Saturday, 1 November 2014

Saturday Morning

Sunrise over Bartlett Creek

Yesterday was one of relaxation I spent quite a while in bed just resting and recuperating and watching garbage TV.  I was surprised how completely shattered I was but then again it was one hell of a drive.  I kept nodding off and must have slept for many hours.  James took up the slack and did both lunch and supper.  Interestingly I woke this morning feeling fine for the first time in ages so perhaps all that sleep did me some good.

Now all I have to do is wait for 6 weeks before I can go and collect the puppy - I anticipate these being the longest 6 weeks ever.  I think I will be like a child waiting for Christmas.  Shiona has volunteered to do the pick up run with me as she is very accustomed to driving to Scotland so the long drive will not phase her.  This time we will do it in two bites drive down on the 15th stay in an hotel and then pick up the puppy on the 16th and drive like hell for Calais.

Today I need to get back in the traces and get on with some work around the house.  The laundry pile is huge so that is where I will start.  The weather today is meant to be sunny so hopefully I can get it all dry outside.  I have some mince in the freezer so I think meatballs and pasta would be a good lunch.  As it is the first of the month I also have a few monthly chores to do starting with the pond which has suffered from the wind which has blown lots of water out via the fountain so I think I will switch it off for the winter.  The green house also wants clearing out of the tomato plants which have done their thing.  Anyway plenty to keep me occupied - have a great day all.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Surprise Friday

Well we are back from France - what a hell of a drive 552 miles.  We left home at 4.15 am and got back home at 10pm.  We had intended to spend the night at an hotel but as we were making such good time on the return journey we decide to head for home.  Thank goodness there were two of us to share the driving.  I took some photos of the puppies but it was like trying to photograph a bath full of eels. Anyway the decision has been made and the pup I have chosen is this one:- Now it is just 6 weeks to wait before I pick him up.

The family have 4-5 adult Spinone and a Bracco so they really have their hands full with the litter of puppies as well.

Anyway I am completely poleaxed today and would be only too happy to spend the whole day in bed. I cannot bring my mind to bear on lunch and dinner.  So I think it could be beans on toast all round or a fried egg sandwich.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Wednesday Morning

By this time tomorrow I should be getting close to Folkestone and the tunnel a nice exciting thought. Yesterday mornings breakfast in Faversham went well Mike and Sandy had the platters with cheeses and cold meats. I on the other hand had serrano ham with scrambled eggs on brown toast with half a large tomato.  The slice of toast was huge and piled high with eggs.  If I had to guess it looked like a minimum of 6 egg more like 9.  Anyway I ate the lot which meant that come lunch time I was anything but hungry.  I had bought some nice nibbling bits and some scotch eggs so we has a sort of mezze supper.  I think Mike was pretty tired out after his excursion but at least I have managed to get him out of the front door. I also had a nice piece of luck in the £1 bag section I found one with three bunches of asparagus and two small lettuces.  I think today may be a good day for an asparagus risotto.  The venison pie should be defrosted by supper time so that will make a nice easy supper with some cavolo nero to accompany it.

Today I have a series of phone calls to make to the credit card provider just to let them know that we will be in France for a couple of days and that my card has not been stolen or cloned. I also need to print out a route map for our journey and ensure that I have the address and telephone numbers I might need if we get lost.  

Next it is time to get the bins out for the bin men and give the dogs their breakfast then make a start on the jobs I need to do.

Have a good day all....

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Tuesday Morning

Yesterday was a fine day weather wise and I finally decided to sort out the pumpkin which I first roasted then made into soup with the remainder of the jar of peppers and the stock from the chicken. I then made a big batch of garlic croutons and served the soup with a flourish of cream.  It was very delicious and we all enjoyed it.  However after such a light lunch we were all starving come supper time so we decided to indulge ourselves and had a very nice take away curry.  The gammon steaks will be on todays menu instead.  My veg box is due today so I will be restocked with
  • potatoes (Triplo) UK
  • carrots (Norwich) UK
  • onions UK
  • beetroot UK
  • black kale UK
  • courgettes ES/IT
  • chestnut mushrooms 200g UK
  • butternut squash FR
However my main trip today will be to have breakfast with Sandy and to restock my coffee supplies which means a trip to Faversham.  I have volunteered to take Mike with me for the outing which might brighten him up a bit.  Especially as we are abandoning him on Thursday and Friday while we are on our puppy mission in France.  We should be back Friday evening loaded down with photos of our chosen pup.  Well thats the theory anyway!!!  It will be the first time James has driven on the continent so it will be a new experience for him.  It will also be his first experience of the tunnel so he is quite excited by the prospect.  It will also serve as a dry run for the pick up in December.  If we are happy with the hotel we choose we will book ourselves in for the December run.  
Well that is the plan for the day the weather looks as if it will be fine and warm all day - nice for those on half term.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Monday morning

The clocks have changed and we are back to GMT which has not only confused the dogs but me too.
Lifted from google

I woke at 2am well there was no way I was getting up at that time so I went back to sleep and suddenly it was 6.30 a much more reasonable time to get up.  Yesterdays roast chicken fulfilled its promise and fed us for both lunch and supper.  All the bones and carcass are now waiting for me to convert them to stock.  I have two options I could use the pressure cooker and get it done fast or the slow cooker where it can take its time.  All the laundry got sorted out and the ironing done so I have a few days of peace from that.  

Now next on the agenda is the eternal problem of what to have for lunch.  I bought some gammon steaks which were on special offer so I think they will be my choice.  If I get them out of the freezer now they should defrost in time.  I still have some cold boiled potatoes which will fry up nicely to accompany them and perhaps a fried egg.  I am not fond of gammon and pineapple, so a fry up seems the best bet.  I also have a medium sized pumpkin which I think will end up as soup, perhaps utilising the chicken stock once it is made.  I must admit that I find pumpkin a difficult vegetable to deal with as it largely flavourless.  

Anyway with this late start it is time I got going I can hear James alarm clock but he is out cold having had a really bad night.  He was still awake at 2am so he has only had a couple of hours sleep and has to get up now as he has an appointment this morning.  I really hate waking people who are asleep it is such a precious thing but needs must so I will make him a coffee and get him up.  

Thats about it for this morning I need to get going quickly so I will bid you all a good day 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Sunday Morning

Good morning all it is still pitch dark outside but dry at the moment though we are forecast rain later. I woke this morning with backache but I am hoping I have just slept awkwardly and it will pass as I start to move about a bit.  Yesterday was a good day I got loads of shopping done and all the laundry then I got stuck into making the venison casserole.  Once I had fried off all the meat and vegetables I put them into the slow cooker with half a litre of the stock made from the bones and the juice from the pan deglazed with marsala.  The addition of a jar of ready prepared chestnuts made all the difference.  We ate half for lunch and the remainder is now back in the freezer in the form of a pie with a puff pastry lid.  The other half of the puff pastry which was leftover I cut to form a square tart which I filled with a jar of pre-prepared grilled peppers and some leftover cheddar cheese which made a very acceptable supper.

For lunch today I have a chicken which I am going to simply roast in the halogen oven and serve with creamed leeks and potatoes.  Hopefully there will be enough left over for some cold chicken sandwiches for supper.  In the mean time the dining room looks like a chinese laundry with washing draped everywhere.  However it is all dry now so I can clear it up and get the ironing done and out of the way.  

