Saturday, 21 January 2017

Saturday morning

Good morning all well the sun is shining it is freezing cold but I must be getting better as not only did I do the hoovering but also the ironing and some cooking yesterday.  This means there is little for me to do today as lunch is already made and just needs heating through.  I have been avoiding going out as the cold air on my sinuses is quite painful so where possible I have avoided it.

Small rant coming:- I had a rude letter from the council saying that I was in arrears with my council tax which seemed odd as it is paid by direct debit from the joint account.  However as the account name no longer has Mike it has caused a problem.  I phone the council paid the council tax and set up a new direct debit and today I have a letter from them confirming the direct debit in, yes you've guessed it, Mike's name.  Bureaucratic cock up yet again, something about paying peanuts you get monkeys, comes to mind.  Every part of the letter is addressed to me except the direct debit.  End of rant.

Anne how goes the hoover? I feel somewhat responsible having advised you to go ahead.  I hope you are as delighted as I am. I have actually hoover several times which is unheard of in this house.  I love the fact that it is light and easy to maneuver and goes straight from carpet to hard floor without a hiccup and the bit that does the stairs is a joy.  As you can imagine with two dogs in the house pet hair is problem but not with the new machine.

Well time to get the show in the road James is off to do a big shop as we have kind of run down our supplies over the last week or so when I have been off my feet.    

Friday, 20 January 2017

Friday morning

Good morning all, well nothing much happen yesterday my sinuses are gradually getting better but it is a slow old haul.  The weather is clear but very cold however my sister is having a horrid time with 5 feet of snow and no electricity since Monday.  Her mobile had just enough power left to say she was ok after the aftershocks and avalanche once the signal was restored.  I tend to forget that there are still some pretty rural areas  where things take a bit longer to fix.

The car is due back on Tuesday by which time I hope to be back up and running.  Cooking is a bit of a chore as I feel very nauseated much of the time.  Today I have some stewing venison which shouldn't take me long to prepare.  Then it can sit in the oven till done and I have already prepared some cabbage and carrots to go with it.  I may do some mash as well.

I thought I might make a pepper tomato and egg dish for supper but we will have to wait and see how I get on today.

Keep yourselves warm and cosy in the interim.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Thursday morning

Good morning all, feeling a bit better this morning I think my sinuses are finally clearing.  Yesterday I was very dizzy and nauseous so threw myself into bed to try and sleep it off.  I had made the soup for lunch so that was nice and easy. I ended up having another bowl for supper. I had thrown the crust of some Parmesan into it so it had a very deep savoury taste.

I still have no news on the car or the cost of painting the banisters but frankly I can't be bothered to chase people.  I'm sure they will be quick enough when they are ready.  I will keep this short as I am getting very cold and need to stay warm so I am back off to my bed until the others wake up.

Have a good day all.......

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Wednesday morning

Look into my eyes, you are feeling sleepy, very sleepy.  I think someone would like to share my bed?

Yesterday was a bit miserable as I was still feeling pretty grotty with these sinuses and finally threw the towel in at lunch time with a blinding headache.  I had been awake since 2am and so I fell asleep fairly quickly.  Much better night last night slept until 4am when next doors dogs started barking.  I tried to go back to sleep but no dice.  

The stock from the gammon is not at all salty so I have had some split peas soaking in it overnight and now it is on to simmer.  The gammon joint did us well for lunch and then again with egg and chips for supper and we still have enough for sandwiches to go with the soup.  So 9 meals from the one piece of meat can't be bad.

It is well below zero this morning so a really hard frost good job nobody has to go to work this morning as Denzil has a week off or he would be outside scraping.  The land rover has a button which switches on all the heating in the windscreens mirrors etc and puts the blower on the side windows so it defrost really easily.  A really useful feature if the car has to live outside.  Still no word on how long it will be before it is returned nor how much it will cost so I am bracing myself for the phone call which should come today.

The guy who is going to paint the staircase came yesterday and is going to phone me with a quote today and then Gary is hoping to start soon.  Once we have the skip we can get on with the clearing until then everything is on hold.  I must admit I am please about that as I really don't feel up to much at the moment.  I will be happy to take it easy for a couple of days and hope the head clears besides it is just too cold for outside work.

Havea good day all and stay warm if you are in the freezing south east!!!!

