Thursday, 28 February 2019


I'm following Plan C today!

Plan A was to take some photos of Lauren but she is poorly so texted me last night and we've rescheduled for next week.

Plan B was to drive over to Lacock to take some photos of the Abbey, but it's raining today so I very quickly abandoned that idea!

Plan C ... well it's a bit of an exaggeration to call it a plan. It's more a case of 'I'm not going out so will stay in, maybe do some laundry, maybe do some band related things, but more likely will sit and read'. 

Wednesday, 27 February 2019


The Slimming World (SW) starter pack arrived yesterday so I think they were being rather cautious when advising that delivery would be on Friday! I've read it through and think I understand it, but will read through again to be on the safe side. On the first read through my understanding of the SW plan differs from something that was stated in one of the Facebook groups that I joined, so I need to clarify that as soon as possible - it may be a case of someone stating their own interpretation as being fact.

Today get's busier as the day progresses. I have nothing planned for this morning, but will need to be at home to accept the ASDA delivery at lunchtime. Then nothing planned until 5 pm when I have one lesson to deliver to the girl who initially persuaded me to start teaching again but who can't change to the Monday timetable until after Easter. At some stage during the day I will get round to taking some photos of things I want to sell and will continue to sort through the boxes in the music room.

Tonight it's our Girls' Night In. Three friends are coming here, we'll order a takeaway and watch our chosen film, which this time is Brassed Off. I've seen the film before, more than once, but am really looking forward to watching it again ... all that brass band music, what's not to like?

Tuesday, 26 February 2019


Those of you who read yesterday's post will know that I've resumed teaching. It's just a few private music lessons and yesterday was the first day and .... I loved it. It was an easy start with just two lessons to deliver but both children had 'eureka' moments which was fantastic, and they finished their respective lessons feeling more confident and keen to do more. It's going to be fun for all of us!

Today is all about preparation. I've receive notification that the Slimming World (SW) starters pack has been dispatched so I should receive that by Friday. Since I made the decision to try the SW approach I've been checking out various SW recipes online and today I have placed an food order for deliver tomorrow. I'm also printing out a selection of the recipes I'm interested in trying out. I'm ready to start!

I've also had a phone call from the cleaning company manager to say that she'll bring my designated cleaner to meet me on Friday and cleaning sessions will be once a fortnight from then. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it works out but I can't see any reason why it won't, and it will definitely help me keep the house in order.

I'll be continuing with sorting the boxes in the music room this afternoon. My aim is to open every box to find the old audio equipment and cameras so I can email the local company who buy this sort of thing to see if they are interested. If they are, this will clear a significant amount of space in the room so again, it's fingers crossed that this works out. 

This evening I'm staying home and hope for another early night. I'm much better but still tire more quickly than I'd like, so it's still a case of plenty of rest. I no longer feel the need to go back to bed during the day so that's a big step forward!

Monday, 25 February 2019


It's been a busy morning so far. Monday morning is all about admin, doing the things I haven't cleared during the week and preparing for lessons now that I've started teaching again. I haven't tackled the remainder of the band backlog (that'll be done later in the week). 

I have done all the personal admin type things that needed my attention, looking ahead to next week as well. Today this has involved providing another reference for an ex band member, paying a couple of invoices, buying a theatre ticket to see Fiddler on the Roof, writing two birthday cards for friends who I'll see tonight, and getting some music exercises ready for the after school lessons.

These exercises will be stuck in their notebooks for practice during the week, so I've (eventually) attached the double sided sellotape to them - I'm not good with sellotape and always end up in a bit of a tangle, but it does save time during the lesson if I prepare them beforehand.

All of this has taken about 90 minutes. It wouldn't normally take this long but I had to keep stopping because the boiler engineer turned up to carry out the annual boiler service. 

The rest of the day until 3:30 pm is mine to do as I please but I don't really have any plans that'll take me out of the house. I hope to finish sorting through the big box from the music room and may do a bit of playing myself ... we'll see!

I'm seeing a couple of children after school for 30 minutes each for their first private lessons with me. It should be four but one is poorly and the other is away on a school trip, so this will ease me gently back in to teaching. I'm looking forward to it, though may have to have a nap before lessons start as I didn't sleep well last night and already feel tired! 

