Friday 29 August 2014

The London Experiance part 2

Sometimes i think i fetched my abilities to understand art from a previous life , day 2 in London I only wanted to go and do one thing . The Tower of London WWI tribute , seemed appropriate as my great grandad was one of those whose body was never recovered . I nearly fainted £22 to get in,  i think not , though there are concessions if you prebook . But you dont need to go in to see the poppies theyre in the moat , turns out theyre an installation?  they were impressive.

I was dragged to Westminster to see everything , the nicest thing was the security guards at the supreme court , of some African origin? they were lovely cheery blokes , it was so nice to find someone friendly . I think that was the one big difference I did notice after 20 years , all the foreign people in the service industries , but they were all so nice and capable i cant see what the problem is .
But then my daughter got her shopping head on and i lost the will to live , i was merely there as a pack , so in just 3 hours she dragged me on and off the tube umpteen times , we went to M&M world
Hamleys , Covent Garden which was just an overpriced hell hole ,China Town the one place I had to be dragged from , I was forbidden to shop on this trip due to lack of funds , but being surrounded with weird
Chinese tat is paradise for me , i wanted to shoplift a big bag of waving kitties and Chinese opera masks
Back to the hellhole that is Victoria Coach Station for 4pm bus , this was like a UN refugee camp , really grim , the drive back through London did amuse me , we drove down Oxford Street past mega Primark and all along the window ledges outside were sat hoards of arab ladies in their black robes surrounded by mountains of Primark bags . Thy say they all come to London to shop at the end of Eid, all that money to get here and they raid Primark?

So has London changed much in 20 years ? The English seem more miserable , not every face you see is a foreigner despite what UKIP say . The  streets  are much cleaner  , despite there being few bins . There still arent enough toilets and they dont signpost the ones that they do have. The pigeons are still the mangiest specimens in the world  and I think it must be very easy for those in a position of power to forget that anything outside the city of London matters or even exists, but its probably  not fair to judge London on the bit of the city we saw , the suburbs may be very different

Thursday 28 August 2014

London after 20 Years

Its 20 years since I last went to London. So a trip to see a band was a good excuse for my daughter sponsored trip to the capital .  This was an extreme budget break  we stayed at a back packer hostel on the Strand , The Strand Continental Hotel , hidden up a dingy Edwardian staircase between 2 shops , no lifts and five flights of stairs £25 a night and a continental breakfast slung in , it was clean spartan student accommodation , but the breakfast room was truly beautiful it was stuck in the 1940s 

We did the trip down on National Express coaches , they have improved in 20 years though a numb bum after 5 hours on a coach wasnt 
It was just a trudge up the Charing Cross Road to the Borderline to see Alan doyle , yes thats right someone only the Canadians among you may have heard of . He was the lead singer for Great Big Sea now he has his own amazing band . the Borderline is  typical 60s down in the cellar venue staffed by pig ignorant Eastern European grunts . But you can put up with an awful lot for a good band and an excellent support act .

It was a brilliant night , and we got to meet them all afterwards for a very civilised meet and greet , my daughter was overjoyed she got a photo and signings , shed spent the night right at the front with all the kiddies , us oldies who sat at the back got the good sound quality.
Strangest experience?  I was sat in the wrinkly park at the rear having a friendly chat  with a few other fans, as you do and got chatting to an American male , we were chatting about bands wed both been to see. Then in to the conversation he slipped " do you fancy coming back to my hotel for some casual sex after the show? " WHAT !!! good grief i wouldnt have considered that at 20 let alone in my 50s . I think the death stare did the trick as he scuttled off . My daughter howled when i told her and is now telling the universe about it , so i figured i had better tell you all before she did .
Another post on the budget capital trip once i get the photos sorted !!

