A Ramble Through The Last Four Weeks


Don’t these Swiss goats look as if they have been dipped headfirst in chocolate? And their back ends in cream?

My apologies to anyone who has been waiting with bated breath for a post from me. (What exactly is bated? An obsolete version of “abated” meaning restrained, held back, I suppose. When the doctor approaches with a stethoscope, he could say “Bate your breath!” Would you know what to do?) (And that digression probably proves that I’m still ADD. Look, did you see that robin? Behind the goats?)

Well, it has been a busy time, and when I wasn’t busy I’ve been lazy and recovering from my busy spells. Busy, not dizzy! Though there were moments when the two were pretty close. Blogging, I’m afraid, wasn’t really an option in the last month, as it has all gone by in a blur and if I didn’t have a few photos on my phone and iPad I’d have difficulty in piecing it all together. Overall, it has been positive, with much accomplished and (whisper this, I don’t want to tempt fate!) I may even get my driving licence back! Fingers and toes all crossed.

I avoided the horrors of Christmas shopping by making a donation to one of my favourite charities, Tearfund, and told everyone their present had been given to some poor soul who desperately needed it. I even managed to send out at least 50 Christmas cards, in spite of having told everyone on my Facebook page and e-mail list that they weren’t going to get one, thereby saving about another 100.

There was a slight upset on the 23rd when the washing machine suddenly turned into a miniature Niagara Falls, but I caught it in time and – oh serendipity! – my cousin arrived bearing gifts and departed with my soaking laundry, which she finished off and returned the next day. What a blessing! Considering that my mother bought that washing machine in 1990, it has lasted extremely well. “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!” This week I hope to find out if it can be repaired or if we need to buy a new one.

My mother also survived her “holiday” in a care home, where she was well looked after and very well fed, but she was glad to be back for Christmas: there’s no place like home, after all, and when you have lived in the same house for almost 80 years, there really is no substitute. Even though the oven doesn’t work, meaning that we had to pot-roast our stuffed turkey breast joint, Christmas dinner was the usual traditional plateful, including sprouts (ugh!) and sautéed parsnips (mmh!) in place of roast ones. Generous neighbours kindly provided roast potatoes and balls of stuffing, and a dear friend brought us a Christmas pudding and iced rich fruit cake, so nothing was missing. The Queen timed her speech perfectly for us, allowing a post-prandial snooze for my mother afterwards.

The Old Year is creaking to a close, and who knows what the New Year will bring? No doubt its usual mixture of positive and negative: but whatever that may be, I wish you all a happy and healthy 2016, and may all the dark clouds have brilliant silver linings.


The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning … Let me be singing when the evening comes … (Matt Redman. 10,000 Reasons)

16 thoughts on “A Ramble Through The Last Four Weeks

  1. Have you ever tried roasting your sprouts Catherine? I love them that way, drizzled with a little olive oil and slightly charred in the oven to give a crispier outer and creamy inner. I doubt I’ll be able to convert you somehow!

    • My granddaughter sautés them in butter, which makes them more palatable, but your version may be worth trying. In general, I find them bitter and with an unpleasant metallic taste.

      • Did the book arrive safely? I heard nothing from you on the matter and know you moved to the continent, for a while at least – hopefully the two trajectories crossed!

      • No need for you to apologise, and thank you very much, I’ll look forward to reading the actual book as opposed to the e-book. Did you put your return address on the first one in case of non-delivery? None of my neighbours has come forward with it, anyway.

  2. I feel like I have been away forever and yet, not really away, just lax in visiting. I am planning to remedy that with a year of posting every day on the blog and then wandering about for a wee visit here and there.

  3. So wonderful to meet you and may 2016 be full of beauty and blessings.
    I never liked brussel sprouts then I moved to the south where they have a way with them. One way is flash fried with bacon and parmesian. I dont like all the calories so I stir fry with olive oil and garlic (i cut out the base in a “V” to get rid of the bitter)

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