Saturday, January 16, 2021

Such fun

Yesterday I received a late Christmas present. The most fun you can have with two sticks and a bit of string. Of course, it would be even better with grandchildren.

Speaking of grandchildren, it is GrandSon3's 7th birthday today. Obviously we can't be with him so in a short while we're having a big online family game of Among Us. (Involves murder and treachery for those who don't know. Good wholesome fun.)

Thursday, January 14, 2021

The Welsh virus

 My sorted tin cupboard:

It may not look very different but I am getting rid of all these pans:
I started this renew and chuck away plan mainly because I wanted to replace my swiss roll tin (used very rarely for that purpose but frequently for other things). So it's a shame that my order for replacement tins didn't include one of that size!

It wasn't strictly my fault: the website didn't give dimensions, just comparatives i.e. large baking tin, mini oven tray etc, so anyone could have made the same mistake.

Earlier in the week my order of Yardleys soaps arrived. I'm not sure if they're all past their Best By date - and thus could be sold cheaply - but they all seem to smell the same of nothing much. It could be my nose though. My sense of smell has been dodgy for over two years now. 

So it can't be Covid  - unless ... it all began with me!

Don't tell anyone. They may try and put me in a cage and stick needles in me. And Trump will start calling it the Welsh Virus. No, actually, he probably has never heard of Wales so he will call it the English Virus.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Not that sort of old lady aroma

Today I have:

been taught to make (delicious) shortbread cookies by GrandDaughter1;

made Lego creations with GrandSon2:

read stories to GrandSon4 (no photo). All virtually of course.

I also managed to finish my article for the next issue of
The BayIt was a good job the editor sent out an email or I'd have forgotten about it. In the article I talk about love, February being Valentine month, and I dug out this old photo to accompany the article. It was taken before we were married, when Husband still sought to impress me with flowers. (You'll need to read the article to understand the significance.)

Oh, yes, and my Yardley eau de cologne arrived. It's such pretty packaging and it has a light floral scent that I like. It's a bit old ladyish but not in a bad way i.e. it doesn't smell of wee.
And now because I spent all afternoon having fun I didn't get the meat in the oven in time so instead of roast pork it will be chilli. Not the end of the world.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

What to read next

As part of my learning about marketing I heard of a number of sites that send out a daily email with lists of books on special offer that day. 

I actually promoted my book on a number of these sites with out a huge amount of success but ... I have found them very addictive when it comes to buying books. The books on offer are not just self-published but also from traditional publishers and big name authors. 

Most of the books are free or 99p, and at that price, well, you've got to, haven't you? It also allows you to try new authors and if you find you don't like them you haven't wasted a lot of money. (Yes, I know library books do the same but libraries are closed at the moment.) You don't have to sign up for a daily email but can just visit the site when you feel like it. However if you sign up you can say what genres you like, and you'll only receive recommendations for those.

For example today there's a Jodi Picoult for 99p on bookbub. Other sites include The Fussy Librarian and Booksy so if you're wondering what to read next, pop along to one of these sites.

Alternatively you could buy one of my books, if you've not already read them! (See right-hand column of blog.) In fact, when you visit my website and sign up for my mailing list you get a free download of my first novel, This Time Next Year. Just saying. 

Then again you may prefer to listen to my dulcet tones reading This Time Next Year. In which case go here.

Monday, January 11, 2021

A little book of soap

Do you remember using soap leaves? 

I have a memory from my childhood of soap that came in little packets similar to matches. And you'd tear off a leaf of soap when you needed it.

This, from Crabtree and Evelyn in 1977, was the closest image I could find:

I must have been given it as it sounds far too frivolous for us to have had in the house as a norm. I think a similar product is available today and would be useful to carry in a pocket for emergencies.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Grumpy but sweet-smelling

At least if I am a grumpy old woman (refer to last post) I will be a sweet-smelling one. I have just placed a bulk order for Yardley soaps, yes, including lavender. And now I'm being very tempted by their Freesia and Bergamot* eau de toilette.

It seems hard to find nice smelling soaps these days. The handmade ones are very lovely but quite expensive for everyday use. I don't feel I can justify that. I have been in the habit of buying Palmolive three bars for £1, and while they are perfectly good at getting me clean, they don't smell delicious, and I do like a nice smell.

I am reminded that Uncle used to use Yardleys Freesia cologne. And he smelled nice.

It must be the new year or something: I am getting reckless with my ordering! 

Only this last week I ordered a whole lot of new baking tins. Husband said I could only have them if I promised to throw out some old ones.

I do have quite a lot of rusty old tins that I hang onto just in case. And putting anything back in the cupboard does involve sticking it in and closing the door quickly and hopefully.

What I don't have sadly is any arborio rice. I had planned mushroom risotto for dinner tonight but now it will be beans on toast.

*Or do you think bluebell and sweet pea would be nicer?

P.S. I assume you are familiar with Yardleys in the US and Canada?
P.P.S. I ordered the bluebell and sweet pea.

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Home schooling with Granny

Home schooling began again on Wednesday and as Daughter has three children she had the brilliant idea of asking me to help. So on Thursday I read a story to GrandDaughter2, and then we wrote a story together that she illustrated.

I read the story of Mog and the Vet and Granddaughter's story was perhaps influenced by that - it was about a cat who loved boiled eggs - but there was a very unexpected twist, that made me exclaim, 'I wasn't expecting that!' when GrandDaughter2 told me what happened next.

Yesterday I did cooking with GrandDaughter1. We tried a new cookie recipe and I have to say hers turned out better than mine. These are hers:

I only had dark brown sugar so mine tasted okay but didn't look very appetising. Next week GrandDaughter1 is going to teach me how to make macaroons.

All this is done via Facetime by the way. Thank goodness for the internet. Now GrandSon2 wants in on it so I think we might do some Lego building. Or cooking. Whichever he prefers.

* * * * * * *
We haven't had a long walk for ages, years probably, since George was diagnosed with arthritis. This week he has a nasty cut on his paw so we've not been walking him at all, and since it was a lovely morning Husband and I decided to go for a long walk.

Up one side of the tip on the bottom of the valley, across the top and up the hill on the other side. I thought I might struggle with the hill as I've not done it for so long but was pleasantly surprised.

What wasn't such a pleasant surprise was the number of people out and about. When we started walking there the tip was quite empty; over recent years signposts have put up and more people have discovered it. But still we thought, the side of the hill will be quieter. It wasn't. People everywhere.

We recently signed a petition and I wrote to local councillors about the council's plans to convert the rough footpath over the tip into a cycle track. There are already a number of cycle tracks in the valley and the main path is bike/foot so there are plenty of places for cyclists. Because George is a bit of a meanderer when he walks we avoid the main path so he doesn't get in the way of cyclists - we've had unpleasant altercations with them before - and prefer the walk over the tip where he can wander as he chooses. So the news that the plan is to make this cycle friendly is not welcome.

And not just by us. Older people, children, dogs generally, tend to be blissfully unaware of their surroundings so I foresee problems. Only this morning a cyclist whizzed past from behind me. I hadn't heard him approach and one badly-timed step to my right and I'd have been sent flying. Or he would have. 

But although our local councillors were up in arms - about lack of proper consultation and environmental checks - the powers that be turned down the appeals for a better review and the work looks set to go ahead. 

I do not want to be a grumpy old woman but I fear I am heading that way.