We switched the aga back on this week. The engineer came to service it on Thursday, and also to show us how to switch it on, since the pilot light had gone out when we had the boiler replaced (how embarrassing is *that*??!? without his help we’d have just had a very bulky & not very spacious cupboard…)

 And now it’s lovely and warm in the kitchen, and the seat in the living room nearest to it, and I can further develop my delusion of living in a Joanna Trollop novel (without all the traumatic stuff or labradors, obviously!).

 I commented to the engineer that if we were made of money we’d get a proper gas aga (rather than a solid-fuel conversion to gas) so it’s less of a gas guzzler, but at the moment it was out of the question (at £6-10K a pop, it’s definitely in the luxury items bracket). He said they do reconditioned ones for £2.5-3K. At the time I thought he’d completely missed the meaning of the phrases “made of money” and “out of the question” but on reflection, at about 1.5xnew boiler it does in deed make it more of a proposition. So possibly only 10-15 years down the line, rather than over my dead body… (refers back to J-T-novel-delusion in head!!)

ps. including this in the eco-jude category ironically – I’m aware that no amount of plastic bag non-use will counter the effect of a season’s aga-gas-guzzling. I’ll make it up to the kids by leaving it to them…

Lily’s Princess-a-thon

Lily was 4 on Tuesday. Nana & Grandad gave her a Princess quilt cover & pillowcase, and we gave her a princess bed canopy (“Mummy, will my bed have a roof on it?”) – ordered at the last minute as we wrestled with the concept…


As well as the canopy & quilt cover, she insisted on wearing her princess wedding dress, which was a present from Aunty Karen last year. Here’s the picture from Daddy’s phone…lilys_bed2.jpg

Lily goes to (nursery) School

Lily started at Moorgate Nursery School & Munchkins yesterday. Here she is in her “uniform” polo shirt. She kept doing sultry & rescue lily poses, so I took her outside in the wind where it was harder to concentrate! The session seemed to go OK. She has a longer day today ’til 4pm, and then up to “full time” from Friday onwards.


Spread a little happiness…

We have a customer, an elderly lady who lives in Tyldesley in a 1-bed council bungalow – Mrs R. As I was chatting to her one visit, we got chatting about her crystal animals, and she said how sad she was that the teardrop crystal she used to have hanging at the window had broken so that she couldn’t hang it up any more. She talked about how she loved having rainbows flying round the room, but wasn’t able to anymore.

My Aunt Ann recently sent a solar-powered window crystal to Mum, which rotates mechanically when the (really bright) sun hits the solar panels. I mentioned this to Mrs R, and she was excited by the idea. So, when I got back to “base” I looked to see if I could find any on the web. I did, and next time I went back to Mrs R’s, I showed her where she could find them.

I found out yesterday that she now has rainbows bouncing around her front room again.

For other interested parties, here is the link: swarovski-crystal-rainbow-maker

The view from here is AMAZING!

Apparently, from the A570 just south of Ormskirk, just after the water tower, you can see Aunty Karen’s house in A’tralia. It’s “over there” probably just to the left of Portugal, which can also be seen from around there, I’m told

All I can see is a panoramic view of Liverpool, with a Welsh hills backdrop, but what do I know?

Princess Cakes


For Aunty Karen’s benefit – here is a picture of Sunday’s princess cakes. We had to supplement the decorations with 2 pink bunnies and some pink sparkles, but nobody seemed to mind. They lasted about 2 hours – until teatime!

Sunday’s high points

Today I was pleased & impressed by:

  1. The Borscht soup I made last week with our  beetroot glut which we had for lunch and was FANTASTIC.
  2. Lily put her hand up & answered a question in Children’s Liturgy.
  3. Joan at church recognised me & looked pleased to see me.
  4. We went to church & the kids continued their upwards curve of Good Behaviour
  5. The carrot & coriander soup I made on Saturday was pretty good, too!

And I’m sure there was something else, but I can’t remember what it was!

Not enough Pirate costumes


We clearly don’t have enough pirate outfits in our dressing up box. This was Joel’s chosen play outfit this morning – a fairy skirt and bridal veil. It fitted with his co-performer’s pumpkin dress, but I fear in years to come he will regret this photo and blame me & Lily.

Today I am mostly knitting….


OECS Squares. The squares will be sent off to contribute to rugs for lonely old folks. Am hoping to get a rugs-worth done before they are sent off, but I don’t think I’ve got enough wool in the right colours…


I saw a post on another blog recently which said that if you’re using a CRT monitor (ie. not flat screen) then looking at darker screens helps save energy because the tube uses less energy to make black than it does to make white. Sounds a bit like an old wives tale (and how many of them do we believe? Did fresh pineapple bring on *your* labour??!?) but it also sounds kind-of like it could be true. Apparently it’s been calculated that if google was on a black background instead of white, then loads of energy could be saved. The guy whose blog I saw this on has come up with an energy-saving colour palette – I’ll be swapping anything I can over… quite soon! Here’s the colour scheme on his page: