Monday, 30 June 2014

Day 47 - Monday - Slow news day ....

So here's a slow loris eating a rice ball.

If you don't go awwww then your cutsie button is broken and you need to go in for a re-bore.

Seriously though.  Awww!!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Day 46 - Alternative Sunday dinner

We can take or leave a roast in this house. More often than not we're busy doing stuff outside in the summer and I get terribly mardy if I have to stay indoors to prepare a big meal. 

Today has been no exception. We were working on the mosaic for most of the morning (will share that in it's finished form in due course. It's awaiting grouting at the moment). I also wanted to catch up on some crafting which involves cutting out 100s of paper shapes (don't ask!!). 

So, tonight's tea was a bit of a fajita type affair so everyone could just grab what they wanted with minimal input from me or LM.   I stir fried some chicken breasts and added a fajita style sauce from a jar, caramelised a few onions in some balsamic vinegar, shredded some iceberg and grated a bit of cheese for those who fancied it.  A couple of bags of corn chips came to the party too. 

I had a packet of veggie meatballs in the freezer which had been kicking around for a while so I defrosted those and made a very quick ragout type sauce from onions, a tin of tomatoes, garlic purée, tomato purée, a little sugar (makes tomato based sauces taste more tomatoey don't you know!), a splash of balsamic, salt, pepper and a spoon of ras el hanout paste. Then I bunged the veggie balls in to the sauce.  There is enough of this left to take to work tomorrow with some salad. 

We usually have this in soft tortilla wraps but yesterday I found something that was far more fun!   Stand and stuff tortillas!  Yay! 

They are so good I shall award a gold star to the inventor of them!   You can stuff them to your hearts content and they're sturdy enough to tuck into without fear of fajita sauces running down your arms! They're not cheap at £2.00 for eight but they were a great treat and good novelty value too. Plus they did a sterling job of handling lots of yummy filling!!  I heated them in the microwave for 30 secs but I guess if you want them to be crispy you could bake them gently for a while. 

They were really well received by the famalam and I would definitely buy them again. These would be great for parties and picnics too I reckon. (Hiding from the frugalistas as I type!!)

*please note that the above review is my own and no freebies or sponsorship were  received*. (Although I'm open to offers cos I'm a mercenary old bag on the quiet).   Snigger.  

Love love!!

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Day 45 Fox on the run

An old school pal of mine drives for a container skip company.  This morning he came back from one of his driving  runs only to find out that he had a stowaway lying on the cover sheet of his container who had hitched a ride back to the yard from Wednesbury. 

I'll just quote what he put up on the book of face.   "I'd just like to say that no animals were hurt in the removal of foxy. I just gently rolled the easy sheet back & he jumped onto the cab roof I then tried to move the truck towards the toilet block so he could jump onto the roof but he scrambled down the side of the cab &run off up the road....😊"

Thanks Darren for letting me share these pics.  

Friday, 27 June 2014

Day 44 A damsel in dis-greenhouse!

Thank you to my lovely bro for letting me pinch show you these photos of a visitor to his allotment greenhouse this afternoon.

Isn't he beautiful? (The damsel fly not my brother!)

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Day 43 - Thursday Conundrums....

Hiya Bloglie people!

Thanks for your ratty suggestions - I think we only have one option really and that is to bait some traps as we don't know how many we are dealing with and don't know where or if there is a nest of the buggers  More worrying is the very timely reports on the national news tonight that a breed of 'super' rat which is becoming immune to the usual poison is becoming very prevalent

A note to Sheryl who left a comment on yesterday's post - Sheryl I'm so sorry, my phone has been playing up and I think I've accidentally deleted your comment rather than publish it as was intended.  Your mention of the website is very helpful though and one I have saved for future reference.  Thank you!

Not much to report tonight.  There is, however, a growing undercurrent of dissatisfaction in the workplace once more, this time on the very sticky subject of salaries.  I'm not sure whether the powers that be imagine that we are far too naive to be checking out job agency websites for indications of salaries when a new position is advertised, or whether they simply don't care.  The issue here is that they are bringing new people in on far higher salaries than the people who are already doing the same job and who have been doing for years in some cases. This is now becoming common knowledge.  Salaries are a taboo subject aren't they which is why I feel that  a more transparent pay structure should be in force and I also wish there was something we could do to press for one.  It's very disheartening to know that a newbie has come in on at least a couple of grand more than you are on.  We don't have a Union.  At the risk of being a Militant Millie I do think something should be done - trouble is everyone is standing around being annoyed and unhappy, but ask them to band together for the common good and they run away from a potential conflict.

Sticky situation eh?

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Day 42 - (nearly) Wordless Wednesday

A Swallowtail Moth, I believe. Chilling on my ceiling this morning.
Oops.  "Wordless"   *slaps self*  Sorry.  Shhhh!  Tee hee!

