Saturday, 31 March 2012

Friday Night and Saturday

Sorry have been missing for a few days this week.  We have had further problems with the car; an oil seal went and also the motor on the passenger side of the car got stuck and the window could not be made secure.  I had to walk to work and also home again for three days this week. I did though managed to get into town yesterday dinner; on a Friday dinner I tend to go to the market and to Wilkinsons. I managed to get two metres of tiny green gingham check from the market for £1 a metre and also 10 metres of white tape to make some home made bunting for 20pence a metre = £2.  Something else for the playing box.  The green check is destined for a lap quilt in due course.

Things have been a tad busy at work; it has been year end and I have been  billing forever and ever.  A load of us ended up in the pub for a little while; and I ended up drinking cider Aspalls a sweet one for a change and it was really good.  In fact I stayed  a little longer than I had intended but I enjoyed myself in any event.  I should have been at my friends at but did not get there until gone 9.00 pm. I was happy but not in a real state and so I spent a little time with her OH had got a Kentucky which we shared with her and I went to bed quite happy and slept really well.

This morning I had to get up; I had left the alarm on my phone and left it downstairs.  I could hear it swearing and so got up switched it off and then went back to bed for a little while eventually getting up at about 10.30 a.m. since then I have had quite a lazy day apart from going shopping.  Sadly I did not get into the garden.

Its been grey and cold here in Peterborough.  The sun came out for a little while and then disappeared again and whilst I was out shopping it got rextremely cold; back to wintery weather  again so soon.  But then it is only March and we have been lulled into a false sense of security with having such good weather-  unseasonally so.  So much so according to the Veg Shop owners people have been asking for bedding plants etc expecting to be able to leave them out, but they and myself had always understood that everything if started this early on in the season should be put under cover and that plants etc shouldn't be put out until all risk of frost is removed usually around the second week in May.  Fortunately so far all I have started is my potatoes, but some seeds are going to go into the mini greenhouses once I have sorted the new covers out and some on the bathroom windowsill.

We have had a Chinese for tea this evening' its a long time since we had one and we really enjoyed it

My friend is not well and her friend who is staying with her at the moment has her long term partner in hospital and is having major problems with the staff at the hospital with them giving conflicting information and also not being able to speak to the Consultant so have been over to try and help a bit getting financial bits and bobs sorted out for her.

I have spent some time filing this afternoon, knitting patterns, craft patterns, cooking recipes, just trying to get stuff organised into a Lever Arch file so that I can find things when I need them.

I have had to put the heating on again as it has gone quite cold. Demetri has taken over an old gardening jumper of mine for his bed. He is curled up fast asleep at the moment big softie.  Just pleased for a bit of fuss, warmth and regular grub.

I am looking forward to the long weekend next weekend.  We have the Friday and the following Monday off work for Easter and I have a lot to do as usual.  Next Friday I have plans for helping my friend start her patchwork off.

We have roast chicken tomorrow for tea; think this time round am going to stuff it and also do bread sauce. I try and vary things week by week; often just subtle changes but it all helps to keep things interesting, and the palate entertained.  We also have profiteroles and cream for pudding.  Yummy.

Hope you have had a good weekend and evening so far

Catch up soon

Take care wherever you are



Friday, 30 March 2012

Starting the Garden

I have tentatively started with some bits for this year's garden.  I have bought two dahlia's for two of my garden tubs called Arabian Night a lovely Crimson red dahlia although the instructions say not to be planted out whilst there is still a risk of frost. So even though I have the Dahlias it will probably be the end of April beginning of May before they are planted out.

I have also bought twenty sets of "Rooster" potatoes for the garden which are currently set to chit in the bathroom window.  I intend this weekend to set some mustard and cress and mixed salad leaf lettuce, and start off some tomatoes and some chives all for the bathroom windowsill to start with.  I might also plant some herbs as well, but before I really get going I need to get the covers for the mini greenhouses before I set too much.

OH has indicated that we are going to set about the garden again this weekend weather permitting; with what little we managed to do last weekend at least we can see where we are going.  I am going to see if he will mend my cold frame as well.  Hopefully we will be able to get stuck in and get a load more done which will be a job well done in the greater plan of things.

Catch up soon



Sunday, 25 March 2012

Sunday Evening Round Up

Why is it you just get into a weekend and its time to go back to work again.  Deep sigh!

Well it's been a lovely day here in Peterborough and it has been nice to have a lot lighter evening all round.  I am weary after attacking the garden, (still have a long way to go) cooking tea and doing all the washing and getting it dry.  Tea was just the ticket the roast pork and crackling came up lovely and we had cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, roast potatoes, peas with lashings of gravy and home made apple sauce.  I then had pancakes with cinnamon sugar, apple sauce and cream for pudding and they were very tasty.  So that was tea over with for this weekend.  Still so much to do I really do have to get a wriggle on this week.

I still have the cold, and I seem to have got rid of the icky symptoms I had towards the latter end of the week.  Being out in the fresh air has helped with the cold, at least it is not as bad as it was.

I didn't get to my sewing machine this weekend but intend to try and have a go next week.  I have lots to do, some tablecloths, cushion covers, chair pads, patchwork throws but I may be going back into town on Tuesday to see if I can find any more material for projects for the rest of the house.  At £5 for three metres of over 60 wide upholstery fabric it is well worth the look.   I also want to get my Nan's stool finished.  Thing is if you have the fabric you can get on with things when you have enough time or even a moderate amount of time to start something.

Once the bedroom is completed its the turn of the lounge.  I thought if  do the front of the house first then that is literally half the house completed  and I can then start working towards the back.  I'll get there in the end -  I usually do.

Its thick fog out there at the moment and just a sliver of a moon so be careful on the roads first thing.

Anyway I am off to potter - I have to get my hair washed in readiness for work tomorrow and get my clothes organised.

I hope your day has been a good one I won't be long before I hit the deck.

Sleep tight take care



Sunday Part 2

Its been a lovely day here in Peterborough, the sun has been out although the wind is a little chilly; we went walkies with Missy down to the river and let her run.  Lots of nettles coming on with new growth, some cowslips and primroses and a big patch of wild violets.  It is so lovely to see Spring in full swing;  the resident swan was guarding her nest she always parks herself in the same spot every year.  Peterborough Volunteers have been out around the boardwalks clearing all the dead brushwood, and giving trees a haircut and letting them breathe once more.  Its just lovely to see all the new growth and there is lots of wild plum blossom again so we are hopeful of being able to get to the plums before someone else does later on.  

Well since my quiet minutes earlier on today where I enjoyed some ME time for a change, I have been in the garden fighting brambles overgrown Buddlehia's rose bushes - and quite frankly it looks a mess. More of a mess than when I started, but then it is in for a massive hair cut all round; disposing of broken pots and various bits of rubbish.  The grass is non-exisitent but that might serve my purposes well enough as I want a veggie garden  It's going to take a while but we have decided that this week as I have no where to go at the moment after I have finished at work, and because we have the extra light hours that we might go and do a bit in the garden each day to see if we can restore it to some law and order. OH has suddenly decided that this year we are going to have some kind of patio area so that we can sit out and enjoy the fresh air (this is what I have been wanting for the past five years so I am ever hopeful but the jury is out on past performance).  I also want to get my seed houses up and running (they need new covers) and somewhere down the bottom of the garden is a greenhouse which also needs sorting out!  And a dilapidated shed.  Its a bit like the secret garden hidden away in the middle of nowhere under my spreading cherry tree.

