Thursday 15 August 2019


I don't often get defeated by vegetables but these peppers?  chillis? in this week's wonky veg box are new to me.  

I'm not wildly keen on chilli and as far as peppers go I buy a few for salads and sauces but they aren't among my favourite vegetables but as these came in the box I'd like to have a go.  So, can you identify them?  I've put a £1 coin on to give an idea of size.

Then, what can I do with all this bounty?  Help!

Saturday 10 August 2019

August activities 7 Dippy stars again

Dippy is getting the Jane problem sorted!  He sent me one of his collars which needed refurbishment and I made him a collar to match Jane's bag.

Here he is I'm sure you'll agree that he's a very handsome fellow.  

His only problem might be that I too have a garment in the same fabric.  Curse these humans!

Friday 9 August 2019

August activities 6 Veering into the kitchen

Although most of my August Activities will be of the crafty variety I shall have the occasional foray into the kitchen and that's where I was yesterday.

When I went to Lidl  found three packs of six chicken drumsticks in the "Waste Not" section at 70p a pack.  At that price no way will they be wasted especially when I also found packs of button mushrooms at 20p a pack.   I bought shallots (full price) and found some red wine in the freezer.  I've now got five packs of chicken in red wine in the freezer.  If I were feeling posh I might have labelled them Coq au Vin but I wasn't feeling posh.  The remaining drumsticks were roasted to have with salad.

There was also Aberdeen Angus diced beef reduced so that was cooked, again with mushrooms and shallots but this time with stock and I've got three packs of braised beef in the freezer.

I was on a roll and found a pack of mince which I'd bought (reduced) a couple of weeks ago and frozen so I combined that with some Quorn which I had been given, a few chopped onions plus chopped mushrooms, grated carrots and some beef gravy also from the freezer.  Today I shall cook mashed potato and complete several cottage pies.

And while I was at Lidl I even found these roses in the reduced section.  Not a bad shopping trip, methinks.

Wednesday 7 August 2019

August activities 5 Introducing Dippy

Dippy is a retired greyhound of my acquaintance.  He takes care of a friend of mine, name of Jane. 

I made this picture bag at Dippy's request so that if Jane wanders off passers-by will know to whom they must return her.  

Printable fabric from stash and the poppy lining and handles are leftovers from a skirt I made last month.  

Sunday 4 August 2019

August activities 4 Helping a Brownie

I'm disabled and I often need help so it's a deeply appreciated pleasure when I can give help.  Marie is a Brownie of my acquaintance and she's very keen on taking badges, both at Brownies and at the swimming club.  What she isn't keen on is sewing her badges onto her Brownie blanket and neither her mum not her grandma is much help in that direction so I've become badge sewer in chief.
A couple of weeks ago I received her latest batch of badges, three for swimming and one for Brownies so today I set to with my needle.  Marie is away on her holidays at the moment so it will be waiting for her when she returns.

Just a small project to report today but I've also been working on two more projects which I'll report on soon.  

Saturday 3 August 2019

August Activities 3 Hats

For several years I have knitted a few hats to send to the Sailors Society.  This charity exists to help merchant seamen, including giving warm hats to sailors working in extreme weather conditions.  The Society distributes more than ten thousand hats every year.  Each hat is hand knitted so that as well as giving physical comfort they give the recipient the great feeling that someone s/he has never met has spent time making knitted hats for them.

I live on an island (Great Britain) and I know we all depend on merchant seamen for an awful lot of the things we use everyday, whether it's food, or textiles or any number of other things.  I rarely think of the people who bring all these things from overseas but this knitting is a little way of saying "thank you",  

I try to send about ten a year but although I enjoy knitting them I hate sewing them up.  Recently I've taken to knitting them on circular needles but  I had three which still needed stitching up so I've now completed them and they will be in the post this week.

Friday 2 August 2019

August activities 2 Twiddlemuff

So here's my first no-longer-PhD.

Maybe you can't see what it is so I'll tell you.  It's a twiddlemuff.  And maybe that has left you none the wiser.

It's a double thickness hand muff with bits and bobs attached inside and out.  It's designed for people with dementia to have something to occupy their hands and maybe to keep them warm as well.

I've knitted mine using all sorts of bits and pieces of wool from my stash including two very fancy yarn leftovers from knitting scarves.  I found a couple of metal keys and some beads from my craft box and I attached those too and a few ribbons finished it off.  Everything must be firmly attached so it can't be pulled off easily.

This is mine before I turned half inside and stitched it up so you can see all the attachments. 

Thursday 1 August 2019

Oh dear!

It has to be said that budget-wise July was disastrous.  Instead of saving my hoped-for £400 I managed to set aside a mere £37.  There, that's the worst bit over with.

I had a trip to London to go to a garden party at Lambeth Palace.  The rail fare was about £100 (but that was paid in June), taxi fares came to £45, a new blouse £55, skirt £55 and sandals a further £55.  Add to that essential repairs to my laptop which were £140 and a replacement iron at £70 and maybe you can see why the budget was such a disaster.

I had a very whoopee moment when I discovered that my energy economies had paid off but sadly the very next day I got a letter telling me that my Civil Service Pension is to be reduced by almost the same amount.  Apparently I have been paid the wrong amount for quite a long time.  As it wasn't my fault I don't have to repay it but my pension will be reduced.  Shame about that as my retirement earnings have been slashed as well.