Saturday, 17 March 2018

Eventually Snow

We had planned to go to the Science Fair at Leeds.  Bear was actually interested in going to somewhere outside of the house and I was quite keen myself.  Then snow was forecast.

Leeds is not set up for snow.  The main roads get gritted but people aren't used to it.  Cars don't have winter tyres or chains, pavements get very slick and the buses faint at the first snowflake.  Lots of drivers panic on the road.  We don't really get enough to have practice at driving in snow, so during the last snow, Facebook was full of pictures of cars skidded off the road and into lamp posts.  Also, the way home includes a steep hill that just doesn't work when it's slippery. 

DH said he wasn't going into Leeds when there was snow forecast.  I thought this was entirely reasonable.  When he was saying that, gusts of snow were whirling horizontally past the window.  However it just didn't settle.  Snow came and went in very windy patches, but it had no effect on the road.  So in the end DH and bear went in to the Science Fair (my joints were too bad). 

They had a blast!  There were people from all sorts of different societies and facilities, like from the hospitals and university as well as local science societies.  Bear made sherbet and showed off and came home very happy indeed.  The snow was still coming in gusts and still had no effect on the roads.  I was beginning to think that the weather forecast had got a little over excited and the drowsiness I was feeling was a late night (snow always makes me sleepy) when the snow really started.  I've just had a quick look out of the window and it looks like a couple of inches have settled over the street. 

So I am feeling a little smug.  I arranged for my shopping and deliveries to happen on Friday so they wouldn't be affected by the snow that was forecast.  I asked DH nicely to go to the tip with rubbish on Friday instead of Sunday when he would normally go (goodness only knows what this will do to the rubbish collection here!).  And I also got a small dent made in the dining room.  There's lots to do but I've started and I'm feeling confident.  The new dryer is coming on Wednesday and I've got clean shirts for DH and bear that should keep them going until then.  It could be a lot worse. 

Taking stock

I got to Aldi!!!  It's a very small distance and I spent not much but at least I got out and got the stuff in before the snow that is forecast hit. 

I was looking for a decent laundry powder holder.  I have one of those tin ones with enamel on which is a perfect size for a large box of Ariel and has a cute little cup thing that hangs off one of the hangers.  I absolutely love it - but it's gone rusty.  I've just had a thought...

(as an aside, I don't plan what I write here.  You get pure, unadulterated, unpremeditated witterings.  I think of stuff as I'm typing and in it goes.  So when I have a thought half way through, I may as well add it)

I don't like the idea of the rusty box but I could just rub down the rust and paint over it.  Of course, it isn't the thickest of tin so there may be a hole forming already but it's a possibility.  Or I may just cave and get a large plastic tub.  I'll have to look at the rusty patch and see whether it's worth trying to mend.  I suppose I could get another enamelled tub and pre-treat the base with a layer of varnish. 

But I think I am going to have to accept that I currently have bad joints and I am going to have to work around them.  I believe that the main cause is self inflicted - I'm overweight and I don't move much.  My late mother was crippled with arthritis and took feverfew tablets. 

So I need to move more and eat less.  Moving is tricky.  Stairs are currently a problem.  I'm not too bad in the mornings but by evenings just getting up from a chair is an issue.  I've decided (and please, please, please, let me for once stick to a plan!) I need to get things set up  so I can do all the moving I need to in the morning and then just relax later.  I need to set the house up so that it works with complete efficiency - allowing for bear and pals, of course.

I'm going to start in the dining room.  I'll report back and let you know how it goes. 

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Drying Troubles

I have a tumble dryer.  It hasn't been a happy bunny.  It fainted yesterday so I took out the condenser filter and gave it a good spray down, just like the handbook said.  Then this morning I put in a load of bear's shirts and it tumbled dried them beautifully.  It hasn't worked since.

This is not the first time that the dryer has come over all useless.  I suppose I'm not surprised.  For some reason I've been getting a lot done this week and that includes catching up with the washing and drying and I've changed all the beds.  I suppose the dryer was feeling frail. 

I've just looked back through the blog and the dryer is almost exactly two years old.  It should be doing better than this.  In the past it's sulked and not worked and then a few days later it's started with no bother. 

I'm going to have to sort out the dining room (where the dryer currently lives) to allow for drying on airers.  This is not going to be a quick process as currently the ironing pile is so big that it's getting its own postcode.  Plus there are a lot of things that need to be either placed elsewhere or thrown out.  The dryer will probably start working again soon, but it makes sense to limit its use anyway. 

It's getting to the time of year where, weather permitting, I can dry things on the line.  Except that the smell of the illegal drugs in the street is strong enough to stop a clock and I can't bear the scent of it. 

I wonder if I can make home made fabric freshener?  I could dry on the line and then squirt the clothes with fake Febreeze and not be overcome by the smell from the neighbours.  I'm off to google. 

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Weary Wednesday

I'm trying to cut back on caffeine (again) so I am almost nodding off while I post.  It's been a funny sort of day.  I've been pootling around with a little ironing, a little cleaning and a little writing.  I spent around half an hour knitting and I've nearly finished another scrubby. 

It's been very limp today.  I still have an outsized pile of ironing, plus all sorts of stuff everywhere but it's getting slightly but consistently better over the last week.  I'm moving the best I have all year!  First it was almost-flu, which wiped me out.  Then my back went.  No it's my hip and knee but if I move in the morning it isn't too bad.  I suspect it may be arthritis.  As it is, the biggest excitement for me today has been watching to see which wheelie bin they took today.

