dEAr diary ~ a shortage of time

“I’m busy, man, too busy. There’s a lamentable absence of free time”.
Juan Pablo Montoya

Firstly welcome to my new followers and apologies for the longer than intended absence – I hadn’t actually intended an absence at all…of any kind, but there you are… it happened…and even though I have tried a few times to sit and write this post I have been unsuccessful each time in finishing it.  I seem to have been busy – a kind of business that involves a lot of this and that and not a lot of anything I would call really productive.

But surprisingly things have been getting done and as it has been a while since I last did a post I’ll just fill you in quickly.

Baby X now has a name but for the purpose of my blog I will be referring to him as Freddie.  His cousin Little L is fast growing into Big L now – but I just cannot refer to her as Big L so she will now be known on my blog as Libbie.  So there you have my merry little band of three grandchildren – Libbie, Sweetie and Freddie.

On the first Friday in February we set off mid morning for North Yorkshire to go to the village pantomime that my sister and her DH were taking part in.  The sun was shining and the traffic not too bad.  We treated ourselves to a Costa lunch of toasties at the Wetherby services as we were saving our homemade soup for tea at our daughter’s house.

We had a further stop in Thirsk for a walk around and a browse in my favourite independent book shop White Rose books.  I picked up a copy of this book for £3.99 reduced from £12.99 and bought a book token for my mum for her birthday, then on to Holland and Barrett to get a packet of yummy chocolate raisins for the pantomime later.Little Sew & SewThere are some delightful projects to make inside – I particularly like the embroidered peg bag.We had tea with my daughter and then set off for the panto with Libbie (Little L) who if you remember was ‘super’ excited – unfortunately the snow became very bad on the way through Bedale and we didn’t know whether to turn back or press on.  In the end we kept going and made it to the village hall to the north of Northallerton just in time for the start.

The panto was brilliant, Libbie laughed and cheered and clapped – she loved the fact her Uncle N was the baddy and Aunty A was Aladdin in a wonderful glittery costume.  It was a very fun night and afterwards we decided that we would try to get back to my daughter’s house outside Masham, rather than stay at my sisters.  A decision we may have lived to regret!  We took a longer alternative route back via the A1(M).  Two of the lanes were still running thanks to the lorries but once we got back onto the country lanes towards Masham it almost turned out to be a challenge too far as the snow was covering and becoming quite slippy and we were down to 20 mph.  Just after midnight we had got as far as Fearby but still had a few miles to go to Leighton Resevoir,  which is in the middle of nowhere on a road full of steep twist and turns and ungritted.  I am still not sure how we got up the final hill to my daughter’s farmhouse but with a wing and a prayer we did and of course stayed the night with her.  Libbie slept through the whole adventure in the back of the car – but never again. The next morning we woke to brilliant sunshine and the snow had started to melt.  The roads were clear once again and it was hard to believe it was the same place we had struggled to drive through in the early hours.  DH and Libbie went out to make snow castles and then we headed home stopping here and there to admire the beautiful views as we drove past the resevoir and back into Masham. Leighton Resevoir Fearby Since then I have been busy helping with little Freddie  – his mum, my elder daughter, had to go back again to hospital with her problem but hopefully all will be well now.

When I have had some free time I have been turning my attentions to jobs around the home  – It feels like an endless task list and I seem to have a number of projects on the go in each room but slowly it is all starting to come together.  I find that going back over a space I have already cleared often throws up more things that I no longer wish to keep.

The paperwork continues to be a headache and to add to this I have amassed a large number of files on my computer so I have been giving this a bit of a spring clean to get rid of old stuff and free up some space.   It is quite time-consuming going through a mass of folders but just like having a major clear out in my physical files clearing out my files on the computer feels just as good and I don’t have to bother shredding or burning it all.

I have also been giving our finances a bit of a makeover too, trying to simplify matters where I can and in doing so we were invited to a financial review with the Nationwide, our main banking and savings provider, and this proved quite useful.  We have transferred money to better interest accounts and closed down old ones no longer required.

We had a nice surprise too – the HMRC made an error with our marriage allowance application which has now been straightened out after a phone call and I await a cheque for £238 – every little helps. ValentineWe didn’t really celebrate Valentine’s day other than exchange cards.  I have had my Valentine card for a while now – I must have bought it a couple of years ago and then forgotten about it.  I often make my own but when I found it during a recent clear out I thought it would save me the job of making one and it is quite cute – I love the fact it has a little flask on the end of the bench – very appropriate for us now – I have no doubt this is what DH and I will look like in a few years time!