Monday 25 August 2014

Bank holidays Bah Humbug

So it's grumpy old bird day , that great British tradition a wet drizzly Monday.  This always seems like the most pointless Bank Holiday. The kids go back to school in a week or so , nobody gets paid till next week. no car boots due to the weather.....Up early and read the Daily Mail on line, another flamin award ceremony , an exercise in pointlessness,  dodgy bobble headed birds , letting the wind get to there flange.  I'm so glad my daughter is old enough to dress herself  and doesn't need a stylist. What on earth were they thinking it's all a bit emporers new clothes, sorry girls you look like a bunch of dodgy hookers, did your mother never tell you it's vulgar to let it all hang out ?

meanwhile the rest of the world watches in horror as the Middle East descends into something from a not funny Xbox game, as our esteemed leader Dave goes bleeding surfing. Obama doesn't seem to be letting it interfere with his golf handicap either. your world leaders boys , show a bit of backbone and bleeding lead.
There's parents of every religion and race grieving for their children, there's a whole rash of murders plastered across the pages, Ebola . It's all so negative.

Meanwhile ime cooking for the 5000,  falling over people , wondering what the hell I'm going to do with yet more plums and deciding how little I need to pack for 2 days in London

Sunday 24 August 2014

Feeding the 5000

So up nice and early this morning with a munchkin in toe , New York , Billinghay and Metheringham car boot sales and i spent a whole £1.50 on a skirt that i will perform surgery on when i get the chance . the only other thing I even bent down to look at were some burlap pig feed sacks , then i remembered it may look nice in the home and garden mags , but really its itchy , horrible to sew and gives off dust forever more . The ultimate guide to how bad the car boots are is that the munchkin asked for nothing and could he have a milkshake from the Co-op instead .
Yesterday however it was off to the tin factory , and just look at the haul .

48 tins of beans , a case of new potatoes because Mr Bah Humbug is lazy when hes here on his own, 4 tins of grill with beans , 5 tins of butter beans , 5 big tins of tomatoes , 6 big tins of bean salad for when i forget to put the beans on to soak the night before , 50 sachets of porridge , 10 bags of stuffing , 10 tins of cheese which makes the ultimate cheese toasty  , 2 peppermint squash, 2 jars of posh ginger conserve all mine  ,  plus a couple of multipacks of crisps , some are missing from the picture because someone started to put it all away while i was looking for the camera!!
Grand total £26.70.

Now its possible to make some of these cheaper , but you cant buy even value brands cheaper in a supermarket . Now the Americans among you are often into canning produce but because of out horrendous energy costs its more of a luxury than a cheaper way of storing things . We do not eat the most healthy diet on the planet but it is varied and cheap , we supplement it with lots of vegetables which are very cheap  in season here in Lincolnshire. Though how all the potatoes at the car boot were cheaper in the Co-op was a little baffling ? Tommorow is another day and theres a little car boot at Tattershall village hall if the weather holds out

Friday 22 August 2014

Cant get Better Than Free

So Mr Bah Humbug is off squatting in a tent with his scooter buddies and i have to work today .
But take a look at what i was given .

This was a donation from daughters boyfriend , his mum works in a school and they were going to throw this in the skip!!!  But i suppose to anyone else it does appear to be rubbish , she had tried to give it to others who were horrified .
This is the exciting bit  (to me ) Its a Singer 275L  produced from 1959 for a very short time , the last of the metal machines and its a hand model , she has a couple of minor missing bits , but being a Singer they can be sourced from other models , its just the little plastic plate over the stitch length adjuster that will be a pig to find , but this doesnt make a difference to its function at all , its just me being a singer nerd , her case is very tatty so i think i may jazz it up a little . she will be a functioning beauty once im finished

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Thrift where are you?

