Friday, 31 July 2015

Pay Day Temptation

It's pay day for Dan, not for me though, my money doesn't trickle down until Monday. I see this as a good thing, but Dan has a small burning sensation in his pockets. 

We're going to mima tomorrow to catch the last weekend of an exhibition. Plus we just want to go as I don't think we've been since mu birthday when we went to the David Lynch exhibition. It's a bit of a drive so we'll need some food, a picnic is the first port of call but our heads have been turned by the idea of stopping at Cross Lanes on the A66 (home of dhal inspiration). But I have put my foot down and said I'll make a picnic so Dan doesn't have to, and I'm not sure it's been a popular decision, I have offered the compromise of stopping for a drink there (as we generally need to use the facilities by that point). 

I didn't go for coffee after the charity shop this week so I have the money I'd usually spend there to provide for the trip. I think I might go for soup for a change, some cous cous salad (yes, we're still on that) and a houmous sandwich as usual, flask of water, flask of coffee, Nakd nibbles and after the success of it earlier in the week I might use the rest of the rhubarb and some berries to make a turnover. There's a bit of custard left, could I use that inside I wonder.

It's not like Dan to not want a picnic and for me to be the one pushing the idea, so I really want to win him over. We've both been hit hard (not really) by the realisation that the M&S sushi we very very occasionally treated ourselves to contains milk, so Dan's new project is to make it himself. I get the impression we've been through this phase before as I know there's an unwrapped bamboo rolling mat in the kitchen. We shall see.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Brewing Up

We bought some instant coffee the other week and I don't like it at all. I've been drinking it, but I'm not a fan. I'm not a coffee snob by any means, I know nothing about the subject and I'm not really that bothered, but I know when I like something. 

So I decided to make some coffee using the cafetiere, it's hanging around in the pantry with our 4 other coffee making devices and it seemed like the easiest thing, rather than faffing about with the stove top one and all that. 

So I got it out of the cupboard and realised I didn't know how to use it! I felt a bit daft, Dan usually makes the nice coffee at home, and when you get a coffee in a cafe, they've already done the main bit for you. So I had to look on YouTube for a video. I think I blushed as I watched it because it seemed like something I should know how to do. But then I thought, well why should I know, and how will I learn if I don't learn?

So now I know and made coffee for myself and Dan this morning, he declared it to be "very nice" and didn't even laugh when I told him I had to ask the internet for a tutorial. Isn't he nice. 

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

An Excuse To Be Nosey

I have lost my quilters quarter, so work on the blue quilt has come to a halt (I'm still ignoring the binding I made a mess of on the pink one). So a couple of weeks ago I used that as an excuse to go into the town.

We are very lucky to now have not one, but two fabric shops on the same street. When we first moved here there was a knitting shop but that closed a few years ago, which is a shame. Earlier this month The Vintage Sewing Bunny opened in the old UKIP shop, now it's been painted and primped it looks fantastic. This shop is going to run workshops to make clothes, bunting (of course) and other sewing classes, it sells a few haberdashery sundries and some very nice fabrics - not really my kind of thing quilting wise, but nice if you like the more floral, jaunty look. I nipped in, no ruler to be had but I bought a fat quarter and chatted to the owner who is exceptionally friendly and enthusiastic. 

I could't get a good picture from the right side of the road

The other shop Bizzee Fingers has been here for a long time, but has been under new management since June. This shop sells more stuff, lots of fabric, beads, thread, quilting and sewing stuff, scissors, a nice range of ribbon etc. More my style. The shop already looks a lot more contemporary as the owner has cleared the window area and had a general tidy up. I think we're heading towards things for the more modern taste but still really useful, unless you want a quarter inch quilting ruler. 

She was in the middle of sorting out the fabrics when I went on Tuesday so I went back on Wednesday to take a photograph. 

It's a lot tidier than it used to be, and as you can see there's a lot in a small space! I still don't have a ruler, but my desire to finish the quilts is back, I think that is partly due to the cool, damp conditions outside, whatever it is I'm pretty happy about it. 

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Six Days, Five Pounds

Actually it's £5.20.

After thinking about food to get us to next Monday plus starting the pantry run down I got cracking. 

In the fridge there was about 15 tomatoes, half a sprig of broccoli, three peppers, an avocado, 1 small courgette, 5 mushrooms, half a red onion, half a leek, a small lettuce, some celery, half a melon, half a lemon and a nectarine. Along with this was the open passata, the usual sauces and pastes, two cartons of milk - one vanilla, one unsweetened and a carton of apple and rhubarb juice. In other words, a ton of stuff. 

I weighed everything that was already open in the pantry and we have a large amount of pasta - 20 lasagne sheets, 500g tagliatelle, 400g penne, 1 portion of spaghetti and a small amount of orzo. Along with that there's 250g smoked freekeh, just under a kilo of brown rice and about 200g couscous. There are two tins of baked beans, one of cannellini, a carton of passata and loads of lentils and spices. I also started some sprouts in the sprouter, these will be ready for the weekend to use with the tomatoes and lettuce at lunchtime, we'll also open a jar of red cabbage and eat more of the sunflower seeds. We have a few cereal bars, plenty of porridge and some cereal for breakfast, more than enough teas and coffee.

I roasted two of the three peppers along with most of the other veg, keeping some back for the chow mein. I'll add some of the celery, passata and some cannelini beans to this to make the spicy rice and make some guacamole for tonight. The rest of the roast veg and beans will make the pasta bake. 

As mentioned yesterday we'll have jacket potatoes and beans, they're already in the pantry. That's four evenings dealt with, five including the mystery lentil thing, I will probably use some of the lasagne with that and layer it up, there's just enough flour to make a white sauce.That leaves one final meal on Sunday, which may well be the remaining pepper stuffed with an orzo and lentil mixture with anything else we have to go alongside it, maybe dhal using up the small amount of split peas we have left, we have mango chutney to make that seem a bit more exciting. 

To sweeten the deal I'm going to make a tart with the roasted rhubarb from last week, there's a jelly, some nakd bites, loads of frozen berries, plus custard. Not too shabby at all. 

Monday, 27 July 2015

More More More

Now Dan has embraced gardening he is full of good ideas, yesterday he suggested we get a better seed storing box as the one I've been using is getting a bit cramped. I agreed with him but didn't want to spend any money on a proper one so we had a hunt around the house. Dan found a plastic box with a lid in the garage and I made a few inserts in an attempt to organise the seeds.

I chopped up falafel mix, pastry and yeast boxes to make seed holders and put them in the box. It gets no more exciting than that. The box was also big enough to hold the two pepper pots I bought for 40p from Wilko on Saturday.

Seemed sensible to keep my pencil and plant markers in there too. I could do with another couple of inserts, but this is a good start.

There's still a lot of cutting back to be done in the back garden, Father is going to come up next month to help me with it, I have done enough to help a few more plants to show their faces. I tied a straggly bit of rose to a cane the other week, assuming it was another yellow one, on Friday I learned it's pink. 

Sadly, the rain has damaged all the petals this morning, so I'm glad I saw it before that. The second new plant is purple, and I have no idea what it is, but I love the colour and the papery texture.

I'm really enjoying the small victories and continuing to ignore the big picture!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

We Went Away

the view from our room

It wasn't until I mentioned it yesterday that I realised I hadn't really spoken about our weekend in Berwick upon Tweed. So here we are.

the view looking the other way

I did discuss staying at the YMCA with Dan but he wasn't keen, so we stayed at a B&B instead, I didn't mind at all, we go away so infrequently it was nice to stay somewhere a bit fancy. Funnily enough, the YMCA was only about 30 seconds away from our B&B, the bistro looked great (although we didn't eat there) we did go to the gallery there though, which was very interesting. Still I'm getting ahead of myself. 

We stayed at The Walls which was a super comfy cosy place with a really nice guest lounge with honesty bar, only three rooms and an amazing breakfast. The best was very comfortable indeed, I hadn't been seeping well at that time but I slept like the proverbial log both nights. The rooms had nice toiletries, chocolates on arrival, lovely looking biscuits, tea and coffee as you'd expect but also there was a guest fridge in the hall with fresh milk. Dan had emailed ahead to enquire about soya milk, this was provided in the guest fridge for us as well as at breakfast, they also provided Alpro yoghurts (plain and fruit) and dairy free spread. We did spend a fair bit of time in our room, after all part of the point was for us to relax as well as to be away, so we took advantage of the Sky tv in the room and watched a film - a habit we've brought back with us. 

