18 in 2018

De-Cluttering 2018

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


I woke up angry and am still angry now!!

My role at work has been added too.
I was more or less told yesterday that my work isn’t as important as colleagues, I can put mine aside to answer calls but they can’t, they are far too busy. We are all busy and should work together as a team. That is fine but part of my responsibility is ensuring a legal requirement with deadlines is met. And we have been meeting them as the figures show but, no this new phone structure is more important. So guess what happened this morning when the report I have to do wasn’t done, “RC can you drop everything and do the report by 11am”. It just bugs me so much that when we expressed our concerns before they introduced the new system and they were just completely ignored.

The other thing I am absolutely fuming about is mum. Since being diagnosed she has been on medication for her dementia which has to be kept up. This was expressed by her mental health nurse and I checked while she was in the main hospital and they agreed. Today she had moved into a care home and I was discussing her meds with a member of staff and they said that this hasn’t been prescribed. I rang the hospital she was discharged from only to find out that a junior doctor had taken her off these tablets on the 4th November but they don’t know why. There is no note in the file. I am so bloody angry because she shouldn’t have been taken off the tablets and also if there is a physical, medical reason that should be recorded. They have said they will ensure she is put back on them, which to me says there was no reason for her to be taken off them. A manager is going to ring me tomorrow.

Sorry for the rant, I’m going to have a cup of tea and relax – deep breaths now :)

STF – I will start again with a new list, just got to keep battling on

Dannie – Thank you for your support, it is emotional but in a good way if that makes sense as I have so many happy memories.

Thanks for the video to dvd info, I will look into it.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Did I get it all done?

Short answer is no. Thank you for all your encouraging comments. I have completely underestimated and forgotten how much work goes into packing up and moving.

Thank you for the prioritising idea. I did it, with the cheque’s being first off the list.

I managed to pack up all of the things from mum’s kitchen and defrost the freezer. I didn’t empty the cupboards under the sink out as I will need to use the cleaning things.

I emptied the book shelf into boxes. I found a video that had the name of the farm on it. I can’t remember what is on it or if I’ve seen it. I have a feeling it might be a bit emotional as I think my dad could be on it. Can you transfer videos onto dvd’s?

I cleared out the chest of drawers in the lounge that housed things like light bulbs.

I started to bag up clothes for the charity shop. I didn’t drop them off as there was a Christmas market and parking was difficult.

It was a trip down memory lane, more of which I will post another time.

All the Christmas cards are written, stamped and ready to post. I have written mums too, working from a list that she had in the Christmas card box. Once I see who sends cards this year I will write a little note explaining that mum has been ill, and also of her new address.

Secret Santa’s for mine and OH brought and wrapped, with a couple of other pressies.

I had planned to do more yesterday but had a migraine so struggled a bit.

I visited mum on Saturday to be told by a nurse she was moving into a home today. It was all very sudden. However I got a call this morning to say she had a bit of an upset tummy over the weekend and they couldn’t risk moving her in case it was an infection. They hope to that she will move this week. We haven’t visited the home yet so I hope its ok. We have to wait 4 weeks for the financial assessment as they have a backlog. I will be glad when that is sorted as I’m worrying that it.

I picked up the fire guard from a Freecycler for my friend. It was a surprise for her as she mentioned last week that her new kitten – who is sooo cute – keeps trying to hurl herself onto the fire! She has been away this weekend so I left it outside her home, with a little note. She rang last night to say it fits perfect and to hear the joy and surprise in her voice was lovely.

OH has managed to pick up another shift tonight so that is some more money for the holiday fund, every little bit counts.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

A List as Long as My Arm

Things to do this weekend.

• Send thank you card & cheque to mums carers
• Send note & cheque to mums window cleaners
• Start writing Christmas cards
• Buy works Secret Santa’s
• Wrap Christmas presents
• Sort out box of kitchen stuff from mums
• Tidy kitchen
• Washing
• Ironing
• Pack up rest of kitchen things at mums
• Defrost mums fridge & freezer
• Clean mums kitchen
• Sort out stuff under mums sinks
• Bring sewing & knitting things back from mums
• Empty desk at mums
• Empty drawers in lounge at mums
• Empty & pack up mums books shelf
• Pack up mums clothes that are too big for her & take to charity shop
• Pick up fire guard for friend from Freecycle

but first I'll just have a cup of tea...

Friday, 9 December 2011

A Good Day... know the kind of day when everything just is right.

It was an early start as I picked OH up from work before going to mine. It was so windy last night it would have taken him forever to cycle the 6 miles to work so I gave him a lift. Just seeing the smile on his face when I picked him up made getting up a bit earlier alright and I got to read a bit of my book before going to work.

My colleague who gives me a lift had made me a coffee to drink on the way in, which warmed me up and was a nice surprise.

When I got to work another colleague showed me pictures of his gorgeous little girl, born on Wednesday. Any baby is a blessing but this family have been through a lot over the last few years. No one knew his wife was expecting as they didn’t want to tempt fate, I’m so pleased for them. And to celebrate he brought mince pies and biscuits in.

My section were set a target of 99.5% at work which was deemed unattainable but this week we beat it. Our new manager actually acknowledged this (something the old one’s didn’t) and gave me and my two colleagues some chocolates. It was nice that our hard work has been recognised.

Friday is Buttie Day and I was treated to one which came with a runny egg, yummm.

Although we were short staffed and were busy we managed to chat and laugh while working. I am lucky to work with a good bunch of people(most of the time!), including one of my best friends.

We had a cheap tea of bubble and squeak (left over mash and veg), sausages with onion gravy that were reduced to 50p. We then looked at old holiday photos and laughed at a video of my OH doing some sort of dance!

All in all a good day. Hope you’ve all had one too.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Liebster Award

Thank you so much to Mum for my award.

A lot of blogs I follow have already received this award and I feel we are a great little band of bloggers.

I will have a think about who to give it to who hasn't all ready got it.
I tried a new recipe tonight. It was very simple, very tasty and also used some of the bargain 9p fresh coriander I got. The recipe didn’t have chilli in it but I added some for a bit of a kick. It made loads so I’m taking some to work tomorrow for lunch.


• 4-6 good-quality sausages
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• ½ onion , finely chopped
• 2 garlic cloves , crushed
• 2 tsp each ground cumin and coriander
• 140g long grain rice
• 850ml vegetable stock
• 400g can chopped tomatoes
• ½ small bunch coriander , leaves picked

• Split the sausage skins, squeeze out the meat, then roll it into small meatballs about the size of a large olive. Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan, then brown the meatballs well on all sides until cooked - you might need to do this in batches. Set the meatballs aside.
• Add the onion and garlic to the pan. Soften for 5 mins, stir in the spices and rice, then cook for another min. Pour in the stock and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any sausagey bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 10 mins until the rice is just cooked, then stir in the meatballs with some seasoning. Ladle into bowls, scatter with coriander and serve with crusty bread.

SFT – I never thought of making a pudding. I still have pennies from primary school that we use to be given at Christmas.

Anne – I hope it will be lucky :)

NSD – OH is ok now, thank you. They have changed some of the security as the man has threaten the hotel, its terrible really. Still looking for a home, we are waiting to hear back from the financial assessment which is happening tomorrow. I hope she move to a home like the one you work in xx

Monday, 5 December 2011

Money Round Up

As mentioned briefly in yesterday’s post I had a meeting with the bank. It was one of those where they call you in and try and sell you some sort of insurance/new bank account etc. I do find these things useful though, as they often ask questions that I can’t answer which sometimes makes me worry as I like to think I am fairly on the ball where money is concerned.

