Wednesday, 30 January 2019

A little more preparation

After coming home, I then went with OH to walk Missy for her evening exercise. It was bitterly cold and I lost the circulation in my fingers again. Fortunately the house is nice and warm and is toasty but it needed to be as I really had gone cold on the inside.

On the way back we nipped to the shop as I was not sure what to do for tea.  We decided we were going to do a home made curry OH Butter Chicken and myself Jalfrezi.  Cheats version with premade sauces but it has still gone down extremely well served with plain yogurt and Naan bread.  Now completely stuffed.

We have steak pie for tomorrow evening and OH will be having cherry pie for pudding and myself treacle pudding both of them served with custard.

I was a bit down after not being able to play yesterday with my crafting but I did not leave it there.  Last night instead of doing some more cross stitch on my UFO I set too and stripped another four men's shirts down ready for use in a patchwork quilt or two.  They were mainly reds or pinky reds last night with some tartan in as well.  The colourways in these shirts will predominantly lend themselves to Christmas style quilts because they have this wonderful vintage paler look rather than being right in your face.  So yesterday finished on a positive turn and a little more work has taken place on the preparation front.

Today after getting back from being with my friend I have set too and started to cut out some of the Dresden Fan templates as I aim to be able to start stitching these together when I have my play day.  It is necessary preparation work and I want to be able to make at least a couple of batches up and get them out of the way with.  There is a dual purpose to this.  I need the bunting to decorate my dressers at home, but there is also an event that I will be involved with that will require some bunting.  I will also need to make some Christmas bunting for later on in the year not just for the house but also for another event.

I also have to cut out some backing material for the bunting I have to make up. In fairness I bought a couple of pre-prepared kits and there is no need for the backing I just feel it will give the bunting more substance if it is backed up properly and keep better as the edges will be finished off.  I have some pre-washed calico I intend to use for this purpose.  Yet again necessary preparation work.

At the moment I am centring on the crafting day being mainly based on the sewing machine as there is quite a lot of work that needs doing in relation to this.  So any necessary preparation work I hope to get done and out the way with prior to the actual crafting day.  That way on hopefully I will be able to maximise the time available.

As I have said before patchwork is going to play a big part in this and I shall also break this down into breakable projects that can be done a little at a time, gradually building up to a finished piece.  That way round I will also learn my way around the whole process.

I also have some pre-printed Christmas items to make up, Christmas stockings, wall/table wreaths, table mats etc to make up.  There is a lot to do so I do need to get myself organised.

Right had better start getting ready for tomorrow.  Need to make up OH's packup and get it into the fridge.

Catch you soon.



A lovely day

Has been spent with my friend today. Instead of meeting in town for coffee and a piece of cake today she came and picked me up from home and then took me back to her home.  She lives just down the road from where my mum used to live and where I grew up.  I had lunch and a piece of cake and then we hit the local antiques centre for a browse.  We had a lovely time looking at all the different stores within the centre.  She likes going to auctions and also to vintage shops herself.  What I have been aspiring to and what she has been doing are very much the same thing except she has been collecting the individual furniture pieces over the years whereas I do not have the room to do that at the moment. However I have been collecting the smaller things.   We were both bouncing off each other and really had a good time.

Although I did not buy anything today at the antiques centre I did see several pieces which I was quite interested in, including a brass oil lamp base but it had no globe, some stone storage containers, some lovely linen pieces, some china - all of which would go with stuff already collected.  As I said to my friend if some of the pieces are still there when we go again then if I have the money I am meant to have it!

We have another couple of trips planned for the coming weeks including a trip to a local Antiques Fayre in March.  Apparently I will need all day for this.

Its nice to have someone so interested in vintage pieces as much as I am.

I was however naughty as before going out with my friend I did pick up a matching set of crystal vases for £3 the pair from the local charity shop. 

They are cut glass crystal and there is not a chip in either of them.  Will look quite pretty as part of a dining table centre piece.

Right am off to potter.  Hopefully catch up a little later.




Things did not go to plan and no sewing or crafting took place.  Nor did the paperwork get sorted yesterday as the keyboard packed up on the computer.  I have been out and bought another keypad this evening.  

So back to the drawing board and I hope to get to the crafting later on in the week.  Will see how things go otherwise it will be next Tuesday again.

However as I did not get to cut my patchwork pieces for the Dresden plate quilt either that will give me time to cut them out.  It will also give me time to cut the backing for the bunting as well.

Its been very cold here today and has been wet this evening I think occasionally with sleet interlaced with the rain.  I think as a result it will be particularly nasty in the morning.  

Fortunately the house is nice and warm at the moment which is the main thing and the animals have somewhere warmish to cuddle up as well.

Catch you all sometime during tomorrow.

Keep safe wherever you are.



Monday, 28 January 2019

Gravy In the name of experimentation

My mother always used to say that the crowning glory to any good meal was the gravy.  It would either make or break a dish.  I agree with her entirely on this point, but sometimes getting the gravy right can be a headache in itself.  After all at the end of the day we are only human.  Sometimes we have really good days and another things can be really off.  I tend to be one of these people that if I am not firing on all pistons or cylinders that it tends to come out in my cooking!

I was taught to make gravy the old fashioned way, with the veggie juices, and meat juices if doing a roast or a cut of meat, plenty of white pepper, some Burdall's Gravy browning (now not available but the one I tried recently is very good although you do not need much as it is very salty) a little cranberry or redcurrant jelly (I prefer redcurrant by choice), some Marigold flavouring, available from good supermarkets and Holland and Barratt, some Herbs de Provence or more particularly Thyme if I have it to hand.  These nearly always go into a basic gravy mix.  I have also taken to using Arrowroot to thicken the gravy in preference to Cornflour.

I started messing around a week or two back when I was preparing Toad in the hole.  When I make this I prefer a gravy that has an onion background, but every so often that gravy did not come up to snuff and the onion flavour was not as pronounced as I would wish it to be.  Not bad but not quite as I wanted it.  So back to the drawing board and a slightly different approach.

I had read that to deglaze a pan and get all the flavoursome bits off the bottom that you could add wine to a gravy mix and that this would also give extra body and flavour to the gravy.  On that basis I thought why not wine vinegar or indeed cider vinegar.  I have both in the house but the easiest to hand was the cider vinegar.  I always put a dash of vinegar in a Yorkshire pudding mix in any event just before putting into a nice hot pan to assist with the raise so why not the gravy!

So off I went I gently fried in some butter and some oil a finely sliced onion until just starting to caramelize and then adding a dash of water to the mix a little at a time so that it does not over-flood the mixture and thickens in between.  I then added plenty of white pepper, a couple of bay leaves, some Herbs de Provence a teaspoon of redcurrant jelly, some of the Marigold mix, a chicken pot and a beef pot, some veggie water or if none some ordinary water and bought to the bubble and let the flavours develop a little. I then added a teaspoon and a half of cider vinegar. 

On this particular occasion as the Toad was in the oven I used a separate saucepan but normally I use the tray the meat was roasted in and get all the goodness off the bottom of the tray.  I keep tasting in between and adding extra of this and that if needed.  However after adding the vinegar I was quite surprised that the flavour took on a sweet and sour effect and it went well with the pork sausages in the Toad.  Only after I am happy with the flavour do  I bring the mixture to a rolling boil and then cool it down and draw the pan off the flame/heat.  I then stir in the thickener, more commonly these days I use Arrowroot as it gives a shinier effect and does not lump as much in the pan.  You can buy Arrowroot by the lb from Holland and Barratt. I was so pleased with the final gravy and felt it complimented the meal beautifully and seemed to enhance the onion flavour that bit more.  So I shall carry on doing this.  It has also worked very well with Roast Pork and also with the chickens that I cooked over the weekend.

I do not add salt as any of the commercial stock flavourings are usually very high in salt and so there is no real need to add salt unless your taste buds tell you differently and then I use sea salt and only a very light sprinkling.

In case you are wondering what the Marigold is (not is not the rubber gloves) it is a dried flavouring that I think adds a lot more flavour to home made gravies.

This is not an advertisement just my own personal view.  You do not need to use much of it either.

How do you make gravy?  Do you experiment or is it something that you have not really considered in any great depth or indeed how to vary the flavourings.  Would love to hear from you.

Catch you soon.



