Sunday, 11 December 2011

Tis the Season to be Busy

I was reminded today, of the reason I started blogging. It was supposed to jump start my creative writing, which was moribund, after one article accepted for publication but as yet unused.

However, what has happened is that I have written a lot about cooking, and various other minor projects, whilst neglecting the creative writing aspect. This will change as I intend to insert a bit more creative writing and a bit less writing about creating.

But first an update, the bathroom has had the final preparations for the floor, the old floor is up and all the fittings have been sited and holes drilled.

In my quest to make room in the freezer, I found a beef and barley stew, which we will have today, with herb potatoes. I also found some frozen apple puree and made a crumble, adding cinnamon, raisons and dried berries to soak up any juices.

To be a bit radical I made custard with brown sugar, which gave it a better flavour.

I seem to have got involved in a challenge at the Black Cat Café, so have to make some bread, follow at

Tizer has been much better lately, and enjoyed a run around Sharkham this morning; he is resting on the sofa, blending in with his co-ordinating throw.

And here's one of Fliss, in case she gets jealous.

Progress is a wonderful thing, but it makes you realise how different things were, and it also gives you a glimpse of what you thought was only yesterday, and how at the time it all seemed new. I piloted the Sand Falcon on Friday, something I have done many times, and it’s a modern ship, well equipped and always a pleasure to be involved with.

The ship had a radar system that was so far removed from the set up that we travelled the world with in the late 1970’s as to be unrecognisable, and the attitude toward it was so much more professional. Back in the day, and I realise that this will make me seem so old fashioned, it was almost seen as a matter of professional pride to leave the radar off, and use the basics for navigation and collision avoidance. These techniques were drummed into us at college and at sea, and have stood me in good stead over the years. Indeed I remember my first watch as a qualified officer, the captain turned the radar off as we dropped the pilot off Folkestone, turned to me and said”It’s all yours third mate; call me if you have a problem”. Now of course the radar is seen as an indispensable aid. Anyhow the radar on the Sand Falcon has been replaced with a new version, vastly superior and the talk was all of how bad the old one was. And I thought, If only we had had the old one in 1979, and if only it hadn’t been turned off just when it would be useful.

Only one more shift and then I’m off till next year, that’s a good thing as there are lots of things to do, decorate the house, cook stuff and prepare for Naomi and Eamon’s arrival on Boxing Day. After the disappointment of last year, when the weather made a trip to Amy and Harry’s impossible, it will be nice to celebrate with them.

I’m cooking Turkey and Gammon with all the trimmings for the big day, the intention being to have cold meats and salad, tapas etc on Boxing Day. I will also make shortbread, mince pies and ice-cream to ensure that we do not become calorie deficient over the holiday.

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