Thursday, 19 May 2016

Nowt much.

Nothing much to say really.

I go to work
I shop at Lidl
I cook
I garden
I clean
My car is pissing me off- it's old and keeps breaking.

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Artex and green carpet.


It's been a while......Hope you are well.  Sometimes just don't have the time or inclination to write but have decided to get back on with writing. It's nice to have an online diary to look back on.

Since I last wrote we have moved house. We bought a bungalow in 2012 that hadn't been decorated since about 1960 and we re decorated and installed a new bathroom, log burner, wooden floors which is our taste. Lots of white walls as I like to add colour with accessories. We sold it and moved on. No particular reason but I seem to be restless in a house when it's finished.

Last November we moved into another chalet bungalow in a slightly different area. Bigger and in a nicer location, location, location. That's what they say don't they? "Buy the worst house in the best road." We are now in a lane with about 10 neighbours. The lane is no through and finishes with a farm and a bridle path and several footpaths into woods.

There is a lot of artex and green carpet and it will be a long and no doubt expensive process. We are doing most of the work ourselves with professionals for electricals and other jobs beyond our skills.
I say "We" when I mean "He" will do most of the work.

What's been going on in Blog land? I see Karen at Chelmarsh Chunterings is also back with some gorgeous looking food. How does she do those Yorkies?
A few good blogs I enjoyed have gone- Saving for travel, Miss Piggybank but some of my favourites remain. Going gently, Frugal Queen, Mean Queen ( she got me to stop smoking) Growing in the Fens,  Frugal in Norfolk, Sue, Mandy and others.

This year is all about the house. We have no money really so will be saving to get things done.
We are being frugal with heating (no log burner here) . I set it at 19 max- a couple of hours in the morning and evening.
Food- I really struggle with this. We both take food to work and have access to a microwave so it's often, scrambled eggs, curry, chilli or lasagne. I spend about £70-£80 a week for everything.
There will be no holidays this year and possibly next year. We have been watching Ben Fogle visiting  people who have chosen to go off grid. We have also watched Bargain loving Brits in Benidorm.
Not sure on Benidorm but can definitely see us living abroad in latter years.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Are you ok?

Dear reader,

Been quiet for a while but I have been reading yours and trying to comment as I go.

It's funny this blog land sometimes, I sometimes feel as if I know the person especially as so many bloggers share wonderful photos of their homes, where they live and even family events such as weddings.
I believe some bloggers meet up as well sometimes. I have to admit I really want to meet John Gray of Going gently blog. He is hilarious and an animal lover, my two favourite things!

Sometimes bloggers go missing and i get worried about them. It's odd after reading about someones life every day and they suddenly disappear. I have commented a couple of them to enquire of their welfare but to no avail. If you are one of two ladies I have been missing, please let us know you are safe and well. I'm a worrier.

There's been a lot in the press recently about elderly people who are on their own and how seeing someone for even a short while makes such a difference. There's a disabled man in my road who I pop in on sometimes. He has a live in carer.
He's got family in the next road who haven't bothered with him for years.

It's a sad old world sometimes.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Fish curry-nicer than it sounds

Dear reader,

I had seen Jamie Oliver creating some more economical meals on the TV the other week and one looked gorgeous. It was the fish curryhere it is

It was fantastic and was still great the next day at work. 

Monday, 13 April 2015

A jar of coffee.

Dear reader,

My lovely mum helps out at a food bank. She's retired and wanted to do some volunteering. She's never done anything like that before but she went off to the training and now she does it a couple of times a week.
It got me thinking about what food people give and what would be best for feeding a family.
Most of the donations are from supermarkets and shops. There are donations from the public and most are great but some are really weird. Nail varnish (half used), dipping oil and a screwdriver.
Apparently corned beef and baked beans are the usual donations.
I have to admit, I've never donated. My mum loves 150 miles away so I can't just pop round and give her some stuff. I've never seen a donation point at any shops either. There's a drop off box for the local dogs home in our Asda but not a food bank one.

