Friday, March 02, 2007

Tanned and Gorgeous!

I'm back from Tenerife! Straight back to work and just finished my night. Well it should have been two nights but I did a swap a while ago and cashed it in on Wednesday night to go and see 'The Vagina Monologues'. It was very funny and definitely a womans sense of humour. There was the odd brave man (perhaps a morbid curiosity or wanting to get intouch with his feminine side?) but the theatre was predominantly women of a certain age! Know what I mean?

I know I haven't been on the blog for a month but I haven't had a minute! The allotment has taken a back seat - not even been to see it yet! This weekend hopefully we shall go venture to inspect the damage. We are quite far north so will be starting later than you southern softies - thats my excuse and I'm sticking to it

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Year Today - It Must Be My Virtual Birthday!

Hip hip hooray! A year since my first posting. Wow. I don't know where the last year has gone. I believe it's true to say that time goes faster the older you get. I'll have to start cramming more into the little time I have left. We have 4 holidays planned for this year, one in 2 weeks and another booked for May. The other two are booked as annual leave but plans haven't been finalised. We are going to visit my mum and her husband overseas so that will be nice. The May hol is to Majorca with 3 other couples - we'll let the jury decide that one and the others - well we just don't know. Perhaps Cornwall might be nice. I was there last in 1974 so expect a few changes if we go. We have a friend who has a farmhouse near Bergerac in France but its a little way to the sea! I really would like to go somewhere that I can do a little snorkeling. Did I mention that I now have a snorkeling mask (if thats what it's called) with my prescription lenses in. I was so excited to use them last year. We went to Nidri on Lefkada and although there wasn't much of a beach we went out on a day trip on something almost like a Turkish gulet (is that how you spell it?). It took us round lots of little islands with frequent stops for swimming. It took a while to get used to being able to breathe underwater and to hear yourself breathing but I got used to it. It's a different world underwater.

I remember going to Zante with a group of girlies (all in our 40's!) and taking a day trip around the island, again with swim stops. Now I don't know whether you are aware but there is a rather famous photo taken of a cove with white sand and a ship wreck. It looks idyllic. Well we arrived and dropped anchor (hark at her sounding like she sails!) in this lovely cove. I couldn't wait to get into the water and the dare devils we are ( my friend and I get into lots of trouble together) decided to jump of the top deck into the water and do the famous Bridget Bardot in the bond film walk out of the sea up the beach bit. Don't you believe it. Bare footed the pair of us we took our first tentative steps onto the soft white sand out of the clear blue sea. And then we looked at each other. The lovely soft white sand was very very sharp white stone. Not only could we not walk but the incline onto the beach meant that we had to crawl our way out. Knees and shins were grazed and bleeding. We looked like two elephant seals!!!! Of course this was much to the amusement of our fellow crewmates. In the end it was easier going back out to sea! And as for our crewmates? They ate their sandwiches and threw crusts at us and the fish shoaled around us!!! I did get a round of applause when a stray crisp packet blew off the boat into the sea and I swam and retrieved it. I also collected two fag packets and a plastic bottle. Some people have no respect for nature have they?

Ok that''s your lot for today - on nights tonight. I may get time to update the blog. I think I'm going quite well so far this year. Long may it continue.


REmember the Sloe Gin?

Well I almost didn't! I was searching at the back of the cupboard and guess what? There it was as good as gold. I have strained and bottled it and it looks a picture! Hic it tastes good as well! This is also my first attempt at Picasa so comments welcome for this novice.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Where does the time go?

I went onto Allotment Lady's new blog and read about her walk around Derwentwater. I too went to see the daffodils at Ullswater and then onto Derwentwater when I was about 10 years old. Our teacher (who used to wear red long legged knickers, but thereby hangs another tail for a rainy day), was very up on poetry and gave me my love of it. As we lived in Carlisle, she freqently had us visit places in the lake district and none touched my heart as much as Derwentwater. She also had us read 'Marmion' by Sir Walter Scott, as Netherby Hall was nearby at Longtown (where I used to live but much later). So, as good children do, we went on a trip out to Netherby Hall and stood at 'Netherby Gate'. She had us all recite the poem! And for fear of copying Lottie I just have to let you read it.

