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Archive for August, 2009

Flip-flops and photography foolery.

Posted by --- on Friday 28 August, 2009

Peach Hollyhock 2009What a day today. DFS woke me by ringing half an hour before my alarm was due to go off and it was raining. I’m fed up of the rain. The kids wanted to go swimming so I dropped them off and when I came back I popped over to the neighbours. I only meant to have a quick coffee but that turned into almost two hours leaving me only 15 minutes to get ready to go collect the kids.

I want to save some seed off the hollyhock so when I went home I  thought, despite the rain, that I’d nip out before I had to go and collect the kids to take a photo so I remember what the flowers were like. I grabbed my fleece and a rain hat, slipped on my flip flops and ran outside. It was hard taking pics with my left hand but because of my right wrist, I couldn’t use it properly. I  couldn’t get a picture through the fence anyway so I went around to get closer. Getting soaking wet, aware that I would be late to fetch the kids if I didnt hurry, I stepped into the overgrown grass and felt a sharp pain in my right foot. Looking down I saw the end of the plank of wood in the grass and I knew what I’d done. I went to pick up my foot but the wood lifted too. I tried to pull the wood off with my one good hand (remember my bad wrist that’s been in a support for two days) and realised avplanter of sweet peas was on top of it. So I had to try to balance on my left leg,without moving the right, put the camera in my pocket and lift the planter off the wood with two hands but without bending my right wrist nor taking too much weight with it. Achieving this, I had to pull the wood off my foot. The nail that had pierced my flip-flop and foot was very rusty and bent. I semi-hopped (have you tried hopping in flip-flops), semi-limped, and semi-skidded in the rain up to the house. Then I did my best to clean it but there was now mud that had splashed from the downpour mixing with the blood trickling out of the tiny hole and I now had 3 minutes to get to the sports centre to fetch the kids. Typically, the plaster I put on wouldn’t stick so I had to tape it on! I limped to the car, pulled off the wrist support which was now soaked and tried to get in the landy. Not fun with a right hand I can’t bend – hence can’t pull myslelf up – and a right foot painful to weight bear. And guess waht? The wet floor must have caused some type of suction with my foamy flip flops becuase as I lifted my left foot up to get into the landy, the bottom pulled off the bar that goes between your toe leaving the sole hanging off and getting wrapped around my foot! In frustration I flicked it off my foot and drove bare foot up town in a rush as I was now late. The kids were even later and I sat outside (couldn’t go out with only one shoe and a limp on the other!) for another 10 minutes.

When i got back I realised the khaki cambell drake had escaped and was wondering arounf the garden. I left him out. It was still raining and I wasn’t in the mood to chase ducks.

By this afternoon the rain was coming down in gallons and we had our annual eye tests. I took them up and the same as last year, we were split up – I don’t like that. I should have asked more qestions but wanted to get to see what was happening with the kids but the short version is that I need glasses for both reading and driving. I’m not sure why I need some for driving. I know reactorlite will be usefull for me because I really suffer with bright light but prescription glasses? My reading ones i was expecting because I find myself pulling things further away to focus on them – it’s my age they told me. I will research my prescription to see what it means. It seems I also have astigmatism.

I will put my results here if anyone wan’t to explain then (when I can be bothered to go and get  them!)

My foot’s throbbing now. As my nan used to say. I am in the wars!

I think I’ll save seed from these too:

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Hairdressers

Posted by --- on Friday 28 August, 2009

Am I the only woman that hates going to the hairdressers? I leave it that long that it’s always a major event and I never know how to have it styled. I’m going tomorrow and I’m dreading it. I’m only going becuase we have a family do to go to – which I’m also dreading.

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Fruit flies

Posted by --- on Friday 28 August, 2009

Yesterday I decided to try making relish’s with the fruit we’ve grown.  I had a couple of large cucumbers that weren’t going to get eaten. I scoured the web and came up with these:

Cucumber & Green Tomato

  • 2 lb (900 g) green tomatoes
  • 2 lb (900 g) cucumbers
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 6 oz (175 g) white sugar
  • 1 pint (570 ml) white vinegar

Method:

  1. Chop all the vegetables finely. Put in layers in a large bowl, sprinkling each layer with the salt. Leave to stand overnight. Tip into a colander and drain well.
  2. Put the vinegar, sugar and spices into a pan and stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil and add the vegetables.
  3. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture is fairly stiff but still moist.
  4. Pack the relish into hot, clean, sterilized jars, right to the top.
  5. Cover and seal immediately.
  6. Label when fully cool.

Makes 3 -4 lbs (1.4 kg – 1.8 kg) of Cucumber and Green Tomato Relish. Ready in about 4 weeks.

Cucumber and Pepper

  • 1 lb 8 oz (750 g) cucumber
  • 2 large red or yellow peppers
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 6 fl oz (175 ml) red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds

Method:

  • Cut the cucumbers in half lengthways and remove the seeds. Chop coarsely into a colander or sieve, sprinkle with the salt and leave for at least an hour.
  • Squeeze out the excess moisture.
  • Core, de-seed and thinly slice the peppers, put into a bowl with the lime juice and mix well.
  • Bring the vinegar to the boil and add the cucumber, peppers, lime juice and mustard seeds.
  • Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal.

Makes about 1lb 12 oz (750 g) of relish.

I used all of the green tomatoes we had from two baskets and I had to buy another cucumber to make up the recipie. The recipes say to chop the veg but last time i made a relish, I left the pieces too big and I dont like it so I thought I’d chop it all small. It took ages, a good hour or more. The recipe then says to sprinkle with salt and leave. (Why is that? to remove the excess fluid? Why?) So I did and today it’s full of hundreds of fruit flies. And we have no more fruit to make more and this is just worm food. At least I’ve prepared it nicely for them…

Posted in Preserves | Leave a Comment »

Fluffy feet

Posted by --- on Wednesday 26 August, 2009

The lavender pekin chicks have started hatching. One is out and it has fluffy feet. I don’t know why but I’m mesmerised by them. They are so cute! I love chicks when they hatch and wobble around for the first day or two.  There are another two pipped in the incubator.

Posted in Poultry | Leave a Comment »

Ebay woes – what a con!

Posted by --- on Thursday 20 August, 2009

What are they up to?  I haven’t sold anything on Ebay since DFS reluctantly sold his CBR due to cash flow problems and that was bad enough – restricted paypal account, etc .

I’ve now decided to have a clear out. A) because I am sick of all this clutter. It gets to you. Every room is the same but thats another post in itself, and B) to generate a bit of cash now that even our child support has been stopped (yet another post). So, to start off  I have 6 items to sell on ebay using turbo lister.

I ‘m selling a rotovator, cash on collection because I don’t want to pay insertion fees, and final value fees and paypal fees on top. Ebay says no… you can’t have cash on collection as a payment method. Why not? They get their percentage out of the insertion and final value fee. Why should I have to wait – again – for paypal which has restrictions on it because I’ve sold over £1000 – the bike.. Why am I forced to use this payment method and give them yet anothe slice of the cake?

I wanted to put a book on there. It is a heavy, hardbacked, cookery book. It needs to be sent as a parcel which starts at £4.41. I put the postage as £4.50. Ebay says no… you can’t have postage of over £2.75 for anything in this category. I was selling the £12 book , brand new  for 99p! It’s heavy to post. I offered collection as an option- but obviously not cash on collection. It would have cost me to sell it. I’m not selling it now.

I had a coat to sell. It was in the womens clothing section under jackets. Ebay says no… you can’t advertise it in that category! It’s a ladies jacket. What category is it supposed to be in?! I just kept changing it and resetting it to the same category and in the end it went through.

I have another book to sell. Ebay said no… (oh good grief!) you can’t have a cheque or postal order as a payment option anymore. Only electronic payment methods – i.e. PAYPAL! WHICH EBAY OWN! All of the auctions had cheque, postal order, bankers draft, cash on collection, direct bank transfer etc and it decides it doesn’t like this one.

I was going to start an irrate thread on the community forums in particular about ebay setting limits on the postage and packaging for a book  (when I can find auctions for 01p with £20.99 postage?!) but found people on there complaining of forced free postage and packaging. How can they do that?! It wouldn’t be so bad if Ebay compensated  the p&p but expecting sellers to pay ebay for the privaledge of selling items and cover the costs of sending it themselves is ridiculous! The reason I don’t sell on Amazon is because I don’t see how I could cover the cost of posting my heavy books (all of my nursing, psychology etc books weigh a ton!) and now ebay are doing it. I’d rather give them away than give Ebay the profits.  At the end of the day, Ebay is a service we pay for! They shouldn’t be dictating the details such as how much it costs to post etc. I know people get conned all the time but buyers have options. If you think that £20 is extortionate for the postage then you don’t have to buy it. Sellers aren’t being given  choices (just look at the feedback system now where you can’t leave negative feedback as a seller) . Ebay are telling me that if I want to sell my book through them, I have to cover £2. of the postage myself and make a loss of £1 and that’s before they take out their insertion fee and final value fee! Oh yes, and you can bet your backside that paypal will take a percentage of the full fee paid through them which will, of course, include p&p… I’m sure there must be some trading standard organisation that can see they are taking major advantage of their monopolisation.

If I could find a competitive auction site I would swap. Anyone recommend a good one in the UK? I looked at CQ Out but I found it hard to reduce the search options* (apologies for terrible english and spelling, i’m really tired now) so ended up with 5900 ads to trawl through when I just wanted to see what hatching eggs were on there just to see what range of items were for sale. Come on google or any of the other big players. Make some competition please!

*Narrow my search! That’s the phrase I was looking for. I think I should go to bed now. Night.

Posted in misc | Leave a Comment »

Yet another battery chicken petition – update

Posted by --- on Friday 14 August, 2009

As promised here is Cadbury’s response to my enquiry. I’d like to thank them for answering promptly and honestly:

My question:

Can you confirm whether the information posted on this website (http://www.bhwt.org.uk/creme-eggs.php) is correct? Do you use battery hen eggs and if so, what products contain eggs and have you any plans to change to eggs obtained from more humane sources?

Response:

Thanks for your recent enquiry regarding our confectionery.

I can confirm that we do not use free range eggs in our products.

Please be assured your comments will be passed onto our Technical Department for their information.

CB

Consumer Relations Department

I would have like to have been informed as to which products contain eggs but that information wasn’t included.

Posted in welfare | Leave a Comment »