Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

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Location: United Kingdom

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.

Friday, January 31, 2014

How Does That Work?

The temperature downstairs is 10c(48f)the bedroom is 12c(52f)I have no extra bedding or clothes on compared to other nights(not even the hot water bottle)and I am cosy. Even my hands are not cold outside of the blankets. So why is that? And its been that way all through the night. Thought I would take a reading in my bed and it varies but averages at around 22c(72f)which counteracts the room temperature.

Its a bit of a wet day again but nothing to worry about compared to what parts of the country have had for weeks(floods)and what the experts are saying is to be expected again this weekend.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Its That Time Again...

Get shaved, get dressed and out for the BINGO...

BTW its The Chinese New Year today or will soon...It is in China as they are ahead in time

Gung Hay Fat Choi! The only Chinese I know and initially I spelt one word incorrectly. Sorted.

Update:Home from the bingo, had a good shop(saved over £5)spent just over £1 and within twenty minutes was eating the following...

Strawberry Yogurt, Grilled Chicken, Crinkle Cut Oven Chips and Green Beans, Sliced Carrot and Peas. Slice of Bread. I have had more chips this week than I have in many months. But I am not worried as I don't necessarily go along with the hype about them being bad for you. Especially with everything else that I eat in the way of fruit, vegetables and cereal.

I have put on approx 6lbs in weight but I'm ok and they say in Winter that's to be expected and is needed to stay warm. Plenty of time to lose it when Spring/Summer arrives.

Strawberry Yogurt. Followed by Flame Grilled Chicken, Crinkle Cut Oven Chips and Frozen Vegetables(Green Beans, Sliced Carrot and Peas)

I was tempted to have some cheese and biscuits but am more than happy with that. Still have some of everything left for another time.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I'm Honest...If Nothing Else...

I managed to shake it off but though not too frequent...I have just had a panic or is that an anxiety attack?  Am I weak for having one or the stronger for having had it and come through? Hopefully the latter. That is all...

Update:Proud to say that it was a blip, a hiccup. And its onward and upward on my journey through life. I think experiencing all the different emotions/feelings helps make me able to understand what others face and not be so dismissive as often we seem to find those who work in the media often are. I can't help being sensitive and being a thinker.

So Tell Me Again...

It is Wednesday and not Saturday. I awoke believing it was the weekend but I finished the Baked Beans with some bread, had a milky coffee and all is well. What will the coming day bring?

Update:You really have no idea what can come up from one day to the next.

I have to go along with them but my Housing Association is chasing me again(I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on this one)they want to look at the trees at the back of the house but we're down from approx ten to two and half. The two that remain no longer grow(they growing tip was taken out years ago)they did a survey three years ago which went ok, the neighbours who would be affected by the two trees are not troubled by them, the Citizen's Advice Bureau advised me when the survey was done as did a local councillor. If they get stroppy this time, I cannot be bothered to fight too heavily.

But I'll not contact them until next week.

On the other hand I have given in and rolled over to every complaint of my neighbour but I had to speak to her as she was walking her dog...I still don't think I have done anything wrong but she says she cannot hear anything of my radio or tv through the night and she says(so I have to take her word)she complained to the shop who delivered and cut up the grass verge, she says both the shop owner and herself had told them not to park there. However, its better not to be at loggerheads. I am coming out of this worse than she is but there are more positives today than I could've imagined.

I have found that I have damaged the runners in the freezer what guide the drawers(they are only made of plastic and have become dented but the freezer still works and I may just protect them by putting some white electrical tape on the damage and when the time comes I'll buy a new one or find a second hand one on perhaps freecycle or something similar.

I am almost ready to have my evening meal...I've gone for frozen vegetables, crosscut fries and a chicken, spinach and gruyere cheese pie. The meal is coming at around £1.45(US $2.40)saving around £1.60(US $2.65)

Cross Cut Fries, Frozen Vegetables and a Chicken, Gruyere Cheese and Spinach Pie.

Having the baked beans last night has made me realise again how versatile they are so I managed to buy 8 large cans for £1.94(US $3.21)earlier today and my computer magazine was out too.

This Is Old...

but I came across it by chance earlier today...I think/hope its genuine...an elderly lady seems to have fallen asleep on a crossing and instead of the driver checking she is ok, decides to blow the car's horn. She does come to with a shock and walks very slowly. The driver continues with the horn and well, the lady decides to let him know what she thinks...if it was staged, its still worth viewing...

Update:Turns out it is an advertisement and was produced for the Swedish retailer IKEA but still amusing...and could be eight years old.

I've Lost A Day...

Not that anything happened.

Sadly but I guess not unexpectedly news was announced that Pete Seeger a singer mainly known for performing and writing what would be mainly called folk songs passed away aged ninety four. He was known for fighting for the rights of the ordinary "Guy" and found himself caught up in a nasty period of history in the US where anyone that leaned towards the left of politics and was no more than that was called a Communist.

He is known for so many songs that are part of the childhood of many and made them aware of politics and rights isues such as Turn, Turn, Turn, Where Have All The Flowers Gone, Little Boxes, If I Had A Hammer, We Shall Not Be Moved, We Shall Overcome etc...

I missed a lot of what Seeger represented but you do realise just how much of his music has been played over the years and you know them as soon as you hear them.

I was hoping for a few Seeger songs at the music club last evening but it was a great night and lots of people both performing and in the audience. Quite a few "New" people are coming or returning after a break of a few months/years. A couple may also be coming to the Bingo night that I go to which is good as it keeps the numbers up.

I kept it simple tonight, when I came in I had baked beans(ages since I had them)a sausage roll, crinkle cut chips, ketchup and bread. Followed by a mug of milky coffee. Lovely!

Supper of Baked Beans, Sausage Roll, Crinkle Cut Chips, Ketchup and Bread...Lovely...

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bangers And Mash...

Isn't it funny how some meals are forgotten about, yet though simple they are let go of. And then one of the UK's favourite food writers shows sausages and mashed potato on her twitter feed and you think, I want that once more.

I've never been big on alcohol and getting drunk is a rare a thing but I'll admit I had four(shock/horror)vodka and cola's last night. The ones that I made when I came home were probably a bit more generous and certainly more inexpensive. Its not habit. I have been told that you cannot get drunk on vodka. Lets say I felt relaxed and sleepy. Nothing to worry me and at peace.the feeling was nice.

I have done nothing today...is that a bad thing to admit? Is it wasting time? Then again, why shop for the sake of it. It has taken a lot of willpower not to go out for the sake of doing so. I will make the effort again.

Some time in the future, I shall have to book into hospital for an operation either because I am forced to or I make the decision and yes I have age and long term health issues but late last night and its trivial, I lost my first toe nail. I don't remember banging my big toe but for perhaps close on a year a nail was discoloured as though it was a bruise but it seemed to be growing slowly and likely I would keep it.

It started to look normal but half of it came away without effort. I now await to see if it recovers and grows again. I was a bit surprised and thought if I was to lose it, it would have happened long before now.

