Monday, 27 February 2012

Where I Feel Like A Wimp And Look Like A Dork

Every Monday morning, since we only have one car and Big Man uses it to get to work, I take Carb Addict in a taxi to his weekly placement then come straight home again in the same cab. Since this started at the beginning of the year the fare has been, without fail, £11.60 but I always give the driver £12.50. Every driver I've had has gone a certain route. When we were in Liverpool last Monday Red took the trip and told me she was charged '£14-something'. I was annoyed because I thought they'd taken advantage of a young girl. Wrong.
Today we got in the taxi and the driver, an oldish man I'd not seen before started on a different route, saying that it was the same distance when I suggested the normal way. It's always busy at 9am because we live right by a school but once you're past that it's normally plain sailing however he used the traffic as a reason for his choice. I should've insisted that he went the normal way but reasoned with myself that if the fare ended up costing more than £11.60 I would refuse to pay and cite the regular price.
I don't need to tell you that the route the driver took entailed sitting in long traffic queues on the way back, do I? We were stationary and still around the corner from home when the meter hit £11.60.
'Let me out here' I said. The driver was a bit taken aback but pulled over and told me the cost, only for me to find that yet again, due to not wearing my glasses, I had put a 10p piece in my purse instead of a £2 coin. I only had £10.60. Feeling like the world's biggest gobshite I had to tell him that I needed to get more money from the house and that he would have to take me home after all. Which then meant we sat in a bit more traffic.
When we got to the house I must've looked at the meter and seen £12.80. I gave the driver the £10.60, ran into the house and got a £2 and a 20p and took it out to him. He sat looking at it puzzled. When I asked what was wrong he said that I'd only given him £2 and that it was short. I looked at the meter again and it was showing £13.20!
'It doesn't matter, love' the driver said, clearly feeling the waves of hostility radiating from me.
'Wait, I'll go and get it'
'No, really, it doesn't matter' he said.
'OK then. Bye' I said and stormed off.

Why didn't I insist on the driver taking the regular route? Or at least say that I always pay £11.60 and that I wouldn't pay any more? I've lived here 28 years and know as well as any cabbie where the traffic is bad. I didn't even get his number so I could ask NOT to be sent him next time, not that I think he'll be volunteering any time soon. The worst thing is looking such a bonehead when I'd tried to be clever and get out of the taxi before we got home.
Will I ever learn?

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Calling All Grammar Freaks!!!

Spot the (deliberate?) mistake.You'd think somewhere like Travelodge'd get it much do you reckon all these little signs cost them?

Monday, 20 February 2012

Keep Outta My Way!!!

...I'm a rootin' tootin' badass today!!! Well, technically yesterday. But I'm badass every day!!!

 When we moved into our house 18 years ago the house next door, that we join onto, was a B&B. Quite a scabby looking, disreputable one but still a bona-fide B&B and the landlord/owner lived onsite. After maybe 7 or 8 years he sold it and moved to France and it was bought, as a going concern by Mr Singh. Over the years it has been neglected and because Mr Singh lives far away in a leafy suburb and has lots of other properties to tend, he hasn't maintained it properly. First the sign outside was smashed to pieces by drunks and not replaced. Then there was an alleged murderer living there (he got off - Hampshire Police lost the crucial evidence at the tip) who threatened my friend Pam who lives on the other side of the B&B, with a big stick after accusing her of being a Peeping Tom at his girlfriend. Pam is a married grandmother. A couple of years back the B&B became empty and at Christmas time 2009 the water tank burst, resulting in an insurance claim for us of £6000. Three rooms (including my lads' bedrooms); the hall, stairs and landing; and the cupboard under the stairs were all soaked and we had masses of disruption. Pam told me other day that there had been squatters in there last year (I'm so nosy - how did I not know that?) and that there were two smack heads cooking up crack in the back garden last Summer. The police were called both times and at all times, when Mr Singh comes round at the request of the police, or me, or Pam, he just smiles and laughs as if it's nothing at all. That's the background.

For the last two weeks there has been the biggest amount of banging and carrying on next door and it became obvious from the dust and rubble that something was happening. We could tell from the hours that were being worked (after 5pm and weekends) that the builders were doing what's called a 'guvvy job' where I come from. I'm not sure whether they are the same Polish builders that he offered to us when he drenched our house because we didn't take him up on the offer. Yesterday we were woken up at 8am again and when I saw Mr Singh outside the B&B, stamping down the rubble in a dangerously overloaded skip I decided to confront him.

I started off extremely politely by telling him that we were not going to be woken up at 8am any more. Mr Singh was smiling. I said it was clear to me the men were working somewhere else and coming to his job afterwards, their prerogative, but that we too work all week and wanted to stay in bed at the weekend so we would appreciate the builders holding off until 10am.
'8.30?' said Mr Singh.
I, incredulous, said that I wasn't negotiating with him and that we had had quite enough of the banging, hacking and dust (they have hacked every scrap of plaster off the walls, along with the wooden laths, which they burned on a hair-raising 8 foot high pyre in the yard yesterday). He carried on smiling whilst I asked the builder not to start working until 10 at the weekend and he sensibly agreed - when you're having a half-English, half-Polish conversation with an irate neighbour woman it's always wise to agree with her!
Then Mr Singh made the fatal mistake of criticising my tree. When we moved in the tree outside the front door was little and now it's very big. Mr Singh suggested that we might want to cut it to about 12' since the roots are going to damage the pillar between our houses. The pillar is the archway over the porches, where the front doors are set back. Well, I'm not having anybody criticise my tree, especially not somebody whose fence we replaced a few years back because it looked so awful and somebody who had caused our insurance premiums to increase.
I gave it to him with both barrels. Told him that he had destroyed my home with water and had never even apologised. That his builders had started this work and he hadn't had the manners to call to me or Pam and explain what was happening. That his property was such an eyesore that I knew he'd had squatters. That he had cost my insurers £6000 ('For wallpaper? Surely not?!') and that I couldn't believe he had the gall to come to my door and complain about my tree. In fact I had said to Big Man before Christmas that it could do with trimming but now I shan't be cutting it for a very long time.

I'd like to say that it ended with a particularly scathing put down by me but it just kind of fizzled out. I did say that if he damaged my house again in any way I would go after him with everything I had (cringey...I'm such a drama queen), and he kind of drifted off, still smiling....

....leaving me feeling like this.

Are your neighbours a pain in the proverbial, or would I be your 'Neighbour from Hell'???!

PS We are going to Liverpool tomorrow. See you when I get back! Also, if anybody has any of the Tesco knife vouchers that they don't want let me know will you? I want the knives but don't shop at Tesco enough to get the required amount of vouchers. Am willing to swap a £10 off Sainsbury's first online shop voucher! ;P

Friday, 17 February 2012

The Weekend I Realised I'm Old

In 2009 the Kings of Leon were THE big thing and I really, really liked their music. I got it into my head that I wanted to see them live and since I'd always wanted to go to a music festival (never having been to a proper one when I was genuinely young. As opposed to just feeling and kidding myself I was young) I thought it'd be a wheeze to go to Reading Festival. Camping. Red was agreeable to coming with me - she was going on an all expenses paid weekend away AND seeing great bands, why wouldn't she be? - plus she had camped before. Only later did she tell me she'd never actually put a tent up before, only arrived at a campsite where the tents were already pitched (see! I've got all the camping lingo! Sadly none of the skills ;P). In a state of excitement I bought a wind-up lamp, a tent - I already had wellies! - no sleeping bags though. From reading festival-goers' websites I found out that it was better to just buy a couple of duvets from the Reading branch of Asda, wrap up in them at night then donate them at the end of the festival. I had also been assured by all the festival attendees I spoke to that there was no way I'd be the oldest there. That should have set alarm bells ringing.....never take the word of young people, particularly when it's someone (remember Pigface?) who has designs on your daughter.

We arrived and managed to pitch (there I go again, semi-pro camper-talk!!) our tent then hotfooted it into Reading where we bought a couple of duvets, a disposable BBQ, a dozen sausages and a case of cider. The place was full of lissom public school-type girls, all shining hair, long legs, family holiday in the Maldives style tans and good teeth. Need I say I hated them, whilst at the same time wishing I was like them?
The Kings of Leon were appearing on the first night of the festival (our second night there) so we got into the main stage area from about midday. I'd say we were maybe three rows from the front which wasn't bad going. Red is taller and stronger than me - my elbows are sharper though! - so she kept a tight hold. All was going fairly was very hot and sunny and all the feet churned up loads of dust. Within about 30 minutes we were covered - clothes, hair, inside your boots. In fact it was so unbearable that on the next day, Saturday, Red and I went and had our hair done in Reading town centre. Big Man says I must be the only person who went to Reading Festival and had to have a wash and blow dry half way through.
After a couple of hours watching bands I'd only vaguely heard of, Deftones came on stage and a circle pit formed right next to where we were standing. Do y'all know what a circle pit is? A mosh pit? It's kind of like this;

