Sunday, 19 November 2017


Does anyone know how to block somebody on Blogger?  

I've started getting quite a few spam comments (must mean I've arrived! teehee), none of which get published as I have comment moderation on.  However, I've had several recently (nearly every day) from the same person - nonsense stuff, a load of gobbledy gook that's clearly of foreign origin.

No big deal really, it would just be easier if they couldn't get through.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

More Christmas stuff

Sorry, I know it's been a while (nearly 2 weeks....oops).  No good excuse really, just had nothing much to say.  

Thanks for all the comments on my last post - 20, a record for me.  Seems most of us don't fancy spending so much money on one meal - you could feed a whole tribe of family and friends for the Christmas period on what would be the cost of a Christmas Day meal in a restaurant.  As I said, the cost of a Christmas meal around here (between £50-£75) would be a fortnight's shopping (if not more) for us, so is totally unjustified.  

Thank you for the birthday wishes.  To answer some of the comments:-

Pam, no dancing round the kitchen yet, but am sure there will be!  Catriona, I'm surprised to hear that not much of the extra cost for the meal goes to the staff - terrible, where's their incentive to work then?  Toni-anne, no I can't imagine you being able to get through a big 3-course lunch!  Marlene, I hope you enjoyed your birthday.  Sandra, my CD player/DAB radio is a compact Bush model (didn't want one of those huge ghetto blasters), I like the look and portability of it, but the sound quality isn't great - it's ok for my purposes though, I can always play my CDs on the DVD player with the sound bar in the lounge if I want really good sound.  Dawn, good idea to go away for Christmas, we've done it a few times in the past when we had our caravan.  Vix, your Dead Relatives Society Christmas Day curry feast sounds good!  And good value too.  Hazel, your Christmas days sound lovely, and no stress for you!  Chris, yes I agree, I often think when we've gone out for a meal that turned out to be mediocre that I could have cooked it far better myself.

We've decided to have roast beef for our Christmas lunch - it's something we don't have very often due to cost, so we'll look forward to that.

We will be going out for an early Christmas dinner - our village parish council put on a 3-course Christmas meal plus coffee and mince pie, and entertainment (singers and/or a comedian), in the village hall in early December.  Haven't been before, but are going this year with our lovely friendly neighbours, it should be a good evening....and is certainly much MUCH cheaper than a Christmas Day meal out.

I'll be hanging my one decoration in December - a small wreath on the door.  I'm not a total Grinch, I do love all the Christmassy songs - classic choir hymn ones, old cheesy pop ones, good old Slade and Cliff Richard, etc. - I play them continually in December, much to OH's disgust.  We also like going out to see the Christmas light show put on by a number of houses in one cul de sac in Burnham on Sea - they all have incredible displays and collection boxes for charity.  I wouldn't fancy their electricity bills!

Monday, 6 November 2017

Christmas Day (oh and my birthday)

Thanks for all the comments on my last post, seems we all feel the same.  I don't normally do current affairs posts, I don't really watch the news, but we've been bombarded with all this molestation stuff and I did feel strongly about some of it, hence the post.

Husband and I don't really 'do' Christmas, we never have - we don't have children (OH has adult kids from his first marriage, but they've never lived with us) and both of us come from families who don't celebrate Christmas, for religious reasons - we don't follow their faith but, having grown up not celebrating Christmas, we've never felt the need to either.  I do usually cook a roast dinner (not turkey, as neither of us is keen on it) and we enjoy relaxing for a couple of days and watching lots of TV, but that's as far as it goes.  However, this year we've been toying with the idea of going out for Christmas lunch in a pub/restaurant - never have before and probably never will again, it just seemed like a nice idea, so I started looking around for places that are doing a lunch, and checking out the prices.

Well, we won't be going.  I know it's Christmas day and the venues have to pay their staff (hopefully a good rate!) for giving up their day to work - but good grief, the prices!!  What they're charging for a meal for the 2 of us would work out to pretty much a fortnight's food shopping, and I simply can't justify spending that much on ONE meal.  It seems obscene, even if it is a 3 or 4 course meal.  So that's that, it's a nice roast lunch at home for us.  At least OH won't have to drive, so he can have a couple of glasses of wine and a Scotch.