an exciting football pitch, part of the Lowry Trail
The town itself is fantastic, if you're a fan of ghost signs (as I am) it is an ideal place! We visited The Curfew which is a brilliant micropub with a single indoor room and a very cute courtyard, lots of raw chocolate and other goodies were purchased at The Green Shop, we passed by but didn't buy anything from The Loovre (an icecream shop inside an old public toilet block), listened to some live music at the pavilion, walked the walls, visited the lighthouse, crossed the river and walked down to the beach at Spittal, saw some seals and generally had a mooch about. 
we went to look at the ship we could see from our room

The exhibition at the Granary gallery was fantastic, it was part of a series of exhibitions where artists work with rural communities which makes a great change to a lot of the art we see. The brief was to explore the theme of "Beyond the Rural Idyll". We watched a number of videos where locals discussed the fishing industry and sheep farming, the stories were accompanied by images - some old some new of the area. I love oral history projects and this one was great. 

view of the B&B from the riverside (well the carpark)

As you can tell the weather wasn't great all the time, but nothing was lost. We spotted this chap on the way to the lighthouse.

There was quite some mist rolling in with the tide as we walked along the headland, as we arrived at the lighthouse we said hello to some other people just in time for them to be soaked by a rogue wave. We learned from them and didn't linger right at the lighthouse point!

There was much more to the weekend, but I never read blog posts about holidays so I won't rattle on any further. 

Friday, 24 July 2015

Old Friends

Yesterday I had the proverbial blast from the past.

A friend of mine has been asking me assorted questions about our lifestyle, which makes it all sound very grand and worthy so I have been using messenger a lot, something I don't do usually. I noticed that in my "other" folder there were two messages, these messages are usually from beautiful, scantily clad Russian babes, but not on this occasion. One was spam, the other had been waiting for me for a few weeks, from someone I knew years and years ago.

The message read "I found this photo and thought you might like it" complete with the above picture of me wearing a terrible blue velvet tunic, standing in my parents house. 

How shiny is my hair!

I liked that he did it that way, just passing on the picture and then away to get on with life, no messing about with friend requests and so on, there was a time we were friends and then we drifted away. It was really nice to receive the picture, and wonderful to know this guy is still kicking around even though we'll probably never speak again.  

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Totting Up July

charity shop bargain of the month
The headline is that we didn't save any money at all in July, other than a few coins into the change jars. What with the holiday, the hire car, the puncture on the hire car and the problem with the power steering on our car, there was a lot to spend money on. I can't quite believe it's already three weeks since we went to Berwick. August is a quieter month so we'll be back to saving, although we haven't done the budget yet so I don't know how much it will be. 

As for my budget, it's been spent or accounted for. As ever I have no option to go over, it is what it is, but I think it will all go and I'll be happy to have the August spends. We do have a few bits and bobs ready to eat in the garden now though, which is good and the addition of the sprouting seeds are a small but much appreciated addition to meals. I don't want to be without our fresh fruit and veg, I am eating way more fruit these days than I have for years, but I am going to make the effort to make the pantry the first port of call. I know there are at least three meals ready to go in the freezer, plus some frozen ingredients. The pantry isn't full by any means but there are always things lingering that seemed like a good idea when I spent money on them. 

I'm going to resist buying anything more for the garden, we have lots of work to do, and there were quite a few additions in July, bought bot by us and donated by my parents, I think we've added around 20 plants to the garden this month, including the two tomato plants. Plus, after all the chopping back and getting more light into the back bed three crocosmia Lucifer have shown their faces, and there's another yellow rose, or it's another strand of the same rose in another part of the garden.

Pictured above is my charity shop bargain of the month, I picked up this brand new Reisenthel 'nest' basket for 99p. I have been after something to keep my gardening things in to free up my trug, but Dan declared it to be too nice for that, so I think we're going to think of another use for it. 

This weekend is one of the best weekends in the town as it's the kite festival which looks like it's going to be better than ever this year as there's going to be a stage on the beach with live music, all free of charge. We'll be packing a picnic and walking down to enjoy the fun (fingers crossed the weather is fine). 

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Pantry Run-Down

It's no secret that I love my pantry. This month I'm really going to focus on it and get things used up. Not that I have things hanging around from years ago, but just to make sure everything gets a fair crack of the whip. Using the food up is pretty pointless if I'm adding to it at the same time so I'm also having a short term ban on adding to the pantry. This will be quite hard for me as I do like to see the place well stocked. 

