Tuesday, 26 June 2012

My day off

Well, today is my one day off this week and I wanted to do something really lovely. What I really wanted was to be whisked off to Paris for a champagne lunch, but that clearly wasn't about to happen.

I did have a bit of a lie in this morning, until 9ish. That was nice as I was awake, so really able to enjoy just admiring the wonderful views from my loft bedroom windows and daydreaming, rather than having to be up and about early cleaning the chickens, feeding the dog etc before work.

So, after I surfaced, I thought before I did anything, I would check on my dog-walking phone. This is my old flip up mobile which I replaced before Christmas with an all singing, all dancing, oh so very easily breakable touchscreen beauty. I didn't want to take it out on dog walks in case I fell over and broke it (I have fallen several times!), so had the genius idea to get a pay and go sim for my solid as a rock old phone, and take it with me in case of an emergency.

Well, that was all well and good in theory, but the problem was I kept forgetting to take it out with me. Also, if I was wearing leggings, not jeans, I often had no pockets, the end result of which was that I only ever took it out on a couple of occasions, the last of which was the day before yesterday. I forgot it was in my jeans and put them and the phone through a 30 degree washing cycle. My phone was now very clean and smelling of summer meadows, but sadly, no longer working.

My ever patient neighbour very kindly took the phone to bits for me yesterday and I had it drying out in my loft bedroom, as it is warm up there. So, when I got up this morning and saw the screen had dried out, I put it all back together....nothing. Plugged the charger in.....nothing. Luckily I have another spare phone somewhere, so decided to charge that to see if the sim was still working. I was looking for the phone under the stairs, when I came across my penguin steamer and remembered that the freezer needed defrosting, so for some obscure reason got completely diverted and started emptying the freezer. By the time I had finished defrosting it, walked the dog and hoovered right through the house, most of the day had gone, and I still haven't found the spare phone!

Oh well. Change of plan. It will have to be a champagne supper in Paris instead!


Sunday, 24 June 2012

Our traditional village fête

What a hectic weekend! Worked yesterday morning, then rushed back home to walk the dog and ice some cupcakes for the village fête, which was starting at 2pm. Knowing I would be short of time on Friday and Saturday morning, I had baked the cakes on Thursday evening, and they turned out really well. Mind you, what a palaver - I can only make 6 cakes at a time and only have 2 tins, so when one tin comes out, I have to run it under cold water until it is cold, before drying and refilling it. I did this 5 times!

The reason for the limited capacity is because my Rayburn caught fire on Easter Sunday, and needs servicing. They couldn't come until June, and I was going to put it out anyway this year June-ish, to try to save a bit of money on oil. So I thought I would wait until September (mind you - didn't bargain on the weather being so awful!) Anyway, as I have  no other cooker, I have to cook them in my combi microwave, which has proved absolutely invaluable.

So back to the icing - all went well and I used up a few bits left over from the Jubilee tea.

It was a bit of a rush but got to the fête just on time, took the cakes to the food stall and when I opened the tin, they looked so delicious, I had to buy one. Ha ha ha - I'm sure that wasn't the idea!

There was lots going on aside from the cake stall, there was a plant stall, bric a brac, book stall, charity stall, raffle, tombola, cream teas, bat the rat, a golf game, apple bobbing, balloon modelling, puppet show, golfing game and one where you have to throw a £1 at a bottle of champagne, and the nearest person, wins it. Sadly, I didn't even get mine on the 4ft square board that the bottle was standing on!

Such a very British thing, the village fête. Ours has changed very little since I first attended 35 years ago. One of the nicest things about it is the maypole dancing. This year there was a display which went brilliantly. The dancers all hold a ribbon and weave in and out of each other, creating a lovely pattern of criss crossed ribbon down the pole. Then, it's all change in the other direction, and amazingly, the ribbons were back to their starting position. Last year they got terribly muddled up, and everyone had to let go of the ribbons so they could be untangled!

As you can see, everyone had a fun afternoon, and luckily, the weather managed to stay dry all the way through. So many people put such a lot of work into it so hopefully a lot of money will have been raised.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Last of the summer wine...and beer....

A few of us went up onto the hill to celebrate the summer solstice last night - 5 of us in fact this year. Wandering down the lane carrying coats and quite heavy bags containing everything except the kitchen sink in the warm early evening sunshine, it occurred to me we looked just like a scene out of  'Last of the summer wine'. Coming to think of it, it was only a couple of weeks ago that a friend described my home as like 'Auntie Wainwright's' - I can see a common theme developing here!

We walked through the farm and started up the hill, before we stopped to wait for a latecomer who we could see in the distance. I think everyone was grateful for the rest, as there was certainly a lot of huffing and puffing going on!

We all got going again and proceeded to climb the hill, which was steep in places, collecting a little kindling on the way. When we found a suitable place, we spread out our various blankets, lit the BBQ and enjoyed a balmy evening watching the sun go down, and enjoying the most fabulous views, with food, wine, beer and friends. Oh yes, and glowworms!

I had never seen a glowworm before and was completely entranced by them. Apparently, they go out when they have found a mate. Actually, having just written that, in the cold light of day I am not sure how true that is, although it seemed perfectly plausible last night after half a bottle of wine!

11.09pm was the exact time we had been waiting for, after which we packed everything up and proceeded back down the hill in the pitch black. We did have torches though, but it still wasn't easy. At least I didn't fall into a bush like I did last year!

Got home to bed tired, but happy.

The nights are now drawing in . It will soon be Christmas. EEEEEK!