It's my birthday today, OH took me out to lunch, we had a lovely carvery meal, beef and pork with lots of nice veggies, and the bonus is I don't have to cook today.  He bought me what I asked for, a CD player/DAB radio, I'm very pleased with it.  Our only means of playing CDs, of which I have quite a lot, is on the DVD player in the lounge.  Since I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, I couldn't hear my CDs properly unless I turned it up very loud (bearing in mind my poor hearing) and I didn't want the neighbours complaining!  So it'll be lovely to be able to play them in the kitchen. 

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Err, no it wasn't!!

I'm totally fed up with all this sexual assault/inappropriate behaviour stuff by celebs/MPs/people in the public eye that's coming out lately.  The latest one, that MP (Michael Fallon?) who's just resigned, made a statement that really annoyed me....he said that behaviour that might have been acceptable in the past was no longer appropriate now.  Excuse me, but since when has touching up a woman against her wishes EVER been acceptable?  It hasn't and isn't, end of.  Some men are trying to brush it off as horseplay/high jinks, when the reality is they're having a grope - whether the woman wants it or not.

Now, this is my opinion, on my blog - I don't speak for everyone, it's just what I personally think.  

I think that years ago men did a lot of 'inappropriate' stuff, they've always done it and mostly got away with it.  And the reason for that, I think, is that years ago women didn't really have a was the culture, norm, practise, whatever you want to call it, that men were the bosses, workers, ones in charge, and women were the little housewives and mothers staying home with pinnies on looking after the home and family, deferring to their husbands and not being expected to have an opinion (remember the unbelievably sexist TV adverts years ago when women were told not to worry their pretty little heads about things they knew nothing about?!).  It's taken decades for women to speak up and become equals and have the courage to say this happened to me years ago, and to now say No means No.  I think some men have been slow to realise that they simply can't get away with inappropriate behaviour anymore.

I also think there needs to be a distinction between sexual abuse and inappropriate behaviour - and again this is just MY opinion.  I realise that everyone is different and what one woman might find acceptable, another might not.  But in my book, what constitutes sexual assault is very different from merely inappropriate behaviour - to me, just putting their hand on a woman's knee or asking what colour knickers they've got on is just inappropriate and creepy, and should be easily dealt with by simply telling the bloke he's being a dickhead (or threatening to punch him in the face like that journalist did to Michael Fallon - well done her!).  Sexual assault is a whole different (and criminal) thing.

I do think as well that there is the danger of some men in the public eye being hounded and made the subject of a witchhunt.  Let's face it, some alleged 'victims' (male or female) might just want their 15 mins of fame, or have a financial motive.  

I also wonder what's the benefit or purpose of someone who was the victim of, let's say, a low level inappropriate behaviour, coming forward after a great number of years to talk about it.  Where does it get them?  What purpose does it serve?  I suppose it might help them to get it off their chests and perhaps close the book on something that has bothered them for years.  But, and again this is just my opinion, doesn't it just rake up things from the past and bring it all to the fore again and risk upsetting them all over again?

I'm sorry if all this upsets some people - as the current campaign slogan goes, #MeToo.  And that's all I am saying.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

This, that and a bit of the other

Our guests have gone, it all went off ok, they ate (almost) everything I provided - even the ketchup was eaten without noticing anything different....or at least they didn't comment!  Now, as well as our neighbours coming in tomorrow evening for the dominoes/cards/snacks night, we also have another set of visitors for lunch tomorrow, unexpectedly.  So I've had to go and do a bit of a top up shop low-spend October has well and truly gone out of the window.  Never mind, these things happen, and it is nice to see relatives we haven't seen for a year or two.  I am planning on doing a low spend November though - we'll see how that goes!

Our little Betty Boo is a year old today - the time has raced by.  Here's how she looked when we'd had her just a couple of weeks (so about 10 weeks old):-

(look how tiny she was!)

and here she is now:-

Big heffalump sitting on wouldn't be so bad if she just sat still, but she doesn't, she's a right fidget.  But I love her to bits.

