"Dear Diary ..."

What a January it's been!

Lyric snippet from "Dear Diary" by The Moody Blues.

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Back to life......

Back to main (current) blog page

To August 2020

To September 2020

To October 2020

To November 2020

To December 2020

To February 2021

January 2021

January contained the usual mix of books, beach and baking - which was made all the more enjoyable by the arrival of my vintage Braun Multipractic food processor! The weight loss also continued quite well.

Bob discovered a new hobby - weaving - and my craft room was rearranged slightly to accommodate his lovely new loom. Bob also brought his bread maker over and home-made bread and jam became a breakfast favourite!

I started off "365 Days of Creativity" on my creative page, and was (and still am) determined to get through all the WIPs which I've accumulated over the last few years.

All in all, January was a really good month.

If you would like to look at the posts from the very first one on Friday 1st January, then please click here.

Sunday 31st January 2021

Picture of the day......"...Oh me, oh my, love that..."

I usually plan what to make for dinner in the morning, so that I can take out anything from the freezer, etc. This morning's plan was for a pie, and after getting home from a walk on the beach, where it was very cold, I think hot pie was definitely the right choice!

For the filling I used some Tesco "Plant Chef" meatballs (vegan), which I'd had in the freezer after buying them just before Christmas for 25 pence! I chopped up an onion and some mushrooms, and for the gravy I used a Colman's beef casserole mix (again vegan) and some ready-rolled vegan puff pastry for the topping.

I served it with baby new potatoes, green veggies and sweetcorn, and it was very yummy. There's enough left over for dinner tomorrow evening.

As far as my freezer is concerned, I don't feel I'm getting the best out of it. It's always full, and I can always pull something out of it for a meal. However, I do tend to buy lots of ready-made vegan stuff - burgers, joking mince, etc., and I'm concerned that we're eating too much of the processed stuff and not enough made-from-scratch vegetable and plant based foods.

So I've decided to change that, and make more meals from scratch, using fresh veggies, beans and pulses. Instead of using leftovers for lunches, I'll be freezing them to use as main meals on days when time is tight or I'm not feeling up to par for cooking a meal from scratch, instead of reaching for the burgers, etc. It should work out healthier and cheaper!

I've made a start on this by freezing two portions today of what was left from our meal last night - a bean chilli which I did make from scratch.

I'm looking forward to the week ahead. As from tomorrow, I'm on Furlough again, although not completely this time as I'll be working one full day (Friday). I'm hoping to make the most of the time at home and get stuff done in the house, out in the garden if the weather allows, working on my website, taking time out for me if health dictates that I need it, and of course spending quality time with my Lovely Man and the furbabies.

I wish whoever is reading this a very happy, healthy and safe week ahead, whatever you're up to!

"...Oh me, oh my, love that...", my chosen song word snippet for today, is taken from the Bob Dylan song Country Pie.

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Saturday 30th January 2021

Picture of the day......"...a host..."

I usually buy daffodils for St. David's Day, when it's really starting to feel like spring. Today though, on a trip to Morrisons for some grocery shopping, I couldn't resist these little beauties to cheer up the bedside cabinet. Daffodils are one of my favourite flowers. I always feel cheered by their happy colour, and their perfume is scrumptious!

Today has been quite chilled. Because it's Weekend, no alarm was set, so we had a late start, and breakfast in bed, involving homemade bread and yummy jam. As well as admiring daffodils and shopping for food, I've been crocheting, knitting, reading, cwtching kitties, and generally making the most of the weekend vibes!

I'm planning more of the same tomorrow, with perhaps some cake baking thrown in. For now though, it's cwtch on the sofa for T.V. time.

"...a host...", my chosen song word snippet for today, is actually from Wordsworth's poem "The Daffodils". You may not know that this poem has been set to music, with a few different tunes. Lots of years ago, I sang with a Cardiff ladies choir, called "Greensleeves", and we used to sing one version of it, and I loved it.

Please click here if you would like to listen to that version of it via YouTube - sung by a lady called Emma Barnes. I have no idea who she is, but she has a lovely voice!

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Friday 29th January 2021

Picture of the day......"...It's Friday..."

I've shamelessly stolen this picture from t'interweb, because I haven't taken any pictures today.....and I don't care - so there!

It's Weekend - yaaay! I'm hoping that it will be a lovely weekend, filled with lots of things which make me (and my Lovely Man) happy. We'll do our best to achieve that anyway, with the help of some quality time together and with our furbabies....and some reading, walking on the beach, cooking & eating yummy food, watching T.V. (we're currently enjoying the "Shetland" series), yarncrafts, and general stuff & nonsense.

I wish whoever is reading this a very happy, healthy, and safe weekend!

"...It's Friday...", my chosen song word snippet for today, is from the song "Friday I'm In Love" by The Cure. I love this song!