We looked at my accounts and she question why one was at zero balance. I explained that once I get paid into that account the money gets moved around for bills and savings. I also like to see that the accounts where “rounded up”. I have moved some money around to make use of this years ISA allowance. The bank suggests that you have 3 months or £3k as an emergency fund and we are a long way from having that. Still it gives us something to aim for next year.

This week will be a fairly low spend week. Food wise all we need is mushy peas, baked beans and butter, along with cat food and washing powder. I tried Aldi’s own brand powder last month and it does the job. The only other spend will be to fill up with petrol.

And to finish I found 10p while tidying the bedroom which went straight into the sealed pot to start the challenge.

SFT - I have no idea where the sixpence came from, I must have got it in change from somewhere. It's sat on the side in the kitchen as I don't know what to do with it!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

15p, 90 cents and a sixpence

On the way to pay in the contents of my sealed pot I found 15p on the pavement, so the pot got a last minute top up. I was very pleased with the £46.23 total, plus 1 sixpence and 90 cents! I have another pot that I put £2 coins in and have £52 in there, so just short of £100. I think I am going to use the money for a new car stereo as the one in my car doesn’t work.

I cleared mums cupboards of her food and emptied her freezer. It was a good job we had nearly emptied ours as it is full again. The plates I am going to try and sell on ebay as they are Hornsea pottery and someone said they sell quite well. The other plates and pots and pans I don’t want I am giving to a charity that helps people moving into their first home, usually from being homeless. They also take furniture but until mum is settled somewhere I don’t know what she can take with her.

I have a note pad that I carry round with me and each time I think of something else to do I jot it down. A friend came up with a good idea to put a card in the local shops where mum lives to sell some of the furniture that we don’t need.

There are 3 main bits of furniture I would like to keep, a blanket box, a revolving book case and my dads desk.

When I visited mum today one of the nurses had cut and styled her hair, she looked great. I kept asking mum if I could cut it but she wouldn't let me. It was so nice of the nurse just to do it and I'm sure it made mum feel better.

I had a meeting with a lady at the bank, just running through things. She asked what we spend on groceries etc and I said around £150 at the most and I'd like to reduce it but that includes the cat/takeaways/eating out. She said "oh right so that’s a week"!! When I say a month she couldn’t believe it. I didn’t dare mention some of my blogging friends budgets!

The day leader where I volunteer is leaving at the end of the year. She is still going to be looking after all the food stores but unfortunately feels that she can no longer deal with some of our clients. She was explaining what she does as part of being in charge and asked if any of us wanted to take over her role. W said she would nominate me and B then seconded it. I didn’t say anything. I am very flattered that they think I could do the job but I’m not sure. I will think about it.

Thank you all for your kind words and support and for listening to my ramblings. xx

Thursday, 24 November 2011


Things have been a bit busy.

After being told several weeks ago on a Friday that the doctors didn’t think that mum would last the weekend, they now want to discharge her from hospital.

As you know mum has dementia but I think that we were putting a lot of her behaviour down to that and didn’t realise how physically ill she was. She had pneumonia, her blood count was very low and something was wrong with her heart. The day the docs called me in so explain how poorly she was they had also found a massive blood clot on her lung, which was pressing on her heart. She had a blood transfusion that night and also had several B12 injections which boosting her blood count. As she was refusing food and also refused a food tube I asked if I could go in at meal times to try and feed her. The nurses had to respect mums wish if she said she didn’t want to eat, where as I could be a bit more encouraging “one more spoon” kind of thing. As I blogged before seeing her feed herself was a great sight, not only was she well enough to pick up the spoon but she also wanted to eat, which was good, as some people wondered if she had given up.

The hospital she has been in for the last few weeks has been for rehab. They have managed to get her walking again and getting dressed. Now we are at the point where they feel that they have done all they can, and she is ready to move, this time into a care home, as she would be unable to cope and wouldn’t be safe living on her own.

So we are starting the process of finding a new place for mum to live, and the minefield of social service procedures. Everything seems to be based around whether you are self-funding or not. This is where the confusion begins as I thought mum would be as she has some savings, however after a brief telephone call to her financial advisor it appears they can’t touch her money because of how it is invested. It’s all very complicated and now we have to have a financial assessment. Of course money talks to which home you can go in. We looked round 3 today. The first one we weren’t that keen on, the second one from what we saw was fantastic, I could have moved in there myself. And third was nice and only a 5 mins walk from where we live.

As well as finding a new home, I have give notice and to sort out mums flat, organising what to keep, if we want anything and how to get rid of things we don't need/want.

Needless to say my head is spinning and all this has to be done before Christmas – wish me luck!!

Update on OH
I didn’t post much about what happened as I think we were both in shock. OH works in a hotel and heard a lot of shouting; he investigated to find a man beating up his wife in the reception. She had ran from their room to try and get away from him. There was blood all over and their room had been trashed. He tried to calm the man down but got two punches in the head. The police were called and the man arrested.

Thank you all for your hugs and kind words, they mean a lot.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Just a quickie tonight

We’ve had a couple of stressful days as OH was assaulted at work on Saturday night. He is ok but was a bit shook up.

I managed to use some of the frozen stir-fry veg from the freezer for dinner tonight and served it with noodles and tuna steak yummm.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Got My Wheels Back

I got my car fixed. I mentioned to a lady at work that something was wrong with it. She had a flat tyre the other day and had called into a small garage near work who sorted it out for her. I gave them a call and they said they could have a look at it but couldn’t guarantee they could repair it that day. No problem and I popped it round. Within an hour she called me to say what was wrong, not a big job so they could squeeze it in and the cost. At the end of the morning it was done and I picked it up in after lunch. I’d worried that it was going to cost us the holiday fund but with parts and labour the bill was £37.44. They were fantastic, great customer service and price.

This morning was spent at the food kitchen. I really enjoy it there and this week I'm going to have a look round a local homeless shelter that some our clients use. I would like to do more to help out but at the moment this isn’t possible.

Dinner tonight went down well, a cheap jar of curry sauce, half an onion, handful of frozen peas, and a packet of cooked chicken served with homemade wedges, rice and yellow label naan breads. Not the healthiest but was a lot cheaper than a takeaway and we really enjoyed it.

I nipped to the supermarket for cat food - £10 for 24 tins, which with biscuits keeps him fed for the month. Not many bargains to be had but I got 3 small baguettes for 5p each that I’ve cut in half and put in the freezer.

Tomorrow I’m going to do some chores and visit mum.

Hope you’ve all had a great Bonfire night.

KESHLING – I completely agree, you save so much money doing it.

CAROL – I was surprised at how ill I felt and glad you are enjoying reading
MEANQUEEN – You just feel so much better eating properly, I love the smiley faces you make with your dinner :)

SFT – I should have explained, OH is having mackerel and I’m having the veggie burger, however a combination of the two sounds good. Maybe it could be one of my new recipes for this month.

SIMPLEMISS – I had a headache the next day, which was probably down to poor eating.

MUM – I’m going to have a go at baking bread this month, last time I did it was “heavy”, more practice is needed I think.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Food Glorious Food

What was interesting by doing my food challenge last month was finding out the things that went down well with my OH were things that I thought he wasn’t keen on. He enjoyed meat from left over roasts which I had frozen with gravy and he also like the homemade vegetable soup. The baguettes I’d cut into four and froze along with some rolls that were yellow stickered at 10p where handy to have will soup or sausage casserole. I also know what not to buy again. I still have some frozen stir-fry veg and peppers that I haven’t used. I also found some frozen grilled aubergine from when I made mousakka once, there isn’t enough to make another one and I don’t want to buy any more some will have to think of a way to use them up.

