Yesterday and today have passed in a blur, quite literally! Friday morning was taken up with general chores and then a school meeting that went on until lunchtime. I came home, ate some lunch, watched the news (something I do more often at the moment whilst all this financial/economic stuff is happening!), cleaned out a couple of the chicken houses, had to have a shower and then went to gym. After gym, we ate, and watched Wire in the Blood, then I had to do a bit of work on the computer with a couple of DVDs from gym. Watching other coaches is really helpful to get ideas for teaching, but I really need to sit down with a pen and paper and make notes, which I didn't, so I'll need to watch again more carefully!
This morning was a rerun of most Saturday mornings - get up, fling a load of school clothes in the washing machine, get everyone up, sort the poultry, hang the washing, pack a snack and get going! We picked up a little friend from town to come and play for the afternoon, who is now staying the night, and came home. She was fascinated with all the birds, and wanted to hold a rabbit, which she has done, and been chuffed with herself.
You will have noticed the prevalence of visiting children lately! As I said the other day, I don't mind and I would much rather that these children feel welcome and happy to come here than my children disappear off to play in the streets. There is a bit of a protective mother in there, but there is also the fact that there are limited opportunities in a small, rural village for children to get together other than on the street, so I would prefer that they played at home. The weather hasn't been great today so although they did go out on the trampoline for a while, they have been plaiting hair, drawing, watching "Ballet Shoes", playing on the computer, looking after the hamster, chatting and generally just having fun together.
I have been reading other people's views on the huge influence that Tesco exerts on us all in myriad different ways. We have currently got a fairly small supermarket on the outskirts of the nearest town which is a Tesco, but they are preparing to open a huge one there on the 20th of this month; it will be a 24 hour opening one, and is about 3 times the size of the current one. I realise that the current one is small compared to most these days, but it is a good size and carries most of what people generally want to buy, but it seems that perhaps Mr Tesco, or the powers that be, think that a bigger shop might make more money because it has the space to sell a wider range of products. I would like to move away from shopping at Tesco, but the unfortunate reality of the local shops is that I would find it hard to buy basic goods such as flour, sugar, teabags, etc. I could go (I do, but not regularly) to a butcher for meat, and to a veg shop for greengrocery, although we are growing more ourselves, and I can get toiletries from chemists, but where do I go for the basics? The only place I can think of is a wholefood co-op in Cambridge which neither sells exactly what I want to buy nor is conveniently placed - it is over 30 miles away and charges "wholefood" prices, rather than "normal" prices - I do accept that I am not going to get things at prices comparable to Tesco "Value" prices outside of that store.
In the present situation, I feel trapped in the shadow of Tesco. It is cost-effective to shop there because I can get most of the shopping there and that reduces the car journeys I need to make - it would be a completely different scenario if I lived in the small town in Scotland where I lived for about 8 years. There was a butcher, a greengrocer, several chemists, a "pound" shop for bits and pieces, a small Co-op, and a Lidl. I walked from shop to shop, putting the purchases under my pram and often picking up fresh fruit and meat or fish daily. We often remark upon the time we used only one tank of diesel in a three month period because we hardly used the car - we could walk to the doctor, the dentist, the shops, playgroup, etc and it was great. I get the feeling that I am stuck in the rural village we have chosen to live in, and because we have to be economical with fuel and time these days, I cannot practically manage to live in all the ways we would if things were different. We also run two cars now whereas then we got on fine with just the one.
So, living in the Fens has its bad points, but we chose to live here for the space and the generous sized house that we enjoy - so the good points of this include benefits such as the room to grow produce, to have the poultry, to stockpile and to enjoy the wide, open skies. I'll keep thinking about the Tesco issue, and maybe (Maybe?) challenge myself to stay away for a while and see how I get on - but should I avoid all supermarkets or just that one? Will think about that and report back. Another cockerel on the menu for tomorrow, so I will have to take the plucker a cup of tea!
I got my car back yesterday, but the chap from the garage had to come and get it on Thursday afternoon. I had arranged to drop it off to him on Thursday morning, so I dropped the YFG off to school in the FH's car, and then came home to take mine to the garage - and it didn't even have a flicker of life in the battery - not a glimmer! So the mechanic had to come and tow it into the garage, but he worked his magic on it and it is back in fine form today, thank goodness. The FH needed his car today so I am very relieved that I got mine back.
I have had a word with my sister about the sewing machine this evening but she doesn't really kow much about it but I have found a website which has downloadable Singer instruction booklets. I have taken down three of them and so when I can work out which machine I have, I may be able to make it work. I would really like to, because I found some beautiful things that I would love to have a go at making. I don't want to buy a new machine - in fact, I won't because I am not sufficiently good at it to make it worthwhile - but there are several machines in the family so I should be able to make one of them work for me!
I failed in the attempt to keep the heating off until November. The YFG went to bed last night wearing her pyjamas and her school fleece and her slippers to bed, so I guessed she was feeling chilly. This afternoon, when we brought her friend home to play, the house was like an icebox and whilst it is fine for us to wrap up like Eskimos, it is a bit much to expect your guests to keep their coats on, so I had to put the heat on for a while in her honour.
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