Tuesday, 21 November 2017

This and that

Hello. No housework done today, can't be bothered. I would rather be sewing. 
Horrible weather. Walk done, stopped to chat to a friend. Twice in fact, two friends, I have many, one long chat and one short chat. Swapped one of my dog walking days with Brenda, she will do tomorrow and I will do her Thursday. Means I won't have to rush to the dentist in the morning. Cats sleeping most of the day, they don't like going out when it's dull and wet. Garcia has been in, eaten one pouch of Whiskas and snoozed on the window sill. Made too much lunch, made too much dinner, still chomping my way through the yellow stickers. Left overs for tomorrow. No need to put the general bin out for tomorrow, only one bag of waste which I will sneak into next doors bin when he has gone out to work in the morning. Heidi cat keeps parking herself on the desk in front of this computer and sticking her bum in my face. Going to have to wrap this up and give her some attention. Oh happy days, not long to Christmas, let's just get it over and done with.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Monday, 20 November 2017

Christmas is a coming.

Hello. Back from my walk, turned the corner just past the pub, and there's a nice surprise, our Christmas tree is lit up on the village green. The lights have been a bit sparse over the last few years, it looks like they have been splashing out on some new ones. Really lovely. These are the first ones I have seen, it won't be long before they start appearing on the front of people's houses. I like the lights, makes everywhere look cheerful. 
We stuffed ourselves with nosh this morning at Crafty Club, two of our members are leaving the area and moving to pastures new. We had a little farewell party to wish them bon voyage. One is going up north back to her roots, and the other is leaving this country for a new life in Sweden. Friends come and friends go, that's how it is, people move on. We will miss them.

Zipppeeee is evolving, one idea leads to another. What starts as a simple idea seems to take on a life of it's own. It's leaning more towards a Folksy picture, French knots added to the flowers look nice. I will crack on with it tomorrow.

Wednesday is a dentist appointment for a check up, and a visit to the vet for Heidi's tablets. I can do both at the same time, save making another journey.

Wind down time, I am finding I am going to bed a bit earlier. Off to watch some vids on yoootooob. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Progress on the zipppeeeee project

Hello. Looking like a lovely sunny day today. I'l do this quickie post, then I have some newsletters to deliver, so let's crack on. Some flowers have been made, need some more. Moved onto leaves, the zips are green anyway but I have painted them to bring out the colour. I was thinking about this as I woke up this morning, how to make leaves, so as soon as my coffee was made at 6.30am I got on with playing. The longer leaf looks better, will make some more. Also need to make a few of different sizes.  
Some flowers have got two circles, some only one.

As soon as I trim both ends the fabric starts fraying, so it's difficult to join them up with tiny stitches to prevent more fraying.

The pearl sits in the hole in the middle then lots of stitching at the back to hold it in place.

Keep checking in for more progress reports. Thanks for popping in, enjoy your Sunday. We'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Friday, 17 November 2017

Bumper bargains on the food shopping

Hello. I was dead lucky last night at Tesco, lots of yellow stickers, some 75% off and some 90% off. I got there at 7pm, they hadn't brought it all out on the trolleys so I had to hang around for a while. Worth it though, there was plenty. A few people gathered, a lot of them wanted meat and ready meals, so they didn't bother me, I was happy to pick over the veg and fruit, and salads. 
I managed to make the £40 total shop, which allowed me to use the £6 off voucher. I stocked up on tins, bought a big bag of walnuts, jar of coffee, two bags of sultanas, and some frozen items to make it up. Here is a breakdown of some of the reductions I got.
2pack Avocado's 19p. Wholemeal bread 10p. Raspberries 20p. Blue berries 20p. Grapes 20p. Strawberries 20p. Rice noodles 12p. Carrots 2p. Salad leaves 9p. Brassica veg 10p. Kiwi fruit 3p each.
Yogurt 15p. Mushrooms 15p. Houmous 10p. Pears 15p. Broccoli 10p. Cookies 25p. Cannelloni 62p. Pasta salad 21p. Potatoes 20p. Veg soup mix 13p. I picked up a few extras and gave some to my neighbours next door, and to my friend Brenda.

I've made a little video about my food shopping. It took ten minutes to make and six hours to upload.

Thanks for popping in, enjoy your weekend, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

What do you do?

Hello. Something to chatter about, I have to go out and walk a dog. What do you think of those blogs where you click on to have a look at a post which you think you might be interested in, then only get a snippet of it, and have to click again to get the whole story? Bloomin frustrating I say. Most of the time I read the introductory first couple of sentences, then think, 'oh stuff it I can't be bothered', then dump the whole lot.

