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Showing posts from May, 2010

Bank holiday Monday

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Making our way home from a road walking exercise. I take the two terriers on a brace lead and Basso the other side. It is quite a handful if they are not behaving well but fortunately they are quite good these days. Yesterday was a pretty dull day weather wise - there was a cold wind blowing which made it all a bit chilly. Things look much the same today so I think I will restrict my gardening to the greenhouse. I spent most of yesterday in the kitchen and made a nice asparagus quiche. It takes quite a while by the time you have made the pastry and let it rest then baked the case blind etc... Anyway, we ate half of it for lunch with some potato salad made with new potatoes and a tomato salad - most acceptable. For dinner I made some pork chops which we had managed to get with the kidney still in place and yet more asparagus. Mike was delighted as he absolutely loves chops with the kidney in and usually tries to barter with me for my kidney which he always gets anyway. Today …

Sunday morning and damp

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Rhubarb with the most wonderful flowers!!! Yesterday was a miserable sort of a day with little sun and lots of drizzle and pretty cold wind. I was glad that I had worn a thick coat to go to the dog first aid day, as we ended up sitting in a garage with the large double door open. The session was very informative and comprehensive but as there was little difference from human first aid I found little new information. Anyway I now hold a certificate to prove that I have attended - we did get some hands on experience of bandaging paws tails and ears. This was fairly easy to do on a stuffed doggy toy but I wonder just how easy it would be on an injured animal. We learned how to do CPR on a dog again not much difference except the ratio of nose to chest compressions is 30-3 in small dogs and 25- 2 in large. They did have a first aid kit on sale which had all the equipment in a very neat box so I bought one - my thinking was with three dogs it would come in handy at some time and would…

Saturday morning

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How is this for a snap? Mrs blackbird sitting on her nest in my bay tree. I managed to shove the camera through the leaves and surprisingly the flash didn't seem to upset her she just sat tight. Well yesterday was a busy and eventful day starting with my visit to the GP at 7 am where I managed to procure a prescription for the fabulous anti inflammatory drug to have on stand by should my sciatica rear its ugly head again. I also mentioned to the doctor that I was having trouble with my right eye which was fuzzy exactly like when you have accidentally rubbed some grease in it. It had started last week and I had got some eye drops from the chemist which were having no effect. He had a look in my eyes and then said that I should go immediately to the optician as he thought I had either got a cataract or a detached retina. So at 9 am I trotted up the road to the opticians and there was put in the waiting room to be seen between patients as they were fully booked for the day. To…

Friday morning

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Basso with his new girl friend Molly enjoying some shade on a blisteringly hot day in the Rendlesham forest.
Yesterday was a bit of a wash out with rain for most of the day. The garden desperately needed it so I for one am not complaining. It did however mean that I was forced to do the hated change of clothes in the wardrobes. All my summer clothes, which had been packed away for six months, where crushed to hell so they needed to be ironed, great just what I fancied. Anyway it is done now so I am pleased. The veal chops were extremely good and I gave them a rub with lemon zest, garlic and rosemary before sealing them in a pan then added a bit of white wine and finally a splash of double cream. Calorie value huge but satisfaction value enormous so worth it. Having had such a satisfying lunch we had just some salad and cold meat and cheese for supper which saved cooking twice.
This morning I have an appointment at the doctors at 7 am - early morning clinic - where I am hoping to …

Thursday and a little rain at last

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My potted wisteria is in bloom. Yesterday was a day for catching up - all that washing got processed and is now away - however, it is time to have a bit of a clear up in the wardrobes and put away the cold weather stuff and bring forward the warm weather clothes. I am glad to report that my back is a thousand times better after a few days of good pain management it has allowed it to heal. Yesterday, was the first day without analgesics and I managed well with only the tiniest twinges. I did take it very easy though, and didn't get stuck in to the garden except with the camera. The garden is looking very full and well established and the rhubarb is has massive spikes of flowers. This morning it is raining gently which the garden needs desperately however the lawn will grow even longer and desperately needs a cut. Poor Basso had his first encounter with a bee and got stung on the eyelid. It swelled dramatically but looks much better this morning. James rang to say that he wa…

