The Untied Kingdom? - the British thread 2021

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  • Firenze wrote: »
    To which I would add, a girl's best friend is an electric drill with a screwdriver bit. That saw me through an IKEA table no problem.

    Just remember that an IKEA table is mostly made of chipboard, which an electric drill will saw through with no problem :wink:
  • PendragonPendragon Shipmate
    Ah, the amazing capacity of a Micra. I fitted a rake in one once by squeezing it down the passenger side, and our stepladder is the longest that will fit, which is plenty for most houses. I still miss mine a bit, but it would be horribly impractical with 3 young children and their car seats.

    Proper sausages require a bit of traveling to a good butcher, so I tend to stock up when I go to one of other suburbs where there is one. It's the one downside of the local butchers being Polish or Halal.

    Tonight we had pasta with chicken in a sauce comprising mortadella, olives and tomato.

    I am normally the one assigned the job of Ikea furniture construction, although Mr Dragon tends to then come and critique my screwdriver technique.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I am the assembler of furniture in our house ...
    You're cordially invited to Château Piglet any time at your convenience. :mrgreen:
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    The only flat-pack furniture in our house was put together by a joiner : IKEA bookcases in the study; other items were made by Mr Puzzler’s grandfather many years ago, or by Mr Puzzler about 30 years ago.
    The rest of our bookcases came from antique shops( not that they are actually antique). Our oldest item is a dining table which dates from c1660.
  • I remember a few years before I left my husband that he made me a book case from a kit. He put together the frame and then added the shelves. It took me a while to figure out what was so wrong about it. He'd set the frame upside down, and then put the shelves in. They were directional (and they were glued in) so it never looked right. (He wasn't what anyone would call sober at the time.)
  • Confession time.

    When I was rebuilding my life from the wreckage of my first marriage I had the usual problems: new flat with little furniture, shortage of funds and insomnia. It was while I was sorting out basic furniture that a solution to the other two problems appeared, when another newbie in the block asked for help with their flatpacks. Word-of-mouth and a small ad in the local paper led to a lucrative sideline putting together furniture for other people - always from the Swedish emporium after a nightmare with a chest of drawers from MFI (remember them?).

    I can tell you that making flatpack stuff for upwards of 35 hours a week on top of a regular job sorts out insomnia - I was so knackered I slept like a baby. It also did wonders for my bank balance.

    Best job? 2 weeks in a new holiday complex on the French riviera, all expenses paid plus generous money, no timetable, just get it done in the time. With 3 others we got the lot done in 6 days and the rest of the time was our own.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    You are also cordially invited to Château Piglet ... :mrgreen:

    Better commute today - the train was only a minute late and the bus arrived within a few minutes of my getting to the bus stop.
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    Glad you had a smooth commute this morning, @Piglet . It also sounds as though there's quite a party planned at your place, how I wish it could be so and that I were in the vicinity at the right time to join in. Maybe one day. :smile:

    Mr Nen and I were up early to join the early morning prayer meeting as part of Our Place's annual week of prayer. Consequently it feels like morning coffee time now.

    In other news, it's raining.
  • Not raining, but surprised when the phone rang at 8am (I was up). I was worried that it might be an emergency, but in fact it was my son who had just received good news about a H&S exam he'd passed.
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    edited January 8
    That's great news from your son @Baptist Trainfan . My stomach always turns over when the phone goes at unexpected times = early morning or late at night - "Oh, cr@p, now what's gone wrong?"
  • I was brought up in a house without a telephone (had to walk to grandmother's house to make phone calls) so I never got into the habit of casual calls. When I moved out I would panic if got a phone call at any time of day! I still hate phone calls.
    More marking today, it is endless. I can't sit for long without getting brain fog so marking is somewhat slow and laborious.
    Mr H's birthday so I will make a cake at some point. I'm attempting a layered ombre effect in orange with chocolate buttercream covering. I'm going to experiment with a dog cookie cutter to see if I can get a dog image in orange sprinkles; if not they will go all over the top.
  • Nenya wrote: »
    My stomach always turns over when the phone goes at unexpected times = early morning or late at night - "Oh, cr@p, now what's gone wrong?"
    Ptrecisely ... though, 9 times out of 10, it's one of those blasted phishing calls claiming to be V*rg*in Mobile or M*cr*s*ft.

  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Now I think about it, I'm rather enjoying the freedom of not having a landline; those calls don't seem to be quite so frequent on a mobile.

