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Urggh! The house is getting dustier and dustier, but I am keeping up with the essentials (food, laundry and dishes) and I'm working through checklist after checklist on my Habitica work account. Officially I'm only paid for 4 hours a week, but I need to go into college today and unleash the Panic Monster on my students again to ensure they complete as much as possible of the final assessment today.

I'm really looking forward to next Wednesday when everything should be complete and I no longer have the stress of a day job. Of course then I'll have to work out what on earth I do to keep myself occupied in the future, but first we have a short holiday booked and the summer should seem just like a normal summer. It will be when it gets to the end of August and early September and we're not swinging into another academic year that things will start to feel strange.

Current Mood: stressed tired & stressed

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A friend has just posted [in a locked post] about her grandfather who became wealthy in a suspiciously short time and rose from a humble occupation to living in a big house.

My colourful ancestor was my paternal grandfather. I only learned this recently in the couple of years before my Dad died, but he had a big car in the 1920s when very few people had them and working class sons of coal miners definitely didn't. Dad couldn't afford a car in the 1960s. My grandfather also owned a greyhound (I mean one that raced, not a pet) and was always at the dog track. His real job was as an insurance collector, but Dad hinted at something dodgy and my suspicion is that he was part of some kind of illegal betting ring. Going door to door each week collecting premiums would be ideal cover for taking illegal bets (I believe that off-course betting was illegal until after the war.)

He never became wealthy. Being badly wounded in the First World War can't have helped, but he was much better off than Mum's side of the family and he invested wisely by buying a few cottages so had the rent from them as well as the wage and whatever he was earning on the side.

Current Mood: busy supposed to be working

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Update on the No S Diet. So far, after trying the No S Diet for a month, I haven't lost any weight at all. However, as I'm eating less than I had been previously, that must mean that until I took control of what I was eating, I must have been putting weight on.

The thing is, I'm not very much overweight, so I only have a few pounds to lose, but those are always the hardest to shift. I haven't actually worked out what my ideal weight should be these day. The weight I have in my head as "ideal" is too low now I'm in my early 60s and nowhere near as active as I used to be.

*plays with spreadsheet for a few moments*

After doing a few calculations, if I can lose 10lbs, that would put my BMI at 25.1 which is the top end of normal. I'd be happy with that. My first target is to lose 4lbs, so need to tighten the diet a little more to see if I can do that.
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The crochet blanket pile in the sitting room is getting bigger. The blue corner-to-corner blanket is the latest addition on top of the pile. The Marble chunky has worked up really well. Of course I finished this just in time for the hot weather, but it will be there for whenever we need a thick snuggly blanket.

Blanket pile!

Here it is draped over a chair to show off the variegated yarn.

Blue corner-to-corner blanket

In other news, I strimmed the top strip of grass outside the back door. I was thinking of bringing the patio table out of the garage, but the rain that was forecast has arrived, so I'll wait for the next spell of fine weather. Not sure when that will be.

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

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20/52 for the group 2016 Weekly Alphabet Challenge

This week's theme was: T is for Tourist

It's been a gorgeous weekend and people have been taking advantage of the good weather to get away to the countryside for a few days. Here a tourist coach full of walkers is just about to depart.

Tourist coach

And here's another bunch of visitors enjoying the sunshine.

Tourists enjoying the sunshine

I'm normally one of the last to post the weekly photo, but I knew I wouldn't get another chance this week because I'll need to go into the college for extra days to hassle the students into completing and handing in their assignments. Then next weekend I'll have to mark said assignments. Also the forecast is for cloudier weather later in the week, so I dashed round the Co-op ten minutes before it closed at 4 pm and then left the shopping in the Daihatsu while I did a brisk walk through the town centre, snapping tourists with my phone. As I'm not good at photographing people, these were the only decent shots.

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

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A couple of weeks ago I invested in a Bluetooth keyboard for my tablet. I hate the virtual keyboards on phones and tablets because it makes entering text so slow and the predictive text drives me nuts. I tried it out today for the first time and it's great!

The problem is, if I put the main computer on, it seems to be like sitting in a gravity well. It's so difficult to get up and leave it in order to do other things. So I thought I'd try leaving it switched off and just check into Habitica and social media using the tablet instead.

