Saturday 29 April 2023

 Well Done Ipswich Town Football Club promoted after a 6 - 0 win  back into the Championship (that's the second tier of English football) after some dismal years.

Ipswich Town.svg
Full nameIpswich Town Football Club
Nickname(s)The Tractor Boys
Founded16 October 1878; 144 years ago
GroundPortman Road
OwnerGamechanger 20 Ltd.
ChairmanMike O’Leary
ManagerKieran McKenna
LeagueEFL League One
2021–22EFL League One, 11th of 24
WebsiteClub website

That's April Almost Finished

I keep forgetting to say "Hello and Welcome" to more followers. It would be good if  a few more people clicked the button, simply because it will move the pictures down and get rid of the annoying gif thing that someone used for their follower picture. It moves and catches my eye every time I open the lap top  - which of course in the great scheme of things isn't really a problem at all!

Thank you to everyone for comments yesterday. The reason I've not done a church post recently is because the last three I've visited were all locked. There have been several church thefts lately which always happens when the economy isn't going well so I don't blame the parishioners for keeping their churches closed. I've "done" so many local ones and driving miles only to find a church locked is a bit of a nuisance. I will try again when the weather gets better.

So what was April like?.......Quite chilly but not as wet as March I think sums up the weather. My heating oil tank is down to 7 bars = about 980lts so will be OK well into the autumn. Plenty of wood and kindling still here.

Some chunky expenses this month - TV Licence and House Insurance and a whole list of price increases - Council Tax, Phone/Broadband and even swimming has increased from £2.75 to £3. No more government help with electric either. But there are two things that have decreased - diesel for the car and our Keep Moving Group. 
And once again my months electric was free thanks to the government 'help with energy costs' money which has now stopped. I'm still in credit so the May bill should be free too unless unit charges jump up by some enormous amount.
Nothing needed doing at the dentists thankfully so just their extortionate cost for a 10 minute check up. Suffolk was making the National news during the month with NO dentists taking NHS patients - but I think it's been like that for a year or two at least.
Garden expenses are always more than I think because every spring I get carried away with plant purchases. Also got the net mini tunnels and 10 new canes ready for beans plus more multi purpose compost.
My personal spending was mainly swimming and the Keep Moving Group, a couple of second-hand books and printing out some grandchildren photos for the photo frame. Plus a new pair of denim leggings from Asda and the piece of Moorcroft pottery.
I only filled the car up with diesel once but will need to fill up again when I get the car back from Son and DiL who have been borrowing it while their car had an MOT. It's complicated for them with school and work all in different places - and their car failed meaning work needed doing which they can't get done very quickly. (If I'd have known 2 years ago which school these two grandchildren were going to attend then I might have moved to a different village to help - except there was nothing for sale there at the time and they were still too young to think about schools)

Other than those things it was the usual food and bits used in kitchen, bathroom and laundry etc.

image from google freepik

Frugal things

  • Mended tiny holes in two pairs of leggings and turned over the waistband of another pair and put in new elastic - making all three last a while longer.
  • Still mixing milk half and half with water
  • Birthday/family Christmas cards from car boot sale for 20p each
  • Reading library books for free
  • Home made curries when the family were all here for a meal
  • Used two tins of tomatoes, two onions etc and the Value Range white fish to make 7 portions of curry for the freezer- costing a lot less than £1 a portion - replacing those used for family.
  • Never using first class stamps
  • No make up etc bought
  • Finding birthday cards from car-boot sales for 20p each.
  • Only used tumble dryer twice all month
  • Bread-maker for home made bread
  • No lights needed in the morning now and only small reading light used in evenings
Out of the house have gone a few more books, large old towel and a tunic top that was too big - all off to charity shop.

And so we go into May and it's a Holiday Weekend with May Day Monday and I've volunteered to sell entry tickets to a village event for a couple of hours so I hope the weather is decent (I'll write about that next week)
On the financial front there is a birthday and the breakdown insurance is due. I have some outings planned too and I really must Not buy any more plants - unless the squash seeds I've sown are a complete fail!

I'll be back Tuesday.

Friday 28 April 2023

Back to the Flower Fairies

 When I get short of ideas for blog posts and I reckon everyone is fed up with seeing my car boot finds then I look at my bookshelves.

