Saturday, 6 June 2020

Project 366 week 23

A late shift at work with some crocheting and tv watching before I went out.
I think my Persil is breeding in the upstairs cupboard…..I had four £5 vouchers to spend but could only use one per transaction and one per item, so rather than buying something worth a pound or two with each one thought I might as well get full value. Should last a year or two. 

Housework and washing done and started a new crochet piece, a rainbow otter, Bob loves otters. The knitted one was done from a crochet pattern as not sure about adding writing on a piece of crochet work, maybe worth experimenting with at some point, the crochet one is bigger because crochet stitches are bigger.
Watching The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair. An entertaining series with lots of twists, turns and red herrings.
An evening walk with the dog down the woods and spotted this dinosaur head.

Car was going in for its MOT today with a time of “drop it off early and we will get to it”.  Hubby and dog came as well and we walked round the village while we were out. 

Walked back down with dog and hubby to pick the car back up again. 
DD1 and the children were out in the garden when we walked by and they were all very excited to see Dixie dog.
Finished off knitting the otter. 
A very muggy cloudy day but still very very warm, 22.5 according to the car.

I am getting very can’t be bothered, do it later but later never comes mind set lately. Happy to spend my days crafting. Finished the otter off. Finished watching Harry Quebert and spent three hours listening to the end of Good Little liars on audiobook while doing Bob’s diamond painting.
Met up with DD3 to go for a walk with the dog along the river in Ayr, first time I have seen her in about ten weeks.
Drove past McD’s on the way to meeting her and the queue was stupidly long, they have set up cones etc to make a snaking queue. You could have been to the supermarket next door and bought your ingredients and then driven home and made them quicker.

Spotted this algae in the river that looks like a map of the UK.  


Some house work, some blogging comments and then a new audio book and more diamond art. Spent the morning waiting on the rain that never came to anything other than a few spits.

Went and did three miles along the River Ayr, not been there since the lock down started. It is only a couple of miles away but no reason to be there.

Started a crochet unicorn for Dinky to go with her rainbow doll after tea.  


Went early and did a shopping as the industrial estate shares the same roundabout as the recycling centre and KFC so would expect long queues later in the day. Choose Food Warehouse as they are doing 20% off this week for NHS staff. Object to this in principal as there are many key worker groups not just the NHS as we in theory are no poorer now than any other time of the year, but a saving is a saving.

I rarely before last month buy frozen pre made food but have to say I can see the appeal of" take it out the freezer and throw it in the oven thinking", no mess no prep time and no clearing up afterwards. So mixing it this month with some cook from scratch and some throw it in the oven food. Frozen foods have become much better quality over the decades than it use to be, better quality meat, less fillers, additives or other junk added so probably not a bad alternative any way.

Popped into DD1 on the way home as I had added a few bits to her home delivery and dropped her off some eggs I picked her up. home by 9.30 am. Worked on the unicorn, now finished apart from the tail needs puffing out. Chosen my next make for Minky which will get started over the weekend.

Put a washing out as the promised rain was not on the horizon and took the dog for a walk. Started spitting just before we got back but managed to catch the washing in time. Only rained for ten mins but was heavy so washing would have got soaked. Weather was freezing and I am glad I pout a wind proof jacket on. 
Cooked a nice roast chicken dinner and made a pear upside down cake.

Blogging and then diamond painting for an hour before getting ready for work, nice to have somewhere specific to go. They have another type of mask for me to try but asked for a break this week as it is taking longer and longer to feel normal again, was still feeling the effects of last weekend on Thursday this week. Pushing my IGE levels up and not giving it a change to even out again means I am having issues with things I would not normally at home so having to adjust what I eat/drink/do to save making myself uncomfortable. 

This is my mileage until the end of May - 789 miles so far this year.

I am on holiday next weekend and normally we would be off to Oban for a week with DD2 and the girls, but not this year. 

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Thursday, 4 June 2020

Relaxing Your Body And Mind

We could all do with feeling a bit more relaxed, right? I certainly can, lost my get up and go so maybe
some of these ideas will be a great help. If you are someone who feels stressed at the end of
the day, you need to know how to relax both your body and mind. This will make you feel calm and
peaceful. Your body also reacts when you start to relax. For instance, your muscles will be more
flexible and less tense. With that being said, read on to discover some of the different ways that
you can relax both your body and mind. 

Relaxing the mind

There are a number of different things that you can do to relax your mind. This involves trying different
breathing exercises. Start off by taking slow and deep breaths. You can also find information online about
different sorts of breathing exercises that you can try.

