Friday 27 May 2011

Competition Results

Congrats to the winner of my comp who was
No 35, and if my counting is correct this was
princesssmithee ( checked 3 times to be sure)

and the second prize goes to no 149 who is        

Andy. so well done to the 2 winners, will contact you for address details and get the tickets in the post on Tuesday when the post office re-opens.

May I just put in a plea on behalf of everybody else who entered? There was roughly 80 people entered with 2 or 3 comments a piece, if you win big £30 or £40m,  I'm sure allowing the rest of us to fulfil our dream of what we would do with our £1000 wouldn't leave you to skint!!  lol

Both winners have been notified, if I don't hear from either of them within 7 days then I will re-select another winner.

Thank you to everybody else for joining in, I'm sorry you couldn't all win. Hope you have enjoyed reading my blog, please feel free to pop by occasionally and see what is happening in my world.

Thursday 26 May 2011

The Gallery - My backyard

Tara has set this weeks theme as: My Backyard. It can be literally or metaphorically.

Well my backyard leaves a lot to be desired a horrible square of clay ground with no drainage, and right now due to the amount of rain we have had the grass is just a squelchy bog, and only life can be in pots as the ground is not remotely suitable for anyhting , as seen here with granddaughter, so my backyard will have to be metaphorical.

I am going to use my allotment. We are fortunate enough to have this just from passing comments made between varying people. About 18 months age we  bumped into a lady who I use to help out occasionally a few years back, and got talking that we now lived in the town not out on the farm and we fancied an allotment, but the council list was nearly 60 people long and they have a turnover on average of 2 allotments a year, meaning I would still be waiting in my early 80's, by which time I feel the urge may have worn off a tad.

She had then been talking to a golfing friend of hers who knew of an elderly couple who had a large garden that they could not keep any more and had been looking for somebody to come along and make use of it, in return for keeping it tidy and utilising it fully.

So we got put in touch with said couple who live only 1 mile away from us, a nice walk-able distance even for my 15yr old dog, and hit it off and so we took over their garden. It wasn't in too bad a condition but they had had a gardener in a few times to tidy it, but they didn't want to keep paying a gardener just to tidy it when it could be used.

Last year we got hold of it quite late in the year and didn't get a brilliant crop out of it as it had not been fertilised but we got some poor quality potatoes but a fair crop of peas and beans. At the end of last year we trailed sea weed back from the beach and covered the garden in it, and upon digging it in this year there are signs of plenty of worms, when there were none last year at all, so it must have improved in quality since then.

This year we had an easy option for filling the allotment as my daughter won a small spring vegetable garden  from rocket gardens, though we got a substitute for the peas. It would not have been my first choice for a garden as to much rabbit food for my husbands liking, but my daughter could not use it so I swapped her it for a curry hamper I won in another comp, waste not want not.

Most of this is not growing away merrily, but we have had a few casualties, the cauliflowers and the cabbages are totally gone, threw away the last rotted bits, and the dwarf beans have all withered in the last few weeks and the runner beans are now not far behind them, Feel they maybe just went in to early whilst the ground was still to cold and we were still having heavy over night frosts.

the cabbages 3 weeks ago

but the potatoes are doing all right
 So this is backyard....and lets hope its yummy in the autumn..

ShowOff Showcase

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Meat Pack

This is not a sponsored post, it is my unpaid thoughts on my experience of the product.

I was fortunate enough to be one of the winners of a £20 voucher to spend on a site called Meatpacks, so I duly went over and had a visit. Now like many of you I live on a limited rather tight budget and I like to spend an average of £1.25 a night for the main meal. I rarely buy pre packed food preferring to cook my own from scratch so that I have much better control of what goes into it, both from an allergy point of view as well as hidden salt and other unnecessary additives.

I am not  a lover of cheap meat, I buy only good quality mince and would rather have one decent sausage on my plate than a pack of 20 for £1 from a freezer shop. But with careful budgeting, throwing in lentils,pearl barley and veg to eek out what I do buy, as well as getting some reduced bargains then I manage to eat fairly well.

Now the first thing I did notice, probably because it is important to my family, was the lack of ingredients for the products  they sell and more importantly the lack of allergy advice information on what contains wheat, gluten, egg, dairy etc. But I pointed this out to customer services and they have since put up what information they had available, and have promised to find out ingredients for the remaining relevant products and display this as well. Cant ask for any better than this.

Our local butcher does a good range of allergy free products and has a book in the shop you can look in with a full listing of ingredients and allergy advise, and his allergy labelling goes as far as breaking down what is in the flavouring they use, because the flavouring they use in their beefburgers contains traces of milk, but that trace is enough to potentially kill my grandson so no matter how little a product contains we as a family are careful to make sure it is 100% safe, and unless a label states dairy free or egg free or whatever then it is not bought for consumption by Bob

I thought their prices for me and my budget were quite high, especially time you added on p&p  but I have heard people rant about how much nicer this type of meat is in comparison to supermarket meat so I decided to use the voucher and try it and make up my mind for myself. I was going to go for the sort of thing we normally eat ( mince, stew, chicken) but decided I would go for a pre made meat pack with posher meats in that I would not normally buy just for (hopefully) a pleasant change. I also ordered  beef and guinness sausages  and pork, honey and mustard sausages as my husband is a sausage lover ( if we were ever to win the lottery he would open a sausage factory and employ a chef to come up with new ideas so he could have a different sausage every day of the year!!) and I again though it would be nice to do a comparison between these and our usual "The best from Morrisons" sausages that I buy once in a blue moon.

They offer a quick delivery, order before 12 noon one day and receive the next, and to make things really easy they take paypal as well as all major cards. Their website was very easy to navigate round and their products are easy to find under the various headings, with weights and prices easy to select and understand. Just select your item, pop it into your basket and checkout when finished.

the defrosted ice packs
inside the insulated box
My meat pack turned up on Friday 13th May. The meat was well packaged, well insulated and had had ice packs placed inside to help keep it cool. The meat was still very cold so this method works well.The meat was all vacuum sealed and dated with a packing date as well as a best before date, and it had all been packaged on 12th May, so as fresh as it comes. The only comment I would have at this stage was somebody had stuck the label for the mince on the steaks and vice-versa, might have been a bit more of a problem had it been two similar products they had mis-labelled but I could see the obvious error and it wont cause a problem at all.

I had received a phone call from the company on Friday morning to say that they had been unable to supply the beef and Guinness sausages as the supplier had been unable to supply them, so we had had just normal beef sausages provided. Had I know this before they came out I would have changed them to a different sort as the idea was to try something different. But when I told the company that they said they would issue me with a refund for the sausages, well cant say any fairer than that.

The meat is freezable so I kept out the beef sausages which will do tea on the Saturday night and the mince which I will cook it before I freeze it, and popped the rest into the freezer.

Sat 14th May - tonights tea was the beef sausages. The list of ingredients list them as 70% beef, and lists the usual rusk etc that is common to all sausages, but has no nutritional info so no idea how much fat etc should be in them. Was looking forward to these, and at nearly 70p a sausage then they should  be startling. Cooked them up in the oven the same way as I cook all my sausages, and upon removing them from the oven the first thing I noticed was there was no fat in the tray, they had not shrunk or split.
 We are usually lazy eaters and rarely use a knife, we usually eat with just a fork, but it was not possible to do this. The sausages were very rubbery and incredibly tough, so I had to go and get a knife to cut them up. Verdict - They were tasteless and rubbery, and didn't taste meaty at all.

Sun 15th May  - tonight I broke my rules about cooking from scratch on a working day and decided to make the English Lamb loin chops. Decided to casserole these. I fried them off in a drop of oil  with some salt and pepper to seal them, removed them from the pan and fried off 3 red onions with some wild garlic, popped the chops back into the pan with some stock and cooked for about 20mins. served them with mashed potatoes and broccoli. verdict - beautiful flavour, very soft meat, tender and juicy, one of the nicest meals I have eaten in a long time.

Monday 16th I cooked up the mince for tonight. My first impression upon opening the packet was there was no texture to the mince at all, I expect mince to look like the picture they have here on their website, but I suppose for want of a better expression this look more like mushy dog food, just nothing definable in structure to see at all. I fried it off the way I do any mince and it did take on some texture, the pieces about the size of a pin head. Certainly when it was fried off with the onions and seasoning and I ate some at that stage it tasted fine. I used half of it for mince and tatties and made the other half into mince stovies. Was disappointed in this I wish I had either had more of it, or had planned on making beefburgers or meatballs with it as I feel it might have been better for that as certainly the flavour was very good but the texture was not. . If there is a next time then I maybe will buy some and let you know.

Thursday 19th Tonight we had the Pork Loin chops. There was 2 in the pack and they were a nice size, a decent thickness, not too thick they are hard to cook through but think enough to have some body about them. There was no bone in the chops so apart from the small piece of fat round the edge they were pure meat. These, like the lamb chops, cooked up beautifully, were tender and flavoursome and very moreish.

Sunday 22nd we decided to use the Sirloin Steaks tonight for a Sunday treat. I popped these into a hot dry frying pan to sear them off, adding some salt and pepper to the top of them when I first turned them over, turned them down and left them to cook for approx 15 mins as I like mine well done. Like the other meat from this pack it was soft, beautiful, tender, flavoursome meat, but at the equivalent of £11.20 for two pieces of meat then they should be.

Monday 23rd. tonight we had the pork sausages  that came in with the meat pack.( There was 8 of them not 16 as shown)  These were fairly plain ordinary sausages. They cooked up all right and certainly were a lot more edible than the beef sausages. They tasted quite artificially rusky rather than meaty, and were quite wet inside when cutting and eating them,  and rather bland to say the least., and I would have expected this sort of taste from cheap sausages. I didn't finish off mine as I didn't like them, but the dog was happy to help out here.
Must admit we had had rolls and morrisons cumberland sausage for lunch the other day as the sausages had been on half price promotion, 454g for £1, and I must admit I'm a Cumberland sausage lover so could not resist them. They are constantly moist and flavoursome with a nice texture and cook up beautifully, and when you work out they are 1/4 of the price that I paid for the pork sausages it makes the meatpack sausages very bad value for money.

My opinion of the meatpack? The actual meat (rather than the made sausages) is top quality, sweet, soft and beautiful meat, but on my budget I could not afford to buy it as any more than a rare treat, and feel I could go round the supermarket looking at high end cuts and getting them at the end of the day when they are reduced, because for me as a person knowing 2 pieces of steak had cost me over £10 just spoils the enjoyment of the meal.

At the time of posting this I still have the piece of pork to eat and the pork and honey sausages, but will eat them in the next week sometime and update my blog accordingly

Friday 20 May 2011

My three minutes of Fame

Well today was the day we have been waiting for for the last month. Today was my interview for The Hour a topical chat show programme on STV that airs at 5pm weekdays.

They had been looking for an avid comper to talk about their passion  for comping, and if there is one thing I do better than comp it is talk so I though - why not this sounds right up my street - so I applied for the vacancy and was successfully appointed the position.

So having removed the stour (dust as a translation for the English readers out there) from corners I have not been into for a few months, decluttered all the normal household cluttered corners, and bought in cakes and biscuits for this grand occasion, put on something other than my usual attire of joggys and a t-shirt, tidied my hair and I was ready.

Gregor and Mags
At the appointed time Mags, the interviewer and Gregor the camera/sound man arrived, they were both very nice people who created a very relaxed atmosphere and we were soon chatting like old friends.

There was a fair amount of setting up, furniture moving, lighting to consider, as well as best positions and creating a homely air about the whole interview to make it appealing to the end viewer, and hopefully we have succeeded in putting together something the general public will find interesting, and more to the point not to cringe-worthy for me.

