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Showing posts from February, 2017

Tuesday morning

Good morning all, the weather here is pretty chilly and wet.  It does nothing by way of cheering me up.  I was watching the right stuff yesterday where they had a lady talking about insomnia.  She came up with some interesting ideas.  She suggested that if you have been lying in bed for 20 minutes you should get up, do something then go back and try again. The other idea which is helpful is to listen to a story.  I tried this last night and downloaded an audiobook from the library. I put my iPad under my pillow and was out cold in minutes.  When I came to at 5 to take my antibiotics it was still droning away merrily.  I was surprised that the battery had lasted the night. I did very little yesterday and just pottered about.  By the time I had showered and made myself respectable I was knackered.  I changed my bed and got the sheets into the washing machine.  Oh it is just gorgeous to get into a freshly made bed.  Dan decided to keep me company but he takes up most of the bed so he di…

Monday morning

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Good morning all sorry about my absence yesterday but I slept for most of the day.  This morning I am feeling marginally better and so I am up and about but I have no intentions of doing much.  It is horrid outside with wind and rain so definitely an indoor day.  To add to my woes I managed to slice my thumb with the serrated bread knife which just goes to show I was not firing on all cylinders as I am quite skilled with knives.  Thinking about it, there is hardly a day goes by without dicing an onion at some point.  At least my knives are sharp so it is a nice clean cut and should heal quickly.  Jobs are piling up but nothing that cannot wait until I am feeling up to it.
Ok enough about my miseries, I managed to take a photo of the next door new kitchen but only from the roof - it is enormous!!!  Looking into the light well it looks like the black hole of calcutta  so I hope they are intending some windows as well.

They have had a new water pipe laid in an effort to increase the wat…

Saturday morning

Hardly morning but I thought I would scribble a few words.  Feeling pretty rubbish, but behaving myself.  Bed, paracetamol for temperature, lots of fluids, and lots of sleep.  No appetite, no energy.  Hopefully I should feel a bit better by Monday.  In the meantime hunker down and wait for nature and medication to take effect.  Even the dogs realise I am not right and are giving me a wide berth no pushing to go out which is just as well as it is raining. Sorry to be a wet blanket but these things happen.

Friday morning

sorry poleaxed return of the dreaded sinuses awaiting prescription from doctor.  Rang to ask for prescription then got email with appointment within the hour.  Dragged myself from bed drove gingerly to surgery only to discover the appointment was made by the computer system and didn't really exist.  Back home back to bed.  What a fantastic system!!!!!!😈
Now have 2 weeks of antibioyics hope this is enough to sift it this time. If it's the right drug?

Thursday morning

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Good morning all if you are looking for strom Doris don't worry she is here with me.  The rain is coming down in torrents and the wind is blowing a gale so I guess it is Doris.  However, there are gaps in the cover and blasts of brilliant sunshine are making their way through.  After being an idiot and leaving the kitchen in a mess yesterday you would have thought I would learn a lesson - too thick.  Yes the kitchen is a mess this morning but it will only take me minutes to rectify so not a disaster just a disappointment and with nobody to blame but myself I have to assume responsibility. Why don't I spend 5 minutes after supper clearing up instead of starting every day with that job? I have cast about looking for an excuse but it boils down to laziness.  By the time supper is done I have run out of enthusiasm.  
On my shopping trip yesterday I bought a box of chicken drumsticks which have been roasted off and today they are going into the soup for lunch.  I thought I would m…

Wednesday morning

Good morning all another rotten nights sleep last night and I have no idea why!!!  There is nothing praying on my mind that I know of so I don't understand.  I am just so grateful that I don't have to go to work I can potter about like a wet rag and it really doesnt matter.  The kitchen looks like nothing on earth I don't think there is a square inch to put something down.  Entirely my own fault I left the mess.  I had a busy day cooking yesterday and so I have a drainer full of clean washing up and a sink full of dirty.  If I was expecting the fairies to clear up they have failed miserably so I guess it is down to me to make a bit of order.  
The sun is up but not so as you would notice it is terribly dull outside with very low dark cloud so I think we may be in for some rain.  I really need to get to the shops today and gather a few ingredients for lunch and supper - at the moment we are a dairy free zone no cheese, no cream, no milk which is unusual.  So no macaroni ch…

