I do not claim to be the best driver in the world, and certainly not the fastest.
I use my indicators.
I position my car correctly.
I do not overtake on blind bends.
I do follow the speed limits.
I do not use my mobile phone when driving.
I do not have a child on my lap.
Or my dog.
I do not leave my indicator blinking for miles after a turn.
I do give way to pedestrians when the road bisects the pavement.
I do give way to public transport and emergency vehicles.
Which ever way I chose to drive between Carmarthen and Cardigan there are hairpin bends, sheer drops, dreadful cambers and blind corners.
There are also idiot drivers who seem to think that they are driving on a 6 lane motorway with no other car in sight.
My nerves are frazzled and my shoulders rigid with tension.
I need to "bathe in chocolate and have a rub down with the Sporting Life" as an old friend used to say.
I did have a lovely gift from Francesca on Friday, which has lifted my spirits and soothed my soul.
I answered a knock on the door to find a delivery man with a box as large as a fridge. I started to say " you have the wrong house" when he lifted it up and handed it to me as though it were empty.
In it were the balloons. Soon after the flowers arrived.
Although the roses do not have much scent, the lilies are now opening and filling the room with their fragrance.
The main balloon is perfect, I would love a gardening apron like that and intend to draw up a pattern and try to make one.
Note the wooden spoon, they are great for stirring Vermiculite into compost and the handle is a perfect dibber.
I am still making Jamie's money saving recipes, adapted of course, and loving them. I have not had any adverse comments from those who have tried them with me.
I found a copy of the book, in pristine condition, very cheaply and bought it.
Although I have never been a huge fan, I do like James Martin and Hugh F-W much better, this book ticks all the boxes for me.
He uses much the same spices that I do, and advocates bulk buying, and frequently advises the reader to substitute and use what they have.
I do not buy the brands that he uses, and I do not buy organic everything. My frozen spinach and petit pois come from Farm Foods. I do not buy white beans, I just wash the sauce off baked beans from Lidl. I buy tinned tomatoes from Poundstretcher for 25p per tin and they are very good.
My chicken comes from the local butcher, legs are £1 per Kilo. I do not pay through the nose for Belly Pork but use shoulder at half the price. With the added bonus of lots of crunchy crackling.
I love lamb shanks but they are a ridiculous price. I wait until legs are on offer and buy as many as possible then joint them up before freezing.
I used to buy Ox tail but the celebrity chefs have pushed the price through the roof, along with skirt steak. I tend to use Shin or Brisket now, but still watch the price per Kilo. I have seen Brisket on sale between £3.50 and £8.99 per Kilo, I have also seen Shin of beef, sliced up and sold as braising steak for £9. per Kilo.
On the garden front, my overwintered spring greens and Kale are doing well since I attacked the slug population boom. The garlic has thrown up strong shoots and the Banana shallots are settled in.
I have small but sturdy leek seedlings, and the first spring onions are in.
The greenhouse has 2 pots of Early Onward peas, these are for shoots, and some climbing peas in loo roll middles. There are also 2 trays of cut and come again salad leaves, just ready for the first cut.
The propagator has some sturdy looking tomato seedlings, along with some chilli and aubergines.
The Rhubarb is looking promising and the strawberries are sending out fresh leaves.
In the house I am just doing the basics, I will have a good go through once the weather brightens up. I am useless in these low light levels. Not only do I struggle to see but I find it difficult to summon up the enthusiasm and the energy required.
The shed is up and all things shed bound have been put in place. My "glory hole" has had a thorough fettling and is looking as a larder should. Lots of shelves with neat rows of cans, jars and containers. All labels legible and facing forward, making a shopping list will be so much easier now.
I did have a bit of a clear out and have passed on several things that were lurking in the deepest corners.
My bike is still under wraps, I need to find out how the fancy gears work before too much longer. Once we see some sunshine both sides of the hedgerows I want to be out on it.
Now I really must have a cuppa.