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Showing posts from May, 2017

Monday

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Good morning all.  It  rained during the night and I think I heard a clap of thunder around 4am but I might have dreamt it, who knows.  The sun is shining now but everything is wet outside so I guess it was quite a downpour.  
Well I am all packed with the exception of my sponge bag.  My handbag has been stripped of all unnecessary stuff which just seems to accumulate over time.  Phone and iPad fully charged and on airplane mode and car filled with fuel so I think I am ready.  We will be leaving here at 12.30 to go to Faversham and pick Sandy up then it is off to Stansted.   We are leaving in plenty of time as we would rather wait at the airport than in a traffic jam and fingers crossed there will be no problems on the Dartford crossing.    
They say dogs can smell adrenalin and Dan certainly knows something is up he kept putting his head in my lap yesterday and looking at me with his baleful eyes.  

The Italians have a saying about Spinone they say if you look at a dog and human loo…

Sunday morning

Good morning all.  Yesterday's storm passed over and the day brightened up enough to get my washing dry on the line in fact it is still there as I forgot to get it in last night.  Today we have just light high cloud but the sun is shining through it.  
In my trawl through the wardrobe I found a nice pair of white trousers which still fit me so they have been washed and will make a good addition to my suitcase.  I am packing with four colours in mind white, navy, black and red which I hope will allow for plenty of mix and match.  Today is packing day and sorting out my handbag to make sure I can get through security without any lethal weapons. At the end of the day you only need passport, ticket and money.  To that I will add my iPad and phone both fully charged and on airplane mode.  Everything else will be in the hold so hopefully not a problem.
I have some pork loin steaks out for lunch which I intend to serve with a nice tomato and mozzarella salad.  I must say cooking is the …

Saturday morning

Good morning all well it looks like the glorious weather is coming to an end we have big black clouds overhead.  It is still very warm but no lovely sunshine.
The dogs coughing seems to have subsided so perhaps it was just too much salt water from swimming or maybe the meal of grass they treated themselves to.  Anyway I am glad whatever it was has passed.
Sandy and I had our nails done yesterday which was nice to be pampered for an hour or so.  My colour is called "aristocratic lady" and is a deep red verging on purple so it should go with all my navy blue clothes.  It would look ghastly with yellow or orange which are colours I never wear so it should be fine.  We shared the lunch of greek salad and hardboiled eggs which was ideal as a light lunch for a hot day.  For supper we had a chinese and I had my usual of some hot and sour soup and two spring rolls again relatively light but very tasty.  
Today Denzil is back at work and I have a final load of washing to do then I c…

Friday Morning

Good morning all a bit better night last night it was not so hot and there was a bit of breeze.  Another bright sunny day with cloudless skies and already 19 degrees.  As it turned out yesterdays baked potato with greek salad was spot on just what we fancied.  I have a bucket of mushroom soup some of which will be going in the freezer.
Sandy and I have an appointment at 12 to have our nails done so she is arriving about 11 not quite sure what to do for lunch I have enough ingredients to make another greek salad so that might be on the menu along with some hard boiled eggs.  Nice and light for a hot day.  
It was so warm last evening that Dan took to sleeping on the cold tiled kitchen floor or out on the patio.  It must be difficult to get cool when you have a big wooly coat on.  Tubby on the other hand loves to sunbathe.  Both of them have a bit of a cough so I hope they are not in for a dose of kennel cough.  It is not serious, though very highly infectious, it is the equivalent of …

Thursday morning

Another gloriously sunny morning not a cloud in the sky or a breath of wind.  What more can anyone ask for?  I had a bit of a restless night first I was too hot then too cold and so on all night I really struggled to get the temperature right so I could sleep comfortably.  
Yesterday saw the curry back out of the freezer which we had for lunch and for supper I did the kohlrabi with broccoli in a cheese sauce which made a very nice supper.  It is not a vegetable I would rush out to buy but I feel a bit more confident that I can deal with it when it turns up in my veg box.
Today I have a big pile of mushrooms which I am going to make into soup which I hope is the best solution to a large quantity.  Lunch today will be baked potatoes and a greek salad and with any luck soup for supper. However, first I need to make some sense of the kitchen which is a bit of a tip.  My fault, I left the pans in soak so serve me right no one to blame but myself.  Sometimes of an evening I just don't …

