Tag Archives: wine

Buy! Buy! Buy!

Didn’t get a lot of work done. I had such plans, all of which involved clearing the mountains of work I have to do, none of which came to fruition.

What did we do then that was so important I had to put all my work on the back burner?

Well, me and Boofuls made a  start on getting ourselves kitted out for our Arctic expedition in january.  The local outdoor clothing shop has a monster sale on (so it says on the telly, anyway) and we reckoned that we’d go and have a look because there isn’t likely to be a sale in winter clothes in winter.

Buy! Buy! Buy! While it’s cheap! Cheap! Cheap!

Cheap? Sevenfeckinteen quid for a pair of socks, cheap?

How on earth is it possible to spend the best part of £50 on a few pairs of socks? Feck!

Still, we bought ourselves a discount card for a fiver which meant that we saved £20 on the socks.  It also means that you get super duper card holder offers not available to yer average pleb in the street.  the next super duper deal is on walking boots. Normally £80 a pair they’ll be on offer for £30 next week only for us ‘special’ customers.

I get the feeling they really do think we’re a bit ‘special’.


Lashes was in need of some motherly company earlier so we took ourselves off to the farmer’s market at Hoghton for a bit of retail therapy. Lashes is now betrothed to an author who was there doing book signings. Working on the basis that he was talking like he was the next Jk Rowlings (albeit not female) I thought it would be good to stake a claim on him in good time before the millions start to roll in. He seemed happy enough to go along with it all. Mind you she is terribly easy on the eye, Lashes. I’d better get ’em married off before he really gets to know her. Hahaaaaaaaaa!!


Today was also a bit of a bake fest.

I started off with the weight watchers cook book, all good intentions,  and then adapted a few recipes. Surely it won’t affect the calorie value of this cake much if I stick in a huge handful of walnuts and dates?  Bloody good cake though. I ended up giving the leftovers to my sister. I’d have scoffed the lot is it had stayed here.

Talking of my sister, she came to visit this afternoon. Unusually for her, not encumbered with kids, kids’ partners, dogs or babies.  That meant we were able to have a lovely long peaceful chat in the garden – in the rain. Ah well, what’s a bit of rain between sisters?

Len and Lashes came up with Munki. So I ended up making afternoon tea for us all. Mind you, I did have a head start with all the baking I did this morning. Lashes didn’t like my flapjacks so I had to knock up a few scones to keep her happy. My kids are sooooo spoilt!

Now, after a 45 minute dance practice in a ridiculously hot church hall I’m sat here chillin’ with a glass of white zinfandel.

Yes. I admit it. I like white zinfandel and I’m not ashamed to say so. It’s almost like admitting that you like Lambrini, isn’t it? Oh well *slurp* just don’t tell anyone that my sophisticated exterior is merely a guise. Underneath it all I’m pure Essex girl.


Silly Sunday snacks

“So. Is it be soup and a sandwich or scrambled egg with smoked salmon or sausages? ooh, and a made some scones.”

“Right, run that by me again so it’s soup, sausages, salmon, sandwiches, scones and scrambled eggs for Sunday brunch? Was that a plan to pick foods that all started with ‘S’ to keep in with the Sunday theme?”

Perhaps tomorrow we could have melon, melton mowbray pie, mash and  mange tout followed by meringue?

On Tuesday we could have……….

Being Sunday and a day of rest after a long day at yesterday’s wedding in York, the plan was a bit of r & r.  Brunch followed by a 5 minute trip up the road to see our local scarecrow festival. Nothing like on the scale of things in Higham, their scarecrow festival is fabulous, but it’s a small beginning which hopefully will lead to bigger things and the farmer who instigated it has to be admired for attempting to diversify and bring visitors to the area.

The weather started off bright, still and warm. I know that because I mentally logged it as I opened a bleary eye before dropping back off to sleep thinking, ‘perfect weather for a scarecrow festival’. That was abut 6.30. By 10.30 it was lashing down with horizontal rain (can horizontal rain lash down?).

Len, Lashes and Munki duly arrived, brunch was quickly polished off while we kept an eye on the weather hoping it would brighten up. Of course it just put on a show and rained all the harder for having us watch it.

Munki being a bit tetchy, all of us being a bit tired and having no desire to walk round in the rain decided that the best plan was not to go. For about 5 minutes the mood was a bit flat until I had the bright idea of having a Sunday karaoke party!!

“Karaoke?  On a Sunday? At this time of day? Party? Is it a bit early for drinking?”

” Nah. Let’s do it!”

So we did. We had a whale of a time.

I decided it was the ideal opportunity to try out my new raspberry beer. It’s delicious! I was drinking it as a wine,  i.e. slowly and from a wine glass so as to not get stupidly bladdered, as that’s never attractive. At one point Boofuls went to refill my glass for me and as I sat sipping it I was thinking (Yes indeedy, I do sometimes think) to myself how very rich and smooth this beer was, almost like port. In between songs and sips this glass too eventually disappeared so I asked Boofuls to “fill me up with that gorgeous beer again.”

” Beer? that was wine.”

“No. It’s that raspberry beer, it just looks like wine.”

“No. ( patiently as if talking to a child, albeit it a slightly merry child) That was wine. I poured it from the same bottle as Len and Lashes are having.”

“Ooh, bugger, I thought it tasted awfully nice and smooth for beer.” HAHAHAAAAA. It’s a poor do when you don’t even know what you’re drinking.

Boofuls had poured the wine into my beer glass so it mixed with the dregs and gave it a nice little frothy head, enough to confuse me, anyway. So there you have it, raspberry beer and red wine is really, really nice. Almost port like.

The rest of the afternoon flew by, before we know it it was 6pm and I was cooking another meal for us all. And all thewhile the rain continued to rain, in fact it’s still at it.

Hhhmmm, what shall we do today, then?

Discovering wine

Just before Christmas I signed up with a wine club as a way of getting Boofuls some nice wines that he wouldn’t otherwise come across.  Up to now it’s been a huge success. I only order white wine for him as my tolerance for red wine, or in fact any type of wine, continues to decrease (sob).  Even bigger sob because in the first case was the most delicious red wine I’ve ever tasted. It was to die for. Unfortunately I did feel like I was going to die after I drank it so I’m not keen to order more.

Last week the  latest case turned up. It’s like getting a present, I’m so excited when I have a look through the box. I read all the tasting notes and really turn it into a big event. I don’t know why, it’s not like I’m going to be drinking it any time soon. The most fun I get out of it is opening the box.

It reminded me of my image consultancy days when I was booked to do a workshop at a corporate schmoozing  event for solicitors a few years ago.  There was me and a chap who was a wine expert doing tastings. I needed to get on stage first before they all got bladdered on  fine wine under the guise of ‘tasting’ and  interest in the serious business of the day (me).

In the break between the afternoon and the evening session I was chatting with the very well to do and slightly crusty, wine merchant.

” My daughter mentioned the other day she’s interested to know how they make the  wine from  Alsace.”

“Really? That’s marvelous. Young people don’t normally have so much knowledge about wine.”

“She doesn’t know much about wine but she’s very interested to know how they make the  wine from Alsace.”

“Ah, yes. Well, you know they have some very sophisticated wineries these days.”

“Yeeeeeees, I imagine it some take some complicated machinery to get wine from Alsace.”

At this point he was starting to realise the conversation wasn’t running on it’s usual course but he couldn’t quite work out where it was going.

“You know. The wine from Alsace.” I said, giving him a nod of encouragement.

Still he looked at me blankly till I encouraged him further.

“You’re way too sophisticated. Think like a teenager.”

His brow furrowed and the concentration on his face was hysterical to watch so eventually I put him out of his misery – by telling him the answer, not by killing him.  Have you got it yet?

The wine from Al’s ass!!!

The crusty exterior cracked and he guffawed loudly, drawing attention from others in the room. I’m certain he only ever spoke to intellectuals and wine buffs. I must have come as a bit of a shock to his system.

The ice being well and truly broken, we spent the rest of the afternoon break telling each other silly jokes and stories. I think I made a new friend that day.


I know, I know, I’ve been a bit tardy with the posting this week. Sorry.

To be honest, after our trip to the hospital the other day nothing else seemed very important.

We went out for dinner the other night to celebrate the fact that B isn’t going to shuffle off his mortal coil anytime soon – unless he gets run over by a bus.

6  million brownie points if you know (without googling it) where the expression ‘to shuffle off ‘ etc. comes from.

The choice as to where togo for dinner was mine – as was the suggestion to go out for dinner actually, God, I’m soooo idle!!  My restaurant of choice was the posh Chinese place up the hill. B looked a bit crestfallen as he’d secretly been harbouring fantasies of tucking into a huge fillet steak but he was very stoic about it. “Wherever you want to go darling is fine by me.”   Maybe the choice should have been his – it was after all his nip that had been set about with a hole punch.

Pulling up at the Chinese we noticed it looked a bit quiet even for a Tuesday.  Of course it was shut – even though there was a ginormous sign advertising the Tuesday – Friday early bird specials.  Dagnabbit!!!  Obviously the universe had taken pity on B and engineered it so that he got his steak – the next restaurant along  on this particular road is the Italian one that he really likes.  Oh well.

We were shown straight to our table, a well placed one near the window so we cold both watch all the goings on. A dim looking waitress came to take our drinks order:  1 large glass of red, 1 large glass of white and a diet coke.  That’s not hard is it?

