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.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wishing You All...

early New Year wishes for a happy, healthy and peaceful 2015.

Its been a quiet day...it was so cosy in bed I stayed there until late in the day. Then dragged myself to the shops, it was busier than Christmas and though they are open again tomorrow, shelves were empty.

I treated myself to a lottery ticket and a cheap TV listings magazine and my computer magazine. There was a new supermarket magazine available and it has lots of good reading about healthy ways to enjoy the New Year and some lovely recipes that even I can manage.

I bumped into my repairman and its not looking good for the laptop but I will keep my fingers crossed. If anyone can get it working he will but he's admitted he's struggling.

I hope to put together a little buffet for New Year it will be simple and easy(if I don't eat something I can have it tomorrow)and will. It sounds grander than it sounds. I will have some ham and peas pudding buns using some mulled wine ham(probably open)egg mayonnaise buns(similar)cherry tomatoes, mini pork pies, mini beef pasties, my leek and pork sausages cut into little pieces, pickled onions, fruit cake, cheese, crisps, cheese biscuits, cheese straws, mince pies, chutney/pickle. I did not bother with the salmon. Many items were reduced/on offer.

I would have liked to have made some cocktails or looked for my bottles of booze in the outhouse but cannot be bothered and its cold out there. So I may just have a can of cider to bring in the New Year. If I can find any vodka I may go for a lemonade and vodka.

This year its all put up in food containers to keep everything fresh and stop it drying out so it does not look very fancy but I'm quite happy with how its turned out and it was all put together quite quickly.

I'm sitting here when I am supposed to be watching the fourth film in the series of Indiana Jones and I have missed twenty five minutes already. If I'd had my laptop I could've been watching that whilst writing this or if my TV was fixed up in my bedroom I could be both here, another job for next year.

I found myself watching another John Wayne film earlier co-staring Henry Fonda "Fort Apaché" and later I plan to watch an old Ealing comedy "Kind Hearts and Coronets" I could very well also find myself watching an old Carry On film that I seen a few times "Carry on Camping". Somewhat different way to bring in the New Year to years gone by.

It seems a little warmer indoors but not sure if that's the weather improving or I'm better at wrapping up well. Eating more regularly, hot drinks, moving around a bit more all helps.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What Does Today Have In Store?

Who knows...nothing much planned. The paths and roads look very icy. I don't want to risk a fall...again food is plenty in the house. Still nice items for the holiday period but lots of good stuff in my food stores. They can laugh as some do(usually those who come from the Housing Association or some official organisation that find out about them but there is much to be said about buying some items in bulk and when they are on offer. You save money. Have more choice and when the weather is bad or you feel unwell you do not have to go out.

Especially handy if you don't have access to your own transport and have to use taxi or buses.

I am out at the Music Club tonight so will get out for a couple of hours(sharing at taxi)and in approx an hour my laptop will be taken away to see if it can be fixed for a reasonable price.

I changed my TV viewing last night and gave up on Last of the Summer Wine and found the first instalment of an adaptation of Mapp and Lucia, a documentary about the great comedian Dave Allen and a documentary about the Guitar Riffs. I was going to watch a couple about musicians Glen Campbell and Johnny Cash but went to bed and watched an episode of the TV series Gotham via the internet that I had missed but I have discovered the remaining half of season one will not air for sometime and they are keeping them back until later in 2015.

Well, I shall go and make some breakfast and have a coffee and have a quick tidy round.

I will wait until the weather warms up and probably at least Spring before doing the house up but I can keep it tidy so I have a little bit to do in the dining room and the outhouse. So I shall try and get the dining room in order today. Its too cold to do much in the outhouse but I can perhaps move some of the crockery and cleaning goods into the pantry and kitchen cupboards which are out there. So the day is not totally wasted.

Update:Laptop taken away...and by chance I have found a film(said to be one of his best)with John Wayne "The Searchers" I have rarely seen any of his films but a few over this festive period and so I shall watch this one now. Another to cross off my list.

Cooking some Pork and Leek sausages in the oven, should get a few meals out of them, was wondering what to have, could have a fry up and/or some with vegetables and gravy. That's today and tomorrow taken care of.

I had the sausages with baked beans and fried eggs followed by sherry trifle. Just my own opinion, they're ok but nothing to get excited about. At least I have tried them now.

Remember the gout? I took one tablet and was ready to take a course pf the drug but so far the one has done the trick. Guess I took it earlier enough but the leg that locks is giving more problems so I will take painkillers for that.

Watching another ancient film(new to me)"Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" astonished to discover it is 25 years old. I saw the first two at the cinema, I understand there is another I have to see and that is on TV tomorrow night. I'm not out on New Years Eve so may give it a go.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Ticking Over, A Quiet Day...

I'm not going out. I have all that I need indoors. There doesn't appear to be much on TV but I'll find something. There are some catch up channels on Freeview/Freesat but they tend not to show films that have already been on and the same is true of the catch up service on the internet(copyright issues I assume)and the only PC that gives me access to the internet at present is the old desktop one in the bedroom.

