Thursday 24 March 2022

2 1/2 toilet rolls later......

 I might, just might, be getting better!

Day 10, still testing negative. My body is beginning to feel better, my head and throat are another matter.  My throat and nose are still sore from all the bloodied catarah coming from my sinuses and phlegm being coughed up. I still have a bit of a thick head. My left ear is uncomfortable, hopefully due to blocked tubes rather than an infection building up.

Anyway, I have managed to gather some soil to test what state my garden is in. The first lot heralded a disaster so I am repeating them as thest particular tests are new to me.

Dog washing is on the line and I did manage a good walk yesterday even if I was a bit breathless at times.

That's my lot for now. Thanks for all you well wishes.

Sunday 20 March 2022

Good grief

 A second night with a high temperature and despite being very hot, I didn’t drench in sweat. I have had flu and this isn’t like that, nor is it a cold. Maybe it is Covid but not showing up on testing.

I did however find the energy to dead head one hydrangea so that was something. DB continues to look after me and so far, hasn’t caught it. Hopefully I am in the end stages of it. Just the cough and my sinuses to clear?

Saturday 19 March 2022

Rice pudding disaster and a crappy night

 I was in need of comfort food yesterday so decided to make a rice pudding for lunch, yeah, who knew!

In it went and I set the timer for 40 minutes to give it a stir. Oh no (or words to that effect) poured forth from my mouth as I realised it was in the top oven and I had switched the bottom oven on instead.

For a brief moment, we thought no problem. We then realised the bottom oven is used to store things we can't fit in our cupboards, including a new sandwich toaster. Yep, the feet had melted off and part of the cable was melted. Its in the bin as we couldn't guarantee anything else hadn't melted inside.

Luckily the oven was only on 160C so the molten rubber didn't attach to the oven floor. I quickly began to move the rice pudding to bottom oven and slopped it. DB had to clean up the mess as I had lost it by then feeling so rotten. It was too late now to have it for dinner and as is with a rice pudding, it cooked fine but the subsequent waiting around meant it sucked up all its milk and went solid. Hey ho, we ate it anyway.

About 8pm last night my hands and feet went stone cold and I began to shiver uncontrollably. My temperature was rising after 2 days of a severe throat and 2 days of runny nose, sneezing and coughing. The sore throat also returned but was milder.

I went to bed and woke up soaking wet at 1am. I needed ibuprofen but had forgotten it so made my way slowly to get it. Couldn't be bothered to take my temperature as I wanted to get back to bed, I was red hot so knew it was high. Eventually I got to sleep and woke up about 4am, bed and me were slowly drying. My whole face was pounding.

Normal get up this morning, but I feel as though my face has been slapped hard against a wall. There is discoloured gunk coming from my nose and sinuses and it is so painful if I cough. Thank goodness I have almost stopped sneezing as that is even more painful. 

Hopefully another 2 days should see the end of whatever it is. At least I can enjoy getting to know my new gaming machine even if I can't currently play very well.

Thursday 17 March 2022

Feeling half human again...

 After two wretched days, the worst of being unwell has passed. I have never had such a sore throat or felt so cold. Having flu was the nearest memory of such things. Another bad night, though I did sleep eventually. Took a Covid test this morning to be on the safe side, negative thank goodness.

A lovely sunny few days to come. Hopefully after resting today, I might feel up to doing something. The last two duvet covers will be hung outside once washed. The first one still smells of whatever washing powder the shop washed them in.

Wednesday 16 March 2022

So far...

 DB is the only one of us not to have gone down with whatever DGD had whilst we were away. No wonder she felt so unwell. A severe sore throat, so far no runny nose or sneezing. She spiked temperatures though which DDiL is doing, us others are okay regarding that.

Having had chiro treatment yesterday, we take the oppurtunity to visit two huge warehouse sized charity shops nearby. I picked up 3 double quilt covers for £12, a cheap way of buying lots of material. Below are the freshly washed (but not dried) pillowcases so you can see each side of the material:

The blue side above is a bit thin so might not use that for a skirt.

I have found a pattern online for a 'pioneer skirt' which I would like to have a go at. I love to wear skirts all year, even in winter. I should be able to make them as long/short as required.

Tuesday 15 March 2022

Up North!

 Just had a lovely weekend with DS and family. DGD was full of cold again, but on the whole, was well enough. She didn't engage with Grandad so much but did play and chat with him. He takes it in his stride. She kept climbing on my lap, especially when feeling a bit unwell, must be a female thing when they are under the weather.

DS and DB were busy finishing off skirting and doors on the revamped dining room. Still needs painting but that will be done when they finally settle on a colour for the walls.

We have just had our first cup of tea out on the patio. As usual, the sun was shining whilst I was hanging out the washing but clouds came over as we sat down. Still, it was nice to feel the warmth on our faces.

Our new back border needs weeding but we both have Chiro today so it will have to wait. Maybe later in the week when warmer weather is predicted although we can't see it on our local weather forecast.

