dear diary >> a productive day

I love those days when a few insignificant jobs are ticked off the list that provide some quite significant improvements. Yesterday was one of those days.

I spent an hour in the pantry putting things straight and filling up containers. I only found the bread flour and a pot of Thai curry paste to be near to its best before date so I will search out one or two recipes to use these up. I haven’t made Thai curry before and when I bought the paste pot it seemed easier than buying all the special ingredients that make it Thai.

The breakdown truck came mid morning and recovered the car to the garage whilst we followed on behind. The initial report from the nice garage man was that the escaping fluid is a leak from something that has worn through (I am so impressed Mary by your knowledge of cars) and the part required to fix it is relatively cheap, thank goodness, but we will have to wait a few days for him to get one (as they are imported) before the car can be made better, but at least it is now being dealt with.

Once back home DH pruned the berberis in the front garden, a bit of a spikey job, mended my little green birdhouse (which is only decorative) and put up the two pottery holders, grow and fresh, in the greenhouse that I found sorting out the garage. They are just the right size to keep bits and bobs in them.

Our afternoon walk took us round by the village so we could drop off the soft plastic bags for recycling at the Co-op. We have just gained a lovely little gift shop in the village called Nest. They have some delightful inexpensive gifts and cards and today I noticed the empty shop by the old post office has now opened as a hardware shop – I do wish them both luck – our village could do with a few shops that are not just charity shops, beauty parlours or dog grooming. We once had the most wonderful green grocers (in fact there were two) but they were forced to close when Safeways (now Morrisons) built a supermarket on the old railway station.

I did manage to put away more bits and pieces from the holiday and sorted the washing after which I needed a bit of time lying flat to ease my back so I watched the final episode of Downton. I do love to have a potter around the house once in a while especially after we have been away and there is no real urgency to get anything done, though I am on a bit of a mission to give it more attention than it has received in the last few months so it feels more loved and cared for.

I made the Courgette bake, but didn’t quite get round to mixing up a batch of pastry – that will have to be another day or maybe even today. I have to wait for the remaining courgettes in the garden to grow a little bigger before I can make the Veg lasagne (our Co-op doesn’t have anything quite as exotic as courgettes yet!), so nut roast is the next meal on the menu plan and maybe this time I will get those pastry cases made.

Today it will be a toss up between going in the garden or looking through the paperwork pile – I know which I would rather do, but maybe sorting out the finances is more important. Scottish Power have sent me an email to tell me about the £400 fuel rebate and we have just applied to the council for our £150. We will need to put this aside to pay for our fuel bills during the colder months – maybe I will buy a couple of very thick jumpers with some of it. DH is looking to add to the insulation in the loft – I always think it is so full of ‘stuff’ up there that more insulation is probably not required!

On a different note did anyone see the program about Woodstock the Festival on Sky Arts on Tuesday night? It took place in America in the summer of 1969 – I was a mere 15 year old teenager with long flowing skirts to match my long flowing hair and I had just bought my first Leonard Cohen album , Songs of Leonard Cohen and becoming very much a part of the flower power generation. We once knew someone who had actually been to the festival and like a lot of our friends we have the Woodstock album – it was an historic moment back then. A few things struck me watching the video movies that had been collated to make this documentary, firstly, the majority of the young people were so noticeably slim and the lads wandering around without t-shirts were very well toned despite the fact that there were no fitness gyms in those days, and secondly, the girls seemed so naturally pretty without any make up, false eyelashes, fake tans or lip and boob enhancements and such a marked lack of tattoos and piercings. Whatever happened to those carefree days of a generation that believed in people and preserving the environment – how did all that love and peace give way to the years that followed of Thatcher’s greed and capitalism?

We are certainly paying the price now as big business giants rake in excessive profits and council leaders are paid huge salaries whilst care for the elderly in their boroughs are cut to the bone and they have growing numbers of homeless people on our littered streets. Kate Josephs, leader of Sheffield council, has recently been reinstated in her job after being under investigation – she has a salary of around £200,000 and was paid more than £60,000 to stay at home until it was concluded. Just what does she do for this amount of money I wonder?

Meanwhile, I spend most of my days trying to think of ways to save a few pennies to eek out the meagre pension pot I spent a lifetime working for.

20 thoughts on “dear diary >> a productive day

  1. it is such a delight to see and read your postings again. how wonderful and such a part of my little world. thank you for you and helping me make sense of my life also. pinching pennies and being creative and just being. big hugs dear lady.


