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Archive for May, 2012

We have just reached a couple of milestones in our family.  My youngest has just officially finished her secondary education, and today has started her GCSE’s, my eldest has handed in everything now for her final major project at Uni, and technically left, awaiting the results of her three year degree by the end of the week, prior to her graduation, and as for the one in the middle.  Whilst many of her Uni friends have finished their first year exams, she, however,  is yet to start hers, but this hasn’t deterred her joining in the celebrations of those who have ended!  It would seem that she has been rehearsing for an audition, to feature in Made in Chelsea this weekend, being swept away to a country residence in Shropshire, for a spot of shooting, jacuzzing, and go-karting as you do!!  Actually this was reality, as opposed to non-reality TV, and what she got up to wasn’t for the cameras, unlike Louise and Spencer last Monday, which was faked for the programme!

She has assured me that the first year of her Psychology degree covered what she already learnt for A Level, which only reconfirms in my mind that a University degree should be condensed into a maximum of two years.  Is it me, or do first year Uni students spend more time on the lash than in lectures?  The financial cost of that wasted first year will only be worse for 2012/13 students whose fees will triple, and as for the cost to those gorgeous, pure, pink livers  … well that will be revealed in later life!  And what is all this shot drinking about?! I swear if you consume your drink quickly, you just have to buy another one .. in my day we made our drinks last!  I can talk from first hand experience that shot drinking is messy!   Maybe the art of Tactical Chundering has been designed to preempt all that liver damage??

The highlight of last week, in fact probably of this year was the Leavers Ball held at Wotton House.


Picture this beautiful venue, and then add stretched Range Rovers, a vintage ambulance, a speed boat being towed, a double decker bus, horse boxes, lorries, a London Cab, an Aston Martin and a Robin Reliant to name but a few modes of transport to the Ball!  Not a pumpkin in sight, but there was gridlock, and vehicles were getting stuck in the mud, still raining at this point but non of the teenage guests noticed as the excitement and anticipation of the event had reached fever pitch!  I hosted a pre drinks party for about twenty girls prior to their arrival at the ball, and was slightly overwhelmed but delighted that the girls brought parents, grandparents, boyfriends and siblings to photograph the occasion.  The weather was miserable but spirits couldn’t possibly be dampened.  Spray tans refused to be streaked by the drizzle, and coiffured hair do’s were determined not to frizzle in the rain!  I have never seen so many gorgeous stunning young ladies in my house at any one time.

And as if there hasn’t  been enough excitement in our house this week, my eldest is being swept away tomorrow morning to Abu Dhabi, being treated by an Arabic Prince, to celebrate the 21st birthday of her gorgeous friends, “The Twins”.  She is due to have a week filled with jet skiing, wake-boarding, sunbathing in 107 degrees of heat, no doubt sipping strawberry daiquiri’s and champagne and eating sushi!  Sounds quite similar to the week I have scheduled …NOT!!!!  Maybe it is time for a change in life for me … yeh!  That will be the menopause!

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Rhubarb crumble muffins recipe – Recipes – BBC Good Food.

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I am sorry to say that after a lengthy battle with ill health Mrs Hen has gone to join her mates in chookie heaven.  She was a feisty old bird surviving her first dog attack when she was nursed back to her feet in a cat basket, getting trapped in a pyracantha bush and having to be cut out, a second dog ambush, and then battled with a mystery lump in her throat for several weeks, before collapsing and becoming trapped under her perch.  Thanks to swift action from a very helpful neighbor, she was put out of her misery quite quickly, and now resides in the vegetable patch, buried with some of her friends.  She was our only girl who layed blue eggs, which made her extra special.  I have called my chicken man at Withy Poultry, and asked if he has any more like her.  Thanks to a feature on Countryfile recently, promoting chickens who lay blue eggs, there is now a shortage of such birds, so I am on a waiting list pending a phone call, possibly not till late June now, when Nugget, Kentucky and Nando will be available for collection.  We still have 3 girls left in the flock, so eggs will be on ration for the time being!

Life always throws up awkward moments when you least expect them, and I managed to create two myself in the last 48 hours!  At my age, I should have probably learnt from the first one.  We have been having an internet kerfuffle for the past few weeks, so I was on the phone to BT speaking to a charming lady in an Indian call centre.  I always think of Slumdog Millionaire when I am diverted to a call centre, so when she said her name was Latika, I couldn’t help myself and asked her if she had seen the movie as the co-star was called Latika!  There was an awkward silence, and I had images of a beautiful girl in a yellow scarf and sari looking embarrassed and uncomfortable at the end of her headset!; she didn’t directly respond to my question (possibly not trained by BT to expect customers to be so direct?) so I tried to steer us back onto my internet problem, which I have to say was super efficiently sorted out , and within 48 hours not only had my new home hub arrived, but our monthly bills have been reduced by £30 as they modified out existing contract.   Definitely worth a call to BT if you are on a contract that hasn’t been reviewed for a couple of years, as there are savings to be had.  Then this morning I had an Ocado delivery, and was greeted by a friendly driver, who had an uncanny resemblance to Matt Lucas, only a bit less chubby, and slightly better looking.  I should have just kept my observations to myself, however, found myself saying “gosh, you really look like Matt Lucas!”  Judging by his reaction, he didn’t take this as a compliment so I diverted him by chatting about the weather and the cost of groceries!  Note to self:  Think before you open your mouth!

For those rhubarb lovers, and I don’t think there are that many, the season is booming and I have started harvesting my crop.  I had a little experiment this morning, and made some Rhubarb, Cinnamon and Almond Muffins based on a recipe from the BBC Food website ….  I got a couple of people to sample them and they have received the thumbs up!  Could be rustling up a little crumble over the weekend, however Roast Chicken will certainly not be on the menu for any more of you jokers on Facebook!

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It would be easy for me to start by having a rant about the endless rain, but I have decided to turn this plentiful precipitation into nectar for my garden!  Yesterday the sun actually shone for most of the day, so luckily I had been to Secretts Garden Centre at the weekend and stocked up on several packets of seeds for my vegetable patch, plus some beautiful new gardening gloves.  I have many pet hates, and most of them seem to be related to either Wilfred or my husband.  What I most hate about Wifred at the moment is that he keeps sneaking upstairs, which is in contravention of my rigid house rules “No Dogs Upstairs!’, and he has found a duvet in a vacant bedroom, and keeps curling himself into a tight ball and falling asleep.  It would seem that he has made his own set of house rules, which are possibly linked to the ones below!


Pet hates relating to my husband  include ripping open cereal boxes without following the pre-set guides, using his teeth to open anything including crisp packets and bars of chocolate, holding imaginary conversations with the dogs, leaving streaks of wax on any car he washes, and wearing and invariably trashing my gardening gloves!  I have been married for nearly 27 years (child bride!) comparable to a life sentence for murder, and my most favorite birthday present from my in-laws, was last year when they gave me a stunning pair of cream, soft leather gardening gloves.  They are the only pair of gloves to have lasted the year, and haven’t worn through on the finger tips.  Now they will never get the chance because they were used when replacing the broken window in the Rave Shed and have been totally wrecked and covered with a sticky substance called Hard as Nails Adhesive.  So I treated myself to a new pair of gloves, and chose a colour that is least likely to be worn by my other half!

 

Anyway, sporting my new gloves, and with a variety of seeds, I pottered down the garden and got digging and planting.  I am carrying out a little experiment as I got some Suttons Seed Tapes, which make planting so very easy.  The tapes are like pre-cut strips of loo roll, that have been studded with seeds, spaced out in a way to make your crops grow in a perfectly straight row, making pricking out unnecessary.  For those non vegetable growers reading this, please don’t worry yourself about this fine detail  ..  you can buy your perfectly grown and harvested  genetically modified veg from the supermarket for a fraction of the manpower cost of growing your own!  I planted a selection of veggies including spinach, pak choi, parsnips, carrots, beetroot and mixed salad leaves.  I noticed that the potatoes planted about a month ago, are shooting leaves now, looking just as they should do.  So seeds all tucked up under the fertilized soil, and all I need now is rain .. good job there isn’t a shortage of that then!

 

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