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Tuesday, 31 March 2009

April Fools Day

Happy April Fools Day

April Fools Day - a day to play practical jokes on your nearest and dearest but where does this mickey taking tradition really come from.

It is beleived that much of what we associate with the traditions for this particular day stems from a change in events/calendar. Traditionally April 1st was the day once celebrated as New Years Day under the Julian Calendar.

In France in 1582 Pope Gregory changed the date on which New Year's day was celebrated to January 1st adopting and using his new "Gregorian" calendar. Needless to say this met with certain centres of resistance to change and many continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April 1st. The Diehards were as a result subjected to ridicule and practical jokes because of their refusal to change and thus the tradition of "April Fools" was born.

Hope you have a happy day

Busy Times

Hello everyone

Yesterday

Had a very busy day yesterday as was first day back at work after having time off with this orrible cold that still keeps lurking with intent. Had to work part of my lunch hour as I needed to leave the office at 5.00 p.m. (we normally leave at 5.15 p.m) in order for me to get home, grab a bite to eat and then be out for 5.30 p.m. when I was picked up by my friend Jackie.

Jackie, I, and 3 others were involved in a Mediumship evening which was held in a fish restaurant in Market Deeping (my friends were giving readings and I was giving taster sessions of Reiki to those wanting to know a little more). It was quite a good evening and the Reiki seemed to go down very well and I met some very nice people to boot. It was very busy I dealt with about 12 people giving 10 to 15 minutes healing at a time. It seemed to be a very successful evening all round. I enjoyed it as did my partners in crime, but I slept very well.

When I got home OH seems to have started with the cold that I had last week whilst he was away fishing.

Today

Its been very busy at work as it has been our year end today so everybody has been extremely busy this past week or more with billing etc.

New Financial Year starts tomorrow.

It has also been the boss' 40th birthday so we have all been out to an Italian Restaurant for lunch which was quite splending. Trouble is we had a little vino and really didn't want to go back to the office. But it was very pleasant.

I am also out tomorrow evening as I have the Psychic & Spiratual Fellowship group monthly meeting to go to. This is the baby of my friend Jacqueline Lesley, Spiratualist and Medium. There was really nowhere in Peterborough that accommodated this specific interest, so Jackie formed her own group and we meet every month. Presentations are given by well known mediums or by Jackie and sometimes the Trainee Mediums give demonstrations too. Its a win win situation; those interested in spiratualism and anything to do with this subject come and learn about different aspects of this very varied subject; a small entrance fee is charged on the door for hire of the hall and fees of Speakers. The rest of us give our time for free, but any funds that are raised go to local good causes. Please have a look at Jacqueline's website at http://www.jacquelinelesley.com/fellowshipcommittee.htm for further details. Jackie regularly runs training workshops for anyone interested in finding out more about the work and the group in general. Jackie is an excellent teacher and a lovely person all round. I used to run the kitchen - I still do all the sorting out of biscuits and milk etc. but I am now needed in the main room to give Reiki to those that need it. A contribution is asked for but this goes into the pot to raise funds to give to good causes.

Anyway must dash - just realised what day it is tomorrow and need to get some more things organised for the blog - I will get myself sorted.

Wherever you are take care and remember you are never alone if you have a computer.

Alternative Pantry

Here is a list of those items thatI already keep and intend tokeep in my pantry which more often or not are actually used in The Still Room area of the house but some of the items are used in both The Kitchen and The Still Room.

Nuts

Beeswax - chat up your local beekeeper and make use of beeswax for making your own polishes and also for using as a thickener in home made ointments.

Honey - can be used as a sweetner in home made teas, and cooking and baking; as an antibiotic in its own right to help fight infections both colds and cuts and wounds.

Dried nasturtiums

Dried Rose Petals for teas and for decorating cakes, pot pourri and home made perfumes.

Dried Violets for decorating iced cakes and for incorporating within ice cream, pot pourris.

Dried Linden Leaves for use in tea

Dried Pot Marigold leaves - poor mans saffron, broth posies,used in rice; a conserve can be made with fresh petals. Marigold is extremely soothing and can be used in home made salves and creams to help inflamed skin such as excema and also as a wash when a child has chicken pox or measles.

Beech leaves use fresh; beech leaf liqueur

Dried Chammomile; for lightning hair, used in a tea as it has mildly sedative qualities. Also can be used in pot pourris

Dried Mint used as a tea

Dried Nettles used as a tea,

Dried Elderflowers can be used to make wine, used in home made bodycare products including hand creams. Also can be used to flavour sugar

Dried Hibiscus Flowers/Sorrell, teas and jellies

Dried Lavender can be used to flavour sugar, in pot pourris, lavender sachets/bags, cordials

Dried mixed flower petals for pot pourri

Crystallised flowers i.e. primroses, violets rose petals

Angelica candied and preserved to decorate cakes. Macerated in spirit to make a liqueur with a difference.

Ginger - dried and/or fresh used to flavour foods; can be stored in sherry to keep long term and the liquid used in stir fries; candied to make stem ginger in syrup, dried to use in cake mixtures and home made chinese meals.

