Friday, 17 April 2015

Five on Friday

Joining in with Amy and Five on Friday.

Five questions for you this week.  Answers to any or all of them gratefully received.

1.   Pocket money.  A good thing?  How much?  Should they do chores for it?  How do I stop them filling the house with plastic rubbish from China?  While I'm happy for them to have a little of their own money, I really want to avoid them becoming shoppers, and seeing shopping as a pastime.  Money tends to burn a hole in one or two little pockets around here.  Things are bought just for the sake of it, which I hate.  But maybe that is something they have to do, to learn not to.

2.  How do I find more hours in the day?  I know, I know, if you had the answer to that...  But I really need some organisation tips.  I still haven't touched the writing course, shame on me, and yesterday I found it had dust on top of it.  This is not how it was supposed to be.  I need more time and a little motivation.  And maybe a new notebook.

3.  Any good boxed set I should know about?  I find it hard to find something we both like.  We loved West Wing, didn't get past the first fifteen minutes of The Wire (should we persevere?), ditto True Detective.  We stopped watching Breaking Bad when it got a bit too dark (the cute child of the meth addicts finished us off).  He is far fussier than me, I'm happy sewing and thinking, he needs it to be actually pretty good.  We watched The Killing, but I drove him nuts by not reading the subtitles properly (I'm sewing remember) and asking what exactly was happening at regular intervals.  It might be a while before he's ready for more Scandinavian drama.  We only watch for about 20-30 minutes at a time, last thing at night, just to calm the brain patterns and turn off the thoughts a bit.  If it's something scary (we watched Criminal Minds for a while) we make very sure the doors are locked when we go up.  We're trying The Good Wife at the moment, but it's a bit too girly and naff for him.

4.  Do you have a favourite quick recipe you'd care to share?  I struggle to find something everyone likes and quite often I end up adapting things so that someone can have it meat-free, someone can have it cheese-free.  So something that can be done in two different ways would be ideal.

5.  One for the gardeners amongst you.  Is it too early to plant out courgettes and squashes?  This is the time of year that all of the seedlings on the windowsills start to drive me nuts.  They're so demanding!  The garden centre has courgettes outside under a roof, but open to the cold winds.  Although what the garden centre does doesn't always fill me with confidence.  I struggle to find actual garden items there sometimes, and the other days I got caught up in an area of tightly packed patio furniture and dropped my weed-proof membrane and my seed packets while trying to squeeze through.  It was like something from a Greek myth, where you're sunk deep in the middle of it before you even realise and then there's no way out.  Anyway, I'm very tempted to take a few little things to the allotment today and set them free.  This warm weather is very seductive isn't it.  No doubt I shall live to regret it.  In fact I think I heard something about gale force winds this weekend.  Not here though surely..?

Whatever you're doing, have a good one, and I'll see you on the other side.  CJ xx


  1. Another suggestion for completing the writing course: just as you would make a doctor's appointment, set up appointments on your calendar to complete the course. [ I need to follow my own advise, but this is the tactic that worked for the writer I mentioned in my last comment :) ]
    Set up envelopes for 10% long term saving 10%giving and the rest for spending with whatever amount your children are given or earn. Discuss options for buying before going shopping, then give them freedom to learn from their purchases.
    A meatless staple I have been keeping in the fridge is a can of three bean salad, combined with a can of multicolored beans and a can of green beans. The three bean salad is seasoned with cooked onion and peppers, sugar and vinegar and is strong enough to be diluted with the other unseasoned cans of rinsed beans. I use it on salads or in tortilla shell wraps.
    We have been daring to put out geraniums and some other flowers in the garden on our side of the pond in the Portland, OR area of the USA since we have been having an early Spring, but I am ready to dash out to protect the plants should we have a cold snap.
    I especially loved the first photo, CJ, and hope that you and yours have a happy weekend! xx

  2. we only started pocket money when they got to school... at first they just bought sweets... now they're better at saving for bigger things. (My nine year old is still on £1.00 a week!) And yes they do chores... beds and setting /clearing the table.

