Sunday, 21 January 2018


The weather forecast for this weekend was not so good, in fact today we were expecting storms and a reasonable amount of rainfall.  If you ask the locals the rain is much needed but when we get rain boy do we get rain - it is like someone opens the tap on full and then just as suddenly it gets switched off but actually this morning it was reasonably bright and sunny and I managed to get washing out and dried which is a bonus in January.  It was a quite and leisurely start to the morning after last night's excitement of the Steel City Derby - in fact I got up and fed the cats and brought back coffee to bed but by the time John surfaced it was pretty cold!

We took a trip down to Polis in a bit of a rush as everything bar Paps closes in the afternoon and John wanted to change a gas bottle and get his hair cut!

We managed to make it to get our bottle changed - this is really insurance as we tend to light the fire if we need heat and we have a number of small gas bottles full if we need them.

After a long and sad story regarding our gas fire it now seems stable and when it is working it is pretty good as a secondary source of heat - we like to make sure that we have gas and wood in hand so that we are not scrabbling around to heat the property although so far this winter is about the mildest we have experienced.

The cost of a large bottle weighting 35kg in Polis is currently 45 euros, it has been as much as 58 euros and as little 36 euros and we have no idea how much that lasts as it depends on how much we use it (obviously) but combined with the log fire one large one seems to do us for a winter which is really quite reasonable.

I dropped John off to have his hair cut and went to Paps to start our shopping and once he had had his golden locks shorn he joined me.

I seem to be about the only person bar John who enjoys shopping in Paps in Polis. Personally I find the staff to be more than helpful but then I do try and engage them all in conversation.

Today we had the first strawberries of the season.  They are a little expensive but will taste oh so lovely with a great flavour unlike those that get flown in from places like Israel.

Whilst shopping we bumped into Di and Rob and when we were talking to them we bumped into Jane and Mark who had just finished their bike ride and were getting something for supper.  Jane told us that this morning John and Susan's dog Zak had been knocked over having escaped from their garden and run off over the main road at the very top of their lane.  We have everything crossed that he makes a full and speedy recovery.

On our return from Polis we fed the cats their lunch.  They are clearly affected by E numbers and additives as they go mad with the carpets having had their food.  I turned round to see three of the rugs having been given a good going over and eventually came across Mr Boo 'hiding' under one of them!

John lit the fire and sat down to enjoy a Saturday afternoon of football while I got sorted with tonight's meal and tomorrow's lunch with Mum and Dad/

I had earmarked a chicken dish for tomorrow having given Mum the choice between chicken and pork and was using up a large tin of cannelini beans with sausages for tonight (and most of next week looking at the quantities!)

I had also decided to make a lemon flavoured egg custard tart for tomorrow's pudding but I have no idea what is going on with the Jus-Rol frozen pastry as the shortcrust reacted like flaky and although I blind baked the case it blew up like some sort of alien with a skin disease!  The end result looked less than appetising but hopefully, as they say, the proof of the pudding WILL be in the eating!

After what had been a much better day than expected the weather outside deteriorated.  It didn't really bother us as we had eaten the sausage cassoulet, had the fire lit and candles at the ready when the thunder storm started and we inevitably lost power.  We didn't panic as it is quite normal for the electricity to go in a storm like we were having and we had done everything we needed to do in the kitchen and watched everything we really wanted to watch so we weren't inconvenienced.

At some point the storm appeared to be directly overhead us and the lightening (not my picture) was lighting up the conservatory so it looked like a rave party was going on inside.  Fortunately the power outage was short but the storm rumbled on throughout the night coming and going.  We will have to check tomorrow what the conditions are like and if needed will take lunch down to Emba rather than have mum and dad drive.

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