However some of my plants are showing signs of new growth my Lemon Verbena has made it over the winter there are new shoots forming; my rhubarb, my Angelica, my thymes - the Rosemary has been hit so I am going to have to replace that, the hydrangea's the box tub my bay tree shrub and two of my standards I am doing.  I am not an expert gardener I make a lot of mistake or time runs out for me, but I do give it a go and I do seem to be quite succesful with growing stuff from seed.  I could do with a couple of window sill propogators to get some seeds on the go.  I have decided I am going to grow some sunflowers this year and see if I can harvest the seed heads as I use a lot of them in cereals and in bread baking.  I am also itching to get to a garden centre to have a mosey at what is about.

So now I am in I am going to have a cuppa, get the roast on for tea we are having some roast pork with apple sauce roasties, peas cauliflower and some broccoli.  

After dinner is underway I am then going to get back and do some more in the bedroom (I think I will be doing that all week as well) along with the big pile of ironing.  I tend to iron later on at night after I have got other jobs out of the way.   Time is very much of the essence when you work full time.
Right I am off to potter some more

Hope you are all having a good day (even those who have to work unsociable hours)

Take care catch up soon


Morning and ME Time

It's quiet and misty here; the sun so far has not put in an appearance but I think that is down to it burning off the residual moisture in the air which it is sure to do later on.  

Later on already and yet  I am up early and still its an hour on, but so many benefits of more daylight. Traffic is starting to stir; and there is the gentle background cacophony of birds calling and singing their songs and their hearts out. 

 I am on my own at the moment; no sign of Missy the cats have been and gone and it is just me coming too gracefully in my own time and my own space. The kettle is on signing its song and boiling water for a nice hot mug of sweet tea to bring me to my senses and reinforce me for the work to do this day; this is the unhurried time for me the time when I am best left alone to come too gradually without any interference or being pushed along on the conveyor belt of life.  This is the valuable ME time which is so very rare these days, but which we all need to restore our inner essence and focus our minds on what is to be achieved. Precious time where our whole psyche re-strings itself to carry on playing it's own effervescent stream of melody which is your own indefinable life song and defines who we are.

Now it's time for this babbling brook  to go and get  her mug of hot sweet tea and  she hopes you have a lovely all singing lovely day.  Heart string music is important especially for us all to be - just don't forget to breathe.



Saturday, 24 March 2012

2012.03.24 My Day

Its been a busy day here today; tidying my bedroom I thought it was boing to be a breeze like the lovely fresh air that came into the house; not so.  One of my hanging rails completely collapsed and I ended up recovering a load of clothes and putting it all back together again; ah well these things are sent to try us; but we are getting on slowly.

Its gone chilly here tonight; then Demetri has managed to escape out of the bathroom window why am I not surprised OH left the bathroom door open so it looks as though he will be late in tonight

I was a bit peeved earlier on tonight.  I have a patio set in the garden to seat eight; the other week two fence panels got blown down so there is access to next doors between the garden.  Its a mixed household of Polish and they helped themselves to my table and chairs without asking they just removed them and they ended up in their garden.  I only found out by chance and I am afraid I read the riot act at them and made them put the table and chairs back in our garden again and told them in no uncertain terms that it was "stealing".  I am sorry it really has peed me off - you just don't expect things like that.  They then tried to tell me that they would put it back tomorrow and I said no - now!  

Is it me have I missed something you just don't do things like that!  Grrh!  If I could move I would - it's tantamount to when my Dad decided that we were leaving Council accommodation and were going to buy our own house - we had only been back in the house 10 minutes after coming back off holiday when the twins next door but one painted my Dad's black Morris Minor pale blue - Dad copped them red handed  with the paintbrush and the paint tin and their father swore blind his little angels wouldn't and hadn't done it.  

Gardening tomorrow as well as finishing off tidying the bedroom.

Hope you have had a good day

Don't forget the clocks



Spring Forward Fall Back

Tonight we change the clocks and loose an hour in bed; but with this kind of weather and lighter evenings I don't think anyone really minds too much as we reap the benefits of having more time to do things in daylight hours.  All the seasons are pretty special but the winter months speak of hibernation whereas in Spring and Summer most people want to be out and about and packing what they can into any one day and travelling if they can.  I am rather restless this weekend I must say getting itchy feet, but we can only do what we can do. I am sat down whilst writing this post and Squeak has just spotted me.  As soon as I sit down I am fair game for a certain persistent moggie to push her way onto my knee and perch - she tries to keep me there as long as she can. She loves her mum.

So don't forget to change the clocks - especially if you have to be somewhere.

Take care



Toasted Sarnies do the trick

I have been busy bimbling and pottering away in the bedroom; starting the spring clean at the top so to say; after all it makes sense that to get the pile of irnong away I must be able to get things put away in wardrobes so it will all be nice and tidy and order restored.  I have been inspired by the weather as much as anything here today it has been a bright sunny day; the air is sweet and I have flung open all the windows to let the fresh air into the house. Squeak is quite bemused by the whole affair and keeps popping in and outside the downstairs windows - she tried the bathroom one and got stuck as I have a venetian blind in there for some privacy and I had to rescue her. [personally I think she just makes any excuse for a cuddle]  I will however be gardening tomorrow, but the bed linen is on the line (a sort of rickety rigged up one at the moment) so that I can get freshness back into the house after the winter months.  That will be nice. I love the smell of fresh line dried linen.  Heaven!

I sort of lost track of the time whilst I have been sorting out the drawers, folding up things nicely again and restoring law and order and suddenly realised that I was very hungry.  Not wanting to stop per se to do very much I remembered that it was a while since I had last used the toastie maker so grabbed that out of the cupboard and all systems go cheese and red onion toasties in a matter of about ten minutes; the cheese goes all crispy and lovely with a nice mug of hot tea to wash everything down and now I am ready for action until later on when we will probably have a quick supper like beans on toast or poached egg on toast - will have to see where I am with the spring cleaning of my bedroom.  It will be a job well done but not what I had planned to do but it all needs doing at some point so I am going to get stuck back in.

Catch up later on 



Friday, 23 March 2012

Quote for the Day

Life is Not

A Rehearsal

Yay Thank God its Friday

It has been a long old week this week and I am very thankful that it is the weekend.  I still am not firing on all cylinders and feel a bit icky, but I have a lot to do and so little time to do it in.

Today has been a gorgeous day; the sun has been out - I went into town as I usually do for fresh air, stretch my legs and get away from my desk but today without a coat it was well warm.  Today we have had events at work in aid of Sport Relief, a dress down day, Wii Sports Event, cakes etc.  So I have been to work in my casual wear today i.e. my jeans.  Its been busy but that is par for the course.

I managed to score a bargain at the fabric store today 3 metres of over 60 inch wide furnishing fabric for £5 - so I have bought three metres of a dark green and a more appley green textured fabric 6 metres in all for £10.  I shall have another mosey again next week to see if anything else takes my fancy.  I have a load of canvas needlepoint panels that I have completed over the years all different but similar colourways and I thought I would start making the cushion covers for these to be inserted to; buying the fabric like this means I get the colourway I want but also for any future panels I complete I wil be able to make a matching cover up to display it in.  I love deep squishy cushions that look good but also feel good against my back.  I am all for creature comforts.  I am also incredibly lucky that I was taught to sew; a skill much in demand these days.

I also managed to pick up a very attractive chiffon style stole in one of the Charity shops at dinner.  I was in there checking out gentlemans cotton shirts.  The going rate for the same seems to be £3.50 at the moment in Peterborough.  I am tempted though to start collecting a few so that I can have a go at a frugal style quilt for the house; but I think I am going to have to check out OH's shirts that are far too small for him first.  At this time of year I am always split between making things and planting seeds etc. Will see how tomorrow goes and if I am up to it and the weather is nice I might attack the back garden again.

