Wednesday morning and bin day

Just when things seem to be going along smoothly something happens to bring you up short.  My wretched back has decided to play up for no good reason at all.  If I had done something stupid like digging a flowerbed then I would accept it but I have done nothing out of the ordinary so I am really fed up about it.  The weather forecast is for rain and wind today so I have cancelled shooting as that seems a daft thing to do.  Hopefully we will be able to go tomorrow and if we shoot down the line then there is little walking carrying guns and cartridges so my back should be OK.

We had our trip to Dobbies yesterday and were duly impressed with the serious amount of "stuff " available.  Once we had walked round the food section and the perfume section it was on to the outdoor section which has plants and chickens and fish for sale.  The hens are all of known breeds but the price is about £30-40 per bird - this is what I pay for 4 birds on point of lay.  The koi carp they have are not quite as big as mine and are retailing at £200 each - perhaps I should open a shop!!!  Once we were exhausted from our viewing expedition we retired to the cafe for lunch where we discovered that on Tuesday they put on a special deal for 'old farts' a hot meal at £5.95 consisting of either a main and soup, or a main and sweet.   I opted for the soup and main.  The soup was a cream of vegetable soup which was served with sour cream croutons and chopped parsley which you could help yourself to and either a roll or a herb scone.  For the main course I had a breaded fillet of pollock with roast potatoes, broccoli, broad beans and carrots.  As we were getting to the end of the meal we were approached by the head chef who is commissioning the cafe.  He was after some feed back which we were happy to give him.  Our major beef was that the tables were too small for lunch for four people, they were fine for coffee but once all the plates and glasses were on the table there was no room to move.  As for the food I had a little moan about the lovely soup which was spoiled by being completely devoid of seasoning.    Apparently it is all part of the drive to reduce salt intake, but why should we all suffer because there are some people who eat too much salt.  They eat shed loads of pre-prepared commercially produced foods.  Yes there was salt on the table but adding salt at the end is not the same as cooking with it, by that token you could have a slice of Madeira cake and sprinkle it with dried fruit and call it fruit cake.  End of gripe!!!  The rest of the food was fine and cooked well with the exception of the carrots which could have used a minute more.  The guy seem pleased with our comments as they are trying to iron out any major problems before the grand opening on Friday.  I found a clematis plant that would suite my purposes but again it was very expensive so I am going to have a trawl around the internet this morning and see if I can find it cheaper there.  It is an evergreen and called "Avalanche"

Unwins have it at £13 which is much more the price I had in mind.  I did, however, buy a feeder for the hens which holds about 7 days supply of food all of which makes looking after them less of a chore.  I also bought some lamb scrag end to make into irish stew and 2kg of pork chops which were on special offer - I got 6 large chops for £8 which I thought a bargain.

Len and Margaret came back to our house for a cup of tea and a viewing of the new computer - They were duly impressed with the fact that the computer is all contained in the monitor and there is very little to do to get it all up and running.

Shortly after they left I decided to give in to the back ache and took some analgesics and went off to bed for a rest.  When I got up I was still full from lunch and so I served up the risotto cakes for Mike and James who agreed that they were rather nice.  It is an accepted recipe to do with left over plain risotto and can be made extra special by the addition of a piece of mozzarella in the centre.  I am pleased to report that it also works with a shell fish risotto.  James was pleased with his first week as a bike courier and had been awarded the best biker bonus.

The lamb is in the slow cooker as we speak so hopefully that will be ready for this evenings supper once I have de-greased it and removed the bones and added the vegetables.  Which I believe should be just onion and potato.

I plan to spend a quiet day, doing little, as I really don't want to aggravate my back any more than is necessary.  I am hopeful that some TLC will solve the problem.

But first the bins need to go out and the garden needs clearing of doggy do.

Have a good day all lets hope that the forecast rain goes some way to helping with the draught!!!

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