ramtops: (hat)

Bridlington north beach

 

The weather here has been very cold, but we have been spared most of the snow that has fallen on a lot of the rest of the country; we had some flurries on Thursday, but nothing was laying for long. So we decided to go up to Flamborough on Saturday, and do the cliff top walk between North and South Landings.

“You’re mad”, they cried, ‘It’s blowing a gale” and one friend informed us that the wind was at 38 mph, but it was blowing onshore, so that was alright. We were undaunted.

I vaguely recalled that I had bought some thinsulate trousers ages ago and had a rummage for them. They’d never been worn, and bore a label stating them to be a 12/14, so I wasn’t hopeful, but I got them on. I did them up! I added thinsulate gloves and hat, thick socks, walking boots, a ski polo neck, a fleece, a 3-in-1 jacket, and a snood. I was ready. Pete donned a similar amount of clothing and off we went.

We parked in Flamborough village, opened the car doors, and … oof. The wind was amazingly strong, and so so cold. We battled towards the headland, but as soon as we got out of the relative shelter of the houses, it got worse. We battled back to the car and went to South Landing. Walked down to the beach (tide was in, of course), then up the steps to the cliff top. As soon as we got out into the open there, it was hopeless; it didn’t feel safe to walk at all. And I had to keep clutching my hat, because I thought it was going to blow off. So I suppose we did about 2.5km bimbling about there. Then we went to North Landing and had a bacon buttie, because otherwise the day might have been considered a failure.

And then we thought we’d go into Bridlington – got to be better there, we thought. It wasn’t. We got a nice ex-foliation thanks to the sand particles in the air, the spume was blowing everywhere, and the waves were very high. So we battled down the sea front for ¼ mile or so and back again, and then came home, lit a fire and drank tea. I’d had the foresight to put a chicken in the slow cooker (yes, a whole one – it really works), so dinner was done when we got in too.

Nice to get out, really.

In passing, I’d done 6.5km on the treadmill before breakfast, and apparently I climbed the Seattle Space Needle (you think I’d have noticed, really).

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

ramtops: (hat)

We took ourselves off to Sheffield for the first weekend in March; we had tickets to see the splendid Richard Thompson, so I booked a hotel room. Sadly, I booked the hotel room (non-refundable, non-cancellable) while I was recovering from flu, and booked it for the wrong bloody night; Friday instead of Saturday. So we said “soddit”, and booked Saturday as well, meaning we could have a wander around Sheffield.

Serendipitously, there was a stack of Morris dancing going on during Saturday, so we wandered around watching that, pausing only for me to have my iPhone nicked in a cafe bar at lunchtime. I’m always so careful with it, but it was on the table, someone came over with a stack of leaflets, trying to sell me something, and he nabbed the phone under cover of the literature. I was displeased, and had to spend the afternoon talking to Sheffield plod and changing passwords (thankfully I actually had my iPad with me, which I usually don’t).

Anyhoo, Richard was wonderful, we had supper first with Tim and Ali Biller (not seen Tim for about 11 years, we think, and had never met Ali), and on Sunday we went to meet KITTINS! at Fran’s, and also ate far too much brunch there, and had a lovely time with Doug, Julia, Jim and Carrie.

While on giggage, we also went to see Martin Simpson this week at our local folk bar. I have no idea how I’ve never encountered him before, but he was absolutely splendid.

Incidentally, I’d never had flu before, and it it’s all the same to you, I don’t want it again, thanks. Pete had it too, and was about two days behind me, so we had a week off work, then a second week at half strength, as it took some getting over. And this damn snow can sod off too.

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

walking

Feb. 11th, 2013 10:17 am
ramtops: (hat)

As part of my new and absolute determination to get my weight under some sort of control, I have bought a treadmill from eBay. It wasn’t easy to shoehorn it into the house, but we’ve done it; it helps that it folds up. I’ve made a little nest on one of the bookshelves where my iPad keyboard/stand can sit, and am embarking on The Sopranos while I run.

Early on Saturday morning, I gave it its first real go – and did 4.1 miles in 58 minutes. Not, I think, to be sniffed at.  And then, because it was such a gorgeous day, Pete and I decided to go up and have a yomp at Flamborough. In fact, we turned off to the car park at Danes Dyke, and did the circular walk there. I managed the *exceedingly* steep steps down to the beach, and actually sprang up some of the ups, so I’m definitely getting fitter. There were snowdrops, and primroses, and even a handful of early daffodils; spring is definitely on the way. And there was mud. The bridle path was impassible if you didn’t have hooves and long legs, or at least proper boots, which I didn’t – I was wearing my wonderful Easy Walker boots, which are the most comfortable thing I own. But their grip is not as good as a proper walking boot. Sadly and painfully) I have plantar fascitis in my left foot, and these give me brilliant support, but I cannot get orthotic insoles into my leather hiking boots, so they’re a no go at the moment.

We also walked down to Flamborough village, and had a very nice bacon and brie baguette; well, I did – Pete had a tuna and cheese confection. All in all about 5.5 miles, I think. Map should be embedded below, but is here for those whose browsers are being difficult.

On the way home, we stopped at Hornsea Freeport, which was once a factory producing the glorious Hornsea pottery, and is now a raft of outlet shops, and had a look at walking boots for me that would both accommodate the necessary insole, and allow mud traversal. Bought a pair of Egret boots from Mountainwarehouse, and wore them all round the house yesterday (after I’d returned from a 3m round trip to Aldi, long way via Pearson Park :), and they seem perfect. There are loads of lovely walks round here, so I’ll get the use out of them.

And we watched Submarine, which is utterly wonderful. I commend it to you.

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

ramtops: (hat)

these boots were made for Morrising

I don’t know why I’m not writing much here any  more – lots of posts in my head, but actually putting fingers to keyboard seems beyond me right now.

Yesterday, we (as in Rackaback) did our first proper dance out of the year, down by the Minerva pub in Hull. It’s a nice space, on the old docks, and there were a few people around. I rattled the bucket and people actually paid us (possibly to stop), and we had lots of compliments too. It was an ideal time to test out my purple suede boots – sheepskin insoles and two pairs of socks, and they were dead comfy. But they do make me look like Nanny Ogg

Last weekend (not yesterday, but the one before), we took ourselves off to the badlands of North Lincolnshire. An all to brief stop in Louth, which is a lovely town, but they hide the long term parking, and then down to Mablethorpe for fish and chips by the seaside, and a long walk along the prom. Beautiful day, and it was most enjoyable.

And that’s it, for now.

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

ramtops: (hat)

Time ran away with us a bit last night, and before we knew where we were, it was time to leave for Morris practice before we’d managed to eat supper; and, of course, it was a night that not only could we not be late, we had to be early, as I had the hall keys. So we each consumed a mini pork pie on the run as we left, and decided to grab something on Princes Ave when we got home.

We have more eateries than you can shake a stick at at the top of our road – Malaysian, Morroccan, Chinese (although it looks as though the Giant Panda has shut down), Thai, Indian, Italian, another Indian, plus an assortment of cafe bars; of the top of my head, The Laundry, Garbutts, Mustard, Pave, Lounge, Fudge and a new one whose name I can’t remember*. Oh, and a chippy and a (very poor) kebab house.  The latter keeps going until god knows when, but having tried it once, never again [shudder]. However, it seems that pretty much all of them stop taking orders at 9, which is a bit anti social when it’s 9.20 p.m. and I want something to eat. All except Da Gianni, who were happy to seat us.

Their menu, together with their Specials board, offered many different dishes, but almost all of them were in a “tomato and basil sauce”.  As we feared, my salmon pasta and Pete’s Italian sausage pasta were pretty much identical except for the last minute addition of – yes, salmon and Italian sausage to the relevant plate; and, when the waiter brought the bowl of parmesan, he actually wouldn’t let me have some as it would “spoil the dish”. There was olive oil on the table, but no bread offered.

So, adequate but hardly inspiring – we shan’t bother again.  Good Morris practice though – coming together nicely!

*Interestingly, while Googling for it, I came across restaurants.co.uk, whose Google entry claims “If it can’t be found on Restaurants.co.uk it’s not there”. Interestingly, they don’t find a single entry for our postcode, which seems a bit of a fail given the above :)

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

ramtops: (hat)

Have I really not written anything since 17th November? I have been proper poorly, with a viral wossname that lasted about four weeks, and still has me coughing a bit even now. A dose of penicillin didn’t touch it, and in its wake it left two cancelled dentist appointments, one blood test (and the second cancelled by the surgery because the bloodsucker was ill), one Bill Bailey gig in Sheffield (sob), and half of Celtarabia up the road at Pave – had to come home. Still, on the mend now, finally. The latter are absolutely wonderful – if they come anywhere near you, go see them!

Not much else to relate, really. Went Morrising at Bridlington yesterday, but the weather was vile, and my bad knee is playing up in the cold, so I only did one dance. Then we were rained off. Bought the black boots in the same range as the red boots of fabulosity, as I seem to wear nothing else, and they are great for Morris dancing.

Mustrum went missing for ten days, and we thought he was gone for good, but he came home, praise $deityofchoice, thinner and clingy.

And that’s it, really. Very busy with work, Rackaback taking over social life :), looking forward to a good break over Christmas, then a works Morris outing to Derbyshire for a mass dance weekend in January.

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

oops

Nov. 12th, 2011 05:02 pm
ramtops: (hat)

Had a haircut this morning while Pete tinkered with my melodeon’s sticky buttons (she’s now named Aliss), then wandered down into Hull with Pete – wanted to return some stuff, see if Marks had any nice pasta bowls, etc.

Marks didn’t, Peacocks wouldn’t exchange as it was over 30 days (where did October go, please) and gave me a gift card, but I had a look in Schuh … They had some amazingly nice red boots, and Pete decided I should have them. So I did. Then we went and had coffee and a baguette in the Ferens Gallery cafe,  mooched about some more vaguely looking for pasta bowls (our wonderful thick, deep ones are starting to crack round the edges, sob), bought some hair dye (for me), some lighters, some long matches, some compost bin liners, some mince pies and a tub of cream.

Now a cup of tea, a quick and easy supper, and Strictly. Tomorrow promises chores in exchange for a roast chickie!.

Oh yes – here they are.

doc martens red boots!

Edited to add link to Boots of Fabulosity.

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

Folk night

Nov. 8th, 2011 09:09 am
ramtops: (hat)

Rackaback continues to take over my life :) This week, Pippa persuaded some of us to attend the FirstMondayOfTheMonth folk night at the Black Boy, an ancient pub in the old city in Hull. We had a good attendance from the side: Lynn and Lars (the latter seen above with his accordion), Debbie and her husband Eric (not a dancer, but general supporter) who kindly drove us there, Jamie, Pippa and Pete – who while not (yet) a dancer (but don’t think I’m not trying to persuade him), does most of the social stuff, and plays guitar on music nights.

It was huge fun, although I don’t believe I’ll ever be able to play the melodeon like that. Or possibly at all. Still, I vamped along where possible on my D whistle, wishing once again I had a low D. Pete complained bitterly that he didn’t have anything to bang; Pippa lent him an egg (green plastic with bits in for percussiveness), and he had a bash at Debbie’s bodhran, but he’ll need to take something next time – you need to join in to enjoy it properly., It really was a cracking night, and will be part of our diary every month now, I’m sure.

On the way home, two rather inebriated ladies appeared by the car just as we were about to pull off, and one actually opened the back door. It appeared she didn’t know how to roll her own spliff (!), and required assistance. We declined, and drove off into the night.

Weekend just gone was quiet, as we were both not very well. Indeed, Pete had retired hurt during my birthday music night last Thursday, and I picked it up the lurgy the next day. We cooked a lot for the freezer, I potted up some plants and bulbs, made bread, watched Toy Story (how come we never saw it before? – lovely) and generally slumped.

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

ramtops: (hat)
The road goes ever ... oh

The road goes ever ... oh

Poor Pete worked most of Saturday, as we had been running around on domestic stuff for a bit last week. I cleaned the kitchen, did a run round Anlaby (pet shop, returning buckets to someone we borrowed them from, Morrisons), and watched some tennis.

Sunday dawned *hot*. We went over to Skirlaugh to look at an aquatic centre, then over to Albrough (where the photo was taken) – frightening how the coastline is collapsing there. Despite huge red warning signs about the cliff collapse, and huge warning signs about unexploded ordnance on the beach, a gaggle of women were still determined to clamber down, but thankfully they decided not to.

We headed across to Withernsea, a smashing little seaside town. It was full, so we went over over to Paull to have a pint and a sandwich in the Humber Tavern. Good news! – crab salad on the menu. Bad news! – crab salad crossed off the menu. Ordered a prawn sandwich. They don’t do sandwiches on a Sunday. Sigh. Drank a pint of Tetleys and shared a bag of dry roasted peanuts with Pete. Came home and ate an apple. Not, perhaps, a healthy diet.

Slumped for a bit, then tried rockscaping the big tank, and Pete tidied up all the wiring onto a wall mounted block. Constructed a nice Thai stirfry with the raw prawns purchased from Morrisons, and then a blackberry and apple crumble with blackberries ditto. How I miss my brambles at the bottom of the Long Ashton garden.

And that was it, really. Today is HOT.

Oh, and forgot, i think, to mention that we saw Ukulele Orchestra of GB again on Thursday. In Hull! – so rare to actually manage a gig without travelling 80 miles :) Fab as always.

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

ramtops: (hat)

Last year, I thought about joining a Morris side – I love watching it, and it doesn’t look too difficult, even to one as terpsichorially challenged as myself.

I went along for a trial evening with Green Ginger Garland, but they weren’t for me; ladies only, further than I’d want to cycle on a winter evening, and just a little bit too serious.

A friend told me about the Raving Maes – we encountered them when we went to the Morris Festival in Lincoln last autumn, and after I’d spoken to them, I contacted them to see if I could join, but never heard anything from them. I was a bit unsure about the costumes, to be honest – an overweight, elderly woman doesn’t necessarily want to be seen out (or even in!) in a basque … And so I never chased it up.

Then my friend Lynn mentioned that she’d been out Morrising last week, and it transpires it was with Rackaback, a new mixed side formed in January, who rehearse a five minute cycle (or 15 minute walk) from home. I trundled along last night to take a look.

Readers, it was huge fun – they even let me have a stick! They just hurl you in at the deep end, and you have to try and keep up; I didn’t do too badly, at least they said I didn’t, but they were probably just being nice. I really enjoyed it, and I shall be there on Tuesdays in future – just loved it. Everyone went to the pub afterwards, and as home is between rehearsal hall and said pub, I dropped my bike off and picked Pete up so he could meet them all.

Rackaback Morris

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

ramtops: (hat)

Yesterday, big carb-free fry up for breakfast, then walked into town, saw X-Men: First Class (fabulous – best of the bunch),  dash in the rain to Ferens Art Gallery for a cup of coffee, and a look at the photographic exhbition (interesting, but badly lit), then home for chicken stir fry. And we made a start on The Shadow Line, which really is rather good, particularly Rafe Spall, who is terrifying.

Also changed the fish tank water, and moved it out of the fireplace, so we can see it better now. We want a bigger tank! and I have my eye on one on Ebay, but there’s no rush. God knows why they’re all so ugly, though.

This morning we sallied once more to Frisby Aquatics, where we bought two new plants, some stripy stones, three White Mountain Minnows, and a cleaner fish (total:  £15:10). All looking much nicer now.

Pete cooked dhal for lunch, and we have just been slumped on the sofa for the afternoon, in front of the fire. I’m watching Mad Men, and Pete is currently making cheese scones for supper. We’re supposed to be going to a showing of Inside Job, but it is absolutely vile out there, and I suspect that we shall remain slumped in front of the fire.

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

ramtops: (hat)

On 6th May last year, I was up early to go telling at the general election, and then spent the evening at the Duchess in York, seeing Show of Hands.

On 4th May this year, it was election day again – for the local councis, and the vote on the AV referendun, and spookily, we spent the evening in York seeing Show of Hands at the Duchess in York once again.

Last year, we saw the LibDem candidate come within a whisker of taking Hull North from Diana Johnson MP, slicing her 7000+ majority to less than 700 votes. The city council was safely in control of the LibDems.

Tonight, Labour control Hull council – last time they had control, they were officially deemed a failing council, and I cannot begin to imagine what is going to happen to our city now. Less than 50% of the electorate have voted against any progress towards proportional representation, which will set the cause back by at least one decade, and probably two.

I feel profoundly depressed.

Sky HD box

In other news, we had Sky HD installed ten days ago, due to the impending demise of our beloved Tivo, or at least the demise of its official listing service. We’ve only gone for the basic service so far, but I’m more impressed than I expected it to be. The Tivo it ain’t, but I can programme it via my iPhone, and it has behaved flawlessly thus far.

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

ramtops: (hat)

Waiting for The Lady in the Van

We are very fortunate here to have the Hull Truck theatre, and last night we sallied forth to watch a performance of Alan Bennett’s The Lady in the Van.

We have a number of Mr Bennett’s works on the shelve, and have seen many more, but this one has passed me by in its stage manifestation; we do have the written version, however, and I’ve read it many times.

It was just wonderful – gorgeous set, stellar performance from Nichola McAuliffe as the eponymous lady, and the interesting construct of having two Alan Bennetts, discussing what they? he? wanted from his interaction with her.

Should this production come your way, I do recommend it most highly.

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

ramtops: (hat)

The last few days have involved first fix electrics, covering absolutely every bloody thing in Yet More Dust, after I’d cleaned it all up. We went to Ikea while they were here, and bought a kitchen sink (which we now don’t like) and various bits and pieces such as a new rug for the dining room, and so forth. Got home to find total chaos, and they had discovered dry rot in the kitchen floor. Aargh.

Got someone in to have a look on Friday morning, who quoted us £850 to fix. Got someone else in on Saturday morning, who quoted £995. Both of them said they could do it this week, but the dearer chap phoned back on Sunday assuming we wanted him to carry out the work, only to be told that we could find no trace of him on Google*, he turned up in a plain van, had no business card, and we weren’t about to hand over a grand to someone with no public presence.

On Saturday we took the rubble to the tip, where we picked up a load of wood for the stove from someone who was about to dump it (hurrah), went to Asda (which was manic), then home via Anlaby to visit the inestimable Fields. We bought pasties (no longer Cornish), three sorts of sossidges for the freezer, a hand made Shepherd’s Pie and some pork stuffed with basil and ricotta (I’ve got no kitchen, OK?), and some cat bikkit that the Tribe particularly like from the pet shop up there – haven’t seen it anywhere else.

I spotted an ad in the local freesheet for a cats/kittens Open Day for Beverley CPL, admission cat food, so we bundled up the tins of Breeder food from Makro that the Tribe liked until we bought lots of it (sigh), and took that over to Woodmansey. We hardly saw any kittins, but no matter – the fud has gone to a good cause.

Then we drove over to Paull and walked a couple of miles along the foreshore; it was a beautiful day, and hardly anyone about, and we really enjoyed it. Then we went and had a Sunday roast in the Crown Inn in Paull, which was very nice. Home via B&Q, where we bought Danish oil for the worktops, and some spotlights to be wired into the external light point, and some spare bulbs for the lamp beside my end of the sofa in the living room, which turned out to have been unplugged …

The plumber came to do his first fix this morning – he very kindly rearranged everything so that he could run his pipes under the floor before DryRotMan did his stuff. Which he is now saying he might not be able to to until Saturday, which means messing the plasterer about again. However, we now have no water downstairs apart from the outside tap, so we have to wash up in the bath. I am never, ever doing this again.

It’ll be lovely when it’s finished.

*Not strictly true – there were two or three ads on Loot, none of which were for timber treatment.

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

ramtops: (hat)

It feels wrong, somehow, to witter on about our trivial lives in the light of the appalling scenes from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami; I don’t have anything to say on that – it’s all been said in a far more eloquent way than I could.

Still, just to put a marker down for my own history, weekend was more kitchen-related expeditions, Reg Meuross in Elloughton, and not much more really. I’ll be glad when the kitchen is finished (build starts on 28th), but it’s all a bit ridiculous to whine when we could be homeless and shell-shocked on the other side of the world, so I won’t.

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

ramtops: (hat)

A three day weekend as I wasn’t in our office on Friday, but instead left the house at 8 to get to a local hotel in order to start interviewing three candidates for deputy head at the school where I’m a governor. I can’t really say much about it, but it was a long and intense day, and I’m sure we made the right decision.

I was nearly late, though – I had a nicely worked out timetable for the early morning, which was slightly thrown by the arrival of the dishwasher at 7.30.I was in the bath, and Pete was still in bed and hadn’t heard the door, but we managed to get it indoors and I made it to the Pearson Park Hotel in time all the same!

On Saturday morning, the kitchen fitted arrived to do the final measuring before he makes the cabinets, so we feel things are moving on well there. Then we called into Merlin on Sculcoates Lane to look at beech and oak worktops, to decide which we might prefer, then we set off for Lincoln.

Lincoln involved sossidge innabun from the German stall on the continental market, good coffee and a cinnamon toasted teacake in Pimento, a hike down Steep Hill (which is), with a visit to The Bag Shop, where a handbag called to me so loudly I had to buy it. It’s an Owen Barry Tucket in grassy green, and just lovely.

Continued into town for a mooch, long walk along the river bank and bank, called into the Oxfam bookshop for a couple of books, had a cup of tea in a pub called the Witch and the Wardrobe (what? no lion?), then an early supper in the Laughing Buddha in Silver Street – all-you-can-eat Chinese, and cracking value at 8 quid each before 6 p.m.

Then we toiled back up Steep Hill (it really is) to head for the Drill Hall, where Mark Steel was gigging. The ticket receipt had no street name or postcode on it, but Google Maps showed us where it was. Except when we got there, the Drill Hall wasn’t. We asked a passer-by, who told us that it was down in town. Just along Silver Street in fact (aargh). My knees are bad at the moment, and thankfully I had a walking stick with me for the first time in months, so we set off once again down Steep Hill (it really is) and back to just pretty much exactly where we’d started out on Silver Street. I was in bits by this stage, and sitting still for what was an excellent gig, but still over 2.5 hours, didn’t help.

We decided to get a cab back to the car (you can guess where it was, can’t you?), but there was none to be had, so back up Steep Hill (did I mention .?) we climbed, into the car and home for about 12.30. I took a couple of ibuprofen and slept like a dead creature.

Today has been slumpage – apart from Pete chopping up more wood for the fire, and me nipping (or popping) up to the shop for some bits, we’ve done bugger all. Watched, and loved, Crazy Heart, caught up with online stuff, going to have an early night and possibly another soak in the bath before bed.

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

ramtops: (hat)

Lazy, really. We sauntered up to Dukes (cafe bar on Princes Ave, just at the top of the road) for a No2ID meeting, which was thinly attended. So much going on – ANPR, NHS spine, DNA database, census – but nothing to hang a campaign around now that the dreaded cards have gone, but we will soldier on. We stayed for a lunch of not very good burger – the fat chips were not in any way crisp, the stilton on my stilton burger was not melted.

Came home, lit the fire, Pete chopped up some wood. I watched Have You Heard About the Morgans, which was really not very good. Lazy.

Sunday was fairly lazy too – cooked a small fry up for breakfast, went to Beverley to Lakeland(s). Bought spring form cake tin, egg spray glaze (whoever heard of such a thing), vanilla extract, food tongs in one Lakeland. Had to be led away gibbering after spotting the most surreal thing in the store (and there are many) – a device for lifting a device for poaching eggs from the pan. Poaching devices come in two colours, poaching device device in just one – what a dilemma for the stylish chef! Picked up three bags of ground almonds for the price of two in Julian Graves.

Had a forage in the fabulous Boyes (as it were), picking up a mechanical ice cream scoop (top tip from Lorraine thingy who had a baking prog on the telly – ideal for putting muffin mix into the pan), a pepper grinder like a cat (*just* horrible enough to be fun), a pack of red hair dye.

Then onto the other Lakeland, where I found a leather jacket of fabulosity. It had a cunning sort of arrangement where an inner middle section/hood zipped in and out, for extra warmth. Pete insisted I had it, and the assistant very kindly unzipped the zip in/out bit to show me how it works, and then we all discovered it had a faulty zip, and it was the only size 14 they had (size! 14!). I prepared to lay on the floor and throw a tantrum, but was thwarted, as they offered to check stock at the warehouse, and found another, which will be delivered to the Beverly store on Wednesday, which is terrific. The swing ticket said £179, so I hope they don’t try to charge me the price on the web site!

Watched The Men Who Stare at Goats, which we thought was hilarious. Cooked moussaka, a slow cooker full of tomato and lentil soup, and some chocolate and banana cakes for the freezer (but we had to sample them).

In other news, the builders are here bricking up the back door and knocking through the hatch, so the kitchen works can begin and chaos will rule.  My single ring induction hob arrived this morning, and it’s cracking; I so wish I’d persuaded Pete that a full induction hob would be as good as gas, but there was no budging him. Builders were here at 7.30, so it feels like going home time now. I’m not looking forward to the next few weeks …

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

ramtops: (hat)

winter light and shadows

We are about to embark upon a kitchen refit; the prospect fills me with horror, but the end result will be worth it. Tell me it will.
Another thing that horrifies me is the cost of decent appliances – we have a standalone combi microwave (so it is a little oven and grill, as well as a microwave); we paid about £90 for it last year, but built in ones seem to start at the thick end of £600 and just keep going. I’ve been haunting eBay, and finally snared a Neff combi, plus oven, plus cooker hood, for £350 – result.

So yesterday morning we set off for Northallerton, on the edge of the Yorkshire moors, to collect them. We stopped at a Little Thief for an Olympic Breakfast en route, and it really was olympic – neither of us could quite finish it.

We met the chap (who is renovating a really beautiful house, including “just pushing the back wall out 3 ft” – lord knows what that’ll cost him!), and stowed the stuff in the German Barge; the oven went in the boot, and the microwave and hood fitted on the back seat. We wrapped them tenderly in old sheets, and set off for Staithes, a lovely fishing village on the North Yorkshire coast. It’s very steep, but we trolled up and down the hill and little stepped lanes and had a lovely time, finishing with a cuppa and a piece of really very nice coconut, lime and ginger cake in a local cafe. I had a bash at reproducing it yesterday, and my recipe is here.

After Staithes, we drove home across the moor, stopping in Malton en route. Malton is a nice country town, which apparently closes at 4 on a Saturday, but thankfully the nice butcher was still going. They had a BOGOF on pasties and pies, so we bought a couple of each, and some decent bacon. Came home and ate (home cooked) Indian fud.

We think the Neff appliances enjoyed their day out; we thought it a nice idea to give them a treat, as they will shortly be entombed in cabinetry, and set to work for their living.

Yesterday, I made cake, made soup from last week’s lamb bones and a stack of veg, cleaned the new cooker hood, cooked bagels with scrambly egg and bacon for breakfast, had meat and potato pie with cabbage and broccoli for supper, watched Raising Arizona and the BAFTAs … must have done more, but can’t remember.

And now it’s bloody Monday again.

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

ramtops: (hat)

Richard Thompson, Grand Opera House, York | Jan 2011

How did it get to be 2011, FFS?

A quiet Saturday, involving a trip to Morrisons (rock’n'roll, eh), and The Taking of Pelham 123 later on. This was the Denzil Washington/John Travolta version, and frankly I thought it not a patch on the Robert Shaw one. Still, that is on the Blockbuster list and will no doubt turn up in the fullness of time.

All the rather weary veg from the the fridge were diced up for soup, and cooked off in the slow cooker, a chickie! was roasted, and a pudding was concocted from the last two plums and a huuuuge Bramley, with an almond sponge topping. We also consumed a bottle of red wine between us, and two pots of coffee – this latter was a Mistake, as we both suffered from a severe caffeine overload overnight.

Sunday therefore dawned a tad grooish, but a brunch of bagels, scrambled egg, bacon, black pudding and mushrooms helped a bit; we kept away from the coffee, mind. Watched The Hurt Locker in the afternoon, which I will need to watch again, I think, and then set off for the wilds of York’s Grand Opera House, to see the wondrous Richard Thompson.

It’s something I miss about being in Bristol – we have to travel to see favourite people, and we’ve done Leeds, Sheffield, York, and have tickets for Mak Steel in Lincoln in March. The only music gig we’ve done in Hull was the Ukulele Orchestra early last year. Still, York is an easy run.

We had a swift, excellent pizza in Il Bertorelli (gorgonzola and mushroom for me – nom), then into the theatre; our tickets were about 300′ up at the back of the Grand Circle, and apart from the need for an oxygen mask, the view was terrific. As was the music – a four piece band of drummer, bass, violin, and a multi-instrumental chap on guitar, wind and brass (no, not all at the same time). Very tight combo.

First half was all new album stuff, which we didn’t know, second was some old favourites. Lovely acoustic version of Al Bowley’s in Heaven,  storming rocking version of Tear Stained Letter, with lots of instrumental solos, and just the teeniest hint of community singing, and closing with a stomping I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight.

Nice easy run home in 50 minutes, welcomed (if that’s the word) by sulking cats. And now it’s Monday again.

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

ramtops: (hat)

the unruly mob

The word went round via Twitter and e-mail that the BNP were planning a protest rally outside the mosque in Pearson Park on Saturday morning, so Pete and I thought we’d go and join the anti-protest.

We pitched up just after 11, to find quite a few people milling about, none of whom looked remotely BNPish. I know you shouldn’t judge by appearances, but even so … Lots of plod, PCSOs, and four mounted police turned up as the morning went on, and a Community Liaison or Development or Something plod with an impressive, if lopsided, moustachio’d/bearded facial hair arrangement, but still no BNP; they  were due at midday, but were apparently drinking in the Bull on Bev Road. The anti crowd grew, until there must have been a couple of hundred.

It was all tremendously civilised. People (from the mosque, I think) came round with plastic cups and kettles of tea, followed by someone with a jug of milk. There were cup cakes and biscuits. The SWP contingent (I think) tried to whip the crowd into chanting, with little success; it just seemed too aggressive, too tribal. For most people, it was enough to just be there.

At about 1.15, when I really couldn’t feel my toes any more, a few of us decided to repair to the Zachariah Pearson, for a drink and some hot food. We encountered a bedraggled group of BNPers on the corner of Pearson Ave and Beverley Road. They were  shepherded by a few police person, and wearing Santa hats (not the police), which struck me as a tad incongruous, and tried half heartedly (and unsuccessfully) to hand us leaflets.

Just as we got to the pub, I remembered that I’d left a pan of onions on a very low heat, and we thought we’d better go home. So we stopped in at the wonderful Tony’s Textiles for another of their excellent thermal door curtains, picked up some veg in Frutopia, and some potted bulbs and a simple holly wreath from Pollenation. I do like Newland Ave for shopping.

Then home for hot tea, a restorative Bushmills, and sausages, and a bit of a slump for the rest of the day.

Today? I plan, although with no real enthusiasm, to address the Kilamanjaro of ironing, have put a chicken and leek pudding in the slow cooker, will pot the bulbs into bigger containers, try to clear a path through the snow to the back gate so we can get the recycling bin out (with no real belief that they’ll actually come and empty it), and make a plum crumble.

Mounties PCSOs

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

Profile

ramtops: (Default)
ramtops

March 2016

S M T W T F S
  1 2345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags