Allotment Diary

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Catch Up

Well its been a while since I last posted - its that time of the year when something has to give and as much as I hate wrapping the blog has had to suffer.

D has had his 10th birthday, my little boy is in double figures now, where has the time gone. He had a great birthday, went out for a Roast Dinner for his tea [his choice] and thoroughly loved his presents, his main pressie from us was Wii Skylander Giants, it has been a great hit, so much so that more characters have been bought for Xmas

C has settled into school well, she has struggled with the culture shock, after all, there aren't many schools where you call the Teachers by their first name!

K is still doing as much overtimeas he can manage

Toby [our dog] is getting older by the day, a short walk now stiffens him up for the rest of the day and he has to have a sleep for a long time.

Xmas Day will be spent at home with Mum and N coming over for the day, kids will be hyper and full of sweets, K will be cooking Dinner and I'll do Tea, lots of festive TV in the evening is planned. K has to work a late shift on Boxing Day and the kids will be at their Dads so an afternoon of tidying up will be what I'll be doing


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Fireworks, School [again], Time

This year we decided not to do our own Fireworks, we decided to go to the display up at the City Centre and boy. were we impressed, yes we were. They were fantastic, D at the tender age of 9 and 49 weeks oh'd and ah'd along with everyone else, he did his excited squeeze - he raises his fists up to just under his chin and squeezes his fists together whilst pulling a face, its something he did as a tiny little lad and we get to see it rarely now but occasionally when something really excites him out come the fists. C stood apart from us to watch the Fireworks, near but far away, she rejoined us when some lads started hanging about near her, they were obviously nearing the point of being one over the limit and it was making her uncomfortable so she came back into the fold [she was only a couple of feet away anyway!] The lads were no bother and soon moved on but it was good to see her assessing the situation and seeking the safety of her family.

D has been given a start date at his new school - he's got 2 more days at his old school and then after the weekend he starts the new one. K and I are going in for a meeting with the Head to explain that D needs to be constantly challenged and to also talk about his skills [and his cheekiness] C is still waiting for her start date but we've been assured that it won't be long now.

Where does time go, its Wednesday night already, its half way through November and time is going so quickly. I plan lots of things to do each year and then I get near the end of the year and realise that I've done about half of my list, time is running out, I'll start the Xmas clear out soon - all the corners get swept out, excess furniture goes into the garage to make room for the Xmas Tree, finger prints get wiped away, places are dusted that never normally see a duster [apart from last years Xmas Clear out]. I'd like the world to stop for a couple of weeks just so I can catch up with myself.


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Half Term Hols, Xmas shopping, Schools

We've just finished Half Term Holidays

went swimming,
went to Coventry shopping [primarily at Primark]
baked the most disgusting biscuits!
went to the pictures to see Pirates! On an adventure with Scientists
made a shopping bag
C did an overnight with Nana
K went Fishing
D had a friend around

I made sure that each day apart from yesterday that we had an activity to do even if it was something small like making biscuits

Everyone enjoyed themselves and thats the best bit for me.

Now to the serious business of organising the Xmas presents for C,D and K and ordering them after scouring the internet for the cheapest prices, discount etc - I spend alot of time on this, I've already got D and C's main presents, C is finished as I've bought her smaller bits except for her Xmas Eve Hamper. I need to get D some birthday pressies and some smaller pressies for Xmas and I've got nothing yet for K so that needs doing. K is on a sleep in at work tonight so once the kiddies are in bed I'll start the tinternt exploring and finish it tomorrow so that Xmas and birthday will be done. Oh, just remembered I need to sort something out for Mum!!!!!!

I've sent the paperwork in to the Council to swap schools for C and D, we went to Matalands on Sunday to buy C some clothes to wear to her new school - they have no proper uniform, more of a dress code, she had a meltdown in the shop and refused to come out cue much under breath swearing from me until I finally managed to get her in the car and no I did not resort to becoming as childish as she was no matter how much I wanted to stamp my feet in temper! All calm was restored after an hour or so. 5 pairs of trousers were bought so its just t-shirts to be got - we need plain ones with no logo's - how hard can that be - read that as inpossible!!!

Helen x

Friday, 19 October 2012

As busy as a busy thing

What a week its been, K has had Kidney stones so has been poorly, D is really tired from hard work at school and C has been doing all manners of things at school.

K = he didn't drink enough water for a couple of days and that results in Kidney Stones - they were bad this time, very bad and he was in a lot of pain, they went, eventually and it took him a couple of days to get over it but he's ok now.

D = D has been working very hard at school, the school sets work that is above National Curriculum Levels and its showing, poor lad, he's in the top set for Maths, Reading, English and Spelling, he has to work very hard, half term is a week late this year so instead of finishing school today and having a week off he's still got another week to go!

C = We are busy looking at other schools for C as she finishes her current school in July and has to move on somewhere else for year 9. The schools we have looked at [with 2 exceptions] have been out of this world but and its a big but we won't get in as there are waiting lists 2 years long and she will be bottom of the list as we are out of catchment area so we are looking at the local Secondary School on Monday morning. Its not the best school but as its the only one she will get into it'll have to do. The other schools were newish and it shows in comparison to the local one, they all have lovely white, spacious rooms, up to date technology, fantastic libraries etc and the local one doesn't really compete with them. Its so unfair that a good school for your children comes down to where you live and not about who you are or what you could achieve given the chance.

