Monday 15 April 2024

Different kind of leeks!


I went to the allotment today for the first time this year.  It was a mud fest!!  I was going to plant some potatoes but my plot neighbour John said it was too wet and he wasn't planting his spuds yet!  John is an old school allotmenteer (he calls me dear mainly because I think he can never remember my name!!) and if he says don't plant them yet then I'm not planting them!!  Maybe give it another week if this rain ever stops!! 🌧

Despite the mud, the plot isn't in too bad shape.  My leeks had survived the burst river bank episodes so I harvested them all.  They're now cleaned, chopped up and in 3 big freezer bags!!  We all love leeks and often use them instead of onions πŸ§…

Despite filling the freezer up with leeks, I am trying to eat down the contents in general by using up what's lurking in the bottom.  I found a ton of unwaxed lemons and limes (slices, quarters and ice cubes of juice/zest) so I simmered them in a big pan of water with some dried rose hips I found in the back of the cupboard.  Then I strained them and added icing sugar (it was all I had!) to taste and simmered it until it was a bit syrupy.  It filled a one litre bottle.  Lemon, lime and rose hip cordial.  It's really lovely hot or cold πŸ˜‹  I'll definitely be making it again.  I could have added citric acid powder to extend the shelf life but I'm just keeping it in the fridge.

Saturday 13 April 2024

Leaking money


I've been nursing my laptop along for a wee while (it's not been able to close for about a year) but this week it finally became too far gone to use safely.  The screen was hanging on by a single screw and some wires were exposed!  So I bought a new one with help from my son who is my in house tech support πŸ˜‚  I don't need anything fancy and it's more or less a similar model to the old one.  The bizarre thing is that the new one was cheaper than the old one cost me 4 years ago!!  

My son set it up for me although I'm perfectly capable but as he's an 'expert' I just left him too it.  I've had to switch to using Edge instead of Chrome (there's a genuine technical reason apparently) but my son in exasperation at my moaning about the change called me a boomer!!!  I reminded him that for the last 10 years I've successfully used many aspects of technology in my classroom and that I'm far from being a boomer.  Actually I'm Gen X being born in the late 60s!!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

I was talking to my 3 besties about leaking money and they're in a similar position.  One had to replace all 4 tyres on her car to pass the MOT.  Another broke down on her way home from a holiday in Wales and had to pay to get her car fixed.  And my other friend is currently getting her bathroom re modelled and they've found leaky pipes that need replacing adding to the overall cost.

Is there a retrograde planet somewhere bumping into stuff in the cosmos causing all this money leakage?? πŸͺπŸ˜‚

Wednesday 10 April 2024

I've started!


I got my act together and have finally started sowing seeds in my wee heated propagator.  2 types of tomato, Roma from my own saved seeds and some cherry ones.  I've also started some cucumbers.  They'll all go in the polytunnel at the plot at some point.  I checked on my seed potatoes and they're all sprouting madly so I need to get them in the ground asap!

I've arranged for the British Heart Foundation to come next week and take away some surplus furniture.  These 2 bookcases are going.  The books have been sorted and those I'm taking with me are already packed. I'll be on the lookout for a smaller bookcase.

I'm also donating the above wee sideboard as well.  The contents (my colourful glasses collection) have also been wrapped and packed!

I did 2 trips to the recycling centre today and donated a ton of stuff to the reuse hub and sorted the rest into the different recycling areas.  Some of the above plastic tubs are empty and ready to be refilled.

I'm trying to be ruthless.  I'll have about a third of the space I currently have and no garage!!  The 2 trips today have barely made a dent in my 'stuff' but at least I've started! 😊

Monday 8 April 2024

Where's my asparagus?


Breakfast 8th April 2021

Twice in the last week I've had a memory pop up on FB about my asparagus being ready to pick and eat.  I've been checking it regularly and today went out to the garden to tidy up the raised bed it's in.  There's absolutely no sign of it at all!  I have 5 crowns that I planted in 2020 so they're well established by now.  I wonder if it's been too wet these last few months and it's rotted? 😟  I do hope not!

I did a Tesco shop this morning and didn't get very much.  But I spent £36.99 for a whole chicken, vegetables (fresh and frozen,) laundry liquid, toilet roll, eggs, cheese, bread flour, stock powder and black bin bags.  I'm really struggling to keep within my supermarket target of £25 a week. And I'm even more worried as I haven't planted a single seed yet for the allotment.  Normally by now I've at least got tomatoes well established and a few other things started.  I've not even planted my seed potatoes yet!

I need to give seed planting some thought as it will be disastrous to my annual food budget if I don't grow anything to eat!!

Sunday 7 April 2024

I bought a house!


So here's my new house!  It's a 2 bedroomed semi detached built by Barratt (well known British house builder of the time) in 1986.  This was the second house I viewed when I started viewing properties.  I also viewed a similar smaller (and cheaper) one just round the corner but I couldn't put in an offer at the time as I hadn't put my house on the market.  This one was scruffy and a bit smelly tbh!!  And the dΓ©cor is so bad it's mentioned in the home report!  So I said I wasn't interested.

Once my own house was sold and I'd bought a flat for my son (to rent from me) I started to view more houses.  To be honest there wasn't much choice in my price range and in my preferred areas within Stirling.  So I viewed it again with my middle son who was home for the wedding.  We thought the work needed on the roof (sagging sarkboards!) would be too costly so again I said I wasn't interested.

I'd just arrived in Inverness for the wedding when I received a call from the estate agent on behalf of the owners asking if I would consider a reduced offer to reflect the costs of the roof work.  Long story short, I did and they accepted!!  Clearly this house was meant to be mine! 😊

The kitchen is very dated (and has cupboard doors missing!) although it has a new oven that's only 4 months old.  The fridge freezer (just to the left of the pic) is integrated so I won't need to buy any white goods in the first wee while.  I'll take my washing machine with me.

The red wall at the dining area looks like it's been painted by the kids!!!  The red paint is all over the white wall sockets!!! πŸ˜‚  The laminate flooring is ancient, scuffed and obviously been washed with bleach regularly as it looks dull.

The colour of the tiles in the bathroom is indescribable!!  This photo doesn't even begin to show the hideous colour 😱  If they're not hanging off I'll be painting them asap! 

Another weird colour in the living room!! A kind of mocha/peach πŸ˜•

But it has a decent sized safely enclosed garden for Luna!  It has a huge decking area that hasn't been maintained so it may have to go.

While the house is in move in condition, it does need a lot of updating dΓ©cor wise and there are a few issues in the kitchen and bathroom.  The roof has some big issues too that will need attention maybe before next Winter but it's all doable.

I have enough funds from selling my house and my savings to buy the 2 properties, pay for all the legal and estate agent fees and the costs of moving.  But that's about it.  It's a wee bit scary!! Everything I do will be done on a very frugal budget!! 

Moving day for everyone is the 30th of May.  That's less than 8 weeks!  Better get decluttering in earnest!

Friday 5 April 2024

The wedding!


I'm finally home after the wedding.  It was a fab day and the bride was stunning.  My son was so handsome in his kilt and there was just so much love and joy from family and friends.  I was even friendly and polite to my ex husband which always freaks him out!!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

I actually didn't take photos as I wanted to be unplugged and in the moment.  My BIL took this one of me, my Lovely Mum, my aunt and my wee sister.  I love this photo 😍

Even though I was away from home for 3 days, I still managed to buy myself a house 🏑

Details to follow... 😁

Tuesday 2 April 2024

World Autism Acceptance week


Today marks the start of World Autism Acceptance Week.  Last year after a very long wait and a long process, my eldest son (37) was diagnosed as being autistic with ADD (attention deficit disorder.)  As an educational professional I've always known he was and supported him as such.  He's one of the lucky 29% that has some employment.  He works (part time) with young people and children who have autism and by all accounts is rather good at it. Although he does find it very difficult to cope with the practicalities of getting to and from work etc.  This is why I want to continue to live in Stirling so I can support him (and his wife!)

But the statistics are scary 😟  My local NHS trust announced last year that they are no longer funding referrals for diagnosis.  If anyone wants a diagnosis to get any sort of help, they'll have to pay for it.

I get that the NHS is so over burdened but early intervention in many things would save money in the longer term.  It's just so sad.