Tonight is the monthly book group which is usually on a Tuesday but had to be rescheduled to a Monday because of various people's commitments. I didn't particularly enjoy the book this time so it'll be interesting to hear what the others thought of it.

Sunday, 24 February 2019


I'm up before the sun this morning so I've made good use of my time and have taken a photo for the WPSH - No 2, pool of light.

I have a quiet day ahead of me. I need to pop out and get some bread as I've run out but the rest of the day will be spent reading (my latest book is getting interesting!) and from 1 pm, watching TV. The Drama channel is repeating the 2007 TV series, Cranford. We missed this when it was first shown but I've heard good things about it so will be watching today - all five episodes are following on back-to-back this afternoon.

I hope you all have a good day whatever you are doing.

Saturday, 23 February 2019


In the end yesterday, I started sorting out another box from the music room, sitting in the hallway accompanied by the distant booms of the big guns firing on Salisbury Plain - the military must have had a huge exercise on. It's only the second time I've heard the sound of the guns since I moved to this house but we used to hear them regularly in my previous home. 

I chose the biggest box, working on the theory that it'll make it look like I've done a lot once that box is gone! It was mostly things for charity shop so I'll be able to take it all in some time next week. I still have a bit to do to finish that box so that'll be a task for Monday.

I'm in weekend mode now. There's no band practice today as it's half term but I've spent the morning playing at home. My regular practice has slipped a little through feeling poorly and having workmen around, so I want to get back to it. When I was looking through my music to look for pieces for the children who will be having lessons with me, I found a book of the songs from Les Miserables that I'd forgotten about, so I've been playing through them and thoroughly enjoying myself. If I'm really honest, I've just been playing rather than practicing but I've decided it all counts so I'll be moving on to Disney next!

At some time this weekend I hope to borrow Lauren for an hour or so to model for some photos but it all depends on whether we can find a mutually agreeable time ... she's busy and I need to do the photos while the light is good, so it may not happen and if that's the case, I'll have to rethink the photos I need. 

I still have some admin to finish off but it's the weekend so that'll be my first task on Monday. The rest of the weekend will be a 'pottering about, me time' sort of weekend. I don't have any firm plans but have had a few thought about the things I'd like to do, or I could just do nothing ... I'll see how the mood take me!

Friday, 22 February 2019


I'm patting myself on the back because I got up early (6:52 am!) and started on the admin backlog straight away ... even before my first mug of coffee!

I whizzed through most of the admin so was ready to go into town to finish the banking and check in with the Town Hall (where the band practices) just before the manager of the cleaning company arrived to quote for their services. She was here for about 30 minutes and we've agreed that a cleaner will come for two hours once a fortnight. I can use that time how I want and there is always the option of paying for more time occasionally if there are other one-off jobs I'd like done. They also do ironing if I am interested, an although I wouldn't use this part of their service regularly, I'm thinking it'll be useful for my band uniform shirts which are a nightmare to iron!! We've left it that she will contact me next week to introduce the cleaner and agree the day, time, and start date.

Next it was down to the bank for personal banking and also some for the band. Coincidentally I was served by the auntie of two sisters in the band ... a small world! After that I popped into the Town Hall to pay for the room hire and to check the bookings for the the practice rooms for next month.

Trowbridge Town Hall
Afterwards I wandered into WH Smiths to look for some calligraphy practice books but they don't have any so I will have to order online. Then a quick car ride to the chemist to collect two prescriptions, and I'm now back at home.

The first load of washing is now drying (tumble dryer), I've changed the bedding, and my lunch is cooking as I type this. This afternoon I have the choice of continuing with the admin, or catching up on some reading ... it could go either way!

Thursday, 21 February 2019


There are signs of life on the clematis. It probably knows that its days are numbered and that it needs to put on a good show this year if it wants to stay!

I've slept in rather late today, finally forcing myself to get out of bed at 11:30ish. I've had something to eat and drink and am now back in the playroom with the intention of concentrating on the admin type things I need to do for the band. There's enough work outstanding to occupy me for a couple of days but the majority is one-off tasks and once done can be forgotten about. At the moment everything that that needs to be done is constantly on my mind and is causing unnecessary stress, so the next two days, or however long it takes, is all about clearing the backlog. Once done, my future involvement with the band admin will be minimal and easily managed, so that's the stage I need to get to.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019


I chose not to go out for a walk yesterday afternoon but opted instead for a long soak in a warm bath to get rid of the headache. Success! I'm not sure why I had the headache in the first place but I am prone to them so it's just a case of deal with it and move on!

