Posts

Showing posts from 2009

Thursday 31st New Years Eve

Well it is New Years eve and I have the mother and father of all head colds. My plans for yesterday soon evaporated as I gradually felt more and more rotten. I did get the washing done and hung up to dry and made us some food to eat but that was about it. I am devastated as I am due to go hunting tomorrow but I'm not sure that I will be well enough for 4-5 hours of tramping across fields. However, I am determined to go so I think I will fill myself up with "day nurse" and take a dose with me and hope for the best.

I had a really rotten night as I was all bunged up and kept waking with a mouth like the bottom of a budgie cage. Mike too went into a terminal decline and may well be going down with the same thing but as yet he doesn't have the runny nose. I hope he steers clear of it as with his weak chest it is not a good idea. He has had his flu jab so hopefully it might protect him a little.

I think the pile of ironing can wait until I feel a bit more human and I…

Wednesday 30th and the year is nearly over

Well another year is slowly slipping into the archive. I have taken the precaution of putting all the photos from the year on a DVD just in case of computer disaster. The house is finally back to the usual numbers of two people and three dogs and it seems very quiet. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the chaos and mayhem and I have cooked my socks off over the last few days. Yesterday, the ham bone went into a pot with split peas and the stock from some duck legs that were going cheap in Tesco. What a soup!!!! I made a full English breakfast with all the trimmings for Mary at about 11 am which set her and us up for the day and we waved her farewell at about 1pm when she went off to visit her sister in law who lives in Harrietsham, before returning to Bath today. The weather forecast looks OK for the journey so I hope she gets home without too much trouble.
We had a pretty wet day here it rained almost all day - it was never heavy but constant.
Today, I am going to have a purge in t…

Tuesday and the weather is set to change

Well the weather is set to change but we have been forecast rain and plenty of it, but others are in for a dousing of snow. Yesterday was a lovely day with lots of bright sun shine and relatively mild. We took the dogs for a nice run in the woods where to our surprise there were still patches of ice in the areas of deep shade. We also braved Tesco to stock up on a few bits and pieces. I was horrified to see the amount of large meat joints and fresh turkeys still on the shelves and I am sure they will the just be thrown away if they are not bought soon. With just the 2 of us we can't cope with such things but I wished I had a chest freezer to fill with all that cheap meat.
We sat up and watched "The day of the triffids" which has been brought right up date and was very watchable. I used to be an avid reader of John Wyndham many years ago so I remember the story quite well. The concluding part is tonight so that is something to look forward to.
Mary is leaving today …

Monday and a bank holiday

Image
Basso has found a good place to sleep off his Christmas lunch

Yesterday morning I set too and made a turkey and ham pie with mushrooms and creme fraiche but I cooked the pastry separately which is so much easier and if you are serving it up in the kitchen no one is any the wiser except that the pastry is not soggy. Once everyone was up we had a breakfast of scrambled eggs and smoked salmon and then headed to the estuary for a nice long walk with the dogs. Fortunately the weather was beautiful and sunny but there was a bitter wind blowing as we found out once we were out of the sheltered part of the walk. For supper we had the soup made from the carcasses with gnocchi "de gries" which are as light as a feather and made with semolina not potato and they are flavoured with marjoram and Parmesan. These are James favourite and as he was going home after supper it was time to make a batch. He was feeling a bit under the weather and was starting to get a cold so hot and cold with a …

Sunday a day of rest!!!!

Well it poured with rain yesterday morning and for most of the day but at least the snow has now gone and the ice has melted off the paths but I believe the weather is set to worsen again towards the end of the week.

The cold meat and bubble and squeak went down very well for lunch and the cheese board finished the meal off nicely. In order to fill in the time we had set up the bridge table and so few rubbers were played while we waited for the bubble to cook. In the afternoon we watched a DVD as the programs on the TV have been pretty dire over the holidays. By the time it came to supper we were all glad that it was just a bowl of broth and some crusty bread hot out of the oven. The broth was made from all the carcasses of the birds so it was strong and tasty and with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese it was just what the doctor ordered.

