Saturday, 28 December 2013

Post Christmas Post

Hello lovelies.

I hope your festivities went without hitch and that you all had a peaceful time and enjoyed your day.

Here are some photographs from Christmas 2013 here at Peapods.

We had an impromptu visit to the German Market in Brum......... same old tat......same stalls in the same places.... nothing to new to see here!  I was pre-op and moody.  I took no joy from being here at all!  Miserable old cow that I am!

(I did love the colours of the felt stall though!)

And this colourful character made me smile from the tip of his baby pink mowhak to the tips of his electric blue brothel creepers!  What a dude!

They'd even sold out of Reindeer burgers.  Bugger!

The lights were prettiful though.  I do like a blue light!

Someone had a ripping time on Christmas day!

Daft dog!

I was embarrassingly and spectacularly spoilt as usual.  I got my much longed for Lumix camera *swoon* (the above pics were taken on my iphone just in case you were thinking how rubbish it was! lol), amongst lots of other lovely gifts.

We spent the day with immediate family at my brother's house where he and his lovely lady cooked a spectacular meal which I didn't know whether to eat or climb to the summit of.  In the end I managed about a third of it before my crampons gave out and I had to admit defeat.

We played silly games and chilled out in the afternoon.  My brother asked musical quiz questions in the style of Vic Reeves' pub singer which had me laughing so much my stitches were in dire threat of bursting.and a family rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody topped off the day.

Next day was a tad quieter and we visited the Cemetery to put some flowers on my Nan's grave and to the allotment to light a candle for Dad.  

I know it may sound odd, but the cemetery at Lye is one of the most beautiful sacred spaces I know. There are lots of huge, ancient trees there which I can gaze at for ages. The air was incredibly cold and crisp and the sun shone weakly through the branches.  I love this atmospheric shot I took just as I happened to glance across the graveyard. 

A very old ivy covered Celtic cross

More beautiful trees.  There was a huge branch on the floor just out of shot which was the result of the recent storm damage.

I'm in hibernation mode today.  I'm still recuperating from my op and don't really feel like doing anything very strenuous right now. I'm getting gastric pain every other day which is almost as bad as the gall bladder pain and it is, quite frankly, doing my head in and making me a little depressed.  I'm scared to eat anything at all now for fear of an attack.  The good thing about it is that I've lost 2 stones in weight!

 Man is threatening to do something cheffy with a couple of lobsters we have in the freezer.  I think I may have to request a plain jacket potato instead.  How times have changed!

See you soon!

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

A Merry One .....

From me and mine, to you and yours.  Bright Blessings.

Have the very best of times.

Lots of Love

All at Peapods xxx

Thursday, 19 December 2013


Hello lovely people

Thank you once again for your well wishes.

I had my op done on Friday and they kept me in until Sunday afternoon before discharging me.  I was very scared about the anaesthetic but that's the control freak in me - I HATE not being in control of my own body and don't do illness or infirmity very well at all.  As I have BUPA insurance via the dark and gloomy place, I took advantage of that and had my op done in a lovely private hospital very close to where I live.  The op went well - and when I came 'round they presented me with a sample bottle FULL to the brim with gall stones (delightful!!) which measure around .5 of a cm each - think pea shingle!!  I'm going to regravel the drive with them I reckon !! Although my other half delights in freaking the kids out by shaking them at them, I'll spare you from posting a photograph!!

I think the worst thing immediately post op was the removal of a 'drain' tube I had left in - I'm sure the nurse yanking it out left further bruising inside - it's a feeling I never want again.  She nearly had to peel me off the ceiling but did say that had she warned me how horrible it would feel then I wouldn't have let her do it!!

My recovery has been a bit up and down really.  Some days have been better than others.  Some days, like yesterday, were vile and I spent most of it berating myself for having the bloody thing done in the first place.  The nausea is the worst thing.  I feel constantly sick - again some days are worse than others - but I'm hoping that this is just because my body is adjusting to coping with having a bit of it being removed.   I've tried chewing fennel seeds - bleurghhhh!!! I hate aniseed and as fennel tastes like aniseed then I can't stomach them without heaving.  I tried peppermint tea which was no help at all.  I tried not eating.  I tried eating little and often - and nothing is working right now.  That said, it is still very early days and as usual I'm probably being a little too impatient with myself.  I want to be out and about and enjoying the run up to Christmas.  At the moment even washing my hair is a chore which leaves me feeling exhausted.

