Posts

Showing posts from January, 2017

Tuesday morning

Good morning all.  Well my hair is cut really short - I feel sort of naked.  I had intended a day at the shoot with Dan but have bottled out after a terrible night.  I don't think I am fit to be driving up the motorway.  Safer for everyone if I stay put.  The smell of the paint has done me no good but I am glad it is being done.  It already looks much better with just the undercoat.  Our stairs are so narrow we all use the banisters so I think each of us has put a hand in the wet paint.  The dogs are confused as they have been relegated to the dining room.  Mind you they are less likely to get in the paint than us humans.

In an effort to calm my wobbling tummy I have just had a slice of toast.  I don't understand why but we always used to give nauseated patients dry toast and soda water.  Possibly because it was better on the return journey!

Once the painter is here I am going to try and get some sleep.  Not that I stand much chance next door have had the kitchen knocked down…

Monday morning

Image
Good morning all, yesterday was miserable and wet it poured hard most of the evening but has fortunately stopped now. Oh dear split infinitive I think for the grammar people.  Should read has stopped  now fortunately!!!  I have to use the famous star trek phrase to check "to boldly go" and all that.  As it is first thing on a Monday morning and I am only just awake what can you expect.  I was watching a video on the net last night of a senator in the USA having a real go at Trump I only hope plenty more follow his lead.  The man is a megalomaniac narcissist and if he trusts Putin he is also very naive.  I hope Mrs. May has the sense to stitch him up like a kipper.  Well thats my political stance made clear.  Now on to more interesting things.  The painter is here already and making a start on the banisters and I am going to be delighted to have them done as they have been a mess for some time.  
I managed to have a long chat with my sister via facetime which of course is mu…

Sunday morning

Good morning all - I survived yesterday!!!!  As luck would have it the forecast rain never happened and though it was pretty cold it was sunny most of the time.  Dan was a complete sweetheart despite his lack of training he behaved with good grace and retrieved a partridge and two pheasants one of which was a runner.  This confused him, he didn't want to kill the bird but he knew he mustn't let it go either so he held it down with a paw until I could relieve him of it.  It was very much a team effort but he did not disgrace me.  While we were having our bacon rolls I heard one of the guns say "what the f****ng hell is that", so I replied he is an Italian spinone I think you will find a "f****ng hell", is a bit smaller. I lost track of the number of drives we did I only know that by the end I was completely out of gas and had to concentrate hard on the way home as the warm car wanted to send me to sleep. Dan who had run a million miles had a big drink, a hu…

Saturday morning

Good morning all.  First let me tell you about the pork it was delicious a bit darker than normal pork but not as dark a wild boar.  The flavour is very good not too strong and the fat melts away very quickly.  I would recommend it if you fancy a bit of a treat as it is pricey for normal use.  Next the parcel finally arrived at my sisters and apparently it charges a phone good and fast.  Hopefully it might be useful if she gets marooned again.  The weather gods certainly have it in for Italy at the moment.  Talking of the weather gods we are forecast rain for today and  though I don't think it is raining at the moment the windows are wet.  Do I care? well yes, Dan and I are in for a day of picking up which should prove interesting.  One, I am not 100% and two Dan has had no training to speak of.  Am I mad?  Yes, most definitely. Apparently they are very short of pickers up so I guess even I will do.  It is not a commercial shoot but a day when the beaters who have worked all wint…

Friday Morning

Image
Good morning all it is cold, cold, cold this morning we didn't get above freezing yesterday.  Now that my car is back I feel less trapped however I am waiting for a delivery this morning.  In my bid to eat less meat but better quality I have placed an order with the alternative meat company which is due to arrive this morning.  The meat is not cheap but also not off the wall expensive and they have some of the more interesting cuts.  So on today's menu we will be having mangalitsa pig shoulder steaks.  I had never heard of these pigs but apparently their fat contains omega 3.  They are the craziest looking pigs ever as they look like sheep.  Anyway, I will let you know what I think of the meat.


