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Showing posts from July, 2008

Interesting day yesterday

It was another glorious day with very hot sunshine. My friend arrived with her dog so there was general mayhem and while the dogs played we had some time to catch up on all the goings on of here trip to Scotland and our holiday in Suffolk.

We had a simple lunch of poached trout with cucumber[from the glass house] salad and some new potatoes. Mike was sent on a shopping expedition as we were low on some bits and pieces and came back via the butcher where he bought some nice lamb chumps which we marinaded in lemon garlic and rosemary and had for supper after cooking on the barbecue.

We all had a dip in the pool that is the humans and the dogs as it was boiling hot around mid day. When it cooled down we took the dogs for a walk in the woods where it is shady. My bee mentor was unable to come and sort out my bees but has promised to come this evening which has worked out well as the Nuke [half hive] arrived yesterday so I now have somewhere to transfer some of the bees if necessary.

My …

Sorry bit late this morning

I had a bit of a rough night last night and and woke at 1 am finally getting back to sleep at about 3 so didn't wake till 7.
It looks like it is going to be a hot one today and my friend and her dog are due to visit so I think we will be going for walks in the woods where it is cool. Basso has recovered from his bout of sickness but spent most of yesterday asleep or drinking water. You can imagine just how much sick a large dog can produce so my day was spent mopping up the carpet. In the end I might as well have shampooed the whole thing. I thought it best to miss gun dog classes which was a shame but I think he needed 24 hours to recover he is after all just a baby.

I found a good use for some of the courgettes I sliced them finely on a mandolin and then put them in a pan and cooked them slowly I then put some left over pasta on top with 4 beaten eggs and seasoning of Parmesan cheese and made a sort of layered frittata. It was very tasty and and made 5 courgettes almost disa…

Slightly cooler

We had a good downpour last night which has at least freshened the air a little and saved me a big job of watering.

We managed to draw quite a crowd for Basso's swimming lesson yesterday and I expect it was quite a sight. I had to wade into the river up to my chest to get him out of his depth and he was doing so much dogie paddle that I was completely soaked from head to foot. Good job I had on a bathing costume under my shorts and tee shirt. So imagine, 3 children and 3 dogs in the river with one mad 60 year old woman. Anyway, he was getting better by the time we left and the 2 little dogs had had a ball swimming with the children. When we got home I showered Basso with the hose to get the salt out of his coat and the 2 little dogs joined myself and the kids in the pool for a cool down. It was climbing to 30 degrees but lunch time so I got some fish fingers out of the freezer and we made some assorted salads to accompany them and all sat under the umbrella in the garden for…

Thank you all for answering

I have no way of knowing if anyone reads this drivel unless there are comments posted so thanks for the posts yesterday.

What a lovely weekend, weather wise it was hot and sunny and yesterday must be one of the few days I can remember spending the day in my bathing costume. The kids arrived at about 11 like two boiled lobsters so they were stripped off and dunked in the pool to cool down. We had a lovely lazy day sitting in the garden under the umbrella so as not to get burned. Lunch was assorted salads and a smoked chicken that I had bought in France and stashed in the freezer for emergencies. Supper was a repeat performance with some cold tongue so all very easy on the catering department. I did however, make some tomato juice in my new juice extractor. If any of you are familiar with V8 that is how it tastes as I added some carrot celery onion and garlic. I filled a bottle for the kids to take home and have set some as a jelly to have for lunch today. Ideally it is meant for…

Is there anybody there?

No one seems to be around this weekend but I suppose that is to be expected as the kids have now broken up from school and every one is taking their well earned summer holidays.

I had a fabulous day yesterday and worked solidly in the garden. I have got the vegetable patch back to pristine order and have even decided to do a bit more planting despite the pigeon attacks. This time I will be a bit more sensible and make sure I net everything. I thought I would put in a row of perpetual spinach and some lettuce both of which are susceptible to the bird predation. By lunch time, I was very hot and sweaty so I took myself off to the pool for a cool down before eating. We has some soup that I had made from some chicken wings and a nice salad with a little blue cheese. I then took myself off for a lie down but didn't manage to sleep.