Dried Rosehips to be used in wines and also for rosehip syrup, jams and jellies

Dried Mushrooms for winter casseroles/ fresh mushrooms for Duxelles

Dried lemon and orange slices for use in pot pourri or home made garlands

Carragheen as a setting agent for jellies

Dried Parsley for use in sauces like parsley sauce

Dried Sage used throughout cooking and also for making home made sage and onion stuffing

Dried Rosemary for roasting lamb, and also home made bread mixes.

Dried Apples for chopping into cakes and macerating in spirit to make home made liqueurs

Dried Chillies for use in general cooking; decorating garlands and for giving to friends as a pressie

Dried Blueberries for use within cakes and/stews casseroles

Dried Celery Leaf for use in soups

Dried Tomatoes for soaking in oil (they have a far richer flavour) and for chopping into dips

Home Made Soaps with natural oils

Home Made Lavender Bags as repellant to insects and for making the bedroom drawers and cupboards smell heavenly

Lavender Bottles to do the same job only they are interwoven with ribbon and free form you weave them in to make their own container

Lavender Cones Gluing in heads of lavender onto a large pine cone and using it to scent a room/wardrobe

Home Made Tinctures

Home Made Oils - a new area and worth experimenting with

Home Made Syrups/Sauce Dressings - yet again a new area.

These are just a few ideas to date - no doubt I will think of more as time goes on.

Do any of you do anything similar would love to hear from you.

Monday, 30 March 2009

I didn't sleep well last night as I had sciatica and could not get comfortable plus the fact it was very cold and I had the quilts heaped up on the bed and Tyson decided he was snuggling up no matter where I went so I didn't really get the sleep I needed. I came down at one point and did some posting. Then when I wanted to sleep he wanted out and wouldn't stop talking to me - all my cats are very vocal and let their feelings be known.

Plus with setting the clocks back I confused myself because I hadn't changed all of the clocks and kept looking at the wrong one. Convinced myself I had more time to do dinner in than had and therefore ended up having gone 8. p.m. I must say I am missing that hour already am very tired tonight.

Have been busy in the kitchen today doing some more vegetables for the freezer and also cooking roast chicken for dinner, with roast parsnip, roast potatoes, roast squash, roast potato, white flowering broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower with gravy and stuffing. Was very nice and there is plenty left for tea tomorrow night, plus a curry and the carcass for stock. I still have a load of soup left as well which is in the fridge.

Its been a lovely day here today weather wise although a tad chilly. I managed to get a new washing line and was determined to get the washing out on the line rather than using the tumble drier for economy; they always smell so fresh when they have been outside. Last time I used the old line it collapsed on me and I ended up having to do all the washing again.

OH took me briefly to a local garden centre and I bought some gherkin seeds and had a good look around at the fruit plants and Roses. I absolutely adore old fashioned roses that smell absolutely gorgeous. I intend to start setting some seeds in the next few weeks or so but I don't want to start too soon because I think we still may have more frosts, but equally don't want to leave it too late.

Have also got my camera working again so I am hoping to be able to post photographs more regularly again.

I am back to work tomorrow, still don't feel a hundred percent and still full of cold, dont seem to be able to shift it

I am out tomorrow night as I am working at a local event giving healing taster sessions so it is very unlikely that I will be able to blog tomorrow night. If I get chance I will but just to warn you all that I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth.

Anyway I am off to bed

Speak to you all soon

Hello I am Tinky



Hello my name is Tinky; my official name is Clover but nobody calls me that anymore (I used to have a bell on my collar - hence the name Tinky) I am the old lady of the outfit; Pattypan rescued me as a stray - at the time she collected me from my mum I had been living in a pile of old tyres with my mum and siblings; I was black when I arrived but I soon brushed up black and white. I am partly ferrel and a tad nervous of strange people and loud noises; the kits are sometimes too rough with me in their play as is Poppy who tends to pick on me for no good reason. I love a good cuddle and if I can I climb onto mum's shoulders and dribble and snuggle up to her as much as I can. Snuggles are lovely when you can get them.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Boiler Upate

Don't you just know it OH now home has gone straight to the boiler and lit it straight away. Apparently I was trying to light the wrong bit. OH told me copper coloured wire and it was the silver one. Oohps.

Needless to say heat has now been restored OH has even sorted the timer out!

Pattypans Roast Vegetable Soup

First of all you need your stock made from any bones, but in this instance I used a ham bone, water, white pepper an onion about 4 whole black peppercorns, small piece of celery leaf,(not too much required as this can overpower your soup as it is very strong) small carrot chopped in slices couple of bay leaves, dried thyme (I use a faggot of thyme and just rub in a litte from the bunch), sprinkling of dried cloves or about 2 to 3 full cloves studded into the onion, a few dried marigold flowers.

Basically I just simmer everything together until a nice flavourful stock is achieved. I then leave this to cool any fat that rises to the top of the stock on cooling (there will be a little) can be skimmed.

In a large oven tray [using older vegetables that you probably wouldn't use for a main meal] tidy them up removing any peels, dried out leaves until you get to the better part of the vegetable - its worth the effort. I use a mixture of seasonal vegetables - whatever is to hand really but in this case the veggies I used were sliced leek, potato, squash (there is no need to peel this just de-seed) small cherry tomatoes, a sprinkling of chilli powder, olive oil, onion and sometimes I add garlic as well. Cook in the oven about Gas mark 5 liberally sprinkled with Olive Oil and a sprinkling of sea salt auntil nicely caramelised without being burnt as this adds extra flavour and punch.