The Flower Fairy Books of Cicely Mary Barker haven't had an outing for ages.

This is the picture I took a couple of weeks ago of the very early pear blossom on one of my new small trees. The flowers on this are now going over but there are still no sign of any on the other pear tree. 

This is the illustration from the book Flower Fairies of the Trees 

The Song Of The Pear Blossom Fairy

Sing, sing, sing you blackbirds!
Sing you beautiful thrush!
It's Spring, Spring, Spring; so sing, sing sing,
From dawn till the stars say hush.

See, See, See the blossom
On the Pear Tree shining white!
It will fall like snow, but the pears will grow
For people and birds' delight.

Build, build, build, you chaffinch;
Build you robin and wren,
A safe warm nest where your eggs may rest;
Then sit, sit, sit little hen!

There are no nests anywhere in my garden - there's not enough cover and only the flowering cherry, the ceanothus and the two magnolias are more than 3 years old and none provide any sort of nest building properties...............and there's a cat next door who likes to visit.
 I have got a new nest box to go up when I get a hand from Brother in Law perhaps in time for a second clutch but I do know a robin has a nest nearby as its often on the olive tree out the front with something in it's beak and it flies off over the big yew hedge somewhere.

Back Tomorrow

Thursday 27 April 2023

Cards For Men and Crafts For Grandchildren

 A handy find at a recent boot sale were some cards suitable for men. There are two birthday cards and three Christmas cards. Paid £1 for all 5. That's Brother-in-Law Andrew's Christmas cards sorted for the next 3 Christmases! 

At the same time I added more bits to the Grandchildren's craft box,  a couple of stencils for drawing ovals and circles which I thought might be fun and some good  paper for using with the water colour pencils.
Also bought another piece of garden fleece - total spend for these things was £1.50

Useful finds among the tat!

BTW. The comments going to spam thing just gets sillier and sillier. There were 51 yesterday even though I'd cleared out loads the day before, most were my own replies to comments going back to 2017 the rest were the proper spam that used to be a problem. Annoying.

Back Tomorrow

Wednesday 26 April 2023

The Difficulty.................

 ..................of getting photos of Grandchildren!

One at a time is not too bad but to get all five in one place, sitting still and all in a good mood is just not easy. 

When we were all at my home for my birthday mid month I said I'd love a photo of me and all 5 grandchildren - did we get round to it?........No.

I have a photo frame that holds 6 small photos, 4 in portrait and 2 in landscape.  Spaces for each grandchild and one of them all together.
It's handy as I can update each grandchild's photo separately, and when we were together after Christmas at the holiday let where Eldest Daughter and family stayed I actually managed all five together but had a fail on the youngest on his own. So his photo in the frame was way out of date. Eldest Grandson didn't like the one of him I'd taken then so we managed to do both Surrey boys before they went home this time.

That means at the moment all photos are relatively recent.

The way they grow and change it will soon be time to try all over again!

At least I got this photo of everyone except me round the table for  home made curries (I made 3 different ones with chicken nuggets and chips for the fussy).

One Son, Two daughters, One Daughter-in-Law and 5 Gorgeous Grandchildren

Photo albums used to be things that really recorded families and growing children but now photos are taken but rarely kept in an album. In a hundred years time with technology changes  there probably won't be any permanent way for our ancestors to see who they are descended from.....just like before photography was invented.

Thanks for comments yesterday - I'm probably imagining things that are not there - reading too many mystery stories! I certainly won't investigate further.

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Tuesday 25 April 2023

Do I Have Another Half Sister?

 My sister is really my half sister although she's been my dear little sister all her life! My Real Dad was killed in a motorbike accident (no compulsory helmets back in the 50's) a few months before I was born. Three years later Mum married my Real Dad's older brother - who I always called Dad-  and a year later my sister was born.

After my Mum died Dad said some very odd and quite bitter things about his younger brother, he was rarely spoken about before although I always knew the story and that Dad wasn't my Real Dad.
I didn't really want to hear that Real Dad had often spent evenings in the local pub with some of the other men from the road rather than at home with my Mum and other odd comments that may or may not have been true. There's no one to confirm or deny or to be hurt or angry from what he said.