In the evening we lit the barbecue and I did a couple of aubergines and some piri piri chicken which was delicious. I then used the hot coals to light …

Summer is here with a vengeance

Boy was hit hot yesterday we started the day with a trip to the vet and much to our relief Basso has got mange which sounds crazy but this is so much easier to treat than some obscure allergy. However, we have been told not to take him to his classes so I will have to do practice at home and hope that we don't miss too much. We then had loads of shopping to do and as the kids have broken up from school this was somewhat of a nightmare. By the time we reached home I was close to boiling point so my first port of call was the pool to cool down. I decided to have a barbecue in the evening and did some lovely bits of lamb which had been marinading in lemon juice garlic and rosemary. I also char grilled some courgettes and aubergines to go with it and finally to use the last of the heat I put some spuds on the embers. I am hoping to do a similar trick today but with chicken legs which are to be marinaded in piri-piri sauce. I bought a box of cheap chicken wings which I have used…

Back to normal again

Yesterday saw the washing and ironing completed, how can 2 people make so much washing? We must either be very dirty or very clean people I don't know which!!!once I had finished I threw myself in the pool to cool down it was not exactly a good day for ironing as it was soooo hot. The dogs showed no interest in going out for a walk I think they were exhausted from their holiday and were just pleased to lay on the carpet and recover. Once it had started to cool down I spent a good couple of hours in the garden which looks more like autumn than high summer. I cut the grass and then put the hose on it as it is going brown already.
I had large numbers of courgettes to get rid off so I made courgette pancakes for lunch and there were so many that they came round again for supper with some nice lambs sweetbreads which I found in a butcher in Woodbridge. The store cupboard is pretty bare so today for my sins I will need to go and do some shopping, but first it's a trip to the vet…

Back from the wilds of Suffolk

If you are going to sit and read this may I suggest you get a nice cup of coffee first!

To start at the beginning, we got up to Suffolk in good time and surprise, surprise the kids had packed and had cleaned the inside of the van it was all in pristine order so after cups of tea we made our way to the Maybush pub for lunch, where we had the fish and chips which was more than any of us could eat so the dogs did quite well on the left overs. The kids then made their way back to London and Mike and I went back to the van after a spot of shopping for something for supper. We bought some lovely veal chops and the butcher threw in an extra chop for the dogs, can you believe it!!! Well we were still so full that it was only the dogs who ate theirs. We retired to bed early as we knew we had a big day ahead on Saturday. I woke as usual at about 4.30 so as soon as it was light I took the dogs for a 5 mile hike through the forest, where we saw copious rabbits, deer, a fox, a stoat and too ma…

am I unlucky or just stupid

As part of my holiday preparations I decided to make sure all the menagerie was OK so the hens were cleaned out, and yesterday evening I thought I had better give the bees the once over before I left. This turned out to be a major mistake, they were in a foul mood and attacked me, despite smoke to pacify them they successfully stung me through my bee suit and gauntlets, finally I decided discretion was the better part of valour and retreated, but I had left my smoker out side and thought I had better put it under cover in case it rained so after leaving them to settle for a while I made another foray up the garden only to get stung smack in the middle of my face!!!!
Well, at this point I decided to ring my bee mentor who unfortunately will be in Ireland for the next week but has he has offered to come and sort them out when he comes back and suggested that I just leave them alone till then, he needn't have worried I am going nowhere near them until he is with me in support.....
As …

Peaceful relaxing day

Today, I intend to have a peaceful day just pottering around with maybe a shopping trip this afternoon. That is assuming we get the car back by lunch time, landrover have asked to keep it a little longer as they are having trouble finding the leak. Anyway it passed its MOT and they are replacing the front breaks which are worn. I would like a trip to M&S this afternoon as my underwear is badly in need of replacing and a new pair of jeans would not go amiss. Funny thing underwear its fine for ages and then suddenly it seems to fall apart its the same with my hair its fine and then one day it seems to cross some invisible line and become unmanageable.

