Wednesday 28 February 2018

-5 overnight....

but we were warm enough under the duvets!

The snow is coming down well now and we are ‘under’ an amber weather warning until 10:00am. Probably another 2” fell overnight, and it is pretty to look at but our forecast for today has a wind chill of -11C! Our heating is set for 18C and so far, we haven’t lit the woodburner:

DDiL had a prang yesterday out with the dogs, skidding on black ice, under the snow, approaching a small bridge. Luckily she hit a fence and ground to a halt, two wheels off the road. DS had to drag her out with his old but very low gear vehicle. She was shaken but otherwise okay, thank goodness. Dogs were fine as well!

DB's forehead has now mended:
Lovely shape isn't it? Another scar to add to his growing list! Welcome to Janice Poffenroth via Bloglovin.

Tuesday 27 February 2018

A dusting....

of snow arrived overnight, about 1.5cm. Our temperatures were predicted to be -2C but ended up around -5C.

Two extra covers were removed from the bed and the summer duvet put on top of the winter one, lighter but warmer, my toes were getting sore!

I made our weekly loaf of bread and a pan of curried parsnip soup, which we shall finish today. Over the weekend I used up some old tea cakes from the freezer as a bread and butter pudding.

Take care folks especially if you are out and about.

Monday 26 February 2018

Get ready folks

It seems the weather forecasters are worried and actually preparing us for horrendous weather! Get your fuel and food supplies organised now, don’t wait!! Not sure much snow will get us too early, more concerned about later in the week!

Dig out your thick woolies and socks and blankets, hats gloves and coats. The wind chill will make it feel like -15C towards the end of the week with daytime temperatures around -5C.

If you use oil for central heating and are getting low, get it topped up. Get logs in, others ready and organise newspapers and boxes of kindling. If they are right, you won’t want to be hanging around outside chopping wood.

Soup is a real winner, make it, add some kick to it to help make you feel warm.

Are you ready?

Welcome to Katelyn Carter and Candace Halter via Bloglovin.

Friday 23 February 2018

Take one chicken

Which cost £3.50, for a medium one.

Roasted on Sunday, having half a breast each, gave us two meals each:

The bones were cooked in the pressure cooker to give soup and dumplings each for two snacks:
Some of the chicken went in a pastry free quiche, again, two meals each:
The remaining scraps we had as cheese and chicken on toast.

To recap, one chicken gave us main meals for 4 nights, and snacks for 3 days, not bad at all.

Welcome to Liz Banks via Bloglovin. Have a great weekend everyone and watch out the the cold temperatures. We are forecast here overnight for around -5 for the next 10 nights:(

Thursday 22 February 2018

Saving up, research, buying...

Although the bed mattress is only 5 years old, it has starting to sink in the middle. For a few months now, I have been waking up with severe backache so time to start looking around.

At the moment, there doesn't seem to be a good enough reason to invest in a new mattress just yet, so I have been looking around for a good quality mattress topper, preferably with memory or memory like foam, as the mattress has a layer of that on already.

Eventually, we chose one. It is quite expensive but you do get one month free trial. If you are not happy, it goes back with free delivery (which it also came by).
Out the box, it was in a vacuum sealed bag with velcro straps.
Once unfurled it look like this. You can see where it was folded in half to get it into the box and also the loose cover material.

After a day, it had sucked back in its air and expanded to fit its cover. Although there looks to still be a slight crease in it, you can't feel it when lying down.

It had a dreadful smell as all new foam versions seem to and it does eventually 'air' away! It is known as 'off gassing' but apparently isn't toxic, just unpleasant.

I gave it 3 days to air then turned it over so the non-slip back was uppermost. It was then unzipped and this layer folded away from the foam. Another 2 days of airing got rid of the worst of it.

You can apparently also sprinkle it with bicarbonate of soda, leave for a few hours before hoovering it off with an upholstery attachment. Quite a lot of faff but so far, it is relatively comfortable to lay on.

Mind you, where ones bottom lays during the night, there is a dip there in the morning so everytime the bedding is changed, it will be turned to see if that helps.

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Meals on Rations

No, we are not starting this again but a few people are on it so although I rarely talked about what we ate, I remember that we didn't have pies or puddings very often. Here are a few examples of what I could find on our War Diary page:

Main Meals: mince, stew and dumplings, spaghetti bolognaise, ham salad, corned beef and potato pie – (2 meals from one pie), fish, and toad in the hole. 

Seven snacks: jacket potato, salad sandwiches, beans on toast, tinned tomatoes on toast, cheese and ham toasted sandwiches, cheese on toast and ham and potato cakes and beans. Our breakfasts are a choice from porridge, toast and marmalade and cereals.

Main Meals: One roast chicken, leftover chicken and mushroom pie, bones and scraps to make thick vegetable, potato and chicken soup, fish cakes, toad in the hole, jacket potatoes, ham and potato cakes.

Snacks: Leftover chicken sandwiches, remainder of chicken soup, cheese salad, tinned tomatoes on toast, jacket potato, curried parsnip soup, salad sandwiches.

There were three of us, 2 adults and 1 child but as he was over 6, he was on full adult rations. When using meat, there was always more vegetables than meat and when making a pie, it also had vegetables and potatoes in it to stretch it over 2 days. 

Oddly enough, our food bill then and now is very similar, around the £30 mark, Guess permanently being on menu writing and careful shopping is helping keep the costs down.

Monday 19 February 2018


First of all, welcome to PJ Woods via Bloglovin.

To get us through to my next bread baking day, I decided to make some soda bread, plus some chilli cheese scones. I had forgotten how crumbly soda bread was:
As the oven was on, a plum crumble was also cooked for Sunday and Monday, usually the only time we have a pudding:

Saturday 17 February 2018

DB update

The bleeding eventually worked its way through two absorbent pads so we had to start again. Two folded pads and three cotton wool pads plus a tightly applied bandage stopped the bleeding coming through.

He put a beanie hat over the bandage to go to bed to keep everything in place, a sort of injured compo look (from last of the summer wine programme).

Needless to say he didn’t sleep well and woke up with a stiff neck!

He will need his hair washing for him tomorrow so he can hold the plasters in place. If a success, we shall try and soak them off in a couple of days and hope we don’t start the bleeding again, blooming blood thinners.

Friday 16 February 2018

Poor DB!

Having gone outside to shut the boot lid, he was back quickly, clutching his heavily bleeding head. Yep, he had pulled the boot lid down and forgotten to get his head out the way, ouch!

Nurse me kicked into action. A wodge of paper towels were quickly applied, a chair provided as he had gone white, and he was told to sit and apply pressure to the cut, whilst I washed my hands and got ready for action.

After a few minutes, it was checked, still bleeding. New paper towels folded and more pressure whilst I got saline and cleansing pads soaked.

Bleeding slowing down so began to clean, which of couse sets the bleeding off again. Towel applied to catch the mess, more pressure applied. Eventually 3 cleans and pressures later, it had slowed enough for a good look.

A 1” cut looked back at me. Probably needed steristrips but no stitches required and I didn’t have steristrips anyway:(

A double wound dressing pad applied and taped as best I could trying to avoid hair. Paracetamol given, a spoon of honey and a cup of tea plus the final pain au chocolat.

There was me thinking I wouldn’t have anything to write about today!

Wednesday 14 February 2018

A treat for walking...

With our morning coffee before we walk, we always have a biscuit. This week, we had these, which I had made the day before (from a Pilsbury dough type container):

They are at their best fresh. To warm them the next day for our walk, I heated a small back pad, wrapped them in foil and put them on top of the back pack, inside a small insulated bag. They were warmed through and springy by the time we had our coffee!

Friday 9 February 2018

A future treat in the freezer

First though, welcome to Gemma Durbin via Bloglovin.

Last week, Lidl had cartons of ready to cook Pain au Chocolat in their fridge section so we bought one to use for our walking day next week. They still had a few this week, as well as Cinnamon Swirls, so we bought one of each to freeze. That will be treats sorted for a few weeks!

I have been trialling Magnesium Citrate at night for a few weeks to see if it helps with sleeping. Can’t say there has been much improvement. Mind you, Magnesium is supposed to help with cramp so that is a bonus as I can get quite a lot of that at night. However, if you suffer from constipation, these work a treat!!

After three weeks, I am a bit uncomfortable in the gut so have switched to Magnesium Oxide, less effective apparently but today I feel more comfortable. I have also had two nights using Passionflower tablets, yet to see if they help. I am nice and relaxed though, which has to be beneficial.

Have a great weekend everyone, despite the cold weather.

Tuesday 6 February 2018

How much does your lifestyle really cost?

There must be somewhere online that has calculated this for the UK, but I can only find ones for the USA. Anyhow, Rhonda mentions this on one of her posts (Down to Earth) and I thought it might be interesting to see how many 'life' hours things cost.

