Monday 31 May 2010

Fishing For Compliments?

Trout Tales continued...

To answer my friends' questions -  B - Yes, Bob cooked it with the head on, but he served it up so I didn't have to watch it "looking at me". C -Our original piece of trout was about 16" long, including the head. [nobody with the initial A has thus far asked any questions about the trout!]

Having eaten just under half our trout on Saturday evening, we had more for Sunday lunch. We ate it cold, again with French beans and new potatoes, but I made some quick and easy Hollandaise-type sauce in the blender.


  • 2oz butter
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Melt the butter in the microwave [about 30-40 seconds - watch it carefully!] Put eggs, juice, s&p into a blender, and whizz briefly. With motor running, pour butter into blender, whizz till mixed. Serve immediately.

This is sufficient for generous servings for two people.

After lunch Bob flaked the remaining fish [not much left - a piece about 2½" long] and I combined it with 1tbsp leftover hollandaise and 2 tsp single cream and whizzed with a stick blender. I poured this into a small paté dish, and topped it with 1 tbsp melted butter, and left it to set in the fridge.

After church, this made a splendid Sunday-night supper served with toast, whilst we watched "Lewis" on TV [Why doesn't he get on with it and marry Laura?]

I would have photographed the paté, but Bob kept saying "this is really good" and eating another helping! Here's a similar photo from the Internet

trout pate

A piscine joke to brighten your Bank Holiday Monday...

Two parrots standing on a perch, and one says to the other "Can you smell fish?"

Sunday 30 May 2010

Fishy Tale

Our friend Pam is fond of trout fishing, She is allowed to catch a certain number per year. But she cannot eat them all herself. She turned up on our doorstep with a lovely trout as a gift for us on Friday evening. We were thrilled - although the fish was completely gutted!


Bob simply stuffed it with fresh herbs [thyme and chives from the garden] and some garlic- plus butter and a splash of white wine. Then he baked it [foil-wrapped] in the oven, and served it with Jersey Royals and French beans. It was stunning!

What kind and generous friends God has given us.

Saturday 29 May 2010

But Our Spirits Were Not Dampened!

It rained - boy did it rain! But we packed the picnic nonetheless and set off for Stanford Hall - where we encountered lots of damp but cheerful Christians all resolutely determined, in true British Style to make the most of the day.


You can see how wet the ground is.

The Hall is actually being restored, and we were able to walk right through the middle and out to the back [where the Tea Tent was] The original plan was to picnic on the grass

Instead we sat down in one room and munched our sandwiches and drank our drinks...


Lots of umbrellas everywhere


The two tone umbrellas say "Big Church Day Out" and the people selling them, and the pink and blue thin plastic ponchos were doing a roaring trade.


I loved the big flags, and spent ages working out how the poles were fixed, and ways of producing a set to put outside church!

Yesterday I mentioned help arriving for the summer - here she is - Jessica, our American student, who is working in the church for a couple of months, alongside a very cheerful Paul and Kathryn


I think it is her first experience of Proper British Weather!


In one tent a number of Christian charities/missions were advertising, and some other companies were selling books, CDs, teeshirts, jewellery etc.

There were lots of sideshows and entertainments all over the site, for young and old, and a huge variety of food outlets.

The inflatables were not put up till the afternoon when the wind and rain had died down, but there were dodgems, roundabouts, pony rides [not surprisingly, the queue seemed to be all little girls!] and a climbing wall.



This guy looked cold and miserable - I hope he had some customers later...


Cool Mini...


Onstage by the Tea Tent [where the wrinklies had taken their plastic chairs - some of us cannot stand all the time, you know, we have dodgy knees and things] we listened to Lou Fellingham


[If you look at the previous post with the aerial photo, these are the gardens at the bottom of the shot, behind the house.]


Lou's bass guitarist was very good - but did look suspiciously like our Jon in a false wig and beard! I did enjoy her new tune for "To God Be The Glory"

After tea and stunningly tasty chocolate cake, we listened to Graham Kendrick.


We went over to the main stage to hear the US band Switchfoot [no I don't know either, but he was at least wearing a shirt and tie, and Making An Effort as my Mum would have said!!] Apparently "the Switchfoot sound" – is "a melodic crunch of densely layered sound featuring some electronic experimentation, and often driven by hard-charging guitar riffs while throwing in a few softer ballads as well"

Judging by the crowds, this group was obviously one of the big attractions of the day. Bob knew all about them, and Jessica was right down at the front with some of our youngsters, all enjoying themselves!