Now I said I would keep you abreast of the medication I have been given but frankly I am losing hope that it will ever work.  I came to at 1.30am in flat spin and decided the only option was to take my sleeping tablet at that point.  I don't take them regularly as most nights I sleep well without any help and they do leave me a bit flat in the morning.  I use them as an emergency backup.  The anti anxiety medication seems to be doing nothing except rob me of my motivation.  I shall wait until the 8 weeks is up and if I am still no better I will return to the doctor and see if he can suggest something different.  Not all medication suits everyone and some have a paradoxical effect.  However you are never sure how bad you would be without them so it is a bit of dilemma.  All I am sure of is they are not doing what I want them to do.  In the mean time I will struggle on and hope things eventually come right.  

Sandy rang me first thing yesterday to say that her brother in law had died at 4am and though it was expected it is none the less painful.  There are no words that offer comfort you just have to live through the grieving process.  Losing someone you love is always difficult, but time does heal most wounds. Though at the time you don't believe it.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Saturday morning

Good morning all it is another early start for me but I did sleep a lot yesterday.  I woke with the almighty flutters which refused to dissipate despite my attempts to distract myself.  I was in Tesco by 6am and ran round getting a few bits then back home and out to the paper shop with Tubby while Mike got dressed and ready then it was off to the hairdresser dropped Mike off.  While he was having his hair cut James and took the dogs for a walk near the Naval Memorial on the top of the Great Lines which over look Chatham. Then back to collect Mike after an hour and home in time for me to cook lunch.  We had some lovely tempura battered fish fillet which we had with buttered peas and carrots. I was still all of a flutter and feeling exhausted so I took to my bed and slept solidly for 3 hours waking at last flutter free.  Neither James nor I felt like supper so Mike had a couple of individual pizzas.  I was back in bed asleep by 10pm so lack of sleep is not the problem.

Terry came to visit Mike at 2pm and they had the hour long chat which Mike finds helpful.  I think it makes a difference that Terry is male because Mike listens to him and though he says nothing that I have not been saying for months.  An occupational therapist is going to come and see Mike early next month and try to find out how to motivate him.  With this I wish her the best of luck!!!!  I have tried both carrot and stick to no avail.

Today I have a pile of laundry to get done and I took out some venison yesterday and this morning it will be made into a venison and chestnut casserole for lunch.  Together with some savoy cabbage and some spuds it should make enough for two meals one of which can go in the freezer for a later date. According to the weather forecast we should have a dry day today so a good one for laundry. 

Well that is the plan for the day, the coffee machine is screaming for a descale so I will make a start on that before the others are up and looking for coffee. Have a good one all.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Friday morning

One Staffy demonstrating his retrieving skills with a very frozen partridge

Not the best photo in the world but you get the general idea.  It is quite hard to get a good picture with such a fast moving target.  It took several goes before we managed to get this one.  

Yesterday was a bit of a nothing day. I did us the trout fillets for lunch with potatoes lyonnaise and a green salad.  Supper on the other hand was a more substantial meal basically an English breakfast.  I felt very lethargic all day not really sure what I wanted to do so I ended up doing very little.  Today I am taking Mike to get his hair cut at 8.30am and I will need to do some shopping.  Milk and bread don't last 5 minutes in this house.   I seem to be forever buying staples that are running low still at least things are being eaten and I am not finding myself with stale bread to deal with.   Mike had got his appetite back with a vengeance which is no bad thing but I find it difficult to keep up with the changes and fluctuations.  One minute he is on child size portions next he is eating like a horse.  I have been buying him an assortment of biscuits with which he supplements his food.  I think he is largely eating out of boredom but he is still unwilling to really do anything to occupy his mind.  Terry is coming to see him this afternoon and I am sure he will see some improvement in his mood.  The new medication seems to be suiting him much better and he is much less belligerent which is better for all of us.  Now if only I can get my head straight things would be tolerable.  

Well that about it for this morning not much to report except that it is raining and I need to get showered and to an ATM to replenish my wallet.  Tesco is probably the closest so I can get both bread and milk while I am at it and be back in time to take Mike to have his hair cut.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Thursday morning

After the decision was made not to go to the British Larder Sandy came to visit instead.  She brought me some lovely partridges which were frozen in all their clothes.  Well of course we couldn't resist trying Tubby on cold game so we had a couple of blind retrieves in the garden.  A blind retrieve is where the dog doesn't see the bird fall and has no idea where it is.  He takes direction from the handler until his nose gives him a clue where the bird is.  This is particularly difficult with a frozen bird as it gives off very little scent.  Well to everyone's surprise he acquitted himself beautifully.  He picked the bird up gently and didn't shake it which is normal behavior for a terrier.  I only wish we had had the camera at the ready and taken a couple of photos.  I think this would have the shooting fraternity in stitches.

For lunch I did a deconstructed toad in the hole - that is sausages with yorkshire puddings and some cauliflower cheese.  Both Sandy and I were very tired as we had both been up since the wee small hours so soon after lunch Sandy made her way home and I crashed out in bed.  Sadly I didn't sleep so by the evening I was like a wet dish cloth.  We had done loads of sausages as cold sausages never go to waste they seem to evaporate!!!! and guess what not one left this morning.

Today is a real nothing day it is pretty chilly and the sky is very overcast and looks like rain so James has taken the dogs out before it does.  I will have to put my thinking cap on and try to decide what to have for lunch.  I have some nice trout fillets in the freezer so I think they will be on the menu as I can cook them direct from frozen.  The remaining cold potatoes will fry up nicely and a green salad should complete the menu.  I do have a pile of ironing to keep me out of mischief so I had better get on with that before the pile becomes unmanageable.  I solved the problem of the garlic I was supposed to plant by giving it to Sandy to put in her allotment.  She wanted to pay me for them but I will be happy with a couple of head once they have grown.

Well that about it for this morning I am very late up again as I took my sleeping tablet at 3am and then slept on till 8.30 so I feel a little less tired today.  I think the medication is sapping my energy with little beneficial effect.  Anyway have a good day all whatever your plans.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Wednesday morning

Good morning all as you can see I am up at stupid o'clock again but at least I don't feel too wobbly which is a bonus. Yesterday's weather was a bit wild but nothing more than the ordinary autumn storms though it did pick up a bit more in the evening.  

Denny came and did her stuff so the house is nice and clean and I managed to get out and do a few errands in the morning including a trip to the butcher.  He had just boned out a stag so I got a couple of pounds of shoulder meat and pile of bones.  The bones went into the stock pot after first getting a good roasting.  I syphoned out a couple of bones which were dog sized and Tubby spent most of the day stripping them.  I hasten to add these bones were in the raw state so they would not splinter.  I now have 2 liters of concentrated jellied stock which will go into the freezer until needed.  Lunch was nice and easy as I had some chicken thighs which I fried off then added a pack of the curry sauce I have in the freezer.  As usual I did rather a lot of rice so James and I ate only half our lunch and saved the rest for supper.  Mike on the other hand demolished his portion so I had to look out a portion of lasagne for him for supper.  Fortunately I have some single portions which I had saved for when we went on holiday.  

I am still in the dark about whether we are going to the British Larder today as I haven't heard from Sandy I am assuming it is off which is not a problem as I have plenty to do today to keep me occupied.  With the situation with her brother in law it would seem sensible to be around to support her sister.  She did say she might pop down to visit me just for a break which is fine and at least she would only be three quarters of an hour from home instead of 3 hours away.  Anyway I hope she gives me a ring when she gets up and lets me know.  In the mean time I will get on with some of the chores of the day.  Being Wednesday all the bins want emptying and putting out for the bin men and I have a pan full of bones and vegetables which need dealing with.  There is at least one meal for the dogs on the bones but I will have to pick them over first.  The stock also needs degreasing and boxing up for the freezer so I had better get on with these jobs just in case.  

Have a good day whatever your plans are and lets hope the wind has finally died down.

P.S. Decision made we are staying at home which is fine by me.