Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Little things

Jan's back soon and I have nearly succeeded in my number one goal of not lighting the top of the stove. I say nearly because, without any help from anyone, I managed to get the oven going. One of my ready meals had to be oven cooked and couldn't be heated in the microwave. That is so inconsistent and inconsiderate and I shall be writing a strong letter of complaint to Morrisons. You never know I might just get a few macaroni cheeses out of it.
Reading the Sunday papers was a sheer delight. The opportunity to have them all to myself without anybody messing them up before I got to them was heaven. I get really twitchy if the Sunday Times is not pristine before I get to read it. I blame it on an old war wound.
Anyway,  a recipe in the magazine really took my fancy, it was an old favourite from Italy (where else), pasta with olive oil and chilli (technical note, Delia uses a fresh chilli but it should really be a dried one crumbled - I just couldn't be arsed to find a better recipe, sorry) however I still had several meals to warm up and it would have involved just a bit of cooking which also meant I'd have to light the stove. That idea got put onto the back burner, as it were. I'll let Jan cook it, she needs the practice.
I deserve that for being such a big brave boy and managing so admirably, and, she'll do a much better job than me (he said graciously).

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Colour blind

Just the other day I asked Jan what I should wear. Now before you put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) let me say that Jan is a very kind person. She usually lets me decide what to wear but that day was special and I knew that she would have to approve.
Unlike her, I don't try on a myriad of clothes only to have to change the next minute. I tried to save a lot of time by attempting to get it right first time and so I asked my mentor.
I realise that I'm normally a scruffy oik so getting it right is important to me (ish).
Anyway, as she was standing near my wardrobe, I asked her to pull out my green polo.
'This isn't green,' she said, 'it's aqua.'
'It was green when I put it away,' I said, 'and I think it still is.'
Jan and I have always differed on colours.
'It's not green,' she bleated, 'it's aqua.'
This argument went on like this for a minute or two and was going to run and run unless I put a stop to it, I had to get smart.
'OK, when I was young and learning my colours, aqua was a colour that was never mentioned, my school obviously wasn't as posh as yours.'
'It's not green, it's aqua,' she unhelpfully replied.
'OK, when I asked you to hand me my bloody green polo, why did you hand me that one?'
No reply. Game set and match.

With Jan away I have assumed responsibility for giving Minnie her thrice weekly hormone pill. I got a pill out of the packet and as I was walking towards Min to give her it, I stopped to pop a few grapes in my mouth. Next thing I knew, the pill had gone. Oh bugger, I'd swallowed it. The pill had gone.
The picture below is me wearing my aqua polo with my slightly enlarged breasts.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Easy peasy

Hell, it's quiet at the moment.

Jan is away for a few days and has left me 'in charge.'
Whilst I appreciate the responsibility, I didn't realise how much I'd got used to her barking orders. At times it made me feel like a new army recruit being drilled by his loving sergeant.
It had somehow become quite familiar, almost caring.
Her enforced absence means that I now have to fend for myself. No big deal really. Why she always complains about waiting on me hand and foot is anybody's guess.
I cook, clean, shop, look after the dogs, without so much as breaking sweat. Shopping is easy, all you have to do is think about all the things you miss or are not allowed to eat and put them on a list. Things like biscuits, grapes, chocolate, ready made puddings, that sort of thing.
Anyway, can't stop and chat, things to do, houses to clean, meal planning to finalise, shopping to do, TV viewing to organise and ready meals to warm up.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A tiny favour

Jan isn't what you'd call an earth mother.
She doesn't knit her own yogurt or stuff like that.
A few days ago, for only the third time in 16 years, I asked her a small favour. If she could ever find her sewing kit (because I don't possess one) could she please complete a very small repair for me.
I'd been tempted to get smart and use a stapler but, not wanting to damage my unblemished skin, I thought better of it. Anyway as she toiled and sweated at my small request she reminded me of a famous painting which I can't quite place at the moment. Maybe it was this one?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

That explains it

So we're in Lidl yesterday stocking up on washing powder and fabric softener (don't ask me, I just drive the car) checking out the 'everything you never knew you needed goodies' in the centre aisles and looking for some excellent frozen clams that we'd previously bought.
Anyway, I approached a family whom I can only describe as huge and the two males who were standing side by side were completely blocking the aisle.
I get mildly irritated at this sort of thing and for one second thought that I was maybe back in France, where the fuck you attitude and blocking the aisles is almost a national pastime.
I digress. With difficulty I squeezed the trolley through them (Jan allows me to drive the car and the trolley) and couldn't help noticing what was written on the younger males t-shirt.
The legend read "SEX, DRUGS and SAUSAGE ROLLS."
That explained it all. Excellent.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I make no bones about it but it's getting harder to update this blog regularly. When we were in France there was much which was new and different and I felt worthy of mention.
That's a bit different here, hence the lack of posts. Sorry.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Irish Olympic sailing commentary.

