AS: 2021 The Untied Kingdom? - the British thread 2021

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  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Took myself into the garden this morning. Bright but breezy and fairly chilly. Nevertheless grubbed up a section of slabs and gravel which was being swallowed by the lawn, and put down plastic.

    Settling down to watch the final day of the golf from St Andrews.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    It looks like I picked exactly the right time for my amble to Tessie's; I got back about five minutes ago, and now it's come on to rain.

    I think it was quite a workout: even with the Trusty Trolley, the weight mounts up when you've got three bottles of WINE, a big carton of orange juice, a bag of flour and sundry other things.

    Now having a sit-down while I wait for the dough for a batch of breadsticks* to do its thing.

    * little twisty ones this time, for dipping into hummus for lunch at work.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited October 2021
    Thanks to the patent sincerity of Arkland, The Great Pumpkin (praise him with sincere praises!) heard my earnest prayers, and turned off the taps last night.

    Today is bright, sunny, and breezy - so Wash Ing has been done, and is about to be hung out to at least drain off a bit before dusk.
  • NenyaNenya Ecclesiantics & MW Host
    We are just back from a few days away and the house is decidedly chilly. Mr Nen needs a lot of persuading to put the heating on, but I did realise I am still dressing for summer (with a fleece top over the tee shirt) so have changed into winter trousers and top and now feel a bit warmer. It is October, after all.

    We were away for a couple of (mostly cold and wet) days at a conference centre where they were taking the whole ventilation of rooms very seriously. This we were glad to see, but it did mean all the rooms were cold and blankets and coats were employed for the plenary sessions. We were then in a hotel for the (mostly cold and wet) weekend and although the staff were being really careful about face masks I couldn't say the same for the majority of the guests and social distancing didn't seem to be much of a thing either.

    I hope Beaky Daughter#2 feels better soon.

    I've just been sorting out my Sainz Breeze online shop. I haven't had to think about organising food for the past five days and am not particularly enjoying having to.
  • After getting soaked yesterday and ending up putting a damp coat and boots back on this morning, today was, until we got home, sunny and pleasant. When we got home, just as I was heading out for cake because an 8 mile walk on a not huge picnic lunch meant we were both hungry, the heavens opened, briefly, and I walked up to the shops in sunshine again, with a rainbow overhead.

    We went to a Geocaching meet because there's a bit of forest in that locality and a lot of new caches since we spent time there last summer and if we went today we'd complete this month's challenge. We got all but one of the ones we meant to find, and gave up on that one after I had a couple of goes leaping around in the undergrowth looking for it.

    Picnic lunch was experimental - a sort of savoury turnover using GF puff pastry - a pack of ready rolled we'd found half price. Cut the pastry sheet into four, place diagonally, fill with a veg mix in the central strip, crack an egg into the mix, pull the two corners to wrap over the middle, bake in the oven. It was good enough to remember for another time, but next time I do it I need to put oil or cheese over the egg and greaseproof paper underneath. We had one each for supper, hot with salad, and another cold as a picnic today.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Supper chez Piglet was a steak with green beans, broccoli, mushrooms and a BAKED POTATO (with thanks to BF whose talk of the Dragon put it into my mind). I'd had the oven on to bake the breadsticks, and I thought, why not leave it on for a bit and bake a spud in it? Oh, and a nice glass of Aussie Cabernet Sauvignon to go with it.

    It's also left the flat toasty warm. :smiley:
  • I am experimenting with low carb recipes for ice cream (which means not putting sugar in it amongst other things), I have almost perfected Stones Ginger Wine Ice Cream - therefore feeling smug.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    At the risk of stating the bleedin' obvious, wouldn't leaving out the sugar make it a bit ... unsweet?
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Admin
    edited October 2021
    Not if you put a sweet wine in it - point being 100ml of 13.5% sweet wine out of 600ml ice cream will not blitzkrieg your blood sugars to the same extent as a traditional recipe; they can contain upto 24% sugar by weight. (Especially if you don’t eat all 600ml yourself ….)

    You can use artificial sweeteners, but some are toxic to pets (who may wish to lick the bowl) and some have a laxative effect in large quantities - and there are issues getting the texture right.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Coming down from yesterday's heights of Tournedos Rossini with Nuits St Georges to duck leg ragout and an Argentinian Chardonnay. Currently sipping a souvenir of our trip to Ireland - a Bushmills finished in rum casks.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I have fond memories of taking my parents to the Bushmills distillery the first time they visited us in Ireland. It was winter, and they weren't doing full tours, but we were taken to the Still Room Bar for freebie drams anyway.

    My dad, who was fond of whisky, had been waxing lyrical about the superiority of Scotch until he tried the "green" Bush, and he really took to it.