Update:As the day has gone on I felt a bit negative but nothing in particular, it will be temporary...been eating turkey rolls and had a fair few mugs of weak coffee(its always weak)I may have something warming later on even if its just porridge and fruit.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

That's Nice...

I'm quite good at avoiding sweets and biscuits. Often my meals are one course...no starter or anything afterwards. Not big on snacking throughout the day either. However, I purchased a variety box of biscuits on offer after Christmas which had lots of traditional types, mainly plain and I have not had them for so long or had forgotten what they tasted like. Surprisingly, some I never purchased or wasn't that keen on are now ok. One being the variety known generically as "Nice" I have always avoided it.

The only biscuit that I still dislike and avoid but is nearly always included in any selection is the Bourbon.

Reasonably sleepy, no hurry to do anything and may still stay put for most of the day, especially if all I am missing is "That" cucumber. It has stopped raining at present but it looks as though it has been raining through the night and running down the windows. You can see there has been a heavy downpour. And the wind is increasing once more, think it is stronger than yesterday. It is going to be that way for the rest of the day.

I'm thinking warm fare today and hope to make an effort today. So may have a late breakfast(may keep it light with just toast)this afternoon perhaps a chicken, spinach and Gruyere cheese pie with vegetables. Nothing complicated and it will take little if any work.

Getting ready for the omnibus edition of the radio drama The Archers, Desert Island Discs, the comedy panel game The Unbelievable Truth and the Food Programme(All on domestic radio but usually available online for those living abroad)Sunday morning sorted.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

It Would Be Both Boring And Bad In So Many Ways...

if we lived in a part of the world where the climate is not varied and if it was always too hot or too cold. Putting global warming aside and extremes events, are we ever truly happy with the weather? I know if it is hot day after day I want to see rain but if I thought it was bad last night in Durham, today, it is really nasty. There is a strong wind blowing, trees are moving violently in the breeze and rain is heavily coming down.

I could stay in but I think that I shall battle against it for perhaps an hour because I am located only two streets from the centre of the town and I do need some small items(salad and my prescriptions)that's all.

Once that's done I'll baton down the hatches and stay put until the usual Sunday night playing bingo and listening to a turn.

Update:I can't complain when I know how others are suffering extremes of heat and cold, snow and floods. However I did venture out and though it wasn't warm with a scarf, beanie hat, gloves and thermals I was fine. The rain had swept away and the wind had dropped even a little bit of a blue sky(within an hour it was back)as I came home. I must occasionally add some temperatures and descriptions of the weather to show how things are in the area and UK in general.

I found some reductions again(thinking of tomorrow)not taking as much as usual but have some tomatoes, cheese and bacon bites, cheese and some instore baked toffee cookies. I know others are bringing something so I can avoid taking some items and they will give me some extra meals for the next day or two. I found juice, a chicken pie, kale, a stir fry dinner, a bag of mixed lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, sweet sandwich pickle, pease pudding and bread. I don't think that's bad and it can all be adapted. Very little of that selection was full price. In theory I can avoid shopping all this week. I have realised that I have forgotten the cucumber angry 4

Generally, its been a good day and I feel positive. I know I have dreamt but do not remember about what exactly(perhaps I should keep a notebook close by as you often do for a few minutes)to prompt memories but I do believe Mum was in it. Been sleeping a little more peacefully again too.

EJW your comments are getting through and being published. I wonder if you are expecting them to appear immediately? When anyone is kind enough to leave a comment, it should turn up in my inbox and then I publish it. It doesn't show until then which is usually within minutes or a few hours.

Better Than Wasting Fruit...

and whilst able as I don't know how finances will be(who does)in future times. I don't get to buy quality fruit juice too often and to be honest to make it go further/less sugary they say, water it down. Make your own and it is even more expense. And we are told that too much fruit juice is not that good for you.

There is a limited offer on some new Ocean Spray Brand 1 litre cartons of juice with 50% less sugar and no artificial sweetners. Also in new flavours. Normally £1.99(US $3.28)each being sold for...£2(US $3.30)for two. So for an extra 1p(US 2c)its making them half price. They also have a date well into March(but as they are best before you can use them after that date so I may buy a few extra and ration what I use on a weekly bases.

Its been said this is the advantage(if income is not limited)if you can take up offers/buy in bulk and those who need to stretch their money further and could benefit most from offers often simply just can't. Then for many these days many properties haven't the storage space.

They are that new I cannot find an image on Ocean Spray's own website(or the supermarket's either)

I had a chicken salad when I came in last night from the meeting and cooked one of my turkey joints I purchased originally for Christmas. So I am thinking of a "proper" Sunday meal tomorrow...you know...vegetables, gravy, meat and perhaps cranberry. Today perhaps sandwiches or yes a turkey salad. It cost me £4 but I think I can get a few meals/snacks from it making it reasonable value when sliced down.

I'm staying close to home too over the weekend. If I go out I will be no further than a couple of streets away in the local shops(only need some salad items)

Since adding fleeces to my bed, they are not only quite warm...they feel nice so this year so far I have not used a hot water bottle or needed the electric blanket. And for making the bed and some furniture warmer or to make older furniture look better I am thinking of buying some throws.

Friday, January 24, 2014

It Will Soon Be Time...

to get ready and leave for the meeting regarding the campaign to save the National Health Service. I will have to leave early not because there isn't a bus close to the time of the meeting but to allow time to walk to the venue and being slower these days(and I think there is an incline)I am allowing forty five minutes.

Coming home buses run hourly at 15 minutes past so again depending on when the meeting ends and the walk I could find myself hanging around in the bus station. At least Durham has one, quite a few towns do not.

Update:It turned into a horrible night weatherwise and within a very short time of starting the journey rain was running in waves down the side of the bus and once alighted from the bus the streets were like a stream. It was really easy to find where the meeting was being held and remarkably quick. In the end there were approx only twelve present. It would appear though based in and serving the Durham area/county it does not officially serve my own part of the county so unless it liaises with other similar organisations with a similar goal it is not served.

Too much bad news to report which is not getting into the media(You can ask why?)or its written/supplied from those bringing in changes in a way that will not alarm the public at large until its too late.

One tidbit is that in the coming year all private companies will be asked to make savings of 4% and that perhaps is welcome...well the twist is that if these companies then say they need equipment of some kind the NHS will pay for the equipment so in a roundabout way they can get the 4% saved back. That's the way I picked up what was said. The other impression would appear to be that many in the trusts and quite high up dislike the changes but are reluctantly going along with them and dare not go against what is their overall boss...the Government.  Surprised? Another worry is that even a change at No.10 may see changes accepted and adopted. Its a fight that is loaded against the public. Any chance at all is down to hope for the future after the next election in 2015 and this year is all but written off.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

You've Heard Of A Fish Supper...

Well, I'm having one...on the way home I did a quick shop and found a real bargain on porridge, I may've spent £4 but I saved £6 and have 40 sachets of it. I found a similar bargain on yogurt 4 for £1(US $1.66)and as I headed to the checkout I saw 4 large cod fillets in batter reduced by £1(US $1.66)so bought them for £3(US $4.99)

It is almost ready, I decided to do a salad. Plenty left for other meals. If there is too much salad I'll put it in a roll for tomorrow...celery, spring onion, egg, tomato, lettuce, cucumber and roast potatoes and a roll. I would guess because of careful shopping its come in for around £1.40(US $2.33)

I just had the fancy for having fish. When Mum was alive generally we had that twice each week.

