Trudge trudge trudge


Every day Douggie the doggie and I walk down to the beach. He does like his daily swim. If he doesn’t get it for whatever reason he gets a proper cob on.

The good thing about walking on the beach every day is that the bad old days of a stinking, muddy dog are long gone. The bad thing is that he, and I, are always wet through.

He gets so excited he runs round me flicking water from his long, waggy tail all over me. It has got so bad that I have taken to wearing wellies and waterproof trousers no matter what the weather is like.  I can’t even wear the wellies without the waterproof pants as he always ,manages to flick water down my wellies and I end up with my own private paddling pool in my boots.

It’s even worse when I forget to put thicker socks on. My feet flop around in my slightly large welliebobs and the walk back up the hill after an hour walking up and down the beach gets more difficult every day. I’m sure they have a device to make the hill steeper when I’m on my way back home. Y’see, on the way out it’s a more gentle slope. On the way back it’s more like a mini Everest. That, dear reader is whenI trudge, trudge, trudge up the hill, tired and grumpy.

Roll on summer when I’ll be glad to be showered with cold water.

Still on the subject of dogs. I got a letter yesterday telling me that the guide dog I sponsor has been dropped from the guide dog programme because of his unpredictable spending habits. WHAT? Who the hell lets a dog go shopping anyway? It’s only ever going to end in disaster giving  a dog a credit card and freedom to use it as he wants. Mind you, if I gave Douggie a credit card he’d just eat it.

It’s rained here today. A lot.

As Douggie and I set off to the beach I realised with dismay that I’d timed it wrong and the tide was in. As I guessed, by the time we got to the seafront  the waves were crashing over the sea wall. Oh well. A walk to the harbour instead, I think. As I walked round the harbour I noticed through the pouring rain dripping off the end of my nose that someone had kindly put a note on all of the benches saying that the paint was wet. Well OF COURSE the paint was wet. It was pouring down! It didn’t take a genius to work that out but I did appreciate the fact that someone tried to help out the tourists by telling them. Heh.

Wherever you are, I hope you’re having better weather than we are having at the moment. Happy weekend!

Joke of the day


Why can’t you hear a pterodactyl have a wee?
Because the p is silent!!
Hooohoohoo, heeheeheee. Made me laugh for ages, that one!
That was one of Munki’s jokes. Not bad for a seven year old, eh?

Dougie the doggie and I managed to while away almost three hours on the beach today. When I realised it was starting to dark I hurried home thinking that Boofuls would think I’d been carried off by the circus or something.

How did I manage to spend almost three hours on a beach in the middle of winter?

Easy.

The tide was out so Douggie and I paddled all the way round the coast, clambering over rocks, marvelling at hermit crabs scuttling around with their homes on their backs, searching for sea glass and pebbles shaped like penguins. We found a baby starfish! It only had two arms, the others were little nubbly bits just starting to grow. It didn’t look so much like a star fish as a propellor. I put it under a piece of seaweed for safe keeping hoping that it wouldn’t get trampled to death by one of the many galloping hounds on the beach today. Dougie of course tried his best to get to it so I distracted him by throwing stones into the water for him to chase. I have to throw stones because if I throw a ball he won’t bring it back. As a retriever he’s pretty rubbish. I should probably explain to him again that he’s a golden RETRIEVER the clue’s in the name, really.

The sun shone onto the ripples in the sand making the beach glint and shine. I spent far too much time moving around trying to find which way the light gave the best effect. Some of the other beach walkers must have though I was doing some weird yoga exercise in my wellies and waterproofs and I crouched low and moved left and right, bobbing and weaving while I stared at the ground. The buildings high up on the hill were reflected in the puddles on the sand. Again, I moved this way and that trying to get the best image. I would have taken a photo but my phone died a watery death a couple of weeks ago and I don’t want to lug a big, professional camera around with me…

Wait…what…did I say my phone died a watery death a few weeks ago? Why, yes, dear reader, I did.

But…didn’t your phone die a watery death just a few months ago? Why, yes again, dear reader. My, what a good memory you have.

This time it was somewhat more dignified than last time when it fell out of my back pocket and into the loo. This time it fell out of my coat pocket and into the sea. Nonetheless, the ed result was the same. Instant death.

Still, let’s not dwell on that. Let’s return to our afternoon on the beach.

The sun cast warm, long shadows, the clouds turned pink and the sea lapped gently on the shore shining blue, pink or green depending on how the light hit it. I stood fascinated by it all while Doggie found himself a nice little spaniel to flirt with. people strolled up and down. As I so often am, I was stuck by how many people wear black. It look like a funeral director’s day out. The dark clothes looked at odds with the beautiful, dancing, ever changing light that the elements had treated us too but it seemed like I was the only person to notice.

