I have to pick up the pieces of my life, changed as it is by Tricia's loss, and carry on, as we all must in such a situation.
I hope all the UK folks who read my blog are safe and sound and not flooded or blown away in the wake of the first storm of the season, the belligerent Angus making its presence felt with flood alerts now in place in 75 places countrywide. I was horrified to find that the iconic thousand year old Tarr Steps on Exmoor has had the central stones washed away in the deluge. I hope that it can be restored.
Yesterday's heavy and persistent rain would normally have kept us in the house, but unfortunately we had to take the car in for a fairly vital repair - it had refused to start the previous day and we CANNOT be stranded anywhere with a non-functioning car, so we went into town and got it sorted, and I managed a good session of Christmas shopping.
Whilst I was choosing books for gifts in The Works, I came across this one, and for £3, well, it was a no-brainer, so it became a little cheer-me-up gift. There are some lovely recipes in it, and the chapter headings are Cheese and Dairy; Charcuterie; Bread and Pastry; Cakes, Biscuits and Cereal; Salt Curing; Rendering and Fats; Jams, Jellies and Preserves; Pickles and Chutneys; Condiments; Air Drying; Cordials and Liqueurs; What's in My Larder. A good selection of things to make to tempt you to get busy in the kitchen.
Now, I bought this book for a family member. However, it was one I picked up and perused for quite a while whilst I was in Booths in Hay-on-Wye a few weeks ago. It was full price there (£20) so I put it back, but it was a third cheaper in TK-Maxx yesterday, and I thought, oh, R would love that. Hmmm, I got home and looked and it again and realised that J would also like it, and so for the moment it is staying with ME, and I will get him a copy from one of those Amazon remainder offers (cheapskate!) The illustrations are divine and so are the recipes, and I can recommend it.
Another treat for me, with Christmas coming up. I usually buy just one Christmas cooking magazine and this is it for 2016. Apart from the mouth-watering trifle on the cover, there are lots of other tempting recipes.
I have two Aged Aunties, and had intended to get a canvas printed for each with one of my best photographs, so I got myself organized and downloaded some photos onto my memory stick. However, the cheapest canvas I could have got in town was £25 in Boots. I remembered seeing a similar outfit in Tesco, so went there, only to find them dearer by quite a bit (£39.99 cheapest). That was out of budget, but my eye fell on printing a calendar using your own photos. This was only £10, and so I thought I would see if I could get a seasonally appropriate group of my views together to make up a calendar, and am absolutely delighted with the result. I pick them up next Monday, and I am delighted I have a personalised gift for them of all my favourite photos. I hope they are well received.
As I type this up, I have an on-line auction on in the background, and in due course, I will bid on a couple of items that we are interested in for my business. It's nearly as good as being there - it is an auction we have started attending regularly only this summer - over the English border, so not exactly next door. We are going tomorrow anyway (day two of the sale, but nothing marked down there as it's furniture and we are Full Up with furniture at the moment). We have some items to put in the next auction, so will deliver them and pick up anything we might have bought today. I hope I feel a bit more human by then, as although the steroids have worn off and I got a proper night's sleep last night, I am still struggling with the chest infection and had to take a sputum sample to the Hospital today, and carry on with the anti-biotics.
So, the rhythm of workaday life has resumed, with its rewards and tribulations and - a little glimmer of light in the darkness of house selling - we have a Christmas viewing on the house, so let's hope we don't get snowed in!