Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Did you know it is:

International Very Good Looking, Darn Smart Woman's Day,
I have just got an email from a friend suggesting I send this to 'five bright women (or their mates) and make their day' it gave me a laugh and I thought now I can do better than an email so......

To the Girls (and any blokes who may be reading) !!!

Inside every older person is a younger person -- wondering what in the world happened. -Cora Harvey Armstrong-

Inside me lives a skinny woman crying to get out. But I can usually shut her up with cookies. (Unknown)

The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy. -Helen Hayes (at 73)-

I refuse to think of them as chin hairs. I think of them as stray eyebrows. -Janette Barber-

My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first one being -- hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint. -Erma Bombeck-

Old age ain't no place for sissies. -Bette Davis-

Every time I close the door on reality, it comes in through the windows. -Jennifer Unlimited-

Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart. -Caryn Leschen-

If you can't be a good example -- then you'll just have to be a horrible warning. -Catherine Aird-

I'm not going to vacuum 'til Sears makes one you can ride on. -Roseanne Barr-

Behind every successful man is a surprised woman. -Maryon Pearson-

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission. -Eleanor Roosevelt-

And remember this motto to live by: Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, cheesecake (I might just substitute the cheesecake for champagne) in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!" Have a wonderful day!


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Internet marketing

You may (or may not) wonder why I didn't manage to write a post yesterday. Mainly because I was too tired after attending an internet marketing conference. It wasn't something I particularly wanted to invest in (either time or money) as I don't have a business I want to promote but when a friend invited me I decided it would be a day out and lunch was thrown in so that was a good enticement.

I left home to drive to my friend's house at 7:15 am where I left my car so that we could travel by bus to the venue (hotel in the centre of Bristol). I don't normally do buses and now I remember why, it was crowded and we had to stand until the last two stops. We were jammed like sardines forced to listen to other people's conversations on mobiles (e.g one young girl wanted the person on the other end of the phone to make an excuse for her being late, reason sounded far too complicated to me why didn't she just say heavy traffic and bus was late but then she's probably used that one in the past but it was true and a bus full of people could vouch for it). Trying to avoid all the coughing and spluttering was impossible and I am keeping my fingers crossed I haven't picked up any germs, so far this winter 'touch wood' I've managed to avoid colds and flu.

It was quite an interesting day very American (no disrespect intended) but the company promoting this technology is American 'SO' (I decided to delete the full name I don't want to sued for my opinions) and the success stories are all from America. I won't go into detail but there must have been over 200 people present and a huge number of these were parting with quite a lot of money without even being certain of success. From my very limited knowledge the 'if you follow this verbatum' you will likely succeed (very cleverly making sure the bit about everyone will be different was added but not dwelt upon) and watch the cash come rolling in seemed a little too good to be true.
Don't get me wrong I have no doubt that some people make a lot of money selling on the internet and I agree you need to get your product at the top of all the search engines to even stand a chance. Yes they told you how this is achieved and in theory could work. However as there are only about 10 entries on the first page of each search engine and this company must have signed up thousands of people (they operate all over the world apparently) there must be a lot of people out there who follow the advice and still can't get their web sites seen or visited from searches (hope this makes sense). So the cynic in me listened and enjoyed the hospitality but said 'no thank you'. Afterall I felt caution was needed about anyone showing how to use 'sitemaster' to track traffic trends etc as though the system was theirs (is this not a free service anyway).

The day ended at 18:00 and we left those who had parted with money to have a little more tuition. I sincerely hope they come out on top but I suspect, for most, it will prove otherwise. If you are prepared to gamble over £3,000 and then spend an ongoing £120 a month then I would say go for it but I was thinking of the holiday destinations I could visit for this money. Plus the odds of success from buying the odd £1 lottery ticket would probably be similar and far less work.

PS we then had to wait over half an hour for the bus and I finally arrived home after 19:30 so you can see why I didn't have the energy or inclination to write a post after a 12 hour ++ day it was like being back at work- maybe retirement is not so bad after all!!


Monday, February 26, 2007

Fun Monday # 6

Willowtree chose "My Blogging Environment" as the topic for Fun Monday so here goes:

1 I believe I've mentioned before that I was reading blogs for a good two years or more before I ever considered writing my own. I first learned about blogging through my daughter Sam who writes a food blog so using her links I initially read mainly about food and restaurants and I know all the places she visits in San Fransisco which makes me feel closer to her. I also manage to pick up a lot of good recipes to add to my collection and hubby enjoys being my guinea pig.

