A Lazy Sunday

Yesterday morning we walked to the local farm on the edge of our friends ' village.

They have converted a barn into a small shop with a cafe attached which offers breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas.

The place is very popular and we were lucky to get the last remaining table.

A full English breakfast with excellent coffee set us up for the short stroll home, just before the heavens opened and a torrential downpour followed.

The rest of the day was spent playing cards, talking and laughing.

Weather permitting we shall be flying home this afternoon. 


Coughton Court

Now a National Trust property.  Where the Gunpowder Plot was hatched. 
















Today's Expedition

Boys toys and rainbows. 

Still having problems with Blogger on my phone.  Mail2Blogger no longer works!




A Foggy Start

We left home on the west coast of the island this morning in bright sunshine.

This is the view here at the airport now. A little foggy and getting thicker.

I hope this doesn't mean our flight will be delayed.


Rain, Rain Go Away

I have been reading today's news reports of the torrential rain and flooding across parts of the UK.  

Typical. After weeks of late summer sunshine and high temperatures in England, the weather takes a turn for the worse the day before we are due to visit friends in the Vale of Evesham, one of the areas currently a tad damp.

The forecast is for cool temperatures and showers for the whole period we shall be there, so some of our planned trips to National Trust properties may have to be cancelled.

However, we have not seen our friends for a few years now so it will be good to see their new home and to catch up with them, sharing gossip, good food and probably some wine.

On our last visit we slept in their daughter's tiny bed while she went to have an extended sleepover with a friend.  That meant no sleep for me sharing with Mr Restless.  I really hope they have bought something a little bigger since then or I may end up sleeping in an armchair for the week.








Basa

I recently bought some basa fish from  the supermarket as the price seemed very reasonable and the fish looked good.

However, P mentioned that this fish is from the Mekong Delta and has dubious health issues due to the pollution in the area and the fish farming methods used. 

I cooked it tonight for our supper so am hoping I survive the night.



Blogging by email

I thought that I would try this out to see if it works.  Mail2Blogger.

If it does, I may be able to use this function when I am away. Much easier than trying to fiddle with the  miniscule keypad on my phone on the Blogger site.

The image is me suffering from hayfever at the monent.



Now You See Me.....

A little incident this week made me think about the potentially transient nature of Blog friendships. 

We were driving down to Castletown and had to negotiate the crossroads at a notorious accident blackspot, due to the nature of the sharp bends close to the point where the roads converge.

As P pulled out to turn right onto the main road he was suddenly aware of a large white van speeding along towards us from our left and so immediately swung the car hard right into the kerb to avoid a collision. 

I was pretty shaken as you may imagine. After all, I would have been the one to absorb the main impact, sitting in the passenger seat.

Afterwards,  when I had regained my composure, I idly wondered whether anyone in Blogland would have noticed my sudden absence and perhaps thought ,  Well, she didn't last long. Bored already.


An Autumnal Morning

Drew back the bedroom curtains this morning to find condensation on the windows, a pale moon still visible in the watery blue sky with little wisps of mist hovering over the fields, and the grass white with a heavy dew.

It is slowly burning off now as the temperature has risen to 15C and is quite pleasant with no wind to speak of.

P has been over in the field next door picking blackberries which he will have at lunchtime.

I am suffering from a bout of hay fever again. Probably moulds and fungal spores at this time of year.

It seems we shall have to brace ourselves for wind and rain up here over the weekend so we are enjoying our little touch of autumn while we can.

Edit: this is our garden thermometer right now..6 PM . I think it must be broken...



Do It NOW!

Has anyone else been irritated by that relentless TV ad that was running more or less permanently over the past year, telling us all to claim for PPI mis-selling?

I was reminded of it again this morning.

Yesterday  P said that the cane furniture in the annexe sunroom needed to be covered up for the autumn/winter season, however, as I am currently using the room to dry the mountain of washing left over from our visitors I said it would need to wait.  This morning he was in Energizer Bunny mode, rushing in and out of every room with vacuum cleaner and floor cloth and making a big show of being busy. When I saw him with the bag of dust sheets I had to put down my book and follow him as I knew where he was heading.

He was already throwing the sheets over the furniture before I could remove the cushions and throws ( they usually get safely stored away to prevent any damage from our damp winters).

Somehow, I seemed to see that annoying Arnie head on wheels whizzing around the house screaming *Do it now!*


Silverdale Glen

This morning promised fine weather so we went out for a trip down south.

First stop was Castletown for a coffee and a stroll around.

On the way home P suggested a stop at Silverdale Glen as he wanted to take a look at the Victorian water powered roundabout.

It is a pretty little place for a walk with a small stream, mill and boating lake.

This little place is named for the Silverburn River which flows through the glen.