I'm sure I'll be back to fighting fitness very shortly.  In the meantime I'm thankful that I can snuggle and hibernate (and burp a lot).  Sigh.

See you soon!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Quick Catch Up

Hi to anyone who drops in to visit me - I'm sorry I haven't been around very much lately.  A very big thank you for the kind emails enquiring after my well being.  Very much appreciated from my blogging family x

As a family we've had a lot of "stuff" going on lately and I've needed to turn my attention to that so we can be the strong, supportive unit we always are in trying times.

During my blogging absence there have been some good times too, a lovely trip to Banbury and Oxford for me and the man, full of blissful relaxation in a wonderful hotel, great food,  Xmas shopping in gorgeous little shops and a meeting with a dear friend.

We've put up our Yule tree - a woodland theme this year - here's some pics:-

I'm off to hospital to have my gall bladder out tomorrow and to say that I'm a tad scared is an understatement as I've never had a general anaesthetic before.  I'm sure all will be ok and I shall see you on the flip side as they say ...erm... somewhere!

Be good - Santa's watching! ;)

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Samhain Blessings

Two suitably wonderful pieces from Omnia.  I'm a relative newcomer to this band - probably only in the last couple of months but I don't know how I've not come across them before.

Their  interpretation of Poe's The Raven....... (I've listened to this so many times lately my kids just roll their eyes at me when I put it on yet again!)

and Wytches Brew.........

Enjoy your day, whatever you are doing.

Blessed Be 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

There's a storm a-comin'

Seems like Mama Nature's in a moody!!

Stay safe people xxxx

A Facebook spoof - but I had to laugh!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Foliage Friday

Have a look at my lovely little Cotinus plant.  

S'nice int it?

Look what's happening to the leaves!

Strangely beautiful don't you think?

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Forays into Focaccia

Today you could say that I have been fecking about with focaccia.

When my inner Earth Mother and Domestic Goddess take over, I am duty-bound to  obey their wishes and sashay kitchen-wards in search of culinary derring-do with which to satisfy their needs.  Today they forced me into making focaccia. This is an experience from which I shall probably never recover and neither will my kitchen utensils, worktop, mixing bowl, several tea towels, and the dog.

Buoyed up by GBBO and channelling  Ma'am Mezza Bezza I searched the tinter web for a suitable recipe and who else better to take instruction from than Mr Hollywood himself.  How I wish I hadn't bothered.

The recipe calls for strong white bread flour. Well I had some of this; not enough, but some. Don't tell Paul, but I added some self raising flour to make up the difference.  This was probably my first mistake. The recipe also calls for Olive oil. Well I had some of this; not enough, but some.  Don't tell Paul, but I added some vegetable oil to make up the difference. This was probably my second mistake. 

And so the process began.  Yeast, water, salt and oil added and mixed. And, erm, mixed. Good grief.  It began like gloop of the gloopiest nature and eventually turned into sticky paper mâché. I tried using a wooden spoon. I tried using my hands. Big mistake.  HUGE!!  The bloody stuff stuck to everything. I was dreading anyone knocking on the door, or being overcome by an urgent need to wee cos quite frankly me and the mixing bowl weren't parting company at any time soon. After about ten minutes and being instructed by Le Hollywood to stretch the dough and fold it under itself ready to prove at this point the whole shocking mess nearly ended up being drop kicked over gnarly neighbour's fence. I scraped the worst of the gloop off my hands and consulted the tinterweb again to see what I had done wrong.  

Apparently I had done nothing wrong (except perhaps the heinous crime of bastardising Paul's holy grail of focaccia-ness with substitute and substandard ingredients). The dough is renowned for being sticky and gloopy and notoriously difficult to handle and all I needed to do was to coat my hands in oil.  


Here it is before proving 

And here it is after proving!  Not much difference but it did go all soft and puffy. 

Before oven, sprinkled with garlic salt and a little rosemary. 

After oven!

And on checking?  Hmm.  Not a bad effort all things considered. No soggy bottom. Not a bad 'bake'!  

Shame I couldn't have any.  My veggie bake was lovely though! (Yes I did cook it!). 

See you soon x

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Tucked up Tuesday

Hey everyone

Thanks to everyone who commented/emailed their good wishes to me recently.  They are very much appreciated.

I emailed Samaritans to see whether I could attend another time but sadly these selection days are only held a couple of times each year and they will not do individual interviews.  To say I am gutted is putting it mildly but I have requested that they keep my references and details on file so that I am able to attend the next one.

