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Showing posts from August, 2016

Wednesday morning

Good morning all yesterday I had a lovely breakfast with Sandie but the only trouble is that it is such a huge meal that I didn't want anything else for the rest of the day.  Actually I was feeling particularly nauseated which I think might be the extra dose kicking in.  I went to bed after lunch which I did for the men it was such an effort I had to take some black watch scotch eggs out of a bag and add some tomatoes.  My head was thumping so I took a couple of aspirins and put myself down for a nap.  I slept like the dead until 6pm when I was brought a cup of tea.  Of course sleeping that long in the afternoon meant I was up and dancing until the wee small hours and finally passed out again at 4am so I have slept in this morning.  Anyway the good news is I feel much better this morning and I sincerely hope it continues that way.  The sun is shining and it is a lovely 20 degrees just perfect. 
While I was shopping I bought some really lovely veal chops which cost a bomb but they…

Tuesday morning

Good morning all yesterday was a nice quiet day and as it was the first day of the dog course I got stuck into the material.  As a former teacher I appreciate the way it is organised. You get a video lecture then a copy of the slides used in the lecture followed by 2 questions in the multiple choice style to confirm your understanding.  What a brilliant way to teach.  The lectures are only 30 minutes so you don't have time to get bored and let your mind wander.  The lecturer is Professor Hare who, to my eyes, looks like he should still be in short trousers OMG I really am getting old.  Anyway a very enjoyable way to learn.  There is one aspect of the course that I don't quite understand it is not compulsory but helpful.  There are lots of games to play with your dog which test various type of cognition and the results are fed into a huge data base which is used for research - great idea if you want a very large sample but here is the catch they charge you to get the games - i…

Monday morning

Good morning all well yesterday we did get some rain but as usual not enough to do the job properly. Everything is still very dry and the rain only penetrates the top layer of soil so not enough for the roots. The sun is shining this morning and the temperatures are back down to my comfort levels.
I didn't get round to make the bolognese sauce yesterday but the ingredients are now all well defrosted so I had better get it on today. It needs long slow cooking so the slow cooker is ideal once everything is in the pot you can largely forget about it.  I do fry off the ingredients first as it gives it a better flavour.
Today for lunch we have some chicken goujons which we will have with mayo and a salad or perhaps some stuffed mushrooms which Denzil brought home last night.  He can't resist the cheap shop and every morning I find new things in the fridge.  This nice up to a point but it does make menu planning almost impossible as I never know what will turn up and need to be eat…

Sunday morning

The forecast storms never materialised here but it looks like it might rain today the sky looks heavy and the breeze is chilly.  I spent quite some time yesterday trying to work out Flickr as a cousin of mine was after some photos of our relatives.  I think we have managed to link up at last and I, 1] found the things and 2] managed to upload them but it was a slow task as I hadn't got a clue what I was doing. Anyway finally after much mucking about we managed to connect and swap photos.
We are now having endless fun with the coffee machine making everything on the menu and just standing in awe it appears like magic.  Sorry to be a bore but it really is a lovely toy. I think we will all be bouncing off the walls with caffeine overdose.
I haven't given lunch a thought yet so I think I had better go and look in the freezer for something. We have been living on cold meats and salad during this hot weather.  So I may make a big pot of bolognese so we can have the odd pasta meal. …

Saturday Morning

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Good morning all I am a happy bunny this morning as I am sitting here typing with a lovely cup of coffee from the new machine.  The men arrived quite late yesterday afternoon but the machine fitted beautifully into the gap. It is so shiny that it is difficult to take a photo as all you get are reflections.


My bed time reading was the instruction manual - it is tremendously sophisticated and you can even program it to make drinks for individuals and it stores them in its memory. It has a touch screen like a smart phone and for the moment we have left the factory settings until I have got my degree in aeronautical engineering and feel able to tackle tinkering with it. Actually it is pretty idiot proof if you can read as it prompts you to take each step.  As I drink my coffee black I haven't yet tried making big cups of frothy coffee with the milk attachment that will be todays little excitement.
Thank goodness the tremendous heat has dissipated and we are back down to liveable figur…

