Friday 29 September 2017

Changing a lightbulb - conversion chart

Do you stand in front of the lightbulb counter in shops, totally confused as to what size you need and saying to yourself "I just want a light bulb"

Here is a chart that might help you. It came from here:

DB carries a version of the above in his wallet all the time. It comes in very useful.

Obviously, you also need to know whether you need a bayonet or screw fixing. The bayonet has a push and twist action to it, with a locating pin on either side of said base. The most common size being a 22mm diameter - a BC or B22d. The more unusual slimline base, is a SBC or B15d which is 15mm in diameter.

Screw based bulbs also come in two sizes, again from the same site as found here: 
The site is a mine of useful information! Hope this is of use to you and have a lovely weekend folks. 

Thursday 28 September 2017

New Laundry Liquid

I have been trialling a new adapted laundry liquid for a few months now and can recommend it. The full recipe for it came from here.

Take 1/4 cup (50g) of washing soda crystals and dissolve in 1/2 litre recently boiled water:
Pour into a 2 litre clean and dry milk container or something similar and top up with 1 1/2 litres cool water:
Add 1/4 cup of your chosen laundry liquid. I used to use non-bio but find I am now getting a better wash with bio, even though I don't like using it. The choice is yours:
Put the cap on and gently rotate to mix everything together. Remove cap and leave to cool:
This milk bottle has a purple cap so once cool, I shall add 15 to 20 drops of lavender essential oil. My other bottle has a green cap and gets Lemongrass essential oil added to it.

Before use, gently shake to distribute contents and oil, then use 1/4 to 1/3 cup per wash. Current cost per 1/4 cup is 5.9p per wash or 1/3 cup 7.9p per wash. Pretty economical!

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Are you ready...

I saw a post on an Australian blog about preparing for a possible flu epidemic over there and they mentioned about checking their first aid kit/box.

We only remember to do this, probably once a year sometimes less:(

Out came said box and no end of everyday items were out of  date. You know the kind of thing that only gets used infrequently such as Savlon, gel for mouth ulcers, indigestion medicine, insect bite reliever etc.

However, there were also a few prescription creams and gels, long out of date. You seem to get such a huge amount for a short treatment, then it gets thrown in the box for possible future use. Even if it does get used again, it will be out of date eventually.

Prescription medicines should be returned to your pharmacy for safe disposal, especially the powerful steriods/antibiotic type items that might damage the environment. Other items, I disposed of myself, remembering to remove my id labels and putting the paper instructions and boxes into the recycling bin.

I can't yet get a free flu jab but last year, I paid £7 in Sainsburys to have one for the first time. I think that is a good price considering how flu knocks you for six should you be unlucky to get it. There are often 3, sometimes 4 different types of flu virus in the one vaccine, so over the years, your body should build up a good resistance to quite a few of them and hopefully help.

Young people, especially those with asthma or those who work with children, the elderly or in an environment where there are a lot of people, should get one. If you work where there is air conditioning that may spread the germs around, you may be more vulnerable, so should seriously think about get a jab. If they start young enough, they should build up good resistance to future threats.

If only they would listen!

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Using the leftovers

I kept back 3 ladles of lamb casserole from the previous day, as a base for soup for lunch the next day.

The remainder was mashed and some peas, sweetcorn, extra stock and a little mince sauce were added. I had previously boiled some chicken thighs and used that stock for soup. The meat was removed from the bones and open frozen before being bagged. One handful of that chicken also went in to create a nice soup for our lunch yesterday:
We served it with a small bag of mini poppadums, divided between us which helps reduce the calories.

Monday 25 September 2017

Lamb Casserole via my thermal cooker bag...

Thought it about time I started using this again, although in reality, it could have been in use for a lot of this 'summer' should we have wished!

A thermal cooking bag (how to make one is on my tutorial tab), is similar to a slow cooker but once your food has been started on the cooker top, it is tucked up inside and doesn't use anymore electricity unless you want to reheat the contents.

I fried a diced onion, followed by two lamb leg steaks. Diced carrot, swede and pearl barley were added, along with boiling water. Once the pot had been brought up to a boil, it was cooked for 10 minutes before being transferred into the bag:

We find it better to use two people for that stage as holding the lid in place whilst the drawstrings are pulled tight is a bit of a fiddle but one person could do it. It was left wrapped up for 5 hours then opened and the contents tested. It was 3/4 done:

I forgot to add the diced potato at the beginning for some reason, so they were then added, pan back on stove and brought back to the boil for another 10 minutes.

If I hadn't have forgotten them, the saucepan would have been left tucked up for 8 hours before being inspected. By then, it should be done (providing you have cut everything up into small enough chunks) and all it will need is a final heat up to thicken.

Once thickened and a stock cube added, we served up all but 3 ladles of it, along with some home grown runner beans:
Yes, we could have used it all but I wanted those 3 ladles for another day!

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Friday 22 September 2017

Food money....

Either prices have dropped slightly or I have been canny with my shopping this month. Either way, having £35 leftover is a pleasant surprise. I shall put it to one side for stocking up, or using throughout the rest of the year as and when needed!

It was very misty this morning but hopefully the sun will soon burn it away. I want to get the winter quilt aired ready for changing over at the end of the month. We are now officially in Autumn in all definitions and this morning reflected it.

Our heating has been on for quick bursts, but so far, we have got away with no morning heat. Every little helps.

Have a lovely weekend folks!

Thursday 21 September 2017

GF Toad in the hole

I chose to do this in the silicon square pan to see how it would go. Herewith fresh from the oven:
It rose well and lifted out easily. Here is the 'pan' after the toad was removed:
So easy to clean and nothing stuck at all. I had already used my muffin pan for GF Yorkshires as they have a tendency to stick. They also rose well in that and lifted out cleanly.

The link for GF Yorkshire puddings is under my Gluten Free tab.

Wednesday 20 September 2017

What, if anything...

Is on your fridge?

The front of ours looks like this:
Notepad, smoothie recipes with calories, calendar, 5 week menu and associated shopping list and freezer checklists.
Around the side and facing where I work the most are these:
A picture from DB, photo of DS and DDiL (quite old now), grand dogs when they were small, flu reminder for DB and another reminder for us both!

Tuesday 19 September 2017


In our dining room, we have a little used, hand-painted oil lamp. On certain days, when the sun is in the right place, it strikes it to create rainbows on one of the doors:
And if we open that door, it lands on our store cupboard:
Just lovely!

Monday 18 September 2017


Despite using a codling moth trap, the little blighters got to our apples and there were few that were unscathed. However, bad bits cut out, we have been eating our own apples for 6 weeks now. The red pears have all been eaten during that same time period.

Saturday, I picked the rest of the Egremont Russet apples - our favourites - but they have been badly affected. Here they are, steeping in cold water and vinegar to get some of the bugs out and drowned:
I  used some of the worst affected this weekend in an apple and blackberry crumble. They just have the most amazing taste.

Our Comice pears are starting to fall so guess they are ready. We found these 4 on the ground this morning. Only slightly bruised:
There are another 21 left on our little trained tree, our best year ever! We reckon they will take us a few weeks to use so shouldn't need to begin buying fruit again maybe until mid October.

Friday 15 September 2017

Upcycling finished

First of all, welcome to Charlotte Musha via Bloglovin.

DB has taken less than a week, to upcycle our old style Singer machine table and metal/wooden bench, see this post. Herewith the new version of the table:
It will be used for potted plants throughout the warmer months. Although we forgot to photograph it, the Singer insignia on both sides of the legs has also been highlighted in red.

Herewith finished chair:

As you can see, he has also highlighted the decorations down the side of the chair in red. Although they are now in two different places as opposed to next to each other like before, they are just lovely and a real addition to both the front garden and back patio.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Thursday 14 September 2017


How do you drink your tea?

We use loose leaf tea as we find in our hard water, tea bags leave a scum on the top! We use Yorkshire tea leaves as they are the strongest we can find. Builders tea is stronger but not generally on sale to the public.

We have a metal tea pot that pours without dripping all over the place. Two scoops of tea leaves go in, following by still boiling water. Lid down, tea cozy on and the alarm set for 11 minutes. I am sure this is far too long for most people but we were both brought up, up north, and in our lives, that meant very strong tea.

We both have milk and I have a sweetner. Yes, it does alter the taste slightly but not as much as sugar. I used to have 2 sugars in it when growing up, changed to 2 sweetners, now just 1. I have tried to give up the sweetner several times, but after a week of not enjoying a single mug of tea, usually give up!

DS when two, was given milky tea in his mug but to my shame, and for whatever reason, didn't keep it up:( Now, like many of his generation, he is not a tea drinker as such. Ah well, can't win them all!

Although Yorkshire Tea do a blend specifically for hard water, we find it too tame. Oddly enough, on holiday in Yorkshire this year, we could not find their loose leaf. We resorted tp P G Tips and Typhoo, again, too weak for us. Plus, the house was in a soft water area so the tea tasted odd to us.

