Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2017


Back In October I wrote about how we'd chopped back the plant jumble of roses and honeysuckle at the back of the garden in the hope they'd grow back and we could have things looking less messy. 

There is plenty of life there now. Not only do the birds love it now we've chopped back the overgrowth from the garden behind, we have roses! 

I know absolutely nothing about roses, other than this one is pink

and this one is yellow!

There's far more going on at ground level too, I've planted a few shade-loving things but there are surprises coming up all the time, which is why we're waiting until next year before making any big moves with this area. 

Lots and lots of these, I don't know what they are. They've been flattened by the wind a little, but they're still really pretty. 

In May (I can't believe it was so recently) Dan made a small path to use as a shortcut from the patio to the pebbles made with some left over logs and the remaining bits of pallets we…

Freebie and Bargain of the Week

Not much to report this week.

Dan came home with assorted teas, passed on by a work colleague. We in turn passed some on to others and left ourselves with a couple of packs.

I picked up a few books from the library

I want to cosy up the spare bedroom, so hopefully I'll find some inspiration here. Also hoping to get inspiration for the menu plan next month. That's about it, a nice simple week. 

Chip Chip Chip

Recently the freezer has filled up, and filled up without very much finding its way back out again, so getting things back to manageable levels has been my focus. Junk food had started to find its way into the house (and I haven't enjoyed most of it much) so we've been working through it. 

No photos, I've fallen out of the habit. 

Recently we've eaten - 

a home made chana masala (delicious)
a couple of wraps
2 lots of roast veg
some veg gyoza, they had soy in which was  bit meaty for me so Dan ate most of them
2 sausages 
2 bean burgers
1/2 butternut squash
roast sweet potatoes
assorted bread rolls and other stashed bread

There's a bit of room to move now. It inspired me to do the same with the pantry as the same thing has been happening, lots going in, not much coming out. 

I'm working my way through the massive tinned pulses order from the other month, still not a massive fan but there you go.

A tin of potatoes I bought for a game on social media

Tonight we…

Slowly The Ball Rolls

I have made so many changes that are so small they would be invisible to the untrained eye. 

Cellulose cloths for example. I bought them in the spirit of being more environmentally conscious, they don't work for us, so today I'm heading out to buy some washing up sponges. It turns out Dan was right, having a cloth flapping around for days before being washed is not nice at all (I only wash two or three loads each week so kitchen cloths might be in a basket for a while). And the amount of times things have had to be rewashed was ridiculous, although I realise that this is probably just a case of a bad workman blaming their tools. Plus,  when I see how much excess and waste passes through the shop every single week I find it a little harder to tie myself in knots over the matter. 
Laundry liquid. This is a mixed one in hindsight. I'd been using soapnuts for a year and still hadn't made up my mind about them, so I bought some laundry liquid and offered the nuts to someone e…


Over the past little while I've been making some changes, and a key to this has been to strike while the iron's hot, although that hasn't extended to actual ironing. Ironing happens most when I'm making a quilt - the board is up most of the time so what's a few extra bits when there's so much pressing to be done?

As I think I mentioned, I have been listening to the Happier podcast and it has helped me to get so much done. One of my very favourite happiness hacks was to start reading a new book as soon as I've finished the current one. Simple but great advice for someone who can go a long time between reads. The Kindle is now my number one buddy, hmmm, maybe number two after my new phone and I have read so much in the past month. It also helps that we went to an event in Lancaster, part of the writing festival, where we heard Ian Martin (a writer and so-called swearing consultant for the tv show The Thick of It). His book Epic Space  was loaded onto my little…

Styling My Home

Ages ago my parents offered me two carboys from their house, they've had them for years. I remember them from when I was little, until Father obtained a huge whisky bottle from the Naval Club he used to go to one was filled with change, the other was a bottle garden. 
The smaller of the two we've had in the house for quite a while and hold Dan's toy cars - ideal for when the smalls come to visit as they love both the cars and having to get them out of the bottle. The other was in the garage for ages, until I mentioned to Dan that we had used it as a bottle garden and he was taken with the idea. Today we, to the best of our ability put the plan into action. 

We decided it would add a bit of something to the spare bedroom, I fear it may be a broken toe if a visitor staggers around too much in the dark after a great night out.

