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♥Sep. 3rd, 2015 // 04:57 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/1102367.html]

We've just got back from Mike's birthday dinner, at The Ambrette, where the food was as lovely as ever (although the slight vagueness to the service that's always present seemed worse than usual on a very quiet Thursday evening). We had been booked in for tomorrow, which is The Actual Day, but Little Red Thing is being taken away in the morning, and Mike's not picking up the new car until Saturday so we thought that tonight was a better bet than taxis both ways.

(Poor Mike: had to be driven home by me, in the LRT, at night. I'm surprised he made it!)

This afternoon, I had my last ultrasound treatment at the hospital. I'd completely forgotten about it until I sat down with my laptop after lunch and noticed the little banner on the screen saying "Hospital in 1 minute". Oops. They fitted me in ok, though, so it wasn't a problem. Just have to go back in six and then twelve months for follow-up tests, now. As I got to the hospital, I started to rain. "Aha!" I thought, "For once it's started raining just as Jo's being walked and I'm not out in it," but Mike said they didn't get any here. Typical.

The swallows have started to gather on the telephone wires, getting ready to head south for the winter. Probably a good plan, as I've a sneaking suspicion we might get a frost this weekend....
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Happy birthday to me. I think.

♥Aug. 24th, 2014 // 09:43 am
[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/1033206.html]

During the night, I woke up a few times to find Mike in the loo, and then in the loo, and then still in the loo, and then shivering piteously in bed.

When he started to make 'must get up noises' at 7am, I womanfully told him to go back to sleep, and went to feed the boys, and Next Door's horse, and Next Door's cats. As he was still asleep later, I went and did the mucking out. "Ah well," I thought as I carefully placed it on a hay bale in the barn, "at least the girls have provided a nice fresh egg for Special Birthday Breakfast." (We were, bizarrely, Out Of Eggs: a combination of my mostly using them up before we went away, telling the sitter he could have as many as were laid, baking a cake after we got back, and having Toad In The Hole for dinner last night, delayed from the previous day due to the egg shortage.)

When I'd finished the yard, I went back to retrieve my egg and found it missing. I checked under the hay bale, and on the floor around it, but there was no sign of it. I suspect that Jodie's brief wander about the barn followed by an uncharacteristic trip back to the front garden may have something to do with my lack of Special Birthday Breakfast.

Still, birthday presents awaited! We headed back into the house, to find Mike emerging from the loo. "I couldn't find the wrapping paper..." he said, sadly. "It's where it always is, on the shelves above my desk," I replied, "other than the roll that's right *there* next to my desk from when I wrapped my Grandad's present yesterday."

There was a small stack of presents and cards on the sofa. My mother and [livejournal.com profile] pixiejuice had sent me cards! [livejournal.com profile] pixiejuice's presents were even wrapped, in Amazon's finest! Mike had got me the new(ish) Oysterband CD and a new video game!

It's a good job I'm too old for birthdays....


To be fair, I had actually already had my birthday present from Mike, hammocks being more useful before the end of August than after it. And it is a lovely sunny day. And at least Mike now feels well enough to go to Tesco, so I don't have to go out and buy my own Special Birthday Dinner! And, also for the good, Jodie has been favouring one of her back legs but seems to be fine again now.

Edit: And *then* I make a *perfectly* reasonable whingy LJ post and the comments fill up with people hoping that Mike feels better soon! Hmph, I say. Hmph.
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♥Jul. 23rd, 2014 // 07:59 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/1027381.html]

Yesterday, I was, with Jo's assistance, supervising while Mike mowed the back lawn. I leant over to give her a stroke, and my neck/upper back was very sore. Not in an 'ouch, I just pulled something' way, just a really nasty ache that appeared for no apparent reason at a time when I wasn't moving.

It's less sore today, which is good, but I am a bit bewildered as to what I did to cause it. I do have a new dog walking bag, which is an early birthday present after my previous one died. However, as it's just about big enough to get a bottle of water in with my phone, keys and a poo bag (and I haven't actually been taking the water), this seems unlikely. It might also be too much editing of documents on my laptop, but actually yesterday was pretty quiet for that.

Today, therefore, I have mostly been sitting in another early birthday present, because a) it's hot and b) it's hard to conceal a six-foot-long box with 'hammock and stand' printed in large letters on the side, which is actually more comfortable than the sofa because my neck is supported nicely.

Hopefully it will be better still tomorrow, as we have riding lessons!

We put the girls in the garden, today, so that the boys could go inside if they wanted to get out of the sun. We made what was, in retrospect, the mistake of closing the duck-proof gate to the yard to stop them getting near the boys: when we went to get them in they were nowhere to be found in the garden. We tracked them down in the garage, sitting on the other side of the wall to their house. I'm not sure if they squeezed themselves through the stock netting on the fence or if they went through the hole that the badger dug under the fence, along the road and back up the drive.
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New toy!

♥Aug. 31st, 2013 // 09:15 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/906907.html]

For my birthday, my mother got me an enormous steamer, which I mostly wanted for making cordial in.

The first try was my standard ginger-and-lemon cordial, which I usually make in the stock pot and then steam. There was something of a fail on my part, when the juice slowly seeped out onto the kitchen counter, where it pooled in the window: after much washing and wiping to de-stickify things, I ended up with about a (litre) bottle of juice, when I would normally make four bottles with the same ingredients. Even without the leak, I suspect that it would only have made a couple of bottles at best. It wasn't nearly as gingery as with the other method, but you could taste the honey much more when it hadn't been simmered to death.

Next up, I got Mike to get a couple of bags of plums with the veg box*. They made a very, very purple juice that didn't taste desperately of plums.

* Gosh, but we're eating a lot of veg. I suspect that Mike might struggle a bit when Brassica Time comes, but so far we're enjoying it, and the add-on fruit really is very good. Does anyone have any cucumber suggestions? Mike loathes it, I'll eat it if it's in my sandwich but wouldn't add it voluntarily. I suppose I'll have to pickle them, or something? (We're only allowed two do-not-wants, and we've taken them with cauliflower -- my least favourite brassica -- and celery -- which even I will pick out if it's not rude to do so.)

Today, having yesterday passed a stall in Canterbury that was selling two punnets of local** strawberries for £2.50, I tried those out. I got about a bottle and a third of juice from them, and I think it's lovely: Mike's not so keen, but then he doesn't like the taste of cooked strawberries, and I do. There was a very dramatic moment when, having been out and about for a while, I'd not obsessively lifted the lid to check on the fruit for nearly an hour. When I did, the slightly-grey-looking strawberries visibly shrivelled and collapsed in the time that it took for my glasses to completely steam up.

** I'm fairly sure that they actually were local: the sign had the name of the farm on it....

I suspect that there will be more experimentation in future! I might go and have a look at the apple trees tomorrow, to see what's happening there. (They're annoyingly tucked away in the corner of the garden. Last time I looked was a week ago, when there were a few windfalls on the floor. We don't even know if they're cookers or eaters!)

In other news, today our fencing work finally started: they've ripped out all of the old fencing, and are getting ready to put the new posts in tomorrow. I spent a fun hour out in the field going across the line of the old dividing fence (which we're not replacing: we'll use electric tape to strip graze instead) filling in the holes with A Conveniently Available Organic Material, which the boys helpfully provided.

Although it was a lovely day, and scorchingly hot in the conservatory when we popped in there this afternoon, it's now a bit bloody chilly out here beyond the heat island. I've got to go and give the boys their hay*** in a minutes, and I'm wondering if I should go and get some socks.

*** I finally got around to calling the guy who farms the valley, who had, we think, been ordered to supply us by the Woman Who Owns The Valley. He brought a (round) bale the same day, for us to try, and today we've rearranged the barn so that we'll be able to fit eight of them in, which Mike calculates should be very nearly, if not actually, enough to see us through.
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