Tuesday, 20 September 2016


A very special thing today - a day at home with nothing much planned except to have our neighbours Sharon and Sean around for dinner this evening.  Now that they are here living permanently we see less of them than we did when they came over on holiday.  I know this is to be expected as we and they have our own routines and often our down-time and theirs just doesn't dovetail.   They have recently been away and we decided on their return that we really should make time and have them round for a meal sooner rather than later and if nothing else it hones my vegetarian culinary skills!

It was much cooler this morning - we haven't as yet had the rain that has been forecast but if it was going to happen then today looked like it was going to be the day and as it was cooler I decided to spend the early part of the morning have a bit of a tidy in the garden as John was moaning that the Gaura was dropping flowers into the pool.  The garden is in need of a tidy up and because it has been windy over the last couple of days the flowers from the Gaura and the ClockVine are being blown all round the garden and things are in need of cutting back.

I encountered two snails doing what I guess it is that two snails do when they are feeling a bit amorous - I take it they were amorous rather than having a fight but never having studied snails closely I can't be sure but these two look like they are in a right old lip lock!

John went next door to help George - he and Pam had bought a blind to go up at their patio doors and needed him to put it up for them and whilst John was up the ladder Pam got him to remove her insect collection that is growing in the glass globes of her wall lights!

As I was cutting back the purple lantana I very nearly chopped a caterpillar in half.  It was so camouflaged hanging there on a stalk.  This is a first for me - I haven't seen this sort of caterpillar before - it is the size of the fabulous Oleander Hawk Moth caterpillars with is bright green and blue but this one was a very boring colour - on investigation it would appear that it is the caterpillar of a Convolvulus Hawk Moth - these are massive and the largest of what I would term a hummingbird moth - we have lots of the smaller ones often trapped in the conservatory.

I had company whilst I was tackling the border which is at the end of the pool, as fast as I was chucking over the garden waste it was being eaten by the goats.  There isn't an awful lot of green in the field next door at the moment except for that horrible stinky sticky bright green plant that has small daisy like flowers so they were grateful for a bit of variety in their diets.

We had goats and sheep, shoats and geep - all newly shorn by the looks of them.  They haven't been around lately so it looks like we will have to be on tick-watch now as they bring those horrible bugs with them.

It was nice to get started on the garden and it looked all the better for it.  Just the rest of the garden to go!!!  It was hot and sticky and overcast but at least the water was back on so I did some washing and got it hung out hoping that the anticipated rain would hold off.  In the end we didn't get any but the air felt a bit damp so I wasn't sure that the washing would dry anyway.

John gave me a hand getting the food ready for this evening.  We had hoped to sit outside but it felt just a bit too cool so decided that we would be indoors.

The menu was 7up marinated chicken skewers with Cyprus Potatoes, salad and coleslaw for the meat eaters and Moroccan spiced jeweled rice filled roasted peppers for the non-meat eater.

For pudding I made some creme brulee which I was going to serve with some raspberries or poached fresh figs (which I picked yesterday) with ice-cream.

John got the job of chopping the ingredients for the coleslaw - he needs some practice as he failed to get the cabbage, carrot and onion all cut to similar sizes.

By the time that Sean and Sharon came round the wind had dropped and we probably could have sat outside but didn't - we ate in making sure that the hot food remained hot and then took our drinks outside for the remainder of the time and sat in the garden.

John took some skewers and some potatoes and creme brulee round to Pam as we had far too much and Sharon took the remaining stuffed peppers and creme brulee home for tomorrow.  A successful night all round I think particularly as John said he would have the peppers anytime with salad which is praise indeed because generally he likes to have a little portion of meat on his plate.

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