  3. Matt didn't get pocket money until he was about 14. We took the view that he didn't go without and a small amount of money would be spent on rubbish. He now gets enough each month to buy his clothes and make choices with it - he chooses to save nearly all of it! But gets immense pleasure from thinking about spending it! :) I have several friends who use Go Henry which seems to work very well for learning to manage money (and you retain some control limits too but not suitable for little ones I would think).
    Definitely need a new notebook! ;) The answer to all organisational issues - or does it just add another layer?!
    When you find how to create more time, I'd love the answer too!
    I bought a soup maker a while a go - one of the best purchases I've ever made - all veg added - what dad brings by from the allotment and some of those bits lurking in the bottom of the fridge. Never the same recipe twice - which is sometimes a shame! An interesting home made bread - and we have a good meal.
    I'm still scared to put non hardy plants out yet! x

  4. We have just finished watching season 1 of 24 and found it good. House of cards was good too.
    I wouldn't put courgettes or squash out until May.
    My Boys use to be on 2 euro a week and anything extra had to be earned by doing extra jobs. 20 years on and they still set the table every night.
    Have a good weekend.

  5. Not sure I have answers to all your questions but I did enjoy reading them. It is so long since my boys were little I can't even remember what we did about pocket money although did try to instil a sense of having to save up for things. More time? I wish I knew but when I have a lot of things to do I write daily lists and schedule things in my diary. I've got some tender plants outside but cover them at night but the ones on the window sill are driving me mad too! Can't say I've ever watched a box set so can't recommend anything there! And I love that first photograph... Priceless!

  6. Lovely photos. We do give our kids pocket money but in return they have tasks they need to complete, eg piano practice (hubby's in charge of it all). N (age 6) saw a huge lego kit he wanted in the Argos catalogue and has been surprisingly good at saving for it. They rarely go to "real" shops (a bit sad in its own way), apart from during holidays etc.

  7. Love the first photo especially. Didn't start pocket money till mine were 10. I also didn't make them do chores for it as I expected them to do that anyway. I told them the reason I gave them money was so they could buy the things that I wouldn't want to spend my money in and it was to let them know if they wanted something bigger they had to sVe the pocket money rather than spend it. Try 'Arrow' as a series think it might he good for both men and women. Wait to plant out till all chance of frost is finished, early May? Can't give you more hours in the day but when you find the secret please please share x

  8. Pocket money: L had half as cash and the other half we went to the bank with, opened a savings account and put it in. He has the saving habit big time now and all the pocket money goes in these days- he occasionally keeps a tenner back as cash for potential spending and is fully aware of his current account and his savings one, the difference in interest and how it all works.
    Box sets: the us version of house of cards, game of thrones, foyle (excellent), Lewis.

  9. Gosh, no idea about the pocket money, never had any as a child and as you know I don't have a child! More hours in the day, as you say, if only!!! Definitely planning and setting aside some time for things is a good way to go, if only I could follow my own advice on that one. Boxed sets, definitely watch The Good Wife, I don't know where you are up to, but we have watched it all the way from the start and even hubby watches it and he mostly ignores the tv, so keep going with it - or just watch it yourself. I also love Nashville and am waiting for that to return - that is a girl series though! Dinners - pasta veggie bake topped with cheese for the cheese eaters and a little bit kept separate for the non cheesers. I will put a link in my sidebar to my recipe. Courgette's - no idea I am afraid. I only grew them once and they were a total disaster. I didn't kill them, but they just didn't produce any fruit. Are they small enough to be covered by something like a little cloche made out of an empty milk carton? I hope that some of this is useful! Thank you so much as always for joining in. I hope that you have a good weekend! xx