In the end very little sorting of paperwork was achieved yesterday, entirely down to problems with the printer. 

I needed to print out a letter to send off but did the printer want to play nicely? No, it didn’t! It responded to the print command but failed to print anything - churning out completely blank pages. I've never had a complete failure to print before as usually it is simply a case of starting the program to clean the printing nozzles and the problem is solved. Anyway, after lots of panicking (on my part) and refusals to cooperate (on the printer's part) I managed to get it working again and we're sort of friends again! However, that took so long that I'd lost the will to do any more admin and have left the rest to look at today. I did print the letter I needed ... just in case!

In between phone calls last night I reached a couple of decisions - that I'll arrange to have a cleaner, and that I'll follow the Slimming World eating plan. Both things have been bubbling away in the back of my mind and I've decided that I need to try both to see how they work out for me. I've selected the cleaning company and someone will be visiting on Friday to assess the house and agree a price. Realistically, I think it will be someone coming once a fortnight rather than once a week but I'll be very happy if that turns out to be the case. With Slimming World I've decided to do the online option so am waiting for the books to arrive, although I've already started cooking some of the Slimming World recipes that I've found online.

As for today, I'll work through a bit of the admin, do the washing up which I didn't bother to do yesterday and hope to spend a little time in the garden to start tidying up.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019


It's a bit of a late start this morning as I've woken with a stuffy, sick headache which I can't shift. I've had breakfast and have taken some migraine medication, just in case, and have now moved upstairs to the playroom to tackle the piles of paperwork you can see in the photo. I'm hoping it is mostly filing or shredding because I don't feel much like tackling anything too complicated. 

Plans for this afternoon are dependent on how I feel and what the weather is doing. I'd like to go for a walk along the canal but feel sure that I'll be staying at home if I still have the headache. Tonight has been set aside for telephone calls with friends who live too far away to see regularly, and I'm looking forward to that, but right now I need to get on with sorting that paperwork!

Monday, 18 February 2019


This has been my view for most of the day - hospital waiting rooms!

It's been a case of more 'waiting' and less 'seeing a doctor', which for some reason is extremely tiring. I'm home now, all tests complete and I just have to sit back and wait for the results. I'm not expecting bad news - today was a case of dotting the i's and crossing the t's!

I abandoned the idea of any photography in Bath. Actually the fact that it rained as soon as I left the shelter of the building helped me reach that decision, so I came straight home and have been pottering about doing bits of tidying here and there. I'll put some more laundry in to wash and dry once I've finished this post and that will be my lot for the day. Tomorrow is all about admin!

Sunday, 17 February 2019


A few minute walking around the back garden revealed that the pieris flowers weren't all damaged by the storm last week. It has picked itself back up and is now covered in these tiny pink bell-like flowers. I also found two more snowdrops, so 9 out of the 50 planted have survived.

I didn't finish the book yesterday, not through lack of effort on my part but because of unexpected visitors. Two friends called in to see me on their way home from Plymouth (where we all did our teacher training together), staying for a couple of hours before they continued their journey home to London. It was lovely to see them and catch up with all the news.

So today's aim is to finish the book, do a couple of loads of laundry, use up the rest of the eggs (maybe an omelette for lunch?), and write a reference for an ex-band member. Tomorrow, I have to be at the Royal United Hospital in Bath by 10:00 am for the mammogram so if the weather looks promising I may wander around the city afterwards and try to find some more photo opportunities for the WPSH.

Saturday, 16 February 2019


Another pleasant surprise in the garden ... these have appeared in one of the pots I'd moved to one side to be cleared out. I think I may have to wait and see what else is lurking in the wings before I empty any of the pots!

It's another quiet day at home again. I don't need to do any housework (well, I probably do if I look hard enough!) as J did all the hoovering as part of his clearing up. The internal doors all close properly now and I'm really pleased with the new handles - brushed chrome instead of brass. I just have the last bits of decorating to organise but am dithering about whether to wait a bit or to carry on now and get it all finished. The gloss painting has to be done this time and I always get migraines from the paint, so that's the issue. I have to face it at some stage, it's just a question of whether I'm up to coping with it now.

