Now on blogspot at frugalinsuffolk

I’ve decided to carry on my blog on blogspot as I worked out how to put a picture of my favourite books on the title page which looks more interesting. I may come back to this blog at a later time as there is much talk of something being “turned off” on blogspot but as I don’t know what that means I shan’t worry about IT until IT happens. Follow my simple suffolk life on blogspot at frugalinsuffolk.

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WordPress or blogspot?

I’m trying to decide which blog site to use. This one on WordPress seems to be difficult for people to find. BUT it is much easier to post onto for simple people! I have managed to start a new blog on blogger called frugalinsuffolk, it’s more interesting to look at but seems to be more complicated for me to post and to upload photos and for some reason the time that I’ve posted comes up wrong and I don’t know how to change it.
 I need people to look at both and tell me what they think!
 On blogger, when I post a photo I don’t seem able to write anything else underneath it whereas on wordpress I can just carry on around and below.
 All this is very complicated for people new to the world of blogging. HELP!!

Weather report – still blinkin’ freezing east wind but at least we have sunshine which makes things look more cheerful.

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I love books!

I’ve just realised that I’ve not mentioned a single book that I have read since starting this blog. This is a big omission as books and reading are a huge bit of my life. Apart from several hundred on the shelves here I also visit the mobile library once a month and bring back a big bag of books that I’ve ordered via t’internet. What I would do without the library I don’t know. I’ve loved books and libraries since I was about 10 and got to go on the schools library van to help pick the terms books for the school library. Then I worked in a borough library, a schools library van and finally on a mobile library. My idea of a trip out when the children were small was a visit to the library in town – it was much cheaper than any other entertainment! These are 3 of the books on loan to me at the moment.ImageOn the left is the third in the series of modern crime set in west Scotland, just finished this – it’s pretty good. I also have the 4th in series here to read later. Centre is historical crime set in mid 18th century Preston. I read the first  in this series a few weeks ago. This is next to read and the book on the right I’m not sure about. I’ve borrowed it as one of my penfriends is a cousin to this lady so thought I would see what it’s like.

Weather report – blinkin’ freezing with horizontal sleet!

Today’s jobs – keeping warm, cooking vegetable curry and not much else. It’s a simple life!

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Baking and more egg tales

Him Outside was away early to work on cutting a hedge and gardening for one of his customers. I stayed in and baked, the warmest place was the kitchen.Outside the wind howled around the corners and through the still lifeless trees, rattled the extractor fan and was freezing.

Before shopping yesterday I checked the cupboards to write my list and found the remains of the jar of mincemeat left from the Christmas mince pie making. So mince pies were first to bake, then while the sweet pastry was chilling I decided to do a few Suffolk rusks and a small batch of scones. There wasn’t enough mincemeat left in the jar to fill as many mince Imagepies as I thought so I used the rest for some jam tarts. Everything except the scones went in the freezer ready for Him Outsides lunches for the next few weeks.

Great excitement as I pulled the very first rhubarb of the season – only a few small stems that have been forced under an old bottomless dustbin. Just enough for our first delicious rhubarb fool.Hopefully if the weather warms up at the weekend the rhubarb will really get going.Image

Today the eggs all sold by 11.30 am which is good news.

The postman brought me a brochure about round-the-world cruises this morning. I don’t know why as we’ve never been on a cruise and we are unlikely to go on one anytime soon. I looked at all the pictures of sunny climes and swimming pools and felt green with envy for about 5 minutes. Then I remembered that this simple Suffolk smallholder doesn’t even possess a dress, I spend all my time avoiding anything that involves dressing up so wouldn’t manage well at the Captains Table and Him Outside would look silly on board ship in his overalls!

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Egg tales,weather and the shopping cost HOW MUCH!

Lots and lots of lovely little eggs out for sale today – our new hens are doing well. The good news was that even with it being school holidays, the whole lot sold bar 1/2 dozen. I hope some new buyers have found us – people who have been buying for years always  say “love your eggs”. I tell them its because they are so fresh and have only traveled a few yards from the chicken to the box and then to them.

I ventured out in the icy cold east wind to our “new” Tesco, although it’s almost a year old now. I had a £5 voucher off £40 worth, so did the months big shop there. As its only a small shop they sometimes have a value range of something and then next time – it’s gone. Never any bargains on the reduced shelf, but I did find some 1/2 price organic apples, which was only a saving of 50p over the non reduced, non organic. One good buy is their value range tins of pineapple chunks for 25p – a good big tin too. They are doing their 3 for 2 on home baking products, so I got 3 bread flour this week when only two were on my list.
 I bought a tiny piece of  peperoni sausage off the deli counter- bet the girl thought I was odd- but I needed it to top home made pizza for a change from our usual 2 cheese variety. Even with the bargains my big shop came to much more than it would have done a year ago, but we have to eat something and I refuse to live on value beans!

Came home and made 2 loaves of bread and did lots of floor washing – not very exciting.

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Easter eggs and car boot sales

Simple Suffolk Smallholder and Him Outside had a day out yesterday, visiting friends for delicious roast lamb, lots of book talk and watching the boatrace and Andy Murray winning on TV.

Before we went, we popped up the road to The First Car Boot Of The Season – Hip Hip Hooray!! I found 2 more pie dishes for my growing collection – just 10p each. Him Outside found a very large box of 2inch screws for £2. So we were both pleased. Car boot sales are so useful and I just wish they had been invented when the children were small although we did have more jumble sales than there are nowadays. On the way out for our visit we called in at another boot sale where I found this set of magnetic Scrabble lettersImage

£10 when new so a bargain at £1. I’m not planning to use them for shopping lists stuck on the fridge but think they could be good for card making for 2 relatives who enjoy playing scrabble.

I was right about egg sales over Easter, very little passing traffic so sales well down. Our new chickens are now all laying well so lots of little eggs to sell.We had escapees today, they found a loose piece of netting and pushed their way out. I glanced out to see them having a good look around the compost heap and we quickly dashed out to round them up. There is no way we would let them wander, if we did there would soon be nothing left to eat in the garden.

Weather report – STILL icy cold wind direct from the East- and just a hint of sunshine.

I shall spend the rest of the day sorting out my cross-stitch chart stash and doing a bit more stitching of the scissor keeper I’m making for a gift, listening to the Ipswich football match on the radio and keeping warm, just a simple bank holiday monday afternoon.

Welcome to my first follower – Christine, and thank you for your kind words.

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Gardening in the snow

Every year for the last few, I have sent for some “early start-beat the hungry gap”  plants from Marshalls. The idea of this is to put in 48 little plants brassica plants in late March so that they are ready to eat in June when there is not much in the garden.The plants arrived this morning, the label says “plant out ASAP and protect from frosts” bet they never thought about snow on 30th March. Luckily it’s not laying on the ground, just blowing in the air.

So there we were – howling wind, snow flakes whirling planting out 16 cabbage, 16 calabrese and 16 cauliflower. We have covered them with fleece, put an 18″ net fence around the beds, and then put enviromesh over the top of that. Hopefully that will be enough to protect them from whatever the weather chucks at us. 48 plants were £10.95 so thats……………22 and a bit pence each- cheaper than buying veg from the supermarket. We shall probably sell a few at the gate, which means the ones we eat will be even cheaper. Just have to hope this cold wind goes soon.

The birds think spring is on the way, look at this nest built in the last few days in a coil of string hanging in the shed. Just perfect,Image wren or robin – not sure will have to look it up in a book.

Other jobs today have been chopping kindling and bagging up to sell,potting on 2 dozen little pepper plants into bigger pots, and a large heap of ironing. Then tidying in the shed. Not much preparation for  dinner as it’s chicken fajitas using a chicken breast cut before roasting, from the chicken we had on Thursday. This is a favourite of mine and very tasty.

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