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Showing posts from July, 2015

Friday morning

So here we are at the end of not only the week but also the month of July which has been a grotty month in many ways.  It is absolutely perishing this morning with the temperatures down to 11ºC but the sun is shining and there is not a cloud in the sky.  I was feeling a bit wobbly yesterday so abandoned the idea of breaded chicken and instead I put the chicken thighs into a roasting tray along with an assortment of vegetables, mini peppers of all colours, tomatoes, courgettes, red onions and a good bunch of herbs.  I also made the peach and amaretti dish for desert which went down very well. 
Shiona brought me three pieces of knitting which need finishing off, actually they have only just been started, so there is plenty to keep me occupied.  One is a sort of cardigan in the same yarn as the shawls which is only half way up the back so plenty still to go.  Actually I knitted the back while we were in Scotland so I will now just continue where I left off.  There is no pressure as all …

Thursday morning

Yesterday was a good day I didn't have any panic and therefore had spare energy to get on with life.  I did the supermarket run and then handed the car over to James who did the dog walk while I got on with the lunch.  No panic equals no nausea and no exhaustion so I was feeling quite normal.  I repeated the same process with the pills but this morning I am a bit wobbly nothing dramatic but not quite right so I am going to have to work really hard to stay on track and not let the feelings get the better of me.  The really annoying thing about this whole thing is that my rational mind seems unable to override my emotional mind.  The fact that I know and understand the whole process and what is driving it doesn't make a halfpenny worth of difference.  No amount of talking to myself seems to have any effect.  Anyway I am hopeful that Shiona's visit will be a big distraction and I should be a bit more stable.  Life is hard enough with out the added bonus of the panic attacks …

Wednesday morning

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Not everything in the garden is a disaster the lilies have really put on a nice display.

Yesterday was a bit of miserable day as I had the usual panic attack first thing but I agreed to go out for a walk with Sandie and her dogs at the time the last thing I fancied.  I know that fresh air is good for depression so out I went. Needless to say once through the barrier of the front door I felt marginally better and watching all 5 dogs have the best fun in the water was wonderful. Back at home the left over pizza was order of the day for lunch but I felt too nauseated to eat.  So I left mine until I was feeling a bit better.  The one thing about panic attacks is that they are very tiring so I went and put my feet up.  I managed to catch an hours sleep in the afternoon but again come supper time I was back in a flat spin.  I had to force myself to prepare the supper then couldn't eat it until a couple of hours later.  I had finally got round to making the tuna sauce which I served wi…

Tuesday Morning

Well all in all not a bad day.  I managed to get a doctors appointment at a surgery out in the sticks. Thank heavens for computerised records.  Anyway I am now on a month of pills which hopefully will help me out of the hole I have dug.  I don't want to speak too soon but the men seem to realised that they need to be more supportive. Which can only be good news. How long it will last is another matter. 
While out and about I off loaded a couple of boxes of  bits and pieces to the charity shop so I am making some headway all be it slow.  Thank you all for your thoughts I do find them helpful so thank you for bothering to reply to my whining.  I'm swinging around from feeling a self indulgent fool to thinking I have every right to be depressed.  Both positions are incorrect but hopefully as I settle down I will get a more realistic handle on things.  Unrealistic expectations lead to disappointment so I am not counting on the pills alone I know I need to try to help myself at th…

Monday morning

Wow what a day of deluge we had yesterday it finally gave up at about 3.30pm by which time I was past the point of caring.  By 4pm it was tipping down again. The dogs weren't even clamouring to go for a walk.  They were happy to huddle indoors with us lazy ones.  I should have had a go at my wardrobe but the spirit was not with me.  In fact I have been feeling pretty low of late, sleeping badly and erratically but what worries me most is that I don't have the will to cook.  Now you know me well enough to know this is abnormal.  Avoiding the wardrobe is one thing but total lack of interest in the kitchen is another. I seem to have lost the spark necessary for life.  The anxiety attacks are back with a vengeance so this morning I am going to make an appointment to see the doctor and see if I can get some help to get me through this.  I hope it is just a temporary phase. I was hoping that once the gun issue was solved I would bounce back but I have just fallen deeper into the hol…

Sunday morning

Yesterday was a reasonable day. Though we had been forecast rain it stayed dry.  In the end I just plain roasted the chicken.  However last night was the night from hell.  The dogs next door started barking at 1am and woke me after which I couldn't get back to sleep.  First I was too hot then I got cold, on with the duvet, then off, then on and so on until I gave myself backache thrashing around.  I finally got back to sleep around 2.30 only to wake as usual at 4am feeling shattered as if I had not slept at all.  So having just scribbled a few words I am going to try for a bit more sleep before I face the day.

