Saturday, 23 June 2012

Reverse Xenophobia

Angela has a condition called reverse xenophobia, comes from moving to another country and then being intolerant of people from your home country, staying or visiting your adopted country. Where has all the time gone and why with such  haste, it was only yesterday that Angela berated me for not being totally loyal to South Africa and now events have come full circle, nasty illness that reverse xenophobia. Hope you are going to cope in Perth.
Michael and Charlotta had their first trip to London together yesterday, both finished school and now with 3 months holiday ahead of them before Uni, they have decided to take themselves off to the Grande Canary islands for a two week holiday. Michael picked up his new passport and Charlotta some essential clothes for the beach and night life on the Grande Canaries. Again I must point out 'where has all the time gone and why with such haste? Robert is also finished his GCSE exams and will be returning to school to do his A levels in September, what are they going to do for the next 3 months except cost me a fortune?
Susan is on the go again, no not up the corporate ladder but more literally traveling to the midlands and then back to London in her iPanda with retina display and Italian passion engine. First long trip for her in the new iPanda and what fun it will be, I imagine will be over in a wink of an eye, fun things always pass too quickly. Talking of Susan, we had our British wedding anniversary last week, 10 years we have been married in the eyes of HM Government.
Again I must point out 'where has all the time gone and why with such haste?
Have not heard anymore about Russell's game reserve but will give him a ring when I have a moment next week and get all the gossip.
I am thinking of putting another Chronicle together again, time fly's, I know I have rabbited on a bit about time and the haste of it but we are all older and wiser so let's as a group, friends and family, get some photos and stories in a folder and send them to me, I will do the magic. Come on, your know you want to, think of your children and what memories you can leave them.

Monday, 18 June 2012

The Olympics are just 40 days away


I can understand the huge and expensive opening ceremony, welcome all the countries and their athletes. Alway very popular and a chance to show off but the closing ceremony beats me, why put on a huge party after they have come here, beaten us at everything, no I say, tell them to shod off and find their own way home.
Men are spending almost as much money on fashion wear and cosmetics as women. Who uses cologne? Firming cream? Body spray and shower gel? Maybe, more than I think. Hair gel seems quite popular and watching my two boys here, it seems that they have more colognes, body sprays and shower gels then I thought existed. Soon they will be powdering their face as they did in the Victorian era, history does repeat itself.
Did you know that the Ford Ka has only one airbag, I know, only one you say, yes one, when it explodes, in the unlikely event of an accident, it fills the whole car, they are rather small.
We are expecting a windy weekend, 30 mph winds and hard rain forecast for the next 24 hours and then a brief lull before the back of the storm comes back to give us a second hit. Well that is the forecast and we will probably have none of it but a little wind and some drizzle. It is meant to be a small hurricane, we do not do cyclone, health and safety.

The Poppy Fire


Natures fire brought out by the Poppy glowing in the late afternoon sun. Such a short lived flower that promises so much and has to do with what little sunshine it gets. ‘It’ is a harsh term for a Poppy, ‘she’ would be more appropriate. Year after year these wonderful flowers grace our garden and demand our attention. A rose does the same but not with such a limited time frame, we all know the rose will flower again and again even until death. The Poppy gives all for such a short time, we must wonder why, but then, why not. Nature gifts us many wonders but the simple flowering of a Poppy must be one of her greatest achievements.
I took these photos of the Poppy as I saw her and that elusive sun disappeared as I was photographing. It is all in the photos. Enjoy them, for like life, it is a rare occasion when all comes together for a moment to lift us and help us get through the long days that is an English summer.
I did good today, not as much as I would have want but enough to let me realise that somethings do take time and giving that time has its own rewards.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

The Queens Diamond Jubilee and Lily Florence.


Bank holiday weekend with an extra day, never happens in England except for the Queens 60th year on the throne, Prince Charles will still have a long wait to be king, the Queen Mother lived to 103. I do not think he really wants to be King, he does live a good life at the minute. Does a great deal of good work as well as running his numerous estates and we must not forget the Duchy range of organic foods he sells nationally. I had some Duchy Cheddar a little while ago and it was good, pricy but full of flavour.
Anyway back to the extra bank holiday on Tuesday, we intend having a Jubilee BBQ with some friends and family. In true English tradition we will burn the pork sausages and under cook the chicken, well after all the celebration wine no one will notice. Talking of under cooking, I did a whole pork fillet very quickly after marinating it by splashing on olive oil, loads of garlic granules and then seasoned with some salt and fresh ground pepper. Leave it for at least an two hours so it is at room temperature once you throw it on the grill. This makes a good alternative to chicken breasts, try it.
Russell has bought a Game Reserve, yes finally, lions, hippos, elephants and buck for the lions to eat. Comes complete with a game lodge and game drives. Who will be the first to visit and give me some feedback.
Finally let us all wish Lily Florence - artist for Middle earth and Princess to her Mum and Dad, a very happy birthday. I did a Jibjab video for her and hopefully that has put a smile on her face. She does look stunning while dancing. See Video here http://www.jibjab.com/view/m15OLiQD7bxRlwac

The humble Poppy hiding beside the Maple tree


Such humility in the poppy, just a little hint of orange giving support to that noble Maple. We planted that tree a week after Granny June left us and it is thriving in her memory.

You are forever taken from our sight, though nothing can bring you back;
To see the splendour of the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy which having been must forever be;

Susan was going to cut it back and then saw a mature tree in the Canford cliffs area and realised it has the inclination to put out way ward shoots as it grows. Full of promise and the eternal optimism of all young tree, really the optimism of youth, all our youth bound into the tree of the Matriarch. 
What's is life without dreams, we would not have the will to carry on without this simple gift. 

The quirks of the kitchen


The quirks of the kitchen
To the sounds of Waterloo by Abba on the Graham Norton show I contemplate those oddities of the kitchen. Normally I just cook without really reading the instructions but recently I glanced at the cooking instructions on a packet of pasta. Place in boiling water with a pinch of salt, cook for 10 to 12 minutes, shorter cooking time will give an Al Denta (Firm to the mouth) pasta. Interesting, definitely give a 'Firm to the mouth' feel if that is rump steak. Pasta the longer you cook it the softer it gets, streak the shorter the time cooked the softer it is. This is a good basic rule to follow for younger cooks, like Michael going to Uni soon. All meats and fish the shorter it is cooked the softer and more flavour it has and those carbohydrates need to be cooked longer for that 'Soft to the mouth' feel. 
Gary of Middlesmiths has just bought a BMW 5 series and Robert has been watching out for them on the road. Today he revealed his findings. 
' I have never seen anyone under the age of 70 driving one yet, don't get me wrong, I think they are amazing cars.' well Robert I suppose it is the price of a 5 series that puts the younger generation off. Not to get too down hearted Gary, he wants to be the first young person to drive one.
Summer time and the sun is shining, Merlin is at the beach hut and I will be cleaning out the Weber in anticipation of the first BBQ of the year. That smell of Hotties bubbling on the coals, sizzle of sausage and burger patties and the slow rolling of a rolled beef, well done on the outside and very pink in the middle. All accompanied by a cold Chardonnay and hopefully no wind. Tonight's the night.
Do you follow the Eurovisions song contest? Yes, no. Well this year the favourite song is by the Singing Grannies From Russia. Our entry is by Engeburg  Humperdinck, singing a love song, not too sure of the title but being from the UK we will come last. 
Other news is that the Greeks do not want to pay their debts so will be thrown out of the EU. Go for it I say, it is all the fault of the banks who are still making millions and want us to pay their debts off while giving eye watering bonus's to the Directors. Bob Diamond, Barclays, £16m last year!