Sunday, 30 November 2014

Well What Do You Know

Have I finally sorted out my linking to google +. Maybe. I want to be able to comment as Winters End Rambler. Complicated stuff obviously!

I think I have obliterated my old google account but you never know. It may just turn up when I least expect it to.

This weekend I have been Christmas shopping. Frugally of course. We've decided to skip fancy crackers this year. We usually get repeats of jokes, and ill fitting hats, and bits and bobs that no one wants. This year I've bought some battery candles from Poundland, and inted to wrap some hessian and ribbon and a charm around each one. Real pretty like. Yep photos will be taken!

But for tonight I just want to chill for a bit before bed. Tomorrow will be a busy day. I've cut out some fancy Christmas shapes for our residents club.

Back is aching, throat still blinking sore at times. Night night.

J. x

Saturday, 29 November 2014


I'm afraid to say that on Thanksgiving day, I was in a very very bad mood. Basically someone I work with is a less than pleasant person, not just to me, but I take things too personally. This lovely person appears to know no bounds of rudeness. They haven't been working with me that long, but appear to be really upsetting the equilibrium of our work place. A big shame. When I get upset I seem to easily get clobbered by any virus going. Hoorah! This could be one fun season. I need to develop a thicker skin. I will not resort to being downright rude, but it is hard.
Anyway, my mood has lightened. I have been Christmas shopping...frugal style. We are on a budget, however my Hoover, well Sebo to be precise is making such a noise, there has been an order placed for its successor. The current poorly one will be kept for Esse cleaning, which is probably what has made it so poorly in the first place. Talking of Esse cleaning, ours sooted up badly in the week, and dear hubby cleaned it out, while I went off to work. He does not normally do this task...and yes the following morning the darn thing had sooted up again so I had to start from scratch. Arrrgggggh! The bottom piece of metal in the burner had not been put back in quite correctly. Hubby said he put it right but hey ho....a nasty job had to be repeated.
Then there has been the small issue of paperwork. Suffice to say that by early afternoon on Thursday it was a case of get out or pop. So I took myself out for a while. Aahhhhhh. Relax.
One of my five sisters came to stay yesterday and this afternoon we met up with another of our clan. Good fun, though I love them dearly I wouldn't want to live all together full time. Getting together is special though, and living a reasonable distance keeps it extra special for when we do meet up.
But this evening has been about sorting and wrapping. Tomorrow two of my three babies will be here for tea with their partners, the beef is thawing, and I'm going to be asking hubby to fetch his finest in from the vegetable plot!
If time allows I hope to start the Christmas cake and puddings. Let's make some memories tomorrow!
J. x

Saturday, 22 November 2014

And in a Blink November was Almost Over

Ok so being ill is no fun...but this thing has been going on for over 2 weeks now. I'm back to work this afternoon. I lost 3 1/3 shifts to being poorly, then had a week off to visit son up north...had a water infection to take with me. That was sooo much like not appreciated by me. But hopefully now it's gone...pity the same can't be said about the cough and recurring sore throat. Yuck...hubby says I keep snoring. Sexy too!!

While up north we visited the Gladstone pottery and Chatsworth. Both were lovely places. Hubby and son really enjoyed gawping at all the machinery workings at the mill and I enjoyed finding out about how they print onto paper to transfer patterns to the pottery. Chatsworth also had a Christmas market while we visited, and the house was decorated for Christmas with Alice In Wonderland as a theme.

Some dilly forgot to take the good camera and let her phone die at Chatsworth so has no pictures of the place. Below is one taken inside one of the old kilns at Gladstone.
Not very clear but the best I can offer.
I've been on a bit of a stock up food shop. I always do at this time of year, not just because I know rationg will be starting for us soon, more that if the weather turns bad I would rather be prepared than go on a panic buying dash as many folks seem to do.
With me having lost the 3 1/2 shifts to sickness, December is going to be a very lean month. Think I'll hunker down and finish projects and make things with what we already have. A wartime motto if ever there was one.
J. x




Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Going Through It

For over the past week I seem to have been going through it so to speak. First a sore throat, then upset tummy, then sickness, then headcold, and now for good measure a water infection. Have I done something to offend those upstairs? It's beginning to feel like it...and tomorrow hubby and I are travelling North to visit our son for a few days. I only hope I don't pass anything on, maybe a few days away will do me the world of good...hope so! In the last week I've lost 3 1/2 shifts due to illness. Yes these little bugs are proving rather expensive to have, but there was just no way I could have worked through it. Perhaps this will have been my quota of illness for the whole autumn/winter period. Let's hope so.