I also need to replace the covers on the two mini greenhouses; think have spotted some replacement ones in Wilkinson's for £5 a piece so will have to go and snaffle some once I get paid.  That way I will be then able to get my seeds on the go.

This time of year come Friday night I want to be on my travels to pastures new to seeing different parts of the country and to venture forth to a few favourite ones like Cornwall and Devon; but sadly that is not to be for a little while which is a little frustrating to say the least.  I think I must have inveterate gypsy syndrome in my soul or a definite wanderlust of one sort or another; but equally I love being able to potter in my home and do homely things; bit of a free spirit really don't like being tied down.

Anyway I am off to potter

Hope you have a lovely evening and weekend



Thursday, 22 March 2012

Quote for the Day

Attitude Changes


2012.03.22 My Day

Today has been a busy one and I am still suffering with the cold I had last weekend - it just will not shift; I met my friend for lunch and we had a good natter , but as always time always goes very quickly.  

OH has been busy applying for a job/jobs this week although had come to a standstill as he could not locate his exam certificates.  I told him where they were roughly, but he would not have it.  I told him that I would fish them out tonight, but there is no need.  I got a phone call earlier in the day to say that he had found them where I had said, so I am pleased about that and he can now get his applications completed.  

However there was also an extra bonus he has also found my overlocker and my sewing machine so I am hoping to have a bit of a play around come this weekend; I really could do with some time to play with my crafts and get some of the bits and bobs I have on the go completed.  I am particularly keen to have a play with some patchwork.  Will see how we get on.

The weather was lovely at dinner time and I went out without my coat, but this afternoon the wind has got a bit of a nip on and on arriving home I had to put the heating on for  a little while.  

We have had scampi, home made chips, mushy peas and bread and butter for tea which went down very well although I couldn't eat everything tonight, just not much of an appetite at the moment I feel a little off colour, I feel full although I haven't particularly had much to eat and a little "sicky".  Never mind it will sort itself out.

Right am off to potter - might make it back a little later will see how things go.

Take care



Quote for the Day

This Life Must be a Test

If it was the Real Thing

We'd be given better instructions!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

An unexpected gift

I have a lovely  Russian Friend who is a locally known contemporary artist called Veronika Leontyeva.  Veronika regularly has art shows  in the Peterborough area and this evening she has given me an oil painting as a gift, and I feel very humbled to be given so special a gift.  I find her work is very atmospheric and I love her use of colour; Veronika is not afraid to use colour and I like the way she uses several colours to define depth and definition.  It also makes her pictures vibrant and alive.

The picture she has given to me this evening is on the fourth row down second in from the left next to the Irises and is called "The Lonely Fisherman".

I am chuffed to bits.  Thank you so much Veronika.  It will be treasured.



Last evening update today

I have to go out this evening to attend to some further business, but before I disappeared I thought I would update you on last evening's incident.

I have literally just bumped into the young lady whose car was most affected last night and she confirmed to me that the Police have made an arrest  on the grounds of drinking and driving and failure to stop at an accident and the really good news is that he is insured so that should make it easier for the young lady involved as her insurance was third party fire and theft. The assessors are coming to look at her car tomorrow and are going to give her alternative wheels in the interim. So alls well that ends well, but the sorry part about this is that it really need not have happened at all and that's what annoys me the most.

I am off for a little while will try and get back a little later on.

Take care



Tuesday, 20 March 2012

This Evening

Since getting back this evening, we hadn't been in the house that long when we heard a terrible bang and a clump, squealing breaks acceleration and then a car running off apace.  By the time we had got out the car had gone into the ether just leaving wreckage behind it; our neighbours son's girlfriend's car has been written off and it was pushed up the street into the back of our car perched onto the tow bar and shifting our car out from where it had been parked it had obviously hit with a terrible thump to have moved our car out.  There were witnesses to the crunch and run;  the matter was subsequently reported to the Police who didn't come out to inspect the crunch but who have managed to arrest someone but we do not know whether he is insured or not.  On the face of it, our car looks okay apart from the tow bar which has been re-arranged, but the neighbours girlfriend's car we think is a complete write off.  We have only had the car back three days!

We will find out more in the morning but we do not at the moment think our car has incurred any major damage but OH will check it out in the morning.

What more of a reason could I want to get out of the city.

We have a major problem in this neighbourhood in Peterborough that boy racers going chasing through the streets unnecessarily and we are really worried that as a result of this craziness someone through no fault of their own will end up being hurt or worse still killed we have an Infant and Junior school central to the streets and it could be a child next.  I just wish the Police would address these boy racers with parents who have more money than sense.

The good point here is so far no one has been hurt.

I still feel very alive,very enthusiastic and counting my blessings that things are no worse. 

catch you all soon



Spring Equinox

My Day started early at 5.15 p.m. when dawn was just starting to slip into the night sky and everything was so peaceful transiting night to day.  I could hear the birds singing with such joy in their souls.  A different call of nature had roused me but for me to see the dawn is a privilege especially as I tend to be somewhat of an Owl.

On rising properly seeing the light and the sun in the sky makes me feel so alive - so much to do and so little time to do it in.  Spring Equinox when we should have an equal amount of day and night our first proper day of Spring, the precursor to the clocks going forward at the weekend in line with the old adage Spring  - Forward  - Fall - Back for those of you who can never remember which way to put the clocks.

I have missed most of the lovely weather today being stuck in the office, but I managed to escape for a while at dinner and go for a wander and get out in the fresh air; I enjoy and find beauty in so many things they restore the drab and mundane to elevated heights and make something so simple normally so fantastic.

Equally to come out in the light - makes me want to get so much done, but I am hamstrung by so many other events and am having to work through them laboriously one by one.  But Spring is officially here, but I want to be in the countryside so that my soul can reconnect with the seasons and true life instead of forever being on a wheel that is going nowhere; but I think things will change.  I have a good feeling about this year and may be this year may show more growth and steps nearer to what I would wish for than I am at present.  All it takes is for serendipity to be in the right place at the right time and for a whole sequence of events to slot into place to make a real difference.  As ib the words of the Lottery "It could be You".

Enthusiasm for live love and laughter creates its own rewards and brings light into so many dark corners and makes you want to skip along as you greet each new day.

Your cup is half full never empty - so enjoy the hidden rewards of each new day and think positively; life is for living and for loving.

Its funny but this lighter weather is making me feel as if I have shifted a heavy burden and restored my easy good nature to a different level or is it just the sap rising. Time will tell, but I feel so ALIVE.

I am off out soon but hope to pop back later

Take care

And enjoy the shift in seasons

Love to all



Sunday, 18 March 2012

Sunday Round up

Well tea went down very well was very tasty,  simply served on its own with the bread and butter followed by a nice pear cider to wash it down with.  I am a little partial to cider one of my favourites in the past has been dry Blackthorn.  I am now completely stuffed from eating too much for me, but then I don't normally manage to eat a full plate full on the best of days.

The cats are crashed out and it won't be long before I go up to bed.  I have work tomorrow and no doubt it will be another long day

  And on the freezer front; well I have four hefty two portion pots of the Carrot and Swede Crush, 4 x 1 pint bags of chicken stock plus another pint for the onion soup, 4 trays of Parsnip  x 6 pieces and once the soup has cooled down there will be a couple of pots of onion soup too.  I still have the potato and also the sweet potato, some more carrot and some swede to process, but they will probably get done tomorrow night or at least some of it.  I am out on Tuesday evening and on Wednesday evening as I have some business to attend to  so it looks as though I will have to get a wriggle on tomorrow night to get these extra bits prepared for the freezer.  That is unless I get sidelined by something else. 

