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Showing posts from August, 2017

Thursday morning

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Good morning all here is s screen shot of the radar picture for our area yes it rained and rained


Fortunately, it was the right kind of rain slow, steady and all day so it soaked into the ground rather than ran off.  There was no torrential down pour just constant slow rain perfect for the garden. Today the sky is clear and the sun is shining but the temperature is so low that the heating has switched on. I don't switch it off in the summer as it is thermostatically controlled and only comes on if the temperature warrants it.  It is a mere 14 degrees outside but a cosy 22 indoors.
I had a rethink about my chicken yesterday and decided to go ahead and make the dish with tarragon cream and mushrooms which we served with some plain boiled rice and very nice it was too.  The off cuts were put into the pressure cooker with the requisite veg and so this morning I have the job of straining it off and picking over the carcass for the dogs.  There are two pieces of chicken left which will …

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all well actually it is not so good it is raining and the temperature has dropped to 13.8ºC form 32ºC is it any wonder that we are a bit crazy about the weather.  Yesterday I needed a bikini and today I need a fur coat.  Yesterday was all cold food and today I fancy stew and dumplings but I have a chicken which I am going to plain roast.  I had ideas of chicken and tarragon but I can't be bothered so the tarragon is going in the freezer under oil for some other occasion.  I am a bit woolly in the head as I finally managed a complete nights sleep for the first time this week.  It was so hot last night that Dan took himself out on to the patio to sleep but once the rain came it cooled down dramatically. According to the weather forecast, it is due to rain all day today which is fine by me the garden really needs it.

I have just read in the news that saturated fat is good for you a decreased in intake increased your chance of death by 13% I also note the 4 cups of coffe…

Tuesday morning

Good morning all I did a very good impression of a sloth yesterday it was so hot and sticky I spent most of my time trying to get on with a corsera course but my computer was being difficult. Actually, it was not the computers fault it was the broadband which I think was overloaded and very slow.  I got on with a bit more crochet but it was so sticky it was not easy.  Sweaty hands and crochet don't mix.  The dogs found the coolest places to sleep and Dan took up residence in the bathroom on the cold tiled floor.  I must admit I really don't envy him his lovely fur coat in this sort of weather.  I believe we are forecast lots of rain tomorrow which the garden will enjoy and as the laundry is up to date I have no problems with a day of rain.  It should also take the sting out of the heat for which I will be grateful. 
Today I need to do some shopping as we are low on vital supplies.  Milk, bread, eggs etc. and something easy for lunch and dinner.  I quite fancy a salad nicoise …

Monday morning

Good morning all.  Yet another rotten night at 2.15 the dogs next door started barking and woke me and again I was wandering around for a good few hours before I managed to get back to sleep. Thank goodness I don't have to get up for work and I can catch up on sleep whenever I like.  I have mentioned it to the neighbours on several occasions but they don't seem to hear what is said which is frustrating.  
Now for the coriander report. Freezing in oil is definitely the best method I have found so far it is still not a patch on fresh but better than nothing.  From now on any left overs from a fresh bunch will be chopped and frozen in olive oil.  I suppose we are both lucky and unlucky in some respects as we eat such a variety of foods from all around the world a very large arsenal of ingredients is required many of which are only used occasionally.  Each countries dishes have ingredients which are easy to come by in the country of their origin but present us with a problem.  I …

Sunday morning

Good morning all.  I have had a rotten night but no one to blame but myself.  While cleaning my alarm clock I must have pressed a few buttons and at 00.24 it rang and woke me.  Could I get back to sleep, no way?  I must have had just enough sleep to tide me over but I feel pretty wrecked this morning.  James is now back home and unconscious in bed after his boxing night out.
As I was awake I watched a program about the Houston SPCA animal rescue.  I was amazed that they rescued 30 cats from a house in which were living a 50-year-old woman, her elderly mother and her son.  They had no electricity and had no money to feed the cats or themselves.  The cats were taken and given lovely clean living conditions and food the people were left to fend for themselves. Don't the Americans have some kind of social services how could they leave the people in conditions which they deemed unfit for cats? With 30 cats in the house, you can imagine the state it was in. While the rescue of the cats…

Saturday morning

Good morning all another nice day by the looks of things a bit of cloud and some sun just perfect. Every morning I look out and hope that the weed killer has taken effect but all the weeds still look very healthy, soon I should see them begin to yellow and collapse.  I still have the far end of the garden to do but it will not take me long once I have the sprayer filled and primed. This is very late in the season to be weed killing it is really a job for the spring when the weeds first appear but better late than never and hopefully before they go to seed.  We haven't had rain for a few days now and the pots are looking dry so I may also have to water either today or tomorrow.  First I will have a look at the weather forecast I don't want to waste my time watering if it is going to rain. No rain in the forecast so watering is on.

