Sunday, 30 November 2008

Turned Out Nice?

I think Not! In fact for the past couple of days in North Wilts the weather has been utterly miserable - the temperature not reaching above 2.5C, grey, north wind. In fact to be really grumpy - England rugby team did not perform well against Kiwis - but a better game than of late. Husband is upstairs playing very very loud "organ music" - am not a fan of this so I shall clamp wireless headphone to ears and listen to Radio 2 and struggle along with writing Christmas cards - oh bliss, oh joy. I shall enjoy my grumpy day somehow!

Friday, 28 November 2008

Goodbye Jamie

We have really enjoyed having Jamie visit us from Australia but now it is time for him to return to his family. So a big thank you to "Matron" and children for lending him to us. We had some fun and my dad enjoyed his 90th birthday - my son, Tim, joined us briefly for lunch that day. I don't think Jamie's golf has improved, in fact by all accounts it severely declined! I think the pub meals were a hit (apart from me and my fish pie problems)!!

Jamie is the best washer-up we have ever had to stay - I think Tim would also claim that No.1 spot.
Tonight I am home alone - Jamie gone and Husband away for a concert - I think I need a warm puppy to cuddle!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Krazy Kitchen Kalamities

James (brother visiting from Australia) decided to show off his culinary skills. The delicious recipe was to be Chow Mein. Now, being a girl who really only likes standard type food, I was a bit dubious. James had made the kind offer - so he went ahead first asking me whether I had mustard powder in my kitchen cupboard to which I said yes. Off we went to buy the ingredients. Chicken noodle soup, cabbage, mince, onions, rice.

Came the day of the great cook up - what a cock up! He asked for mustard powder - he meant curry powder! Off to the shop again. The concoction began - I left him alone in the kitchen. When finally emerging from the kitchen hot and bothered James sounded dubious but blamed our UK cabbage!!! We have plenty of different varieties in the shops as everyone knows so how can you pick up the "wrong type". The chicken noodle soup, James proclaimed, was different too - I cannot argue with that one as I have never cooked with it before! Then the rice was wrong - actually he forgot to cook it and the dish ended up with a dollop of mashed potato.

As it so happened I have the dreaded gastric flu and was unable to sample this masterful piece of work (whew!!) but Husband said he enjoyed it.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Oh Yuk!

I am becoming very familiar with the smallest room in the house! Gastric flu has attacked just me (so far). Apparently the starvation method is not the modern way of thinking - Ribena and digestive biscuits are the "in" things to eat when one is in this situation. Why does this kind of thing have to happen when my brother from Australia is staying with us?

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Childhood Memories

This mincer is very old - it belonged to my mother. Correct me if I am wrong - but I do not think they are made in steel any more. My brother (over here from Oz) remembers the mincer very well and, I think, covets it. I think mincers today have a sunction cup on the bottom which are useless. This mincer will only clamp onto my computer table which is a bit inconvenient really!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

We Have Been Framed (or there is a ghost about)

Yesterday my brother (over from Australia) collected a very nice photo of his family which had been framed over here in the UK as a present for us. We were wandering around the house choosing the situation where to hang it. Husband had hovered near a large picture we have in the Sitting Room. About 10 minutes later there was a large crash and that same picture flung itself onto the floor and the glass was in smithereens. Husband said "I did not touch it! I did not touch it!" Our problem had been solved - we now had a space for the Australian family picture!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Keeping Fit - (sort of)

Most days Husband and I put our walking boots on. However, Husband is fit for walking and usually takes himself off for about one and a half hours - I am not so agile but can keep going for about 40 -50 minutes.

During these walks we have been busy showing my brother some of the lovely views and villages that are scattered around the locality. The winter sun on cotswold stone is a pale lemony sort of light which I find very attractive.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Cannot See The Wood For The Trees

I have chosen this photo because I think it is nice and calming. I am not nice and calm. Over the weekend I found my identity had been stolen - really kind of someone don't you think? This involved lots of phone calls - the problem being nobody really believes you are who you are! So for anyone else who gets caught like this, trying to sort out the problem by phone, I can tell you, is really hard.

However, with Husband for moral support, I visited the bank and I must say they were very very efficient especially as this kind of fraud involves more than just your bank. It also involves the police and they are now hot on the scent.

At the moment I feel like the Queen because I travel without any money! All should get sorted out soon but my attititudes have changed. I shall now carry cash (probably get mugged instead) with which to pay for petrol (one widely known supermarket is apparently not very secure using a card), also a well known cheap clothing website is not very secure either. All this is very inconvenient for me being less mobile than some. But hey-ho I live to fight another day!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

How Not To Play Golf

Husband and my brother James (visiting from Oz) decided to play some golf . . . . . . . . well I suppose that is what you would call it.

Husband had a first refusal at Bechers Brook.

I think he was getting a little tired by the end.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

I Couldn't Have Done That. . . . . . Could I?

We took Jamie for a meal at our local pub last night and sat by the roaring fire. Living in Australia, Jamie misses traditional pubs.

As you do, we started to remind each other of the past. Not a good idea after a few drinks! Apparently, according to Jamie, we two children hated our next door neighbour and I used to lob my father's 78 rpm records, frisbee like, over the garden fence! I really really do not remember anything about this - surely I would not be so naughty? Surely my father would have missed his precious opera collection of records? All I do remember is that if we got into any trouble, because I was the eldest, I got blamed for it!

