dear diary :: when it’s dismal outside

Could the weather be more dull or drizzly? I can see where the saying ‘feeling under the weather’ comes from as it can feel a touch depressing. I am even struggling to take photos inside in the gloom. DH is just drinking more of his strong coffee to keep awake – at least it is on offer – half price at Sainsbury’s so I have stocked up big time. I need to keep him going whilst he is doing the decorating – he has now moved on to putting more primer coats on the woodwork.

It can seem a slow job when you are eagerly waiting for it to be finished. I haven’t taken any photos today as there isn’t a marked difference to the previous ones….not that you will see in a photo.

Yesterday turned out to be a bit of a strange day – nothing like I had planned…. but that is not unusual. I was up at the normal hour about 7.30am and had breakfast with my new mats – I promise you will be tired of seeing them soon – but I am so loving them and the difference these two little mats have made I just have to photograph them. Often!

Only an hour or two into the morning and I had the first phone call of the day – my younger daughter – more chat about the upcoming birthday gathering. It seems we have both bought a number one candle for on top of the cake – so at the moment she is ’11’ – hers is a pink one – mine is rainbow coloured so I will save mine for little Freddie – he will be one in January!

By the time we had finished I was late starting the soup – leek and potato today as we hadn’t had this for a while and it is so lovely and colourful – you can’t beat homemade soup when it’s dismal outside.

I like to add some decent chunks of carrot to mine and I only part blend the soup to give it some body but only enough so that most of the veggies are still identifyable.

After lunch I wrote all the birthday cards for November and also a letter or two to get in the post, I like to send hand written letters when I can it is a dying art like postcards…but aren’t they lovely to receive.

We then headed for town again.

I needed to buy the interfacing for the other two tablemats at our indoor market hall and look around some of the out of town retail shops – Mothercare, TK Max, Boots and Next as well as pop into the Range for some double sided tape. Everywhere had such a tempting array of goods I was almost wishing I was back at work and had my monthly wage to be able to buy some of the things I saw. But I reminded myself I really don’t need anything very much and just bought one or two low priced things to satisfy that desire to buy something.

I went for the interfacing first to get that off my list so I didn’t forget it (it has been known for me to come back having totally forgotten what I had originally gone to town for – I am easily distracted!).

On my travels around the shops I found a roll of light brown parcel paper – often it is a very yellowy dark brown but I am quite particular about my brown paper LOL! and prefer the lighter greyer colour for printing on to use as wrapping paper at Christmas. I popped into Boots as I noticed the cotton wool pads are on offer – 3 for 2 this week – so that is my supplies replenished for the coming months, and I got extra points on them too as a bonus.

I thought the Christmas tree shaped vol au vents Sadie mentioned on her blog are really nice – they are doing them in Waitrose too but then I noticed this set of cutters in TK Max for £2.99 so guess what…..I will be having a go at making my own nearer to Christmas with the two smaller cutters and maybe some gingerbread with the larger one.

Pleased with my purchases we came home, made tea and then snuggled down for the evening – I was too tired by this time to even light the candles but that didn’t matter, however, life is not straight forward is it – just as I was relaxing I had another phone call from my daughter to say she had heard through the family grapevine that grandma was not well.

I had only spoken to my mum (who is 93 and lives in one of those lovely retirement apartments near my sister in North Yorkshire) the evening before and she was fine. When I spoke to her last night she was in bed resting and said she had woken up feeling quite off and dizzy yesterday morning and thought it was her blood pressure. My sister had called the doctor who came out to her and he agreed with her diagnosis. They will send someone out to her to take her blood today and run some tests. I hope she is better by Sunday for the get together.

Another Neal’s yard catalogue dropped through my door with a 20% off voucher on the back. As many readers know I love their products and I don’t think you can beat their Intense facial serum but I can only just afford it when it is discounted. I could order it online but I much prefer a day out to Sheffield to their nearest store – it is on the list.

Just as I was preparing for bed my elder daughter rang to chat about the upcoming Christening preparations….. again……. even the Royal Christenings will not have been so well planned – her job at work is managing projects and it continues into her home life – she always examines every detail quite carefully – from car parking at the church and venue to the sandwich fillings, I guarantee everything will be well thought out and I am the sounding board!