Things to do today

 I am on a timetable today and hence an early start and need to get the following achieved:

  • Extensive paperwork.
  • Apply for some jobs, which entails preparing a brand new CV and writing letters.  There are three or four I am interested in and if I don't try I will not know.  However I hate the processes involved in the same as I never come over at my best.  I always find I kind of intimidating.
  • I need to tidy out the Craft Room/Computer room in readiness for my play day on Tuesday and get the relevant supplies in place and to hand.  So quite a bit of sorting out to do.
  • Get dishwasher on.
  • Get washer and dryer on.
  • Am out in the evening for a meeting.
  • Need to prepare a meal for OH for when he comes in from work.
  • Some patchwork needs cutting for completing on Tuesday.  Will probably do this later when I get in.
  • Some more on the needlepoint cross stitch UFO.

So quite a bit to do.

Hopefully will get a clear run.

Catch you soon.



Sunday, 27 January 2019

Sunday round up

I have been on the internet most of the afternoon doing some more research for future projects and also different ways of doing things.  I have been on both You Tube watching tutorials and also on Pinterest saving items and recipes for future use.  Bit of dreaming going on here in the process but it has taken me out of myself and been giving me ideas for doing future things.

It has been very cold here today.  We have had the heating on and the house is reasonably warm although it could be warmer.  The back bedroom is cold inbetween the main bedroom and the computer room.  I put this down to the fact that the building is an L shape here and the wind blows straight into the L shape and thus makes that bedroom wall really cold.  Fortunately I have a pair of thick velvet curtains up at the windows but it only stops a little of it.

We have roast chicken for tea.  Just served plainly with steamed vegetables.  We have mashed potatoes, carrots, spring cabbage and some broccoli.  The remnants of the chicken will be used for Coronation chicken and will be used up as in my earlier post today.  For those of you this is a curry flavoured mayonnaise mixture that uses up any leftovers from a roast chicken.  As I will have two to deal with and as I want OH to have a variety of stuff for his packed lunch and do not want him to get bored I thought that I would give this an airing.  It is something my family have made on and off for years but as I could not locate my recipe I went on the web and found this one on the BBC Good Food site Coronation Chicken.  I will not be adding cinnamon or dried fruit though as OH not a fan of this.

Sometimes here, it is six steps backward one step forward.  The computer/craft room is in a mess again and so tomorrow is going to be spent tidying that up again.  OH will be at work and Tuesday is my designated playday.  That did not happen last week because of other reasons. So I need to be able to play and have things easily to hand.  Fingers crossed and toes plaited that this will actually happen this week.  I need to seriously play to relax and sort out my jumbled thoughts. I have some bunting I want to make up.  I also want to start a Dresden plate quilt, by working on the blades and building them up.  I have never done this before.  However I have done a little patchwork even though I am not as cohesive with it or as fluent as I aim to be.  But Rome was not built in a day and I have to start somewhere.

I have a couple of packs of Fat quarters which I am going to use for this purpose. Needs cutting out yet. The colours blend really well together and I have some rose pink plain that I might use with it.  Do you think the colours will work together?  Should it be a smaller print  as these are a lot larger than I would have normally gone for.  Thought might use a cream background on which to mount the Plates once all made up.

I also have a couple of vintage embroidered cushion covers that need laundering and then re-stitching so that they can go into one of my Rocking chairs.  There are some other projects as well so will have to see how we get on.  I intend to make a full day of it.

I also have some paperwork to deal with and get out of the way so I envisage an early start to get this done.

Right I believe the chicken is now cooked and we need to eat.  Have not done so well today on the time factor but hey ho will get there in the end.

Catch you soon.



Another Blustery day and Foodie things

Mother nature is dusting out the cobwebs and it is grey and overcast.  I did not do very much yesterday and not much is planned for today apart from some pottering in the kitchen which is more than a necessity.  

We did not go shopping in the freezer yesterday.  I bought a couple of fresh chickens instead.  One we had last night and the other I intend to cook for tea with some simple veggies for later on.  If there are any scraps left over then I will probably make some Coronation chicken for OH's pack up and the rest of the scraps will go to the fur babies as a treat. Equally it could also go into a home made curry, or a chicken mould or even into some small pies. Then I will put the slow cooker on for chicken stock from the bones. I have been using it a lot in soups, stews and also in gravies just recently.  Getting the most from what I am buying and all the goodness within it.