The delivery is due before 12 midday so it should be in time to cook for lunch.  Leeks and potatoes to accompany I think so I will get that lot prepared in anticipation.
I need to make a few appointments this morning as I have rather let myself go. My hair looks worse than Dans and my n…

Thursday Morning

Good morning all, I was quite convinced it was Friday today it is a good job I write this blog or I think I would loose complete touch with the days of the week.  
GOOD NEWS I have my car back at last you just don't know what you've got till you lose it.  I am thrilled it came back about 7pm last night.  I can't wait to go out in it and I really don't care where, I am going stir crazy locked in the house.  I think as my coffee supplies are very low I might go to Faversham and restock and treat myself to a nice breakfast.
I managed to get some facetime with my sister now that she has got both power and a signal back and after much messing about I think her parcel might get to her today.  DHL contacted me say the address was incorrect and that phone number was also incorrect however when I spoke to my sister she had already had a call from them asking if the roads were clear so they could deliver.  I remain hopeful.   I think she will be well pleased to be able to get o…

Wednesday morning

Image
Good morning all.  It is chilly but not freezing which is a bit more to my liking.  I think I am going quietly stir crazy as I have been stuck indoors for ages. What with me being off and the car in dock it has been a fortnight since I left the house and went further than the garage or shed.
One bit of good news the guy is going to come and start painting my banisters on Monday.  Currently there are more chips than paint so I will be very happy to get that done.  Interestingly Dennie thought we had decorated the dining room but actually it was just a bunch of new light bulbs that brightened the place up.  It is amazing the difference it makes.  Apparently they are called daylight bulbs and they give a bright white light rather than a soft cream light.  I must admit I like bright light and now I cant wait until I have something similar in the kitchen which is like a dark cave by comparison.
News from Italy is good in-as-much as my sister now has power and internet connection so she is…

Tuesday morning

Good morning all at last I feel moderately like a human being.  I slept well and my nose is clear and not running like a tap. It has been tedious being one degree under and trying to keep on you feet.  
Yesterday I decided to make a prawn risotto and  to that end I put lots of large prawns on the gridle pan and gave them a good cooking.  Then came the job of peeling them and I have never come across such terrible prawns they wouldnt let go of their jackets for love nor money so it took forever to peel them.  The head and shells were then boiled down to make a good prawn stock. That done it was only the rice to organise at which point I discovered I had none.  So change of plan the bolognese sauce was pressed into service and the prawns will be on today's menu with a nice green salad.  I eventually found the risotto rice which had been put out in the garage with the extra stores.
Did I get round to clearing the cupboards in the garage? no I didn't by the time I had had the fig…

Monday morning

Good morning all, early start today.  Another perishing cold morning and still pitch black outside.  I am not going to hang around long as it is freezing.  The radio thing arrived yesterday and James took it straight to Smiths and got it posted.  Sadly the postage cost almost twice as much as the item, however if it gets there I will be happy.  I set to and made a pot of bolognese which I will divide up and freeze today.  I also made a Spanish egg dish for supper with tons of paprika and red peppers, very nice with lots of bread.

Next door the dogs are barking as usual, however the owner seem to be oblivious to the row.  If it were my dogs I would be mortified however mine aren't left outside in all weathers with nothing but a wooden box for a home.

I seem to get through most of the day feeling not too bad but come early evening I go down hill rapidly.  This sinusitis is taking forever to clear I suppose that is due to my aging immune system.  Everything takes longer these days.

Sunday morning

Good morning all, another rough night but fell sound asleep at 5am and have only just surfaced. Elaine rang and is dropping in for coffee with her son and the dog.  The sun is shining but it is still bitterly cold.

My sister managed to get her phone charged at the local bar and rang so I am sending her a windup radio which will also charge her phone.  I tried to get amazon to send it directly to her but they wouldn't so it is coming here and I will DHL it to her from our local WHSmiths.  I don't suppose they will get through at the moment but the winter is not over yet. It seems a bit like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted but who know what is yet to come.  It might work like my snow shovel and keep the snow at bay. Anyway, it has about a dozen functions which could come in handy if you have no power.  It is due to arrive today and I will go straight up to Smiths and get it in the post.

Denzil is back at work today so it is only James and I for lunch so I th…

Saturday morning

Good morning all well the sun is shining it is freezing cold but I must be getting better as not only did I do the hoovering but also the ironing and some cooking yesterday.  This means there is little for me to do today as lunch is already made and just needs heating through.  I have been avoiding going out as the cold air on my sinuses is quite painful so where possible I have avoided it.