Today we are going to take the dogs for a walk no matter what the weather as they are going a little stir crazy - for lunch I am doing the inevitable…

Boxing Day

Image
Photo of the goose about to go in the oven - there was supposed to be one when it came out but we were too hungry and just ate it.
I'm glad to say that all went well, we completely demolished the goose between the 6 of us and there is hardly anything left. The huge stock pot is now on the stove with the carcass in it. As it turned out Len and Margaret got on very well with Mary and the day ran smoothly in fact it all went so well that they are coming back today to eat up the cold meat and play a bit of bridge. It is a good job I did the turkey as well as the goose or there would have been very little for today. Everyone agreed that the cold meat should be served with bubble and squeak so the left over sprouts will pay another visit to the table. James acted as my commi chef and was a great help in the kitchen and between the dish washer and the throw away aluminium foil dishes there was not too much that needed washing up. After lunch and the Queens speech the oldies were park…

Happy Christmas

Image
One basket and three dogs who knew it would be so popular....... Happy Christmas to my Chatham reader. You seem to be a very regular reader so I hope you find this blog entertaining even if it is just my boring day to day thoughts. The big day's here at last -now first some good news - I am back to 6 for lunch the extra lad will not be coming as his wife has been discharged from hospital and he managed to get out and do some shopping so they are going to stay at home. James arrived about 7.30 last night having first stopped off to visit his friend. We had a light supper of roast salmon with mash and peas. It has been tradition in our house to have fish on Christmas Eve and I carry on the tradition almost unconsciously. I did the salmon with an Ina Garten recipe. Before putting it into a blisteringly hot oven I smeared it with a mixture of garlic, Dijon mustard, lemon zest and olive oil. This doesn't sound like a very inspiring coating but I must admit it made a very tasty…

Christmas Eve and preparations begin in earnest

Good morning folks, the snow is finally clearing with some rain falling and the temperature rising we now have a balmy 3 degrees.
My morning started quietly yesterday and all I had to do was collect the turkey and goose from the butcher. Then I got a panic phone call from Elly she was on her way to her butcher and could not get her car up the hill, it was sliding sideways back down. She had her Mum and Dad coming for Christmas lunch and would be bird-less. So I bought her a turkey at our butcher together with some sausages and bacon and delivered it to her. For which privilege she served us a very nice pasta lunch. We made our way home to discover that our road had been closed to traffic as it was sheet ice from end to end. We duly ignored the sign and parked up outside but when Mary rang to say she was almost at our house we had to tell her to ignore the sign and just park in front of us. Now the biggest joke of the lot is that Paul Clark the transport minister lives half way …

Wednesday morning and Bin Day

We had better not forget the bins this morning as I'm sure there will be quite a back log for the next collection.

Today is set to be fairly busy as we are to go and collect the meat from the butcher. Fortunately it is still freezing so I can leave it all in the garage and will not have to find fridge space for it. I have completed the final washing session so there is a pile of ironing waiting to be done.

Yesterday was quite busy as we had Jane here with her son, who is now on holiday from school, but he was very well behaved and sat and watched a blue ray version of Ice age 3 which we had bought for us to watch at some time. Jane did her usual thing and buzzed around the house with the hoover and the duster, no sooner had she left than Elaine and her 5 year old turned up so lunch got stretched to include them. Then we got a phone call from our friends Len and Margret - apparently Margret was booked into their local hospital in Dartford to have her kidney stones blasted with u…

Tuesday and we still have the snow

It rained a little yesterday but it hasn't shifted the snow and today we have been forecast more snow but that has happened almost every day and we have had nothing. I am up very late this morning as I didn't wake up until 7am which is extremely late for me. I took the dogs for a walk with my friend Elly and she took some lovely photos of the dogs but as yet they have not arrived down the E mail so I can't post any. I managed to get a load of coloured washing done and have left the last load of whites for today. Then it will be a big iron and away it all goes until after Christmas. Today I have made a pot of pork and beans for supper and Jane is coming to give the house a final going over and I must make the creme brulee for Xmas lunch and get them tucked in the fridge.
I got a phone call from my friend Sandi who I met at dog training. She has become one of the casualties of the snow. She fell while out walking the dogs and has broken a metatarsal bone banged her he…

