Fitting it all in

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I bought daffodils. When I looked last week there seemed none to be found but early this week, there they were – the promise of Spring, if not just around the corner, then at least on it’s way. I can hardly believe that we are almost at the end of January. At times my feet seem barely to touch the ground. The problem, if indeed it is a problem, is that there are so many regular commitments that I am trying to fit in all other activities into my limited ‘little moments in time’. In addition to the usual tasks involved in running a home and attending the gym three times, I’ve been to a funeral, had lunch with my son’s family and another lunch to celebrate a friends birthday. My granddaughter came for tea on Thursday and today I cooked a roast dinner for visitors, made a coffee cake, a raspberry roulade and an orange jelly dessert. This evening I’m babysitting for my younger son’s family. In other moments I’ve fitted in an eyebrow wax, two hair appointments and a manicure, booked a holiday, been to the doctor and taken my car to the garage for a minor repair. All this in addition to my job. Thank goodness for a husband who is happy (perhaps that is an exaggeration – maybe ‘willing’ would be a more appropriate adjective) to share household tasks. But, whilst I sometimes wish that life would slow down,  how blessed I feel that I have lots of things to do and lots of people to fill it. I suppose it could be argued that much of what I do is my own choice but there is also a lot about which I have no choice. After all – we have to eat. It was pay day yesterday and that’s when I do my main monthly shop.

The freezer and fridge are pretty full so it wasn’t so much the main components of meals that I needed to buy but the peripheral bits and pieces which turn protein into meals and the snacks that fill the odd gap..

I picked up this jar of rhubarb and ginger conserve for just 59p. We don’t eat a lot of jam (a jar will last us about three months) but it’s nice occasionally on toast. I stocked up on some dates and nuts. Since my post about stockpiling Husband thinks I am doing exactly that, forgetting that I have always kept very well stocked cupboards.

I had meant to buy some balloons but had forgotten so I popped to the local mini retail park and ventured into  into Poundstrecher. I’m sure there are better presented branches but our local one is pretty dismal and it must be five years since I went in there. On the way to the pay desk I spotted these oat cereal bars by Benecol (makers of the spread that is supposed to reduce cholesterol). Since I choose not to have a lunch break at work – it means I get to leave earlier – I need to take a couple of snacks with me, usually a banana and a couple of crispbreads or some overnight oats and yogurt, but now and then I like a cereal bar. Noting that these Benecol bars were selling at the astonishingly low price of four boxes for a pound (i.e. twelve bars), I couldn’t resist. At home I checked the usual price – Sainsburys and Ocado are selling them at £2 per box of three!  To make it even better, they taste really good.  They are a bit high on the Slimming World syn count to eat regularly but I won’t be having them every day.bars_raisin-hazelnut_v1

Whilst at the retail park I also bought these heat pads. Similar ones cost £4 -5 in Boots and the supermarkets but Home Bargains sell them at 99p for a pack of two and I can vouch for their efficiency. Now and then they are just what I need for my occasional low backache. I also confess to using one occasionally on a very cold day if I have to be out and about. The heat will last for at least eight hours and its very soothing. Highly recommended.

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I’ll shortly be off to carry out my babysitting stint where I will no doubt be expected to play Pop up pirates and Barbie dolls before snuggling up with a blanket, a book and an eight year old.

16 comments

  1. January? January? Daffodils in January? It is mid-May here and I only now have daffodils and am feeling cheated geographically out of a good life. To put it mildly.

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    • January is very early but we had quite a mild winter. We usually get daffodils in late Feb/early March. Canada has some marvellous scenery (unfortunately I’ve never seen it for real) so don’t feel cheated – celebrate living in such a wonderful country. I do sympathise though; I feel like you when it’s icy here and my friend jets off to the sunshine for TEN weeks in the winter!

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    • Do you know what, Joy? I have a little moan sometimes about not having time to do things in the house, but really I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know that I am lucky to have family, friends and lots to do. My mum was quite a lonely person once she had retired (much of it of her own making) but I saw close at hand how boredom can drag one down and I am determined to avoid that. Husband and I have quite different interests (actually, very different) but, although it may not seem so from my posts, we do spend time together too!

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  2. A very busy and fulfilling life, by the sounds of it, Eloise. I’m glad you are able to do all what you do, that you have the energy and the stamina! I, too, look back to when I was working full time, taking care of my ailing mother and my young daughter, and wonder how I managed! But, I was younger then. Glad you got some good bargains, too, while out shopping.

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    • I worked part time when the children were younger then wanted to progress but could only do so full time. No sooner had I started than my mother began to show signs of dementia and I was studying for qualifications as well. But you hit the nail on the head – we were younger!

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  3. I also bought some daffodils this week. They are so cheerful. My goodness, Eloise, you make me feel like a sloth. Although, I often wonder how I ever had time to work.
    I like the look of the heat pads. I didn’t know they existed!
    I’m very confused about which is the healthiest oil to buy as the advice always seems to be changing.
    At the moment, I alternate between olive oil and rapeseed.

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    • Yes, it’s generally a choice between olive oil and rapeseed for me too, though for dressings I also love walnut oil. You’re right – it’s all very confusing. I have no idea how I ever worked full time!

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  4. You are such a busy lady! My grandchildren are now aged from 30 to 16, so they all have their own busy lives. I am so grateful that I got to spend a lot of time with a couple of them when they were children. Unfortunately, when family lives some distance away, we don’t get to see the other grandchildren so much.

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  5. Oh, my, word, how do you do it. I’m a very busy person but I don’t work! Re: stockpiling. I will have to sellotape my mouth to not comment on anything other than stockpiling, but here goes. I don’t have a lot of food in our kitchen as it’s small! BUT, I think I might get some extra packets of that lovely Italian pasta which is only available at Waitrose. I would be devastated not to get that as it’s the only pasta I can eat. And what about olive oil? Yes, I’ll get some of that. Otherwise I might just ensure that I have some tinned goods. However, around the corner from our block of flats is a butcher that stocks meat from a local farmer. Gosh it’s expensive but I might have to go to him to ensure we’re not getting meat from the States. And then there’s a deli that gets in local fruit, veg and eggs. It’s expensive but at least I have these little shops to go to.

    What a thing to have to do – and feel free to delete this last sentence!

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    • Wouldn’t dream of it, Penny! I like farm shops and the local produce they sell at a craft centre not too far away. These things don’t really concern me as I can’t imagine that they’ll disappear, but olive oil – Oh YES, I’m laying in a few extra bottles! If it’s stuff with a long date and that one regularly uses, then I see no problem with having a little extra in.

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      • I always used to use rapeseed oil but stopped when the erucic acid scare came up linking it to Alzheimer’s. As my mother had dementia I got worried even though only low levels are permitted in products intended for humans. I’ve kept an eye on subsequent studies but it’s all rather uncertain with any cooking oils. I use them as little as possible apart from as salad dressings and an occasional almond cake which contains oil. Trouble is there are so many scare stories relating to foods that it takes a bit of research to sort the scaremongering from the scientifically backed studies. I’m sure that in the small amounts I eat it probably doesn’t really matter which I use!

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  6. I envy your stamina, what a full and busy life. I seem to have lost some of my get up and go as I have passed my mid seventies, I just do not seem to have the speed I used to have.

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    • Believe me, Pam…neither do I! My grandchildren exhaust me. I don’t want that to be the case but I sleep well after a few hours with them! Grandchildren make you realise why mother nature calls a halt to childbearing! I only work 16 hours over three long mornings. I have no idea how I managed to do it full time!

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