Thursday 18 December 2014



Mother Where Are You...............
My dear mother is fadingShe is tangled, she is smallAnd when I go to visit herShe isn't there at all
She spends her day just sittingPulling at her clothingPunctuated by cups of teaAnd lots of fear and loathing
She asks me 'when can I go home'Then asks me again, then againI smile and tell her 'very soon'Again again and again
I brought her Hyacinths for her roomI knew she loved them in advanceAnd music that she loves to hearCan sing, but can no longer dance
I will be your memoryI can help you, don't forgetHow many of us love you mumSo dry your eyes, don't be upset
You lose and struggle then give-inThe plaques and tangles in your brainIt's like you've gone but never wentIt's like you've left but still remain
My mummy sits there in her chairShe smiles at me because I'm thereShe compliments me on my hairThen cries and says I do not care
When I leave, I take you tooI haven't left you, you're here with meMy mother you are in my heartI wish that I could set you free

Friday 20 June 2014

Some interesting facts I want to remember..

Home → Dog Health & Feeding Articles → Spaying Your Female Dog



Puppies are adorable! Yes, even Bulldog puppies! But there are already more than enough puppies in our world. Too many dogs who are already here desperately need homes. After reading this article, if you decide not to spay your dog, please be very careful not to allow her to breed.Spaying Your Female Dog –
Pros and Cons   (for MALE dogs, go here.)

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2013

38

Have you been told that spaying is a must for your female dog? Absolutely necessary? All positives....no negatives? Also that spaying should be done as early as possible, certainly by 6 months old?

It sounds so definitive.

However, when one really looks at the current research on spaying and neutering, those studies and statistics show that the issue is not so simple. There are a number of risks associated with spaying your dog that pet owners are not being told about.

First, let's look at the positives – the pros, pluses, and advantages – of spaying your female dog.

Good reasons to spay your female dog

You can call it spaying or neutering, or even de-sexing. All three terms refer to a hysterectomy – removal of the ovaries and uterus so your female no longer comes into heat and cannot have puppies.


Spaying prevents the nuisance of heat periods.

  • Heat periods can be messy and embarrassing. During a heat period, the genitals swell. She will have a bloody discharge, which can stain her coat and your carpets and furniture. She may spend a lot of time licking her private parts. She may flirt shamelessly with other dogs (even other females), presenting her rump and encouraging other dogs to mount her. She may mount other dogs herself or hump pillows or stuffed toys.
  • Heat periods require vigilant confinement. If your dog is in heat, you can't leave her alone in the yard for a single minute. A female in heat can be smelled from a long distance away and fences mean nothing to a lust-crazed male. Indeed, you may have to curtail walks altogether.
  • Heat periods can upset your own plans. Vacations and trips may have to wait, since there are too many opportunities for your dog to escape. Friends and relatives may not appreciate a visit when your dog has a discharge or will leave tempting scents on their doorstep. And leaving an unspayed female with a pet sitter or boarding kennel is extremely risky because of the extreme requirements for vigilance.

Spaying prevents uterine infections. Nearly 1 in 4 unspayed females will develop a uterine infection called pyometra at some point in their life. It's a life-threatening condition – the uterus swells up with toxic pus and the only cure is an emergency spay, even though your dog is already sick from the infection and could be middle-aged or elderly. So many beloved dogs are lost to pyometra, which can be completely prevented by spaying while your dog is still young and healthy.

Spaying prevents false pregnancies. A few weeks after a heat period, some unspayed females act as though they're going to have pups. Their belly swells, their nipples may produce milk, and they may even become attached to stuffed toys. It sounds harmless, even amusing. But the hormonal changes associated with a false pregnancy can throw your dog's metabolism all out of whack and result in serious infections of the mammary glands (mastitis).

Just this year, a 9-year-old unspayed pit bull named Caina developed a false pregnancy, followed by mastitis. The infection became septic, spreading through her bloodstream and causing her leg to swell until it was huge and purple and she couldn't walk. Sadly, even with aggressive antibiotic treatment, Caina could not be saved.

