Saturday, 25 June 2022

Day 1

 And so it starts! 😊

My Summer challenge - 50 days


I am now on holiday for the Summer! WOOHOO!! πŸŽ‰ I have 50 consecutive days of not needing to get up and go to school.  And it feels great!

Health wise I'm definitely much better, maybe about 85 - 90% so I'm still being careful not to overdo it.  But I have so much I want to do I need to pace myself.

My Summer challenge is finish off all the projects that I started but couldn't finish due to timing and being unwell.  50 days of finishing! Oh and not to start anything new!!!!

I've started a To Do list that mainly includes things like finish decorating the bathroom and kitchen.  Finish the cardigan I started knitting when I was off work with Covid.  Finish rearranging the rooms vacated by my son and his fiancΓ© when they moved out.  You get the picture.

Today's task is to finish writing the list so I have a firm plan 😊

Saturday, 18 June 2022

£1.50 Lidl box


I popped down to the plot first thing this morning to water my tomatoes and peppers in the polytunnel.  All is looking good with flowers starting to appear on my tomatoes πŸ…  On the way home I went to the 'big Lidl' and scored a £1.50 fruit and veg box.

I got a ton of carrots, 2 leeks (not much greenery on them but heyho), 2 cantaloupe melons, a huge pear, a bag of easy peelers, 3 large unwaxed lemons, 4 Scarlet tomatoes, a red pepper and a turnip (swede or rutabaga depending on what part of the world you hail from!) In Scotland it's a turnip or neep!! 

I'll be making soup with most of the veggies, that's lunches for next week sorted.  The lemons I'll slice and freeze for making elderflower cordial.  I hope the melons are still edible as they look a wee bit over ripe.  But anything past human consumption will go to Tuppence πŸ” or the compost bin.

A good £1.50 worth of food and all good for my digestive system (unlike the Too Good to Go bags!)

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Estimated bills


My energy company (SSE) has been taken over by Ovo and they assured me in many emails it would be a seamless handover.  Yeah, right!!  Normally I pay my energy bills quarterly after I've used the energy.  I would get a bill, submit my meter readings and the bill would automatically adjust to reflect the energy actually used.  Then I paid it.  Apparently Ovo can't do this πŸ™„  So they sent me an estimated bill of £718.54 for 2 months of energy use!!  And it doesn't say how much of it is gas or electricity.

Actual gas meter reading above is correct.  Estimated reading was 57638.  A bit of a difference!!!  My gas heating has been switched off for most of the last 2 months!

Electricity meter reading above is correct.  Their estimate was 40854.  Again a huge difference!!  But I was happy to accept that it was just initial handing over issues so I phoned them to sort it out.

My heart sunk when the call was answered by someone in an overseas call centre.  They always have trouble with my Scottish accent.  But we ploughed on and came to an agreement that I didn't have to pay the bill right now and to give another meter reading in 2 weeks time.  Their calls are recorded so if I get hassled over non payment of this bill I can get them to listen back.

I think it's time to get a Smart meter fitted.  I did arrange for one 2 or 3 years ago but they cancelled a week before saying demand was too high and they didn't have any contractors to do the work.  Everyone I know who has one says it does help to see how much energy you're using at any time so I guess it saves you money.  I'm willing to see if that's true.

Monday, 13 June 2022

Busy Weekend


Despite the heavy rain showers and the wild wind blowing a hoolie, I popped over to the plot to water the polytunnel.  The irony was not lost on me as I'm inside it with the rain battering on the roof and I had a hose in my hand πŸ˜† But my wee tomato plants are thriving.  I also planted up 8 bell peppers.  I only had 8 seeds in the packet and all 8 germinated and grew into sturdy plants.  I've not grown peppers before so fingers crossed 🀞

The fruit bushes I planted last weekend were still alive plus the wee apples on my ancient tree are still there 😊  I'll need to thin them out so some have a good chance to fully mature but I'll need to do some research on that.  Main thing is the tree is producing again after many fruitless years! 🍎

I also pulled some rhubarb and took the time to stew it before portioning it up for the freezer.  It was delicious! πŸ˜‹

I had a bag of white potatoes that needed to be used up so I made a big pot of buttery mash.  Also portioned up and in the freezer!

I cleared out the fridge of last weeks veg and turned it into a tomato based sauce for pasta by chucking it all in the crockpot while i went to the plot.  It made 5 generous portions, also for the freezer.

I also made some play dough for school!  When my son and his fiancΓ© moved out they left a bag of regular flour so I used it up.  My wee kiddos love play dough activities!

In between the heavy showers Tuppence had a good forage in my mint bed!

One of my nephews and his wife came to visit.  Thanks to the pandemic I haven't seen him since my dad's funeral, 2 years ago.  And I'd never met his wife.  They got married last year in one of the tiny windows of opportunity where you were allowed to have a very small wedding.  I watched it by a live link!  It was just lovely to catch up with him.  My youngest son came with his fiancΓ© so the girls could all meet each other for the first time.  It was a lovely catch up!

So a busy weekend in all.  I only have 2 more weeks of teaching before we break up for the Summer holidays.  The longest 2 weeks of the year!!! 

Saturday, 11 June 2022

Hayfever aka The Snotty Club


I would like to publicly issue a heartfelt apology to all hayfever sufferers.  I did not understand how awful it can be for you.  I am now one of those sufferers.  As my young colleague said "Welcome to the snotty club!" 😭

I've been sniffly for a week or two and thought I had a bit of a cold (again!)  I spent some time last weekend on the plot and in the garden pulling weeds and grass.  By Sunday night I was floored.  Looks like grass and weed pollen are now my arch enemies.  It explains so much.  On Sunday night I took my first ever anti histamine tablet.  I've struggled at work all week thanks to an all day Sports Day, 2 Nursery Transition events outside and a full day of Outdoor Learning.

It's been suggested that since my immune system has been severely damaged thanks to Covid and the subsequent chest infection, my body has over reacted to the pollen and produced too much histamine.  Someone also suggested it's another menopause symptom πŸ™„  Either way it sucks and warrants further investigation!!

Following on from my last post I can report that the cheaper coffee actually tastes rather good.  And the beans were ok, definitely less sweet than Heinz so I guess that's no bad thing 😊

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Stop being fussy!


I'm sure many of you here watch or know about Frugal Queen in France on YouTube.  She regularly posts about living a frugal life in France but she's been around blogland a long time as well.  One of her videos last week really hit a nerve with me.  This one HERE called Get Ready for Rationing.  She never pulls any punches but this one was a cracker!!

She talks about the cost of inflation and the shortages of certain foods being available in supermarkets.  And her first point was Stop Being Fussy!  I didn't think I was but actually I've been justifying to myself that certain brands are worth paying extra for because I like them better.  When I realised that my regular jar of coffee has jumped from £5 to £7, I had a look at the own label coffee.  I got 2 larger jars for less than my usual jar 😲  No idea what it tastes like but I need to learn to stop being fussy!  In a similar vein I got a tin of own label baked beans to try as well.  Beans are beans, right? 🀞

Sugar was 75p for a kilo so I got 2 more bags to add to my store cupboard.   I'll be needing it to turn my currants and rhubarb into something tasty.  As much as I love fruits like pineapple, mangoes, grapes and melons, they are luxury items that I can't grow here.  I can grow strawberries, gooseberries, currants, rhubarb and maybe apples.  Oh and blueberries!  3 out of my 4 bushes are covered in flowers/berries already!  So I'm using what I can grow at home/on the plot and I'm not going to be fussy!!