Tuesday, 28 December 2010


I had a proper Christmas present this year - from my friend Heather at Random Ramblings.
We, that is my husband, my mother and myself, gave up doing presents a few years ago because they both started to find it difficult to go shopping in the cold weather. So I buy 2 or 3 little things each and then we each have one thing that is from the other two, but I'm the one that doesn't get any surprises. Mum and hubby did, however, ask me if there was anything I really wanted and between them paid for me to get all seven series of Star Trek DS9 on DVD which I shall be watching over the coming months. Oh dear, my terrible secret is now out!
Anyway, it was lovely to open a package when I genuinely did not know what was inside it. It was a large diary with such a very cheerful cover and it has made me think that maybe 2011is going to be the year I get myself organised.

Every morning I shall look at all those pretty flowers and it will make me feel cheerful too, which is always a good way to start the day. I shall make a book mark with my daily jobs written on it and then check them off on each day as I do them - things like doing my exercises, checking to see if there's a birthday card to send, making sure hubby has taken his tablets (you wouldn't believe how many times there is a cry of anguish at bedtime when he realises he's forgotten them all day - AGAIN!) And although some of you may be shocked that I have to be reminded, I do also need to make sure that I have said my morning prayers and read my Bible every day too.
Of course I shall be trying to lose a bit of weight after a small excess of eating over the Christmas holiday so I will be keeping a check on the calorie intake and the exercise out put and my diary will be the perfect place to record that.
I shall try to have a slightly more ordered routine for the week. Mum's shopping will be much easier now that I have started doing an online order for her to have delivered so I want to have one day in the week when I do her cooking for the freezer and one day in the week when I do our cooking for the freezer and one day in the week when I go over to hers and spend some time with her. I see her on Sundays too when I call in on her before and after church. Mostly I can get all the washing done one day a week, probably when I am cooking too. Housework will get done, probably. Maybe three half days? Which should leave me with some time to do the garden (subject to the weather) and sometime to pay proper attention to hubby other than all the usual things and hopefully a bit of time to go out and do my own thing occasionally and make the effort to keep in better touch with friends and relatives. And blog a bit more regularly. And do a bit of painting and crafting. Oh and maybe I'll get a bit of sleep sometime too!
Happy New Year

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Happy Christmas

A virtual Christmas card for all my readers. Watch this space, I hope to be a better blogger next year X

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Suggestions please

I am going to accept a challenge - if I can get a few ideas. The challenge is to try to be a little more green and to stop doing something and to start doing something in order to achieve this. My problem is that I am struggling to come up with anything. Now I am not claiming to have a zero carbon footprint so let me explain my dilemma.
We are very fortunate to have a Local Authority who provide us with a recycling bin into which we can put all food waste, both cooked and uncooked, plus cardboard and shredded paper and garden waste and which they then turn into compost which can be bought back at a very reasonable price. We have another bin for the paper waste like magazines thick cardboard, plastic bottles and tins and which they also recycle. I usually buy my fruit and veg from shops where they sell it to you loose in a paper bag. I buy my meat from a proper butcher so the packaging is minimal but necessary. I make my own "ready" meals and freeze them in re-usable plastic containers. I take my glass to the bottle bank.
I walk to the local shops if I can and if I don't have too much to carry back. If I go into Ipswich I use the Park and Ride. Otherwise there is no proper public transport so I have to use my car. I can't turn the heating down because my husband is disabled and feels the cold terribly. In the summer I try to collect the water that I wash veg in, or have to run to get the hot water come through but I don't know what to do with that in the winter. I also think that you need to be careful that you don't forget that the drain needs a good flush of water through it fairly regularly. We don't have a bath in our house (yes, we do have showers!) so we don't get the flush through the drain from that. I wash almost everything at 30 degrees and don't use biological products. If I do a hot wash I make sure I have a full load in the machine. In the summer I hang the washing out but do use the dryer for sheets etc in the winter.
I turn the tap off when I am brushing my teeth. I don't leave things on standby. I am replacing bulbs with low energy as and when I can afford them (although it seems there may be issues about how they are recycled) I have been told that it isn't a good idea to turn them on and off all the time so I am a bit unsure about that. I use the mains rather than batteries where feasible. We even live within a five minute drive of the Municipal Dump and we save things up to take there.
I try to bake in batches so that I use the whole oven, and then freeze some. I foraged blackberries in the autumn and made them into seedless jam. Veg that is getting a bit tired is made into soup.
So, what else could I do, or stop doing, to be that bit greener? As my nana used to say, I am not as green as I am cabbage looking, although that was a different sort of green!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Christmas present and past

I went to a lovely big family party yesterday, without leaving the comfort of my own armchair. Through the magic of the internet and the presence of a small built in webcam on my laptop I was able to talk face to face to several of my relatives who I have not seen for years (and in some cases years and years) I stay in touch with some of them by phone, more or less, and there's always the Christmas card, but, due to circumstances beyond my control, I don't manage to get to the December get together and haven't done for quite a long time. I saw about 15 people over about 45 minutes and it was great to see them. I don't know if they realised just how much it meant to me. We seem to have got a bit isolated out here in the wilds of Suffolk over recent years, every body is getting older and has more immediate family commitments.
We used to have such lovely Christmases when I was little, at least that's what I remember. However, I suspect that, in part at least, that is because I wasn't involved in the preparation. All you do as a child is open the presents and eat the chocolates and play the games. You do not have to cook the turkey and time the dinner and do all the washing up.
We , including the grown ups, used to play a lot of games, like charades and any new member, girlfriend, spouse etc was submitted to the test of certain games where only those in the know knew what was going on. Do "Boots Without Spurs" or "Black Magic" or "Passing the Scissors Crossed" mean anything to anyone?
My Aunt's house was full of people, there were Christmases when people slept on any available bit of floor, that happened at our house too sometimes. And I still have my teddy that my mum and dad gave me when I was about 3 and which was almost as big as me then.