My Fish Salad.

I'm always happy when I make the effort and I have a few alternative ideas in mind to vary how I have fish in the future and to increase the amount I eat in the future, even if that is by adding something simple like mushy peas.

The 100th Anniversary Of...

of WWI and many events are planned in the UK to...what? Remember...celebrate...think about the horrors of war?

I'm not sure what the idea is to be honest but I am hopeful that our National Broadcaster the BBC will treat it from all sides and not take the line I am cynically expecting from the Government.

I have discovered a few documentaries(not the BBC)on You Tube that look worth a look and seem fair in their treatment and I may watch. Constantly surprised what is out there...

I Don't Want To Offend...

anyone or annoy with my political stance, remember the line that is oft quoted...

"Don't talk about politics or religion" and when what we say is instantly available and rattles around the world in seconds anything said probably will offend someone. But as I have said before I hope though not perfect(who is)I hope that I am respectful of most opinions and views...

A reader of my blog who has recently commented EJW said that she was learning more from blogs such as mine about life in the UK, Lorna I think said in not so many words something similar and we are letting others peak in to our world and see how similar our lives are. A life seen as ordinary is worth something and unlike the images often brought into our homes by the media many are not able to have the latest gadget, have designer clothes, eat out at the fanciest restaurant, go on holiday to some far flung destination etc...all things to aim for I suppose and and we all want the most comfortable life possible.

But we do know that it is often said that children/teenagers these days(or again is it slanted by the media itself)the person asked will say that they want to be "Famous" and they don't always know what for. And they don't want a basic Mon-Fri 9am -5pm job(if they exist these days anyhow. Looking at the wages paid that probably has as much to do with the dissatisfaction these days.

Well anyone in the UK(and from abroad)reading newspaper websites based here or listening/watching streaming media)will know that our economy has been suffering(its a world wide problem)and perhaps heard about the many people who are classed as poor and in need of state help. How some of these are criticised in derogatory terms and how the few who do "Work the system" give the mostly genuine a bad name.

I came across the following blog post on line which I feel is fair, balanced, well written and covers all sides whatever way you approach the topic of welfare. Even though the writer admits he supports one particular UK party...

It is as good as any article that would appear in any magazine...Link Here

Spotify In Europe Is Free...

OK so quality is 160kps and you have to have an odd advert here and there but in these hard times and with income limited as a music lover I am so happy at this decision. Of course there is an advert/higher quality service that you pay a monthly fee but as many of the radio stations do not play what I like or have the variety/back catalogue this is welcome news...

Spotify Europe

Now I can occasionally link to music that I enjoy and that will give you another strand of my nature and personality. I may add a link at the bottom of every post if it is possible. If you can't access the links think about joining Spotify yourself and finding it locally. I'll admit most of the music I will choose will be easy and dreamy. Or from decades ago.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Got Some E-Mails To Send...

not there are many who send any my way and to see if some are ok as they've disappeared off the face off the Earth.

It seems a bit chillier today even indoors in my bedroom(even under the bedclothes)I may have a look in the supermarket later just for a break from being indoors. ETA:I stayed in.

I think that I will make the effort later to do something nice for my evening meal. I had a couple rolls today and used up some tomato, egg and ham.Whatever I decide tonight I'll try and add some vegetable content.

Sorry that I have hit a period where its quite dull around here at present unless I go all political and talk about news stories. And I do try to avoid doing too much of that here. But lets see what happens when I go to the meeting on Friday to help support a campaign to save this country's National Health Service. This lapel badge says it all...

Embedded image permalink

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Think I'll Stay Indoors...

I have awoke to painful joints(no reference to drugs thereanimated smileys laughing 12)and I'll take it easy but hopefully go to the music club tonight.

Yesterday was a day of snacking on "Buffet" food such as cheese, tomatoes, sausage rolls and the like...today its fruit, cereal and mainly vegetables. I have another chicken pie to use up or I could switch to another type that has spinach and Gruyere cheese included in the filling. They were approx £2.50 each(box of two)reduced individually to approx 90p.

The following is a bit gross and not food orientated...

Last week(ish)I said that I had lost my hearing in one ear. So I started using olive oil and it has made a difference. I gave up after a few days. A week later and more wax has finally cleared of its own accord. Makes you realise how something so simple can build up without realising. I now think once in a blue moon I shall give myself a procedure so it doesn't happen again. This may even be why there has been a little bit of tinnitus. Following comments with this post this link is useful)

Don't know why, I don't question when it happens but I feel more positive today...

Update:Warm and cosy(inside my body and out)though it was a horrible night of weather. A great night at the music club(think we had 70 there this evening which is good)I've just had one of my chicken pies(to be different)I took it apart and added some ham, I intended to add some vegetables but there wasn't room so I had put them on the plate.

Now I have to catch up on the internet and send some links that I have promised someone. I also have found a political meeting I am able to attend on Friday night in Durham City, near to the bus station and there are buses every hour so I should be able to get home OK. Its a pressure group trying to save the National Health Service for changes being brought in by the Government.

Monday, January 20, 2014

If You Want To Be Political...

the old bus trouble can get in the way. There is a small demo in front of Middlesborough Town Hall at 6.30pm but the last bus to get me home leaves at 19.50 and you have to allow time to reach the bus station. If you manage to do that, you'll get be home by 21.20. Otherwise you have to catch a later one(only giving an extra thirty minutes)but it adds more mileage and time to the journey and you will not reach home until 23.20. So that means any such plans to take part are out.

So I guess I am political more behind a keyboard but I still refuse to be extremist and use derogatory terms which I think defeat any cause.

This also shows once again how evening services are in general. And often why people with no access to their own transport are unable to go out even if they would like to.

Quite cosy and calm today(will it last)No reason to go out so may stay indoors and take it easy. It doesn't look particularly cold outdoors and its not raining or foggy.

I'm not particularly hungry but just feel "nice" inside. And I can decide later whether to have salad and/or a warm meal or snacks.

Update:I am refusing to go out for the sake of it but it is so tempting but walking around a supermarket or riding on a bus for hours on a Winter's night in the dark will do what for me? I have just had soup in a mug and feel warm inside...actually more so than when I have a mug of tea or coffee. Am I bored, no I can't say that I am. I do find that I feel better later in the day and evenings. No wonder TV dominates what many families do. However, I watch much less these days.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

How Is Everyone?

I've slept. Awake now...bit uncomfortable. Legs were/are giving some gip. You can't win. For whatever the reasons one leg is shorter than the other(wasn't always the case)my knee joints are swollen and it can be difficult to get comfortable, if you try to put a leg out straight it takes some doing and hurts. Then if you need to move it, it will hurt. If you leave it in another position...ditto and laying on your side is not a guarantee you'll find peace. But I manage as you do and there many having an even more difficult time than myself.

