Wednesday, 9 October 2013


As Mother in Law and her partner are coming to pay a visit next week (not to stay, phoooor) I've been thinking of what I can give them to eat without getting into my usual panic mode and last minute cooking, then having too much stuff in the fridge that I lose things in their, never to be seen again until they're compost. Last week I made a Shepherds Pie base from a recipe which was in Country Living Magazine a few years ago, named something like a Proper Ragu. I have made it with Quorn mince too and it is a nice flavour. I haven't made a Quorn one yet but that's not a problem. I only put the base in the freezer as sometimes I think that potatoes go a bit wet after being in the freezer. Today I made a casserole and it is as I speak in a slow cooker and I'm going to take it out in about half an hour and let it cool, then I will freeze that. I also made a veggie and bean stew for me.

Now I've finished my blanket I am at a loss what to do. Not that there is nothing going on but I have a few things waiting, half finished. I think I'm going to continue with my Noro chevron tank top. That would brighten up a dull Autumn/Winter day nicely, the colours are gorgeous. Then I have a Wingspan scarf to finish. And socks!

I've been going through books like wildfire for the last few weeks, but nothing much of note, as they have been ones requiring very little concentration to be despatched to the charity shop immediately. Some of my friends/acquaintances are like me in that they like to read children's books of note, ie adventure, old school and horsey/riding books. Some of them are collectors' items and one particular author has written a complete set of books which encompass a ballet series and a horsey series. This is Lorna Hill, who started writing books for her children which started to be published in 1948. I now have the whole series, collected piece by piece. I had a few when I was a girl then they disappeared and when I realised they could be obtained, started collecting.

I love the Arthur Ransome books involving stories around the Lake District, like Swallows and Amazons, Picts and Martyrs, Pigeon Post and Winter Holiday. I'm not too keen on the sailing on the broads ones. The first four I have re-read recently, with as much enjoyment as if I had been a teenager.

I'm now reading a book about a guy cycling around the coastline of Britain. There are various books describing this but this one is written in a very humorous manner and although it has been put aside for a while, have picked it up and enjoying it. It is called "One Man and his Bike" by Mike Carter. It is described as "Wonderful" by William Fotheringham, who is an expert on cycling stories.

On Sunday I went to a memorial invitation bike race just past Knutsford, and my Mum actually turned up. She wouldn't come with me so I told her to drive herself, then she could go when she wanted to. She was so pleased to have gone, and saw so many of her old friends, whom she hadn't seen for years and years. I saw lots of people there too.

I actually only took one photo, usually I take lots. Nobody would remember most of the names and I don't know some of the newer ones.  I just took this picture of a young man who rides for the Rapha Condor team who feature well in the Tour de France and the Tour of Britain, and he competed in the latter race. He had raced in a hill climb at Llangollen in the morning and then drove over to Cheshire to compete in this race, partnered in the two-up by another member of the Rapha team, who used to be a rider but was not involved in the team training etc. The young man's name is Richard Handley and the other member of the team was John Herety. Richard is pictured with his girlfriend.

I know it probably won't mean anything to most of you, but he was such a lovely young man and was most bashful when I asked to take his photo. I think he has a great future ahead of him as he is only 23.

That's it for now. I'l try to find something more interesting to write about, I've got an idea but it is something in the past, as there's not much going on at this time of the year.


  1. I found your post really interesting, especially the bits about putting things in the freezer and the books you’ve been reading. I’m never organised enough to prepare anything before people come to stay and always end up in a panic. Well done on collecting all the Lorna Hill ballet books it's a lovely series. I’ve only read one of the Arthur Ransom books so need to read a few more as and when I get the time.

  2. Barbara, I am NOT AT ALL organised. I have just bought some very nice frozen Pavlova and chocolate cake from Farmfoods, that German make which are really lovely. I'm not making myself run ragged making desserts. I've bought my usual whole Edam and this time added a goodish part of Gouda and bought some lovely roulade cheese, which one night I'll do as cheese and biscuits. On offer was some lovely chutney 2 for £2.

    I completely fall apart at the thought of a Christmas meal, and worry about it from September onwards. Last year my Mum came and the previous 2 years we went to my sons. I don't even know what we're going to have for a meal at home normally until I get back from wherever I've been during the day. No, you're not on your own at all. It's just that MiL might be comparing me with the previous two wives she's been staying with. I've certainly got the smallest house as one has had a kitchen extension larger than my whole downstairs and the other has just restored the house they're living in. Mine hasn't been even decorated for at least 10 years! I've also just realised I've turned the slow cooker on by accident, and don't know how long it was on, probably a day and a half! Complete idiot I am.