Even Less Words HERE

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Day 41. Oh Rats!!

Bugger and blast.

My nosy bint of a neighbour took great delight in telling lovely fella that she's seen a rat sitting on our bird feeding station. Sure enough, as I was sitting outside earlier, there was a rustling in the ivy that runs riot over the brick shed and as I looked up I watched as the seed bar container was pulled into the leaves.  I went over to investigate and could hear ratty scuttle back up over the ivy.   Just to make sure, I kept a watch for a while only to see it happen again.  I've removed the seed bar holder and I could plainly see the seed bar gnawed down considerably.

So what do I do now then? I'm loathe to put anything on the bird table.  I hate killing anything but I have the chicken to consider.  Closer inspection of the run tonight has revealed a suspiciously rat sized hole burrowed out under the perimeter of the run.

What do I do bloggers?

Monday, 23 June 2014

Day 40. An Oasis in the city

Hello lovely ones!

Isn't it glorious to have some actual summery rays beating down? 

After my scan this morning I decided that it was far too much hassle to take the combination of a bus, two trains and another bus to get back to work, so I called up and asked politely if I could write today off as leave. It was agreed to and so the fella and I wandered into Brum to potter around for an hour or so.  

We partook of a cheap as chips (but far tastier) lunch and then went off in search of an oasis. 

Oasis has been in Brum for years and years. At least forty if we're counting. I spent many a Saturday afternoon in here in my yoof, a bit squiffy from one too many lunch time beverages in Edwards rock bar, Mr Bills Bier Keller and the sleazy ole underground Costermonger pub. 

Oasis is just that. An oasis of alternative clothing, jewellery and music in a barren wasteland of faceless high street mundanity. 

A place where, over several floors, you can find the craziest hair colours, the grooviest bags, body piercing, tattoo parlours, burlesque supplies and lots of other gloriously off beat stuff. 

I didn't mention shoes did I?  Oh the shoes!!

Crazy wall art. 


Gig announcements.

Bondage trousers!

Indian head dresses.  Y'know. Just in case you need one!!

The mannequins in Selfridges don't look like this one!!

You can hang out with the bats. 

Replace your angel wings. 

Plan a steam punk party outfit. 

Get airbrushed !

Buy a new necklace. 

Or buy a new Mohican riding hat. 
'Vintage' shops are springing up in a couple of units too. Oddly enough they're probably re-selling the stuff people had originally bought from Oasis twenty odd years ago!

The scent of joss sticks and Indian cotton and browsing through goth clothes in the basement made me feel about 20 again. If only I could get away with wearing it all over again. I could have spent hundreds!!

As it was, we bought something to put by for the forthcoming grand baby. 

Somehow I don't think mommy will approve!!

Rock an' roll!!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Day 39 - All the pretty things ...

This is what I've been playing with this afternoon!  Lovely pretty shiny things!  What are they for?  Well.  You'll have to watch this space!! 

I've got an insect bite on the back of my leg. It's so painful a lion may as well have taken a chunk out of me. My leg is swollen, red and angry.  I may cry.  This is certainly not my year health wise.  I have an MRI scan tomorrow too. Joy!!  

Hope your Sunday was warm and sunny and you have had prettyful things to play with too!

With love xxx

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Day 38 - Owls n Roses

Bright Blessings to you all on this blessed Solstice Day.  Happy birthday to my own Solstice Goddess, my lovely Momma!

The roses are in fine fettle for midsummer's day.  They're absolutely loaded with blooms.  Lookit!!

I was happy to see the farmers market is back on in town after being missing in action for a couple of weeks.  I think I've mentioned before how disappointing it had become with more and more market tat jewellery stalls and hardly any produce. After a bit of a revamp there did seem to be more there today however I still think 'farmers market' is still a bit of a misnomer. There was a street food cafe (whatever that might be. A sausage roll eaten out of a paper bag could be street food!!), ubiquitous market tat jewellery, a woman selling godawful fake flowers, (I know you can get some amazingly lifelike ones but these were, erm, well just no thanks!!), a cupcake stall. Yay for glorified fairy cakes at £1.75 each. I don't get it!  On a better note there were some fresh and wonderful veggies on one stall, huge and fragrant strawberries on another as well as some artisan bread and a butchers stall. That was more like it. A Fair trade clothing stall lit up one corner with its bright Indian cotton clothes and bags.  

And an owl stall. 

Sadly they weren't for sale!!  Aren't they gorgeous though?  

Friday, 20 June 2014

Day 37. The Works Do ...

Was crap!!  I was home before eleven sharing a Chinese with my boy!!  

