A, love your blog pic of the Germans, tee hee! I am finding the Olympics compulsive viewing, we watch hour after hour after hour of ups and downs, life stories beautifully charted by Clare Balding and we listen intently for the voice of the rather nice lady and gentleman who, before every sport introduced, explain the rules of engagement. For example, I didn’t know that a player must not hit the ball twice in succession in Volleyball…….did you know that and do you care? I had never heard of Handball before yesterday, I genuinely thought handball was something naughty footballers did, oh and I must say that the gold medal for my least favourite spectator sport goes to Badminton, eurch! it totally gives me the creeps! I am so happy for Zara Phillips and her “Team Silver“, I’m sure she could do with a bit o that after the rather public, drunken behaviour of her …
Monthly Archives: July 2012
Hello there, how are you all? I am sitting here at my desk for the first time in what must be over six months finally writing a post, which although I promised I would do for you every week I have failed to do and I am sorry. I am so loving reading your blog and by the way the new site looks great, I know you have a way to go on it but let me tell you that so far, so good and often so funny!
There’s been much going on here emotionally and sometimes if I’m really honest I can’t face talking to anyone about “my stuff”. Things are a little less fragile at the moment, mainly because husband and I now communicate at very base levels (hardly at all), we rarely sleep in the same bedroom and we never, ever have sex, I couldn’t go there, oh …
I am really enjoying the red button on my TV and getting interactive with the Olympic coverage. I can choose the sport I want to watch and so yesterday I enjoyed watching the swimming and in particular the Men’s events. Those freshly waxed, tanned and toned chests are very appealing! Unfortunately I do not have control of the remote in our household and it seems to be assumed that the men in my family should be in charge as the Olympics is a sporting event. Should I point out that Team GB has so far only won two medals and both of those by women, Rebecca Adlington and Lizzie Armitstead, but that would be churlish and I am sure the men will not be too far behind, in their natural position of following great women!! In between watching the Olympics I competed in my own Olympic sport of taking all the outdoor cushions outside, then in, …
Was sitting in the hairdresser’s today, without make up, draped in a black nylon cape a la Batman, slightly sweaty in the heat despite the salon windows and doors being flung open, staring at my jowls in the mirror while Karen painted bleach on randomly selected strands of my hair. I hadn’t had time for lunch and was, rather rudely, munching on a sandwich. Karen soon put paid to that when a slight breeze blew the hair she was snipping all over my cheddar and Branston pickle. So, hungry and with nothing to do but continue to inspect my tired old face in the mirror (hadn’t brought reading glasses and so the glorious gossip within the pages of OK! Hello! Closer! and Now! were unavailable to me). I started dreaming about having a neck lift like Simon Cowell (allegedly) has had done. As my various wrinkles, hooded eyes and deepening nasal labial folds jeered at …
I realise that I am lucky enough to have a beautiful Mini which of course I adore; it was bought just before the/our financial collapse in 2008 on HP and even though we lost such a huge amount of money at that time and had to sell our home etc, etc.. as much as I wanted to I was unable to sell my mini because it wasn’t worth as much as we had borrowed on HP; we would have had to pay out thousands on top of the sale price of the car which at the time we did not have! Being a new car and straight from the manufacturer it lost many £’s the day it was driven out of the showroom. Big mistake and I shall never buy a new car again in my life, complete waste of money! Anyway I saw this wonderful Mini Horn rendition of the National Anthem on You …
I agree that in this heat all inhibitions go flying out the window along with all eating disciplines she says as she sucks on a Del Monte Raspberry Smoothie Ice lolly though, apparently, only 84 calories and virtually fat free!!! So laying by the pool in a swimming costume with all my bits and bobs on show is fine by me Ellie, though I have to say that, in your case, there is considerably less bits and bobs as you are soooo much slimmer. Grace – I am cooking every evening and so much food as those that are here seem to have friends with them, it was 8 on Tuesday and 6 last night. I found a great Asian recipe which was a chicken breast stuffed with shallots, chilli, ginger & lime, and accompanied by an apple, mango & mint salad. Then my piece de resistance was a frozen Raspberry Meringue Bombe, which is like …
