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Showing posts from September, 2016

Friday

Good morning all.  Here we are at the end of September and let's hope we have some lovely autumn days before we hit the winter. I don't know what is going on with my back it comes and goes for no apparent reason.  Anyway, I am aware it is not quite right so I am steering clear of lifting paving slabs or doing anything silly as I really don't want it playing up at the moment.
I got stuck into making Vitello tonnato without the veal. I used a pork fillet which I poached in some stock and then allowed it to cool in the liquid before slicing and placing on a bed of lettuce then the crowning glory the sauce.  I made it using an Italian recipe and was surprised to find no mayo just hard boiled eggs.  I used the thermomix as I would need a very good blasting if it is to emerge silky smooth.  So in the end, it was one small tin of tuna, three anchovies, three hard boiled eggs a handful of capers and a ladleful of the poaching liquid. The poaching liquid is what gives it the right…

Thursday morning

Good morning all, I don't know what I have done but my back is really giving me some gip. I just couldn't find a comfortable spot in the bed and spent the night rolling around. We have had some blustery rain overnight which has toppled over a couple of plants in pots.  I bit the bullet yesterday and purchased a hedge trimmer as I really need to cut back some of the shrubs which are threatening to block our path up the garden.  I have gone for a cordless lightweight job so I hope it is going to be easy to use.  It is not so much the cutting as the clearing up afterwards.  Anyway, it shows willing!!!
I was well impressed with the picci I made yesterday.  The dough is just flour and spinach blended together.  They took just 10 minutes to boil before being added to the tomato and courgette sauce. Hand rolling is a bit of a pain but quite fun at the same time. You end up with the kitchen surfaces cover in green worms.  Obviously, you can make them with just flour and water but the…

Wenesday morning

Good morning all.  I promised to tell you about our meal yesterday.  The drive over to Tenterden is about an hour across country and James drove us both ways as Denzil drives all day every day so we could admire the scenery.  Once there we got stuck into the menu.  James and I had the Vitello tonnato which was to die for and Denzil had the arancini For the second course James had crab ravioli [all the pasta is made on the premesis] Denzil had the lasagne and I had the calves liver which had just been frightened in a pan with loads of butter and sage and just melted in the mouth. None of us had room for desserts so we just headed back to home.  Supper was a case of if you can find it you can eat it.  I slept very well the temperature was just right for me with cold air blowing on my face but snuggled under layers of covers all toasty warm.  Denzil went off to work at the crack of dawn and James woke me with a cup of coffee once he had done all the chores including walking the dogs.  W…

Tuesday

Good morning all there is just a glimmer of light outside and a sky full of cloud.  Yesterday we had a grand time with the dogs as the tide was up and it was a swimming day.  Denzil can throw the plastic dummies a lot further than I and Dan is like a motor boat on his way to fetch them.  We then walked back through the field to give both dogs a chance to dry off a bit before we put them into the car. Tubby has a very short coat which dries almost instantly but Dan is a different matter and takes quite a while before he is dry.
Today the boys and I are off for lunch I have a meal ready for Mike so all he needs to do is pop in the microwave.  He is being particularly difficult at the moment refusing to do anything for himself but I am sure he will manage to eat his lunch and if he chooses not to he will not starve in a matter of hours. To get to the restaurant we have to park in Tesco's car park so it is an ideal opportunity to do a bit of shopping as well.  I can't remember th…

Monday

Good morning all.  I had a nice girly morning trawling around the shops and managed to buy a few bits and pieces  If there is one thing I hate it is trying stuff on in poky changing rooms.  Anyway once the shopping was finished it was out to lunch at a barn conversion out in the sticks.  Anyway, the food was very nice and we had a lovely leisurely meal and chat.   I had left food for the men so they were catered for.   
My back had been quiet for some time but all of a sudden it is beginning to play up for no apparent reason.  I have done nothing that I can think of that has aggravated it, but then again a sneeze can be enough to set it off.  
Today the weather looks very dull with heavy cloud but as yet no rain.  I got most of the washing done over the weekend but you never actually finish do you, the washing basket just fills up again. The food situation is unclear today I am not sure what I am going to do my mind is blank I think it will have to be the fallback position of pasta o…

