This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Thank you for the sympathy. It is the other dramas in my life last weekend which were the problem. The stupidity of not looking after my wallet was probably a result of them.

On a brighter note, I printed out a £5 voucher for Finish's new dishwasher stuff since Pigsback offered me 75 points for doing so. I didn't expect to use it because if they are offering £5 off, then I didn't think that the item would be in an acceptable price range. However, when in Sainsburys last Saturday, I spotted the item on offer at half price at £5.08. Now 8p for 12 loads in the dishwasher IS acceptable... (Over £10 for 12 loads is definitely NOT.)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Some nasty dramas going on in our family this week which have left me sleepless and stressed. Then on Monday, I lost my wallet with my cards and £50 in it. Probably too stressed to think about what I was doing with it. Normally I don't carry more than an emergency £10 with me but for various reasons, I had more. I discovered it gone last night and took the house apart - just in case... I came into work early to check here, again, just in case, but no joy. So I've phoned the bank and card people and Nectar and Boots and everybody I could think of. Our bank wouldn't do anything to help unless I could tell them the exact amount of several regular DDs - as if I was in the right frame of mind to remember such things. The vague details that I could give (approx date, who takes the money and a rough idea of how much) were not apparently enough. The lady had obviously got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning to boot. The others I spoke to were really helpful and friendly. Such a difference!

I need to go and calm down.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Whew, what a hot day we've had. My husband spent yesterday and this morning working on our garden. He had a big stash of wood in the garden and he has moved it, built a lean-to shed to house it, cleared the ground the wood was sitting on and sown grass seed. He has also cut the hedge and I have swept all the paths. I spent my time ironing everything that was washed and dry. There are another couple of loads of washing to be done and the subsequent ironing but if it all done, then I will have less pressured weekends until half term. Bank/public holidays = fewer working days = fewer ironed shirts needed so the stash will last longer : )

My son popped in for a few minutes after lunch. It was my grandson's last day at nursery before the Easter holiday and they had an Easter bonnet parade. He was very excited because he had won a prize of an Easter egg and wanted to show us his hat. It had been created out of a painted cereal box by father and son with a plastic bowl in the top which held shredded paper and a fluffy chick in the "nest" that cheeped when the button was pressed. The hat was painted yellow but it was so hot today that poor grandson had developed a yellow tidemark around his sweaty little head...

After they had gone, we went down to the allotment to carry on the good work there. By rights, I should have melted off a lb or two but I'm sure the scales will show me the same weight as before. The hens and rabbits were very excited about the prunings and weeds that I brought back for them.

I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that I did a yougov survey this evening and when I checked my balance in my account, I find that I have only £1.10 to earn until my next £50 cheque is sent my way. Yay! The bad news is that I asked for my balance of £40 to be sent to me from a month ago and they now seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth and my money with them. It has taken me two years of searches to earn that. Grrr. The website has vanished and I can only assume that they have gone to the wall like so many other firms.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

We've been doing lots of jobs this week. On Tuesday, we spent the day at the allotment. I was pleased that there were still some bits to pick both for the animals and for us. After the garden party on Saturday, which I went to, it was my husband's turn yesterday. He and our son started early and spent the whole day transforming three inherited sheds with rotten bits into two sheds that are reasonable. And they moved them into a more suitable position so that they will be able to look out the window and see garden and not just a view of the sheds. This means that when our grandson is big enough to be out in the garden by himself, they will be able to see him. Useful! My husband will be back there tomorrow to help with a few more jobs. And our daughter is queuing up to have Dad round for the day to help with their jobs. And mine? What about my jobs?

Monday, April 11, 2011

The garden party was good fun. Quite a few of their friends turned up to help so the work became fun and lots got done. I took a cardboard tray with me (lettuce box from the supermarket) and filled it with bramble shoots, dandelions and one or two other weeds that the rabbits and hens consider tasty. No sense in letting the family throw out something that my little brood consider good food.
Saturday was a beautiful day and it was a real treat to have a picnic lunch sitting out on the grass. I'd taken a big pile of scones (2 lbs flour) and some home made jam with me but all that work had made people hungry so they didn't last long. Little grandson thought it was great to have lots of people there to play with.

Friday, April 08, 2011

We're on holiday - yippee. It has been a long term so we're ready for a rest. My husband doesn't start his rest until Monday because he's on a 3 day examiners' meeting at the moment. I know it is hard work but at least he'll get paid for 2 of the 3 days because they won't be giving the fee to the school to provide cover teaching. It is the first time he has had to go to these meetings on a Fri/Sat/Sun. They are usually weekdays so the school gets the money and we just get travel expenses and sometimes a meal allowance depending on time of arrival back home/length of working day. A little bit more in the smallholding pot this time though.

Since I am home alone tomorrow, my son has kindly invited me to a garden party at his house - that is, I have been invited to a working party to help with clearing the garden : ) Instead of bring a bottle, it is come and bring your secateurs, spade, fork etc...

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

I really enjoyed Mothers' Day this year. As son and his wife are both leaders in the BB (Boys' Brigade) they came to the parade/family service at church. Little grandson now recognises us at a distance and can say our names. He is a poppet. I might of couse be a tad biased here, but I don't think so : ) We gave all the ladies at church a bunch of daffodils and since I had not had any when mum was given hers, he grabbed one of his mum's and ran over to the music group to give it to me.

In the late afternoon, we all gathered at elder daughter's house for an early dinner. It was her birthday at the weekend and her OH's birthday a couple of weeks before, so it was a grand, multipurpose family gathering. The only one missing was my granddaughter who was in bed with a heavy cold. Thankfully, she seems to have kept it to herself and not shared her germs.

My son made me laugh. They gave me a colander as a present along with a marzipan egg (yum!) and a big bunch of dandelion leaves and flowers. He knows that I like practical presents, hence the colander and as it is traditional to give chocs and flowers, he did that too. He knows that my rabbits love dandelions and that my bunch would end up as their treat. My younger daughter made me a lovely lemon meringue pie. I love these but it was my present and everybody wanted to help me eat it... Elder daughter gave me a big bunch of daffodils which were lovely but I took her a little bunch of daffodils as part of her present...

It was a lovely day and granddaughter is on the mend, now, too.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

I managed to watch that scrimpers programme on tv this week. How can a family earn so much money and be that much overdrawn every month? I just do not understand it. And takeaways! It sounded like a home cooked meal was real novelty. I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed. The people who made that series ought to talk to all of us here in frugal blogland. We'd teach them a thing or three worth knowing.

The hens had a lovely morning out pecking round the garden and dust bathing in the sun. It is lovely to see them enjoying something so simple. I spent a happy morning pegging out the washing . I've used every bit of line space and then hung some things from coathangers and I've used every peg I have. That is what happens when you discover that you've both run out of socks because they are all in the wash except the really holey ones. And you seem to have the entire collection of teatowels from church home to wash too. Hopefully they will all dry today because I have another load of washing waiting in the wings.

We went to the school play last night - Cabaret. It was really good. I always feel so proud when our youngsters do really well at something and this musical was great. We've got some fine singers and actors. And the directing and choreography were good too. We enjoyed it and were glad we went. Sometimes you need a bit of culture.