Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Waitrose - Chocolate and sour cream loaf - updated

The recipe for this can be found here. We reduced the sugars by 10%.

Haven't tasted it yet but here it is fresh from the oven:
And with its milk chocolate topping:
I had run out of dark chocolate so used milk instead. We plan on having a piece tomorrow so will let you know then!

Had a small piece for supper, very rich but nice. Topping helps cut through the richness.

Monday, 18 March 2019


If the weather forecast is correct, we should have around 5 hours of sunshine. Hoping it is true, there is one line blowing in the gentle breeze. Another wash is on to fill the other line.

We needed some bread so instead of using the bread maker to bake us a large loaf, we are trying the smaller medium loaf. Hopefully it will fit our slicer better as we have to cut the rounded top off a large loaf.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

In my fruit and vegetable garden this year...

I will be growing the following:
Only beds 1 and 4 are available for vegetables, as last year, bed 2 had rhubarb transferred into it and bed 3 strawberries.

Tomatoes and beans will go down the garden wall near the garage as well as a few tomatoes in pots on the patio.

Also in a couple of pots will be 2 tubers of:
I quite like begonias but rarely grow them. I do know, that if you remove the male flowers as they appear (the small insignificant ones), the female flowers grow far bigger. That of course, may only apple to the big blousy versions.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

A one sided affair....

DB is one of the most laid back people I know, I am not quite as chilled and am prone to turning the air blue, especially when stuck playing a level of a video game.

DB when he plays, has to put up with me having quick intakes of breath, giving him earache, trying to offer usually unwanted help. For the most part, he keeps his cool, puts up with my wittering! Occasionally I offer too much help and he shuts his game down in disgust:(

Why a one sided affair? He knows NOT to offer help unless I ask!

Monday, 11 March 2019

Wash, wash, wash...

It is only the 2nd time since being toilet trained, that Ruby has wet her bed. Her bed was the first and bedding the second wash. Finally came our bedding. All are billowing happily on the line, in sunshine and a stiff breeze.

The weather for the rest of the week looks dire but today, though quite cold, is gloriously sunny, yay!

We had roast pork yesterday. Today will be leftovers plus chips and gravy. The final leftovers will be frozen for later use, maybe a pie.

I wasted a small amount of money yesterday on a video game. I research for ages before buying and thought it would be okay for me, but alas, it wasn’t. If steam is coming out of my ears whilst still in the training part, I know it doesn’t bode well, and it didn’t.

Ah well, might have to give ziffit a whirl and sell it and a few others I have finished with, if the price is decent enough. Live and learn...

Sunday, 10 March 2019


We managed to get Ruby out for her morning walk before the next batch of rain came.

The winds are due to pick up around 1pm for about 8 hours. Rain, sleet, snow and strong winds are all happening this week. So far, unless it changes, Tuesday should be sunny, but who knows.

We need to make a visit to someone soon as well as pop to Norwich and surrounding area to get meat for Ruby. I like to bulk buy her food from a few different places just in case one closes its doors.

Don’t think much else will be happening due to the weather. We already have large puddles in the garden and driveway.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

In and out.....

I have put my washing on the line, then brought it in, twice due to rain and showers. It will now dry indoors. It is such a windy day, I had hoped to get it dry in a couple of hours, but no:(

It wouldn’t be so annoying if the forecast was correct but it is changing almost hourly.

Strong winds are forecast over the next few days with heavy hail on Tuesday. Ah well, guess winter has a way to go for now.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

All clear

Post op wise, Ruby has the all clear. Her 3 mini scars have completely healed. The milk she was producing has reduced from thick cream to watery, her breasts are staying soft and reducing in size.

She was at the beach yesterday, having a full run plus 3 mile walk. Unfortunately her final bit of sore skin, which had almost healed, has gone sore again, sand maybe?

Vet says she needs 4 more days of her steroid cream but we are going to try what we have been using, then put her back into her shorts and suit to prevent licking.

Onwards and upwards.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Pancakes and cherry and marzipan cake

We made American style pancakes last night for Shrove Tuesday. We used maple syrup on some and lemon and sugar on others:
We made Ruby a 2" pancake with the dregs. Obviously she didn't have any toppings on hers!

The breadmaker bakes cakes. They can be a little pale on top as well as a little brown around the edges as that is where the element is. Either way, it cooks well and uses less electricity than the oven.

Yesterday I used another one of the recipes that came with it, cherry and marzipan. Fresh out the machine it looked like this:
Unwrapped and cooled like this:
Inside it looks like this. The dent in the bottom is the stub where the paddle would normally fit:
Due to having 3oz grated marzipan in it, I reduced the sugar by 1oz - it is still too sweet for us.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

What a contrast

Yesterday was nowhere near as bad as we thought it would be. Today has dawned sunny and mild but with a stiff breeze.

I have stripped the bedding from Ruby’s cushion and crate and they are blowing on the line. She is dozing on the dining room mat in the sun.

Pumpkin, sunflower and linseeds have been chavelled for future breakfasts and a cherry and marzipan cake is cooking in the bread maker.

All is well.

Monday, 4 March 2019

Another loaf!

We had a bit of a failure with the recipe for a wheatgerm loaf. I can't fathom out how added an extra 2oz of wheatgerm, but with the same amount of water, would work. It was sunk when it came out, very hard around the edges but edible inside.

This time, we tried the rapid wholemeal loaf. I still had the same misgivings as brown flour uses more water than white. The recipe called for 500g wholemeal but I used 400g plus 100g strong white.

It looked and smelt lovely and tasted as nice as it looked. It was almost the same size as a rapid white loaf:

This is the large size with a medium crust. Its always paler on the top as the heating element is around the side.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

You can take your sweet time.....

Putting on my cream mummy, I'm happy here, leaning against daddy:
If you take a nice long time, I am sooooo... relaxed - I shall fall asleep!

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Whilst food shopping this week....

We had a good look at other peoples shopping on the conveyor belt. The lady behind us put on 17 cups of latte coffee (the kind you add boiling water to). At £1 a piece that is quite an expensive way to drink coffee, at work presumably. Maybe it is too much of a faff to make up your own latte, I don't know as I only drink it when out as a treat.

We did well this week. I bought us two Quorn curry meals to try as I keep seeing them advertised. I will make my own but wanted to see how the ready made version tastes. It was microwaved from frozen for 7 minutes and was lovely, quite spicy. I shall have a go making my own next.

If you don't like the sliminess of mushrooms I would recommend using Quorn chunks in well seasoned dishes as the texture is similar to chicken.

Our total spend was just over £32 all in. It included a small cake treat, some drain cleaning solution (tried home made stuff and it isn't clearing) and the said curry meals. Any meat or fish I need for the main part of the meals is already in the freezer.  About £10 of the shopping was for our pantry stock up.

Friday, 1 March 2019


The final post about Ruby for now!

A laughable palava is how we describe her treatment first thing in the morning and last thing at night. She slings herself on her back against DB whilst we apply the cream and dress her up. She doesn't budge until we are finished.

The adapted shorts only really stay in play if she is also wearing her suit:
A side view of her where you can see how high her shave was:
We were with the head vet yesterday and I asked why such a drastic shave and he confirmed it was in case of an emergency during the laparoscopy. A normal spay doesn't require so much hair removal as you already have a decent cut. An emergency opening would require a bigger cut than that as they wouldn't have time to faff around if she was bleeding to death.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Another checkup.....

We were at the vets today for a post op check with Ruby. Pain free and doing well. We have to use the cream until Sunday then stop, it is very slow to heal. After that, we can swap to a skin balm to carry on if necessary. He advised us to find a way to cover her inner thigh more, especially at night, to stop her licking it.

Called in at the shops to buy her some children’s shorts that have a knee length leg. I cut out the back of them to accommodate her tail and pull them high enough up. She will wear them under her body vest at night. Hopefully they will work!

On top of that, she is producing a little milk in her rear teats. So we have to watch out for that getting heavier or her teats going hard to indicate mastitis:(

If so, she will need more medication to stop it, something her ovaries would have done.

Onwards, upwards and occasionally sidewards we go.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Post Op pictures...

I think it is fair to say, Ruby had a shave and a half:
You can see top left, one of her patches of shave rash/clipper burn:
It is the worst one. She had two smaller patches which have now responded to healing cream. The one above is going to take a bit longer methinks! She still has a few raised shaving pimples as well.

Here are her three1cm incisions where the instruments and laparoscopic camera went in:
She has had her last pain killer this morning. Cream has to go on twice a day for 7 days then hopefully, the rash/burn will be healed.

She is eating normally now and raring to go though still has a bit of a tremble and moan every now and then. I gave her a slightly larger than normal tea last night (tripe), which she woofed down.

Monday, 25 February 2019

A strange day.....

Welcome to Caroline Cobb via Bloglovin.

Today Ruby had her ovaries removed by laparoscope. All went well, and she has 3 tiny incisions. Recovery time is just a few days rather than the normal 2 weeks.

DB took her out after waking for a walk around the village before popping her into her car crate. That gave us time for a cup of tea without her wanting breakfast.

The drive in was longer than expected due to being the first day back to school after the half term break.

She was trembling when we let her out but settled fine inside.We signed the consent form and were able to escort her through to the ward to see her safely in. We went off to have a light breakfast and do some shopping before returning home.

A quick weed in the garden, bed stripped and bedding into the washer. It dried today no problems.

Ruby was ready for picking up at 3:30. We had to wait halfway to the ward as she had developed a rash. The vet checked her over and prescribed some steroid cream, it was a bad shaving rash.

We ended up buying her a not too expensive post op suit as she isn’t allowed to lick the cream. Painkillers for two days, light food and a post op check in a few days.

She curled up tightly to her dad when we got in and was dropping to sleep so he moved into the lounge:
She had a bit of cooked chicken and rice for tea and a small piece of dried tripe to chew on. She is now curled against his feet.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Well, that’s a first for us...

Yesterday though sunny, was a bit chilly for sitting in the garden. Today was a different kettle of fish. After cooking our Sunday meal, we ate it in the garden. It was so warm my skin started to tingle as it started to burn!

Saturday, 23 February 2019

The beach....

We took Ruby to the beach the other day. The sea was quite a way out but the beach was busy with people and dogs. Eventually we worked our way past them all and got to the sea.  On the way, she decided to try and catch a gull. Taking off like a rocket, ears flapping in the breeze, she was a sight to behold! Off course, she didn’t catch it, nor did she respond to our recall.

Eventually she stopped and turned to return. Even at that distance you could sense her panic as she couldn’t find us. Good I thought to myself, that will teach you to ignore us. Eventually I gave in and waved and shouted. She bombed back to us. After that, when she got more than 30’ or so away, we whistled and she came straight back.

She had a good trundle through the calm sea, getting filthy on the way back. The cafe was heaving so we parked on a road and DB got us chips and curry sauce. Once home, she was hosed clean of muck and sand and had a good sleep.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Our MP’s

Are a total disgrace at the moment. Deceased die hard voters must be turning in their graves. No matter the party, they are squabbling like children, each refusing to budge one jot and dragging our country into chaos over Brexit. The EU must be rubbing their hands with glee.

A similar thing is happening over the pond.

Whatever happened to us all to deserve such idiots in charge of all our lives?

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Happy Birthday Ruby

She is One today! Out of all the pictures we took, this one made us burst out laughing:

Monday, 18 February 2019

Yuck and yum...

For tea yesterday we tried a tin of curry sauce, it was disgusting. Now my MiL used these to make a nice beef curry so I can only presume the recipe has changed. I added several things and it was still unpleasant. I won’t be buying anymore!

My new bread maker also bakes cakes so we gave one a whirl, ginger cake. The tin was a pain to line but I got there in the end. The cake took an extra 5 minutes to cook but smelled lovely. It was more like a ginger flavoured sponge yesterday, today it is better. Tastes lovely. We had a slice with sieved brambles and custard for pudding.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Another investment

The good thing about the UK, is that February and March (or March and April) depending where you live, are council tax free months. Rather than the council take this tax every month, it is taken over 10 months, giving your finances a boost this time of year.

We both love home made bread but I am getting to the stage where elements of it are becoming tiring. After a year or more of deliberation, we have invested in a bread making machine. I am not a purist and homemade bread is just that, whether it be by your own hands or a machine as far as I am concerned.

We bought one the other day and after washing what we needed to, made our first loaf, a basic quick white. We chose the large size, medium crust and 55 minutes later, here it is:
One crust removed to show you the inside:
Close up of the crumb:
It smelt wonderful, tasted gorgeous and had a lovely springy feel to it. The machine is pretty quiet which is another benefit. We put it through our slicing machine (just fitted) and got 12 slices from it. My own made bread would give us 16 smaller slices, so all in all, a good comparison.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019


The other day, despite not many of you understanding my post, I was moaning about not being able to play my favourite video games. For more than 18 months and after much research, I decided to invest in a programmable gadget to help me. It took a bit to sort it out. After quite a bit of stress on my behalf and DB having earache by the end, here it is in situ in the PS3:
Once inserted and programme 1 is activated, I can play any game I wish. DS had bought me a PS3 game for my birthday last year but despite research telling me I would be able to play it, they lied, I couldn't. Now I can - result!

Some times you just have to bite the bullet and take action.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

An unusual lunch

I made extra vegetables and mashed potatoes to give us a lunch for another day. DB had cheese added to his, dry fried to make the outside brown and crunchy, made into a sandwich:

By the time I had added the leftover cabbage to my mash, to make a bubble and squeak sandwich, there was too much, so I ate it as it was:
Both were delicious. Never had a cheese and mash or bubble and squeak sandwich, give it a whirl!

Monday, 11 February 2019

Bless her!

