Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

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Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It Will Work Or Fail...

I have put together a kind of home made dish. It has a layer of cooked diced Angus beef. Gravy, mixed frozen vegetables and topped with mashed potato. I worked out that it has cost me around £2.40 so no cheaper than many ready meals this time but I know all that it contains. If I find half to be enough, the price per portion will come down to £1.20.

If I add the cost of cooking it, I'm probably out of pocket. Often the cooking stews, casseroles etc...in an oven you have to do so for around 25 minutes minimum and longer. Then I thought...you put a ready meal in a microwave and usually a meal will be ready in 5-8 minutes but being a smaller oven and it using a different form of heating up food it is cheaper.

I am going to heat it up in the microwave...the only thing that won't happen is the potato topping won't brown. I could grill it but I do not mind leaving it as it is.


I may have lost out because I cooked the diced beef in a slow cooker first but it is said that slow cooker uses no more power than a light bulb.

I went out to the music club feeling cold and I was to tired to think of getting a bus and having to walk the distance from the bus stop to the club. It took me over 20 minutes to walk the two streets from my home on the first part of my journey so I decided to take a taxi. Also, I am holding off quite successfully a possible cough and cold so I purchased some Jakeman's honey and lemon sweets...just in case.

It was cold when I went out and was becoming frosty. Indoors the temperature hit 10c/48f but though I haven't the checked the temperature since coming home, I am warm and cosy. I have finally got around to making my bed too(I still want a new bed or mattress)but for now I have a quilt with a tog suitable for Winter and sheets/blankets. I have options to use an electric blanket and hot water bottles if really cold and of course I have central heating which warms the bedroom quickly and if I keep the door closed the room stays warm for hours even if you turn the heating off.

By chance I came across a documentary on the TV in the early hours presented by Michael Grade the media baron all about the almost mythical historical character I know of but admit knew little if anything about but do now General Tom Thumb(Charles Stratton)Interesting if a little sad.

UPDATE:The meal took 12 minutes to microwave. It worked and was very tasty. I won't come to any harm if I have nothing else.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I'm Continuing To Stay Put...

I have found out that I can travel to Sunderland without a break in the journey and having to change at Durham within a couple of streets of where I live but only until approx 5pm. But with an early start...that's not bad.

However, as I have all that I require I think I shall get back to tidying up my home again. I will attend my music club tonight, the little bingo club on Thursday night. Then wait until Saturday and try to attend a service within Durham Cathedral in the early evening which should mean that I am able to catch a bus home. Until last year I had never ever attended a service in the cathedral and that was very short and mainly for children and I was not in a great seat so was unable to see much of what was going on. Perhaps this time I will be lucky.

All my Christmas gifts are finally wrapped and purchased. I am on a short trip(free)Wednesday of next week to Middlesbrough but no plans to buy unless I get myself some stocking fillers and they will be purchased from pound stores. Those silly little items.

I treated myself to some Brandy laced Mince pies. I don't bother with them normally but thought "Why not!" and with the offer of one box of six for £1.90 or two boxes for £2 for the extra 10p it seemed worth doing so. OK they are by Mr Kipling but they make a fair few decent cakes etc...

Monday, November 24, 2014

I'm Going Nowhere...

Doors are locked, I've played my afternoon session of bingo and called into the supermarket on the way home for my bread and milk. I got some blackberries and bananas, diced beef(reduced in price)and I would have liked to taken up the extra items on half price offer of whole lemon sole but buy too many it stops being a bargain and I haven't the room in the freezer, after all I'm trying to clear the freezer not increase what's in it!

I haven't had lemon sole in ages.

I was virtually out of coffee and I've said before that I have no idea what the difference is between all the different brands and types, so I purchased five jars(I thought that I had only purchased four)but at 50p for 100g it did not break the bank. Another brand that is double in price says that you can get 55 servings out of one jar with that amount in it. The way I make coffee I think I can increase that.

I purchased my final Christmas gift too...a £5 box of lager, I didn't want to go up to £10 or more. Its not for someone close.

I decided everything was too heavy to bring home in a backpack and carrier so paid for a taxi home. I suppose I could've used my shopping trolley another day but its all sorted now.

A chicken was cooked overnight. The diced beef and turkey already in the fridge is being cooked as I write.

I may keep it simple this evening and have another can of soup. I am pleasantly tired and at the risk of dozing off.

It does seem to be colder tonight in the house so I shall get all my warm clothes on a earlier than usual.

I'll be warm soon enough.

Monday...

