Tag Archives: weekend

Spike


Well that was a surprise.

Normally when I look at my blog stats it shows two, maybe three visits a day. Sometimes it gets are far as eight or nine but rarely goes into double figures these days. The price of not bothering with it while I was too busy living my life to be writing about it, I suppose.

Imagine my surprise yesterday then when I looked at my stats and it showed 176 views!!  apparently all of them of my copyright page. Wow! That must be  some  good copyright notice! I’m not sure what caused the spike but just for a moment I thought I’d hit the big time! professional blogging here I come!

On a more mundane note. The long dreaded date for my further surgery has been and gone. The deed has been done and I’m recovering with a cocktail of some rather splendid painkillers. If I were to sell them round town I am certain that there would be   pretty penny to be made from them. However, my need is greater than the local crack heads so I’ll be guarding them jealously for the next few weeks.

Lovely Boofuls, knowing how much I hated being housebound last time, decided to get me a motorised wheelchair so I can get out and about at least for short periods.  While he and my good friend Lynn took care of the breakfast service this morning at Boofuls Towers Lodging Emporium, I whizzed round the local park in my buggy with Douggie the doggie racing alongside me.

It’s not a bad start to the day. Get up at a sensible hour, shower at my leisure, a quick trip round the park in my buggy and then back for a cooked breakfast courtesy of my guest chef, Lynn. Followed by lounging around watching a bit of weekend telly. Blummin’ marvellous!

The plan for later is to go to our local stately home and make Christmas wreaths. Not that I am going to admit it but I am already starting to tire after all my exertion this morning so it might be a shorter day than I reckoned.

Whatever you are doing this weekend I hope you have a great time.

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That’s Entertainment


In a rare moment of feeling hospitable recently I decided to invite some friends over for dinner. We haven’t had a dinner party for aaaaaaaages. Then I decided to invite another couple over as well because I thought they’d get on well with the first couple as they had a lot in common. Well, all the girlies had something in common anyway. We are all, or have been, photographers and all have dogs. All the two chaps have in common is that they have been lucky enough  to bag themselves beautiful and clever wives many years their juniors.

Both lovely couples, I was looking forward to it not least because it gave me chance to flex my culinary muscles and do some proper cooking for a change. Tricky finding  meal that everyone will eat with a picky, picky, picky eater like Boofuls, a fat fighter like me and a vegetarian to cater for. I didn’t want her to feel like she was difficult by serving her something totally different.

So. I made a roasted tomato, red pepper and garlic soup. That fit the bill for everyone. It was rich and unctuous and contained not a single calorie or ounce of flesh. Then I decided to have beef wellington for the main course. I’d love to say I made them but I didn’t, they were on offer in the supermarket and I was still searching for inspiration so I bought them. I did however make the mushroom and chestnut wellingtons with a red wine jus for me and the vegetarian guest, they were deeeeelishus! Then the important bit. Pudding.

I had two massive pineapples at my disposal so I got googling. Memories of schooldays came flooding back to me when image after image of pineapple upside down cake floated across my screen. Nonononono!! I don’t want a schoolgirl pudding. Pineapple carpaccio? Nah. Not very exciting. Pineapple in a caramel rum sauce? Oh yes!

Good old Anthony Worrall Thompson came up trumps with the best pineapple recipe. I put the sugar in the pan to make the  caramel. Swirl it round the pan, he said. I swirled and watched in delight as the sugar melted and became liquid. Pour in the rum and stir he said, be careful, it might spit. I poured and prepared to stir. unfortunately, the sugar in the pan decided to set solid as soon as the liquid touched it. I ended up waving round a spoon with half a pound of solidified sugar attached to it. I bet that never happens to Wozza!

Eventually, after half an hour of stirring a sugar loaded spoon round the solid  sugar melted down and I got the sweet and sticky run sauce I was after. I lured it over the pineapple and put it all in a slow oven to warm through. It was gorgeous served with vanilla ice cream.  Any other flavour would have been a travesty.

The guests arrived, and as I suspected got on like a house on fire. I love it when a plan comes together. The evening passed in a haze of relaxed chatter and good humour. paying careful attention to which friends to put together paid off as everyone got on really well. I’d forgotten how much I like dinner parties. It’s by far my favourite way of spending an evening.

Now that summer and it’s long, warm,  balmy evenings have gone for a few months I think we might be whiling away the winter months by doing a lot more entertaining.

 

Cold. Warm. Hot. Hotter. Oh my God!


Friday night saw us packing up all the wedding albums, prints, super duper new banner and all sorts of other paraphernalia into the car and sliding our way to Manchester to set up for the wedding show.

At this particular wedding show we need to set up on Friday night for the whole weekend. Then we have to back on our perch by 8.45 Saturday morning ready to greet the punters as the shopping centre opens so it’s a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and a lot of faffing about but for a two day event in the city centre we reckoned it would be worth it.

Display

Our allocated table was between the two sets of doors to the centre. Every time one or the other, or worse, both doors opened, we were hit by an icy blast of air. Combine that with the fact that we were dressed for business and not for outside in the dead of winter and this huge, glass domed roof shopping centre had no heating at all, I think it’s fair to say we were all a bit chilly.

We were chilly to the point that one exhibitor went to buy extra clothes to wear, Boofuls and me were holding on to the lightbulbs on our display to try and get a bit of warmth from them and the poor girl next to us kept coming onto our  stand to do the same. her poor lips were blue with the cold. She spent more time handing out our information than hers but she thought it was a small price  to pay to avoid hypothermia. We did little dances on the cold marble floor to keep warm when no one was watching, well, when we thought no one was watching, and we spent a lot of time blowing on our fingers and nipping into shops for a quick warm. A couple of hours wouldn’t have been too bad but we were there from 8.30 am till 6 pm.

The trouble with that kind of cold is that the brain and the mouth both cease to function properly. Everyone was tripping over their words and generally having a rotten day. I can only imagine how the poor models felt having to get undressed and then float around in strapless dresses.

On Sunday morning we dressed in a few more layers and Boofuls had the brilliant idea of taking our little fan heater with us to stick under the table to at least keep our feet warm. The lady on the next display stand came and placed herself behind our table, happily handing out our leaflets and chatting about our albums, she was doing a fantastic job. She seemed so happy to be there that I didn’t have the heart to move her on and back to her own display.

Just after the second fashion show of the day had finished, we had a little flurry of activity at the stand. All three of us were engaged in animated conversations when suddenly, POP! All the lights and the slideshow on the display went out.  Oh bugger. Everyone stood and looked at each other for a moment but too busy to investigate, we carried on chatting. That was a mistake.

Within a minute there was the acrid smell of smoke in the air. Oh no! “Boofuls, I can smell smoke.”

“No, no, It’s alright”, he replied.

“Seriously, Boofuls, I can smell smoke.” “So can I”, piped up the woman I was chatting with.

Boofuls took a look under the table and discovered that our large extension lead was pouring with smoke. Oh my Gawd!  It was quickly removed out of the building where he discovered that the wires had burnt right through and we’d been lucky not to have a full scale fire on our hands.

Bloody fan heater!  It had overloaded the circuit.  Next time we’ll just have to freeze. Oh the joys of exhibiting. Ooh, we get to do it all again on Sunday!

Good and not so good


Good: Waking up this morning. Always a good start to the day, waking up.

Good: A lovely welcome from Mrs Woofy when I came downstairs. Thursday is her sleepover night with us.

Bad: The realisation that the haircut from the new hairdresser I tried yesterday is in fact crap. Hair sticking out everywhere.  Senior stylist my ars….eye. Won’t be going there again. Sigh. Oh well, at least hair grows back.

Good: A nice early morning walk on a drizzly but warmish day.

Bad: Getting bitten on the hand by strange, large and over boisterous, dog. OW! No blood spilt, just a large purple mark.

Bad: The same ‘other dog’ jumping all over my gorgeous new lime green coat with  it’s stupid great muddy paws and sharp teeth

Good / Bad:  Shopping for Munki’s birthday present.

Bad: Munki having tantrums

Bad: Running out of time and not having done everything I needed to in town.

Bad: Munki having more tantrums and insisting on being carried while I was carrying  a heavy pack of tiles (not for her birthday – for the utility room floor).

Bad: The new studio backdrop I ordered being too small. Aaaaarrgghh – I need that for tomorrows portrait shoots!

Bad: A clients wedding album not being up to standard when it arrived – I’m starting to dread them arriving now, this is becoming regular. Words needed, I think.

