Well April's challenge for this "Attack the Unexpected Places" fell a bit flat - and instead our focus has largely been on decluttering the freezers ready for our upcoming purchase of a whole lamb. We've done remarkably well on that front - at the time of writing Freezer 2 has been emptied and defrosted, and freezer 1 has been run down to about half full - the lamb arrives imminently! We started by working through the freezers and picking out things which needed using up sooner rather than later - the bag of leaf spinach which had been in there for ages - the texture's not great as a straight vegetable, frankly, so it had got left. A last piece of the fish bought yellow stickered a while back - abandoned due to not having enough other stuff to go with it to make a fish pie. A third of a bag of frozen prawns, and a very cheap pack of Pitta breads were among the finds. The spinach has been dealt with simply by adding it to other meals - so a beef curry - throw in some spinach. The fish pie that I did eventually cook to use up the fish and the prawns - yep, that had some spinach thrown in and a couple of hard boiled eggs quartered up too, to bulk it out still further. I made the sauce for that using a fish stock-pot stirred in as I added the milk too - to give a more fishy flavour allowing for the shortage of marine-dweller actually contained in it! The Pittas got used up for lunches - saving us money on making bread or rolls. Working to a meal plan has really helped as it's meant we've targetted the things that needed using first.
So, the question is, what next? Do I revisit clearing out places like the airing cupboard, storecupboard etc for my May challenge? Well, no - with our holiday rapidly looming, I'm going to make May's challenge mainly centred around that. So I will:
Toiletries - sort out as many sachets, samples and mini-bottles as I can to take and use up while we're away.
Clothes/packing - get everything which I intend to take with me sorted out and separated from the rest of my clothes to avoid those last minute "It's not clean!" panics
Memory cards - Clear down 2 memory cards of shots well in advance - I use my cards as backup so "good" shots remain on there, as well as being downloaded to the computer and (eventually) backed up to external drives.
Repair - anything that needs it - my Camera Bag could do with a couple of stitches - thanks to British Airways, and my older waterproof coat also needs a bit of velcro reattached and a pocket sewn up...I bet MrEH has socks that need darning, too!
Finances - Check through our holiday budget and ensure that enough money is available to cover what's needed
- Arrange to get our bagged change paid in to the building society then transferred to the Holiday account
- Avoid spending anything unnecessary between May 1st, and when we go (We've already started this one!)
Prepare - once I have got my Broadband Dongle back from the friend who borrowed it, I'll get credit loaded onto it ready to use while we're away for updating this 'ere blog
- work on one room at a time around EH Towers to get the place marvellously clean and tidy ready for both the cat-sitter (Well you don't think HRH roughs it in the cattery, do you now?!) AND for it to be a pleasure to come back to at the end of the holiday.