Showing posts from June, 2017

Monday morning

Good morning all, the sun is shining and we are at a lovely 15.6ºC.  Yesterday was dull and overcast but still no real rain.  I was going to do some spraying of weed killer but it was too windy and I stood a good chance of killing the plants rather than the weeds.  Today looks like a better option as there is no wind just a gentle breeze.  I spent yesterday flitting from one thing to another.  I have started to read Ulysses as instructed by Anne.  It is a bit hard going but interesting descriptive writing.  Then I did some knitting while listening to the next section of my course on psychology in an effort to keep up to date.  The one good thing about corsera is if you abandon a course you can always go back and start again. The lecturer is Canadian and I find myself listening to his accent rather than paying attention to the lecture. I went to Aldi for some shopping and found that everyone else had the same idea and it was bedlam.  
However, I did see a beautiful silver Maserati in …

Sunday morning

Good morning all.  We got a small splash of rain yesterday but nowhere near enough to do any real good.  We really could use a  deluge to give the garden a good drink.  I'm sure the apricots would be happy for some water.  As you can see from the photo it looks like we might have a decent crop this year, however, I will have to keep a close eye on the fruit if I am to get to it before the birds do.

I made myself an interesting breakfast yesterday I put into the Ninja Blitzer some lettuce, a tomato, a tiny clove of garlic, some basil leaves and a splash of balsamic vinegar then blitzed.   The result was a sort of salad smoothy but very nice and right up my street.  Lunch was equally simple I did a big bowl of cacio e pepe spaghetti and a massive salad which kept us satisfied until about 8 pm when we succumbed to some KFC.  The fish monger rang to say they had got some nice dover soles while night fishing and so I have three nice sized fish as well as some Cornish mackerel.  Somehow…

Saturday morning

Musings on Brexit.  Please feel free to ignore.
For the sake of argument let's call the European Union a club if one of the members were so unhappy that they wanted to leave my first question would be what has gone so badly wrong and why.  No one seems to care or is looking for an amicable solution.  In divorce, you first try reconciliation then a trial separation.  You don't immediately go for the jugular that is for when all else fails. It seems to me that we are approaching this all wrong.  What has the EU done to help salvage the situation? Or are they glad to see the back of us and out to get as much as they can while they can? If the system is not working for one of the parties then why is no one prepared to look at what went wrong before heading blindly into the unknown. It was radio 4 that sparked this thought when they compared the people of Wakefield who voted predominantly out and the well-heeled of Oxford who wanted to stay.
Perhaps this is an oversimplification b…

Friday morning

Good morning all, Ok own up who got the rain?  We heard the thunder but got half a tsp. of rain. Not even enough to wet the patio.  However, on the upside, the sting has gone out of the heat.  Once the risk of lightening had passed the dogs went for a swim then tucked into the remains of our stirfry despite the fact it was mostly vegetables.  It seems as long as they think it is our food and therefore special, it must be ok.
Dan made me laugh I gave him a rice cake which he took as it was a present then put on the floor in the dining room and examined for edibility and decided it was not for eating.  I then asked him to bring it back to me at which point his eyes lit up "Oh I get it, it's a retrieve toy, not food" Bless him he is very easily fooled.  He will always take anything you give him as it would be impolite to refuse but he then takes it away for further investigation and then only if Tubby seems keen will he try eating it. He really is a big girl's blouse w…

Thursday morning

Good morning all.  I have woken with a thundering headache this morning, it is either the heat or my snoring but hopefully nothing copious coffee won't cure.  Yesterday was very hot and uncomfortable. As hot as 1976 which I remember well with the exception of one month when I tried hard to die in expensive scare.  The consensus of opinion is that I was struck by an overwhelming viral infection. Anyway, I survived and emerged at my lowest weight of 9 stone, however, I would not recommend this as a weight loss method.  I do remember my first solid food it was a revelation, who knew canteen stew tasted so good and carrots were to die for, Oh! and lumpy mash in gallons of bisto wow. Lovely light summer food for roasting hot weather.  Well done the hospital kitchens a perfect choice!!!! I bet I enjoyed eating it much more than they enjoyed cooking it.
I forgot to water last night so I have been out and done that first thing.  We may or may not get the rain today it depends on which we…

