Sunday, 29 April 2012

Let me have a rolf, I've been good...

On Friday I did something weird to my foot. I have no idea what I did, or how I did it, but since then I've been walking around like some old hobbly woman. I can't put any pressure on it so walking is not much fun. Not really sure what else to do about this Wavey and I headed to A&E this morning. 

More than 2 hours later we emerged, blinking into the pouring rain. 2 hours! 2 hours of sitting there waiting, being watched and counted by various people in scrubs. It was nothing like ER, nor was it anything like Green Wing, it was simply depressing. A god-awful depressing place that can probably make you feel worse than when you went in. Everyone looked the same, downtrodden, beaten down by the waiting system, occasionally looking around the room wondering what was wrong with everyone else. Cringeing at the awful guy in green scrubs who practically yelled across the room that people had to give a urine sample as they shuffled off, cup in hand, mortified that everyone in the room knew what they were going to be doing. 

At one point 3 doctors came out, stood together, did a quick head count and then sauntered off in the direction of lunch - wow was that like a kick in the teeth for everyone sat waiting. When the room gradually started to fill up someone made the decision to take some positive action and it was then that I limped after the urine sample shouting man in green scrubs who turned round and hurried me on as I was taking too long to limp to the room. Someone came in with blue scrubs on, prodded my foot, does this hurt, does there hurt (yes! owww!) and basically told me to go home and take painkillers. They sexed it up by giving it some big fancy schmancy name but basically I've damaged the soft tissue in my foot and will basically have to walk along like gimpy limpy until it gets better - oh joy. 

The highlight (if you can call it that) was a woman arriving in a pink hoodie with two po-lice. She proceeded to try to get a fag off every single person in the room, asked repeatedly if she could have either a cup of water or go and have a "rolf" which means a smoke. She shouted a few times about being dehydrated. She was also very vocal about how awful it was and how no-one was going to take her picture or put needles in her. She laid down across 3 seats at one point and seemed to be going to sleep before shouting for more water. She asked intriguing questions like, why are your shoelaces taken off you when you spend the night in the cell?! Maybe she'd been hired as the entertainment for everyone in the room? 

Truly awful. I'm curious to know that if you have a real emergency do you have to wait for 2 hours along with everyone else until the man in the green scrubs shouts you to go and do a urine sample? Everyone left the same way I did: feeling frustrated and for me personally, a smidge embarrassed that I'd been a time waster *limps away in shame*

Friday, 27 April 2012

Read this!

Easily the best book I have read in a long time.

Cackle, cringe, let your eyes well up, be inspired, nod your head sagely at the wise comments, but most of all enjoy. Immediately. Or I won't talk to you anymore. 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Splish splosh

It seems like it's been raining for days and days and days, and now it's windy and it's still raining. Crappy rubbish weather. Me no likey. 

On Monday the sun came out for about 20 minutes and I got so excited I ran around the village taking photos of Spring. So here it is, Spring for 20 Minutes, it could almost be the title of a play...


Monday, 23 April 2012

Happy spa-day!

I love it when Monday is not just another dull back to work day. Today was Spa-Day! I picked T up from the station at 9.30 in the a.m and our pampering began! First up we picked up fluffy robes and slippers which were so fluffy and soft and warm - lushness! Next up we headed into the spa for our treatments. Lucky we're good friends as we were both in the same room, she for the massage and me for the facial. My very first ever facial at age 37, I feel so proud. 

I didn't really know what to expect at all and I'm pleased to report that it was absolutely lovely. There was lots of lotions and potions and trust me when I say that I am a serious lotions and potions gal. It's a shame I had my eyes closed for most of it as I would have loved to have seen what she was using with each mysterious layer of lushness that was massaged into my face. I was a little bit alarmed the first time my eyes were covered first of all with cooling pads of some description and then something laid over the top of that too but I soon relaxed and realised it was all part of the process. By the end my face was tingling and even now, hours later, it still feels so soft *big sigh*

From the treatment room and our refreshing glass of water we headed up to the relaxation room where there were these massive stone beds that were heated. Oh. My. Word. I want one! They're pretty big but I'm sure we could find somewhere to put was absolute heaven, laid out, drinking water and munching on fruit, and reading books, occasionally chatting but mainly chilling on our lovely warm stone beds. 

We finally dragged ourselves away from there to hit the pool. I did a few lengths backwards and forwards before getting bored and a wee bit out of puff but T is like the Duracell bunny, she just kept on going and going and going...long before she came out I was lazing around in the jacuzzi pool. From there we went to the sauna, another first for me, phew it was HOT in there! Like eeep I'm not quite sure I'm breathing right in here hot but it was also nice. Maybe one I wouldn't rush back in for though. Bit more swimming, more jacuzzi time, then wrinkly of skin and contented we headed to the cafe to get some lunch. We munched on yummy Moroccan chicken with rice and healthy long cold drinks. All in all, a most lovely day was had. 

Pampered pooches 'r' us :D 

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Greenhouse day

I didn't realise it was Earth Day today but it seems like pretty good timing that I picked today to get my bum into gear and get all my seeds sown. I'd already done some of the early seedlings like peppers and chillis but after a very productive afternoon we now have a full greenhouse! I love it! I'm so hoping for a successful season, fingers crossed. 

If everything that we've planted continues to grow and crop we'll have:
  • Sweet mini peppers and normal peppers
  • Tommy-tom-tomatoes
  • Beetroot
  • Peas
  • Dwarf french beans
  • Climbing runner beans
  • Aubergines
  • Many varieties of chillis
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Red and white onions
  • Potatoes...
 ...and that doesn't include the other things we intend to plant like radish, rocket, baby cucumbers, baby sweetcorn. And the two types of strawberries we have on the go as well. Wow! 

I so love growing our own veg. It's so exciting watching stuff pop up from seed and get bigger and bigger and when you pick your first satisfying. Come on Summer, we need your sunny, warm days! 

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Parking rage

Today I broke the law. I pulled up and stopped on a double yellow line for approximately 2 minutes whilst I waited for Wavey who had run into the post office. I know it's not big, it's not clever, and it's definitely not legal, but in my defence m'lud so many people do it all the time and nothing ever happens to them. Typically I got caught by a traffic warden. So unfair! I am such a law abiding person but the one time I decide to take a chance I got caught. To add shame to misery, I shouted at the traffic warden. Well, when I say shouted, I might have commented in an angry manner through the closed windows that I was just waiting for someone and would of course move on quickly. Two times round the block and still no sign of Wavey, I ended up turning round and parking exactly where I'd started from at home. Should have just stayed there in the blimmin' first place! 

That traffic warden must have thought all his Christmas-es had come at once as he walked from my car to some other poor person who'd just pulled up ever so quickly and started pointing and shouting at them too. 

I walked up to meet Wavey to explain and what should I see but two cars parked on exactly the same bloody yellow lines I'd been parked on! And where was the evil traffic warden? Nowhere to be seen! Well actually he was further down the road waiting to catch yet another person out who'd parked on some different double yellow lines. 

Today's lessons:
1. Do not park on double yellow lines, even if only for 2 minutes as you will get caught out
2. It's not at all big and clever to shout at people in authority even through closed windows
3. Parking rage is the new road rage

*hangs head in total and utter shame*

Friday, 20 April 2012

Scotland the brave

Last weekend I braved first class train travel to head up to bonnie Scotland to spend the weekend with Fizz in her homeland. The journey up there is amazing, I was like a 5 year old, nose pressed to the window, ooh-ing and aah-ing at the gorgeous scenery and beautiful blue skies. Also in the carriage were some of the POSHEST people I have ever heard, they may have been related to the Queen they spoke so posh! And I got free tea and coffee and I could have had sandwiches and flapjacks and crisps but I wasn't hungry - shocker!

First up, bet you didn't know that Fizz has the most amazing view from her house, literally the whole sea! Well okay, maybe not the whole sea but it certainly felt like that as I threw open the blinds each morning:
Not only that but the tiny wee village has a windmill, a church, and a ruined castle! 
We spent a lot of time walking and exploring and showing off various sights and hidden beaches and lovely towns.
We ate loads of yummy food, often too much yummy food, but we found the most amazing salad bar in St Andrews. Should you ever find yourself there I'd highly recommend the minted broad beans, the tex-mex tuna, and a regular freshly squeezed apple juice. And there's some crackin' charidee shops there with some very bargainous items with big labels but small prices. Gotta love richie-rich towns! 

Did I mention that I took the sunshine with me? Every single day the sun shone, it was glorious blue skies, the weather was truly amazing. Scotland is not exactly famous for its sunny days and blue skies so this was something of a miracle. Clearly I am the sunshiney blue sky bringer. 

On our final day we had a very special date with this dude:
Maybe it was the blue sky or the sunny day but all the animals were on top form. The sun bear did a biiiiig stretch in front of me, the lions were grooming each other and having some quality time together, the wolf was hiding in his den, and the pandas were totally awesome! I never thought I'd get to see a panda so close up, the female literally walked right in front of me, well ambled more like. Utterly cool. 

Fab weekend! Thanks for having me, Fizz! 

Monday, 9 April 2012

Weekend variety show

It's been a fabby long Easter weekend. We've frankly been incredibly lazy, not at all the usual weekend of doing house jobs, garden jobs, pottering around inside the house jobs - total laziness rules. Long sleeps in, breakfast in bed every morning, lots of lounging around, lots of family and friends visiting, pretty damned brilliant all round really. 

With laziness comes lots of television, films, and books. In no particular order this is what has been playing in the big flatscreen in the corner:

Brighton Rock
The updated version with Helen Mirren and John Hurt. This is one of my favourite books and the original film version with Richard Attenborough as Pinkie is up there as one of the finest ever so I was a bit nervous about this but it was pretty good. Mods! Rockers! Flick-knives! Threatening mobs! What more do you need from a weekend movie?!

