dear diary :: ready to go

A much calmer day yesterday. I decided in the end to drive over to Leeds just after lunch and have the bloods done. The journey wasn’t too bad going, about an hour, and there was no one waiting in the waiting room for blood tests – in fact I panicked and thought they might have finished for the day as it was 3.15 in the afternoon but they finish at 5 o’clock so all was well.

We didn’t even have to pay for parking as we have discovered a road not far from Jimmy’s that is free for 2 hours and there is often the odd spot vacant, so DH drops me off and then goes and waits until I call him.

Now it is fingers crossed for the results – I always stress a bit, even after 10 years, but hopefully the Thyroxine medication I take has done its job of suppressing any remaining cancer cells. It has worked up to now.

On the way home we stopped at Ikea and had our free drinks. Afterwards I popped into Boots to stock up on cottonwool as it is curretly 3 for 2 and then to Wilkos for a pack of wooden lolly sticks. After that it was home via Sainsbury’s for the petrol and I have bought a couple of cheap plain t-shirts £4 each for working in the garden.

DH has thrown away his old slippers – he has had them for more years than we care to remember – so long in fact that most of the rubber soles were no longer attached to the uppers. He had even contemplated sticking them back together but some of the sole had worn right through in places to a hole! So even he had to admit defeat as we could not think of an alternative use for them other than melting the rubber soles down to make something – he is ever the conservationist even down to his slippers!

But I was rather horrified later to look down whilst he was driving to Leeds and notice that he had not as yet thrown away the old trainers and even though we had bought new ones yesterday he was still wearing the old ones that should have, in my mind, joined the slippers in the bin! I live in hope.

My final task today was to rearrange a hairdressing appointment for when we return and see if my next renewal prescription is available online (thanks to Ann for that reminder) as I feel I need to stock pile my Thyroxine in case Brexit goes sour as I cannot live without this medication – it would be like taking insulin away from a diabetic – I am dependant on it as I no longer have a Thyroid gland and there is only one brand that does not have fillers that make me feel worse.

So with everything packed but the food I think you can say we are ready to go and by the time you read this we should be on our way. The house will be tidy and ready for our house guest whilst we are away.

I came to my decision about my blog and the pesky ads and have taken out a paid plan. So I will be remaining on WordPress for the time being and see how it goes. My new address is much the same but the WordPress.com has been dropped – so you will find me at my new address – wherethejourneytakesme2.blog – I am told if you use the old address you will be redirected. It may take a day or two for the changes so I hope it will be a smooth change over and hopefully, other than the address and no ads, you shouldn’t notice any difference.

It is a bit like moving house really but I didn’t need a solicitor.

Have a great weekend x

dear diary :: here, there and everywhere

What should have been a calm day yesterday spent packing and preparing turned into a bit of a frenzy.

The morning began with a little blogging, a little ironing and I also stripped the bed completely (mattress protector included) and put the washer on to make the most of the warm weather. So far so good…..

I was busy working slowly down the task list and making a pile of the clothes to take with us on our spare room bed when suddenly a car drew up outside and who should get out but our dear old friend Uncle Crisp (our daughter’s nickname for him not ours and who was best man at our wedding). He was on his way back up to Skye and thought he would drop in to see us. It was lovely that he did and we caught up on news and old times.

Then elder daughter appeared with little Freddie too.

As you can imagine from this point on not a lot got done. Uncle Crisp left and we had a late lunch and then DH and I went off to town for his dental appointment to replace an old filling. Afterwards we had to look for new slippers and some casual shoes / trainers for DH. It is usual that he leaves this kind of shopping to the last minute. He is no shopper. In fact he sees nothing wrong with his old trainers – he has had them for years, they are comfortable, well worn in and serve the purpose – but look to me like they need to go in the bin!

Two hours later with a renewed filling, new slippers and new trainers we came back home. But not much packing had got done.

However, the washing was dry.

But we both had a senior moment and forgot to remember to go for petrol – as we have a Sainsbury’s coupon to use for 10p off a litre and need a full tank to go to Scotland..