I've bought myself a new book - Stitch by Stitch as recommended by Jo on her blog [hope that link works] I bought it from the Book People for £3.99 [free delivery code XMAS262 - runs out soon] Brilliant book for people like me who want to do crafty things but need step by step instructions because I'm a late starter to all this crafting malarkey lol. Its my favourite book at the moment and I'm loving reading it again and again, I'll try several projects from it :]]

Tomorrow is Saturday and the day will be spent with D at home as he's too tired to go to his Dads where C will be, K is working on a late shift, my days plan is to do some housework, washing and ironing as on Sunday we have to go to a Football Match - C has homework that involves her watching a match and writing a report on it, oh the things we have to do for our children lol

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Library visits

I'm still working on the draft post about the summer hols!

We can't do much with the children that involves spending money at the moment, Xmas is coming don't ya know! D's birthday is also just over a month away, anyway we need a cheap, no cost activity to while away some time once a week or so - I hear the Library calling.

We visited a week ago, there is one at Wol... that is open till 7 in the eve [the one at the City isn't open late night and you have to pay for parking there humph] Off we go for a visit, its a very small library but it does us. I've loaned Nigellas cook books, just for a nose really, a couple of craft books from whom I have copied instructions for a couple of projects, very simple ones but I like to have the instructions written down rather than guess and make it up as I go along, and I've loaned a couple of reading books. K has loaned Art books, C has loaned reading books and D has even loaned books - Star Wars and Doctor Who. One member of staff is quite officious but the other lady is lovely. I don't remember visiting a Library as a child, maybe they were too far away [Mum didn't have a car and Dad was away working]. K and I have also loaned Audio CD's, I love them, pop them on when in the kitchen or the car and away I listen. K listens to them to help him relax, something he's not very good at and something I'm a master at lol.

We'll be back at the Library next Tuesday as I've read one book and used the craft book for what I wanted and Nigellas recipes whilst lovely don't fit into our budget for food!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Blogging for bloggings sake

I took the summer off from blogging - why - well because I fully intended not to blog anymore, I was getting in a pickle over what I should blog about and when and how often and blah, blah, blah. What I'd forgotten was - I'm not an everyday blogger, I need to remember why I'm blogging and posting every so often is OK cos I'm doing this for me not for bloggers sake!

So. . . . . . . I'm back to blogging - I've missed detailing whats going on here, need to do a round up of the summer - new plot at the Lottie, summer hols, new school for D, D's 1st girlfriend [he's nearly 10 I'll have you know] catch up with the quilt, post about Xmas, lack of money, K's job and the list goes on.

I'll draft a post over the next few days and then when I like it I'll post it

Feels good to blog without the self imposed stress - what a dolt I am

Helen x

Wednesday, 8 August 2012


I'm no good at this blogging malarkey. I keep forgetting to do it. I've decided to stop.

I want to say thank you to those of you who have lurked and/or left comments, I do appreciate it.

I shall continue to follow and read your blogs but I'm not blogging anymore

Helen x

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Irchester Country Park, Quilting

Where has the time gone, its been about 10 days since my last post. We haven't been away, just busy with life. Yesterday we went to Irchester Country Park, I've no photos as I forgot my camera - Doh!! We spent nearly 6 hours there, myself, C, D, Ant, M and D. Bike rides were done by the kids, Ant's D came off a cropper and got a really nasty cut to his hand, he tumbled over and over, very James Bond style, he was very brave and cried a tiny bit, I'd of screamed the place down lol. Picnic lunch was eaten and then they all went and played for hours whilst Ant and I put the world to rights - lovely, lovely day. Boy, are the children tired today, they are very quiet and C has even managed a cat nap on the sofa - unheard of for her lol. We have been busy doing other normal things but at a slow steady pace, just how the hols should be.

Uniform bits still have to be purchased, especially trousers for C, no idea where to get them from, she's a funny size!!

K is still loving his new job and is even considering joining their Pension Scheme so it looks like he'll be there a while.

I have been busy buying material to make a homemade quilt, it will be for the Living Room or our bedroom - depends on how it turns out. I've never done anything like it but after reading the fab posts by Frugal Queen on how she's done her quilts, she's inspired me to give it a go, I'm no good at scrounging material etc and I'm not very good at colour matching so I've bought most of the material and I've stuck to particular colours. I'm still cutting the squares out so still a way to go.