I think I will have a meat delivery next week. I can’t remember the last time we had one. I hope that his prices haven’t gone up but I think that in the current climate they will have. I have found a new place for fruit and vegetables. I’m not sure if they are cheaper than Aldi but the fruit I got from there the other day was so tasty it was worth it. Also it is a local independent trader which I like to support.

I will definitely keep up with the menu planning and want to try some new recipes this month.

Here is next weeks menu plan, using up a few more bits from the freezer.

Mince and onions, jacket potato & veg
Home made chicken curry & chips/rice
£5 meal deal from Morro’s/ or Roast Chicken
Tuna steaks, new potatoes & veg/salad
Pasta carbonara
Fish pie/pork, mash potatoes & veg
Mackerel/veggie burger, jacket potatoes & salad
Seafood risotto

Thursday, 3 November 2011

You Are What You Eat

I have eaten a lot of rubbish today. Started with a sausage roll, then some parkin cake that a lady in the office had baked, then someone bought some biscuits left from a meeting, then there was some banana crisp things - that didn’t taste at all like banana -, then a ham sandwich, then more biscuits. I just don’t have the will power to say no. By the time I was due to drive to see my mum I was shattered so got an energy drink, something I’ve never had before and will not again it was disgusting.

I have just felt tired, sick and headachey. I’m sure it’s because of all the sugar and fat I have put in my body today.

After eating all homemade food for the last month I have noticed the difference in how better I feel, so tonight I had a light dinner of salmon and salad. I have bought some vegetables and am going to make lots of soup to freeze. Tomorrow for lunch we are having some turkey that I have cooked with spices, salad, homemade hummus and pitta bread. We will be having tastey homemade food again this month, maybe lose some weight again and hopefully feel better again.

PS Hello and welcome to my new followers.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

First Thing off my Life List

Following Dannie’s example I’ve been working on a Life or Bucket List. Today unexpectedly I crossed one thing off it – eat goat. As you know my colleague and I share lunches and she phoned me last night to say her partner was making goat casserole and would I like some for lunch. It was nice, to be honest didn’t really taste of anything really distinctive; I thought it would be more like lamb. What food would you like to try?

My car is making a horrible grinding noise. It started when I was taking a friend home tonight, sounded like something scratching on the road, but I had a look underneath and couldn’t see anything. We phone her mechanic brother as I was worried about driving the 7 miles home but unfortunately he couldn’t help. I decided to give it a go and the noise didn’t get worse but I’m worried if driving it is causing more damage. So tomorrow will be spent trying to get it fixed, who knows how much it will cost and where the money will come from!

SFT – I’m defiantly going to do the rounding down principle. We got the mortgage total today and I’ve already looking at figure to knock off. I use the little tray lots, thank you xx

MEANQUEEN – I think the blueness is probably as I took the pictures with my phone! I hadn’t had fish & chips in a while and really enjoyed them.

MUM – I can’t wait for the next party :) I might have a go at baking!

DREAMER – Thank you, as much as I love my friend I couldn’t let her have it lol. What a coincidence with the piggy cup.

ANNE – I would like to say I’d made it but it was shop bought, a bargain at £1.50.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Mum's Tea Party

Hopefully better late than never.

Cucumber sandwiches (egg for OH as he doesn't like cucumber), fruit cake with cheese and a couple of biscuits.

The stand was brought for a friend by my mum but it never made it to her!

And the plate, I won from a very kind SFT from one of her excellent "give aways" and the mug my OH got me when we were on holiday in Scotland once.

I hope you've all enjoyed your tea parties, I hope we can do it again.

Did I do All The List...

Nearly, I did all but re-pot the plants from my list.

The tea-light holders from free-cycle are all glass and look lovely on our mantel.

I left the biscuits for my freind in my kitchen but got her a nice basket of plants for her flat.

I sent a cheque off for the credit card bill so it is now has a zero balance.

I updated our spending/bill spreadsheet and we have £250 for the money to spend. It sounds alot but we need to re-stock the freezer and I will be using more petrol to visit mum as the new hospital is alot further away.

My OH and me went to Scarborough today.

The weather was great, especially for the 1st November. We were so hungry when we got there we had fish and chips.

We got takeaway as it is cheaper than a restaurant and sat and ate them looking out to sea.

We took a slow walk along the beach, just enjoying our time together and chatting.

We didn’t venture into town this time, just got an ice-cream on the way back to the car.

On the way home we called in at the new hospital my mum is in. Its a lot smaller so there should be more one to one care. She has settled in well.

Once again thank you for all your comments, I love reading them.

SFT – My OH is learning well about being frugal, I think the butties tasted all the nicer for being free! Hope you got your shampoo at a bargain price lol. You’re my inspiration with mortgage payments, I think we are going to half any money we have left at the end of the month with one half going on overpayments and the other into our emergency fund. Even if it just a few pounds every little bit helps.

MUM – Thank you for comments and support and see you for tea :)

NSD – You’re right about the “jet lag” days but I can’t complain as he is working and enjoying it which is great after he was out of work for a while.

DANNIE – It has really focused my spending on food and made me think about what we eat.

A Day Off :)

I've have got today off from work but have a few things that I want to do.

They are:

* Update spending spreadsheet to see how much we have to spend this month
* Collect some candle holders that I got from Freecycle
* Buy and deliver a freinds birthday present - she is so hard to buy for as she doesn't have any hobbies. We have decided on a house plant and a nice box of biscuits
* Pay cheque into bank
* Pay off visa bill completley
* Re-pot some plants
* Go somewhere with OH - maybe seaside?
* Visit mum at the new hospital she moved to yesterday
* Meet up with blogger friends for Mums Tea Party

Right, I better get a shuffle on!

Monday, 31 October 2011


I am so pleased that I managed to stick to £10 per week on food. We still have a few bits in the freezer and I think we might be able to stretch to one more week on the £10 and then I’ll re-stock.
I had to dip into the savings for £20 towards the loft hatch, which I will pay back this month.

I sold the old mobile for £30 and a food blender on ebay for £5. This will go into my savings for now until I decide what to spend it on.

We have got £400 in the holiday fund. I haven’t decided on what amounts to save into our emergency fund. I am also considering making overpayments on the mortgage – inspired by Saving For Travel. It’s a bit difficult to have exact figures as my OH wage differs each month but I will keep you posted.

I haven’t made it swimming this month but have been walking a bit more due to where I park to visit mum in hospital.
I’ve only had a couple of headaches which is better. We have eaten better as we’ve had home cooked meals each day. I’ve also lost a couple of pounds without trying, which is good.

The house is still a mess, but I have a list of what needs to be done, just need to do the things on the list!

I had a lovely catch up with a friend a few weeks ago and spent the afternoon with another on the glass workshop. The friend that is moving I haven’t seen as she is getting ready for their move in a few weeks as well as going to India for a family wedding – I can’t wait to see her pictures when we catch up.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

My Saturday

My day started with a lie in and "free" breakfast in bed. OH had resuced some bacon butties from his work from a buffet that were going to be thrown out so we had them with a cup of tea. Sometimes we are like ships that past in the night as he works nights so it was lovely to have breakfast together. Then as I got up, he went to sleep. I did a bit of pottering, hanging the washing out etc then went to my Art from Glass workshop.

