Cool Britannia (sort of): the British thread 2019

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  • Are you being quite fair to Scarborough?

    Still, Roast Seagull goes quite well if seasoned with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.

    I'd get me coat, but @Piglet seems to have it...
  • Are you being quite fair to Scarborough?
    Yes. Couldn't sleep a wink due to those dratted birds.

  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited November 11
    Hayley Westenra explains...
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=wiZJP_XLmrQ
  • Public holiday here yesterday, and a good job too.

    Rouge Heights is finished! They came to do the work on the kitchen at the end of last week and now it’s all done. Luxury! We have an oven again after three months without one. I am also deeply excited to be the owner of a dishwasher for the first time in my life. Husband en rouge is the chef around here, with me as the chief bottle washer. My job now consists of putting everything in the machine and turning it on. I’m not sure it’s actually any quicker, but it feels like less work. Also I’m still going to have to wash up on special occasions and whenever we have guests round because the best china can’t go in the machine, but I’ll ignore that for now.

    Tiring getting it done tho. Especially because the hammering / drilling meant that Captain Pyjamas didn’t get any kind of nap to speak of and turned into a tiny version of Hulk by about six in the evening. Like I said, I was glad to spend yesterday footling about doing nothing much.
  • Hoorah for a dishwasher! I am deeply envious. MrJt9 tells me we may be able to get the kitchen done next year.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I'd be quite miserable without my dishwasher.
    I'm back home - a little later than expected, despite the flight being billed as "early" for most of the evening - and I really had a lovely time catching up with friends and indulging in retail therapy.

    It was just as well I bought that coat - we've got a dusting of sn*w, and it's -5°. I really will need to get the shovels out of the shed ... :cry:
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    I’m happy with or without a dishwasher. But it’s great when we’ve had visitors.


    I’m off to my real-life German lesson this morning (I have Skype lessons too). I really like the RL lessons as he’s taking them really really slowly and building strong foundations. My Skype lessons are more like RL in Germany - lots of conversation but very hit and miss as to how much I retain!
  • My wife is learning Welsh and really working hard at it. She has weekly classes plus monthly refresher courses and does lots of work online. The problem in this city as you don't hear the language being spoken very much - we'd have been better going to somewhere like Carmarthen or Aberystwyth for that.

    I'm feeling pleased with myself as I've swum further this morning than ever before (though not that far!)
  • My wife is learning Welsh and really working hard at it. She has weekly classes plus monthly refresher courses and does lots of work online. The problem in this city as you don't hear the language being spoken very much - we'd have been better going to somewhere like Carmarthen or Aberystwyth for that.

    I'm feeling pleased with myself as I've swum further this morning than ever before (though not that far!)

    If you are in Cardiff it's best to hang out around the BBC. It's home from home for the Gogs (North Walians).
  • No good: she's learning South Walian Welsh.
  • I'm impressed. I'm still learning Inglish...
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    D's predecessor at St. Magnus was a fiery little man from Wrexham who at one point applied for a job in Bangor, but withdrew his application because he wasn't confident enough about his Welsh (he hadn't lived in Wales for some considerable time).
    I'm having a gentle sort of day today; I'm currently waiting for a batch of loaves to bake. I decided to experiment with cutting them in half before baking them, so that I have six little ones rather than three big ones, as they'll be more likely to stay fresh until I can finish them. I rather like the idea of having lots of little half-baguettes in the freezer (and they'll presumably defrost more quickly too).
    I'm a bit pissed off that I haven't heard anything from the estate agent since I went away: there weren't any business cards in the house, so it doesn't look as if she took advantage of my absence to show anyone round. What a bummer. :(
  • Let us hope someone will 'snow up' soon! - Speaking of which: can you ask your kindly neighbour with the snowblower for help? He's been very good in the past in wintry times of need, as you've been telling us.

    Hope all goes well. Gentle does it. :)
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    It's not too bad at the moment: only a few inches - so hardly enough to justify a snow-blower - it's just the faff of getting all wrapped up before going out in it. The day before I went away, I still wasn't wearing socks (although I took them, and boots, with me), and to come back to actual snow was a total pain.

    I phoned the estate agent and she said the reason for not having done any viewings was the weather, but I wasn't quite convinced: we viewed it in February when there was a lot more snow on the ground than there is at the moment.