I'm determined to finish the book group read today and then I can get on to reading something of my own choice. So that's the plan ... do nothing else until I've finished the book - I'm just over half way so have about 200 more pages to go.

Friday, 15 February 2019


Sometimes it pays to ignore the housework. When he was tidying away yesterday J hoovered all the upstairs carpets and all of the stair carpet. He’s back today working on the downstairs doors so I have my fingers crossed that he will do the living room carpet today!

Thank you all for your comments yesterday and yes, I am feeling much better. I'm still being sensible and not rushing about but I'm ready to get on with things once J has finished and is out of the house. I think I need to learn to pace myself!

Here's the latest addition to the house ...

... a small folding glass topped table, intended for the garden in the summer but doubling up as a side table until it is warm enough to sit outside. It's just the right size to fit into the space by the reading chair and has made me rethink what I'd like to have there. Up till now I've been looking for mahogany tables but haven't had any luck finding either the right size or shape, and it's been on my mind that solid wood next to a radiator is not the best idea. I like this idea of a coloured table (but not this one as it is too blue) and have been looking online at better quality glass topped tables. There's plenty of choice and that's what I'll go for if I can find one that I like. If not, there are lots of small round side tables with coloured tops, relatively cheap, which would also fit nicely - there's even pink topped ones!

There's now five portions of pea and ham soup in the freezer, with very little effort on my part - slow cookers are wonderful things! I didn't do the breakfast muffins as there was too much dust flying about from sanding the doors so I wouldn't have been able to leave them on the side to cool. I'll have to do those tomorrow, so today I'll cook up a chilli and possibly a chickpea curry (new recipe), and also roast pork for my evening meal. Then I can freeze lots of bubble and squeak to use up the left overs.

I'm soldiering on with the book group read ('The Secret Place' by Tana French) but it hasn't really grabbed my attention. I'm about a third of the way through and it's gone a bit weird with some of the characters being able to make lights switch on and off, and move object without touching them! It's not quite the detective novel I thought it was going to be but I'll keep going with it.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Kitchen Duties

I feel up to a morning of cooking ... all for the freezer. There's a pea and ham soup bubbling away in the slow cooker and I'm just about to transform these eggs into the Slimming World Breakfast Muffins. I also have the ingredients for a chilli, a bolognese sauce and a lentil soup, so at least one out of that list will be cooked today.

J the carpenter is here today and tomorrow to sort out the locks on all the internal doors so by the time he is finished I will have doors that close and stay closed! He is also trimming some of the doors so they close easily on the new carpet, and will silicone around the edges of the vinyl flooring in the bathroom and en-suite. Once all of that is done, I'll just be left with the last bit of decorating to sort out and then everything is complete. Exciting times!

Wednesday, 13 February 2019


I'm feeling more like my old self today but am still taking it easy. Lots of reading, mugs of coffee, and a remarkable ability to ignore the need to do some hoovering!

I placed an online grocery order last night and that will be delivered this evening, so I don't have to worry about running out of anything. This means that tomorrow I can start on cooking to refill the freezer, which is starting to look decidedly empty. It won't take much effort as I'm starting off with pea and ham soup which requires very little in the way of preparation. I'll have the ingredients for several more recipes but if I don't have the energy, it can all be frozen to use later. I've ordered a load of salad stuff for easy meals for the rest of the week, so there's no excuse for not eating properly.

J has invited me out to lunch today. I debated whether to go but have decided that it'll do more good than harm so will meet her in the Red Admiral at 1 o'clock. I'm starting to feel a bit low from too much time on my own, so a chat and a catch up will do me good. She knows I've been laid low by a virus but I haven't been coughing or sneezing so she's prepared to take the risk! 

Tuesday, 12 February 2019


Look what I found in the garden yesterday ...

... I planted 50 snowdrops two years ago. No sign of any of them last year but this year there are 7!

Well, it's been confirmed as a virus ... as much as it can be confirmed through a telephone conversation. Anaemia is unlikely but has been added to the blood tests anyway. So it's rest and wait for it to go away!

Actually, I feel a bit better this morning. I was awake for most of the night, just not sleepy, but then all I've done for the last few days is sleep! I've woken this morning feeling a bit drained but not exhausted. I could do some work if I really, really had to but I'm putting everything off until next week and will continue to rest and pamper myself. Yesterday I spent a bit of time outside walking round the garden (several circuits as it's on the small side!) and felt better for the fresh air, so will do the same again today if it's not too cold.

