Saturday, 6 February 2016

Etceltera , carpal tunnel, lambs.


Not a very good photo, but it is a photograph of a poster,
and on the poster it says:
 
 Gospel.
Malanga
+ EtCelterra.
 
Concert
7th February 2016
17h Garlin Church.
 
Free entry.
 
So for why would I be posting up a photo of a poster?
Because.....Etcelterra is the name of the band that Lester and I play in,
(fiddle and mandolin for himself, and piano accordion for me)
and it is our first gig.
Not sure what a Gospel choir is going to make of our rollicking version of 'Whiskey in the Jar',
but not to worry,
I am sure it will be alright.
I hope!
 
We are booked to play at three more gigs already this year.
 
 
----
 
Was taking the washing in from the clothes line,
all of a hurry because I was at a critical point with making today's cheese,
when I heard the tiniest of little sounds,
sounds which sent me scurrying out to the sheep paddock.
Two little black and white lambs, and another lamb recently arrive
 It is lovely to have lambs again.
Could watch for ages the skipping and hopping as the lambs go into frisky mode.
Doesn't last long though, maybe for a month or so,
then they start eating grass and stop frisking,
although will still have 'end of day' sessions,
when the lambs all band together and go into hooligan mode.

----

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, that is what I have got in my wrists.
No operation though, no sir!
Did a hunt on the Internet and found a vid made by someone who corrected the problem himself by doing simple stretch exercises.
Have been doing them, and my wrists are now more workable,
which is a good thing, because I am playing the accordion tomorrow with the band.
I would look a bit silly sitting with an accordion on my lap and not playing it.
Lester has the lead on most of the music because the fiddle player does not want to do gigs any more, but still comes to rehearsals, so Lester is stepping into the gap.
It is a good thing that he is experienced with playing in a band.
As for me, I don't take the lead on anything,
so I can relax and enjoy playing.

 ----

Off out to lunch today,
followed by a trip to the local garden centre,
because Spring is rolling in fast,
and we need to get going with planting things.
Lester is taking control of the garden this year.
I expect there will be a few battles about where things will be put.
He is a 'tidy' gardener, I am a 'grow anywhere' type of gardening person.

The sun is shining,
the birds are singing,
everything is starting to want to bust out into new growth,
which is good,
however, in the background of our minds is the fact that this warm weather is pushing things on far too early. Ah well, not to worry. It is as it is.

Bye for now,
Vx 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Burn's Night, and rat boxing

We were out last night.
(Well, actually it was the night before, but I have been slow in getting this blog posted!)
Anyway, ....good company, good food, and good wine
 (although I didn't drink any but it looked top notch judging by the merriment of all present by the end of the evening. I wish I could drink but it offends my internal plumbing system. It is a bit depressing when all around are getting happier by the glassful and I am getting more and more in need of my bed as the evening goes on!)
 
Borrowed from Wikipedia:
'A Burns supper is a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns, author of many Scottish poems. The suppers are normally held on or near the poet's birthday, 25 January.....'
 
So that is where we were, at a Burns Night, and being fed the traditional food of:
fish soup, followed by mashed potato, mashed swede, carrots, and haggis.
Cheese and biscuits to follow (not sure if this is 'traditional Scots')
Last was a dessert of raspberries and cream (definitely not traditional!)
 
And Lester and I played music during the evening (accordion, violin, and mandolin),
with friend Mike on the guitar, John (host), (whistle, harmonica, and upturned flower pot drum.)
It was a fun evening, and one to be remembered with fondness, especially because I was able to contribute something to the evening by playing music. I am always happier when I am contributing. I tend not to be so comfortable at events which require of me just social chatter and, if possible, will go sit in a quiet place and watch everyone else chatting.
I find people watching a fascinating occupation.
 
****
 
There was this rat.
Move, it did not want to.
Oh dear!
 
Lissie, 
 she did not approve of the rat's attitude,
brought down her horns to ram the rat.
The rat stood up on hind legs,
and boxed away those horns.
 
Lissie swept her horns from side to side,
wishing oh so very much to impale that rat,
who had ventured into her living accommodation,
for which she was not happy.
 
Lester to the rescue.
With milking bucket in hand
he did swipe at the rat.
The rat toppled over.
Stunned.
Another swipe.
And then a new home found,
which was in the woods,
so that the body of the newly deceased
could return to the natural juices of nature.
 
Another rat down.
One less to romp over Lissie while she sleeps.
One less to run around Lester while he milks.
 So, this skirmish was won by the Home Team.
No doubt that there will be plenty more opportunities to do battle.
 
******
Everyone is outside today.
The sun is shining, and Spring seems to be arriving well ahead of when it should.
The only two left inside are me and Boolie,
Bools because he is always no more than a half a metre away from my side,
and me because of house jobs.
I was going to carry on with cutting the brambles down,
but didn't, because I had a nap instead,
which was a glorious chunk of sleep,
which was fractured only by a loud whirring noise,
which alarmed me somewhat, as I thought that the washing machine was about to spin itself silly,
this thought then being replaced by one which centred on very low flying jets,
an alarming thought, as my mind grazed over the possibility of having our new chimney pots damaged by low flying aircraft.
 Well the noise was loud and sounded very close, and I was fugged up with sleep.

But no, none of these things,
just Lester getting another huge bail of hay in to the Courtyard,
assisted by the might of his old tractor.
I was not needed this time.
Which was a good thing.
Because I was sleeping, or trying to!

As for Bools,
he is still being high spirited,
bless him.

Off to walk him now and get the last rays of sunshine.
Tomorrow I will get some time outside,
even if it is to sit on the front door step and do some spinning!

Bye for now.

Vx

Friday, 22 January 2016

The pan...... new but now rusty!

Lester suggested to me that perhaps we should invest in some cast iron cookware especially to be used on the Rayburn wood burning stove.
It is a good suggestion.
However, it would seem to me that cast iron cookware demands man muscles because they are heavy, this I learnt after doing a trial heft of a friend's Le Creuset pot.
Empty and lidless, it was all I could to lift the thing. With lid and full of food, ....no chance.
I have lady muscles, plus I have overdone things which involve my wrists, which are not wanting to work properly, and tend to have a think as to whether or not they will oblige me by lifting things up.
A bit of a nuisance when one is cooking dinner,
or doing anything which involves shifting things from here to there.
Have had a couple of near accidents when in mid lift the wrists have said, "No, don't want to", which is a bit inconvenient if it involves a kettle of hot water, or a pan of hot, cooked veg.
Man muscles! I need to get some! Plus two working wrists!
 
Anyways, ......cast iron cookware...
So to promote a keenness not really felt, but thought I should show willing,
I bought a cast iron frying pan from Amazon UK.
It arrived.
I was impressed both by its solidness, and weight.
But what was this!......something about getting it 'seasoned'.
However, this was not done because the instructions were written in ever such tiny writing which I could not read, so the pan was left to sit, becoming another one of those 'To Do' projects.
 
And then it came to be the time when Lester decided to cook us up a treat.
I was in bed asleep, nursing a cold.
But 'Where are the frying pans?' he thought.
He searched and searched but could not find them
(they were in the Back Kitchen stacked up with other pots ,waiting to be washed up)
And then his eyes did spot the new frying pan, clean, idle, needing to be used, or so he thought.
 
On to the Rayburn hotplate it went, in was sploshed the omelette he was making as the treat,
"Vera" he called out, "your lunch is nearly ready",
followed by "***!!!****".
Folks, for you who think about buying a cast iron frying pan, do please pay attention to the instructions on how to season it, and even if you can't read those instructions because they are in such small print, have a search on the internet  to find out.
 
For myself, my internet search has focussed on, "How to get the rust off a cast iron pan".
...because the omelette stuck to the pan, could not be got off, so the pan was left to soak, and then it was forgotten about (not really, just sort of left until I had time to attend to it),
and then things got put on top of it,
and.....
 

.....voila!!!!
My first cast iron pan, brand new, almost unused
(I had toast for lunch that day after the Omelette Project was abandoned)
but already battle scarred and covered top and bottom with rust.
 
Apparently it can be cleaned up,
apparently it is still usable,
but for the moment it still remains as a 'Project in waiting'.
I have got a lot of those sort of projects on the go at the moment.
 
So if any of you good folk can help with either 'How to de-rust' info, or 'How to season' info, I would be most grateful.
 
And that cheese I spoke about the other day...the one which threw up the most horrible smell, but which tasted really good...it is just as well I vacuum sealed two thirds of the cheese and put it away for safe keeping in my cheese fridge, because I seem to have 'lost' the remaining third.
Methinks that it has gone inside Lester's tum.
Methinks that he had a 'weak' moment and could not help but do a raid in our other fridge where this portion of cheese was kept,
which upset me a little bit because just now I had my own 'weak' moment when the urge to have a morsel of that cheese overtook me.
All gone, not a crumb left.
I could, of course, do my own raid on the cheese fridge and open one of the saved packets of cheese,
but that would be weakness because if we eat the cheese as fast as it matures, then we shall have no cheese to get us through those times when the cows stop giving us milk and no more cheese can be made.
But that means I can't have a piece of cheese now.
What to do.....
Eat all up now, or eat a portion then store the rest.....,
or keep a portion to eat but divide it up so that Lester can 'find' his own morsel,
but hide away another piece for when I have the urge to have a nibble.
Ah but then Lester would inevitably find 'my' piece.
He can't find his socks in his sock drawer, but he would find that cheese!
Bless him, I must be gracious in defeat with this, after all he has to look after our cows and put up with their shenanigans when they are in season, when they have the almighty urge to mate with anyone handy, normally Lester when he trying to milk them.
 
Oops, my wrists are complaining so I am going to close off now,
Thanks for stopping by,
and bye for now.
Vx
 
PS. To sooth my disappointment about not having a piece of cheese I toasted myself up a slice of  DIY bread on the hotplate of the Rayburn,  spread on the toast some of our DIY butter, and on top of that slathered a very generous helping of non-DIY Nutella.
And I remembered to take the meat out of the oven of the Rayburn, .....a leg of mutton, wrapped in foil to stop it from drying out because I knew that I would forget that it was in the oven (no cooking smells come from the Rayburn so one can forget that one is in the process of cooking food in it).

Wrists now thoroughly done in,

bye for now again!