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all, sorry about yesterday but it completely slipped my mind to write my blog.  I had had the night from hell waking on the hour every hour and what with the terrible news about Manchester my mind was elsewhere.  What can one say except I am filled with sadness for those who have lost loved ones.  Extremists of all varieties are abhorrent to me.  
Today the sun is shining brightly and the sky is clear and at last it is warming up so summer might actually be here.  It is lovely to fling the windows open and let the fresh air in without freezing to death.  My vegetable box had another kohlrabi in it so I am going to try the suggested cheese sauce and I might add a head of broccoli to bulk it out a bit.  While I was at Macknades I bought a £1 bag of tomatoes which I have made into tomato sauce for pasta and put into the freezer.  
The dogs had another swimming day so they both came home wet but tired and were happy to snooze in the sun and dry off.  It is really good exerci…

Monday morning

Good morning all here we go into the last week of May and at last the weather has turned to a bit brighter and warmer.  Today we have quite a bit of cloud cover but it is clear and bright so hopefully the clouds will pass as the sun burns them off.  
The dogs had a lovely swimming session yesterday and came home with a voracious appetite for their breakfast which makes a change.  Tubbies short coat dries almost instantly but Dan stays wet for hours however lying in the sun dried him off fairly quickly.  
In the end the curry went into the freezer and the pork shoulder was had for lunch.  I had a kohlrabi to deal with so I cut it into batons along with some carrots which made an acceptable mixture.  It is not a vegetable I am very familiar with so I am never quite sure how to deal with it but this worked well.
Denzil had brought home a sticky toffee pudding which I had a slice of - wow what a sugar rush I think there was enough sugar in it to send me into a diabetic coma.  I suppose a…

Sunday morning

Good morning all.  Another sunny start to what looks like a lovely day the cloud is light and very high so hopefully no rain.  Yesterdays machine load of washing dried beautifully on the line and I have another load ready to hang out this morning.  
I made a chicken curry yesterday which will be on the lunch menu for today. Like most stews it is better for having had 24 hours to sit and let the flavours mix.  Denzil has a weeks holiday and as the tide is up he is taking the dogs for a swim which they absolutely adore.  Dan in particular loves to swim and with his webbed paws he move like a motor boat in the water leaving poor Tubby in his wake.  What I fail to understand is why they seem oblivious to the coldness of the water.  
I got a bit ahead of myself yesterday and took a rolled shoulder pork joint out of the freezer so I will cook it and if necessary we can eat it cold.  Alternatively the curry could go into the freezer and we can eat it hot for lunch I will see what the genera…

Saturday Morning

Good morning all.  Well here we are at yet another weekend and this morning the sun is shining and there is not a cloud in the sky and with any luck we might have a dry day.  So far it has rained every day this week which has done the garden a power of good.  The weeds are really flourishing which is not so good but hopefully a good spray of weed killer should deal with those.   The pond pipe work has been repaired yet again, lets hope that that is the last of the pond problems now and I can put the hose in and refill it.
I gave my clothes a quick look over and I think I have sufficient to last a week in Italy without having to buy more.  So a big sigh of relief.  There are a few bits which could could use a freshen up so I will get them through the washing machine.  
I made a supper dish which I was very pleased with 'patatas bravas' which we had with a fried egg.  It is a nice easy recipe which used up some spuds which were on the blink.  The addition of cayenne pepper made…

Friday morning

Good morning all another very damp start it rained quite heavily yesterday evening however most of the washing got dry on the line.  The forecast is for more rain today but the garden is enjoying it so no complaints from me.  I have decided the only way for me to keep the weeds under control is by spraying them so to that end I have ordered a new pressure sprayer and then I will have to go to B&Q and buy a gallon of weed killer.  Fortunately, I can section off the garden with the various gates and keep the dogs away from freshly sprayed areas.  This is not my favoured way to deal with things but it is too big a garden for me to keep under control any other way.   The garden ladies have organised a pond guy to come and fix the damaged pipe so that will be one less problem to deal with.  
The steak lunch went down very well and today we have some meat pies for lunch, not home made so more pastry than meat.  I have a butternut squash which I am going to dice and roast to accompany t…

Thursday morning

Good morning all.  This morning the sun is trying to shine through what is light cloud and the wind has dropped so it looks like it could be a very pleasant day.  Even better when you open the post and find a cheque from the inland revenue returning your money which they have overcharge you so much nicer than a bill.  
Yesterday Elaine came to visit for coffee and brought her puppy with her. He is almost as tall as Dan now and the two of them played like idiots for ages until they ran out of gas and collapsed to sleep. She had brought them each a pigs ear both Tubby and Benji munched theirs but Dan was unsure if it was edible and waited to see what the others did with theirs before getting stuck in.  If it is something strange he always waits to see if Tubby is going to eat it before he makes a start. 
Yesterdays lunch was a simple one of sausage, egg and beans and supper was every man for himself as Denzil had brought home a whole load of stuff from his cheap shop.  So we had an ass…

