Tuesday, 22 August 2017

What I Do As Soon As I Get Up

Since we came back from Australia, I have started doing something in the morning I can't imagine ever stopping as I enjoy it so much.

I've never been one for getting up in the morning and putting the tele on, occasionally the radio, but not the tele. I like quiet in the morning. It's calming and I think it's a much nicer way to wake up. I don't even like a lot of lights on if I can help it, prefering natural light or lamps, if neccessary. I used to get up and potter round doing jobs until I was ready to go to work or whatever. But now I get up, make dh and I a tea or coffee, go into the lounge, sit and read, for about 20 minutes. I love it. I love the quietness, I love just sitting, I love hearing the cars of people rushing past going about their daily business. Burt usually comes and joins me. Dh usually goes straight to his office, or if it's a weekend sometimes he stays in bed and has an extra half an hour, so it's always just me. It's lovely.

I usually read factual books rather than novels, but that's just me. I know it's easier for me as I don't have children but I still see this time as a treat. I'm more of a morning person than an evening one so I know I wouldn't do this in an evening, plus there's something about the stillness of the morning that makes my quiet, early morning read even more enjoyable :)

I was at Lacock At War reenacting the weekend just gone so have lots of catching up jobs to do this week before guests arrive for the weekend. We have a busy September coming up before everything quietens down for winter.

My Current Book Bought Second Hand Is Absolutely Fascinating. 

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Visiting Friends

For the last couple of days we have been away visiting friends in Portsmouth. They are such lovely people, its always a treat to catch up.

We arrived on Monday afternoon and after a cup of tea and catch up, and showing each other our latest ww2 finds, as they are also into reenactors, took their dog out for a good walk, whilst taking the foraging bag. We managed to forage apples from some trees on public land and blackberries. M was also eyeing up stone fruit (that I'd not heard of before) , hazelnuts and plums that wern't quite ready yet. In the evening we socialised and watched A Royal Night Out, I love that film!

On Tuesday we went round Portsmouth historic dockyard and went round some of the museums. We have been before so it was sort of a continuation of our last visit. The weather was devine and I love going on the water bus, which is a free service of a little boat, that takes you from one side of the harbour to another. You get a good view of all the boats moored up too :)

We went round loads of antique and vintage shops and I brought a beutiful woollen deep red dress which will be perfect for when the weather cools off. I also found a large vintage cotton Union Jack flag for my WW2 display. It was attached to a wooden flag pole. It measures approx 2.5 ft x 3.5ft. Anyone who has tried to buy a material flat will know how expensive they are. I got mine for £15, which was a steal! We stopped off for lunch then went round more shops and a final museum before heading home.

We walked the dog in the evening and relaxed. I slept well that night.

On Wednesday we went to the Explosion Museum. This was extremely interesting and had lots of information about the women who worked in the munitions factories is WW2 as well as a history of munitions. I learnt a lot, and could have spent longer there if we didn't have to head off, as I was dog walking in the afternoon so we said our goodbyes and headed for home. 
Forging for blackberries and apples that will be made into jam. We got a jar to take home with us :)
Dog walking! 
The Explosion Museum

Monday, 14 August 2017

A Weekend Intentionally Slow

Dh was away for the weekend. He got up at 4am on Saturday morning and started getting ready. At 4:45am I got up and made him French toast and an earl grey tea. At 6am he said goodbye and left, so I put the kettle on, made myself a coffee and sat down in the lounge with a book for half an hour. It was lovely just sitting in the quiet dawn with a book and it is something I do most mornings, but that is a post for another day.

Having the weekend to myself and with so much going on for the next few weeks especially at weekends I wanted to spend this weekend at a slow pace. Not, not doing anything as I had much I wanted to accomplish, but spending my time mindfully, enjoying every aspect of all of the homely tasks I set out to do, spending quiet time reflecting, reading and just enjoying my own company. Sometimes the weekends seem to go by in the blink of an eye and I wanted to embrace this alone time I had, and savour every minute of it. Here's what I got up to.

On Satirday I cycled to the allotment, did some work then went for a country cycle. This path was really long and I had to cycle into really strong wind the whole way!
The first of the runner beans from the plot. I cut my finger using my runner bean slicer :( I blanched them and popped them in the freezer.
Lovely looking elderberries I saw on my walk I went on Sunday
This meal is made mostly from allotment produce including beetroot, peas, courgette and spring onion.
I walked to a local cafe and had this lovely lunch. It was made with local produce and decorated with edible flowers. It was really cheap too and I sat for an hour and read with a coffee before walking back in the sunshine :) 

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

A Facebook Update

It's been a couple of months since I came off Facebook and I thought people might be interested in how it was going seeing as it is such a big thing these days and practically EVERYONE seems to be on it.