I may give in and take some painkillers which I try to ration.

Though dark outside it seems very calm, temperature in my bedroom is neither too cold/hot considering there is no heating on but in bed I am cosy(presently 14c/56f)the rest of the house is probably colder. But being in a smaller back bedroom with door closed keeps things warmer. And I have access to plenty of fleece blankets and quilts. For next winter I will try and find some brushed cotton sheets which will be even better and invest in a new bed or at least a new mattress.

A member of my group tonight is bringing ham and pease pudding rolls so that is sorted with my little selection added. I had opened a can of ham which I need not have opened now but then again, things are bought to use and I have had some ham salad rolls myself so its not wasted and its been a bit of a change. I can perhaps do some different meals over the next few days too.

The last few days I have been having porridge for breakfast but today I think I shall switch to cereal. Again I can add fruit. Knowing we have a buffet tonight I won't eat much else today. I think I shall make my little journey to the clothes shop and call into the supermarket on the way back home because I forgot to buy any butter/margarine yesterday. Oh the simple daily tasks we do, day in, day out...exciting isn't it. Not really and yet for many being able to do such tasks would mean so much to them and we should be grateful that we are able to.

Update:Good to get out...neighbours are doing more house alterations 5 years and counting plus dog howling...perhaps it will end when I come home. Often the person responsible only comes home at weekends...thank heavens.

Found some clothes I liked(sadly in the wrong sizes)other items did not suit. The money stayed in my pocket. Now here is my late lunch...creamy chicken pie, casserole vegetables and roast potatoes(with reduced prices it cost around £1.10(US $1.80)but that does not include the cost of cooking it in the oven. I usually use a microwave or slow cooker. I probably could have steamed the vegetables in the microwave.

Sunday Lunch, Chicken Pie, Casserole Vegetables and Roast Potatoes 2014 01 19

Home from the Bingo now(22.40)I won the sticky thirteen card game but shared therefore won £10(US $16.42)the whole night cost £3(US $4.93)and as numbers were down I was quite pleased to win that. And a lot of my food came home with me so that will give me a few snacks over the coming days.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Not As Pessimistic...

as when I awoke. Still here and not on a bus heading elsewhere...

Staying close to home and hitting the four charity and three clothes shops on town to see if anything interests me. Whether it does or doesn't leaves me one shop in a neighbouring town that I may visit tomorrow or Monday. If I find something, I'll share. Then again, I may wait and see what is in the range being introduced for Spring.

I have had fruit, porridge and decided to have the pack of egg and cress sandwiches. Plus a fair few mugs of coffee. Meds taken too.

Update:That was quick...nothing took my eye on style or price so all I came home with food(milk, sausage rolls and some ham)how easy was that? I am tired so glad I did not go far. I'll see how I feel tomorrow. 

A Can I Be Bothered Day?

I could hop on a bus and go...where? I suspect it would mainly be spending money unnecessarily or looking for the sake of it. Its not very warm and looks quite dull out there so I think I shall stay put. And may very well do so tomorrow.

At best I'll stay close to home and perhaps go no further than the local bakers for some sausage rolls(for tomorrow night)

Again if I take items and they are not eaten(I can use them myself so they are not wasted)So I have(or will have)
  • Small pork pies
  • Sausage rolls
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cheese twists
  • Cheese
  • Pickled onions
  • Small cakes
The option is always there to change things and do some ham or turkey rolls as a substitute. Its like feeding the five thousand. It doesn't cost that much and when you use quite a lot of what you take its ok.

And I'll bother a little more with what I choose to eat myself today(tomorrow I'll do household chores)I'm back "In the groove" sleeping better and when you are supposed to. I can sense a little bit of the Black Dog hovering around me but its funny I feel happiest, least troubled and safe from late afternoon/early evening and through the night.

I think that I am becoming a jumper fan(is it an age thing?)Or just that they keep you cosy? You know I think that I may have to have a couple of days where I visit charity shops and see what is available. I tend to stick to the few on my town and I am probably missing out on something.

Its a listen to the radio kind of a day. Lets see if I add anything as the day goes on. Don't be surprised if I suddenly decide to go clothes shopping, I've suddenly got the urge.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Most Exciting Thing Today...

Is planning meals and most if any will take any preparation. All so easy to do and with access to a slow cooker and/or microwave they could not be easier or quicker.

Fruit juice, porridge.fruit and toast.
Salad(no cooking)unless I add potatoes/chips and I am debating whether to add fish for a change.
That may be it for the day unless I decide to have a "proper" evening meal...the old meat and two veg idea or a casserole(I have a variety of frozen/fresh veg)most of it already cut so no work required.

More of the same with the neighbour. I cause little in the way of problems...watch little TV and that is done on a laptop with limited speaker power, any music is easy not "Head Banging" stuff, some nights I am out and I don't have parties. Yet next door does or has and as said I have a big dog that howls various times 24/7 whether anyone is in. It was doing it when I came home from the Bingo club, around Midnight(I heard a new selection of howls not heard before and the worst so far)and yes I have had a selection off and on this morning.

I dislike hassle but get it coming back in my direction, just seems so wrong. I keep hoping they'll leave me be. The music has reduced because someone has moved out. Now if we could solve the dog problem...

Update:Oh dear...early afternoon and the dog next door is really giving it some stick and is back to the new sounds  I heard yesterday, is that more distress than usual or is it that it has been howling so much/getting old its vocal cords have been affected? My home was built so long ago the walls are solid and I still hear it so heaven knows what a newly built semi would be like with all the tales of paper thin walls...

Was going to stay in but decided to get my computer magazine and came home with some reduced sandwiches(one packet is still ok until Sunday)and some mini pork pies for the night at the Bingo the same day but best bargain? Roast potatoes for 50p so they will go nicely with my chicken pie and vegetables. A decent meal coming in at around 90p.

I Lost A Day...

Well yesterday nothing happened. Often nothing does. I could have gone out(just for the sake of it)but why?

I did go to my bingo club so was out for approx. two hours in the evening. To be honest it only lasts around 90 minutes to play eleven games of bingo and have a cup of tea. Usually I'm back home before 8.45pm. But it breaks the day up.

My town's retail area has been refurbished but still has at least 12 units that are empty. And now within a very short space of time it has seen damage caused. Wooden seats chipped either by people using them as obstacles for performing fancy tricks with bikes/skateboards or its been suggested but I have no idea if its true that some sit there and get a penknife to take lumps out of the wood. There are two musical sculptures, one of which has been vandalised beyond repair. Surprised? Sadly not.

The other day when I was in town buying only a very small amount of goods(washing liquid, matches, plastic plates, spring onions, vegetables)there was hardly anyone else doing any shopping and shops were all but empty. Poor choice of retailers? Lack of money? People going elsewhere? People looking for work/working/on training schemes and it being a weekday afternoon? Who knows? They probably all play their part. I know and I have said so before using only myself as an example...forgetting about a low income and bills(rent, electric, gas etc...)what do I need?

Many items are nice to own but not needed. Many items once purchased last years and years so I really only visit food retailers and if that is the same for many households, even the increase in internet shopping would make little if any difference to me or the footfall of shops. Internet shopping is still mainly for luxury/large items.

Wednesday Evening...

I headed out to my concert and what a great night. Firstly entertained by Ray Thom with a great set of songs, some familiar and some that were new to me. I understand Ray is quite well known on the circuit but most of the performers I am hearing are new to me. I hope to see him again.

Ray Thom performing at Bishop Auckland Town Hall January 15th 2014

Followed by Isla St. Clare. Remember her? Known because of a popular saturday night entertainment show for family viewing when the comedian Larry Grayson hosted The Generation Game with Isla.

Isla St Clare performing a wonderful set at Bishop Auckland Town Hall January 15th 2014

Frighteningly that was thirty six years ago. And Isla obviously will be remembered by the British public more for that but both before and since, certainly in Scotland as a singer. Again a selection of music known/unknown and being close to Burns Night they were Scottish. She played the guitar beautifully and sang equally so. And many without any accompaniment and that's not easy. To stand there alone with no help. That's the media for you. You will be remembered for some things more than others. It is unfair but there you go. Just as it is impossible to keep up with what everyone is doing. 

Often if you are not seen on TV the assumption is that you have retired or passed on and often performers are working hard appearing all over the country and world. And at ages many of today's entertainers will have given up or been neglected by the media and promotion companies for the next big money spinner/craze taken up by the public.

I was joined by three other people on my table who attend the music club on my town on Tuesdays. So was not on my own. It finished with just enough time for me to leg it to the bus stop and the last bus home and when I came out it had been and still was raining heavily.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

This Weekend...

I may start to rearrange my food store so that food in tins and glass go into the outhouse, that way they are near the kitchen and items of that nature cannot be affected by pests either animal or insect and most of the year it remains very cold. This is overflow from what is stored in Kitchen cupboards. Then items is cardboard or paper can remain where they are in an inbuilt wardrobe or the pantry.

It will give me the chance to do an inventory and move older items so they are used first.

One thing about the journey yesterday I found a bus that takes me past/near or showed me how close I can be to two retailers in the nearby town of Sedgefield. A new Sainsbury's opened last year and there is a kind of meat discount place that is popular which I may have a look around in the future but when you are single and you are on a tight budget that is likely to reduce still further nothing may be gained especially if you tend to stick to the same items week in, week out.

This same bus goes past a Tesco's that is much larger than the one in my town so again the range of goods will be greater. I suspect that the range of reduced items may be greater but you'd need to know when they reduce them and be sure you can connect with a bus home.

Its taken some shifting but I can say my hearing is still improving and it has been the old problem of excess wax thankfully which is finally shifting "Yuk!" I have found it usually takes two or three applications daily and around five to seven days to be successful.

How you go from food to something that is quite common but gross...

Its so tempting to go out again today but to do what...look around shops but not buy or buy for the sake of it. Its not the warmest of days and looks dull, dull dull. So I will stay indoors and rest or just wander down the street and put some money into the bank to cover utility and internet bills. All I need is some more spring onions. All the shops I use most in town are virtually next to each other(two supermarkets)a charity shop and my bank. And if I can stay in my home I am really close to all of them.

But I am out tonight at a concert with Isla St Clare(wrongly probably)best remembered by many on the UK as a co host of a kind of game show popular on Saturday evenings and we're talking thirty five years ago but tonight she will be singing and a lot of the set will be traditional Scottish/folk songs. With Burns night only approx a week away its appropriate that Isla appears around this time.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I Put Things Right On Sunday...

Luckily one ear still works at present and found some phone numbers of people I was unable to mail Christmas/New Year cards to and so I was able to talk with five of them and I no longer have to worry about sending cards out.

That sad news is that one person I was unable to contact(another person has told me)that she is in the early stages of dementia. And yet she remembered to send me a Christmas card.

I have one card to hand deliver which I am going to really go all out to do so today after putting it off too long.  That leaves me four people to still try and contact and then everything is ok.

Whilst I am out I am hoping to visit a couple of shops that I don't usually get the chance to. Then come home and get ready for tonight as its a special night at the music club and as its someones birthday its a pie and peas night so that takes care of me having to feed myself this evening. Good job one ear is still working so I can hear the music.

Update:The day went well...all buses connected but the outward journey was longer than planned as it could not be done directly. Coming home was easier. Most of what I purchased being vitamins and medical based products like mouthwash and a kind of medicated dusting powder.

I also got one of those containers that you put your pills for the week into little compartments so you remember to take them/avoid getting mixed up. I almost bought a pill crusher, I like that idea but its unnecessary as I can swallow them ok. I also found cans of fish which had some unusual sauces and for a change I was thinking I could have fish with a salad rather than meat.

Back on my town I managed to find some Chicken pies less than half price and panini rolls reduced by 65p.

I had a small salad when I came in from the music club. Even though I had pie and peas. My favourite drink at present when I am out is vodka and lemonade. To be honest I enjoy an odd one at home too. But its not something to worry over. Consumption is moderate.

When you buy raffle tickets(and also rarely win)any savings on what you win, if you do means that you break even or are really out of pocket but if it helps keep a favourite club/organisation  going that is what really matters. I rarely buy chocolate and certainly that is true of boxes of decent chocolates as they seem to have so little in the box for the price. But in the raffle at the club last night I won a box of Nestlé Dairy Box and I'm going to enjoy them. animated smileys eating & drinking 7

Monday, January 13, 2014

Another Day, Another Week...

What will it hold?

Well, I'll give in and hope the grass verge repairs itself(that's the kind of person I am)I hate un-necessary hassle. I'm hoping my neighbour leaves me alone again and for now I am just carrying on as I always have.

My hearing has still not improved but early days but hopefully the olive oil will work its magic(eventually)otherwise its a trip to the Dr. But hopefully its nothing to worry over.

Our numbers were depleted at the Sunday Bingo club. Down from seven to five but it went well. We won the quizanimated smileys jumping 1and before the answers were read out, we could have managed another couple of correct answers. Its mainly for fun but there is a small prize of £5. If we win we just put it towards one of the games we play the following week. How things come back to you...Burt Reynolds(US actor)appeared as a centre fold in a popular magazine(we put Playgirl)knowing it was incorrect but as I walked back to my table like a bolt out of the blue I remembered...Cosmopolitan. The other question that came to us too late...What comes between Wing Commander and Group Captain in the RAF...Squadron Leader. Many answers are there in the deepest recess of the mind if you reach for it.

Someone in my group played the domino card twice(that's £2 in total)and won both times coming away with £40, a nice return. None of us were lucky on the bingo this week which is fine...

We kept it simple food wise...I took some sausage rolls, cherry tomatoes and cheese twists. And some Mr Kipling cake slices, someone else took cheese and cheesy biscuits. Quite a bit of my food came home with me so it wasn't wasted. I will probably make up some salad rolls today with added sliced turkey. I'm into my porridge at present so that will be breakfast sorted. And fruit of course.