Using your stock add the vegetables to the pan and then use a stick blender (if you don't have just bung it in your food processor until nice and thick and then transfer the mixture from the food processor) to your stock and adjust the thickness of the soup with the stock until the desired thickness is achieved. Warm through adjust your seasoning and serve with home-made croutons or bread.

Heartsease

Head full of dreams
Hearts full of love
Listen to the strum
Like a beating drum

The closer they get
The deeper the emotion
The more expressive they get
Like poetry in motion

Bodies full of passion
Held in deep caress
Both in love no regrets
Very picturesque

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Boiler Trouble Pattypan style

Last night because it was cold I decided to go and top up on the credit for the gas and the electricity as I didn't want the boiler to go out. So off I tottled got my credit put on. Then the fun began. Now basically although I am an engineers daughter until I find my own way round things I tend to be a bit cack-handed. I Inserted the card pressed the buttons and something didn't quite go to plan because it turned the gas off. The boiler consequently went out; OH had warned me about this before he left for his fishing trip but obviously didn't expect anything to happen - he should have known better with me in tow.

Being full of cold still, glasses perched on my head, torch uplighting the boiler (it is in the bottom of an old chimney breast in the kitchen so is virtually on the floor) me laid on the floor with sciatica in my right leg, trying to light the boiler with and as per OH's instructions my kitchen gas blow torch. I am on the phone as well so it was all a bit precarious, muggins here doing as am told and the blow lamp ran out of gas and I couldn't find the refill Talk about comedy of errors.

Now tempers were getting a little heated at this point. He then told me to light a candle and try and light the nozzle place where it should ignite (I should express that the ignition needs replacing and the boiler men are coming soon - I think they will condemn the damn thing hopefully). I wasn't keen on messing around but OH seemed to think everything was okay and I would be able to achieve the lighting of the boiler. Now then friends this is me you are dealing with. Needless to say I was a complete and abject failure at lighting the boiler. I do choose my times - today has been bitterly cold we have had about four massive hail showers, a massive thunderstorm loads of rain and it is now freezing outside.

Don't panic I am not cold I am wrapped up in a thick jumper and have a small electric heater I can use. And when I go to bed later I will be as warm as toast under the thick quilts I have on the bed and if I get cold there are always further quilts or blankets I can put on.


Have been shopping today for food and veggies bought a load back and tried to get a net of English Onions from the veg shop. They have sold out - as a matter of note I was told that it would be New Zealand Onions that would be coming in which were large like the Spanish ones but they had been told that they would be about £10 per net. Gulp. How true that is I don't know, will see what happens but veg seemed to be dearer at the shop today compared to what it usually is and even dearer at the Supermarket. Its getting ridiculous. Think that veg garden is going to be put into full swing quicker than anticipated. Mind you I did get some plums and pears reduced as well as some limes and some grapefruit 5 for £1 and some apples so not too bad on fruit; thought that would bottle the pears in syrup and do some apple pasties for the freezer. White flowering broccoli had gone up dramatically this week to £2.50 a kg. I did buy some and it is safely now in the freezer. I have a load of carrots, some broccoli, parsnips and mashed potato to do for the freezer. I would like to get hold of some more swede as want to do some more carrot and swede crush for the freezer

I have been in the kitchen cooking - making some home made roast vegetable soup with what was left of last weeks veggies, and making some stock from a ham bone I had left over from last week. The ham that was left on the bone is going into a quiche tomorrow when I do the baking. I have also prepared 5 tubs of white flowering broccoli for the freezer, as well as got a load of washing done and getting it dry in the tumbler and doing a pile of washing up. So I have had quite a productive evening.

OH returns tomorrow - first thing he has to do is light the boiler - I think I had better watch what he does so that if it happens again I know what to do.

Grow Your Own Drugs

I have been watching this excellent series on BBC2 at 8.30 p.m. a Monday night and I have been inspired to say the least. Practical know how on things that are all around us, that are not going to cost the earth and we know that all the ingredients are natural and that there are no additions in there. I have always been fascinated as to what to do with various plants and materials - my grandfather was very interested in herbs and honey, and I think I soaked a lot in by being around him.

Honey is a natural antibiotic in itself and can be used on wounds and cuts or ulcers and it works by getting rid of any nasties and often if used leaves a nice minimal but clean scar. People often don't think to use it - its usually in the kitchen cupboard - well it is ever present in my pantry as I use it for lots of things.

Granddad kept his own bees, as did my Uncle and my Dad - I have been on a beekeeping course but as yet have nowhere to keep bees. Where I live I have twitchy neighbours who complains about anything and everything that's why I haven't as yet got my bees or my chickens.

If you haven't seen it yet just type in Type your own drugs and it should give you options i.e. www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/boOj3ktd. However if you want a supplier of some of the items used please go to http://www.purplesage.org.uk there is also a link to the bbc site and also to the recipes on both.

I think this is a very timely programme in view of the credit crunch and the problems with fuel and at least it gives us some useful ideas as to how to cope with everyday problems in a lovely practical way.

If you are really interested in what to do with herbs and leafs and things then this is also a lovely site. http://kitchenherbwife.blogspot.com/

Or if you have a local health food shop check it out. Where I live in Peterborough down the Westgate Arcade is a health food shop that has been there for years. It is like an Aladdins cave of very useful bits and bobs. Chammomile flowers, Carragheen, senna pods, linden leaves, liquorice stick, lavender, hibiscus flowers, marigold flowers.

Simple things that can be used to make teas, tisanes, ointments etc. and help enrich your life a little.

If you haven't seen the programme it is well worth it and in my mind is akin to the Victorian Farm series.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Kitchen thrift

My Nan bless her heart was very good at making something out of nothing. She was a lovely lady, very much the matriarch of our family. She had it tough but they survived the war years well because of her and also were able to help out those less needy than themselves.

Here are a couple of tips that my Nan gave me - well more things she actually did than anything else.

Thrifty Cream

Every day when the fresh milk arrived Nan used to take the top off the cream and put it into a little pot in her fridge. The last addition would be on Sunday morning whilst she was doing lunch and the preparation for high tea. She would then whip it up gently and it would be added as a topping to tinned fruit or a trifle that she had made. So if any of you ladies still have the full top milk make use of the cream rather than having to buy it.

Butter Papers

Nan always saved the butter papers from packs of butter and used to use them to line the bottom of a tin when she used to do her home made stuffing. It used to keep the stuffing nice and moist and saved having to use tin foil unnecessarily.

Stale Biscuits

If Nan had any stale biscuits in she used to crush them down periodically and use them as a base for a cheesecake. More often than not there would not be any crumbs left in which case she used to make a pastry base and do a traditional cheese curd tart which as a child I wasn't keen on, but as an adult I loved.

Oh happy days

"The Putdown" 2009 Part 1

Every year without fail I make things like Jam's pickles, chutneys, wines etc and it is always referred to affectionately as "The Putdown". Why because I have put it down for the winter months, primarily Christmas when not as much varied ingredients are available to us. I utilise pickling, jam making, jelly making, wine making, beer making, ginger beer,freezing, drying and bottling methods to achieve this as well as other methods not listed and I try and make best use of what is available and whatever comes my way. I hope that what little I do will inspire you to have a go at something yourself and if you ever want any help just yell; I am still learning too but if I can help I will.

This is primarily for pantry stock and doesn't include anything have prepared for the freezer for general use. Not having many pennies has put a slight restriction on things but hasn't stopped me completely. So far this year I have prepared the following:


Seville Orange Marmalade

Vanilla Demerarara Brown Sugar

Vanilla White Sugar

Cinnamon Demerara Brown Sugar

Cinnamon White Sugar

Home Made Vanilla Essence

Home made chilli flakes from some of my older home dried chillies

Chilli Sherry


WORK TO BE COMPLETED CARRIED OUT IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS

Started the Ginger Beer Plant off to be completed next week

Lemon Jelly

Orange Jelly

Lemon Oil

Dried Oyster Mushrooms

Broth Posies

Lavender Sugar

Orange/Lemon Sugar

Candied Fruits

Preserved Ginger in Syrup

Crystallised Violets

Crystallised Primroses

Crystallised Rose Petals

Dried Apricot Paste

Angelica Ratafia

Hawthorn Flower Essence

Hawthorn Flower Liqueur

Elderflower Champagne

Elderflower Cordial

Imperial Pop

Bovey Belle's Mincemeat

Gooseberry Curd

Gooseberry and Elderflower Curd

I will also be sorting out the freezers soon for the new seasons produce and if there is any fruit in the way then I shall turn this into preserves as well. Well I think that's enough to be getting on with for now; but no doubt I shall add further items as I go along.

In Praise of the Pantry

I think I have been very lucky during my life-time so far in that I grew up in a family that has always loved its food and has always done something along the line to add to or to produce their own food. The philosophy being that the better your food was the better it was for you after all it is the engine's fuel. My grandparents lived in a cottage/bungalow which originally had 6 acres of land. Pop my granddad sold 4 acres or so off at £30 a plot when I was just a babe in arms. What was left was mostly down to apple orchards, to the back of the house was a large garden lawn surrounded by a copper beech hedge, espaliered apples and pears down the side. Then to the side of that was the plum and pear orchards then down the bottom there was a big chicken coup with outside run and apple trees in and then two big vegetable gardens one of which was left fallow every year. Oh and then there were the pig stys as they kept their own pigs as well and had Geese in the orchards throughout the year.

They were apple sufficient, Nan used to bottle the plums as well as bottle rhubarb - all that sort of stuff and they had their own meat from the pigs and chickens and had to have somewhere to store it. They had a large long pantry and my Nan used to see to all of the food production; my earliest memories of her are that she was always on the go and only ever sat down for a quick cup of tea - if you wanted to talk to her you had to join her in whatever she was doing.

Anyway back to the pantry - young children were never allowed in to this hallowed place we were allowed to peep in but never actually right in until we were older I think this is because nan had bottles and goodness knows what (think it might have been cider and wine all stacked precariously in there and a big meat safe at the bottom. Nan and the Pantry were always there - that was her domain.

Moving on many years I married and my ex-hsuband and I purchased our own home which had a pantry. The kitchen was a scullery kitchen with the larder/pantry on the end with an outside loo. The kitchen just contained a sink with a wooden draining board. But by the by we managed and I used that pantry for storing all my home made pickles and jams in. It wasn't very big, not as big as my Nan's but I loved it. In the course of time we upgraded the kitchen knocked the outside loo out and unfortunately lost the pantry as well and had the kitchen extended into these areas and all fitted out. It was nice it was clean but I always regretted losing that pantry.

Many years have long since passed; my first husband and I have now parted and my Nan is no longer with us and neither is the family home. I presently live with my current OH in a rented Victorian Terrace and it has a pantry. I use it and I love it but it is not big enough for what I want to do and I have overspilled to the cupboard under the stairs as well.

I have come full circle with pantries and I personally feel that new homes should have one, not tiddly ones but proper walk in ones. After all it is the food storage centre of the home and new kitchen units do not to my mind hold or store enough properly. I still think the Victorians had the right idea when it came to food storage. They didn't have fridges but cold slate or marble shelves.

With today's problems with regard to the credit crunch and a lack of funds, more and more people are returning to the old ways or discovering them for the first time. People who have pantries/larders or cellars are starting to put them into use again and people who do not have these luxuries are creating a stockpile in the event of emergencies, in an alcove, cupboard, or even under the bed.

Most people have the capability of being able to drive to wherever they want to but unfortunately I do not have that luxury. So any trips out I make the most of within my means and thereon in I am very grateful for my pantry and my understairs cupboard. I just wish that I could have things practically arranged as I would like but that will come in time.

Do you have a pantry/larder and/or Stockpile. I would love to hear from you with what you store in yours and how you use it.

Builders when you start building again please bring back the pantry.

Late Night Munchies

Oh well the best laid plans of mice and men; because I felt really grotty with this awful cold went to bed early but couldn't settle and I have had to get up for something to eat. Made myself two pancakes with sugar and orange.

Really delicious. I am just going to get myself a mug of milk to see if that will help me settle down - usually does I call it my knock out drops.

Well up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire I go

Nighty Night

xx

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Contemplation

The Sunshine shines
Through my leafy bower
Where I sit and think
Hour after Hour
Self-contemplation is good
in a sense
But it can make you inactive
You merely think, then sense
Instead of getting to grips
With the problem to solve
And wading in to try and resolve
Those problems that over time have evolved
Break them down one by one piecemeal per se
But easier to cope with day by day.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Confined to Barracks by the Dreaded Lurgey

I haven't been to work today as I have a dreadful cold. I woke up to it on Monday morning but have had to go into work because of secretarial staffing - this morning I just couldn't make it and my temperature has been all over the place; so I have been on the Lemsip as well as Echinacea and Raspberry and Echinacea Tea which has been extremly soothing and surprisingly very drinkable and I have the dribbly nose. Not good.

I thought I had got away with it this year - I normally get a bad cold first off in the year - unfortunately I have some health conditions which are auto immune system problems so I tend to pick up any infection going as my system is working on a reduced basis. It gets very frustrating especially when people come into work with colds when they shouldn't be there - and then of course the air conditioning at work makes sure we all end up with a cold in the nose.

Not being able to do very much I have spent a little time surfing the internet and coming up with information on bits and bobs I have been interested in now all I have to do is to fuse them into some sort of interesting article - not good when have the throbby head. Perhaps that might have to wait until another day when I can think straight.



Ta Ta Fa Now

Burnt Onions for Gravy Stock

This is one condiment that I have made which I find extremely useful as a base for making gravy for all meats and I usually make a batch of this when I have a net of onions I am coming to an end of, waste not want not and all that jazz.


It is taken from The Victorian Kitchen Book of Pickles and Preserves ISBN 1 85833-460-8.

INGREDIENTS:

8oz/225g Onions
1/2 pint/300 ml Fresh Water
8oz/225g Moist Brown Sugar
1/2 pt/150ml Tarragon Vinegar

Peel and finely chop the onion; put in a saucepan and cover with the water. Bring to the boil and cook until the onion is soft then add the sugar and simmer until it has dissolved and turned the contents of the pan very dark brown.

In a separate pan boil the vinegar and very slowly stir this into the onion mixture. When it is all combined remove from the heat and allow to cool before bottling.


I use a teaspoon/2 teaspoons per batch of gravy

Result very tasty gravy

Enjoy

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Erhmmm and Happy Mother's Day

I promised that I would be back on line last night but technology seems to have got in the way.

First of all the camera failed yesterday.

Second we had a power cut and the heating didn't come on when it should have done.

Third, My computer received an upgrade and after that I had a malfunction and unable to log on to the Internet.

Oh well the best laid plans of mice and men.


This morning I got up early at 7.00 a.m (early for me especially on a Sunday). It was a gorgeous quiet peaceful morning just the birdsong and the sunshine - I stood outside the backdoor in my snuggly dressing gown nursing a hot cuppa tea. I like coming too gradually like this in the morning so civilised so tranquil and you can just simply be. When have been down to Cornwall in the past have woken up early and done the same wherever have been staying just me and a cup of tea. Especially early morning seeing the dawn in Summer. I love the dawn but don't very often see it as tend to be later to bed.

I had intended to do some baking, some flapjacks, bread pudding, cup cakes, egg custard tart, cheese and bacon pastries and some scones were on the hit list; but decided to tidy a bit before starting. I never did get started with the baking as I developed a migraine which have had for the best part of the day and its still hanging.