Good:  Chatting in the office with Lashes and Moneypenny – brought me right back down off the ceiling.

Good: Picking the new colour scheme for the office.

Bad: Getting home to discover that the builders merchant has dropped all the stones and bricks at the top of the track 300 yards away instead of on the drive.   (Offset by: Good: lots of heavy duty exercise with wheelbarrow tomorrow – good for weight loss)

Good: Saving £150 on house insurance

Good: Having a lovely relaxed chat with big N after work this afternoon, a rare and very welcome event.

Good: The little shot of spiced rum that me and Big N have just enjoyed together. Very good indeed.

Good: It’s the weekend

Happy weekend!

 

 

 

 

Too busy partying to blog


You know that saying about not worrying about being careful in life and ending up in heaven all pristine, instead you should roll up in a sports car, skid in sideways and say “Wow! What a ride that was?

No?

This one:

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a ride!’”

Yes, ok, it says it so much better than I did.

To be honest I’m too knackered to think straight. It’s been a FAB few days. Just like the saying goes, we have been ‘burning the candle at both ends’, ‘ larging it up, Baby’, and ‘ carpe diem -ing.’

Thursday (happy birthday to meeeeee) was brilliant, apart from the fact that I woke up stupidly early at ten past six. It must have been because I was excited at being 50 again (I’m counting backwards now, remember?).

Boofuls had, as normal, excelled himself in the pressie department with tickets to go and see Ghost at  Manchester Opera House in April.

A cracking dance lesson followed. Not a lot of dancing went on but there was a lot of laughing.  We are going over a particularly tricky bit in the waltz and it’s causing more brain strain than is acceptable.  The brain understands exactly what is supposed to happen. If only I could get it to tell the feet!

Posh coffee with Lashes and Munki, a nice brisk walk with Mrs Woofy and  then I popped into work and Peewee Winklepop surprised me with a bottle of my favourite wine, Chateauneuf du Pape.

Not only was it a lovely surprise it was made all the sweeter because she doesn’t drink wine and knows little about it other than it comes in three colours. She’d put a lot of effort into finding out what I’d really like. As if she hasn’t enough other things to think about, thanks Peewee.  Big bunch of vitrual roses for you.

An evening of hilarity with Boofuls and my sister rounded the day off nicely.

All in all not a bad day.

Friday was even better.

Apart from the photoshoot I had booked in for 4pm, that is. The shoot went well  enough and I’m chuffed with the photos but I had far more important things to be getting on with:

Our Caribbean themed party!

The chicken was jerked, the lamb was stewed, the rice was pea-ed (by The Rev) the sausages were honeyed, the beef was roasted and the stupidly strong rum punch was mixed by yours truly. Lashes made a brilliant cake:

 

Caribbean Cake

 

All the times I’ve tried to put on interesting and varied food when I’ve done a buffet. Tsk, well haven’t I learnt a valuable lesson?   What a waste of time that all was. All I really needed to do is give the buggers meat – and lots of it.

Not a lot got wasted ( though a few people did –  teehee).

The family, the inlaws –  and  couple of outlaws turned up for food, drink and karaoke. Even the dog got in the spirit of it all:

 

Party Dog

 

It was off the silly scale, the whole evening was one of those  that wouldn’t possibly have worked unless everyone knew each other well. Oh how we laughed. Do you want to see a video of our ‘choir’?

It’s not for the faint hearted so don’t watch it of you’re of a nervous disposition.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

It could have been worse, we could have been singing “Chocolate Salty Balls’

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse


OK, it’s not the night before Christmas. I fact it’s 9 45 in the morning but the house is eerily quiet.

It’s been a busy weekend one way and another. Friday night was the dinner party for friends and family. After wandering the aisles of Sainsbury’s for hours looking for inspiration for the menu I eventually came up with this:

Tomato and basil soup with home made pesto and ciabatta

Chicken stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in parma ham, served on a bed of spinach.

Apple charlotte and cream – although I got ganged up on and all the guests had a vote in my absence and decided they wanted custard instead. I have nothing against custard. Me and custard have been mates for years but sometimes you need to make new friends and cream was it, my new best mate for the briefest period of time before being cruelly pushed out by the rest of the gang. Left to loiter lonely and cold in the fridge with the leftovers.

