Wednesday 31 January 2024

Time table...

This song cropped up in the car the other day, and while it is still a favourite album of mine, I've never really wondered about the lyrics, which now seem to come alive a bit more!

When our parents eventually popped off, we inherited several pieces of furniture, and to this day, we still use the dining table and chairs from my mum and dad's house. I can remember sitting on the chairs when they were at my grandfather's house - The 'White Hart' pub in Campton, near Shefford, and as for the table, my paternal grandfather made it in the nineteen-twenties as his desk for the family firm!

But what amazes me, is that nowadays, I need a cushion to get up to eating level! 

So, back when I was six or seven, I was possibly looking at the table from nearly a foot lower, so would have been eating my egg which would have been on a level with my nose! At Christmas, the whole extended family would sit around it to play 'Brag' - for half-pennies too! I'll have to ask my dear sister if I was ever allowed to have a cushion back then...

Sunday 21 January 2024

Required reading cock-up...

I'm trying to update the recent posts list, and Blogger won't let me change the names! I type in the names, and the URLs, then it won't let me save them - or delete them!

Does anyone know why this is please - I use Blogger of course!

Any ideas anyone...?

Saturday 13 January 2024

Log on, then log on again...

Since October last year - in fact also during the winter of 2022/3, Scrobs has been amassing a huge woodpile for the open fire at The Turrets! These logs are essential to counteract the ridiculous scare-scam about global grilling, as it gets quite cold in the living room at this time of year!

Over several years, logs have cost up to £100.00 a load, which is about nine or ten barrow loads. We've usually had them from a friend, who is a tree surgeon, and also a trader in these barn-stored pieces around this time of year, and they are a joy to burn! The norm has been two or three loads each season.

But for the last two winters, The Turrets has had the benefit of the generosity of another chum, who lives not far from here. He has been steadily upgrading his (already) large home, and clearing a sizeable estate of failing yew and beech trees, which were in a parlous condition. The trees have been cut to suit an open fire, and have been stored in those big square bags under tarpaulins. There must have been an original pile of about thirty of these bags - and he'd just decided to get rid of his log-burner!

So, even after my friend had placed an advert in the local rag for 'Free Firewood', amazingly, only one man noticed it, and called round! He was duly rewarded with as much as he could carry in his new BMW, and for some reason, he also decided to drive into a telegraph pole, but that wasn't planned at all!

So these piles of wood remained untouched for two or three years!

Scrobs was walking Lily the hound one morning, and bumped into our arboreal philanthropist, who realised that Scrobs did indeed have an open fire, and would I like to avail myself of a few loads! Well, the answer could be nothing but a hasty 'Yes Please'!

So, there have been twenty-odd journeys in the Golf, (duly protected with a huge dust sheet), and a resulting load during each visit of around a dozen to fifteen, full plastic bags for the woodshed! It is a labour of love, as each bag would have cost a few quid in Tesco, and probably a bit less from our normal supplier, but Hellfire, what is two hours of hard labour when there's a saving of about £70.00 a pop!

So it's a public 'Thank you', Darren! I hope our return gifts each Christmas have maintained the time-honoured matter of some sort of alcoholic recognition of such generosity, and we're very grateful to see such a huge saving on our heating bills!


Friday 5 January 2024

Jam today...


Scrobs is in the middle of a new craze...

While gardening takes a bit of a back seat around now, the inventive juices look for alternatives, and bread-making has surfaced as a likely contender. It's rather pleasant knowing that one's daily bread has none of the chemical additives with long scientific names, and the scent is overpowering! It also makes fabulous toast!

But, an alternative use is making marmalade, and that really is a challenge which is well worth exploring! I spotted a tray of Seville oranges in Waitrose the other day, and the old brain cells sort of clicked into place, with a recollection that I had a programme on the machine that made jam, and sure enough, it does the business!

The first batch looked as though it hadn't set, so on advice from the 'net' I gave it another hour, which turned a pleasant orange mess into a solid black mess! The spoon bounced off the top, and although I had to loosen it all and dilute it, I finished up with a very strong, dark brown concoction, which actually tastes quite nice!

So, back to the original recipe, and paying more attention to advice, the second and third batches have proved to be pretty damn good, although I say it myself!

Today's the last day of manufacture. I'll finish up with about eight or nine jars of the orange nectar, which should last until around 2026...