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all at least it is cool and lovely at the moment.  Yesterday was a bit cooler but not by much and today it is supposed to be the hottest yet - oh heaven help us!!!!  I was watching a program about the last Alaskans and minus 30 sounds positively ideal to me. Thick snow and log fires sound wonderful.  I am a total wimp when it comes to heat and rapidly lose the will to live.  I can tolerate any other kind of weather rain, hail, sleet or snow and have the appropriate clothing but the heat is just unbearable.  Thank goodness I live close to the coast so we tend to be a couple of degrees cooler in the summer and a couple of degrees warmer in the winter courtesy of the channel.  Today we are forecast 31ºC - OMG -  another day the ironing will be put on hold.
We are living on salads of various varieties and yesterday for lunch we had tiger bread sandwiches stuffed with egg and tomato.  6 eggs hard boiled 6 tomatoes skinned pipped and diced a desert spoon of mayo and hey presto…

Tuesday Morning

Good morning all, Yesterday was a bit of a miserable day once the heat got going now I remember why I don't live in Italy they have months of this and I hate it.  No amount of ice cream is enough to cool me down.  The dogs went swimming first thing and it takes Dan a long time to dry off so he was cool for a while but come the late afternoon he kept coming to me with his pleading look and panting with the heat.  As I am in charge of his whole world I think he thought I could turn the heating down!!!  I have become a troglodyte keeping as cool as I can with fans going in all the bedrooms to try and make sleeping a possibility. I would really welcome a big thunderstorm and buckets of rain but this is not on the cards as far as the weather forecast goes.
My new iron arrived and I plugged it in and tested that it worked but didn't touch the ironing I am not that crazy yet.  I made an assortment of dishes which we grazed our way through as the fancy took us and today will be somet…

Monday morning

Good morning all, OMG what an inferno yesterday was and I believe we are in for another scorcher today. I try to get all the chores done in the early morning cool then once the main heat hits I turn into a pumpkin and sit in a heap in front of the fan and wait for night to come and cool me down again.  It always seems so much easier to get warm than it does to get cool.  This is when I wish I had a swimming pool but it is definitely not worth it for the few days of heat we get in the UK.  I make do with a lukewarm shower and walk about wet so evaporation can work its magic.  Dan really doesn't like the heat and seeks out cold tiled floors to lie on.  I can only imagine how hot it must be in fur coat!!!!
Yesterday I made the meatballs for lunch and I still have a couple left over so they will be on the lunch menu along with the petit pois a la Parisienne and a struccolo of spinach and ricotta.  I find myself making many more vegetarian dishes in the summer when there is an abundan…

Sunday morning

Good morning all.  What a hot and sultry night, fortunately, it is cool now so all my windows are open letting in the cool air.  As soon as the sun hits them they get slammed shut and curtains drawn to keep the house cool. 
Do you like a glass of prosecco?  If you do then may I suggest you enter it into google earth and see just where it comes from?  Ok, I will save you the bother it is a village in the hills just above Miramare castle.  Yet anther reason to visit this very special corner of Italy alternatively any supermarket will stock this now.
Yesterday was so hot I really didn't do much after the sun got up.  We had burgers and a range of salads for lunch and supper was finishing off the salads and foraging in the fridge.  I burned and skinned some peppers then sliced and dressed with salt and oil.  Similarly, I steamed some courgettes and did the same.  Today it will be meatballs with a piece of mozzarella in the centre and I haven't decided yet whether to make or just …

Saturday Morning

Good morning all as you will notice there are two Saturdays this week.  Guess who is a bit confused with the days?  Well the days mean nothing to me and I am sure that if I didn't write this blog I wouldn't even know what month it is.  The sun is up so so am I, this is by far the best bit of the day it is still fresh from a cool night the birds are busy but the traffic is quiet as are the neighbours who are still asleep.

Yesterday I played a bit in the kitchen preparing a plate of cold stuff for lunch.  Tomatoes stuffed with parsley garlic bread crumbs and olive oil then grilled.  Hard boiled eggs stuffed with tuna mayo and capers.  A tin of pāté direct from my friends in Bordeaux and some polish ham knuckle sliced.

This is a cucumber and radish salad, cool and crisp but with a little mouse in the middle.

My Italian seeds arrived so they have been planted and now it is just a case of waiting, watering and hoping.  
Talking of watering the garden is in desperate need of water e…

Saturday Morning

Good morning all sorry but you are not off the hook yet.  Here is a set of photos of the interior of a house in Trieste.  It belonged to the man who funded the Suez Canal so he was not short of a bob or two and I think the photos will demonstrate that fact. Interestingly nothing is cordoned off, you are trusted not to handle the artefacts.  Entry is free and they have added a section to the building which is modern and houses their modern art collection.
 Beautiful domed ceiling
 dining room 
 enough gold leaf to open a shop 
 These bannisters are in red velvet
 Some floors in marble 
 others in Parque which are more like marquetry 

 chandeliers by the dozen
 Stuffed with artworks and marble statues

 his carriage and footman's uniforms
The house is an interesting design in that the bottom floor is where they kept the carriage and horses the next floor was personal living apartments and the top floor was for business and social meetings and grand occasions. Not that you can tell t…

Thursday Morning

Ok here are some photos which I managed to download from Sandy's phone. Here she is by one of the fountains on the front of the Lloyds Triestino building.  Then looking seaward you see people at the harbour wall but wait a minute are they all people?

A little closer and you will see that some of the people are actually bronze sculptures of two young girls doing their sewing.

And just in case you think this is all a figment of my imagination here I am with James Joyce.

This was Sandy's lunch of tuna in sesame seed with a lime dressing and a peculiar salad that is very local. It is actually called "Cicoria zuccherina di Trieste",  I have a packet of seeds on order and I will see if it will grow in a pot on my patio.  It is a cut and come again type salad with a significant hint of bitterness a bit more exciting than lettuce.  The locals call it radicchio and make it into a lovely salad with borlotti beans. 

 This is the 36year old Opel belonging to Betty, from my litt…

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all yes I am up at 4 am again but actually, I quite enjoy my couple of hours of peace and quiet in the morning just watching the birds in the garden and scribbling my blog.  I took a saunter up the garden yesterday only to discover it is a wilderness of weeds and brambles.  It really doesn't take long for nature to reclaim a garden. On the plus side the raspberries are doing well and as Sandy is coming today she might like to pick a few as I know she doesn't like strawberries.  The other good news it that my apricot tree has quite a bit of fruit on it so if I can get to it before the birds I might actually get a few to eat. Yesterday I invested in some weed killer so I may have a good spray around and hope to keep some of the weeds under control.  Fortunately, I can shut gates and keep the dogs off where I have sprayed.  On the patio area, I only use salt which does the job but is less harmful to the dogs.
I am hoping to get the rest of the photos from Sandys pho…

Tuesday Morning

Good morning all.  Well, yesterday was a day of successes and failures.  The first fail was my iron which blew up halfway through the ironing as you can imagine I am devasted not to be able to finish it until the new iron arrives.  What a fabulous excuse!!!  On the success side, the cevapcici were delicious and the boys motored through them.  Elaine joined us with her salad lunch but even though she is not fond of meat she tried one decided it was good stuff and promptly took down the recipe and went off to buy the ingredients she was missing.  My recipe is as follows 50% beef mince 50% pork mince [technically it should be veal] mush it all together with your hands and incorporate as much white wine as it will hold and a bit more [this acts as a sort of marinade] and a good teaspoon of ground black pepper.  Cover and leave overnight.  Next day add sufficient flour to be able to form the traditional sausage shapes and cook slowly on the griddle pan or on a barbeque.  Mine took about 3…

Monday Morning

Good morning all.  The sun is rising and the cevapcici are nearing readiness.  I make mine according to the recipe I have had since the year dot.  It involves letting the beef and pork mince soak in white wine and ground black pepper overnight.  Then a couple of spoons of flour help hold the meat together as you make into sausage shapes ready for either the barbeque or griddle pan.  Peppers and aubergine have been burnt to loosen the skin and they will be blitzed with garlic, olive oil a squirt of lemon juice sort of like making a mayonnaise and if needed some breadcrumbs to thicken.  They are served with this sauce and raw finely sliced red onion and a squirt of mild German mustard or if you have kids around tomato ketchup works well.
Now just one thing I have to add if I have whetted your appetite for Trieste.  A short distance, less than an hour by car, there are the biggest caves in Europe at Postojna.  It is usually on my itinerary for visitors and having travelled that far you …