Tag Archives: decluttering

A Day Off and the Last of the Fish Pie

I blogged a bit this morning and made some plans. Julia was due on a training course at 1.30 so it made for a short day.

After dropping her off for a two hour refresher on Safeguarding I went to find a charity shop that needed three bags of second-hand books and assorted rammel. I couldn’t find one, as everywhere was so busy there was nowhere to park.

I went home and read my post before I filled two more bags with paper, including a large amount of old business paperwork from 2004-6. They missed collecting our recycling bin last week because of the snow. I feel, as I continue filling it, that they will regret this decision when they have to remove a month’s accumulated paper clearing.

The letter from the anticoagulant clinic showed I was right at the top of the range, but [assed. I don’t need to go back for two weeks.

Then I collected Julia. As usual, the training was a waste of time, though it does allow the council to tick boxes. Don’t start me on the state of Safeguarding in the UK.

She helped me find a charity shop with parking outside. She also told me off for what I said to a bus driver who sounded his horn at me in an impatient manner as I took the bags out of the car. After all the time buses have spent holding me up over the years I think he could have waited thirty seconds for me.

He even made eye-contact as he went past, just to be more aggressive about it. If he was a lip-reader he would have found this an upsetting experience. Even if he wasn’t a lip reader he could probably still make out the few short, simple words I used.

Later we went shopping as the light faded, and were surprised at the volume of birdsong. Spring, I suspect, has arrived.

Then we returned home and ate Fish Pie. Julia topped it with sweet potato this time so we’ve had four different toppings in the last week – potato, potato and swede, potato and parsnip and sweet potato.

It’s not quite the lifestyle I envisaged for myself when I was young and ambitious.


Gingerbread and Vitriol

I could start with my normal Saturday opening – “After dropping Julia off at work…” but I’m feeling like doing something a little different today. Same goes for the photos of the Mencap garden yesterday morning. They are OK but I’m just feeling like something more is needed. (As the post developed, not quite in the direction I intended, it became a little negative. It developed naturally, as I wrote, and I decided to let it stand. Not quite sure if it’s too negative or too personal. Let me know if you have any views on the tone.)

And that is why I am showing you pictures of cookie cutters.


Novelty Cookie Cutters

I’m torn here. I love alliteration and I am committed to resisting American English. In the case of cookie cutters I feel as if continents are colliding in my head. I really don’t want to say “Cookie Cutter” but some irresistibly force makes me do it. There is no natural alternative – Biscuit Bodgers just isn’t going to do it. I’ll try Biscuit Cutters and see if that works.

I found the cutters recently whilst decluttering. They had disappeared without being used during one of the chaotic times on the farm. We made a lot of gingerbread with the group and these cutters (with six different designs) seemed a good idea.

The problem was that after the introduction of the Farmer’s Sister into the mix everything went wrong. It started with her telling me “we’re all on the same team” which is a management shorthand way of indicating we weren’t all on the same team. Then it progressed to her shouting at me because she said I thought she was stupid because I had a degree and she didn’t.

All I had done was proof read something I’d been asked to proof read and send her the corrections. It seems that this was wrong – I should have sandwiched the suggested changes between telling her how good she was, how valued she was and how hard-working she was.

There’s a vulgar term for this, but rather than expose my gentle readers to it I’ll post a link to it for those of you who are interested.

The truth is, I don’t have a degree.

I also, at that time, didn’t think she was stupid. I just thought that she had made a mistake that needed correcting. She had used a word wrongly. I can’t recall what it was, but it was something like uninterested/disinterested. It’s no big deal. I have to think hard when using affect/effect. Getting something like that wrong doesn’t make you stupid. If someone had corrected me on it I’d have thanked them and looked it up to learn the lesson fully.

No, what made her stupid, for I did eventually have to admit she was stupid, was her refusal to learn or improve.

We were stupid too – we should have realised that it was time to move.

However, that all belongs to another story, and stupidity was probably the least vile of her personality traits.

After the team comment, and the shouting, she started a turf war, and kept moving out stuff. We had to start moving it back home every time we used it, and eventually, things got lost in the confusion. That’s how the cutters became lost.

Other things disappeared and turned up in bins or dismantled in the workshop. Like over-sized children the Farmer and his sister knew nothing of how they got there. She took down the group’s art work and binned it. She once needed a book for kitchen use, so she took the garden diary book off the shelf, tore our notes out and took the book away.

Sorry, but it just seemed the appropriate time for this to be mentioned, and once I started, I thought I would finish.

Anyway, back to biscuits. I found the cutters. I will make some biscuits.

Here, to provide a happy ending, are some previous biscuits (and some peppermint creams.


Just a Short Post

It’s been a strange day. I spent most of it sorting through a pile of junk. As a result, I have a neater and better sorted pile of junk. It takes years to make a proper mess, so you aren’t going to set it all to rights in a day.

I’ve found some interesting items, but have also managed to start a bag of things for the charity shop and another couple for the bin.

It’s slow but it’s moving in the right direction.

I will be writing about ebay at greater length soon, but for now I have to say I’m now feeling much better about it. I’ve just had a day when I bought everything I bid on at minimum price. This is a mixed blessing, as all the items were cheap (which is good) but I bought eight items and the bill soon adds up.

We had another casserole for tea after Julia came back from work. This was stewing steak with carrots, parsnips, small onions, garlic and thyme. I also used two stock pots, cumin and black pepper. I then covered it, chucked it in the oven and fell asleep in front of the TV. When I woke up it was ready. What’s not to like with a laid back recipe like that? I could have woken up an hour earlier or an hour later and it would probably have been OK.

I dropped Number 2 son off in Sheffield yesterday and we have the house to ourselves again. This should be relaxing, but it isn’t as Julia is now wittering on about hoping he’ll be alright. I’m sure he will be. He has money, he has stationery and he has access to kitchen, shop and pubs. He’s a student, what more does he need?

One adjustment I will have to make is portion size, I cooked for three tonight.


Tsundoku revisited

I’ve written about tsundoku before – the habit of piling up unread books. It was brought into painful focus earlier today when I opened up  a box of books that has been undisturbed for several years. For “several” you could probably substitute “ten” judging by the publication dates.

When I read The Elements of Murder  last month I was surprised at my familiarity with poisons and notable poisoning cases. Not only surprised, but quietly impressed with the breadth of my knowledge.

So when I found a copy of the paperback edition in the box today it was a bit of a downer. Not only is my knowledge based on reading the book ten years previously, but my memory is in fact so bad I didn’t remember buying the book twice.

It’s also a reminder that when I pictured the seven books in the photograph I was intending to review them swiftly. I’ve actually managed two and started two more. I haven’t even finished reading one of them. But I have bought more, and read several of them.

Ah well.

I suppose this officially the start of old age…


The Ultimate Irony

Got up.

Changed bags.

Finished Richard Mabey book. Yes, 3.5 stars seems about right.

Had high fibre breakfast with fruit.

Watched the Peregrines on Notts TV. Can’t find a good link to post. You aren’t missing much.

Opened parcel. It’s a new book. Could be hard work.

Explained to Julia why I needed a new book.

Picked up prescriptions.

Photographed flowers.

Asked surgery receptionist very nicely if she could get details of one of my two hospital appointments next week. I lost the letter. Yes, two next week. With luck like that I should buy a lottery ticket.

Set off for Peterborough.

Stopped for Burger King lunch. Yes, it was bad planning.

Visited Father and Sister.

Sister told me she now has three books on decluttering. Yes, three. Hence the title of the post.

Had tea. It was veggie burgers. Menu planning has slipped a little in recent days.

Went home the country way.

Saw two Kites.

Watched TV.


It has not been my most interesting day.