I hope all you Mothers have had a lovely day and been spoiled rotten by your nearest and dearest.

And here's to wish my very special Mum a really Happy Mother's Day.

From your Dotty daughter

Earlier on today I had some fun as due to other half being out of work we don't have much cash spare. So I decided in my infinite wisdom that I had some lovely images on discs with which to make cards, but that I was going to make her one but decoupage it. Now I have never done Decoupage in practice before; I have all the kit and have read up on it but never actually done it until today. I am quite chuffed that it came up alright - and I used the kitchen scissors(long story but couldn't find the decoupage ones they went AWOL!

Mum was quite pleased with it and with the flowers - I wasn't able to take a photo I did try and upload the image but yet again technical problems will try again another time.

Went to see mum this afternoon bless her heart it was good to see her and we spent a couple of hours with her and did a few chores for her. That's what daughters are for looking after their loved ones.

I think am starting a cold am all snuffly and keep going cold - I hope not as I don't make a good patient at the best of times.


Had a lovely tea; had pork slices cooked with onion and sage in the oven and then served with curly kale, sprouting broccoli, carrots, gravy and mashed potato which went down very well

Also got rid of a load of paperwork rubbish which have shredded and ended up with two large black bin liner bags full. Does anyone have any useful ideas how to use this up; if I had rabbits or the like it would make perfect pet bedding. Its now in the recyling bin, but any alternative ideas would be gratefully received.


Oh well am very tired and still headachey, take care everyone

bye for now -

Saturday, 21 March 2009

My Day

Well I have had a lovely day today all on my ownsome;OH has gone fishing for the weekend. And I have really enjoyed the time on my own at home rather than being at work.

The weather has been glorious but is now a tad cold again. I fished out my camera as I had found some Angelica that has seeded itself and also some violets in the garden. Unfortunately the camera failed on me the batteries have had it so I cannot post my violets here. I love violets, primroses and forgetmenots.

I have spent the best part of the day unpacking boxes to find out what's in them and finding loads of lovely goodies; the boxes are too big and heavy and I cannot lift them as they are so I am having to unpack them one by one and repack them when I get the boxes downstairs - bit labour intensive but at least its getting the job done very slowly. I have also found lots of things that I had forgotten I had and made some decisions about some items that are definitely going. It has also allowed me time to myself and to recharge a little and to dream and be at one with myself. I am a terrible dreamer

I fancied a break for a little while as my back started to hurt. So have been in the kitchen peeled and blanched a load of parsnips for the freezer, also 1kg of Carrots and made some home made salmon fishcakes which I have just sat and had with some bread and butter. what's left over am going to shape into patties and put in the freezer for another day.They were lovely. I only use mashed potato and a couple of tins of small red salmon bones removed and all mashed together with some flour and then fry them gently. The mix has to be stiff enough though for the fishcake to hold its shape otherwise when you fry them they go all sloppy in the pan.

I intend to be up early tomorrow as I intend to make some scones and flapjacks for the tins (its handy to have something in as you can always offer the contents to any unexpected visitors) [I utilise old large sweet tins for this purpose waste not want not] I also if I get time might do a custard tart and an apple pie. I have a present for my mum and a card we are popping over to see her when OH comes back from his fishing expedition.

I also have the remnants of a sack of potatoes which I intend to peel and then do mash for the freezer, some more carrots, and a kilo of sprouting broccoli to do for the freezer. I find it handy to top up with fresh veg every so often and prepare it myself at least I know where it has come from. I am hoping to grow some veg in the back garden which I can then freeze for the winter months ahead. With working full time it helps save time during the week as I can have a good tasty meal done and ready within 45 minutes.

Well better get back to my boxes

No doubt I will be back on here later on

Dark as Velvet

Dark as Velvet
Creeps the Night
Oer the City
Then comes lamplight
Flourescent beams
Casting shadowy shapes
Creating a very different landscape
Looming shadows at every turn
Desolate alleys
And bare brick walls
Echoing footsteps
The click of a gate
I'm nervous now
But its only half past eight!

Pattypan

Autumn Leaves

The brownish leaves
So fine, so small,
Slither to the ground forlorn
Like all other leaves
from bush and tree
Colours of different hues we see;
Like bright jewels they catch your sight
Rusty Reds and bright lime greens,
Golden and brown in the suns bright beams
Sunlight dancing on tattered flesh
The wind blows up and then they dance
Like an arabesque
Twirling and fluttering
In their plane of flight
Eventually they are lost to sight

pattypan

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

ST PATRICKS DAY



When Irish Eyes are Smiling

There's a tear in your eye,
And I'm wondering why,
For it never should be there at all.
With such pow'r in your smile,
Sure a stone you'd beguile,
So there's never a teardrop should fall.
When your sweet lilting laughter's
Like some fairy song,
And your eyes twinkle bright as can be;
You should laugh all the while
And all other times smile,
And now, smile a smile for me.






Chorus
When Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring.
In the lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing.
When Irish hearts are happy,
All the world seems bright and gay.
And when Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, they steal your heart away.




For your smile is a part
Of the love in your heart,
And it makes even sunshine more bright.
Like the linnet's sweet song,
Crooning all the day long,
Comes your laughter and light.
For the springtime of life
Is the sweetest of all
There is ne'er a real care or regret;
And while springtime is ours
Throughout all of youth's hours,
Let us smile each chance we get.






Chorus
When Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring.
In the lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing.
When Irish hearts are happy,
All the world seems bright and gay.
And when Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, they steal your heart away.





HAPPY ST PATRICKS DAY MAY THE LUCK OF THE IRISH BE WITH YOU AND MAY YOU ALL GET TO DRINK A DROP OF THE BLACK STUFF


AND MAY THESE CLOVER LEAVES BRING YOU GOOD LUCK

WEAR THE GREEN WITH PRIDE AS IT WELCOMES IN THE SPRING

Monday, 16 March 2009

Spring has Sprung




Ah forget me nots - I always associate this tiny little flower with spring. One of my earliest memories is as little girl living in a cottage with leaded lights, and in the garden in amongst the grass forget me nots always self-seeded and put a little splash of colour into the lush densesness of the grass [yes it was long as my Dad didn't have a lawnmower at the time - that came later]. I could always be found in the garden - loved to be out and about and whenever my grandparents came to visit that's where I was sitting playing in the grass surrounded by forget me nots. Precious memories.


It has been a lovely warm sunshine filled day here. The birds have been singing it has been warm for the best part of today and I have been cooped up in the office - utter sacrilege. Its days like today when I feel the sap rising I want to break out free myself and just run and be free - think completely wild child here - I know I look sensible but I can be as unpredictable and as batty as the best of them, when I put my mind to it. Ask my cousin mind you she is just as bad. I think its called spontaneity. Now thats a good word. Or as my mother would put it - its just the depth that varies!

Now don't fret its just the inner child struggling to be heard and my inner heart but practically and sensibly you have to stay put. But these spring days do make me restless. Its the lighter nights you get so much more out of the day and the ability to get more things done as the dark nights do restrict you somewhat with some things. Especially when you work full time like I do. Although the dark nights do have their magic especially if you have an open fire or log burner. I haven't done much since I have been home apart from some serious work on the blogger and titivating that already published, but having not posted seriously for the past fortnight or so I have been having withdrawal symptoms and have lots of ideas flying about for posts - I am having to write them down because no sooner have I thought of something than something else comes along and I'd end up forgetting what I had planned. Doh

Sunday, 15 March 2009

2009.03.15 Angel Card for the Day - Love




The Angel Card for today is love. What is love. It is different things to different people and there are varying depths, colours and hues - therefore everything is not always black and white but also grey too. It is a form of self-expression and of sharing with no preconceptions just done with genuine feeling. It is a intention not to hurt anyone but to enjoy them for themselves. We do not choose who we fall in love with it just happens and it is one of the purest feelings there is.

Love makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside whole appreciated and wanted it can be a multitude of emotions all in one go. But there are different types of love and you can experience different kinds at the same time.

The colour of love is often referred to as pink or red; but it can be any colour you choose and which you identify with. In the rule of order with chakra's or energy centres in the body the heart is often green. But to me it has always been a soft fluffy pink.

Puppy love; love of a young person for another one of the sweetest forms but it can still be painful but is a great learning curve.

Unrequited love is loving some one from afar but not letting that other person know how you feel as somehow it would spoil the fantasy making it less than perfect.

There is love of one's mother, father, brother, sister nephews, nieces, grandaparents aunts uncles. There is love of one's fellow man.

There is forbidden love where you fall for someone who is not available because of existing circumstances the most difficult of them all.

There is passionate love where we dive in to a new relationship wholeheartedly and just enjoy the moment.

But the greatest of them all is unconditional love; where you accept the person warts and all and forgive any wrongdoing you just love them for themselves not for what they do. You love them body and soul.

There is soulmate love where the object of your affections is like the missing half of you together you form a whole and often are able to finish off each others sentences and often premeditate the reactions/behaviour of the other - in its truest form like mind-reading.

There are many other forms of love these are just a few.


Saturday, 14 March 2009

My Day today

Last evening I walked home as my partner had gone fishing. I enjoyed the walk and stretching my legs and hadn't realised just what flowers were out and about but spotted several clumps of primroses in the evening sunlight. However I was a tad sad as well as living in town leaves me feeling so disconnected from what to me is very important; the change of the seasons. I wish I was out of the town and back in the countryside. My mum lives in a village about 15 miles up the road from where I live; each time we go back there i feel like a chameleon and literally feel I shed several layers of skin by going back to my roots.

Today I woke early the sun was shining and I felt happy; sunlight always inspires me but I always have an upsurge of feeling as the warmer weather starts to arrive I think I feel the "sap rising". However the sunshine belied the weather today it looked lovely out of the window but the wind has been bitter all day so for the best part of the day I have kept to the house where it has been warm.

I have also checked out a couple of blogs that I haven't managed to get to for the past fortnight,and I watched Rachel Allen's Bakes which is a lovely programme for those of you haven't seen it and full of lovely tips to make things easier.

I did a little bit more crotcheting work to my blanket it is starting to grow I hope to post some pictures soon. I am calling it my "Rainbow" blanket I love the colours.

I have then set too and started to sort out boxes of old paperwork and shredding them to put into the recycling bin and also sort out all the my sewing stuff that has got muddled up in different boxes so am slowly sorting it out to get it all back together again. But it is time consuming - I have also done loads of washing and still have more to do. I have enjoyed my own company today its peaceful and I am able to think and just be and dream and be me.