Monday, 11 February 2019


I woke up just after 11 am so another 12 hours sleep, not including napping on the sofa for most of yesterday afternoon and early evening! I'm more inclined to think that it's the return of the virus, or maybe I've picked up another one, rather than the result of anaemia but I've requested a telephone consultation with my doctor to talk it through with him.

So ... nothing arranged for today. I feel sleepy already and I've been up less than an hour but, after I have spoken to the doctor, I may try to go for a walk around the block to get some fresh air. 

The flowers in the photo are the last of the bouquet from one of the parents at band. The roses are just going over, so they've lasted well.

Sunday, 10 February 2019


Another rainy day by the looks of it so I'm staying in the warm ... any old excuse!

I fell asleep on the sofa last night and woke about 3am, cold and stiff (the heating goes off at 10:30pm) and tottered off up to bed. I slept through then until just gone 10am and have woken with a thick head, probably from too much sleep! The last thing I can remember doing yesterday evening was settling down to read at about 7pm ish so I've probably had about 15 hours sleep. 

My new skill for this year is calligraphy. I've done a bit before but years ago, and I want to get back to it. I have some pens which Julie gifted me a couple of years ago and they will be fine for my initial practice. I've found a local calligraphy group that meets once a month but I think I will do some practice at home before I ask about joining them. With that in mind I have found some calligraphy practice sheets online, so my task for today is to print a selection with the aim of doing some daily practice through the week. I'd also like to get to the library during the week to see if there are any suitable books - there's plenty online but I am trying to reduce my screen time, so a library books will suit me better at this stage. 

Saturday, 9 February 2019


This morning was the final band practice before the half term break and tonight it is the band disco ... a freebie for players, siblings, parents and grandparents to thank them for their effort and support, and to get the children together to build friendships without playing music. It will be a good night and I will hear all about it but this is the one event I don't go to - the flashing disco lights are a trigger for migraines, so I leave them to it!

I actually played at practice this morning, and realised just how out of practice I am! Stamina, or lack of it, was the main issue but at least I didn't have any pain in my eyes and I managed the range of notes played today. I haven't played with the band for a while so it was good to get back to the actual playing side rather than doing the admin, sorting, and teaching. On the teaching side of things, quite a few parents are aware that I plan to start teaching again and have asked me for a place for their child. I have a waiting list before I start!

On the way home I stopped in at the Tesco Express to pick up some more bread and eggs. I have everything else in and now will only need to do a quick shop mid week for some fresh vegetables. It's working out to be a cheap month for food.

I feel really sleepy now so I may have to have a nap to get me through the rest of the day. I'm staying in tonight and a friend may be coming round for an hour or so - it's not a firm arrangement and it all depends on how she feels - but one way or the other I think I will be having an early night. 

Friday, 8 February 2019

Games Nights

Thank you for your comments on my recent posts and my apologies for not doing the rounds and commenting on your posts. My energy levels are non existent and, at the moment, everything is a struggle. I have an appointment with the doctor next week, so hopefully he'll be able to get me back on track.

Games nights are becoming really popular - three new ones have appeared on the local Meet Up sites in the last month. I tried to get one started a couple of years ago but it didn't take off, mainly due to one of the regulars being a poor loser and others dropping out because of it!

Anyway, I haven't been to any of the new ones but my friend A has and has reported back. The one she went to played all new group games (like Werewolf) and the group were mainly 20s and 30s, and looking at the other groups in a bit more detail, they seem to be the same. I've since chatted with A and with other friends and the consensus is that we'd all like to have a games night but would prefer to play traditional board games.

So, if we can agree a date, we'll revisit the idea of a games night and depending on how many are interested I may host it here. In the meantime, I'm looking for all my games, which seem to be spread all around the house, and have allocated the top two shelves of one of the playroom cupboards to their storage. The stuff on the bottom shelf in the photo is to do with my family tree research and will be moved as soon as I've cleared a space for it - the shelf isn't warped, it's just the angle at which the photo was taken!

The job isn't finished but that's all I'm going to do today. I'll get some lunch (soup and a sandwich) and then settle down for the afternoon with a new book. I need to get on and read the book group choice for this month ... 'The Secret Place' by Tana French.

