Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2017

Good Things This Week

We're on holiday! That's a good thing on its own.

I was given some tea towels!

We went to a talk about murder at Edge Hill University.

I made overnight oats.

We went to Hull, and as luck would have it the day before our 20th Century Society magazine arrived with an article about the city. I had never noticed before that the masts on the (former) BHS mural spell out 'Hull'. Flabbergasted!

We visited Cottingham on our way to Hull to nip into Blondes a very splendid veg*n cafe, I had pastry!

and glitter cake!

We received our cheques, for £10.48 for the "Twenty's Plenty" footballs tickets when we went to watch Everton v Burnley. Oh yes, Burnley were not relegated from the Premier League - jelly and ice cream all round. 

Best of all Dan did the hoovering and made most of the sandwiches.

Three Days In Blackburn

Last week I visited Blackburn on three separate occasions, all for The National Festival of Making. I've been to the town on many occasions but can't really tell you much about the place, although I believe it has a football team and they play in the third tier of English football*. 

We got off to a bad start on Wednesday when we attended a really badly organised (paid) event about self-initiated projects, featuring Craig OldhamHamish Muir and Jane Foster. After being kept waiting for 40 minutes or so (some of that locked out of the building in the chilly evening) the talk was pretty interesting, although echoey as it was in the cathedral. I could have listened to Craig and Hamish talk for a looooong time around the subject, as they touched on some interesting points about mark making and creating meaning. I didn't hold our much hope for how well the rest of the festival would go.

I was, however, beyond pleasantly surprised when we arrived back there on Saturday, we could …

Home Bargains - Top Ten

I've seen a lot of love for the shop Home Bargains recently so I thought I'd share my top ten favourite things. I was going to do a vlog but honestly I'm just too squeaky in the voice department.

I shop here a lot mainly because I pass on my way home from the charity shop, there are loads of good things to be had but these are the things we have in all the time. In no particular order

1. Dried fruit. We eat dried fruit every day, especially dates, this is Dan's favourite brand, 89p for 500g.

2. Seeds. We use these a lot too, mainly at breakfast time, but also in salads and as a snack. 225g ground linseed approx. £1.50, 200g chia seeds also around £1.50, 125g pumpkin seeds 79p.

3. Cleaning paste. I love this stuff, it's what I used to remove the rust marks from our bath and the chrome legs of our dining table plus all manner of other tasks about the place, costs about £1.

4. Assorted jars of stuff for sauces. Cheap, cheerful, I'm not a gourmet so I can't tell the…

Living High On The Hedgehog

I'm not a huge fan of online shopping but I am also not a huge fan of lugging heavy shopping through town so something had to give. Dan is also keen for us to eat more local/British food, as it was time to restock the pantry I turned to Hodmedod's. Despite my peri-peri fava bean induced "moment" and subsequent spending spree, Hodmedod products are welcome in my pantry. 

Food for us and new toys for rabbits - they love a cardboard box.

I went for the mixed pack of tins, both their plain beans and ready made foods, I'm looking forward to the dhal, and a pack of twelve tins of carlin peas - great for chilli, falafel, parched peas, and apparently chocolate brownies! 

I'm running low on gram flour so decided to try some yellow pea flour instead, and a kilo bag of quinoa. I love finding a little extra something tucked into an order so was delighted to find a selection of recipe cards

The very thrifty may wish to look away, this little lot cost me just over £35, deliver…

Look Before You Chuck

I'm neither an early bird nor a night owl, but this week I've been getting up early and I'm really seeing the benefit of it. It's just turned 8am and I've achieved so much, it's obvious but amazing!

In unrelated news some of you may know that we've been helping Dan's Mum to clear out his Grandmother's house as she has moved. I have been offered almost all of the remaining craft items, most of which I haven't even looked at yet, but at the weekend I decided to look through the button jar as I was after something for my embroidery doodle. I found this tucked away under the buttons and beads. 

It's a Royal Artillery patch.