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Thursday 28th January 2021

Picture of the day......"...I feel the sense of possibilities..."

I love taking photographs, and take lots of them, especially for this website and blog.

Up until last year I was using my PiePad to take them, but then that broke. I was then using an old 'phone, and was always disappointed, because my images never seemed to be sharp. At the moment, I'm not in a position to be able to spend a lot of money on a camera, so I thought I'd have a little look to see if I could pick up a cheap but reasonably good one on eBay. My Lovely Man had a look for me, and found a "Nikon Coolpix", which was going really cheap, so I bought that.

It actually has quite a lot of features on it, including a macro option for getting up close and personal with my subject. This is handy, since I do lots of creative stuff and want to show detail in my photographs. Bob's been helping me to find my way around it, as well as giving me lots of tips on how to use it. I had a bit of a fiddle with it today, taking some pictures of the work I was doing, and although I still have a long way to go, I'm quite pleased with how my pictures turned out today.

"...I feel the sense of possibilities...", my chosen song word snippet for today, is from the song "The Camera Eye" by Rush.

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Wednesday 27th January 2021

Picture of the day......"...and I feel all right..."

I was feeling a little bit disappointed at reaching a weight loss plateau this week.

Even though it's obviously going to happen during my weight loss journey, and I am fully aware of it, and generally positive of mind, there was that little niggle at the back of my mind saying "You didn't do so well this week then...". If you've been on a weight loss journey, or even if you're on one now, I'm sure you know what I mean.

So, to combat it, I decided to go through a few bits of clothing in the drawers and see if anything is now fitting, which wasn't a couple of months ago. Et voila - these jeans! They are a particularly favourite pair, because of the lovely embroidery and applique on them, and they were very much on the tight side the last time I wore them. Today they fit comfortably.

A good result, and a definite reminder that I'm doing ok! We all need that now and then, don't you think?

"...and I feel all right...", my chosen song word snippet for today, is from the song "Jeans On" by David Dundas.

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Tuesday 26th January 2021

Picture of the day......"Threads"

My Lovely Man's weaving so far - I'm impressed!

Bob's been trying out a few different yarns and combinations of weave stitches. He tells me that he's enjoying, and learning by his mistakes as he goes along - as is the case with all new ventures. It's a shame that the photographs don't show the details, but I think you can get the idea.

I'm looking forward to seeing more, and to watching the progression as he gets used to the loom, and different weights and textures of the huge variety of yarns which are out there.

I'm also keeping a close eye on my yarn stash! Haha.

"Threads", my chosen song word snippet for today, is the title of a song by Portishead.

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Monday 25th January 2021

Picture of the day......"...Try and keep your head up to the sky..."

Monday is Weigh Day!

Alas and alack, I haven't lost anything this week. However, I haven't put any on either - I've just stayed the same.

This means that clearly I've reached a plateau and need to reduce my calorie intake and/or increase activity.

Up until now, I've been having around 2000 calories per day, which is actually quite a lot, and I'm very pleased and positive about the fact that I've lost twelve pounds on that! I'm surprised really that I haven't reached a plateau sooner.

From this week, I'll reduce to 1,800 calories per day - still quite a lot actually - and we'll see what next week brings.

I had an extra day off today, and it was a fairly chilled day - just pottering, some crochet, and some reading.

We popped out to the beach this afternoon. It was really cold, but at least there wasn't a cold wind.

Ollie enjoyed a good run around as usual, and we were rewarded with a lovely sunset - then home for hot chocolate! Yummy.

"...Try and keep your head up to the sky...", my chosen song word snippet for today, is from the song "You Gotta Be", by Des'Ree.

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Sunday 24th January 2021

Picture of the day......"We’ve got a fantasy..."

A lovely pile of books!

I love books and read as much as I can - as much as time and energy allow for, and I do get through a fair few. These books are the one I'm currently reading, by Peter May, and the ones I really want to get through over the next few months.

In spite of actually turning a (small) room at the back of my house into a library during last summer, and vowing that I would buy no more books until I'd read all that's in the library (at least a couple of hundred!), I have ended up accumulating more, and until today they've been kind of dotted around the house.

Now they are neatly piled on a bedside cabinet, and just begging to be read!

It's my Gowjus Girl's 28th birthday today, so I've had a couple of chats on the 'phone with her, and I think she's been having a lovely day - as lovely as a person can when they're locked down for their birthday!

In other news, these are the latest pictures from Bob's loom! I took them last night, when Bob had loaded the warp onto the loom, ready to do some weaving. He has been weaving today - trying the tension and some different patterns, learning by mistakes (as we all do when embarking on a new venture) and generally (I think) enjoying himself! I'll have more pics tomorrow to put on here.

