Sunday, January 30

Something hot n spicy for Sunday!

I am not sure where I saw this cartoon but it did make me laugh and seemed appropriate to share in the new Weekend Cookery challenge I am taking part of.



As I shared on Friday I am following Slimming World's Diet and was thrilled to lose 1 stone. I would like to lose a further 2 stone but am happy with the progress I am making. All the recipes I share will be what I eat on a regular basis as part of my diet.
From time to time we have taster sessions and the recipe I am sharing today was voted one of the favourites at class.

Denise's hot n spicy lettle something.
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 tins kidney beans
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon chilli

Blitz tomatoes + dry curry powders in processor
Add kidney beans and blitz till beans are just broken up - not mushy

Meanwhile in microwave or on cooker scramble 2 eggs
Stir in some of the spicy mixture

Enjoy!

This mixture is also great on a crispbread on top of fat free cottage cheese.

Saturday, January 29

Beauty up the lane!.

For a change today we went up Parkhouse Farm Lane - some lovely captures don't you think!





As I was taking this particular photograph I was aware of a "pressence" behind me. I turned really really slowly, camera poised!


A good morning wouldn't you say!

Thursday, January 27

Reasons to be Cheerful, 10,11,12.

It's that time of the week again! Why not join in?



Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy with a Heart


It's that time of the week again! 3 more reasons to be cheerful.




I lost 3lb this week - which means I was awarded with my 1stone loss certificate! I am so chuffed! 2 more stone to go, but I am one third down the road of my journey.
 

I made a new friend this week and I am so pleased I did. I am sure some of you will know Mum@themadhouse . Well, it would appear we are only a few miles away from each other so I invited her round for lunch and she brought me this wonderful gift! I am looking forward to popping in for coffee and getting to know her. I am sure we will have fun together.



Our neighbours/friends are moving this weekend and John brought me over some very special keepsakes which I am honoured to have. John's mum was a teacher and a keen porcelain painter - he has given me her paints, so I have sent off for a book of instructions and will be putting the paints to a good use. He also gave me her sewing machine - a "singer" again, I was so touched - even more reason to get my sewing skills sorted. I have had an idea of getting together a group of friends and neighbours once a fortnight to learn and share new crafts - should be fun!

All in all a great week!

Tuesday, January 25

ABC Wednesday (although it is Tuesday) and a Giveaway!


It is time for ABC Wednesday again. For round 8 I am using my home and life as a theme, sharing various posessions and keepsakes.

B is for Bev - one of our hens.



Bev is a Black Marran breed and gives us Blue eggs!


We have not had many eggs of late but a few weeks ago Olwyn started laying the occasional egg. Olwyn is one of the larger brown ones. A few days ago Bev joined in with the laying and now lays an egg each day. When I let the hens out each morning there is usually 1 or 2 eggs in the henhouse. Eva or May have joined in again, I know this by the colour of egg.

Last year Bev became broody, along with Mabel and spent a while over the road with a neighbors eggs. Bev was not successful in hatching hers, but Mabel was. Sadly the snow was the unexpected hazard and her chick died. Bev returned here and after a short period of establishing a pecking order, soon integrated with the rest of our hens. In the meantime it would seem Mabel has a fan! A banty cockerel who sits by her side day after day and follows her wherever she goes. She will be returning home sometime this week - together with the new love of her life. Currently he hasn't a name - so I am looking for ideas. We tend to name our animals with traditional names. So any ideas?

The suggestions received will be dropped into a box - the winner will receive a set of my cards.

If you fancy joining in gwith ABC Wednesday go here

Sunday, January 23

7 facts about me

Earlier this week I was tagged by 2 of my blogging friends, Jo and Freerange Girl
they both gave me this award which I am sharing with any of my lovely blogging friends who would like to post 7 random facts about themselves. Here are mine :-


MY 7 RANDOM FACTS

1. My little finger on my left hand is bent.
This is a result of a fall in a netball match, teachers v. pupils, back in 1980.
It remained weak and lo and behold I dislocated it again about 8 years ago.
Quite simply it was knocked and jumped out of joint.
One day I will get it fixed, but know it will be painful!

2. My middle name is Elizabeth, after my nana who was Eizabeth Ellen, known as Dolly.
The family came over from Germany just at the beginning of the war.
Her father was a clockmaker. The name was Schumacer, so I may be related to Michael!

