Friday 28 June 2024

Sadness Comes

Art - William K. Blacklock - 'Hot Toast'

Sadness came to tea last night
as she’s often done before
but I didn’t let her in this time
I stopped her at the door
“I’m off to meet with friends”, I said
“your timing isn’t right
I can’t allow your atmosphere
it’s not the place tonight”
but sadness wouldn’t take the hint
her manners lack finesse
her pace was slow and heavy
yet she kept up nonetheless
and even when I took my place
amongst my laughing friends
she squeezed herself right in-between
her boldness never ends
and I was sure my friends would see
this spectre at the feast
and somehow think me lesser
for inviting such a beast
but no, their warmth was undeterred
as if nothing was new
I think perhaps they know by now
I sometimes come as two
and even sadness seemed to glow
a lighter shade of grey
to know that she’s accepted
seemed to lighten up her day
so let your sad accompany you
don’t think her hard to bear
no need to face her all alone
just pull an extra chair.

Donna Ashworth
‘Sadness comes’

There's no need to worry, and no I'm not particularly sad, but I saw this and really loved it ... so I thought I would share. 💖

Sue xx

Wednesday 26 June 2024

When it all fits in neatly ... and Homemade Scones.

 Isn't it just oh so satisfying when you can tip a bag of something or other into a jar and it all fits in easily.  There's nothing worse than a little bit left over that has to either be put into another jar or left in the rolled up bag.

Or maybe it's just me being weird!!  😁

I'd used the last of the flour that had been in the jar the previous day when I made up a little batch of scones for us to share.

Nothing fancy just the most basic of recipes with a handful of sultanas for some fruity flavour.  Here's the recipe copied form my other blog and used regularly by me.  


8oz/225g SR Flour
pinch of salt
2oz/50g butter/margarine
1oz/25g caster sugar
a handful of dried fruit
milk or other suitable liquid

Simply rub in the butter/margarine into the flour/salt until it looks like breadcrumbs and then stir in the sugar.  Pour in enough milk/buttermilk or similar to make it into a reasonably firm dough and either roll out briefly or just pat into shape. 

A way of making this even cheaper is to add a tablespoon of dried milk powder to the dry mix and then you can make your scones up with water instead of milk.
The less you handle this mix the better your scones will rise.  Never twist your cutters if using them to make round scones or that will make them rise unevenly. When I'm in a rush I simply make the dough into a large circle with my hands and then cut this into four.

Brush with milk, taking care not to drip down the sides of the scones, then put on a greased or lined baking tray and cook for 10-12 minutes in a hot oven.

This mix can also be used as a crumble topping, add a little more brown sugar and some oats for added flavour and pour on top of your chosen fruit in an ovenproof dish and bake until it is all piping hot and nicely browned.  
You can also use your scone mix to make a quick pizza base or cut into small scones and use in place of dumpling in a stew or casserole.

You can't beat a nice fresh homemade scone with a cup of coffee at the end of a long day can you.  They are one of Alan's favourite treats.  😀

Sue xx

Monday 24 June 2024

Time for a Shopping and Food Budget Catch Up


From Booths - Total - £2.50

We've been much better since the post about fast food and service stations and the few shopping trips that I have been on recently have included bread or buns for taking our own sandwiches once we arrive at the hospital to visit Mum.  

Waiting for a space in the busy car park gives us time to eat our packed lunch and have a cold drink, and then on the way in to the ward we have been buying two coffees for less than a fiver from the hospital café, which we have to pass anyway so it would be rude not to.  It's a good cup of coffee, very similar to Nescafe and sorely needed after a 90 minute drive.

Later the same week, this little shop was from Aldi for £14.43.  Not a bad price at all considering that I was tempted in the middle aisles to buy a plant in a planter.

Total money spent on shopping in this week was £16.93.

Then last week I shopped twice:

More sandwich fillings and bready items ... and some Caramel Wafers for Alan, they are his weakness.  

The dogs got a free pot of Jude's Dog Ice-cream to share, as it was last weeks little Booths freebie for cardholders.

And then on Saturday we had a day off from hospital visiting and went to a Book Fair in Barton, after having a coffee and a slice of cake I treated myself to £19.50 worth of books from various stalls.  A bit of a splurge I know, but it was nice to browse and support local bookdealers for a change.

So a total spend last week of £35.

And now I am up to date with all my recent purchases, I've got to keep the records as straight as I can. 😀

Although somewhere along the line this other book 'Stories for Summer' turned up.  

I must have ordered it a while ago from Amazon and it was on the doormat when I got home.  As the few things that I order from Amazon don't come out of my cash shopping budget this can slip quietly under the radar.  😄

Now it's time to put the kettle on and get back to my current book.  Summer seems to have arrived in the last couple of days, so me and the animals are keeping cool in the Lodge, with lots of drinks and the occasional gravy bones ... that's more the dogs than me.  😉

Sue xx

Tuesday 18 June 2024

Onions or Flowers, Flowers or Onions


My onions really haven't liked the weather this Spring, in fact before they have even had chance put on full oniony growth they are already deciding to set seed.  So my choice has been onions or flowers, flowers or onions.

Now I love the glorious flower heads of all the alliums, and the thought of large onion flowers has me very tempted.  So each time I go out to the garden to get an onion for my cooking I have been checking the size of the bulb at the bottom of each stem.  If it's not big enough to be used for my tea the decision is made for me ... one more flower head left ready to bloom.  

The bees will love me. 🎕

I've not had a courgette off any of my plants this year, I would say this one is the nearest to developing.  All the veggies just need a little bit more sunshine and warmth.

But two potatoes that I had completely forgotten about in the kitchen, and had sprouted merrily away all by themselves, were stuck in a few inches of soil in a fit of 'waste not want not', and are now showing their faces just over a week later.

So although I've not had a lot of food from the garden this year, there is some to come and that makes me happy.

Mum is still in hospital and was really upset last week that she couldn't remember what her little bungalow looked like ... so I took a photo for her when we were there picking up the post.

Thank you for all your lovely comments over the last few posts while I've been too poorly to post much, things are improving ... for me, for Mum and hopefully for the garden.

Sue xx

Monday 10 June 2024

Seemingly, I'm an Adult


All true, with some variations.

I've been really poorly with a bout of flu ... and lost only 1lb.

Oh yes, I like to sleep.

Most things hurt ... but my ears and knees are fine. 😄

Comfort most definitely before style, flat shoes are my go to, and jeans and tops my uniform.

Students do look ridiculously young, and my Mum's hospital Doctor is just a smidge older than my grandson!!

My favourite spatulas.  😀

Sue xx

Tuesday 4 June 2024

And now it's time ...


And now it's time ... to be less productive, to take it easy, to realise that being busy is not necessarily a good thing.  It's time to not jump up and offer to do things, to not feel guilty if you are seen to be sitting and daydreaming, or reading far too much of a book in one sitting ... and to never apologise for doing what you want to do. 

 I've spent my whole life being productive, you have to be when you're a young Mum, then you get a job and juggle the home and the work life.  You learn to fit so many hours into your minutes, to keep everyone as happy as you can and you do learn to love the busy-ness of it.

But then the kids grow up, the career takes off and you are busy for other people, you realise this and sidestep and become busy again but for yourself.  It's all good in it's time, but now I am in a different time, and I have to learn to love it.

So bit by bit over the course of the last few months, I have been turning things off, unsubscribing, unfollowing, blocking ... and walking away.

It's been a slow, gradual process and I will not be made to feel guilty for doing less.  

When you do less, you are more.

Time to think is a  precious resource.

Sue xx

Monday 3 June 2024

'It's food Jim, but not as we know it ... '


'It's food Jim ... but not as we know it!'

This misquote from Star Trek with Mr Spock talking to the Captain came to mind as soon as I tucked into my Vegan Royale.  It looked the part but any taste was just not there.  All I could taste with any flavour was the mayo and the lettuce and the 'patty' was textural and nothing else.

Textural ... but not in a good way.

I managed just over half because I was hungry and then Alan finished it off and we shared a small portion of fries.

Alan's 'Bacon Double Cheeseburger', was quite tasty he said, but we literally both laughed out loud at the size of it.  Four or five little bites and it was gone.  Thank goodness for the chips and the filling power of the coffees.

Such has been our snatched food intake over the last few weeks with Mum in hospital and us up and down the motorway.  The Greggs vegan sausage rolls have been a life saver, but they are so good that they are first thing to sell out so I have had to make other choices on a couple of occasions ... hence the Royale yesterday.

I am going to have to try and make more time to take us a sandwich from home when we are visiting at awkward times, I managed it once and it was so much better.  Sadly because of our distance from the hospital and the motorways we have to use, it takes us a while to get there, and Friday night's trip was the worst one yet.

But the main thing is that Mum was looking a little better yesterday, although sadly she said she felt awful.

My first shopping trip of June, you can tell I needed fresh stuff in my system.

I Spent £6.93

Closely followed by a second shopping trip a couple of days later when Alan asked if I wanted to go to Aldi with him.  A total of £21.19 here in this photo and an overall total for the week of £28.12.

I'm already over this week's budget, but I now have lots of lovely healthy things to eat and bread to make sandwiches with, and that is the main thing.

Sue xx