Small rant coming:- I had a rude letter from the council saying that I was in arrears with my council tax which seemed odd as it is paid by direct debit from the joint account.  However as the account name no longer has Mike it has caused a problem.  I phone the council paid the council tax and set up a new direct debit and today I have a letter from them confirming the direct debit in, yes you've guessed it, Mike's name.  Bureaucratic cock up yet again, something about paying peanuts you get monkeys, comes to mind.  Every part of the letter is addressed to me except the direct debit.  End…

Friday morning

Good morning all, well nothing much happen yesterday my sinuses are gradually getting better but it is a slow old haul.  The weather is clear but very cold however my sister is having a horrid time with 5 feet of snow and no electricity since Monday.  Her mobile had just enough power left to say she was ok after the aftershocks and avalanche once the signal was restored.  I tend to forget that there are still some pretty rural areas  where things take a bit longer to fix.

The car is due back on Tuesday by which time I hope to be back up and running.  Cooking is a bit of a chore as I feel very nauseated much of the time.  Today I have some stewing venison which shouldn't take me long to prepare.  Then it can sit in the oven till done and I have already prepared some cabbage and carrots to go with it.  I may do some mash as well.

I thought I might make a pepper tomato and egg dish for supper but we will have to wait and see how I get on today.

Keep yourselves warm and cosy in the in…

Thursday morning

Good morning all, feeling a bit better this morning I think my sinuses are finally clearing.  Yesterday I was very dizzy and nauseous so threw myself into bed to try and sleep it off.  I had made the soup for lunch so that was nice and easy. I ended up having another bowl for supper. I had thrown the crust of some Parmesan into it so it had a very deep savoury taste.

I still have no news on the car or the cost of painting the banisters but frankly I can't be bothered to chase people.  I'm sure they will be quick enough when they are ready.  I will keep this short as I am getting very cold and need to stay warm so I am back off to my bed until the others wake up.

Have a good day all.......

Wednesday morning

Image
Look into my eyes, you are feeling sleepy, very sleepy.  I think someone would like to share my bed?
Yesterday was a bit miserable as I was still feeling pretty grotty with these sinuses and finally threw the towel in at lunch time with a blinding headache.  I had been awake since 2am and so I fell asleep fairly quickly.  Much better night last night slept until 4am when next doors dogs started barking.  I tried to go back to sleep but no dice.  
The stock from the gammon is not at all salty so I have had some split peas soaking in it overnight and now it is on to simmer.  The gammon joint did us well for lunch and then again with egg and chips for supper and we still have enough for sandwiches to go with the soup.  So 9 meals from the one piece of meat can't be bad.
It is well below zero this morning so a really hard frost good job nobody has to go to work this morning as Denzil has a week off or he would be outside scraping.  The land rover has a button which switches on all th…

Tuesday morning

Good morning all late again sorry but I had the night from hell up and down the whole night just unable to settle and wide awake.  I rang the garage yesterday to try and find out what is happening to my car but to no avail.  Nobody to answer the phone just an answering machine so I left two messages still nothing.  I will try again today and see if I can find a human being!!! The guy who is going to repaint my staircase is coming this afternoon to give me a price.  I must say it is not a job I would relish all those spindles yuck! Anyway I hope he gives me a price I can live with:) 
Yesterdays kidney dish in the end turned into a mixture of the possibilities sort of slightly deviled with a sauce of marsala and mustard sound bad but actually it was rather nice and got demolished pretty smartly.  I also suddenly had a yen for welsh cakes something I don't think I have had since I lost my gran who was always making them. They are very simple to make and delicious straight off the gr…

Monday morning

Good morning all. Like Joy I am up late this morning because firstly I couldn't get to sleep to start with then I woke at 4am as usual but I put myself back to bed and managed to doze off again.  I hate having my nights chopped up but I guess this is something to do with my great age!!!  
Yesterdays lunch was anything but traditional I did the mackerel with gremolata and served them with a massive salad of mixed everything I could find.  All helped down with some hot crusty ciabatta rolls straight from the oven.  Not the usual but very nice anyway and for supper we kept the fish theme and had some coquille st. Jacques that Denzil had acquired in the post christmas sell off at his work.
Tubby was under the weather and didn't eat at all yesterday but has made rather a pig of himself lately so perhaps he was having a fasting day.  He didn't seem to be ill in any noticeable way so hopefully he was just off colour or maybe fed up as he didn't get a good walk.
I rang Sandy …

