Rhyme and No Reason!

Blogger, author and rhymester who likes to find the humour in life.

Episode 489: Home — September 9, 2015

Episode 489: Home

Today for writing 101,  our prompt was to choose one word from a selection of six prompt words and write about the one that ‘spoke’ to us the most. I chose ‘home’ as this word has the most meaning for me in so many ways…

When I was six years old my parents divorced and I moved from one end of the country to the other. Then, due to my Mum’s job we moved around some more until finally coming to the county where I have lived for most of the time since.

When I married my first husband, I moved around yet again as he changed jobs, and we always lived with other people. I used to spend at least 18 hours a day in one room due to his long hours, and other issues (I will write about them one day)! This went on for about 8 years until our eventual divorce. Although for the last 2 years I did at least see people as I worked with him for 18 hours per day!

My second marriage, sadly didn’t last long but for the first time we had our own place, albeit only for 6 months before I ended up moving back in with my parents and stayed there throughout my pregnancy, and for the first 10 weeks of Miss Hap’s life.

Then I got this house, which is finally my home. Myself and my baby daughter (at the time) moved in with no carpets, very little furniture (most of it donated to us), mismatched curtains and a small tv. It didn’t matter though as it was home. Our home. Over the 12 years I have been here, I have added carpets, matching curtains and a nice settee as well as some new furniture. More importantly I have planted the garden with the beautiful, fragrant roses that I love so much,

For once in my entire life, I was able to put down some roots, and settle down. I could decorate how I wanted and put up whichever pictures I liked. We have made so many memories here, which it why it is our home.

Episode 189: Smooth(ie) Operator! — March 1, 2015

Episode 189: Smooth(ie) Operator!

Miss Hap has discovered a new drink which she loves, Oreo Smoothie! Now forgive me if I am wrong, but aren’t smoothies supposed to be healthy? You know, made with fruit and veg and skimmed milk….that kind of thing, not ice cream and Oreos (I can’t bear them myself)!

Anyway, she has been nagging me for ages to buy the ingredients in order to make this delightful drink. I have so far not obliged her,  as her once a week indulgence is plenty enough for such a sugar-fest. I did however, promise to make her a ‘normal’ smoothie.

I have actually got a smoothie maker that I have had for ages, but now never really gets used. I dragged in out of the corner it was hiding in, gave it a bit of a clean up and gathered some ingredients together.

Now I have to mention that I was not really in a very good mood. We were going to have our usual Sunday roast, but whilst Mr Grump was cooking the meat, it gave off rather an unpleasant smell. Once cooked. although it looked gorgeous, none of us fancied it anymore due to the weird smell, so that put paid to that! Hence the reason why I was crabby. (I had a healthy dinner instead)!

Anyway, I poured the milk into the smoothie maker, and asked Miss Hap to get the ice out of the freezer whilst I got the bananas. She had decided that she didn’t want anything else with it as she ‘doesn’t really like that much fruit’ (a fact I know all too well)!

When I turned back to the smoothie maker I saw that all of the milk had ended up on the worktop. There must have been a bit missing from the machine which I hadn’t noticed, despite the fact that it was an essential component!

I got more milk and we used the food processor to mix everything up in, I poured out some of the drink and gave it to my daughter. She took the smallest of sips and her face said it all. I went to give some to Mr Grump and when I came back all of Miss Hap’s drink had suspiciously gone. She said that she had enjoyed it and sloped off upstairs.

I, meanwhile, was left with one hell of a mess to clean up. As I went to start the washing up, I noticed that the washing up bowl was filled with what looked uncannily like banana smoothie! Great! She had thrown it away as I thought. I chucked out the bloody useless smoothie maker as well. Oh well, at least my kitchen is slightly less cluttered now!

Episode 187: Shedding Some Light on the Subject! — February 28, 2015

Episode 187: Shedding Some Light on the Subject!

I know this is a bit controversial but hate those bloody energy lightbulbs! Yes, I know,shocking isn’t it?! (Well they might be if they produced any sort of power).  I am aware about carbon footprints and all that sort of thing, but I do still like the good old-fashioned 60 watt bulb.

I have lived in my house for 11 years now; It was a brand new property which had special fittings in the upstairs landing and hall downstairs for the energy lightbulb. That was all very lovely except for a couple of years later when I had to get a replacement, none of the shops sold them!II had to send off for them and they were pretty expensive at £10 apiece! Compare that to the £1 or so cost for a normal light bulb and you can see one reason I hatred them.

Having a brother who is good with electrics helped as he took out those fittings and put the general ones in, so I could use either standard light bulbs or energy bulbs as the mood took me.

Surprisingly, I do quite often use the energy ones in the hall as have got a little better over the years. It no longer takes about 5 seconds for the light to realise that it has been switched on, and kick into action, It is almost instantaneous nowadays.

A couple of nights ago Miss Hap informed us that we had a power cut, well, kind of anyway. She had turned the light on in the bathroom upstairs (it has a normal light bulb) and it blew causing the lights to all go off. Mr Grump had to climb up to the fuse box and flick the switch back on to restore light.

Anyway Mr Grump fitted a new bulb and all was sweetness (and light) in our household. Well, until I went to have my bath the next morning, I turned on the light to be greeted by this eerie kind of greenish glow. It was pretty horrid and I literally had a quick dip before getting out of there.

Miss Hap also moaned about the light when she went to the bathroom, It was a really ugly low energy lightbulb, with the emphasis on ‘low energy’. We nagged at Mr Grump to change it as it was giving us a headache.

When I came home from work later on, I saw that indeed the bulb was changed, Great, he managed to do one of the chores I had left him before I went to work. During the evening I needed to nip to the loo so I went to the downstairs one,

The eerie greenish glow appeared casting its gloom in the room. It seemed to make everything appear grubby. I was not impressed with this at all. It’s bad enough that it had the audacity to be called a ‘light’ bulb, but to have this almost CSI quality of showing up every speck making everything appear grimy was annoying.

Mr Grump managed to persuade my niece’s fiance to take him shopping today as the weather was appalling and we needed some bits. I decided to leave them to it and didn’t go with them. Big mistake, Not only did they forget to buy some normal light bulbs but they decided to stop off at the pub on the way home for a ‘quick pint’!

It seems that he was running a bit low on energy and needed a bit of perking up himself!

Episode 131: Blowing Away The Cobwebs. — January 31, 2015

Episode 131: Blowing Away The Cobwebs.

Today my mind was too full of worries and niggles and I was feeling a bit het-up. The weather was dreary and grey, although dry, and I was moping about totally unmotivated…

As food is never far from my mind, I asked Mr Grump what we were going to have for dinner tonight. I was not impressed with his suggestions, and tried to persuade him to do our grocery shopping today instead of tomorrow whilst I stayed at home.

Well he wasn’t having that. He insisted that we all go shopping and that we walk the  3 mile round trip, as it would do us all good to get some exercise. Surprisingly Miss Hap was up for it, but I tried to get out of it, However, I realised that if I wanted something nice for dinner then I would have to go with them.

So off we trotted. Actually it was quite nice, as we kept off the main roads and used the little footpaths that cut through a large wooded area. We kept up a brisk pace and chatted throughout the journey, so it was rather pleasant.

In no time at all we were wondering around the supermarket. Miss Hap and I browsed through some craft magazines, and a knitting one caught her eye. Funnily enough, I was thinking today how I would like to take up knitting again, as I hadn’t done anything for ages. Also I can actually knit (unlike my dressmaking attempts, where I try  – but fail). I bought the magazine which included a pattern for some knitted monkeys plus the wool to make it with.

Once we had bought everything we needed, we headed back home. This time the walk was not quite as pleasant. For a start, the wind had kicked up, and about 10 minutes in, the rain started falling. This coupled with the heavy bags (stupidly, we hadn’t considered carrying the shopping all the way back) made the trip a little more challenging!

Everyone was pleased to get back home in the warm, and once we had dried off and sorted ourselves out, I started to knit one of the little monkeys…I could feel the stress melting away.

Episode 106: A Calculated Move…. — January 16, 2015

Episode 106: A Calculated Move….

Miss Hap was a little late home from school yesterday as her friend was rehearsing for her role in the school’s production of ‘Jungle Book’ (My daughter did audition for Mowgli but didn’t get it, and didn’t fancy any of the other roles). She didn’t want to get the bus home on her own, so decided to wait for her friend, which meant that she arrived home cold, tired,hungry, crabby AND with a sore throat.

Luckily, I had already prepared dinner (contrary to my moan about housework, I did end up doing it, of course) and it was ready and waiting for her on the table. Mr Grump was unusually late home so his would have to be re-heated later on. Miss Hap and I are much the same when it comes to our food, and we didn’t see the point in waiting any longer for ours, so we tucked in.

