Sunday, 21 February 2021

Back to basics


I've spent my 3 days of half term getting back to basics.  Looking at what needs used up in the fridge and making sure nothing is wasted.  I had a couple of Portabello mushrooms that were going a bit dry so chopped them into a big pan of bolagnais sauce.

I also had a few bendy carrots that I grated and chucked into the pan too!  Then simmered it all for about an hour.

I had a couple of soft apples that actually weren't all that nice to begin with so chopped them up and turned them into a sort of toffee apple crumble.

Tasty with ice cream!

I made a pot of chicken and broccoli soup (blue tubs at the top of the fridge) using a chicken carcass to make stock.  I used broccoli as it was the only green veg I had in the freezer.  Tasty experiment that worked and gives me lunches for the coming week back at school.  Everything is safely in the freezer now.

There are some signs that Spring is coming!  The first wee primrose opened up.

And the first snowdrops appeared.

I managed to get to my late uncle's house for the first time in 2 months, saw my lovely mum and long lost cousin and wallpapered the chimney breast wall.  The house is finally ready to go on the market.  The lawyer wasn't joking when he told me it could take up to a year to get everything sorted out. 8 months and counting!! It would be good if we could get it all sorted out before Spring.

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Starting to plan

Thanks for all the lovely comments on my last post 😊 I am really happy and feeling very loved and appreciated in many areas of my life just now.  Even today's news that all Scottish children from Nursery to P3 are going back to school on the 22nd hasn't dampened my mood.  I teach P3 (6 and 7yos).  We'd more or less planned for that to happen.  It's definitely the best thing for the kids but there are still some concerns about the safety of staff working in schools.  I have my home testing kit now but still need to wait for the vaccine go ahead.  As I'm over 50 I'll get it sooner than many of my colleagues.  Hopefully by the end of April.

I'm now on half term holiday so my thoughts are turning to planning my garden and allotment.  It's all looking a bit soggy and sorry thanks to that snow last week!  But I know it will recover quickly.  These are the new vegetable seeds I ordered (I have some flowers too) to add to my leftover and saved seeds from last year.  A few favourites and a few new ones to try.  My fruit bushes all seem to have survived the Winter so hopefully they'll keep on producing this year.  I should have lots of lovely produce to preserve in some way.

I also have some seed potatoes, they're already chitting!  Casablanca (extra earlies), Charlotte (second earlies) and Cara (late maincrop).  I was successful last year with Cara on the plot but not tried the other two.  Even though I ordered them at the start of January I couldn't get my favourite early potato Epicure.  They'd already sold out.  And I've heard of a lot of the smaller seed companies can't cope with the demand for seeds and their websites have been crashing!

At the end of my last post I said I hadn't really thought about my plans/goals for this year.  After I posted it I realised the 3 things that I mentioned actually made perfect goals.  So I've posted them on the right! Short, simple and achievable 😊

Saturday, 13 February 2021

The Road Less Travelled


Well here we are halfway through February and my first post of 2021!  How did that happen? Since the move back to home learning for schools here in Scotland I've just been spending all my time online, trying to make learning accessible for my parents and kids.  Being on the laptop at night used to be my relaxation so I've been spending my evenings and weekends doing other stuff. Mostly Netflix and reading!

I received this book for Christmas from someone who has become very special to me. Not your average type of gift but then he's far from average 😉  One day I'll talk about how we met and why it works 💕

It's not an easy book to read and throws up a LOT of issues that need to be dealt with.  It's a book I almost read 8 years ago when I was studying for my counselling qualification.  I'm not sure why I didn't read it at the time but serendipity and all that meant the time was now.  I'm still not quite finished reading it but have read and re read most of it since December.  It's completely changed my outlook on life.  It's changed my thinking on a lot of areas.  Worth a read if you're interested in personal and spiritual growth.  I think given this past year of pandemic shit, family deaths and the complete breakdown of a relationship/friendship meant I was simply ready for change. And for the first time in ages I am both happy and content with my life.  Photo taken yesterday.

I still haven't set any goals for this year, maybe I won't do any at all.  But I'm still trying to be frugal, not waste resources and have huge plans for my garden and allotment. And best of all I have someone in my life who is just as interested in these things too. 😊

Thursday, 31 December 2020

Get stuffed 2020!