To add to my frenzy the blood envelope that was supposedly posted out to me last Friday (but had a post mark of Monday) arrived with the postman during the afternoon – far too late to consider going over to Leeds to have the blood taken. I had mentioned to them the urgency as we were going away but it never really registers! I need to have the blood taken before my holiday for the consultant’s appointment the day after we get back.

So all in all a strange day full of interuptions and as a consequence we are having to rethink our course of action and possibly delay our trip up to Scotland by a day as I feel otherwise we will be leaving here with a lot of loose ends that I haven’t managed to sort yet and that for me would be more stressful than having a day less holiday.

And I have still to work out just when we go over to Leeds for my blood tests. Life can feel like it is working against you some days.

To top it all it was green bin night – DH has a mental block over this since they moved it from Monday night to Wednesday night. Luckily I remembered in time so he wouldn’t have to go chasing after them with the wheelie bin in the morning.

Today should be a quieter day for me to finish the packing, clean round the house and move the pots in the garden out of the full sun. As everyone now thinks we will have left for Scotland we shouldn’t have any unexpected interuptions.

We will have to have my bloods done and get the petrol en route to Scotland tomorrow I think, unless we can get over to Leeds this afternoon. Although Leeds is only about 18 miles away St James hospital is out on the other side to us and it can take us up to 2 hours to get there depending on the traffic and the M62.

It is warm and sunny here today but with a strong cool breeze – I was hoping for a little rain overnight to fill up the water butt ready for our hand over to the neighbours to do the watering should it turn hot, but none came. Another job then for the list (well DH’s list)- to top it up with the hose pipe.

Using Opera browser to access Todoist is brilliant – it produces a clear PDF print of the whole list without all the header and footers cluttering it up. So I am all set with my ‘old fashioned’, non techie paper packing list to finish the packing today and I will feel pleasantly jubilant as I tick off each item.

We have already made nutloaf and soup to take (tick,tick) and over the last year have discovered by trial and error the best meals to make in the caravan using the calor gas oven so I have a little menu plan in my head for these.

So we are almost all set to go – what can go wrong now…..?

I can’t wait to get up there, unpack and flake out……now did I pack those gardening gloves?

Help…..

I was so disappointed yesterday to learn that one of my readers is not happy to comment any more because of the amount of pop up advertising on my blog. Because I am logged in to WordPress I never see this advertising even when I visit other free WordPress blogs (the ones that end in ….wordpress.com). I believe that on Blogger you have the option to turn off the ads – on a free WordPress blog you do not – you have to pay for that privilege.

However, I checked out my blog on DH’s computer and sure enough my site is bombarded with ads yet when I looked at some other free WordPress blogs they had none. I have no idea why this should be and have sent an enquiry to WordPress support – but I do not expect an answer from them. WordPress have been bombarding me with emails recently to upgrade to their paid plans and this will stop the adverts but this does feel like blackmail if they are heavily advertsing on my site to push me into a paid plan.

I have not as yet decided what to do – I have been unhappy for a while now with the constant changes at WordPress and I may move to Blogger but perhaps you could help my decision by letting me know in the comments if this is affecting your reading and or commenting and if you are seeing more adverts now than previously.

And thank you Simone if you are reading this for alerting me to the problem.

Have a great weekend. x

dear diary :: catching up with life at home

I am back at home now. Looking out of my window this morning the world outside was damp and grey with a blanket of fog. I wondered what was best to do with my time. It certainly wasn’t gardening weather so I opted for pottering about the house. There is always plenty to do and although we arrived home last Thursday night I have not completely unpacked yet – not through laziness (well maybe a little) but once home I seemed to hit the ground running.

One of the reasons for coming home was to attend my extra six week Therapeutic Yoga classes I signed up for on a Friday afternoon. These classes are all about breathing – breathing into different areas that correspond with the chakras, concentrating on how the breath feels and making notes. After completing a series of yoga positions we breathe into those same areas again and notice the difference, breathing is deeper and easier and it is amazing how different you feel….more alive, relaxed, open – I am so glad I decided to do this course and will carry on in my own time when it comes to an end next week.

