Thursday, 8 June 2023

Keep Smiling Through...

Another Tenniel illustration, this time from Wonderland, not Looking Glass.
Because I am indeed grinning like the proverbial πŸ˜Έ.
My lovely dentist turns out to have spent two years in the MaxFax dept at Ipswich Hospital, he has lots of experience of this sort of injury.
Last week he taught me how to massage the area round the stitches to enable them to heal, and soften the scar tissue in my lip. And he spoke so highly of the team in Scotland who had treated me. They did such a good job on the emergency repairs that I have not needed expensive crowns [praise the Lord for that!] 
Yesterday he worked on tidying up their work, and rebuilding one part of a tooth to make it more even.
And he did all that without any injections - it was genuinely all very painless [I hate injections]
And the cost came in at just over £100 [it is a private practice too - they're not allowing any new NHS dentists in Norfolk sadly, despite his request to be one] 
I am so grateful - for Dentist Chris and Dr Navinie in Scotland, for Dentist Roshan in Norfolk, and for all the kind wishes and prayers, and messages of support from so many good friends. Thank you all
The grin will still be here after I have moved on to the next task! 

Wednesday, 7 June 2023

Jam Tomorrow, And Jam Yesterday...

 ... But Never Jam Today
So says the White Queen to our heroine when she travels through the Looking Glass.  I was thinking about this recently when Sue was discussing marmalade on her blog
She was commenting that her jar of home made lemon marmalade was three years old, so having opened it, she is now keeping it in the fridge.
Various comments appeared about keeping preserves - jams, marmalades, pickles and chutneys. Surely the very name preserve implies something can be kept for a while before eating?
I hate waste- especially if some food goes 'off' before I have got round to eating it. My last batch of marmalade lasted ages, because I was trying to lose weight, and Bob rarely eats it. And one or two 'foodie' gifts at Christmas meant we had more pickles and chutneys than usual [and I already had multiple jars of my own apple&ginger chutney in the cupboard]
Yes, I agree with Sue - once opened, I prefer to keep these things in the fridge - partly because they stay fresher, and also because they don't get pushed to the back of the shelf and forgotten until too late. I don't think commercial jams keep anything like as long as they used to. Here are my top tips for using up preserves - the savoury and the sweet kinds
  • Put a dollop of chutney or pickle into your casseroles to give a bit of added oomph
  • If you have a lot of jars of pickle/chutney each with just a spoonful or two in the bottom, then make a couple of River Cottage Brown Sauce. Recipe below.
  • If you make your own sausage rolls, use Jamie's tip and mix a tbsp of pickle or chutney into the sausagemeat.
  • Blitz mango chutney with cream cheese using a stick blender to make a dip for cruditΓ©s
  • Spread chutney/piccalilli/etc on toast before topping with cheese and grilling. 
  • Puree chutney with a little water for a ham glaze
  • Cranberry Sauce is not just for turkeys! Use it in desserts too - a spoonful on top of vanilla ice cream, or as the topping on a sponge pud, or stirred into plain yogurt.
  • A leftover jar of mincemeat will make a brilliant Belgian Cake
  • Marmalade can glaze a ham beautifully
  • Sieve out the peel and use marmalade in place of apricot jam for holding marzipan onto a fruit cake
  • Marmalade adds a fresh citrus zing to simple sponge cakes [loads of ideas online]
  • Top a sponge pudding with marmalade
  • Use the end of a jar of jam in 'thumbprint' biscuits
  • Swirl jam into homemade icecream
  • Blitz jam with a banana and milk for a pink milkshake
River Cottage Brown Sauce from Gill Meller
Assemble your nearly-finished jars of chutney, pickle, relish etc.Scrape all the stuff into a large saucepan, [add a little boiling water from the kettle if it is very thick] 
Bring to the boil, and simmer for 10 minutes. Then taste for flavour. If needed add in some more salt/sugar or vinegar [I add a tsp of tamarind paste] . Gill suggests that some mango chutney will add 'brightness'. Now purΓ©e with a stick blender/processor. Boil for 5 minutes more, stirring constantly. Pour into sterilised bottles. Screw on caps firmly.
From jars to bottles in about half an hour. This sauce should keep for a year. Once opened, store in the fridge.

