Sunday, 30 June 2013

Garden glory

After a morning at chapel and a barbecue-style lunch, I had to get my hands dirty in the garden!  The weeds are rampant and the recent rain has really made them grow......You couldn't see this beetroot for all the fat hen seedlings coming up between the rows, so I had to rescue that again.

The courgettes seem to attract nettles, so clearing those was a job for the rubber gloves.

The first little mange touts are on the pea plants, and will be harvested for supper tomorrow - can't wait!

These poor runner beans were becoming entangled in all sorts of weeds, so they have emerged again and can start to scramble up the poles of the old swing.

And the chicks are enjoying their time on the grass, sunbathing, preening themselves and having the odd argument amongst themselves - they are entertaining to watch when I had a tea break!

Hope you have had a great Sunday too xx

Re-purposed unit

This unit which the FH made and I shared with you this week has taken up residence in the family bathroom as a storage unit, sitting on top of an old bedside cabinet.

So it looks like this now:

I haven't painted it yet, as I want to see whether it works in here before I commit to the colour.  The girls use this bathroom mostly, and if they can put the stuff away in the drawers, it might just keep the room tidier.  We'll give it a try for a while, and then I may paint the unit and the cabinet underneath all the same colour to match.  The spare loo rolls and big bottles of Tesco Value Shampoo and conditioner are in the cabinet at the bottom, flannels you can see and then all their bits and pieces are in the drawers.  I am so fed up of clutter around the bath and on the floor, so fingers crossed that this works!

Six month review

I can't believe that we are half way through the year already.  It feels like time is passing so quickly, and I haven't done half of what I had hoped to achieve by now, certainly with regards to the Faith&Worship course!

What I am astounded to find this morning is that my annual savings target is remarkably well on aim was for £9000 to be saved this year, and that seemed pretty steep at the beginning of the year, with a target of £750 a month needing to be stashed away.  BUT, in the first five months of the year, with luck and a good wind behind us, we have achieved £4126, and that doesn't include June's savings, because I still have to sort out June!  What I thought we had managed to save in June may well be wiped out, so I will have to re-look and report back later on this month.

The best news of all is that the FH is in far better shape now than he was in January, and that is worth more than gold!  I said to him last night how pleased I was at how well he coped with the day yesterday - he spent the morning pottering in the workshop, putting a bed back together for me, and then he came to Ely with us and must have walked nearly a mile and a half, albeit at his own speed, and then he stood last night and did the washing up.  I think he slept very well last night after all that exercise, but the fact that he plodded through the day was an exceedingly good thing and just shows how much better he has been lately.  I have noticed an improvement since the cardioversion and he isn't getting the dizzy spells hardly at all now.

It looks like another fine and sunny day here today, which is just as well, as I have a load of washing ready to go out.  We will be at church this morning, then I have some gardening to do, and some books from school which I have brought home to catalogue - three boxes done last night and three more to do before I take them back in the morning...and we may have to cook some tea on the BBQ tonight just so we can say we have used it once this year - who knows when the next nice day will be?!

Have a lovely day xx

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Charity Shopping spree

After a busy morning at the gym, we went into town to find the YFG some wellies for the trenches in Belgium this week.  A shop is closing down, and when we went in, there were only four pairs of wellies on a high shelf, so I asked the assistant if any of them were the appropriate size, hoping that the £28 pair weren't going to be the ones, but you can just guess that they were!  Luckily, as it is closing, the shop is offering 70% off the marked prices, so we paid just over £9 for them - quite a bargain as they are very good wellies!

We came home after that and had some lunch.  We readied ourselves and the FH put on his "going out" clothes, so we all went off to Ely, where I think the charity shops have a slightly better selection of donations than our local ones.  

(image from

We struck gold in the very first one, for the BHF, where the YFG found a strapless black evening dress which is quite decent [however I have described it - sorry!] and which will be perfect for the black tie evenings on the cruise.  The EFG also found a top in there.

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Oxfam sadly didn't furnish us with any further bargains, but another charity shop further along the street was well worth a good rummage, and we found a couple more items in there - a cardigan for the YFG and another top for the EFG, I think.

After that, we had a look in a shop called "Select" which yielded three dresses - two similar ones in different colours for the YFG and one for the EFG in a floral fabric, which she and I both loved.  We need to find some accessories for it, but it is really nice - and they were all in the sale!