The September Issue
I planned to watch this on my own as was pretty sure that Wavey wouldn't like it, it being fashion and all. Initial mockery was soon replaced with complete and utter interest and we were both thoroughly absorbed. Such an interesting film. And to see Anna Wintour smile and laugh was a bit of a shocker! I'm sure we enjoyed it for different reasons but an all round winner. 

Vicky Christina Barcelona
Second viewing of this and still loved it. Gorgeous scenery, beautiful sunny skies, beautiful people, Penelope Cruz being utterly bonkers, full of sass and hilarious. And definitely want to go to Barcelona now. 

On the tv:
Much of the usual that we have going on, a whole lot of series recorded, we're forever catching up. Watched the first of season 3 Made in Chelsea, still awful, still cringe-y, still hi-bloomin-larious. Keep it coming! Watched the last in the series of Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, pretty much the same as above, awful, cringe-y, hi-larious, and a wee bit eeek-ey. Not my choice but Easter is a huge footy weekend so we must have watched Match of the Day at least 70 times...

Book-wise I'm still reading Warm Bodies which is about a zombie in love with a real live person. Don't mock it til you've tried it, it's a really good book!

In other news we finally got around to sorting out our cds and admitted that we didn't listen to a massive pile of them. We've sold them on a website and made £28! Which is not too shabby and will go straight into the holiday saving fund, wooooo! A whole other heap are going to the charidee shop, and the ones we have left now fill 2 biggish drawers and have actually been put in A-Z order. I know, I know, I shake my own head at the geekiness of it but I tell you, since we've done that the stereo has been on constantly as you know where to find stuff straight away! 

Weekends are truly the best! Next weekend I'm off up to Scotland with Fizz so stay tuned for the tales :D  

Saturday, 7 April 2012

A wardrobe classic

If you could afford one, how would you wear your's?

Friday, 6 April 2012

Baking the 21st century way

Call me a traditionalist but I am strictly a gal who bakes and makes using books. I love looking through the books with all their glossy pictures, I love reading the introductions and hints and tips and little stories that are part of the author's story. I like the feel of books and looking at them on my kitchen book shelf. 

Today I broke with tradition and baked using my laptop:

 It got a bit messy. And a lot frustrating as the laptop was taking up precious worktop space and my awareness of needing to keep it away from flying ingredients was making me hyper clumsy. Only a few splatters hit the screen...hopefully I got all the ingredients in the right order and the chocolate simnel cake to eat over the long Easter weekend will be as delicious as it looks in the photo. Only baking time will tell. 

There has to be a way of incorporating the laptop into your cooking though. I'm sure lots of people use the internet for recipes etc - do you print them out and then use them? Do you keep the laptop in another room and have an able kitchen assistant to call out the ingredients and instructions? I have a really teeny kitchen, there's no space for a table for the laptop to live safely away from flying ingredients. How does everyone else do this 21st century baking and making? Feel free to share...

Monday, 2 April 2012

This is an emergency...

Our boiler has broken. The day before the weather is supposed to turn back to freezing. An engineer came out to look at it today and it turns out our boiler is "at risk" due to some dodgy pipework that points in the wrong direction, oo-er missus. Oh and it's so old and the engineer was so concerned he rang the company to check that it didn't contain asbestos. As you do. Yikes, cripes and an eek and eep for good measure. So basically we're in limbo land. They won't do a permanent fix until the dodgy pipes (oo-er missus, you know the drill) are fixed, there's a leak inside of it which is causing the water to drip onto the electrical circuit which is what's causing all the electrics in the house to trip everytime the boiler starts...add to that the nightmare complication of who has time off when in order to be here for the engineer to come out...all in all, it sucks. Bad timing. The boiler broke the day after I moved in originally and we had no heating for days. Is it me? Am I the jinx? Or is our ancient, possibly needing to be condemned boiler to blame? Why do we have to have a boiler emergency right now? 

I tells ya, 2012 sucks arse so far. If it's not one thing it's something else entirely. I feel like we take one step forward and about 27 back. Or to use my ma's analogy, we keep on falling waaaaaaay down the biggest snake on the board of Snakes and Ladders. I think it's about time we were due a break. I don't know how I expect this to come about, but I do, and soonish rather than laterish please. Come on 2012, show me that you're better than this! Show me the non-arse, show it to me baby! 

Sunday, 1 April 2012

You say tomay-to, I say tom-arto

It's hard to believe from all the recipe books I have that I've never before had an American one. And it's challenging me. I'm all down with measuring things in cups, but when the recipe calls for strange things like garbanzo beans I'm totally stumped. One google search later and I find out this actually means chickpeas. And today I had to add cornstarch which we call cornflour. There is a little glossary in the back but the author missed out the garbanzo beans translation, perhaps she thought that was the name everywhere? 

For all the confusing terms though there are some really yummy recipes in there. Tonight we had cherry tomato and feta cheese clafoutis with a lovely colourful salad. Essentially it was a french version of a quiche but without the pie crust. It was very very tasty and made even better by sprinkling with herbs out of our garden. Followed by rhubarb crumble and custard made with rhubarb from the garden. Yummo! 

Oh how I love food. I could talk about it all day long...