How do you use up leftover preserves?

Tuesday, 6 June 2023

MayDay To Whitsun

Over the weekend, my cross-country-collaboration package arrived from Kirsten. Having been unwell at the start of the month, she didn't get going as soon as she'd hoped. But her stitching is a great celebration of the month of May.

Beginning with mayday on 1st, she listed some significant events of the month - 6th, Coronation, 18th Ascension Day, 28th Day of Pentecost and 29th Whitsun Bank Holiday. It is a very traditional sampler piece, combining lettering with motifs- lovely use of random variegated yarns to give the idea of fields of wild flowers, the inevitable golden crown for our new monarch, anf bottom left, the Dove for Pentecost and the gift of God's Holy Spirit [sorry, I cannot seem to photograph that properly - it has a fine golden yellow outline]
I really like the figure 8s which are created with two overlapping diamonds.
The 'flat gift' is this cute  "Little Alphabet Book" which will get its own review at some point.
Full of information about words, and idioms and digraphs and phonemes - and all that stuff from the Literacy Strategy. Ms Palmer loves words, but shares my frustration with some of today's phonics teaching. 

Kirsten knows me well, and recognises how much I will love reading this carefully, savouring every nugget of information. Thanks K!
I've been busy doing some other sewing and knitting recently , and we are nearly through the first week of June, best get a move on with my stitching for this month.
I was talking to a friend on the phone at the weekend, who I've not seen for about 10 years. She was saying her son - now a young adult, has taken up cross stitching with a passion. He is producing some amazing designs, on very fine evenweave fabric.
I suggested he googled "Bristol Orphanage Redwork" to see how young people were doing it 200 years ago.

Monday, 5 June 2023

Voyage Of Discovery

As a child I knew a little about Scott and Shackleton, who had explored Antarctica in the first quarter of C20.
I think there was much more regard for "heroes" than for "celebrities" 50 or 60 years ago. The guests interviewed on "This Is Your Life" were more often people who had contributed something to society than just been TV entertainers. We were encouraged to aspire to do good things, be good people - not strive to be "rich and famous".
 I watched John Mills in Scott of the Antarctic**
Personally I could not understand why anyone would want to go somewhere that cold, and far away, leaving young wives and children behind... But I understood that they wanted to learn more about the world and share that knowledge. Shackleton and Scott were inspiring leaders, and there seemed to be no shortages of applicants to travel with them.

So I was pleased that we'd have the opportunity to see their ship RRS Discovery when we got to Dundee. These people were the celebrities of their day, and any company which supplied food or equipment to the expeditions were quick to advertise it. Their clothing was so heavy and thick - no "performance" fabrics, lightweight fleece garments, or Goretex waterproofing. And it was far too cold to strip off and change. 

Can you imagine wearing the same clothes for 93 days? [even girls doing the 100 day dress challenge wear fresh underwear daily, I hope] 
As we looked round the exhibition, I was struck by the men's diligence in recording all they found. Edwin Wilson made meticulous notes and drew beautiful illustrations of the flora and fauna. They entertained one another with concert parties and a newspaper produced on a typewriter. 
As we went round, it was Wilsonwho fascinated me most. He was amazingly gifted - a trained doctor, a gifted artist, an enthusiastic naturalist. He was Assistant Surgeon on the 1901—1904 expedition with Scott and Shackleton on Discovery, then returned in 1910 with Scott on Terra Nova for the ill-fated Polar Expedition. Wilson's drawings were meticulous, and he was clearly a valued member of these expeditions. He was a good and gracious man, a reliable friend, always thinking of others. In his student days he had done volunteer work in a Mission in Battersea helping the needy. It was here that he met his wife Oriana - and left her just a few weeks after their wedding to go to the South Pole. How incredibly sad! 
The officers and ratings had very different quarters on board ship. Lower ranks were squashed into a small space, and took turns in sleeping in hammocks. Food was served on enamel plates - but the officers had separate cabins, and dined at a mahogany table, with white Irish-linen-and-lace cloth, and fine china. Actually the officers were in the coldest part of the ship - the men living cheek by jowl in the room next to the galley kitchen were much warmer. 
Although RRS Discovery is in dry dock, I did not really enjoy going below decks, I felt that the ship was creaking and moving in the water. Bob felt fine, he said it was my overactive imagination [in my defence, my damaged glasses did mean I found it hard to focus!] 
Were these men brave, or foolhardy? Or a little of both? Three weeks on from my visit, I am still pondering... 
** coincidentally this film is on TV this week! Wednesday, 3pm on the Talking Pictures channel. Grab a blanket and a mug of cocoa, as you will feel cold when you see all that ice [even though it was filmed in the Ealing Studios!] 

