Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Belated Happy New Year!

Hi everyone! How's 2013 going for you so far? May it get even better as the year goes on.

Let me catch you up with some of the things I've been up to. The main reason I haven't posted for a while is that I got myself a Christmas job at Boots (Chemist and beauty shop). 
Sorry about the picture quality - it was taken on my mobile phone. I worked full time, 5 days a week, from 7.30 till 4.30. That 7.30 start was a killer! I was up each morning at 6, which is really difficult for this bed-lover, in order to feed my two cats, rabbit and wild birds before leaving. It was also really hard setting off in the dark and returning in the dark, so I made sure I went out during my lunchtimes to see daylight. 
As for the job itself, it was really manual work; lots of opening boxes, lifting stuff, loading trolleys, shelf stacking, shelf tidying, and helping customers find where things are in store - AND I LOVED IT!!! Having been a Primary School teacher for 27 years, it was so good to do such a physical job without all the mental stress and, best of all, no work to do in the evenings and on Sundays!
What I completely forgot to factor in for a Christmas job was that I would need to work at Christmas! I had Christmas day and New Year's Day off but was back there for the Boxing Day sales. When Daughter came home from uni for the hols I only saw her in the evenings and on Tuesdays and Sundays. Never mind. It was a really good experience, and a good thing for the c.v. They said they were really pleased with me for 'mucking in and getting on with it' and wouldn't hesitate to employ me again.

I must admit it's been lovely to take my time again now, and my cats love that I'm around to make a fuss of them. Here's Bramble, my boy cat, hiding under the doormat, waiting to ambush his sister when she comes down the stairs:

And here he is again, this time in the kitchen, having batted something under the mat:

Here's his sister, Luna, taking a nap on the back of the couch:

I've done a little cooking too - Spicy Roots and Lentils Casserole. From this.....

...to this:

And I used the Gooseberries I bottled last summer to make a yummy pie for dessert:

Flopsy enjoyed eating the ends of carrots and parsnips left over:

We've had snow here for the past week and my water butts have completely frozen up. Should have insulated them! I like to use the water to flush my toilet, so  I thought to myself "Now what would my ancestors have done for water in these circumstances?" I expect you're already yelling the obvious answer at the screen, but it took me a whole day to realise.....melt snow of course!!! Durrrr!!! So, much to the cats' mystification, I put three buckets worth next to the radiator:
 I was surprised to find it took most of the day to melt. I knew from science lessons, and milk bottles on the doorstep, that frozen water takes up more space than melted water, but those three buckets only yielded one bucket of water. Hmm....live and learn.

And finally, here's a picture of my favourite Christmas pressie, which Daughter got me from my wish list on Amazon - a hurricane lamp!!
Isn't it beautiful?  I had the wick too high at first, which has left a sooty stain on the glass, but I've got the hang of it now. I found almost odourless indoor lamp oil at The Range (nearby shop) so I am very happy!

Blessings to all who read this blog!  x x 

P.S. Oops! Just noticed I've posted pics of Bramble's ambush before. Oh well, it still makes me laugh every time I come downstairs and see that tail sticking out.