About Me

My photo
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!

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