Tag Archives: sausages

Musings on Mortality and Sausages

This morning  I went to collect cash from the ATM. At 8.30 there was already a queue, with two people in front of me and two behind me by the time I finished. Despite what the shops and banks keep telling us, people still want cash.

 I was in the shop for 9.00 and, with a coffee on the desk, was answering queries from eBay users. In general, eBay users who ask questions fall into five categories. One is buyers who are reasonably intelligent and ask useful questions. These form about 10% of all enquiries. We didn’t have any of these this morning.

Some, possibly 5%, are enquiries about deliveries. We had one this morning, because the post has been erratic  during lockdown. By the miracle of the internet I was able to put the tracking number into the Irish postal system and find that it has been sorted in Dublin and is out for delivery.

Another 10% make ridiculous low offers. We had a couple of these on Saturday but none this morning.

Another 10% ask questions that they could have answered themselves if they had read the description properly. We had one of these this morning.

That, as you have no doubt already calculated, leaves 65%. These are enquiries made by people who would at one time have found employment as village idiots. Thanks to the internet they are now able to extend their reach and disturb my morning from many miles away.

The rest of the day went quite smoothly, until I returned home. The gardeners had returned to finish the clearing, and had filled the skip, including a lot of roofing felt. You can’t put roofing felt into a skip these days, along with a lot of other things, so I had to set to and remove it all. This was tricky as it was in many pieces and much of it was still attached to parts of the shed roof. However, I am glad to report that my hands worked well, my back stood up to the strain and I managed to get all the felt out.

It was a minor victory. In fact, a few years ago it wouldn’t have counted as a victory at all, because I would have expected to be able to do it. A couple of years before that I would have demolished my own shed and wouldn’t have needed help. This is a picture of me in 2012. The contrast with the haggard me of 2020 is a bit of a worry.

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This was a rugby club ID photo – I was much more colourful in those days, with a ruddy hue and ginger beard. I’m now pale and white, which reminds me – I had a look at yesterday’s foggy photo and have just noticed the decapitated scarecrow in the foreground. No wonder people have been saying it’s eerie. I missed that until today.

I am much more wrinkly than I was in 2012

I am much more wrinkly than I was in 2012

It’s a sombre thought on the impermanence of what we regard as a normal way of life. Tomorrow I will try for a more cheerful view.

Meanwhile, I will leave you with a header picture of a poppy purple poppy. I like purple poppies. I found it whilst looking through some old photos. They seem to have died off in the garden, but the memory lives on.

As an antidote to musings on mortality we had sausages for tea and followed them up with rhubarb and apple crumble. You can’t be serious while you’re eating sausages, which don’t really lend themselves to solemnity. Crumble, though lacking some of the comic potential of sausages is a similarly cheery food and should, in my view, be prescribed as a cure for depression.

I may actually launch a movement to deliver crumbles to neighbours. Unfortunately, in these days of Type 2 diabetes and rampant anti-sugarism it may open me up to accusations of attempted mass murder…

 

 

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

The Scone Chronicles – XV

Another one with no scones.

We’ve not been out much recently, partly because Julia has been making me give books away (or “declutter” as she likes to call it) and partly because we are trying to economise. Despite my lottery win we are still adjusting to Julia only having one job.

On Friday, we decided to treat ourselves to a McDonald’s breakfast. It’s not something to boast about, but as they serve 3.5 million customers a day in the UK it’s not like I’m alone in my poor diet choice. The problem, of course, was that I’d already had one on Monday. One a month is acceptable, one a week is borderline. Two a week is a source of shame.

Anyway, as we haven’t had scones recently, I decided that this would have to do.

Sausage and Egg McMuffin

Sausage and Egg McMuffin

It’s difficult, when looking at a Sausage and Egg McMuffin, to work out where the sausage element is.

British sausage (bangers) recipe.

These are sausages. Proper British breakfast sausages.

It’s also difficult, having read that it was inspired by Eggs Benedict, to actually see the similarity, apart from the egg and muffin.  That’s a bit like calling a bicycle a horse and cart just because it has wheels and a saddle.

Despite this, the sausage and egg McMuffin, particularly with the addition of BBQ Sauce and black pepper is a good start to the day.

The best bit is probably the chance to sit and talk for a while. Too many of our mornings are spent rushing about, and it worries me that Julia doesn’t see enough of me. That’s why I took the final photograph – I thought you’d like to see a picture of a woman spending quality time with her loved one. Note that I got us the best table, just by the toilet door.

Help, get me out of here!

Help, get me out of here!

A Disastrous Day

The day started with me waking early and leaping from my bed, full of joy and ready for action. I’m not sure why, and I should have suspected it was too good to be true.

Breakfast was good – cold sausage sandwiches with brown sauce. Not to everyone’s taste, I know, but I like them.

The journey to work was fair and I managed to park outside the shop, though some idiot had parked so badly they had managed to use two spaces. I’ll skate over the next few hours. The shop was hot and airless, we’re having a few problems on eBay and I have a co-worker with the acquisitive habits of a pack rat. If I put anything down on the desk – pen, tape, ruler, stamps or scissors – it mysteriously disappears and reappears in his work space. It’s an annoyingly inefficient way of working.

This all paled into insignificance after the horror that was “doing the laundry”.  I managed to get out of doing it yesterday but Julia cornered me tonight and we ended up in the launderette. It was hot. Someone had three driers going. And the woman who looks after it came in halfway through kept moving us so she could clean.

This was bad enough, but when we started to unload the machine at the end we found we’d ruined two of my pens by putting them through the hot wash.

I was devastated. They cost me 99p each. However, I’m a happy-go-lucky sort of bloke and am trying not to let it upset me too much.

Julia, on the other hand, is taking it quite badly.

It seems that black spots on white work blouses and brown linen tops are Bad Things. Very Bad Things.

I am not popular.

I’ve used a picture of Tim Hunkin’s dog from Southwold Pier – if he had a house we’d be sharing it tonight.

 

A New Week, But Old Weather

After a night of strong wind the low temperature and the cold weather are back. It’s hard to remember such a depressing Spring. In fact I’m not sure there has ever been such a depressing Spring.

This week I’m going to try for daily posting again. I’m going to make a start by posting this simple complaint about the weather.

The year is now one third of the way through and we’ve had about a week of decent weather.

I’ve made very little progress on decluttering and the well-regarded decluttering book I bought has been absorbed into a pile of books and can no longer be seen. It lacked pace and plot and was generally a bit dull, to be honest, which is why I’d rather read detective fiction and let the house fill with clutter.

I may start decluttering again if I can find a book about a woman who kills her husband because of his untidy habits. Or vice versa.

Breakfast was two sausages that I cooked last night and put to one side. The paprika was an unexpected extra. I was too lazy to fry eggs and mushrooms.

After breakfast, washing up and answering overnight comments on the blog it is now time to set off for the shop.

We have 15 items to pack and send off, including three which were only put up for sale on Saturday. The Budgerigar society badge sold for £6.50. This gives me an excuse to use the photograph again.

 

 

Roasted Ratatouille

I’ll carry on the burger post later. I thought I’d better do something that involves a photograph for the moment.

The photograph is Sausages with Roasted Ratatouille. It’s not quite the same as the recipe photograph that I had. My vegetables never seem to cook as attractively as the ones in recipe pictures. It also didn’t help that I forgot to buy peppers and couldn’t get the right sausages. And they said red onions but I could only get the small size in brown. That probably made a difference too.

Despite this it didn’t turn out too badly in the end, and with a bit of rearrangement three floppy mini peppers from the back of the salad drawer put up quite a decent show.

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Roasted Ratatouille

I was quite pleased with the way it worked out and it had a good flavour thanks to three cloves of wrinkly garlic (you could probably use ordinary garlic but I always leave mine hanging round for a few weeks to mature) and a couple of sprigs of rosemary from the garden.

As long as I can use my own rosemary I can pretend I’m a proper cook.

The other good thing about this dish is that I’m never in a hurry to eat vegetables so I remembered to take the photograph. I’m also not embarrassed about taking pictures of my food like I am when I’m in public. (See comments from beatingthebounds in the previous post about this.)

 

 

 

How does weather affect your mood?

The title is another from the random subject generator. It’s not quite random because I refused the first one – “Describe an Ornament”. We have a house full of clutter and I don’t want to remind myself of it by describing one particular piece.

So, how does the weather affect my mood? Obviously I feel good when the weather is good and less good when the weather is bad. That was an easy one.

I’m rapidly losing faith in the random subject generator.

Here is a selection of messages written on tiles in the Mencap garden.

I’ll be able to return to posts with more pictures tomorrow because I’ve bought a new card reader from ASDA. I nearly had breakfast while I was there, despite the memory of it being  fairly rank last time I had it. The service was so slow my knee gave way while I was standing in the slow-moving, and slightly mutinous, queue so I left. This was, I’m pretty sure, a blessing in disguise.

I finally had breakfast in the square at Newark – two Lincolnshire sausages in a bun with fried onions and brown sauce. It was very tasty, and much better than ASDA. The resulting mess demonstrated my wisdom in selecting shirts in food-coloured check patterns. After scraping up the spilt onions you could hardly see the mark.

 

 

A very strange day

Time marches on.

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The day started with a visit to the farm – we are still tidying up as we had an enforced rest over Christmas due to my infection – and continued with a visit to Men in Sheds. They made us tea and offered to share their Lincolnshire sausages. We declined the offer, but donated half a dozen pullet eggs from the bantams, who seem to have sprung into laying action while we’ve been away.

On the way home we dropped in to feed the ducks at Rufford Abbey, which was the fun part of the day, and pottered home as the light faded. That was where we got our big surprise.

Julia opened her emails and was rendered speechless.

It’s quite strange seeing Julia speechless. she impersonates a goldfish and emits tiny mewing sounds.

I waited patiently, and after she recovered the power of speech she read the email to me.

When I recovered the power of speech she told me off for using bad language.

It seems that one of the teachers who has been visiting the farm has arranged to rent land on the farm to start a group using horticulture and animals for therapy. Sounds vaguely familiar. Also seems like it must have been organised during the time we were being thrown out.

What really stopped us speaking though, were the words “As I understand it, the timing was right for change for all of us”. The timing, as you may recall from previous posts, was not right for us, but was forced on us. However, it seems to be a growing belief within the farmer that he did us a favour as we were working hard and not making a living from the project. That, of course, makes him feel better at throwing the group out. It also highlights the difference in our approaches, as we don’t need a lot of money if we’re doing something worthwhile.

Anyway, now I have recovered the power of speech I’m not going to waste it.

The lake at Rufford was still partly frozen, providing hard standing for a variety of birds. We had bird food with us and, as you can see from the video it inspired some enthusiastic feeding.  The light was fading, so we restricted ourselves to the lakeside. I did try a couple of photos of squirrels under the trees but the light was so bad that camera shake rendered them useless.

I’m currently trying to improve my bird identification skills so I had a good look at the gulls and was pleased to find two that were different from the mass of Black Headed Gulls. They were both immature birds so they have lots of brown feathers and their beaks and feet are different colours from the mature adults. I took plenty of photographs and checked them against pictures on a gull ID website. Yes, there are such things.

One of the gulls seems to be an immature Common Gull. As you may gather from the name, it isn’t a rare gull. The other is an immature Herring Gull. They are even commoner than Common Gulls. It would have been nice to have spotted a rare gull but at least I managed to see them amongst all the others.

 

 

I like parcels

It was busy on the lane today. First  we startled a charm of goldfinches, then we had to pull over for the farm telehandler and finally for a post office van as it left the farm.

We already had one parcel, which was delivered to the house on Friday, and there was another waiting for us in the centre. It’s just like Christmas, though I’m not sure that I’d have asked Santa for a pamphlet of sausage recipes or a large poster of pork joints.

It’s a very nice pamphlet, with some mouth-watering pictures and a foreword reminding us about British Sausage Week. I could remain lost in the pamphlet and website for ages – they even have a page on sausage etiquette. I don’t know about you, but my mind is going through a number of possibilities at this point…

The other parcel has our wild flower kits from Kew, including guides, markers, seeds and bee houses. It’s a good scheme and we are going to be using it as one of our main activities – from preparing the beds to reporting on the flowers and the insects they attract. I’m making a new page for projects with a sub-page for Growing Wild. As usual, because I haven’t made a new page for some months, I’ve been struggling to remember how to do it. Fortunately it came back to me.

The group has had a busy morning helping with lambing, collecting eggs, recapturing one of the Light Sussex (which had escaped notice on Friday when we rounded up the other escapees) and looking at the Nottingham Peregrines via the web link.

This afternoon we will be putting new bedding in the poultry so they are clean and fresh for our visitors tomorrow, and planting seeds.

 

Goats

Finally, we have baby goats. It’s taken a while and we were beginning to worry about continuing lack of kids but last night one of the two pregnant does had twins. They are doing well and the mother is much more relaxed. The other pregnant doe still looks like a square piece of furniture and is sitting in a corner glowering at visitors.

Something I’ve never thought about before is the ability of goats to scowl, I’m not sure they have the facial dexterity to scowl, but then again, I’m not sure if faces can be dextrous. Or if scowling and glowering are that different. I just checked it up and see that a frown seems to be a large part of scowling though not mentioned in glowering. I then checked up some more and found that “scowl” is given as one definition of “glower”. All in all it’s probably better to stop now instead of rambling on. I don’t want to lose my audience and while people like baby animals most people couldn’t care less about the facial expressions of goats.

I’ve put in a photo of one of the other goats for the time being as I forgot my camera today and my phone is resisiting all attempts to make it disgorge the picture of mother and babies which I took.

Update: Here are some photos taken in what is ‘today’ to me as I write, but would have been ‘tomorrow’ when I originally wrote the post. Both terms are, of course, relative to an international readership. There are actually two kids but they wouldn’t cooperate by standing anywhere near each other – in contrast to lambs who tend to sit around next to each other at this age. Hopefully the other pregnant doe will have hers soon.

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The presentation last night was interesting in parts (by which I mean the parts where I’m going to steal the ideas!) and the sausages were excellent and really well cooked (even though I’m clearly biased on that last point. We served the chorizo and the lightly herbed ones with leek, as those were the ones we had most of. The lightly herbed ones are similar to the Newmarket sausage but when you have Lincolnshire sausages all over the place I don’t see any need for the Newmarket. Three Newmarket butchers and the EEC clearly disagree as it is a product with a protected geographical indication. Now that I’ve started reading about Newmarket sausages I’m going to have to go down to Newmarket and buy some. Fortunately, though I’ve just finished reading about cooking badger, I’m not feeling any compulsion to eat one myself. I don’t mind travelling for sausages but I’m not ready for roadkill just yet.