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Showing posts from 2016

Saturday Morning

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Good morning all well here we are at the end of 2016 and what a year it has been some big highs and an abundance of lows.  I always think that the first christmas after a bereavement is going to be the most difficult.  When friends found themselves in the same boat they came to stay with me for christmas on the condition I didn't push the boat out with all the christmas stuff.  So mid winter feast it was, just good food and hopefully good company and no need to be on best behaviour or wear a posh frock.  The house rule is eat when you are hungry and sleep when you are tired and throw the clock out of the window. If you fancy a bacon sandwich at 2am so be it, have one!!!  I am not precious about my kitchen I am quite happy for people to help themselves to whatever they need or fancy. And if there is a pile of dirty dishes so what, nobody ever died of dirty dishes!!!  Shiona always makes her own coffee in my house because she like playing with my machine and she and I work well tog…

Friday morning

Good morning all, what happened to yesterday - I forgot - I got stuck into a job first thing then completely forgot I hadn't written a word. Things are a bit higgledy piglety here at the moment Denzil is back working shift and in the spirit of no good deed going un punished he picked up a motorcyclist who had skidded and fallen off his bike so Denzil picked him up and took him home as he was uninjured but shocked.  Good deed done, then when he arrived home at midnight he found he had come home with the van keys in his pocket and had to drive back to hand them in as today he is day off.
I placed an order with the alternative meat company and it has arrived at 8am which is amazing good job we were all up.  They are quite expensive as a company but they are a good source of unusual things that are difficult to get from the butcher.  I have ordered some ox kidney as I have intentions  of making a steak and kidney pie at some point and in my humble opinion you cannot beat ox kidney fo…

Wednesday morning

Good morning all, this blog is giving me hell I dont know why every time I try to get a fresh page it gives me a layout I don't understand and it then take me ages to find a way of getting a blank page to write on.  This has been a problem since it refused to recognise me so I will have to keep persevering until I get it fixed.  I wish I understood computers better than I do.
You will notice I am posting later as I am trying to train myself to sleep longer in the mornings instead of getting up in the wee small hours. Now that I am a lady of leisure I don't need to get up so early.  I must say my mind is much easier now all the papers are in the hands of someone else the only thing I had to do was check to make sure the building and contents insurance on the house was solely in my name.  It never crossed my mind that they would refuse to pay if Mike's name was still on the policy.  As luck would have it it is all in my name anyway so no need to change anything.  It is all …

Tuesday Morning

Good morning all, another late start after a bit of an up and down night.  Yesterday's goose was delicious I used a recipe from  Raymond Blanc which required dismantling the bird so that the legs got much longer in the oven than the crown.  It worked really well as after lots of messing about it all came together in the end.  The carcass has been through the pressure cooker along with one of the packs of mirepoix so on the menu today is pasta and fagioli soup something gentle for the over stuffed bellies.  
The dogs were given some squeaky toys for Christmas but fortunately they destroyed them in under 5 minutes so they no longer squeaked.  The rawhide chews have fared a bit better Dan demolished his in no time but Tubby struggled as it was huge for him but give him his due he persevered with it and carried it around all day to make sure no one else got a look in. We always use this as an opportunity to reinforce the, "give it to me", command which allows us to take bon…

Boxing day

Once more unto the breach dear friends - today it is left overs but we dont have any so the goose is going in the oven.  The house is in a mess but that is how it's supposed to be food spread far and wide half chewed dog toys litter the floors.

Hope you had a good day yesterday and that everything went according to plan and that Santa brought you something nice.  In our fry up I have found the best black pudding ever from the alternative meat company - it was stunning.  I will have to make sure that I put an order in and make sure I have a supply in my freezer.

Well I am going to keep this short as I have plenty to do so I am going to make a start assuming I can find the kitchen all the chaos.  Have a good relaxing day, the weather is mild and idea for a walk to burn off a few calories.

CHRISTMAS DAY

Good morning all yes it is here at last.  My house is filled with christmas carols at volumes to suit me rather than the neighbours who seem to be away so I am not causing problems. Hot coffee is flowing and panettone is being dunked, the dogs are out for their walk before they get to open their presents Then the mayhem will begin - now this is the kind of chaos I love knee deep in wrapping paper and it doesn't matter.

Everything is standing by ready so all I have to do is turn a few knobs.  For a few hours there is not a stitch of dirty laundry and today the dishwasher is going to earn its keep.