Sunday, 4 June 2023

Forty Five Years Ago

Great Aunt Amy's Desk Calendar from the 1920s. It is showing today's date. Actually it always shows Sunday 4th June, because this is the date on which we met in 1978. It was 8pm, and the communion service at Spicer Street Chapel St Albans had just finished.
The tall bloke in the brown leather jacket turned round to the short girl in the pew behind, looked at her college sweatshirt and said "Not another teacher?!"
The rest is history...
He was working as an electronics design engineer at Marconi Instruments, I was teaching [maths and RE] in Grove Hill Comprehensive, Hemel Hempstead.
Neither of us had a 'significant other' nor were we looking for one. Within three months we were engaged. We married on 25th August 1979, so next year will be our Sapphire Anniversary. When we got engaged, my Dad sent us a verse from Song Of Solomon chapter 8. Here it is in a modern translation...

Love is invincible facing danger and death. Passion laughs at the terrors of hell. The fire of love stops at nothing— it sweeps everything before it. Flood waters can’t drown love, torrents of rain can’t put it out. Love can’t be bought, love can’t be sold— it’s not to be found in the marketplace. 

I am truly grateful to God for 45 years with this wonderful man who is more loving and patient as the years go by. Each day brings new joys, challenges and surprises - and faith, family and friends remain the cornerstones of our life together.

Saturday, 3 June 2023

Girls' Day Out

The greatest outcome of my visit to the Castle Museum in January last year was this amazing, ongoing stitching collaboration with Kirsten. But another thing was that I was given a free ticket for The Museum of Norwich.  But as a Museums Season Ticket Holder, I did not need it for myself. It has remained in the back of my wallet for nearly 18 months. 

This place is a little gem- packed full of stuff about the history of our fine city. So on Thursday, when Bob was on Hospice Chaplaincy duty, I took Rosie into the city centre so we could look round the museum together. She's great company. We had sandwiches in M&S [children's meals are free at the minute] then walked down to the Museum. The building has a fascinating history
Rosie loved all the exhibits- carefully laid out in a way which is accessible for children, with signs saying "look in the drawers" - where you can find other intriguing objects. She loved the Spitfire Cottage Doll's House.
There were baskets of toys in many rooms, appropriate for bored toddlers - and opportunities to dress up. Be a city gent in one of the coffee houses, in a powdered wig and tricorn hat. Or try on a hat from the store of the eccentric but talented Norwich entrepreneur Rumsey Wells.
Let's dress up! cried my companion gleefully, and who was I to demur? She selected a top hat for herself and a pith helmet for me. And grabbed the curly wig to wear under her brown tricorn.
If you look very carefully, you can see there is still some swelling [but not much] on my lower lip, and really close inspection will reveal the temporary repairs to my incisors. But honestly, my mouth has healed up incredibly well in the 2½ weeks since it happened, thank the Lord.
I was able to enjoy my M&S prawn sandwich. Rosie explained that she has to be careful with food too, as she has a number of wobbly teeth at the moment.
It was a lovely afternoon together - we walked back to the Forum and read books in the children's library as we waited for all the family to arrive. 
Jess was very cheerful in the library, finding Hey Duggee books for grandad Bob to read to her. The place was packed with families enjoying the books and other activities. 
I nipped into the American Library . Last time I was in there, I mentioned to the staff member that I wished they stocked "Real Simple" in the magazines section. She took the details - and lo and behold, now they do have it there on the shelf. Brilliant!
What a great day out with a great little girl.