They had decided to come on a Friday as twitter is very active on a Friday with all the #FF activity going on, and they got some footage of me RT'ing tweets for comps, and to do this I followed my lovely twitter friend @lisanorfolk as an example of how it all works,  we then took a travel over to Facebook to see how to enter comps on there as well, and again to be consistent I followed Lisa again. Now for anybody who knows how these sites work I'm sure you will understand what I did, for anybody who has never entered a comp before...well you will still be in the dark...sorry. Also got a mention in for Loquax as my favourite site for both comping as well as the warm friendly community it provides for people having good days and bad

Gregor and I

The interview itself was asking me why I comp, when I started, what I get out of it, best win, what I do with my prizes, what sort of comps I enter etc etc. and you will need to watch the show to see how this will all come out, and the answers I gave. It was 3hrs of fun and laughs that will be edited into approx 3 minutes of an interview.

But I hear you keep asking me....when will it be going out, when can we see you make a total prat of yourself?? It will be going out on Tuesday 24th May at 5pm on STV, for those of you outwith the STV catchment area you can ( if you so wish) catch it on itv player after the show has aired, and eventually I will get a copy on dvd to keep and I will upload it to you-tube for the rest of the world to gape in awe and amazement at.

Mags and I

 Autographs will available at £1 each, after the show and if 350 of you buy  then I will have enough money to replace my laptop cos as you will see it struggles a bit when ask to do anything. If Dell, Advent, Comet or  PC World or anybody else out there is reading this then I'm open to offers of freebies or to trial one for a year or two and blog about it as the time goes on. Or alternatively if the winner of my comp wins it big then I'm not to proud to accept a thank you for giving you the ticket in the first place.

Unfortunately there was not a WEM (comper talk for winning e-mail) or a WTC (winning telephone call) whilst the crew were here to make the show really exciting. But you will see me open a few prizes I had received during the last few weeks, one of which Mags managed to drop and it landed on my poor dogs head.

Mags and Gregor playing out the front

Please feel free and add comments saying nice things about me once you have viewed the show....and remember I approve all comments before the appear, so if you don't like me and want to tell me that...tough...cos I wont publish the

I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I enjoyed making it, thanks to Gregor, Mags, STV and most of all SuperluckyDi for posting the original message looking for an avid comper and allowing me this opportunity to tell the whole world, ..........well ok a small part of the Scottish population about my fun but profitable hobby.

Saturday 14 May 2011

home made soya yoghurt

Been getting increasingly frustrated lately with the continuing rise in food prices, so have been looking to see what changes I can make to save money. One of the items that has jumped in price is soya yoghurt, up to £1.80 for 4 yoghurt,  I have no option I cant eat ordinary yoghurt and cannot stand the thought of using milk of any form on my cereals,so I take yoghurt on my cereal.

So I have decided to make my own yoghurt and have been experimenting with varying ways over the last few months, and think I finally have it sussed. Yes I could of gone and brought a yoghurt maker but at £30 it is an expensive investment that would take a lot of batches of yoghurt to break even.
I have experimented with rice milk, oat milk, unsweetened soya milk, but have  found that the sweetened UHT soya milk seems to give the nicest result and at 65p for a litre I can make the equivalent of 13 yoghurts for £1.30.

I bring 2 litres of milk to a light bubble for 2 or 3 mins, and then leave to cool to blood temperature. remove the skin, pour milk  into slow cooker. Take 3or 4 oz of milk and add a tablespooon of yoghurt to this small amount, stir thoroughly then add this to rest of milk.

I have tried varying ways to heat this correctly to keep it warm so that is can grow correctly. It works fairly well in a flask, but the flask was too difficult to remove the yoghurt from and to wash. I have tried in the oven, but my oven heats to a minimum temperature of 60 oC and this is too warm and kills the yoghurt culture, it is fine if I remember to keep turning the oven on and off but that's not practical. So I decided upon the slow cooker, again this heats to high but I have some mechanical timers and have worked out the optimum to be on for 15 mins and off for 1 hr. do this for 6 hrs, then switch off and leave overnight covered in a towel, and in the morning it is ready to pop in the fridge.