The council are supposed to collect general rubbish and recycling on alternate Wednesdays.  The week before last, when it should have been recycling, we were hit by snow and the refuse collection had to be cancelled.  However the council did their best to catch up and were running only a day behind last week which means the general rubbish should have been collected last Thursday - when we had a lot of unexpected snow.  Last night I left both bins out and kept everything crossed that they would take the general rubbish which includes all the stinky food waste.  They didn't.  I've got to wait another week and the bin is already full.  Fortunately DH enjoys a trip to the rubbish tip, so that should take some pressure off.  As we live near a small stream (with some minor flooding onto some grass a few days ago), near a lot of fast food places and have a major sewer running down the centre of the street, we get a lot of rats here.  I don't like leaving rubbish out, just in case. 

Tomorrow I plan to go for a very short, perhaps five minute walk, even if it's raining.  I'm putting it here to try and keep my resolve.  I'll report back tomorrow to see if I managed it. 

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

New Yarn!!!

I think this is an absolute first for me in over forty years of knitting.  I made a project with the recommended yarn!

I got some Red Heart Scrubby yarn on a good deal from Amazon and I knitted a cloth to use in the shower.  I thought I could do with a couple of them as the yarn washes and will tumble dry so I could just use once for a nice, scrubby and exfoliating experience, then bung in the washer while getting the next out of the pile.  I was planning on doing a square, but I saw this free pattern and decided to go for it.  To be fair, it took me around an hour and a half, but a lot of that was dropping pens, dropping needles and fielding bear's comments.  I wasn't sure how much yarn I would need for a scrubby so I got five balls.  I finished that one shown and there is loads of the first ball left.  I may easily get two or even three out of a ball.  That will be great, giving me a good pile of robust wash cloths. 

It was parents' evening tonight.  We had the usual about bear's handwriting (he's working on it.  It's still not a thing of beauty), but bear is coasting a little.  So he's only in the top four or five in the class instead of being outright the best.  It's not a bad thing to have at a parent's evening - only in the top four or five.  Now all I have to do is try and get bear motivated to push a little harder for the last four months in this school even though he has already made it to grammar school and is sailing through with less effort.  I worry that if I don't then bear will have an even bigger shock at grammar school where all of his class managed to pass the insanely competitive entrance exam.  Or I could leave him to it until next September when the fun really begins! 

Monday, 12 March 2018

Manic Monday

It wasn't really that manic.  It was just a little busy.  It would have been less busy if I hadn't decided to strip DH's and bear's beds and started washing.  With all the other washing as well, I was kept busy.  I was also watching like a hawk for the postie who finally delivered the copy of the birth certificate for me to send with the information form to the grammar school. 

The school were late sending out the forms, due to silly weather.  Then the copy of the birth certificate was guaranteed to arrive on Thursday, but there was more silly weather.  And then  I noticed that the cut off date to return this to the school was last Friday.  I went into a tailspin.  After I had calmed down, I rang them up.

I spoke to someone in charge of admissions and they were lovely!  They assured me it would be fine, just get the things to them and it would all be okay.  I felt hugged.  Then I raced (okay, limped - my knee, hip and back are all misbehaving) over to the Post Office and sent it off, first class, guaranteed next day delivery, please let there not be a problem.  On the way back I took this photo

We have had a bit of rain.  It's not so bad as in some parts of the world, but it's soggy enough.  By the time I'd fielded a few lovely phone calls from family, re-made the beds, cooked dinner, got bear wrestled into bed with the huge panda he has rediscovered and staggered downstairs, I was barely fit to post the latest instalment of 'At the Sign of the White Hart'.  Said instalment is here for those interested. 

Now I am going to bed!

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Mother's Day

Bear got me the best candles for Mother's Day.  I love candles and he got some Shearer candles in my favourite citrus scents.  I have felt hugged all day.

Car things continue.  Bear will be going to the grammar school with one of his pals.  His pal's mum is going to take me out in her car.  This is awesome.  Today I went on her insurance and we set up some times for her to take me out.  I need to focus on passing my theory test before I book the intensive week driving course.  The intensive driving course is purely to pass the test.  I need to be able to get the lads to and from school safely.  Once I have that piece of paper then I can learn to drive properly. 

As for my family, I may share memories as they come up.  They were a remarkable lot.  I remember watching my father rescue someone from a burning building.  I was with friends and we spotted the excess smoke from the chimney and mother checked through the window and the place was alight.  Father and a couple of neighbours broke down the door and carried out our neighbour and father did cpr until the ambulance arrived.  Sadly the neighbour died later in hospital. 

Uncle was always known for having a beard, long before they were fashionable.  He got a burn on his face when he was fighting a fire in a ship's engine room and felt self conscious so had a beard to keep it hidden. 

Mother could kick down a door.  She looked like a little old lady and quite harmless, and she had bad arthritis.  However her father had been a special policeman during WWII and had passed on some tips.  It came in very useful when I went to Guides as the door used to stick and it was the only way to get in to the hall. 

Sometimes, when I write about werewolves and vampires, I tone things down compared to my own experiences. 

Also, I'm sure every family has these sort of characters.  People are wonderful and complicated and do amazing things.  I just think that sometimes our family just liked the stories so kept sharing them.