 So it looks as though it is going to be another busy week.  I am meeting my good work mate for lunch tomorrow and am looking forward to a good natter and put the world to rights session.  I am very blessed in my life that I have a good network of friends (warts n all friends who are not afraid to tell it how it is and stand by you through thick and thin even when you get things wrong- real life friends and my special Internet friends too, who although I have never met a lot of them (I have met dear Anne (Silver Sewer) but very few others  I get the distinct impression we would hit it off and never stop talking!

On that note I shall say goodnight take care wherever you are and I will catch up again during the week.

Thanks for Reading



Pattypans Cottage Pie

Everyone has their own delicious recipes for Cottage Pie, here's my take on it:


1lb good quality minced beef (we get ours from the butchers and freeze it ourselves)
2 oxo cubes
Worcester Sauce
Water or stock


Fry two onions that have been sliced in a pan with a little oil - not much until starting to go brown;  then add the mince until it is browned all the way through; strain off any excess fat, add the oxos and a little stock or water to make a gravy - you don't want too much gravy as it will seep into the topping just enough to keep everything nice and moist.  Add peas and slice carrots (these can be tinned in which case use the liquid out of the tins to make the gravy or they can be frozen and a raw carrot used in which case I grate it into the mixture and then add water or stock to make the gracy). Add the Worcester Sauce (only a dash) and  cook through.  Add a little more water or stock if required.  Taste to check happy with flavouring and seasoning if not adjust.  Pop into a big serving dish level out and leave to cool.

Meanwhile cook enough baked potatoes (I cooked 10 medium ones) in the Microwave for about 15 minutes a batch (I did two batches).  Put each potato into the Potato Ricer (If bigger potatoes chop in half) and process through the Ricer skins and all.  The skins are retained in the  bottom of the Ricer (saves peeling the potatoes).  The Riced potato is then spread out evenly on top of the cottage pie (this forms the Thatch) and then top with grated cheese lots of it.  Cook gas mark 5 until the cheese has melted and gone golden brown. [No this is not an advert for Marks & Spencers just good simple home cooking}

You can serve this with a selection of seasonable vegetables like broccoli, swede and carrot crush, Yorkshire Puddings (I make a little more gravy to go on top as well) or you can serve it a huge wadge on a plate with some bread and butter and a nice glass of cider so it becomes more of a supper dish this way on, this is the way we are having it tonight.  Makes a very filling and cheap meal with the majority of the vegetables you need each day in 4 of to be precise.  So good for you as well.

This sized dish will normally feed about six if given a wedge each. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Apologies for no camera shots we still haven't found the battery charger.  Argh.

Catch up later once supper is over with its about ready



Sunday Afternoon

I have been taking my time, but I have been doing a little bit in the kitchen this afternoon.  I just cannot sit still anymore it's driving me crazy!  I know Rose,  I am dutifully told off but I can't just do nothing; its just not my style.  Needless to say it has been quite a cost saving afternoon really, but then I hate wasting anything.

 The chicken stock is just about finished bubbling and smells gorgeous and I will use some as the base for Onion Soup for my cold and the rest will go into the freezer for use another day either for a soup or gravy base, but it can also be used in a rissotto or as stock with potato boulangere.  So for the sake of a few veg and a chicken carcass or two its best to make your own stock no matter what; for what you pay in the shops you get loads more to use and once you get used to using your own stock on a regular basis you will never go back.  There is no excuse not to have had a stock pot on the boil once a week making use of whatever you have to hand even a vegetable stock which is very easy to make.  Will post a recipe later on for this.

Whilst the stock pot has been bubbling away I have been making use of some vegetables left over from last week which I haven't had chance to use and rather than waste them I have been preparing them for the freezer.  

I have peeled some parsnip and blanched it and packed it up ready for the freezer.  We are quite partial to roast parsnip with a Sunday lunch so I am making sure we have enough to go round for the months to come.  I have prepared about 1kg. I am extremely fond of root vegetables as I think they do you so much good along with the greens especially flowering purple or white broccoli.

I have also prepared 1 kg of swede and 1 kg of carrots.  They are going to be steamed and then I am going to use my favourite gadget at the moment a Potato Ricer for breaking the cooked swede and carrot down, mixed together and put into dishes and frozen.  This is a regular favourite of ours Swede and Carrot Crush and its a good way to get youngsters to eat swede without them knowing it as it looks orange just like carrots and most kiddies like carrots! Bit of a con job really but it works.  When I had the step children at home I tried to teach them about food from an early age; I found that you have to tell them little bits but not everything otherwise you would just get "I don't like that" without even having tried it which used to really annoy me.  Fortunately we got past that stage; and they became extremely healthy eaters demolishing nearly everything and anything in sight.

I also have some potatoes from the last sack of potatotes to use up and I intend to steam these, crush them down with the ricer once cooked mix in some butter and then freeze into pots for quick mashed potato.  It can be warmed through easily in the microwave for using later on which takes another pan off the top of the cooker.  It can always be passed through the ricer again and more milk and butter added if needed or you can always ring the changes by adding grated cheese to the mix.

OH was supposed to cook dinner but he has gone off the idea so it looks as though I will be cooking tea.

Its still raining on and off here; which isn't a bad thing the sun came out mid afternoon which was nice to see and I haven't had the heating on today either.  

Right upwards and onwards I have to make my soup and also the cottage pie with veggies and yorkshire puds; great little fillers that pad out any meal.

Hopefully will catch you all later on,



Sunday morning

I haven't long been up; although I got up at 6 .m. and 9.30 a.m and then about 11.00 a.m OH bought me breakfast up (a rare treat) and so I have had a very long lie in for me.  I am still full of  cold, but feel a tad brighter than I did.  Thank you for all your kind comments and support - the TLC has been very welcome.

The rain has been gently falling all morning again; we do need it, but we need a lot more than we are having at present; saying that the nights are getting lighter and we are hearing the birds greet the early morning night with such gusto its at times like these that I want to be deep in the countryside rather than esconced in town, I am missing so much of the natural life cycle of the seasons which are all pretty magical

OH went to the veg shop for me yesterday; The eggs for. a full tray of 30 has gone up to £3.30 a tray from £3 last week; but in the Asian shop they are charging nearly £4 a tray.  The eggs from the veg shop come from a small concern who looks after his animals and both he and the veg shop have done their best to keep prices down; but at some point they have had to become realistic, they are in business and have to have a small profit but they are still not ripping people off.  I therefore where I can support the smaller shopkeeper for this very reason rather than the supermarkets.

Last night before going to bed I dosed up on a couple of large glasses of Cassis (home made version) together with a hot mug of water and I was alternating them.  It seems to have done the trick as I did not get up in the early hours like I normally do.  I have some chicken stock to make for some soup  and then some Onion Soup to make; all to help with this bloomin cold.

I am off for a gentle afternoon of pottering we are having cottage pie for tea tonight.

Wishing my mum and all other types of mums a very happy Mother's Day and a lovely day to boot.

Catch up soon



Saturday, 17 March 2012

I woke up to gentle rain that lasted for a good couple of hours this morning I woke about 6 am and then nodded back off;  its good to have rain but we need a lot more as we have hardly had any rainfall at all. 

 I am afraid I hugged my bed a little; I felt better earlier on for the long sleep I have had but the cold has progressively got worse during the day.  I have been sat quietly hardly doing anything;  that has been a bit of a novelty doing nothing I am not renowned for doing nowt!  Unfortunately because I have this darned cold I will be unable to see my darling mother;[ she has auto immune disease and we cannot go anywhere near her if any of us have an infection of any kind due to her reduced immune system]; to make matters worse the chap who has mended the car (he returned it last night) has had chicken pox so there is no way we can go near her for a few days.  We were hoping to go over tomorrow; I am bitterly disappointed  something always happens or manages to get in the way!  Best laid plans of mice and men.  Aargh!

