About Me

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I'm 57 years old, working full time, wife, mother and grand mother, wishing that I wasn't working full time! I love and enjoy our children and grandchildren, our dogs and cat, our garden and allotment. I love crafts - knitting, sewing, crocheting, patchwork and restoring old furniture. I love to go to country auctions and love thinking that I've got my self a bargain!

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year

Afternoon All,

Miss Piggy Bank - Nice to hear from you - I agree, can't wait for the next series of Downton.

Jane and Chris - I agree with you completely - I look at what other people are putting through the check-out when I go shopping and think why are you paying that much for that rubbish! It's far better to cook from scratch and tastes far better.

Anne - Glad you think that it's a good idea -I've already done my 4 quarterly lists and have been and brought my birthday and anniversary cards for the next 3 months  - it's not that I'm that organised - it's just that by writing my lists I stand a reasonable chance of remembering everyone's birthday. (Couldn't live without my lists now- at a funny age and all that!!!)

Kath - Thanks, good idea - I will one day

How are you all - all ready to welcome in the new year? I think I'm as ready as I can be - we shall just have a quiet night here and tomorrow will be spent cleaning the house through and taking the Xmas trees down. I know that they should be left up till twelfth night but I start back on the treadmill (back to work and the commuting) on Tuesday and as with all holidays I like to go back to work knowing that I've left the house all clean and tidy.

Have you made any New Year Resolutions? I haven't - I think that the word 'resolution' just sets me up to fail (it's a strong word isn't it?) so I shall 'endeavour' to make a few changes - then if I fail I can always start endeavouring again can't I?! I won't have broke or failed a 'resolution'!

One endeavour that is always ongoing is to get the garden and allotment  'just right' - will it ever happen - I don't know - I just know that I do enjoy trying each year. Let's hope that the weather is kinder to us in 2012 and I can grow all the vegetables that we and the family need.

I do want to get the conservatory decorated and the summer house painted inside and all the decking re stained. The stain is so expensive isn't it? (That's another endeavour, just shot down in flames - I was going to say, try to not spend so much!)

Finally as per usual - loose some weight!! I know that all I've got to do is eat less and move more -  just easier said than done in my case!

I hope 2012 is a better year for everyone and that we all have a happy, healthy, (especially my Mom and Daughter in Law after all the problems they've both had recently)  and comfortable 2012

Best Wishes to All


Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Catching Up............

Afternoon All,

I hope that you've all had a Happy Christmas and are ready to welcome in the new year in a few days time.

Anne and Jill - thank you for your messages and I hope that you both had a good Christmas too.

We had  a lovely time -  if what a little busy, I raced over to see my 2 young Granddaughters on Xmas morning and then raced back (literally - I was driving my son's car - I don't think he realised that it could go that fast!) to get the roasters in for lunch, we had 7 to dinner and everyone said that they enjoyed the meal.

My Dad enjoyed it, as this is the first meal that he hasn't had to cook since my Mom broke her wrist and he didn't have to wash up afterwards! I also managed to make a Dundee Cake for the first time, on Xmas Eve,  which also got the seal of approval from my Dad.

My Daughter in Law managed to eat her dinner as well. (we didn't realise that the ear operation would affect how she could eat - all the side of her face and jaw have been painful plus the dizziness made her feel sick - poor girl) But she managed to sit with us and had a good lunch and she said she felt much better for having something good to eat. I'm a big believer in that, after any sort of illness or operation - that you need good wholesome food to sustain your recovery, so I was pleased to see her managing to eat.

(I'm afraid that I don't really 'do' or believe in all these 'convienience' foods - it never tastes like a proper meal and it worries me what chemicals they have put in it, to make it so easy to cook and to make it last so long.)

Did you have any gifts that you've thought "what on earth do I do with that" - I've been very lucky and everything we're received has been perfect and will be put to good use. But I have felt a little disappointed with a few friends who I've sent gifts and presents for, but haven't even received a card back from them. I can appreciate that times are hard and it has been difficult for some families, but a thought and message in a card doesn't cost that much. It will be interesting to see whether these same people will be sending thank you cards - I doubt it - but there, you live and learn.

We went to my Daughter's for tea yesterday which was nice and then I have spent today doing the bills for this month and setting all my folders up ready for the next 12 months - so that I know what has got to be paid each month and when.

I suppose if I was a whizz with the computer I could set it all out on a data base but I know my limitations and I much prefer to put it all down on paper and know what I'm doing! I now know what bills I'm going to be paying and when along with what I'm going to be overpaying on and how much I can save each month. It's a nice way to start the year - with a clean slate and knowing where you stand.

My son tells me that the town was very busy today with people out shopping in the sales, I won't be bothering - this little old house has too much in it as it is and is bursting at the seams and there's nothing I can think of that I want - so can't see the point in going out- I would rather stay here in the warmth!!

Tomorrow is my day for the diaries and calendars -  birthdays, special occasions, anniversaries etc., all get transferred from last years diary to this years. I try to buy the birthday and anniversary cards for each 3 months in advance and put the money away for any gifts at the same time. I find that it's a good system for when I'm really busy at work and don't have a lot of time to spare.

What about Downton Abbey ladies? A happy ending at last but poor Mr Bates is still in prison - lets hope that they get him out in the next series!

That's about all for now - have a good evening


Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone

Merry Christmas to All

Well, the 3 Christmas trees and the house have been decorated, ready for Christmas, the cards written and posted, the presents brought wrapped and distributed, the food shopping done and the house cleaned from top to bottom, the pantomime was brilliant oh and we've had 2 members of the family in hospital,  my Daughter in Law for an operation on her ear, (only a few days ago so balance is not good!) and my Mom,  courtesy of Mr Marks and Mr Spencers for leaving boxes out for her to fall over and break her wrist. (Shrewsbury branch so be careful if out shopping there, in the sales - they appear to have very little regard for their customers safety!).

No wonder I haven't had time to post, service will be resumed in a few days time (she says hopefully!)

That just leaves me to just say Merry Christmas everyone - I hope it's a good,  peaceful and happy one for you

Best Wishes xxx

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Our 'Sid'............

Afternoon All,

How are you all?................ All ready for Halloween?............... Aye Aye Captain reached 78 'I's'  before I lost count and that was just after lunch so I reckon I wasn't that far out at all.

