Friday, 18 January 2019

It might be a Christmas Present..................

..........or I could keep it.

 This was on the shelf in the charity shop when I went in to do my stint last week.  I picked it up, dusted underneath and then decided not to put it back on the shelf and it came home with me. With volunteers 20% discount it was 80p so didn't break the bank.
I was thinking that with some cheese or biscuits it could make a present but maybe I'll keep it. I was very good and moved two rarely used items from the dining room cupboard into the car-boot box under the in and two out is supposed to be my plan this year.

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Thursday, 17 January 2019

Old Twelfth Night

It's Old Twelfth Night..................Old Twelfth Night?
All due to the change of calendar in 1752..
I read quite a lot about calendars in a book that I found at the Giant charity book sale in Colchester last October. I shelved the book and forgot I had it until last week.

This is my Very Short History of calendars..............

Around 4,000BC the Egyptians were the first to calculate the solar year of 365 days dividing it into 12 months of 30 days each plus 5 days. Later they calculated it should be 365¼ days
The Romans had originally used a 10 month lunar year of about 304 days but around 700BC they added 2 more months making a year 355 days. By Julius Caeser's time the calendar was way out and in 45BC he introduced the Julian Calendar, based on a 365 day year with an extra day every 4 years. The only thing they didn't work out back then was 7 day weeks, instead they reckoned the days before and after set points.  Things should have been OK from then onward except that  sometime before AD 377 Emperor Constantine introduced the 7 day week but put the organising of the calendar back in the hands of religious groups who wanted the calendar to link to the moon for their major festival of Easter.
After the collapse of the Roman Empire the Christian church was the only organisation able to control the calendar and because they regarded any scientific enquiry into dates as heresy things got very confusing.
The errors became obvious and annoying and in 1582 Pope Gregory   announced changes to correct the faults including the problem with the ¼ day over. (The Gregorian Calendar) Easter was still being calculated by the moon. BUT newly Protestant countries such as Britain thought the whole thing a Popish plot and refused to change, so for more than a century half of Europe was 10 days ahead of the other half.
(So disagreeing with Europe isn't a new thing!)
But it all got sorted in  1752.

Didn't do the wassailing of my Apple trees on the 6th as I had no cider or apple juice in the house so I'm out there tonight with my cider soaked toast....... and have a bottle in store for using with Rosemary for that cold cure. Just in case.

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Wednesday, 16 January 2019

The Light in the Dark by Horatio Clare


 I was looking forward to reading this as I'd previously read his biography of childhood " Heading for the Hills".

This is the Amazon description........ Winter...............
It is a time of introspection, of looking inwards. Seasonal sadness; winter blues; depression – such feelings are widespread in the darker months. But by looking outwards, by being in and observing nature, we can appreciate its rhythms. Mountains make sense in any weather. The voices of a wood always speak consolation. A brush of frost; subtle colours; days as bright as a magpie’s cackle. We can learn to see and celebrate winter in all its shadows and lights.

In this moving and lyrical evocation of a British winter and the feelings it inspires, Horatio Clare raises a torch against the darkness, illuminating the blackest corners of the season, and delving into memory and myth to explore the powerful hold that winter has on us. By learning to see, we can find the magic, the light that burns bright at the heart of winter: spring will come again.

Well, that's what they said but I found it disappointing. It's a short book written as a diary of the winter of 2017/18 by someone who suffers with seasonal depression.
This is the way he gets through the weather and work and I think could have been written by anybody slightly depressed and living in the North of England through last winter!

An interesting short read  but it didn't cheer me up, just made me thankful for libraries so that I hadn't had to spend £12.99 to read it!

This is the 4th book read this month, the rest were all crime fiction so it was good to have a change. The library van is round again later this week and I still have 8 books unread.
Notes about books read have been entered on the new 2019 page.

Thanks for all the comments yesterday and hello to 3 new followers, hope you enjoy reading.

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Tuesday, 15 January 2019

St Peter's Palgrave

 I think more church visiting might have to wait until the weather warms up and the days are brighter because Palgrave St Peters was freezing and gloomy.  Inside I tried flash which reflected back but without it couldn't see much at all.