    When I discovered I didn't need a landline to get Wi-fi, I thought, sod it - I really don't need one. (The only reason we had one in Canada was because phoning the UK on a mobile was extortionate).
  • ZacchaeusZacchaeus Shipmate
    I was brought up in a house without a telephone (had to walk to grandmother's house to make phone calls) so I never got into the habit of casual calls. When I moved out I would panic if got a phone call at any time of day! I still hate phone calls.
    .

    I am exactly the same, (only it was not my grandnothers house but the neighbour over the road) so phones are for business or urgent things only. I have never developed the habit of using them to chat.

  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    Piglet wrote: »
    Now I think about it, I'm rather enjoying the freedom of not having a landline; those calls don't seem to be quite so frequent on a mobile.

    That's right - the ones I tend to get (not many at all) are:

    Caller: You were recently involved in an accident which wasn't your fault; is that right?

    Me: No.

    Caller: >click<

    I've been out for a walk and managed to stay dry although it's raining now. Mr Nen's weather app said it would be snowing. We have hilarious conversations where he's checking it while I'm observing and commenting on the rain and he insists that, "No, the app says no rain." To which I reply, in a Sarah Millican accent, "It's 'appenin' outside me bl**dy window, pet."

    We have a catch up over a glass of wine with friends later, and curry for tea. :smiley:
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    It’s a very cold day with snow flurries here.

    I am enjoying Alexa. Her best feature is the reminders. As I think of something - I ask her to set a reminder for ‘such a time’. No need to take off the Marigolds! She then, at the appointed time, tells me what I set the timer for. Unlike normal timers which beep and I think ‘hmmm, what did I set that for?’ She sends a message to my phone too, in case I’m out of the room.

    :)

  • I used to get phone calls from the GP surgery for someone who has (AFAIK) never lived here. But of course numbers don't always stay with the address. Finally they must have found the correct number because the calls ended.

    Christmas is officially over for me - the last slice of the cake has been eaten. Although I still have mincemeat.
  • Christmas is still on, hereabouts. The decorations and cards are still up, there is an unopened Christmas Cake and a couple of boxes of mince pies still to be consumed. And the Advent Candle says that it is only 16th December....
  • Boogie wrote: »
    I am enjoying Alexa. Her best feature is the reminders. As I think of something - I ask her to set a reminder for ‘such a time’. No need to take off the Marigolds! She then, at the appointed time, tells me what I set the timer for. Unlike normal timers which beep and I think ‘hmmm, what did I set that for?’ She sends a message to my phone too, in case I’m out of the room.

    :)
    No Alexa here. Husband designs Smart tech and he won’t have one in the house!

    Marking took ages and I’m only just making the cake so it will be served as supper. Mr H has ordered an Indian takeaway for tea.
  • Wet KipperWet Kipper Shipmate
    edited January 8
    Were it permitted, @piglet, I'd have been down the hill, screwdriver in hand by now.
    When my (wasn't then but is now) wife moved into her first flat, she picked out some of the tallest wardrobes in IKEA (high ceilings) and I remember me and 2 other friends having to hold the frames together after we missed a vital screw but didn't realise till we stood the thing up (naturally the loose bit was at the top end, not the floor end). Since then there have been few disasters and no irretrievable (unscrew and put back in the right way) mistakes.
  • kingsfoldkingsfold Shipmate
    Piglet wrote: »
    You are also cordially invited to Château Piglet ... :mrgreen:
    Wet Kipper wrote: »
    Were it permitted, @piglet, I'd have been down the hill, screwdriver in hand by now.

    I'm also pretty handy with a screwdriver, and accustomed to solo construction, but Wet Kipper is closer than I... And (perhaps more importantly) in the same council area.



  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Circus Host, 8th Day Host
    Christmas decorations at rouge heights went down today. It looks sad and empty now :confused: Captain Pyjamas is confused and wants to know where all the pretty stuff has gone.

    Speaking of Captain P, Father Christmas brought him a toy kitchen, and he has been cheerfully playing at cooking other toys and various household items. I have started knitting some woolly vegetables (truly you can find anything on Ravelry).
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    Speaking of Captain P, Father Christmas brought him a toy kitchen, and he has been cheerfully playing at cooking other toys and various household items.

    That reminds me of when the Nenlets were small. They each had a toy kitchen and spent hours cooking together. That and Post Offices (they each had one) were some of their most favouritest games.

  • Christmas decorations at rouge heights went down today. It looks sad and empty now :confused: Captain Pyjamas is confused and wants to know where all the pretty stuff has gone.