We got these two ornaments the other day:-

I couldn't resist them, told Betty they're her mum and dad (SharPei mother, English Bulldog father).  She wasn't impressed, she wouldn't even go anywhere near them at first when I had them on the hearth.  Eventually though she started to approach them, cautiously at first, and then, after sniffing them thoroughly, she tried to bite the heads off!  Hence why they're now on the mantel shelf.  She gives them sideways glances and woofs at them every now and then, she's so funny.

Betty likes being with us and follows us about from room to room, except when she's napping of course.  If she wants attention and we're not giving her any, she'll either come and sit with us and pat us with her paw, or she'll grab a toy and come and dump it in our laps.  She has very expressive wrinkly eyebrows, which move independently of each other - when she's lying down with her chin on her front paws, not asleep but just watching us or the tv (she loves any kind of animal programmes), her wrinkly brows are constantly moving up and down, she makes me hoot with laughter sometimes.  Having her is one of the best things we ever did.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Getting a bit out of control....

With hindsight, perhaps October wasn't the best month to try and cut down drastically on food shopping spends.  Last week we were away on a last minute Mon-Fri break, stayed in a timber lodge on a quiet fishing site in north Devon, it was wonderful and totally made up for the disastrous holiday last month.  My £41 shop last weekend included some food for the holiday, but we did eat out a couple of times as well, so spent more on food than I would have if we'd been at home.  And tomorrow we have guests arriving to stay with us for a couple of days....they don't eat the same sort of things as we do - mainly junk or fast food! - and one of them is a very fussy eater, so that's meant we've had to buy more food than usual, and included things we wouldn't normally have.  E.g.  the fussy one only drinks cola, and branded at that - we never ever buy fizzy pop for ourselves and if we did, it wouldn't be an expensive branded one.

So yesterday we spent just over £70 on food shopping.  Oh well, I did stick to my list again and I've economised on some things, so £70 is probably less than I could have spent.  Our guests only have the leading brand of tomato ketchup - in our cupboard I had half a bottle of the supermarket own brand one I usually buy, plus a little bit left in a bottle of the leading brand one (bought from Approved Foods ages ago when they had it at a cheap price). I was planning on swishing it out with water and adding it to a stew or something, but had a brainwave - I poured the own brand one into the leading brand bottle and shook them together....we'll see if our guests actually notice the difference!  They don't read this blog so they won't know ;-).  So that saved me having to buy another (expensive) ketchup.

We've recently started having a dominoes and cards night every fortnight or so with our lovely friendly neighbours, we take it in turns to host and provide food and drink.  It's our turn this coming Friday but I don't have to buy anything extra for that, I'll make some snacks using what we've got.  We've got some beers, cider and wine too....I almost never drink alcohol and OH doesn't drink much, so what we get given or buy on special offer always sits in the cupboard for ages - useful for when we have guests.

I think I might try doing the restricted shop thing next month, nothing much planned so far, we're not going away and no guests visiting.

Thank you 50 and Counting (good luck with your reduced shopping!), Fishcake Random and Gemma's Person for your comments on my last blog - retirement (well, OH's) is going just fine, we're busier than ever.  Our Betty Boo is a year old this week, how time has flown!  She's as lovely as ever, still making us laugh every single day, still very stubborn but reasonably well behaved.  Our one-to-one training with the lovely Carrie-Anne has been put on hold as she is heavily pregnant, but hopefully we'll continue with it when Carrie's back to work.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

and the 3rd....

Went shopping this morning, stuck to my list apart from a pack of wraps that OH decided he wanted for his lunch (they were reduced though).  I think one of the things that's helping me not to buy stuff we don't actually need, is that by sticking rigidly to the list, I don't go down any aisles which don't have stuff we need.....I just look for the items on my list and don't bother looking at anything else.  Spent £41, making a total of £113 for three shops.  

On the face of it, it doesn't look like I'm keeping my spending down.  However, under normal circumstances (not watching the pennies in other words), we usually spend around £60 or £70 on a weekly shop, so we're actually doing pretty well.  I'm sure we could do even better though.  At the end of October I'll take stock of things and see how I can cut down even more.

Thanks for the comments on the last post.  Sue in Suffolk - I've tried other brands, including shop's own, too but always come back to the Nescafe ones, I really like them the best.  I have the Unsweetened ones - they still contain glucose but are much less sweet.  And yes it does make sense to stock up on things we regularly buy when they're on a good offer.