I want to see the blog post in it's entirety, so I can skim read, get the main points, then decide whether to comment or not. What do you do? Stick with it, or move on?

I'm the same with yoootoooob. I look at the title, the content, is it a subject I might be interested in, if it is I'll have a look. Then you get the waffley introduction, this is sponsored by bla bla bla, taking ages to show all the bits and bobs you'll need if you want to complete the project. Just get on with it. I am forever fast forwarding to get to the main point.

My goodness I'm so impatient. I have to stop myself finishing other people's sentences. It's so rude, I know, but sometimes I know what they are going to say before they say it. I'm always one step ahead. Then my brain then shuts off, because I know what's coming next. I am a terrible listener. 

Must go now, dog wants a wee, he will be waiting with his legs crossed, ha ha.

Catch you later.

Thursday, 16 November 2017


Hello. It's about time I did something with these zips, I've had them for a few years. I grabbed them when the Scunthorpe Scrapstore closed down. We were allowed to take what we wanted before the whole lot got shipped over to Hull. They are all either four or six inches long, I've been pondering what to do with them for ages. I did make some purses with them when I first got them, but got bored with that. 
I've been playing with them, re arranging them, first thoughts were a contemporary art picture, maybe a bit Mondrian style. Blocks of colours. But that would have been too easy. So I thought about separating the two halves, and stitching them into a circle, could make some flowers.

I haven't got enough different colours, but found a solution to that, use felt tip pens to colour them. Seems to work alright. So, this is the first idea, it will need some more thought, but I am hopeful that it will turn into something quite good.

Fridge is empty so I'm going to do the Yellow Sticker dash tonight.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

How hard is living without debt

Hello. I sometimes wonder if it is worth bleating on about living frugally and ways to save money, because I reckon a good portion of my readers are already well informed on how to live within their means. I feel I don't need to stand up in front of you and give you a lesson on home economics, because most of you already have your finances under control. You will have your own methods and know what works best for you.

This blog is about my Brilliant Life on a Pension, which is not only about how I save money, but why I save it and also how I spend it. I like to vary the content and not bore myself to death, and not bore the pants of everyone else, so, I cover all aspects of my life, and money saving is the defining factor.

Saying that, I think it is good to revisit money saving ideas because I get 6,000 page views a day, and a lot of those people will be looking for money saving tips. Some may have just dropped on the blog while searching, and will be unfamiliar with it's content. When I read Money Saving Expert Forum, especially the Debt Free Wannabe section, I can see just how many people are struggling with debt, and it is very sad that some of them don't know how they got there, and don't know how to get out of it. So forgive me for bleating on about money saving if you already have your finances under control, for there are such a lot out there who are desperate for some help.

So, what am I doing to save money right now. I am sitting here with no heating on, and wearing a fleecy dressing gown over my clothes. I could afford to flick the switch and put it on, but I know within an hour I would be feeling muggy, and would probably fall asleep. What is the point of wearing fewer clothes while burning money. I have just had a hot drink, and I am due to go out for a walk shortly, that will warm me up. I might put the heating on tonight for an hour if it gets a bit chilly.

I am not going shopping until I actually need something. I have a £6 off voucher for a £40 shop at Tesco. I haven't been there for a while and my food stocks are quite low, so I am planning on a yellow sticker dash sometime this week. Mind you, I have planned a visit before with a voucher and have got nowhere near the £40, and still had a trolley full, of mainly yellow stickers. However, this time I might achieve it because I have only got three tins left in the cupboard and the freezer is pretty low.

I have a bag full of free cooking apples which I am stewing on the hob for a few minutes, a great addition to my breakfast cereal, nuts and seeds. I made up a big pan of pulses, lentils, and suchlike, soaked for 24 hours simmered for an hour, and veg added. I found it a bit hard going chewing it, so I zapped it with the stick blender. Have eaten some, the rest frozen in portions to be added to stews, or eaten with pasta.

I keep myself busy with my arts and crafts, which cost virtually nothing because I have tons of materials, don't need to buy any more. My utilities bills have come and gone, and paid, gas and electric. Again they were very low because I am careful about switching things off when not in use, and I am with Ebico who doesn't have a standing charge. Now we need the lights on for a lot longer in the winter I try to have them on in one room only, I walk around with a little torch in my pocket to light the way when moving between rooms. I have a watering can in the downstairs toilet, there is plenty of rain water now, so it saves on flushing.

Someone mentioned about my coffee being a mix of two kinds in the jar. Yes, I buy Nescafe, have been drinking it for years, perfectly acceptable for me. Then I found Carte Noir, very tasty but a bit more expensive, so now I get a jar of each and mix it.

My credit card statement has just arrived, a rather hefty bill because the new tyres are on it. No worries, I have the cash to pay it. I was thinking about changing my car, updating for a newer model, but decided against it. The car I have is perfectly fine. It is due for it's MOT soon, and if it needs any work I have the cash for that. The insurance is due in January, again I can pay for the whole year, it costs more to pay monthly. Also on the statement is £75 from a YHA booking I made recently. Two nights, private room, B & B, in a lovely hostel in Derbyshire. A little treat for me.

When I go to town to pay this bill into the bank I shall combine it with a few purchases from the discount stores, Home Bargains, B & M, Poundland, and Poundstretcher. I get my pet food and cleaning stuff from those shops. I've noticed that some of them are starting to get fresh produce in, and some good prices too. I got a BIG bag of spinach from Home Bargains for less than £1. And some nice tasty cheeses for around £1. Worth a look.

A few general tips for anyone who is struggling to pay down debt. If you are serious about becoming debt free you have to be pro active and make changes to your lifestyle. It's no good saying I don't want to give up the Sky TV, the Gym membership, or the coffee on the way to work. If you want to keep the lifestyle you already have and not cut your spending then be prepared for a lifetime of debt. I see it all the time on the MSE Forum, make suggestions, and watch the resistance to any changes. Again, it's down to control, whether you allow money to control you, or whether you grasp the bull by the horns and say no more. No matter how much advice me or anyone else can give you, ultimately it's down to yourself. Being in debt is a lifestyle choice, being debt free is also a lifestyle choice. You choose.

Thanks very much for reading. Welcome to anyone who has recently found us, stick around, I'd love you to pop in again.
Toodle pip

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Wood and wool

Hello. I spent ages making a video this morning, set it to upload on yooootoooob, hours later it was still only 50% done, so I gave up with it. It wasn't that good anyway, hadn't got the camera positioned right . I'll have another go. 
I decided to make four more shopping bags, then do my walk, then see Stan at the library. I missed him last week, completely forgot about it. Today I had a clear out and took all my books back, and started afresh. Because they don't get date stamped I lose track of how long I've had them. It's a good job Stan doesn't bother with the fines, he always renews them when they are about to go overdue. We can have 20 books off the van, and keep them for eight weeks. Any books taken out of the town centre library only have three weeks on them, but Stan will always renew them so we can keep them longer. 
I've finished this little bit of felting. I made it specifically for this piece of driftwood. I wondered how to fix the felting to the wood, don't like using glue, double sided sticky tape might have done it, and this morning I woke up with an idea, I could nail them together. The wood is soft so small nails would go in easily. 
I knocked them in with a little bit of the head sticking out, then wound some thin wire around all of them, then knocked the nails right in, trapping the wire. Bingo, just the job. 
I like the idea of mixing the softness of the wool with the hard nails and wire. That's just the unusual combination I was looking for.

The wire came out of something electrical that I took apart. Can't remember what it was, but there is always something interesting to re use from broken gadgets.

A piece of stronger wire on the back for hanging.

And there we have it, a cute little wall hanging. Now ready to start another project, or finish one I have already started but not got round to finishing.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Monday, 13 November 2017

In their former life these bags were...........

Hello. Anyone recognize this fabric? I posted about it nearly a year ago. My friends sold up and moved to Scotland, they had to get rid of most of their furniture because it was not needed in their new smaller abode. They swapped a three bed house for an apartment. 
I had three single divan beds from them, some of the wood has been used, and some is stored in my garage. I stripped the fabric from around the sides of the beds, cut it off with a Stanley knife, and washed it. To be honest I thought it might fall apart, the beds were I would say at least 20 years old. 
It didn't fall apart, so now I have used it to make four shopping bags. 
The shiny satiny floral fabric is quilted onto foam, with a lining as well, so the bags are quite strong. They are not as big as a Bag for Life type of bag, 12 inches wide and 16 inches high, but big enough. They will be on the Chat and Craft stall at our Christmas Fair, I reckon they will get snapped up. 

Bailey poodle dog walk done this morning, then sitting with the ladies at Chat and Craft, had lunch, now back to sewing. I might have to put the heat on, it's a bit parky.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Sunday, 12 November 2017

A little piece of wet felting.

Hello. I've been playing around with a bit of wet felting today. I have an idea for a piece of wood and want to add wool to it. I think I will call it Wood and Wool, ha ha.
First I laid out layers of shades of green on a piece of bubble wrap. Crisscrossing them, first one way then the other. I didn't want many layers because I don't want it too thick. It's a small piece. To do this you need to have a hot soapy water mix and wet it thoroughly. Massage it till all the fibres are wet.
Fold over the bubble wrap, wet it on top, and proceed to rub it all over for a long time, pressing down hard on it. Most people use their fingers and a scrunched up plastic bag, I found it easier with a sponge and a spoon. Do this over and over again. Open it up and turn the felt over, and turn it the other way round, and keep rubbing.

Then roll it up like a sausage and keep rolling it a lot. Opening it up and turning it around. Add more soapy water if needed.

Then roll it in the towel, and do the same again. More rolling. The more agitation you can give it the better.

When it's just about the right texture and felted nicely, rinse it under the cold tap. Let it dry.

I have pulled a bit off from around the edges because it was too big, I want rough edges, and added needle felting to it. I could have added the colours before I started it, so it would have all been wet felted, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it. Now there will be lots of stitching added.

If you are making a bigger thicker piece it needs a lot more bashing around. Scrunch it up and throw it down on the worktop. There are plenty of videos on yoootoooob if you want to have a go.

Looks like a sunny day again. I'm about to have lunch, then I'll go out for a couple of hours. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Three hours and eight miles

Hello. Well, after a gut busting lunch I thought I had better go and walk some of it off. The plan was to walk to town and get the bus back. Turning off the main road, and through the corner of the wood. 
The main crop around here is turf. Lots and lots of big fields covered in the green green grass of home.

Passing the horsey paddocks at the back of the estate.

And into another wood. Ooops, better step to the side to miss the puddle.

Another grassy field, this time with a mob of cruel and horrible people walking through it with their dogs and guns, heading for the wood, where they started blasting the pheasants to bits. I switched my hearing aid off so I didn't have to listen to it. Killing for fun with guns should be banned.

Along another field, and another, until I got to the fishing pond. No one fishing today.

I walked along the edge of a field to avoid the busy road, and found a layby with dumped rubbish. It looked like it was from a garage, lots of broken car parts.

More rubbish in a wood. This time a tent. It looked like this was someone's home for a while, empty drinks cans and a bag of rotting food.

This is the pond where I used to take Rocky swimming.

I walked along the road to the second roundabout and decided I didn't want to walk any further. The rest of the route goes along a busy road, it's one that I drive along frequently, nothing of interest to look at. I decided to head off back towards home, taking a different route. Through this industrial estate.

Into a village where the pub has been closed for a long time. It's a shame, it's a lovely building, but the village is small and there wasn't enough customers to keep it open.

I picked up a track along the bottom of the wood, and was lucky enough to see two deer. One of them went into the wood and the other one ran across the field past the turbines.

I caught sight of a fox in the wood, he soon scarpered when he saw me. On the way home now along this track. Daylight is fading and it's starting to get dark, though by the look of this photo it seems quite light.

At the end of the track it starts to go uphill and round a sharp bend into the wood. Oooo 'eck, it's like going through a dark tunnel and it's only five o clock. Forgot to bring a torch, wasn't expecting to be walking in the dark.

Uphill and round another bend, and I can see a street light.

That's better, I'm back in the village. Wouldn't have liked to stay in the dark for much longer.

Eight miles walked and I'm relaxing with a can of ale. Just the job.

Thanks for popping in, enjoy your Sunday, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Adding a quick note for other bloggers. I'm getting a lot of spam garbage in my Awaiting Moderation box. Check each comment in case you inadvertently let them through.

Thought for the day.

If by Rudyard Kipling.

If you can keep your head when all about you;
 Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
 But make allowance for their doubting too.
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
 Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
 And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
 If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,
 And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
 Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
 And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make a heap of all your winnings
 And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
 And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
 To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
 Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
 Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
 If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
 With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
 And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!

See you later. xxx

Friday, 10 November 2017

Lunch and dinner, and sewing

Hello. Here's a spooky photo for you. Looking out of my back window at 6.30am, my reflection in the glass, with a light coming from the side. Pretty cool eh!
My lunch today was cobbled together. I haven't got much food left in the fridge. Watercress, tomato, egg, beetroot, and Quorn nuggets.

Sewing today, I need to make a few things to sell at the Christmas Fair. Small size bunting, the flags are double sided, sewn onto white ribbon.

Need to make shopping bags. I don't have much suitable fabric left for this, but I will dig deep into my stash. Three blue ones made today.

I am also low on cat food so I went to town this afternoon. I've been putting it off for as long as I can, don't much like going to town on the run up to Christmas. There is no dry Ultima cat food left, none to be had, so I've bought two bags of something else, let's see if they will eat it. Needed to get Sheba for Heidi, and Felix for Garcia. I popped into the small Asda while I was there, got a few yellow stickers, a cheap salad for my dinner tonight. There's enough for lunch tomorrow as well. No yellow stickers in Morrisons. I picked up a few things from Aldi as well. Can't be bothered to do a big shop.

I didn't see Mr beardy today, but I saw Mrs Beardy out with the dog. I confessed I had been rather taken by her hubbys whiskers and was chatting him up. She laughed, and said she is not keen. Apparently he grows them every year for Movember. It's a fundraising event to raise money for men's health. The idea is to grow a moustache, but Mr Beardy has gone the whole hog and has stopped shaving. I have known them both for a while, and their two boys. Sometimes the eldest boy walks the dog. So it's all above board, we have a laugh, but his beard definitely suits him.

Thanks for popping in, have a nice weekend, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Flirting, is it a dying art?

Hello. Yesterday I was a brazen hussy, I had a little flirt. I thought I had forgotten how to do that, but no, it all came back to me in an instant.  

I couldn't stop myself, I don't know where it came from. These are not my lips by the way. A man walking his dog who I see from time to time, we often have a little chat, has grown a beard to keep the wind off his face for the winter. He's a nice chap anyway, but with full facial he is even better looking.

We had a bit of banter, he is a friendly sort, and I complimented him on his new winter whiskers, and then it happened, I flirted. Can't tell you what I said, but we both laughed. I shocked myself as soon as it came out of my mouth, the old lorry driver in me came to the surface. Thank goodness he took it in the jovial way I meant it. With all the hoohaa about inappropriate innuendo's flying around and people getting all hot under the collar about being propositioned, I wondered if I had over stepped the mark. Hopefully not, I expect I shall find out the next time I see him. If he walks straight by me and ignores me, I'll know he was offended. If he stops to chat I will know he took it in the light hearted way I meant it. Mind you, there's no denying, he is drop dead gorgeous, ha ha.

I've always enjoyed a bit of flirting, never been backwards at coming forwards when I have been in the company of fanciable men. In fact I have always preferred to choose my men, rather than wait for someone to choose me.

We have to be careful now though, how sad that chatting people up is no longer acceptable. Hasn't it been the case ever since the year dot that if you took a liking to someone you let them know, just in case you might stand a chance of getting a date. So what happens now? No more flirting. How sad.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Hoping to exhibit at Ferens Gallery

Hello. I've been to Hull today, to the Central Library, where a nice young lady helped me with listing my artworks on the Ferens Art Gallery site. I have applied to put these three pictures in the Open Exhibition which starts in February, through to March. 

I have chosen these because they are not as big as some of the others. If any are picked for the exhibition I will have to deliver them, and the gallery is in the centre of Hull with no parking at the front. According to the terms and conditions they have to have a certain type of frame to enable them to attach the plates at the back for fixing them to the wall. Some of my big pictures don't have conventional frames.

Applying to a gallery is not as easy as you think. The online process is a bit complicated. That's why they were offering assistance to anyone that is not familiar with it. I asked the young lady if anyone else was as hopeless as me. She said someone had actually taken their canvas along with them and she had to use her ipad to photograph it. It says on the instructions not to take your work, but to take  photographs of it.

I took my camera with me, but told her I had also put them on my blog. She got the blog on the screen and took them from there.  Now I have to wait and see if any are chosen by the judges. They must get hundreds of entries so they have got a job on their hands to pick the ones they want.

I had already had a quick look around the Ferens Gallery when I arrived, the contenders for the Turner Prize are on display. I must say I thought it was all a load of baloney, a lot of it looked like it was made by a childrens playgroup. It didn't make sense to me.

It was dark by the time I came out of the library so I decided to go straight back to the bus station. Luckily a bus arrived within five minutes, but we crawled through the heavy traffic out of Hull. Over the bridge to the quiet roads of North Lincolnshire.

Now I have to do my walk. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip