Friday, 29 July 2016

Dining Room

Finally, the curtains have arrived. They look a little strange at the moment as they were folded to bring home and look more like blinds! Hopefully, as they get used, they will lose some of that look. They are in a mid blue velour type material, lined and fit perfectly, which they should as we measured them:
The cabinet that I am decorating to be used as an outdoor shoe cabinet is almost finished.
Its door is playing up a bit at the moment so DB has to take some more off it to get it to close properly.

Should be able to reveal it soon! Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Thursday, 28 July 2016


At last we have had some rain, more to come and the garden looks all the better for it. Our gooseberries have gone from being under to over ripe so we needed to use them up quickly. Actually, they are so nice we are eating them as they are but a few were put on top of some muffins:

The rest I shall cook, puree and probably use up in a gooseberry cloud cake or ice cream!

Tuesday, 26 July 2016


Well done to Johanna Konta for winning her first WTA title! Welcome to Vicki Brown and Melissa Maraj via Bloglovin.

DB wanted to start his needlepoint of Master L so out came the sewing machine to turn the edges of the material for added strength. Then we realised the cotton webbing of the frame was not deep enough to go through the sewing machine to attach the material. A quick hunt through my sewing box found some thick ribbon so that was used as a replacement. He attached it to the frame and off he went:

Friday, 22 July 2016

Another day

And still hoping for rain. I had to water the front garden last night as most things were not happy.

Welcome to Suzzycue via Bloglovin.

This morning, early on whilst still cool, I pruned my trained pear trees, they look alot better and should no longer catch on the awning as it unfurls.:

You can see in the bottom  picture, the tallest Sneezewort growing around the tree, I shall remove it at the end of the year.

Can you remember a while back, I mentioned about tomato internodal cuttings? Well they both did well, are now about 18" tall and getting flowers. They have gone into a spare bit of the vegetable garden:
The Hungarian Hot Wax chilli plants are also doing well and producing some good fruit:

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Thursday, 21 July 2016


We so hoped a decent amount of rain would fall yesterday evening, but it didn't. The garden got a sip for about 5 minutes. No refreshing downfall for the flagging plants, or enough to drop the temperature down for sleeping.

At the moment though, it does feel fresher which is lovely.

Out on a hot walk in and out of woods, we came across the usual blackberry bushes in flower. What we didn't expect to see, were 'wild' raspberries. Their fruits were small, but juicy and sweet and a temporary reviving boost. Boy we were so hot at the end despite a breeze.

I missed most of Gardeners World last night, why has it changed night? Despite Beechgrove being my favourite programme (it is also on and off at the moment), I do like to catch up with it.

DB has just about got everything he needs to begin a needlepoint picture of our third Grand dog Mr. L, and is looking forward to it.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016


Despite feeling grotty, I spent yesterday morning in the kitchen. I knew it was going to get hotter as the days pass and wanted to prepare food before then.

Two loaves of GF bread, 12 blueberry muffins, one GF quiche amd 4 small egg custard tartlets eventually made an appearance. After that, the rest of the day was spent relaxing, feeling no worse than when I began but by the end of the day, trigeminal nerve pain was kicking in, so despite the heat during the night, that didn't help with sleeping.

We now have meals and nibbles for a few days which saves cooking in the worst of the hot weather to come.

Hopefully I shall soon feel better and back to my normal chippy self.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Cor blimey gov!

First of all, welcome to Sally Kelly via Bloglovin.

I have no idea what this virus is that I have had for about 10 days or so, but I wish it would go away.

It started with aching shoulders and the tops of my arms, followed by an internal combustion!

Then I felt as though I had been well and truly kicked in my solar plexis and all that area. The aches then moved down my spine and into my hips. Similar to how you ache with flu but without the high temperature. It hurt wearing clothes in that region, sitting up, lying down, nothing helped after a while:(

A few days after the aches (which are still present), my throat went sore and very itchy as did my eyes. A while after those started I would sneeze for a while, have a runny nose and cough for a while, before the sneezes and runny nose abated.

