Saturday, 16 February 2019

Project 365 week 7

Been a dull old week. Not been out the door overly much and I have not had my fitbit on for days as low mileage would irritate me, so no mileage is better ( well imo anyway)


Throat was a bit hoarse at work today. Not always a good sign, as it turns out it was not good.

No overtime and a wander with the dog. Spotted some snowdrops.


So having switch round shifts on Saturday so out less time today for the Hotpoint engineer to come out, I get a phone call just before lunch to say he will not be out at all, they have rescheduled him for Friday. To say the least I was not amused.

A wander round the fishery with dog. She loves climbing over rocks.


By today I have no voice left and my peak flow has dropped, enough to double my inhaled steroids but not enough to be concerned about.Borrowed a steam inhaler mug from DD1 along with some menthol crystals. I am finding it a hard balance between getting enough crystals to work and not to many that it is painful and strips the hairs from my nostrils.

Made DD1's birthday cake and Fifi came up to decorate it. She rooted through my cupboard and came up with some bird cutters and mixed together three colours of  ready to roll icing and made some multi coloured birds. Think this is the only picture I took all day.

Another night in the chair watching films on Netflixs, well bits of films anyway, would sleep through a lot of them, wake to cough and saw some of it and then fell asleep again.


Threw together some cakes for Bob to eat, hate going down with nothing for him as it is a bit unfair. Took birthday cake down to DD1 but did not venture far into the house or kiss or cuddle any of the grandkids as I don't think they need my cold.

Another night in the chair, just as well I have a recliner.


Did not go out the door all day. Had a shower and put on fresh clothes. The shower is a good way of helping my peak flow so used my inhalers after I came out. Slept on and off all day, with bits of tv watching and sewing in between times. Slept in bed as the runny nose seems to have eased. The sewing is coming on fine as spent quite a few hours doing it.

This is a picture of a llama and two bells, Ziggy is a bit of a drama queen and gets called drama llama ding dong, hence the picture. Trying to add some meanings to some of the pictures going on baby Roo's blanket.


Peak flow not so good today, hoovered the kitchen ( about 3 ft by 8 ft of floor space) and the middle of the floor in the living room and found my peak flow dropped very uncomfortably. So phoned  for a GP appointment but they had none but I think the receptionist realise I would not string two words together and got a GP to ring me back. They gave me an appointment for later on as was having to wait in on the Hotpoint engineer.
He managed to sort the issue with the freezer by using heat on the door seal. He said he would have just ordered a new door rather than a new freezer had this one not been sort able, made more sense.

Stopped off at the supermarket to get some stuff to put in it but could not think what I wanted to buy so ended up with a bag of chips and two bags of veg.


Well having taken the steroids at tea time last  night one of the side effects of them is insomnia so spent the night watching more tv and doing more sewing.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

That New Car Smell

Yes we all love it that smell of a shiny new car but in this article we will take a look at whether you can live without it in favour of investing in a used car so let's begin by looking at some of the benefits of buying second hand.
It has long been in the minds of most of us that second hand or used car dealers were at best a bit dodgy and at worst downright dishonest after all most of us know or have heard of an Arthur Daley under the arches "quality car " dealer, this may have been the case decades ago but now there are many very good used car dealers around although it does always pay to be careful and do your research.
There are many advantages to buying a used car from a reputable and trusted source such as our local garage/ dealer - Check out KAP Motor’s huge collection of used cars at its Brighton Centre.  The main advantage being cost as there are often many very good deals to be had on used cars and finance is readily available often at a much cheaper rate that of a new car, also add the benefit of someone else having already paid the sales tax and take into account that new cars start to depreciate as soon as you drive them off the dealers forecourt .

Another very good reason to buy used is that often you will get a much higher spec car that is to say you can get all the extras such as leather interior, decent sound system, built in satnav and very nice alloys that would normally cost you a lot more as added extras on a lot of models thereby saving you quite a considerable amount of cash, also when buying used any problems there may have been with your chosen model and indeed in many cases any manufacturer recall has already been dealt with saving you considerable time and money, it is always sensible to check for recalls as there are more than you may think.
So there we have it new car versus a much cheaper better spec good quality well serviced and often very low mileage car that has been HPI checked and inspected by the dealers own mechanics and most used cars come with a decent and sometimes balance of the manufacturer's warranty ensuring you won't be burdened with expensive repair costs, as for that sought after new car smell I think that I would rather have the smell of a few thousand pounds that I have saved in my bank account.

This is a collaborative post.

Monday, 11 February 2019

Easy Cooking Tips For Newbies

When you become and adult and you finally have to live on your own for the first time, it can always be a
little difficult for you to learn how to do all those basic house chores yourself. Doing the laundry, cleaning
your bathroom and pruning the garden can be things which you have never done before, but there is
no skill more crucial to learn at this time than cooking. I was very fortunate my dad was a chef and I learned to cook from a very young age and was capable of baking and making roast meals by myself time I was ten years old. There is no greater pleasure than cooking and I personally find baking good stress relief.

If you are a newbie in the kitchen this year and you want to learn some simple skills, here are our tips tips
for cooking which will help you be a whizz in the kitchen and impress your family and friends.

Keep it clean

The most important thing you have to do when cooking is to understand
how to reduce cross-contamination in your kitchen. Every item of food you slice and chop and
cook will need care and consideration and you want to make sure that harmful germs cannot
spread through the food. For example if you are making chicken and vegetables for your dinner,
you will need to use a different chopping board for the chicken than the vegetables.
If you only have one chopping board make sure you clean it thoroughly before you cut up
your veggies. These are simple tips but they are the most important of all.

Season it

One of the things which you might forget to do if you are a relatively new cook is to season
your food when you cook it. For example if you were to make a meal such as chicken curry,
you might think that simply cooking the chicken and adding curry spices is enough, but you
can add a whole new dimension of flavour to the dish if you simply season with salt and pepper
first. Every dish can do with this from beef to fish to veggies and it can really elevate a
plain meal into something amazing.

Nail sauces

When you are cooking every day foods one of the easiest ways for you to add some flavour
and fun to a dish is a good sauce. As you start out cooking there are two main sauces you
will want to learn how to make: marinara sauce and bechamel. For tomato sauce based
dishes such as pizza and pasta a marinara is ideal and you can make this using some onion,
garlic, tinned tomatoes, tomato purée and a little basil. Cook off the onion and garlic first then
add your herbs and tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes. Blend until smooth.

For creamy dishes such as lasagna and mac and cheese a bechamel will be your base and
you can add cheese and spices to it to make it more exciting. Start off with a tablespoon of
butter and melt this in a pan. Add a tablespoon of flour and stir until combined. After 30
seconds add half a pint of milk and stir constantly for 5-10 minutes, and you will see the
sauce thicken. Add a pinch of nutmeg to finish off and you have the ideal base for creamy

This is a collaborative post.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Project 365 week 6.


A very very lazy day, something I never do. Was going to go out for a walk after lunch as DD2 and family were planning on going out in the car. I don't make a good passenger so had no plans to go with them. I sat for a over an hour snuggling Ziggy just before lunch while DD2 made a lasagna for tea. By then Ziggy was playing up and they decided not to go out in the car so Ziggy went for a walk with dad and the dog. It started raining so I sat and played catch up with a few tv programmes on my kindle instead of going out. I managed a mere 3661 steps all day, never walked so few in the past.

One sleepy baby Roo


DD2 decided she was fed up of being housebound and against mine and her husbands advice not to she decided she was driving her car. So we headed to the next village over for mother and toddlers. Not my idea of fun but I fulfilled my role by helping get the kids into and out of the car and set off by myself to add some mileage after a lazy Sunday. Managed just over 3 miles in the hour they were in toddlers. In the afternoon I took Ziggy out for a walk.

Reflections at the Connel Bridge 


Was to wet to head out in the morning with the kids so we played silly games. We turned Ziggy's chair into a tree for her owls and the owls flew from their tree round the living room down the hall and into the kitchen and back again, I was also an owl and flew behind them, one way of getting my step count up.

Health visitor was back out in the morning as Roo is still not back up to her birth weight. DD2 is struggling to breast feed her, Roo will feed for two hours or more at a time and still cry with hunger when daughter tries to put her down.  This is not feasible once I have gone home to help out so she is going to evaluate how she feeds her. She has started to top up with a bottle but realises this is not a good idea. She is in two minds as to how to take this forward.

In the afternoon we took her dog down to the vet for blood tests for a drug he is on. We put baby Roo into the single buggy and made Ziggy walk. She was not happy about having to walk back up the hill  but then it is a steep hill for little legs. So a few temper tantrums and some bribery from her mother we all got home in one piece.

we played in the tee pee 


My day to go home so knew it would be a busy morning. I wanted to take a pack lunch with me so walked down to Tesco for rolls and cold meat just after 7am. Back home to pack and between dressing the two girls and wandering round with Roo in one arm we managed to get out the door just after 10am as DD2 wanted to go to the Rhythmic Rascals group a few villages away. It starts at 10.30 am and lasts for an hour so enough time to go and get back to Oban for my train just after midday. When I got out the car Ziggy started to howl as she did not want me to go.

making music 

So home on the train. Home was slightly easier than up as my rucksack was quite heavy with food and juice and at least going home the three and a half  hour train ride was first so my pack lunch was eaten time I got to Glasgow. The walk between stations is also downhill on the way home.

