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Saturday, 31 December 2011

Up the resolution!







1.      I'm not making any

2.      With tummy muscles as taut as the strings on a ukulele...
I'm sticking to the diet

3.      Now I'm a lapsed Kitsch and Stitch organiser, I intend to stare vacantly into space...
allowing my creative juices to flow free

4.      As my commissions for the customisation of ageing denim picks up a pace...
I intend to fulfil my order book, then shamelessly tout for more

5.      I really will spill the beans on my experiences on Masterchef,
the unexpurgated version an'all...
are you ready for it one idly wonders?

6.      My poetry gene is trying to break out...
I will at all costs endeavour to keep it in

7.      ditto my autobiography brain cell... 
there's only so much self-flagellation a girl can take...
or should that read flatulation?


8.      Every bone in my old bod cries out for me not to invite any more folk around for...
food.  


9.     Have the directions to the nearest Macky D permanently pinned on the fridge


10.      Father Christmas gave me a 
'Research Your Family History' Made Easy Book.
This should keep me quiet for at least six months...Why?
I find it hard enough finding my car keys let alone centuries long lost relatives  


11.      New multi-bladed finger felting tool...
Thinks...
'must get to the wool rovings lurking in the deep, deeper, deepest recesses of my 
Witch and the Wardrobe ever expanding closet!'
Before the greedy munching moths get there first.


12.      Typing this year in large can't ignore instructions for next years...
Christmas - What not to buy list...       
and making flaming sure I stick to it, to the blooming
letter!
are there self help groups I wonder?


13.      As good a place as any to stop I suppose


14.      A Happy New Year to my 25 followers...
just can't seem to get above 25...
must be a magical number for me...
probably cos that's how old I think I still am!


Toodle pip...
not too many bubbles now!






***     

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Do's and Don'ts of my Christmas repast...

As I climb into my Christmas leisure wear...
Oh alright - jim-jams.
I got to thinking...

Are twenty six different English cheeses a tad too many for the cheeseboard?
Which only today have had a mouse, nay a shrew type attack.


Was the whole fillet of beef a little on the generous side for just two?


Boxing day - the 'normal' size organic free range, all singing, all dancing,
lived a happy life 'til the moment of the old chip-chop, fowl a little OTT?
Oops... 
I nearly forgot ALL the usual trimmings


On arrival of WSD, Why Oh Why, did I feel a little mean on presentation of cold cuts?
Yes the gammon was of the highest calibre, Masterchef finalist-cooked in mulled orange juice, finished off with marmalade and grain mustard glaze.


Two Christmas cakes - Yes you heard right!
One dozen mince pies, which on going to press are still languishing in the tin in my cold store. 


The sticky toffee pudding (don't go there LL)
Sorry Maggie!


Wednesday dawned bright and clear...
from out of the depths of the deep freeze came...
a leg of 'free range, organic'
those words once a frigging gain.
A happy pig fed on a diet of apples and acorns.


Hold tight...
not content with that, I had to add to the 
spicy rubbed leg, a slow roasted belly of the same animal.


The trifle I was planning to serve with semifreddo and...
clotted cream.


***
In the death by proper vanilla custard twilight of the evening...
 I trudged across the no-mans land of the courtyard to my 'outhouse'
read walk-in fridge; 
(sounds so much better what!)
I decided in a rash moment of frugality to refreeze the pud.
Not before a spoonful had been Greg Wallace approved.


Back in I wandered to the family playing
Sleeping Queens
who hadn't even noticed my absence.
Sleeping Cooks my tired and tight body cried.


Wandering back up to the Winter room I weakly floated the idea of a soupcon of
trifle, cheese, dessert wine to accompany the aforesaid?
The wall and wail of cries made me think...


'Why?'


The worse bit of this post is I haven't exaggerated...
Well only the 26 cheeses.


I'm not proud, I'm aghast at my foolhardiness.
Each and every year I say 
'Never again!'


This year I am determined 
that 2012 will see a new regime, you know the funny thing is...
people will I hope still want to come and share food with us.  


A bowl that my son Aaron gave me eons ago, says it all...


'The company makes the feast!'










***









Sunday, 25 December 2011

Doris would like to take...

this opportunity to wish you a 
'Very Merry Christmas
and a 
Happy and more importantly -
Healthy 
 New Year!'



Christmas morning fried egg brekkie





Being a out and out culinary snob...
the eggs are, quite obviously organic free range!!!
And another thing the Ketchup won't be gracing my egg!!!

Walk Lettice, then back for bubbles and pressies.


Have fun every bod!


Best love,


Linda


XXX

Sunday, 18 December 2011

You just know you are slipping into your dotage when...

elasticated trousers seem strangely, horribly appealing

going to bed on a Sunday afternoon - means 40 winks!

The word foundation means undergarments, not your latest self-build project.

Rigby and Peller holds you in a thrall

Zumba; isn't that located somewhere in your lower back?

'Vintage' - stuff you remember as a kid

Marks and Spencer's food dept draws you in... Nooo!

Your new Christmas outfit is a leisure two piece
(Yes, jim-jams)
And double and treble YES...
M & S AND elasticated.

Cath Kidson - isn't that someone you went to primary school with?

Emma Bridgewater?  I vaguely remember her from evening classes?

Jordan - isn't that the capital of ?

Eileen Fowler, Constance Spry, Mary Quant...
now you're talking.

Songs of Praise are a must on a Sunday afternoon...
at least you can turn the sound up without everyone thinking you're deaf.

'Poor dear, she seems to have found God!'
(not really surprising this close to the off)

Looking backwards


Planning holidays...
you think Saga


Family coming to visit...
all you think of is ...
the work!


Face lift...
Fork lift more like




an early night... means a good nights kip?


The only batteries you buy are for your flaming deaf aid


I could go on...
trouble is I've forgotten what it was I kicked off about?


Happy Days!


***












Friday, 16 December 2011

Doris says...





'Who would have thought when you watched
Masterchef last night that 19 years ago you got to the finals of
Masterchef?'

'Certainly not me Mum!'

What a programme...
If tears were the main ingredients...
we had a trolley-load here.

Things have certainly moved on since my appearance in 1992.
AND I will be the first to admit that I wouldn't even have got through the first round, let alone Monica and the skills test!

All three finalists were worthy of the title I thought.
 Although I wanted Claire to win, 
to me it was obvious Ash would walk away with the title.


***


This afternoon when I ironed the top I wore in he final.


Yes, you heard it right...
NINETEEN YEARS ON!




that's the white 'Cartoon' top on the left.


Yes that is me!  The years haven't been kind I'll admit!


The lady with the white bobby sox is the one who I will one day tell you about.
(Promise Maggie!) 


I got to thinking how thanks to Masterchef, My life changed.


And I didn't even win!


That's why I have absolutely no worries for Steve and Claire.


Happy Days.


***















Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Some 'old' year resolutions...

My first diary entry of this year...
across the top of week 19 - 25 December 
this is what I wrote...
'Last time I didn't take any notice of what not to buy...
so this year I'm only saying small portions of beautifully prepared food.
Might try turkey crown (What? I don't even like turkey), small pre-cooked ham (pre-cooked? I always enjoy cooking the ham). No pheasants or chicken.  Small portions of cheese.'

Every year I write more or less the same thing and yes you've guessed it...
Every cotton-picking year I don't take a blind bit of notice.

However... 
(I do hate that word because you always know there will be something unpalatable coming hard on its tail) this year I will try to follow my own advice.
Not least because having lost two stone and more still to lose. 
I don't intend to flaming foie gras my chances.

This Christmas as it's just the two of us I am preparing Beef Wellington
(alright I have ordered a whole fillet, but intend to make individual ones to freeze for unexpected visitors.)

I will cook a small-ish piece of gammon
(I always love the cold cuts with pickle etc on Boxing Day)

Having spent a happy life rooting around my friend's Kentish orchard,
full to pussy's bow with gently fermenting apples and crunchy acorns.  I know
 the whole leg of organic free range pork will be delish.
That will be served on WSD's arrival the day after Boxing Day.



I'm not a great pud person, although I may make Sticky Toffee pudding from the lovely Maggie's blog.


Cheese is my weakness, 
along with a slug of my home-made sloe gin or damson vodka.


That is the first of many old year resolutions I intend to share.
I'm hoping that way, I won't be tempted to, as of yore let them slip.


***











Sunday, 11 December 2011

It's not OCD I suffer from, it's...

OFM




It is that time of the month again...
Observer Food Monthly.
I just love it.


As I've said before, I do have a pash for Nigel Slater and I'm sort of in love with Jay Rayner,
however what is in no doubt...


I DO LOVE MY FOOD.


Those of my followers might think me a bit of a hussy I don't care.


Fast and loose in the kitchen department?


Life is for living has always been my mantra...
give it some welly.  That's why this year I've had to lose two stone.


Today sitting scoffing on the sofa.  On the sofa?
Yes you heard it right.
Every other meal we sit at the table, always with  linen napkins (not serviettes, we are talking the Observer here), candles lit (so much kinder to ladies of a certain age!)


I nearly choked on my HOME MADE prawn wrap with rocket leaves and guacamole.


Why? 


Jay admitted to owning a smoking jacket and... 
wait for it, a CRAVAT.  
I wouldn't mind but it had taken me this long to get over his sneaky occasional trips to his local KFC.


The trail of prawn mayo down my front, looking for all the world like a stream making its way to the sea, was nothing compared to me imagining him sat in front of his wide screen telly watching a food fest called Epic Meal Time.


Which was worse?  The contents of the programme or the vision of his loveliness kitted out in this Dickensian apparel.


***



















Friday, 9 December 2011

I'm worried, seriously worried...

Am I in danger of becoming totally tasteful
in me old age?

After Hubs roared off down the drive
Don't get the wrong impression here guys...
it isn't some magnificent sweeping drive through our parkland to the front door.
It's a grotty steep unmade potholed  track.


I decided that a little light Christmas decoration was in order.


A friend was coming for luncheon, this seemed a good opportunity to out the tinsel.


Bot. in the air I rootled through the flotsam and jetsam of Christmases past.
Could I find what I wanted...
Could I heck as like!
I passed by, what in previous years I'd been proud to display...
the HUGE glass balls & hearts hung with such smug pride.
The clashing pink and red glass sweetie tree dec's.


Where had little Miss Tacky Toes gone?


In these days of Austerity Rules - Ok?
I was Okay!


In came the half a tree we'd harvested a few weeks ago, the Hydrangea blooms I'd nicked from a neighbour's garden.
A few old and faded balls, what more could a girl want? 




Ho Ho Ho!






All I need now is to clamber up on the roof and get me 
flashing Santa perched on the chimney illuminating the Weald in wonder.


And if I say it myself...
the job's a good un!


*** 

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Who's the old dragon with her hands on her hips...


Yes, you've guessed it
it's me.
Is it any wonder I hate having my photograph taken.
The years haven't been kind to me...
Well I have packed a lot in.

These pictures are of my pitch @ Kitsch and Stitch
Other piccies of the fair can be found on


A taster of our third Kitsch and Stitch Fair,
which was a rip-roaring success.


 One of the two Marilyn bags I made for the fair.


Retro scales and a sweet little ted


A battle axe can never have too many rolling pins


Minnie Mouse shoes...
did I subconsciously price them too high
so that they could return home with me I wonder?


My dear pal Viv made me a bosomful of badges
this one I love - 'The Kitsch One'
if the cap fits tra la la!


Here's me...
cracking on about the price of cheese in Woolworths,
or some other pearl of wisdom!


Lettice has heard it all before...
she's bored so...
That's it Folks.


I can feel a sensible post coming on...
Masterchef Part Two.


And I ought to say now, 
that I wouldn't even get a toe in the door of the current programme.
So like all old dears, from now on, I'm definitely living in the past.


Toodle Pip!


***


Friday, 2 December 2011

0 hours and not counting...


Why?

In order to carry the parcels which your wife will be buying at 
Kitsch and Stitch Vintage & Makers' Fair.

Don't worry...
there's a man creche in Cranbrook...
its called the pub.
Be happy downing a pint, reading the papers at leisure while your good lady
gets exciting and unique Christmas presents for all the family.
Be secure in the knowledge that all crafts are made by our stall holders.  You can sleep easy at night knowing that some poor devil hasn't been paid a pittance making ghastly tat.





Happy smiling faces, 
mulled wine, 
mince pies, 
home made cakes 



Lovely picture, pity about the content



I'm getting excited, looking forward to seeing our lovely blogging pals and superb stall holders.

Hope to see you there?





A HUGE success...
Many, many thanks to all who came as exhibitors and folk to spend.
Everyone of you made this, our third fair one to remember.


Photo's will be posted here and on Kitsch & Stitch later today.


***

Monday, 28 November 2011

Feast your eyes on this...




and the very best place?

Yes!  You've guessed it...



Debs and I look forward to seeing YOU there




Your County needs YOU




"You 'eard me, on the double
quick march!"


***

Sunday, 27 November 2011

This wee beastie...



has been living cheek by jowl with me for nigh on ten years.

Hubs has often said
"Time to move on LL"
Speak for... lets get shot!

Today Mary Poppins-like I carried her carefully out.
Sadly her day has come.

When she first came into my life, such a sweet, wee, shrinking violet sort of a seedling thing she was.
Gently I cosseted and cared for her.  She responded well.
She grew and grew and then some.
Boys climbed high, into her wonderful frothy satellite style coiffure...
never to be seen again.

"Jack!" their mothers were heard to cry.

Seeds fell like confetti at a posh wedding.

All was good in the world.

I cut her down to dry and preserve her.  Secure in the knowledge her babies would appear   in the very place their mother had majestically stood.

What I didn't know was...
she had a dark side...
BLACK even.

Not being the brightest or sharpest hoe in the gardener's shed, 
I had no idea.

Her name was GIANT HOGWEED.

How was I to know?  No one had introduced us.
A 'friend' had given her to me as a gift.

Along with Japanese Knotweed her garden cred is zilch...
worse than.
I soon found the error of my foolish trusting ways,
as her offspring popped up everywhere.


Short of a flame Percy Thrower (remember him?) 
I was seriously in horticultural hara-kiri. 


Still for old times sake, and the many jaw-dropping moments she created in my drawing room, I stayed true, only to her you understand?


That is until today.


Sorry, dear trusty pal, I knew you were only doing what comes naturally
and I shall mourn your demise.




***



Saturday, 26 November 2011

I am delighted to announce...





'Kitsch and Stitch'
Vintage and Makers' 
Christmas Fair
is just a week away.



Ho, bloody Ho, Ho!

***

Thursday, 24 November 2011

As my stout black lace clad legs...

clambered over the Kent peg tile roof I got to thinking...
'Is it really necessary LL to re-point the chimney?'
All you planned was to ask friends in for coffee after a delightful luncheon at Chapel Down.
Being a bit of a slut (only in the housework department you understand) I always feel the need to not only dust, but hoover as well.
Most times here nothing much moves, well occasionally I may be knocked over by tumbleweed blowing around the oak room; the make up of this, is mainly dog hair and fluff.
Don't get me wrong, I love my home, I really do.  Trouble is, when I know folk are calling in, I love the stage setting of homemaking, not the polishing bit.  I artistically arrange books (shortlisted Booker prize contenders naturally), light candles, bung copies of Mills and Boon's bodice-rippers, old Sporting Life back numbers and dog-eared Daily Males under the sofa.
On which I then Mae West recline, always within reach of a glass of bubbles.
Which neatly (or not so?) gets me to the main part of this post.
Hands up in the past I've been a frightful snob, and I ought to say here that my toppest pet hate is SNOBBERY, so I feel I am really exposing myself to ridicule.

Why?  Because until very recently I've always loathed English wines, not any more I don't.
Chapel Down in Tenterden make the most wonderful wine.  The food is lovely, the staff are superb, my sparkling wine came with the handsome waiter saying " glass of a thousand bubbles for you"



***  

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The carpet man cometh...



Where Oh where am I going to put my 
many and various vintage treasures?


Piled ready for packing and pricing for our 

Kitsch and Stitch Fair




The Kentish Kilim killing fields...



fitted carpet? 


No more ancient oak floorboards,
where mice popped through the gaps to play croquet with tightly rolled balls of 
discarded Ferro Rocher wrappers.


Am I in danger of becoming horribly suburban?


Why all this upheaval I hear you idly wonder?


And here's the rub...


A 350 year old oak framed cottage on the top of a hill, is fine in the summer.


Call it integrated air con.


In the winter with drafts drifting down your drawers,






wind whistling and parting the ole grey hairs of your tightly permed fizz.




 Call it grim!


So...
needs must.


Oh and by the way...




Yes, another plug.


Never one to miss a trick - me.


***