another quick one

November 27th, 2013

Mags was concerned that every day blogging was becoming a nuisance…it’s not exactly a pain, but days are busy, and in the evening I turn off the pc and chill. Actually “chill” is the right word at the moment. It’s been a cold day all day and it’s already down to -7 degrees at 8.30. Brrrrrr!! I am going to hunt out an extra pair of socks when I’ve finished this – and it’s definitely bedsocks on tonight! We know it’s cold as we’re getting more and more cats in bed  with us. Last night I think we had 3 out of 4 cats at one point!

I do intend to answer questions. posed in commentz, but I’m afraid it will have to wait till Fridays at the earliest, but probably Saturday


We have watched the last series of Doctor Who during this week – recorded – as we have no tv…the satellite dish is still up to its ears in snow and so is receiving no signals. We do have on demand, through the computer, and thanks to Mr D being techno brilliant, so we’ll be watching the Doctor Who anniversary special very soon, on the iPlayer.

Anyway, there’s not much else to say now. So, I  have managed to post but it’s not very interesting. I was in Roanne today, teaching face to face. I had time to pop to Decathlon and buy some snow boots. The ones I have have lost their grip and are very slippy.Not what you want on the snow. So now, with my lovely new boots I’m set for the next load of the white stuff…they’re prettier than my old  pair, too, with lovely furry lining. I like my new snow boots. Happy dance!

Lots of teaching tomorrow, too, but I will try to post something early in the morning, before lessons start. And I hope it might be a bit more inspiring than this woffle!! Sleep tight, dear friends. I’m off to find those socks ( bright pink, they are!)




Meet a dear friend

November 26th, 2013


Here’s my friend Gary, dressed as a pilot, standing by a plastic palm tree on his 50th birthday. As you do.


I have known him for ages, and while we don’t see each other often, we always have a scream when we get together. Whenever I go to Milton Keynes I love staying with him & his partner, C, as we always have a great time together. They are so generous and giving it is a delight to be with them.


We used to act in murder mysteries together, and do improvisation. he is a wonderful improvisor. I do hope he & C come to stay with us again soon.


Sorry it’s so short. Another busy hectic day!

Using up baking powder

November 23rd, 2013

I use quite a lot of baking powder as I don’t tend to buy Self Raising flour (it’s more difficult to find and more expensive in France) so I use baking powder in baking.



But sadly my biggest use of baking powder is to clean burned pans. Probably once every two months or so. Today’s was the most spectacular for a long while.


NOT my pan. I’ve never had one quite this bad.

I’m making banoffee pie to take to the Church Thanksgiving meal tomorrow. This requires boiling a tin of condensed milk for three hours in a pan of water to make a delicious toffee concoction. This pan does require topping up with water from time to time. That’s where I made my error! I put it on at about 9.30, and went about my Saturday morning…I was almost back from the shops (at 11.30) when I remembered the pan…Unfortunately Mr D had the door to his study firmly closed so the odour of smoking pan and burning paper from the label did not alert him to the small fire hazard that was beginning to smoulder down below. The kitchen door was closed too, so the nascent tendrils of smoke hadn’t woken the  alarm either.  I got back and poured lots of cold water onto it…Cue hellish hisses and billows of steam. The tin of condensed milk is bowed at both ends, but I don’t think it’s actually split; I’m debating whether it will explode if I try opening it, to see what has become of the contents. However, for my banoffee pie I have started a new boiling of a new tin. And this time, I’ve put the timer on beep alert.

This is what it SHOULD end up looking like.

Note: the last few days’ posts have been over at Fat Dormouse. Mostly preoccupied with snow. And food.

Also, I recommend you pop over to the Jacqui Lawson e-card site and preview their Thanksgiving card entitled “Pecking Order” I loved it so much that I had to send it to my American blogging friends. I only have two. Sigh.




There is a postscript to this post, which I’m rather embarrassed to admit but…we had another power cut this afternoon. I was working on my Less is More challenge cards, and when the power went off I just carried on. However, I think that the power going off meant that the timer was annulled. I had a feeling I had to remember to do something but…




Oh bugger. That was it! I had to turn off the heat under the condensed milk. The second can had just exploded! Toffee sauce all over the kitchen: walls, floor, ceiling, work surface, cooker, pan. Oh yes…the pan. Does anyone have anymore baking powder?!


I’m not boiling up any more toffee sauce, so I’m hoping that the first can will have some usable toffee sauce in it (when I can open it) which I can mix with Greek yoghurt and creme fraiche to make a kind of banoffee-pie-that’-light-on-the-offee. Otherwise, I may have to sacrifice my half of the white chocolate bar, melt that and cobble together some kind of white chocolate cream and banana pie. What larks!

Just imagine it toffee coloured and sticky. And all over my kitchen!!

I’ve wiped everything up, but I still feel a bit sticky! And, to be perfectly honest, a bit of an idiot. Mr D will mock me unmercifully.

Nov 20th post isn’t here.

November 20th, 2013

Trot on through the SNOW to Fat Dormouse today!