Two minutes later a young lad arrived with 2 glasses of red and a coke. We pointed out the mistake to him, he clearly wasn’t very happy but hey ho, such is life. Next thing we know he’s putting down the glass of red wine and his tray starts to wobble. For a second he looked like he was putting on a show for us by juggling everything but oh no – next thing we knew there was was a huge CRASH as his tray hit the floor and rolled off between the legs of the couple on the next table. Down went the two remaining drinks, mostly down the waiter  and down my legs, into my best leather shoes but also all over the table and floor.

The poor chap stood there stunned for a moment then said a weak, “ow.”

“Are you hurt?” I enquired. To be honest he did look a bit like an extra from ‘Nightmare on Elm St’  Most of the red wine had gone on to his nice white shirt. The poor lad was dripping all over the place and horribly aware that everyone was staring at him.

We were quickly moved to another, not as good, table and the waiter disappeared. When we enquired about his whereabouts we were informed that he was too embarrassed to come back and was working in a back room. Poor thing.  Made me laugh though, cheered me up no end in fact.

Carrying on with the cheering up theme:  While we were away on  holiday my little tube of travel wash seemed to have rotted all my knickers, they were in tatters!!   Not only that but I was incapable of finding a matching pair of socks on account of not having the brains to get rid of both socks when one became worn out. The end result of this obviously was a drawer full of single socks. It was like a sock lonely hearts club in my sock drawer.

So, where else is a girl to go when she needs knickers and socks? M & S obviously.

No, silly. Not M & S  as in bezzie mate and husband. M & S as in Marks and Sparks, knicker champion for the whole British Isles and further.  The M & S in our town isn’t a massive store. We get the Per Una leftovers when the bigger stores have spit them out. The sad thing is that we fall on them so gratefully!  Our M & S store has an escalator. Just the one, it goes in an upward direction.  That’s great if you’re going up but not so great if you’re going down. I mention this not as a user of  said escalator. My preference has always been to take the steps next to it and mentally challenge myself to get to the top before the person on the escalator next to me.  I always win!

No, the reason I mention it is because of the average age of the customers.  It goes without saying that huge swathes of an M & S store are no go areas for anyone under the age of 85. Elasticated pants and pleated, flower print, crimplene skirts just aren’t for me – and if I ever do develop a liking for them or for ridiculous amounts of beige clothing,  my daughter has strict instructions to euthenise me.  It always amuses me that our ‘poor’ pensioners stand at the checkout in the food hall  on a weekly basis with trollies laden high with overpriced goodies that we can only afford to treat ourselves to occasionally. A client once said to me that when she could afford to do her weekly food shop in M & S she knew she’s made it in the world.

Anyway, back to the plot. Hoardes of pensioners were taking the escalator up to the first floor, going into the cafe for a cup of tea and a garibaldi then making their way back to the escalator only to discover that the only way down was via the steps. Oh dear Lord!! I saw at least three pensioners clinging on to the hand rail terrified of moving, falling  and landing headfirst in a heap by the velour tracksuits. At least one was clearly struggling to catch his breath, he looked like he could have done with a quick whiff of oxygen to get him moving again. A couple looked like they were about to have strokes.  I did actually feel very sorry for  them, they  were clearly having huge problems negotiating the steps. In a store that’s known for the being popular with our more  – ahem- mature citizens I’d expect at least an up and a down escalator.

The plight of the pensioners was soon forgotten once I hit the first floor and got possessed by the shopping frenzy. I bought all manner of new underpinnings and left the store feeling pleased with my new items, no more raiding B’s sock draw!  I’ll have it on record here that I have never raided his knicker draw – my knickers weren’t that tattered and I was never that desperate for clean underpinnings that I’d resort to Y fronts – a girl has to have some standards, you know.

This morning I went to get the result of my health check.  As I told them in the first place – I’m not ill. If I was I’d have gone to see a doctor, wouldn’t I?  Actually, I’m told I’m very healthy for an old bird, fit as a butcher’s dog, in fact.  I was quite impressed that they knew I exercised regularly by my cholesterol count. Clever that, eh?  The only thing wrong with me is that my bout of extreme gardening on Saturday has left me with a bad back. I can hardly bloody move. Fit as a butcher’s dog that can’t move, then.

This morning’s dance lesson was a hoot. have you ever tried to dance a samba when you can’t move?  It’s not easy, take it from me.  Out teacher made the comment that he’s normally trying to get me to calm it  all down by about 10% but today I’d calmed it down by 98%!!   Poor old poochie wont be getting out for her long walks with me for a few days. I hope it gets better soon, I don’t do pain terribly well. It makes me a tad grumpy.