2 It was only last September (20th to be precise) that blogging became my new favourite hobby and around that time my other daughter Beccy decided to swell the ranks.

3 I have free access to our computer during the day but during the evening I compete with my hubby. We have a rather old iMac that sits on a leather top desk that belonged to my father-in-law and was his office desk when he practised as an accountant and came to us after he passed away. It's not really the correct height as a computer desk but it is a nice piece of furniture so we won't part with it.

4 You may not realise it from the photo but the desk sits in our dining room and this is where I actually write. I am always looking for topics and spend quite a lot of time thinking about blogging. Over the past six months I have become addicted to blogging and have gradually found many blogs that I enjoy reading everyday. In fact it is becoming quite difficult to read so many each day that I find I have to ration myself and some only get read alternate days. I'm probably one of the lurkers as I do not always leave a comment but that doesn't mean I haven't enjoyed the post.

5 I actually yearn to learn more so that I can be more creative but that's not possible on this rather ancient computer (or maybe it's just me not being technically minded). We are intending to get a new computer but we're dithering as to whether to go for another Mac. It would be nice to have a laptop but again I'm not sure (any advice will be gratefully accepted).

6 You have probably noticed that my desk environment is untidy- I was tempted to make it very neat but Beccy reminded me you all need to see it as it is!! Actually my hubby usually has it piled much higher than this (he never takes any notice of the sign) so believe it or not this is quite good.

7 It's exciting to find new blogs, everyone has their own individual style which adds to the enjoyment and being part of Fun Monday has broadened my blogging horizons. I feel I have made many virtual friends so thank you all very much.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Requiem for an old friend

Our dear and faithful car is about to give up the ghost after serving us well for the past 14 years. We bought it new in 1993 and since then it has done 200785 miles. It seats eight so took all the family to France for a family reunion in 1994, since then it has safely been across France several times, and into Belgium and Luxemburg. Of course it has been to Ireland a few times and up and down to Cornwall every summer for many years. It regularly visited London before Sam moved to San Fransisco and it knows its way to both Bristol and Heathrow Airports. Until recently it only required a little tender loving care a bit of a clean and regular services but like many old folk in the past few months it's been in for repair quite a few times and now it's needing major surgery which my hubby feels is not worth it. In fact he anticipated the garage saying no further treatment, so we are reluctantly going to put it out to pasture (more likely the knackers yard).

Having made the decision hubby took himself off to see an old pal who is a used car specialist. This time around we can't afford a brand new car so we wanted to make sure we got a good deal. Hubby came back quite excited and said he had made an appointment for me to view an Avenis Verso that is 4 years old with 56,000 on the clock which I thought was a bit excessive but hubby was quite happy with this. The car had only just come in and if we were interested we could have it slightly below book price. So we drove back over and whilst I'm really not sure why I was consulted, the car seemed comfy enough, there was plenty of leg room and although one less seat than old car it does have air con, CD player, back windows operate individually and it's 5 door, seats turn into tables and there is a storage box under the rear floor. Not sure about the colour, it's silver, and everyone seems to have a silver car (I wonder how many times we will loose it in car parks), but we paid our money and its now sitting outside the house. Hubby is busy reading up all the literature (boys and their toys comes to mind) and I can tell he is rather pleased with the new acquisition.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Signs of Spring

I got quite excited this morning, waking up to sunshine and a rise in temperature I was able to throw open all the windows (trouble is I can see how dirty they are), I collected the daily newspapers without needing to wear a coat and boots (bliss). In the week I have been away the crocuses have started to bloom and believe it or not the osteopernum have never stopped blooming throughout the winter. Mmmm as I'm writing this it's clouded over but the sun was lovely while it lasted.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

whose got brownie points

Coming back home yesterday I wondered how much clearing up I would have to do but fortunately my hubby had been trying to gain a gold star for effort.......

1-there was some bread and milk in the house (unlike last time)

2-the dishwasher had been put on and I only had to empty it - ah but there was a dirty frying pan left on the hob and surface had not been wiped- OK not bad I'm not complaining

3-he had done a load of washing, got it dried and put away. I'm impressed only one load left for me to do -though I did wonder why the laundry basket was in the hall !!