Though I haven't eaten much in the way of large meals or what I see as likely to cause it I have gone done with a mild case of gout(again)but having a drug in the house that helps rid the cause, I took a tablet at the first sign of it and I believe it could be working already.

I am going to make the effort and have a nice meal later on(if anyone is interested I'll tell you what later and perhaps post an image of my efforts too)

For now I am in a sentimental mood, I have no idea how close the movie is to the real life story of Glenn Miller but I am watching a favourite of mine The Glenn Miller Story starring one of my favourite actors who liked on screen and off, James Stewart and in the film June Alyson just seemed right to play his wife.

Perhaps its an age thing tonight, I will be watching repeats of Last Of The Summer Wine.

Update:I couldn't find the camera but the meal went well, all sorted within 8 minutes via the microwave(a kind of Christmas Dinner number two)followed by Sherry trifle. I can use the trifle again tomorrow. I put Summer Wine on but have missed a couple being on here in the bedroom meant to go back downstairs and watch/switch off the TV but became distracted.

May go back now...My laptop is being collected tomorrow morning for repair which I hope will not cost me too much.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Gave Up On The TV Last Night...

Neighbours were having a karaoke session and I decided an earlier night seemed a good idea, The noise and my neighbours having a good time doesn't bother me but when I am careful about annoying them and virtually quiet as a church mouse, it gets a little bit galling when they would be the first to complain should I make a minimal amount of noise. But that's me. I consider others and sometimes get walked on for doing so.

I've my little buffet already packed for tonight...keeping it simple, a little cheese, a few snack biscuits, cherry tomatoes, cheese and bacon lattice rolls and for a sweet treat some chocolate/caramel mini tarts. It will only work out at around one of each per person(the cheese and tomatoes there are more of)Hopefully others will take something along...not just me.

Just have to have a shave and a wash, I may have something to eat before I go out, yet to decide.

Now watching a thirty one year old Western Movie I haven't seen before "Silverado" That will kill a couple of hours.

Update:I won a house(£15)on the bingo so the night cost me nothing and I am approx £5 in pocket. I did win a second house but missed calling and the game had moved onto the next number which won, it happens and I have been very lucky these past few weeks.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Planned To Watch Some Movies But...

they'll be repeated, they always are. After my late night I slept until midday.

I had a quick look out just in my town's retail area, found someone had purchased two(yes two)of the soundbar that I did yesterday. They seem to be selling well. And we had a chat and the couple were happy to hear how good it is.

I found some well priced(reduced)individual luxury Christmas Puddings that Christmas Eve were selling at £3.99...now £1.99 and a date that is late 2016 and there are four in the pack. Two are infused with whisky/two with brandy. I'd forgotten how I like Christmas Pudding until Christmas Day so now I can have it throughout the year or they'll still be OK next December...if I don't. I don't remember having pudding that often over my life. Cannot decide if that's because I assumed I disliked it and my parents ate it or none of us bothered.

I found some Christmas cup cakes reduced so treated myself to them(Two Gingerbread/Two Yule Log flavour)

I'm going to wrap up well, stay cosy and watch a bit of Saturday night TV. Doesn't look all that promising to be honest.

I will use up a ready meal that I have in the fridge, chicken dumpling stew and start on all my Christmas food and goodies from tomorrow. No plans for venturing out until the bingo tomorrow night. The music Club on Tuesday. And the way the weather has been behaving according to the media that's not a bad idea.*

Few around here "do" New Year any more...I haven't for a long time and at best I will make a little buffet for myself and will go to bed early or at best watch a bit of TV if there is anything decent in the early hours. Though this year "One" person wants to sit up and see the New Year in but the rest of the household will have gone to bed.

Getting a taxi here home will be difficult/expensive. I don't want to walk home in the early hours and I don't want to stay there sleeping on a sofa so I will try and get out of it or be blunt and say "Thanks but no thanks!" It doesn't mean anything these days for many.

*Spoke too soon, forgot to buy a birthday card for someone who has a birthday on Monday and if I'd had spare cards in the house or had purchased one I could give it to someone at the bingo tomorrow night, now I will have to go out after all. I could go now as the supermarket is still open but I'll leave it until the afternoon.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Belated Christmas Greetings...


Well, the laptop is really knackered. Can't remember what I said earlier but in short I did manage to get it switched on again(in a fashion)and take off a lot of the stuff on its hard drive but at present I cannot get at the bookmarks and fear a lot of favourites will be lost/forgotten.  If I can gain access over this weekend I will.

The repairman was coming on Tuesday but even he admitted that it was a good idea to get stuff off the laptop before he took it.

Now I will have to decide is it worth repairing(depending on how the repair may increase as he looks at it)and with a small amount of spare cash through being frugal whether I should buy a new one but by then I may have missed any bargains offered in the pre/post sales around Christmas.

I have lots of lovely food in and I have lots of meals and snacks planned certainly up to New Year.

I had Christmas lunch with the invite of someone and received a few presents including a new mobile phone. Its basic and yet has more features than the one I misplaced in my home and I have put £10 on it which should last me ages. I don't have anyone to call and don't expect any calls to me. That's why a mobile phone isn't a priority for me and I'm not too far away from home so usually can wait until I get home to worry about the need of internet connection.