3. When I was 16 I worked as a nurse aid in a local hospital, now demolished.
I was based on the men's medical ward.
One job I had to do was to "prepare" the patients for surgery.
This meant shaving private areas with a razor!

4. I can play the spoons.I find the older, soup spoons are the best.

5. I enjoy pease pudding .
I did not eat it for over 15 years following a school dinner episode when I was 7.
On a table of 6, I was the only one who liked it, so I swapped my dinner with the others on my table in return for their pease pudding.
I ate a whole plate full!
I wasn't very popular that afternoon!

6. I have evil thoughts about a former teacher, Mr. Pallister.
When I was 9 and not liking cheese pie or coconut pudding he made an example of me in front of the whole junior school, by forcing me to eat them both!
"People like me pay taxes so people like you can have free school meals!"
Were the kind words he said at the time.
Soon after my dinner I played skips and was sick.
I was so frightened I ran home to Auntie Dot.
I can picture her to this day, baking at the kitchen table.
She walked straight to the school, apron on, rolling pin in hand.
My family had a whip round and from then on I did not have a free school meal again, even though I was entitled to them.

7. I was banned from Weightwatchers in 1986.
I was in the meeting with my friend, we were chatting quietley. However the leader was not happy with this.
She turned and shouted "Would you like to share the secret of your success with the rest of the class Denise?" She bellowed!
"Before I came to Weightwatchers I would have a cooked breakfast, go to school and have tea and biscuits.
At playtime I would have more tea and biscuits.
Lunchtime I would have a school dinner.
Afternoon break, tea and biscuits.
Home for tea then out for a few drinks with friends, followed often by fish and chips.
Home for cocoa and a biscuit!"
I replied.
"And what now?"
She asked..
"I don't have a biscuit with my cocoa!"
Was my reply!
"Your attitude is not welcome here at Weightwatchers!"
Meanwhile she had been holding a bread roll up which she had poked her finger into...to show us how much starch was in the bun.
As we stood up my friend shouted..
"If you are going to abuse that roll I have it?"
We never went back, but I did loose 20lbs!

Over to you!

Saturday, January 22

Sharing my plans for the kitchen

I am joining in a new meme this week and what better way than to introduce myself by showing you round my kitchen - as it is now. I LOVE this room as I love cooking and will be really inspired when the work is finished.








This wall is between the snug and the kitchen - because the kitchen is SO warm when the Aga is on we feel there is sufficient heat to warm both rooms - so we are knocking through into the snug and having double doors here. All of the wall cupboards are going to become base for book shelves. The dresser is going to be painted and will go on the far left wall next to the window. I am quite fancying a pale sage green colour for the units as the granite worktops have a green hint of colour. The base units will be used elsehere too

 

The Aga will stay put but the lids will be replaced and the black top re-enamelled, it should look like new Jon wants to strip down the inside and refurbish any worn parts. To the right of the Aga we are having a cupboard fitted which will do right up to the ceiling - no gaps for dust. This will be covered with a shutter so the microwave etc will be hidden.

 

The patio doors (which are old anyway) are being replaced by a single door and ajoining window. This will allow another unit to be fitted under the window. The washing machine and fridge will be housed here, integrated. The white appliance you can just see is the dishwasher. This will hidden when another wooden panel is fitted infront of it, making it integral too. All tiles are coming down, all wall cupboards are coming down and being used  for storage in the porch. You will notice just behind the sink the wall dips back. I am having a shelf fitted and my crockery (all white) will sit here - straight from the dishwasher.


The cupboard in the left corner, currently home to the washing machine will become my pantry. It was one originally but the door was in the hall. We moved it into the kitchen. The floor tiles will remain and again the cupboards will be painted.

I am clicking at my heels to begin! The colour theme will run through the house - inspired by my curtains.




How is this for coincidence - I googled "Next Alium Curtains" a few minutes ago - these are the curtains I have in both the snug and large lounge - bought for next to nothing at the Next Clearance. I love them. Anyway, I came across a link in Google images to a lady who is selling a pair - large size (the curtains not the lady)...and now I have bought them so will have sufficient to make a kitchen blind! Way hey!

Friday, January 21

Reasons to be cheerful - 7,8,9!

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy with a Heart


It's that time of the week again! 3 more reasons to be cheerful.


1. The plans we have for updating the house are coming together. I am particularly happy about the decisions we have made for the kitchen. The pine units are staying, be it a bit of moving and shaking but we are reversing the doors and having a shaker theme. The Aga too is staying and is having a make over. The dust produced from a solid fuel Aga is a huge amount so I don't want any coving or fancy pelmets on any of my cupboards anymore. I have had 20 years of it. All wall cupboards are coming down but going elsewhere in the house. I am a frugal person to heart and I just can not replace the units for the sake of it. No - they are all staying - I look forward to sharing the pictures of our progress.



2. My neighbour has agreed to come with her sewing machine and help me get to grips with mine. One of my New Year's Intentions was to develop my sewing ability. Margie use to be a lecturer in Home Economics and is an excellent sewer. We had a good chat today and we even discussed making loose covers for our settees! lol! Still - watch this space and be prepared to be amazed/shocked/disgusted! Time will tell!

3. I lost 1.5 lb at Slimming World. This brings me 1 lb off being back on track!

Thursday, January 20

Thought for Thursday

Today's Inspirational Quote:






"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are."
-- e.e. cummings

Good to feel back on track with my diet - lost 1.5lb at weigh in last night, so if I can shift another 1lb this week I will have lost the weight I gained over Christmas and be on track to have lost 1 stone! I must say I have been eating lots of grapefruit and homemade soup. Made a quick yet tasty soup yesterday :-
2 potatoes
2 onions
1/4 white cabbage

Steam all of the above
Bltz cabbage and onion finely in processor
Just roughly blitz potato
Add 1/2 pint boiling water + stock cubes + seasoning.
Enjoy!

Let the battle continue!

Tuesday, January 18

A is for Aga!

Our Kitchen



This is our Aga - we bought it second hand 20 years ago and as far as we know we think it's about 54 years old. It is solid fuel (amthrocite) and we have it on in the cold months - which let's face it is most of the year Generally speaking Jon usually lights it around the end of Septemmber/beginning of October and we keep it going (well Jon does) until warm Spring days. As you look at it - the bottom left door is the door which is opened when the ash pan is taken out. The top right door is the hot oven and the bottom right door is the warm oven. The lids on top shield the hotplates - the left one is the hot one and the right one is the simmering one. The black square box behind the hotplates is the entrance from the flu to the chimney, this means any smells go straight up the chimney - burning food and all! If I put something in the oven I have to use a timer so I don't forget about it!
Needless to say, especially when there is a bit of a wind up, the kitchen is warm, very warm and being the frugal person I am, I like to make the most of it. I ALWAYS wash something after teatime knowing if I hang it on the airer it will all be dry in the morning, so indeed when this is the case I go into Widow Twanky mode and wash everything in sight!
I also like to make the most of the ovens and have something slow cooking all the time, or at least most of the time. In a few days I have cooked enough meals to keep us going for a month!
Over the next few months we are re-modelling parts of our house and the kitchen is one of these parts. I look forward to sharing our progress and thoughts - with lots of pictures!

This is Round 8 of ABC Wednesday and this time I am using our home as a theme and look forward to sharing various possessions, keepsakes and favourite objects over the next few weeks!

Sunday, January 16

Quote for today!



"Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, 'Where have I gone wrong?'
Then a voice says to me, 'This is going to take more than one night.'"

-- Charles M. Schulz

This mornings quotation made me smile! Hope it does the same for you!

Will be pottering today - Jon is beavering away at the workshop with urgent jobs that need to be delivered/collected tomorrow. The sky is looking absolutely horrible so I want to take Freida up the lane before the rain comes. Yes, such dull weather is the perfect setting for a good old dose of housework and laundry! and believe me I am reved up to do such chores! Widow Twanky mode for me today!
I will explain next time why I feel empowered to wash for England and cook for an army - must get on!

Friday, January 14

Reasons to be cheerd=ful, 4,5,6.

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy with a Heart


The new meme I joined in last week finds me here again with more reasons to be cheerful. A great way to start any day, Friday in particular so here are mine today.


 

We keep hens and they often cause me to have a smile! One in particular is my shadow, little Eva. This photo was taken yesterday when she followed me down the drive to collect the evening paper from my neighbour Ro. Ro always laughs as she knows when she sees me coming down the drive Eva will be following. The hens reward us with wonderful eggs - sparse at the moment as they don't like the cold weather, but hopefully spring will remind them why we got them in the first place!

 

My faithful companion Freida. We go for walks everyday and when she sees her lead coming off the hook she makes the most hilarious wolf howl you could imagine, so funny from such a quiet dog.

 
Being married to an engineer is a godsend! This is part of his actual precision work and is his main job, however Jon likes to understand how things work - so from fixing the washing machine, hoover, fuse box and plumming, Jon has a thorough understanding and working knowledge! I know I am truly blessed! lol! Mind you, he knows he is too - he's a big fan of my cooking and loves Saturday night in particular when I always cook a special meal. This week it is wood pigeon!
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Thursday, January 13

Thought for Thursday

snowdrops%202%20crop

This morning I received my thought for the day, courtesy of www.innerspace.org.uk

Think Differently
The world is what you think of it.  So think of it differently and your life will change.
When you wake up, instead of thinking: Can I sleep just a little bit more?  Think differently: What can I read right now, that's inspirational or motivational? 
When thinking about exercise, instead of thinking: What difference will it make if I just skip a day?  Don't I deserve a day off? Think differently: What should I listen to while I workout to make this session more fun?
When considering eating healthy, instead of thinking: What foods am I going to have to give up?  Think differently: What foods that I like will I get to eat more of?  What new recipes can I experiement with?

Last night at Slimming World I maintained my current weight – a loss of 9.5 lb which means although I initially lost 12lb I gained 2.5lb over Christmas and the times our classes were cancelled due to bad weather – so I guess I have got to move up the action bar and make a determined effort this week. This quote therefore did seem to ring a few bells. The change in the weather helps and the general temperature does seem warmer – which is a good thing here as we ran out of oil last night and the Aga is making its way through the last bag of coal….hopefully we are having a delivery of oil this afternoon and the coalman is on our case!

Tuesday, January 11

Zen Fun

Z


Well here we are week 26 of ABC Wednesday Round 7. I worked out that this is my 182nd ABC Wednesday contribution and this fun weekly meme is set to continue to Round 8! As Wednesday approaches I do find myself thinking what can I possibly think of next, and in this amazing world we live in, there is always something out there. Ofcourse there are some letters more complicated than others, X in particular but people ALWAYS come up with something and when you visit the ABC Wednesday Blog you will get a taste of the great imagination and creativity we see each week. Although it is known as ABC Wednesday we tend to start posting on a Tuesday due to time differences across the world so her is my Z contribution!

It is only recently I have come across the  Zen philosophy ......as Wikipedia puts it....

Zen is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism. The Japanese word Zen is derived from the Chinese word Chán, which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna, which means "meditation" or "meditative state.
Zen emphasizes experiential Wisdom in the attainment of enlightenment. As such, it de-emphasizes theoretical knowledge in favor of direct realization through meditation and dharma practice. The teachings of Zen include various sources of Mahāyāna thought, including the Prajñāpāramitā literature and the teachings of the Yogācāra and Tathāgatagarbha schools.

The emergence of Zen as a distinct school of Buddhism was first documented in China in the 7th century CE. From China, Zen spread south to Vietnam, and east to Korea and Japan. As a matter of tradition, the establishment of Zen is credited to the Persian [1] or South Indian prince-turned-monk Bodhidharma, who came to China to teach a "special transmission outside scriptures, not founded on words or letters".

Bearing this in mind I thought the following competition was a fun way to illustrate this today! I would also like to make a special mention of one ABC blogger, Gerald who has, like so many others been part of ABC Wednesday since day 1 and writes Haiku and other fantastic poetry! Thanks so much Gerald - Enjoy!
 
ZEN HAIKU FOR COMPUTER USERS


A contest was held to replace the impersonal and unhelpful Microsoft error messages with Haiku poetry messages led to the following beauties. ((Formal Haiku poetry has strict construction rules; each poem has only 17 syllables; 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second line, 5 in the third line. They are used to communicate a timeless message, often achieving a wistful, yearning and powerful insight through extreme brevity.)

A file that big?
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.

David J. Liszewski

Everything is gone;
Your life's work has been destroyed.
Squeeze trigger (yes/no)?

David Carlson
 
The web-site you seek
Cannot be located,
but Countless more exist.