    Apparently a load of estate agents are coming to look at it on Monday morning to see if they can match it up with any of their clients.
  • Piglet wrote: »
    Apparently a load of estate agents are coming to look at it on Monday morning to see if they can match it up with any of their clients.
    Is "load" the plural noun for a group of estate agents? I think maybe "gaggle." :wink:

    Good luck. My mother sold her house in the northeast USA during the "storm of the century." I have no idea how people even managed to drive up the road to her house, but within a few days of it being on the market she had three buyers in a bidding war.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Wow - lucky her! Maybe I ought to dig out St. Joseph from the Nativity set and plant him upside down in the snow ...
  • A commentless day !!!
    Boogie wrote: »
    I’m happy with or without a dishwasher. But it’s great when we’ve had visitors.


    I’m off to my real-life German lesson this morning (I have Skype lessons too). I really like the RL lessons as he’s taking them really really slowly and building strong foundations. My Skype lessons are more like RL in Germany - lots of conversation but very hit and miss as to how much I retain!

    Have got a viewing of a flat in Hitchin ( Meth Church property) at 10am. Report back later
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    It is just gone 10 am. A piece of tough beef has already been simmering for half an hour. In due course I will tip in vegetables and a few lentils and make the kind of broth you can stand a spoon up in.
  • To backtrack a little - just caught up - no one has mentioned the geese at York. (Medieval Studies 81-82) The b****dy things wouldn't let me into Goodricke until Chilperic dropped a handkerchief on the ringleader's head. Panicky daleks weren't in it.
  • @Firenze the broth sounds delicious - the aromas are wafting over here. Maybe they’ll inspire me to make something similar with assorted veggies from t’allotment.

    Meanwhile, I’m staring at a roll of fabric and some newspaper templates bracing myself to take the next step in making covers for the seats in my tin tent on wheels. The cushions arrived 2 years ago and it’s taken me this long to choose fabric and make the templates. Taking scissors to the fabric is such a scary thing.
  • ZoeZoe Shipmate
    Piglet wrote: »
    Wow - lucky her! Maybe I ought to dig out St. Joseph from the Nativity set and plant him upside down in the snow ...

    ???

    Is there a reference here which I have missed?

    Rain and cold here, but I can't complain too much. Am lazing around waiting for new DBS check so I can start my new job. I think in another week or two I'll be feeling bored but currently I am enjoying empty days with not too much to do.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    edited November 14
    Zoe wrote: »
    Piglet wrote: »
    Wow - lucky her! Maybe I ought to dig out St. Joseph from the Nativity set and plant him upside down in the snow ...

    ???

    Is there a reference here which I have missed?
    There's a tradition here (admittedly not an ancient one) that if you bury a statue of St. Joseph upside-down in your garden, it'll help to sell your house.

    I was outside earlier on cleaning a bit of snow away*, but didn't think of it; perhaps I'll plant him in the rosemary bush ...

    * Today's Achievement: getting the lock on the shed to work and getting the snow shovel out
    Reading about Firenze's delicious-sounding broth makes me think it may soon be time for SOUP - specifically the minestrone I made last night - and some nice home-made bread.
  • Regular readers may recall that we pulled out of buying a house last week.

    House hunting has now resumed. We consulted our mortgage broker who found that fixed term rates have fallen, praise be!

    We looked at a promising house this pm but while it had wonderful accommodation downstairs it had totally inadequate accommodation upstairs!

    OTOH, the one we rejected earlier is now back on the market asking for £120,000-£125,000! If it is still on the market in the new year would we be evil scumbags to offer, say, £110,000? I believe the vendor is desperate, and has only reduced the price because of our research.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Having had to sell our last house for $25,000 less than we'd been offered by an evil scumbag who reneged on the deal, :rage: yes, I think maybe you would ... :mrgreen:

    St. Joseph has now been wrapped in a plastic bag, and planted upside-down in a herb planter that I had tried (unsuccessfully) to grow sage in, but still had the compost in it. The soil round the rosemary bush, sadly, was frozen too solidly to plant anything in it; in fact, the pot that it's in appears to have cracked - my fault for not taking it indoors before the temperatures plummeted.
  • Hoorah for St Joseph, let’s hope he brings good things house selling-wise.

    I have made a casserole and dumplings. It’s that sort of evening.

    I have also stopped refusing to think about Chr*stm*s (wasn’t sure if that needed *s on a CW, but just in case.) I mean, I haven’t started planning, but I’ve accepted it is something which will need looking at.

  • Using a statue of St. Joseph to help sell your house.


    (By the way, my mother did not do this.)


  • Pigwidgeon wrote: »

    Using a statue of St. Joseph to help sell your house.


