Sunday 27 November 2022

What was that big yellow thing?


It was a beautiful sunny morning here.  I'd forgotten what that big yellow thing in the sky was as it's been a very wet and miserable month here.  It was so lovely to see the sun shining on my gin bottle collection 😂

In fact it was so lovely I was able to go the allotment for the first time in 2 months!  Unfortunately there was a new padlock on the gate and no one knew the combination.  So I came back home and pottered in the back garden, which wasn't sunny as it's North facing.  The Winter sun is too low to make it over the roof top!  I whacked down the Himalayan bamboo, beautiful but grows wildly.  Also chopped at some ivy invading the chicken run.

I've no idea what this is as I definitely didn't plant it but the red berries are pretty!

My son helped me move my blueberry pots back to the front of the house (South facing) so they'd benefit from any future Winter sunny days.  My crop was poor this year as I'd moved them.  Silly me!  I also was happy to see the goji bush is still hanging on with a few tiny green leaves.

After lunch it rained 🙄 so it was time for some batch cooking.  Turkey meatballs (baked first) in tomato sauce using half of a 750g pack of mince.

The other half I made a sort of bolognaise sauce with added black beans (leftover from the veggie meatballs.)

Veggie meatballs invented from butter beans, black beans, nutritional yeast, seasoning and crushed up rice cakes.  Baked first then added to the tomato sauce I made.  DIL said they were lovely 😋

Lazy day yesterday and busy day today.  Pretty much how my weekends roll atm.  2 of my teacher besties at work are ill with the virus that's sweeping the school.  I've still got a cough, I've actually lost count now how long I've had it.  Just 4 more weeks to hang on until Christmas! 🎄

P.S.  I've had a verbal offer on the flat, wee bit below the home report value but might just accept it to get it over and done quickly.

Saturday 26 November 2022

Better get started


Thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post 😊  Striking can raise a lot of conflicting feelings for some people.  Hopefully we won't need to do it again.

As someone pointed out on my FB feed this morning it's only 4 weeks until Christmas 😱  How did that happen?  Better get started then!

We keep Christmas low key in my family now, for many reasons.  Presents are practical and food is simple but traditional.  I picked up a packet of GF stuffing mix earlier this week as it's in short supply nearer the day.  You just can't beat a Paxo mix.  I tried a new one last year that I didn't really like but unfortunately I bought a kilo of it 😂  I've almost finished it now!

I got my favourite GF sausages slightly reduced so they'll be skinned and made into sausage stuffing.  These are in the freezer now.  If I can get a decent priced turkey crown we'll have a turkey dinner but last year I just bought a chicken which is much cheaper.  To be honest it's all the trimmings that make the dinner great!

Yesterday my class was given some leftover fruit to have as an afternoon snack.  I have a wee one with an orange allergy so these didn't get used.  I'm going to juice them and freeze the juice to use in my Christmas trifle.  My DIL is a pescatarian so I'll use it with vege gel to make the jelly for the bottom layer.

On the present front, I bought some bottles of Prosecco that was on offer in Sainsbury's.  I chose this one mainly because the bottle was pretty!!😂  I've ordered some bottle lights so the recipients can make a bottle lamp once they've drunk the contents! 🍷

Just a few things so far but I feel I've made a start!

P.S.  Lots of viewers have been to the flat but no offers yet 🤞

Thursday 24 November 2022


I'm on strike today.  I never ever thought it would come to it.  But here I am this morning on the picket line outside our school.  I've just read on the EIS website that the last offer COSLA and the Scottish Government offer made amounted to an average of 71p extra a week.  Yes, 71 PENCE!!!

People think teachers are well paid and compared to some professions like nursing we are.  All teachers are graduates and we worked hard for our degrees. Many still have the student debt to show for it.  But the cost of living hits everyone.  We have several single mums on our staff who are frankly struggling but they came out on strike today to send a message.

In recent weeks I've paid £160 to a plumber and £144 to an electrician, each spending less than an hour on their job.  I do not begrudge them at all for charging a fair rate for their expertise and time.  Today I lost £106, a day's pay for striking.  Public sector workers cannot charge more for our services and expertise.  Even a 10% pay increase is still below inflation and would effectively be a pay cut.  Everyone deserves fair pay.

**gets off soapbox now**  Normal frugal tips will resume soon!

Sunday 20 November 2022

Just ask!


I'm having a very lazy weekend so far!  Although I did clean out the Eglu yesterday while there was a few hours without rain and pulled some leeks from the garden to make a big pot of cock-a-leekie soup.  I had chicken stock in the freezer but no chicken so just used bacon instead.  Using up what I had to hand! That's lunches for next week sorted 😋

I've got a little bit of school work to do this afternoon but as I'm still coughing loads (don't feel ill just got this nasty cough) I'm having another lazy day.  So I'm shamelessly stealing Sue's question idea as I'm loving the questions and answers on her blog HERE.  I thought you could ask me any questions you like.  About my life, my job, how I came to be frugal, living with my son and DIL, anything really.  I love hearing about other people's lives and like to pick up good ideas.  Might even get some blog post ideas too.  So, if you're interested just ask.

Thursday 17 November 2022

For sale


It's finally up for sale as of tonight!  They've made it look good in the photos but I did laugh when I saw the living room one.  The cat picture is actually square but it's elongated to make the room look bigger 😂 I hope it sells quickly, I'll not be hanging on to get bigger offers.  I'll be accepting the first decent offer.  Have a nosey HERE if you're interested.

I'm currently in my bed (been there since I got home today) coughing up a lung with a sore throat again.  I'm hoping I can get through work tomorrow and then collapse over the weekend.  *sighs*

Sunday 13 November 2022

A normal weekend at last!


For the first time in ages I've had a lovely normal pottering relaxed kind of weekend! 😁  I've done as much as I can with the flat, it's over to the estate agent now.  So I spent my weekend pottering about and doing some batch cooking.  My favourite way to relax and get organised for the week ahead.  I took my home grown tomatoes out of the freezer and made tomato sauce.  I used some rosemary and thyme from my back garden too.  It was lovely!

I used some of the sauce to make a veggie lasagne.  My DIL and I had a portion each and I put 4 more in the freezer.  I also froze the rest of the tomato sauce.

I made a huge Crockpot full of beef stew.  My son and I had a generous portion each and the rest will go in the freezer too.

I sliced up some lemons for the freezer.  I always snap up the unwaxed ones when they're reduced or on offer.   Good for making a hot honey and lemon drink when you feel poorly.  And for a G&T!! 🍸

I strained the fire cider mixture I started HERE and mixed in half a jar of raw honey to each jar of liquid.  It really packs a punch!! 

My DIL made banana bread to use up some over ripe bananas.  She used GF flour so I could have some and it was delicious! 😋

And my car key fobs needed new batteries.  So I searched good old YouTube for instructions and did it myself 💪

A very satisfying productive 'normal' weekend!  😊 Shame I've got to go to work tomorrow! 😂

Friday 11 November 2022

Finally done!

The flat is finally ready to put on the market.  It took a lot of woman hours to get it looking like this!

It was grubby and mouldy and now it looks good.  

I just need someone to buy it soon 🤞

Sunday 6 November 2022

I'm never doing that again!


As well as painting 2 rooms, removing an old carpet, moving furniture about and generally getting my son's flat ready to go on the market, I decided to also finally lay the vinyl floor tiles in my upstairs bathroom.  They were a pain!!!!  It might have been the cheapest option but holy moly there isn't a straight wall in the whole room.  I had to cut more than half of them to fit all the corners.  I'll need to add some sort of trim to hide the ugly cut edges 🙄

And the floor itself wasn't flat either!! 🙄  But they're down and look ok for now but I'm not doing that again.  If they start coming off I'll get a professional in to lay laminate flooring!!

Even with the help of my Lovely Mum, that was too much work for  a weekend.  Especially in the midst of a challenging period in school.  But I have to get the flat on the market asap as the market is about to crash and I can't afford to lose money on it.  Fingers crossed it goes live online later this week! 🤞

Friday 4 November 2022

It's a sign


It's been one of the most challenging weeks of my 35 years teaching career.  I don't know if the 2 weeks holidays plus Halloween plus me being out of class to do training things plus having a student has sent my kids craaaaaazy!!!!  I've almost been in tears twice and I NEVER cry.  I've had crying parents who can't cope with their kids at home and had 2 hysterical colleagues in my classroom.  And it's not even a full moon! 🌕

I came home tonight in a foul mood and opened up my emails to find an invite to apply for celebrant training with the Humanist Society.  I checked back through my emails and I originally enquired in March 2020.  I never heard back so thought it wasn't meant to be.

I'm taking it as a sign that it's something I would be able to do if I retired! So of course, I'm applying!