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, April 28, 2014

Someone Knocking At The Door, Somebody Ringing The Bell...

(If I had a doorbell)do me a favour open the door and let 'em in...thinking of the song made famous by Wings. Mentally, I'm reasonably good still. But physically...meh! So around 10am, 1pm and 3pm someone has been knocking at the front door. Not expecting anyone...no notes  have been put through the letterbox so it could be someone selling something. Who knows...I struggled to see who it was and could see an one. So what do I know...

I did get to the food festival in Bishop Auckland yesterday and purchased some lovely items from the stall run by my friends The Ginger Bread Mam. Well pleased and stocked up on goodies. It was perhaps a little quieter yesterday because of the weather but with access by car restricted somewhat and Sunday bus service that must work against its success.

I mean the earliest bus from my town is approx 10.10am. Luckily there are buses home after the event but only just and if you wanted to stay a little longer its difficult to do so. An example? I was all done by 4pm. The next bus home was 5pm so you have to hang about in the open in a deserted area where buses drop off/pick up. Last bus home by the way is 6pm.

So rather than sit alone(perhaps that is also a major clue why buses are few)filling in an hour, I caught a bus at 4.20pm to Darlington and connected to a bus that comes through my town and after 6pm is the only one that does hourly until approx 10-11pm. But that one again does not go to Bishop Auckland. I was not home any quicker doing the detour and added 7 miles to my journey(and still had 15 mins to kill)between bus changes but it filled the time and I was warmer on the bus.

I had a chat with my friend and got some goodies I will post an image later. But one item has gone already...some delicious ginger fudge. Everyone wanted a piece last evening at the bingo club and the "Ladies" near me were fortunate...no blokes(not even me)they all wanted more.

I have a ginger beer, ginger jerky, ginger pookey(that's like cinder toffee with a twist)some ginger syrup, ginger and rhubarb syrup, upside down cake, ginger parkin.

I made some chicken finger rolls for my group at the bingo club and they seemed to go down well, we were missing two people so I gave one away and she was most appreciative and I gave her a piece of the fudge.

I may have to continue to include her in future, we'll see. I finished off some items that remained when I came home(Cheese and tomatoes)

One criticism of many events like the food festival is a lack of seats for people that are infirm and though not ideal I took a picnic rug which I spread out and sat down on for a while to rest my legs. I may have to invest in one of those fold away chairs at a future date but they are not easy to carry around with you and are quite heavy.

I have haven't eaten yet(have slept a lot)but may make a quick chicken roll again...its easy and I still have some to use up. No, I didn't win at the bingo.

The weather is(typically)better today.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Still Feeling Good...

but what was planned did not happen...

I did not get to the big food festival I planned to go to...I was to put it crudely...knackered. I slept the morning away and then because the bus service is only half hourly and it takes approx 45 minutes to get there I'd have arrived as the event was ending. I am going today whatever happens.

The bus service is worse and starts later but I should be able to get a full day in. I shall see my friend Liz who has a stall at the food festival, hopefully will come home with something special and perhaps see a demonstration from some TV cooks and entertainment too.

I will miss and its the first time since Mum passed away a memorial service at my church but I hopefully will attend the next one.

I thought I was done with coughs and sniffles...no cold but I have a prickly throat that is making me cough. I'm sick of it. Hay fever? Who knows...may have to start taking the cough bottle again.

I did a little shop but tried to keep it small because I want to use up what I have in the house but buy from and visit during the Summer especially the food events around the area and if I am not buying from the supermarkets I have more to spend there and have some high quality but different foods.

I only purchased fruit and tomatoes, no bread, no meat, no fish and some sundries like brown sauce and sweet pickle. Still came out at £10! I did treat myself to something a little different and yes it cost me £2.15 but I can make it last. The website says that it is a limited edition but when I purchased Jack Daniel's Barbecue Sauce I did not see anything suggesting its limited. I purchased the smooth version.

I have had a late meal...I cheated. It was a ready meal but quite tasty two Cumberland sausages with root vegetable mash and an onion/red wine gravy.

I am awaiting to hear a rebroadcast at 1.15am on BBC 4 Extra radio of an interview from an old series that ran for approx twenty years between 1982-2002 where public figures were interviewed by a top psychiatrist. The series might've come to a natural end but it did end abruptly as the psychiatrist passed away.

Last night I heard an interview from the series with the comedian Les Dawson. Very enlightening and ironic that a week after the interview was recorded or aired he passed away. Tonight's interview is with the actor, comic actor, writer, presenter Stephen Fry.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Glass Half Full Or Half Empty?

It won't last but its been a good day and I have nothing on my mind that troubles me. I am calm and positive. Feeling good.

Friday, April 25, 2014

So Much Squeezed Into A Short Amount Of Time...

I've been to a concert already...well a jam session. I went with my friends Andrea and her son Craig. We were in time for the concert...just. The problem was the multi-storage car park because it has few signs to direct you(having been today that will not be a problem again)but we went in one direction and were met with a ridiculous amount of steps because ground level was...below the level the market place and theatre are built upon or it was going to be a long walk. We had to double back from whence we had come.

Then the elevator we found was seemingly a long way from where we parked. Little did we know we were parked next to another which was near both the car and...came out virtually next to the entrance of the theatre.

Our mobility is a problem and I dislike my friend being rushed. Well, we only missed ten minutes of an hour long set. But it was worth seeing. We had two accomplished jazz guitarists performing, James Birkett and Bradley Johnston. playing a varied programme of music. Being at the back of the studio I could not see Bradley but have some images of James.

James Birkett Gala Theatre Durham 2014 April 25.

James Birkett, The Studio, Gala Theatre Durham 2014 April 25.

Upon coming home I visited the bank for some business, nice not to be paying bills or topping up my account to avoid paying a penalty fee.