Friday, 2 June 2023

Drop Through The Letterbox

My Gardener's water saving kit arrived on Wednesday. 
It contained a selection of items and info sheets. 
Thanks Anglian Water
  • A water mat, to place under a pot plant - supposed to keep it hydrated for a week, while you are on holiday
  • 2 packets of Swell gel [plus money off coupons]
  • A box of 'seed bombs' to plant wildflowers and bee friendly plants
  • Various leaflets
Sadly the 'water stick', which is supposed to alert you to your pot plant drying out, was missing. Never mind. It was all free.

I do not understand why people in Suffolk who get sewerage and drainage from Anglian Water [but their tapwater comes from Essex and Suffolk Water] do not qualify for this freebie.

Rosie and her cousins were at Mundesley beach this week. Sadly they were unable to paddle or swim due to the raw sewage in the water and on the tideline. I find this very disappointing.

Thursday, 1 June 2023

A New Page

There have been a few things 'niggling away' of late - but the calendar reminds me that God loves me unfailingly, whatever happens. And that gives me courage and hope for whatever each day might bring. [I do enjoy turning over a new calendar page each month!]

Wednesday, 31 May 2023

Nuts In May

 And so ends one of the craziest months-of-May that I can remember. Quite apart from three Bank Holiday Mondays and a Coronation, there have been so many random news items that it has proved impossible to keep up with it all.
The Coronation - I got very caught up with details of the clothing and the embroidery. Hats off to Hand and Lock who produced much of this stuff. 
Princess Anne declared she was glad she could wear uniform, it saved her worrying about her outfit. And turned up in the Pirate King's hat from Penzance. [btw did you catch the Midsomer Murders on Sunday night? It was proper, mindless Sunday Evening viewing!] And Penny Mordaunt astounded everyone by her sword-carrying skills, and a cloak embroidered with the Poundland logo.
The Speeding Fines - The Archbishop ended up paying rather a lot for his mistakes. Which he did not deny, and genuinely attempted to pay for. It does appear that the admin got messed up somewhere along the line. I am not sure this government appreciates the ABCs efforts to call out their behaviour as 'morally unacceptable'
The Home Secretary tried to get out of doing a speed awareness course with other people, and that backfired rather. And four MPs [3 Tory, 1 SNP] claimed for their speeding fines on expenses! 
Slow down, and pay up, please!!
I'm not somebody who watches "This Morning" so have not really followed the story of Phillip Schofield's demise. I'm not even going to post a photo of the man. [But I bet '"are glad they have recently changed their marketing strategy!] I do not thinking that repeatedly lying to your wife, [ & children, work-partner, colleagues, employers...] is ever acceptable. It is even worse than queue jumping. 
I'll finish with two odd things I have observed in May...
Look closely at this washing powder - It is actually called "BIO- concentrated nonbio washing powder." 
Well is it? or isn't it?
And finally, a sign seen in a garden centre last weekend.

I think this sign is for people with dachshunds, altho some members of my family suggested I should have one. 
It was displayed on the bottom shelf, and behind it a sign saying "If you can't quite reach what you want..."
Do they not know that short-legged women are renowned for their obstinacy to accept help and will happily scale the fitment to reach things from the top shelf?
Roll on June - things can only get better!


Tuesday, 30 May 2023

Love Every Drop

Last week, a team from Anglian Water had a stand outside The Forum in the centre of Norwich. "Come and say HiπŸ™‚ " said the sign, so I did. Lottie, Claire and the team explained they were trying to help people to be more responsible about their use of water, and teach simple tips to enable everyone be better at it. Norfolk is the driest county in the UK
Lottie gave me a free home kit, and apologised that they'd run out of the gardener's kits - she said I could apply online [I've done that]
I decided not to get into a discussion about sewage released into the rivers by the water companies. 
AW have apologised for that and pledged to do better in future.
But what can an ordinary person do? The causes of 80% of blocked sewer pipes are fatbergs and flushed baby wipes, 
  • Do not pour fat down the kitchen sink [there's a free plate scraper in the kit, and a strainer for the plug-hole] 
  • Do not flush wipes down the loo.
  • Spend less time in the shower [free timer in the kit]
We talked about wasted water in the kitchen - use a bowl to collect water, don't just run the tap.
Save cooking water - Lottie liked my tip about putting the water from the saucepan when Bob's boils his breakfast eggs, and putting it straight into the washing up bowl.
And drain water from cooked vegetables to make gravy or stock.
In the garden use a water butt [or two] and water carefully with a can, not mindlessly with a hose. 
The website has heaps of tips
I said my best tip [other than the egg water] was to teach the younger generation by modelling good habits and showing them what they can do to help.
Here are the three items from my kit. Bob was a little confused when he went into the bathroom "Am I supposed to operate that gadget with my toe?" We have discovered that the suction cup does not seem to like the tiles in the shower!
Thank you Lottie, Claire and co. The stand has left Norwich now and they will be working in Kings Lynn this week. I hope that people do take notice. Water is a precious resource which we must never take for granted, we must collaborate and do all we can to conserve our supplies.

Monday, 29 May 2023

House Work

For the May Cross-Country-Collaboration with Kirsten, I was not sure what to stitch. I felt that perhaps I should mark the Coronation, but I did the No Cross No Crown last month and didn't feel like another crown. 

The House of Windsor began in 1917 with our King's great-grandfather, surely I could find something I'd enjoy stitching. Looking in the loft for something else, I found an A4 envelope containing some X- Stitch pattern books from the late 80s when I was making lots of cards.
Let's be honest, the Royal family is pretty dysfunctional at the moment, in one way or another. So prayers are not just God Bless The King, but God Bless The Lot Of Them. And then I found this at the back of the book. I tweaked the border a little.
Bless This House  was written by an English woman a century ago, with music written by an Australian. 
It seemed a good sentiment. 

But as I stitched I realised there was a second meaning... In the year and a half that Kirsten and I have been sewing in collaboration, our friendship has grown. We send each otyer messages and prayer requests and pray for each other and our families. The piece I was working on will end up in Kirsten's house. 
Bless this house, oh Lord we pray   applies to the house of my stitching buddy as well that of the sovereign. 

Sunday, 28 May 2023

Another Birthday

Yesterday our family celebrated Liz's birthday. Today the church family worldwide celebrates the birthday of the Church. 50 days after Easter [hence  the name Pentecost] God gave the gift of his Holy Spirit to his disciples. In days gone by, people traditionally wore white clothes for church on this day, hence the alternative name whit[e]sun.

Saturday, 27 May 2023

That's My Girl!!

I taught Rosie the word phenomenal, and said it meant amazing, astounding or marvellous. Then I asked her if she could use it in a sentence - instantly she replied "My Mummy is phenomenal!"
Yes she is indeed and we all love her so much.  Happy Birthday, Liz - may your day be filled with joy and laughter. God bless you today and always

Friday, 26 May 2023

Not Just Four Candles!