Heating oil got as high as £1.23p per litre but is beginning to drop now. Currently, it is £1.10p.

I have decided to have a go at trying to grow sweet potatoes this year and will start them off in the next week or so. Wish we luck!

Tuesday 8 March 2022

Up again

 Just 4 days ago, when I mentioned my neighbours trying to get the best price for domestic heating oil, it was 89.90p per litre. The next day, it rose to 93.49p. Today, it is 105.5p per litre with VAT to be added on top of that!

Petrol last week when we went shopping on Friday, was 147.7p per litre. Today it is between 151p and 157p (supermarket prices) depending on where you go, locally. I know my son is paying way more than that, per litre, where he lives.

Lidl today had quite a few empty shelves but both Morrison's and Sainsburys were quite well stocked. It isn't just about being well stocked though, is it? It is how much food will cost when those high fuel prices impinge both on the cost of transport and storage, especially frozen and refrigerated food. As harvesting progresses throughout the year, lots of produce is kept in low temperature storage facilities.

Wheat and other cereal crops were poor or indeed failed last year in certain parts of the world. Now add the loss of Ukraine exports, Russian sanctions and at least Hungary closing down their cereal exports. You would have to be blind to what will happen to those prices.

I felt for a woman interviewed outside a supermarket in America. She was being told about this and the worldwide shortage of fertiliser about to affect this and potentially next years crops and how bad the farmers were doing due to rising costs. She wasn't worried about the farmers as "I get all my food from the supermarkets". It does beggar belief that she didn't realise that the supermarkets get their food from farmers. Many people though today, seem to be totally disconnected from where their food actually comes from, so maybe her answer wasn't so surprising.

American prepping channels have been warning about these failures and the fertiliser shortages for several months now. Yet today is the first mention I have found on our business pages. If you garden to grow your own vegetables, I would recommend growing heirloom varieties rather than F1 as you can save the seed for future years. 

Recommendations from those preppers are to grow just 5 or so foods that will keep you going through the winter months, rather than many different types of food. My garden is no longer that big but I will certainly aim to grow more this year. We do well with soft fruit (apart from a gooseberry failure last year). Indeed we still have loads of rhubarb and brambles left. Apples were bad last year but pears were okay. I can't store things long term in something like a root cellar so most is frozen or eaten fresh. Eating them fresh means the money I would have spent on those items, can be used buying food to store.

I no longer care whether people think I am mad. Don't you think if citizens had had the chance to store food long before WWII, they would have done so? Once the situation got too real and very close, prepping/hoarding was banned. 

Questions to myself are - do I have enough for me and mine if things took a turn for the worse? How would we cook things, efficiently, if no gas/electric/oil was available? How would we stay warm?

Monday 7 March 2022

Venetian Blinds Up

It took us a while to fit these this time as the window inserts (that fit behind the rubber seal of each window), were too deep. We went to our replacement company that we used last time and ordered some smaller ones. They worked fine.

I purposely chose a deep colour to try and block out more light in the early hours which was waking me up. The light is now reduced by about 40% to 50% which will make a big difference come summer:

As the bedrooms are south facing, they get very warm in summer if we can't have the blind out due to high winds. They will offer shade and give us more privacy from the houses behind.

Friday 4 March 2022

This time last year

 Domestic heating oil was around 48p per litre. When we bought some last month, it was 69p a litre. Yesterday, when my neighbour ordered some, it was 90p per litre. I suspect it will be much higher still shortly.

Unfortunately for them, their fixed rate electricity deal finished the end of February. They weren’t quick enough to lock into a new deal. After a discussion between us, it was decided to find a fixed rate deal ASAP, with no exit fee. Should they by some miracle find a better deal later on, they won’t get penalised for moving.

Prices are rising on everything. Petrol has risen by several pence this week, more to come there as well. People are starting to panic buy. 

We are all aware of food price hikes. I read yesterday that South Korea gets 60% of their cereal crop, mainly corn, from the Ukraine. They are desperately trying to find just under 400,000 metric tons elsewhere. As everything is locked in place before sowing starts, can’t see them achieving it. That is just one country.

Homesteading blogs I read are also reporting on major price hikes on animal feed, fertiliser and other items needed for their livestock. Those prices are having to be passed on, their customers aren’t happy. What can they do other than have less animals, keep more for their own families thereby creating more shortages.

I am constantly amazed by how people are burying their heads in the sand because it stresses them out too much to think about it. Stressing out won’t feed and water you and yours, keep you warm next winter, get you from A to B.

Every time you shop, if you can, buy a little extra, don’t clear the shelf. Keep your car fuel topped up always, look at how you can adjust here and there to cut back.

Tuesday 1 March 2022

A busy couple of days

 I have made 11 birthday cards for women from a lovely old calendar and 4 for men. 

The perfect fit Venetian blinds we ordered for the spare bedroom, arrived in less than a week. We have ordered some shorter fitments as they are showing daylight around the frame.

I will post a picture once they are up.