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Where have I been?

February 9, 2018

Hello. How are you? Sorry I’ve not been around lately. I have been so busy over the last couple of months that I haven’t had the time or energy to write my blog. I’ve basically been busy sorting out things for the extension (which is getting there, I am hoping it will be finished within the next three weeks), home life and I’ve started an OU course in English Literature and Creative Writing. Added to that, we are currently living in extremely trying living conditions…I have boxes of stuff everywhere, I can’t access certain things (my desk for one) and normal living is difficult, especially when I can’t find anything. We don’t have a shower – but we do have a bath – and my kitchen has only this week gotten worktops and, more importantly, heating.  And it has been freezing downstairs. Luckily  I can shut the heat in the living room and have been camping out there during the day. However, there are worst things and this ‘pain’ will not last much longer…I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Anyway, apart from living in a house that looks like a tornado has blown through it what with the boxes of stuff and building detritus and dust everywhere, we are doing great. Life is trundling along and we are looking forward to the spring. My garden is a hellhole – it served as a storage facility for building materials (front and back) – but it will recover over the coming months. Despite the stuff everywhere, spring flowers are already showing their little spears of green and I’m looking forward to their annual show.  The dogs, in case you are wondering, are still as mischievous and fun as always. Our guinea pig is still hail and hearty… he must be well over eight now, which is ANCIENT in guinea pig terms. He is fat, bright eyed and full of life. I wonder what his secret is!!

What else has been happening? Well, I’ve just finished binge watching Burn Notice, which is a US show about a burned spy trying to clear his name. I loved it. Can’t believe I missed it the first time around. Now that that is over, I am looking for another tv series to binge watch. Any suggestions?

Also read Kit Marlowe’s Dr Faustus as part of my OU course. It was great, better than I thought it would be. I always like Shakespeare, but had never read or seen a Marlowe play. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I have it as a DVD so am going to watch it soon…probably next week when the kids are still languishing in bed (they are off school next week). They’ll only moan if I watch it when they are around.

I am toying with the idea of having a no spend month…that’s a month where you only spend money on essentials and save on stuff you don’t need like eating out or sweets or magazines. I think this family could do with a bit of self control with money… my kids seem to think I have loads of cash to spend on them. I don’t, but that doesn’t stop them asking for money for sweets. Yes, the idea of having a no spend month is looking even more attractive the more I think about it. The idea comes from some of the frugality blogs I read especially Living Well Spending Less by the splendidly named Ruth Soukup…I read Ruth’s book about spending less and it has some great tips.

Anyway, that’ll be something for when the extension is done.

Right, on that note, I am going to say adieu until next time. See you soon…promise!

Dawn xxx

 

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Seasons Greetings

December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you have a great day.

Dawn xxx

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Eggnog Day (and also Christmas Eve)

December 24, 2017

I have to confess I have never had eggnog, but I love the idea of it so today we are celebrating Eggnog Day (and Christmas Eve). You can buy it in shops, but I am sure home-made eggnog is far superior to shop bought. Here’s a wee recipe for you to try (I certainly will be):

You need: 3 ½ cups of milk; 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract; 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon; a cinnamon stick; a pinch of ground cloves; six egg yolks; ¾ cup of granulated sugar; one cup rum (optional); one cup double cream; ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg.

Method: put the milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cinnamon stick and clove into a medium sized saucepan over a low heat. Bring it to a slow boil. Once it starts to boil, take the saucepan off the heat and let the cinnamon stick steep for two minutes before removing. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a mixer and whisk until pale and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the hot milk mixture to the yolks and mix. Put the mixture back into the saucepan and heat on medium for about five minutes, stirring continuously.  Don’t let boil. Once thick and creamy, take off the heat and allow to cool a little. Stir in the rum (if using), double cream and nutmeg. Allow to fully cool before putting in the fridge overnight.  To serve: place in nice glasses and sprinkle with cinnamon. For a non-alcoholic eggnog leave out the rum.

 

Merry Christmas everyone!!

 

 

 

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Bake Cookies Day or as I Like to Put it ‘Bake Biscuits Day’

December 18, 2017

Personally, I think there are far too many Americanisms becoming the norm in British society, so I am renaming this Bake Biscuits Day. It’s your day to bake the biscuit of your choice and then sit back and enjoy the buttery deliciousness of your creation with a refreshing cup of tea.

