Sunday 31 March 2019


For the first time in years, we forgot to change our clocks forward. We kept remembering yesterday but in the end, forgot!

As it happens, we woke at 6:30, realised it was 7:30 and got up.

Opened my Mother’s Day card and present, a new video game. Good oh! I think it will be months before I get to it as my current game is keeping me very occupied. Thanks both.

Saturday 30 March 2019

Been out.....

Checking the area where we walk amongst the cowslips to see their progress. We reckon another 10 days or so and they will be in full bloom. We shall visit then for a wander.

Ruby had a lovely run down the path that runs alongside them as dogs aren't allowed off lead in the pasture where they grow.

On the way back to the car, we saw this magnificent cherry blossom tree in bloom:
We stopped off at a local eatery for a cheese scone and coffee. Had to sit outside because of Ruby but she laid down quietly underneath the table whilst we enjoyed ourselves sitting in the sun.

Friday 29 March 2019

Baking, baking and baking

Our freezer is full of fruit from last summer and the summer before. I shall have to have a good go at making jam and crumbles to start using it up. All the photographs below are of things made but yet to be cooked at the time of photographing.

Gooseberry crumble:
Pork, kidney, mushroom and Quorn pie filling:
Gravy from above for two pies:
Two side plate pies. We have eaten one and the other and its gravy are both in the freezer for another day:

Thursday 28 March 2019

Its been...

A funny few days, something on each one with what feels like no rest inbetween.

Our walk this week was great but two eating places we tried were shut. One permanently, the other lunch times only. Neither of any future use to us which is a bit of a bummer.

However, we did make a return to a previous place which had been taken over and the food was dreadful. Sandwiches much improved so that has gone back on our list.

Visited my sister in Lincolnshire for a couple of hours. We went out to have some nice fish and chips - always a bonus!

Massage cancelled then done today, much needed.

Sunday 24 March 2019

Harvest time!

We like to drive to woods occasionally so Ruby and us can have an interesting walk. We were a bit surprised to find one being harvested. It has 4 sections to it and the 1st is almost gone apart from a few deciduous trees and a single line of pines around its outer edges.

The second part also looks set to be harvested eventually. Hopefully, they don't take more:

Saturday 23 March 2019

Double whammy of loss!

Like many people of my generation, I fell foul of the change in pension age. At what cost you might ask?

Well, I have done rough calculations as I don't know how much state pension I would have received each year of those I have missed out on.

By these calculations, by the time I finally receive my payments, I have lost anywhere from £36,000 to £45,000. That is huge!

The double whammy is that I had fully paid into this scheme. As well as not receiving my pension when I should have, I will now have to pay another 5 years contributions, totalling £3750.

So unfair. Those extra payments are having to come out of our savings as I gave up work due to health problems and having been fully paid in.

I suppose you could say the loss from our savings makes it a triple whammy loss. Good job we are still being frugal.

Friday 22 March 2019

Following on from vaccinations

Flea, tick and worm prevention!

An awful lot of pet owners seem to do whatever their vets recommend when it comes to flea, tick and worm prevention. A pill seems to be the main choice but did you know, if you buy a prescription from your vet, you can send it away and more often than not, get the pills far cheaper? I guess it depends whether your vet is willing for you to buy the script (around £8-£12) from them and whether you can be bothered or financially need to do so.

Someone I know gets charged £50 per quarter for the one flea/tick and one worming prevention tablet. Yet a prescription would be, at the most £12. The tablets would cost at the most £23 a total of £35. I don't know if the prescription would cover just one quarter or more. If it was just for one, you would still be saving £15 every quarter, an annual saving of £60. That could help towards pet insurance.

Thursday 21 March 2019


Each year, your vet invites you for annual booster vaccinations for your pets. Do they actually need them all every year? Are you simply paying when you don't need to be and for the convenience of the vets?

Below is a link to vaccines commonly available in the UK and just how often they need to be administered see here.

Just find the vaccine used on your dog and check how often it ACTUALLY needs to be given. L2 and L4 are required annualy but are often given as a joint injection with distemper, parvovirus etc. However, the later, in most vaccines, really only needs to be administered once every 3 years.

