Category Archives: Matters domestic


I quite like cats (although long term exposure = hives) but I DO NOT LIKE their poo. This summer the local cats seem to have mistaken my garden as a toilet. Cue me with plastic bags, scooping and then walking all the way to the park to deposit in an appropriate bin (if they go in my bin we get infested with flies). And of course being London cats they’re all attitude and virtually nothing scares them off. Grrrr


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Where did August go?

So 1st August was my last day in gainful employment and today is 1st September…how exactly did that happen?

I cannot point to any major achievements which is rather disappointing so have decided to be slightly kinder to myself and see if there are any mini achievements I can claim. A kind of 3BT when BTs are in short supply.

1. On the job front it has been deathly slow although I have been to two second interviews (one rejection and one leading to a third interview in a couple of weeks). I have pimped my LinkedIn profile and registered for various freelance databases so fingers crossed – really there have to be jobs out there somewhere.

2. One achievement is definitely getting my act together on Wii Fit. I have actually today set up my own Mii (don’t ask why it’s taken so long, pathological hatred of being weighed and judged) rather than just using The Beloved’s. Slight downside to that is that I would appear to be using less calories (less body weight) and now have to unlock all the levels I’d previously unlocked. However, I am quite determined to keep it up (for as long as I’m alone in the house, it is a strictly no-spectator sport!).

3. I have been to see a couple of films: Rise of the Planet of the Apes was surprisingly good, Andy Serkis is a genius; Cowboys and Aliens was very silly. Still haven’t managed One Day and I really want to see that but it requires getting myself out on my own for my own good and my motivational levels for being kind to myself are still on the stunted side.

4. I have tried to limit obsessive cleaning and become more able to cope with my lodger’s hair balls. She’s leaving on Saturday and it’s been quite fun having her here although we’re looking forward to having the place to ourselves again.

Hmmm…all a bit slim pickings really

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White goods

So having finally got a new shower sorted (after six months of faffing about), my fridge has decided to give up which is all very annoying. Having done a late night freezer run to my mother in law, I am attempting to fix the potential problem (what did we do before tinterweb and the joy of Googling “my fridge isn’t working but my freezer is fine?). But, in the mean time thought I ought to check out possible new contenders for pride of place in my newly decorated kitchen (oh yes it’s been all go here). And I have been quite literally stunned by the potential bling fest of white goods available. Really? £9,500 for a fridge? At that price I’d expect it to order all my food and possibly cook some of it! Suffice to say I shall (if necessary) be buying a more modest “keeping food cold” type of model.

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3BT – 31st July

Possibly more than three

1. Went to see Carlos Acosta at The Coliseum. Was somewhat nervous by the reviews and, although it could have done with “more dancing”, I really enjoyed it. Although agreed with the critic (sorry can’t find the link) who said it could/should have been staged at the Tate Modern.

2. Hated what I was wearing yesterday. You know when you just put something on and it grows progressively more grim as the day goes on? Well, I felt so lucky that I could just pop to Hennes, buy a £12 top and feel instantly more human. Also bought a pair of shoes which weren’t entirely on the agenda but are lovely and I have bought a pair of lovely shoes until last October which is actually QUITE A LONG TIME  (well for me).

3. British athletes being fab, especially the beautiful Jessica Ennis and the passionate Mo Farrar.

4. Eating delicious food hand delivered from my parents garden (even though it’s nearly 100 miles away). And transforming courgettes (which are normally watery and a bit bleurgh) thanks to a recipe from the lovely Ruth and Rose – page 155 of The River Cafe Blue Book.

5. Sondheim at the Proms. There are few words apart from Judi Dench rocks.

6. The power of Twitter and this week’s story about Clare Balding.

7. Newly clean curtains and windows (although they need to drop about an inch – the curtains not the windows).

8. A spurt of ridiculously early morning energy counterbalanced by an afternoon nap.

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Local convenience

When I had a car it was really easy to shop locally, I’d pop to the high street on a Saturday morning and go to the butchers, fishmongers, deli etc. But as I no longer have wheels, I do rely on Ocado for about 90% of my shopping with only occasional forays to the shops for whatever I can fit in my bag and lug on the bus. Which is why I really like this idea. They don’t actually cover my area yet but I’ve signed up so I know when they do.

Having said all this, at the weekend I had a complete revelation in the food shopping department. I have lived where I live for more than 10 years now but have never frequented the vegetable stall on the market. Have no idea why. However, this weekend I really didn’t need the minimum size pack of 2.7kg of potatoes – there are only two of us, it was only for one roast dinner – so I thought may be the vegetable stall would sell smaller amounts. Of course he did, I could have bought just one potato if I’d wanted. I also bought beans and onions and a couple of other bits for not very much money at all, all served up with great customer service. Now the only thing that’s baffling me is why it’s taken me 10 years.

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Unwelcome visitors part II

So they came and repaired the door and then demanded immediate payment with threats again. I now have the biggest headache and vow never to employ ANYONE to ever do home improvement.

My advice: Never use Balham Glass and Joinery.

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Mass murderer

It started as simple manslaughter. Going outside in the dark and hearing the crunch squish as I trod on a snail or two. But this weekend it became an out and out killing spree as I decided to take on brown, slimy, no good for anything slugs. Yuk!
For some reason I decided to dig out a flower bed that’s been bugging me and give the plants more space. And that’s when I discovered their lair. All gloopy, slow moving sliminess. Since I disturbed them they’ve started appearing all over the place so I’ve become extremely liberal with the salt. I only have Maldon though so extermination is proving somewhat costly. A bag of table salt may appear in my next shopping basket.

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