Friday, 22 July 2016

Went Out!

I am not going to get many more chances to go out now, as the school holidays are almost on us.  My feet are really swollen.  I have just come in and daren't take my trainers off because I don't think I will be able to get them on again.  Apart from the heat, the big problem is I am not moving enough.  I could do stuff like go for a walk, but I keep bursting into tears when I am outside the house.  If this was a proper blog you would now be able to follow how I pulled myself together and started getting out and about and things miraculously improved.  As it is, it's just me and I think I have a bit to go yet before I can manage a daily walk.

It wasn't an amazing shop.  I picked up a few bits, some biscuits for the teachers, a candle for us, and (feeling like a vulture) I spent some money in BHS.

I can't believe that BHS have gone under.  I went to their store when I was a little girl to have a lunch with my grandmother, it was always one of the highlights of a visit to Liverpool.  To be honest, there hasn't been much in there that I have liked for a few years, but it is still sad to see it go.  I picked up a shirt and waistcoat for bear.  DH's auntie is visiting and may want to see him, so he will need to look sharp.  I also got him a onesie in the next size up that I will stash for Christmas, two shirts for DH and a shirt for uncle.

Here is a picture of a ripe blackberry.  What is remarkable is that the picture was taken today, which is quite early for ripe blackberries and the orange blossom, usually over at the end of May, is still out in some places.

This is a picture of the back yard of the local landlord.  He keeps his rental properties to the same standard.  I am so glad I don't rent from them.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Nobody Told Me

Eat Well For Less has started again, and I didn't realise!  It's on catch up so I have watched the first two now.  I was just stunned that in five years the first family had never made a dinner that included their youngest daughter.  I hope that they were exaggerating for the programme.  For five years the youngest daughter had had microwave meals separately because she was a vegetarian and everyone else loved meat.  I mean, I know there must have been times when people ate separately, but there must have been times when they all sat down to a veggie pizza or a nice ratatouille or something.

Bear has been watching with DH and I.  He quite enjoys it.  We include him in our discussions and I see it as part of his education.  The discussion after last week was lazy garlic.  We have a jar of lazy garlic.  It lives in the fridge and we occasionally add a spoonful to something.  A jar is £1.45  Here's a picture to make the blog pretty, picture taken from Tesco, where I get it.

I could get a pack of 4 bulbs of fresh garlic for 89p, but I don't use garlic all the time.  The first bulb would probably get used but the rest would wither and rot before I got round to them.  However a jar keeps nicely in the fridge for months.  I couldn't justify pre-chopped onions, though.  We use onions all the time.  However if I only used them once or twice a month but wanted some on hand, I would consider keeping a small bag of chopped onion in the freezer.  Often frozen veg is fresher than the fresh stuff, as it was frozen within hours of being picked instead of being carted around the country, and sometimes across countries.

I've ordered the recipe book from Amazon here.  It's an extravagance, as it will be on offer very soon, but I'm hoping I save the price by using the recipes.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016


I had looked sceptically at the weather forecast.  While everywhere else is due to get a week's worth of rain, we are likely to stay unreasonably hot and dry.  However there were hints that the skies could open around bear's play time so I sent him to school with a rain coat.  I suggested he carried it, he wore it.  The playground was interesting.  Most were just in shirts or blouses.  Two, a brother and sister, were in full winter coats - and done up too!  One or two had a cardigan or sweater - why?  8.55 am and it was already baking hot!

I felt slightly justified when at least thirty rain drops fell while the kids were waiting to go in.  I really can't wait for this weather to break.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

No Bees

We haven't got bees in the chimney anymore.  We've had them there for years, now there are none.  There have been gaps before so I hope that we get another nest soon.  I miss them.

Our chimney is quite a good pitch for the bees.  There are masses of lavender in our garden and a swathe of sweet peas are coming out.  Apart from these, the fuschias, the roses and the honeysuckle, there is a lot of greenery and gardens around.  There is plenty of foraging for local bees.  The chimney is over a gas fire and is undisturbed.  I've even left damp sponges and shallow pools of water out for them in hot weather.

Still, when one insect moves out, another moves in.  The garden is alive with ants.  As long as they don't come into the house, I'm fine.

I am not coping well with the heat.  It is not yet 11am as I type and already my hands and feet are very swollen.  However the weather forecast is 'normal for Yorkshire' in a day or two, so I will be fine.

Hester - bear is quite relaxed about the whole Shakespeare thing, but I think he is a little young for it still.  I won't stop him looking, and if we get a chance to see a good comedy then we'll take him, but I am not trying to push him.  I think he will love Shakespeare in time.  There's no rush.  Mind you, as he cannot cope with all this kissing and romance stuff and leaves the room at the first hint of anything 'mushy' on tv, perhaps he won't get hooked on the comedies straight away.

I admit, I'm looking forward to the day when I stagger downstairs at the first cough of a sparrow to find bear watching a YouTube video of a clip of Hamlet instead of Fifa, Minecraft, Pokemon, Thermodynamics (that was a fun surprise - he explained it to me), the periodic table, science lectures or funny cats.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Affected By Brexit

I'm trying to avoid politics.  The UK is having a serious and undignified political hissy fit.  It doesn't make us look good internationally.  I would also like to apologise for Boris Johnson.  Just in general.  I'm sure he will happen with panache, vigour and to the detriment of the respect for our country.

Now it has hit home.  My favourite indulgence is Reese's Cups.  I love them far too much.  If you are not familiar with them, avoid!  They are chocolate cups containing good quality, smooth peanut butter and are desperately addictive.  They are an import from the USA.  This is a picture of what I get from Tesco, which is where the picture is from, a pack of four lots of two cups instead of the bigger three cup packs in a vain attempt to limit my calorie intake.

My favourite American snack - and that's the problem.  The exchange rate has changed sharply.  I don't know if the actual cost of the Reese's Cups has changed or whether the shop has taken advantage of the hysteria to change the price but it has changed.  For well over a year the price has been stable at £1.99 a pack, or sometimes less if there is an offer.  Now it has jumped to £2.30.  I can't work out the percentage difference, but it feels like a lot.  I wonder if my lovely woodwick candles will be affected - probably.

I have no crystal ball to see what will happen, but I expect that all sorts of things will change price - many of them without reason but just because the supplier can.  I'm going to be brave, learn to love haribo (factory less than thirty miles away) and get over it.  I'm currently comfort eating - with fresh peas.  There are still plenty of luxuries left.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Another Day Out

We went to see The Tempest.  I wasn't sure that bear was ready for Shakespeare but the lady on the phone promised me that it would be fine.  I took bear's tablet, just in case.

Bear found it a challenge, although he sat still, didn't need his tablet and didn't chatter.  It wasn't helped by being out of doors on a windy day so the words were always going to be a little indistinct, and it wasn't the most awesome production ever, but it was fun and bear wants to keep having a go at Shakespeare.  I suspect some of it is because father adored Shakespeare (he got to watch it at Stratford upon Avon when he was a squaddie) and also bear does not want to be left out when DH and I go to the theatre.

There's quite a lot going on in Leeds.  Coming up is a bat and broth night at Temple Newsam.  If you don't believe me, here's the link.  I don't think that we'll go to that but we will certainly be checking out what's on.

Though after the cost of a baked potato out, we are definitely taking our own lunches!

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Ghostbusters is Awesome!

I really, really, really wanted to see Ghostbusters.  Bear's maths lesson this weekend was cancelled, so I thought it was a great opportunity.  I read the reviews, and I was a little nervous about taking a nine year old in.  As DH had already introduced bear to Doctor Who I wasn't as worried as I could have been, but I kept an eye on bear all the way through the film.  So far bear has been fine, but the proof will be whether there is a three am nightmare or not.  I doubt it.  It was scary, but less than some Doctor Who episodes, and bear was giggling a lot of the time.

It wasn't the same as the eighties film (which I watched three times at the cinema and danced in the queue as I waited) but I think it was just as funny, and a little edgier.  It just worked.  I enjoyed the cameos by the original cast as well.

I want to go and watch it again!

Bear has been to a birthday party this evening.  He came back full of sugar and full of fun.  He had an amazing time with some old friends.

I really want to see it again.