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Showing posts from 2017

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all sorry about yesterday I had a bit of a down day and all I wanted to do was sleep so I did.  Some times it is nice to do just what you want rather than what you know you should.  The new cup for the thermomix has arrived so hopefully all is now well.  The postman also brought me a letter with the appointment for my cataract surgery.  Really well organised I specifically stated I was out of the country from the 17th September so when do think they have booked me in 22nd September brilliant.  Obviously, the extra layer of paper pushers has had a big effect!!!!!  Anyway, I will ring them today and try and sort this out. Still, I suppose it could have been worse it could have been the day before we are due to leave which would have left me with a dilemma.  
Today we are very overcast with thick cloud overhead and I believe there is rain to come for some of us.  I am sitting here watching a family of black birds attacking a ripe fig.  I try to get to them before either the…

Monday morning

Good morning all.  The sun is trying to shine this morning but there is a quite a bit of light cloud in the sky so it is a bit hazy.  I got all the laundry done yesterday so today is a bit of ironing and folding and putting away.  I had some pastry in the fridge which needed to be used up so I made a tart with the left overs of the bacon and some spuds onions red pepper and a piece of mouse trap cheese.  all the items were on the blink so I cleared up a lot of bits in one go and it made a very nice quiche which got quickly devoured.  Today I have a bucket of chicken stock so a mushroom risotto is in order.  I also have some dill which I am going to put under oil and freeze and hope it maintains its flavour.  The other herbs that I have done this with have been quite successful especially the chives which keep their flavour well.  It is so nice and easy to get a cube out of the freezer and throw it on top of some hot potatoes and no one is any the wiser.  Talking of chives I bought a …

Sunday morning

Good morning all.  Yesterday was one of those days when I really should have stayed in bed.  I felt tired after a restless night but motored on anyway.  I had tons of carrots so I decided to make a carrot ginger and TURMERIC soup.  So far not a problem until I decided to blitz it in the thermomix. Those of you who have one know there is a clear plastic cup that forms part of the lid well once I got the thing up to speeds sufficient to break free of earth's orbit part of the cup fell off into the mix.  At this point, the whole machine tried to leave the planet and started bouncing about making the most horrendous noise but better still sending out huge plumes of boiling magma.  I tried in vain to stop the machine only succeeding when I switched it off at the plug.  By this time the entire kitchen floor, ceiling, walls and windows were covered in soup and I had not escaped the disaster I too was covered from head to foot.  I can hear you laughing already, let me remind you the soup…

Saturday morning

Good morning all, another week gone but lots achieved.  It is very dull and we have had rain overnight so it's pretty chilly.  Yesterday was gorgeous but I spent most of it catching up with the shopping.  James set to and made the bacon cheese and potato pie which was scrumptious.  He is quite good in the kitchen and quiet enjoys cooking from time to time.  I am always delighted to have help with the endlessness of meal production. Today we are having a roast chicken nice and easy and several meals for us and one for the dogs.  It is a bit odd to cook at the moment as it should be salad weather but is actually stew and dumplings temperatures.  I don't know about global warming I think we are heading for an ice age.  When you need a duvet in August something is out of kilter.

Just a short one today lots to do so I am eager to get going.  Have a great weekend.

Friday morning

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Good morning all - well today we have brilliant sunshine in a nearly cloudless sky.    I believe that this type of cloud is called mares tails by sailors and it shows strong winds but very high in the sky.



Apparently, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle has nothing to do with British weather - well you could have fooled me.  If there is one thing that is uncertain it is the UK weather.  Yesterday was supposed to be fine but it was another wet one.  Today looks good but who knows how long it will last.  
There was a bit of a muddle over the car tyres and the guy had to come back in the afternoon as he had ordered the wrong size tyres anyway all done now so I feel we have done everything possible to make sure we have an event free journey across Europe.  I spent some time converting a dress into a skirt.   It is a long time since I have done any sewing and I decided it would be quicker to hand stitch than to get out the machine.  When I think back I used to do a lot of sewing and was…

Thursday morning

Good morning all.  Yesterday was November here cold and wet and when I say wet I mean it poured the whole day. Great for the garden but not much fun for us humans who were confined to barracks. 
The infinity scarf has gone to Elaine, for whom it was made, and she was duly delighted and I am now part way through the next one.  I don't think I will have a problem getting rid of the odd scarf and if push comes to shove there is always the charity shop.  Now that I have the pattern embedded in my brain it makes knitting so much easier and as the pattern cost me quite a lot with all the videos I feel obligated to make more than one scarf.  The yarn is peanuts as it is the left overs from the wool shop.
I was in a bit of a muddle yesterday as I thought the tyres were being done but it is actually today yesterday was a trip to the dentist for James who has a filling which keeps falling out.  Anyway, that is done so now it is tyres today and I must do some shopping as I have a list a mil…

Wednesday morning

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Good morning all the first scarf is done and I have started another one this time in one colour as I now know how much yarn it takes.  It weighs 68 grams so a 100-gram ball should be enough.  This is always a problem I find with American patterns.  Anyway, I have tried it on and it does the job going twice around the neck and leaving enough to pull up over your head if needed.
Yesterday morning it was due to rain and there was a weather warning out for London some 30 miles away, so I made plans for a wet day.  The next door neighbours [without dogs] were preparing for a birthday party stringing up bunting all around the garden. It was their eldest sons 8th birthday and I was so sad as I was sure it would be a washout.  However, the rain gods were smiling and we stayed dry and the kids had a whale of a time shrieking and yelling and careering around the garden.  Some times luck is on your side.  I had held off doing the laundry now it is a priority today so it will probably pour with …

Tuesday Morning

Good morning all.  Every cloud has a silver lining well mine is that I have motored through the infinity scarf and finished it.  Keeping my hands busy was my therapy so I knitted like crazy and the scarf is now done including the mind blowing baste off.  Initially, it looked impossible but once you get the hang of it it is not too bad.  The pattern calls for worsted weight which is what we would call aran weight wool.  I have used double knitting which is a bit lighter and frankly quite heavy enough for a scarf.  It does mean that the finished article is a bit smaller but not by much so I am happy with the results.  There is ample to go round my neck twice and to use one twist as a head cover so it should fit the bill for my friend.  Now that I have got the pattern sorted I am going to start another one as I have the wool and the time.  I am sure I will find a home for the next one as my friends are very good at accepting my knitting as gifts.  This first one is in two colours as I w…

Monday morning

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Good morning all.  Well as predicted I feel as if I have been hit by a steamroller.  No actual damage just muscular and bruising so no treatment required except a bit of TLC and light duties.  I have been motoring on with the infinity scarf and only have the final border and mega difficult bind off.  Then blocking and weaving in the tails and I am done.  I hope to get the knitting done today, fortunately, my hands didn't get bashed but my toes did.  
Anyway enough of my woes, my next door neighbour [the barking dogs one] brought me round a raspberry pie which she had made with my fruit with hangs over the fence and I have asked them to help themselves rather than see them go to waste.  As luck would have it Denzil came home with some clotted cream so just perfect.
The sun is shining and it looks like we might have a second dry day in which case one more should see the timber dry enough to burn.  I have been looking for three dry days in a row but as yet we have not managed it.  N…

Sunday morning

Sorry for dropping off the wires just in case you thought I had also dropped off my perch.  I'm fine but have taken a tumble down my stairs - the first time in 40 years. Anyway, I have banged and bruised bits of me that I didn't know existed so I am taking it easy.  Hot baths paracetamol and bed rest.  It will pass nothing is permanently damaged except my pride.  And guess what today is a lovely sunny day and yesterday was wet and stormy - got that round the wrong way!!!!!

Friday Morning

Good morning all this morning we are being treated to a nice dose of sunshine with a gentle breeze blowing.  The garden is looking nice and tidy now it needs an injection of flowering plants to fill the gaps and some decent ground cover/mulch in a few places.  Once the bulbs start arriving I can get going and fill up the empty spaces.  It is nice to feel so positive about the garden after years of just trying to forget it.  I had thought of getting a Japanese type lantern for the middle of the new zen bit but as I already had the large flower pot I thought I might just as well use what I have.  There is an assortment of pots around the garden all of which could be filled with bulbs so now I need to get some potting compost so I can fill them.  And of course, there is still the greenhouse to be dealt with.
Shiona hadn't seen the garden since the grand transformation and she was duly impressed so much so that she has asked for the men's number so that she can contact them as sh…

Thursday morning

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Good morning all



Perhaps not exactly Zen but much better than head high weeds.  The poor blokes did all the work in the pouring rain yesterday afternoon.  I took these photos before the sun was fully up so they are not the best however you get the general idea.  As you can see with all the rain it is peppered with leaves already but you can't have everything.  The tree you see in the foreground is a damson which has planted itself and it is loaded with fruit so we have left it in place but I think its days are numbered.
I am hugely relieved that the job is done and at a minimal cost the piece of hard standing in the centre is where the hen house stood and it seemed a bit pointless to dig it up.  I think it will look a bit better once I have had the pressure washer over it.  It also shows up the fact that the fence could use a coat of paint as could the sheds.  It seems to me that as much as you try to catch up it only shows up jobs still to do.  If we have a few dry days I will ha…

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all and it is a good morning the men are coming this afternoon to finish off my garden and move the 2 tons of slate.  I must admit that I had a bit of the colly wobbles yesterday when I hadn't heard from them and had visions of me moving the slate myself with a teaspoon. So a big sigh of relief.  I have just looked at the weather forecast and guess what it is going to rain!!!!
I had a lovely day with Sandy and her new puppy who is still so tiny but not phased by my enormous dogs!!!  They played together well but it was difficult to curb their enthusiasm as one small tap from one of Dan's paws was enough to flatten the pup. Dan has no comprehension that he is not chiwawa and when he plays with Tubby he usually comes off worst despite his size and strength.

The knitting is underway and I am very glad I had a dry run of the pattern first as it is more complex than I thought.  Anyway, it will keep me occupied for some time!!!!

I am going to keep this short as I have …

Tuesday Morning

Good morning all it is a perfect day at the moment the sun is shining and it is a balmy 14.8 degrees with not a breath of wind or a cloud to see so here we go into August pinch punch and all that.

I am now the proud owner of 2 metric tons of purple slate ready to be barrowed through to the end of the garden.  All I need now is the big strong guys to complete the job.  I was concerned about the bloke who had to deliver the stuff as he was on his own and the pallets the bags are stood on were in a state of collapse and he nearly bust a gut just trying to move them.  Obviously, his employer has never heard of health and safety legislation but I guess he will soon if he continues to exploit his employees.
Sometimes things go really well.  As you know I have duet blinds and the one in my room has had a problem with the double layer as a couple of pieces have come adrift.  Well to cut a long story short the company "Sanderson", who made them have offered to replace all my blinds i…

Monday morning

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Sorry about yesterday it completely slipped my mind.  I think I have a touch of Teflon syndrome you know nothing ever sticks!!!! I had had a bad night and then slept in and my whole day was upside down.  I got started on the new knitting and decided to have a dry run of the pattern to see if I could actually do it.  Well, I can, but boy does it take some concentration.  The channel islands cast on is horribly difficult until you get into the swing of it and the bind off is equally complex.  The initial embossed leaf pattern is not too bad as it works on a 10 stitch group but then it moves to a 12 stitch diamond pattern.  Thank heaven for ring stitch markers without them I would be lost.  I'm sure this might as well be Chinese if you don't knit but those of you who do will understand.  It looks easy enough just knit and purl!!!!!


Why do I set myself such challenges?  I suppose it is a way of keeping what is left of my brain alive!!!!!  However, that is me, I must be one of the…

Saturday morning

Good morning all, I had great plans yesterday to sort out the greenhouse but sadly got distracted and never got round to the job.  I have however found a pattern for an infinity scarf and a cowl that appeals to me.  It will take some knitting as it is a textured pattern.  Both are knitted on a circular needle with 240 stitches for the scarf and a very complex cast on  I have never seen before. It is called the Channel Islands cast on and has a picot edge.  I think it may take me a week to just get started. It will be good to do something more taxing and will definitely keep me out of mischief. Fortunately, the pattern comes with videos to help. I then went to our local wool shop where they have a big bin of left over balls of yarn going cheap.  So I bought a selection of colours to play with.
Today I will have to be strict with myself as I must finish the current work though I am desperate to start the new project I know if I don't finish the current project I never will.