Wednesday and bin day

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Thank heavens for the good weather - I managed to get all the washing done and dried yesterday and there was 6 machine loads to do so I am pleased that it is all done. Jane had made us fresh beds to come home to but that meant all the bedding to wash as well as all the stuff from the caravan which was not so much dirty as filled with dog hair and sand. You can see the tea towel, I used to wipe Basso's face, hanging over the door. The temperature has dropped dramatically and it is quite windy this morning. I have been sensible for once in my life and cancelled shooting for today. I think with all the other jobs I have to do it might be a bit much to go shooting as well. I will leave the pile of ironing to your imagination!!!!!
Nip and Tuc were returned from their holiday and immediately tried to establish their seniority over poor Basso who got snapped at just to keep him in his place. They both look well and very fit from all the walks they have had. Margaret and Len felt that…

Tuesday morning

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We are back form our holiday and what good weather we had. We certainly choose the right week to go on holiday. Things started reasonably with me struggling with my sciatica and as the week wore on it seemed to improve. On Friday evening we went out with some friends who used to be neighbours but move up to Chelmsford some ten years ago. That night I went to bed but by 2 am I was awake in mortal agony and unable to move without screaming. It took me 10 minutes to make the 5 foot walk to the loo from the bed in the van. By 7am I was not better and it was time to take Basso out for his morning constitutional. I struggled out leaning heavily on a stick I had found in the woods when the lady from the neighbouring caravan saw me and came to my rescue. Her husband had a back injury from a car crash and she had a pharmacy with her. She gave me a Naproxen and a co-codamol tablet [both are prescription drugs] which worked like a miracle. By 10 am I was able to walk again and was pai…

Monday and off on holiday today

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Well the day is finally here, and we are intending to get under way around 10 or 11 am so that we will get to the van at around lunch time. We only have to drive it some 9 miles so that won't take very long then we can get ourselves set up. It take approximately an hour to get every thing sorted which may be a bit longer this time as I will be moving a bit more slowly. Given that we are only staying a week I have no intention of putting up the awning, it does afford us lots more space but it is not worth the effort for just a week. The weather forecast is for ever improving temperatures and mostly dry so we should have a reasonable time. I keep a log when we are in the van and may well transfer that to computer by way of entertainment. Having said that we have a great selection of DVD's to take with us so if we have problems with the TV signal we can watch films instead. Len and Margaret came for lunch yesterday and have take the two small dogs with them - Basso was di…

Sunday

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Dwarf Lilac in bloom
Yesterday passed relatively quietly I got all the ironing done and made preparations of lunch with Len and Margaret today. They will be arriving at around 11 am today so I have plenty of time to get the dogs bits and pieces together for them. Everything is taking me much longer as I am moving at a snails pace but I get there in the end. For lunch we had a chicken salad made with the left overs and for supper I made Mikes favourite lambs kidneys in sherry and Dijon mustard served on a bed of rice. The temperature is gradually climbing but we have been forecast lots of rain for today and tomorrow morning which is not so good for packing up the car. However the coming week is looking none too bad for our caravan trip. I started the Telegraph general knowledge crossword yesterday and today I will have to do a bit of research to finish it. Thank goodness for wikipedia and other reference sites which are so helpful. It is a prize crossword so there are always som…

Saturday morning

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My first rose is in bloom "Canary Bird" is always the first to show it's single yellow flowers.




















James arrived bright and early yesterday morning which was a lovely surprise as I hadn't expected him until lunch time. He was able to give me a hand with several chores that I had lined up. He moved all my potted vegetable plants up to the green house which will make watering easy for Sue while we are away. He also helped me with the laundry which we hung out and then brought back in dry in a couple of hours. We took the dogs for a walk and I appreciated the help getting the small dogs in and out of the car. The tail gate is too high for them to jump in so they have to be lifted which is not normally a problem. Fortunately, Basso jumps in by himself as there is no way I could get him in even if I was fit. The poor dog is going crazy at the moment as we have a pair of black birds who are building a nest is one of my bay trees. Not only are they destroying my lawn …

Friday morning and getting a bit warmer

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Just when I thought the lawn was looking good!!!! One of my four footed friends has decided to excavate the washing line post. Yesterday was a restocking day so it was a trip to the butcher and a quick whiz round Tesco. The vegetable box arrived with lots of nice things including some watercress and a cucumber so summer is definitely on the way. I managed to walk the dogs all be it not very far but at least they did get a blow of fresh air. The last of my tomato plants arrived in the post and have been potted up so hopefully in a few weeks they will be ready to transfer to the green house. After a quick lunch of asparagus soup and crusty bread I took myself for a lie down and to rest my back but when I got up it was really very painful and before I had time to take some analgesics James rang me and so was treated to me feeling very sorry for myself. He has a day off today and has volunteered to come down and help me - What a good boy!!! I now feel guilty that he is giving up a …

Thursday and marginally warmer

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Nip looking much smarter and about half a pound lighter. Yesterdays Sandi rang me first thing as she was feeling terrible - she has a stinking cold so I was pleased in some ways as that is really the last thing I need right now. Jeff and Shiona arrived on time, Shiona came bearing 4lbs of asparagus picked that morning guess what we are going to be eating today!!!! Jeff brought me a hand full of grass seed to patch the small blemishes in my new lawn. Every one got a bar of soap, jar of hand cream, eggs and a lettuce. The exchange of gifts being complete we set of to the shooting ground where to my surprise we met up with my rabbit shooting friend Roger who came round with us. I shot extremely badly as my back would not let me move properly, however, I did manage to get round so I was not too unhappy. By the time we finished it was just starting to rain and we ate our burgers in the car then drove home in a hail storm. While we were cleaning the guns and having drinks Louise tur…

Wednesday and a shooting day

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Yesterday passed without incident, Jane arrived on the dot of 9 am and whistled around the house with the hoover which always makes me feel better as the place looks so much better. I had spent an hour cleaning up the kitchen and also getting to grips with the boiled over mess on the cooker. I had put on a pan of rhubarb and then completely forgotten it until I could smell burning. You can imagine the mess!!!! Mark arrived at lunch time and has done a super job of the veg beds - the remaining brasicas have been thrown into the chicken run and I am sure that they will make good use of the greens. He also ran his lawn mower over my grass and trimmed all the edges so it looks lovely now. I had been around and picked up the dog poo which was abundant as the dogs had not been out much lately. I now feel much better about leaving everything to go on holiday. My back is still pretty miserable but I am no longer at that screaming stage so I am hopeful that I am on the mend. It is ho…

Tuesday morning

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One very fluffy Nip guarding his bone... Well it is another freezing morning just a miserable 5 degrees but the sky is clear with very high cloud so we should be in for a sunny day. Yesterday Elaine came to help me with the dogs and we managed to take them for a nice walk. I found that once I was under way the back seemed to cope reasonably well. Elaine's company gave me the confidence to attempt the walk as I knew she could handle the dogs if necessary and Basso behaved impeccably for her. I cooked the rack of lamb with assorted vegetables when we got back and then braced myself for a trip to the osteoprat. I was delighted that he agreed with everything that I had been doing and confirmed that it was a sacroiliac problem not actually a spinal injury. I was treated to a severe pummelling and told to go home and apply heat. This I did but then discovered that my hot water bottle had perished and was leaking so today I will be taking a trip to Boots to replace it. Anyway the g…

Another blue Monday

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The boys decide that the bed is big enough for two!!! Well it is another very chilly day with temperature at only just 7 degrees and the skies overcast and dull looking - oh for a bit of sunshine!!!! Yesterday was a miserable day too with odd showers of rain and very chilly. Last night I tried to see if heat applied to my back would make any difference but sadly not so today I am going to try Aspirin and fortitude and see how I get on. I will also try to make an appointment to see the osteopath as my home spun remedies are failing miserably. I really need to be fit for next week when we go on holiday or that will be a real washout. Today should be a fairly quiet day with just the household chores to do. For lunch I have a nice wrack of lamb which Mike bought on his shopping expedition with which I will serve spinach and mashed potatoes. We ate one of our lettuces from the green house with our risotto yesterday and it was very delicious. There is nothing quite like vegetables t…

Sunday

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Oh misery!!!!! my back finally gave out on me yesterday and I ended up flat on my back in bed for the vast majority of the day. Fortunately I had already done most of my chores and prepared the meals. For lunch I made a sort of dauphinoise potatoes with layers of potato sandwiched together with wild garlic leaves. This was a great success and accompanied the fish very well. Today I should have been going shooting but humping loads of cartridges up hill and down dale would seem to be a foolish thing to do considering my delicate back situation so I shall remain confined to barracks. In lieu of a walk I spent some time in the garden with Basso practising his retrieving but had to stop when it started to rain. It would be nice to practice this in a field with a bit more room for manoeuvre. However, he acquitted himself well and was pleased with his new dummy which I bought mainly for water work. The weather looks pretty poor again today and according to the weather forecast we ar…

Saturday and very dull

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The columnar cherry tree looks good in full bloom. Yesterday turned out to be a good day - I got an unexpected call from the fish monger who had some lovely lemon soles which I had filleted and delivered along with 2 crabs. I then telephoned Elaine as I had promised to show her how to dismantle a crab. She arrived at about 12.30 and we sat around the table and picked over the crabs then used the meat to make three huge crab and salad sandwiches which we ate for lunch. I always think it is one of those skills that it is very difficult to learn without hands on experience. Anyway, she is now fully competent to handle a crab should the need arise. She was also very happy to be my guinea pig and test out my two varieties of soap. I managed to empty the car of the sacks of animal fodder and used a sack barrow to transport the hens food to the shed at the far end of the garden. I am doing the odd job in the garden but I have to be very careful not to over do things. The sciatica is s…

Friday morning

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Well it is another cold dull day today and from what I have seen so far the election seems to be a total shambles, so no change there then!!!! Yesterday, was busy day what with getting Basso to the vet by 8.30 for his vaccination. The vet gave him the once over and put him on the scales. He came in at just over 6 stone 39.9 kg to be exact which is about right for his size. We then took the dogs for a nice run and Basso found a dead rabbit which he refused to give to me, Every time I called him in the other two made attempts to take the prize. I did eventually mange to get it off him but not before he had eaten half of it. We then swung past the polling station, which is in a local church with absolutely nowhere to park, which made it very difficult for Mike as he had to walk a considerable distance. Having done our civic duty we then went on to buy dog food and chicken food which I must admit is still in the car. The sacks are quite heavy and my back was playing up by then so I …

Polling day

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And just in case any of you have forgotten today is polling day but just to bring things into perspective it is also dustbin day for us - one day late as there was a Bank Holiday on Monday. Today Nip and Tuc the terriers have reached the grand old age of 8 which is equivalent to 56 in our years. They are rapidly catching me up and will overtake me next year. Yesterday was another cold day with a nasty cold wind from the north keeping temperatures down. I managed to get the grass mowed but had to leave it at that as my back was complaining badly. I will have to try and get the edges cut today if I can. The liquid feed is all mixed up for the bees but I need to time it just right to put the feed on the hives. I am hoping that late morning will be about right once I have finished with the chores because once I have taken the Piriton I will be pretty sleepy. However, first things first, I have to take Basso to the vet for his booster inoculation and it is the only time I get the cha…