Sat on the train doing sewing and watching the last of the series of Touch.

Hubby and dog were both glad to have me home.


Needed to do some shopping so took a run into town and to walk the dog first. We got caught in hailstones half way round our walk.There were lots and lots of squirrels around. This one was eating the fungi growing on the tree.

watching the squirrels 


Have tried  to get hold of Hotpoint this week, and tried to be nice to them on the phone. Finding that difficult as I felt I was being treated like an idiot and had no idea what I was on about. They started to sort my problem out online as the modern world does, and then they decided to ignore me yesterday. Basically the second freezer they have sent me has the same issue as the first one, the holes are in the wrong place and it is not possible for the door to be turned round to open left sided  and where it needs to fit in my kitchen it needs to be left side opening. Same freezer chassis as the first one which was rejected by an engineer two weeks ago come Monday, but with a different badge on it.
But before we can reject it it has to be seen by an engineer, ......same as the last one, ......when he says it is faulty then they will order another one and swap it over....just as they did with the first one.......this could go on and on. I have suggested to them they should change over the door BEFORE they bring it out to know it works......but they tell me they can't do that. Talk about feel like you are banging you head on a brick wall.  So having to rearrange my working week so I can be in on Monday afternoon when the engineer comes out between 12 and 6 as I am not in until 2.30 ish but they tell me they cant give me 3-6.
Meanwhile this has left me without a freezer and making it very expensive to eat as I bulk buy and cook on a weekly basis and cant do that now.

the holes dont line up, if you line them up there is a gap down the side of the door seal 


Mileage sitting at 164.1 this morning, a mere 30.2 miles this week. But spent all day on Wednesday on a train and Thursday being lazy, then Friday catching up with housework.

I did manage to get the monkey finished on the blanket on the train though so was a good use of the time. I had unpicked the head and helmet earlier in the week as it had gone wrong somewhere. It does have facial features they just do not show to well in this picture.

One cross stitch monkey 

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Project 365 week 5

Not been a good week from  a mileage point of view. DD2 is to sore to walk far, the roads around here are VERY hilly to get in and out of daughters bit and they have been like sheets of ice most of the week so not good for pushing a twin buggy up or down  and been much much to cold to take a new baby out in. But I was not here for clocking up miles I was here to help out. Managed 30.4 miles since last weeks update, so now sitting at 133.9 miles.


Turned down the overtime as had too much to do ready for going away on Monday morning including packing and making sure I had everything. I loaded my kindle with a new audiobook and some episodes of Touch and along with my sewing this should keep me amused on the train journey.


Had my heart scan at 8.45, could have come on a better day rather than a day I was going by train to Oban. Managed to get an earlier train than needed so had time to wander round a bit of Glasgow. Bumped into an old family friend getting off the train, he was gentlemanly enough to wheel my suitcase to the other station for me. Have to say we normally throw our suitcases in the car but seeing other people with more modern 4 wheel cases had me yearning for one. but then doubt very much I will ever be back on the train with one again. Ziggy was very pleased to see me.


We went off down to soft play. First time the two children have been out in the twin buggy and the first time DD2 has walked down to the town in a few months. The hills are very steep and down is as difficult as up.

Here is Ziggy soothing her baby during our game.


I looked after Roo while DD2 took Ziggy to get her hair cut, sadly they were all fully booked so she did not get it done.
When they came back Ziggy and I wrapped up warm and headed to the park to play for a while. Think she lasted less than 20 mins before she was to cold so we headed off for a wander round the shops. The snow had not really melted and it was quite slippy underfoot.


Another very cold day here again today. DD2 took Ziggy down to get her hair cut while I sat here with Roo, I get all the hard
When they got back Ziggy and I got wrapped up and went for a wander down the shops and to the park.  We played in the swings for a few minutes but then went and played with the interactive stuff instead, decided it was better for Ziggy to be moving around.


We were suppose to be going to mini movers with Ziggy but she decided to have a major temper tantrum and chose to go to bed instead. She slept for the best part of two hours and she never sleeps during the day so must have been needing it. Roo went to sleep when her sister was in bed so DD2 made the most of it and went to bed as well.