So far today I have been for a walk in the morning to see my elderly friends. I was a little sad to find that they'd finished the jigsaw that I'd been helping them with. They always have a jigsaw on the go and after we've had a chat over a cup of tea and done the easy crossword in the paper, we go and do some more on the jigsaw.

This was the latest one.

Unusual jigsaw

I've never done a jigsaw that wasn't rectangular before. This was just as hard as the last one we did, but differently hard. The problem with the previous one was that all the pieces were identical in shape. When you have lots of brown fur on the donkeys and lots of splodgy grass and trees, you could put almost any piece anywhere and it was very difficult to say whether it was correct or not. This oddly shaped puzzle had lots of similar butterflies and flowers, but the pieces were so individually shaped that when you did put on in place, you were 100% sure it was right.

After lunch I started on the job of clearing all the stuff off the floor in my study. Our house is so small and we have so little storage space that decluttering is like those sliding puzzles with just one empty space and you have to slide the tiles around to get everything in the right order. This means that the first step in clearing the floor was to go through the wardrobe in our bedroom and pull out the clothes that no longer fit and that are good enough to go to the charity shop. Now I'm going to crochet for a while as a reward.

As we'd had three days of dry sunny weather, I had no excuses and couldn't put the grass mowing off any longer. It took about an hour and a half, which isn't bad for a first cut. I only did the front today though and I couldn't strim the edges because our neighbour is having a new kitchen and bathroom and the builder has parked his van right next to the protective rocks that stop people driving onto our grass (either on purpose or accidentally). If it was just the van, it wouldn't be a problem but he's propped a large board up against the side of the van which looks as though it's important. I'm sure he doesn't want it spattered with bits of grass. Anyway, everything looks a lot tidier now and I may be able to do some of the back tomorrow and then get the plastic patio table out of the garage and reassemble it. Just in case we get a few more nice days and I want to sit outdoors to eat or do stuff.

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

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19/52 for the group 2016 Weekly Alphabet Challenge

This week's theme was: S is for Spring

The only positive from it being grey and drizzly this evening as I walked to the Co-op to buy food for dinner was the fact that the children's playground was totally deserted.

And I spotted this and couldn't resist. :)

Spring in the park

Current Mood: amused amused

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I have been feeling bleaurgh today. Dunnawanna[*] has been sitting heavily on me and prevented me from getting much done. I have belatedly realised that though I stopped using the lightbox during the recent brighter weather, however, it's turned gloomy and I need to start using it again. Having to tiptoe around a stressed husband doesn't help either, but only a couple more weeks to go and then it's the end of term and we enter a new phase of life as retired people.

[*] Dunnawanna is a creature dreamed up in one of the Habitica guilds. She is the personification of: "I'm too tired, can't be bothered and I just don't want to do anything today."

Current Mood: blah blah

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My inner-pedant objects to the term "pastured eggs" because it's the hens that are pastured, not the eggs which, like all other eggs, are laid in nest boxes. My inner pedant couldn't resist drawing this cartoon.

Pastured eggs

If you're an Archers fan, you should get this right away, but otherwise it's rather complicated to explain, but I'll try to keep it short. Apparently "pastured eggs" are a thing and are supposed to contain more Vitamin A and stuff than ordinary free range eggs. The Archers is a very long running UK radio soap. A couple of relatively new characters (two rather posh young men called Rex and Toby) have started up an enterprise selling pastured eggs which they plan to sell for an exorbitant price. For reasons, their hens are living in a caravan. Scruff is a dog belonging to one of the long-established characters and much beloved of listeners. I think that's all you need to know to understand the cartoon. On the much darker story line about domestic abuse, coercive control and the unexpected swerve into melodrama, I will remain silent or it might get ranty.

Current Mood: amused amused

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I have not been going out much recently, which you can probably tell from the photos I've been posting.

At least I have started walking up to see the elderly friends again. I had still been visiting but I'd been driving to their house due to a combination of very wet weather over the winter and getting distracted by the computer so I didn't have time to walk. I've resolved to do better in future and I did some extra walks into town this week, but I haven't been anywhere interesting for a while.

I am currently working on a plan to try some different walks. One problem with having lived in the same place for so long is that I've been doing the same few local walks over and over again for years. If I drive somewhere different, you always have to return to the car and circular walks are not always possible. However, it occurred to me that if I started using the bus occasionally, I could actually get a bus to place A, walk to place B and then get the bus back. This opens up some more interesting possibilities.

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

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