Well, I am still off it and have no plans to go back on. The only thing I might do is go and download all the photos on there so I can print them off and keep them- yes, actual hard copies of photos! So few people seem to do that these days. I miss them!

The main thing I've noticed since coming off Facebook is firstly, how little I missed it after only about 3 days and secondly, how much nicer it is to stay in contact with people. What I mean by that is that the real friends I have are messenging me through text, email or Wattsapp and we have an actual conversation. Not just a 'like' here and there as we skip through our 'newsfeed' but actual conversations that are engaging and meaningful. Friends are sending me photos they are posting on FB, as they know I won't see them, and we have a chat about them and catch up. They make a real effort and I do the same. Since I came off FB one of my friends had sent me 2 lovely cards thanking me for my support to her during a difficult time. We were always close but chat almost every night now I'm off FB.

The thing I wonder is 'do I miss seeing what 'not close' friends are doing?'. A bit, maybe. But not enough at the moment to go back on. I think because most people only put the good things they get up to on FB, it can give you a distorted view of other people's lives. With true friends you know not only of the good bits that they put on FB but you will be aware of all of the struggles and hard times they go through too as it is likely you will be supporting them through it. If all you really know about someone is what they put on FB then, maybe the view you see of their life, can be misleading.

I know FB is a great way for some people to keep in touch, and for people, not like me (!) who can go on it occasionally and enjoy it for what it is, it's great. But, as DH was saying today. What would the world be like if, for one month, the internet was just turned off. What if we all went back to the 80's for a month, not that long ago when you think about it. No social media, no internet, no Instragram or Twitter, no YouTube or email. Back to letters, phone calls, postcards(!), posted newsletters and 4 channels on the tele. No digital radio, Kindles, CD players, smart phones, mp3 players or DVD players. What would everyone do instead of looking at their phones all the time?!

I am definately going to be thinking more about the technology we let into our lives. I don't believe modern is always better and I think it's easy to get sucked in to modern life. It's not easy to stay on a more traditional path as, with everyone on social media etc, you can feel like you're left out if you're not 'staying current' or on a friends Facebook Chat Group or Forum.

So, I am going to make the effort to reach out to all my friends on FB (there arnt many!). I have 5 friends I regularly Wattsapp message and would consider very good friends. I am going to go back on FB tonight and let everyone know I'm coming off FB (in case they hadnt noticed) and give people my mobile number if they don't have it,  and let them know they can message me or write to me and let me know they want to keep in touch and we can message or write snail mail. If people don't want to then that's fine, I'm happy to let things move on. If they do, great! It will hopefully be a good way to get properly back in touch with people. I feel maybe I shouldn't ask people to be the first one to make the effort to message me but I don't have everyone's contact numbers so I will need people to message me so I can contact them back.

I hope by doing this I will be able to have a more personal relationship with people In may have lost touch with apart from through Facebook. I realise I'm rambling now, I hope I haven't offended anyone with my Facebook post. It's just my thoughts. Nighty night.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Mondays Are My 'Doing' Day

Unlike a lot of people, I actually like Mondays. Mostly because I only work until 2pm, then I get to spend the rest of the day doing all sorts of jobs. I like this because it means that when we go re-enacting at the weekends or visit friends I haven't got  a mad dash on Sunday night to get everything done, I know I have Monday afternoon to catch up. Sometimes I go to the allotment, sometimes I spend it at home. Today, it was the latter.

When I got home I sorted the allotment produce I had picked the day before, cutting runner beans and making an early start on dinner by grating beetroot and prepping spring onions and herbs.

I had washing to fold and ironing to do. I made Dh a GF quorn and mushroom pie using the buckwheat flour I got from Approved Food. I served it with vegetables including beetroot, spring onion and peas from our allotment. I also used my own fresh herbs.

Once Dh had gone to meet friends I did some of my Welsh studies. I have just been doing some crochet. I am still working on my crocheted cushion cover and am watching  David Starkeys Monachy, which I aways enjoy.

It's not going to win any awards but it was made with love and actually tasted really good :)

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Day Out At The Seaside

We had a few plans for today but nothing very concrete and nothing particularly exciting until Dh announced this morning that he wanted to go to Lyme Regis.
Lyme Regis is a seaside town I had vague memories of visiting as a child, and he looked it up and thought it looked nice. So after a hearty breakfast cooked by Dh I got my 1992 £1 road atlas out (never lets us down....except for when there is new roads built since 1992 and I get...confused ; ) and we were off!

