Tag Archives: Sharpe

Another Saturday Passes

I’m afraid it’s been another day of barely discernible enthusiasm. Thanks to my bed socks and hot water bottles I was feeling quite perky this morning as attended to a few computer jobs. I’m all set up to bid on eBay without being here and all my emails are answered, but then it started to drag.

I have to do the references for an article I’ve written and, as usual, I’ve left it all to the end. It’s not easy to be enthused about a big lump like that – I should have done it as I went along. I also have another one to start, but that ground to a halt when I couldn’t access the archive I wanted to start my research. That, to be honest, is why I prefer writing poetry – much less work.

Can’t remember which lake it was…

Fortunately it was then time for Sharpe and I managed to squeeze in an episode or two of murder she wrote. We had a breakfast in a brown cob for brunch and now, in late afternoon, have just eaten crumpets.  We will be rounding the day off with the remains of yesterday’s fried rice and a few Chines snacks from the supermarket. (Julia went out for a walk earlier today and decided to risk her life in the shop, buying doughnuts (which I may have forgotten to mention earlier) and Chines snacks in honour of the Chinese New Year. It was yesterday, but it’s near enough. I’d noticed dragons on Google last week but it hadn’t sunk in.

It might be the last Sharpe I see for some time if we go back to Saturday working.  It’s not the end of the world, but it will be the end of a comfortable lockdown tradition.

Pictures are from our last trip to the Lakes, which now seems a lifetime ago.

Same lake, different camera setting…

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.



My Life as an Inaction Hero

I had a lazy day today, to rest after my hard day packing parcels yesterday. Did I really work six days a week at one time? Or even five? I feel like a friend of mine who,,years ago, detailed his activities shortly after retiring and said plaintively “It’s a good thing I’m retired, or I’d never be able to fit it all in.”

He had, of course, made two cardinal errors – said “yes” when asked to go on a committee and allowed his wife to get involved with planning his day.  Wives are wonderful things, but they are, unfortunately, not to be trusted with a man’s time. That’s why I intend having a shed or workshop when I retire. Ideally a shed with a moat and drawbridge. That way I will be able to call my time my own and find things even years after putting them down.

I’m actually thinking of making that my First Rule of Lethargy – an object which is at rest will stay at rest unless it is acted on by a wife, or the kettle is out of reach.

This is the first proper saturday I’ve had off for a while,a nd I was able to devote the middle portion of my day to watching Sharpe and the bits at either end to eating. Murder She Wrote served to fil lthat awkward afternoon gap. We are now about to eat vegetable stew and watch some quiz programmes.

I see on the news that Donald Trump is threatening to start a new social media platform and that the Queen and prince Philip have both had their Covid vaccinations. That’s nice to know, as we really need a new social media platform, and it brings my vaccination date nearer.

To be honest, neither really affects me as much as the fact that we are nearing the end of the Christmas biscuits and are likely to be reduced to eating Digestives by then end of the week. It’s just that I am sometimess eixzed by the need to write for posterity.

Aaaaaargh! A Correction

I just had a look at yesterday’s post and the first thing I noticed was that I’m an idiot. November 20th 2020 isn’t a palindrome. November 20th 2002 was a palindrome – 20.11.02 rather than 20.11.20. Ah well, I look like an idiot but there’s no harm done as you knew that anyway.

There are worse things than being an idiot – politician, polygamist or parasite would all be worse, though including both politician and parasite is dangerously close to tautology. I have nothing personal against polygamists, by the way, I just wouldn’t want to be one. One wife is more than enough. If you have the fortitude to cope with multiple wives, good luck to you.

It’s the same with bigamists. If they have the organisational skills to run multiple lives we need them to run the country as most of the current clowns can’t even run one life, let alone a government. Bigamists should be cherished rather than punished.

And with that thought, and the correction made, I will leave you for now. The fire is burning, Sharpe is on TV and Julia has gone to buy doughnuts…