Sunday, 29 November 2009

The advent of Advent.. Christmas must be on it's way now for sure.. as I heaved my sorry ass out of bed this morning and set about weighing and measuring out the fruit for three cakes I plan to bake later this week. I am going to make two Red Wine Fruit Cakes, recipe courtesy of some friends at Leedstown School (thanks Mary) and one mega cake which will be an amalgamation of Ainsley Harriots's Mum's cake (where did that come from?!) and a Deluxe Cake from an old BBC Veggie Christmas magazine which has been languishing on my kitchen shelf for years.

So... 90 ounces of fruit later (sultanas, apricots, dates, cherries.. you know, all the things your Mum tried to get you to eat as a kid, but you hated, then miraculously find irresistable as you reach the summit of your I'm- in-charge-of-festiveness-realisation at the age of 30+ somewhere).. and a pint of red wine and some port and Old Monk's Rum in the other. 

(Ainsley reckons you need to start this process some 4 weeks at least before you bake the cake, but unless I started back in October and then discovered a festering bowl of fruit packed away forgotten in some dark cupboard somewhere, a few days will have to do...he also says to blitz 2/3 of the fruit before cooking but that's not going to happen as the best bit is picking out the pieces of fruit...isn't it?)  So you can see how the recipe is an amalgamation, I will put in the best bits of both.... like the veggie mag cake doesn't even include spices.. what's THAT all about?!

The Old Monk's Rum by the way has long sat on the roof of our dresser or kitchen units, only of interest on this one day a year..a bit like a alcoholic sad version of One Little Christmas Tree!  Col got given it by someone when they worked in India, the only time it has been drunk for real was when Ross took a swig (aged 10 or 11) as I teased him that Lisa had tried it already....his swig prompted cries of agony about tongue and lips on fire / burning etc..he always did like to make a drama out of a crisis.. can't think where he gets THAT from either!

It'll be great to get out my Christmas scrapped album, all 9 long pages of it, made it in January so it will get a nice airing over Christmas this year while Uncle Bill and Deborah come to spend some time with us... I only hope it's not quite such an icey snap this year as last when Will & Michele appeared to bring a New York chill with them!

PS Sorry about the repeat pics, I have a new camera phone but it has a sad, very sad camera and those candid shots require the subjects to 'hold it like that' for about 30 seconds while I get this to 'take'.. need less to say Santa is threatening to get me another tiny, lightweight one for scrap subjects..

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Making the effort..

.. good attempts going on here to stop the winter rot (read SAD syndrome?) setting in, so Col and I have been swimming twice this week after work at St Ives.   We meet Ross there and get a few lengths under our belt. Kate came along today and not long before the whole brood gets in on the act! 

We're hoping it'll be good for Col's back, still suffering with too much office work and then a frenzy of manual work at weekends in the cold. As for me I'm fighting the usual tense neck, (the domain of most mums I reckon) but it's already feeling a bit easier to notch up a length.

Not sure whether going before or after tea is the right idea.... Monday we were a bit beached as we ate first, but tonight followed the exercise with a bag of Hoola Hoops and half a Boost bar each! (only half each.. could have been twice as bad eh?)   The lovely soup I had prepared (ala super-Mum mode whilst cooking tea yesterday) still found a good home when we got in... and no-one seemd worse for wear having a meal at 8.30pm either!

Lots going on in the office, big big job in the last stages of manufacture, for a nuclear fuels company... big piles of paperwork required..all for tomorrow,so it'll be early night and early start tomorrow.....what is a Life Time Quality Record Index anyways?

Hahaa,, looking for a pic to suit.. my last swim venue!... and if you look real close I'm sure you can see that despite evryone saying the kids all look like Col, these three DO look like me after all!

Be funky.. or be square!

Linda just twittered this brilliant link to a site which cartoonises your images..and see what it did to Ross..

and it would seem perfect for some part of the latest Twitter Challenge.. 'Living the Dream!'

Tuesday, 17 November 2009


Mmmmmmmmmm, a bit disconcerting, but I appear to have Bloggers Block! Not quite sure about the reason for this but it does concern me that I have only written once in November.. what's THAT all about!

It's not that I am not busy, or that I have not got thoughts about stuff, it's just I don't know what to say next....I even have some brilliantly good email chats from Will in the US, but still I am bereft of creative chat on here....answers on a postcard please..

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Great job Ross! Here comes Christmas!!!

The eyes have it! My lovely Ross, his eyes are like mine and my Mum's, they show his heart and his I guess look out if you get a smile without them moving!

He's had a great couple of weeks, and I'm so proud of him. He got his Lifeguard qualification and yesterday he heard that he has passed his Higher Level Teaching Assistant so as promised he's added more to his CV and the world is his oyster! I know he has itchy feet sometimes, but so loving having him about. (not to mention the decorated bedroom, and the porch which he seems to have taken ownership of this w/e..) 

We had a laugh one day cos I have him on my mobile as my ICE (In Case of Emergency), I joke that he's the only one who has his phone strapped to his leg 24-7, but seriously I know we can always rely on each other I.C.E.!

Last bit of news for now, Col's Uncle Bill will be here with us for Christmas!! I think he is staying for about 2 weeks, to make the journey from Washington worthwhile... it will be soooo good, a few nice trips out to nostalgia-ville for us (well Penberth cliffs and Eden skating at least eh, Ross?).. and plenty of evenings putting the world to rights with the help of a bottle of wine and a late night snacking session! 

Dear Colin he always likes the idea of a dead relaxing Christmas, laid out in front of the TV, but it never happens, he gets busy on chores way too soon, and I end up spending ten days shuffling from one meal to another... needless to say I'll jump at any chance to make an event of the time off.. and Uncle Bill is the best reason I can imagine, and it will be especially nice for us to spend New Year together and quietly look back on the year .... how we have all lived and grown in the family, how we have loved and lost and learnt to live again...xxxx