I have taken a moment to think of all those who are not having a good time and sadness fills my heart for all the destitute, sick, lonely or those in war torn areas.  I can only hope that my trifling donations bring some light to someones life.  Today reminds me just how lucky I am, I have everything I could possibly need or want.  My memory runs back over the christmases of childhood wo…

Christmas Eve

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Yes I have been playing with the colouring program again. It struck me that the initial patterns would make ideal transfers for embroidery as there are hundreds to choose from.  Anyway, yesterday I took the dogs out with Elaine but I was fading into the west so after the exchange of doggy gifts I put myself back to bed.  The boys kept me fed, watered and medicated and I must say I feel much better this morning having slept for most of yesterday.  The curry goat is sitting in the slow cooker ready for lunch when Denzil gets back from work all I have to do is the rice and peas.
The most important job today is to get the stuff out of the freezer for tomorrow.   I need to be careful of  doing too much just because I feel better.  I think gentle pottering is in order fortunately I don't have to prepare for the hoards so I can take it easy.  I might get the laundry on that I failed to do yesterday but that is last on the list. Today is the first day in a fortnight that I have woken wit…

Friday Morning

Good morning all well here we are at the final run in.  Today I have a load of washing I want to get done and out of the way and a quick blitz through the house which is a bit of tip at present.  
I drove over to Shiona's yesterday despite feeling pretty dreadful however she fed me some absolutely delicious cheese for lunch with bruschette with tomato just what I needed small quantity of top quality.  By the time I got home I was good for nothing and took to my bed.  I feel better this morning but then again I do every morning it is only as the day wears on that  I go down hill. If this misery persist into the new year I will make an appointment to see the doctor.  In the meantime I am going to keep going as best I can after all it isn't life threatening just a bloody nuisance.  The good thing is I can throw in the towel any time I feel like it.  I try to get most of the work done in the morning before I turn into a pumpkin.
I have been plotting and planning in my mind how th…

Thursday morning

Good morning all, well I am back into google but half of the stuff like line organisation and fonts have just disappeared. Better, I was HTML instead of compose. Yesterday was a total washout I spent most of the day curled up in bed with the headache to beat all headaches.  I filled myself with paracetamol to meet the solicitor at 2pm and was very well pleased with service offered by the coop. Yes it will cost me but they do everything - the guy came with his own scanner so he didnt need to take original documents he also came with dog biscuits in his bag.  [tip for sales men always carry dog biscuits it impresses dog owners]  He actually had a dog and wife  is a district nurse so we had plenty in common and if you are going to be fleeced of lots of money it is nice to do so with someone you think is a nice person. The last solicitor I saw gave me the impression that he really couldn't be bothered so guess what he has lost the business.  Anyway, I only have one thing to do and th…

Wednesday morning

Sorry to be so late again but I am having some dodgy nights with sinusitis which is driving me crazy. Sadly, rough nights lead to rough days.  Yesterday I felt better and made the veal chops for lunch they were truly delicious.  The recipe I used suggested rubbing the chops with a mixture of garlic, black pepper,  rosemary and lemon zest.  They were left in the rub to come to room temperature then immediately before frying they were salted.  I fried them like professionals [not dieters] in shed loads of butter then right at the end added the juice of half a lemon.  Now that is the flavour I remember from childhood.  With mash potatoes [no butter just milk] and some courgettes it was a really sumptuous meal the gravy was to die for.
Today by contrast I feel rotten so it is some fish cakes with the left over mash and broccoli.  Minimum effort required.  The boys fancied a pizza last night but I had already made meat balls which needed eating up so if they are still in the mood they can…

Tuesday morning

Good morning all what a lot of fuss and parlava, for some reason best known to google it has decided  that I am no longer a blogger and keeps sending me to the welcome page. I have finally managed to get into the dashboard via safari.  Still haven't fixed the problem but I am fed up of going round in circles.
Yesterday, I managed to make the doggy biscuits and they are all packed up for my doggy friends.  I gave our two a biscuit that had broken and poor Dan wasn't sure what to do with it.  Tubby soon showed him it was edible and munched through his bit.  
I went to Tesco and decided to restock the medicine cabinet but of course you can't do that. They will only sell you certain bits then you have to go somewhere else for other bits.  What a pain.  Why are we all treated like morons just because there a few? My frustration is probably due to the fact that I do know what I am doing and would not take paracetamol with other concoctions containing it.  Anyway, I managed to l…

Monday morning

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Good morning all, yesterday was a bit of a wash out as I was never quite up to speed after a sleepless night. I ended up just pfaffing around for most of the day and couldn't quite settle to anything in particular.  I had intended to make the doggy biscuits but never quite got round to it.  The ingredients are still sitting on the side awaiting my attention. The one thing that did take my attention was a colouring program on the new iPad.  The pencil is so accurate it is unbelievable and that it charges in 30 seconds is also mind blowing. 