Plans for today - gardening at a neighbours with C, D is going to M's to play for the afternoon. Easy day

Helen x

Monday, 23 July 2012

1st Day of Hols, Docs visit, Boiler

1st day of the school hols is now over and done with and here's what happened - Avon was delivered at 8am, I'm a Rep don't you know, by 9.30 it was all bagged and ready to be delivered tomorrow, at 10.30 the Boiler Man came to service the boiler, what a nice man he was, he told me that the fitters from 18mths ago had done an excellent job in fitting the Boiler and the relevant pipework was in 1st class shape, he showed me how to bleed the boiler [must be done every 6 months] and then he left. Next C was taken by my Mum to stay for the night at her other Nana at WS where she lives, C likes to go there for a Tuesday as they have a crafting day at the OAP place where Nana 2 lives and C helps out with it, she gets a free lunch and all the old dears love her, then came a visit with D to the Docs, he has had a little cough for 4 weeks now but over the weekend it turned chesty, no tablets were prescribed, instead the Doc told him to have a hot shower, get out but leave the hot water tap running and soak up the steamy air, sorry but does the Doc think we have money!! We can't afford to pay for extra water to keep doing this a few times a day so D will have to steam over a bowl like the rest of us have to, he did prescribe Paracetamol though - 2 bottles, we already have 2 bottles at home so now we are well stocked up! Adults can use it too! Its taken me a year to get the water DD reduced by £8 a month, steaming over a bowl of hot water will do the job just as well as a shower and cost less too. If his cough doesn't clear up by the end of the week we'll go back and see another Doc! I wasn't overly happy with the outcome as I think he has a Chest Infection and the Doc didn't even listen to his chest!!!

At tea-time I spent an hour in a neighbours garden chopping and weeding for them.

Tonight I have cut out some of the overhanging branches from trees out the back, these trees grow to a huge size if they aren't held back [we are already in the shade from some further along but its too late to do anything about them and they aren't in or next to our garden - makes sense to me lol]

The house is looking decidedly disgusting so tomorrow I'll be delivering Avon and doing some housework - the bathroom should be condemned as a Health and Safety hazard.

C will need picking up at some point tomorrow but I don't think it will be till between 4 and 5

We have had glorious sunshine all day, in fact, it got too hot lol

Helen x

Friday, 20 July 2012

School Hols, Weekend Plans

We have finally, finally broken up for school hols, what a busy week they have had at school. Thursday saw D having a fun day at school, they had bouncy castles, space hopper race tracks, go-karting, wii games and lots of other things to do and C went to Wicksteed Park for the day. Today was Leavers Assembly for D, they put on a play - Jonah, a fishy tale. D played God - we'll never be allowed to forget that!! Tears were shed by me and Mum not D, his Teacher is one of those teachers who inspires the children without them knowing, if only all our schools had Teachers like that.

I'm over my moan about money, just got into a bit of a funk about it all.

Plans for the weekend are - C is sleeping in the tent in our garden tonight, they are both at their Dads tomorrow and K and I are at the Lottie for the day, K then goes fishing for the evening, C will go to Nana for the night and D will sleep in the tent. I will have to sleep on the sofa for the next 2 nights as I don't like leaving them in the tent whilst I'm asleep upstairs.

Sunday will bring a walk somewhere as its meant to be sunny so maybe a picnic too

Hope you all have a great weekend

Helen x

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

No money! School hols

No money! We are officially broke, we have food and a roof over our heads, bills are paid but, gulp, we have no money for petrol! I have to do the school run for the rest of the week, 32 miles each day and my petrol tank is empty, I'm going to have to borrow money from the children to get them to school. I'm so worried about it all, still, we have food, a roof over our heads and the bills are paid!

School hols - I hope we get the warm weather that is predicted as we'll be able to go for bike rides and take picnics out with us. We are away in August for a week [children, Mum and I] Mum has paid for the caravan and is paying for most of the food and I'll pay for the petrol and some of the food, the children take their own spending money, I'm praying for good weather so we can spend the days at the beach.

I've had to pay for school things this week, £14 for C to go to Wicksteed Park and £2.50 for D to have a "fun" day at school. We haven't been told what the "fun" things are as its a surprise for the children. At least there is no spending money needed for D and Mum has given C £5 to take with her.

I can't believe I'm at the age I am and things are not getting better with money, all we do is pay out for this, that and the other, we never blow our money on "stuff" it all goes on things to keep us alive and at school, I could go out and get a job but for the time being K is against that, he wants me at home for the children and whilst I agree with it I am fed up with having NO MONEY!

Helen x

Friday, 13 July 2012

New Job, Sports Day, Big Performance


K has just finished his last day at his job and starts a new one on Monday, he will be a Practitioner [posh name for Support Worker] for a large well established company that provide care homes and happy lives for people with Special Needs. He's leaving a job where he is a Senior Support Worker and taking a job title drop but will be paid £400 more a year, not much of a rise but at the moment EVERY penny counts. When he gets overtime he will get it at a slightly higher rate than his old job, he gets more holiday a year, better rota, nearer to home, better company to work for and no out of hours hassle. He's the type of man that you would want looking after your child who has Special Needs and like so many who work in the Care Industry he feels that he is underpaid for the role he does. What kind of a system lets Office Workers [I've nothing against any Office Workers - I was one] be paid FAR more than someone who is qualified and helps in a team to look after some of most vulnerable members of society with grace, compassion and above all gives the residents of the homes a far better quality of life than some believe they should have.

Sports Day - it was D's last Sports Day at his current school, he moves now to the bigger school. His team came 2nd overall and D was picked to accept the cup on behalf of his team, special moments!

Big Performance - C was part of a group of children who have been working at putting on a "Big Performance" for the rest of the school and parents. C sang a solo part, her song was Rolling In The Deep by Adele, special moments!