This was a free workshop run by our local council. The teacher was so good, explaining things carefully and we quickly got stuck in. We did it all from cutting the glass to soldering. Some of the things she had made where amazing, so colourfull and made from glass that would have been sent to landfill. I’m not at all creative but really enjoyed learning something new. Everyone did something different, some followed a template and made stars for Christmas decorations but we decided to do something more abstract. Here is my light catcher.

After the course I went to see mum and sat with her for a while.

Dinner was from the freezer but I had some blue cheese and rocket in the fridge that needed eating so I made stuffed mushrooms as a starter and they were yummy but very garlicky. Picture is a bit blurry.

All in all a great day and a NSD.

Thank you all for your kind words and support for my mum, it means a lot to me xx

SFT – Its amazing that you include household in your budget. I too have been using up toiletries. I wonder who could help with holiday plans lol, we have a few places in mind but undecided yet
Dannie – It has been tough but has made me really think about what to buy rather than just throwing things in the trolley

Keshling – Well done on menu planning. I agree it’s so easy not having to think each day what shall we have to eat tonight.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Happiness is .....

Seeing my mum pick up a spoon and eat soup for dinner on her own.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Menu Plan

We still eating homemade things from the freezer hence there being two items on the menu on some nights as there are only one portion of each in the freezer.

HM pizza and salad (didn’t have the energy or feel hungry enough to make them so we had baguettes from the freezer with ham/cheese)

Roast lamb/Beef stew, mash potato, HM Yorkshire puddings and veg

Spaghetti Bolognese and garlic bread

Roast chicken/chicken pie, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and veg

Salmon and cous-cous

HM Chicken curry and naan bread

HM shepherds pie, baked beans and veg

Garlic bread

SFT - Thanks for the much needed hugs :) You do fantastic to manage a budget of £60 each month, it would be great if we could but it would be such a struggle but I’m defiantly going to be more planned with the shopping. Does your budget include cleaning products/toiletries? We haven’t decided where to go yet, but will keep you posted xx

Christine – Thank you for your encouragement.

Saving £’s – It was so nice seeing the smile on mums face, I guess you are never to old (they are both in their 80’s) to be told off by your big sister!

Mum – Thank you for your support xx
Brought sugar and olive oil for the store cupboards. I’m really enjoying this challenge of only spending £10 per week. It has made me a lot more conscious of what I buy and I’m getting out of the habit of just putting things in the trolley. In fact I’ve put things back because we don’t need them. We still have a bit of fish left in the freezer but have used alot.

Someone won my item on ebay but the buyer hasn’t paid yet. As it is my first venture selling on ebay I’m not too sure how quick people pay. I got a cheque for £30 for an old mobile, which is going into my savings account. We have saved £400 towards our holiday next year, which is a great start. We probably won’t be able to save this amount each month but my OH got paid more than we expected this month. We have decided that the majority of my OH wage will go into the holiday fund but a bit of it will go into the bill account. The actual amount will change each month as OH hours vary. I am going to transfer the amount we have left each month (hopefully there will be some!) into our emergency fund to build that back up.

Mum is still in hospital and on Friday the Doctor asked me to go in as she wanted to talk to me. It wasn’t good news sadly, so I am spending as much time there as I can. I managed to get the phone beside her bed to work to call my mums sister, who lives in Canada on Saturday and mum spoke to her which as great. She had such a big smile on her face and laughed when her big sister told her to get her ass out of bed! The nurse’s let me go in when it is meal times, so I can feed mum. She is hardly eating but at least I have the time to try and encourage her. I made her some soup today and was very pleased when she ate some.

Meanqueen – You’re welcome anytime :) I have found some things in the cupboards I’ve forgotten about and am going to use them this month. Also have found some things I’m not going to use and have given them to the soup kitchen I work in rather than throw them out.

SFT – I haven’t been on Frugeldom for a while, but thanks for the reminder. I have found so much inspiration from there.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

I stuck to the menu plan apart from a couple of nights. I was invited to friends for dinner on Wednesday. We had a lovely evening and the Jamaican themed food that my friend’s partner cooked was amazing. I also cooked something different on Friday but it was still all out of the cupboards/freezer.

I have spent £7.79 this week. What I didn’t take into account when working out this month’s budget is running out of store cupboard items. I am going to carry over the £2.72 left over from the last two weeks to go towards sugar and olive oil.

I haven’t been swimming yet this month. I’ve been at the hospital everyday to sit with mum and it’s too late by the time I get in.

I have listed one thing on ebay and have a watcher! I hope it sells ok.
The man came and fitted the new loft hatch. It is just what we wanted.

NB This should have been posted last Sunday!

Monday, 10 October 2011

I managed to stick to the £10 food budget for last week, the grand total spent was £9.49, which I’m very pleased about. I did manage to get some things from the reduced section which was great, hopefully will time it right again this week and get some more bits.

I have been through all the cupboards and freezer and have done an audit on everything we have in there. We have a lot more fish than I thought so this will be on the menu for this week. Again the only thing I should need to buy is milk and salad bits.

Roast chicken/pork, roast potatoes and vegetables
Salmon & couscous
Gammon/burger, pineapple, potato wedges, peas & sweetcorn
Tuna steaks, jacket potato & salad
Paprika chicken, savoury rice and salad
Sausage casserole & bread rolls
Shepherds pie & veg

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Strawberries and Onions

I dropped some strawberry plants I got from Freecycle round to a friend. I hadn’t been to her home before so it was nice to have a look round her garden and she talked of what changes she wants to make. We had a good natter and 3 hours later I left with a bag of onions to plant and some cooking apples.

Talking of cooking apples I already had a bag full, as someone near my mums is giving them away. I am just going to stew, then freeze them but would wecome any other idea’s as to what to do with them.

Mum is back in hospital after falling, her carer found her yesterday morning, she must have fallen before going to bed and had been on the floor all night. Apparently she managed to say she wanted the paramedics and to go to the “nice” hospital! I met her at A&E and they ran lots of tests. Last night we saw the doctor who went through everything. She is quite poorly, with lots of different things wrong which is worrying but she is in the right place and they really do seem to want to get to the bottom of it all.

Thank you all for your comments, I find the support and encouragement from you all amazing.

I’ve started the form, and aim to get it sent off this week.

I’ve been good so far, hope to go swimming either today or tomorrow.

I am thinking that £10 might be too little but got to give it a go. I’m sure it will lead to being more creative with ingredients and probably some strange combinations. I must get the freezers emptyed for all the Christmas Eve bargins!

The prices really shocked me, it was a shame because there was some nice things but I couldn’t justifiy the cost.

I agreed Leith is a great “pottering” area. What I did like was a lot of the charity shops were their local charities.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Well I did it, I drove to Edinburgh, nonstop on the way there. It wasn’t as bad as I thought and I’m proud that I managed to do it. There was a few delays, road works and an accident so it took a bit longer than planned, 5 hours.

We dumped the bags at the B&B an adventured out. It was quite a walk to the centre and we went to TGI Fridays for dinner. I often prefer not to go to chain places but we have been there before and everything is spot on. It was so busy, so we had a couple of drinks at the bar before our table was ready, their banana sandwich cocktail went down very well! We had a burger each, mine with blue cheese and OH with bacon. They were so tasty and meaty.

The next day, after cooked breakfast we walked from Leith, which was the area of Edinburgh we were staying in. There was lots of charity shops to browse in. I only brought a book as I did think they were all very pricey.
We had a late lunch, Chinese buffet which was ok and then back to B&B to rest and get ready for the concert.