Friday morning

Good morning all well here we are at the end of yet another week but today is a red letter day for me as the coffee machine is due this afternoon.  I have a complete mystery. Yesterday after typing my blog I put my glasses down and now I can't find them anywhere. They are a pair the I use specially for the computer screen not my normal reading glasses and we have searched everywhere but no luck I just can't imagine what I could have done with them. How do things just disappear?  It drove me crazy just trying to find them.  No doubt they will turn up at some point after all they have to be somewhere in the house as I didn't go out anywhere.  
We have had some rain over night which has cooled things down somewhat and according to the weather forecast it should be a bit cooler today.  The chap from landrover came and delivered my rubber mats for the car and fitted them for me so now we are free to fill them with mud which we will once the winter comes but at least you can ta…

Thursday morning

Good morning all.  Yesterday was sheer hell here by lunch time my outdoor thermometer hit 37.8ºC and we were just sitting about melting and trying to get cool.  In the end I found evaporation was the answer I did myself over with some cold water then sat in front of the fan.  Even the dogs were miserable panting and trying to find somewhere cool.  Dan was flat out on the bathroom floor which is tiled and Tubby sat in front of the fan.  I certainly didn't feel much like cooking so we ate out of the fridge.  
Now for some really good news my coffee machine is coming tomorrow afternoon along with some fitters.  I am delighted, oh how I need a good cup of coffee I am sick of this instant stuff.  I know that lots of people are quite happy to drink instant but you really can't beat the real thing.  I suppose it boils down to what you are used to kind of like butter versus margarine.
According to the weather forecast it should be a bit cooler today and I have flung all the windows o…

Wednesday morning

Good morning all well I over slept this morning I am sure curtesy of the increased dose but I am not complaining sleep is good. However Denny is hear and motoring through the cleaning so I should get my act together.  James had a good day yesterday though we did nothing special, however I did accompany him on the dog walk not that I managed the whole walk as I am so unfit. I only managed about a quarter before I had to make my way back to the car.  What a turn round I used to take James on his crutches for a walk an he could only manage about a quarter.  Now he does the whole walk with ease.  It just goes to show if you don't use it you loose it.  So walking is the order of the day for me but the best part is that the dogs are always willing to come with you and keep you company so I don't need a walking buddy.  I find it really boring just walking with no purpose its OK if I am going to the shop for something but just plain walking is dull.
Yesterday the recite for the coffe…

Tuesday morning

Good morning all we have a lovely sunny start to the day and a cloudless sky so maybe we are in for a good day.  However I have noticed that it is often gorgeous around dawn but then it quickly changes.
Today is James birthday but he wants no fuss and par lava so that is fine I asked him if there was anything special he fancied for his lunch/dinner but he is just happy for it to be another normal day.
Yesterday was a red letter day I finally managed to get Mike in the shower, he needed quite a bit of help but that has always been on offer.  I hope that now he might feel a regular shower might actually make him feel better in himself.
My visit to the GP has resulted in me being sent for a chest x ray and spirometry, however,  the earliest appointment is 23 September, so no rush then, and he has doubled my SSRI's.  If you remember I inadvertently took a double dose and felt pretty wooly headed  so I am not looking forward to the increase but I expect I will get used to the extra in…

Monday morning

Good morning all we seem to have had some rain over night but it is dry at the moment. For me this is the perfect solution rain at night and sun in the day.  Joy gave me a fright yesterday when she wondered if the plant I had ordered was in fact an acid lover.  Then I realised I hadn't checked so I promptly looked it up on the RHS web site and fortunately it is not it seems to be fairly tolerant and will do well in sun or partial shade and is very hardy so it should do well in my garden. I must admit I love shrubs as they give maximum impact for minimum work.  I stay well clear of bedding plants which are lovely but they do need constant attention if they are to give of their best.  The only annuals I have are weeds.
Now I am going to keep this short as I have to have a shower and I have a doctors appointment at 10am so I need to get a shift on.  So I will wish you all a good day and get my backside in gear.

Sunday morning

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Good morning all I am up late as I had one of those on again off again nights where you just keep waking up.  Yesterday I was prepared for bad weather but we really didn't get much, the wind was no worse than it often is and yes it did rain but nowhere near enough.  The plants look a little perkier but they really could use a soak. Today we have cloud and sun and it is very pleasant.
Denzil stopped off at landrover yesterday and they confirmed that they has sold me the wrong mats so they are going to drop off the correct mats on either Tuesday or Wednesday.  This will at least save me the 40 mile round trip to change them.
I haven't given up my garden completely and to that end I spotted a deal with Thompson Morgan who have on offer a plant I really fancy as it has all year round interest.  The plant is hydrangea quercifolia snow queen.  Here are two pictures of the plant lifted from google one in flower and one with autumn colour.

