Sunday Music: It’s Yer Money, I’m After Baby – The Wonder Stuff

Last weekend, Matt, Ruth and I referenced this and the godchildren and their grandfather were baffled. So for those of you that weren’t around for the Wonder Stuff, here it is…

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Friday Links: It’s not normal

Happy Friday!

The Unique Pleasures of Watching Alexa Deny Children What They Want

Growing pains: how the climate crisis is changing British gardens

While politicians get het up about Brexit, this is happening, anyone with eyes can see it. There is nothing strong or stable or compassionate about this government.  My walk to work shows me how homelessness is transforming Britain.

‘I don’t trust the government to look after me or my dog’: meet the Brexit stockpilers

This is only the end of the beginning of our Brexit civil war

A century of adult education has been tossed aside – is it too late to rescue it?

This is worth watching, thanks to Jem for sharing.

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Allotment Adventures: Autumn Raspberries and buying seeds

The weather last weekend was grey and miserable, it wasn’t properly cold but felt cold because it was so grey. The herb patch is looking green but straggly (you can see how warm it’s been because the lemon verbena is still hanging on!)We didn’t have huge plans for work on the plot, I was thinking about making a start on removing the raspberries but I’m still not really 100% fit so instead we thought we’d go and have a look, harvest some stuff and see how everything was looking. But on Friday, one of the other plot holders asked on Facebook if anyone wanted some autumn raspberries as she was changing the layout of her plot. Free autumn raspberries! We said yes and picked them up on Saturday and planted them in a bed. We’ll add some more compost and mulch them later.

We harvested leeks, kale and chard.Ma took the netting off the garlic and nearly brained herself tripping over the bed, which is another reason to take the raspberries up!

The broad beans are popping up too.So it’s all good but by the end of February I want to do the following

  • tidy up a couple of beds, top up with compost and cover
  • dig up the summer raspberries
  • plant some summer raspberries in new home
  • weed and tidy herb plot
  • create new beds where the raspberries were
  • sow leeks, kale and sweet peas
  • buy seed potatoes and order additional seed

We also did the first seed buying of the year, we have loads of seeds already and last week went through and sorted out what we have and what we need. We have no need to buy courgette or tomato seeds but needed winter squash (butternuts and uchiki kuri) extra sweetcorn, carrots, beetroot and sweetpeas. I wanted to grow gerkins and try fennel of florence so they will be new for 2019! They didn’t have all the seed potatoes in yet so we can wait. Ma and I talked about more potatoes this year but decided to stick with the wilko ones. We are going for pink fir apple, nicola, anya. The packets come in 3 or five so we’ll grow four bags of nicola, one pink fir apple and two anya. I also want to grow kestral or swift but we’ll see how we go with space!We also need to do a tiny real seed order for boothby’s blonde cucumbers (Ma’s favourite!), some other winter squash (I want to grow candy roaster this year and we need a mini squash for the three sisters bed), I also want to try walking onions this year but I haven’t told Ma that yet!



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Monday Miscellany: Re-entry

Happy Monday! I’m not going to lie last week was tough. Although I was feeling better, I was not 100% and it’s still very dark.So doing a full week at work was going to be a case of head down and plough through, but for the first time in ages work was tricky. We spent the entire week trying to get something done. We did it last gasp on Friday afternoon, when discussing it, my boss told someone that his PA has been ‘tearing her hair out all week’ which was not wrong and tells you all you need to know about my frustration levels.

That being said, the week did have a lot of good in if too. The PA’s lunch (a gift from a member of our exec) was lovely, I did complete some work and I got through the week while feeling very sub par with organisation and grit!

The weekend had good things in it too! Free raspberry canes, sleep, buying seeds, gin!

Plans for this week are few, more work, more sleep, I’m due a haircut this week and we have a work walking competition, I’ve been put on a team with a bunch of really competitive people which should be interesting, although my daily average when not being competitive is higher than theirs, so we’ll see!

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Sunday Music: Open the Door, Richard

I love Louis Jordan, Liza Tarbuck played this last week and I was reminded of how much I loved it “I know I’m not common because I’ve got class I ain’t used yet”

So here it is

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Friday Links: May Defeated, Trump Shutdown

Happy Friday! Going back to work has been tough! This has pretty much been my face this week!

This cheered me up greatly. Ma has decided that she and I might be the same person!

How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation – I found this long but interesting..

Burnout Isn’t Just a Millennial Affliction I linked to the original essay because I found it interesting but I wasn’t sure that I bought the this only happens to millennials. It’s refreshing to see someone tackle it in terms of money and class as they were my first thoughts. I’m working class and a lot of the Gen X stuff doesn’t resonate with me because I didn’t grow up with money and don’t have much now!