Adele was amazing. We were near the front so got a great view for pictures if I’d remembered the camera! I liked the fact she chatted inbetween songs and explained how they came about. Her voice was fantastic, note prefect.

This was from that night

It was great to have a break and it didn’t cost too much.

Saturday, 1 October 2011


I really want to cut back on spending this month. I don’t think that we make too many unnecessary purchases, however our down fall are takeaways. We have a freezer full of food and I’m determined to use it this month. I am going to try and only have £10 each week to spend on groceries. To be honest I have no idea if this will be possible but am up for the challenge. All we should need is fresh veg, bread and milk.

We are having a loft hatch and ladder fitted this month which is £235. I have saved this up but would love to try and replace some of this by the end of the month from cutting back.

I have yet to venture onto ebay but hope to give selling ago this month. And also have an old mobile that I’d like to sell.

Hopefully we can claim attendance allowance for mum, which will help with paying for the careers. I have a 44 page form that needs filling in!

I also want to have some sort of plan for the next 12 months. We have managed on one salary for over a year and its just now that we have a little bit more money coming in. It would be very tempting to “waste” this but we both would like to have an overseas holiday next year so we need to sort out what we want/need to save for that and if we can save any for our emergency fund – which has been dramatically reduced over the last year.

I want feel healthier. I have felt so tried and have had a few migraines which I think have partly been due to stress but also think that if I was healthier might be able to deal with the stress better. I know that when I eat better, I feel better. Also I haven’t been swimming for a while due to looking after mum but I have missed it so will make a real effort to go this month.

The house is a complete mess, each room needs de-cluttering and then decorating. As mentioned we are having a loft hatch fitted which will enable us to get into the loft (we can’t at the moment due to its current location). I need to make a list of what to do and decide what to do first – there just seems to be sooo much to do.

This month I want to spend time with friends I haven't seen in a while if possible. I have already arranged to call to see a friend tomorrow to give her some strawberry plants I got from Freecycle and catch up. I also hope to go out for a curry (using a Groupon voucher) with another friend. She is in the process of moving house so we might not manage it this month.
At the end of the month another friend and me have booked on a Glass Creations course. It is a free half day course the council is running. We are also doing a rug making one in November. So all in all even though I will be out and about it isn't costing alot.

I think thats all for now - wish me luck!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Time Out

As of tomorrow I have 4 days off work - yippee.

I’m having an early start tomorrow picking my OH up from a night shift, then dropping off a congratulation card for a colleague who is getting married on Saturday. They very kindly invited me to go but typically it was on the only weekend I was away.

Then I’m going to nip up to mums to check she is ok and drop off a few bits of shopping for her.

After that we are going to Edinburgh for a couple of nights and to see the singer Adele. I’m driving us there and it’s the first time I have driven such a long way and I’m a bit nervous but it will be worth it. I’m making us a pack up to save on spending money at the motorway cafes. The plan is we will arrive at the B&B around 7pm, and then nip out for something to eat.
We haven’t really got anything planned for during the day on Saturday, just see how we feel and what the weather is like and then have an early dinner before we go to see Adele.

I’m really looking forward to it.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Having the Right Attitude

Over the last couple of months mum has been in hospital twice, two different hospitals. Now I think we are extremely lucky to live in a country with a free health service and am very grateful for the care my mum have received but I found the difference in the staffs manor at the different hospitals amazing and saddening too.

Where my mother lives she has a choice of two hospitals. The first time she went in I didn’t realise this and just followed the ambulance. If I hadn’t kept asking I don’t know how long they would have left her in A&E in her own urine (they knew she had had an accident as I heard the paramedic tell the nurse) and when they did eventually helped with cleaning her it was made obvious that this was an inconvenience. The second day when I visited her I was greeted by a nurse wanting to know why I didn’t answer my phone, it hasn’t rung I said and asked to check the number. They had been ringing my mothers empty flat even though I had given my contact details the night before. The reason they had rung was to find out what medication my mum is on, did you not get the blister pack I gave the paramedics I asked. The answer what oh yes but wondered if she had any changes to the tablets, no I answered, have you rung her GP who prescribes the medicine. No the nurse said we thought you would know! I could see that they were very busy and as there was no toilets on the ward asked where they were as mum wanted to go, to be told that I couldn’t take her (health and safety) and the nurses where to busy. I’m sorry to say that I did lose my temper a bit and said that it was no problem because if she had an accident they would have to clean it up. A nurse suddenly appeared and took her, left her for mum to wander back on her own, health and safety must only be in place on your way to the toilet!

You could see that the nurses are under pressure and I never saw a doctor however little things like a smile and a quick hello as they walked into the wards was none existent. I know that you are in hospital to receive medical care which they did but sometimes a little bit more would be nice.

The second hospital visit was completely different to the point mum didn’t want to leave. Again she was brought in by ambulance but the sister on the ward as they were getting mum settled went through a form with my asking basic questions about how mum’s Alzheimer’s is, for example can she wash herself, does she need a stick to walk. Just little things but it is so the nurses know what level of care she needs. They explained all the tests to both me and mum and just did things like put a blanket over her knees when she was sat in the wheelchair. The improvement in mum was amazing, not just the medical side but her speech which she struggles with seemed to come back slightly, she asked questions which is something she hasn’t done for a while and I think it is because the nurse spoke to her. Just listening how they were with the other patients was great, having a bit of joke with some of them and making them giggle and I felt they genuinely cared.

All in all it has been a bit of an eye opener. I don’t want to come across as bashing the NHS as I really do think we are so lucky. The medical care was the same in each hospital yet the patient care in second one was truly great and I really feel it had nothing to do with budgets or funding it was all in their attitude and manor.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Quick Update

Hello everyone, sorry I've not blogged but mum has been in hospital again so I've been busy visiting.

Just wanted to say that I'm still following your blogs with interest and love seeing how everyone is getting on - keep up the good work lol.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Welcome to my new followers, although I always think that having “followers” sounds a bit like a cult haha.

Thank you for your comments and as requested here is the recipe for the soup. It was a bit of guess work with the measurements as I’m a bit of a throw it in the pan and see what happens kind of cook.

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup


3 Red Peppers
5 Plum Tomatoes
1 Red Onion
Few sprigs of Fresh Oregano
2 Cloves Garlic
½ Pint Vegetable Stock
Splash of cream
Olive Oil


Slice peppers in half and de-seed
Place on baking tray along with garlic and oregano, drizzle with olive oil
Roast for approx. 20 mins. until the skins are blacken
After 10 mins. chop tomatoes in half and add to baking tray, rubbing them in the olive oil and oregano that is on the tray with the peppers
While peppers and tomatoes are roasting chop onion and fry in olive oil
Remove peppers from oven and place in plastic bag for a few mins. – this steams them a bit to make it easier to remove the skins
Peel skin from peppers and tomatoes, roughly chop and add to pan with onion in
Add oregano and any juices from the roasting tray to pan and squeeze in the roasted garlic cloves
Pour in stock and simmer for 15 mins.
Blend, season and add a splash of cream before serving


It was enough for 2 large bowls. I used oregano as I have it growing in the garden but I think basil would go well, especially with the tomatoes.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Cheap and Cheerful Lunch

One of my mini challenges’ this month was to take lunch to work everyday. I think I have mentioned before but me and my colleague share our lunches each day. It is a great way to use up left overs and also to try out recipes. We go as far as to do a menu plan some weeks! So on the menu tomorrow is Red Pepper (pack of 2 sweet red peppers a bargain at 10p) and Tomato (home-grown) Soup. It’s the first time I’ve made it and from the little taste I had tonight is good. We will have it with some of a 9p baguette, so a very cheap but nice lunch.

