Friday 30 December 2022

Ruby cross stitch portrait finished

After more than 2 years, DB has finally finished this:

The stitching itself is A4 size but obviously in a larger frame. He thinks this will be the last such work undertaken as he is finding it hard on his eyes, despite glasses and magnifying glasses on top of those.

There are still two more granddogs to do but they will miss out unless he can combine them onto an A5 size. He fancies doing a family history version next as that will be a bit more simple.

Obviously Springers don't have ginger colouring but she was just a few months old, and still had lighter brown spots than now. It was a very sunny area (indeed we got very hot just trying to take a decent shot) and her fur glowed this colour - hey ho!

Monday 26 December 2022

The Day After...

 We had a quiet day yesterday. I slow cooked a half leg of lamb and served four plates up. Two were had yesterday, the other two today. There is enough left over for one more meal, maybe a shepherps pie.

We opened our few presents from each other plus friends. Our usual budget each didn't go very far this year, a sign of the times. Amongst presents, we each got a jigsaw from each other, plus I got one from a friend. That should see us through this year at least! Might get more yet for the New Year when we celebrate with family.

Eventually had a lovely chat with granddaughter yesterday. She became overwhelmed and had to go to bed and was quite grumpy still afterwards. 

Don't think she is fully well yet from whatever lurgy she has had. DDiL is having a rough time, seems to be picking up everything going and has been unwell for several weeks. DS caught it but was only unwell a few days.

Our Christmas baking went fine but don't bother making pastry with cholesterol reducing fat, just doesn't work.

Friday 23 December 2022

Baking with a bad elbow

 I woke up yesterday with a painful elbow, muscular pain. Two doses of rub on painkiller during the day and it was bearable. Awoke this morning thinking great, no pain. As I started to dress back it came. Anything that requires me to straighten it, twist or lift, sets it off.

Undeterred I started my baking morning. Loaf of bread in the bread maker, no way I can knead. Chilli cheese sausage rolls cooked although a little brown on top due I think, to the very orange yoke in the egg wash. 

Next, 12 mincemeat pies (all fruit and sweet spices for those that don’t know). The pastry is made with low cholesterol fat so not sure how they will taste. Next came 4 mincemeat pasties, using the leftover puff pastry from the sausage rolls.

Then came granola. If I feel like it, I will also get the base of the trifle made. We shall see. Pictures tomorrow.

Thursday 22 December 2022

Good match Andy

 Battle of the Brits started yesterday. I was a day out so nearly missed it. We were halfway through a film when DB noticed on his iPad, Andy was playing.

Today, there are 4 matches on BBC iplayer, Tennis Channel and Jamie Murray You Tube (although that might only be highlights).

Andy was playing Jack Draper, a future star for sure. It got to the 10 point tie break which Jack was firmly in charge of. Suddenly, it just swung the other way. Despite having cramp issues again, Andy pulled off some odd but excellent shots to get in front. Missed his first match point, serve went back to Jack, but Andy pulled off an off court passing shot and won.

Putting his hands down to stop himself falling, he froze for a few seconds absolutely cramped up in both legs. His smile said everything.

I think 2023 might be his last year but we shall see.

Final match this evening is him doubling up with Jamie, grand!

Tuesday 20 December 2022

How much!

 I feel blessed to be receiving my pension from the government as it enables us to donate to the food bank each week.

Puddings were the main order of the day this week. Jellies I thought. Last time I bought a jelly cube, earlier in the year, it was 45p. This week 79p in Lidl and 80p in Tesco. Blimey.

Alongside the 2 jellies, were 2 packets of instant desserts, 2 tins rice pudding, 2 tins mandarin segments, 2 packets of cat soup (who knew), 6 tins of dog food and 4 packets of biscuits.

That is our last shop before Christmas, just a small one next week to take us into the New Year, then that is the end of shopping for 2022.

