Thursday, August 23, 2012

I've been...

..spending happy weekend hours outside with good friends

..grateful for my lovely Dad, who said we could have their Dyson after ours died last week

..discovering I have moths in my wardrobe and throwing several items of holey clothes away

..doing lots of laundry, mine to get rid of the moths, my Mum's as her washing machine
has broken

..enjoying home-grown apples from our friends' tree

..reading. 47 books so far this year.

..thankful for the blue skies and sunshine, and trying not to complain about the heat

..revisiting an old favourite from the 90s

..(still) knitting a baby blanket for a little girl due in October

..looking forward to a few days away soon with the Prof in a cottage in the countryside

..feeling better and having more energy than I have done for years

Sunday, August 12, 2012

sticker shock

Today we bought what I thought of as a few bits and pieces, and I was shocked when the bill came to £26.68. Two days ago we spent fifty-odd pounds, and we haven't bought any meat this week yet. Every week, our grocery shopping seems to cost more than the week before. Thankfully, we can manage the rising prices, but I feel so sorry for those who can't - apparently the number of food banks in the UK has doubled in the last year, and I am not at all surprised. I don't know how I would manage if I was still a single parent, or if the Prof was still out of work. 

Three or four years ago, I could do a week's shopping for three adults and the dog for forty or fifty pounds. These days it costs more like £100. A large part of the increase is due to the price rises, but I also think that I am probably not shopping as carefully as I did in the past, when it was second nature to me to be frugal as our income was so low I had no choice. 

This month, when the Prof gets paid, I am going to try the envelope system for some of our day to day expenses such as groceries. I am curious to see exactly how much we do spend, and if we can stick within the budget amounts I will be setting. It should be an interesting exercise! 

Joining the August Break

Friday, August 10, 2012

Yarn Along

I have read such a lot of books this year I can hardly keep up with myself. I am keeping a record and I think this book, You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Maksik, is about the 44th I have read this year - not including the several books I have got partway through and given up on. I started it in bed last night, and am really enjoying it. 

I am still working on the baby blanket for a friend's granddaughter, due to be born in October. I should have finished it by then, it's the sewing up that will be my challenge. I have a bag full of finished projects that I need to sew together. I need to find someone who doesn't like knitting but likes making things up and we could have a collaborative joint effort to make things! I finished the main white part of the blanket, this is the pink edging. I am pleased with how it is looking, rather pretty I think. 

Joining Yarn Along and August Break

Thursday, August 09, 2012

breakfast with Black Eyed Susie

This little mosaic table and chairs are just outside my back door where I like to sit with a cup of coffee on a sunny morning. I haven't been able to sit out there much with the awful summer we have had, but now we have actually got a couple of nice days forecast, I am hoping to get the chance. In fact, I will make a date right now to have my breakfast and coffee out there tomorrow morning. 

P.S. Isn't the black eyed Susan lovely?  

Joining the August Break

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

finally, the scent of summer

I adore sweet peas. The first time I recall them is when my mother planted them along her back fence the year I was pregnant with the Young Philosopher. She would cut bunch after bunch of them and bring them indoors, and the scent was divine. 

When I moved from eleven years living in a flat to a house with a tiny garden, I grew them myself several times along my side fence at the front of the house, and they were glorious. These days, I have pyracantha bushes, a clematis that has taken over, and a few other things growing along that fence that means my regular sweet pea spot is no more. The last few years I have tried growing them up a wigwam in pots, with no success. This year I have some in a pot, which are very tatty looking and about six inches tall, and some which I planted to grow up canes by the front door. They were planted late, and with the summer we have had (or rather, not had) I have not expected much at all, but today, there they were, half a dozen lovely little purple and white blooms. I have them on the kitchen windowsill, and keep wandering over to sniff them. I waved them under the Prof's nose this evening, to demonstrate how gorgeous the scent is. 'Hmm', he said. 'Smells like air freshener'.

Joining the August Break

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

new habits

Since the Prof and I have been trying to eat more healthily, one of the biggest changes for me has been eating breakfast every day. Every morning I sit down to a bowl of All Bran with whatever berries we have, usually blueberries and strawberries, sometimes some chopped apple too. Eating in the mornings is definitely helping with my energy levels, and stops me from feeling light-headed and peculiar by lunchtime, which, to be honest, was what used to prompt me to eat something most days. Ten weeks on, I can say I actually really enjoy my breakfast which as someone who has never really been able to face food first thing in the morning, is a result. 

In other news, as of this week, my healthier eating has resulted in a ten pound weight loss, about which I am very pleased. 

Joining the August Break