    I'm not a whisky drinker, but I had a hot whiskey, which was very nice indeed (and is still the basis of my preferred cold remedy).
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Very fluctuous weather here today - it's quite nice now, but just as I left the office the heavens opened and there was much dampness. Hurrah for my new waterproof coat.

    Nearly home now, with prawn something or other beckoning for supper.
  • Off for our first caravan trip later this week, just over the Bridge to Cheddar, Somerset for a few days. Finally bought ourselves a little van and this is the first proper test for two of us in a tin can 4.5m by 2.2m. Looking forward to the break: mind you, it's only a month since our last trip away in Edinburgh, but a caravan will be different to an AirBnB in Abbeyhill!
  • Off for our first caravan trip later this week, just over the Bridge to Cheddar, Somerset for a few days. Finally bought ourselves a little van and this is the first proper test for two of us in a tin can 4.5m by 2.2m. Looking forward to the break: mind you, it's only a month since our last trip away in Edinburgh, but a caravan will be different to an AirBnB in Abbeyhill!

    And you will be able to get real CHEESE.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I wish you well in your tin can, RpM, but it wouldn't be my idea of fun. Give me the Air BnB in Abbeyhill any day!
    In an inexplicable fit of kitchen goddessishness, I've made a potato curry for the next few nights' supper. I don't know what came over me: usually on a work night, once I've cooked and eaten supper and done the Grauniad crossword*, I'm starting to doze off.

    * admittedly, today's one was so easy I got it done in the 20 minutes the veggies took to cook.

  • NenyaNenya Ecclesiantics & MW Host
    Piglet wrote: »
    I wish you well in your tin can, RpM, but it wouldn't be my idea of fun. Give me the Air BnB in Abbeyhill any day!
    My sentiments exactly, although we have friends who have recently invested in a motor home and get very excited about going away in it.

    Well done with the crossword - I love words but have never had any aptitude for, or patience with, crosswords or indeed puzzles of any kind (word searches, Sudoku...).

    I'm planning an early night with a book. The news is getting me down generally and in the past few days two people I know have tested positive for Covid; both double-jabbed... :disappointed: I need some escapism.
  • Take some comfort that vaccinated people are about 3x less likely to get delta variant covid than unvaccinated, are less likely to transmit it, and the double vaccine is 90-95% protective against serious illness.

    I want a small motor home when the remaining child leaves the nest next year.

    Yoga this morning and admin this afternoon. Tea was a very nice venison stew with a glass of pouilly-fume.
  • SarasaSarasa All Saints Host
    Excitement today as we've had the chimney sweep round. I haven't lived somewhere with an actual real fire since I was a child. I know my husband will now be spending this evening playing with our log burning stove.
  • That is exciting, Sarasa! Cosy evenings ahead!
  • BoogieBoogie Heaven Host
    I’ve just spoken to my neurosurgeon about my worsening numbness and weakness in my hands and arms. He sounded very concerned and is going to expedite my operation. This still means late November or early December but that’s much better than a vague ‘into the new year’ and he’s also sending me for a pre-op appointment, I can expect a letter about that soon. He also said he’s very positive and hopeful that the op will completely relieve my symptoms.

    I was weepy when I came off the phone, lots of feelings, some relief and letting out nervous energy I’d built up for the phone call, counting the days - which still feel like a long time - but it’s good news.

    I’m having a new neck. I know many people with new knees and hips but none with a new neck!

    :)
  • Boogie wrote: »

    I’m having a new neck. I know many people with new knees and hips but none with a new neck!

    :)

    Are you going to ask for a brass one?

  • Good luck @Boogie!. I see my neurosurgeon next Tuesday. Hoping for surgery prior to Christmas as well. I managed to help Mrs BA with some light weeding this morning, and made some marmalade this afternoon. I cut the fruit sitting at the dining table last night, to soak overnight, and managed to stand long enough to ladle jam into jars at the end. About the limit of my capacity at present.
  • Boogie - while I'm typing this I can hear a Landscape Gardener laying a new patio for us. He had surgery on his neck (replacing a collapsed disc with a plastic one I think). The operation was 8 months ago and he's now working again, completely free of weak hands with pins-and-needle-y fingers. I hope your op is equally successful!
  • BoogieBoogie Heaven Host
    edited October 2021
    Thank you @Diomedes

    At last, somebody who knows somebody!

    And good luck @Barnabas_Aus 🍀

    Are you going to ask for a brass one?

    :lol: :lol:
  • @Boogie - a former ambulance colleague of mine had a very similar op some years ago. It was completely successful, although (because of the nature of the Job), he did have to take quite some time off to fully recover.

    I'm looking forward to an Exciting Expotition this coming Friday, as I hie me to King's College Hospital for the last in my post-op series of annual MRI scans. It's more than a year overdue, but (understandably) King's have been under extreme pressure these past 18 months - some sort of Plague, I believe.

    I've managed to book ambulance transport (it may be a car), which will save me the hassle of crowded trains full of The Maskless Ones, but I daresay there'll be a bit of waiting around, either at home or at the hospital.

    Never mind - I have a new Book on order from my good friend Mr E Bay, which hopefully will be delivered by Friday. It is a volume of eldritch Horror Stories by Brian Lumley, England's H P Lovecraft...
    :scream:
  • Best wishes to all those Shippies with the hospital appointment/waits.

    Quite a plodding day so far, mainly waiting and replying to emails, but I've prepped a tutorial for tomorrow and it'll be nice to do some teaching again. I've just realised that the reason it is so quiet is because I'm not teaching foundation students this year; they need a lot of early interaction.

  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    It has been raining all day, with a persistence worthy of a better cause. I wouldn't mind so much, but I have been out in it already on a round trudge to collect drugs, moth killer, casserole, dashi powder and, ironically enough, water. And we scheduled to go out again (to pub/restaurant) about half five - when it might just be moderating to a downpour. Maybe.
  • Ethne AlbaEthne Alba Shipmate
    edited October 2021
    This morning was mostly transplanting of biennials, setting of bulbs and chopping of spent sweet pea stalks.
    Living about a mile from the coast means lots of the rain misses us, but it is now persisting.

    A tree has been removed (I worked on the Other side of our house while that was going on) but the professionals involved have no chance of completing the rest of the work.



    Somehow I have missed lunch….& it is gone 3pm!




    Preparation for Care Home Visit must be made. While in truth I would like to go to bed and sleep for a week.
  • NenyaNenya Ecclesiantics & MW Host
    Best wishes to all those Shippies with the hospital appointment/waits.
    Yes, indeed. I hope your book arrives in time @Bishops Finger . Best wishes also to those with carer duties.

    We're fortunate enough to have avoided rain so far today, in fact there has been a fair bit of sunshine but a very chilly wind. I've been out for lunch and on my mooch around town found myself in a clothes shop eyeing up the winter coats.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Wishing you all sorts of good luck with your op, Boogie, and with the MRI, BF.
    Firenze's right - "rain" is a woefully inadequate word for what it did most of the day in Embra. It wasn't so bad in Linlithgow: I got to the station in the morning and back in the evening without getting wet, but the bits in between were a bit dreich.

    Memo to self: get off the bus one stop early tomorrow
    and get milk for the office, as there was no way I was going out in that today.

  • We had some rain last night but it has been sunny most of the day.

    Tea was a chicken korma that was authentic enough for my son to ask if I had bought it. It was accompanied by a potato and green bean curry (potatoes and gravy left over from last nights venison stew) and kedgeree left over from Sunday.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Curry chez Piglet too: the potato curry I made last night had matured nicely, and all I had to do was cook up some rice - I did twice what I'd need, and mixed it all in, so tomorrow I'll just have to heat it up.

    I was really quite pleased with it: I reckon I got the spices about right, so I hope I remember what they were next time.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    The rain having lessened a bit we went down town - in the first instance to the Bow Bar where they have numerous taps of real beer - including that rare beast, an 80/- (it's all IPAs now). We then went to a French bistro in the Grassmarket where I had onion soup followed by sea bass and Mr F had boudin and mussels. Nice bottle of Marsanne/Viognier and complementary calvados.
  • BoogieBoogie Heaven Host
    Good morning all.

    Blue skies and sunshine here - what a change!

    This afternoon I have a friend coming round for a coffee so that will be nice :smile:
  • Yes, blue skies and sunshine here, with a brisk breeze. Very pleasant, and I shall shortly go on deck with a glass of BEER.

    It won't last, of course, ( the sunshine, that is - I know the BEER will run out anyway) and we shall pay for it - You Mark My Words...
    :grimace:
  • SarasaSarasa All Saints Host
    We went to a town a few miles north of here to see the house where my father in law grew up. After taking pictures of one house we realised we were on the wrong road, as it was one of those long ones with a north and south section. The right house was very similar, just looked about ten years older. We then went into the town centre for a mooch round. I lived in the town for about six months in my twenties, but could remember very little of it.
    The weather has been glorious here too, and I really should have done some washing before we went. I hope tomorrow is just as nice.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Just spent a virtuous but exhausting half hour taking a car bootfull of books to a charity shop. As Mr F doesn't do lifting, that was 9 boxes and 4 carrier bags from house to car.

    Next up will be shifting sacks of clothes to other charity. Tomorrow perhaps.

    When I've recovered a little I think I'll go boil up another couple of kilos of apples for jelly.
  • Today has been fairly pleasant. Swimming and washing has taken place, also compost purchasing for garden. Service preparation has been quite hard as I've chosen a topical but difficult theme.
  • We have a narrow door at the back of a cupboard which gives access to our under eaves storage. I was sliding in sideways when I felt our cat behind me. The last thing I wanted was to have the cat in the eaves, jumping around in the insulation in the unfloored section, so I instinctively twisted round to block her and ..... ended up with my backside wedged firmly in place.

