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Showing posts from May, 2018

Monster mash...

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In my house, I am famous for my mashed potatoes.  I can't confess to having some secret formula, but perhaps the butter mountain and vicious beating with a wooden spoon have something to do with its popularity.
Son number two, who is starting to recover from his life-threatening gumboil decided that for dinner last night, he would 'try' to eat a Chicken Kiev.  I thought this a great idea, but when I suggested some curly chips to go with it, these were discarded as being 'too pointy'.  'Anyway', he said, 'I found some mashed potato in the freezer.  I've got it out to defrost'.  Sure enough, there was one of my plastic pots crammed with the creamy stuff, so I left him to rustle up his own dinner (my capacity to care will only last so long before the kids understand that they're on their own).
Standing in the kitchen (some would call it supervising) I watched as the chicken was taken from the oven.  'I'll just heat my mash up', said s…

Tangled...

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So it's back out with the sou'westers and wellies after the recent sunny days.  Yesterday found me tramping around a field, muttering obscenities under my breath as the horizontal rain soaked my trousers and dribbled down inside my wellies.  I was walking three dogs at the time (Sid the Westie had a sleepover on Monday night)  and they all thought it a tremendous hoot to spread out in a semi circle and head off in different directions, pulling me along behind them trying to juggle three leads.  
I'm not saying I was in a pickle with the leads, but I really wish I'd paid more attention to the teacher in the Macrame lesson in Year 5 at school.  Anyway, within two minutes from home, the fully extended leads were so knotted that each dog had about a meter of slack and I had created something to hang a flower pot in (all very 1970's).
Now feeding time for three dogs is very interesting, especially when one of them gets fresh chicken in their bowl as an evening treat.
'…

Running bear...

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Time to reflect on the busiest weekend for at least a fortnight.
I could tell you all about the husband's charity golf day where he missed getting the wooden spoon (a lifelong ambition) because (wait for it) he was too good and only reached the giddy depths of third from bottom. This year, the husband had borrowed a set of proper golf clubs from our neighbour, as the Fisher Price ones had outstayed their welcome.  I did say to my neighbour that they probably wouldn't help the husband play any better, but apparently, I was wrong.
And then there was the barbecue at Miss R's on Sunday.  I had offered to drive, for no other reason that I tend to veer towards sensible, but the husband?  Well, he just went for it and when he started to sulk about losing at Swingball against a nine year old, I decided that perhaps it was time to take him home.  Oh, and he was dancing...like I needed any other reason to whisk him away.
Then we had another barbecue at the allotment with several other …

Open up...

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What do they say about pride coming before a fall?  

Having had a complete bragfest about my gorgeous family, son number two was felled by raging toothache on Saturday.  This had been brewing for a couple of days, but I had hoped that the smorgasbord of painkillers at my disposal would keep the worst at bay until the dentist returned back to work on Tuesday.  How wrong I was.
I got the phone call from daughter number two on Saturday morning, just as I was about wrap my laughing gear around a particularly tasty bit of streaky bacon perched on top of my waffles.  It was Saturday Breakfast in the pub in case you think I always eat thus.
'He's in agony mum,' the call continued.  'You'll have to do something'.
Do something?  Well, I'm not a dentist, so the only options I could think of there and then were denying knowledge of this woman they call 'mum', or euthanasia.  Accepting my fate that as a mother, nothing will ever go to plan, I ate the waffles and ba…

Something special...

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As the first of my wedding anniversaries draws to a close (we had two weddings - one in an office, and one under a tree) I marvel at how much love six people can have for each other without it falling into immoral or illegal territory.  You see, all of the kids made it home on Thursday night to help the husband and me celebrate with a night out. We are forever grateful (and slightly bewildered) that for some reason they seem to enjoy our company, and we were all looking forward to a massive catch up.
A mini bus had been arranged by the two girls, which was meant to collect us at 7.15.  By 7.25, I was starting to panic, and in a frantic call to him, he reassured us that he was 'just three minutes' away.  The three minutes turned into seven, and when he did finally get to us, it was like a Benny Hill sketch (without the scantily dressed nurse)  as we piled on board.  
The driver was a sight to behold.  Cross eyed, vastly overweight and full of tales of derring-do about his Lithuan…

