The day is done and what a day it was. After three years of study and a summer of uncertainty, I finally graduated yesterday.

The chap and I arrived at the Guildhall in Winchester in good time to collect my rental gown. My parents arrived just before, having driven all the way from Glastonbury for the occasion. A flurry of forms and photographs ensued so that I could have the immortal picture of me and the scroll.

We swept along in procession to the Cathedral, a magnificent venue. As my friend sidestepped puddles and slippery paving stones, I secretly felt relieved at my choice of flat shows. Less glamour, more security, especially when I knew there would be steps to climb later. We took our seats; my parents and the chap had a splendid view of the proceedings, thanks to the chap venturing into a different seating area. They could have been stuck at the back, and as you can imagine in a cathedral, that would have been a very different experience.

The excitement and anticipation bubbled through me as my row of seats awaited our turn. It was nothing more than a couple of handshakes and a posh certificate. But no, it wasn’t just that really. It was the hours of effort poured into a single dream. It was a culmination of hard work during my school years that led me to attending University in the first place. It was recognition of every story I struggled over, every word I wrote. I took a deep breath before stepping on to the stage. As I left, I let out a sigh of satisfaction and pride.

We left via the main doors of the cathedral, a true honour. More photographs – every parent in the land was trying to capture the essence of the day. Soon it was time to hang up the infamous hat and return home. We dined on a feast of smoked salmon, carvery ham, steamed potatoes, salad, crudités, dips, hummus, savoury rice, coleslaw, crackers, cheese and Prosecco. The celebratory meal was paid for by my parents, who also gifted me with a delightful bunch of roses. It was my supper of choice, much more personal than a hurried meal in an overcrowded restaurant.

The day ran so smoothly, I couldn’t have wished for it to be any better. I’m pleased to close the chapter on full-time education now. Who knows if I will return to University in the future, but for now, I’m a graduate with big dreams and big ideas. Thank you Winchester, for lighting the fire.


Food parcel

It’s easy to see where I get my thrifty habits from. My mum is an artist when it comes to budgets, coupons, saving for special occasions and the like. She passed on the baton of bargain hunting on to me and my sister and we have both benefited from this knowledge through the years. She was a wealth of advice when I first went to University and was in control of my own expenditure for the first time. We shared a lovely day together yesterday, and she brought supplies.


Gluten free products are expensive, so when Mum spotted this little lot reduced at her local Waitrose in Wells, she snapped it up! Many of the boxes of biscuits cost five times the price of what she paid. Best of all, they’re all still in date, with most of the products having a “best before” (whatever that means) of 2015. Whilst in Southampton, we bought things for lunch and she left a bag of salad and a few slices of good deli ham for me to enjoy at a later date.


It just shows that you don’t have to spend a fortune to show your children you care. I truly appreciate the thoughtfulness that connected the gluten free gifts to me. Thank you Mum!


In other news, a new rationing period begins on Monday. Through my calculations on my spreadsheet, I managed an average weekly spend of £19.54 for the five weeks in August. That is bang on for my target of £20 a week, although I did start to slip nearer the end when contraband foodstuffs were providing me with quick, cheap energy. But now the cupboards are well stocked, I should be able to keep this month’s grocery bill to a minimum. I’m sure there will be a post in the near future about the details of the rationing plan that I personally follow, just in case anyone was interested.

I hope you all have a joyous weekend.

Home for the holidays

After seeing the news this morning, I am feeling terribly grateful that I travelled to Glastonbury on Sunday. I missed all of the horrid weather. Having booked my tickets months ago, I had seats on both trains ready and waiting. And the train itself wasn’t too jam packed, which is always a bonus. I am settled in Glasto with my parents for the whole week. I’m being spoilt rotten, and I know how truly lucky I am to be spending the festive season with my family. I try to be mindful of how many blessings I have, it makes me enjoy them even more!



I would just like to take the time to thank everyone for their comments and likes throughout this year. This has been the first year of The Domestic Storyteller and succeeded my expectations of my little blog! Thank you so much for proving thought-provoking comments and supporting me. I hope you all have a marvellous merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!

Rebecca xx

Perfectly pracitical in every way

I’m sure I have mentioned practical presents before. It makes so much sense to me for gifts to fulfil your needs, as well as your wants. My sister responded to my brief of “practicality” with gusto.

            We exchanged presents early as we will be spending another Christmas apart. Not ideal, but that is just the nature of the circumstances. My sister is a fan of sensible presents too, so she was pleased with her Amazon voucher. She can use it for her Kindle, items for her home or anything else she desires. I also bought her the largest Cadbury selection box you can get. It’s a tradition.

            In return, I received some truly lovely gifts.


A large bottle of Herbal Essences shampoo and its matching conditioner. Two pairs of very fluffy socks. A vanilla scented candle hidden within an owl. A packet of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. Simple face wash. Simple eye make-up remover. Simple deep cleansing mask.


            Thanks to my sister, I don’t think I’ll need to buy toiletries for the foreseeable future. This will certainly aid my next challenge. It’s going to be a lean time for me next year, but I’m determined to make the most of it with an uplifting challenge. I shall reveal all at a later date.

            I hope everyone is having a marvellous time preparing for Christmas. I love this time of year. I will be travelling to Glastonbury to spend the festive season with my parents and I can’t wait! I hope your Christmas plans are equally as jolly.

PS I’ve donated a jar of mincemeat, a packet of stuffing and a box of stock cubes to my local food bank, in the hope that it will make someone’s Christmas just that little bit easier. It would be wonderful if everyone could do the same and spread the Christmas cheer J