Last weekend I was felled by a migraine, I didn’t get the shawl finished as I’d hoped. I’ve spent most of the week asleep or wishing I could sleep.
Blaze of Glory was completed on Wednesday. It’s not yet blocked as I type, but I can’t do that until I’ve managed to rid the place of the smell of vinegar (yes, again!). Once I get it blocked and gorgeous I’ll post a photo.
I couldn’t believe it this week. One thing after another. If it wasn’t migraine it was stress headache. When that did finally clear thanks to total avoidance of caffeine and chocolate and much rest, I came down with a cold.
I started to feel properly human on Friday, so I boiled 30 eggs. You see, pickled eggs are remarkably easy to make and tasty to eat, and best of all; they’re a free snack on slimming world. So, 30 eggs, two large jars from IKEA, two pints of distilled vinegar and I have some fantastic snacks awaiting me, ready to eat in around three weeks. Happy days!
Finally today, after coating the cats in diatomaceous earth (good flea treatment and non toxic), I descended on a box of Bramleys I optimistically bought just before I got so ill. The vinegar pong around here is due to the fact that if you add sugar and dried fruit and salt and pickling spice to apples and boil it all up, it will blend down to a cracking five pints of brown sauce with the nicest little kick I’ve tasted in a while.
I think that’s all my cooking projects for a little while but I have knitting and crochet and sewing projects merrily awaiting me so I suspect they’ll keep me busy for the foreseeable future.
Take care one and all.
Side note, it’s the 75th anniversary of the night that Coventry was blitzed, so I’m saying a private prayer for those who remember and for those who don’t but have been affected by it since then. Only a few weeks ago a huge bomb had to be dealt with not far from where I work.
I can’t blog about what I have done this week without acknowledging the horrors of 13th November in Paris.
I’m angry over the fact that terrorists can take a faith and twist it so that they truly believe their violence has Divine approval. It does not.
Today I have candles burning in several windows as my personal sign that only light can drive out darkness and only love can destroy hatred.
I have faith in God, and as such I pray that the authorities do come up with an effective plan to stop this senseless violence once and for all.
To Paris, with love and tears and prayers, from Me xx
It’s been an awkward week. I’ve been struggling for sometime with a couple of health issues and one of them decided to really kick off this week.
I’ve spent quite a lot of time thinking of projects and how feasible each one might be currently, and then yesterday I was late to work. I ended up sitting in the kitchen unable to function, felled by the mother of several migraines. There’s nothing quite like swallowing painkillers, waiting for them to work and then realising that nothing is going to happen because nothing is controlling the pain. I was taken home and spent the next 14 hours mostly sleeping.
When I did finally wake up this morning I seemed to be pain free, so after a gentle start I got dressed, collected my bags and went shopping for glassware for my next two cooking projects, and the bits that got missed off the main shop. Half way through I realised that actually I was not fit for this and had to forget about half of what I’d planned.
When I finally got home and was able to sit still I picked up my knitting. I’m making a shawl. Not a lacy one (I’ve made several of those), this one is a very simple shape and should be ideal for keeping the cold off my throat and chest on the way to work over the next few months. I’ll talk more about it tomorrow, and there should be a picture because it’s almost finished.
For now, good night. More tomorrow!
I have been making tomato relish on and off for years. I picked up my recipe from a friend who is now very elderly. I’m a bit funny about textures so I usually end up blending the finished product to a smooth ketchup texture and eating it that way.
I’ve got six old fashioned bottles from IKEA. The sort that have the stopper attached with a wire contraption around the neck. According to my dad its the same design as the post war lemonade bottles. I like them a lot, they seal well and look good, so as far as I’m concerned, if it aint broke don’t fix it!
I used to complain lots about my previous upstairs neighbour playing music loudly. My friends and family would chuckle into their cups of tea about my shouting about “M and her plastic pop” on a regular basis. If anything my new neighbours play music more often, and its much more bass and rap (rap being a genre I have made no secret about really disliking) but the attitude of these people is vastly different to “M”. She was rude to everyone and didn’t care who she offended in the least. To be honest I think she had alienated so many people I don’t think she had many friends. These people just appear to live life. They like music but just live their lives, and I’m pretty sure that if I were to meet them they’d be really friendly.
So yes, Today I’m boiling up the ingredients for tomato relish/ketchup to some very bass-y music courtesy of upstairs. It’s all good fun. The flat also reeks of vinegar and the tall one has complained and shut his bedroom door!
Final note, as I’ve been blogging and boiling, I have got my six bottles of ketchup. it all looks fantastic and it’ll be ready to eat in a few weeks.
There’s definitely something of my grandparents in me – all four of them!
This time of year I have a definite hankering to be busy preserving things. So I made home made pickled onions.
I found a good market stall in central Coventry that sold pickling onions, another shop sold me a 5 litre can of malt vinegar. Some years ago i picked up packets of pickling spices, so all I needed was time really.
I sat down on Friday night and spend four hours peeling them into a pan of salt water to brine overnight (rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle or what!) and then lunchtime Saturday while the Tall One was out with our parents I took them out of the brine and packed them in glass jars, shook over them one of my pickling spices packets and then topped up with vinegar and sealed them.
The jars are now in what used to be an airing cupboard and is now my extra kitchen storage cupboard, waiting to be joined by bottles of ketchup and brown sauce and mincemeat. After Christmas will come Marmalade.
I made a rod for my back with marmalade. I like my own best. If it’s not tangy it’s not proper. It is possible to buy good marmalade – at four times what it costs to make and without the pleasure of making and seeing the bounty of jars in the cupboard. Then my mother tasted it, and I ended up making a batch for her. As I enjoy the process I didn’t mind, but then someone else asked me for a batch and supplied me with four times the ingredients. Oh my Lord, was that a busy day! Fortunately it was right at the end of marmalade season and I’ve had almost a year to recover. I doubt I’ll be asked to make that quantity again.
Anyway. The onions are pickling and the smell has finally left my hands, so I’ll return to my knitting.
Oh my goodness. So much has changed since I last posted.
I’ve moved out of the flat I did my grieving in and into another. I now live in a city (how did that happen?) And I’m settled and enjoying it (WHAT? I’m a village type!)
The part of Coventry I live in does have the feel of a smaller community. All the same, I’ve found home. The things I need urgently are close by and there is a good bus service 7 days a week. Actually, the good bus service still surprises me. The bus stopped so early in Rugby that nice as the place is, I often felt very stuck.
I’ve been here four months now, and fairly typically have still not finished unpacking. It’s coming along but is taking ages.
I’ve been crafting and creating. I’m hoping to post pictures of things I’ve made. Mainly it’s yarn based but given my love of cooking and my Scottish heritage there are food based projects in the mix.
I think the nature of this blog will evolve. I’m not the same person who first started the blog. My thoughts and ideas have changed. Life experience changes us all and so I have no issue with adapting my little blog to fit with my life.
Many moons ago I started this blog on another site and titled it “Raecheybaby’s Allotment” I was going to grow all sorts of things and I waited some years to get the chance to do that.
Finally last year that chance came and I bought tools and seeds and began to make a start. Unfortunately one of the key things to have when you are allotmenteering is a passion for growing things; and uniquely in my family I don’t have it. I think my family were good to let me try and wise to not help as much as I would have liked.
As is often the way with me I was felled by a combination of low mood, busy life and viruses, and so i didn’t/couldn’t attend to the allotment as I should have. The people who keep an eye on the plots to see that they are being cultivated and looked after decided that I wasn’t looking after it properly and advised me to hand back my gate key. Silently I agreed that keeping an allotment was really not for me.
I’m on the waiting list for a smaller plot but I suspect that when my turn rolls around again I shall decline and someone else can have the opportunity.
I think I had to try, because I have heard time and again that the thing most people regret in later life is what they didn’t attempt, and I wanted to be able to look back and say that I tried and realised it wasn’t for me. If I hadn’t, I’d probably have spent the rest of my life wondering if it could have been for me.
No regrets. I tried. Growing veg isn’t my shtick, much as I’d like it to be, but there are plenty of other things that I do that I am good at. I shall keep doing them.
I’ve been generally trying to get on with life lately. It hasn’t always been easy.
One thing recently has stood out for me and has been a lesson that’s taken some learning.
“There are many things in life that are beyond your control. Your attitude is not one of them”
It was said to me when I was in a very slightly odd mood. I wasn’t feeling malicious as such, but I was being mean to someone and it wasn’t needful. Having had it pointed out to me, I realised it was a very good point and have spent time since assessing my attitude to quite a lot of things.
It’s not galling so much as humbling. Being reminded that I’m no better than anyone else and that I can afford to be a lot more gracious than I have been to a great many people.
I pray that I’ll not forget the lesson.
I have to tell you with sadness that Oliver passed away this week. He was 17 years old.
To me he was your archetypal cat; slightly standoffish, didn’t readily sit on laps, although he could be persuaded on occasion. He kept himself pristine, and always looked stunningly gorgeous.
He was a hunter, and until he got too old and started slowing down he would catch anything that moved, mice, voles, birds, I even had to deal with the odd frog or two.
He loved his independence and enjoyed going outdoors, ranging far and wide on adventures I never knew the content of, only that it was clear he was enjoying life.
I first met him at Leicester Animal Rescue in 2001, after the sudden death of one of my other cats. I needed a male cat as a companion for my surviving adult female, and he was there and beautiful and shy and just what I wanted. So we adopted him and took him home. It took him a good year to relax and get used to us but finally he understood that he really did have a forever home and that we could be trusted to not hurt him or let him down.
He has been my companion through high moments and low ones, and in many ways understood me when I didn’t understand myself.
He is now at rest in Mum’s garden, a place he would have loved to roam in.
Many moons ago, I started blogging on another site and the title was “Raecheybaby’s Allotment” and it was to be about the things I did, the things I grew, the things I cooked yada, yada all to do with this allotment I wanted. Well, I waited four years in Bedford and never heard a word back about getting a plot to dig.
Then I moved to Rugby and when the turmoil of losing Dan and losing my job and losing my grandparents died down a bit, I looked into it again, and some time in May last year I put myself on the waiting list for a plot somewhere near me.
Finally, almost 18 months after putting myself on that list and writing lists of everything I might possibly want to grow and trying to think of the equipment I’ll need and who might help me, I have a letter in my hand announcing that I can call a lady and arrange to see some plots! So sometime next week I will be committing myself to growing veggies – the positives of this are getting outside more often, losing weight due to eating more veggies and losing weight through the sheer effort required to dig and tend my plot
I can’t wait!