The mouth of the bottle is too small even for my tiny lady hands so it was a delicate operation involving bamboo canes and a cut up tetrapak funnel, but w…

Freebie And Bargain of the Week

Including a little bit of last week. Also not really freebies and bargains as such, but good things that didn't cost much. Bit of a misleading title all things considered. 
£2 all-day parking in Manchester so we could nip to the Whitworth to catch the last day of the mini Lucienne Day exhibition.

Plus Barbara Brown and part of the Manchester International Festival, the latter was a taster for our trip to Northlight Mill in Brierfield the following day for part of Home1947

The (very emotional) installation here concerned the partition of India 70 years ago. It was small but beautifully formed and the Super Slow Way volunteers were fantastic, informative and we had some really interesting discussions. See more here
We took the opportunity to nip into Burnley for coffee and cake at Little Barista (Howe Walk), and to nip to the garden centre well, it was Sunday), plants 10 for £10, just what we were after. The staff at the cafe remember us for some reason and although we already had c…

Form Is Temporary, Class Is Permanent

As Bill Shankley apparently said. 

Today's Power Hour started a little later today as I had my hair cut. I've never been a fan of visiting the hairdresser and could go for many months or even a couple of years between visits. So Now I make the next appointment at the end of my current appointment, I know most people probably do that anyway, but it's the one small change that has lead to the biggest improvement in my appearance. 

We were talking last night and Dan said to me "well, I wish you were tidier but...". I wish tidiness was something that came easily to me too but it doesn't, so it's my focus for the next little while, the key to this is doing one thing at a time - easy to say, easy to forget. 

The one tiny change that has improved my week is to start using a tray. I mentioned recently that I'd started to use a cupboardless space in my kitchen to store my cookbooks. Well, there were a few too many for the makeshift shelf I have, so I rescued a tr…

Thursday Power Hour

Things that can be done at any time are frequently left undone.
This sentence could pretty much have summed up my life recently. I'm at home most of the time so I rarely have pressure to get things done at a certain time, I can come and go as I please, but for someone like me that can be a recipe for disaster. 
A little while ago I started having a Thursday power hour, in my case it's a power morning but hour sounds better due to rhyming, I don't think it rhymes when Dan says it but it does when I do. Plus, he'd never saying a phrase like that unless he was mocking me. In my house a power hour isn't the drinking game, although it does sound like fun, but the Gretchen Rubin idea to take one hour per week to do all those little tasks that never seem to make it to the top of the to-do list. I love it. For naturally organised people it's probably not a big deal, for me whose natural state is to be all over the show it's great.
It's also the day I've chosen…

Painted Nails

Recent changes have been small, as changes often are. 

I've started wearing nail polish, only on my toes at this point for practical reasons. I hadn't used it for years because there was no point, but then I thought do things differently and splashed out £3.99 on a bottle of Barry M Blue Glacier metallic gloop. I love it. It must have had an effect on me as I bought a new phone this week and it turns out I chose one in the same colour.

Speaking of which, I had a reasonably basic phone because there was no point in having anything fancier. I now have a fancier one and can do things with it. I mean, the main thing I'm doing with it is sending everyone pictures of Ron Swanson via Telegram, but it's a fun thing to do. Anything can be pointless or meaningful depending on the meaning I ascribe to it and fun is as good a reason to do something as anything else. 

I got rid of the junk drawer, in the past I'd found it useful for holding things I needed but didn't always wa…

Being Honest

I've learned quite a lot during the holiday that went wrong. 

On Tuesday I woke up with a cold, by Thursday Dan had it too, so instead of getting out and about we were forced to spend lots of time at home. And other than the being ill aspect of it, we really had a great time, and were surprisingly productive.

A couple of things I also realised - firstly I really, really, really, really dislike picnics. I was going to say I just dislike making them, but that's not true, for the most part eating them is a bit annoying too. Having to deal with thinking about lunch when I've only just had my breakfast is not something I relish, and as for making it the night before - I have eaten enough curled or soggy butties to last me a lifetime. Plus, I don't think they save us any money. For those picnic lovers around I salute you, but they're not for me. I'd rather shove a jug of water and a tub of seeds in my bag then deal with food when I get home than go through the picnic p…