At the moment I have - 

penne, tagliatelle, lasagne sheets and spaghetti
smoked freekeh
puy, green, and red split lentils
yellow split peas
mung beans
baked beans
cannellini beans
things for sprouting
brown rice
rice noodles
bread flour

falafel mix
sunflower seeds
Thai red curry paste
chow mein sauce
harissa paste
curry paste
tomato chutney
mango chutney
peanut butter
quite a lot of dried herbs and spices

In the freezer - 

puff pastry sheets

3 smoky lentil stew
1 butterbean stew
soy beans

I see lots of roast veg and dhal in our future!

Also, I'm happy there has been a bit of a downpour this morning, my new plants, along with the veg seem very pleased with themselves. 

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Found in the Shed

I can't believe I forgot to mention this the other day. Along with the veg and the plants I received another gift, from my brother via my parents. 

My brother moved in with his girlfriend last year and he's spent a lot of time getting the place sorted, especially the garden - it was overgrown and overrun with the dreaded Japanese Knotweed. He planned to use the shed as his home gym and set about clearing it out when he found these 

A dozen or so insect hotels! Father added the pinecones (found on the ground) and drilled the canes (of which he has many) to fill the gaps and there we have it, another lovely freebie. No-one knows how long they'd been in the shed as my brother's girlfriend has lived there for a fair few years. 

I just need a place for it. 

Monday, 20 July 2015

Fun With Sprouts

As mentioned yesterday, I sprouted some seeds. 

It was very simple, nature did most of the work, I just waited and added water. I washed the sprouter, rinsed a tablespoon of mung beans and added them to the sprouter. 

The second picture (above) shows the sprouter filled with water, the red thing is the drainage nozzle and the water needs to cover that. The water drains through and is collected in the bottom tray, which has no beans in it. A little water is kept in this tray at all times, the ridges in the main bit of the sprouter provides enough water for the beans to do their thing. Then we wait. 

The water needs to be changed twice a day, so it is quite resource intensive. I left my mung beans for 4 days and this is what happened

I tried some yesterday and they were nice and crunchy, as beansprouts are. Dan has taken some with his lunch today and the rest we'll be having as part of a stirfry tonight. They seem to be a useful addition to our diet and, as long as the house is warm enough, will be great in the winter to ad a bit of interest. I've decided to stagger my sowing, there are three layers to my sprouter, so if I fill one layer every couple of days I'll have a continuous supply. 

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Fun Into The Bargain

the three tiny dots in the distance are kite surfers
It was the RNLI fun day on the prom today, so we headed down there to see what was going on It was really windy but there was a good turn out, nice to see lots of people using the beach huts too. There was a magician on stage when we were there, folk music at the nearby YMCA, a few stalls, a silent auction, BBQ and a stall from Sheldon's. 

We needed something for Dan's sandwiches next week and so we went for this, buy a bag for £1 (all proceeds to the RNLI) and get some muffins free! I thought maybe there would be a couple of muffins in the pack, but no, a full pack of six. Bargain. 

We have also signed up for one of those 3 for £3 magazine mini subscriptions to Kitchen Garden magazine which comes with some packets of seeds. We really want to expand the amount we grow next year so the free seeds will really help. I have organised the seeds we have already in my repurposed tin and we have quite a good amount to get us going. Dan suggested we have a book for garden planning and other ideas so I dug out a 2015 I got as a free gift from The Book People but hadn't used, it's a RHS one so fits the bill with lots of nice pictures of flowers. 

Father very kindly bought some plants for me when we visited a garden centre yesterday - small pots were 8 for £10 and he only wanted 5 so I got to choose 3 for myself. He also brought some mystery tomato plants. His friend had given him the plants, but more than enough as he was growing a fair few varieties already, so he donated two plants to me - his friend didn't know what variety they were, so we won't either until they start to fruit. My parents also gave us some cut rhubarb and a few yellow courgettes, which were much appreciated. 

All this and my first sprouted seeds are ready to eat. 

Friday, 17 July 2015


There are lots of things to be glad about this week, here are some of them -

There were no proms when I was at school. Seeing the photographs and hearing all about the stress my friends have gone to to get their daughters ready, sounds like a nightmare. 

