So today has been a bit of a long one, I’ve been quiet for a few days I know but I’m desperately trying to get the fire up together. It is now working but I still need to finishing chiseling away the rest of the plaster so we have a bare brick chimney breast! I also need to get a grate in our dining room and do a bit my chiselling there too! But it’s working well I say that as I’ve just sat down with a fire not ablaze because the coal I bought today isn’t playing ball. I thought I’d get some coal to tide as over until we get a good quantity of wood together. And I have been told coal burns slower! Well at the moment it’s not burning at all so I would call that a stop rather than a slow down. My husband has gone to football and I really don’t want to be the helpless wife not able to light a simple fire and waiting here until he gets home to sort it out. Ill take a break while I write this and reevaluate!
Today started with my normal early morning routine of getting our birds out, feeding, checking for any problems and ensuring they are secure. This morning was amusing for me, Bauble my boy turkey was quite upset with Basil my boy bird. They were having a bit of a set too with feathers ruffling up and almost sparring with one another. I think it was a case of ‘my willy is bigger than yours’ and now Bauble is a rather well built turkey, Basil feels emasculated! Jeremy the duck however is concerned at all but he has Jemima all to himself so I think he is more than happy with his lot. They settled down, I gave them their pellets, their leftovers and some veg and off I went.
After breakfast and my eldest making some shortbread it was time to do some shopping, b&q and west midland farmers with my three monkeys in tow. You can only imagine what a long day it has been!
However I chose my slabs, picked up my compost. Oh the compost now that was a funny story. There was nobody in the yard to help so I thought I’d get them in the trolley myself. Two bags 125 litres a bag but I sort of threw them onto the trolley, paid and went out to the car. Whilst out there a rather young man came over and offered me some help putting them in the car. I accepted even though I wondered how he thought I’d got them this far. He heaved and hoed, puffed and panted and made some incredibly groaning noises attempting to get the one bag into my car, or the work horse as its recently become affectionately known. Behind him I was stood with the other bag resting on my foot. He stepped back and I threw the other bag up into the boot with one very swift motion if I so say so myself, not bad for someone of only a petite 5’1. He turned to me and said ‘you didn’t really need me did you?’ So like Basil he is emasculated too, I didn’t tell him this obviously, I can’t see comparing him to my wimpy boy chicken would possibly help this situation.
So off I drove to my next stop sainsburys, never a easy place to deal with, with three kids in tow. On the way I reminded the kids they would have a few jobs to do when they got back to which Isabella ranted ‘I’m the only one of all my friends that has to do jobs’ I simply responded ‘its good to be different’. Seriously though do no other parents give their children chores? Am I they only one left? I can’t believe it and if it is true more fool the parents. I’m nobodies slave, we are a team. We collectively make the mess therefore we collectively clear it up. Don’t get me wrong I don’t send them up my chimney, although to save the £50 I shelled out yesterday this could be a possibility, lol! Kidding really!
Sainsburys was ok, quite busy and my littlest one decided to have a clingy moment which made packing difficult.
The good thing is we survived our outings in one piece and I managed to make my £100 shopping stretch the shopping, the coal and the compost!
I’m a bargain hunter and will cut out where necessary to be able to spend somewhere else. So I now have 60 kilos of coal that at the moment I cannot get to burn, any suggestions?
When I returned, Isabella was nagging me about twig collecting. Daddy had mentioned before we could go over the park and collect wood for the fire and now all she can think about is doing this. She is a lot like me in that respect and amused by the simple things in life.
I went out to build up my herb garden, throw the new compost in and plant the half dead bargain plants I got from high field. I buy many of my plants half dead, end of season and without blowing my own trumpet I’m pleased to say I’ve not had one failure. If you take one thing away from this then remember to wait for your plants. Buy end of season and you will find that £4 herbaceous for your border down to 20p. Also buy seeds rather than plants. Yes it’s more time but so much less money. And if you have friends that fancy trying their hands at seed sowing, buy different seeds and split them all up between you. You save an absolute fortune. My mission this year was to redo my garden for free and I’ve not done bad. I was bought some plants for my birthday, I spent a couple of quid at high field and bought compost but other than that pretty much all free. Bricks and bird houses from free cycle, screen and wood for fencing from my friends shed, already had roses and there would loads of slabs in the garden. Still work to be done and some of it will cost, for example the gravel but I’m doing well so far.
So off we went stick collecting. Can I just say to any of you that have an open fire this is such a fun afternoon out, my three kids loved it and it cost me nothing at all and wore the baby out ready for bed this evening.
So baby in bed, awaiting the return of my husband and the other two snuggles under blanket with me watching My dog Skip. Seems pretty good so I’m going to get back to my hot chocolate and go have a serious talk with my fire!