Monday, 31 August 2015

A stitch in time, takes all day

Hello. I'm a bit late tonight. I have been sewing like crazy all day, working on the bag of many colours. I was hoping to put the pics on here tonight, the bag is finished, but the photo's do not take well with a flash, so I'll have to take more tomorrow in the daylight. I took it with me to Crafty Club and worked on it, then sat all day at the computer watching catch up while I stitched. 
There were some interesting programmes on iplayer. First Dragons Den which I like, some crazy business ideas are pitched in the hope that the Dragons will back them. One woman was offered the full amount by Peter Jones but he wanted 30% of her posh drinks business. She wouldn't go more that 25% so the silly woman turned him down. Big mistake, she had a good product and he could have done wonders with getting it out there in the stores. Then I watched a documentary about Anthony Hopkins, what a nice man, and very talented, and another about Omar Sharif. After that I watched two episodes of the Bake Off programme, not the whole programme but the Extra Slice follow up programme. I like Jo Brand, she makes me laugh. And after that I watched a documentary about Frank Sinatra, I never knew he sang a duet with Elvis Presley, then followed by a Doris Day documentary. I stopped that half way through it because that was when I finished the bag, and had to make a phone call. Next I have to clean Heidi's litter box out, and walk Rocky, and feed Bugsy, then maybe I will go to bed. 
A house is not a home without a cat. This is Mayze waiting for me to come home. She is a sweetheart mostly, but she has bullied Heidi in the past. I wondered if that was what made Heidi poorly. Heidi is much happier now she has her own territory in the living room, and Mayze is keeping out of her way. 
We've had some smashing sunsets over the last few days. As usual I rushed to the back of the church to take some snaps overlooking the river.

Love the reflections in the river. There are some houses which overlook this view, wish I could afford one, they are much more expensive than mine. Wouldn't it be lovely to be able to sit on a balcony and watch the sun go down.

Walking back up the street, I turned to see if it was still there, and it was.

Got lots to do this week, dog walks, dentist, and getting ready for the holiday, and cleaning house for the cat sitter. Rocky is by my side, tail wagging, he wants to go out, so I'll say toodle pip for now. Thanks for popping in.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

De cluttering, sharks, cake recipe, blogging, and Scottish mountains

Hello and Good Morning.
I have been meaning to write this post for the last week, now I am ready. Last Saturday I did something a bit silly, I spent wasted some money on two Saturday newspapers. It was a spur of the moment thing, I thought it might be quite exciting to re visit the past when I used to buy a mega size newspaper every weekend which would then last the whole week. I religiously read it from cover to cover to get my moneys worth. Now, of course I don't buy newspapers at all, and it saves me a fortune in time and money.

Anyway, I thought I would share my review of last Saturdays Guardian, cost £2.70, and a cheapie version of the Independent called 1 on Saturday,  cost 50p, apparently it's the essential weekend briefing, in their words. When I first opened these papers my initial thought was crikey, it's all a bit above my intelligence level, but I stuck with it and found to my surprise that there was a lot of interesting stuff to devour and hopefully store in my little brain.

I'm not one to stick with a lot of long drawn out waffling, my interest quickly subsides and I move on to the next thing. You might be like me and give up on this waffly post, I wouldn't blame you. However if you wish to stick with it I will tell you what caught my eye in these papers, and if you read this you won't have to go out and buy a paper, thus saving you money.

Starting with the Guardian, I have included links to the articles by the way. Tim Lott writes about chucking out the lovingly crafted detritus created by his children, from lolly sticks, papier-mache  and suchlike. He laments the fact that adults no longer make home made gifts for their friends and family but would rather go to a gift shop and spend on tat. Yes, sad indeed. The article is an interesting take on the topic of de cluttering, and gives food for thought on what you actually need to keep or what you should throw away. The article is here.