Saturday morning

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Good morning all a bit later this morning not that I didn't wake at the usual 4 am I just decided to stay in bed and snuggle under the duvet for a while.  Yesterday was a generally quiet day with lots of pottering in the kitchen.  It was definitely the best place to be as the rain was bucketing down for most of the day.  James had managed to get the dogs out before it started which was just as well as once it started it didn't stop.  Hopefully the garden will have appreciated the drink and looking at the forecast we are in for more of the same.  I do feel so sorry for the kids who sat through 30ºC heat stuck in a classroom.  Now it is 12ºC pouring with rain and blowing a gale just when they should be outside enjoying themselves.  I does seem that sod's law is in full operation.  
Looking outside I think I am going to have another indoor day.  I still have plenty of pruning to do but today is not the day for it.  Yesterday I made a batch of salads including potato salad, w…

Friday Morning

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Good morning all, I am pleased to announce that after yesterdays melt down I am feeling much better today.  I had a day of total indolence yesterday while I tried to get my head together.  What you are not aware of is that I have been in an 8 month battle with the firearms department. Actually it was not them but the superintendent who got egg on her face when she tried to punish James.  It is a long story which I will not bore you with but suffice to say that I was threatened and coerced however my retaliation in the end was to correct the appalling grammar, misspelling and poor punctuation of the last letter I received. Don't you just love a red pen!!!! Anyway, the battle is won but the sudden reduction in adrenaline levels left me completely destroyed.  The poor firearms officer, who has visited me on several occasions, was just embarrassed by his superiors who were behaving like spoiled children.  Anyway, I can now retrieve my gun from Shiona's house and I can start havin…

Thursday morning

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Yesterday was a most successful day.  Mark came and worked marvels in the garden in three hours thing we're back in shape.  I helped out where I could and spent time with the secateurs dead heading the roses.  The pile of ironing got done and put away.  The mince ended up as chilli con carne and the sad mushrooms were made into soup.  The courgettes were made into pancakes to accompany the soup.  As I had a very early start I tried to have a nap but sadly next doors dogs decided to have a barking and howling session which kind of put pay to that.

I woke as usual at 4am but in a total panic which is rather distressing and it has taken an hour for the feelings to subside to tolerable levels.  The distraction of writing this blog has helped to redirect my thoughts.  However I now feel exhausted so as everyone else is sleeping I am going to see if I too can get  some more sleep.

At the moment I have no idea what I want to do today I may just have a day off and sleep watch TV and kni…

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all.  Yesterday saw the house cleaned and the laundry done.  It was quite a hot one once the sun got going.  I am noticing that the days are getting shorter as it is now still dark at 4am instead of just light.  I made a large potato salad and together with cucumber salad it did us for lunch with smoked mackerel and for supper with a scotch egg.  Today I have a pound of mince defrosted but as yet I haven't decided exactly what I am going to do with it.  I am in for a busy morning as Mark is coming and I am really embarrassed about the garden which is in a terrible state.  I am hoping that once he has cut a few things back I might be more willing to keep it in order.  There just don't seem to be enough hours in the day to accomplish everything I want/need to do.  Decluttering takes time.  It is actually quite scary as I can see just how much stuff needs shifting.  Fortunately we are all decorated in neutral colours so there are no major decorating jobs to do.  
Th…