  10. I use to do pocket money but there was conditions attached, they had to put 10% of there pocket money into a savings pot I really wanted to instill in them the habit of saving, this money could be used for an item they really wanted or put into there savings account, when they had pocket money I didn't buy them any sweets or toys except for birthday and Christmas the same went for comics these things they had to buy themselves. I really wanted them to learn the value of money, 3 out of my 4 have continued to save and still put away 10% of there earnings.
    Courgettes no don't put them out yet but you can start hardening off ready, pop them out during the day and bring them in at night then in a few weeks they will be ready for the big wide world :-)

  11. Just heard the weather forecast and the possibility of frost was mentioned! I don't have to worry as I was so disorganized getting my seeds sown that they are only just starting to germinate! I think I was quite lucky as far as pocket money goes as neither of my girls are great shoppers, so tended to save their money for on holiday or let it accumulate in their piggy banks and then deposit it. I did worry that maybe they wouldn't be prepared for managing their finances but L is at uni now and is really well organized. I think my favourite quick meal has to be roast veg and couscous - just throw in any veg lurking in the fridge at the end of the week with a little oil, seasoning and a few herby bits and serve with grated cheese for those who like it. Love the top photo! Have a great weekend. xx

  12. 1.pocket money - a long time ago since I had this issue but it was always half to spend as they like (no one pays you and then tells you what you can spend it on and I know my son thinks I waste money on stitching and papercrafting, so what is a waste of money and I think he wastes it on gadgets) and the other half is saved 2. Sell the computer (I have done nothing today but post my " Five" and read about everyone else's and that's almost half a day gone lol. 3. We like NCIS, I can follow it whilst I stitch and its mannish (if there is such a word) enough for sir. Sorry but 4 and 5 are sirs department I love eating and love my garden but I contribute nothing to the work involved apart from to comment on what might be nice.

  13. A few foodie ideas: salmon (I buy a pack of hot smoked salmon flakes from Waitrose for about £3) and leek (from the allotment) pasta, broad bean (when available from the allotment), puy lentil and roasted red pepper salad, served on a bed of brown rice; salmon (as above) and rocket and spinach tart; squash, sweet potato and chick pea curry (mild for children); asparagus (I've started picking already!) frittata, asparagus with pasta and beurre blanc; risotto with purple sprouting broccoli (we had this last night, add Parmesan at the table). Pocket money: I didn't start until they were 13/14 years as I too didn't want them wasting my money on plastic from China (actually my daughter was very influenced by a Newsround programme which showed the shockingly exploititive conditions in which toys were made) or sweets (too many of those via school I remember). When they reached 14 years or thereabouts they had a monthly allowance, paid into their bank account, for going out with friends and non-essential items. My children are now 21 and 19 and at university and seem to be managing their finances ok. Most importantly they both cook so don't waste money on takeaways or ready meals. Planting out: I'd risk it but I would also re-sow just in case. TV boxed sets: never experienced them, although I loved Wolf Hall and am enjoying Poldark. We listen to Radio 4 and Radio 4 extra on iplayer. There have been some great listens recently including Alan Ayckbourne's The Norman Conquests (Julian Rhind -Tutt as Norman), The Corrections by Jonathan Frantzen (that was the 7.45 radio 4 drama slot but they wrap them up in a weekly omnibus on radio 4 extra). The Great Gatsby is on radio 4 extra this week. Radio is great for those of us who knit, sew or crochet in the evening. More hours in the day: I wish! Have a great weekend with your wonderful boys CJ.

  14. Hi, pocket money - when my daughter was at secondary school I gave her monthly pocket money, so if she wanted she could buy something quite big with it, or save up for something bigger if she really wanted to. It stopped her frittering it away, but I must admit that we have always had a chocolate tin, so sweets weren't an issue... Box Sets, all my friends are raving on about a series called 'Outlander' on Netflix. It is about a woman who gets taken back in time, and is from a series of books by Diana Gabaldan.

