and I washed a powered too many bums to remember! 

Being a patient myself in these last 9 years since breaking my arm with four hospital stays, I've had some lovely nurses look after me, and I've tried not to give a short intake of breath when they've stuck needles in me, grateful that the first time I did it, he had double pads on his eyes so couldn't see me shaking as I approached his bed. He said.. thank you nurse, so it must have been ok!

This picture could have been us.. Nurses today do a lot more procedures than we did, and are trained to a higher level. But what we learnt still needed brains, we weren't just carers. Two girls failed at the end of PTS and left,  and I remember most of the human biology I learnt all that time ago. I'm still in touch with three of the 'girls' I trained with. They were very happy years and I loved them.

Sunday 18 February 2024

Pulled my Socks Up!

I seem to have 'got myself together' and after a good cry with my husband and reading all your lovely encouraging comments, and looked at my many blessings, I feel a lot better.
The grey skies definitely don't help, and the sleep deprivation, but I can see dots of white right  up the garden, from the steps by the French doors, which are my new snowdrops, so that's lovely. And there is a lovely clump of primroses, flowering beautifully. I have to remind myself that there was only weeded grass here when we moved in.
Thank you Joy for reminding me that I had eaten good tasty food too.
And looking back on the week, we had celebrated Pancake day and Valentines and I had lost half a pound, so not bad.
Through the month of January which isn't over yet, I've lost 3 pounds, and there's another week to go.
Thank you for reminding me of the hymn Angela, 'strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.' 
Sorry you too have experienced disappointments of dieting Elizabeth and KirstenM . It's so difficult to explain to people who have never had a weight problem. And that was me once, I was positively skinny! Thank you Marie and Mari for you best wishes for a better day And jabblog thank you.
I'm not giving up and this morning I ventured onto the 'Beast' (treadmill) I felt really nervous and couldn't remember how to work it and I needed my step to get on, as its quite high. (The step was bought ages ago and not used!)
So another week and I'm even more determined, so now looking at portion control!
Thank you 


Saturday 17 February 2024

'That Black Dog'

 Yesterday I fell into a black pit, not physically but it might have well have been. My mood was deep despair all day. It didn't start off well. I'd had another sleepless night, so when Dh woke me, so we could go to SW, I was not happy. I was in a deep sleep, and it felt like I'd only just gone to sleep. But roused myself and went straight into the shower, honestly sometimes I could go to sleep in there. I always say 'no pain in the shower!' But a cup of tea and by the time I was dressed to leave for 9:00 am, I was more awake. And when we got there it was nice to be greeted by the people we've got to know over the last year. 

Then the scales and shock horror!!! I'd only lost a HALF a pound!! How could that be, I'd tried so hard and kept strictly to the SW plan. My mood dropped from blurry tired to despair.. and that's how I felt all day. it was as though I'd been smacked in the face. I wanted to come home straight away, but we stayed for the meeting.

In the afternoon we had our U3a Singalong group, and I struggled to sing with any joy, but I tried, until we sang some Welsh songs. In fact to my embarrassment I felt really emotional when we started to sing, 'We'll keep a welcome in the hillside.' It brought back the memories when we, my ex and children first moved to Billericay from here, my home town. I was so home sick and felt utterly alone, this song came on the radio and I cried and cried. So this afternoon it was the last straw, the tears flowed.

I've always had this little pic in my picture folder and it always gives me a lovely feeling. Doesn't she look so pretty and yes full of sass! I did try to find out if it was a real child, but no success. She reminds me of my granddaughter when she was this age, she had a lot of sass!

And then this saying popped up when I was looking something up.

It seemed a sign and I felt lifted, thank you to who ever posted it.

There's a great, big, beautiful, tomorrow,

Shining at the end of every day.


Friday 16 February 2024

Presents., sort of!

This little cartoon picture really appealed to me, so cute and vaguely true! When I was young I wasn't a girl that had Valentine cards, but in an all girls school, where I boarded I didn't know anyone else who had. I didn't miss them. Dh and I do give each other cards and a little present.

While looking at Sue's blog. She had pictures of this artists work. I had to go to the web site and bought 5 cards for my girl friends, do look at them, but beware you might be tempted like me, there are cards, jigsaws, tea towels and prints, the artist is Lucy Almey Bird

So cute and are just the sort of paintings I like.
They made me think of Beryl Cooks paintings, sort of real life!


And  this came, published today and I have it now!

I was going to buy it myself but Dh said he'd buy it, so we've gone halves, I couldn't let him pay for it, because he had already bought a new lot of dahlias and all new seeds, when we popped to the garden centre. (Aren't seeds pricy these days?)This is not the package picture as it's stuck in the pot already planted in dry compost. And that's the sort of presents I like. 
We did celebrate Valentine's day with a very delicious sirloin steak meal, bake potato, and green salad., my favourite cooked by Dh. And pud was a rhubarb clafoutis with a measured amount of ice cream and squirty cream, so following the SW plan, and very nice too.
And hasn't it rained and rained, just the sort of day to walk inside on your own treadmill! I'm gearing myself up to it!

Thursday 15 February 2024

The Beast!

 During lockdown, where we were living in Suffolk, it wasn't easy to go walking. My weight had already increased since breaking my arm. Then four hospital stays, operations and always feeling the discomfort (pain) and being paranoid about tripping again,  meant I was hardly walking outside, so buying this seemed a good idea. 

I bought it on line and because it was on line not in the store, I asked a hundred questions about it,  but not how big it was! I thought it was the size of a normal sized coffee table. So it was a surprise to see how big it was when all the packing came off, we've always called it 'the beast.'