Monday and the final run

Image
When icicles hang by the wall .........while greasy Joan doth keel the pot. Well "greasy Joan" did plenty of pot keeling yesterday and made the gravy and the bread sauce. I also took the dogs for a magical walk in the woods but sadly forgot to take the camera with me. I also braved Tesco and battled around getting the last minute bits and pieces which included a box of Ferro Rocher and this morning I notice that the mice have been at the chocolates or could it have been Mike when he was left unattended????? Can no one be trusted!!!! The snow is not melting but is now becoming compacted and covered with ice which is making walking quite treacherous. Basso is still besotted with the garden and I am having to restrict his amount of time outside as he only comes in to warm up and then he is off out again. This morning there was a great kerfuffle in the garden with lots of barking and when I went to investigate the hens were squawking their heads off so I think the fox must…

Sunday and still freezing

Image
Basso loving the snow - yesterday I took them for a walk down by the estuary which was pretty icy and slippery but we managed to have a great time until Basso decided to go and get a sea gull and waded into the mud up to his shoulders. There was no way I was going to hose him down in the garden so he got banished to his crate until he was dry enough for me to brush the mud off. Sadly he still smells like the bottom of the river. We came home via Tesco as I had a few bits to get but one look at the car-park and we did a U turn and came home. It was absolutely heaving with people. We have been forecast more snow but as yet none has arrived and we are not out of the woods until Monday I believe. The snow we have is showing no signs of melting as the temperature is consistently below freezing. The hens seem happy enough in their glass igloo which is quite warm considering, I suppose the insulating layer of snow is keeping the temperature up inside and their water is not getting to …

Saturday and it's Snow time

Image
Believe it or not this photo was take after the sun was up but it was still so dark as the skies were very black. I went and sorted the chickens out in the green house and brought the snow shovel down from the shed. I cleared a path for us to get to the car and then set too and cleaned the snow off the vehicle which was just as well as I got a frantic phone call from Elaine who's twins were having a sleep over with a friend on the Hoo peninsula and she was supposed to go and collect them but couldn't get her car off the drive. Well to cut a long story short I drove up to her house passing many abandoned cars and we set off to collect the kids and get them home. Sometimes it is an advantage to have a politically incorrect car. The main roads were moving but the side roads were very treacherous. I finally got back home at about 12 midday and then had to set too and cook our lunch fortunately Mike had put the oven on so it was an easy job just to put the meat in and follow i…

White out!!!!

Image
This photo was taken about 5 minutes ago at 5am so as you can see it is not light yet but we have about 4" and it is still snowing. Once it gets light I will take some nice snow scenes.
Basso had been out to investigate and come back with a light dusting. I had a very gentle day yesterday and generally mooched around doing very little - I caught up on lots of recorded TV that I had missed and slept on and off so I guess I was just tired!!! Today, is going to be a day for wrapping up well and getting out with the dogs and the camera in the snow. Having a Landrover I must be one of the few people who relish driving in the snow. We are off to a party tonight at a neighbours house so I thought I would make some palmier biscuits with Parmesan cheese and parma ham as seen on Delia's Christmas show. I have also taken out a small joint of top side of beef which I will roast for lunch as I am trying to run the freezer down a little so that I have room for all the Christmas stuff.…

Thursday morning and today we are set for snow

According to the weather forecast today is the day we are to expect the snow but as yet the temperature is still in plus figures and there is no sign of any of the white stuff. We had a few flurries yesterday but it didn't stick or last.

I tested out the rabbit pies on James for lunch and was pleasantly surprised that they did in fact work really well. I also did a dozen mince pies using the flaked almond topping and some how they evaporated!!!! We had a very pleasant day and spent some time in the garden with Basso and the pistol and his frozen pigeon which has now been consigned to the bin as I need all the freezer space I can get. James shot the pistol the threw the pigeon as though it had been shot and I then sent Basso out to fetch it and bring it back to me which he did very well. He really seems to have got the idea of what it is all about and absolutely loves the game.