I am a better cook than I thought

There are some great customer service people out there

A new rose has shown itself in the garden

The quince has gone


My splendid hairdresser

Knowing how to research things

The pantry

Seeing my workmates after three weeks

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Trouble At T'Mill

Last night it was a bit frosty at home, and it was because of the charity shop. 

Yesterday was the first time I'd been in for three weeks, after hurting my knee and being on holiday, so there had been some changes that I obviously didn't know about. One of which was the vintage rail. Sounds harmless enough doesn't it? 

The manager had four items made from fur.

She told me they were there before I saw them, as she suspected I wouldn't be impressed, "but, you know, money".

Then someone bought one of them, the rabbit one (of course), there was no-one else around so I had to serve the customer myself. I told Dan and he was furious and hardly spoke to me for the rest of the night. Things are a little more friendly here this morning but I think it will be a while before both I and the shop are back in his good books. 

When I was a charity shop manager I was told we just were not allowed to sell fur at all, no matter what. But that was over ten years ago and attitudes have changed, people come in on a not infrequent basis asking if we have any, it's an interesting change of mindset.  

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Lemon Squeezy

Dan informed me this morning that we had nothing for lunch tomorrow. I don't like going to have to buy anything when I've been at the shop in the afternoon so I made something instead. I know this is what some people do every day, but not me, Dan is in charge of lunch usually.

Couscous is one of those things that I eat elsewhere and always really enjoy, so I buy some and it tends to hang around in the pantry for ages. So I made couscous salad. I roasted assorted veg, including some very squishy tomatoes, made the couscous up with some stock and half a teaspoon of harissa paste then squeezed over some lemon juice (we don't usually have lemon but I bought one for my brother to use with his g&t, he didn't so it was left over), then used up a part tin of chickpeas from the other night. Oh and some basil from the supermarket basil that I repotted a while ago - it is now huge!

There's loads, it's delicious and there's enough roast veg to get me started on another meal. Win win win. 

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

The Big House

The house seems huge at the minute, I think it's in part due to Dan's return to work and in part because the house is really quite tidy. The fridge seems very small because it's full of fruit, salad and veg. All of this is good for keeping the bank account fuller for longer.

So it means I can have a small day doing small but significant tasks, sorting out the buns, getting through some of the laundry, trying out the sprouter, cleaning the sink and draining board, making more fruit salad (kiwi, melon and mango today) replacing the hole in the garden with some plants, that kind of thing. 

Yesterday was a big day, I went on the exercise bike for the first time since I hurt my knee. I did just over 7 miles in half an hour which is not too shabby. I pushed it a little bit too much I think as I felt a twinge right at the end, but all's well today. All's more than well, I feel amazing!

Monday, 13 July 2015

Fresh Ground

Another picture of another mound of soil, but this has a hole next to it too. When we got back from Berwick we had a long and involved conversation about what we wanted to do with the rest of our year, what would add the most value to what we're doing. Getting rid of the japonica quince was surprisingly high up the list, so it's gone. The pile of sticks at the back of the picture are from the thinning of the other two trees on that side of the garden, I know, looks exactly the same. There's a lot to do. 

But this idea of there being a lot to do is one I'd like to shed, it holds me/us back, having a mountain to climb isn't something that inspires me, it just makes me want to shut the curtains and do anything else instead, so it's bit by bit for now. Same with shedding some of the tons of weight I've put on recently, same with, well, everything. With this in mind I'm really glad it's raining this morning, it's so easy to hit the ground running on the first day back after a holiday, but that's not what will happen today. 

Two good things - I picked up two microfibre mop heads, including the actual mop head bit that goes on the end of the stick, for 74p from Dunelm the other day, a good spot by Dan as the pressy bit from my current one has snapped. Also I think Im nearly over the tiredness and headache stage of not having caffeine. I didn't intend to stop having it but over the past three weeks I've been drinking less and less coffee and introducing fruit teas and things, something I'm finding surprisingly pleasant. When my body is used to it I think I'll be fine!

Friday, 10 July 2015

To Hull In A Hire Car

it was like going back in time (in a good way)
The hire car has been returned this morning and our car has gone to the garage - the problem with our car is one of those that could cost £0 or £1000 depending on what he finds when he gets in there. I'm not thinking about it just now.