This is one of my time wasters that I did yesterday by way of practice as you can see I have gone mad with the colours. It takes the place of knitting while watching TV but at least it doesn't make a mess.
Today I need to get my act together and do the final odd bits of shopping then I think I am done the house if full of food the freezer is full and I think we could survive several months of siege.  Why do we do it? it is just a couple of …

Sunday morning

Good morning all, yesterday went according to plan.  Some cooking done the mushrooms are still waiting but look fine so no rush.
I have done the boys a favour for Christmas I have organised a solicitor to come and sort out the paper work so the boys will have a peaceful time minus the stressed formfiller, and I too can relax.  Having said that I have been awake for the whole night.  I dozed off quite early but soon woke then I was wide awake and getting back to sleep seemed impossible.  I hate it when that happens as it throws me completely off balance for the whole day.  As it is still quite early  I think I will try and get back to sleep. There is a Bolognese sauce waiting downstairs for the boys lunch so I don't need to worry about that. I  also did some beef burgers so they have a choice.   The mirepoix is done and ready to go in the freezer. I did four portions one went in the bolognese sauce the rest are spare. Now all I have to do is remember I have them.  I was not in the…

Saturday morning

Sorry about the late start but my sinuses have been giving me a pretty rough time of late and I have not been sleeping too well so if I get the chance I take it.  The sun is shining brilliantly but with my new blackout curtains, it is very dark in my room.  All good for sleeping.  I had a lovely breakfast with Sandy yesterday morning and then proceeded to buy half the shop.  I bought panettone for all and sundry restocked the coffee and then got some nice bacon and sausages from the butcher along with a cow leg bone sawn in half for the dogs.  We have not seen hide nor hair of them since they are far too busy to talk to us. Tubby has discovered that if you throw the bone down the stairs it loosens the marrow but the noise is horrific.
I must admit that I find the days leading up to Christmas difficult to cater, however, I took a kilo of mince out of the freezer so that will be on today's menu in some form or another.  I could make burgers and/or bolognese, cottage pie, plain minc…

Friday morning

Good morning all, yesterday was not so good firstly the boy and I had a massive row which after some blood letting turned out to be a huge misunderstanding so not a disaster and a good air-clearing session.  This was bound to happen and we have all been expecting it but fortunately, as we are all adults we managed to get things straightened out.  What I took to be them piddling on my parade was in fact, their slightly clumsy way of trying to slow me down and stop me from trying to catch up on years of house neglect before Christmas and killing myself in the process.  Just to put the tin lid on things I saw the solicitor yesterday regarding the land registry stuff and his first comment were you will have to apply for probate first.   Up until now, everyone [banks etc] has advised me that it was not necessary so having shredded the forms I will now have to go back to the drawing board and redo them all.  So, on the boy's advice, I am going to throw the whole lot into a solicitors h…

Thursday morning

I had a really good day yesterday I was out at the crack of dawn with Elaine her new puppy and our dogs.  We walked as far as the paddling pool and of course my dogs were straight in splashing around like idiots the poor pup stood and looked on in wonder.  He was desperate to try but lacked just that little bit of courage so as his grandmother I gave him a small shove and in he went. Before you think I tried to drown the puppy the maximum depth of water in the pool is about two inches and I shoved him in the shallow end.  He is so excited he barks all the time so Tubby told him off a couple of times and he decided Dan was his dad and ran to him for approval.  I have watched children grow and believe me puppies are no different except the learn very fast so you have to be careful what you teach them.  I used my whistle with my dogs and Benji watched in awe as they did exactly what was required and how they got praised.  Good lesson!!!
Dog walking done, we hit Aldi I needed a lemon and…

Wednesday morning

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Good morning all. More cleaning got done with Denny to help it was a much nicer job.  The spare bed is now completely ready to go and I can make up the whole bed by just opening two vacuum bags. No struggling to find the sheets etc. I have also stored a spare set of towels. Boom instant bedroom!
I have been playing with the new iPad and trying to get to grips with Apple TV you do need a fairly sophisticated tv for it all to work. The headphones are great which means I can enjoy my music at a volume that suits me. Getting everything to talk to everything else is a bit of a challenge but I think we are getting there.  Everything defaults to using my Mac as its router so I have had to change all the settings to use the main router which is more powerful and runs constantly.  I only realised what was happening when I switched the computer off and the Apple TV started screaming it had no signal.
In the cooking department I have brined and cooked the tongue and will slice it once it is sto…

