Tag Archives: cake

Socks and Seagulls

I’ve confirmed my hospital date, I’ve eaten cake from one of the neighbours and I’ve bought socks with grips on the bottom. They seem to be the preferred footwear in hospital these days. They did lend me a pair last week, but as usual they don’t do my size. It’s not as if I have fat feet, just a size or two bigger than average.

I’ve also written a book review, made up my diary, developed a system of paperwork and exercised my bad foot. The “system” consists of tucking current papers into the back of my diary and putting an elastic band around it all. Once the paperwork is no longer current I file it in a plastic folder as this makes it easier to lose in bulk. The “exercise” consisted of walking to the fridge and answering the front door to accept the cakes.

From this I presume you can see why Julia laughs in an ironic manner when I refer to the future date “when I retire”.

She has had a fuller day than I have, preparing for a job interview, holding a meeting at the community accounting group she chairs and doing associated paperwork.

However, because I have used more words to describe my day it looks like I’ve been busier than she has.

I suppose I should have taken a photograph of the cakes. They were miniatures for an event tomorrow, the open day at the hospital garden. Hopefully the weather will improve as they put a lot of effort into the gardening. I may give it a miss, as I’ve seen it enough recently, but Julia is going.


The picture is a Herring Gull walking on the top of my car in Llandudno. Fortunately the recent rain has washed away the other evidence.



Random Act of Kindness

Our new neighbours just brought some home-made muffins round. It’s the nicest and most surprising thing that’s happened to me for years. In fact, in years to come this may be be recorded as the moment that a miserable cynic regained his faith in human nature.

There are two flavours – lemon and poppyseed and lemon drizzle. I like lemon and poppyseed, but let’s face it, lemon drizzle is the peak of perfection.

So, unexpected cake and excellent flavour choices – what a day!

I’m hoping this is the start of a new phase in my life.



A Day in Derbyshire

We dropped Number 2 son off in Sheffield after lunch and took a trip into the Peaks. It was a lovely day, the verges were full of celandines and wood anemones in the appropriate places and all was right with the world, apart from one thing. For some reason whenever we say something worth photographing there was nowhere to park.

I’m not saying Derbyshire County Council has designed the road system to stop drivers taking photographs but if they ever decide to do so it will be difficult to improve on the current situation.

Despite this I did manage to get some shots of scenery, or fields and rocks, as Julia pointed out. With a bit more enthusiasm I could have parked and walked a bit more, but that would have meant spending less time at the Brierlow Bar Bookshop.

We’ve been there before, as regular readers will know. The tea is still up to standard and we had some very acceptable cashew and banana cake (though it was a little rich, even for me). I think my new healthy diet might be blunting my ability to appreciate cake. It’s a stiff price to pay, even for a few extra years of life.

I’m afraid a high price has also been paid by the book stock. The Nature section doesn’t seem as strong as it used to be, and the Poetry section seems to be depleted, although my other favourite sections seem either the same (History) or expanded (Crime Fiction). Julia says the Craft section is much smaller too. I like tea but I like books too. I am conflicted.

I suppose I should have bought a guidebook to the Peak District to address my ignorance but I bought one on stained glass, one on War Poets and one about an archaeologist who solves murders.

That’s why there’s a lack of information on Lead Mining, sheep and Blue John in this post. In future posts I will try to address this failing.





Another day, another party…

It’s not every day get to see a Christmas tree cake with a chocolate spanner but it was the Christmas Party For Men in Sheds on Friday and Julia had a special cake made for them.

Unfortunately, nobody had told them that the party was being doubled up with lunch for a tree-planting session and they turned up to find themselves tasked with setting up tables for twenty five. Frankly, I was surprised by the language.

I was also surprised by the table cloths, which explains why we couldn’t find them for the curry on Thursday.

Julia and I had been invited to the party as guests (me because I’m old and crochety and fit the Men in Sheds demographic, Julia because she’s the pin-up girl for the over-85’s).

However, at the curry lunch I’d been asked to do the cooking. Either there was a lack of planning or a cunning scheme to get the cooking done on the cheap. It could be either, because it’s not the first time I’ve fallen for it.

The “cooking” wasn’t onerous, though it did have to be trekked across the yard instead of served up in the centre. I just had to warm the pies and peas. Then warm the fruit pies. Then walk them across the yard.  Then raid the cafe stock to produce beans on toast for a vegetarian, because nobody had thought we might have a vegetarian come for lunch.

Lack of planning again…

Anyway, despite unpromising beginnings it turned out to be quite a good meal. The food was good and the vegetarian was a jolly young woman who was quite happy chatting to a bunch of elderly men.

Fortunately I like pie and peas and I love sitting round a table  complaining about young people and modern life, though the joke of the day (asking me if it was a busy time of year – ho, ho, ho) did start to wear a bit thin. Yes, I carry a bit of extra weight, and yes I have a whiteish beard but aconstant barrage of Santa jokes would challenge even the good humour of the fat man himself.



Cake! (Reprise)

We didn’t have many people on Tuesday, but the ones that did come all had fun, and plenty of cake.

We also did salt dough, made paper sheep and visited the animals. Yes,the hand print that doesn’t look human is from a Labrador. Next week is the final session and we’re planning a big finish.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.



It was another Kids in the Kitchen day yesterday, with seven kids and five parents. It’s a good number to work with, even if the kitchen does look like the aftermath of a food fight by the time we have finished.

We did other things as well, including walking across a log (Health and Safety – just look at us!), digging for buried treasure (which turned out to be mainly novelty pencils), a nature walk and collecting eggs/feeding chickens.

These are always good days because there is plenty of supervision from parents and everyone (including us) can relax. There is also plenty of adult company, so it’s very different from the days where you have 30 kids and a couple of supervisors.

Originally we were asked if we could run a playgroup during the summer, but the idea of being abandoned with a load of kids while the parents were at work didn’t appeal. It provides a valuable service, but it isn’t a lot of fun and it needs a lot of extra admin and insurance.

I can’t add the photos at the moment because I’ve forgotten my camera today. Will add them when I get home.


Ups and downs

Another monthly recording session for the agroforestry scheme and more eggs collected from the poultry. There’s a grinding monotony about our daily tasks at the moment, probably brought about by short days and rainy weather, rather than by any actual increase in tedium.

A goat and a lamb both died over the weekend, which is always a depressing event. Added to the other goat that died last week it could be the start of a worrying pattern. We will have to see.

On the plus side – after numerous complaints to the taxi company they were on time at both ends of the day, which always makes things easier,  We were also visited by someone who used to work here and she brought cake! We knew she was coming, which was nice, and we bought shortbread in anticipation, which was also good. However, the addition of chocolate fudge cake really lit up my morning. I’m easily pleased. As usual I managed to eat it before remembering to take a photo, which is why I’m not a food blogger. However, I did take a picture of the biscuit tin.

I’ve also managed a book review, which I’ve been intending for some time.

If you want to try some exquisite cake (there were other varieties but I’m trying to hide the exact quantity from Julia) try visiting the The Clock House cafe and tearoom. I’m going to make a trip in the next few weeks so will report back for those of you unable to make it.