Winter’s log, earthdate 201612.27

05.05 pm

Am I allowed to say “Happy Easter” yet? Woolworths is! They had Hot Cross Buns out on their shelves, like yesterday! Boxing Day! The very next day after Christmas Day! In the bleak mid winter summer! They’re mewling that they had to put them out “early” – because “people demanded it“! Oi, Woollies! I’m one of those “people” ye’re talkin’ about, yanno, and I’m very sorry to have to tell you Woolworths CEO’s that I don’t “demand” to have Hot Cross Buns out on the supermarket shelves until about the week before Easter! Yes, Hot Cross Buns are yummy! They’re quite delicious, and if not for my waste line, I’d be very happy to eat them every morning of my life – fresh, toasted, slathered in butter – whatever! But for goodness sake, leave the cross off them and market them as “Fruit Buns”! They’ll still sell like Hot Cakes – err… Buns! You’ll still get your “30 pieces of silver” per bun from the people whom you imagine are “pining” for Easter – the very next day after Christmas! Look, I absolutely despise “Political Correctness”, but even I have to draw the line at selling Hot Cross Buns on Boxing Day! Come Easter time, you know, you’ll probably be wondering why all your wonderful Hot Cross Buns, that “the people” were demanding, and clamouring so vociferously for at Christmas time, aren’t selling, but sitting there going stale on the shelf! Well, I’ll tell you why they’re not selling!… They’re not selling because by now those “demanding people” are sick to death of Hot Cross Buns, and are “demanding” Christmas Cake instead! So congratulations, you greedy and avaricious little piggies, you’ve single-handedly managed to twist the Celebratory practices of the Christian Faith, turning Easter into Christmas, and Christmas into Easter!

Market your Hot Cross Buns without the “cross”, and market them as “Spiced Fruit Buns”, and it’ll go down a lot better with those “demanding people”!


So how was everyone’s Christmas?! As good as ours was, I hope! My two very favourite daughters came over with their respective spouses on Christmas Eve, and made egg-nog for us all – yes, that infamous and almost lethally intoxicating egg-nog recipe of mine, the recipe that I posted for all of you last Christmas (er – the Christmas before last, now! 😉 ) D’you want me to post it for you all again? Do a “Woolworths people demand” for me, and I’ll post it, promise! 😉 Yes, the kids came over and made a nice mess of the kitchen (which to be perfectly fair, they did clean up for us afterwards) and we drank egg-nog, laughed and made merry, ate the best mince tarts this side of the black stump (Ferguson Plarre ones!) read “The Night Before Christmas” – it was my very favourite eldest daughter’s turn to read it aloud for us this year, sang “Jingle Bells”, and hung up our stockings (in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there) Then we all said goodnight, and the children headed off home. Mother and Father Christmas, yawning their heads off, pottered around filling stockings and tidying up a bit, said goodnight to Auric and Dapple, and headed off to bed…

Christmas morning dawned! Time to get up and see if Father (or Mother) Christmas had put anything into our stockings! Well, our stockings were filled to bursting too, and we were well pleased! Amongst mine were a beautiful, embossed leather-bound journal book, with pages of hand-made paper, a nice apple-scented three-wick candle, a beautifully decorated ceramic “edge-cat” (they sit on the edge of shelves and cupboards) an absolutely lovely star-shaped stained “glass” tea-light holder, and lots of other goodies. Strangely enough, Julian seemed to have a largely food-themed Christmas, with spices, food “rubs”, kitchen “gadgets”, and the like! 😉 I gave him a box full of assorted silicon kitchen-ware, and a large flat-plate grill. We’d been rather disappointed with the George Foreman grill we’d bought earlier this year – it just never seemed to get that nice deep brown caramelisation of the meat that you get on nicely grilled food – all it seemed to do was squash whatever we put in it, to the point that sausages never looked “quite right”. Anyway, so when I saw an ad amongst all the junk mail that gets dumped in our letter box for this nice, long, flat grill, with a ridged surface as well as a flat one, I decided to get him that for Christmas. We used it last night to cook some steak, and it performed beautifully! Julian gave me a gorgeous new phone… I’d been grizzling for ages that I really needed a bigger screen (does anyone remember that old ad where a hot little boy is standing by the back door winging that he’s hot, and says “But Mum, I need a fizzy drink!” – substitute “Julian” for “Mum”, and “bigger screen” for “fizzy drink”, and you can see what I mean!) So Julian gave me a “bigger screen”! A Samsung Galaxy Note 5! and it’s absolutely gorgeous! I love it to bits, and use it all the time! My very favourite eldest daughter gave me a variegated red agate one of these, and my very favourite youngest daughter gave me an Amazon Voucher. All in all, we did very well out of the “commercial” side of Christmas this year!

Christmas dinner went off well too! We had one of the Steggles Frozen Turkey roasts, because they’re a no-mess, no-fiddly bones, no-fuss, easy to utilise the left-overs sort of dinner (actually, we had two of them) with ham, roast potatoes, roast pumpkin, tomato “pie” (a sort-of a casserole of tomato and onion with spices and breadcrumbs) snow-peas (this year – it’s usually peas and steamed green beans though) gravy, and fresh, home-made “Julian” bread (with butter, for those who wanted it!) We normally also have a boiled in the cloth Christmas Pudding, but we’d made Christmas Ice Cream, and as it was so hot, everyone voted for the Christmas Ice Cream, so we still have an (uncooked as yet) Christmas Pudding to have later! I’ve been thinking that I really should put up the recipe for the Christmas Ice Cream, as it’s really delicious! You start off with plain, good-quality vanilla ice cream, slightly softened, to which you add chopped up Christmas Cake, as many different kinds of glace fruit as you can lay your paws on – chopped up (not too finely!) we always add some dried cranberries (Craisins) and we have, in the past, used dried blueberries too. Toasted slivered almonds, rum, and Cointreau. Mix everything into your softened vanilla ice cream, and re-freeze (this might take a while, as there’s a fair bit of alcohol in it!) When I find my round tuit I’ll post the proper recipe with the quantities to use, but until then, take my word for it – it’s absolutely the best ice cream ever!

After Christmas Lunch, we sprawled around and had chocolates and coffee… and a good time was had by all! 🙂 Especially as Kate and Terry had some good news to report! After more tests, the doctors have been unable to find a primary cancer after all, so this week he’s going in to hospital to have his gall bladder, and a golf-ball sized piece of his liver removed – they say that hopefully, that’ll be the end of it all – we’re all crossing our fingers and hoping that they’ll get it all and he won’t have to have any follow-up radium or chemo therapy!

My dinner is calling – back later! 🙂

 09.54 pm

And now it’s later, and I’m back! 🙂

Where was I?!

Ah yes, après dinner!  Needless to say we didn’t have any dinner that night! We “snacked” on a mince tart and a bit of chocolate – taken with a cup or so of coffee…

And so on to Boxing Day! As my very favourite eldest daughter and her husband Neale weren’t able to join us for Christmas Dinner (read: “lunch”) on the day itself – it was Neale’s parent’s turn to have them for Christmas Lunch this year – they came over for lunch on Boxing Day instead. We had very yummy sandwiches made from cold leftover turkey, ham, tomato, lettuce, and cranberry sauce – very nice! We still didn’t cook the Christmas Pudding, but as it was a trifle cooler than Christmas Day, we had a slice of Christmas Cake each, and the rest of the Christmas Ice Cream (we’re going to have to make some more this week and call it “Easter”, or “Hot Cross Ice Cream”!) After a happy afternoon of food and chatter, my very favourite eldest daughter and her husband went home, and this time we did have dinner (sandwiches, no matter how nice, are not quite as filling as a hot roast dinner with all the trimmings!) We pressed Julian’s new grill into service, and had some wonderfully grilled fillet steak, with chips, cooked in the oven on one of his new silicon oven mats, peas, and our usual half a tomato. I had a smallish yellow peach, and a smallish yellow nectarine for dessert, along with a Vaalia Lemon Creme yoghurt (because they’re not very big! 😉 )

The agate pendant that my very favourite eldest daughter gave me was on a rather short leather thong, so this morning we went out to see if we could find me a rose gold chain that would support it. Apparently rose gold either isn’t terribly popular at the moment, or else they’d all been snaffled up as Christmas Presents, because although we walked the length and breadth of Knox City, we were unable to source one! I ended up getting a slightly longer leather thong for it, until we can find a suitable rose gold chain. Why rose gold and not yellow gold, or silver, or even platinum? Because the Tree of Life wrapped around the stone, as you can see from the link above, is made of copper wire – yellow gold, silver – or even platinum – wouldn’t “go” with it! I also wanted to get a sturdier case for my nice new phone – it had come with a very stylish, but light weight acrylic, which after only a day of use was starting to look grubby, and in severe danger of becoming scratched (and I hadn’t even put it in my handbag!) I found a rather nice navy blue leather case, so my precioussss is safe again! 🙂

I’ve taken myself back to Rift again – just to see if there have been any changes (there’ve been a few, and I don’t really like some of them!) and there’s been a new expansion, which I haven’t bought yet because I’m not sure if I’ll stay with Rift, or head back to WoW – or whether I’ll play both… The game’s changed enough to make me start off a new character so that I can learn any new stuff from scratch, and one disadvantage of Rift is that if a name is already taken, you can’t use accented “foreign” letters to get around the problem! I was going to call this new character Åtlantia, or Åtalanta, but of course I couldn’t use that sort of “Å”, so after going through about half a dozen names that were all already taken, in desperation I called her “Aquafresca” – “fresh water” in Italian, which is a silly name, but by that stage I was desperate! (so I don’t really think I’ll be keeping her long! :/ ) I’ll let you all know how I fare in that department! I tell you what though, they’ve made some really huge improvements in their Dimension areas!

For lunch today we had sandwiches again – more turkey (which is nearly all gone now, after having my very favourite eldest daughter and Neale over for lunch yesterday!) this time with our favourite butter substitute , basil and pesto hummus, instead of cranberry sauce, and some mushed up cold roast potato and pumpkin. I thought that these sandwiches tasted better than the ones yesterday, and I’d thought that they were pretty good! Tonight for dinner we had Beef, Caramelised Onion & Pepper sausages, once more very successfully cooked on the new grill (though Julian said that they took longer to cook than in a frying pan) with mashed potatoes, steamed sugar-snap peas, which were really delicious and a little crunchy, and the ubiquitous half a tomato. For dessert I had a brown Nashi pear (which was gi-normous, so Julian had some too) and an Apple Le Rice. I actually found a really nice looking mango up at Knox City today, and it was a bit of a toss-up as to whether I’d have the brown Nashi pear or the mango tonight. The Nashi pear won, so I’ll have the mango tomorrow night! 🙂

Weight-wise the story goes thus:

Saturday December 24th:     70.3 kg      Christmas Eve
Sunday December 25th:        70.4 kg      Christmas Day
Monday December 26th:       70.4 kg      Boxing Day
Tuesday December 27th:      70.4 kg      Today

So considering the amount of umm… delicious but maybe not quite so good for me weight-wise… food, I’m just a trifle amazed that I haven’t hit 80 kg yet! Never mind – I’m determined that I’ll keep track of my weight as usual, but that I’m not going to worry about it until after March 9th – when I’ll go back onto Optifast for a while, until my weight settles back down again!

Auric and Dapple are both well and getting bigger – this morning I saw one of Auric’s scales fall off, and I reckon he’s growing faster than his skin can stretch, and that’s why he shed a scale! Or do goldfish regularly shed scales, like we shed skin cells, and it’s just that you hardly ever actually see them losing scales? (like most of the time no-one seems to notice you shedding skin cells!) I have no idea what’s happening tomorrow – there was one thought that we might go and see “Rogue One” tomorrow, but we sort-of never got around to seeing if we could get tickets – Julian will try a little later tonight – so either we’ll be going out to see “Rogue One” at a Gold Class movie theatre and having lunch there, or I’ll be pottering around, fiddling with Rift for a bit – and possibly making a new, and somewhat less Christmassy Header… and that’s really about “it” from me for the evening! Despite Woolworths trying to thrust Easter on us too early, hopefully the Holiday festivities and slightly skewed hours and interruptions will be abating soon, and we can return you to your scheduled program of nightly blogs, except on Sundays, Mondays, and occasional Tuesdays! Do call in again tomorrow night to see if we went out or stayed home (if you see a new Header you’ll know we stayed home!) if my weight decided it was sick and tired of loitering around on 70.4 kg and decided to dodge up… or down, and what other adventures we got up to. Until then though, do try to bee good – you should have got yourselves into the habit of doing that by now, anyway – and don’t forget that anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but no-one can count the apples in a seed (think about it!) do remember to look after yourselves, to always drive carefully, and to keep cool – or warm – depending on where you are… but above all, please remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

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