Tag Archives: cake

Day 152

I seem to have mislaid the first half of this post, but as I fell asleep at the keyboard, this is not unusual. I now have a dilemma. Start writing a new blog post at 4.30 am or straighten my aching limbs and go to be. A few years ago I didn’t even know it was possible to fall asleep sitting up, but it’s amazing what you can do if you have to. I say “have to” but in fact it’s a choice, and, let’s face it, a bad choice.

The truth is that the habit of daily blogging has taken hold and I can’t settle if I don’t write a post. It’s only 250 words after all, and that shouldn’t be difficult. Even the 250 words is a self-imposed lower limit. I could write 150 if I wanted, there is no law against it. I really ought tom be writing 500, as it seems a serious amount of wordage, but I’m lazy and I settled on 250. When I actually read a post of that length I’m always struck by how short it is anyway. IT would be difficult to write less and still call it a post. It would be more like an anecdote, or a caption.

We went to TESCO tonight to pick up the shopping – you don’t have to order so much if you use the Click and Collect service. They didn’t have the pork pie I had ordered and they hadn’t substituted anything. This is annoying as the pork pie was the basis of a couple of light salad lunches over the Jubilee Weekend. If you are having salad you really need something decent like pork pie to anchor it. I am now going to have to rethink the menu.

The photograph is a reminder that I still have to blog about eating cake at the coast. Time passes and I forget . . ,

Day 117

I went for a blood test this morning and picked up a prescription from the pharmacy. Last year this would have taken me weeks, possibly months, as the prescription would have been lost, missing or wrong. At best, the blood test would have been 20 minutes late and the wait at the pharmacy would have been 30-40 minutes. Today it took me 20 minutes.

Not everybody was as lucky as me – one woman had to ask about her appointment (she had been waiting over 20 minutes) and the prescription of one elderly gent (no, not me) had been sent to the wrong pharmacy. It looks like fate has been kind to me.

I’m supposed to be sitting in a queue in the barbers at the moment but I forgot and came home. It looks like Julia has forgotten too, as she’s the one who is keen on me looking respectable. That means we have time to have lunch at KFC and I can still go for my booster at 1.30.

After that I am intending to look pale and interesting in front of the TV and eat cake. I’m on a diet, but you have to feed a cold and starve a fever, as they say, and there is a little known second verse – “and eat cake for everything else”. It’s like the National Anthem, there are a lot of lesser known verses to that. When you read them, you can see why they are lesser known. However, I think mine should be better known and will be using it several times a year to ensure it gets out into the world.

Botham’s Whitby

Day 45

I took cake home from work and this seemed to smooth things over. A new cakeshop has just opened over the road from the shop where the sandwich shop used to be.

Then I went to the Numismatic Society for the talk on Smith’s Bank. The banking bit was a little dry but some of the family history was interesting and the speaker (who also happens to be my employer) had done a good job of adding coins to convert it to a suitable talk for a coin society. I will give you a choice of following the link, rather than have me inflict a second hand version of the story on you. It’s not quite as interesting as the talk, but it’s infinitely better than my garbled retelling would be.

There was  a rainbow in the sky tonight as we left the shop, maybe a sign of brighter times. So far we have had a very mild winter and I’m hoping we will get through the next couple of weeks without a storm. The rainbow fade as I got the camera into action, but you can just about see it in the header picture.

The second picture is a cigarette case in the form of a British wartime blue £1. They were changed from green to blue to make counterfeiting harder and were the first British banknotes to include a security thread. After the war the colour returned to blue but the thread was retained. It’s not in as good condition as the last cigarette case we put on eBay, but it’s still interesting.

Wartime Blue £1 on cigarette case

Dreams of Great Wealth

I am not going to say anything about the NHS today as my head might explode with fulminating wrath. The surgery and Pharmacy are, I appreciate, under pressure because nearly everyone is off due to being pinged by Track and Trace. However, that doesn’t excuse all the stupidity that occurred today, both with the surgery and the Pharmacy.

