Tag Archives: cake

TGIF

First job of the day was to wake up. I did not achieve total success in carrying out this task. My mistake had been uttering those immortal words “I’ll just have another few minutes.” I set my new phone to give me 15 more minutes and, 25 minutes after it went off, was found cuddling it affectionately to my bosom.

Julia soon put a stop to that.

We visited the Mencap garden next and I had a look at the progress made during the week. Julia is aiming to build some interest amongst group members and to tidy up a bit. It’s never going to be immaculate, and that isn’t the intention, but she is aiming to make the garden more productive and define the wildlife areas more clearly. We know from bitter experience that visitors are all to keen to complain about weeds, and that this always causes problems.

Then, after coffee and cake (the remains of our stash from Mrs Botham) it was time to go home. It also seemed a good time to take Julia’s new Facebook profile photo.  She always looks happier after cake.

I realise that cake for breakfast is probably frowned on by Big NHS Brother but what harm can a bit of cake do? The sultanas alone must be worth one of my five a day, and if they really want us to go to ten a day I’m going to struggle without cake.

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Great job, cake, wonderful husband – you just have to smile

From home, it was off to the anticoagulant clinic again. I won’t bore you will the details, but after struggling to get my blood to respond to anticoagulants they are now struggling to stop it responding. I let them flap for a bit, but as stress is a killer I decided not to worry about it.

Final job of the morning is checking out a few blogs and writing my first post of the day. That is now done, and after loading a few pictures I will be doing my first job of the afternoon, which is eating lunch. The other plans are collect prescription, shop for evening meal, visit duck pond, eat ice cream and watch Pointless.

In the evening I shall coerce Number One son into washing up, collect Number Two son from the station, cook tea, dispense unwanted fatherly advice on a variety of subjects, and complain that nobody speaks clearly these days. They will counter this final assertion by pointing to hearing aid adverts on the TV, though I may well be asleep before any come on.

 

 

Wandering, not lost

Not all those who wander are lost

J R R Tolkien

I dropped Julia off at work this morning. The gates into the school car park were open today, as it’s school holidays, so we were able to drive right up to the garden gates and unload plants. Yes, unload plants. We’re at it again, making up gardens from scrounged plants.

After that I took a turn through the countryside between Nottingham and Loughborough. It’s scenic, though unexciting countryside, with some pleasant villages. The weather was a bit dull for photography and I wasn’t on top of my game so there are no photographs today. If there were, they would be pictures of gently rolling countryside with lots of greenery.

The trouble was that I started off mentally listing the things I need to do to set my life right, I’ve been letting things drift over the last few years and need to get organised.

Unfortunately this line of thought has a habit of sliding into thoughts of things that went wrong, things I should have done better and bad decisions I have made. It’s often sparked off by looking at a biggish house and thinking “I could have had one like that if I’d worked harder and planned better.”

However, I enjoyed my life as an unprofitable antique dealer and gardener. I also enjoyed the unprofitable time I spent with the kids. And I have two neighbours who ply me with cake.

All in all, it could be worse.

Eventually, I decided I was lost. Strictly speaking I couldn’t have been lost because I wasn’t going anywhere. That’s often been the subject of some discussion between me and Julia when I’ve been happily exploring country lanes over the years. Just because I don’t know where I am doesn’t mean I’m lost. And if I’ve got nowhere particular to go I can’t be going the wrong way.

After that I succumbed to the lure of the Oxfam bookshop in West Bridgford. It’s been refitted since last time I was here and is much better lit and laid out. This isn’t necessarily a good thing as I liked the poky old shop. In fact part of the experience of buying second-hand books ought to be in the dim, cramped, slightly musty conditions.

I resisted the temptation to buy books on Shakespeare, Mary Queen of Scots and Richard III, but did buy books on Percy Toplis, Moorcroft Pottery and historical trivia.

The Moorcroft book cost me £3.49. It was originally £35. Unfortunately, just as I was feeling  economically prudent I took a look at the prices on the Moorcroft site.

I’m going for a nice lie down in a darkened room now.

 

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.

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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.