I have been enjoying getting back into my cooking just recently.  I have always enjoyed it, its just sometimes it is far more satisfying than at others and I have had time to play a little rather than just shove everything in and run which many of us have to do or have had to do out of necessity. Taking your time often pays dividends.  This seems to be as a result of me planning things a little better than I have done in the past with an outline Menu.  Although at the time of typing this article, that "Menu" plan is undetermined as I have not bought anything apart from a shipping load of baked beans, some packs of noodles and some cup a soup's for OH to take to work with him oh and some stewing steak either for a steak pie or a stew.  The jury is out on this at the moment. There was also an offer on some chillies, which I intend to turn into home made sweet and sour sauce.  A separate post will follow on this.  I also have a selection of veggies which will be used for tea later and then I will take stock and sort out this week's offerings.  I might get OH to go into the freezer a little later on so that I have some outline of what we will be eating this week and so that I can organise things.

I am still looking for Seville Oranges which so far I have not seen any yet although I know that others throughout the country have been able to gain access to them.

During the week I set up the slow cookers to cook a ham hock and also the vegetable stock from all the peelings.  That is now in bottles in the fridge  I have been using an awful lot of home made stocks just lately as well as freezing some up.

When the children were at home I used to prepare a gammon joint or a ham hock on a regular basis and we used it up partially for pack ups but also in soups, and in quiches.  There is a lot you can use this for it does not just have to be for pack ups and it can be a very useful addition to the everyday pantry economically as well.  

The veg peeling stock

OH thoroughly enjoyed it and I enquired whether he would like me to get back into doing one every week or so and he agreed it would be a good idea as it had been very tasty.  Doing it in the slow cooker means that I can leave it and get on with other things and means that it is safe out of the way on the worktop in the process and not on the cooker needing constant attention.  You can also put pieces of any ham hock left over into a gelatine base and make a ham hock mould which can then be cut into slices and served with a side salad to use up and make something of any fiddly little tiny bits.  Its also a way of presenting used ingredients in a different format and often with different flavourings so is a "win-win" on the food front.  

Right I had better get on my kitchen is calling me.

Catch you soon.  

Pattypan xxx

Saturday, 26 January 2019


Just a little look at how the UFO is turning into a WIP and how far I have managed to get to date.

After the pink flower to the left and a little of the pink flower to the right are worked that will be exactly half of the cross stitch needlepoint worked.  When I started working it there had only been a couple of rows worked and I had to pull some of those down.  So it is gradually coming along.  That is three nights on the trot have managed to do some work.  Have put in about 12 hours work so far.  These projects are time consuming but they do give you something different for your home.  I have some Sanderson's Peony fabric which I shall back this panel up with once completely worked.  Has all the right colours in.

Catch up a little later.



Friday, 25 January 2019

Thank God it is Friday

This week has gone quickly and it seems as if I have hardly had time to blink and whoosh everything has gone - in the words of the comic Tommy Cooper "Just like that"!

I met a friend for lunch today and we put the world to rights as we always do.  It is lovely we can just be ourselves with each other and there is no judgment or criticism just pleasure at being in each other's company and we help each other fight our own individual problems and are supportive of each other.

I then after meeting my friend went and did a little shopping, stocked up on milk, baked beans, stain remover, nothing really exciting all having a practical purpose and need and I also bought some beef and red wine pasta which I have had for tea with some tomato sauce.  It was comforting and filling and has gone down very nicely.

Last night I managed to have another go at my UFO cross stitched needlepoint and managed another good couple of hours of work on it.  It is slow going but it is growing and I am hoping that I will finish this within a month or less (that is if I managed to get a couple of good more goes at sitting and working at it).  

I have already sorted out the next UFO to work.  It is a part worked needlepoint which appears to have all the colourwork completed but it did not come with a chart so am not absolutely sure.  I think it just needs the background working in cream and then that will be finished also.  Fingers crossed and toes plaited.  I will leave that there and carry on working through.  Then I will choose the next one.

This Tuesday I am all set for a play day on the crafting front.  I picked up my Quilting magazine today which has a template for a blade for a Dresden plate design in patchwork as a freebie on the front cover.  I think I may start with this as a starter piece as I have lots of fat quarters and lots of fabric and can build this up bit by bit and then mount on some cream fabric and then build the panels up into either a throw or a quilt.  Plus if I get all the blades sorted out and cut it will then be just a matter of assembling.  I do not have much in the way of backing fabric at the moment or indeed wadding but that would for me be part of the finishing stage for any particular item.  So I am very much looking forward to playing come Tuesday.  It will happen this time.  It is non-negotiable.

