Previous month:
December 2010
Next month:
February 2011

Two Dogs' Breakfast

The YouTube has changed their 'thingies' and I can't have a green border anymore. I am very sad. In fact there doesn't appear to be any kind of border at all.

Peri and Gilly are eating their breakfast. Gilly doesn't so much eat her food, as inhale it, and then her next thought is always to see if she can eat Peri's food. Peri is wise to her wicked breakfast stealing ways, and she picks up her bowl and takes it away somewhere safe!!!

This morning they had kangaroo, basmati rice, grated carrot, sweet potato and some delicious thinly sliced raw celery.

I have almost made one owl, it is larger than I thought it would be. I have three more owls that need eyes and wings. MrsDrWho has some toddler socks in the bag at her house which are going to be smaller owls. I forgot to take them home after we had been shopping in town today.

It's almost a hoot
The Hatty Potter is going well. I increased till I had 288 stitches and I am doing a double yarn forward and then knit two together each 36 stitches (eighths)  just to make it a bit more interesting to knit. I can't do a pattern because of the lovely colour variegations in the wool.

Hatty  potter 20 rows in
As per usual, Peri has been rolling in something smelly at the dam. She is currently experimenting with some gymnastic variations. I think this is a somersault with half pike, double back twist and a pirouette. Yesterday she lost her collar and so now she is wearing Harki's special green and white one. There are lots of grass seeds that want to stick into her skin, so when we get home it is an excellent excuse for a very long pat and cuddle to check there are none left in her fur. Vundy the German Shepherd had a grass seed that borrowed through her skin and was actually inside her insides, making its way towards vital organs.

Peri is a gymnast

Lorelai Gilmore is just looking sweet and lovely. There are lots of wallabies and potoroos about and she is intent on keeping them in order. She is so obedient, when I call her she comes straight away and then she sits at my feet. She is a lovely pup.

Gilly is sweet and lovely
MrsDrWho and I had thoughts of going to the pictures, but there is truly nothing at all that we want to see. I am happy to report that we shall be able to see The King's Speech. It was not going to be screened here, but now they are advertising that it will start on February 10th. I made a written and phone complaint (fancy that!!) and I think many other people did too. I am very much looking forward to seeing it.


Jurassic Snark

Just the other day it was announced that a team of scientists are definitely going to try and clone a woolly mammoth. I know mammoths aren't actually from the Jurassic, they're from the Quaternary, but how could I resist. I heard a science commentator being interviewed on the ABC this afternoon, and the general feeling seems to be that if they do succeed, it will be Barnum and Bailey all the way. I, for one, shall not go and stare at the poor woolly mammoth. Ever.

Hatty Potter begins
I have started the second part of MrsDrWho's Christmas knitting : I have called it Hatty Potter. It's the same wool as her socks and I am using the Sock Yarn Slouch Hat as my guide. It has 20 rows of twisted rib. I abhor twisted rib, still, it looks nice and holds its shape well. I didn't have the right needle, of course, so now I have new 3mm steel ends on the cable and at the moment it is too long, but since I plan to do some yfwd increasing soon, it should be OK. I popped over to see MrsDrWho today just to see if it did fit, and thankfully I didn't have to unravel all the rib.

Peri and Lorelai Gilmore have been enjoying their walks, Gilly cries if we don't go up the road when we reach the roundabout. Today we met Sandy the tall Labrador and they ran and chased and played for ages. I don't have a photo because I was talking to Sandy's dad and we were both keeping an eagle eye out for cannonball Labradors bent on running through us, not around us. They were all very good, and we were superfluous!! Gilly does not like it when Peri is on the other side of the fence even though she can walk round the fence and get to be on the other side. There are a lot of good smells on Thursdays. Smells that have acccumulated all day Wednesday when we don't go for a walk.