By mollycoddling our children, we’re fuelling mental illness in teenagers. Sarah and I have talked a lot recently about resilience, and about how resilience is built by allowing children to handle situations with some guidance but also by allowing children to deal with consequences. It’s something we aren’t doing with children at the moment, and this week, Luc and Helene were telling me the story of their NYE and their friend’s lost house keys, which illustrates this point perfectly. I’ll start with the Dempsey way! When I was 12 or so, I lost my house keys, given to me when I started secondary school. Ma give me some money and her house keys and told me to go and get some more cut. She also told me that if I lost them again I’d have to pay to get the replacements. The next time I lost them (of course I did!) I had to pay for them with my money and Ma pointed out that if it happened again, then we’d need to change the locks and guess who’d be helping put them in? So I learnt I how to get keys cut, that being careless resulted in a financial consequence for me and I learnt about further consequences. For the record I didn’t lose them again! Compare this to the experience of one of the godchildren’s friends on NYE, she lost her house keys. She ended up staying at Matt and Ruth’s, distraught because her parents ‘didn’t care’ about her. (Now obviously if she hadn’t had anywhere to stay her parents would have come home but Luc had already said she could just come and stay at theirs, they aren’t horrible people). She was upset, not because she’d mucked up and lost her keys but because her parents hadn’t come home. She had no understanding of what she was asking and wasn’t particularly fussed about losing her keys. (L and H were pretty gobsmacked about this, they would have been mortified!) If at any point in the last year when she had lost her keys previously (at least five times according to Helene) her Mum and Dad hadn’t just replaced the keys and had the locks changed and dealt with all of the hassle resulting from her carelessness but made her deal with it, she might have understood why it was important to keep track of her keys. Ok this is just keys but it’s not really, it’s how we raise children, I read that the average working mother spends the same amount of time with her children as a stay at home mother did in the 70’s. I joke about Ma’s ‘unapologetic’ parenting style but it has some merit….

Your favourite independent bookshops: ‘I want my ashes scattered in the fiction section’ No Barter Books?

Are books clutter? Why Marie Kondo’s advice to give them away has not sparked unanimous joy. I tend to have an audit when we go to Northumberland, then I take them to Barter Books and get credit to buy more books. There are too many that I couldn’t part with, the joy they spark isn’t only about what’s in the book. The copy of Good Wives, that was my mother’s and has an inscription from my grandma. My copy of The Secret Garden from my mum. The Complete Works of Tennyson that I bought years ago and is over 100 years old.  These things are important to me and I will not let them go.

Sixty-four-metre ‘fatberg’ discovered in English seaside resort

South West Water is also planning to open a pop-up shop in the town to inform people about the unwanted visitor and to urge them not to “feed” fatbergs by pouring fat, oil, grease and wet-wipes into the system.

Who does this? I can’t get my head around it, I’ve never done it because I was brought up not to but it’s not like there hasn’t been massive ‘please don’t do this’ campaigns for years. What is wrong with people.

Worse Than Watergate – I read this on Tuesday and that morning, I had just said to a friend of mine (who is working for no pay because of the shutdown) that the US might have found a someone more corrupt than Nixon…

We might mock Trump and his wall, but it’s not so different in Britain

Brexit proved our economy is broken, but our leaders still have no clue how to fix it This. I can’t agree with this more….

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Things I want to do in January

This is not an exciting post about exciting things to do in London in January! This is about things I want to do in January, a soft goals post.

For 2019, I’ve decided on no overall goals for 2019, but I have a word for 2019 and it’s stable. Before everyone starts laughing and comparing me to Theresa May (she of ‘strong and stable’) let me explain.It’s about my emotional state. I’m seriously in the joy of ‘no more drama’.

Last year was pretty good for me, I started the year temping and ended the year with a job that I really enjoy and that has lots of space for me to grow, which to my surprise, I’m really enjoying. This year was the first year that I was able to head off the emotional ups and downs that might have happened given my circumstances this year. I went back to therapy halfway through the year to make ensure that my transition to a new job was smooth. I was upfront about the things that I could and couldn’t do to support others and about prioritising my needs above others.I want more of that this year. I want more stable finances which mean prioritising paying down debt and not using credit cards, I want an stable and less stressful home life which means decluttering and more intention in housework (aka more housework), I want more sleep and better health which means more golden hour, better diet and more exercise.These things bring me stability and I want more of them.

With all of this in mind and in addition to the things that should be done anyway (weekly clean and hoover, golden hour, laundry etc) here are the extra things I want to do this month that will help with that goal:

Menu planning – for the rest of January, I need to get back to cooking more, planning meals and using what’s in the freezer, cupboard, fridge.

Defrost the freezer – I’m doing so well on clearing the freezer. I have two full drawers and one that just has ice and ice packs in it. By the time we hit spring, I want to have it even emptier and I need to defrost it as well.

Clean the oven again – I did it before Christmas and it was epic and took two goes and three days. I want to do it again so that it never takes as long to do!

CD and DVD clear out – I need to get the CD’s onto iTunes and backed up and then get them out of the house, either selling them (even if they get £30) or to a charity shop.

Cupboard of doom – it’s been a while but it’s time for another sort and trip to the dump!

Exercise – it’s January and I’m not going nuts but I am going to do something at least three times a week, probably yoga and stretching but something.

So that’s the plan….


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