As it is close to Halloween, I thought I'd tell you a little about our resident spirit, Sid. This house is 150 years old and these old 4 walls will have seen some births and deaths over those years.

When we moved here 8 years ago  it was to escape and get away from my first husband (who still doesn't know where we are), we moved 25 miles away from where I'd grown up and from where I work hence our commute up and down the motorway every day.

When we brought the house, it belonged to a 'new age couple' who had painted the rooms in some very modern loud garish colours. So 2 days after we moved in we spent £300.00 on paint and set to with the paint brushes and rollers. Three weeks later it looked like a 'proper' home. But each time we finished a room we'd have a spell of the lights flickering on and off, in that particular room.  My hubby checked the electrics, but could never find any reason why for it.

As this house is very similar to my Nan and Grand Dad's house from when I was little and the fact that we moved here 2 years to the day after my Grand Dad passed away and that the street we moved to has his christian name as our street name - I used to say 'Oh it's my Grand Dad just saying it looks better!' jokingly.

But 2 months after moving in I went to see a spiritualist who said to me "You know you have a spirit in that house" - "It's someone who lived there a long time ago and someone who loved that house - he planted something red in the garden" and I said " I've joked that it was my Grand Dad" and she said "No it's someone who loved his home and he's so pleased that you've put it right now and it's looking like it should".

I came home and searched the garden and couldn't find anything red until the winter took over - there was an over large bush in the garden, which was a dogwood and when it had lost it's leaves the stems turned a bright red!!! - I'd found what he'd planted.........

There would have been a black leaded fire grate in the kitchen, which someone removed (what a shame) we have a log burner there now and in the corner there I have a comfy chair, everyone who comes into the house always seem to make a beeline for this chair - I love sitting there, there's such a feeling of peace and contentment in that corner and I wonder if this is where 'Sid' (that's what we decided to call him) used to sit.

The lights stopped flickering a long time ago, now Sid's party trick is to turn the TV on for about a minute and then off again. My brother came to our house a couple of years ago and we were all (the family) sitting in that room and we were telling him about the T.V. going on and then going off - he said "No I don't believe it" a couple of moments later, the T.V. went on and then off............... there was a sharp intake of breath all around the room and I said to him "Now do you believe it?"

But despite this I never feel scared - I'm sure that Sid knows that we love this house as much as he did and we all live in harmony. I was on my own and cooking some Apple Chutney a few weeks ago and wasn't sure whether it was done and must have spoken out loud as to whether it needed any longer......the T.V. went on then it went off, so I just said I'll take it that it's cooked then Sid and turned the jam pot off!!

So there we go.......... Sid the Spirit......... Happy Halloween and have a good week


Monday, 10 October 2011



I've been thinking about yesterdays post and it got me pondering and I believe that the reason that I like white ironed sheets is down to my Nan.....

I remember when I was small, my Nan and Granddad had an old house with a scullery type kitchen. I can remember my Nan having to boil the water, on the stove and then pour it into a big barrel, out on the yard - the washing would go into this and then she had a thing called a 'posh' in our parts which was a broom handle with a brass round thing on the end that you would use to bash the dirt out of the washing.

From there, the washing would go through an old fashioned mangle and then back into the big white stone sink (which I would give anything to have now!) where everything was thoroughly rinsed through and then it went through the mangle again. If it was 'whites' like sheets or net curtains then it would then be put back in the sink, but this time the rinse water would have a 'blue bag' in it and your whites then came out a lovely bluey white - then it was out onto the washing line, to blow dry.

People had pride in hanging out a line full of snowy white washing in those days.

Then, she had a twin tub and the washing would go through the different processes, but still there was the 'blue bag' and if it was needed starch would be mixed up in the enamel bowl and the collars and cuffs were dipped into that.

Everything was then ironed properly, with a hot iron and a damp tea towel if something might go shiny with the iron or if something was really badly creased. No steam irons in those days.

I'm sure that it's these memories of my Nan toiling away, whistling as she worked, in that freezing cold scullery, that keeps me ironing those damn sheets each week!

I remember the cooker that she had in that scullery - it was a proper old fashioned gas cooker and I remember that when North Sea Gas first came out, everyone had to have their cooker altered to manage this type of gas - I remember my Nan moaning that the food didn't taste the same after North Sea Gas!

She was a brilliant cook and her meals always tasted beautiful - I would do anything to stop at my Nan and Granddad's when I was little, just to be able to sit and tuck in to whatever she had cooked. The only things I couldn't eat was when they had rabbit for tea or my Granddad would have pigs trotters sometimes.

But I tucked into what ever else she cooked with gusto! I've always tried to cook like my Nan, she was very much into slow cooking and she could bake a lovely fruit cake. That's one thing I have inherited from her, I can bake a decent fruit cake (My Mom says that I'm just like her for that)

 Funny how memories  can stick and still influence you 51 years later isn't it? The winds really blowing today - I wonder if she's got those snowy white sheets out on the washing line up in heaven, today?

Have a good day  xxx

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Saving Pennies.........

Afternoon All,

Hope you are all fit and well and that life is treating you kindly.

 My son went into hospital on Thursday and the surgeon managed to 'pop out' the broken cheek bone so that he didn't need to have a plate fitted. We went to see him on Thursday night and was really surprised at how good he looked considering he had only come out of 'recovery' approx 1 1/2 hours before - he's had hardly any bruising and his face went back to being symmetrical immediately - he was allowed home on Friday morning and has just got to go back and have his stitches out next week.

He was back in work on Saturday morning (He's a Postman and the Post Office are the worst company to work for - they have no thought or empathy with their employees at all, the 2 days he's taken off for the operation was booked as leave as he couldn't go on sick leave - he'd loose his chance of a transfer if he did that!)

Bet he'll be more careful when he's digging the garden, next time!

I've been looking for Xmas presents recently - my husband retires in 2 years time and we are starting to rein in our spending now, so not spending quite as much on Xmas as we have before, but how everything has gone up in price! - I've had to warn my Daughter that there won't be as much, as in the past for my Grand Daughters - My daughter has always put our presents with theirs and then told the girls that Santa has brought them, after Nanny has sent them to Santa.

I've managed to get a number of friends and relatives presents already and I've got a lot of knitting to do in these next few weeks for friends children, these items will double up as Xmas presents.

But I feel so mean not spending as much as I normally do on family and where I am spending the same amount - it's just not going to go as far.

I've already started off the Xmas food boxes, I've done this since my own children were little, I start in September and buy one thing extra each week and put it away in the box - so far I have chocolate biscuits, trifle, cheesy biscuits, stuffing mix, foil etc., - so some put away already - I also do my Son and Daughter-in-law a box the same. I've also started saving  stamps for us, my Son and Daughter for Morrisons only six pounds on each card so far but every penny helps.

I've also been saving the cards from the the Mail on Saturday and Sunday - you enter the numbers from the cards onto the computer and by 27th November, I shall have enough for a fifteen pounds voucher for Tesco. (I know that it means buying the papers each weekend, but I like a paper on a weekend to read so might as well get something back in return!)

Hopefully Morrisons will do the deal whereby you save your receipts for a month and they give you vouchers to the value of twenty five pounds. I'm hoping that all these little things will add up and not make Xmas too expensive for us.

We've managed so far, not to put the heating on or light the fire, I'm trying to put that off for as long as I can, but the nights are getting darker earlier and cooler aren't they? We've changed the bed today and the good old fashioned flannelet sheets have been put back on and I've changed the summer quilt to the winter quilt.

I know that I am extremely sad and old fashioned, but I always use plain white flannelet sheets in the winter and plain white cotton sheets for the summer and my sheets always have a boil wash and they are ironed - I paid a lot for the sheets and brought the best I could, so it always makes sense to look after them and there's nothing like getting into a bed made with freshly ironed sheets.

 A while back I had enough pennies to purchase a duck down filled winter quilt and a summer quilt the same and it was really money well spent. I'm the same with curtains - I have Sanderson Rose and Peony for the front of the house for the winter and Laura Ashley for the Summer. I think it's nice to acknowledge the changing of the seasons, within the house.

I've finished altering the curtains for the conservatory today and they are now up at the window. The thermal lined curtains are all up all at the other windows in the conservatory and all the curtains have now all been closed - they'll stay closed now, until it's warm enough to open them next Spring.  We have 2 radiators in the conservatory but it's such a large room, that you don't feel any benefit from them, when they are on in the winter and as the forecast is that it's going to be such a bad winter again this year, every little bit of spare warmth will be needed. There's plenty of daylight through the roof.

We'll start closing the garden down next weekend ready for the winter months. so lots to do there.

Hope you all have a good week Byeeee

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Back on the Tread Mill

Afternoon Everyone

I hope you are all fit and healthy and that life is treating you well. I do try to post comments on other blogger's sites but most times seem to make a mess of it and then my message doesn't get logged so if I can just send a few messages now..........

Miss Piggy Bank - Thank you for your comments about the unit, you should have a go yourself - I find it very calming and therapeutic working on wood. Can I also say well done with the cc and I so identified with your post regarding weight and what hard work it is to loose it - I really am with you on that score, every step of the way!
Jane and Chris - Thank you for your comments - I did try to leave a comment on your blog when you told us about collecting the fruit off the trees and having to keep watch for the bears - gosh! that must be so scary and I moan about the robin pinching our plums!!
Kath - Your kitchen and dining room are just beautiful - you must be so pleased with them - it has definitely been worth all that hard work. I also liked what you've done with the garden too - it was really pretty.
Mum - Hello there it's nice to hear from you - thank you for your comments.
Mrs Bent - Hello to you too - thank you for your comment about Daisy.

Finally here's a picture of the cupboard in place and for Mrs Bent another photo of Daisy

                                                    (the paddle hanging down is from the wind chimes)

So what's been happening here - well I've been off one treadmill this week and straight on to another!

We've had a week off work and decided to save the pennies and didn't go away but all I've seemed to do is work! We had a day at the coast on Monday, Tuesday was spent at the Doctors and the Hospital, I spent Wednesday making a door curtain for my son and daughter in laws home, Thursday was spent making 2 door curtains for our home and Friday was spent shopping and altering curtains for my son's bedroom which he's decorated this week. (Yes my son still lives with us, he's 35 and won't go, says he's quite happy where he is!! I do keep dropping hints - I think I'm going to have to put the board money up soon!!)

Yesterday we went to see my Mom and Dad and then we went onto Charlies in Welshpool (a lovely shop and the prices are not too bad) then onto Bunners in Montgomery (Bunners has been in Montgomery and run by the same family for over a 100 years and they sell everything - when you walk in, it's like stepping back in time with the old counter with a fitment behind them with all little drawers in it for the nuts, bolts and screws that they sell. They also sell all kitchen wear, agas, log burners, fire baskets, gardening items, etc., etc.,  - well worth a visit) then we went onto Churchstoke where we used to have our static caravan and there is a large supermarket there called Harry Tuffins and if Harry Tuffins doesn't sell what you want -  it doesn't exist! they have a little farmyard zoo for the children, there is a car boot sale there every Sunday and the prices are good too. I came a way with a number of items for the Christmas box (yes I've started for Xmas already!!)

Finally we went onto Church Stretton and had a walk around the Antique Market there, couldn't find what I was looking for so came home via 2 pints at the Wenlock Edge pub!! Today's been ironing and seeing my Grand daughters and tomorrow it's back to the old routine of getting up early and hitting the motorway for another joyful day at work. (I am joking!)

My hubby has finished painting the front of the summer house, my other son is going to come round next Saturday with his spray gun and spray the other 3 sides for us (much easier)

                                          (sorry about the ironing board being in the picture - this is my
                                           sewing room and that's where I left it when I'd finished sewing on

It's been hard this year, not having a holiday, so I've had to concentrate on what we have accomplished by not having a break, to keep me going and not sinking into dispair!  - we've paid the mortgage off, moved all the house round and made the front room into a 'winter snug', brought a new TV for in this room   (cash!) and we've also brought 2 new easy chairs for the kitchen.

You see we tend to live in our kitchen, it's the middle room of the house and the largest - it also has a log burner in it, so when that's lit, it saves us money on the gas central heating. But when we get home on winter evenings, my hubby doesn't always feel like lighting the log burner, plus there are those days where there's no wind and the damn thing won't 'draw' and the radiator in the kitchen is only a small one, so we decided to make the front room into a 'winter snug'.

It's only a small room with just enough space for the welsh dresser, 2 chairs and a set of drawers, but it has got a gas fire and large radiator in there.  I'd made the curtains for this room some 4 years ago (I went to night school to learn how to make curtains) and at the time I'd cut a further double length curtain out to go over the front door, but had never got round to lining it and making it up. So that's been one of my jobs for this week, but as much as I wanted to put the linings to it like I had with the others, it was just too heavyfor me, so I've admitted defeat and brought some thermal linings for that curtain, it's  up now and the snug is all ready for the bad weather to come.

A photo of the new curtain shut over the door

One of the 2 chairs in there

One of the dresser

One of the second chair

                                                 The pattern is Sanderson's Rose and Peony

These are the 2 new chairs that we've had for the kitchen, they are so comfortable, it gets to a point each eventing as to who falls asleep first!!!

You can just see the log burner stocked up with logs ready!
Have you all seen the weather forecast? next week an Indian summer and then possible snow next month!!! It's not been a good year at all for the allotment however we have succeeded with the onions - we've pounds and pounds of them all drying off nicely, the leeks and parsnips are doing well too, we've picked lots of potatoes, courgettes and broad beans - it's just been a poor year for the runner beans. Oh well you can't win them all can you??!!
As I haven't won the lottery neither it's now a case of preparing and getting ready for another week at work  - I hope you all have a good week

Monday, 29 August 2011

Time Waits For No Man............ or something like that!

Afternoon All,

Whatever happened to 'late summer' we seem to have gone straight from mid summer to autumn, in one fell swoop! The last few nights have been quite chilly and today the old faithful thick cardigan that I wouldn't be seen dead in, outside of the house, came out of store for another winters wear. Am I the only person who has some thing like this cardigan, you know, an item of clothing that is really ancient and has definitely seen better days, but which you just can't seem to throw away. I also have a pair of blush pink socks which are thermal - something like a 5tog warmth and I can see that they'll be making an appearance soon if we don't have a late Indian summer here!

I've been really busy of late, I had a week off work recently, 2 days to have my Grand Daughter, and then the rest of the time was due to the dreaded V Festival, as when that's on, it can take anything up to 4 hours to get home from work. 

Really when I think of it, I've achieved a lot this summer like............

Made my first Union Jack Cushion

Made Strawberry Jam

Been to Gardeners World Live Show ( Oh to have a garden large enough to be able to have this gazebo in it! It even had a 50 inch T.V. on the back wall!!)

Done a jigsaw

and another jigsaw

And turned this into this

I've also worked on a coffee table and did the same -  sanded then waxed the top and painted the bottom part in good old Farrow and Ball Eggshell Paint - Pointing's the colour - looks good doesn't it? Well I'm pleased with them.

We've also moved all the furniture round in the house, made a lot of spiders homeless, (removing the cobwebs!) and got rid of a lot of clutter in the process. Made 2 batches of Chutney, frozen pounds of beans, made plum jam and I've spent today making 2 large meat pies for the freezer.

I've still got 2 door curtains to make and a set of proper curtains, for the office area in the conservatory and those will be my projects for the next few weeks. I notice that the rise in energy prices are worrying a lot of bloggers, I can't understand how energy companies can be allowed to inflict these price rises on householders and then be allowed to make such large amounts of profits. So the door curtains are being made to try to help with the heating costs.

We've got to get a load of logs delivered - I dread to think how much they will cost this year, as everyone seems to have a log burner or an open fire these days, to save money on the gas or electric and they're sure to have put the price up considering the demand for them.

We haven't had a holiday this year due to paying the mortgage off and would love to have a weekend away in September, only to North Wales - Barmouth or around that area -  for a couple of days but the best price that I can get for a bed and breakfast is £85.00 per night! I really don't know what to do whether to go ahead and think blow it! and spend the money or should I continue to be careful and stay at home. If it rains all weekend I will be really upset that I've wasted that amount of money. Decisions, decisions.........

Plus of course if the weather's turning cooler, and the children are back at school next week, then all the Xmas stuff will be in the shops and we'll have to start saving to pay for that!

Time certainly marches on  - doesn't it.............Byee

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Whatever happened to.....

Whatever happened to the Doctors of yesteryear who had time to talk to you, explain everything to you and when you left the surgery you didn't feel like you'd just been a spare part on a conveyor belt.

Yes it's been one of those weeks this week - I went to Occupational Therapy at our local hospital on Monday as I have arthritis in my fingers, one middle finger in particular is really swollen. The last time I went I was given exercises for the said finger - this time she said she was pleased with that finger but not so happy with my thumb joints and wrist -  so I left this time with exercises for the thumbs plus supports for both thumbs and a wrist brace! From there is was a quick sprint from Occupational Therapy across the other side of the hospital to the X Ray department where the finger was x rayed.

Today I've been into the Doctors and was asked why was I there - I told her that they'd wrote to me, telling me to go in because they had the results to a recent blood test - "Oh she says! Yes you're still anaemic - I'll send you to see a Gastroenterologist"......."right OK" I said  - "Whilst I'm here could I just ask".. "Oh no sorry not enough time you'll have to book a further appointment" she said and at that I was out of the door!

Turns out that although I booked this appointment 2 weeks ago she happened to be the duty doctor today so if anyone turns up needing a doctor urgently she's the one you see, so patients who have had a legitimate appointment for 2 weeks then get a poor service!

I remember when I was little we had a 'family' doctor, and he had a lovely kind receptionist called Mollie - they both always had 'time' for you and he had the deepest voice you've ever heard - strangely enough I now work in the same old building that was where his surgery was and every time I walk down the long corridor to our kitchen it reminds me of when I used to walk down the same corridor to his room as a child.

Different service completely to this morning! But that's progress for you............

Hope that you're all having a good week  - Byee

Saturday, 16 July 2011

At last..........

At last I have a proper working computer - the computer that I write on is an old one of my son's which just gave up on me a few weeks ago. I've got a little net book but it's really not conducive to type on. So my lad has spent the last couple of weeks taking the old computer apart and re building it for me -  bless him and this afternoon the new re-conditioned computer was brought back downstairs for me and I'm back in position at my desk in our conservatory - it's nice to be back.

So what have I done since I've been gone, well quite a lot really - I started another 120 runner beans for the allotment as the cold nights of early June put paid to the first 120 that we had planted out. I've done 2 jig saws, read the new Maeve Binchly book 'Minding Frankie' painted the summer house country cream and wild thyme, sewed 2 union jack cushions and 2 trimmed cushions and paid off my mortgage!!

