Monday, 31 August 2015

Me on Monday - Mundane? Hahahahahaha

Its been a "I quit my job" "OK now they've listened I won't quit", shopping at The Range, lunch disappointment, Oh, so this is Marshfield,  see the dog out the window, sleaze all day Sunday.

My friend's neighbour once asked us how we coped with such a mundane life. I often think of that moment when the mundanities pile up in a messy heap and threaten to overwhelm me.

Youngest Son arrived home of Friday and told us that he had quit his job because the transport manager (he drives 40ft articulated lorries delivering frozen stuff to stores) had seemingly ignored the fact that YS had booked Sunday off and had scheduled him to do a 15 hour shift on Saturday, knowing that if there were any delays it would mean a night out when he ran out of driving time. As YS hasn't had a weekend off in six weeks he was a bit peeved. Several hours later and his depot manager had rung him as well as two of his fellow drivers and he had agreed not to quit - yet.

Saturday we went to The Range. We were looking for Chinese five spice. We bought a magnifying sheet to use for the family tree, a new handbag for me, a flat cap for Mr M - the picture will follow later, Something for The Birthday, tape for the label machine and then we left, no five spice in that bag of goodies.
We went for lunch more about that here and then decided to go up to Ebbw Vale to the Festival Park. We went via Marshfield, because we could. I bought two more handbags - BOGOF so it would be rude not to and Mr M was able to buy two fly swatters for a pound. Still no five spice. on the way home - via the Heads of the Valleys Road we saw this dog hanging out the window of the car in front. Now call me a worry wort if you like but the woman was on her own in that car and the dog was loose. What would have happened if the animal had seen something it had to chase, or something it recognised, or something that terrified it. We could have been involved in a traffic accident caused by her stupidity and the dog could have been hurt. I wanted to drive along side her and scream abuse but Mr M shut our windows and stayed back

So it was another normal weekend then? oh yes, quite mundane really

My thanks to Sian for inventing this little bloggy meme

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Why are they so pretentious?

An example of good presentation of good food - not a cast-iron platter in sight and no paper on the plate for fish dishes
This is a bit of a rant. Mr M and I decided to have lunch out. We had been to The Range where they had several things I desperately needed and as we drove away I said shall we have lunch? We went to a local hostelry.
Mr M ordered the Gammon with fries and egg and stuff and I ordered the Surf and Turf - nine pieces of wholetail scampi and a steak with a flat mushroom half a tomato and fries. Please note that there is no mention of onion in that list. I also had a decaff coffee and Mr M had diet Pepsi.

The coffee was so weak it was waving a white flag in surrender. It was awful. I said so to Mr M who said it was "one of those Nescafe sachet tube things".

The food arrived and I will say right now that the steak was cooked exactly to my liking. I wish I could say the same for the rest of the food. The fries come in a separate bowl. The rest of the food was on a cast-iron platter with ridges on it, the whole thing balanced on a piece of old floorboard... at least that's what it looked like.

Serving food on a ridged plate is wrong in so many ways but adding to this crime the fact that no matter how hard you try you cannot get cast-iron to look clean. It is rude to the customer and totally un-necessary.

How many people can you name that would say "let's go to X restaurant because they serve the food on red-hot, cast-iron platters?" I don't know anyone.

The scampi was so dark brown it was almost burnt and when I bit a piece all I could taste was the bitterness of burnt breadcrumbs, not a hint of scampi taste at all. The mushroom was soggy the tomato only partly cooked and there was nearly a whole onion, soggy and unappetising under the steak. I don't eat onion unless it has been caramelised and is in a sauce. I specifically chose the dish because it didn't say onions. Unfortunately yesterday was not a day when I could send the food back, my brave was still at home with my other handbag. So here I am ranting on about something I could have fixed.

Mr M said his gammon had been so over cooked he could have mended the soles of his shoes with it.

So if ever you are in Newport and want a good meal do not go to The Stonehouse on Lighthouse Road.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Horticultural that's me

It is more than thirty years since I did any real horticultural stuff. I worked for about six years in a nursery/garden centre and my boss was determined that all his staff should be able to talk to customers about their garden needs. He was adamant that we should NEVER try to sell something to a customer that wouldn't work in their garden so we simply had to know about all the stuff we grew and sold. We took cuttings, grew seedlings, grafted fruit trees and in the winter we potted up to 8,000 rose bushes that came in bare root from Holland. In a huge shed with the doors always open for the tractors and no heating - the joys of youth eh. When we moved here the garden is so tiny it was a five minute job to weed and sweep once a month. Now, after all this time I have planted runner beans and tomatoes, strawberries and herbs. Take a look.
My herb garden. I have Sage, Rosemary, Oregano, Chives and Lemon Verbena.
As they grow I cut them and put the excess into containers in the freezer. They are easy to chop when frozen, you just crush the little bag and throw them into the food - without the little bag of course.
I use the Lemon Verbena as a table centre because it smells so lovely

I bought four strawberry plants and had loads of fruit. Then they started throwing runners out so I had to Google exactly how to deal with them. This is the result. I have ten little pots that I hope will take and the bigger one you can just see has a runner that has already filled the small pot with root so I had to pot it on.

There are six bean plants here. So far we have had more than 2 kilos of beans and there are loads still forming and growing.

Three tomato plants. The middle one is Sungold, an F1 hybrid the fruit was quite small but I suspect that was  because of the lack of root space. Next year... The teeny tiny one on the right is a patio tomato. The fruit was pink and actually quite tasteless. the one on the left was supposed to be the sort that doesn't throw sideshoots, they lied. It has the biggest fruit and have taken the longest to ripen so I can't tell you what they taste like - yet.

This is the flower bed under the Wisteria. I have lavender, two plants that were on the cheap table in a garden centre. They were the remnants of the previous season's plants and looked as though they were going to die soon. At 50pence a plant I bought that four that were there. Two are under my washing line so that my washing smells faintly of lavender when I bring it in and the other two are where they get brushed against as I "garden". There are also Fuchsia Jasmin, Clematis (the slugs love it) and something else that begins with C but I can't remember it today.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Me on Monday - Thunder and rain and family

It's been a crazy golf, sleazy Saturday, Costco shopping Sunday and Dinner with the Bluefunnels kind of a weekend. Leaving me with a write down the experiences and order the prints for some pages Monday.

We managed to spend most of Friday with Eldest Son and family before they travelled home to North Wales. Here Miss Boo and the football ace are playing that last hole of the crazy golf. Amazingly their scores were identical. I am not sure if this was because they took the same number of strokes or because Miss Boo is very.....................fair and wouldn't like it if her favourite cousin were to lose too badly.

The exercise on Friday meant that us oldies spend Saturday snoozing. Youngest Son was supposed to be on a rest day from work but once again they changed his shift so he was out all day.

Sunday we got up and took our list to Costco. We have to take a list because they always have really great stuff that we desperately need. We found a Christmas present and something that goes towards "the Birthday". We did have to play supermarket hide and seek for a while and eventually asked a staff member to get the glue sticks because they had moved them totally away from their usual spot.

I managed a few pictures for the scavenger hunt and when I download them from the camera I will blog them

That's me on Monday. My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this way of ensuring at least one blog post every week. Why not go and read hers now that you've read mine?

Monday, 17 August 2015

Me on Monday - sun-kissed and replete with family

attempt one at a panoramic view

Cousins, They do love one another
It's been a sleazy Saturday then out on Sunday for "A little trip to buy some compost"

A chance to try and get a University picture and a panoramic view from a high place - faile miserably because by the time I thought to switch the camera on we had descended from the high place and all I got was --- you guessed it - HEDGE!

The trip was great, we found a little garden centre that is not part of a big chain and we bought our compost and also another component for "The Birthday Present"
More of that next month.

Monday saw a bit of an extension to our weekend. Eldest Son has brought his family to South Wales for a beach holiday. This might seem like nothing out of the ordinary until I tellyou that he lives 400 metres from the sea in North Wales and the boys regularly get to play on the sand. However, coming to Porthcawl is a big deal for them because, and I quote, "We get seven sleeps in a caravan, Grandma. Lokk at my loose tooth!"

Taking Miss Boo down to see them was such a great idea. First they had a whale of a time in the water park then they played on the bars and slides and stuff in the play park. Then we went down to the beach.
Because we are on the Bristol Channel, as this bit of the Severn estuary is called, we do get a certain amount of estuary mud mixed into the sand but what we noticed most is that the beach no longer has the coating on grains of coal swept there from the coal docks at Barry and Cardiff. There are also more rocks exposed where the sand dredgers out in the channel have stolen sand and it has been lost from the beaches.
Sea, sand, icecream, sun lots of running, great excitement when Uncle Mark and UNcle Micheal (Daddy to some of them) brought a crab in the bucket to show them before releasing it back into the incoming tide. Miss Boo splashed her way back to the caravan in her soaking wet dress and wore her zipper top and a blanket to come home. A great day was had by all.

So that's Me on Monday. My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky

Monday, 10 August 2015

Me on Monday - Doing it better

It was a surprised by a panic attack, curled up knitting, waking up on Sunday feeling better, going out for breakfast, then home again, home again jiggety jig - but going the pretty way - a total of 200 miles kind of a weekend.

We were going to go out on Saturday to do the trip we intended to do when the car got sick. I was fine right up to the moment............... no I was worrying right up to the moment when Mr M said "Ready to go?" I was so not ready. My heart suddenly started pounding and I couldn't breath, my eyes leaked all down my face and I just shook my head and crawled into my chair. This is what happens when you allow your mind to over think something. I stayed there knitting and watching TV until it was time to cook dinner for YS and Mr M.
Sunday the black dog was gone from my back and even though the weather was cloudy and humid I suggested that we should go out for breakfast. We did. We went to Jo's in Whitchurch and then moved on to a special shop just outside Ross. It is called Bailey's and they have the most marvellous stuff there, perfect for wedding presents and birthdays that have a zero in them - really good stuff, some antique some recycled some brand new but none of it mass produced. As there is a very special birthday (with a zero in it) coming in this family we had to go and see what was there. Did we find something? well you will need to be here and reading in October to find out.

When we go out for "a little ride" as Mr M calls it there are a few things that govern where we go.
1) we rarely have a final destination in mind when we set out
2) There are driver and screwdrivers. Which is in front of us at a junction can decide which way we turn.
3) Where can we get to from here? We stop to look at something or to get a cuppa and Mr M consults the map in his head to see where he can go to from there.
4) It is not possible to get lost in this country. You are never more than 75 miles from the coast so if you forget exactly where you are it won't be long before you see a signpost or reach the sea.

From Bailey's we headed somewhere else, changed direction because there was a tractor just up ahead on the road we were going to take at some point we went through Upton on Severn - it was shut - and found our way to the Staunton Garden Centre in Staunton and Corse. We also passed by The Hop Pocket - lots of overpriced pretentious sh*te stuff in there and finished up in Leominster - gosh that's where the OK Diner is,yes? Yes. We looked through the doors as we pulled into the carpark and there were at least six people waiting to be seated so we came straight out and went to Morrison's just up the road. They have free crisps with the sandwiches so we stopped there. Once again the coffee machine wasn't working - this seems to be the thing in Morrisons at the moment. Lunch time and the milk runs out.
We then pootled through into Powis and came home the pretty way, Waving to Cousin Andrew as we passed by his house. We always wave and say hi, rude not to really.

and that was Me on Monday. My thanks to Sian over at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this neat way of starting the week. You could go and read hers now that you've read mine

Monday, 3 August 2015

Me on Monday - muttering

Its been a OMG there's a RAT!!!, shut all the doors! Can you come and help us we've bought a bike for Miss Boo? what shall we have for dinner? I just have to finish blanket stitching this camp blanket kind of a weekend.

The rat was spotted first in the garden of my lovely neighbours Debbie n Joe. Isn't it odd that whenever I mention my neighbour that's the name, not just Debbie but the whole thing even though the most words I have exchange with Joe have been three hellos and a "Isn't the weather good today". Anyhoooooo. Mr M looked out of the kitchen window to see if the sparrows were still stuffing their faces on the bird feeder and to his amazement there was a rat on there filling him self up with suet balls. This morning I saw a rat outside my back door so I rang the council and guess what? They no longer have a pest control department. What sort of a council thinks that getting rid of the pest control department is a good idea? We think the rats are in our gardens because the factory just across from us has dug a trench in their yard - probably for the drains and this has disturbed the rats - Now we have to find a private pest control firm and arrange a price.

My Darling Daughter and Biker Boy have bought a new bike for Miss Boo. She had her bike stolen from their locked back yard last year so now she has a lovely new bike that is locked into the shed in the locked back yard. Miss Boo is delighted and spent most of Sunday riding up and down the pavement between her ouse and ours

We have a freezer full of food and nothing for dinner. Youngest Son was out all day on Sunday, playing golf. He has filled his holiday with doing things for other people and especially doing things for me. He has watered the tomatoes and the beans, carried things up and down stairs, done shopping in Farmfoods - that's why the freezer is full at the moment, He drove us to places when Mr M wasn't driving because of his stitches and has generally been jolly helpful. He will need another holiday to recover!
I have completed the camp blankets for my youngest grandsons. I will put pictures on here after they have received them.

Mr M is feeling much better after a week of recovery and went to work this morning. I hate it when he is out of my sight and my mind is constantly hoping it is time for him to come home - daft but true. It seems that things are back to normal here at Macey Towers.

So this is Me on Monday My thanks, as ever to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this idea and allowing us to share