Although my daughter felt grotty, she apparently had some maths homework given to her that had to be in the next day. This is unusual as normally, although they do get loads of homework, they get a week to do it in. Anyway, she is always a bit vague on what homework she has, so I told her to get on with it, whilst I did the washing up.

As soon as I came back in the room, she was moaning, I asked what was the matter and she complained that she didn’t have the ‘right calculator’. Ii was mad as we had brought her one in September,

“Oh that one is no good, I need to have a Casio scientific one”.  Well I was not happy. I asked her what she was trying to work out, then got completely lost as she tried to explain it to me! I am not totally stupid, but neither am I great at maths! I advised her to see if there was an online scientific calculator she could use, but she was one step ahead and had already tried it.

Before I could stop her, she was e mailing her maths teacher (can you believe it)? telling him of her plight. At that point Mr Grump stomped in muttering and moaning; also cold, tired, crabby and hungry. Miss Hap regaled him with her tale of woe, and Bless him, he put his boots back on, and set off to get her this bloody calculator!

My God, how school has changed since I went there, as you can read here. I don’t remember being allowed to use calculators (they were quite a novelty and pretty basic when I was her age). It amazes me now all the different functions that they are now capable of doing. My maths teacher was terrifying. I would have loved to have seen her face if e-mail had been around then and I had dared to send her one regarding not doing my homework!

Apart from the eardrum-bursting bellowing that would have ensued, berating my audacity and stupidity,I would probably still be in detention to this day!  Thank God teachers are a little more ‘approachable’ today. (Mind you, some teachers are a little too drippy for my liking at her school, but I digress).

Anyway, the homework was completed, and  my daughter was duly sent to bed with paracetamol to reduce her fever. I gave Mr Grump his re-heated dinner, but he told me that he had gone past it now, and he left quite a bit of the chop. Never mind, I swooped it up and it was gone before he could change his mind. Very nice it was too! Well, I had to feed my poor brain as it had been overstretched trying to understand that maths homework!!

Episode 80: Christmas Stuffing! — December 19, 2014

Episode 80: Christmas Stuffing!

Ahhh, work has finished for a couple of days, and it’s time to relax before the madness and mayhem of Christmas sets in. Miss Hap is off spending the weekend with my older sister so me and Mr Grump can potter about, doing the last-minute jobs; buying and wrapping the last of the presents, and generally getting things done – without a little someone prodding the presents that are under the tree so far, or nosing about trying to find where we have stashed the rest of the goodies!

It always amazes me how much preparation and planning goes into getting everything ‘right’ for the big day!  As Christmas draws closer so the supermarkets are heaving with people buying everything in sight!  I get it that there are certain things (like the turkey for instance) that people want to make sure they get, just in case they run out, but why on earth do they need to buy triple the amount of groceries. Unless there is a special offer on, I see no reason to buy 50 toilet rolls unless you are either expecting a very upset tummy or the Waltons to come round with the ‘squits’!

I come from a large family myself, and have been guilty in the past of going mental on the biscuits for cheese! Who the hell needs two family sized boxes?! I love cheese to go with them as well of course, so will buy a nice selection, plus I have always got one or two varieties in the fridge anyway. Come New Year I am left with stale biscuits and odds and ends of cheese that no-one wants (I always give the Stilton away anyway).

The freezers are stacked full of bread, milk and other essentials for the holiday period, not to mention bits and pieces to use for a buffet. The fridge is always jammed with cream, brandy butter, an assortment of cooked meats, plus God knows how many pickles and condiments, (Oh and not forgetting the cheese of course) There is also the trifle that will be made in time for Christmas day which no-one can manage as they are stuffed full  to overflowing already!

Add to all this the chocolates, biscuits, sweets, nuts and fruit that are set out on fancy festive dishes to tempt any guests you might have popping in, with bottles pop or wine, crates of beer, and whatever other booze takes your fancy to accompany it, there is little chance of anyone starving, but every chance of being sick of the sight of food.

You will be left with the hard toffees in the bottom of the tin kicking around for weeks until they get chucked, flat cherryade, that has dribbled out of the bottle and left a fluorescent stain in its wake, and a few elderly walnuts that have been rejected as being too hard to crack! The pickles and condiments that have hardly been used will get shifted around the fridge until they go out of date in June or something!

Yes we all go a bit mad at Christmas as everyone wants to make sure their family has plenty to eat and drink, but we seem to forget one thing, there is only so much a human can actually physically consume in a few days!