So an unintentional late night.

My daughter is coming round today with little Freddie so we can carry on the conversation and finalise a few more bits – maybe I might just get the other two tablemats made in and amongst while she is here. x

24 Replies to “dear diary :: when it’s dismal outside”

  1. I love your mise en scene. You always do beautiful arrangements. And not sick of your placemats. I have an aunt while always puts out placemats and sets the table. So much nicer. Feels less hurried and take-awayish.

    Hope your mother is better. The stress of our parents aging!


  2. I hear you on forgetting things when you are out shopping, I have to make a list otherwise I would forget. I only go into to town to shop once a week, it is ten miles away I do it all in one go. It is a lovely small town with lots of independent shops so a list is important!

    I put carrots in my leek and potato soup too, I think it tastes much better made that way.

    I am sorry to hear that your mum has been unwell, it can be such a worry especially if we are far away, I hope that she is feeling well enough to join you all on Sunday.

    I hope you have a lovely day today and get your other two mats made.


    1. We only go into town about once a week too – less sometimes as we only need oddments now I am no longer working. Huddersfield is not renowned for its independant shops. Penrith (I think you are near) has so many lovely independants. I usually have a list and still forget things though as I get diverted!
      The two mats remain unmade!


  3. I’m sorry your Mum is not too good, hope she perks up soon! Your leek and potato plus extras soup looks very tasty and I really must get cracking and make some. Does it freeze well? I never know how many people I’m feeding! More often than not it’s 3 of us, but sometimes it’s ends up just being me or up to 5 of us. I’m looking forward to seeing your Vol au Vents at some point! I always get my Lavender oil from Neals Yard. I keep it in my first aid box and use it for all sorts.


  4. Funny you should mention letter writing, I sent Amy a letter a few weeks ago with some chocolate treats and she was absolutely thrilled with it. She said she’d never received a letter before which I suspect is true.

    It’s good that your daughters can ring you and talk things through. Amy’s timing is shocking when she rings but I do my best to give her my full attention – not always easy though.

    I hope your Mum feels better soon. xx


    1. Yes I know what you mean about the timing being a bit off! I used to write to my mum and she to me when I was away at Art college in the early 70’s – we had no phone at all in our student house so had to make do with a phone box round the corner once a fortnight, and queue up to use it – it seems almost unimaginable now. When my grandma died whilst I was there I received a telegram!!! how the world changes. x


  5. Your soup looks delish! I always have a pot of soup on the go, even in hot weather, but I haven’t tried Leek and Potato. Leeks are very expensive here, I usually just stick to onions, carrots and celery. Have you heard of SAD (seasonal affective disorder)? That’s probably why you feel down when the weather is dreary, although getting out and keeping busy (which you do in spades) usually dispels it.


  6. Your place settings are lovely! Do you always sit down to breakfast together? I really cherish having breakfast by myself and reading and listening to French radio (sorry if that sounds nerdy), so I get up extra early to have that time for me. I can get quite cranky if my husband pitches up and wants to chat then!
    So sorry to hear about your mum feeling unwell. Life can be a bit of a sandwich of caring for either end of the age spectrum.


    1. Sometimes we do but often I prefer to eat alone. I too like the peace and quiet – DH likes to put the news on – I find it a bit of a depressing start to the day, but we always eat at the table, only occasionally having a late supper in front of the TV and fire.


  7. Must try the potato leek soup – it looks delish! Curious what you put in your vol au vents?

    It is good that your mum can recognize and articulate when she isn’t well; and that you and your sister can intervene!


    1. The most usual filling is a creamed mushroom sauce, I have made them for parties and put in chicken bits in a white sauce and thrown in some sweetcorn. Peolpe also put ham in them in a sauce and you could do a tomato / mushroom sauce with goats cheese on top. There are plenty of variations to make up. Do you have vol au vents over there?


  8. The mats are just lovely. There is just something so comforting about a nice table setting, especially when it’s beautifully simple, I just feel grounded.

    Best wishes to your mum.


    1. Thanks for the good wishes – we will be seeing her this weekend so I hope she is a bit better to get to the party. I am so enjoying eating at the table – what a difference such a small change makes.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: