Friday 28 July 2023



I finally got the utility room and kitchen floored with laminate flooring.  It took 2 and a half months for it to be delivered!  When I ordered (and paid for) it I was told it would take up to 4 weeks.  Pffttt!! Although in retrospect I'm glad it wasn't down for the party ๐Ÿ™„ Removing the ancient linoleum was bloody hard work.  It was well stuck down!!!!

Before and after in the utility room

And the kitchen

I'm about 90% happy with it.  There are a few rough edges and a bit where the fitter was lazy and should have taken some more time.  Plus he left sawdust absolutely everywhere ๐Ÿ™„ But it's done and finished so now I need to get a move on with the rest of the decorating.

I did manage to get the painting in this room finished on time for the new carpet to be fitted. Just magnolia on the walls and Brilliant White on the woodwork.  I already had it leftover from other projects.  My son and DIL bought an IKEA chair and some curtains, both in dark green.  Once their navy sofa comes, they'll have their own sitting room at last!

Friday 21 July 2023

Doors and raspberries


It's been on my to do list for a while now but these patio doors were a bit leaky and needed replaced.  I ordered new ones a few months ago and it's taken a while for them to arrive.  When I lifted the carpet up (no underlay, just nailed straight onto the floor ๐Ÿ™„)  I was shocked to see the tide of water marks on the floor.  It's been leakier than I thought!!!!

The replacement doors are sliding doors.  They were the cheapest option and as I'm moving next year there was no point in spending a lot of money.  My son has a wee dehumidifier so I've had it running for a couple of days.  I've been surprised at how much water has been collected already!  I'm getting a new carpet fitted next week so want to make sure I get as much moisture out as I can!  I got a remnant that should have been £945 full price, down to £219.  The underlay, gripper rods and fitting cost double that!!  ๐Ÿ˜‚ Now I just need to paint the walls and skirting boards before Wednesday and the room is ready for my son and DIL to use as their separate sitting room ๐Ÿ˜Š

My garage now has the poshest window in the house!  It replaces the original window which must have been when the garage was built in the late 60s.  It was completely rotten and pretty much fell out when the guys touched it.  That's another tick on my list of things that have to be done to avoid being picked up on a home survey report.

Remember that 1kg of raspberries I was dehydrating?  Waste of time and effort!!  After 28 hours only the smallest ones were dried and they were tasteless.  The larger ones were still squishy.

I popped them into bottles and topped them up with raw apple cider vinegar to make raspberry vinegar.  If I can find a raspberry chutney or relish recipe I'll re use the berries once I've strained it. Or I might just blitz it all and strain it to make a raspberry dressing for salad ๐Ÿ˜‹

I picked another 1/2 kg at the plot this morning but just ate some and froze the rest!  Now I've got Prince's Raspberry Beret stuck in my head!! 

Wednesday 19 July 2023

My blue beds


I'm pleased to see that while I was away the raised beds in my front garden are thriving.  This bed is the one the tulips were in.  Once they'd died back I removed all the brown leaves and topped it up with a bag of compost from B&Q.  The bulbs are still in place for next year.  I transplanted the remaining leeks (the other half are on the plot) and sowed some mixed lettuce bowl seeds.  My blue beds are south facing so are in direct sun most of the day.  These leeks are twice the size of the ones on my plot!

I have cabbages and courgettes in this bed.  The cabbages were small plants my Lovely Mum gifted me and the courgettes I grew from seed!  I'll need to remove a couple if they get much bigger ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Look!  I have a flower and it's a female one so my first courgette is on it's way ๐ŸŽ‰ I laugh when I see and hear people complaining they have too many.  I never have enough!!!

I picked my first blueberries ๐Ÿ˜‹  My son and DIL netted the pots while I was away so none were lost to the birds this year! ๐Ÿฆ

I had picked some of my lavender to dry on a sunny window.  I took the dried buds off and the smell was amazing!

I put it in a jar with olive oil and it's sitting on a sunny windowsill.  This is the solar extraction method. You could leave it in a dark cupboard for longer or warm it in a pan over a low heat.   It takes a week and hopefully I'll have a lavender scented oil to make a salve.

When I was a wee girl I loved making potions with rose petals and flowers or grass to make 'perfume' ๐Ÿ˜‚  I guess this is the grown up version ๐Ÿ˜Š

Tuesday 18 July 2023



This is what my plot looks like after 3 weeks of being away unexpectedly.  It's rained heavily but the temperature has been in the high teens so it's a tad wild and overgrown!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ But thanks to my lovely plot neighbours watering my polytunnel for me, my tomatoes and cucumbers have survived.  Hooray!  The cucumbers are getting a bit unruly but as I've never successfully got any to this stage before I've no idea if they need staked.  Any tips welcome!!

I picked just over a kilo of raspberries!  Some had gone over but there are still loads left to ripen.  It's a lottery getting to them before the rain makes them soggy and inedible.  When I got home I put them straight into the dehydrator.  The smell is amazing!  I've not done this before so it's a bit of an experiment to find new ways to preserve my fruit instead of jam.  I'll report back on how successful they are (or not!)

Lots of 'stuff' is flowering so all is good.  The daisies have just popped up by themselves but I'm happy to leave them.  Not sure what kind they are (they're about 40cm tall) or if they have any culinary or herbal uses.  Everything needs to have a purpose to earn their place!  Let me know if you know!

My garden is similarly wild and overgrown.  In this bed there are sweet peas, sweetcorn, squash, runner beans (I'm doing the Three Sisters method), Jerusalem artichokes and peas.  I'm going to have to sort them out somehow or none of it will be able to produce anything to eat.  

