Friday 28 May 2021

Too Good To Go

I first read about Too Good To Go on Jane's The Love Of Nostalgia Blog in her Food Too Good To Waste post. Then last week, I read Marlene's Bags of Savings post on her Poppy Patchwork blog. I thought I would give Too Good To Go a try for myself.

Too Good To Go is an app which connects customers to restaurants and shops that have unsold, surplus food. They sell this off at a much lower cost thus avoiding wasting the food. Once you've downloaded the app you can search for restaurants and shops which are close to where you live which are joined up to the scheme and when they have food available for you to buy it is indicated on the app.

At the time I downloaded the app there was only one shop close by which had food available and that was Greggs. You don't know what you'll get, it's whatever they've got left at the end of the day, but you do know the price you'll pay. The cost of a bag from Greggs was £2.59 and it's food they'd been selling that day so it wasn't going to go off straight away.

The above is what I received. I think it was an absolute bargain. Four sausage rolls, a ham and cheese baguette, a pack of cheese sandwiches, a doughnut and a jammy shortbread biscuit. I'm not a lover of glazed doughnuts so I took that round for Eleanor, the baguette was huge so I had half for my lunch on Saturday and half on Sunday, Mick took the cheese sandwiches with him to eat at cricket on Saturday and he ate the sausage rolls over the following days. We shared the shortbread biscuit.

Mick's got a day off work today so we're going to be heading off for a day out shortly. Knowing that we'd be eating out, I reserved another Greggs bag yesterday, however, this time it was from a different Greggs shop. Again, it cost £2.59 and the photo above shows what was included. A chicken mayo baguette, four sausage rolls, a beef and vegetable pasty, a croissant, six corn topped bread rolls, a jam doughnut, a caramel glazed doughnut, a triple chocolate muffin, a lemon muffin and a gingerbread person. Wow, we're going to be eating well on our picnic. I gave the caramel glazed doughnut to Eleanor as neither me nor Mick will eat that.

Eleanor decided to try Costa. Their bags cost £3 but I don't think they're a patch on Greggs, which are cheaper. There's two toastie sandwiches, one sausage & onion chutney and the other cheddar & roast tomato, and an egg, mushroom & spinach breakfast bap. I don't suppose it's bad at £1 per item but I prefer the selection of sandwiches, pastries and sweet items which you get at Greggs, though of course, as they're just things which are leftover at the end of the day, the contents of the bags are probably different each time you buy one. Both Eleanor and Jacob really enjoyed all three items.

I think it's a great scheme, shops and restaurants are able to still make some money on their surplus food without it going to waste, and customers are able to buy things a bit cheaper, it's win win for everyone.

Monday 24 May 2021

All The Lonely People

Maggie from BlackCountry Wench blog mentioned a while ago that she'd been listening to the audio book of All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle and that she'd enjoyed it. I really enjoyed Half a World Away by the same author which I read last year so I thought I'd give this one a go.

"In phone calls to his daughter in Australia, widower Hubert Bird paints a picture of the perfect retirement, packed with fun and friendship.

But Hubert Bird is lying.

Something has made him turn his back on people, and he hardly sees a soul.

So when his daughter announces she's coming to visit, Hubert faces a race against time: to make his real life resemble his fake life before he's found out.

Along the way Hubert renews a cherished friendship, is given a second chance at love and even joins an audacious community scheme. But with the secret of his earlier isolation lurking in the shadows, is he destined to always be one of the lonely people?"

The book switches between present day and goes back in time to explore Hubert Bird's life right from the time he arrived in the UK from Jamaica back in the 1950s. The characters are very likeable and I love Mike Gayle's writing style. 

There's a huge twist which I never saw coming. I won't say any more as I'd hate to spoil it for anyone.

I've now read two books by Mike Gayle and enjoyed them both. I shall be seeking out more books by this author.

Thursday 20 May 2021

Oops!...I Did It Again

It seems I can't walk past The Works without popping in and buying some new books. Their 3 for £5 offer is just too good to pass up, especially when I've found some really good books on this offer in the past.

This time I've bought books from three authors I've never heard of before. I'm trying to branch out a bit and read books which I wouldn't usually reach for, the books on this offer encourage me to do that, I've had some very good books from The Works.

Yesterday I had some flea and worm treatment to pick up from the vets for Archie (don't worry, only preventative, he hasn't got either fleas or worms) and there's a large charity shop nearby, one I've never been in before, so I thought I'd have a quick look seeing as I was passing. I came out with another three books. I've never read anything from these authors before either, though I do have a Kristin Hannah book waiting to be read which Maggie from BlackCountry Wench blog sent me a while ago. It's the sequel to another book so I've had that on order at the library for ages, I'm just waiting for it to come in. 

Then I went into another charity shop and found A Mother Forever by Elaine Everest. I've read all of her books except this one, which is her latest, so I was very pleased to find this on the shelf.