We have Ruby vaccinated annually against L2 rather than L4 as the incidents of dogs being made very unwell by the L4 are higher than those reported with the older L2.

So in this, her second year of vaccinations, despite our own vets emailing me she needs her boosters (all of them), we are going back to the other vet that carried them out, just to have an L2 booster.

It seems to depends on your lifestyle, whether you go abroad or not, whether you kennel your dogs or not etc. I guess you pays your money and make your choices.

Tuesday 19 March 2019

Waitrose - Chocolate and sour cream loaf - updated

The recipe for this can be found here. We reduced the sugars by 10%.

Haven't tasted it yet but here it is fresh from the oven:
And with its milk chocolate topping:
I had run out of dark chocolate so used milk instead. We plan on having a piece tomorrow so will let you know then!

Had a small piece for supper, very rich but nice. Topping helps cut through the richness.

Monday 18 March 2019


If the weather forecast is correct, we should have around 5 hours of sunshine. Hoping it is true, there is one line blowing in the gentle breeze. Another wash is on to fill the other line.

We needed some bread so instead of using the bread maker to bake us a large loaf, we are trying the smaller medium loaf. Hopefully it will fit our slicer better as we have to cut the rounded top off a large loaf.

Saturday 16 March 2019

In my fruit and vegetable garden this year...

I will be growing the following:
Only beds 1 and 4 are available for vegetables, as last year, bed 2 had rhubarb transferred into it and bed 3 strawberries.

Tomatoes and beans will go down the garden wall near the garage as well as a few tomatoes in pots on the patio.

Also in a couple of pots will be 2 tubers of:
I quite like begonias but rarely grow them. I do know, that if you remove the male flowers as they appear (the small insignificant ones), the female flowers grow far bigger. That of course, may only apple to the big blousy versions.

Thursday 14 March 2019

A one sided affair....

DB is one of the most laid back people I know, I am not quite as chilled and am prone to turning the air blue, especially when stuck playing a level of a video game.

DB when he plays, has to put up with me having quick intakes of breath, giving him earache, trying to offer usually unwanted help. For the most part, he keeps his cool, puts up with my wittering! Occasionally I offer too much help and he shuts his game down in disgust:(

Why a one sided affair? He knows NOT to offer help unless I ask!

Monday 11 March 2019

Wash, wash, wash...

It is only the 2nd time since being toilet trained, that Ruby has wet her bed. Her bed was the first and bedding the second wash. Finally came our bedding. All are billowing happily on the line, in sunshine and a stiff breeze.

The weather for the rest of the week looks dire but today, though quite cold, is gloriously sunny, yay!

We had roast pork yesterday. Today will be leftovers plus chips and gravy. The final leftovers will be frozen for later use, maybe a pie.

I wasted a small amount of money yesterday on a video game. I research for ages before buying and thought it would be okay for me, but alas, it wasn’t. If steam is coming out of my ears whilst still in the training part, I know it doesn’t bode well, and it didn’t.

Ah well, might have to give ziffit a whirl and sell it and a few others I have finished with, if the price is decent enough. Live and learn...

Sunday 10 March 2019


We managed to get Ruby out for her morning walk before the next batch of rain came.

The winds are due to pick up around 1pm for about 8 hours. Rain, sleet, snow and strong winds are all happening this week. So far, unless it changes, Tuesday should be sunny, but who knows.

We need to make a visit to someone soon as well as pop to Norwich and surrounding area to get meat for Ruby. I like to bulk buy her food from a few different places just in case one closes its doors.

Don’t think much else will be happening due to the weather. We already have large puddles in the garden and driveway.

Saturday 9 March 2019

In and out.....

I have put my washing on the line, then brought it in, twice due to rain and showers. It will now dry indoors. It is such a windy day, I had hoped to get it dry in a couple of hours, but no:(

It wouldn’t be so annoying if the forecast was correct but it is changing almost hourly.

Strong winds are forecast over the next few days with heavy hail on Tuesday. Ah well, guess winter has a way to go for now.

