24 December 2015

Merry Christmas From Rufus, Buster and Moi

Can't believe it, Christmas Eve and I've mowed the lawn! it's been bugging me for a while. I didn't spend too much time on it and I didn't trim the edges but it looks much better.

Ham sandwich for lunch, then we're off to see Star Wars
followed by a bite to eat and a few cocktails at TGI Friday.

I've been writing my cyberspace diary for just over a year now,
thank you for reading my posts and the lovely comments you have left. 

I hope you have a very merry Christmas.

21 December 2015

Buster's Diary

Rufus has hurt his paw again, it's very red and sore and he's hopping around on three legs, so no walks for him for a day or two. Our walks are very wet and muddy at the moment, two songs go through SL's mind when we're out - Mud Glorious Mud and Slip Sliding Away. 
Part of our walk takes us across or beside this small stream, depending on the water level.

That's me having run through the water, it wasn't very deep then.

Some kind person has strung this very strong nylon rope around the tree to help get down the bank, it's not a long way down but when it's muddy it's like an out of control slalom course. SL holds onto the rope and abseils down into the water then she wades across. 

Getting out on this side is slightly easier because although it's muddy it isn't quite so steep.

We don't have to cross the stream but it is a nice walk through some fields and it avoids a really bad muddy area. The other day Rufus and SL had crossed over, the level was high, it reached almost to the top of SL's boots. I was still on the other side refusing to cross. SL called me a wuss which I think was a tad harsh, I'm shorter than Rufus, the water would probably have been up to my undercarriage. She tried coaxing me with tasty treats but there was no way I was crossing that stream. SL had to find a broken tree branch to act as a kind of walking pole to help her cross back. She wasn't best pleased.

The problem with weather like this is having to be hosed down when we get home, we don't like that. SL ties us up, goes indoors, comes out with her rubber gloves on and hoses us down, mmm I think some people would pay to have that done to them!! anyway where was I? oh yes, mostly it's just feet and legs, but occasionally it's the undercarriage as well, oh the indignity....

18 December 2015

One Week

Tis a week before Christmas and all round the house

Nothing is stirring, not even the mouse

The tree is up, the presents are wrapped

Mince pie, mulled wine, time to relax

Christmas has always been a much loved and looked forward to time for me, the build up, lists, decorating the tree, stringing the cards up, putting up the outside lights, happily spending most of Christmas and Boxing days preparing food, and always striving to make it perfect. However I now set the bar a little lower, I still enjoy a bit of shopping, a little baking, card sending, present buying and wrapping, but I don’t get stressed if it doesn’t go to plan, I simply say to myself “What is the very worst thing that can happen?” 

There have been a few Christmas disasters - underestimating how long the turkey needed to defrost one year and having to stand it overnight on a stool in front of the open oven set on its lowest setting. And the time when, after one too many sherries I dropped the roast potatoes on the kitchen floor, a fairly clean floor, but nevertheless a floor regularly festooned with all manner of human and canine detritus. I quickly scooped them up, wiped them with a tea towel and put them back in the oven. My girls were about 6 or 7 at the time and my mother and an aunt were with us that year but no one knew and no one was ill. I confirmed two things from that encounter - life is much less stressful after a few sherries, and a bit of muck doesn’t actually harm you!

The last couple of years Christmas day has been completely stress free, as we have treated ourselves to dinner out. We return home replete and spend the rest of the day relaxing. I do a quiz for my family  - identify TV advert slogans, identify well known company logos, charades, my version of articulate, and this one which I introduced last year - familiar objects from unfamiliar angles. How many can you identify? Answers below.

I love decorating the Christmas tree, and it has to be a real one. I'm not OCD but... I put the decs on the tree in the same order every year! I start with my favourites at the top and the front, then the rest.
Over the years I have acquired lots of decorations, sentimental, old, new, modern and traditional.

These birds were my mum's. When she started to downsize her Christmas trees she gave me some of her
decorations. I don't know how old these are, I would guess at over 50 years,
I remember them from when I was a little girl. 

