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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Toothache and Curry

Last Friday we went to Sandsend near Whitby, for the day and it was really lovely. The weather was gorgeous, we took a lovely picnic and the Camper and parked on the cliff overlooking the beach. We were early and the places filled up as the day progressed. We were still there when people started to leave and eventually wove our own way home.
The next day my toothache began. It had been niggling for a couple of weeks but I was optimistic that it would subside. I wanted it to subside. It didn't. I didn't want to return to the dentist I had been using so I held out all weekend and then phoned a new dentist on Tuesday. They were able to give me an appointment that day. The tooth was drilled and packed with antiseptic stuff and I was put on amoxyllin and given another appointment for tomorrow.
It was very difficult to eat and drink all week but by today the swelling and pain had gone down and so I prepared this...
It's basically a vegetable curry that my brother made for us a year or so ago. As omnivores we tend to chuck left over chicken into it too. You can see that I write in my recipe books and amend the quantities and ingredients.
Today's vegetables were "what's in the fridge". I still find it quite complicated to get all the ingredients and spices and procedures in the right order so I do this.
Everything goes in the pan on the right and is lined up like a procession in the order of addition. The last, for instance is the coriander (to be chopped) and the garam masala to be sprinkled and of course the onions are not cut up until just before. Veggies like potatoes are par-boiled but most of the rest is cut to an appropriate size and added. All the spices are measured out and put in ramekins in the queue.
This is the last stage. Rice with some saffron is cooked on the side. It is then dished up.
Today it is accompanied by red wine from our visit to France but lager goes well too.
It got cleared up and replaced with a couple of M&S rhubarb deserts. Sorry but they went too quickly for a photo to be taken.
Well that's the toothache seen to for a while!
Cheers Gillian

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Harry Potter Takes over Alnwick Castle

Spring seems to produce yellow flowers everywhere, whereas Summer seems to bring on the purple ones.
All sorts of thistles produce purple flowers.
The blackberries are approaching purple/black.
And the purple heather blazes across the tops of the moors. We took B, DJ's grand-daughter, across the top of the moors in Durham. She had pictured all moors to be  like those that can be run across whilst calling "Heathcliffe!". But they are to be found a little bit further south in Yorkshire. The heather is like a foot deep carpet of purple wonder right now and we enjoyed it at its best.
After trips to the moors and the seaside and the ice-cream farm we settled in at home for a lovely weekend.
Last weekend we decided to visit Alnwick Castle. DJ has not been there before and I remembered it well from years ago.
Last time I visited, I parked here, out the front, and sauntered in to have a look at the gift shop, have a cup of tea and leave mother to enjoy herself in a sedentary way while I went round the Castle for £6.00.
No more.
Now it is best to park away up the hill out of town, behind the new "Garden". We did and headed off to see the castle and later the town.
Much of the castle is now devoted to cashing in on "Harry Potter". This small crowd are learning how to ride broomsticks. Brilliantly done. And much more is well displayed and superbly catered for. I'm sure the profits are well used to maintain the old castle.
The Garden is a different venue. As we are OAPs we get in to the castle for £12. The ticket can last for a year of visits. The Garden is another £12.!
We left after the crowds started to arrive in droves and went down to the beach at Alnmouth and stayed the afternoon and had tea in the pub and then came home. A Grand Day Out.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

The Blues Brothers Go To The Cricket

The Blues Brothers got tickets to the fourth day of the fourth Ashes Test at the Durham ground at Chester-le-Street. They took Hester from Chester-le-Street along for the ride.
But she wasn't allowed in cos she hadn't got a ticket, so she stayed in the car for the day.
There was a short session with the band in the park.
Then they went in and watched the famous people close up at the nets for a while.
Before they took their seats in the rapidly filling ground.
Some people had already started their lunch!
But it wasn't long till the teams came out to play.
Little Bo Peep was a bit late. Obviously  had some trouble finding all her sheep.
The cameraman in the crows nest got to come down at lunch time.
Which was a good thing because there was a deluge to rival Noah's flood and everyone got soaked.
Eventually play resumed and because the Ozzies were having such a good  afternoon, the Poms got a bit bored and resorted to seeing who could make the longest snake out of empty plastic beer glasses...
...And watching the Honey Monster get chased around by the security people who were trying to evict him.

But it all came to a sad end. The Ozzies tumbled and the Blues Brothers didn't get on TV.
They'll do it again though...anytime. The day out was really good , the atmosphere was great and so was the cricket. Well done Durham for such a good Test Match.
Cheers Elwood

Thursday, 8 August 2013


We went to Seaton Carew for a walk along the beach and a half serve of fish and chips from the renowned "The Almighty Cod". The Hartlepool Council are still doing massive engineering works to the beach and sea front.
In the old days, Seaton Carew was visited by locals and day trippers and a bus station was built right on the foreshore.
It is very large and very Art Deco, with some well maintained toilets, some seats, a clock and not much else. It does an amazingly good job of blocking the sea from view along a large stretch of the promenade.
If you owned a property on the other side of the road you'd be waiting for a big wave to have an impact on it.

A much worse eyesore is the Longscar Centre and it is very aptly named. The council are hoping to get a compulsory purchase order so that it can be demolished and the site incorporated into the new seafront design. I hope it all happens soon.
DJ is a very happy man. He is now the proud owner of a Routemaster 1:24  model. It is being suggested that this is the start of a wonderful collection of such delights. They even have a home to go to on the new shelves. It is a lovely bus and it looks grand on the first landing.                                                                                                                     

There seems to be quite a lot of fruit around this year. The weather has helped the growth of all plants. Our weeds are doing really well and unfortunately I bought unsterilised topsoil to top up the garden beds and all the weed seeds within it have done very well. The job of removing the weeds will have to wait till next early spring. The hedge is growing again and it was only clipped a couple of weeks ago.
 A friend brought round a large bag of red and black currants and an even larger bag of red and green gooseberries. I have cleaned, topped and tailed all the gooseberries and apart from a couple of crumbles they have all been bagged and frozen for use at a later date. The red and black currants have also been dealt with.
They have been doused in gin and some sugar for xmas drinks, jellied for give-aways and frozen for later use. This pic also shows some of the goosegogs bagged and frozen for 'ron. These lovely fruits reminded us that there were wild raspberries to be had alongside the footpath on Brusselton Hill and so we went out early  this morning and  returned with a couple of tubs.
They are getting harder to reach every year as the nettles and sticky weed encroach on their patch. We had a bit of a fight and got stung on our picking arms but the harvest was lovely and we had them in a crumble tonight with some of the goosegogs.  
Too much to eat really, but there we go.
Cheers Gillian