“I’d rather be a rising ape than a fallen angel”

Terry Pratchett is responsible for my heading today, he has been interviewed for the Guardian Book Club, you can read a report of it here. There is also a video of part of the conference and I was so pleased to see that the illness he suffers from has not got him down yet.

I am thoroughly enjoying Unseen Academicals, I try to read it when I am not tired as it is quite complex in some ways.  I know that he has another book on the go – with one of my favourite characters, Tiffany Aching in it. Yahoo!

We have spent part of our Saturday visiting friends and chopping down their trees (they did ask us to).   Or Tude did the chopping and I just sat around looking pretty 😉  Our last trip of the day we visited Yvonne and her lovely brood of animals, which include amputee Titan, the dog who I reported on in my last post.  He greeted us happily but is not quite his old self yet of course.  I forgot the camera, so maybe next time I will get a photo of his beautiful mug.

The weather is shaping up well for the Summer Solstice and I have my eye on a bottle of Nelson Boysencider which I spotted in the supermarket today and will make an interesting change to take along to the party.

It is going to be a quiet weekend, although I have been promised home made popcorn later tonight along with the unbelievable United States of Tara.


Curry, Dogs and Amputation..

More hot, blustery weather, which is keeping me out of the garden and in my work room making Solstice/Christmas presents – tiny Buzzy Bee broochs and small tile pictures. Everything is on a go slow today however, as I drunk a little to much white wine last night and I am feeling the effect.

We had three of our good friends for dinner last night and Tude cooked up a storm with Cauliflower and Pea curry and a Fish curry. My responsibility’s were the Coconut Rotis and the Eton Mess for afters.  Everything went down well and the huge bowl of Mess, which I had thought I had made way to much of, was decimated. I had two bowls myself and deservedly felt sick afterwards.

I could quite happily eat curry all the time. Except maybe not for breakfast.  My favourite curry, when we were in the U.K., was a vege one –   Spinach Paneer, love the texture of paneer.  Tude’s curry’s are very good but they just aint the same as the U.K. ones.  I think it must be impossible to make them the same, and maybe that’s a good thing, maybe we don’t really want to know what’s in them – something  weirdly addictive anyway.

My friend Yvonne was meant to come to dinner as well but was busy having her dogs leg cut off — fair enough.  The dogs name is Titan and I think he is the ugliest/cutest dog in the world and probably the happiest and friendliest dog as well.  He had an accident some time ago and had had to have a piece of metal put in his leg. Unfortunately Yvonne found out the other day that the metal has slipped and his leg is badly infected, he also had a small tumour in it.  He has been in great pain for a long time – but never showed it. Every time I have been to her place he has been just the most wonderful, madly lovely, loving dog.  I will try to get a photo of him to show you – he is apparently recovering well after his op.

I am hoping that we will be able to go to the Organic River Festival at the end of January. Had a good time at the last one, even if it did rain a lot. Will have to see how the funds are going. I am also hoping that we might be able to go camping when we get back from my Mums. Maybe spend a week either out at Mt Holdsworth or at the Pinnacles.

Tiny vintage comic pictures
Buzzy Bee broochs

Stuffed Full of Hormones..

I had a blood test last week to see if the new dose of medication was working on my thyroid and I got the results back today.  All good news – all back to normal again;  in fact right back down to the lower end of the scale where the Endocrinologist likes it to be.  I was so pleased, and surprised that it’s sorted itself out so quickly.  I feel like I’ve been given an early Christmas present 🙂

The day has been busy with a big walk at the beautiful Fensham Reserve and gardening.  Also a couple of visits from friends.  The wind has died down a lot but is still around, the concert that Tude was bus driving for the other night was cancelled because of it.

I have a busy week this week making presents for people and getting more gardening done.  Also going to be doing a lot more walking to try to build up  some fitness.

Off to bed now, will try to do a longer post tomorrow.

Stormy Weather…

We are having a wind storm – all today it’s been blowing a gale. Walking the dog was interesting because she nearly left the ground occasionally. There are bits of trees all over the place and the tomato plants that haven’t been tied up yet, have all fallen over.

I was exhilarated by the wind at first, but now it’s starting to annoy me, it’s just so noisy.  Any how, I thought I would do a quick post today because I’m hungry and have just finished creating a rice salad which looks very edible – and also I have a book I am dying to get into. Tude is away driving people over to the B52/Proclaimers concert in Martinborough and will not be home till late, so I am going to kick back with the salad and some french bread and read my new Terry Pratchett book and maybe later watch a Friends DVD. Lovely, mind candy, relaxing evening.