Wednesday morning

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The photo is of the sun just rising and hitting the acer....
Well it is another cold one it is only 5 degrees at the moment but there is little wind so with any luck it will warm up as the day progresses. Yesterday was a bit of a washout for me it started OK with me having my hair cut at last. It looks and feels much better then it was back home to pick the dogs up and take them for a walk. It was bitterly cold and the wind cut you in half so a decision was made to cancel dog training as I really didn't feel up to it. My back was complaining from the day before when I spent so much time bent over my hives. Mike decided that we should have a pub lunch which was very nice and we returned home for an afternoon snooze. I was rudely awoken by the door bell and the dogs barking their heads off - it was a delivery of the jars that I had ordered to make my hand cream. I had also ordered a soap making kit which arrived but minus the instructions. Today I will have to chase up the com…

Tuesday morning

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Yesterday was a strange day it was freezing cold with a biting wind. Not really the best of days to have a look at the bees but we went ahead any way. It was our intention to split up the hives and so breed a few extra queens but when we got into the brood boxes is was obvious that though they had survived the winter they were not yet strong enough to split up. We did however manage to find and mark both the resident queens and Terry though they should be given a feed to help them on their way. So I am mixing up 1litre of water to 1kg of sugar and putting it into the feeders for them today. I am glad to report that I managed to avoid getting stung but the Piriton made me very sleepy so after our lunch of cold beef, salad and champ I went to bed and slept for hours. This leaves me in a bit of a quandary as to whether to take the Piriton before putting the feed on and be sleepy tonight or leave it until tomorrow to put the feed on. Today is destined to be a very busy one firstly I …

May bank holiday monday

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Nip endeavours to make his new duvet more to his liking - he spent some 10 minutes rearranging the duvet before he deemed it suitable to sleep in!!!! What a day it was - rain, rain and more rain - it came down in stair rods for most of the day but at last the garden has had the drink it so sorely needed. James arrived bright and early so I did him a nice breakfast of sausage egg and beans - there was no chance of walking the dogs so we decided to settle down and do the re-waxing which with the three of us took no time at all. I then got stuck into the roast lunch that I had promised. The sirloin of beef was OK if a bit on the tough side but the flavour was good and we all enjoyed the roast potatoes cooked in the Christmas goose fat. I made individual Yorkshire puddings and steamed the purple sprouting broccoli. We all watched the motor bike racing which is so much more exciting than formula one these days and were glad to see Valentino Rossi made a creditable third despite his inj…

Sunday morning

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What a lovely little foal!!! Yesterday was Elaine's birthday so we went and had a look at her foal which is as you can see all legs. They are so out of proportion at this age and quite clumsy. I had taken the dogs for a walk in the local park first and made Basso do some of the exercises that he refused to do in class on Tuesday. This was more to satisfy myself that he can do them which he can so let's hope he behaves a bit better this week. We then all went back to Elaine's for coffee and a slice of her birthday cake. While we were there her neighbours brought round their new border collie puppy who is only ten weeks old and a dear little thing. This is their first dog so they are learning what to do. I gave them a few tips like when handling the pup they should look in her ears and mouth and examine her feet so that she gets used to people doing these things and is not a problem if she has to go to the vet. But most important of all they should go to puppy clas…

Pinch punch first of the month!!!!

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Well where did April go? Suddenly we are in May and summer is just around the corner.... I had a busy day in the kitchen yesterday and made litres of chicken stock, chicken pie filling and soup with the meat. I also made litres of bechamel sauce some of which had added cheese and while I was at it I made a cauliflower cheese for lunch. I had made some sticky chicken wings which we had for supper with some salad. Every thing is now boxed up and in the freezer so I have some stores to fall back on. Mike went out to get the car washed as it had a fine layer of the volcanic ash on it. We have a group of Albanians who have a hand wash service which is very reasonably priced and most efficient. They do a splendid job of our rather large vehicle which is invariably full of dog hair which the hoover out. However when Mike returned he had also been to the local farm shop and bought some fresh asparagus AND 2 LOBSTERS. Fortunately, they were frozen so I have tucked them in the freezer …