For now though, I'm off to watch some T.V. with my Lovely Man and then head off to bed for (hopefully) a good night's sleep!

I hope you've had a great weekend, and I wish you a happy, healthy and safe week ahead.

"We’ve got a fantasy...", my chosen song word snippet for today, is from the song "Wrapped Up In Books", by Belle and Sebastian.

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Saturday 23rd January 2021

Picture of the day......"...a wond'rous woven magic..."

My Lovely Man has been slaying his table-top loom (setting up the yarns ready to weave).

This is for a practice piece. I'm looking forward to seeing his first weaving! I love the colours he's using.

Today was such a beautiful day. Cold, but really sunny, bright and crisp. We popped to the beach to give Ollie a good run, and he so enjoyed himself, as he always does on the beach.

We saw this sad little sight on the beach too - somebody clearly has a broken heart! I hope it's been mended already, or that it's not really broken, they just think it is, but are mistaken. Yes, I know I'm a softie. Haha.

I've had quite a productive day today, sorting out lots of things in the front (spare at the moment) bedroom, which have been there for quite a while, but are now packed up ready to go up in the loft.

I've liberated this lovely chair, which I got as a freebie in the summer (just after lockdown) when Bob was out on a PAT testing job and spotted it after it had been put outside a house with a note saying it was free to a good home. Bob knew I would love it (I do!) and bagged it for me. It's in lovely condition, although I will change the upholstery at some point. For now though, it is the perfect cosy corner to crochet in......although I'll have to fight Basil, who clearly thinks it's a great snoozing spot!

"...a wond'rous woven magic...", my chosen song word snippet for today, is from the song "Tapestry", by Carole King.

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Friday 22nd January 2021

Picture of the day......"...winter's tale..."

A lovely book in the post!

Patricia Cornwell is one of my favourite crime fiction writers, and I've read most of her Kay Scarpetta books. Kay Scarpetta is the main character in the books. She is of Italian descent and, and in the books references are sometimes made to her Italian cooking.

I love Italian food, and this has always piqued my interest. I was aware that Patricia Cornwell had written a book called "Scarpetta's Winter Table", which has Italian recipes in it, and always meant to try and get a copy, but never got around to it.

For some reason I thought of it again recently, and asked Bob if he would have a look online to see if there was a copy available. He did, and there was, so I ordered it!

I've only had time to have a quick look through it, but it looks like a really lovely book.

I'm really looking forward to cooking some of the things in it, as well as reading the little stories (involving regular characters from the books) which are interspersed amongst the recipes.

So here we are at the end of another working week. It's been a mixed one, health-wise, with lots of energy on some days, and not so much on others......ditto joint pain. My resident headache has been pretty awful for the past few days, but it does seem to be a little better this evening.

I'm looking forward to Weekend with my Lovely Man, Ollie, and the kitties......to being creative & productive ......to spending some time in the fresh air......to catching up on some T.V.......to finishing the Peter May book I'm currently reading, and starting the next one......and to chatting to my Gowjus Girl at some point - probably Sunday, which happens to be her birthday!

Bob's table top loom turned up today, and he is currently busy putting it all together. I'm looking forward to seeing him getting stuck into the weaving. I think this home may be a hive of activity over the next couple of days!

I wish whoever is reading this a very happy, healthy and safe weekend.

"...winter's tale...", my chosen song word snippet for today, is from the song "A Winter's Tale", by David Essex.

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Thursday 21st January 2021

Picture of the day......"Patience"

I love shortbread!

However, since giving up dairy, almost two years ago, I haven't had any shortbread at all. I've been hoping that someone would do a vegan/dairy free shortbread, and lo and behold, when shopping after work today, I found these in Home Bargains.

They are very yummy! They're not quite as crumbly and buttery as proper shortbread, but they'll definitely fill the shortbread gap for now.

"Patience", my chosen song word snippet for today, is the title of a Take That song.

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Wednesday 20th January 2021

Picture of the day......"A little bit me and......"

......a little bit you!

Today I've been reorganising my craft room, so that I can share a corner of it with my Lovely Man!

A few weeks ago, whilst reading a Peter May book, Bob got caught up in the idea of getting a hand loom and doing some weaving....so get a loom is just what he did! It's a floor-standing, full sized (five feet) Countermarch loom. However, because of the current lockdown, he's unable to use that one, so in the meantime, he wants something smaller to play around on. A table-top loom is on its way to him, and I've freed up this little corner of my craft room so he can use it. Exciting times!

At some point, there will be pictures of said looms, and hopefully some 'fruits of the loom'.....watch this space!

In other news today, it seems that Joe Cat is always very happy when I'm home, and he likes to get involved in whatever I'm doing. Amongst other things, he likes to roll around on the beds when I'm making them, and sit on my blankets when I'm crocheting, etc. He's very helpful like that!

