Monday, 31 August 2015

All around the world

For the last few days we are very spread out.

Fahed is in Beirut, Lebanon, Asia.
Jamal in Beaumont, Texas, USA
Me at home in Allbrook
Ahdel was at Waddow Hall, somewhere up North (!), UK

I also noticed that by the time Jamal is home again he will have been to Europe, Africa, America & Asia, in one trip. I asked if he could visit Australia too so that we get all five land based continents in one trip but the ship is due to go to dry dock in China so no chance.

I think I need to get a new World Map to track everyone's wanderings.

So anyway no news from Fahed for a few days so I am taking that as good news.
Here I am just keep myself busy. I have a new 'thing' that I have been doing and it works for me.
I have my notepad and have started to carry it everywhere with me, A simple daily to do list but for me it works better when its paper than on my phone..

So:
I lable up the pages for a few days ahead
Then I add in the definites like pick up prescriptions, book appointments etc
Each night and over my morning coffee I run through previous days list and see what was missed and still needs doing or not, then rack my brain for other additions. Of course if i think of them during the day then they get added.
Plus a section at the bottom for things I need to buy.
And even though this is really really simple it is working. I am getting tons done (maybe because the men are all some place else , hmmm?)
And I know this because day before yesterday I put my pen down someplace else instead of attached to the book and turned back into my usual get a few things done and then get distracted self.

So now I am just looking for a pen (there are many thousands in my house, they are just all hiding) and I am going to update my lists and burst into activity. Yes, really I am.

In amongst all of my activities I painted the wall around my cooker a really lively dark bluey green. Be interesting to see if the old fella likes it :)







Friday, 28 August 2015

We make plans:God laughs

We have plans for our Crete visit. We saved hard, we prefer to use our 'spare' money and not credit, and had enough to get a man with an excavator to do some work for us, some wall building and some other work. All going to plan.

Last night Fahed had a call that his sister suffered a heart attack. 3 arteries are blocked and she is too ill for any operation, even stents or angioplasty, I think because she is also diabetic. What can you do? Well not very much but at the least get out to see her. Thats half my savings gone right there. I wish it could help but it cant, not really, but its good to go for support. Her children are there too. Oh and its not so easy anyway to find an affordable flight to Beirut.

Fahed employers are very kind, he takes these weeks without being paid but they were so good. Hopefully we get our holiday okay too. We have seven visitors joining us so we cant just not go.

Poor old Ameena. She is such a fun and lively person. If anyone is doing any praying then I am sure she would be happy to get a mention. xx  Well actually I guess most of the family would as they are mostly stuck in Syria. I can tell you it makes you very aware of how lucky you are.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Ditching the list - just for day

Every saturday is housework, I work full time Monday to Friday, and then Sunday is maintenance and bigger stuff. Fahed works pretty much all day every day except Sunday, as I banned it!
(in social care, so he makes people happy but we can still starve to death on his income) so housework Saturday works for us

Somehow today though I am just thinking 'day of sloth'.

Visit friend fro coffee and chat, make an easy lunch, visit my parents for a few hours, maybe some easy sewing or crochet, perhaps watch a film.

Anyone else fancying a lazy day?

Friday, 21 August 2015

A random assortment

We have a pile of letter from the NHS for appointments, In my life I have never been treated for so much.


  • So anyway good news is that my mole wasnt cancerous (big yaay!)
  • My light treatment is now available. Three times each week for seven weeks. I have to ring up on Tuesday to set my start date.
  • I have diabetic clinic, 3 sessions but i think that 2 are educational
  • Fahed has two appointments for his knee and 2 for his eye.  I feel we are a very big drain on the NHS right now
  • I was awake at 2.30am today giving me the chance to speak to Jamal in Alabama before they head of towards somewhere in Texas ( I am trying to send him to you to help Daizy but he doesn't seem to get close enough) and the reason I was awake? One of the cats brought in a mouse and let it go in my bedroom! Sigh, whose idea was it to have cats again???
  • This Sunday we start watching old Star Wars Movies to get in the right frame of mind of Episode 7 in December. My sons were brought up on Star Wars so this is a real big deal
  • Counting down to holidays and I am really tired so I know its time
  • I have a busy weekend planned, all house and garden things. I love to see the house looking better and better, It gives me a lot of pleasure
  • This Monday I have a scuba lesson
  • Next weekend Fahed and I have a roadtrip to Peterborough to take our Crete box to the haulage company.and the Monday is a bank holiday. Better and better
This is my zebra cover, which I still havent actually sewn yet and the suitcase I had as a child. My dad just found it and it transported me back to those European train holidays as a child. Wonderdul


Saturday, 15 August 2015

Food!

Well you can certainly tell that Jamal is away at the moment. There is still meat in the freezer from the June purchase. ON top of that I cut our budget from £400 a month, when there there were 4 adults of here to £250 a month. And on top of that I have spent anything like all of it.

This weeks main meal for three nights was beans. Someone gave us a mahousive bundle of runner beans. Fahed cookes them with tomatoes, olive oil and onions. Not too much olive oil, just to keep me happy (quiet). It sounds so meh! but tastes so amazing. The whole being far greater than the sum of the parts. I had it for lunch a couple of other days as well. There was a chickpea and spinach curry day. (approx total cost £1). Fahed made himself lamb pittas one night and had leftovers the following night. I topped everything yesterday including buying 2 x steaks (treat for being good) and decaff coffee. Total price £18.

Diesel is now down to £1.09 a litre locally. Cheapest I can remember it in years. So £80 can now last me a month, even with trips to the other offices each week.

Today I ironed my patchwork quilt and it looks lovely. I need to bind the edges, so its a shame i cant remember what i did with a lovely but too small purple sheet which I had earlier in the week. No doubt it will come back once I stop looking. I also ironed a lovely sari which I once bought at work for a fiver. Its now my landing curtain.

Fancy expensive magnetic cat flap has been retuned to the lovely folk at Amazon. Our flap space is in the wall not a door and this wasn't deep enough for it to work. And if I am honest the other one works fine apart from strange cats coming in. I suspect a evening of sitting in the conservatory with a water pistol would help the visiting cat problem.

2 x fur fabric blankets have arrived to make sofa covers. It looks better than it sounds, honest. However I cant progress as my lovely but poorly husband is sound asleep on top.

Today on facebook there was a photo of tripe being shared around the place, with everyone commenting about food from the olden days etc. One lady commented that she couldn't eat it as she was allergic to anything which came from the sea. There are time when fb can actually make you cry with laughing.


Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Success with homemade Christmas Spirit

Eve and I got together on Sunday. Coffee and chat obviously but then it seemed like a good idea to test some of the drinks we have been making, as no-one had to go near a car until the following day.

Arancello - We used Sainsbury's basics vodka, Aldi granulated sugar, a tin of ma-made marmalade kit. We made a syrup from the sugar and some water and the stirred it into the oranges once it had cooled, then added the vodka.  We made this about 4 months ago.
                                                                                                                                                    7/10

Limoncello - Sainsbury's basics vodka again (cheaper is better as you don't want any taste to it at all). Asda granulated sugar. Zest and juice from a bag of asda unwaxed lemon.  We made a syrup with water and the sugar. Added to the vodka once cooled. Left also for about 4 months. Very nice but more than a hint of lemon washing up liquid.                                                
                                                                                                                                                    6/10

Paddingtons Revenge - a mixture of the 2 above and just perfectly wonderful. We thought it tasted like really sharp marmalade, so might appeal to a certain bear. Darn good stuff.
                                                                                                                                                   9/10

Quince Gin or possibly vodka - 5 grated quince from the garden (including the core - the recipe stressed this), sugar again, the base was Sainsburys basic but Eve cant remember if it was gin or vodka. To me it wasn't as fresh and zingy as the citrus but on a cold winter night I should imagine it would be most appealing                                                                                                           6/10

Sloe Gin - Classic homemade liqueur. Sloes picked on the island. Frozen so that they pop their skins, sugar, gin. Leave for six month turning occasionally. Bottled up and now approx 4 years old. Very good stuff                                                                                                                                     8/10




                                                                     

Thursday, 6 August 2015

I have been crafty

Well crafting. I mentioned finding an aging half made patchwork quilt. After two solid evenings of sewing, the machine kind, I have pretty much finished the patchwork bit. Tomorrow I am  planning to back it, which i think might be called batting it? , with a double sheet and some ikea fleeces. I will do some measuring tomorrow and see what works.

My youngest son is almost in Mobile, Alabama. Such a long way from Allbrook. I have been reading up and it looks like a nice place. The food looks just his kind of thing, the sort of thing which kills you but makes you happy first! Luckily he will only be there for a few weeks so his arteries should not fur up too much. I am seriously jealous, as usual. He thoroughly enjoyed Rio de Janeiro too. Sigh! Being envious of ones children is so not cool!

I am moving my office.study/craftroom from a bedroom to a part of the downstairs and its prompting me to sort out all my old crafting junk too. Its good for the soul I am sure but I cant believe how much goes and I miss nothing. Its so delightful.

This is a small close up of my patchwork



Sunday, 2 August 2015

We had a UFO day

We planned to do the garden (yes, again) but Fahed picked up a big frmo the little ones at work again and was poorly. I pulled him out of bed though, so that he would hopefully sleep tonight, and he tried to do a few things. Bless his little cotton socks.

I now have new tyres on my bike - and pumping them up nearly killed him off :(
My new vacuum cleaner is set up and ready for action (don't ask but no, apparently I am not bright enough to do it myself. Fail)
He pinned two swim suits on me so that I could make them smaller.

I did a few things myself when he was resting:

Turned out a load of craft stuff, wool and fabric for someone at work
Made up a box of things to go to the charity shop
Rode my bike around the block (like a scaredy cat who hasn't been on a bike in some time!)
Stitched both swimsuits
Mended a pair of Faheds work swim shorts
Found a partially complete patchwork quilt and worked out how to finish it. I think I did the initial work prior to meeting Fahed. We have been married about 27 years. lol
Ordered a kettle for the Crete house - discounted by 50%
Enquired about someone to sort out the front garden. I doubt we will take them up on it but it seemed like a nice idea.
Made an enquiry about a fishing boat which goes out from Keyhaven. Fahed was a fisherman when I met him and I thought he might like to get back tot he sea sometimes.
There was also some vacuuming and other dull stuff.

Considering he was poorly and I was tired we did okay.



Saturday, 1 August 2015

Foraging

We did everything on our list except make cheese.

We were happily reading through the cheese book and came to the bit where it suggest not eating large quantities of homemade cheese as its too hard to keep hygiene to the right level in a non industrial environment so it will almost certainly give you a sore throat! Somewhat off putting. Also as I am losing weight now because of the new condition so to have a load of yummy cheese around is not necessarily a good thing :)

One of the fun things we did was pick plums from a tree which is outside of my back gate. Its huge and even with a 5' step ladder and a rake we could only reach the bottom branch but we cropped a half bucket of Mirabelle plums. They are in the freezer now awaiting their fate.

I also picked a dozen cooking apples from my tree for Eve to take home and also left room for the some of the others to grow a bit.

Fahed came home from visiting his friend with 2 boxes of thai curry, 2 of cooked rice and about 2 kilo of runner beans, so all in all I think a good day for foragers!


A small break with tradition

Every week, Friday night or Saturday morning I go off to the shops with my little list.

Last month we bought a bulk meat order up front from the farm & then topped up fruit and veg weekly. I was quite pleased with my spending using this method & all went well. And then it actually went so well that this month there was enough meat left in the freezer to not top up until next month. So I am extra pleased. We are eating more veg with our meals and also more just veg meals. So today is Saturday morning and I am checking my fridge to do my list ensure I don't overpurchase and I can see quite clearly that we need nothing!

I rather think we are just finally learning to eat less.  Yesterday was curry club at work. A bunch of us all make a curry, from scratch, and take it in to share. I made a Thai green vegetable curry and used up a courgette, a carrot, a onion, a yellow pepper and a tin of coconut milk. It didn't need meat and was very yum (i just had an empty box to bring home). Last night I definitely didn't need another meal. I had a little sandwich made with 2 small slices of wholemeal bread and a slice of cheese. ONe time I would definitely have been hungry enough to eat again. I am assuming this is my new diabetes medication making my insulin work better but I have never been less hungry in 20 years! So as well as feeling much better I might lose a few pounds!





Summer Rain

The middle of summer on the sunny south coast of England, and the rain is falling heavily enough to keep us indoors again. We were hoping to...