Tag Archives: shopping

From Bleak Breakfast to Boring Birds

Breakfast was a touch bleak at 5.30 this morning – we burnt the toast and lost the marmalade. The first was due to the unwritten natural law that the chance of burning your toast rises in inverse proportion to the amount of bread available.

Thus, when you only have four slices of bread left you are almost guaranteed to burn it.

It’s the child effect – when they are both visiting, as they were this weekend, food simply seems to disappear. I’m sure we had half a loaf when I went to bed. I can’t even attempt to work out what they’ve done with the marmalade.

After that it was time to do laundry (and start a new book), go shopping, walk round the duck pond, answer blog comments, and cook for the evening (a highly untechnical dish of vegetables (mainly courgette) to be eaten with wholemeal pasta. Some times I’m so healthy I frighten myself.

It’s the first time I’ve been able to walk round the pond without my stick since April, so I’m happy with that, even if it is only 500 yards.

The ducks, I’m sad to say, were not very interesting.

The wooden sculptures are looking good.

It looks like things are getting back to normal, which is clearly a mixed blessing. I now have more domestic chores to do, but it’s nice being able to walk without the stick. Next week I will have to walk round twice.

The final picture is my shopping list, as people seem to like shopping lists.

You may notice that it’s not like other shopping lists that people show after finding lists that have been lost. There’s not much chance of me losing this list, and if I do, let’s face it, I will have more to worry about than lack of a list.

It’s not a proper list, just the things I’d forgotten from yesterday.

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Shopping list

 

 

 

Monday, Bloody Monday

I have mixed feelings about Mondays. Mainly I like them because they are a new start after the weekend, but I’m prepared to make an exception for today.

Last week I made an appointment with the doctor for 8.40, which is a good time for me as early appointments usually run to time. It’s also, with it being one of Julia’s days off, early enough not to impact on the rest of the day.

Good plan, apart from one thing. She swapped days this week. Not only that, but she was asked to take a cookery session. She was also told it had to be banana cake because that’s what the group wanted. Then she was told she would have to buy the ingredients and claim the cost back.

So, feeling guilty at not being able to deliver her to work, I had to drop her off at the bus station.

At that point one of the “bags for life” gave up the ghost on the pavement. Fortunately we had a replacement in the back of the car.

When I got to the doctor I was glad I had my book with me, as my theory on early appointment timing  proved to be inaccurate. However, I quite like reading, and wasn’t too bothered. I also managed to get out, after a review of my tablets, without gaining any extra ailments, which is always a bonus. I’ve even managed to reduce the number of tablets I take.

In TESCO, my pharmacy of choice these days, I was ambushed and asked to answer some questions on my medication. It wasn’t exactly a searching set of questions, so I suspect I’ve just become a tick in a box. I’m not even sure if I’m irritated by this or not.

Once back home I spent time looking for a set of A4 dividers marked with the months. I was positive I had a set, and even promised Julia I would …

I suppose you can guess the rest. The set I had in mind has 20 numbered dividers, which just aren’t going to do the year-planning job I had in mind.

Did I mention the broadband keeps going off?

And I forgot to buy yoghurt in TESCO.

I think that’s it. I’m making soup in a minute and from there the only way is up.

 

Pizza, Shopping and Death

I’m not quite sure how to order the words in the title, so I settled for my order of preference. I like pizza, I sometimes like shopping, and although I’ve never tried it, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t like death.

We had the pizza at Pizza Hut in Mansfield. It was the Lunch Buffet , featuring unlimited pizza and pasta with unlimited salad. They have improved the pizza selection since last time we had it. It used to feature very dull pizzas, such as cheese and tomato and cheese tomato and onion, which always made me feel I was being short-changed. That has changed and there was an excellent selection, including Hawaiian, pepperami, chicken and bacon, BBQ and Vegetarian. There were others too, but I  forget. The salad was OK, though the bowls were small so even Julia went back for a second helping.

The trick with all you can eat buffets is stopping before you are uncomfortably full. Or is that just me? Anyway, after eating two plates of pizza and two bowls of salad I felt comfortably full, and haven’t needed much for tea.

The shopping took place at the East Midlands Designer Outlet. It’s quite good, if you like walking round lots of shops that sell things you neither need or want.  Julia bought a flask and I bought some books. No suprise there, I suppose.

Finally, death. I had a few minutes to think, whilst sitting on a bench waiting for Julia, and for some reason started thinking of living wills. They asked me if I had one when I was filling in some of the interminable paperwork in hospital last week.

I don’t, and, after looking it up and finding out what one is, I’m a bit concerned that they thought they might need it.  I’m also concerned that at the age of 59 I didn’t actually know what one was. I assumed it was a recording you could play at the funeral for the assembled family with a few jokes, a bit of poetry and some wise remarks for the kids.

It could have been quite embarrassing to have handed the NHS a DVD with a couple of jokes and some paternal advice when what they really wanted to know was if they could feed me down a tube.

I think I’ll pass on that. I’m not sure anything worth eating can be fitted down a tube, apart from porridge and very thin chips.

Memoirs of a Book-Buying Man

I was a bit sluggish this morning, and ended up watching Saturday Kitchen. It featured the most over-the-top recipe I recall seeing. It was presented by John Torode this morning. I’ve no doubt he’s a good chef, but he’s not in my list of top presenters. Looking on the bright side, at least he didn’t have Greg Wallace with him. I still haven’t forgiven Wallace for the vegeburger recipe in this book. The book is a bit of a fraud really – it’s a spin-off from his series and it has his picture on the cover but it’s actually written by someone else.

Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man arrived this morning and I made a start. It’s easy reading and fifty pages soon slid by. It’s about 15 years since I last read it and I’m looking forwards to it. Fortunately Julia was out when it arrived.

After that I took a trip to the garden centre with one of the neighbours to help her pick up eight growbags and a bag of farmyard manure. It was a lovely day, and nice to be out in the open air, though it’s frustrating to see the lack of seeds and tools in what is essentially a massive garden-themed gift shop. It seems to be the way of things these days.

Fortunately I didn’t need any seeds or tools today so I just poked about in the plants and looked some Swedish Fire Logs. I’ve never seen them before though they have been around since Swedish troops used them in the Thirty Years War. That’s about 400 years ago. It seems unlikely they just thought of it then, I suspect that they knew about it way before that, but the image of soldiers camping in the snow with cloaks and plumed hats is probably more commercial than the thought of a smelly woodcutter hunched round a burning log.

After that I struggled round Sainsbury’s shopping for the evening. It didn’t quite go according to plan because there’s a group of House Sparrows in the corner of the car park. It’s very restful watching sparrows dust bathing.

The second unplanned aspect was the slipping of my leg bag as I walked round the shop becoming gradually more and more uncomfortable. Finally I had to make a temporary adjustment in the car park. It provided some relief, and restored my capacity to walk, but it could have led to all sorts of unfortunate consequences if I’d been observed.

That’s about it for now.  Time for more George Sherston.

 

 

First day of the next week

It’s the end of January and the first day of a new week. Being accurate, I suppose it’s the second day of the week, but it always seems like the first. It’s certainly the one that I treat as being the first working day of the new week. Julia, working from 6.00 to 16.30 on Sunday, doesn’t really share my enthusiasm for Mondays.

We originally said we’d have January off, and without us actually doing anything it seems like it’s going to work out just right.

Julia is looking about 10 years younger with the responsibility of running Quercus and the Centre lifted from her shoulders and is slowly becoming more cheerful. Meanwhile, I can feel my enthusiasm returning.

Julia has already had a couple of enquiries from people about her availability for work, but we’re taking things slowly and making sure we only take on work that suits us.

Nobody has asked me if I’m available yet, but I’m trying not to take it personally.

Julia decided to do the laundry this week as she doesn’t altogether trust me with delicate whites. I don’t either, to be fair, which is why I don’t own any. I do own a white shirt, which I wear with one of my two ties for special occasions. White shirt and black tie for funerals. White shirt and rugby club tie for weddings etc.. Everything else can be taken care of by a coloured shirt. (For these purposes lightish grey counts as white).

I went to the park and then shopping. They have been cutting trees on the island in the duck pond. Moorhens, Black Headed Gulls and Wood Pigeons were feeding on the grass around the pond, whilst nothing much was happening on the pond. The Mandarin, the Greylags, the Heron and about half the Tufted Ducks were all absent. I’m not sure where the next nearest pond is – I will have to look into it.

I’m currently perfecting some new recipes as part of my new commitment to eating a better variety of healthy food. We had tragically under-seasoned bean burgers bean burgers on Saturday, excellent sweet potato, ginger and chilli soup on Sunday (even if I do say so myself) and Welsh Rarebit for lunch today, which (after three weeks of trying) was just about right.

Now all I need to do is make it again, note the measurements and write the recipes. That’s the worst bit of the job. Apart from eating badly made bean burgers…

 

The Final Countdown

Yes, it’s a song title today. I did think of a variation on the TV show Countdown but at 58 I’m not ready to admit that I’m part of the Countdown demographic. (See later comments on age).

I bought a new knife today. I’ve been meaning to get a proper boning knife for some time and the one I spotted in the cash and carry had all the attributes I wanted – a good handle and a cheap price ranking higher than the quality of the blade. I don’t tend to wear knives out – they simply disappear (thrown away by family members, I suspect, as I never lost a knife before I was married) or get left on top of a cooker ring. Yes, I’ve destroyed a couple of good knives like that. I suppose I could build a new handle from exotic hardwood as recommended in various specialist magazine, but I’m really not that good with my hands.

From the cash and carry (having bought drinks and snacks for the party tomorrow) I went to the supermarket to buy the rest of the stuff we needed.  It was stressful, as the nearest supermarket to the cash and carry isn’t one I normally go to and it was crammed with coffin dodgers all doing their best to either get in my way or ram me out of their way.

Now, I don’t mind the former (in moderation) as we all dawdle a bit, but the latter drives me mad. If I responded in kind, with a quick flick of the trolley and a spot of wheel to wheel charioteering I would (rightly) be castigated as a hooligan and a bully, but give me a cardigan and a blue rinse and I’m instantly allowed to carry on like Genghis Khan. I was actually rammed by a shopping scooter on Saturday when a woman of only middling years decided she wanted the space I was occupying.

Mentally I dragged her off the scooter and gave her a good kicking. But in real life I just moved, with a subdued “Tch!” to indicate disapproval.

 

I’m off to cut cabbage for the coleslaw now.

It’s nineteen hours until the party starts and twenty five hours until the project closes.

That must mean it’s also twenty five hours until my new life begins.

Seems a good time for a poem, and as Dylan Thomas conveniently died over 60 years ago I think I’m right in say he’s out of copyright so I can quote it in full.

Tomorrow, I will be blogging in a more kindly and cheerful manner.

🙂

Do not go gentle into that good night

Dylan Thomas, 19141953

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

Silly Sunday Part 1

It started well enough, with our normal five am start (the opposite of the Sunday lie-in routine followed by many). Croissants for breakfast with apricot jam – all bought in, I’m ashamed to say. Well, ashamed about the jam; life is too short to make croissants from scratch.

Off to work,and we had our normal drive through town, marvelling at what young people consider appropriate apparel for 5.45 am with the temperature around 4 degrees C. Makes you glad to be old and warm. I used to think that I burned the candle at both ends but I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with this lot.

Return home at 6.15 am and face the eternal quandary of how to fill the gap until the laundrette opens at 7.30. Sleep? Second breakfast? Some computer work?

I ate the last two slices of the honey and oat loaf with peanut butter as I decided against having a second breakfast, and read my emails and checked the blog as I decided against working on the computer. Suddenly it was 7.30 and I needed to be off to be off to do the washing. Well, no harm in a little nap first…

You can guess how that went, I presume. I’m told that the optimal time for a nap is 40 minutes, because you wake instantly and feel alert. Two hours isn’t so good. I still don’t recall reaching across to switch off the alarm. Fortunately my bladder and the hoover fetishist next door refused to let me sleep longer.

Ten o’clock by the time I’d gathered the washing, the detergent, a book, a banana and some change. That’s quite a busy time down at the laundrette, so I decided to blog and have that second breakfast after all. I’ll wash later.

Cornflakes. They’re healthy. I had a glass of milk, poured  a helping of cornflakes and looked for the new milk carton.

The code of silence observed by my family when using the last toilet roll or last of the milk, is the envy of secret societies the world over. In comparison to Number 1 son the Mafia appear to be chatterboxes and the Freemasons seem prone to gossip. As a bonus, they don’t eat my cheese.

At least it reminded me of the health-giving benefits of green tea.

So, healthy, hungry and determined to stay upbeat, I reach the end of the first part of my day.

It’s not easy being cheerful…

…particularly as Number 1 son has offered to cook lunch.