After the class I was feeling exceptionally calm and relaxed so it was a bit of a shame that DH and I had to pop down to town to buy some food for the weekend – an hour in Sainsbury’s isn’t condusive to relaxation but we needed to stock up with fresh fruit and vegetables. At the moment I am making quite simple meals, fresh vegetables with chickpeas in a stock for flavour and a little brown rice mixed in, last night was roasted vegetables with couscous and tonight a brown lentil stew with sweet potato and leeks and a thick chunk of bread.

Last Saturday was a day spent finishing some half started projects. DH has been fitting a door knob and lock to the new shed door and we brought the cooker down from the cottage to replace the one at home here. Although it had survived both the flood and being put in a skip it has stood in the conservatory all this time with no real home. As some readers will know my oven here at home as been on the blink for some months getting hot one day and not another. On the days it refused to heat up we resorted to using the small oven but this was not ideal as it did not cook meals that well. So we managed to heave the cooker into the back of our car to bring down home. Once we had given it a thorough wipe down (it is still like new) our electrician son-in-law helped to swap them over and wired it in. The old one will be no use to anyone and it is well over 20 years old and was second hand to us from my sister.

I like things that last a long time there are so many products that are disposable these days.

The replacement cooker from the cottage is a very basic stainless steel Zanussi with old fashioned solid hotplates and no separate grill but at least the oven works. We bought it new when we first had the cottage and we chose something quite robust in case we let the cottage out. It will do us fine until we can replace our kitchen and buy a new intergrated one.

To freshen it up I put sliced oranges in a bowl of water with a few drops of lemon oil, placed it in the oven and turned the oven on. The aroma was gorgeous and now the inside smells clean and fresh too.

And now I have an oven that works I feel like trying some new recipes again so have been revisiting old cookery books.

In and amongst I have been doing a little housekeeping inside – hoovering, sweeping and washing floors….. and socks….

…..and a little housekeeping outside – deadheading the annuals in pots, feeding the plants and tying in the wandering clematis.

I also cut and tagged the pale pink and white aquilegia and the bunches are hanging upside down in the shed to dry out so I can collect the seed.

The garden is looking lovely and buzzing with bees – my peonies had burst into life whilst we were away – I had waited for this moment for so long now watching the buds grow and fatten…and now they are simply beautiful and I cannot stop admiring them… they are just in the right spot to see them from my kitchen window as I wash up. What a shame they are usually over very quickly but for the moment I can just stand and stare.

The lettuce and courgettes are just about ready for picking and my seeds have sprouted – we just need a little more sun.

Tomorrow it is my usual yoga class and on Wednesday I will see the doctor about my knee as up to now it is not getting any easier. DH has to have his front tyres changed this week – more expense but overall I think our spending has been a bit lighter during June even with the trip to Scotland.

We have plans to try and look at kitchens again while the summer sales are on, at the same time we are trying to progress our cottage plans and arrange some time between commitments to have our summer holiday. Oh and not to forget making progress again on the pantry.

dear diary :: rain, rain, go away…

…and it did for a couple of hours but just enough to get out into the garden for a bit of a snip. I do like this fine rain we have had for days now – it is so refreshing and gives the borders such a thorough soaking – but there were flowers to dead head and a few seeds to sow.

It was only last Thursday that we were sitting in the sunshine on the market place in Masham enjoying one of the award winning ice creams, an apricot and ginger cone from Joneva.

On Saturday I had a bit of an enforced duvet day as my knee had swollen so much all I could do was rest it. I used the time to listen to the little samples on Audible as I had to use up my 16 credits so that I could then cancel my membership. I have more than enough audio books to listen to now so it was pointless rolling over the membership again this year.

On Tuesday my knee was still swollen so I had to skip Yoga, but did manage today’s session.

This week was all about the budget, our savings and future plans as we had the appointment with the financial advisor. He was a lovely man, very knowledgeable and no hard sell so was well worth the time and it cost us nothing. He went through our current financial situation and pensions with us and we agreed that the tasks we needed to do could be done ourselves so no follow up services required at this time. There are quite a few tasks and I will be posting about this soon.