The bo…

Friday Morning

Good morning all, interesting weather this morning, sun shine and rain simultaneously together and at the same time.  I spent lots of time yesterday ordering plants and aggregate and decking board and organising the guys to come back and do the work once I have all the ingredients.  I have decided to stick with the purple slate which is in the rest of the garden so it keeps the same sort of theme it also means that anyone buying the house after us can easily dispose of a couple of tons of slate from the old chicken run if they want to make it into veg beds or something else.  My only concern is that I have done the measuring and it is not my strong point so I hope I have got it right.  
I now have a new socket in my bedroom so I can plug things in without risking my life so that is pleasing. Denzil came home with a packet of all butter puff pastry so I made a spinach tart for supper. I call it a tart as if I were to say it was a quiche the boys would baulk at that but a tart is OK. A…

Thursday Morning

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Good morning all some people binge on food others on plants!!!!









If my garden doesn't look spectacular come the spring it will not be for lack of trying.  I am going to have my work cut out planting this lot but it will be worth it if they do well.  Now I have to look at getting some gravel for the Zen garden.

Wednesday morning

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Good morning all the sun is shining here at the moment and surprise surprise after a dull dismal start I got all my washing dry on the line.  I spent some time hammering in the pins to hold the fake grass in position and planted up a shrub which had been living in a pot.  With the garden looking so good I am invigorated and actually want to do some gardening.  Denny was so impressed with the work that was done and agreed that it was worth the money.
Today being Wednesday the bin men will empty my two wheely bins full of garden refuse so I can start filling them again.  I have a hair appointment at lunch time and then this evening I have an electrician coming to fix the socket in my room which has been busted for ages and is actually quite dangerous.
The steaks I got out yesterday have been pushed forward to today's lunch so I will get them out of the fridge and let them come to room temperature before frightening them with the griddle pan.  My array of herbs in the freezer is com…

Tuesday morning

Good morning all I got up this morning and looked at the garden and was pleased yes it is dull and wet but who cares it's tidy.  James went and got me some pins to pin down the fake grass and three rolls of weed suppressant membrane.  Now all that is required is 20 meters of decking board and a few tons of gravel.  Once the chicken run area is covered I will get on and plant millions of bulbs in all the other bare areas and probably a few trays of ground cover plants.  Then hopefully it will just need a bit of maintenance. Yesterday saw the first ripe fig!!!
The boys have got the dash cam up and running which is great as I can play back the video on my iPad and keep any bits of interest. Don't worry I will not be posting 1000 miles of my journey to Montefino.  You can also take stills so if we spot something interesting that might be useful.  
Today the wonderful Denny is due and I know she will be so impressed with the garden as she has been itching to get her hands on it.  …

Monday morning

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Good morning all, the guys came and finished off the garden yesterday and I am delighted yes it cost but boy did I get my monies worth.  I have just walked the garden with the camera so you will see it is pretty dull but just look at the improvement in the garden.  
Remains of the fake grass put to good use 
 Colossal weed patch cleared completely
 Bare earth and the box hedges clipped
 Surrounds of the lawn now weed free
 Pond area cleared of weeds 




Chicken run gone and ready to become a Zen garden
I didn't realise how much this was praying on my mind but I am so relieved I can't tell you.  Next job is to order one million bulbs and get them planted then if we are looking to sell in the spring it will look fabulous.
The guys have agreed to come back and lay the Zen garden if I order the stuff so I reckon it is 14 meters by 3 meters now I need to find out how deep the gravel should be.  I think I will leave the hard standing where he hen house used to be and put something deco…