    Speaking of Captain P, Father Christmas brought him a toy kitchen, and he has been cheerfully playing at cooking other toys and various household items. I have started knitting some woolly vegetables (truly you can find anything on Ravelry).

    Minifeet likes her knitted fruit and veg. Her kitchen is 3rd hand (originally bought for school so can safely be used as a battering ram) and when it first arrived the magnets on the doors were too strong. One demonstration later and she'd mastered prising them open with a small pry bar.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Kitchens must be The Thing this year - the Adorable Archie got one too. He's been very much into pretend cookery for quite a while now*, and when he goes to my sister's (his granny) he makes a bee-line for the saucepan drawer. :heart:

    * when he's not playing his guitar or singing - we've decided he's going to be either a chef or a rock star ... :)
    I decided that rather than get a takeaway from the chippy, I'd get a Marks & Sparks ready-to-cook curry for supper. I settled on a "best ever" Chicken Tikka Masala and it was OK, if a little spicy for my taste (I'm a curry wimp). It had several whole cardomom pods in it, which were rather alarming, as they reminded me of a cautionary tale David used to tell about inadvertently biting into one in an omelette in Germany. As he put it, "if they can eat that, maybe they really were the master race!".
  • My curry was a mid-spicy garlicky one made with miscellaneous white fish. Mr H had a mutton curry which was very nice but too mild for him and no 2 son had a very spicy garlic and chilli prawn curry. Accompanied by poppadoms, chutneys, naan, makhani dal, paneer, rice and onion bhajis, so enough left over for Indian brunch.
    Followed by birthday cake and then raspberry gin.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Sounds like quite a feast - hope Mr. H had a good birthday!
  • I had two funerals to play for today. Church bl**dy freezing so I could hardly feel my feet. My "Covid Singers" sang 2 hymns at each and I rolled out a tasteful selection of chorale preludes by Brahms and Bach.
  • Foggy outside and cold. I'll go for my walk later.
    I'm sat in my study waiting for a research seminar to start, with a cup of tea and cake. It is like the arctic in here, I've no idea why this room is always cold.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    I'm waiting for the temperature to crawl above freezing in hopes the pavements will be less of a portal to A&E and I can go out for the paper (Saturday is the one day we get a physical newspaper).
  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Circus Host, 8th Day Host
    It's freezing here as well, although I think I prefer this to the rain we're supposed to be getting next week. It has the benefit of being dry cold, which IMO is pretty livable as long as you're wrapped up well.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    According to AccuWeather, it's 0° here but feeling like -4°, but due to go up to a balmy 6° tomorrow (with rain, naturally).

    Maybe it's as well I haven't anything planned beyond chair assemblage.
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    My husband has gone for a walk. Usually I would go with him, but not really feeling like it, specially as he intends to take a lot of photos. Standing round while he gets the shot he wants isn't a lot of fun.
    Instead I'm staying in and cracking on with my Christmas jigsaw puzzle.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Sarasa wrote: »
    My husband has gone for a walk. Usually I would go with him, but not really feeling like it, specially as he intends to take a lot of photos. Standing round while he gets the shot he wants isn't a lot of fun.
    Instead I'm staying in and cracking on with my Christmas jigsaw puzzle.

    I love a good jigsaw puzzle. I’ve nearly finished my Christmas one (of Heidelberg) just the trees left - trees are fiendish!

    There’s always jeopardy in doing jigsaws here - you never know until you’ve finished if a piece is ‘in the dog’. If a drop a piece without realising one or other dog eats it and leaves no trace. I’m super careful but it still happens!

  • I've just been responding to a friend's text for help. When we last met up for a socially-distanced chat, I suggested some good takeaway options. She thought she'd taken notes...

    I've just emailed her with links for the local sushi lady, steak-frites (who appear to be closed again :disappointed: ), some of the curry places (although her husband is local and undoubtedly knows them already), and a newish burger place a colleague told me of which one has to go via Just Eat to get to deliver. We got into the habit during the first lockdown of one takeaway a week, and have been doing our best to keep it going. Supports local business, and makes a change from cooking!
  • Quite nice here. Washing outside at 9am, ten off to church to record tomorrow's Fascebook service, and shopping. My wife has an online Welsh class all this morning, tomorrow too. Now listening to a remarkable string quartet on Radio 3 by a composer I've never heard of!
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    I've been for a long walk this morning, which took longer than it would have normally because it involved dogs. I met a dog-owning friend I haven't seen for months and we did pretty much my usual walking route but at the (old) dog's pace and as the world and his wife and dog had also decided to go for a walk at the same time it involved much moving off the path onto mud and waiting in passing places.