Tuesday Morning

Good morning all.  I managed to get through yesterday and while I wouldn't say peace has broken out we are at least a the ceasefire stage.  Keeping two adult male anything in a confined space is asking for trouble.  The real problem is nothing ever happens when I am around because I put a stop to it before it starts.  However, it leaves me terrified to go out alone for fear of what I will come home to. Sadly it is usually Mike who starts things off, probably out of boredom.  James usually rises above it but he has bad days too and if they coincide then we are in for fireworks.  As Joy said it is like dealing with toddlers the only difference is they are more difficult to discipline.  Madame de Stael had the right idea when she said "the more I see of men the more I like dogs".
Anyway enough about them, I finally got round to making my oriental fish soup which we had for lunch.  It is very easy to make:- first I fry off some garlic, ginger and the stalks of the coriander…

Monday morning

Good morning, yesterday turned into the day from hell.  I left the men alone while I did the shopping and returned to world war three.  Consequently I have had a really bad night and so I am going to try and get some sleep now.  The dogs got walked and a bit of laundry got done but that was about all. Good job I have given myself a long lead in to getting the house on the market I think I am going to need all the time I can get.  In the mean time I need sleep so that's what I am going to try for.

Sunday morning

Good morning folks.  Yesterday was another very pleasant day weather wise and it stayed dry until early evening when we had just a tiny shower.  I ploughed through the shirt ironing and James ran the whole lot down to the charity shop.  My friend came and collected all the horsey stuff and a few bits for the twins who are off to university.  I had intended to get to grips with some pruning in the garden but time ran away with me and I never got round to it, so it has been shunted onto today's list.  I must say that is one of the joys of being retired nothing has to be done on time most things can wait until I am ready.  My to do list is a very flexible thing and given that I am very easily side tracked it often takes ages before the jobs get done.  The only problem is I have failed to shed the work ethic so I usually feel guilty.  I make lists that would daunt a 20 year old so my expectations are often unrealistic and my brain has no comprehension of my advancing years.
Today I a…

Saturday morning

Good morning all, yesterday was a decent sort of a day weather wise it was warm not hot a bit windy but that was ideal for drying laundry.  I sifted the contents of Mikes wardrobe and put all the clothes going to charity through the washing machine.  Now I have hundreds of shirts to iron ready to take to the shop. Gone are the days when I used to iron a minimum of 15 shirts every week but I haven't lost the knack!!!  I also put an order in for new valances and duvet covers which will not come out of their wrappings until we need to dress the house for sale.  I think it makes such a difference if the beds look nice in the photos after all you notice little else in a bedroom as the bed is the dominant feature.  
Mark the gardener gave me a ring and can fit me in on Wednesday next week so at last the garden will get some TLC and a good tidy up as all the shrubs have spurted up with new growth and desperately need cutting back.
Today my friend Elly is coming for coffee and she has tw…

Friday morning

Yesterday went according to plan - laundry and shopping being the major tasks.  The heavy stuff arrived from Tesco and James and I flew around Aldi and stocked up. The declutter is going slowly but surely and the whole of Mikes wardrobe is now sitting on the spare bed waiting for me to filter it into three piles KEEP, BIN, and CHARITY.  The charity pile will then go through the washing machine before being packed up ready to go.  The weather is ideal for laundry so I can crack on with that today.  I had a bit of a purge in the green house as my tomatoes are now curling over as they have reached the roof and I am starting to pick some ripe fruits.  Meals were all easy, lunch was some corn on the cob and a smoked mackerel and salad and dinner was courgettes trifolati with wagyu burgers and quinoa cooked in good beef stock.  A bit of an odd mixture but actually very palatable.
I cannot emphasis how happy I am to know that at last my neighbours are on the move.  They have been threatenin…

Thursday morning

We had a day off from shed work yesterday as James was suffering with his foot after the previous days exertions.  Still we are in no rush and the shed we are doing is the furthest from the house so requires the most walking.  Once that one is done things will get easier.  I made a massive salad for lunch which was enough to do both lunch and supper with the addition of some pasta and pesto to give us a bit of bulk.  
The best news of the day was that our mean spirited, unpleasant neighbours are moving.  They have been telling us they were moving for the last 30 years but finally their house is on the market and with any luck they really are going.  I think I would not be unhappy with a family of Roma gypsies moving in.  Anyway, whoever buys will not be our neighbours for long as we too are looking to move all be it not until next spring.  Our house is really a family house and at our age downsizing is a good idea.  I for one will be glad to see the back of the stairs which are narro…

Wednesday morning

Yesterday was a successful day - James and I managed to do about 3/4 of the big shed and filled the car and took it to the tip.  We also had a good bonfire going so we could burn off lots of wooden type things not to mention thousands of canes which exploded like fire crackers.  The ash hoover that I bought in Aldi for pennies came in to its own with just a bucket to empty I could just throw the contents on the fire.
For lunch we had the globe artichokes with vinaigrette and I had intended some chicken to follow but after mucking about with all those leaves we were bored with the whole process so the chicken got shunted on to supper.  Have you ever had Dante al la vinaigrette?  Not a difficult dish to make just tip out some of the dressing as you put the container into the dishwasher simultaneously you need the dog to put his head in the dishes and voila one copiously dressed dog!!!!  I know there are crazy people who dress their dogs but I don't suppose many have though of salad…

Tuesday Morning

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So summer is over!!!! at least it is here in Kent.  Wet, chilly and covered by a blanket of very thick cloud. Yesterday was a nondescript sort of a day.  The carbonara which had been ear marked for the previous nights supper made and adequate lunch with one portion left over which Mike had for his supper.
Today I would like to start the clearing out of the end shed - I have been dithering but I really need to get on and do the job.  Like most things I think the thought is usually worse than the reality once you get stuck in.  I could use a bit of encouragement to get started alternatively a swift kick in the rear end would do. Any volunteers!!!!!
I know it is an excuse but I find having to cook lunch a real pain as it breaks up the day.  Left to my own devises I would have a sandwich on the run but Mike likes a cooked meal at mid day.  Given that he is underweight I feel obligated to provide the food when he wants to eat it. 

Globe artichokes are on the menu for today so I need to ge…

Monday morning

Good morning all yesterday was a successful day.  I shot out to the shops as soon as they opened and restocked with coffee and bought the amaretti to make the stuffed peaches.  It has to be one of the simplest recipes ever and served hot with cold double cream made it just a delight. The peaches were on special offer in Aldi but were quite under ripe.  Cutting them horizontally allowed me to remove the stones with relative ease. It was lovely to feed James friend as he demolished food like it was going out of fashion he eats like a 17 year old boy with hollow legs.  There is nothing more pleasing, to a cook, than to feed people who really like to eat.  All that was left was the chicken carcass which went straight into the slow cooker along with the usual veg to make some stock/broth/soup.  As is often the case the shop had tomatoes going very cheap so I couldn't resist them and I now have a couple of litres of pasata ready for the freezer.  I could store it in sterilised jars but…

Sunday morning

Yesterday was a splendid day weather wise so I was down at the beach at 9 am for the high tide and Dan and Tubby swam solidly for half an hour fetching a tennis ball.  When we came home they were both poleaxed and slept in the sun as their coats dried off. I was fairly soaked and my throwing arm was worn out.  I have been told that 20 minutes swimming is the equivalent of an hours walking.  Just as for us it is good exercise as it is non weight bearing so gentle on the joints.  I made a batch of meat balls and a tomato sauce for lunch and I had intended to have dover sole for supper but none of us felt much like food in the evening so it was just a slice of toast and cup of tea.  The dovers are in the freezer.  I was chatting to the fish monger and this week he has had 800 dovers from the deep waters around the isle of grain.  He has frozen 100 but the rest have sold.  Interestingly Billingsgate are selling them at £19 per kilo but he is knocking them out at £14 per kilo.  With the w…

Saturday Morning

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OK hair shorn and much more manageable.  A really beautiful day warm but not too hot with the breeze gently blowing.  As our hair appointment was at 12 mid day I was fainting hungry so I dived into Aldi and bought a scotch egg which kept me going until supper time when I made a fried rice dish as I had all the ingredients.  I have a stash of Chinese sausages in the the freezer for just this purpose.  I was tired so I tried to get a bit of a rest but no such luck between next doors dogs barking and the red arrows display for the county show there was not much peace.

I wish I had taken this picture but I must own up to filching it from google.  We are some distance from the county show ground but planes need lots of room to manoeuvre so they were doing low turns over the house.  It is many years since I have been to the county show and have no intention of going this year. The surrounding area becomes gridlocked and you invariably end up parking some miles away!!!!

Yesterday evening I …

Friday morning

Another rather restless night, following a fairly uneventful day.  The cable guy turned up at 8am and replaced the box as it's hard drive was knackered.  He did comment that it was a very old model and he hadn't seen one for ages.  Anyway we are all up and running again.  I cooked the civapcici on the barbecue and there were enough for both hot for lunch and cold for supper.  I served them with the standard sliced raw onions and roasted red peppers and a multitude of other salads.  As you can see from the video in the previous blog Dan has really taken to the water.  I think he is very happy as it is the one thing he can beat Tubby at.  His coat is all soft and silky from all the salt water swimming.

Today is hairdresser day both Mike and I are due to have a haircut I look like a shaggy pony and he is not much better.  We have appointments at midday which is not the best time but at least it will be over and done with for a while.  Parking is all but impossible so James will c…

Thursday morning

Dante can swim hurray

Thursday mornin

Good morning all.  Had a bit of a restless night so I have slept in a bit.  Yesterday was a fairly normal day with nothing much to mention.  The weather was was very overcast and we had the odd shower, but not until I hung the laundry out.  Today we are waiting for the engineer to come and sort out the cable box which has died.  I must say I find waiting in for things a real pain as you don't want to get stuck into things in case they arrive so I end up faffing around.

Today looks much brighter with clear skies and cool breeze blowing a perfect day for me.  Last night I put a 50/50 mix of pork and beef mince to soak with a glass of white wine ready to make civapcici for lunch.  I will cook them on the barbecue which is nice and easy.  The cob barbecue is great as not only does it heat up quickly but every part goes in the dishwasher.

Sadly I missed my target of an hours weeding but I did make a minor start on the far end shed.  I disposed of the sawdust and reclaimed the dustbin…

Wednesday morning

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The less said about yesterday the better I feel a real chump.  You would have thought at my age I should have known better.  I think it may be quite some time before I look at another peanut and even longer before I eat one!!!!  I am glad to say that 24 hours on water did the trick and though I feel a bit washed out I am fine now and can finally move more than a few feet from the bathroom.  The weather yesterday was miserable with lots of showers and a really cold wind blowing and today it is still blowing hard but the sky is looking clearer.
I have had a thinning out of my recipe books which are going to my friend Elaine who will then keep any she wants and pass the rest on.  I am setting myself a target to do an hours weeding each day and in that way I hope to make the garden look a bit better without killing myself.  The only things I am keeping up with are the things in pots and the greenhouse.  The remainder is having to take care of itself.  The chicken run is a real mess with …

Tuesday

Sorry about no blog spent the night in the loo!!!!  This is sadly all self inflicted what can expect if you eat a whole large bag if peanuts.  Stupidity has its own reward.  I am sticking to a water only diet for 24 hours.  Just to make my life complete the cable TV has crashed and they cannot mend it till Thursday.  I had intended to go out today and buy myself some new jeans but instead I am sticking close to the loo until things settle down.  Nothing drastic just my own silliness.

Monday morning

Sorry to be so late this morning I woke at the usual time of 4am but I was in a flat panic and feeling terrible so I put myself back to bed to sleep and now I feel better.  I think all the thinking about moving has lit the fuse of my anxiety again but no doubt it will pass with time.  I must admit this makes me feel ridiculous.  I think of myself as a fairly rational and practical person rather than the hysterical type but apparently there has been a change which is subconscious and bites me in  the bum when I least expect it.
Yesterday, was very wet in the morning but I was in Aldi so it was no problem and the garden was duly grateful.  Lunch was a prawn cocktail but as a main course so rather larger than usual and helped down with some hot crusty bread.  Supper was even stranger home made hot dogs with lashings of dijon mustard.  James had taken the dogs for a swim fairly late as we are dependant on the high tide times.  We have used frankfurters as dog treats in the past so they w…