It will only be used occasionally to book a taxi. I understand I can have it switched to a tariff that is lighter than the one it is set to now which may suit me fine.

I finally gave in and purchased a soundbar for the TV. Its not the greatest, most expensive containing all the bells and whistles many have but for the amount of TV I watch its good enough for me. It has given it a richer sound than I was getting from the speakers within the TV itself.

Had I purchased it a couple of days ago it would've cost me £48...today it cost me £24 so I can't be robbed at that price. At first I was getting a horrible buzzing noise upon setting it up and thought...its no good and planned to return it tomorrow. Then after a little fiddling with the connections I found I could hear sound from the TV.

Then when I played the old satellite box through the system there was no sound so it looked as though it only worked with the TV. I investigated and found another connection had worked loose. Now it all works fine. There is a control to change the amount of bass and treble which I have finally mastered.. It has improved the sound and that's what I wanted. Considering the TV is not very big, the satellite box is old and Freesat, I have adapted the old TV stand managing to sit the bar so it gives good sound and is under the TV. To stop it rolling backwards/sliding one way its propped against that big vase.

Within the hour I will be out for the evening watching a little show at the club I usually go to on Sunday with the crew we play bingo but they are not going tonight, so its just me. I nearly did not bother but others that sit near us invited me to join them and I have a taxi booked to get me there and back and its always packed for Boxing Night and New Year's Eve. There is a raffle with some good prizes too.

I have taken a small buffet with me to share with those I am sitting with(very small one)cheese, crisps, cherry tomatoes, snack biscuits and one cheese and bacon lattice roll for each of us.

So I better get ready, speak later...

Again...belated Christmas Greetings!

Update:I had a win on the sticky thirteen card game tonight so even with the cost of the taxi being increased, drinks, paying for the games plus ticket for the night I was £8 in pocket. Really its as though the night was totally free and I got my soundbar for nothing.

I haven't watched much TV and I found two late films were on when I came in so I watched a Carry On I haven't seen in decades "Carry On Spying" and a Western that I have never seen and has taken me 45 years to do so, Redford and Newman in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"

I can cross that off my list. It was OK. Perhaps it meant more when it was first released and if I seen it when I was younger. I knew what the conclusion was regarding the main characters,  I almost gave up but though the conclusion was what I thought, the way it happened was different. I won't put spoilers up because there may still be people who haven't seen it.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Still Having Issues...

With the laptop. I will now wait until after Boxing Day. The day weather wise was poor. More of the same I think. I won £28 last evening but in reality that comes down to £13 after what I paid out across the evening but that's not a complaint, it is unfounded and means you are breaking even or no worse off. After the win on Thursday it has helped towards the buying of Christmas food and/or my theatre tickets/repairs to the laptop.

My Christmas lunch may/may not happen and the priority should be the care of a person in that household who was rushed into hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning. He was going in this Tuesday to be seen by a consultant but expected to be home over Christmas but plans do not always happen as intended. I can make my own Christmas and will suggest that later today.

Just need some salad, crisps, cake and milk. Otherwise I have everything and more besides. Fortunately.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Another Day As I Often Say...

To pace myself is the best way as every day/hour can be different. As you will have seen by my post yesterday. After getting home from the trip to post that card. I went to bed for a couple of hours. I also went to bed as soon as I came home from the bingo club Christmas party and slept the clock round.

It was a bit flat to be honest and some people did not turn up but still enjoyable. I rarely win a bingo game and usually we're talking no more than £8 a house on a good day but as a whole book of cards comes in £4.60 with a raffle ticket, if you win one game you are only £3.40 better off. Its taking part and a bit of fun.

I shared a taxi to the event with an older gentleman and for a variety of reasons we should have shared the cost but I found I paid it one way. Coming home another person joined us and again we found that we ended up paying for the journey home so I am £4 out of pocket. I won't see that again. As I don't want my friend to be out of pocket on that second taxi journey I'll go halves so I will actually be almost £5 down so the bingo win is welcome. We also get a yearly £10 bonus as a gift so I am still £5 better off. So its OK.

In a few minutes I am off to Durham city to see a lunchtime Jam Session at the local theatre for 1pm, I may do a small shop and hang around to see the Christmas lights when it comes in a little darker in the afternoon, they look better when that happens.

The weather is nicer today, sunny if a little blowy.

Update:I hung about but didn't really gain anything from doing so as a van pulled up in front of the tree in the market place when I wanted to take a photo. And others I tried to take on a bus passing through other towns on route failed. Not helped by grubby windows.

The concert had been changed at short notice as the arranged singer had flu and lost her voice but was replaced by Ruth Lambert and accompanied by Giles Strong on Guitar and Mick Shoulder on Base(I've seen them before)in various guises and they are great. The guys play again in January as part of a group in the style of  Jean "Django" Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli called Djangology. And Ruth returns in April.