Another Guardian article, this time from the Travel Supplement. There is a new North Coast 500 mile drive around Scotland, in answer to America's Route 66. Kapla Kassabova checks this out over a four day drive in an old Landrover with partner and dog, starting at Inverness. It highlights lots of stopping places, interesting sights to see, places to eat and sleep. I almost wish I was there, but I would be walking of course, such a shame to whizz past that wonderful scenery in a set of motorized wheels. For more details on the route here is the full article.  For even more details go to the North Coast 500 web site. Some great pictures on there. 

Are you still with me or have you buggered off somewhere else, ha ha.

What's next? Let's move over to The Independent. This next article makes me quite angry, me being an animal lover and all that. Kathy Marks writes a piece about the shark attacks in New South Wales which have killed quite a few surfers in recent months. Whenever this happens a public meeting is called and last week 200 surfers and business people have voted for a cull of Great Whites. They say the uncertainty of surfer safety is deterring people from going into the water, which is affecting local business because people are cancelling their holidays. Well chuffin bad luck is all I say. One simple solution, keep out of the water. Ok I have never been there so I don't know how important surfing is to the residents and holiday makers, but bloodshed is not the answer. Kill a few and there will be more to take their place. My view is that the oceans belong to the marine life that live in their waters, it is their territory, and we encroach on that at our peril. Find another activity for people to do, on land. Read the article here.

Another one from the Independent, this made me laugh. Emma Lunn writes, Can bloggers be legitimate critics if they are taking money or getting free produce? Apparently there was a spat between a blogger and a cake shop owner, which went viral after the cake shop owner felt they had been bullied by a blogger, or blagger as she liked to put it. They both put their side of the story on their own blogs, the cake shop also has a blog. The social media spat opened up a whole can of worms, with the biggest question being, can you trust a food review when the writer got the grub for nothing? My own personal view is no you can't. Read the story here.  And through the power of the internet, here is the story on the cake shop blog. Remember this is a business. And to balance it out, the story from the blogger, also a business. You can form your own opinion.

If you fancy a bit more cake, this caught my eye in the Food section of the Guardian. I don't use my oven because it costs so much in gas, and cooking for one is much simpler on the hob or in the microwave, with the occasional grill being brought into use, so a cake which doesn't need baking seems appealing. Ruby Tandoh presents this recipe which I won't go into here, but burnt honey and vanilla cake looks lipsmacking gorjuss. I doubt very much that I will be trying it though, I don't have any vanilla bean paste, raspberries, or home made caramelized biscuits, and I try and steer clear of double cream and runny honey. But if you fancy giving it a go the recipe is here. It serves 4 - 6, another reason why I would not make it, I would pig out on the whole lot in one go. I can't be trusted.

Well I think that's a mixed bag of stuff in today's post. I won't be buying another newspaper, if I want to read a real one I can go to the library and it will cost me nowt.

Thanks a lot for popping in. It's Saturday, Heidi is looking quite good, she is a lot brighter, has a healthy appetite, and is very playful in the mornings. She still sleeps a lot, right next to me, in her bed on the table, so things are looking good. Rocky is waiting for a walk, and I want to go to town, so I'll sign off. Enjoy your weekend.
Toodle pip

PS. Disclaimer. I wasn't given these papers, I bought them  ;o))

Friday, 28 August 2015

A visit to Tattershall and Coningsby

Hello. I started this post last night, but tiredness overcame me and I went to bed. So this morning, fully refreshed, I resume. 

It was a lovely sunny morning so me and the pooch went out today. I am running out of local places to visit so each trip is a little further afield from the one before. This time I headed south through Lincoln and along a 'B' road through Metheringham and Billinghay, and made a stop at a picnic area for lunch. On then to Tattershall. I have been past many times but never had time to stop. The castle is visible from the road, so now is my chance to have a look around. I went in the church first.
The Collegiate Holy Trinity Church is 180 feet long. All the windows are clear glass, except for the large coloured glass one in the Great Eastern Window.