Very impressed by the gardens each side of the path, shows that they have lots of people caring for their church.

 Anyway here are the photos I took.

 The reason this church gets a mention in the 100 treasures book is because of its C15 painted hammer-beam roof but on a dull day it looked like this. The colours didn't show up at all. It would have had carved angels too........on the bits that jut out......... but they must have been sawn off during one of the periods when churches had to remove all symbols of  Catholic worship.

 Down the nave to the altar

 A square font- very unusual and very old......800 years they say.

 Commandment boards would have been over the altar. They were restored in the 1960s and are now in the North aisle.

This modern stained glass was designed in 1995 by a local artist

This looks like an old coat of arms. It doesn't say on the Suffolk Churches website if it for someone local or the royal coat of arms that churches had to display at one period in history.It was too high and not light enough to read the inscription.

All the pews have little gates, not the high box pews I've seen in some churches. These wouldn't have protected from many cold draughts (or drafts if you are in the US) so not sure why they are there.

Palgrave is a village just outside Diss and in Medieval times was two parishes with two churches but Palgrave St John has long gone.


Thank you for all the comments yesterday about The Flower Fairy books. Yes the Snowdrop Fairy is in the book I found last week and it is odd, as Phillip said, about the interest in Fairies in this period. I don't think I would want to do one in X stitch - far too fiddly but I did have some decoupage sheets of some of the fairies in the past and they too were not really suited to cutting out and layering.
Because I didn't have many books as a child I only knew about this author when I started working in libraries. The four tiny books in my picture were found at a Jumble sale or charity book sale in the last few years. They have just 7 fairies in each book and are printed on thin card pages, they will be passed on to the 2  granddaughters very soon I think. Just the right size for small hands.

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Monday, 14 January 2019


Last week I looked through my Flower Fairy books to find the Snowdrop Fairy picture for the post about Snowdrops but I didn't have the right book and ended up finding a picture online. I looked on Amazon and put in "Flower Fairy Books" and the ones that popped up were really silly prices. So that was the end of that idea.
During the week I popped in some charity shops and spotted this on the shelf for £1.50 ...........and  I wasn't even looking for it.

Came home and looked on Amazon under "Flower Fairy Treasury" and there were loads available for 1p plus the £2.80 postage of course. If I'd have found these first time I would have thought £2.81 was OK but because they didn't pop up first time I saved the grand total of  £1.31p................................ of course if I hadn't got into my head that I could use more pictures from the book on the  blog through the year I would have saved £1.50!............. Writing this blog is damaging to the purse!

Thought I would find out more about Cicely Mary Barker. She was born in 1895 and  as a frail child was taught at home and using correspondence courses in Art and Drawing taught herself to draw and paint and then went to the Croyden School of Art. She said her influences were Kate Greenaway and the Pre-Raphaelites. In 1911 she sold four drawings which were turned into postcards and then in 1923 Flower Fairies of the Spring was published.

In 1924, with her parents and sister, the family moved house and Cecily had a studio built in the garden and her sister conducted a kindergarten in a room at the back of the house. The family lived frugally and were devout Christians. 

 In an interview in 1958, Barker said, "My sister ran a kindergarten and I used to borrow her students for models." She also painted the children of relatives. The plants were painted from life, and if a specimen was not readily at hand, Kew Gardens staff would provide her the specimens she needed. Cecily designed and made the Flower Fairy costumes, and based each on the flowers and leaves of the particular plant to be illustrated. She used books on English costumes for reference too.The costumes were kept in a trunk in her studio along with wings made of twigs and gauze. Each was broken down after an illustration was completed and the parts recycled for other costumes.