Sunday

Good morning all.  It is still pretty dark outside but I can just see a complete covering of cloud.  We have ben threatened with rain this morning but as yet it is still dry.  Winter is definitely on the way and the days are getting shorter.
Yesterday was quite a busy day I got a couple of loads of washing through the machine and onto the line.  The bolognese sauce is now cold and can be packed up ready for the freezer.  I flew round Aldi and replenished the fruit bowl and got a few other bits and pieces. When Denzil came home he too had bought fruit so we now have a fruit bowl that Fortnum's would be proud of.  Never mind it will not get wasted as once it starts to soften it ends up in smoothies.  
Today I am off for a girly shop with Elly and also I am being treated to lunch out.  I will, however, need to leave something for the men for their lunch.  I took out some chicken yesterday so that will do fine for them as it is just an oven heating job and there is a fridge full of c…

Saturday

Good morning all.  Here we are at the weekend not that that means much to me.  The only difference it makes to me is that I cannot take the dogs to the rugby field as there are people playing rugby who don't seem to understand that it is a dog walking place. Then Sunday the shops don't open until 10am and close at 4pm other than that it is just another day.  I have booked a shopping expedition tomorrow with my surrogate daughter.  Boys are lovely but when it comes to clothes you need a woman to tell you the truth so Elly and I are going to hit the shops and look for some bits and bobs a couple of tops and maybe another pair of trousers.  Then she is going to treat me to lunch what more can you ask for.   I have also booked myself a hair cut which is becoming necessary.  
Yesterday I got out the ingredients to make a bolognese sauce and they are now totally defrosted so it will be into the slow cooker with them this morning.  I made a dish yesterday which sounded nice but in m…

Friday Morning

Good morning all.  Well, here we are at the end of yet another week. I actually heard the first mention of Christmas on the tv last night however it was after the watershed. After my early start and sleepless night, I put myself back to bed and slept for a good four hours and woke feeling considerably better.  I had pulled food out of the freezer so the boys cooked lunch and gave me a call when it was ready.  Thank goodness for advanced catering it is really handy when you have an off day.  I sometimes wonder how I would manage without a freezer, I suppose I would have to do what my gran did and bottle just about everything.  We lived in a tiny bungalow with a room in the roof which was completely stacked with boxes of  bottle fruit and veg.  I think there was an element of safety involved as they were the generation who suffered the world wars and knew about food shortages.
I think I have now run myself out of bolognese sauce so time to make another batch for the freezer.  It is suc…

Thursday morning

Good morning all, you will be pleased to hear I have booked myself a flight to Bordeaux on the 10th of October and I will be staying with good friends for four days. It will be a lovely break and change of scene. Saw the Doc at 8am and have been given an inhaler and emergency antibiotics in case I get a chest infection.  However having had a completely sleepless night I feel like a dish cloth.  I am going to put myself back to bed and hope for a couple of hours kip.  I have got food out of the freezer so the men can do their own thing.
I had a complete melt down yesterday as I couldn't find my passport Denny and I searched diligently and finally found it.  I needed to check if it was still in date before I booked.  Anyway all done now so I have something to look forward to.  Next I need a hair appointment as I am at the shaggy dog stage yet again. 
Well I am feeling really dopey so I will bid you farewell.  Have good day all.

Wednesday morning

Good morning all.  I had a bit of a grotty night last night and finally ended up sleeping in this morning.  Denny is here and at it already so I will have to be brief.  I had my spirometry test done yesterday and no surprises there it was pretty dreadful anyway I am off to see the doctor tomorrow morning at 8am.  We will have to see what he says however I am actually feeling rather well at the moment now that the pollen levels have dropped and the air is much fresher.  
Mike is chasing me for attention and I am gasping for a cup of coffee so I guess he wants one too.  He has been forbidden the new machine as it was him who broke the old one.  As yet I have no idea what is on the menu for today but I quite fancy a soup that I saw a recipe for which is largely milk and parmesan cheese with a bit of potato for thickening.  It is served with a big bunch of croutons or cretins as they are called in this house.  First I will have to check if I have all the ingredients so there is a chance …