Originally we were hoping to see Mum three weeks ago she was supposed to come for dinner but that is when the car croaked it; and we had to let her down then so I feel as if I haven't seen her for absolutely ages, and it is upsetting me a little
. Fortunately Mum is going to my brother's for her dinner tomorrow so she will not be on her own.  This is the first Mother's Day I have missed.  I am off to bed early again; just to keep warm and comfy although I don't feel remotely tired. I seemed to have done all the sleeping last night although still feel grotty.

So its been a quiet day here in Peterborough I am hoping that tomorrow is a better day.

Take care wherever you may be




Anne, Rowan and  Rose

Thank you all for your good wishes - I slept well overnight only having to get up once.  The cold is now coming out and I keep sneezing a lot, but at least the cold is starting to come out now; I have kept myself in the warm and do not anticipate doing too much throughout the day being confined to barracks just pottering doing a little bit of this and that but nothing too strenuous. It might be a time for doing those bits and bobs that I normally do not get time for.  I just wish my  nose would stop running I am beginning to look like Rudolph!

Thank you Rowan I did not know that about Elderlfower, I have some home made so will try that this evening before I go to bed.  Will see how the day goes.

Take care and thank you once again



Friday, 16 March 2012

Early night

I am not feeling too good tonight the cold seems to have come out in force and I am constantly sneezing and blowing my nose.  I am going off to bed shortly as I keep going very cold which is symtomatic of a chill so I am going to get into my pj's and  buried under the bed clothes and armed with the hottie bottie hopefully to sweat it ou together with a couple of paracetamol  What a way to start the weekend when I have so much to do as well.  Tomorrow is another day.

Hopefully will catch up tomorrow

Take care



A little Friday humour

A Fried forwarded me these this evening; just caused a gentle chuckle here

*Did I read that sign right?*

 In an office:

 In a Laundromat:

 In a London department store:

 In an office:

 In an office:

 Outside a secondhand shop:

 Notice in health food shop window:

 Spotted in a safari park:

 Seen during a conference:

 Notice in a farmer's field:

 On a repair shop door:



Thursday, 15 March 2012

My Day

Despite the Pea Souper this morning, today has been a busy day at work. I normally meet my friend on a Thursday for lunch but this week she wasn't available, but I will see her again next week.  It was bitterly cold this morning on the way to work, although I ended up having a warm stretch in the office and ended up taking off my purple jumper; popping it on just before I left the office this evening (I was late 5.45 p.m again). I am glad I did as it was freezing again when I did get out.

We have had chicken curry and rice together with home made chapattis for tea and it went down very well; the curry was a little hot for me - I don't like it over hot but it was very tasty.

 I have another busy day tomorrow.  Hopefully we will have the car back tomorrow night; I am hoping to have another bash at the back garden again this weekend so Iheres hping the weather cooperates is good enough for me to get stuck in and do a bit more.  Need to get the heavyweight gloves out to deal with the brambles, some of which need to be potted up to transplant further down the garden as though although self seeded they have produced some very nice big juicy berries. I am a bit partial to bramble and apple pie or sponge.  I also need to sort the garden shed  out but the main impetus is the garden itself.

Demetri is out of the count; Squeak is ready for bed, so it is up the wooden stairs to Bedfordshire for me.

I am feeling very unsettled again; I think there is a lot of changes to come for everyone I just hope they are for the best in the long run.

Nighty night make sure the bed bugs don't bite

Catch you soon



Pea Souper

We have awoken to a cotton wool world this morning a right pea souper; Fog always muffles the outside noises so; will be wending my way to work in a few  minutes.  Even Demetri was not keen on venturing forth this morning.

Its a Cotton Wool world here in Peterborough

Catch you all later



Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Wednesday Evening Catch Up

Its been a cold day here in Peterborough, and as per usual I have plenty of layers on to help combat the cold; although unusually in work this morning I had a hot session and had to strip off the thick cuddly jumper I was sporting; in retrospect I am not sure that was the right thing to do as I now seem to have the beginnings of a sore throat. Just what I did not want.  I think another early night cuddled up under the quilt with my hot water bottle is in order I ache also so a couple of paracetamol should help together with the warmth from the hottie bottie. The cats are already out for the count snuggled up in their blankets.

We are still without the car  - although we are hoping that it will be done and dusted by the weekend.  The gear box has arrived and we have been without it about 3 1/2 weeks.  I hope it is ready soon as it is Mother's Day this weekend and I would like to get to see my mum as we have not seen her for a few weeks.  As our parents get older our time with them becomes very much more precious and valuable.  After all we only normally have one set of parents if we are lucky.

I went to see my friend this evening; her partner has just been diagnosed with Diabetes and he is not handling it very well; but it is early days and I think he will come round to her way of thinking before too long.  It is a natural reaction when you have just had the finger pointed at you and told that you are different and have something wrong and it takes a little adjustment, but time usually takes care of this. 

 It would appear that her cat Mr Tiddles has had a visitor today and that they played very nicely.  It would seem that Demetri has introuduced himself and was quite put out when my friend called Mr Tiddles in.  He is getting about a bit, but is normally coming when I call him at night.  He is curled up fast asleep on his blanket as we speak

We have had meat balls in home made passata sauce with spaghetti for tea - it went down a treat but I dished up far too much for myself and then could not eat it. [eyes bigger than belly syndrome] but they were still delicious.

Tomorrow night we are having home made chicken curry; which I will make after I get home.

It has been lovely coming home in the light rather than the dark; it is a good mile plus of walking for me to get to work and then back again so I am getting plenty of exercise, but also plenty of aches which the cold weather seems to have triggered again.  It is bitterly cold outside  again tonight; a nice clear night where we can see the stars; I wouldn't be surprised if we had a frost again, but at least it is nice and warm in the house at the moment.

I am going to go off up and get some shut eye; what on earth is coming over me early nights unheard of; I am normally more the Owl than the Lark.

There is a lot of changes in the air again; and this time of year I always get itchy feet;  wanting to do more things, travel more etc.  It always puts the mockers on things when there are not enough pennies available to extend to something like this; something to look forward to.  I always putthe itchy feet syndrome down to the sap rising!  My darling father was just the same.

Hope you are keeping well and looking after yourselves

Take care till I play catchup again



Eradicating Geocide

My Friend Sarah at Unbought Delicacies has brought this to my attention.  Please read and sign the petition.  I have and it is up to us to do something about it to make sure the Earth is here for generations to come.

Thank you



Monday, 12 March 2012

Quick drop in

I feel decidely off colour this evening; i hurt again haven't been able to settle to do anything and in the end I popped over the road to see my friend.  She has now got a new computer and I have shown her how to download her photos (its a much better one than she had before) and introduced her to some of my eclectic taste in music.  I have a job for Friday evening (not cooking this time just sorting her out a bit more with the computer).

So please forgive my brief post but I am off to bed to get some much needed shut eye; and then perhaps I will feel brighter tomorrow. We are still without the car that is nearly three weeks.

However I did get a lovely surprise from one of the lawyers I work for; she had bought me a little pressie with a lovely message inside for all my hard work the past three months or so.  The words meant more to me than the pressie although little surprises are always appreciated. I hope everyone is keeping well andis okay.

Sorry must go hopefully will catch you tomorrow

Sweet dreams

Lots of love



Sunday, 11 March 2012

Two Quick Soft Drinks

The First is Coca Cola, but instead of popping in plain water ice cubes; try Lemon Barley ice cubes - they really taste great and adds an extra dimension to the Coca Cola.

The second, you will remember a few weeks ago I obtained some passion fruit and froze the pulp initially in ice cube trays.  I was having a glass of lemonade the other day and fancied some ice cubes; unfortunately I was out of them.  I then saw the passion fruit cubes, and thought why not give it a whirl and I quite like it.  A couple of passion fruit cubes in a large tumbler topped up with lemonade.  Very refreshing.  Not everything has to be alcoholic, although alcohol has its place.  

I am determined to make some passion fruit gin later on I think that will give the lemonade extra kick!



Sunday Evening Catch Up

Well what a busy day it has been a lovely one all the same and it has been brilliant to be out in the fresh air, enjoying the first real touch of spring.  I still haven't finished all the herb border, but it is well in hand.  I want to get some seeds on but my little mini greenhouses (their covers at least) have perished during the winter months (together with what I think is one of the cats landing on it) so it is not weather proof at the moment.  In fact each of them have no roof!  I love growing plants from seed and I think that is where my real love is and I am itching to get going; but patience I have a lot to do before that.  My Cold Frames need new glass as well.

I am hoping we get the car returned this week (we are still without it) so that hopefully I could do a bit more of an evening when I get in.  I can only hope.

We have had a lovely tea tonight; Rotisserie Spit Roasted Chicken, purple sprouting broccoli, cauflower, roast potato, mashed potato, roast sweet potato slices; roast parsnips, peas, carrots all topped off with lashings of gravy.  It was very tasty and I think doing it in the Rotisserie really helps bring the flavour out and keeps the meat lovely and moist.  A chicken is done in about an hour and a half in my little oven, but if you had a bigger Rotisserie you could potentially cook two at a time.  Spit Roasting or Rotisserie Chicken is the type of chicken the supermarkets sell freshly cooked.

When I was married, many moons ago I had a Belling Cooker with two ovens, a large main oven and a smaller oven.  The larger oven however has a Rotisserie in it together with a kebab hook.  The Cooker got sold with the house we owned, but ever after that I was looking for a replacement and could not locate one. In the end I found a cheap electric cooker for about £50 from QVC which is a little electric cooker but has the Rotisserie in.  It only holds small joints, but it does the job well enough.  However from my mosying around the Internet Brittania do a Rotisserie Oven - from what I have seen so far it is a range cooker which will not fit in the kitchen where we are at present.  However I am going to carry on my enquiries.  There's no harm in looking.  It will probably go on the fairty tale wish list along with the fancy sewing machine.

I have spent the best part of the day in the garden, for the most part on my own apart from the occasional company of Squeak or Missy.  When I was brushing the pavement earlier on I had company.  Missy cannot stand Vacuum Cleaners or Brushes.  (the latter stems from the fact that when she was a pup I chased her with it as a bit of fun and now she goes into attack mode when the brush comes out or the Vacuum.  Of the two she hates the Vacuum the most.  Its heavy work trying to sweep the pavement with a brush and a Jack Russell attached to it and if you don't cooperate she barks.

I hope each one of you has had a lovely weekend; I certainly have pity it has to end.

Take care


Tea Time

Hello Pattypan popping in for a tea break (or should that be Hong Kong Phooey)!

I have had a lovely time pottering out in the garden - still on the same stretch, but I am nothing if not thorough when I am doing a job.  The weather has been lovely and it soon warmed up.  I went out with a sweatshirt and a very thick old gardening jumper that I refuse to throw away even though it is holy, a pair of old jeans and my wellie Gog's.   Armed and dangerous.

I have really been giving this stretch of the garden a good going over and as part of my cleaning process I decided to bleach the drain out and remove all the leaves that had accumulated.  Big mistake this job took longer than usual and when I flushed the sink the drain spilt out on to my nicely clean pavement.  Yuk! I tell you it is just the depth that changes with me.  Well in I got stuck removing all sorts of debris from the drain but in the end I had to get OH to give it a final shove and get the pipe clear which involved taking up the inspection hatch lid.  I tell you it is a very murky world down there.Not one I want to frequent again in a hurry.

OH wasn't very happy with me,  but I think this pipe has been blocked for a little while although he won't have it.  This is the first time really I have ventured down the garden in months. But all's well that ends well.  I have now bleached everything within an inch of its life and everything is now smelling sweet again.  Needless to say OH and I have had copious amounts of Dettol (disinfectant) splashed into the washing water.  Better to be safe than sorry.

I am having a nice cuppa tea and am just about to venture forth again.  I am loving being out in the fresh air  - well it is now and just pottering and getting back to nature and grounding myself.  I hope I get the opportunity to really get stuck in over the next few weeks and I hope the weather is just as nice.  Think it will be a late tea tonight.

Hope you are having a good afternoon

Catch up later



Oh What a Beautiful morning

Here in Peterborough the sun is shining, the quiet cacophony of nature going about its business is gentle by comparison to the noise made by man and by traffic and is quite soothing to the ear.  For once I am up early, I can hear the neighbours cockerel strutting his stuff and calling to the world to wake up.  Wake up Wake up on this beautiful morning. All this happening and I am in the middle of town, whereas I want to be in the countryside off the beaten track.  As it is still early there is still a coolness to the day, but I don''t care - I am alive and going to be working in the garden again so I am outside in the fresh air and free.  I intend to glory in this beautiful morning of ours and enjoy its peacefulness and serenity working with my hands touching the earth that coaxes so much bounty for us to enjoy.  Right am off to get my hands dirty.

I hope you have a lovely morning too

Catch up soon


Saturday, 10 March 2012

Evening all

Well the wanderer has returned.  I have had a very pleasant evening at the Spiritualist Church Service supporting my friend and also meeting up with another friend as well.  It has been a very pleasant evening where the majority of people were strangers to me but where I have felt very comfortable and welcomed.  My friend did brilliantly with her messages and presentation.  It has been a lovely evening.

I am now home just sitting quietly with no TV on; Demetri and Squeak are both in the land of nod and I don't even have the heating on at the moment.  They are such loyal trusting creatures, just content to be nearby safe and comfortable. It will not be long before I will wend my way up to bed complete with hottie bottie.   I have had a busy day with the gardening; my back and hips ache a little so I need to keep myself warm (hence the hottie bottie).  If the weather is fine I intend to carry on with the gardening again tomorrow.  I have a lot to do and this may take me a good few weeks but it will be a job well done and I want to grow some of my own veg this year to help out with putting the food down for the winter months  as well as take advantage of anything else that comes my way.  I particularly like growing things from seed and now is the time to start doing something about it.  I have some small woodland strawberries that have self set in the garden so I shall be planting them into my strawberry pot.  I used to have a large wooden strawberry barrel for many years until it fell apart.  I think I had it for about fifteen years.  There are some self set blackberry bushes that will need to be replanted in due course and I think the OH is going to have to help me get those up, but I shall look out for some fruit bushes and plants in the meantime.

I have dug a Chicken out of the freezer for tomorrow night's tea and some sausage meat.  I intend to make some stuffing to go with the chicken and some bread sauce.  I might also make some apple chutney if I have the time.  Having restocked up with the veggies has helped hugely.  I have bought a lot of parsnips and sweet potato and carrots and swede.  I am hopefully going to be able to get these prepared and into the freezer and do this for a couple of weeks or so, so that I end up with a good supply of prepared veg to hand.  I am particularly looking forward to the purple sprouting broccoli that I obtained today as it is one of my favourite veggies and it is full of goodness and I find it goes particularly well with chicken.  Although if there is any left I might cook it up during the week and serve it with some pasta and a cheese sauce.

Right I am off to settle my feathers - its an early night for me tonight and I think I have earned a sprawl today.  The front garden is still looking nice and tidy thank goodness.

