Broken car!

The ice and cold have killed my car battery. I tried several times to start it (with gaps in between to let it rest). I turned everything off, had it in neutral, gave it a little gas to try and get the engine to turn over. Just a splutter or two, then nothing.

I left it an hour and tried again. No joy. The battery is probably four years old and has been struggling when I’ve used the car lately. I haven’t been out much and then only short distances so the alternator hasn’t had the opportunity to charge it up. Cold and damp makes electric power seep away somehow and this last few days have definitely drained it.

In hope I rang a local garage, they have the right battery in stocks, but they can’t fit it, you just need some spanners they said. Half an hour on trickle charge from the charger just brightened the lights on the dashboard a bit. No chance of getting it going.

I then remembered I have breakdown cover! We breakdown so infrequently that I don’t remember to use it. They can’t say when they will be here, but they are at least coming out. Hooray.

Gone!

Minus 7.7°C in Shropshire last night, and below freezing locally. My Nasturtiums which were still in flower yesterday have collapsed in little siddy heaps. Their plant cells have all burst as the fluid inside them expanded into ice crystals. I knew it would happen, I was hoping to still have some in flower at Christmas.

The Jet Stream up in the sky has settled below England to our south and low pressure systems are pulling down cold air from the North of Britain. We are expecting freezing conditions for at least up to the weekend. By then the damage to my plants will be done. I haven’t got any garden fleece to protect the plants, I can only hope having plants close together will help some of them survive. X

Fridge alarm!

What a day. I was going to relax then do some gardening. I hadn’t had breakfast so made coffee. Then suddenly the fridge freezer started beeping! We knew it was that because we had the same problem a few months ago. The freezer did need defrosting so I turned it off and propped the freezer door open while putting the frozen food into the fridge. But it kept beeping even when it was off, must have a battery in it!

Too noisy, several decibels. We decided to go out. More of that later…

I’d turned the fridge off but it was still beeping when we got in… Argh! So loud! So hubby decided to kick the fridge! Like that’s going to help! He kept pushing it and moving it backwards, trying to get it level. I switched it back on and dried the fridge and freezer. I was shouting ‘just shut up!’ I dragged it forward, something was clunking underneath, the tone of the sound changed. I dragged it further forward, a lower, slightly different tone. One more drag, clunk! It stopped! What!

Happy now. But although I don’t want to I think we will be forced to buy a new one.

Food

Today was a sore throat, tired sort of day, a rummaging in the freezer so I didn’t have to cook properly day. I found a sausage, cranberry and sage crown (wrapped in flaky pastry). Hubby had bought it at Christmas and I hadn’t fancied it then. But with a sore throat, how bad could it be? I cooked it till it was slightly burnt, but it was OK. With boiled new potatoes, carrots and parsnip. It tasted sweet, and slightly sour/bitter. I have to say I wouldn’t have another one, but at least it’s out of the freezer.

Beep beeeep!

I came home from panto rehearsal (I was just watching) and there was a loud beeping coming from the house. I got in and hubby shouted over the noise. He said it had just started and he couldn’t find where it was coming from. We narrowed it down to near the gas boiler. He had already turned off the boiler, also unplugged the fridge freezer below it, unplugged everything in the kitchen and switched off the central heating.

He had also taken the battery out of the smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm. He was at a loss of where the noise was coming from.

What to do? Half an hour if searching. We thought there might be a smoke alarm fallen behind the fridge freezer, hubby pulled it away from the wall. Nothing, except dust. So we rang the emergency gas engineer.

He arrived after an hour. The sound was so loud. He checked everywhere. He said it sounded low down from the fridge? He moved it.. The noise stopped!

Modern fridge freezers are fitted with alarms! Who knew? They can go off for all sorts of reasons. Not enough ventilation, unbalanced, damaged door seals, freezers needing defrosting. I think we need a new fridge freezer. It’s too warm in the fridge and too cold in the freezer.

Never rains but it pours!

Fridge Freezer

We’ve had a bad couple of months. I’m expecting the fridge freezer to break soon, it keeps filling up with water in the chiller compartment and the freezer gets too cold. Then the bearings in it make loud rattling and creaking noises….

Other things have happened. The cat going missing and being injured, and me pulling my calf muscle. Family and friends have had problems too. The pandemic has hit their incomes. They are working hard against almost impossible conditions. I don’t know what will happen, I just want things to be better for everyone, not just those closest to me.

I would help many people if I could. Love to you all…

Comfort food..

Fish fingers, chips and mayo

I’m sorry this isn’t a lovely recipe, or vegetarian. I’m sorry it’s not beautifully presented. It’s just grub, comfort food, quick, fast. My evening meal tonight.

Cooked in the oven, frozen chips and fish fingers with mayonnaise, takes about 25 minutes. I might even have a slice of bread and butter if I’m running low on chips. Salt and vinegar and mayonnaise to taste.

It’s reasonably balanced, a mix of protein and carbohydrates with not too much fat if I have the reduced fat chips.

Canal frozen

Well not all of it, where the water was running through the locks there was less or no ice, but some sections were solid with ice about an inch thick. This was in Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent, by the Etruria Industrial Museum. At least it was sunny and out of the easterly wind.

A thaw is due, but then wet weather too. Oh well at least I’ll be able to save on my heating bills!