I have some other bits to put together and mend as well so hopefully I will have a few finished items to share then.

Right am off to potter.

Catch you soon.



Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Wednesday catch up

Thank you for all your lovely comments and support yesterday.  It was not a good day, but at least I partially faced up to some problems and there are now a few things in place to move forward.  I have been in a better place today as a result.  Sometimes I worry about things I have no control over  - not that I am a control freak its just I like to be as prepared as I can and when I don't feel up to dealing with things I just lose the plot.  I have had to point out to OH that just because he thinks I am capable of doing this and that in reality I may not be able to deliver and therefore his expectation puts extra pressure on me which I do not need.  I think I have got through on this point at long last. I can deal with a lot of what is thrown at me, but sometimes, just sometimes it is too much!  Yesterday was such a day.

It has been another busy day today and I am now absolutely shattered.  I had planned to meet with a friend and then had to go to an appointment and deal with another item on the hit list.  All now sorted, but rather than not meet my friend we ended up doing our usual thing and then she accompanied me to my appointment and then we went for another wander afterwards.  It was good to meet up with her.

I have lots of things to do over the next few days.  Dealing with some of my issues is making me feel a bit more positive but I also have a lot of stuff to do in the house.  This week seems to have gone by and I don't seem to have achieved very much which is grieving me.  Fortunately tomorrow I am home and am going to be organising first thing all my patchwork material.  I have some plastic tubs with some of it in and I have a load more to go in there.  At some point I also want to give the Accuquilt cutter a run with some of the recycled shirting I have stashed to date so that I can do all the preparation in advance of a sewing/crafting day.  I also want to do some Dresden petals/ties and then build them up into a patch with various scraps of fabric and then hopefully a quilt.  When I have a crafting day I want to be sewing and making rather than all the preparation.

I also have some expensive patterned tea towels that I bought a while back to intermingle with some linen and/or pre-washed calico to make a large different style of tablecloth.  I have at least a couple of batches of different cloths to make two tablecloths.  

Whilst out with my friend today I saw some lovely Easter tablecloths two for £5.99.  I may get some of these next time when I go in and do a similar thing for an Easter table cloth.  I have plenty of yellow cotton and polka dot cotton to mix and match it with as well as plenty of calico.  I might even be able to embroider on some Easter images with the embroidery machine once I get it up and running.  

I am aiming again to have next Tuesday to myself for crafting.  I have done a little more to the UFO cross stitch needlepoint.

It has been bitterly cold here again today.  Fortunately at the moment the house is nice and warm, but my heart goes out to those without a roof over their heads in this dreadful weather.

Keep safe everyone.

Catch you soon.



Chinese style plum Sauce

Angela as requested and as promised, I have looked out the recipe for this very useful sauce for the pantry shelf.  I have had trouble laying my hands on the relevant book due to all the upheaval in the front room but now here is the recipe that I have used and like and which is very useful.  It is a recipe by Thane Prince from her cookbook Jams and Chutneys ISBN: 978-1-4053-2954-5 published by Dorling Kindersley.  It is a favourite of mine and has lots of lovely recipes.  A book that is in continual use.  

The only thing I do is after the preserve is made for the purpose of longer keeping I water bottle sterilise the jars to extract any air bring up to temperature and then process for about 15 minutes then leave to cool.  Technically there may not be a need for this but I am happier preparing long term preserves this way on and then after they are opened I keep any residue (if any left over in the fridge).

Like when bottling fruit the lid should have gone hard and should not depress at all. You can use smaller or medium sized jars and do not have to put into bottles.  If there are more of you to feed on a regular basis in your household use a larger jar.  If just the two of you make in smaller jars.  That way round you should get the amount that will suit you without any wastage.

I tend to use the purple plums as I love their colour.  This sauce is particularly useful on a home prepared and cooked rack of ribs.  I mix in some of this sauce with some elderberry jelly and it gives a lovely sweet and sour sauce the elderberry jelly seems to lend some depth to the flavour.

To quote Thane Prince:

"This plum sauce is most often served with crispy duck, but it could be used to also add a zing to many stir-fries.  Away from the Chinese kitchen I like to serve it with cold meats and cheeses.  I also use it as a baste for pork joints or chops towards the end of cooking, to give them extra flavour.  Plums of any colour may be used making this recipe handy if you have a glut of fruit".

Makes about 1 litre

Takes approximately 90 minutes

Keeps for about a year.


2kg/4 1/2lb ripe plums
750g/1lb 10 oz white onions chopped
cloves from 1 to 2 whole heads of garlic chopped
20cm/8 inch piece of fresh root ginger, about 400g/25oz peeled and chopped.
250ml light soy sauce
1 litre/ 1 3/4 pints rice wine vinegar
1kg/ 2 1/4lb light muscovado sugar
6 star anise finely ground


1.Cut the plums in half and remove the stones this will make sieving easier later on.  Place all ingredients apart from the sugar and star anise in a large preserving/maslin pan.  Bring the contents up to a boil, cover and then simmer for 20 minutes or until the ingredients are very soft.

2.  Pass the mixture through a mouli or a coarse sieve and return to the cleaned pan.

3.  Add the sugar and star anise and bring back to the boil stirring frequently to ensure that the sugar dissolves.  Simmer the mixture for 30 to 60 minutes until the sauce is thick and creamy.

4.  Pot the plum sauce into hot sterilised bottles and seal with a vinegar proof lid and label.


If you would like a more fiery sauce add 4 to 6 chillies deseeded if preferred then chopped with the vegetables at the start of cooking".

It is well worth making, and I have managed to keep it over a year when I have made it in the past.  It is a sweet sauce but lovely.  We like it anyway.

One thing I am very particular about is that I water sterilise the bottles before use and then add the sauce, and then water bath process whether using jars or bottles.  If using bottles I use a baby steriliser as it is an ideal size for sauce bottles or Hex bottles.  You just bring the steriliser with the bottles insitu up to boil and then once boil is achieved time for approximately 15 to 20 minutes.  You can take the bottles out with tongs if you have another batch to process but let the water cool a little before putting on again.  Alternatively you can leave the bottles in the baby steriliser to go completely cold and then remove them and store on the pantry shelf.

I am also obsessive about using new lids and caps on jars and bottles (or seals).  I never re-use them.  Once used they are binned.  This seems to preserve the integrity of the preserve and I have had very few fails on the preserve part with it going mouldy or off.  

When it comes to home made preserves if you are not happy with using a preserve because it is bubbling or has gone mouldy.  Do not under any circumstances use it.  Use your eyes and listen to your inner voice and common sense.  If it says not to use - err on the side of caution and do not.

I hope this helps, and will give you a valuable pantry shelf sauce for use all year round (if you make enough of it).  My OH particularly as I have said before loves it with home prepared pork ribs/baby rack of ribs.

Catch you soon.



Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Pongey post

Well it has been one of those days literally and no play day as a result. For some three weeks or so my phone has been missing.  Not quite sure where it is so feeling a little out of it as a result. Just have not got a clue where it is.

Today started at 11:00am with someone waking me up hammering on the door.  I was disorientated and as at the moment we do not use the front door.  I was also naked, and not able to find my keys.  Why is it when people knock on doors that they  can expect an immediate response or is it just me.  It takes an age to try and get dressed and to get through the house  and  by the time I had found keys and put on a dressing gown all had gone calm.  So I went about my business and curled up and fell back asleep not ideal but how I have been recently.

I have not had a play day as a result not firing on all pistons.completely out of sync.  Not a good day in one sense.

Did not stop there as I was about to take some rubbish out to the dustbins  and walked slap bang into the next door neighbour and an Anglian water representative.  It would appear that the drains were blocked and that they needed access to the garden. It would also appear that there is a drainage hatch halfway down the passage that neither the next door neighbour or I knew about.  We have been here about 32 years.  That hatch is very much Covered in concrete somewhat and no doubt a major breach of planning rules! Why am  I not surprised and the Landlord is a Councillor!  They had the camera down. Apparently the joint drain between the two properties was blocked which had subsequently blocked our drain.  As the lid was under the fence (surprise surprise)  I am not shocked its what you get used to.  We need somewhere without any issues.  It worries me.  Unfortunately if you do not react in a set way you are classified as uncooperative.  We react in our own way and which is the most sensible way for us as a family but it is not always seen as such.  This thing of presuming and assumption is all out of order and furthest from the truth.

