Thursday, 29 November 2012


Sorry readers have not had much time to write a blog for the last week. Life seems to have gone rather mad. I guess we are approaching that mad time of year when it feels as if the world gets put onto the  "fast forward" button. Last week I was busy at choir rehearsals, out for a meal with some lovely friends and then preparing for a weekend of visitors coming from Leeds. Oh also whilst they were here I had the choir concert to perform in! So this is my excuse for not blogging.
Also I have not been sleeping so well - think I've hit that menopausal age. (Sorry male readers you may want to skip to the next paragraph). Experiencing hot flushes, waking up in the night sweating having to throw off the duvet and then being frustrated because I cannot lie on my other side as it causes me too much pain with my damaged shoulder. Last night even though it was really cold I left the bedroom window open. Anyway enough whinging!
But throughout the chaotic week I did manage to read JK Rowlings new book - The Casual Vacancy. Oh dear cannot add a picture as my memory is used up. So will need to sort this out another time.
I am away for the weekend and will have lots of news to tell you all next time. Have a good weekend everyone.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012


The winner of the competition is.................................................................................................

Mandy with 125 books.
 I actually have 126 cook books!

Well done Mandy!

The reindeer will be delivered in the next few days.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Pre Competition Update

Just to let you know all the latest votes:

Jane 47 books
Jenny 45 books
Jim 67 books
Ann 72 books
Christine 110 books
Mandy 125 books
Rebecca 135 books.
Esther 147 books.
Jo 153 books
Jackie 220 books
Susan 260 books

Only half a day to go to vote!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Autumn and Update on Competition


Not too many entrants - maybe its a bit boring or the prize not so good, but here are the numbers so far.

Jane 47 books
Jenny 45 books
Jim 67 books
Mandy 125 books
Rebecca 135 books.
Esther 147 books. Just added 21.11.12
Jo 153 books, added 22.11.12

What do you think? Go on give it a go. Closing date is Tuesday 27th November 2012, 13:00.

Peering out of my bedroom window I couldn't help but notice what seemed to be almost a bed of leaves in next doors garden. This year I really seem to be noticing the leaves. Perhaps I am getting older and becoming more observant whereas when I was younger I was too busy to stop and look.

A lot of leaves have now fallen in the chicken run and I wondered today whether the girlies get enjoyment from shovelling the leaves around in their search for grubs and worms. Talking about the girlies I emailed my vet friend and he said that they will not be laying any more eggs until the daylight hours get longer! It goes against the grain having to buy eggs!

Also at this time of year I love to see the early morning frost in the garden. Again the leaves seem to take on a magical appearance.

I love sunny frosty mornings.

I have been having fun with my latest cookery book - just when I was beginning to think I didn't want any more. Then the television chefs entice us with more tantalising recipes - especially as Christmas approaches they all suddenly start producing a cook book. But this latest Jamie Oliver - 15 minutes recipes is good. It tells you how many calories are in each portion and they are balanced nutritionally.

 Oops forgot to move the wine out of the photograph!

Loved this recipe and even Mr P ate the tikka coated chicken breasts.

The golden chicken we had yesterday and have got leftovers for tomorrows dinner. What I noticed was that even after I had done all the preparation it still took me 20 minutes to cook! I must be getting slower or maybe I haven't got a back up crew to help me!

Have done this recipe twice. I have never cooked or eaten celeriac before and it is lovely, well worth trying. Having said I cannot prepare these meals in 15 minutes it also takes ages to do the washing up - not for the faint-hearted. This is a picture of the second pile I did after cooking the golden chicken recipe.

After the weekend when we have some friends coming from Leeds there will be no more fancy recipes as I have to work my way through the freezer - going to go where no man has been before! Or certainly not for a long time! Need to empty in order to be able to stock up for the family returning home at Christmas.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Competition Guesses

Ok have now had two enteries:

Jane 47 books
Jenny 45 books
Jim 67 books

So come on give it a go.

Ramblings and Prize

Was a rather strange week that started with a trip to a doctor for a private medical for the insurance company. This doctor then said that I was in danger of having a frozen shoulder and once my pain stopped whatever progress I had made would be final. This left me feeling rather deflated and phoning my GP for stronger pain killers to up the exercises. Well to cut a long story short by Thursday and Friday I discovered that the information I had been given was rubbish and was reassured that I had made masses of progress. Also that a frozen shoulder was not likely but the physios would sit on me if necessary to move it! So not to worry. Trouble was the tablets I had started taking were creasing me as they contained codeine and I was eating fruit and dried fruit nearly all day for 4 days to compensate for their side effects of bunging me up, oh and also they made me feel rather sleepy. Come Friday when I stopped this regime and reverted to paracetamol and ibuprofen oh my poor stomach was doing somersaults and it was not pleasant for two days. Well enough of my aching shoulder - golly how long will this story run on for( now 7 weeks).

Woke up Saturday to this on the living room window! How revolting. This reminded me of a story when my sister and I were small. Mom and dad gave us each an empty jam jar to go out into the garden and fill with slugs and snails. They said they would pay us half an old penny each for every one we caught. I think my sister gave up after a few but I continued to fill my jam jar right to the top. I went in to display my jar and get my money. Mom screamed, as they were coming over the top. They never did count how many I had collected and just gave me a lump sum of money - I always felt cheated that they never counted them! Funny what you remember!
This morning we went into Leicester to the Cathedral to buy some charity Christmas cards, Even though we have been married for 34 years this was the first time we have ever chosen some cards together. When we were younger we just bought the cheap supermarket cards as that was all we could afford, in later years I have made them but this year I have phyiscally not been able to do this.Oh it was so hard to choose the cards so many lovely pictures and so many well deserving charities. But in the end opted for one design as Mr P rightly said that we would spend ages deciding which card to send to who if we had more than one choice! How right he is. This was followed by a trip to Carluccios for a coffee, but even then it was more decisions did we want to see the breakfast menu or the lunch menu? I just stood there looking perplexed and the waiter was not helpful. But in the end I insisted on seeing both and then opting for a rather large yummy almond croissant off the trolley!(so did Mr.P) Then a stroll through lovely John Lewis back to the car - they are so good at making everything look so wonderful.
The afternoon was spent with Mr P trying to mend my cooker as it has started trying to spark and set the oven to on permanently. He tried cleaning the sensors etc etc but to no avail. So we have worked out a way to be able to use it and get rid of the noise. I did two trips to food shops as I seemed to have missed vital ingredients off my shopping lists.
Then I managed to finish off my second crochet cushion - so proud of them, and I so love the bright colours. This is all thanks to the inspiration of the blog Attic 24, I just love the bright colours Lucy uses.

Saturday evening we went to see the new James Bond film - golly it's hard work sitting still and not being able to knit or crochet or sew. I enjoyed the film but not really sure it was a true traditional Bond film.

Sunday was my turn to collect the minibus and take some older folks to church. But before this I made a trip to my sweetie shop(Fabric Guild) for some extra material for the quilt I am trying to make. The afternoon we had a band practice and then eventually I had some me time. Trouble was I was so tired that I didn't really have the energy and had to put it away after I had machined a few rows.

Oh well sat in front of the television and watched a murder of course and started on some new granny squares.

This morning I got up and one of the chickens was being naughty! Sitting on top of their house! The girlies are beginning to look much better with their new coats - but still NO eggs! Goes against the grain having to buy eggs.


Yes here's a picture of the prize. There have been no entries yet so if you enter currently you have a good chance of winning!

He comes complete with a small jingle bell!

All you've got to do is guess how many cookery books I have in my home. Answers at the bottom of this blog or email them to  - go on give it a go!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Mmmmm and Competition Time!

The last week has been rather an uninspiring week to write about. Saturday dad came and we spent a large chunk of the day making our Christmas cakes. Dad opted for a 9" cake and I an 11" cake. Of course the recipe came from Sr Delia - who else?!

Have had this book for some years now and it is well thumbed.

As you can see there has been much writing on this page. The different sizes came about when I used this recipe for No 1 daughter's wedding cakes.

It's a great recipe, the cake bakes at a very low temperature and consequently does not burn or dry out.

The smells from the oven filled the house - it was so hard to wrap the cake up and not take a sneaky bite.

But as we were relaxing, with a cuppa, after our hard efforts suddenly I saw this pile of dust! Mr P moved the DVD player and there it was!

This was my dad being cheeky - but I can't complain as he later on went to fix the bolt in the downstairs bathroom. This is good news for visitors. As previously if they went to the bathroom and No 3's dog Poppy is about she just went bursting in on them! It'll be fun next time Poppy visits when she tries to bash her way in!

Sunday was church in the morning followed by "ME" time. This means me being able to spend the whole afternoon and evening doing some crafts! Started making a quilt out of those lovely flannelette fat quarters. But I'm such a novice and goofed up a bit, as I cut some squares and some triangles but I didn't allow for the seam allowance! So  had to change the pattern and have the rows either all squares or all triangles. Oh well I guess this is how you learn. But here's a picture of what I have done so far - the rest of the material is all cut up and carefully labelled ready to sew. Don't worry I have plans for that boring plain green bit.

Still busy trying to put together my second crochet granny square cushion.

Oh to my shame I've just remembered Mr P and I went to a 50th birthday get together on Friday night with some old friends from Northants. It started off in a pub at Stoke Bruerne and then to the Indian restaurant by the side of the canal. We had a lovely evening and didn't get to bed till 00:45 - which is very very late for me!


OK - I know I promised you a home made prize but what with my shoulder still rather painful I am struggling to fulfil this promise. So I shall be getting a prize from one of the lovely local craft shops this weekend.

So here goes:-

To enter you need to guess how many cookery books I own? That's it. So simple. Either you can enter by replying at the end of this blog or sending it to this email address

I shall keep you informed as to what numbers people have been guessing and also will post a photograph of the prize at the weekend.
The closing date for the competition will be Tuesday 27th November 2012, 13:00.