Thursday, 7 February 2019


I had a good night's sleep but feel completely exhausted after yesterday's trip to Bath for the graduation, so it's another day at home resting as much as possible. It's raining so it's unlikely I would have gone out anyway.

The tiredness I feel is out of proportion to my daily activities and I'm wondering if I may be anaemic. I have blood test scheduled for next week so I will ask for them to test for anaemia at the same time. 

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Graduation Day!

Lauren's graduation day has been brilliant. All her family were there to support her but she was limited to four tickets so only her dad and his wife, plus her mum and myself actually had seats to watch the ceremony. Her sisters and another family friend withdrew to a pub and rejoined us once the ceremony was finished. They have now gone out for a meal but, although I was invited, I came home and will take Lauren out for a meal one evening next week instead ... I don't drink and I think it'll be a very boozy do! 

Tuesday, 5 February 2019


Thank you all for your kind comments yesterday. It’s another ‘take it easy’ sort of day because I definitely want to be well enough for tomorrow. I feel tons better, still not 100%, but so much better than the last couple of days. I’m not sure whether it is a virus or as a result of overdoing things but the rest seems to be sorting me out.

Yesterday I watched a bit of TV in between dozing on the sofa. Daytime TV isn't always the most stimulating experience but I did enjoy the quiz show, Tipping Point, as one of the competitors was a local man who ended up winning over £3000.

I wouldn’t have been going out today anyway as I’m expecting two deliveries ... the new bedding should arrive today. I haven’t found the stuff I already have - if I put it in a safe place it’ll probably never be seen again! I decided to treat myself to a new duvet cover and also a new fitted sheet, a valance to fit a double bed (all my other sheets are king size), and a couple of extra pillow cases. I'll soon be back in my own bedroom.

Monday, 4 February 2019

A 'Feeling Pathetic' Day

I feel better than I did yesterday but am still not right. I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself and have accepted that any effort on my part today is going to fall into the 'pathetic, could do better' category! Being ill when you live alone is the pits. I'm 99% certain it is a virus so have decided against seeing the doctor and will instead rest properly and allow my body to fight whatever it is. If I don't see a real improvement by the end of the week I'll see the doctor then.

So, today and tomorrow will be spent tucked up at home. No sorting, no organising, no work of any sort but plenty of listening to my body and sleeping/eating/drinking as needed. I have to go out on Wednesday (Lauren's graduation do, which I wouldn't miss for the world) and then I have the rest of the week to hide away if necessary. 

I think some much needed rest will make a big difference to how I'm feeling so I'll press 'publish' on this post, turn the heating up a bit, and then settle down on the big sofa for the day. I may even watch some daytime TV!

Sunday, 3 February 2019


We didn't have to wait long for the return of a blue sky and the start of the thaw. The main roads are clear so the only driving challenge is to navigate the icy side road and a very slippery turn to the right. If the thaw continues, which I think it will, I'll be venturing into town tomorrow for bits and bobs of shopping, and hopefully to see the doctor.

I don't have an appointment so will try to see the duty doctor. It took all of my strength to get out of bed this morning - my energy levels are non-existent, I have a headache that won't go away, all my joint hurt like mad, and I had a couple of nose bleeds during the night. I don't have a high temperature so I don't think it's a return of the virus I had a month or so ago, but something isn't right.

As for today, there's nothing planned and I'm not expecting visitors so it'll be a leisurely day and an early night. 

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Winter Photographic Scavenger Hunt | January Link Up

It's time for the end of January link up. Please add a link to your WPSH post so we can all visit your blog to see how you're getting on.


Band practice has been cancelled, thank goodness. There was a bit of a thaw yesterday but that has frozen overnight and the roads are lethal! I was woken up by the noise of the ice creaking as a neighbour tried to reverse their car out of the drive. I won't be going out today!

I feel a bit restless today, probably because there is no band. Lazy days are all very well and nice but only when they're a treat and not the norm, so there may be some more sorting later on. I'd like to finish organising the cupboards in the playroom today and then move on to the boxes in the music room next week. This is the last big push to get the decluttering finished so I need to summon up the energy to get on with it!

Friday, 1 February 2019

A Snow Day!

If I had my grown up head on I'd be in town to do the banking and other important errands. However, I haven't so I'm tucked up in the warm and have decided to call it  'snow day'. 

