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Sunday, 20 January 2019

Old Father Thames

Down in the flat Thames valley,  just a few miles away is Chimney Nature Reserve.  It is a series of paths and bridleways around the Thames. It is a great place to walk away from traffic and roads. It is on the flight path to RAF Brize Norton so a bit of whining aircraft noise above. 

 There were splashes of colour in the bare winter hedgerows.

A row of pylons that seem to go on forever to the horizon. 

  A rickety wooden bridge that reminded me of the story Billy Goats Gruff. It really was rickety and in places rotten when I stood on it.

 A dark and cold Thames on its way to London and out to sea. Not so wide here but boats do come up as far as Lechlade. I didn’t see any today. We weren’t far from where the river Windrush joins the Thames to give it a bit of a boost. This is a relatively straight bit of river but it meanders with the odd ox bow lake. I remember learning about these terms in Geography lessons in th 1970’s  A great example of an old river. Slow and steady, always brown. 
As per normal my phone ran out of battery but I saw catkins and snowdrops. The birds were singing and the sky had blue bits in it. It certainly wouldn’t have been so pleasant yesterday in the drizzle.    The air had a chill in it and I was glad of my hat.

 A satisfying Sunday stroll.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Light of the day.

It has been dark and dull today. I have had to have a light on to see what I was doing. At the end of the day there were  shafts of sunlight and a beautiful sunset. Red sky at night , Shepherds delight. Hopefully tomorrow we can have some sunshine as I need to get on with some garden tasks.  
My plan this year is to grow as much as I can manage. This won’t cost me anything, only time. I have seeds and my own compost and plenty of pots. I need to get on with it.
I have been hibernating watching YouTube. On holiday last year we stayed near the home of Hannah Hauxwell. I read the book Daughter of the Dales while I was there. On YouTube I saw footage of interviews with her. She was a serene unspoiled human. Amazing woman who got on with things and was content with what she had. Her face reminded me of my Great Granny. She used to say to me “Blessed are they who expected not, for they shall never be disappointed.” When I was little I never understood what that meant. I certainly do now.
My Steve loved a sunset and when I see a spectacular one like today,  it makes me smile.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

De clutter

This lettering has been put on the wall of my sons new home office. It looks great and wise words indeed. As for the decluttering, I really am not half way there. I have been sorting the cupboard in the spare room. So far there is a bag of items to sell, a bag for the charity shop and some items for free cycle. I am quite cross with myself for being such a hoarder. It will be lovely when I have finished to have a cupboard where I can store the hoover and steam mop. I keep them in the back porch but as most of my visitors come in at random through the back door, I thought I had better spruce it up a bit.I was browsing YouTube yesterday and came across a young mum called Emily Norris who has a post about storage solutions that she got mostly from Poundland. She is a very organised young mum and I was impressed at her low spend ideas. There is a Poundland in Witney, my nearest big town. It is 10 miles away so I can’t just jump in the car and go unless I need to go to the bank/other errands. 20 miles here and there add up very quickly. I am trying to use our car more wisely this year. I certainly won’t deny myself getting out and about, but will try to make the journeys worth it. Definitely more walking needs to be done.
Yesterday was the day to send a monthly gas and electric reading to my energy provider. I put in the numbers for the gas and a note had come up that I have used more gas than normal. Oops! Over Christmas I have used the underfloor heating in the sunroom (there was no or little sun) for the little visitors. I have to go steady now. It has got cold indoors quickly today. I have a warm fleece on and the heating will come on again at 4pm for a spell. When it is warm is I will override it and I will light the log burner. I feel so fortunate that I am not in fuel poverty. A cold home isn’t really homely. Some families have to choose food or heat.
I’m pleased to say that when I gave the kitchen cupboards a sort and wipe yesterday I found this and put it to one side.
 I think I have earned it today. Work tomorrow so I will have to leave my grand declutter to resume later.

Friday, 4 January 2019

The ghost of Christmas past.

I have been on the scales and it would seem I have indulged too much. I don’t know why I don’t learn. Food sharing is such a sociable thing over Christmas I get carried away. Leftovers have been used, given away or frozen. Not a trace of Christmas is left in the kitchen except a half eaten box of After Eights. I’m not good at sharing them :( Here’s to a happy and healthy 2019. A lovely day here for a long walk in the sunshine. The motorhome has had a clean today and been started up. She started first time even after standing for a few weeks. It will be good to get out and about again. Such a treat to see sunshine today. My solar panels payment was quite disappointing for the last 3 months. They have had a wipe over and the control panel is whirring around nicely. Just plain and normal food today. I am fed up of fancy stuff. A good old cottage pie and I’m off to find a cabbage to go with it.
Happy New Year to all. I’m not sure if blogger is letting me reply to any comments so something else might need tweaking.

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Winter Wonderland.

I couldn’t help myself and changed the sun room into a winter wonderland for the children.  Everything that needs doing has been done so now we can enjoy some family time. This is our third Christmas without our boy who loved Christmas. It doesn’t get easier but makes me more determined     to make an effort for the children. There is no such thing as a perfect Christmas. Whether you are alone or with family, Seasons Greetings to you all. 

Sunday, 16 December 2018

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas...

I made some mince pies to take to a family occasion.  I haven’t made my own mincemeat this year so cheated. It is Aldi’s with  a handful of mixed dried fruit, chopped cherries and dried cranberries. I zested a satsuma and squeezed the juice in with a pinch of cinnamon. A quick slosh of brandy and mixed well and if I do say so myself, it tastes like homemade. The pastry was shortcrust made with 4oz of cold butter and 8oz of plain flour. 6tbsp of water and this never goes wrong for me. I never buy readymade pastry although a lot of people do. I was trying to be trendy and topped them with little Christmas trees. I think I like the traditional pastry tops best. Local folklore is that if you take the top off your mince pie, you count the currants underneath that are stuck to the lid, and that will be how many lucky months you get in the following year. I don’t think you would have much success with these tiny tops. Nothing like a warm mince pie to get you feeling festive though. They go down a treat with some mulled wine.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Nanny duty.

Blogger won’t let me leave any comments atm. I have googled and tried all the advice but something has gone wrong. When my tech savvy son comes to visit I will give him the task to sort it out. Meanwhile this will be a diary for whoever cares to read it.
Nanny duty. Over night stay as parents had a Christmas meal in a hotel. I have been saving lots of recycling bits for modelling. They had great fun this morning just creating and chatting. I took my eye off them while tidying the beds and now I have been banished from the kitchen by a giant spiders web. Hey ho!
Apparent my red wool has turned in to magic lasers.
Meanwhile Grampy has been busy making a spiders web on the lounge ceiling.

I think he is a kid at heart.
He also has been working magic outside before they came yesterday evening. At least you can’t miss where we live.
I had planned to do some baking with them but seeing as I can’t get in the kitchen it will have to wait.
I’m sorry I can’t leave comments on some blogs I read. I don’t think anyone can access this either. I have reset everything I can. I will just keep going until it gets sorted. Keep blogging everyone!