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.

Monday, March 31, 2014

That Was Easy...

If a bit of a strange breakfast. Well, it was more like a breakfast and dinner combined. I used what I took to the the club last night...told you that I would. List of food on the last entry.

I have had a cup of Dandelion tea. Meh! No taste to speak of and yet perhaps if something is said to be good for you and its just like drinking hot water does it really matter? I think I have a good knowledge of what is good to eat/drink. How often/how much you should have. What's genuine advice and what is rubbish and often what is written in the press is subjective and specific points from a report are lifted and over emphasised.

So talking of tea you've perhaps seen all the publicity that is given to the health benefits of Green Tea. Well now we have a study suggesting the health benefits of Earl Grey Tea I am glad to see that the article I link to says that "It may" offer health benefits. Its years since I tasted that kind of tea and it really is an aquired taste.

The act last night at the bingo/social night yesterday was loud, glad I had ear plugs with me but my ears were still ringing a bit. It doesn't need to be for the size of the room.

I do need some cleaning products just for a little sprucing up of the house, I can't improve the carpets and furniture but later in the year if I can afford to I hope to decorate. At least the house is not cluttered. Not that it ever has been except when I was having a clear out and moving items out of cupboards. That was temporary.

I will have to decide my evening meal*...I ate most of the hotpot from the slow cooker at the weekend but with only approx one portion remaining and it looking quite sorry for itself I decided to sling it. I think that was still good value.

British Summer Time is here yay!...Its not particular cold indoors but it still looks quite miserable outside. But hey its still early days what should we expect?

*Made do with a ready meal cottage pie.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Doesn't Matter...

That we have moved into British Summer Time except its nice to have lighter nights when you go out in the evening and can leave lights off longer in the evenings at home. Then again, I get a bit restless if I have nowhere to go and am wasting the extra light Summer offers.

I want to see what videos I managed to get from yesterday of the trains. But equally I have forgotten what they were called so not a good start. But when I find out that will be sorted. The site that tells you what trains will be where is very quick to take old information down. An extra day or two would be helpful.

Its the early hours but I have slept well, its quite cosy and it is probably true that a hot meal fuels the body and dare I admit I had another bowl of my hot pot(or whatever you call it)in the slow cooker at 4am this morning.

Having said that my meals during Summer will be light and probably require little cooking. Summer has that affect on me. Processed food can be bad like anything but if chosen carefully its fine and gets a bad rap. I have some great items in my fridge and most will cook in the microwave which saves using an oven. So forgive me if I share.

I will be busy today pottering about and then ok I know its the topic of food again but I shall take some items to the Bingo club tonight and make use of what I bring home...Cherry tomatoes(probably)pork pies(cut into pieces)perhaps, some ham and pease pudding rolls are very likely. But it will not be wasted as I can bring items home and use them myself.

Oh here's a trick I discovered and its taken decades to discover...perhaps its just me who did not know... those cartons of milk/fruit juice. When you pour them they usually dribble or spill when the hole/spout is nearest to the cup or glass. I kid you not, if you pour from the longest side of the carton and not the end it will work without spilling.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Is This A Habit...

8am and I have already been to the supermarket and spent my voucher. I have buns and milk primarily. Also I made the effort this morning to have a double portion of strawberry and banana porridge oats but also added blackberries, blueberries and real strawberries. I may even have some toast around 10am.

So all I have to do is get ready for my train spotting this afternoon. I have set the slow cooker away so there will be a hot meal this evening, little if any preparation. Meatballs, vegetables and gravy.

My joints are hurting today so I shall take painkillers and hope that they kick in...

More later, possibly videos too.

Well, its almost 4pm now...

I had to sling my slow cooker meal. It may have been ok but I have a feeling I had left residue of washing up liquid. Luckily I had enough to do it again so that's bubbling away as I write this.

Found another voucher so treated myself to some Panini buns and some buns that are usually a bit expensive reduced to 35p for six and some little fudge cakes(5 in box)normally £1.50 reduced to 53p. So I ended up with almost £10 worth of stuff and with the voucher and reductions only spent £1. I think that  is a bargain.

We saw the first train around 1.40pm and we will go back for 7.05pm and the second steam train. So I have just had a coffee and a pork and egg roll/tomato sandwich. That's now used up. So I am resting and just listening to the radio. The weather(though dull)is quite mild, it was slightly misty but not bad.

Now its after 8pm and home from the second visit to view the trains, gates were locked. Had to shoot videos through the fence, it was pretty dark but hopefully there is something that can be used. It was a bit of a rush because I fell asleep and woke approx five minutes before the transport called for me.

Since coming home I have had a bowl of my hot pot, simple but delicious and warming. The gravy is neither thick or thin, the vegetables are cooked enough and a fair variety that I threw in without thinking much, I had fresh veg that was diced or in pieces so there was leeks, carrots, potato, swede, cauliflower and broccoli with added meatballs. So the second attempt worked perfectly and still plenty remains.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Sometimes I Hardly Throw Anything Away...

in the wheelie bin so its very light or I let it build up and its only taken away every fortnight(alternates with a recycle collection)today I could hardly get everything into it. And I wanted it emptied so I can get the extra rubbish I am throwing out and though it would be bagged and in the garage waiting for the next collection(doing no harm)I am paranoid that those who call next week would be unhappy even though its temporary. I believe I can get what's left into it so its not on show.

So its Spring and tomorrow night we put the clocks forward and officially its Summertime...you wouldn't think that it was looking at the weather. Its raining again. If I do venture out it will only to buy milk and I'll do that late afternoon. I may see if there is anything reduced, I have found a voucher worth £4.50 I did not know that I had...I found another the other day worth £2.50(not sure where that one is at the minute)

Its even a bit cold in the house today, at present around 13c(54f)I'll put on a jumper or something similar.

Had some fun earlier when I found that some of my electric had failed and certain items were not working...that's quite unusual so much so I did not think that was the reason for a while. Not a power cut thank heavens.

Spoilt for choice meal wise if I decide to have more than a salad/snack. I could do meatballs and baked beans, how simple is that? Now what could I put with those two ingredients? Or should I stick with the two...

I'll get back to you on that one...

Update:I ended up eating pork and egg roll/tomato sandwiches. I found some long life milk so avoided going out and this won't happen often, when tidying I found £10(US $16.64)

Still Around...

But yesterday was quieter than usual even for me...I managed to find some spare plates/bowls/mugs and cutlery. Washed them and put them away in the cupboard. Threw some rubbish out(more tomorrow)

I had a sleep. Got shaved. Went to the bingo club...won a house. False call...Doh! Thought 54 had been called  and it was 64. Oh well...easy come, easy go. The club is closed for the next two weeks.

Came home had a coffee and decided to have two wild Alaskan salmon, spinach and Sicilian lemon fishcakes with white and wild rice with added vegetables followed by a Frosties snack bar(972 calories)My daily goal is around 1,200. But generally I don't sit there counting calories.

So it all starts again tomorrow...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Can't Believe I've Done It Again...

Been out for my computer magazine...came back and cleared a wardrobe and tidied my books in it. Going to move some light bulbs into another cupboard.

Then I shall see of what I have removed can be thrown out or put back into cupboards in a more orderly fashion that could take tomorrow to see it completed. All my "Stuff" is in one room now so only one room affected. So nine rooms are ok, as is the landing, hall and passage. When you have a Spring Clean and get rid of stuff there will always be a little bit of untidiness. I cannot get any more into my wheelie bin.

But I think everything is going well.

I shall have a little rest until lunchtime.

Update:I've battened down the hatches and I am not going out until tomorrow's bingo. Its horrible outside, icy rain. Perhaps I'll have something nice for my evening meal/supper. What else do I have to think about at present.

Not in my garden but there are two crows breaking small twigs off a tree to take elsewhere to make a nest. The other day near the town centre it was a pair of wood pigeons. I guess Spring really has arrived.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A New Morning...