The shrubberies were stunning


The cattle were completely unmoved by it all


By the time we left, late afternoon, the sun was shining through the clouds and the rain had stopped.

I was very impressed by the organisation, the standards of the loos, the Tea Tent, and the general feeling that things were being run efficiently. Bob was pleased with the quality of the PA systems on site [and we all know how particular he is about such things!] The atmosphere on site was really good, and people were all so friendly and helpful. And once the weather improved, things got even better.

My lightweight kagoule is hanging up at Cornerstones, and as I didn't want to wear a heavy anorak, I opted for a different approach...


Today, for the first time, I wore the Mickey Mouse Poncho which my friend Patsy brought me from Disneyland in 2005. I was warm, dry and comfortable.

Friends did say things like "Well, Bob can't lose you in that!" and "It matches your yellow bucket" - but two complete strangers came up and asked where I had purchased it as they wanted one like it!

Our friends all seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as we were. Many thanks to David for organising the tickets, and Paul and Kathryn for putting up their Day Tent so the group had a meeting point/place to sit and relax.

I would have liked to stay to the end to hear the Hillsongs crowd, but we were both tired, and Sunday being a busy day, we didn't want to be late back.

So if you want a day out on Sunday or Monday, check out the Sussex venue for this event. Should be good!

Not Your Average Church Picnic!

Don't expect a post from me today - I am going [with over 3 dozen other people from KMFC] to this event. We 're all meeting up on site to picnic together then will disperse to the various events which are happening. Some expected to be louder than others.


It is at Stanford Hall near Loughborough [but also in Sussex on Sunday and Monday] S.H. looks like a great venue! [but I don't think we actually get into the stately home, just the grounds]

sdtanford hall loughboro

Hoping for lots of good fun, food, fellowship, worship ...and good weather!

I've been trying to work out the first time I heard Graham Kendrick was around 1970/1971 I think - alongside Judy Mackenzie, at the Albert Hall. He is 60 this year!

What I can't remember is if he played at the Woodenstocks One Day Christian Music Festival in 1970, which was the forerunner of Greenbelt. It was called Woodenstocks partly as a pun on Woodstock, and also because it was held on the village green at Havering-atte-Bower in Essex, by the old stocks. Does anyone else out there remember that amazing event? Back then I was a proper 1970s hippy chick in my smock and my love beads!

At Big Church Day Out I shall wear comfortable shoes and a sunhat. The years have brought a little wisdom, along with the grey hairs and middle aged spread.

Friday 28 May 2010

Stitched Up!

Having set aside Tuesday and Wednesday as Sewing Days, I had to revise my plans a little. I couldn't find one particular dress pattern I needed for a costume. So I decided to do some other sewing jobs instead.

First up, I had been asked for two oven gauntlets and a long oven glove by friends at church.


Useful tip - when making oven gloves, I make sure I pad them well - but I add an extra layer of heat reflecting milium. Buying a cheap ironing board cover in a Poundshop is a good source of this.


[We had a lady in our previous church who maintained that Ironing was "much easier with one of those millennium covers" - just how many years did she spend pressing things??!!]

Then I made a few pencil rolls, tissue holders and teabag packs for the school fete in June. I need to get some more crayons though...


Last time I put embroidered fronts on the teabags...DSCF1265

But I had found some amazing retro fabric in the Great Stash


It was a border strip from a larger panel I'd bought years ago on holiday in Yorkshire. I cut out patches, and fixed them with Bondaweb, then blanket stitched round them.


I spent the whole day sewing, and felt really relaxed by the evening!

Then all the sewing machines were put away, fabric remnants folded, the carpet vacuumed - and the dining table was usable once more! Unfortunately Bob has been so busy that Thursday evening's meal ended up being pie'n'chips eaten in the Church Hall.

Friday is a whole day teaching - and then it is Half Term - Hallelujah!

Thursday 27 May 2010

Happy Birthday, Liz!


Wishing we could be with you today!

This is one of my favourite shots of Liz, taken five years ago when the pair of us went to Budapest for a fabulous weekend break.

God bless you always - thanks for all the joy you have brought us over the past 28 years.

Sixty Days And Counting...

Till the start of this year's Holiday Bible Club. Last Thursday, I happened to mention that I needed pine cones for one of the crafts. So Ken picked up a pocketful every time he walked the dog [three carrier bags]. Then on Monday I mentioned it to John and Carole [whose house is called Tall Pine] who cleared their drive and filled four carrier bags. Thanks to the prompt and generous actions of these friends, I have sufficient for my needs - I do not need ANY MORE!!


Yesterday a delivery arrived from Genesis-UK - note the sticker on the box


and inside...


This year we are going to be VERY bright!



And please, no jokes about Rosemary Conley and "Haven't you spelled Waist incorrectly?" The club has an eco-recycling theme [as well as lots of Bible Stories, of course]

Only 60 days [help!!] The good news is that tomorrow, extra help is arriving. But more on that subject later...

Wednesday 26 May 2010

Gottle O' Geer?

Sad to hear of the death this week of Ray Alan, the gifted ventriloquist, who entertained so many with his puppets Lord Charles, and Tich & Quackers. Even though my Mum wasn't happy about Lord Charles' catchphrase or fondness for alcohol, she too thought Ray Alan was brilliant and as a child, I often sat with her to watch him on TV.

Ventriloquism comes from the Latin and means "speaking from the belly"!

The above clip demonstrates how incredibly able this man was. I love the little dig at Orville [who wasn't anything like as good, IMHO]

Tuesday 25 May 2010

I'm Feeling Fine

That's a song from 'Bugsy Malone' - the end-of-year production at one of my schools. And I am making the costumes.

I haven't been in school today as my tuition pupils are on a Residential trip this week. Bob went off to Didcot bright and early. So I have had a whole day of cutting and sewing and listening to BBC Radio 7.

I'd done the dresses earlier, today was waistcoats










I made a pattern from newspaper using an old waistcoat as a template. Then cut out eight in silver fabric with pink for linings


Then I sewed all the way round [leaving turning hole in side seams]


And then turn through and press - and finally handstitch the last bit of the side seams. I worked from 8am - 3pm on the waistcoats.


That included a large lime green one for Fat Sam [he has a Big Part!] - the boy playing Sam is going to be padded up.


Soon the rail was looking satisfyingly full.


I shall try and post a tutorial about the charleston dresses later.

They were SO simple - I took one in to school last week for a trial fitting, and it looked really effective.

Then Bob got home and after our meal, I made a tea cosy for a friend


I had lots of fun embellishing the strip quilting using the fancy stitches on my machine and some Guterman Sulky Multi thread which I bought in Button Boutique yesterday.



I'm feeling fine - and planning to do more sewing tomorrow...

Monday 24 May 2010

Spang Your Gales!

According to our wonderful Forgotten English calendar for today, this means "Make haste!" - so we did. Bob dropped me in the city and he went off to B&Q for poisons [ie weedkiller] We speculated on the fact that back in the days of Agatha Christie et al, you had to sign the Poisons Register for these things. I believe you still do, if you want to buy some stuff [arsenic or cyanide] but RoundUp is OK.

I saw some lovely signs as I dashed round the city with my shopping trolley


I know some people feel they could live in M&S, but this is ridiculous


I pondered on my eternal soul - these have a shorter span


Then we diverted via the new Stratstone dealership [we couldn't get to their opening event and hog roast - but Helen said it was fun]

Here's Bob trying to look as cool as Steve McQueen!


Saw a lovely crash helmet - but it was £550 so I put it down fast.

In the Car Park is a Triumph Burger Trailer [does she tow it behind the bike do you think?]DSCF0066

The Stratstone Company was founded in 1921 by two men Ernest Instone and Undecimus Stratton. I guess Mr S must have been the eleventh child. But what a name to saddle him with!

Then on to Asda, but not for groceries...


One hundred buckets for one of the Holiday Club Craft activities. These are the ones in which their flowers arrive - and after use they are just chucked! For a small donation into their charity box, they let us take all we wanted!


Then on to M&S for a cuppa - and I thought I'd use my vouchers for money off some dairy products.  I had cut out this coupon from a free M&S booklet [all about their dairy products - milk, cream, butters, yogurts and cheeses] This is where the system falls down - the till would not recognise yogurt as a dairy product! Eventually they sorted it and I handed over two vouchers and 16p for lots of stuff.

Home and lunch

Now Bob is gardening and I am off to tidy up downstairs. I shall spang my gales to the dining room forthwith!