If we can go back and look over the various charity shops and the "cheaper" shops in the area over the next two months, I think we will be able to supplement their existing wardrobes with enough items that they will be respectable on the holiday.  We also want to take advantage of the Tesco Double Up voucher offer, but we have only days left to do that!

A friend did suggest that I should crochet them some clothes but somehow I don't think I am up to that just yet!  I have enjoyed doing more squares on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning at chapel, and the ladies there have been very encouraging!  

Friday, 28 June 2013

Spending like crazy!

It feels like the money is flowing from the household uncontrollably this month, which is quite scary.  Lots of things have conspired to come together to make June a spend, spend, spend month, and I can't say that I like it much!

I have yet to finalise the month's spending and saving totals completely, but I will do that at the weekend.  Looking ahead to July, I can see that the spending will continue a little.

So what are we spending on?  Apart from stocking up the cupboards, which I will post on at the end of the month when I have rounded up all the figures, it is things like travel and trips in particular.

The YFG has had two school trips which I have paid for this month - one to Kew Gardens this week [£16] and one as a reward for her hard work and achievements this year, which is a bowling/cinema trip with the school [£17.50], and then there is her trip to France this week coming - I have paid for the trip itself but now she needs wellies for walking about the battlefields and trenches apparently, as well as euros [blagged from Grandad!] and some cash for a meal on the way home.

York Minster
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Within June, I took the EFG to Lincoln [£30+ trainfare] and then to Norwich to UEA [diesel costs] but on 3rd July we need to go to York for the day.  Given that we have not booked the train tickets months in advance, and we have no railcards that we can use on the day [because the YFG isn't coming] it is going to cost me £192 for two of us to go for a day return.  £192!  You read that right.  Yes, I could drive, but it would be about 3.5 hours there, and the same back, as well as a full day on my feet walking about the university, and we need to be there by 9.30am.....and I can't do that to myself - I would be exhausted for days afterwards.  Staying the night beforehand would be tricky and inconvenient, and we certainly can't stay the night afterwards to spread the driving because the next morning, Thursday, is when the YFG is off to France and I need to be here to wave her off!  We will be catching a train at about 6am though, so it will still be a very long and tiring day, but I can hope for a snooze on the train between Peterborough and York.

I have thought about getting the EFG a Young Person's Railcard, but at £30, funnily enough, it will save just £31 off the cost of this journey.  We are not great train-travellers, so it doesn't seem worth it at the moment. Once she is at university in the Autumn of 2014, depending on where she goes, it will be a worthwhile investment, I do agree. I am just hoping we are able to go to Aberystwyth on a Saturday Open day so that we can drive over there on the Friday afternoon and then have the Sunday to recover!

This trip will see the third university, and with the Welsh trip coming up in the autumn, and UEA now off the list for sure, we may have two more trips to make - on the other hand, she may have to do as I did and apply to some that she hasn't visited!  I only visited two of the five that I applied to back in the day, and I was very lucky to get a place at one of those I had seen and loved.

St Mary's College, St Andrews where I studied
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I am spending the money for my own sake, and because the EFG thinks that York might be a serious contender in her list of places to apply for Biochemistry.  I am counting my blessings indeed that I have the funds available, and that the only thing going short will be the savings account again.  This is the kind of spending that I save towards, if you see what I mean - I know that my saving has a purpose in that I will be able to do those things which the family needs to do, without bunging it on a credit card and skimping for months to pay it back.

Don't get me started on the clothes/shoes we are worrying about for the cruise - we are going to be scouring the charity shops for some evening clothes on a fairly regular basis between now and the end of August!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

A morning's work

This is what the FH got up to in the workshop this morning - these plastic drawers used to fit into a plastic unit but they got stuck and wouldn't glide and were increasingly frustrating to use, so he has re-purposed them into a little unit for me.  I think it needs a lick of paint, and then it will be perfect.  

I've been busy in the garden.  Watering the lettuces I planted yesterday,

and the dwarf beans which have finally decided to emerge!

I have also cut the back lawn.  This was a much bigger task than it sounds!  First I had to strim it all as it was knee-high in grass and weeds, then I mowed it with the lawn mower twice to get it down to a reasonable level.  It is not Wimbledon quality lawn, and it is full of weeds still, so it will have to be treated with something like Verdone if I still have any in the cupboard...  add to the mowing the moving of the lawn furniture and the chicks' outside run, and my arms are aching!

My final task for the morning was planting out another batch of lettuces.