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all it is very damp here as it started to rain at about 3am but has stopped now. Yesterday was a busy day with Denny in the morning and the garden ladies in the afternoon.  Sadly they had a problem with the tubing to the pond which they managed to split so we spent some time repairing the damage with insulating tape which seems to have done the trick.  It is a temporary fix until I can get it mended properly.  The pond is proving to be a real pain this year.  Much weed killer was sprayed as with a bit of sun and water the weeds have gone mad.  
I had a clear up of vegetables and made a big frittata and a potato salad which kept us fed for the day At the moment my mind is blank as to what we will be having on today's menu I think I will have to have a trawl through the freezer and see what I can find.  Fortunately the boys aren't fussy and eat whatever I produce.  
James has just returned from taking the dogs for a run so I now have two soaking wet dogs who smell …

Tuesday morning

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Good morning all I had a nice day yesterday Sandie gave me her opinion on the dresses and only one will be coming with me the others looked awful on me so that was an easy decision.  I made a large macaroni cheese for lunch and James made us a mexican supper of burritos with salsa which is his speciality.  We left a portion for Denzil when he came home from work and now the kitchen looks like a bomb has exploded in there.  Fortunately it is a small kitchen so it will only take me a few minutes to clear it up before Dennie comes.
Sandie and I walked the estate and were horrified at the number of weeds that have developed with this bit of rain we have had but the gardening ladies are due at lunch time so I think some spraying of weed killer is in order. Dan and Tubby accompanied us and as usual Dan thought it was to be a grooming session so he immediately jumped onto the table ready to be groomed.

I still haven't topped up the pond as I was hopeful that the rain might do some of it…

Monday morning

Good morning all another wet start to the day it is just spitting with rain and pretty dull but much warmer than it has been.  Yesterday was a bit of a nothing day taken up with mundane shopping and general cooking and cleaning.  I made some kebabs with lamb neck fillet and halloumi cheese which had some chilli through it and served it with a pilau rice and some charred onions.  There was enough to leave Denzil a portion on a plate which I guess he ate as it has vanished.  I was sound asleep by the time he got home which is around midnight.  
Today Sandie is coming to visit and we are hoping to get all our boarding passes etc printed off ready for our trip.  I also have a couple of dresses on loan from Shiona but I would like Sandies opinion on what I look like in them as I know I will immediately hate myself in them as I don't like dresses. Jeans a T shirts will be fine for the day time but evenings out might require something a bit more up market.

I had better cut this short as…

Sunday morning

Good morning all well today it is raining, not heavily, just enough to make it a nuisance.  However, the ground badly needs it so I am not complaining.  I had a better night's sleep so I don't feel as if I have been run over by a steam roller as I did yesterday.  I had a chat with my sister who has a dose of bronchitis and is quite poorly so that put things into perspective.  Fortunately she has some good friends who are taking care of her but she is still having problems with her dogs who are unaccustomed to not being free to roam as they please.  She now lives in the centre of a small hill top village as opposed to out in the country so quite a change for the dogs.  It is a pity she is so far away as I can be of no use at all except to give a bit of advice and commiserate.
I cooked the brill as intended with an egg and breadcrumb crust and served it with assorted salads. It really is a very under rated fish and as close to turbot as you can get without breaking the bank.  T…

Saturday Morning

Good morning all, I am up late but that is because I had broken night of dozing rather than sleeping. We are dull and overcast this morning with the odd gust of wind but we are in double figures just. Yesterday went according to plan and the veal chops were worth waiting for as they were delicious.  I than changed my mind with regard to supper and made a risotto with the duck meat and asparagus and that was almost better.  So all in all a very successful day in the kitchen.  The laundry is getting done in dribs and drabs as we keep getting showers which mess things up.  
A whole load of paperwork arrived from the solicitors yesterday which I now have to read through and check before sending a signed copy back to them.  On the brighter side the tax office have overcharged us and we are due a nice little rebate - isn't it nice when they send you money rather than the other way around?
The fish monger rang yesterday to tell me he had a couple of Brill which he has filleted and deliv…

Friday morning

Good morning all it is dull and overcast this morning having rained overnight but it is warmer so no complaints from me.  According to the forecast we are due more rain today which the garden needs.