About 8 days in, I am still 'bone' aching everywhere except my knees and ankles. My throat is slightly better but has moved further down. My nose alternates between dribbling to nothing. Sometimes I sneeze, at others times nothing. Still no temperature. My eye sockets hurt but I am not at all stuffed up and can at least breathe normally.

I was completely off my food for the first few days but am eating now. Most days I just lounge around, hardly having any substantial energy. DB has been a brick.

Come on virus, don't know what you are but please go away.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

3 - 1 Yes!

Team GB has won their Davis Cup tie against Serbia, thanks to amongst many, Kyle Edmund. He missed closing it in the first instance but managed it in the tie break.

Also, no Andy Murray playing but there is a supportive role, so that also proves, that the team can do it without Andy which must help take the pressure of him as well.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

2 - 1

Well done Jamie and Dom on winning your match. There were a few scary moments when each of you in turn, seemed to switch off.

Now all the pressure falls on Kyle tomorrow, a lot of pressure on young shoulders. If he fails, then it would be down to James and then I think, we will have a problem if he plays like he did today.

Ah well, such is life and I won't be over upset should we not make it, but obviously delighted if we do.

Special congratulations to Dom though on winning his first Davis Cup match!

Sorry James

That was not the best of matches I have seen you play, indeed, for most of the first two sets, you didn't even seem to be present, either metally or physically. You switched on for a brief moment before switching off again. Too many errors, 73, your body language saying it all.

Hope you play better tomorrow!

Friday, 15 July 2016

Well done

Well done Kyle Edmund in winning his first match in the Davis Cup. Three straight sets in the rain. James Ward next, though whether that will be tonight or tomorrow, who knows! We missed the second set as it was no longer on tv but after finding a Twitter comment, we found it on the red button.

Asparagus Lettuce (Celtuce)

A few weeks ago, I mentioned this vegetable as part of the lettuce type things in Bed 4. It is now fully grown and we have been harvesting leaves off it for ages. The bottom ones can be a bit bitter although we haven't found that to be the case when using them in salad. They can also be used instead of spinach. The uppper ones are more tender.

It is now trying to send out flowers so I thought I would show pictures of its leaves:
And the stems which are shortly to be harvested:
Apparently you are meant to pull each one up as and when needed (think I will need to remove the flower stalk to keep them going), peel and stir fry. I have found one recipe we fancy, that involves ginger, garlic and apple so shall try that first. They can also be lightly steamed or slowly boiled, tossed in butter and eaten as is. We shall give that a go as well. If they taste good, they may also end up in a cheese and celtuce quiche!

It is now getting too hot to sow any more so that will be it for this season.

Davis Cup in tennis this afternoon and weekend. Even though Andy isn't playing he is there to support them. We watched him in the audience, on Mock the Week last night. A lot of the show revolved around him and he was laughing away like billy oh! Lovely to see him nice and relaxed.

Whatever you are doing this weekend, have a good one!

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Winter Box

I have been updating the contents of my winter box on the tab above. I should have 32 items of food in it plus 1 packet of tea leaves.

I can now start to see what I no longer wish to add and what really needs adding. When November approaches, if needed, I shall start to add a few items for Christmas.

With the odd exception though, most things added have been under the £1 mark with just a few items between £1 and £1.50.

Everything in it can either be made into a meal/snack or added to other items to create/enhance meals.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Going Frugal...

I have been reading a few blogs lately where the writer has 'gone frugal'. They all have differing reasons for doing so but one or two do seem to have one thing in common - when writing about their decision, they seem to have the mind set of it being a chore/something to be put up with etc.

Being frugal can and does become a bit of a chore over a long period of time, especially if life doesn't seem to be improving due to financial circumstances not improving.

I do wonder though, just how many of those who think it a chore to begin with, will actually stay with it, due to that mindset?

Being frugal will succeed in the long term if you have a goal in mind. That goal might be paying off the mortgage, saving for a deposit on a house, paying off bills, one or more members of the household either losing a job, about to lose one or being in work which pays poorly, with no foreseeable way out. You could be saving for a wedding, retirement, moving abroad later in life etc. For some, treading lightly and leaving a lighter eco footprint is the reason. Simple living.

Some goals are short term and very achievable but those in it for the long haul, year after year after year of hard slog, can become disenchanted with the whole shebang.

We were frugal for nearly 10 years, very, very frugal. 6 of those years we had to live on war rations just to be able to eat, especially as we had a young son at the time. We are no longer in that particular position but those years were hard. Today, we are still as frugal as we need to be due to no longer working, each of us is no longer bringing in a wage. Instead we rely on a work related pension and a government one. I am years away from bringing in any pension due to changes in the rules. If the goal posts keep on changing, I may never bring one in!

We hope those lean years, gave our son an incite into how not to waste money now they are on good wages. The seed was sown back then but only they can water and nourish it and aim for a comfortable life with savings to back them up in emergencies. They are treading a different road to us, so they should, life is different now and will be different in the future.

So to anyone beginning a frugal more simple journey, get your mindset right. Don't think of it as a chore from the beginning, but more an adventure into the unknown. Doing so, might just give you a chance to succeed and that is all everyone needs in life isn't it?

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

A new Grand Animal...

First of all, welcome to Jennifer Lang Sabatini via Bloglovin.

We have a new Grand Animal, or will have soon, once it is weaned from its mother. This one will not be visiting us though!

Welcome to Luna (could also be Lunar), we aren't quite sure yet:
 And here with her mama:

Monday, 11 July 2016

Shoe Box...

Welcome to The 3 Year Challenge via here.

Near the dining room door, which leads outside, we have this basket (here not in situ), in which we store a pair of outdoor shoes each, a torch or two, and a pair of overalls that DB uses when doing most of the hard work outside. Now that the room is freshly painted, it not only looks grubby and out of place (and yes, it could have been painted), but I was worried constantly lifting up the lid would eventually mess up the paint behind it:

As I need to paint the bookcase to get it to match the room and bring the rest of my books back into the dining room, we went out to look for a bedroom cabinet of some kind to paint and use instead.

After a few attempts in shops, we eventually found this in the British Heart Foundation shop:
DB has already stripped it into its component parts, sanded and removed the dust with white spirit. I hope to begin painting it soon:
It was reduced in the sale from £10 to £5, a bargain methinks!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

And it's 4/4!

Well done Heather Watson and Henri Kontinen for winning the Wimbledon Mixed Doubles final. It is not only Heather's first Grand Slam but Henri is the very first Finnish winner of a Grand Slam! How great is that.

I'm drained....

You beautiful man Andy, well done. You now have your 3rd Grand Slam and a second Wimbledon title. Go man go!

Ladies Champion

Jordanne Whiley from Great Britain, with her Japanese partner, have won the Wimbledon Ladies Doubles Wheelchair final. Well done ladies.

Double Champion

Hooray, Gordon Reid has just won the inaugural Men's Single Wheelchair Trophy, making him a double winner, after also taking the Doubles title yesterday.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Better and better!

Heather Watson and Henri Kontinen have just won their match to get into the Wimbledon Mixed Doubles final!


Well done Gorden Reid from Alexandria in Scotland and Alfie Hewett from Norwich, representing Great Britain, on winning Wimbledon in the Wheelchair Gentlemen's Doubles. Gorden is also in the Wheelchair Singles final tomorrow.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Good Job...

Well done Andy, into the final in three straight sets. Also, congratulations to Heather and Henri for getting into the mixed doubles semi final in straight sets.

War Diary Update

July 1944/1996 has been added to the War Diary tab above. Go onto Years V and VI and scroll down to find it.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Well done to...

Heather Watson and Henri Kontinen for knocking out the defending champions in the mixed doubles.   Despite being a third round match, it was actually their very first match together as they had had two walkovers!


Welcome to Susan Doty via Bloglovin.

When we have a Sunday roast and have some meat left (in this case lamb), I would mince it and either turn it into a Sheperds pie or make a pie with pastry. Only having made a quiche with GF pastry, I thought I would make some curried lamb pasties, testing 2 different pastry options and seeing which one works better and whether either (or any), can be held in the hand to eat or need a knife and fork!

First the start, meat and left over vegetables:
The meat was turned into meat breadcrumbs in my food processor, the vegetables added plus half a jar of curry paste - the kind that uses a whole jar to make a meal, rather than a more runny sauce or thick paste where you only use a tablespoon or two!

The first lot of pastry (on the right), was brown rice and almond from this link. I made it in the processor after it had been well washed. This is very fragile and had to be handled with kid gloves, making sure it was carefully lifted onto the baking paper before being filled. The paper came in useful in helping to fold it over, even then, it was a little difficult.

Anyway, I managed and once both were made, baked them at 180C for 30 minutes, then 200C for 10 minutes to finish them off. Unfortunately, I forgot to leave them on the paper to cool as I was worried about the bottom going soft from steam. As I tried to move the first one, it broke in two.
The pastry on the left was far more robust and far easier to work with. It came from here. I already had flour blend A so used that rather than the recommended flour blend B. It has some gram flour in it which I could smell as it was baking.

We tested the mince pies on our walking day. Everyone agreed the brown rice and almond had a good flavour and texture but the other was not far behind, but needed to be thinner. As for the texture for a pasty, both were good but on whole one was almost too much as gf pastry can be a tad drying in the mouth. However, if eaten with gravy or custard or as a quiche, both were good.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Mastermind and triffids!

One of the Sempervivum in the 4 containers outside the kitchen window, has sent out some flowers stalks:
Our slate outdoor clock keeps losing its numbers, dots, tiles or whatever else we glue into place. The lastest incarnation by DB is to drill small holes, filled with glue then he put in the little markers from the game Masterminds:

He has also painted the hands white so we can see it from any place in the garden.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Fitting a lining to a loaf tin

First of all, well done to all the British tennis players who got through their rounds yesterday, BOTH single and doubles, who never seem to get a mention despite a British player being double No. 1:) Finish well today Jamie and Bruno, hopefully the rest will have done you both good as you both looked tired last night!

I know most of us know how to do this but maybe someone doesn't. I have to line two bread tins every week when making the rather sticky GF bread, so herewith some pictures:

Pull out enough greaseproof/silicon lining paper as required and draw around the base of the tin. Then from each corner, draws lines away at a slight angle:
Cut down both the longest lengths, from one side to the other, to give you one long thin length for the base and short sides of the tin. Then cut the long wider sides out. Fold over 1/2" or cm of the bottom of these two sides:
Rather than greasing the whole tin, just put a few small smears around it to anchor the paper into place. For GF bread making, I temporarily fold the tops down to give me more room to put the sticky mixture in:
Fill up with the bread mix and carefully smooth the tops with damp fingers. Lift the sides back up:
The final thing I do is to staple all four corners. Sometimes the mix is more runny than usual and whilst rising before cooking, can flow over the sides:
Leave to rise:

Bake and remove from tin:

Monday, 4 July 2016

Dining room...

The walls are finished and the carpet is down. Just waiting for the curtains. It is a difficult room to photograph as it has so much light coming in:

The bookcase is painted the previous colour so is currently not in use. We also plan on finding a wooden box for outdoor shoes rather than the current basket. They will both be painted to match the door and dresser.

We had a piece of carpet left over so paid to have it whipped around the edges to give us a back door rug:
Although it looks grey, the carpet has 4 colours in it, light and mid blue, light and mid grey.

Friday, 1 July 2016


Out on our walk this week, we had to cross several very large fields of oats, and I stopped to asked DB to take a photo and video as he had hold of the camera.

I find oats wafting in the breeze a beautiful site. These are still early in their growth and their heads haven't yet folded over to open:
Herewith a video if it will load from my Youtube account:

Very windy, sorry about that! Have a lovely weekend everyone!