For super we had some of the rabbit liver pate on toast and a bowl of salad which was ample considerin…

Wednesday and bitterly cold

Good morning all, well it is really freezing here today [-0.6] and we have been forecast snow this afternoon then 10 cms on Thursday and Friday. I was feeling pretty ropey yesterday morning and so cancelled the hunting trip which was a shame but I really wasn't feeling up to it. Sandi and her husband came to see us for lunch and we had a really lovely time. They had had a pretty miserable morning as they had taken a friends dog to the vet to be put down. All very stressful!!!! I had made a large macaroni cheese which I served with apple sauce and fried onions and Sandi had brought some lovely mince pies which were topped with flaked almonds rather than pastry. Very yummy!!! and an idea I may well pinch. We strained off some of the bullace gin which we had to sample and Sandi took a bottle home with her. She had brought her Labrador "Casey" with her so Basso was in seventh heaven as he loves her deeply. After lunch we took them all for a long walk down at the estu…

Tuesday and sub zero

Well, I am back up and running the "black screen of death" is no more but I am £63 the poorer - so a good job we are eating free meat. My 6 rabbits made 2 casseroles with the back legs enough for 8 portions, 4 portions of coniglio san angelo with the saddles, 2 litres of stock and a terrine of rabbit liver enough for 4 portions. The dogs were not forgotten and I made 9 dog meals from the off cuts. We had a portion of the san angelo last night for supper served with home made polenta which requires lots of butter and Parmesan to make it nice. The rich tomato sauce from the rabbit was lovely sopped up with the polenta.

Recipe for San Angelo
dust the rabbit, or I guess skinless chicken would work, with seasoned flour and brown in some olive oil then add a crushed clove of garlic and allow to become golden. Pour in a glass of white wine and allow to boil then add the tomato sauce - I used some that I had made in the summer but passata or even a tin of tomatoes would do. Then …

Monday morning blues

Yesterday was a washout in more ways than one. Shortly after completing my blog for the morning I decided to jettison some old software that I no longer used. When I rebooted the machine afterwards it went into a terminal meltdown and I now have the black screen of death so this morning I will have to trawl around and find a computer engineer to help me get it back up and running. Thank heavens for the lap top!!!! I then got myself together and set off for shooting. I should have know it was going to be a disaster when we got caught by the kings ferry bridge which was elevated to let a ship pass under it and we had to wait for ages. By the time we got to the shooting ground the heavens had opened and it was throwing it down with rain and there was an icy blast blowing. Roger and his mates decided to shoot in the competition but I was going to wait for them to finish then have some practice. In the end I got so cold and soaked while I watched the competition that I decided to th…

Sunday morning and raining

Image
The end of a long day and finally setting up the TV and blue-ray player. The TV is on a very fancy bracket which allows it to sit flat on the wall or be pulled out so that everyone can see the screen. Aerials had to be drilled through walls and new electricity supplies put in place so it was quite a big job. We had a new TV put in the dining room and one in each of the bedrooms so now we have a completely integrated system. While all this was going on I busied myself in the kitchen and made 6 individual rabbit pies which required a pound of short crust pastry, 4 portions of goulash, 4 portions of pork and beans and meat balls for 4 all of which are now in the freezer with the exception of some of the goulash which we had for supper with mash and sprouts. I have frozen the pies with raw pastry so that I can just put them in a hot oven for about 30 minutes before serving. I have not done this before so we will see how it turns out. I think I must have washed up about a hundred tim…

Saturday morning

Yesterday went well I managed to accomplish most of what was on the to-do list plus a few extra bits. Today, I feel like a child at Christmas as the new TVs are being installed, however I will need to keep out of the way while the work is done so I thought I would hide in the kitchen and write the Christmas cards and then get on with some of the cooking. I want to make some individual rabbit pies which I can tuck in the freezer for those days when you can't face another round of turkey!!! Then I will make a pork and bean casserole and some meat balls to have with pasta and tomato sauce. I also want to make a goulash with some nice skirt I got from the butcher so that should keep me out of mischief for a couple of hours. I find it easier to make loads of things in one hit as most of them start with "first fry the onions" I can peel and chop loads and then divide them among the various dishes. The pork and beans will be destined for the slow cooker closely followed by…