Tuesday Morning

Good morning all and yes it is a good morning I slept like the dead last night what a relief!!!  I was walking around in a daze yesterday and managed to get myself really confused.  I knew that my nail appointment was after Denny had been but I forgot she had changed the day.  So after she left I set off for the nail place only to find out my appointment is for today.  What an idiot!!!!  I suppose I can be forgiven as I had had a completely sleepless night and was definitely not firing on all cylinders. Anyway the house is clean and the laundry is up to date I have had a veal tongue soaking in brine overnight and now it is in the pressure cooker - once cooked I am intending to serve it with a tuna sauce and some courgettes.  The other meal will be pasta bolognese nice and easy and quick so probably lunch.  I think this is the last of my frozen bolognese so time to make another batch.  
I was watching James Martin making soup de poisson and I have all the ingredients bar some fish. Th…

Monday Morning

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Good morning all it is still dark outside and I have had a completely sleepless night which has been a real bore. Of course now I feel really sleepy and would love to go back to bed and sleep for a week but Denny is due in half an hour so no chance then I am having my nails done at 1pm but after that I think I will go and crash out.
Tubby had his first experience of the muzzle yesterday and it was not a success.  He went completely demented trying to take it off and bulldozing his head into the ground in an effort to smash it to bits. The result is this, one skinned snout.

I can see that we are going to have to do quite a bit of work with him if he is ever to wear the muzzle and of course we have shot ourselves in the foot as his first experience was a bad one.  Anyway I put some extremely expensive hand cream on his nose and then he sat happily on my bed with the muzzle on for a few minutes with lavish praise.  I think this is the way to go just a few minutes at a time until he gets…

Sunday morning

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Good morning all we have sun shine and 8 degrees this morning - lovely.  Yesterdays pizza was a great success the crust was exactly right kind of like an edible paper plate but lovely and crispy so the putting of the dough in fridge overnight seems to be a good trick but you do have to be ahead of the curve and get it done the day before.  I am usually hopeless at things like that I never remember to put beans to soak so I have largely given up buying them in dried form and go for tins instead.  Of course sod's law was operational and Denzil came home with two huge pizza's from Tesco so the boys had one for supper and I think James and I will have the other one for lunch it will be a nice way to make a comparison.  
My car has suffered another donk while it was parked and of course no one leaves a note with their details, anyway a friend of James is going to give it the once over but I must say with a landrover you expect the odd imperfections but it is annoying all the same.…

Saturday morning

Good morning all well another day of thick cloud here but not too cold.  Yesterdays muzzle experience was a failure as the muzzle needs a different collar to fix to.  Because he is such an odd shape namely that his neck is fatter than his head he has a half check collar but it doesn't have any buckle to undo it,  so there is no way to fix the muzzle.  James is going to buy him a separate collar specific to the muzzle then we will be able to fix it properly.
On the lunch menu today is pizza, the dough has been in the fridge overnight and is now out getting to room temperature before I roll it out very thin.  In the meantime I need to make a tomato sauce and organise the toppings.  Personally mine will have just mozzarella oregano anchovies and olive oil. The boys can have whatever they like on theirs but not pineapple and ham or minced meat none of which belong on a pizza any more than olives belong on a bakewell tart.  
The kitchen which is being constructed next door is huge so …

Friday morning

Good morning all well. The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men. Gang aft agley, and the cod is still in the freezer and yesterdays food plans got completely rewritten.  Anyway, nothing was wasted so I don't really mind. That said, I had a great success with Len and Margaret and they are now set up to do online shopping if either one of them is laid up.  Margaret fed me a puff pastry slice with cheese and onions but unfortunately I breathed a crumb and boy you should have seen and heard the coughing fit I had.  Don't you just hate it when that happens, it was entirely my fault not paying attention to what I was eating.  You would have thought that at my age I would have worked out that you can't breath and swallow at the same time!!!!
I had shot our bright and early and did the shopping so we are now fully stocked yesterdays supper will be todays lunch and the cod will stay in the freezer thank goodness I intended to cook it from frozen so it hasn't defrosted.
Denz…