And yes I popped into the supermarket(well its almost next door)and I had a really good shop...£29's worth of food for approx £10. It will be well used and give me some nice sandwiches, meals. Lots of cooked sliced chicken and rashes of bacon. As its cooked I save on the energy of using the oven or hob. I have eight high quality beef burgers and some finger rolls. And a box containing three white Belgian chocolate vanilla cookie ice cream lolly's.

I am home and resting, the weather has turned and become rather wet. I hope this is not a foretaste of what weather can be expected for the big food event in Bishop Auckland this weekend. Yesterday, typically was a lovely day with sunshine and last night even in bed the temperature was 20c(68f)and it seemed Summer had finally arrived.

I have already had a lolly and a coffee. Just to decide what to have for my meal or snack later.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Amazed Where I End Up...

I have walked past the Quakers Meeting Place in Darlington often over many years, tonight I found myself inside.

Friends Meeting Place Skinnergate Darlington

Why? Because of the following...

Bruce Kent talk against Trident in Darlington 2014 April 23.

Firstly we were entertained by the following duo, sadly I missed their names. Real talent and a lovely choice of light classics and religious music, all familiar to me and some bringing back memories of childhood but memory means I have forgotten the names of many that were played.

Musical Interlude before talk given by Bruce Kent in Darlington 2014 April 23.

The man himself...Bruce Kent has given so much of his life to the cause of nuclear disarmament and still is going around the UK giving a powerful message which is compelling and in particular the closing down of the Trident weapon programme in the UK.

Bruce Kent Talks against Trident in Darlington 2014 April 23.

Last night he was in Sunderland, today he was in Durham Market Place(unknown to me)and tonight Darlington. Quite an itinerary for anyone of any age but Bruce is...84 years old.

Bruce Kent speaks out against Trident in Darlington on a tour around the UK 2014 April 23.

I would have liked to stay behind and speak with him but once again I had to dash to be sure of getting home via the bus service that exists...but I am very glad that I did go and listen to someone I have been aware of for most of my life.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


I feel ok...on this second anniversary of Mum's passing. That is either someone watching over me and helping me find my way or that inner strength that people talk of that you find that gets you through the difficult times that life puts in your way.

The weather is dull and not very nice. I thought of having a look out but I have food and its not needed. I have a lamb hotpot in the slow cooker which is tasty(I've had a bowl already)I will have another for my evening meal perhaps around 6pm and I may have a final one when I come in from the music club for supper. Its mainly vegetable based and the lamb has gone a long way.

I'm avoiding spending on food as I may bring some stuff back from the food festival happening locally in Bishop Auckland this weekend. Lets see if this year I can do it justice and get a fair amount of images and videos. Last year I attended on both days. Perhaps I will this year and if I leave in good time on the Sunday I can still make it to the Remembrance service at my church.

I cannot really get anything else in my fridge/freezer but if I stick to jams, drinks and bread etc...I can still come home with something.

I Probably Paid For It In Reality...

But in a raffle that I purchased a couple of strips of tickets I won a KitKat Chunky Bar Easter Egg with a cuddly rabbit.

I won an Easter Egg...

I think my Hotpot will now be eaten later in the day...I have had a cranberry and orange hot cross bun which I enjoyed.

Monday, April 21, 2014

I Know How To Live...

I've slept, had a late look out to the supermarket(missed any bargains)the place closed at 6pm yet opens again at Midnight. I purchased some bread, tomatoes, kitchen rolls, pears, strawberries, blueberries, cucumber and eggs. Yet spent around £13...Ouch!

Now have a lamb hotpot in the slow cooker for later(mixture of vegetable and mushrooms ...I have had some cheddar cheese with garlic and herb, butter and crackers containing sesame seeds

I am resting listening to a music/interview programme with Dolly Parton, then a documentary about Pirate Radio of the 60's and finally a music/interview programme with Jools Holland and guest Mike McGear*.

I haven't watched much TV lately but if its on the internet I will watch the quiz looking at 50 years of BBC2 TV, a documentary showing the making of the comic quiz "QI" a documentary about Houdini hosted by the comedian/actor Alan Davies and the new version of Daphne Du Maurier's Jamica Inn. So I am making use of my TV licence. Its not going to be pretty and lots of speculation but there is a drama(warts and all)about Tommy Cooper too.

Tomorrow I plan to do very little, I may be in a reflective mood as it is two years since I lost my dear Mum.

Update:Meal will be even later because I had the slow cooker set at warm and its been that way for four hours...doh!

*Best known as Paul McCartney's brother and member of the Liverpool band The Scaffold.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter To Those...

who pass by my blog...and this time of year has a special meaning and for those who have no faith I still send my best wishes for a peaceful and reflective time spent with family or to those who are alone.

Its been another quiet, sleepy day here...it looks a bit chilly outside and the sky is colourless. I could do with some salad items but I am not venturing out...should've purchased them yesterday when I had the chance. I don't need them, there will be a little buffet tonight at the bingo club and if I am still hungry I can have something when I come home.

Last night it was tomato and beef rolls. Today its been a couple of fancy yogurts...perhaps tomorrow I'll do a meal that could be seen as associated with Easter with some turkey. I don't have any Easter eggs/Easter cakes but probably can still find a little treat to have with a cup of tea or coffee if I search through my food store.

I have some raffle tickets for tonight but not sure if I'll be lucky or what will be there prize wise. We're told that there is a good turn for the entertainment slot...we'll see. Its supposed to be half of a duo that appeared on the tv series The Voice. I would not know as I do not watch it. Also, these past few weeks the numbers have been down and the acts have been playing to a sparse crowd and even the prize money in the bingo etc...has been less.

I'll chuck some rubbish out later, its bagged just to be moved to the wheelie bin. Have a quick shave and I'm ready. I'm probably missing some event somewhere but haven't seen anything advertised and things pick up again next weekend. Also some monthly afternoon concerts start up again on the last day of April.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ninety Nine Not Out...Well Maybe...

