It’s definitely Christmas…

23 December, 2009

…because the rows have started.

My sister, who’s been staying at my house for the last couple of months, has gone off in a foul mood after a shouting match earlier this morning.

I knew it was just a matter of time before the arguments started. My prediction is that my aunt, who was meant to be coming here for Christmas along with my sister, will probably ring tomorrow to say she’s not able to come due to the weather, or illness, or something, so it’ll just be Piglet, Puss-Puss and me eating the turkey, the ham and all the other stuff that’s now crammed into the fridge.

I’ll go and finish the shopping, just in case I need it, and take Piglet for a walk, and then I think I’ll settle down for a few days with some books in front of the fire.

I hope things are more relaxed for the rest of you.


Even more snow overnight!

22 December, 2009

Wow…

It seems that all the snow we haven’t had here over the course of the last 10 years or so has finally fallen in the last few days. There’s been another significant load overnight. It’s still nothing like as thick as in many other parts of the country, but for here it’s very unusual indeed.

I’ll have to go into town, later, to do my Christmas shopping, and make a visit to the organic farm shop for my veggies. Hopefully I’ll get back in one piece, despite the fact that the roads don’t appear to have been gritted.


Chilling by the fire

21 December, 2009


Yesterday’s walk — woods and Woods

21 December, 2009

Tim, Piglet and Kate

Piggly and I went for a brief trot around the woods yesterday, on the way back from Waitrose.

The woods were rather dismal. They’d been snowy earlier in the day, but the sleet had turned to rain and washed all the wintery beauty away.

In the woods

Heading towards the sand hills

A glum scene

Decorated tree

Each year somebody festooons this tree with baubles and cones, but the wind had blown quite a lot of them to the ground.

Piggly launches herself after a rabbit

Dogs aren’t allowed in this bit, and people are only supposed to enter with (readily available) permits, but since there’s no good reason for the ban I ignore it. Bloody dictators, trying to tell me where to walk… *g*

Into the woods again

Illegal walking

On the way home we stopped at Tim and Kate’s, to drop off Christmas goodies and to say a last “Hello” before they leave for Christmas. Kate and Tim spoil Piglet and me, and we both love dropping in. Piglet grows quite hysterical with excitement in the back of the car as I fasten her lead to her collar to walk her over to the house *g*

Tim’s a keen photographer, and he spent quite a lot of time trying to get a good piccy of Piglet to enter in the local show next year. Piglet’s almost as bad a photographic subject as me, though, and she refused to sit still and smile winningly.

Tim trying to get a good piccy of Piglet

Trying a different angle

Piglet consents to sit still for a moment

Tim, Kate and I had a glass of wine to celebrate my birthday, and Piglet had a glass of Ribena. They sent me home with the rest of the bottle. (The wine, that is: not the Ribena.) Yum!

Upon our return to Chez Peewiglet I fed the monsters and then myself.

I have to say that I was a little disappointed in the tub of Waitrose pepper sauce I’d bought earlier. I spotted it on a shelf and thought it would be yummy, because most Waitrose food does seem to be, but sadly it wasn’t. It had a very disappointing taste and a markedly synthetic texture, and there was very little evidence of the cream and brandy it was meant to contain. There weren’t a lot of peppercorns either, for that matter. I should have made some myself, since it’s so extremely easy to make a yummy one. Not to worry, though. I’ll make my own tonight.


More snow!

21 December, 2009

Snowy Southport

Ooh! Here’s the view that met me upon waking this morning. We don’t normally get this kind of snow here.

View from my bedroom window

Piglet refused to go out for a poo and a pee initially, and sneaked into one of the downstairs rooms instead. Fortunately I spotted her, though, and found her looking extremely guilty. Realising she’d been caught almost in the act she padded back out to the kitchen and into the garden, to do the business.

View to the front

Piss-Piss, on the other hand, was delighted with the snow, and shot off to play in it, skating along the paving stones like a little whirling dervish as she went.

Snowy garden

Piss-Piss tries to scrape a hole

Later today, Piglet and I wiill go and see what we can find in the woods.

===============# (<— Piss-Piss wrote that bit: she's back in the house now)


Blah…

20 December, 2009

Eyebrow threading

Feeling almost terminally scruffy, I had my hair cut a couple of days ago (about two months overdue–very short again now) and thought I’d try out some eyebrow threading.

Incidentally, did you know what the function of eyebrows is? I didn’t, until I looked for a ‘threading’ link. Apparently they exist to prevent sweat from running into our eyes. Hmmm… clearly they weren’t invented in the North of England, then. To prevent hailstones from slipping down into our eyes? Maybe.

Anyway, I looked all smart and shiny again and so took Piglet for a celebratory walk. On our arrival back at home, though, she was so excited that she leapt up and scraped great tramlines down my chin with her claws! (She swears it was an accident, but the cat says she isn’t sure.) Anyway, I now look a bit like a skinhead who’s been in a fight. Not a good look for work, really, particularly since I couldn’t find any concealer.

Piggly and I are now off to Waitrose to buy yummy dinner supplies. I don’t like to leave her in the car, but she says she’d rather that than have to stay at home. I’m wearing my Cioch trousers (extremely muddy) so I hope they’ll let me in. The plan is to stop for a walk in the woods on the way back if it isn’t too disgusting outside. Right now I hear gale-force winds and sleet slopping up against the windows, so we may just give the walk a miss.

I’d like to get out, though: I like to be wrapped up warmly against foul weather with my little MP3 player and the sight of little Piglet skipping ahead of me through the sandhills.


Another year older

20 December, 2009

It’s my birthday! Again. It keeps happening!

The monsters let me sleep in until *cough* 10am, good wee thingies. I woke at about 8am to the sound of a hail storm, so turned over and went back to sleep. Now there’s snow outside, and Piglet and I will go down and explore the woods again later. Right now, though, I’m going to settle down in front of the television for a while and decide what self-indulgent stuff I’m going to eat. I may even make a special visit to Waitrose *g*


Test

19 December, 2009


The Restaurant, and work

19 December, 2009

Well, this series has finally dragged itself to a conclusion, and The Winkers won.

Ludicrous as it seems for RB and his partners to have chosen a team that doesn’t include a cook, I have to say I think it was the right decision between the two couples they’d left themselves with. Chris was a good cook, but I’ve already made my feelings about Nathan clear i.e. lazy, rude, careless. I think it would be madness to embark upon a business venture with him. The Winkers, on the other hand, are at least keen and inventive and they don’t give up (what a save with the cocktail, after the disaster with the souffle!), and they undoubtedly have spark and some charm.

If the restaurant doesn’t work out then I’ve no doubt that it would be possible to convert it into something the Winkers *can* actually run–another cocktail bar, for instance. Perhaps RB and his partners wouldn’t mind expanding into that market? I dunno.

I formed the impression, increasingly, that the Winkers simply wanted to go into any kind of business with RB, to gain his financial backing and the benefit of his experience–understandable–and that RB and his partners were more focussed on finding good business partners of *any* sort than potential restauranteurs. I suppose they already have plenty of restaurants between them. Understandable again, although a little unfortunate that the exercise took place on television within the context of a restaurant-running competition.

I still think, though, that Rebecca and Steve were the best qualified to win the competition according to its stated terms i.e. the couple best suited to provide satisfying food in a pleasant environment. Having said that, the standard this year seemed woefully low. I say that knowing and readily acknowledging that I have trouble boiling an egg, but I’m not holding myself up as a person qualified to run a restaurant.

Speaking of restaurants, work was pretty exhausting last night: 6.5 hours (6pm to 12.30am) of frantic service without a break. Others had been in much longer than me and they hadn’t had a break either. That’s simply the way it works there. Yes, it’s illegal, but those are the terms and I’m pretty sure they stand on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis.

I’m lucky in that if I get fed up I can afford to leave, but it’s bit of an eye opener about the conditions in which some people spend their working lives. Having said that, everybody was cheerful and friendly, and worked happily as a team. I’m still enjoying it. I’m a little daunted at the prospect of just how much busier it’s likely to get in the rest of the week, though, as the holiday comes to a head.


walking on the beach again

18 December, 2009

Here’s how our bog- standard walk looks today.

Drat! I simply can’t get the hang of this bloody phone camera! I thought I had it set on medium/super-fine, but somehow it was set on ‘burst’ rather than ‘single photo’ and they’ve come out large. Aaaggghhh!