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Showing posts from May, 2016

Tuesday Morning

Good morning all well it is pouring down here and looks pretty grim.  Mike has had his hip repaired with a dynamic hip screw under spinal block so he is now fine and technically the fracture is fixed so it is now down to physio to get him moving again.  So now we wait for them to start looking at discharge which is going to be fun.  If I sound unsympathetic it is because I am this injury was not accidental but an act of stupidity beyond belief.  This not the forum for the details but suffice to say I am rather fed up with the situation to say the least.  
Tomorrow I am off to Shiona's for the day so I will value the opportunity to have a chat with someone not involved but cognisant of the situation which seems to be getting more difficult by the day.  I have alerted Mikes brothers to the situation but have not had any contact from them.  
I managed to get half of the ironing done yesterday and today looks like a perfect ironing day and hopefully I will get it done before the next…

Bank Holiday Monday

Yesterday disappeared in a bit of flurry or activity.  My diagnosis of a fractured neck of femur has proved correct and Mike is in hospital being rehydrated prior to surgery some time today.  Once they had him settled James and I took his stuff in to him and can you believe he is on the same ward James had his terrible experience on.  I felt sick just walking through the doors.  There were no staff I recognised and I sincerely hope I don't have to deal with the same level of incompetence this time. Mike has done what lots of elderly people do so it is standard bread and butter care which is required. I have no worries about the surgery as that too is bread and butter stuff.  It is the anaesthetic which is a problem in Mikes case so I hope they have a decent anaesthetist on duty.
I will give them a couple of hours for the shift change then I will phone for information as to when exactly they intend to operate.  In the mean time I had better think about food for the day as Denzil i…

Sunday morning

Sorry to be late this morning but I have a wonderful excuse I have just seen Mike off in an ambulance on his way to the Medway hospital with a suspected fractured femur [my diagnosis] we will have to wait for x rays to confirm.  He is full of morphine so I will give it an hour or so before I go and join him at the hospital so they have time to work out what is going on.

Isn't it wonderful no sooner do you think it is safe to breathe than another thing hits you in face I guess my wardrobe will have to wait.

Sorry to be short and sweet but as you can imagine I now have to get things organised and sort out what needs doing first.


Saturday morning

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Well I think I may have found a way to kill two birds with one stone as you know I get loads of silent and unwanted phone calls I had 7 one day and 5 the next this getting too much so I have now resorted to a swift blast on my whistle as a reply and with it comes a bit of dog training as both dogs appear instantly to the summons.  I don't think I would like to be on the receiving end of the whistle but perhaps it will dissuade them from calling my number eventually and the dogs recall is doing well.  It is very frustrating when you are waiting for a call.
The gardening people asked for photos of the garden so they could better judge the extent of the work require.  As I went round taking snaps I felt as if I were photographing my dirty laundry to send to a stranger.  Dan soon put pay to that when he insisted I take a shot of him so here it is:-


The pose was his choice and one of the bits of the garden that doesn't look too bad.  
Lunch yesterday was a bit of a mishmash of od…

Friday morning

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Yesterday saw me burst into a bit of life I went to town on my wardrobe and took out every top I posses and the whole lot went through the washing machine.  They dried beautifully on the line  and today they are destined to be thinned out considerably anything with a small defect will be going to the clothes bank and only items that I like and need will be finding their way back upstairs to my wardrobe.  
The guy who came to do the guttering was a really nice guy and did a lovely job for me including pruning the Trachelospermum jasminoides which is clambering up the front of the house. 

The guttering was full of moss and other debris and he has added me to his list of customers who will require an annual gutter maintenance.  Total cost for the work was £55 which I consider very reasonable.  While he was up the ladder he also pointed out a couple of items I need to think about as the valleys are in need of attention. In the garage were a pile of tools I intended to take to the tip not…

Thursday Morning

Well the sun is shining but we are only just in double figures so there is still no real warmth to be felt unless you are directly in the sun. Today I have someone coming to clean out the gutters which is one of those jobs that tends to get forgotten but is actually necessary if they are to function effectively.
Yesterday for lunch I made some burritos which were basically leftovers in the fridge [bacon, ham, tomato, mozzarella and a lonely sausage] put in an omelette and rolled in a tortilla - excellent way to clear up odds and ends.  For supper James made a risotto and to it we added the asparagus I had cooked the previous night.  We followed it with a big berry fruit salad and copious double cream. Today we have some steaks which Denzil has brought home from work so I will do some nice vegetable side dishes to go with them or maybe just a huge salad. 
I ordered some big storage vacuum bags so that I can wash and put away the really heavy winter wear and duvets.  Then where I have …

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all well I have just found out what is meant by a rude awakening.  I was sound asleep having had a bit of a rocky night and finally got off to deep sleep at around 5am when a sudden cramp in my calf muscle shocked me awake and in my sleepy state I stumbled out of bed to put some weight on my cramped muscle and fell over against my bedside table slamming my wrist hard against the corner.  The new lively pain in the wrist seemed to stop the cramp dead in its tracks, have I stumble on a cure for cramp? One thing is for certain stumbling around like a bull in china shop woke me up pretty smartly however I wouldn't recommend it over an alarm clock.
Sandie came over yesterday and funnily her dog Luke got on well with Dan but he and Tubby had a few words so we kept them apart - I think Luke is a very nervous dog and Tubby was just a bit to playful so it ended up in a swearing match.  Fortunately we have a large dog crate so we can soon separate squabbling dogs.  I had start…

Tuesday morning

Yesterday was a day of minor mishaps - the garden people turned up with no tool or anything so I sent them packing as it was raining so spraying weedkiller was a non starter plus the fact that they kept changing the price of the job and would not quote an hourly rate.  Then I had misunderstood Sandie and she is coming today.  The guy didn't pick up the caravan until gone 6pm so poor Anne had waited in all day for nothing.  In the end everything worked out but it was a succession of misunderstandings.
Today we have a sunny start to the day but I believe it is not set to last. Denny is due to come and give us a blitz so I must have a tidy round.  The term 'tidy round' brought back memories of being a student nurse when the ward sister couldn't think what to do with us she would ask that we did a 'tidy round' which consisted of changing patients rubbish bags, putting fresh water in their flowers, removing dead fruit from the bowls and kicking all the bed wheels s…

Monday morning

Good morning all here we are back at the beginning of another week.  It is strange my two days away feels like a month.  I suppose it has been a very long time since I had a bit of time off it feels very strange.  I went and did a mammoth shop yesterday and James very kindly unloaded the car and put everything away while I got on with putting the hen in the halogen.  The dogs were out of food so I got two 15kg bags of food for them and a trolley load of stuff for us.  We dashed in and out with laundry as the weather was always threatening rain but again it didn't come till late afternoon since which time it has been a constant drizzle.  I have some gardeners coming this morning but I must admit I am not too happy with them as they keep playing around with times and prices and as it is raining there is no chance of spraying weedkiller.  They strike me as youngster trying to make a bit on the side but there is a big difference between gardening a labouring.  Anyway I will give them…

Sunday Morning

Good morning all we were threatened with rain but it stayed dry until late in the day and we have had showers over night.  The forecast is for more of the same today.  I have some gardeners coming on Monday to blitz the garden and then they will be coming once a month to keep it under control, which is yet another millstone from round my neck.
Today I need to go shopping as I have quite a list of stuff to get.  Last night we had supper courtesy of Denzil who brought home some stuffed mushrooms and three big punnets of strawberries all of which were close to their sell by date but were in perfect condition.  I halved the strawberries and gave them a good squirt of lemon juice and a sprinkle of sugar and then let them stand for a while before we downed them with some cream. Strawberries and cream are a match made in heaven.  I think I may go for the good old standby of roast chicken in the halogen for lunch today. It is so simple and the results are always good I do 30/40 minutes breas…

Saturday morning

Good morning all it is back to the routine again today I spent yesterday tiding up the stuff I had brought back from the van.  I didn't bring much back but I did bring back my two good sleeping bags which have now been through the washing machine and are ready for storage.  I also brought back the towels as you can never have enough dog towels in the winter.  There were a couple of items that were for Sandie which I inadvertently brought home so she is going to come and collect them on Monday.
Denzil then took me out to look at new cars and we went to the VW showrooms which is very close to us so I could compare the size of their off road vehicles and I had a sit in the new Tiguan which has more bells and whistles than you can shake a stick at.  The dashboard looks like the cockpit of a fighter jet and I just wonder if I will need a pilots licence to operate it.  Anyway apparently he has not done with me yet I have to look at other makes.  As I do very few miles fuel consumption …

Friday morning

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Good morning all back again having completed my mission.  Sadly the people who were keen to buy the van had had a change of heart due to health issues and offered me a pittance for the van so I told them what they could do with such a derisory offer.  I had already phoned a dealer who was happy to sell for 7.5K and even he laughed at the price I had been offered.  My biggest problem was how to get rid of the contents but as luck would have it the Kettlebrugh fete is next week so tons of stuff has gone to that.  The remaining rubbish was going to prove a problem until the dealer said just leave it all in the van and don't bother cleaning it as it will get a full valeting before the put it up for sale. This then cut our work by half.  We had a very enjoyable stay in the the lodge which is is just like a small house with all mod cons and a sumptuous breakfast was served in the main house.  It felt like a 5 star hotel.  We dined out at some of the very good restaurants around Woodbri…

Tuesday morning

On my way be back Thursday wish me luck I hope to have some good news to tell you then.

Monday morning

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Good morning all well here we are only one day to go and I am off to sort out the caravan tomorrow. It is only two days that I am away but in my mind I am preparing for a fortnights holiday and I have to keep reminding myself it is only two days.  However, there is a list of things that I mustn't forget to take with me like the tow bar for the car which we now remove as it has been stolen before and cost my £500 for a new one.  I will also need to take all the paper work associated with the van.  All the instruction manuals are kept in the van so they are already there.  I am taking just two items of clothing one to work in and one to go out for dinner in. And as my grandmother taught me, clean underwear, in case I get run over!!!!!  I have very mixed feelings about getting rid of the van as we have camped all our lives starting with tents and gradually moving up market.  When the boys were teenagers we had a huge trailer tent but we needed their participation to erect it so when…

Sunday morning

Good morning all it is sunny and bright but cold this morning and as you can see by the lateness of the hour I am sleeping much better these days all be it chemically induced but I don't care at least I don't feel like a wet dish cloth all day and panic attacks are a thing of the past.  
Yesterdays quesadillas were a great success and oh so easy to prepare.  If you fancy a go it is just a packet of flour tortillas and you smear one with tomato puree then a couple of slices of ham then a chopped up mozzarella and anything else you fancy.  Then plonk another tortilla on top and bung in the oven for long enough to melt the cheese, slice up with a pizza cutter and away you go.  For us it was easy as there are 8 tortillas in a packet so that worked out one each but tortillas freeze really well so you could just make one quite easily. I guess it is just a cheese and ham toasted sandwich but on a larger scale.
James did supper, as he is the burger king, and I had bought some interes…

Saturday Morning

I'm really confused as yesterday was Sunday in this house with a nice Sunday lunch as we were all at home.  The gods were with me and my crackling crackled beautifully.  It was still marginally soggy when the meat was done so I took off the skin and put it back into a 250ÂșC oven and wow did it crackle.  Lunch was a bit later than usual so when it came to supper no one wanted anything so we all had a slice of toast when we felt like it later in the evening.  
Today for lunch I am going to make quesadillas but with a pizza style filling that is lashings of mozzarella cheese and ham on a tomato sauce base.  I guess this is just a variation on a ham and cheese sandwich!!! Anyway we will see how they turn out.  I have been using the Yummly site {www.yummly.co.uk/} for inspiration as there are millions of recipes to choose from and it is more the ideas I am after rather than the actual recipes.  As I have been cooking for in excess of 40 years I really don't need a recipe for mashe…

Friday morning

Good morning all a bit late this morning but I had a fairly broken night the next door dogs decided to have a major barking session at 3.30am which woke me then I had trouble getting back to sleep. Given that I had not gone to bed until midnight I was fairly hacked off.  Now that the weather is a bit warmer and I sleep with my door open the noise is so much louder.  I know it is Friday but as Denzil has a day off I thought I would do a Sunday lunch today as we are all here.  I have a nice lump of belly pork which I will roast and hope for lots of crackling if I get it right.  First I have to score it and fortunately I have a scalpel and blades so it is a nice easy job.  Using it brings back memories of when I used to teach students how to mount blades safely and I always reminded then that scalpels are designed to cut skin which includes theirs.  When teaching such things there is always one person who is left handed so I had to teach myself how to do everything left handed so that I…

Thursday Morning

The fog has lifted at last and the dogs have been swimming in the river as the tide was up.  The washing I put through the machine yesterday will possibly dry on the line today. Now I think I may have misled you yesterday about the broad beans I love to eat them but I find preparation a bit tedious especially when it comes to removing the grey jackets off the beans. Personally I don't mind them fully dressed but the family like them without their jackets. Anyway by the time I had them out of their pods and stripped there was just a miserable handful left so they got thrown into the oriental soup we were having for lunch where they disappeared without trace.  James made the risotto for supper and did a splendid job he has been well taught and is happy to stand and stir for 20 minutes. A couple of packets of mixed sea food, squid, prawns and mussels was added right at the end as it is already cooked and only gets hard if cooked any more so they just get warmed through in the hot ri…

Wednesday morning

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This made me laugh especially as we are fog bound this morning
Yesterday was a bit like bedlam here with people coming and going but in the end the only one who accomplished anything was Denny.  Dan doesn't like strangers in the house and it is the only time you will hear him bark.  I think this is a good thing so I am not dissuading him from his guard duty.  From my room I cannot hear the front door bell but I sure can hear Dan and I know there is someone there. He doesn't make a sound if it is someone he knows but strangers get the full vocal range.
The chilli con carne went down well for lunch and Denzil treated us to a chicken supper so we were all very happy.  Even the dogs have a portion for their breakfast as there was rather too much and the breast was pretty dry.  I had made preparations for some soup which has now been shunted on to todays lunch.  
The bin men are due but I don't feel like going out to put the bins out as the fog is quite thick and very damp.  S…

Tuesday morning

Welcome to autumn we have seem to have had summer and now we are wet and misty and autumnal in weather.  Today we are inundated with visitors and Denny is going to try and clean at the same time. Yesterday it threatened rain for the whole day and in the end it didn't start  until 5pm but then it drizzled for most of the evening.  I treated myself to an indulgent bath and also took to the opportunity to clean the bathroom fortunately it is tiled from floor to ceiling so it is easy to run a cloth over.  
Today for lunch I have made a chilli con carne so all I have to do is boil some rice and toss a salad which should be easy enough to do amongst the comings and goings.  
Well I have had no end of trouble trying to get on to do this blog all I seemed to get were error messages so in the end I have had to reboot and still it is a bit porky so as Denny is now here I will cut this short and get on with something more constructive.

Monday Morning

Good morning all well the weather forecast is for rain today and we have big black clouds overhead so I think they may well be right.  The garden could use a drink so I am not complaining especially after the glorious day we had yesterday.    Aldi was packed but we managed to get round quickly which is one of the joys of Aldi there is not masses of choice so it is easy to decide what you want and just get on with the job.  I bought a pack of mince and put it straight in the slow cooker with the required vegetables and I now have a big pot of sort of bolognese or maybe if I add some cumin and red beans it might be chili con carne.  We add chilli after we have syphoned out a portion for Mike who doesn't like spicy food.
Tomorrow is going to be hell on wheels.  Dennie is coming then people form the Department of work and pensions are coming to see James mean while the social worker is coming to see Mike and in the afternoon his psychiatric nurse is coming so I think it is going to b…

Sunday morning

Good morning all another bright warm sunny morning yesterday started off really sunny but the clouds soon rushed in and turned the day hazy. All the trees are bursting into leaf and the pigeons love my pseudo acacia where they sit and munch on the new buds fortunately they don't do any significant damage or they would find themselves on the menu. They are big fat wood pigeons so they would make good eating.  I need to go shopping today as I am clean out of vegetables all I have left are a couple of onions and some carrots.  My vegetable box which was sufficient for Mike and I now runs out very quickly with 4 of us.  
I have been having problems with my medication which has been making me feel very nauseated which makes cooking very difficult.  In and effort to change this I have moved to taking my pills at night on a full stomach which I think might be disturbing my sleep but that is better than feeling sick all morning and at least I am a bit more in the mood to cook for the day…

Saturday morning

It is only just morning I had a night in two halves and have slept in really late having missed out on a large chunk of the night when I was up and awake.  The sun is blazing and it is 20 degrees it must be summer.  Mike seems to have got over his sickness and with that in mind I did a very light lunch of a bass filet simply cooked with some spinach so nothing to upset his digestion.  Then for supper I made what can only be called a cobbler except the topping was made with sourdough pikelets the filling was chicken breast with cream and mushrooms and I served it with purple sprouting broccoli.  No ill effects so I hope what ever upset him has passed.  
Today for lunch I have some feather-blade steaks which I intend to throw on a hot gridle pan and serve with a nice mixed salad.  Simple cooking for the chef!!!! Denzil is on an early shift so he should be home in time for lunch which makes my life a lot easier.  He also got paid so the family wallet is a bit fatter and we were all trea…

Friday morning

Good morning all what a lovely day it was yesterday at last some sunny warm weather.  I chose to spend the day damaging myself - first I dropped the bin on my right thumb cutting an bruising it then not happy with that I walk my left hand into the gate post giving that an almighty whack and just to put the tin lid on it I twisted me knee sufficiently for it to keep me awake last night.  No I wasn't drunk just plain clumsy.  Anyway I managed to sort out the meat that had arrived and I discovered why the chicken breast meat was so cheap.  Each of the breasts was enormous more like turkey breast so I decided that packing them in pairs would be sufficient for four of us.  I took off the fillets and cooked them as per the recipe I mentioned yesterday.  Most successful and very easy and a lot less messy than flour egg and breadcrumb but with a very tasty result as the mayo adds seasoning and the parmesan in the crust also adds flavour to what is really a very tasteless piece of meat.  …

Thursday Morning

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The best laid plans often go astray and mine did yesterday.  I got well ahead making bit and pieces while I waited for my meat to arrive but sadly it didn't arrive until 6pm by which time I had lost all enthusiasm.  I have left it packed up in its box of ice and will deal with it this morning.  I didn't want to deal with it in a rush and make a mess of it so I thought it better to leave it alone and do it this morning when my mind is fresh and clear.  I have made several portions of sweet and sour sauce and I also made a ratatouille which I did properly cooking each of the ingredients separately and then combining them at the end.  It is a slow process but the results are well worth it.  The left over mash from the previous day was made into potato gnocchi and once boiled tossed in some brown butter and sage which we had with a piece of poached salmon for lunch.  Supper was a sausage sandwich with a danish pastry for desert.  No I didn't make the pastries Denzil had a lit…

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all another bright sunny warm day and I have masses of cooking to do today. I have a meat delivery coming today and in it is 5kg of chicken breast.  So I am going to make marinades to freeze with some and then lots of sugar free sweet and sour sauce as well as some mushroom and cream sauce then if I have time a curry sauce.  Which should keep us fed for quite a while.  Of course the sauces can be used for other things but chicken is so versatile but easily over cooked especially the breast which can be turned in to cardboard very easily.
I had a lovely breakfast with Sandie and we discussed our trip to Suffolk it is only two days and there will be plenty of work but it will be a break for both of us.  I got the dogs a cow leg cut in half from the butcher and they are really focused on eating them.  Tubby of course has the best jaws for bone crunching and has managed to destroy even these big bones.  Dan is doing his best but he doesn't have the same jaw power.
Yester…

Tuesday morning

Good morning all today looks like a promising day though many days have started well the cloud soon arrives to ruin it.  It is a bit warmer too 8 degrees instead of the chilly 4 it has been for a while. Yesterday went according to plan and I have made contact with a gardener via "rated people" and he is coming this afternoon to have a look at the job which is mostly weed killing and pruning.  It is much easier to walk someone through the garden explaining what you need done rather than explaining on the phone.
I made a lamb and black bean casserole for yesterdays supper but no one felt like it so we had the butternut squash and ginger soup I had made instead.  This means the lamb will be fine for todays lunch if I do a big pile of mash to go with it.  I am off this morning to Faversham to have breakfast with Sandie and to do a bit of shopping.  My fridge is almost bare so it was a good opportunity to give it a good clean which I must confess is a job that tends to get forgo…

Monday morning

Here we are at the beginning of yet another week and another month and hopefully some warmth will be coming our way too.  Despite the cold weather the blossom is out in force and suddenly the world has gone from black and white to colour.  Being in Kent and surrounded by orchards I suppose this is something I notice more than most.  
I had a really lazy day yesterday I was feeling a little under the weather so I gave myself the day off and lounged around watching rubbish.  Actually it was not all rubbish I have found myself transfixed by programs on archeology, history, biology and astronomy.  What an education I am getting!!!! The one thing I am avoiding like the plague is the all the politics about Europe.  I have decided I have a better grasp of astrophysics than the minutia of the in and out debate.  What are your thoughts on the subject?
I got away with a very simple lunch of fish cakes in rolls with a big handful of salad and supper was even more odd.  I had a portion of bologn…

Sunday Morning

Good morning all Joy has already done all the first of the month stuff.  I had a nice day yesterday but I abandoned the kitchen last night and this morning I am sorry it look as if there has been a nuclear explosion in there.  Serves me right for not clearing up.   
It was nice to see Richard and have a catch up chat as we very seldom see any of Mikes family.  He was on his best behaviour so everything went smoothly though I think it tired him out.  I know it tired me out!! 
Today it is yet another bright start to the day but of late it has started well then clouded over and finally rained by the afternoon.  Still I am not complaining any sunshine is welcome now all we need is a bit of a rise in temperature.
According to the website next door has been sold so I can only assume that they got the asking price which is amazing. A rise of 50k in six months is pretty good I know that they have spent some money on the property but nowhere near that amount.
Denzil will be home form his earl…