Thursday, 21 June 2018


I have tried on many occasions to make bread and it is just beyond me, still I live in hope that eventually something good will happen. 

That day was not today. 

I really wanted focaccia, so I watched a video, which made it seem fairly simple and went to it. There are no photos, i went in the bin after the hanging around for an hour hoping it will rise period, although I knew a long time before that that it wasn't going to work out. It all seems to go wrong somewhere between mixing everything together and tipping it out to knead it (I am not doing no knead bread, I can't be doing with having things hanging around overnight). I followed the instructions to the letter, and yet things just didn't seem mixed, so even after the kneading part there was nothing silky or easy to work about the leaden ball on the worktop. 

I think I know what the issue is, I just want to be able to do it, I don't want to do it. It seems ridiculous that I can't make something so simple, so I go into it as a challenge not something enjoyable, or even just as a task to be done. Dan always says he can tell when I'm not in the mood for cooking as the food tastes different, I can understand that. Probably just as well the dough went in the bin.

In another few years I'll probably try again. 

Monday, 18 June 2018

Happy Mundane

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for


I saw an updated version of this ancient quote on Instagram the other day. I usually ignore motivational quotes, I'm not easily motivated, but I liked this one. Initially I thought about it in terms of the bathroom and how, other than it looking a bit better, we're not actually that much better off in terms of a functioning room. But then I thought about it again, and it's done, so I don't really have to think about it much, which is certainly better than a kick in the face.

As I wandered around the house I started thinking about all the things that made me fall in love with it in the first place, and for the first time ever I really appreciated the kitchen. Our kitchen is not a beautiful room, everything in it is really cheap and a bit on the crumbly side, but it feels great, somehow it's not an unpleasant place to be, and almost everything works. I appreciate it despite the ceiling where the plumber had to cut a hole in order to repair the shower drain.

He actually did a good job, I had to remember where to look for it. I also ignored the fact that the only light in the kitchen area comes from the two desk lamps in the picture above, we haven't had a working ceiling light for years, there's one in the dining area and the pantry though - atmospheric!

I also ignored the worktops with some crumbly parts and some bubbly parts.

I didn't ignore the horrible hob, it was pitted and rusty when we moved in, and I confess I do avoid cleaning it, but today I attacked it with a scouring pad and it looks a bit better than in this picture

Washing up, wilting coriander, recycling that hasn't made it out to the garage, assorted junk of mine waiting to be put away and blackening bananas, it's all good to me!

Friday, 15 June 2018

Freebie And Bargain Of The Week

A couple of things made their way home with me this week. Firstly some books picked up on our trip to Colne on Saturday. A copy of The Highway Code, 50p. hospice shop

A couple of Ladybird books to add to Dan's childhood collection, 90p each also from the hospice shop.

I splashed out £2 on a stretchy comfy tunic thing, I just liked the design

A black jacket as I didn't have one, this looks great on.

Finally a small table, I plan to use it in the garden, the tray part come away so it should be nice and east to transport the drinks! Another couple of quid, turns out it's a Habitat Oken table and is still available to buy new. 

A pretty good week. 

Monday, 11 June 2018


House beautification continues, this weekend we got some small but significant projects finished. We started off the weekend with a trip to East Lancs for some home and garden inspiration, we came back with a car full of it!

I did a little primp of the porch while Dan hung the pictures we had framed at Easter. My woodblock print looks gorgeous clad in yellow aluminium. 

The main focus of the weekend was to get on with what we are rather grandly calling the courtyard, really it's a bit of paving behind the garage that tends to be filled with junk. Now it's our new eating area, it's not finished yet, but the planters are filled and we are just after a few things to make it more pretty. Our garden isn't large, so we don't want any wasted space. 

Dan really wanted grasses, so we chose some that will eventually screen the compost bins to the left, then picked up a couple of small acers to section it off a little more. It's not the cheapest project we've ever done, but as Dan was so engaged with it I was happy to make it happen. 