I do have other books waiting to be read first but I'm always pleased to have plenty of books waiting in the wings.

Sunday 16 May 2021


I had a little splurge this week. I often get money for birthdays or Christmas and I usually save it until there's something I really want. I've been thinking of buying a mini printer and I finally decided on the Canon Zoemini.

I've kept some form of diary or journal nearly all my life and have done scrapbooking in the past. After receiving a Travelers Notebook for Christmas I've decided that I'd like to start a travel journal, not only of holidays we take but of days out too, it'll be something nice to look back on. I'd also like to make my everyday journals more creative, so a mini printer will aid me in this endeavour.

The Canon Zoemini prints photos direct from your phone and as it's pocket sized and connects wirelessly, it's portable so good for on the go too. The photos are 2 X 3 inch and the back can be peeled off to reveal a sticky surface, so no glue is needed if you want to stick them into an album.

I just need to get to grips with it now and get it set up, though if truth be told I'm no good at all where technology is concerned so it will be a case of getting someone else to set it up for me.

Wednesday 12 May 2021

Newborn Vertebrae

After knitting the Twinkle Twinkle Blanket which I recently finished, I was left with 74g of Drops baby merino yarn, just enough to make a Newborn Vertebrae to go with the blanket.

The photo above shows the amount of yarn I had to play with, all the scrappy ends. The Baby Vertebrae is knit in a 4 ply, or fingering weight yarn, and requires about 200 metres, however, Drops baby merino is a heavier weight 4 ply yarn, more of a sport weight than a fingering, having only 175 metres per 50g. Also, as I didn't have the size of needles suggested, I decided to go up a size, so it was really touch and go whether or not I'd have enough yarn to complete this project.

This is a pattern by Kelly Van Niekerk and it can be downloaded free on Ravelry. It's a lovely little cardigan for a newborn baby as there are no fiddly buttons to bother with. More of a shrug, it's a frontless cardigan to keep baby's arms and back warm.

It's knit in the Light Beige colourway so it's neutral and perfect for a boy or girl.

The pattern is very easy to follow and it knits up in no time at all. The only problem I found, and this is nothing to do with the pattern, was the laddering on the arms. This happens when using double pointed needles at the place where you change from one needle to the next. It's quite a conundrum really as I knit socks on double pointed needles with no problem at all, however, no matter how hard I tried I couldn't prevent the ladders. I tried all different ways and I'm now convinced that it's down to the yarn being used. I shall definitely have to take a note in future when knitting in the round if ladders occur and what yarn I'm using. I don't think it looks too bad though and I doubt it will be noticeable when a baby's arm is in the sleeve.

All in all I'm quite happy with how it's turned out and I did manage to complete it without running out of yarn. Just!

I've decided to abandon my crafting rotation again for a while. It made a change starting a project and working on it exclusively until completion. It does take more time to get something finished when you're working on a number of things all at once, and though I enjoy doing that and it saves me from getting bored with a project, sometimes you just want to see a finish.

Saturday 8 May 2021

Nearly Finished

You may remember me coming across this unfinished cross stitch again which I started in my early teens, it's definitely the the oldest unfinished project I've got. I was in two minds whether to finish it off or not, especially as it had a rust mark on it. Take a look at what I mean in my Rusty Cat post. I decided I'd give it a go and the stitching actually covered up the stain so it wasn't a problem in the end. All the cross stitching is now done.

This means there's just the back stitching to do now, my least favourite bit. I've been toying with the idea of leaving it as it is but you can see from the photo accompanying the kit that the back stitching just finishes it off, so I think I've come all this way to getting it finished, I'll just have to bite the bullet and continue on with it. What do you think?

I've been working on this for an hour each week as part of my crafting rotation and even though it's only a small wedge of time, it does mean that older projects get a little work put into them and get finished off eventually.

Tuesday 4 May 2021

Twinkle Twinkle Blanket

It seems a long time since I've finished a crafting project, one of the downsides of splitting my time between a number of projects and working on them all at once, it means that no one project gets an awful lot of time spent on it. I have finally finished something though, the Twinkle Twinkle Baby Blanket by Helen Stewart. Not that there's any babies to knit for at the moment but I just fancied knitting this when I saw it. I enjoy knitting things for babies as they're so small and knit up in no time at all.

I used Drops baby merino in the light beige colourway and it took about 226g. It's lovely and soft and has a good drape to it too. I like the colour, it's neutral so it will be suitable for a boy or a girl.

It was an easy knit, I could watch TV whilst working on it as there were no complicated stitches or pattern to follow and I enjoyed knitting it, so much so that I'd quite happily knit another one. 

I'd be quite tempted to make it bigger next time, I ended up with 74g of yarn left over so I could have added a few extra rounds but I think a cot size blanket would be lovely.

I love the lace edging, it finishes it off beautifully and the detail was so easy to achieve.

Now that this is finished it leaves a space to add something else to my crafting rotation, I think it's time for a new cast on.