Behind the Photos

November 19th, 2013

I’m lacking time & inspiration today, so here’s a random dip into my photographs.

These photos were taken at the end of March last year, when Cathy and I went down to near Clermont to do a walk. I think that I had a lesson in the morning, and then we met up for lunch and went to the Plateau of Gergovie for a rather blowy walk.



This is the view of Puy de Dome from the track.

The walk was probably only about 5 km long but it is a lovely place, high above Clermont, with beautiful views along the valley of the river Allier towards Issoire. I remember we had a drink in the café at the monument that you can see behind Cathy; she was askig me how to say words in French, and I was trying to answer…but my French isn’t that good and the people on the table next to us were killing themselves laughing! In the end, I appealed to them for help, and we ended up having a nice conversation.

The monument celebrates the heroic stand made by Vercingetorix (supposedly an inspiration for Asterix the Gaul) against the Romans.

Less is More N°146

November 17th, 2013

I could keep this post until tomorrow – after all, I’m blogging every day in November – but having made my LiM card I want to show it off!

Before I do, however, I’m showing off another card I made. I’m quite pleased with this:


even if it does look as though the lighthouse is slowly toppling over!


Happy Birthday – 80 years old

It is marvellous when we still feel as young as you (?)


“Something for someone who likes the ocean, sailing, the wind, lighthouses and shells” was the brief. I think you could say I’ve covered that fairly comprehensively!!!

I am pretty sure that this card can’t be counted as a “Clean & Simple” card, as it doesn’t meet the Less is More guidelines. I’m not sure this next card does, either – perhaps one of the Organisers could advise…How clean and simple does it have to be?

Anyway, the theme this week was Use Designer paper in a CAS way.

So that’s what I tried to do…On another blog, I saw a card made with the tag-line “The Only Way Is Cake”, which reminded me of some designer paper I had with cup cakes on it. Huzzah! I thought, and looked in my paper drawer. No sign of said cup cake paper – I think I must have used it all up. Bother. Still liking the sentiment, I searched for some sugary coloured designer paper, and came up with the fine tissue type paper that I have used:


I’ve used a stamp that I got in a free set, coloured using ordinary felt tip pens. The handwritten sentiment is meant to echo the opening credits for the hit TV series (which, I hasten to add, I have never seen!) The Only Way is Essex


In deference to all the bling that is, I’m sure, on show in TOWIE, the candle flames are little flame-shaped jewels, plus 4 others on the surround to the sentiment, all from my stash.

But is is Clean and Simple enough, or do I have to try again?!

Charity begins with a giant sausage?

November 16th, 2013

I didn’t see much of the Children in Need programme last night – Mr D wanted to watch the football, and he doesn’t much like this sort of “variety” programme very much. I usually like bits – I would have liked to have seen the Torville & Dean dancing segment (I’ve since caught up with it elsewhere!) –  but often they consist of groups of people trying rather too hard to be funny or “off-the-wall”. And boy bands of any type don’t appeal to me, so a heady mix of One Direction, JLS and Busted (?) would have been just too much.


However, I was really impressed with the total amount of money raised so far is £31,124,896. Considering that there are so many people struggling to afford food and heating for their families, that unemployment is high and prices of everything keep rising, considering too that people have already given, and given again, for the appeal to eleviate the suffering caused by the typhoon in the Phillippines, considering all this the good old British public gave £31,124,896. That is totally amazing!


What is it about this eclectic (and sometimes tedious!) mixture of entertainment that gets people digging into their pockets and texting the word TEAM to support the One Show’s Team Rickshaw? I don’t know. The emotive short films that explain how the money helps children in the UK? The fact that celebs are willing to make fools of themselves? Or the fact that, even with the hardships being suffered people think “There but for the grace of God…”


It is good to realise that, despite what I generally think, Britain has not completely turned into a nation of individuals who think “I’m alright Jack, and to hell with the rest of you.” There is still a compassionate heart beating – even if it requires Harry Hill battling the Hairy Bikers with a giant sausage to bring it to life!

November 15th

November 15th, 2013

Blog post is over with Fat Dormouse today. Do go over & see what I’ve been up to!

Less is More Take 2

November 14th, 2013

Oh, golly gosh! Aren’t I having fun zentangling! I have almost completed another A4 page zentangle, which, when I get started, I have found difficult to stop doing…”Just one more section” I say to myself, and 20 minutes later I surface to realise I should have started cooking dinner, or that I have missed an appointment (actually, I’ve never missed an appointment – but I have only just remembered one or two!)

Here is a detail from another “Thank You” card – this one using a little bit of colour. I actually think the green is a bit dark, and I might experiment using lighter or brighter colours next time.


And here is the card itself. I think I prefer this one to my other LiM card – the zentangling is a bit neater, I think, and I like the colour; even though it doesn’t have much “zing” about it, I think it adds another dimension.


Blogging in November: 12th November

November 12th, 2013

…can be found over at Fat Dormouse today!


See you there!