My two new silicone beauties

So we are back from a whistle-stop tour of the country we once called home.

Nine days of frenetic activity, visiting friends and family, a couple of days of work for me, and some rushed shopping.

It was our first chance to see our daughter and son-in-law’s new house, which is a knock-out. Situated in a very small village in Lincolnshire, it’s spacious and elegant with a very homely feel, and we spent a relaxing time with them, apart from an afternoon scampering around in the drizzle in Lincoln to do some shopping. I find it quite hard coping with the density of the crowds everywhere, but enjoyable nevertheless. We stopped to watch somebody in a shop window sitting with their feet in a tank of water while small fish nibbled away their surplus skin. That nearly put me off our fish and chips.

Grand-daughter No. 1 went out for the evening with her boyfriend, looking like a film-star. She’s just had her hair cut in a bob. So she wears extensions down to her shoulders. There’s a logic in it somewhere. 🙂  The boyfriend – who’s in the Royal Marines – returned with a broken foot, the result of defending GD’s honour when she was assaulted in a bar.

We also visited our son who is recovering from major surgery and undergoing chemotherapy. Quite a shock to see how thin and grey he looks, although he is very upbeat and confident of making a quick recovery. Apart from occasional tiredness, he hasn’t experienced any unpleasant side-effects from the chemo.  He has been told to eat as much chocolate, sugary and junk food as possible to put back the weight he has lost. We had an excellent Italian meal in Cheltenham with him and his lovely wife.

Then we crammed in some rushed shopping. Plenty of Asian cooking ingredients that we can’t find here.  I bought two large packets of Mukhwas – I love a teaspoon of it when I have a sweetie-craving. While whizzing round Sainsbury’s to buy some Quorn we spotted one of their bread-makers reduced by 30%.  Our old one has become somewhat reluctant recently and requires attention with pliers to make it knead. The Sainsbury’s model turns out perfect bread, in a shape that makes it easy to slice, so that was a good buy.

Recently I was impressed by a post from Sam at TotallyFrenchedOut about her experiences with a crock-pot. So when I found one in Robert Dyas for £9.99, in it went to the shopping bag. Why did I never have one of these before? It’s brilliant. I didn’t realise how versatile they are, and that you can cook pasta and risotto dishes in them. Great new addition to the kitchen.

And now to the silicone, because I know you’re all waiting to find out about them. My two new beauties. Firm but flexible, soft and smooth to the touch, perfectly shaped and guaranteed to stay so indefinitely. It was an investment that I hadn’t planned, but I’m so glad that I went for it. They’re worth every penny. No more soft, floppy, saggy, wobbly, stringy amorphous lumps. These are the real McCoy.



Fusion Brands Poachpod Egg Poacher, Two-Pack, Silicone, Green

Silicone egg poachers.

Happy Saturday, everybody. 🙂

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Writing words of wisdom

Young adult author L K Madigan died yesterday. She was only 47. Her first book was published in 2009 and won a prestigious award. Her second book was published last year. How unkind can life be?

She gave the following sage advice to anybody who wants to write:

“The main thing is to WRITE. Some days it might be 2000 words. Some days you might tinker with two sentences until you get them just right. Both days belong in the writing life. Some days you may watch a ‘Doctor Who’ marathon or become immersed a book that is so good you can’t stop reading. Some days you may be in love or in mourning. Those days belong in the writing life, too. Live them without guilt.”

Does life sometimes seem like a bit of a struggle?

Just back from a trip to England, and with no time to spare as the edited manuscript for my next book is due back at the publisher tomorrow, and there’s still much to do. But in the meantime I just had to share this film of an extra-extraordinary human being. I found it awe-inspiring and very humbling.