Thursday morning

Good morning all a bit more of a sensible time this morning.  I am not stressing over my crazy sleeping patterns if I sleep for ages all well and good and if I am up early so be it.  I think it all evens out in the end.  My assumption is that if I am sleeping then I need it.  This has to be one of the very best things about being retired no need to get up early unless you want to.  Perhaps we are meant to sleep more in the winter because it is dark and cold.  I wonder what would happen if we got rid of clocks?  Chaos in the workplace or is it called flexitime.  I still remember getting up late missing the bus and having to run from the olympia where our nurses home was to Hammersmith hospital which is quite some distance.  However, I was 18 and fit it would kill me today. I have just googled it and it is close to 3 miles.  It felt more like 20!!!!  I vividly remember the ward sister on my first ward who would send you to do a job which would take at least an hour if you dared to ask …

Wednesday morning

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Good morning all well I've done it again slept in till really late.  I was awake in the night for a while having had a nightmare where I was in transit but had lost all my paperwork passport the lot so I woke in a state of meltdown.  In the end I put my TV on with some garbage burbling away in the background I soon fell asleep again.  I had a really lazy day yesterday and did all but nothing except have a nice face time chat with my sister.  Lunch was soup and a sandwich so no real cooking there and supper was a chinese takeaway.  
When I opened my bedroom door this morning I was greeted by blinding sunlight and some added warmth from the sun.  Doesn't a bit of sunshine make a difference to the way you feel? as I am typing my window cleaner is here so we are getting sunshine indoors as well.  The patio doors look lovely but it will be no more that 5 minutes before Dan comes and puts his nose on the window and leaves a nice print.  There is only one problem with sunshine it sh…

Tuesday morning

Good morning all, a very late start today I woke at 4 but it was just too cold to even think of getting up so I went back to sleep - this is a real novelty, but I for one am not complaining.  Tubby went to the vet yesterday and was given a clean bill of health and has just returned from his first walk for a week.  When Tubby went to the vet yesterday morning Dan sat and howled the walls down I have never heard him really howl but he did yesterday, I think he thought Tubby was being taken for a walk without him.  Fortunately the builders where making so much noise even the howling was inaudible.
Yesterdays roast chicken was, as expected, delicious and I have a portion of chicken meat left, the carcass having been put through the pressure cooker to make soup. So lunch today will be soup and chicken sandwiches. Then for supper I have a "piece of cod which passeth all understanding" in the words of Keith Floyd.  I think it will be nice just plain pan fried and served with some …

Monday morning

Good morning all I was hoping for a lie in this morning following a late night but of course I forgot the builders next door - they are hammering and banging for all they are worth.  Anyway the sun is shining and it is marginally warmer this morning.  After yesterdays lunch of bratwurst and sauerkraut I had a little splurge and made an irish stew with just the basics lamb onion potato water and parsley which James and I had for supper together with a panna cotta for dessert.  I made the panna cotta as an experiment and flavoured it with some lemon zest.  Today I would like to repeat the process with less sugar and this time with vanilla then I thought I would place a frozen strawberry in each ramekin before pouring over the hot mixture.  It could be nice or it may be panna cotta with sludge!!!only time will tell.  Then it is roast chicken in the halogen oven.  I have never cooked a chicken in any other way since I have discovered the halogen method which has never let me down.  For e…

Sunday Morning

Good morning all another bitterly cold day but no snow.  Thank goodness for hot coffee and central heating which I have just turned up.  Annabeth I am glad I made your day yesterday I didn't realise the dish was a swiss favourite.  It is certainly a family favourite in this house.  I suppose we are very lucky now with the internet we can get recipes from all around the world. Today we are going German with bratwurst and sauerkraut. Then tomorrow a standard british roast chicken with all the trimmings. No doubt an italian broth with pasta to follow.  I ended up making the macaroni cheese with an assortment of cheeses which were languishing in the fridge emmental, parmesan, cheddar and taleggio which is what I had available.  I also bastardised the fried onions with some lardons of bacon which were lurking in the back of the fridge.  I am inclined to use recipes as guides only and make do with what I have to hand.  I suppose when you have been cooking for as long as I have you get …