Peri over there and Gilly here
I have had a sock emergency, I went to wear my Stryperdrive socks this morning and one has a hole. Oh no. I have put it aside until I can bear to deal with it. I know I can fix it, but I need to have all my knitting surgery wits about me. I don't know how it happened. It is a Mystery.

Holey sock batman
I have just realised why I am feeling itchy, I have my top on inside out and the frills are not where they should be. Sigh. I should not be allowed to look after myself, let alone Labradors. I didn't go out like this, I had a nap and then we all got up and dressed again and made dinner.

Yesterday I laid on the couch and partially deleted all the ads from five episodes of White Collar and then watched them all while I knitted twisted rib. Soon 'real' TV will be back and everything I want to watch will be on at the same time. It always is.

I have to get my act together because a craft group I am part of is having a table at a market to raise money for The Floods, somewhere, sometime soon. We are meeting next week to gather together all the things we have made. I have made nothing. So over the next few days I will be sewing some little Owls (I asked Claire if it would be OK, and she kindly said yes) and making some zippy bags out of crisp packets. I can't sew during the evenings, so I must not have an afternoon nap and I can sew then. I might try a morning nap instead. Peri and Gilly don't mind when we nap!!!


Tuesday's Letters Eat 4: 'B' is for Berries

Berries are available everywhere locally where we live: blueberries, strawberries and raspberries -  but for this semifreddo recipe frozen berries are best. You could use fresh berries, but because this is a frozen dessert the icy berries aid the freezing process. Semifreddo is sometimes called a French parfait.

Most recipes say to use a powered hand beater to mix the eggs and sugar over a bowl of simmering water, but I just whisked by hand and it worked perfectly well. I always worry about melting the power cord. You could substitute many fruits: peach, apricot, apple, pomegranate etc.

Berry Semifreddo    serves about 6

  • 3 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks extra
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 tspn vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups single or pouring cream
  • 500g frozen berries

Prepare a tin by lining it with clingwrap and put it in the freezer so that as soon as the semifreddo is poured in it starts to freeze. I used a 20cm square cake tin.

Tin

To start the semifreddo you whisk the eggs and extra yolks, sugar and vanilla in a bowl over water simmering in a saucepan. It is best to use a glass heat-proof bowl that will sit nicely on top of your saucepan and the water shouldn't touch the bottom of the bowl at all.

I usually put a few centimetres of water in the pan and bring it to the simmer then put the bowl on top and turn the heat right down. It should keep simmering for at least the five minutes you need.

Using a hand whisk, or your hand-held electric beater, whisk the egg and sugar mixture for about 5 minutes. It should increase in volume and become pale, thicker and creamy.

Whisking
The mixture must them be beaten briskly for as long as it takes to cool. I used my mix-master and beat it on a high speed for 6-8 minutes. It goes quite thick and cools.

While it is beating, crush the frozen berries, I like to have some smashed up and some almost whole to give a variety of texture in the dessert. Mix them through the cooled egg and sugar and set aside for a few minutes.

More whisking and berries
Beat the cream till soft peaks form. Soft peaks are when you lift the beaters out and the cream makes a peak, and then flops over. I think mine was a bit further than that, but it won't really matter that much. Fold the berry mixture gently into the cream, one third at a time until it is all well combined.

Whipping folding
Remove the lined tin from the freezer and spoon the semifreddo in and spread it out evenly. Cover with the clingwrap and place back in the freezer to set. It should be ready to eat after 4 hours if you are in a hurry, or overnight. It will keep in the freezer for 2-3 months. It doesn't tend to set rock hard and it was easy to scoop out after 8 hours.

Ready to freeze
Apologies for the slightly blurry picture, it's late and the light in here is not good. The semifreddo is though and I ate this scoop and enjoyed every bite!!!

Semifreddo in a cone



Dexy's Mid-afternoon Runners

You learn something every day, I had no idea the band was name after a drug. Mind you, I am aware I don't know a lot of noormal things and so I googled the band's name, just in case.