Now comes the mystery.

In the last 30 years I've been mistaken several times for someone else - I'll call her "J". (which isn't her initial)."J" lived in the same village and was at primary school with me - although a year older - but moved to a different but nearby village and primary school not far away when she was about 8. She didn't pass her 11 plus exam but a year later she started at our Grammar school in our year - redoing the first year -  as she'd been found to be smart enough to be at Grammar School and should have passed the exam.
When we were at school I don't think we looked alike and even in the Grammar school reunion photo of 1988 below we are quite different.
I'm 3rd from left in front row and "J" is in this photo but I won't say where.

However, in the next few years two people I happened to meet -who I hadn't seen for years- thought I was "J". One was someone I'd lived just two houses from for nearly 20 years and the other was someone I'd been in the same class with for 5 years at Grammar School. 

Then in the mid to late 90's while at the huge Suffolk Show I came out of the loo to be met by "J" saying "Hello Susan, saw you going in, thought I'd wait to say hello". It was like looking in a mirror! We spoke for a few minutes - mainly remembering the School Reunion and then her children started to pull her away.

Mum had sort of kept in contact with "J"s Mum and Dad for some reason and when I married first time in 1975 it was actually "J"'s Mum who made my wedding dress.
Now there are a few odd things I'd overheard from Mum while she was still alive . You know how you hear adults talking about someone but don't really understand?  One was that "J's much younger brother was adopted as "they had problems" .

Then the other day I got this comment on a blog post.............

Hello "J" do you know how Dr M is now? Dave (I've deleted the comment now)

This person Dave - no idea who he is, had tracked my blog from googling about the  school and finding  where I'd posted the reunion photo several years ago(Dr M was Headmaster of the Grammar school and is on the reunion photo). 
But why did he call me "J" when I'm Sue in Suffolk on the blog and my name was on the Facebook page? He replied saying he thought I was "J".

So that's the mystery. Did my Real Dad have a short fling with "J"'s Mum a couple of years before I was born? 

No way to find out as I've no idea where "J" is now, although she's probably still in Suffolk as she married a Suffolk farmer, and anyway it's not something I would want to know and I'm sure she wouldn't want to either and the fact we look so similar as we've aged could be a complete coincidence.

The mystery will remain a mystery!

Back Tomorrow

Monday 24 April 2023

Earth Day Outing and TV

 Yesterday afternoon turned really wet - it probably washed the beetroot seeds that I'd sown in the morning right out of the ground. I'd had enough of snooker so took a break to watch Magpie Murders - the crime series from Anthony Horowitz's book. Much of it is set in Suffolk.  It was funny to see the character arrive in Woodbridge Station and then quickly drive to a village that was Kersey - which is actually miles away across country from Woodbridge. I've tried to read the book twice and after watching the series now understand why I couldn't get into it as it's a complicated tale jumping backward and forward in time with two lots of interesting characters, some of them crossing between times. Much easier watched than read, even though the Suffolk accents were dreadful.

This is my painting of Kersey by the late Suffolk artist Brian Lilley- one of my best Car-boot bargains.

When I was at the Art Exhibition at Easter this poster was up in the Community Centre. It sounded interesting so I called in after the car boot sale on Saturday.

Unfortunately there were only a few stalls but I picked up a free one portion rice measuring scoop from the Suffolk County Council stand. The one I got years ago is in the Washing Soda Crystals tub.

Earlier at the boot sale all I'd bought were a couple more plants - large New Zealand Flax and another lime green Heuchera (I planted one out the front the first year here but can't see it from indoors)These are both planted in the back garden - replacing a dead something - I think it was an Hydrangea - that fizzled out in last years heat. 
And this useful find for £3. I put it to use it straight away to replace the fleece I'd used to try to cover last years chard which is leafing up again. I'm going to try and protect almost everything this year due to the pigeons and next doors cat!

I bought two similar but longer net tunnels online - they will go down the length of the vegetable beds - this smaller one is ideal for across the width.

Back Tomorrow

Saturday 22 April 2023

Saturday 22nd- A Week in Suffolk

Don't forget to turn off your phones tomorrow at 3pm unless you want to be alarmed by the new Government National Warning Alarm! Goodness only knows what they are doing it for - preparing for the next National Emergency we are told. I think I'd prefer not to know! Conspiracy theorists are having a fun time explaining all the things it could be used for!