Easch to their own I guess. Needless to say, my hygienist isn't too impressed with the staining on the back of a few of my teeth but she gets them clean. If I go to the stand in dentist when mine is on holiday, they usually ask how many cigarettes I smoke.

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Silicon roasting pan

I was asking the question, to myself and others, how silicon would behave when roasting meats. This weekend, I did a small ham joint. It was cooked at 180C with a foil lid for one hour. Another 30 minutes without the foil. After the ham was removed, this was what remained in the container:
Just a few brown roast marks which cleaned off beautifully. This weekend, I shall be roasting sausages in it, probably making them into a 'toad in the hole'. Wonder how it will cope with that?

I have used the muffin pan to cook GF yorkshire puddings and they came out very well, without sticking. I always use a metal tray to stand the silicon dishes on otherwise they would be dangerous, with them being floppy!

Tuesday 12 September 2017

Next stage of upcycling treadle table and bench

DB has been very busy painting the treadle sewing machine base with black hammerite:
and highlighting the pattern on the side of the table and the singer logo in red.

The bench is in its first trial of being a single chair:
He hasn't yet painted the metal work with hammerite. All the rotten wood has been removed and being sanded back to its original state. It is hardwood so once repainted, should last quite a while.

We have bought new bolts to attach the wood but will leave them shiny for now as a form of decoration.

Final stages are underway!

Monday 11 September 2017

Make new from old...

In the corner of the hedge of our front gravel garden, has sat a metal and wooden bench, in front of which, was our converted singer sewing machine table.

The bench seat has been mended numerous times but has gotten gradually more and more rotten and we no longer feel safe sitting on it (or even sitting in that area any more).

DB has taken both apart:

The sewing machine will have the long metal grill from the back rest of the bench attached as a top. We can then use it for plants or whatever, in the front garden.

The bench has enough short pieces of wood to change it from a bench into a single chair. We will make use of this in the back garden. More to follow as it developes!

Saturday 9 September 2017

Well done Jamie....

Jamie and Martina Hingis have just won the US Open mixed doubles! That is Jamie's 5th Grand Slam.

Friday 8 September 2017

The log man cometh...

Due to the unseasonably warmish winter last year, we only used 1 1/2 of our log stores worth of wood so had another cubic metre of logs delivered by the tree surgeon we use. His wood is far cheaper than most, at £90, dry and stored under cover. It is also cut to the correct length for our small wood burner.

His truck doesn't tip up to make life easy for him so he stands on the back of it and paddles them out between his legs:
It took him less than 10 minutes.

I then filled the wheelbarrow 12 times to get them around to the log stores where DB stacked them. This took about 25 minutes. We had about 2 wheelbarrow loads filled with logs too thick to burn easily, so he took them off to the log splitter (best investment ever) to chop them in half before stacking them.

We should now have enough wood for a really cold winter, right through to May if necessary. We have another log store that is filled to the rafters with kindling or wood waiting to be chopped into kindling.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday 7 September 2017


Not everyone likes dogs too much and I wasn't fussed either way until the grand dogs arrived. If dogs ran full pelt towards me, I would initially tighten up then relax and stay calm. Now generally I am relaxed and greet them.

This week, we were walking along a beach when a lab and collie ran towards us at high speed, tails wagging (an important clue), to say hello. They enjoyed a quick rub before bombing off to greet another couple. Their owner was calling them back but it was so windy I am not sure they could hear!

The lady of the couple, who clearly wasn't keen or even scared of dogs, was carrying a carrier bag. She panicked and kept lifting up her bag and telling them to go away. Unfortunately for her, they thought that a great game. Eventually they ran back to their owner and as she walked towards us and told us, in no uncertain terms, that we should have called our dogs back!

They aren't ours I replied!

I do feel for people who are scared of dogs but flapping with bags and hands, screaming or running away isn't the right thing to do. Try turning your back or just standing as calmly as possible. Hopefully they will just greet you then return to their owner.

Wednesday 6 September 2017

An odd mark...

DB's attention was caught the other day but a white circle on my upper back:
We think it has shown up due to that area of my neck getting tanned during the past few weeks. It doesn't itch and is about the size of a 5p piece. The start of vitiligo possibly?

I shall get my GP to check it out next time I see him.

Tuesday 5 September 2017


A short while ago, we showed you some additions to our raised beds in the back gardens. Sue spotted what looked like hinges for a gate and you were correct.

Herewith finished additions. From end of patio to raised bed 1 - this was the only piece we had to buy, we had the rest:
Raised bed 1 to 2:
Outward opening gate between raised bed 2 and 3:
From raised bed 3 to fruit cage:
An awful lot of painting has taken place, both sides, twice, for each trellis piece.