Yesterday started well for me, I got the lunch all prepared then went to see my friend to look over her planning application.  I hate correcting people's English as it is so difficult if you change one word you often find you have to completely rebuild the sentence.  This does nothing for their confidence.  I went through the document to make sure I understood exactly what she is trying to say.  This morning I will go over the document and make sure all the corrections make sense before I send her back the document.  This is where computers are wonderful she has sent it down the wires for me to polish up and send back.  So much easier than a red pen!!!!
By the time lunch was ready I was feeling terrible and certainly didn't want to eat so I forced myself to have some of the vegetab…

Thursday morning

Good morning all - it looks like we are in for another sunny day again today it is still chilly but at least we are out from under the blanket of cloud.  The sun certainly makes you feel better it is hardly any wonder that our ancestors worshiped the sun perhaps we still do only in a different way.  It must be something wonderful to celebrate in those countries where they have six months of darkness.  I don't think I could survive that, so I will not be moving to Alaska anytime soon.
I had a very lazy day yesterday and really didn't do much.  I prepared some duck legs which we were going to have for supper but nobody fancied them so they have been put on hold and will be lunch for today.  Then tomorrow I have some very chunky veal chops which will do nicely for lunch as Denzil is a day off so we will all be here for lunch.  I find it difficult to buy meat for three in a supermarket as their packs are all in twos or fours so I can either have too little or too much.  That is w…

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all I hope you are sitting down.  No moan, the sun is shining and we have made it into double figures.  Yesterday everything fell into place and instead of things conspiring against me everything was just right. 
Richard arrived and we had a nice chat over the coffee followed by a nice roast chicken lunch. Richard was intrigued to see a halogen oven in action and duly impressed with the results. Delicate subjects were skirted around so no picking at scabs!!which suited me just fine.  He has been busy being a good dad and sorting out his daughters who are now making their way on the property ladder. Today he and his wife are off to sort out some things for her Dad in Plymouth so a busy schedule.  
The plant which was draped across the front of the house had finally died and when the window cleaner came I asked him to pull it down while he was up the ladder which he was only too happy to do.  The gardening ladies arrived at 2pm and started by clearing all of it away so now…

Tuesday morning

Good morning all another perishing morning at just 7 degrees.  However, the longer range forecast shows things warming up next week and about time too.  I am well and truly fed up with being cold how about you? If I wanted to live in Alaska I would move there.  OK that's the weather moan over with.  Any bets as to how long it is before I am moaning about it being too hot?
My hair has been cropped and yes it is a bit short but give it a week or two and it will be fine.  At least it is easy to handle at this length.  Gary came and we discussed the garage business and he feels a small skip is needed to get rid of all the crud that is in there.  The roof has a broken tile and it is leaking onto one of the main supporting beams so that needs to be fixed then we can rearrange the freezers and install some cheap kitchen cupboards and a work surface so it can be used as a proper storeroom.  At the moment is is a cross between a workshops and general dumping ground.  I do keep all my larg…

Monday Morning

Good morning all.  Only just 8 degrees this morning so still perishingly cold and another dull start.  It does eventually brighten up in the afternoon but boy does it take its time.  This morning I am off to visit the hairdresser one of my least favourite things but now is the time if my hair is to look reasonable for the holiday.  I find over the 6 week period that the first two weeks it is too short then two weeks of perfect, followed by two weeks of shaggy pony.  Anyway I am aiming for the two weeks of perfect!!!!
This afternoon I will be talking through what needs doing in the garage with Gary.  There are some things which need mending and then some alterations I would like to make it more convenient.  I have to maneuver the wheelie bins through the garage for the bin men so a method of getting them over the step would be handy.  Just a small wooden ramp would be ideal and make things much easier when the bins are full and heavy.  There is a whole load of stuff out there which ne…

Sunday morning

Good morning all.  Another dull cold start to the day, this is getting boring it's time for summer to come.  A bit of warmth would be much appreciated I am still wearing my long sleeved thick sweatshirts surely it should be time for short sleeved polo shirts by now.  I bought myself a packable straw sun hat for Trieste just in case.  I have only once given myself sunstroke and I don't intend to repeat the performance.  It was many years ago that we were all sitting out for lunch and the umbrella left one place in the sun which as the youngest I volunteered to take.  Big mistake, I had to be taken back to the hotel in a taxi where I lost my lunch and had to be rehydrated and put to bed with a headache to beat all headaches.  Fortunately my Mum was there and she knew exactly what to do. Lesson learned, boiling your head is not smart.
I am bracing myself for next week which is going to be a bit chaotic to start with, Monday is fully occupied with hair dressers and handyman visit…

Saturday Morning

Good morning all well here we are at the end of another week it is still quite cold here though it is dry there is not a glimmer of sun just the blanket of cloud.
I made yet another vegetable mix yesterday as I had a red pepper which was looking sad and one portion of asparagus and some mushrooms which were beginning to shrivel.  The whole lot went in a pan with the addition of some new potatoes and a red onion.  It will accompany some sausages for lunch.  
The dogs had a nice time yesterday as the tide was up and they both had a swim.  Tubby gets disheartened as Dan is the one with the paddles and out swims him every time. Tubby can outrun him but loses when it comes to water. I had a chat with my sister who is having a rough time as one of her dogs suddenly decided to chase a cat and caught and killed it.  He is nine years old and has been brought up with cats and never shown any interest.  She is hoping that it is not someone's beloved pet and probably a feral cat.  I wonder i…

Friday morning

Good morning all what an idiot I was yesterday I had decided it was friday so actually the financial advisor is coming today which actually is Friday.  I am very easily confused especially when there is a bank holiday involved.