Think you’re being very modest about your culinary skills Ellie – but good for you for trying something new, especially as you obviously feel no-one’s going to eat it after all your hard work! As for Annabel, doesn’t sound like you have your flitting teenagers around long enough to cook for them, but lucky husband who can have extra portions! My family keep asking me for BBQs – when, like you Ellie, I am trying to give them something more interesting – and in my case spare tyre reducing – hence the summer fish stew I knocked up last night. Mind you, it’s taking me longer and longer to produce anything in our kitchen these days; firstly my memory is so appalling I can’t remember recipes and am highly likely to miss out a vital ingredient (like the banana cake where I forgot to add the banana) and secondly because I need my reading glasses to …
I have become slightly obsessed with cookery programmes of late but have to be honest and tell you that I rarely perform such miracles in the kitchen myself and for the following reasons a) I have the fussiest eater for a son and b) my husband will eat school food until the cows come home however, anything other than meat and two veg and he’s off to buy a square, microwave meal from Sainsbury’s. Their combined reaction to my efforts is disconcerting and after so many years of the same is rather demoralising and as such I no longer bother to perform in the kitchen much, in fact sometimes I don’t cook for my husband at all because I don’t know if he’s even going to want it, I get the “I’m not hungry yet, could you put it in the oven and I’ll eat it later” comment most evenings and nine times …
The sun is here to stay, hip hip hooray……….well at least until Friday! I must say that I am feeling a bit like a rotating planet as my kids come and go. Eldest son is in Spain, eldest daughter just returned from a very muddy festival in Cambridgeshire, judging by boots left out to be cleaned by the Boot Cleaning Fairy! Youngest daughter was here briefly when boyfriend came to stay but flits in and out for a clothes change and a good meal before flitting off to visit another girlfriend. Finally Youngest Son is here for the moment but our hours do not coincide very much as he does not appear before midday – not a surprise to anyone with a teenage son! I am suppressing the urge to open his bedroom door and say those inimitable words “you are missing a beautiful day” because does he care, does he hell! Also I would …
Tried something else I hadn’t done before yesterday. Helping out at the monthly art workshop usually consists of me humping tables and chairs, sneakily borrowing the WI’s tea urn and serving refreshments to the lovely locals who come along to the village hall once a month for some P&Q and to pop a plop of paint onto paper. But this particular Friday I ended up posing on the stage as the life model. Of course, I offered to remove my clothes but they all looked at each other with horror and reassured me that wouldn’t be necessary. Oh OK, I didn’t actually do that, but it was still quite nerve racking getting up on the stage and have people stare at me intently, inspecting my every wrinkle, lump and bump. I usually do my best to avoid that happening. I surprised myself by standing, stock still, for an hour and, apart from one hand and …
When the sun does eventually come out I can think of no lovelier place to be than your home A, so enjoy the games in the comfort of your own space and as is not common knowledge you and I are not great fans of the heat, in which case you can hop in and out of the shower, lie in iced baths, walk around naked all day long to your heart’s content at home but not along the seafront on the Algarve, long time since we did that!
The entire family has had the stinky flu this week, each one of us literally plastered to a bed for 24 hrs, unable to move. If I could give the bug a name it would be Adem, pronounced Adum, the name is Hebrew in origin and translates as “red skin”. All I have been able to do is watch helplessly as scarlet tinged …
This is my little dog Jack. If you move from the city to the countryside like we three CountryWives did, you might like to consider getting one of these. They are brilliant for cuddling, exercise (cheaper than the gym) and quite effective as a burglar alarm!
Bye for now, Grace x
The Olympics are coming and so is the sun apparently, as you know I can be definite about the first but only hopeful for the second. If the sun does shine next week I would imagine that Lord Sebastian Coe will be dancing naked somewhere and possibly with Boris Johnson (not such a good pictorial thought!). For me this is the first year that, since the children were born, I have not just packed the car and taken off with the whole family to Cornwall for the summer holidays. I probably made a good choice as I look out the window today, however, I have also not booked a ‘family holiday’ in the sun this summer as our kids have been off doing their own thing and with the Olympics we felt this was the year to stay and watch the Games on our large flat screen rather than on a foreign TV which may …
Found these fab roll up shoes for the “get to the party in the car” and then “get out of the car and get to the party in silly heels” times, you can even roll them up and put them in your pocket (along with knickers if needs be). Rollasole.com have the most wonderful roll up ballet style shoes in various colours and for all occasions, go get’em ladies.
We had a family pyjama day today, done so much in the last few weeks that our feet have hardly touched the ground and most of us now have stinkin’ colds and are feeling pretty rank.
Looking forward to a week of recovery ahead and of course lots more lovely rain……..
