dear diary :: ticking off the tasks

Try as I might I do find it difficult to keep breaking off a project once I get started and often I just keep going to the detriment of everything else. I am by nature a completer finisher, a role that made me perfect for my work submitting claims to the legal aid agency; I know some people struggle with the finishing side of things but my problem is often the not finishing as I hate loose ends.

So apologies that I have been absent these last few days – missing in action – so that I could concentrate fully on the tasks I had set myself….to get to the bottom of the laundry basket and complete the subsequent ironing pile and also to get our finances up to date, receipts entered and bank statements balanced, so I could run a year end report.

Both tasks are now complete and I am back on a straight edge…. vowing not to let either task build up again. Famous last words though I think.

The house is also looking tidier than it has since Christmas and every room has had a quick flick of the duster and been hoovered. I even treated myself to a few flowers from Sainsbury’s – I couldn’t resist this little brown parcel of pale pink tulips. I love that they have packaged them in compostable brown paper rather than cellophane.

On Monday I had a few jobs that needed to be done before we leave for Scotland. We are hosting the Burns night supper again this year for our friends and invitations had to be written and delivered before we go. I will buy the haggis while we are up there as there is plenty of choice and some Scottish potatoes which have a lot more flavour.

I had lemons to use up too so I decided on making lemon curd. Both my daughters asked if I would make some for Christmas but I just couldn’t fit it in. Today seemed like a good day to get this done once I had stripped the beds and got the sheets out on the line to blow before the worst of the weather was due to arrive after lunch.

I chose the recipe from this book I found in The Works a couple of years ago. It has less sugar (equal quantity of butter and sugar) than some recipes that have double the amount of sugar to butter.

It is one of the most enjoyable things I make – the smell is heavenly and of course the jars wouldn’t be the same without a few hand stamped labels. No need to put a date on as it won’t last that long.

DH made two batches of soup to use up some of the veg and so we can take some on the journey and put some in the freezer. He also made a curry for tea and some extra to take with us.

My final task of the day was to make apple and sultana cake as I have a freezer full of cooked apple that I need to use up.

Once baked I wrapped half to take with us and put the other half in the freezer. You will find the recipe under recipes in the menu bar.

I am not sure what the weather will be like in Scotland – we have had numerous floodline warnings in the last few days as the tides in the bay are very high at the moment and once again the road where the two people were swept away last year has been closed.

I have a few blogs to catch up on now so need to get reading and the next time I write it will be from bonnie Scotland when we visit our cottage (caravan). For new readers you might want to read the tale of our cottage in the menu tabs above.

creating health and well being

I have been much more mindful in the last few days – noticing what I eat, how much I exercise and how stressed I feel. Even though you know you should do something it is hard to find the time in our busy lives to just do it.

My visit to the physio last Friday was a) the best £40 I have spent in a long time and b) already having an effect on my knee. I was quite hesitant about going as I had a bad experience with a physio at our local NHS clinic who made my neck far worse than it was after a whiplash incident. But I needn’t have worried the lady I saw was brilliant. She has given me a set of very easy exercises to do – I can even do them watching TV in the evening – nothing dynamic but will just give the relevant muscles a wake up call.

After only a few days I am already starting to feel the benefits.

The meditation sessions also feel like they are having a positive effect – I will take my blood pressure before and after so that I can visibly see if this is the case. If nothing else I think it has been quite beneficial on my digestion and I am sleeping better too, not that I had a big problem with insomnia but occasionally I could spend an night when the worries just crowd into my brain and keep me awake.

January so far has been a busy time for us and is set to continue. I confess that we had a couple of days with quick meals because we were home late – egg and chips one night followed the next evening with some caribbean veggie pasties. If nothing else eggs are good for B12 and iron and the pasties have turmeric in them and we had a heap of fresh cabbage to accompany them. This was offset though by our nourishing homemade soups at lunchtime and we have kept off the biscuits and crisps so not all is lost.

So far my growing list of healthy adjustments looks like this

  • drinking green tea in the morning and ginger tea in the afternoon
  • a Braeburn apple a day
  • a meditation session once a day
  • a few easy exercises for my knee
  • fewer snacks
  • homemade soup most lunchtimes
  • healthier meals in the evening with plenty of veg

It takes time to make even small adjustments and get used to doing them and even longer to educate DH into doing the changes (he still makes me ordinary tea some days) but little by little changes are happening.