Friday and pretty cold again

Image
A tiny sliver of moon - it looks much bigger from where I am sitting
Yesterday was a bit of change around while I was out swimming Shiona rang to say she was unwell and would not be coming shooting - I decided to go anyway and shoot by myself. The club was an interesting sight as much of it was in what appeared to be a lake. Fortunately the club house and the skeet traps are on higher ground so we were dry underfoot but I was very grateful that we has a 4x4 as the road to the ground was washed out and just a mass of big pot holes filled with water. Mike worked the buttons for me and I shot 90% of the right to left clays and missed 90% of the left to right so something was not right but I'm blowed if I know what. No doubt Roger will put me right on Sunday. I hadn't realised when I agreed to shoot on Sunday that it was a competition so I guess I am in for a bit of a rough ride. By the time we got back we were starving so we stopped at the fish and chip shop - really bad news…

Thursday and shooting

I have finally done it! yes the wardrobe got done. At last all the summer light weight stuff has been removed and put away. Trousers are in one place and shirts in another, I don't know how long it will last but at least it is tidy for a while....Just in case you hadn't realised that I am a saint I also tackled the underwear draw and found things I had completely forgotten I had. At one point I really didn't think I was going to get round to doing it as the jobs for the day seemed to grow like Topsy. I went for my usual swim first thing but I was late as Mike decided to get up just as I was about to leave which delayed me somewhat. When I got back I discovered that Mike had made a long list of things to do so I quickly dried my hair and got the dogs into the car when the phone rang and it was my friend Roger asking if I would like to shoot on Sunday - well I couldn't turn him down so I accepted but then discovered that I would need steel shot as the site is near w…

Wednesday and bin day

Image
My little boy has no idea how big he is so he has curled himself in the cat basket. I worked like a donkey yesterday getting on with the spring clean and though I am not yet finished I have at least broken the back of it and most of the downstairs is done. I must admit it is very satisfying and everything is clean and sparkling - if only it would last!!!! Today's hated job is going to be the wardrobe I know I keep saying I am going to do it but today is the day. I still have some polishing of silver to do but that is a nice quiet job. I gave myself a bit of a fright yesterday and thought I had set the house alight I could smell burning but couldn't find anything alight. Then I remembered that I had put a tub of eggshells in the microwave to dry/sterilise before I crushed them - low and behold, I had set the microwave for 11 minutes instead of 2 and they had caught fire and melted the plastic container. What a mess and what a stink!!!!! Now for a piece of good news Basso and …

Tuesday and a late start

Image
Don't go for a walk when the tide is out!!! Guess who chased a sea gull? I was fairly lucky with my walk as the rain held off just long enough but I did need to get the hose on Basso when we got back and can you imagine what the car smells like? River silt has an aroma all of its own.... Well I got stuck into my long list of chores and made some headway but the list just seems to get longer. I do at least have two clean ovens ready for the Christmas cook up. What a miserable job oven cleaning is, I line the base of the oven with tin foil which does help a little but the bars still need to be scrubbed with wire wool. I suppose if I were clever I would do it more regularly which would make the task a lot easier. The TV guy phoned and will be coming on Saturday morning to do the work which is great as I now can plan my life around him. If the weather improves I might even get a shooting expedition in some time this week. My nice neighbour came round for a cup of tea and has offere…

Monday morning again

The weekend just seemed to whistle by and we are back to Monday again. It is interesting that once retired you hardly notice weekends they are just days like any other. I was sad to miss my shooting yesterday but it was the right decision as the rain and wind didn't let up until the early afternoon. The hens seem to have settled to the new environment of the green house which they are rapidly turning into a a complete tip. I have provided them with a nice nest box made out of a wooden wine box filled with shredded news paper but they are laying eggs all over the place.
Today it is back to the swimming regimen and though it takes me all my will power to get out of the front door once I am at the pool I do enjoy the swimming and come home invigorated and ready to face the day. When I win the lottery I shall have my own pool to go with my 6 acres and an aga, but first I will need to buy a lottery ticket!!!
I have an interesting chore to do today I need to paint some coal!!! We h…

