Saturday 23 February 2019

Project 365 week 8

I had the results of my heart scan, it came back with nothing at all to be concerned about. So may never have an explanation as to the cause of the black thumb but least I know nothing sinister is lurking inside me.


It is the simple things in life......we have been on tinned sweetcorn as our veg while we have had no freezer, so having bought veg on Friday we had something different for tea. Yes I know there is still sweetcorn in it but also contains other things, and I prefer frozen to tinned by choice.


Don't judge DD1 has been plagues with bouts of very nasty tonsillitis for the last few months. Anyway last week when all I could do was squeak and whisper she was mocking me ( as only family can) so tonight her Facebook status read

Whoever's got my voodoo doll, could you please take the pins out of it's throat? Totally fed up of tonsilitis now, on my 4th course of antibiotics since mid December

so being the loving mother I am I made a voodoo doll, and added pins in the ears and sinuses for good measure.


Hubby was out for the evening so I made the most of it and got to play with my Wii for the first time in too long.

See keep telling you I am only 29!!!


Been a long hard month financially for a few different reasons. So to eek out what is left I made some sultana and apricot cakes with a touch of cinnamon in, very yummy they were as well.


Blossom starting to come out on the trees. Did look for frog spawn while we were out but there did not appear to be any.


A walk along the beach path in Prestwick. Was high tide so little beach available. Really liked this quote, quite appropriate along the cycle path.

In case you cant read it it says

When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are Arthur Conan Doyle. 


As of last night my miles total is up to 206.6. My aim for next month is for more active minutes in a day. I am also hoping to buy another fitness tracker watch that does more than count my steps. 

Another character finished on the blanket. Just the owl to do, then I need to find a nice verse to add before adding name, weight and d.o.b. Any pointers for a nice verse would be appreciated though I do have one idea on my head.

Thursday 21 February 2019

Northern Soul - not just good taste in music.

 Britain's Northern Soul music scene exploded with the first "all-nighter" at the Wigan Casino nightclub in September 1973. 

*DJ Richard Searling called Northern Soul "deep soul with a dance beat"
There are fewer strings, fewer shimmering harmonies in Northern Soul. But the most important thing is it is dance music. It is fast and furious.He wanted to find tracks that had flopped or never been released but which, according to the aesthetic of Northern Soul, were masterpieces ....and so Northern Soul was born.

As a lover of Northern Soul music I was happy to do a review post for  who describe themselves as - The home of the 45Revs brand. High quality Northern Soul and Mod clothing and apparel.

They sent me out a selection of items. 

Excuse my madness but have tied each item in with a song. 

Firstly a Keep the Faith fur pom pom chunky beanie. 100% Soft-Spun Acrylic, Sumptuous heavy ribbed knit Luxury removable faux fur pom pom for ease of washing.It really is soft and fluffy and very nice to wear. 

I have tied this in with Major Lance (get my hat) nothing can stop me 

Secondly I was sent a shirt from the men's range, in my book does not have to mean it is a men's shirt. I as a taller woman often prefer clothing designed for me as they are a better length and cover more of my lumps and bumps. I like these items on top of a vest type shirt or a round neck t-shirt, they add an extra layer without adding to much warmth for the warmer weather. It is a very nice shirt, well finished and soft to the touch. 

The Keep The Faith Embroidered Button Down Collar Short Sleeve Shirt is a 100% Heavyweight Cotton Short Sleeve Checked Shirt. Button Down Collar. Red Taped Neck. Back Yoke with Side Pleats and Hanging Loop. Left Chest Pocket. Double Folded Seems. Curved Hem

Scuse the link this time - Chubby Check(er) for the checked shirt. 

Thirdly I got sent a Keep The Faith Embroidered Women’s fit Light Weight MA1 Flight Bomber Jacket. 
Women Fit Classic MA1 Flight Bomber Pilot Jacket – Security Military Combat Biker. Zip up MA1 Pilot Jacket. Two side pockets with studed flap over. Two pockets on left arm. Ribbed collar, cuffs and waistband.
This is a great light weight jacket that Fifi loves and will get a lot of wear out of. 

This sums up Fifi - a woman in motion 

Final item in my package was 

45REVS Men’s Stretch Cotton Northern Soul Boxer Shorts

These are described as 
Exclusive to 45REVS, Black and Grey Trunk Fit Stretch Boxer Shorts, 95% Cotton, 5% Elastane.The 45REVS Northern Soul, Keep The Faith trunks have a body defining fit with a contour pouch for a snug and comfortable fit.Modelled on the World’s favourite boxer trunks with quality to match. 
They are a very nice shape and fit well when on. For those that like to expose the waistband of their pants these do their own advertising. 

Our final song is 

Wayne Anthony - you ain't wrapped to tight - rather appropriate 

There clothes are all well made, nicely finished and reasonably prices so well worth you having a look. 


Conversations with Fifi

Have had a variety of conversations lately with Fifi and we have discussed things like my family, my upbringing and it often brings comments of...I did not know that...
When my eldest two daughters went to their paternal grandmothers funeral they had not realised some of the things about her, what she did before she got married, where and how she met Papa, what they had done with their lives etc and it got me thinking about what my children would know to add when it comes round to writing a bit about me. So thought I might help to make it a bit easier for them.

My parents 

I was born Elaine Heather Bennett on 28th November 1959, and yes I know I turn sixty this year, a scary thought in itself. I was the third of four children with a brother, Colin, born in May 57, a sister, Coral, in October 58, and a younger brother, Kevin, born in August 64. My parents had met as dad was a chef in the RAF and my mum did secretarial work in the WAAF. My dad was the eldest of two sons, and I recall my uncle being around a lot. My mother use to tell us she was one of thirteen but I only ever recall meeting one of her brothers.

us older 3 with my paternal gran 

I grew up in the forces, we first went abroad when I was six weeks old, that must have been a bit of a nightmare for my mother having three young children to take by herself as my dad was already out there. We have various pictures of us abroad until I am about three. I know my brother was born in Cambridge and I recall various bits of living in Colindale in London. My school reports date us being there between '66 and '70. We use to spend a fair amount of time with my Paternal grandparents and I remember a lot of happy times there along with three cousins who lived more locally that we did to them.

We did not spend as much time with our maternal grandparents and I have a picture of me photo bombing them stood on the doorstep in London just before they went off to live in Australia where they had other family. I got a sever ticking off for that as film was expensive to buy and develop. I am sure they took another one without me in it.

We lived at RAF Gatow in Berlin from June 70 to Feb 73. Loved the school, the people and the friendships that were made, it was a British Forces School so everybody was in the same boat and they all knew what it was like to be the new person and everybody made you welcome. We had so much freedom back in the day and had proper outdoor childhoods with hours in woods and play parks and in the winter sledging on the ski slopes.

myself and little brother ( front) with a school friend 

From Feb 73 to June 73 we lived in Dunkeld, one day I will go back and lay the ghosts to rest from that period of my life. We got our dog Candy and our cat Fluff when we lived here. We then did a year in Machrihanish, loved that place, and Campeltown had the best school dinners I ever tasted.
Then two years in Portobello, Edinburgh - at that point Portobello High School was in the Guinness World Record book for being the largest school in Europe.  My dad came out of the forces in June 1976 and we moved to Bo'ness.

My first job was hard to come by because there was nothing for outsiders in Bo'ness at the time unless you wanted to work in a factory. I eventually managed to find work as a recostings clerk for a large Insurance company just outside Stirling. It made for a long day leaving home just after 6 to start work at 9, finish at 4.30 and home just after 7, public transport at the time was not good where we lived as it was a new housing scheme they were just building. I left that job and did six months as a live in nanny before I had DD1.

I met my first husband at Grangemouth Rugby club, he lived in Bo'ness as well at the time. We lived in Bo'ness until 1983 when we all
moved to Grangemouth. We split up in 1991.

I worked for years as a registered childminder when my own children were young rather than going out to work.  We moved to Ayrshire in 1994 as Grangemouth was not a healthy environment for asthmatic children. Second hubby and I have been together since 1994.

So there we have some basic background information that my children can now give to the humanist people when they plan my cremation.

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.