Tag Archives: Saturday

Early One Saturday

The rain hammered down at one point during the evening. It was loud and lasted a long time. Despite our reputation for rain in the UK it’s often delivered as  a drizzle, or, at worst, a prolonged and moderate fall. The short, sharp and noisy storm is something to be savoured, as long as you have a sound roof and a house on a hill.  We seems to have survived in a water-tight and unflooded condition, so that is good.

At one time I would spring from my bed looking forward to the new day. These days I tend to lurk under the covers and worry about the new crop of problems that are likely to emerge.  I don’t know if it’s experience, or simply that you become more fearful as you age. I remember telling my Mum and Dad that many of their fears weren’t likely to come true, but it didn’t make them go away. I’m now starting to worry about things similar to the ones they worried about. I listen to myself sometimes and hear echoes of their voices.

I also remember how they gradually aged between visits and wonder how the kids see me.

However, it’s Saturday morning, and that’s not a time for introspection. I just6 had my baked eggs (with tomatoes and cheese) and I need to make sandwiches before heading off for a day of fun with eBay and the random customers that chance sends our way. But first, of course, there will be the hassle about parking. On Saturday everybody seems to think that our parking spaces belong to them. We try not to be too negative, and don’t put up notices about private property or (like one shop in the row) clamping, but it is annoying. Working at the opticians? Going for bread in the shops 200 yards away? Need extra parking because you have too many cars for your drive? All these, and many more, are, it seems reasons why people take our spaces. The best one wa “I pay my taxes”. So do we. Paying our taxes does not, however, entitle us to park in the drive of the truculent woman who thinks it entitles her to use our parking spots.

Ah well, time for sandwich making.

1921 Pennies

My New Saturday

Before lockdown, my old Saturdays were spent in the shop. The morning was a bit hectic because I didn’t have to get Julia to work. This may seem counter-intuitive, but free time gave me the opportunity to make choices, which didn’t help. I was often only just in time, whereas I am normally an hour early when I take her to work during the week.

In lockdown I am free to watch Sharpe. It’s not, I admit, jane Austen, but it makes up in humour and action what it lacks in culture. It’s a reminder of simpler times when good always triumphed (in stories, at least) and we were still allowed to have violence and to look down on the French. Oh, how I miss those days.

Saturday afternoons in the shop were the social times, when people used to come in for a chat, as well as to buy things. I tend to have lunch after Sharp (avocado with prawns and Marie Rose dressing for me, mashed avocado on toast with poached eggs for Julia – the eggs were slightly overdone but at least they held together this week). Then I snooze as Jessica Fletcher rabbits on. I really should do something, but  a man needs to recharge his batteries.

Late afternoon, I rose from my recharging and messed about on the internet. It was mainly watching eBay. I lost one lot (being underbidder once more) and secured  a second lot for a very reasonable price.

Then I made fish pie in my quick and easy style. Soften some leeks (I had some green tops – you could use onions) and mushrooms. Add flour, add milk, make a sort of white sauce. Add the fish from the pack – salmon, smoked haddock and something white- and throw in sweetcorn and frozen peas. Let it cook gently.

Meanwhile, take the potatoes off the heat (yes, I forgot to mention boiling the potatoes, sorry about that). Mash with a little butter and some mustard. These are not American mashed potatoes so go easy on the butter.  And don’t add milk. You don’t need to.

Fish Pie with potato topping – the dark bits are the mustard seeds from the Dijon mustard in the mustard mash

Add some prawns (I had some from the pack we had for lunch), warm them through, pour the sauce into the dish, add the potato on top and stick it under the grill. I did put cheese on top, I confess, just to show off. With hindsight, it added nothing to the flavour and didn’t look as good as a nice pattern of lines browned under the grill.

You can add more seasoning and some herbs but tonight I just kept it simple.

I’m now marking time until I take Julia for her Covid Vaccination . It’s either half past midnight (which I think of as 00.30) or it’s half past mid-day (which I think of as 12.30). Unfortunately the booking site and the confirmation email use both times for the same thing. We will be going down just after midnight and I will report back.

I’m not good at food photography and I promise it was more appetising than it looks here.

 

 

Saturday Once More

Yes, it’s Saturday again, and the end of the working week. As I set off to work I will do so knowing that I have a day without supervision (the owner has swapped days and is off today) and several regulars booked in with appointments.

I’m sorry about the abrupt end to yesterday’s post but I woke up with eighteen minutes to go and had to get into action quickly to preserve my record of daily posting. There was no time for elegance, just select an existing image and a few tags before publishing.

If you look at the comments you will notice that Lavinia, Rick and the cats are currently OK, but still ready to move at short notice. Good luck to them all.

I’m writing before leaving because I am going out tonight. It’s against my will, but I’m having to be sociable. Let’s face it, being sociable is against my normal inclinations too, but I am under orders from Julia.

Sadly, I think I just ran out of things to say. I have a lot on my mind this morning and the words are not coming easily. There’s nothing bad on my mind, just remembering to take certain things to work and wondering if there will be a parking space when I get there. The optician’s staff and hairdresser’s clients all seem to think, for instance, that our parking spaces are fair game.

When I win the lottery I’m going to rent 12 cars for a week and park them in the spaces used by people who habitually abuse our spaces.

Money, in case you are wondering, will definitely not make me a nicer person. I’ll just be the same old grouch but will be able to afford more books have a butler to wake me in time to finish my blog posts properly.

A Very Annoying Woman

It’s tempting to say today was more of the same…more of the same…

Tedium echoes down the empty hallways of my life…

In fact there was slightly more pressure than a normal day because I have a leisurely breakfast with Julia on Saturdays and generally get to work with minutes to spare, rather than the normal hour I get when dropping her off at work and going to work from there.