There is a warm welcome inside. Ladies serving cups of tea and cakes, and lots of bricabrac stalls. It looked a bit like lots of charity shops selling donated goods, all clustered together at one end. It was free to go in so I bought a packet of scrumptious home made oaty biscuits.

If you look at the map the castle is only a short walk away. The trouble is that once you pass the entrance at the Gatehouse it is hard to push the buggy through the deep shingle surface. Rocky had already had a walk up to this point, and he was struggling to walk through the loose stones, but I persevered and pushed him along on the grass where I could. 
The castle is a National Trust property, access is free to the grounds but there is a charge to go inside. The Gatehouse has a shop where they would like you to spend your money, either buying goods or joining up. I didn't want to do either so I bypassed that and took a path to the side. Besides there wasn't room for a buggy inside there. 
There is a moat around the castle and to get to it you have to cross this small wooden bridge. I don't like the look of those supports underneath it, the whole thing looks a bit dilapidated and could do with replacing. Parts of the moat are also full of reeds.

Aaahhh, I can see water there. Apparently the view is very good from the top if you want to climb the stairs. There are six floors, 149 steps.

The castle is built of red bricks, by Patrick Cromwell, between 1434 and 1447, as a display of his wealth and power in unstable times. For more information you can look at the web site.  It was a warm sunny day, and nice to see the families out with their children. Lots of space for them to run around in.

View of the castle from the churchyard. 
Next I thought we would take a look at the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight  exhibition at nearby Coningsby. Oh dear, I forgot to check that, no dogs. I went in and asked if they could make an exception for an elderly dog in a buggy, but the computer said no, so we had to be content to walk along the outer perimeter for a short distance and peer through the wire fence.

This little gnat was buzzing around, landing and taking off several times, I think they were rookie pilots practicing. 
Then it came down and landed, taxiing to it's parking slot.

The pilots climbed out and left it in the capable hands of the ground crew for inspection and maintenance.

I reckon this plane is strategically placed to block the view from the many enthusiasts poised with their zoom lens cameras along the fence. I spoke to a man and he said it was the same one in this exact spot he had seen on his previous visit, weeks before. 

The man told me that these two planes are kitted out with radar, the dishes on the top pick up signals from other aircraft while patrolling the skies. Like an early warning system.

Here is a link to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

After half an hour of standing and watching, and not much else happening, I decided to go back to the car. Earlier I had heard the boom of several Spitfies taking off, and hoped there would be more, but no luck. Plane spotting needs a lot of patience, maybe it's not for me, ha ha.

Time for a nice steady ride back through the Lincolnshire countryside, with the usual battle through the traffic at Lincoln. A nice relaxing day out, it's good to get out of the house now and again.

Looks like another sunny day today so I'll say Toodle pip and thanks for popping in. A bit more hedge trimming to do, and playing in the summerhouse. Catch you soon.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015


Hello. Apologies if you are eating, maybe read this after you have finished your meal. A question. What is the most important thing in your life. Most people would say their kids and their family, their other half, followed by pets perhaps. What is at the top of the list for you? I admire those that love other people more than themselves, it shows a compassion for their fellow human beings, and should be applauded. I admire those people who go through traumatic experiences, and somehow come out the other end to pick up the pieces and carry on with their life. It is very important to build up a resilience to all the unpleasantness that might come our way.

So what am I waffling on about? For me, the most important thing in my life is trying to maintain my reasonably good health. If I were to fall ill I would be the worlds worst patient, I would moan and groan that I can't do this or do that. I would sit around and become a right miserable and crabby old witch. I would feel sorry for myself, I would be depressed saying why me, why has this happened to me. I don't want to become that person, so I try hard to look after myself.

Our NHS offers free healthchecks, eye tests, tests for breast cancer, cervical cancer, and bowel cancer. And if we have any other concerns about something which is not quite right with our bodies we can make an appointment to see a doctor. We are lucky to have this service.

