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!!..



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.

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 ...

Thursday 14 July 2011

Today we went fruit picking with a bit of veg aswell it was a splendid day, a great day out..

When I came home I made Blackcurrant Jam here is the recipe I used

Ingredients:   1kg (2lb) blackcurrants- 
750ml (1 and a quarter pints) water- 
750g (1 and a half pounds) preserving or granulated sugar-
a little brandy to seal..

Put the blackcurrants and water into the preserving pan, bring slowly to the boil stir until the sugar has disolved, then reduce the heat to a simmer for 20-25 minutes stirring occasionally until the mixture has reduced by a third.

Add the sugar to the pan, slowly return to the boil, keep stirring until the sugar has disolved, then boil rapidly for 15-20 minutes or until setting point is reached.
Remove the pan from the heat, and leave the jam to stand until coldish..
Ladle the jam into the sterilized jars, Cover each jar with a waxed paper disc dipped in brandy then seal..

The shelf life for this is two years, but when opened must be stored in the fridge.

Job done ;D

Thursday 07 July 2011

Never fading, never loosing his energy and 'Raw Power' you have to admit when it comes to Iggy Pop there's  no-one quite as outrageous and wild, but I love him...

Almost every rock and punk band, of the past or present has either knowingly or quite naturally been inspired by him, and I cannot see anyone who has managed to capture the essence of Iggy and bottle it in quite the unique way he has done.

Iggy is 64 now, and is still selling out, wherever he goes, and his music is still enjoyed by his oldest of fans.. I saw him play many times over in my youth, and went to see him a few years ago at Hammersmith, and thought he was as breathtaking then as he was, when I used to follow him to his every London concert 35 years ago.

After living in New York for 20 years he now lives in Miami in a Mediterranean style bungalow with his partner Nina and a houseful of cats and dogs.

He has always been my fantasy, and if asked the question, who is  'the person I would most like to meet' ?
he would undoubtedly be my number one ....

Wednesday 06 July 2011

There's a little chicken I think you should all meet, he hatched last week and although he was originally one of ten eggs he was the only survivor, so he is all alone..
He is the tiniest little chicken ever, which is why they are a little harder to hatch, he is a 'Serama' chick.

Serama bantams chickens are truely delightful especially for people in urban areas, as the cockerel has a much quieter crow, and they are so small that they need much less of a living area, they are friendly and confident, and come in so many different colours and two white parents can have a speckled one and you never know what will occur which makes breeding them fun, except that they are very difficult to hatch.

They lay cute little eggs much smaller than a normal sized egg, and I think they are lovely.. here is the Wikipedia link about this fascinating breed  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serama

My little chicken has another 10 potential little friends in my incubator, and fingers crossed he will be joined in the next few weeks I will keep you posted.

I received this book and was delighted with the content until I actually began to make a cake.The quantities for Grams didn't match up with the Pounds and Ounces equivalents eg: Butter 715g/1lb 7oz.. Flour 175g/6oz so I thought 'now which one do I follow?'

The other ingredients that were in teaspoons and amounts like the numbers of eggs required were obviously fine but if I got it wrong by the conflicting measurements the whole thing given how scientific a cake can become when it comes to the right amounts could be vital.

I called the publishers 'Murdoch Books', and they were very nice but seemed unaware that EVERY recipe for everything was faulty, I also noted that this has been reprinted over the last 10 years about 11 times over and NO-ONE noticed it ..

Over the phone I was told to follow the metric quantities but then I just felt as if I couldn't trust the whole book, the kitchens that tried and tested the recipes were in Australia so I was told, and now to be honest the book is nothing more than a great book of nice photographs and ideas.
Shame on the publishers.. for putting a book together that they really knew nothing about..

Lovely Pics though.......

Omlet Cartoon