Friday, 8 June 2018

Hero Product - Hooks

It didn't take all that long to sort out the stuff from the drawer yesterday, I also found another drawer stashed with things so I emptied that too. Then I found a drawer in the kitchen that didn't need to hold what it was holding, so something good came from looking for the batteries. Plus I did a bit of yoga.

Despite the huge list of jobs we still have to do I am a bit in love with the house at the moment, I think the sunshine helps. I am particularly happy with how easy it is to use at the moment, and hooks play a big part in this. We don't have much floor space, so using the height available is very important, my pantry has to work very hard, as it doesn't just hold food. Recently we added some heavy duty hooks to make things better. 

The pantry is also quite narrow (72cm at the widest point) so keeping things off the floor is a bonus. On two hooks I can store the paper recycling (on the right) and my cleaning bucket. On the left are my shopping bags and the tools for the Henry hoover. 

At the other end of the pantry there's space for a couple of bags, one holds bread, the other holds any veg  that don't need to live in the fridge, potatoes etc. 

I have some more in the porch cupboard to hold the Henry hoses, clothes airer and my shopping trolley, a lad in town called it a festival trolley which sounded a bit more exciting. The hooks cost a couple of quid each from the local hardware shop. 

Speaking of bags, I don't know if I've mentioned this before, it seems familiar, I stole the idea from a YouTuber to use spare canvas bags to store things. I use them for Dan's odd socks, so I can pair them easily

and to sort my accessories

Very boring, but very useful. Are you a hook lover?

Plumbing update - he did have to cut a hole in the ceiling to fit the new drain thing, but I keep forgetting to notice that, so he must have done a good job of putting everything back. One week on, no drain smell, fingers crossed it continues. 

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Junk In My Trunk

And everywhere else. 

Although I'm quite slim I am exceptionally unfit and a bit flabby. I had been making a few changes to the way I do things after someone I work with basically told me I have a fat bum. I do have a fat bum, in fact I mentioned it recently, but it's not big enough to require the size of dress she held up. So, I am starting very gently, mainly on my exercise bike, but also using the Wii Fit, I like the hula-hooping. I decided to use the Wii today as I'm waiting in for a parcel and didn't want to miss it by being upstairs on the bike when they turned up. 

The batteries on the controller were running low, so I set off to look for some more. I found batteries, I also found some other items that Dan had put away. This is not husband shaming, as I take some responsibility for what I found. I'm well known for being messy and disorganised, Dan likes things to be put away. However, even though it might take me a (long) while, when things are dealt with they are dealt with, I don't tend to stash and dash. Apparently, Dan does, he just wants things to be away

This is what remains of the drawer under the single bed in Dan's dressing room. The runners are buckled and the front has snapped off. I took everything out and decided to deal with it while I waited for both my parcel and for the batteries to charge. 

All that in one drawer!

The batteries and charger, a laptop, three keyboards and other assorted things. We have a box of techno junk under the stairs already. 

My least favourite thing to have hanging around, wrapping paper. We already have a cupboard containing wrapping paper and bubble wrap, this is all bonus content. 

A selection of board games.

Paper, and documents for a suitcase we no longer own. 

Large bags, for all those holidays we don't take. 

Presents for our nieces. 

And some assorted nonsense. 

My parcel isn't here and I still haven't done any exercise. 

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Those Annoying Antisocial People

taking a breather from being nice
We had people staying at the house for the whole weekend, two nights, I did not manage very well. I was found at one point hiding in the pantry with my fingers in my ears to block out the never ending noise. 

at least I had some nice new jars to look at 
We went out for a meal on Sunday. I may have said before that I'm not good in a restaurant situation, I just don't like any kind of formality and so after a while the few social skills I possess flew out of the window, I had to take myself off to stand outside for a while to get through it, I can't do long lingering relaxed meals, and I can't see why anyone would, they are exhausting - I can't be the only person over the moon that street food is so big these days.  

My brother and his girlfriend organise a BBQ once a year at a park near their house, it was mentioned a couple of times this weekend and I changed the subject. We went last year and it was both really boring and very stressful at the same time. I know it's just me as everyone else seemed to be having a great time, it was like Christmas but outside. 

Yesterday and this morning have been spent in silence, just what I needed.