Thursday 2 September 2010

So today I went Boot shopping, oh I was so looking forward to my Boot shopping expedition. I had even taken along a pair of my own fair socks with which to try on said boots. Well not fair socks to be truthful, more like black and boring but you get the idea. I had looked and looked on-line for inspiration and had to go to M&S anyway to take back a top I didn't like and get shrinking husband some new jeans so it seemed serendipitous to shop for boots as well.

I tried them on, honest I did, some nice chunky ones to go with jeans, very nice they were with distressed tan leather and chunky sole, not daughter daughter would like them I am sure, just the right height for the school run and a nice thick sole for the gravel driveway. Well I liked them too but the 5s were too big and the 4 1/2s were a smidge too small..............grrr shall we say. Still all was not lost there were after all another 3 -4 pairs in my basket to try on. Yes you know what is coming, not one pair did I come out with!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not even the funky, chunky, black witchy lace up ones, now wouldn't that be good, a withcy with a pair of modern witchy boots. They were cool, but maybe a bit high, sigh, the flat ones before you ask looked awful, I don't think I do flats very well. My short stumpy legs need heels. So there we are a very unsuccessful boot shopping experience, still I am off to Reading with shopping friend on Tuesday so maybe, who knows, what I will find there. If I haven't succumbed to the lure of New Look tomorrow that is!!!!!!!!!!

So as I said to my soon to be departed witchy friend, I worship at the great high magic of M & S and the shamanic practice of shoe shopping! Only today my magic deserted me.

Sunday 29 August 2010

Being me

I looked in the mirror this morning, nothing new in that. What I saw made me smile and realise that not losing weight is not the end of the world. I liked my body, it is full and curvy with definite breasts ( still relatively perky for 45) a waist that is incredibly defined and hips that balance the breasts. I have a woman's body, full and curvy, my tummy is rounded, my skin is soft, my legs are shapely and I repeat, I look like a woman. My husband loves my curves and celebrates them whenever he can. He thinks I am beautiful both inside and out.

I want to lose weight to be healthy not to increase my beauty. We all know beauty is more than skin deep and being beautiful inside is very important. I would like to rid myself of some niggely health issues and go forward into my fifties as healthy as I can be with a sensible and balanced approach to food. Not to be a size zero. I am not sure actually with my boobs that that would be possible anyway....

Anyway my point is that I realised that I loved me for being me. That's all folks.

Friday 27 August 2010

Binge day

Well today is a binge day. Sitting on the settee bingeing on TV and food. What a way to spend the afternoon. I could get up and do stuff but I can't be bothered and I haven't got the energy. So as I said today is binge day. No sure what I am going to do about it, not sure what I want to do about it. Enjoy it? Hate myself?

Who knows but things could be worse. Phone call from Husband, can't think of an adjective for him, some stoooooooopid idiot has just t-boned his car. On the way home from work. He is fine however the car is not, apparently he will be getting out via the passenger door!!!

Curry night should help sort him out!!! that and maybe some cider.

Thursday 26 August 2010

Brownies and values

I got fed up. Fed up with counting calories, fed up with recording all foods eaten and drink drunk. No weight loss. Is that coz I have been eating too few cals? Also fed up with obsessing about all this. So I took yesterday as a day off, eat what I wanted, not record it and not obsess. Did it work? No not really, I found myself inadvertently portion controlling and sizing up calories. I woke up this morning determined to be more normal about things and shouted at myself for being so anal.

Then the grandkids came for the day and we made brownies, no healthy version either, full fat, sugar the lot. Yummy. I ate 2 small ones. Luckily I had to fight the grandson for bowl licking rights and lost! Now I am trying to figure out what I ate and why? Questions questions. No answers.

Keep the calories in control to the figure they should be, each day every day. Maybe I should zig zag, up one day down the next? I want my brain to stop thinking on this....I want to lose weight, I want to be able to exercise, that is a big no no. So I must be content to lose a little weight and keep at it longer. All I really want to do is to scream "it's not fair" I want a normal life, a normal way to lose weight, having come to terms with why I over eat and controlling it it is so frustrating when I cannot exercise to help the weight loss.

So be it, it's another day, another challenge, one more ting to come to terms with and deal with. I'm good at that..........

Monday 23 August 2010

weekends come and go

Another weekend down, another family do done, more wine drunk and bottoms sat on. It did lead me to the conclusion that families are a strange thing, we have our own families and we have those that we make ourselves. We do some strange things in the name of family and we watch others squirm and wiggle on the pin of family.

Extended families are a strange lot, we all think we have the right to be the main protagonist or the one that is in charge and it very rarely works out that way. Each member of an extended family becomes forgetful of others in the orbit. We all seem to forget others may have as much right as we do to be in the said orbit. That some do not see other's rights is a reflection more on their character than ours. We can only police ourselves, not others and make sure our own behaviour is above reproach. If we want more from others then sometimes a straight forward question is required and if that does not work then we must be content knowing that we have done all we can. However life doesn't always work out that way I know. Some people just will not accept others rights to be in their lives. That is unthinking, unfair and just down right selfish.

On a more cheerful note it is nice to catch up with family extended or otherwise, in fact my extended family is quite simply the best, lots of beautiful little people, lots of wonderful big people and an amazing amount of love.

Friday 20 August 2010

Hmmph, wiffle, piffle

Well I might possibly have lied again, I stood on the scales again, waits for irate husband to come charging home, and I was rewarded though.I had managed my holy grail and lost weight. So that was worth the constant weighing.

However the crafty thing yesterday might possibly have cost e more than money. I am a wee bit tired and achy today, so am banished to settee for rest. Grrrr

In the mean time I ponder upon cyber friends. They can be as flaky as real friends. I know there are people out there who collect friends as a hobby. I don't understand it but there are. Why do they do that? They ask to be your buddy on a site, any site, and then ignore you. Is it a numbers thing? Do they get a kick out of building up their numbers? Does it make them feel validated, superior and needed? Do they even stop to consider how it makes the buddy feel? Wanted at first then left out in the cold. No I don't expect they do, there are obviously exceptions to every thing and there may be those genuine people who get caught up in their real life and do not have time to connect with their virtual life. But there does seem to be a growing section of people who are only interested in numbers and not actually being there for anyone. So maybe next time I may be more careful when I accept a buddy request, or maybe not....

Thursday 19 August 2010

No stopping me now.

Yep I knew I wouldn't stop listing my foods. Something about it is addictive and does strangely enough keep me honest. Again studies have shown that keeping a food diary is one of the most successful ways of losing weight. Darn it....

I stood on the scales today, okay confession time I have been standing on the scales everyday since Monday and not liking what I saw so I cheated and didn't record the weight. Bad me I know. I am an advocate of the once a week weigh in but that devil just sits on my shoulder and whispers and points at the scales and I succumb. Husband has now said that if I don't behave he will lock up the scales and issue me with vouchers for their use. How often I use them is up to me but when they are all used up there will be no more!!!! Could work, Thursday's resolution anyway is to ban myself from them until next Thursday. Scales cold turkey here I come.

Oh you want to know the weight? Well after the weekends wine and Tapas festival it went up and down again to the same as last week. So I guess I that is good and cannot expect anything else.

I tried exercising, I like exercising, thee only problem is my M.E (CFS) does not and all this week have been waking up with the dreaded M.E sore throat that usually heralds a relapse into "bad M.E". My technical term for it you understand. So the upshot of it is back to slow and steady weight-loss (fingers crossed, hopefully, prayers to the weight-loss gods) and little or no exercise.

The bonus was in the economy of my favourite craft shop. It mugged me yesterday and now I have lots of lovely new stuff to play with. So guess what I am up to today???

wow it's been a while

As the title says..... It's been a bit hectic of late and my brain was not in the mood for musings, apologies. Here's one I posted on another site, a journal entry shall we say, to start things off again:

I am truly impressed with myself today. I went food shopping and managed to buy only healthy food. Nothing I shouldn't eat snuck into my trolley. I am enjoying being healthy which does make it easier. There is a definite buzz when I realise that I am being conscious of what goes in my body. Of course that does not count wine, that I reserve for my weekends. Nobody should come between me and my wine.

I am not going to stand on the scales daily, I will favour weekly, I feel that that is a healthier mindset. Foe me at least. I have proven that I can lose a large amount of weight and keep it off so I know I can do it, however this time round I appear to be more anal about things. I am not sure if that is a good thing. I get caught up in the whole diet thing too much, I look in the mirror and expect to see a dramatic difference daily which is clearly not going to happen. Intellectually I know this however emotionally is a different matter. I then find myself investigating what I have eaten and imagining how I can improve on this. This is not a healthy way to live, and I am not sure if counting calories daily is helping. I know to weigh and portion control and for the most part I do not eat sugar, processed food, wheat, dairy, or desserts. So do I need to count my calories? Can I continue to police my portions and eat healthily without writing it all down? Will I still lose weight this way? Why cannot I be happy with a weight loss of 0.5kg? This is a perfect weight loss and has been proven to be the best chance of keeping weight off.