Joy Rothke

Errors have occurred.
Look within for where and why.
Lazy programmers.

Charlie Gibbs
 
You step in the stream,
But the water has moved on.
This page is not here.

Chass Whittington
 
Program aborting:
Close all you have worked on.
You ask far too much.
 
Yesterday it worked.
Today it is not working.
Windows is like that.

Margaret Segall
 
If you fancy joining in visit here!

Sunday, January 9

Inspiration!

Frances Summerfield   

Many people, including myself have made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. I attend Slimming World on a Wednesday night and it was there I met Frances. As you can see from the photograph on the left Frances is now very fit as opposed to how she was only a few years ago. (Far left in the photograph). Frances has lost a staggering 10 stone!

Frances like me, enjoys cooking so I am going to share a recipe each week which follows Slimming World guidelines. This week I am using my own Leek & Potato Soup recipe.

4 leeks

6 potatoes

2 vegetable stock cubes

2 laughing cow cheese spread triangles (purple wrappers are the very low fat ones)

Seasoning

Low fat natural yoghurt for stirring in when cooked

 

Steam vegetables & when cooked blitz to required consistency ie some may like more lumps/texture than others. Pour  1 pint of boiling water into a jug, crumble in stock cubes and add cheese triangles and whisk until all is a liquid. Add to leek and potato mixture in pan and stir until thick. Season add yoghurt and serve.

 

I enjoy Slimming World – we have a great laugh! Last week I was nominated to be the person who greets new members as they enter class! Wonder why? lol!

Saturday, January 8

Reasons to be cheerful - 1, 2, 3!

Visiting Chrystal Jigsaw's blog today I saw that she had joined in with a fun project, so I have decided to give it a go. I have always tried to keep my blog positive and to spend time finding reasons to be cheerful sounds a good way to spend a few minutes on a Saturday afternoon, as when we read others reasons it can only make the day a better one, or at least one to spend time being cheerful and therfore grateful.

There is no personal charm so great as the charm of a cheerful temperament.

Henry Van Dyke


1. The sun is shining today! This makes me very cheerful and indeed shortly I will taking my German Shepherd Freida for a walk up the village. Whenever I go for a walk the surroundings lift my spirits as I never fail to enjoy the wonders of the village surroundings North Yorkshire has to be one of the most lovely parts of England. Having said that, it has been one of the worst hit by the recent snow so to see the blue sky and sunshine, and Dan the horse next door enjoying it too could only put a smile on my face.



2. Tonight we are having another family get together, hosted by the other Mrs Nesbitt in my life, my lovely mother in law. The anticipation of such a gathering makes me very cheerful as we always have great fun. My MIL and I are great friends. My own mum is sadly not here anymore, she passed away in 1994 but the time we spent together always make me smile as such memories are fond and happy.



3. The nature I see all around makes me very  appreciative and responsible. To leave out food and scraps and to be rewarded by such regular visits again makes me cheerful. Yes reasons to be cheerful, 1, 2, 3!

Thursday, January 6

When good things happen!


I love buying books! We have our own allocted shelves in the snug - Jon's to the left, mine to the right. To say they are full is an understatement, but the matter will be addressed when we re-model the house as we are having more shelving built in the lounge. This will allow us to continue acquiring books. Looking at my collection I see a vast amount of "Grow your own" themed books. Trouble is, I read such books and THINK I have carried out what the book has set out to tell me. Most of the time such books leave me feeling overwhelmed with advice and an uncertainty about WHERE to start. Each year I set out WANTINg to grow something but the helplessness sets in and I find myself achieving very little, just a feeling of failure. I read the results of others and the despair grows.........
however...............
The other day I was reading through a few blogs and indeed left a comment on one saying I needed to buy a diary! The next thing I knew a lovely person was offering the Sarah Raven's Diary as a swap! Straight away I responded and today a wonderful parcel arrived. What is more the diary sets out simple, manageable tasks for each month so I now can see a plot to my garden plans for 2011! How wonderful is that!
Watch this space for future revelations!

New Year Resolution Update:-
1. Not to use any plastic carrier bags and to really cut down on packaging....done this! Now have a piece of plastic bag on my keyring to remind me as I leave the house.


2. Eat healthily....Back on board with Slimming World - only gained 2.5lb over a month - this is the first gain since joining in September - I can live with this after such a fantastic Christmas and New Year - bring it on!