Flying high

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You'll be relieved to know that the remaining twenty or so baby carrots survived the night.  Watering the dirt yesterday afternoon I pondered what I would have done if they had been eaten by Peter, Benjamin and company.  
A couple of options went through my mind.  The first one was to simply close the gate to my allotment, hanging a sign on the front, saying something along the lines of, 'I'm done with growing my own.  If you need me, I'll be in my deckchair eating a punnet of shop bought raspberries'.  Alternatively, I could simply lift my baby carrots and stick them on top of my raised bed, so that they're out of rabbity reach.  Mind you, knowing my luck, rabbits will learn to hang glide and it will be bye bye carrots once again.  But I'll hang in there for a few more days.
Son number two returned back to the fold yesterday afternoon having finished his first year studying law.  Unfortunately, this will mean that I won't stand a chance when I need him t…

Pack of thieves...

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Today I shall mainly be wearing a black arm band, in memory of the twenty four carrot seedlings which some lop eared thief pilfered out of my allotment last night.  For a brief time yesterday afternoon, as I fought with a piece of netting in a stiff wind, I had some serious sympathy for Mr McGregor.  But you know, this is the 'joy' of having an allotment in the middle of the countryside.  All the time you're there, you admire the view, marvel at the birdsong, and whistle happily at being one with nature.  But overnight, it becomes a drive through greengrocers, with the carrot thieving rabbits, onion stealing rats and even the pigeons, who are rather partial to sweetcorn. (I haven't grown any this year purely because of this).
But the carrots are now protected with some netting and some plastic hoops and I'll let you know if my cunning plan works.  I expect that you're wondering why I didn't net the blooming things in the first place.  This can be fully blame…

So special...

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Poor old Reg had a trip to the vet yesterday.  For the last month or so he has been doing a pretty impressive impersonation of Thumper, the rabbit from Bambi.  Despite being bombarded with flea treatments, medicated shampoo and antihistamine tablets, he has continued with the thump-thump-thump at any given time.  Add into this an attack of worms, and you have a poor pup with quite a lot on his plate.  I can't say that he's been poorly, as he's not been any different to his normal loopy self, but after a particularly annoying evening of thumping, the husband pleaded with me to take the beggar to the vet.
After the last debacle with the two of them, I decided to take Reg alone this time, and left Percy at home with Monday's copy of the Times and his knitting.  Although initially miffed not to be going in the car with Reg, when the penny finally dropped that he was going to have the house to himself, Percy was seen to give a small paw punch as he shuffled off to the lounge…

I'm broken...

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So after Saturday's celebrations, Sunday took a more sinister turn.
The husband, who makes procrastination an art form, finally agreed that if the vegetable seedlings I'd been nurturing weren't planted out yesterday, then we might as well lock up our allotment and have a year off from it.  Now attractive as this may seem at 8.00am on a Sunday morning, I'm not too good at quitting at anything which I have started, so we hauled our sorry carcasses over to the allotment armed with everything we needed.
Within ten minutes of arriving at the patch of dirt, the husband had broken both the strimmer and the rotivator.  The sky was not the only thing which was a  beautiful shade of blue for the next half an hour, as the husband relegated the strimmer to the shed, and changed the fan belt on the rotivator.
Once that was all done, it was all steam ahead for weed pulling, stone removal, planting and watering, and by 2.00 we were done.  Literally.  I had managed to rake my left leg, s…

Saturday night...

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Well ladies, I very almost didn't make it this morning.  You know that particular moment on a Big Night Out, when your sister says, 'Just stay at mine, and have a bloody drink'?  Well that happened at around 6.00 last night in the FA Cup Final half time.
Luckily for me, and all the others at the table, I remained on the road of sobriety, and was able to scoop the husband up at the end of the evening and transport his broken weeping body back home from the pub.  He's a Manchester United fan, which explained the moaning and wailing across the county border as we drove home.  He'll probably sulk till at least Tuesday.
But of course, we had the wedding to watch for the first part of Saturday.  As a complete traditionalist, I was glued to the television and sat there so long, that two meals were necessary.  I didn't want to miss a second of it, so deployed daughter number one to make the bacon rolls.  It was the least she could do having brought round a 4" tall s…

Party queen...