We will be heading off for Scotland again soon – I get to the point when I just need to be by the sea again. I dare not think what state the garden is in up there and I will not be doing a lot with my bad knee, but it will be nice to get away.

Tonight we picked the first of our homegrown mixed lettuce leaves – at least they have continued to grow in the rain.

Welcome to all those new followers and to all my readers who are following the garden posts there is an update now for today in the June page. Click here

Have a lovely weekend everyone. x

dear diary :: nothing to report

I have nothing much to report today. I spent most of the day getting to grips with our finances, checking bank statements and noting the balances, as they have been left to fend for themselves in the last few busy weeks. Goodness knows what shape we are in – I know my purse is quite empty. When I have totted up and taken away all will be revealed – as it is almost the end of May I will be doing my end of April and May Tally together this time but I do not expect that I have managed anything remotely frugal or cost saving – quite the opposite money has flowed out of our accounts like the rapids.

Feeling a bit stressed at the moment I decided to rearrange our Scotland visit to simplify things a bit more by rearranging a few appointments to give us a clear week away sometime in June. This will give us a little more time at home to get some of the half started projects completed, the washing and ironing up to date and restore my sanity before we head off again.

Apart from that I have done very little and it has been absolute bliss.

I will leave you with a few pictures taken today from around the garden.

Lettuce leaves
Courgette
Aquilegia

Just to add a big thank you for all the lovely comments about caring for my mum and myself during this difficult time – I know many of you can identify with the issues I am facing at present and I do value your support.

dEAr diary ~ taking the long road

Sandhead beach

We have arrived in Scotland at the caravan.  It was a long journey as we went up the A1M to Scotch Corner and cut across on the A66 to Penrith rather than take our usual route up the M6.  The reason for this was I needed to meet with daughter No2 to show her some sketches and discuss ideas and fabrics for the Christening dress for Sweetie because when we go back home there will be less than two weeks to cut a pattern and make up the garment in time for the big day.  For new readers, Sweetie,  granddaughter No2 is growing so fast she has already outgrown the family heirloom Christening gown – so I volunteered to make a new one.

We met just outside Knaresborough in the St James retail park – it was convenient and had a Costa so we could get a drink and break our journey.

Of course as soon as I had said I would make a Christening gown the party preparations got in the way but I am not too worried about the shortage of time as I can sew quite fast – I used to have a wedding dress business making bridal and bridesmaids dresses.   Once I had the pattern made I would cut out a bridesmaid dress or two in the morning and have them completed by tea time, net petticoats and all – no pins or tacking either, and I would be going slower than normal to take extra care over the finish.   Of course a brides dress would take me a little longer because of the boning and net petticoats.

I learned to sew quickly when I took a summer job in a local dress manufacturers workroom in Cheltenham during my Fashion and Textile course.  We were expected to make around 100 dresses or skirts a day on high-speed sewing and overlocking machines – we could not pin or tack any pieces together and even zips were put in without being pinned in place.  All the cutting out of the pieces was exact and so you held them in place with your fingers as you stitched them together making sure that any side seams did not end up with one piece longer than the other when you got to the bottom.  Sleeves could be tricky as you did not run a gathering stitch around the head like a dressmaker or tailor would to ease it in – though I did do this for my bridal wear to get a nice even gather.  It was working on a fast paced production line that helped me to combine traditional couture methods with the faster trade methods and in the trade you either got good at it or you were out.

Tonight I will finish the unpacking, make up the bed and then relax and read.  It is too dark to see the garden – that will be tomorrow’s surprise and I hope it will be a nice one, though I am sure the weeds will have grown knee-high in our absence.

On the way down the peninsula by the coast road to our cottage I saw one or two seals on the beach and then a deer bounding through the woodland.   Then I spotted ‘bunny no mates’ (the white bunny that the brown ones won’t play with) in the farmer’s field to the side of our cottage.  As we had not seen him all winter we thought he must have been a gonner!

