Sunday, 28 November 2021

The Life of Boo Boo.


I had literally just returned from evening Dog-Walking when this photo arrived on my WhatsApp page with a 'ping'. It was blowing a strong wind here, and was very cold. I really needed my silly Russian hat, thermal vest, scarf and gloves. 

I am not naïve enough not to know that parts of the world are always bathed in perfect weather, as we here in the UK are battling against the cold, wind, and rain, but I didn't really need this reminder. 


Boo Boo looks very tall and tanned, and Kellogg is obviously enjoying the sunshine. I don't know what's going on in the photo; maybe a lost ball!

I don't like Winter. I want to be like Boo Boo, wearing shorts, and not much else. I would love to join them on The Seven Mile Beach, and swim in that crystal clear water, or maybe even take a boat out and fish for Barracuda.

Winter has just begun here in the UK. For us it's simply a sudden drop in temperature and strong wind, but in the North they've had serious gales, snow, and even a few deaths.

Christmas is a month away, Spring is sometime next year, and hot sunshine is just a memory. I do hope we don't have snow!

 

Saturday, 27 November 2021

Japan Packaging


About 20 years ago, just before Christmas, I bought a large round box of Belgian Chocolates from Thornton's (a reasonably up-market UK Chocolate shop).

I was asked if I'd like it wrapped. Of course I replied 'yes please'.

Wrapping a round box isn't easy, so you can imagine my admiration as I watched the young lady making fold after fold as she worked her way around the box; leaving perfectly spaced gaps between each fold, and finishing with a Chrysanthemum pattern on the top.

I remarked to her how impressed I was with her skill, and she seemed genuinely flattered. As I left the shop I wondered if anyone else had admired her skill, and had said the same as me. Maybe not.

Here is a young Japanese girl showing similar, but much simpler, skills.


Friday, 26 November 2021

Growing old.


I suppose I must now accept that I'm growing 'old'; I'm even beginning to resemble photographs of my Great Grandfather.

I have a bad back, a dodgy right knee, and hips that are beginning to complain about Arthritis. I am Type 2 diabetic, and I unashamedly enjoy good food and wine; which probably doesn't help.

So, what can I do to return myself to days gone by, when I could still run uphill, party all night long, and play serious Rugby.

Well, the obvious answer is that nothing can reverse the ageing process, regardless of a million adverts that tell us otherwise (mostly aimed at women). All we can do is to preserve what flexibility, brain-power, and general health, that we now possess; and pray that it doesn't all go downhill too quickly.

I'm not one for doctors (or surgeons), and I refuse to eat Tofu or 3D printed Meat-ex. I'm too far gone for Yoga, my skateboard has been put away, and even gentle jogging is now beyond the capability of my knees.

So, what to do? Well, I enjoy life too much to let any of my minor 'ailments' hold me back. I shall drink plenty of Beer and Wine (they kill microbes), I shall Dad-Dance to raucous Ska music, and I shall allow some of the finest chefs in England to sculpt my svelte-like figure. I ain't giving up just yet!

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Moussaka.


Elizabeth David tells me that Patrick Leigh Fermor's version of Moussaka was/is the world's best. I have seen film of his Greek cook preparing the infamous dish, but would never attempt to replicate her attention to detail.


However, my amateur status did not repel me from attempting something similar. I consulted no book or expert, bought what I considered the best ingredients, and threw caution to the winds.

I quite imagine that Fermor would have found my example lacking in most departments, but for me it was a pretty good first attempt.

I used Beef instead of Lamb, but it tasted just as I remember. My main fault was that it was not 'solid' enough; too much wine with my 'bolognaise' perhaps. 

Lady Magnon made no complaints, and there is a small amount left over for my breakfast.

Practice makes perfect, but I'm not really aiming for perfection.
 

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Thinking Laterally.


My son, Kimbo, is not known for 'cake making', but armed with his Mary Berry cake-making bible, he threw himself into the mixing bowl and created this masterpiece, below, for his son's birthday.


Unfortunately he only had enough materials for one layer, so it needed to be cut in half in order to make the traditional cream and jam filled two-layer cake he had set his heart upon.

Initially I'd thought that they'd already eaten half of it; but no, that's the finished job.

Apparently this did not affect it's wonderful flavour, and it was given 10/10. Well done!
 

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Gravestones.


I'm an avid reader of gravestones. If I see an ancient one that is still legible, I'll read it. It seems only decent to do so; it is for that reason that the words were put there in the first place. 


However, it's not only the inscription that is of interest, it's also the adjoining Coats of Arms, Crests, etc.

Yesterday I found this rather nice Coat of Arms on an impressive tomb. It involves Three Dogs (I think), Three Lions rampant, and a naked person underneath.

The inscription was illegible, so I can't trace the Arms, but I may do some further research. It's the naked man that is baffling. Why anyone would want such a figure beneath their Arms is a total mystery.

Suggestions on a postcard please to.....

Monday, 22 November 2021

Billy's Nose.


This was Billy's, mostly pink, nose in April of 2019. I prayed (on his behalf) to the god of black noses that his would in time turn black, like all self-respecting Border Collies. It didn't look right.


Well, this, below, is his nose today. His prayers were answered, and I'm pretty sure that by Christmas it'll be entirely black. There are just a couple of tiny patches to fill-in; I could almost do it myself with an indelible marker pen.


You'd hardly know it was the same dog!

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