Saturday Morning

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Good morning all well either someone has gone mad with the icing sugar or we have had a sprinkling of snow.  It is bitterly cold but the snow was a surprise this morning it had been forecast further north and we were to have rain.  Well I know which one I would prefer rain is just miserable and in this cold would just turn to ice.  
Tubby is doing the wounded soldier bit and sadly couldn't manage to eat dog biscuits but he did manage some salmon  and believe it or not some beetroot and the remains of a egg I had used to pane some meat.  Once he had cleared us out of goodies then he managed to top up with a few dog biscuits.  I think we are being taking for a ride here.  However he is being very good about his bandaged foot and Dan too seem to recognise that he no longer needs to attend to the wound and is leaving it well alone.  This is the salmon which was cured with salt sugar beetroot and vodka.  It was rather nice if I say so myself I had made a mustard and dill sauce to go w…

Friday morning

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Good morning all - I am shattered after a busy week so I have slept in.  It is so cold bed seems like the best place to be.  Yesterdays lunch went well but trying to get my friend set up with Sainsbury's was a nightmare as she had partially registered and so every time we tried to finish it it kept telling us the email address was already registered so choose another which of course they didn't have.  Had I had my wits about me I would have started with a new email address.  Anyway we managed to get an order in and set up for delivery.

Poor Tubby who has had a bad foot for a while went to the vet and was given an anesthetic to remove the broken nail and now has his foot heavily bandaged.  He didn't come home until late in the evening and was very dopey and confused.  So far he has not tried to remove the bandage and so he has been spared the the megaphone collar.  I think bed rest meant his bed but no he chose the kingsize bed.  Being the bulldozer he is, he often has bum…

Thursday morning

Good morning all another really cold one the winter seems to be dragging on I really would like the spring to hurry up and arrive.  I don't know how the scandinavians survive with 6 months of darkness I think I might go crazy.  On the other hand I do like the seasons and would hate to live somewhere where it is fine weather all the time that is boring. So perhaps England is the perfect place the weather is seldom boring as it changes too rapidly.
Yesterday's meal was a great success and was demolished with gusto lets hope todays goes just as well.  I bought some salmon which is in the fridge with salt sugar and dill making itself into gravadlax.  Today I must make the mustard and dill sauce to go with it before the dill dies in the fridge.  Once made it will last for quite a while in the fridge and will be ready when we decide to have the salmon.  I think it will take at least 48 hours to cure and be ready to eat.  So tomorrow we could have a very scandinavian meal of rye bre…

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all it is cold again here and according to the weather forecast it is going to get colder.  I think we are in for some easterly weather which comes straight from Siberia!!!  The osso bucco is made and is slowly simmering on the stove top so all I have to do is make some mash and greens to go with it.  I do need to get out and do some shopping today and though Shiona is coming she is always up for shopping.  
I had a huge success with the books Elaine took a big pile of gardening books and Denny had the rest the remaining books were a complete set of books I bought years ago through time life and they have gone to a newlywed who is setting up home.  I am thrilled as throwing books away feels like a crime. Anyway I now a bit more space and I still have my major collection of recipe books.  If I could only keep two books it would have to be the complete Delia Smith and the Silver Spoon.  Between them you can cook everything.  
Today sees the last day of antibiotics and I mu…

Tuesday Morning

Good morning all, although I am up I wish I wasn't I had to force myself out of bed this morning.  As you will have noticed I am sleeping much better and later these days.  My blackout curtain keeps my room pitch dark so I think that helps and as we are all adults in the house I don't need to get up unless it is necessary.
My week was stretching out in front of me as a blank canvas but suddenly it is filled with activity. Today Denny is due and also Elaine is going to come and look at the books I am getting rid of so she can have any she wants and she has offered to take the rest to the charity shop if they will take them. I am just happy that they may find a good home rather than end up in the recycle bin or worst case scenario landfill.  I find getting rid of books really difficult but if I am not using them then there is no point in having them. I have sufficient stuff to clean and dust without hanging on to stuff I don't use.
Today I will have to get on with some cook…

Monday morning

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Good morning all I couldn't believe it when my alarm clock went off at 6am I was still sound asleep and very unwilling to get out of my nice warm bed.  However, I have a breakfast date with Sandie so there was no choice but to get up.  I think I slept particularly well as I was rather pleased with myself not only did I do all the ironing but [make sure you are sitting down] I cleaned the oven!!!! I don't know what spurred me into action but I felt very virtuous once it was done.  I am relatively lucky as my oven comes to bits quite easily and so cleaning it is not the trauma it used to be but it is still one of those jobs that always gets pushed to the bottom of the queue.

