Friday, 24 March 2017

You wear it well...

I am on holiday from Binland for a couple of days, and yesterday, being my first day off (well, half a day, as I finished at 11.00), I hurried off for a couple of appointments which I'd booked in.

The first one was for a session of microdermabrasion on my poor raddled face. This is the equivalent of pressure washing the patio after a hard winter, but using grit instead of water, and although not that painful, it does smart a little.  But ladies, as we all know, no pain, no gain, and I was more than happy to put myself in the capable hands of Mrs H for half an hour while she removed several layers of dead face.  I said to Mrs H as she fired up the sandblaster, that she'd probably take enough off to resurface the M4 from Swindon to Reading, but she laughed that off and thirty minutes later I was all pink and rosy cheeked. 

My second appointment of the day was for something I have been putting off for some time.  I had received a letter from my Doctor inviting me in for a 'Health Check'.  Now we all know that this is medical speak for 'Let's see how much you are potentially going to cost the NHS as you hurtle toward senility'.  

Well, I went along with it, and yesterday, found myself answering questions about my lifestyle.  The exercise bit was easy, and believe it or not, she put me down as 'active'. I'm not sure that crying into a yoga mat once a week, and eating custard creams between dances counts as active, but I wasn't going to tell her that.  The subject then came up about my five a day.  'Did I understand what constituted a healthy diet?'  Well. at the ripe age of 53, I think I probably do.  Cake?  Bad.  Apple?  Good.

But then she asked about the drink.  Now I know that I have often spoken about my love affair with rhubarb gin, but to be perfectly honest, I can go for weeks without an alcoholic beverage passing my lips.  Nor have I ever smoked.  I didn't like the way this was going.  I realised that I was coming across as really boring (and middle aged).  But the best was yet to come...

'Can you take your shoes off and get on the scales please'.

Oh dear.  Well.  In for a penny, in for a kilo, so onto the scales I stepped.

'That can't be right',  she said.  'You can't weigh that much.  Hop off, and get back on'.

Same weight...

'Just a minute', she said as she shot out of the door, coming back a few seconds later with another set of scales.

'Get on those', she said.

Same weight...

'Mmm', she said, 'you carry it well'.  Of course, what she meant by this is that I am slightly fat all over, instead of just carrying it around on my stomach.  Measuring my waist, she was more than happy to give me the go ahead for a long and healthy life, and I was dismissed with a 'Just keep on doing what you're doing'.

Now about that waist measurement...

High waisted Spanx, I salute you...

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Vital signs...

Since I started working at Binland, I can count on one hand how many times I have done a physical weekly shop.  Of course, this doesn't include Christmas when it is the law to go to the supermarket with the husband and a second trolley in tow.  Most weeks, I do my shopping online, and wait for that shiny orange truck to appear at my front door.

However, last week was very busy in Binland, and what with the bending, dancing and drowning, I simply ran out of time to do the whole internet thing.   So on Friday afternoon last week, I found myself in Waitrose, with a list, a trolley and a full purse (always necessary for shopping in Waitrose). Wandering up and down the aisles, narrowly avoiding small pockets of elderly ladies who obviously meet up in there at the same time every week, I found myself at the meat shelves looking for a couple of steaks for the husband and me.  The husband is rather fond of a rib-eye, but there were none left, so I decided that sirloin would be a great second choice.  And this is where my mouth hit the floor...

The steaks were labelled up as 'essential'.  Now forgive me for being a bit picky, but surely essential implies that you can't run your house or live your life without it?  I don't believe that sirloin steak falls into that category.  Mind you, looking at the customers (pearls, sensible shoes, yummy mummies etc) perhaps sirloin is an essential part of their daily life. Breathing and getting dressed are higher on my priorities I'm afraid.

I have tried other supermarkets. The one which sticks in my mind most, and not for the right reasons, was a trip to Lidl with son number two a couple of years ago. I'm always suspicious when you have to pay for a trolley.  All I had in my purse was a pound coin - ninety pence too much - and a most frustrating five minutes was spent haggling with a man who'd just brought his trolley back..

'Can I have your trolley?  I haven't got a 10p'
'I didn't either.  I used a euro'
'Oh, ok, well if I could have your trolley, I could give you a pound coin.  Would that be ok?'
'But that means you'll be giving me too much.  And I don't have change'.
'It's ok.  I don't mind.  I just want your trolley'.
'Are you sure?  I really can't give you any change'.

Well that worked, and suitably trolleyed, son number two and I were off.  I don't know if you've ever been to Lidl, but for someone with mild OCD, it drove me crazy.  Who in their right mind sites peanuts between some flimsy looking washing lines and several pairs of Wellington boots?  Plastic washing baskets nestled up to streaky bacon, and the bread was cosied up with a couple of lawn mowers.  This was my first and last visit to Lidl. 

I can't run the risk of coming home with a mower when all I wanted was a white loaf...

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The race...

As son number two is away at the moment (if you'll remember, he is somewhere hot with daughter number two, but I'm not bitter), I thought it might be an idea to tackle his bedroom while he wasn't around to shout absurdities like 'Put that down', or 'That's definitely not going in the bin', or, my personal favourite, 'I love that so much'.  The last statement is usually reserved for a certain game which we played when he was much smaller.  It involved four snails, a dice and a load of my 2p coins if I remember rightly.  His habitual winning might be why he can now afford to holiday in Tenerife, while I can just about manage a few days in a shed by the sea.  Anyway, needless to say, the snail game is safe and will remain on his shelf until a future generation can fleece him.  What goes around, comes around, and all that.

So back to the bedroom.  I have mentioned the dust bunnies which seem to live in corners and on window sills before.  These are tiny powder puffs of dust which scuttle across any flat surface when a door opens.  I opened the door and braced myself for the dust bunnies to jump out from the corners.  At first glance, I thought it didn't look too bad, but then I remembered that he had taken most of his clothes with him, which explained why they weren't hanging in their normal place...the floor.  So I spent most  of yesterday afternoon dusting and just generally sorting out the stuff into three piles:

Very important stuff (parking ticket, P45, tax code)
Stuff which needs a home (Old A'Level text books, pens, a torch, Valentine's cards)
Crap (receipts, sweet wrappers, carrier bags, bits of forgotten food, pen lids etc)

Having done this and reduced the piles to two, sweeping pile three into a bin bag, I then headed over to his bookcase which houses everything which keeps his handsome looks at their best (I'm his mum, I am biased for heaven's sake).  Lining up all the hair paraphernalia, there were three cans of hairspray (two empty), tins of hair gum and hair wax (all empty bar one, which had dried out into a solid lump), brushes and combs (remember these are surplus, as he already has his brushes and combs with him), a hairdryer (see brushes) and a set of hair straighteners (again, see brushes).  