Tuesday Morning

Good morning all, I had a wonderful day yesterday. Elaine came with me to Bluewater and the Apple shop where I spent a fortune.  It was lovely to shop without having to justify the purchases, that I wanted stuff was enough. The one thing I didn't get was a convenient dock. However, I am sure amazon will oblige.  
Needless to say, I have not done anymore cleaning but the bug is still there just on hold while I get to grips with this new tech.  My duvet for the new bed has arrived so it is my intention to make up the bed as in having the cover on the duvet then vacuum pack it ready so all I have to do is open it out and shake it and it will be ready to use. Well, that's the theory anyway.  
Denny is here so we are going to attack some of the cleaning together which will be much more fun than doing it alone.  
My mad shopping included an iPad pro with keyboard and pencil and an Apple TV and a pair of Bose headphones.  Don't ask the total cost it will make your eyes water. Su…

Monday morning

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Good morning all, yesterday saw me at the cleaning.  What takes two seconds to write on the to-do list takes hours of elbow grease.   I'm not there yet but I am making progress.  The whole house looks cleaner if the shiny things are shiny.
The brass fire surround was black and really took some cleaning but it does look good now it is done.
Silverware is done and most of the copper and brass.  Glass now all needs a wash as do the skirting board all of which have been inaccessible for quite some time.




I suppose this is really spring cleaning but a bit early.  I also did a couple of loads of laundry and the ironing so I feel pretty good about myself.  Anyway, I am going to keep going while the force is with me. This morning, of course, I have found muscles I didn't know I had.

Ok so now you are saying what a good girl but you would be wrong I forgot to eat at all yesterday and finally had a bowl of soup at 1am not because I was hungry but because I knew I should.  Do you think I …

Sunday morning

Good morning all I had a good attempt at my list yesterday but actually failed to accomplish all that was on it.  First I had a failure with the silver cleaning I decided to do the easy way of aluminum foil hot water and bicarbonate of soda - well that failed miserably so I will just have to bite the bullet and polish properly.  Then came a laundry disaster - I'm sure you have all done this at some time - put tissues in the wash and manufactured fake snow.  Well I did it in a major way I must have picked up a load of tissues and put them through the wash now it looks as if we have had a snowfall in the dining room. Nothing the hoover won't cure but an added job. I did get the greenhouse watered with out incident.  I think I must have angered the God of housework and have been duly punished for my arrogance.  Anyway I did get a load of whites done and put to dry.  I made a pot or should I say bucket of minestrone soup it is impossible to make it in small quantities with just o…

Saturday morning

Good morning all up a bit earlier this morning.  I am still all over the place with my sleeping and last night I couldn't get to sleep so I got up and made the hash browns to go with Christmas meal and now they are cold I can put them in the freezer. My head was spinning with thoughts of things to do so I sat and wrote out a to-do list which will take me into next spring.  That then frightened me to death so today I am going to prioritise that list so that there is some semblance of order.  This is where the boys and I don't see eye to eye.  They neither notice nor care about many of the items on my list. That the silver  and the glass needs cleaning is nowhere on their list.  However I both notice and care so the jobs will fall to me.
Now for those of you who garden I have had what I think is a brilliant idea - the greenhouse has been fallow this season and is full of weed seeds so I thought I would give it one good watering which should allow the weed seeds to germinate the…

Friday Morning

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Good morning all sorry to be so late again but my sleeping patterns are still all over the place.  I had a bad day with my chest yesterday I have come to the conclusion that I am allergic to dusting or maybe it is just housework!!!


The sofa bed is now in position and looking none too bad the colour matches that in the rug and the green colour is picked up in the cushions of the Lloyd loom chairs which you cannot see from this angle. The wastepaper basket is strategically placed to cover an irreparable bleached spot on the carpet.  As yet I am awaiting the arrival of the duvet but the cover has arrived and that too matches the colour scheme.

As the room is all muted colours I can afford to go mad with the bedding.  Now all I need is a willing volunteer to try it out.
There is still plenty to do to finish the room but that is now all cleaning jobs.  I was sitting in there waiting for a parcel to be delivered when the phone rang and I had to jump up and charge into the dining room to ans…

