Sunday, September 25, 2011

A weekend spent tidying up the garden, planting out bulbs and keeping the pooch happy. I rather overdid the alcohol on Friday evening, imbibing rather too freely of some plum schnapps on top of three beers. Consequently Saturday was taken at a sedate pace as I pottered about including marinading some chicken for the kebabs I cooked in the evening. This included some home grown chillies and one of Seany's home grown Scotch Bonnets was also added to the marinade. Mrs C was not impressed ("too hot!") whereas I thoroughly enjoyed it. Today was roast turkey but also some homemade apple and blackberry crumble (slimming world style) with blackberries from the neighbours, apples picked at work plus some homemade wine added to the mix. All in all a good result and I am stuffed to the gunnells.
It's that time of the year where the nights really draw in and I think "That was summer?". I like to sit out with a cup of tea and watch the night draw in but it's currently chucking it down. Watering the plants is one less job although I think the tomato plants are on their last gasp. Time to plan the next lot of plants and pay a visit to the homebrew shop if I want to brew some beer for over the winter. I still haven't had any replies from the local builders I have contacted despite phone calls, leaving messages on their websites and calling in person! Don't they want the business or is it the magic words "insurance job" that has them beating a drove away from my door? I am off tomorrow so I guess further phone calls will have to be made.
I also have plans to visit London next month for the first time in many years. The last time I was there it struck me how dirty, noisy and smelly it was... home in fact. It will be good to catch up with friends and to see my old stomping grounds.

I am only going down for two days because truth to tell I prefer to be in Lincolnshire. With only a few days off at the end of October I have to squeeze in that trip, visit Essex and crack on with some jobs up here as well. It'll be interesting to see what has changed and what remains as I remember it. Anyhow, time for a cuppa and to wander the patch of grass that is my domain.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sadly, I have of late had little time to devote to my blog. The usual excuses apply, namely work, work and yet more work. Eleven and twelve hour days, covering for colleagues off sick or otherwise unavailable as well as having to work on calls and meet deadlines. When I do have spare time I get stuck into real life and I have ignored the PC over the past two weeks. However, I now have four days off and to make the most of them I was up at 05.30 this morning when Mrs C's alarm went off. Not a problem because the pooch got an extended early walk and I was out as soon as the sun was up to pick more tomatoes. I have been eating them by the bucketload as well as giving them away at work, slimming world , friends and neighbours. Mind you, I received fresh laid eggs and a bottle of homemade Hawthorne 'wine' in return. The eggs were absolutely superb, a revelation compared to their pale and flavourless counterparts from the supermarkets. During the walk we witnessed paramedics attending to one of the local homeless in the centre of town whilst the pooch was fussed over by two old ladies.
On the fat fighting front I have now achieved a four stone weight loss. Last week I started a gentle exercise regime which I haven't had a chance to do this week with my skewed working hours. The dog is also healthier for the extra walks and lack of access to the cats food. I'll also be celebrating my birthday in the next week and I had my ego stroked by a student nurse who put my age at 43. The healthier lifestyle plus good genes is paying off! I also decided to take a break from reading the financial and other news to protect my own sanity. I have come to the conclusion that politicians and economists really do not have a clue and that maybe I should worry about other things. Falling space hardware as Chicken Licken's sky falls in. Anyway, here's a picture of a hopeful Mog...

He's hoping for more ham having discovered the large white box that magically distributes it. Sadly for him he hasn't yet learned how to open the fridge although it's not from want of trying.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Bloody hell! Where has the time gone?
The first week of September almost finished and it was a very autumnal day out there. I have been rushed off my feet at work over the past week with hardly any time to sit still. Tomorrow is a day off but it will be spent arranging for a builder to quote a large and expensive job for me. We have a leak from somewhere outside and it has damaged some of the walls. So a builder to identify where the water is coming from (the dodgy guttering?) and a quote for the work involved. Once that's done the negotiations will commence with the bank and if money is secured, the work will hopefully begin.I hate dealing with banks and loans because of past experiences but I will crack on with it.

On the fat fighting front I have now lost 50 pounds in weight so I am a somewhat slimmer happy pig in the muck. Still some way to go but slowly and surely does it. Whilst out on my travels today I stopped off at a farmshop for their extremely low fat sausages. Chicken with sage and onion sausages went down a treat with mushrooms and homegrown tomatoes this evening. (bucketloads of tomatoes produced). They'll be the occasional treat though because of the price but certainly well worth it. Although todays journey was a long one I thoroughly enjoyed the countryside and the empty roads. However, two assessments, two hours driving, four hours of paperwork and telephone calls to all and sundry, it was a pleasure to change into jeans and drag the pooch out for a lengthy walk.  The plan is for a well deserved beer tonight with my feet up and a good book. As always... life in the fast lane!