Friday 25 December 2015

Happy Christmas

The gangs arrived. So just time to wish you all a.....

Monday 21 December 2015

Time to prep but not to stress

Hello All.
 Especially Frugal Finger a new follower on the side there and Jangray on Bloglovin.
I, like many others, have lost some followers lately, (Google prob?) but have no idea who they are.

Like yourselves, I'm sure, I am now on countdown to Christmas Day. I'm a little late with some of the preparations as I was a little unwell with a cold last week (when I was busy with other stuff too) and from Saturday, after we returned from Santa duty, David has been unwell too with a nasty cold. When David gets a cold it usually knocks him up as he has such a weak chest from his fight with cancer and heart surgery. So I have been nursing him as best I can as he is determined that he will be well enough for his last Santa duties on Wednesday when the canal boat will be pulled by a horse. Being on the boat all day has effectively lost us a days prep, so I will pull in tasks either side.

Christmas Day prep so far.....
Over the last few weeks I have done what prep I can. So far I have made and frozen the stuffing and the cheese sauce (compulsory in this house with all meals!) I have grown, processed and frozen  the apple sauce, parsnips, roast potatoes and the peas (I will pick the brussels fresh on Christmas Eve) We have a large leg of homegrown pork which I will take out of the freezer on Tuesday night along with a ham and the large turkey bought by a dear friend who joins us every Christmas day and always supplies the turkey. I am lucky enough to have a large old fridge (the beer fridge) in an outside room where I can defrost these joints slowly and safely.
From yesterday afternoon until tea time today  our ten year old granddaughter has been with us. She has helped to post the local cards and has made a sponge for the trifle which I will start tomorrow.  Most importantly, she has looked after her granddad, freeing me up to put the fifteen boxes of books back onto the shelves in the parrot's room and strip all the beds for the weekend.

Our youngest daughter and myself have already bought a goodly selection of cheese and tomorrow we will  pop to the shops for a joint of beef to roast for eating cold. Our eldest daughter has given me the money for this.

 Godson has been gifted a Christmas pudding which he has donated to the meal ( a posh Waitrose one no less) Not everyone likes Christmas pud, so YD  made and froze a treacle sponge yesterday, With the trifle that should be enough sweet stuff for the day.

 On Christmas Eve afternoon , after she has picked up the pigs in blankets, which she always buys, YD and myself will process the carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels and potatoes for mashing, boil the ham and roast the beef. We will also par-cook the pork joint to make the logistic of Christmas lunch easier.
We will then all go to a friend's early family party, pick up GSon son from work and then join some friends at a pub, before getting home at about midnight.

  Perhaps I should explain that though this might  seem excessive amounts of food to some it has to go some way ( though hopefully there will be plenty of leftovers to process)  I have just added up who will be at ours on Christmas Day and we will be 17 for Christmas Dinner with at least 14 more joining us for an Evening Buffet.
 So there you are. My Christmas prep. I have left out all the bits and bobs (pickles, bread etc) as this post is getting too long and boring.
I don't know whether I will be posting again before Christmas (I shall certainly be reading your blogs) so I will take this opportunity to wish you  a VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS and a PEACEFUL NEW YEAR.
Best Wishes to you all.
Gill x
PS If it is your first Christmas hosting don't forget the extra milk and loo paper!

Saturday 19 December 2015

On Santa duties again

"So what have I been up to "? you ask. Or maybe you didn't but I will tell you anyway!

I have been getting Percy's room ready to receive a new carpet.Which has meant a full redecoration.
 . There is no point in putting in a new carpet (essential as the old one had shredded near the door and had become a trip hazard) without at least glossing the skirting boards and door frame, which makes the rest of the room look grimier than ever. So I have emulsioned the ceiling  and the walls and glossed the rest and on monday the carpet was fitted. Putting all the books back is going to be a nightmare.
I do all the decorating here. I always have done. As a girl I was my dad's "boy". he was disabled  and though he did most things, often on his hands and knees, there  were things he couldn't do, so I learnt how to do them, along with such skills as trimming the strip on the side of the wallpaper. Do any of you remember that?

Tuesday was our "Staff Lunch" This means that the diverse folk who meet here on Tuesdays to work on the smallholding or the derelict canal that runs through the village, will have a cracker to pull when they have their cheesy beans on toast at lunch. I have pushed the boat out and bought some mince pies too. Gosh I spoil folk don't I!? (no I didn't make them myself)
 Then I  baked and got ready for a meeting at ours on wednesday night before getting Adam's room ready for thursday. Adam is to stay with us from thursday morning until saturday night as an "Emergency placement". We have planned a few things for him to keep him relaxed and happy as things are not too good at home at the  moment.
David and I are Santa and his Elf  on the canal boat from 10.30 until 3.30 today, so ED and EGD are to take Adam to a Matlock Christmas market to keep him occupied while we are on Yuletide duties. Adam LOVES (both markets and the girls!) them so he will be a happy bunny. Once we have delivered him back home we are whizzing off to a party for a few hours. I reckon we should wear our costumes, but David thinks not. Spoilsport!
But mostly this week I have been battling MUD. Gosh it's the worst I've ever seen with no frost to make the walking and working easier. The hens are knee deep in the stuff. it is so mild here that the bees have been out which is not really what you want as they are using up stores and energy that they should be saving.
Must go now  Santa's reindeer are champing at the bit.
Back soon with Christmas plans

Friday 11 December 2015

Windows 10

Hello All
Been a while hasn't it?
I have been reading blogs and commenting occasionally, but my blogging mojo is somewhat reduced.
I have been extremely busy lately and blogging has taken a back seat, but if I'm truthful I've also  been struggling with being nice!
I find myself wanting to rant about all sorts of stuff and also argue with some of the blogs I have read. Now you can't all be wrong so it must be me! So as our mothers said "If you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all"
So I will ask a neutral, non combative  question... Has anyone loaded Windows 10 and what do you think of it?
Brief post for me eh?