Spinach and spiders!

  Still lots going on in the garden. It is absolutely full of spiders though! I’m not a great fan but I can cope with them. You can’t be a wimp about creepy crawlies when you are a gardener!
 There are quite a few flowers and still lots of vegetables. The courgettes are coming to an end which is just as well as we are all sick of them now. I have cooked them in so many ways, but in the end a courgette is still a courgette.
  Tonight we had spaghetti with homegrown spinach, mushrooms and cream. It was a variation of the recipe in A Girl Called Jack’s book, but I added some cream and wine to use them up and because I think it needs more sauce. It was quick , easy and healthy which is what I am always looking for after work.
  What are your speedy go to recipes when you are in a hurry?

It’s a question of attitude…

I had a conversation via Facebook with an old acquaintance last week. She has six children and has recently split up with her husband. Not surprisingly, money is now quite tight! She is putting on a bit of weight due to a medical condition too, and was worrying about having to find the money to buy new clothes. I told her that I bought a lot of my clothes on eBay secondhand. I could tell she was quietly appalled at the prospect of wearing other people’s cast offs! I wasn’t offended. A lot of people feel the same I’m sure.

Some of my recent finds


 Looking in my wardrobe, it’s tricky to find much that was purchased new, apart from shoes (I have wide feet and need comfort!), underwear and a few basic vests and tops from Primark.

I don’t feel hard done by though. I love  a bargain! I have found so many beautiful and excellent quality items in charity shops, at boot sales and online.  I own plenty of xcellent brands like Monsoon, Per Una, Laura Ashley and even Phase Eight. I wouldn’t have been able to afford to  buy these from new. I can’t believe what some folk buy and then discard – more money than sense!

My friend sees buying secondhand as a failure, I see it as  victory. It’s all question of attitude!

More dental woes, and preserving the summer glut for a frugal winter

  I can’t believe I am still suffering from dental pain! I went to the dentist and he said it was a cracked filling then booked me in for a months time! The pain went from bed to excruciating over the weekend and I had to find an emergency dentist on Sunday morning who told me I had an infection so she couldn’t do anything except give me antibiotics and to go back to my regular dentist.  I have an appointment tomorrow and just hope he can sort it. 

  However it still hurts a lot and I have had two days off work with it – very unusual for me but I can’t sleep and am a bit out of it with all the painkillers I have been taking. I can’t believe one little tooth can cause so much trouble, and I daren’t think how much it will cost if I have to have a root canal treatment. I am seriously considering dental insurance for the future. I have rarely had problems, but I’m getting older and so are my gnashers!!

  I tried to distract myself today by pickling more cucumbers, making tons of courgette soup for the freezer and making a nice vat of ratatouille for tea tonight, which is soft enough for me to eat if I mash it up a bit. I feel like a baby!! All my food is currently in purée form.

The courgettes, tomatoes, peppers and onions in the ratatouille are all from the veg patch, so I am very happy with that. It’s delicious, if I say so myself.

Thd pickled cucumber recipe is here if you fancy it. It’s really yummy, sweet and crunchy!

Mud and music

  We had a fantastic long weekend at Carfest, despite the odd and changeable weather. The highlights were Paloma Faith, Take That (I was surprised to find I knew ALL the words!), Jools Holland and the Feeling. It is definitely a family festival and the lack of the usual idiotic  drunks and drug-takers made for a really lovely and relaxed atmosphere.

  There was lots to do if you had children. Mr S, being a bit of a petrol head, loved all the cars. There was pretty much something for everyone. We even watched Chris Evans do the One Show live on Friday evening!

  We were pretty organised and took most of our own food and drink. It is hard to stick to a budget when you can spend £4 on a single cup of coffee! By Sunday morning I  had spent a mere £8! 🙂 We did treat ourselves to a burger that night as the line up was so good we didn’t want to go back to the tent to cook.

  Some folk with families who were less organised must have spent a fortune.

We didn’t bother with showers at all as there was a constant queue. I always think a packet of baby wipes is almost as good for a few days 😏.

  It poured on Sunday night and Monday morning and the site was a sea of mud in no time. Packing up in the rain certainly speeds things up. We were on our way home by 9.30.

If you are lucky enough to get tickets for next year I would recommend it, and you are even supporting a good cause as the event makes loads of money for Children in Need.