All this is of course theoretical. I am expecting to be counting calories and inputting them here on a daily basis.......

Monday 5 July 2010


A morbid subject I know but death. Husband and I have both recently had health scares with our parents. Now in my case I know what it is and am kept up to date with all necessary details but in Husband's case we didn't know anything about it and his parents didn't even do anything about it. It is a strange case and very normal for them. No panic, no fuss, just get on with their life.

I was thinking about missing a parent and when you are missing an idea of a parent rather than the actuality. It is a harsh statement I realise that, but I cannot be two faced. I know it will hurt others when I make these statements but I need to say this, I do not want things to fester inside.

When Husband's parents die I will be sad, I am a much loved daughter-in-law and I love my in-laws back. However when it comes to my own parents the tale is different. Everyone who knows me knows I could not possibly love my mother more yet the story with my father is different. It has been a strange relationship with many more downs than there have been ups and like any relationship it has significantly coloured my relationships with others and my outlook on life. Not necessarily for the better. I find myself thinking that when he dies I will miss the idea of a father than the reality. I look to how I am with father-in-law and realise a small piece of what was missing. This is a sad commentary on relationship but it is the only one I have, I cannot say that I do not love him and that I hate him because that is untrue but it is not a love born of respect and affection. More a filial duty. I would like to change this but it is not that easy, there is too much water under the bridge to do this. I will never be outright mean and I will never do anything to deliberately hurt him but forgive him certain things, no.

So there we have it, I will miss the idea of what a father could be and I am sure that in some respects I will miss him, but in others I will not miss him and in some ways it will be a relief when he dies and I can just accept my mixed and muddled feelings and move on.......

Friday 18 June 2010


I have a pain, an actual physical pain, that has nothing to do with M.E. Flying husband is starting his Round Britain flyuk 2010 marathon today and I am missing him so much that it hurts.

I never thought that I would be this much in love with someone and that after 8 years together it would still be so acute. It is a pleasant pain, one where you know you are lucky to be so in love but where it hurts like f*** when you are not together.

I hope flying husband is having a good time and I wish that he has a good time and that the weather Gods smile on hi and his flying buddy. However I hurt....

I am lucky that I am in our house. It enfolds me and surrounds me with love which is a lovely bonus for when Husband is not here. I am sure that I would not have felt like this if we did not live here. It is hard though, I am so used to looking after him and being here with him that it is so strange when I am here alone. I find myself turning my head to look at the garage window to see the light that signifies he is home. It will be a week hopefully before I see that light.

Tuesday 15 June 2010

I went out today! Gasp shock horror. I feel better now....

I felt that after my self-pity bout I should perhaps get off my bottom not arse and do something and of course being me that something would be shopping. I was remarkably restrained though for me, I bought such exciting things as mosquito repellent coils for flying husband, batteries for worky husband and magazines for me. Oh not forgetting the self indulgent browse through the book shop and coffee. It was good and my shoes were admired!

It was nice to get out even if the weather was not quite as warm as I would like for nearly the longest day. Big day for us Pagans that there summer solstice, and wouldn't you know it there is only 2 of us this year. Did I mention the fact that it is also our anniversary and Husband is flying the UK, again????

I made a new kind of bread today as well, brown and seedy, I am just about to sample the goods and will let you know the outcome of my experiment.

Monday 14 June 2010

Blues and booze

This past week I have had way too much time on my hands and no energy and that is a bad combination. It just gets a girl to thinking and sometimes thinking is not what you want to do. Especially if you throw in a bucket of booze. So yes the upshot of this is that I have been a smidge maudlin. Thinking of what ifs and bemoaning my apparently friendless state.

Yes all very self pitying I know and I do have friends but sometimes I need friends in the daytime not just evening ones. Begs the question how do I find these people? Why can't there be a web site for people like me to find each other. You know, intelligent, friendly, shop-a-holics with a serious side order of handbags and shoes.....

Having had enough of that kind of self pity I moved onto to an emotional mine field of self pity. The whole subject of children. Or rather my lack of biological ones. I know I have the Childe and yes she is very special to me but I am sure she will understand that sometimes there is a huge gaping hole inside of me ( and I am not talking about the hysterectomy) that cries out to be filled by a child. Now this is not a permanent state of affairs either, for the most part I am completely happy with my life and the way Husband and I rub along together, we do not need or to be honest want children messing up our nice life. But, why is there always a but, sometimes that niggle just pops up, this time it was activated by visiting friends who have the most adorable 1 year old girl. I quite fell in love with her and whilst she is obviously not as cute as PP, she is as I have said adorable. The trouble is with these friends is that they are Husband and my contemporaries and they struggled to get pregnant so we always assumed that we would grow old together in a childless state. They had the good luck to have a child and their life has changed in so many ways and they are good parents, they are in many ways similar to how I imagine I would be. And there is the problem, they have a slice of life that if things had gone differently could have been ours! That can and does niggle when the mood is low. When the mood is not low I am grateful for my husband and my life, the Childe and her family and many other luxuries that I now have and I can raise a glass or seven to our friends and wish them well safe in the knowledge that my lifting of glasses can result in a glorious lie and not with an early morning alarm cry....

Monday 31 May 2010

Family fun

Moving swiftly on from holiday fun comes family fun, a weekend filled with 2 birthdays, luckily it falls on a bank holiday weekend so there is plenty of time to recover.

Firstly was the Munchkins, okay so now he is 22 I probably ought not to call him that but he was and always will be my munchkin. He wanted a nice steak dinner at home and that was a result I thought, no cooking on my behalf needed, and a nice lazy evening in with good company and food. Wine did I hear you mention? Probably some was consumed yes.

The thing is though with birthday people is that you need to shop for that all important present and I know it is strange for me to moan about shopping but I was a bit tired and alot busy and I didn't want to go shopping, especially if it wasn't for me! Once I got there though into that wonderful shop, A&N I had a fine old time. I had forgotten how much fun it is to take time and attention when buying for someone else, the only worry being what size was the Munchkin? I came away with a rather pleasing t-shirt and shirt combo for him, inject some colour into his summer wardrobe I thought. He looked even more gorgeous than usual in them, I must say.

Not sister sister, the Munchkin's mother cooked us a mean steak and an an even meaner lemon drizzle cake and I poured a few mean Ouzo and sprites, not to mention introducing M to his second new drink of the night Tequila shots.....mmmmm pass that salt and lime. The only sorrowful bit about the evening was the fact that Godson could not be with us to complete the family but I am sure it won't be long before I get to hug him to death.

Taxi tripp to Mother's under our belt and it was all hands to the post to create a birthday to remember for Mother. She could not go to Greece so Greece would come to her. Kind Helpful husband had printed A3 pics of Stalis at work and those were stuck all round the room, greek music was downloaded and played in the background, and a Greek meze platter to make any Greek Mama proud appeared on the table. Admittedly I had bought enough food to feed an army but in my defence I went shopping whilst hungry. Big mistake......

There were Dolmades, 2 kinds of Houmous, 2 kinds of Olives, Greek salad, Chorizo, ( technically not Greek), a meat, melon and feta platter, Imam, Home made pitta breads, Foccacia, Falafel, Giant beans.....oh yes and a sweetie cake, coz I had no oomph to bake and was under strict instructions not to from Mother. My Brother and his partner came too. Mother was banished upstairs for the whole morning until all was ready and her Greek lunch was revealed. Her face made it all worth the effort. There is nothing in the world like putting a smile on the faces of those you love with the special touches and I love making Mum smile. Suffice it to say that the wine freely flowed and we were all suitably stuffed.

Not a moment too soon did we finish as the Monster hordes descended to wish Nanny and technically Great Nanny a happy birthday. It was lovely to see them especially because I haven't seen the married Childe. Ahhh she is such an old married woman now. And she is loving it!!!! Needless to say Chouet spent a fair amount of time running around with Grandkids and was exhausted by the time they went. I do so love it though when there is a houseful of important people and we all get on and have a lovely time, it makes me all warm and glowy....

Sun and fun

Phew time just does seem to run away some time, was it only a fortnight ago that I was frantically packing for the holiday and rushing round tidying up the house? Why did I need to tidy the house when we weren't here? Why so that the burglars found a nice tidy place and if we tragically died the police would not think we were terrible slobs whilst they rummaged through our stuff. I know, my mind is a truly scary place.

The holiday was gorgeous as expected and I was nicely de-stressed, even after the cattle class rant, I wasn't however fully recovered, not even a smidge of my former self, no walking in the sun, alot of sitting in the sun, and a fair amount of good food and free booze. Understating? Me? I don't think so.

