The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...


Saturday, March 31, 2012

New Toys

The Jim Clark Rally will be coming past our house again this year. And again we are planning to hold a barbecue.

Paul decided it was about time to upgrade our old one to a new superduper larger gas one - last year there were 15+ of us and it is likely to be similar again this year. He was very happy when I suggested getting this one:

as it was more than he thought I would let him spend :)

It arrived while Paul was still in the States - delivery man not overly happy at having to get it from the drive to our front door - literally. I had to drag it a couple of feet to the side to get free access again. So when Paul asked why hadn't I brought it in I let him know! It kept him busy for an hour or so assembling it. On Thursday gas was purchased (twice - first attempt got the wrong fitting) and yesterday Paul did a leak test and fired it up. All should be well come June - just need the weather to be as good as it has been in March!

I have also treated myself to a new bathroom scale. I am convinced that my old ones underweigh by about 3 lbs, and while some may like to delude themselves I would rather know the truth. So when they arrived I tried them out. Disaster - on our carpeted bathroom floor they were giving ridiculous readings. So I tried them on the tiled floor in the lobby - much better. When they say a hard flat surface they mean it! So I have improvised a hard flat surface with the use of a solid wood chopping board that I rarely use. On testing I got the same result as downstairs...

Unfortunately I cannot currently test the old ones under the same conditions as Sod's Law kicked in with the battery giving up the ghost.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Good with Food, Bad for Wallet!

Paul has been gone over a week now and I have been very successful in sticking to my diet.

So much so that I ran out of yoghurt and eggs yesterday.

Needing so little it was not worth the cost in petrol to go to Berwick. I was going to nip to the co-op in Chirnside but I received a cheque in the morning so ended up going in to Duns instead. And I would get a free cup of coffee chez Lady Penelope's.

Now time for rant.

The yoghurt cost twice as much as at Morrisons. Not organic, not free roaming yoghurt bacteria, not Greek-style fancy yoghurt. Just plain low fat yoghurt...

But that is as nothing compared to the eggs. Here I had no choice but free-range and/or organic. Okay, they were twice the price I normally pay but I would expect to pay more so didn't mind too much. However, they are actually over THREE times the price in reality as when I looked they were only 60% the size of what I normally buy! I would need to use 5 eggs to make the equivalent 3 egg omelette! You may think that is fair for giving these hens a better quality of life. But studies have shown that free-range hens are actually almost if not equally stressed as battery hens. Just different stresses. Every time a bird flies overhead they think it is a predator. And if they are so happy why are they producing runt eggs?

I also needed milk, and to be fair they did have 4-pint containers on offer so that was about the same price as Aldi's.

I don't mind supporting local shops but I don't like being fleeced!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Back in the Groove

Paul left for Memphis on Friday for his annual "bridge holiday".

I am now settling into a new routine.

I have been trying to lose weight (again) and succeeded to some extent - about 6 lbs down from my post-Christmas peak. I suffered a slight setback before Paul went, when after two slices of Jean's home made ginger cake (very good it was too), Paul still wanted Aunt Bessies Spotted Dick and custard for pudding in the evening - and unbeknownst to me, until I saw the packaging, gave us double portions. I was not happy. But now, three days down and a week to go without temptation, I am determined to drop another couple of pounds. Luckily I am content eating the approximate same things day in day out when dieting - saves thinking...

Lunch = 1/3 large pot of low fat plain yoghurt with my own added flavor* and a couple of plain digestive biscuits crumbled and mixed in.
* any of stewed rhubarb, a heaped teaspoonful of homemade blackcurrant/strawberry/raspberry jam and today I have got some redcurrants out of the freezer. It tastes a lot better than commercial flavored yoghurt and is a fraction of the cost!
Dinner = soup/sandwich or omelette with a couple of slices of bread

Target is to have lost another 7 pounds by the time I leave for Malta in about 7 weeks time.

Talking of which, I have at last got back in to some sort of word studying after a layoff of about 4 months - I have a title to defend! Mornings are spent on revision, afternoons are gardening if weather permits and evenings are knitting, with dog duties interspersed.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Down on the Farms

No, I'm not starting a Farming Weekly post.

But I had wanted to go over to Jean's to see the new lambs. So when Penny said we had been invited to go over on Monday I was ready with my camera.

When we got down to the shed we found an escapee mother and child - in the corridor. A bit of shooing from Jean with Penny blocking it's exit and they were re-penned.

Then we went down the far end to see the pet lambs. So cute - they suck on your fingers but unfortunately milk does not come out :)

Some of the lambs have personalities. I was especially taken with Number 35. A feisty character, twice the size of his? pen mates and the loudest baa in the place...

Didn't put me off having lamb chops for dinner last night...

Not to be outdone Margaret said we must go round to see her newest editions - twins. Apparently the first was already suckling by the time the second was born. They were too busy feeding again for me to get a photo of them both

but one came away from mum briefly to pose for the camera...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Getting Ahead

I really shouldn't say it because I got a great head start last year in the garden and then it all came to a grinding halt.

But I have weeded the LBE and even done some planting - the heucheras Penny bought me for my birthday and a couple of sisyrinchiums. I then pottered a bit, transplanting a few self-seeded primroses and self-rooted violets moved from other parts of the LBE.

I still have about 4 or 5 metres to convert from weed patch to LBE, to join up with the existing long bank. I had hoped it would get done last year. I did make a start on it last year, digging out the clay from the bottom metre or so, but never got any further :(

And today the veggie patch has been attacked. I started out only intending to weed it. Then I decided it needed some muck spreading. I managed a couple of barrow loads before deciding that was enough for the day. And then Paul came out so I asked him to do a few loads. I had fully intended coming in once those had been dug in, but as I was drinking the cup of coffee he had brought out for me I decided I wanted to change the layout. So I have ended up digging the whole lot over and moving all of my 'paths' to divide the area into 4 long narrower sections that hopefully can be weeded without me having to stand on the soil. The rhubarb is already growing away, and I seem to have three leeks from somewhere...

Monday, March 05, 2012

February Knitting FOs

I met my February mile - 2041.6 yards to be precise.

As well as completing the Aran sweater and the stripey Summer sweater I also made these:

February sock club Blodeuwedd socks. I amended the pattern to toe-up and a plain foot.

Scarf from the remains of the stripey sweater

Double-sided cushion cover from some ancient acrylic chenille. I have enough left to make at least another two...

YTD: 3879.6 yards

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