However, when I asked him to give me a hand putting all this clean washing away today......

......he pleaded 'no thumbs' of course.

Today's been quite busy and productive with one thing and another, plus there's been a bit of creativity (finishing off a scarf and doing some to my cwtchy blanket) and I've managed a bit of reading.

The weather has been pretty foul, so we didn't make it to the beach. However, we took advantage of a break in the rain to take Ollie for a walk around the local park.

I think I managed to tick everything off my 'things to enjoy with Day Off' list! Back to work tomorrow, then before we know it, Weekend will be here again. I wish time would slow down a bit.

A bit of a loom update - we ended up re-arranging the craft room again this evening, because the lighting in that corner is a bit rubbish, even with the extra lamp on the shelf. We've now rearranged tables in the centre of the room, and it's much better.

"A little bit me...", my chosen song word snippet for today, is taken from the song "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You", by The Monkees.

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Tuesday 19th January 2021

Picture of the day......"Reasons to be cheerful......"

Tomorrow is Day Off!

I have quite a bit planned - a good mixture of productive and chilled, and most definitely including all the things on my list.

I'm definitely looking forward to some quality time with my Lovely Man, Ollie, and the kitties, and sorting out some stuff to put up in the loft, which will give me more space in the front bedroom.

"Reasons to be cheerful...", my chosen song word snippet for today, is taken from the song "Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3", by Ian Dury and the Blockheads.

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Monday 18th January 2021

Picture of the day......"...just keep moving......"

Monday is Weigh Day, and this morning didn't disappoint. Another pound lost (and gone for good!)

I have one week to go until my third small target. If I'm to meet that target, I need to lose two pounds this week. I'm not going to stress about it - if I lose it then fab, and if I don't, I'll just extend the target date. I'm not going to reduce my calories intake just yet. My plan is to do that when I reach a plateau - i.e. when I have a week where I haven't lost any weight. So, I'll try to get some more activity in this week, to get those two pounds off. My energy levels have been better lately, so perhaps I can manage to be a bit busier! We'll see what happens.

In the meantime, I am more than happy with another pound off - that now makes a total (from my original heaviest weight) of 28 pounds, and a total of twelve pounds during this particular journey.

"...just keep moving...", my chosen song word snippet for today, is taken from the song "Moving", by Supergrass.

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Sunday 17th January 2021

Picture of the day......"Come into my......"

......kitchen!

These two products combined, made a lovely meal this evening. I got the Meatless Farm mince for 50 pence (reduced from £2.50) a couple of weeks ago, along with a whole lot of other stuff. At the time, it was well dated (15th, 16th & 17th January), so I've had all the products in the fridge, adding them to the freezer as and when there was room. This pack was left, and with today's date, I decided to use it for our evening meal.

I love the Colmans sauce mixes and keep a stack of them in for when I'm pushed for time, or too tired to make a sauce from scratch. Most of them are labelled as vegan. This one wasn't, however I couldn't find anything in the ingredients which indicated it isn't vegan (other than the usual 'may contain....' disclaimer that companies tend to use when they use milk/egg products in the same factory), so bought it anyway.

I sliced and fried some onions and mushrooms, and when cooked, added them to a couple of carrots which I had on the boil.

Then I fried the Meatless Farm mince and added that to the simmering veg, mixed up the Colman's sauce, with a bit less water than suggested, popped in a can of peas, and simmered it for a bit longer.

In the meantime, I par-cooked a few potatoes in the microwave, then sliced them up. I transferred the mince/veg mixture into a casserole dish, topped it off with the sliced potatoes and a few dabs of Flora, then put it in the oven for about half an hour.

We ate it with fresh brocolli and it was very yummy! It was around 400 calories per portion, and there is plenty left over for tomorrow night. This is great, because Monday is when I do my main food shop after work, and it will be nice to have something I can just reheat for us, and cook a bit of fresh veg to go with it.

Today has been really lovely. It started well with delicious home-made bread for breakfast, and I've been both productive and chilled. We took Ollie to the beach again this afternoon, and he made friends with an incredibly bouncy dog! I'm amazed it wasn't called Tigger, haha. It was Lab cross, although I don't know what it was crossed with, and its owners told us that they had been for an eight mile walk with it, and that they do that every day, and it's always as bouncy as it was when we saw them! Wow, I felt worn out just watching it!

I think I managed to 'be' most of the things on my weekend list, although I didn't find any rainbows. I might have found a fairy or two though! I hope you've had a fab weekend, and I wish you a happy, healthy and safe week ahead. Off to watch some T.V. with my Lovely Man now.

"Come into my...", my chosen song word snippet for today, is taken from the song "Come Into My Kitchen", by George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Leon Russell and Ringo Starr.

