Saturday 20 February 2016

Life as we live it

Danny had some friends round last night.  He made a meal for them - a huge Chilli with extras - a good splash of Kentucky bourbon and some stout to give it depth and take away some of the tomato-iness of it.  10/10 from me!  He asked for a Victoria Sponge, so I made this one, which is full of double cream and chopped up strawberries.  It has been a busy week, one way and another, but it's nice to have someone to bake for again.  I've made Chocolate Blackberry Brownies to hand round to fellow stallholders tomorrow, and a Mincemeat Cake for a friend who appreciates some home baking after his wife left him.

I have made a start on the new x-stitch project.  The area I've done so far is the tree and few sheep to the right of the gate and just above the wall.  I shall outline the sheep tonight, and try and do my outlining as I go along as there's a fair bit of it.

Tomorrow Danny is holding the fort here whilst we go off to man our stall at the Fleamarket in Carmarthen.  It is a long day so I doubt we will be late to bed tonight.  The car is packed within an inch of its life - we always pack carefully and when we unload the other end, it always have enough to spread onto two stalls, so we will have to "pile it high" as they say.  After buying two spare Dyson vacuums at auction recently, when my Dyson stopped sucking up and despite open heart surgery, we couldn't find why, my husband had another disembowelment of it and found a chunk of fluff where I swear there was none before!  Anyway, as that is now working again, we have kept a spare and I ordered fresh filters for one of the replacements as one was missing, and it is working perfectly so we will sell it on now.

Does anyone follow The Archers?  I have been a fan and follower since 1973, when I got fed up with just hearing the top 20 played over and over on Radio 1 and tuned into Radio 4 instead.  There is a very compelling story line at the moment (and for the last few months) involving Rob Titchener's manipulation and bullying of his wife Helen (nee Archer).  Is he a psychopath (sorry, sociopath they are now I think?)  He has many of the attributes . . . I think Rob is on every Archer fan's hit list and it can be chilling listening especially if the listener has any experience of that sort of behaviour in a partner (which I did in the distant past).  I am back to listening every day in the week now, as I'm out on a Sunday so can't listen to the Omnibus as is my wont during the winter months when we are normally at home.  Any episode I miss just HAS to be listened to on catch-up!

I am glad I have managed to string a few words together for a longer post today.  As the whole world can potentially read this blog, I try to avoid emotions, politics, problems, worries and "personal stuff".  That doesn't mean it isn't happening sometimes.  Gosh, I could write some good scripts for The Archers just from personal experiences.  I don't think I'll volunteer though!


  1. Your new header photo is wonderful and the cake looks so fabulous.
    I would love a piece right now with a cup of coffee.

    cheers, parsnip

  2. Yes, your new header photo is just glorious - just what we need to cheer us up this dire weather! Love it!!!
    Love also your Victoria sponge! Victoria sponge is one of my favourite cakes and so easy to make, too.
    No, don't follow the Archers, never have. I tried it once but when I heard the mummetshire accent, I thought, no, this isn't for me. I live in Devon so am used to yer-tiz accents, but the Archers seemed so false. Wish TV and radio progs could get country accents right (from whatever part of the country they're suppose to be from.) If the Archers were to be set in Devon, everyone would be saying things like, "Ow be 'ee, me luvver?"
    As for that awful signature tune ... oh, don't get me started ...
    Margaret P

  3. Galant - my addiction started younger than that, as I seem to remember it on the old Home Service back in the days of Doris and Dan Archer. I have deep Devon roots (edge of Dartmoor and the South Hams) and love to hear "proper Debon" being spoken . . .

    parsnip - The cake turned out quite well (despite being made by mixer rather than beaten by hand). The header photo is to cheer me up!!!

  4. The cake looks delicious. I am a big Archers fan and like you I can't wait to listen to each episode at the moment. The acting of the Rob and Helen storyline has been fantastic and I am waiting to see where they take it. Roll on tomorrow night for the next episode.

  5. Hi Sarah - now it would seem that Rob is a chip off the old block - even more sinister!

    I don't normally have more than one piece of my cakes, yesterday I had two . . .

  6. Your header is very cheerful with the beautiful achillea, almost glowing gold. My mouth was watering at your sponge, I never bake, so my poor husband enjoys other women's baking! If i go for coffee at my friends house he always hopes she will send him home a slice, which she always does!
    Yes we are glued to the Archers. I have a friend who cannot bear to listen, it's too close to home (albeit many years ago). I wondered if one of the writers has first hand experience, the writing is so spot on and now the horrible Mother in law is conspiring with Rob after convincing helens Mum of how kind and pleasant she is!

  7. Yes the cake!!!! I'd rather have the bourbon as god intended though.

  8. I don't listen to The Archers, but I do love be it on Twitter on a Sunday when fans tweet along to what's going on! Maybe I should start! I hope you make a fortune today X love the sound of that chilli and the cake looks gorgeous X

  9. Lovely stitching, I do the back stitch as I go along as well, if I left it to the end, it would not get done, it's not my favorite part of cross stitch.

  10. I have never listened to the Archers but I have a friend who has listened since it first began and he says there is some pretty scary stuff on at present.

  11. Love the new header photo and the cake looks delicious. I've not listened to the Archers I often wish I did although it sounds a trifle frightening at present!

  12. Oh dear, I had MORE cake today so next week sees the start of the LESS carbs diet! In my defence, I didn't have much breakfast at 5.30 a.m. (no appetite) and by the time we'd unpacked at the Fleamarket, I was starving, and my home-made Chocolate Blackberry Brownies are morish . . .

    Kath - the header photo is one I took last July at Chatsworth House. I desperately NEED colour at the moment. I love to bake but my husband doesn't eat cakes, so I am wasted on him! The Archers is gripping - Rob really IS phycho-toxic . . .

    Simon - I hate spirits, so in a meal is the only way I would be up for some! I have to say, his recipe worked extremely well.

    Rachel - we'll have you following the Archers yet! Your good wishes came to pass and we were happy with our takings.

    Marlene - I noticed half a dozen stitches where I did the xing the wrong way, but it doesn't do to be too perfect does it?!

    Pat - it's the only "soap" I follow.

    R. Robin - I shall keep on with some bright summer header photos until it has stopped being grey, wet and miserable. That may be some time!

  13. Lovely cake and stitching....never listened to the archers, but good for you.xx

  14. Oh nearly forgot and DH says he is looking for a cake fairy godmother and open to offers of adoption...take care honeyxx

  15. Maria - next time we all meet up I shall Bake, tell your DH!!