The trouble with being so fogged up is that no matter how much you try to do things like paperwork you just can't, and last night I was to be found looking in the fridge for a baking tray. Anybody else know the feeling. Brain doesn't want to work at the moment, and to be honest giving the amount of disgusting crap I've blown, sneezed and dripped out of my head it's no wonder. But for how much longer. I want to feel NOW!

Jobs are building always...I'd like to make our mantlepiece look a little more autumnal, change the china on the dresser, and generally cosy up now the nights are well and truly pulled in. In short I want cosy, warm, welcoming...I've resigned myself not to be moving this side of Christmas and that's OK. However if someone with lovely deep pockets could please buy the land and property up for sale by my inlaws I n the Spring I'd be ever do grateful.

So for the rest of the day it's a case of washing, ironing and packing everything we are going to need for our...wait for it...FIVE nights away, took some persuading of hubby that one, so I just told him it was that or nothing and if he didn't want or couldn't come I'd go on my own. Guess only went and worked! So tomorrow off we go. I'm getting excited now though I shall miss the dog and daughter that lives with us. Anyway, enough rambling I have things to do...

Yep this China needs to be put up when we get home!

J. x


Saturday, 8 November 2014

Resting Up

Still off work. Though haven't needed a bowl since eleven yesterday morning, feeling weak and washed out. It was raining heavily but now the sun is streaming through our patio doors showing up how dirty they are. For once I don't care, I have neither the energy or inclination to clean them right now. The woodburner is lit and somehow I have managed to make some pea and ham soup. It just needs blitzing. Having recently had a bowlful of disgusting tasting bought tinned soup I'm determined more than ever to make my own. Cheaper, tastier and probably more nutritious to boot. Win win.

I had intended to make my first ever batch of laundry liquid, but having been rather poorly am having to wait. I can't face grating up a bar of soap today.

So here I am...perusing a few of my favourite blogs. Keep writing and I'll keep reading!

J. x

Friday, 7 November 2014

And Then They Were Gone

Well today has found me mainly horizontal on the sofa after having to be driven home from work last evening. Brain power has obviously been limited and I started to fiddle with my blog. Then I started to fiddle with Google plus, not really liking it to be so public with my name associated with photos etc. So in my stupor I deleted the photos. Bam...something like that...but too late realising that removed them from my blog posts as well. What a plonker am I. Apologies to a lovely lady called Tania, I couldn't figure out how to publish your comments, that's why I replied via email...hope it reached you. Thankyou for your fine words of wisdom. All will be well in the end. Winters End is the name of a property in the book titled A Winters Tale by Tricia Ashley. I immediately fell in love with the name and am determined to call our forever home Winters End when we move. Anyway it will be our Winters end so just feels right.

Until today I'd always wondered why suddenly photos disappeared from people's I know the secret! Typing seems the only thing I'm capable of today...thankfully I haven't been sick since eleven this morning, so I may knuckle down and start entering the monthly wartime/now time comparisons in a bit.

Take care of yourselves everybody...there really are some nasty bugs going around at the moment, and just so the blog isn't completely naked of pictures here are a couple of random ones.

J. x




Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Getting Cold

Ok so it's November, and it's getting colder. As in brrrrr.

I've had the day off but haven't been feeling too well. Had a brisk walk with a friend though and then one with the mutt.

There was no wind and was lovely in the autumn sunshine. Later on when the sun was setting the temperature dropped considerably.

This evening we went to a local pub's bonfire and firework display. The car thermometer said 2.5*C on our way home. Luckily I had filled the woodburner up before we left and it soon sprung to life again.