There are many people who also vape as a way of relaxing their mind, so this is something you may want to

Other ways to relax the mind include using guided imagery. With guided imagery, you are to imagine yourself
in a specific setting or scenario that helps you to feel relaxed and calm. You can use scripts or audiotapes in
order to guide you through the process.

A lot of people also find that writing helps them to relax the mind. If you write your feelings in a journal,
it can feel like you are offloading them, and this can make a massive difference.

We also recommend practising mindful meditation. The aim when it comes to mindful meditation is focusing
your attention on things that are occurring right now. For example, you can listen to your body. Are you
breathing shallow, deep, slow, or fast? Do you hear silence or are there other noises, such as traffic?

You can also try listening to soothing music and soaking in a warm bath.

Relaxing your body

Now, let’s take a look at the different ways that you can relax your body. One option is to have a warm drink
that does not have caffeine or alcohol in it, for example, warm milk or herbal tea. 

Massages are also great for relaxing the body. You can book yourself in for a professional massage
( once all this is over) or right now get your loved one to give you one.

Talking a walk or doing some other sort of activity that you enjoy will help as well. 

Progressive muscle relaxation is good for the body. This is a process that entails relaxing and tensing each
muscle group. This can be effective in terms of lowering muscle tension and anxiety. 

Finally, we recommend trying out some yoga too. You can get videos and books so that you can do yoga at
home or try taking a yoga class. 

So there you have it: some of the different ways that you can relax your body and mind. If you follow the
advice that has been provided above, you should be able to notice a considerable difference in terms of how
you feel both mentally and physically. 

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

A Grandparent's Guide To Managing Money

There are many odd stereotypes about those of us over 60 that have never really rung true. One of
which is that we’re all inexplicably wealthy. The assumption, of course, is that by the time
we reach retirement age we’ve all paid off our mortgages, acquired significant savings and
have our pensions to cover our basic living expenses. And while this is a charming fantasy,
it doesn’t quite measure up to the real-life experiences of many pension aged people in Scotland
and all over the UK. Around 3 million Brits over the age of 60 are still paying off their mortgages.
The past few decades have not been kind to ,any of us financially, and even if you’ve owned your
home for decades, you may have had to refinance to free up more spending money. Combine
this with the increasingly challenging cost of living (particularly in Scotland) and it goes a long
way towards shattering the stereotype of the infinitely wealthy pensioner. 

Of course, as grandparents we want to be able to support our grown up kids and treat
our grandchildren whenever we can. We want to be able to enjoy the odd indulgence
without worrying how it’ll affect our ability to pay our bills. But the sad truth is that almost a
million people over 65 in the UK are just one bill away from financial ruin.

If you’re recently retired you may have all sorts of money questions. Retirement, after all,
doesn’t come with a manual. But it’s how you’ll spend roughly 25% of your life. So, let’s take a
look at some money management tips for retirees...

It begins with budgeting

It’s impossible to make the most of your money without a budget. Only when you can account
for every penny going into and out of your bank account can you take control of your finances
and free yourself from the feelings of worry, stress and dread that money can bring up in so
many of us. Budgeting is a skill, and like any other skill, it needs to be learned and developed.
The truth, however, is that many of today’s pensioners have gone through life without needing
to master this skill. Many of us have earned decent money and grew up at a time when the
basics were relatively affordable. And since the ‘60s we’ve had easy access to credit cards
and unsecured loans to make up the shortfall when our spending exceeds our income. 

If your only source of income is your state pension, however, you’ll need to work a little harder
to address the balance. Use a budget template to track where your money is coming from
and where it’s going. Here are some digital templates you can use, or print out if you prefer
to keep it all on paper. They’ll make it easier for you to identify areas where your money is
slipping through the cracks. Very rarely is it the big, flashy purchases that erode your finances.
It’s the little expenses that add up a great deal by the end of the month.

If your only source of income is your state pension, you’re left with a maximum of £168.60 a
week (or £8,750 a year) to cover your expenses. However, there may be other benefits for
which you’re eligible. Age UK has a comprehensive list of benefits for those with low incomes
and / or of retirement age. It’s much easier to balance your budget when you take advantage
of everything that’s available to you. 

Remember: Goals are important at all stages of life

It’s hard to stick to your budget when you’re lacking in motivation. And it’s hard to stay
motivated when you don’t have clear goals and things to anticipate and look forward to.
These are your golden years, after all, and you’ve worked hard all your life to enjoy them.
So start thinking now about how you want to spend this part of your life, and start putting a plan
in place to make it happen. 