We may have absolutely no money at the moment and not know how we are going to get new uniform for school but who cares, we have special moments to remember.

Helen x

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Cornwall 2012 Part 3, Wedding Anniversary

Final part of the holiday

 Hartland Point - we watched 3 seals playing in the sea
 Hartland Point Lighthouse - not open to the public but from the view point you can see a shipwreck!!
 Hartland Quay - it was lovely here
 K and D adventuring
K and D sitting on top of the hill

 Eden Domes

 Eden Allotment
 All the food in the Cafe was made on site and in front of you

K and I could of spent days wandering around but unfortunately the weather was against us and D had a Migraine after spending some time in the Rainforest Biodome. It would of cost us £65 to go in but we paid £23 - clubcard vouchers and a BOGOF offer!!

I have ALOT more photos lol

Today is our 3rd Wedding Anniversary, we have no money [and that's not a complaint] so we are staying in tonight and K is cooking a nice tea for us, Mum brought over a big bouquet of flowers from her and the children, very pretty. K and I have not sent cards or bought pressies, there's just no need to, money could be spent more effectively elsewhere and we need no proof of our love.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Cheap Carpet

Cornwall Part 3 2012 will follow on tomorrow

Yesterday K had his day off, he took the children into school and on the way he heard on the Radio that a local carpet shop was closing down as their lease had run out and wasn't being renewed, carpet was being sold off cheaper! Now our bedroom hasn't had a carpet for over 18 months, its had floorboards and a disgusting rug that Toby [dog] has used as his bed. I can't even begin to describe how much I've hated it but, knowing how expensive carpet is I've not complained [only twice]. We had no carpet because we had a new boiler installed, the Surveyor told us the new pipework would have to go under our bedroom floorboards - we had laminate flooring in our room and it didn't come up so it could be re-used. When the boiler fitters came they told us it didn't need to be like that!! We were compensated but unfortunately we had to use the money on our cars as they both failed their MOT's miserably and needed quite alot spent on them and we have to have 2 cars as the children's schools are 8 miles away and K works shifts. I have detested the bedroom with a passion ever since but yesterday that all changed lol. We went to have a look at the cheap carpets and came away with one that was 5m x 4m for £42. We needed no underlay as we already had old carpet tiles we used instead. The bedroom was gutted, the cobweb bunnies dispatched and the new carpet laid. Now we have a lovely carpet and a bedroom that I love again.

Helen x

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Cornwall 2012 part 2

The total cost of the 2 caravans was £162 for 7 nights, not bad for a weeks holiday in June at Cornwall :]]  We booked a 3 night stay through Breakfree Holidays [from The Sunday Post Newspaper] and a 4 night stay through The Sun Newspaper. I didn't have to buy the newspaper's as I got the codes to book the stays from on a forum. This site has saved us £100's and I mean that literally. I go on there for all sorts of money saving tips, vouchers, ideas etc and I check it daily [at least hehe]

D having fun at Widemouth Bay - he's trying to build a wall of sand to stop the tide coming in - I've never said this to him but I used to try and do the same when I was young lol. The blip in the sea directly behind him is C, she's wave jumping.

Top photo is Port Isaac Harbour, this is where Doc Marting is filmed, the bottom photo shows Doc Martin's Surgery, we also saw his girlfriends little house, no-one was filming when we were there which is just as well as we had a right "performance" when we were there. We parked up and walked into the village, its very pretty but the little shops were very expensive - too much for our limited income, anyhoo, away back to the car park we went, K D and C paid a visit to the loo and I unlocked the car, or at least I tried to, instead, I managed to break the car key - eeekkk!!! It snapped in half OMG. The spare was at home. What to Do? We are with the RAC, thank goodness [a perk with my Bank] We decided I would phone Mum and get her to overnight the key to the caravan sight - getting a phone signal was interesting, I was the nutty lady walking around holding my phone skywards trying to get a signal, managed it eventually, phoned Mum and got her organised, then I lost signal completely, meanwhile K and D went and spoke to some nearby lovely builders who lent him some pliers to see if we could at least turn the stub of the key in the car door and get it open and then get the stub out - K managed that with no problem, my hero. He then tried key and pliers in the ignition, oh no, "Immobiliser Error" flashes up on the dashboard screen. OMG what now!!! Off I go to try and phone RAC - no signal but wait, there's a Garage, I go in and speak to the nice man, explain whats happening, tell him we have no money but can he help, No was the answer - its a specialist job and he can't do it - eeekkk!!! again. He let me use his phone to get hold of the RAC who will come out and rescue us, well at least they will take the car to a garage that can help, now panic is setting in - we don't have the money to pay for a new key [£80] and get the on board computer reset. Meanwhile K is at the car fiddling around with the key and the remote control bit it snapped away from. D comes running to me [I'm standing on the car park wall looking out for the RAC] K's got the car started!! Again, my hero! Off I go to the Garage and borrow the phone again to cancel the RAC call. We then hastily went back to the Caravan  lol. If K used the stub of the key and a fork he could open the car, if he put the stub of the key in the ignition and then pushed the door remote thingy on top of the stub the car would start, so for the next 24 hours till the spare key arrived we had a key stub, a remote and a fork glued to us!! Whilst all this was happening C sat on a wall and stuffed her face with her pack up lunch lol. Not in the least bit bothered about it all as long as she had her lunch hehe.