The weather has been more spring-like this week, although with some very cold East winds at times, and I got the grass cut again, several loads of washing dried outside (there's more washing after visitors!)  and seedlings have been moved out into the greenhouse now, although I'm covering them with fleece each night just in case. As usual there are far too many of most things although I only have one cucumber plant so far as I'm trying to stagger sowing and therefore production (if it works).

I've been 'watching' snooker all week, it's the World Championship from the Crucible in Sheffield. Always on at this time of year but something happened on Monday that hadn't happened before. Two people leapt out of the audience and one got on one table and chucked orange dye all over it, and on the other side of the auditorium a woman tried to glue herself to the other table. They were soon removed by stewards - apparently they were the anti-oil protestors? What idiots -hardly bringing sympathy to their cause from the audience and the people watching on TV.
Two days earlier animal rights protestors had broken through barriers at Aintree trying to get onto the Grand National course. They were removed and the race was held up for quite a while - adding to the stress of the horses and probably having the effect of helping to cause all the falls at the first jumps and to one of the horses having to be destroyed. There were certainly more fallers this year than for several years after the jumps and course were modified a few years ago to make it safer for horses and their jockeys.

I said 'watching' snooker because I tend to read at the same time and just keep half an eye on the score. I've really enjoyed .........

This is the third book of diaries from his second-hand bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland. I would love to visit Scotland's Town of Books again, but it's a bit of a trek from Suffolk! Last time I checked the library catalogue they didn't have his book "Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops" but now they have and I've ordered it. If you enjoy rootling around through second-hand books you would probably enjoy reading these.

I learned another reason for not wanting to have an electricity smart meter this week - apparently a smart meter can be altered to a pre-payment meter  making people pay in advance for their electric - without the customer knowing! I knew I was doing the right thing refusing one for as long as possible!

There was a special Parish Council meeting on Wednesday evening and I went along to add my objection to an application for building of stables on a piece of land across the road. The access they want is on a sharp corner and no one can understand why they didn't apply for permission  earlier when they got permission to build two new bungalows just along the road. Will they want to turn the stables into a house later? Creeping Planning Permission can be a problem. The Parish Council have refused permission, unfortunately the District Council could over-ride that - We all wait to see what happens next.

Anything else of note happened? Keep Moving Group, swimming, shopping and found this in old comments
Dear Sue - I'm not sure if you'll ever see this, but many moons ago you were kind enough to review my first book (as above) - A Hidden Home in the Gwydir Forest - and several of your followers made comments and hopefully read the book! In fact, it's now out of print despite having been reprinted once. My second memoir is now out, and tells the tale of our next adventure in Malta. If you're interested, I now have a website with all the details:
I hope you're keeping well and many thanks!
Best wishes,

and suddenly it's the end of another week............again.

Have a good weekend I'll be back Monday

Friday 21 April 2023

A Piece of Moorcroft

 It was quite a surprise to find a piece of Moorcroft pottery at the Car Boot sale on Easter Sunday. 

A 7 inch tall Planter, Hibiscus pattern and cheap enough for me to buy, much, much less than any bits on ebay and less than my previous big car boot expenses of the 12 plates and the plant stand. I think it's from the 60's as the more recent pieces using the Hibiscus pattern are a different colour.

 I now own one piece of Poole and one piece of Moorcroft - I learned all I know about pottery from watching the Bargain Hunt TV programme!

There's lots more about Moorcroft HERE . I don't like their modern stuff at all - too fussy and far too expensive.

And this is definitely NOT the start of another collection!

Back Tomorrow

Thursday 20 April 2023

Three Books from the Book Sale

 Last Saturday,  before we all met up near the River Deben to search for Shark Teeth* and the adjacent  pub for a meal, I called in at a Charity Second-hand Book Sale being held in the church of a nearby village.
Sometimes book sales in villages are billed as a Giant Book Sale and have about 3 dozen books but all the pews in this small church were covered in books so there were a good amount to search through.

