Monday, 19 April 2021

Random Ramblings :: Trying Something New

Hi there everyone 😀

I’ve been contemplating trying out a meal delivery box for a while really ... but had always thought it a bit unnecessary. Both Martin and I enjoy cooking and have a real wide range of favourite meals in our repertoire that we like to cook from scratch.

Saying that ... every now and again we struggle for inspiration and choosing another seven meals we fancy for the coming week can be a bit tedious.

A few weeks ago the timing just fell right and an ad with a 50% discount code for the first week, followed by 30% for the rest of the month, appeared on my Facebook timeline for Gousto. I clicked through just to have look and easily saw four recipes that I liked the look of and decided to give it a go.

I timed our delivery for a Friday ... on the basis that we have our weekly shopping delivery on the Sunday. This would give us time to have a good look at what was provided and, if the portion sizes looked small, I could add extra veg or sides to our normal shopping delivery.

Whilst you can't opt for a delivery time ahead of the delivery day, which is a bit frustrating, we did receive a text on the Friday morning specifying a two hour delivery slot, which is trackable.

Friday came and there was much excitement. We had our text telling us our delivery would arrive between 8.10am and 10.10am and our big red box arrived well on time.

We couldn't wait to get the box open and see what was inside ... it was only at this point that I really thought about the amount of packaging involved ... though a fair amount is recyclable ...

The box was really well packed, with recipe cards for each of the meals that we'd chosen and all of the fresh ingredients looking really nice and fresh ...


There were a couple of effective ice packs keeping any meat or fish cool and an envelope pack of bits and pieces to accompany each recipe ...

We unpacked the whole of the box and checked off all of the ingredients against the recipe cards ... we were pleased to find that everything was as it should be.

We had ordered Lemony Chicken & Crushed Potato Colcannon ...

Oven-Baked Cheesy Portobello Mushroom Risotto ...


Creamy Chicken Potato-Topped Pie ...

And ... Baked Creamy Chorizo & Leek Pasta with Rocket ...

Whilst we could see that the portion sizes would not be what we are normally used to, they were reasonable and we could easily see how we could add a bit of bulk by adding extra veg here and there, which we tagged on to our supermarket grocery order.

So ... four meals sorted, so only three for us to have to think about ourselves. The meal planning and shopping list felt nice and easy.

Just as a bit of a tester from a value point of view we decided to cost the ingredients by putting them into the Tesco shopping site to do a bit of a price comparison. The total cost with Tesco came out at £19.25. We'd paid £17.50.

It wasn't a total like for like comparison as I didn't include the store cupboard ingredients ... as we already have all of those so, if needing to buy those, that would account for a bit more.

Also some of the fresh ingredients came in higher quantities from Tesco ... so would yield a bit more.

My initial verdict on cost is that, for us, it definitely wouldn't be worth paying the full price for the box of  £35.00, though we were very happy with the value with the 50% discount.

I'll leave it there for now, but I promise I will come back and let you know how we got on ... what the meals were like and what, if anything we added.

Please note ... I am not affiliated to Gousto in any way and this is a totally independent review of my own personal thoughts on the box ... though if any of you are interested in trying a box I believe I am able to share a discount code with you that, if taken up, provides me with a £15 credit towards my next box.

**********************************************************************************

Friday, 16 April 2021

Photo Scavenger Hunt :: April #3 ... Purple

Hi there everyone 😃

I’ve had the heading ‘The Colour Purple’ and the first paragraph of this post sitting in the notes pages on my iPad since March 2018. With Astrid setting ‘purple’ as the inspiration for this week’s photo scavenger hunt, I thought it was high time I got round to finishing it.

When was younger I seem to recall my favourite colour was blue.

Now it’s most definitely purple, no particular shade ... I love them all, though I do tend to steer more towards the bluey purples rather than the reddy shades.

I don’t really know when it changed and I’m sure there was a long period in between the blue and the purple when there was nothing that really stood out for me.

Thinking back, I would say that other people probably realised that purple was my favourite before I did.

One of the earlier gifts that my husband bought me was a Chamelia bracelet ... it’s bit like a Pandora ... with charms. We all joked after he’d bought it me that he just went in the jewellers said I want a Chamelia bracelet ... it’s for my wife ... she likes purple.

These are the charms I ended up with ...

I don’t really wear it anymore ... whilst I love it, it’s just a little bit cumbersome and very rattley

I do occasionally take the odd charm and add it to this purple leather Pandora bracelet I had as a gift when I retired from work back in 2014 ... they all knew I loved purple too ...

There is so much more purple stuff going on in my life that I struggled really with where to draw the line this week, so I did a bit of a trawl of my iPad photo library and just picked a bit of a selection ... starting with the garden ... where purple definitely stands out throughout the summer months ...


I also find myself very much drawn to purple when out and about ...

I set up my little craft business in purple ...

I most definitely craft in a lot of purple ...


There is purple inside the house too ...
And sometimes ... I like to wear purple ... 

And my favourite chocolate ... well yes ..l that’s purple too ...
So yes ... purple is definitely for me and it was the obvious theme for my blog when I first set it up as you may well have noticed.

Thank you Astrid for making me pull this post off my notes page and finally get round to sharing my love for the colour purple 💜💜💜

***********************************************************************************

Monday, 12 April 2021

The Day I met The Duke

Hi there everyone 😀

It was with sadness that we heard last week of the passing of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. It seems a shame he didn’t quite make his 100th birthday, but what an incredible life he must have lead.

I felt it might be worth a little trip down memory lane to share some very old, and fairly rubbish, photos of the day that I got to meet him ... fairly up close and personal.

At school I’d participated in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, achieving Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards ...

I still have my little log book where records were kept of all the activities that I carried out whilst participating in the scheme ...

I can’t for the life of me remember being presented with my bronze award but the silver was presented by the Earl of Lichfield at The Friary School in Lichfield.

At some point, I’m not entirely sure when, for some reason I was selected to represent our school at an event held at the Staffordshire County Showground, where The Duke was due to visit. Here is a picture of us all waiting to meet the man himself ... in case you are wondering I am third from the right on the back row ... looking very slim and with some very serious flicked out hair going on ...

It was possible to take photos, no selfies back then, and whilst they aren’t my best work ... you can definitely tell who it is ...


I have a couple more very old photos of me whilst taking part in the programme. This one was taken by a local paper of me volunteering at an adult literacy class ...

... and here I am ready to set out from a Youth Hostel on an expedition up in The Peak District. Not quite sure what I'm holding, but it could be my trusty Silva compass ... no GPS in those days ...

That actually wasn’t the only time that I met the Duke. Having achieved my Gold Award I did get invited to St James's Palace in March 1984 to be presented with my award by The Duke and had a big day out to the capital on the train ...

Here is a picture of me in my requisite hat mooching round the capital before heading to The Palace ...
I think that these two occasions are the only brushes that I've had with royalty ... I must admit on both I did feel quite proud ... though incredibly nervous 😟

I got so much from taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme ... in addition to meeting The Duke ... I guess there are two keys things that have always stayed with me since then ... the importance of being able to give something back, through volunteering and a love for the countryside and getting off the beaten track ... in particular The Peak District.

It's good to know that the scheme will live on under the watchful eye of Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex ... though I did read the other day that eventually he will inherit The Duke of Edinburgh's title, which seems quite fitting 😀

**********************************************************************************

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Photo Scavenger Hunt :: April #2 ... Farm

Hi there everyone 😀

It's time for the second week of Astrid's photo hunt ... this week's word is ... Farm.

Not having a lot of 'farm' related photos in my archive it's just a quick one from me today.

Here are a few photos from our trip out last year ... in between lockdowns ... to The Cotswolds. We spent the day at Sezincote, but had a bit of a detour to find the Cotswold Lavender Farm.

Well ... we did find it ... but it was soooooo busy, that we had to just make do with a couple of photos of the neighbouring fields, which I sure will have been farmed ...




Thinking about it ... I could have saved these photos for next week's hunt ... the theme is 'Purple'. It is my favourite colour so I'm sure I will be able to find plenty to share.

Thanks again to Astrid for hosting the link up 💜💜💜

********************************************************************************