Most of the local schools have closed and all the children are outside making the most of the snow. I've already had the knock on the door asking if they can have 'my snow' but I haven't seen any snowmen yet. Intriguingly, I've seen several of them heading off in the same direction dragging sleds behind them but the only hills are main roads, so I don't know where they plan to go. A couple of big kids (i.e. the dads) are with them, so I'm sure they'll stay safe.

We'll be making the decision shortly on whether to cancel band practice tomorrow morning. Experience tells us that most players won't turn up if the schools are closed, but I don't think the snow is going to hang about for too long so we may be okay to go ahead.

Lifestyle Goals - Monthly Review

January has been a busy month but with most of my energy directed to putting the house back in order rather than focusing on my lifestyle goals. Some progress has been made so it's not completely hopeless but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that February brings bigger changes.

Health and Fitness. I've made the decision to try Slimming World (SW) following the successes of my friends L and Joy. I've done it before, years ago, but have decided against joining one of the local groups and will opt to follow the plan online; I'll sign up towards the end of February. I still have some meals in the freezer that need to be eaten before I start properly but in the meantime I have joined a Facebook support group, a SW recipe group and have been looking at SW meal plans online. I've sort of made a start by improving my choice of foods for breakfast (following online meal suggestions) and am now eating more at the start of the day. I no longer feel hungry during the morning but it does mean that I don't really want another meal until my evening meal, opting for a small snack at lunchtime. I don't know if in SW terms this is acceptable as I don't have all the details until I join so I may have to tweak this when I find out.

Exercise needs to happen but isn't! I have been more active because of moving furniture around and sorting boxes etc., but I haven't been doing anywhere near enough walking. Now that it is frosty, and potentially slippery, first thing I'll have to rethink when to go for a walk or if that isn't an option, decide what to do instead.

Socialising. No additions as yet to daytime socialising but the evening arrangements are going according to plan, so for the time being I am content with how things are and will not push too hard for change. I either have the time to sort and clear the rest of the boxes or to meet with friends, and for now the sorting has to take priority. It's quite an easy decision when it is so cold out!

Time Management/Organising. Life, with very little conscious effort on my part, is changing for the better. I’m not talking about the home improvements or the garden or even my social plans, but am thinking about my daily life in retirement. I am starting to see a rhythm to my days with several small regular happenings occurring throughout the day.

On most days I'm getting up at the same time and am sticking to a regular bedtime. All meals are eaten at the table with the table laid properly and meals are no longer a hurried affair. Laying the table adds an element of ceremony and I’m making an effort to enjoy the moment and eat slowly. I stop for coffee around 11 o’clock and sit with a puzzle book to pass away thirty minutes or so. This is repeated at 5:15 pm but at this time I turn on the TV to watch Pointless.

Mornings are when I’m fitting in my daily tasks, some housework and some sorting, so by the afternoon my time is my own to do what I want without feeling guilty! I have to get back into the routine of walking every day but I am making time to play an instrument daily. It’s been working out that by 11 am on a couple of days I’m ready to do whatever needs to be done in the way of shopping and/or errands.

I always think that it's the little things in life that lead to contentment and that's what I'm feeling right now. I have the sort of personality that responds well to having some sort of routine and I'm feeling rather pleased that I can see it all coming together - imagine a massive grin on my face! The best part is that nothing I'm doing stops me from making plans for days out or responding to requests from friends to meet for coffee or lunch, but it does mean that I'm not drifting through the day on the days I spend at home alone, unless I want to of course, and on those occasions I seem to be good at suppressing the guilt! 

I'm not quite in the routine and on top of things as I'd like because procrastination is my friend, but I'm getting there!

My five tasks for January were:
  1. Review budgets, personal and band,  and submit my tax return. TAX RETURN DONE, PERSONAL BUDGET DONE AND BEING MONITORED, BAND BUDGET STARTED
  2. Advertise at least 10 more items for sale FAILED!
  3. Plan meals for 4 weeks DONE
  4. A trip to IKEA Bristol to buy shelving & picture frames for living room DIDN'T GO TO IKEA BUT HAVE SOURCED SHELVING LOCALLY
  5. Make a list of places to visit in 2019, booking tickets and accommodation as necessary DONE

My five tasks for February are:
  1. Update Band finance records
  2. Advertise at least 10 more items for sale 
  3. Buy new towels and bedding
  4. Arrange quotes for garden overhaul
  5. Clear at least half of the boxes in the music room