Tuesday, 31 March 2009

If you can't stand the heat ...

The next batch of 3-fruit marmalade is on the boil, because if I don't get it done today ready for the Coffee Morning on Saturday, it won't get done at all, what with the final Lent Lunch tomorrow and the final Lent film on Thursday.

It's bubbling beautifully, and with just the right amount of brandy ....


thash purffeck't ...... Bu**er supper ...

Saturday, 28 March 2009

The Return of the Native

Perhaps it shows how much I have become used to the quieter and sedate life of East Anglia that I found Leeds to be a really busy city - crowded streets such as are never seen in Norwich, and the train station buzzing with people going in all directions - trans-pennine, Dundee, Plymouth.

It was a really good day, and a grand lunchtime meeting organised by Doorman Priest to meet up with the travelling legend of the deep south, Grandmere Mimi, who looks exactly like her Blog profile picture - so much so that I recognised her from the rear as she and some others were enquiring how to get to the first floor of Leeds Art Gallery without using the stairs. Other blogosphere contributors were also present who I won't name in case they wish to remain out of the picture. I'll leave it for them to reveal their presence if they so wish. Nor will I reveal who it was that had two main courses at our lunch ....

So now I'm back in the slumbering Shires, and putting my clocks forward an hour.

It's the first time I've tried computer dating.

En route

Here we are, on the Leeds to London Kings Cross train, but I shall be getting off at Peterborough - hopefully! Free Wifi access on the train, but it would be better if I had a table seat on which to put the laptop, rather than an airline-type seat with a flap-down tray. There's only just enough room for the keyboard and me, which means the screen is not quite upright and a bit difficult to see. Ah well, could be worse ....

Lunchtime meeting was very enjoyable. More later - we're coming into Wakefield Westgate. Foreign territory!

New every morning ...

I slept really well and have woken refreshed. Great hot shower, and good breakfast buffet - another reason I like the Ibis style. Now to gird my loins for a foray into Leeds city centre and a nose round the shops before the lunchtime meeting at somewhere called "The Tiled Hall Cafe" which is apparently part of the Town Hall/Art Gallery complex. I have a map ....

Friday, 27 March 2009

Heading North

A swift trip to Leeds for a lunchtime meeting tomorrow. Journey by rail started at Norwich station at 12.57.

Then a change at Grantham - which according to my rail network map, doesn't connect anywhere!

Then arrival at Leeds, some helpful information from the Tourist desk in the station, and a short 15 minute walk to the Ibis Hotel.

I did consider having my evening meal here, but it was as dead as the proverbial dodo in the restaurant area, and the lights of "tgiFriday's" were shining from over the road, so skirting the hurtling traffic I dined on a very good steak with peppercorn sauce, fries and seasonal veg - and the broccoli was still hot on the plate, which is something I can never manage at home. Washed down with a large glass of Merlot.

No starter and no dessert, but back for a coffee in my room.

I like the Ibis chain - straightforward, clean and comfortable. What else can one want on a night in an unknown city?

(Answers on a postcard please ....)

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Feeding the masses

That's the third weekly Lent Lunch over and done. Tables are cleared, dishes washed and crockery put away. The meal, at £3 per person, consists of home made soup and a warm bread roll, cheese and biscuits, tea or coffee.

The first week 17 people had a choice of Tomato or Winter veg soups. Last week 18 people had a choice of Chicken & leek or Beef & tomato soup. Today 13 people dined on either Crofter's thick vegetable or Chicken, mushroom, spring onion and farfalle pasta soup.

Monies raised for the charities we're supporting, after expenses, has so far been over £50 per week. Two more to go, and no-one's had food poisoning yet!!!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Food, drink and a Cafe

The salmon was wonderful (even if it looks a bit anaemic in this picture!) - oven cooked with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and made even better with the two glasses of 2005 Cahors that accompanied it! I then watched the Christmas 1991 special "Allo Allo". Bliss. Food for the body and the spirit.

And during Lent as well!!!

Friday, 13 March 2009

Update late

I really should have posted before this, but it's been a busy 7 days or so now that Lent has started. Parish work has kept me occupied - as in previous years I am cooking and hosting a weekly Lent lunch, then having a Lent group the following night - so last week there was Lent Lunch on Wednesday, post-communion "breakfast on Thursday, with the Lent group in the evening, and then two funerals on Friday followed by my monthly Coffee morning on Saturday. Add to that the death of one of our Benefice Readers (not unexpected) and a funeral-planning visit to another parishioner, I have had little spare time. This week the same Lent events, plus I have to get the Benefice magazine compiled and off to the printers, the main work for which I have started today.

So, it is now just on 8.00 p.m. The salmon fillet is cooking, the carrots boiling, and the microwave has just signalled that it has finished "nuking" a potato. So I am going to abandon this machine for a while, sit down, eat, and watch a film.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Stormy weather

It's a rough old night out there - the wind howling in the chimneys, rattling against the windows, and generally making itself felt. It was in weather such as this that I used to love going along the Undercliff Walk from Brighton to Rottingdean. The picture, copied from the Flickr photo site, shows the waves battering the cliffs below Roedean School (from whose flagpole a pair of y-fronts were hung during Rag Week 1969 - not me officer ...). The horizontal line along the bottom of the cliff is the Walk, the huge concrete edging showing, the blocks curved to try and direct the force of the water back out to the sea. They didn't always work, and after major storms quite a number would be found pushed out of place by the force of the waves. It was often a very wet and adventurous stroll. The Health & Safety brigade would not be amused, but it was fun.

Swings and roundabouts

The day started badly, missing the blue bin recyclable waste collection this morning, having forgotten to put the bin out at the end of the drive last night! Bum. Before the end of the next fortnight I shall have to sneak some waste paper into my neighbour's blue bin as she always has space.

But it got better. The web site "Freecycle", where people can ask for or offer items which are given freely, no sales allowed, is one I browse quite regularly. This morning I passed on an old fridge freezer to a young couple who were delighted to receive it. It's done me well, and when I looked at the paperwork it was bought on 8th December 1984! I received it from its original buyer a couple of years later. It cost a whacking £250 then, which was very expensive! It's never needed a repair and still works well. They don't make them like that anymore.

This evening I also passed on a spare VCR recorder to a young family whose own machine had started to chew up their tapes. They were pleased to get a replacement.

Good for them, and good for me, as Lent is a time for down-sizing.