Monday morning

It is not quite as cold this morning we are in plus figures all be it 1.4 degrees and the thermometer is against the house wall so not that accurate.  I made the decision fairly early on that shooting would be silly and so set to cleaning the utility room which was filthy.  It was a good opportunity to thin out some of the stuff on the shelves and tidy up the plethora of containers that I have saved in case they come in useful.  Today I think I will tackle the wall cupboard which if full of cleaning things some of which have been there for years and could do with being thrown out.  Lunch was a very easy affair as all I had to do was re heat the pie and cook some vegetables to go with it.  Today for lunch I am going to make a trout and spring onion flan which we will have with a nice green salad.  The pastry is already made and taken out of the freezer so it is just a case of roll, fill and cook.  For supper we have some of the minestrone to which I am going to add some chorizo just to ring the changes.
True to form the hens had made a real mess of their bedding and spread it far and wide around the green house. However, they were pleased to share the family breakfast that I had made - a big pot of porridge some for Mike and I, some for each of the dogs and some for the chickens.  I think this is the first time I have deliberately made a meal for all of us to share.
Today we are expecting the man to come and service the boiler - do we have it done in the summer when the heating is off - no nothing so intelligent, we leave it until the coldest part of the year.  Some people are almost as stupid as chickens.  Anyway, hopefully it will not take too long and then we can have the heating and hot water back on.  My big fear is that the engineer will condemn the boiler and then we will be in real trouble.
James my youngest rang last night just to check if the old crumblies were sitting huddled round a one bar electric fire wrapped in blankets with hot water bottles in their laps.  I was glad to report that this was not the case and we were all fine.  He also made arrangements for his Christmas visit which makes things easier for me now that, a] I know he is coming and b] for how long.  He will arrive on Christmas eve when his shift finishes and then stay for boxing day and the day after.  So we will be five for Christmas lunch and boxing day and five again for the new year period when my friend Mary is coming from Bath.  Nice easy numbers to cater for so I am a happy bunny.
Well first things first I am off to boil my orange peel for another 30 minutes, then I can get on with poaching the fish for the flan.  The dogs really need a good run so as soon as it is reasonably light I will have to wrap myself up and get out with them then my conscience is clear and I can get on with the rest of my day.  I must admit that I am very apprehensive about the shoot on Saturday it is going to be bitterly cold standing around in a field and they are unlikely to cancel even if the weather is really bad.  I think it will be a case of "brace yourself Sheila" and get on with it..........
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