2009.03.14 Angel Card for the Day - Transformation

In case you don't know what these are they are a small card with a word on which is meant to inspire/enthuse/encourage people as they pass from day to day. There is a whole pack of cards and they are mixed up and then the person draws a single card; sometimes they cling to each other and you end up with drawing more than one; but that is meant and you should therefore read both.

I draw an Angel card every day just before I get up; I keep them on my bedside table.

How you interpret the words is up to you as no two people will necessarily interpret them exactly the same.

I picked mine today and the word I drew said simply "Transformation".

My immediate thought was of the Ugly Duckling that turned into a swan. Irrational but something that has a happy ending and speaks of good times to come. Or the Chrysalis that turns into the butterfly. The promise of rebirth, growth and positivity and freedom to choose.

Transformation an unusual word but a positive one. It means a journey metaphorically speaking from one place to another. It indicates simply where I am at the moment. We all have to change to move on otherwise we become stuck in a rut;and that is not good and sometimes for periods of time no matter what we do nothing seems to budge.

I have been learning new things and trying to put them into practice but sometimes the opportunities do not present themselves for whatever the reason. Sometimes this is because the situation is not right or you are not ready but as one door closes another one always opens and will probably be better in the long run.

For a long time now I have been in a position where it doesn't matter what I do nothing seems to move and go forward and everything has gone wrong and you think Why me - not again but then rationally speaking Why not me as it gives me yet another experience to fill another page in the book of life. I have been a tad despondent at times and not at all rational if the black fog descends. But I try to think of my glass as half full rather than being half empty as it puts a much more positive light on the situation.

In the past few weeks there has been slight movement with various things nothing substantial or specific but they are there. So something is happening although very subtle. For example I have been and am being given the opportunity to practice my Reiki and help people help themselves.

I have had to learn new computer skills to get to grips with this blog and I have been working at it with the assistance of other valued friends and bloggers in bite sized chunks a little bit at a time. I am communicating on paper and writing from my heart and communicating my thoughts and feelings down on paper rather than holding them in me and isolating myself.

My confidante was my father I used to tell him everything and I don't find it easy to talk to people with what is really bothering me - I am expert at skirting round it but my Dad used to know and go right to the crux of the problem. I miss him greatly however life goes on and he would want me to get on with things. He would not want me to be morbid.

I am hoping that my thoughts and feelings may help one of life's other travellers along life's long journey and helps transform their life and gives them "a light bulb moment" and makes their life more rewarding as a result. We all have something to give sometimes its just the finding of it that is the problem.

I am hoping my transformation takes me to where I need to be, although I have no set idea of what this is but I have an idea of where I would like it to be; we shall have to see where things take me but I intend to enjoy the journey as often that is the important bit not the destination.

What does the word transformation mean to you I would love to hear.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Update

Hello just a quick pop in to let you all know that contrary to popular belief I am in the land of the living. I haven't been on the tinternet much this past fortnight. Things have been a tad hectic at home and at work. I am still trying to sort out my major storage problem and have been sorting through - box after box after box I have found stuff that I had I had forgotten I had -some lovely stuff and am sorting out that I no longer need.

I also have a few long term projects handicraft ones to do a bit at a time (I get bored easily so often have two or three items on the go at once). I am currently working a King sized crotchet blanket in lilacs, blues, tourquosies purples and creams all of varying shades trying to use up those odd balls of wool and make something out of nothing; something different that nobody else will have. I am referring to it as my Rainbow blanket and I have one or two other projects in mind to go with it.I have a couple of Indian cross stitch kits which although not started will go well with - similar colours and a Dream Catcher.

I am also busy collecting scraps of fabric together to have a go at a handworked patchwork quilt or patchwork items (gifts for christmas and birthdays etc) - I am very much a beginner in this department but am aiming to get my head round this eventually.

Like many folk, I haven't got the wherewithal to buy things at the moment with other half being out of work so am using up what I already have and trying to make things to go with those items so things sort of blend. I think in retrospect that is not a bad thing to tighten the belt every so often (this time it is enforced) as it makes you appreciate what you have and makes you really think about what you really really want and what really is important to you.

Once the materials I have are used up, if I need to add to them with new bits and bobs, to finish items off I can do. At least not going to have the storage problem again with all the balls of wool and fabric everywhere. I might frighten myself in time by reclaiming the bedroom as a guest room/reiki room and a study/craft room.

I am also knitting a throw/rug in different shades of lilac and white - have others on the go but these are the two I am concentrating on at the moment.

I would also in time like to have a go at some clippie rugs or proddy rugs as they are called in certain parts of the country. Thought would make out of some old jeans. My thinking is that they would go well as bedside mats in the bedroom to go with a patchwork quilt in blues that I already have. Its surprising what you can do when you set your mind to things.

Thought I would try and keep myself busy and productive without too much time to dwell and idle hands and all that.

Hopefully I will get chance to post properly again this weekend - I believe I am to be a fishing widow this weekend. Lovely peace and quiet just me and the moglets and the occasional phone call with good friends.

Will catch up with everyone soon

Take care and wherever you are I hope life is treating you fair

Love to everyone

Pattypan

xx

Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)