Friday 30 March 2018

Hardy souls...

We haven't been to Hunstanton for quite a while so remedied that today. Very overcast and chilly but being Good Friday, people were turning up. We went via the back roads but started to come home the normal route but then had to divert to back roads again!

It used to have beautiful sandy beaches but the storms of 2016 and the latest one a few weeks ago, have taken most of it away:

Down the promenade:
New mini golf:
New children's play area:
Including a dragon:
You might not hear from me so much for a short while as we have a garden to sort out, help someone move house and the occasional dog sitting duties, so shall be in and out like yoyo's, hence sparse blogging.

Have a lovely break everyone!

Thursday 29 March 2018

What a surpise...

Easter is probably gong to be horrible weather wise. We are supposed to be doing some gardening for someome for the next week or so, guess with all the predicted rain, it will take far longer.

I don’t know about you but I am truly fed up with winter which just refuses to give way to spring! That said, when the sun does make an appearance, it has got warmth to it and is now far higher in the sky.

We got soaked this week when walking and it took a whole 24 hours to get our wet weather gear thoroughly dry. Methinks new gear might be needed. DB needs new boots now as he keeps getting one wet foot!

I shall do some baking today to keep us going whilst doing the wet and cold gardening:)

Tuesday 27 March 2018


Was gorgeous! A typical spring day with sun, bright blue sky and a light warmish wind. Mind you, the wind got cooler and more brisk as the day wore on.

I cut down my buddlia bush, turned the mini compost bins inside the raised beds (worms still alive), and treated the fruit trees and bushes, as well as the roses, to some bonemeal. The overnight rain should help get it into the soil to start working.

The plums are covered in tiny white fruit buds and after inspecting the other fruit trees, I can now see where their fruit buds are. Doesn’t look as many as last year but I find after a very good year, (which last year was), that they tend to have a bit of a rest.

Hopefully after the usual dismal Easter break, things might start changing!

Monday 26 March 2018

A Smart Meter

for our electricity has been fitted as part of the roll out of the devices by our provider. The man was here for about an hour, and was a little concerned about the lack of phone signal as we are in a dip. They apparently use EE but here in the dip, only Vodaphone works really well, followed by O2.

However after being switched off for about 15 minutes to connect wires, he tested it and it seemed to work. At the end of the day, we are used to sending in our readings to them, so if we have to resort to that, its no big deal.

The first few days, we kept checking it to see how much each appliance uses. We had already worked out that the cooker, microwave, washing machine and tumble dryer would take the most, and were correct. However, the tumble dryer only gets used once a week to half dry the towels (keeping them soft), then they go out on the line or on a clothes airer inside to finish off.

All the above mentioned appliances use alot to begin with but after that, switch on and off constantly, which helps lower the cost.

Friday 23 March 2018


There are occasions when our joint forgetfulness is just downright annoying!

I picked up new glasses earlier in the week, for some reason they didn’t give me my new prescription. The bridge of the nose also needs sorting out. We decided to go in today as we needed to do other things in town.

Other jobs completed we headed to the opticians. Yep, you guessed, forgot the glasses - doh!

Earlier in the week, I was supposed to give someone some snowdrops ‘in the green’, for them to pop straight into their garden. Yep, we all forgot about those as well.

On a brighter note, we have frog spawn in the front pond. Yeah!

Have a grand weekend everyone.

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Cinnamon Swirls

You may remember me mentioning a while back, about the ready to bake products I bought in Lidl. Today, it was the turn of the above.

Fresh from the packet and cut up into 6, just baked in the second picture:
Drizzled with some icing flavoured with vanilla:
Verdict: Smaller than shop bought ones but just as lovely.

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Home made pasta bake sauce...

Pasta bake is a really nice meal but we would prefer to make our own sauce because the bought ones, have oodles of ingredients. It took us a while to get this basic sauce and once made to your own tastes, can be jazzed up to change flavour.

To a food blender/liquidizer/magik bullet tall containers, add:

1 can chopped tomatoes, 1 can of water, 1 stock cube (reduce to 1/2 a cube if adding bacon, gammon or ham to finished dish), 1/2 clove grated garlic, 1 level tablespoon tomato puree, 1/2 level teaspoon dried herbs (we use basil or tarragon):

Into a lasagne dish, put 6oz of dry pasta (GF or normal). Pour over the sauce and stir to even out pasta and make sure it is all covered with sauce:
You can see above, that I have added 1/2 a diced sweet red (bell) pepper.

Bake in a 200C oven for 20 minutes. We added some cooked diced bacon before topping it with 2oz grated cheese, it looked like this:
Bake for another 20 minutes and it is ready:
There is plenty on its own for us:
If you want to add 8oz dry pasta then add another 1/3rd can of water to the initial mix. You may also need to add a little more half way through baking!

Gammon and pineapple, chicken, garlic cream sauce, will all alter the flavour. Chilli or curry pasta can also be added. The world is your oyster as far as flavour goes.

We found 8oz too much for us but with a little salad, it is just about right for 4 people who aren't too hungry.

Monday 19 March 2018

More and more people....

Seem to be giving up or taking a break from blogging. I can see I shall have to look for some more blogs to add to my sidebar! At least most people let you know this is happening which is nice. I always worry about those who just stop as I wonder if they have died!

I already read a few via other blogs I follow so shall have a good housekeep of my reading list!

Day time temperatures are set to recover a bit after the weekend although night time is still going to be chilly. Will Spring ever get going, I am getting just a little stir crazy!

Mind you, There are now some daffodils making an appearance so maybe we are beginning to get there.

First washing is thrashing around on the line, another lot in the washer. Cold and very windy so hopefully they will get half dry.

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Friday 16 March 2018


At 12.5C and not much wind to speak off, this has been the warmest day for quite a while. Unfortunately, a very cold weekend is in the forecast with more snow.

I finally felt willing to do a bit of gardening. One border was weeded, a self sown yew sapling, about 18" tall was dug out from between ours and the neighbours fence and replanted in the front garden.

It took the place of a lovely broom that lasted just one season before dying. Hopefully said sapling, a little one sided from growing along the fence, will survive and grow into a nice plant, with a bit of pruning.

A few leeks were also dug up and trimmed, ready to make soup for the weekend. A weeks worth of shopping has been done and came to just under £26. This included the ingredients to make some pork chilli con carne, to freeze for future meals.

Have a lovely weekend folks.

Thursday 15 March 2018

Hopefully not again...

Video recorders in the early days, came in many shapes and types but the two most popular were Betamax and VHS. When we first wanted to get one, we read up on it, looked at all the evidence and everything seemed to point us to Betamax, so we chose one.

You can imagine our eventual annoyance when VHS reigned supreme! So, eventually, we changed over.

Before the government decided to get rid of analog tv reception, we used a Sky box to get FreeSky Sat TV. After the removal of our aerial and installation of a satelite dish, we enjoyed this way of watching and recording tv.

We had all the equipment necessary to watch and record tv, despite having a couple of failures with their box of tricks and other things starting to go awry. So it seemed natural, to change to the new digital FreeSat tv platform rather than Freeview tv when we all had to go digital, as we no longer had an aerial.

Our tv eventually needed changing so we chose one with an inbuilt Freesat tuner in it which enabled us to get rid of one box underneath it. Now tv's with inbuilt tuners are great things, as you don't need a separate box of tricks. However FreeSat tv's are SO much more expensive than Freeview tv's, almost double in some cases as yes, you've guessed it, FreeSat is not so popular.

We do have a separate recorder and can also catch up on anything we have missed online.

Unfortunately, Channel 4 got into a price dispute with FreeSat (who apparently wanted too much money), so we have now lost our Channel 4 HD which is most annoying. To add insult to injury, All 4 via the FreeSat tv will also soon no longer be available. Luckily we have other ways of getting it but it makes you annoyed when you have a HD tv to have to watch standard definition due to these kinds of disputes.

I sincerely hope this isn't going to happen with other channels because it would be very, very expensive to change to Freeview. The alternative would be to go back to Sky and their Freetv set up and pay extra charges to set it up.

Time will tell if we chose the wrong platform yet again...

Tuesday 13 March 2018

More meals...

It might have been Mother's Day (here in the UK) on Sunday, but it was a normal day for us.

With that in mind, by 9:30am I had made cauliflower cheese x 2, cauliflower cheese and pasta x 1 and pasta and sweetcorn x 3, for the freezer:
On Saturday, in readiness for Mother’s Day, I made us a Date and Walnut Loaf:

Monday 12 March 2018

Signs of life...

Some of the many flowers:
Old bird box made by DS when he was a Cub Scout. It had its left side painted where it needed extra protection and also a new roof for this year. It usually has Blue or Great Tits that use it:
Below is our new bird box attached to the fruit cage. We will put some foliage over it initially but when the quince starts to grow, it will be fine:

Friday 9 March 2018

Longer than expected...

I had arranged an optician's appointment yesterday, only 10 months after my last one. The focal point on my last set of glasses wasn't right, I was getting lots of eye strain headaches and others things were happening.

Like most people as they age, I have PVD (posterior vitreous detachment) in both eyes. Symptoms manifest themselves in about 50% of the population. Out of those 50%, 20% have problems. I was worried I was going to be one of them.

New floaters had appeared in my right eye. White flashes of light had also increased, so much so, they could be seen in bright daylight which is unusual.

I had the usual vision tests, waited to be seen by the ophthalmologist, all in it usually takes between 25 and 30 minutes. He was concerned and was worried that my PVD might be causing a retinal tear. I went back into the waiting room after he had put drops in my eye to open up the pupil to do further tests.

I waited whilst he saw the next person then went back in. He still wasn't sure so sent me to see the other ophthalmologist. More tests followed and in the end she concurred it was 'stars' rather than the more worrying 'tobacco dust' which would indicate a tear.

So, after 2 hours, a prescription for new glasses, and a final pressure test whilst my pupil was dilated, I finally came home with severe neck and shoulder ache after being examined so many times. I was told if things changed dramatically in the next few months to either go back or go to A & E (i.e. a black curtain coming into vision which would indicate a retinal detachment).

Always pays to get your eyes checked and certainly if things change in your vision. Have a great weekend folks.

Wednesday 7 March 2018

Batch cooking...

Three containers of what we in the UK call Cottage Pie or Shepherds Pie if you use lamb. I often make it with pork as well, don’t know the official name of that. Apparently Cumberland Pie has cheese and breadcrumbs on it:

Beef mince and carrots cooked until tender and strained - I also added some Quorn beef strips:
Stock made up into a rich gravy and a little put on top of the mince. Topped with smooth mashed potato:
The gravy bled through into the potato whilst they were cooling.

Topped with grated cheese, we had one with peas and gravy for tea. The other two have gone into the freezer for future meals.

This was the first taste of Quorn beef strips and we enjoyed them.

Tuesday 6 March 2018

Final charity shop jigsaw finished

This one cost £1.50 and we really enjoyed doing it apart from getting to grips with the sky, as per usual:
Going to have a break now as we both have aching necks and shoulders:(

Monday 5 March 2018

Boil one chicken carcass...

And strain:
Large amount of delicious stock:
Add a bowl of fresh vegetables:
Add peas and sweetcorn and you have.....

Golden vegetable and chicken soup, for two lunches each. Enough left over to serve with pasta, little more chicken and cheese on top. Forgot to take pictures, sorry!

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Sunday 4 March 2018


To Jamie and Bruno on their Mexican 500 tennis title and also Heather and Tatjana for their 500 tennis title at the same event. This was Jamie’s 350th match win.

Friday 2 March 2018

Another jigsaw

DB went to a model railway exhibition last weekend. No jigsaws so he pootled around a couple of charity shops. This was one of two he brought home (£1)
He did most of it, I came in towards the end to finish it off. The next one is now started!

As a change from soup, we shall have a coronation chicken sandwich and some fruit for lunch. Weather tonight is forecasting the last of the snow. From Sunday onwards, 7C - 10C is forecast for the following werk but still with night time frosts!

Have a good weekend if you can and stay safe.

Thursday 1 March 2018

Micro powercuts...

In between numerous micro powercuts, I am trying to make some soup for lunch! Its windy outside, the phone, heating and internet are going on and off continuously. Last night, by 6pm we were -6C, thankfully, it didn’t get any lower. Luckily, we have a one ring gas camping stove.

I think this side of the country is now going to escape storm Emma and its large dump of snow. The west unfortunately is going to get it full on so I hope people take note of the red weather warning.

We had a long walk yesterday, bracing was a good description. We kept close to the village, not wanting to risk driving. We had a light lunch in a local pub but walking home from there was awful. The wind had increased, our faces were freezing and we were glad to get back inside the house.

Take care those of you affected by the weather already and what is to come!