The roundabout was not in use today, given it is a weekday out of season so no children about, but we had a good look around.  It dates from around 1890 and is apparently the only surviving, working example in the British Isles and Europe. 





For anyone who is interested, there is a very good short article on the isleofman.com website with some history of the site...
https://www.isleofman.com/places-to-visit/countryside/glens/silverdale-glen/

Scratching the Surface

Well, our promised day of *good* weather today has turned out to be a bit pathetic so far. Some weak sunshine, clouds and the temperature pushing to hover around 15C.


We still went for our morning run out to Ramsey though. Parked in the Co-Op car park (2 hours free parking), went around the corner for breakfast then into the store to do our weekly shop.

Returned to the car to find that some kind soul had obviously squeezed past with their shopping trolley, leaving a long, deep scratch all the way along the front and rear passenger doors.  P says it is too deep to rub out and would need both doors respraying, which we are not about to do at the moment.

Sort of took the edge off our hitherto pleasant morming.


Some Sunshine

Monday started off dull but by early afternoon the sun peeped out for a few hours and it is now pleasantly warm and sunny.

I had a very quiet afternoon shift volunteering in the gift shop, not many visitors and very poor takings.

Tomorrow we are expecting good weather so are planning a visit up to Ramsey - a whole 30 minute drive!!  Looking forward to breakfast in our favourite cafe , a walk and a bit of shopping in the Co-Op store there.  

We certainly know how to live on the edge :)


Sunday

Today was a day of rest, well for me anyway. P decided that the windows needed cleaning then he wanted to cut back a lot of untidy trees and shrubs in the garden,  he did pop back inside on and off to listen to the test match. The result cheered him up anyway.

I stripped the bedding, changed it and put a couple of loads in the washing machine, although it is hard to get it all dry with our current weather.  Although we have a tumble dryer I am not keen on the end results when I use it. The sheets seem limp and tired afterwards so I prefer to let them dry naturally. 

Tonight's supper was pesto chicken with roasted cubed potatoes,  peppers and mushrooms with a glass of ginger beer.  I like the Belvoir ginger beer as it has no artificial additives. 

I am hoping that the weather clears up tomorrow as I am volunteering at the gift shop and will need a brisk walk there and back.

Bubbles

I do not profess to be a oenophile. I do enjoy sparking wine, however, I do not have the budget for champagne.

I recently read a positive review of a particular cremant from the Alsace region so I decided to order a few bottles to try it.

I opened the first one this evening and I am ashamed to admit that I have already polished off about 3/4 of the bottle.

I may have to order another case.

Cheers!






Hercules

A few moments ago, P emerged from the office where he had been playing Solitaire on MY laptop and excitedly ran to the patio doors and out into the garden.

Flying very low over the garden was an RAF Hercules. He said that the sound was very distinctive from inside the house and that he knew straight away what it was.  I, of course, can hear nothing so I have to take his word for it.

It appeared to be coming from the direction of Scotland and going over in the direction of Wales.

We got a good view of it as it passed overhead.  I waved to the crew but they didn't wave back.


Cross

Today I am feeling a little cross (and not just with the current political situation).

A few weeks back we bought a reconditioned laptop for P so that we would not have to fight for the use of our current one, which I use for our household accounts, shopping and travel arrangements.  P only really used it for social networking accounts and playing games.

I left it up to him to speak to the young man in the shop to explain what he wanted and decided not to get involved in the situation.  P asked if the new one would be capable of playing an old game he had on a CD and was told yes it would.

Now, P is not particularly computer savvy and so left it to me to set up all his various accounts on the new laptop, with all the shortcuts and passwords to his usual sites and copy over any file folders, for photos etc.

Yesterday he announced that the game was not running properly as the screen freezes continually so he was taking the laptop back for a refund.

Today has so far been spent by me trying to make sure I have removed all his personal data and now doing a full reset before he takes it back. What a P.I.T.A.

I shall not be going with him for that one.

Back to fighting for *my* laptop now.

😡

Wednesday Again

It comes around pretty quickly these days. Another week gone.

My usual stint at the Hospice this morning and I was quite busy for my 4 hour shift. It is not physically demanding as I am only working with databases and spreadsheets but today was a test of my rapidly diminishing little grey cells as I was asked to work out how to extract a particular set of data and produce a mail merge document from it.

By the time I arrived back home I felt quite drained.

How I used to do this every day in my working life only a few years ago I don't know. 




Miserable Monday

This morning is cool and wet - 12C with a steady drizzle.

P has gone off to visit an elderly friend and I am waiting in for a delivery - hopefully a case of wine will turn up soon.

I am making up another batch of carrot soup with the last of our crop and still ploughing my way through the mounds of washing now that I have stripped out the guest annexe following the departure of our last guests.