The three I found were these

'South Facing Slope' by Carla Carlisle is the story of turning a Suffolk Estate and farm into a successful Vineyard and farm shop. 'Ask the Fellows Who Cut The Hay' by George Ewart Evans is now a classic, being a history of a Suffolk village written from the conversations the author had with old people around the village of Blaxhall near the Suffolk coast in the late 1950's. Finally 'Surviving the Iron Age' by Peter Firstbrook is a BBC book that went with a 2001 TV series. It charted the seven weeks a group of people spent living in Iron Age conditions of a hillfort in the Welsh countryside as people would have done around 300BC.

'South Facing Slope' and 'Ask the Fellows' will be turned into posts for the blog at sometime in the future.

*Ramsholt is one of the best locations for fossils in Suffolk, yielding sharks’ teeth, lobsters, fruit and shells from the London Clay, shells, sharks’ teeth from the Red Crag, corals, echinoids from the Coralline, and complete crabs, fish remains and sharks’ teeth from the basement bed.

Son had been told  it was remarkably easy to find fossilised shark teeth on one particular area of the banks of the Deben. Unfortunately there had been so much rain it was impossible to walk along the footpath and edges of the River - Mud and more Mud. So we found nothing. 4 out of the 5 grandchildren 'somehow' got mud all over them and it was a good thing they'd all brought a change of clothes before our pub meal!

The River Deben at Ramsholt

Thank you for all the cheesy comments yesterday - I love the idea from Boud of calling it a Tour De Cheese!

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Wednesday 19 April 2023

750 Different Cheeses!

 Way back at the beginning of my month of eating meals based on Supermarket Value brands, someone told me they preferred much better quality - and mentioned enjoying Baron Bigod cheese. Now I already knew this is a brie type cheese made in Suffolk near Bungay - on the Suffolk/Norfolk border. I've never tried it - it's very expensive- but had I'd seen it at a Farmers Market. 

We also have cheeses, made more locally, that I have tried, produced  not far from me just a few miles down the A140, 

This got me wondering how many cheeses does the UK produce?  (Sorry I can't get rid of the coloured background without re-typing the whole thing!)

There are over 750 cheeses produced in Britain today, from classic cheddars to more unusual modern varieties.

Another comment about the Value Range Experiment (I do like to remind commenters of the odd things they say!!) said why was I buying rubbish when I'd sold my house and had plenty of money!

So as I have "plenty of money" and there are 750 cheeses to try this struck me as an excellent idea for an occasional  series of posts .......... could this be a first for blogland?!

 I popped into the nearest farm shop and bought two pieces of the four Suffolk Farmhouse cheeses that are made just down the road at a farm and diary we visited with WI a few years ago.

As well as Suffolk Blue and Suffolk Brie they also do Suffolk Gold and Suffolk Blue Brie.

This is what I wrote about our W.I visit in 2019

Jason and Katherine started their business making cheese with milk from their Pedigree Guernsey  cows in 2004 but it was 2009 before they were able to buy this farm and have everything in one place.

We had a look round the farm. Saw the cows and the robotic milking machine - installed in 2017 and Jason told us  about the care of their milking herd, their feeding regime, health checking (Katherine is a vet- handy!) and how the computer chips on collars around their neck works just like a fit-bit relaying information to his phone day and night. (Not a new concept for me because at the smallholding we lived just a mile from one of the first farms in Suffolk to install a robotic milking parlour, although they retired and sold up before we moved away). By using a robot machine the cows can wander out to the fields, in and out of the barn and then through the milking parlour whenever they like day and night. The machine recognises each cow and automatically washes the teats and fits the vacuum pump. If the cow has decided to go through the robot machine too soon after it's last milking then the gates open again, the cow gets no feed and soon wanders off........clever stuff.

They also keep a Hereford bull. Jason uses Artificial Insemination for the dairy herd to get pure bred cows - the females are added to the herd and the males kept for veal. But if A.I. doesn't work on some cows he lets them run with the bull to produce a cross breed calf which can be grown on and sold as beef.
Their first cheese they produced was called Suffolk Gold, quickly followed by Suffolk Blue. Then they started making a Suffolk Brie and just in the last few weeks now also a Suffolk Blue Brie.
As well as the cows he also keeps a few pigs, which are fed partly on the whey left from the cheesemaking and they send them off to a local butcher who makes sausages of all sorts  plus gammon and bacon.
The couple have a farm shop which is open through the week to sell their cheese, pork products, veal and beef but they also have a self-service vending machine to sell their fresh pasteurized milk. So you can go almost any time to buy milk and eggs.
Jason was very excited to tell us that they are in the process of importing butter and cream making machines from Eastern Europe so that very soon they will be adding fresh Guernsey Butter and Cream to the farm shop. They will be one of only 2 farms in East Suffolk making their own butter to sell and he said the other farm's butter is Very Expensive.

 I had tried the cheese before but not recently and I've tried the delicious butter when doing the Eating Local Challenges - but it's expensive for every day use.

When I un-wrapped the Suffolk Blue to eat a piece with my home made cheese straws it didn't look like other blue cheeses and was a mild and creamy blue rather than strong and tangy.

I'm looking forward to seeing what other artisan cheeses from other parts of the country I can find for sale.

Back Tomorrow

Tuesday 18 April 2023


I had some lovely cards for my birthday - thank you everyone - from as far as Canada, the west in Republic of Ireland, from a windy Scottish island,  Norfolk, Essex and Suffolk of course.

And some useful cards found at a boot sale this month - just 20p each.

Didn't bother with an advent calendar last year as I decided to buy something else - probably a book - instead but this huge one was 50p at the same boot sale as the cards so hasn't broken the bank.

Have to find somewhere to keep it safe for 8 months - it really is a biggie!

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Monday 17 April 2023


  When I went to Needham Lake for photos on that cold and foggy morning back in February, the only birds I saw were swans and ducks.............. Common Mallards (Anser platyrhynchos)

Two males and a female just like the illustration in that book that I've used on the blog several times

One thing the book tells me is that only the species including mallards actually quack and the mallard has the loudest quack of all. Never knew that. I also didn't know that the famous L.N.E.R steam train named Mallard that broke all sorts of speed records in the 1930's took it's blue colouring from the flash of blue on the wing of the male duck.
Well, you learn something new every day!

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Saturday 15 April 2023

Saturday 15th

I've planted two little Pear Trees in my small garden, they were supposed to flower at the same time to aid pollination but the Conference is covered with flowers already this year and the other one is still weeks away from flowering.
I know there's no chance of the tree having as many pears as flowers - sadly - they never do.

This week I am Grateful for
  • My Children and Grandchildren
  • Vegetable seedlings growing
  • Lots of good books to read

Back Monday

Friday 14 April 2023

Useful Finds

The Easter Saturday Needham Market boot sale was huge, as big as they used to get on Bank Holiday weekends before Covid. 

I bought a bird box to replace one my sister gave me just after I moved here, when I tried to clean out that one, it was soggy wet inside because it was just made from pieces of bark stuck together - no real wood. This one cost me just £3 and it unscrews at the base to clean it out. The grandchildren bits were £3.50, a new to me balloon whisk as my ancient one had gone rusty = 50p, an almost full pack of  food bags =50p- always handy for all sorts of things and a few new bic biros also 50p.

The boot sale was so big that I went halfway round, adjourned to The Duck and Teapot Café for a coffee and cheese scone before going round the other half - the perils of heading out early without breakfast!

I've got Eldest Daughter and the two boys  here for a few days so may not get round to commenting or replying to comments - apologies in advance!

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Thursday 13 April 2023

The Big Art Exhibition

 Every Easter there is a big Art Exhibition at Needham Market Community Centre but I've not been there since before we moved away from Mid Suffolk to the coast.

It's always difficult to photograph paintings with light shining in from the roof lights onto glass. Below are photos of just a few of my favourites. I didn't buy a catalogue so can't tell you the artists and how much they were selling for.

A collection of nature paintings in watercolours

Not sure what the one below is but the colours were good - better in real life

One small part below - mainly animals and birds

Some good colours and reflection in the large painting below

Pen and ink and watercolour

Very unusual painting below - with a moving boat

Loved this owl - it's cleverly done with paper collage that had been painted with watercolours

Very  detailed paintings  of Harleston Church on the Left and Needham Market Church on the right

Loved this view of boats - someone had already bought it

A very different idea below of watercolour done on an O.S Map of the area. Red dot again meaning it had been sold. There were a few done like this - I'm not really sure it works.