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Saturday 16th January 2021

Picture of the day......"...something in the early morning......"

Bob's getting busy with his bread maker again this evening!

I am so excited to wake up to the smell of baking bread, and have jam on yummy home made bread for breakfast! Nom nom.

This is coriander......it tastes lovely in Indian food, although some people don't like it all. I personally love it, as does Bob, and I usually put it into a curry if I'm making one.

I made a curry yesterday evening, and it was very yummy.....it didn't have any coriander in it though, because I forgot to use it! Sigh.

Oh well, having to use up fresh coriander is a good enough excuse to make another curry!

Today's been a good day - I had a lovely, chilled self-care kind of morning.....crocheting on the sofa, accompanied by tea, cake, and three episodes of the second series of "Killing Eve" which has been on my planner for about two years!

We took Ollie to the beach this afternoon, and as we were driving there, we could see the sun in the sky, heading her way down to the horizon. I anticipated lovely sunset pictures, but by the time we reached the beach, she'd sneaked behind some heavy clouds which were just above the horizon and of course had been out of our view whilst driving there. Never mind, I'm sure there'll be more sunsets!

"...something in the early morning...", my chosen song word snippet for today, is taken from the song "Early In The Morning" which was recorded by Vanity Fair in 1969.

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Friday 15th January 2021

Picture of the day......"All that you touch, And all that you see, All that you taste, All you feel......"

Another weekend, another list! Two of my favourite things!

This list is in no particular order, and in case you can't read it properly from the photograph, I've put it below.

This weekend, rather than a list of things to do, it is a list of things to be......

  • inspired...
  • motivated...
  • organised...
  • creative...
  • productive...
  • kind...
  • cwtchy...
  • positive...
  • determined...
  • informed...
  • prayerful...
  • rested...
  • thankful...
  • a seeker of rainbows...
  • a finder of fairies!

I'm sure I can manage to be most of the things on my list.....however, I'll have to rely on the weather for at least one of them!

What do you have planned for the weekend? I'd love to know, via some feedback!

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"All that you touch, And all that you see, All that you taste, All you feel......", my chosen song word snippet for today, is taken from the song "Eclipse" (from the album Dark Side Of the Moon) by the fantastic Pink Floyd.

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Thursday 14th January 2021

Picture of the day......"The moment I wake up......"

......I think about the day ahead, and that's the part of the day that I sometimes read the daily reading from this publication, the latest copy of which arrived in the post today. It was a lovely thing to come home to (as well as Bob, Ollie and the kitties of course!).

My sister introduced me to the UCB (United Christian Broadcasters) "Word for Today" many years ago, and I've been receiving a quarterly copy of it ever since. I often find it a source of inspiration and comfort in this busy, sometimes crazy world. I don't read it avidly every day, and not always first thing in the morning, but I do try to read it most days, at some point.

Is there something (or even someone) that you find regularly inspires or encourages you?

If so, I'd love to read about it, if you'd like to give me your feedback!

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"The moment I wake up......", my chosen song word snippet for today, is taken from the song "I Say A Little Prayer"by the wonderful Aretha Franklin.

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Wednesday 13th January 2021

Picture of the day......"Breakfast Time"

Sometimes only breakfast in bed will do....and sometimes only bread and jam will do for that breakfast....especially when the bread is home baked.

Bob made bread overnight in his bread maker, and we literally woke to the most delicious smell wafting through the house and up the stairs.

I have to say that bread and jam (usually strawberry) is one of my favourite things to eat!

Not only did the loaf look really nice, but it tasted yummy too! It was also completely vegan, since Bob used Flora plant butter, and dried coconut milk.

I think I'd be happy for Bob to make bread often and to have bread and jam for breakfast again very soon! Norty but nice.

I've spent most of Day Off working on my website. I've added loads of photographs of crafty stuff which I've done over the years to my website image folder, and I've done some work on the creative page - tidied it up a bit, added some stuff and sorted out a link from the home page directly to the '365 Days Of Creativity' feature.

I now have a numb bum and square eyes, and I'm off to make some dinner!

"Breakfast Time", my chosen song word snippet for today, is the title of a song by Orange Juice.

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Tuesday 12th January 2021

Picture of the day......"Make it with You"

There is a vegan shop in Llanelli called Kind Earth, and I love it!

I needed to find some powdered plant milk today. This is because Bob is making bread overnight in his bread maker, so that we can wake up tomorrow for yummy home made bread for breakfast, on Day Off!

The recipe asks for powdered skimmed milk, but as I don't eat dairy, I didn't want to buy 'Marvel' or something of that ilk. I did ask in a Facebook vegan group, if anyone knows of any powdered plant milk, and explained why. A few people got back to me, and said to just leave the milk out, and the bread would still be fine, or to replace some of the water with liquid plant milk. However, I did want to follow the recipe as closely as possible.