I've just had a coffee, sausage roll, buttered bread and a couple of biscuits but am thinking of having baked beans, chips and a corned beef slice later for a meal(perhaps for supper)

My laptop failed me when I came home...wouldn't switch on or off so for the first time I took the battery out and replaced it. Now it is going through a procedure looking to repair the start up. I hope it works. Last year I was without access to a PC or the internet and funnily enough it was the same time of the  year. Luckily I have an old refurbished desktop PC if that happens this time. But if I suddenly disappear you know why. I will find out if all is well when I go downstairs and check it over.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Good Concert With Jez Lowe...

but usually I am at the front of the hall and the doors do not open until 7.30pm however the place was packed when we arrived and some seats had been reserved(not used to that happening before)so we found ourselves at the back of the hall.

Also unlike other years it was finished by 10.20pm having started at 8pm and that included an interval. It usually lasts until 11pm(ish)but it was enjoyable all the same. And I had good company with me.

Today, it is cold and very blustery. I am much relieved today because I received a Christmas card from my closest relatives and because they live a fair distance away the bus service isn't great, taxis expensive but I had lost their telephone number and they are not listed in the phone book.

I was going to post a card this weekend and this gave me the excuse to do so and they have now included a phone number.

I managed to walk slowly to the town centre and post a card but had to give in and get a taxi home so that was one expensive card. 62p for the postage stamp and £3 for the taxi.

I will get shaved and stay warm as best as I can until I go out to the bingo club Christmas Party at 7pm(taxi there and back)I have been told to take some containers for left over food. I will take some painkillers too. I was going to watch some TV but cannot be bothered, going back to the radio and bed for a rest.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Quiet Day...

Weather wise nothing to write about and so far not too bad, contrary to what we were told to expect by the forecasters, cold? Certainly.

Not had much to eat but thinking that I may have a quick snack later and perhaps that could be corned beef, baked beans and chips. A nice hot mug of coffee.

I could stay in but I think I will go out and buy some postage stamps, more Christmas cards and my computer magazine. My whiskers haven't grown much so I think I can get away without a shave today. I shall put my Christmas gear on and then this evening I am with my friend Andrea watching a Christmas show with Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies performing in concert. So that's about it for today.

Having said that...On Friday I hope to be in Durham watching a lunchtime concert and as it gets dark quite early in the day I hope to take some images of the Christmas lights in the city and on the way home because the buses run more regularly I also plan to add some of the smaller towns who to be honest have made quite an effort especially in these times of austerity. It has been said that my own town's efforts have left much to be desired.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A New Day...

Feeling more positive. I watched most of the Bette Midler special but gave up. It was mainly a promotion for the new CD that has been brought out(which I have heard)thanks to Spotify. I will watch Gotham another night on catch up or when its repeated. I haven't quite decided what was different about the special and how it looked. I can't describe what was going on. It had a different look to the usual studio recorded specials.

I came to bed and listened to the documentary on Alvin Stardust(again)I hadn't heard it for perhaps six months. Its a good story how he became interested in music, learning guitar and meeting his idols Buddy Holly, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran and Bill Haley. How by luck as a young teenager he found himself in their company, jammed with them and they signed his guitar.

I slept well until the early hours, woke and felt troubled and you start to think. I got up made a coffee, had some beef and tomato spread on bread. Came back to bed and eventually got off to sleep again.

I have found out today, I missed a carol concert I was looking forward to with the Ferryhill Town Band at 7pm yesterday and I could have gone to it and the bus service is quite good. There is another in another local town this coming Sunday but it clashes with my night with friends at the local club on the town(not quite true)it finishes in time but a taxi would cost £15 and there is no longer a direct bus service home and it means changing two buses and travelling elsewhere and a thirty-forty minute journey becomes nearer 90 minutes and that also includes standing at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere. That's Sunday service for you.

The TV sound bar saga continues never thought choosing one would be so problematic. The weather seems not too bad outside, quite sunny but cannot see a reason to go out because it will be dark so quickly and at best there are only buses to shopping centres etc...the weather forecaster is telling me as I write the weather is to change and become horrible in the next day or so. Not very warm though...wrapped up, taking warm drinks(may have soup)and have a hot water bottle on my person.

Its the Christmas party at the Music Club tonight...entertainment and a buffet so I don't need to really do a meal later so may listen to the radio, mess about on here or watch the TV.

Update:Great night at the club and as I knew the person organising the buffet, I not only saved some of my food in a container to bring home...I found myself being presented with some extra items. If I stick to having snacks I have enough for a few days and...I have been told to expect the same again on Thursday at another party night for the little bingo club I attend.

I could sit up and watch some TV but as I will probably watch a fair bit over Christmas and New Year I am about to go to bed. Listen to a little radio if I don't  doze off.

Monday, December 15, 2014

I Was Thinking Of Having An Early Night...

I may still decide to, depends how cold I feel and if I find anything decent on the TV.

I have a ready meal of Hunter Chicken to try soon. I may also have a fruit pie and custard afterwards.

I have paid all my debts and have enough paid to take me to end of January.