Eventually the sun dropped down behind the hill and the gorgeous light changed to a soft, violet grey. At that point I shivered and realised I must have been out for hours.

So there you are. That’s how easy it is to spend a whole,afternoon on a beach. A bit of imagination, the company of a dog and some lovely weather. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon.

Mousy


Munki set off for school this morning,  her usual chirpy self. On the way she happened to see a dead mouse lying in the road. Poor Munki was beside herself. She has obviously stayed upset all day because as soon as she come home she made a cross with ‘Mousy’ written on it so it could have a decent send off. I was also instructed to engrave a piece of sea glass with Mousy’s name  as a lasting tribute.

She can be so sweet sometimes…sometimes.

On the phone to ‘Nana’ earlier Nana asked her if she was playing a game. “A what, Nana?” “A Game.” “It’s not a *insert strong northern accent here* gaaaaaaaaaame, Nana,  it’s a game.” I think it’s fair to say that Munki is now officially a southerner with the accent to prove it.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.


Ok, I know it’s a bit late but..

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

It’s far to say that the celebrations took a very different turn this time. 

Many months ago we decided that it would be too weird having Christmas down here without our friends and family around so we hired a cottage up north so we could spend Christmas with our nearest and dearest.  The cottage was located at the highest point in the highest village in the country. We didn’t know that we we booked it but we certainly knew about five seconds after we arrived and got out of the car. Good grief! Windy? It nearly blew my socks off!

The cottage itself was lovely, not the usual “dog friendly ‘ cottage which usually means lino floors and furniture that has been discarded from the local old people’s home. This place was warm, comfortable and a lovely base for our stay.  It was a 200 year old weaver’s cottage end the kitchen was down three steps. Even I had to limbo to get in there without bumping my head. They made people small 200 years ago! Still, we managed to enjoy ourselves.

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Unless you’ve been on a different planet, or a different country, you can’t fail to have noticed that there have been  few floods up and down the country. Well, to be honest, if you listened to the news you’d think that it was only York that had been flooded but where we were was badly hit as well but that place isn’t wealthy or famous.

We stayed in the last cottage of a row of four which put us slightly down the hill. As I walked up to the hill and came to the end of the row it was intersected with a farm track. The wind was so bad up there that it blew Douggie the doggie straight into the road and blew me five steps sideways.  Here’s short video to give you and idea of what it was like, listen to that wind howl

Once our friends discovered that we were back up north, as as they say down here, ‘up country’,  we were getting text messages every five minutes inviting us here there and everywhere, it was lovely. Lovely but a bit stressful, we couldn’t fit everyone in so we had to allocate two hour slots.
The day before we came home we managed to get all the family together (mostly) to scatter my brother’s ashes. In the end we decided to put him on the same remembrance plot where we scattered dad’s ashes. You know, so they could keep each other company.  It was surprisingly moving and emotional. I was glad that we’d taken the time to get together. My older brother said a few words and then seemingly from thin air produced a bottle of sherry, some small bottles of beer and glasses so we could all have a final drink with Rick. It was a fitting way to finally lay him to rest. Especially bearing in mind that he’s been in the back of Alec’s car for over  a year, he’s been to Scarborough twice since he died. He travelled more since he died than he ever did when he was alive!

Anyway…back at the ranch. For new year we had a full house. Among our guests were The Incredible Hulk and Storm from X Men. Unfortunately Storm’s super powers didn’t extend to sewing up her costume when the zip went. Imagine my surprise as I went into the bar to find The Incredible Hulk holding Storm’s costume and politely asking me if I could possibly fix it for her. Heh.

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We saw in the new year with a few of the guests. It was fabulous, we had some lovely people stay with us and it was a privilege to see in the new year with them. I hope it’s a taste of what the rest of the year has in store for us.

Whatever new year holds for you I hope it keeps you happy, healthy and blogging. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, How the devil are you?


Another year draws to a close.  What a roller coaster it’s been. Unlike the previous few years when I’ve just been bloody glad to see the back of it, I’ve actually enjoyed this year’s ups and downs. Most of ’em anyway.

I’m not a massive fan of end of year round ups. I refer to look forward rather than back but this year I’ll make an exception.

January: Boofuls started the year on the leg he broke on new year’s eve. Worst new year ever. Me at home on my own and Boofuls in hospital having pins put in his leg.

February: One day after having the cast off his leg, Boofuls and I drove to Devon to try and find somewhere to live after the chap who’s property we were going to buy changed his mind. Having sold our house we were technically homeless. Marvellous.

Also February: Found a place to live! At this point we thank God that the previous property had fallen through.

March: Moved to the other end of the country. This month saw us living in a holiday flat while we completed all the legals on the B & B. What a great time we had, a pocketful of money and time our hands. We called it research but we really spent the month having fun.

April: Now the proud owners of a B & B in Devon. Our new life consisted of cleaning, cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning. Then we opened the doors to the great British public.

May: Wow! Talk about a baptism of fire.  A full house of young farmers here for their bi annual conference. Conference? A three night stag night for 5000 people is more like it.

June: Learning the ropes and a nice steady trickle of guests.

July: Got busy.

August: Got busier.

September: MAKE IT STOP!

October: Phew! We survived!

November: Enjoying the peace and quiet. Decorating commences.

December: Merry Christmas!

Ok. There may have been a bit more to it that that. Booful’s has been doing the accounts. I handed him a receipt from my trip to the hairdresser, he filed it under repairs and renewals!

We’ve just been up north for Christmas. I’ll tell you all about that in a day or two.

Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you sure?


Heh, I was having a little readette of my last post when this one popped up. It made me chuckle and I thought it might make you chuckle too. Enjoy!

Tripping Over Pebbles No More

Bit of an unusual day yesterday in that I had the urge to do some baking.

That’s unusual on it’s own but even more so due to the fact that I’ve had a major dose of lurgy (thanks for that, clingon no.1 ) and have been miserably sneezingly and coughingly, (quite often at the same time), splutteringly, freezingly, boilingly, headachingly, eardrum itchingly (is that only me or does anyone else get it as an early warning signal?) nose runningly, cotton wool brainingly  and sore throatingly struggling through the week.

Most of yesterday I spent weak as a kitten on the settee, groaning and waiting to death to release me before my 4pm appointment with a wedding couple.  Lemsipped up to the eyeballs I managed to get through that meeting without being too obviously ill.

We’d made plans for Lashes and Len to come over for tea (dinner, to you posh…

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A what pie?


Butter? A pie made of  butter? Are you making this up?

So went the conversation between Lashes’ new beau, The Prof and his colleagues at the school where he teaches.

It seems that they’ve been inspired by the great big bake off, or whatever that programme about baking cakes is called, and every week they have a bake off.

Usually the cakes and pastries are light, fluffy and delicate. The Prof mentioned about butter pie and all hell broke loose.

Is this a northern oik thing? Is it  a lard pie? What does it contain, just butter? The questions kept on coming until one bright spark suggested that there was no such thing and The Prof was simply making it up, therefore backing him into the corner of having to prove that such a thing existed. “Right! Right!  I’ll bring one in for you.”

That, dear reader was when I entered the plot.

” Lesley…..do you think you could…?

So that was how I came to be making the  Lancashire delicacy, butter pie. Although the word ‘delicate’ is a bit of a misnomer really as you can feel the fat forming on your hips as soon as you look at the thing. Nothing with  name like ‘butter pie’ was going to come under the heading of healthy eating now, was it?

The pie was duly made and delivered for judgement. It was judged to be a success!

So what exactly is a butter pie?

Pretty much as the name suggests. The principal ingredient is butter, along with potatoes, pepper, onion and a puff pastry crust.

Just in case you feel like making this deliciously naughty, once a year treat which melts in the mouth and lands on your bum, here is the lazy person’s recipe. You may note that it isn’t the most exact recipe you’ve ever followed.

You will need: A few potatoes, an onion or two, a huge dollop of butter, plenty of salt and pepper, ready made puff pastry.

Method: Peel and chop the potatoes and onions.  Add copious amounts of salt and white pepper.

Boil together until soft with a huge dollop of butter.

Strain most of the liquid off and transfer the mixture to a pie dish, using  a potato masher squish it all down a little bit to crush the potatoes, just  so it is nicely mushed but not smooth and dot with yet more butter. Season a bit more if needed.

The picture isn't mine. It belongs to: https://spacecudette.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/vegan-butter-pie/
The picture isn’t mine. It belongs to: https://spacecudette.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/vegan-butter-pie/

Add the puff pastry lid, brush with milk and cook in a hot oven until the pastry crust is lovely and golden.

So there it is; delicious butter pie. Don’t set the healthy eating police on to me, I’m not suggesting you eat it every day. Enjoy!

 

 

Meet the latest addition to the family


I just went on a short trip dow memory lane and came across this post from when Douggie the doggie landed in our lives. He’ll be four next month. How time flies!

Tripping Over Pebbles No More

Ok, you’re all dying to know. How did the interview go?

What interview? All that stress for nothing.

There I was all nervous and worked up, worried that they’d take one look at us and announce us to be unfit as dog owners. It was nothing like that.

We got to the lady’s house at exactly the appointed time. She came out to meet us,  directed us to follow her to the kennels, jumped in her car and off we went for a nice fifteen minute jaunt through the countryside to the rescue centre.

“Well, they must be going to interview us there then.”

Nope.

I must have done a good enough job on the phone as she really seemed to think it was a done deal. No further questions M’lud.

A little white ball of fluff was brought out to meet us. I’d like to say that he was…

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What to do today…..?


If you’ve ever wondered what hoteliers do in the winter when they aren’t doing so much hotely-ing I’m now in a position to tell you.

They eat, drink, drink a bit more and get very, very merry. Often. Almost daily, in fact.

Our lives seems to be a constant flood of invitations to lunches, dinners, quiz nights, intimate soirees and ‘fun’ activity days.

I’ve had to buy a diary just to keep up with them all.

Of course we aren’t attending even half of the things we are invited to. Mostly because we are still enjoying a bit of down time after a busy summer and secondly because it would cost a  king’s ransom to attend everything.

So instead we are whiling away our days by decorating, doing maintenance, keeping everything ship shape and catching up on a bit of telly and generally not running round like headless chickens. More like partially beheaded chickens which don’t run quite as fast.

How lovely it is in the evening to just be able to put our feet up and watch a couple of hours of telly.

Douggie the doggie and I slope off for our daily walk to the beach which  keeps us occupied for another hour or two.  And that, dear reader is that.

At some point I’m sure we will run out of jobs to do and then start to get bored but I wouldn’t put money on it. The general consensus around here is that we have enough in the way of jobs to do to keep us occupied till spring when it all starts again.

The town has a different feel to it. More relaxed and laid back. Now when Douggie and I go for our walks we are met with smiles and conversation as the people we meet realise we are locals and not ‘grockles’.

Moving on. Boofuls and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary last week. Thirty years! How did we get here so fast?

Anyway, before I start off down the road of ‘how time flies, it only seems two minutes since we…’

To mark the great occasion we decided to take a week off work. The we decided that might be a bit rash so we decided we’d work the weekend and have four days off. Then we work three of the four days. On the actual day though we took a whole half a day off!

After a bit of “Where shall we go? What shall we do? We decided we’d go up onto Dartmoor to see the ponies and have a ride out to Widecombe which is very quaint and olde worlde.

When we got there it was cold, windy, raining and we were almost out of petrol  – the nearest petrol station being 6 miles away, in the direction we’d just come from!

We walked miserably across the car park with our coats pulled tight around us against the weather and went into the nearest public building which turned out to be a very nice cafe staffed by very, very nice people.  A chat, a cup of coffee and a huge chunk of cake later we were feeling much happier as we set off in search of petrol.

That evening we had planned to go to a very nice restaurant in town. Boofuls phoned up to book to be told they would be closed that night. Sigh.

He phoned the second choice of restaurant. “Can we have a table by the window?  No, Sir, we don’t reserve window seats, it’s first come first served.”

Sigh.

“Ok then. I’ll book a table for two, please.”

We turned up at the appointed time and went to the restaurant upstairs. To our delight there was a window table available.

“Can we have that table by the window?

No, Sir. That table is reserved.

But you told us window tables couldn’t be reserved.

The couple are already here, they are down in the bar.”

We were seated slap bang in the middle of the restaurant. I bloody hate that. But never mind, we were looking forward to a good old slap up meal. As we perused the menu, a couple seated by the window left.

“Can we have that table?

Of course, Sir. I’ll just reset it for you.”

Delighted we sat down at the window table.

“Do you think you could lift the blind so we could see the sea view and the harbour?”

No, Sir, the blind is broken.”

For God’s sake, we might as well have been sitting against a wall. Oh well, at least it wasn’t in the middle of the room.

The food lived up to its reputation. Well. Mine did.

Boofuls, who as normal had ordered medium steak and chips, took delivery of a steak that a good vet could have revived without much difficulty. His face turned a funny colour. “I don’t think I can eat that. Well, send it back then, it’s not what you ordered, is it?”

The steak went back and was quickly replaced by another steak from an anorexic cow that died of old age. Tough and stringy, Boofuls once again looked a funny colour. “I’m not sure I can eat this, it’s all gristle and sinew.

Once again the steak went back. By now Boofuls was well and truly fed up.

“Let me get you another steak, Sir. Oh no. I can’t, we’ve run out of steak.

It’s ok, I’ll just eat the chips. Sigh.

So that was our anniversary. It sounds like it was awful but the reality of it was that we just enjoyed spending some time together and although it wasn’t what we’d planned ( or more accurately, failed to plan). It was still lovely.

Happy anniversary, darling!

 

 

 

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