DH made one for me (he probably hadn’t thought about a card until the shops were shut) – but I think it is rather sweet and means so much more to me than a bought one.ValentinesThe meal planning continues and for some reason we have had a few pastry dishes.  The Carrot and Leek pasties were a hit and great for picnics – I will make them again –  and this week I made a cheese and tomato Quiche.Quiche QuicheTonight it is curry and it would have helped if I had known we didn’t have any curry paste in the cupboards.  We had to have a mad dash to the local supermarket but their range is limited so I had to buy a jar.  I am wondering if it will freeze – anyone tried this?

Hope everyone is well – I have been trying to keep up with all the blogs I visit though may not have commented very much.  I usually post a list of my monthly intentions at the beginning of the month but I might just start these again in March – February is not a long month and with the new baby each day has been a bit unpredictable for us so we have not been making many plans.

Back soon x








26 Replies to “dEAr diary ~ a shortage of time”

  1. Lovely to hear from you,have missed reading your blog.Stunning landscapes of where you live,hope you had an enjoyable weekend.


  2. It is good to hear that your daughter is getting better.

    I couldn’t have done that trip. I would have been unbearable in the car. And broken out in my stress rash.

    But what stunning landscape and beautiful photos. I keep showing Mr S photos of places I want to stay when we have our 3 months in the UK. We will be there is spring to summer. I think I have to go a winter stay too. But no driving around in the snow on back lanes!


    1. It is beautiful in Yorkshire – such diverse countryside from the flat plains of farming land around York to the bleak hilly moors like those where my daughter lives. It looked especially beautiful that morning with the sun shining but not so the evening before when we struggled to drive back to her house!


  3. I don’t see why curry paste wouldn’t freeze. Perhaps in an ice cube tray for easy future use. I freeze pesto like this sometimes and use it this way, as I can’t use a full jar in the time given to use it once opened.


  4. What a snowy adventure you had. I was so surprised by the snow you encountered. I live near Scarborough and we hardly had any. Glad your daughter is on the mend. The quiche looks great. I have a jar of curry paste in the fridge and it’s always fine. Amazing just how much stuff there is to clear out, even when you feel as if you are on top of it.


    1. We seemed to encounter a bit of a blizzard belt that night going down country from the Cowtons above Northallerton through Bedale, Masham and surrounding area. Bedale was almost at a standstill when we drove through and there was no-one driving in or out of East Cowton on the road we took. I knew we could stay at my sisters house if we had to so we pressed on as it seemed more treacherous at the time to turn back. Whilst we were at the pantomime it stopped snowing so we thought it might be Ok to go back if we took the A1 route. It wasn’t bad until we got to Masham.


  5. When a new baby enters the family (even for grandparents) all schedules go out the window. Easy to understand why your days have gone by so quickly. Certainly hope your daughter is on the mend–so hard to deal with other issues on top of just having a new baby.

    Finally, glad you made it through the snowy drive; a real challenge in such a remote area. Bit of a nail biter, I am sure.


    1. It says to keep it in the fridge, which we do once opened, but it has a use by date of only 6 weeks and use by dates are not the same as best before. Last time we kept one in the fridge for longer it grew mould – that is why I was wondering if it would freeze.


  6. What a brilliant update, thanks. I’m so glad you got to your sister’s safely and the photos are lovely.
    I keep curry paste in the fridge anbd have never had a problem but it would freeze fine too – just wrap well or the pong will escape!


  7. Lovely photos. We walked round that reservoir last summer. Hard to believe that it was almost too hot for a walk that day!
    The card is wonderful. We still take a packed lunch and thermos when we go out.
    I’m sorry things are tough at the moment. New babies and knock on effects cause more chaos than one can imagine sometimes don’t they!
    I’m sure Libbie will need extra attention at the moment too.


    1. Perhaps I should tell my daughter to do refreshments for the walkers around the resevoir – she is in the catering trade! Libbie isn’t phased at all about the new baby as daddy is still there to play with her all day on a weekend – just pass the new baby to mummy is her answer to everything. The new baby Sweetie will almost certainly be a mummy’s girl this time round!


  8. Snow is so pretty, but it’s not so much fun when it starts feeling dangerous. Wise decision to say the night.
    Love the Valentine’s card, and I love that your husband made his for you!



  9. I hope your daughter, Freddie’s mom, will be completely well soon. I had to look up what a marriage allowance was so now I’m educated! I’ve frozen green curry paste by placing tablespoons of it on a tray, then putting them into a freezer bag when they were frozen. Lasted well for months. Your cheese and tomato quiche is gorgeous!


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