Tuesday morning

Good morning all, last night was a better night it was lovely and cool in my room as I have a door which opens onto the roof and it stands open all night.  We had been forecast rain in the night but it is as dry as a bone outside so I think we missed that.  If the weather were down to me I would ensure an hour or two of rain each night but follow it with lovely sunny days not too hot and not too cold and a heavy snow fall on christmas eve night so there would be a winter wonderland for the kids on christmas morning.  If you hear of the job becoming vacant let me know as I would like to apply!!!!!
As part of the positive psychology course there are guided meditations - these are of the loving kindness type so yesterday I gave it a go there are just 4 wishes for you to send out to those around you:-  may you feel safemay you feel happymay you feel healthymay you live with ease Did anyone get a warm fuzzy glow?  I sent these wishes to all my readers many of whom read but never write.  On…

Monday morning

Good morning all, I had a bit of a crazy night I kept waking up every couple of hours but fortunately I managed to get back off to sleep however it has left me feeling a bit tired this morning and with a thick head.  I'm sure you have all experienced this it happens from time to time.  I had a quiet day yesterday and just fiddled in the kitchen and got on with my studies the positive psychology has really grabbed my interest and I think now that I have got to the meditation stage I feel it may be positively beneficial.  However I think this is something that needs lots of practice.  
This morning the sun is shining after a couple of really dark days there is still lots of cloud but at least there are breaks in it.  Seeing the sun certainly makes you feel better.  I some times wonder how the people who live in the very far north with months of darkness manage to survive.  I don't think the cold would worry me but the darkness would. However I suppose that they are compensated …

Sunday morning

Good morning all, first lets give Joy the recipe for the chorizo and potato stew.  Like all stews the ingredients quantities are to your taste, the amounts given will feed 4 for a lunch or supper.

First fry a couple of onions and about 5 cloves of garlic in some olive oil only until they have softened then add the sliced chorizo and allow the oil to start running from it.  Next add a couple of sliced red peppers and two tomatoes and a large tsp of smoked paprika.  Next in goes the spuds peeled and cut into mouthful chunks.  Then add about a litre of water and allow it to gently simmer until the spuds have started to crumble a bit and thicken the sauce.  Serve in a bowl it is quite soupy with crusty bread +/- a green salad.  I have written this in cooks shorthand as I know Joy cooks and will understand.  
Well the temperatures have dropped like a stone and we are down from 34 to 15 degrees it is no wonder we are always talking about the weather here it is so unpredictable.  We have had…

Saturday morning

Good morning dear friends.  I am a happy bunny this morning we had no thunder and lightening which is sad because a love a good storm but we did have a day of slow steady rain which was much needed and as I didn't have to go out I could just sit and enjoy the cool air.  You could almost see the plants revive their drooping leaves in gratitude.  This morning the sky's are leaden and it looks as though we may yet have more rain but I am not complaining.  
I managed to get one meal ahead and todays lunch is all prepared and just needs to simmer for a while as the potatoes are a bit crisp still.  Yes, it is the inevitable chorizo and potato stew which is my current favourite dish. So easy to make and so tasty.  I ventured outside to pick some bay leaves for the dish and then thought that my neighbours might like some too so I took round a couple of bunches to various of our neighbours.  It seems so silly for people to be buying bay leaves when I have 4 bay trees and could supply …

Friday morning

Good morning all.  So far we have had a splash of rain but nothing to write home about however it has damped down the temperature to a very comfortable 18 degrees. It was cooler last night so sleeping was easier.  I think my increased dose has kicked in as I am feeling much brighter in myself and the nausea has faded which now I come to think of it is exactly what happened when I first started taking them.  We were all feeling lazy yesterday so lunch was just some Thai fish cakes from Aldi which we all love and some baked beans.  No work involved there and supper was equally easy I had to do a run to Tesco so I bought some very basic pizza's and lots of good things to put on top Like plenty of mozzarella and lots of salami so they were very tasty despite the stale bread taste of the bases.  Again no work involved.  The work was doing loads and loads of laundry I don't know where it all comes from either we are very dirty people or very clean I can't work out which. Laundr…

Thursday morning

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Good morning all after much messing around I have managed to get the photos of the dog swimming oh how I envy them on these hot days. You can see there wasn't a breath of breeze as the only ripples are those made by the dogs.




