Times Radio

Times Radio

I am an ardent fan of BBC Radio Four.  For quite some time, I have been dissatisfied with the quality of some of their Programmes.  For example, Book at bedtime sometimes has too much of violence and bad language.   Totally unnecessary!  Instead of gently lulling one to sleep, it keeps one awake.

Thanks to the Private Eye,  I discovered that a few of Radio Four Presenters have been poached by a new rival radio station called Times Radio.  I had never heard of them and decided to listen to them this morning via the internet.  I only tuned in to catch the hourly news brief.  The wonderful thing is that you don’t need to sign in to listen to them.   It is still early days but I hope that they will be a good alternative to Radio Four.

Radio Four is still my preferred Radio station but it is good to have a good alternative at least to keep them on their toes.

Electric Blanket in the Summer?

Electric Blanket in the Summer?

Am I the only one who is finding the recent weather a little wintry?  For the past one week, I have been turning on my electric blanket in the evenings!  When I told my hairdresser this, she burst out laughing!  Just that I wasn’t joking.   I have been feeling cold.   In Scotland, It was not unusual for me to have the electric blanket on in the Summer.  Up in the Highlands,  it was turned on throughout the year.  In fact, when I met my neighbours in the summer , the first question would be “what time did you turn on your electric blanket last night”???????

Haircut at last!!!!

Haircut at last!!!!

I finally had my haircut yesterday!  Woo hoo!!!  My last haircut was in February.  I had an appointment in March but it was one day after the lockdown was announced so it never came to pass.  I was very grateful to my hairdresser for putting me among the top on her list.

As desired, I went for a bob instead of my usual crop and I am liking it very much.  It feels strange to have slightly longer hair but it is certainly feeling much lighter compared to all that weight I was carrying for the last 3 months.

The Mhinisteir too got his haircut yesterday.  I am not keen for him to go to the barbers just yet so I had arranged for the hairdresser to cut his hair while she was at the Vicarage.

He is super pleased with his haircut.  What he doesn’t know is that I had to warn the hairdresser that he has a very traditional haircut like that of Jacob Rees Mogg and that it had to be scissors only.

Gardener Disappointment

Gardener Disappointment

Our new gardener has been coming over once a fortnight to cut the grass and tidy up the garden.  We are very happy with his work.  He usually brings an assistant with him but sometimes two.  I was initially a little worried that he might charge us more than he had quoted because he had advertised himself as a one man band.   So far, he has been fair. We are usually about  £45 poorer when he has finished.

He came over as usual a fortnight ago.  Again he did a good job.  The garden is looking very tidy thanks to him.   Unfortunately he dropped a bomb! He has started charging VAT!!!! I wish he had given us some warning but he only told us after he had cut the grass and it was time to pay.

I am very disappointed as he is a good gardener but the 20% VAT will burn a hole in our pockets.  It was precisely for this reason that we had been looking for a gardener who didn’t charge VAT.   The Mhinisteir and I decided to spend the weekend praying as to what we should do.  In the end we both decided that we had to let him go.

The initial quote was for £15 for an hour’s work.  He told us that it would only take 45 minutes to cut the grass and that he would use the other 15 minutes tidying up.  However, since he started, we have never paid him anything less than £45.  He always takes upon himself to do more than the General grass cutting.  We were okay with it as our garden was looking tidy but springing the VAT upon us like that was a little unfair.

I got in touch with his Wife to break the news and it was only then that I began to wonder whether they had taken us for a ride.  When I told the Mhinisteir about my telephone conversation, he wondered the same.  It is a real pity because all we wanted to do was help a small business.

 

Hopping Mad!!!

Hopping Mad!!!

I was asked to organise a welcome present for our new curate.  Based on my personal experience, I decided on a food parcel from a prestigious company.

One Sunday afternoon, the doorbell rang.  We never get any deliveries on a Sunday.  I was utterly shocked when the Mhinisteir brought in the food parcel meant for the new curate and their family.  It was delivered almost a week earlier than the requested delivery date.  Since it was a food parcel, it needed to be stored at the correct temperature.  There was hardly any space in our fridge/ freezer!  I had no choice but to open the parcel.  Just as well the parcel was delivered to the Vicarage instead of the Curate’s house as they hadn’t moved in yet!  It would have been lying there decomposing in the sweltering heat!!!!!

I almost hit the roof when I saw the contents inside.  There was a horrible looking liquid running over the lovely contents.  Some items in the food parcel had burst open. How dare they?

I turned into Margo Leadbetter and sent a very firm email demanding either a full refund or the same to be delivered on the day of my choosing.  They went for the latter.

New Panama Hat

New Panama Hat

The Mhinisteir has finally succumbed to pressure from me and has bought his first ever Panama hat. To be fair to him, there was no use for it in the Scottish Highlands where it was always blowing a gale almost all the time.  Anything you have on your head except a woolly hat would have gone with the wind!!!! Its a different story in England, you will be foolish not to wear a hat because we get a lot of the sun compare to Scotland.  After all these years in England, he still refused to get one until about 10 days ago when I ordered one for him!!! Paid for by him of course!!!! I am pleased to say that he has been using it diligently!

 

My New Set of Pans

My New Set of Pans

I have got a new set of Le Creuset Pans.  Actually they are not quite new.   They are second hand ones that I bought online.  This is the first time in my life that I have actually bought for myself a set of pans.  Most of my life has been spent in furnished houses with crockery and utensils included or I have used hand me downs which has suited my motto in life which is to travel light so I don’t own much.

I am absolutely delighted with my new set of pans.   They are cast iron so they are very heavy.  Hopefully I will never ever have to buy another pan again since Le Creuset has a lifetime warranty.  I am now eyeing a Le Creuset Pan Stand to show off display my pans!

From the Vicarage Kitchen – Ice cold Pimm’s

From the Vicarage Kitchen – Ice cold Pimm’s

We don’t usually have any alcohol at home except for a bottle of cooking wine in the fridge and a bottle of Scotch Whisky for hot toddy which serves as a perfect antidote to a cold.

Just last week, The Mhinisteir was telling me about a cocktail drink called Pimm’s which he had enjoyed very much a good few years back.   I have heard of Pimm’s and have seen people sipping it during Wimbledon but didn’t know it was a cocktail!

Since it has been very hot this week, I decided at the last minute to add a bottle of Pimm’s to my online shopping basket.  My Pimm’s bottle arrived the very next day and this is how I made my Pimms cocktail.

Pimm‘s (Serves 1)

1 Part Pimm’s

3 Parts Lemonade

A couple of strawberries

A couple of slices of cucumber

A few slices of orange

A small bunch of fresh mint

Lots of ice Cubes

Method

1. Fill a tall glass with ice cubes, strawberries, cucumber slices, orange slices and fresh mint.  Lightly crush the mint in your palms to release the oil.

2. Pour into the glass one part of Pimm’s to three parts of lemonade.

3. Stir and enjoy!

You can also make this in a jug.  If doing so, remember to increase the quantity of the strawberries, cucumbers, orange slices and mint leaves.

ps: The Mhinisteir gave a very big 👍

 

Margo Leadbetter

Margo Leadbetter

You will by now know if you have been following this blog that we got a Britbox subscription for the sole purpose of watching the Vicar of Dibley.

One thing let to another and so instead of cancelling our Subscription after the Vicar of Dibley, we conveniently stumbled into Yes, Minister followed by Yes, Prime Minister and now we are going through the Good Life!!!!

Anyway, my favourite character from the Good Life is Margo Leadbetter.  The downside is that she reminds me too much of myself!!!!!

Veal Burgers & Smoke Alarm

Veal Burgers & Smoke Alarm

On Saturday evening, We had homemade veal burgers.  I got the mince veal from my Scottish butcher.  I prefer veal to beef as it is tender and easy to cook.  The Mhinisteir likes veal too.

I did all my preparation for the burger on Saturday morning so all I had to do in the evening was to cook the veal burgers and assemble them.

By lunchtime, my usual health woes were beginning to plaque me so I had to have a lie down.  It was soon time for dinner but I was only feeling slightly better.  However, I decided to soldier on and cook the veal burgers.  I am not a fan of barbecues so I usually cook my burgers in the oven.   Unfortunately on this day, the oven got very smoky.  I only had it professionally cleaned about afortnight ago so am not sure what happened there.  The next minute the smoke alarm went off. The Mhinisteir went into an almighty panic and started closing the windows. Yes, you read it right.  He started closing the windows!!!! Why?  He didn’t want the neighbours to hear the alarm.  I thought it was hilarious.  I instructed him to wave a tea towel at the alarm while I started opening the windows.  Thankfully the alarm stopped beeping just after a few minutes and calm was restored in the Vicarage Kitchen.

Oh by the way, The veal burgers were lovely too!!!