Tomorrow I have a late shift to work. I'm hoping to get ahead with some menu planning. I'd also like to work out how to add a page on here so I can separate off pieces about how we do with our rationing experiment.

But for now with a very sore throat and throbbing head I really ought to give in and just go to bed.

J. x

Monday, 3 November 2014

Dear Dad...

Dear is nearly five whole years since you took your last breath on this Earth, and shortly before you died you pleaded with me to write about it. Something about WW2, I didn't understand exactly what and so all this time later, I, in your memory have decided to give living on wartime rations as they happened only 75 years on a serious attempt. I no longer have you or Mum to talk to, so I have been speaking to others who have wartime memories.

For me 75 years on the war started on 3rd September, 2014=1939

You were already a soldier when war broke out. A handsome Coldstream Guard actually. I believe you were based at St. James Palace.

I have a picture of you on my living room wall. A copy of the one that used to hang in the Best Room at home. We all have a copy of this picture Dad, all seven of your children are very proud of the life you lived.

Being the baby of the family you were quite old when I was born. I'm thinking you were 49, and Mum would have been 43. The thought of me possibly having a four year old fills me with ooohhhh! And I was rather poorly in my childhood to boot.

Though not my fault, as a mother I now realise how much worry you and Mum must have experienced, not having my final diagnosis until my surgery at age, was I five ?

You willingly went from working on the land to army life. A young to London then war broke out. Your official war diary is so vague. First I believe you were sent to France. I know you were badly injured and the boy you joined up with was killed. Did you get shipped back to Newcastle? For some months you were not fit for active service, but undertook training, especially cooking I believe. So that's how you learnt to cook so well...but only ever when Mum was poorly. Well with Mum and six girls why would you need to!

Next did you go to Africa then Italy? I know you fought in the terrible battle of Monte Casino. In my younger years you were happy to talk about some of the things and as I sat on the arm of your rocking chair you would proudly show me your medals and say about each one, but Dad then I was too young to understand. When I was older you didn't want to talk about it anymore.

I know that when the D day landings took place you were already in France once more, injured again and waiting for a boat to bring you back to England, not too far from the Normandy beaches.

People who knew you before you went to war say you used to be the life and soul of the party, but when you came back that had gone. I always remember you sitting happy to be watching us enjoy ourselves, but never wanting to join in. I don't believe I ever saw you touch a drop of alcohol, or maybe just a small glass of cider with Christmas dinner. I still can't smell cider without being taken back to childhood Christmases. I am also not a big drinker, but do indulge occasionally.

I can never ever remember you overeating. Not once. You worked hard...too hard sometimes. Probably you weren't always easy to live with...stuck in your ways. Your word was the final word.

I know you suffered with nightmares about the war...Mum had to stop you from watching the rememberence services where they dropped the poppies at the end because it caused you too much distress.

We lost Mum in 2003. I can see you now, the week after she died, cutting back the hydrangea heads because Mum had always said it must be done in March. Then you sold the family home to go and live with one of your children the other end of the county. Losing Mum we all found hard, losing the family home as well compounded this, but it was the right thing to do.

At first you did very well, keeping active until getting an infection and losing your confidence to go out. Then you lost the confidence to come downstairs. It was sooo sad to know you spent your days in your room. Surrounded by the past I found it very hard to stay with you in your room for very long. It made me feel so sad.

I now have the picture of the cattle drinking above my fireplace. My husband loves it. It faded somewhat in your very sunny room, but it's still a very special picture to us. I love the sound of the fire in the hearth as much as you did, but instead of an open fire we have a woodburner. Sometimes I sit by it with the door open, lost in my memories.

So Dad, although I can't work out exactly what it was you particularly wanted me to write about, I have tried and hope that doing this experiment is good enough for you. I am going to write extensively about it whilst also studying for a diploma in health care. Your Mother was a nurse wasn't she. Well I'm not nursing but caring for adults with learning disabilities. Quite a change from rearing pheasants!

So goes...the first instalments of my war diaries are on their way...oh and hopefully soon we will get to our Winters End.

Love, J. x