YOURS FOREVER WET, ELLIE XXXX
You are right Grace you are at a great stage, son grown up and self sufficient and parents still young enough not to be a constant worry to you. My advice is enjoy this stage as right now I have cancelled a holiday and a party due to the dilemma I am having with my mother! You certainly do not look 60 but let me tell you an half an hour conversation with my mother could make you age 10 years in a jiffy! So just to keep you up to date with my life…….
MOTHER: Still at old house, gates padlocked, not talking to any of us and mad cousin/landlord sending threatening letters to everyone. I am getting to the point where I say “you can keep my mother, have fun!”. Perhaps I should send her the attached photo! We bought another chair for the new apartment yesterday, no idea why as there is no sign …
Annabel, Grace and Ellie will be appearing at The Quince Tree on Friday 28 September. If you’d like a ticket, call the box office on 0118 9724700.
As I was driving back from the butchers this morning, with the sun shining (albeit briefly between showers) with my totally gorgeous Jack Russell on my lap peering out at the road ahead (probably not legal, but great fun for him) and my lamb chops stashed in the boot, I got to thinking that being 60 isn’t so shitty as I once feared.
In fact, I am at a brilliant stage in my life – my 19 year old loves his job in television, hasn’t got anyone pregnant, adores his mother and doesn’t need looking after any more (apart from annoying large piles of washing and the occasional loan) and so husband and I can zip off for a weekend at a moment’s notice as our son is now old enough to look after house and dogs. I’ve been happily married for 21 years to a George Clooney lookalike (except with less hair, a slightly sticky …
We lived in Rio de Janeiro at the time of this song’s release and life was good……..great memories of the tune. E
First husband springs to mind? E
Ground breaking video and all round great track.
Used to love this, reminds me of a Canadian boyfriend I had once who looked a little similar, not quite such a good voice. Ellie x
Annabel’s review: Set in Thessalonika, this book tells the story of Dmitri and Katerina from 1917 to the latter half of the twentieth century as told to their grandson also called Dmitri, who is visiting and wants to find out the pull of this city which makes his grandparents refuse to move. It shows how this second city of Greece suffered so badly not only from man-made events, two world wars and two civil wars, but also from natural disaster. How Muslims, Jews, Turks, Greeks all lived together, literally side by side but governments dictated that people should be traded and of course during the second world war 5,000 Jews were rounded up and sent to Poland to be killed by the Nazis. These events made Greeks fight Greeks even families were divided as with Dmitri’s own family, where father and son never spoke again after the end of WWII. Katerina is a strong, sensible …
Grace’s review: After not such a great weekend break one positive thing to report was the paperback I scooped up at the airport: The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson (yep, another Swede). This black comedy is, apparently, an international bestselling sensation, and I can understand why. It is completely crazy, funny, outlandish, a dark road trip comedy told with a charming simplicity. Could not put it down. A wonderful, wonderful read. Wish the 100 year old man had been with me in Turkey: he would have told me to stop being silly and get in that parasailing speedboat!
ASIAN SLAW DRESSING
1/2 cup of rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbs peeled, minced ginger
1/2 tsp dark sesame oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Mix together and dress salad (see post for suggested salad recipe)!
Low fat and super healthy, this recipe for Turkey Burgers with Beetroot Relish is quick and delish. If you serve them with a green salad, you can treat yourself to some of Mary Berry’s moreish Salad Dressing.
At time of writing this, blackberries are just about to ripen on the bushes. Always worth while taking a plastic bag on a walk and picking a few – they are free and brilliant served with meat, or frozen and made into crumbles during the winter months. This recipe for Pan Fried Venison with Blackberry Sauce is 182 calories and good enough to serve at a dinner party.
This is one of Jamie Oliver’s recipes but don’t think he got the timing right, so have changed it so that you don’t end up with uncooked fish like I did! Have also tweaked a few things so it is quicker to make. Don’t be put off, this is absolutely delish!
Ingredients (serves 4)
Thai paste: bunch fresh coriander, 2 thumb sized pieces of peeled fresh ginger, 3 peeled garlic cloves, 1 or 2 deseeded red chillies, 2 tspns sesame oil, 6 tbspns soy sauce, juice and zest of 2 limes, 400ml tin low fat coconut milk.
4 packs frozen microwaveable rice, 4 sea bass fillets, scored and pinboned, 4 spring onions, finely sliced and a fresh red chilli, finely sliced
Method Whizz Thai all paste ingredients in blender or food processor and mix with frozen rice. Put into deep roasting tin. Plonk fillets on top and season them with salt and pepper. Cover with silver foil and cook at 200 degrees for …
Ingredients for 2 servings:
6 shallots, peeled
2 small red chillies, deseeded, with half roughly chopped & other half finely chopped
Thumb size piece of fresh root ginger finely grated
zest & juice of 1 lime
2 tsp sunflower oil
2 chicken breasts, skin on
For the salad:
1 red-skinned apple, cut into matchstyicks
1/2 mango, peeled & cut into matchsticks
1/2 small bunch of mint, leaves picked
3 spring onions, sliced
Small bunch of coriander, leaves picked
1/2 tsp fish suce
1/4 tsp caster sugar
Whizz shallots in processor, then remove half & set aside. Add roughly chopped chilli, 3/4 of ginger and all lime zest, then whizz to chunky paste. Tip into frying pan with 1 tsp oil & s&p and fry for couple of minutes until fragrant.
Heat oven to 200. Loosen skin from chicken along one side & stuff with paste. (Can be done one day ahead & chilled). Season skin, then roast for 15 – 20 mins until golden, crisp & cooked through.
Toss together apple, …
As far as torches go A, Henley-on-Thames is clearly the place to be, you did well to get the pic of the Olympic torch streaker and he’s a lucky sod that you didn’t capture his very own teensy weensy torch on film, because I know exactly where that pic would be if you had and we CW’s would be in a lot of trouble!
I’ve been to London and back in the last couple of days and I must complain that from the minute the car hit the London radio stations all I heard was negative chit chat about the Olympics and the truth is it made me cross and not just a little worried. If Londoners aren’t careful they’ll find themselves in one of those self prophecy situations where you talk something down so much that it ends up happening even though it may not have done in the first place. It’s not for me …
Had a bit of a meltdown today which came to light when I went to the garage to buy some AA batteries for my Mac remote keyboard; I had used Tesco bargain ones previously and they ran out in a matter of a couple of weeks which makes me remember Grace’s husbands remark “if you buy cheap you buy twice”. Anyway the lady behind the till offered me a pack of Duracell ones for £4.10 and remarked that you got 4 for free on this price deal. I retorted, in a slightly grumpy manner, that I thought there were no free batteries just £4.10 for 8 batteries which I thought was daylight robbery! As I drove away I realised that I had slightly snapped at the lady and it was hardly her fault.
The reason for my grump is my MOTHER! The moving and sorting of 86 years of ‘stuff’ has been an exhausting ordeal and …
Darned sexy track…..Ellie x
I grew up on this wonderful stuff, thanks Mum & Dad!
I love clean windows and think that it is a quick way to make your house look cared for however our local window cleaner has been slowly raising his prices, which I don’t blame him for as everything else is rising, but he has now got to a price that I think twice before asking him to come around. However I have solved the problem and all for a £9.49 for a life time investment. I have long been a fan of the e-cloth mop from e-cloth, their tag line being ‘perfect cleaning with just water’, but when ordering a new mop head I found they had a 2 cloth window cleaning pack and I was hooked. My small parcel arrived yesterday and I tore it open, whipped out the cloths, grabbed a water spray and, ignoring the soaring temperatures, rushed around the house cleaning inside and out any window, mirror, glass top table that I could …
Chicken is, in my humble opinion, always a good choice for a dinner party main course. Most people like it and it’s easy to bung in the oven and invariably looks great. Freshly steamed green beans (drizzled with a nut butter sauce – crush pine nuts and add to melted butter in a frying pan until golden brown) make for a pretty plate. No need for potatoes! Gino D’Acampo’s recipe from Saturday Kitchen is worth trying.
I do not welcome starting my day in a fuzz, youngest has a passion for fried eggs in the morning which is all well and good but he only likes the whites, pain in the arse when you’re the worse for wear BUT ladies and gentlemen I have discovered TWO CHICKS Free Range Egg White, a carton containing 15 egg whites all happily separated from their yokes and all ready for mum’s with picky eaters and a hangovers! At approx £2.85 the value is excellent and although there are plenty of recipes in which I could attempt to use up the yolks if I were cracking my own eggs, I don’t always have the time to prepare Original Creme Brulee (which uses up at least 6 yolks and is rather yummy) so more often than not the yolks end up slowly hardening in a container on the top shelf of my fridge. Come to think of it if I …
Delicious Magazine often has winning recipes and here’s one for EASY FISH TAGINE, a low calorie main course that will impress your guests and please those who are watching their waistlines.