Lochinvar by Sir Walter Scott

O young Lochinvar is come out of the west,
Through all the wide Border his steed was the best;
And save his good broadsword he weapons had none.
He rode all unarm'd, and he rode all alone.
So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
There never was knight like the young Lochinvar

He staid not for brake, and he stoppd not for stone.
He swam the Eske river where ford there was none;
But ere he alighted at Netherby gate,
The bride had consented, the gallant came late:
For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war,
Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar.

So boldly he enter'd the Netherby Hall,
Among bride's-men, and kinsmen, and brothers and all:
Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword,
(For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word,)
'O come ye in peace here, or come ye in war.
Or to dance at our bridal. young Lord Lochinvar?'

'I long woo'd your daughter, my suit you denied;
- Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide-
And now I am come, with this lost love of mine.
To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine.
There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far,
That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar.'

The bride kiss'd the goblet: the knight took it up.
He quaff'd off the wine, and he threw down the cup.
She lookd down to blush. and she look'd up to sigh.
With a smile on her lips and a tear in her eye.
He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar,
- 'Now tread we a measure!' said young Lochinvar.

So stately his form, and so lovely her face.
That never a hall such a galliard did grace;
While her mother did fret, and her father did fume,
And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume;
And the bride-maidens whisper'd, "Twere better by far
To have match'd our fair cousin with young Lochinvar.'

One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear.
When they reach'd the hall-door, and the charger stood near;
So light to the croupe the fair lady he swung,
So light to the saddle before her he sprung!
'She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur;
Theyll have fleet steeds that follow', quoth young Lochinvar.

There was mounting 'mong Graemes of the Netherby clan;
Forsters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and they ran:
There was racing and chasing on Cannobie Lee,
But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see.
So daring in love, and so dauntless in war,
Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar?

OOO I can almost smell the freshly cut grass and taste the egg sandwiches and feel the crystal water on my feet. Pass me a tissue!

Oh Bugger!

We've been had. We really have. On passing the allotment yesterday I noticed something. The thing I noticed was the allotment. I could see the allotment from the road. I COULD SEE THE BLOODY ALLOTMENT FROM THE ROAD!. Sharp intake of breath. Now this in itself isn't like world breaking news but is does mean that every other person driving or walking down the road can see the allotment. They can see that we have been very very (and I was going to use another very then but stopped myself in time) negligent in our tending of our plot. It also means that we have to put more effort in as ours is the first one that you see. And there was me thinking that because the hedge was 5ft high and our allotment sort of dips in behind it, that we were, well, cocooned for want of a better word. No such bleedin' luck. Plans have to be made and work started much earlier than we thought.

Hey Ho!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Well thanks!

So - you picked on me did you Miss Pumpkin Pie-us? Velly intelesting! Gosh five things people dont know about me eh? This really gets the old grey matter going (eh you watch it - my hair isn't grey yet you know).

The problem is that I know not of any other folks on blogs which I can pass it on to - how sad is that?

Anyway here goes........................

1. I have a steam engine named after me. My grandad made me a working scale model of a tank engine and he made a brass name plate for each side. It's capable of carrying 2-4 people dependant on size. It took thirty years to complete.

2. When living in Carlisle I swam for the school and won - back stroke if you don't mind! I was 12 years old.

3. I have worn glasses since being 4 years old and remember quite vividly the moment when I could see. One saturday afternoon My mum came in with my glasses and put them on me (no fitting in those days). It was horse racing on the telly and then wrestling. I sat there mesmerised and I was 6ft from the screen (I used to sit right infront of it). When at school I was the only one of 275 pupils who wore glasses. Colin and I stuck together (he wore calipers).

4. From a very early age I wanted to be a doctor. Not a nurse, a doctor, which 40+ years ago was really unheard of. I went to be a radiographer instead (a 7 year big mistake) and now am a paramedic which I love!

5. In 1971 I came second in a singing competition at Butlins. It was the semi final. I sang 'My Cherie Amour' (ambitious yes I know) and the winner sang Cilla Blacks 'Your My World'. She went there to win - she was dressed up really posh and she had a wig! I hadn't even practiced or anything as they asked if anyone would like to sing as two of the acts hadn't turned up! Me? Outgoing? Not a bit of it!

Well there you have it. Don't know who to pass it onto!


Saturday, January 06, 2007

Happy New Year!

Onwards and upwards. I have made a few new year resolutions. Shall I keep them? That remains to be seen.