Sunday morning

Good morning all it is wet and miserable here today so the house is draped in laundry.  By the way did I tell you I love my new hoover? and yes I used it yesterday it's a miracle. 
After my day of cussed frustration over the car business I had a quiet day yesterday as I waited for the delivery of the courtesy car.  Which as it happens is not much use to me as I can't put the dogs in it.  I have a landrover for a reason it is not a chelsea tractor.  Elaine popped round to do some counter signatures and we laughed as we remembered when I did the counter signatures for her family of fives passports which I think we had to do three times before we got them right. And you know how pedantic the passport office is!!!! My sister had a hell of a job just renewing hers as she is not in this country and doesn't have the benefit of the post office to check the forms.
On today's menu is the mackerel with gremolata which we were going to have yesterday until nobody fancied it.  I t…

Saturday morning

Good morning all.  Are you superstitious?  I am not and would think nothing of walking under a ladder provided it was in a safe place.  However, yesterday was Friday the 13th and what a day I had. The first pain of the day was to pay the solicitors for the job they are doing which of course includes the stupid visits from the estate agents. If you have the stamina more on that later.  Denzil had had a bit of a rotten shift with the snow and two people didn't get their shopping as he couldnt get the lorry up the hill to their houses but he got home safely and was looking forward to his day off.  He likes to take the dogs for a long walk first thing and that is just what he did.  As he approached the car he realised it had been vandalised the little door to the petrol cap had been ripped completely off and was lying in the road and the actual petrol cap had been ruined along with one of the rear passenger door handles.  They were obviously after my tank of diesel but failed.  So ne…

Friday Morning

Disappointed, yes it snowed but just enough to be a nuisance and not enough to be fun.  It rained heavily for most of the day but eventually turned to snow around 5pm just as Denzil was setting off for his shift.  However, it soon stopped giving us just a coating.  Not enough for winter fun of snowballs and snowmen sledges etc but enough to make driving difficult.  There's just no pleasing some people!!!! Tubby and Dan were fascinated as neither of them have ever seen snow before. Tubby came racing in through the dog flap and discovered he had completely lost traction did a 360 crashing into his stainless steel bowl sending it flying as he slithered across the kitchen on his bum. Dan was more cautious and tested the snow out for its culinary value, bland and boring not worth eating!!!
We are just a fraction above freezing this morning but much of the snow has already fallen from the trees so it is not that lovely winter wonderland you hope to see.  Anyway they have forecast more …

Thursday Morning

Good morning all. It is cold but none of the white stuff to be seen YET. Yesterday was largely centred around Dans haircut, he was beginning to look horribly like Donald Trump so to avoid any confusion he now looks gorgeous albeit trimmed back to his underwear.  When he arrived home he was famished and demolished a huge bowl of meat [turkey from soup making] followed by a couple of litres of water.  We were having our supper which he thought he should be included in but he kept falling asleep with his chin resting on the table.  A day at the groomers completely poleaxes him you would have thought he had spent the whole day chasing rabbits across the country.  Tubby was over the moon to have him back I'm sure he thought he had been taken to the vet never to return.  The greetings were frenetic.  So lovely to see the joy on their faces when they were reunited.  As I sit here scribbling they are both tucked up in bed sound asleep with the boys.
Do you believe your body sometimes tel…

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all - yesterday was one of highs and lows.  I got stuck into giving jumbo a coat of polish which owing to the rough carving can only be done with toothbrush.  So on went a layer of parade ground gloss then a good buffing up with a shoe cleaning brush and finally the metal polish for the presentation plate.  He looked lovely so back he went to his normal place and as I set him down so his tusk fell out. "Rude word, followed by extremely rude word", then I ordered some milliput  and we will try again. I refuse to be defeated by a lump of ebony!!!!  So that was a pretty low moment - I needed cheering up so off I went and got the hand held hoover which has been on charge over night so it should be ready for action today and I am going to have a go at getting rid of some of the cobwebs that are gathering around my ceilings.  As Denny came yesterday there is little to do regarding hoovering the floors as she has done all of that.  However I'm sure to find some sk…

Tuesday morning

Image
Good morning all, January is marching on and I have the services of the wonderful Denny again.  Actually we have kept the house pretty tidy in her absence.  My small purge on the shiny stuff has made it look much better.  Jumbo has his tooth back but for how long I'm not sure now he needs a coat of polish.  It is the little jobs that really seem to eat into the time.


I am still mulling over the hoover idea as they are on sale, I am trying to persuade myself that if I had  a light easy hoover I might use it!!!  But I'm not sure if I am lying to myself.  I have the best intentions but they often come to nothing. Buying oven cleaner doesn't clean the oven!!! which reminds me my ovens could do with a clean fortunately they are beautifully designed and so are easy to clean.  I usually put all the racks through the dishwasher which just softens the dirt and makes it easier to get clean and I have oven liners to catch the drips and the glass doors come apart easily so I can get t…

Monday morning

Good morning all the tide is up and the boys and dogs are out so I guess I will be getting some soaking wet pups home soon.  Tubby who only has underwear dries easily but Dan with his big jacket takes forever.  It always amazes me that they don't seem to be put off by the cold swimming is swimming and great fun no matter if it is snowing!!!
I had a blitz over to Maidstone yesterday and rushed in and out of Hobbycraft.  Lingering and looking ends up costing me a packet so I dashed in found the clay and out again before I found some exciting new project.  Sadly I had to buy a kilo of clay and what I actually need is a salt spoons worth so what do I do with the rest?  The temptation is to make some clay model but I am trying to get rid of stuff not add to it.
Thanks for your advice re the flooring it is going to be a difficult decision as each type has its good points and bad.  Nothing is ever perfect.  The hand held Dyson sounds like it might make my cleaning a bit easier but my ma…

Sunday Morning

Good morning all.  Well the bullet has been bitten and god bless Gary.  We chatted through what would be practical and what would be foolish.  Being the very sensible man that he is he realised that my idea was more to do with my sudden freedom and less to do with the practicalities of life.  He has done lots of work in this road so he is familiar with the problems of victorian houses which are just not built for todays life.  They didn't have cars, washing machines, tumble dryers and freezers so it is a case of trying to accommodate these item in some sort of sensible way.  The washing machine and tumble dryer will stay in the shed but the remaining rubbish will go into the skip.  We are going to go halves on a large skip as he has some rubbish to get rid of also. The garage is going to be made more user friendly and the vast majority of the stuff will be put in the skip.  Then one wall will have all the freezers and cupboards to hold my oversized and rarely used kitchen equipme…

Saturday morning

Good morning all it is perishing here this morning if fact I have just turned the heating up as the house feels cold.  Yesterday was a bit of a bummer as I decided to feel sorry for myself.  I have absolutely no reason to feel that way but it just came upon me.  It is a strange phenomenon but I am fine in the midst of a crisis, strong and practical but some time later I disintegrate.  I think what set me off was reading the card that was sent to me following the death of the man in road outside the house.  His widow sent me a card addressed to the good samaritan as she had no idea who I was and it touched a nerve.  That will teach me to sort out the filing cabinet I knew there was a reason I left it.  Anyway, that aside, I have filtered out guarantees for things I threw away years ago and great fat instruction manuals for things like the fridge and washing machine both of which I feel capable of using without a book to explain the minutia.  Most of the manuals only have one page in e…

Friday morning

Good morning all.  Yesterday was very cold and frosty and I nipped out to do a bit off shopping and decided to go to the big new Asda just for a change.  I wandered around but there was nothing of any real interest just the same old stuff.  I did see that they had a new delivery of fair trade flowers so I bought a lovely bunch of assorted rose buds for my poor Japanese friend who lost one of her dogs at new year.  When she saw me at the door she broke down in floods of tears so a big hug was in order and we sat and chatted for quite a while until she was on a more even keel and her husband had returned from walking the other dog.   I have been trying to analyse the pain that is involved in loosing a dog it seems to be much greater than loosing a person which sounds dreadful.  I have come to the conclusion, right or wrong, that we are able to love dogs unconditionally because that is how they love us.  There are no misunderstandings brought about by language problems there are no squa…

Thursday Morning

Good morning all.  I might have had a bit of an off day yesterday but I didn't waste the day completely.  I have taken the bull by the horns and booked a flight to Pescara at the beginning of April.  No problem there but I will arrive at 9.30pm and pick up a hire car then drive the hours drive up into the mountains.  I must say that is the bit that scares me.  I have tried to mitigate the drive by organising an automatic vehicle.  My land rover is automatic so at least I will not be fighting with a gear stick in the wrong hand as well as driving on the wrong side of unknown roads in the dark. My hope is that there shouldn't be too much traffic and provided I take it slowly I should be OK.  A bit of bottle required!!!! As I will be staying with my sister I don't need to take much stuff just some clothes  and a few personal bits.  I will not be taking shampoo, toothpaste etc which causes hassle in airports. The flight is a mere 2.5 hours so a bus ride really though I know i…

Wednesday morning

Image
Good morning all, it is cold and dull this morning the sort of day when you could sit curled up in front of the fire or wrapped in your duvet even the dogs can't be bothered to get up.  I am sleeping later these days but I do wake up feeling pretty wrecked and it takes the coffee a while to reinvigorate me.  The cleaning bug seems to have left me, friends and acquaintances  have all keeled over with coughs and colds.  I'm sure that the stress and strain of christmas and new year take their toll on our immune systems.  I must say that I am not ill but I am also not the full ticket either .

The boys and I had a discussion yesterday about the conversion of the garage to a utility room and they are both against the whole idea.  This has left me in a bit of a quandary am I just being selfish and should I just abandon the whole idea.  After all I have spent my entire life managing with the status quo.  Perhaps I should just start by clearing out under the stairs which is stuffed fu…

Tuesday morning

Good morning all it is a good job the computer knows what day of the week it is as I have completely lost track what with the holidays and their respective bank holidays because of the weekends it has left me in a complete muddle.  Mind you it doesn't take much to muddle me these days.
Yesterday after my friends left I got stuck into the washing up which once tidied up only took few minutes.  Then the phone rang and it was my 91year old uncle who rang to wish me a happy new year.  We don't talk very often so he had lots to talk about and we ended up discussing everything from grand dads war medals, which have disappeared, to prestressed concrete and the efficiency of radiators.  He was a civil engineer and responsible for much of Peterborough and plenty of big projects abroad.  My father too was a civil engineer so you would be surprised at how much I know about pre and post stressed concrete and bolt corrosion. Actually not that much be enough not to look like an idiot.  I m…

Monday morning

Good morning all, I think the sofa bed is a success as the occupants are still happily sleeping in it.  Actually as we made the bed up last night we realised just how huge it is when in bed form and a good job I went for king size everything.  
Breakfast interlude: toast, boiled duck eggs and coffee.
Ok, all fed and watered and on their way to avoid the traffic.  Plenty of food left so no problems for lunch I still have the kate and sidney [sorry steak and kidney] can't resist a bit of cockney rhyming slang from time to time. I have lentils left which I think will go in the freezer for some other time as they will be useful as an added vegetable.
It is freezing cold and the cars are covered in frost but Denzil is just taking the dogs for a run and retrieving our landrover from miles down the road.  Parking here is a total nightmare victorian houses are nice with large rooms and high ceilings  but they have no provision for cars.  Yes I do have a garage but it is so small that tho…

2017

Rev the engine and release the handbrake here we go into 2017.  This year I feel I am at the top of the hill rather than looking at the struggle up the hill.  It is chilly here but not freezing .  Yesterday I got a summons from Sandy and apparently there was no choice she had made lunch and I was to attend and when a friend calls, thats it, you have to comply.  Poor soul was looking decidedly unwell but she had slaved over a hot stove so I had two helpings of soup followed by two helpings of cold meat, mash and pickles.  Then it was off to do some shopping.  I know you shouldn't shop on an empty stomach because you end up buying more than you should well the reverse applies when your stomach is full. Everything I looked at I didn't fancy, fortunately I had a list or I would have come home with just one lemon.  Once I got home with the goods and got them put away I was overcome with tiredness, next doors dog had woken me at 4am and by 4pm I was ruined. The previous days long d…