Even though I did not grow up in this region I always feel a little bit like I have come home when we reach the border at Gretna and turn the corner.  Not quite like DH does as he was born and lived in Stranraer so for him it really is coming home, whereas I grew up around Sheffield and spent many a weekend in the Derbyshire country side, which I love just as much, but there is something about being close to the sea that always gives me such a sense of peace.

When I was about twelve years old I came up to Stranraer on holiday with my mum, dad and little sister in our touring caravan.  We loved this part of Scotland and stayed on sites all around the area and often went into Stranraer, the main town here, to buy groceries and go to the bank (no cash machines back then!).    It is odd to think that I would have no doubt walked past the places where my future husband and his relatives lived – and unknowingly at that time they were to become a big part of my life eight years later.  I even wonder if we may have passed each other in the street!

 

dEAr diary ~ a day of ideas

Hello there – it seems a while since I was here in my little space and I can’t even remember now where I have got to so apologies if what I say here has already been said once.

You might have guessed I have been busy – what’s new!

We had a weekend at home and to ourselves – if I remember we were both in the garden and I also did a few more cards – but more about that later.

This week began with our usual shopping trip on Monday, first into town for a few bits and pieces and then round to the big Sainsbury’s on the ring road for the weekly food shopping.  I say bits and pieces which they were individually but the cost collectively was surprisingly a bit much for one day.

I went to Primark first to look at jackets.  I have a brilliant hooded jacket I bought from Primark for £6 in 2004 when we bought the cottage.  It is so useful in the garden in Scotland – an all-weather coat – it has a light waterproof nylon fabric on the outside, so no bits of vegetation or the like sticks to me, with a warm fleece lining and the hood is small so doesn’t blow off with the first puff of wind – absolutely necessary when you live by the sea.  It is still going strong after many washes.

The reason I want to find a similar jacket is because I have recently taken to bringing it back down home with me to wear in the garden here but I know the day will come when I will forget to pack it when we go up to the cottage and so I thought it would be a good item to duplicate.  I looked in the ladies section of Primark but their lightweight duvet style jackets have no hoods and are very fitted; then just as we were leaving I noticed the men’s display ah ha …idea….I went to the men’s section and they had a perfect one with a hood and just a little bit more roomy which is much better for gardening.  I came away with the extra small but I will need to go back and change it for the small size for a little bit more ease so I can wear a thick jumper underneath should I need to!   Cost – a cosy £15

Then across to Wilkos to look in the gardening section for Tomato food to feed both the bulbs and the tomatoes (when I get them sown) – it was much cheaper here than anywhere else at £3.25. White DicentraOn the way I noticed (as you do) a white Dicentra for £2 hung in the packaged bulbs display – I was tempted as I have wanted one for the garden at home for a long time but in the garden centre the plants are £10 which I thought a bit steep.  I bought one and have planted it in the garden but I am doubtful about it growing as it just looked like a bag full of dry peat but I thought for the price I would give it a go – I also treated myself to a white indoor plant pot for £2.Before leaving the store I had a rummage in the crafts section as they have a lovely range of inexpensive Easter crafts to keep the kids busy. I came across these garden signs for £2 which will be useful for the Easter egg hunt we intend to do for the children at the party on Easter Sunday, weather permitting of course and, for Libbie, a sew your own felt chicken Easter basket £1.50.

I then popped into the Works as I had a £0.50p voucher and wanted to buy some polystyrene eggs  – ten for £0.50p with the voucher – I have an idea to cover them in printed tissue papers for Easter decorations for the party.  It goes against the grain to buy polystyrene but I will be keeping them for a long time to reuse – had I got more time I would have done some hand painted real eggs – but that will be another year.  I also bought a pack of stronger dowels to attach the garden signs to for £1.  The bamboo basket in the photo above was a great find in Sainsbury’s for £2.50.

The final stop was one of our local independent whole food / health shops – I often alternate between the two as I like them both and would hate to see either of them close down.  I prefer them to Holland and Barret as they sell more organic foods and are often cheaper.  Here I bought Almond oil which I use as a face cleanser and for massage, my high dose Solgar Vitamin D capsules, some Omega 3 oils and two packs of Kalo tomato stock cubes for the soup and to add flavour to rice – a grand ‘sit down’ total of £39.03.