I was in Durham earlier today. The sun was out and I did plan to stay longer but gave up...I was a bit tired and I thought, I'm not spending for the sake of it(though I did spend on some biscuits that will last me a while)on the way back to the bus station.

It was a hard slog trying to get people to sign the petition to save the NHS but we tried...I picked up some tickets for my friends who are going to the lunchtime concert with me next Friday in Durham.

And I was caught by a gypsy fortune teller on Framwell Gate Bridge. When you are challenged mobility wise, its hard to get away...I was given an extremely short reading, she's either genuine or has a standard line in chatter. Perhaps they all do. I was told that I am not rich but will keep my independence and will live until I am 99 years old.

Many, many years ago(over 40 years)I was told by another person with such powers I would live to be 100 so we'll see. I'll get back to you on that.

The sun is still shining but I'm taking things easy. I haven't eaten much today...in fact I don't think that I have had anything yet but I feel fine...haven't decided what I will have as yet. I have enjoyed a nice cup of milky coffee since getting home. I am used to small portions, sometimes spread across the day and I do seem to follow a diet similar to the well known 5/2 diet so some days are a bit like fasting so I don't often feel hungry.

Friday, April 18, 2014

I Went To Bed Thinking...

Suddenly, if the weather is nice(and it is)I'll drag myself to Whitley Bay and see the sea and the new promenade that has been designed and built as they try to invest in the area again after some years where the area has been neglected. And then morning came and I slept...and slept...and slept. And you know what? If my body says I need that rest...I listen and say if that's what it is telling me I'll do it. I decide at the time, all plans are negotiable.

Tomorrow the plan is Durham Market Place and helping out with the save the NHS campaign again but we'll see. Next weekend we have the food festival locally and...next Sunday if I attend another memorial service which means a lot because of Mum and Dad of course but I have attended at least six possibly more since so I will decide when Sunday comes...I may go to the food event both days or choose one over the other. Or miss the whole thing...depends how I feel.

So its Good Friday...in a kind of reflective mood...I often am and perhaps the religious slant on the day increases that even more...not sure...

Perhaps I'll make the journey to Whitley Bay or somewhere else next week...perhaps I'll stay inland, watch this space as they say...

The slight blocked nose/cough/prickly throat may not be a cold...I never got hay fever but it can start at any time in life and I think perhaps that's what it is. The disadvantage is that probably all medications I can take for relief is probably not ok if you have kidney disease and are on strong meds anyhow.

So my thoughts turn to food and I guess as its Good Friday I will go along with a "Fish Dish!" Deciding if I will go with salad, vegetables and potatoes or something else.

Fish, chips, spinach, broccoli, sweet corn, peas and ketchup for Good Friday. I bothered this year...

If I go to a second course(not something I do that much)I am thinking ice cream and strawberries. If I go to a third course perhaps I will have cheese and biscuits.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Not All Microwave, Ready Meals Are Bad...

Just that on a limited income the better meals I probably avoid paying for unless they are reduced, on offer or adapted. I can have them because of the above and because often I eat smaller portions and buy less food perhaps than I once would have.

So everything was done via the microwaves and everything came out at the same time. Took approx 6 minutes.

So tonight it was...braised beef with carrots, onion, cabbage, broccoli, peas, sweetcorn, spinach, root mash and gravy(approx 400calories)cost of meal approx £2(saving of £1) It was a fair portion I would say.

Ok so I cheated...braised beef, root mash, carrots, onion, cabbage, sweetcorn, spinach, peas, broccoli in 3 mins


Last evening ended with a show at a local town hall in the company of my friend Andrea(who occasionally)leaves a comment on my blog but we talk, e-mail, message and bump into each other around town. But also after some months who should turn up but someone I have not seen for some months. Its a bit complicated but I have talked of him before and he's someone that you have to be a little careful of because he's a bit of a "Walty Mitty" character and you have to take what you are told with a pinch of salt. Also you have to be careful because though he is obviously seen as able to lead an independent life he is special needs and resides in a kind of sheltered accommodation set up.

So Andrea was on one side and he was on the other...ho hum! Hopefully, this did not distract her enjoyment.

So to Quicksilver...sadly just as happened at the theatre on Monday we were down on audience numbers which is so sad as for those who organise these concerts, keep prices down, look for a wide range of acts the risk is always there that they could fold.

Perhaps its the austere times and cuts...perhaps its the time of year, perhaps its the old problem I find that there is so little going on in the evenings that many businesses find it is uneconomical to stay open. For me bus services don't help.

Right that's the downside...now the upside...Everything you need to know of the duo who perform as Quicksilver can be found on their website(Link highlighted above in red)that's Grant Baynham and Hilary Spencer.They performed their own material but carefully choose quality material from others writers including Jake Thackery, Victoria Woods, Flanders and Swann and Tom Lehrer to name but a few.

They have a busy schedule for the year and come back(sort of)into these neck of the woods in June. It was a great night and we got the chance to chat after the gig. Nice people.

Grant Baynham and Hilary Spencer(Quicksilver)at Bishop Auckland Town Hall April 16th, 2014

The opening act was ably taken care of by a local artist who appears at a number of clubs and festivals including our own club on the town and that's Tony Martin(yes, he really does have the same name as the famous American singer and actor)He was one of the first singers I saw as a novice perhaps 18 months ago. I have become more aware of live music and folk in particular than the whole of my life on the planet.

We are fortunate to have such talent close by.

Tony Martin appears at Bishop Auckland Town Hall April 16th 2014

Well, I Did Venture Out...

I caught a bus around 3pm to a neighbouring town and by 3.45pm I had purchased my new pair of trainers and could've chosen any but went for the same as I have now. The RRP if that actually means anything is approx £55, I paid £19.99. It was my first time in the shop but I have passed it many times on the bus coming home. They had a shop in a nearby arcade but had closed that. When you don't walk well, you find all the short cuts and I found the quickest route possible.