Sunday and pouring with rain

Image
The new ultra loud oil cloth - it almost hides all the mess!!! Some times things go right and yesterday was one of those days the weather stayed dry while I smoked the salmon and while I was at it I brined and smoked a brace of widgeon - once they were smoked I gave them 20 minutes at 180 in the oven and they were absolutely delicious. What an indulgent supper!!!! When I went up to the chickens to collect the eggs and feed them I was struck by just how wet and messy their run was so I decided to move them to the glass house for a bit of a dry time. They seemed to be delighted and soon made a shallow depression in the soil and cuddled together and went to sleep. I really would like to clean the run but I don't have the strength to move it on my own so I may ask my neighbour if she would give me a hand the next time we have a dry day - looking at the weather forecast that could be in the new year!!!!! Today is supposed to be shooting down in Dover but the weather is looking terrib…

Saturday and lets hope its dry

Yesterday, was a fairly relaxed day after swimming and cleaning out the hens we went with our friends to take the dogs for a walk. It was pretty muddy underfoot what with all the rain we have had recently but the dogs enjoyed themselves then it was off to buy the oil cloth for the table. Fortunately, the shop is on the outskirts of Maidstone as all the signs announced that there was no parking available in the town. We made our way towards the river and a restaurant which is very Italian. As we sat and discussed the menu Mike announced that he thought he would have the pizza tre cani - I looked up in shock as I couldn't believe they would have a three dog pizza then I spotted the error it was tre carni, three meats, an easy mistake but one that caused much amusement. After lunch we went back to our friends house and played bridge which led to some heated discussions and some really bad play - I don't think the lunch time wine did us any favours......

Today, I am hoping it …

Friday morning and pretty chilly

I had a pretty miserable day yesterday I think I got out of bed on the wrong side and everything seemed to thwart me. I was late going swimming which put me behind then my kitchen tap started to leak dramatically so it was a quick call to the plumber who, to my surprise, said he would be round within the hour. True to his word he was on time - but I felt so stupid - he was here for about 2 minutes and just tightened the nut which solved the problem - he was so amused he didn't even bother to charge us. It did, however, make me completely clear out the cupboard under the sink where everything was soaked which included all my dishcloths, tea towels and cleaning equipment. It looks like the TV guy is likely to come one day next week but he will confirm after the weekend, so things are beginning to move in that direction.

Dinner last night was a disaster!!! I dry fried some leeks and mushrooms and then added the chicken breast which I had shredded rather like a stroganoff once cook…

Thurdsay and dry at the moment

Yesterday was a busy day as I got up late I spent the rest of the day trying to catch up on what I had intended to do. I managed to take the dogs for a walk in the small dry window so I didn't get soaked. That sounds really stupid considering I had just come back from swimming but it is a different kind of soaking. Anyway I set to in the kitchen once the hens had been sorted out and made a couple of shepherds pies with the leftovers from the lamb shoulder that I had slow roasted the day before. One is big enough for 4 so it is going in the freezer the other we ate for supper with some cavolo [cabbage] nero [black] which I treat in the same way as curly kale that is to remove the centre rib and then boil in very little water, butter and salt and pepper. I also took a side of salmon out of the freezer and today I am going to cure it in salt, sugar and black pepper for about eight hours then it is left to dry for 24 before putting in the smoker. I am hoping for a dry day either F…

Wednesday and a late start

Well I am up very late this morning it is nearly 6 am so I need to get my act together as I go swimming at 7.30. At least it is warmer with no frost and as yet no rain but according to the forecast it is on its way. We both got a clear bill of health from the dentist yesterday which is all to the good.
Today, I have a quiet day planned after swimming it's home to dry my hair then out with the dogs for a walk - then on with the mundane stuff like washing and ironing and continue my spring cleaning. Anne, I was interested to hear that your homework took so long what on earth did you have to do? I don't want to burden you with further vocab but next week I will do some of the fruits which might come in handy. As for loosing weight- I have managed to loose 11lbs so far but have at least a stone and a half still to go. It is desperately slow but I am persevering with it as best I can. Having said that, I had a small mishap with some frankfurters last night - I watched Delia do Chris…

Well here we go it's December

What a stupid time to be up but then again I did fall asleep by 9pm so what should I expect. Yesterday, was a horrid day with lots of rain but as luck would have it I went swimming and it was dry and then when I took the dogs for their walk it had stopped again so luck was very much on my side. I went to the woods with the dogs and they got absolutely filthy but had a splendid time playing with some other dogs. I then made a chicken curry for dinner which was just what the doctor ordered for a cold wet evening. My spring cleaning seems to have stalled at the moment but no doubt I will continue with it when the mood takes me. Mike went through his wardrobe and managed to find 3 bags of clothes for the charity shop - I really should do the same as my wardrobe is in a complete mess. I have a mixture of clothes that fit me and those that don't and there are still summer weight shirts and vests mixed with jumpers and warm clothes.
Today we have our 6 monthly visit to the dentist w…

Miserable and wet Monday

Image
Basso the brilliant does it again and wins his class at the dog show - so now we have another rosette to hang on the wall. The photo is of my friend Sandi who was showing him for me, I was lurking in the crowd taking photos. It was a really miserable day cold and wet but we managed to park relatively close the the barn where the show was being held. Fortunately, there was a van selling bacon sandwiches which was our first port of call when we arrived. We then made our way to the ring which needless to say was the furthest away but fortunately the judging started right on time so we didn't have to hang around for too long. Once the judging was over and we had our certificate and rosette we beat a hasty retreat and found a nice pub for some lunch then it was home to central heating and a chance to finally get warm with copious cups of tea. Basso needless to say couldn't see what all the fuss was about but he did enjoy the frankfurter treat I gave him. Mike had been secretly hopin…

Sunday and dry at the moment

Yesterday was a long but satisfying slog, and I reckon I must be about half way with my spring cleaning exercise. It is all the small things that take the time like dismantling light fittings and cleaning them. You cannot imagine how many dead flys had accumulated over the summer months. had accumulated over the summer months. had accumulated over the summer months.
Today, however I am having a day off and going to the southern gun dogs show at Ardingly in Sussex. Basso is in for a dose of the brushes which he really hates but lets hope he behaves well for Sandi who is going to show him. It's no good me showing him as I transmit my discomfort straight down the lead and he behaves really badly for me. It is an early start for us as we need to be away by 8 am as it is an hours drive for us and the judging starts at 10am. I will take the camera and see if I can get some photos but I will have to stay out of Basso's sight so that he doesn't know I am there.
OK on to mea…

Saturday and pouring with rain again

I was very interested to read some recent research that shows that the average dog owner gets more exercise than the average gym member. Well that is something I already knew. It also highlighted the fact that you get fresh air and enjoy the country side as well. The one thing it didn't mention was that it is also a much cheaper way of getting exercise.

It was freezing cold yesterday when I took the dogs out but boy was it lovely to plunge into the pool for a swim after as it felt like a hot bath. When I got home I had a long shopping list to get through but what a miserable abortive day it was. We got a couple of things done then headed to Sainsbury but the car park was full to over flowing and there were people queuing to get in so we did a U turn and left - fortunately there was nothing essential that I needed. I can only think that it must be end of the month pay day and Christmas shoppers. We may well try again on Monday morning early and see if that is a bit better.
As it is t…

Friday and another week gone

Image
This photo should make you laugh it is of Basso dancing with me which he does to Black and Gold - he hears the first few bars of the music and comes and throws himself at me. I hadn't realise that I had taught him this and he will throw himself at anyone who is dancing as we found out the other day when visiting friends. Music was put on and the lady of the house started to dance. Basso immediately felt obliged to join in as she didn't have a partner - well 6.5 stone of dog hurling himself at you unexpectedly is quite a surprise.
I successfully avoided the shops yesterday but today I have run out of excuses so I will have to get myself off to the butcher and supermarket - I did however try on my jodhpurs and managed to get in them they are a little on, they tight side but hopefully that will change as I loose a bit more weight. Anyway, they have saved me spending money on a new pair of trousers to go hunting in.
Anne your meal sounds really lovely - I think I have been to Clived…