   Except the one next to us was smaller and less good-natured :(

Mmm. Now imagine yourself being snagged by some maniac as they ran around screaming, and hurled into the centre. It might be exhilarating when you're a teenage boy (Mr Charming loves to mosh) but when you're an unsuspecting mum of three it's bloody terrifying, let me tell you. Luckily there is an etiquette at festivals...if anyone falls over they get picked up straight away, and so I was pulled up unceremoniously and was able to get back to Red. Almost unbelievably she said to me crossly 'for God's sake Mother, stay out of the mosh pit!'
Needless to say we got separated during the afternoon. Some girl pushed herself in between the two of us and there was no way I could get back to Red, and by then the heat, the dust and the sheer pressure of the crowd behind was not only getting to me physically, it was quite frightening. More circle pits were starting up, there was more pushing from behind, causing people to fall over - I was pushed over a couple more times and each time I really thought I would die, be crushed to death. Yes, you get pulled to your feet again straight away but there was no quarter given by any of the festivalgoers for the fact that I was as old as their mums - I was just another bod to be pushed past, bowled over and then yanked up again. At least youngsters are egalitarian I suppose! I pushed my way out of the crowd and spent an hour or so just walking round the market.

This is how dusty it was

Red and I had our mobiles so I knew that she'd stayed where we were. By the time the Kings of Leon came on I tried to get back to her but there was no way, so I watched their set from the middle of the crowd and we met up again at the end. We'd pitched our tent quite near the entrance to the campsite (and near the toilets....that was one of my specifications lol!) so we had a walk through the different zones to get back to our tent. I had decided that my appetite for festivals had been sated - I felt exhausted; I was bruised, covered in dust, my hair was like nothing on earth; I was disappointed that KOL had been so ill-tempered and not played any encores AND I'd been separated from Red most of the time (she was very contemptuous of the the way I'd 'let myself be pushed out by that girl'...well, excuse me - she was a head higher, young, fit and strong!) - and I was looking forward to getting back to our tent and a (for me) sedated sleep. The final straw came when two young fellas walked past us and twisted round to look at Red and I. Both had smiles on their faces (you know the kind of smile I mean....when someone's about to try their luck) but the one opposite me's face fell when he saw that I was mum-aged and not a teenaged girl too. They quickly turned around and kept on walking.

And in that moment I knew I was old.

Too old for festivals. Too old to be wearing shorts and wellies, although in my defence my legs were very brown from a Turkish holiday. Too old to be camping (sleeping on the floor? No thanks!). Too old to live on four sausages and twelve tins of cider for three days. Too old full stop.
And I still had two more days to get through........

Saturday, 11 February 2012

The Name's Pikey.....Mrs Pikey....

In this post last year I may have implied that I am too proud, and not in enough need to root through the possessions of strangers. In fact that is not strictly true. Only two days ago I was to be found scrutinising my neighbour's leavings and after a short conversation in pidgin English (him) and pidgin Polish (me) with a builder whose attention I got by throwing a large piece of wood through the window where he was working (accidentally!!! I could never do it again in a million years. And anyway, he should've answered the doorbell...) I was richer by two Pyrex casserole dishes; one matching lid; a large mirror etched with a picture of a galleon; and the piece de resistance, a blue plastic vegetable trolley. I am a great believer in life presenting you with what it is you need if you only wait. I wanted a vegetable trolley....hey presto, one presents itself right next door within, oh...three days? After I had a blitz in my kitchen (that exciting post is for another day - you'll be impressed!), part of which entailed scraping up yet another repulsively decomposed eggplant from the bottom of the vegetable cupboard, I decided that what I needed was some place to keep the veggies IN THE OPEN! That way they would be a) visible and less liable to be overlooked, and b) able to have fresh air circulating round them and hopefully not end up rotten, like about 60% of all green stuff that I buy does. I tried to look on the Argos website but that was messing about so I thought I'd look in the catalogue later (ie when I remember a fortnight later). But I didn't have to because the god of plastic storage smiled down on me and threw just what I wanted in my path. I like to think of it as karma for giving old ladies manicures every day.

The Pyrex of course is always handy - pity there was only one lid but beggars can't be choosers I suppose. The mirror is another story. After a quick look on eBay I can see no market whatsoever for it. I could hang onto it until my next car boot sale but the fact is my house is full of such things so I think my only option is to wait until tomorrow night and then sneak it back, under cover of darkness, to my neighbour's front way. I noticed today that quite a lot of stuff had gone from the box and the heap that had been thrown outside (my neighbour doesn't live there, in case you're wondering why the need for all the subterfuge - the property is an unused B&B. Actually, there's no need for any subterfuge, I'm just devious by nature) so I'm not the only one making off with his junk....just the closest one.

Ill-gotten gains!

And now, your comments on this situation, if you please. Sid, a resident where I work died last week. He was very old and he'd just had enough. He was very much cherished and all of his extended family were around him at the end....he had what you might call 'a good death'. We had all grown to like his daughters very much and they appreciated what we'd done for their dad. When they cleared his room the family left Sid's clothes behind for us to use as we see fit - sometimes a resident comes to us from hospital wearing just their pyjamas, with no other clothes at all (hard to believe I know, but true) so we can provide something to wear from our stock. My colleague had sorted Sid's old clothes into 'keep' and 'charity shop' and being both nosey and an eBayer I had a look through the charity shop stuff. Inside were two pure wool sports jackets, from maybe the 60s, very good quality and eminently sellable. Not for my benefit, I hasten to add, but for the Residents' Fund (fundraising is part of my job). I could have taken them out, brought them home and listed them but the fear of being found out and sacked is too mortifying so I didn't. I told Nadine, the matron, my idea and she said we need to ask Sid's family but she was sure they'd be okay with it. My question is, do you think my idea is objectionable, and would you just have gone ahead and done it without asking? The fear of exposure as a thief, even with the most altruistic of motives, and the shame of being in the local paper ('Local Mother of Three Steals Dead Pensioner's Clothing!!!'....the horror, the total horror!) is what stops people like me, and probably you guys too, from stepping out of line. But is taking my neighbour's destined-for-the-tip trash any different from selling Sid's clothes without permission? I probably won't ask Sid's family about the jackets now - Big Man thinks Nadine should have just made the decision herself since Sid's family gave us the clothes to do with as we wished - but....I dunno.....we'll see. What do you think?

PS This clip from The Royle Family is not only heartbreaking (and Sinead O'Connor's singing is heavenly) but it makes me think of the way Sid's family all came to his bedside in his last couple of days. If you haven't ever seen the Royle Family, maybe you're in the US, try to watch it - it is brilliant!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


Panic over!!! I found 'Adolf, the Half-Aryan'. Just don't tell Mr Charming about the £12.50 OK, or he'll want his share lol!!!

My Ideas Notebook

One of my goals for 2012 is to update my ideas notebook regularly so I thought I'd show (and tell) you what that is exactly. When I was doing my degree we were told to always keep a book with ideas in - it could be pictures, things you'd read, ticket stubs, photos, sketches of your own...whatever inspired you to create. Some bloggers have great ideas notebooks, very artistic, experimental and unusual. I love Sue Brown's sketchbook.

This is my notebook

I started this one a few years back, 2008, originally with the idea that I would write down books I wanted to read, usually after reading a write-up in the paper. Then I progressed to things I wanted to do/see/watch, then funny articles out of the paper, strange and bizarre pictures and general things that I admired or wanted to make myself (as in I make them, not that I made for my own use). As an example, the page belowhas; Five Ways To Live Longer (including 'Leave your kettle to sit for a minute after boiling' and 'Think about sex in your lunch hour'. Hmmmm); a clipping that says thongs now account for only 13% of all undies sold; information about squashes; a little cartoon of a male shoe shop assistant wearing a gas mask whilst fitting a shoe on a woman's foot - his manager is saying to him 'A word, Mr Henshaw'. I thought it was funny anyway ;); another article about the monetary value of a housewife; advice on packing your quilt sets into one of the pillowcases 'for ease every bed-change day!' I actually started doing this and find it a good idea; and finally a notice about Adele playing at the Southampton Guildhall - the tickets were only £15. Red and I went to the gig and Adele was very nervous but totally fab and it wasn't even full!

Mis mas of all sorts of interesting stuffs!

More books, info about calories in bread and a 'Day of the Dead' nighlight

The one thing that always makes me smile when I look at it (and I DO read my notebook, often) is an article I snipped from the paper when I first started out. It was about the way girls, ie daughters seem 'sugar and spice and all things nice' but are secretly planning chaos,whilst..

'Boys, especially in their early teens, are like domesticated goats - quite friendly, if wary, utterly uncomprehending but usually compliant. You are not on their planet, but they'll tolerate your occasional visit to theirs.'

I've yet to read a more spot-on appraisal of teenage boys, Mr Charming included, yet. Does this chime with your experience of sons?

PS I've loads to stick in my book...better get on with it! 

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

For Heaven's Sakes....!

How annoying is this? I've sold a book on Amazon for £12.50 and I can't bloody well find it. Why is everything so disorganised? I'm almost driven to join one of these de-cluttering challenges that are flying round blogland. But not quite.

Going to bed now to try to dream where I put it. Like that's going to happen...

BTW, thanks for your good wishes for Red everyone. She recovered sufficiently to go to Chiquitos this evening with a friend but I'm still planning to get her an appointment with the doc to check the heartbeat out.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Happy Birthday Red!!!

My beautiful girl Red reached 22 today and she spent it curled up on the settee asleep. She's really suffering with 'raging' (according to the nurse at the walk-in centre) tonsillitis. She can't get comfortable in her own bed due to a spring in the mattress that's hurting her hip - so far she's been in my bed, Mr Charming's bed whilst he's at uni, and on the settee. She even spent all night downstairs the night before last! She has some antibiotics now and they seem to be doing the trick. I'm a bit worried though...she told me this morning that after climbing the stairs her heart was beating so hard that it really frightened her. I'm going to try to get her an emergency appointment at the doctors because she already has a heart murmur (all three kids do), plus Babcia has atrial fibrillation (erratic heartbeat, although she's pretty erratic generally so why should her heart be any different?) and all four of my grandparents (Red's great-grandparents) died of heart-related problems. I sometimes get that really pounding heart in bed at night - it feels so strong that you can almost see your chest jumping. I'm hoping it's nothing to be worried about....have any of you guys come across it?
So, we didn't go for our special meal to TGI Friday and will have to rearrange it for one night this week, which will mean neither of her brothers will be there. Seems a shame when Mr Charming will be home Thursday. Maybe we'll go then.

Awwww, bless!!!!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Something's Cookin'

For someone who moans quite a lot about how much food costs I rarely write anything about what I actually do with it once I've forked out all my money. Inspired by Karen's great blog I thought I'd give you an insight into what we'll be eating during the next few weeks chez Keshling.
I have been tidying my kitchen cupboards over the last couple days, partly because I have something of a stockpile of food and cleaning stuff (10 boxes of 52 Finish Powerball Dishwasher Tablets, special offer at Lidl - £3.75 instead of £7.50. Should last a year. 10 packs of 300g Extra Mature Cheddar from Lidl - £1.64 each. 24 packs of Strawberry Supreme Dessert at 10p each. 4kg of popping corn at 99p a kilo. And so on.) and partly because my cupboards are a frightful, disgraceful mess. However, hoorah!!! Some are tidy now and I will post 'before and after' pics just as soon as I take some, and before they get filled to the top with crap again. I haven't allotted specific days to my menu plan - I just cook whatever I remember to take out of the freezer the night before, which is usually what the cook feels like eating. And two of the meals have been eaten already. The puddings are made from things I came across whilst turning the cupboards out.

Cheese and Onion Flan with Chips and Beans
Spicy Mince and Carrots with Feta Crumble
Fish Pie with Peas
*Minced Beef Cobbler
Roast Pork with all the trimmings
Cheese, Ham and Potato Omelettes with Beans
Mole Chicken with Savoury Rice
*Prawn Curry, Pilau Rice, Onion Bhajis and Naan Bread
Meatloaf, Spuds, Vegetables
Chili and Rice with Cornbread
Cheese and Potato Pie with Beans
Crab Chowder with Cornbread
Jambalaya with Prawns and Chorizo

Sernik (Polish Cheesecake)
Lemon Meringue Pie
Mango Fool
Irish Cream Cake
Pancakes with Maple Syrup
Cream Cheese Frosted Carrot Cake
Bakewell Pudding and Custard
Blackberry Crumble and Custard
Fudgie Wudgies
Gingerbread and Banana Trifle
Mincemeat Tart with Meringue Topping
As much Strawberry Supreme Dessert as you can eat lol!

We already ate the Minced Beef Cobbler; the Spicy Mince thing is a recipe from the Daily Mail - we've had half last week and still have half frozen; and the Prawn Curry was really quick, easy and pretty economical. It was just half a bag of Lidl prawns with four big potatoes cut into cubes and parboiled (thanks for the idea Saphy!), a jar of Lidl Jalfrezi Sauce and a tin of Asda Chickpea Dhal thrown in. The rice was microwaved in 90 seconds and I was surprised to see it was marked best before 2007...ooops! Tasted fine though (famous last words!!!). The onion bhajis were yellow stickered from Sainsbury's, 74p from £3; and the naan breads were found in the bottom of the freezer and won't have been full price either. There's still about a third of the curry left so I've frozen it. My Mr Charming is coming home from Uni for a few days on the 11th so I'll make the Fudgie Wudgies (his favourite Brownies) and the Crumble for when he's here.

You can see that almost everything is made from scratch - I often really don't feel like setting to and cooking when I get home from work at 4pm, yet it's so nice to have home-cooked food. I feel very sorry for people who can't cook, or won't try to cook. They don't ever get the satisfaction of putting a meal in front of their family and thinking 'I made that!'. I know it's not a very feminist attitude but it gives me a lot of pleasure to produce something delicious from a few ingredients. I think some women wear as a badge of honour the fact that they don't cook or 'just don't have the time to cook!' As if they're so busy with their important and glamorous lives whilst the rest of us bovines skivvy away at our inconsequential little pin-money (if only!) jobs. I remember when Red was baptised we threw a party afterwards and I'd worn myself out, gone totally over-the-top with the food. French patisserie, a fantastic (I won't deny it, it was) cake in the shape of a cradle, quiches, croquembouche, dips...I'd gone crazy. And the wife of Big Man's sea daddy turned to me and said 'I don't know how you do it, I wouldn't have the time'. Because everybody knows, being a childless legal secretary whose husband is mainly at sea is SOOOOOO much harder than cooking up a 'party-food-for-fifty' storm and coping with a tiny new baby when your family are 250 miles away. That woman never knew how close she came to a smack in the chops that day, and I could have easily blamed my hormones.

So there you have it, the kind of things we eat. The best part is that I either found the ingredients in the back of the cupboards and realised that I could make whole meals from them, or I bought the makings last month, when I overspent on my £250 food budget by about £140 (eeek!!!). I haven't so far bought any food specifically to make meals with. And yes, I DO realise it's only the 4th but I'm pretty sure we can go to maybe the 20th without buying anything other than milk and probably bread. I have a breadmaker but I'm the only one who likes homemade bread....yep, the others here are just weirdos, I know. I'll keep you posted about how we go on.

Just for SP, Spinach and Ricotta Bake

908g frozen spinach, defrosted
340g ricotta cheese

4 medium eggs, beaten
freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
cannelloni tubes
2x400g cans chopped tomatoes
handful of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Grease a lasagne dish. Squeeze any excess water out of the spinach then put in a bowl with the ricotta and garlic and mix together. Stir in the eggs and nutmeg and season.
Using a piping bag squeeze the filling into the cannelloni tubes one by one. Place them in one layer into the dish. Mix together the tomatoes and basil. Season. Pour the tomatoes over the cannelloni and bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve with a green salad or whatever turns you on.

This is an old Slimming World recipe that we've had and really liked stacks of times. What I sometimes do is buy fresh lasagne sheets, cut them into three, put the filling in and roll up like cannelloni - they cook much faster. You can also substitute a carton of passata with basil plus 1T of sugar for the tins of tomatoes. Bon appetit SP!!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Calling Frugalistas!

I have a question. When you have a NSD - No Spend Day - what exactly do you mean by that? Is it a day when you don't spend a single penny on anything whatsoever, or is it a day when you can buy, say toilet roll or bread but not a magazine or a mascara? Some blogs I read say they have had a 'No Personal Spend Day'....I guess they can still buy family food or pay a gas bill. And that's another thing. If a NSD for you means no spending at all, does that also mean you had no direct debits going out for bills too? Today I have direct debits leaving our account for water, gas and TV license AND I will spend a few quid on vitamins. Are they personal spending, because I wouldn't die without them but I have taken them for years? Would that make it a NSD for me?

I guess most people would say that a NSD can be whatever you want it to be but I'm interested in what you guys use as a guideline.