Friday, 7 February 2014


Once again, all the good intentions bite the dust.  Much as I would prefer the bulk of my time to be spent reading and writing, the bulk of my time ends up being taken up by.... Everything else.  I  need a life makeover, and soon ;o)

Barbara made a good point in the comment to my last post - a breadmaker would really come in useful at the moment;  ironically though, I used to have one, but got rid of it because whipping up a batch of dough was quicker, easier and more cost effective than messing about with the machine.  Turns out this is no longer the case, so I have stuck a Panasonic on my Amazon wishlist, and I shall save up my vouchers for one.  As well as a replacement slo cooker, as the old one bit the dust - turns out that supposedly stove-top safe ceramic insert wasn't.  No rush for either though - we are hoping to put our house on the market in the summer, and the kitchen looks better with fewer gadgets cluttering up the surfaces - and there'll be less stuff to move :o)

I can still manage to make decent suet crust pastry (with suet, there is no need to rub the fat in - just mix it all in with water)

In the meantime, I am trying out a range of new flatbreads - Elaine' s socca was a hit (I did a sage and onion version as it was dark and wet and the rosemary was outside in a garden bed, whilst dried sage was right there in the cupboard) - and no-knead breads;  planning to use any good days to get ahead on batch baking; and as an extreme measure, I suppose teaching DD to knead, or at the very least use the dough hook attachment, is an option ;o)

Other than that, life is somewhat chaotic at the moment, despite our best efforts to keep it otherwise.  My mystery condition finally has a name - fibromyalgia - and whilst that is not a nice name, and not a nice condition to have, with the symptoms that I have been plagued by, there were worse names hovering on the edge of my consciousness.  Well, you know - when yet another plate or glass goes whoops - oh well, one less to wash, because the hand will suddenly just not grip; or when the knees just fail to lock and legs give way for a second or two; when the rom starts spinning every time your head suddenly changes position; when you spend five minutes wandering from room to room wondering where on earth has your head got to - oh look, there's the little beggar, right on top of your neck all the time - then well, there could be worse underlying causes.  It's better to have to be making decisions about pain management than having to make plans for what happens when your mobility/marbles/ insert as appropriate finally go altogether.

Then there are DD's exams to arrange - something that's been sitting on my to-do list for couple of months now, and important though it is, it just wasn't the most important thing of the moment.  Luckily, the school DD used to attend have been supportive of our decision to try doing it from home, and have allowed DD to remain on their register, which means help with arranging exams and coursework, as well as no fees for the exams - oh, and I got to keep the Child Benefit, which we would have lost if she was not formally registered with a school at this age (soon to be 17).

And somehow, in the middle of all this, almost unnoticed, I turned 37.  There were flowers - first daffodils of the  season -

- there were cards and boxes of chocolates and pamper baskets -


- a Yankee tart burning -

- cuppa or three -
- and time to re-read my favourite Stephen King. 


Life is still good :o)




  1. Happy birthday Allegra, I do hope you had a good day. Sorry you have fibromyalgia, I hope it is something that can be well managed for you. I have a bread machine, and I do highly recommend it, it takes me very little time to throw the stuff in at the end of the day, and then in the morning there's a loaf. But making by hand is nicer somehow, and I do admire you for doing it. I hope you have a good weekend. CJ xx

  2. Happy Birthday I hope you had a good day. I love the zingy colour of your kettle, it must make you smile every time you see it.

    I'm glad that your mystery symptoms finally have a name, at least now you can move forward armed with a little bit of knowledge.

    Take care. xx

  3. Hope you had a lovely birthday Allegra. Fibro can be tediously grim but also there is hope. Mine flares rather than is consistently bad - with stress and cold as triggers. You can make changes that help so for me I changed to an automatic car (sad to see the heavy clutched Defender go but it had to be done), and I bought gadgets over time - so an electric pepper mill, an electric tin opener and so on. Things I had always laughed at but that are now essential for me to carry on as I want. A memory foam mattress and shaped pillow made a huge difference too. I only appreciate how much when I sleep anywhere else. The pillow was maybe £8 in Lidl. Fingerless gloves help to stop my hands from being such an issue. Managing what you do and not over committing is key. Oddly enough I find doing nothing makes me worse - sitting for long periods is a huge problem so I tend to potter constantly. I agree on the relief of knowing it isn't something more serious but it is still a chronic condition.

  4. Hi Allegra, a belated Happy Birthday to you. I have Firbro and M.E and has Hex said management is key. I take medication to help with the neuropain and also find light exercise helps such as streching or Tai Chi. Though I do find pacing myself key especially with the M.E
    Its also made me a prolific note taker as I can never remember conversations and there is no no need for a family games night as we find ourselves in a game of charades all the time,thanks to my poor memory, lol.
    I hope you are able to find ways of managing the condition as I know it can be frustrating at times.