Just back from a week in Ireland where I lurched from one disaster to the next. Hired a car and it turned out my super duper rate really was too good to be true as it didn't include insurance (I had booked on the international rather than the Irish website and it isn't automatically included then) so I ended up having to pay for that as well. Then I bashed the car off a wall in the underground car park (honestly didn't see the corner of wall which extended about two inches into the space I was reversing into but my goodness what a horrible sound it makes in the car when you do that - I had no idea). So had to pay the 800 euro excess as the scratch went through the paintwork - should find out tomorrow if I'll get any refunded of that. If they just fix it I should, if they decide they want to go ahead and replace the entire bumper I won't see much of a refund. C'est la vie but of all the ways I might have found to focus my mind back onto budgeting this wasn't really near the top of my list!
However, I did get to spend time with lots of people. Was on the go or staying with someone the whole time and generally had a lovely time despite the worrying about paying for the car, fighting off a cold and the fact that many of the people I was catching up with are going to be made redundant in a week or two (and a friend of mine whose husband works in a recruitment agency told me that he is getting at least 400 CVs for every position they have so the chances of most of those people getting new jobs quickly don't seem too high). I'm not sure what I was expecting but I think I thought I'd have very strong feelings going back and wasn't sure if they'd be positive or negative. But really I was kind of indifferent to it all and the feeling remains that I was right to leave Ireland but wish that I was still working there instead of here. Still, I am seven months into things here and can hold out for another four and then it's nearly a year and once the year is up maybe I'll start looking for something else and to hell with thinking it's a bad idea to do that when the economy is the way it is.
It was exciting to come home to some parcels though and I picked a few more up from the post office this evening. Cue photos of my new water bath canners:
Only the shorter one has the inset part i.e. the bit you put the jars on to make sure they're not touching the direct heat source like so:
But I know a folded up teatowel can also be used and I'm sure you can buy replacements if you really want to. I am surprised at how huge these things are though. I put a corkscrew into the photo for comparison - I thought they wouldn't be that much bigger than my stockpot but they really are. So I think two is definitely more than enough. Not bad going for 5.30 plus shipping really. Roll on the summer!