Went to change the vet fleece on Ruby’s bed this morning and it was wet, poor thing, she must have been desperate! Removed it and the fleece mattress and got them in the wash. Also washed her day cushion cover. I like to wash them every 7 to 10 days.

A week late but we also applied her flea treatment. She doesn’t mind having it done but sometimes runs away in a grump afterwards but needs must. I’m not too worried if all of it isn’t applied as her weight is in the middle of its range and almost all is applied. It would be easier to give a pill but for the most part, this is easy and cheaper.

Got to take her to the vets this week for her pre-spay check. Hope to get that done the end of this month or so. She will soon be a year old, where does the time go!

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Well done ladies.....

Our Federation Cup tennis team won all their matches to get to the top of their group. It obviously took its toll on Johanna Konta as she collapsed after losing the second set, but went on to take the third and win her match. She then fell exhausted to the floor again.

It was a shame they weren’t on terrestrial tv, playing in Bath, and I won’t sigh up to the channel it was on so missed out.

Friday, 8 February 2019


Ruby has left the beginners training class and moved to the intermediate one. DB had to leave halfway through as she was staring longingly at him and not paying attention.

The roaring wind outside wasn’t helping, making all of them a little skittish. One of the labs decided she didn’t like a particular corner, refusing to go anywhere near it each time she approached.

We bought Ruby a calf hoof to chew one, she likes to chew but not things that aren’t hers, thank goodness. It is more quiet than the bone, just hope her teeth can stand up to it. A slight smell but no doubt we will learn to ignore it after a while.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Get off your band wagons...

I am already fed up with the media and social backlash over Liam Neesons comments during an interview about his latest film, dealing with revenge.

Would there be this backlash if he had said the rapist he was referring to was white, or sky blue with pink dots, I think not!

He was talking about wanting to take revenge and how little control one has over ones feelings when in the grips of it.

The professor of Black Studies from Birmingham City University Dr. Kehinde Andrews, was on tv to put his point of view across. However, for me, the complete opposite happened. I felt he was starting to use his own context on the matter; referring to Neeson wanting to lynch a black man.

Neeson to my knowledge never used the word lynch (which Dan the presenter reiterates more than once) but the professor kept saying it didn't matter, that what Neeson was referring to was wanting to go and lynch a black man!

The definition of lynch in case you want to know is "an extrajudicial execution carried out by a mob, often by hanging or other ways of execution" If Neeson in this instance was acting alone, he was not a mob so can he be accused of wanting to lynch someone?

Get a grip professor, you didn't put anything into context and I felt, your comments were bordering on inflammatory and more likely to incite further backlash.

The also played comments by John Barnes, who did put it into context and I felt was getting slightly exasperated by the whole thing. He referred to Neesons comments about the feeling of revenge in certain circumstances and how one deals with those feelings, not only at the time, but years later on. Well said John.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

I keep thinking

of moving or duplicating my blog to aWordPress version. Haven’t decided yet but blogger have just announced another round of changes. I shall wait and see how things pan out.

On top of that decision to be made,  I am mega cheesed off. Absolutely EVERYTHING is irritating the hell out of me. Lack of sleep isn't helping. I am now averaging just 3 hours each night. I am lucky that half a tablet of the 2 a night version of Nytol is enough to get me to sleep so have decided to have quite a few days of those to see if that helps (which it usually does).

Poor DB, he must be cheesed off with me, as I keep getting so annoyed at things. If the beeper on the cooker goes off to signal something, off I go, moan, moan, moan. Ruby is also bearing the brunt poor girl. I try to shut doors so she isn't following me all the time which irritates me further even though I know she just wants to be with me or hopeful of some food. We always end the day with a cuddle though so she knows she is still loved. She is lying under my chair whilst I'm typing:)

My eyes seem to have changed yet again as my current reading glasses aren't quite focusing which is giving me eye strain. The ones I normally use for computing are also slightly out of focus. I have a set of glasses for watching the tv, they too are also slightly 'off'.

Yesterday, I spent (with DB helping because I was getting so annoyed), half an hour upgrading our old PS3 software and upgrading a new game software. DS had bought me a requested video for my birthday last year and I was finally ready to have a go.

EX-PLO-SIONS again....

Despite players online telling me I would be able to set up the options as I need, nope, wouldn't do it, they just were not there to be selected. So not only could I not play the game, it became a wasted birthday present.

I am in the less than 10% minority of gamers who need to invert both X and Y axis. Inverting the Y axis is normal in all game options but rarely the X.

Imagine you have a pole stuck through your head, coming out the back. In inverted mode, if I stand behind you and push that pole to the right, your head would move to the left and visa versa. That is the X axis mode. In gaming, a normal X axis means if that pole is pushed right, your head turns right. An inverted Y axis means that if I push the pole up, you look down. Normal Y axis in gaming pushing the pole up you look up.

Its to do with how your brain is wired apparently and us 10% get moaned at by the rest for daring to ask for an X invertion option, so sad.  Even people the same handed as you may play differently.

In essence, it means I can hardly find any interesting game to play. Don't even get me started on gaming companies who begin a trilogy of games only to stop after the first 2, meaning that you never have an ending.

Friday, 1 February 2019

Oat and vegetable porridge...

Sounds disgusting but that's fine as it is for Ruby. I read an article recently, from a vet that feeds their dogs on a raw diet. He suggested that if you want to slightly cut down on the amount of meat, increase vegetables (therefore reducing calories) and add oats, then porridge is the way to go.

He recommends just cooking the oats first so yesterday morning, I gave it a whirl. Into a microwaveable bowl went 80g of oats and double the weight of cold water. It was cooked for 3 minutes.

Whilst that was doing, I chavelled up in my food processor, 6 medium carrots, 6 outer green leaves of a savoy cabbage, and a 1" slice of swede. This was added to the porridge and left to soak.

Once ready, I used my 2" ice cream scoop to dollop amounts into silicon cake pans and froze them:
I got 12 of those plus another 3 scoops. She was given one scoop for lunch, to test it out, along with a dried green tripe stick. The rest of the leftovers will be given over the next 2 days. Providing she tolerates them, I shall continue to do this as it is a way of filling her up and reducing calories a little.

I am also increasing her wet green tripe to one packet every other day. She adores this and it is the most beneficial but lower calorie food she can have. Watch this space!

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Quiche with rice crust

I have been reading about rice crust for some time and cooked a bit extra rice the other day when we had a curry. I am never sure when a recipe calls for cups of something (even though I have the correct cups), does it mean loosely packed or pressed down.

Anyhow, I save 2 cups of long grain rice (the recipe called for 1 1/2 cups). 1/2 cup grated parmesan was added along with 1 beaten egg white. Apparently, this mixture is supposed to hold together in a ball, it didn't. I added a good handful of pumpkin, sunflower and flax seed powder - that helped.

It was pushed into a glass pie plate and baked at 210C for 12 minutes. With hindsight, should have been longer. As you can see, it was a bit underdone and too thick:
The egg yolk plus 3 other eggs, a bit of milk and season was added along with 2oz cheese and a lightly fried leek:
You can see the base is still not brown:
We had 1/4 each for tea with some salad. It was followed later in the evening with the leftover apple crumble and custard:
I may make it again using just the 1 1/2 cups of rice but would prefer add cheddar cheese rather than the parmesan and cooking the base a bit longer if required.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Pilchard Paws...

Raw fed dogs have to have fish to give them essential vitamins and minerals. As Ruby isn't eating mackerel at the moment, I bought two large cans of pilchards in tomato sauce. Now, there seems to be some debate about dogs and tomatoes, as tomatoes contain something, which if eaten in excess, can be detrimental to dogs.

Bearing that in mind, one can had its sauce rinsed off completely, the other can had a bit poured away. They were both then mushed up with a fork and put into paw print silicon moulds.

Wrapped in clingfilm to prevent them stinking out my freezer, they spent the night in there. Once removed they looked like this:
15 little paws, one per day once or twice a week, with other raw fish, should do her, even though they are cooked. The cost, £2.20 so about 13p each, not too bad at all.

We also bought her some reduced salmon fillets for having once a week, along with some reduced haddock. Both of those she will have raw.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Picking a chicken ....

A nice 2kg chicken was roasted for lunch and we served up 4 plates (2 meals each):
They are both the same size just an odd camera angle. As we haven't had a pudding for several weekends, I also defrosted 1lb apple puree to make a crumble. It had coconut and oats added to its topping:
It will also give us 2 puddings each. The remainder of the carcass was picked clean, the bones and scraps turned into soup for one day. The leftover meat was frozen for later use.
Ruby had a ladle of the basic stock (no onions) on her lunch along with some tinned pilchard. Pichard soup if you like. She seemed to enjoy it, hopefully, she won't have any adverse effects!

Monday, 28 January 2019

Doubling up

We had several small power cuts due to the wind last night. Candles and oil lamps were lit and blown out several times. We awoke this morning to a cold house and no hot water. We hadn’t realised the backup battery in the central heating programmer was dead. Such fun trying to find a replacement online but think we might have done, so shall send for one ASAP.

I have decided to bake our bread once a fortnight, it will save just a little on the cost of cooking it. DB found another silicon loaf 'tin' in the attic and brought it down. It is slightly smaller than the one I always use so that loaf is smaller:
The loaves above will last us for two weeks, each should produce 16 slices. This time it consists of rye, brown and white flours with nothing extra added, mainly because I forgot:(

Sunday, 27 January 2019

What is it with people....

And their 15 minutes of fame!

I am referring to the car accident of Prince Philip. Quite frankly, it has turned into a witch hunt!

I hate tabloid journalism and that is why I don't buy a newspaper, or read much news online. I watch morning breakfast news and that is about it.

Would there be this much interest if it was Joe Public, I think not.

The woman in question had said at the time that she hadn't received an apology. Car insurance companies urge you not to admit liability so he was within his rights not to apologise. He has now done so, whether he wanted to or not. End of!

We all have accidents and knowing that stretch of road at that time of day, the sun is very low and often blinding. When the road is wet, the whole journey from bottom to top is a nightmare as the sun is bouncing off the road. The staggered junctions along that road are also difficult to manage safely. It is an area we occasionally drive to on our walking days if we are visiting Wolferton. We have to cross these junctions, both in the car and on foot, they are a nightmare.

Referring to the fact that he shouldn't still be driving at his age is ageism. If he was always having accidents due to poor driving skills, then that is a different matter.

Allowing his private letter to her to be published is yet another shot of 15 minutes of fame. Personally, I would be framing it!

Saturday, 26 January 2019

I don’t know about you...

But I am finding I have less patience as I age, with everything!

We have invested in another mattress topper and like to remove its cover for washing, which helps with the smell and allows the inside to vent remaining manufacturing smells.

Getting the old one back on was fine. It will be cut and adjusted to fit the bed settee mattress. The new and different version was a different kettle of fish. It took both of us to work it out and I got quite annoyed to say the least.

Eventually we succeeded and will now start its trial to see if it is as comfortable as the old one. If it is, I shall strip it again and swap covers!

Friday, 25 January 2019

No more mackerel for now....

Ruby threw up again yesterday, about an hour after having thawed mackerel for lunch. She was sucking on extra saliva like crazy for about 10 minutes beforehand. Of course, like you do, I kept telling her to hush, completely forgetting this is what we all do before being sick.

After two throwup, a clean up and a good scrub of the carpet, watched with interest by her, she settled down to sleep. We didn’t walk her as she seemed tired.

I know it’s advised to starve them afterwards but she was just getting more and more grumpy with hunger. I gave her plain boiled rice and plain scrambled egg for tea to settle her. She was a bit distracted during the evening but settled down nicely and slept well.

She seems fine so far this morning. This is twice now she has thrown up after fresh frozen mackerel so no more for now.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

A bargain.... advertising....

In Lidl this morning, they had packets of Knorr 16 stock cubes, for 99p. In Morrison’s they were still £1.72 for 8 or reduced from £3.20 to £2.00, packets of 20.

So, our 3 packets from Lidl, totally 48 cubes was £2.97. Two and a half of the large packets from Morrison’s, would be 50 cubes for £5. A clear win for Lidl methinks.

On the way home, we called in at Farmfoods. I want to try Ruby on whitefish, as a change from Mackeral. Dog section fish can be quite expensive. In Farmfoods, certain fish was on special offer of 3 bags for £10. They didn’t have a flat fish we wanted for ourselves, so We bought 3 bags of boned fillets of Alaskan pollack, weighing in total 2.7kg for £10.00. A small reduction than other supermarkets but way cheaper than a dog food equivalent. Also, a nice treat for us.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Just 1 degree Celsius.

but we have sunshine and blue skies, for the moment. Huge amount of rain swept through between midnight and 3am.

I have done a large amount of washing but it is drying indoors, in front of sunny windows. Doubt it would do much outdoors despite the sun.

We bought a really nice 30 day matured joint of beef from Lidl. I only picked it up because I thought it was on special offer, but it wasn’t.

It was roasted for an hour and 10 minutes on Sunday. We carved enough for 2 meals each. The reminder has been thinly sliced. We are having a roast beef sandwich for lunch. What’s  left, will be frozen for another day, maybe one meal each. So 6 meals and 2 snacks for £11. Not exactly thrifty but we sure enjoyed it.

Monday, 21 January 2019


A parcel arrived today. We couldn't think what it was as we were only expecting a small hat:
Inside it was this:
Yup! Our replacement jigsaw. We were told to keep our old box as we would only recieve a new bag of jigsaw pieces but we have, as you can see, received a whole new jigsaw!

Go Gibsons!

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Ruby and tea...

When we got up this morning, the outside temperature was -4.9C.

The other day, I had 3 ladles of vegetable soup left over and used it to make an evening meal. I added some paprika and chilli, plus some Quorn chunks. Pasta was cooked, soup added and a generous topping of cheese went on top:
We both enjoyed it.

DB was feeling cold, in his back yesterday afternoon, so decided to squat against the tall dining room radiator. Ruby thought it was a good idea:
She is a right character!

Saturday, 19 January 2019

My other nana

Was Nana J. Again, we didn’t see much of her. Her husband was also not particularly nice. Odd things I remember was their outdoor ‘toilet’, in a shed. It had two holes with two buckets underneath. When full, granddad would dig a deep hole near the veggie patch, tip them in and cover them over with soil. Black gold he called it, telling me that in a year, it would go on the garden as compost. They also had an inside toilet, upstairs, but we weren’t allowed to use it, or even go upstairs.

In their hardly used front room, was a brown wooden jewellery box. When you lifted the lid, a ballerina in a pink tutu twirled around whilst music played.

The kitchen was small, which you entered straight from the back door. The cooker was opposite and I remember bursting in one day, nearly knocking her flying. She was bent down peering into the oven, checking on some baking dumplings. I found that weird as the dumplings we ate were always simmered on top of the stew, inside the pan.

So few memories:(

Friday, 18 January 2019


Someone was discussing long life milk and I immediately thought of my Nana B. She only had milk in the form of Clover. It came in a glass bottle with a red metal cap, delivered every morning via the milkman. It was a full cream uht milk and I didn’t like it at all.

I didn’t see much of either of my nana’s when I was growing up, but out of the two, she was my favourite. She had thin, flowing white hair with a very visible pink head. Her face was smooth in the centre but very wrinkly around the edge and she had lots of laughter lines around her blue eyes.

She was neither too large nor too slim, wide hips, but her boobs lived at her waist which I found fascinating as a child.

She had had a very hard life. My granddad, who died years before I was born, was by all accounts, not a nice man.

She died when I was 17 and I wish I had seen more of her but life just got in the way.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

All change.....

Cold night though no frost. Second night of little sleep. Blue sky, sunshine, brisk cold wind.
Belly full with soup and a custard tart.

Had a massage this morning and some hairs on my chin removed. Two years have past since I finished having everything not wanted removed. These naughty but weaker ones keep popping up every now and then.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Making 'bones' for Ruby

Ruby, being raw fed, needs quite a variety in her diet. The tubes of meat and minced bone she predominently has, have offal incorporated into them. However, sometimes, we go for slightly cheaper packets which don't.

However, the difference in price is about 35p per tube and the extra's I might add, are less than this.

Two weeks ago, I bought some liver and kidney (kidney is hardly ever in commercial ones) for us, but chavelled up 3/4 for her and froze them into bone shapes. This gave us 15 offal bones for about 70p.

When we use the cheaper tubes, she has one of these added plus occasionally, a vegetable/fruit based one. The vegetable/fruit based ones give her a bit more to eat but with less calories. She is one hungry girl at times but would be huge if we gave in to her!

Today, I made up, one of the above mentioned batches, consisting of:

3 large carrots, 2 handfuls of spinach, a few blueberries, a few raspberries, two tablespoons of flax, pumpkin and sunflower ground seeds, plus two spoonfuls of yoghurt whey:
 In the bone mould, ready to freeze. These probably work out at 15 for £1.00.
Once frozen, they are tipped into a bag, ready for use. Here is one of each for comparison - kidney on the left, fruit and vegone on the right:
They weigh about 25g - 30g each.

The last lot of vegetable only ones I made, consisted of carrot, green cabbage, kale and spinach.

When I mention this to people, they think we are giving her "too many treats" and that she is "spoilt". What they don't realise is, these are essential nutriments for her. She needs them to have a rounded diet. She is not being spoilt.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019


I do like watching a machine at work!

We needed a new dog tag for little miss. Last time, a human operated the machine. This time, a machine did the work. Insert cassette, type what you want, leave it to happily laser etch on the information.

I reckon it took no more than 5 minutes but was very enjoyable to watch all the same.

One of the programmes we enjoy watching is how it’s made. Never ceases to amaze us.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Congrats and bread ...

First of all, congratulations to Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares for winning their first ATP title of this year. May you have many more.

Needing to bake bread, I decided to double up my mixture to make one loaf of bread and 8 baps. 10% was rye flour, 40% brown and 40% white flours. A 1/4 cup each of pumpkin and sunflower seeds was also added.

I wanted to make some baps as we all enjoyed the ones I had made for the festive period. Once cooled, I shall freeze half the loaf after slicing and freeze the baps in two's for future use. Here they are, fresh from the oven:

Friday, 11 January 2019

Well done Andy....

It was painful to watch, but Andy Murray has finally made the heartbreaking but correct decision to finish playing tennis. Boy, will I miss him!

He hopes to try and carry on for another few months but I feel this is it really. Physical health has to come above everything else. Like he says, the pain is too much, he can't play how he wants to play, is no longer enjoying training or playing because of the pain.

I think anyone waiting for a hip or knee replacement would agree with him on that one.

Hopefully, once he stops playing, he can get a full hip replacement or an operation that would alleviate the worst of the pain.

Thanks Andy. You have fought hard, but sometimes, our bodies let us down and we just have to accept that. It is a shame your daughters won't get to see you play but at least you will have lots of videos and memories to share with them.

When the time comes, look forwards, not backwards and enjoy the next chapter of your life!

Thursday, 10 January 2019


We actually had a bit of blue sky and sunshine in between showers of rain. Today is grey, dismal and cold which seems to be the norm for nowadays.

If all the doom and gloom merchants prove correct, we will be having bad weather later on in the season. That, along with the blasted Brexit, will really improve the nation’s mood!

I am ashamed at the shenanigans going on in parliament at the moment. I don’t know how many times they need to be told this is the only deal, but still they keep demanding more. Each faction demanding what they need and nobody, it seems, willing to work together for the sake of the country as a whole.

Surely, all the nay sayers must have realised that the EU would make an example of us daring to leave and make the exit as hard as possible.

No, we should not vote again otherwise it would set a precedent for all future voting. What, don’t like the result of a general election, well let’s vote again then. Absolute madness lies there.

Me, I am keeping calm and carrying on as best as I can. Yes, I am doing a Brexit food box. As savings accounts mature shortly, yes, I will reinvest them ASAP before interest rates collapse further. Yes, I am still tying into new fixed utilities deals for the same reason.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Wellies ...

I had a shortish walk in my new cherry coloured wellies today. It was nice to just walk without having to worry where I put my feet! I wouldn’t want to use them for long walks but certainly, short walks around here or going on the beach and just into the sea with Ruby, will be so much better.

DB has also bought some navy town and country ones. He has been using his for a few days now and says the same.

DS and DDiL have been trying to get us both to buy some, now I understand why.

Monday, 7 January 2019

Came across this the other day....

on the internet, thought you might enjoy some useful and interesting tips. You might want to mute it though as I found the music very irritating: tips.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Greyed out....

I don’t know about you, but I am getting fed up now of low grey clouds and dismal days. We have had little sustained sunshine in this part of the country and I am in need of some!

Weather forecasts seem to be indicating a change in the weather to colder days mid month, we shall see. I am going to make stew for tea, just feel the need for some comfort food.

Friday, 4 January 2019

No justification.....

I needed to top up stock cubes. Over Christmas, the ones we use were reduced from £1.70 to £1.00. As is life we forgot to buy any except pork which have somehow been lost:(

Going to the supermarket, they were now £1.72, no way was I paying that price.

We have been out today and called in at another supermarket. They were £1.50 each or any 2 packets for £2.00. I bought 10 packets, some for our spare cupboard and the rest for my Brexit box. Buying them there saved us £7.50!

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Darn it....

We eventually, 'finished' our Christmas jugsaw:
Only to find this:
One piece missing!

Luckily it is a Gibson puzzle and they help out in situations like this. We have to send them 5 pieces, answer a few questions, keep the box and they send us a new packet of pieces.

Each of their puzzles are individually cut so they can't send us a replacement for the missing piece.

So, when the new bag of pieces come, we shall have the pleasure of doing it again!

Wednesday, 2 January 2019


I was standing in the conservatory when I heard the sound of geese flying over. In Norfolk, we have huge flocks of these arrive, predominently Canada geese. My camera just couldn't do the numbers justice, especially as it was getting dark:

The sky was filled, in all directions with geese flying from south east to north west, literally hundreds upon hundreds of them. Neither of us have ever seen that many flying over in the whole time we have lived here. Arriving, departing, we don't know. Maybe they know something we don't!!!

It was quite humbling to watch them.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Dangerous Debris...

First of all Happy New Year to all my readers!

The dangerous debris I am referring to are the remnants of fireworks from the celebrations last night.

We stayed up until 12:45 until we were sure the fireworks had all finished. There were a large number of really big bangs.

Ruby went out for her pre-bed ablutions, and came back in, carrying the white plastic ring. DB removed it and also came in with the stick from the driveway.

This morning, before letting her out, we checked the gravel and found two bits of cardboard tubing and large thick shards of shiny and very sharp, purple plastic. Presumably these were the outer casings of said large fireworks.

As we went around our part of the village, more shards, in blue and green could be seen, littering both the paths and roads:
Neither of us remember seeings these sort of shards before. Maybe we have become more vigilent with having Ruby.