A bit of a roller coaster

Today I got up early (ish) so that I could set up the yogurt to do its thing. Then I went back to bed as today is not a good day M.E. wise.

When I got up again, I had forgotten to press the Go button. That meant that the temperature didn’t remain constant, so this is the second failed yogurt batch. But all that is wasted is one litre of oat milk, to be honest, so not so bad. Dumped it all down the loo. The texture looked ok, though.

Went to the opticians for my new glasses yesterday. Fifth visit. Didn’t go well. Eye test was last November. My double vision is pretty bad, so I need a thick prism. That means varifocals won’t work very well with the (expensive) fancy lenses, nor will Reactolites. So they’ve made three attempts at getting them right, and I still can’t see through them properly. My current specs, which were made up in June 2018, are better. Harrumph. So they’re going to have another go, in non-fancy lenses (i.e. thick ones). Hey ho. It would be nice to think that I can have Reactolites and varifocals, but I’m waiting for a call back from the opticians, so I guess probably not.

The soup I made was lovely, by the way, and there are plans to make more, with carrots and coriander this time. I meant to get a portion out of the freezer this morning but forgot. Of course.

On the upside, I have an appointment for my Covid vaccination next week – hooray! Hubby had his a few weeks ago.

Also on the upside, two guys came yesterday and tidied up the garden, so it looks excellent, even this time of year. They turned over all the soil, trimmed the edges of the lawn, swept up leaves and debris, and left it looking great.

So all in all, everything is more or less ok. Small things.

Progress

Well. We had a leylandii hedge in the front garden dug up and the stumps ground out. I want to replant the area with Photinia Red Robin next spring, but need to get rid of the ivy first. So I’ve had a go at it but had to stop in the end. Looking better though. I can’t believe how deep the ivy roots go! next step,  when the ground is drier, is special strong ivy weedkiller. Mm.

Meanwhile, today I’ve cooked a Yule Log. My first ever. It’s cooling as I type, and I’ll make the filling soon and freeze it filled. I’ll ice it just before it’s served. We shall see.

I never, or at least hardly ever, knit more than one project at a time. However, I’m currently knitting Rowan’s “Whelk“, which is complicated, but I’m managing. So I need something mindless that I can do while watching TV (though I can’t knit at all when it’s subtitled and in a language I don’t speak – Swedish, say, or Danish!). I’m doing Sunny Baby Blanket by Lucy Sinkler. It’s the fourth one I’ve done, and they are lovely. Lots of stitch markers in both projects (colour coded in Whelk . . .) or I’d never cope!

Sunny Baby Blanket. Yarn – Style Batik Purple Mist. More grey than blue.

 

Whelk. Yarn: Rowan 100% Superwash Wool – Moonstone so very pale grey rather than blue.

Also need to finish wrapping and labelling the Christmas presents which need to be posted – one to the Republic of Ireland and one to France. Hoping to post them tomorrow, although the Post Office will be absolutely heaving. After my hairdo and lunch date with my friend Fiona, I think, so I don’t keep anybody waiting.

My computer is a bit flaky. I think it’s on its last legs. Sometimes it falls off the internet, though hubby’s doesn’t, sometimes the mouse won’t work, sometimes the keyboard won’t work. It is six and a half years old, and Windows 10 lost all the USB ports about three years ago, so I installed Linux Ubuntu. That always extends the life of a computer, because it is so much less resource-hungry than Windows, but even so. I’ve ordered a new one which is arriving today, so everything is backed up, printer driver downloaded and recommendations for antivirus sorted. It is quite exciting, but setting it all up takes a while.  I get cross with Windows because it’s so damn nosey and interfering and intrusive. Once I’ve dealt with all that nonsense it’s ok. Mm.

And I’m not even going to talk about the total omnishambles that is Brexit. Nope. No.

23rd February 2014

Lots and lots has happened since I last blogged. The trick is to remember it all.

Union-wise – I’m going to a Regional UNISON Seminar in Bilston in April, and Retired Members’ Conference in October. It’s ok, it’s one day in April, and one night in October, because we oldies are less likely to party the night away . . .

Still knitting the cable jacket – in fact had a small disaster. I’d finished the back, and almost finished the left front, when I found a huge, obvious, mistake, just above the armhole shaping on the back. So I unravelled it and knitted it back up again.
knitting mistake

Here’s a photo of the mistake. See if you can find it. But it’s all ok now. Then I made a mistake on the shoulder shaping of the left front, and had to re-do that. But now I’m on the right front, and being very very careful.

YD has had a dreadful time at work, but has come out unscathed, and is now angry rather than in bits. Brave soul. She was 30 on Friday. Can’t believe I have two daughters over 30.

Stitch Solihull is having a “knitting-fest” at the end of March, to celebrate their first whole year trading. I’m making a three-tier carrot (birthday) cake. Iced. In the planning stages at the moment.

The garden is looking less bedraggled, and buds are appearing. Snowdrops and primulas are blooming, and the daffodils are budding. Lovely .

primulasnowdrops

I have new glasses. They’re a very similar style to tme in my new specshe previous ones, but are lighter, a less dramatic colour, and have proper nose pads, which means my nose stays cool and comfortable. Essential (!)

Had another small episode with my back, but the osteopath and 48 hours on Tramadol sorted that out.

And most exciting of all, I’ve been covering the shop. I’ve done it twice now. When either of the young women runs a course on a day she works, they need somebody to staff the shop. And I’ve really enjoyed it. Still not quite used to the till, but am able to offer advice on yarns and patterns, and only had to ask for help twice on Saturday. Several more dates in my diary. It’s voluntary, but it’s just so exciting. Leaves me very tired though, but that’s manageable! and it’s so worth it. Love it, love it, love it.

Next course I’m planning to book myself into is lampshade making. Very excited about it. Not sure when it will be, but it’s definitely in the new course schedule, which should be out by the end of this week.

I also made some dairy free Danish-type pastries. Cinnamon rolls. Bought the puff pastry (dairy free) and made the mixture myself. Delicious. I’ve missed Danish pastries so much!Image

It’s October already?

Goodness how time flies.

Planted up the winter pansies – they’re lovely. Also lifted two lavender shrubs and moved them to a bed with more room.

New project – to repaint the kitchen. And here’s why.

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Note hubby’s expression. Not sure he actually likes it. When he opened the box, he said “Red? . . . . . Red? . . .?”  ha ha ha. He didn’t laugh. I did.

That’s not the only reason, though. I’ve been thinking about it for a while. I’m fed up with the peach coloured walls, and love red. So I’m off to  B & Q tomorrow for some tester pots. I’m not going to paint the walls red, though, no no no. A step too far. Probably a mid-grey. It all needs washing down first though with sugar soap, and in fact there isn’t very much wall to paint really. Updates as it progresses . . . which will be slowly so I don’t crash.

Lovely weather today, and set fair for most of next week too. Excellent. Washing can probably go out tomorrow.

Made a blackberry and apple crumble the other day and it’s in the freezer waiting for the end of the month, when ES arrives to stay for a couple of days with his entourage (girlfriend and his three children). Can’t wait. Cakes to make too and possibly a trifle.

Lost another battle with a spiky tree today and bled profusely.  Looks ugly and bruised and horrible. Long sleeves tomorrow I think.

Had our flu jabs on Saturday so we’re all ready for the winter now. Bring it on!

That’s about it for today.

Chocolate Brownie

Chocolate Brownies

Can be made in one saucepan.

Ingredients

 70g dairy free margarine
100g dark cooking chocolate
170 g castor sugar
2 large free-range eggs, beaten
70 g plain flour
100g chocolate chips
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

greased pyrex square dish.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C gas 4
  2. Take 1 tbsp of the flour and add to the choc chips in a little bowl. Stir so that the flour covers the choc chips (this stops them sinking to the bottom.
  3. Melt the margarine and chocolate in a saucepan over a very low heat, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from the heat, add the sugar and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Mix in the beaten eggs, then sift in the flour, baking powder and salt: fold in the vanilla extract.
  6. Just before baking, add the choc chips, and stir in.
  7. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and cook for 30 minutes.
  8. Test with a skewer that it is just cooked through (the skewer should come out clean of mixture, although the choc chips will be melted & might stick to the skewer).
  9. Cool in the tin and cut into squares.

For the knitting group I doubled all these quantities.

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