So this afternoon I am off to chapel to the Thursday afternoon group which I help with, where I will be able to sit and crochet for the first time this week, in between making cups of tea for the ladies!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Not a stitch

I am almost having withdrawal symptoms as I haven't done a stitch of crochet since before the weekend as life has just been so busy this week!  Today has been another gorgeous day so I have been doing laundry like fury to take advantage of the drying weather, as well as changing beds, gardening, taking the FH for a warfarin check up and then taking him to Sainsbury's, and then a governors' meeting tonight.

I think it does the FH good to go shopping occasionally: he pottered around with the not-overfull trolley and then his jaw dropped when the checkout operator announced the total.  Yes, my love - prices are rising and this is what we are dealing with on a day to day basis, and this is why I spend time stock piling, budgeting and saving!  I think that people like him who do not actually step foot in a shop from one month to another lose track of prices very quickly - he was astounded at the price of a litre of skimmed UHT milk, for example!

I have made my first payment today to Compassion UK for my sponsored child, which has prompted me to think about writing to her, so I am making some notes as I think of what I would like to include in my letter.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Busy day all round

(picture by the YFG)

It all started very early here this morning as the YFG had to be at school so early to catch the bus to Kew Gardens in London.  The weather was glorious this morning and it was a real treat to be up and about so early!  I deposited her at school and was home again before the EFG left to catch the bus at 7.55am.

Washing on the line, chooks out and fed, garden and greenhouse watered and lettuces planted by lunchtime. A school meeting at 1pm, home again and then off to town to the Post office to get the passport applications sent off.......that took a while!  Thence to gymnastics and eventually home again at 8.30pm to a home cooked meal of roast turkey leg, roast potatoes and green veg, courtesy of the FH and the EFG.  They had also been and picked up the YFG on her return from London.  

 Money has been jiggled about to pay for the passports for now, so it won't look quite right until Dad refunds me, but I know what I have done, so it is all OK there.  

I received some seeds in the post today which I ordered at the tail end of last week through an offer I found - they arrived safely and in good packaging.  The seeds are not out of date, and there are a good number of seeds in the packet, so I don't hesitate to let you have the link and there are still seeds for sale at good prices.  I ordered some of the most popular things which we grow, and so we are nearly set for next year's summer salads and vegetables, for about £5!  Definitely worth a look if you grow anything - they also have flower seeds on there in a different section, but I didn't buy any of those this time.

Monday, 24 June 2013

One step at a time

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The photos are taken, the forms are filled in and countersigned by an appropriate person, and the envelopes are ready to be taken to the Post Office to be Checked and Sent tomorrow.  What a day!

You may be forgiven for thinking that we have gone astray from the frugal track, but we haven't!  I still did the Monday monitorings this morning, and the electricity readings.  All is well.  The bank accounts are going to take a bashing when I pay for the passport applications tomorrow but Dad will refund me that in time, so that is not so bad.

We are eating lettuces from the garden, the spring onions are going great guns, and so is the beetroot.  The courgettes probably need more watering and although the beans I grew in pots and then planted out are growing quite well, the dwarf beans I sowed directly into the ground have failed to come to anything yet.  The runner beans I sowed around the old swing frame are growing slowly.  I shall plant one more lot of beans into pots in the hope of something germinating this time, but that will be that.  In the greenhouse, all is looking lush, and the cucumber plants are growing rather rampant and need tying up.  There's work whichever way I look!

It was a surprise to me to find that the blackbird chicks have fledged and gone - they were in the nest on Saturday morning when I let the chooks out before I went to Norwich, but they had gone by early on Sunday morning.  Hopeful that they all made it, but shocked at how quickly it all happened - 8 days from the first chick to all gone!

Tomorrow the YFG is off to Kew Gardens and needs to be at school at 7.40am, so I need to be up rather sharpish in the morning!  Hoping she takes some photos we can share.

Special surprise

Fjords R313
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Grandads can do the most amazing things, it seems!  My dad came to see us yesterday with news that he would like to take the girls on a week long cruise to the Norwegian fjords in August.  He's footing the bill for everything, but I have the race against time to organise the passports...

Frantically searching for the birth certificates this morning, the YFG's was where it is supposed to be, but the EFG's was missing - she had taken it with her on a trip somewhere when she may have been required to verify her age, and after several phone calls with her on her lunch break, I found her room, in a heap!

