Saturday, 22 September 2018


Lady M: "Cro, can you give me a hand setting the combination lock on my new flight case?"

Cro: "OK, but you know what I'm like with hi-tech wizardry".

Lady M: "In which case you'd better look at the instructions".

Cro: "Looks easy enough".

At this point Cro sets required secret number, fiddles with small plastic bits, turns keys, and sits back, satisfied with a job well done. 

Then, of course, the bloody thing won't re-open. We try everything, but it's locked solid, and the new combination numbers refuse to accept that they have any relationship to the wretched suitcase whatsoever. It's a bloody disaster. We stare at it in disbelief.

Cro: "I think I've got the answer. The Irish screwdriver".

Lady M: "If you must!".

A swift blow to the lock with a heavy bolster, and it flies open. We both cheer. I saw off the locking device, paint any scuffed bits with black paint, and return it to Lady M who is perfectly satisfied that it now locks simply with a key; and no stupid combination number to worry about.

It's what any experienced airport baggage handler would have done whilst no-one was looking!

Friday, 21 September 2018

Lamb & Potatoes with Lemon.

This is my own version of Rick Stein's very typical Mediterranean dish (as in title). Some might call it a poor man's Greek Kleftiko.

Ingredients: Red/green Peppers, Potatoes, Breast of Lamb, preserved Lemon, Oregano, Rosemary, Garlic, Olive oil, and salt. One hour in oven 200C. Cost, about €5/£5; feeds 4.

OK, the food stylist was absent when I took the second photo, but it's the taste that counts. This was simply delicious. And people say they can't cook!!! Child's play.

I shall be eating the leftovers for my breakfast!

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Shock; horror!

I never imagined for one moment that I would ever agree with anything proposed by Labour's Shadow Chancellor John Mcdonnell (above), but I have been proved wrong. On this occasion his wisdom is unparalleled.

He's declared that when (if) Corbyn is replaced as leader of The Labour Party, it should be by a woman.

Of course it should Johnny, and I have just the person. Yes; the fragrant, and highly capable, Diane Abbott; of course!

This would make a seamless transfer of roles, from Shadow Home Secretary to Leader of her party.

She's PERFECT for the job. She has my vote!

Wednesday, 19 September 2018


We're losing a well-loved nearby neighbour.

He's sold his kennel, packed his Pedigree biscuits and chews, and is heading for foreign fields.

Ever since he started travelling, he's had itchy paws. Now he's decided to take his bed, his tennis ball, his brush, and his two pets (Sue and Paul), and is heading for England, and pastures new.

I know he'll miss his native S W France, the weather, and the Chestnut woods, but he's exchanging all that for an exciting new life in Lincolnshire (that's just above the roundish sticking-out bit on the right hand side of England).

So, goodbye Rick. It was good knowing you; if all too briefly.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Pride in his work.

On Sundays I buy our bread for the week at a bakery about 10 kms away. On the way there I take the main road, but on the way back I usually go through the woods. The view above is on the way home.

Over the past few months an elderly man has been cutting trees, splitting logs, and creating these beautiful log piles.

Looking down from the road above I could see that he was taking real pride in his work, and now that his work is finished, I decided to stop the car, and walk down to have a look. 

OK, it's only a log pile, but the pride that he took in the way he stacked the logs is worthy of commendation. The lines are perfectly straight, the height perfect, and the stacking as efficient as possible. 

His attention to detail was exemplary.

Well done that man!

Monday, 17 September 2018


Figs are a crop that never fail. The only enemy of the Fig is too much rain when ripening; they become swollen, watery, and tasteless.

At the last count I have about 9 or 10 trees; some very big. Far too many, but I love them.


A few years back I bottled some in an Armagnac flavoured syrup. They were absolutely delicious, but I couldn't find much enthusiasm for them.


This year I shall be bottling more, regardless, and I shall make sure the enthusiasm is there. I can assure you that a few of those with a big dollop of thick cream is about as good as it gets!

And here they are. I only did a few; just in case.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Everyday life.

Cro: "I've cooked some minced Beef for Bok. I'll put it to cool in the microwave until his supper time; will you make sure you remember that it's there?".

Lady Magnon: "Can you remind me".

Cro: "What; you want me to remind you, to remember that it's there?".

Lady Magnon: "Yes".

Cro: "Why don't you remind me, to remind you, to remember that it's there".

Lady Magnon: "Now you're being silly".

Cro: "I am silly".

Lady Magnon: So, will you remind me?".

Cro: "No; you'll have to remind yourself".

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