  15. Great questions!

    Pocket money - yes if they did their chores. The eldest stopped wanting plastic rubbish when he had to pay for it himself.

    If you find the answer let me know!

    I am more likely to watch one episode of a box set a night than watch 'normal' television. I loved The West Wing! Loved the Wire, (had to stop myself using the slang) Loved True Detectives, looking forward to the next season. Got talked into Breaking Bad by my son, enjoyed it eventually. I'm looking for a new series to get into so if you find one let me know

    Anything with pasta goes down well in our house.

    I had guests coming to stay so put the tomato plants out in the greenhouse and they died! I have put the courgettes and squash in the veg patch, they have survived so far but I wouldn't take any notice of my advice, I have no idea when it comes to gardening!

  16. 1. I've always given my kids pocket money, I think it's quite important to do so as it teaches them about money. Daniel, as you know, is at uni now and is brilliant at managing his student loan, he's never come to the bank of Mum and Dad yet. Why not open them a little bank account especially for their pocket money? That's what we did. An old fashioned type with a book showing them how much they have in it is good so that they can see it. Let them choose how much they save and how much to keep out to spend, you can encourage them to save for something bigger and when they get the required amount in the bank they can draw out the money to buy it. It makes them feel grown up and encourages good saving habits.
    2. When you find more hours in the day please let me know. I think you need to approach your writing course as you would going to school, set some time aside during school hours when you won't be disturbed and get on with it then. Make sure this time is kept for the course and nothing else.
    3. No idea with this one, I haven't watched any of the box sets you mention in your post.
    4. Not a recipe but when I'm looking for something quick and easy I do jacket potatoes. We can all have different fillings if we want, cheese, tuna, etc.
    5. I err on the side of caution with squash and courgettes, mine won't be planted out for quite some time yet, though they're only tiddly little things still yet so I'm in no rush.

  17. An enjoyable post and lovely pictures. I'm going to leave it to others to answer your questions.
    Enjoy your weekend. Flighty xx

  18. When Stephen was little we did do allowance. It topped out at $5.00 a week, but he could earn extra by doing extra chores. They were ones over and above clean your room and bathroom, set the table and clear the dishes. Lawn mowing, car washing, etc... all earned a bit more.

    How he spent it was his choice, but when it was gone, it was gone.

  19. Do you eat fish? A quick recipe for any white fish: grease a gratin dish of sorts, place pieces of fish in, slap a table spoon of pesto on top, red or green. Sprinkle with some breadcrumbs and some parmesan. Not so good for the person who doesn't eat cheese but you could spread some leftover tomato sauce on this fish. Pocket money: my older ones have bank accounts with debit cards. There is a standing order for £5 and £2.50 weekly for the 14 year old and the 11 year old respectively. Having to use the card for stuff stops them from buying too much rubbish. Not so many plastic toys these days luckily. They both have chores (cooking a meal a week, deal with the recycling, walk the dog etc) that can earn them more if we feel they have been generally nice and helpful. Standing order gets cancelled for unacceptable behaviour. We work them hard but please don't tell :) The little ones get 50 pence here and there, at random and in exchange for nothing much. Finding more time in the day: Do less housework. I tend to do a manic hour of chores and then reward myself with an hour of fun. I find setting a time aside for particular task is useful. For example, I did work on my MEd dissertation between 10 and 12 every working day until it was done. Box sets: I haven't got any tips but at the moment Richard and I enjoy watching the reality TV show 'Island' by Bear Grylls. It is on Channel 4. Second week in but I think you can catch up online. It is interesting, funny and awful all at once, perfect for a bit a brain relaxation. Garden: I am no help here! Have a lovely weekend. Christina xx

  20. Well I need more hours in the day, probably getting away from the computer would help me with that. Pocket change, well that is another question I can't answer, my oldest loves to spend my teenager saves. I think they need to do chores that is for sure, but then you have to nag them to get them done which is no fun at all. As for boxed sets. I am finishing Parenthood, the series is fantastic, there is something in it for everyone, well adults that is. You will fall in love with this family. Scandal is also a great series. Have you tried House of Cards? I hear that is fantastic, it is next on my list.