    My husband rescued me. I'm trying to convince myself that I looked as cute as Winnie-the-Pooh when he got stuck but I suspect I didn't.
  • In his gravedigging days, my Dad had a sidekick who was about twenty stone. One day they were excavating in a particularly hard-packed piece of ground, and Shaun was hammering away with the pneumatic drill, when he stopped, wriggled a few times, and announced that he was stuck. He'd wodged himself, propelled by the Kango, into the narrow end of the grave! As Dad said "I helped unwedge him, just as soon as I'd had a good laugh!"
  • We have a narrow door at the back of a cupboard which gives access to our under eaves storage. I was sliding in sideways when I felt our cat behind me. The last thing I wanted was to have the cat in the eaves, jumping around in the insulation in the unfloored section, so I instinctively twisted round to block her and ..... ended up with my backside wedged firmly in place.

    My husband rescued me. I'm trying to convince myself that I looked as cute as Winnie-the-Pooh when he got stuck but I suspect I didn't.

    Oh bother.
  • BoogieBoogie Heaven Host
    We have a narrow door at the back of a cupboard which gives access to our under eaves storage. I was sliding in sideways when I felt our cat behind me. The last thing I wanted was to have the cat in the eaves, jumping around in the insulation in the unfloored section, so I instinctively twisted round to block her and ..... ended up with my backside wedged firmly in place.

    My husband rescued me. I'm trying to convince myself that I looked as cute as Winnie-the-Pooh when he got stuck but I suspect I didn't.

    Oh bother.

    Haha @Arethosemyfeet, excellent Winnie-the-Pooh reference there! :lol:



  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    ... and he squeezed and he squoze ...

    Poor NEQ! :flushed:

    It has indeed been a nice, crisp autumn day here; I recently purchased a denim skirt and some 30-denier tights (just this side of opaque), and have found them surprisingly comfortable (having spent most of the last ten years or so almost exclusively in trousers).

    It was nice not to need a hooded coat (although I had an umbrella, just in case).
  • Dry day here (I think, I haven’t seen outside much). I had a plodding work day followed by a 2 hour evening tutorial on health, well-being and resilience. Now having a beer.
    Tea was ham and cheese stuffed chicken Kiev’s with roasted potato wedges and rocket.
  • In other news, we have recently had something dig small holes in the lawn. Today I topped up the bird feeders and later watched as the local squirrel created new holes. My husband has suggested we cut out the middle man and just sow sunflowers directly into the grass…
  • MarthaMartha Shipmate
    You might get a good crop - I've seen some huge sunflowers this year! Then the birds could eat the seeds straight from the flowers, saving you another job.

    I've just finished decorating Younger Son's bedroom. He now has bright red walls and curtains which look like tinfoil. His choice, obviously, not mine!
  • Glorious day here, and I got out walking twice. Once with the offspring finding a geocache based on the Cluedo game which was brilliant. You had to solve the murderer, weapon and location, at different sites, then another cache before using all the information on the final cache - well put together and really entertaining. I also picked up one of mine, repaired it and took it back out to replace. Which means I walked just short of 10 miles today.

    We watched a rabbit doing that hole thing to the lawn outside the window at my parents and later got to eat said rabbit.

    And that picture of Pooh was on one of the t-shirts I wore very pregnant, with his head on my front and his rear on my back. That and a Virgin sweatshirt. It amused me, not so much the mothers getting to discuss it with to young children.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    It was Professor Plum, in the library, with the lead piping. :mrgreen:
    Yesterday morning it was 4° and a bit brrr; today it's 14° and not brrr at all.

    Socks have been (temporarily) re-abandoned.

    I wish it would make up its mind.
  • Arkland is till quite mild, but cloudy today. The wind is set to change to easterly over the weekend, so it might get a bit colder.

    I have yet to feel the need to put on a pullover, though, which is just as well, as all my pullovers seem to have become a bit...umm...disreputable, not to say tattered - I obviously have Very Sharp Elbows...

    I think an order to my good friend Mr George Asda is required.
    ION, my long-awaited visit to King's College Hospital for (hopefully) my final MRI scan is due tomorrow! The ambulance people have phoned me to confirm that I show no symptoms of the Plague, and to warn me to be ready from 840am onwards (IOW, the middle of the night) with the intention of getting me (and possibly some other peeps) to KCH in time for a 1240pm appointment.

    Sandwiches have been prepared, but my new Book of Eldritch Horror Stories is not scheduled to be delivered until next Tuesday chiz chiz chiz, so I shall have to see if there's something else I can take with me. War and Peace springs to mind...
    :naughty:
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Best of luck, BF, and I hope KCH doesn't want to see you again! :)
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