Yes we are now totally mortgage free and it feels brilliant! I paid it off early and when I came out of the building society, I just sat in the car and shed a few tears, it was  such a feeling of relief  - for a few days I kept looking round our little old house and thinking I own all of this - it really is a great feeling.

Now it's a case of starting to save for my old age - I just cannot see how I can carry on working in the job I do, till I'm 66 it's hard enough at 56 and the arthritis in my hands is getting worse, so it's a case of carrying on, being careful and getting to a point where we can save as much as we can.

No photo's yet I'm afraid - I'll have to load all the software on to this computer for the camera and then perhaps I can show you a few photo's off the summer house, although there is still work to be done on it - the weather here hasn't been very good today so I've cleared the welsh dresser of a lot of bits and pieces and just put my white dinner service on it. Then I've started to paint a small dresser top, all white, that I have in the kitchen and then all my Cornish wear will sit in the kitchen (it's been split between the kitchen and the dining room) and all the blue and white willow dinner service has been moved into the conservatory.

I'm going to look out on ebay for either a dresser top or small welsh dresser for that dinner service to sit on and then everything will have space instead of being squeezed onto the dresser in the dinning room - but where does all the dust come from? - I clean every week, but still it appears!

Oh well that's enough news for today -  Byeee

Friday, 27 May 2011

Hi there

Sorry I haven't been about for a little while but life seemed to take over - I haven't even had the time to read many blogs just lately. Working life just seems to get busier and busier - I've long forgotten what a lunch break is and the temptation to either work longer hours or log back on when I get home seems to get worse - at times it is really hard to switch off and to think about something else.

Plus it is that time of the year again when everything in the greenhouse is straining to get out and there aren't enough hours in the day to get it all put out at the allotment and in the garden.

To add insult to injury I have been complaining to our local council about the management of our allotment site, for the last 7 months - the lady who manages it - appears to make the rules up as she goes along (it may have something to do with the fact that she is married to the former leader of the council, prior to the recent voting day!)

 I have been requesting the next plot to ours which a council employee had for 3 years and which was never cultivated and have continuously been told that they don't give out half plots to make full plots (ours is a half plot) and that we'd have to wait until a full plot became available. However this didn't stop her giving extra half plots to make full plots to her friends, who work at the council!!

So we got to the point, with nothing to loose, where we threatened to go to the press (this was just as the council changed hands so to speak) and amazingly we have been told at we can have the extra half plot to ours to make a full plot. What upsets me, is that firstly, we've had to fight so hard for it and secondly they could have given it to us, so much sooner and it wouldn't have been such hard work to get it dug over, weeded and filled with veg. But it's amazing what perseverance can achieve even against the big boys like local councils!

I've been on annual leave this week and due to finances a holiday is out of the question for us this year - so we've spent this week either at the allotment or in the garden - we have a wedding to attend tomorrow which will be nice - my 2 small grand daughters are going to be bridesmaids, so looking forward to seeing them and I've got to say that we have really enjoyed this break - we have worked hard but at our own pace instead of having to rush, because we're back at work the next day and it's ok going away but the chairs and the beds are never as comfortable as your own are they? So it has been an enjoyable week

Going to do some patchwork now - will hopefully have time to post again soon - so much to talk about


Monday, 25 April 2011

Evening All............

Evening All,

Sorry I haven't been about for the last few weeks but getting jobs done seems to have taken over. But the garden and house are looking so much better for all the work undertaken. Plus we've had our Grand Daughter's 5th birthday, Easter and a wedding to attend too, so it has been a thoroughly busy time.

The garden is starting to look a little better, the tomato houses are all set up ready for the tomato's and cucumbers to go in, (at the end of May) the garden furniture has had a good dosing of teak oil and I've given the summer house a really good clean today, the nets have been washed and are hanging out drying. All the spiders webs have been removed and the furniture moved about in there (I will take photo's promise.....just didn't have time today!).

At the allotment - lots of onions and garlic are in, so are the broad beans, and potatoes. Runner beans are popping through in the greenhouse as well as all the salad leaves, radishes, rocket and spring onions.

In the house we've changed the bedroom curtains, and the eiderdown, the kitchen curtains have been taken down and washed, windows cleaned and summer curtains put back up, the brasses and silver have been cleaned and are all sparkling away. Plus a  huge pile of ironing has been done and all put away and I've managed to read a book and I'm half way through another one, so even managed some time for myself!

I can go back to work tomorrow and have a good rest!! (Joke!!!)


Sunday, 27 March 2011

Whoosh - where did it go?

Hello there,

Yes - where did it go to?....... the weekend, of course. It seems no time at all since Friday evening and here we are back to Sunday night and the 'getting ready' again for another long hard week.

I spent yesterday morning, doing the bills and the budget for next month - I'm not brilliant with computers and prefer the old fashioned way of pen and paper, but I do always keep a log of what's to be paid out each month, and I always check the bank statements throughout the month and that, what has been taken out of the bank throughout the previous month is correct. I also keep all the invoices/bills as well as bank statements in folders and they are boxed up at the end of each year and put down the cellar, so that I can always return and check anything I need to.

I then wrote a letter to Dixons/Surrys/PC World for my son, his laptop went in for a repair under their insurance scheme nearly 2 months ago and he is still waiting for it to be returned, they've sent it back once in a worse state then it went in!   I've found some one else to service and check our's (mine and my husbands) laptops and have cancelled our 2 lots of insurance with them - they are rubbish and don't have any idea of customer service - well they have 7 days to give him a full refund or we go to the Financial Ombudsman.

I then went and fetched some wool from the wool shop in Wellington - the lady kindly puts wool on one side for you and I pick it up weekly and then went to see my Daughter and Granddaughter's and Son and Daughter in Law, by the time I got home it was 6 o'clock and the day was gone. My eldest Granddaughter M. is suffering from a really bad sickness bug and has ended up being checked out at the hospital today because of the stomach pain and my daughter in law is still feeling very tired but a little better in herself.

Today has been spent, doing the ironing and cooking - I've made 2 large cottage pies and 1 small one plus I've made 2 lots of cheesey leek pancakes, we'll have one of the cottage pies tonight with one dish of the pancakes, sprouts and roasters. I've frozen the other large cottage pie and my husband will finish off the small cottage pie and last pancake for his tea tomorrow.