It's funny how when it comes to my health how optimistic Pessimistic Husband can be. A week in the sun according to him will be enough for me to recover and have loads of energy and strength. I wish. It is very sweet of him to think this way but unfortunately it does not work out quite that way. Even leaving out being exhausted before travelling ( don't mention the wedding) by the time I have sorted out clothes, packed and travelled I am a zombie. Admittedly a dose of sun. sea and Ouzo helps but I am still wiped by the run up to the hols in the normal course of events. Normal and I in the same sentence is a bit strange I know. Then after the hols there is more cattle class to deal with, unpacking and the mountains of washing that seem to multiply when you aren't looking. Now I need a holiday.....

Wednesday 19 May 2010

ah the sun

Okay why is it when we go on our hols to Crete the weather in the UK decides to behave itself???? And when we get back the weather will revert to awful....I am sending a letter of complaint to the weather gods.

Still it is very nice here, not too hot, a bit windy but I can forgive my second home that. The sea is blue, the waves are crashing, and the food and wine is flowing. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I could actually sit in the sun today without developing my sun schizophrenia. I know you are wondering what this is. It is where I want to get a tan, don't actually like sitting in hot sun too much, constantly worry that I am burning and don't want a tan coz I don't want to age and get all wrinkly. See completely schizophrenic. Makes no sense whatever.

Apart from that I do like being on holiday, just the thought of what hostelry to eat in and which outfit to wear. No other stresses and no other little irritating bits of life. Oh ys and lots of hugs from my Creta Mama, she is gorgeous and always makes me smile. Now if only she would adopt me and keep me in Crete......

Tomatoes everywhere

After the wedding there was a small surplus of food, over order me? Never. However I do believe that the tomatoes multiplied whilst I wasn't looking. That is the only way I can account for the gross amount of tomatoes that I was left with. Long suffering husband has had to put up with a plethora of different dishes all containing one identical ingredient. Have you guessed what it is?

First there was the roasted tomatoes with steak and onions. Yummy. There was also a matter of a rather large baking tray of slow roasted tomatoes to sieve and then puree, What to do with these? Soup, pasta sauce? A sauce for chicken? Try all of the above....

Then there was the potatas bravas.... okay made with shop bought tomato puree but served with a helping of tomatoes in oil and vinegar with cheese. I thought Tapas might be a nice change from all the Greek food I am about to eat... ummmmm baked Feta, Cheese pies, ( those of course I am eating for Mother who cannot go on hols due to sick father), slow roasted lamb with Greek potatoes, slow cooked pork, Greek salad, dolmades.... I must stop this, feeling too hungry, even the smell of airline food is appetising at the moment. Is it really 4 hours since breakfast and it is only 10.45am....
Where is my appetising oat and nut bar?????????

Travelling light

Travelling is supposed to be a pleasure, remember the days of travelling when flight was glamorous and we all had to look our best? Now we are crammed into increasingly small spaces and shuttled around the world in “cattle” class. In fact I have a sneaky suspicion that if animals were treated in this manner the animal rights protesters would be up in arms. We humans however pay a small fortune for the privilege....

The magazines lay out their summer spreads with details of how to travel with style and elan and how to look our best when we arrive. Have they actually travelled in an economy seat to a European destination? I think not, but we will still all buy the magazines and imagine ourselves jetting off first class to an exotic location. I am not sure either that after looking around the airport that the message of stylish comfortable outfits has permeated to all. Who would think to travel by air in 4 inch stiletto ankle cuff boots? Paired of course with an impossibly tight pair of skinny jeans. Then there are those who think nothing of jetting off in what amounts to their pyjamas, okay I know they are comfy but so are my slippers and dressing gown and I do not go out in those. Critical moi?

Ah the delights of the capsule wardrobe as well, duly trotted out for the start of holiday season, year in year out. Lay out your clothes, then half them? Or some such nonsense. 3 bikinis, a wrap and a couple of evening outfits. Yeah right. How could this be? Maybe in some alternate reality where you are a size 6 and plan to spend all day every day by the pool. What if you want to spend just a small portion of your time sight seeing your chosen location and not contributing to future skin cancer and bad ageing? There also is the question of what if you are not a small and perfect size and have lumps and bumps that need more cover? Do we let out standards drop because we are away from home or do we attempt to pack elegantly, usefully with a 15kilo allowance? I plump of course for the latter but then I am plump........ with standards. Even if my boobs are making an escape bid from my top as I type!

I am of course looking forward to my holiday, Crete here I come, ouzo, red wine and baklava just a few hours away. All I have to do is survive this crammed and uncomfortable flight...... Did I speak too soon? A sudden bout of turbulence has us all returning to our seats......

Monday 10 May 2010

Wedded Bliss

Wow what a week, lots of last minute shopping, planning and putting finishing touches to things. A fair few miles added to the not truck truck and and some wonderful memories.

Friday was pack up and move wedding stuff down south day. Gosh, good job I have a not truck truck, it was full. Kind and wonderful husband finished work early and we motored on down to the Childe's house. A nice late afternoon and evening of hall decorating awaited us and thankfully the Childe's clan was on hand to be very helpful. There was so much to do and my brain was getting tired thinking of what to put where and how best to show things off. We won't even mention the pink bow tying marathon. Kind and wonderful husband was given a reprieve and allowed to go to his mother-in-laws, reprieve he cries... Way too many people for him to deal with. Bless. I can only send out a huge thank-you to the proper family clan for all their help decorating and the extra touches. We all worked very hard and deserved all the thanks we got. More work was required on Saturday to put the finishing touches on the pink and butterfly confection that the Hall had been turned into. If I say so myself all my ideas gelled together and worked to create a magical atmosphere.

Ok we worked so hard that the Childe and I had to forgo the Mamma Mia blub fest that we had planned. By the time I arrived back at her place on Friday night it was time for a cuppa, a hug and bed. best laid plans and all that. Still I was on hand to give her a nice special Bride to be breakfast, no not champagne, croissants and strawberries that would be my choice, but hot choccy, toast and honey, and strawberries and cream. The grandchildren even had a special breakfast too, Chouet's oatibix...

With lots of tooing and froing from Childe's and hall I was getting dizzy but there was time to enjoy laughing and joking and some relative peace when all had left the house apart from , husband, childe, myself and the photographer and his wife. And that wasn't a chore either coz they are friends too. I had the onerous chore of gilding the lily; Childe with make-up is even more gorgeous than normal and if I do say so myself I made a damn fine job of it.

I then had the honour of dressing the bride and it was an honour. The dress was pure beauty and the Childe was radiant. Unfortunately the weather wasn't so it was umbrellas to the ready to get her in the truck. I wasn't crying honest, it was the rain.

Okay maybe I was crying, she was beautiful and my baby was off getting married and I was so proud. Still am to be honest. I know it is something that most mother's feel but I was so overcome with emotion I found it hard to talk, so I didn't, I rushed round like a loon instead getting myself ready and packing Childe's overnight bag.

The wedding itself bought a tear to my eye as well. What a sobby moo I am. Unfortunately the witnesses were stuck in sat nav hell and traffic and didn't make it in time so Husband and I stepped manfully into the breach. Can you see my jiggy, happy dance? I think it was fitting because after all it was the same registry office where husband and I got married with childe as bridesmaid and not son son-in-law as bodyguard. I think I can quite honestly say that they looked as much in love, as pleased with each other and so very proud to marrying each other as husband and I did. I am not sure what made me more emotional, watching my gorgeous monsters or remembering our wedding. I admit I was teary, it was only to be expected I suppose.

The reception was exhausting, can I say that? But oh so worth it. It went off perfectly and everyone seemed to have a good time, okay I didn't sit down for longer than 5 minutes at a time until gone 9pm but would I have had it any other way? To make it perfect for the Childe and not son son-in-law was my mission, not just my job, it was a labour of love. A small measure of how much I care for them. I hope it succeeded, in fact from the thanks from others and from the monsters I know it did. I honestly could not imagine doing anything else, how else could I show them the importance of themselves and how proud I am of who and what they are.

Sunday saw us wending our very weary way home, with a much smaller load in the car but still laden down with pink stuff so my dining room is once again looking pink and messy and to be honest I can't quite bring myself to sort it out yet. I've closed the door instead.

Now all I need is some recipes for the mountain of tomatoes that were spare from the meal.....

Thursday 29 April 2010

Songs that reverberate

Well here I am in the kitchen, cooking as usual, and the Mamma Mia soundtrack is playing. There is one song on there that I always find poignant but today it struck a particular chord ( sorry couldn't resist the pun). If you know the film and are familiar with what is going on in my life at the moment you will probably have guessed which one it is. It gave me a strange old squiggle in the heart. Although the Childe's circumstances are slightly different and so is our relationship it did make me smile and cry. Letting go is hard and although she is gone, next weekend marks a new beginning for her and soon to be not son son-in-law. I am so very happy for them and so very proud of them and of what they have in their little family. I wonder do we ever appreciate what a parent ( or not) goes through as their children grow up and away from the nest? It is a natural progression and one that we all have done but until we ourselves can view it from both sides do we realise how much pleasure and pain there is involved on the part of the parent ( or not parent parent).