Also had a NSD.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Bare Necessities and Smiling

I’m joining in with Bare Necessities Challenge found here
And today I have spent £1, on cat litter tray liners.

This week’s Menu Plan

Lunch Home stuffed peppers and salad
Dinner Fish and chips
Lunch Courgette and lemon pasta
Dinner Mince and Rice
Lunch Chicken Risotto
Dinner Gammon, pineapple, jacket potato & veg
Lunch Homemade roasted red pepper and tomato soup
Dinner Lamb cutlets, new potatoes and veg
Lunch TBA
Dinner Sausage and butterbean casserole

A few things made me smile on Saturday. One of the clients gave me a box of chocolates (dark ones, my favourite) to say thank you for a chat we had the other week. After we closed a couple of the other volunteers and me went and had a cup of tea. It was nice to sit down in the sun and chat to people I hadn’t met before. Also when walking through town came across this band

The video doesn’t really do them justice. When I saw them they played Cee Lo Green’s Forget You and sounded amazing – made me want to dance.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Thank you all for your encouraging comments.xx

I followed "mums" advice and sent my thank you card to my uncle. I also paid most of my visa bill, will be able to pay it off in full next month.

I have enquired about renting my spare room out to overseas students and the college is going to send me some information.

Swam for 35 min yesterday.

Menu Plan for the Week
Lunch: Quiche and salad
Dinner: HM Turkey Parmesan, savory rice and salad
Lunch: Left over Turkey Parmesan, Savoury rice & salad
Dinner: Lamb cutlets, new potatoes and veg
Lunch: Mackerel salad
Dinner: Gammon, pineapple, Jacket Potato and salad
Lunch: HM Spicey Chicken and pasta baked (made my by colleague)
Dinner: HM meat pie, mash potatoes and veg
Lunch: HM spinach & mushroom Risotto
Dinner: Fish, white sauce, new potatoes & veg
Lunch: Cheese Sandwich
Dinner: HM burgers, wedges & beans
Lunch: Bacon sandwich
Dinner: Roast chicken, roast potatoes, HM Yorkshire puds & veg

Saturday, 6 August 2011


I heard this yesterday and was surprised that a such a rock band had covered Adele, but think they have done it so well.

Have a Listen.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Mini Targets

I have a few small things I would like to achive in August. They are:

* Go swimming at least twice a week
* Take lunch to work each day - This is to stop me spending a fortune at Morros
* Pay Visa off - will be so glad if I can manage this
* Send thank you card to my uncle - He very kindly sent me a cheque as he knew I'd had a bit of a rough time with Mums illness
* Apply for job - I have decided apply for the part time job, with the view nothing ventured, nothing gained. If I find it too hard I can give it up
* Look into getting a lodger/student to rent my spare room
* Carry on sorting the garden out
* Menu Plan - I still have lots in the freezer and need to sort mums freezer out as she doesn't cook anymore. I would like to do small home-made freezer meals for her so the career can just heat them up for her dinner.

I think that is it for now :)

Monday, 1 August 2011


Sorry I’ve been away for a while but mum got rushed to hospital a few weeks ago so things have been a bit manic. She is back home now and we have got some care for her but I have found it all very hard and overwhelming to be honest.

I like to think of myself as spontaneous but have realised that I like some sort of routine. I think it comes from years of shift work, that although your hours are all over the place it is set out in advance and you can plan around your shifts. Anyhow I feel that I need to get some sort of routine for visiting mum, doing her washing/cleaning aswell as having time for me and all the things I want to do.

I was thinking about getting a part-time job to fit in around my normal one. This is to both earn some more pennies and also get experience in a different career but due to mums health I think that will be put on hold. I have also started swimming again and have enjoyed the few times I have been so far.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Update on Jobs Done

Well I didn’t get as much as I had hoped done on Monday. I totally underestimated how over grown the garden was and also how unfit I am!
I cut the weeds back as my OH followed me digging it over. It took most of the day, with a few breaks but we have broken the back of it. We both ached at the end of the day but really felt we had achieved something.

After I had picked the car up from the garage we nipped up to the garden centre for a few bits and I managed to get some sunflowers, ferns, lettuce and fuchias all in the reduce section, which just needed a good water.

I updated my spreadsheet and checked bank accounts. I also set up another spreadsheet for car costs, to try and work out how much journeys cost in petrol.

I also wrote a list of all we have in the freezer and will do some batch cooking this weekend. I will do a menu plan for the rest of the month and should only need to buy milk, bread and fresh fruit and veg.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Busy Day

I have a day off from work today and want to make the most of it. My list of jobs are:
* Take car to garage
* Do washing
* Do ironing & put away
* Freezer/cupboard audit so I can ..
* Do Menu Plan
* Clear board in garden - its totally over grown with weeds, no plants in it yet
* Clean bathroom
* Tidy Kitchen
* Clean oven
* Tidy and clean lounge
* Tidy and clean conservatory
* Update/check bank accounts/spreadsheet

Right I better move my butt off the sofa and make a start!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Last Sunday mum and me went on a coach trip to Beamish Museum -

We had such a lovely day.

We caught the tram to the town and wandered round the shops and the motor fitters, the smell of which reminded me of my Dad’s work shop.

As we came out of one of the shops there were two spitfires flying passed as part of Armed Forces Day. It was an amazing sight. Mum said she didn’t like to hear it as it, I guess it took her back to growing up in London during the 2nd World War.

Also as part of the celebrations there was a parade with a pipe band, young Army cadets and members of the British Legion. I found it quiet emotional, especially seeing one war veteran who was wearing the same medals that my father was awarded.

We had taken a bit of a picnic with us and sat in the sunshine listening to the brass band.

After lunch we got the tram again to the pit village and had an ice-cream.

Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few months ago so spending time together and having lovely days out seem more important than ever as we’re not sure how much longer she will be able to get out and about.

I've Passed

first time :))

Monday, 16 May 2011

A Start

Thank you for your kind comments.

Well a few things off the list.

Money transferred for driving lessons, ready to withdraw and pay on Friday.

Have been on a walk, more of a power walk than a long walk but it was better than nothing. I use to walk ½ hour to and from the bus stop for work but I now get a lift which is great as it’s saving me a lot of money but means I hardly do any exercise so really need to get moving.

This Weeks Menu Plan
Mon: Quiche, salad and new potatoes

Tue: Cannellini bean, salami Pasta and salad
Wed: Gammon, jacket potato and vegetables
Thurs: Pork chop, mash potato and vegetables
Fri: Fish, HM potato wedges and mushy peas
Sat: HM beef curry and rice
Sun: Roast chicken, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and vegetables

Starting Again!

Sorry I’ve not been around recently. I’ve felt a bit down and things have got on top of me a bit. However I did find that over the Easter weekend blogging and writing down what I want to do on here did give me something to aim for rather than just thinking there is so much to do – where do I start – and then not do anything.
So this list for this week is
• Transfer money for driving lessons
• Pay visa
• Sort re-cycling out
• Tidy bedroom
• Move cases into spare room
• Bake for soup kitchen
• Sort paperwork in box out
• Sort paperwork in bag out
• Re-pot cucumbers
• Book London hotel
• Do ironing
• Blog each day
• Change car insurance
• Sort out MOT
• Sort out new bank account
• Menu plan
• Go for walk 3 times
• Re-assess finances
• Do a weekly plan/routine for work

Monday, 25 April 2011

Not all ticked off the List

Well I didn’t get everything done on the list but had such a nice break from work. Today was spent again in the garden. I sorted the shed out, put some shelves up in there and re-organised it. I found a colourful thing to hang in the garden – have no idea what it is called but it brightens up the garden.