I have been sleeping rather poorly the last week or so and have been waking up really early but I have stayed in bed and crocheted or watch naff TV …

Friday morning

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Good morning all.  Yesterday I got all ready to spray the rest of the garden then the sky went black and rain clouds threatened.  I abandoned that idea as it is a rotten enough job at the best of times and then to have it wasted by rain was not on. It never did rain but I wasn't taking any chances. 
We had a fridge clearing lunch which was mostly vegetarian with the exception of some frankfurters. There were stuffed mushrooms, chard cooked in some bacon fat, stuffed mini peppers and the Jamie Oliver flat breads.   I must say that the flat breads were a god send only taking moments to make.  Provided you have some yoghurt in the fridge these breads can be made in the time it takes to boil an egg.  3 heaped tablespoons of self-raising flour 3 tablespoons of yoghurt a splash of olive oil and some salt and pepper and hey presto you have two lovely flat breads to put into a dry pan and cook over a medium heat.  Super emergency snack food or bread when there is none because you have ru…

Thursday morning

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The birthday boy and his buddy Tubby
This was the card I found which I think you will agree is appropriate
Good morning all.  Finally, I managed to get out and do some spraying I have done about half of the garden so today I will try to finish the job.  I was destined to go to Shiona's today but she is in the middle of sorting out legal stuff for the village hall so we have abandoned the idea.  
We had a lovely lunch at the Greek restaurant starting off with an assortment of dips and pitta bread we had hummus, taramosalata, tzatziki, and tahini and followed it up with the main course of deep fried calamari and a Greek salad after which we were completely stuffed no room for any pudding. 
I must say it is very nice to have somewhere very local that serves good food we are inundated with takeaways most of which are not so good.  We now also have a Turkish kebab shop which also does really nice food.  Wonderful salads and grilled meats. The only thing we lack is a really good fish a…

Wednesday morning

Good morning all.  Today is much like yesterday it is warm and cloudy so it feels muggy.  The house is clean and tidy and the laundry was done and put away.  I did the lunch and Denzil did the supper and we have left the kitchen in good order.  Well, there is a little washing up but at least it doesn't look as if there has been an explosion.
Today is a red letter day it is James birthday and we have decided to take ourselves out for lunch. Denzil will be back from his early shift around 12 and we are going to have lunch at the new Greek restaurant which is less than half a mile away, so right on our door step.  I have eaten there twice and the food was excellent so let's hope we are able to sit outside and we might even get a glimmer of sun.  Well, at least it isn't pelting with rain.  
It is actually a good day for spraying and as I don't have to prepare lunch I might just get that done.  I hate jobs that hang around I am very much a strike while the iron is hot type…

Tuesday Morning

Good morning all.  I'm feeling a whole lot better this morning which is good but the weather looks miserable and overcast but not cold.  The wonderful Denny is here already so I had better not spend long scribbling.  My couple of days of hardboiled eggs and gallons of water seems to have done the trick and I actually managed to sleep through the night so feel well rested.  
The place is a bit of mess as I have been off duty.  Not so much dirty as untidy with stuff scattered everywhere so I need to tidy so that Denny can clean.  I really need to enforce the rule of don't put it down put it away" sadly I am one of the worst culprits.  I put things down meaning to come back to them but seldom do.  Then I have to have a major blitz to tidy up.  
Having been off colour for a couple of days things have gone to the dogs.  Never mind once Denny has done her stuff it will all look much better.  
Ok keeping this short I am off to have another coffee then my shower after which I ca…