I reckon if you use your net income as a guide, whether weekly or monthly that should be a good starting place. Simply divide that net total by hours worked and that will give you a sum of money that is one life hour. To make things easier, say your net income for a week was £400, divided by 40 hours worked, that equates to £10 per life hour. You may be earning well below/above this net figure.

I am not talking about buying things on credit as that eats even more of your life hours away. Simply everyday things and items that you may/may not really need and which could be costing you dearly.

Your fridge breaks down so a new one is needed, costing a minimum of £300, divide that by your £10 a life hour = 30 life hours, almost a whole week of work.

Are you really sure you need that new every so expensive designer handbag costing £2500? That will cost you 250 hours, about 6 and a bit weeks of work.

What about food. If like some on tv are to be believed, your weekly food bill for 2 adults is the shocking amount of say £200, that is 20 life hours, 1/2 of a working week etc. Obviously theese people must be earning considerably more but it is still amazing to calculate it. If your weekly shopping is closer to £30, that is 3 hours.

What about calculating your bills, the cost of your pets/holidays/mortgage etc. Could you cut any of these down, change supplier, take holidays at a different time of the year or look for offers etc. Any small changes will save you life hours for things you really would like to do.

Obviously, these calculations are very simplistic intended to look at those who are still working. If however you are on a pension and divide that smaller amount by approximate working hours, the life hour spenditure rises dramically.

If you are not yet retired and fritter money away, maybe you could look at what you are doing and get yourself in check before retiring.

It is thought that most younger people now, would be expected to work well past 70 or even 75, doesn't bear thinking about.

Whilst you are young and fit, overworking for little reward, it is easy to ignore the cost to your health and life hours. Maybe you could make some adjustments now, such as reducing your outgoings, maybe overpaying your mortgage, reduce some or all your debt?

That would open up the possibility for you to reduce working hours, thus opening up the possibility of retiring earlier.

Monday 5 February 2018

Used it up!

Some time late autumn, we had a roast joint of pork. We got two meals out of it and the next day, the remainder was minced and frozen to add to soups etc.

Some has been added to vegetable chilli, curry, goulash, other bits into soups to give it a bit of extra taste.

We finally finished it Saturday in the curried vegetable soup. We reckon it was added to about 10 more meals in some form or the other, so all in all, a great thing to do.

On Sunday, we made a pie with the minced remains of our Christmas beef joint. I had also saved some of its lovely gravy, yum!

Welcome to Ann Finlay via Bloglovin.

Friday 2 February 2018

Cheque received ...

You may remember in my post of 24th January, talking about giving DB some of my tax code as a marriage allowance. Exactly one week after filling in the forms online, no more than about 5 minutes, he received a backdated cheque yesterday, for £431 from HMRC.

That has gone into our savings. Now we just need to wait for his February and March pay days, for him to receive his backdated allocation for this current tax year. Hopefully that will happen just as quickly.

The weather forecast for the next 10 nights are in the minus figures, so guess winter is still here. It has certainly been wet, cold and very windy so far this winter.

We are almost halfway through our logs so hopefully, they will last. Next year, we shall order 2 cubic metres as our stores will probably be empty. If not, we shall have to find room for any spare ones somewhere else.

We shall enjoy the rest of the curried vegetable soup for lunch. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday 1 February 2018

Pinch, punch, the first of the month

Yay, the 1st of February has finally arrived. In this part of the country, that can herald bright blue skies and sunshine (like today), and the occasional balmy temperature of 17C or so. It isn't that today by any stretch of the imagination. Our snowdrops are pushing up though and some are almost ready to open. Double yay!

I have just started a pan of 'use it up' soup in the pressure cooker:

2 carrots, 1/2 a small swede, 1 onion, 1 clove of garlic, 2 sticks of celery, 3 potatoes, 1/2 a cooking apple,1 can of tomatoes and 2 cans of water.

Once it has cooked for 15 minutes and cooled down on its own, I shall add some stock cubes and curry paste and cook that through. Should be enough to enjoy for a couple of days and we shall have it with 1/2 a bag each of either mini poppadoms or prawn crackers, as we get fed up with having bready every day and only have the one loaf of bread a week.

The first day of the month is also when we move the armchairs and tables around in the lounge, thoroughly hoover and dust if we remember. Obviously hoovering and dusting gets done at other times. By doing this with our 4 armchairs, they get even use as 2 are opposite the tv, and 2 in front of the window. The tv ones get a lot more use.