    (By the way, my mother did not do this.)

    From the link:
    [...] you threatened the saints by burying them and with that saying to the saints “I will keep you with your head down in the dirt until you sell my house for me”.
    Now days, the tradition to bury a statue of St Joseph is still the same, but it’s not very common to threaten him, instead we pray to his good will and pray that he will help us with a fast, smooth and profitable sale.
    Hm... I wonder if threatening saints is really a wise thing? They might go straight to the boss and complain, I would think! Eeeks! Dirtboarding for saints? Isn't that torture?

    Nighttime temperatures currently here around freezing point, with a max. of about 4 to 5°C daytime - which, interestingly, after a below zero freezing night feels definitely balmy. Funny this! Might, or might not, get a dusting of snow at the weekend. :)

    Some of our Carol Service are positioned in a somewhat unlucky way this year, such as on 21/22 December, which is so shortly before Christmas that it may be a bit hectic this year, in the midst of ungoing shopping frenzy. - Ach well. We'll live! :D

  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited November 15
    Piglet wrote: »
    There's a tradition here (admittedly not an ancient one) that if you bury a statue of St. Joseph upside-down in your garden, it'll help to sell your house.
    Might be tricky in the permafrost zone ...

  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    Hope St Joseph works for you @Piglet.
    I'm just back from four days walking the Pilgrim's Way from Aylesford to Canterbury. The weather was kind to us and we only got rained on once, we saw some beautiful countryside and eat a lot of nice food. I lit a candle for all your intentions when I got to the Cathedral.
  • My son has just got back home to London after 5 weeks working in Saudi. He rang this afternoon - surprisingly he doesn't seem too fazed by the difference in weather!
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I'm definitely going down the prayer route rather than the threatening one: I have no intention of deliberately upsetting any of the Heavenly Host (and I don’t just mean JJ and Trudy) ... :wink:

    Just back from a lovely lunch at Number One Noodle with a friend from the choir and her mum. Excellent company, v. good sweet coconut curry with chicken, and a glass of South African Sauv. Blanc.
    As there had been a little more sn*w last night, I did a bit of shovelling when I got back. Anyone who says they don't mind shovelling sn*w is telling you a big fat hairy fib.
  • Should you go, and be shovelling snow: / clearly the time you your growling show!
  • caroline444caroline444 Shipmate
    edited November 15
    Love the expression "big fat hairy fib". Inspires me to want to go out tomorrow and create one .... Hummmmm...... Will have to conjure up something suitably exotic.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I may have done a brainless thing.

    My neighbour over the road asked me yesterday if I was thinking of selling the snow-blower and I said I was. She came over with her son this evening to look at it and I ended up selling it, along with the electric shovel and the extension cord, for $150.

    Quite apart from the fact that they may have seen me coming (I really had no idea how much to charge, and the son had a look on Kijiji* on his mobile and suggested a price, and I accepted it), by Murphy's Law, now that I only have ordinary shovels, I fully expect that we'll get a foot of sn*w forthwith.

    At least I know someone with a snow-blower ...

    I suspect I may have been royally had - the shovel and extension cord cost more than that on their own - but I didn't like to appear grasping.

    * at least that's what he said he was doing - it never occurred to me to check. If I'd had a brain-cell, I'd have checked Kijiji myself, but again, that would have appeared rude.
  • caroline444caroline444 Shipmate
    edited November 16
    It's so easy to make mistakes when we are faced with doing something spontaneously. Hopefully the son did genuinely look on that website and check suitable prices, also they now know that you are without a snow blower and electric shovel and will hopefully lend it back to you if needed. I would have done exactly what you did....
  • JapesJapes Shipmate
    edited November 16
    @Piglet I'd be very tempted to smile sweetly at neighbour and son and ask if he'd be so kind as to do your snow when doing his own should the need arise. Kind of a way of working off the money you probably could have got for the snowblower if selling to someone you didn't know under less pressure?

    But, yes, I'd've done the same as you in that circumstance. I still find it really hard to charge the going rate for the few piano pupils I have, and always feel bad about chasing the money! (My term-time job just about covers everyday expenses, organist fees and piano lessons are for savings and fun stuff. )
  • Hopefully they will feel charitable about your paths, Piglet.

    Sarasa, walking the Pilgrim’s way sounds a nice way to spend a few days. I’m waiting for both kids to leave home and then me and hubby are going to do some lovely long walks together.