This is all that's left of her lovely colourful baubles. 

A fairy has a hard time up where the tinsel glitters
A wand of gold in one hand and a fir tree in her knickers
I bought this lovely fairy in a garden centre sale a few years ago

along with these other favourites, they were bargains

My grandson made this one when he was little

My daughter bought these whilst on holiday

And some fun ones

Time to publish this post, my laptop just had a minor funny turn, nothing as bad as a couple of weeks ago, no programmes were working, my son-in-law did some diagnostics, unistalled and re-installed things and it was ok. I hate it when things don't work and I can't mend them.

 mmm chilli and rice with garlic bread for tea.

How do you decorate your tree, do you have a tree, do you have favourite decorations?

How well did you do with the pictures? I think I made them too easy :-)
an iron, the dogs' bowl of water, a box of oxo cubes, spaghetti, a pineapple, a bottle of milk

13 December 2015

Two Weeks

Two weeks before Christmas, Isn't it exciting

Wrapping, baking and lots of sighing

Presents bought, fairy lights checked

Time running out, the house to be decked

I love mince pies and every year I do my own mince pie survey, it's really just an excuse to eat loads of them!

Tesco finest all butter with Courvoisier, £2 for 6: Lovely pastry, generous delicious filling 8/10

Co-op luxury mince pies all butter with brandy, £2 for 6: Very nice, crumbly pastry,
tasty generous filling 8/10

Mr Kipling £1 for 6: very tasty 8/10

Tesco 89p for 6: not bad 5/10

The co-op truly delicious mini mince pies £2.50 for 12: These little beauties are gorgeous, 3 topped with chopped pecan nuts and glaze, 3 with a pastry star, and 3 with whisky butter cream 10/10

Aldi crumbly all butter with brandy £1.15 for 6: Very tasty but the pastry is too crumbly, nice filling 7/10

The Co-op Loved by us £1 for 6: Quite nice 6/10

Greggs £2 for 6: Made in store. They are delicious. With a good sturdy shortcrust pastry and 
a generous tasty filling, they taste just like home made 10/10

In a recent survey of mince pies Greggs came out above Fortnum & Mason at £13.95 for a box of 6.
Mind you they are beautifully packaged and would make a lovely present for a mum or a favourite aunt. 

6 December 2015

Three Weeks

Three weeks before Christmas and all round the house

Everything is rousing, even the mouse

Cards written and posted, overseas first

Need presents and food, my head’s fit to burst

Here in the UK some charities post out packs of Christmas cards in the hope that people will send in a donation. They are prints of paintings by artists with disabilities, and some of them are very nice, but for many years I returned them because I didn't particularly like most of them, and felt guilty about keeping them. One year I did send a donation but now I am of the opinion that if they send them completely unsolicited then I shouldn't feel guilty about keeping them and not making a contribution. 
Do you receive them, do you keep them, do you donate to the charity, how do you feel about them?

4 December 2015


Bad things come in threes. I try not to be taken in by sayings, but over the last couple of weeks we have had three domestic problems. The first was the washing machine, it wasn't spinning or draining and despite my son-in-laws best efforts to research online for a fix, none was to be found so we bought a new one. 
Not to be outdone by a washing machine the dishwasher decided to play up. It got to the end of the cycle, I opened the door and was greeted by the smell of dirty water and a well of dirty, greasy water in the bottom of the machine. On went the marigolds, checked the filter, then, cloth in hand I bailed out the water to investigate further, couldn't find a way to see under the filter, so checked the pipes, no blockages so what next? As a serial optimist and one who hopes that things will miraculously repair themselves if you just keep trying! I set the machine on a different programme and - voila it worked, so it wasn't the pump, perhaps it's just that programme that's faulty, I will try it on that one again soon.
Now the central heating boiler is making loud alarming noises, a cross between a revving engine and a huge wind machine blowing through it. An engineer is coming to look at it this evening.

So, kismet or coincidence, I prefer the latter..........

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