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Gingerbread House Day

December 12, 2017

Oh, how I love gingerbread and gingerbread houses and what’s more Christmassy than the warm spicy smell of a gingerbread house pervading your home?

Today is Gingerbread House Day when gingerbread lovers are encouraged to make and decorate their own gingerbread houses. Failing that you can buy a kit or an already decorated one in the shops. It doesn’t matter how you get your gingerbread house, just that you have fun making it, displaying it and eventually eating it. Yum. Enjoy.

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Pretend to be a Time Traveller Day

December 8, 2017

DCF 1.0

It’s the stuff of dreams (or nightmares): how would you like to be able to travel through time? Think of the things you would see and the people you could meet!

Okay so no-one can yet time travel, but that hasn’t stopped the Koala Wallop online community from setting up Pretend to be a Time Traveller Day. Started in 2007, the day was set up and its basic premise is for people to have fun pretending to be a time traveller, either from the past or future. Dress up, meet up with likeminded friends and have fun.

And here’s my favourite time traveller…

 

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Birthdays, lunches, reading, making…but no tinsel

December 5, 2017

I am not doing it. Not yet. No sir. There will be no baubles, tinsel or elves on this blog this week. They might appear next week, but this week is strictly Christmas free. It’s not that I am being bah humbug about this, but I like to leave Christmas decorating until nearer the big day. So you’ll not be finding Christmas decs up at my house just now…that’s a job for this weekend or maybe next week.

So how are you? Hope you’ve had a good week. I’ve been really busy over the last couple of weeks with social events galore. I have barely been in. Last month, there were five family birthdays and four practically family (but not blood or marriage related) birthdays (ie close friends) to celebrate, including my own and the boy’s. Most recently me and the kids were at an 18th party at my friend’s house. Her daughter, who is just lovely and I wish I could adopt her, turned 18 and there was a big family bash. It was a great night. I thoroughly enjoyed it although I partook of too much wine and suffered for it the next day. Happy birthday E…have a great party weekend with your friends this weekend.

I’ve also been lunching and that’s thrown my diet right out of the window so have decided to ditch it until after Christmas when, I hope, my new kitchen may be usable. Talking of that, the extension has been going on good guns: the roof is on, the windows in and they are doing the insulation as I write. Am so excited. It’s already looking amazing.

Other big news and DarkIsle is now available in a special 10th anniversary edition. So go and buy it now. If you know me personally I will be happy to sign it for you.

Also want to give a wee mention to my Uncle Ian who sadly died this month. He was a lovely man, an ex Glasgow policeman who was full of good humour and a brilliant mimic. He will be missed.

What else have I been up to? I’ve been knitting away for my new Etsy shop called CosyCosy Studio (link is here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CosyCosyStudio?ref=shop_sugg). I’ve only got a few things on there just now, but will be adding to it. Would appreciate genuine and helpful feedback on my products if you have the time.  At the moment, there are some hand knitted lap blankets and hand-made cards, but I have some scarves to add this weekend. Am just about to add the lining to them and then they will be ready. The first is a hand knitted yellow Alpaca lap blanket, the second a hand knitted green basket weave pattern blanket and the hand stamped and hand painted Three Kings Christmas card.

Books I have been reading over the last couple of weeks include Ruth Goodman’s How to Be a Tudor (am right into the Tudor era at  the moment) and Alexander Langland’s Craeft. Both of them you may know from the Tudor Farm, Wartime Farm etc programmes (which I love). Ruth, in particular, is a lively and interesting writing and I’ve read books of hers before. This is the first time I’ve read anything of Alex’s and I’m enjoying it too. Hers is about – surprise surprise – ordinary folk in the Tudor era and his is about lost crafts. Loving reading both.

If you are wondering about the photos used in this blog today, they were taken before 9am on various mornings over the past week except for the last one, which was an afternoon pick a few weeks ago. I love the autumn colours and the blue skies. If you look carefully at the pics you’ll see three wee dogs running around having fun. The pics were taken on our daily walks around the River Clyde area where we live. They love it, I love it. Even when it’s freezing cold, it’s great to get out into the fresh air and enjoy the views of the river.

Right I am going to finish up here and wish you adieu until next time!

Dawn xxx

My favourite pic from the last couple of weeks:

 

 

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