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Tuesday morning

Good morning all late again sorry but I had the night from hell up and down the whole night just unable to settle and wide awake.  I rang the garage yesterday to try and find out what is happening to my car but to no avail.  Nobody to answer the phone just an answering machine so I left two messages still nothing.  I will try again today and see if I can find a human being!!! The guy who is going to repaint my staircase is coming this afternoon to give me a price.  I must say it is not a job I would relish all those spindles yuck! Anyway I hope he gives me a price I can live with:) 

Yesterdays kidney dish in the end turned into a mixture of the possibilities sort of slightly deviled with a sauce of marsala and mustard sound bad but actually it was rather nice and got demolished pretty smartly.  I also suddenly had a yen for welsh cakes something I don't think I have had since I lost my gran who was always making them. They are very simple to make and delicious straight off the gridle with a considerable coating of butter. Naughty but nice. 

I did actually accomplish something yesterday as I spent an hour or more on the phone with the technical support team at virgin.  For some inexplicable reason my outgoing email has been bouncing back since before christmas and I have had to send it out using a different email address which has been a bit of a pain.  I tried to reset it all but to no avail it wouldn't recognise my password anyway they have at last fixed it but it was a case of trial and error.  I have a sneaking suspicion that the glitch was at their end.

Today I have a piece of gammon to boil which we will have with boiled potatoes parsley sauce and possibly curly kale if it arrives in time.  It is not a huge piece but there should be plenty left for cold or to accompany some egg and chips.  Tubby seems to have recovered his appetite and motored through some of the rice I had cooked for lunch - I always seem to cook too much but it really doesn't matter as the dogs love it.

Gary rang yesterday to say he would soon be ready to start on the garage which means I will have to do some initial clearing.  It is my intention to clear space in the shed to store that which I want to keep then the rest can go in the skip.  I think I might start gently with my wardrobe which is in chaos and probably full of stuff which needs to be thrown away.  I once read that the way to do a wardrobe is throw the contents on to your bed then you cannot sleep until it is cleared - sounds like a plan.

Anyway first things first get the gammon on to boil and hope the cooking water is not too salty as it has been soaked overnight, then I can make some lentil or pea soup with it.  Have a good day all it is very cold here but clear.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Monday morning

Good morning all. Like Joy I am up late this morning because firstly I couldn't get to sleep to start with then I woke at 4am as usual but I put myself back to bed and managed to doze off again.  I hate having my nights chopped up but I guess this is something to do with my great age!!!  

Yesterdays lunch was anything but traditional I did the mackerel with gremolata and served them with a massive salad of mixed everything I could find.  All helped down with some hot crusty ciabatta rolls straight from the oven.  Not the usual but very nice anyway and for supper we kept the fish theme and had some coquille st. Jacques that Denzil had acquired in the post christmas sell off at his work.

Tubby was under the weather and didn't eat at all yesterday but has made rather a pig of himself lately so perhaps he was having a fasting day.  He didn't seem to be ill in any noticeable way so hopefully he was just off colour or maybe fed up as he didn't get a good walk.

I rang Sandy to tell her of my car woes only to find she was in the same boat someone had run into her car and smacked it into the house wall.  Spooky!!!!  Anyway no one was hurt so it is just bent metal and inconvenience.  I am going to ring the garage today as I would like an estimate of the cost of the repairs and some sort of idea how long they will take. 

On today's menu I have veal kidneys. Do I do them with mustard sauce or deviled or with cream and sherry?  Which ever way I chose we will be having them with rice and some vegetable that is beginning to look sorry for itself.  Salad is out as I gave that a caning yesterday but I have various other things I could use.  I was watching Rick Stein in Bologna and was interested to see flat green beans lightly dipped in tempura batter and deep fried, known as fish from the garden!!! I could do that but I hate deep frying as the whole house stinks thereafter.  Anyway I have plenty of options so time will tell which I choose.  Much will depend on how lazy I feel.  I have the remains of a huge bunch of parsley and rather than watch it die I thought I might make a parsley sauce which will freeze.  I have some leeks just begging to be wrapped in ham and a pancaked then covered in a rich cheese sauce.  Oh dear, I am not short of ideas just the will to do these things.  I think I have just shot myself in the foot, I can't complain that I spent the day hoovering!!!! So far I haven't run the battery flat and I have done the whole house.

Well one thing is for certain sitting here scribbling will not get anything done so I had better close and get moving.  Have a good day all it looks like an indoor day here!!!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Sunday morning

Good morning all it is wet and miserable here today so the house is draped in laundry.  By the way did I tell you I love my new hoover? and yes I used it yesterday it's a miracle. 

After my day of cussed frustration over the car business I had a quiet day yesterday as I waited for the delivery of the courtesy car.  Which as it happens is not much use to me as I can't put the dogs in it.  I have a landrover for a reason it is not a chelsea tractor.  Elaine popped round to do some counter signatures and we laughed as we remembered when I did the counter signatures for her family of fives passports which I think we had to do three times before we got them right. And you know how pedantic the passport office is!!!! My sister had a hell of a job just renewing hers as she is not in this country and doesn't have the benefit of the post office to check the forms.

On today's menu is the mackerel with gremolata which we were going to have yesterday until nobody fancied it.  I think a nice big salad will accompany it and maybe some hot crusty bread.  I like to have, in stock, the part baked bread which you can just bung in the oven and crisp up in minutes.  I really should get back to baking my own bread again.  

My sinuses have been playing up and I have been getting lots of headaches which is driving me nuts so today I am going to stick my head over a bowl of boiling water and cover it with a towel to see if a good steaming will sort out the problem.  Sometimes the old ways are still the best.

Well that about it for today all is quiet on the western front which makes a pleasant change.  The dogs have given up all hopes of a walk and gone back to bed.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Saturday morning

Good morning all.  Are you superstitious?  I am not and would think nothing of walking under a ladder provided it was in a safe place.  However, yesterday was Friday the 13th and what a day I had. The first pain of the day was to pay the solicitors for the job they are doing which of course includes the stupid visits from the estate agents. If you have the stamina more on that later.  Denzil had had a bit of a rotten shift with the snow and two people didn't get their shopping as he couldnt get the lorry up the hill to their houses but he got home safely and was looking forward to his day off.  He likes to take the dogs for a long walk first thing and that is just what he did.  As he approached the car he realised it had been vandalised the little door to the petrol cap had been ripped completely off and was lying in the road and the actual petrol cap had been ruined along with one of the rear passenger door handles.  They were obviously after my tank of diesel but failed.  So next job ring the old bill and report a case of criminal damage.  Much form filling over the phone and finally a crime number was illicited.  The chances of catching the little scrotes is negligible so on to the next item the car insurance.  Guess what they were very busy due to the weather conditions eventually got through and again off we went with all the details hat size, inside leg measurement and so on.  Fine they would get an approved repairer to come and collect the car and leave me with a replacement.  Who is the fool who has a £550 excess on their insurance?  Well with land rover that will only buy you a light bulb. Now the dining table is covered with all the legal stuff, still awaiting signature witnessing, and all the car stuff and all the insurance stuff.  The garage doing the repairs were to ring and make all the arrangements so I waited and the phone rang it was the solicitor who rang to say that one of the estate agents would be unable to make it due to the heavy snow.  So I informed him they were talking rubbish the roads were clear.  Then the phone rang again it was the fishmonger who had some lovely mackerel fine that would do for supper.  Finally the garage rang to say that they would be collecting my car on Monday. Not very happy but what can you do!!!  ding dong the doorbell and there is the first of the estate agents.  He did a quick walk through and was gone in under 5minutes most of which he spent talking to the dogs.  Great, now I knew I had an hour before the next one was due if he was coming.  Lunch on, steak and kidney heated through, puff pastry in the oven on its own, mashed the spuds and drained off the greens.  Ding dong it is the fishmonger delivering the fish.  Food served and on the table just as I got the first mouthful ding dong here is the next estate agent who also spent his time talking to the dogs and was gone in under 5 minutes.  Then as I approached my food again the phone rang and it was the garage the insurance company were not happy that I would have to wait until Monday so they wanted to rearrange and are coming to collect today between 7am and 2pm so who is trapped again!!! They are going to leave me with some little car which is all but useless for the dogs which is why I have a landrover in the first place.  However, before I could have the car I needed a code from the DVLA so I had to go through to them online and feed in my information.  Not easy as the writing on the driving licence is tiny and you need a magnifying glass to read it they also required my national insurance number which I fortunately know by heart.  Code acquired, so I replied to the text message with that number but the text bounced, so back on the phone and got on to a very nice young man who wanted all my details then handed me over to the lady who was dealing with my case and she took the code number.  By this time I was loosing the will to live, the dogs got my lunch, James abandoned his the fish is in the fridge and will be for today. by the time it came to supper I had 2 fried eggs and a frankfurter and beans.  The dogs were very unimpressed and wondered why I was eating dog treats I explained that they had had my lunch so it was only fair. I don't think the understood!!!! frankfurters are dog treats.  Well what a day so happy Saturday here I sit amongst the snow storm of paperwork waiting for the useless car to be delivered and wondering just how long it will be before my car is back and mended.  Suffice to say I wish the perpetrators of this a life time of perianal abscesses otherwise known a Jeep bottom.  Not fatal just very painful and embarrassing.  I still love my new hoover and can whistle round the ground floor in less time than an estate agent!!!!!  Next Friday the 13th I am staying in bed.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Friday Morning

Disappointed, yes it snowed but just enough to be a nuisance and not enough to be fun.  It rained heavily for most of the day but eventually turned to snow around 5pm just as Denzil was setting off for his shift.  However, it soon stopped giving us just a coating.  Not enough for winter fun of snowballs and snowmen sledges etc but enough to make driving difficult.  There's just no pleasing some people!!!! Tubby and Dan were fascinated as neither of them have ever seen snow before. Tubby came racing in through the dog flap and discovered he had completely lost traction did a 360 crashing into his stainless steel bowl sending it flying as he slithered across the kitchen on his bum. Dan was more cautious and tested the snow out for its culinary value, bland and boring not worth eating!!!

We are just a fraction above freezing this morning but much of the snow has already fallen from the trees so it is not that lovely winter wonderland you hope to see.  Anyway they have forecast more snow for a couple of hours this morning so we may yet get enough to play in.

Yesterday a pile of forms arrived from the solicitors which need signing in front of a witness and then we have two estate agents coming to value the house - personally I think it is ridiculous as we are not selling are not liable for capital gains tax or inheritance tax so what is it for? In my limited experience estate agents undervalue property so as to make for a quick sale and money in the bank for them.  I have always tacked on a good chunk to their price when selling and have always got what I asked for despite their protestations. So their valuation was a nonsense.  In my bigoted mind estate agents, second hand car and insurance salesmen come in the same category, not trustworthy. Now I would trust my life to my fishmonger who is as honest as the day is long and has never led me astray.

Nuisance calls have slowed down as I have re-registered with the telephone preference service which apparently you have to do annually.  The few that have got through have been informed that they are in contravention of British Law at which point the phone goes dead.  I sincerely hope that this is the end of the constant stream of calls which seem to emanate from the bottom of a well in calcutta. I feel sorry for the folks who have to make the calls to earn a living they must get a lot of abuse from irritated people.

Yesterdays lunch of a rainbow salad and yet more pigs in blankets went down well and supper was a chicken enchilada - today we will be having the steak and kidney with mash and spinach and supper will be eggs in some form or another.  

I love my new hoover and yes I am much more inclined to use it that the old plug in version.  Quick easy and light what more do you want!!! If you have thoughts of getting one then now is the time while they are on special offer otherwise they are very pricey.  Today I am going to throw out my brooms and dustpan and brush they have become redundant.  This will clear a bit of space so I can fill it with some other junk.  Is this perpetual motion out with the old and in with the new :)

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Thursday Morning

Good morning all. It is cold but none of the white stuff to be seen YET. Yesterday was largely centred around Dans haircut, he was beginning to look horribly like Donald Trump so to avoid any confusion he now looks gorgeous albeit trimmed back to his underwear.  When he arrived home he was famished and demolished a huge bowl of meat [turkey from soup making] followed by a couple of litres of water.  We were having our supper which he thought he should be included in but he kept falling asleep with his chin resting on the table.  A day at the groomers completely poleaxes him you would have thought he had spent the whole day chasing rabbits across the country.  Tubby was over the moon to have him back I'm sure he thought he had been taken to the vet never to return.  The greetings were frenetic.  So lovely to see the joy on their faces when they were reunited.  As I sit here scribbling they are both tucked up in bed sound asleep with the boys.

Do you believe your body sometimes tells you what it needs?  I think it does and yesterday I had a real longing for some liver [perhaps a little iron needed] I had some calves liver in the freezer so that was our supper no wonder Dan thought he should be included - I make liver cake for the dogs but not with calves liver!!!  I had done the prep but James did the cooking and made a very good job of it as the liver only takes moments to cook as it is cut so thin and in the blink of an eye it can be made into shoe leather.  We had it with a big pile of crispy bacon, onions and a pile of brussel sprouts.  A sort of combination of liver and onions and liver and bacon.  Today I am craving salad stuff of which I have plenty so for lunch I am going to make a big plate of mozzarella with tomatoes cucumber and avocado to go with whatever I can find in the freezer.  Tomorrow is going to be lunch chaos as we have the estate agents coming at that time.  This all feels like a bit of a government  job creation scheme.  After all with us living in it the house it's not worth much and any value they place on it is only good for a short length of time as house prices are permanently on the move.  Presumably this is the government looking at capital gains tax when and if the property is sold by which time the valuations will be a nonsense and the tax laws will have changed so what is the point?  Of course silly me, they can charge me for the privilege and call it a disbursement just to confuse the issue still further. Anyway, I have a steak and kidney in the freezer so all I have to do is add a lid and we will have a pie for lunch. And following on from yesterdays discussion on Kale I have added some to my box delivery for next week as it comes in its natural form rather than minced.

Well that the score for today time to get going with something.  Oh by the way the hoover is magic it is light powerful and does what it says on the tin.  If you fancy one go for it........