    I was nearly home when I bumped into another friend taking her dog round the block, so I joined her for that. Younger dog, but much given to stopping and sniffing.

    Progress was generally, therefore, much slower than I would have made and I've arrived home feeling thoroughly chilled. It was really lovely to catch up with my two friends though - one became a grandmother on Christmas Day. :smile:

    I do wonder whether I should really have done those things though; as @Bishops Finger observed, I think on the Coronavirus thread, just because something is allowed it doesn't mean it's safe or even advisable. If the situation is worse than back in the spring, shouldn't we be only allowed out alone, for one hour, as was the case then?

    Planning to hunker down at home for the rest of the day.
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    Boogie wrote: »
    I love a good jigsaw puzzle. I’ve nearly finished my Christmas one (of Heidelberg) just the trees left - trees are fiendish!

    Just the trees left on mine. It's of a cottage in the snow with lots of Christmas decorations up. I feel I need to finish it and find something a bit spring like to do instead.

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    In Winter colder is better. Less muddy and snow instead of rain. Mild weather in Winter is horrible.
  • Agreed.

    It's about 2C here, but with bright Sun Shine, so feels quite pleasant. In fact, I've just come below, having been sat on deck for a few minutes with a glass of ALE.

    Time for lunch* - Meat PUDDING and baked SPUD.

    Yes, I know it's getting for tea o'clock, really, but I tend to rise late...
  • PriscillaPriscilla Shipmate
    Well, we actually managed to blitz the heaps on our dining table this afternoon. It gets used as a general dumping ground/filing system. We found things like Christmas letters 2019, and charity brochures for 2017.
    There is now a lot less on the table and a lot more in the recycling bin.
  • Any uncashed cheques and the like?
  • Out-of-date Summonses?
    :naughty:

    (Though AIUI there's no official Statute of Limitations in the UK! :flushed: )
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Made it to the newsagent on the second attempt. Still very difficult to tell if any darkly-slicked stretch was water or ice. I would presume the latter only to find it crunching underfoot.
  • Freezing fog here too, leading to very pretty tracery of ice crystals on seed heads and cobwebs. I'm hoping for a few more days of this to make the field paths less of a slog for a bit. We tok a town walk today and even ranging as far round it as we could we only just got to 10,000 steps, plus it's busy and much effort is expended in giving 2m space to others, who don't always reciprocate.

    Today's good deed done too. In the first lockdown I set up a WhatsApp group for the other residents to share useful information, like companies delivering food, and to ask for help*. I reminded my neighbours about it at Christmas with a card and a suggestion we raised distanced glasses to one another, not that there were many staying at home.

    As we went back into lock down again, I checked if everyone was OK. Today as I was wandering I was asked to pick up a prescription for one of the older ladies who is shielding, which was easy to do in passing as I also had the evidence of the WhatsApp request to present.

    * and not QAnon type conspiracies as one neighbour keeps trying to do. I've spent so much time providing her with better links.
  • Yes, not looking forward to mostly walking on pavements, but our field paths round here are so wet and chewed up the last time I walked them I kept expecting to see Tommies slogging back from the line.
  • Possibly with a Cunning Plan on how to avoid the next push?
    :wink:
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    edited January 9
    It's cold and (I think) quite crispy here, but as I haven't been over the door, I really don't know.

    I took the advice of @TheOrganist, and I now have two new dining chairs (I think I'll leave the other two until tomorrow). There was a modicum of swearing, but he was right - a cup of coffee and the instructions, and it really wasn't rocket surgery!

    And so far, I haven't had any bits left over ... :mrgreen:
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    I love that expression "over the door" - sounds as though you do a huge leap to get out of the Porcine Chateau. :wink: Well done with the dining room chairs!

    I'm cooking the usual Saturday evening stir fry, which will be washed down with the usual red wine.
  • Tomato SOUP has just been consumed. The WINE bottle still has a glass or two left in it, and there is CHEESE (a rather toothsome Old Amsterdam, from Tesco's - hopefully, this will not fall victim to Brexshit in the future...).

    Tomorrow is Sunday (I think), and one of the benefits (?) of Lockdown 3 is that I have the excuse not to get up at silly o'clock to go to Ch**ch...
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