Saturday, 1 October 2016


Well here we are in October it seems only yesterday we were anxiously waiting for summer to come.  Sod's law is still operational in this house my new hedge trimmer arrived yesterday so I immediately got the batteries on to charge and made plans where to start today.  All has been put on hold as it rained quite heavily last night and all the bushes are heavy with rain so not a good time to cut them, much better done when the leaves are dry and the bushes are in their correct shape not leaning down under the weight of water.  So I guess hedge trimming is off for today.  I sometimes think planning is the problem if you don't plan you are not disappointed.  Anyway, one thing is for certain the bushes are not going anywhere and will be available for cutting as soon as they dry off so it is just a delay but I wanted to play with my new toy. 

As it is the first of the month I have several monthly chores to do first the meters need reading and the knives need sharpening and the dog needs his ears sorted.  Because he has big floppy ears they are prone to problems but I have religiously put some thornit powder in his ears once a month just as I did with Basso and touch wood we have had no problems.  Tubby likes to join in the ritual as good behavior results is a treat.  So he just gets the teaspoon in his ear without the powder so he too can have a treat.

Shiona is back from Sicily having had a very good time and eaten herself stupid.  She found her smattering of Italian very useful and discovered that she could understand much more than she could speak.  However, in my experience, the Italians are just so happy that you are trying that no amount of grammatical mash-up puts them off.  I used to write to my grandparents in my pigeon Italian and it was not until I was grown up the someone told me the word for year is anno with two n's not one which means anus, so I will leave to your imagination the letters I wrote which had everyone in hysterics.

Lunch today are some lamb cutlets which I am going to pan fry in some chipotle butter I have no idea if it will work but I guess we will find out. Lamb is a strong flavour so it should stand up well and if I do some nice veg to go with it, it will have to do.

The weather doesn't look like it is going to dry anytime soon there is not a breath of wind and the skies are still heavy with rain so I think outdoor work is to be written off for today.

Well, that's it for today time for more coffee and go and put on something a bit warmer as I am quietly freezing to death.

Friday, 30 September 2016


Good morning all.  Here we are at the end of September and let's hope we have some lovely autumn days before we hit the winter. I don't know what is going on with my back it comes and goes for no apparent reason.  Anyway, I am aware it is not quite right so I am steering clear of lifting paving slabs or doing anything silly as I really don't want it playing up at the moment.

I got stuck into making Vitello tonnato without the veal. I used a pork fillet which I poached in some stock and then allowed it to cool in the liquid before slicing and placing on a bed of lettuce then the crowning glory the sauce.  I made it using an Italian recipe and was surprised to find no mayo just hard boiled eggs.  I used the thermomix as I would need a very good blasting if it is to emerge silky smooth.  So in the end, it was one small tin of tuna, three anchovies, three hard boiled eggs a handful of capers and a ladleful of the poaching liquid. The poaching liquid is what gives it the right consistency and you can run it down as much as you want.  The sauce is so nice you will need some nice bread to mop it up.  

The sun is shining and the sky is blue so hopefully, we are in for a nice day.  My hedge trimmer is due to be delivered today but I don't know if it will need to be charged for hours before it can be used sometimes things come with the batteries ready charged.  I just hope it is light and easy to handle.  

Anyway, first things first I am going to get a load of the endless washing on and then try to decide what to have to eat today.  I have some lamb cutlets in the freezer so they may have to do with an assortment of vegetables.  

Have a great day all ..........

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Thursday morning

Good morning all, I don't know what I have done but my back is really giving me some gip. I just couldn't find a comfortable spot in the bed and spent the night rolling around. We have had some blustery rain overnight which has toppled over a couple of plants in pots.  I bit the bullet yesterday and purchased a hedge trimmer as I really need to cut back some of the shrubs which are threatening to block our path up the garden.  I have gone for a cordless lightweight job so I hope it is going to be easy to use.  It is not so much the cutting as the clearing up afterwards.  Anyway, it shows willing!!!

I was well impressed with the picci I made yesterday.  The dough is just flour and spinach blended together.  They took just 10 minutes to boil before being added to the tomato and courgette sauce. Hand rolling is a bit of a pain but quite fun at the same time. You end up with the kitchen surfaces cover in green worms.  Obviously, you can make them with just flour and water but the spinach is fun.  Highly recommended for small children on rainy afternoons.

Today I have some of the bolognese sauce out of the freezer as well as a pork loin.  I fancied poaching the loin and then serving with tuna sauce a green salad and some crusty bread.  

