March gets off to a good start

March.  March! It's already March!  I know I'm not the only person saying this, but how is it March already?!

March has got off to a lovely start.  It was my mum's birthday last week so as a surprise my stepdad arranged to bring her down to visit us as a surprise, she only found out about it the night before!  For lunch, I booked a table at The Red Lion in Chalton, Hampshire.  Ben recommended it, apparently it's 'the place' to go when you have guests visiting and you want a good meal.

Chalton is a small village, about a 20 minute drive if you were coming from Portsmouth.  It's just inside the South Downs, and is utterly gorgeous.  Saturday was lovely and sunny, and the views from the back of the pub were just stunning.  (Excuse the pylon in the foreground!)  The pub dates back to the 12th century (apparently it dates back to when the church opposite was being built and the builders needed accommodation).  As it is still quite cold, we sat in the restaurant (although there were a few people wrapped up warm sitting on the picnic benches outside!).  I was very glad I'd booked a table as the place is clearly very popular!  Mum and I shared a baked camembert with a red onion chutney and bread which was delicious (although it did smell!).  My main was roasted pork belly with noodles and soy sauce which was just delicious.  All of us thoroughly enjoyed our food, the forkful of battered fish I stole from Ben's plate was very good.  I would have loved to have had dessert, as they looked lovely, but none of us had any room whatsoever.  I definitely want to come back here on a hot summer's day: sitting on a picnic bench, drinking some Pimm's, looking at that view, will be great.  It's a tad pricey (mains around £12) but worth every penny.

We then drove the scenic route home (such a lovely day) and had a cup of tea before our visitors returned home.  To go on her birthday cake, Ben had made Treacle and Sponge, Mum's giant kittens, out of icing.  Sponge is on the left (he really is that white, he was quite easy to do in icing, apparently) and Treacle on the right (tabby is much harder to do with icing!).  Mum absolutely loved them.

Project Less 365 continues, although I'm probably not getting rid of an item a day, it seems to be a few a week: I think it will average out!

In February I got rid of (either put on ebay, donated to charity, or recycled/threw away/shredded, as appropriate):

several books Ben is never going to read (I did ask him first!), a pile of paperwork (shopping lists/receipts/out of date coupons) from my desk, a dress I wore to a couple of weddings but won't wear again, a lovely cardigan which I never wear because it makes me itch, some oddments of yarn which are really too small to do anything with, an earring (no idea where its partner has gone), several dried-up pens and a stack of magazines I'd finally worked my way through.

On Monday I gave my 16th blood donation.  Blood donation is something I'm passionate about, and I always give blood when I can.  Each blood donation taken is separated into its component parts, so my single donation will help up to three people.  Being a student for so many years, and now job hunting, I have had the flexibility to attend blood donation sessions at any time during the day, but I know from talking to friends how hard it is to attend sessions when you work a 9-5 job.  However, I still believe it is important for everyone to try and give blood, if they are able to do so.  It's not that painful, it's relatively quick (if the session is running on time!) and you get tea and a biscuit or three afterwards.  Plus the warm feeling of knowing just how precious your gift is.

I went to Brownies afterwards, and I was wearing a sticker saying 'Be nice to me, I gave blood today' and had a dressing on my inner elbow.  Several girls asked me what was wrong with me, and I explained that I'd given blood.  A few went 'ewwwwwwwww' like I thought they would, but one was quite interested, and asked me lots of sensible questions.  She then explained that her nan 'gets blood' every week and she thought that it was 'fake' blood and she didn't realise that it came from people who had donated it.  She said I was very brave, and she's looking forward to turning 17 so she can donate blood too.

I do love my Brownies sometimes.


  1. hello, is the idea behind Project 365 to get rid of something you don't need every day? Great idea - it sounds like something I should do in my life! We have so much clutter!

    1. Yes, I came across Less 365 on the blog Bugs and Fishes, I thought it was a very simple idea. It's definitely getting harder as time goes on, but doing it has shown just how much stuff is in the flat which we never use. I found a bunch of coupons for items which I never buy, as I don't like them. Why was I keeping them?!

  2. When I worked for a big company (1000) people in London in the 80's, the Blood Transfusion Service used to set up in the conference room twice a year. Made it very easy. Now I live in France and my blood is refused because I lived in the UK in the 80's and my blood might be contaminated!

    1. I remember at my sixth form college (which was close to a permanent donation centre) the blood people would come and set up in one of the halls, a great way of getting lots of 17 year olds donating!


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