Catch up soon



Saturday 10 March 2012

It has been a busy day here in Peterborough.  The weather has been lovely it started off nice and sunny and then clouded over for a little while.  A proper spring morning and with the re-appearance of the sun it makes everything much more cheerful somehow.  A day where I decided that I was going to start on the back garden and give it a bit of a spring clean.  But before tackling the garden I had things to do.

I went shopping first thing to the Charity shop and espied quite a few goodies as usual, but being ever practical I opted for items that I could use and be useful to me.  Hence a white Pyrex mixing bowl, 4 little ramekin pots and a sponge flan tin (one of those sponges you buy for putting jelly fruit and jello in) came home too.  I just love going to the charity shop preferably armed with some money but often just for a good look round.

I then descended on the veg shop primarily to get a tray of eggs but she didn't have one apart from 18 eggs and I came home with them.  Eggs have gone up for a tray of 30 to £3 or so and they are charging £3.99 over at the Asian shop.  All because the corn the hens are fed on has gone up; and another increase is due within the next few weeks.  Still reasonable as you can do a lot, but you have to be realistic in this day and age and it still works out cheaper in the long run as you have much more scope with what to make.

I also came back with a sack of spuds Cara 25kg for £6 and a smaller bag of red Desiree 10kg for £3.  They have just been delivered and will keep me going for a few weeks or so (on average we get through a sack of spuds in five to six weeks - and that's not with cooking every night either). OH also likes baked potatoes a lot so this will give him something to go at.  I already have the onions in for now but will need another bag in a week or so.

I also bought sweet potato, parsnip, squash, cauliflower, cabbage, two bags reduced sweet Italian peppers at 50 pence a bag.  Some destined for the freezer and some for a Focaccia.  Celery, purple sprouting broccoli, two swedes, carrots, red onions, two bunches spring onions, tomatoes.  So I have topped up quite a bit and some of it is destined for the freezer so that we can have roasties during the summer months as well.  I also intend to prepare what is left of the old sack of potatoes and do home made mash which can then be cooked and butter and milk added to.  I do not intend to waste anything at all if I can help it.

Since then I have got on with the gardening and it is starting to come together.  Still haven't finished in the herb area as have pots to sort out and a lot of rubbish to boot.  So if weather is nice tomorrow will be carrying on where I have left off today.  I have however enjoyed being out in the fresh air.  Once I get the garden sorted and seeds started off etc  I can then start on spring cleaning the house.  But first the garden is being spring cleaned!

We have had simple homely fair for tea tonight home made chips, baked beans bread and butter and fried egg.  It has gone down well and we have both enjoyed a fairly simple tea - no meat in sight!  We have also had an early tea as I am off to the Spiritualist Church for a service supporting my friend, mentor and Teacher Jackie Lesley as she is conducting the Saturday night service.  I am being collected at 6.30 p.m.

Hopefully I will be back for a further post later on, but if not I will catch you all tomorrow.

Take care wherever you have been and I hope your day has been happy and full of contentment.



A visit to the Charity Shop

Just stopped for a small tea break after getting stuck in with the immediate back garden outside the back door for most of the day.  This little stretch of garden is my herb garden and I also normally have some planters with bits and bobs in as well.  Thought I would tell you about some treasures I have found recently at my Charity Shop.

All inspired by Frugal Queen's post this morning about making a quilt out of recycled charity shop shirts, (and also a post a little while back by Cotton Reel)  I went tootling round to my local charity shop, but unfortunately they had no 50pence bargains; although they did have some nice shirts where the tones blended and would have been ideal for me starting to collect the fabric for a home made quilt cover.  However they wanted £3 apiece  (their prices seem to have gone up during the past few weeks) and after all the idea for me of making the quilt would be to make it frugally so that I came out with something handmade and unique for my home, but at a frugal price.  I shall have a wonder in town and see what I can find during the week and I will also have a raid on OH's shirts to see if there are any there that he does not want or will not fit him etc.

However, all was not lost, despite being unlucky with the fabric on this occasion I have still found some useful bounty!  I have snaffled a white Pyrex bowl (one that used to be used on a hand held mixer [in fact it has Morphy Richards Stamped on the bottom) for £1.50, a sponge flan case tin for 50 pence ideal as a base for home made Baked Alaska, and four little glass dishes for 80 pence.  These will go with the little glass dishes I got the other week from there.  They are like little ramekin dishes but I have in mind to use them for cheeses (Jam cheeses).  There is no lid with them, but that can be quite easily solved as I can put a waxed circle in on top of the cheese, cover with paraffin wax let it set and then put on a cellophane jam cover and store on the pantry shelf.  Well I am trying to get as much as I can out of my money.  I have fourteen of these little glass dishes so far, and I am keeping my eye out for more.

I have also had put up for me 6 Grolsch style beer bottles for £2 apiece.  They appear to have been used for ginger beer by their previous owner. I already have some, but wanted to add to my collection for use further on in the year as I have found that sometimes I am a little hamstrung with the things I want to make because I don't have enough of this type of bottle or that.  I will pick these up at the end of the month,  (I have put a small deposit on them) but needless to say I will get a lot of use out of them.

The other week however I managed to get about three metres of shower curtain material, enough to make a shower curtain for my bathroom for £2 and a Nut Brown hand held original Toastie Gadget for 70 pence.  I also managed to find some more small coloured glasses for 70 pence as well, which will go with some I already had.

So even with a little money during the past few weeks I have managed to find some useful treasures at my local charity shops.  Its just about keeping your eyes peeled and having the pennies to take advantage of the bargain.

Right I am off out into the garden again Tea break over [I have already managed to break a nail quite badly and my fingers are muddy despite wearing gloves] but it will be a job well done although I still have masses to do.

Back to work

Catch you later




Gone Gardening



Monday, 5 March 2012

Surprise Early Birthday present

I am well chuffed my lovely friend Alison treated me to an early birthday present today and it is lovely.(My birthday is not until May)  Called the Birthday Cake Book written by Fiona Cairns the creator of the Royal wedding cake for 2011.  And it is lush;

There are some smashing recipes in here and I am once I get into full gear going to have a go at some of these lovely creations with some new twists on some old favourites.  The more I look the more I like.  The more I look the more I see.

It gets very dangerous when us two go shopping together especially in Lakeland.

Thank you sweetheart very much appreciated you brightened up a gloomy day.



Sunday, 4 March 2012

Sunday Evening

 It is still cold and miserable here in Peterborough and the wind is howly and gusty this evening. I eventually got Demetri the Scallywag in wet, tired and hungry, he has stuffed his food down him and is now flat out not very far away from me or Squeak.  I haven't got the television on and its nice just to sit and be.

We had a late tea this evening, but it was delicious none the less.  I also made a tray of individual Yorkshire Puddings and they came up light an airy - made a dozen  - I note that OH has snaffled seven of them!   I have only had the two. They are quick to make and I don't mind as long as he enjoys his grub.

Not long back I made some vanilla buttercream to sandwich one of the Victoria Sponge cakes I made earlier on (and which came up very well) .  And sprinkled it just with icing sugar.  Gave some to OH for his pudding and I also had a slice - very tasty - and I am well pleased with the sponge.  I have some playing about to do sort of experimenting before I post the recipe as it is a batch recipe which I used to use ona regular basis well over 24 years ago,  out of which you can make several different cakes.  My camera charger is still missing and so when I do finally do a post I want to be able to photograph the evidence so that you can see what you are missing.  The little cup cakes have come up well tooand it does not cost too much to make.  I just wish I had a bigger kitchen in which to store all my kitchen bits and bobs (half of them are stored elsewhere) so when it comest to making something I have to dig the required tools out first which often leaves elsewhere untidy!  Its after times like today when I get to play that  I wish I didn't have to work and could do these homely things on a regular basis.  Its what I am aiming for a simpler gentler way of life - not one necessarily without hard work, but a different way of approaching things altogether.

When I think of alll the baking that my Nan did for the family, there were meat pies, fruit tarts, treacle tarts, apple pies, sausage rolls, coconut cheesecakes, school boys ear holes (jam tarts) crumbles, scones, bread, couple of sponge cakes, butterfly cakes a couple of tea breads (fruit loaves) to serve with cheese, supposedly to last the week, but Nan often set too and did a little extra half way through. There was always something in the tins to eat, and although my grandparents were  hard workers all of their lives and not materially rich, they were rich in other ways and we always ate well.  My Nan was a great one at making something out of next to nothing.  I do miss them especially on Winter days when we used to go to my grandparents and sit and chat by the fire.  A gentle silence which has left cozy memories.

Right I am off to tidy up a little I have had a little accident with the icing sugar and I don't want it trampling all through the house.

Take care wherever you may be and keep safe.

Catch up with you all soon.



Proper Winter Afternoon

It is horrible outside not stopped raining yet  and the wind is up- a proper grey winter afternoon.  (Apparently they have had snow just up the road from us in Wisbech).  An afternoon for being totally cuddled up at home.  Having a log fire would be pure perfection. Sigh one day!

 I have been in the kitchen baking; I have two deep plain victoria sponges cooking as we speak and a tray of butterfly/cup cake buns waiting to go in.  I have dragged my Kenwood out of retirement and been fiddling around, radio on in my own little world.  I used to do a lot of baking at one time, but it has dripped off to virtually nothing although I am known for  my spurts of enthusiasm but this is something I am going to remedy and probably do on a Saturday afternoon if I can get myself organised properly and get the bread made as well.  In fact my original passion was cake making and decorating but then I went on to preserving.  Trouble is when I am doing anything  I am easily distracted by either trawling round the Internet or by a book a magazine article a piece of music. A sob story - or getting touchy feely with fabrics, wool and the like. Or I get completely involved in the moment cooking something new, researching it and making adjustments if necessary to suit my own tastes.  I like the opportunity to play.

Sunday roast is on - piece of pork with lots of crackling; the apple sauce is already made - I made this yesterday and I am going to serve shredded buttered cabbage (savoy type), broccoli, carrot,s roast potato,parsnip garlic, shallot mixture and garlic(cooked in the pork juices) and some individual home made Yorkshire pudding with lashings of gravy.  There is enough veg for a second helping or for making down into bubble n squeak but there should be plenty of pork left for slicing and storing in the freezer for another day. Yummy I am very hungry.

Right am off to carry on a bit more.

Catch you all later on



 I have always loved poetry and this one is one of my favourites.  However I knew relatively little about the poet - for further information please look here.

However, what resonated  with me on reading this article is that W H Davies was known as the "Tramp Poet".  As a little girl I lived in one of the lodge cottages to Gunthorpe Hall Estate nr Oakham.  The road the cottage was situated on was the main road to Uppingham, and I was frequently found playing in the garden and if anyone went by I used to stop and talk to them.  If it was a gentleman of the road and I liked and felt sorry for them I used to invite them in for a cuppa tea.  That is until my Dad was home one day and put stop to my "invitiations".  I was only about two years old at the time.  The innocence of childhood.  

I hope you like the poem too.


What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,

Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,

And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

By William Henry Davies

Sunday morning

Its chilly and heavy rain is falling here in Peterbough. I have been up for a little while pottering around just in my pj's and my fluffy dressing gown; having the occasional cup of tea and listening to the pitter patter of the rain as it hits the window pane and sploshes on the pavements outside and the hissing of the puddles as cars go through them about their daily business.  There seems to be a lot of traffic this morning, especially for a Sunday.  However we very much need the rain as it has been so long since we really had a good drenching so cannot really complain.  Water the most important thing we rely on.

My constant companion Squeak is with me demanding her fuss and attention - Demetri is out again on his travels he will be holed up somewhere knowing him.  I have called but there is no response.  He is not very keen on the rain and if its raining when he is due to go out he bawls looks up at you as though you have the power to switch it off.  Silly mog.   He escaped again last night after he had been fed and watered - let himself out.  So I have had to use electrical tape on the window to stop him going out and letting the cold into the house especially after getting it nice and warm.  He will come in when he is ready he is known to bawl at the back door when he is ready to come in.  My stray is very much liking his creature comforts and of course he has to have a fuss and if you don't give him the required amount of attention he comes and helps himself.

I had been hoping to get the garden done - at the minute by the time I get home it is too dark to do any gardening and I don't thing torch light gardening is called for just yet.  Ah well these things are sent to try us.  But it is going to get done soon.

No doubt I will be able to find plenty of other things to do.  I think its a play in the kitchen day.

Think its a puddle jumping kind a day

Catch up soon



Saturday, 3 March 2012

Apples n things

Change of plan - rained so garden has been put off hopefully until tomorrow; never mind the set back I have been in the kitchen playing. 

I always keep in cooking apples either already prepared in a puree in the freezer, potted (bottled) or fresh.  In fact there was a time in my llife where I never had to buy apples, we just used to get them from my Nans. But since Nan passed over have had to buy them.  I think that is why I dream of having a home in the countryside, with a bit of land my own veg plot, orchards and Nuttery.

In any event  I had some apples to puree and put in the freezer which I have since done. Nothing fancy has been added to the apple just a little sugar and I mean a little sugar and a knob of butter and the apples cooked until a thick puree although with chunky bits in if you know what I mean. A ready supply of prepared apples for a busy household.  Then when a pot of the frozen puree is taken out of the freezer at a later date it can be used to make mini apple pies, as a sauce, to fill a large pie or form the basis of a cake or served with ice cream makes a very quick pud.  I have seven pots of apple puree; six have gone into the freezer. [ the seventh is reserved for the large joint of roast pork which is destined for Sunday lunch tomorrow. It will give us a good couple of meals and the rest is destined to be frozen in slices in the freezer (it is going to be sliced up on the meat slicer once cold) and then used to form either the basis of a roast meal during the week or to be used cold in Sandwiches.  I like to try and get as much as I can for my money and make something out of relatively little  I have found that buying a larger piece of meat if I can afford it means that the meat cooks nicer and does not dry out quite so quickly.  The piece we got for tomorrow cost £9.37 so not too bad.  Just hope it makes good eating.]

Anyway I digress.  I have prepared 2kg of Bramley cooking apples and I have the skins left over - what a waste on a normal basis they will either end up in the dustbin or the composter (composter preferably) and that just is not good enough in my book so  I have been rootling around for some ideas to get something useful out of nothing and have come up with the following:  Did you realise that the skin of apples and the cores, contains pectin the natural setting agent used for setting jams and jellies.  It is much better to make your own so it is worth keeping the peels and the cores and freeezing them until you have enough to make a batch of the compost jelly (the addition of sugar makes it into the jelly) or alternatively a batch of pectin, which can be bottled and hot water bath processed to make it keep longer for use later on in the year when there is Strawberry Jam and low pectin fruit jellies and jams to make).

Being a great fan of the Pam Corbin River Cottage Preserves book I turned first to this little gem and decided that as I had the odd orange and lemon that had dried out and was really past its best, together with a lime, seville oranges and the apple peel that I would have a go at making the compost jelly.  Its bubbling as we speak to get as much as the flavour out of the apples, and citrus fruit as I can. It will then go overnight into a Jelly bag and I will complete making it tomorrow.  It will come in handy for having on toast or crumpets or for using with chicken, home made chinese etc.

Will post my adaptation of the recipe later on

Right I am off to play again.

Catch you later


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)