Of course when we moved here, with only 3 bedrooms, there were no cupboards, in fact no storage space at all. We'd moved from a big four bedroomed house with a huge under stairs cupboard, a huge pantry and fitted wardrobes, so we filled the end room with boxes, they were floor to ceiling, chock o block! We bought wardrobes right away for our bedroom and the second bedroom and the Beast went in the garage

Then we just opened a box if we needed something, couldn't find our dinner plates for a couple of weeks, so ate out of cereal bowls! Then we waited till we had our kitchen done, one year later and the boxes started to go down. We sorted out a lot of stuff for charity shops and our target was 2 bags sorted per week. But recently we've sort of stalled and all I was doing was moving stuff around. Last week I'd said to Dh, 'We've been here 2 1/2 years and we still have stuff to get rid of, we have to get something done!' 

So I thought if I asked on FB for someone, perhaps from a Removal firm for 2 persons to carry it from the garage to the end room, we'd be willing to pay. I thought perhaps it would take a week to organise it, so it would be the bomb incentive to get the room sorted!

However it never occurred to me that out of the kindness of their hearts somebody would offer to do it as a kindness. Two people said they'd be willing to come and move it for us. And they could come this week. It was arranged for Wednesday 14th..

So we got ourselves together and sorted, boxed, crated and got 3 bags for the charity shop. We vac-ed up 2 1/2 years of dust, cleaned the windows, and flash mopped the floor. The hall book shelf spent the night in the kitchen and I actually tidied up our gloves and scarves, which had been spilling out of them.

We were up at 7 and showered and dressed before 8 and then had our porridge.. they were here at 9:30 am as arranged. They were only minutes and the Beast was in the end room. Dh connected up the handle part and ting ting, it was working.

I think Dh's tried to show the screen saying 'Hello Chris' 
It records and keeps a record of what you do.. so no excuse now for me to exercise. I don't want to run a mile just keep my legs strong!
The actual cleaning of that room has done us the world of good, now we're going to spring clean the other bedrooms. Dh's daughter and husband are coming for Easter, so that's a good reason for us to get organised!
We work better under pressure!
Whew it feels so good to get that room done.
De cluttering is not easy!
And now I suppose I'd best get walking!

Wednesday 14 February 2024

Shrove Tuesday; Ash Wednesday

 Did you have pancakes? We did but a limited number. Gone are the days when I had them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Today I just had two! But they were a very nice ones, made by Dh, who is watching my syns, I'm allowed 15 so I have to keep to that. Syns are daily extras on the SW plan, 1syn=20 cals.

Quite a few years ago, I was visiting my daughter, my Granddaughter  was 4.. On the Wednesday my son in law was going to the Ash Wednesday Church Service and asked if his daughter had some change in her money box, as he had no money on him and didn't have time to go to a 'hole in the wall' My grand daughter's immediate reply was, that she wasn't going to give him her money! I said that I had some he could have and she started shouting to not let him have any, because he never pays it back! I was trying not to laugh out loud, I did give him some money and he did say he'd pay me back!
After he'd left my grand daughter wanted to show me her safe hiding place for her money,
In her bedroom, she lifted up her rug and pointed to the gap in the floor boards!! She had been posting her money there for ages.. my daughter laughed when I told her, and as far as I know my grand daughter's pennies are still there!
My grand daughter was right,  as my son in law has never paid me back and that was 26 years ago!!

Hope you enjoyed your pancakes too.


Tuesday 13 February 2024

Sunday B****Y Sunday!!

I could eat these with even more butter spread on them and love the taste. Just a simple scone mixture with added cheese, chopped sun dried tomatoes and finely sliced salad onions. Just thinking about them makes my mouth water! So I did not make them!

So this weekend on the 'trying to lose weight front,' I've done it I've  got through Sunday without failing!! Yeh.. my problem is what I always used to have for a Sunday tea. It was always a sandwich, maybe some crisps and a slice of cake.

So we planned Sunday this past weekend. 
SW plan has a B choice, which can be, bread, cereal, porridge or nuts. So to have a sandwich for tea meant I had to have a breakfast without a B choice, so that I could have a slice of wholemeal bread.
So my breakfast was......
Fruit, yogurt and honey and then an omlette, to make sure I was really satisfied,
Sunday dinner, is always cooked according to the SW plan, so not a problem,
Then  I could have  my cold meat sandwich for tea and instead of crisps, Dh sautéed some cooked potato chopped up into small chunks and it was all delicious.
Then a yogurt and an orange.

So I got through Sunday, yeh.. 
It was a real problem every Sunday, but now I've done it once I can do it again.
This trying to lose weight isn't easy is it?

Monday 12 February 2024

I liked it.

I've read quite a few of Jojo Moyes books and some like 'The Giver of Stars,' have been excellent, some others good entertainment, and others ?? I get so far into the book and think, why am I reading this and want to give up, but struggle on. Some I say, when asked for my opinion, it was a hundred pages too long and rather facile! But then who am I to decide if a book is good literature?
Well, I do read a lot and do try to vary my authors, and I do like some authors more than others and read everything they have written. 
But this one book although listed as 'chick lit' by some,  IMO is a good read. I do like a book that I can look forward to at bed time and this one did.
A simple mix up of bags in a gym locker room, means that the owners have the wrong bags and hence the wrong shoes.
For one it turns out quite advantageous and the other, well that's the story of what happened next. 
I enjoyed and warmed to Sam and desperately wanted her to keep the 'back bone,' the shoes seemed to give her. 
And Nisha found friends in the most unlikely places, that she wouldn't have believed could happen. The story fairly raced along and kept me interested wanting to know what happened next.
If you read it, I hope you'll like it, I did.