Yesterday afternoon our Premier resigned. On Facebook. Fabulous statesman like behaviour. I shall look forward to Twittered Government laws next.

I shall not miss him, he has not been a good Premier over all. His decisions about Education, aboriginal artifacts, Hydro prices, police appointments and I could go on, have been full of vision- his vision- but lacking in substance and action. He says he left for family reasons,  but I think he's leaving before things hit the fan. I know family is important, but he took an overseas trip with his wife late last year I think and he hung on so he could attend the posh and celebrated opening of MONA just this weekend. Very poor show. I know there are a lot of families where both parents work long hours at demanding jobs, and they too would like the opportunity to resign in a few years and spend time with their families. It was his job to help all the families in our state.

I shouldn't be disappointed, most politicians aim to disappoint. I do think we need better education about Politics though. People are saying they didn't vote for Lara, the new Premier. Of course they didn't, unless they were in her Electorate. They probably didn't vote for the erstwhile Premier either. The political party with the most seats, wins. They elect the Premier.

I have given myself a potato mashing injury. I mashed some potatoes to go with the meatballs I made for MrsDrWho and went to visit yesterday. When I came home much later on, I had a sore hand and at the bottom of my ring finger was a kind of blood blister bruise. At first I had no idea how I injured myself.

I did come home late, 8-30pm-ish, because we accidentally watched two episodes of Sherlock. The DVD arrived before Christmas but we hadn't watched it. It is very, very good. But I came home to two ravenous hounds. Their dinner was very late. They had some corn to gnaw on while I cooked.

Peri is a ravening horde

As I was mashing up the meat and vegetables I realised how I had bruised my hand. The Princess and the Pea people, The Princess and the Pea!! I popped a lemonade icy pole on it- still in its packet, and that seemed to do the trick.

We have a new vacuum cleaner. The old one is about 25 years old and last year the cover broke and I just masking taped it back on,  but it really wasn't doing a good job. All the moulting meant that we were being almost buried under dog hair and the vacuum was having no effect. Enter The Hoover:

Hoover damn
It vacuums the hair up like magic and also lots of dust and dirt that was deep down in the carpet. Needless to say it is not a welcome addition to our household. It is The Red Devil according to Peri and Gilly.

Lorelai Gilmore wrought her revenge by stealing the cardboard and plastic packaging and killing it to death outside the back door.

Gilly kills the vacuum packaging
I have finished the Harry Feet socks. I am very cross that I forgot to take a photo of them on my sock blockers. I shall have to take them with me and make MrsDrWho get the socks back out and then re-photograph them.

The Harry Feet Socks, made with Ixchel's super merino and nylon 4ply in Harry Potter colourway. I used 2.5mm nickel plated dpns and cast on 64 stitches. The pattern is my own. That sounds a bit pretentious, it's not a 'pattern' as such, but I thought up the arrangement of the stitches.

Harry Feet complete
I surprised myself by digging out the Chappa'ai Cardigan, and I picked up the stitches on the back. I am knitting down the ribbing. I just have to find the ball of wool I bought last year to finish it. I have the front to unravel and pick up and then knit that ribbing downwards as well. Two short seams and then it is just a zip to insert. I may try the new way I saw on Interweave Knits.

Stargate once more
I have been following Immigration Nation on SBS, but before it there's a show called Faces of America, which is a kind of Who Do You Think You Are?  I was struck by the way the celebrities felt so very defined by their ancestors, and how they described themselves as Irish-American or Mexican-American. It made me wonder if I am in some way deficient, or if it is a particular American POV? I don't really have any idea of my ancestors, of who they were, at all. I know I have Irish, English and French heritage on both sides, but I have never thought of myself as anything other than Australian. None of my classmates at school described themselves as Latvian-Australian, Austrian-Australian, Italian-Australian or Irish-Australian. I've never heard MrsDrWho describe herself, but I think she is plain Australian???