I usually wake in a positive frame of mind, if fortunate I end the day in a similar frame of mind but we'll have to see if any of the news is sufficient to depress my optimism. I try to avoid a lot of the news but have to stay informed in case some domestic political policies affect me now or in the future. I do seek out various alternative sources of news but mainly use the BBC World Service(to try and hear what's happening outside of the UK)and the domestic national radio network Radio Four. Ignorance is sometimes bliss but on the other hand you have to try not to be insular.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

An Almost Perfect Day...

was partially spoilt upon my return home yesterday.

I managed to do a little shop in Chester Le Street and being all on one level helped,  I needed very little as it happened. All the buses connected easily and I did not need to wait for ages. You know what else is great about the town's retail area? It has many seats for you to have a rest. I also had chance to have a look in Iceland and though I try to eat healthily and for ready meals/variety/price their range of ready meals for one person were amazing so when I create some extra space in the freezer I will buy a few for myself. We used to have a branch on my town but that is decades ago.

I came back into Durham City and the three shops I needed are located next to the bus station so how easy is that? I avoided the main retail area.

Upon coming home a local pet shop was delivering to my neighbour goods for her large dog and trying to pull away and by the time I attempted to take a photo/get a registration number the van had disappeared. Instead of parking on the drive or roadside they had used the grass verge. There was a space on the other side of the road that could have been used. I have never ever seen this verge churned up so much whilst living in this property. Three neighbours commented on the state of it. Two of those had witnessed the incident as it happened.

Update:Thinking of comments below, I do sympathise that with all the wet weather of late they would not expect this to happen but if they could not park on the concrete drive and that includes the part that connects to the path or road it was a pity that they kept churning the verge when they were stuck and were not able to find another solution. They did not just leave tyre tracks but took great lumps out of it. It would have caused less damage had they run the length of  the verge and off the other side instead of trying to turn off it.

If you click on the image(you can do so twice)you can make the image larger. Oh and after the saga of the drain problem that worried me for the last few months, my neighbour as I surveyed the damage found something to complain about again. I've lived here over five decades and had at least five sets of neighbours and never ever had any problems until the last few years. I would say this but I don't trouble anyone, help where I can, am quiet and yet I seem to come off worse. Hey ho...

In hindsight it looks a little like poor me? That last sentence especially. I'm not perfect. But not a compulsive complainer. It really was an enjoyable day out as those who were kind enough to comment. And I have barely given it a thought since. Its highly unlikely I would have taken the incident further.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


I have found(bet there are more in the loft when I clear it out)quite a lot of lost/misplaced mugs, bowls, plates and cutlery so my recent "Best" set can stay that way for some time to come. Though it will be interesting to see how long those I have found and are used daily will last. I think that I shall try to store items away and stick to no more than two sets of plates, mugs and bowls at any time to cut down on untidiness and washing.

I thought I could hear a bit of a commotion early in the day(yesterday)outside but here in the back bedroom it really is quiet. Tonight I know why. Now there could be reasons that are difficult to argue against for why street lights are being replaced...

  • Light pollution
  • Saving energy
  • Cost of running them
There could be other reasons I have forgotten/not thought of but no one I have overheard, talked to or seen letters in the local press seem in favour of them. From my own standpoint I hate them. I find they offer little if any light and if you haven't the best eyesight, are vulnerable, elderly(I'm sure you can think of other reasons)they offer little if anything to your safety. They are so poor, they may as well be switched off altogether. I have heard quite a few taxi drivers who are unhappy with them.

They are not even as good as the old gas lamps we had in the late 1800's/early 1900's. I can quite easily see me taking a torch with me for extra reassurance. I assume that they will be rolled out across the whole of the county and other councils will follow suit but so far quite a few neighbouring towns I have passed through on my travels, the work does not appear to have started or its on a limited bases.

I have discovered that I am virtually deaf in my left ear, I hope it is no more than a problem that occurs occasionally with wax and later today I shall see if some olive oil will shift it...I have no idea when it happened. Fingers crossed.

I did not go out yesterday(surprise, surprise)I wasn't up to it but later today I will head to Durham(and take my shopping trolley(just in case)I come back with anything heavy. And nothing is going to stop me. I am even wondering if I should be more adventurous and travel just a little bit further approx 10 minutes out of Durham and go to Chester Le Street, I keep saying that I will and never do...all the shops are on one long street that is level and no banks to climb and there are both independent and well known shops to choose from and on a Saturday there is a big market. So today could be the day(I just thought about that as I was writing this)

I'm visiting places that I never have and I am virtually certain my parents never or rarely did. To be honest there probably was no reason to do so. And even though I complain about public transport it probably was difficult in their day and owning a car was unusual. Its approx 22 miles from where I live(around 30 minutes)it will take me approx an hour with a change of buses at Durham.

I'll wrap up well and take my camera in case there is something worth taking a photo of.

I have set up my evening meal already and think that it will be a chicken and mushroom pie, mixed vegetables and perhaps potatoes. OK its the early hours but I have had a bowl(two portions)of porridge with added blueberries, banana and blackberries. So that will fuel me for the day.

I can always have some fruit juice and toast for breakfast when I get up. I am thinking of going out early and coming home early. I don't need to drag the day out for the sake of it.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Don't Think I Will Go Today Even Though Its The First Meeting...

But I have never ever been to a racecourse in my life. Reasonably close by is Sedgefield Races. So sometime soon I shall pack a rucksack with a snack and a flask, my camera and head there and have a look at what such an event entails but I won't be placing any bets.

If I go to a Winter meeting I can probably catch a bus home but if its an evening meeting I'll have to get a taxi home or go into Sedgefield and travel to Durham or to Bishop Auckland adding more miles and time to the journey. The nearest I can get to the race course is approx half a mile so I will have to take my time, pick a day where I am at my best and rest quite a lot. Sedgefield is approx 8 miles away.

Come to that matter there is also Redcar Races but they are approx 30 miles away.

Insomnia...Not A Problem.

Usually. If I cannot sleep I do so when I am able and if awake in these times I go on the internet/listen to the radio/music. Thankfully you do not have endless hours to fill with nothing.

I did have a period where sleep was less easy to come by after Mum passed away. At present the opposite has been more of a problem I find that I fall off to sleep without realising that I have and then wake to find I have only been asleep for anything between ten minutes to an hour. Does it bother me? Thankfully not. Only when I find I was interested in a radio programme and wake to find it has changed.

Well, I have just had a couple of Jaffa cakes and a mug of tea and am settled again in my cosy bed.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Good Morning...

I decided against the planned meals yesterday...and cleared older items from the fridge. That included the chicken that I cooked in the slow cooker.I now have some extra room to play with.

I ended up having chicken salad rolls. And mugs of soup.

Today, I am planning on catching up on tasks.

But I hope to drop a New Year card into someone personally at the local hospital that I used to do voluntary work with some years ago. Will have a ride to Durham(because I can)no real reason for doing so.(That has been moved to tomorrow)Pay some bills. Do a little more tidying up and then go to the bingo tonight.

I really do think that there is something about Winter that makes you feel like eating more and if you are able almost hibernate.

I hope to be starting the day with a "Proper" breakfast...Fruit juice, porridge and fruit, toast and marmalade and coffee. Some of the changes I have made by having yogurt or adding/sprinkling items onto food is something quite new to me and ideas have been found due to the internet and my friend Andrea.

Later I think I shall use up the salad items I have so I can start with a new selection of food in the fridge and look for some reductions again. So I will have some quiche. Then over the next few days I will make myself some Christmas meals with some Turkey I have and add vegetables and potatoes. I can make sandwiches too.

Tonight I have some cakes or biscuits that I can take to my bingo club to share with those there when its tea break. I have some lime Jaffa cakes or some rum and ginger cake that I can cut into slices. What I don't use this week I can next time.

I have managed without the heating for the last few days and been warm enough with the clothes and blankets I have and staying mainly in my bedroom at the back of the house. Even though the thermometer suggests temperatures of 10c-18c(48f-64f)

I have at times had to take off clothes because of being too warm but we have probably been fortunate that it has been quite mild so far and we are not safe as yet. Last year we had a really cold Winter which seemed to go on forever.

Update:I rarely win at the bingo but did tonight. I won a line)but was still out of pocket by £3 having had to get a taxi there(I was late)and buying my books. I could have been £1 in credit as I had won another line but missed calling.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Planning My Main Meal Today...

One item is a little old but well cooked I suspect it will be safe to eat. So the plan is chicken breasts with garlic and herbs. Thinking of adding diced vegetables and potatoes. The water used for cooking the vegetables to be used for the gravy. I shall probably slice the chicken so it can be used in other meals or in sandwiches.

The chicken breasts are already in the slow cooker in a roasting bag and on a timer but I may very well override the timer later as I don't think that they will take too long to be ready.

My weight has settled again. So it looks as though it was a blip. I do like to vary my diet and get the goodness naturally from food. Though I do still like to take some extra vitamins and minerals.

I am enjoying having breakfast again. And adding various items into cereals or porridge be it fruit or seeds, nuts and grains.
Update:Taking it easy have a bit of pain in the old shoulder and leg, so will stay put.

I Have Realised Over Recent Times Where My Political Leanings Are...

But I am not extreme in my views, I will praise/criticise any party even if it is the one I am most aliened to. I try to see all sides but will not blindly follow any political doctorate. Over the years my views will have changed depending on life experiences and the media.

I will always try and be respectful of other opinions and views and hope that I never sink to personal attacks of a derogatory nature. That I can always think of a reason why I have come to a conclusion on a particular policy.

Therefore, having filled in a survey online it is kind of interesting that the results have come out as evenly split between four parties, two being mainstream and two that could be in the future.

If accurate it is going to make voting in the next election in 2015 even more difficult/interesting for me when making a decision.

Here is a link as to how my views on policies affect which party I would vote for...then again it is only based on four issues(it could be different if I had chosen from all that was available)should you wish to, you can take part and see how your results come out.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Not Where I Should Be...

Instead of being at the Music Club I am...at home. Until the last minute I was going...but I had one of my rare headaches/migraines that I could not shift. Then it was too late to consider going by the time it disappeared. If I went now I'd only see perhaps an hour by the time a taxi got me there.

Its one of those...easy to drift away nights where I can be on here or listening to the radio and I suddenly find I have drifted off and the programme I am listening to has moved on/changed. But tiredness is part of the condition I have so I accept that.

Hopefully, I shall be back on track from tomorrow

I hope its ok, I found the milk I could not find. Totally unused so its back being cooled down. It was...in my bedroom and hidden under an over hanging continental quilt, I did look the first time in that area so how it was missed I have no idea. Being coldish I am keeping my fingers crossed it has not been wasted, it also helps that it is that treated fresh milk.

I had a mug of leek and potato soup.
I was even debating on beans on toast, its been months since I had those. No alcohol today animated smileys angels 6

Update:Ended up with Marmite on toast.

I Fell Asleep...

in the afternoon yesterday and woke to discover that it was 5.30pm, so it was a quick shave and dress. I was about to head out the door and was greeted with an almighty downpour which would drown anyone so I had to dig out a heavier coat able to cope with such extreme weather.

And by the time I was reorganised the rain had stopped. And when I boarded the bus(I timed arriving at the bus stop as a bus arrived)so no waiting and I was too hot so took off my hat and gloves.

I dropped my cards into the letterbox as I passed the main Post Office and arrived in good time for the Viennese concert at the local theatre. What can I say? It was a beautiful night of light classics, some I knew, others were new to me by Strauss, Lehar, Brahms, Liszt and the like.

Music of a gentler, romantic time. A couple of hours to totally forget the cares of the world both personally and globally.

Because of detouring from my usual route to the theatre(mailing the cards)I seemed to find a quicker way there but also discovered another venue I thought was further away from the town centre and needed a bus service to get to is in fact...virtually at the back of the theatre, there is nothing I wish to see at present but there has been and may be again. So that is a new discovery for me.

Their weekly jazz get togethers clash with the club I attend on my own town(Sundays)and that really is a bad night for catching a bus anyhow.

I only had to wait for around twenty minutes for my bus home...I called into the supermarket and got my computer magazine(at last)some cucumber, mixed salad. I found some household items that will be useful/I wanted anyhow.

A room thermometer, a bag for putting smaller/delicate items into when in the washing machine, some shot glasses and six wooden coat hangers. I want to hang my thicker jumpers rather than try and fill drawers/cupboards.

When I came home I wanted to make a coffee. Can I find the 2 litre of milk I thought I had in the fridge? No!

So then I started looking in other rooms that I may have used it such as my bedroom where I have an electric kettle, the kitchen where I made my porridge and so on...I have drawn a blank. So now I wonder have I thrown it out in the wheelie bin with rubbish or have I used it all. I'll just buy another, perhaps tomorrow when I pay my utility bills and rent/water rates.

The weight I put on...perhaps it was mainly water retention...as I weighed myself tonight and found I had lost 5lbs of the 10lbs I had put on. And I have been drinking more warm drinks than usual.

Still no signs of anything happening at the house at the top of the road either people coming or going. It could be on a timer or someone is calling daily but there is a light on in the lounge as it becomes dark.

Monday, January 06, 2014

A Weighty Problem...

I have put on approx. 10lbs but I have been eating more this past week. I know I can reduce it again and quite quickly. But I cannot see the increase. And some say in the Winter it is to be expected and a little extra weight actually helps keep you warm.

If I get out a bit more that will help burn off the calories and if I stick mainly to fruit and vegetables that will also help. Most of what I have in the house is low in calories. If I keep cakes and biscuits as treats that really will make the difference.

Finally having got through the party food for the buffet, my conclusion is that much of it was not as nice as it could have been and if I do it again, I will stick with a variety of ham/turkey/chicken/quiche/sausage rolls/salad and perhaps prawns. Unless I find a selection of better items in other supermarkets/food stores.

I was considering going out but remembered the concert of Viennese music tonight so I will  stray no further than perhaps the post office(mail some more cards off)go to the bank to cover my rent and utility/internet bills.

If I eat anything I will stick to mainly fruit today perhaps some cereal or porridge.