Thursday moring

Good morning all, I had a lovely day with Shiona yesterday we took the dogs for a walk, no wrong we took the dogs for a mud bath.  The tide was out but that didn't stop them looking for it. We then left the four stinky muddy dogs in the car while we hit Aldi for a few comestibles.  The german lunch went down well but I still have a portion of braised cabbage which is going in the freezer today.  The meat arrived and we put all that into the freezer  I now have the ingredients to make an authentic Jamaican curry goat, which we will have to have with rice and peas.  I have veal kidneys to make with sherry and dijon mustard and veal sweetbreads to have in breadcrumbs.  Veal marrow bones to roast and spoon onto hot toast and a nice suckling pig joint with the porchetta herbs to have with crunchy roast potatoes cooked in duck fat. Do you think I am going to miss the turkey, no not a bit. Interestingly talking to my sister they have big turkey farms where she is in Italy and at this ti…

Wednesday morning

Good morning all, I have a sofa bed, at last, the boys put it all together yesterday and it looks fine and makes a big king sized bed when open. Now all I need is some willing visitors to test drive it.  The lounge is still in chaos but now that the bits are off the floor I can get in and do some cleaning and furniture rearranging. In years gone by what would have taken my a couple of hours seems to take at least a week.  I think with age I have just become slower and get tired more quickly.
I had a really ropey night last night I got so hot I had to open my door and this morning it is 10 degrees before the sun is up.  Shiona is coming over today so she is going to give me a hand with the lounge and I thought we would have a German lunch of bratwurst with braised cabbage and mashed potatoes.  I am trapped in the house this morning waiting for a meat delivery and fortunately, the freezer is fairly run down ready to receive all the Christmas goodies.  My mind is a million miles away pl…

Tuesday Morning

Good morning all now all I have for you this cold morning is good news!!!  Gary came and we have decided to put the effluent pipe out of the front of the house to join our soil pipe from the bathroom.  Easy cheap and doesn't require digging up the patio.  Gary is keen to start the job as it an ideal one for the cold weather and better than being outside. So something for the new year.  While he was here we were changing a light bulb in the kitchen where they blow at regular intervals.  I was moaning that even when they do work they are all in the wrong place and I am always working in my own light. So who is going to get some fluorescent tubes so at last, I can see.  Ok so that solves a couple of niggles and I just can't wait.
Having chatted with Sandy about the Italy idea she was happy for me to go ahead and book it up. Well, have I got the deal of the century.  Flights from stanstead[only direct flight] with all the bells and whistles and insurance, extra bag and fast track…

Monday morning

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Good morning all, I worked quite hard yesterday to catch up with all those niggling outstanding jobs.  I seem to be a bit livelier now that I am no longer on the pills and no panic attacks so I am hoping that it is a thing of the past now that the stress levels are much reduced.  However, the family dynamic is somewhat changed from my perspective I am not quite sure how I fit in.  At the moment I feel I am running the whole show but I would like to pass on some of the responsibility to the men.  I don't want to be a nag and constantly ask for things to be done on the other hand things I find important the men do not.  I think a family meeting is called for so we can air things from all angles and hopefully find a nice middle ground that suits us all. 
Gary is coming this morning to check the levels and I found the manhole buried under lots of slate but after a bit of shovelling, it is now exposed.  I sorted out all the first of the month stuff like meter readings and dogs ears.  …

Sunday morning

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Good morning all, first a small rant I was thinking of checking the medicine cabinet as you can bet if you are going to go down with something it will be over the holidays.  Then I saw the adverts for magic pills which after you take them you are cured of colds and influenza and are free to go to work and share it with all your colleagues who can then take it home to their families. Is this just me or is this very wrong advice? Vulnerable people die from the flu. There is a big difference between a cold and flu.
Ok next I was doing some research into Flotex carpeting when I saw this can you believe it is carpet?



I love it but I don't think I would have the courage to do a whole floor especially in a large room.  I am just amazed at what they can do with laser printing.  I have had Flotex before and I know that it is totally indestructible.  Mind you my dining room floor often looks like this when the dogs bring in half the garden.
Yesterday I tackled the sofa and tried to put the c…

Saturday

Good morning all.  I am trying to get my sleeping patterns back to some sort of normality but things just seem to be in chaos at the moment.  I woke as usual at 4am and decided to go back to sleep instead of getting up as I had had a night of nightmares would you believe I picked a fight with Gordon Ramsey in my dreams not smart! Anyway, I drifted back off to sleep and only woke up at 10am which is a bit on the late side.  It would be so nice if I could wake at a sensible hour.  I am completely off my antidepressants and I think it is playing havoc with the sleep.  Of course, it doesn't actually matter as it is not as if I have a job to go to but it does leave me muddle-headed for the rest of the day.
Don't ask about the sofa there has been no progress as none of us felt in the mood so I read the instruction manual from cover to cover and it doesn't look like it is going to be difficult.  I might start today by putting the covers on which I can do alone.  
I made an inter…