Who Needs The Crutches?

Yesterday afternoon just when Jamie's eyelids began to droop a little (jetlag) I decided a nice bit of fresh air will revive the poor creature. Off we set on a walk at a brisk pace - I took the opportunity to practice my best 'heel and toe' walking with my crutches. Halfway round Jamie started limping and stopped in the middle of a wet, muddy, narrow lane and took his boot off to examine his soft feet. Of course a car came whizzing around the corner and he had to hop using MY crutches to the edge of the road. We walked further on and then to my embarrassment he sat down in a driveway and took off boots (meant to be tuff ruff Aussie boots) and socks. I don't think OZ boots are made for walking!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

What Are We Prone To Doing?

After recovering from his horrible breakfast on Singapore Airlines, Jamie revived. Later in the day we had a breath of fresh air and for reasons to be discovered decided to have a lie down!!??

Once you have had a guess and wish to find out the answer to this baffling question please visit

James Has Arrived Safely From OZ

Here he is - two heavy suitcases - hopefully full of goodies for us! I expect mainly tennis and golf shoes - Husband has a sporting timetable arranged.
James relaxed in our kitchen with a bottle of Scotch, he brought himself. (Actually he drank tea - must say that in case "Matron", his wife, has a peak at this blog). I think he did not enjoy Singapore Airlines breakfast which sounded disgusting - the usual dried up omelette and button mushrooms - but a real surprise - a chicken sausage - what on earth was that?

Monday, 10 November 2008

Rainy Days and Mondays

My rain gauge tells me we have had 20mm of rain in 10 hours. The excess water is already running off the ploughed field furrows and flooding low lying areas.

Neighbour tells me he has a rat under his garden shed - oh bliss, oh joy!! Just when we had shifted our friend Moley. The rat could have come straight off the fields behind us or from a nearby farmyard cum stables. Neighbours two terriers are in for some fun and have been sniffing around. We invited the dogs into our garden, afraid the rat might be interested in our compost heap - but no - neighbour assured us - no rats had passed nearby. Please Ratty just concentrate on Neighbour's shed!

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Husband is a "Lead Balloon"

A friend and I drove down our windy country lanes to a nearby village for "Flicks In The Sticks" (Rural Cinema). Mamma Mia was showing in this tiny village hall. It was packed to the rafters and - wow- did we have a good time! We could even forgive Piers Brosnan his singing efforts.

Arrived home and pranced up to the front door singing "The Dancing Queen" - Husband was not amused. His tiny shell-like ears can only tune in to classical music. Radio 2 is streamed into my ears via wireless headphones so as not to irritate those sensitive ears of his.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Who is Quizzing Who?

Another poor showing by our team at our monthly pub quiz - we came 3rd out of seven teams. The last batch of questions required the answer True or False. The Quizmaster got his knickers in a twist and offered us Question 46 instead of 45 and so on and so on. Of course it was only a 50% chance to get it right or wrong - that is our excuse anyway!!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Tagging Along

I have been tagged by Hadriana to reveal six interesting things about myself - I am not actually very interesting at all - but here goes!

1. I have been "blessed" with size 10 (europe size 44) feet. That has caused endless trouble finding shoes and much teasing from friends and family. My brother calls me Bigfoot.

2. In my youth (long time ago) I was very sporty and gave Virgina Wade a run for her money during an inter-schools tennis match. The very next day had my first knee injury that has prevented me from pursuing any sport except swimming. I am an avid armchair sports watcher of tennis, cricket and rubgy.

3. I loathe pineapple in any form - fresh or in those awful chunks.

4. Suffer from insomnia, I think from birth! Had awful time at boarding school sleeping in dormitories until I was prefect - I then ruled my dormitory with a rod of iron and nobody was allowed to talk after lights out.

5. At school I was head of the "Fairies" group in our Brownies pack. This is really awful because even aged 10 I was head and shoulders taller than my fellow fairies and had the already growing large feet. Head of the "Trolls" would have been better.

6. My family are scattered. Brother in Australia. Step-daughter and her family in Devon living in a tiny village in the wilds of Dartmoor. My son and his family live in London. Due to this - we do not see our families as often as we would like.

Hadriana has requested me to pass on this tag to six other bloggers. I have to inform them of this action and also report back to Hadriana.

So, in no particular order:

My brother Jamie I expect he will not find the time to carry out this task as the computer he uses is in his office in Australia - he should be working!

Gill (That British Woman)

Just Me Really

Part Time Single Mum In France

Strawberry Jam Anne


Sunday, 2 November 2008

My Brother is getting Nervous For Two Reasons

Jamie, who lives in Australia, is coming to stay with us in about 10 days time. He rang up and enquired about the weather - well - we all know what the weather has been like over here - so Jamie, take the hint from the photograph. This is our collection of coats, you will be welcome to take your pick. The hat on the top is for Jamie or Husband, depending upon who is the baldest!

The other issue I know my brother will be pondering upon is whether we have a sufficient stock of Red Currant Jelly in the cupboard. We, as a family, have always eaten large quantities of the stuff and Jamie has brought up his four children in Australia to do the same. Some time ago Jamie informed us that over in OZ there was a dearth of the brand of red currant jelly that the family liked. I imagined loads of jelly swilling around in tankers hastily making their way to Australia, but I know their import regulations are strict so I did not organise a shipping fleet.