Colin bought me this oil painting for my birthday at this Art Exhibition in around 1990. It's the first proper painting we had ever owned.  Tiny cricketers on a village green.

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Wednesday 12 April 2023

Easily Tempted By Plants

 I'm so easily tempted to buy plants at car boot sales. They are so much cheaper than garden centres. 

With almost all boot sales cancelled in March due it either raining on the day or - at Stonham barns - waterlogged field. It was good to get to one on the first weekend in April although there weren't many people selling there were several plant stalls. 

I got tempted by drum-stick primroses, Eryngium and a pot of tiny creeping Thyme which is for the plant stand.

Patio needs weeding again!

I wonder where my love of plants and books comes from? As I'm sure my Mum or Dad never bought either.

All the plants I've acquired this year have now been planted out....... that's the purple leaved perennial geranium, the tray of six wallflower plants, the rhubarb plants and these above.
Many of the perennials that were here already and struggled through last year's dry summer are now looking much healthier.

I've dug out several clumps of the blasted foreign bluebells that spread like crazy especially clumps that had popped up around the Helebore and some of the other perennials. Out in the front border I've left the grape-hyacinths which have also appeared and spread, I'll get them out later if they begin to take over.

Bet these won't be the only plants I buy this year!

Back Tomorrow

Tuesday 11 April 2023

Smaller Library Book Haul

 I hope everyone had a good Easter weekend, the weather was good until yesterday when it was Very Wet here in Suffolk - which was probably a good thing as I stayed at home to get jobs done that had been abandoned for several days.

Not many books to collect from the Mobile Library Van last week.....5 crime fiction, one ordinary fiction and one non-fiction. Clare Mackintosh is a new to me author among the crime.  New Donna Leon and Elly Griffiths -Lovely!

As there were fewer than usual it was handy that I still have three and a bit left from the March books - photos below.

 'Posh Toast' was flicked through but there were some very strange ideas for toast toppings - think I'll stick to marmalade! I read most of the crime fiction and they've been added to the Books Read 2023 Page.
Mr Campions Wings by Mike Ripley was interesting as it's this authors recent take on the Albert Campion crime books by  Margery Allingham in the 1920's and 30's. I'd not come across this series before but can now go back and read the eight that were written before this one.

Back Tomorrow

Saturday 8 April 2023

Easter Saturday

 If you didn't see yesterday's post it was a round up of the total costs of my month of eating meals mainly based on a limited range of supermarket Value/Essential products. It got me back cooking some things I'd not done for a while (like doing myself a roast chicken or toad-in-the-hole meal)  which I'll carry on with as well as eating my frozen batch made home made curries and pasta sauces. I shall be making pizza dough myself using the bread-maker now I know it freezes well after just 5 minutes in the oven. I'm also going to do a batch of the fish curry as that's different to the Thai-red and the squash/spinach curries that I usually make in bulk. Chicken thigh joint meat used as a stir-fry wasn't as good as chicken breast meat which is what I normally use and the value frozen mixed vegetables were too bland and tasteless to use again.

Thank you again to everyone who commented over the month.


 Easter Saturday and this is a first...............There are NO Easter eggs in the house! I stopped eating chocolate last summer when the weather was so hot and haven't started again so didn't bother with an Easter egg - even though it was my favourite sort of chocolate. 

So...........what have I been up to this week?...........well, the regular every-three-years mammogram last Saturday and dentist on Monday, so bits of me have been examined! Then bits of me got exercised at the Keep Moving Group, it's going well with two new people joining .

WI was interesting with a lady from the Charity Medical Detection Dogs coming to speak to us. They train dogs to detect disease and infections from samples in a lab and also train dogs to do medical assistance for people with things like Type 1 Diabetes who could be prone to problems during the night. Just so incredible how clever these dogs are. After the talk there was coffee and cakes of course and as it's my birthday month it was my turn for a Birthday Posy.

Next was an early drive over to the coast to pick up Eldest Granddaughter for a couple of days while youngest daughter was working. I think we did every craft suitable for a 6 year old that I could think of! And then a round  trip to take her home again.