No, this is not a post about Ronnie Barker, but rather about a Dane called Meik Wiking [yes, it really is pronounced Mike Viking!] He's the guy who brought out The Little Book Of Hygge in 2016. I came across the word hygge a couple of years earlier via PomPom's blog.
"To learn to hygge is to take practical steps to evoke it - to shelter, cluster, enclose, embrace, comfort and warm ourselves and each other. Cultivating the habits of balance, moderation, care and observance will then comfortably ensure more hygge in our daily lives." 
Meik set up the Happiness Institute in Copenhagen, and has been promoting the idea of hygge [living well/cosiness] and lykke [happiness] in our daily lives ever since.
And this clearly struck a chord with many people world wide - those who were getting wealthy, but not happy. They began to realise that relationships and experiences are more important than possessions, and having a warm, welcoming and cosy home to retreat to at the end of a fraught working day was a big part of that. Naturally a lot of people jumped on the bandwagon and started to 'market' hygge. 
Up went the sales of candles, blankets, fluffy socks, herbal teas...
This week I found Meik's latest book in the library. As nobody turned up for the craft group, I sat and read it from cover-to-cover [272 pages] Meik goes into the rationale behind hygge. It is full of interesting statistics about people's perception of happiness across the world, and ideas which go beyond "light candles on the dining table" I really enjoyed this book and found it very thought-provoking.
He quotes The Hobbit "If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, the world would be a merrier place"
Unesco has an "Intangible Cultural Heritage" List - which includes things like Italian pizza culture, Spanish flamenco culture, and Belgian beer culture. Meik is lobbying for Danish Hygge culture to be on that list!
He advocates good lighting - explaining why candles improve the ambience. He points out that the way we light our rooms can actually affect children's behaviour. A super-bright classroom with striplights is not always best  - pendant lamps over each table will help focus each child on their workbooks. And studies show this also decreases the noise level significantly! 
In the food section, he speaks about the benefits of 'seasonal eating' [no flavourless strawberries in December!] but also the wisdom of learning to have food which does preserve well in your pantry, to zhuzh up recipes all year round.  His top-ten list is
preserved lemons; elderflower cordial; dried mushrooms; chutneys; pickled beetroot; cherry sauce; roasted peppers in oil; blackberry jam; figs in rum; kimchi
I'm ok with all those except kimchi [I love figs, but not in rum, so will go for dried ones!]
He suggests keeping a list of freezer contents on your phone so you know what's in there when you are at the supermarket!
Meik talks about the wisdom of buying well and buying once, citing Ben Franklin The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten
Hygge is connected with our awareness of nature - did you know that London is the world's first "National Park City" ? It has an astonishing amount of public green space, and water areas.
In terms of relationship-building, Wiking advocates the "vacant chair" principle. When you sit with friends in a coffee shop/discussion group/wherever always pull up one more chair than there are people in the group. That way a stranger is more easily welcomed. "Come and sit here with us" is much more positive than "pull up a chair" [especially if their hands are full, carrying their coffee/bag/coat] 
He says "The wisest words often come when we are holding something - a tool or utensil - it enables us to deal with silence in the conversation without panicking, if an activity is occurring, words will flow freely" [I agree there- it is certainly one of the principles behind the Men's Shed Movement]
Meik rightly condemns "Hygge-washing" - manufacturers marketing their wares as if owning these things brings instant hygge. He says he was so disappointed when he arrived in the USA and in one of the first interviews, a journalist asked "So what do I need to buy now to experience hygge?"
There is too much information, and too many ideas, in the book to list everythingl here - but if you are interested in the rationale behind the concept, and enjoy piecharts as well as pies, check it out! 
Definitely *****
The clip below is about his other passion, lykke

Thursday, 25 May 2023

The Virtuous Gardener

Well this is a surprise. We returned from Scotland, and I wandered round the garden checking this and that. Potatoes OK, shallots OK, radishes OK, beans OK, peonies- blooming, viola -2nd blooming [woohoo!!]  tomatoes looking sad, herbs thriving, roses [with the exception of the tomatoes] I was quite happy. Then I noticed a new plant in the front garden, next to the rosemary
I don't recall planting this one. Lunaria annua - often known as moonwort, but more commonly called honesty.
I have always said I would like to grown honesty in my garden. But never got round to it - I have no idea where this came from, but I am so happy it is there. I remember the Deputy Head at the first school I taught in, putting a large jug of the silvery white seed heads on the table in the entrance, with a label saying "We need more of this"
This has set me thinking about the virtuous plants in our gardens, and those whose names mean something
HONESTY - know the truth and it shall set you free
SAGE- wisdom is definitely something to aspire to
BALM - comfort in times of anxiety
FORGET-ME-NOT - how important to remember others
THYME - not to be wasted!
THRIFT - definitely a virtue we all need these days
I am not sure if my honesty plant will produce those lovely luminescent selenic seed heads, or if they will stay the lilac colour. But I am really excited to watch what happens.
Can you think of other plants with noble names?

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

Gallic Shrugs

Defined as a nuanced gesture with myriad meanings. Stick out the lower lip, simultaneously raise eyebrows and shoulders, and voice a nonchalant "bof!" 

The classic nonverbal communication of the Frenchman saying Not my problem!
You see a lot of these shrugs on the Netflix comedy "Call my Agent!" This series is set in a French casting agency, showing the complex relationships between actors and agents.
After our daughters recommended it, we started watching, and find it very clever. The actor playing the main role, 
Thibault de Montalembert, bears an alarming resemblance, imho, to Roger Allam [perhaps they share a barber?] Below, RA left, TdM right. 
The other great thing about this show is that many of the actors are famous actors playing cameo roles as themselves 
Audrey Fleurot, Sigourney Weaver, Juliette Binoche and Jean Reno for example
We're still in Series 1, there are at least three more to come. Light hearted humour, great fun, and loads of shrugs. 
Meanwhile, out in my raised bed I have been growing French Breakfast Radishes. It was great to get home on Sunday afternoon, and see them shrugging their little crimson shoulders out of the earth. 
Unfortunately I can't currently eat them in my favourite way [dip in butter and salt, then crunch!] but I hope to work round that. Any good ideas? 
Bon Appetit! 

Tuesday, 23 May 2023

Holidays Over - Happy To Be Home

Bob wisely suggested that we came home a day early. So we left before Steph set out for her run. It was Manchester Marathon Day - but she was just doing 10K [her first proper run since Jacob was born last summer] With good friends Raquel and Christine to send her off at the start, and cheer her as she came home, we knew she was well supported.
It was a very warm day, and we took our time - diverting to Lincoln for some lunch. We went to the delightful Stokes Cafe - the building dates back to 1540 and is set on High Bridge.It was beautiful walking through the city in the sunshine. Bob had fish and chips [as it was the end of his holiday] and I had soup of the day. Lentil again - but the best of the 4 bowls I'd enjoyed since my accident.
We were both very tired when we got back. But Monday was a very productive day. We seemed to achieve a lot, and coming back early was a wise move.
8.55 - delivered my letter from Dundee Hospital to the GPs surgery in North Elmham
9.00 - crossed the road to the Tea Post for a lovely breakfast of golden scrambled eggs
10.00 - into Dereham to collect my new glasses - fortuitously ordered before the holiday. How pleased I was that they were waiting for me. The Vision Express optician took away the bent ones, and said she could straighten them, and then send them off to be recycled for the benefit of someone else. While I was doing that, Bob bought necessary groceries.
11.00 - home, and the GP rang for a chat and asked if I could pop in to see her so she could check my mouth
11.30 - at the surgery again. GP very pleased with the treatment Ii'd received in Scotland, and checked that I had dental provision for the teeth. She was satisfied with the way things are healing. I left with a tube of antiseptic cream to help the process. All good!

Rest of the day - Bob pottered about doing this and that***, and I just lazed around, still sleepy. I will post pictures of new specs when my face is less swollen [my nose is still tender]  The garden has gone on growing in my absence [mostly - my pot of basil has languished, but radishes are ready for picking, and the potatoes are coming on a treat. One peony bud has opened and is blooming a beautiful crimson]

For those interested - we found our cottage through Holiday Cottages UK, and we were very pleased with the property, and felt we had good value for money. We had splashed out a little more than the minimum, but were grateful for that after the accident. It was a pleasant place to relax in, beautifully quiet, and really well equipped. Guests in the other cottage on site told us they had used HCUK before, and were always pleased with their rentals. 

***Despite my urging him to support "No Mow May" it is four weeks since the last cut and Bob could not stand the unkempt lawn any longer! My man went to mow at 3pm. 

The holiday is finished!