Update to my Website

Hi All.

Welcome to my website. It’s not a new website, but I am revamping it due to changes on my poetry site.

I’ve already added my gallery, where you can see the sort of photographs I love to take.

But I have removed the poems, as they are now on my dedicated poetry site at www.yorkshirepen.co.uk

 

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Staycation 2018

Day One

This is day one of my 8 day staycation.

A lazy start. I prefer “a relaxed start” – just looking at my twitter account, which I’d not viewed for weeks. Therefore by the time I’d caught up with the tweets that I had missed,  I had forgotten what I wanted to say!

I’ve got a fair bit going on today though. Yesterday I had a text from my GP surgery reminding me of an appointment today which I have no memory of booking. Turns out it’s a blood test “review”. I’ll take my Otoscopy referral with me, see if they can clean my ears so I can have the hearing test.

I’m booking myself some treats,at Waterlily courtesy DH for my birthday. Swedish massage and a facial, maybe, with attention to my eyebrows. No-one notices the eyebrows on other people, but it’s a personal thing when you feel they aren’t right, so having the opportunity I might as well try it.

This evening, we are attending an award ceremony. My grandson, age 10, has been involved in a school journalist programme for BBC. We will see his video report and see him rewarded in some way.

It looks like  the lovely sunshiny weather will continue to the end of the month, which will suit me very nicely with this time off, a family weekend and joint birthday celebrations.

Update

A great event at the BBC School Report Awards evening. My Grandson (and one other student) won an award for best News Anchors. We are very proud.

Although it was late, I managed to compose and post a new poem on my other site, Yorkshirepen about the data breach at the doctors. It wasn’t my appointment today at all, it was my Sister in Law’s.

We ended the evening with an excellent chinese takeaway meal from Taste of China   at my daughter’s. Stayed a bit late then remembered we had not brought the car and had to walk home. ūüôā

Day 2

Had a great first hour, updating my website and adding new poems.

Had my hair cut and styled at the Beauty Emporium. Find them on facebook here

Early lunch now, then off to see our poorly DIL who’s had an op.

Update

Well we had a lovely afternoon. DIL is a bit fragile and sore but it was lovely to see the family. We had a great time playing with our grandaughter, age 4. We had a fish and chip tea fom the mobile chippy, and a good run home, snapping picks of the sunset through the (rather dirty) car windscreen.

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Games

One of the great things about being a granny is playing games with your grandchildren. I love board games, card games and word games, and it’s lovely to have the young ‘uns to play with. It’s interesting to see their skills and logical thinking develop. They’ve got better at accepting¬† losing too. And it gets harder for me to win!

One of the first games we played was Rhyme Robbers. (Orchard toys)If you have a card that rhymes with one on the table you can say the words (there are pictures too) and collect the cards. But if your card rhymes with the top card on someone elses pile, you can “rob” all their pile. It’s good for learning rhyme, but tough to accept your collection being stolen from under you. Which in itself is a lesson, and great fun when you can steal it back.

Lotto/matching picture games and shopping collection games worked well but could be a little too long.

Simple card games with pictures to begin with Рsnap, old maid, happy families are old favourites. Then with standard playing cards, Donkey, Beat your neighbour and Fish were next. We had a memory pairing game which for some reason in my childhood home was called Pelmanism.  There seems to be a sudden leap in development, between having no memory of where a card might be, to total recall. And as the kids get better, I hope mine remains keen enough to keep up with them.

Update – I now have a pelmanism “app” on my tablet. Different size grids can be chosen so great for all levels. Isn’t the digital age wonderful?

Other card games we have progressed to is Sevens. This is the younger one’s current favourite, though he still needs to learn some logic skills. The older one loves Pontoon/21s but it’s not my cup of tea. I quite like 15 card brag though.

We have a drawing game called Telestrations. This is a hilarious game of Draw/pass it on and write¬† down what it is and pass it on, Draw and pass… etc. Even Grandad joins in this one, although young one can’t read his writing, which creates even more fun and chaos!

They both like Charades, but need ideas of what to mime. At Christmas I got a game for all ages which has mime, sound, action, and forfeits. It’s called What a Performance¬† by Orchard toys.¬† It has a board game structure, a dice, a spinner and card denoting whether you mime, without speaking, or make a sound, without any actions, or perform an action. The reverse of the card has a hidden code with a forfeit instruction if the task is not done or guessed correctly. The code is revealed with a magic coloured lens. An amazing amount of play value in one box for all ages. I hope our younger ones will enjoy this one too, when we see them.

Some games have a structure, and rules, and create the best way to play. You would think this would be true of snakes and ladders. Go up the ladders and down the snakes. But with imaginative minds this game can be turned on it’s head. What happens if you go down ladders and up snakes? What if you start at the top and try to win by sliding down the snakes to get to square one? See how this alters the pace of the game.

