Monday, 10 February 2014

Day 10 of Extremely Frugal February - Gargoyles and Dragons

Day 10 of 28 - Green Men or Gargoyles?

Corner of our old chess board
Normal start to the day with porridge for breakfast. The sun was shining for a bit this morning so another washing went out on the line and partially dried before the rain returned. Fresh loaf baked in time for soup lunch, except H heated the rest of the roast pepper and onion pasta, so we were left to have soup and pudding for dinner! Not much more to report from the food department today. Pudding was tinned mandarins with custard.
I've taken a piece of beef out the freezer to defrost, so I'll attempt a marathon challenge to stretch it as far as possible this week. I bought it as part of a bulk discounted freezer pack so I'll call it £6 for a 600g piece of lean beef. According to recommended portion sizes, this little 'chunk' is supposed to provide us with 6 to 8 portions, depending on where you read the information, so keeping this within the realms of £1 per person per day for ALL meals is going to prove a major challenge!
This afternoon I prepared the last of a white cabbage, some sprouts that were handed in by a neighbour and a turnip, all for steaming. I'd just finished prepping everything when a friend arrived to borrow something, so I gave them all the vegetable scraps to take home for their pigs when they were leaving. Zero food waste! (Just remembered I also have 4 peppers in the fridge that need slicing and freezing;  must do that tomorrow!)
Having transferred my Nectar points into PayPal vouchers for eBay, I ended up spending an entire £3.84 from my household budget today when ordering 100 paper filters for the coffee machine and a set of three thermal travel mugs. Gardening time is fast approaching so the thermal mugs will come in really handy for a cuppa on the patio without fear of hot drinks going cold too quickly during winter months or cold drinks getting a fly in them during summer months!
The first of my seed potatoes arrived by courier tonight - a real treat this year, as I decided to invest in some 'pure breeds' rather than just planting whatever was left over from the kitchen. Shetland Blacks are here but no signs of my Salad Blues, so I hope they haven't gone astray; they were the main reason I ordered!
Now for my gargoyles or green men conundrum.
I think I already mentioned finding my chess set and that I was hoping H would drag out a table for the 'new' living room. Today, he retrieved the small table from the shed and did a quick fix to reattach it to its base. Since 2003, this little table has only ever been used with a cover over it for either the TV or the Christmas tree. Since moving here in 2011 it has been in the shed. I love the table and was adamant that I would clean it up and make the most of it. (As you may have guessed, it was a freebie that came our way rather than going to landfill.)
Gargoyle or green man?
A little vinegar and oil got mixed together with a splash of lemon juice and then I set about deep cleaning the table. To be honest, it's the first time I have really paid close attention to the finer details in what looks like a Chinese design. Up until now, I had seen birds, flowers, berries, dragons and four 'green man' type faces, one in each corner of the table. Since cleaning and polishing the table, I have now spotted what looks like butterflies among the foliage and, on a spookier note, the 'funny faces' aren't grinning at me - they look more like gargoyles or demons, each displaying a fearful set of fangs!
Having done some preliminary searches online to try and determine the origins of the pattern, I am almost certain these little faces could be Chinese demons, so I am now wondering if there is symbolic significance in the overall design of this checker board table with its entwined dragons, gargoyle-like corner features and the intricate network of flowers, foliage, birds, berries and flying insects all around the edges.
Any ideas or suggestions as to the meanings, or if this is, indeed, just an ornate little games table would be greatly appreciated.
NYK, Frugaldom
PS: Found my £1 bargain drip tray that I bought in 2001! I just need to find the ice bucket or mini-fridge, wine bottle tops and cocktail stirrers then the frugal bar is ready for fully stocking. Needless to say, no free spirits are heading my way!


  1. No idea about the meaning of any of the symbols, but it is certainly very interesting to look at,

    1. You'll see it on your next visit, Kim, its an interesting table and it came up lovely using the oil and vinegar/lemon juice mix, as did the fireside box and wooden frame of the sofa. :)

  2. Can't wait, So much will have changed since last year, we won't recognise the place

    1. Honestly, at the snail's pace this place is being done, you won't notice much change. LOL


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