I was reading in the newspaper that people ignore the test for bowel cancer because it is too much faff. I don't like faffing too much because it wastes time, but this is one faff I am happy to put up with. It could save my life.

Here are some figures.
Cervical screening has 79% take up, breast cancer screening 72%, on average only 54% of the target population accept an invitation for bowel cancer screening, with only four out of ten taking up the offer, according to the charity Beating Bowel Cancer.

My test is ready to put in the post. If you get one of these, don't bin it, don't leave it lying around to think about it, don't moan that it's too much faff.  Ok, it's not very nice to mess about with your own poo, it stinks, you might feel sick, but for goodness sake, it's only the waste matter from all the food you have noshed. Put a face mask on, open the window, spray some perfume around, it only takes a minute or two. If  your health is the most important thing to you, JUST DO IT. If not for yourself, do it for your loved ones who will be left behind if you die.

Thank you for reading. Come back soon.
Toodle pip

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Adding a new page

Hello. I hope you'll forgive me for not writing a lengthy post tonight, but I've been busy. Most of the day was spent on the computer creating a new page, if you look at the list below the header you will see
How I built my Summerhouse. I have collated all the photo's and written the captions, and it's taken ages to do. I didn't want it all to be lost in the blog, it's worthy of a page of it's own.

I did take an hour or two out to go to the vet to pick up some tablets for Heidi. The result of the blood test is through and it's given us more to go on, the tablets will help. She is still a bit fragile, sleeps a lot, but we are not giving up yet, where there's hope and all that.

Off to take the dog out, thanks for popping in.
Toodle pip

Monday, 24 August 2015

Survivor by Fatima Whitbread. Book review

Hello. My book reviews never get a lot of comments. I suppose that's understandable because everyone has different tastes in what they like reading. What I read may not be your cup of tea, but it helps me to remember what I've read if I record it here, and if you fancy giving it a go you might find my review helpful. 
I'm not a sporty person and I wouldn't normally pick up a book about a sports person, but the blurb on the back ignited my interest in the woman behind the gold medalist. 
Fatima Whitbread had a terrible start in life, at three months old she was abandoned in a council flat in London by her birth mother. Alone for two days she began to cry, she had nothing to eat or drink, she was filthy, and she was ill. A neighbour called the police and they broke the door down to discover her, any longer and she could have died.

After being taken into care she was sent to a childrens home, where the regime was cold and uncaring. Fatima desperately needed to be loved but for many years no love came. She always refers to her birth mother as the woman who gave birth to her, and her father was a passing boyfriend.

She became a bit of a rebel at school, she had a disruptive streak to her, and was often in trouble. But then she discovered a passion for sport, which eventually helped her to turn her life around. Eventually she found her loving family and was adopted by Margaret Whitbread who was to become her coach.

Once I started this book I found it hard to put down. This inspirational woman has had a traumatic and shocking life, but she went on to become a world champion. The first part is about her life in various childrens homes, and her search for love. After many years of hard work she triumphs on the athletics field, but  after her retirement there were more tragedies to come. One good thing did come out of it was having her son. I won't tell you any more, but just to say, this book is well worth reading. It will sadden you, but you will also share her joy as she wins her medals and becomes world champion. It's an easy read written with sensitivity and passion.

Here she is winning her gold medal.

Thanks for popping in.
Toodle pip

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Is everything to your liking, Madam?

Tightwad Towers offers Five Star accommodation to much loved kitties, especially those who are a wee bit off colour. We serve a four course meal, with world class tasty food to suite every palate. Dining takes place on the veranda outside the sleeping accommodation, so removes the need to go to the dining kitchen. Bowls are washed and refilled throughout the day, should Kitty wish to graze. Note the one bowl of cereal in the background that the proprietor gets.  
After filling up the tummy, Kitty has the option of chilling out in the fully enclosed and private accommodation pod. The top canopy has been put on to ensure no prying eyes can peer in and unsettle a sensitive cat.

Should Kitty wish to take advantage of the panoramic views from her penthouse she can relax and sunbathe on the balcony. Access to this exclusive suite is via a strategically placed chair which enables her to come and go as she pleases.

The toilet facilities are placed in a discreet corner near the sideboard, and is accessed via the same chair from the living quarters. It is far enough away from the rest of the accommodation so no pungent smells can permeate to the bedroom. This Kitty is not allowed conventional cat litter and so shredded paper is used for her own health and well being. The cleaner comes twice a day to refresh the toilet, remove soiled material, scrub the box with water, dry it thoroughly, and refill with clean paper. The cleaner gets paid nothing for this work ;o))

Tightwad Towers regrets that due to being fully booked, no further accommodation is available, sorry, we are full up. Thank you for visiting, please come back another day.
Enjoy your Sunday. It's sunny and I have a dog waiting to go out.
Toodle pip

Saturday, 22 August 2015

The bag of many colours

Hello peoples, there's thunder in the air on this hot and humid night. The last dog walk is done and we are snug indoors. It's been a sweltering day. I ventured into the garden for about an hour, to tidy up and have a firkle in the potato beds. The weeks spuds are washed and ready. It was too darn hot to stay out any longer. All week I have been sewing, this is what I've been doing. I'm making a bag. 
First off get a piece of hessian type sackcloth, fold it in half so it's double thickness, I don't want a floppy bag. Then cut strips of colourful fabric and machine them on, starting at the bottom. Right sides facing then fold it over and iron. Carry on with the next piece of fabric the same way until the whole piece is covered. Doesn't matter about the edges being uneven, they will be trimmed. 

This is one side almost finished. I have cross stitched all the seams, and put random embellishments on with more cross stitching. I have put two darts on the top edge to bring it in a bit. 

This is the back of it which will be covered by the lining.

Next I cut a piece of red cotton fabric from a bed sheet I got from a charity shop, especially for the purpose of lining bags. I pinned them together and machined them leaving the top edge open. Then I turned it the right way and ironed it. I am making the front and back of the bag separately, then the two pieces will be hand sewn together because it will be too thick to go through the machine. That's the front completed, more on this later. 
Hey, how do you like my new shirt, super isn't it. I was in the Age UK charity shop yesterday, everything £1, and I couldn't resist this shirt. It's 100% cotton and brand new. Aha, another cushion cover I thought, sort of matching the others I have made with stripey shirts. I've got plenty of stuffing to make the cushion. 
An amazing bargain, why bother going to a real shop when prices are this cheap.

My dinner tonight, steamed potatoes, carrots, onions, peas, and spinach, with a quarter slice of quiche. A couple of dollops of tartar sauce went down well with this. I am stuffed.

Thanks for popping in, glad you could make it. Have a nice Sunday. Toodle pip

Friday, 21 August 2015

Healthy nosh and family news

Hello I'll knock this post out before I go to bed. I made this meal yesterday for lunch, easy to do. A chopped onion and sliced mushrooms in a pan with a splash of oil. Chuck in some spices. When done top up with half a tin of baked beans and warm through, serve on a bed of tagliatelle. Washed down with a mug of coffee.  
Dinner tonight was salady stuff with a quarter of a quiche. In the pan chopped courgettes and mushrooms, cook in oil, with garlic powder and turmeric. My kind of simple dinner.

I picked up some strawberries yesterday while I was in town. They are a nice treat, served with single fresh cream. Never usually have strawberries, but the grapes were too dear.

This is an update on the pets. Heidi went to the vet today, she had another injection for her scabby face, and the results of her blood test was explained. Janet came along because she knows more about cats than I do, and she can explain some of the details to me. Heidi is anaemic, they are going to do another test to see if they can pinpoint what's causing it. She is eating and drinking ok, but I am keeping her indoors at the moment. I put the cat carrier on the floor in the living room when we got back and now she seems to like it as a bed. I might as well leave it there for her to sleep in. 
Bugsy the ginger tom is camped out in my bedroom, the old boy is still plodding on. He eats for England, always letting me know when he is hungry. If I am not around he comes looking for me and meeows like crazy until I give in and feed him. Most of his scoffing is done at night, there is always an empty bowl in the morning. Last night I was awoken by an 'orrible pong, he had done a whoopsie in the litter box :o(  Had to get up at 2am and move it.

Mayze dashes around everywhere. I can guarantee that as soon as I open the fridge door, or clatter a few pots about this whirlwind comes through the kitchen and launches herself at the front window sill, and yells at me to give her food. She is a darling.

Rocky is still managing short walks without the pushchair, we did three today. He is a bit slow but no sign of a limp. Here we are snuggled up on the sofa.

Cat rescue news, a new inmate has arrived, a young lady who is pregnant, with the birth due in about two weeks. The vet thinks there are three in there.

That's all the news from my little family for now. Have a nice weekend. Toodle pip

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Ta-ra Chuck

Hello. I've been to a funeral today, well not quite, I didn't make it to Liverpool, but the funeral came here into my living room via yooootoooob. I still can't quite believe that Cilla has gone, such a terrible tragedy. I'm feeling so sad. She played a big part in my teenage years, I grew up with her. I adored her. I copied her fashions and her hairstyle, I bought the teen magazines and stuck her pictures all over my bedroom walls. I was so thrilled when she came on Top of the Pops on a Thursday night, or Ready Steady Go on a Friday night, I never missed those programmes.

The sixties pop scene was magic for an ordinary shop girl like me. I went to a Youth Club in a Village Hall where we played records and drank bottles of pop. I dressed up, back combed and laquered my hair Cilla style, black eye liner with false eye lashes and lots of pan stick, and went to discos. I made my own dresses, sixties style, because I couldn't afford to buy them. Short skirts up to my backside, I had a good pair of pins.

I used to hang around on street corners chatting and laughing with my mates, or go and get a hot dog off the man in his van in the Market Place. I used to go to the 76 Club in the High Street when I was 17, said I was 18 so they let me in. A long dark, smoked filled room where you were squashed up to everyone else because it was so popular. I imagined that I was in the Cavern Club, I felt dead cool, hanging out with the in crowd. And of course Cilla was always there in the background.

And now she is gone, it's hard to believe.

This is how I remember her.

Sir Cliff Richard sings his own personal tribute, Faithful One. It was beautiful.

God bless you Cilla, you brought a lot of joy to my life. Rest in Peace. Tarra Chuck

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

My rules

I've drafted a new set of rules for my happy, hassle free, and simple life. These rules supersede any previous rules. Rules can be changed over a period of time, these reflect my  lifestyle and circumstances.

1. If I don't want to do something, I won't.
2. If I want to do something, I will.
3. I will get out of bed at whatever time I choose in the morning.
4. If I don't want to get out of bed, I won't.
5. I will go to bed at whatever time I choose.
6  If I want to stay up all night, I will.
7. I will eat what I like, when I like.
8. I will wear whatever I feel comfortable in, regardless of whether it is in fashion or not.
9. I will spend my money on whatever I want to spend it on.
10. I will be honest with people. Liars always get found out.
11. I will avoid anyone I don't like.
12. I will value my true friends, those that take me as I am.
13. I will not put on any airs and graces for the benefit of others. I don't need to prove anything.
14. I will respect the people who respect me.
15. I will not worry about things I cannot change.
16. I have a right to say no.
17. I will not start an argument, nor will I join in with one. No point.
18. I will be kind to all animals. I will not eat them.
19. I will be grateful for what I have, and not wish for anything more.
20. I will be thankful for every new day.

This will do for a starters.
Toodle pip.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Be bold, make up your own version, whatever it is

Good morning. I often wake up with something on my mind, it could be something I heard the day before, or something I saw, or something someone said to me. For a few minutes I mull over the previous days happenings, it's part of the preparations for the new day ahead, is there anything I need to follow up or can I start again with a new clean slate. Most occurrences are filed away as I filter out a lot of inconsequential stuff. No need to remember that, I don't believe in hanging on to stuff that doesn't matter, whether in solid form or fleeting random thoughts.

This morning I thought about something that someone said to me yesterday, it's playing on my mind a bit so I thought I would get it out into the open with a blog post, then it can be filed into the archives of my mind.

It was at Crafty Club, I was showing what I was working on, trying to explain what I was going to do with it. I am making flower petals out of red silk. These....

Each petal has two layers, sewn together and turned inside out, the fabric is the same both sides, then a little bit of stuffing put inside to plump them up a bit, and the opening sewn up. The plan is to use them as embellishments and hand sew them onto something in applique fashion.

Now I believe everyone has their own way of doing things, we can all choose the different paths we wish to take. One of the ladies said, you don't put stuffing into applique. My answer was rather brief because she took me by surprise, I am not a quick thinker. So here I am mulling over her statement, and now it is turning into a blog post.

I read a lot of crafting books and watch a lot of crafting videos, for ideas. I take bits of them, then make up my own version. My first thoughts were that this could be a sort of applique with a hint of stumpwork. I would play around with it and see what happens. I don't see any rules that say you can't put stuffing into applique. In my mind there are no rules when it comes to arts and crafts, anything goes.

I can see that for years I have been taking the creative concept further and applying it to other parts of my life. It didn't dawn on me that I could do anything I wanted to do, until I challenged the unwritten rule that said women couldn't become lorry drivers. Who says so, I thought, I can, I will, and I did.

Who says a woman has to get married and have a family, boy was I questioned about my singleness for years. There are no rules that say you have to have wedding ring on your finger. Years ago people expected to be married for a long time, not so much now, there are no rules. You can marry whoever you like, or not get married at all. You can choose whether to have multiple partners, or none at all. The rules are a lot more relaxed these days.

I once got myself into a relationship which was becoming destructive and mentally abusive, it was threatening to turn my whole life into one big negative mess. I was in danger of losing my identity. Luckily I saw the light in time and got out. I couldn't change his behaviour so I had to change mine. There are no rules which say you have to put up with being treated badly. There is a door to walk through to a better life. I owed it to myself to take it.

I find myself challenging rules all the time. Unimportant rules which say you have to buy all the ingredients to make up a recipe. No you don't, you adapt what you already have, make up a new recipe. Who says you have to go shopping every Thursday afternoon? No you don't. Who says wash days are on a Monday, that went out with the ark. Who says you go to the pub every Saturday night, you can go any night, that's unless you want to go every Saturday night of course. Who says you have to get the vacuum cleaner out every day, or dust the mantlepiece, or clean the windows. It's ok to do these jobs when you feel like it, there are no rules.

Ok, so here's the challenge, get rid of any rules that you don't need or don't want to keep to. Dump the silly rules and make up some better rules which work for you. Constantly re assess your rules and change them when they are not working for you. Always always look for new ways of doing things, don't get stuck in a rut because that's how you've always done it. I know it's an old cliche, think outside the box, but I would go one step further and say, get out of the chuffin box and chuck it away.