The scan has revealed gall stones.  I'm actually quite relieved in a way that this has been confirmed because I really was quite worried as to what else it could have been.  It certainly explains the pain I've been in.  The sonographer said "well you definitely have gall stones".  After heaving a sigh of relief, I asked if there were many and she replied, "Erm, yep quite a few".  Apparently the wall of my gall bladder is also thickened - whatever that means.   I am now waiting for the next stage of proceedings which is a hospital appointment to discuss my options with the Consultant, following which I can instruct BUPA if the NHS waiting list is too long as I have this through work.

Since I had the diagnosis, I have stripped fat completely from my diet and have only eaten vegetables and fruit.  I'm actually enjoying my enforced vegetarianism - I was vegetarian for a number of years in my yoof and so it is no hardship.  I stuck to plain steamed veggies on Sunday, I had a stir fry (well not fried at all really - just - erm... stirred!) with a handful of Quorn pieces yesterday, and today I made a vegetable bake with courgettes and onions in passata with oregano, a little sugar to taste, and a grind of garlic salt.  I topped this off with a thinly sliced sweet potato and baked it in the oven.  It was delicious for something thrown together and I shall certainly be trying that again.

I miss my spices, although I did read on the lovely Kath's blog over at Hillside House recently that turmeric had lots of health giving properties so I did a little read up on it.  It certainly does seem to be very beneficial for a lot of ailments - apart from for gall stone sufferers who should avoid it!  Gah!  Looks like gentle herbs are the way forward for the time being at least.

In the meantime I am making the most of my enforced rest.  I'm taking time to just sit and relax rather than hurling myself at 27 different projects at once, or feeling that I should be tackling the housework rather than just sitting and "being".  I'm enjoying being here at home, being a housewifey and cooking the evening meal for the family.  How long it will be until I go stir crazy is anyone's guess but for now I'm happy to read all of my favourite blogs, hook up with some crochet and feel smug that the rain and wind are blowing a hooley outside whilst I'm tucked up in here.

Keep dry!

Love love xx

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Colour my world

Hello lovely readers,

I've had a couple of uppy-downy days with this bloody stomach problem.   The good news is that I have my urgent scan tomorrow morning.  The bad news is that means I can't attend the Samaritans selection day.  To say that I am gutted is an understatement.  Hopefully they will understand the situation and allow me to attend another session.  I do hope so.

I've dropped 10 lbs since last Friday.  This is a good thing but the fact that I am scared to actually eat anything isn't so good.  Today I have managed to eat a mashed banana with honey on a very small slice of Rankin's wheaten bread toast.  That was ok - didn't hurt.  I ate another slice for lunch, just with a smear of honey this time.  That was ok - didn't hurt!   This evening I've just had steamed carrots and cauliflower with a couple of quorn mini eggs.  I'm waiting to see if this is going to hurt!

Last night I had a very small plain jacket potato with a piece of baked fish.  Stupid woman that I am, I didn't remove the batter and it darn near killed me not more than an hour later, and I suffered for hours and hours. Mega strength pain killers didn't touch the pain so I had to chant (yep really) through it.


ANYWAY - enough of the poor me malarkey.

On a cheerier note, have a look at some photos of things that made me smile over the last couple of days!

I had to pop in to Lye yesterday and on the way to the bus stop walked through the churchyard and out on to the Bypass - where I found these at the side of the road.  I'm sure the lorry drivers were intrigued about the Rubenesque woman who was walking like Bambi (cos I was so flippin weak!) up on to the bank at the side of the road to take pictures of toadstools!  Or perhaps not - this is Lye after all - anything goes!)

A closer look

After that I made it to Mum's for a cuppa before my legs gave out.   As usual we had a wander around her pretty little garden where these were growing - they were great until her big German Shepherd mutt big-footed his way through them!

Her little acer tree was back lit by the sun and looked stunning!

No colour enhancers required here! 

Today has been spent at home.  Its been raining heavily again and I was happy to stay indoors, pottering.  I attacked the kitchen with as much gusto as I could muster but got bored and so distracted myself by making this little Halloween tree.

I happened to look out of the kitchen window just as the skies went really dark and was transfixed for a while watching the seagulls wheel around in the sky, their stark whiteness against the dark clouds was beautiful - and then this happened:-

Of course the colours aren't as bright on photograph but this was by far the brightest rainbow I've ever seen.  It seemed to come down right into the field.

A double one at that!

How is your weekend?

See you soon 


Working from home

I've taken a precious day of annual leave today.  I've really struggled this week with feeling so yuk and I needed the restorative ...