The food shopping was pretty normal and came in a bit cheaper than usual at £52.38 this included a few extra salad bits and some nice breads for the lunch I prepared today for my sister and brother-in-law when they called in on their way up north.

I made sure to carefully whiz past the clothes and magazines – but I did buy these.I bought myself one for my desk at the beginning of the year and I love it (see here).  Now you might be wondering what I would want with five more calendars that are all for this year especially now we are in April…..well I had another idea ( I think they must have put something in the water recently!!)…. Sainsbury’s had reduced them down to £2.10 and the metal stands which are gold or black are very sturdy and allow you to remove each calendar page by unscrewing the little nuts – my idea is to keep the stands and attach my own version of next years calendars using photos DH and I take throughout the year and give them as presents to my friends at Christmas.

It could well be a gift that keeps on giving because you can use the stands over and over again so in following years I could keep giving a new set of calendar pages to  my friends to fix onto their stands.  Each year I might choose photos of a different theme such as seaside, towns, gardens etc.

Did I mention last week I bought this cardboard Peter Rabbit egg from an old-fashioned sweet shop in Saltburn.  I then bought a £1 Cadbury’s chocolate Easter egg and my idea is to remove the wrapper and decorate with little iced flowers and Libbies name to put inside.  If the chocolate egg is in two halves then I will put some of those tiny shell coated eggs inside.Easter EggSo as you can see I am full of ideas – oh and they don’t stop there  – oh no – nothing that simple – somehow I am now doing the 40th birthday cake for my SIL’s (son in-law) party on Easter Sunday …..mmmm…how did that happen…..retirement – exactly what is that??

A day of dazzling ideas and bargain buys. x

Before I go welcome to my new followers.  I will be back with more on my craft cards, the March Tally, the cottage update and a host of other things.

 

dEAr diary ~ home again, home again

…but not for long….

Back at home now – it was quite a long day yesterday; there are always little bits to take care of in the garden before leaving, watering in the plants I have moved and putting chicken wire around the emerging ones to ‘bunny’ proof them.  Then I pack and clean the caravan.  By the time we are on the road I am feeling rather shattered sometimes, but it was a good journey, not too much traffic and no motorway closures.

Today I was up and showered, finished the unpacking and then took time to catch up with the post, the messages and life at home in general. I always clean the house before we go so it is nice to walk into when we arrive home so no housework needed today.  Once everything was unpacked I then had to repack for our trip up to North Yorkshire tomorrow to stay with my younger daughter, Libbie and Sweetie for a couple of days.

In the afternoon we had to collect a parcel, return some library books and go to Sainsbury’s to buy some fresh vegetables, milk and yoghurt.  I have a Quiche to make to take with us tomorrow for our evening meal at our daughters.  Whilst in Sainsbury’s I bought my mum, who we will visit on Saturday, a lovely indoor basket of plants for Mother’s Day.  So once the car is repacked we will be all set to go again.

I am not sure if I will manage a post in the next few days but I will as soon as possible.  I am looking forward to looking after Sweetie for the day on Friday;  Libbie (Little L) will be at school and their mum will be having her dental work done.  Ouch!

A day of unpacking and unwinding, repacking and rewinding. x

 

 

dEAr diary ~ busy making life calmer

I finally took the plunge and started a Yoga class today.  It is the same lovely teacher Anita that I had a few years ago and she now does a class in my own village – so within walking distance if I choose to walk.  I went in the car today as it was quite drizzly and I don’t have anything large enough to carry my Yoga mat in to keep it dry (well that is my excuse).

Spending time to listen to and notice how my body feels and moves felt rather strange at first – it takes practice to be still and calm and breathe.   It all went quite well but there is a limit to the amount of arm lifting I can do on my left side – which is partly the reason I am going to try to retain flexibility.  Doing Yoga certainly highlights any problem areas – I never knew that anyone could bend and twist that far!!!  I came away a little more creaky but things had loosened up here and there and I felt all the better for it and I must make an effort to practice at home between sessions.