I had a fabulous day yesterday I drove to Tenterden using the sat nav which took me on a guided tour of Kent but I was quite happy sitting in the air conditioning.  Montalbano's is certainly an experience true Italian cuisine with all the pasta made on the premises.  We sat outside under a huge red umbrella which allowed for plenty of people watching.  Shiona an I made utter pigs of ourselves we had an antipasto which we shared I had the octopus and she had the vitello tonnato   Then we shared a pasta and prawn dish and finally she had the calves liver and I had a fritto misto of sea food, after which we were stuffed to immobility. One short sharp espresso and it was back home.  It is an hours run across country though it is not very far it is all twisty …

Wednesday morning

Good morning all wasn't yesterday a scorcher?  I spent the day hibernating in a darkened house just trying to keep cool.  The dogs had their swim around 10 by which time it was already getting insufferable.  Swimming is dependant on the tides Denzil has put some lovely photos on his Facebook page but try as I might I cannot seem to lift them.  Today I am due to have lunch with Shiona at Montalbano's in Tenterden, I only hope I don't feel as putrid as I have been feeling for the last couple of days.  It is a family run restaurant so the food is good and I am looking forward to it but I don't know wether to eat something before I set out.  I think I had better have something or I will be nauseated by the time I get there. I will also restrict my coffee drinking to one mug and then on to water.  I think it is going to be another hot one but not as bad as yesterday and thank goodness the car has air conditioning so it is probably the best place to be.

I think Denzil was t…

Tuesday Morning

Good morning all yesterday was purgatory for me not only was I nauseated but it was so hot as well which didn't help.  I dragged myself round Aldi and grabbed stuff with little thought except to get out and go home. It was bedlam and I had to drive twice round the carpark before I finally found a space as far from the door as possible. Normally that wouldn't bother me but in the blazing sun I was none to happy to be trundling trollies to and fro. Anyway once home the boys unloaded the car and put everything away while a sat in a heap and drank water.  James made a spaghetti carbonara and I felt marginally better for some food in my stomach but then it was time to move furniture which we stuck on the patio which was one blessing I don't know how we would have managed if it had been raining.
Anyway long story short we now have a clean hall and dining room carpet which was dry in moments and we could replace the furniture.  It was late evening before I felt even marginally h…

Monday morning

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Good morning all.  Looks like another sunny day which is good news as today I am having the carpets cleaned and it means I can move some of the furniture to the patio while it is being done.  The guy is not coming until later this afternoon so we can at least have lunch at the table before moving everything.
I will need to do a bit of shopping first as my supplies are low and lunch will have to be a spaghetti carbonara as I do have the ingredients for that.  I have the bits and pieces to make a potato salad so perhaps some cold meats will go nicely with that.  We don't need to set a place for Dan he is just the right hight to sit with his chin on the table. Those pleading eyes are hard to resist.  Tubby makes his presents known by giving you leg just the tiniest nudge in case there is some food you need to dispose of.

At the moment the tide is up and Denzil has taken them swimming so they will be wet and tired when they return and can dry off in the garden in the sunshine.
I woke…

Sunday morning

Good morning all.  Yesterday was a miserable wet day but today it is wall to wall sunshine.  I feel somewhat responsible for the wet day, who went out bright and early and watered the plants and provoked the rain gods?
We ate very well as I had huge fillets of lemon sole which I breaded and we had for lunch with some broccoli.  Supper was the chorizo and potato stew with lots of hot crusty bread.  Today Denzil is working all day so we will be having a cold lunch and as yet I haven't decided what is for supper.
As it was so miserable I spent the afternoon finishing off a course on psychological first aid. It was not rocket science and coming from a nursing background much of it came naturally to me.  The main thrust was empathy not sympathy. Anyway, it was interesting and had some interesting stats about post trauma and disaster reactions. One of the most interesting things is the lack of acknowledgement of the problems suffered by first responders. A subject I know about first ha…