    I’m just off for a little walk and then I have a couple of essays to mark. Later this afternoon I need to do some writing for my own essay.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    It's a cold but glorious day here (-3°). I've been moderately productive: I've finished printing off D's compositions from the computer to send them to a friend in Belfast who asked for them, and am about to transfer the bedlinen from washing machine to tumble-dryer.
    The estate agent phoned this morning to say there's to be a viewing tomorrow afternoon, which would be all fine and dandy if there was anywhere I could go while it's happening, but the nearest Tim Horton's is about half an hour's walk away, and I'm really not prepared to do that. I think my best bet is to see if my neighbour would mind if I came over to hers for the duration (it's not a very big house, so it shouldn't take too long), but I feel embarrassed asking. Surely the agents must occasionally have to do their spiel with the owner present? I told her they could have most of the morning, as I'll be at church, but that wasn't any good - the showing agent had arranged for 1-2 pm and that was that.

    I even suggested that I sit in the agent's car while he/she shows them round, but she didn't seem impressed with that idea either.

    Oh well - I suppose I'll have to make some sacrifices if I'm going to get shot of the place.
  • Hmm. Sounds rather awkward, indeed. Could you spend some time at Church, after service(s)?
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    edited November 16
    Hope you can sort something out, Piglet . Insoections here used to be as you describe. I can remember agent ringing and mum running to put fresh towels and tea towels out. That was a long time ago.

    Auctions have a selling campaign of several scheduled inspections then the auction. Private sale, as mine was, have advertised inspection time, although agent did arrange a couple of private evening inspections for those who could not make the arranged time. Also a private viewing for tenants in another unit in block. For all of these I had to clear out. The Saturday morning from 10:30-12:00 would have me go to Maccas downstairs . I would buy toasted cheese, ham and tomato sandwich, drink coffee and read on iPad. Agent would find me there afterwards for an initial report, although he was very good with phone messages through the week. I did not want phone ringing down there, so would set it to Do Not Disturb.

    There was a folding sign outside and a typed notice placed on block main door to buzz so door could be opened. No point in having security entrance and having door propped open for all and sundry.

  • @Piglet what a pain in the proverbial. I do hope you find a solution. Sounds like the days are gone when the agents try to work around the seller.

    This afternoon I accidentally gatecrashed the Christmas market and parade at a local town - I’d gone for a mooch around the charity shops in search of a LBD (Long Black Dress - I already have a Little one that I feel less than secure in). The search continues.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I don't think staying on at church would work - there's another service at 11:45, but it's Not Really My Thing, and it would only keep me occupied until about 1 o'clock.

    I'll think of something ...
  • Any friends from church wanting to go out for lunch?
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    I was glad I went to Church today. It was a good service, I felt I hadn’t just gone for the puppy training, which is unusual.

    A flicker in the embers of faith. 🕯
  • Same here (though minus the puppy training!). I sometimes sit at the back of Our Place, and wonder what the blazes I'm doing there....IYSWIM.

    Visiting priest, excellent homily, some Traditional Hymns, and good singing. Quite uplifting, even though the attendance was a bit thin (erratic work patterns do affect us quite considerably).

    BBQ pork + cheesy mash for lunch. Plus a nice red WINE from la belle France.
  • Seeing it was our Church Fayre yesterday, when a lot of people worked very hard, attendance was good and spirit was hearty.

    I think they all came because they wanted to know how much we'd raised ...
  • O our spirit was hearty enough TBTG, but we had our monthly 'Youth Church' yesterday afternoon, which compensated for this morning's Mispers!

    The pork + mash went down well, BTW, followed by some nice French CHEESE (Comte), courtesy of Mr Co-Op...along with the WINE, of course.
  • We went into Cardiff yesterday as I wanted to see the craft market, and I managed to get a few small presents. By 2pm, oit was horrendously busy, so we went up to Merthyr Tydfil to see the Christmas Tree festival in our sister parish's church, which was very busy.
    We won't be going into Cardiff now until after Christmas, but there is a Winter fair in our town next week, and a craft fair in Hereford the week after, plus one in Abergaveny on the second Saturday of December, so I should nail the rest of my present list!
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    Any friends from church wanting to go out for lunch?
    Yes - the friends who give me a lift stop at a cafe on the way home for breakfast, so I joined them, and asked if I could come and sit in their house afterwards for the duration, and they were most obliging.

    It also meant I got to see their wee dog, who is totally adorable and has been very affectionate to me since D. died - I think she senses that I need a hug from a little friend! :heart:
  • I do hope the house sells quickly, @Piglet.
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