Feeling quite good. So alright, I've shopped. Out before 8am and home not much after 8.30am. Things for snacks and sandwiches...ham, chicken, beef, pork with egg, egg and bacon sandwich filler, pease pudding, cherry tomatoes, pears and mushrooms. Good long dates on everything too.

I have had a coffee and taken to my bed for a rest, then around 1pm I will do some household tasks. Have perhaps a nice evening meal/tea and get ready to go out to the Music Club again which will lift the spirits. I wasn't thinking about it at the time but the sliced meats will be handy for the weekend when we go train spotting again. And yes, I may put something up for the Sunday bingo club. All put to good use.

It was trying to rain when I was out but not enough to get wet. I really could do with a good raincoat/anorak of some kind(I will keep looking in the charity shops)

Update:Another great night at the Music Club, the worry was that we were short of performers but everyone rallied round and it was fantastic. We're also hoping that we can get a group together to go to a local musical festival in September using a minibus or sharing taxi's or giving something towards petrol money if its private transport. Two performers appearing at the festival are Charlie Dore and Joseph "Benny" Gallagher of the duo Gallagher and Lyle. Sadly, public transport is the problem. Its only 8 miles away(approx 15 mins)but once it gets past 6pm...Thankfully two of our regular music club performers are trying to sort something out for us.

My friend Andrea is willing to sit in with me on the day of the Housing Association visit and her support is always appreciated. Good to have someone batting in your corner. Just doing so out of kindness and the goodness of their hearts.

I am about to have a meal of roasted vegetables with crab and cod in some kind of champagne sauce. OK its now Wednesday and nearly half Midnight but I haven't eaten much over Tuesday and I had a long sleep(I must have needed the rest)I am wide awake now so I suppose the night has become my day.

The veg looks over done but are still soft and do not taste burnt so the meal is on. The crab and cod bake was tasty but glad I did not pay full price and would not buy it again. When put on the plate it was basically a big jacket potato and the cod/crab was an afterthought. If I wanted it again, I could make it myself and spend much less.

With two items at least I was using the oven more economically though if I had also put a Turkey joint in at the same time I could have saved even more energy. At least that only takes 25 minutes to cook. And then it can be sliced and used in sandwiches or with a salad/hot meal. I sometimes look at food that is cooked in the supermarket and think how expensive it is but it actually may work out cheaper if you are not having to use your own oven. I mean if it costs £3 for a raw chicken and £4 for a cooked chicken perhaps it costs more to cook it at home. Though I am more likely to stick it in the slow cooker these days. Also I would look for an offer or a reduction.

Fat? Not Me!

Not if you look up all the sites that offer calculations on Body Mass Index, weight and waist measurement, OK I take a blood pressure tablet but I have to due to kidney damage but it also has a side effect that protects them from further damage. The last test I had for diabetes(I forget the reading)but it was good.

The last weigh in at the hospital with my clothes and trainers on had me slightly less than my home scales. I was around 9st 8ozs(134lbs)61kg so almost what I was aiming for around 1lb off the target. And that was with clothes and heavy trainers on so in reality I am probably spot on.

I have been listening to a report(there are more throughout the week)about obesity We hear a lot about obesity and complications it causes in the UK and yes, the media likes to cite the US and the amount of overweight people there. But the report was concentrating on India and China.

There was criticism of processed food but if used properly and you also have a diet that includes vegetables/fruit and dishes cooked at home there is no reason to see it as the cause of all our problems.

But yes we do need to where possible to buy the best that we are able with the income we have available. Its calories and portion size. And exercise if it can be done safely.

OK I was a bit peckish so I have just eaten a crisp sandwich(Worcester Sauce flavour)and some brown sauce in white bread but it has added fibre. Actually more than in their own wholemal bread.

I will keep an eye on the electric costs but I have turned up the temperature control on the fridge freezer, I found the temp in the fridge was correct most of the time but I was getting some water collecting, for now this action has stopped that and everything is even colder and I mean colder I noticed this most with the fruit juice and milk. It could mean items from the freezer will need thawing longer but equally mean the fridge is almost like a second freezer.

I feel a bit down but again I think its a little bit of worry of what the future holds but subconsciously this was the time Mum was spending her final weeks in the Nursing Home.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Funny Combination..

Been snacking on cherry tomatoes and mini chorizo sausages. I have come to the conclusion that the
sausages taste a bit like Peperami(the branded product)not that I have eaten that very often. It's spicy but not too much. I am ok with herbs but more unsure about spices.

One of the group gave me a couple pies to bring home, they are home made containing meat and gravy which is a welcome gesture. Its always another couple of meals taken care of.

I'm warm and cosy...and not too troubled as I lie here but we'll see what is thrown at me as the week progresses.

My main concern is that I continue to eat well and stay as healthy as I am able and its time to add more fruit and vegetables into my diet and yes, cook some hot meals. Even though money is likely to reduce. I am fortunate that I am single, eat small portions and have enough skills to stretch what I buy so it goes further. Sometimes I think that I should have a meal plan but I have a rough idea in my head and like to eat what I feel like on the day.

I did not win this evening at the bingo, some seem lucky and regularly win but its luck in the end, you'll win if you are supposed to.

Deposit for the holiday is paid. I will try and put aside the rest and not touch it no matter what happens in the coming months. As said it is only a Mon-Fri break so really you only have Tues, Weds and Thurs away. I won't take a lot of clothes with me and shaving stuff is all that I need. Not expecting to do much shopping either.

Update:I had to make some phone calls early in the morning that I was dreading...they went ok. People were nice. Had time for me. I am debating if I should change my utility bill(prices are frozen until March 2017)but there is a new tariff that runs until March 2018 and I would be £1 worse off on current useage for the electric but £61 better off on the cost of the gas. But as the person at the call centre said a better deal could be brought out any time. But I am tempted...£61 is still like being let off with a month of electric and gas. I usually pay around £50 a month.

It would appear that I am credit enough to actually say that I could take a year off paying the energy bill but I like having a cushion to fall back on for when things are really tough.

I wondered what had happened at first when I rang the utility company as I was connecting to a Virgin company on an 0800 number. I discovered that I had pressed an 8 instead of a 3. Two numbers exactly the same except for one digit.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Nothing Much Planned For Today...

In theory I can make some lovely meals this week and not spend any much. Probably no more than £5, need some pears, sliced meat and that's the lot. That will be great. I am not going anywhere today. Though it looks very nice outside, a virtually cloudless but blue sky and there seems to be little if any breeze.

Next weekend we are down for some more train spotting and we are taking some thing to eat and possibly flasks with something warm. The first train passes through and stops for a water stop between 13.20-13.50 and the next around 16.30. I suspect my companions will want to go into the pub to fill time so I will have to put aside some spare cash so if I am not spending on food etc...I can just about manage. I prefer to buy my own but it seems rounds are the norm...hopefully we can ration how much is drunk/purchased.

Then there is a bit of a gap for a some weeks...

Looks like I have to part with the deposit for the holiday to Blackpool and I am committed to going unless something unexpected happens to stop me. It is only a mon-fri trip so only 4 nights so not too taxing. I have my own room so I will have some time on my own and I will take my radio for entertainment back at the hotel.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Blue Sky And Calm...

But is this just trying to fool me? I suspect it is cold outdoors so I shall make certain I am wrapped up well or have scarf, hat and gloves in my haversack. I have found a warmer hat this week. The one I have been wearing more often of late. Last week it was a woollen hat and not as warm as the one I shall have with me today.

Update:Most of the day the weather was fine if cold but we had a couple of hailstorms. We arrived at the venue where the steam train LNER B1 Class 4-6-0 no 61264 was located. I only know that thanks to train ethusiasts. It was to go in one direction, couple up with another and return in the opposite direction eventually ending up in Whitby. The trains not us. I'm sure others chased after it along route.

LNER B1 Class 4-6-0 no 61264 Locomotive at North Road station Darlington 2014, March 22

But the main train The Great Marquess was delayed and they decided to couple up with delayed train at Darlington Station. So a few people took off who had cars to relocate to try and see them together looking for somewhere to park up before starting their journey. No guarantee that we would know where it would be or if we would get there in time to see it again.

As it happens we did. The following image shows the LNER B1 Class 4-6-0 no 61264 locomotive being filled by a water tanker.

LNER B1 Class 4-6-0 no 61264 having a water stop at Darlington Railway station March 22, 2014

My camera wasn't strong enough to get a decent image with its zoom lens and the second train and the coupling was so far away you could only see the back end of the Great Marquess in the following image but those I was with will eventually make a DVD or post video online. And on a camcorder the zoom is better.

The Great Marquess is coupled to the carriages and LNER B1 Class 4-6-0 no 61264 locomotive(Darlington Station)

I was dropped off in Darlington with the intention of seeing some of the dancing in the town centre of the various Morris Dancers but with the turn in the weather and being late I gave up and had a look in a book shop that hasn't been open long but is closing down. I was struggling so decided to catch the bus home. But from the stop I found some dancing was still happening.

Morris Dancers in Darlington Market Place March 22, 2014

So I headed over and managed to get nearly all of one dance(I was hoping for more)I got into a good position but you guessed it, even though I was on view, right at the end some lady walked across my line of sight(she could have gone around the back of me)and then asked a Morris Dancer to pose for a photo and positioned both herself and the dancer virtually right in front of me again.

Morris Dancers Darlington Market Place 2014, March 22

I do wonder if people are oblivious or ignorant and don't care as long as they get their photo ok. I have played the video back and its even worse than I realised. I decided that I could not be bothered to hang around for a few hours, I think they were all going to reappear indoors at a leisure centre(I was tired)so I went back to bus stop and timed it so I was able to board a bus immediately for home.

Morris Dancers Darlington Market Place March 22, 2014

I managed to buy myself some potatoes, about all I am short of in my food store and I hit a hailstorm a few streets from home. When I came home I decided to have a rest and found that I had slept for five hours. I am glad that I was able to as my knee joints have been painful and I have also had toothache(and I was unable to find my tube of something that takes it away)I haven't used much and it costs around £4 so I don't want to buy another.

Because I have eaten enough earlier I have only had a cup a soup since coming in, I am ok so I may wait until tomorrow now but I'll decide later.

Its a little colder indoors tonight than the past few days even in the bedroom so I have put my pyjamas on(well the top)as I have some thermal bottoms on.

I was going to do some final tidying up but I will do that tomorrow. That is not strictly true, its just going through paperwork. And sorting some clothes of Mum's. Then we're done.

I have slept some more and the house has actually warmed up and I gave in around 3am(ish)and had a mug of weak milky coffee and a prawn cocktail crisp sandwich with some brown sauce.

Sandwich Free Weekend...

All prepared sandwiches have been eaten...that's over 8 days of meals...good quality ingredients and calories at half price...

Stage two...tomorrow I have a cod bake with a champagne sauce of some kind in mind(too expensive usually)but at half price a treat. Plenty of vegetables to add if required.

Stage three...back to using the slow cooker. Lots of diced vegetables(saves me preparing them)I paid 14p for a large packet and found some meatballs by a reputable firm reduced so that will make a nice stew/casserole and spare can go into a container for another day. I did not have room in the freezer for the meatballs so I will cook them and store them in the fridge using spare in other meals, after all they are just like round sausagesSmiley lol 051.GIFits a pity that I could not freeze them but I did not want to miss the offer. I can have quite a few meals in the coming days. And the average price per meal will be as little as 15p-20p how cheap is that?

I have three loaves of bread worth £3 and paid only 30p so even if I have to waste some I can afford to, again not enough room in the freezer to store it. But as I was expecting to pay £1 for one loaf I can live with that. Even out of a freezer bread here can last me around two weeks without spoiling.

Sorry about the talk of food...but it is something I enjoy and I would hate the day to arrive where health issues mean I am no longer allowed to eat what I like. I have to laugh, I was on Twitter earlier and someone posted a receipt of a meal they had had in a London restaurant bemoaning the price but happy that wine had been free(I think)I don't know how many were eating but it came out at around £93.

I am afraid I would find it difficult to justify spending more than £3 if I was to eat out. And I am more likely to wait until I come home or put something up and take it with me in a knapsack. That also goes for drinking too. I do appreciate that a place serving food has to make a profit and pay for staff, heat, lighting, business rates, food etc...I also appreciate that if you are with others it is a social event too.

And yet we have an ever increasing network of foodbanks, soup kitchens and places feeding the elderly. Scary times...So if I am able to feed myself for between £4-£10 per week I am quite pleased. If I was to suddenly find myself not having to worry about what I spend I doubt that I could shake off this attitude of being careful..

My last food shop was worth around £20 and I spent around £5.

This Sunday I will take to the Bingo club some Chorizo mini sausages(cooked)cherry tomatoes and I may take some cheese. I already have them in the fridge so nothing to buy. I have never eaten Chorizo so have no idea if I will like them. It appears that it is a bit spicy.

Did I say...last Sunday's turn at the club was orignally lead singer with a band who had a top ten hit in 1978 called Goldie and called Making Up Again so yes he had to sing their hit. I believe they only had the one. The rest of his set was mainly standards and favourites of the 50's/60's and a mixture of musical genres. It was a lower turnout than some weeks too.

Depending on how I feel and the weather will decide what I do this Saturday but I will have my camera at hand. I say the weather because there is the suggestion that as usually happens when Spring arrives we find a cold snap and there is talk of frost and possibly hail/snow. And yet earlier on when I went out I was in a light jacket and here in my home there is no heating on and the whole house seems warm enough.

Its tidy enough for the visit in approx 12 days(to be honest)anecdotally I have been in both private and social housing as it is now called and seen many properties with more furniture and personal possessions than I have who have been troubled less than myself. If I feel I am being hassled this time I may very well kick up a fuss. Its just that I dislike bother.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Coincidence? Hassle?

Less than two weeks after the visit from the person doing the asbestos survey on the house I have a letter from the landlord(Housing Association)today telling me they want to do a visit again. At best they are meant to be an annual visit but with all the carry on last year and something else in October the earliest anyone should be calling is May or if you take the latter visit into account it would not happen for another 6 months. I hope I am not going to have a similar experience that I had last year.

Its funny I bumped into someone who runs a shop in town a few days ago and without any prompting from me he told me of the stories he hears and the reputation the HA has, anecdotal yes but none of them are positive. How people wish they were still under the care of the borough council if we had the choice. But we are where we are.

So now I will be wondering how it will go and whether to try and have someone with me as my witness and supporter when they call. I dislike being on my own as I feel I am at a disadvantage.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Good News Is Good News...

And I'll take any that comes my way. Yes, I have an illness and a variety of serious health issues. None of us know what the future holds. I will say(as I head out the door to my bingo club)the consultant was very happy with me at the hospital today. And unless something unexpected happens I do not see them until the middle of July.Smiley happy 052.gif

Update:Back from the bingo and Yay...I won a house(£8)so that gives me back some of the taxi fare from last night Smiley lol 051.GIF and having cut back on food shopping I suppose I am no worse off.

An extra event has been squeezed into my weekend plans...tomorrow I hope to see the dance routine in Darlington Market Place for the Breast Cancer charity and if I can find a way to fill in the time, the town clock has been illuminated in pink so that will be something to take a photo/video of...having difficulty finding when the dance happens and the effect of the illumination won't be realised until it gets dark and that still will take until after 7pm.

(This first event I gave a miss, not upto it)also weather is changing. Possibility of some hail or snow.

The watching of the Morris Dancers on Saturday is still on(weather permitting)but now at 10.30am in the same town there is another steam train coming through so I may be watching that. And we're not talking of the length of journey of last weekend to see the Bittern locomotive. If I feel upto it.

Still living on sandwiches purchased a week ago but they've nearly been used up. Good job I don't tire of chicken Smiley icon_wink.gif Its been a long long time since I had hot chocolate or cocoa and so I may start having some again and occasionally I'm thinking I may have coffee with hot milk rather than just adding milk to coffee and water. Also as a change to coffee whitener. Could also be time to have cheese and biscuits again.

I have been using the internet more for other than surfing, now I have access to some great specialist radio stations from the US and Australia playing music/speech neglected in the UK.

I am cosy in bed now listening to the radio and hammering away on here...between dozing.

Had I Known Or Thought...

The Happy Cats concert would overrun by twenty five minutes I would have booked a taxi from my home town to meet me and though alone that would have cost around £14(My friend could not make it tonight so I had no one to share the taxi with that comes in at around £7 when shared)but I decided to get one from the taxi rank near the venue and that added another £6 but I did not want to miss what was a wonderful night of entertainment. So I paid £20 altogether.

But to wait probably would have meant not getting home before Midnight. And with the hospital appointment in the morning I did not want to hang around. Though I left twenty five minutes after the last bus to home, I arrived about the same time that I would've by bus. I'll get the money back if I am careful for a few weeks. And hey use it whilst you are able as one day, it won't be there.

Or I won't be...

Perhaps I'll win a game of bingo and get some of my money back. Most prizes only are between £3-£8)Line/full house. Sundays are better at around £20-£28.

So I got to the venue easily with time to spare and managed to get a place at the front of the room.

The first forty minutes were in the capable hands of Jack Burness who has been on the circuit for many years and is very popular around the North East of England and to call him a folk singer seems unfair because many of these artists can sing anything thrown at them, they often compose their own songs and are called "Folk" singers just because they perform usually alone and accompany themselves on guitar.

Jack Burness and percussionist(missed his name I'm afraid)performs at Bishop Auckland Town Hall March 19, 2014

We are fortunate in that though very busy Jack often gives us a few songs at the Music Club I go to on our open nights and he does live a fair distance away.

Then the stage was taken by The Happy Cats who it turns out appeared(to be honest I would have to check my blog)the compare said January but I suspect it was January 2013(where did those 15 months go?)

The lead singer is Marty Craggs(ex member of the North  East group Lindisfarne)I say ex but as the group does not exist anymore, any living member of the group could be called that. He has an engaging open personality, is able to play a variety of instruments from saxophone to small accordian to harmonica to flute to penny whistle to a frame drum.

The Happy Cats perform at Bishop Auckland Town Hall March 19, 2014 Here are Leonard Brown and Marty Craggs.

In the above image is Leonard Brown(with the large accordian)who is once again the Scottish Accordian Champion.

What type of music do The Happy Cats play? Easier to ask what they don't. The set tonight was different to the last time even though some favourites have to be included by the audience insisting. There is Celtic, reels and jigs, standards, ballads and fast numbers to get the feet tapping and hands clapping. And yes the audience are encouraged to join in and sing along.

It was a bit of a girls night at the venue as some of the regulars who attend the Music Club on my town were in the audience and on the same table was one of my favourite performers who again guests at my club and lives locally Flossie Malavialle(yes, she is French)and Flossie got up and sang "Just One Night" in the following image she is with Les Dodd on guitar(not in the image was Leonard Brown on accordian)

The Happy Cats at Bishop Auckland Town Hall March 19, 2014 with a guest appearance by Flossie Malavialle singing Just One Night also in the image Les Dodd.

In the last image of the night are all three members of The Happy Cats.

The Happy Cats at Bishop Auckland Town Hall March 19, 2014 Leonard Brown, Marty Craggs and Les Dodd here.

On the last appearance at the Town Hall they sang amongst all the songs "Can't Help Falling In Love" a favourite of Mum's and poignant as she had not passed away very long. This time we had an Everly Brothers song included and handled very well vocally by Marty and Les " Let It Be Me"

Which considering Les said he was losing his voice and Marty had windburn and was red in face, they were did well. You'd have never known. With the lighting the windburn was not very visible.

A great night. Lovely to forget your troubles for a few hours even if they are still there to face another day.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

You Think No One Is Watching What You Do...

but it is amazing who does know what you are upto or perhaps I am just someone who is noticed and people feel they like to look after me.

I mean tonight when I came out of the Music Club and got into the Taxi for home I found though it was a different taxi driver to who picked me up on Friday from the Dinner Party the driver knew of my night out and the late hour I came home Smiley happy 097.png Now where the house is located I preferred having access to a taxi and 2am is perhaps a little too late to walk the streets alone but I foolishly feel quite safe.

It is so mild at present, ok yes I did have a jumper on but I would not say it was particularly heavy and I only had a kind of light jacket/jerkin(no thermals, hat, gloves or scarf)and yet I was quite warm going to the music club and when I went to the supermarket at the late hour of 23.30 I felt quite warm. Like I said earlier I am quite surprised that I feel ok being on the streets at such an early hour and yet not being able to run and using a walking stick I should feel vulnerable. Perhaps because I think I know my own area and its only three streets I feel less threatened. Often when I have to use the last bus home, it involves some different streets but they still join the same one's. Soon it will be safer because of the lighter nights.

Its only 16c(60f)in the bedroom but I am not cold. Its actually getting nearer to 18c(64f)

I was going to have something when I came in but decided to finish off some ham, spring onions, watercress and cherry tomatoes. And made two rolls(and yes, I spread butter on them)and so far I have only eaten half a roll.

Some brands I mention may not be available abroad but for anyone within the UK I spent £11 and saved £7. Its mainly items that will last ages and often is priced to high for what they are. I got some limited edition yogurts but they are usually nearly £4 for six but because they were on offer on a two for one I have twelve. They are more like a desert. I like clover spread and that is usually £2 for a 500g tub on sale for £1. The cherry tomatoes were 30p cheaper than usual. I treated myself to some strawberries. Also some fresh garlic.
I think that I am a good shopper and have it down to a fine art. And if I was to find myself financially better off I believe that I would still be of the frame of mind I am now.

I'm being careful what I eat because on Thursday morning I am at the hospital for a check up but as my bloods were taken last Thursday the results are known already. Not by me. And they will be there for the Consultant when I see him. I hope that all is well. As I type I realise that I have missed a couple of phone calls(no number left)and now I wonder if its just a company cold calling or the Dr's surgery drawing attention to perhaps problems with the blood tests(it has happened before)I hope not.

I am maintaining my weight, just over 10st at present and I don't think that's bad.

I have decided to go there by bus this time and I am fortunate that there is a bus stop right outside the hospital. To be sure of being there in time I will get a bus around 9.20am and that will give me twenty minutes before my appointment.

If all is well, I may have a couple of events I can share with you taking place on Friday and the weekend locally. One is to do with promoting a charity event later in the year to try and raise funds for research into breast cancer and the other is a kind of folk festival both in Darlington. Many of the artists appear at the Music Club I go to so this time I may spend time looking around the Craft Fair, watch the dancing in the streets(I think it is Morris Dancing)last year it was disrupted because there was an unexpected cold snap and it was windy, it rained and yes it snowed.

Tomorrow night I see a concert starring The Happy Cats. It is my second time and it is at the same venue as last year. I will tell you more about their set and hopefully post an image or two after the show.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday Already...

So ok the dinner party wasn't too formal...one course and a bit too much wine Smiley drinking 34.gifand it went well but I do think that amongst the "Small" talk you give away too much of yourself. Not something I would do too often. Having said that I did end up there again last night on my own having been out for the day on an arranged trip to watch a train(that was at the Shildon Railway exhibition)a few weeks ago. I was offered a meal so...