Spaying prevents real pregnancies. If your dog becomes pregnant – either deliberately or accidently – she will be vulnerable to the considerable risks of pregnancy and birthing. It is not uncommon for female dogs to die trying to give birth, or shortly after birth. Imagine the guilt you would feel. Your beloved dog was happy and healthy.... then suddenly she's gone.... simply because you wanted puppies. In addition, responsible breeding requires too much knowledge and expense. To do it right, you need to learn about canine genetics and researching pedigrees. You need to do expensive health tests on both parents. You need to pay higher food bills and veterinary costs, and if anything goes wrong during the pregnancy or birthing or with the puppies, vet costs go up really fast. Breeding is simply not worth it.

Spaying offers partial protection against breast cancer. If your dog is spayed before 2.5 years old, she is less likely to develop mammary tumors, the most common malignant tumor in female dogs. In addition, the fewer heat periods she experiences, the lower the risk of mammary tumors. Thus, having only one heat period before being spayed is safer than having two or more heat periods.

Spaying prevents cancer of the uterus and ovaries. However, these cancers are not common in dogs, so this particular benefit of spaying is just a little extra perk.

Spaying may mean lower licensing fees.In many communities, license fees are lower for spayed and neutered dogs.

Possible negatives (disadvantages) of spaying your female dog

Spaying doubles the risk of obesity. Extra weight leads to debilitating joint disease, arthritis, heart disease, pancreatitis, and diabetes. Spayed dogs become overweight when owners feed the same amount of food as before their dog was spayed. Spaying, you see, changes a dog's hormonal make-up and metabolism so that she doesn't require as much food. Notice your dog's shape as you feed her. Keep adjusting the amount you feed so she stays on the slender side, and provide plenty of exercise. Then your spayed dog will not become fat.

Spaying increases the risk of a deadly cancer called hemangiosarcoma, which typically attacks the heart or spleen. Apparently the reproductive hormones offer some protection against this particular cancer, because spayed females are twice as likely to develop hemangiosarcoma of the spleen and 5 times as likely to develop hemangiosarcoma of the heart, compared to unspayed females.

Hemangiosarcoma can strike any breed, but it is much more common in certain breeds, especially the Afghan Hound, Belgian Shepherd, Bernese Mountain Dog, Bouvier des Flandres, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Bulldog, Doberman Pinscher, English Setter, Flat Coated Retriever, French Bulldog, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rottweiler, Saluki, Scottish Terrier, Skye Terrier, and Vizsla.

Spaying triples the risk of hypothyroidism. Removing the reproductive hormones appears to upset the endocrine system, resulting in low thyroid levels. Hypothyroidism causes obesity, lethargy, and hair loss, but can be managed with daily thyroid medication.

Spaying is major surgery requiring general anesthesia. Studies show that about 20% of spay procedures have at least one complication, such as a bad reaction to the anesthesia, internal bleeding, inflammation or infection, abscess, sutures coming undone, etc. Fortunately, most complications are minor. Less than 5% are serious, and the death rate is low – less than 1%.

IF DONE AT THE WRONG AGE, spaying increases the risk of hip dysplasia, ligament rupture, osteosarcoma (bone cancer), and urinary incontinence. This is because the reproductive hormones are essential for helping your dog's bones, joints, and internal organs to develop properly. If you remove those reproductive hormones too early, they don't have enough time to complete their valuable work.

  • Early spaying causes the leg bones to grow unevenly. This leaves your dog more vulnerable to hip dysplasia and torn ligaments.
  • Early spaying triples the risk of bone cancer. However, this deadly cancer is mainly a threat in giant dogs and large dogs, and much less common in smaller dogs.
  • Early spaying causes urinary incontinence in up to 20% of spayed females. Weak bladder muscles start to leak in middle age. This is stressful for both you and your dog, who is understandably upset at "having accidents" when she can't understand why. Lifelong supplementation with estrogen will be required to manage the leakage, and getting the medication properly balanced takes some trial and error.
  • Early spaying can adversely affect the size and shape of a female's "private parts." The vulva of a dog spayed early remains small and may even be recessed inside her body instead of protruding as it should. Abnormal vulvas have folds of skin that trap bacteria, leading to recurrent dermatitis, vaginal infections, or urinary tract infections.

The moral is.... Don't spay or neuter before the reproductive hormones have had time to do their valuable work. And when is that? There is no one-size-fits-all answer – it depends on your dog's size and breed, which is completely covered in my dog care book. Please don't spay your dog before you read Chapter 10 of my book.

So....should you spay your female dog?

In my opinion, for most female dogs, the benefits of spaying far outweigh the negatives.

Uterine infections are bad.... mammary tumors are bad.... false pregnancies are bad.... heat periods are a nuisance to live with.... and it can be much harder than you think to prevent accidental breeding. Lusty males can smell a female in heat from long distances, and females in heat are driven to escape and meet up with males.

And as I've explained, deliberate breeding is not something I recommend. You shouldn't risk your female's health (or her life) just to bring more puppies into a world that already has enough dogs.

So I recommend spaying.

The only breeds I might hesitate to spay are those prone to hemangiosarcoma (cancer of the spleen and heart), since spayed dogs are more likely to develop this cancer. Scroll up this page to review the yellow box listing the most susceptible breeds. With these breeds, you risk hemangiosarcoma if you spay.... but you risk uterine infections, mammary tumors, etc. etc. if you don't spay.


Spaying at the wrong age can have unwanted consequences for the rest of your dog's life. So don't hurry your dog off to spay surgery. Do it right.

Remember, ALL dogs, whatever their breed or mix, are prone to health problems when spayed too early. Your dog needs her reproductive hormones for some time so that her bones, joints, and internal organs can develop normally.

So don't rush to spay. There's a right time and many wrong times to have the surgery done.

And don't forget that spaying is major surgery under general anesthesia. For your dog's sake, you shouldn't simply hand her over to the vet expecting all possible safety precautions to be taken as a matter of course. You need to ask for everything you want. There are 6 specific questions you should ask and 6 specific answers you want to hear to reassure yourself that your dog will be as safe as possible.

When to spay.... safety precautions to insist upon.... 6 specific questions to ask your vet, and the 6 answers you should hear.... plus more info on breeding.... all covered in Chapter 10 of my dog care book.



Copyright © 2000-2013 by Michele Welton. All rights reserved.No part of this website may be copied, displayed on another website,or distributed in any way without the express permission of the author.

Tuesday 29 April 2014


Watching 'Fargo' on Channel 4, last Sunday and spotted and loved this poster
To me this is all about Conforming, shaping our behaviour to become acceptable to others, in new or learned situations I am happy to do this, but is it really necessary, and why are some people better at it than others?. Is it because they may feel that they have more to loose if they don't, or for the non-conformists perhaps they feel they have more to loose if they do.Conforming due to lack of knowledge and also with the intent to be liked, leaves a good impression I suppose, and dealing with new unfamiliar situations this shaping of our behaviour makes us acceptable and trustworthy, but this social team player can play havoc with the real deviant that lives within you, and the 'yes man' role that you are playing can play havoc with your psyche..I for one think this is a very unhealthy way to live, this everyday pressure, could be stifling our normal questioning abilities and judgement of ones own principles. Isn't this what happened in Nazi Germany when ordinary people allowed themselves to be swept away by popular opinion?.Personally, I think in order to make the world a more harmonious place we need to conform to a certain extent, but being agreeable is only believable if it is true, and not through persuasion or fear.

Think about the real you.. then do it...


Ruby our new Frenchie baby born 14/1/2014 

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Does anybody have a listOr someplace i can get the gistHey, is there something I have missedA guide to being a parent.I don't think that my naive planFor Alex, Zachary & HanIs quite the same when it beganWhat else could I have doneThey say you shouldn't be their friendBut I assumed that would dependOn how you wanted it to endBut now I think it's trueHow does a mother gain respectThrough sympathy or intellectI think I should have double checkedBut I'm not sure with who


Sometimes when I'm thinkingI slip inside the deep of meThe picture palette of splendid coloursTurned muddy by the guilt and fearThe constant reminder of you know whoIs tugging pulling at my hairSometimes when I'm sleepingThere's balance and there's harmonyBut on my journey to the dawn I wave to what I leave behindAnd step towards the stormThe daylight highlights as I wakeThe sharpness as my taken breathThe shifting gears another dayTo add to my remaining yearsI compromise on how I plan To be the perfect citizenBut every time the mighty fallsI have to think it out againSometimes when I'm wide awakeI wish I could control my fateLike lucid dreams which celebrateHow I could master every storyHow I would look in happy endings


Friday 03 January 2014



Tuesday 25 June 2013

My blog has been neglected... Here are a few pics to keep you up to date with what's been going on...


This is Bella she is our newish Boston Terrier, she was given to us by the lovely breeders of our PoppyAnd we absolutely adore her...

Our girls...... Poppy & Bella


This is Our Cavalier Ozzy with Bella..



Soppy Poppy..

Tuesday 05 March 2013


I am an Agoraphobe, and I'm doing very well..

Last Winter I bought myself a T25, I was left some money by an aunt, my fathers sister, and felt I had to do something special to me, something important, something useful, my Dad would have told me to..



My intentions are to take my 'house on wheels' anywhere that I might not have gone before, doesn't matter where, just 'out ', and I am so excited to do so, which means I was right to want to own it.


Some people said 'where are you going?, and why did YOU buy this?' but they have to realise that this is very important to me, and even if it sits outside for months, it's my safe place that I can move around in, and they are rather missing the point as to why I need it.

To me this is a positive step, a few years ago I wouldn't have entertained the thought of  my van 'Bessie' although I was always envious of people who did, so this means I am pushing my boundaries, be it baby steps, doesn't matter, to me it's giant strides.



Agoraphobia presents itself in different degrees, I suppose its one of those self limiting illnesses that can get a grip on you but only if you let it..
Some people are housebound or even room bound, but for me I'm kind of comfortable in my zone which is at present a distinct and familiar radius from my home..

There are a number of fears that I have personally, I hate being in a queue in supermarkets, I hate public transport,and that includes planes and boats, I feel uncomfortable in places where I might feel trapped, like for example a cinema, or a restaurant, where I am looking for easy exits..
Being at home is  'safe', and going somewhere I haven't been before simply isn't, if all of this sounds like you then you probably have a form of Agoraphobia..
The thing with me also is I have Emetophobia too (fear of vomiting) which doesn't help me one bit because when I get anxious I feel sick, so I try to avoid doing stuff that stresses me, this is a big shame because ordinarily I feel I could have overcome the Agoraphobia much easier as I am keen to push barriers, but this added fear has made it more difficult.

There was a point about 3 years ago when I found even a walk up to the top of my road impossible, but with Cognitive Therapy I got much better, I think for this thing to not get the better of you, you have to keep pushing the boundaries otherwise they will invariably close in on you..
I am very fulfilled generally, and I manage to live a very fruitful existence even with all of my foibles, but that's because I have so much to fulfill me with my creative outlets, and my family and of course my wonderful friends  ( you know who you are )..
I think its about making sure that you don't become reclusive or depressed..
And if you think its a restriction then it most certainly is..

Thursday 21 June 2012


Where's The Summer?

I haven't disappeared I was just hibernating, but it seems that I have come out of metabolic depression with the same body temperature that I started with and the feeling of a slight depression since my conserved energy has now been put into full use, rescuing chickens from flooded coop, and tons of wet t-shirts and untumbleable items.. 

This series of pics sums up my day so far..

Bad hair day

No sandals just boots

Miss wet T-ShirtI was born today!!!'You promised me a scarf'!Floody HellCock rescueWork carries on..

Where's The Summer?

I haven't disappeared I was just hibernating, but it seems that I have come out of metabolic depression with the same body temperature that I started with and the feeling of a slight depression since my conserved energy has now been put into full use, rescuing chickens from flooded coop, and tons of wet t-shirts and untumbleable items.. 

This series of pics sums up my day so far..

