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Showing posts from June, 2015

Tuesday morning

First of all I would like to thank all the kind people who sent me birthday wishes they came in from far and wide.  Even my old boss who now lives in Singapore was in touch isn't the internet wonderful.  However the best was from the feed in tariff people who pay for the electricity from my roof panels.  They sent me a huge cheque for £500 which is the best I have ever had for one quarter. I can't quite decide what I might spend it on but no doubt I will find some excuse to treat myself to something.  Actually I really could use some new jeans as mine are so old they are developing hole in the knees.
Sandy arrived with only one of her dogs and big bunch of white lilies which she knows are my favourites.  The poor soul is still crippled with back problems which are going to take a long time to resolve.  We loaded up the car and with all the dogs and headed for the dog walk along the estuary as the tide was up.  Fortunately the water is quickly accessible from the car park and …

Monday morning

Yesterday we had a splash of rain not nearly enough to be useful but just enough to be annoying when doing the laundry.  Anyway, the final 4 machine loads got put through and dried, on the line by the evening, despite the rain.  I had to have a good watering session as the garden is a dry as a bone and nothing got watered in my absence.  The seeds I planted have been an abject failure with a very poor germination rate.  The only success are two courgette plants which have struggled through, however the weeds seem to be doing really well!!!!  The pigeon have had a feast on my gooseberries which I didn't net in time. The only things doing well are the tomatoes, thank goodness I am not reliant on the garden for food.  The one good thing about gardening is that it always gives you another chance next year.  
High tide is at 11.30 so Sandy is bringing her dogs and we are going to take them all swimming which should be fun.  I really need to do a bit of shopping as I don't even hav…

Sunday morning

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Good morning all



Just a few more pics of the dogs in the forest having a ball.  Not only are there loads of sticks to play with but also balls made of stick [pine cones]. Yesterday was a day of laundry and today will be the same.  I got three loads done yesterday and decided not to push myself so I have left at least three more loads for today.  I'm not even thinking of the ironing it is too scary!!! 
We had a lovely fried brunch after we had taken the dogs for a swim as the tide was up and after all the hassle I had with Basso I am pleased that Dante has taken to swimming with pleasure.  Spinone are known to be very good swimmers as they have webbed feet or should that be paddles.  Mike was hungry at lunch time so he had a tin of soup but James and I waited for supper which was just a sirloin steak.  It was one of my neighbours 70th birthday party to which we had been invited but sadly so had my nasty neighbour so I thought discretion was the better part of valour and turned down…

Saturday morning

I wrote a blog this morning but it doesn't appear to be publishing can you see it?

Saturday Morning

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Home safe and well the gods were with us for this trip.  On the way up to Suffolk there were long delays on the A12 but going in the opposite direction and similarly on the return journey the there were 2 accidents but on the north bound carriage way.  They had forecast rain for Monday but as luck would have it we picked up the van and were all settled on site sitting having a cup of tea when it finally did rain.  As you can see form the photo the ground is pure sand so rain makes little impact on it.  The very short grass is due to the rabbits who do the lawn mowing.  We decided that we would settle for a pie, chicken, ham and stuffing, for supper and do some shopping later.  We were all shattered so an early night was in order.  Dan had made it to the pick up farm without being sick but the second stage did for him.  It was the last 14 miles that finished him off.  However he was fine on the return journey.  I think he is finally getting used to the car.  
We all slept like the dea…

Monday morning

Well today is the day and yes it is pouring with rain!!!  This will make loading the car a bit of a problem but hopefully there might be a break in the weather so we can dash in and out with the stuff. In some ways I am pleased for the garden and I spent time yesterday making sure the greenhouse was well watered and that the tomato plants were tied in and side shoots pricked out etc.  
We did our last minute shopping in Tesco and we ate ready made rubbish to save time and effort. The car has a full tank of diesel and my wallet is also full so we should have no real problems over the four days.  The wonderful Denny is due tomorrow so I will come home to a lovely clean house and I have left Mike with her wages.  Once I am back I will need to contact Mark the gardener as there are plenty of shrubs which are going mad and need cutting back.  It is hard to believe that we have hit the longest day already and it is all down hill from now.  As far as I am concerned we haven't even got t…

Sunday morning

Good morning all.  My to-do list is a long one today as it is the final push before we leave on holiday tomorrow.  I have to make sure that I leave Mike well catered for with meals that he can cope with [not an easy task].  I also need to clear the fridge of perishables that he cannot cope with like courgettes and lettuce etc.  I know we are only away for 4 days but the logistics of it are the same as if I were going for 6 months or at least that is how it feels.  
Yesterday's rain did me a favour as watering was on my list but now all I have left is the greenhouse, the rest of the garden got a good soaking yesterday afternoon.  I stupidly looked at the weather forecast for Monday in Suffolk and guess what it is going to rain all day :(.  Fortunately I am not made of sugar so if I get wet it will just be too bad.  The caravan is provided with a very good central heating system so I can soon dry off and warm up. The shower cubicle provides a great place to hang wet clothes to drip…

Saturday morning

Very late again this morning we had a bit of a stressful day yesterday so I chemically coshed myself and slept in very late.  I don't know which is the lesser of the evils not sleeping or sleeping under the influence.  With the holiday looming I am a nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof which is not really like me but I am filled with unrealistic dread, foreboding and panic.  My rational mind tells me this is stupid but my emotions are in meltdown.  
The stew finally got eaten and though it was very nice none of us felt much like it so it only represented fuel.  Today I am going to make a corned beef hash for lunch which I hope will be more appealing.  I apologise if my composition is a bit disjointed but my head is full of gerbils who are having a party.  I will keep things short as there must be a limit to how much bilge you are prepared to read. Perhaps we are all anxious given that the last time we tried this it ended in disaster and a monumental fight between the men and a las…

Friday morning

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Sambucus nigra in flower
Good morning readers a bit earlier this morning and certainly nowhere near as groggy.  I had a pretty indolent day yesterday and spent much time reading and knitting.  The weather was warm and sunny so I really should have been out in the garden but I wasn't in the mood.  I suppose this is one of the great joys of being retired in that I can do what I want when I want and if I choose to knit or read I can: however it does nothing to stop me feeling guilty.  James stepped in to take up the slack and made bacon sandwiches for all for lunch and for supper we had a take away.  The stew in still sitting there and will no doubt either end up on todays menu or in the freezer if no one fancies it.
I suppose I am in that limbo land just before you go away when it is too soon to really pack and too late to start other things.  Over the weekend I will have to get some washing done just so that I don't come home to a mountain.  As we are going to be away for only…

Thursday morning

Sorry to be so late this morning but I took a sleeping tablet at 3am so I am bit on the groggy side.  I hate taking the tablets as they leave me very fuzzy in the morning.  Anyway yesterday was a day of warmth and sunshine so summer is finally here I hope.  I took Mike to the clinic in the morning and while he was being seen I had a trip to the butcher and the fishmonger so I am now a bit better stocked.  The butcher had some wonderful skirt so that is in the slow cooker making a nice stew which we will have for lunch today.  I must admit I could fancy some nice fluffy dumpling to go with it.  Not exactly summer food but something I fancy.  In the fishmonger I bought a nice rabbit which is in the freezer but will make a nice meal perhaps over the weekend which will make a change from chicken.
Shiona left me a message and invitation but I didn't find it until this morning and I am far too groggy to drive so I have had to turn her invitation down.  It looks like it is going to be a…

Wednesday Morning

Yesterday started off very damp and miserable but we did have a few hours of sunshine in the afternoon then back to the cloud cover.  This morning the sky looks much clearer and we are forecast a warmer day.  At last the freezing arctic wind has subsided so I am hopeful.  
I whistled through the chores in the morning and got most of the jobs done but with no Denny this week I will have to try and work out how to use a duster and the hoover!!!  The lasagne for lunch was late but very filling so none of us actually fancied supper last night so we just went without.  I had had a whistle stop tour of the shops and restocked the freezer a little.  Feeding three people is difficult as almost everything comes in packs designed for two or four.  At least if I go to the butcher I can get 3 chops.  Super markets don't cater for odd numbers.  Mike seems to have largely lost his appetite so actually I am catering for 2.5 which is even more of a pain.  It is very tempting to shovel the remain…

Tuesday morning

Well it is still winter here though the sky looks a bit clearer and we may even get some sunshine.  Not a leaf in the garden is moving so hopefully we have lost the bitterly cold wind that has been plaguing us and according to the weather forecast it is getting warmer.  
Yesterday was a pretty mundane affair, I took the dogs out bright and early and got them walked then it was just the usual chores of keeping this ship afloat.  Having run my freezer down when I went to Scotland it has fail to refill itself.  I have been shopping for just the next couple of days and not really thinking much further ahead.  This time next week I will be waking up in my caravan in the middle of a forest which will make a change.  By the way there is no signal where I will be even mobile phones struggle so I will be off the wires for the 4 days we are away. 
Now for some good news I took the car into Kwik-fit yesterday and had the tyre repaired [£26.50] so much better than a new tyre which would have bee…

Monday morning and a very late start

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Good morning all sorry about the late post but I had a pretty ropy night and finally slept form 4 - 7am and now I feel like a wet dish cloth.
Yesterday was fun the anniversary celebrations were very nice and I must admit it is the first time I seen someone riding in a wedding dress and slingback high heels.




The food which was provided by the pub was very good with roast beef and ham and a whole salmon beautifully presented with a great assortment of salads there was something for everyone.  Sadly the weather could have been kinder, it was freezing but at least it stayed dry.  I think it must have been the adrenalin that kept Elly warm.  Let me explain Elly came to me as a house cleaner about 100 years ago she was just 16 and working three jobs at the time.  We have been firm friends ever since and she is my surrogate daughter.  
Having had a blow out lunch the broth and pasta made an excellent supper nice and light but just enough to be filling.  
Today the weather is just as miserab…

Sunday morning

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Yesterday was cool and dull and today looks much the same.  This morning it is very misty after quite a wet night you could be forgiven for thinking it was autumn already.  The dover soles were delicious I must admit it is one of my favourite fish.  As lunch was just a five minute job I also put a whole chicken in the halogen oven and roasted it then put it straight into a pot with the usual suspects carrot, onion and celery.  I added a couple of pieces of stewing beef and put the pot on to tick over for a good 4 hours.  Last night for supper I pulled out some of the meat and served it with the salsa verde and some new potatoes not quite a bollito misto but nearly.  Today I have a big pot of the most wonderful broth which will do us for supper this evening especially if I add some small pasta and a good handful of grated parmesan.  
We are out for lunch at a friends 10th wedding celebrations which are being held at a local pub.  I do hope for their sakes that the weather picks up a l…

Saturday morning

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Yesterday was rather dull and miserable for most of the day then come the evening we had a huge thunderstorm with lots of lightening and plenty of rain.  Well I had just spent an hour or two watering!!!!  Fortunately the laundry made it indoors just before the deluge. The forecast for the weekend looks pretty miserable.  The vegetable beds seem to be growing plenty of weeds but the seedlings are so small I dare not weed just yet until the plants are a bit more established.  The tomatoes are coming on well in the greenhouse and I have a big patch of chives which are flourishing under cover. 
The fish monger rang me to say that the boys had got some nice dovers while out night fishing so I have three lovely ones in the fridge which will be on todays lunch menu.   You know that the fish is fresh when rigor mortis has set in!!!  I find dover sole a very delicate fish so I do very little to it just salt and pepper, lots of butter and minimal cooking.
I spent quite a while yesterday search…

Friday morning

What a glorious day it was yesterday blue sky sun and warmth.  We Brits might moan about the weather but we do recognise those very precious days that are just right.  10am saw us all gathered at our house then off we went in convoy to the shooting club at Dartford.  Dante was bundled into the back of the car with Shiona and I and James and Ian went in his new car.  Ian had never shot before so some time was spent explaining gun safety and etiquette.  I was not hopeful of shooting well as it has been so long since I have shot but having said that actually I shot none too badly.  Dan was in the back of the car which I hasten to add was wide open and about 50yards from the guns.  Once I had finished shooting my cartridges I got him out of the car and walked him past a group of me who were shooting.  He was as good as gold and sat with me watching the shooting with interest and the odd flinch from the loud noise.  We all had ear protectors but the dog didn't so the noise is much lou…

Thursday morning

Good morning all, yesterday was chilly and windy and pretty miserable.  It constantly looked as if it were to rain but nothing materialised.  This morning the sky is clearer and there is a glimmer of sunshine so hopefully it will be a better day.  
Today is going to be a busy day I have to dash out first thing and get a few bits from Aldi and swing past a hole in the wall and refill my wallet. We are going shooting but as we have not shot for many months we are going to take it easy and just have one round of skeet each.  James is bringing a mate who has never shot before but it will do us no harm to run through all the gun etiquette  and remind ourselves.  We have chosen just one round each as no doubt we will have sore shoulders anyway. You only have to have the gun slightly out of alignment and you are treated to a good belt from the recoil.  Lift your face off the stock and that too gets a smack.  This teaches you very quickly to hold the gun right!!!!  I am going to take Dan as …

Wednesday morning

Yesterday  was a quiet day with little to report.  The weather was chilly and overcast.  I made stuffed tomatoes and a stuffed fillet if pork for lunch.  James walked the dogs while I cooked.  Today looks much the same except that I have to take Mike to the clinic this morning.  I have some bassa fillets for lunch which I will serve with a mixed salad and some new potatoes.  I am moving in to summer food even though the weather is still pretty cold dull and miserable.  I almost forgot but the car is going in for its MOT this afternoon so fingers crossed that it gets through without problems or huge expense.  Anyway once it's done I can then pay the road fund licence which is now easy online.  I have till the end of the month to get it done.  I have now put a reminder in my calendar for next year so it will not come as a surprise.  Well that's about it nothing of any great interest just a mundane Wednesday.  So first things first on with the coffee and out with the bins.

Tuesday morning

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Yesterday started off well with bright sunshine but there was a bitterly cold wind blowing which meant it was very chilly if you were out of the sunshine.  By the afternoon it had clouded over and we are still very cloudy this morning and down to single figures.  Is summer over already?
I had decided to give my veg beds a bit of a water and while I was there I got talking to my new neighbour who was also watering her veg beds.  The poor soul has only just come out of hospital having had a major mishap with a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and been treated to pretty poor care by our local hospital.  No surprise there then!!! she is a registered mental nurse so she has some knowledge of how things should be and as soon as she was able she discharged herself.  She is safer at home we both agreed.  Fortunately her parents are close by and they were on hand to help out.  I felt terrible that a] I didn't know and b] I had done nothing to help out.  Anyway I shot out and bought her a posy o…

Monday morning

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Here we are at the beginning of another week.  For once the weekend was glorious with unbroken sunshine and I got loads of laundry done.

The figs are developing well and it looks like another bumper crop again this year.




Mike is still off his food so I am having to make leftovers out of leftovers but one thing that worked really well is some potato soup which I made out of the leftover dauphinoise and some of the leftover gravy from the pork chops which had been cooked in the leftover pepper sauce.  The addition of some stock  and a good whizzing in the thermomix and hey presto potato soup.  I had one chop left over so that has been finely sliced and today will form part of our lunch with a tomato salsa and some tortilla wraps.  I had intended the wraps for supper but no one was in the mood so they have been pushed on to lunch today.  The only ones who are always happy to eat are the dogs!!!! In fact Dante told a big lie yesterday and informed James he had not had breakfast so he end…

Sunday morning

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Yesterday was a lovely sunny day with a fresh breeze so not too hot.  In fact it was a perfect day to cook outdoors on the barbecue.  The cevapcici went down a storm and brought back happy memories of Istria  and holidays.  I did the usual accompaniments of peppers and raw onions rings and the Cobb barbecue came into its own. It lights easily and is up to cooking temperature in a matter of minutes you then have 2.5 hours of cooking time and best of all every bit is dishwasher proof so clearing up is also easy.  The meat only took a short time to cook so I threw on some spuds to cook afterwards as it seemed a shame to waste the heat.  

The roses are in bloom which make the garden look good and distracts from the weeds.  I got quite a few jobs done in the morning so I was happy to put my feet up in the afternoon.  James took the dogs for a run at high tide so Dan and his buddy had an opportunity to have a swim.  Mike made himself a sausage sandwich for supper but neither James nor I co…

Saturday morning

What a storm we had yesterday it only lasted a little while but it was fun while it did. Thunder, lightening and hail stones the size of sugar cubes.  Once the deluge was over it was followed by heat like a sauna which was most unpleasant.  This morning it is bright and fresh which is much better and it looks like we will be having a fine day.  
I managed to get quite a bit done in the morning including a trip to Aldi for some ingredients.  We had a quick lunch of steak and onion pie with a nice mixed leaf salad and supper was equally non interesting with just a sausage sandwich.  None of us felt much like eating it was too hot and Mike was feeling under the weather so he didn't really eat anything until supper.  It is difficult to go from single figures to 30ÂșC in one day.  The slow cooker has had a bolognese sauce slowly puttering away for most of yesterday so today that can be divided up and put in the freezer.  I also bought an assortment of fruit which I chopped and froze re…

Friday morning

Good morning all, what a lovely day we had yesterday and today is supposed to be so hot it will spark off thunderstorms!!  At least this morning we are in double figures for a change and it is not nearly as cold as it has been.  
I had a lovely time over at Shiona's and she had prepared a lovely lunch of rack of lamb [from a sheep two fields down] with asparagus some of which was from Shiona's own asparagus bed and with it we had a nice tray of roasted vegetables. A perfect lunch for "ladies who lunch".  Dan had a grand time playing in her garden and managed the whole day without falling into the pond.  He also managed both journeys without being sick though he did drool rather a lot.  I think his car phobia is gradually diminishing as he realises that the car invariably means something really good.  He jumps in with great enthusiasm but then starts to drool and by the time you get him out at the other end he looks like he has had a bath and has a raging thirst.
Now…

Thursday morning

The sun is shining this morning for a change and according to the forecast it is going to be a nice day. I am destined to go over to Shiona's house today I have been meaning to go over there on several Thursdays but something has always cropped up to prevent me from going.  Today my calendar looks clear and I think I will make it.  
Yesterday, was rather broken up with Mikes clinic visit but while he was being seen I had time to rush to the bank and pay in a cheque [thank you Joy] and also to pay a visit to my butcher.  However when I got there I found myself staring at the meat totally undecided what to have.  There was nothing that I immediately fancied.  In the end I bought some pork chops, some sausages and some mince nothing very exotic or even vaguely interesting.  For lunch I had made a sort of frittata with asparagus, prawns and mushrooms.  Supper was even less inspiring with pasta and piri-piri chicken which had been marinaded all day and then just flashed on the griddle…

Wednesday morning

Good morning all.  Yesterday was a really rotten day weather wise it was very chilly and blew a gale for most of the day.  The wonderful Denny came and worked her magic on the house which is all lovely and clean now.  The remains of the pasta salad was enough for a quick lunch for all of us and for supper we had some fish cakes from the freezer.  I was feeling a bit like a dishcloth, limp and tired for no apparent reason so I took to listening to yet another book and knitting to keep my hands occupied.  It didn't take long for me to fall asleep after lunch and I managed a couple of extra hours sleep which I was hoping would make me feel a bit better today.  Sadly that is not the case and I feel very tired again today.  However, at least the weather is much better with the odd glimmer of sun in a fairly cloudy sky.  
This morning I have to take Mike to the clinic at 11.30 which is a bit of a pain as that is usually when I am involved in lunch preparation.  You can imagine that I a…

Tuesday Morning

Stormy, I think covers the weather this morning it is blowing a gale and raining.  Last night we went to the gun dog training classes and I made a momentous decision I think I am just going to train Dante to be a well behaved dog but I don't think I still have the momentum to go out on the shoots.  I am cracking on a bit and I am not sure I have the stamina required.  The class was held in a chalk pit and Dan was a total buffoon.  I suddenly remembered just how hard it was to get Basso trained and I don't think I have what it takes to go through that again.   Anyway, we arrived home late as the class started at 7pm we were not home until 10pm which is a bit late for me as I have usually turned into a pumpkin by then.
I also did a bit of booking of holidays; I have booked us to have 4 days at my favourite site from 22/6 to 26/6 which will give me time to have a good look over the van and check what needs keeping and what can be either taken home or thrown away so that when we …

Monday morning

Here we are at the start of another week and the start of another month.  It has been a wet and windy weekend with not much to be done outside and the temperatures are still in single figures in the morning.

Yesterdays lunch was a traditional roast pork and stuffing lunch with new potatoes, glazed carrots, broad beans and cabbage, gallons of gravy, apple sauce and crackling.  We stuffed our faces so full no one fancied any supper so today it will be the leftovers for lunch.  Then I will have to decide what to have for supper as we are due to go dog training at 6pm to pick Sandy up at 6.45pm so it had better be something light and easy.
I had a lovely day yesterday after the mega lunch I retired to my knitting and listening to an audio book by Kathy Reichs.  It is lovely to sit and have a story read to you while you get on with your knitting.  I must admit I use the TV as a glorified radio and often only look up at the screen if all goes quiet.  I have been downloading the audio books …