The plants are substantial as they are deliv…

Saturday morning

Good morning all yesterday I just seem to have wasted my time and got nowhere.  I contacted the company who are doing the coffee machine for an update only to discover that they didn't have one in stock so they are waiting for delivery from the manufacturer so they themselves have no idea when it will be available.  Great so that was a dead end then I rang landrover and they had a set of rubber floor mats in stock so I drove over to Aylesford which is some 20 miles away I picked up the mats and drove home and asked the boys to fit the mats only to discover they are the wrong ones so Denzil is going to take them back after work.  His head office is in Aylesford so he had taken the landrover to work today so I am carless for the morning.
Now on the positive side I egg and breadcrumbed the fish fillets but they were so huge I could only get one at a time in the frying pan and as usual I got more egg and breadcrumbs on my fingers than on the fish.  It really is a messy process but I …

Friday morning

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Good morning all well it is very dull outside and looks as if we have either had a shower overnight or perhaps it is just heavy dew.  Either way it is nowhere near enough for the garden.
I had a lovely time at Shiona's yesterday.  We went into Cranbrook which is a lovely village/town with a wonderful array of shops and they still have three banks, butchers, greengrocers and only one supermarket a co-op.  While we were there I popped into the bank and asked about paying in cheques and in future I can just fill in a paying in slip and drop it off at the post office.  Much easier than driving and parking in Rainham. They have ordered me a book of paying in slips so I could also just drop it in the post. Poor Shiona had had a bit of a problem with a load of fish which had been stacked in her freezer by the delivery boy but once it had frozen it was one big lump so the only solution was to defrost the lot and cook like crazy so she now has a freezer full of fish pies and fish cakes an…

Thursday morning

Good morning all we are under a blanket of cloud but what we really need a good few hours of rain the soil in the garden is like concrete. I believe we might be in luck tomorrow and better it rains while people are at work than at the weekend which spoils outdoor events. Mind you in typical British style not much gets cancelled due to rain.  There is always a mac and an umbrella in my car just in case.
I am off to Shiona's this morning, I have left the men a fry up for lunch and have some lemon soles being deliver for either supper or tomorrows lunch.  In this very hot weather I must say a fillet of fish and salad makes an ideal meal.  Nice and light and easy to prepare, much as I like cooking slaving over a hot stove in the summer is not something I relish.
Denzil brought home some kebabs from the cheap shop at work and we had them for supper last night.  As you know I am not one for ready made stuff but these were truly delicious as all there was were lumps of chicken divided b…

Wednesday morning

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Good morning all well the saga of the coffee machine continues I got a phone call yesterday to say that basically the machine was not repairable.  They are due to deliver it back to me today but I think I am going to suggest they put it in the scrap instead.  I have of course ordered a new one and am hoping that it will be fitted next Wednesday.  The one I have chosen is a Meile built in bean to cup machine.
The only problem I foresee is that I will need a pilots licence to operate it.  With any luck and a following wind I might have it some time next Wednesday.  What a joy it will be to have coffee back on tap.  
Yesterday was a really messy day I had forgotten that I had agreed to pick Len and Margaret up from the garage while they had their MOT and service done.  The other bit I forgot was that they would be camping at mine.  What I didn't realise was that there was a service due as well so they were with me until 12 midday.  Which meant that I did nothing in the kitchen so lu…

Tuesday morning

Good morning all another sunny one and thankfully yesterday didn't get too hot it stayed within reasonable limits.  I got to grips with the kitchen and once I had tidied up the washing up took no time at all.  What made it look so bad was the fact that stuff was scattered far and wide and there wasn't a square inch of work top to be seen.  While I was heavily embroiled in the kitchen James ran to the bank for me so that saved me a job.  The basic pizza  that Denzil had brought home got doctored with extra mozzarella basil and olive oil before its blast in the hot oven and with it we had a rice salad and a huge green salad.  Supper was also an easy one with the stock from the chicken I made some soup with tortellini which turned out to be much more substantial than I first thought.  I left a portion for Denzil when he got home at midnight but I strained the tortellini out of the soup so they didn't absorb all the liquid and become soggy lumps of pasta.  Everything has gone…