I knew that if powdered plant milk was available, then Kind Earth were likely to have it, and so off I popped to have a look.....sure enough, they had some powdered coconut milk. Yaay.

Whilst I was there, I also spotted some vegan jelly, so I popped that in my basket. I love jelly, but never eat it, because of the gelatine.

I'll let you know in tomorrow's blog how both the bread and the jelly turned out!

"Make it With You", my chosen song word snippet for today, is a lyric snippet from "Make it With You" by Bread! (Of course)

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Monday 11th January 2021

Picture of the day......"...and another one gone..."

Weigh Day sees another pound lost! Yaay.

I may up the ante this week and reduce my calories, because my next small target is to get to 12 stone 7 pounds by 25th January, which is three pounds off. I'm currently losing at the rate of a pound a week, so I may try for two pounds this week.....or next week, it doesn't really matter which.

Anyway, I'm very happy that another pound is off! Long may it continue.

"...and other one gone...", my chosen song word snippet for today, is a lyric snippet from "Another One Bites The Dust" by the fabulous Queen.

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Sunday 10th January 2021

Picture of the day......"Lazy Sunday..."

...morning!

This was the scene for part of my morning today - coffee, cake and crochet. If you look closely, you can see Ollie Dog also enjoying a lazy Sunday morning, snoozing on the sofa!

The rest of the day wasn't quite as lazy - more a healthy balance of productivity and chilled, Sunday vibes!

I caught up on some housework. Because last week was pretty awful for me, regarding pain levels and low energy, I didn't do very much in the week, so today I had quite a bit of washing to catch up on, plus a few other things.

I also painted this shelf, ready for the new lamp to go on when I've accessorised it. In the picture, the colour looks a bit grey, but it is actually a lovely duck egg blue colour.

I knitted for a while, working on this lovely yellow throw for my kitchen. Yes, you did read that right - I did write 'kitchen'. I know it's a funny place to have a throw, but I just want it to drape over the back of a chair really, just to add some textile interest to the kitchen.

The other day, when sorting out my knitting and crochet WIPs (works in progress) I came across this batch of lovely cushion covers, which all need to be finished one way or another......

......so this afternoon I got out this pile of cushion pads, to marry some of the covers up with similar sized pads, and then choose one to finish off this week. Obviously Joe Cat helped me to choose!

We chose this one, which is destined to sit on a piano stool on my landing. I love the colours in it.

The rest live to be chosen another day!

Today has been better again health-wise, with joint pain significantly reduced, and an increase in my energy levels. Fab!

We took Ollie for a short walk this afternoon, to a local park. It didn't seem to be so cold this afternoon as it has been.

It's another episode of "The Bridge" for us tonight, then off to bed for hopefully a good night's sleep, before starting all over again tomorrow. I wish Weekend didn't fly by quite so much. I am looking forward to working on the sparkly wedding dress tomorrow though.

I hope you've had a great weekend, and I wish you a happy, healthy and safe week ahead!

"Lazy Sunday...", my chosen song word snippet for today, is a lyric snippet from "Lazy Sunday Afternoon" by The Small Faces.

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Saturday 9th January 2021

Picture of the day......"Tastes so good..."

Two hot chocolates after a fab but chilly walk on the beach this afternoon.

I made mine with oat milk, so that it was dairy free, and used a few squares of Tesco Free From chocolate in the bottom of them, to give more chocolate oomph!

Then they were topped off with 'Food Heaven' dairy free squirty cream and some sprinkles. Blinkin' yummy!

Ollie gets very excited now, when we tell him we're going for a walk to the beach. He can't get in the car fast enough, and by the time we park up, he is chomping at the bit to get on that sand! It's such a joy to see him, he loves the beach so much.

There were lots of clouds today, so no chance of seeing even a glimpse of the sunset. Just a very calm, quiet beach.....still beautiful nevertheless!

Today has been better for me health-wise. I've had much less pain and a small amount of fatigue this afternoon. Going out into the fresh air was great, and I know the exercise would have been good for my joints.

This evening we'll be watching episode five of the third series of "The Bridge". There will only be three more episodes after that. I'll be sad to see it at an end, because I've enjoyed it so much. Maybe they'll make another series sometime - I hope so.

"Tastes so good...", my chosen song word snippet for today, is a lyric snippet from "Chocolate" by Kylie Minogue.

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Friday 8th January 2021

Picture of the day......"Ready for the Weekend"

I didn't take a suitable picture for today's Picture of the Day, so I thought I'd put a collage together of pictures of the kind of stuff I'd like to do this weekend.

After a pretty crappy week, health-wise, I am definitely ready for the weekend! How about you? Wishing whoever is reading this a happy, healthy weekend!