4- recycling had gone on the correct day -but still a little pile of sorting left on the kitchen unit for me to do- would have been nice to see it clear but I can live with this- I was only mildly irritated that he hasn't yet grasped which plastic is recycled

5- back gate (you may remember was blown off in storms) re-hung (so far good job) but it had been too wet to finish all the filling and varnishing etc- that's ok and I won't embarrass him by telling you how many years that I have been waiting for inside doors to be finished so hope this won't turn out the same.

6- not sure if the dining room had been vacuumed found cleaner plugged in, so either done or ready for me to do - very clever (get a point either way)

7-dining room table and computer area clear of papers now that's worth 2 points (he obviously knows the topic for next Fun Monday)

8- my mother said he had looked after her very well carrying night drinks up to her bedroom and doing some shopping

Does he break even- no I think he might just about be in credit so well done Mike but I won't hold my breath that you will turn into a new age man in this lifetime. I wonder what my readers think ???

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The wanderer returns home

I got home at about 16:00 and as my hubby is out for the evening I decided to catch up and read my 143 emails and write this very short post. The flight home was uneventful and as it was a lovely sunny afternoon as we flew over Bristol there were some spectacular views. As the plane descended I had my camera poised all ready for some (good-well maybe) photos and the stewardess came and said no photos to be taken during landing. I was quite annoyed as we were several minutes away from landing and I don't think I was aware of this 'rule'. I don't recall cameras being mentioned along with mobile phones and laptops in all the spiel they give you. Clearly no one noticed me taking a photo as we left Dublin so that's all I have offer.

Anyone who read this post will know that I mislaid my passport just before this trip and what was the first thing I found on my return home, you've guessed it.

Said passport was in the handbag I originally intended to take with me to Dublin but decided against at the last minute. I'm relieved as it would have meant a long drive to Newport in Wales to get a replacement as I need it in a couple of weeks time.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Organic lunch at Marc Michel

I could get used to being a 'lady who lunches'. Earlier today Beccy, her mother-in-law (Marie) and I visited an organic farm shop called Marc Michel that also serves the most delicious organic lunches. Little Ben came with us but only had dessert as the memu did not suit his taste. Don't worry he didn't starve as he ate before we left home. The farm shop is about a 20 minuite drive from where Beccy lives at a little place called Kilpedder. It is very well hidden and the approach is down a narrow lane, alongside which you can see all the organic vegetables being tended in the fields. On the opposite side of the lane sheep and lambs can be seen grazing.
As we parked outside what looked like a large greenhouse, I hoped the food would live up to expectation. Inside it was warm and cosy with a rustic feel as it was heated with log burning stoves.

The shop is one end and the tables are the other, we had been reserved a corner table which was one of the best positions.

The menu (only part shown) did not disappoint and I found it difficult to choose but finally decided on Lamb Patties, while Beccy and Marie chose Tian of Crab. Everything is freshly prepared and cooked and the lamb comes from the farm next door.

The flavour of the lamb was enhanced by the chilli and it was spicy without being overpowering, and was nicely complimented by the lemon creme fraishe.

Beccy felt that although the crab was lovely and fresh and tasty , the dish had a little too much onion but Marie thought it was perfect.

I didn't photograph the desserts but Beccy had rhubarb (oops how did I get this so wrong I meant apple) crumble ( cooked to order), Marie had Panacotta which suited her dietary needs (gluten free) and Ben had chocolate brownie all served with cream. I'm sorry to say that I was too full to be tempted.

This is one of the fields growing and rotating crops.

Here you can see a huge field of leeks and you can also just see a pheasant in the right hand corner.

This is the ideal place for lunch if you are looking for good quality food and you are not looking for plush surroundings, personally I think it's an ideal way to promote organic food and I am looking forward to a second visit next time I'm in Dublin.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Fun Monday 5 Precious Objects

When Karmyn over at dreaming what ifs chose precious objects for the subject of this fun Monday the first thing that came into my head was my family are the most precious and important people in my life. These are the people who share all the joys and sorrows and give you all the happiest of memories. So as I am lucky enough to be staying with Beccy this week I was able to get her to make me up this little collage of family photos from the past few years.

