Sunday, 29 May 2016

Sunday morning

Sorry to be late this morning but I have a wonderful excuse I have just seen Mike off in an ambulance on his way to the Medway hospital with a suspected fractured femur [my diagnosis] we will have to wait for x rays to confirm.  He is full of morphine so I will give it an hour or so before I go and join him at the hospital so they have time to work out what is going on.

Isn't it wonderful no sooner do you think it is safe to breathe than another thing hits you in face I guess my wardrobe will have to wait.

Sorry to be short and sweet but as you can imagine I now have to get things organised and sort out what needs doing first.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Saturday morning

Well I think I may have found a way to kill two birds with one stone as you know I get loads of silent and unwanted phone calls I had 7 one day and 5 the next this getting too much so I have now resorted to a swift blast on my whistle as a reply and with it comes a bit of dog training as both dogs appear instantly to the summons.  I don't think I would like to be on the receiving end of the whistle but perhaps it will dissuade them from calling my number eventually and the dogs recall is doing well.  It is very frustrating when you are waiting for a call.
The gardening people asked for photos of the garden so they could better judge the extent of the work require.  As I went round taking snaps I felt as if I were photographing my dirty laundry to send to a stranger.  Dan soon put pay to that when he insisted I take a shot of him so here it is:-

The pose was his choice and one of the bits of the garden that doesn't look too bad.  

Lunch yesterday was a bit of a mishmash of odds and ends we had the remains of some roast potatoes with some bassa fillets and steamed pac choi with toasted sesame oil - supper was altogether easier as the boys decided they fancied pizza and went out and bought some for the family.  Today I have a rabbit which I took out of the freezer last night so I can joint it to cook.  I am very fond of a recipe of Antonio Carluccio for coniglio san Angelo which is very simple and very tasty - basically you just toss the joints in some seasoned flour and fry then off in a pan.  Once golden they are removed and garlic is fried to golden then white wine is added to deglaze the pan finally the rabbit is returned with a tin of tomatoes and some rosemary and the lot is simmered for an hour.  It goes well with anything starchy like mash or polenta and a big salad to accompany.

I managed to sort through my clothes and have syphoned off that which I want to keep which is now in the ironing pile.  The remainder is packed up ready to go to the clothes bank.  I have hesitated about putting the clothes back as I would like to clean the inside of the wardrobe and make a bit of sense of all the crud that has been shoved in there out of sight.  So there is a fair way to go yet but at least I have made a start.  My box for the charity shop is also full to bursting so that needs to get to its destination.  I am making some progress but it is nauseatingly slow as I am forever stopping to do meals and answer the phone etc.

OK time for coffee number two and time to get stuck in......

Friday, 27 May 2016

Friday morning

Yesterday saw me burst into a bit of life I went to town on my wardrobe and took out every top I posses and the whole lot went through the washing machine.  They dried beautifully on the line  and today they are destined to be thinned out considerably anything with a small defect will be going to the clothes bank and only items that I like and need will be finding their way back upstairs to my wardrobe.  

The guy who came to do the guttering was a really nice guy and did a lovely job for me including pruning the Trachelospermum jasminoides which is clambering up the front of the house. 

The guttering was full of moss and other debris and he has added me to his list of customers who will require an annual gutter maintenance.  Total cost for the work was £55 which I consider very reasonable.  While he was up the ladder he also pointed out a couple of items I need to think about as the valleys are in need of attention. In the garage were a pile of tools I intended to take to the tip not because they were broken but just because we can no longer use them.  So I asked him if there was anything he might like and very gratefully he has cleared most of the stuff so that has saved me a trip to the tip.

For lunch we had some steaks that Denzil had acquired from work and more fruit also from work. The stuff he gets is stuff that is too late for display but still within date so it tends to be fresh fruit and the like.  I am quite good at incorporating food into the very slack menu or rearranging the menu to suit items that need to be eaten now.

Today Denzil is a day off so we might have to be on Sunday lunch mode but he is very accommodating where food is concerned and eats what ever I put in front of him.  James lit a bonfire late in the evening once everyones washing was in and burned off the tree that had fallen in the pond which had dried out enough to set light to.

My caravan has been valeted and is now up for sale so who knows I might catch a buyer over the bank holiday weekend. In my mind it has already gone and my next priority is to get the garden back to some sort of order.  I am hoping the company I have contacted will come and view the garden and decided how much time they need to straighten things up.  It is difficult for me to decide how long it will take as I have no idea how fast they are at working.  Mark used to accomplish loads in between 2-4 hours if they work at that rate 2 guys should only need on 8 hour day which is going to cost around £500 which is pricy but you get what you pay for.  I know I will feel reinvigorated once the back of the problem is broken.

Ok time to get the day underway and start sifting through the clothes from yesterday.  I only intend to iron that which is going back into use the rest can go as it is, clean but un-ironed.  

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Thursday Morning

Well the sun is shining but we are only just in double figures so there is still no real warmth to be felt unless you are directly in the sun. Today I have someone coming to clean out the gutters which is one of those jobs that tends to get forgotten but is actually necessary if they are to function effectively.

Yesterday for lunch I made some burritos which were basically leftovers in the fridge [bacon, ham, tomato, mozzarella and a lonely sausage] put in an omelette and rolled in a tortilla - excellent way to clear up odds and ends.  For supper James made a risotto and to it we added the asparagus I had cooked the previous night.  We followed it with a big berry fruit salad and copious double cream. Today we have some steaks which Denzil has brought home from work so I will do some nice vegetable side dishes to go with them or maybe just a huge salad. 

I ordered some big storage vacuum bags so that I can wash and put away the really heavy winter wear and duvets.  Then where I have left things for ages in the airing cupboard they have got yellow marks on them so I need to put them through the washing machine before I store them more sensibly and save myself extra work.  I must admit I am constantly looking for ways to make things easier and less labour intensive.  It is also the time of year for MOT and insurance for the car all of which will need to be done before it is up for sale and I can buy a new car.

Well that is the plan and I am now off for my second cup of coffee - have a good one

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all well I have just found out what is meant by a rude awakening.  I was sound asleep having had a bit of a rocky night and finally got off to deep sleep at around 5am when a sudden cramp in my calf muscle shocked me awake and in my sleepy state I stumbled out of bed to put some weight on my cramped muscle and fell over against my bedside table slamming my wrist hard against the corner.  The new lively pain in the wrist seemed to stop the cramp dead in its tracks, have I stumble on a cure for cramp? One thing is for certain stumbling around like a bull in china shop woke me up pretty smartly however I wouldn't recommend it over an alarm clock.

Sandie came over yesterday and funnily her dog Luke got on well with Dan but he and Tubby had a few words so we kept them apart - I think Luke is a very nervous dog and Tubby was just a bit to playful so it ended up in a swearing match.  Fortunately we have a large dog crate so we can soon separate squabbling dogs.  I had started to make a chicken and mushroom dish when I discovered that I only had a couple of mushrooms so I added two red peppers a chorizo an onion and some pasata and called it chicken basque which we had with rice.  Sandie had brought me some coffee as she lives very near the wonderful shop and she also added a nice bunch of asparagus as she knows I am an addict. 

Denny had done her stuff so the house was respectable but if you saw my kitchen now you never know it looks as if there has been a small nuclear explosion.  Mea culpa, I left the mess to clear up later but later never came.  My punishment is to start my day with a big pile of washing up.  I also have a small mountain of clean laundry to sort out.  

I think I have organised a garden company who sound really professional and seem to understand that all I need is some help to get things back into shape having let things slide while I had different priorities.  I can quite see how hoarders start, you very quickly get to the point of not knowing where to start so you don't and you learn to turn a blind eye to the problem.  I am not belittling the problems of hoarders but I do understand just how easily it can happen.

Well I had better get on with the punishment for my laziness yesterday at least the bins are out in time for the bin men so that is a start.  Just one more coffee and I will burst into life!!!!

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Tuesday morning

Yesterday was a day of minor mishaps - the garden people turned up with no tool or anything so I sent them packing as it was raining so spraying weedkiller was a non starter plus the fact that they kept changing the price of the job and would not quote an hourly rate.  Then I had misunderstood Sandie and she is coming today.  The guy didn't pick up the caravan until gone 6pm so poor Anne had waited in all day for nothing.  In the end everything worked out but it was a succession of misunderstandings.