I found an old shoe box, painted it with some tester pot paint I found in the shed and have put all my seeds in it.

The old chest of drawers from the bedroom is now in the garden. The drawers are out of it. It doesn’t look great but is on the paving stones we have behind the shed and I have put all empty pots in it. Hopefully this will keep them a bit tidier.

The ironing hasn’t been touched, the white drawers are still in the spare room and the pictures still need to be put up in the bathroom but all in all I feel we have made the most of the lovely weather.

And to round off a lovely weekend my friend gave birth to her baby this morning, a little girl who I’m sure will be spoilt by her three big brothers. 

Enjoying the Sunshine

Didn’t get any of the list done yesterday but had a lovely day. My OH can to see me at the soup kitchen and then we went for lunch. After picking up a few bits for the garden we went to sit in a public garden and enjoy the sunshine. We then heard music and found out that outside the Minster the Archbishop was going to publicly baptise 30 people. We went along to watch and saw one of the clients of where I volunteer being baptised. I managed to get a few pictures and hopefully will get chance to give him them. Below is a picture my OH took of the Minster yesterday.

Spent this afternoon in the garden planting some more vegetables and put another coat of paint on the decking. We got the little plastic greenhouse and a small polytunnel up. I have decided to gravel where I stand my veggie pots as I think it will look neater and save me weeding. This is something I need to cost up. At the moment I have put the pots around the bluebells that are flowering. It’s amazing how quick things change in the garden. We have a bush that gets pretty white flowers on and on Friday there was no sign of flowers but today they were starting to open.

I’ve started the shopping list. I looked back on my records and the last time I did an online shop was 13th November so I think we have managed well. I tend to order mainly bulky things online such as tinned food, washing powder etc. and stock up. I have ordered a delivery of meat to come next Friday. I’m still considering getting a veggi box delivered, I think I might try it for a few weeks and see if we use it all.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Pay it Foward

Every other Saturday morning I get to spend time with a diverse group of people. I volunteer in what you could call a soup kitchen. We serve breakfast to people who maybe need a bit of support in their day to day lives. Some have problems such as alcohol or drug addictions, homeless or mental health issues. We cook a basic breakfast, beans, tomatoes, tinned ham or corned beef on toast. There is also a choice of cereals, jams and spreads and a hot drink. We also have a clothing store, where our clients can have a bit of “retail therapy”, without the cost of course, and provide toiletries. But just as important, I believe, we offer someone to talk to, without judgement.

I really enjoy working there. Sometimes it can get busy and my feet ache at the end of the morning but you get so much “job” satisfaction. I posted a while ago about a candle one of the ladies brought me and today I got a box of chocolates from another lady to say thank you. I have learnt a lot too, one of the men has travelled all over the world and has marvellous knowledge of where chocolate comes from and different tribes, another shares a similar taste in music to me. Sometimes there can be a bit of trouble but luckily nothing too bad when I’ve been there. You can get attached to people and worry if you don’t see them for a few weeks. One lad who I had a bit of a soft spot for hasn’t been seen for months and unfortunately we don’t know where he is.

I did have a bit of a think about whether to carry on a few weeks ago. I managed to get to my first meeting (they are normally arranged when I am at work) and thought it would be nice to meet the other volunteers’. The meeting left me feeling uneasy. The thing is, that it is run alongside a church. The church kindly lets the organisation rent a room at the back. It is Christian run. What I like is that the mission statement is everyone is welcome regardless of believes. Unfortunately I felt at statement didn’t extend to the volunteers’. I don’t belong to any religious practice but try to lead a good life and help others where I can. I was surprised that prayers where said at the meeting as to me the idea of us gathering was to plan how to move the organisation forward. I also was surprised by the attitude of some of the other teams, they don’t want to actually speak to the clients and are unwelcoming of new volunteers (this was briefly mentioned). It did make me think is this was right for me to do but I have decided to keep going, I hope that in a small way I help make someone’s day that bit more easier and put a smile on their face.

Update of Easter Jobs

Thank you for asking sft, I will try and do a post about my volunteering over the weekend.

Made a start on the list:
Fence Painted
Decking Painted (another coat needed)
All seeds put together - need to find a box to store them in
Planted beetroot, carrots & spring onions
Planted a tub with flowers

We spent a lovely day in the garden, enjoying the sunshine and then had fish for dinner. It was a Jamie Oliver receipe with a few changes because I forgot to get some things from the shop - whoops. It was ok, probally better if I'd followed the receipe.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Easter Jobs

After folling other blogs (savingfortravel especially) I thought I'd too make a list of things I would like to achieve on my four days off work.

• Paint fence
• Paint Shed
• Tidy shed
• Put greenhouse up
• Move white drawers into bedroom
• Do all ironing and put away
• Plant all veggies still to go in
• Put up pictures and toilet roll holder in bathroom
• Sort out any seeds that are left over from planting & put in proper box
• Write shopping list for big shop next week
• Decide what to do with old bedroom drawers

There are a few more things I’d like to do but worry that if the list is too long I’ll get put off – something that happens a lot.

I also have my volunteering tomorrow morning and my OH is coming to see me there for the first time which I’m excited about.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Not so heathly dinner

Skipped the main course and went straight for the pudding - yumm

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Peace and Love

Yesterday a lady, a client, where I volunteer gave me this candle. It’s a peace and love dove. It was such a kind gesture from someone who doesn’t have much materially but had taken the time and thought to gift me this. I felt very touched. It is the little things that count.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

For Emma and her Cool Mum

My friend Emmas mum passed away yesterday. She was one cool lady with different coloured hair - pink the last time I saw her. My thoughts are with you Em and your family - luv ya xx

Monday, 7 March 2011

One step Closer

I passed my Theory Driving Test - yippeee.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

So my mum said...

Took mum home last week and bumped into one of her friends, who asked mum had she enjoyed spending time with me. Mum said oh yes, will miss the home cooked meals. I asked which was her favourite, thinking maybe the lagagne or Sunday roast but oh no, her answer....
The Takeaway!!

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Busy Bee

I’ve had a busy but good weekend.

Friday night started with a retirement do. There was a good turn out and it was great to see old colleagues who had left. I also felt a cleared the air with a colleague/friend – long story but I felt I had let her down a couple of years ago as she was going through a complicated time (involving divorce, affair and my boss) but we had a good long chat and I feel a lot better about it.

Yesterday it was my Saturday at where I volunteer. It was busy and I managed to see one of the men I hadn’t seen for a few weeks which was good as I had been a bit worried about him. I feel that they are beginning to know me and it’s nice to build up a relationship with the clients.

The sun was shining this morning when I got up which is a good start to the day. I made and portioned up for the freezer lasagne, leek and potato soup which will do as lunches for work. Also froze the leftover chicken curry I made for dinner on Friday (after adding a bit more spice –I like it hotter than it was!). Put some washing in.

We then went to my mums to see how they were getting on with the re-furb of her flat. It’s also a bit of driving practice for me as she lives about 1 hours’ drive away.

The kitchen is finished and I cleaned it and got most of the things back in the cupboards. We went through things like herbs and spices, and baking stuff. As mum doesn’t now cook from scratch much we had a good sort out and have only put back what she uses.