Thursday and much colder

Image
After the terrific storms of the night it turned into the most beautiful day for our shooting. The wind was a little keen and made the clays a bit skittish but we had fun and as there were not too many people there we were able to go round quite quickly. Shiona cleaned the guns while I made the corned beef hash which we were all ready for and demolished in double quick time. I was glad that I hadn't gone swimming and dog walking first as I think I would have been too tired. However I had dismantled the welsh dresser and given that a real birthday and its annual coat of bees wax. I hope you think it now looks OK. There are still plenty of bits to do so I will need to continue the process. We have agreed the estimate for the new TVs and we are hoping to have them in by Christmas so I have ordered one blue ray disc to test the new equipment. Today I am going to see if I can still get into my jodhpurs so that I don't need to buy thorn proof trousers I have only lost about 10 l…

Wednesday morning

Well it has been blowing a force 10 and pouring with rain for most of the night but at the moment it has gone deadly quiet. Yesterday went well the wonderful Jane came and did her stuff so the house looks OK but I know the deep in the corners it still needs a good clean so the spring cleaning needs to continue. John came and got up most of the leaves in the garden and we will not see him again until the early spring. There are still jobs to do but it doesn't warrant his coming as I can get on with them at my leisure. I managed to get the dogs walked and have my swim and be home in time for their arrival and once they were all under way I went off to the hair dresser leaving Mike in charge. The bubble and squeak that I made for lunch went down very well as I was starving by lunch time. I actually cooked it in the oven to save a few calories and it worked rather well.
Today is a shooting day and Shiona is coming over but Jeff has got bogged down in refitting his en suite bathr…

Tuesday morning and dry at the moment

Image
Poinsettia - it's that time of the year now all I have to do is try to keep it going till Christmas..... Yesterday was a busy one and I managed to accomplish all that I had intended with the exception of getting the dogs our for a walk. Every time I was about to set out the heavens opened and then it was too late. Basso was completely exhausted after his primping and preening session and was more tired than after 5 hours hunting. Anyway, lets hope he is now so gorgeous that he will do well on Sunday..... Oh dear it looks like a spoke too soon it is raining now!!!! Today I have a lighter schedule - I will continue the spring cleaning which is being done piece meal then its off to swimming at 7.30, if it is dry enough, I will walk the dogs first and hope I don't get Basso too filthy. Then its back to get Jane started and see John in [assuming he comes with the weather as it is] and off to the hairdresser at 9.45 for a cut and blow dry which should see me looking not too bad com…

Monday morning and blowing hard

Image
Montecatini Alto summer 2000 Between Florence and Pisa where we spent 6 weeks with the caravan. What a day it was yesterday we left home at 8am to get to Dover by 9 but there was little hope of shooting as it was raining cats and dogs all the way. As luck would have it the rain stopped as we pulled into the car park and held off for the entire three hours it took us to shoot. The clays were completely wild and flying all over the place as the wind was very strong but I shot well so I was very pleased with myself. Roger my shooting companion was keen to tell the cognoscente all about Basso's prowess and I was content to bask in the reflected glory. He would like to take us out again in about a fortnights time so I will have to have a look around for a pair of thorn proof trousers so that I don't get massacred again now that my legs are healing. The drive home was in appalling weather with rain wind and hail so once we got back it was hot drinks all round, clean the gun and …

Sunday morning but only just

Image
Photo of me aged 3 on my way to Nigeria. I don't suppose they would let you do this sort of thing these days..... Well it is just about 4 am and I wide awake as usual. Mind you I was asleep by 9pm so no surprise there then. Yesterday was bit of a boring day - I managed to clean out the chickens and got the dogs out for a run before it started to rain. The brisket that I had boiled the day before was then reheated using a recipe from "Memorie di Angelina" blog site which is full of authentic Italian recipes. It was a dish I had not done before but it turned out really well and I accompanied it with Russian red kale with chorizo which was very good. My copy of Hugh Fernley Whittingstall's new book arrived so I buried my nose in that for some time and ear marked several recipes that I am going to do. Interestingly it is all on the cheaper cuts of meat which take time and care to prepare. Today, if the rain holds off, I am due to go shooting down in Dover with the guy…