Washing it all is the easy part - getting it dry is difficult in this weather.

We are off to Worcestershire in a couple of weeks to visit friends we haven't seen for a year or two.  Looking forward to seeing their new house and catching up.

The nights are definitely much cooler now. I haven't resorted yet to the winter duvets but I have popped my bathrobe on top of the bed a few times for extra warmth.

How many days until Christmas did you say?



Woody Carrots

P has just dug up the last of our carrots.  Unfortunately they are rather big and woody and some have split.

However, they have not gone to waste as I have made a big batch of soup with them and we had some for lunch.

Delicious.


Winky Males

I seem to be turning into a mixture of Rev Spooner and Mrs Malaprop.

Twice today I mixed up my words, but luckily only when talking to P so I didn't embarrass myself too much.

The first occasion was at breakfast when telling him that a pod of *winky males* had been spotted in the sea off Douglas Head.

Later we were discussing the pros and cons of offering evening meals to our B&B guests but I said that the health and safety officers would have to come to inspect our chicken...(I meant kitchen of course).

Is this the start of a slippery slope?

Chips!

Yesterday evening we went with friends to a local hostelry which has recently reopened under new management.  It is a tiny little place tucked away in one of the little side streets leading down to the quayside from the market square.

Thursday night is steak night, where they offer two steak dinners with a bottle of house wine for £30.  I chose a fish option instead and when it arrived it came with a little basket of chips, which I haven't eaten in well over a year.

P suggested that I ask them to change it for a bowl of veg instead but as the other meals had arrived and I didn't want to wait for the veg to be prepared I decided to keep the chips.

I was quite hungry and as the fish did not come with any other veg or salad, I ate all the chips.

I shall not be able to fit into all my new smaller-sized trousers now!

No - this NOT me!

September? More Like November

Today's weather forecast was not very inspiring and the reality has proved to be pretty horrible,  as promised. 

I didn't feel too great this morning so did not go in for my usual Hospice volunteering shift. As I sat here on the sofa, browsing through holiday sites on my pad I saw a large bank of menacingly black cloud rolling across the sea, swallowing up the castle on its little promontory on it's way towards us.

Sure enough, it is now too dark to read without a light on and the rain is lashing against the windows.

Well, they did promise squally showers and that's exactly what we have.

The outside thermometer shows 11C - did someone mention an Indian summer? More like a monsoon.

The Whistle Stop

We offered to give our guests a lift down to Port Erin this morning as they wanted to take the steam train into Douglas.  They had travelled over here yesterday on their bikes but wanted a day on the trains.

Once we arrived we found that they had an hour to wait for the next departure  so they invited us for a coffee to while away some time.  We popped into the Whistle Stop cafe on the station platform and enjoyed some very good coffee and a chat.

Two lovely fellas, mature bikers with a love of all things mechanical.  I, of course, was a bit of a spare part in most of their conversations but I enjoyed their company.





Grrrr... Banks!

Next month we are going to Tasmania to travel with some Aussie friends.

To make things easier, we thought we would transfer some money to their account for car hire and accommodation expenses in advance.

I logged onto our bank account this morning and set up the transfer. When I had not received the expected email confirmation by this evening I went to log into our account to see if it had gone through.  Lo and behold, our account has been suspended (suspected fraud probably) and a telephone number given to contact them. Except we cannot get through to anyone... all our lines are busy,  please wait at least 30 minutes.

Sheesh... they close all the branches to force you to use online banking then they make it impossible to do anything that could have been done in 5 minutes in the local branch. 

I hate banks.....😡



Pork with Apple and Ginger

Another boring supper post I'm afraid.

Tonight was pork loin steaks cooked very quickly in the pressure cooker as I have been suffering all last night and today with a severe bout of hayfever symptoms and did not want to faff about too much.

I added some dried chilli flakes, ground cumin and coriander to a tablespoon of olive oil and heated them in the pressure cooker. Added two pork loin steaks and browned them both sides. Then added some diced apple (a large Andrew Johnson variety from our neighbour's tree) , carrot and a small potato (to thicken the broth).  When all coated and browned I added a tin of chickpeas, some boiling water from the kettle and a tablespoon of ginger puree from a tube.  Bring to pressure and cook for 20 minutes.

After 20  minutes, I brought down the pressure, opened the lid and added some fresh peas from the garden and a diced courgette, brought back up to a boil and added a little oat bran to thicken.  After about 5 minutes it was ready.

For P, I had also roasted a couple of baby new potatoes from the garden.

I am hoping that my usual antihistamines and prescription nasal spray help me to at least get some sleep tonight. Or the couple of large glasses of wine I had with supper may do the trick.