I guess im starting to panic , I put in loads of bids at   try not to laugh at some of the prices fetched , I won  nothing . toddled down to the viewing at Unique chuck out sale only to find a sea of broken pots and nothingness, they have a big 2 day "antique sale" at the weekend that im struggling to find anything interesting in at a price I  can afford Its nearly September and i've never been so low on stock, usually im struggling to see the floor and falling over boxes everywhere , instead im contemplating moving furniture and doing a bit of
Hopefully there will be a nice weekend and i can wander the car boots, but then again i need to do one last car boot , with my mountain of curtains and bedding . Ive bought nothing all week in the charity shops everything was just of no interest , im so glad that i only have my ebay shop to stock , those of you with booths have to continually buy and sometimes that must be a chore .
Heres a couple of car boot lurkers , i was thinking of doing something with tartan and the bag of dolls was a whole 10p . see i will buy anything for 10p

Monday 18 August 2014

Monday Cookery Mumblings

The plums are ready!!!! So thats my week taken care of  .. lol   Plums for the freezer, plums for jam , plum tart for tea, it just goes on and on, but it is my favourite glut of the year , theyre a weird french variation on the Victoria variety , theyre a joy because you just split them and the stone falls out .
Apples are still ripening well , i have a triple tree with three varietys on one rootstock and this is the first year the cookers have fruited , both the eaters have fruited for years and allthough its a small tree it has a severe lean where the wind has hammered it off the fields . No amount of staking has ever cured this so now it just does its own thing .
The double variety pear is glutting this year the branches are on the ground but that does take the weight off a bit and they will be a few weeks yet .
Autumn raspberries are just starting to come into fruit
It makes it sound like i have acres but i dont theyre all on a small rootstock so you can cram them in , but i find 4 trees is enough for a family and a rampant do its own thing raspberry patch .
Now heres a tale of thriftyness gone mad , now i used to make quite a lot of jam , now i just make a few jars for me and Mr Bah Humbug , the reason?  the kids will only eat Value mixed fruit jam bunch of philistines .
One year being stony broke and having a fruit glut i decided to jam myself to death , but i was broke and the price of sugar is horrendous , so I looked all over the internet for the way to make sugar beet into sugar for jam , it was quite common to do this during the war and you can pick free sugarbeet up at every sharp corner lying on the roadside  out here in the wilderness. I roped in my teen slaves to peel and grate dozens of sugarbeet and then started boiling up batches , this was the point when i realised it stank to high heaven , the thought hadnt crossed my mind even though i used to live down wind of a sugar factory , but it was to late to turn back now .
 Once it had strained we had gallons of murky syrup which if i had thought about it i could have boiled down and made jam with . But being me i decided i wanted it to resemble sugar , the only way i could think of drying it , was to put it in the greenhouse in practically every container i owned and cover it with clingfilm to keep out insects ..........I got up next morning to find i was the Ant Queen of Lincolnshire , nothing stops them , maybe thats why the kids only eat Value jam?

Friday 15 August 2014

Budget Fat Bird Fashion

Lets talk about fashion . I know fat and fashion dont belong in the same sentence girls and all you skinny minnies are getting the smug pass the cream cake gloating look out of the box . Anyway lets be honest in the depths of Lincolnshire fashion is totally meaningless , so long as theres a pocket for the tractor keys and your footwear can cope with the local super product mud, then be happy .
If your a big girl in Lincoln then your choices are limited we have Evans now lurking in a corner of BHS bleeding expensive and very sparkly bird on a cruise , though the footwear and underwear are quite good quality . Then theirs Yours the fat bird equivalent of Primark , much cheaper but every other fat bird in the county will be wearing the same thing.
So now lets travel to reality for the rest of us , supermarkets do up to a size 22 in some lines , this should give you the basics in black of course but it will fall to pieces fairly quickly and go out of fashion in a couple of weeks , plus they only ever stock a couple in the larger sizes and 20 of every skinny minny sizes .
So heres a guide to fat bird fashion for the skint and deranged among us .

1, Buy anything you find on the £1 rail in the charity shops in your size ...notable exceptions , polo shirts ,
manky faded teeshirts and pre stretched leggings .

2 . Go home and look in horror at what you have bought , try it on . Many things you wouldnt believe would look good when hanging on a bad plastic hanger in the charity shop surprise you when viewed actually on you .