All well and good but my garden is a hideous mess at the moment.  OH does not do gardening anyway.  However, OH and I had ,made a start on tackling it on Sunday when I ended up in agony with my hands and then I had ended up having to come in.  So extremely embarrassing all round.   Sorry I apologise in advance I am telling how it is at the moment.  I really need to get going and my mojo reviving soon.  I am in a bit of a mess emotionally, financially and practically.  So completely alien to what I actually am.  Events and issues in life are making me freeze so much so I cannot dal with anything at the moment. I cannot focus -  I just can't! and I am just not able to deal  I don't know what to do or how too. Yet I know I need to do better than I am doing. It is not down to lack of effort!

 The Anglian Water Representative after clearing the drains had a cameradown the drain to make sure that there was no other problem.  Because it is a joint drain staggered between the two of us we apparently do not have to pay any extra insurance for drain clearage etc but that Anglian Water will come out and sort out any issues and problems relating to the property as it is very much a joint drain.  So now we know.  I had not noted any issues apart from the sink running slow but I use a bowl in the sink anyway so you do not always notice if there is an issue - he did have difficulty getting into the second chamber as the fence had been laid directly over the top and it was difficult to get the lids off. Part of it was wedged directly under the fence. What a shock!  Aroma wise not very nice, but the lad who attended who was smashing actually gave me information that whenever there is a problem, that both shafts need attending to not just the one.  As OH has his own rods this is very important.

As a result the garden is now in an even bigger mess.  will try and sort out a bit at the next fair day available.  It needs doing.  The patio slabs also need moving to the back of the shed.  We need to get an early start on the garden this year, although it will have to be mild before I go out.  However I do want that Potager style garden to grow a few things and hopefully get the rest of the mess sorted a bit more.

At least at the weekend we managed to get rid of so much rubbish.  There will be more again this weekend that will need taking.  Sorting out everything a bit at a time 

The bonus today was that I found £10 in a birthday card which I had forgotten about.  That was very much the silver lining to the day.

Such small and simple things mean a lot these days and I feel very humble, although not always absolutely coping as I could and should do.  Such is the human condition.  We all have our crosses to bear.  Hopefully things will get better soon for everyone.  

Catch up shortly.  

Pattypan xxx

Monday, 21 January 2019

Monday, Sausagemeat and Tomatoes

Has been a long and quiet day.  Very cold and I was decidedly below par, I think due to the Raynaud's attack I had yesterday, my hands have hurt quite badly today and have felt bruised on the inside.  As a result today has been spent watching some You Tube videos on how to make various things,  research for future projects.  We have both been covered over with a throw with Missy snuggled up underneath it as well.

I had planned on having a repeat performance of yesterday's dinner tonight but OH requested that we have tomatoes and sausage.  As I had said items that were easily to hand and that is what we had.

It is not a complex meal.  What I call soul food, comfort food - one of my mum's repertoire.  Basically it consists of a couple of tins of plum Italian tomatoes that are not chopped (although you can use them) I prefer to use the whole tomatoes as the colour is better and I think the flavour.  Mum always used to do with good quality sausages either chipolatas or full sausages.  On this occasion I had sausage meat that needed using up and so made sausage patties out of them and then after cooking them separately in the pan then adding the tinned tomatoes and a liberal sprinkling of white pepper mixed in with the tomatoes until piping hot.  Serve with plain bread or bread and butter.  Very quick to prepare and just what the Doctor ordered for tonight.  Yesterday's meal will not go amiss - he will have the meat in sarnies for his pack up tomorrow. and the veg will be turned into bubble n squeak which will go with some small gammon steaks which will be having for tea tomorrow night.  Things have a habit of working out one way or the other on the meal front and achieving minimum waste is always uppermost in my mind.

Tonight I plan on having an early night although I shall do a little more on the unfinished needlepoint UFO before going to sleep.  

Tomorrow I am going to play (I hope) fingers crossed and all that jazz.

Catch you soon.



Sunday, 20 January 2019

Sunday roundup

After  my coffee break earlier on I then set too and cooked our Sunday lunch.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Everything was tasty. It consisted of a small piece of Topside, roasted over chopped raw onion.  I served with it Broccoli and Cauliflower cheese, French beans, shredded cabbage, mashed potatoes, carrots with lashings of gravy and half a pie dish each Yorkshire Pudding.  It was delicious.  It is very unusual for me to enjoy my own cooking but today I did.

I have made a few subtle changes to some of the things I cook over the past week or so more in experimentation than anything else but it seems to have worked.  I shall write more about that in a separate post.

After we had finished our roast, we then watched the Treasure of the Knights Templar on Blaze which was on at 9pm.  I think like a lot of the programmes they sensationalise them but this particular programme is interesting as they are backing up and exploring links and marrying them up with some very interesting finds.  Well worth a look.  I have an interest in the Knights Templar in any event and have had for quite a considerable time.

After that I needed a new blind putting up in the dining room, new blind in the kitchen, both the windows were washed out and new net hung in the dining room and kitchen windows.  I have a pair of curtains to hang in the back bedroom sometime tomorrow as well.  Will tidy things up a bit and the ones for the back bedroom are a thick velvet which I am hoping will stop the draught a little.

So all in all it has been a very busy day  I am about bushed and it is an early start tomorrow as OH is back to work.  Has been pleasant having him home.  Now back to the grind and to play on Tuesday.  Am really excited.  Will do a couple of rows of needlepoint on the UFO before I crash out.

Catch you all soon.



P.S. I seem to have some new followers.  You are very welcome and I hope my ramblings inspire and/or help (they may well hinder) but that is my hope.



Its ben a tad hectic

Here today in Peterborough and I have not stopped to draw breath until now since getting up.

OH decided he was getting up early to try and tackle the back herb garden a little.  The bay tree had got out of hand and needed chopping down a bit and tidying up.  Also sorted some of the pots and rubbish but need to get back in there during the day (hopefully a warmer one) as it was absolutely bitter outside to try and get it a little more streamlined and under control again. I hope we have a warmer day soon as I want to grow a lot of seeds this year and do the Potager proper.

In any event branches from the bay tree needed chopping up to get them in bin liners in readiness to take to the tip.  So I set too and started that and had to come in, in absolute agony. I had a very bad and painful Raynaud's attack whilst chopping up the bay and got really cold even though I was wearing thick gloves and had to come in, warm up and take some pain killers.  I then got wrapped up and went back out again this time with a pair of marigolds on top of a warmed pair of gloves and I was okay.  

I had also liberated a lot of rubbish from the front room last night another six bags full and they also needed bagging and taking out in readiness to going to the tip.  The result was that the van was filled to the brim.  We needed diesel, Missy needed walking so we dealt with these one after another to save going in and out all the time.  It was a nice ride out, lovely afternoon very cold, clear blue sky, sun out.  I suspect we are in for another very cold night though.

I am now taking five minutes out before I go and cook Sunday lunch, piece of roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, shredded cabbage, carrots, cauliflower cheese, roasties and a little mash.  That should do very nicely.  Am looking forward to that.

Tonight there is the second part of the Knight's Templar treasure search on TV and I am looking forward to that as I really enjoyed last week's programme.

I did not manage to get to do any of the UFO last evening but I intend to do some more tonight.

First thing first though, washing machine needs to go on as my jacket needs washing and some of OH's stuff as well.

Back on my own tomorrow and I am planning on spending Tuesday sewing and crafting.  Cannot wait but have a lot of stuff to do before then.  Still loads to do in the front room but am getting there.

Right better get a wriggle on.  Hope everyone has had a lovely afternoon.

Catch you soon.



Saturday, 19 January 2019

Working a UFO

Don't die of shock.  I have actually picked up an unfinished item and started working it again last night.  Very chuffed and I quickly settled into a rhythm of working.  Spent about seven hours last night on it.  This is a cross stitch woollen needlepoint with flowers on which is going to be turned into another cushion cover for the front room.  Unfortunately I did not take some before photos but needless to say last evening I sat and worked a lot of it.  Photos will have to follow later as I am having issues loading them.  It would appear to be Roses/Paeonies with Delphiniums.  It is also on a coarser mesh canvas more akin to a miniature rug canvas.  I had to unpick part of it last night as I had worked the wrong colour in the wrong place but that was quickly sorted.  All tickety boo now.

Still working in the lounge we are in and a lot of stuff is out.  Am now having to stop and make room elsewhere so that I can give the remainder of the stuff a home.  Still a long way to go but small strides at the moment.  Shall be highly chuffed when it is all done and dusted.  Then onto the next room.

Right am off to get something to eat.

Catch up later.




Here are the photos if said UFO.

Still quite a lot to go but now at least it is a WIP (work in progress rather than a UFO)!

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)