30 December 2016

Fun and Games

It was Kat's birthday today so we ventured out into the freezing, foggy weather and drove into Bath for lunch and some shopping.  Usually there is a fine view of the city from the top of Box Hill overlooking the Colerne valley but today it was shrouded in white fog, a truly wintery scene.

We found ourselves in Milsom Place, a little corner tucked away off the main thoroughfare where you can find a cluster of bars and restaurants - Jamie Oliver, Carluccio’s, Côte Brasserie and Yo Sushi.  We decided to go French and ate at Côte. We had a table by the window and there was something very satisfying about enjoying good food and wine in a warm, busy restaurant watching people passing by outside, wrapped up against the cold and laden down with their shopping.

When we got home I thought I would put my feet up and have a snooze but the birthday girl had other ideas, she wanted to play charades.  Such a ridiculous game but watching Paul bouncing around on the floor pretending to be a lion (or was it a lobster?) just reduced me to hysterical laughter.  He then has the gall to shout at me when I don’t get Saving Private Ryan after he tried to resuscitate the zebra skin rug.

Is there a quiet, dark room somewhere?

view to Bath from Box Hill


28 December 2016


“Where’s the cruise catalogue?”

“In the bin, why?”

“I need it for my blog, can you retrieve it?”

“No, I tore it into pieces...”

This morning two catalogues plopped through our letter box.  One was a Suttons Seed catalogue and the other was a Saga Cruise catalogue.  Paul is currently salivating over his seed catalogue whilst I have to be content with an overnight ferry trip across the Bay of Biscay in March.  Oh well, who needs to eat at the Captain's Table when you can pick your own beans.

27 December 2016

Week At A Glance

This morning we braved the frost and freezing temperature to walk into town. Paul wanted to buy ingredients for his broccoli and Stilton soup, I wanted to buy a diary. 

I know I could keep track of my life on the computer or phone with little jingles and flags to remind me of a forthcoming event but I’m a bit old fashioned and like to write it all down in a little book.  It means I can doodle and write pieces of nonsense; if it’s the date for the dentist I write very, very small and if it’s the date for the ferry to France I draw a big picture of a boat. At a glance I can see the week’s menus, invariably they get crossed out and changed a lot.

I bought this one in the charity shop.  It’s small enough to slip in my bag but with just enough page space for my scribblings.

Turkey curry for dinner tonight.  That's written in my old diary.  Actually, it's not.

26 December 2016

Tally Ho

Crisp, cold morning and I was keen to get outside and get some fresh air.  It was a toss-up between an hour’s walk to the Dumb Post (pub) or drive to nearby Lacock for the traditional Boxing Day meet of horse and hounds.  The fact that it would take us another hour to walk home from the pub probably influenced the decision to drive to the meet.

Lacock is a place lost in time, a beautifully preserved English village with quaint stone cottages and half timbered buildings. The Avon Vale Hunt was due to meet outside the Red Lion at 11.00 a.m.  I thought it would be nice to amble amongst the horses and hounds, sipping our mulled wine.  I hadn’t realised that half the world would be there (the other half were out shopping at the Boxing Day sales). We managed to get our mulled wine but the crowds meant it was very difficult to even get close to the horses. 

Still, it was all very convivial, even with the crowds.  No protestors present but then they haven’t got much to protest about these days as the hunt is forbidden to chase foxes.  I hope somebody told the dogs that.

Whipper-In (chap in charge of the hounds)

25 December 2016

Merry Christmas

No words, the photos say it all...

too much turkey

Hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas day.

23 December 2016

Christmas Smug

The jet-lag persists but waking up at 5.00 a.m. meant that we were in the supermarket nice and early to grab a turkey and stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables. I have enough Brussels sprouts to feed an army.  I was feeling oh so smug when we were home and everything stashed away in the fridge before 9.00 a.m.  Time to boil the ham.  The smugness soon evaporated when I discovered that I didn’t have a pan large enough to accommodate the ham!

Luckily I remembered I had an old slow cooker stashed away in the garage so everything is back on schedule.  I can’t relax at Christmas unless I run everything like a military operation.  Woe betide anyone who arrives late for my Christmas lunch. (That sounds terrible, we do have a lot of fun really!)

Tomorrow evening (Christmas Eve) we will eat cold ham with salad and coleslaw and pull the first crackers.  The roast turkey will be served at 2.00 p.m. on Christmas Day and then I shall finally be able to relax and put my feet up.

(Just heard from Buddy – he is going on a road trip in his little red van for Christmas and they have arrived in Wagga Wagga en route to the south coast.)

20 December 2016

What Katy Did Next

Tomorrow we are driving cross country to Hertfordshire to collect my youngest daughter, Kat. The last time we saw her in August she was about to commence ten challenging weeks of basic training with the Royal Air Force. She graduated in November, swore her oath to the Queen and is now a fully inducted airwoman. We can’t wait to hear what she’s been up to.  

Christmas will give us some precious days with her before she goes off to Shropshire to commence her three year apprenticeship in aircraft mechanical engineering.  I still can’t believe my girly girl is doing this!