Winter’s log, earthdate 201612.21

*blog completed at 11.00 pm

04.47 pm

Where has the time gone?! It seems like only last week that I was grizzling about Easter Eggs making their appearance in the supermarkets! Or maybe that was just a premonition of déjà vu, because in about three week’s time, that’s what we’ll be seeing… again! However, one thing I am missing in the supermarkets this year are the stacks and stacks of Panettone (Panettoni?) that usually appear before Christmas! Where are they? Did they all get snapped up in a mad rush one day when we weren’t out doing some sort of supermarket shopping? Or have they suddenly gone “out of fashion”, because it only seems to be the odd delicatessen here and there that had any this year… Never mind, we have all of ours! 🙂 Our favourite “Motta” brand too, for once – now all I have to do is try to source some Panforte – or talk Julian into making our own – at least that way we’d know that it was “authentic”! Which of course, brings me to another grizzle! Why do people have to go and change things for no good reason! (though come to think of it, maybe chocolate is a good enough reason to change something, anyway!) Authentic Panforte has never had chocolate in it – it’s not supposed to have chocolate in it, because they didn’t have chocolate in 13th century Tuscany! If they did, well, they might have included it – or they might not! However it is supposed to have pepper in it! The above linked recipe, which is about the most “authentic” one I could find on the spur of the moment, doesn’t include pepper, though most other authentic recipes do. Go figure! So be warned! If you read my blog and think “what’s so special about this Panforte stuff that Winter keeps going on about every Christmas!”, and then happen to see some packets of Panforte and decide to try it, if it says “chocolate” anywhere on the packet, don’t bother, because it’s only “pretend” Panforte, and is about as much like real Panforte as I’m like Maggie Smith! (because (a) she’s a bit older than I am, and (b) she’s a lot thinner than I am! 😛 )

How’s all your Christmas Shopping been going? Finished yet? We keep thinking we have (finished the Christmas Shopping) only to suddenly remember “Oh, we don’t have anything for [whoever] yet!”, and start panicking all over again! I picked up the last of Julian’s “stocking fillers” this afternoon, so I’m feeling very virtuous, and quite looking forward to Sunday… but I’m not looking forward to the weather on Christmas Day! I hope “They’re” wrong – but I can remember with trepidation what it was like, way back in my youth – “just after the cavemen”, as some unkind people like to say – Christmas Day was very often hideously hot (there was no such thing as “air conditioning” for the plebs back then! You were considered “posh” if you had a single electric fan!) especially after a very large, hot, Christmas Dinner, with roast turkey, potatoes, peas, beans, pumpkin, ham, and tomato pie – with gravy, cranberry sauce for the turkey and apple sauce for the ham, followed by a large, boiled-in-the-cloth suet plum pudding with both plain and brandy whipped cream – all one wanted to do was lie on the floor and groan in distress! The men all retired to the lounge room to watch the cricket on television, or whatever, while the women retired to the kitchen to wash the dishes and clean up. We kids were left to argue amongst ourselves, grizzle, refuse to share presents, and mope – feeling vastly overstuffed and miserable in all the heat… Ahh… nostalgia! 😉 Still, this time next week will be here soon enough, and it’ll all be over for another year… when we’ll all dutifully turn around and go through the ritual, all over again!

Because I had to go up to the doctor’s to pick up yet another prescription this afternoon (that’s what happens when you get old – you need lots of things to keep you going!) and we were going to be in the area anyway, we picked up my very favourite eldest daughter who had more shopping to do. We were going to have lunch first, then leave her at The Glen while I went to the doctor’s to get my Warfarin script – as I walked out through the front door (which now has a pretty Christmas Wreath on it!) and closed it behind me, I suddenly realised… one of my screws had come loose again! Actually, it was the same one that had got loose last time, when I had to go all the way to Moonee Ponds to get it tightened up again! I was absolutely and totally horrified! There went yet another day – sidetracked and ambushed by something that was my fault, even though it was totally out of my control! (don’t ask! It’s just always my fault when things go awry!) We picked up Lee, and decided to hot-foot it to Dr. N’s to see if he could tighten up my screw again (yeah, I know that sounds a bit “off”, but you all know what I mean!) I didn’t really want to wait until after we’d had lunch (what if I swallowed the screw?) and I’d picked up my Warfarin script, so we decided to go there first. We were damn lucky! Dr. N was there – we’d caught him – just as he was about to leave for Moonee Ponds! So he tightened up the screw – for the third time this week – and ground the tooth it was in down a little bit to reduce the “bite” load on it (which is apparently what loosens the screw in the first place) He also “lent” us a teeny-weeny little screwdriver, so that Julian can tighten the wretched thing up himself, if it comes loose again, as Dr. N will be away over Christmas and won’t be back until January 17th (at least, that’s what I think he said!) He said, in a somewhat panic-stricken tone “But please bring it back!” – so I think it must be the only one he has! We then went on to The Glen, had lunch, did a bit of snooping around in David Jones (I like the David Jones in Doncaster a lot better!) then left Lee to her own devices and went off to get my Warfarin script. After that, we picked up my very favourite eldest daughter, dropped her home, and came home ourselves – via the Vermont South shopping centre, where I attempted to buy another mango, but all the fruit at both Coles and the Greengrocer there was abysmal! In fact I reckon that even a starving pig in its sty wouldn’t have eaten any of the fruit that I saw up at the shopping centre today, if it had dropped in the pig’s feed trough!  So I didn’t get any more fruit today 😦 I reckon that the best place to get fruit (and vegetables) is the fresh fruit and vegetable market at Knox City! We’ll have to see if we can get up there before Sunday (which is doubtful, but we’ll try…) Anyway, such was my day! 😳

All in all, the past three days have been extremely busy! On Sunday we played WoW, naturally, but this time we played with our newbies – Imaan and Krankhaft – and had a great time! We went up a couple of levels each, and did quite well for ourselves. On Monday, our cleaning lady was here in the morning, then we went off to Bunnies because my one year old desktop fountain was starting to look a bit dilapidated! It looked as though it was made of stone, but apparently that was just paint, which had started to peel off, and was looking rather unsightly – so we went off to get another one. I could have got one exactly the same, but it too had a small crack in the paint-work around the hole in the top where the water comes out, so it wouldn’t have been long before its paint started peeling too… instead, I got a rather pretty metal fountain, which looks like brass, but probably isn’t. It consists of four lotus leaves, and the water comes up the “stem” of the tallest leaf, then overflows off the leaf and down into the next leaf, which overflows and falls down to the next leaf – etc., etc., and so forth! Hopefully this one will last a little longer than a year, before it starts to look unsightly! In the afternoon Josh arrived and did my hair – and that was Monday! 🙂 Yesterday my very favourite eldest daughter came over and we spent the day in decadent laziness, lounging in the living room and watching episodes of “The Flash”, “Arrow” and “Supergirl” all day. Julian made The. Most. Delicious. Fruit loaf, Ever! We had a couple of pieces for breakfast this morning, toasted, and it was absolutely divine! By the time Julian got back from dropping her home again, it was dinner time, so that was my Tuesday!

And I’ve already told you all about today, so that brings you all up to speed on events chez nous!

Err… sorry, dinner’s ready – back later with more! 🙂

09.30 pm

It’s later, and I’m back!

Where was I? Oh yes… now you should all be up to date with what’s been happening around here… so now I can get on with all the “good” bits!

Weigh-in December 18th – Sunday. As usual, “within the margin of error” for the last few days. I went from 70.1 kg on Saturday, to 69.9 kg on Sunday!

Food stuffs. Well, I can’t really remember what I had for lunch on Sunday, but I had a very delicious omelet for dinner, with pre-cooked bacon and diced onion, together with squares of semi-melted Cheddar/Tasty cheese, tomato, diced green capsicum, and some diced “sweet” orange capsicum (not “sweet” sweet, but a bit sweeter than the green capsicum, anyway) and for dessert I had my last white Nashi pear and a Vaalia Lemon Creme yoghurt.

Weigh-in December 19th – Monday. Par for the course! My body decided to dither around a bit, so I went from 69.9 kg, to…. (drum roll, please!) 69.9 kg! How ’bout that! I stayed the same! *rolls eyes*

Food stuffs. We’d gone shopping up at Vermont South after our cleaning lady left, and we had lunch up there. I had a smallish square of “home-cooked spanakopita”, with a side serve of somewhat wilted and over dressed salad, which, of course, I didn’t eat, as I prefer my salads naked! Next time we have lunch there, if I have the spanakopita again I’m going to ask to have it cold (i.e. not semi-warmed up in the microwave) as I have a vague idea that served cold, the filo pastry around the filling might be just a tad… crisper? (home cooking hint! Never warm up filo pastry in a microwave unless you like chewing soggy pastry a lot!) I also had a nice, almost-the-same-as the Shingle Inn ones, chocolate caramel slice, and an Iced Coffee – asked for with skinny milk, and no cream or ice cream, but which came with full cream milk and a small scoop of ice cream. They did remember the “no cream” bit though. For obvious reasons, I didn’t drink much of it… For dinner on Monday night we had a delightful piece of fillet steak, cooked to medium-rare perfection by Julian, with chips, steamed green beans, and of course, our usual half a tomato. I’d bought a nice looking mango during our shopping excursion, and I had that for dessert, along with an Apple Le Rice.

Weigh-in December 20th – Tuesday. Guess what! The scales seem to have got stuck, or something! I clambered up onto the scales yesterday morning, fully expecting to be up somewhere around the 80 kg mark or something, after all the food I’d been eating – but lemme tell you, I went from 69.9 kg, to…. an amazing and startling 69.9 kg – for the third day in a row! Wow! Maybe I’ll stay like this for ever! (extremely unlikely, but wouldn’t it be a nice Christmas Present from Me to me! 😉 )

Food stuffs. We had very nice Julian-made sandwiches for lunch, with ham, cheese, capers, and tomato, as my very favourite eldest daughter and I were too busy lolling around watching episodes of our favourite TV shows to go out shopping anywhere and have anything “commercial” to eat – it also meant that we didn’t get anything for lunch dessert, but that was OK, we had some very nice “proper” coffee instead! 😉 For dinner we had some delicious little frenched lamb cutlets, with steamed, fully organic and home-grown tiny cocktail potatoes, peas (for a change!) and our usual half a tomato. For dessert I had an “ordinary” green pear (yes, I looked at the label on their bin in the supermarket – I was right! They are Packhams!) which was delicious. I was going to have some of my stoned fruit from the fridge for dessert, but I forgot to take it out in time for it to warm up to room temperature, so I had the pear instead. I also had a Lemon CHOBANI yoghurt with the pear…

Weigh-in December 21st – Wednesday (today!) Well, I might not be remaining on 69.9 kg for the rest of my life, after all! In fact, I don’t think that you could really call today “within the margin or terror error”, either! This morning, much to my surprise, I went from 69.9 kg, to 69.4 kg! Down five points! 😯 But don’t worry – it’ll be up again tomorrow, after my nice lunch today! 😉

Food stuffs. We had lunch at the Shingle Inn at The Glen today! I had my normal “long black with a small side jug of skinny milk” and BLT on sourdough bread, and because they didn’t have any of my favourite, sticky, messy, gooey chocolate caramel slices 😥 I had a chocolate and walnut brownie “wedge”, dressed up with faintly sparkly icing, and thinly piped zigzags, to emulate a Christmas Tree (I suppose!) Actually, I’ve had their brownies before, and they all have one fault – which this “Christmas Tree” brownie also suffered from. They’re all too thin! Brownies are supposed to be thick! A little bit gooey and chewy in the middle, and with little crispy, crunchy bits on the outside edges! The Shingle Inn brownies are only about a centimeter thick! They’re so thin that they crumble and fall apart when you bite them! They need to be at least twice that thick to be able to eat and enjoy them properly! However, they do taste nice – so I suppose that’s the main thing. For dinner tonight we has pasta – fusilli, to be precise, with tomato sauce and a small scattering of parmesan cheese. And, once again, I forgot to take the nectarine and peach out of the fridge in time for them to warm up a bit, so I had another of the “ordinary” green (Packham) pears and an Apple Le Rice for dessert.

And that’s about where we’re up to! Terry’s PET and CT scans came back clear, so that’s good – now he’s got an endoscopy and a colonoscopy lined up for Friday, the results of which probably won’t be available now until the middle of next week, unfortunately. Not a pleasant thing to have hanging over your head for Christmas! Auric and Dapple have calmed down again after having their Fish House cleaned out today, even though it didn’t really need it – the usual algae growth has slowed down remarkably since Julian put in a new filter – it’s bigger than the old one, works really well, and is a lot quieter too! Tomorrow – Hallelujah – I think I finally have a quiet day to myself! I don’t think I’ve touched WoW since Sunday – which is a long time for me! So long, in fact, that our friend Steve who lives out in the back of beyond somewhere near Melton has noticed my absence there! 🙂 Anyway, that’s finally about “it” from me for tonight! Do drop in again tomorrow night to find out what’s been happening around these parts – what tricks my weight has decided to play on my scales, whether or not I got any WoW-ing in, and if Julian’s made anything else yummy and exciting (I have a few new recipes “on the boil” for him! 😉 ) Until then though, make a great big effort to bee good – because it’s only a few more sleeps before you-know-who checks his Naughty or Nice list! Don’t forget to think less, and live more… and remember to look after yourselves, to always drive carefully, and to keep cool – or warm – depending on where you are and what you’re doing… but most importantly, please remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