When the Grand dogs come to stay, they have never been allowed out the back as being gun dogs, they would treat garden plants like those in the countryside. Its not their fault, just the way it is. Also, each bed around the edge of the garden has bare soil and we didn't want that brought into the house.

Yes, they could jump over them but shouldn't. One telling off from any of us and believe me, they wouldn't do it again.

Monday 4 September 2017

Our female relations must really have suffered ....

With the menopause and being post menopausal. Thanks to the internet, there is loads of advice about what you might expect during pre-menopause and the menopause, so I am not going to elaborate too much here. Normally I wouldn't talk online about these types of things but sometimes, you have to bite the bullet if it might help just one other person. On the whole, I have and am still having a relatively good post menopause time. Some of the things mentioned are others experiences.

I was lucky with the pre-menopause and menopause and didn't suffer too much but I know from conversations with other women, that for some, it is an horrendous experience. As oestrogen levels drop, our bones can start to become slightly less dense leading to the possibility of breaks as we age. The usually trouble free levels of testosterone take effect and coarse hairs spring up all over the place but in particular, we start to grow bits of moustache and beard. It has taken me 3 years of electrolysis to get rid of all mine. Our hair/eyebrows/eyelashes (and other parts of anatomy hair) can, for some, diminish at an alarming rate

Long after the post menopause phase of our lives, other problems kick in as we age. Smear tests can become a bit of a nightmare and it would be all too easy to give up and not have them but you do need to persevere if possible. Things are available from your GP to prepare your body for this procedure and insist on a speculum for a child or young person, it is much more 'comfortable'.

It is hard to imagine that the womb, goes from being a nice firm pear shaped organ to a withered, prune like dehydrated pear. Structures that hold it and everything else in place can begin to sag. There is a real possibility of prolapse and stress incontinence can kick in due to changes taking place in and around the urethra.

The vagina drys out to an alarming extent, collapses slightly in on itself and begins to rub together, a kind of sandpaper effect. If you are still sexually active that too can cause problems. All your outside bits do the same as your body fat diminishes and things start to change shape and move against each other. Again, products are available.

A recent check up by the gynae consultant was due to problems that I and my GP hadn't been able to sort out satifactorily. No details here about that but suffice to say, he was the most kindest and gentlest youngish chap. Hence changing from trousers to skirts and other small lifestyle and medication changes that should make my life more comfortable.

The consultant said that the statistics of problems for post menopausal women cannot be accurate as a huge proportion must keep silent and suffer.

Never, ever, suffer in silence. Go to your GP. Topical oestrogen products are available (ie they don't permeate around your whole body just stay where they are put). Lubriacants help with other problems. Stop using soap to wash down below, instead opt for an emollient and stop using talcum powder.

You may need to visit a urologist if other problems develop and become a nuisance but don't give up, help is at hand, you simply have to be brave enough to seek it out.

Friday 1 September 2017

Feeling just a tad guilty...

Where possible, I buy clothes second hand or as good a quality as possible for as cheaply as possible. I wear my clothes, for the most part, until they get too tatty to wear anymore.

I now have more clothes than I ever used to and it irks me somewhat. My jeans/trousers became way too large for me since losing weight and as they had become tatty, newer ones were purchased. The price of clothing always shocks me as I don't buy clothes often enough to not be shocked by their price, if you see what I mean.

One pair of the old tatty jeans has been designated for decorating and outdoor wood painting. Another pair had the legs cut off to make shorts for summer gardening. The bottom part of the legs will be used to make some dog toys for the grand dogs. For short time wear, they can be held up if necessary. So far so good. My 4 year old, cheap tee shirts were cut up into rags and the leftover bits saved to stuff said dog toys (along with some stuffing from an old but washed pillow).

Anything else that was too large but still in reasonable condition, was given away to the charity shops. Five cheap tee shirts have been purchased, some for pyjama tops, others for general wear. My shirts still fit, kind of. Anyway, a jumper or cardigan will cover those up!

Unfortunately, as recommended by a hospital visit, I am no longer allowed to wear trousers all the time (a post about that another time!). Off I went to find some winter skirts. I couldn't find anything my size in the charity shops so ended up buying some. I chose the best quality for the cheapest price, soft waists for comfort. I shall wear trousers when I need to go out as I am also no longer allowed to wear tights:(

Skirts and long socks are now a necessity but boy, do I feel guilty at their purchase. Shouldn't do, but I do, there you have it!

Have a nice weekend folks.