Helen x

Monday, 2 July 2012

Cornwall 2012

After trying all afternoon yesterday to get this post to show I've decided to split it into 3 or 4 posts over the next few days, Blogger kept crashing the computer!!!

We stayed at Bude in a caravan, the site was almost empty, times are hard and it must be affecting the way of life for many who depend on nice weather and tourists!
We were very lucky with the weather - we didn't have blazing sunshine but nor did we have lots of reain apart from one day, C and D were in the sea 3 times and they went to the swimming pool on the site on one day. Our first caravan site was at Bude nd the 2nd was at Widemouth Bay [again, very quiet site] The beach at Widemouth Bay was nice, bay shaped lol, sandy but windy, that didn't stop C and D from enjoying it, K and I wore jackets, jumpers etc, we looked old sitting there all wrapped up whilst the children played in their swimming cossies hehe.

We visited lots of places - Polperro, Port Isaac, Hartland Quay, Hartland Point, Tintagel, Eden, Holsworthy, Trago Mills, Boscastle, Watchet and Watersmeet. K did all the driving whilst I was the Navigator, a system that works well for us.

Photos of Polperro Harbour and then looking from the Harbour out to Sea, we loved it here, it was very pretty, just how a village beside the Sea should look

Boscastle, do you remenber when this little village was pratically wiped out from the floods, I visited it not long after the floods and saw the rebuilding that was going on, this time the building work was all finished and everywhere looked like it had always been there. There was evidence of the floods - pointers to show where the flood water reached, see the low roof on the left - it reached that! We had a nice visit there, it was sunny, warm and ice creams were eaten.

Tintagel - so dramatic, we didn't pay to go and walk around the ruins, we don't do that, we go off adventuring by ourselves and where WE want to go to. Top photo - Merlins Cave, D is just about to go in, K is already in there, exploring. Middle photo - my 3 admiring the waterfall andsaying hello to me. Last photo - taken by me, I'd decided to do a little adventuring myself, rock climbing was done in order to get here, boy was I puffed out but I was the only one on the little bay, it was quite magical there.

Right, fingers crossed, I'm about to click on "post"
Tomorrow - more photos and how much the holiday cost us

Helen x

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Bloomin blog!

I'm trying very hard to load photos but each time I do it crashes my computer so I'll have another go tomorrow


Friday, 29 June 2012


Dear Blog
I'm so sorry, I haven't paid attention to you this week. Its not intentional, I promise. I've been busy with real life. I know I shouldn't ignore you, after all, I started you to map our lives for the children to read about but. . . . .  kids keep you busy! Its been non stop this week so I promise to come back to you this weekend and post some of our holiday photos and to write about the lovely places we went to. It will be a long post to make up for the non-attention you've been given

Gotta run now

Helen x

Sunday, 24 June 2012

We're home

Well we're home but I've been a little busy catching up with the washing!!

I'll update the blog with photo's once I've uploaded them from my missing camera - I'm hoping its in the bag that's been dumped in our room

We had a fantastic holiday with the odd adventure - think car keys, broke, stranded in a car park lol

Helen x

Thursday, 14 June 2012


Well that last post was a really miserable post wasn't it lol
I feel heaps better today - even feel in the holiday mood
Clothes packing has been done, food packing and all the "other stuff" packing is being done
I'm getting quite excited now. We've mapped out our route, its about 240 miles and should take about 5hrs. DVD players, PSP etc are on charge to keep the kiddies amused, wellies and sandals, jeans and shorts are packed. I've packed for 2 hols - 1 cold and 1 warm!! I'm living in hope that the predicted rain doesn't happen.

K is bathing Toby - Toby has to be bribed to go upstairs and into the bathroom, and then Toby will stand in the bath and shake.
Homer the Hamster is already at Mums and Toby will go there later once he's dry.
All the plants at the lottie have been watered and lots of weeding has been done.

One more sleep to go and then . . .  we're all going on our summer holiday

Helen x

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Fed Up, weather, migraine

I am completely fed up. I had a migraine yesterday that lasted all day and then this morning I woke up feeling ok but by 10.30 I had another headache and now I've tummy pains, the apcking up for the hols isn't happening, I have ironing and washing to do and if its not raining its overcast and cold.

I can't even describe how fed up I am

Helen :[

Friday, 8 June 2012

Cold/Cough, Half Term Hols, Weather

Arwedd and Jo - thank you for your kind comments
Cold/Cough - I still have the blooming thing - it just won't shift. I'm fed up with it now and I'm starting to feel run down, can't sleep, headaches blah, blah, blah!

Weather - its horrid here, blowing a hooey, raining and cold. I keep having to put the heating on.

