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Archive for April, 2012

So yesterday was the big day to set Great Auntie Vera free into the sea at her favorite location …Hayling Island …  the good Lord was looking down upon us  .. the sun was shining and glinting on the water, the wind was light and there were only a handful of people on the beach who had no idea at all what we were up to.  Whilst waiting for the rest of the family to arrive, three bagpipers in full uniform strode past us with their instruments, and for a moment I thought my sister had organised a musical serenade, but this was purely coincidental. The tide was high, my brother wearing his Hunters, paddled out into the sea, my sister said a few touching words of remembrance and I had to stifle my giggles as the ashes tumbled out of the ‘sweetie jar’ and blended into the ocean, during what felt like a surreal family gathering.  And that was it, in a flash and without incident, Vera is at rest … end of!

I am also happy to report that I didn’t make a Sunday Roast yesterday, and fortunately neither yet has Mr Fox.  Although sadly we had another very sick chookie this week, and after spending a night in a Guildford Borough Council recycle box in the conservatory, poor Matilda has also gone to chookie heaven to join Maisie.  She had a respectful burial in the vegetable garden, unlike poor Maisie who got temporarily placed in the wheely bin, and forgotten (out of site out of mind) and regretfully collected by the bin men before her scheduled burial.   On the other hand, Mrs Hen who has been poorly now for weeks, is still pottering around happily… I managed to blag some antibiotics for her, from the vets this week, and have administered them, supplemented with some live yoghurt to rebalance the natural flora in her gut, as you do!  Mrs Hen hasn’t laid an egg for months now, so I promised the Receptionist at the vets that if she lays any more eggs, she will  be in line for the first one, to reward her services beyond the call of duty!

So what else on went on this weekend … oh let me think? .. I know … I allowed my nearly 16 year old daughter to invite 40 of her school friends over to help celebrate her birthday!  Not far from my mind was the previous gathering, when several of her friends regurgitated their alcohol and cocktail sausages into several receptacles in my kitchen, including the sink, my mop bucket and a pudding basin.  So by 10.20 pm I was feeling quite relieved that no significant events had occurred, and was just about to Tweet a comment to this effect, whilst watching Britains Got Talent, when one of her talented friends accidently broke a window in the Rave Shed, shattering broken shards of glass on those unlucky individuals who were dancing on the other side.  I then spent what was left of the party, mopping up blood and dishing out plasters to the walking wounded, whilst my husband was clearing up broken glass.  Fortunately there were no severe lacerations and that was possibly the low-light of the party.  Fighting for a place to win the Parents Got Talent competition for highlight of the party, was either the epic dinosaur impersonation performed by my husband, or the pile of chocolate brownies that doubled up as a birthday cake … taking votes at the end of this blog!

 And now it’s Monday, it’s cold and rainy yet again.  Still refraining from putting the heating on in the daytime, as it is April, I have just made a nice pot of Carrot and Coriander Soup, and I am very tempted to go and get my dear old friend from upstairs ..  my thermal vest!

Brownies or Dinosaur??  It’s your vote that counts!!!

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It’s only two days after my last sighting of Mr Fox, and so far so good .. all chookies  are present and correct for the time being. I have been sending them to bed early, before the sun has gone down, to try and keep them safe from the predator in the paddock!  They seem so blissfully unaware of the pending doom, and are happy to be side tracked with some mixed corn and bread crumbs .. if only they knew!

Today I am multi-tasking and keep getting side tracked myself ..  whilst doing some online research into my latest project, I find myself adding items in my trolley on Tesco.com, while drinking some homemade minestrone soup, with my Blackberry beeping at my side.  My middle daughter had a kerfuffle with her PIN for her bank card, so I am breaking all the rules and BBMing her the new number which the postie just delivered, the tumble dryer is whirring in the background, oh and my mobile just rang with a little update from my big girl after her mornings presentation at Uni.  I am sitting at the helm of mission control (the desk at the front door) with my essential tools, (iMac and Blackberry) feeling a bit chilly.  Earlier, I tried to move mission control, well the iMac actually, into the kitchen in front of the AGA, but unfortunately the wifi wouldn’t connect, so I put an extra jumper on, and de-camped back to the front door.  My husband should be extremely happy that an extra layer was added rather than the central heating turned on!

Anyway, in a moment I shall dispense with technology and write myself a shopping list as I have a few errands to run before school collection time.  I need to pick up the fresh salmon from the farm shop, drop yet another ASOS package back to the post office for a free return, and then collect Great Auntie Vera from the undertakers!  She sadly died last October, and was cremated, and has been waiting in what has been described as a ‘sweet jar‘ by the undertaker, for this weekend hence, so that she can be finally put to rest in the sea at Hayling Island.  She would have been 94 this Friday, and we made a plan to take her to her favorite place on her birthday, and say our last farewell.  I had this bizarre e-mail conversation with my sister yesterday; I suggested we should scatter the ashes at high tide, so Vera would be washed out to sea.  For some reason she thought low tide would be better, because she fancied a nice walk along the sandy beach!  I shall update you after the weekend and lets hope for all our sakes it isn’t too windy, as I am not too keen about the thought of poor Great Auntie Vera being inhaled and returning to Surrey with us!  And also let’s hope there is a screw top on the jar I am just about to collect .. I would so much prefer the Mint Medley option!

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So for the last two weeks I have been asking my middle daughter who is home for Easter from Uni, the same question daily … “Is there anything you would like me to wash before you go back to Uni?”.  Each day I have gazed into her bedroom and observed the” floordrobe” where all her worldly goods are strewn; in fact, one day I found Wilfred (our dog) curled up on a brown fleece Onesie.   He was so well camouflaged  I didn’t immediately notice him there!  I have been getting the same reply each day…. “no mum, I’m fine; don’t need anything washed”.  Until that is of course, just now, one hour before her scheduled departure when she asks if I can wash her hoodie!  She has been earning some drinking money by caring for several small children, and has just noticed there is baby snot/milk dribble down the shoulder!  She is so predictable … the next thing will be a message tonight when she arrives back in Oxford saying she has forgotten her laptop charger or her favorite flip flops or her essential ID!  Note to self …  run through a check list before scheduled departure!!

FLOORDROBE

Well, I just served a nice Sunday roast chicken dinner for one soon to be departing daughter and one that has just arrived back from Spain, as you do when your life is just one big vacation, plus my permanent youngest resident !  Afterwards, we combined our collective Tetris skills, and loaded up Marvin the Mini ready to return to Oxford, filling him up with clobber, home baked goodies including Banana & Blueberry Muffins, Leek & Potato Soup and Chilli con Carne, plus an Ocado shop,  leaving a bit of space for her passenger and his belongings.  All my girls have their daddy wrapped around their little fingers, so it came as no surprise, as the farewell hugs were being shared,  that she managed to extort some cash from his wallet which is supposedly to cover her petrol cost;  I am guessing it will be spent in the pub later tonight!  That is, if she can find it;  just got a phone call from the M25 saying “you know that £30 that dad just gave me ..  did you see where I put it?)!!!  I have spent the last 18 years searching for endless misplaced “it’s not my fault” items!

And so the launderette swings into action again.  As one wheely bag leaves, another arrives home full of dirty washing.  I have failed on the delegation of laundry front .. think it is the control freak in me that finds it hard to let go!

Onto my hot topic of the chooks …  we had a very unwelcome visitor in the paddock yesterday.  Mr Fox!  Spotted wandering around in search of his weekend roast, however, luckily he was intercepted and scurried off back through the hedge.  This has now made me feel very anxious for the safety of the girls.  They have roamed daily, pecking at the grass and scratching about happily for almost 4 years now, possibly on borrowed time  Watch this space…

So the Easter holidays have come to an end, the eggs have almost been eaten and  we will find out if enough revision has been done in the next few months!  Four weeks now till the Leavers Ball which will also signify the last day that any of my offspring will wear a school uniform ever again … end of an era.  Four weeks till the end of the first year of Uni for one, and the third and final year for my big girl.  All change!

P.S.  Just as I was adding tags to this blog, I heard a chicken screeching and managed to once again intercept Mr Fox .. no Sunday roast for you today young man!!!  Fingers crossed no mid-week roasts either!!

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So my little experiment with the title of my last blog worked!!  In less than an hour, 64 people read my post which was published at 11pm …Sex sells, and it is really that simple!  That probably explains why so many people watch the Jeremy Kyle Show;  my offspring included .. as I write this blog, I can hear Jezza in the background trying to sort out “who is the father of the drug addicted pregnant mother of the sister who is shagging her brother!”  One other thing is for sure … an A* in GCSE Jeremy Kyle will be awarded in the Lock family this August!!

Anyway, I can’t complain about my three fantastic daughters.  It was my birthday last Wednesday, and a friend whisked me away for a luxury pedicure in the morning leaving her 1 and 2 year old children with mine, to be cared for.   Unknown to me, they had planned a surprise birthday lunch party for me.  My mobile had been sneakily hacked earlier in the week and texted invites had been sent to my special friends.  Sandwiches had been made and sneaked into the house when the little people had been delivered, with more food being shipped in from M & S whilst my feet were having a makeover; champagne was being chilled, flowers arranged, cup cakes being iced, and carpets were even hoovered and surfaces dusted!  All this was occurring as I was sipping a cappuccino while nattering to my dear friend whilst a lovely Vietnamese man attended to the dry skin on my heals!  When I was delivered back home with my stunning new toes, I was greeted with a house full of special friends and family and a full blown party that had been thrown for ME!  Possibly the first one ever since I turned 7.  It is usually me, the control freak, who organises and plans these events for my children  … and suddenly the shoe was on the other foot! (where do I get these random phrases from?!)  My wonderful girls, who for between them, I have arranged 54 birthday parties in total, made ME feel special, appreciated and loved!  Thank you to all of them, and to my dearest friends and family for such a lovely unexpected surprise … Oh and thank you to my youngest who hinted that her birthday is in 20 days time, and asked “are you going to plan a surprise birthday party for my 16th!!?”  I had to refresh her memory about the Halloween gathering she had not long ago, which resulted in a broken greenhouse window, empty beer/wine bottles in my vegetable patch and multiple chunder cases in my mop bucket, pudding basin and kitchen sink waste disposal!

And then tragedy hit the Lock family …  poor Maisie, our smallest chook who had been looking off colour for a couple of days, passed away suddenly in the night.  However, I am happy to report that for some bizarre reason, Mrs Hen is hanging on in there, still looking poorly, but every morning she is the first one out of the hen house, looking for refreshments and manages to make it through another day!  The name “Nugget” has already been proposed for the next member of the chooky family, and she will probably join the rest of the girls in the next couple of weeks.  RIP Maisie …

And then came Easter …  a special time to celebrate in the Rabbit household!  The crinklies came over for an Easter Sunday roast lamb lunch, followed by afternoon tea.   There were a couple of “be there” moments; one, when my geriatric, demented, 93 year old great Aunt in-law, who possibly had had too much red wine, lost control of her mind and began insulting one of my girls implying she was bulky and had a big bum, neither of which are true!  And then there was my mum, who really does have dementia, forgot she was in the company of men, and began to talk about “her boobs” – twice!  Followed by the main challenge of the day … how to load 4 over 80 year olds into a Landrover Discovery, one of whom is recovering from a broken hip and another a broken leg, complete with zimmer frame and walking stick!  A ‘borrowed’ upturned Tesco’s crate came in handy for the vertically challenged, disabled pair …  I was so close to photographing the procedure but thought it was in bad taste!

So now it is down to hard core revision and course work for the troops. 5,000 words need to be written by the weekend and I have already been accused of nagging, so my lips are sealed!  Easter eggs will be used as rewards for hard work, and on the basis that Jeremy Kyle is still handing out advice on the TV, guess who will be eating all those scrummy little chocolate eggs???!

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I am running a little experiment with the title of this blog!  I am interested to find out if this little three letter word brings more followers to my site than words like “Chocolate Brownies” and “Muffins”!! …  I can check with analytics, how many people have viewed this and from which country they live.  This way I will be able to tell which country has the most curious Mrs Rabbit blog readers on a global basis!!  And now for the disappointment .. I wasn’t actually intending to write about the subject as I feel that the current generation of teenagers that I live with are probably far more knowledgeable on the subject than me, especially as much of their education came from watching Embarrassing Bodies and The Sex Education Show.    Talking of which, we saw a photo of the torso of Christian Jessen yesterday, and unanimously decided that it was a case of nice body, shame about the face!

Anyway, onto the regular domesticated issues that I usually chat about … I made the Sea Bass recipe that I mentioned last time, and have to say that my entire family loved it, so if you are looking for a little cheeky fish dish for Good Friday, this would be perfect.  Really quick to make, gorgeous flavors and also very healthy too!  Click this link for the official recipe, but I substituted the Plaice for Sea Bass …. Sea Bass with an Herb & Orange scented Crust baked on a bed of Courgettes

And on the subject of Easter, I saw a link for what I think looks like some of the most decadent Easter Eggs on the market … They are from Hotel Chocolat and are called The Original Extra Thick Easter Eggs  At £26 each they are obviously a very special purchase, but on the basis that any chocolate I have ever tasted from this shop has never disappointed, it may be  a worthy investment!

Another long weekend is heading my way .. my bunnies are home and don’t I know it.  I am struggling to keep my fridge topped up, with a constant stream of visitors.  My oldest daughter has recently discovered at the age of 21, that she can actually cook!  In a few short weeks she has progressed from Cheese on Toast to little designer brunch dishes made with eggs and as many different ingredients that she can find, filling pitta pockets, and serving with little basil garnishes.  The days of cremated fish fingers and spring rolls seem long gone now, and I am very optimistic that if and when she moves out later this year, she will be self sufficient in the kitchen!  And as for the state of the bedroom of my number two .. the word floordrobe springs to mind!  I am beyond caring about the wet towels intermingled with the clean and dirty clothes that adorn her carpet. I have mentioned the words “course work” and “exams” but am greeted with a blank, glazed expression and it would seem from the evidence presented, that she is taking a combined Hons Degree in Angry Birds with Made in Chelsea!?   Unlike my youngest who is so self motivated; cocooned in her room, her hand slowly turning arthritic with all the writing she is doing.  Revision is well underway and progressing nicely .. I am very proud of her commitment and hope that Lord Sugar will contact her again soon!

The next time I blog I will be one year older .. not quite 50 but getting incredibly close!!  I made a promise to  myself that I would climb Kilimanjaro before I reach the big Five-O, so I have specifically 364 days to achieve my goal .. watch this space …

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