It was so cold. I thought I was prepared with a jumper, thermal vest, coat, gloves, hat and scarf but no...we were in the middle of nowhere high on a hill looking at Ribblehead viaduct in the Ribble Valley next to an ancient railway station that is on the Settle/Carlisle line.

As coming through was The Bittern on its way to Crewe. Everything was thrown at us weatherwise...thankfully the rain held off. But I guess it was worth what turned out to be a long trip there and back(a four hour round trip)an hour of waiting and my companions decided they wanted a drink afterwards.

There is always a pub...which was packed. Some locals entertaining themselves with guitars and lots of country walkers.

Then again perhaps we are just mad travelling so far for approx two minutes of train spotting. If I had not been offered a car ride it was too far and out of the way to reach.

Back from my Bingo on Sunday, I haven't encouraged reaction from the opposite sex but someone has shown interest. Her face lights up and she goes out of her way to talk to me. But I want to stay single and if I tried to explain why it would not come to anything I am going to sound horrible. Equally, no mention of dates has come up so I'm hoping it stays just as "Sort of" saying "Hello" when I arrive or "Goodbye" when I leave. Besides I arrive with a group of people so its not as if I am on my own. I'm doing something right or wrong, what I have no idea Smiley lol 044.gif

I think that I have eaten reasonably well today...prawn mayonnaise sandwiches, ham, tomato, lettuce sandwiches, a chicken noodle cup a soup, cheese and tomatoes. Will try and have a warm meal tomorrow. And I have slept well too.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Approx Nine Hours To The Dinner Party...

Well, lets see how that goes. A formal invite is different to just having a meal or snack by being in the company of someone. It would appear we are having chicken curry(a sweet one)It appears someone has pulled out and a replacement invited who I may know slightly because she works in a shop in my town. May know her by sight. When there's only four present its a bit intimate. As said before...wish me lots of luck. I'm taking it very easy and leaving lots of room for the meal tonight so I can enjoy it. I would hate to leave it.

Tomorrow I have been invited out for the afternoon to a place I have not been out in the countryside somewhere, I'll know more perhaps tonight but there is an impressive viaduct and a steam train will be coming across so hopefully we'll get a good video or photo's that can be shared. The locomotive in action is one that was at the exhibition in Shildon a few weeks ago. The Bittern. We leave here around 13.30 and it comes across the viaduct around 16.30 and the journey each way is around two hours, I have been told that we are travelling approx 140 miles. Its a change.

Who would have thought I would be ending the week with these two events.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Night Went Reasonably Well...

No, I did not win anything Smiley crying 022.gif but my fellow bingo player on my table won...twice(a line and a house)so went home with £11 and after taking out the cost of the bingo books I think he's £9 in pocket.

I had time to kill before my bus to the club so popped into a discount supermarket and the plan was to get some change for tonight and perhaps if any fruit or vegetables were on offer get some. But there was nothing I wanted or did not have.

Earlier in the day I had fancied and seen some fish cakes but they had something a bit special here and though I spent £6 I bought 3 packets and that will give me six to three meals depending on whether I eat one or two per meal. In that context price reduces.

Having them in my fridge or freezer saves me having to make numerous journeys to shops.

These are bit different to the usual fish cakes...sometimes its as easy or no more expensive to buy rather than make them. I have wild Alaskan salmon, spinach and Sicilian lemon/smoked haddock cheddar and leek/cod, minted pea and parsley.

I have had a kind of sweet and sour noodle snack, a roll with tomato and a slice of garlic and herb chicken. And a coffee since coming in. And am now settled. Quite happy too. I always feel at my calmest and happiest the later it is.

I heard today(and I know I won't buy any more than I do already but much as I like the new discount supermarkets and I do get good value for my money I still find if I can buy four items there, there is always something that I am unable to.

A well known major supermarket has announced that it has had a bad year losing £176million and say that they are going to take on the discount supermarkets and cut prices. If they offer the same limited range I won't gain but if they can slash prices on well known branded goods or offer unknown brands of high quality and a larger range of goods, I'm up for it even if I have to travel out of town and do a big shop every so often. Many people are being hit in the pocket so anything that helps you eat well, is welcome.

There are many people using food banks and having to choose between eating and heating often its people who are trying to hold down a job. Times are tough. Most supermarkets could have done this years ago if they wanted to and many of them now have a display when you first walk in with a variety of popular items at low prices. It will be interesting to see how things turn out and how soon this plan is brought in.

I Was Dozing..

I slept quite well overnight and kept to the normal idea of sleeping when its dark. A bit uncomfortable with joint pain but all in all ok.

I rose out of bed at 9.30am and managed to be in the Dr's surgery by 9.55am so think that was good going for me. I suddenly wondered had I got the wrong time for the appointment but I was 40 minutes early. I sat in the waiting room and was called in by 10am and was all finished in two minutes so how good is that?

I was just having bloods taken by the nurse.

When I came home, it may seem strange for a breakfast but as it was around 10.30am I decided to eat two ham and cheese sandwiches I had in the fridge. I added some brown sauce to give extra flavour and had some fruit juice.

So the rest of the day is my own. I suppose they all are. Its quite pleasant outside, warm, sunny and mild. If I'd had time to think about it I might've had a bus ride somewhere but I don't need to shop and mostly buses take you to town areas.

May have to look soon and see whether there are any coach trips I can take or whether I can perhaps stay overnight somewhere and see something more interesting.

Sometimes the ordinary timetables mean you have to leave really early. If I go to the seaside town of Saltburn I cannot stay any longer than 6pm and sometimes you want to stay that little bit longer.

Update:About to get ready for my little bingo club. I feel a little low(there doesn't always have to be a reason)sometimes I think its the unknown of what the future may throw at you. Fear of what may be is worse than it often turns out so a couple of hours socially will do me good.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Window Cleaner Has Been Already...

at such an early hour. So far an hour down in the three hour window for the visit for the survey...no show...yet! I hate waiting for people visiting. Will add more later no doubt.

Update:Approx 12 hours on. The survey did take place, around 10.30am I should have read the report but just signed it, it was a standard form. The person said we won't know anything until samples have been tested. He kept damage to the minimum. Two holes in the toilet. I think he took a sample from the loft. It took around an hour for the check, not sure why. I did not follow him around. Suspect that he might have been measuring the house too.

I have managed to hide the damage already.

A box panel in the toilet which to me(I'm not expert but it just looked like hardboard. Stuck the woodchip paper flap down again with wallpaper paste. If painted again, it will disappear.

Tiny hole in the hall ceiling but can be seen when the rest of it is smooth, filled with plaster which when dry may be the same colour as the paint or when painted again may disappear.

The above three samples were taken out of an artex ceiling in the kitchen, I doubt they will show anything because from memory, originally there was a plain ceiling. Then years ago it had polystyrene tiles. Then they were covered by hardboard or something and then it was artexed, all done by the previous landlord so to get to anything possibly dodgy you had to go much deeper. Plastered over these marks. Some of it lifted like a thin piece of paper, one was dug out.

This last one was taken in the pantry, again I have plastered it and because its a bit deeper it took a little more work. Lets hope that's the end of this. If it is I have got off very lightly. Looked a bit like a bullet hole. As someone said if you leave things alone its sealed and will do now harm, start disturbing it and you can create more problems than are necessary.

I went to bed after he'd gone and had a sleep which has helped. I had some chicken, bacon and lettuce sandwiches, some healthier crisps and a coffee.

I then decided to go out and purchased my only magazine treat. No other shopping.

Its Been A Long Day...

I'd love to sleep but finishing tasks and I think its going ok. Might've been finished sooner if I'd stayed in during the day and also to the music club but I did go, so there...

I managed to help my friend learn how to use You Tube and Spotify. But Facebook did not like the format of the videos we tried to upload so we'll have have rethink about that.

I was well looked after and well fed, fish and chips and later some corned beef and potato pie.

Then tonight we were entertained by Pete Abbott and Gregor Borland.

I am in the middle of jobs before the visit tomorrow morning.

I have already cleared away a small fall of soot in the open fireplace(which is no longer used)I think all the rain was to blame, that and possibly a bird as I found the remains of a bird's egg.

In half an hour I shall secure some wall paper that needs resecuring, a small amount of plastering to do. Some clothes to be put in a wardrobe. Then in the morning when it won't interfere with the neighbours a quick vacuuming downstairs.

And hopefully that's it. Then its down to them what they find or don't find. They are looking for asbestos but as the house has been built over 50 years ago and I have been in it for about the same length of time its a bit late to do it and to be honest you would hope over the years when they have put in loft insulation, central heating, cavity wall insulation, rewiring, double glazing if anything was wrong it would have been picked up before now.

So I'll get stuck in again in a few minutes.

Update:Plastering and sticking of wallpaper done. Clothes put away. So a quick tidy of the kitchen and all is done except the quick hoover. Out of my hands now...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Behind On Tasks But Was Tired...

This morning after 8.30am a quick tidy and putting of clothes away...hopefully some hoovering. A wash and a shave and off to help a friend try to post videos on line and fish and chips as a reward. Then to the music club to see an act that is visiting.

Then upon returning home tonight(and if it requires me to do so I'll finish off some tasks through the night)its not a lot of work, just fiddly.

Then all is upto date.

Two days running I spent ages looking for certain meals to eat only to realise the reason I could not find them is because...I have already eaten them...doh!

So its mainly salad, fruit and sandwiches in the fridge now. How easy is that?

Don't think its going to be a brilliant day weather wise but it does look sunny. And its not raining.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mixed Feelings...

Funny old week ahead...the survey which happens on Wednesday morning hoping there is little if any bad news...

The landlord(well housing association)want to look at the trees in the garden(again)need to make an appointment over that.

I have my check up at the hospital next week so have my bloods taken this Thursday at the Dr's surgery and you're only as good as your last tests.

So there are ongoing things that could go well or not as the case may be. And nothing particularly exciting but I will see how the week progresses.

I ate most of what I took last night to the Bingo club. And continued to when I came home...simple fare cheese, cherry tomatoes and some sandwiches.

A couple of jobs to complete today...a little cleaning and hoovering. That's about it. I did some washing yesterday. And I shall put that away in the wardrobe etc...

Update:I went out for an hour or so and found it was mild, sunny and no hint of a breeze. And I did not need to wear a hat, scarf or gloves. Crazily I had to buy some more ready mixed plaster, wall paper paste and brushes. I say crazily because I know that I have some in the house and cannot find them. I purchased some plastic plates in case they are needed when we have a buffet at one of our clubs sometime. And then I thought though I am quite well stocked on food in the pantry(in cans, boxes etc...)and in the fridge(fresh food)and freezer. I thought just perhaps there might be something quick and easy for a snack/meal reduced.

I found some sandwiches half price. When they are I'm not sure that I could make them any cheaper when they contain ham, bacon, egg, chicken, prawns and the like. And it saves me having to prepare them but when priced normally I can make them more cheaply or about the same.

There was also some ham from the delicatessen for half price and I can get quite a few sandwiches/meals out of that. If I was to stick to just what I have its coming in at around £1 a day. Not sure I can get it down any less than that. I have had my second pack of egg and bacon sandwiches purchased on Saturday(exciting isn't it)and followed with a mini dark chocolate magnum and a coffee. It may seem as though I have not eaten much today...I haven't but I found myself quite full with just the two sandwiches.

Later in the day I may consider a fruit juice and may add some vodka as a treat.

It is lovely to see the lighter nights finally arriving and yet if I do not manage to get out anywhere I'm not sure I'll gain anything except I can avoid putting the lights on so early and if its warmer I can avoid using the central heating. Lighter nights can I think cause you to feel restless if you have to stay indoors.

And to make the trip out more upbeat I bumped into my friend Andrea and had a few words...

Saturday, March 08, 2014

I Have Eaten Enough...

So I ain't going hungry. To be honest small portions/fasting honestly does not do you any harm. But even I think "Hold on a minute" You should be putting something into your body and give it nourishment. And I do like food. I will never become anorexic and I would seek help if I thought depression would get in the way.

However, I found myself having my first small meal perhaps at 6pm and just put a ready meal in the microwave. I forced myself to do it but once cooked I quite enjoyed, it. I shall not come to any harm if that's all I have.

It was mashed potato, broccoli and chicken in a creamy sauce. 450 grams/400 calories. And part of a healthy range of ready meals.

I weighed myself earlier and I am approx 144lbs and I am quite happy with that. Ideally I should be around 130lbs but I am allowed to be within the range of 116lbs and 145lbs. Some of my weight could be water retention which makes it more difficult to be my ideal figure. I'd be really happy to be between 133lbs and 140lbs. Until my health issues I was around the 133lbs most of my life so in my 50's to be between 7lbs and 12lbs more isn't that bad.

I cannot exercise so to keep weight down I do have to stick to certain rules...eat the right types of food, watch calories and eat smaller portions/fewer meals.

It is as near to the 5:2 diet as you can get...I haven't given anything officially up for lent but eating everything in moderation, most meals being quite basic and mainly entertainment coming from the radio I could not do much less.

I gave in and had a kind of crisp sandwich, a coffee and some small chocolate biscuits later in the evening so that's not bad a bad day. I accept there isn't much fruit and green stuff in amongst that but I can soon put that right again.

At Last...

The cough/tickle in the throat and wheeze seems to have disappeared and I can breathe easy. That's the best news of the last fortnight. I will rest the morning away. Do housework and washing perhaps later in the day. Not going anywhere.

Its mild indoors around 20c(68f)in the bedroom at least.

Yesterday, I was living on bread rolls and egg/bacon sandwich filler. Today probably a mixture of soup, fruit and salad but I shall decide later.

I think that is all that is planned for this Saturday. Sunday a quick dust, vacuum and clean. Monday a quick repair here and there(a little plaster work)and some wallpaper stuck down again. Then its the visit on Wednesday which I could do without. Finally back to normal again, I hope. Please no surprises from the survey.

I see a letter has arrived to tell me of a rent increase and in these difficult times even though Housing Associations(well some)claim to be doing all that they can to help tenants mine had the chance to keep it to the minimum and they've gone for the maximum possible. How much more can we cut our coats according to our cloth?

Friday, March 07, 2014


A newish term seemingly attached to music usually disliked but you are unable to get out of your head. There are songs I dislike and others that I like but few thankfully fall in the annoying category.

One has in the last few days, I don't really know the singer Alesha Dixon and the song is around three years old it seems and is known as The Boy Does Nothing.

I hate it but keep hearing the repeated tagline which is the title of the song too. Hopefully this will pass.

I Can't Believe That I Have Spent...

Almost £20 on booze. Then again buying supermarket brand gin I have enough for approx 25 drinks and that works out at 38p a shot and even if you add tonic water that's around 55p in total. That's £1.80 cheaper than in a pub. I bought my wine for the social event next Friday(what have I let myself in for?)and I found a similar bottle by Blossom Hill on offer and selling fast, worth £7.25 for £5 so I bought a spare in case there is a next time and if not its there as a treat.

The shop came in at £25 for everything but compared to full price items I saved £15. I got my Obas Oil and much cheaper even if smaller. I also got some egg and bacon sandwiches on offer(they were lovely)and I went crazy and found a crab and cod bake with a champagne sauce normally £4 approx and I paid £2. That's a treat.

Back home now...resting and listening to the radio.

A Down Day...

I keep hearing the expression about "The Black Dog" when you feel depressed, I can't compare how I feel with that, you really must be at the depths of despair to use that as a guide but I am functioning and I'd say its a bit of a cloud over me but as I always say...it will pass.

Many I know of go to coffee mornings/play bingo every day but it still costs money and though not a lot if you add up an odd £5 here and odd £5 there, over the week it can become expensive. Socially the benefit is more beneficial than in money terms.

I always liked my own company and at ease in my own skin and most of the time I still do and its important that I can still say that.

But if I can punctuate the week with some highlights to look forward to and break up the routine a little. Also if you think long enough you can usually work out why you feel as you do...It was around this time in 2012 when Mum really became ill and ended up in hospital and then was transferred to a care home so in the back of my mind that is probably why I feel as I do.

I am ex directory on the phone and hardly anyone calls me so I often have my phone on silent but occasionally I check to see if anyone has called. Thankfully sales calls are few. I miss the silent ones, sometimes I am told someone has called but they leave no number(I always think, if you cannot be bothered to leave a number)I don't know you, you are selling something and why should I phone back?

But a few times of late a number has kept appearing and some detective work has found it belongs to a debt recovery service, so I bit the bullet and called it a few minutes ago. They wanted to speak to someone who had given this number or they had down as his contact number, I had never heard of him and as my parents and myself have lived in this property for over 50 years, something is a miss. Anyhow I did not give my name, I like my anonymity as much as possible, they apologised and said that they would remove my number from their database. So we shall see if they are as good as their word.

The detective work was done by checking online and all the responses from people troubled by the company are negative.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

I Don't Believe It...

It may never happen again and I honestly do not remember being invited to one before but a week on Friday I have been invited to a buffet or Dinner Party. And to bring a bottle. So I shall have to be on my best behaviour and hope I have plenty of scintillating conversation.

I'm a novice with alcohol so asked for advice what they would like and they said a bottle of  Blossom Hill soft and fruity red or rosé, its going to come in at around £4.99 a bottle. That would pay for a night out for me or budget two or three meals for me but I may be able to spring to that for this one off event. I suspect by today's standards that's a reasonable price for a "decent" bottle of wine. In the past my own choice(and I haven't purchased any wine for years)has been less than that.

Two I know from the Bingo I attend on Thursday nights and the other guest I have never met but we have used Facebook and Twitter. I may need some Dutch courage...wish me luck...I need it! I could have said no but what does that make me sound like and its a compliment that I have been asked I guess.

Perhaps Good For The Pocket And Environment But...

I submitted my electric and gas readings earlier this evening and was told that I am using 35% less than the same time last year. I bet its no less expensive and its funny that I am paying for a service that I need but try not too.

I want to be warm when its a cold night, I want hot water when I want to wash and shave or wash the dishes but instead I wear more clothes or dive under the duvet. The main cost seems to be the central heating.

The electric seems to be almost the same as last year. I could not use much less, I run a PC, cook an odd meal, have one light on in the evening, run a fridge/freezer so could not use much else. I understand my monthly bill is now £50. I think my agreement is valid until 2018 so prices are frozen. They have a plan that lasts into that year, I may phone to check if I am on it or if not, can be.

Who Ate All The Pies?

Well, it wasn't me...

There were a few spare that were taken home from the bingo club but I enjoyed what I had. I got a free can of coke and a tea so as I used a taxi...I really could not manage the walk tonight and missed the bus, take the usual cost of them off the fare and I only spent £2. I found my milk and rehydration sachets(supermarket brand)approx £1 cheaper than a well known brand so if you include that saving it brings the taxi fare down still further. I refrained from the Obas Oil because I use so little and it lasts so long it was silly to buy a large bottle for £4 or more.

I have decided to start my tidying up in the morning and rest now. I am comfortable in bed. Not hungry but may make some salad rolls later. I have put all my rubbish in the wheelie bin when I came home but I think it is the wrong week for collection and it may be the recycle week.

All my medicines have good long expiry dates and of course I hope that I will not need them but its good to have them in the cupboard...just in case. I have a book or two about home made remedies that work well and most ingredients are in the house. I have plasters, bandages, safety pins, indigestion tablets, cough mixture, throat sweets, vitamins, spices, minerals, painkillers and prescription drugs. So I am covered.

And with all the fruit, vegetables, seeds, cereal, meat and fish, I can do no more to stay fit and healthy or as best as I am able in my situation. I still believe in small portions and everything in moderation.

Hard to believe its almost the weekend again...I would go to a Farmer's Market but I do not need any food so have yet to see if I can find something to do or whether to stay at home and potter about.

Getting Ready...

To finish off my tasks regarding tidying the house this afternoon, will do that after "The Archers" on the radio. Hopefully that will take no longer than a couple of hours. I totally did the dining room in less than half an hour. And some of the stored items from there are now in the wardrobes upstairs. Crockery and glassware. I have tidied some of my food store and though no extra food has been added I have managed to find space for two extra crates.

Then around 4pm I'll tidy myself up and try and be out the door around 5pm(ish)and pick up some milk and the two items forgotten yesterday. Then to the bingo and the pie and peas being served before the session starts so I have not eaten much today, to be honest I have had nothing as yet. I will probably have a biscuit with a mug of coffee.

And still have something when I come in later after the bingo...if there is a spare pie remaining I may be fortunate to be given it to bring home and that will do another meal for me perhaps tomorrow.

The weather doesn't look too good outside but its not raining. Still not warm enough to avoid wrapping up well and even with long johns, shirt and trousers at the music club(maybe it was the effects of the cold still)I kept my coat on and wrapped the scarf around my back to keep warm.

I had to put my sewing skills to use last night as my new expensive Winter design scarf I purchased in December caught on the zip of my coat and pulled a long loop and I expected it to have come away/laddered but I managed to hook the loop into an area where there is a kind of double layer of material so it cannot be seen and is protected and there has been no laddering and I did not need to tack it either. I am hoping no further damage will come from this. I'm not a great sewer but am quite happy with my skills. I have even come up with ways I could have done previous sewing repairs and alterations better.

Still spluttering a little but think I am improving, as someone said its the way colds hang on for days or weeks afterwards that can be a worse.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Good In One Way...

but in another way a nuisance. I said I wondered if today would bring something unexpected. It did. Next Wednesday the HA want to allow someone to do a survey of the property and poke holes in walls and ceilings/lift floorboards and I have move out of whichever room they decide to do what they are doing whilst they are doing it. And they have me down for a period of approx three hours 9am-midday. I hope it goes well and passes without incident. Not taking any bets though...

The house is reasonably tidy but I'll put a bit of an extra effort in between now and then. I was going to decorate but wanted to wait until the warmer weather. Now this...There is no way I can start to move furniture etc...not they say that is required in the letter.

I had to get out and so I came home with reduced/items on offer(Bread buns, cucumber, pease pudding, blueberries, blackberries, apples, rice and some two finger Kit Kat's)I still forgot Dioralyte and Obas Oil. Once I have them that's everything.

Since coming home I have tidied my food cupboards and cleared a fair bit of stuff for the wheelie bin. Amazing how quick you can be. So a day of dusting and hoovering and all should be in order. So no plans for the next few days except the bingo tomorrow and Sunday. At this rate it could all be sorted in the next 24 hours.

At least the clocks go forward this weekend which means Spring is really here at last and lighter nights, here's hoping we get some decent weather to go with it.

Good To Return To The Music Club...

I was running a little late...I wanted to have a small shop and catch a bus there but plans go out the window. I found that I was so slow and tired I went for the bus. Coming home I had the taxi drop me at the supermarket and at least I knew that I was coming home. Everything went into my backpack. I had a shopping trolley to lean on as I shopped.

I can't remember if I forgot to look or at such a late hour they were out of blackberries and blueberries but no way was I going back when I remembered. Most of my shop was healthy...strawberries, pears, bananas, red grapes, celery, spring onions, tomatoes. I did allow myself a little bit of not so good stuff, a kind of chip stick that I like, some cup a soups and as it was on offer(and I had a voucher)some tubs of spreadable butter. They were reduced by £1.25 each and my voucher was worth £3.50. So only had to find 50p. The same amount in one larger tub would have cost another £1.