Half Term Hols - I had this weeks worth of events all planned out, nice walks through woods, picnics, tent up in the garden for C to hang out in [she loves putting the Tent up and claiming it as hers] but because I feel ill and because of the weather this week has been a struggle. Its Friday now and I can't remember what we did on Monday! I'm sure we did something ????????? Today we are going to the pictures to see Men In Black 3, the children have gift vouchers left over from Xmas that will pay for them to get in and I'll pay for me and Mum to get in. We take sweets and drinks with us, I'm NOT paying the prices that a Cinema charges! ~Yesterday we went up the City Centre, C had her hair cut, D traded in some games and started his pot of savings to go towards a PS3 that he wants [yes, another console] I bought 3lbs of Strawberries for £2, came home and I hulled them all and left them to soak overnight in sugar, ready to be turned into Jam or Sauce today.

And that's it - what a dreadful week.

1 week to go and then we are on holiday, I can't wait.

Oh, oh, forgot to say [how could I forget this] K has a new job!!! He went for his 2nd interview yesterday, he applied for a Support Workers Role at a residential home 5 miles away. He had his 1st interview last week and the 2nd last night, last nights 1 was about meet and greet the residents, he was offered the job straight away, now awaiting his CRB and then he can hand his notice in - neither of us can wait for the moment. The pay is a couple of hundred more and his petrol will be a lot less and the rota is far better and he gets 33 days hols a year - exciting times for him and he really deserves it as he puts up with a lot where he is working now, I'm really pleased for him.

Helen x

PS I have some pictures of rude strawberries - I'll post them later [naughty!]

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Cold and colder

Cold - K has kindly passed on his cold to me, aches and pains and feeling very tired along with a blocked nose and a headache, thanks K.

Colder - the weather has changed and the boiling hot, muggy weather has turned into winds, rain and cold, cold, cold!!

Toby is still poorly, bad tummy isn't letting up

Not a good weekend so far

Helen x

Friday, 1 June 2012


Toby our Dog is poorly - don't read on if you don't like dog poo!!

Toby is a cross between an Alsatian and a Border Collie, he's the naughty baby in the house. Everything we do revolves around him. He's 10 years old. I got him when I went to see the litter - he was the runt of the pack and oh my, he was adorable. He's very naughty - can't be let off the lead as he runs away, he pinches any food left lying around [except grapes or jelly]. He snores, he howls in his sleep [he sleeps in our bedroom], he's very protective of me, he barks wildly if anyone knocks at the door, we had to get a post box to go outside for the postmen otherwise he rips the post to shreds and tries to get the postman's hand too!! He hates cats and pigeons, he thinks squirrels are his next meal. Toby sleeps on C's bed during the day - when he's not barking at someone or something.

Toby has an upset tummy, he's making a mess in the garden, he's passing mucus and we think he may have colonitis. I will have to wash the grass tomorrow, how gross is that. He's on a diet of rice and boiled chicken or boiled white fish for the next few days. Its Jubilee weekend and a bank holiday thrown in to boot. Vets on Weds if he's no better.

Poor Toby, K and I are praying he'll get better, not only will we be very upset but C will be completely devastated, she's known him since she was 2 and she loves him. After losing Grandad last year she won't cope with losing Toby too, he's getting old in his ways, even if this tummy upset isn't the end for him we don't think he'll be around all that much longer. My poor Toby.

Helen x

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Grocery Shopping Rant and other bits

K is feeling a lot better today, thank goodness! We went to the Lottie and planted peas and runners. We had to give everything a good water, the weeds are getting out of control!

Grocery shopping - this month we have spent £323, that's a horrendous amount for 2 adults and 2 children and our budget is £250. We have overspent by £73 and we need things. K and I sat down tonight and decided to do the following
1. use up what we have, we have 1 large freezer and 2 smaller ones and they are FULL, stuffed to the gunnel's with food, how terrible that is too have so much food in, its what I call dead money - we've paid a supermarket money for food that we can then store for months! All those deals come around time and time again and yet we have fallen for the trap they have set us, well no more Mr Moneygrabbingsupermarket, we buy what we NEED and that's it.
2. We are drawing out cash each week for the shopping we need [£75 per week for June] and what we don't use goes into the car tax/insurance pot. If we need more money one week for shopping and we don't have enough then we have to wait till the next week till we can buy it.
3.Take advantage of offers but realise that the offers always appear again and again and again, we don't need to buy enough for 6 months, we need to shop smartly.
4. Get rid of the freezer in the garage, we've given ourselves 3 months to run it down, this will also save on the leccy to run it.
5. Use the money saved to buy car insurance for the year, pay upfront and then save for the next year, it may take us a couple of years to get to the point where we can pay in one instalment instead of 12 but this will happen and its cheaper to pay once a year [avoid those charges for monthly payments] we also want to pay for the car tax yearly instead of every 6 months as its also cheaper to do that.
6. Remember that every pound saved is ours and not the supermarkets

I can't describe how angry I am that we have fallen into the traps set by the supermarkets - we know better but we still got sucked in by them. We struggle every month, especially for the last 2 weeks and that's hardly surprising given how much we are spending on food! There are areas of expenditure we can do little about - petrol for example but where we can we will save. Lidl and Aldis will be our new bestest mates and Tesco can go jump, petrol is what we will use them for and also offers that suit us not them. We will also buy more from the Market - fruit and veg etc, we don't make enough use of the market, that's another change about to happen.