I never think of myself as being defined by my far distant ancestors, though I know my immediate family shaped who I am. Maybe these thoughts are just peculiar to me?? And thank you MrsDrWho, I will say 'Yes, I am peculiar', before you get a chance!!

On the reading front, well there has not been much. I misplaced one Library book and then I lost the will to look for it and so I just didn't go to The Library. Once I found the book, I picked up Martha's CupCakes and a very good biography of Katherine Parr, Henry VIII's sixth wife. I've also been reading The Dad's Army Scripts, Seasons 4-9. It is very funny, and I imagine the show in my mind as I read the words.

The Labradors are asleep now they've had a walk and been fed. I am off to brave The Hospital's lack of parking to try and pick up some drugs from The Pharmacy and then I might look for my wool this afternoon.


Tails Of The Unexpected

Since last Thursday there has been a lot of focus on tails, mainly Peri's, because she is moulting like all get out. She loves to be brushed and so she's been very happy to have the attention. Lorelai Gilmore doesn't really cast off her hair in the same way, but she has to be brushed as well. It's only fair, she thinks. I can fill a brush with Peri's thick white fur every morning and night.

Peri and Gilly's tails

MrsDrWho, MsPurple and I went out for High Tea. While the company was excellent, maybe I had overly high expectations, the high tea wasn't what I expected. The egg and lettuce sandwiches were tasty, but dry on one side where they must have sat uncovered. The smoked salmon roulades were teeny tiny and I think made with bread from the supermarket. The scones were very nice but the jam and cream very ordinary. I think the chocolate mud cakes and chocolate dipped strawberries were nice, I couldn't eat them, but the lemon macaron was not very lemony. There, I am a spoiled brat, and never happy.

High tea
Our sewing group met for lunch and I had a very delicious and exciting plate of gravlax, goat's cheese mousse with beetroot puree and watercress. It was so very nice. I could have eaten it twice!!

Lunch 18 jan

While knitting the Harry Feet sock #2, I accidentally made the leg too long so I had to unravel it. I knitted a face cloth from Sincere Freedom, a very nice cotton. I made another, and perhaps the last for a while, apron. It cost 85 cents plus $1-90 for the lining. What a bargain.

  Xmas apron Bilberry facecloth

Gilly has been making herself muddy by playing in the paddle pool and then in the dry dirt. I have not growled at her and I am not cross with her, but she never seems very happy to have her photo taken when she's not at her beautiful best.

Miss Muddy Gilly
Peri has been sunbathing. We have, I think, only had four really hot days this Summer, so she's taking every ray of sunshine she can get.

Peri's sunshiny
And Gilly is always trying to get all the attention. Again. She's such a baby.

Gilly says pick me pick me
We haven't done anything today. The GardyGardeners are back from holiday so we had Morning Tea, and then I just lounged about all day, feeling restless and unsettled. I tried to have a nap but it just didn't happen.

Instead, I cleaned out my Gmail and Yahoo Inboxes and thought about tidying my desk again. Thought about it.

Then my middle DVR announced it had found new stations, so I scanned for those and added the Standard Definition ones and made a new favourites set.

I thought about when I finish the socks. I have promised myself I will finish the Stargate Cardigan and then I am going to knit a 10ply cardigan. 10ply should knit up really quickly and make me feel I have achieved a whole cardigan in a relatively short time.

I have one more thing to sew for Baby Electric and Uncle and Auntie Dutch, and cards to post.

Writing it down here might make me more accountable to myself.

More tails
Now we're high tailing it out of here......


Tuesday's Letters Eat 3: 'B' is for Banana

Finally Martha's Cupcake book arrived from the Library: very exciting!!! The Floods on The Mainland mean that soon many fruits and vegetables will be four or five times their normal price, so I seized the day and bought some bananas before they were $20 a kilo. There was a roasted banana cupcake, so it was decided for me. In this recipe they separate the eggs and then whip the whites and then fold them in later. I have no truck with this, unless I am making a meringue, (or parfait, mousse, friands) I am all for beating the eggs in straight from the shell. And so I did.