Flower Fairies of the Summer was published in 1925 and Of the Autumn in 1926. Flower Fairies of the Seasons was published in 1930 and The Flower Fairy Alphabet in 1934. Flower Fairies of the winter wasn't published until 1985, twelve years after she died in 1973. There are also other Flower Fairy books listed.....Of The Wayside, Of the Trees and Of the Garden.
She also did several religious themed books and pictures and designed a stained glass window for her church.
 There are 120 different Fairies  in  The Treasury but it doesn't include some of the flowers and trees that are in my smaller books and according to a dedicated website there were 170 illustrations altogether.
 Son and DIL rented a home called Thyme Cottage for a few years and there was a print of "The Wild Thyme Fairy" in the porch when they moved in. He looked on line and said The Wild Thyme Fairy only appeared in the original "Summer Flower Fairy " book and wasn't in many of the newer editions and isn't in any of my books either. There are Complete Flower Fairy books available too but reviews say that recent editions have taken the Fairies out of their surroundings rather than the complete picture originally painted, so I won't be wanting one of those.

These are the little books I had before finding the new one, most have been around since the children were small

Who knew that looking for a snowdrop fairy picture would lead down the path to finding out so much about an author and her illustrations.

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Saturday, 12 January 2019

Saturday again

I believe some parts of the country have had sunshine and a wee bit of warmth this week, but here we've had freezing strong North East winds and lots of grey-ness with low cloud, drizzle and rain and just a few minutes of sunshine..............  It can only get better......unless it get worse!

When the kitchen man finished and left for the last time I thought it would be the end of workmen for a while but then found a tiny puddle in the bathroom behind the new wash basin. I thought it was easily solvable if one of the fittings was a bit loose but no, the water seemed to be appearing from under the wall..... an outside wall,  behind the sink. I kept mopping it up and it kept re-appearing, not all the time but now and again. Also faulty was the bath panel on the new just kept falling off. A man came and the panel has now been fixed properly but of course there was no sign of the small puddle. What ever taps he ran - no trickle of water..........How typical!

It's been weeks since I found anything to buy when I'm at the charity shop but some little boys new M&S pants came in while I was there this week and Jacob loves cars and especially the Cars that are the Disney Pixel Cars, maybe these will help with the toilet training. I'll send them down to Surrey.

Thursday was exciting, because I met up with Rachel who writes her blog from not far away from me but in Norfolk. We met in Morrisons cafe in Diss which is about halfway between us as I needed to go to the Grape Tree for some dried fruit. It was good to have an hour with another blogger. I'm sure we'll meet up again.

I went to see youngest daughter and Florence on Friday, we went for a walk round the charity shops, found a Peppa Pig book for Florence and by chance another book I'll mention next week.

Son and DIL + Willow are popping over today. Poor DIL goes back to work after her maternity leave on Monday.......she's not looking forward to it.

That's good, another week of winter  survived. Each week takes me closer to Spring.

Back Monday

Friday, 11 January 2019

A Find from last Year

This is a car boot find that didn't get a mention last December because I was doing the Christmas and Winter posts. It's a collection of 7 little books published by English Heritage in 1985. Each book is about food and cooking at various period in history.

From Pre-historic Britain through Roman occupation and up to the 19C. They came in a cardboard slip case which was falling to pieces but a bit of glue soon sorted it out....... £1 spent.
I've got them close at hand in the living room but haven't had a good look yet.

Thank God we're not getting the weather that they have in parts of Europe including as far south as Italy and Greece..........snow, snow and even more snow  There's no sign of anything like that in the UK yet. But still plenty of winter was March last year when we were snowed in for a couple of's when we should have been traveling to Addenbrookes Hospital.

Thanks to everyone for comments about Snowdrops yesterday. I really will make an effort to get to Anglesey Abbey later this month.
Thanks also for comments from a few days ago that I hadn't seen. I think the Books Read page 2019 is now working, each year I forget how to add a new page and have to fiddle about with the cross column and pages gadget for ages to get it sorted.

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Thursday, 10 January 2019


....................or to give them their Latin name Galanthus.

Originally a native of alpine areas of Europe and Asia, it was considered to be a holy plant, a symbol of chastity and purity. According to my little book of plant folklore Snowdrops should only be brought into the house with a 'white purification' ceremony otherwise it's unlucky to have them indoors.

Brother, Joy to you
I've brought some snowdrops; only just a few,
But quite enough to prove the world awake,
Cheerful and hopeful in the frosty dew
And for the pale sun's sake.