He had thirty six bottles of different aftershaves, some of which I'd heard of, but there were a couple there which I didn't know.  Squirting a little out, I decided that they would be better off as loo cleaner, as the fumes nearly wiped my eye brows out.  I didn't dare throw any of the aftershaves out, but neatly lined them up in ascending size (damn you OCD).  

But the best bit?  His bed is broken.  I have managed to mend it using a strategically placed piece of wood which I found behind his bedside table.  As long as he does wriggle about too much, this should hold until the husband gets round to mending it properly. You'll remember that the husband has a 'back burner' where jobs such as this go.  I envisage that the bed will remain broken until long after son number two leaves for university.  

In fact, it's not looking likely that it will be done when he returns three years later...

Tuesday, 21 March 2017


I had to go to the hospital yesterday.  Nothing life threatening you'll be relieved to hear, although by the time I left there, there was a chance that someone else's life might be threatened....

For the last six years I have been going to various consultants for a painful foot.  This can sometimes get so bad that I have to mince around the house with a stiff foot looking like a camp storm trooper.  Anyway, having had a miracle jab last year which gave me some respite for a whole 37 days, it was back again yesterday for some more suggestions.
It was a new consultant I saw this time.  This one had the personality of a house brick and a waft of ice cold air greeted me as I went into his room.  He had a double widow's peak like Dracula, and I nervously touched the crucifix I always wear, and gave a silent thanks that I'd had garlic mayonnaise on my salad at lunchtime. So having looked at yet another set of X-rays, he said that it was definitely arthritis.  Now I had already had two other consultants tell me that it definitely wasn't arthritis, and I neatly dropped that into conversation.  Well apparently, the two other consultants  (who were a lot older than him and therefore probably more experienced) were wrong, and he was right.  He then asked the fifty million dollar question.

'Have you tried pain killers?'

Looking at him though slitted eyes, this is what I said...

'Yes, I have tried painkillers.  I have tried paracetamol, ibuprofen, codeine and something unpronounceable which my GP prescribed which sent me loopy. I have also bought over forty five pairs of shoes over the last five years in the hope that one pair might help.  I have tried orthotics, which meant buying more shoes because the original forty five pairs were now too small. I have experimented with a TENS machine, which did more for my hair than my foot and which also managed to electrocute one of my dogs.  I have spent money on herbal treatments, pain relief gels and plasters. I have even lost thirty pounds in weight to try and help myself. I have come to the proverbial 'end of the road' and would like some suggestions...

He nodded.  'Yes, yes, but did you use the pain killers regularly?'

Oh dear god, was I even in the room?

Through gritted teeth, I answered his simple question with a very clipped 'Yes', and he peered closely at the X-rays again.  He then made the decision that short of chopping my foot off and replacing it with castors, another injection was the best way forward.  

I am almost giddy with excitement and am looking forward to another 37 pain free days.

Give or take.... 

Monday, 20 March 2017

The right thing...

It was a quiet one at home yesterday as all the children were elsewhere..Hooray! (oh, did I say that out loud?)  Daughter number one is laid up with a plastered ankle, son number one is still ensconced in university squalor somewhere on the south cost, and daughter number two and son number two flew out to Tenerife yesterday for some sunshine and sangria.  So it was just me, the husband and the dogs.  So we did what we often do when it's just us.  We headed off to be with other like minded schnauzer owners with the venue of choice being the Diana Brimblecombe Animal Rescue Centre (  

Those of you who have been reading my blog for some time will know that the husband and I have tramped many miles with our two fuzzballs raising money for this animal haven.  Yesterday was a bit different because it was a way for the charity to say thank you to all the Schnauzerfest walkers who over the years have raised many thousands of pounds.  This money has helped lots of dogs get through some horrific times, introducing them to a very different world where love has no price.  

The time there went in the usual way when we attend these get-togethers.  Percy, never the most virile of dogs was overjoyed to see one of his old flames, Hugo.  There were some over zealous greetings of the inappropriate kind, and before Percy really showed us up, we headed off to the large paddock which DBARC provide as a safe running place for all the dogs.  Well, we lost our two within three minutes,  The husband and I did four laps of the field without any dogs (I'm not too sure what the other walkers were thinking, but the husband was very vocal in his failed whistling up of our two so that they didn't think we were imposters).  Having walked round and round, looking like the only non-dog owners in the village, we eventually decided to sit down at the gate and just wait for the dogs to find us.  

Reg was the first, having clocked the free bags of beautifully wrapped dog biscuits which volunteers were handing out.  As the husband struggled to open the packet at the top, Reg, whose patience is non existent where a Bonio is concerned, ripped the bottom resulting in a cascade of dog biscuits on the floor.  So we now had seven schnauzers instead of the two we were after, and it looked like shark kill on the path with the ensuing biscuit frenzy.   The husband wasn't sure what to do, eventually handing Reg to me while he scooped up what was left of the biscuits, thrusting them into my coat pocket, followed by six wet noses..

Having finally got two dogs on their leads, and managing to get the right ones, which is always a bonus, we headed off to look around the centre.  The staff supplied the most amazing lunch for everyone with  sandwiches and cakes of every kind. I'd like to apologize to anyone who was saving a small tummy space for a piece of fruit cake....Unfortunately, the husband got there first and polished off three slices without drawing breath.  This is what happens when I leave him unattended for more than five minutes.  Of course, the lack of cake could be down to the taller schnauzers who could reach the plates, but who am I to tell tales...or should that be tails?  

We got back home around 3.00 yesterday, and Percy and Reg headed to their beds and only surfaced for more food before bedtime.

Funnily enough, the husband did exactly the same with a bowl of trifle...

Now, to be serious for just a nano-second, if you want to donate any small offering to Schnauzerfest, here is the link

Thank you...

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Listen to me...

Daughter number two and son number two are going on holiday today.  Not only that, but where they are going demands a passport which generally means that the weather will be warmer than here.  I'm not bitter, but maybe I should have told them a bit sooner where I had hidden the beach towels and the suitcases.  I never did reveal the hiding place of the European plugs or the Imodium, but hey ho, I'm sure that they'll manage. 