1. There will be no more buying of goods from TV shopping channels
2. I will use all - and I mean all - of the stuff I bought from Kays Horticulture and not leave it in the garage and curse when I trip up over it.
3. I will prune and tidy the garden and allotment - and even dig when it is demanded of me
4. I will spend more time writing my blog

These are so far - I have a few others but think I have to convince myself. Build up to them slowly!

The sloe gin was a success. The damson vodka an aquired taste. The boozy truffles havent as yet been constructed. I may run into difficulties with this as they dont freeze that well due to the alcohol content. Ah well - learning has taken place. I dont know why I didnt think about it as I make iced chilli vodka (ice cold, then the alcohol then the burn - not for the faint hearted) and should have known that it doesnt freeze. I thought the short term memory loss was bad enough but the long term seems to be going as well.

Does anyone know if I have to go onto the new blogger thing? If I dont will I become a dinosaur? I know my way round a keyboard but struggle with anything really computer technical. I think Ive done really well so far. Still having probs with the photos but still working on it. When I read other peoples blogs they always seem to write far more interesting and funny things than I do. I love reading them and have learned so much. I'm a long way off being a top blog - not a hope in hell!!!

Heres hoping that your year has started well and may it continue to improve all the way through. Cheers!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

And sloe it goes on.....

I picked 4lb of sloes (never done it before and had to take a sloe with me so I knew what I was picking - could be deadly night shade (althought it was daylight) for all I knew). Well I was told not to wash them and place in a jar (pickled onion jar as we got rid of the demi-johns after the disaster with the plum wine). I then weighed and added sugar. At this point I knew I would have to go back to the drawing board. Too much stuff - and not enough room in the jar for the bloody gin. Right - pour everything out and start again. I had a brain wave. I would sift the sloes from the sugar. The holes in the seive weren't big enough to let the sugar through. By this time I was thinking about ditching the whole idea for a bottle of gordons but I soldiered on. So, sloes in the jar, half the quantity, then the sugar. Tip it all out again. Remember to put half the amount of sugar in with the sloes this time. Right. Sloes in the jar, half the amount of sugar, add the gin. I did the same with 6 jars - go out and buy more gin. The shopkeeper gave me a second glance and lifted his nose as to smell my breath. I pick up some chewing gum and pay for my goods. Back home. Add the gin to the jars. There appears only to be 4 lids? I go through the cupboard methodically trying lids till I get two that fit. I stand proud of my achievement. I pick up the instructions and read what I have to do. I realise every last bloody sloe should have been pricked. Bollocks! They will remain in the gin because I can't be arsed to go through all that again.

Damson vodka. Follow the same instructions but this time run out of jars, lids, vodka and forget to prick the buggering things. Continue tomorrow after contacting friends for missing equipment and pledge some of my makings in exchange. Should have said I was preserving lemons - they wouldn't have wanted any then would they mmmm?

The sloe gin is the most gorgeous shade of red. The damson vodka is sort of pinkish-red. Both should be ready for christmas. Apparently you chuck the sloes when you strain it but you keep the damson flesh and mix in with some melted chocolate and cream to make very very very boozy truffles. Hic! Bring it on Santa Claus!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Oh so cold....

I'm at home feeling sorry for myself (no but yeah but more than usual). I have cold. The whole lot, bungy nose, headache, muffled hearing, watery eyes, green snot (I want you to feel my pain) and can't eat (which is the tragedy really). I may try a little soup later. Cough cough oh I forgot to say about the productive cough but not a chest infection as yet (at this point you may shower me with awwwws). The fire is full on as is the heating. All I want to do is sleep but have forced myself to come and share this with you all. Cue some more awwwws. I have hot honey and lemon with paracetamol and have had hot lemonade - I have no idea if it works but it is surprisingly nice - although I cant taste much the bubbles on my tongue indicate I still have feeling in it! Sniff sniff. I have do blow by dose. Yeuk! Much better! I don't think it's man flu (the worst affliction known to man) but I think its close to it. I had chicken the other night - do you think it might be bird flu? I can't even smell Albas Oil - now thats bad!

I have to go out and get some more paracetamol. And lemons and honey. But I'm off sick and you feel really guilty being off and shopping in tescos. Well I do. Its an errand of mercy to ensure I'm back for nights on Sunday night.

Off for a bath in my Molton Brown Eucalyptus bath bubbles. How terribly civilised! I think I feel better already.