I want two things. I want to be allowed to put my own sticking plasters on my toe and I want my prescriptions dispensed accurately. Today I was, yet again, disappointed n both things.

I will say no more, but it does follow a pattern, as the National Lottery, once again, failed to deliver at the weekend. I hardly buy any tickets these days, as I know I won’t win, but, at a low point, and feeling that £71,000,000 might cheer me up, I did buy a ticket last week. If I’d have ignored the urge I would be £2.50 better off, and would not be feeling let down by those adverts that depict the lucky winner sitting by a swimming pool.

However, I would like to point out that if I had £71 million in the bank, I wouldn’t be wasting my time sitting by a swimming pool. I’d be reading in my magnificent library, breaking off at times to write as inspiration struck, and to dictate my blog posts to a secretary who understood how the block editor worked. At around 3.30 I would stop to sip tea and eat exquisite pastries with Julia.

Sadly, it is just a dream, but if I ever do come into a large amount of cash be assured that I will be equal to the challenge of spending it wisely. At the moment I’m just trying to work out whether I would have my own pastry chef or whether I would have cakes collected from Mrs Botham’s by one of the domestic staff. With great wealth comes a mass of complex decisions.

Car, Garage, Disappointment

Eventually, the phone call came. I have a valve which is sticking open when it should be closed. Phew, that was a relief. Sounds like a simple enough job. What a stupid thought…

The valve, as far as I can tell, exists to release pressure somewhere so that the car can’t do more than 30 mph and accelerates slightly more slowly than me on my way to the salad aisle. It’s part of the system that is there to guard against engine malfunctions. Thirty years ago we didn’t have such things as far as I know. I have certainly never experienced this after many years of driving diesels. This is slightly annoying.

There is, it seem,s no underlying fault. just a sticking valve.

Yes, the safety system has activated itself in the absence of a fault, and is itself the fault. Are you with me so far? The VW Passat I previously owned did 247,000 miles without an engine fault. This one has done a third of that and developed a major fault in the system designed to protect my engine from major faults. This is one step along from programmed obsolescence and one step on from sanity.

They will need to put it up on a special lift, which is currently in use for the next three days, and dismantle the front sub-frame. You can only get to the valve after some major work. So much for German engineering. Who thought it was a good idea to put the valve there?

A part I don’t need, jammed open when it shouldn’t be, and concealed behind many hours of spanner work. This is looking like a triumph for stupidity and a very large bill for labour. Cancel the cautious optimism of the last post.

It’s tempting to let go with a good old moan and a session of “Why me?” but I have better things to do, including eating the last of the Christmas cake.

Let then historical record show that in the day before our third lockdown became law (I believe they will pass it tonight, I passed the time by moaning about garages and cars (an eternal subject for conversation if ever there was one) and eating cake (ditto).

 

 

The Chimes of Midday

I’ve just heard the sound of the Council House clock striking. I always feel it’s a good day when air conditions and the wind direction carry the sound. You can, of course, get too much of a good thing, which is why the chimes stop at 10.30. This was done many years ago when hoteliers complained that the bell was keeping guests awake. In the 1970s I spent a night in Durham. The cathedral clock chimes all through the night. All through. Loudly. Never again.

Anyway, apart from that I’ve had an unremarkable day.

Dropped Julia at work. Filled the car (the fuel gauge lit up and pinged). Came home. Did some more of the OU course I started yesterday (it’s a 12 hour course on poetry, nothing heavy), did comments on WP, did a bit of editing, read a couple of internet articles, washed up and realised that it’s midday and I need to get some work done. Also realised I didn’t know how to spell midday so had to look it up.

I had the same problem last week with the plural of roof. I pronounce it rooves, but I’m sure it is correctly, though inaccurately, spelt roofs. Seems I’m wrong and rooves is still acceptable in the UK, even though Doctor Johnson declared it to be obsolete in 1755. It’s always irritated me that it’s spelt differently to way I say it, particularly when wife and calf both go to a v in the plural.

I am so glad I’m not a lexicographer or a scholar of the English language. So many details, so much tedium.

I thought I’d write a post to make sure it’s done (Final of the Great British Bake Off tonight so I won’t be writing much). Laura is my favourite contestant, though not the greatest baker. She’s very clumsy and often drops cakes in the final stages. Then, the next week, when you thing she’d slow down and use both hands she’s back at it, talking, rushing, moving cake one-handed and spilling it again.

It is finished. I’m now going to make a sandwich and move some stuff round so Julia thinks I’ve been tidying up.

 

A Fine Day Loafing

It’s early afternoon, we’ve just had lunch (Lincolnshire sausages in warm baguettes), and Father Brown is on TV. It could be a touch warmer, but apart from that life is good.

A delivery driver has just turned up with a box containing three meals (my birthday present from Number One Son) – unfortunately I’ve forgotten what they are, though it will be a nice surprise. One is chickpea and peanut butter curry and another is pork steaks with garlic greens but that’s as much as I can remember. I’m feeling a bit guilty because I gave them some harsh feedback when it was requested, much of it on the grounds that they failed to solve a problem which they created needlessly. I just found their answers – they had sent them but I’d overlooked them. I’d better write and apologise.

While I was writing last night’s post I had followed several interesting links and gave myself an idea for another Medal News article. This is good, as all my other ideas have run into problems and I’m not feeling industrious at the moment. I will regret that when we go back to work and I find I have no time (my perennial excuse).

My original plan was to spend my time writing three articles for three different magazines, but one has turned out to be difficult to write, one needs a table (which I don’t feel like compiling ) and the other is turning out to be harder to research than I thought. They will all end up being written but not just now. According to an article on motivation, which I read last night, I have just increased my chances of completing them by telling people I am doing them.

We have just had a visit from  a neighbour. Julia dropped her a card and present off this morning as it is her birthday. She came to give us a plate of cake. Unfortunately we weren’t able to invite her in as we don’t want to be delinquent. This morning the internet carried the news that house sales have started again and people can view houses. So, you can’t invite a neighbour or family member in but you can have an estate agent and a stranger looking at your home. Life is very strange.

Photos are, again, from the free picture library.

cat sleeping on the table

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

A Relaxing Sort of Day

This morning I read several blog posts, did some writing and resisted the temptation to turn on the TV.

We had tomatoes and mushrooms on sourdough toast for lunch (my slightly chaotic buying has landed us with a surfeit of mushrooms), the post arrived (bearing a parcel of tomato plants and woolen twine for Julia) and we are now watching Father Brown on TV.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The post also held our letter from the government. Just in case we hadn’t heard, it tells us, amongst other things, to stay at home. This has already been covered in so many ways in the last few weeks that this further message is superfluous. No doubt it seemed useful at the time they thought of it, but it’s been a bit slow in coming and is now just waste paper.

Later, I intend to do some shredding and watch Pointless.

Ah, shredding…

It took some doing. I hate to think how many sheets we did, but it took the two of us over an hour to do it, mostly by hand as the shredder didn’t show a lot of enthusiasm for the job.

When I took over managing the youth side of the club my first action was to cut the joining form down from three pages to one. With over 100 junior players that saved 200 sheets of paper straight off. I’m amazed at how much paperwork some people can generate. He, to be fair, was always of the opinion that I didn’t keep enough records. He was probably correct, but I did it for six years, never had a problem and, best of all, saved a few trees from being pulped.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There are now two bin bags of ripped paper in the hallway waiting to go out. We tried to put it all in one, but there was so much weight in it the bag started to rip.

After that we had tea and Battenberg cake, and relaxed with Pointless as a pigeon on the chimney pot filled the room with cooing.

I’m going to look for photos now, then will plan the evening meal after posting. I have had worse days.

I thought I’d adopt a cake theme for today.

 

A List of Things I will Probably Do

We’ve done enough today to give me the material for several posts.

We rose late, which is not unusual, and won’t be mentioned again.

After that we had breakfast at Sainsbury’s. That will provide material for a blog post.

Sainsbury's Arnold, Notts

Sainsbury’s Arnold, Notts

The journey into Derbyshire, with a detour and two queues may well rate a mention, though maybe not a post on its own. In fact I may as well mention it now.  Having a choice of routes, I decided to go via South Wingfield.

Unfortunately, someone had had an accident at the junction and the road was blocked. I ended up using a lane I’ve never used before, despite 30 years of travelling in the area. It was a pleasant diversion, though the fact that it had grass growing down the middle should have been a warning that it was going to be a bit narrow. We met eight cars coming the opposite way, probably diverted by the accident because I doubt that it sees eight cars a day on most days. Most of the drivers were women, and most of them seemed to be preserving the chariot driving traditions of Boadicea.

At Matlock we had to queue, due to weight of traffic. I hadn’t expected it to be so bad, as I was thinking that people would probably still be on holiday. Maybe they were on holiday, and had decided to spend the day in a traffic jam in a picturesque old town.

After that we joined a queue to get through Bakewell. See my comments on Matlock. The only difference was that it was market day and the queue was longer and slower.

At Brierlow Bar we visited the increasingly disappointing bookshop. People who like their reviews laced with sarcasm may like this one.

Grim view from the Bookshop

Grim view from the Bookshop

The third visit of the day was to Tagg Lane Dairy for raw milk. While we were there we had a cup of tea and a slice of cake. There will be a review later. I was tempted by the gelato but I thought I’d wait until the Spring.

Finally, we went home. The traffic on the outskirts of Nottingham was very light, so maybe my thoughts on people going away were correct in this case.

Sunset at Langley Mill

Sunset at Langley Mill

I also managed to get a few photographs, having read an article of landscape photography last night. I am hoping to use them for this series of posts, as I could do with some new photos. They aren’t particularly good, but you have to start somewhere.

I used one of my old cameras because I still can’t remember what all the buttons do on the new one.

Grinding to a Halt

Sorry about the unexplained absence. On Monday night I felt sluggish, I followed this up with a bad night and by Tuesday morning I was close to a state of suspended animation.

I still went to work, because there were only two of us in on Tuesday, but feel a bit bad for taking the money for doing next to nothing.

When I got home I sat in the car for a few minutes to listen to the end of a radio programme and seem to have fallen asleep. I don’t remember doing it, or even feeling sleepy, but I do remember waking up so there is pretty strong evidence to suggest that is what happened.

The fact that I just had to correct six typos in that paragraph further indicates that I’m still not firing on all cylinders.

I went to bed and slept until Julia returned from a staff meeting. She wasn’t noisy but after years of parenthood you can detect the noise of key in lock from the deepest slumber. I think I managed to make conversation of an acceptable nature as she went away fairly happy and left me to sleep.

When I did drag myself from bed I was in time to see the final element of the Great British Bake Off. They have, as usual, managed to select a final three that I don’t agree with. It’s nothing to do with their baking skills, or even their worth as human beings, because you simply can’t tell without meeting them. However, two of them do exude an aura of oily smugness when viewed on TV. It’s mostly the same every year, the three or four that I like as people prove themselves to be totally incompetent within the first few episodes and I have to watch as the competition is won by sycophants, Paul Hollywood’s favourite or a fully paid up member of the jolly hockeysticks brigade.

Generally I can’t even remember them a couple of years from their win.

While I was looking up the link for GBBO I wandered into looking up what happened to past winners. While I was doing that I found an interesting new fact.

Have you ever heard of Otter Fishing?

Don’t worry, it’s not like trout fishing, it’s using otters to drive fish into your nets. I’d herad of cormorant fishing, but never otters. I also learned that in the 16th and 17th centuries we had cormorant fishing in the UK.

Wonders will never cease…

Fondant Fancy, with lesser cakes at Botham's in Whitby

Botham’s Whitby