Monday, 30 November 2015

It's wild old weather out there. . .

Yesterday was spent at a Militaria Fair across the Severn.  We had seen the forecast for the afternoon and NO WAY were we going to try and drive home over the bridge and via the M4, as the only times our car has let us down have been in torrential rain on the M4, after dark the first time too in very heavy traffic. Each time the wiper blades ceased working which is what you do NOT want to happen in such weather on a motorway.  We found out it was a common problem with Doblo's but weren't prepared to pay £100 to the main dealership for an entire new wiper unit when only a bush was needed (or was it a brush?) Anyway, we found a wotsit on Fleabay after the kind Green Flag chappy told us about it, having gotten us on our way that 2nd time.  The wotsit works, but we don't like to challenge it too far. Instead, we drove back via Gloucester, the Forest of Dean, Monmouth and the A40 through Abergavenny and Brecon (a route we know well).  Well, we know it when there isn't rain of such Biblical proportions you can't even see the road, and just past Huntley we had to pull off the road onto a garage forecourt and wait out the storm, which was on a par with a monsoon.  It seemed to take us forever to get home (2 1/4 hours to get there on motorway, 3 1/2 hours via the scenic route).  I have never been so glad to see our front gate.  No, tell a lie, I have been even more glad to see it - that was when I drove Eldest Daughter home from checking out Cambridge as she was offered a University place there.  We didn't get back to the car until 6.30 p.m. and started driving.  I think we finally got home well past midnight, and driving down  the everlasting Z-bends of that windy river valley between Sennybridge and Llandovery was absolute torture when you are as tired as it's possible to be.

Anyway, as I write this, I can hear the wind getting up outside, and I know it is raining, as it's been doing that all day.  Our river is on the rise now, needless to say.

Today we had to go into town to restock the Unit, go to the bank, get a couple of bits of Christmas shopping done, and try and get a replacement phone for our ageing one in the hall, which no longer holds its charge, so as you are wandering round talking and stirring things, it will go beep beep beep in warning and then go dead on you.

When I found out that I could get one which you could programme to stop unwanted cold calling (the bane of our lives), there was no stopping me.  We shopped around and found one still handsomely Black Fridayed in Tesco's, although now of course it is Monday, so they were a bit over-enthusiastic with stock levels.  Instead of paying £85 or so for a double one, we paid £47.  I think I could have got it in Curry's for £48, but at least we got Club Card points . . . It is now charging and we will have to get our geriatric brains around programming it tomorrow (not sure mine is up for the challenge alone as I know what I am like with New Electrical Things without one of the girls here to sort us out.)

Anyway, I finally got around to one of last week's jobs, which was making Persimmon Curd. Herewith recipes and finished project, and just DON'T ask  me about what happened when I put it on for an extra minute, forgetting to check the power level (it was full rather than 60% so you can imagine the blardy mess in the microwave after that little oversight when it boiled over mightily. . .)

The finished result had better set as I really DON'T want to mess around with the microwave version again.

Anyway, my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker/slower cooker/multi-talented beast arrived today.  I have unpacked it, that's all.  After a busy weekend, the drive home from Hell yesterday and not enough sleep, I know when my brain is beaten to a pulp so tomorrow is another day as far as the Instant Pot is concerned.


  1. It has been a real foul couple of days weather wise, we popped into town earlier as well although we were just filling up with fuel, a quick trip to Bookers, Animal feeds and then home :-)

  2. Not quite as wet here but grey and drizzly rain all day and damp coldness.
    There is a reason I have so few gadgets - it's because I hate having to learn how to operate a new Thing - Good luck with phone and pressure cooker!

  3. Sue - phone essential, Instant Pot self inflicted! I shall get to grips with it, and the thought of how much I will save not having the main oven on is an incentive.

    Dawn - I shouldn't think it was any drier or less windy up with you!

  4. I haven't seen anything here similar to your electric pot/cooker--but then, I seldom know what new gadgets might be on offer. As for phones, TV remotes--any such are beyond me--or at least I'm not interested enough to tackle the learning curve.
    We discovered that we have a number of persimmon trees of various ages scattered around our property, some high on the ridge above the house, others along the creek. some locals have mentioned 'persimmon pudding' as a desirable use for them, others have made faces when anything persimmon is mentioned. We haven't seen any of the fruit--if there was a crop this season it must have been quickly gobbled up by wildlife.
    Re windshield wipers: I seldom drive the Nissan, preferring the older Dodge mini-van--but each time I do take the Nissan to town it seems to rain and I must fumble all over again to set the wipers at the appropriate speed and interval. Whatever happened to things that were simply 'On' or 'Off!'

  5. Ah yes, on or off is good for me too Sharon! The more basic a car is, the less can go wrong in my books. "They" want us to have to put the car into the expensive main dealer garage when the least little thing goes wrong . . . Ours have 3 speeds, which is fine, but it's the 3rd one which finds out the weakness in that link. Poor design - and a very dangerous one.

    Envious of your Persimmon trees. We eat the raw fruit (in the manner you would eat a boiled egg, with a spoon) and enjoy them. Lots of Vitamin C in them. They make good curd too, and I have a recipe for Winter Jam which I shall make up today, but in the conventional pan rather than the microwave. It has Persimmon, Bananas and Pears in it. A few pots of that will do nicely for Christmas gifts.

  6. Sharon - apparently these are probably the "improved" variety of Persimmon as they aren't bitter as the wild fruit can be. That's probably why your neighbours pulled faces at the mention.

    K got new wiper blades today and says they work better. The ones we bought last time (which ALWAYS squeaked unless it was tipping it down) were apparently a rogue batch. Should put less strain on the bit wot breaks anyway.

  7. That journey sounds horror - those sort of journeys live on for ever in folk lore don;t they?
    Your new phone sounds rather like our new phone. I have still not got it completely sussed and various things keep going wrong with getting my calls - and I admit it is my fault, not the telephone's.

  8. I noticed that you bought a telephone on sale on Black Friday. I was not aware that you also celebrated Thanksgiving and Black Friday? Coming from Paris to the USA, I had never heard of Thanksgiving and thought it was only an American tradition as well as the sale the day after, on Friday. For Thanksgiving we drove - or should I say I drove since my husband’s Alzheimer he does not drive anymore – to our younger daughter’s house near Nashville, TN. Coming back though it was raining almost all the way as for your trip. There were so many bottlenecks on the freeway that I took the little roads across the mountains – curvy, very curvy. Instead of taking 4 ½ hours it took 6 ½ hours – not fun. Your persimmon curd sounds so yummy. The last preserve I made I called CROG jam as it was cranberry, raspberry, orange and ginger – a bit tart though.

  9. It's a very recent introduction Vagabonde. Largely wasted on the inhabitanats of rural Carmarathenshire but I dare say they arrive armed to the teeth with shopping bags and sharp elbows in the London shops! We don't celebrate Thanksgiving, just the Black Friday bit and not on such a huge scale as in the States. Thanksgiving doesn't happen here, obviously - we just think of it as an American celebration (although I understand the native American Indians see it slightly differently and have a day of mourning for what they have lost - family members and land.

    Your CROG jam sounds unusual. We eat a lot of dried cranberries in muesli, breads etc. I am going to buy up loads of reduced ones after Christmas to dry in my dehydrator.

    Sorry you had the same weather - and the same sort of drive over the mountains as us. Those sort of drives seem to go on forever.

  10. Glad you got home safely BB! I was wondering how you were doing in all this 'weather' :D