Thursday 7 March 2019

All clear

Post op wise, Ruby has the all clear. Her 3 mini scars have completely healed. The milk she was producing has reduced from thick cream to watery, her breasts are staying soft and reducing in size.

She was at the beach yesterday, having a full run plus 3 mile walk. Unfortunately her final bit of sore skin, which had almost healed, has gone sore again, sand maybe?

Vet says she needs 4 more days of her steroid cream but we are going to try what we have been using, then put her back into her shorts and suit to prevent licking.

Onwards and upwards.

Wednesday 6 March 2019

Pancakes and cherry and marzipan cake

We made American style pancakes last night for Shrove Tuesday. We used maple syrup on some and lemon and sugar on others:
We made Ruby a 2" pancake with the dregs. Obviously she didn't have any toppings on hers!

The breadmaker bakes cakes. They can be a little pale on top as well as a little brown around the edges as that is where the element is. Either way, it cooks well and uses less electricity than the oven.

Yesterday I used another one of the recipes that came with it, cherry and marzipan. Fresh out the machine it looked like this:
Unwrapped and cooled like this:
Inside it looks like this. The dent in the bottom is the stub where the paddle would normally fit:
Due to having 3oz grated marzipan in it, I reduced the sugar by 1oz - it is still too sweet for us.

Tuesday 5 March 2019

What a contrast

Yesterday was nowhere near as bad as we thought it would be. Today has dawned sunny and mild but with a stiff breeze.

I have stripped the bedding from Ruby’s cushion and crate and they are blowing on the line. She is dozing on the dining room mat in the sun.

Pumpkin, sunflower and linseeds have been chavelled for future breakfasts and a cherry and marzipan cake is cooking in the bread maker.

All is well.

Monday 4 March 2019

Another loaf!

We had a bit of a failure with the recipe for a wheatgerm loaf. I can't fathom out how added an extra 2oz of wheatgerm, but with the same amount of water, would work. It was sunk when it came out, very hard around the edges but edible inside.

This time, we tried the rapid wholemeal loaf. I still had the same misgivings as brown flour uses more water than white. The recipe called for 500g wholemeal but I used 400g plus 100g strong white.

It looked and smelt lovely and tasted as nice as it looked. It was almost the same size as a rapid white loaf:

This is the large size with a medium crust. Its always paler on the top as the heating element is around the side.

Sunday 3 March 2019

You can take your sweet time.....

Putting on my cream mummy, I'm happy here, leaning against daddy:
If you take a nice long time, I am sooooo... relaxed - I shall fall asleep!

Saturday 2 March 2019

Whilst food shopping this week....

We had a good look at other peoples shopping on the conveyor belt. The lady behind us put on 17 cups of latte coffee (the kind you add boiling water to). At £1 a piece that is quite an expensive way to drink coffee, at work presumably. Maybe it is too much of a faff to make up your own latte, I don't know as I only drink it when out as a treat.

We did well this week. I bought us two Quorn curry meals to try as I keep seeing them advertised. I will make my own but wanted to see how the ready made version tastes. It was microwaved from frozen for 7 minutes and was lovely, quite spicy. I shall have a go making my own next.

If you don't like the sliminess of mushrooms I would recommend using Quorn chunks in well seasoned dishes as the texture is similar to chicken.

Our total spend was just over £32 all in. It included a small cake treat, some drain cleaning solution (tried home made stuff and it isn't clearing) and the said curry meals. Any meat or fish I need for the main part of the meals is already in the freezer.  About £10 of the shopping was for our pantry stock up.

Friday 1 March 2019


The final post about Ruby for now!

A laughable palava is how we describe her treatment first thing in the morning and last thing at night. She slings herself on her back against DB whilst we apply the cream and dress her up. She doesn't budge until we are finished.

The adapted shorts only really stay in play if she is also wearing her suit:
A side view of her where you can see how high her shave was:
We were with the head vet yesterday and I asked why such a drastic shave and he confirmed it was in case of an emergency during the laparoscopy. A normal spay doesn't require so much hair removal as you already have a decent cut. An emergency opening would require a bigger cut than that as they wouldn't have time to faff around if she was bleeding to death.