On the way home I called into the supermarket for some items(I was out of meat)and found a reduced lemon and herb half chicken slow cooked for £1.96 instead of £4 so that may do two meals and/or sandwiches also added some broccoli and Brussels sprouts, some sandwich thins and Yorkshire Puddings. It all came in for the price I would normally have paid for the chicken.

The only thing I have to decide on and treat myself whilst I am able is one of those sound bars for the TV but choosing the right one and not going for the most expensive isn't easy.

I will watch two programmes tonight...A Bette Midler special and another episode in the Gotham series, on the radio there is a repeat of a wonderful documentary on the singer Alvin Stardust who recently passed away.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

I'm More Organised Today...

Have all my buffet stuff is ready for tonight,

I am going to Durham to book some seats for Brass Band events in March/April and all of the events cost as little as £5. Some lunchtime concerts too(they are only £4)

I booked two shows yesterday that were nit as cheap but I see as belated Christmas treats for me, a Viennese New Year's Night in January also a 40th Anniversary Concert with The Houghton Weavers. I know that I am fortunate that I was able to do so but know one day its likely I will not be able to.

I am now about to have a Beef Dinner ready meal which will be ready in approx 11 mins(in the Microwave)

If there are any images or anything to say about the day I will add it later probably after I come home tonight.

Update:I was planning to go to a carol service either in Durham or here on my town but the weather has taken a turn and bus times have kind of changed things, The tickets have been bought and I have time for a little rest and a coffee before I go out again.

Even better I had a little win at the bingo but had to share(so only won £11)and was still slightly out of pocket but it made the night less expensive and in a roundabout way the win paid for a couple of the tickets I purchased earlier in the day.

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Change Of Plans Tomorrow...

If well enough there is a meeting to see where we go with the campaign to save the NHS in a neighbouring town which I found out about by chance. I think there is a carol service on Sunday on my town*

Its been another cold one today and I've stayed in. I was going to have a hot meal(still may)but lots of hot drinks and I have just had some pork sandwiches. If I find something decent on TV I may stay up a little longer or take to my cosy bed and watch some TV via the internet.

I'd like to tell you I am doing lots of exciting things but its a case of ticking over. At least I have all my cushions and throws now. The house is reasonably tidy too. We'll see what the New Year brings.

*It takes place at 6pm but there is another in the leisure centre in the afternoon it would seem. I'll go to the later one in the church.

I had an early night in bed, there before 9.30pm but am up now and getting ready for the meeting about the NHS. Its a cold one so I will be wrapping up well and wearing my Christmas jumper too.

Update:Interesting meeting...some things must remain secret but what goes on behind the scenes and how the media is manipulated by politicians, the media itself and often people with their own agenda when organising campaigns even when you are concentrating on a particular issue and keeping it non political is an eye opener.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It Was A Horrible Night Weather Wise...

I called the church service off but you know what? The weather is a lot worse today but nothing like what Scotland and other parts of the UK are experiencing. I came home and went straight to bed after the club. I did watch two episodes of the series Gotham(one before sleeping)one this morning via the internet and the desktop PC.

I like my FST 32" TV but one thing lets it down...the old TV had stereo sound and great internal speakers built into it. The new TV's are slimmer but they skimp on the speakers as there is no room for decent inbuilt ones. That was obvious by the rich sound two basic PC speakers of twelve years when watching Gotham. I may have to see about adding a couple and connecting them to the big TV. The sound is very thin as it is. Not bothered about a top of the range system or surround sound.

It seems many people have this problem with the new TV's.

I awoke this morning in a bit of down mood but went back to bed, had a snooze. Found a couple of new Christmas albums on the streaming site Spotify. Had a coffee and some cheese scones...I have found myself watching a Agatha Christie Miss Marple mystery. Wrapped myself in throws, various warm clothes so not cold.

If the weather had not changed(wind and rain)down the windows I was thinking of a quick trip to the supermarket and get myself some of the alcohol on offer for Christmas and then I got to thinking...I keep trying to clear the fridge/freezer to put some Christmas foodie goodies but why wait? I may never succeed in creating space so now I am thinking...lets have some nice meals now and before Christmas.

If the weather improves I may venture out but I don't have to...I have all that I need to keep me at home. The offers will still be on tomorrow and I can buy speakers any time. In the meantime I can also watch catch up TV on the bedroom PC. In time I may find a way to connect my FST TV to the internet and can watch what I like at any time.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Its Been Freezing These Past Few Days...

Plans did change...I wasn't up to doing much on Saturday but I did manage a shop in the morning and decided to get some throws to put over my lounge furniture and my bed but even I could not manage to bring all the cushions home with me so I will have to return for more. The throws will allow me to avoid buying new furniture a while longer.

Even Sunday did not go according to plan...I missed my bus by 20 seconds and had to wait an hour for the next one and it was so cold. Then the bus late and delayed on route to Durham...I decided on a taxi to the Cathedral and found the road was blocked so still had to try and walk a steep cobbled stoned road and I was really hurting(leg cramps)amongst other issues.

I managed to get into the cathedral with seconds to spare. It was a wonderful experience, Coming out I had to give in and have a taxi ride again to the bus station and again when I reached home.

Since then I have taken it easy. No choice. I have my theatre tickets though.