After she woke and to try and help tire her out I took her down to soft play but it did not do much good, she took till nearly 11pm to go to sleep after many tears and much screaming.

She loved this, it is a hoover, pop the balls from the ball pit in and it sucks them up rattles them along a see through pipe and then pop out at the other end back into the ball pit. She also finds it funny to stand under the other end and have it blow her hair.


Wandered off this morning for a walk and left the family to their own devices. Did just over 4 miles up and down the hills via McCaigs tower and Dunollie Castle and every where in between. This is a view of the town and the snow on Mull taken from MCCaigs Tower.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Project 365 week 3 and 4

Have done a post on the time DD2 and family were down. If you want to pop across and read it and see a pile of new baby pictures feel free and pop across here . Just going to do a very short sentence with each photo for week 3 on here.

This fortnight has passed in a blur. I missed the fact hubby and I have been together 25 yrs this month, married for 17 years this yr, no idea how we have made it so long but we have. Dixie dog passed her first year anniversary with us as well. She was a good investment


Managed to pick up a magazine linked with the #walk1000miles.


Made the most of the weather and wandered off for a nice walk.


Ziggy is catching up with some work on her computer


We went up in the afternoon to visit and to meet Jenna, blog name Roo.


They came home today. Dog is not keen on a crying baby. Ziggy helps to open Roo's presents and some for her as well.


Ziggy gives cuddles to her new baby sister


Ziggy helps to wash down Roo who had been a bit sick.


SIL was up with Roo who had not slept much again overnight so he had brought her down so her mum could get an hours sleep. Feel she is going home far to early, it is a long drive five days after a c section but she is determined to go.

This week has been spent playing catch up with all sorts that has been neglected in the last  few weeks. Been a fairly lazy week with little mileage added to my 1000 miles


Took delivery of a new washing machine and freezer on Saturday. Sadly the rubber seal on the freezer door has a large gap now we have turned the door round. It should be a simple five minute job and four of us tried it, the holes on the bracket do not line up. I know we are doing it right as I put it back to factory fit and it went back no problem. Need to wait until next Tuesday for an engineer to come and look at it, they won't replace it as faulty until it has been checked. Sadly it needs to be opening from the left to fit in the gap. This is a huge pain as I needed to fill it with meals for hubby next week as I am heading to DD2's to help out for ten days. You normally pay for somebody to come and turn your door round but they have assured us we will not get charged.
We now also have an engineer booked to look at the washing machine as I am sure the door catch is faulty as it needs to be closed numerous times before it starts.


A lovely afternoon, no wind and a great walk round the fishery just before sunset, such lovely colours. No filters needed.


Over night snow and a freezing cold day A cold walk round the fishery in the afternoon. Love the patterns in the ice on the surface of the pond. Looks a bit like a map of the UK.


I had promised Spud we would go to play in the park and to McD's, and so today I kept that promise.
Not sure she was overly impressed with McD's but we had plenty of fun in the park.
Was lovely to spend time with her.

Dog had her annual booster injections and another check up of her teeth which are beginning to cover in plaque again already.


Have been putting off replacing pants, socks and joggies, but finally got round to it today. Hardly an exciting buy but much needed and them dumped a lot of old ones in the bin.
The suitcase is down ready to be packed for Monday.


Total mileage up to 103.5 miles not bad in 20 days considering how busy I have been. Just over 5 miles a day so will more than do the 1000 at this rate. This is probably half normal every day activity and half conscious going out and walking steps.
This map came with the magazine and you colour your way up the country, one are per ten miles, so got ten coloured.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Helping out as best we could. #wotw Family

Your children are always your children and whether they are four or nearly forty when they need help you willingly give them it if you can. Decided this was a good blog post to link up to #wotw and Family seems appropriate.  

Glide on by to the bottom of the post if you just want new baby overload pictures. 

DD2 and family went home the other day after being here for eighteen days. She had had to come down as her local hospital was not a suitable place to give birth due to a few different factors. The catchment hospital for where she lives is Paisley but she made the active decision to have the new baby at our local maternity hospital so that we were on hand to look after Ziggy. It is amazing how families change and I think it is lovely the way we have all pulled together to help out in various ways. DD1 has had Ziggy quite a lot to make it possible for me to work while SIL2 has been back home working. Considering it has always been a family joke that the only thing DD1 and DD2 had in common as children was they hated each other then it is amazing that they get on so well now and will happily help each other out.

Ziggy has adapted well to being shunted from pillar to post but she loves it down the road as she has her cousins to play and fight with. Being an only one she has not learnt to share in a way all of her cousins have and does not get the rough and tumble at home either that goes on down the road, but she can give as good as she gets.