I used an ordinary ice cream scoop to fill the paper cases and the mixture made 18 cupcakes.

Martha makes a Honey-Cinnamon Frosting. Instead, I whipped up the trusty Lemon Cream Cheese Icing that we all seem to prefer in Australia. Well the people I know do. I'll include both options.

Martha says to roast the bananas,then whilst they are in the oven and cooling, then cream the butter and sugar. I found it took the bananas about half an hour outside to cool down enough. So roast, have a cup of tea and coffee, and then return to the preparation.

 

Roasted Banana Cupcakes     makes 16-18

  • 3 quite ripe bananas and maybe an extra 1 or 2 for decoration
  • 125g softened butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar, I used half caster/half brown
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tspn baking powder
  • 1/2 tspn bicarb soda
  • 1/ tspn salt (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract

Honey-Cinnamon Frosting

  • 2 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 250g softened butter
  • 2 tbspns honey
  • 1/4 tspn cinnamon

Lemon Cream Cheese Icing

  • 250g softened cream cheese (Philly here)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tspn lemon zest
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tspn vanilla extract

Ba na na naaaaa
Preheat oven to 200*C and roast the bananas in their skins for 15 minutes. They will turn quite black and mine oozed a little liquid, so use a tray with a lip!! Cool for about half an hour in their skins.

Turn oven temperature down to 180*C.

Beating  

Cream the butter and sugar till pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat till well combined. Then finally slip the cooled, roasted bananas in. Without their skins!!!

Whipping
Beat in the bananas, then add the sifted dry ingredients in three batches, interspersed with the sour cream. I followed the recipe and used my mix-master to beat the mixture and the cupcakes are not tough at all, still, I was worried!! Finally add the vanilla and the mixing is done.

Filling baking
Fill the paper cases and bake for 20 minutes, rotating the trays and swapping between shelves if you have two trays at once. A skewer inserted into the cake should come out clean. Cool on a rack and then ice. The un-iced cupcakes can be frozen for later on too. If you want to add some fresh banana it is best to do it just before serving. You can sprinkle the banana slices with lemon juice, which I like, but some people don't. It is to be hoped the cupcakes are wolfed down before the banana can brown!!!

Roasted banana Cupcake
Honey-Cinnamon Frosting

Beat all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Can be refrigerated for 4 or 5 days too.

 

Lemon Cream Cheese Icing

Beat the cream cheese, butter, lemon zest, juice and vanilla together until light and cream, then gradually add the icing sugar. Whip till light and fluffy. This can be refrigerated as well, and I have even frozen it in a ziplock bag.


If you put your bananas outside to cool in what you think is a safe place, you may catch a Labrador about to take a bite!! Gilly was trying to be far away from the bananas at the very bottom left of the photo by the time I fetched my camera!!

Gilly bananas


There's Many A Slip 'Twixt The Cup And The Tip

It goes without saying that the floods in Queensland and NSW are too awful for words. We have some small floods here too, but nothing like on the Mainland. For about the fifth time today I have read or talked about Dorothea Mackellar's poem, where we are a land 'of droughts and flooding rains'. We are indeed. The agony and the ecstasy. The sublime and the ridiculous. That is our island continent. 75% of Queensland is flooded. I can't conceive of how vast that must be. All I know is that I wish the media would stop being so intrusive and leave people be. That would be very nice. I was watching TV in the hospital waiting room and the studio presenter asked the reporter at the evacuation centre to pan the camera around to show the whole centre and not to worry if it looked a bit messy. Honestly, they need to gain some perspective. Ny friends in Emerald have been flooded out, but they are safe. My sister and cousin and their families south of Brisbane are safe at the moment too. I am lucky.

Speaking of lucky, I am also lucky to be  cared for so well by the staff at the Holman Clinic, and The Labradors likewise by the Doctors and Nurses at their Hospital. I did two more jobs yesterday and today and took belated Christmas gifts. It has been cool enough to cook, and so I did: lemon and passionfruit melting moments, chocolate cupcakes with M&Ms, Christmas cupcakes with lemon icing and a cherry on top, gingerbread stars, Nigella's fudge, almond macaroons, cherry coconut ice and decadent chocolate biscuits.

 Holman
The animal hospital
Peri went to see Dr Tim today for her yearly check up and vaccination and to be weighed. She has gained health and lost anther 600g. Dr Tim couldn't believe Peri was nine. I showed him baby pictures of Peri and Vundy. Dr Tim remembered all the dogs that have lived at our house. Peri still has a way to go, another four or five kilograms, but she is doing well. He gave her a special liver treat!! She was so bouncy and excited and happy.

Peri at the vet jan 2011
Dr Tim asked after Miss Gilly: she was at home, alone, with a special treat!! Here she is looking lovely on our walk today.

Gilly looks so lovely
They have been playing rough and rowdy rebel games inside and I had to say 'OUT'  in my cross voice and point towards the back door. And the prize?? A plastic cup. When they are too excited to listen properly, I decide I will have the cup and it goes into the recycling bin and off to the tip. Lorelai Gilmore starts it, and then Peri joins in and there's a riot. Wicked Labradors!!!

Cup wars
The people writing the EPG guides need to brush up on their spelling. I was scrolling through the channels in a desultory manner, and did a double take when I saw this. I had to go and fetch the camera to take a photo!!

Spelling fail

I have finished one Harry Feet sock for MrsDrWho, and I am very excited to use my new sock blockers. It does make the sock look ever so wonderful!! They were such a lovely and thoughtful gift!!

Harry Feet one
I sewed a birthday bag for a friend who has a cat. It's just an ordinary tote bag, but she liked it and the straps were the perfect length. That was a fluke!!

Cat bag
I decided it was time for a new avatar in 2011, and I managed to get Peri and Lorelai Gilmore close enough together so that they would fit into the requisite avatar box.

Avatar 2011
The weather has been quite rainy and humid and gale force winds and torrential rain is expected tomorrow. I had washing on the line all day and it just wouldn't dry. I think it is cool enough to sleep now, so we are off to bed anon, with a cup of peppermint tea and maybe the crossword. I like to time myself and do it in less than ten minutes. It has cryptic and ordinary clues, so I expect that's cheating a little.


Tuesday's Letters Eat 2: 'A' is for Almond

I have given up on apples for now. Maybe in the 'G' week I can cook Granny Smiths, or Cox's Oranges or Ladies in the Snow in their appropriately lettered weeks.

Today I baked Almond Macaroons, the old fashioned kind not the new fangled sort with one 'o'. These are so easy. You can mix them by hand, but it took two minutes in the mix-master and there are only 3 ingredients, well four it you like to decorate your macaroons. After they are cool, you can pop them in the freezer on a tray and then when they are frozen they will keep in a sealed bag or container for quite a few months. They only take an hour to defrost, so they are very handy for unscheduled afternoon teas!!

 

Almond Macaroons   makes about 16

  • 100g ground almonds
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • flaked almonds to decorate or glace cherries???

Preheat the oven to 200*C or 180*C fan-forced. The correct temperature is very important for macaroons.

Firstly
Place the ground almonds, sugar and egg white in a bowl and mix well by hand, or use your mixer for about  2 minutes. It must form a paste. I could hear the sound of my mixer change as the mixture became clumpy.

Second
If you squash it together it forms a nice paste or dough. I used a dessertspoon to make the macaroons more or less the same size. I took a spoonful of the paste and then scraped off the excess on the side of the bowl. Then roll into balls, wet hands help. Nigella anoints her hands with rosewater before she rolls hers.

Third
Place on a lined tray and then squash a little to make each biscuit flatter. I put a piece of flaked almond on top as I pushed the biscuit flat. I felt a whole blanched almond would be to much for such small delicate biscuits.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. The aim is for a pale biscuit that is barely browned at all.  I swapped the trays over half way through and mine could probably have come out at 10 minutes but I left them in for 11. Cool on the tray and then a rack and keep in an airtight container. The recipe is easily doubled. They are resplendent on my new plate!!!

Almond macaroons


Happy Birthday, Sweet Peri!!!!

It's Birthdays A-go-go here. Today Peri turned nine. What a big girl she is now, yet often still a puppy who loves to play!! Here she is as a tiny baby and I can't make the photo any larger for some reason. Such a lovely pup!! There has been a lot of Peri Appreciation here today: gentle pats on the head and long belly rubs.

Baby Peri
And here she is on our walk today: Happy Birthday Peri Pumpkin!!!

Peri is 9
And with her sister Gilly when I came home this afternoon. Lots of waggy tails and hoping for a seaweed rice cracker biscuit!!! Peri is such a wonderful deep caramel colour and her coat is still as soft and silky as a puppy's.

Peri and Gilly wait for me
Nothing much else happened today. We all went for a lovely walk. I spent almost 1 3/4 hours having a blood test: not many parking places and then quite a lot of people waiting. I knitted some more of the sock. Then we all had a long afternoon nap when the weather cooled. I took MrsDrWho some salad and saw Muppin the baby kitten and that was that. It has really cooled down now, it has been raining and I think we might all be able to sleep well tonight.


I am not aiming to post every day at all, it just seems that a lot of things are happening. I have also been slowly catching up on answering commnets from last year. I am back to October 12th. It makes me happy to see the number of emails slowly shrinking!!!


A Fish Called Wonder

Knitting away on MrsDrWho's Harry Feet sock, everything seemed to be going along quite well. I tapered the pattern off over the gusset decreases and decided not to do the ribbing either, so it was all plain sailing.

Going along quite nicely
Then I felt a strange tugging when I was changing needles. That would be because of this:

Oops
Somehow I have made a kind of stirrup across the heel. I am not unravelling it, I will cut it in half and then sew the ends in securely.

Gilly has been playing with her Squeaky Chicken. I think she is a bit worried I might want it for myself.

Gilly's flat chicken
It was an inflated Squeaky Chicken but I think she took it into the paddle pool and gave it a jolly good squeaking and now it is stuck together on the inside, though it still sometimes squeaks, hence it's continuing popularity.

MY squeaky chicken
Peri decided she was not to be left out and so found her old Squeaky Pointy Ball and then played a game running in and out of my legs. Not squeaking the ball at all.

Peri goes through
Peri is so very happy!! She doesn't really play many games with toys unless she is swimming, so this is a very exciting activity.

Good peri game
It was 29*C today, more than 30*C inside the house, but now it has cooled down to just 26*C here by the computer. They are forecasting cooler temperatures and then rain on Tuesday. At last!!

I did another small job today: I cleaned up my desk. It's my desk from home when I was little. I just end up with piles of things: earrings, drugs, pens, nail files, and goodness knows what else, so you can't actually see the desk any more. Not that the World map is up to date!!! It took less than half an hour.

It was less challenging than cleaning up the fish sauce that spilled into the bottom of the fridge. I did wonder how it spilled. Perhaps the clippy lid wasn't clipped shut? I was pushing things aside and then the next time I opened the fridge I heard drip, drip, drip. I've put some kitchen towel in the bottom of the fridge to soak it up and I will deal with it tomorrow when it is cooler. The desk seemed so easy compared to that!!

Tidy, for now
My diary for this week is starting to fill up: Hospital visits: 2, Vet visit for Peri's vaccinations: 1, lunch: 1, High Tea: 1, Car Service: 1. I am also planning to fit in some more small jobs along the lines of the curtains and my desk. I might cut off the blackberries that are impinging on the paving on the next cool day!! I shall have to do a Before and an After.