Tonight I will hopefully make it to the music club but depending on how I feel I may be at a memorial service in Darlington in St. Cuthbert's Church so I may go into the club later than usual...I have yet to decide. Using an evening bus service in very cold weather and not walking very well it takes a lot of effort. I may just go to the club.

Not my best images but here are some of my trip to Durham...

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Yesterday...I Went Shopping...

And only managed half of my plans. Luckily, I am about to complete them today in approx. twenty minutes. I decided to buy some throws and cushions. Its made a difference to the look of the old furnishing in the lounge. I will post images tonight.

Now, I am about to collect my theatre tickets, watch a carol service in Durham Cathedral, if time allows I will look at the local producers market in the cloisters, see the Christmas lights and on the way as I pass the little supermarket on the way I will get some cake and cherry tomatoes for tonight at our bingo buffet.    

I should be able to get home by 5.30pm at the latest which will give me a couple of hours rest. And I will take it easy going there. At least I will be sitting in the Cathedral and on the bus there and back.

I wanted to do everything on the same day yesterday but it was too much and I was being overly ambitious.

At least the sun has come out even though its really cold.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

On Thursday...

I really was struggling to walk and was in agony wondering how I could manage hours of pain caused by the gout but I went to bed for a couple of hours, slept somehow and when the time came to go to the little bingo club and by using a taxi to get there, I started to feel better...I spent most of Friday in a lovely warm cosy bed, sleeping but its not being lazy...its pacing myself, knowing what I can and cannot do, knowing what will mean that I can do more and keeping my independence.

I have managed to avoid taking the prescribed drug and still drink a little amount of cherry juice and keep the pain killers to a minimum. I had no reason to go out so I didn't.

Today is my treat...I will collect my theatre tickets, if there is room and I am early enough to get into Durham Cathedral there is a carol service this afternoon and in the cloisters(though probably too expensive even for me)a local producers market of food and crafts.

I have a little shop to do(Milk, cherry juice, butter, snacks* and light bulbs)I want some of those throws and cushions which I may also go ahead on today. I believe that I am up to it. Luckily much of what I am planning are in the same locations and near each other.

The grocery shop is two streets from home. I can do that early. The house furnishings are a bus ride away but again virtually where the bus route ends. between

The same with the theatre and Cathedral but again that is at the end of a bus route and because I am going during the day even though there are times public transport leaves much to be desired I can get to most local destinations within 20 mins or at the most 90 mins often directly with few changes between services and a bus available every 15-20 mins. Its before 9.30am and after 6pm when the problems begin.

I may do the grocery shop early(perhaps 7am)well the supermarket is open...the home furnishings between 9am-10am then I can leave any shopping and shopping trolleys etc...at home and just take myself to the Cathedral. The service starts at 2pm, the market is on between 9.30am-4pm. The theatre box office is open 10am-8pm.

The clearing out of my fridge freezer isn't proceeding too badly so I may be able to get extra Christmas food goodies a couple of days before the day...but if not I will do what I did earlier in the year and turn up the control so it becomes even colder and then even the fridge acts a bit like a freezer. And I will have to decide whether to go for fresh or frozen vegetables.

The other day in a post I mentioned the vitamins and minerals that I take...I forgot to add another good item which can cost more than it needs to and sometimes it gets wasted but again it can be purchased in ground form...Cinnamon.

*The snacks are not many or expensive and for two small parties at the little bingo club where we all bring something for a buffet and for the regular night at the weekend where we watch a turn and have a small bingo session at a local club. You know the usual type of things like crisps, cheese etc...

Thursday, December 04, 2014

One Last Christmas Shop*...

regarding clothes and house items associated with the festive season. All can be used for a fair few years ahead and some are OK for the whole of the Winter season because the design is not exclusive to Christmas. And they were reasonably priced or reduced.

Included in the selection is a warm hat.


Another Christmas jumper(This one plays music)but in time the gadget will fail and it can be removed so the jumper can be washed. I didn't buy it for that and probably will not use it anyhow. Other designs are of limited use because they have flashing lights and even if you manage to take the batteries out should you want to wash it, you can't remove the bulbs and there will be wires stitched into the material too. A friend of mine purchased one of those, they had all been reduced to half the original price.

I have a couple of festive throws...in the future I might put them on the sofa in the lounge but this year I will put them on my bed.

I have a couple of very small festive guest hand towels too. One is in plain white with a little penguin and the other has a design in red and white similar to the throw above on the right,

I feel quite rested, not in pain and OK indoors but earlier I felt pretty bad and though close to home I had to use a taxi. It took me forever to walk the very short distance to a taxi rank. Earlier, I missed a bus because I was so slow. I had an afternoon nap. And knew a bus ride was out of the question to go to the bingo tonight so another taxi was needed if I wished to go, I did not win but did win one gift in the Christmas raffle, a bottle of wine.

Of course as I say finally I feel more my usual self. I have managed to pull myself around with cherry juice a couple of painkillers.

I have had coffee and chicken sandwiches, watched a new episode of The Big Bang Theory and seeing I have watched a few Bond movies that I have never seen in the last week or two and there is one more tonight so though I feel ready for bed I shall settle down and watch it. Then go to bed and hopefully sleep well.

I'd like to just stay in tomorrow but may have to buy a couple of  items that I have run short on milk and cherry juice. I may buy some spare light bulbs too. If I can avoid going out I will. I would like to go out on Saturday and see something special in Durham and collect my theatre tickets but I won't push myself un-necessarily and will decide on the day how I am and also consider the weather.

*I say a last Christmas shop but I haven't included the festive fortnight edition of the TV and radio listings magazine(plus computer mag)some Xmas food goodies and now having seen how nice the throws are, I quite fancy having more for the furniture to jazz things up(I could also do with some cushions and with offers on they do not have to be overly expensive. For now they will make the old furniture look acceptable and can be used when I replace it.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Found Out Late...

As to be honest I have not been looking the website so seats may be sold out and/or my favourite seats not available but I have discovered in the New Year my regular theatre which in many ways is quite intimate/small has three musical events I would really love to see. They could be the only ones I'd fight to see. The only other way I will miss them is due to illness. If I buy my tickets now I know that I have them and can afford them. By the time the shows come around it will be as though I have put away £1 per week.

Jimmy Webb the songwriter of many classics over the decades performed by giants of the music world(people usually think of Glen Campbell and Richard Harris)with Wichita Lineman, Galveston, By The Time Get To Phoenix, MacArthur Park.

Albert Hammond who penned When I Need You, To All The Girls I've Loved Before, It Never Rains In Southern California, The Air That I Breathe, One Moment In Time, Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now. I say penned some write lyrics, some the music and a lucky few do both. I don't know which Webb and Hammond do specifically.

The other show has an artist singing in the style of and the music of vocalist Billie Holliday.

It will be a quick phonecall/visit to the theatre in the morning. Had I looked at the brochure when I first saw it this afternoon the seats would've already have been booked but I only looked in the last few minutes.

I had a quick look and favourite seats have been taken and remaining ones are going quite fast. I can buy online and choose now but that will add another £6 across the shows but if I wait and if otherS book in the meantime I may be unlucky altogether. I'll maybe know by mid morning.

Update:A phonecall as I was going out the door held me up so I will phone when the box office opens in 15 minutes and reserve the seats. I am going to Durham on Saturday there is a Christmas food/craft fare and a lighted procession in the afternoon and perhaps a service at the Cathedral so I can collect them then.*

I've some bacon sandwiches and coffee and no gout today so perhaps a good day ahead.

*Got 'em!

Back Home But Tired...

OK so home from the shopping trip to Middlesbrough. I was slowed down by the gout but the cherry juice/pain killers helped and in reality started to make a difference when it was time to return home.

I purchased very little...some cookware for the microwave(that came in at around £1.99)

A cup of tea(£1)there were a lot of Christmas jumpers reduced to half price but I was put off because as nice as they were none of them could be washed because they either had the option to play music or had little light bulbs that flashed on and off.

Others thought they were value and they were selling well.

I found a nice piece of corned beef slice which I think I can use in two meals at a popular local butchers that cost me £1.10.

When I came home I sorted out my prescription for the gout and I was told by the pharmacist that they work very well and quickly. That you don't need to take many to benefit.

I found my computer magazine was on sale again, I found a couple of Cornetto Ice Creams I fancied and I decided as I'd had a modest spend and was tired I decided to come home from the shops in a taxi. Its only a couple of streets but the relief of not walking any more was worth parting with money. The day cost around £10.

Being up early I actually cooked a proper breakfast which was not planned and looking at it I thought I'll never eat all that...but I did. I had cheesy scrambled eggs, streaky bacon and baked beans with those little sausages. Everything cooked in my microwaves and within minutes.

I am now home and I am not going out at all. That is me finished for the day...I was going to get more cherry juice and may still do so another day but as the gout has improved and with the glowing praise of the drug(Colchicine 500mcg tablets)I may just give in and take it if its needed.

I may very well decide to go to bed and have a rest, there is not much that is attracting my interest on the TV and a lot of the talk is about the Autumn Statement of the Chancellor(his last before the next election in 2015)and there's nothing good in it, More doom and gloom for many and a continuation of austerity and I'm miserable enough with the government we have in power and not very hopeful of the alternatives if there is a change of party.

There is a party that seems to offer me policies that are near my own values but I really have no hope that enough people will vote them into power or get enough representatives into Parliament to make a difference...this time. In future years who knows. But that is only my own view.

The Difference A Sleep Can Make...

It has improved me a fair bit...I bothered to get up around 10pm, until I did I had no idea what time it was.  I had a coffee and chicken breast sandwiches, its was not too cold indoors. So sitting around was OK. By chance I found an old film on TV(well from 2009)I had not seen "Public Enemies" with Johnny Depp. And now I think that I shall go back to bed and rest well through the night.

Tomorrow(well today)I will try and enjoy my coach trip and when I come home call for my prescription and attempt to have it put up by the pharmacy.

