Sunday, 18 March 2018

Most annoying task

I am obviously frustrated. I am dying for spring to arrive to get on with more interesting stuff.  The most annoying thing today was the need to replace the loo seat!!!

The one purchased less than 18 months ago (in the big orange DIY store for an exorbitant amount) rusted right through the cheap metal fixings.  We got a pretty one in Wilco which looks more robust and was cheaper. But the old one was not just rusted it was completely jammed. Tools littered the bathroom, husband was fed up with laying upside down on the cold tiles, I was holding one set of pliers and he had another as we wrestled the fixings off. Finally resulting in brute force!
This is the pretty replacement!  What was most annoying was that we had not realised that we could have brought a pack of replacement fittings in Wilco for £5 months ago and saved the expense of this replacement purchase and done it before the thing had rusted and seized up! 

I retired to the shed to start a painting to match the loo seat design to hang on the bathroom wall before the family arrive for the Easter holidays.  Also I need the de stressing.

On the way back I stopped to admire the French beans that have just come up and the rainbow at over the neighbours garden. Spring is promising such a lovely fresh colours.

With the east wind whipping us today it does feel more like winter though!

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Waste of NHS time?

When I read about other people's NHS problems I feel very lucky that our surgery is 5 minutes walk from the house, you can make appointments and repeat prescriptions on line and the waiting room is never crowded and seems to work with great efficiency.  So when the Diabetic nurse wrote to me to say I needed a chat at 10 am on a Friday morning about my latest blood tests I thought it was fairly serious and I would get a positive ..."something".... though not sure what.

What I did get was a 15 minute wait, Homes under the Hammer repeat on the TV in the waiting room, which ended with me complaining at the reception desk. Then??  a simpering smile and general gentle telling off about processed food diets and getting more exercise! Its taken 2 years for my blood sugar levels to rise 0.5 points apparently.   For G***'s sake, I had got up early, rushed my cornflakes doing without toast, moved 8 fence posts 2 at a time 200 yards up the garden, helped lug long lengths of timber to the workshop, cleared the wood burner, feed the birds, brought in more logs,  emptied the bins and washed up, changed clothes and then cycled at high speed round the lanes for ......   I hope my stumping down the corridor and thumping out the automatic door  was expressive.

Apparently this chat was "preventive medicine" for those at risk.  Could have put a leaflet in the letter - saved my time and expensive surgery usage for something more positive!  Or could have saved more by emailing me (they have my details) with a web link for an on line motivational chat!  Am I sure that getting me in was nothing more than a box ticking exercise for their funding?

I have calmed down now. (I think). I know I need to lose 2 stones to get under the ideal weight for my height and that would have a great effect on the blood tests. I told the doctor that 2 months ago and at the blood test nurse  a month ago. I take it I am on my own till I weight 20 stone and crash and burn and then  they may want to offer me some of those "preventative" goodies I hear other people getting on the NHS - like free gym membership, support groups, therapy...

Roll on the summer - I need some relaxing and exercising gardening!!!

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Spring is coming along

Our seedlings are starting to make a bit of progress.
Second leaves on the tomatoes.  The hot mat under the seeds in the conservatory has been turned off now as the overall temperatures rise.

In the workshop the new kitchen cabinets are getting to the painting stage.
Bit more of the kitchen has gone and a new unit temporarily arrived.
We need to recycle more of the old cabinets as the recycling centre now wants £3 for every cabinet we turn up with. Not keen on bonfiring melamine wood stuff the old kitchen was made of - would it release toxins.

We are wandering about each day looking for signs of spring here. The snowdrops are coming to an end and the daffs are starting to show a tiny bit of colour. I found one tiny violet flower hidden in a sheltered bed today.  

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Thank you Frugal in Essex

Reading Frugal in Essex's blog regularly has finally filtered into my brain. We were just going to set off to T**co to put some credit on the cheap phone and get some shopping when I remembered how she checks for coupons before going out.  As the computer was already on, I leapt into action and printed off a £4 off coupon.