Sunday Morning

Good morning all.  Yesterday was a rotten day for me as I was not feeling up to scratch after a bad night.  I saw the gardeners in and got them underway then bottled out and went back to bed and slept like the dead so I must have needed it.  As predicted it rained in the afternoon but it didn't stop the guys working and I am gob smacked at how much they have done so far.  It is amazing what young fit men can do when they get the bit between their teeth.  The chicken run is gone as are the 6foot high weeds.  You can walk unimpeded from one end of the garden to the other. Once they have finished I will do a walk through video and stick it on Facebook as it is too large for this site.  I am thrilled and they still have another days work to do.  
Next doors dog's barking woke me at 3 am this morning but I did manage to go back to sleep so at least I don't feel like a dish cloth this morning. I made a large fricassee of vegetables yesterday and the remains of it will be vegeta…

Saturday Morning

Good morning all well it has rained all night and the garden is soaking wet and we are forecast more rain this afternoon.  Great! today is the day for the garden guys but I don't think they will be able to spray weed killer as it will just get washed off by the rain.  Tomorrow it looks as if we may be rain free so hopefully, they can spray tomorrow.  Rain is very uncooperative it never comes when you want it then soaks you when you are hoping for a dry spell.  Oh well, we will just have to muddle through.
I slept really badly last night probably concerned about the gardening today.  However, on the plus side, my sister has received her shawl and it only took just about a week to reach her.  I have completed another two, one of which needs the fringe adding.  I think I have sufficient yarn to make one more, then I resign as chief shawl knitter.
I took some chicken pieces out of the freezer for today but as yet I haven't decided what to do with them.  There are so many possibil…

Friday morning

Good morning all, well the sun is shining after yesterdays rain so it is still lovely and cool but bright.  Perfect!!! If only this weather will hold for the weekend the gardening guys should be OK.
Dan's paw has settled down and he has forgotten about it which is just as well as we have now removed the cone of shame which was terrifying Tubby who kept running and hiding from Dan who, from his perspective, had turned into an alien.
By way of a treat for Denzil's birthday, we had a takeaway curry from our Nepalese shop which was lovely.  For lunch, I had just made a spinach and bacon tart so we were very ready for something more substantial.
I had a rude awakening this morning with my dogs barking the walls down as the window cleaner had turned up.  He also does electrical stuff so I have organised him to come and do my plug in my bedroom which has been broken for ages.  It is one of those jobs you keep meaning to do but never quite get round to doing.  
Right so sorry this ha…

Thursday Morning

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Good morning all. It has been raining overnight and it looks like it has more to come. according to the weather forecast, the whole weekend is rain soaked which will be no use for weed killing.
Expletive deleted!!!! 

Poor old Dan had been licking his paw and when I checked it looked like a bee sting but after two days it was getting worse not better so it was time for the vet.  As it turned out he was the fourth dog that day who was in for grass seeds in the paw.  The vet was pleased we had acted so quickly and he managed to dig the seed out without anaesthetic as Dan was so well behaved he didn't even growl he just whimpered.  He is now on a course of antibiotics and has to wear the "cone of shame" to keep him from interfering with his paw.  It is hilarious to watch him as he is not used to his head being 10 times larger and he keeps bumping into everything.
I had a bit of fun in the kitchen and have put herbs under oil and into the freezer using an egg box. so far I hav…

Wednesday Morning

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Good morning all surprisingly we have just had a shower of rain.  Not enough to do any good but just enough to wet everything.


This is yesterday's bodged paella which actually worked OK.  I did as I said and let the juices of the frozen fish drain into the rice cooking pot and then added saffron, peppers and chorizo and cooked the rice in that. Once it was done I reintroduced the shellfish and already cooked chicken and just allowed them to warm through.  The flavours were close to the real thing even if the cooking method was not.  Dan was hovering asking to be included so I offered him some on a plate his face was a picture - yuck you know I don't do fish - he was not even prepared to risk picking out the chicken.
My visit to the optician was as expected and my diagnosis was correct I have a fast growing cataract in my left eye just as I did in my right.  Those of you who have been reading for years will know that when I had the right eye done it was absolutely no problem an…

Tuesday Morning

Good morning all, well I am insured up to the hilt.  I spent the day on the phone ensuring that I am covered for driving across the continent so the car is insured, a breakdown is covered and my health is covered in case of disaster.  The channel tunnel is booked; James lost then found his passport, big sigh of relief.  I have an appointment with the optician this afternoon and a hair appointment for next week.  Sunday lunch cooked and afterwards I took the gardeners on a guided tour of what needs doing in the garden and they are coming this weekend to do the job - two full days of two blokes = £500 so just what I expected.  I will supervise and make sure I get my money's worth.  The theory is to strim down the weeds then spray with weedkiller.  The chicken run will be dismantled then hopefully I can get the ground covered with bark chippings or some other weed suppressant substance.  If these guys turn out to be good I will then see if I can book them on a monthly basis to keep …

Monday morning

Good morning all the sun is shining and the weather looks fair I believe that it is going to heat up through the week which is ok so long as it happens slowly.  
I spent yesterday afternoon watching the tennis and motor racing so nice to see some happy people for a change.  I am glad Federer won but sad that his opponent was under par.  I had settled down for a 5 set slogging match, not a walk over.  It was so nice to see how beautifully everyone was dressed and how smoothly everything ran they sure know how to do things in style.  When I was a youngster I used to go every year with my mum who was a keen tennis fan and my dad played for a club so he got tickets.  In those days it was definitely a posh frock do.
Today I am going to spend some time on the phone arranging the trip to Italy.  I also need to book a hair appointment and one at the opticians as my old eye is very fuzzy so I think the cataract has gone in that one now as well.  The eye with the new lens is brilliant so hopef…

Sunday Morning

Good morning all well here we are at the end of another weekend.  We had a small splash of rain yesterday but only after I had hung out my laundry.  Anyway, after it got an extra rinse it dried nicely on the line.  Today is a balmy 20 degrees with a gentle breeze and light cloud cover so a perfect day in my book.
I had a long chat with my friend who travels a lot on the continent with regard to insurance and breakdown cover.  The thorniest issue is health cover as although we have the reciprocal arrangement with Europe you are only entitled to what their citizens get which is not 100% cover like the NHS. So at my age, it would be sensible to get some extra cover in case of disaster.  It is bad enough to be ill or injured without incurring a huge bill as well.  Her elderly mother had a stroke while on holiday in France so she has had occasion to test the system.  Then you have to work out whether it is better to have a single trip cover or an annual cover as sometimes the annual cover…

Saturday morning

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I am up at a bit more sensible time this morning I woke a 3.30 but that is just too early and still dark so managed to go back to sleep.  Now I am happily drinking coffee and feeling ready to face the day. I had some fun in the kitchen yesterday but sadly the sink is full of washing up - mea culpa - so no one to blame. 
I had some apples which were looking a bit sad so I decided to fill them with some mincemeat and put a lattice top on them.   With a healthy dose of custard, they made a nice dessert quite a novelty in this house.
 I must admit that the puff pastry is not home made and having taken a pack out of the freezer I then had quite a lot left over so I proceeded to make a spinach and cheese tart.


Actually, don't tell the boys but there is a whole load of spring greens hidden in the tart.  I chopped them finely and distributed them in the cooked spinach and no one was any the wiser.  I like using the long tart tin as the slicing is easier.  Even with the tart there were st…

Friday morning

So sorry to be so late but I had a crazy night and spent most of it awake until I fell asleep at about 7 am and then slept until 11.30.  I then got into a conversation with my sister over the internet so I am only now getting to my second cup of coffee.  It is lunch time but I think it is breakfast time.  Well at least I am not sleep deprived I am just sleeping at unusual times but as I don't have any reason to get up early it isn't a problem.
I watched some fantastic stuff on Youtube where sushi chefs were making the most incredible things out of vegetables - so I hard boiled some eggs then halved them and put the yolks together with some crab pate and mayonnaise and refilled the eggs then sat them on finely sliced cucumber and sprinkled the tops with some lumpfish caviar - it looked spectacular I should have taken a photo but they got demolished before I had a chance.   
Today I have to have a trip to the post office as I have finished yet another shawl which is going to go…