By all accounts, 2023 will be way more expensive. Domestic energy is rising by at least 15% next month, car fuel by 21% in March, no doubt council tax will go up the full 5% and food, who the heck knows:(

Saturday 17 December 2022

Thank you Andy!

 Andy Murray has donated his entire winnings for 2022, more than £510,000, to UNICEF, to help with medical supplies and development kits for Ukraine. He was awarded the 2022 Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award by the ATP for this superb endeavour.

Well done Andy, you are a good, kind, caring young man.

Thursday 15 December 2022


 We have just had our third very cold night, two at -7.1 and one at -7.8. Two other nights have been -5, gosh. Far colder though in parts of northern Scotland.

The winter bedding is coping fine with the slightly warmer cold nights but on the others, I am feeling cold. Thank goodness for now, this cold snap will be over in a few more days. Our houses are not really built for it! The bedroom was just 10C this morning.

We had a very cold walk this week and were glad to sit in a warm cafe afterwards for jacket potatoes. Thank goodness for the wood burner!

More soup will be made, it really does warm you up and if you can’t afford much else, try and make some with any bits and bobs you have. We sometimes have it as a main meal, over rice, pasta or mashed potatoes.

Monday 12 December 2022

UK Strike Action Dates

 I don't know about you, but I am getting confused over who is striking and when. I have searched for dates and below is the best I can ascertain.

TRAINS: See here for individual companies.

December - 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31.  

January 2023 - 3, 4, 6, 7.

ROYAL MAIL: See here.

December 14, 15, 23, 24


Royal College of Nursing see here for individual areas.

Ambulance see here for individual areas.

CIVIL SERVICE: See here for areas.

The above refers mainly to rural payment offices, airports, highways, DWP and driving examiners. If you have a driving exam booked, best to check the dates:(

There is probably more but I can't find them.

Just a thought about the NHS and the Government unwilling it seems to give a decent pay rise. If every hospital talleyed up how many private nurses (£2,500 per shift) and private doctors (£5,200 per shift) are paid, then nationwide, there might be enough money being used here to deal with the increased wages? Just a thought.


Thursday 8 December 2022


Our granddaughter has finally been christened, thanks to many Covid delays and restrictions. It was a small private ceremony. The church was lovely and warm, about 18 family members attended and it was grand. The 'stand in' vicar was excellent.

Down south family had prepared a lovely spread in the church rooms next door, which were also lovely and warm, as it was a freezing day.

Granddaughter still fitted the dress I had made, but she also had a long sleeved pink tee shirt on underneath, as well as the lovely cardigan knitted by her other Gran.

We couldn't travel down on our first day as Ruby woke up with the squits. She was not happy and all her bedding needed to be washed and dried.

Our holiday cottage was very posh to say the least. Under floor central heating kept us awake first thing in bed. Once it shut off, around 1am, it was okay although I found the bed way too hard for me.

We didn't have time to do any sight seeing and the travel down and back was okay but tiring.

Tuesday 6 December 2022

Preparing for the cold nights to come

 We went food shopping this morning and to fill the car fuel tank with petrol. I decided to get ingredients to make bacon, leek and potato soup and some beef to make a large pan of stew. Both those are good winter warming meals.

Food bank received 2 tins peach slices, 2 x 1 litre long life milk, 2 tins of rice pudding and 2 tins of chicken and vegetable soup. I shall try and give more next week.

The bedroom blinds and curtains will be closed after typing this to help keep any heat inside the room. Our heating is currently being used in 10 minute blasts once every hour or so. It keeps the house warm enough. The log burner is laid ready to use and it too will shortly be lit.

I am already changed. Pyjama bottoms, nightie, jumper and body warmer. I find it is my legs that get the coldest when sitting down and every night for weeks, I have used my crochet blanket to keep them warm. The bed as well as the winter duvet, has had an extra eiderdown added. Should be really snug now.

I believe after Monday, the weather will get slightly warmer but still be on the chilly side.