Apr. 7th, 2015

It lives!

Apr. 7th, 2015 02:42 pm
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Many apologies for the radio silence – we’ve been moving house, which meant eating everything in the freezer and the cupboards, finding homes for all our culinary stuff in the new (and frankly inadequate) kitchen, sourcing new fridge and freezer (the USAnian behemoth having been left behind), and then starting to fill them. So no new recipes to relate, really.

We have moved to the eastern side of Hull, where there is much real poverty, and the local shops are even cheaper than where we were previously. There is a good independent butcher at the top of the street, who sells shin of beef. Shin Of Beef! And is the sort of shop where they go and cut what you want. There is a greengrocer next door, which has good produce, if a limited range – nothing like an aubergine, or a herb, or much of a choice of apples, but they are inexpensive and decent quality. We have a big Asda 15 minutes walk away, and a Morrisons 20 minutes in the opposite direction, and we have Fulton Foods, Iceland, Poundland, and Home Bargains, close to hand.  Those latter are all great for inexpensive cleaning materials, loo rolls, etc., and actually Iceland has some interesting stuff if you rummage.

The inadequate kitchen includes an ancient and unvenerable ceramic electric hob, which is a nightmare. We’ve already had to replace the oven (bought an AEG fan oven from eBay). It came with a matching gas hob, so we’ve got someone coming in to quote us for plumbing that in. We’ve also got a newer ceramic hob to fit, which I picked up for £85, so decisions to be made there. And praise be for Ikea, who have allowed us to make the house workable for about £300 (and two 165 mile round trips!).

So we’re settling in nicely. I’ve put a dozen tubs in the freezer: old stalwarts like roast veg, lentils and cauliflower, bolognese sauce, and pork and beans. Herbs are waiting to go in the garden when we get the beds dug over. Might even plant some veg later!

More posts soon :)

Mirrored from Reactive Cooking.

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prepayment meter

We knew this house had a prepayment electric meter. It was with EDF and, as they were the supplier in our previous home, I phoned them and asked them to put in a proper credit meter, which they did within two weeks. I also asked them to transfer the gas from British Gas to themselves, without realising that that meter was also a prepayment one, so the replacement process is rather more convoluted.

The gas meter had a £57 debt on it, and when I put my card in, with its £30 of credit, I only got £3’s worth of gas; I was horrified. Long conversations with BG later, I found that if I paid off all the debt, so the meter was clear, they would refund it all; we’re very lucky we could afford to do that – many folk couldn’t.

Also, it was costing about £4 *per day* to run the central heating for a few hours, and deliver hot water (two showers and three lots of washing up daily – cooking is all electric here). Truly, those who have nothing, have to pay more. Quite outrageous that prepayment gas and electric should be so much more expensive than metered.

However … the weeks we spent having to pay in advance (and through the nose) made us extremely aware of how much it was costing, and we have become far more frugal and careful in our use of power, which is no bad thing, I suppose.

Mirrored from Reactive Cooking.

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Mustrum

 

It is with huge sadness that we relate the loss of Mustrum, a snow spotted blue-eyed Bengal, and the last of our Bengals.

He was officially An Old Man, and we could see it. His teeth were gone, his spots were gone, even his wonderful voice disappeared for a few days (which worried us enormously!) but it came back. But he was forgetful, and we worried about him getting lost, and then his back legs started getting weak. We had known the time was coming for a few months, and we did what needed to be done. Sarah, our vet, was wonderful, and I held Muss as he slipped away. We miss him dreadfully, but we did the right thing.

We got Mussum at the age of 12 weeks; we’d gone to buy a Bengal and found it hard to choose … we came home with Iggy, but went back for Muss a couple of weeks later. We actually traded him for a web site (long gone now, like the breeders).

He was always, somehow, Essence of cat. He loved life, and food (Big! Dinners!), and exploring, and people, and getting wet and being towelled off. He loved Moo the best of all; she was our stripey Bengal, prettiest cat in the world, and they were so, so close. He was devastated when we lost her to a car accident. And he was a big solid cat, his fights with Iggy were epic.

But his defining characteristic was his voice – he would squeak, and shout, and gurgle, and miaow. He used to like to be slapped too, and would shout for more, until the weight started falling off him.

We miss him so much, but it was time, and I’m not sure he would have coped with our recent move either.

Go well, Mussum – good hunting.

 

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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Time, time – where does it go?

We have moved house, and I promise to write more, honest.

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

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