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Showing posts from February, 2010

Sunday morning and wet

Thank you all for your good wishes having had such a ropey night I slept quite a lot yesterday and slept well last night so I am pleased to report that I am feeling a little more human this morning. Neither the dogs nor Mike seemed to understand what was going on so they left me well alone. I eventually staggered down stairs at about 8.30pm and made myself a cup of tea and some toast as nothing seemed forthcoming from the catering department which had been closed all day.

I think I had better get back into action today or there will be no food again - I sometimes wonder what would happen if I took to my bed for a week !!!! Anyway enough doom and gloom it is so easy to feel sorry for yourself when you are not 100%.

I had hoped to go shooting today but the weather is so bad it is not feasible so I think I will get a couple of pork chops out of the freezer and which we will have with some broccoli and roast potatoes. Basso has just returned from his morning perambulation around the g…

Saturday and more rain

Well all my plans for today have been cancelled I am coming down with a chest infection and have had a terrible night. Karate is definitely off and so is roost shooting and according to the weather forecast shooting tomorrow will also be off as there are storm force winds a inches of rain forecast. I think I may well spend the day in bed and see if a little rest will help the situation. My computer sounds like a roulette wheel as there is something spinning around in one of the fans so I guess that will need sorting out next week. I don't feel competent to deal with it myself so I will have to call an engineer which will cost an arm and a leg but what can I do!!!!
Have a good week end all, I am off to cosset myself!!!!!

Friday and the end of another week

I am pleased with my efforts of yesterday I actually managed to get out in the garden for an hour and prune back the wisteria and one of the roses which is a start. I also cleared and cut back some of he growth in the small pond. Spring is definitely on the way as I found several frogs playing leap frog. I also got out with the dogs for a nice run and though the sky was threatening it stayed dry. Basso was a bit unruly and I will need to take him in hand before that gun dog classes start again in April. It is very easy to let things slide and he will take full advantage of my laxness. When I got back to the car park I noticed Terry the bee man's car and then his beekeeping class emptied out of the visitors centre. It is interesting that he has so many potential new beekeepers this year that he is running classes on both Thursday and Saturday morning. After lunch however, the heavens opened and it hosed it down for the whole evening so I didn't feel too guilty going for m…

Thursday and more rain forecast

Morning all, and thanks for your good luck wishes for my shooting yesterday I am glad to report that they had the desired effect. I was pleased with my efforts and while I am by no means a good shot I am improving my scores. We were dead lucky with the weather and managed to get our round in while it was dry. Mike stayed at home and went and did some shopping while we were out so we were all ready for lunch for which I had done a meze of bits and bobs which we had with some crusty bread. The pork pate went down well and was soon demolished. For dinner we had a butternut squash risotto which was just what I fancied but I made rather too much so I have some left over for lunch today as well as the butternut soup.

The vacuum cleaner I had ordered from Nisbets the previous day arrived by courier but when I went to assemble it one of the catches was broken so I rang them. They have sent another one out which will arrive today and they don't want the damaged one back so I will keep…

Wednesday and off shooting

Good morning all, yesterday was pretty boring really as all I seemed to accomplish was loads of laundry. Needless to say I was unable to dry it outside but the tumble dryer and the clothes horse have done the job so now it is loads of ironing. I have often debated which is best course of action, if I tumble dry and don't iron is that cheaper. I know the iron draws umpteen kilowatts but I am a relatively quick worker while the tumble dryer does take a long time. I think the difference may be pennies and not worth thinking about.

We finished the last of the cold roast pork for lunch and had the Vietnamese "babied heads" for supper so food was all very easy. Today we are off shooting and hoping that it stays dry. For lunch I have some of the pork pate and assorted salads and crusty bread for lunch but as yet I have not give dinner a thought. I must admit to feeling a little anxious as I haven't shot for some time and am in desperate need of practice.

I was hoping…

Tuesday and dry at the moment

What a day yesterday was it rained continuously for the whole day. I spent my time clearing up after the weekend and also managed to get my parma type hams washed off in white wine then dried and hung in their stockinette bags in the garage. Now all I have to do is wait they will either mature as hams or rot and have to be thrown out. They are well spaced so that they will not cross contaminate one another so hopefully at least one will survive.

Elaine popped in for coffee and collected her "baby heads" these are balls of glutinous rice with a filling of meat and vegetables and wrapped in banana leaves so they look like pyramids. We used to be able to buy fresh ones at SeeWoo but now there are only the frozen ones. Both she and Jamie have a passion for them so I always get her some if I am going to that super market. We wanted to eat very lightly so we had some chicken soup with prawn dumplings in it which was just what we needed and for supper I made a leek and potato …

Monday morning

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Nip has the hump and is sitting with his back to me outside in the pouring rain - what a twit!!!! Well this morning it is wet and 4 degrees so no chance of snow I think. Yesterday went well and I am pleased to report that the roast loin of pork was absolutely superb and the crackling was delicious. I made some apple sauce from desert apples and a dash of lemon juice and being the lazy sort I didn't peal the apples so the sauce was a delicate shade of pink from the skins. We had the Raymond Blanc chocolate mousse for desert and it was very nice as it was not too sweet or too rich which was ideal after the roast pork.
I think today we will be eating left overs but I must admit I would like to live on chicken noodle soup as I think my stomach could do with a rest!!!! Fortunately we don't have too much left only some bits of cheese and there is a good meal of cold pork to be had. I also have a few slices of hazel nut tort left which will go down nicely with a cup of tea this afterno…

Sunday morning and above zero

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A rather reluctant birthday boy . The candle was not to his liking though the cake which is made up of tinned dog food was eaten with pleasure. Yesterday went well and shortly after breakfast we set off to Woolwich and the oriental emporium where to our astonishment they were selling 10 individual orchids for £5. In M&S they would have been £5 each - as it turned out we didn't by any as neither of us had reason to but what a bargain!!! We did buy a few bits and pieces but just looking at the array of fruit and vegetables on offer is quite an experience as we didn't recognise much at all. We returned home and had the lasagne for lunch and then settled down to watch Ice Age 3 on Blue Ray, which we thoroughly enjoyed - some times it is nice to watch something simple, funny and easy on the eyes. The animation is so clever and the dialogue is quite witty and obviously designed to keep the adults amused. Dinner was easy and we had the rabbit casserole with loads of mashed potato…

Saturday and Basso's second birthday

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It is hard to believe that this little puppy is now a fully grown dog and maturing dog. He is not considered an adult until three so one more year to go. We are back below zero again today and the forecast show possible snow but as yet there is nothing to see. Yesterday, went well and our guests arrive spot on time despite the road works on the M25. We tucked into our lunch and then took the dogs for a short run. It was sunny but bitterly cold with a nasty bit of wind which cut right through you. However, it gave us all an appetite for tea and cake. We whiled away the afternoon just chatting and then move on to the salmon supper which was just right as it was not too heavy and the panna cotta and raspberries with home made digestives were the very thing as a desert. Before we knew where we were it was time for bed and we didn't stay up late as there are still two days to go. Today, after breakfast, we are going to See Woo the large oriental emporium in Woolwich more for …

Friday morning and warmer this morning

Yesterday was a really miserable day here it rained for most of the time. We got ourselves out to our friends house for 10.30 where we had coffee and then all piled into the car and went to take the dogs for a walk. It turned out to be pretty short as the small dry patch was soon over and we headed back for the car just making it before the heavens really open again.
We made our way to the pub for lunch and though we were quite early it was fairly packed. For some unknown reason I was absolutely starving hungry and demolished my food and part of Mikes. We eventually made it home by about 3pm and I was very full and sleepy by then so took to my bed for a siesta. When I woke I was definitely not hungry and neither was Mike so supper was cancelled and we just had lots of cups of tea instead.
Today I need to get my act in gear and prepare lunch and dinner for my guests who are arriving form Peterborough. We are going to have some pate and salad and hot crusty bread which should keep…

Thursday morning and another week is winding down

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Basso gives me a cuddle but he really isn't a lap dog!!!!!! I managed to get all my cooking done yesterday but I was gutted as it was a lovely day and would have been better spent in the garden - The cakes and deserts are done so at least I can relax now. I also made the bechamel sauce for the lasagne so that is just an assembly job to do tomorrow morning. Today, we are going to see our friends and walk the dogs then on to a pub lunch so I will have no time to do anything much. I will, however, put the silver through the silver dip as the forks look as if they have been dipped in coal. It is one of the draw backs of silver cutlery but I would rather use it than keep it in a box which seems so pointless. I also need to change the duvet cover on the guest bed - the bed had been freshly made with lovely white linen when someone, who shall remain nameless, left the bedroom door open and three small boys went and had a bit of fun on the newly made bed. It now has muddy paw prints …

Wednesday and bin day

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All three boys get banished to the crate while the floor is hoovered. I had a pretty strange day yesterday having got up at 3 am and written the blog with my cup of coffee I suddenly felt very sleepy so I went back to bed and low and behold I slept until ten to eight which is quite unheard of for me. It did mean that I was way behind with my plans for the day but I then set to catching up. Jane arrived at 9 with her son in tow as it is half term but he was happy to sit in the lounge and watch his spider-man DVD and we didn't hear a peep out of him until it was time for them to go at 11am. At around 10 they guy from the gardening maintenance company arrived and I took him on a guided tour of the garden and what needed doing. Fortunately I had made it a priority to clear the garden of dog poo as I think it must be very off putting. He seemed knowledgeable and was happy that it would not take him long to get things in order. We discussed the problems of the chicken run which he is ha…

Tuesday and hopefully a quiet day

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Yesterday as you can see was a glorious sunny but very cold day. The plume is rising from the cooling tower of Kings-north power station across the estuary which is where the climate camp was held. The tide is completely out and the mud of the estuary exposed, and covered in wintering wading birds. There are often loads of bird watchers with binoculars as there are in excess 50 varieties of birds that can be seen from the banks. Fortunately Basso does not consider them worth the effort and seems uninterested in chasing sea gulls. After the walk with the dogs we went on to Faversham to buy some coffee and some cheeses and needless to say as I was starving hungry I managed to buy a few other odds and ends to go with our soup for lunch. For dinner we tried the faggots that I had made and Mike was very surprised at how delicious they were. I settled down to watch Raymond Blanc cooking and was interested to see him make the chocolate cup and saucer but I don't think I will be attemptin…

Monday and sub zero

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The photo is of the sofa which is now pristine and clean after my laundry session yesterday it has come up pretty well and is free of dog hair and slobber. So much for dry clean only! I did however, do it on the silk 30 degree wash and then put it through a fast spin cycle and straight back on the furniture so no ironing was involved. I sound like a clean freak but I am anything but, I am not quite ready for the "How clean is your house team" but I am a bit of an untidy soul. Having spent a large proportion of last week dealing with meat we had a meat less day yesterday and had spaghetti with pesto for lunch and a prawn risotto for supper. All nice and easy with the minimum of cooking. When I looked out of the window this morning I though we had had snow over night but it is just a very thick frost though we are forecast more snow during the week. I do hope this doesn't upset my arrangements for my guests at the week end. I now need to set my mind to making some sweet…

Sunday Valentines Day

Well I might have bottled out of Karate but my kitchen is pristine at last. It is quite amazing how dirty it gets, It isn't until you start washing down the tiles that you realise just how grubby they have become and of course once you start you have a tide mark so you have to finish. Interestingly, having tried assorted kitchen cleaning products I found that the one that did the best job was in fact the cheapest - plain washing soda dissolved in hot water. For lunch I made an omelet Arnold Bennett which is a bit of a fiddle but definitely worth it. For dinner we tested the pate and the chorizo sausages both of which were very acceptable and are now in the freezer.
I rang the chap who gave me a hand in the garden last year to see if he would be available but he has gone and got a full time job so I will have to look round and see if I can find someone else to give me a hand. It is not that I cannot do the work but a second pair of hands is needed on occasions and it does cut do…

Saturday morning

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The girls in the green house waiting for me to bring them some goodies. My list of chores never got finished yesterday and I only got half the kitchen done but it is sparkling clean and I did include the ovens and fridge so I am not too disappointed. Hopefully it should not take me too long to finish the job today. I do love my white cupboards but they do show all the dirt and need regular cleaning. I spent some time on my knees giving the plinth a good going over as that was in a terrible state. Mike and I went halves on one of the sausages for breakfast and I must admit it was very tasty the hint of lemon zest made a nice addition and the consistency was just about right. The chorizo which were hanging in the garage were as yet no dry enough to deal with so they are still hanging up and will finally be packed up today. The parma ham will need dealing with daily until next Saturday when it will finally be be hung in its muslin bag and left to mature. For lunch we ate some of the braw…

Pig to pork completed

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The tasters are waiting for a sample of the sausage meat - I finally finished dealing with all the meat yesterday at about 4.30pm. I did however have a break to go to the butcher and get some hog casings to make the sausages. The brawn is made and I stripped the meat and fat from the shoulder and the but which ended up in the sausages and chorizo which are now hanging in the garage drying off before going into the freezer. Today I am going to give the kitchen a good clean and tidy as it is in a bit of a mess but my shoulders are very stiff from all the chopping and boning. My vegetable box arrived at lunch time and I have still not examined the contents or emptied it I did however get all the ironing done and put away. A long hot soak in the bath is on the cards once it is all done. We managed to miss all the snow that fell in Kent but it was bitterly cold, however this means the garage is like a large walk in fridge which has been very useful. This week has whistled by as I hav…

Pork pork and more pork!!!!!

What a colossal day I had yesterday and there is more to come today.... To start at the beginning I had put two sets of lights and the bones from Henry's half of the pig into my enormous pot and left them to simmer over night. So the first job was to pick over the meat from the pot and then put it through the mincer and vacuum pack it for the dogs. I am fortunate that I have a large almost industrial mincer which doesn't get used all that often but when you need it it is wonderful. I then refilled the pot with the half head and all the ingredients for the brawn and put that on to simmer. Next came a bit of butchery as I tackled the loin which fortunately had been chined from the back bone which meant I could cut the chops easily leaving the thick end as a loin joint. Then it was on to the leg which I boned and then rubbed with salt and boxed up - this will need daily attention for a while before I can leave it to dry as parma ham. Then came the belly which I have cut int…

Wednesday and bin day

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Sandi and Basso waiting to be judged - Not a very good photo as it has been pulled from the video but you get the general idea.... Well we are back with more pig than you can imagine heaven only knows how I am going to deal with it all I will really have my work cut out today to sort it all ready for freezing etc. I have asked Elaine to put on her spare freezer as I am sure it will not fit into mine. Now lets start at the beginning, we dropped Nip and Tuc off at Len and Margaret's house at 8.30 in the morning and then headed for the motorway only to get stuck in all the rush hour traffic and a bit of a snow storm. The snow and traffic lasted until we had made the cross over from the M3 to the M4 at Bracknell after which it was plain sailing until we turned off to go through Bath. We got stuck behind a lorry that had turned too sharply into a farm gate and had fallen off the road into a ditch. They were pulling it out with a tractor but the tow rope kept breaking and finally th…

Monday morning and off to Bath

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The snow drops are peeping through so spring must be on its way. Basso came second in his class but before you get excited there were only 3 spinone entered in the show and only two in his class which made it all a bit of a nonsense. The whole show was a bit of a shambles and the judging started half and hour late. Not to bad, but we were in an outside ring and it was bitterly cold and given that we had turned up on time we had been hanging around in the freezing cold for an hour before they even started. It was pretty disappointing given the amount of effort we had put in. That said Basso behaved brilliantly and I captured the whole of is part on video but I haven't yet discovered how I can get a still image from it. He stood beautifully for the judge and moved particularly well so it was just down to the judges preference. We were so disgusted and frozen that we beat a hasty retreat with the certificate slung on the dashboard and it was not until we had arrived home that we read…

Sunday morning and a mild 5 degrees

Yesterday was a bit of dull day with the exception of the Karate class which went reasonably well. I am certainly not as stiff this morning as I was after last weeks class and though the sciatica was better after class it is back with a vengeance this morning. I had the opportunity to go pigeon shooting in the afternoon but I thought that that might be pushing my luck a little so I declined the offer. However I may well go next week if the offer is still open.
This morning I need to get going pretty quickly as we need to be out of the house by 8.30 in order to get to Maidstone for 9am when the show opens - judging doesn't start till 9.30 but you do need time to park the car and get sorted out before you are in the ring. Basso has managed to keep himself clean since his bath and only his face needs a good wash before we go. He will be very disappointed as he will not get any breakfast but if he does poorly we will be back for lunch.
I too need a wash and brush up so I will hav…

Saturday morning still pitch black outside

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My new window box all planted up and ready for a bit of spring colour. Please note the sunshine!!!! Yesterday was a glorious sunny day and boy did we need it, it has been so dull and murky for so long it has been quite depressing. I spent some time rearranging the freezer to make room for the impending pig and feel a little happier that we will be able to fit it in. While I got on with this Mike hit the shops and made sure we were all up to date and the car filled with "motion lotion" for trip to the West country on Monday. I then spent a while changing energy provider which is due to save us very nearly £300 over the year - this money has been ear marked to purchase and electric spinner for the honey. When the lord and master returned I heated up the leek and potato soup and made some toast to go with some rabbit and pigeon breast pate I found lurking in the freezer making a very acceptable lunch. I then managed an hour in the garden in the sunshine and discovered t…

Friday and raining

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Supper time for the dogs Basso, Nip, Tuc, Mary and Hamish. Fortunately they all got on well and Hamish who is just 6 months old got on famously with Basso who is still a child and they played happily together in the garden for ages. The forecast for yesterday was for dry weather but it rained until 10 am when we left to go shooting - I was not too unhappy with my shooting it could have been better but I clobbered quite few clays. As it turned out we ended up shooting more than our allocation of 75 each as the traps kept tripping the fuses and eventually they had to fire up the diesel generator so we ended up with about 100 each which was great. There is nothing better than something for nothing. The only fly in the ointment was that is was bitterly cold and damp down by the river. The shooting ground is on marsh land which was still flooded and there was a bitter wind blowing. By the time we had finished my hands were frozen solid and I couldn't feel my feet at all. We had lu…

Thursday morning and off shooting

Well the good news is that I feel a little more myself this morning and certainly a little less glum. The forecast rain for yesterday didn't really materialise we had a couple of showers but nothing significant. Let's hope they are right that today is dry as we have arranged to do a bit of skeet shooting this morning.
I gave myself a bit of a day off yesterday I didn't go swimming and spent most of my time in the kitchen. I made a rather nice aubergine and tomato dish for lunch which we had with crusty bread and for dinner I made a pasta dish with some sausages and bacon and white wine - sounds disgusting I know but it was actually delicious. I also made the bolognese sauce which bubbled away for most of the day in the slow cooker and I used up some leeks in a leek and potato soup. Today is vegetable delivery day so I will be replenished and have to start planning what to make with the box contents.
The laundry dried in the front room on the rack and is now ready for i…

Wednesday and we are due for rain

I got up this morning feeling pretty ropey again not quite sure what is going on but I am definitely not my normal self. The sciatica which had all but gone at one stage has made a significant come back and together with the dregs of my cough is very definitely making me miserable. But on the bright side Basso seems to be making good progress and is limping less and less so I think we may get away with the show on Sunday.
Yesterday I had my hair cut for free!!!! I had been promised a free hair cut for rescuing the children during the snow and true to his word Jay insisted that he would take no money - so that was a bonus. Mike had dropped me off at the hair dressers and then gone to the butcher to buy a few bits and pieces. I have a yen to make a real bolognese ragu which requires beef but not minced it should be chopped. So it is a case of sharpening the knives and a bit of elbow grease. It will then take about 2 hours cooking time - however if I make a big quantity I can freeze…

Tuesday and rain is on the way

According to the weather forecast we are due for a soaking over the next couple of days but there is a glimmer of light on Thursday so that is when I have organised to go shooting with Jeff and Shiona. Shooting in the cold is one thing but shooting in the rain is really unpleasant and besides it make the guns wet!!!
I woke up this morning with a real fit of the blues - I feel ground down with the daily round of living from which there is no escape. I thought I fancied a holiday in the sun but then remembered how bored I would get. I think I just fancy the sun and warmth which would make life easier. To hang washing outside and let the sun dry it and leave the doors open to the air would make the day just that bit better. Well at least today there will be no ice on the car when I go swimming. Basso is still confined to barracks and his pad is healing slowly, I'm still unsure if we will make it for the show on Sunday but I will go ahead and have him shampooed and set on Friday …

February

Well as you can see I am up at the crack of dawn, well actually that's a lie it hours from dawn but it is pretty early. I was very tired yesterday and so fell asleep very early. We left home just after eight to go shooting and it was the most glorious sunny morning but absolutely freezing. As we drove closer to Dover we noticed that the frost gradually gave way to a light covering of snow which had laid on the frozen ground. Once we had parked up it was into the club house and get booked in and order a sausage and egg roll - what a treat. Roger my shooting companion was busy taking photos for the new web site and I narrowly missed getting into them. I was just as pleased as I certainly didn't look my best and was bundled up like Nanook of the North. I had not shot since before Christmas and boy could you tell, I was dreadful. Roger commented that I seemed stiff and he was right by this time the old body was beginning to suffer from the previous days exertions and my ho…