I had plans to have a decent meal when I came in but just microwaved a ready meal of creamy broccoli, salmon and topped with mashed potato. It was large enough. 320 calories. It tasted ok but I have had better but it was fine. It was top of the range so as good as you get. It had been reduced by approx £1.50 so at least I had not paid full price.

Since my cough and cold I have cut back on my time on the internet and computer and taken it easier. Can I do less? What I should say is that I have had a bit of a break and been sleeping, eating and resting. Still improving. But go through periods where I splutter and then settle down again. I will decide if I need what I forgot and saunter out later but will probably wait until I have to go out tomorrow, I can live without perfectly well without a few items. I will decide what to eat later too. I don't think that it will be pancakes. Still much to use up. I have been reading lately that some people using food banks return goods because they cannot afford to cook the food. Well much of my food needs no cooking or can be done in the microwave and if I am not using the oven every day I can just about manage. Not forgetting the slow cooker.

It was a great night to return to the Music Club. It was quite full by the time it started. And so many performers willing to give their time. All for free and coming in from a fair distance. I nearly missed it for one another week but glad that I didn't. There are some great music venues around here but when you haven't your own transport or depend on public transport we are so fortunate that this town still manages to keep in business.

I'm going to spend the day sleeping and I have a hot water bottle at my feet. Bedroom is at the right temperature so all in all its not a bad day ahead unless something unexpected happens. Not feeling too troubled so that is also a bonus. I think that I have said before that I find I feel less troubled evenings and through the early hours more than daytime where the suggestion is many seem to find night times the worst. I had to be different.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

The More That I Sleep, The Better I Am...

Every day in every way I am getting better(well as far as the cold goes)other more serious conditions will continue to worsen...that's not a complaint by the way.

Pancake Tuesday...will be delayed and something else will be chosen, easy and quick. Probably one of my ready meals which can be done in the microwave. I may add some extra vegetables. Sandwiches are a possibility later.

Exciting no...

Going to head out for a night of music and in the company of others. I will keep it simple...diet coke or a tonic water or hey have a G&T.

Buy some fruit on the way...and hopefully avoid a walk by catching the bus. Not needed(hopefully)I'll take tissues and some sweets for sucking. I only took one spoon of cough medicine so whether I was getting better anyhow or it did the trick...who knows.

At the Bingo club this Thursday they are putting on pie and peas before the bingo so that's my meal taken care of for that night.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Slept Overnight...

but think I was in pain and uncomfortable, amazing how sometimes the body can sleep through that. I'm a bit achy but that is probably the cold coming out. Breathing has improved and I am not coughing as much, hopefully a good sign. I finally gave in and had a very small dose of the cough bottle, has it helped? Perhaps. Tried the vapour rub, I used such a small amount but it has done its magic and has not left me smelly for others.

Annoyingly, if anyone saw how little I have expelled, you'd wonder how it has managed to cause such a wheeze/cough. I have my feet resting on a hot water bottle and put my long john's on...nice.

I can see the start of Spring from my bedroom window, sunny blue sky and calm. The days are lengthening.

I have finished off some of the food I took to the bingo club for supper last night(still some left for later today)I will turn them into a salad.

Resting is good. So I will stay tethered to my home for a few more days. So I may reluctantly miss the Music Club for another week.

Annoyingly...I now realise that the trains that appeared at the Railway museum passed through my town and it is such a long stretch of track I could have got some lovely images. I'll know for another time...

Sunday, March 02, 2014

I Don't Know Where The Morning Went...

but it has and now its afternoon...just.

Had my meds, vitamins, a coffee and some yogurt(toffee and vanilla)and later I am thinking my bananas need using so may have a simple banana sandwich.

I'm in the after period you get with a cold and cough(highly unlikely that I can spread germs to anyone)but it takes time to lose it altogether. If I blow my nose now my ears seems to clear too.

Its a grey sky, think its a bit cold out so am staying put. Unless I decide to buy some fruit and/or treat myself to some sweets. But I can put that off for another day. In a neighbouring town there is a monthly Sunday Market and they have a Pancake event happening also some music being performed but I do not need anything. I promised to have Pancakes last year and didn't. I promised myself that I do not need to eat them only on Pancake Day nor do they always have to be sweet. Or eaten after a meal and...did not do any of those. So this year I hope to put that right.

Pancake Day falls the same day as the Music Club so I may have to have mine the day before or after or early on the day. I have cheated this year and have some already prepared that you just heat up. With  a spatula I can turn them over without tossing them.

Have put the heating on for a short time to get some water so I can have a wash and shave. Was going to do some washing but I'd be wasting electric as I haven't a full load so will find something in the wardrobe for going out tonight. I have all my bits and pieces ready(Money, wallet, bingo dabbers)hat, scarf, coat and gloves. And may just take a couple of items with me for tonight's little buffet. I can take more but if I don't need to I can use what I have. Probably take some small sausage rolls, cherry tomatoes and cheese, But if asked I could take some ham or beef rolls, cheese straws and pickled onions. Others may have plans to bring something.

Last Friday, I said that I quite fancied Haddock, chips and a wild rice with a mixture of small vegetables which can be ready in approx 20 minutes and...I still haven't had it. I do have(they were reduced)three ready meals(came in at around £5)I would not usually think they are worth the price but I thought I won't be having them every day and as I only eat small meals they probably would be enough but I can add some extra veg.

They are all topped with mashed potato and one is a chicken and broccoli pie, another is cottage pie and the last is salmon and broccoli.

As I eat small portions and my main entertainment is the radio, though I have a faith of sorts, I won't be giving anything up for Lent. If I am honest I don't ever remember doing so. Where possible I do and will help others but I do that anyhow without having to be told. Some days its as though I have given up for lent because I eat quite sparingly. I don't over indulge.

Now its nearly 6pm  and soon time to go out and there's been a fair bit of spluttering this afternoon so I hope that's it for now...if that would stop I'm not that bad. Settled on tomatoes, s rolls, c straws and as a treat some little bags of gingerbread men biscuits which my friends can have with a cup of tea at home.

I'm home and in bed ready for some easy music on the radio(its almost 11pm)I had two Gin and Tonics(not sure if I have had gin before)but I liked them a lot.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

All Things Must Pass...

It doesn't look too bad outside. It's quite warm indoors(even without the central heating on)I've slept. Had coffee and my meds/vitamins/minerals.

I seem to have improved further with the cough/cold recovery and...as I said would probably happen, I seem more positive so Saturday is getting off to a better start.

Am I staying in or going out "Just for the sake of it" I am unsure. I am leaning towards staying close to home and at best shopping for eggs, tomatoes, lettuce and bread. But I can manage without them to be honest.

This may be as exciting as it gets but I shall see later.

Almost twelve hours later...Its been an easy day and passed by with me saying "Where did the time go?"
Not too bad cold/cough wise...its much looser.

I had a good shop only minutes ago. Some reductions but still spent more than planned but many items have a long life and are what you add to certain foods to give them something extra. I did ask about some more cough mixtures and discovered that I could have purchased a bottle virtually the same as what I did yesterday in Boots(this one being a supermarket own brand)and still advised by a pharmacist who could have sold me another more expensive(but gave me both options)and this was £2.50 cheaper. I'll know in future.

For the first time in decades I found something similar to Vick's Vapour Rub(Supermarket brand)they were out of Vick's and once home I forgot about another alternative, Obas Oil. Perhaps next time. Someone asked have I had the flu? Well, I had the Flu Jab so I don't think that I have but being out of it and being delerious...have I? And has gone away so quick because the jab worked so well, was it just a heavy cold? I don't know. They say you know when you get the Flu and they also say that men make bad patients...

Plenty of items to keep me eating well.