Wednesday 24 January 2018

On feeling vulnerable and up to date

Hello All
Firstly Hello to Charlotte Weaver, Jennifer and Fenella Rowe on Bloglovin and Jennifer Williams on the follower bar. Thanks so much for following, especially as I am such a tardy blogger!

As as I have said in my last blog, there are several changes happening here in frugalderbyshireland. One of the outcomes of my youngest daughter moving away for a year or two  has been the rehoming of her cats and dog. As Sammie, her black labrador, comes to us for doggie day care and has separation anxiety issues the obvious choice of new home is us! Over the next few months while she is splitting herself between two other jobs he is spending much of his time here anyway and when she goes to Jersey he will stay with us full time. As for her cats..she has three, or I should say HAD three as she has gradually rehomed them over the last month. Her older long haired tortoiseshell has gone to her son's, her younger ginger haired three-legged cat now lives with her daughter and her huge, grey, half bengal, psycho cat is now with us ! After losing our Dixie last year we have missed having a cat and Baloo (also known as Beebop) is fitting in well and has made himself at home. Baloo is unfazed by dogs and has made it clear to Coda ( my eldest granddaughter's dog who comes here for daycare) and Sammie just where they are in the pecking order.
Coda and Baloo went missing yesterday. I hunted around the house and found them on my bed!

 Here is Baloo again with Coda (and me) sharing a sofa this time.

 Over the last year my circle of friends has been affected by illness, disability, death and accidents. I am beginning to feel like the last man standing! Being in our 70s I suppose I shouldn't be surprised but I really am starting to wonder if perhaps I might not be invincible  and perhaps it could happen to me. I am currently the only person in my circle of friends who takes no medication (my choice) and is, on the whole, pretty well. This is fortuitous, as I lead an active life, but when my close friend, who I see at least weekly, slipped and broke her ankle a couple of weeks ago, I wondered how we would cope if that happened to me. I suppose I would delegate tasks to others (and there are less and less of them!) and some things would have to wait a while, but what I fear most is that I think I would go stir-crazy being immobilised.

Quick up to date here on what has been happening on the old homestead -
We've been really busy with the Civic Society and Canal Society this month and my "office" looks as though a bomb has hit it! I wish I was tidier, I really try but somehow other things take over and I drift off from the chaos. I look at pictures on other people's blogs and think how good it would be to be that organised.
I have started the early seeds off under the propagator with the help of my grandson's partner. She is unable to work because of a disability, but has been really helpful with this task and we have quite a good system going. We have also started on the huge fabric stash, cutting out patchwork pieces and shopping bags.
I'm taking the last veggies from the garden now. Kale, beetroot, brussels and celeriac (I had some salad leaves but the chickens found them!) I made a lovely gratin type dish the other day with the celeriac. I just layered slices of potato, celeriac, onion and grated cheese into an ovenproof dish, poured a little vegetable stock and cooked for 30 mins. it was a great hit with the family.
For the first time this winter the river has been up to the banks, though not over. In past years it has broken it's banks and flooded a little of the paddock. The weather is till pretty mild on the whole, but then winter is not really over yet is it?
We have bought a new car. We expect this will last us for the remainder of our driving lives. It is another Berlingo multispace, which suits our lifestyle. The car salesman was somewhat bemused to hear how many bales of hay, pallets and lambs could be carried in a Berlingo!.. "Could you send a photo for our facebook page"? he asked
Lastly, it looks as though we are on lockdown because of Bird Flu again. really?! Come on . It's almost impossible.
Back Soon

Tuesday 2 January 2018

Hello All and a Happy New Year
Well Christmas has come and gone. Much as I enjoy it I also like to return to normal (whatever that is!)
Christmas day was lovely, after a shaky start when the power went off at 8.15, an hour after I had put the very large turkey in the oven. I looked outside and there were no Christmas lights to be seen so I gathered it wasn't us, but a general power cut. You could almost hear all the households screaming Noooooooo! I decided to go outside and see to the hens and rabbits. On my return 20 minutes later the phone was ringing. it was my granddaughter ringing from her father's house, some fifteen miles away. "Is your power off"? she asked  "Blimey" I thought,"Tthis is a major outage". "Why yes", I replied (as it came back on) "Are you off too?" "No I saw it on ... (local friend) facebook post!" So all was back on and I spent a goodly while thinking about what I would have done if the power had been off for the morning. I do like a challenge, especially a self-sufficient, SHTF- type situation. Does anyone else do this?
So onto lunch, just 14 people this year, which made for a little more elbow-room at the table. In the early evening, as is usual, my sister and her sons arrived with their families to join us. A few weeks before, my younger daughter and myself had found some odds and sods of cine film taken by my dad many years ago, which we had converted to DVD. We surprised everyone with a film show. It was lovely to see my parents and grandmother and our children, now 47 and 50, as babies. (We were also quite surprised at how many shots of women's bottoms were taken by dad while on various beaches!) The younger generation, that is, my sister's and my grandchildren, were shocked to see people smoking in the house and naked children playing on the beach. How times have changed eh?!
And talking of change......
The left-overs are now all sorted, eaten or frozen and we face a new year with some big changes for our family. The first came just before Christmas when our granddaughter and her partner moved out of ours to their own home, they have been living with us for over two years so we do feel that we are rattling around the house at the mo. They have moved four miles away ( the house was even on Homes under the Hammer!) and we still provide doggy-daycare, so still see them often. A more radical change is my elder daughter moving to another county! This is not as far as it sounds as she is to move to south Yorkshire while we live to the north of Derbyshire, which abuts said county. She has gained a significant promotion and she and her husband and daughter (and pony) are to decamp in the new year (oh my goodness that is now!!) As if that change wasn't enough to rattle our cosy little world, my younger daughter has been asked to be part of a team setting up a utilities project, for four years in Jersey!
We are still getting our heads around all this. Now I know that many of you have family all over the world and that we are so lucky to have had our little family within 10 miles of us since we, ourselves, were born. But Crikey !!!!!
That being said, we are SO proud of our daughters for doing so well and our granddaughter for buying her own home aged 23 years.
2018 is going to be very different for us isn't it?

I think I will leave it at that for now and post again soon. While I don't make new year's resolutions I AM determined to blog more in 2018.
Love Gillx
PS Has anyone read the biography by Caroline Fraser about laura Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie)?