    Hugs to you,

  21. 1. A good thing, how else will they learn to save for the things they really want. Here half of it they got anyway, half they earned doing a few simple chores. No chores done only half the money received. We made little concession to age, a Mars Bar or a set of stickers cost the same whether you are 5 or 15, but as they got older they could do a little more and earn a little more.

    2. As you know, I wish I knew.

    3. Hinterland/Y Gwyll (series 1) ... there are a few subtitles in Welsh, but mostly it's in English.

    4. I'm with Jo, jacket potatoes.

    5. No idea, but its a great time to plant out woad seedlings, should that help!

    Brilliant post! I'm quite sure you need a new notebook, who doesn't, but your writing is just dandy as it is :o)

  22. I don't know whether it qualifies as a "boxed set" or not, but I really enjoyed "Broadchurch" (8 episodes. I think there is also a Season 2)

  23. Beautiful shots CJ! I have been tempted by our garden centers and am amazed at all of the tender annuals they have out already...being from Chicago I have to use my will power as I know we will get another hard frost before May. And as far as the money bit....that is a hard one...mine earn quarters and usually they just plop them in their piggy banks or buy suckers which will rot their teeth! Ha! I am with you on all the plastic yuk from China. Wishing you all lovely things this so had me at that first shot up there!!! Adorable! Nicole xoxo

  24. Do you know, I think I could write a blog post with my answers to your questions. In fact, I might just do that. I'll get back to you on this! Hope you have a lovely weekend CJ xx

  25. I'm not much help with any of these, but I'd love to find out how you end up handling pocket money! You need to send me all your parenting tips:) Hope you have a great weekend, CJ!

  26. I love your photos.
    I'm with you about not wanting them to become shoppers. I do pocket money from 12, £10 a month but they have to do chores and buy friend's presents with it, not sure if it's right or not.
    I have some really easy peasy recipes on my blog under recipes, I write them for my daughter in uni, so keep things as simple as poss. We are veggies but himself isn't, so most are adaptable.
    Homeland. - I'm addicted!
    Good luck with it all lovely xx

  27. Spooks was one of our favourites and one of the few things hubby and i can enjoy equally! I know what u mean about pocket money - we have a collective pot in the lounge for family time. Then we can choose to put small amounts in to enjoy together like a coffee shop or day out which we agree on mutually when there is enough in there. We did this to avoid the plastic and to encourage the concept that experiences and time together are worth investing in yet also that these things cost. My little ones have bought into it and put a proportion of any money in without thinking now. Good luck! Great things to muse on though! Happy weekend, J9x

    1. Oh and mine are only 9&7 so no regular money. Just sporadically from visiting family, birthdays and sometimes from us if we've set a target or something xx

  28. fab questions and even more fab answers!

    pocket money: we don't do it as such -- the kids often get money for birthdays/holidays and so it all goes into an envelope which is used to buy anything above-and-beyond the Necessary things. when girl-child was younger she was a spender -- buying all the plastic tat that made my teeth curl. i always talked with her about her choices and, after spending a big chunk of her money on some truly awful mail-order/as-seen-on-tv set of juggling balls [it *killed* me to let her do that because i knew it was all fancy advertising that sucked her in], she got the point. now she's a very savvy consumer...and often has money left in her envelope by the time the next birthday/holiday comes around. which is a very long-winded way of saying i think children should have the opportunity to make mistakes with their money -- better that they learn them now, with small amounts and non-devastating effects, than when they're older and the mistakes get more costly. i was never *allowed* to spend my money as i wanted as a kid, and that led to some rather dubious spending benders when i left for university....ahem.

    i usually pilfer whatever boxed sets my various family members have....i just finished the second series of The Paradise, which i loved. Vera is great, too. girl-child and i are working our way through the X-Files. of course, none of those appeal to my other half, which probably defeats the point of suggesting them to you!

    a new notebook? no question -- there's *always* a need for a new notebook.


  29. Pocket money: I don't remember how much we gave our children, tho the elder went to uni in 2009 and the younger in 2012 and at that point we shifted to a living allowance per term which of course was a vast amount more! We never paid them for chores. My husband and I both work full time, we never had a cleaner, and we took the line that everyone in the family needed to do chores. I think that approach did work, because they have gone through university knowing how to keep their flats clean.

    More hours in the day? Wish I knew. I usually find them by sleeping less, which gets a bit wearing.

    I will have a think about recipes. I have a limited repertoire of things that can be prepared quickly on getting home at 6 and feeding everyone a healthy meal. I feel like a little hamster on a wheel with my repertoire!

    As a northern gardener I'm really wary about planting things out too early, so I'd be inclined to wait. They'll come on faster if you plant them out a bit later.

  30. Favorite photo: Running for the hills!

    Series Watching: Sherlock, Orphan Black, Luther,

    Pocket money: I give my boy pocket money at the end of the week, when he buys his lunch, he pockets the change. The money is not tied to chores, because chores are expected of him in our shared household (that doesn't mean he always delivers, ha!) I find that he squirrels money away for outings and to share candy and after school treats with this friends.I don't have any specific advice. You know your boys, you do what feels right for your family.

  31. I love the first photo!! I would resist the urge to plant out your seedlings - difficult I know but I have been caught out too many times by a sneaky frost!!

  32. i am pulling my zucchinis out down here, almost finished for the season...
    love that blossom pic; wind is blowing my autumn leaves off tonight, i can hear it howling out definitley no pretty blossoms.
    off to look at into the galdes vegie/ini student recipe selections. i need quick inspiration too!

  33. Well now let's start with box sets. I must admit I loved The Wire, Breaking Bad and True Detective - oh and The Killing but I understand when you say they're a bit dark. However one to watch purely for the delight of the background and costumes is Mad Man - we're currently on series seven and it's as good as ever. Also the American House of Cards - Kevin Spacey is incredible and you'll soon find yourself trying to mimic his Southern drawl (or is that just me?) Now to the garden! Our greenhouse is brimming with stuff at the moment and it's so tempting to get them out and make some more room. Mike has actually put out some lettuce, spinach and broad beans but we're keeping an eye on the weather to check for frost. I think as long as you start hardening them off a bit first - put them outside for a few hours each day - and keep an eye on the weather they should be fine. Hope you're enjoying the lovely weather today x Jane

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  35. I also have trouble finding time and motivation for studying. I think making an appointment makes a lot of sense but I would like to add that finding a place outside the home could also help. I happen to find it very easy to concentrate in various circumstances so I often go to the coffee shop to do urgent work! Keep at it, the rewards of studying are always worth the trouble! Best wishes!

  36. Hi I thought I would try and say something about the writing course. You are already writing a lot and regularly-- your blog is a lovely read, I love the humour and the descriptions of your life and especially the gardening. I've done bits of writing for a local paper, a few stories published etc. I find you have to just do it - sit down somewhere quiet - a chair at your allotment, read part of the course, mull it over - there are probably to do exercises. So think about what you are going to write while doing something else, like gardening, and put something down on paper/computer, anything however awful you think it reads, think about it some more, re-work, add, re-work it. I heard someone talk who has a regular radio spot, and he said his essays on life go through about 5 re-writes before he even shows it to his producer, and then a whole bunch more re-writes to get the focus, the tone right. Jean, Winnipeg

  37. I love Christina's advice to find more time by doing less housework, I really like the idea of getting the children to do chores for ppocket money and then there's even less housework to do! quick meals in my house are risotto, with various things stirrred in at the end, or curry - is it just cheese or all dairy that one child has to avoid, I have a very easy recipe that has a yoghurt base, and I put different things in each time, chicken, chickpeas, pumpkin, depending on who is eating it... As for box sets, we have been trying to find something we can all watch as a family, on the recommendation of the Coffee Lady we've been watching Once upon a time.

  38. That first picture gave me a chuckle! My kids don't get pocket money, but I've started letting them earn a little for pulling weeds in the garden. They love it!
    Courgettes/zucchinis and squashes tend to like hot weather, so I only plant them out when it's starting to warm up and there are no more frosts (frosts will kill them). I'm not sure how warm it is where you are, but if there are no frosts and you've got a warm sunny spot for them they might do ok :)

  39. Timetable your course and make it so.
    And we are watching Suits as a Netflix boxset. It's been fun so far, but we're only on the first series.

  40. We give ours an allowance, but it's tiny. He gets a dollar a week and she gets ten cents. I'm serious. To me, the whole point is that they watch the money grow and then they can use it for something, but only after letting it accumulate a long time. They have all their needs met by us, and some of their wishes too, so I don't think they need much spending money. And I say that as someone who did have to spend her own money, earned wherever she could find it, to buy basic necessities from a young age. They don't need to do that and I'd rather have them learn the value of saving money, no matter how small the amount. I wish I had recommendations for shows. I watched about three episodes of Breaking Bad when it first came on TV years ago and gave up. As you know, it takes place in my city and it just made me feel icky about my own community. I could go on and on because I think it reflects badly on us; literally everywhere I go, if I say where I live, people will ask me if it's really like that here. Sigh. The show I watched most recently on Netflix was the entire series of Friends, ten season's worth. I think it was 250 episodes or something. It was good but I was so glad when it was over!

  41. Allowances are earned as are wages for doing an adult job.
    Perhaps allowances with the stipulation that half is set aside in a savings bank (piggy bank or the like) and the other half to be used for items only made in the UK or USA.
    Just a suggestion.
    The first photo made me laugh out loud - too funny!

  42. Hey CJ,
    You've already had so much advice!!! Sam and Alf get pocket money put into their bank monthly. They have their own debit card. Sam is a saver. Alf is a spender. They do absolutely nothing to earn or deserve it, but it is a grandparents prerogative apparently. Once Sam is 18 (next month) his will stop. He will be expected fund himself with a holiday job/part time work as a uni student etc. We are footing the bill for his accommodation bill, textbooks and other sundries, so he'll probably be better off. Olly gets sweeties on a Friday. He calls it fabulous Friday!
    My plants are still in the greenhouse, but I am planting out beans etc at plot no 10 next weekend. Robert was doing it last week, and as you know I love a bandwagon. The American version of The Killing is rather good, and no subtitles so you can craft away without badgering the other half. More time.....there never is enough time. Quick food...chippy tea?
    Have a lovely week,
    Leanne xx

  43. Very interesting questions and answers!
    I'll dib in on the plant one - I think you're warmer down there but I'd probably wait a bit longer but start hardening off, which is usually advised for about 9days to 2 weeks and then plant out but some protection if there's still a chance of frost. My squashes are only just getting their first pair of trues leaves so it'll be a while for me anyway. I have some bits of rigid plastic that I might set up round them as some extra protection in case of cold and wind too.

  44. Ours had tiny amounts of pocket money (50p rings a bell but it was a while ago!) until they were twelve and from then on had quite a bit monthly allowance with which they were supposed to pay for everything that counted as discretionary - going out, clothes, music, games. I really only funded school stuff and boring clothes like waterproofs! It seemed to help them to learn how to cope with money and though the four of them are very different they all manage money ok, differently, but ok!
    Here in North Wales I would not put courgettes out til towards the end of May. You might be a couple of weeks earlier where you are?
    More time? Sadly binning the computer would do it for me but that is not going to happen now is it?