The wine and conversation flowed all evening. getting a word in edgeways was the hard bit as Machinegun learned. Incidentally, Machinegun is such a long winded name. From now on Machinegun will be referred to as Len. It could have been worse. He could have been given a symbol for a name, something like : § then we could refer to him as ‘the person formerly known as Machinegun’ Well, it works for, ‘the artist formerly known as Prince.’

I think we’ll stick with Len.

Practically the whole of the UK has been snowed on.

Where’s my snow? That’s what I want to know.

Looking at the weather map it snowed snow all round us, above, below and next to us with just one little green area left on the map – us. Pppssssht!

Just look – and this is downgraded from yesterday’s map when Wales was all covered as well.

weather map from metoffice.gov.uk

I WANT MY SNOW!

Well. The sister came with the new boyfriend this weekend.  No need for Twister or sherry as it turned out. The ‘feed ’em and get ’em drunk’ approach worked a treat. If I’m honest I think I peaked in the food department on Friday. Saturday’s mediocre offerings were an embarrassment. MORE WINE NEEDED HERE!!!!

We had a brilliant evening (apart from the food) and a good time was had by all – till two in the morning if you please! That’s waaaay past my bedtime.

Now of course we are all paying  for it. I’m sure someone will make a move soon and get the day started. Let’s hope they don’t have plans for anything too energetic. I could do with a pj day.

More later when I’m fully recovered.

Weekend chores


Sitting here now at my computer I have completely run out of ideas. What can I possibly say about this weekend that is even remotely interesting or amusing?

Well, nothing. It really wasn’t that interesting a weekend.  C and her beau came up on Friday to share their good and bad news.

The bed news was that he had been finished at his temporary job.

The good news was that he’d found another job, 10 times better!! Yay!!

If only we could do the same for N who’s drifting along on temp jobs with a week here and a few days there. Poor lad just can’t seem to get himself sorted out at the moment since chef jobs are a bit thin on the ground round here while pubs and restaurants are shutting down left, right and centre.

So, Friday night I introduced the world to the concept of meat crumble for tea. “Is that the same as Friday pie?” C asked with a suspicious tone to her voice. “No, it’s a proper recipe, like apple crumble but without sugar and apples, obviously.”  C decided she wasn’t hungry and declined my offer of meat crumble. Boofuls and B though both gave it a go. Boofuls because he had no real choice, take it or leave it mate, and B because he was being polite.

I think they were both pleasantly surprised. I thought it was quite tasty.  ‘Specially with a glass of very nice shiraz. I should have read the label before drinking it though. The presence of oak in it was signalled by the almost instant change of colour in my face from a nice English peaches and cream to a vivid beetroot red after tasting it.  “Oh well, I thought, ‘the damage is done now, I might as well carry on with it.’ I had two glasses and amazingly didn’t get a full blown migraine, apart from a few stabbing pains behind my left eye I got off scot free.

Saturday was no more exciting, Once again C and B came to visit,  by pure coincidence it happened to be about tea time when they arrived (oh really?).   I’d spent half the afternoon building a set for baby E to have some photos in but she really didn’t want to oblige so that was a waste of an afternoon.  Never mind. We decided to treat ourselves to a Chinese take away,   Mmmmmmm. Boofuls had his normal sweet and sour chicken, the rest of us had a variety of items to pick at. The only thing that didn’t get devoured was the prawn crackers. What a pointless item they are, they always end up in the bin. Even the hens wouldn’t eat them.

As for yesterday we had a 98% rain free day for the first time in over  a month!!!    Woohoo!!  So how did we celebrate this almost rain free day? By catching up on the gardening, that’s how.  Between me and Boofuls we racked up a total of eleven hours gardening.  That wouldn’t be so bad if we could sit back and say it’s all done but it isn’t all done by a ling way. We could probably do the same again.

I’ve been getting a bit wobbly again at the thought of moving away from here.  As  a place to live it really doesn’t get much nice than here. However, the thought of having a  nice garden that we could get pristine in a couple of hours is quite and attractive proposition when you can’t stand upright  after hours of weeding and you’re tingling from fingertip to shoulder because of all the stings from nettles and scratches from roses.

Right, now it’s time to get on with some work. I’ll be back later when I’ve something interesting to tell you.