Yesterday was spent dodging around the house doing a bit of this and that interspersed with phone calls – why does everyone call on a Monday?…I shouldn’t complain, and I am not really, it is always lovely to hear from people.  Both my daughters can chat away easily for a couple of hours – even when I am about to see them in person and I would never cut them short unless I had some good reason like an appointment to attend – after all what are mums for but to hear the ups and downs of their lives and either rejoice or commiserate with them and offer advice if it is wanted, though I am pleased to say they are both very good problem solvers which makes me quite redundant.

I was a bit frustrated yesterday that I could only put the washing out on the line for brief periods between the almost constant drizzle – didn’t the weather man know it was Monday either and I needed to get my washing dry!  The reason for the rush is we are heading up to the cottage in a day or two for a few days and I realised that when we came back from Scotland a couple of weeks ago I never quite finished washing all our gardening clothes – they get so grubby I always pre-soak them in a bucket but I had mum visiting at the time so pushed the washing basket in the ‘soon to be Pantry’, old cloakroom out-of-the-way and then promptly forgot about them.

I managed to fit in some baking too – an apple cake to take to Scotland made with the last 2 eggs and the leftover portion of cooked apple we took from the freezer to accompany our Nut loaf on Sunday so by the time we went shopping yesterday afternoon the cupboard really was bare as we had worked our way through the very last of the food.  I spent £58 on groceries for this week taking advantage of the offer on Oatabix and Lurpak butter.  We will be making some meals to take with us to Scotland – Tomato soup and Shepherd’s pie.  I also bought some Higgedy Cheese and Onion rolls for the journey – unfortunately they were not on offer but still cheaper than buying food on or off the motorway.  We will get a free drink at Booths cafe if we take our own cups.  I do take a bit of food up with us as it is almost impossible to buy Cheshire or Wensleydale cheese up there and I like a crumbly cheese.  I do like to buy from the local shops in Stranraer to support them where I can.

Whilst we were out shopping yesterday afternoon we had other bits and pieces to attend to……the bits being an urgent need to look for decent loppers for the garden yet again.  We need extra strong Anvil loppers, preferably geared and preferably telescopic and definitely light to handle.  We had recently bought what we thought were the perfect pair made by Spear and Jackson but when we used them in the cottage garden on our last visit, although they cut through old branches brilliantly, by the 2nd day we noticed the handle on one side had bent inwards preventing the telescopic handle from working.  So back to Argos they went for a full refund but we are now on the search for some that cut just as well but won’t bend out of shape.

I made a quick visit to The Range to check out those ready printed messages for some cards I made (this will be another post).  I was not impressed by the price but reluctantly bought a couple of sheets and a packet of assorted messages as I intend to do more of these basic cards using up my stock of decorated papers – cost £3.  The silver and gold typeface and borders on these pre-printed labels does make a difference and I cannot print these metallic colours on my printer or I would have made my own.  A silvery grey is the best I can do.

I also returned my four pillows to Sainsbury’s for the full refund – so I am now on the hunt to replace these.  Whilst in Sainsbury’s I decided to buy two more long-sleeved T-shirts, they had a black one and a white one – so now I have four all together with the previous two grey ones I have. I am thinking that might be my total spend on clothes for the year this year and then I remembered I would need a ‘posher’ outfit for the Christening(s).  I noticed in passing that Roman have some nice inexpensive spring dresses in at the moment.  The drawback with this shop is you cannot return for a refund – they only give a gift card so you are then committed to buying something from them.  Trying on in the changing room is not the same as doing it at home with all the right accessories to hand.

Well I have chattered on enough it is time to do some more packing.  Hopefully we will have internet connection at the cottage so there will be no long intermission here.

A day of sorting out contortions – me after the Yoga class and the loppers.

……Oh and before I go welcome to my new followers – enjoy the journey – not sure where we might end up!  For those who have their own blogs I will be over to your place for a read soon.