Monday, 30 November 2020

Remember Who You Were


This year has been a good one for bogging us down in rules and regulations

Tying our hands with what we can and can't do 

That most of us can't even see

But yet have to believe in

 

It can sap your spirit

But not your soul



Remember who you were

And what was ahead





Remember when we didn't know what lay ahead

And it didn't worry us



When we didn't even think past the next few hours

And yet lived for each day



We are all still in us

And we know deep down there is much promise ahead



But for now it's time to hibernate methinks

Be nice to ourselves and ride the year out quietly

Safely and softly









Sunday, 29 November 2020

Suky's Favourite Television 'Programme'

 


Most evenings I watch the six o'clock BBC1 news.  After the national news has been on for half an hour it's then time for the local news.  Now in this part of the North West of England the local news can only be viewed in SD rather than the HD that the national news has just been broadcast in.  We get a large red screen announcement telling us to turn over to Channel 1 rather than the 101 that is BBC1 HD on Freeview.

Are you still with me?

For the last ten minutes of this HD break a fixed set of snippets of various BBC programmes comes on, and one of them is one David Attenborough's series ...which includes baby penguins.

Suky loves the baby penguins and sits waiting for her little friends to appear ... every night.

I don't have the heart to turn over and watch the local news!!



Sue xx


Saturday, 28 November 2020

Simple Meals

 


I mentioned the other day that I am trying to eat simply, and at the moment I am also trying to eat my way through the contents of the food cupboard.  I moved from the Van to this flat with a ridiculous amount of food in stock and I am determined that it will not be travelling with me again at the start of next year.

I am making meals out of what I find and only buying fresh things to accompany them when I have to.  I found a pack of 'Ready to Wok' noodles in there the other day, so I raided the fridge for all the bitty bits that I had left before I went shopping.  A couple of slices of pepper, two tomatoes, just over half an onion, half a tub of creamy Violife cheese and a good squirt of garlic puree ...


... all combined with the noodles to make a very tasty and satisfying evening meal, with the added bonus that it was all ready within ten minutes.

The noodles are gorgeous and a nice and speedy change from pasta, what have I been missing all these years!!


Sue xx


Thursday, 26 November 2020

Christmas is Creeping In

 


It's starting to look a bit like Christmas here.

I had to call in to Aldi for some much needed supplies and I was tempted in the Christmassy centre aisles by these lovely little battery operated fairy lights on a lightly tinselly garland.  I knew I needed a bit of sparkle in my life and they fitted the bill perfectly.

After all cosy nights in are the best bit about this time of year.


Then yesterday morning the postman brought me a parcel, I had only ordered it's contents the day before but deliveries are coming so quickly at the moment ... and with so many texts and messages to let you know they are on their way and imminent!!

It was a much bigger box than I was expecting, Suky willingly posed to give you a size indicator.


Nestled in amongst lots of wrapping were the two little boxes that I was expecting.


When Suky saw they weren't anything edible she didn't look anywhere near as hopeful, positively grumpy in fact.  😄


I had ... in a moment of madness ... ordered three little miniature Emma Bridgewater items to hang on the Christmas tree that I do not have.  I thought they would just as nice tied to my kitchen shelves with their lovely silky ribbons.  The third item which will take longer to get here, is a little jug that is being personalised with my name ... just in case I ever forget it at Christmas, well you never know!!


In the parcel was this card, if it is of any use to any of you feel free to use my name (Sue Hall) as the code to claim a free Emma Bridgewater mug with any order of over £40. I think it can be used by more than one person but only if you are a new customer to their website.   

Here is the link you need to use to claim your free mug:



I also spotted the Christmas magazines when I called into Booths for some bread.  I used to go mad and splurge on lots of magazines at this time of year, using them for inspiration for my craft and gift business, it was handy that I could claim them as a legitimate business expense but these days I limit myself to one, and it's always one with a free calendar ready for next year.

Lights, Christmas tree decorations, gifts,  Christmas magazine edition, next years calendar ... yep, Christmas is creeping in.


Sue xx



Wednesday, 25 November 2020

A Whole New Way of Shopping

 


This living in a town malarkey is a complete change for me.  

It's been over twelve years since I last lived in a town, twelve years since I've been within walking distance to shops and have the ability to 'nip out' and pick up forgotten items or just casually stroll around the corner for enough food for a couple of days.

And I absolutely love it.


I've been keeping my meals simple since I've lived here, yes there have been far too many 'lockdown treats', little nibbles to have while I watch my afternoon Netflix scary serials.  But I think I'm coming out of that phase and back to the food I love in large enough portions to ward off those nibbles.

I don't know about any of you but too much of 'the wrong stuff' ... not that any food is really wrong, but you know what I mean ... makes me feel a bit yuk the next day.  I think I have simple tastes and a simple digestive system that appreciates them.

I made a bit of a booboo on Sunday while Alan was here.  We went to a local garden centre to combine a doggy walk around Scorton with a Hog Roast bun for Alan's lunch.  I didn't think there would be anything there for me ... the main thing was there was no revolving pig's carcass as it was already shredded meat, phew that was a relief ... but the menu listed Vegan Bratwurst, so as I was absolutely starving I said I would have some.  It came on a bun which the lady serving said wasn't vegan due to being a Brioche which contained some egg, in a fit of tummy rumbling starvation I said okay I will have one, then she said 'there's also a little bit of whey powder' ... I mean bloody hell why advertise something as vegan if it so obviously isn't.  As I said, the rumbling got the better of me and I had one.

GOSH NEVER AGAIN!!

Two days later I am still coping the after effects of dairy on my poor unsuspecting digestive system and my sinuses.  Oh well a lesson learned ... again.  Will I ever learn somethings you just cannot do and having even a smidge of dairy if you are dairy intolerant is one of them.


So every day since |I've been trying to apologise to my tummy with tasty, but simple foods and it's making me realise I need to do this ALL THE TIME.


I mean it doesn't take long to rustle up a quick pan of pasta and a fresh sauce.


Adding a couple of types of dairy-free cheese to make it taste lovely and creamy.

Ready in just over ten minutes and super filling ... and more importantly my tummy approves  😄

I'm thinking of turning simple eating into a Challenge over on my other blog starting in the New Year.  Combining living on a restricted food budget and simple eating, going right back to basics ... and walking to the shops for all of my shopping.  I'm off to have a think about it, it might be the only way to keep myself on the straight and narrow, after all usually if I tell my brain something is 'a Challenge' it seems to want to be good and do as it's told.

I'll have a think about it while I chomp through the crisps you see sticking out of my shopping bag in the first photo  😉


Sue xx



Tuesday, 24 November 2020

An Addiction to Advent Calendars?

 

I might not have my Christmas tree up yet like my neighbour, but I am feeling a itch to get myself a little one here at the flat.  Up to now I seem to have been scratching that Christmas itch by collecting Advent calendars.

I have the ordinary sort, you know the ones with just pictures that are revealed day by day throughout December, with no chocolate piece or trinket falling from the door as you open it in eager anticipation of being one more day closer to Christmas ... the sort I had as a child.  

My Dad used to take them off us when the decorations came down after Christmas.  Long after the big reveal of Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus in the stable as we opened the final and biggest door on Christmas Eve, and then he would fasten all the little doors back down again for next year.  We never minded, I guess in those days lots of people did that it wasn't such a throw away society back then.

Mine is currently balanced precariously on the little table alongside the Poinsettia that Alan bought me as a joint housewarming/apology for killing your last one gift when he first came to visit the flat.


I'm guessing I know who is in the little stable  😄



I also have a rather splendid jam filled advent calendar .

I just couldn't resist when I found out that Bonne Maman did advent calendars.  To make up for my extravagance I bought Alan an almost as splendid liqueur filled chocolate one.  There's nothing childish about these.


As well as the little doors to open on my nice traditional one and the jams to spread on my toast each day from my jam filled one, I also have splurged a whole £3.70 on this years Jacquie Lawson 2020 Nordic Advent Calendar.  

With doors to 'open' each day and games to play both now and throughout December along with gorgeous Christmas music while you visit your downloaded Advent Calendar, it is just the most perfect way to spend a few minutes each day in the run up to Christmas and a lovely little lockdown ritual.

Oh and I might have also splurged on a few Advent Calendar Christmas cards for my nearest and dearest.  I must get them written and posted out so that they too can spend each morning opening little doors throughout December.


Sue xx


Monday, 23 November 2020

My Tiniest Garden Yet



So this is my tiniest garden yet.

It's a little bit of colour on an otherwise drab bit of tarmac outside the door to my flat.   You all know me, I couldn't have nothing at all ... I need at least a pot and my own patch of soil.


And who knows I might even get the chance to sit on the bench one day next to it, although at the moment I would need a waterproof cushion.  But I'm happy enough seeing it every time I approach the front door after a doggy walk or pull up in the car.


I was chatting to one of the volunteers gardeners that work around the town a few days after I moved in and I asked him if all the herbs in the bed he was weeding were allowed to be picked by people in the town, he didn't know.  

In fact he didn't know what most of them were and as he was interested I listed them for him, I mentioned that it was the huge Rosemary bush that I was interested in as all my cuttings from the Van had failed.  He turned round and cut me three small branches off and said with a wink ... 'I was just about to prune that one anyway'.

They have been on my windowsill until this morning sat in a pot of water.


This was the roots last week and by this morning they were all twice as long, so taking two of the pots that my little pink Primroses came in I re-potted them.


I'll see how well they do now, and once I move they will go outside to grow in my new yard ... which will once again be a bit bigger than my current little tin-bath flowerbed.


Sue xx