I have sent emails to various people to ask them to countersign the applications - I don't know who will agree and who has a passport of their own [one of the conditions of being a signatory] so I have asked a few!

This afternoon I need to go to the post office to pick up the application forms, and we are going to the photo booth to get new photos taken for the application forms, and we will be filling in forms tonight!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Thoughts on UEA on Saturday

It all began so well.  We turned off the A47 onto a side road which lead to Colney, and we travelled through  fields and heavily wooded areas, and it looked like a lovely area in the countryside.

Indeed, when we arrived, we were marshalled into a large car park with plenty of green areas around us.  It looked quite pleasant, and the sun was shining, the birds were tweeting in the trees, and it was a positive impression.

There was even a lovely flower garden between the car park and the main campus where we saw a rabbit, which scampered away before I could get the phone out to take a picture!

But then it all began to look remarkably similar.  Concrete.  Blocks.  Grey.  Slightly dingy.

Lots of square buildings.

Weird back of the award winning Grade II listed residences.

Chaplaincy and one of the eateries, outside the Union Bar, where lots of people sat on the steps and watched some blokes singing.

The front aspect of the Ziggurat residences - the award winning ones.

Do you get the idea?  Lots and lots of concrete.

Yes, she would only have to live in the student accommodation there for the first year, but she really felt that this was not the environment she wanted to live and study, work and socialise in for three years.

There are some lovely green areas, parkland and a lake, I do admit, but she has decided.  And if I am honest, I can't blame her - I don't think it would be for me, either.  The Science department is very good, though, and seems very popular.

We're off to York a week on Wednesday - wondering what she will think to that?!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Night off

No blog today - back from UEA quite shattered and then had to commit the sermon to paper tonight for the morning, so I am toddling off to bed now.  We do have photos to share, but we can do that tomorrow xxx

And that was last week...

And last night I finished the 12th combination square of my crochet - now I just have to start making duplicates so that I have enough to make an item out of them.  I have no idea how many I am going to need, but 60 would be a nice number - 5 of each - to aim for.  As we head into the last full week of June, I feel that I have achieved my target for the month of learning how to crochet - I know I don't know it all yet, and the tension needs improvement, but I have the basic idea of the granny square under control, and that feels like a vast improvement on where I was three weeks ago, tied in knots!

In other news, we have also achieved our savings target for the month, slightly reduced for June, and £500 is safely stashed away.  I've had bills to pay and wanted a little leeway, but we are back to the target for July of £750.

Today I am taking the girls and a friend to UEA in Norwich, which is why I am up so early.  Things to do before we set off from here at 7.45am.  It is raining now, but I am hoping that this body of rain will have passed and the forecast showers will be all that is left to trouble us for the rest of the day.  We've got a lot to see before we get home tonight!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Let's be thankful...

That I have done another crochet square today

That Sainsbugs stock the cough medicine I needed

That we had salad and new potatoes for tea and it didn't need much preparation

That the FH did the washing up

That illness makes me slow down and think I have Sunday's service prepared in my head and now just need to get it down on paper.

That it rained today and probably filled the water butt!

I still feel awful so I am glad to find a few good things about today - hope you are all having a better time of it!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Rough day

I have had a really bad day with this sore throat which has now developed into a good case of the sneezles.  All I have done is two loads of washing, reheated some leftovers for supper and spent most of the rest of the day crocheting some more squares!  I sat outside for a while with the cat and the chicks for company, in the shade of a parasol when it was hot, and then I came in later and sat with the FH and UJ as they were watching Ascot. 

Finding some positives tonight - my heap of squares is now up to 10, and I have had a no-spend day as I have been here at home all day!

Coming along nicely - the colour combinations make 12 different squares, and then I shall have to start making duplicates.  I'm pleased with these colours - some of my favourites.

And then there were FIVE!

I know you can only see four beaks in this picture, but when I left them to dash in to get the camera, there were FIVE wee beaks pointing up from the nest hopefully!

Mum and Dad Blackbird are being kept very busy feeding this brood and they are doing an amazing job, often to be seen darting around the garden with a beak full of grubs and bits for the chicks.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Mini rant

Listening to the radio on the way home from gymnastics tonight, I remembered why I stopped watching Britain's Got Talent.  It was the gushing way people thank others nowadays that is really irritating to me - and laughable as well.  "Thank you SO much!" they gush. What is wrong with a plain but heartfelt, "Thank you"?  When did this "so much" get added in?

And then there is the "little man" thing.  I know three families now with small male children, and they all speak of the child as a "little man" - why?  We don't call girls, "little women" - the closest I have ever heard to that is my aunt who used to affectionately call us girls, "my woman" when she was addressing us - as children of 8+, I seem to remember.  A small male child is a boy - so why not use that, or the child's name?  Now that would be novel!

Today, you will have guessed, I am feeling a little out-of-sorts: I have a headache and a very sore throat and I have just endured three hours of gymnastics, feeling not quite all there, and with the Head Coach in a minor grouch because two coaches will not be there on Saturday, and although I told him weeks ago that I was taking the EFG to UEA, the other coach just told him tonight that she is going to a party........cue a slightly grumpy man.

Tomorrow I was going to go to Cambridge to a UCAS fair that the EFG is going to, so that I could scout round more stands asking questions of other universities, so that we could eliminate some without travelling too far!  I don't feel up to the trek now, so I will just have to hope that the EFG can disengage from her friends or drag them with her as she seems to be the only one of them serious about going to uni, so they aren't going to be that focussed.  She's got a list of stands she needs to look at, and I will wish her well in the morning.

I shall try to be more positive in the morning........and if any of you have boys, and call them "little men", just carry on and ignore me ;)

Monday, 17 June 2013

Morning Observations

Some things never change, and I have done the Monday monitorings of the electricity meter [usage down quite considerably this week, somehow...] and of the bank accounts.

The FH has had a sleepless night, despite his sleeping tablet, so he is snoozing this morning, and expects to remain prone until sometime later, he said!  The weather isn't very inspiring for him - the Warfarin seems to make him feel the cold more than the rest of us, so he is always chilly lately.  It is overcast here this morning and there has been some drizzle already.  I have watered the runner bean plants which are just emerging from the soil, and I have also watered the places where I hope that more spring onion and dwarf bean seedlings shall soon appear!  I had to sow more dwarf beans yesterday and then sprinkle the area with slug pellets as the first sowing had not survived the slug attack.  The greenhouse has also had a good soaking this morning, or rather the plants within it have...

The blackbirds nesting in the shelter of the workshop have at least three hatchlings [nestlings?] now, as I saw three little beaks pointing skywards yesterday.  They are not cheeping at all, so presumably they know to be quiet to maintain their hiding place.  The two parent birds are being kept very busy around the garden and neighbouring gardens, arriving back on the fence with beaks full for their babies.

It's a bit too damp to put the chicks out on the grass yet, so I'll see whether it gets warmer later and then they can go out.  They aren't very amused this morning that I have had to hang a load of washing on the indoor lines in the verandah above them, and the wind makes the clothes flap a little which unsettles them - chickens are always frightened of attack from above - but they will get used to it.

Busy day today, so had better get on - hoping for some crochet time tonight.  YFG has to go to the dentist after school, so she is not looking forward to that, but she has chipped a tooth and it is sore, so she has to go.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Granny squares

They may not be perfectly square, but I am quite pleased that I have made these two today, and I plan to make more in the same colour combination and then see what I can put them together to make.

Have to say that the colours look better in daylight, but I was excited to show you that I have achieved something towards my crocheting aims!  These are the Attic24 Summer garden pattern which I linked into the other day.

Chicks update

Aren't we getting gorgeous?  Mum has put us out on the grass in the sunshine today.

She has taken lots of pictures of us, but she is a little perturbed about how many of us seem to be boys.
We don't care, though!

We're loving it out here xx

Mid-month money monitor

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We haven't been able to do much locking away of money this half of the month, yet anyway!  We have been spending a little more than normal and I have been doing some stocking up.

Yesterday, I hit Lidl, Sainsburys and Tesco in a 90 minute trip around town.  I bought mostly veggies and fruit in Lidl because they are the best quality and most reasonably priced I have found around here, although I do get large oranges from Sainsburys too, just because no other shop sells them.  I went to Sainsburys for a special offer on lunchbox bars for the EFG - she is restricting her calories and enjoys Alpen Light bars at 70 calories each for a treat, and Sainsburys have the best range of flavours as well as the special offer on them.  She may have to change brands when the offers are done, though!

And then I went to Tesco.

There were special offers and reduced prices around galore, so I stocked up, as during last month's Tesco-free experience, some holes appeared in my storage!