Saturday Morning

Good morning all.  Yesterdays plans got somewhat delayed as it started to rain in the morning so I contented myself with doing some cooking and have made a potato and chorizo stew probably for tonight. It goes really well with some salad and crusty bread and is really easy to make.  I have also got some little new potatoes which are destined for a potato salad.  The fish monger rang me to ask if I would like some big lemon soles so they are in the fridge and I think I might cut them into goujons then egg and breadcrumb them for lunch.
Dan had his trip to the hairdressers and he now looks gorgeous and smells like a baby as they have used something that smells like Johnson's baby powder.  Tubby obviously thought he stank and tried to give him a wash, interestingly fox poo is not a problem.  Their is no accounting for taste!!! I will try to get a photo of him but he is still fast asleep it is quite an ordeal for him and he is always very tired when he comes home.
I spent some time y…

Friday morning

Well here we are at the end of yet another week.  Fortunately the weather is much better now that the horrid humidity has cleared and the temperatures have dropped a bit.  The new coffee machine had reached its cleaning time so I had the pleasure of running it through the cleaning program.  It gives you explicit instructions of what to do and it is just a case of following them to the letter.  It came with a box of toys for just this purpose so it was an easy task and now we have a month of happy coffee drinking.
Dan is due to go to have his hair cut this afternoon and Denzil has volunteered to take him. Normally they want the dogs in the morning which means fighting through the rush hour traffic so an afternoon appointment should be easier.  
I spent yesterday afternoon deeply engrossed in learning what with the languages and the new course there was plenty to keep me occupied.  Duolingo the language program reminds you to keep up the work.  I am finding the Italian relatively easy …

Thursday morning

Good morning all.  What a hot horrid and humid night we have just had.  I had my fan on but it just stirred the around but it was better than nothing.  This morning feels a little cooler and fresher and there is some sign of the sun penetrating the clouds.
I finally got round to cooking the veal chops and it was worth the wait I did them very simply - I dusted them with a bit of flour then fried in olive oil then added a mix of garlic rosemary and lemon zest.  Once cooked I took them out to rest and deglazed the pan with some white wine which I reduced well then the same with some chicken stock which made a lovely gravy.  I served it with chantenay carrots and some very buttery mash potatoes.  We were going to have this for lunch but it was way too hot and humid so we satisfied ourselves with a ham and cheese sandwich and had the chops for dinner when the temperature had dropped a little an we had better appetites.
Yesterday we were plagued with nuisance calls from some american comp…

Wednesday morning

Good morning all yesterday was a bit of a washout one way and another.  James slept all day and is still asleep now so he must really have needed sleep after a period of sleeplessness.  Denzil and I took the dogs for a short walk but that was pretty horrid as it was hot and humid and even the dogs were fed up.  When we got home Tubby's limp returned and he thew himself flat on the tiled kitchen floor to try and cool down.  Dan was puffing like a steam engine and proceeded to drink gallons of water I don't think any of us can say we enjoyed it but it was necessary.  Hot sticky and tired I was in no mood to start doing the veal chops so we went for a simple lunch of cold meats and bits and bob with a salad and some stuffed peppers.  I was going to do the chops for supper but I got carried away with my course, which I have almost finished, then it was to late to start cooking and Denzil decided we should have a pizza which was fine by me.  The chops will be on todays menu, but t…

Tuesday morning

Good morning all well it may be Tuesday to you but for us it is Sunday lunch day as Denzil is off duty but poor James has been up all night unable to sleep and has finally dosed off at 6am so I don't think he is going to be up for lunch.  This puts me in a bit of a quandary I guess I will cook for four and leave James's on a plate to warm up when he wakes.  Tubby is on house rest as he has hurt his shoulder and is lame.  He is such a maniac that if we take him for a walk he will just go mad and run like crazy which is no good if you have an injury so he is confined to barracks for the time being. Dan seems to know things are not right and he has not attempted to rough house him and is just leaving him alone.
I don't want to anger the gods but I think my dirty quilt might actually have dried over night so I will be able to take the wretched thing to a launderette and get it washed.  Many years ago I had an american style huge top loader which was a dream it would take anyt…

Monday morning

Good morning all, well the quilt is still hanging in the rain I was hoping to get it dry yesterday but no such luck.  Fortunately it doesn't matter how long it takes to dry it is just a nuisance.  I will get there in the end even if it takes weeks.  We are very autumnal and it is quite chilly down to 15 degrees this morning but at last the garden is getting what it needs so I for one am not complaining.