"Ready for the Weekend", my chosen song word snippet for today, is the title of a song by the brilliant Calvin Harris.

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Thursday 7th January 2021

Picture of the day......"So tired..."

I bought some vitamin B12 supplements to see if that will help with the fatigue. I think it's worth a go - the fact that I don't eat any meat may be adding to the fatigue which I experience. Perhaps it's not all down to Lupus after all!

I haven't really felt very much better today. I still have all the symptoms I had yesterday, although there's a bit of improvement this evening as I write this. I went to work, but really struggled through the day, and spent a fair bit of time in headphones, because I was finding that even one conversation going on near me was enough to make it hard to concentrate on my work. Never mind, I did get through the day, and have had a fairly chilled evening, other than cooking dinner.

"So tired...", my chosen song word snippet for today, is from the Kinks' song, "Tired of Waiting for You".

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Wednesday 6th January 2021

Picture of the day......"Living in a Box"

Today the Christmas decorations went back into their box for next year!

I don't know what Mr. Snowman thinks about living most of his life in a box! He was given to me lots of years ago, by two teachers at Lydia's primary school, as a 'thank you' because I went in to the school and worked with two of the classes to make snowman tapestries.

I loved doing it, and it was one of the experiences which first made me think about going into teaching. Mr. Snowman always reminds me of that lovely time.

My living room looks a little bare now that the tree etc. is down.

It's a lovely little tree and has stayed looking very much alive, with hardly any needle drop. I'm thinking that there is a root inside that pot, so I'll pop him out into the garden, and do some research on how to keep a Christmas tree going all year, so that we can use him again next year and subsequent years. I did try this a few years ago with another tree, but failed.

Health wise, today was a really horrible day.

Pain and fatigue levels have been up over the last couple of days, and today they hit really hard. Just about every joint in my body is aching, and I am so tired.

I've also struggled to stay warm, have mouth ulcers, my skin is dry, my scalp is itchy and sore, and I have a very low mood. Noise is also a problem, and I have a pretty bad headache, and quite a bit of 'brain fog', in that I've been struggling to process my thoughts. Lupus is very generous - she brings lots of 'gifts'.

Thankfully, it's Day Off, so I've been home from work, and haven't had to do very much. We did need to take Bob's van over to Fforestfach to get the brakes looked at, but that didn't take long, so otherwise I've just taken it easy and done a fair bit of crochet.

I'm hoping for a good night's sleep and to feel better tomorrow.

"Living in a Box", my chosen song word snippet for today, is the title of a song from the 1980s, by a band called Living in a Box!

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Tuesday 5th January 2021

Picture of the day......"Book of Days"

This lovely little literary treat turned up in the post today!

I might read it after my current book, or I might read some Peter May first, and then go to this. Hmm....decisions decisions - so many books, so little time! Either way, I'm sure that I'm going to enjoy it.

After work I went to finish the food shop I started yesterday, and was in the right place at the right time! Tesco were selling off these "Meatless Farm" goodies for a fraction of their original price. They're all actually quite well dated, so I'm not sure why they were up for grabs so cheaply. Maybe that particular brand isn't selling so well?

We've tried a couple of "Meatless Farm" products before and enjoyed them, so in my basket they went, and in the freezer they'll go!

Today was a bit of a crap day for me. I had huge problems with noise today and spent most of my working day in headphones, being soothed by Nick Drake and some Pink Floyd. I'm in quite a bit of pain at the moment too, especially my left hip, which is painful all the time, but at the moment seems to be particularly bad, with the pain extending all the way down my leg. I also struggled to get warm, and had a couple of bouts of fatigue.

To say I am looking forward to Day Off tomorrow is an understatement! There are things I'd like to do with the day, but I'll play it by ear and see how I'm feeling - it may be a day of rest! I'll go with the flow anyway.

This evening we're starting series four of "The Bridge".....if we can stay awake, since neither of us got a very good night's sleep last night. Anyway, we'll see.

"Book of Days", my chosen song word snippet for today, is the title of a beautiful song by Enya.

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Monday 4th January 2021

Picture of the day......"I'm a Loser"

Another pound off today!

That now makes ten on this particular journey and a total of twenty-six, from my all-time heaviest weight.

It's been a mixed kind of day. Back to work this morning after twelve days off for the Christmas break. I thought having to get up early would be a major problem, but it wasn't so bad.

I went shopping for food after work, and then this evening I put my lovely vintage Braun Multipractic to its first test - a coffee and walnut cake, as requested by my Lovely Man.

We enjoyed a slice of it with a pot of Glengettie after dinner, and Bob said it's the loveliest coffee and walnut cake he's ever tasted! Wow! Well done Braun, and well done me I think!

We watched the final episode of series three of "The Bridge"......I definitely think it's one of the best series I've ever seen on T.V.

Anyway, it's late now, and I'm off to get a few hours' sleep before I'm up early for work again. Night night.

"I'm a Loser", my chosen song word snippet for today, is the title of a Beatles song.

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Sunday 3rd January 2021

Picture of the day......"Tea For Two"

Apart from the kitties, this is the nicest thing we come back to each day after our walk.

It's particularly welcome on such cold days as this one. We went to the beach - the last time for the Christmas holidays, as it's back to work for me tomorrow.

The beach was actually quite busy today - quite a few people walking their dogs - Ollie had great fun chasing and catching balls belonging to other pooches - and a couple of families. Obviously also enjoying the lovely cold but crisp and bright Winter day, and maybe - like us - making the most of the last few hours before returning to the 'rat race'.

I'm not sure quite where that twelve days went. I had intended to get lots of practical things done, but instead seemed to spend most of the time eating, sleeping, reading and crocheting. Ah well, at least my batteries are well and truly charged up again, ready for the week ahead, and Bob and I have had some lovely quality time together.

I wish whoever is reading this a very happy, healthy and not-too-busy week ahead, and above all stay safe!

"Tea For Two", my chosen song word snippet for today, is the title of a little cha-cha-style song, written in the 1920s. I have a really cute little instrumental version of it, recorded by The Don Lusher Trio And Orchestra, on an album I inherited from my father.

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Saturday 2nd January 2021

Picture of the day......"Black Coffee"

This lovely retro Braun Multipractic food processor arrived in the post for me a couple of days ago.

I had an original one in the early 1980s, and absolutely loved it, especially for cake making. I love to bake, but my fingers, wrist and elbow joints hurt so much when I'm actually mixing the cakes, that it kind of takes the edge off it. My original Braun packed in (the motor died) around five years ago and I very sadly took it to the tip.

I did ponder on getting a new replacement, but the modern ones all look a bit flimsy to me. My Lovely Man saw this vintage one on Ebay and bought it for me! I'm so chuffed. It's in great condition, and looks as if it hasn't been used very much. I am going to love baking cakes even more now! I've set it up in a corner of my kitchen and it's ready to go!

Bob has already put in a request for a coffee and walnut cake. I actually haven't made one of those before, so I'm looking forward to doing something new. There is a recipe for one in my favourite cake-baking book - another vintage item, which I bought from Tesco for about a pound, again in the early 1980s.

The recipe is for a coffee and walnut gateau, but I will just make it as a layered cake I think. It's on the agenda for tomorrow, so no doubt (if it's successful) you'll be looking at pictures of it on here!

Today was a good book day.

Late last night I finished reading the book on the left, which I really enjoyed, and started reading the one on the right. It's the fourth in my four Christmas reading books, and I've read a couple of Jenny Colgan books before and enjoyed them, so I'm sure this won't be an exception.

I also had lovely book post today! My Lovely Man has been at it again. He likes to read on a e-reader, and has been reading the "Lewis Trilogy" by Peter May. He thought I too would enjoy them (and I think he's right!) and he bought the books for me and they arrived this morning, together with another Peter May book.

I think they'll be jumping to the head of the books to read queue!

We didn't go any distance for a walk today, just a couple of times around the local park. This was around four-thirty and it was already very frosty & icy, and really slippery under foot...well for me anyway - I think my trainers have rubbish grip, as Bob didn't find it so slippery. Anyway, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see snow later tonight. I know they've had it in other parts of Wales and in parts of England.

I'm off to do something yummy with some salmon for dinner now, and then it'll be a cwtchy evening with some reading, crochet, knitting, and of course cwtching up with my Lovely Man to watch the next episode of "The Bridge". We're getting towards the end of the third series, and really enjoying. I have to say that it's definitely one of the best things I've seen on T.V. in a long time.

I hope you're having a fab weekend! Toodlepip!

"Black Coffee", my chosen song word snippet for today, is the title of an All Saints song.

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Friday 1st January 2021

Picture of the day......"New Year's Day"

This is the grumpy face of a dog who's just had a bath!

We went for a New Year's Day walk this afternoon......

......up to where the two horses are. Except they weren't there today, so Ollie got some of their apple, and we chucked the other pieces into the field so they can enjoy it when they are there.

Ollie was in proper Spangle mode today - like a bottle of pop! He kept running down the banks at the side of where we walk, and boy oh boy is it muddy down there!

There was nothing for it but to give him a bath when we got in, and as you can see from his grumpy chops, it wasn't what he wanted to be doing! Haha. Never mind Ollie, it's done now, and you smell gowjus!

"New Year's Day", my chosen song word snippet for today, is the title of one of my favourite U2 songs.

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