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Bloody hell, I'm all caked out...
Yesterday was one of my colleague's birthdays, and as I was baking for my Pink Ladies tea party, I just did a couple extra to take into Binland.  The carrot cake which I'd made for 'the boys' disappeared in about four minutes - this is what happens when you walk into the canteen just as the drivers are finishing off their sandwiches.  I barely got out of there alive, throwing the cake onto the nearest table and running as fast as I could to the door, waving my security pass frantically.
The black cherry and vanilla sponge lasted a little longer, and when I left Binland yesterday, there were just a couple of slices left.  I had abstained from all cake at Binland (before you start applauding my mid-diet self control, hear me out) because I knew I would be eating the same cakes three hours later when the Pink Ladies arrived.  No one likes to peak too soon, do they.
So fast forward to 4.00, and there are nine ladies in my garden, necking …

Tea party...

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Normal life has returned with the departure of daughter number two last night.  
My poorly little chick has had a rotten second week of recuperation having had her tonsils removed, and there have been a couple of darker times when I considered sticking them back in.  I'd probably have to have used an alternative as her tonsils are long gone, and having considered a couple of Pizza Express dough balls, two satsumas or a pair of rolled up socks, we eventually agreed that she'd just have to ride out the storm.
She's been a very good patient, and I've been a very good nurse apparently (flowers delivered yesterday as proof) but as I said to her as she left, 'There's no need to buy me flowers sweetie.  As a mum, it's in my job description to be Mumma Nurse when required'.
So she's gone.  In a whirl of washed and folded clean clothes, an emergency food parcel and seven packs of painkillers for those 'just in case' moments.  The house has reverted back…

Neighbours...

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I had great plans for yesterday afternoon.  These involved a deckchair, some factor 20, my latest copy of Grazia and a cup of tea.  Did I manage any of these yesterday?  Did I 'eck as like...
Instead, I was a good neighbour.  On the way back from a short pre-deckchair walk with the fuzzballs, one of my neighbours was sweeping his drive.  I stopped to talk because I knew he'd had a tough time recently, and as I left his drive half an hour later, another neighbour was waiting at the end of my drive.  She really needed a cuddle and a cuppa, so having supplied both, we chatted all afternoon and put the world to rights.  And then the husband came home.
There was a close call as he dropped his trousers in the hall, and I was relieved that my neighbour had left her glasses at home (not as glad as she would have been had she seen him scuttle across the hall and up the stairs in his pants) and once suitably attired, he joined the two of us for a bit more chat.  
Well it turned out that th…

Beer time...

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Well blow me down, here I am...
Mrs Next Door But One's impromptu beer and pizza soiree was an unmitigated success.  This declaration is based on the amount of paracetamol the husband and I necked back as the headaches kicked in around 9.00 when we trolleyed home last night.  Of course, if you also take into consideration the indigestion tablets taken overnight (pizza just before bedtime was not the best idea for yours truly), then the whole evening was an unmitigated triumph.
It was a select few invited round last night, which had been suggested to celebrate Mrs H's husband's birthday.  As you may remember, Mrs H is Italian, and there is nothing she loves more than eating shop bought pizza.  (Sarcasm alert, in case you missed it).  Mrs Next Door But One insisted that the pizzas were 'homemade', because she'd had a lot of input in their creation.  What this actually boiled down to was that she had stood at Sainsbury's pizza counter and watched while her pizza…

Sing a rainbow...

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Day one of my weekend screeched to a halt when the rain tipped up (tipped being the precise word as I bent over my border trying to extract a rather reluctant nettle from its family home, where three generations of nettles have lived in isolated splendour).  
I'd hit the garden centre on the way to family breakfast, so the bootfull of plants were now in the borders, the weeds were a thing of the past (except for the buttercups which got a stay of execution as they add some well needed colour) and I all I need to do now is just wait for the full explosion of colour round June (I am hoping the colours will be pink, yellow and red, and not a mixture of brown as the plants wither and die though).
I was with Mrs S on Thursday, and I chanced to say that I had planted some holly hocks in my borders.  'You're brave', she said, 'you know they can grow up to 8' tall don't you?'  Well of course I didn't, so these were dug up yesterday and re-positioned at the ba…

Grow on me...

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Well where did that week go?
Bat out of Hell and the consumption of some (non) edible soap in a bicycle rickshaw seem a lifetime ago.  A lifetime taken up with timing of pain relief ('but mum, it says every eight hours on the pack'...'Bugger that, get it down your neck and quit moaning'), sessions at Binland and the creation of nutritional homemade meals the texture of Quaker Oats.  
We've yet to turn the corner the consultant warned us about.  In fact, we can't even see it on the straight road of pain which my poor girl finds herself on, but another forty eight hours should see her out on the other side of the tonsillectomy hell which has been the last four days.
But enough of my whinging.  It's not me with the screw top head traipsing around the house rattling like a half empty vitamin bottle while eating dubious looking food, I'm just being mum.
So I am looking forward to the weekend.  Even if daughter number two does take on the character of Maleficent …

Coming home...

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Normality has returned to my immediate vicinity.  After some persuasion ('Come home with me, or I'll never speak to you again!') daughter number two finally caved on the common sense front and agreed to continue her convalescence with me at home.  This was good for several reasons.  
Firstly, it meant that I didn't have to sleep on that blessed camp bed for another night.  Now I have been camping many times, and I've even used this camp bed in various tents across the UK.  However, being camped in someone else's lounge, sandwiched between the TV cabinet, a stack of tacky magazines and a two seater sofa is not ideal, especially when the only feasible position meant that your face was level with a whole load of chocolate left over from Easter.  I reckon it was the smell of Lindt wafting across my face which kept me awake, so I was very glad to be back into my own bed last night.
And then there's the cooking.  I made the malingerer and her flat mate a lovely she…

My girl...

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Day Two of my duties as Nurse Ratchet started off with a trip to the local retail park on the pretext of getting the makings for a home made shepherd's pie for the malinger now lacking tonsils.
In reality, as well as the ingredients for the aforementioned culinary delight, I managed to get my watch strap replaced, have a most pleasant half an hour in Home Sense rummaging for lunch boxes and have a quiet breakfast of a toasted tea cake and a cappuccino.  
It was then back to Tonsils HQ where daughter number two was still in bed.  Yesterday was definitely a quieter one as the morphine and adrenaline had run out overnight, leaving a rather pale little thing sleeping on and off all day.  This was between banana sandwiches, anaemic toast and numerous cups of tea (my personal favorite).  
Taking advantage of her weakened state, I managed to do all of her washing, sort the dishwasher out, clean the kitchen (who knew there was a window behind all that crap) and I also made a marvelous lookin…

Witch doctor...

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You won't be able to see this from where you're sitting, but I am currently sporting a nurse's uniform and ugly flat shoes.
This isn't because the husband has a fetish for Hattie Jacques in Carry on Matron, but because I am currently employed as Mumma Nurse at daughter number two's residence in Milton Keynes.  Her incapacity has nothing to do with the fact that she ran 10K in a blistering heat yesterday, nor has there been fall out after the meeting with Jolly Sock Man's parents on Sunday (they were lovely by the way, which was no surprise when you see how great their son is).  No, this was because daughter number two, in her infinite wisdom, had her tonsils removed on Monday morning.
This has been a long time coming, and having had infection after infection, them what's in charge decided that it was time to whip the bloomin' things out.
Mrs M, one of my most supportive readers, has gone through exactly the same with her adult daughter, and so far, everyth…

Come into the garden, Maude...

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Isn't is amazing how a blog about me chomping down on a cube of Palmolive proves to be the best read one for the last few weeks.  You are a callous lot!
With this stunning weather carrying on, thoughts turned to the garden yesterday and all the different shades of green I seem really good at cultivating.  A trip to the local garden centre was on the cards first thing, and £83.56 later, I drove home with every square inch of upholstery covered with something which had a life expectancy of about a week now it was in my possession. 
I have made the questionable decision to do my own hanging baskets this year having handed over the responsibility to someone who knows what they are doing for the last two years.  'Seven plants.  No more', advised the garden centre lady firmly.  Apparently 'less is more' where hanging baskets are concerned, but try explaining that to the husband.  When he looked at the tiny specimens in the baskets as they gently swayed in the balmy breeze …

A little bit of soap...

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Saturday seemed to take very long to get here this week.  But isn't that always the way when you are excited about something you have booked?  The tickets for Bat out of Hell, the Musical, were bought way back in January, and as Saturday got closer and closer, I am sure I have been more and more boring to be around, humming, '...but I won't do that', under my breath.
It was an eventful day (I would have been disappointed if it hadn't been) and didn't start too well with a cancelled train to Paddington and the whole of the British Army and Navy on the move towards Twickenham.  Instead of a 29 minute journey into the centre of London, we were on the bloody train for almost two hours.  Mind you, we learned a few ribald songs on the way there, and it gave Mrs S and I a chance to catch up.  I hadn't seen her for a whole fifty three hours, so there was much to discuss...
By the time we met up with the other reprobates in Covent Garden, there was just enough time fo…