Back to the crack of dawn.   I though I was at last sleeping a bit later but no such luck.  As I woke  at 4am there was one flash followed immediately by an almighty clap of thunder and down came the rain in stair rods - well at least there will be no watering to do tonight.  The temperature in my room had only dropped from 28ºC to 26ºC which is pretty hot but the outside temperature is now down to 18ºC so we might have a cooler start.  Sadly the rain has only lasted for about half an hour and the storm has now passed on.  We could really have used at least an hour of downpour but beggars can't be choosers and I will happily accept what we have had.

In the end I decided not to ruin the veal and cooked it pané which was truly delicious.  One thing the juice episode has done is give us back our appreciation of good food.  We eat so well normally that you do get a bit complacent.  I am getting a bit ahead of myself here that was for dinner last night but much earlier in the day I had a phone call from my uncle who has now reached the grand old age of 87 and is still as bright as a button.  I haven't heard from him since the demise of my parents though we have exchanged cards at Christmas.  He has two daughters but we have never been close and one of them lives in Spain the other is in the UK.  Apparently he had been in contact with my sister who lives in Abruzzo in Italy.  I had had my suspicions when I saw this area coming up in the readers list but given that it thinks Joy is in Exeter I hoped it was yet another glitch in the matrix!!!!  Anyway I had better watch my P&Q's from now on.  Somehow anonymous readers are of no real interest but when it is someone you know it feels very uncomfortable. 

For our lunch we had just a bowl of chicken soup using up the bits and bobs from the day before and a packet of Dukan noodles which were quite palatable given that I think they must be made of plastic as they are all but carb free.  They are Japanese in origin and resemble glass noodles but without any rice flour.  Anyway, we had just about got it down our necks when the firearms officer arrived to hand over my new shotgun licence and while we were chatting I also asked for a European licence which would allow me to go with Shiona to France and stay at her friends house. He was a local gunsmith for many years and has now retired to France and has his own shoot so that could be fun.  I think it is extremely unlikely that it will happen but if I have the licence at least it is a possibility.  It costs nothing extra so why not have one anyway and who knows what the next 5 years will bring.    

Today is a going to be a busy one as Mike has an ENT appointment first thing this morning then I am taking James to Maidstone to the main Ford dealer to buy an expansion tank for his car as the current one has a split and it and is leaking steadily.  Lunch is going to have to be a quick affair and to that end I have made a big bowl of salsa to which we will add the chilies once we have decanted a portion for Mike.  He is a real wimp where chilies are concerned.  The inevitable galettes will make an adequate wrap if I make them in the large non stick pan.  Dinner this evening will be one of the fabulous steaks from Aldi with an assortment of vegetables which should arrive in my box.  

Oh! full marks to the head gardener, it is pouring with rain again, just what we need. The raspberries are just beginning to come into fruit and we should have a fairly decent crop this year.  Nothing like as good as when I had my bees but still fairly heavy.  The fig crop is going to be enormous so I will be looking for things to do with them shortly.  I like fresh figs but not in the quantities that we grow!!!!  James has a couple of friends who are lined up to pick both figs and raspberries if we are inundated.  Now that the ground has been wetted today might be a good day to lift the garlic crop.  I have held back as the ground has been just too hard and dry.  The onions are already up and drying off but I am using them up pretty quickly so they will not be around for too long.

I was pleased with myself yesterday as I managed to get all the ironing done and put away while the weather was still cool and the kitchen got a good blitz so now it is just the rest of the house that could use a hoover and dust.  James did his room just in case the firearms officer wanted to inspect the gun cabinet but he was happy that nothing had changed.  Anyway the room got a good going over so that is one less to do today.  

The door leading out onto the kitchen roof has been a real pain for ages and sticks shut so you have to give it a good kick to open it.  I am afraid one day it will cease up completely and in this hot weather that would be a disaster so I have organised the double glazing guy to try to come tomorrow and price up a new one.  This is the same guy who did our patio doors so I am confident he won't rob me blind and will do a good job.  

Well enough rambling time I got on with something more constructive.  Have a good day and I hope you have the benefit of a bit of rain for your gardens......


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