  2. Good news about the car, I hope you get it back soon. I do have to agree with you about all the artificial enhancements some young and older people today seem to favour, not to mention the risks attached to some procedures. The end results are not always the most flattering in my humble opinion, but each to their own I guess. I think a lot of people might find it harder to afford some of these things in the coming months. I prefer to age as naturally as possible and to try to enjoy my maturity, but I know not everyone feels happy to do this, which is their prerogative and, of course, I may not always feel like this, although I hope I do.


    1. For me there is something very artificial about the ‘celebrity’ look with the thick makeup and pouty lips. On a recent program, where a group lived as the Amish, there was a girl who looked so pretty ‘au natural’ and once back out in real life didn’t look quite as good for all the makeup and false lashes.
      I totally agree though – each to their own – it was just so evident that girls back then were not quite so ‘self involved’ with what they looked like.


  3. I always find that doing those little jobs and ‘pottering’ around the house is so much more satisfying that having one large task hanging over you. I love your little ‘grow’ and ‘fresh’ wall pots.


    1. I bought them about 2 or 3 years ago in TK Max and have been waiting to hang them somewhere. DH isn’t very keen on them so hanging them in the greenhouse is a perfect solution – I can enjoy them and he doesn’t have to put up with them!


  4. It’s lovely to hear from you and to hear that you are starting to be able to get on with a bit of gentle pottering … it is definitely good for the soul x


  5. We were at Woodstock and actually have one of the original tickets. It was a mass of humanity. We stayed only one day but still historic although it closed the NY state Thruway and it took us 8 hours to get home which normally would have been an hours drive. I was 17.


    1. That is so interesting to hear – that makes two people I know now that experienced Woodstock. We only went to Reading Festival over here in the early 70’s and saw Genesis with Phil Collins – we slept out under the stars and took all our food for the weekend in a large ice cream tub – mainly salad, cheese and bread. It is one of my most treasured memories and I felt so free in those days and now I feel quite weighed down by our possessions and the troubles of the world.


  6. Helps to be married to a car enthusiast. I’ve gotten used to learning diagnosis for car problems over the year–hence my knowledge of red fluid sources. 🙂

    I went to the two-night Laurel Pop Festival near DC about a month before Woodstock in 1969 (referred to as Maryland’s Woodstock-before-Woodstock). It included many of the same bands that went on to play at Woodstock–Led Zeppelin, Guess Who, Jeff Beck Group (Rod Stewart was part of that), Johnny Winter, Frank Zappa, Sly and the Family Stone. There was a rain delay the second night so it went on until 2 am when the police finally closed things down. It had gotten very cold and a (very) few rowdies started to burn the wooden chairs that had been set up in the infield (horse race track)–not to mention that a one or two started throwing them. I was so tired by that time that I had laid down across a few chairs, waiting for the music to start up again, when my date realized someone was trying to start a fire too close to my chair (and my waist length hair); he whipped me up off the chair and decided it was time to get me to safety, so we headed out just before the police shut it down. Memorable, to say the least. Never been too fond of large gatherings since that time.


    1. There is always someone around to spoil things! What a narrow escape you had. I once set myself on fire when one of my long skirts accidentally swept across an open electric bar fire. Luckily DH acted quickly and pushed me down onto our bed (which in those days was a mattress on the floor!) and rolled me into a blanket (no duvets back then – just sheets and blankets). The blanket quickly smothered the flames and I was fine, just shocked with a very burnt skirt (it was my favourite too.
      I saw Jeff Beck live at the Round House in London – he was amazing. I too don’t do large gatherings now but not because I didn’t enjoy the Reading Festival just find concerts a bit crowded and noisy. Must be old age!!


  7. Those little pots are charming, you’ll know exactly where those bits and bobs are now when you come to need something. I love just pottering around the house doing the little things which tend to built up every so often. Fingers crossed that you get your car back soon, glad to hear it’s something relatively simple which can be sorted without too much bother.


  8. Days when lots of small things are accomplished can be so satisfying, and make a surprising difference going forward – well done you. But don’t forget to pace yourself and not put too much strain on your back, xx


  9. So happy you’ve started blogging again,I think the mantra is little and often, I am worried about the energy bills this winter, I think it will have to be layers rather than put the heating on, when I was a child we had no central heating and we survived.


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