Saturday, 17 November 2018

The weekend

At last it’s the weekend. Two whole days without a trip into Lancaster! The relief is unbelievable.

It’s five weeks down now. Only 3 more to go.

We’re getting increasingly tired. We’re beginning to wonder if it wouldn’t be worthwhile to go away for a couple of nights, somewhere local, maybe in the Lakes. We would then have someone else to run around after us. No cooking, washing up, bed-making etc. None of the stresses of daily life at home. We may end up sleeping almost all the time but is that such a bad thing.

One thing’s for certain. I’m giving up worrying about cruises & travel insurance until this treatment is done. By then the situation concerning Brexit may be clearer. Above all I may have a bit more energy to spare in sorting things out.

But then, I suppose I will be fretting over Christmas arrangements instead! Oh hum ....

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Holding on

Going into Lancaster so often (for the hospital) has made me very aware of the changing colours of the seasons. As we enter the city we pass Ryelands Park with its magnificent trees & green areas. The first trees to show the signs of the coming autumn were the horse chestnuts. Their large 7 fingered leaves were the first to turn golden. As time has gone on, more & more tress joined them in their celebration of colour. This week I couldn’t help noticing most of the trees were bare, simple skeletons of their summer selves. The only deciduous trees that still held onto their coloured leaves were the horse chestnuts, a little thin now but still holding on.

A not dissimilar thing has happened in our garden. The first to change colour was the acers which became a glorious vibrant red. Other more yellowy leaves appeared elsewhere. The last to change were the silver birches. Then the winds came & leaves blew everywhere. Now the only deciduous tree with leaves on is one of the acers, still vibrantly red. The silver barks of the silver birches stands out against the acer’s brilliance & the redness of the Virginia creeper on the fence at the far end of the garden.

I do love the colours of autumn. We often think one of the days we ought to go to New England to see the colours. My Dad came back from a holiday there full of their brilliance. The leaves were so much bigger, so much redder, more golden, than here. Who know one of these days we may get there.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

The birthday-cum-retirement-cum-wedding-anniversary party.

We went along to the dinner party at our local pub on Monday. The company was good. There was 13 of us in all. Only one face was unknown to us. It was a lively group aged from the 90s to the 30s.

We found the food disappointing. I had the Steak & Ale Pie. The beef inside was tender enough but the pastry could have been made with concrete for the difference it would have made. My potatoes consisted of one spoonful of mash. The curly kale & cabbage mix, though, was good.

The Fox, along with 3 others, had the Steak & Kidney Pudding. They dug into what they expected to be soft, almost spongy, suet crust to find another cement edifice. The Fox was relieved to have asked for a large jug of gravy. At least that helped soften it. His green beans had barely seen the boiling water. They were neither hot nor tender.

On the good side Babs & I shared a fabulous bottle of Spanish garnacha red wine. It was beautiful, soft & fruity. It may have been the cheapest red on the list but I for one would have happily paid more for it.

Despite our moans the company was good, even if the food was disappointing. At the moment, the pub is between landlords. The new one should be starting soon. However, in between times the pub, & the kitchen in particular, is getting a bit lackadaisical. The standards are slipping without that strong leadership person keeping them up. It was noticeable when the pub first re-opened the food was awful. The new landlord, Paul, soon whipped it into shape & the food had been good. Paul left a couple of months ago, & the temporary staff is just not as dedicated to keeping up the standards.

Yesterday we were both tired after the previous evenings jollities. We’d both ended up feeling bloated after Monday’s meal. By the time we’d done the shopping, I was almost too tired to cook but after the day before’s experience the idea of eating out again had no appeal. I was determined to cook the flan I’d half-prepared, with melt-in-the-mouth pastry case.  Once I’d eaten, had a post meal mug of tea, I fell into bed for an 11, nearly 12 hour, snooze.