Fairly short and sweet time to get going rather than frittering my time away.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Wenesday morning

Good morning all.  I promised to tell you about our meal yesterday.  The drive over to Tenterden is about an hour across country and James drove us both ways as Denzil drives all day every day so we could admire the scenery.  Once there we got stuck into the menu.  James and I had the Vitello tonnato which was to die for and Denzil had the arancini For the second course James had crab ravioli [all the pasta is made on the premesis] Denzil had the lasagne and I had the calves liver which had just been frightened in a pan with loads of butter and sage and just melted in the mouth. None of us had room for desserts so we just headed back to home.  Supper was a case of if you can find it you can eat it.  I slept very well the temperature was just right for me with cold air blowing on my face but snuggled under layers of covers all toasty warm.  Denzil went off to work at the crack of dawn and James woke me with a cup of coffee once he had done all the chores including walking the dogs.  What good boys they are.

Now I am a bit bereft of ideas for lunch but as I have some spinach I might make some pasta with it and serve with a simple tomato sauce and lashings of parmesan.  I find we are eating less meat these days but with winter coming it will soon be time for soups and stews.  I can see the chorizo and potato stew cropping up at regular intervals as it is so nice and filling and easy to make.   I should think it would freeze well so it might be worth making a big pot and dividing it up for the freezer.

Well whatever I am going to do I had better get on with it as time is marching on and time and tide wait for no man......

Tuesday, 27 September 2016


Good morning all there is just a glimmer of light outside and a sky full of cloud.  Yesterday we had a grand time with the dogs as the tide was up and it was a swimming day.  Denzil can throw the plastic dummies a lot further than I and Dan is like a motor boat on his way to fetch them.  We then walked back through the field to give both dogs a chance to dry off a bit before we put them into the car. Tubby has a very short coat which dries almost instantly but Dan is a different matter and takes quite a while before he is dry.

Today the boys and I are off for lunch I have a meal ready for Mike so all he needs to do is pop in the microwave.  He is being particularly difficult at the moment refusing to do anything for himself but I am sure he will manage to eat his lunch and if he chooses not to he will not starve in a matter of hours. To get to the restaurant we have to park in Tesco's car park so it is an ideal opportunity to do a bit of shopping as well.  I can't remember the last time I went out with both boys we usually leave one at home to babysit.  

Supper tonight could be interesting as having had a good lunch I don't suppose we will want much so it will be fish finger sandwiches or some other easy and quick meal.  No doubt we will find something in Tesco that fits the bill.  

Well, that's about it for today I will let you know how the meal turns out.  Have a good day I know I intend to.......

Monday, 26 September 2016


Good morning all.  I had a nice girly morning trawling around the shops and managed to buy a few bits and pieces  If there is one thing I hate it is trying stuff on in poky changing rooms.  Anyway once the shopping was finished it was out to lunch at a barn conversion out in the sticks.  Anyway, the food was very nice and we had a lovely leisurely meal and chat.   I had left food for the men so they were catered for.   

My back had been quiet for some time but all of a sudden it is beginning to play up for no apparent reason.  I have done nothing that I can think of that has aggravated it, but then again a sneeze can be enough to set it off.  

Today the weather looks very dull with heavy cloud but as yet no rain.  I got most of the washing done over the weekend but you never actually finish do you, the washing basket just fills up again. The food situation is unclear today I am not sure what I am going to do my mind is blank I think it will have to be the fallback position of pasta of some kind with some sauce made by emptying the fridge.

Well everyone is up so time to get going and head for the coffee machine for my second cup.  Have a good day all......

Sunday, 25 September 2016


Good morning all.  It is still pretty dark outside but I can just see a complete covering of cloud.  We have ben threatened with rain this morning but as yet it is still dry.  Winter is definitely on the way and the days are getting shorter.

Yesterday was quite a busy day I got a couple of loads of washing through the machine and onto the line.  The bolognese sauce is now cold and can be packed up ready for the freezer.  I flew round Aldi and replenished the fruit bowl and got a few other bits and pieces. When Denzil came home he too had bought fruit so we now have a fruit bowl that Fortnum's would be proud of.  Never mind it will not get wasted as once it starts to soften it ends up in smoothies.  

Today I am off for a girly shop with Elly and also I am being treated to lunch out.  I will, however, need to leave something for the men for their lunch.  I took out some chicken yesterday so that will do fine for them as it is just an oven heating job and there is a fridge full of cold cuts.  I think I will leave one portion of the bolognese out for supper tonight that way I will have very little to do.

The sun has just broken through and I have spotted a load of washing still on the line so I had better retrieve that before it starts to rain.  It is only a batch of cleaning clothes and tea towels so nothing important if it were to get wet.