Today we have a sunny start to the day but I believe it is not set to last. Denny is due to come and give us a blitz so I must have a tidy round.  The term 'tidy round' brought back memories of being a student nurse when the ward sister couldn't think what to do with us she would ask that we did a 'tidy round' which consisted of changing patients rubbish bags, putting fresh water in their flowers, removing dead fruit from the bowls and kicking all the bed wheels so they faced the same direction and making sure the open ends of the pillows faced away from the door.  Well it was better than being sent to clean the sluice which was about the worst job polishing bed pans with wire wool was pretty soul destroying. Oh happy days!!!! between you me and the gatepost I still put open ends of pillows away from the door.

When I got up and looked out of the window I saw 8 magpies take flight from a neighbours garden I have never seen so many in one go and now I am going to have to look up the collective noun for magpies.  I believe it is a murder of crows and a convocation of rooks but I have no idea what it is for magpies thank heavens for google so much easier than looking things up in an encyclopaedia.  There seem to be many terms but the one I like best is a mischief of magpies.

Anyway on that happy note I will leave you and go and get on with my tidy round!!!!! Oh and PS my knee is much better after a days rest yesterday.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Monday morning

Good morning all here we are back at the beginning of another week.  It is strange my two days away feels like a month.  I suppose it has been a very long time since I had a bit of time off it feels very strange.  I went and did a mammoth shop yesterday and James very kindly unloaded the car and put everything away while I got on with putting the hen in the halogen.  The dogs were out of food so I got two 15kg bags of food for them and a trolley load of stuff for us.  We dashed in and out with laundry as the weather was always threatening rain but again it didn't come till late afternoon since which time it has been a constant drizzle.  I have some gardeners coming this morning but I must admit I am not too happy with them as they keep playing around with times and prices and as it is raining there is no chance of spraying weedkiller.  They strike me as youngster trying to make a bit on the side but there is a big difference between gardening a labouring.  Anyway I will give them  a chance to prove me wrong.  I will start them at the far end of the garden where there is nothing but weeds so no rocket science there.  

Sandie is coming over to collect some of the stuff I inadvertently brought home but had been earmarked for her.  Somehow I have managed to twist a knee and it had been giving me gip all night and it is very painful if I put my full weight on it.  There is nothing to see no redness or swelling just pain so hopefully a day or two of light duties should see it resolve itself if I keep it gently moving.  I have no memory of doing anything to bring it on, it just came on for no apparent reason. Frustrating!!!!

I don't know what is going on with this blog I posted early yesterday but for some inexplicable reason it didn't appear on my screen and I reposted again in the afternoon.  We will see what happens today.  It is 6.30 am so it should appear but who knows?

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Sunday Morning

Good morning all we were threatened with rain but it stayed dry until late in the day and we have had showers over night.  The forecast is for more of the same today.  I have some gardeners coming on Monday to blitz the garden and then they will be coming once a month to keep it under control, which is yet another millstone from round my neck.

Today I need to go shopping as I have quite a list of stuff to get.  Last night we had supper courtesy of Denzil who brought home some stuffed mushrooms and three big punnets of strawberries all of which were close to their sell by date but were in perfect condition.  I halved the strawberries and gave them a good squirt of lemon juice and a sprinkle of sugar and then let them stand for a while before we downed them with some cream. Strawberries and cream are a match made in heaven.  I think I may go for the good old standby of roast chicken in the halogen for lunch today. It is so simple and the results are always good I do 30/40 minutes breast down and same again breast up depending on the size of the bird.  A few roast spuds and peas and carrots and a splash of gravy.  A meal that I can prepare with my eyes shut and my brain in neutral.

It is amazing how quickly you can loose touch with home when you are completely occupied with other matters.  Fortunately the boys are good at adding to the shopping list when they finish something so I don't have to do a stock take before shopping.  I have a small whiteboard on the kitchen wall so that I can keep track as things run out.

Joy are you staying in the house or in the lodge? The village church is next door and John is the verger and Anne is the organist.  She did make me laugh when she said she had just enough time to run home put the Yorkshires in the oven and be back in time for the last hymn for the Sunday service.
Sandy had run a B&B so we stripped off our beds and took the towels we had used over to the house as it was a good drying day, Anne was delighted.  It was no skin off our noses but saved her a job.  I think you will find them a lovely couple.

Well thats about it for today time to get myself dressed and off to the shops but first a second cup of coffee is required.

PS I am going to take the car to the local guys for an initial clean then I will get it detailed so that I can get the best price possible for it.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Saturday morning

Good morning all it is back to the routine again today I spent yesterday tiding up the stuff I had brought back from the van.  I didn't bring much back but I did bring back my two good sleeping bags which have now been through the washing machine and are ready for storage.  I also brought back the towels as you can never have enough dog towels in the winter.  There were a couple of items that were for Sandie which I inadvertently brought home so she is going to come and collect them on Monday.

Denzil then took me out to look at new cars and we went to the VW showrooms which is very close to us so I could compare the size of their off road vehicles and I had a sit in the new Tiguan which has more bells and whistles than you can shake a stick at.  The dashboard looks like the cockpit of a fighter jet and I just wonder if I will need a pilots licence to operate it.  Anyway apparently he has not done with me yet I have to look at other makes.  As I do very few miles fuel consumption is not really an issue but the size of the boot is, as I have to have room for the dogs.  It is so exciting just looking at what is available these days. I didn't even dare look until the van was dealt with.

Today the weather looks really miserable and very windy if it doesn't rain it would be a good drying day.  My next priority is to sort out help in the garden where the weeds are flourishing so on Monday I will ring a few garden maintenance companies and see what I can arrange.  In the two days I have been away I have completely lost touch with the stock levels at home so I will probably need a trip to the shops for some odds and ends.  Yesterday we dined on the goodies I brought back from Suffolk and the fish monger has delivered me some lovely fillets of pollock which will do fine for lunch today.

Now that I have jettisoned the millstone I will have to have a think about the next priority.  One thing that will need doing is to get the landrover cleaned once I am ready to sell.  There is enough dog hair in the back to knit a pack of dogs and it is due for an MOT in June.  Doesn't life get in the way of having fun!!!!!

Friday, 20 May 2016

Friday morning

Good morning all back again having completed my mission.  Sadly the people who were keen to buy the van had had a change of heart due to health issues and offered me a pittance for the van so I told them what they could do with such a derisory offer.  I had already phoned a dealer who was happy to sell for 7.5K and even he laughed at the price I had been offered.  My biggest problem was how to get rid of the contents but as luck would have it the Kettlebrugh fete is next week so tons of stuff has gone to that.  The remaining rubbish was going to prove a problem until the dealer said just leave it all in the van and don't bother cleaning it as it will get a full valeting before the put it up for sale. This then cut our work by half.  We had a very enjoyable stay in the the lodge which is is just like a small house with all mod cons and a sumptuous breakfast was served in the main house.  It felt like a 5 star hotel.  We dined out at some of the very good restaurants around Woodbridge where you certainly get value for money.  Sandie ordered off the specials menu some pulled pork but when the plate arrived she blanched as the portion was enormous. But give her her due she managed all but the bread which went back for the geese.

I had made a pig of myself the previous night so I held back and had just a grilled fillet of brill and some new season asparagus and I helped Sandy out with her tomatoes.  The whole meal including a pint and half of beer and a jumbo tomato juice came to the grand total of £31 which I think is good value for money.

Before we left after breakfast yesterday I paid up my bill which I am sure was on the light side and Anne pressed each of us with a jar of marmalade and half a dozen eggs from her hens.  If ever you fancy a a B&B in Suffolk I can highly recommend Church farm Kettlebrugh.  If you need some peace that is the place for you.  I was standing on the veranda very early one morning watching the rabbits have their breakfast when out of the woodland came a muntjac deer.  He looked me up and down decided I was not threat and carried on waking through to the pond for a drink.  He was no more than 10 feet from me and didn't seem at all phased by humans.

Well that is the end of an era and now I can concentrate on looking for a newer car as I no longer need the three tons to pull the van.  I have some stuff to clear up today as yesterday I was shattered having driven back to Faversham to drop Sandy off and then home.  Fortunately Denzil unloaded the car for me and I just dumped everything which today I will tidy up and sort out.

Have a good day all I feel so relieved to longer have the mill stone around my neck.