Monday morning

Good morning all.  Yes, it is pouring with rain today so I am thwarted again with the garden which is just as well as I feel a bit like a damp dish cloth.  The boys bounced back nice a quickly from their dose of the trots but it is taking this old fart a bit longer.  While bored and cheesed off yesterday I found some yarn going cheap online so I have ordered some so I can finish off the diagonal piece of work.  While I wait for it to arrive I can let my fingers recover a little.  I am trying to be good and have breakfast which actually I really enjoy because it is hard-boiled eggs grated then seasoned and with a teaspoon of olive oil for flavour. Basically the filling of an egg sandwich without the bread. By the way, if you have never tried to grate an egg it is by far the easiest way to chop it up.  So should you find yourself making a load of egg sandwiches this would be a great time saver. 
The last time I cooked I did a whole load of new potatoes which I think would be ideal for …

Sunday morning

Good morning all.  Firstly for those of you who asked yes the doily is my work I used to do a lot of this type of stuff when my eyes and fingers were in good working order.  Over the years I have attempted lots of things I used to do embroidery and sewing as well. All were skills learned from my grandmother who was very accomplished.  She was also a preserver of food having lived through the war everything got bottled or made into jams.  She lived on a small chicken farm with a very productive allotment and the whole attic space was filled with bottled goods everything from tomatoes to runner beans.  The orchard where the pullets were raised produced lots of top fruit so that too was preserved.  My grandfather was a keen gardener so they made an excellent pair.
Now, Anne, I was shocked to hear of your problems and how lucky that you were stopped from flying before you got into more trouble.  DVT's can be buggers and cause lots of trouble so do take special care and do what you ar…

Saturday morning

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Good morning all yesterday was a bit of a mixed bag I had intended to spray weed killer but the skies looked ominous so I held off there is no point spraying only to watch it washed off by the rain. Today looks fine with light cloud but quite a wind again not conducive to spraying.  That is the one problem with gardening you are very reliant on the weather conditions and have to make changes to your plans to accommodate the UK summer.
On the menu today we have a small chicken which I think I am going to spatchcock and cook on a griddle pan.  With it, there will be new potatoes and peas cooked with bacon and onion and maybe some carrots.
Yesterday we really pushed the boat out and had fish fingers which we all like cold with mayo and salad.  I also had a bit of a disaster with a large cheese scone which was soggy at the bottom.  No problem the humans ate the crispy top part with some spring onion butter and the dogs thought they had died and gone to heaven as they were absolutely craz…

Friday Morning

Good morning all.  Having put my knitting addiction to one side I now have crochet addiction to replace it.  I really don't understand why I can't just fiddle with things I have to go at it like a bull at a gate.  Having largely used up my excess wool I am anticipating buying more left overs so I can keep going.  I have no idea what I am making at the moment it is just a large triangle so at some point I will have to look at how to decrease so I can complete the other side.  Perhaps a dog blanket!!!!  My dogs have the most wonderful hand made blankets.  Sadly they don't appreciate the work that has gone into them.
Yesterday I had a deep urge to make cheese scones and today I think I will actually make some.  I have held off as I know I will eat them hot out of the oven smothered in butter.  However, if that is all I eat it won't be a problem.
The weeds are springing up in the garden again so time to get stuck in before they reach head height.  As I have such a big are…

Thursday morning

Good morning all it is another glorious British summer day it is cold blowing and pouring with rain. As a gardener, I don't mind this as it means I don't have to go round watering but it is pretty miserable for the rest of humanity.  Yesterday saw the end of another infinity scarf which I think has more errors than pattern anyway it is functional so I will use it myself.  I think this sentence would send a mathematician into orbit there is no end to infinity!!!!!   I then turned to dealing with the left over bits of yarn and took Annabeth's advice and have gone for a diagonal crochet pattern.  Two reasons:- first it is simple to do and second it gives a very nice solid finish.  A very lacy crochet pattern is pretty but keeps getting caught on things.

I tried to change the eye appointment but apparently, they have to close my case and I have 6 months to reopen it and start the ball rolling again - what a pain.  This is to keep the government happy with waiting times. What …

Wednesday Morning

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

Monday morning

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

Sunday morning

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

Saturday morning

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

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

Friday morning

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



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

Thursday morning

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

Wednesday morning

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

Tuesday Morning

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

Monday morning

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

Sunday morning

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

Friday Morning

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

Thursday morning

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Good morning all



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

Wednesday Morning

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

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

I am going to keep this short as I have …

Tuesday Morning

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

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