3. Sew....Bought something - will be experimenting soon - whether or not I share just yet is very touch and go!

Tuesday, January 4

Y is for Yorkshire

 

Flag of Yorkshire

 

  Yorkshire in England

Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom.Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform. Throughout these changes, Yorkshire has continued to be recognised as a geographical territory and cultural region The name is familiar and well understood across the United Kingdom and is in common use in the media and the military, and also features in the titles of current areas of civil administration, such as Yorkshire and the Humber and West Yorkshire.

Within the borders of the historic county of Yorkshire are areas which are widely considered to be among the greenest in England, due to the vast stretches of unspoiled countryside in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors and to the open aspect of some of the major cities. Yorkshire has sometimes been nicknamed God's Own County.[ The emblem of Yorkshire is the white rose of the English royal House of York, and the most commonly used flag representative of Yorkshire is the White Rose on a dark blue background, which after years of use, was recognised by the Flag Institute on 29 July 2008. Yorkshire Day, held on 1 August, is a celebration of the general culture of Yorkshire, ranging from its history to its own dialect.

I was born in North Yorkshire and although I spent 10 years in Nottingham, I returned in 1986 when my Dad died. I love the yorkshire scenery, people and dry sense of humour so I thought for ABC Wednesday  I would share some yorkshire fun!

 

Yorkshire people are a very particular breed: they can be dour, they speak their minds and they are hard working, friendly and kind. Yorkshire people refer to their county as 'God's own county,' and indeed can boast some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain.

Yorkshire man takes his cat to the vet.
Yorkshireman: Ayup, lad, I need to talk to thee about me cat.
Vet: Is it a tom?
Yorkshireman: Nay, I've browt it with us.

A Yorkshireman's dog dies and as it was a favourite pet he decides to have a gold statue made by a jeweller to remember the dog by.
Yorkshireman: Can tha mek us a gold statue of yon dog?
Jeweller: Do you want it 18 carat?
Yorkshireman: No I want it chewin' a bone yer daft beggar.

A Yorkshireman's wife dies and the widower decides that her headstone should have the words "she were thine" engraved on it. He calls the stone mason, who assures him that the headstone will be ready a few days after the funeral. True to his word the stone mason calls the widower to say that the headstone is ready and would he like to come and have a look.
When the widower gets there he takes one look at the stone to see that it's been engraved "she were thin".
He explodes, 'Blimey man, you've left the "e" out.'
The stone mason apologises and assures the poor widower that it will be rectified the following morning. Next day comes and the widower returns to the stone mason, 'There you go sir, I've put the "e" on the stone for you.'
The widower looks at the stone and then reads out aloud, 'E, she were thin.'

Saturday, January 1

Thinking Aloud!


New Year is here and like the rest of the planet I have been THINKING about making some resolutions. Notice I use the word THINKING!
Christmas time has been a pretty good time and I have been eating various snacks and treats which I wouldn't normally choose. I am now back on my diet so I will aim to eat healthier in 2011, attending Slimming World each week. Quite a few of the classes were cancelled due to the bad weather, but come Wednesday 5th I will be there. I would think there will be quite a few new members!!!!

I want to do something new. THINKING alond the lines of sewing!!!! THINKING remember! I have a couple of sewing machines - one is a really good one which I bought from a tabletop sale at a local residential home. An absolute bargain - but have I used it? No! Do I KNOW how to use it properly? No! However I KNOW somebody who DOES so I just MAY have a word with my friend and neighbour Margy!

2011 is a very significant year for me as I am taking my early retirement agreement. The Teacher's Pension scheme is one of the better ones and the current financial mess regarding pensions makes me rather nervous of future developments and plans - so I am taking mine on my 55th birthday! Yes I will loose a small % of the lump sum but the annual pension will equal this out and a bit more in the 5 years before I reach 60!

We will have been in our house for 20 years, come 28th June and we need to do some repairs and updating - I am looking forward to this and it WOULD be a good learning curve for my sewing development! Jon is a wizz with DIY so it would be a good joint project! Hmmmm yes, I like the sound of that!

2011 then - I will have 3 basic aims:-
1. Not to use any plastic carrier bags and to really cut down on packaging.
2. Eat healthily.
3. Sew.

Anybody else making any plans?
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