Sunday, 29 May 2016

Drama in The Pump House.

Things don't always go to plan.

A few years back, when opening the pool, we found that mice had been nesting in the electrical control box.  They'd chewed all the plastic off the wires, creating a massive short circuit.

This year (last Friday) I decided to change the sand in the filter; this involves removing the round black thing on top of the filter (big grey thing), removing all the dirty sand inside, and replacing it with new. All went well, I replaced the top, and turned on.

Water immediately started forcing its way out from the sides of the top, making a terrible hissing noise, so I stopped everything and tightened the two bolts. The same thing happened again, so I repeated my tightening and tried again.

This time there was a huge EXPLOSION and the top flew off with terrific force and water shot out like 'Old Faithful'. The top missed my face by a gnat's whisker.

When we eventually found all the bits, I reassembled them and tried again (you can imagine the state of my nerves by this time). I made sure that everything was really seated correctly, and tightened the bolts. I turned on again, crossed my fingers, and luckily everything was OK. No more explosions.

And here it is; up and running.

Me? I have a few more grey hairs, and my nerves are shot. Otherwise all is fine.

What larks!

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Not you too, Cro? (you scruffy old bogger).

Ever since the word 'Selfie' first joined the language, I've criticised the notion; much preferring an 'Otherie'.

I suppose it's the possible accusation of narcissism that I don't like, because I'm not a narcissistic person. The very idea of taking a photo of myself is alien to me.

So, on the principle that 'if you can't beat them etc' I decided to join the club. The camera was on the table in front of me, and I went ahead.

I rejected the idea of taking a million pix then selecting the best (à la Lord Snowdon), and restricted myself to just ONE; which I then completely forgot about. Yesterday I just happened to be going through my pictures, and I noticed that my 'Selfie' wasn't too bad; I'm not a photogenic Johnny.

I'm sure I'll never do another one, so, 21st century obsession, here is my offering; it's Cro by Cro.

Do you 'Self'? Please say 'no'.

p.s. I shall NOT be joining Instagram!

Friday, 27 May 2016

Pool opening 2016.

Today we open the pool, and by this afternoon it will look very much like this.....

Without George and Andy, of course!

p.s. The beautiful dark skinned girl (Dee.C.Lee) later married Paul Weller.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Grilling Chorizo.

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I'm pretty sure that the standard Spanish packet Chorizo (above) is available worldwide, but I'm not quite so sure about these ones below.

They are also Chorizo sausages, but designed for frying or BBQ-ing.


Personally I prefer to fry them as they produce a LOT of oil, and on the BBQ that means big flames.

They are spicy but not overly hot, with that delicious flavour of smoked Paprika. These ones above we ate a couple of nights ago with some maize enriched Taboulé.

If you find them in your local shop (and haven't tried them), buy some! They will make your summers even more summery. Delicious.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Elderflower Champagne 2016.

The Elders are now in flower, so time to make some FIZZ.

Take 6 heads of sun-kissed Elder flowers,
the zest and juice of one large Lemon,
two tablespoons of white wine vinegar,
650 gms of sugar,
and 6 ½ litres of water.


Combine all ingredients in clean plastic bucket, stir, and leave covered for 24 hrs.

Strain through muslin, and bottle in strong flip-top 'corona' bottles (see picture 2). Leave for at least 2 weeks before tasting.

N.B. Always open bottles outdoors; they can be very lively. Serve ice cold.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Another Haddock's update.

It was only a short while ago that I posted a similar picture of Haddock's, but with the wonderful combination of sun and rain everything is now growing at a terrific rate; just look at those red cabbages.

We have strawberries, rhubarb, some salads, spring onions, and calabrese. 

Everything (except for our winter greens) is planted out, and we now just need to wait until it's all big enough to eat. 

It's looking good.

Monday, 23 May 2016

The Cheek Of It.

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Rachel recently reminded me of an old school friend of mine who once had a very cheeky and cunning plan.

On the first day of a new year at London's Royal College of Art, he turned up for 'Registration' at their Film and TV department.

He filled out all the forms with his name, address, and contact numbers, and joined all the other new students. His name was simply added to a list; and that was that; he'd bamboozled his way into becoming a student at the prestigious RCA.

During the following two years he worked in the department, attended tutorials, borrowed all their expensive kit, and established a business designing record covers for some of the world's most famous bands of the late 60's, early 70's. (He's very well known)

When it came time for his final exams, someone in the department noticed that he'd never actually been admitted to the college, and he was booted out. Red faces were abundant.

I can't mention names, or I'd be lynched; apart from which he'd never forgive me.

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