Well, here we are just a few weeks after the Christmas celebrations and already they seem in the distant past and all we are left with are happy memories (I hope), a few pounds heavier and lots and lots of sterling pounds lighter. But, never mind, this is the time of year when we forget the grey skies outside, turn to the tantalising holiday brochures and picture ourselves lying on that sun drenched beach in the Bahamas . . . Well, we can all dream can't we? Personally, I need a goal ahead as I always think that February is the dullest month of the year when nothing is actually happening (apart from developing what I call the 'February face'), so I delegate this month as the opportune time to complete all the jobs I have been putting off during the past year and getting the house and finances in some sort of order, which will hopefully shift a few of those extra Christmas pounds . . . and, to shift that 'February face' how about mixing a few blobs of self-tanning lotion/cream into your usual face cream and in a few hours you will have a healthy glow. Your friends will say (just like the song) "My, you do look well", and if you hear the phrase often enough you will begin to feel well. You don't believe me? Try it!
Now, as we get older the two things paramount in our minds are health and money. Health, we will deal with at a later date, but, meanwhile, as they say 'keep taking the tablets' and by that I mean eg. a good multi-vitamin and mineral, extra Vitamin C during these winter months, Omega 3 (pure fish oils), perhaps Echinacea to boost the immune system, Glucosamine & Chondroitin to help the joints, and Ginkgo Biloba to help the circulation, and
Money, well it's time to remind you that if you have any savings and the tax man is siphoning off 10% or 20% of your interest, then don't forget (if you haven't already used up this year's ISA allowance) that you can put £3,000 out of the tax man's reach by investing in a mini-cash ISA. It is important to remember that this year's tax-free ISA allowance must be used before the end of this tax year which is the 5 APRIL 2005. So there are only a few weeks left ... and as the saying goes 'If you don't use it, YOU WILL LOSE IT!
So, still thinking of money (or the lack of it) why don't we get together and pool our ideas? Let us come up with great ideas that won't cost us a penny.
Now, I'm going to start off with something that all we ladies have plenty of 'Old Tights'. . . And, why do we end up with a load of them instead of throwing them away?. . . Because when we hitch them we put in the drawer and think that they will do to wear under trousers or around the house. Or, when we buy the same shade (as the thrifty ones among us invariably do), we just cut off the damaged leg and so acquire a new pair with the added advantage of a double thickness around the 'botty' for the winter. However, there comes a time when even the single leg tights die a death, so suggestions please on what we do with them? ? Now, before you say "put them over the head and rob a bank in order to pay the Council tax" (although we all understand the feeling), this is not exactly what we had in mind, and to start you off, I will throw a few ideas 'into the pot', under a couple of suggested headings to get the brains working. We'll add more headings as your ideas come rolling in!
Garden: Don't bother to buy gardening twine, plastic ties, etc. for tying back your plants, just use old tights/stockings and I promise you will never revert back. You can cut the tights into strips for delicate plants/branches or make use of the whole stocking or tight leg for tying back shrubs. |You cannot beat them for strength and also they do not rot like garden string, but, more importantly, although the material acts as a firm support, it 'g-i-v-e-s' so that it does not cut into the plant, and is almost invisible among the branches and flowers. We even have a use for the foot (nothing is wasted) as tied onto the end of the downpipe as it goes into the rainwater butt, it collects all the leaves and debris before they have a chance to foul the water, and when the foot is full you can just slip it off the pipe and deposit the contents onto the compost heap or put the whole thing into the refuse bin. The thick part of the tight can also be used as padding to stop branches rubbing and becoming diseased. I also find tights very good for wrapping large cordylines into an umbrella shape before covering with winter protection, as they hold the long pointed leaves gently but firmly. (As you are probably aware, if the winter rain accumulates in the inside of the cordyline and freezes, then unfortunately it is goodbye cordyline, which is a shame as it is such a beautiful architectural plant).
Garage/Shed: Tights are also very useful for storing garden bulbs, onions, apples, old carrier bags, etc. Hang up in garage or shed and just take from the bottom and reseal with peg. Also, good for straining lumps/skin from old paint, or placing over the tin before replacing lid - it makes a good seal and you can remove the lid with ease. Useful when painting - cover half of the open top with a tight in order to make a temporary rest for your brush and any excess paint drips back into the tin
. . . . . and so on . . . . .
I know that our brains feel as though they are hibernating this cold weather, but I hope the above has started them ticking over and we really look forward to hearing your bright ideas. So, don't throw away all those old tights when you are doing your spring clear-out - WAIT FOR ALL THE FORTHCOMING GOOD IDEAS . . .
Talking of spring cleaning, I've just remembered another tip; avoid the messy job of extracting cobwebs etc from your fluffy duster after dusting ceilings, lamp shades, etc., just put the stick duster inside an old tight and then peel off the tight (the cobwebs are then inside the tight) and deposit into bin.
I'll leave you on this happy note - the next time you ladder your tights, you won't feel quite so annoyed - you've not lost a tight, you've gained a useful friend!
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Visit Mabels...Maintaining Bygone Times (HTTP://WWW.MABELS.ORG.UK), containing numerous articles thoughtfully researched mainly for the older person. You may access these articles by visiting http://www.mabels.org.uk/ - You will learn about the best tips to improve your health, fitness, finances, safety as well as information on nostalgic topics, places to visit, leisure & lifestyle, mobility & helpful organisations to make the most out of life.