Now that the weather is cold I will use up what remains of the chicken, by having a meal with accompanying vegetables, Yorkshire puddings and gravy. Followed by a little fruit pie and custard. Its been a long, long time since I have had a two course meal. Including any dessert. Then coffee and to be different boil up milk rather than adding it to water and put a little bit of brandy in there too.

I don't have a coffee machine...am I missing something?

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Yay! I Have Had A Fair Breakfast...

Porridge and fruit. And I am thinking that I may have a meal later of bacon, tomato, beans and egg. Or some combination.

I am out tomorrow on a free coach trip for approx five hours but that comes down to much less when you take off the time getting to and from the destination. I am not really sure what I am going to do today.

The cough has sneaked back. And my joints are aching a fair bit. A little gout is there in the background so thinking lots of water and perhaps painkillers. You have to pace yourself. Well, I do.

Update:The gout returned with a vengeance by the afternoon. I contacted my Dr's surgery, they had not received the letter from my consultant at the hospital who offered me a drug for gout but with some phoning around, the prescription could/should be ready soon so I can have the drug he recommended in my home should it flare up again and it will be here by tomorrow afternoon.

However, once again I took two painkillers and a small glass of cherry juice. I went to sleep and here I am five hours later and the pain has almost gone again. Medication has side effects but if the cherry juice continues to do its magic I shall have a glass or two daily. How simple is that? I did therefore not venture out to the regular music club that I go to. I don't miss that many.

I Do What I Want When I Want...

I will eventually get around to doing what I should. I always do. So at nearly 3am I have tidied up the kitchen...all of the cupboards and the washing up is done too. The lounge too but as I've said before I want to paint this room, get rid of the sofa and armchairs and carpet it out. The furniture is around 40 years old I would reckon.

If you have followed me for any length of time admittedly I have changed the blog but I do have an interest in many things including health and remedies often to avoid taking drugs(medicine)and also hopefully to ward off health problems.

Hopefully, you will get all the vitamins and minerals that you need from the food that you eat in your diet(assuming income allows you access to decent food)in these difficult times of austerity, low wages and foodbanks but I do have loads of books and bookmarked websites. I do try to take one multi vitamin/mineral pill daily, a cod liver oil capsule, a garlic capsule or garlic itself and an omega 3 capsule. None of them are terrifically expensive. I have once again taken to adding a pinch of ginger occasionally to coffee or tea.

You can buy ginger capsules but they cost so much so I only use ground ginger.

I cannot believe that I am watching what I am but I have stayed with a 24 hour TV charity appeal apart from around 7 hours(there is still around 7 hours to go)

The weather is strange, it was colder around 8pm than it is now and seemed quite calm but suddenly around now there quite a blustery wind coming down the chimney perhaps a foretaste of what can be expected later in the day.

Monday, December 01, 2014

At My Age...

and for many years I have given advice and helped people when asked. People always came to me and thought I had the answers. Also I am a good listener. However, I am now doing it alone. Generally, I have found my way in life, knowing instinctively how to solve problems but I am always learning and I am not big headed and know when  need help and will ask for it.

Simple every day tasks can be a new to me and I am probably more likely to struggle with them or am willing to try new things. Mainly, most of the new things I am going to do will be around culinary skills and eventually buying furniture/carpets and decorating. Even though its taken me 56 years to get here.

Day Two...

The gout is keeping at bay,  so far no painkillers, no cherry juice. I went to bed but did not get up and watch Gunsmoke...I was tempted but being in bed was so warm and cosy I stayed put. I did manage to sleep most of the time but the reason I was most tempted to get up was that I had one of those annoying coughs when you are awake. Getting up the cough probably would've stopped. As it has now.

I will venture out around midday thirty and get some change at the bank and catch a bus to the afternoon bingo club. The bus ride only lasts perhaps two minutes but it would take me much longer to attempt to walk it(more like half an hour and more)

I may call into the supermarket on the way home but only for fruit and veg. I may not of course but it being close to home you know that you can rest.

All I have to decide later is what to have for my meal which I may come back and tell. I may even post an image too.

I don't usually eat mince pies, I never have but I did have a Mr Kipling Brandy Flavoured one last night and really enjoyed it so I may buy more for the Festive season yet. Someone said that they couldn't taste the brandy but I had nothing to compare it with so I don't know.

That's as exciting as it gets today..

I will take with me some sweets for my throat and a cough bottle(just in case)but again I have not taken any yet. Sniffles are not too bad either.

Update:I had a very small win on the bingo and that covered the cost of a taxi(I didn't use the bus)still holding off on the gout and cold. I treated myself to some individual Christmas puddings(cannot tell you the last time I had Xmas pud)They were good value when you buy one get one free. And now that I can do them in a mircrowave rather than have to steam them...even better. I just have to decide what cream/sauce to have with them and the dates are ok into 2016 so I can even have one after the Festive season.

The one on the left has cider, amontillado sherry and ruby port(9mth matured)the other is 6mth matured and is laced with cider and brandy. Depending which one you purchase ten would cost £5 or £7.50(a saving of £5 or £7.50 respectively)The saving means its like getting the puddings at half price 75p/50p.