On a recent visit to my brother, I was introduced to the game of Rummikub. This is a great strategic number game and I have been amazed at how quickly my  grandson aged 10 has learned the game. The 8 yr old joined our most recent game, and although he struggled with the rules and structuring to start with, he swiftly caught up with the idea and was able to play along very nicely. They would both love to play scrabble Рone of my all time favourites. But I find the speed (lack of) and length of (lack of)  words that they use a little tiring. We have the childrens version but thats a bit repetitive. I will have to give them a chance at the proper game again soon. Hopefully they will have progressed beyond Poo and Bum soon.

 

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New Year, Again!!!

Resolutions 2018

  • Play more music. I have lots of music but I’m rarely in the house¬† on my own to play “my” music.
  • Make my lunch the night before. I’ve set an alarm on my phone. So far it’s working well.
  • Get back into lunchtime walking twice a week. 20 minutes before eating. Not found a route yet. Get in touch with Andrew.
  • Lose about¬† 10% of my body weight. By end April.
  • Sing. Starting new choir on Thursday.
  • See my neices more. Arrange to meet up – Meadowhall?
  • Look into volunteering opportunities, focusing on helping homeless. education.
  • Keep fit and healthy
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Diet tips

To remind myself of help and info collected over time.

January – Preparation. The 7 “P”s of preparation. Prior Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance
Weigh the food not yr body. Kitchen scales are more important than bathroom scales. Learn what the calorie content is. Think before you put the food past your lips.
Measure. Chest, waist, hips. Your chest is over your nipples. Your waist is above your belly button and goes round the small of your back. Your hips are mid way between your belly button and your crotch. Measure weekly. Count inch loss, not weight loss.
Snacking. Here’s a list of snacks around 100 calories. If you are a snacker like me, make an allowance for 2 or 3 daily in your calorie count. To be successful you have to enjoy your new lifestyle.
Apple 80
Banana 100
yogurt 100 or less – choose carefully
hard boiled egg
babybel cheese
30gm sultanas
1 tablespoon mayonaise ( if salad features in a diet, mayo is a must for me)
30gm cream cheese
60gm prunes
2 custard cream biscuits
pack of crisps (slightly more – 127 cals for the cheese and chive ones)
3 crispbreads with marmite or bovril or cottage cheese

Exercise. If you have a LOT of weight to lose – take it steady. The obvious ones are
Park at the other side of the carpark and walk to the office
Take the stairs not the lift (heavy stuff to carry ? Put the stuff in the lift and race it upstairs)
A 20 minute walk at lunchtime burns about 100 calories.

Yoga. I’m a great believer in yoga. It aligns all your insides into the right spaces, helping with inch loss as well as balance, strength and breathing.

Put the radio/music on in the kitchen. A good tune comes on, you can dance, with or without a tin of beans in each hand

Wii fit is waste of time – use it for entertainment but you won’t get fit doing Wii fit activities

I have a sweat dance Wii disc which is better. Choose what you want to dance to and keep going till you reach a target sweat point. Allow half an hour. (I’ve got a zumba disc as well but find the dance one better)

So Throughout January, you have measured your food and learned the calories. So you know how many you are consuming and can make a decision how many less you will stuff into your body. Measured your body, and decided what your ideal measurements are.  planned your snacks, and planned exercise. If you have a lot of weight to lose, your target to loss should be 10% of your current weight. When you have achieved that, take off 10% again. This gradual change allows for it being more difficult to maintain the loss, and helps to keep you motivated. So if you are 100kg, target losing 10kg, then 9kg. No time limits, just working towards that. But focus more on the inch loss, as a good diet will build muscle as well as burning fat, and muscle weighs a bit more than fat.

So in  you are ready to start.

How do you start your diet? Heres some ideas.

Whatever the daily calorie level you have decided, take 200 calories off, on 2 of the days and add them to two other days. This gives you the same calories overall, but allows for good days when you are feeling strong, and not so good days when you need that extra pasty or wine. eg if daily calories is 1800, then it would be 3 days at 1800, 2 days at 2000 and 2 days at 1600. in any order over the 7 days.

Start counting from your evening meal. For me this would be startig at 6pm when i get home from work and have my evening meal. In the morning, the evening calories are deducted and i work with the remainder through the day, but I only have to count to 6pm and then I can start again.This gives you chance to save calories in the morning and through the work day as you can probably be more disciplined in the day, and look forward to starting again at your evening meal.

Some people¬† restrict the time period that they eat. Eating breakfast as late as possible, and having nothing at all after a meal in the early evening. It does work, if you can avoid snacking in the evening, which is when most of us fall down. But you can also find it difficult to sleep if you are hungry. I’m a night owl, so this diet is better for someone who goes to bed early, and doesn’t feel too hungry generally in the morning.

Portion size

You have probably seen the “percentage plates” – 1/4 protein, 1/4 carbs and the rest veggies. I’m not a fan of veggies. I’ll eat brocolli or green beans or a few carrots, but i dont want all of them together. I think if I have one of them each day,¬† twice a week, thats me done! But portion wise, I think just having a small plate works for me. And the portion control tip I remember most¬† is – a portion of¬† Protein is about the size of a pack of cards. Thats a fish portion or a steak or a quarter pound burger. The potato or rice or pasta etc is the size of your closed fist, so that can vary a little from small to larger people but its an average measure. Then fill the rest of the plate with veg or salad. If theres too much plate, use a smaller one.