I have to wait another two months before I get a chance to feel some European sunshine on my pallid English skin, so as long as they don't come home with any strap marks I'll be happy.  Mind you, daughter number two has the skin of an Eskimo, and tends to go from pearly white to magnolia after a spell in the sunshine.  Son number two on the other hand, has the propensity to go red (sun cream is for cissies apparently) so the two of them together will resemble one of those red and white stripy poles you see outside the barbers when they return. 

I don't know about you ladies, but three days in the sunshine would be a suitable reward for sitting through all the rugby over the last few weeks.  I'm not saying that I don't enjoy watching fit young men in very short shorts rolling around in the mud, but I do wish they were a little prettier.  Obviously, looking like a member of the human race is not a pre-requisite when being called up for your national team. Nor are teeth, working ears, straight noses or sensible facial hair.  

The worst thing with the rugby though, is that it seems to make the husband deaf.  There have been many one sided conversations over the last few weeks, most of which have ended with him giving me a bewildered look and asking, 'Did you say something?'  Well yes I did, but don't worry, the moment has now passed, and I answered the question myself in a most satisfactory manner. Last night was the final match for England, and when I got home from several hours in the hairdresser's,  the husband was laid out on the sofa, beer in hand, ready to shout and holler at the television for the next hour or so.  He didn't notice that I'd had my hair straightened or coloured. 

I heard somewhere this week that this is normal behaviour if your man is one of some long standing.  Hair Blindness it's called. Mind you,  I haven't seen any hair on his head for some years, so maybe I suffer from this too?

Perhaps I should go and roll in the borders for an hour and grow a beard (easier than you might think at 53), don some silly shorts and stretch one of my pop socks around my forehead.

Do you think he'd notice me then?

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Perfect skin...

I had a very good day yesterday.  After work, I met up with a comparatively new friend from Binland for some lunchtime shenanigans. I'm not sure that a Brussels pate and a half pint of lime and soda really counts as shenanigans, but it was lovely to spend some time with her outside of the wheelie bins. 

Because the fabulous Tash was walking the fuzzballs yesterday, I then went into town to do some shopping as yet again, the cupboards are bare. Hovering next to the potato section, I was mulling over which potatoes to invest in this week.  I was just about to launch a bag of King Edward's into the trolley, when I happened to notice several bags of 'A Little Less Than Perfect' potatoes.  Well they caught my interest, and as I laid my King Ted's next to the has-beens, I wondered what the differences were.  They all looked the same.  The King Ted's were a uniform 'roast me or bake me' size, whereas the poor relations were a bit more abstract as to their sizing, with a couple of really tiny ones which looked at me as if to say, 'Go on then.  What are you going to do with me?  I'm too small to roast, too big to pass as a Jersey Royal'.

Well I threw caution to the wind, and bought the sullied spuds.  Although they look alright from the outside, I am now wondering whether I shall cut one open, and find that it's blue, or that it tastes of sprouts.  I'll update you after their first outing, but at half the price, they weren't to be sniffed at.

While I was in the queue, having unloaded everything onto the conveyor belt, and listening to the lady in front telling the lady on the till all about her Richard's verrucas (where I live, everyone knows everyone else) a friend who I haven't seen for some years tapped me on the shoulder.  Having said the usual stuff, she then went on to call me a celebrity.  Worried that my dancing might have made some local rag (Elderly Woman Knocks Partner's Teeth Out Whilst Shim-Shamming) it eventually dawned on me that she was referring to the blog.

Now.  I have always looked at my blog as a way of talking to myself by means of the written word. Unless you really know me, I am a stranger to you.  You could pass me in the street, and be none the wiser.  But a celebrity?  Now that's a whole new ball game.  I quite like the idea, and am thinking about introducing several new things to my day to work with this new status..

A selfie every three hours, usually in a swimsuit or drinking something alcoholic - some photo-shopping may be required for the swimsuit shots

No autographs (never been asked, except for the time I was mistaken for Camilla by three Japanese tourists - I signed in the end, as they weren't going to leave me alone until I did)

I shall employ a full time make up and hair expert to keep me looking perfect at all times.  With the amount of work they'll have to do, I shall have to pay them an extortionate salary.

But this isn't for me.

No.  I shall stay as I am, hidden away behind my pseudonym, and be a bit like my potatoes.

 Just 'A Little Less Than Perfect'...

Friday, 17 March 2017

Shim Sham Shimmy...

Yesterday morning, I woke up hurting from the waist down.  Turning to the husband, I said to him that I felt like I'd been in the gym all night, possibly doing one of those fake 'Row the English Channel' challenges which gyms do with an Ergo and a stopwatch.  Turns out he felt the same. As we minced around getting ready for work, thoughts went back to the previous night's Swing Club.  To be honest, six weeks in, I think we are both throwing ourselves into it with a tad more gusto now, so it's bound to hurt more than it did.  Mind you, whenever a new person turns up and asks me how long we've being coming, I always say 'Oh, just a couple of weeks', so that their expectations of what we can do aren't too high. 

On Wednesday night, the husband and I stayed for the second section of Swing Club which involves learning a series of complicated steps and putting them altogether into a routine.  I can already see you shaking your heads and wondering what on earth we are thinking of, but because you dance in rows, any mistakes can be hidden if you position yourself correctly.  There is one rather rotund gentleman who I am rather fond of standing behind when we do this...

We are learning the 'Shim-Sham', a 1920's tap routine which was popular in the Cotton Club. As you can imagine, my beloved suede bottomed dance shoes tend to do more of a sshhhh noise than a resounding tap, but the noise my knee joints make when I do the steps more than compensates.  There have even been a couple of occasions when my knees have been heard over the music.  So between the Suzi Q's, the Shortie Georges and the Fishtails, we are learning lots of new things each week.  Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks...

Talking of learning something new, daughter number one, a qualified PE teacher, gave me a swimming lesson last week from the safety of the sofa.  I had raised the question as to whether I was doing it right in the pool, after being lapped by a couple of pensioners last week.  

Well, it would appear not, so suitably instructed, I headed to the pool with Mrs S last night full of positivity as to the improvements which were going to be apparent once I set off.  I practiced in the shallow end, just in case the new arm technique was a complete failure, and then set off down the deep end.  There are times, and this was one of them, when I wonder whether I have some male DNA in me, as I can struggle to do two things at once sometimes.  

While I was concentrating on the arms (straight, bend at the elbow, bring hands up as though you were drinking, then shoot out again) my legs, realising that my concentration was elsewhere, just did their own thing, resulting in some serious sputtering and bad lane discipline.  I persevered though, and after another ten laps or so, I managed to bring the whole thing together.  I can't say that I was massively quicker, or that I was less knackered, but it was encouraging knowing that I was doing it properly.

But what it did bring was a 10% increase in the number of lengths.


Thursday, 16 March 2017

Dog eat dog...

There have been occasions, mainly when I have returned from a long dog walk, and the two fuzzballs are gently snoring at my feet, that I mention the possibility of having a third dog to the husband.  He is far less emotional about puppies than me, and tends to give me a stern look accompanied by a firm 'No'.

This will never happen again...

Yesterday, I looked after Mrs S's Labradoodle puppy Ralph for the afternoon.  He is an adorable ball of fluff, as are Percy and Reg, but put the three of them together, and the fur flies. I thought it would be a great idea to take the three of them for a long walk when I got back home having collected Ralph, in the hope that a combination of heat and exercise would encourage a nap.  It works for me, so I just assumed that they would be the same.

I managed to get the leads on the three of them, and then spent a frustrating five minutes at our gate trying to untangle them.  Macrame was never my strongest achievement at primary school, and in the end, I had to un-clip each of them and start again.

We made it over to the rabbit field in one piece, and I let them all off.  Have you ever heard the saying about 'what goes around, comes around'?  Well Reg, who has quite possibly been the bane of Percy's life over the last year, found himself at the abuse end of the walk this time.  The trouble is, although Ralph is much younger, he is also much bigger than Reg, and took great delight in jumping over him. Reg didn't get a minute's peace, and Percy sauntered round slowly with me, giggling softly
behind his paw in a 'serves you right' sort of way.

After an hour's walking, we fell back through the gate and After some more detangling they were ready for drinks and snacks, and what I hoped would be a mammoth sleep.  How wrong I was,  Here's the thing.  When you have several dogs, they never all fall asleep at once.  There's always one picking a fight on another, and to be honest, I think they managed around four minutes of sleep between them.

In the end, I had to resort to a very dirty trick.  Grabbing a small handful of Reg's puppy food, I launched it up the garden.  As it sank down into the almost too long grass ( when did that happen? Last time I looked, it had frost on it) it gave the three of them quite a challenge and kept them distracted from each other for all of one and a half minutes.

Resigning myself to wearing a two tone fur coat, as the three of them laid on, below and beside me, I used Reg as a mouse mat and Ralph as a foot-stool while I attempted to write this blog.  Percy, who tends to be ever so sensible, simply stared at me in a quizzical manner, hardly believing that I may have brought another puppy in to torment him.

So I'll be sticking to two dogs for the time being.  It's more than enough.

Mind you, there are days, usually when destruction has been on the menu, when even having two is just too much...

Wednesday, 15 March 2017


It was with some dismay that I noticed that the husband's late work jumper did not make the bin as I thought.  It is hanging in threadbare splendour from my hanging rail, where I put all my neatly pressed clothes.  I asked the husband why he hadn't binned it as planned, and he told me that he 'just couldn't face it'.

If it is still there this evening, I am planning a Viking funeral on a large puddle just outside our house. A couple of drops of lighter fuel and a stiff breeze should do it, and tah dah, jumper is no more.  I think that once he has a replacement, separation will be easier, but till then, I will probably have to put up with him dragging it around like a security blanket.

Lady H (she with an eye for a cobweb) was here yesterday, and do you know the weirdest thing?  The house looked exactly how she'd left it for over eight hours.  Of course, once the husband came home (shivering slightly as he had no jumper) then it all came to a shuddering halt.  As I walked around the kitchen before bed (my pre-sleep sweep) I could tell that he'd had a cheese sandwich (grated) with marmalade (sticky ring on the worktop).  He'd had a cup of tea. (Bag in the sink, bypassing the very handy waste disposal unit three inches to the left).  The milk was also still out.

This is where we are very different. I can't eat anything I've made, until I have cleared up.  The husband on the other hand uses as many kitchen utensils as possible, and leaves everything he has used out on the worktop until after he has eaten, at which point, he wanders back into the kitchen with his empty plate and murmurs, 'I was going to do that'.  Of course, my wonderfully inherited OCD (thanks mum) dictates that I am unable to leave any mess for less than a nanosecond, catching breadcrumbs before they hit the floor with an outstretched hand, and rinsing saucepans out as soon as the peas have been removed.  

I sometimes wish that I could just leave the mess.  I see my friends living in happy semi-squalor, negotiating their way through piles of stuff without a care in the world, while I am measuring the tea towels, making sure that they are equidistant on the oven rail.  I have a spirit level to keep the sofas at a comfortable 90 degrees angle, and I also like to polish my remote controls.

I am a lost cause.  Luckily, the husband appreciates having a wife who has a home for everything.

Unless that home is for a tatty jumper and involves a naked flame...

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Lunatic fringe...

Forty eight hours after the party, everything is getting back to normal.  My extended stomach (too much fluid...mainly rhubarb gin and ginger ale) has receded, and my blood/alcohol ratio is pretty much back to where it should be.  I have a feeling that this weekend will be a quiet one to make up for the debauchery of the last one, but hey, it's only Tuesday and anything could crop up.

I played a blinder on the washing and ironing front this weekend.  Son number one had left all his washing hanging in the utility room,  There was a lot of ducking and diving needed if you wanted to get through there and into the garage without being wiped out by several rugby shirts and bed linen, and in a fit of pique, I screwed it all up and threw it back into his linen basket, with the promise of ironing it when I got back from work on Monday.  As he was staying till Tuesday, I didn't think that this was unreasonable.  But then he decided to go back to his seaside abode yesterday instead, and as I was out all afternoon with my sister-in-law, Mrs H, necking back cappuccinos, he had to go back with clothes which had a road-map look about them.  How I laughed (quietly...)

Over the years, I have passed one piece of advice to my children with regard to their clothes and ironing.  I tell them to buy their clothes one size too small, so that their bodies can push the creases out from the inside.  Unfortunately, now I am losing inches, I have had to start ironing again...

Talking of clothes, it was a sad day for the husband yesterday.  You may have guessed by now that the husband is not particularly worried about what he wears, or how he wears it.  Yesterday saw the demise of his 'work jumper'.  I know that you are probably imagining something cheap and cheerful, but this started out as a Christmas present five years ago.  A silk lined jumper to wear over a shirt, costing around £90.  It was what we ladies call, 'an investment piece'.  Let me take you through the life cycle of this since that Christmas Day...

First six months - jumper is only worn when we go out, and is hung up reverently at the end of each outing.  A red metal poppy adorns the left breast with pride.
Second six months - jumper is worn for light duties around the house such as paperwork and bringing logs in
Second year - jumper is now worn for doing small jobs in (these are confined to the garage so don't count as real work apparently)
Third year - jumper migrates to the husband's workshop, where it spends four weeks on top of a pile of tyres in the rain.  It is now officially allowed to be worn for car maintenance and manual labour
Fourth year - jumper's sleeves are starting to fray.  Husband no longer bothers to remove metal poppy badge prior to washing.  Basically, he has stopped caring about the jumper
Fifth year - jumper is now full time work wear, assaulted by plaster, glue and paint on a daily basis. It has a small tear at the seam and the fraying at the sleeves is extreme, and resembles Indian fringing

So he came into the lounge last night and holding it up, he said that he thought it was getting past it. Now this was the understatement of the last decade.  I said to him that the jumper had been on borrowed time since February 2016, and he was to throw it away.  His little face drooped, and very slowly, he turned on his heel, headed into the kitchen, and put it into the bin. I am sure that he said a few words over the bin lid as it closed.  Something along the lines of, 'What the hell am I going to wear tomorrow?' but let's just hope the weather continues to be kind as he won't be needing it.

I've hidden his other posh jumpers, and henceforth, these will only be handed over on special occasions which don't involve chainsaws, logs, paint, carburettors, nail guns or glue.  He will also not be able to wear them if he is with his friend Mr H, who is just as bad.

It's like having a five year old sometimes......

Monday, 13 March 2017

Little Willy...

I am a broken woman.  Forty eight hours of celebrations can do that.

We had the husband's birthday party on Saturday night, and the rhubarb gin was flowing ferociously. I made the mistake of recommending it to several of our guests, which may mean that supplies are limited for the next week or so, but you can't keep something as wonderful as that all to yourself can you?  You have to spread the love (and the juniper berries)...

In the end there were thirty four of us.  Son number two went down with something which prevented him from being too far away from home, if you know what I mean.  ELL, his best-friend-now-girlfriend was on standby with a bucket and a disinfectant spray, which was very kind of her.  I did suggest that she should still come to the party, and leave son number two to wallow in his own despair (and other less savoury stuff) and there was a suggestion of doubt in her eyes.  Unfortunately, one look from son number two, who by then was resembling Caspar the ghost, was enough to persuade her to be his carer for the night.  I shall have to talk to her about this.  We all know what men are like when they are ill, and us ladies shouldn't pander to their pathetic pain thresholds.  

So we all had a lovely time.  I don't want to say anything bad about the pub we were eating out, but one of the courses left a little to be desired.  But everything turned out fine as instead of a main course, I had two extra rhubarb gins, so I wasn't worried.  Starving, yes, but worried?  No...

We had planned to do some dancing (not the swing stuff we've been learning, just some of that side-to-side dad dancing that is so popular with those of us of a certain age).  However, I had left the husband in charge of the music, and when Baccara came on, belting out 'Yes sir, I can boogie', my heart sank. This was swiftly followed by 'It started with a kiss' (Hot Chocolate) and then, with a big fanfare, we launched into Blue Monday by New Order.  The husband had asked for a 1970's/80's mix of music, which to him meant T-Rex, The Cult and Nickelback (Yes, I know that they are a 90's band, but his music knowledge is sketchy to say the least).  Where was the Grease Megamix/Jive Bunny/Abba?  Now that really would have got the dodgy hips a-swinging.

So there was no dancing which was a shame, but bearing in mind that there were a couple of steps close to where the dancing might have been, perhaps it was just as well our friends remained seated. I'm not sure that any kiss of life I could have given would have helped, bearing in mind the amount of alcohol consumed...

Miss R flicked the alcohol switch from respectable WI lady to kerb-side lush around 10.00, which meant that she just had to give a speech.  The words were lovely, and her speech was short.  This was a welcome surprise, as anyone who knows her will have experience of her ability to 'go on a bit'.  The husband responded with some lovely words of his own, and declared his love for me in front of everyone.  I'm not too sure what I was surprised at more to be honest.  The fact that he managed to locate me in the room as I was in the process of having a mingle, or that he was actually standing up unaided at the time. Many pints of Guinness had been imbibed by then, and a modicum of support was becoming necessary.

After the speeches had been done, Miss R turned to me and asked me if I fancied doing a 2.8km open swim with her.  I turned my head slightly, as I was sure she must have been talking to someone else, but when I looked back, and she said 'Well?' I realised that she was in fact asking me.  This would be me, the lady who can just about do 400m in the local pool as long as she is in Mrs S's slipstream. 'No, I don't think so', I said.  'There's things with teeth in the river, and it'll be bloody freezing'.  Her response?  'You can wear a wet suit..'

Oh great, so not only am I floundering in a river looking like a one-flippered haddock, I am now also sporting a wet suit and running the risk of being mistaken for an extra from Free Willy.  I declined the offer of exhaustion and humiliation,  but the husband said that he would be willing to do it, as long as it was a downhill river he would be swimming...

He's very silly sometimes...

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Something special...

I had planned on getting rid of all my house guests around lunchtime today.  What I didn't allow for was my mouth opening of its own accord, and asking everyone whether they fancied a big family roast lunch today.  Now my roasts are legendary (modest, aren't I?) and Mrs W and Mr G jumped at the chance.  Son number one, who informed me that he would now be staying till Tuesday, saw an opportunity to feed himself up with so much food that he would no longer be able to bend in the middle, and the husband's eyes just glazed over.  He was probably picturing my cauliflower cheese which has this effect on him every time.

So I headed into town yesterday morning to get pork and beef as no one could agree on just one type of meat for lunch.  The general consensus by all except son number two, was that as long as it wasn't chicken, they didn't mind.  Bearing this in mind, I then suggested pork, at which point son number one said that he didn't like pork either.  Which is why I bought two joints, one of which had to be pork, because it is the husband's favourite, and it is his birthday after all.

I decided to buy the meat from the local butcher as it was a bit of a special occasion.  Perhaps if I'd known how 'special' the price was, I might have gone to the downmarket supermarket up the road, but £30 poorer, the meat was bought.  I then went into the Farmers' Market in the old cinema, and stocked up on vegetables.  As I was paying, I said to the stall holder that I assumed he had run out of parsnips.  Gesturing with one of the leeks I had picked up, he waved it in the direction of a box.  'No madam,  There are plenty in that box down there.  You can't miss it.  It's the one with PARSNIPS written in big capital letters on the front'.  Mmmm, just what you need on a Saturday morning, a sarcastic parsnip seller.  Laden down with a cauliflower, five leeks, a red cabbage and now four parsnips also, I struggled back to the car and returned home for a well earned cup of tea and a small power nap before the evening's festivities.

It was relatively quiet at home, as Mrs W and Mr G had gone off to see some fancy stately home just down the road.  They have National Trust membership which allows them to poke round people's lounges commenting on their terrible taste in wallpaper.  I don't know what their membership costs, but I would have given them a lovely tour of number 35, including the garage and allotment, for not much more than a couple of quid where they could have done much the same.  I could just imagine leading them into the kitchen, and telling them that 'nothing much ever happens in there as the lady of the house downed tools some time ago'.

So it will be a quiet lunch today after last night's party celebrations.  I shall have to muffle the crackling when I cut it up, as it could wreak havoc on the hangovers which will be a-plenty...

Saturday, 11 March 2017


So the exodus has started.  The kids are heading home from the furthest corners of this small island, dragging dirty duvet covers filled with even dirtier clothes.  Son number one was the first one to turn up.  He got home before I finished work, which meant that he'd had several hours to raid the fridge, trash the kitchen and put some very loud music on my Sonos system (this was a Christmas present from the husband, but is randomly used by anyone who crosses our threshold - heaven forbid I should ever want to play my Barry Manilow).

My washing machine has been going non-stop since yesterday at 11.00am now and has started weeping gently between cycles, having got used to only going on once a week. I was doing my small bit of ironing yesterday, and son number two kept sneaking the odd bit into my ironing basket, concealing it under one of the husband's shirts, in the hope that I wouldn't be able to tell his jeans from the husband's. Mind you, I'm not too sure that I'd like to see the husband in son number one's super skinny jeans. I don't know about you, but I do prefer an element of mystery where clothing is involved.  No one likes to see what's on offer before you've even checked out the menu do they?

My sister in law, Mrs W and her beau Mr G have also arrived, getting here from 'oop north' yesterday afternoon, clutching flowers and alcohol.  As I was popping the flowers into a vase, the husband came in and offered to do it for me.  Well.  This was a big surprise, I can tell you.  Leaving him with some daffodils which were already in the vase, and a beautifully wrapped bunch of hyacinths, I headed off to correct an email he was writing (see, there is always an ulterior motive).  When I returned, the vase was sitting on the middle of the kitchen table.  I couldn't really make out the shorter hyacinths, because they had been shoe horned into a one square inch of space in the centre of the daffodils.  I have decided that flower arranging is not the husband's forte.  Mind you, one look at the hedge-that-was outside our house tells me that his attributes are not those of the green-fingered kind.

My nephew, Master J came over last night, bringing various bin liners of clothes and shoes.  He had had what is commonly known as 'a clear out', and was proffering trainers, shirts, coats and various other items to son number one.  If he declined, then it went to the husband, then me (not too sure what I want with football boots) and then onto son number two.

My kitchen floor looked like a jumble sale, and the men in my house are now the proud owners of several new pairs of shoes, while I have the best coat ever for cold dog walks.  The dogs have ripped my old coat to shreds with their excited jumping up and down, so I was thrilled to have a very posh coat for my walks now.  It is a bit big though, and the husband suggested that I might have to wear a couple of extra jumpers, thermals and an electric blanket to fill it properly.  It's either that, or I live on cake for the rest of my life to pad it out.  

The bad news is that daughter number two is yet to turn up.  I have hidden my make up, my expensive Spanx tights and all my shoes in the hope that they will still be here after she leaves again on Sunday.  Mind you, she will probably bring some stuff with her, and will leave that behind.  Like gluten free rolls and tortillas.

Oh great, I knew I'd made room in the freezer earlier in the week for a good reason...

Friday, 10 March 2017


We moved on to a new dance on Wednesday night at Swing Club.  I spent a most satisfying two minutes winding the husband up, saying that we could be doing any kind of dance this week, as they didn't just do swing dancing.  I mentioned that I thought we were doing the Can-Can which caused a small smile to come to his face.  Probably thinking about those frilly drawers they wore.  Anyway, he was disappointed when it was announced that for the next four weeks we would be learning the Lindy Hop, his lower lip sticking out just a little too far for my liking.

This was the best news ever, as this was what I had always hoped to learn.  It was a different beat, and so much easier than the Charleston steps which we had been covering for the last four weeks.  And half way through the lesson, I did a twirl.  Not an Anthea Redfern twirl (showing my age again), but a fast, on the spot Lindy one.  And I didn't fall over.  Nor did I trip over my own feet, or knock my partner's front teeth out.  I was thrilled skinny.  Of course, wearing the proper shoes helps, oh, and dancing with some bloke who had a vice like grip on my right hand shoulder blade.

Last night Mrs S and I went for our usual Thursday night swim.  The pool was quieter which was good, and this also meant that the chance of 'swimming against the tide' when following the Front Crawl Splasher was also eliminated as she had already swum and gone.  Pottering up and down at the speed of an asthmatic snail, I realised around length fourteen that I might just possibly have overdone it this week on the exercise front.  My arms felt like a couple of strands of soggy spaghetti, and my legs like two lead weights.  I am blaming the two hours of dancing the night before, which had been preceded by a six mile walk with Mrs P and Neville the Rottweiler.  I shall start next week's exercise regime with 'Woman, know your limits' and take things a little easier I think.

So Mrs S and I threw caution to the wind on a school night and headed off to the cinema after our swim, to watch The Viceroy's House.  I had a major dilemma with this, as it raised the question of what the hell to do with my hair after forty five minutes in a mild bleach solution (ie the pool).  Finally deciding on a shampoo, and then a leave in conditioning treatment, we headed off to the cinema and settled down in our seats to watch the film.  It was brilliant, but what impressed me most of all is that neither of us fell asleep after our grueling swim.

When I got back in, the husband was still up, watching something manly on the television involving fast cars and bad language.  Looking at me as I came through the door, he took one look at my hair, and said, 'You've not been out in public looking like that have you?'

Don't you just love them....

Stupidly, I had a large coffee to thank for keeping me awake.  Mind you, as I said to the guy behind the counter as he served the coffee, 'I shall be cursing you at 3.00am when I am still awake looking like a rabbit in the headlights'.

And so it came to pass...

Thursday, 9 March 2017

I should be so lucky...

I have a new dress for the husband's soiree on Saturday night.  I didn't think for one nano-second that I would be able to get it on, let alone look good enough to be seen in public, but lo and behold, I did.

All the exercise I am doing seems to be working on different bits of my body, and I have noticed the following minor adjustments:

I have waved goodbye to the bingo-wings.  Before starting the weekly swimathon with Mrs S, there was always a risk of these having someone's eye out with over vigorous flapping about.  In fact, before embarking on my 'eat less, move more' regime, I was considering sewing in some darts into my sleeves to accommodate them.  But they are no more, so by the time the summer gets here, I won't be trawling M&S for three quarter sleeve summer tops.

My muffin top has completely disappeared.  Now this is something I have been known to achieve with those vacuum knickers which push every thing in.  However, the podge has to go somewhere, and rather than settling around the non-existent bosom area, it chooses to bypass this obvious need and travel to the upper thighs where it squidges out from the tightly fitted parts.  Those knickers do give you a great hourglass figure, but mine is just one where all the sand has dropped....

So the muffin top - this is a slightly optimistic description.  Full term pregnancy might have been more accurate, and over the last ten months, I have become Queen of The Skimming Top.  But it's gone, my stomach not quite the washboard I am aiming for, but no one will be coming up to me and asking 'when it's due'.  That's a brave man who asks that.  The husband tried it at a wedding once, and got a slap for his trouble.  Since being with me, I have coached him as to the things you should never say to a woman.  'No you can't' being the most obvious one, along with 'Yes dear'.  I am now able to take him out in polite company without too much trouble.

So back to the changes.  They're not all good.  My bosom, never the most apparent part of me, has completely gone.  My bras resemble hovercrafts with a lovely layer of fresh air between me and the fabric.  I can't stand the shame of buying a training bra from M&S, so may resort to chicken fillets or a pair of the husband's socks.  I'm just glad that the Trade Description Act doesn't stretch to us misleading flatties.  Sometimes what you see, isn't always what you get...

But the dancing has seen the biggest change.  To laugh with the husband for a couple of hours while we make complete fools of ourselves is just the best thing ever.  I look forward to getting into the car with him every Wednesday as we set out for the half hour drive to the class, and after we are finished (in more ways than one), getting back in the car and dissecting the steps all the way home is hilarious. I didn't think I could love him more, but giving up his Wednesdays every week so that I can pursue a lifelong dream makes me realise how lucky I am to have him.

He's lucky to have me too.  I often tell him him this just in case he forgets...

Wednesday, 8 March 2017


Yesterday I made my regular trip to the hairdressers to get a hair cut.  Now this sounds like I am fairly organised doesn't it, but when I tell you that in the last year I have had three haircuts, one every four months, then that's not quite so brilliant.  Regular, but not brilliant.

I knew I was going to be in trouble with Joe, my stylist of choice, as soon as I sat down. 'Thought you'd died', was his opening comment.  Aah, more trouble than I thought then. Lifting my hair up like it was a dead fish, he looked over his glasses.  'Ready to go with the skinhead look then?'

You see, being straight means that I have to get the hairdryer and straighteners out, and it would appear that they have caused my hair just the teensiest bit of damage at the ends. Joe called it 'nuclear' which was probably more accurate, and tutting loudly and often, he set to work on my hair with a pair of hedge clippers and removed three inches of hair.  It looks lovely now, but he made me swear on all that was holy that I wouldn't touch the straighteners for at least two weeks.

I promised naturally.  I mean, he had me a half Nelson at the time and he's not a small chap, so who was I to argue?  I will try though, so if my newly shorn hair looks like it's growing out rather than down, please don't mention it.  I'll probably have to wear one of my loopy hats wherever possible, in an attempt to flatten it.

I also had my roots done while I was in there.  I know you are picturing about an inch or so of grey wiry frizz along the parting, but let your mind go free and imagine five inches.  I have therefore gone back to my ditsy blonde colour which I love, and the greys are gone for now...

I was in the salon for quite a long time yesterday (three hours) and managed to fall asleep at the basin.  They will stick the back massager on while they are washing my hair, and leaving me alone for ten minutes while the conditioner sinks in is a recipe for disaster.  I was warm, I was comfortable. I'd had a lovely cup of tea, My feet were up.  The back massager was going full pelt.  Z's beckoned...

It was only the rustle of latex gloves in my ear which brought me back to the land of the living with a start.  I must have a subconscious memory with regard to those gloves - you know the ones which make a most satisfactory 'twang' when stretched...

So having spent most of my afternoon in Joe's capable hands, I was too late for my normal Pilates session last night.  Not wanting to miss it, I tipped up at the later class, thinking it would be the same.

How wrong I was.  I may be able to get my shoes on by about Friday, and don't even get me started on my socks.

But at least my hair looked lovely...

Tuesday, 7 March 2017


My good mood teetered over the weekend precipice and carried on through Monday which was lovely.  I think it's down to the weather we're having at the moment.  Let's face it, a day which doesn't start with being mud splattered to the calves and soaked through to your smalls has to be a good one, doesn't it?

The trouble is, when the weather is fine, thoughts turn to my car, which has spent the last three months in high camouflage.  Every now and again, I take a face wipe round my headlights so that I can see where I am going, but other than that, it tends to stay a streaky brown mess.  This perfectly describes the inside too. 

I have to blame the dogs for this, because however much I try and persuade them that the back seat is their seat (they even have their own cover to remind them), on a long journey (by long, I mean further than the end of the drive) Percy tends to creep forward on to the front seat, while the ever needy Reg likes to squeeze his head between the window and my headrest so that we are cheek to cheek. Depending on how I am wearing my hair at the time, the pressure of his whiskered chops can cause me to drive with my head at a quizzical 45 degree tilt which isn't ideal. 

Percy on the other hand loves riding shotgun, and often rests his paw on my hand as I put it on the gear lever.  It's almost like he's telling me 'Woman, know your limits', and that the speed I am doing is quite sufficient and no changing up is needed.  He hasn't twigged that my car is automatic bless him.  After all, he is just a dog.

So yesterday, after a particularly muddy walk in the woods, I glanced round at my back seat and my good mood came close to going up in a puff of smoke.  Not only had I forgotten to put the rear seat cover on, the two of them had spent a very happy ten minutes leaping about in a large muddy puddle, with a good helping of mud on the outside before settling down on my rear seat,.  Dropping the dogs off at home, I made the decision to head off to Tesco's and get my poor old car washed. 

There was time for a coffee and a squinty look at the blurry pictures in the paper (left my bloody glasses at home) and then it was back into my gleaming car, which smelt of something I have yet to distinguish (the trouble is that they hide the air freshener so that you can't get rid of it).  Driving home, I prayed for no puddles, no rain, and no having to swerve up muddy banks to avoid oncoming traffic.

All was going beautifully until I reached the junction where I turn off the main road.  Possibly for the first time in the ten years I have lived here, I was behind another car at the junction, waiting patiently for the traffic to clear so that we could turn off.  There was quite a long queue of cars coming towards us, so I prepared myself for a bit of a wait.  What I didn't prepare myself for was the driver in front deciding that in this spare bit of time, he would wash his windscreen.  Thoroughly.  Two jets of water shot over the top of its roof, and straight onto my bonnet and windscreen.  Four times.

Now this was a dilemma.  Of course, no matter of shouting without moving my lips helped (it was still daylight, and I'm too old for backing up my road rage), and I didn't want to put my wipers on as that would ruin my clean car.  So I just sat there with the water running down my windscreen, waiting for the traffic to clear and for the bloody person in front to STOP PRESSING THE BLOODY WASHER BUTTON.

Refusing to let this spoil my rather splendid day, I simply did what every normal person would do in this situation.  I got my chamois leather out once I got home and gave it a once over.

That's normal, isn't it....

Monday, 6 March 2017

Pillow talk...

Yesterday was a funny old day.  My 'day of rest' turned into my 'day of cleaning the rest of the house which has not been looked at for at least six months'.  This is because Lady H (she with the pneumatic duster and an eye for a  cobweb) is only allowed into several rooms in my house when she comes here.  These are the ones which the husband and I use, along with the rooms which a passing visitor might get a glimpse of.  The children's rooms have always been a 'no go' area, as I am a firm believer that I only pay Lady H to do light cleaning.  Excavation work and decontamination are not on her job description.

So I mentioned briefly yesterday that daughter number one had finally done an Elvis and left the building, heading off to her first home of her own.  She has been sleeping in daughter number two's bedroom with the dogs for the last six months, so you imagine that some level of cleansing was necessary before I could pass the room back to daughter number two who is home this coming weekend. (Are you keeping up?) 

To be honest it wasn't too bad, but there was a fairly large pile of clothes and shoes which had failed to make it to the new flat on the first run by the husband.  There was also £2.21, not bad for a morning's work.  So that bedroom was now ready for the return of its original occupant.  Mind you, the fuzzy squatters are still in there, so there may be some 'discussion' as to who sleeps where.

Son number one's bedroom was next, as he also is back for the weekend.  This wasn't too bad, but just as I was shutting the door on his room, I noticed that all four pillows had gone.  This is something which has happened on a regular basis, and over the last four years, I have had to buy sixteen pillows at least.  I have visions of my pillows being abandoned at pokey student digs, on floors which have seen more life that David Attenborough.  Never mind, four more were ordered yesterday which should arrive before his return.

Then it was downstairs to daughter number one's original bedroom, which has been used as a dumping ground for both girls' shoes.  This room needs cleaning because my sister in law, Mrs W and her beau, Mr G, are also coming here for the weekend.

So my house now looks lovely.  For about four days by my calculation.  Its beauty will peak around 11.30 on Thursday after Lady H leaves.  It will then plummet into a pit of filth as four oversized children run rampage over the weekend.  I expect you're wondering what I have done to deserve this return of the prodigal four?  Well it's the husband's birthday, and a small party is planned, and as you know any offer of free food and drink works every time in enticing them back into the fold.

I already know what the highlight of the weekend is going to be (other than when they all go again).  The four of them are taking the husband shopping for his birthday present on Saturday morning.  Spurred on by my various activities, he has decided to join a gym, and has asked for a pair of 'training shoes' (his words, not mine).  I shan't be going.  The thought of him sitting in Sports Direct surrounded by trainers, four children and a twelve year old assistant is not a pretty one.

Tempers will flare...

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Wrapped up...

Do you ever get those days when you wake up in a good mood?  This is what happened to me yesterday, which was a bit of a surprise considering the husband had been plying me with gin the night before.  The Red Lion is rapidly becoming our Friday night watering hole of choice, and as the weeks have passed, so has the necessity of a taxi to take us home again.  Give it a few more weeks, and the husband and I won't be bothering going home, preferring instead to snuggle up on a banquette for the week, an empty bottle of rhubarb gin hanging limply from my right hand.

So, I was in a good mood.  This lasted right the way through the morning's breakfast jaunt with the family, a dog walk with Mrs S, and then peaked when I realised that I wouldn't have to go to Tesco on Saturday afternoon as there was one delivery slot available for this morning.  Having done my weekly shop online (minimal as daughter number one has left home again, and I no longer need to buy odd stuff such as goat's cheese and aubergines) I suddenly found myself with nothing to do. 

Well ladies, I did what we all do when we find ourselves at a loose end.  I cleaned out the freezer.  As white goods go, this is the one I love least.  It was crammed with crap, none of which I ever seem to be able to either find or use.  I threw away enough food to feed a small country I'm ashamed to admit.  This is assuming of course that the inhabitants have a diet mainly made up of tortilla wraps.  I had white wraps, seeded wraps, gluten free wraps and corn wraps.  This is because I have two daughters who refuse to eat normal food, and I have to have something in the freezer that they like on the chance that they might tip up and want feeding.  As they've moved out now, I reckon I can get rid of all those space consuming carbs now and make room for my stuff, like frozen rhubarb gin, curly chips and a bag of peas. 

Having emptied both the kitchen freezer and the spare one in the garage, I stacked the newly discovered items of food neatly, and my thoughts turned back to the online shopping list I had just submitted over to Tesco.  Returning to the list, I removed the following from my order:

Tub of Parmesan Cheese (had ordered one, had two in the fridge)
Packs of Minced Beef (had ordered two, found five spread over two freezers)
Packs of Chicken Breasts (had ordered four, found six in the freezer, along with three packs of thighs)
Bacon (don't get me started, could give Danish a run for their money)

This reduced my shopping bill by around £20, so another reason to be happy.  And then the husband came home, having moved daughter number one into her first home of her own.  'What's for dinner?' he asked.  Silly man, he knows I don't cook on a Saturday (or a Friday, Sunday, Monday and Thursday and to be honest, Tuesday is now looking questionable). 

We ended up in McDonald's for dinner.  There is no better way to end a day than with a strawberry milkshake.

Well, unless a rhubarb gin is on offer...