Wednesday 30 November 2016

Bread knife.

If something is serviceable and reasonably attractive, then I think it should be used, regardless of age; unless it's very fragile, or extremely valuable.

Such is the case with my nice old Maple handled, and carved, bread knife. Made by the highly regarded Joseph Rodgers & Sons of Sheffield in around 1920, it still cuts as well as ever, and is a pleasure to use.

OK, a nasty serrated, white plastic handled, stainless steel blade might do the job, but working with a tool that's been in use since George V was on the throne (1910-1936) is a true pleasure. 

I can't recall its history, but it must have cut an awful lot of bread; and hopefully will continue to do so.

p.s. I was watching TV's 'Flog it' recently where someone was selling a sliver tea set. The Teapot was marked JR and had the star and cross mark, used by Rodgers since 1764; well within the age of the Teapot. The expert attributed it to someone completely different. As you might imagine, I shouted expletives at the screen!  

Tuesday 29 November 2016

Cro, in a pickle.

Nearing the end of November means that a certain festive day is less than a month away. So, time to make pickled onions to accompany my Boxing Day cold Turkey.

In two week's time I'll prepare my pickled red cabbage; it requires less time to process, and as with the onions, is essential to accompany most cold meats.

Both my onion and red cabbage recipes are the same. Soak overnight in brine, drain, then cover with spiced red wine vinegar and some sugar. It couldn't be easier.

I should add that my other essential crimbo pickle, pickled walnuts, were prepared two years ago, and are now perfect.

And here are the little beauties. All's left is to bring on the Turkey. 

Monday 28 November 2016

Happy birthday Bok.

He's gone for the Afghan look; mid-life crisis, methinks.

Bok is 6 today, and he just gets better and better with age. Lovely boy.

Special treat (steak) for supper tonight. Happy Birthday my darling! Papa xxx

Sunday 27 November 2016


This is a classic French peasant home sink. Two well-worn flat slabs, one on either side, and a slightly hollowed one in the middle.

Mine has a tiny bit of decorative bevelling on the front of the three stones, but often they don't even have that. A funnelled part of the central stone projects outdoors to get rid of waste water. 

The small glazed window I installed myself. The original was just a hole and was the size of a paperback; it allowed hardly any light in, and did nothing to stop any cold or wind. I cut the new one from a single lump of stone, and it looks a tiny bit better.

It wasn't so long ago that these sinks were still being used. The poor housewife had nothing but an adjacent open fire to cook on, and the sink was to prepare vegetables, do washing up, etc. It was also the family 'bathroom'.

Life must have been very tough for those hard-working women. Looking after the children, preparing all the meals, and probably attending to the kitchen garden, pigsties, chickens, ducks etc.

We don't know how lucky we are. Well, I suppose we do really!

Saturday 26 November 2016

Boiled eggs.

It's been ages since I had a boiled egg for my breakfast.

It's the waiting that's the problem. Breakfast time is usually pretty rushed between about 7 am and 7.15 am, when I grab some essential sustenance in between blogging and other laptop activities, and the thought of hanging around for 5 minutes whilst an egg boils to perfection is just too long. 

Yesterday morning all that was put aside, and I woke with a huge desire for boiled eggs; nothing would stop me.

I've spoken before about the timing of a boiled egg. Delia Smith instructs us to sing three verses of Onward Christian Soldiers, but frankly it would upset the dog.

No, I just follow Woodrow Wyatt's recommendation of  four and a quarter minutes precisely. It seems to do the job well. and I shall continue with his method.

When something works, don't change it, and the eggs were delicious.

Friday 25 November 2016

Almost December.

I've been enjoying our Autumn up until now. It's been relatively mild, relatively dry, no strong wind, and very little mention of Dec 25th.

However, we're now into damp, drizzly, wet, and misty, weather, and to make it worse everyone's suddenly talking about stupid bloody Black Friday, and bloody Christmas.

Do people not realise that all this bloody Black Friday nonsense is simply designed to relieve people of their hard-earned wages? Have nothing to do with it. Let them advertise their non-bargains for nothing. Tell them in no uncertain terms that it has to STOP.

Otherwise all is OK. Being a tree aficionado, there are plenty of leaves to rake-up and take to the compost, and just about everything else outdoors requires tidying in some way or other.

My main concern at this season is being able to cut wood without being either soaked or frozen. I buy my wood in metre lengths, and they need to be sawn into thirds. I keep quite a lot ready-sawn in stock, but it's a lot of work.

The colours this year have not been as good as some years, but it's still pretty good out there. The small woodland paths are beautiful, and kicking leaves is one of my favourite sports.

Just don't mention that bloody stupid Black Friday rubbish.

Thursday 24 November 2016

Family life.

For my today's posting 'Family life', please see below.

I can't explain.

Family life.

Back in the 1980's (I think) The Sunday Times ran a series of Colour Supplement articles entitled 'The Taste of Italy'.

Being a frugal sort of chap, I cut out each Sunday's article, and eventually stapled them all together to form a sort of 'book'. I still have the 'book', and consult it often.

The picture above comes from week 3's piece about the South of Italy; in particular Abruzzi, Molise, Campania, and Calabria. 

Every time I look at this picture I envy this family with a passion. In the shade of an ancient arch at a peasant farmhouse, are assembled everyone from grandparents, to parents, and assorted children; doing what all families SHOULD do, and enjoying an al fresco Summer meal with everyone present. It's a sight that makes me wish I was a part of that wonderful family.

We came close to something similar this Summer, with my three children, their husbands/wives, their children, and a few cousins, etc, all here at once. Unfortunately when the celebrations were over, they all returned to their homes in distant countries.

In the above photo I imagine they simply returned to the fields, or a snooze under a nearby shady tree. Perfect.

Wednesday 23 November 2016

Paté au Foie Gras de Canard.

Time to make Paté. I'm making less than I used to, this year, simply because I've discovered a commercial everyday Paté that is far better than anything I could ever make myself.

This one, however, is for special occasions, and contains a large slab of Foie Gras in the middle. It's a basic coarsely ground pork/liver mix, with a very expensive lump of 'Extra' Duck liver in the middle. I usually buy the less expensive 'Tout Venant' liver, but I couldn't find any. 

Inside a 350 gm jar, I place a generous 1 cm layer of Paté mix, on top of which I put a golf ball sized lump of Foie Gras. The jar is then filled with more of the mix, pushed down with the back of a teaspoon, and levelled to the where marked on the jars. 

Capsules are fitted, screw tops attached, and the whole lot sterilised for 3 hours.

I had almost decided not to do my own Paté this year, but boys will be boys, and I enjoyed my drizzly afternoon. There's something very satisfying about watching a huge cauldron bubbling away for several hours on the stove.

Even more satisfying will be tasting the Paté in the new year.

Next morning; and here's the finished job. A nice layer of jelly on the bottom, and plenty of Duck fat (for roast potatoes) on the top.

I made 2 kilos of Paté mix, and added most of a 700 gm Foie Gras, which filled eight 350 gm jars. I had a bit of liver left over, which I've stuck in the freezer for Christmas.

Job done!

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Issigeac 24

Périgord is a renowned major tourist area, there are beautiful villages and towns everywhere, and trying to pick one to show you isn't easy.

However, I just happened to be passing through Issigeac recently, and stopped to take a few photos.

It was early in the morning and the sun was not yet fully up. Even so I think you'll get an idea of the town's medieval charm.

Issigeac was first mentioned in the 12th century, and has a long and interesting history. It also has everything that one would want from a small town; being set midst the wine growing areas of Bergerac, Monbazillac, and Pécharmant.

If you're thinking of moving, it's quite a nice place to live!

Monday 21 November 2016

Prune glasses.

These funny little glasses are typically French.

They are designed to hold a single Prune (or Greengage) that has been soaked in Eau de Vie.

Traditionally at the end of a meal one would have a Prune, and a very small amount of the liquid, to accompany your coffee.

Whilst washing the glasses recently (I've been delving into the very back of cupboards), I noticed that a couple of them would contain very much less liquid than the others. One was so solid with glass that it was almost impossible to put any liquid into it at all; the Prune itself just sat on the top of a glass with no bowl, no doubt those particular glasses being reserved for that notorious 'Uncle Maurice' who might otherwise end up under the table.  

Recipe: Soak semi-dried Prunes in Green Tea over night. Drain the Prunes, and cover with Eau de Vie. Leave for at least a month. At a push, one could use Gin or Vodka. 

Consume cautiously.

Sunday 20 November 2016

Wine on Wheels.

I've written previously, and shown photos, of my lovely vigneronne, where we usually buy our wine.

But not only are there wine makers whom we visit, there are also some who actually bring their wares to us.

We do occasionally visit the vineyard owned by the gentleman above; his property was well known for a free-range pot-bellied pig named Maurice (now deceased). However, it's more convenient to top-up at our local village's weekly market, where he turns up every Saturday..

He sells red and pink. Ordinary everyday wine. Delivered from the back of his white van.

My 5 litre 'cubi' of red (in picture) costs me a staggering €7 (£6; the price of one bottle in the UK), and it's 'good'.

Gawd, I'd miss this if I ever had to return to Blighty.

Saturday 19 November 2016

Life post-Brexit.

It was foul yesterday, but late Autumn/early Winter, does have some advantages.

I light the fire, place a couple of foil-wrapped spuds in the ash pan to bake, settle down with a crossword or two, and listen to the glorious silence.

Bok lies by the fire, Lady M is possibly baking some biscuits, and there is a Coq au Vin gently bubbling away in the kitchen.

OK, there are no taxis or double-deckers in the high street, no fancy theatres or cinemas, and no frantic crowds of pre-Christmas shoppers in the stores, but that's how I like it. Leave me alone, don't annoy me, and let me live how I want to live. I like it here just as it is.

But, if the ramifications of Brexit force me back to the UK (which I don't think they will), I shall easily adapt. I shall once again dodge the crowds of loonies on the pavements, get used to car alarms permanently screaming, and be prepared to swash-buckle with burglars.

I would also once again frequent the best Asian foods store in the whole world (Brighton's Taj Mahal), eat in some of the most diverse ethnic restaurants anywhere on earth, and have the pleasure of stepping into Waitrose and Marks for all those wee pleasures that are unavailable over here.

Our heat would arrive by pressing a button. 

Life is pretty good, but whatever Brexit holds for us Brexpats, we will go with the flow, and enjoy whatever life brings.

Friday 18 November 2016

Too late!

Now that the Cèpe season is over (and we haven't had any), the weather has been perfect for all sorts of other mysterious mushrooms. They appear overnight by the tonne.

The lawns are covered with small patches of what looks like wretched Honey Fungus.

And edible Field Mushrooms, that we usually don't eat (see below).

And more wretched Honey Fungus (which are actually edible).

Unfortunately none of the ones we were after have appeared; a bad year for mushrooms.

p.s. I've had a change of heart, and decided that we really should eat our plentiful supply of Field Mushrooms, and here they are (below). We ate them yesterday, for lunch; cooked in garlic butter, of course.

Thursday 17 November 2016

The Beauty of Vegs.

We're having reasonably sunny days at the moment, with quite cool mornings. The leaves on the Tomato plants have already been nipped by frost, and it's time to bring in anything that is at all tender.

I've already harvested and preserved, the huge amount of Green Peppers, Chillies, and Aubergines that were still clinging on to their plants.

We are eating lots of Red Kale (top picture) at the moment. A big plateful with a Pork chop or a Salmon steak is perfect for a simple supper. You can almost feel the vitamins at work as you eat. Wonderful veg'.

Our PSB plants are very big this year, this one above even has purple ribs to the leaves; I don't know why. One has already started to flower, the rest will probably flower in March.

Through the Winter we shall eat Swiss Chard, Cavolo Nero, two types of Kale, and of course all our preserves. 

I've now frozen all our Peppers; The long thin ones in the foreground are 'Long des Landes'. They're the one's you find in all Spanish Tapas bars, having been fried in olive oil and allowed to cool. Really delicious.

And as for these chaps, there aren't too many left now, and I think we'll manage to eat them without too much difficulty.

The end of the growing year is here. Time to reflect, benefit from all our harvests, and start to plan for 2017.

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Unfinished (unstarted) project.

This is yet another now-defunct Tobacco Drying Barn. It is considerably smaller than ours, and, frankly, not as well built. It is situated about 400 metres from us.

It was bought several years ago by a very pleasant couple who both worked for Jean Nouvel; France's internationally renowned architect. They had great ideas for the building.

However, things didn't go according to plan. Firstly they couldn't find any local builders who could work to their high specifications and complex design, then sadly the couple split; leaving the old barn abandoned, and deteriorating by the day.

As a building, it does have its problems. The main vertical pillars all rest on individual concrete plinths; some of which are tilting at an alarming angle; these would have to be replaced. Otherwise the timber construction is reasonably solid.

It's not particularly well positioned, being right on the corner of two small roads.

I don't know what the owners now intend to do with it. I had considered buying it from them (it would have had to be quite cheap) and creating a large studio space in two/fifths of it, with some simple accommodation above. It would be perfect for either a painter or sculptor to complete projects in the peace and quite of the countryside, and I myself could have used it when not let to others.

I keep looking at it, but I don't think I can be bothered; I have too much other stuff on my plate!

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Gaucho-Tanz von Stier Bandit als Dank!

I dislike cruelty to animals with a vengeance. This poor guy had apparently spent his whole life chained to a wall. Any tale of this ilk restores my faith in humans.

Sorry about the music!

Monday 14 November 2016

The Cuba Crisis and The Lamb Hotel.

                          Résultat de recherche d'images pour "The Lamb Hotel, Ely."

In October 1962 I would have been 16 years old; an age when we were principled and indefatigable.

The Cuban missile crisis was in full swing, and a small group of about 6 schoolboys in Cambridgeshire made a defence plan.

Quite what this motley group expected I don't remember, but we imagined Communist forces entering the city, and they had to be defeated. We were the ones to take matters in hand.

We had all been trained in the art of warfare, we were all experienced with the Lee-Enfield .303 rifle, with Stirling machine guns, and ground mounted Bren guns. We were a force to be reckoned with.

Quite naturally we gave ourselves ranks (all officers of course), I seem to remember that I'd been promoted to lowly Captain.

Our plan was to break into the school's armoury, purloin a handful of weaponry (2 Brens, several Sterlings, and plenty of ammunition), and take up our position in the city's most strategic spot; The Lamb Hotel.

The 15th century Lamb Hotel was situated on one corner of the city's main crossroads. Its second floor rooms were ideal for machine gun placements, and we even did a quick reconnoitre. The manager would be no match for us, and we selected the rooms which were to be requisitioned. The hotel had both a bar and a good restaurant. Our plans were complete.

The Cuban missile crisis soon came to an end, and in many ways our little band of newly commissioned youthful officers were very disappointed. We had made specific and secretive plans, but had been deprived of putting them into action.

We'd been battle ready and eager, but it had all come to nothing. We would have won the war single handed, but between Khrushchev and Kennedy we had been denied our heroics.

Sunday 13 November 2016

Stay Calm, and praise Col Sanders.


OK, I was born on the 22nd, and not the 4th of July, and I'm no cousin of Uncle Sam's, but as an ex-pat Brit, I still feel permitted to voice my opinion about the recent election of Mr Trump.

I have yet to encounter anyone in Blogland, on Facebook, or on social media in general, who really welcomes the success of Donald Trump; his supporters seem very reluctant to whoop and holla. Au contraire, from his opponents I see nothing but insults, hear of riots, read serious fears of Armageddon, and have already become used to pointed death threats. Whatever happened to 'dignity in defeat'?

The American people have had their say, and Trump will accede to the Oval Office in the new year. There's no going back. That's it. End of story.

The Dow is at an all time high, Trump has promised to stem the flow of illegal immigrants from the South, bring back manufacturing to the Rust Belt, and attempt (gawd knows how) to prevent extremist Jihadists from entering the country.

Strange that I remember these policies that Trump expounded in his inimitable way, but I don't remember a single one of Clinton's.

Let's be honest; Trump didn't win this election, the Socialists lost it!

There have been tears shed, an awful lot of hand wringing, and the usual suspects have taken to the barricades; much as we experienced in the UK after the recent 'Brexit' vote (I voted to remain).

People voted for Trump in their tens of millions, and they have to be taken seriously. It is now time that the losers appreciate that sometimes we win, and sometimes we lose.

I can imagine my own feelings should Corbyn be elected as Prime Minister of the UK (heaven help us), but I like to think that I would begrudgingly accept the fact, and life would continue as normal.

I played Cricket when I was younger, my oldest son still does, and his boys are already in junior teams. The first thing you learn when you start playing Cricket is that 'The Umpire is ALWAYS right' (even if he isn't). It's much the same with the will of the people. I've played both school and club Rugby, and I rowed 8's at Henley and elsewhere. In all cases where we either won or lost (mostly lost), we always joined with the opposition over a few pints after the battle field was cleared; we never remained 'enemies'.

Luckily I can say all the above because I was very much on the fence concerning the recent US election. I certainly wouldn't have voted for Clinton, and Trump appears to me to be just plain dim.

So, hunker down y'all; it's 'all change' in only 4 years time, when the fragrant Mrs Obama will probably be taking over..... I shall now try to not mention Trump again!

p.s. And don't forget that 'Lies, let's re-count' is an anagram of 'Election results'.

Saturday 12 November 2016

Some like it hot (again).

The Magnons eat quite spicy food on a regular basis; maybe about three times a week.

I'm not one of those bravado braggarts who wallows in eating a kilo of Jalapenos in 2 mins, I like a hint of heat without the BURN.

These above are quite fiery, and just one chopped into a curry or a tagine is plenty. The point is to give a gentle heat; not punishment.

The above went into the freezer. They were frozen on grease-proof paper, then bagged-up when frozen. This way one can extract each single pepper without them being one big frozen mass.

I think I've got enough until next year's harvest. Nice.


Friday 11 November 2016

Election Firsts.

                              Résultat de recherche d'images pour "melania trump"

The most important 'first' must be that the future 'First Lady' is the first to have appeared naked on a fur rug. This is very important in politics.

The next 'first' came as I watched La Clintone give her defeat speech. I'd just mentioned to Lady Magnon that it was the first time I'd ever witnessed a whole American Presidential election where none of the candidates had mentioned the word 'God'; then Hillary went and ruined it all in her final few words.

For a moment I'd thought that the world had advanced a tiny bit, but no; God still got a look-in.

So, after all that; only one note-worthy 'first'.

Thursday 10 November 2016

Small Glasses

There are certain things that I always buy at boot sales or antique shops.

I do like old white tin-glazed 'country' plates, soup tureens, bowls, etc.  I also like antique glasses (nothing too fancy).

These very small glasses above always attract my attention, and invariably demand to come home with me.

I'm not sure what they would have been used for exactly, but I imagine they were for Eau de Vie or something equally as strong.

I've never actually used one, but I may do so for my tiny tot of pre-bedtime Scotch on cold nights.

They would hold just the right amount; a thimble full.

And this is my newly discovered Whisky glass. I'd completely forgotten about it. Amazing what one finds at the back of cupboards.

Wednesday 9 November 2016


The poor girl was trying to be serious, but some joker had just informed her that TRUMP was to be her next President.

Tuesday 8 November 2016


Even in the darkest of days, there is occasionally some light at the end of a gloomy tunnel.

Monday 7 November 2016

Rain is forecast.

Having experienced one of the driest years on record, I now see that we're about to endure a whole week of bloody (but quite welcomed) rain.

Of course it may never happen, but I think I'd better cut a lot of wood today; just in case.

Apparently Prince Charles used to call his ex-brother-in-law (Cap't Mark Phillips), 'Fog', on account of his being both thick and wet.  

The combination of wet, fog, and cold is just about as bad as I can imagine.

The sort of weather when you want a nice cup of tea, a dark chocolate digestive, and a good old film on TV.

Sunday 6 November 2016

What a Caper.

Whenever I find myself in a previously un-visited Supermarket, Grocers', or Deli, there are certain aisles that I always visit.

The Charcuterie counter is always first to be inspected, then the canned fish dep't, then the place where you find Gherkins and Olives etc.

I really do try not to eat too much Charcuterie, but I am easily swayed by the sight of a new sexy looking Chorizo or Paté. As for the canned fish, I just adore tins of Squid, Octopus, Mussels, Anchovies, etc.

When it comes to Capers, if I find a new type, or brand, I'll always buy them. Some are just wonderful; others plain dull. 

The ones on the right with the stems (above) are 'Fleurs de Capres'; picked just before it flowers, they are first dried then re-hydrated before being preserved in either vinegar or olive oil. The process is lengthy, and they are therefore quite expensive. The two other jars are the seeds left behind after flowering.

A year or so ago, when Wills and Kellogg returned to Australia, they left behind a half empty jar of Capers in their fridge. They were probably the most delicious I have yet tasted. Unfortunately I can't find them anywhere. I'm ashamed to say that I ate them by the spoonful; they were that good.

Capers always go into my simple meat/tomato sauces for Pasta, onto fried Pork chops, and into salads.

It's worth looking-out for new types; you may surprise yourself.

Saturday 5 November 2016


I'm of an age that I can remember when the very first electric drills appeared in the shops. It was revolutionary, and promised to change the lives of DIY'ers for ever.

My late mother even went out and bought one without having a clue what she'd do with it. She had neither drill bits, nor projects. Nor would she have known what went where, if she had. The orange machine sat unused in its box for years.

Since then we have advanced a bit, and one of the most liberating of all DIY tools must be the cordless drill; a wonderful piece of kit that I am only just beginning to appreciate.

I've been using it (it belongs to Wills) to work on the children's caravan. No more long wires, no more boxes of drill bits, just one tool with forward and reverse settings, and a box of tiny tips that slot easily into a magnetic holder (the business end).

If a Nobel Peace Prize was warranted by anyone, it must be by the man who invented the cordless drill.

He gets my vote!

Friday 4 November 2016


The fields around here are strewn with bits of petrified trees. Most of the pieces are quite small, but I've seen quite large lumps built into the walls of houses and barns. They are deceptively heavy.

When I see bits, I still tend to pick them up. I have quite a large collection, so I'm not sure quite why I continue to bring them home.

Many years ago I took a piece to a specialist museum back in the UK to ask its age. They kept the piece for a while for analysis, then came back with the answer that it was from the Tertiary period, and was about 13 Million years old.

It kinda puts things into perspective. No doubt after we've made the planet uninhabitable for humans, other plant or animal life will continue for another 13 Million years; leaving their own particular traces.

Thursday 3 November 2016

Culinary Conserves.

My excess Green Peppers have now been confined to the freezer. They were cored, de-seeded, and cut into strips. These were laid on grease-proof paper and popped into the freezer. I shall do another lot tomorrow. It seems to have worked very well, and the pieces are all conveniently separate; ready to be bagged.

I shall do the same with my long thin (mild) Peppers, and the Chillies.

The (James Martin's) Green Tomato Chutney was a real success; it was very simple to make, and is delicious. The only thing that I didn't like was the slightly over-chunkiness of it.

I still have loads of green Tomatoes, so I decided to make more with exactly the same recipe, but having GRATED the Tomato and Onion rather than chopping them.

I think it's an improvement, as the finished Chutney is much smoother, and more 'spreadable' whilst still being slightly coarse. I suppose it depends on what you like.

We seem to have an awful lot of conserves this year; better that than too little.

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Almost time to toss that coin.

                         Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Trump and Clinton"

I have just heard that Obama has amassed more national debt than all previous presidents put together; that's some legacy! I hope he spent it wisely.

Of the two current hopefuls, Le Trump has promised to give back tax-payers money; La Clintone has promised to take more away. One presumes it is such electioneering that will swing voters one way or the other, rather than Mexican wall building, Trump's non-triumphs, or Hillary's Emails. All one knows from this side of the pond is that Socialism always upsets an economy, and Capitalism always improves it. Of that there is no question.

Of course those on the left of politics are not averse to raking in the cash. I heard recently that dear Hillary has allegedly made twenty one million dollars over two years, by after-dinner speaking to 'bankers'. I wonder why they gave her all that dosh? And did I hear Trump bragging that he makes 500 Million dollars per annum?

So, you've had your half-white Afro-American, now you'll have either an ex-President's wife of English Welsh and Scottish descent, or a German/Scottish orange painted billionaire  .

Once you've done with all this nonsense, maybe in a few years time you'll have a serious President who wins through merit, intelligence, and a genuine desire to improve standards across the board; regardless of his/her colour or sex.

I look forward to that day rather than November 8th 2016. I pity you!!

Tuesday 1 November 2016

All over bar the toothache.

My little neighbour, Zara, came to deliver a notice (as she always does) saying that the local children would be visiting us on the evening of Halloween at 6 pm (as they always do), and that we should be prepared to be horror stricken (as we always are).

So, in the little time I've had free, I've made a coffin which was filled with sweets and spiders, and hopefully sent shivers up their darling little spines.

I'm not big on Halloween, but I do like to make some effort. They always do; so it's only reasonable that I do too.

The sweets were accompanied by some very nasty loud screaming, a mad monk (moi), an eerie green light, and a resulting bunch of seriously petrified children and parents.

Sadly a somewhat diminished gang turned-up this year. Some of the local children now consider themselves too grown-up for such frivolity. They must all be in their low teens; hmmm.  

Thank goodness it's all over for another year.

p.s. Please note that I also offered a few apples for the diet conscious. No takers!

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