No sandals just bootsPoor HenGorgeous BoyFloodedToday I was born!!wet wet wethello'Is it still raining'?work in progress

And the seasonal outlook is looking wet

Sunday 08 April 2012

Something's gonna get you in the end my friend
And those people who upset you
Will become inconsequential
Compared to what will take you to your end
That is something that you really can be sure of
This is all about a person who denied herself the pleasure
Missed the only one true measure
Of the real and true credentials
That was justified to please her
And the reality check that was her life
The awful cut of fate's sharp knife
That brought her back to reality
Instead of wishing she could be
The woman of her vanity
Because that's not the real true she
And that's what brings me right back to

The end.

Friday 16 March 2012

Recently I made my dogs some superb dog biscuits.. the recipe like most other dog biscuit recipes had garlic in it, I made them then was advised by a friend (thanks Sophie), and my vet, that garlic could be harmful ..

The truth is after much searching on the net, it seems there is much confliction when it comes to advice, some experts say that it is beneficial, boosting the immune system, and fights infection, but most are warning that it can cause damage to the red blood cells, which can cause anemia and even death, but I think what we need to look at is the dosage.

Vetbase.co.uk advises....."Onions and garlic, along with similar plants contain chemicals called organosulfoxides, such chemicals are readily absorbed through the gut when the plant is eaten, and in animals they, or their metabolites, can then cause oxidative damage to the animal's red blood cells. This is often serious enough to cause the destruction of the red cells - a process known as haemolysis. This can result in haemolytic anaemia if large numbers of red cells are destroyed. Haemolytic anaemia is a serious condition.Poisoning usually results from pets consuming a large amount of onion or garlic product in one go, or after repeatedly eating smaller amounts at regular or frequent intervals. The quantities of onions consumed does not need to be particularly large; for example, onion poisoning can occur after the consumption of as little as 150g in a 10kg dog."

But I'm still confused.. I google  'Dog Biscuit Recipes' and they are still telling me to add garlic,in fact I have a few doggie treat books, with 80% of the recipes using garlic..
My conclusion is that I will not be using it.. 

In the meantime here are some great recipes for your canine companions WITHOUT THE GARLIC!!..

http://www.bullwrinkle.com/Assets/Recipes/Peanut%20Butter%20Dog%20Biscuits.htm 

http://www.bullwrinkle.com/Assets/Recipes/Vegetarian%20Dog%20Biscuits.htm 



Cheese Biscuits Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups. Flour
1 1/4 cups. Grated Cheddar
1/4 cups. Veg. Oil
4 Tbl. Water Directions: Preheat oven 180 degrees.Cream the ingredients together, adding the water one tablespoon at a time to help bind the dough. When it begins to form a ball, roll it out on a floured surface, using cookie cutters, cut the dough into fun shapes and place on cookie sheet. Bake approx. 10 min. until lightly browned. Makes about 30 med. size biscuits..
My advice is to store them in a tupperware box but make some holes in the lid with a hot skewer, if they are kept airtight they go soft.. keep them hard and crunchy by having a non-airtight container.. also let them cool down in the oven.. (turn off oven after cooking them and leave them in there) they will get really nice and hard.. 
Happy BakingOh and you will need one of these... http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kitchen-Craft-Cookie-Cutter-Extra/dp/B000YJB934/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1331914934&sr=8-3



Here is Poppy, she is our new baby.. she was born on the 5th November 2011.. She will be 19 weeks old this Saturday, she has been with us since the 2nd of January.. Boston Terriers are absolutely amazing.. we love her to bits..

Friday 25 November 2011


Fly little bird flyThe sky is vast, And life is yoursTo spread your wings, goodbye
Come back and see me soonI'll wait untilWe meet againEach time that you have grown
Don't be afraid little birdIf you feel thatYou have flown too farJust turn back I'll be here
Fly little bird flyThe world awaits your beautiful songAnd all the lands afarWill love you for the joy you are

Monday 17 October 2011

Fact number 1.. Hens do NOT need a cockerel to lay eggs, unless you want chicks..they don't in fact have anything to do with egg laying...I get asked this all of the time, so here is some reading material for all of you who are interested in exactly how things work eggwise...



Egg ProductionIt takes different times for the egg to pass through the different areas of the oviduct (egg tube), the addition of the shell taking the longest time:

  • 15 minutes in the infundibulum (fertilised here if cockerel available plus chalazae added)
  • 3 hours in the magnum to add albumen (white of egg)
  • 1.5 hours in the isthmus to add shell membrane
  • 20 hours in the uterus/shell gland for shell deposition plus pigment
  • 1 minute in the vagina which is extruded out past the vent to avoid the faeces

This is an egg I cracked open to find it had been fertilised and was in fact alive .....

An egg takes a total of 25 hours to lay ,which is why the hens do not lay every day, they then ovulate again about 30 minutes after laying.Brown eggs have pigment placed on the outside of the shell which can scratch of wash off  unless you are one of those gorgeous blue/green eggs from an Araucana which has pigment all the way through.The other thing is that egg shells are porous so they must be washed with water that is warmer than the egg (with a disinfectant like Virkon or an egg wash)  so that the shell membrane expands and blocks the pores, because if the water is cooler the membrane shrinks and will draw in any bacteria on the shell.
If the eggs are needed to be fertile, there are semen storage glands in the oviduct so the cockerel does not need to be with the hens every day, important if the hens are exhibited so that their feathers do not get damaged. If another breed cockerel has been used and a different cockerel is wanting to be used (for instance, to change to a pure breed) you will need to wait 2 weeks for the eggs to be true to the new cockerel, due to the semen storage capacity
.The composition of an egg is shown.. 


This is important as it is how a fresh egg is determined. The airspace is very small in a new laid egg and gets progressively larger as the egg loses moisture through the porous shell. When a fresh egg is cracked onto a plate, the thin white and the thick white are easily distinguished and the yolk sits in a defined dome on top of the white. The chalazae can be seen. A not-fresh egg will appear to have only one type of white, no chalazae and will be flat when viewed from the side. Sometimes there may be a small brown mark in the white – this is a tiny amount of blood (known as a meat spot) and is not harmful, it just doesn’t look nice. Commercial eggs are candled (looked at in a dark room with a bright torch held to the egg) to remove any with meat spots. Fertile eggs are candled to check on the development of the embryo. The colour of the yolk depends on feeding and commercial feed has additives to enhance yolk colour. Carotenoids in green plants are the basis of yolk colour, so outdoor birds usually have darker yolks in the summer and paler in the winter.
The laying process is hormonal, and very much influenced by light levels, which is why you can hear me moaning when I have so few eggs during the Winter, for so many birds.. If I had Ducks I might have a good deal more eggs as they are less influenced by the light and light breeds do lay in the darker months.


What a cock! 

Monday 10 October 2011


My children are my energyAnd in their eyes myself I seeAnd in their tears myself I seeMy children are the best in me
When they are not here by my sideI wear the cloak that they provideOf mother love of wealth of prideNo other keeps me safe inside
And from the belly that they cameThe cord of life still has a claimInvisible but still commandsThe life long link like holding hands
My children are my heart and soulMy sustenance my rock n rollI see their brilliance and their glowAnd smile with ease because I know
That nothing in this world could alterMy life long bond my sons my daughter

Monday 19 September 2011

I haven't smoked for 25 years, but believe me since I stopped, I have wished there was a healthy alternative, I would never go back to puffing away at those sticks of tobacco that could send my body to a very uncomfortable and unhealthy downward spiral, which could be a big mistake, given also that quite a few nicotine addicts in my family died an untimely death, from heart conditions that I believe were helped along by the nicotine stick.



Then I discovered the E-Cig, and was quite excited so I bought one, but as I am no longer in need of nicotine I bought Zero mg nicotine cartomisers, just to experience the puffing and the smoke, and the inhalation that I used to enjoy so much, and I chose a company called VIP because they were UK based and, they did a Omg nicotine version.. take a look at their website.
http://www.vipelectroniccigarette.co.uk/what-is-the-electronic-cigarette.html

I bought an Executive started kit which was just under 30 pounds, which was all I needed to experience the sensation of smoking, and I chose the menthol flavour, because the tobacco tasted nasty to me, and as an occasional shisha smoker (non nicotine type) I enjoyed the minty one the best, I also bought a nice pink case to keep it in !! 



When it came I was quite scared, and excited, because really I was being a bit of a idiot to introduce myself to something I had so successfully managed to free myself from, but for me it was rather like re-visiting an old love you never got over, and realising you were better off without it..