The yoghurt is not as thick or a smooth as shop bought yoghurt, but then there is nothing added to it. Have found if I whisk it once cold then it does smooth out satisfactorily, and is perfectly thick enough to enjoy. Now whilst I am quite happy to eat natural yoghurt on my cereal , or to add fresh fruit on with it, Bob is not taken with the taste at all. So again have experimented with various options and have found that using Hartleys sugar free jelly crystals dissolved in approx 2 oz water and stirred through  the  yoghurt not only adds flavour and colour but helps to thicken the yoghurt as well as adding calcium. They cost approx 30p for a pack of 2 so add little to the final costing. Remember to keep some natural for you baking and for the next batch you want to make.

strawberry on the left and natural on the right

Tuesday 10 May 2011

I dont know about you...but

This is the title of the new meme going on over at OMammy blog and for me I have to hit upon inconsiderate drivers.

Why do they find it necessary to sit in the outside lane of a bypass doing 60 mph especially when there is nothing on the inside lane therefore having no reason not to either move back in or get up to the legal speed of 70? To make matters worse they even slow down as they approach the average speed cameras....duuuhhhh do they not understand  - names self explanatory is it not?

Or others that sit in a 60 zone and do 40, and keep doing 40 when they hit the 30 signs to go through a village? Have they never had a child of their own knocked down by a car cos believe me they would be a lot more careful if they had.

Then you get the upper class mummy's in their big posh 4*4's who think that having a 4*4 gives them a licence to stop on the zig-zags at school drop off/ pick up time to make sure their little Humphrey doesn't have to waddle to far to the school gate,thereby endangering the lives of the healthy children who walk/cycle to school and have to cross the road manoevering round the illegally parked  car.

and lastly ( for tonights rant anyway cos Im a perfect driver * cough cough*and many many things annoy me) the a**holes who sit the front of their car on your back seat when you are doing the legal speed limit in the outside lane....and when you pull in to let them over take you...they stay sat in the outside lane at the exact same speed.

Fun with chocolate

Havent done an update with the children for the last few weeks  as the weather was so lovely we were out playing with water pistols and then on the local park, not really exciting enough to blog about, so this week we decided some fun was in order.

I didn't buy Bob and Fifi an Easter egg the other week because a) they get enough and b) they not huge chocolate eaters, they would much rather eat a bowl of sprouts. But a grandma cannot let an event like this pass by without buying them something, so in true grandma lets have some fun style, I bought them chocolate each and decided we would make our own Easter treats.

As you are all aware Bob has severe food allergies and one of them is dairy products so I bought him Kinnerton chocolate as it is so so much nicer than soya chocolate which can be very bitter. I love the Kinnerton range, and their website provides allergen information as well as a fantastic nut safety policy which is the best I have ever seen and very very reassuring for families like ours. So after we had had our tea we set about messing up the kitchen for granddad to clean up, well having grandchildren has to involve both grandparents and we didn't want him to feel left out!!!

We started with Bobs as it saves any risk of cross contamination when two projects are done so close together.
I had to help him break up the chocolate as he didn't have the strength to do it, we popped it into a bowl and melted it in the microwave, and then he took over.

stage 1  -all ready to go
stage 2 in goes the chocolate

stage 3 - 4 lollies made

the best bit - cleaning the bowl

the finished results

the child (and the PJ sleeves) covered in chocolate
 So after they were made and set they had to be sampled...and they were yummy yummy...don't know who enjoyed it more Bob or his sleeves.

Whilst Bob's were setting in the fridge he got sent away and Fifi came to do hers, as she is that much older than him she needed little help, apart from reminding that a chocolate bowl is hot (oops too late!!) when it comes out of the microwave if you touch it with your fingers we were just fine.

She was offered the choice of waiting till her brothers had set and making rabbit lollies or using some of the other moulds without sticks, so she chose not to wait, surprise surprise, and decided to make Christmas shapes, well its nearly Christmas after all.

breaking the chocolate into the bowl

stirring the melted chocolate round

into the moulds

getting there

licking the bowl - literally at one point

the finished results

After we had finished having this fun we went and played wii bowling - and even let granddad join in, and we even let him come 3rd to stop him sulking.