This is funny. Be patient while it loads. If for some reason there is a problem then click on this link:

Friday, August 10, 2012

BBC Olympics

Having been in Spain, and spared the first week or so of the Olympics, I have to say that I'm really enjoying watching it for the last few days here in the UK.
Jan, who rarely watches sport other than rugby, got interested in the Taekwondo, no doubt looking to pick up a few kidney crunching, aggressive moves. I look forward to the pain!
Being the 'home' Olympics broadcaster, it's refreshing to watch the BBC coverage which, whilst naturally concentrating on the GB team, also shows a huge range of all the other sports at the push of a couple of buttons.
When we were in Spain last week the coverage was again naturally concentrating on Spanish athletes. I mentioned to Ben, a Barca resident, do they have a red button facility? He looked at me blankly.
I had to point out that the BBC had an additional 24 channels covering all the sport being played at any one point in time, available on the 'red button.' I'm not sure if they have that facility in France either.
Whatever your opinion of the output you have to say that the BBC is a very good broadcaster.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

God's own country

We're back. Back to the land of milk and honey.

Back to where the deer roam free and the buffalo roam.

Back to milk, honey, blue skies, white scudding clouds and Olympic Medals.

As FR 9296 hit the ground with an almighty thump, a relieved Jan leant over and whispered some magic words.

"You know that thing you keep asking me for but I always say no?"

"You mean?"


"You mean?"


"You mean?"

"Yes, tonight I'll warm you up a Morrison's chicken jalfrezi."

It's good to be home.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Finally the truth

I'm not sure if you can read this but I'd guess you can make it bigger by clicking on it.
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Saturday, August 4, 2012


The strangest thing happened the other day. I woke around 06.00 with extreme pain in my right knee. I couldn't bend it without difficulty or walk on that leg without lots of pain. It was difficult to get out of bed and I had to go up and down stairs one at a time. The whole situation was very strange.
The area all around the top of the kneecap was very tender to touch and painful to prod. It was very baffling. The nearest that we could get was that it might be associated with an insect bite below the knee however the knee was not particularly swollen or red so it was unlikely to be an infection. It was so painful and generally problematic that I checked out the nearest doctor, should it be necessary. Given that we had a doctor in our midst that didn't really move us forward.
Still late morning someone suggested an antihistamine, which we had, and ibuprofen to reduce pain and any swelling. So far no change. After lunch I took to my bed in order to get maximum sympathy and at the same time Jan suggested an ice pack. It was a miracle. By late afternoon I was pretty much back to normal. It was still slightly tender but much, much better. It still remains a mystery, a mystery to modern science.

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Friday, August 3, 2012



One little boy.

Allow to mix for ten minutes

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

A warning

As a result of our trip to France earlier this year (when we didn't make it) and also because Josh wanted to go, we decided (three of us) to visit Dali's house in Portlligat near Cadaques. The journey was going to take about an hour and a half, which seemed a long time but that's what Tom Tom said, so we set off, early, well, early for us.
The rest of the group were going to visit a beach near l'Escala and then we were all going to meet up for lunch at a good fish resto. One we'd been to many years ago and where we first fell in love with tellines, but I digress.
The drive to Portlligat is over a windy tortuous road which, with sheer drops, is not for the faint hearted, (ie. Jan).
Anyway, we parked up and meandered over to his house in a beautiful little bay replete with fishing boats, lobster pots etc, and started to queue for tickets. A nice lady joined the front of our queue and I overheard her telling people that you could now book tickets for a space the following Friday.
WHAT! We'd just spent an hour and half in the boiling sun, cars front and back, it was Wednesday and we had to wait until Friday. WTF.
I'd checked online and there was no mention of having to book tickets well in advance. What a bummer. Bum, bum, bummer.
Still, a nice lunch beckoned so off we went to find the resto. Find it we did, and if you're ever near Gualta then this is a good recommendation.
Triton, 972 757 038, is on the C31 between Torroella de Montgris and Pals at the Torro end and is well worth a visit. You have to try the mussels starter. Quite an amazing flavour, the best I've ever tasted. Add to that the clams, pan tomate, chiperones and you have the perfect starter. The fish mains were beautifully cooked, altogether a fabulous meal.
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