Enjoy yours everyone 🙂

Bunting, Bees and Hobnobs


For anyone who doesn’t know what the bunting is, referred to in my last post – here it is.  Just a long length of little flags really, nothing to get too excited about except it usually means a celebration.


For anyone that doesn’t know what a Hobnob is.  It’s a British born biscuit, sort of like an oatey Chocolate Wheaten, made by McVities.  I can assure you that the ones I make are far superior – as they should be with all that butter in them  😉 These ones turned out to be almost twice the size of the originals as well.  If you are in the area, you are welcome to pop in for one.

Underground, Overground, Bumbling Free..

Had to include this shot that Tude took. We have two Bumble Bee nests at our house. One is in the wall outside the loo and at night you can hear this strange sort of buzz every now and again which I imagine as the bees getting irritated with each other cos one is taking up to much of the bed.

The other bee house is in the cracked concrete of the drive, just at the entrance to the garage.  Tude gets worried that driving the car in and out will upset them but they seem ok.  The only time they did get upset is when he went near them with the lawn mower – nasty vibrations I guess.

The Summer Solstice is nearly upon us again. It is on the 22nd this year and we are having a big do at my friends Sue and Mike’s place. This time we will also be celebrating three birthdays as well. I will have to get started on my speech and try to think up something new for a ritual.

The weather has finally warmed up so will hopefully be good for the night, sitting around the brazier. One of the reasons I love celebrating the solstice is because it means I get to spend time with friends before having to go off and have Christmas with relatives.  We usually go to my Mums for the Xmas holidays and on the day itself we troop across the road to my brother and his family for dinner.  This year however my brother will not be with us as the Prime Minister is going to Hawaii and my brother has to go to guard him.  Apparently Hawaii is a hot spot for insurgents/terrorists/assassins during the festive season – who would have thought it?

Hobnobs and Rugby Songs..

I have had a fairly eventful day, one way and another. After my successful attempt last week to make marmalade from our grapefruit, oranges and lemons, another bout of yummy food making has come upon me (must have something to do with Christmas/ Summer Solstice).  So today I made Chocolate Hobnobs and a Banana Loaf. I was going to make Lemon Curd from a River Cottage recipe but ran out of puff. Maybe tomorrow.

I was also looking forward to making some bunting from a huge pile of old National Geographic maps that Tude got from the last Heart Foundation book sale, but I think I might just do a little prep work and cut a few out. I absolutely love bunting and there is some really pretty stuff about now it is  fashionable.

I was sure this morning when I started the making of the Hobnobs that I had all the ingredients but this turned out to be untrue. In fact I did have them all, just not enough. So me and the constant dog set off on a expedition to the shops.

All was well as we hauled our purchases on the way home. Dog was happy, I was happy, the sun was shining and nothing had come along to blight our day.  The only small annoyance I felt was that the song that had been repeating itself over and over again in my brain for the last week or two was playing again.

You must know what I mean. Some insidious bit of a tune, usually of something you can’t stand, creeps in and makes itself at home for awhile, and you find yourself whistling scraps of it every now and again. This is what happened to me today.

Anyhow, I was passing a group of people leaving the weekly clothing and bric-a-brack sale at St Mary’s  and I must have been far away in mind, head in the clouds, when the rogue tune decided to make a break for it and I found myself singing – out loud mind- The Hairs On Her Dickey Dido Hung Down To Her Knees!!!! – can you believe it!! I didn’t even realise that I was singing until I got to the knees part and then I stopped, horrified.

Now don’t go thinking that I, or anyone I know, go around singing rude songs (not much anyway ;-)).  In fact that is the most interesting thing – I haven’t heard any of those songs for around thirty years ago – since my teens. They were the sort of songs that the good Catholic boys that were part of my group of friends,  just had to know (I’m not sure, learning them may have been compulsory at St Pat’s).  And so I  picked them up by osmosis I guess.  Anyhow they are coming back to haunt me.

Apparently this video has been around for awhile, I just love it..

Hope you’re having a good one 🙂

Good Stuff..

  1. The new issue of ‘World Sweet World’ is out. My favourite little, crafty magazine.
  2. Starting a Sour Dough starter. Should take four days before its ready to make bread. MMMMM!
  3. Tude has scored the latest Terry Pratchett book, ‘Unseen Academicals’ for me, from the library. Will start it next weekend, leaving it just a little bit longer for the anticipation to build 🙂
  4. Getting ready to make our take on Bailey’s Irish Cream. Nice to sup a little drop, loaded with ice, of an evening. One of those Christmas things.
  5. Made rice salad for the first time tonight. Used baby celery and leaves, as well as purslane, parsley and oregano from our garden and it was fab. Got the recipe from Alison Holst’s  ‘Meals Without Meat’ , can see I’ll probably make it now till I’m sick of it.
  6. Summer has finally arrived, ohhh so warm.
  7. Started the day with the ‘Word of Mouth Blog’ in the Guardian. The subject? Modern manners: office Christmas lunch – What is the most disastrous  work Christmas lunch you’ve ever attended?  My favourite reply was the following..

i got given the task the week before Christmas to find somewhere that could do lunch for 15 of us. The only place available was a local Chinese that did a set menu. There was much complaining from several of my colleagues about not wanting to eat ‘foreign food’ and we all sat down to a rather tense meal. My favourite moment was when our aged Chief Executive tried to order a bitter lemon to drink, (through a colleague), as he wouldn’t talk directly to the waitress because she was a woman, and he didn’t speak to them, and finally after much discussion between the waiting staff, he was brought a saucer with a small bit of lemon on it…

And finally, my favourite video of the last couple of the days, enjoy  –

Craft and the Cold

The cold is back – not as sharp as before but still… a southerly flow bringing rain and gloom.

I had dressed in long shorts and light shirt this morning, it was so sunshiney out.  Then, just before I was due to go out, the clouds gathered.   I thought to check the internet weather forecast and sure enough – in big red letters across the web page it said – “Take Your Coat Knob Head, It’s Going To Piss Down”, so I did and it did.

I have spent a few hours today, holed up with Vicky in her craft room making stuff. I could live in that room, it would be my idea of heaven. All the craft supplies you could possibly need in a lifetime, a riot of colour and texture. Everything interspersed with Vicky’s own wonderful craft work and wild and beautiful objects she has collected.

Vicky showed me a new technique and I made a fat, velvety, felt bead which I embellished with a bit of glitter thread and strung on a leather thong.  It’s really satisfying to come away  with something you actually like and will wear. I’m going to make some more – you see, no discipline, I’m a hopeless case.  A crafting fool 😉

Fat, velvety, felt bead

Still – it could be worse.

New post, new post, new post, new post…

Ahh, it feels so good to be hitting the new post icon, it’s been a while.

Part of the reason is that my hand and arm have been hurting and I have been trying to cut down on the old internet thing in case it got worse and I had to have something medically done. That would not do.   However, handy-arm is feeling a lot better, so here we go.

At craft group today I made myself a felted pebble bracelet and now I have got the bug so will be making a few more – and necklaces – and a ring and earrings. Will be busy.

This is in addition to making paper plate woven brooches and knitting peggy squares for the guerilla knitting event in Greytown in January (our intended victim is the Town Hall bell). And wire, beaded decorations and any other crafty type thing that I spot and go – ‘That’s neat – I could make that’.    I think a little discipline wouldn’t go amiss and then I wouldn’t end up with so much unfinished.

Paid a visit to the Greytown library today and discovered an old favourite on their sale table. It’s called My Side of the Mountain by Jean George and I must have read it about five times when I was a child. Hopefully it will have held it’s own, like many of my favourite kids books, and will live up to my memories.

Also on the sales table was a slim volume called An Interview with Michelle Magorian. She is one of my most favourite children’s authors (wrote Goodnight Mr Tom) and who I have only just discovered. They are the type of books that I will reread and I still have a couple of hers to find which our library don’t hold. What a treat.

The other treasure I unearthed was entitled The Museum of Kitschy Stitches; A Gallery of Notorious Knits by Stitchy McYarnpants. Described  on the back as “the astonishingly awful collection of the finest knitting and crocheting horrors the twentieth century has to offer”, you can see why I could not resist the sixty cent price tag!

Wouldn't this keep your face toasty - not scary at all, is it?


By the way – don’t get me started on the topic of libraries selling off their books (especially gems like the above), I can feel my feathers starting to ruffle already.


    Wire and bead decoration
  • My new pebble bracelet