One of the things I did while I was staying at mum's house in between hospital stuff, was stitching some more of my sock yarn squares onto my blanket.  I added the bottom 2 rows so it's now 12 squares by 13 squares.  This is it laid out on a double bed.  I still need to decide how big I want it to be.  I've certainly got enough leftover sock yarn to make it double this size!!  But as it's taken me (on and off) about 10 years to get to this size, it's starting to feel like a never ending project! ๐Ÿงถ

Thursday 13 July 2023



Meet Luna my new puppy!  She's a 4 week old Silver Labrador and she's utterly beautiful ๐Ÿ˜ She's still with her mum and 6 brothers and sisters so I get to bring her home next month.  Silver labs are a dilution of the chocolate lab gene.  Not that common here yet.  My very first lab was a chocolate and she was bonkers so I'm prepared for Luna being a character!

It's not a decision I've made lightly.  But given recent events my sons told me that life's too short and I'm a person who needs to have a dog.  They give you a reason to get up in the morning and they make you get outside in all weathers.  And a dog's love is unconditional ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ’•

Wednesday 12 July 2023

Home for a break


I'm back home for a few days.  I need a break from all the 'stuff' so I'm letting my sister step up a bit.  Mum is still in hospital although she got out very briefly.  Unfortunately she had to be blue lighted back to A&E and is still being investigated.  Thanks to all to the scans she's had we have a very clear picture of some other issues going on so she'll be in and out hospital for a wee while in the near future.  We are so lucky to have the NHS and I've seen first hand how stretched resources and staff are on a daily basis.  Although having to spend 23 hours on a trolley in corridor wasn't nice for mum.  Bed shortages are appalling!

As I had to leave the house quickly I left instructions for my DIL to deal with my drying/dried rose petals and applemint.  She did a great job.  I think I'm getting her rather hooked on growing and preserving! ๐Ÿ˜‚

It was a dry sunny morning at 8am today so I was out early to pick some of my lavender.  I have a project in mind for it ๐Ÿ˜‰ I discovered last week that my sister and niece can't stand the smell of it.  I love it and it has a lot of herbal properties!

The lemon basil I grew from seed is thriving.  I haven't decided how I'll use it yet but it smells delicious ๐Ÿ˜‹ It likes the sunny window in the living room.

Another reason I came home was that I missed Emma!  She's well looked after by my son and DIL but she's missed me.  This was her face when I told her I've bought something very expensive for my retirement that she might like.  Although she might not... ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Wednesday 5 July 2023

Making plans


I'm still at mum's house as she's still in hospital.  And my sister is still alive (see last post's comments) ๐Ÿ˜‚ But I've discovered she doesn't cook, she doesn't do the supermarket shopping and was genuinely shocked at the price of a pack of gammon!  So guess who is doing the shopping and cooking??  To be fair, she cleans up afterwards and can load the dishwasher.

I used this spice kit tonight (currently £2 in Sainsbury's with your Nectar card) for the first time.  I was very impressed and made a chicken and cauliflower curry with it.  It was very good ๐Ÿ˜‹ I stretched it and got 4 decent portions so we'll have it another night.

We picked some of the soft fruit in mum's garden before it was too late.  It's been wet for a whole week now and a lot of rasps had gone mouldy.  But we managed to save enough to pop in the freezer for her.  Hopefully she can make jam or jelly later on.  If not, they'll come to me to use up so no waste here!

We're starting to plan ahead for when mum comes home.  I bought and assembled a shower chair. My sister doesn't assemble things ๐Ÿ˜‚ Luckily my mum (and dad) had the foresight to future proof their house and had a downstairs wet room installed when dad couldn't get up the stairs any more.  I know occupational health would supply one but it would be a pre used one.  At least mum will know hers is the only bum to sit on this one!!  We'll move her bed downstairs .  Luckily she has a separate sitting room that became a bedroom when dad was alive.  It may just be temporary but we'll wait and see.  There are already grab rails etc installed around the house so I'm hopeful mum will be able to safely move about her own home independently.

Ironically, a few weeks ago we had a wee conversation stating that her dearest wish (should anything happen) is to stay in her own home where she's lived for 45 years.  Even if she has to pay for carers.

It's always good to know what people want in these circumstances beforehand and have a plan.  You know I do like a plan! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Monday 3 July 2023


I love my sister, I really do.  There's only 17 months between us.  We're very different people and live very different lives.  Growing up, this meme pretty much sums us up!!! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

But we're totally united in working together with my aunt (my mum's sister) on getting mum home again and on her path to full recovery.  It's taken a few days to work out what happened.  She fell and banged her head.  Hard!!  She has no memory of falling but has massive bruising to the back of her head and neck.  She has 2 small bleeds on her brain.  Luckily she's a VERY fit and healthy 76 year old.  Frankly, that's saved her life.  She doesn't need surgery so hopefully her recovery will be quicker.

My mum has an accurate set of bathroom scales.  So I weighed myself ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ Yep, now I'm retired I have the time and energy to get my weight and fitness back to a healthy level.  I look at my Lovely Mum and thank my lucky stars she's healthy and fit enough to fight this.  I need to be too!

Saturday 1 July 2023

Well that was unexpected!


Well the end of my week took an unexpected turn with my Lovely Mum taking ill and going into hospital!  Luckily she's a very fit and healthy 76 year old so it could have been a lot worse.

I've come back to stay in my childhood home which is lovely and weird in equal measure so I can be with her in hospital.  She's expected to make a good recovery but like me, she's an impatient patient!!

While she sleeps I've been knitting my watermelon socks and finished them this morning ๐Ÿ‰๐Ÿงฆ I'll knit some squares for my sock blanket with the leftover yarn.

Oh, and I'm retired now!  I've changed my header and my About me to reflect my new status๐Ÿ˜Š