Monday, 17 December 2018

Exploring Lincoln

Today we took Sarah into Lincoln to explore the Cathedral quarter of the city.  This is the olde worlde part of Lincoln with a very steep, cobbled street leading down to the lower level; the castle and cathedral are both perched up high on a hill overlooking the city. The sun was shining but it was freezing cold so our first visit was a tea room for hot drinks and toasted tea cakes. 

We admired the Cathedral from the outside, it’s an awesome building, seems more imposing than Salisbury and Wells.  We didn’t go inside, we had somewhere else in mind to visit.   We made our way down Steep Hill, admiring the enticing independent and artisan shops until we passed under the old archway and into the main shopping area.  We headed straight for Thor’s Bar, a temporary Viking themed bar set in a tepee.  We sat in front of the fire pit and drank hot cider, just what we needed on such a cold day.  I didn’t see any Vikings though.

Climbing back up the hill was hard work.  We considered visiting the castle but it was going to be very cold wandering around the ramparts so we decided we would do that on another day.  Time to get home to Rick and a cup of tea.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Home for Christmas

decorating the tree
After a last minute change of plan Kat met Sarah at Manchester Airport and they finally arrived home at 9.30 p.m. last night.  Rick was beside himself with excitement. 

This morning the tree was brought indoors and the girls put lights up and hung the few decorations we found in a box.  Sarah had a good night's sleep and incredibly is still awake as I write this.  I think the jet lag will kick in this evening.

no fairy or star for the tree so we improvised

home made decorations

we decided not to use the beads on the tree this year

It's good to have everyone home.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

On Her Way

I took Rick out for his walk this afternoon, it was absolutely freezing.  We are nice and cosy indoors now sitting in front of the fire with my flameless candles flickering away.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world in Sydney, daughter Sarah has just got into a taxi to go to the airport.  It’s 3.00 a.m. her time and she’s only had an hour’s sleep.  Hopefully she will be able to catch up on her sleep during the flight.  It’s a balmy 21 degrees even at that time of day.


Tomorrow we shall leave home mid afternoon and head towards Manchester Airport.  We haven’t done the journey before and will probably be sticking to the motorway.  Hold ups are likely on a Friday afternoon as we pass Leeds, Huddersfield and Rochdale so we are allowing plenty of time.  We have been advised to avoid Snake Pass that directly crosses the Pennines at this time of year.  I am hoping any snowfall will stay away until the weekend.

If all goes according to plan we will be in the Arrivals hall when Sarah disembarks at 6.40 p.m.  She will probably be wearing t-shirt, shorts and flip flops.  I shall be taking a spare coat and furry boots for her.

I just told her to take a selfie for me  

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Christmas Tree Shopping

Today we bought a Christmas tree, a real one, a Nordmann Fir.  It’s a six footer and the first real one we’ve had in years.  At the moment it’s residing in the greenhouse awaiting the arrival of my daughter, Sarah, from Australia.  It’s going to be her job to decorate it, just like she did with her sister when they were younger.

The fir tree place was very cutesie; I half expected some elves to come running out to serve us.

This afternoon Paul has been upstairs in the attic room trying to locate the Christmas decorations amongst all the empty boxes.  I only kept a few so we shall have to go shopping to find something to perch at the top of the tree.

I only hope Rick doesn’t treat it as his indoor bathroom when he sees it.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

It's The Thought That Counts

It’s Paul’s birthday today.  I bought him possibly the worst present ever.

Paul and I don’t usually do gifts nowadays.  Like Jenn (Coffee on the Porch with Me), we have everything we want or we just buy something if we need it. I have spent too much time in the past agonising over presents that will delight the recipient.  Nowadays I’m a bit of a Grinch.

I have spoilt him in the past - a weekend in Paris (it was supposed to be a surprise but he found the tickets), trips to the theatre, a surprise birthday party. And he has bought me some lovely presents, including a car wrapped up with a big bow. The best birthday surprise was when we were living full time in France.  I thought we were just going out to lunch in Bergerac but he turned right into the little airport to meet our two daughters who had flown over to stay the week.

So this is what I bought him from the garden centre at the weekend...

A three edged hoe.  I feel quite ashamed that it wasn’t more thrilling but he is actually very pleased with it.  (We had to leave most of our garden tools behind in France.)  It's better than a pair of socks isn't it?

Friday, 7 December 2018

Serendipity and Salmon

This morning we popped into Laura Ashley and asked for a wallpaper swatch of the Birds of Paradise design.  The nice young man gave us a very generous sample.  I was chuffed to pieces when we got home and discovered that not only was the colour match perfect but there was enough in the swatch to cover the gap (including pattern match!).


Earlier in the week I made a really tasty carrot and apple soup, and a pork and apple casserole for supper.  When I found some puff pastry in the fridge that needed using up I decided it wouldn’t be fair to Paul to make an apple pie.  So I decided to make salmon en croute.

The recipe sounded really easy.  Just put the salmon, red peppers and herbs in the centre of the rolled out pastry and plait the cut pieces. What could go wrong?

I didn’t roll the pastry out thin enough, couldn’t figure out how to plait it and the whole thing looked like a pregnant armadillo.  The salmon was cooked okay inside but the pastry was a bit undercooked. I should have stuck with apple pie.