  45. 1) Ours earned their pocket money by doing chores, although we have expected help around the house anyway, but all three had their own jobs to do. Buying 'tat' seemed to be a stage that they needed to go through, but they seem to have stopped now.
    2) Still working on this one.
    3) We've never watched a boxed set - we seem to find things we like on Freeview. We did both love Wolf Hall.
    4) We're vegetarian and I often make pasta bake with vegetables and cooked pasta in either cheese sauce or tomato sauce (onions, tinned tomatoes, garlic and herbs). For the cheese-hater in my family i leave a corner free of grated cheese. My favourite version of this is cauliflower and broccoli cheese with walnuts.
    5) I don't grow vegetables, and still haven't got around to planting my flower seeds yet (oh dear - see item 2).

    Hope you had a good weekend!
    Cathy x

  46. 1) I give our school kids $2 for school banking each week (it's very minimal!) just so they understand they way it all works. They love watching it grow, and this encourages them to put any birthday or christmas money in the bank too. It is fairly independent of their chores, which they all do because I want them to just do the chores as something that we all do as part of being a big family regardless of whether they are being paid or not. We have had no problems with this strategy, they all just do their little jobs. With extra jobs, I'm quite happy to pay them a little bit of extra pocket money. Eleanor, for example, loves doing the market on Sundays so she earns a little bit extra for that.
    2) let me know when you find out. The only thing I can do is sleep less, which is not a good thing long term, but if I really want to spend more time reading/knitting/blogging, I have to sacrifice a few extra hours of sleep during the week. Life with young kids is so incredibly busy, there is never 'spare' time. Book your course in, and just maybe put up with a less than tidy house for a few weeks or so?
    3) If you enjoyed the West Wing, give House of Cards a go. It's a but dark but not as dark as Breaking Bad :-)
    4) Pasta with anything in it always goes down a treat here

    Great Post CJ! x

  47. I can't really help with pocket moneys as ours don't get any yet...well they get coins to go in their money house or money duck. Quick things we eat are creamy pasta with any leftover veg stirred in, jacket potatoes and pasta and pesto. Not that invigorating really! As for The took me 3-4 episodes (and you really had to concentrate!) but then I was hooked. And Idris Elba - brilliant...actually did you watch Luther? They're brilliant too! xx

  48. Quick recipes we like to eat are taco salad, quinoa pasta, quesadillas and vegetarian chili. I'm not sure about the pocket money question, but I think a little experience never hurts. I remember my parents giving us an allowance and I loved it. I loved to save my money to shop at home decor stores to decorate my room and the space I created for my dolls. ha! Not much has changed apparently! I wish I had some show recommendations for you, but sadly we don't have any we are really into at the moment either. My family really loves Justified and we have enjoyed Orange is the New Black... but be warned it's pretty graphic and sexual so be prepared to look away at times and make sure the kids are in bed!

  49. What a great post and so many great answers. Mine have had pocket money since starting school, at the moment Daniel the youngest at 13 gets £10 a month from me, he gets £2 a week from his Granny but gets it as 2 cheques a year which go into his savings account, he also gets money when ever he sees his other granny. The older 2 at 21 and 18 are now on student loans.

    2. No idea, I'm not working at the moment and still don't have enough time!

    3. We like historical box sets, like Rome, the Borgias, The Tudors, Game of Thrones, David loves West Wing and has watched it several times, I am now watching it for the first time.

    4. Any pasta dish is always good for altering to suit different tastes, we love spaghetti carbonara with some nice crusty bread.

    5. Although we are having exceptionally warm weather for Scotland in April, the temp is still dipping to 1 or 2 degrees are night, so all my seedlings have to stay tusked up in the greenhouse, for the foreseeable future.

  50. Try watching Fortitude. It's very good - both myself and hubby are engrossed. :)