I could not play sports as I am and my interest in sports is minimal but I will when I have more time consider returning for some leisure ware. On both the range available and price...

I suspect that I will always use charity or discount stores and as old as I am even when I am classed as a pensioner I will not dress as a traditional pensioner once did. It will be T-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts and the like and because they are more comfortable and easier to put on, I will wear trainers. And by visiting such an outlet though it really does not bother me, everything is designer. Sports Direct.Com.

I then called in to Poundland and purchased the first few items being put on the shelves of the Jane Asher Bakeware range. More to come...quality wise, they are good enough for me. And I should be able to put them to good use. I went for pastel blue but the range is available also in green, pink and purple. I did not bother with eight items(tea towel, oven mitt, icing kit, kitchen timer, cake dish, a cover, muffin liners, a container you put flour in which has holes in the top which allows you to put a dusting on worktops or items being made)

I purchased an oval and oblong baking dish, a container, a cake slice, a balloon whisk, some cutters, measuring spoons and cups, mini scales, a bakery book, a spatula, pastry brush, a sieve. I am waiting to see what else is put out and may still buy some items that I did not. I understand there are some jugs, mixing bowls, trays and cake mixes still to appear.

I had my meds, painkillers which helped and had some sandwiches of bacon, egg and sausage for my meal today and what should have cost around £2.50 only came in at around 80p and I had three for that price. Calorie wise they were 695.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How Things Can Change From Day To Day...

I had to go to the music club by taxi...such a struggle. But so worth the effort, a great night.

Tonight, as I am in the company of my friend we are fortunate to have a car ride from door to door to the show. That is very kind and much appreciated.

As for myself, I am drained of energy today...and my joints are so painful but I will have to go out soon and purchase some trainers as mine have worn out. Thankfully, the shop is near a bus stop so I can avoid much walking. It is so tempting just to stay put. I also may have picked up a small head cold again which doesn't help either. I should get shaved and I will but I am going out for now as I am...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Chain Of £1 Stores In The UK...

Is starting to stock a range of bake ware associated with a top food writer/presenter. Or rather she has designed it is said up to 50 items in pastel shades and some cake mixes alongside items like cake liners etc...all are costing £1 and should do "Everyday meals"

They'll not be the quality of what is sold in the main store in London and costs more but I bet a few people will be happy to have something that looks good and Jane Asher would not allow or design something that could/would damage her reputation so they will be good enough and will sell fast I am sure...I may indulge myself.

Those on a limited income and that's many these days will be happy to improve their kitchens equipment and have something nice, that would normally be seen as a luxury. It was supposed to launch yesterday according to the press, lots of publicity everywhere but when I asked in store it appears it happens on Wednesday so I shall hopefully buy my trainers and look at the bake ware range tomorrow.

Tonight its entertainment again, the local music club and tomorrow another local concert, its good to be out.

These Boots Were Made For Walking...

Even if my legs no longer are...

I discovered last night my trainers need replacing...the main parts of the shoes would last for ages but I have worn the heels down so much(heavy on them and probably at an uneven angle)so I shall have to part with money once more. I still may be able to use the older one's for quick trips to the shops nearby for a while longer.

The weather improved so I went out to the show at the local theatre in sunlight(there was a slight chill)but it was pleasant. There are still nice people I am finding  who are prepared to reach out. I found myself talking to a neighbour on the way to the bus stop. We are about the same age and have lived near each other for approx 5 decades and I have been told to pop in for a coffee.

A few streets away an elderly person looked as though she knew me and was stood at the door of her house(or wanted to)and so I said hello and stopped and had a quick chat(perhaps it cheered her up)and she wished me well and that I would enjoy the night. It is generally true that a smile and a kind word even with strangers is welcome.

I did not have to wait too long for a bus(even though the frequency drops after 6pm)and we have only have two services offering two routes and you need to be near them as they cut through the town via a limited centre based route. Another reason for me staying here if I am able.

I had approx 50 minutes before the concert when I arrived at my destination so was able to take my time. I got settled into my seat and the show started approx 8 minutes later. The theatre was less than half full sadly but we were entertained with approx fifty songs/instrumentals of recognised favourites and some newer tunes not associated with a "Big" band. Also some new inclusions of arrangements associated with Nelson Riddle and Billy May.

Chris Dean's Syd Lawrence Band performed for approx 130minutes. A band of seasoned musicians from many top positions in the music world, an example? Trevor Brown on keyboards who worked alongside Alan Ainsworth and was connected to the TV station that served London and the country in the past known as London Weekend and so took care of the music in the entertainment shows they produced that includes the Royal Variety Shows. However, there are also some young members in the band but they need to be good and they were. One was on trumpet and took solo's(he was 21 years old)another on trombone(he was 23)

They have a special weekend in June where they appear with other bands at a holiday resort)in June for approx 3 nights, its a five star resort with accommodation, includes four meals if you want them and other food, access to various facilities and entertainment every night. Price wise it is not bad, I was tempted but I have a ticket for a show locally that weekend so maybe I'll think about it for next year...

The audience was a little subdued but appreciative tonight and Chris had to work to get a response(not from me)and its funny when I saw the band in Durham last year we had a quick chat and tonight I was acknowledged. Whether, he can see that I really enjoy the shows and that attracts attention or I have one of those faces that is noticeable I don't know...I like Chris he has an open face and a smile to match. And enjoys the music, he directs, arranges the music, presents, plays trombone and sings pretty good too.

The band had 15 members tonight, I cannot remember if that was how many played Durham last year.

We got out around 10.05pm and some how, I managed to get to the bus stop in town with a minute to spare and legged it within nine minutes, how I have no idea, otherwise I would have had to wait thirty minutes for the next one. But I was almost home and in bed by the time I would have been boarding the next one.