3 Then theres the items that make you think OMG I look like my mother , put those to one side

4 Theres the , this is my punishment for being fat items , put those to one side

5 Peculiar sized items , you know they still have tags so you bought them , but they were made by someone in a sweat shop in Bangledesh with a sense of humour . put those to one side .

Now heres the fun part , make sure you have a really good pair of scissors and proceed to hack things about , you are only wasting a £1 if it goes wrong and it can always become dusters or patchwork. For the none crafty Do Not Panic spend a couple of weeks viewing this blog

Come on being fat doesnt mean you cant be an individual , have a bit of budget fun

daily mail version of fat birds .....yeah right 

Thursday 14 August 2014

Auction despair

Once upon a time i could leave the house with pennies in my purse and wander the county like a glorified Womble finding the strange and the salable . But at the moment im struggling to find a single thing of any interest even in my usual good and thrifty haunts . Last night i dragged Mr Bah Humbug off to Unique Auctions chuck out auction , ive had some brilliant job lots from there, but theyve now altered the sale to 6pm on a Wednesday evening , awkward in itself because i have sole charge of the munchkin on a Wednesday evening . There were hundreds of box lots but we didnt even stay for the sale , it seemed to consist of nothing but broken and damaged boxes of pots. The single item of interest was a load of 70s wallscapes , all sunsets and beaches but i didnt want to wait 400 lots for them . This is going to be a weekly auction at Rose  Orchard on the side of the A46 so i will visit a few times just because i can and see if it improves any.
Ive been to the depths of Skegness and Spilsby working today , so i had to squeeze a few charity shops in . Practically fell over snorting with laughter in Age UK at Spilsby , behind the counter on shelves they keep the "good stuff" and they now have dangling price tags with on sale on ebay at £90 buy it now here £45 etc etc , the trouble is I dont think theyve actually looked at completed items prices  I was getting the evils from the snooty manager , the one who follows you round watching you to see if you shoplift because you dont look middle class enough for Spilsby .
I bought a pair of jeans off the £1 rail just to annoy her , they do have a very good middle class £1 rail all next , boden and yummy mummy type labels .
Keiths rescue dogs had a huge box of fabric remnants , so i relieved him of a few  rose laden bits , there was tons more but being as im currently struggling to hide all the crafty fabric that ive bought over the last few months  , 70s screen prints and mountains of florals.......I should be beaten with a stick and dragged away  to minimalist boot camp

Rosy Remnants 

Tuesday 12 August 2014

WWI Family History

I got bored the other day so spent a whole £1 at they currently have membership for one month on offer . I was trying to do a little research to put away for the munchkin , my family always said we had a few rogues and i did meet one or two of them as a small child .
Maybe its the 100 year anniversary of the Great War that drew me to my Great Grandad , I can remember been taken by my great grandma to see his name on the war memorial . She was a women of legend widowed 3 times and as i also found out looking through birth and census records a mother of many . She didnt tolerate fools and idiots even into her 90s  and was still pottering to the betting shop and the pub for a lunchtime half of stout up until her death .
Its a sad tale really, Frank died in 1916 at Thiepval in France his body was never found , he was 26 and left great grandma with 5 children the youngest who he never saw was my grandad . I do have a very bad photo of him from regimental records indulging in bayonet practice , he does look a weedy little chap and had been unfit for foreign service at the beginning of the war , but because of the manpower that was lost he eventually ended up in France . He was a fustian cutter before the war working in the Cheshire Mills , having found his army number it was a simple matter to look at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
 and this is what i found 