Sunday 8 May 2011

Loquax meeting

Booked a day of work today to go along to the Scottish annual Loquax meeting. The meeting was held in Glasgow, so daughter and I car shared and toddled of up to meet fellow compers and to put names to faces and share some stories of wins and other non comping stuff.

Unfortunately some people had to call off for various reasons and there were only 7 of us there, a bit disappointing but non the less still a pleasant afternoon. The food was very well presented in the Thistle Hotel Glasgow even if (imo) a tad on the expensive side for what it was, the service was good and the surroundings clean and comfortable, but very nice,central and easy to get to.

distracted by the football

during lunch

after lunch
We all took a raffle prize up with us, and all came back with something different. I took up a Gok Wan work your wardrobe book and popped 2 lucky dip lottery tickets into the bag as well. I can back with a cafetiere and some ground coffee, some postcards,a book of first class stamps and a box of celebrations.

The array of prizes complete with Loquax duck

my raffle prize

A chance comment

I had been off work sick a few weekends back, the usual problem feeling really sick and dizzy and unable to stand up or walk in a straight line. No I had not been out the night before consuming to much lemonade....I suffer from a condition called Menieres Disease.
Then back at work a few weeks later on was talking to a fellow colleague ( we will call her J) whilst we were preparing equipment to use that day and she asked "me did you enjoy your holiday" to which I replied "wasn't on holiday was off sick" and explained a wee bit about the dizziness and how I cant stand therefore cant function.

J looked at me and said explain a bit I started to explain about being unable to walk down stairs without holding on, being unable to walk in a straight line effectively, knocking things over, dropping things, but also the horrible soggy cottonwool type of pressure feeling I have in my ear, the constant tinnitus, the nausea, terrible memory and varying other symptoms.

I have suffered from this on and off for over 20 yrs, I get a sore ear and I go to the doctor, doctor looks in ears and says looks fine, nothing wrong, but will give you an antibiotic in case its the start of a cold and it gets to your chest ( yes Im also asthmatic....oh the joys). Was beginning to think I was going loopy and it was all in my head and that there was no point in going back again and again as nothing was being accomplished.
I had had 17 weeks off work with this in one year and was pulled into the office under the rules and procedures policy in place at work, and from there was sent to occupational health, who sent me to ENT. I was diagnosed at ENT and given medication which I still take 3 times a day every day.

The poor woman stood there with tears rolling down her face, and Im thinking, come on get a grip I can live with it and the medication has made a huge huge difference.
She then gave over to me and gave me a hug, and then started to explain that she has been suffering from very very similar symptoms for a few years now, and that she had been to her doctor who had sent her for a MRI scan to rule out anything sinister, and like me she had given up going back in case they thought she was nuts.

Nobody she had spoken do could come up with any ideas or reasons for her being like she was and she (like I had) was trying to live with it the best she could. Unless you suffer from these sorts of things then you can not begin to understand how it makes you feel. People look at you as if your drunk, or avoid you when you fall over. Her husband was at his wits end with her, the kids were fed up with her holding onto their arms whilst she staggered round the shops.At last here I was, somebody she could talk to and relate to, and more to the point be reassured that she was not going nuts!!

She made an appointment for her Doctor and took along the info we printed out, and he listened, agreed with her it could be and wrote her out a prescription. She has now been on the tablets for a week, and hopefully in another month she should see a difference. Just a huge relief for her to have an explanation, and that if this drug doesn't work something else should.

So just a passing comment asking me about my holidays.....and J had an explanation that explained away how she felt.

Friday 6 May 2011

Flashback Friday - 6th May

followed up on a posting the other day on friends that had gone, people you had been good friends with and they had left for one reason or another. It got me thinking back to my childhood and how often we moved schools with my dads job (R.A.F) and how we never stayed anywhere overly long enough to learn peoples names let alone make friends with them.