A great night and one to remember...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Senior Moment...

All my own work...I answered eighteen out of twenty questions in the quiz at our club last night though others knew some of them too when I asked for verification...the last one beat us all..."What was the name of the first US woman in space?" We were even given her first name, Sally. Answer:Ryder.

The one that I had a mental block on was "Which actress played Sue Ellen in Dallas?" No one knew in my group but one though Linda Evans(I knew that was Dynasty)I know its Linda Gray but I just could not get the name of Linda Grant out of my mind...Grant is an author who I come across on Twitter.

But for all that...we won!

The grand prize of £5 between eight of us...we using it to buy nibbles next week...

As for the rest of the night my group did very well on the bingo, six of us were playing and four won a house(and though we were down in number)that was £20 for each of them. As some play six cards they were still £14 in pocket. And even with a couple of drinks each were £10 in profit.

Though as they also have a couple of goes on a domino card that comes down further and with rhe sticky thirteen card game most probably broke even after sharing the taxi costs. Though one of my group who won a house also won the sticky thirteen(shared with another person)so may've been in the black.

Another in my group finds bingo is too fast for him to play so went out of the room and came back and told me that he had played a machine...don't know what he spent but he told me that he had won £17 and walked away and did not keep putting it back in and making a loss.

Small amount of sunshine today but it still looks quite cold and not that inviting...though I will go out around 6pm. Catch a bus and travel to the big band concert at the local theatre for around 7.30pm so something good to look forward to.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Palm Sunday...

I forgot...oops! Then again I am I admit enjoying resting...slept reasonably well but had a variation on the reoccurring dream I have of being in Bournemouth where I have had most of my holidays and about having to return home(and not wanting to)I think I was in the company of Mum, possibly my Grandma but details are vague. A hotel we stayed occasionally came up in the dream, The Home Lacy which I have just looked up on the internet. No longer exists but serves another purpose.

In my dream it was totally different. Much larger, grander and mostly I was trying to pack to be in time to be sure of catching a train home. Also, remember some turns were appearing to entertain hotel guests the last(I have no idea why)was the male half of the singing duo Marilyn Mccoo and Billy Davis Jr. I remember going into a shop and buying something that looked like a bin which was available in the colours of red, blue, green or yellow but I could only find it in yellow and though I purchased it, I would have preferred one of the other colours.

The rest is a bit hazy...not very exciting I admit.

Spent most of last night and this morning eating Honey Loops cereal and milk...later I will reprise yesterday's meal. Had my meds and a coffee plus a couple of small custard and treacle slices courtesy of Mr Kipling.

Keep feeling I should have a walk out just to say that I have but there is nothing that I need and I will be out later this evening at the club.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Mum's Gone To Iceland...

Sorry...change that to Gildy. Of course there are foods like there like anywhere that perhaps should be avoided but not worse than anywhere else and even then unless you were eating the same items every day they're fine. I see a diverse range of products but as I now travel to Durham and Darlington, I really do find that I can get more for my money and often they match or are as good/better than the discount supermarkets/main food stores most people use unless you are buying items that have been reduced. And yes they do also stock some fresh items for salads and fruit, today they had 600g of strawberries for £2, I can pay more than that for a container of 400g and less.

I have some turkey and pork which will give me some nice meals or put into rolls and as its cooked it saves using the oven which also saves money. I have paid more for sliced pork, turkey and chicken elsewhere.

I did the favour for my friend at the Bingo Club. I had become mixed up and said the mini packets of gingerbread men and vanilla milkshake biscuits everyone seems to like were 8 for a £1...they are 59p its a £1 for 16. I was given £2 last weekend so she will find double the amount when I give them tomorrow. Sadly, I think when these sell out there will be no more. I'm not even sure that the manufacturer make them any more. They are only small but in my own town I purchased so very tiny fondant chocolate rabbits as an Easter treat and I will give everyone in my group at the bingo two tomorrow night.

The rain has kept off today but its blowy and changeable. The weather people got it right again...(Since writing that it has rained back in my town but it has past over and the clouds are moving quite quickly.

I'm a little tired. a little pain in the joints so the rest of the day will be quite restful. Its mainly food today(as it is most days)I have made the effort to cook a reduced family sized pie with filo pastry topping containing chicken, bacon, leek and a creamy sauce. Accompanied with cauliflower and broccoli florets plus roast potatoes. It was worth doing in the oven because its a couple of items that need cooking. I will only use half the potatoes so I have two meals out of them and a half of the pie so again I can  have two more meals out of that.

Chicken, Bacon and Leek Pie with Roasted Potatoes and Broccoli/Cauliflower Florets.

I found some vitamins and minerals which I was getting low in and bought some Bic Biro Crystal pens that were on offer 10 in the pack but I saved £1.20 on the price, some cheap highlighter pens which I think will be ideal for my bingo nights even though dabbers are quicker and easier. And a couple of felt pens. Finally and its been years since I had one, one of those pens that retract and contains four colours in one.

I nearly purchased a reduced price book of recipes and explaining the 5/2 diet but I decided against as I know most of what that diet entails and how it works and kind of do it already. And most of my meals are easy to work out calorie wise without sitting down and working out the amounts. Diet is a misleading word and bandied about too freely these days because whatever we eat is our diet whether its done to lose/gain weight, stay healthy.

I had some sandwiches late last night of ham and mayonnaise but they also had jalapeno as an ingredient and I had to remove it as it was too hot for me. I looked it up on the internet and it is said to be a mind chilli pepper. I don't do chilli pepper and if that is mild I don't know how people eat the stronger types. Perhaps you get used to them the more you eat  them. I won't be trying them again.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Funny Day Again...

Slept quite well, yes I gave in and had a couple of vodka and cokes. Not a habit but it probably helped me.

I planed and got all my fruit together and meant to have a nice breakfast of Honey Loops cereal, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries and milk...and then didn't. But I did around 3pm. Earlier I just had some marmalade and bread.

I got a good wheelie bin of rubbish out by around 10am and putting it found the workmen installing the solar panels next door. The usual noise associated with such workers(sorry if that's a stereotypical image I have)an old battered ghetto blaster playing very loud in the street and maybe my age has something to do with it but the music was just noise, if that's mid morning Radio One I'm glad I don't listen.

I said nothing, did not give a look(after all once indoors I could not hear it anyhow)but as I put the wheelie bin out it was turned down and it remained that way until they left.

I'm a little surprised that social houses as mine are now classed and managed by a housing association have not invested in solar panels when they upgrade houses. My neighbour seems to be getting his for free and at a time where people are being stung for the bedroom tax if they installed panels and that saved money on electric and heating etc...money saved could go towards the bedroom tax or at least money could be saved on the utility bills.

I had to phone the credit card company again and got a different tale about what's going on...Remember the other day I paid a bill and went to the bank to pay it off and they would not accept the card. Then it turned out I had two cards of the same type with different numbers and the last statement that arrived had a different number too. I was told that a card would be sent out with a new number and to destroy all my cards when it arrives.

They are not sending one now. Well, they will in July. The card I have to use until then ends at the end of July but the one I have to destroy has an expiry date that lasts until 2016 which is longer than the present card. As long as they know what they are doing...

As I had to use an 0845 number I have a feeling this will have cost me money but now the bank tells me that I can use a phone at the branch for free which as the problem is of their making I will be doing in future.

I was thinking of dragging myself to Whitley Bay this weekend for a change of scenery and look at the sea and the new upgraded promenade. Can't tell you the last time I went there but as I have some other places to visit during April and May and I promised to support the campaign to save the NHS I will once again trek to Durham tomorrow and do that instead. If I don't attend tomorrow I will be missing the next two weekends as next week I could be train spotting and then at a food festival.

Don't know why but having one of those down periods but not giving in...and still plan to cook something nice later for my evening meal and going make the effort.

Could be because its coming up to the second year since Mum passed away and I associate the London Marathon with her because in 2012 it was just starting though this year it seems approx two weeks early.

A night of radio listening ahead too...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Haircut Is A Bit Short...

And being quite bald, I suspect it will last me awhile. But its tidy. I was lucky(sort of)in the local supermarket, when the hand scanner that flashed meant I had won a Easter treat of a chocolate bunny. I found some cocktail sausages, some chicken strips and little biscuits all reduced and at quite a saving so I shall have something a little different to take to the Bingo Club on Sunday.

Did I say that last week's act at the club was so poor that I doubt he will ever be booked again. He started off ok and even his second half improved but his choice of music and dance routine was a misreading on his part.

Even for the older age the audience is at the club we like a bit of everything but it was just noise...even previous acts that could be better would have to be really bad compared to last week.

I feel reasonably calm and bright today. When I went out I thought what a nice day to have been somewhere in the sunshine but it soon clouded over. I am going to send my forms in on Monday to finally sort out Mum's estate. I hope to help again with the petition to get signatures to save the NHS on Saturday and being in the town where I collect these is where I need to be to do a favour for someone at the club on Sunday.

The big thing I am looking forward to happens on Monday night when locally I get the chance to see Chris Dean's Syd Lawrence Band. I saw them approx a year ago and I know that I am in for another great night.

The Sun Is Out And I'm Indoors...

Well, where am I going to go? Locally,  its shops, shops and more shops. I don't want anything and again I don't want to attempt to walk too much at present though they say walk through your pain and there's the rub, if you walk too much they'll say "There's nothing much wrong with you" So you can't win.

I'm thinking though I have little hair its time for a haircut. So that may give me an excuse to go out later. If I had full movement of my left arm and could see what I am doing at the back I'd do it myself but I manage approx 3-4 months between haircuts so it could be worse I guess. If I don't go out there is always tomorrow.

This afternoon there is supposed to be someone coming to look at and repair the taps on my bath and wash basin. It could be early or late, I don't know. That's another reason why going out somewhere is not possible today.

I have had a credit card arrive(I don't use them much these days, haven't the income to spend and I prefer cash where possible. It follows on from the problems of the other day which I posted about paying advance telephone line rental on my broadband. Next time its due I may consider going to to fibre and that will save me some money on the telephone bill but what puts me off is then I don't have a way to make phone calls unless everyone is on a service like Skype etc...I only have a few people that phone me or that I need to be in touch with so probably could give it up.

That's why I rarely use my mobile phone or have not invested in something like an I-Phone. The extra features look wonderful but not essential for me. Another reason why I have not invested in an I Pad device.

I had my meal last night but over microwaved the rice a bit but was still OK. Had nothing so far except a coffee but will think later what to have, I may have some sandwiches from the election in the fridge.

I have said it before but there may be some meals I have yet to try and may like if I tried them but I am not a fussy eater but I have definitely decided that pasta in any of its forms is something I will not purchase again. I am just not a fan. I don't think I shall be buying tapioca or semolina either.

Update:The plumbing is being done(arrived around 1.45pm)and a little extra and a few minutes ago the repair to the roofing felt on the garage/outhouse was also put right. The plumber has done some extra work in the kitchen whilst here. So I may still get out for that haircut.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Mobility Is Really Bad...

At present so I am staying close to home or making certain any bus or taxi I take gets me as close as possible to where I need to be and...if I walk, try and take a route which allows me somewhere to rest whether its a seat or a wall etc...and even if I am purchasing only a few items as in a supermarket I will use a trolley to lean on.

Having said that I did have a short look out this afternoon which proved how difficult it was but I going to do a favour for someone(I gave up)perhaps in a day or two I will. I did purchase some tickets for some music shows between now and June. The venue is close to the bus station. Also unlike many venues there are concessions and they are not as expensive as some other places.

I have treated myself to some nice ice cream for later, I have not any ice cream for many months and I am thinking of fish, a jacket potato and rice as my main meal. I'm a little annoyed to find that the fish I purchased on Monday(4 for a £4)today were selling at £2.

What can you do, there was no warning that was going to happen.

I'm resting at present.

Update:Think I am still on for the above meal but have just had a vegetable cup a soup, some crisps and a mint chocolate cake bar. This afternoon it was sandwiches...I have found some other type of potato product to have instead of the jacket potato and they can go into the oven with the fish.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Why Do I Feel Aprehensive...

I guess its just one of those days...the kind where you know something is round the corner but you don't know when or where. You may be worrying unnecessarily. Who does know the future and what it holds. I have that kind of butterfly feeling in the stomach...

At least I can forget things for a little while this evening at the music club, think we have a guest this evening.

I have to get shaved and dressed later. I have had a little snack. Tuna and cucumber sandwiches. Something nice later perhaps. Still managing not to be put off my food. That is not a good sign when the appetite suffers.

I have nearly all the details I require now to complete the forms etc...for finally drawing a line under sorting of Mum's estate. Finally, looks easier than I thought it would be.

I have a couple of tasks to complete for someone. So I may try and do that tomorrow and it will get me out for a little while. It will give me something to think about. After Friday I can start to fill the wheelie bin again and get rid of some more rubbish...and though it would mean much different happening there is Easter approaching so perhaps I can find something to do.


I don't remember what happened or why I was in the company of the following well known people(not at the same time I hasten to add)sometime through the previous night/early morning.


The actor Bernard Cribbins and President Putin of Russia...what's that all about?

Update:If you think that is funny the next day a political correspondent was in my dreams shouting out the prizes in an old quiz popular on British television called Bullseye and that really is weird if anyone reading this remembers this programme you'll know.

Would You Take The Risk?

I have discovered that there is a webcam set up at the famous crossing at the Abbey Road Studios in London as featured on the Beatles Abbey Road album cover.

Yes, some do try and take a photo and mess up the traffic risking injury but watching for a while I have noticed most of the time the crossing is used properly by people and often the cars etc...do not stop even when people have waited to step on to the road or have already started to walk across.

Abbey Road Crossing

Monday, April 07, 2014

Funny Day...

Sorting out finances regarding Mum's estate...not a lot of money but initially it will affect me. I have to avoid sounding ungrateful but sometimes a windfall does not always work in your favour. Its all the sorting out of forms and documents to fill in or send in. And yes you have to spend money to get money that is your own...I had to have many items copied and purchase a postal order. Also had to call into Mum's bank.

Anyhow, just had one of those weird phonecalls...I hope I am safe...a foreign sounding man from(I suspect)India or Pakistan. No number you can call back.

I did not give my number when I answered I am ex directory. He said my name and started to tell me the postcode he had for where I live(which I did not confirm)he said it was a one off survey and I would not be bothered again and asked how I watch TV and then what my working status was or was I not working. I said I was not interested and asked how they had my number and who they were representing. That saw him disappear fast. No information as to who they were.

Earlier in the day I was pestered by a solar panel company(I rent my home)so even if I was interested I could not alter my home that way anyhow. Again, how they manage to come through on my number is a mystery unless they phone random number combinations and hope for the best. I was given an option to press a number and be removed off their calling list. I still have no idea who they are.

I paid my phone line rental in advance on my internet provider...and used the credit card which was accepted. Then went to the bank to pay it off. The card was not accepted at the bank. I came home and found the latest statement...the numbers did not match. The card company said they had sent a new one out at least 6 months ago(which obviously had not arrived)How would I know and the cards I have are still valid for a long time yet. The missing card has not been used at least.

They are sending a new one in the next few days which will have a new number(different to the one I have now)and also different to the number on the statement. What a carry on...Everyone is amazed that the card I used to pay for my phone line was accepted. But the new one is linked to the previous now defunct card so the payment can be made at the bank when the new one arrives.

I have just enough in my bank to cover payments for my utility bills until the end of the year and my broadband/call package. I could bring it down further and pay approx £5 a month but to do that I could only phone between 7pm-8am weekdays and weekends. Its tempting as I really have no one much that phones me or I phone and I could use e-mail/facebook/twitter. But occasionally it is useful to be able to phone between 8am-7pm and as long as redial and stay on no longer than 60mins most calls are free.

As things stand I owe nothing to nobody. And am upto date with bills etc...may it always be that way. I'll never be rich but I hope that I can keep my head above water.

I couldn't help myself...I spent £10 for food today and saved £19. I have lovely sandwiches to last all week, many less than half price, they will be ok, some nice fish coated in a lemon/herb dusting. I have some small pork burgers and pork meatballs(half price)and got £7.20 of bread buns and bread for £1.20. Some cheese scones and crumpets too.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

That Lost £10 Came In Handy(See Last Blog Entry)

I went out for some milk, cherry tomatoes and...yes came back with more than planned so I spent £10 but came back with approx £25 of food.

I could've purchased more of the treats I found but wanted to allow some of the other shoppers a chance to share some cake bars(Bannoffee flavour and Sticky Toffee)thirty came to £1.30(worth £9)Some leeks worth £2 approx 40p. Belly Pork worth £4 I paid £1.98 and some Chipolata sausages worth £3 and I paid £1.25. Bread and buns worth £2.25 which I found for 35p.

Other bits and bobs but I think that is quite a good shop.

I have put together some bits and pieces for tonight's bingo club, Small ham rolls, cherry tomatoes, cheese and some small biscuits for a kind of sweet treat.

I have been doing some tasks for a friend I will see tonight but nothing too taxing. I may need some pain killers before I go out...its my shoulder this time rather than my legs...