Nice part - I used Groupon the other day to buy tickets to take Mum and the children to a Medieval Day on Monday 4th June - day out for £12 plus petrol, we'll take our own food and drinks [we always do] and I'll buy the children an ice cream. They have pocket money to take with them if they want to buy themselves something but I buy nothing for them, sounds hard but they are happy with this. Their Dad gives them a lot of pocket money and they get to keep it and spend it on what they want to [within reason] everything they want to buy has to be okayed by me and its always discussed in detail and we scour the Internet to get things cheaply [D really "gets" this, C sometimes struggles and wants things NOW] Even if the weather is poop I'm sure we'll have a nice day.

Yesterday it was Mums birthday so we went for a walk at Harold Odell Country Park, boy was it hot, we were really daft and didn't take water to drink so had to buy a drink there, £4 for a tea and a hot chocolate, expensive, cake was £3 a slice - didn't buy any. We had a lovely, lovely walk.

The weather is due to cool down for a few days, that will make weeding at the Lottie a lot easier

Helen x

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Cold, Hot, Red Hot

Cold - K has been poorly now for 3 days, he's in bed as I type this, he has a cold and a cough but its really dragging him down and he's fed up, this is his long weekend off and he's spent the majority of it in bed!

Hot - boy its hot here, even in the shade its too hot for me to sit out in

Red Hot - C has gone to a friends birthday party, talk about a pressie on the cheap - bath set from Boots 75% off sale and a make up set from the same sale, wrapped in reduced paper from MrT and put into a gift bag I was given for my birthday, card was reduced to. Value should of been £29 actual price was £8! They are going bowling and then out for a meal at "Red Hot" - the cost of this party must be [way too much for me to think about] C doesn't have a party anymore as I think that they should stop when they are 10, at least that's what I've told my 2. The cost of entertaining out is out of our league and the children are at the age when they don't want "home" parties anymore - shame as I loved doing them, oh well :{

Helen x

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Birthday, Lottie, Coughs and Colds


On Wednesday it was my 47th birthday - yeah!!

I was given lots of lovely presents. K and I spent the morning and some of the afternoon at the Lottie, planting things, weeding and generally tidying up. We took the camping stove and K made bacon butties whilst we were there - a lovely way to spend a day. We then went to my Mums for Tea. K stayed at home because by this time he was suffering badly from a cold which has now turned into a chest "thing". Poor man is really suffering now - and that's what happens when you give up smoking.

The weather here has turned very hot, I shouldn't complain but its a tad too hot for me - I like Spring and Autumn days and the snow, this heat makes me tired, it zaps my energy.

Today is another Lottie day if K is up for it, we'll see. He's currently snoring on the sofa lol.

I hope that you are all planning something nice to do this weekend and that you are enjoying the sunshine

Helen x 

Monday, 21 May 2012

My New Shopping Bag

Evening All

I was making a patchwork cushion but I couldn't get the sqaures to line up properly and it looked awful once I ironed on the interfacing stuff. K thought I was making a bag so today I decided to turn it into one :]

Step 1. Getting all the bits together

Step 2. Choosing the back material

Step 3.Making handles

Step 4. Make an inside pocket or two, to cover up the parts that don't line up

Step 5. Making the front

Step 6. Completed

Step 7. Liking the inside better than the out!!

First time I've made a bag. I once told a sewing teacher at school that the skirt I was making looked like a bag, she was very upset by my comments, I think that she thought it was a personal reflection on her teaching but it wasn't, it was all about how rubbish I was at this when I was at school. Now I have more patience and time. I'm pleased with the bag and I'll use it when we go on holiday

Helen x


Not alot done this weekend
We went to the Lottie and managed to get some bits planted
I did a stack of ironing
I made some headway with the cushion I'm making

Don't you sometimes look back at what you've done and feel that you wasted time!!

The weather today is overcast and quite chilly but the forecast is for it to brighten up and I for one can't wait to see some sunshine, I always feel better when the sun is out

Helen x

Friday, 18 May 2012

St Ives - K's painting, Tomatoes, Migraines, Clematis

D has been diagnosed today with "Abdominal Migraines" This explains alot about his health lately and whilst I'm not happy about it I am glad we've a name for his problems, he's likely to suffer from Migraines when he gets older so that's not good. We are cutting out Chocolate at the moment as he was troughing his way through his Easter Eggs, a complete ban on choc is in force to see if this will help, he also has to go for an eye test which was on the cards anyway and he has to have a fasting blood test at the hospital when we get the appointment through.

In the space of 2 days we've gone from 1 Tomato seedling poking his head out of the compost

to several all vying for the light and heat that the window and radiator are providing

Its taken 3 lots of sowing seeds to get to this point - woe betide anyone or anything that upsets them

My Clematis in bud. I've had this plant for years but its not been happy for the last 7 or 8 of them, last year I gave it the pruning of its life and then it was moved to a place for the Winter that gets plenty of light, in the Spring it took off and its really loved all the rain we've had [well something had too] and its about 6ft tall and has about 20 buds on it. When it does flower more photos will be taken as it produces very pretty purple flowers that I love.