Mother said to me today that she was so proud of having me for a daughter and how proud she is of me as a person, well I don't tell her often enough but I am very proud of her too and after all where did I learn it from? As I said to someone the other day the person I most admire in the world is my Mother, she taught me about love and how it can transcend anything and how to be strong and caring. I hope I can give onwards even a small amount of her love and strength; if recent communications are anything to go by I have managed to do so.

She also said she was proud to have the Childe as her Grandaughter and for that again she deserves so much praise after all Nanny and she did start off the process of loving those not related and binding them close with ties of love and family. Maybe as the Childe and I progress we shall pass on all this emotional history to PP and on further. What a beautiful thought of all that love passing from generation to generation of strong women. Mustn't be sexist though, BM can pass it on too nothing wrong with emotionally strong men!

Well as I have sat here waxing lyrical about love... my onions and potatoes for the most delicious Tortilla Espanola have softened and browned nicely all ready for the final mix with eggs and frying. Now where did that sherry get to?

Monday 26 April 2010

Learning to let go

Why does loving someone come with hurt? You'd have thought that when you love someone, and remember love comes in many shapes and forms, that all would be well in the world. But what happens when you love someone too much? And you have to loosen the ties a little?

When you give love you obviously expect it to be reciprocated and it generally is but when one of you has a love that burns too fierce, too protective, too smothering what can you do?

Learning to let go is hard. Learning to let someone live their life without pressure from you is difficult. You want to give your all, you want to be there for them, important to them but sometimes maybe this is too much, just sometimes you have to accept that love although freely given is not necessarily quite as equal as you would like.

So there you are at that moment when you realise that your love has become smothering and slightly unwanted. You sigh, analyse, fret and hurt but what else can you do? If you do really unselfishly love that person you have to loosen the ties a little, not cut them completely but learn to back off, love from a slightly safer distance. Allow them room to breathe. Maybe if you are lucky the road becomes smoother and you move towards a place in the future where both of you are comfortable again. With luck.

Friday 23 April 2010

tech head does cold turkey

How did I get to be such a tech head? Probably through marrying a geek? Though I have a sneaky suspicion that I was headed in that direction anyway. After all when I bought my first computer I did research all the technical terms and clue myself up as to what specs I wanted. I do like to know about what I am doing. Would that explain why I have so many shoes and handbags? Research!!!!
I now finding myself saying things to geek husband like " can I please have a separate computer to practice my Linux programming skills". It is a mite worrying and of course being me I shall redress the balance and do some shopping!!

Today though my addiction to all things techy brings with it a bad case of cold turkey as my wonderful, beautiful Hero (smartphone to all non techies) goes off with a nice UPS man to be repaired. Sigh, how will I manage for a week without being able to check my e-mails on an hourly (or more if truth be told) basis, check Facebook updates, surf the web, make dates on the calendar and a hundred and one other vitally important things? I may need to be surgically removed from my netbook after a week.

I hope the nice UPS man comes quite quickly 9am-1pm is a long time to wait and I need to get to Lexus in Bracknell. Some nice woman decided last week to drive off with the petrol pump still in her car! Yes I know, how? Well she did, the pump stayed in her car and the hose released and swung wildly about clanging itself down the side of my car causing lots of little bits of damage. So off I need to go to get a quote for the repair. What a nice way to end my good Samaritan week in Southampton. I ask you, do a good deed and where does it get you? Stressed that's where. It's not like I have a wedding to finish organising or anything......

On that note I must say that I have had a mad push and and done all but the soap buying! Food is ordered, wine is temptingly sitting in the hallway and deliveries are appearing daily. Now all I have to do is put it all together and give the Childe a wonderful day with no stress and loads of happy memories. Oh no just popped into my head have yet to find time to sort out broken tiara thingy.....sigh

But. but fret not today is Friday and as we all know that can and often does involve pizza and wine in our house. Roll on 6pm I say.

Wednesday 21 April 2010

Wedding blues... pinks, butterflies....

It has been commented that it past time I blogged again. Where does time go? I think it gets eaten when I am not looking or is it that when I am on the computer I have a compulsion to play Spider solitaire???

Who and what can I blame this time for my sad lack of entries? M.E. well that's a given, Dad being in hospital and me Mum sitting? That was a bit unexpected. Wedding preparations? I think all of the above and I apologise to anyone if they have felt ignored by me....No not you Monster, you never get ignored.

Dad is getting better, I think, I hightailed it down to Southampton last Monday having cancelled a week of appointments apart from my hair, that I kept and I stayed until Thursday afternoon. It was a bit tiring but even so I felt bad leaving Mum on her own to do the bulk of the chores.

When I came home it was time to tidy and clean the house which admittedly was not as bad as I thought it would be. Pining Husband didn't do a bad job!!! Then it was onto the most important of chores!!!! Finally nail all the last bit of wedding prep down. I don't recall going to this much trouble for my own wedding! I would like to say that sourcing all the bits needed at the right price, right colour, size etc was taxing to say the least; but as usual when given a stress head and a deadline I get down to it and finish it. All I need to do now is sit back and wait for the deliveries to arrive, put the centre pieces almost together oh and one more thing what was it now? Ah yes slightly important!!! Sort out the food and wine!!!! Asda is useless can I say that?

So this afternoon I will be industriously employed in pinning ribbon and butterflies onto white candles and trying not to scream in frustration when my fingers don't do what they are supposed to do. Meal out tonight though so that is good, no cooking. I must remember though to bake some cake for husband and I to eat at said wedding. I am thinking my favourite Hummingbird chocolate cakes, they translate well to gluten and dairy free. MMM drooling at the thought and I desperately want to cook but I think the weight is creeping on again so no no no baking. If it isn't in the house I can't eat it.........

Friday 2 April 2010

Spring has sprung

Well for us witches and the like spring sprung on the 21st March with our Ostara ritual, more on that somewhere else, and for me personally spring arrived when I got my shopping Mojo back. I am so pleased about that, it appeared to be having a small winter slumber.

It was raining on Monday a nice fine drizzle and it was darn cold but it was still spring and I was going shopping to Reading. My amazing shopping pal has not long had a gorgeous baby girl so we have not shopped for a while but both of us decided it was time!! We worked out how to get to Reading on our respective trains and agreed to meet. For me it was an incredibly painless travelling experience, drive to Blackwater station a mind blowing 3 minutes away, park for free with my trusty blue badge, pay £5 for a return ticket and hop on a train, 23 minutes later I am in sniffing distance of the shops. Oh I got that tingle and my wallet started to shrink.

Amazing shopping pal turned up and off we went. Now obviously with a new baby things were going to be different, but she has to get used to these girly shopping trips. I can highly recommend our first stop, John Lewis baby changing rooms. Very comfortable and usefully, parked right in the ladies clothes and spitting distance from the SHOES. Not that it did me much good, but we looked, we then tried to get out to the Oracle in a buggy friendly way. That took ingenuity and strained our brains.....

Next stop a shop which could be overtaking John Lewis as my fav department store, yes that's right Army and Navy. In past the make-up, all those delectable smells and promises of youth and beauty but I was good, I would not be side tracked from the shoes. I think it was 8 pairs I made the poor shop girls fetch and oh was it worth it, out I walked the proud owner of a pair of stunning Carvela cage heels in a gorgeous shade of pink, with the required platform as well. It made my heart sing and my wallet clench in protest but what the hell... Time for coffee and lunch..

After our lunch it was off to recce more bay changing rooms, A&N's are perfectly adequate just not a patch on JL's, I may be getting an expert on changing rooms and not for clothes!!!

We decided that enough was enough for one day and headed once more out into the drizzle with a last visit to the baby changing room of the day. I looked longingly at clothes on the way in and out but could not see what I wanted so off to the station with us, I can't speak for amazing shopping pal but I reckon it was a fine trip for our first post baby outing, with practice who knows what we can accomplish?

I however was not finished for the day, I jumped in the car and drove the long 2 mins to M&S here I happily finished shopping for my non Mother Mother of the bride outfit. Which included a gorgeous sparkly silver bag which I am sure will get a heap of use. So now I am ready for the Big Day, one Phase Eight dress, one pair of Carvela shoes (sigh), one M&S cardie and one M&S bag. Job done I should say.

There was no rest for this Chouet though, Monsters cane to visit on Tuesday, I know I know what was that I said about pacing? We had a lovely day though and managed to source some important bridal accessories, play with Chouet's choo choo train, munch lunch and have lots of snuggles. And I cooked for dearly beloved Husband.

Why is he dearly beloved husband? well he gave me money to go and buy new undies.... ain't that sweet? So after a quietish Wednesday I hightailed it to M&S again on Thursday, I think they must have reserved my disabled parking spot coz the same one was empty for me, serendipity I thought.
It took alot of bra trying on and off but I managed to come out with a good haul of pretty things. Slightly over budget but oh so pretty and colourful. That is one thing I like about losing weight no more dressing in just black or white, colourful tops mean colourful, fun undies.

So there we have it a darn fine week and yay shopping mojo recovered. This evening it will be a fine Thai meal with good friends and now I am off to experiment making gluten and dairy free rolls and hot cross buns, well maybe as a pagan just spiced fruit buns without the crosses!!!

Friday 26 March 2010


So I a trying this new physio thing to help with the pain, pacing, it is meant to relearn my body's tolerance to pain and I am sure it will work but putting it into practice is a whole new level of pain!!!! Pun intended.

I have to work on my baseline amounts that I can do without being in pain, so for instance I can do 3-4 minutes walking or standing then i have to change and position and do something else. That can get difficult especially when cooking, am I standing or walking in the kitchen and when it is time to change how on earth do you cook whilst sitting???? And don't even get me started on how I am supposed to shop properly!!!! Walk for 3-4 mins then stand or sit.... yeah right that will work when I am on a shoe hunt or a handbag hunt!!! I shall try it out on Monday when I tootle off to Reading. It will be interesting.

I will also have to stop my habit of overdoing it, no more big blow outs, lots of little and often with breaks. No more housework marathons. Actually is that a bad thing?

I will need to get my friends and family on side with this which is going to be hard for us all, how do we all learn new habits and how will I learn to let them guide me in what I do???

Friday 19 March 2010

home again, home again jiggety jig.

A day away from home with the Childe and the "grandkids". Golly gosh I'm knackered. They sure do know how to tire out a Chouet. It was as usual though a lovely time, lots of hugs and snuggles and this time the added bonus of hysterical laughter.

We decided to have some girly shopping time whilst Connor was at pre-school. Pink however did what was probably the sensible thing for her and went to sleep... Monster mine and I were shopping for a not mother mother of the bride outfit. We started off with some varied choices but soon got the hang of agreeing what was good to try on and what was not. We may have made a mistake when it came to a certain spotty number, looked gorgeous on the hangar but when on it reduced us to hysterics, the final straw was when I took it off it stood up on it's own. On reflection it may have been a bit poofy!!!! I am sure the Childe will agree. The other choices were just as random including the top that I couldn't even get over my head..... I did buy a dress though, and a skirt.... and the monster likes it, now all I need is a cardigan, shoes and a bag.... Not much really.

The evening was really good, bathtime fun with sprogs, and dinner with Da Jonathan a most enjoyaby fun evening. This morning I painted my girl, literally, her face I mean. She looked yummy but a bit more practice required. Also there was a small southern electric issue to deal with which some how seems to have landed in my lap...hmmmmmm

Still it's Friday, I'm home, and yes I have said this before but it's and pizza!!!!

Wednesday 17 March 2010


Friends come in all sorts of sizes and shapes, they last for different durations and each accomplishes something different, be it in our life, our thoughts or in theirs. It can be very difficult at times to connect with enough people and to make new friends so maybe when we do we grab onto a new friend and maybe hold a little bit tight. Maybe some friendships creep up on us after a long while and we don't realise it has happened, whatever the reason friendship is precious and should be cherished, however it comes about or however long it lasts.

Many articles are written in magazines about how to say goodbye to friends who have no place in your life or who you have no feelings for anymore. Yet these articles seem not to bother mentioning how painful and difficult it is if you are the friend that is deemed no longer a friend. It is hurtful when people leave our lives and give no warning or no reason why and we are left wondering in the dark about what we have done wrong and how to make it right. We may not of course have done anything wrong but it is human nature in some of us to automatically think things are our fault. We look inside ourselves and question what we have done and said, could we have done it differently, could we have tried more? many soul searching questions keep us awake at night and yes we get angry as well as hurt and it colours our life. It is a process very similar to grief, well after all we have lost someone, and just as we think we have cracked it a stray thought pops into our heads and all the angst comes back.

It is unfair of people to treat us with such lack of respect and decency, okay we may not be what they want in a friend anymore but before ignoring communications or changing phone numbers they should stop, think, and then have the guts to let us know that we are surplus to requirements. If we were good enough to be their friends at one time they owe us this. Would they like to be treated that way? I doubt it.

Even as we struggle with this loss we can find a semi silver lining, a way of looking at things so they do not seem so brutal. Life only gives us what we can deal with, yes it doesn't seem like that at times but we cope, we learn and hopefully we carry this lesson on with us. Take for instance the short lived but intense friendship that appears, we give it our all, this person is needy, they need us we can help them, we don't necessarily see this at the time we are just being a good friend but once our usefulness has finished we are no longer their friend. They no longer need us and they can move on. We are left feeling abandoned and wondering why. The why is easy, we were there to help this person, give them what they needed to see them through a difficult time in their life and help them cope and when that was done they go on emotionally fixed and we count our emotional cost. It doesn't seem fair, and is probably not but after the fact it is possible to look back and see the good that has been done. Nobody said being a good person was easy.

Whatever the reasons people decide to drop in and out of our lives we must always remember that we are worthy of being loved, that we are capable of helping others, that we will be hurt again, that we must try not to hurt others. After all we should treat others as we wish to be treated....

Monday 15 March 2010

Not blogging enough

Today I have been told off for not blogging enough. Yes Monster mine it's you. I do seem to be missing alot of days though. Its those days that disappear. You know the ones I mean, those days that start off with good intentions and degenerate into nothingness. It could be that I pick the pooter up to write but get ambushed by playing spider, it could be that I don't turn the pooter on at all and am busy cleaning, don't faint, it happens, it could be because I have gone out had some fun and then have no energy for blogging.

I have had a few of those settee days again and a few of those busy days where I rush around getting stuff done and regret it afterwards. I am on a hunt at the moment to find the ultimate non mother mother of the bride outfit. You know the one, killer outfit with matching accessories and shoes. Only trouble is I have no idea what I want, where to look and how much I am going to have to shell out..... My favourite shopping friend is a new mum but we are in talks to sort out a shopping visit. Thankfully. It will be a bit of a logistical nightmare but we are women we will manage it.

We had the usual travelling Mothers day, luckily I had had a non Mothers mothers day with my mum so we only had to travel to one mother. I did however have to bake lots of goodies for the various days, and not helpful husband was as his title suggests. It did cause some friction over the weekend but being adults,now don't laugh, we did manage to sort it out. Took some talking but thankfully, for once no big shouting!!!! Or no throwing things in the pool, well we don't have a pool so that could have been why!!!

Well I'm going to escape now, to the country and drool over houses.

Wednesday 3 March 2010

Soups and settees

Well although I am still pretty much settee stuck again I have made it out of the house..Gasp...I managed to get to Sainsburys with kind husband yesterday evening. It was a very quick visit and I was exhausted afterwards but it had to be done, I was going stir crazy and that is not good for a marriage. Cranky me???? I am still suffering from lack of baking and pottering in my kitchen but I guess something had to give. I have however, had time to potter on the Big pooter and make some art work. Frustrating at times but finished now and I am rather proud of what I have achieved, I only hope no 1 nephew likes it as it is birthday present. I went for the personal touch this time. Now all I have to do is think of something for no 1 nephew's partner!

I lied actually, I have bn in the kitchen today, I made a soup! I don't know about anyone else but when I am under par I crave Heinz tomato soup. I can't eat it and that is a shame. Today whilst cooking left over soup I made the holy grail of dairy free cream of tomato tasting soup. I was amazed and aghast.

Dairy free Cream of tomato soup.

Half a butternut squash roasted
tin tomato puree
some stock

As usual I just bunged it all in a saucepan, cooked it up and then blitzed it to a pulp and voila tomato soup.

A strange way to discover my own creamy soup and considering there is no cream in it and relatively little tomato it strangely works.

Now all I have to remember to have around is roasted squash!!! Oh yeah and make it for husband.

Monday 1 March 2010

Those pesky kids

I have been sadly out of touch with my blog lately and as the title suggests I blame those pesky grandkids of mine. They have been brought up properly to share, toys, hugs, sweets, even their coughs sneezes and diseases. So sweet. I have managed to avoid colds for some time and yet this year so far I have had 2 colds and latterly a horrible viral cough. Coincidentally I have been spending lots more time with my Baby Monster and the Pink Poppet...hmmmm I smell a rat. I could say that this is giving me time to get in touch with my inner settee self but I am bored with being a settee slug.. whine whine whine.

The ME does not take kindly to me being ill. It sulks! It also doesn't leave me with any oomph for some of my favourite past-times; shopping, cooking, cleaning, coffee. The freezer is looking a bit short on baked goods which I suppose on behalf of my waistline is a good thing, on behalf of my taste buds it is a bad thing. I have had to give helpful husband some cooking time, this is a mixed blessing, he wants to be helpful and do everything perfectly for me which is incredibly nice yet this involves lots of questions of how to do things. That can be as tiring as doing the jobs myself. Sorry helpful husband, I have made a pact to stay out of things and not tell helpful husband how to do things unless he asks. For a control freak such as me that is really really hard!!!

So no recipes today apart from to reccomend Jamie Oliver's slow cooked pork shoulder....mmmmmm mmmmm

Saturday 20 February 2010

Oh My I made pie

This week has just flown past covering most of the spectrum from lazy to downright busy. I spent Monday and Tuesday being a slug, I knew I had a busy end of week so I decided to log some settee time to allow myself to regain some energy. I had just about had enough of tv and settee when Wednesday was upon me, that was " yet another supreme visit from Mother" day which entails me getting up and rushing off to the station, running late as usual.

We decided to stop at Starbucks first for a much needed latte and that was where my day out ended! I had a dizzy turn and yes there are those who would say I am permanently dizzy but this was horrible. The room would swim, I would feel not quite sick but not quite right and I couldn't shake it, a soya latte, bar of plain choccy and a bottle of water all had no effect on it. I had to apologise to Mother, drive home, and yet again veg out in front of the TV. This time though we decided it was time for another dose of Greek sunshine in the form of Mamma Mia..Ahhhhhhh.... we didn't count the weeks to our holidays honest!

Thursday was another busy day, a drive down to Southampton for dinner out with The Girls. Geek husband had made a request for a stop at Richer Sounds.... men and their tech porn. I was to buy speakers, unfortunately I did not have the product number and only knew the brand name and Geek husband was usefully in a meeting. I wonder how many mad women Richer Sounds get in a day? I was successful though, a smile and a stooopid act generally works quite well I have found.

To make up for my lost Wednesday I hit Debenhams. It was fun, I bought shoes, make-up and clothes. I think the clothes might go back but no way is the make-up. I shrieked when I saw a Smash-box counter in there. My favourite lippy is mine again. I tried on some outfits for the Childe's wedding, no black, pretty, feminine, spring-like. All I can say on that subject is Bring me back the Black!!!!

Dinner with the girls was it's usual mix of laughter, gossip and in my case wine. Yummmmm

Friday morning was a shock to my system. The Childe wished me at her place for 10am for more wedding stuff, doesn't sound bad but it is the other side of town from Mother's and there were road-works everywhere. I left nice and early and only got angry with 2 other drivers. I think my Chelsea tractor must be invisible. Wedding stuff was sort of accomplished along with a very cold but pleasing visit to the park with the grandkids. I wish I had worn my Uggs though not heels for a park visit, Still Chouet always likes to look her best.....

Today we wine shopped and it was surprisingly hard, our usual store had very little choice in our price range which was very disappointing but Geek husband and I made up for it with a rather expensive New Zealand red. Drinking it now and I can say it was worth it. I had removed some frozen cooked turkey from the freezer, strange that, taking some thing frozen from the freezer, and then had to wrack my brain with what to do with it. One thing Munching husband and I have missed alot on this whole gluten and dairy free thing is a decent pie, and I can tell you from painful experience that making the pastry is not easy. Today I cracked it....

Pie Crust

1 1/2 cups plain GF flour
1/3 cup made up of a mix of cornflour and potato flour
60g each of dairy free marg and Trex or similar
1 egg
cold water.

Put flour and fat in a food processor (or rub in by hand) and blitz til a sandy consistency. Add the beaten egg and pulse then add cold water, and pulse again, just enough water to bring it all together. Put the pastry in the fridge for a minimum of 20 minutes then roll out between cling film. This is the easiest way to handle GF pastry which is drier and more fragile than normal pastry.

Stuffed Husband highly recommends the pastry and is now pondering on all his other favourite fillings. What have I done??????

Monday 15 February 2010

Books, TV........

I survived the Valentines weekend, just, a sneaky migraine popped up from behind the parapet on Sunday, the first since my Hysterectomy. A full blown flashing light scenario. I couldn't believe it, I hadn't eaten anything illegal and supposedly my hormones are sorted so where oh where did it appear from? I must keep a track of them another one and a visit to the docs will be on the cards. That is what am up to tomorrow a surprise visit to the Pain clinic. there had been a cancellation and they can fit little old me in. In one way I am very pleased about this. I am in pain, I do need help, on the other hand I admit to being scared about how it will go. Will they offer CBT? Am I a candidate for CBT? From what I have read about it I don't think so I think I manage being in pain and don't let it rule my life too much. I have also tried acupuncture and that made my M.E worse so how can I tell them all this without sounding too negative?????

I did in the end enjoy my valentines with Gorgeous Husband, I think the rather expensive bottle of wine helped... but seriously I do love being with him, just being, talking over our dreams and plans and happily ignoring all the chores that need doing. I will however own to looking forward to a girls night out, hopefully with buckets of fizz, good conversation, and loads of laughter. Sorry Gorgeous husband but sometimes a girl just needs her friends....

Thursday 11 February 2010

Boring people get bored

Does this mean I am boring? I am still having a bad time of things at the moment having picked up another cold from my adorable Grandchildren...Hmmph. I have been relegated to bed and settee rest for nearly a week and am now getting really rather bored. I have managed to get out to the shops once and put myself in a good mood by purchasing two Phase Eight tops. In a size 16 no less... and considering that I still manage to bake whilst ill I decided this was amazing.

Speaking of baking I should not have bought the Hummingbird Bakery recipe book. It is baaaaaddddd. I think I will have to try most of the recipes, at least those that I can turn dairy and gluten free anyway. At the moment that has been Peanut butter cookies, banana muffins, and chocolate chocolate cookies. Can I just have a moment for my salivations to stop. MMMMMM MMMMMMM these baked goods should be classed illegal. i have had to freeze them all to stop myself from committing waistline suicide. Defrosting in the microwave takes such a long time as we know!!!!

I am all butterflied out at the moment after hitting E-bay big time for decorative items, lights etc for Childe's wedding. I is amazing what pops up when you type in butterflies. I have had to rein myself in in case we can't move at the reception for darn pink butterflies. I even found the most gorgeous pink and white cup cases for the wedding cake and that is one cake that I don't have to make.

Friday 5 February 2010

It's been a while

Colds are the work of the bad gods, I can't say Devil he is a Christian construct and I am a witch so I will have to make do with bad gods. I felt like a bit of chewed string until Sunday and even then I wasn't quite right. Sigh. I even had to cancel dinner with friends at our favourite Thai, Bangpras. I am sure their green chicken curry would have put me right but I just couldn't manage it, we have rearranged for this Saturday, lets hope I am ok for that. I would not usually comment on me not making things as this is self defeating but I have a sore-throat AGAIN and a sniffle appearing, and yes I can here my girl shouting at me, I have taken First defence, or as she calls it, liquid acid.

I am glad I was feeling a bit better because Wednesday was a day to trip down the M3 to Southampton and go all wedding preparationy. We thought we were organised but then we realised it was 15 weeks to go and there was a very long list of things to do. We put our noses to the grindstones though and sorted out a fair amount in one day, even if we did have to leave Grandad Jon babysitting. At least my girl and I are managing to put him to work even if work isn't. (Sorry Jon). We bought the most beautiful bridesmaids dresses and we were quite lumpy throated and wet eyed at the sight of 2 adorable poppets in their dresses. I was not quite so lumpy throated at the sight of my girl in her wedding bra....

A good job done I reckon on Wednesday but so much more to do. that was enough though, it was time on the calendar for yet another supreme visit from Mother so I picked her up and had company on the drive home,via M&S of course. Not much exciting shopping for me though, a pair of wellies and that was it, my bad shopping run continues. Husband was ok, he got new jeans and grandkids are ok they got new toys for the toy box, Chouet though no such luck.

Tonight of course is Friday and that is of course Pizza and wine night, don't know today which I am excited about more, a cheesy, meaty pizza or lashings of wine. I can't chose so will not and will be doubly excited!

Wednesday 27 January 2010

Bad day at Black rock

Well today I would just like to say is a bad day!!!!!! I feel like crap to be quite blunt about it, I have a cold, only a little sniffle or 2 but enough with the ME to make me feel, how did I put it? oh yes CRAP. It is no longer a case of sick husband in this house but sick wife.

It is amazing how such a little sniffle can make your whole day such hard work, mind you I had had a busy weekend. Darn Childe and her tribe. We had a lovely weekend though, I love my little shadow, that's my Grandson, he follows me everywhere and wants to do everything that Chouet does even to the extent of being cleansed, toned and moisturised with Liz Earle in the morning. We won't mention his make-up application that would just be mean. A photo would have been good but I never think of these things til too late. My Grand-daughter or the Pink Poppet as I call her just bustles around the house very importantly moving all out of her way, well she is only 19mths, oh yeah and doubles as a mountain goat. Climbs everything, not a nervous bone in her. Still as much as I love them all to pieces I do sink into a small pile of exhausted Chouet after they have gone. It does take me a while to recover, sshh don't let the Childe hear that, she won't visit again and then what will I do for snuggles?

More paragraphs said husband, he asks he gets. Today bad day, that's right, I seem to have spent an inordinate amount of time doing stuff with very little to show for it which is so frustrating. It was important stuff, wording for Childe wedding invites, sorting out budget for said wedding, having a massage, but golly I'm pooped now and all things seem to be going wrong, the fire is either smoking or going out, my fingers will not type properly, my nose is dripping, yada yada yada. I have to cook as well....

I am on this instance the queen of left-overs. Left over carrot/butternut squash soup ( that is itself was left-overs) left over lamb and some veggies, all squidged in together with a tin of toms and some thinly sliced potato on top, it will either rock or will be inedible. Do I care? Coz all I really want to eat is Chocolate, toast and crisps...

Friday 22 January 2010

Golly it's Friday again

It's the end of the week again, and husband who was sick husband again but is now well husband was wondering where my blog had gone to this week. I had to apologise but to due to shopping commitments and M.E there has not been much energy for extraneous bloggings. Did you catch the reference to shopping? The economy is safe for a while, I have been shopping, I have spent money on items that I do not need but appear to be so very necessary to my mental well-being.

Oh I do like good shop, I have mentioned this before I know, Tuesday was deemed my shopping day, my excuse was that I had to go to town to look at carpet!!! In the course of this necessary chore I happened to visit a few shops that are quite dear to my heart. Faith, unfortunately no shoes I liked, Monsoon, ditto with clothes, I was getting worried, no shopping done and so few shops left but I decided to gird my loins and and visit Army and Navy. It was a hard job but someone had to do it. I did get a peculiar look from a sales person when she asked me what I was looking for and I mentioned a tea-pot.... Did I collect them? she asked.... I am now ever so slightly worried that I might look like the sort of person that collects tea-pots!!!!

I did buy a tea-pot though, a gorgeously wonderful designer tea-pot from which my tea pours forth in a glorious non-drip stream and tastes oh so much better. The fact that every time I use it I can remind myself how extravagant the purchase was and smile is an added bonus. I also bought husband a treat too, a cut glass chunky bottomed glass for his G&T. He wanted one, he got one. A small thing but I think I might need to remind him of it as I have just shouted at him and called him a wanker; does a glass make up for this behaviour?

I shopped on Thursday too, it had to be done, Mother was visiting and shopping with Mother is one of those must do activities. Like drinking wine on a Friday night. This time I was restrained and only bought books. 2 new cookery books and more novels, as if I don't borrow enough from the library. The cookery books are so gorgeous I immediately want to go and cook but I have restrained myself, The Hummingbird cake book will come out tomorrow when I cook sort of son-in-law's non birthday birthday cake. They are home from Wales and will be feasting at our place tomorrow. Sainsbury's shelves are now empty and in my fridge and cupcoards waiting for the locusts to descend.

Is it time do you think to go and ply husband with G&T to apologise for name calling?

Monday 18 January 2010

Monday Mutterings

I think I am suffering from shopping withdrawl symptoms, actually there is no think about it, I know I am, I got excited when nice husband took me to Homebase on Saturday. How sad is that? We also carpet shopped and that wowed me too. I am having a bad M.E experience at the moment and this is reflected in my position; on the settee. It is annoying and painful and I absolutely loathe being like this, I know that after nearly 21 years I should be used to it but every time I get like this again I realise that like many things I forget how bad it can be. One of the worst aspects is my inability to get out of the house...That is bad, good for my money but bad for my soul. I do believe that I am so much better if I can out in the world, have a coffee and maybe throw a little shopping spree. As a witch you would think that I might be on a higher plain, maybe more spiritually aware or wishing to go and commune with nature, but no, I am definitely of the more mundane, everyday spiritual mold. I can appreciate the beauty of nature in most things, the higher planes to life but I do love a good pair of shoes or a great hand-bag. I get a thrill in the cook shop at all the gadgets that I have yet to buy and probably have no use for and all the beautiful array of bake-ware, I love to run my fingers over throws and cushions for the soft tactile pleasure of it, perfume and make-up adorn me and make me smile with glee at the change I will hopefully behold in my face, the packaging is a pleasure in itself, book shops make me quiver with the delight of opening a new novel and losing myself for hours in another world, but my heart truly does belong to shoes, those wonderful, shiny, oh so tempting shoes that lure me into trying them on and demanding that I buy these leg lengthening, calf thinning, improbably high, wonders that I may only wear once but will look at and cherish, who then lead me to the hand-bags because each new pair of shoes really needs just the right perfect hand-bag to go with them. Yep I was right I am having shopping withdrawl.... Tomorrow I shop. Look out world.

Tuesday 12 January 2010

Melting moments

Well the snow is finally starting to melt, the house sits in a widening pool of snow free land and the sound of drips fills the air. It was beautiful to see the snow and wonderful that I was able to drive out and see the romance that was the snowy landscape but oh god I will be glad when the world gets back to normal.

One step in the process is that husband is back to work husband... Yay.... 3 weeks was just a bit too long for him to be home and still alive. I wonder how many other women are in that situation? Now don't get me wrong, I love my husband more than anything....hmmm more than my chocolate brownies????? Anyway stop drooling, where was I, ah yes loving husband. I do love him but I love my time on my own too, I was too late to marriage to take kindly to someone with me 24 hours a day 365 days a year. When would I get the time to manically sing along to Abba whilst dancing like a loon? Why is it that even when we are both home it is still the woman that does the majority of the chores? I can be a bit anal about doing things the proper way ie: my way but I have mellowed lately and will let others do chores. I might still be waiting for that to happen but I can hope. If husband was home all the time how would I sneak in the furniture rearranging, sy decorating or new cushions or curtains? Not to mention coffee with friends? No the best place for husbands is working. To that end I I rewarded back to work husband with one of his favourite meals, Shepherds pie, last night. Quite an easy day for me too because of the cunningly frozen shepherds pie from last week.

I was going to be cooking up a storm at the weekend but unfortunately surrogate son-in-law's father has had a heart attack and the family are whizzing of to his bedside, as is only right and proper, I wish the family all the best and send lots of healing to them but there is this little selfish bit of me that will miss seeing The Childe, surrogate son-in-law and adorable grandchildren at the weekend. It seems ages since they were last here eating me out of house and home and demanding "fwoth fwoth".

I might even had baked a batch of my famous gluten and dairy free brownies, still if they arent here I can't eat them and I will not get fat. See there is a bright side to most things.

Gluten and Dairy free Brownies

8oz caster sugar
2 eggs
4oz soya marg... or any marg
2oz gluten free plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1 1/2oz cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
choc chunks chips whatevers.

Melt the marg and add cocoa powder, do not eat it is disgusting. Mix eggs and sugar very well til light and creamy, add butter and cocoa mix, mix, add flour, baking powder, vanilla and choc chunks and mix in. Place in an 8inch square tin and bake for 30 mins at 180c. I also add nuts if I am in the mood it depends who I am cooking them for.

Leave in tin to cool for 10 or so mins, cut into squares. These freeze really well and take about 30 secs to defrost in the microwave. Yummylicious. These do duty as wedding cake, birthday cake, any occasion cake and cheer me up cake.

Saturday 9 January 2010

Watery Laptops

Two blogs posted in one day!!!! Whatever is the world coming to? It is my own fault, I decided that my lap-top needed a wash with my drinking water.... not good for it, after a shout to hero husband who came running downstairs to save wifey's lappy it is now battery less and sitting in airing cupboard to dry out. I was therefore even grumpier last night than I started out. Still annoying husband graduated to hero husband for a day, he is now lazy slug husband and I am not sure if he deserves my Chicken, chorizo and bean concoction. Of course I will feed him just not sure if he deserves the repast.

I do, I have been slaving away today sorting out Christmas decorations, finally after years of the same large cardboard boxes stuffed to the gills with smaller boxes all neatly labeled ( anal me?) I have devised a new system. Now I know I am the queen of the decos but I think getting down 6 large boxes and going through them each year was getting me down and to be honest a bit like hard work. Whilst sick husband was sick I took done the decos and couldn't put them away in usual boxes because they were in loft and I don't do the loft, why keep a husband otherwise? The decos needed an alternative storage til boxes could be got down. It just so happened that lying in the garage were 6 nice new plastic boxes with lids just perfect for the job. It was the work of minutes to strip each room and tree ( I have 2) and place all decos in boxes, complete tree in one!!!! I liked this idea and decided I would sort out what was left in the loft when sick husband was no longer sick and tidy up my storage. Job done. Even lazy slug husband approves coz they are more tidy in the loft, yes that is right, said lazy slug was concerned over tidiness!!!! Whatever next??? Consequently though I needed a supper I could shove in oven, and incidentally use up all the cold meat from pizza day. My taste buds started thinking and came up with:

Chicken, chorizo and beans
Now 3 ingredients are a bit obvious and they were not measured, just popped in pan together with 2 onions sweated and garlic and 3 chillis. I like our home grown purple ones coz they have a nice smoky heat.
also in were:

3 tbsps black treacle
3/4 pint veg stock
a large handful dark brown sugar
tin toms
more chilli powder
tin tom puree

all were lumped in together and bunged in oven to cook slowly for 3-4 hours.. I may adjust taste depending on my mood, today I am serving this with roasted carrots and pepper and jacket spuds. A meal suitable for a busy wife and a lazy slug husband.

I have noticed that this bears a distinct hint of my soup from earlier in the week. Easily explained, my taste buds have cycles of tastes and this month's is obviously smoky chilli and tomatoey....

Friday 8 January 2010

Grumpy Friday

I would like to announce that sick husband is no longer sick, he has been renamed annoying husband. Possibly due to the vast length of time that he has been at home, working from home before Christmas due to snow, Christmas shut-down, sick husband week and now working from home AGAIN because of snow. It is enough to drive a woman to drink, actually it's Friday night, it's pizza and wine night...OH YES. I am not looking forward to that much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Does sarcasm work without voice inflection?) I know what you are thinking though, how do 2 people who are gluten and dairy intolerant do pizza. I can tell you it is quite easy and as a few of my friends can attest it is quite yummylicious too. Friday night is also tv night, it is the one night of the week that I become a dedicated tv viewer and if there is nothing on the box there is always downloads. Sssh don't tell anyone. Food is on a tray, wine is in the glass, feet are up and viewing goggles are on. Ahhhh bliss.

I had a phone call with Mother today and she is reading my blog, Hi Mum... ttying to comment but we need to work on that. She mentioned that I had not blogged yesterday. No I hadn't, we went to work in the snow to sort out a big problem, it took 10 minutes, but still it was nice to see the world all snowy and white, very romantic and pretty if you don't have to live, work, travel etc in it. I did enjoy it but by the time I was home and had done chores I was decidedly grumpy. I have no reason why just was, it might be early onset of the January blues or it could just have been plain old-fashioned exhaustion. Who knows, who cares, dont feel so bad today but that is because it's Friday and time for:

(Gluten and dairy free) Friday night Pizza

250g doves farm flour
175ml soya milk
1 egg
45ml oil

Mix all of the above to a soft and gooey dough, it will not be rollable, kneadable, or anything other than spreadable with a spatula or spoon so please don't try. I either make one deepish 12 inch round or two very thin 12inch rounds, it all depends on my mood. I use baking parchment on a baking tray, this goes in a 200c oven for 15mins and is quite amazing when it comes out, it has air pockets in it which is amazing given that there is no raising ingredient apart from egg.

Whilst this is baking I make the tomato base, I usually use 1 tin of tom puree to 1 tin of water, approx 1 tbsp sugar, a good helping of easy garlic or garlic puree and loads of basil or oregano. If annoying husband wants a spicy pizza I add chilli pepper as well.

Then it's up to taste and preference for toppings, tuna, meat, veg anything goes. I load the cheese on which is not overly health conscious but who cares? I use a mix of Goat's cheese, Sheep's cheese and Buffalo mozzarello, this is more watery than normal pizza mozzarello so I try to squeeze as much liquid out as possible. I always use Pecorino though, this is a Sicilian hard Sheep's milk cheese and is invaluable in cooking it quite happily takes the place of parmesan in most dishes. Once assembled I cook the pizzas for approx 13 minutes til the cheese is how I like it, Goat's and Sheep's milk cheeses do not seem to melt as nicely as dairy but they still taste good, although if you can get hold of Cretan cheeses Graviera and Kefalatori try these because they are delicious and if you do please let me know where from coz I can't find them.

So there it is my Friday night antidote to the blues and annoying husbands.

Wednesday 6 January 2010

Snow men

Ok so it's snowing, am I the oldest snow man making person? Not a child in sight and there is a rather dashing snowman called Boots sitting in my garden. I admit to not growing up yet and would have loved a snow ball fight but sick husband, who is now not so sick, was on a conference call. How boring is that? I will have to amuse myself by laughing at the silly antics of drivers in the snow. How come in this country we turn into blithering idiots when snow appears?

The snow of course was beautiful to look at but rather stating the obvious it is cold so to that end I decided my soup making skills needed a winter warmth boost. My health kick is off to a good start and I must admit having the sick husband at home to cater for has helped and lets face it it is more difficult to naughtily snack when husband is at large. Goodness knows how I will cope when he eventually gets back to work. Anyway back to my winter warmer, I needed a slightly different variety on veg soup, more hearty and maybe with some warming curryness..

Lentil soup for cold winter days

A large handful or 2 of red lentils
tin of tom puree
boiling water,
chilli powder
garam masala
mixed herbs,
1 or 2 tsp sugar
lemon juice

Rinse lentils and add booiling water, bring to the boil and skim off any foam, add in the tom puree and all the herbs and spice. Now me being me I tend not to measure herbs and spices but just shake in to taste. Taste is such an arbitrary thing that I hate to tell exactly how much chilli etc you would want to use. I simmered this for about 1/2 an hour and servd with hot buttered toast.
Not so sick husband sat down to lunch sniffing queryingly and tentatively tatsing trying to place the tatse, bless his little cottons. He did enjoy his bowl of winter warming lentils though.

Tuesday 5 January 2010

What's cooking?

So today I mistakenly made the mistake of asking sick husband what he would like to eat for supper...hmm make mental note not to ask husband this question again. He wanted something nice and easy he said, Shepherds Pie, now this may be easy if you can pop to the super-market and pick up a ready meal however when both of you have issues with gluten and dairy this becomes less than easy, in fact it becomes a make one from scratch kind of day. Usually this wouldn't phase me, I am after all partial to spending time in the kitchen creating hopefully yummy dishes, however... why is there always an however? Where was I oh yes not looking forward to cooking because I had to go to Sainsburys and after that I am usually so exhausted I do not feel like cooking, but I wanted to please sick husband, and yes I have heard of women's lib, I just like making people happy. Sainsburys!!!!! Hell, full of people stockpiling in the event we get snowed in for an hour or so. My god the shelves were bare and it was heaving, unheard of for a Tuesday Lunchtime. Starbucks made up for it though, nothing like a Venti Soya latte to put a smile back on my face. That and a sit down to read this weeks Grazia.

Back to the Shepherds Pie I have now educated sick husband that it is not quite an easy meal; yummy though, or at least I hope it will be:

Tuesday's Pie

500g Lamb mince
4 carrots chopped very small
approx 500ml lamb stock
dried mint
rice flour to thicken
worcestshire sauce
mashed potato

Fry onion add carrots fry til softened add mince, brown, add stock, mint and flour, boil add more flour til as thick as you like it, arrange carefully in a casserole dish or slap in haphazardly if you are me, smooth over mash potato and bake in oven for 1/2 an hour. 180 c for me.

There we have it a tasty gluten and dairy free supper to make the Sainsbury shopping blues disappear and sick husband happy.

Monday 4 January 2010

Monday soups

I mistakenly thought that by now the shops would be less crowded and I could pop into town, escaping from still sick husband in the mean time, and have a relatively quiet shop and browse. Not that I need anything in the sales but a new handbag is always an option. So there were queues for the Multi-storey, queues up the High Street but the Goddess smiled on me and I found a nice parking spot right where I needed to be.. woo hoo thought I this bodes well, unfortunately that was it, everywhere was heaving, ug, I hate shops when they are full of amblers and idlers. I shopped for what I wanted and thought a coffee would be a good consolation present. Agghh no, they were queuing out the door, now I am rather partial to a Soya Latte but that was beyond a joke, and it was full of children... shudder. I hightailed it home to fetch myself some lunch and sick husband of course. What was there to eat? Bugger all to be honest so Monday soup was magicked up:

1 tin toms blizted to a pulp
1 tin of whatever beans were in the cupboard, Butter beans to be precise,
1 tin of tomato puree,
1 1/2 tbsp black treacle
alot of chilli pepper,
Basil, a shake of
salt to taste,

Heat, taste, serve.. Yummy after a fruitless shopping day not to mention the bringing in of the logs, laundry and have I mentioned the sick husband?

Saturday 2 January 2010

Who am I

Who am I? That is a good question. Do I go for the existential aspect of this? Course not. I am many things. I am happy. I am a wife, I am a witch, I am called the oracle by friends and family ( annoyingly I have a vast font of useless and sometimes useful knowledge), I am a grandmother by adoption, I love life, laughter, food and wine. Golly this could go on for ever, that's it a quick precis of who I am.

I have M.E (aka CFS) and fibromyalgia, I am gluten and dairy intolerant but I let none of this affect me if I can. I am disabled, so what, I will wear high heels if I want to, If I can't walk I might as well not walk in style! I am a green at heart but drive a huge Chelsea Tractor, comfort has to win sometimes over policy. I try to offset this, honest I do.

Today was a strange day in planet jaywitch. husband is ill, poor chap some hideous vomiting/diarrhoea bug, and in bed for 2nd day of the New Year, so I decided to de-christmas the house, slowly but surely I took down all the lights, decorations and trees. It is now bare! I like the Christmas decos but I do get bored of them but once they're down I miss them! Nothing consistent about me!!! Well that's the 2nd day of 2010 done and dusted what's next?