Yesterday to round off our day trips, we went to Hull, and what a day to go, the weather was ideal for wandering round and taking some photographs. Our intention was to do the Fish Trail but it ended up being a ghost sign spotting tour instead, we did spot a few of the fish panels though! I know it's not everyone's first choice for a day out but we had an amazing time, it was fab to see all the building work taking place in readiness for the 2017 Capital of Culture as well as just enjoy a wander on a gorgeous day. 

tidal barrier

We walked down to the river, we'd driven past the tidal barrier loads of times on our way to Hull KR's ground, but never been up to it before (the building in the background is The Deep aquarium). It's a nice area to walk - although some routes are closed at the minute due to the aforementioned building work, there are views out to the Humber Bridge and dock areas, all very enjoyable for fans of an industrial view, which I am. 

Moat of my pictures were of tiles, ghost signs, drain pipes and white phone boxes, which I won't share, but this mural is really special. Dan didn't tell me about this mural, it was his final surprise to me! Made of glass blocks, it was created by Alan Boyson in 1963 to celebrate Hull's fishing fleet, formerly adorning the co-op, now BHS. What a beauty it is. 

We ate out again too, on Monday I'd seen a post from The Vegan Society about the new an exciting menu from Handmade Burger Co. there's one in Hull so we decided to give it a go. It was a good choice! The chips are chips, not fries which is a positive for me and the burgers are just delicious - although I can't imagine anyone would want to sit and watch me eat one as it was a bit messy. Dan went for a Cajun veg and bean burger which came with regular relish, I went for a sweet potato and bean plus a mushroom, which was served with mango relish. We were extra naughty and had a shake each too, the waitress had to send someone out for soy milk as they didn't have any in (although it's on the menu) but it was worth the wait, delicious!

We rounded off the day, as much as you can round something off when you still have nearly three hours to get home by visiting the Humber Bridge, there's a fantastic country park on the site of an old chalk quarry, another real surprise to us. We mainly went to have a look at the bridge, but the park was a real bonus. 

Humber Bridge
I can't wait to go back. 

It probably goes without saying that neither the Handmade Burger Co. nor Visit Hull were daft enough to ask me to write nice things about them, it all came from my own tiny brain. 

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Blind Spots

We went to see Blind Spotsthe Jackson Pollock exhibition at Tate Liverpool yesterday, we get 50% off with the Art Pass which meant it was a fiver each. Our Art Pass subscription is up for renewal next month and this year we didn't even discuss whether to renew it as it provides good value for money in our lives. There are just some occasions where the discount for exhibitions, or the free entry really makes a difference - Bowes Museum is the one that leaps out, there's so much there that I'm not really interested in so £9.50 entry would just put me off going, but their exhibitions are great so the free entry makes it worthwhile. Same thing with yesterday, £10 each might have made us think about the right time to see the exhibition, but the 50% off makes it a lot more affordable.

The exhibition was excellent, I didn't really know anything about the artist or his work beforehand so I went not knowing what to expect. I loved it. It's quite a sad story but the work itself is really enjoyable. 

Afterwards, we decided to have a meal out, and chose Las Iguanas as we hadn't been for years and I'd heard that they have a separate veg*n menu (there's also a gluten free menu). The specialist menus were offered without having to ask, which was great, the weird thing was that our waiter talked me through the vegan menu but then suggested to Dan that the steak was a great option. Interesting assumption.

Monday, 6 July 2015

The Tyranny of Everything

I didn't think our weekend away was relaxing, until I got up today and realised it was. 

I have a vague recollection of waking up early in the morning and putting the radio on, the next thing I knew Dan was leaping out of bed exclaiming "IT'S NINE O'CLOCK!". Nine o'clock is a bad thing because it means that rabbits haven't had their breakfast, never mind us or the fact that rabbits have a pen full of hay, they must eat, no-one may rest. 

Then there was the conversation about decorating the whole house, and painting the garage, and the front door and saving for a car and on and on and on. Then we discovered that there is a screw in the tyre of the hire car, so along with the original car, it is visiting the garage. Waaaaaay too much fuss and expense for so little return. 

I have never felt so tense. 

I was pretty tense on holiday, after working in hotels for such a long time I find it hard to relax in one, in order to relax, apparently, I like to be left alone. I also don't like being on the clock, being out of your room so it can be "serviced" finding somewhere to eat that's open at a convenient time, booking or not booking, what happens when it rains, too much choice, and on and on and on. 

I have said it many times before, and this time is no different, I do not enjoy being on holiday.