That side of Dan's family never talk about the war so neither of us knew what roles people had so I asked Dan to ask his Mum if this badge may have belonged to his Granddad, and it did. As you can imagine it's a huge relief that I found it in the jar and didn't just donate it to the charity shop without having a look…

April Round Up

Everyone told me that the weather was going to take a turn for the worse so on Monday I took the opportunity to wash some of the quilts and get them outside to dry. Great decision, especially considering what happened next. The day took a fairly annoying turn when we had no water and had to have a plumber round, so frustrating when we're so close to getting the new bathroom, well, let's not talk about exactly how close we are to that... Having said that, according to Dan the plumber was great and he has given us lots of useful tips about the work we want to have done.

Despite my desire to spend only £100 on food this month we have spent more, but it was the lowest amount since we started tracking. I was helped out with some loyalty vouchers too, this paid for our Easter eggs and a few other treats. However, my side aim was to have a certain amount left in my household bank account at the end of the month and I have hit that goal, despite some late, unexpected, spending. I think…

Music To My Ears

What a weekend. We started on a high on Friday when it was reported that Guinness is now suitable for vegans and things got better from there. Burnley bagged their first away win of the season on Saturday evening, I was given a picture of a volcano as drawn by my niece, had a lie in until as late as 8.10 am, Line Of Duty (obviously), houmous is back on the shelves, and we had a lovely time with lots of people - both friends and strangers. Who can ask for more?

You might have seen in the background of some of my pictures my radio. When our friend Em came over from Germany a couple of years ago this was her gift, she'd carried it over in her hand luggage. Her Dad repairs and refurbishes old radios etc as a hobby and he wanted to give one to us. 

On Friday a friend for the radio turned up, again refurbished by Em's Dad and sent to us with love. 

A record player! This model was produced between 1967-69 so it's the perfect age for our house (built 1968). The design is gorgeous and…

Menu Plan - May

I haven't written a menu plan for yonks but as May is going to be an expensive month, plus we're both off work for a fortnight I thought it would be a good idea. Whether or not this is what we actually eat remains to be seen! I've chosen lots of recipes from my Aine Carlin books, I also love the blog.

1. jollof rice
2. black bean chilli
3. vietnamese noodle bowl
4. l/o
5. thai green curry
6. soup & sandwich/ we're at the footie then I'm out with people from the shop so we'll probably nip to the chippy too *yay*
7. aduki bean casserole

8. fry up! (start of the holiday)
9. mujadara
10 roast tofu sandwich
11 lentil bol
12 sushi
13 pizza
14 l/o

15 bulgur w. roast veg & falafel
16 out*
17 out
18 enchiladas
19 l/o
20 chana masala
21 picnic

22 lentil stuffed peppers
23 moussaka
24 l/o
25 pad thai
26 quinoa tabbouleh w. roast mushrooms
27 tacos
28 l/o

29 smoky jambalaya
30 plaki 
31 mid-week stir fry. 

It'll probably get mixed up and altered but this gives me something to work with.


April Week Three

Other than £3 on a football programme (I was beyond disappointed that Zlatan was injured and wouldn't play) and some groceries we haven't spent much money on ourselves this week. We even treated ourselves to a lazy afternoon and parked on a car park in town rather than up using on-street parking up the hill when we went to the football, the car park is free on Sundays. The day improved immeasurably when we were able to meet up with some friends who were in the area for the weekend. 

I bought Father's birthday gift, how the times change - its from the charity shop! He's not a charity shop person, but when I mentioned a lot of brand new garden tools we had (they were donated, but still in their packaging) he became interested. My parents had passed on Easter eggs for the children so between the gift and the eggs it all worked out even, plus it made buying a birthday gift far more simple, he's not easy to buy for!

A few things we ate this week, it was a bit leftovers up…

Far Out

I wanted to buy some onions this morning so we walked to the town via the beach. The tide was on the way out so we had a good stroll about on the beach as it was such a gorgeous morning. 

We could see The Big One rollercoaster and Blackpool Tower in the distance 

and were well past the end of the pier.

Before heading back to the town we had a look at the old bit of the pier, the winter storms have done quite a lot more damage

and some new areas have been revealed

people have started adding locks to sections too.

It was starting to get busy by the time we arrived in the town, so we beat a hasty retreat back home for tea, cake and salad on the picnic blanket.