I'm toastie warm though it is quite frosty outside. There's coffee and just about enough milk to last until breakfast time. I haven't been out since Thursday until last evening and have made good use of what I have in the house.

I'm cooking another chicken in the slow cooker overnight and that will be ready around mid morning...as yet I haven't decided whether I should make a kind of chicken stew or the more usual type of meat, veg and gravy type meal. I think that I shall also cook my diced turkey and beef while I am on. I can put it all back into the fridge and make a few meals in the coming days.

I was thinking I may do an early shop regarding the milk/bread but I am out in the afternoon so as long as I can have a hot drink and toast in the morning I can shop on my way home in the afternoon. I can stay home until lunchtime or go out in the morning but its just for the sake of doing so.

Because mobility and movement in an arm is limited I am thinking of buying a tea trolley that would mean that I can wheel my meals and drinks into rooms, I'd be less likely to drop things and could move more items at once saving making more journeys than necessary. We had a trolley many years ago and let it go because it needed the screws tightening up over and over again. And somehow the use of such an item seemed to go out of fashion, it was the kind of the furniture you brought out in company for afternoon tea. But I don't want to pay silly money.

I have found a basic white one from Argos for around £15. I could probably find others online at E-Bay cheaper and more of a variety of styles. Many are really expensive. There are some that are really aimed at the disabled user...think of it having a look of a Zimmer frame on wheels,but a little more fancy but I may just go for the basic white one. Its only to wheel in meals, tea/coffee etc...I already use a kind of table in the lounge that resembles the kind that go across beds and chairs in hospitals but that does not have any handles.

I am not much into internet shopping though...and don't need that much anyhow.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

More Of The Same...

The weather was horrible, I was tired and overslept. The most exciting part of today? Getting caught up on the washing. It does seem milder indoors which is good.

Been eating chicken sandwiches. Soup for supper.

My friend Andrea is probably right when she says cold, damp weather doesn't help long term health issues like mobility but I can suffer even when the weather is good.

I will regroup and consider whether I should try and go somewhere for a day trip but options are getting a bit thin on the ground when daylight is reduced and you don't want to spend money.

The only days I can consider are Wednesdays and Saturdays if its a longer journey. I'll go and look at some Christmas markets and illuminations and will possibly try and see some carol services*

The trip to the little town approx 3 miles away on Thursday doesn't offer much extra choice in shopping but if I can continue to use a pass there is a great little bakers and I can go there and get home within an hour. Go on one bus, return on another if I want something a bit different. I'm eating a white bloomer at present but unlike some it is soft in texture.

*I may be visiting Durham Cathedral having seen what events are happening between now and Christmas.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Mind Is Willing But The Body Is Weak...

I said that I would go all week...there is a brass band playing, I even went by the church yesterday and called in for details, I have one last bus that I could catch, even a taxi but its cold and wet outside and I felt so tired, sleepy and my joints ache. I did not get up until late afternoon but I reckon the rest was needed. There will be other times I'm sure.

I will see how I feel tomorrow and try to discover if another show in the same town is still on, been cancelled or already taken place. The notice I hoped to see with details had been removed from a supermarket noticeboard.

Or perhaps I'll take myself off for a bus ride during the day tomorrow, a change of scenery not looking at the four walls.

I could not be bothered to watch or listen to my favourite TV or radio programmes earlier.

First meal of the day was chicken noodle soup with buttered toast.

A wasted day? Perhaps. But I feel better for it.

I'm mixed up this evening, not what was planned. I may watch TV, I may cook a meal, I may go to bed again. I don't know. I'll play it by ear.

Tomorrow, perhaps I'll show some spontaneity.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

As Far As My Kidneys Go...

They have not deteriorated any further than previous check ups, both my consultants and myself are pleased at that news. But naturally the illness continues and hopefully the treatment will continue to keep things ticking over. It has come at a price affecting me in other ways. It was a day to say thank you and goodbye as the consultant who extended my life for the last 17 years and came up with treatment not used before, was retiring. I was being seen by a colleague of his and he came in to a personal goodbye to me and shake my hand.

He has been good to me, they all have. Unless something unexpected goes wrong I am not due to be seen again until late March next year. Dates play an important part in my life. When Mum went into the care home for the last few weeks of her life, it fell on was the anniversary of Mum and Dad getting married. My appointment falls on the same date. Coincidence?

I mentioned my flare up of gout and the consultant I saw today has told me they do have a drug to control it should it happen again and this particular one will not cause problems for my kidneys which the one that is prescribed normally at a Dr's surgery would. And he is writing to my Dr to get me it.

It could be drugs causing the problem I have as I write this as I have a rather bad attack of tinnitus. Ironic that I should have that because I protect my hearing wherever possible like at a concert or gig I wear earplugs.

I'm tired so I am watching a bit of TV. I may decide to have an afternoon nap. I have a chicken cooking in the slow cooker that should be about ready when I get in from the bingo club. I have another one for next week. I treated myself to two loaves of bread from a proper baker too, my computer magazine, washing up liquid, more roasting bags and some soup. I am set up again for the next week or more.

I managed to find out more about the concert tomorrow night at the church in a neighbouring town...tickets to be purchased on the door. A church  I have only been in once before many years ago but was the one my Father attended as a child and in his early adult life I would guess between 1924 - 1948. Yes, that long ago. The other concert the notice has been removed so now I am unsure if it has been cancelled. I will try and find out.

If so I will just have a quiet night in on Saturday.

Update:I don't think that I have ever had that before...a can of Heinz Beef Broth soup but it was really warming and tasty. That's tea taken care of.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Day Of Doing Little...

Well, what's to do as we near Christmas, the days are dark, the weather is generally miserable. I decided not to go anywhere. After all, I have the hospital check up in the morning so taking it easy seems the right thing to do...

If all goes reasonably ok I will do all the tasks put off today, tomorrow.

I watched a couple of episodes of the 60's TV Sci-Fi series The Invaders(I was around 9 years old)when that aired. Still looks good after all these years. Frightening where the time has gone. I watched a western with Rock Hudson(I'm not even sure that I have ever watched a film starring him)

He's ok I suppose, no strong feeling either way. The films were adequate and Rock filled the roles in a similar fashion, a mixture of something attractive for the females to look at especially in the 50's equivalent of a "Rom Com" probably under the description of "Beef Cake"

And yet an all action guy for the Male Cinema goer wanting a rough tough cowboy or soldier/hero. And because of the time, attitudes were different and so as far as the public goes and the fear of the movie studios and whether his sexual orientation would affect his popularity and his movies it was kept hidden. It may've done but after all an actor plays a part and live in a world of make believe.

Today whatever your private sexual orientation is, you can mostly get away with it not affecting sales. But there are still exceptions. And its no longer straight forward because a male star will have fans(both male and female)who like their work but may have an attraction to them on a physical level too and the same is true of a female stars.

Some stars, straight or gay accept the adulation from wherever it comes(often because financially it pays)but they don't go looking for it and others knowing they appeal play to everyone. The biggest area that still seems to suffer from discrimination is sport and my observation would suggest it is still
more of a problem in sports mainly associated with/played by males.

Where did that all come from? I had no plans to write that...probably because I mentioned Rock Hudson. I tend to watch films/TV or listen music on face value and not even think about being attracted in a physical way. If I like their work that's all that matters to me.

I found out that as of tomorrow I can no longer watch a film channel on my Freeview TV unless I have access to High Definition version but luckily as I have Freesat I can still access Film4+1 using the alternative system and I certainly don't want to replace a newish TV yet because channels are changing their formats.

I found myself getting into the Christmas spirit by watching a favourite associated with this time of year but I haven't seen it in years. The fact that I was able to this time means that I am finding that I am able to accept this time of year without it being as painful as it once was being on my own.

The film is "White Christmas" starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera Ellen and Rosemary Clooney. Music by Irving Berlin. Classic Hollywood from 1954. Having said about watching without being attracted to actors/actors I watch, the female stars were manufactured to look a certain way by the studio and had to watch their weight, were lit a certain way and had the best make up artists
but the leading ladies(Clooney and Ellen)did look attractive and perfect.

Remember me saying about actors playing parts? Its all make believe.

If this quartet had been getting it together in "real" life(They get together as couples by the end of the film)age wise Crosby(51)was paired with Clooney(26)and Kaye(41)with Ellen(33)

Away from films, the good news is that after checking my blood pressure today I have managed to get it down to 121/71 with a pulse rate of 74. I haven't weighed myself in ages so it will be interesting to see what that comes in at.

I have cooked a meal that I haven't had very often and took little if any preparation, ready in approx 5 minutes. A Chinese type stir fry with pork. It came in at around £1.84 a portion.

Update:Decided to have some potato and leek soup with toast for supper. Been weighed...came in at around 70kg. I really cannot get the weight down any less than that. Considering I try to walk but when I do it takes such an effort that it is like a workout. Generally my food intake is low in calories with lots of vegetable content.