I've planted some Broad Beans in a bed at home and some at the Lottie, I've had to put chicken wire all around the beans to stop the cat from next door using the bed as a loo and to stop our dog tramping all over it

Tomatoes that were bought from a Garden Centre have now been put into the big trough that K made from pallets a couple of years ago, the seedlings will go to the Lottie if they survive

And now for the exciting [to me] bit - K has done a painting of how we see St Ives, Cornwall. We love it there and would love to be nearer so we could visit more often, but we don't so we can't. Instead he has painted this picture for me, the photos don't do it justice - its colours are jaded as opposed to the vibrant colours that they are in real life.

Its got the seagulls, boats and harbout wall that I love, the blueness of the sea is brilliant and the house are all higgledty piggledty just like they are in real life. I love, love, love my man for painting this for me, he's framed it and its going up in the Dining Room tomorrow

Helen x

AMAZE ing Photography

I've borrowed this link from another blog - Life After Money, its a great blog about a lady who lives on next to nothing, anyhoo, she put the following link on her blog and I've borrowed it - these photos are STUNNING, Kirsty is a very, very talented lady

Linky -

I hope this has worked as its the first time I've put a link in

Helen x

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Life is . . . .

Arwedd at stepping out in faith has written a very interesting post today about why she blogs about her life, this made me think about why I blog. I started a very long reply to Arwedd but deleted most of it because it became a ramble about me, so I answered Arwedd's question and then thought I'd pop on here and ramble away to my hearts content over here.
I blog to keep a record of our lives, whether it be the boring day to day mundane jobs or the more exciting [to us] things that happen. I don't expect anyone to read it [although it is nice that some of you do  :}] I really want to show the children when they are older that having no money does not stop us from doing things, we just adapt what we are doing to suit our purse. My daughter really struggles with not living nearer her school so she can see friends after school but to be honest I'm more concerned with her getting a good education and I don't think that she lacks anything from not always seeing her friends after school. My son struggles with not being in the football team for the area that he schools in but again, education comes first and he'll get football practise next year when he moves up to year 5 at the next school. These are 2 areas that comprimses have to be made but we manage.

As for blogging, Arwedd - I like your blog and I like reading what you have to say. I shall continue to blog even if K is the only one reading it.

Helen x

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Last night I checked on Tesco Clubcard site to see if I had any vouchers. I'd seen the advert for the "double up" scheme they are running again and I wanted to see which departments you could double up in. I had £7.50 worth of vouchers due to be hitting the door mat any day now. I was pleased as I'd thought we would be lucky if we got £5!! So an extra £2.50 of vouchers was pleasing.

What to do with them?????
Double up - not interested in toys or electronic devices.

Days out - that's the one I want!

£5 of vouchers got me entrance for the 2 children to the Eden Project - somewhere K and I have always wanted to go to, we already have the Gardeners World Magazine to get free entry for an adult with a paying adult. So to get in Eden without any vouchers would of cost us £65 - way too much for our pockets, but with the vouchers it will cost £23 for 2 adults and 2 children.
The Gardeners World Magazine cost £3.80 - cash outlay, vouchers cost us nothing as they are an incentive from Tesco, so for £3.80 and vouchers we got entrance to Eden Project  - a saving of £52.

What to do with the other £2.50 voucher - Wicksteed Park here we come. Alton Towers is too far away [3 hours drive to get there] and the cost of petrol puts it out of our league. The children really want to go to a theme park and Wicksteed Park is the nearest. A £2.50 voucher has given us £12.50 towards wristbands for the rides. Cost of getting in would of been £40 but now its down to £27.50 - affordable for a day out in the summer holidays.

These trips would of not happened if it wasn't for the vouchers so as much as I don't like Tesco we will continue to visit them occasionally and make the most of their offers to continue to get points to help pay for days out.

Helen x

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

York Pud Recipe

I'm putting the recipe on here so I don't loose it!!!

Makes 12 mini Puds

70gr Plain Flour
2 Eggs
100 ml Milk

Oil each case on the baling tray - put it in the oven so it gets REALLY hot.
Flour and eggs into a bowl and beat together, add milk and beat until lump free.
Pour into the baking tray

Oven [fan] 210 for 16 mins until risen and brown

Cool - can be frozen for a month

Weather today hs been raining with some very large hail storms

Toms might not have blight as we picked off the infected leaves and the plants are reviving themselves although the cold wind won't help

Just made a Coffee Cake, unfortunately I'm the only one that likes it hey ho I'll have to eat it all - a slice a day me thinks

Helen x

Monday, 14 May 2012

Out for a walk, Yorkshire Puddings

Yesterday late afternoon and the kiddies are starting to get on each others nerves so a long walk was in order. Off we go . . . . .

Start of the walk - lovely and sunny
Playing nicely

 Waiting patiently

 Walking the Labyrinth

 The view

 Top of the Peace Pagoda

 Guess who cheated and who didn't

 Finally - made it to the oak tree in the middle

 Looking up

 Looking around

 Taking a break on the way back

Yorkshire Puddings!!

I've never made York Puds but D loves them so I decided to have a go and I have to say - I was very pleased with the results - 2 have been tested and pass the mark - the rest will be frozen ready for when he wants them.

H x