Don’t forget the gravy! Now, I overestimate all my calories, with the excuse that I can then ignore the gravy, or the mayo, or the sauce. But the sauce in some rich meals can be high in carbs and high in hidden sugars, so I would recommend either counting the calories in, or only having half what you would normally have, or manage without. Your choice – the calories have to count in the end.

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The Taxman

A few years ago I was made redundant from my part time job. I claimed JSA for 6 months. Then I got a full time job. Around that time, my hubby stopped work due to ill health. At some point, it was suggested that I could claim Working Tax credits.

I filled the form in but wasn’t really hopeful, but because it’s based on the previous tax year, our annual joint income was below the low income, so we did get credits for a few months.

However when the following tax year came round, I didnt claim because I knew we would not get anything. They still sent a renewal form, but it assessed, correctly, that the amount we would receive would be Zero.

Today I have had a letter from the taxman saying I owe them money for an overpayment that they made to me, in the tax year 16/17. I was sure I could not owe them money as I knew they had sent a letter saying they were not paying me anything for 16/17. I even dug out the letter this evening. I checked my bank statements too. And there,  I found that in April/May 2016 I received 2 small tax credits which add up to the amount they are claiming I owe them back.

Well that’s my evening totally well spent! Not. Can I claim compensation? I didn’t ask them to pay me and didn’t realise they had – or if I did, I thought it was still part of the previous year’s money that they were still paying.

I am so glad I don’t have to depend on support. The new Universal Credit payment system still isn’t working properly for some people, and people are accruing debts and at risk of homelessness. Its probably costing more in administration to sort out the mess than will be “saved” at the end of the day.

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The Driving Licence

Well I  got a photo done for the driving licence. It cost ¬£6 and it’s even worse than my passport photo. But I got the application form filled in and sent off. It was Wednesday morning, but the postbox collection was at 9am, and I’d missed it, but at least it was in the box and on it’s way. The Friday after, nine days later, and I was still waiting for the licence coming back to me! Perhaps DVLA missed the post collection too! It finally came today, Saturday.

As you may recall from my previous post, I couldn’t book my awareness course without my driving licence number, so I was keen to do that as soon as it arrived in the post. So I got out the letter from the police department – and then read the top line.. I needed to book onto the course within 14 days of the letter. Today was the 15th Day! Still, I couldn’t have done it before, and it’s the weekend so hey ho I just cracked on and started to look at course venues and dates. I wanted a Wednesday, as that is my day off and it would save me having to take a holiday day. There was nothing available this side of Christmas at my chosen venue so I picked my second choice venue, which offered a course on 8th November. Went to the next stage. Put all my details in AGAIN! The response – nothing available choose a different date. Could not go back and choose a different venue, or even just look at it again. So I had to go with this venue and the earliest Wednesday I could have is 10th January next year! Well that’s that. And I have a shiny new driving licence card safely stored in my purse, never to be lost again.

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Granny’s back #02

Its been a while!

I got sidetracked. In a good way. I developed another website, Yorkshirepen.co.uk especially for my poetry.

This site was, and is, about being a granny. What sort of granny? Not sure. I don’t really think of myself as a granny for 100% of the time. I am my job title. A breadwinner. I’m Mum. I’m (the important) half (hehe) of a long term relationship. But I am also a grandparent to six (yes, it’s six now) amazing young people.

I love being a granny. Although I prefer, and am known as, Nanna.

I have lots of ideas for this website, but not a lot of time. I am thinking about recording the demise of my faculties. My aching joints, my chronic guts  and my fight with calories, exercise and wine. The three demons that fight me in the day and torment  my conscience  in the night.

My weapons are my brain, my grandchildren and music. I intend to stimulate all these three areas, combine a bit of yoga (too quiet) and dance (oh my poor hips) and the laughter those young people provide, and hope to live a long life like my mother but with more mental awareness to enjoy it.

So to bring this up to date, here is my latest dilemma.

I got caught “speeding” up wortley road at 35 miles an hour and have the option of ¬£100 fine and three points or a speed awareness course which costs “from” ¬£85. Heres my progress so far.

So for now I have to fight the current battles. More later.

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Granny’s back

So this blog will start as being a learning blog to myself, to sort out how to make my blogsite work. Specifically, to work as I want it to.

I’d like to share some poetry. It’s quite diverse – some funny, some serious, some downright weird! I like weird.

I’m¬† compiling my work into a publishable format too, but thought it might be fun to just stick stuff on here and see how it looks.

I’m struggling to get my head round “links”. Not sure about how to get feedback without beng overun with chinese spam comments, and need to work out using twitter and how to get people to look at my stuff.

So I think it will get messier before it gets better. I think i may be trying to learn too mch at once – my brain is hurting already. Time for breakfast, I think.

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Hello world!

I might put some music or pictures here.

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