Laughter. Smiles. Happiness. Entertainment. Every weekend, one or two short blogs. Each one around a 2 minute read of thoughts, musings , comments on life in general. If it brings a smile to your face, informs, educates or does all three then I will be happy! Why this blog name? Well, I am very late to the world of blogging. Hope I was worth the wait! Please do like it (if you like it!) , comment, and share via social media. Thanks
This morning whilst up a tree, with the help of a ladder to do some pollarding I remembered …… I really don’t like heights, but I was able to carry on, one hand clutching the ladder and one on my saw. Pollarding, for those not in the know is best described as severe pruning of a tree!
Having survived my ordeal, I retreated indoors for a tea break and was presented with a piece of newly baked ginger traybake to eat. I did and it was good! Next notable point, I really don’t like ginger and avoid ginger cake, ginger biscuits, ginger beer etc. at every opportunity.
It seems something strange is going on. Earlier in the week, a Keane CD had been left in the car…I listened again…actually I liked it.
So maybe I am just evolving on so many things that have really been on my most disliked list?
Anyway, those who know me know I really cannot play tennis and the game just bores me. Based on how things are going, it would seem I am going to be a Wimbledon champion by tomorrow. Move over Andy Murray!
Ok, I am the first to agree that this is an event fabricated by the greetings card industry to sell more cards. It has none of the historic significance of Mother’s Day and according to many a vexed and frustrated mother, every day is Fathers day anyway!
I am however a father, so of course I am happy to have my recognition on that day. But cliche as it is, I genuinely don’t want my children’s hard earned money to be spent on me, and my desire from them is seeing them healthy, happy and fulfilled.
This has always been my mantra, but true to form, over the years I have been generously lavished with cards, chocolate, handkerchiefs and socks.
The great thing about gift socks is you get ones that you just wouldn’t buy yourself – really brightly coloured ones, one with boastful statements of ‘Worlds best’ Dad/Uncle/Boss etc. and occasionally ones made with strange materials such as recycled car tyres, Mongolian grass cuttings and so on that all have amazing properties to make your feet look and feel 20 years younger….so don’t ever gift them to a 19 year old!
This year, the newly returned but temporarily resident offspring observed my bountifulness in both the hankies and socks department and went a little ‘off piste’. I had jokingly remarked that I always felt somewhat guilty when they had to take a walk from our house, into the garden and then beyond the end of the garden to our allotment* just to locate me to inquire if I wanted a cup of tea. Or indeed any other sustenance to assist me in my weeding, strimming or whatever…and then a few minutes later have to then make another journey to deliver it, only for me to then say I was coming back indoors anyway. * I think allotments are a very British things, so for the non UK residents what is an allotment? … in the strict sense of the word its a small plot of land often maybe only about 300 square feet (30 sq m) , rented at a nominal rent from your local council enabling flat and apartment dwellers to grow fruit and vegetables.
The term is also more loosely expanded in my case as we live on the edge of country side and this plot is really just an extension of our garden where I grow strawberries and gooseberries, 99% of which get eaten by squirrels, peas that seagulls seem to eat before we get to them, and various other fruit and vegetables for the local insect , animal and bird residents to feast on. We are allowed to keep a few lettuces for ourselves though as reward for all this work!
Anyway…back to the aforementioned situation ……..So ingenuity was applied to the problem and for fathers day they presented me with a pair of walkie talkies to enable communication from garden to home and on various outdoor activities. I have had some good presents in my lifetime…but this one really tops the list. So why not call..yes we do have good mobile phone reception, but nobody would ever think to phone someone maybe just 100 metres away would they?
This was just such a great idea and practical and useful as well as fun!
Just one downside…next week I have a birthday, not just any birthday but a significant one. It ends in a zero..but thankfully just one of these, not two. So the bar has been set very high and my expectations and imagination are running riot now with wild ideas of what may be next to delight me.
If you live or have loved in the UK, (or possibly ex pat communities such as Dubai or the Spanish costas) , you will know that Mr Kipling bakes exceedingly good cakes! Not just because the advertising ‘strapline’ says this, but because they really are.
Mr Kipling alas is not a real baker but a fictitious baker invented in the UK in the 1960’s to support the evolving supermarkets.
Cakes had historically always been sold from small independent cakes shops or bakeries and Mr Kipling was devised by Rank Hovis McDougal, a large UK Miller and baker to create a brand for the supermarket shelves.
The reason for mentioning Mr Kipling is French Fancies!
I am not really one for lists of favourites…but I do have a league table of five various food inventions that are worthy of mention. At no. 5. Triple chocolate chip cookies – a slightly soft chocolate flavoured cookie featuring bits of white chocolate and milk chocolate. An amazing chocolate triple triumph.
No. 4 is Pork crackling (with apologies to all vegetarians) mmm, it might be 11pm but I could eat some now; ranking number 3, are baked crisps (for those in North America by crisps, we mean potato chips…whereas in the uk, chips are what you would call French Fries. Which in France are of course are just called Fried potatoes….and so on….. Anyway I have digressed…at number 2 has to be any cake containing marzipan… Battenburg and Simnel cake are two noble examples but far ahead, leading the no. 1 ranking…are French Fancies…..by Mr Kipling. The name has a slight hint of risque , or double-entendre but in reality it’s just a small cake. Albeit very nice being sponge cloth a fondant cream top and coated with soft icing. The whole thing is about 30% sugar!
I learnt only today that a special Christmas version of this is produced with frosted, sparky icing. It might only be March now…but I am getting excited already and look forward to introducing these into my life.
In recent weeks, for some bizarre reason I have had an immense craving for these…were it not for the fact I am male, and also aged well beyond pregnancy age, I would have been so convinced I was pregnant and showing signs of extreme food obsessions…