I heard yesterday that the lady with the unruly dog down in Bristol has finally decided to give the dog up.  It is all very sad but I knew instantly he was the wrong dog for her she needs an older dog who is happy to be a hearth rug, not this bright lively puppy who needs a firm hand and plenty of exercise. Of course,  I was tempted but the boys soon put me straight I do hope he finds a forever home where he will get what he needs.  A ten-minute walk on a lead is not enough for such a lively young dog.  I only have to watch our two when they are let off the lead and both run like crazy to start with until they settle down for a sniffing session.

Ho dear, the sky has gone black so I had better run and get the washing in.  Have a good day all

Saturday, 24 September 2016


Good morning all.  Here we are at the weekend not that that means much to me.  The only difference it makes to me is that I cannot take the dogs to the rugby field as there are people playing rugby who don't seem to understand that it is a dog walking place. Then Sunday the shops don't open until 10am and close at 4pm other than that it is just another day.  I have booked a shopping expedition tomorrow with my surrogate daughter.  Boys are lovely but when it comes to clothes you need a woman to tell you the truth so Elly and I are going to hit the shops and look for some bits and bobs a couple of tops and maybe another pair of trousers.  Then she is going to treat me to lunch what more can you ask for.   I have also booked myself a hair cut which is becoming necessary.  

Yesterday I got out the ingredients to make a bolognese sauce and they are now totally defrosted so it will be into the slow cooker with them this morning.  I made a dish yesterday which sounded nice but in my opinion was a failure it consisted of rice which is mixed with passata then chicken thighs are placed on top and once they are golden you put some cheese on top and return to the oven.  Sounds alright but it was very bland the cheese just disappeared.  We ate it but not with any great pleasure it very definitely lacked flavour.  There is one portion left so it is going in the freezer and Mike can have it when we are out on Tuesday.  This will be the first time he has been left alone in the house but he has his magic button if he gets into trouble though as he hardly moves from his bed I don't foresee and problems.

I think we are in for a few dry days so I am going to get a couple of loads of washing on while the going is good.  As for lunch and dinner, I haven't a clue as yet I might have to hit the shops for a few bits and pieces.  We are out of fruit anyway so that could do with replenishing.  

Before I frighten myself to death with the to-do list I had better make a start and at least get some of it done.  Have a good weekend and make the most of the good weather while it lasts I believe there is rain on the way.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Friday Morning

Good morning all.  Well, here we are at the end of yet another week. I actually heard the first mention of Christmas on the tv last night however it was after the watershed. After my early start and sleepless night, I put myself back to bed and slept for a good four hours and woke feeling considerably better.  I had pulled food out of the freezer so the boys cooked lunch and gave me a call when it was ready.  Thank goodness for advanced catering it is really handy when you have an off day.  I sometimes wonder how I would manage without a freezer, I suppose I would have to do what my gran did and bottle just about everything.  We lived in a tiny bungalow with a room in the roof which was completely stacked with boxes of  bottle fruit and veg.  I think there was an element of safety involved as they were the generation who suffered the world wars and knew about food shortages.

I think I have now run myself out of bolognese sauce so time to make another batch for the freezer.  It is such a handy thing to have around with endless uses.  Today I have some chicken thighs for lunch but as yet I haven't quite decided what to do with them again the possibilities are endless.

The sun is shining and though it is quite chilly it looks like a lovely day so I think I will take the dogs for a walk while I try to decide what to do with the food.  I am also going to book a table for us at Montalbano's for Tuesday.  I thought I would take the boys for a lunch as I think they could also use a break from these four walls.  Denzil is off today so he is having a bit of a lie in and at the moment I am the only one up and about.  The dogs don't get up until the boys get up as it is usually them who take them for their morning walk.  

Well, that about it for this morning nothing of any great interest just another day.  I have finished my course on positive psychology and have started a course on the addicted brain - neuroscience is fascinating.  I love these courses as the material is available for you to help yourself to and it is rather like watching a very good documentary.  

Have a good day all whatever you have planned.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Thursday morning

Good morning all, you will be pleased to hear I have booked myself a flight to Bordeaux on the 10th of October and I will be staying with good friends for four days. It will be a lovely break and change of scene.
Saw the Doc at 8am and have been given an inhaler and emergency antibiotics in case I get a chest infection.  However having had a completely sleepless night I feel like a dish cloth.  I am going to put myself back to bed and hope for a couple of hours kip.  I have got food out of the freezer so the men can do their own thing.

I had a complete melt down yesterday as I couldn't find my passport Denny and I searched diligently and finally found it.  I needed to check if it was still in date before I booked.  Anyway all done now so I have something to look forward to.  Next I need a hair appointment as I am at the shaggy dog stage yet again. 

Well I am feeling really dopey so I will bid you farewell.  Have good day all.