Christina Rosetti

The first little clump have appeared in the garden but the ones across the lane are only just showing

Historically they were called "Fair maid of February" or "Candlemas Bells" but now usually appear long before February 2nd.

 I've got a few of the little books of Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker but not the one with Snowdrops, so this is borrowed from on line images, it was on a blog called Inkspired Musings which is no longer being used.

 It would be good to make an effort/be brave enough on my own, to get to the National Trust Anglesey Abbey which is along the A14 just into Cambridgeshire, they have a collection of dozens of different species of Snowdrops.Their snowdrop gardens are open from mid January, I've made a note.

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Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Cold Cures

I finished all the Elderberry syrup I'd made before the worst of the cold arrived so have researched some more homemade cures

First there was the one I tried from Jack Monroe's 2018 blog

Hot Nurse
 30g fresh ginger,
6 fat cloves of garlic,
2 x 400g canned chopped tomatoes,
1 tbsp medium curry powder,
1tsp turmeric
Salt and pepper
1 can water

 I didn't have fresh ginger and put in too much dried (and less garlic).....made it brain-blowing HOT!

Then I found this, also from Jack but from 2013, sounds more interesting with onion - anti bacterial and parsley - full of Vitamins. Haven't tried it yet but probably wouldn't use the vegetable stock cube just salt and pepper and maybe two tins of tomatoes rather than one.

Feisty Soup
 1 onion
1 fat clove of garlic
a thick slice of ginger
1 red chilli
a splash of oil
1 x 400g carton or tin of chopped tomatoes
1 vegetable stock cube, dissolved in 200ml boiling water
juice of 1⁄2 a lemon or 2 teaspoons bottled lemon juice
a handful of parsley

Next this one  in Susan Hills  book 'Through the Kitchen Window'...blimey ....2 heads of garlic!
Although it says boiling the un-peeled cloves first makes it more friendly.

But this one below sounds much more appealing as well as easier

Cider and Rosemary Cure
Boil a large sprig of rosemary in some cider for 5 minutes. Strain into a glass and carry up to bed, get under the covers and drink. This cure is said to induce sweating which will kill the cold.

From the book 'From Mother to Daughter" by Vivienne Bolton.

Have to buy cider for wassailing on old twelfth night on the 17th so will get stocked up!

Thank you everyone for comments yesterday

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Tuesday, 8 January 2019

The First Week

My first week of a new year......................

 It's been an enforced quiet start to the year at  the end of a Suffolk lane. December was spent dashing about here there and everywhere so it was nice to be peaceful with no rushing for a few days, although  I would have preferred not to have had the nasty head cold,which seemed to take away every ounce of energy I had left after getting wood in, laying the fire and keeping it lit, feeding the cat, and getting myself a constant supply of hot drinks and some food.......The problem of being alone is no one to make you a cuppa.

The charity shop had been shut for a couple of weeks and I volunteered to go in for the morning of  the 2nd, the first day open in the New Year. Hadn't got a lot of ooomph for going up and down stairs so  stayed on the till while the manager cleared the windows of the Christmas stuff .

On Thursday, finally the cold had gone and I used onions, 2 cans of plum tomatoes, dried basil and a squirt of tomato puree to make some Pizza topping, used 1 portion for dinner and put 3 boxes in the freezer, then used the juice from the tinned tomatoes plus more onions, grated carrots and chopped celery to make some soup. Can't remember when I last made soup because I went right off it last winter, but it made enough for 3 lunches.

Then after just one day of feeling completely well again I  spent a nasty and painful 24 hours with a stomach bug of some sort - heavens knows where that came from - surely too many days had passed to have got it from family on Christmas day, although they did have something similar after Christmas. I don't like the fact that after so many years of hardly ever being ill I get two things in a week, is it an age thing or the result of being out and about more to meet more germs? or more likely just bad luck.

Although the bug had gone on Saturday I felt rather washed out so it was another days rest least some library books have been read (Books Read 2019 page has been started. I read 108 in 2018!) and the seed order sent off.

Looking at Sue's Challenging Myself Blog, I feel extreme guilt as some leftover food that I would normally have eaten or turned into something else and frozen just got put out into the compost or rubbish bin. There was just no wish or energy to eat it or sort it.

