Monday morning and the start of another week

Basso inspects the pond and rightly comments that one side is choked with too much weed.  I have acted on his comments and removed a large amount but it is difficult with the water lilies making a good display.  There are red, yellow and also white ones.  Once they have died back I will be able to do a better job.

Hurray!!! it is a vegetable day, I have some salad ingredients and also some leeks.  I think I will just plain steam the leeks and have them with some poached salmon and the salad can accompany the remainder of the cold beef.  We are allowed lean mince so I am wondering if I can make some meatballs using some of the oat bran in lieu of bread crumbs, alternatively I could mince up a galette and add that.  This diet certainly taxes your ingenuity in the kitchen.  The list of ingredients available is long but how to cook them and make them palatable is the hard part.  For example we could have calves liver but how do I cook it when the only real way is to flash fry it with some butter!!!  Grilling results in shoe leather and stewing needs some thickening so I will not attempt that. My vegetable order arrives tomorrow and I have a nice assortment of bits and pieces coming which should make life a little easier.

Mike was extremely amenable yesterday and even put the chickens to bed last night where he discovered just what stupid animals they are.  I think he was still smarting with guilt over the gravy incident and staying well away from the kitchen.

Scarves 7 and 8  made and now I am both out of yarn and people who need scarves - I may need to take up some other project which will occupy my evenings.  Sandi may well pop in today so we can take the dogs for a nice walk and I can get some practice in with Basso.  I have been taking him for lead walks of late which has improved his behaviour considerably.  The saying is that "you walk condition on and run condition off".  One of my work colleges who showed Hungarian vizslas used to road walk 7miles per day to get them to build muscle.

Nice looking dogs who do the same job as Basso, hunt, point and retrieve.

Today I have a bit of chasing up to do - my mattress topper for the king sized bed has not arrived yet so I will chase them up and get a delivery date.  It is a big item so it would be helpful if we were in when it is delivered.

The weather this week is set to be warm and good so I will have to make a concerted effort with the garden however we are going to lunch with Len and Margaret tomorrow and with any luck I will be shooting on Wednesday and on Thursday we though we might take a trip to Mersea Island and see if we can get some more oysters for lunch.  However a lot depends on when the mattress is arriving!!!! but it looks like a pretty full week of wall to wall fun.......

If you watched Country File last night there was a part about Lady Sondes who runs the Lees court estate and it is Sandi who is keeping her pheasants in order by dogging them in each morning.  She runs a big commercial shoot in the winter months as well as having her own oyster beds....For the uninitiated dogging in means using a dog to drive the pheasant back into the woodland and out of the fields.  Which means come the shooting season they can be driven out of the woods towards the guns by the beaters.  All a bit crazy but there is shed loads of money in it, people can spend about £2.000 for a days shooting!!!  Fortunately clay pigeons are much cheaper to shoot and much easier to control but are not as tasty to eat!!!!



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