So here's some Lottie produce grown by moms fair hand!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Day 36 - Happy Smiley Music

This song makes me smile.

So do Chris Martin's arms.  

Oops.  Did I say that out loud?

Day 35 - panic stations

So, our works summer BBQ event is upon us once again.  

Plus points:-  

The venue looks great. 
It's a free bar.  

Minus points:-

I need to:- 
Lose 17 million stones by Friday.
Get a spray tan.
Get my nails done. 
Get my hair done.  
Have eyelash extensions.  
Buy a new dress/cardigan strokelacycoverupmyarmsthingie/shoes/
Jewellery/ industrial strength hold it all in/hoist it all up underwear. 


I have a new dress.  I hate it. It makes me look like an overstuffed sofa. 
I Would rather stick pins in my eyes than paint myself orange. 
Ditto the eyelash thingies. 
No amount of industrial strength under garment is going to disguise this amount of timber. 


Eastenders is on on Friday and if I watch it for long enough there might be a good bit.  Probably.  

Monday, 16 June 2014

Day 33 - Green Spaces in Noisy Places

I'm sitting on a garden bench waiting to start my Samaritans shift. It's been a hectic day as usual and I'm grateful for an hour's peace without the phone ringing incessantly or demands being made for various tasks to be completed. Instead I'm just sitting. Just being.  I've eaten a prawn sandwich and a banana milkshake cos that's how I roll. 

I'm looking up at this:  

I can look down on this 

And a little way in between is this 

I can hear magpies, crows, starlings, sparrows, a robin who is sitting on the fence but flies off every time I lift the phone to capture him, an angle grinder, traffic, voices chatting over the fence and the distinctive sound of ACDC's Back in Black drifting over in the breeze.  

I could be anywhere. But today I'm at the back of a busy High Street in a run down Black Country town.  Just being. 

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Day 32 - The Head Gardener (up in the sky)

So another Father's Day passes without 'my Star'.    I'd like to share a photograph with you.  This was Dad in one of his favourite parts of the world - Llandrindod Wells on Mum's cousin's farmland, doing what he loved best - helping someone out!  He looked quite at home didn't he?

My brother has penned this wonderful poem dedicated to him.   I bawled my eyes out this morning when I read it but you know me - I'm a complete wuss!!

Head Gardener up in the sky. ..

The seed that you tenderly planted
Grew into your only son,
And the vines that supported his growth were your arms,
And your love became second to none.

As a seedling you kept him warm and safe and provided a pot for his bed,
A greenhouse in Lye to nurture new growth,
Making sure he was watered and fed.

And as the seedling took on new growth and developed itself into a man,
You checked on it's roots and gave light to the plant with your wisdom like only dads can.

The plant grew and soon was established you made it feel "best in show"
You weren't overlooked by the man in the clouds he was making new plans for you.....

He offered a new job in Eden with a plot that was fertile and green,
He told you that clouds were much easier to plough and to you this just seemed like a dream.

When you left me to take on your new job,
I lifted myself out of my pot,
I promised I'd look after mom and Kim and take good care of your plot....

Without you it's difficult sometimes, could never be you but I'll try,
Thank you for your love and your wisdom, head gardener up in the sky.


S'lovely innit?

Lovely Mummy has been here today helping me regain control of my errant garden.  We've planted pots and moved things, she's swept and tidied whilst I made dinner.  Man made a new step for in front of my shed and emptied out the big heavy wooden planter and filled it with compost ready for me to plant more bedding plants next week.  Its looking good again.

Here - have a look!

The Roses are just coming into bloom - loads of buds on! 
The little acer seems to be liking its new home

The rose smells divine - real old fashioned, appley-rosie scent (if that makes sense).


Lots of dense, double blooms 

Last year's cordylines are doing well.  Our garden is extremely windy
and long strap leaves like this tend to get shredded very quickly.
The little red acer I bought a couple of weeks ago is already curling its leaves to crisps
in protest.  Boo to that! 

Up in the secret garden, the border has bushed out really well since last year.  I need to get some more bark mulch as there are lots of gaps appearing already above the weed cover.

This hydrangea was blue when we got it last year and I've been keeping everything
crossed that it likes where it is planted so that the true colour comes again this year.

YAY!!  Looking good!

The explosion in a  paintbox rose is also coming into bloom.  I do love this in all its showy

This "Auntie May" from down t' lottie was nobbut a mere
stripling of a lass this time last year.  Me thinks she may need
keeping an eye on!

The pod garden.  
All tidy at last and the sun circle nice and clean for the upcoming Solstice. 
The plants just need to show a little
colour now and all will be right with the world.   

Wonder what the Head Gardener 
up in the sky would make of it?

Hope your Sunday was marvellous darlings! 

With love x

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 ...