If I were a smoker I would definitely use these to ween myself off, the amount of smoke you can draw off of one of these things is really impressive, you get the hit at the back of the throat and you can even blow smoke rings, to be honest it was much better than I could have imagined, and the pack it came in had two nicotine tips to try and I gave them to smokers, and they all were very impressed.



They are cheaper than smoking cigarettes, no smell, you can smoke them inside, no staining of teeth, and you get your nicotine without the 6,000 chemicals and 66 known carcinogens associated with tobacco smoking.

This is a table of the typical ingredients of an E-cig

Propylene Glycol >50%Glycerol

Sunday 28 August 2011

Today I made Chilli Crab Apple Jelly..
We have a Crab Apple tree in our garden and every year the little red apples sit there on the ground waiting for me to do something with them, and today for the first time I did..





The recipe was quite simple I collected 3 kilos of Crab Apples and washed and de-stemmed them


I cut then in half and put them with 5 large chopped red chillies into my jam pan with just enough water to cover them and boiled for about 30 mins till they were pulpy and well cooked

I then poured the fruit and liquid through a jelly bag, or muslin and let drip until it stopped which took about 2 hours, I then helped it along by squeezing all the thick pectin through the bag with my hands making sure no bits went in


I then measured the juice and for every 500mls added 1lb of sugar to it in the washed jam pan and boiled until sugar was dissolvedI skimmed it and boiled until jam setting point was reached.

I allowed it to settle for about 5 minutes then spooned into sterilized jars, and when the jelly was semi-set I popped some fresh chilli slit lengthways into each jar, which looked great
Then I dipped some waxed discs in brandy and put them on top and sealed with my lid.
The glorious colour of this jelly is vibrant and cheering, it tastes great aswell, and can be added to sandwiches, cold meats or cheese, I was thinking that next time instead of adding chilli I could use fresh mint..  :)


Job Done!

Friday 12 August 2011



On the 4th August there was a fatal shooting of 29 year old Mark Duggan, who although was a drug dealer and hardened gangster known to police, also was, according to his fiancé, a family man who was hoping to turn his life around and move away from the Tottenham area and start afresh, but this wasn’t to be, as the police caught up with him, and he was killed. And this sparked of the worst outbreaks of rioting that we have ever seen in London and other major cities, starting on the 6th August after a march to protest about the police’s heavy handedness, resulting in vandalism, looting many injuries and death of innocent people.
But all through this and indeed before all of this, I have always felt that the music business had a lot to answer for, as a lot of our fashionable rapping and hip hop music and mentors are promoting people to not only carry guns and knives but to be rascist and homophobic, not to mention the disrespect towards women.
It promotes a ‘live dangerously’ lifestyle, which cannot be a healthy thing for young people to be humming to whilst trying to concentrate on building a good foundation to live in a difficult and awkward society where we are all living cheek to jowl, and are constantly made aware of the class divides.

And who are these artists, with their gang related tattoos and trophies of bullet holes and scars, and why do we allow them to advocate such behaviour through something so hypnotising and influential as our music industry?

Our cable and satellite channels are bursting with rap videos of young, primarily black men , who swagger through grimy estates, with fingers that pose as imaginary guns, looking cool, looking confident, acting as if they above the law, and the marketing executives grow richer and richer from the sales of hoodies and trainers, worn and made current for trend, by these figureheads, who I believe are actually letting down the young kids who follow them, because they are telling them that you don’t need an education, or a job, but you do need all the materialistic things, and how you get them is by flaughting the rules and with violence.

There’s rape, there’s gang life, there’s much bling, but where’s the job to pay for it all?And it seems at the expense of these kids welfare, and life, there are the guys at the top who are making a living out of this, while we the public are trying to keep a grip and encourage our kids to stay safe and get a good education.

These are not good role models, they are getting rich and famous at our children’s expence, and the subliminal messages that have come out of it all, that has slowly tainted our young people. 

Sincere love and sympathy goes to all those who families who's lives were changed by this mindless thuggery.and let's hope for change ...

Omlet Cartoon