Let me know what your new rules are? What rules have you changed in the past, and what rules will you change in the future? Are your rules already working for you and you don't need to change any? I'd be interested to know what your rules are.
Thanks for popping in. Toodle pip

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Don't judge a book by it's cover

Hello. It's been a day of watching Heidi, she has been very quiet. Janet came round and we managed to get some water into her mouth with a syringe as she wasn't drinking or eating. This must have triggered something off because she ate a small amount of tuna fish, and now she is having a nibble of dried food. Lets hope this continues till we get the results of the blood tests. 
Ordinary brown vinegar did the trick, diluted and soaked for a day. I have a new pan. This was really black, now I can carry on steaming my vegetables, I must remember to put enough water in the bottom, ha ha. 
The notebook cover is finished. This was a bit of an experiment, I didn't put much thought into the design or much time into it, I just stitched willynilly. I started with a piece of grey felt, then cut strips of fabric and machined them to it, starting at one end. Each piece was sewn right sides facing and folded over, and the next piece added and so on, till the felt was covered. This is the front, although it can be put on the other way round.

This is inside the front cover, some machine stitching as well as hand stitching.

Inside the back cover.

It's an A6 size notebook, the cover can be taken off and used again on another book. I have put a strip of dark blue ribbon top and bottom on the inside, to hide the hem
The back cover, or it could be the front cover.

This was just a practice piece to try. It's ok, but not wonderful. I think it would be better to use a lighter fabric, felt is too heavy, and too thick and bulky. A lightweight fabric would make it a better fit.

My dinner tonight cost me 33p, that's for a bag of broccoli and cauliflower. In the bottom of the pyrex bowl I put a frozen portion of home made thick soup, cost negligible as it was made from yellow stickered peas, sweetcorn and carrots, 2p at a guess. Zapped that in the microwave and put the steamed veg on top of it. Simple and cheap.
Thanks very much for popping in. Catch you soon. Toodle pip

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Riding in style, a doggy story

Howz ya didlin then? It's been a good weather day here, I haven't been very far, except locally in the village. Thought I would kick off with a moan today . Look at this daft shaped plastic bottle that they sell mayo in. You stand it upside down on it's lid so the contents run down to the bottom, and then you should be able to squeeze it out over your meal. Sounds ok in principle, and works ok for the first three or four squirts. Then the mayo sticks to the sides and you have to shake like crazy to get even a small splodge to dribble forth from the nozzle. Nothing for it but to cut the darn thing in half, pierce my food with a fork, and wipe it around the inside. I'll stick to wide neck jars in future. Even though this mayo was only 50p, it's not worth the faff to get it all out. 
My colourful and simple lunch today. celeriac, courgettes, and mushrooms with salad. It was bloomin lovely.

Here's a heartwarming story. I was walking Rocky through the pub car park at lunchtime and came across a dog with a super duper buggy. I'm always on the lookout for interesting and unusual sightings, and like to ask questions. This is Patch the Boxer and he is on holiday here at the caravan park with his owners. They had been a walk and had called in for a thirst quencher.

The story is that Patch lost his hind leg at only a few months old, and found himself in a Rescue Centre. Along came Lyn and hubby and they decided to adopt him, so at 14 months old he had found his forever home. He has lived just about all of his life with three legs and has got on fine.

Now he is ten years old, and he has a bit of arthritis. His back is giving him problems, and he can't walk so far, so he needs a bit of help. But look at him now, he has the very best doggy buggy in the world, nicknamed his chariot. Lyn told me that she gives Patch turmeric in his food, made into golden paste with coconut oil and black pepper, and it has made such a difference to his mobility. Another endorsement for the healing powers of turmeric.

He can sit facing forward or backward. He can have his head poking out the front, or out the top. He has a duvet in it and often climbs in for a sleep. Lyn says it has completely changed their lives. They can now go anywhere in their motorhome and take Patch with them. The chariot will ride over rough ground so they can go to lots of places. 
Isn't he just a darling. He is the only dog at home, but he isn't lonely, his best friend is a pet pig. Howzabout that. Good eh!  I just love a happy doggy story. Thank you Lyn for letting me take the photo's.

This is the Rescue that Patch came from.
The Lincolnshire Essex and Trent Boxer Rescue.

Right, I'm off out now to take my pooch a walk.
Hope you have a lovely Sunday.
Toodle pip