Monday, 3 March 2014
These two hellebores are currently pot bound bedfellows. The dark purple was a gift from my grandfather's garden. The master plan is to eventually set them free with others under the apple trees once we've finished with the back of the house. I hope they like each other for alas they are going to be sharing their current home for quite a while.
Sunday, 2 March 2014
Quick google image check - tick. Quick search on how to deal with it (not with a match) - tick. Quick trip to the nearest pet shop to pick up de-ticking implements - tick.
We set up a makeshift operating station - tick remover, latex gloves, antiseptic, cotton pads, tick bite cream, jar with surgical spirit for disposing the tick in, you name it, we had it. I am horribly squeamish but rubbish at holding down a squirming cat so had already guessed which role I would end up with. On went the latex gloves.
tick remover is brilliant. Just twirl and twirl, and twirl a little bit more, and the little blighter twists off. Then stick it, and the remover, in the surgical spirit (kills it - see, in the jar!), dab the wound with the antiseptic and then smear on the bite cream. Which all sounds very simple, some would say calm, doesn't it? Pah. Getting Miss P, aka The Eel, to stay still was a challenge and a half, which meant getting the tick remover onto the tick was somewhat tricky. Then there was the small matter of me jumping higher than the cat when the tick remover first touched the tick and it moved!!! Its little legs started wiggling - which totally and utterly freaked me out. The second attempt was a success - which is astonishing given my now racing heart, shaking hands and sweaty brow, not to mention a freaked out cat and wiggling tick. The steady stream of expletives helped. I needed a sit down afterwards and would have happily necked a stiff drink - thankyouverymuch. But being utterly British, and lunchtime, I stuck the kettle on for a cup of tea.
Who knew we could make such a palaver over something that the average dog owner has to deal with all the time. At least we know what to do next time although I suspect I'll still feel nauseous and in a need of a whisky.
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Monday, 24 February 2014
Growing up, I knew three kinds - my Nan's (plain with jam), my Gran's (fruit) and my mother's (both). I remember making plain scones in my home economics class when baskets were still required to take the ingredients to school, the notion of which sadly conjures up the phrase of 'how quaint' and makes me feel ancient.
We were back in Esher yesterday hunting for kitchens and popped into Daylesford to pick up some bread for lunch (they do a great 5 seed sourdough). And they had freshly baked scones - after the disappointment last week, I couldn't resist. A smear of sea salt butter and Bonne Maman strawberry jam and a steaming mug of tea. Crumbly but not too dry with a generous crust. Just the ticket for getting through all those kitchen catalogues.
Tuesday, 18 February 2014
I was talking with Mrs B on Sunday about meals for one. And how, when the Misters are away, there are times, coupled with the long hours that we do, the notion of cooking for one at 8:30 at night is frankly a drag. We've all been there - when even scrambled eggs seem a phaff. I'm trying to get much better at eating properly when Mr M (the chef) is away. Summer is easier when salad can be thrown together in seconds, but winter requires a little more thought if you don't want to end up going down the soup route each night. Snore.
When Mr M was in Dublin last week, I worked late (isn't it always the way?) - and opened the door to a seriously uninspiring fridge. A couple of eggs, some open creme fraiche, a lump of unidentifiable cheese, some salami, a jar of ancient olives and a sad leftover wrap (obsessed with Crosta & Mollica wraps at the moment). I mixed up the creme fraiche with some grated cheese, black pepper and chopped parsley and smeared it on the wrap, then sprinkled over the olives, salami and cracked an egg in the middle. Popped in the oven on Gas Mark 6 for 20 minutes or until the egg is cooked, and then eaten with the few watercress leaves that were palatable. It was delicious. Can't beat an egg on a pizza. Truly. We first discovered it when Mr M took me to Paris for my 19th birthday and we had a bolognese and egg pizza on Champs-Élysées. As you do. Sounds disgusting, but was delicious. We thought we were so cool and grown up. I believe John Lennon sunglasses may have been involved.
Monday, 17 February 2014
|Camellia buds getting ready for Paris Fashion Week...|
Mr M cooked a delicious Valentine's meal with a taste of Provence. I made a much overdue trip to the hairdressers on Saturday promptly stepping out into gale force wind which certainly added a je ne sais quoi to the bouffant blow dry.
On Sunday I went to Daylesford in Esher to meet the lovely Mrs B for afternoon tea. It was a slightly odd experience - we've been meaning to go since it opened so perhaps we'd built it up a little too much in our heads. But sitting there, with the beautiful glasses (lovely) on identical chairs at identical tables all in washed white, there was a slightly odd sensation of sitting in a Neptune (kitchen I heart but combined with furniture too much) meets The White Company canteen. It was rather odd. We were hoping for scones but they'd run out so we opted for cake and coffee. The staff were brilliant but it just all felt a little bit new. A little mismatched furniture wouldn't go amiss. Home to a cracking roast chicken with celeriac and aubergine chips (thank you Mr M) and then it was Monday all over again.
This week I'm looking forward to eventually making it to the gym (I think I finally have a solution for being top heavy with a long torso in the pool - double layers - am sick of getting stuck in my tankini with ginormous wire cups - they are so big I can't even get them in the dry-spinney machine), leaving work on time, calling Mrs L, getting some early nights, starting my new book, cooking for Mr M, willing my dreadful skin to calm down, trying not to buy anything from the new Foyles at Waterloo station and hoping that Miss P doesn't bring us any more presents. There was a mouse yesterday and a sticky, tiny slug that had clearly been shaken with vigour from a back paw this evening.
What are you looking forward to this week?