Oh how I started the year naively thinking I'd be closer to my retirement goals and finally enjoying the life I wanted.  Even without Covid, this year has sucked for my family. Organising funerals in the midst of a pandemic wasn't nice.  Clearing out a hoarder's house definitely wasn't nice.  My youngest son's relationship broke down and he moved back home. Not nice for him.  And I finally severed ties with someone who just couldn't be a friend once our relationship had ended.  So yeah, 2020 can do one!!

But since I'm not a negative Nelly I can acknowledge the positives that have come from this year.  Like many others I have been forced to slow down and reassess what is important.  And practise gratitude for what I do have. Throughout the year my job was secure and my family stayed Covid free.

I can now look back at my 2020 goals and realise I have achieved some of them, to some degree.  

1.  I did work out a retirement plan then changed it, several times!  I'm changing stages in school next year and have committed another 2 years to my school.  So I'm still teaching but I have a few other things in the pipeline.

2.  My son is currently living in the extended part of the house so we'll see how the Air BnB concept 'could' work.

3.  I managed to save then spent my savings!!  Ah well!

4.  I did reclaim my back garden from the chickens.  It's a work in progress but it's much better than it was.

5.  Gigantic FAIL!  Neither fit nor healthy atm but I'm working on it.

6.  I did grow more fruit and vegetables thanks to my new allotment!

7.  I've made a few permanent changes that will help but I could definitely do a lot more.

I really have no ideas what my 2021 goals are yet.  Obviously to stay healthy and Covid free is in there, plus growing more stuff on my allotment.  I'll have a think and read what other people are planning.  But right now 2020 can get stuffed!!

Sunday, 13 December 2020

Hanging on...

Just 7 and a half teaching days left until the Christmas holidays!  We're all just hanging on for dear life!!  Despite the data from Public Health Scotland suggesting some types of schools are more likely to have outbreaks, my school is bucking the trend and so far we've had zero positive cases of Covid.  Staff, kids and parents have been following all the safety rules and it seems to be working.  It does hang over us all the time but it's worth it if we can keep this up.

In the midst of teaching in a pandemic and still dealing with my uncle's 'stuff,'  I did manage to get my wee downstairs shower room renovated.




It took longer than planned as they found a few issues including the outside wall having no insulation!  They fixed that but it means the rest of the extended part of the house probably doesn't have any either 😲 So that's on my list for next year.  I've been told there are grants available for insulation so I'll investigate it.  As much as I love my new shower room I won't be using it.  It's mainly for visitors and guests (my guest room is downstairs) and for my son who is living in the extended part of the house for now.  But it does make me want to update my stuck in the 1980s bathroom upstairs!! 😄

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Still here, still busy!


Happy Stir up Sunday!  Sadly I haven't been making my Christmas pudding today as per tradition.  Mainly because I'm up to my eyeballs in report writing and clearing my downstairs bathroom ready for some long overdue building work.  I'm still dipping in and out of blogland but life is just too hectic to bore you all with how busy I am.  Doing boring stuff mainly.  Hey ho!

I popped down to the allotment this morning.  It's doing well for November.  I did manage to plant some garlic as well as do a little weeding.  I was just grateful that the polytunnel has survived the high wind and heavy rain of the last few weeks.

I put my Christmas tree up yesterday.  And so have loads of my friends.  It's been that kind of year!!

I do hope you are all well in the current circumstances.  I'm living in a tier 4 area, which means everything is shut except essential businesses and schools.  I'm not even going to get started on that one *sighs* 

Stay safe lovely people 💖 xxx

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

How much???


It's been a while since I've had to hire a skip (7 years to be exact) but I was rather shocked to find there's been a huge increase in cost.  I've just hired one for 7 days to clear my uncle's house and it will cost us £378!!!!

If I lived in the same council area I would just keep filling my car (or hire a van) and go to the recycling centre.  At least then I could sort it into the different materials.  But the recycling centre where he lived isn't fully open yet and only residents' cars (which are pre registered) can book a recycling slot.

So most of the stuff has to be skipped 😖 I'll sort and donate as much as I can but as charity shops aren't taking donations either, we're a bit stuck.  And we're now under a wee bit of time pressure from HM Revenue and Customs!  The government always get their money first!!! Good job I'm nearly on holiday and can get cracking.

On the plus side, I've spoken to yet another long lost cousin 😊