Anne, thanks for the information Shiona is going to Sicily at the end of the month so she is just trying to get enough Italian to get by.  Which I think is admirable most wouldn't bother hence my eagerness to be of some assistance.  I have been motoring through the software as fast as it will let me and at the same time I am ploughing on with my dog cognition course and have completed the first month in a week.  There seems to be nothing to stop me completing the course in as fast a time as I can manage. What is interesting is that there are people taking the course form all t…

Sunday morning

Good morning all we were forecast a deluge last night and yes it did rain but nowhere near enough for the garden but plenty to re-soak my quilt.  Some people are just never happy with the weather I am beginning to sound like a farmer for whom the weather is alway wrong.
In my efforts to assist Shiona with learning Italian for her holiday I found a blog with lots of fish dishes and I know that she is very fond of lobster.  I know two words for lobster and my dictionary just says both are lobster.  So I contacted the girl who writes the blog to ask if there is any difference between the two words and yes there is Astice is common lobster and Aragosta is a spiny lobster. The blogger who speaks perfect english sent me the biological latin names of both so I could google them. The software Shiona is using is called duolingo and is a free app so I down loaded it and started working my way through. I have to be very careful as I am very fluent in the local dialect but though I understand pr…

Saturday morning

Good morning all another bright but cool start to the day.  I have been cracking on with my dog course and have completed a months worth in a week.  There are dates when the work is to be completed but the computer just lets you carry on once each test is done so I have just motored on. At the end of the day I am not interested in a piece of paper but I am interested in understanding the content. So far it has been mostly the basis of what cognition actually means in a variety of contexts and now I think we are going to move on to dogs in particular.  Anyway I am enjoying the course immensely.  I can see me having to sign up for a few more of these courses just for fun and after all no learning is ever wasted.
I find watching the news really depressing the world seems to be full of angry idiots and politicians who cannot answer questions. I am sick of the sight of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and we are nowhere near the election yet.  Much better to read about dogs!!!!! at least …

Friday morning

Good morning all, I had a lovely day with Shiona we went for a nice walk just as the tide came in so we didn't go far as all of the dogs were in the water.  I have some floating dummies but I am a rubbish thrower.  Anyway they all had a blast and we drove home with that lovely smell of wet dog pervading the vehicle.  We dumped the four dogs off at home and proceeded to Aldi where I bought a lovely bed cover for Denzil's bed and Shiona replaced three door mats then it was home for a pasta fest.  Shiona is learning Italian in anticipation of a holiday to Sicily so we shopped in Italian just to make sure she knew what all the fruit and vegetables were called.   We then ran through the meats you know pork beef lamb chicken and also various fishes.  She is doing very well and will easily make herself understood and I know that they will be so chuffed that she has taken the time and made the effort to learn some of their language.  Many is the time I have struggled in Italian with …

Thursday morning

Good morning all looks like we are in for another nice day all sun and no heat, just up my street. I have been cracking on with my dog course and one of the interesting things it the blog which is set up for students and so far I have only found one other person from the UK the rest are mostly from the USA or scattered far and wide across the world. James helped me to do one of the test games with Dan yesterday which was really weird as I had to say the word Yellow every 5 second and see if he yawned. Not only did he yawn but he threw himself at me and licked my face.  The second half required me to yawn loudly which sent him into a tail spin he was all over me.  I have be told that dogs yawn if distressed so I guess he thought I was in need of his support.  Anyway the data has been fed in and I will be fascinated to see what the results are once analysed.  This was a test of empathy and from his reactions I think he is very empathetic.  We started the test when he was snoozing and i…