We had more parcels than usual today, and quite a few phone calls, including one from a woman who said she had “done the research on the internet” because she “wasn’t stupid”.

The coin in question is the Sherlock Holmes 50p, which has just been released.We have 200 in stock and charge £3 each. She says they are very rare, and her implication was that I was lying to her in order to gain pecuniary advantage by deception (she didn’t actually use those words, but that was what her tone implied).

Unfortunately, when I checked after she put the phone down, the mintage figure of 210,000 she gave did not apply to this coin but to the famous Kew Garden 50p, the one they all want. We buy several of them every month, pay good money for them and sell them for around £100. That’s the only one that makes three figures. Most 50p coins, even in mint condition, only make £3.

The Royal Mint won’t even release the mintage figures for a year or two, so we won’t know what the figure is. Here are the figures up to 2017. They haven’t released the 2018 figures yet, and certainly not the 2019 figures.

I checked on the internet myself, and in an article comparing Kew Gardens and Sherlock Holmes they said the Kew mintage was 210,000. That’s what happens when greed and stupidity meet the Internet – false hopes, shoddy research and an outpouring of ignorance.

Just for the record, because I’m still annoyed about it, despite what she said, she didn’t really do any research worthy of the name, and she IS stupid.

After that I put some more School Attendance medals on eBay, went home, took some blurred photos of Painted Ladies in the garden and carried on with my nightly routine of napping, eating and blogging.

I did get a pointless answer on Pointless Celebrities (Burt Lancaster in Field of Dreams) then wondered why there has never been a decent film about cricket. To say it’s one of our national games, and it altered the course of one of our royal dynasties, it’s made little impact in books and films. Raffles was a cricket player, but that’s as close as we get.

If we could make a film like Field of Dreams about cricket I’m sure the nation would return to normal after all this Brexit nonsense and electing a clown as Prime Minister. Whether we stay or go, we need to return to a state of affairs where politicians at least put up some sort of pretence of being sensible and running things properly.

The Peacock is from our visit to Gigrin Farm as few years ago, as is the picture of kites. I feel a bit like that peacock, constantly attacking the mirror, though I’m constantly attacking life rather than a reflection.

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Red Kites at Gigrin Farm

Ducks and Sunshine

It’s one of those Saturdays where I had nothing in particular to do.

Leisurely breakfast, drop Julia off at work and take a walk round the park in the sunshine.

It’s not a bad life. I didn’t go shopping because there was a queue for the car park (which would have dispersed my feeling of well-being) and I couldn’t go on anywhere to take more photographs because I really needed to get to grips with something that looks like work.

Life can’t be all ducks and sunshine.

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Arnot Hill Park – ducks and sunshine

My sister reminded me last night that I have a cookery book I haven’t used yet. She didn’t actually say that, she told me it was currently on sale at half price and did I want her to get me a copy.  At that point I guiltily recalled buying it just before Christmas, flicking through it and putting it to one side for later.

I have two sorts of cookery books – ones “for later” and ones with food stains. Really I should get rid of them because these days I mainly get my recipes from blogs I follow or from the internet. That means one pile is redundant and the other is a health hazard.

Time, I think, to open the book, work out a menu and write a shopping list.  Julia has already started it with three items. For those of you who like shopping lists, it reads:

Union Tea

Black Sloe Potash

Bears

You may gather that I have trouble reading her writing. It’s not a one-sided problem, as everyone has problems with mine. I have, over the years, managed to use a squiggle to replace most letters of the alphabet and developed a style of handwriting which even I have difficulty reading. This probably disqualifies it from being called writing.

However, bad as mine is, I still have to buy three items based on the list.

I’m off for another go at shopping now, before picking Julia up. I’m going to buy Lemon Tea, Black Shoe Polish and Beans. If there’s a problem I’ll tell her TESCO doesn’t stock Black Sloe Potash. Or bears.

A blog in in which fingers are mentioned

I’ve been sleeping badly for the last few nights because I have a painful finger. Yes, that’s right, the large bearded man is whining about his finger. Sorry, but it hurts and I can’t get to sleep.

I know it doesn’t measure up to the pain of childbirth and stuff like that, and I realise that having to open bottles with my left hand isn’t officially recognised as a disability but it’s amazing how a little thing like that can affect your life.

Probably the worst thing is the uhtceare. (Read the list behind this link by all means, but if you are one of those people who thinks in pictures, do not click the link in Number 9). Yes, fitful sleep causes a constant state of uhtceare, and for a man that has a lot to regret, this is not good. The result was that I travelled to work this morning wishing I didn’t have to go. This is very unusual.

Now, just in case you are thinking of telling me, as Julia does, that “it’s just arthritis”, stop and pause a minute – I don’t want to be told that bits of my body have entered old age.

Anyway, things got better when I reached the farm. The new apple press and scratter have arrived! We can now travel with and demonstrate pressing in schools (if anybody wants us while we have apples) and we can use it for the juicing days (starting from 12th September) instead of having to set the big one up to do a bucket of apples. That’s why the picture at the top of the blog shows two cardboard boxes. Not a very interesting picture by most standards, but quite exciting for me.

We had a nice steady flow of breakfast, there wasn’t much I needed to do and it was all very relaxed.I met the author of the nottsvillages blog, showed several people the visiting Painted Lady (it came back!), secured the offer of a moth trap, found a volunteer to do the job of Santa (let’s face it, I’m not a natural), took details from someone who wants to help with the bread group and took £10 after we were supposedly closed.

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As if that wasn’t enough, I also took the name of another baker, persuaded someone to come and do crafts at our Winter Event and had a good look round Project Molish (which started this weekend).

That, in the language of my youth, is a result!

I’m tired now – time for tea and cake, I think.