Monday, 6 August 2018

Better than a four-leaf clover!

Not one to promote myself, I do seem to be bringing my friends who sail a certain amount of luck these days.  Looking back over photos I think it really started back in 2014 when I “helped”  RCC Sabrina II win the Joe Delf Trophy.

A couple of years' later I went on to help RCC Sally gain a top placing in the Cecil Howard Memorial Race. 

Since then I appear to have “assisted” Sally to win the Crystal Ball Trophy (photos taken from Sally)

and Sabrina II, (first photo taken from S II)

Pixie, (photos taken from Pixie)


Mystery (me in second photo!)

and latterly Melinda (photos taken on Melinda)

to either win or be among the top three in other races. 

There will come a time when, despite my best efforts and obvious tactical skills 😜, my “lucky charm” effect won't work but I hope to make up for that with some good photos on the day and also hope that no-one is too disappointed! 

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

What's on the menu?

There has been a bit of a walk down Nostalgia Lane this week.  I’ve been sorting out old photos and boxes of stuff which have been stored for 20 years and came across my mother’s recipe book which was started back in the 1930s.

I guess some of the recipes were written in the book during wartime when ingredients were difficult to get hold of but one very well used page sets out in childish handwriting (mine) a recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie. This was the first thing I learned to cook and it was a Sunday treat. Pastry was made from scratch, a dish properly lined and the lemon sauce stirred until it boiled. A final note to the recipe is “1 egg will do but the white on top is not so thick.”

A recipe which caught my eye made me shudder a bit but again, I suppose needs must during wartime. The title reads “Sliced Heart with Carrots – enough for 5”.  As we were a family of 5, I probably was served with this particular delicacy – whether I ate it or not is a different matter as I was a very fussy eater!  The ingredients include 3 Sheep's Hearts and dripping, neither of which have ever featured in my kitchen. The method begins “Wash hearts, cutting away tubes.”  Once stuffed, they have to be sewn together to keep the stuffing in.  I quite liked the final touch “Parsley or watercress to garnish.”

There are a lot of other recipes, many of which feature cornflakes so maybe they came off the cereal packets. Apple Tufrets featured Stork margarine and had marzipan to decorate, however “If rations won’t stretch to it this can be left off.”

Another which caught my eye (and I’m sure it would be delicious) was Fish Mould!  I know what the recipe meant but it doesn’t exactly conjure up an appetising dish.

My problem now is, what do I do with the recipe book.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Unexpected gift

This is our third Christmas in this house in Acle and we started speculating in early December about whether we would receive a gift from one of our neighbours.

The first Christmas we were mystified by this gentleman neighbour – and I mean “gentleman” as he was wearing twill trousers, crisp white shirt, tie and waistcoat and a smart flat cap- who rang our front doorbell.  Our family and friends all know to come to the back door so we knew it would be someone new.  He presented us with a bag, containing a panettone and a Christmas card and when we expressed surprise, he said that he loved our Christmas lights and would be trying to outdo us the following year!

We thanked him and, although confused, were quite touched by what appeared to be a gesture welcoming us to the road.  When I popped over in the New Year so thank him, he appeared to be a bit embarrassed so we did wonder if he had delivered it to the wrong house!

However, the next Christmas he again appeared with a gift of a panettone, giving no reason for it and not stopping long enough to be questioned about his reasons. 

We began to speculate that maybe he had been given it as a present but didn’t like panettone and was just passing it on.  As we love panettone it was no hardship for us to help him out but we decided to avoid reciprocating as it would then become a chore.

We did hope that maybe this Christmas he might have decided that enough was enough but lo and behold he turned up on the doorstep again just before Christmas, sadly not with a panettone (luckily I had already bought one!) but with a poinsettia!
Again, it was thrust at us and he turned and made off rapidly, not staying for pleasantries, discussion or questions!

Unfortunately, I have found from experience, that poinsettias and I do not get on – I only have to look at them for the lovely red leaves to fall off.  We have put it in the correct place in the house and have watered according to the instructions in a hope of its survival but I noticed this morning that some of the leaves are shrivelling and falling.

I should say that we have made a number of attempts to talk to him but there has been no reply to my knock since the first attempt and he only ever leaves the house to walk to his car.  I don’t want to appear to be a stalker by trying to catch him on this short walk so will have to suffice with a traditional “thank you” note through the letterbox.

5 February - I feel so sad about this but I tried to do all the right things, even though I knew in my heart this would happen!

Monday, 4 September 2017

Cinderella - the original pantomime!

Sorting through some old papers I found a brown envelope headed up "On His Majesty's Service" and, in my mother's handwriting, the word "Cinderella".

Memories stirred, must be over 60 years ago at 37 Watcombe Road, Southbourne a play written by me and my brothers to perform for parents and (maybe, I can't remember) close neighbours.

The play was typed on a manual typewriter with handwritten edits on paper which had obviously come home with my father from his work as the back has technical stuff printed, probably on a Gestetner duplicator and a date of 1946!

Our parents obviously treasured our work enough to keep it and reading the pantomime after all these years, it wasn't too bad!

I wonder if my brothers remember and would like a copy .....

Friday, 17 June 2016

Boat snobbery

I have noticed recently that on the forums and Facebook, there is an unsavoury element of “boat snobbery” creeping in at times!
We all know that wood is good, traditional and warm but carries constant maintenance costs with it and some owners of wooden boats have been stung by boatyards when having repairs carried out. Not everyone has the financial means to be involved in the sometimes large charges involved in maintaining a wooden boat.

A number of wooden boat owners carry out maintenance / repair work themselves and those who have the facilities and capabilities to replace planks and rub down and re-varnish are indeed lucky.

However, for a large number of people who want to get on the water, the only option is a “plastic” boat.  There is no reason why a grp boat cannot be kept clean and well maintained but I don’t agree that they should be sneered at because they are not wooden. 

Thursday, 14 April 2016

To stay or go!

I have just spent 10 minutes reading the government leaflet on why I should vote to remain in the EU.  Probably a selfish view to take but I looked at the arguments from my personal point of view and the future of my grandchildren.

I honestly don’t believe that whether the UK joins the euro or not will have a huge impact on us, as ordinary people, nor would the government’s commitment to reduce EU red tape.

I think one of the worrying things about staying is that EU law overrules UK law in a conflict between national law and EU law.  Scary!

I assume that we are still able to trade with the EU, even if we are not a member but how it would affect the many UK companies which are already owned by France, Germany etc, I don’t know.

The government say that by leaving the EU there would be a risk of higher prices of some household goods and would damage living standards.  In a country where there is supposedly “child poverty” already and food banks, how much worse can it get?

The government predicts 10 years of uncertainty if we leave the EU.  Again, it can’t be much worse than the uncertainty we have lived through over the last 10 years and surely there would be some “job creation” for people who would have to “unpick” the relationship with the EU and renegotiate with countries around the world.

On immigration, which seems to be a big issue particularly on the question of benefits, the government say that new migrants “will not have full access to certain benefits until they have worked here for up to four years.”  I think “full” is the operative word here.  I am confused as I understood that child benefit is paid to anyone, migrant or otherwise, if he or she has a child.  A good incentive to come over to the UK to have a child? – I don’t know.

With more countries, such as Turkey, Serbia, Albania under consideration for membership, I fear that this island will sink!

We as a country pay around £350M a week to the EU budget!  The government says that what this country gets back in “opportunities, job creation and economic security” far outweighs this cost!  I would like to see some statistics on that!

I was in favour of joining the Common Market back in the early 1970’s.  However, the Common Market has evolved into something which controls our decisions more and more and restricts trade with countries such as Australia and the USA.

I need to see some more arguments for/against before I decide but I just hope everyone will vote in this referendum for the sake of their future and that of future generations.

Monday, 4 January 2016

2015 Christmas card analysis

I have defined the categories more strictly this year so a direct comparison with 2014 might not be possible.  Please let me know if you would like more information on any of the categories! 











WORDS (e.g. “NOEL”) 





Better than a four-leaf clover!

Not one to promote myself, I do seem to be bringing my friends who sail a certain amount of luck these days.   Looking back over photos ...