Hoping for decent weather for the rest of Easter weekend although I've got nothing much planned apart from recovering from having Granddaughter here - she wakes up much earlier than I usually do! and preparing for arrival of Eldest Daughter and the Surrey Grandsons at the end of the week.  There are car-boot sales - if the weather is OK and an Art Exhibition to have a look at.

Have a good Easter Weekend, I'll be back Tuesday.


Friday 7 April 2023

Good Friday and The Results

This is how it started........... 

Out of curiosity I thought it would be interesting to see what Value/ Just Essential ranges were available in Supermarkets again after many disappeared during covid. I went to AL = Aldi. M = Morrisons. AS = Asda. My plan was to see what recipes I could come up with and what it would cost eating meals based on these things for a few weeks. Some items I've bought are not Value Range but the best value I could find.

But first I have to admit to making a mistake! 

I used Value Range Penne Pasta  (something I always have in the cupboard) which is 41p for 500g in 6 meals instead of spaghetti for 28p which is what I'd priced and  included in a photo and NOBODY NOTICED! So I've added 13p to the total. But I'm disappointed you weren't keeping a closer check on my experiment!!

What I ate.......... 
Breakfasts were toast and marmalade, or rice crispies or canned grapefruit 
Second small meal was sandwich using  1 round of the sliced bread and either egg/ cheese/ chicken/ sardines/corned beef/tomato. Or some fruit or crumpets.(or both depending how hungry I was feeling)
Then I made 2 lots of plain scones, a small sultana sponge and peanut biscuits  for snacks and also ate the rest of the peanuts as a snack.

My Main Meals

  1. Fish Curry and rice
  2. Pasta Salad with Feta
  3. Quiche
  4. Quiche
  5. Quiche
  6. Quiche
  7. Pasta salad with Feta
  8. Corned Beef Hash
  9. Tuna, Pasta and Broccoli Bake
  10. Roast Chicken Thigh Joint etc
  11. Ready made Beef Pasty
  12. Chicken Stir Fry
  13. Omelette
  14. Fish Curry and Rice
  15. Minced Pork Patties 
  16. Chicken stir fry with Fajita seasoning over Pasta
  17. Tuna, Pasta and Broccoli Bake
  18. Pizza
  19. Potato, onion, bacon and tomato layer bake
  20. Roast Chicken thigh joint etc
  21. Fish Pie with mash topping
  22. Toad in the Hole
  23. Fish Curry and Rice
  24. Sausage Rolls
  25. Leek and Bacon Pilaff
  26. Baked Potatoes
  27. Leek Fritters
  28. Tuna, Pasta and Broccoli Bake
  29. Roast Chicken Thigh and Roast Vegetables
  30. Pizza
  31. Vegetable and Cheese Pasty

What I bought

I also used 4 packs of 8 Nescafe decaf Cappuccino sachets for my evening coffees.

What I used from things already open in the cupboards - I guesstimated and added £4 for the odd bits of these things used.

Looking online I found the following figures quoted

The average grocery bill for 1 person in the UK sits at around £140-£150 per month. This means that on a weekly basis, the average grocery bill for one person in the UK should be around £35.

Figures in surveys dating to January 2023 say an 'average' person spends roughly £47 a week on food including £13 eating out
My total spend for the food eaten over 31 days was £74.23 + 13p = £74.36p. So around half the average. I didn't really go without anything and mainly things were made from scratch using fresh ingredients. 
I can think of a few ways that it would have been even cheaper and of course if the value of the remaining ingredients that I still have are deducted it does come in at less than that £74.

The only really bad thing was the Asda Value Range minced pork - never bought before and will never be bought again! (In normal life I usually buy local sausages and bacon that are produced about 15 miles from home and rarely buy any other pork products or lamb or beef) . Some products were rather bland or tasteless but not inedible.

I did have coffee and cheese scone out at the church a couple of times and a coffee at the Suffolk Wildlife Trust Booksale but I've put all those in the Charity part of the accounts!!

And I can cheerfully say that despite the comments that said............and I quote..............

"I would be so depressed if I had to eat like this". and "I too would be depressed if I had to eat so much processed rubbish. Life’s too short."

I didn't get depressed at all! 

Now I shall go back to normal and will probably treat myself to a Chinese Takeaway in celebration!

Back Tomorrow