Monday 11 August 2014

Bad Monday Cookery Club

Late home tonight, so it was ram something in the slow cooker morning.  Half a large marrow diced, an over ripe mango that's been lurking in the fridge for weeks, couple of half onions also fridge lurkers, slack handful of red lentils, handful of dried fruit, two of those horrible Heinz tomato soup sachets that I bought dozens of for £1 from Approved Food, two teaspoons of a spice mix that's written in a foreign language and half a pan of leftover apple sauce.  Somehow this turned into the food of the gods, 6 adults and the munchkin rated this. Added a couple of sachets of wild rice , courtesy of Approved Food.  No photos I'm afraid they guzzled the lot, tea for 6 1/2 cost £2.50

Sunday 10 August 2014

Sunday is Jesus day

My five your old grandson is in love with Jesus at the moment . though i think he may be a little confused .
He informed me the other day they had said prayers for Owen who was in hospital during assembly. Assembly is held in the church opposite school . Hes currently not very happy because Owen is back at school and hasnt gone to Jesus after he prayed for him to go to Jesus . I havent come up with an answer for that one yet .
So lets scare off a few followers with his favourite Jesus book of the moment , this is his  read in the car book . 1970s jesus book by dean complete with hippy jesus and glorious 70s graphics.

after all what else can you do on a wet Sunday but preach a little  

Friday 8 August 2014

Losing the will to Thrift !!

In the real world ive only worked one day this week , but due to it been cooler ive been getting on with chores and crafting and munchkin duties . I hadnt spent a penny all week then i weakened and went into the Salvation Army yesterday

There was a glorious fake vintage yellow seersucker single bed throw , that i escaped from , its still there sat in the Market Rasen Sally Army waiting for you to buy
 They had a lot of Swedish mid mod pottery in as well very cheap . I love this shop it has a schizophrenic pricing system, the staff are nice and its tucked into the car park by the coop so gets missed by the high street thrifters . But due to me losing the will to thrift i managed to escape with just a shoebox and a little something for myself  who doesnt need a heavy glass cream and sugar with gilt and flowers . theres a theme here developing , i bought a similar jug for 10p at the jumble and it took up permanent residence as well

I really shouldnt , im sure she spots my car pull up and drags out the strange rubbish that no one else would want . So heres a crafty challenge for you all , what the hell do you do with a 70s shoebox packed with lightweight machine knitted cuffs , wristbands?  you really cant say no when theyre offered for pennies now if cherie cant think of a use for the useless nobody can

no im not moving its raining out there!!
                                          Crap photos due to current monsoon conditions

Sunday 3 August 2014

Sunday Car Boot challenge

This week has been hell 60 hours at work in the real world and no time to do a thing . August is looking like a real slack month so thats not a bad thing , time to craft , ebay and spoil the munchkin methinks . This morning i got up to a silent house , Mr Bah Humbug had gone fishing and the munchkin was off with his mum to Scarborough....I just couldnt stand it , I had to drag myself out to the car boots , with my usual zilch
budget .

I did the little car boot in the next village which yielded a little gem , this may guest for the summer if the munchkin thinks its fun , what kid of 5 couldnt kill a few hours with a mini Olympus typewriter ? then it should make a bit on ebay once hes bored with it .

Then because i was on my own , I thought id wander a bit further and ended up at Coleby at 10 to 9 just as the hoards and millions arrived , traffic chaos ensued but i did get to fight my way in eventually , there were mountains of stalls and mountains of buyers and im not good at elbowing my way to the front so there was tons of stuff i probably missed . My big  purchase was a huge bag of fabric offcuts for £3 ,which i struggled to carry back to the car , i couldnt really look through it at the time but its yielded some nice surprises when i got it home and unpacked . I think someone has been trying to do the currently trendy patchwork upholstery and called it a day, it had all the muslin shapes cut out and started .  Which is to my benefit , theres stacks of glorious fabric samples , big bits of curtain and upholstery fabric , lots of quilting wadding bits, far more than ive pictured , these were just the loud

but here is the strangest find , a 60s suede dress that was hiding at the bottom of the bag of fabric  , on to ebay it must go , it should pay for my day out and all the stuff i bought . in theory that is , who knows with the vagaries of ebay these days ?