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I have many things that I treasure for lots of reasons, such as my granny's rocking chair, my girls milk teeth (OK odd woman I hear you say). Possibly some of the oldest treasures I have is a pair of Victorian Vases, well I say a pair but one got damaged about 20 years ago and I was heartbroken at the time. I have them sitting on glass shelves either side of the bed and for some reason one of the shelves became dislodged and the vase fell. You can imagine the shock we had, my husband has never let me forget that I was more concerned about the vase than the fact he might have been injured.

Another of my much loved treasures is this filofax given to me by my daughters back in 1987, this was at a time when they were so expensive and the girls didn't have much money so it was a huge sacrifice for them. I was thrilled and I have been using it everyday since. The photo is the one they put in it at the time.

As a girl I was always collecting things and I could make up a whole post devoted to things I have but I picked out these two again they belonged to my granny and the one is a rouge pot and the other an old Max Factor powder compact complete with some powder. I think the real fascination was the fact I was not allowed to wear make up and used to try it out when no one was about.

The last thing I will share is this letter which the girls sent me after I had been particularly cross with them they were quite young at the time and it made me feel very guilty for being such an awful mother (mind they probably deserved it).

I hope you have enjoyed this little insight into my treasures, I am looking forward to reading all the fun Monday posts.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sugar Loaf

It was a beautiful day here in Dublin yesterday and after Mollie and Ben had worn us out playing tennis (now why didn't I think to take photos) we went home and made a wonderful chicken soup with dumplings, promptly cancelling out all the benefits of the morning exercise. So as Ben was off the a birthday party, Dillon was at his granny's helping in the garden, Mollie, Beccy and I decided to go for a walk at Powers Court. There are some lovely views and you can see the Sugar Loaf mountain in the back ground of the photo below.

A huge new luxury 6 star hotel is being built on this estate and I tried to get a glimpse of what it might be like. It's well hidden but rumour has it top prices will be €3,000 a night for the best suites with a butler service and there will be a huge spa. I don't think I will ever to see the inside of this hotel but then I prefer somewhere with a family atmosphere!!

After our walk we called into Beccy's-in-laws to collect Dillon, as they live nearby. How would you like to look at the view everyday from your sitting room window. This photo does not actually do it justice but it is just beautiful in all seasons (imagine it with leaves on all the trees) and yes that's Sugar Loaf in the background. Beccy's in-laws are wonderfully hospitable and always make me feel very welcome so I get to enjoy this view on most of my trips to Dublin.

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Friday, February 16, 2007


Whose household needs to do some re-cycling. Believe it or not all the bags contain plastic and this only from the past two months !!

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

All's well that ends well

Anyone who read Beccy's post yesterday will know that I nearly didn't make it to Dublin.

What not to do before going away

Do not be the idiot who looses their passport and not realise it until an hour before they are due to leave for the airport. I am usually very good at knowing exactly where things are and my passport is kept in the same place this very reason. However I needed it on Saturday for ID and didn't put it back so where it is now is anyones guess. In the end I travelled on my work ID I didn't actually tell them I retired last October and luckily the expiry date is not until the end of the month. I'll probably find the passport as soon as I get home, if not I'll have the hassle of getting a replacement which will be an inconvenient and costly lesson as I will be needing it again early in March.

All that was forgotten because I was given such a warm welcome by my grand children. Little Ben who usually tries to resist kisses and hugs was so sweet, he gave me a huge hug and made me this lovely valentine card

Beccy made a special valentine dessert, complete with pink cream, it was so delicious I just had to show you what you missed. Oh and we shared a bottle of pink bubbly.

One of the first things I did was to try out the wii I could easily get hooked on the tennis game, and the golf was also quite good, but of course I was beaten by everyone so that means I need to keep practising !!

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Dublin here I come

I'm off to Dublin later today so I may not get much opportunity to write many posts for the next week. As all Beccy's family use the computer extensively I cannot expect to hog it but you never know I might be able to book a space or sneak on when no one's looking. If nothing else I want to participate in the next Fun Monday and see what you are all doing.

See you soon Chris.