Monday morning

Good morning all well at least I have an instant coffee to keep me company this morning.  However the kitchen looks like a bomb has exploded in there and I am going to have to have a massive clean up before I can start work for today.  The mess is down to all 4 of us being lazy and dumping stuff instead of washing it up or putting it in the dishwasher.   I made stock with the chicken carcass and strained it off but that was as far a I got.  Is there some law which says washing up expands to fit the space available.  There is hardly a square inch of surface left.  My kitchen is small but perhaps that is a good thing if I had a big kitchen I'm sure I would just spread the mess further.
Yesterday was a dull as ditch water but today is bright and sunny warm but not yet hot so absolutely right for me.  Denzil came home with a couple of cheap pizza's so I will add some extra topping to them and they will do for lunch, the stock will make some soup with some tortellini so that kind …

Sunday morning

Good morning all.  I got myself distracted this morning and forgot to sit and scribble a few words. With no lovely hot cup of coffee to keep me company would you believe we don't even have any instant.  Anyway the chicken is in the halogen merrily roasting away and will make a bit of sage and onion stuffing to go with it. Roast spuds and peas, carrots and gravy should complete the meal.
Yesterday was sunny and warm but today it is cooler and we are deeply in cloud with hardly a glimmer making it to the ground.  It is warm and very still so no wind to blow away the cloud blanket.
When I woke this morning it was 6am but I was convinced it was 6pm Saturday I must have slept so soundly I have no memory of it. A very confusing start to the day with the sky so dark I though it must be evening.
Denzil has just gone off to work so time to get the vegetables on

Saturday Morning

Good morning all, not such good news on the coffee machine front they came yesterday and took the machine away so I am back with no coffee and who knows when I will get it back.  On the better news front I got my rose planted, Denzil dug me a decent hole and it was plain sailing after that.  One thing it did highlight is just how dry the ground is. That little bit of drizzle the other day did nothing but damp the surface.  I need to get out with the secateurs and do some dead heading and clip back a wisteria which is going mad.  It is going to be a warm one today so that is more of an evening job.  
For lunch yesterday I did a batch of sweet potato chips which were tossed in soy sauce and oil before putting in the oven and I must say the soy certainly added a dimension.  I also did a tomatillo salsa which was a novelty and OK but not something I will be rushing to buy in future. The tomatillos came in my box of vegetables along with the recipe.  For my money they taste like under rip…

Friday morning

Good morning all I had a bit of a strange day yesterday.  I was really dizzy and muddle headed hence my very short blog as typing was really difficult.  Then I realised what I had done I had taken double the dose of antidepressant medication so I had to phone Shiona and cry off as I was certainly not fit to drive.  In the end I spent most of the day asleep or reading my course book. What a stupid thing to do I am usually pretty good with such things but it only takes a momentary lapse. Fortunately the ill effects didn't last too long and by lunch time I was feeling more normal.  I wont be doing that again in a hurry.
Today we have sunshine and clear blue skys and the engineer is coming to fix the last bit of the coffee machine so they obviously had the part in stock and I guess that this time they will also want paying. As yet I have no idea what time he is due so that kind of puts a damper on the shopping trip that I need to do.  Lunch will have to be bassa fillets and salad, ye…

Thursday Morning

Good morning all another damp drizzly start, I wish it would get on and rain then cheer up.  It's not even enough for the garden but just enough to spoil your day.  I am off over to Shiona for lunch some how I don't think we will be sitting in the garden.  I will take the dogs as they have such blindingly good time.
Lunch yesterday turned out to be a weird concoction I had one flat iron steak which I frightened with the griddle pan and then finely sliced this went along with a green bean and garlic salad some creamed spinach and some braised celery all helped down with some crusty bread.  It was much better than it sounds and certainly motored through the vegetable overload.
In keeping with my character I have started the pre-reading though the course proper doesn't start until 28th.  I think this is a really good idea and what a way to while away those long winter evening learning a new skill and I wont have to leave my armchair.
Well I am running a bit behind schedule s…

Wednesday morning

Good morning all - I am sitting here with a cup of real coffee at last.  The engineer turned up at about 4.30pm and installed a new brew unit but there is still a small part which is broken however it doesn't affect the machines performance so until that has arrived from Italy and the engineer fits it I will have no idea of what the bill will be.  However, one thing is for sure it is should be cheaper than a new machine.  In the mean time I am just happy to have decent coffee to drink.
After reading Annes comments yesterday I have signed myself up to a course which is free unless you want a certificate, which I don't as it is mainly for my own benefit and entertainment. I have already done a practical course in dog first aid which is actually the same as human. When I come to think about it I have studied all my life.  I started the horticulture course immediately I retired again purely for my own benefit though you would never believe it if you saw my garden now. While I was…

Tuesday morning

Good morning all and thank you for welcoming me back.  Yesterday was one of getting back in the groove so to speak.  I finally dealt with a pile of laundry that has been sitting around for weeks waiting to be put away.  I must say that I feel that my batteries are recharged and I have a bit more get up and go than I have had for a while.  It did me good to challenge myself to the long drive, no sat nav, just memory and I only made one mistake at the far end which I soon rectified.  It sounds silly but it has boosted my self confidence and the successes with the little dog were also a great boost for me. This has led me to thinking that there must be lots of people who have dogs they don't know how to handle and could use some help.  To this end I thought I might enrol in an online course in dog psychology not that I have any ideas of taking it up in a business sense I would just feel more comfortable with some deeper knowledge behind me.  There are numerous courses available cost…

Monday morning

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Good morning all the sun is shining and I am well rested.  I have just had two lovely days with my friends in Bristol who waited on me hand a foot better than a 5 star hotel as I didn't even have to choose from the menu, super food just appeared as did drinks and snacks.  Apart from a bit of dog training I sat on bum in the sun and chatted now that is what I call a holiday.  I had ample opportunity to whinge and moan and get things off my chest so it was therapeutic as well.  It took me just three hours drive to get there and exactly the same coming home despite the traffic snarl ups.  It was a nice opportunity to give the car a good run but I did discover that because it is such a smooth ride it is very easy to hit 90mph and not notice.
Now the dog training needs a bit of explanation - the lady who is a neighbour of my friends has recently had a stroke and still has weakness in one hand and one leg but she is getting on famously and has taken on a little dog who is 10 months old…

Thursday morning

Good morning all yesterday was all a bit of a rush so I didn't have time to really write anything. Today I am in packing mode not that you need much for 2 days.  First I have to find a sensible size bag to take and I also want to dash out and buy some frankfurters for dog treats.  As the west is inclined to be wetter I will take rain wear and wellies for dog walking.

Wednesday afternoon

Sorry to be so late but I was running behind and had to dash straight out.  Had a lovely breakfast with Sandy and bought a few goodies for us. Some gorgeous peaches and local black cherries, some veal chops as well as some interesting cheeses. Denzil also came in with a big bag of goodies from the Tesco cheap shop. So we are spoiled for choice for supper.  I think it might be a DIY meal.  I will cut this short and get on with lunch.  Have a good day even if the weather is just dismal.

Tuesday Morning

Good morning all, well we finally got the rain we so desperately needed it rained for most of the night.  It has stopped now but everything is still dripping.  
I am bubbling over with excitement as I am going to Bristol on Friday.  As my hotel is fully booked I can no longer have friends to stay so I am off to visit them.  It is ages since I have driven that far but it is all motorway until junction 20 of the M5.  They actually live the other side of Bristol and most of the route planners take you straight through the middle of the city which is hell on wheels so I am going to stick to the motorways it may be few miles more but easier driving.  The drive should take 3-4 hours depending on the traffic and it will give me a chance to run in the new car.  
The dogs are staying at home with the boys but I have been asked to help out a lady who has a 10 month old springer beagle cross who has just discovered naughtiness.  He has no recall skills so I will do some practice with him and ho…

Monday morning

Good morning all well Joy had beaten me to the pinch punch but can you believe we are already in August.  This is supposed to be high summer but we are shrouded in cloud.  I fully expected it to rain yesterday as I spent plenty of time watering but it has stayed dry so at least my time wasn't wasted.
I had bought some interesting cold meats in Aldi including some smoked duck breast and some smoked beef both from Scotland so lunch was ciabatta rolls stuffed with cold meat and salad.  As you know I used to make my own bread but the next best things are the part baked bread products which always taste good straight out of the oven. Nothing beats home made but I have had to make a few compromises.  Supper was wonderful if a bit of a botched recipe.  The pork chops I had were quite thick so I was going to halve them but instead I opened them like a book and put a slice of parma ham in the middle.  I then wrapped each chop in sage leaves and a further slice of parma ham which saved usi…