Monday, 31 December 2012

Feeding the Forty Thousand!

Having had a few too many lagers yesterday lunchtime in the club, I invited 10 people back for more drink and some food. Thank heaven for the larder! I threw tins of tomatoes, baked beans, kidney beans, fried onions and sweet corn into a wok added veggie mince, garlic, ready cooked rice and chilli powder and voila, a vegan chilli. I also gently fried a bag of kale, added garlic, two tins of chick peas and two teaspoons of mint sauce. I put the two saucepans on the table along with corn wraps and let everyone help themselves, it was a feast fit for a king and even the die hard carnivores went back for more. Desert consisted of chocolate and coffee. A lovely afternoon spent with good friends. Now excuse me, I have a little headache that needs seeing to!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Growing Older Disgracefully!

I LOVE this poem!

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me,
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We will have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised When suddenly I am old and start to wear purple.

Beware I am already wearing a lot of purple!!!!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Happy Christmas

Well, shopping done, presents wrapped, table disappeared under mountain of gifts, time for a sherry! Not really, it is only 0930 after all!!!!
I hope you all have a really lovely Christmas.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Win Some, Lose Some.

That is going to be my motto for 2013.  We have a lot to do on the barge, which is going to cost a huge amount of money.  I am also hoping to take voluntary redundancy in 2014 and cut my hours down to part time working, which means saving up and paying some stuff off.  So next year is going to be a seriously frugal one with every penny being saved.  Every pound saved will be a win win situation.  I have a lot of blogging pals on the same journey for various reasons.  You might like to check out one of my great inspirations over at Saving For Travel .  SFT and her husband have managed to pay off their entire mortgage and are now saving for their retirement funds and to be able to travel the world.  I have joined her sealed pot challenge and am saving up for a trip to Holland to see my blogging pal Val at Watery Ways  in Rotterdam.

And the Lose Some bit....well these are a  few pounds I definitely want to lose...those around my waistline.  I WILL be slim and svelt like by Christmas 2013! I will blog more about the way I intend to do this another time.

Have you set yourselves any challenges for the New Year?


PS Here are some inspirational sites :

Laura at

Datacreata at

Sue at

And there are many more on my blog list to the left of this post xxx

Monday, 17 December 2012

More Ideas for Christmas

For those of you that are spent out or can't face the shops again, if you head over to Janys' blog you will find lots of ideas and tutorials for homemade gifts. Personally, I think there is nothing nicer than a homemade gift as it shows that the giver has thought about you and taken time to create a special gift.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Another Lovely Present Idea About Life Afloat

My lovely blogger pal, Margy, lives in the most amazing floating cabin amongst the mountains in Canada. There is a whole series of wonderful books that describe their floating life that is very much off-grid. Margy has a floating garden which just has to be seen, the amount of produce that she gets is unbelievable. Pop over to her blog where all the books are available to buy, as well a lot more information about their lifestyle.

Last Minute Christmas Present Idea

If you are interested in reading more about living on a barge, then you should read Watery ways by Val Poore. It it a cracking read and would make a great Christmas present. Below is a review of the book taken from SunPenny blogspot. I can't quite work out how to repost, but if you go to the link you can see the full interview with more pictures.


About 'Watery Ways'

Trading life in the fast lane of Johannesburg for that of Rotterdam's serene Oude Haven, Valerie Poore packs all her worldly possessions aboard the historic Dutch barge, the Hoop, and sets about rebuilding both the boat and her life after divorce – and rediscovering herself and her own capabilities in the process.

Along the journey of renovation she is joined by an array of characters, including two dogs and a rather adventurous cat, a smiling but absent-minded ‘landlord’, a quirky friend and confidante, and an olde worlde charmer whose mastery at the helm wins more than just her respect. Before long Val has to learn to cope with the strenuous demands of acting as Skipper's Mate during numerous nail-biting adventures – frequently with hilarious effect.

When the Hoop, her rented home, is sold, Valerie relishes the new challenge of hunting down the Vereeniging, another picturesque barge aboard which she builds herself a new home and learns that, when life on the waterways is threatened by rust and insurance critics, it is those who band together to help who make the lifestyle so worthwhile.

Valerie’s touchingly sincere story is one of discovery and friendship, endurance and love and, most importantly, never allowing the landlubbers to get you down!

About Valerie Poore

Valerie Poore was born in London, England, and after completing her degrees in English, History and French, and a further course in the conservation and restoration of museum artefacts, she worked for a furniture restoration company until the birth of her first daughter. She lived a life of ‘self-sufficiency’ on a smallholding before going to South Africa in 1981 with her husband and very small children, where they lived on a farm in Natal (subject of her first book, African Ways). She currently lives on a barge in Rotterdam – a rather special lifestyle.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


I HATE driving in the snow and ice!  I get myself so worked up, that I could almost cry.  I am lucky that I can usually put off going in to work a bit later in the morning, rather than attempt the drive in the dark.  However, this week I am delivering a particular course and I HAVE to be in work every day and early.  So to overcome my fears I am actually staying a work.  It is such a chore as I have all my meals cooked for me, the room cleaned on a daily basis and tea served first thing in the morning and last thing at night!

Why am I telling you this?  Well, I have discovered recently that if I use my computer at work to read and comment on your blogs, quite often my comments end up in your spam boxes or disappearing completely.  I would hate you all to think that I don't care or that I cannot be bothered to read your posts and comment.  Blogger obviously has some sort of prejudice against the MoD computer system!!!!  Also being a military establishment, I do not get a signal on my phone or iPad to blog or comment.   I have managed to get on to a stand alone computer to post this.  But please excuse my absence from commenting on your posts, rest assured I am reading them all every day and thoroughly enjoying them.  In fact, you are my escape from work each day.  So please bear with me and normal service will be resumed as soon as I get home (providing I get a signal!!!)   Lots of Love to you all xxxx      

Sunday, 9 December 2012

The Ship's Stores

This is what I was so excited about - my new walk in larder. It was something that was on the plans from day one and now it is beginning to come together. The reason for getting this bit done was to clear Carpe Diem of some clutter, although I don't know where all those stores came from! The outside part of the larder will have more shelves, a nice deep butler sink (for bathing Alfie) and some cupboards. It is well insulated and hopefully will maintain a fairly constant temperature. Got to go now and fill up some more shelves!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Coming Soon.....

.....something I have always wanted. I am so excited and can't wait! Here is a tantalising little glimpse...