Tomato Penne Bake

I love Asha's weekly Wednesday post and after seeing this pasta recipe last week I decided to make it for dinner yesterday evening. I knew there would be plenty left over that hubby could easily re-heat as I'm off to Dublin today to visit Beccy and Co. I adapted the ingredients to suit what I had to hand and it worked perfectly. I diced (quite small), rather than grated, my veg (onions, carrot, celery, red pepper, cherry toms) which gave them a slightly crunchy texture (depends how well cooked you like your veg). I used, minced beef, cartons of tomato with basil and oregano and added my own garlic; I also used ordinary mature cheddar cheese as well as parmesan. This makes a very tasty pasta dish and I will certainly be making it again, so hope I've tempted you to give it a try. Big thank to Asha I'm looking forward to seeing what you dish up for us later today.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I'm the proud owner of an Eggbeater T-Shirt

I have been anticipating the arrival of a parcel and today it was delivered by Clare our friendly postie. I was delighted when I heard that I had won this prize donated by Shuna over at Eggbeater in the Menu for Hope raffle. So big thank you Shuna.

This is on the back and I may have one of these old style whisks hiding away somewhere. Now I wonder if some of Shuna's culinary skills will rub off if I wear this whilst I cook. Dream on I hear you say and you are right. So maybe I will add it to the other T-shirts I haven't worn but which might become heirlooms at some point in the future (me thinks this could be topic for a post as I do have a few).

I even cheated on dinner last night, this beef and guiness stew was delicious but my contribution was cooking the lovely, nutty, organic, brown rice. Hubby works near a great little deli where they prepare some good take away meals and this is one of our favourites.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Fun Monday 4 'Why I love where I live'

When Marnie chose "why I love where I live' as the topic for Fun Monday 4, I realised that I didn't really have any photos that would convey the delights of this lovely city. Bristol was a sea-faring city and the birthplace to a host of famous people, buildings and designs. This city gave the world supersonic flights (Concorde), poets (Robert Southey Romantic poet and Poet Laureate, Thomas Chatterton) and explorers (John Cabot), Cary Grant (actor) and Wallace and Gromit (Aardman who have just parted comany with Dreamworks). Further back in history there are some legacies that we are less than proud of as a lot of the city was developed out of the slave and sugar trade. Bristol has some wonderful architecture, a couple of universities and it was home to Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a polymath, whose achievements are known throughout the world.

I have lived in Bristol since 1962 and during these past 44 years I have had five different homes within a five mile radius on the north side of the city so there must be some attraction. In my opinion the city has something to offer everyone. There are plenty of green spaces, parks and walks within the city, and we are conveniently close to motorways and an airport. There are cathedrals, theatres, museums, plenty of shops including an out of town mall and masses of sports facilities. It's only a short drive out to the country or a trip down the motorway to reach the sea. What more could you ask for- well maybe better weather anyway I have never seriously thought of living anywhere else as I think it is a lovely city.
In the absence of photos and to get some idea of Bristol's attractions I hope you will look here or here for pictures. There are a couple of good views of Brunel's famous Clifton Suspension Bridge here.
If you are looking for a short break or if you are visiting from overseas put Bristol on your itinerary, you can always have a pit stop here and no I am not being paid by the tourist board- I wish!!
Now I'm off to do some browsing.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Public Conveniences

When Beccy was over visiting recently we got caught short during our walk and made a visit. The building was very clean but the above caught my eye and I was quite shocked as I have never seen this so publicly displayed anywhere else. I may be old and/or naive but is it giving the wrong message or is it just a sign of the times and actually a way of getting those who use the facilities for this purpose to act responsibly and safely dispose of used needles. Do you have a view??

Saturday, February 10, 2007

How not to treat your baskets

Mimi's post on baskets see French Kitchen in America immediately made me think of resurrecting a favourite basket of mine that has been languishing in my cellar for over twenty years, well in fact since we moved into this house. Now, I cannot remember how I acquired it but I really loved it and it was regularly used for popping out to the shops for the odd few items. The basket became impractical once supermarkets took over from the local shops. A weekly shop was much more convenient and supermarkets gave plastic bags in an effort to reduce the shop lifting, so you were not allow you to use your own bag. Now we have come a complete circle and with all the recycling bags have once again become 'fashionable' and stores encourage rather than discourage own bags and baskets. In fact many actually sell bags for re-use, the cynic in me says are they really trying to save the environment or line their own pockets. This is open for debate and I'm sure you all have views. You can see from the first photo taken in the cellar my basket has been used to store my grandchildren's buckets and spades. As an aside the boat you can see is one of two that were made for Sam and Beccy by their father back in the early 70's (I hope you note we were ahead of the times not all stereo-typical girly toys). I have so much stored in my cellar I have enough material for quite a few posts if I get short of ideas. I think a cellar sale would be a good idea once it's all sorted.

The basket is currently sitting on my hearth and I have been wondering whether to keep it as a feature and fill with dried flowers or pebbles. Any ideas would be appreciated.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Lentil Soup

Having got 3 kilo of lentils I decided that I had better start using some of them and what better than to make a warming healthy lentil soup for a cold day. I had been looking for soup recipes and found one for Greek Lentil Soup over at alice q foodie. I had every intention of trying this recipe but what did I find in my faithful, old, battered cookery book that is falling apart.

This recipe:

Lentil Soup Recipe ( serves 4)
Cooking time 1.5 hours

8 oz washed lentils (I used Puy but red lentils would probably puree better)
4 oz chopped bacon
1 chopped onion
1 chopped carrot
1 pint stock
little chopped thyme or parsley (I used parsley as it's what I had)
1oz butter
half oz flour
half pint milk
Garnish chopped parsley

Put the lentils (can be soaked overnight- I didn't), bacon, onion, carrot and stock into pan and add seasoning and herbs-seasoning MUST be added at start of the cooking. Cover and simmer for about 1.5 hrs.
Meanwhile make a very thin sauce with butter, flour and milk.
Then add to the lentil puree and reheat.
Check seasoning and served garnished with chopped parsley.

The final result was a very tasty, filling soup but the colour is not attractive as you can see. (I won't put you off trying this recipe by describing colour and texture, will leave to your imagination).

PS for some reason the direct link to Alice Q's lentil recipe has not worked but you will be able to find it I'm sure. She has a lot of lovely recipes and photos that are worth a browse.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

The weatherman got it right for once!

I'm sure those of you who are knee deep in snow will by now be quite bored with our pre-occupation with the white stuff here in the UK. Everyone else in the world copes admirably, not England, everything grinds to a halt and travel is chaotic. For instance some airports have been closed, roads are blocked, trains delayed, and many schools are closed which clearly delighted the children but not so parents, just think of the childcare problems it's created. The snow has been the topic for most of the radio 2 programmes, as I speak Jeremy Vine is suggesting everyone emails in a photo taken in the snow to be posted on their news board.

Where I live we missed the worst of the snow storms but we did have sufficient to cover the gardens and I did take a few pictures to prove it. The light was quite poor as it was snowing quite heavily as I was snapping away.

This is the view as I opened my back door.

The back yard taken from my dining room window.

The front garden must be more protected as there appears to be less snow settling here.

This one is for Ben, my 6 year old grandson who didn't have enough snow in Dublin even to make a snowball. I went out especially to make a little snowperson, I do wish you were here because we could have made a much bigger one. Granny Betty lent me a hat and scarf to keep him or maybe it's a her warm. Hope you like!!

Ben (and anyone else) guess who's busy building this huge snowman!!! Taken over 25 years ago.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

My version of Blueberry Breakfast (Anytime) Bars

I saw a mouth watering picture that Barbara at winosandfoodies had posted of what looked like a delicious snack and decided that I just had to try it. This is a recipe, using among other things blueberries and oats, that Barbara found on Farmgirl's blog. You will find the link to the recipe on Barbara's post therefore will not include it here.
So making sure that I bought sufficient blueberries I decided to give it a go yesterday. I didn't have the recommended size pan so mine probably turned out a little thicker than intended but I still managed to cut into sixteen.

As I was preparing the ingredients it seemed like the layers were going to be quite a rich consistency and when cooked I personally found it was quite sweet, although my mother thought it was fine. However, when (not if) I make them again I'm going to put in a little less sugar and see what happens. I have a lot of blackberries and loganberries in my freezer so intend to use up some perfecting this recipe.
I know these are called 'Breakfast Bars' but I agree with Barbara they are delicious at any time and you could serve them as a hot dessert and then cool the remainder for later, that's if there are any left!!

PS You might like to know that my friend Tina's verdict is "mmmmmmm they're almost orgasmic" so get baking!!!!!

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Was yours a top toy?