So my flashback this week has to be on a my school days and how sad, miserable and lonely they were (alright put the violins, but how it did have some bright spots and highlights, and one of these such highlights was the summer of '75. We as a country had had 3 day working weeks imposed, power shortages and outages and a fairly miserable winter. I was lucky due to my dads job we didn't get affected by the 3 day week and petrol shortages as his was a protected job and he got fuel provided by the supplies the RAF had.

It strikes me as a highlight because at the time I had been in the same house for a whole year, and one of the other forces families down the road moved in at the same time as us, and as the oldest boy was ages with me we walked to school together, spent summer holidays together as he had brothers ages with my younger brother and we generally had a friend in each other. There was no romantic involvement between us but I can remember his name - Vernon Smith - and probably the only boys name I can remember from secondary school. I do remember a few first names Richard - big headed fellow who thought every girl in the school should fancy him, and James with red hair cos I did fancy him and I think he liked me but us RAF children were always shunted and never befriended except by our own.

So this picture was taken at Edinburgh Zoo in the summer of 75, with my friend Vernon and I at the back, note the flares which I made in school sewing class and my younger brother Kevin.

Wednesday 4 May 2011

The Gallery - April

What does April say to me? Well I suppose like the rest of you it was impossible to miss the wedding, the weather has been gorgeous, and my allotment is under way - but much more important to me was - the birth of my blog.

My blog was born on April 5th 2011 and its nearly a whole month old, and tomorrow when it is I can enter the competition over at entitled money saving tips.

my paternal grandmother with my sister, brother and me on the right
But for me my blog has allowed to start charting the ups and downs of being a gran, and building a record that the grandchildren can look back in in years to come and say "I remember that" or "that was fun" or "oh no remember the day grandma made us do such and such and we hated it", and that they will look back and laugh.  I must admit the one consistent childhood memory I have is of happy holidays spent at my paternal grandparents house, and I would like for Fifi and Bob to have good memories of us. Which is the reason for my blog being born.

The highlight of my blog is the news of my tv debut and competition to celebrate it so thanks Tara over at Sticky Fingers for the topic.

Monday 2 May 2011

Listography: Simple Pleasures

Never joined in with this before but Kate has thrown down the challenge this week to list our five simple pleasures. Don't cost much money but make our life worth living - well for me these have to be

1. hugs and cuddles,laughs, and fun and games with Fifi and Bob, grandchildren are better than your own children because they only stay for a short time, you can have fun with them and send them home before they start to grate on your nerves.

2. some ME time, peace, quiet, nobody annoying me or moaning/complaining about something. Love a Tuesday morning cos that's oh's day down the allotment and I get the house to myself.

3. a hot bath with a magazine to read, have gas instant hot water so if I lie long enough to start resembling a prune then I can top up as and when ( ok so its not green and friendly but its a simple pleasure)

4. enjoying the beautiful countryside and coastline around my home town, we are very lucky here and have a lot of cycle paths and off road walks we can go on. Doesn't matter whether it is raining and I just want to blow some cobwebs away or a day like today when you can cycle for  miles enjoying the suns rays in a nice balmy 18oC

5 (and don't laugh) my job, I work in a hospital in a patient care role and just to be able to do something simple for a patient that makes a difference to their day,  or having a laugh with them and cheering them up, or even a simple gesture or remark that makes their stay more enjoyable.

A walk in the park

last Tuesday when the children came over our plan had been to make chocolate Easter Rabbit lollipops( well it was two days after Easter and I didn't buy them an egg but chocolate each for melting) but it was such a beautiful evening I decided they could go run some energy off in the park instead, and combine it with walking the dog.

So we duly jumped in the car as Bob nor the fifteen yr old dog would mange the 3 miles there let alone back, and set off for some fun. We set off for Belleisle Park in Ayr

Fifi and granddad are into photography so we took two cameras along with us as well for any opportunities that may crop up.

cant quite manage this
 They played in the play area
but gets a bit further with these

coming down
going up

and then we went along to see the deer,

they were having a lazy evening

pretending to be a deer
did some running about, playing with sticks

cherry blossom is everywhere

and jumping out of the bushes to frighten grandma and granddad.

They went home exhausted and I think the two of them were asleep before I turned the light out.