You may decide that you’d like to live out your days being treated like royalty in the company of
your peers. If so, you might want to look into the cost and logistics of moving into one of these
luxury retirement villages. Or, if you decide that now’s the time to see the world, you might want
to look in to a cruise (once the pandemic has died down and people feel safe to travel once again,
of course). Alternatively, you might want to save for something like a new car. There are no wrong
answers, but it’s important to have goals. 

Getting your debts under control 

It’s extremely hard to balance your household budget when you have debt placing a
stranglehold on your cash flow. For many Brits of all ages, debt is just another unpleasant fact of
life like drizzle or constipation… but that doesn’t mean we have to let it ruin our best days.
Many of us are paying far too much in interest on our credit cards, loans, store cards etc. And
when we let our debts pile up, they can become much harder and more stressful to manage.
The good news is that there are lots of ways to keep debts under control and claw back a
surprising amount of money every month that might otherwise have been lost to interest payments. 

Keep moving credit card debt to a new card with a better rate of interest. You’ll be charged a fee
but this will be absorbed into your debt and will pale in comparison to what you save. Or, if
your payments have become harder to manage, you might benefit from a consolidation loan
that condenses them down into a single, manageable monthly repayment with a much lower
interest. If your credit score prohibits one of these, however, you might benefit from arranging
an IVA or Individual Voluntary Arrangement with your creditors. You might be able to waive
interest altogether and substantially reduce your monthly expenses while paying your debts
off faster. 

You’re never the wrong age to take control of your finances and start thinking about what you want
to do with your money. It’s time to stop worrying and start enjoying the best years of your life!  

This is a collaborative post.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Project 366 week 22

Well in Scotland we have got some more freedom than we had last week but does not mean I am going to be doing anything risky. Just because Nicola says I can visit family does not mean I will be. Three of us work for the NHS, two of us in a hospital and one in a clinic but she has to use public transport to get there. If I go and sit 2m away from the local grandchildren they are going to want me to play or they will want cuddles or to sit on my knee and that is putting them at risk, so it wont be happening any time soon. I also have to consider that the other grandparents will also want to visit, so if I give it to the grandchildren they may well pass it on. Also Bob is still covered by his shielding letter.

Weather has been far to warm this week for a day time walk but time evening comes the woods are full of midges.


A late start at work again today, think this is going to be me until we can either find a suitable mask or there is no need for a mask at work, a late start gives time to do things before work, an early start after work so does not make much difference to me. Just happy to still be working.

This is the only picture I took today, the latest in my Rainbow of hope series, this one is for Fifi as she loves cacti.


Housework and a walk with the dog and some crocheting.

Changed over the seven tog winter quilt for the four tog summer one, until it gets to warm for that and we just use a quilt cover.

Got the quilt and two other loads of washing done, out and dried.

Also put the oil heater up the stairs and brought down the fan.

None of my caterpillars have come to anything, they are all still small caterpillars


Today a repeat of yesterday.

Trying to find a new series to get into but cant find anything that appeals ten minutes of one thing fifteen of another, again my mood rather than the quality of programme I think.

This lovely little treat came through the post today, a lovely gesture from Fifi. Really brightened my week up.

Got a message I had won a voucher in another "tag your NHS friend" I was nominating by the same person that won for me last week.


When I turned the tv on this morning all we got was a flickering picture on, off, on, off, a second or so at a time.

I took a video of it and sent it to LG and they suspect a bulb is away, far to expensive to sort so bye bye tv. We won it four years ago so four years of free tv was ok.

By this time we had brought the old one down, and by the time we tried to fit it to the stand and realised it would not fit  it was gone 1pm. This left us with the dilemma of a stand as we bought the up right stand for the tv we won and we gave away the old table type stand we had. We hunted Facebook Market Place and found one localish so we went and picked it up, they had put it in the garden for us.

Went for a walk while we were out, a different part of the river walk to what we normally walk.

Had a phone call from work to see how last weekend went, and to wait on a phone call tomorrow with an update.


The day just seemed to disappear, no idea where it went or what we did apart from an evening walk down and round one of the fields with the dog.
Phone call back from work saying they have sourced a different type of mask for me to try same as last week.
No crafting in the last two days at all.

I got this today, a nice home made bag from the Facebook friend who keeps wining competitions for me.


Had a prescription to pick up so combined the day with a walk and some shopping. Sadly the queues were massive, and then even more massive at the first two supermarkets and way to warm to stand out in a queue. So went to the industrial estate where there is a choice of three shops, one of which had no queue so in I went, but hey seemed to have stopped social distancing and the queue was inside, maybe thirty deep at the check out, but was better than being stood out in the sun.Time I got out they had somebody on the door gain with one in one out.