(image from

Flour is down to 45p a bag, so I got two of each kind this week.  This is down from 52p a bag, and I will get more if it holds that price.  I bought branded Angel Delight because the own brand was more expensive because there was an offer on the branded stuff.  3 for £1 or 54p each!  I have lots of cheap own brand in vanilla from App Foods, but Butterscotch and Chocolate were purchased yesterday - 3 of each.  They will keep for ages.  I bought sachets of sugar free jelly as well on offer - the EFG loves jelly too.  Again, they will keep for ages.  The FH is still craving cold desserts a lot as he says that they "cool his stomach" so we are making a lot of jellies, Angel Delight-type puds, cold custard, etc to keep him happy!  I do also buy him some yogurt now and again but he isn't as keen on that.

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We replenished the cleaning cupboard with some Fairy Liquid - I will always buy the real thing, but only on offer, so I stock up whenever I can, but I was on my last bottle so I was very glad to see an offer on this yesterday.  It really does last so much longer than the cheap stuff, and doesn't affect my hands.

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Persil 4.25kg packs are on offer at half price for £6 so I grabbed two of those.  They are supposed to be 50 wash packs, but they each last me at least two months, if not longer, doing many more than 50 washes! I use less than the recommended dose, I know, but the washing still comes out clean, even on a quick wash.  The 25 wash pack is still available and being sold in the shop for £7 - and I saw people actually buying it....

All in all, I plugged the holes in our store cupboards, including buying a sack of rabbit food, and feel more secure in the knowledge that the cupboards won't be bare this month.

Overall, I know that I have spent most of the month's budget already, but I feel that we have most of what we need to make it through the rest of the month without spending too much more.  Having paid the car repair bill, the gas bottle bill, and another school trip for the YFG, I know the bills are paid, and what we have is our own, for now!  

Over the rest of the month, I know I will need to fill up my car with diesel for the trip to UEA next Saturday, and we'll probably need more fruit before the end of the month, as well as carrots, mushrooms, etc, but we are pretty well stocked up.

Friday, 14 June 2013


Quick post tonight - I am dying to have a go at some crochet from yesterday's links!  

Just to say that the blackbird in the garden has hatched her first chick today, and I could see the beak pointing skyward when I let the chooks out this morning - hoping it will be OK and that it may have some more before too long.  Must remember to keep the cat well fed so she isn't tempted!  And another first - we enjoyed the first lettuce from the garden as part of our supper tonight - a chicken salad with bacon sprinkled over it.

It is getting late but hoping to get at least one granny square done whilst I have a cup of tea xx  

Thursday, 13 June 2013

New favourite inspiration websites

I'm sure that all you crochet fans out there are well aware of the amazing talent that is Lucy at Attic24, but I just discovered her in my recent desire to learn to crochet.  She has some really clear tutorials and sets everything out so that it is easily understood, and there are several things that I want to try soon!  I love the summer Granny squares, the cowl for winter snuggling and the jolly bunting triangles.  I am also loving all the pictures I am coming across on Pinterest, which are a massive inspiration.

There is also the lovely Heather over at LittleTinBird who also has some great tutorials.  She posts a list of finished items in her right hand sidebar which might make one drool!

I am off to the Knit and Natter in the morning so I shall expand my square by another few rounds, and then I  might finish it and try some little squares.  The whole thing of choosing colours to combine is quite exciting.

Apart from all that, the FH has had a restful day, spending the morning in bed mostly asleep and then having his cousin visiting this afternoon.  He hasn't got any major commitments in the next few days, so he can continue to get his breath back, so to speak.  I, on the other hand, have to go back to gymnastics tomorrow and Saturday, which is going to come hard after having Saturday off for Lincoln and Tuesday off for recuperating.

I was very glad that the forecast gusty winds didn't actually materialise here in the strength that was predicted, but there was enough to give my poor broad bean plants quite a bashing today.  The humidity levels have been a little oppressive here today, and we have felt the need to have the windows open, which has been tricky with the breeze.

Cost cutting wise, I have just been very brave and let the girls trim the length of my looks fine in a ponytail, it will soon grow again, and I just saved myself £7 or £8!  I have got to get my head around my tax return and my tax credits form this month, as well as finding time to get some more Faith & Worship work done - I need to get two exegeses done before my tutor retires at the end of July and I get passed over to a new one.  I shall be very very sad to see him go, although I wish him very well in his retirement.  He is a very holy man, one whom you just know is deeply in touch with God, and just by being in his company for a little while, one feels that bit closer to God oneself somehow.  I shall miss him.