30 Replies to “dear diary :: ticking off the tasks”

  1. We’d make a great team Vivien as I like starting things and you like finishing them! I am terrible for finishing things as I lose interest and want to move on to the next project. Your lemon curd look most delicious. I hope you have a great time back in Scotland. I’ve never been to Scotland but would love to visit one day. Well done with keeping on top of your health and well being. It is something I need to concentrate on too. x


  2. Sounds like you’ve been very productive today. I’m pleased that your appointment with the physio went well and is benefitting you. Have a great time in Scotland. I am just starting a much needed week off work. It’s bliss, but I do have a lot of things to do before I go back.


  3. You’ve been a very busy bee, Vivien! I adore Lemon curd and was wondering if it was easy to make? Hope you have a wonderful time back at your cottage/caravan! 🙂


    1. I find it easy – you can even do it in the microwave. different recipes often have a different method but I generally melt everything together in a bowl over barely simmering water, let it thicken (about 30mins) then strain it into jars through a seive to remove any stringy egg white that may have cooked in the mixture.


  4. You’ve been very industrious, would love to know the knee exercises they have given you. Have a wonderful time in scotland


  5. Enjoy Scotland and your Burns night – I always love your Scottish posts!

    I’m not a fan of lemon curd. But that apple and sultana cake. I’d love a slice or two with a cuppa.


  6. I have never made lemon curd I kind of assumed it was complicated but it doesn’t sound like it is. I was not able to eat lemons for years but I can now I think I might see if I can find a recipe. I am glad to hear that you made it safely to Scotland, I am don’t know when you were driving but the wind and rain have been atrocious here the past few days. I am glad to hear that you have some exercises that are helping your knee, I hope that continues to be the case.


  7. Oh my mouth is watering…..home made lemon curd just has to be one of the nicest things ever. I used to make my own until I developed diabetes and I do miss it very much.
    I have to admit to being a bit half and half about finishing… depends on what I am doing and what kind of mood I am in but everything gets done eventually.
    Have a wonderful time in Scotland.


  8. Your lemon curd looks delicious. You have inspired me to make some too! I was glad to see your post today, I was wondering if all was well when you had been absent for several days.
    Have a wonderful time in Scotland and I do hope you eventually manage to get your cottage sorted because it looks and sounds charming. I am sure it will prove to be a wonderful retirement home.


    1. All is well – I should have checked in – I know people start to worry – I do myself when someone goes temporarily ‘missing’. We are in Scotland now but only for a few days – we have to squeeze in a visit between two birthdays and our Burns night supper (at home).


  9. Good that you have been able to focus on things and get them done. Know that is a load off your mind.
    Happy your trip to Scotland was uneventful and the weather cooperated. Headed up there on the train from London today, but don’t think the weather will be quite so cooperative. Still, looking forward to it. Enjoy your time there.


    1. I hear you are venturing up to see Freda – you will have a wonderful time she is such a lovely person – I cannot think of anyone better to spend a few days holiday with. Just hope the weather improves for you. We are only here in Scotland a few days and more than a hundred miles away from Freda but maybe one day we will meet. I would like that. x


  10. Good for you taking yourself to the physio. I am a great fan of physio treatment, and have found that I really miss the wake-up effect of doing my current set of exercises for – yes, knees! To help me not wriggle out of them I keep a sheet of paper on the bedside table and note down every day the date and what I’ve done. The sense of achievement when I manage an unbroken stint is great ,as is the reminder when I let things slip!
    Our kitchen will be demolished next week, ceiling and internal walls and all, and we’ll have a temporary kitchen for 2 weeks in what is currently a bathroom. I think egg and chips might feature from time to time, and my mouth is already watering. For the moment I’m trying to do as much oven cooking as possible, as we won’t have one shortly.
    Love your lemon curd!


    1. Such a great idea to mark down when you have done the exercises.
      Good luck with your renovation and temporary kitchen – kitchens and bathrooms are the worst to do. I would book into a few friends for an evening meal!


  11. They were using lemon curd at work the other day and I found myself craving some then. Having seen your post I am definitely going to make some now. X


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