We have 4 freezers - one for meat, I go to a butchers and buy in bulk when I can afford to and then freeze all that I buy. We have a small chest freezer which has broad beans, runner beans, cauliflower and stewed plums in it from the garden and the allotment last year. A freezer for all the small items like fish, burgers, frozen chips, sausages and sausage meat etc., and then a final freezer which we keep for when we have a glut of vegs or all the Xmas goodies etc., Well today after shuffling everything round, we've managed to turn one of them off (the cellar one) which should help a little with the electricity bill.

The garden's still not looking good enough to post any pictures so I thought I'd post a couple of photo's of some of my favourite items from the dining room. This house is nearly 160 years old and I like it to look traditional, my Mom, Daughter, and Daughter in Law all like modern furniture and would never dream of owning any clutter - but me - I love to see all my possessions round me - I could never do 'minimulisation'!

We found this welsh dresser in an antique shop in Wellington - 7 years ago, it was filthy dirty when it arrived, and it took a lot of elbow grease and hard work to get it clean and then a lot of wire wool and good old fashioned wax polish, it's not a 'posh piece' it's been a farm house kitchen dresser and still has little knobs of wood to hold the doors shut.

My reading chair, next to the dresser, usually for when I'm checking on recipes

Sanderson 'Rose and Peony' curtains that I made myself  and my Nan's old aspidistra she passed away 13 years ago, but the aspidistra keeps going - I replanted this winter as it was looking a bit sad and sorry - mind, I can remember it being around for 25+ years - The bags are the grandchildren's Easter presents all ready for them.

Well the teas almost ready, got to go and phone my Mum and watch the skating - I'd like to see Chloe win but I don't think she'll do it - so got to go now - hope you all have a good week. Byeee.........

Friday, 25 March 2011


Yes thank Goodness it's Friday! - I always think that Friday night is the best time of the week and Sunday night the worst. There's nothing like knowing that you've got a lovely weekend in front of you - time to catch up with all the chores, time to spend in the garden, time to see my children and their partners, and my beautiful granddaughters, time to read and time to sleep in........ Sunday night is all about getting ready to start commuting and trying to remember all what I left on my desk and didn't achieve last week. I shouldn't moan should I? -  there's lots of people out there who would give anything to be able to look forward to going out to work again. I suppose I am lucky.........

Well, I've cleaned  the house through since I've been home, the washing is in the washer, no more to be done tonight, so I'm going to sit down now with a nice cup of tea and a magazine and relax (it used to be a bottle of wine before this recession hit and the cost of everything went up!)

Hope you have a good weekend

Monday, 21 March 2011

Good Friends

Hello All.

I'm home from work today - should have been in Preston for the day, for work -  but my beautiful daughter in law isn't too well and has had to have an overnight stay in hospital  - I've booked the day off from work to be ready to go and fetch her when the hospital decide to send her home.

 My poor son is a postman and would not have been allowed time off to go and fetch her out of the hospital - the post office are very strict with any leave a postman has to take they are only allowed authorised annual leave - even if they have so much as one day's sick leave they are automatically put on a stage 1 disciplinary. If my son had taken the day off he would have been put on the stage 1 and then would have lost his chance to stay on the transfer list - he presently travels 50 miles per day backwards and forwards to work and because of the petrol costs is desperate to transfer - so Mum to the rescue.

I thought I'd show you some pictures of some very dearly loved friends of mine.....introducing


Tillie the Tart

We went to fetch Tillie one Friday night after work and she came from a little house in Tillie Lane, hence the name - someone had told me that Jack Russells are snappy little dogs but not our Tillie - she is one of the most loving little dogs that I've ever known. It doesn't matter who you are and how long she's known you for she has got to (and I mean got to) give you a kiss (hence the nickname!). She hates the rain and the cold and loves nothing more than to snuggle down by the side of my husband and go to sleep - the only problem is that she always sends him to sleep as well!!! She's Mom to the other 2 dogs as well, making sure that they're ears and eyes are clean - You can almost hear her saying to them "Have you washed your ears today?".


Flossie came from a farm on the Welsh boarders, when she goes through a door at 50mph I always say to her "You were definitely born in a barn weren't you Floss?" We call her posh and daft - posh because she's the only dog we have with a kennel club name, and she never gives you a lick (kiss) she offers her cheek just like a posh aristocrat  and daft because she just is, she loves to run, she can run for miles, understands every word you say (pork pies, are known as pp's in this house, because she runs straight to the fridge, as if to say where's mine?) walk has to be spelt out like Tammy Winnette's D.I.V.O.R.C.E song of the 70's because if you say that word she starts to dance round and round in a circle and you have no peace till she's been for a W.A.L.K. She can eat for England and she turns her nose up at nothing.

and finaly


This 6 inch bundle of gruby fluff is Daisy (she is due to have a much needed hair cut but I am trying to make both Daisy and Flossie hang on till next month when the weather's a little warmer and I have enough pennies to pay the £90.00 for them both to be cut - we have a 'dial a dog wash' come to do them both) We brought her from a house in Bridge North - we thought all of Bridge North was quite posh and nice but when we got there it was one of the most dirtiest houses I'd ever been in - these poor little litter of pups and their Mom were in a filthy basket in the filthy disgusting hallway - if I'd have had the money I would have brought all of them - as it was, I picked the first one that looked up at me, handed over my £250.00 and got out of there - poor little Daisy was travel sick on the way home and has been ever since -  every time we put her in the car the poor little mite suffers. We took her straight to the vets next morning and had her checked out.

Daisy thinks that she's 6ft tall and will take on any other dog who comes within barking distance - it's as if she's saying "well come on then - I'll sort you out!" But again where we and the other two dogs are concerned she's really lovable - again like Tillie loves nothing more than to snuggle down and sleep on your lap. But she also likes to find any dirt or grass to roll in, hence the reason why I said she's gruby - we have to wash her most weekends to keep her clean!  I'll post another picture of her once she's had her cut and blow dry next month.

When I can get a picture of Lottie the cat I'll post a picture of her too.

All 4 of them are good friends - always there to listen to me and always give me the right response to any of my problems.............well I think they do (I know I'm sad and daft aren't I?)

Until the next time - take care xxxxx

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Catching Up

Afternoon All,

Sorry I didn't visit last week - I got caught up in a family drama which took up all of my Sunday afternoon - tell me what do you think of FaceBook? - I think that it can be a nasty tool in the hands of some unscrupulous people.

I recently have had some contact with my brother, who I hadn't seen for some 12 years - the lady (I use that word loosely) he was living with seemed O.K. My brother has always been a bit of a 'del boy' has never stuck at a job or a relationship long - not stayed around to see his children grow up, but whatever I think of him he's my brother and always will be - after all 'bloods thicker than water'.

This lady he was living with likes to be the centre of attention - doesn't work, doesn't do gardening or housework, likes to sit on her back side each and every day - completely different to me and my family and she certainly she liked everyone to jump to her 'tune' and listen to her opinion on everything.

Last week they split up and the things she was putting on FaceBook were really horrible - but I kept out of it - didn't make any comments and then the text messages started last Sunday and she really showed her true colours! Because I wouldn't take 'sides' then I must be siding with my brother. I explained that No I wasn't but I didn't like seeing all the nasty comments that was being put on FaceBook  about him - that was when it got really nasty.

So I've removed her from FaceBook and have barred her text messages - apparently she has continued to put horrible remarks on Face Book throughout the week - Yesterday she started on my children, because she couldn't get through to me  and again the comments and texts she's made have been really cruel and uncalled  for, just because we don't believe in taking sides or seeing nasty comments on Face Book.

I just can't understand why people wish to put all their business out in the public areana - it's a wonder she hasn't put on there how many times she's been to the toilet in any one day!!!  I know I write this blog but do it without readers knowing who I am - people know who you are on FaceBook

I don't know where my brother has gone or if he has a phone so I suppose it will be another 12 years before I see him again. PattyPan from Taragon and Tyme did a posting about a poem whereby it explained that some people come into your life for a 'reason or a season' - my brother comes and goes for 'seasons' - I just never know when the 'season' is going to be......

We've started going in to work in one car this week to try to save petrol (and money)- it means that I have to stand outside the office for 20 mins till someone turns up to open up but it's worked well - won't be able to do it this week as I have meetings practically every day in different offices - but will try to the week after.

I dread April arriving that's when all the increases in the bills will hit and  pennies will become really short. I never thought that I'd be having to watch the pennies so closely in my 50's and the thought of early retirement just seems to be sliding away with each passing week.

All the seeds that I have sown have come through - I've pricked out the tomatos, and cucumbers today - they're back in the propagator looking a bit sad and sorry for themselves - it didn't help when I dropped the pot of tomatoes! - have had to sow a few more as I grow those for my Dad (he does my onions and leeks). I've also pricked out sprouts, cauliflowers and broccoli. In the greenhouse, all the Garlic is bounding away - I've also started, lettuces, beetroot and sweet peas especially for my daughter in law. I can get sweet peas growing but can't seem to get them to the flowering stage and she can. The apple trees from Aldi are still doing well too.

Finaly what have they done to Gardeners World??? They've got rid of the best presenter they'd had since Alan Titchmarsh - Toby Buckland was the working man's gardener instead they've put that idiot Monty Don back in - he has no clue as to how people are having to make ends meet and how we need to learn to cultivate on a budget! and what's happened to the garden they made over the last 2 years in Birmingham - talk about wasting the T.V. licence fee. Well Alan Titchmarsh is going back to gardening for ITV on a Friday evening  and I shall watch that instead and I wish Toby all the very best - I think the BBC have treated him dismally

I seem to have done nothing but moan and groan throughout this post - please take no notice of me - Normal service will resume shortly

Have a good week everyone

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Afternoon Everyone

I hope that you are all fit and well - it's been a very grey day here no sunshine whatsoever, but my husband and son have managed to move my 2 greenhouses for me to better positions in the garden - so all the hard work starts next weekend.

I'm hoping that I will be able to get the propergators out and into the conservatory ready for the seeds to start going in (I went and fetched the last of the seeds yesterday from Wilkinsons so all ready to go now). I need to get the garlic into pots - I know I'm a little late with starting it but hopefully it will catch up and then I need to generally start going through all the pots in the garden -  getting rid of the ones that I no longer want to keep and placing the ones that are left into the right positions.  My soil here isn't that good and I do tend to grow a lot in pots.

Now that the glass greenhouse has been moved, we have a really large deck space in front of the summer house, so will be able to set the table and chairs out nicely for the summer months. I just want to try and find a reasonably priced pop up gazebo to go over the wooden table and 6 chairs.

It's a set that we purchased 5 years ago from the BBC Gardeners World show and we have looked after it religiously, by feeding it well with teak oil ( a job I love to do as the oil always smells like putty and I love the smell of putty - strange I know - but that's me!)  and up till last year it did sit under a gazebo on the top deck right outside the conservatory (the gazebo was put there to stop a very nosey neighbour from 2 doors a way peeking over her fence into our garden - she's slightly higher than us so was able to do that!)

But last year we moved the set down in front of the summer house where it sat o.k. but we could have done with more room around it - plus as our last gazebo had come to the end of it's working life, we left the table and chairs out in the open and just used a large garden umberella whenever we got chance to sit out, but the hot sun and rain really took it's toll on the wooden furniture and as this set has got to last us - I really do want to put another gazebo over it this summer.

We've decided that we're not having a holiday this year - we just can't afford one and we only really sat out in our garden a few times last year - we worked out in the garden but only sat out a few times and I only used the summer house once!

So it seems daft paying to go away when we don't already have the money and it would mean scrimping to save the money for a holiday, when we have somewhere nice to sit out and rest and relax. So that's our plan for this year.

Went to Aldi again for our shopping and still have only found one thing that we weren't certain on and that was some black pudding - it tasted O.K. but not quite like black pudding should taste like but I'm still very pleased with the prices.

I was off work from Monday to Thursday - I suffer from arthritis and it was really painful last week but whilst I was away it certainly was a case of 'while the cats away the mice will play' I think (know) that certain individuals at work didn't get much done at all whilst I wasn't there!!! Must change that this week!!

Also this week - I've decided that as I can't afford to go to a slimming club, I'm going to try and be mindful of what I'm eating and limit the portion sizes - I can't afford new clothes and everything I do have in the wardrobe is starting to get a little too tight for comfort. My problem is that when I get stressed at work I eat (I also eat when I'm happy and not stressed!) Will report in on how I've done next week 

Did you like the first picture of the Dahlia? - I love Dahlias, Begonias and Pelagoniums - all bright and breezy and making a splash of colour. 

Hope you all have a good week........Byeee

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Finding my Way

Afternoon All,

Just a very quick post - the above photograph is just me finding my way on how to put photo's on this blog - it's an old photo of our rear garden taken about 4 years ago.

The garden has changed a lot since this was taken I suppose now due to us having the allotment it's becoming a more productive rather than pretty garden. I lost the large cordyline that you can see on the right hand side last winter due to the bad weather and the wooden swing is now long gone along with the gravel, it's now decked with deck pathways between the different areas.

The summer house is still there and this is what I want to get painted this year - I want to paint it in a gentle green and cream - but it's finding that 'right' colour green.

Well I've mastered putting some old photo's on here - now all I've got to do is get the garden looking some thing like it should do and then learn how to put new photo's on!

Hope you're all having a good day - got to go now Byeee

Sunday, 13 February 2011

So where did that week go to.............

So where did that week go to.......... I don't know whether it's down to my age or whether it's because we are all being pushed to do more and fit more in to our hours - but time does seem to pass now in the blink of an eye.

When we had our little caravan we used to load up after work on a Friday evening - head down to Montgomery  and spend Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday morning on the site. I still worked all week and still managed to do all the gardening both at home and at the caravan. Nowadays it's enough to just cope with work, the commute, the house and the garden and allotment! Have I slowed down over the last 10 years and not realised - I must have!!!

I work for a locally based organisation and 'team lead' a group of 21 colleagues - 21 males and 1 female - it is a job that more often than not is stressful - but it's also a job that I enjoy. They are a diverse bunch of characters -  But the job wouldn't be so enjoyably challenging without those characters in the service.

I leave the house just after 7am and most days don't get back in till after 5pm - by the time I've done a few jobs around the house cooked tea and washed up - I'm shattered!!!

I went to Percy Throwers garden centre yesterday with my 2 sons, daughter, daughter in law and 2 grandchildren to meet my Mom and Dad for an hour - we'd arranged to meet in the cafe there. (My Mom and Dad live near Welshpool and this is the half way house meeting place). Mom and Dad had already brought a pot of tea each when we got there which they said was expensive and tasted like dish water. So I went and got 5 coffees for us (the grandchildren had there own drinks) The cost of 5 coffees?.......£8.95!!!! Gosh for that much I could have brought a large jar of coffee, 2 litres of milk and a large bag of sugar!!!!!!!!! No wonder there weren't many people in there - must be only the very rich residents of Shrewsbury who can afford to eat in there now.

I checked the price of the apple trees whilst I was in there - £35.00 each! - so have been to Aldi this morning and have brought 4 trees for less than half that amount. I've got 2 Bramley Apple trees and 2 desert types called Elstar. Infact for the first time ever I have done my shopping at Aldi this week and the weeks shopping was definately cheaper there and so far everything has tasted fine. I think that some of my shopping items may still  have to be brought at Asda but we'll see.

It's too cold and wet to plant the apple trees out yet so going to plant them into some large pots and keep them in the larger greenhouse for a few more weeks - if they all start to bud up and put on growth I shall put 2 of them in the garden and give the other 2 to my son who has a huge garden to fill with plants.

I had another bill come in yesterday which is going up - the telephone, t.v. and internet package will go up by £3.00 in April, one wonders how much more is going to go up in price. Soon people will be working hard all week and then not be able to afford to have any quality of life! Whilst I agree that the deficit needs to be paid back and not left for our children and grandchildren to have to pay it - I really do think that the measures being taken are being taken too quickly and too heavily.

Oh well Sunday lunch to cook and plate out and then the skating is on.....I do wish that Jason would shut up with his offensive comments - I thought that ITV may have sacked him last week after his nasty comment to Karen but no such luck.

Hope you all have a good week.......

Monday, 7 February 2011

Today I Could Smell Summer

I've had a day off work today due to having worked too many hours just recently - flexi days are one of the very few perks of the job that we have left and it is probably only a matter of time before we loose this as well.

So I've had a relaxing day at home and have had a a really good sort though my stash of balls of wool brought over the last few years, and I have decided that as last Xmas was so hard on the pennies, I'm going to knit a number of items as Xmas pressie's for this comming Xmas for some of the little ones in the family, and try to save a few of those pennies, so wool, pins and patterns are already in their seperate bags now waiting to be worked on.

I'm presently crocheting all the odd balls of wool together and have made a couple of small blankets to throw over my arthritic knees when the weather is cold - My husband says that they're a bit jazzy and a throw back to the 60's in design but who's worrying.

We have a summer house at the bottom of the garden which is my craft room through the summer months and I had to go down to find some wool from there and that's where I could smell summer............why do summer houses and caravans have there own 'perfume'? We used to have a caravan a few years ago near Montgomery in Wales and whenever we went there in the winter it had a summery smell and I used to stand in there in the bitter cold of winter, breath in and think -'won't be long now and we'll be back' - which is exactly what I've done today........ Mind you the garden looks awful - lots of work out there when it does start to warm up!

I've also sorted out which seeds I have to get for the garden and the allotment and happily don't have too many left to get - a trip to Wilkinsons on Saturday should suffice.

But the down side today was the shock of the gas and electricity bills comming on line!! We've been so careful but the gas is still going to jump up by £9.00 per month and the electricity by £12.00 per month from March onwards -  £21.00 increase is an awful lot. I've kept the thermostat at a steady 18 degrees after reading a post from Frugal Queen about only keeping the thermostat at the same temperature as a pleasant summers day and still that big increase plus we only put the heating on when we're in the house - if we go out it goes off. I just feel so sorry for the elderly and the young couples with young children how on earth are they coping with all these increases - I don't know.

I remember the recession of the early 80's when inflation was at 20% + but don't remember it being as bad or as long as this one.......or is it just my memory playing tricks.

Work tomorrow - back to all the stress........ Byeeee

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Hello There


As I'm sure that you can tell I'm relatively new to the world of 'blogging' - I've been reading blogs for about 12 months now and find them really interesting and I've been wondering for a while now whether I could do one - whether what I have to write would even be interesting to anyone else to read and then I thought why not - it doesn't matter if anyone else chooses to read it - they're my thoughts and it can be my online diary.

I'll probably write about the issues that concern me and how I'm trying to overcome some of them. Like getting out of debt, managing finances, losing weight, that long awaited dream of retirement, (11 years to go now thanks to this coalition goverment) gardening, allotmenteering, and the crafts that I would love to have time to do and my working days.

So here goes............