Lyme Regis is absolutely delightful. It's a seaside town that has moved with the times but also has a classic look, offering lots of independent and quirky shops, as well as a beautiful beach. We started with a walk along the beach, which was bustling with people arriving and setting up their wind breaks and parasols, then as we were coming back up through the gardens leading away from the beach a black cloud came over and the heavens opened. We sheltered in the band stand and waited for it to pass over. As we walked on we could smell the trees and flowers mixed with that gorgeous 'cool rain on a warm day' smell :)

We went for a look round the town and found some lovely quirky shops including an independent stationers and a few secondhand bookshops. We found a fab cafe called Aroma which had a fantastic menu including loads of veggie, dairy free and gluten free options. I had stuffed mushrooms and dh had a sandwich with rainbow salad and a cranberry rock cake. The cost was very reasonable and it had a lovely atmosphere. It was nice to sit and watch the world go by.

We explored thr town further and found some lovely antique and curio shops to look around.

We headed back home mid afternoon. We would love to go back. We had a great day :)

We got caught in a downpour!


Friday, 4 August 2017

Approved Food

After the success of our Approved Food order last month, I wasn't planning on doing another order yet as we still have plenty left but I went and had a little look to see if there was any good deals and there was lots of Organic and Gluten Free products  (for dh) so I did another order which will last AGES!

Here's what I got:

2 Packs Organic Tortilla wraps
1 Pack Organic Amisa Crispbreads
50 Earl Grey teabags
2 x 450ml Organic Coconut Oil
1 x Organic Date Syrup
2 boxes Organic Sun dried tomato oatcakes.
4 Doves Farm Apricot and Chia Bars
4 Doves Farm Banana and hemp bars
4 Cashew and peanut bars
2 x 250g Finn Rye Crackers
2 x 500g Green Lentils
1 x Mayonnaise
2 x GF Sourdough loaves
1 x Organic Almond Butter 170g
1 x Orgran Coco O's (a treat for dh!)
3 x Rawbite Peanut Bars
2 packs GF rolls
2 loaves GF bread with amaranth
1 x Sharpham Park Organic Bran Flakes
2 x Muesli 450g
40 Organic Tea Bags
1kg Pumpkin Seeds

We got all that for £32.68 +p&p which I think is pretty darned tootin good!
The bars are great for lunch boxes or emergency car snacks and everything else will be used with plenty of allotment veg and fresh produce. It will help us to save money for our move!

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Planning And Exciting Times

I am feeling pretty excited right now. Dh and I have been to a meeting with a mortgage advisor today to see if the bank will help us as we want to move to Wales :D
It is something we have been thinking of doing for some time now and now Dh has a possible job opportunity there. So this time next year we may have moved!

There is a lot to do between now and then: we have to finish decorating and redecorating the house ready for selling, I need to get my skills up together to give me the best opportunity for employment when we move and we need to sell the house etc.

All being well we will move from a maisonette to an actual house of our very own with a proper garden!!

Our aim is to out our home on the market 1st March 2018, and before then there is so much to do, which pleases me, I love a challenge :)

Looking forward to sharing all our plans. Anyone in Wales? Hello! I am doing well learning Welsh and am excited I'll be able to use it in 'real life' in our many trips over before we move :)

One of the beautiful views that Dh took on a recent trip to Wales

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Making The Best Of A Frustrating Situation

On Monday DH had to go to Cardiff for the day. He dropped the car off to me as he was getting the train, came in to work, gave me some fruit (he's lovely like that :) ), then went off to get the train. 

He got off the train at Cardiff, put his hand in his pocket to get his wallet out, and pulled out the car keys!

He had come into my work, given me some fruit but not the car keys so I could get home! I'm as bad, I didn't remember either :/  So I finished work at 2pm and had 4 hours to kill. What to do.....

I didn't want to hang around at work so I hit the road! Unfortunately the weather wasn't great, it's been raining here on and off all week. But I walked in to town and did a little jaunt for about half an hour then I went to the library. I passed a very enjoyable hour looking at all the books, noting some i might want to get out in the future, then I selected one and withdrew it.

Whilst I didn't want to spend a lot of money, with the rain now very heavy I took sanctuary in a coffee shop and spent an hour with a coffee and reading in a warm armchair. I also enjoyed watching people scurrying past with their umbrellas up. I love people watching.

With the rain having eased I then went for another walk followed by a trip to the supermarket to look for yellow ticket bargains. I wandered round to the cinema to see how long Dunkirk was going to be showing for, then walked to the station to wait for dh.

It wasn't an ideal afternoon, I had plans to do washing, cleaning and ideally the allotment if the weather had been fine. But actually it was nice to do not a lot, no pressure to rush back or do anything. It would have been nicer if the weather was better and I could have gone for a longer walk, but never mind.

Dh got back full of apologies, but no apology was necessary. He was doing important planning for our future and my afternoon was just fine :)

Yes, I did have a little slurp or two before I remebered to take the photo!
The book I got out the library.