The bathroom will be done by Tuesday when mum goes home and she loves it. They have done a great job and the colour on some of the tiles matches the flooring perfectly.

I stripped her bed to bring the sheets back, although there is a laundry there, the machines only seems to do a quick wash which doesn’t do a “deep clean” wash. When we go back on Tuesday I will give the flat a good clean as even though we covered the furniture up with dust sheets it is very dusty.

We came back and I put the sheets into wash and started cooking dinner. We had a Sunday roast of beef, home-made Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes and vegetables, finished with stewed rhubarb and cream.

A productive weekend now back to work tomorrow, although I think I’ll be doing much as its my birthday.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Trying to be a good Daughter

A few days ago I read on a forum about a lady who wrote about her mother who was in her 80’s and was staying with her daughter and family while work was being carried out on her home. This lady commented on the fact the mother has only used the washing machine once, didn’t wash up and basically didn’t do anything to help around the house.

I didn’t comment on her post but it has been playing on my mind.

I am in a similar position as my mum is staying while her flat is refurbished. I say similar as I don’t have children and I can understand that there will probably be conflict between the generations. Also the lady is comment that her mother had no health problems. My mother has the early stages of dementia.

My parents have looked out for me all my life, encouraged me to be independent while always been there for me, never judge when I made a mistake (and believe me there have be many), loved and supported me.

Since my father died my mum has moved into warden accommodation in a new town so when the time came, which is now, she had some support round her to help so it wasn’t all on my shoulders.

Now it’s my turn to look after my mum. So if I have to wash each day due to “accidents”, help her bathe and cook her dinner, it is only a fraction of what she has done for me over the years.

I know each family is different and maybe if my mother was in good health we may be having a “battle of wills” with some things and I’m sure the op had reached point and needed to talk, but having my mother stay has made me do a lot of thinking. I have to be the responsible one, I have to make the decisions as to what is best for mum, something I’m finding hard as we have always discussed issues and made a desidioin together. My role as a daughter is changing but it is a role I will, not out of a sense of duty, but gladly take on because she my Mum and I love her .

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Are we going to Scarborough Fair...

Well we didn't go to the fair but I had a lovely weekend with my OH at the seaside. I struck a deal with him to help get the house ready for my mum’s stay then we could have a last minute night away.

It was great to have a change of scenery, we arrived around 7.30pm on Saturday and dropped our bag off at the B&B. Then a quick walk into town and along the front, looking at all the arcades flashing lights. Found an Indian for dinner, I tried a dish that I haven’t had before which nearly blew my head off! Still was nice and we had complimentary brandy and baileys .

The next day after a restful night in a 4 poster bed and a full English we walked round from the north to the south bay. It was wet and windy and really blew the cobwebs away. A wander round town, walk on the beach again, fish and chips followed.

Sometimes the non-planned things are the best.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Silence is Golden

Tonight I did something I haven't done in a long time. I didn't put the tv, radio or ipod on while pottering about. Normally there is some sort of back ground noise, which is more out of habbit rather than really listening to it. My OH is a musican so we have lots of music or rather did until I tried to sync a ipod with my new lap top and managed to lose it all (not a happy OH!) However today I was late in after a driving lesson and OH is away during the week, so while cooking dinner and tidying up there was just the sounds of the house creaks and groans, the cat talking to me and nothing else. After spending the day in an open plan office with phones going and people talking it made a nice change.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Quick Update:

* Booked driving theory test – Done just need to study for it
* Changed dates of direct debit payments – Pending
* Withdraw money from Credit Union – Still to do
* Check Halifax ISA balance – Done and pleasantly surprised 
* Check HSBC ISA balance (sort out tax allowance) - Done
* Loose 5lbs – 3lbs off
* Clear all ironing – Not even looked at it 

Friday, 14 January 2011

Not a good Week

Apologies this blog is a bit of a rant.

I’ve had a horrible week.

Firstly work isn’t good at the moment. I think it is down to the pending redundancies and people already fighting for their jobs (before any redundancies are announced). I also work with someone who when she is that way inclined an absolute b***h and has been this week. I try to not let it bother me and in a way it doesn’t but it makes a bad atmosphere. Until I know for sure if I’m going to lose my job I’m not worried. I do my job as well as I can and work hard, so if I go I know that I couldn’t have done anything more.

That said, I had an awful afternoon on Wednesday, I had made the big work mistake, and for the few minutes while I was sat with my head in my hand thinking what the hell to do my phone went and it was my mums doctors.
To give a bit of back ground I have been worried about mum for a while as she gets a bit confused and struggles with her words but it has got worse and one of her friends rang me before Christmas to say she was worried too (she is 80). I spoke to mums doctors (felt bad as I had gone behind her back) and he organised for a nurse to visit her and do an assessment. The call was from the nurse, explaining that there is some damage to the brain and mum needs to go for a CT scan so we know what we are dealing with. He was very nice and answered my questions but I am so worried. She seems happy and that is all I want but hope that as/if the dementia worsens she doesn’t get distressed and upset. I am sad as it doesn’t seem like my mum when I talk to her and I miss that, we lost my dad over 10 years ago and I’m an only child and feel so alone. I know I’m not as I have my OH and friends but it my mum.

All this does put work into perspective and even though I’m probably not in the right place “mentally” I have a lot of ideas of how I want to make changes in my life.

Thank you for letting me moan.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

To Russia with Love

Sent my first Postcrossing postcard of the year to a lady in Russia. She likes black and white cards so sent a card with a old photo of Marlene Dietrich.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

January Aims

By the end of January I hope to have done:

* Booked driving theory test
* Changed dates of direct debit payments
* Withdraw money from Credit Union
* Check Halifax ISA balance
* Check HSBC ISA balance (sort out tax allowance)
* Loose 5lbs
* Clear all ironing

Menu Plan

This weeks menu plan is as follows:

Lunch: Homemade Vegetable Soup
Dinner: Jacket potato, gammon, pea, sweetcorn, carrots and pineapple

Lunch: Cous-cous, salad and tuna
Dinner: Poached egg on toast

Lunch: Homemade vegetable soup
Dinner: Pork chops, mash potato, cauilflour, brocckli and carrots

Lunch: TBA as not sure what plans are
Dinner: Hot dogs, baked beans, potato wedges

Brunch: Bacon & egg butties
Dinner: Lamb chops, roast potatoes and vegetables

Breakfasts are grapefruit, orange, or toast.
Snacks are fruit and yoghurt

Sunday, 2 January 2011

I starting blogging as part of the 101 Things in 1001 Days project, however over the last year and reading other blogs I'm leaning towards leading a more frugal way of life. I still want to continue with the 101 project but due to change in personal circumstances the list has been amended.

There are several things I would like to achive this year. First and most important is to learn to drive. Once I pass my test (thinking postive here) it will lead to other things. Like many people I face the chance of redundancy and being able to drive will open up the job market if needed. Something I am thinking about is moving. Nothing has been decided and I have alot of work to do on the house to be in a postion to move but it is a thought at the moment. Also my mother, sadly, has health problems and it means I will be able to visit and look after her more.

I have joined a Frugal Challenge and made a budget for the whole year. This is definatley a work in progress but will give me an idea of where my money goes. There are a few things I want to build on my savings, save to see a friend in Singapore and overpay the mortage.

All that along with de-cluttering the house, decorating, loosing weight, gardening and cooking etc, the list goes on, 2011 will be an interesting year.