dEAr diary ~ in preparation for the party

Yesterday we had a trip up to North Yorkshire to see my mum.  We took her out for lunch at a large garden centre near Northallerton, mainly to be undercover and avoid the biting cold weather.  The queue in the restaurant was long because of the school holidays and the staff had been taken unawares so there was a 30 minute delay for food orders.  Luckily we were not in any rush and didn’t mind the wait – it gave us a chance for a good chat.  Mum and DH had cheese and chutney sandwiches which were rather like doorstops and I chose a jacket potato – all came with coleslaw and salad but like many places these days the portions are very large – too large in my mind and not helping the obesity problem and we end up paying for a proportion of the food we cannot eat – I do wish these places would offer a smaller sized portion.

Afterwards we had a wander around the ‘shop’ part, they sell decorative homewares, gifts, clothes and crafts as well as gardening products – a bit of a mini shopping centre.  It was too cold to take mum outside and look at the plants so we  moved on to Northallerton town centre.  I love this market town – it has a good balance of independents and chains and you can find most things here.  We ended up as we always do in Boyes for a mooch around while mum stocked up on a few heavy items like washing powder.  We had to go and warm up again in a nearby Costa before taking her back home.  She was so grateful that we had taken the trouble to drive up and take her out for an hour or two as my sister is away at the moment – it is a costly hour or two though when you add both the fuel and eating out costs but well worth it to see the smile on her face.

Today I felt quite drained from the car journey and a little stiff so I decided to take it easy and sit and make a list of what I need to do this week for the 40th birthday party preparations.  There is a bit of cleaning to do, a bit more tidying in the garden and a bit of this and that to decorate the place.

Did I mention I am also going to attempt to make the celebration cake – if my oven doesn’t work then I will have to put the cake mixture in the car and drive round to my daughter’s house to use hers.   DH thinks the problem with the oven might be a faulty element that surrounds the fan at the back of the oven.  If we could fix this it would make meal planning and baking the birthday cake so much easier.  He managed to buy an element and tomorrow he will have a go at replacing it.

Fingers crossed.

After all the listing and planning we went to town this afternoon to do our weekly shop and had a go at the self scanning system, new to Sainsbury’s – it was slow especially as I kept forgetting to pass the items over to DH to scan before putting them into the trolley.  I think it will get quicker as we train ourselves to the new process.

On the way to town we had a detour down a country lane to some nearby woodland so I could get a small branch for my Easter display that will hold the eggs I have decorated.  I will post a picture once I have something assembled.

I thought some outdoor Festoon lighting might be nice for the party – a bit of an investment perhaps as it is not very cheap – we cannot decide between some from IKEA that we saw on display or the cheaper ones in Dunelm which are in a sealed package so I cannot see the quality but they are a little bit longer.

Decisions, decisions.

Tomorrow is Yoga again – maybe it will iron out some of my tight muscles.  If the oven is fixed I will bake the cakes – if not it will be the garden tasks as my daughter is out for the day.

A day of plentiful planning and skillful scanning. x

13 Replies to “dEAr diary ~ in preparation for the party”

  1. Argos have a good range of solar powered outside lighting not expensive. These self scanning in the supermarkets are eventually doing someone out of a job!


    1. They certainly will – they have already removed more of the checkouts so the queues at the ones left are longer and self scanning will soon be the only option. We are only allowed 2 hours parking so it is a rush to get round on a bigger weekly shop and get through the checkouts and out of the car park in the time if it is busy and we have stopped for a drink in the cafe beforehand. It is a hefty fine if you over run as it is managed by a private parking firm. Will check out Argos.


  2. It sounds like you all enjoyed a lovely day out. It’s amazing what garden centres stock these days, you can buy almost anything.
    We collected the branches for our egg tree when we went through the woods the other day. I should take a photograph, although it’s nothing special. I’m looking forward to seeing your display.
    I hope the yoga works it’s magic on you. X


    1. We had planned a nice walk to collect a branch but with my sister suddenly going away we had to change plans so ended up kerb crawling along side a local wood with some secateurs. Luckily there was a lovely fallen branch beside the verge to have a snip at!
      I am so tired today I think I will fall asleep in Yoga!


  3. Lovely to hear from you,wish you well with all your preparations for the weekend. I tried Pilates it wasn’t for me too much floor work and I’m not good at lying on a mat for a whole hour! But I have found a class for over 50’s keep fit to music which I tried last week and thoroughly enjoyed it, although most of the ladies are like myself over 60. Hope all goes well with the cake and your husband manages to fix the oven for you.


    1. I hope beyond hope this element does the trick it has been so inconvenient without a reliable oven. We do floor, standing and sitting and I take three blankets now. One to pad out the mat, one folded for my head and the one we have at the end of the session for the resting and meditation. It is quite comfy – I may even fall asleep!


  4. Sounds like you have your hands full this week. Hope DH is able to fix the oven so you don’t have to trot the baked cake back from your daughter’s house. Seems like too many appliances these days, both large and small, have very short lifespans. Too often, repair costs seem to be almost as much as the item itself. Helps to have someone handy in the house.

    Good luck with the rest of the party preparations. I’m am sure with your creativity and determination, it will be a wonderful event.


    1. Our oven is quite old – it was my sisters before it came here so must be well over 20 years old – I am surprised we could still get a spare element. The element was £30 but if it turns out to be the control board then we would have to think again as they cost well over £100 and I am not sure it would be worth paying that amount to fix it. I will keep you posted!


  5. My oven is the bane of my baking. It heats unevenly and is much hotter so cooks too quickly.

    Reading all you’re up to, I think how ever did you fit in work???


  6. My dad says the same thing about portions when eating out; in fact he can get quite put out about it, especially when he asks for a smaller portion and it still comes out loaded. I’m a bit more laid back and ask for a doggy bag (when appropriate).
    One reason why I like out local eatery, the Hare, is because it does a good range of smaller plate meals. Very sensible and I wish others would copy it.
    Fingers crossed for the oven.


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