Twinsane’s Weblog

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Rhubarb & Clementine

Posted by --- on Saturday 7 July, 2012

Following this post I’ve started a batch of Rhubarb wine.  The poster added oranges to his which I thought sounded nice but having none in the house I added the zest and juice of 4 clementines. My first thought was that there was a lot of sugar in the recipe and looking it up in Complete Home Wine-Making by Gillian Pearks, who has a recipe using 2.5lb sugar to 6lb of rhubarb I still think it’s high but will follow it and see how it turns out. Recipe: Rhubarb Wine (To make 1 gallon)

  • 2kg Rhubarb
  • 1.4kg Sugar
  • zest from 2 oranges
  • juice from 4 oranges
  • 2tsp Pectolase
  • 1tsp All purpose wine yeast
  • 1tsp Yeast nutrient


  1. Wash and cut the rhubarb into chunks, freeze overnight and then the next day defrost in a bucket or FV.
  2. Once defrosted add the sugar, orange juice and zest and leave for 24 – 36 hours.
  3. Strain the rhubarb liquor into a demijohn, add some cold water to the bucket or FV and swill around to remove all of the liquid – add this to the demijohn.
  4. Top the demijohn up with water to the shoulders
  5. add the pectolase, yeast and nutrient. Fit an airlock.
  6. When the fermentation has slowed down top the demijohn up with cooled boiled water.

After looking at a lot of the posts on the same forum I now think I’ve been making wine wrong all these years and that’s why I’m not keen on it. I tend to bung it all in a demijohn and leave it there ’til it’s finished bubbling completely. I’ve had some that have gone on for years! What I’ve ended up with is a nasty tasting very dry drink that goes down the drain.  I think now I’m leaving it way too long. I should test the hg and when it’s medium dry (or what ever my taste is – I need to find it!) I stop it by adding a campden tablet and some potassium sorbate. I’m not sure when I rack it really or when I go from a primary fermentation vessel to a secondary. I was following my old copy of First Steps in Winemaking by C.C.J Berry but I don’t think I’ve read it properly. My wines have always taken months before I think of racking them and those on the forum seem to rack within weeks. I need to do lots of research I think. The TC and RCW are bubbling away nicely now on day 3 in the utility room which has no heating but does have the tumble dryer etc which probably kick out some heat. The TC went a bit bonkers on the first night and filled the airlock and neck of the dj with foamy gunk. I cleaned the air lock but have left the bubbles on the dj til I can clean it when I rack it. Next time I wont add all of the juice in one go. Next on my list to make is some mead and some elderflower champagne and wine when the rain eases off a bit!


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Clever little girl

Posted by --- on Tuesday 29 November, 2011

this is just a really fast post to say how quickly baby I is learning. She is now 16 months old and speaks quite well. She knows and says loads of words. Last week she surprised me by counting the ports on my computer! She counts to 5 regularly now.  She loves books and “reads” them herself by doing things like “eating” the fruit in the hungry caterpiller and saying butterfy at the end or doing or saying appropriate things with her different books. She can name many body parts, makes sounds for different animals – dogs bark, cows moo. I’m very proud of her. She is still a 24/7 little girl so I get nothing done now. We struggle getting her to sleep. If we’re lucky I can get her to have an hour in the day, but if she gets to late afternoon she is so tired she won’t stay awake but then will not sleep at all until midnight. She still sleeps with us and at night, has got into the habit of staying awake til I go to bed. I tried going to bed early but she normally wakes around 10 and won’t go back to sleep which is very frustrating as I’ve spent all night in bed.

I’m struggling with all of my kids at the moment. DDJ is always in trouble in one way or another. DSK just doesn’t come home when he should (he was 4 hours late home from school one night last week). DFS is still very temperamental and loses his temper over the slightest thing and I’m up and down with the rollercoaster that is my day to day life.

I keep meaning to blog it all but there are never enough hours in the day – maybe it will be my new years resolution for 2012!

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Random post

Posted by --- on Monday 27 June, 2011

Haven’t done any decorating today and as we’re doing two rooms at once, there is stuff everywhere!

Our electricity is going haywire. Since we changed to a pre-pay meter we’ve been watching our consumption and average £25 a week. There was over £30 in there last weekend so I was amazed when the power went off  yesterday and found we’d run out. I hit the emergency button and checked the weekly tariff (£3). DFS put another £10 in this morning which only gave us £2.46, I then added another £20 tonight at around 10 and it gave us £19.85. DFS checked it 2 hours later and it was £19.27 so it had used another 58p but nothing has been used. It makes no sense. There is no way we’ve used over £40 in a week (if the maths is right), especially this week!  With the hot weather we’ve hardly been cooking and we’ve been outside so haven’t been watching much tv either. Nothing has changed with our usage. In fact some things are being used less such as all the stuff in the kids rooms as I’ve restricted the internet until they tidy their rooms. We will have to monitor it.

My pregnancy drags on with 17 days to go. I want it over but am getting very nervous too. Healthwise,everything is the same: too hot, legs/feet too swollen, thirsty, heartburn, restricted nasal passages, sleep uncomfortable,  hypertensive and now… toothache. will definately ring dentist on monday.

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Posted by --- on Wednesday 15 December, 2010

I’ve discovered tonight that baby I has her first tooth! It is just poking through and i wasnt even certain that it was a tooth at first. she doesnt like me prodding about but after a mini battle, i confirmed that little white pearly tooty-peg! she is 5 months old today, weighed 14 9 and still hasnt developed a routine

foods so far shes tried are
cauli – not keen
carrot – not keen
sweet potato

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playstation network, black ops, bt home hub and strict nat type. Fixed!

Posted by --- on Wednesday 15 December, 2010

Ok so this is a completely random post for this blog but it’s something that’s been frustrating us for a while. We are lucky (or maybe not) in that we have 3 playstation 3’s in our house. My brothers and my DSL also have PS3’s and we have played online games in teams ever since we got them (the day of the release of the console!). Then came black ops and what a nightmare! No matter what we did we could not form a party and were constantly kicked from teh server. I looked it up and it seemed to be related to our nat type. Ours is type 2 which should allow us to play together but the game insisted we were on a strict (type 3) nat. I tried to put the main ps in dmz mode but that meant the other two were still unable to join, I tried assigning ip’s and port forwarding etc. I read page after page of people trying to fix it and tried most of the suggestions. Then today in desperation I tried this which was posted by the wonderful waddy007:


on 14-12-2010 11:21 PM

Here’s what you do – (you will need a copy of MW2 for this to work, might work on world at war but I have not tried)

Put in your copy of black ops, go to multiplayer. Go into options and then hit select. The NAT type should say ‘strict’ (bummer).

Now quit the game and go back to the playstation home screen, eject black ops and put in your copy of modern warefare 2.

Load up the game and go into mutiplayer, go to ‘play online’ and find where is says NAT type. It should say ‘OPEN’.

Now while still on this screen eject the disc which will take you again back to the playstation home screen. Put black ops back in and again go to mutiplayer, then go to options. Now cross your fingers and hit select. Your NAT type will now say OPEN! I could guess at how this works but the most important thing is it works and its really easy which is awesome lol.

Guess what? It works!  It is open! Now to test a party which can’t be done till another time because I’m in the middle of feeding and caring for a baby, making bread, scratchings, mince pies and trying to get straight after putting up the yule decs. Try this though and let me know if it works for you too. I hope it does! fingers crossed…

Posted in Gaming, Home, Just for fun, playstation 3 | 4 Comments »


Posted by --- on Friday 26 November, 2010

Yep you read it right. Goats. We’ve had goats! It was going to be just one, but researching it we’ve learnt that as goats are herd animals they need a companion. I’d decided that the breed I’d like was a golden guernsey goat. I like the look of these for several reasons:

  • Their size, not being too big
  • their milk supply, which is not as much as most
  • the fat content of the milk which is higher making it better form butter, yoghurt and cheese making,
  • I like how they look. many of them have longer fur
  • and finally because they are a rare breed.  keeping them and breeding responsibly from them we should help the breed.

Trying to find one wasn’t so easy. In the end we found two goatling in Wales, When we rang however there was only one left so then we needed to find her a companion and we needed one pretty fast.  We decided that our best bet would be a pygmy goat. We wanted a nanny in case we decided to breed from her in future. We made finding one more difficult by insisting it had to be dehorned (because the guernsey is and it is illegal to keep horned and dehorned, or disbudded, goats together) and wanting a nanny. I could buy numerous horned wethers – which is the name for a castrated male goat. In the end I tracked a lovely nanny goat in Barnsley that was just what we wanted. OHS went to collect it and fell in love with her sister who also has a kid that was born at the end of September so, he ended up bringing back all three and our golden is being collected tomorrow!

Now we’re on a steep learning curve, well I am. I’ve read tons of literature on goats. I have learned tons but books dont cover everything such as why the nanny keeps stopping her kid from suckling…. We’ve got their temporary housing and a pen set up. Hopefully we will have finished their final housing before long. This will be a 12 x 8 foot shed with a stall for living, a milking area, a food storage area and a kidding stall, They will also have a 20 footby 8 foot pen with a concrete floor plus access to grazing.  Right now, although basic and not as big, they have everything they need but they have come to live with us  just as the weather has turned really nasty; the water we’re putting in for them is freezing within an hour or so.  I’m hoping, once I’ve got teh hang of it, to expand my soap making to include goats milk recipes. I’m also looking forward to seeing if drinking goats milk has any positive effects on our health as both OHS and I suffer with gastric complaints. We would also need to get used to the taste. We did by goats milk from the supermarket but it was skimmed and wasn’t really a fair taste trial. I’ve read several times that it doesn’t taste any different from cows milk but we thought that it did. Only time will tell.

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Bumbles, giggles and rice. week 17-18

Posted by --- on Friday 26 November, 2010

Baby I was 18 weeks on thursday this week and the day before, she started solids. She is still being breast fed and hasn’t developed any pattern. She is, on average, having a feed every 2 hours around the clock. I was hoping starting solids would reduce that but it hasn’t and I think I might leave her for another couple of weeks as she isn’t really enjoying the teaspoon of rice each lunchtime.

This week she has also started using her bumble nappies regularly; mainly due to running out of disposables. I’d bought a a stack of disposables when they were on offer but those she has left now are too big for her. I dug out the bumbles that she tried once or twice before and she seems to be happy with them. I’m happy with them. Apart from the fact that they seem bulky (which I like when I cuddle her!) they seem to be as good, if not better, than all the brands of disposables we’ve tried. So far pampers, huggies, tesco and asda’s own brands haven’t managed to contain baby I’s explosive baby poo but twice these nappies have managed it. My problem will be removing the stains as I haven’t managed to get the yellow stains out of her clothes yet either! I keep getting told that sunshine will take the stains out but I’ve left vests outside for three days in brilliant sunshine (yes, in the UK we did have more than one day in a row of sunshine!) and the stains remained. I now have one stained nappy outside – which has frozen stiff – in the very slim hope that a little sunshine might do the trick. If not I’ll try a hot wash. I bought a cheap fleecy blanket from the pound shop today that I’ve cut into 13 strips to use as liners so hopefully the staining wont be as bad on the nappy though breastfed babies poo tends to soak into the nappy. I wanted to use cloth nappies after reading about how many disposables are taken to the tip and sit there for up to 500  years! Apart from ecological reasons there are economical reasons too. In the long run, it works out cheaper to use reusables, especially, if like me, you purchase second hand. I’ll let you know how they go and if they’re as practical for someone like me that likes a simple, easy life!

This week I’m pretty sure she is giggling too. I thought she’d giggled before but I’m sure she has now. It’s impossible to get her to repeat it though I’ve tried everythign. When it happens its a throaty chuckle which I’m sure even surprises her by the look on her face but gets an instant burst of laughter and smiles from anyone around her.

She is still getting a lot of attention when we go out. An elderly lady in Asda stopped me this week to tell me she is one of the most beautiful babies she’d ever seen which was lovely to hear. Baby I always gets lots of ooh’s and ahh’s when we’re out especially when she’s in her sling as she was today. Living where we do, it is very rare to see a baby in anything but a pushchair. In fact, I’ve never seen anyone else using one. You see them all around town, the moms with their babies in matching colour co-ordinated buggy’s. They buy new ones just to keep up with fashion! I know a girl that has had at least 3 for each child purely because of fashion and then there’s me, with my little one snuggled up under my chin in her sling. The surprising thing is the reaction. i was expecting snide remarks like those I’ve received already such as “What’s that? A curtain you’ve slung around her?!” which was from a relative!  But no, many people are asking questions. I heard a dad telling his partner today that they should think of getting something like it for their little one as “I bet she’s lovely and warm in there!” which of course, she was. They’d spent some time trying to catch up with me to try to have a sneaky peak and I didn’t want to seem as if I was eavesdropping by dropping back to talk to them but they were most impressed. I don’t think many people around here have seen slings in use but I hope more people take to using them. I’d be lost without mine as she wouldn’t take to her pushchair in the beginning (still screams in her car seat every trip we make in the dark and some in the light too) and it was far easier when she was distressed to put her in her sling and take her out and about.  She loves being close to me, being able to see and I also think a lot of the attention she gets is because she’s up where people can see her, when they realise I’m carrying a baby that is.

She is still a difficult baby. I’ve struggled with her this week. I still can’t put her down to sleep and she sleeps very little in the day. She had three 15 – 25 minute naps through out the day today and  finally fell asleep on me around 10:30  this evening; she is on the sofa next to me and is fidgety.  Dad and nan have struggled with her this week with nan hearing her screaming cry for the first time when she looked after her when i went to the dentist and dad having her scream at him when i went to the shop for ten minutes and again, when I went to the toilet. She is getting worse. I cannot leave her. She wont settle in her moses basket and is sleeping in bed with us.I cannot get anything done and am finding it frustrating. I then feel guilty because it wont last and she’s only upset because she wants to be with me. I keep hoping it will get easier as she gets older.

nappy debate  links:

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Shortcrust pastry formula

Posted by --- on Thursday 11 November, 2010

This is another post made primarily as a reference for myself. I’ve noticed that Shortcrust pastry has a rough formula of 100, 50, 24 %

So for 1kg flour, add 500g fat (250 butter & 250 lard) and 240ml water. Roughly flour, fat, water would be:
500g flour, 250g fat and 120ml water.
400, 200, 95
300, 150, 70
200, 100, 50
100, 50, 25
(water rounded up or down for simplicity)

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I think I’ll go back to bed

Posted by --- on Wednesday 14 July, 2010

I wasn’t up late last night particularly – it was 3am which is 2 hours earlier than most nights – but I still didn’t get out of bed till 10:30. I didn’t know this at the time because the electricity had gone off and the clocks upstairs were flashing. no one was in the house (good job I don’t have an emergency – my due date is tomorrow and I’ve always been early so far so you’d think people would see that I was ok before going out…)

As per my normal routine, I put the kettle on, turned on the pc to boot up and headed to the bathroom. Came out and entered my pw on my pc, went to make the first of several morning coffee’s and noticed we only had enough milk for one.  I’d have thrown on some clothes but I went to bed with wet hair last night and I now have a massive nest of hair! Great! Made my coffee, went back to my pc and waited for Unhackme to finish its scans. Then tried to open up firefox and outlook which normally take around 10 minutes to load each morning (no idea why), so I picked up a magazine while I waited. I have an appt with the midwife at 12:15 but have no sample bottle so despite wanting to go to the loo, I have to wait so that I know I will be able to give a urine sample. Great! So my computer eventually loads its programs, I check my mail and see that decisions at the lotty are being done by one or two people again but give up. I log onto facebook and scan through the mornings updates – not much going on.  Then I put my straighteners on to heat up. I can’t remember the last time I used them! I hate how they’ve cut my hair this time anyway but again, I couldn’t be bothered to keep telling them.  On the second pass of the straighteners, I managed to put my index finger between the plates – how? No idea. I didn’t think I’d done much till i saw the 3x3cm roll of skin I’d burnt and scraped down. I turn on the tap and run my finger under it – it doesn’t hurt so I started to try to empty the cupboard looking for a dressing. We don’t have one so I have to try to make one with a bit of gauze and some of that papery dressing tape that I can’t remember the name of right now! it looks a real mess but it’s covered.  so it didn’t stick i put a dollop of savlon on and then realised that had been out of date for 2 years! Then I tried to put the box back in the cupboard (being heavily pregnant and short remember…) i knocked a bottle of calamine lotion which hit the work surface, I tried to catch it with one hand as it bounced but I missed and watched it hit the floor by my feet and as does anything breakable which hits this stupid tile floor, it shattered and scattered glass across the entire kitchen floor with a gloopy mess of calamine lotion at the impact point. Of course being pregnant (and I think my depression is kicking in again) this was a major catastrophe that reduced me to tears. I pulled myself together and dodging glass I went and fetched the sweeper and piled the glass into one area – getting on the floor to clean it up will be a nightmare I’ll leave till after my midwife appt. Then I try to finish my hair with a finger I can’t bend, standing 2 feet away from the work surface as my bump wont let me get any closer, and having not done it for ages and not knowing the style they’ve done, made it look straightish but still horrible. then my finger starts to throb and throb. The dressing is way too tight and rubbing in between my fingers making that sore too. I need to get dressed, I’ve got 15 minutes to be at my appt and it’s tipping it down of rain so my hair will frizz and curl as soon as I step outside anyway!
Lets hope the afternoon improves…

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Due date

Posted by --- on Wednesday 14 July, 2010

Baby is due in two days (well tomorrow as it has gone 1am now) but I’m not hopeful it will be over then. I’ve felt light headed and nauseous and have been vomiting tonight which can be a sign of  early labour – it could also be  a sign of eating 10 jaffa cakes! I’m dreading labour. You’d think after going through it twice I’d be a little calmer but I think this is the worst I’ve felt. I think it’s because I don’t want pethedine this time but scared I wont cope without it. I have an appointment with my midwife tomorrow. This one is better to talk to so I am going to discuss things with her. The other midwife just said “why, you’ve done it before?!” when i said i was quite nervous. SHe also told me I wouldn’t have the option of some of the things in my birth plan, including the pool as I am a high risk pregnancy and have been under the consultant. I have been a consultant patient because I had several miscarriages between my son and my twins and then I had twins. Obviously neither of these are an issue with this pregnancy so I can’t see why I can’t have what I want! I might not even want the pool when it comes to it but I want the option!

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