Pity our T**co is attached to a large Dobbies Garden Centre, while I was saving money and raiding the yellow stickers fairly successfully the husband had wandered off to buy "stuff" for the garden!  He refrained from buying a nice shrub and got some french bean seeds.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Metered water bill

Received our first metered water bill for 6 months.  We decided not to change any habits just yet to see what "norm" was. It has worked out to approximately £6 per week.  Un-metered it was just over £10 per week.  £4 saved per week, total £24.  I am sure we can improve with a few habit changes too.

Not our best saving though. In August 2017 we gave up our mobile phone contract and brought a £10 phone and £10 credit plus £10 free credit on joining. We had gone from 2 state of the art phones and 2 contracts 5 years ago (when working) to 2 years ago to 1 expensive phone and the cheapest monthly package of £10.  Which was a big saving in itself. But that £20 spent in August still has £2.64 credit to use.  So in 6 months instead of £60 spent out we have spent £18. Saving over 6 months £40.

I am going to use the savings to have some highlights put in my dull grey hair and have a nice cut.  Here is the before  - I may post an after!!

I am super excited tonight by the way as I have just made my first sale on my Folksy site GrandmaMakes of a handmade bag. All my costs so far have been covered by this one sale so I am excited to expand my market offerings and get on with some more sewing!

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Window problems

Our bathroom is a single story 1970s extension that faces due east at the back of the house so not a great assert but functional.  We always have the window open day and night to prevent mold (previous owners had it fully tiled so moisture lingers from even the shortest shower) until this week.  With this extraordinary wind, so called Beast from the East, we wanted to close it tight but somehow the top opening frame had got twisted out of shape and would not seal!  The central heating is not on during the day I put the NHS free thermometer on the window sill where it read 10C in seconds. It went up to 12 C by the time I reached the kitchen table.

The solution last night was some plastic and some wide tape.

OK its not pretty but it cut the draft but still left us with a high pitched keening noise of the wind coming in the millimeter gap at the top of the window.  Not quite whistle, not quite a moan. We should record it for a background noise in a BBC spooky drama.

When the weather improves and we can look at the seals and the plastic window frame is soft (perhaps in August) see if we can adjust it to fit better.

I recall living in my parents 1950s council house with single glass windows and no heating at all upstairs.  The bathroom really was cold all the time especially in the bad winter of 1963! My Dad left the taps dribbling to stop them freezing up and the water puddling in the sink or bath froze solid overnight after the coal fire and paraffin heater downstairs were out.  Probably why I find this modern trend for laying in a bath with candles and wine so strange - "lingering" was not something I grew up with. Nowadays we have to wait for a luxury break in an overheated hotel when I get to fill a bath to the brim and spend time in there.

As the snow has melted off the back windows we have discovered the wind blown snow must have picked up a lot of dust or soil from the very dry conditions and the windows are thick with dirt. Glad its nearly all over with the setting sun.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

End of February

Sunday we went for a lovely walk by the River Nar.  Sunny and dry, if still a bit frosty under the trees.  Least we did not get muddy on the meadows paths as it was nicely frozen.
Monday we had a bit of snow. Don't know what happened to the Beast from the East bit we live right on the Wash on the east coast and we have had hardly any snow.  It all melted on the road by lunch time.

Tuesday and the very light powdery snow is lifted and blown off the fields.  Looked really weird bit like the photos I have seen of the dust storms in USA dust bowl in the 1920s.  Its blown inside our log store and inside the poly tunnel.  

Been putting out extra food for the birds.  The blackbird came to his "plate" of meal worms.

We looked round the house for things to do inside.  We have not had the estimate for the electrical improvements for the kitchen yet but my husband decided as they would need access to the ceiling anyway he would take up the laminate in the study above.

In the end it came up easily and we decided it could be re used to floor our conservatory later in the year.  So it has all gone in to store for a while.

We are scraping through the food cupboard this week like everyone else trying to avoid any need to go out shopping.  Lots of stews and curry's to help keep us warm.

Most annoying task

I am obviously frustrated. I am dying for spring to arrive to get on with more interesting stuff.  The most annoying thing today was the nee...