As we had had an adequate breakfast lunch was off the menu and we went straight for supper.  It was just James and I so he went and bought a portion of chips and we had ham egg and chips which was just what we both fancied.  It is so much handier to buy the chips from the kebab shop which is 200 yard away th…

Sunday morning

Good morning all.  I don't know about you but I for one am fed up with winter and it woes.  I am hankering to feel the sun on my back and being able to leave windows and doors open.  Bad weather is at least more interesting than the constant grey miserable cold.  Everyone you meet seems to have some bug or another it becomes very depressing.  I guess it is the price we pay for living on this island. Roll on Spring and some sun and warmth.  I have a mahonia opposite my kitchen window which is bursting into bloom and does give me a bit of hope.  I dislike mahonia as a plant but it does its stuff just when you are losing the will to live.  
Poor Tubby has torn a nail and is now a tripod so he has been left at home while Dan goes out with James you should see the look on his face.  He has no idea why he has been left behind - if only he realised it was for his own good, not malice.  He does know that sometimes Dan has to go to the hair dresser or out to work so it is not the first ti…

Saturday morning

Good morning all a bit on the late side this morning I was up at 5 then fell asleep again and have only just surfaced.  I slept well as my chest is so much better and I have stopped the incessant coughing.

I am having an interesting brunch left over stew and dumplings.  I was thrilled with the stew the combination of meats made for a really lovely flavour and the dumplings were light and fluffy.  There seemed no point in freezing one portion so I have decided to eat it instead.  Dan is sitting next to me drooling and hoping for a portion.  He could well be in luck as it is quite a big amount so I will be happy to share.
Elaine has done her pheasant with a nice red wine sauce and put pictures on facebook - it is nice when things go according to plan.  It would have been a shame if she had hated it and you never know until you try.  We were brought up as children not being allowed to say you didnt like something until you had tried it - looking at it was not acceptable.  I was at boardi…

Friday Morning

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Sunset on the last shoot of the season
Good morning all this lovely photo was taken by one of the ladies who picks up at the shoot but also takes photos and this is fabulous.  Every pheasant you see from now on is one that got away.
Shiona is going risk coming over today so I hope I don't give her my chest infection I hope if I keep my distance we should be alright.  The stew I made yesterday is to die for as it is made with veal cheeks and wagyu beef shin so today I am going to make some dumplings for it and serve it with curly kale.  Just what the doctor ordered!!!!
Once I had finished the stew James banished me to my bed and kept me fed and watered.  It will be at least three days before the antibiotics really kick in and I should start to feel a bit more human.  This morning the boys have had to move all the cars so that a concrete mixer lorry can get in and pump in the concrete foundations for next doors new kitchen.  I must say I am pleased the demolition has finished as it …

Thursday morning

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Elaine having a pheasant preparation lesson with Benji her poodle pup looking on in awe

Dan being introduced to a car full of spaniel bitches - not impressed we tried to get a photo full face but as the shutter closed so the wind blew and this is the result a face only a mother could love!!!!

Good morning all, today I have good news and bad news let's start with the good.  My banisters have all been painted and the hall really looks lovely and it cost me less than I expected so I am even more delighted.  The lad that did the painting is Gary's son I hope his dad is proud of him he has done a lovely job.  Elaine and one of her daughters came round to have a lesson in pheasant preparation. She gets full marks for being brave and tackling a job that is not the most pleasant but at least her family will have a meal straight from the field to the plate with no messing about or packaging.  She took a bit of stick when she put the photos on her facebook page so I jumped to her defen…

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all.  Well I am in a state of guilt as now I feel I really should have made the effort to go with Dan but thank goodness he didn't know or he would never forgive me.  However I really wasn't up to much and if I manage to get him organised with some gundog training maybe he can do a bit more next season.  He would make a wonderful dog for a lone hunter as he does his 30 yard search with such regularity and would never flush a bird that was out of the guns reach.
We have been relegated to various rooms you don't realise how much you use the hall until it is out of bounds.  I had to move a bookcase to allow the painter to do the skirting board.  The books are all reference works which of course are now redundant and just sit there collecting dust even the charity shops don't want them so I might have to bite the bullet and just take them to the tip.  This feels like a crime  but I really dont know what to do with them and they are just collecting dust.  I ha…