Just picked up the stuff we needed to tide over the weekend, will worry about the rest next week, will probably add it to DD1's delivery.

DD1 had wanted eggs and jam, could not get her eggs, but we have one lovely local woman that keeps chickens and does not eat eggs, so messaged her but she had no egg boxes, I did have so took her my empty boxes, pick up half a dozen eggs, dropped them at DD1 along with the jam and picked up bottles pf sparkling water that came with her shopping for me along with a few tins of beans. Spoke to the three wee ones while I was there. They had been in the paddling pool.

The weir walk we did yesterday, don't think I took any today.

Ayr River walk

Meet Vincent, a rainbow sausage dog, hubby wanted one and he also named him. Will need to try and find a knitting pattern if I do another one.

crochet sausage dog.

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Saturday, 23 May 2020

Project 366 week 21


A day off work. Spent it doing the same old things. But did get round to making the cake I was making on Friday.

Got the two dolls finished, they are for Spud and Dinky.

Amazes me how trees manage to grow on the rocky parts but I guess erosion has worn away the ground over the years.


Listening to audio books, the end of Things We Never Said by Nick Alexander, an enjoyable novel based on a series of cassette tapes and photographs the wife leaves to her husband to read and look at after her death from cancer, and doing diamond art painting. Then tried something new with crochet. Time will tell if it works.

Had a laugh at a bit of a memory. We bought our first microwave over thirty years ago. The girls called it Ping, because it pinged when the time was up. Years later when I bought another, smaller better one, my by then ex took it. Well DD1 messaged me to say Ping has finally pinged it's last. RIP Ping.

Had gone down to DD1's to go and post a letter for her and picked up some coloured big hugs that the three wee ones had made for me. Spud had put a monster on the back of hers, but she has hidden it's eyes nose and mouth to protect me, and now it has gone boom into space. 


Had a slow morning, was up just before six as for some reason these days I seem to have a lot of weird dreams, nothing scary just really weird, usually involves people I know or family members but the ages never work out with them, seem to mingle the kids and grandkids in combinations that are not possible. 

Finished off the diamond art picture while listening to a new audiobook, Good Little Liars by Sarah Clutton, will let you know what I think later on. 

Went to Morrisons in Troon to do a few bits of shopping I never got last week, hoping the queues would be shorter and if not hubby could walk the dog on the beach while I was shopping. Forgot that all the beach car parks would be blocked off and hubby did not think to park in the supermarket car park and walk the dog. 

So got my shopping and then parked near the cycle path for a walk instead. It was drizzly but did not really rain.

Started watching Dreyfuss on Prime, watchable but not stunning, another one of these "specialists" helping out the police type programmes. 


More audio book and diamond painting, got 3 bags of beads done on Bob's one, only another 31 bags to go.

Finished off another rainbow baby and started a NHS worker, have 3 more of these needing done.

Had a zoom chat with the other cycle/walking volunteers. Learning about up coming things they have going on as well as catching up with how the others are fairing. 

Walked the dog and found some caterpillars. 

Have a chat with neighbours either side and a friend along the road, all at different times of the day.

Won three Facebook competitions today, two of them were nominate NHS workers. First was a £10 amazon voucher, one for me and the colleague who nominated me. Mine went on cable ties that were in the basket waiting on pay day. Second up was a stainless steel tea pot and two mugs, again a nomination and  thirdly was a runner up prize of 50% off on a vape site, no used to me so was used by somebody else. 


A lovely sunrise just after 4.30 this morning. 

Hubby did more gardening, I did more kitting and tv watching/audiobook listening. 

Had a chat with next door, their wee one through in our garden, and he loves playing in water, he was very good at finding it all.... found a watering can, a bucket with water lying on the lid, and the dogs water bowl to play in. 

A couple of phone calls from Staff Care to see how I was and to update me on the plans for this weekend, they have different types of masks for me to try and see what happens. Fingers crossed. 

Popped the dog in the car and drove a few miles to a different piece of woodland to walk in for a change. 


Made an early start, rain was due to come in about 10am, walked the dog and picked up hubby's prescriptions.  Home just after ten and yes it was spitting, to some social media and more knitting and TV. 

My tea pot and mugs turned up, well they turned up yesterday originally but we missed the delivery while in the garden.

Rotating between Dreyfuss and Unforgettable on Prime. 


Rather than bore you with all my makes every day, most have which have already been shared then done a collage of them. 

Two of the three NHS dolls, a mandala, the crocheting I tried out on Tuesday, balls of wool in rainbow colours that DDD3 bought, my diamond painting owl, and two rainbow dolls that have NHS 2020 on their bodies, these are for Spud and Dinky, will make a couple for here as well at some point. 

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Sunday, 17 May 2020

Project 366 week 20

We have started watching Series 5 of Outlander, I watched a 4 part series called The Bad Seed - tells the story of two brothers from a dysfunctional family, tried various others and watched half an hour of this and half an hour of that as I could not get into others I tried. Watched an all right film for a boring day at home -  A Prayer for Mary. Took a notion to watch Watership Down but you need to pay for the film version, I could find a 4 part tv version of it but could not get into that either. 
Been enjoying Millionaire but apart from that nothing much different.  

Have to say I am quite glad Scotland has kept us locked down a bit longer, will be interesting to see if there is a spike, make Nicolas next decision easier based on the stats in England for us at the end of May. 


My usual shift at work. Had decided we were going to have a Chinese as a treat but time I finished work I was not feeling to great, sore throat, itchy mouth and was to sore to consider eating anything. As the evening went on my tongue started to swell and my throat got tighter and the itching in my mouth got worse. Took piriton and ended up sleeping with my epi pens next to the bed in case it got worse over night, thank fully I got away with it but only just.
 Never quite sure at this stage when to use them. It is obvious if it is an instant reaction, but always ponder should I use them when it creeps up before it gets very very uncomfortable and then phone an ambulance and take some help and advice,but that seems a waste of resources as not technically an emergency situation. Had this problem more than once. Maybe I should just to ease the reaction quicker? Maybe need to go and have a discussion with the pharmacist.

Have to say really fed up of these allergies having such a massive impact on my life. 

Managed to spill my breakfast into my knitting box, overnight oats, fruit and yoghurt -  toast would have made a lot less mess  - this was just some of what I rescued for rinsing off. The stuffing bag got thrown away.


More piriton to keep the reaction down, itching in the mouth was better but throat and tongue still sore. Walked the dog and did some knitting.

Face timed with DD2, Ziggy and Roo. Roo is doing well with her speech.


Tongue feeling a lot more comfortable, throat still sore and hoarse. Same old same old today. Found a butterfly while out for a walk. Was trying to get a decent close up but it flew away. Makes for an interesting shadow of it.


Had put in for a repeat prescription last week. These two are the same tablet, just in different packaging. No wonder people get confused and take the wrong tablets. The white packet is the new one and looks exactly the same packaging as another tablet I take. Have had to write on the strip what they are. Maybe I should leave them in the boxes but cant be bothered opening a packet, taking the required amount out and then popping it back in, I just keep one strip of each in the top drawer to make my life easier, or more lazy!!
A walk with the dog and knitting again. Took some video of walking along the paths through bluebell wood to share the beauty of it at this time of year.

Spoke to Staff Care today about the issue at work at the weekend and she is going to speak to her consultant and get back to me with her suggestions.


Staff Care phoned back and the consultant agreed with her it is not safe for me to be in at work wearing a mask. So going to speak to my line manager on best way to deal with this. They will arrange for allergy tests at some point to see where the problem lies.
Line manager has put me onto medical exclusion until they decide on how I can work safely.

Yes you guessed it more knitting and a walk with the dog. Got the bigger owl finished, just scaled it up to allow for what will become history in the writing.


Thankfully now my throat is feeling better, still hoarse at times but fine apart from that.

Hubby had to go for blood tests this morning to see if the new tablets they gave him have helped to lower his blood sugars. Decided while in the town anyway to get a few bits of shopping, nothing desperate right now but to save me a run back in next week.  Drove into three different supermarket car parks but the queues were ridiculously long so just left again.

Walked the dog along the river while we were out as well. Got some video footage of a cormorant fishing, and some tiny fish swimming about it the shallows as well. Not something you see every day.  Will pop them onto a blog post some time this week. Also spotted a heron near the cormorant.


Sat around waiting on the rain that had been predicted and looked like it would be here any time. I was fine I was knitting and watching rubbish on the tv. But still had not rained by 2pm so decided to take the dog a walk. We decided to stay close to home but withing a few minutes of us leaving the sky was blue so we went down the woods again. The river is very low as we have had no rain to speak off for weeks. Went down to the bridge and took a few photos. Dog went right under and along the banking on the other side. We probably could have as well but a lot of bricks have fell off the bridge and it would have involved to much clambering,  maybe another day at the start of the walk.

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