We are eating out of the freezer at the moment as I am trying not to buy any fresh food before we leave for our caravan trip. So we will be having egg and tomato sandwiches for lunch and some ox tongue that I froze some time ago for supper with new potatoes and caper sauce. We will also have to have a portion of raspberries as th…

Absolutely shattered

Four thirty and the birds are shouting their heads off. I could have done with a lie in this morning following our first gun-dog class last evening. The class was held nearly an hours drive from home so we had to set of at 5.30 pm which gave us a little extra time to find the place. It's always the way if you leave time to find somewhere it turns out to be very easy but if you are tight for time its really difficult. Anyway, I am a few quid lighter and the proud possessor of a lanyard and whistle, and a member of the utility gun dog club but it seems I will also need a dummy and a game bag before I am properly equipped. An older lady took the class and filled me with confidence as she very obviously knew all there is to know about dog training. It was a beautiful evening for the session which was held in a field alongside the most wonderful house and gardens. Basso acquitted himself very well and was eager to join in all the activities. He was desperate to go and pick up t…

Who ate the dog treats?

What a busy day I had yesterday, I had a lovely ride in the morning despite the the hike I had to go and fetch Mork who was miles away at the top of the hill. When I got him in the others at the stables said that he had been a bit of a pickle and refused to be caught for several days but he was as quiet as a lamb for me. It was a smashing day to ride and we stuck mostly to the woods where there was shade and it was relatively cool. I didn't get back home until 12 midday having left at 8.30 so I was very glad that I had organised the lunch before I left.

After my siesta a neighbours child came knocking to have a dip in the pool which I had promised her on Sunday, I would have joined her but I had a dog training class to go to that evening so I didn't have the time or the inclination. The OH had been sent to buy some frankfurter sausages to use as dog treats for class. We had been advised to bring something very smelly as a treat as there are so many distractions for the pup…

Monday morning

Well folks it is supposed to be a wonderful day today, isn't it always the way that when people have to go back to work the weather improves. I suppose it is yet another of the advantages of being retired it really doesn't matter to me as weekends mean very little.

The plan of campaign for today is to go riding this morning and no doubt Mork will be miles away so I will have a good steep climb to go and fetch him. I console myself with the number of calories it must burn and having put on 3 pounds it will do me good. I had planned to go swimming once a week but as yet I haven't managed to fit it in to the shedule. Yes, thats an excuse I know!!!! Anyway I did take Basso for his swimming lesson yesterday as it was high tide at 9.30 which was an ideal time. Once we get back I have three dogs to hose down and get the salt out of their coats. Basso has hated it up to now but he was an angel and let me wash him off with little trouble, so at least he will look nice for sch…

Sunday and some sun

Morning all well at last some sunshine, however there are some ominous clouds around and the forecast is not too good. I had a reasonably productive day yesterday and spent some time in the garden sorting out loads of plants that needed cutting back. I have some Tibetan raspberries which are ornamental and are smothered in tiny pink flowers, the fruit is also microscopic so once the flowers have finished and the bees have left I have to cut them down but they are very prickly so it is a bit of a pain. I also managed to get the washing done betwen the showers so this morning it will be ironing. I'm hoping that tomorrow will be fine and I can get a ride in but I guess we will have to wait and see. This is one of the major drawbacks of the British summer, nothing is ever certain! but I would hate to live where there was constant sunshine and no seasons. There's just no pleasing some people is there?

Now lunch and dinner what to have? Well I fancied a bit of poached salmon…

circus vans

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us in splendid isolation

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Back for a week

What a day it was on Wednesday, it rained all day just the sort of weather to pitch camp anyway we managed to hitch up the caravan with little problem and after some interesting and heated discussions we managed to reverse it into the the pitch. I then donned my full wet weather gear and took the dogs for a good run in the forest. I put the dogs back in the car to dry off a little as you can imagine 3 wet dogs in a caravan makes for an interesting aroma!!!fortunately the van shower cubical has hooks to hang wet clothes so they can drip and not cause problems. Once all the chores were done we had a quick supper and all crashed out and slept until nearly 6 am when the dogs were ready for a tank emptying session so it was up and out into the forest which was dry underfoot as it is all on sand and so drains instantly.

The sun was shining so we managed to get the awning erected. The food that I had pre-prepared and vacuum packed came in very handy and it took all of 10 minutes to prepa…

Wednesday and off on holiday

Well here we go - the weather forecast is absolutely terrible - just what we needed it is destined to pour with rain all day. I guess I will need to take my full wet weather gear including the wet weather trousers. However, at present it is dry with a slightly overcast sky, so I will shoot out and sort the chickens and start to load the car while it is dry. The 2 terriers are well aware that something is up but Basso is oblivious to the impending expedition. I must admit the thought of 3 wet dogs in confined space does not exactly fill me with joy. I have, however, trained all the dogs to allow me to dry them with the hair dryer for precisely this occasion and the terriers have raincoats in the caravan but I haven't got round to getting one for Basso. I hate seeing dogs in coats but they are a god send when it is raining and we are camping.
As we store the van in Suffolk I don't have the luxury of loading up at home and have to take everything back and forth. To make thi…
Well what a day we had yesterday it came down in stair rods most of the day and I got well and truly soaked taking the dogs for a walk. It is the first time in ages that I have required my waterproof trousers as well as the anorak. Riding was cancelled needless to say but Mork's owner was going to bring him into the stable as there is not shelter in the field. This morning looks bright with a dappled sky but according to the weather forecast it will not last and there is more rain on the way which will continue until Thursday. Oh joy, this means we are likely to have a wet day to pick up the van!!!!I put off doing the laundry yesterday but today I will have to do it if we are to have clothes to wear on holiday so I will have to draught in the tumble dryer.

Vacuum packed potatoes worked really well and reheated in the microwave in moments so it is a definite for the caravan. Today we will have to eat up the bits and pieces from the fridge and possibly have a take away for supp…

Monday

Another damp. dark. dismal morning, thick cloud and drizzling rain, so I guess riding is off but at least the garden will benefit. Basso is trying to help me type which is not working out very well so I don't think computer studies will be on his curriculum.

Yesterday, I did an experiment with some potatoes and steamed them, then when they were cold I vacuum packed them with a small knob of butter and some chives. The hope is that I can just put the bag in the microwave and reheat when we are camping which will save me having to wash and peal them and fill the van with steam. We do have an extractor fan but it is very noisy when on full power.

Cooking in the caravan is quite a challenge as I try not to go for the easy option of the barbecued burgers and sausages. We also love to shop around the little artisan shops and buy nice things to eat. There is a very good butcher in Whickam Market which opens at 7.30 am and has a queue outside. There is also very good fish to be had a…
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Basso in training as a kitchen porter starting with the washing up!!!!

Sunday

Sunday is meant to be the day of rest well I had one yesterday. I was absolutley shattered and apart form sorting out the food and cooking a few things I did very little. We had a splash of rain but nowhere near enough for the garden so I will be putting on the hose this morning to give the veg a drink. Which should ensure we have a deluge later in the day.

Anne, I believe it is today that you are off for your run/jog/walk so I hope it at least stays dry for you, 10K in the rain would be a bit miserable.

I am now trying to think in holiday mode and will be running down the fridge and making sure that the clothes are clean for packing not that we take much. It is going to be strange to go for three days then home for a week and then back for four more days, but at least this way the kids get a week in the van on their own and will give them a break from the flat in London. They have asked to have the little dogs for the week so they have an excuse for some nice long walks. Basso w…
Dull cloudy and looks like rain, we seem to be swinging from good to bad on alternate days. We had a super time yesterday in France and the weather couldn't have been better. Our crossing on the train was totally uneventful and we arrived in France in good time to make it to our restaurant and park the car. We first went and had a paddle in the receding tide at Sangatte and were very surprised at the warmth of the water. With acres of sandy beach you really wish you had the dogs with you but at £30 per head to take 4 dogs would be lunacy.

After our leisurely meal we headed back to city Europe and the shops. There we replenished the wine cellar and the freezer with assorted goodies. I bought some veal and some duck legs which will be put in the oven and slowly cooked and degreased this morning then they can be vacuum packed and frozen. I must admit to feeling pretty shattered this morning as the howling banshee didn't let me get to sleep until nearly midnight but a least …
Well I'm up bright and early this morning it is only just light but it looks like another good day. Today, we are off to France for lunch and a bit of shopping. We leave Folkestone on the train at 9.50 which gets us into Calais at 11.30 french time and just in time to drive out to Sangat [sp]for lunch. We usually buy some veal and an array of goodies for supper when we get home such as pate and cheese etc. I also buy Belgian endive as it is so much cheaper. Mike restocks with wine and then we make our way to the terminal and I restock on cigarettes then its home to the dogs and a supper of what ever we have bought. Not exactly thrilling but a pleasant enough day out. The usual ticket price is £54 for the car and passengers but we only pay £15 in Tesco vouchers so it is very economical I couldn't even buy a train ticket for one person to London for that money. Given that we only live 30 miles from London that does seem a bit ridiculous.

I don't know if you have been…
Very cloudy and overcast this morning, but good news on the cat front the neighbours have now let the cat in the house and have covered their sofa in polythene to protect it. This means that it is not outside howling in the early hours of the morning. I still wake up early but not as early as with the howling cat. The rain yesterday was most welcome though it was only a small amount it has damped down the garden. I managed to get my washing dry and the grass cut before the heavens opened so all was well. We managed to make all the frames for the bee hive so the super has been added which will give the bees some more room for their honey stores.

The tide will be high at 1.45 today so that might be a good time to walk the dogs and include a swimming lesson for Basso. The water is remarkably warm I expected it to be much colder at this time of the year and as I have to go in up to my knees it is not as much of a trauma as I thought it would be. I have a pair of ghastly crocs but bo…
The sun is shining but the clouds are gathering. We had a lovely day yesterday and walked the dogs in some lovely woods with deep shade. The views over the valley from the north downs were spectacular, we then went to a pub for lunch which was nice but not spectacular. For supper I did scrambled eggs with smoked salmon which was lovely as neither of us was really hungry and that fitted the bill really well. I did get a coat of oil on the furniture so that should keep it protected for another year.

Today, I have a nice peaceful job I have to make up the frames for the super for the bee hive. Interestingly, the national hive holds 11 frames and guess what they sell everything in packs of 10 how mad is that!!!I also have to buy a "nuke", which is a small hive, as it may be necessary to split my colony in September this will also give me some insurance over the winter should I loose any bees. I have also been asked to write an article for the bee keepers magazine which wil…

Bees are blossoming

Morning everyone, it's looking like another glorious sunny day. Yesterday went well I managed to get a coat of Danish oil on the garden furniture and the smoked salmon is vacuum packed and in the fridge. The dogs had a swimming lesson down at the river yesterday morning and Basso is gradually getting his confidence back. However, he did his usual and I found him hanging on by his elbows with his back end in the pond, he still doesn't have the strength to pull himself out, but at least he was not panicking just looking pleadingly at me to pull him back onto dry land.

Last night my bee mentor came we opened up the hive to see what was going on and much to both our surprises the colony is multiplying at an alarming rate and I will have to build some more frames for them to store the honey as they have all but filled the hive. So "Sweetie Pie" is doing her stuff and laying eggs like mad.

Today, we are off out for a walk with the dogs and some friends then out to lunch…