Yesterday was grim weatherwise but mostly dry and today we are having flashes of sunshine and big black clouds - not a day to risk washing on the line me thinks.

Chrissie has asked me for my recipe for fricassee vegetables which I got from James Martin.  It really isn't a recipe as such just a method of cooking an assortment of veg together.  I start off with a pan with some decent amount of butter and a bit of onion whatever you have available.  Then add an assortment of vegetables cut to similar sizes.  The first to go in are those which take the longest to cook then about a tea cup full of water and allow to simmer gradually adding softer stuff.  Eventually you want the water to evaporate just as the vegetables are ready.  This will depend on what you h…

Thursday Morning

Good morning all well what a wet day we had yesterday!  I drove over to Shiona's house and decided as it was raining taking the dogs would not be sensible.  Much as they love it it would just end up with wet dogs and half the garden in Shiona's conservatory.  As it turned out this was the right decision as both of her dogs were under par with some sort of skin problems.  It rained continuously for the whole day and didn't stop until early evening.  Miserable though it was, it was just what the gardens, and I dare say the asparagus crop, needed.  Though it has been very cold of late it has also been very dry.  
It looks like today is going to be similar as it is already raining and still not into double figures yet.  I have a leftovers job to do today.  The boys didn't eat the pancakes so today they will be stuffed with a vegetable fricassee and covered with grated cheddar and flashed through the oven.  Hey presto lunch!!! Then for supper I will have one of the bologne…

Wednesday Morning

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Good morning all, yesterday was our sunday roast day as we were all at home for lunch so I did a nice rib of beef with yorkshires and all the trimmings.  I suddenly realised it is ages since we had a chunk of beef and boy was it delicious.  I still have some pudding batter left over so I thought I would make pancakes with it afterall it is more or less the same recipe.
I got some asparagus in my vegetable box and syphoned out a couple of pieces to demonstrate what I would call sprue.  I have put a standard pencil alongside so you can get an idea of scale.  The stems are thin and the heads already beginning to open so I would have in the past used this for soup making.  It is definitely not good quality.



Today I am off to Shiona's for the day which will make a nice change from the hum drum of daily life.  Denny worked her magic and James took both cars to the Albanians and had them cleaned. Denzil had good fun with the laundry as we were treated to regular showers so it was a case…

Tuesday Morning

Good morning all well guess who overslept this morning.  It was Denny at the door and the dogs barking that woke me.  I had been up at 4am but decided that was too early and so tucked myself under the covers and nodded off again only to go out cold and into a deep sleep.  It is a good job the dogs bark or poor Denny would still be stood on the doorstep.
Yesterday was a damp sort of day and I got caught in a deluge just as I came out of Tesco's where I had dashed for some bits I had forgotten.  Just my luck the car was parked some distance away so I got soaked.  Did I have a mac or umbrella don't be daft I was only going for five minutes.  Anyway fortunately I am not made of sugar so I didn't melt I just got wet.
Now that the bank holiday is over I have a couple of appointments to make today then I should be able to plan out the week and hopefully get over to Shiona's for a day which will be a nice break.  
I am going to keep this short as I am so far behind I am likel…

Monday morning

Good morning all and as I think I am first one up pinch punch and all that.  What happened to April where did it go? It is still pretty chilly here and we had some rain overnight but not enough to really do any good I don't think.  We are however, forecast more rain for today.  I have a pot of sage plants looking rather sad which I deliberately didn't water yesterday in anticipation of the rain but it still looks sad this morning so it hasn't had enough water.  I also held off filling the pond but I think I will have to bite the bullet and put the hose in it.  I really ought to know the literage of the pond but at a rough estimate it holds 12,000 litres and I only know this because it has 12 kilos of salt in it and the rate is usually 1 kilo per 1,000 litres.  Anyway lots of water!!!!
I set of bright and early and did some shopping at Macnades where I bought lots of lovely stuff as well as the coffee which was the reason for the trip.  I bought an assortment of mushrooms …