Sunday morning

Good morning all.  I am awake at stupid o'clock but at least I had a good snooze yesterday afternoon when the heat was quite intense.  The dover soles made a very nice light lunch along with some potato salad made with the left over jersey royals.  For supper I found some wagyu burgers in the freezer which we made into cheese burgers.  I had some cheese topped rolls which made good burger buns.  Today for lunch we are going to have a prawn and avocado fest but not until I have hit the shops and got some salad ingredients to go with them.  
I have been thinking about the move from here and I think a realistic time frame would be to get the house ready for sale this year and get it on the market early next spring.  I know this makes for quite a long time but it takes the pressure off me to get everything done in double quick time.  James took a box of stuff to the local SCOPE shop who are soon going to take small electrical stuff too.  The only thing they will not take is furniture…

Saturday morning

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Yesterday was a day of successes some times things just fall into place.  First my fishmonger rang me to say the boys had had a very successful night fishing and was I interested in one of the 200 dover soles they had caught.  Yes I was, as I love dover sole and they would make a nice lunch for today. Three were delivered all skinned and filleted now all they will need is a quick fright in the oven.  I still have some boiled new potatoes which I can make into either sauté or salad.  The pork loin fillet we had for lunch I cut into medallions which I batted out and cooked in a cream and mustard sauce. Actually the cream had gone sour but in the sauce with dijon mustard no one was any the wiser.
I had changed my bed sheets after the sweaty last few days but when I took them out of the washing machine the door seal came away and try as I might I just couldn't get it back into place.  
 google washing machine repairers phone and leave a message receive call to say the man will be here…

Friday morning

Good morning all yesterday was a little bit cooler and we had a few showers which has taken the temperature down to 16 this morning so a drop of 10 degrees over the hot one at the same time in the morning.  I am sitting typing with the patio doors open and the house filling with lovely cool air, wonderful.  What could be nicer than sitting with a cup of coffee watching the sun climb over the horizon in the cool morning air.
I had a trip to the bank yesterday which is a few miles away but it took me nearly an hour to drive the three miles.  There had been a big accident on the roundabout about half way and the traffic was at a stand still.  As the ambulances and paramedic car approached the drivers where great and moved out of the way up onto pavements to let them through.  However, the police car which followed was not afforded such curtesy I guess the drivers felt that they were less important.  I must admit that if it were me in an accident I would rather have a paramedic than a po…

Thursday morning

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What can I say, except that I did a great impression of a candle yesterday slowly melting through the day and night.  Poor Dan ended up with a wet towel over him to try and keep him a bit cooler.  He was really suffering in his big wooly jacket.  I boiled a few spuds and some eggs before the sun was up and everything else came out of the fridge.  Salad, salad and more salad.  We had fans going day and night but they just move hot air about.  I must say I just felt miserable in the heat.

This morning it is at last a bit cooler and the forecast is for rain by 10am I can't wait.  None of us slept much last night it was just too hot and humid. It is still going to be hot but cooling as the week progresses.  Thank goodness I did all the ironing when I did.  What we need is a big thunderstorm to clear the air.
I have no real plans for the day except a trip to the bank, I have enough bits and bobs around to keep us fed.  I think I will just play it by ear and if it gets too hot just col…

Wednesday Morning

What a hot and sticky night and it is still 22 degrees at 4am.  Yesterday was hot but today it is due to be really hot. The temperature right now suits me fine warm with a gentle breeze.  The sky is very cloudy so we have no sun at the moment just the remains of yesterdays heat.  I must admit that I adopt the continental idea of flinging the windows open in the early morning and evening but during the heat of the day they stay firmly shut and blinds are down in an effort to keep it slightly cooler indoors.  I managed to get a bit of gardening done yesterday morning before the heat built up and fortunately Elly came to visit which put a stop to that.  Bless her cotton socks she brought me a big bunch of flowers for my birthday and better still came to have a chin wag.  
I guess we discuss the weather so much in England as it changes so dramatically from day to day we can go from freezing cold to burning hot in the blinking of an eye with no time to acclimatise. Actually, what we reall…