Well folks, as promised on Saturday's post, here are the results of the top toy survey undertaken here in Bristol. There are a lot of very popular toys that are not on the list but how many are on your list.
1 BMX bike
2 Transformers
3 Rubik's cube
4 Action Man
5 Lego
6 Etch a sketch
7 Barbie
8 Fuzzy Felt
9 Pound Puppies
10 Gameboy
11 Scalextric
12 Space Hoppers
13 Yo-Yo
14 My Little Pony
15 Chopper Bike
16 Play-Doh
17 Mic
18 Slinky
19 Cabbage Patch Kids
20 Girl's World

This was not a national survey so we must take the result with a pinch of salt but it's been nice to see your personal favourites and thanks to all who participated, hope it brought back some good childhood memories.


Monday, February 05, 2007

Fun Monday 3

As we head towards the third Fun Monday Swampwitch's challenge is to post a link to a memorable blog or post. Simple enough I thought, but then I realised this was actually not so easy. Since I began lurking on blogs in 2004 I have read some wonderful posts, some have been humerous, others quite sad, there are those which make you reflect on life and I have read posts where I feel empathy with the writer. I have also drooled at the spectacular pictures of food some bloggers prepare. So you can see why it was a difficult choice and I feel everyone needs a mention. I know, I know stop waffling and get to the I'm actually going to mention several bloggers. Everyone will have a lot of reading to do so I hope my explanations will provide you with choices so that you can either pick one quick read or browse for much longer so here goes.......

FIRST, I have decided that as it was daughter number 1 (Sam) who introduced me to the blogging community, through becks & posh long before I ever considered joining in I would link you to a few of her posts. .

This is a take off of one of the English tabloids and the fun headlines will, hopefully give you a laugh.

Sam is, in my opinion, is quite clever with words and you might enjoy her ode to an egg.

Is this what a mother wants to see childhood food memories viewed through Sam's eyes.

This final link is quite a long read and I am not too sure if it will work properly. At the end of July 2006 Sam decided to enter the 24 hour bloggathon in aid of charity. She chose to support 'The Food Runners" who collect and distibute food in and around San Fransisco. She accompanied the volunteers for part of the time (I seem to remember there was a British guy who has worked as volunteer for some years) and did a post approximately every hour. The 8 hour time difference meant that Beccy and I were able to follow her through the night when the rest of the USA was asleep. She managed to raise $2.5 thousand (hope I've got that correct) and I was very proud of her. If you do read this one, the posts run from the end, backwards (if that makes sense, so you might want to scroll to end before beginning to read).

SECOND, this blog is one I only started reading recently and that's Enid who very cleverly writes in the 'third person singular' and is very amusing. I had already decided to mention Enid's blog before I realised that she has joined in this week. I got hooked and one afternoon read from the start of her archive in December. So for those who have not met Enid:

This is Enid's response to being tagged by Beccy

This is one of her childhood memories.

This is Enid's take on bureaucracy at a certain bank.

This is what happens at a corporate dinner!!.

If after reading any of these your appetite is whetted then I would also recommend reading Enid's ongoing saga about "Hank".

THIRDLY, a quick mention about cookiecrumb over at 'I'm mad and I eat'. Cookiecrumb has the cutest little dog called Beansprout and every so often she posts a picture. This alone keeps me hooked but she also writes interesting topical posts and shares ideas on food.

LAST but not least I must mention my, 10 yr old grand-daughter, Mollie who writes the ocassional post. She would be absolutely thrilled if she has a few comments left on one of her posts.

Fun Monday has been a really good way to discover new blogs and I'm off to read some of them now. Have fun everyone.

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Sunday, February 04, 2007


I know these are rubbish photos but I'm publishing them anyway. As well as being a hopeless photographer I feel pretty useless on the computer. Hubby was out for most of yesterday afternoon and evening so not having to share the computer I decided to work on my post for Monday. I had ideas on posts I intended to use but I needed to search archives and get links etc. Everything was going well, too well as I was about to find out because with the post all but finished I hit the save button and as soon as I saw the stupid little coloured button whirling around I knew it was going to crash and there was nothing I could do about it. I know you will be thinking, as my unhelpful husband said, 'surely you keep saving' noo not after every few sentences and in any case when I get involved I forget until the end. Logging on again immediately I knew I'd find an empty file and all my effort sitting at the computer instead of being out enjoying the winter sun had been wasted. So it's back to the drawing board for me later today. If there is any way to recover posts I would be pleased to know.
After this I went to admire the sunset, taken at dusk, from a back bedroom window and the view below was taken this morning from a front bedroom just as the sun was rising above the houses.