They were here for a week before SIL2 came back down and DD2 was here without her car so any appointments she had or shopping she needed we were needed to run her. It was lucky he was back here as DD2 had to go up to the hospital on Sunday while I was at work and they decided to keep her in as they were not overly happy with various things. But this time has allowed Ziggy to settle in and feel more comfortable here and get used to having to let Granddad and I do things for her. Granddad is very good at amusing her as long as she is happy. Granddad does not deal with stroppy moody temper tantrum throwing children but will spend ages singing silly songs and watching things together on the tablet. Granddad turns into a tickle monster and chases her round the house while she giggles her head off squealing with delight. They play with torches and play hide and seek in the living room, the only place to hide is behind Granddad's couch and once you have counted to ten she yells loudly to let you know where she is. She is not difficult to find.

Granddad even walked her down to DD1's one morning as I was going to work and the car seat was back in her dad's car. Dixie dog went with them and got an early morning walk. My plan had been to walk her down and walk back up for the car. This really surprised me as it is not like Granddad to do these sorts of things but it made my morning a bit easier.

One of the disadvantages of my house for my daughter has been the lack of a bath, she had nowhere to soak away her aches and pains, though I am not sure she would have managed to get herself out of a bath, had she got it. The shower we have is quite a small corner cubicle and the door opens into the middle of our small pokey bathroom rather than against the wall so it is very awkward to shower a two year old in there without getting yourself and usually the floor wet as well.

Have to say would love something like the Richmond walk in shower range.  a nice walk in shower with easy access would make showering Ziggy much easier. 

The Richmond Range

Ideal for wet rooms or low-level shower trays, this beautifully stylish walk-in shower range features clear toughed glass and high quality polished aluminium finish

I can but dream, anyway I digress.

SIL2 had got a message from DD2 in the early hours of Monday morning to go in. Ziggy decided while he was out to wake up and start crying for him. A few months ago if she woke during the night and I had gone into her she would have screamed the place down. But this time she did not, she sobbed but did let me cuddle her. She kept quietly sobbing when I put her back to bed so I decided to pop her into her mum and dad's bed and I was going to go in with her but she fell asleep in less than two minutes so I just left the light on for her and the door open and went back to my own bed.

Anyway despite them keeping DD2 in the hospital all weekend her contractions had come to nothing and the plans for her c section went ahead as planned. So baby Jenna Grace was born on Tuesday 15th January at 10.50 am weighing 8lb 12 oz. SIL2 came back for Ziggy at tea time and took her up to meet her new baby sister. I am not really sure she understands that the baby is here to stay or what to make of her as she is a bit young. Daughter was not up to having any other visitors so we did not go up.

We went up to meet Jenna ( blog name Roo) on Wednesday afternoon. SIL2 and Ziggy were still then when we got there but left not long afterwards. When we left I went to sit with Bob, Minky, Dinky and Spud while DD1 and Fifi went up to visit. SIL2 went back up just before 7 pm as his family were all coming down to meet the new baby.

This week has been hectic running here, running there, doing this, doing that, meals at different times for Ziggy than the rest of us and fitting in dog walks where I can. Washing, drying, sorting, tidying and more tidying, do you know how much mess a two year old makes? The constant dished needing done, work tops to wipe, hoovering to do. Barely had five minutes to ourselves. No chance to watch on tv what we normally watch, no chance for a relaxing afternoon and no chance for a full nights sleep either - not that I sleep all night normally anyway.

They went home on Sunday afternoon after a false start where they thought they had forgotten Ziggy's drama llama blanket and came back for it and Ziggy got excited to be back at Grandma and Granddads.

Nice to have my own space back but the help was needed and she could not have done it without help. Once a mum always a mum no matter the age of your children. 

mum and baby about 30 hrs after her section

our first meeting

gazing at her 

Ziggy likes to stroke her

with Granddad in the hospital 

at home with Bob 

6am sunday morning, Roo had been awake most of the night, do daddy brought her down so mummy could get some sleep 

DDi with Roo

one for the history books - granddad brushing her hair 

on the couch with Granddad 

in her moses basket 

one of ,my daughters pictures, Ziggy and Roo in the hospital 

playing with her computer 

helping to unwrap baby presents and a lovely skirt for her

somebody gave her play doh and a whale shape maker

a snugly selfie 

the two girls on my chair

Ziggy helped to wash her little sister

So there you have it, more memories to look back on. 

This is a collaborative post but all thoughts, events and pictures are genuine.