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Showing posts from April, 2015

Sunday morning

Ok so here I am in Scotland - Invarary to be precise.  We had a terrific drive up which we took it in three hour stints to share the driving.  Dan was very good in the car but once we arrived he drank gallons of water and then promptly threw it all up over the kitchen floor, so the floor is now pristine and the washing machine is full of the towels we used to mop up the mess.  The weather was perfect and today looks like another brilliant day.  We dined at the George pub for supper which required a 100yds walk.  Today we are going to visit her mum and do a bit of shopping as the cupboards are bare.  Poor Shiona I can quite see why she needs a friend to try and sort out the house there must be a ton of stuff to be shifted.  What the hell do you do with 8 double goose down duvets?  And all the accompanying bedding.

The views from the house are spectacular as it faces directly onto the loch.  I will take some pics but probably not post until I get back as the connection here is a bit do…

Saturday morning

So here I am at Shionas house where all this blogging began a good few years ago.  Everyone else is still asleep with the exception of Dante.  He managed to get himself a good soaking yesterday whether he fell or jumped into the pond is still up for debate but he emerged sporting pond weed in his hair.  Very fetching!!!!  Shiona had made a big pot of stew which we all tucked into with gusto.  Then it was off to bed early ready to be up and away by 9am.  James has familiarised himself with all the technology and Shiona has stuffed the fridge with goodies to keep him going. He has volunteered to mow her grass while we are away.  Fortunately she has a sit on mower as there must be half an acre of grass to cut.

On the journey over Dan was wrenching in the car but with an empty stomach the car remained clean.    Today will be a longer ride so no breakfast for him but he can have an extra large supper when we arrive.  Last night I had a mishap with his biscuits and dropped the whole lot on…

Friday morning

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Good morning all.  Well today is the day I go to Shiona's house ready to leave for Scotland tomorrow bright and early.  I hope I have got everything organised.  Yesterday I shot out and bought a couple of tops in the sale at cotton traders.  I was really lucky as the remaining winter stuff was on sale as all the summer stock is now in.  Today I need to go to the bank first thing and get money for us all, the freezer if full of ready meals and I bought a sack of dog food which we will divide out and share between Tubby and Dante.  I think it takes longer to pack for the dogs than it does for me or James.  
Needless to say I slept really badly last night and woke in a mad flat panic this morning.  This will be the first time I have abandoned Mike and it is also the first time I have been away from home in the last three years.  All a bit of a trauma!!!!  I know everything will be fine but someone needs to tell that to my subconscious.  
While I was out shopping I dropped by Aldi fo…

Thursday morning

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Yesterday was hot and sunny in fact with the sun pouring into my room it made 30ºc by mid afternoon.  Too hot and very uncomfortable.  Fortunately the temperature has fallen overnight and this morning it is much cooler and more pleasant.  Sadly I didn't make the most of the good weather as by lunch time I was feeling absolutely exhausted and washed out.  I converted a cauliflower into cauliflower rice which we had for lunch and for supper the men had a takeaway curry and I had copious cups of tea and glasses of squash.  My friend Margaret phoned to cancel her visit today as she has a nasty cold and that is the last thing Mike needs.  I must say that I feel considerably better today having rested quite a bit yesterday.  
Today I have lots of errands to run as tomorrow we are off to Shiona's in the evening ready to leave for Scotland in the morning.  I need to do some shopping and refill the dogs food supplies as I will need to take some with me.  In fact I think packing for th…

Wednesday morning

Good morning all.  What a lovely day it was yesterday we had wall to wall sunshine and it was warm. First thing we had a visit from the respiratory team to check and see how Mikes breathing is getting on. This is a 6 monthly check as his condition is progressive they like to keep an eye on how things are going.  The good news is that he is not deteriorating significantly despite his chest infection earlier in the year.  Then at 1pm he had an appointment at the clinic so we ended up having sardine rolls for lunch and for supper the slow cooker was pressed into action to do mince and potatoes.  
Dante seems to have survived his traumatic school outing and by way of homework we ran through all the commands he understands and I filled in all the paperwork ready for the next visit.  Sadly he will be missing the next two sessions as we will be away and I know I would forget to do it if I left it until we come back.
Today is bin day and all my bins are full to overflowing so that will be my…

Tuesday morning

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Can you make biscuits from a packet of sage and onion stuffing? The answer is yes and they are delicious with cream cheese.   If you fancy a go this is what I did. I emptied a packet of stuffing into the blitzer and whizzed it for a bit to make it finer.  I then added some cold diced butter and then brought it together with some cold chicken stock. The resulting dough was a bit crumbly so I rolled it out between two sheets of clingfilm then baked at 180ºC until golden.  I know they are good because I don't have a single one left, the family demolished the lot.
The highlight of the day was Dans first day at school.  The trainer is the guy who trains the metropolitan police dogs and their sniffer dogs.  Not my favourite organisation but I kept my trap shut.  As far as dog training is concerned he knows his stuff.  The class was quite large with about 16 of us and much of the lesson was taken up with basic admin stuff.  Dan was pretty terror struck but gradually relaxed.  However, t…

Monday morning

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Tubby decided that Dans beard needed a good wash
Yesterday was a lovely sunny day but there was a cold wind blowing sufficiently strongly to blow the garden furniture around.  However it was a brilliant day to get the sheets dry on the line even if they need many extra pegs to keep them there.  I did the roast chicken for lunch but successfully burned the carrotsI had a steamer over the top of them and couldn't see that the water had evaporated,  well thats my excuse anyway.  I made rather a lot of stuffing [packet mix] so I have lined a tin with the remainder and blind baked it and today I will add the cold chicken made up with some leeks and mushrooms and make a quiche.  As I was doing this I suddenly wondered if you could make some savoury biscuits with stuffing mix instead of flour or maybe mixed with part flour anyway they would be nice with cheese I think.  I will have to give it a go and see what happens.  I usually make up stuffing mix with stock to give it a bit of flavo…

Sunday morning

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Yesterday was a strange day weather-wise in the morning it rained heavily and then in the afternoon we had brilliant sunshine but the temperature had dropped quite significantly due to the rain.  I granted myself a day off from the kitchen and for lunch we had pasties from the bakers and for supper a Chinese takeaway.  I did impressions of a sloth and watched a film on DVD and finished my audio book from the library.
I keep in touch with Dante's breeder and she alerted me to this lovely photo of his sister at a spinone championship show.  She really does look splendid and her coat is beautifully prepare.  I am getting there with Dan but he still does resemble a shag pile carpet.  It is nice to see that the pups are all doing well and growing into very handsome dogs.
When I went to check on the hens I was pleased to see I still have 2 and why the other 2 died is still a mystery.  If it were disease or a feeding problem you would anticipate all 4 succumbing anyway I am glad I still…

Saturday morning

Yesterday was the warmest day so far this year and what a difference to go out without a coat.  My two surviving hens seem to be OK so I am really baffled as to why the other two died.  If it was something to do with my feeding regimen surely all 4 would have been affected.  Anyway no use crying over spilled milk.  
We decided to have a quick lunch as Mike had an appointment at 2pm and I left the shellfish soup for dinner.  The quick lunch consisted of scrambled eggs with wild garlic and mushrooms on toast - possibly more a breakfast than a lunch but it filled the gap.  I sat in the car park hoping to listen to my book but I had brought my iPad which doesn't have an internet connection once away from my wi-fi so no book, I just had to play canasta for an hour sitting in the hot sun.  Every time Mike sees a medical person they change his prescription so we are now cutting down certain medication in anticipation of changing to a different drug.  He seems to be having great difficul…

Friday morning

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Good morning all you can blame the library for my late start this morning.  I got my library card yesterday morning and promptly downloaded an audio book,  "Kathy Reichs 206 bones" When I woke at 4am I thought I would continue listening so I tucked my iPad under my pillow and promptly fell asleep in seconds.  There is nothing like the drone of a voice to send you off to sleep.  
Yesterday was a day of ups and downs I got my library card really quickly as I appeared to be the only one in the library but as I turned to leave there was a queue of about 20 people behind me so I was just really lucky.  On the down side I lost another hen in similar circumstances to the first.  I though the first was just bad luck but to loose a second hen then something is wrong.  I rang the breeder and we discussed what might be the problem and neither of us could come up with a cause. As you know I have kept hens before so I am familiar with how to feed them etc so we are none the wiser.  Anyw…

Thursday morning

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Good morning all.  I am a bit confused this morning having had Sunday lunch yesterday today feels like Monday.  The beef rib I bought in Aldi was one of the best pieces of meat I have had in a long time.  I roasted it in the oven until it reached 60ºC internal temperature then out it came to sit and stand while the Yorkshires were put in to cook.  Interestingly I made the batter in the nurtri-bullet which did a very good job. By way of vegetables I had a nice hispi cabbage which I shredded and steamed.  There was a good portion of meat left so once cold I sliced it and made a cold beef salad by adding a finely sliced onion and a big handful of capers, salt pepper and olive oil.  This, with a couple of slices of toast made an excellent supper.  I am not on the breadline challenge but I think yesterday would have passed as the meat, which did 6 handsome portions, cost the princely sum of £7.  I am also proud of myself as I finished the ironing and got everything put away.  
Today, we w…

Wednesday morning

Good morning all yet another late start for me I seem to be sleeping a bit better these days which can only be a good thing. Yesterday Denny came and did her thing so the house is all spotless and tidy. The laundry is up to date but the ironing is not yet done so that is on todays list of things to do.  Last nights super was a bit of a vegetarian mess we ended up having courgette pancakes, potato rosti and greek salad.  A bit of an odd mix but all nice tasty bits so it went down quite well.  Today we are having a Sunday lunch of roast beef with all the trimmings. Yes I know it is not Sunday but I got a real bargain in Aldi and that is a rib of beef which had been reduced to £7.  Well who could resist that? and as the weekend makes little or no difference to us we might as well have Sunday lunch today.  It is not a huge piece of meat so it will not take long as I like my meat rare and was delighted to learn that in fact rare meat is less calorific than well done.  This is all down to …

Tuesday morning

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Good morning all, I think I slept for England yesterday, not only did I have a good sleep in the afternoon after a fairly busy morning but then I fell asleep really early and though I woke a few times I soon went back to sleep.  All I can surmise is that I must have needed it.

uova sode tonnato 
Beneath the blanket of tuna sauce are halved hard boiled eggs which we had for lunch with some hot crusty bread and a rocket and bean salad.  Supper was an effort to use up an over abundance of carrots so I made carrot and coriander soup to which I added some leftover chorizo sausage which made it very substantial.  
The weather was none too bad so the laundry got hung out and dried and this morning it is down to sorting and ironing.  Denny will be here in under an hour and the kitchen is still a mess so I had better get on and clear that up.  Today for lunch I am doing something nice and easy so I will make a corned beef hash and then I will have to think of something else for supper.  
When…

Monday morning

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Good morning all.  Yesterday was a reasonable day with a good deal of sunshine.  This morning I have both good news and bad news.  The good news is that the hens have started laying but the bad news is one of them died in childbirth.  Hopefully the 3 remaining will lay OK and without further problems.  The one that died must have been defective and nature has dealt with the problem.  The little lad next door who is 6 years old was delighted to receive a special pullet egg for easter.  
I set to and made a shepherds pie with the leftover roast lamb and to the mash potatoes I added a roast butternut squash and a few spring onions so in the end it was a very luxurious pie with a golden top. Come super time we were all hungry again so James made a nice spaghetti carbonara unfortunately I now have one portion of spaghetti and one of shepherds pie leftover so I think I will freeze both as meals for Mike while I am away.
After a nice long walk the dogs disappeared but we found their hiding …

Sunday morning

Yesterday was grim and grey for most of the day but I amused myself in the kitchen doing a roast shoulder of lamb.  It had been boned and rolled so it was nice and easy to carve and there is plenty left over to make a mega shepherds pie today.  I am not quite sure which I prefer the roast or the pie I think I prefer the pie which is made with roast meat which I cut up into small pieces rather than blitz. Supper was  nice quick and easy as it was scrambled eggs on toast with some smoked salmon.  
Dante was disappointed with his walk as someone had pulled out the plug and the swimming pool was empty.  I must admit his coat is looking better for a couple of swims in the salt water it leaves it much silkier and softer.  I know I seem ridiculously please about the swimming but I had such trouble with Basso who refused to swim and made a complete chump out of me on several occasions. Spinone have webbed feet so are known to be good swimmers and fortunately Dan is proving the point.  Given …

Saturday Morning

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The river medway looks like a mirror with not even a ripple







Dan looking like a drowned rat after his swimming lesson
Given how windy it has been yesterday it was still as the grave and as you can see by the photos there isn't even a ripple on the water where a day ago we had white horse waves.  I didn't do much yesterday as I was feeling desperately tired for no apparent reason.  I can't say I feel much better today.  I have about enough energy to fill a thimble and feel as if I haven't slept for a week.  For once I think I might give in to the way I feel and just slop around for the day.  I don't think the weather helped as it was grey miserable and wet.

Friday Morning

Good morning all, yesterday was a day of surprises firstly Shiona turned up while I was still mooching around in my dressing gown.  We had mentioned her coming but it had been left open as she was unsure of her diary commitments.  When I didn't hear from her I assumed she was not coming over but low a behold there she was.  Once I was out of the shower and dressed we went and gave the hens the once over and refilled all their food and water containers.  Then as time was frittering away we set to and made lunch we transformed the Tuscan sausages into meat balls and I dug out some tomato sauce a pot of pasta was boiled that was lunch.  
Then as the weather was wonderful if fact one of the first true spring days with no wind we decided as it was high tide we would take all the dogs for a swim.  This was another surprise as Dante decided he was the best swimmer and could win any competition to fetch sticks.  For the first time there was something he could beat Tubby at so he was over…

Thursday morning

Sorry to be so late again but I seem to be catching up on acres of lost sleep.  Yesterday was quite busy what with the arrival of all the stuff from Tesco which has refilled my freezer.  James and I shot out to Faversham and had a very nice breakfast and then restocked with coffee.  It was only when I returned that I realised I still had two kilo bags in the garage so the trip was not really necessary but what is done is done and I now have coffee for quite some time.  The weather yesterday was glorious sunshine but there was a bitterly cold wind blowing which made it much colder than it looked. Neither James not I felt much like lunch having had such a blowout breakfast so I made a quick lunch for Mike so we were all ready for supper when it came.  I had chopped up some pork shoulder steaks and put them to marinade in the Wagamama lemon grass sauce it was then just a case of stir-frying the meat and adding some stir fry vegetables and some noodles and hey presto supper in about 10 m…

Wednesday morning

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Good morning all, yesterday was a really blowy day with the weather changing very dramatically as the clouds whipped overhead.  One minute it was brilliant sunshine the next it was as black as your hat and raining.  My parcel from the approved food company arrived and I was please with the contents as I had been very careful not to order rubbish but just the sort of things I would actually use.  I also got a second delivery as the day before we had had a disaster when our long handled poo scoop had broken.  I immediately ordered another one from Amazon and it arrived within the 24 hour period.  Great, as we would be lost without it. I had bought the last one on a visit to Crufts which must be at least 5 years ago and it has been in constant use ever since and I certainly feel that I got my moneys worth out of it.
I thought the wind might have died down over night but it is still pretty blowy out there but at the moment the sky looks clear.  Today I am waiting for the delivery from Te…