Its a bit cold and blustery outside so the weather is behaving as you'd expect in spring/summer starts. I hope that we do get some decent weather.

I just have to get shaved and I have had a nice prepared sandwich of roast chicken and bacon with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise on malted bread and have some more sandwiches I can have later if I wish(not forgetting that I may bring something home later. Would be nice to have a win...

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Time Has Moved On...

So on Friday I was given the option for some home improvements to be carried out in my home if I say yes...new internal/external doors, new gas boiler and possibly a new roof. They want to take out two trees in the back garden approx 50 years old. I don't mind any more. They take them away and cut them down(no expense to me)estimate of removal is £700. At my age I doubt I'll plant any more. I would not see them reach their maturity. I may keep the garden plain, low maintenance or plant some bushes/shrubs(evergreens)and they'll grow more quickly than trees. I'm also down for a replacement garage door and repair of roofing felt across the garage and outhouse.

Whilst I am able I have some shows booked at the local theatre...varied choice as always...luckily there were some discounts and spread over the year the cost is not as bad as it could be. The trick is to try and make savings in other areas so you can manage some treats. Also some years there isn't much worth seeing so I try to save in the lean years for the years when there is a better selection to choose from. many of the following have just been announced

An Audience With Tim Brooke Taylor(a comic actor/performer)best known for The Goodies, I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue and I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again.
This Is Music Hall performers include Roy Hudd, Jess Conrad
Last Night At The Proms
The Music of Rogers and Hammerstein

Two others were booked ages ago...

Chris Dean's Syd Lawrence Big Band
An Evening With Pam Ayres

Today whilst in Durham I booked some more...

Bobby Pattinson and Friends
Clare Teal
BBC Big Band
Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band
Two Lunchtime Concerts

The following recently announced show clashes with a concert at a folk festival in September but is on in Durham in November so there is another chance to see it ...

The Lindisfarne Story with Ray Laidlaw and Billy Mitchell.

The two concerts at the Folk Festival are starring Jez Lowe, Charlie Dore, John Wrightson* plus a surprise
artist, Kieran Goss, Prelude, Ray Thom and the Benny Gallagher Trio.

Between April and June there are some local concerts at the local town Hall starring Hilary Spencer and Grant Baynham(both once quite well known on TV)they are supported by Tony Martin*.

Billy Mitchell appears again, this time with his son Tom Mitchell. They are supported by North Road.

George Welsh and Stewart Hardy a comedian and expert fiddle player. They are supported by Keith Morrison*

*Fortunately, these artists appear quite often at the open mic night at the music club on my town. Often for free.

So quite a few to be going on with and spread across the next nine months. Whether I can get some images will depend on the venue, the artist and how brave I am feeling.

I was in Durham today trying to get some signatures for a campaign to save the National Health Service, it wasn't easy and everyone packed up early so my planned three hours only lasted an hour. I understand we managed around 300 signatures. The weather did not help as it rained most of the time.

Until I managed to get home I thought I had lost £10 whilst in Durham but all is well and I found it on my person.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Today's The Day...

The dreaded visit. I hope it goes well. I have the help and support of a very dear friend who will be present. I am awake and doubt that I shall rest until its over.

So there will be a little bit of sprucing up...not helped when the vacuum cleaner is playing up again. I need to get washed and shaved soon. Then I can do no more...

Update:What a difference this visit was compared to others and it helped not dealing with the same people. This time it was one person and female. My friend arrived early and...for a variety of reasons the visit took place as late as it possibly could've in the period I was given in a letter.

So it was three hours and I suspect I was the last person on the list.

As I said I would, I took to my bed for a rest and went straight off for a couple of hours but I know that I have been in pain and that it has been bad and if you asked me "Where are you hurting?" I would have to say...everywhere. My friend's help is appreciated and I am sure that she will not mind me saying that it was a bit of a struggle for her so when someone goes to all that trouble for you, that is a true friend.

I am not going out, I have no reason to. There isn't any bingo tonight either. I will rest. I think that I shall give in and take some pain killers hoping that they will kick in. Any tasks can now wait until tomorrow and the weekend. I have to assume/hope that I am improved by Saturday as I am down for helping with a campaign to save/stop/reverse the changes to the National Health Service and keep it in public ownership.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Bit Miserable Around Here Today...

The weather has been dull but I have yet to see the signs of the pollution and sand that has reached the UK from the Sahara that many areas have experienced and the earthquakes/tsunamis that have affected South America so I guess dull is good.

I am tired and my joints are hurting but I have to keep going with the expected visit tomorrow from the Housing Association. If all is well I shall rest as soon as I possibly am able after they have been.

Paid my TV licence today. I was debating whether I wanted to and view via catch up online which is free but that loophole will be closed sooner or later and at approx 40p a day with a license, it is still good value for the amount of radio and TV available.

I discovered the other day one kilowatt of electric gives me 31 hours of use on a laptop but only 4 hours of TV watching so though  I have a TV I watch most TV online these days(well those channels that I am able to)

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

I Have Had A Talk With Myself...

And today and tomorrow its work, work, work and no excuses for wasting time. Household tasks...so I may be missing for some time...

The only good thing is that I actually bothered with breakfast and had approx two bowls of Honey Loops, a banana and semi-skimmed milk to set me up for the day(approx 336 calories)

Right, I'm away...

Six hours later...Not doing too badly, having a little rest...in some pain but needs must...I will start again in approx half an hour and hope I am finished by 7pm and I go to the Music Club...if not I will complete the task when I come in but I don't think I can get anything else in the wheelie bin and it is not taken until next week so anything that remains will have to go into the outhouse and my visitors on Thursday will have to understand...I hope.

A quick dust and hoover tomorrow and I can do no more...But the house is tidy and uncluttered as it was anyhow. I have been literally having a spring clean and clearing out cupboards so nothing was originally on show anyhow. But when you do have a clean sometimes things do get a little messed up.