Episode 79: Bull In A China Shop……. — December 18, 2014

Episode 79: Bull In A China Shop…….

It can be quite an expense being clumsy, not to mention time-consuming! The fact that both me and Miss Hap are a little on the heavy-handed side, plus objects have a habit of slipping through our fingers, means that we quite often have to replace the odd item or two…..

I love sparkling water with lots of ice, so am very often in the freezer getting ice cubes from the special little trays, that churn out the cubes with a flick of a wrist. Only this time I twirled the knob and heard a ‘clonk’ , the tray didn’t move as a bit had snapped off the end and the spring, sprang off! Bugger! Who broke that? I’m sure it wasn’t me, I bet Miss Hap has been at it and twisted the knob the wrong way (She might as well be blamed, I break enough stuff as it is)! Anyway, it meant that I yelled for Mr Grump to come and fix it with his trusty toolbox. He tutted and moaned but got out the glue and stuck the bit back on.

That was yesterday, so today after a bit of a  stressful day at work I came home hot and bothered and went to get my favourite drink. Twist, clonk, boiiiing! You guessed it, the damn thing broke again and the spring pinged off! Well now I will have to order a replacement tray (yes I know I can buy a bag of ice to put in the freezer, but I LIKE my little ice-cube trays).Luckily, the good old internet found what I needed and a new one will be winging its way to us soon.

I am very good at finding spare parts for things, as In the past I have pulled the handle off not one but TWO washing machine doors and have had to order new ones. (They don’t make things that are built to last these days)! I have taken a chunk out of one of the freezer drawers, and snapped a part off the vacuum cleaner which holds the vital parts together, to name but a few things,

We have got through loads of glasses, and my favourite dinner service has only 2 dinner plates left and 3 side plates, the rest has been smashed (mind you I did have it for years),. I now do not buy expensive crockery as it will not last long. I do actually have some lovely crystal wine glasses,that were a present, but they rarely come out as I can’t be trusted with them. Shame really as they are sitting gathering dust instead of being enjoyed!

I am pretty rubbish with chargers as well for phones and tabs etc. I tend to stretch them and pull the wires out, so Mr Grump has to get me new ones. Miss Hap loves to break headphones; little ones that fit into the ear, large ones that look like something that should be worn on an artillery range, she has broken them all! She has one of those keyboards that she loves to play, but it is missing a key!  She had one of her phones for a week before she dropped it and cracked the glass,despite us buying her a case for it!

Mr Grump regularly goes out to get me yet another mouse for my laptop ( I don’t like that little pad thing) as they are not sturdy enough to put up with the treatment they receive at my gentle and delicate hands!  Luckily Mr Grump himself is still in one piece despite being married to me!

Episode 70: Growing Up Too Fast! — December 9, 2014

Episode 70: Growing Up Too Fast!

Miss Hap decided to surprise me this morning. She was up pretty early and thought it would be nice if she finished off making my breakfast for me whilst I was having my bath….

Now I am a creature of habit, and routine (I CAN do spontaneous, but it’s not easy)! When I am working,my breakfast consists of a hard-boiled egg, wholemeal pitta bread, and a little cheese sprinkled on top. Anyway I had put my egg on to boil, and halved the pitta, which I shoved in the toaster, then I went up to have a quick bath, by which time everything would be ready.

I came downstairs to be greeted by Miss Hap in her pyjamas looking despondently at my egg, still in its shell on the worktop.

“Sorry Mum, I’ve broken the egg slicer”, she said dejectedly, “but I’ve fixed it with Sellotape!”  I followed her gaze to my patched up egg slicer. One of the wires was broken and had been taped securely to a couple of the others, rendering the whole thing pretty useless. I reassured her that it didn’t matter, and for now I would just cut up the egg. I could see that she had thought of that as the egg was positioned on the chopping board with a butter knife close by. This was presumably to cut the egg up through the shell.!  I showed her how to crack the egg in order to peel the shell off, which she did for me chunking off quite a bit of the white with it, in the process. What was left of the egg, I divided into the two pitta halves!

I have made a bit of a rod for my own back by not teaching Miss hap to do any chores, and I suppose at 11 years old she should be helping out around the house. I know me and my sisters certainly had to at her age; that is partly why I have left it so long for her.

Due to her inheriting my clumsiness, I have not allowed her as yet to wash or dry the dishes unless there is anything unbreakable, as I didn’t want all my crockery landing up in a smashed heap!  she is allowed to make cups of tea and coffee (that is a MUST in our family) but doesn’t bring in the finished drink as she worries that she will get burnt! The one time she did bring it in she used the oven gloves (she is high on initiative, if not common sense)!

She doesn’t have to do any vacuuming (I worry that either the vacuum will get bashed to smithereens or the furniture will), She will sometimes help me hang out the washing though (well she will hand me the pegs at least)and on the odd occasion has helped me clean the bathroom. Other than that, she doesn’t even run her own bath, as again she worries that she might burn her hand on the hot tap, and knowing her, I worry too, so do it for her!

I think I probably mollycoddle her a bit too much;  I must admit I am surprised when I know some kids get up and make themselves breakfast, which my daughter never does as, left to her own devices, she would raid the crisps or something.I don’t want her to grow up too fast, but neither do I want her not to be able to do anything for herself when she is older.

What do you think? Is 11 too young for chores?

Episode 68: Standing out! — December 7, 2014

Episode 68: Standing out!

I have always battled with shyness, right from when I was a very little girl, hiding behind my Mum or brothers and sisters.It is one personality trait that I wish I didn’t have and have spent years trying to overcome….

Coming from, and growing up with a large family, you would think that I would be a lot more outgoing and assertive, having had to fight for my share of attention over the years, but no, I was the little mousey one, who in fact, never wanted to draw attention to myself in any way! Unfortunately for me though, I am extremely clumsy, and always have been, so there have been many times in the past when I have unwittingly been the centre of attention.

Once, when I was about 12, some of my siblings and I were visiting my Dad,we went for a walk along the prom. I was linking arms with my older sister, but somehow managed to become separated from her and I tripped and fell 6ft onto the sand below (luckily the tide wasn’t in). My Dad was frantic and came down to get me. Luckily I was unhurt, but of course it caused a bit of a commotion.

Another time  I was swimming in a pool with my little sister who was wearing her inflatable armbands (she was about 5 and I was 7). My Mum and Step-dad were watching from the side as I was bobbing about holding a football to float on, and my sister splashed about nearby. I floated out of my depth and the ball slipped through my grasp, leaving me floundering and going under as I couldn’t swim. My little sister tried to get to me, but the next thing I knew I was being hauled out of the pool and pummeled by an old lady, who had seen what had happened and jumped in fully clothed, sunglasses and all  to hike me out. Again, this caused a bit of a fuss and I cried, not only because of the fright I had just had, but because everyone was looking at me!

It didn’t really get any easier as I got older, especially as my Mum moved around quite a bit with her job and we had to change schools each time and make new friends. I always dreaded it; the worst time was when we moved from north to south England so even our accents made us stand out! My younger sister and older brother who were still school age were much more outgoing so didn’t seem to find it such a pain as I did!

When I was 14, I got a part-time job in a cafe, working weekends. I couldn’t have picked a more unsuitable job for my personality if I tried! I had to approach customers, get their orders and deliver food to them without knocking it all over them. I remember once plonking a plate of fish and chips down a bit heavy handedly in front of a customer and half of it slid off of the plate and onto their lap. I scrabbled about picking it up, putting it back on the plate and apologising. What made it worse was when I took the plate out to the kitchen,  and told the female boss (who terrified me) she just rearranged it back on the plate and told me to take it back out there.! That was dreadful as it had taken ages for them to get their order in the first place and they would know that we had just brought the same food out, Needless to say I did it, and the customer said nothing.

I joined the Army as I thought I would overcome my shyness, plus it was something I really wanted to do. I got humiliated many times during ‘drill’ for cocking it up, but then so did everyone else, so it wasn’t that bad. I hated going into the cookhouse as it was so busy but I loved my food so I did it, rather than go without! The experience helped a bit but I was still quite shy.

Social situations were always a nightmare for me. I would talk to people one-on-one but I could never just go up to someone and start a conversation, so people probably thought I was stuck-up and aloof, but I would have loved to have talked to them if I wasn’t so worried that I would put my foot in it or say something stupid!

I do love people and once I went into nursing I really enjoyed it, I applied for the job I have now and when I was accepted, it meant starting at University plus moving to a different ward in the hospital where I knew no-one. I am determined, even if shy, so I did it. Uni was a real struggle at first as nearly every week we had to get out in front of everyone and either do a presentation, or a discussion about things. It took me nearly the whole 2 years to be able to do it without tripping over my words and going bright red.

That is when I finally turned the corner I think. I love the staff on my ward, and am confident about my job, so will actually talk to doctors now(before I kept out of their way). I have been asked  to give a little talk to the new recruits on their first day that have signed up for the job I do This can be 20 odd people in a room that I don’t know but not only have I done it once, but twice!

Even now I have to psych myself up to go somewhere new or attend a large social gathering and I am still clumsy ,and draw attention to myself. However  now I just make a joke of it, laugh it off, and it will probably end up in my blog to cringe over!

It would be great to know how others deal with their fears or personality traits that hold them back.

Episode 64: A Little Bit of Dirt Never Killed Anybody…. — December 3, 2014

Episode 64: A Little Bit of Dirt Never Killed Anybody….

I received a phone call from Miss Hap today during her lunch break at school to let me know that there is a Craft Fair on Friday at school and “you have got to make some gingerbread men biscuits”.  Oh great! Well I have to give her credit for telling me a little in advance, normally it is at bedtime the night before she has to take something home-made into school. (I know some supermarkets do a lovely range of ‘home-made’ cakes etc but it does seem a bit naughty to do that; However needs must, and I have done it in the past)!

Anyway, as it is my day off today, and not only have I got the ingredients (and more importantly the recipe) for the gingers, but I actually enjoy making them (along with mince pies, that is about my festive repartee). I have already made the dough, and whilst that is ‘chilling’ in the fridge, I get a bit of time to myself to reflect on how different I am from my mum in the kitchen, I was thinking about Mum and what a fantastic cook she is, although nowadays she doesn’t bake so much. However, in her baking heyday some of her practices in the kitchen left a little to be desired…..

Two funny stories come to mind. the first one was when mum was making her famous ‘rock cakes’. Now, they were not ALWAYS as hard as rock as the name implies, and she put currants or something in them as well, so they were quite tasty for a Sunday afternoon tea. This particular day she made the cakes with her usual method, chucking a bit of this in, sprinkling in a pinch of that, then a dollop of something else for good measure. Once cooked they looked lovely and golden brown and she turned them out onto the wire rack to cool for a bit.

My younger sister and I were there when she decided to have a little ‘taster’ and she bit off a huge chunk from a cake.

“Mmmm these are lovely” (Self-recommendation is no praise, but Mum was proud of her cooking). As I looked up at Mum I was horrified; there were loads of ants crawling around her mouth, my sister had noticed as well. We were screeching and pointing but Mum had realised something was not right, and she rushed over to the sink to spit out the cake, and brush away the ants that she had not ingested!  It transpired that Mum’s wire rack was kept in the little alcove under the kitchen sink, and she had not washed it (how the hell she didn’t notice the ants all over it is anybody’s guess)! Well needless to say we went cakeless, and had something else!

The other occasion, was a dinner Mum was cooking for the family. She had made a gorgeous stew, and was preparing the dumplings to go with it, which she cooked in the pot with the stew. She went to one of the cupboards and got out her little box where she kept, her margarine, butter and lard. Anyway, she made the dumplings, but as I watched her , I said that they didn’t look right (Mrs Expert Chef poking her nose in)! Needless to say she took no notice of me, and half an hour later we all sat down for our lovely dinner. I took one mouthful of dumpling, and the rank taste hit me; the dumpling was expelled straight away.as I retched and heaved. Some of the others followed suit but the slow starters sat there stunned; dinner was ruined. That fat she used had been sitting opened in the packet for God knows how long, and was well and truly off! Mum told us to eat the stew anyway just leave the dumplings, but everyone’s appetite had suddenly disappeared!

I remember those two occasions so well, as my Mum never understood why we all made such a fuss about everything being clean, or that food was not past it’s ‘sell-by date’! Myself, plus some of my brothers and sisters used to go through the fridge and cupboards and sure enough there were tins there from  5 years previously (“tins last forever”), bottles where the date had rubbed off, or perhaps even before they dated foods, unwrapped food in the fridge, cooked and raw meat stored in close proximity, and condiments from the ark! Anything that was in the fridge was edible according to mum regardless of how long it had been in there!

I suppose growing up when food was rationed, they were not so picky about what they ate, being grateful to have anything. Also I have seen her trying  to sneak an errant spud in the roasting tin that had fallen on the floor when she strained them in the pan. Again, anything that went on the floor got either rinsed or brushed off and put on the plate! After all, “A little bit of dirt never killed anyone” and me, and my siblings have the cast iron stomachs to prove it!

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