I may try and clear some data from the PC later...and that will take care of today. I'm not saying the house is warm, my bedroom is 18c/64f(but that is said to be ideal for a bedroom. Downstairs its around 10c/48f but if I was spending time there I would take the chill off with the heating. However, I am warm and cosy, my extremities are lovely and warm, as are my legs(the thermals are really working)even my bald head is warm. Considering how bad the weather and temperatures have been and told to expect I seem very snugly. Hypothermia unlikely.

Perhaps the extra weight is helping too...

In The Midst Of Life...

As I was waiting for the taxi to take me to the bingo tonight. And the wind was blowing practically a gale and rain was being blown everywhere in the distance I could hear an ambulance's siren in the distance. Then I saw the reflection of blue flashing lights on the windows of a house at the top of the street. An ambulance and a police car pulled up outside. It has an elderly lady living there who has for years. My ex gardener has worked there for years doing both the garden and odd jobs.

Not sure what has happened as my taxi arrived and upon returning three hours later there are no cars outside and a light on in the lounge but its not looking good. She must be in her 90's and I have not seen her for many years and she is definitely housebound.

So whether its a case of she has passed away, gone into hospital or will finally go into a care home I am unsure.

Hope that I can avoid a similar scenario for some time to come.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Its A Get Up And At 'Em Sort Of A Day...In The Mind...

Been playing games online off and on overnight between dozing. I'm cosy and actually thinking of having Breakfast. Porridge and fruit possibly followed by toast. May even have some fruit juice, when thinking that way its a good guide to how I am feeling.(All ready, just to put in the microwave)Wheelie bin is out too.

Also, thinking of visiting some retail areas on the outskirts of two local towns which have a bus service during the daytime but weighing up which offers the best variety of shops for myself at present.

The trouble is that both have stores I rarely have any use for such as furniture or DIY. However, one has a "Big" Home Bargains retail unit and if it is anything like the one in Hartlepool/Stockton I can lose an afternoon in there. And come February another should be open which will be nearer still to where I live. I will still have to travel and take my shopping trolley/knapsack but it will be even easier.

Home Bargains gives the pound shops a run for quality and prices even if some items cost more.  So whether I do that today, next week or later its something else to aim for.

Update:Stayed put, ate well, happy and rested. I had my porridge(double portion)added strawberries, banana, blueberries and blackberries, I would normally think twice but I had Special K Multi grain porridge, a new product which had been on a half price offer. All sorted within 5 minutes. Used up the ham later with tomato, egg, celery, cucumber, spinach, rocket, watercress and prawns too. Only missing chips, potatoes or a jacket potato. But how much healthier could you eat? Doing all that I am able to do.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Freezing Items You Never Thought That You Could...

I just had to share this article on foods you can freeze and probably did not realise. Anything that saves waste and money is worth knowing about...

Food items that can be frozen for later...

Still Hiding Indoors...

I could go out but why?

I have plans as you know for Sunday/Monday/Tuesday/Thursday(much the same as other weeks)the exception being Monday when I go all light classical and listen to Viennese music of composers like Strauss.

I have been known to make the effort and dress accordingly but as the weather is likely to be cold and wet, I will probably be in my coat so I'll probably stay in it, have a jumper on and as its easier for me I shall be in my trainers.

I may have a look out tomorrow, doing mainly window shopping, possibly a ride on a bus just for the sake of it. I have the excuse that my computer magazine is out again.

Later I think I shall have a prawn salad, they need using and I don't want to waste them. Then over the weekend possibly use the rest of the buffet stuff as snacks. They may be something I can perhaps take to the club on Sunday?

And just maybe if I stay close to home, I can have a proper Christmas meal prepared by my own fair hands(after all I have my own Turkey roasts to use up)thinks if not I'll take some items out of the freezer and use them instead. Or I'd rather waste them.

Looking forward to a shave over the weekend too, I have five days of stubble to get rid of...

The year for many has not got off to a great start. Disasters and poverty is dependent on your personal definition is.

But I came across the following which appeared in the New York Times regarding food banks in the UK. Shameful. If this is the working poor...heaven help those who are even lower down the pecking order.

There is another story breaking today with a utility company telling people to save energy and the cost of increased bills by going to bed early, to stop drinking tea, share showers etc...many are cutting back but we are returning to medieval times where we used candles, went to bed when it was dark, once we could burn coal and the like. It comes to something when you are told that a warm drink is out. It also flies in the face of all the advice charities and experts give about the well being of many to stay warm and clean if you are told to avoid warm meals and a warm bath/shower/wash.

I'm not sure that I like where things are going in my country.

Thursday, January 02, 2014


There are some things that I have to deal with and the opening few months of any year have memories for me...January 5th would have been my Father's Birthday, had he still been here he would have been ninety years old. February 4th it is thirty years since he passed away. Mum's birthday is in February and come April its amazing that already two years will have passed by since Mum was in my life

However, though on my own, its not been a bad day today. Haven't been thinking too deeply or about anything in particular. I must be doing a better because I have managed to avoid that feeling that I must go out.

The most exciting thoughts running through my mind is what to do for my main meal and because certain items "must" be used I think it will be a salad again. But this time I shall add some prawns. And perhaps some chips or potatoes. Or and this is taking priority possibly a jacket potato.

I have finally done my washing, if I thought it would not rain I would consider using the washing line but I think that I shall give in and use the tumble drier. It is not used that often anyhow. Come Summer if I only have a small amount of washing to do I may go back to a hand wash where possible.

I am hearing all the doom and gloom in the news that really disruptive weather is about to hit the UK again and many who have had a miserable time with damage to property and flooding will be hit once more. But it could hit anywhere from tomorrow so that could see me staying indoors even longer.

I have a very small tidying up to do(big clear out will be needed later in the year)but I will put that off as long as I am able and certainly wait until the weather improves and it is more spring like.

Day One Has Passed By...

three hundred and sixty four to go...and none of us know if we or our loved ones will be here at the same time, same place next year.

Eventful first day for me? No.

Much sleeping animated smileys sleeping 8no reason to go out. Bus service limited. I needed no food. The weather was wet.

I have been living on chicken salad either in rolls or on the plate. Lots of buffet stuff still to use. Plenty of hot drinks. Some treats(within reason)such as a custard Danishanimated smileys eating & drinking 9

I've found some crackers* in my food store so I can have some cheese and biscuits too.

I spent the early hours of the New Year looking around You Tube appreciating how much of my favourite TV is still buried in the past and I realise just how good it really was but its been so long since I watched, they are new to me. Some I watched as a child/teenager and though the opening credit/images/theme music others seem familiar but I am not sure that I did watch them.

Also, as many are American produced it depended on how many were shown here. Some never made it here. I'd say what they are but that may result in them being removed before I view them so I'll stay vague.

*Just had some with cheese and they're lovely, I'll be having these again...Unless they are discontinued.

There are other items I like the look of but haven't seen in the supermarket, it would appear only one UK supermarket sells them and only two varieties, then again they are American.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

It's New Year...

Does it feel any different?

I hope so.

All the very best for 2014 and I hope it is all you wish it to be x
new year 2014