It's usually women who come in, usually terribly embarrassed. They fill out a shopping list which asks them whether they want pasta or rice and any sanitary products preferences. They are given toothbrushes and toothpaste if they need them too. I guess some have fled from dangerous abusers and some have just fallen on hard times and need to feed their kids. Some women haven't eaten for a couple of days.

I suppose some are there because of their life choices or are drug users or alcoholics. At first I was bemused by that but then I thought, they're still hungry.
It seems so unbalanced sometime when I am looking for my nearest Slimming World class and my mum is bagging up food for someone who hasn't eaten for a while.
I will look up my nearest food bank today and drop some stuff off. Apparently they need canned meat  (not corned beef) and coffee so that's what I will get.
Apparently the local paper asked people for those items on behalf of the food bank and some people who furious they were asking for coffee. Perhaps some people think that if you ask for a hand out you should just be eating rice and drinking water.
I know they can only go three times and are referred from other agencies and given a voucher, you can't just walk in a get a load of stuff.

I'm lucky and can go food shopping today. I can pick up what I fancy and not give it much thought, I use my card and know it will cover my purchases. I choose to be careful what I spend becuase I want my money to be used elsewhere for paying off debts.

I was going to write a post about wholesome dinners, what can be cooked with food from a food bank bulk cooking and freezing but then I thought, suppose I'm a mum of two, my nerves are frayed and I've fled the family home due to violence. Perhaps I'm in a hostel or bed sit with a crap shared kitchen,no utensils, no freezer. I'm not sure how I'm going to get throught the week, I've got no family to help. The kids are upset cos we've left the dog at a re homing place......

I don't begrudge a jar of coffee.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

What's cooking?

Dear reader,

A quiet day here. Glorious sunshine although a little windy. I bounced out of bed and went for a little jog. Not great but early days. Legs were agony.

Walked the fat dog for the fat woman who won't and now having a lazy afternoon. The lamb leg I purchased in Lidl is in the oven with carrots, onions and garlic and life is good.

I'm planning the meals for the week with what's already in store.

I have pork steaks, one fillet steak, fish (lots, bought when reduced, monkfish, river cobbler and haddock I think) liver, frozen veg, frozen chips, cheese, ham and a couple of slices of roast beef, two chicken breasts, half a cabbage and a packet of wraps. Also have milk, porridge oats and eggs, some apples and pears and that's about it with some cupboard basics too. Rice, pasta, curry powder etc.

I'm thinking faggots with onion gravy.
Leftover lamb in a curry or maybe just cold with chips and pickles.
Fish and chips
Steak, veg and chips
Grilled chicken and veg
Fish curry and rice

Breakfasts will be porridge and the wraps and cold meats will be lunches.

Have three nice dresses to go online tonight for sale so may make some money by next weekend!

What's on your mind today? Are you spending, saving or selling?


Saturday, 11 April 2015

Who values our custom?

Dear reader,

A new follower! Hi Pam, nice to have you here and following me. Thank you. X

Thanks for all your comments, I have been publishing them in between going to and from work, housework and cooking but haven't managed to reply as yet.

 It seems customer service or at least, good customer service is sadly declining as we feel more of just a number at many retail outlets. I know this is one of the reasons we don't really eat out anymore.
Now I know the public in general can be a pain, I worked in a retail sales environment for 17 years and am still in a public facing role. The silly questions and unrealistic demands along with rudeness can really get you down. That's why I always try to be a "good customer" when I go shopping but I have found there are very few stores that actually, really care about their customer.

I would love to do my shopping in a variety of little high street shops, you know, a butchers, a bakers, greengrocer but those days seem to be over as we flock to buy cheap products from big chains.
I went into our local, family run store yesterday. They have a very good butchery section, deli and bread section with eggs from the local farm along with local milk and cheese. The cold meats are cured on the premises, sliced for you and wrapped in wax paper. These shops are rare and they don't have everything I need and are closed on Sunday's which is often my first or only day off and I need to shop then.

When I go shopping, spending my hard earned money, I want to feel a tiny bit valued, just a little bit but sadly I often don't.

Do you feel the same?