On Sunday, (feeling 98% well rather than the 50% of Saturday) I ventured out to visit Son, DIL and Willow for lunch. Their Uncle was there cutting down and clearing some tree stumps and stuff cut down last year from their garden so they were cooking him a roast as a thank you. Good to have lots of chat and lap time with mastering the art of waving as well as clapping! I asked the family if they had been given any strange Christmas presents but no one had had as many as me................the strong smelling shower and bath stuff that I can't use, the book from someone else's Amazon wish list and a book called "The Almost Perfect Christmas" for the year of my first Christmas without Colin........I will read it but maybe next Christmas.

Yesterday and back to swimming. The pool was nice and quiet which makes it easier to plough up and down and I managed 32 x 20 metre lengths with just  3 x one minute pauses. 32 x 25 metres  non-stop is what I used to do way back in the early 1990's, when I was much younger and a stone lighter so if I can just do a few more lengths I will be very pleased.

And Finally ...............How did I forgot to put this Christmas present photo on the blog? A pressie from Willow's Mummy and Daddy.
Already,  just a few months after these photos were taken, the grandchildren all  look so different.

Son and Willow. Me, Florence and Willow from last November and from a few months earlier last year Jacob and Willow.

I do hope you don't think this is a post looking for sympathy for being unwell! it isn't and I realise I  sound  ungrateful for Christmas's another case of hating waste - even if it some other persons money.

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Monday, 7 January 2019

Plough Monday.

'Feasts and Festivals': 10 January: Plough Monday 

Plough deep while sluggards sleep
And you shall have corn to sell and keep.

 Plough Monday, the first Monday after Twelfth Night was the day the agricultural year started, but before they began  their hard work, the plough men and boys took the opportunity to have a bit of fun by dressing up, blacking up, and processing around the village to perform a plough play and hopefully be given some money.  The plough was often blessed in the church on the Sunday before.

Turn out for plough Monday
Up, fellows now
Buckle the horses
And follow the plough. 

I came across a recipe for Norfolk Plough Pudding on a website called Lavender and Lovage, which mentioned an interesting looking  recipe/travel/memoir book of the same name by the web author.... Karen Burns-Booth. Sadly the book is over £30 so it's not one I'll be adding to my wish list!

Thanks to everyone for comments recently and I keep forgetting to say "Hello" to some new followers, approaching 450 now - blimey.

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Sunday, 6 January 2019

6th January

The Christian festival of Epiphany, commemorating the arrival of the wise men who travelled far to visit the new baby. In some countries it is more important than Christmas Day.

When all twelve days of Christmas were holidays people would celebrate the last day before returning to work on the land by lighting bonfires and baking cakes. Now it is the last day to take down the Christmas decorations to avoid bad luck and the last day of eating a daily mince pie for good luck.............if that's what you've been doing!

Wassailing the Apple trees on Twelfth Night (or old Twelfth Night on the 17th) still takes place in some cider making regions of this country. Cider is poured on the apple roots and toast soaked in cider hung on the branches of the trees then shots fired through the branches to frighten off evil spirits and songs song to encourage the trees to fruit.

Ramblings ~: All things Wassail


Old apple tree, we wassail thee, and hope thou wilt bear
For the lord doth know where we shall be,till apples come another year
To bear well and bloom well so merry let us be 
Let every man take off his hat and shout to the old apple tree..........
SHOUT ......
Old Apple tree we wassail thee, and hope that thou will bear
Hats full, caps full, three bushel bags full,
And a little heap under the stair.

 Wassail means "be healthy"and as farm workers were often paid in cider during the harvest it was important the trees were healthy and produced plenty of fruit......... at one time there were 400 varieties of cider apples and an orchard in every village on every farm.

 Here's some Wassailling from Somerset in 1979

Then of course there is the Twelfth Night that is the comedy by William Shakespeare. This is the only play by Shakespeare that I've ever read and that was because we "did" it for O Level back in 1971.......(Along with Jane Eyre and some poems from the Book of Narrative Poetry) Although I failed English Literature at least it didn't put me off reading because I haven't   stopped reading since then................ But no more Shakespeare or Brontes.

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Saturday, 5 January 2019

The Seed Catalogues

They've all arrived, so I went through the seed tin and wrote a list (always a list!). I don't need much but do like to pick the varieties.
D.T Brown are local to Suffolk, have some good choices and cheapest postage. I need beetroot,  tomato, cucumber, sweet red  'pointy' peppers, leeks, curly parsley, nasturtium and basil. Then maybe sweetcorn...... and here's a weird thing........... I could have sworn that sometime last year  I bought a packet of mini sweetcorn to grow to use for stir frying BUT the packet in the seed  tin are ordinary corn cobs. I even mentioned finding them at a car boot sale in a blog post. So why aren't they what I thought they were? ............No idea.

I'm ordering a big plum type Tomato that I've not tried before called Big Mama , a mini plum that I grew last year - Sungrape. and for something completely different a yellow grape variety called Ildi . I've just 2 cucumber Euphya seeds from last year so have ordered some Louisa, another variety I've grown in the past. Sweet Peppers will be Bullhorn Mix. I have a few very old leek seeds so I'll get some new and a new large pack of beetroot to add to the pack of Bolthardy left from last year. The rest  - parsley, nasturtium and basil I can get from anywhere and probably cheaper - as long as I remember to write them on a shopping list.  D.T Browns don't have a mini sweetcorn so I'll look elsewhere for them, my Essex friends love to grow lots of corncobs so I could pass the packet onto them because I don't want to grow the big cobs.

Apart from the above the other things I'm planning to grow are the same as last year...... French Climbing beans and Runner Beans - both from seed I saved from what I grew. Aubergines, chard, Mange tout peas, lettuces and courgettes.I also have  4 butternut squash seeds to hopefully grow better than last year when only 1 plant survived and produced just 1 squash!

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Friday, 4 January 2019

St Mary's Church Woodbridge

It's weeks and months ago since I went to Woodbridge to take these photos. Woodbridge is a small  town compared to Ipswich but bigger than some other towns in the Suffolk Coastal area with a population of 11,000 according to wiki and has an imposing church standing up a hill from the shopping street. My dedication to blogging(!?) had me walking up that hill twice because the first time I opened the door and stepped in I found I was in the middle of a Communion Service - whoops, steps out again quickly!
The tower soars 109 feet above the town

This is the approach to the church  up the hill from the town

The North Porch is patterned with  flints

One of the memorials dating from the 1620's to a prominent weaver and tanner in the town at that time.

Magnificent painted organ pipes

These modern cloth panels stitched to celebrate the Millenium  show the history of the town

The font is rather special as it shows the seven sacraments, set in rays and dating from the C15. A reminder that the history of Anglian churches was once Catholic.
  On the churches website it say that the font decoration may have survived  Puritan destruction because it had been plastered over and then rescued later.

And finally the reason for this church's mention in the 100 treasures book is this. A huge collection of the churches treasures from craftsmen over the last 400 years.
 The book says that "the latest security technology has enabled these to be displayed" . I didn't dare get too close in case it set off an alarm!

More about the church HERE

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Thursday, 3 January 2019

Rushing to the Sales?


I just got these from the Cancer Research shop when I was in town doing a couple of hours at the Home Start charity shop.
With the photos of the Christmas picture I took ready to make into cards and a few cards left anyway, I have enough for Christmas 2019.


(When I mentioned about not spending much in January I forgot I've got a dentist check up appointment in a couple of weeks..... botheration........... and didn't plan on Christmas cards either!)

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Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Was it a Frugal December? Will it be a Low Spend January?

I shall be having a low spend January but was it possible to have a frugal December including Christmas spending?...........Well it might have been if I hadn't had to pay out the remainder of the money for the new kitchen!  Everyone who's seen all the new kitchen units say they look lovely to which I reply "so they should for the amount of faffing about that was done to install them".

So herewith, as requested, kitchen photos...............

 and the sink bit that was done a couple of months earlier (which now has tiles at each end - luckily just enough in the garage to finish things off properly)

And of course my lovely range (Cylinder gas with electric ignition) which was the first bit of the kitchen done in April 2017

As you can see my kitchen is annoying with 4 doors but plenty of floor space but I've had worse and it works and there is no way to change it without blocking a door or massive rebuilding.

  So the only frugal things I can think of........

 Reading free library books all month.
Grandchildren's Christmas Pressies from Car Boot sales and charity shops   (it won't be many years until all they'll want is computer games or things that have to be bought new, so it's 2nd hand until then)
Still eating beetroot from the garden
Free dinner at the over 60's meal.

Then there was the Spending to Save..............I bought another 20 swim voucher, which takes the price of my weekly swim down to £1.78p each time.

and the Spending when there was no choice...................................Negotiated car insurance down to the same price as last year instead of the £40 more on the new quote. It was surprisingly easy - made me wonder how low they would go if I really pleaded?
 Paid Electric bill which was lower than the same quarter last year

And just Spending...........
  • WI membership
  • Had to buy a new microwave - bare metal in the old one, where the lining  had gone eventually made sparks fly. I was hoping it would hang on until the January Sales but didn't want it to blow up over Christmas! 
  • The final payment of the new kitchen. 
  • 500 litres of heating oil and the Watchman remote sensor actually worked for a while to tell me the tank is now full for winter.
There are no utility bills due in January. I'll need diesel for the car and some food and cat food and not a lot else.................she says falling about laughing!

BUT  there was more getting rid in December
OUT............. some unwanted Christmas Decorations to the charity shop
OUT..............a few books and CDs to Ziffit £14 worth
OUT............some old tatty Christmas tinsel to burn on the bonfire later
OUT........... A coat of Colin's to the charity shop
OUT..............another of Col's coats and a Christmas Jumper to his brother
OUT...........More books to the charity shop
OUT.......    some  tools from the workshop and a welder which belonged to him anyway to Col's brother.
Almost OUT .......few more things into the car-boot box under the stairs

And finally............. thank heavens my horrible cold has more or less gone so I can stop laying around watching too many Poirot and old war films and finish getting the house back to normal and start my jigsaw puzzle.

Thank you to everyone for comments yesterday.

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Tuesday, 1 January 2019


Thank you to everyone for all the lovely kind comments yesterday, I was in tears reading (which is why I couldn't reply to them) but the tears were in a good way and they made me change the post I'd written for today because it was mainly looking back and there is no point in doing that so I deleted it all and started again...........

.........With a  lovely illustration from "An Illustrated Country Year"by Celia Lewis and  a "first of the month" Folklore post

 The Anglo Saxons called the first month of the year Wulfmonath, the month when wolves would be hunting for food. Difficult to imagine that wolves roamed the woods and forests of England back in the 6th Century.

January is always colder than December because

As the day lengthens, so the cold strengthens

Farmers don't want a warm January
                                                    A January spring is good for nothing
The Grass that grows in Janiveer
Grows no more all year

I think this is definitely wrong as we do get days more than  6℃ in January which is said to be the temperature at which some grasses will grow. Thank goodness low light levels means that grass grows so slowly it doesn't need cutting all through the winter.

I don't know if bell ringers still ring in the New Year in parish churches?

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty night:
The year is dying in the night
Ring out wild bells and let him die

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson.              

An old rhyme suggests an indication of weather to come depending on the wind direction.......

If New Year' Eve night wind blow south,
It betokeneth warmth and growth,
If west, much milk and fish in the sea;
if north, much cold and storms they'll be;
If east, the trees will bear much fruit;
If north-east, flee it man and brute. 

Did anyone notice which way the wind blew last night? 

January 1st  became a Public Holiday in England in 1974, mainly because of all the absenteeism due to people staying up far too late and drinking too much.
Hope everyone reading this didn't!

I have no idea what this year will bring but I guess we'll all find out in due course.

Happy New Year Images 2019 - Happy New Year 2019

Thanks again for those comments yesterday, I love that my blog is the first some people read and also love to have comments from people who have never commented before and from people who have become blog friends over the years and Good wishes to Hazelc for her son. It's blogging and kind comments that have kept me going through the months since May.

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