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November 2005
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January 2006

Christmas where the gum trees grow.....

My Secret Pal is..KAmandamoos_deco_on_the_wayatie from Katie Knits!!!! Da Daaaaa!!!! In fact, I was Katie’s Pal and she was mine. There was some kind of breakdown in communications by the organisers, not that either of us cared!! Katie dyes the loveliest yarn and makes needles rolls etc. You must go there and look!!! I know how lovely her yarn is as I have 2 lots of my own!!!

I had a fabulous time with Secret Pal 6. Thanks Katie!!!

Today I met my brother-in-law and we swapped presents. He is taking them home to my sister, niece and mother for me.  It is my Mum’s birthday present :Inspector Rex  DVD boxed set, though she has no DVD player. We want to buy her one but she is prevaricating. I don’t know how she will watch Rex!!!

I didn’t take a photo of the Advent Calendar I sewed, but I have 3 more to make so I will take on then. I have also made a good start on the Santa Swag for the Madcages. There is a sack, a reindeer, an angel, a wreath and Santa_swag_started_slowlya tree to make. I have almost finished a hanging decoration for Amanda-Moo, too. I will brave the dreaded Spotlight tomorrow to buy wadding and more material for backing and ACMA’s quilt.  I also have to make something extra for BE Niece. I know not what yet, I will have to search my books….

The Labradors are cross, I have been out in the car twice this morning and they haven’t been invited. Harki  sooked and cried when I left. I didn’t wake up until 9-45 am this morning. Harki and Peri were playing romping  rowdy-rebel games on the bed so there was no more sleeping in!!!

Since I managed not to take photos of Sharon’s Secret Santa presents, you can pop along to her blog and see them there. Love my scarf lots!!!!

I have the new Stitch’n’Rude Word Nation and in it are the formulae for converting different ply patterns. I can translate a 10ply to an 8 ply now. I have been waiting for this so I can make my Dr Who Zippy-Uppy Cardigan. I plan to What_the_santa_swag_might_look_like start this straight away after Christmas, and I have my second Wizard Sock to do as well, and Arisaig…. But I can’t resist the call of The Doctor!!! I will make a test sample and then work mathematical wonders with a pencil and paper – no calculators for me. I love maths!!!!!

I have a whole book of Australian Christmas Carols and sons by Leigh Newton; Christmas in the Scrub.  I have just seen he has a new book so I might need to order that. I like Australian Carols and songs as well as the more traditional ones. I sang along with Christmas with the Rat Pack at the weekend!!!

Now I might have another cup of tea and do some more embroidery. There are threads and scraps of material from here to eternity all over the house. I will have to vacuum. Peri hates that, she hides outside.

Peanut Soft Centred Truffles

  • 1/2 cup unsalted crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 tbspn icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbspn cocoa
  • 100 g good dark chocolate, melted

Mix the peanut butter, sugar and cocoa and refrigerate till firm. Roll into a log about 25 cm long and refrigerate again.  Cut off 1 cm slices and freeze. When firm, dip into the chocolate and  refrigerate till set!!!

We Three Kings of Orient Are...*

  Everyone’s Typepad blogs have been all boogelly. I am republishing mine as per the instructions to see if it ‘reboots’ properly. All over Blogdom, people are confused!!!

Nope – it hasn’t helped one bit, there are still posts missing. The Typepad people assure us all that they are somewhere in the ether, but that remains to be seen……..

Today I have decided it will be Truffles all round this Christmas. It is too hot to be cooking and truffles are much cooler to make : you only need a double boiler or a microwave. The Labradors like it when it is cooler, they have been out in the heavy rain and indulging in rowdy play. ACMA and my Mum will have some cooked things, and maybe the GardyGardeners too, not that truffles are to be sneezed at!!! I have 9 kinds and I will make a double batch of each and fudge too. So the Truffles are:-

1.      Cherry Coconut

2.      Choc-Orange

3.      White Chocolate, Coconut and Lemon

4.      Coffee and Raisin

5.      White Christmas

6.      White Chocolate, Honey and Nut

7.      Peanut Soft Centred

8.      Choc Cherry Brandy

9.      Plain Chocolate

10.  and Super Rich Chocolate Fudge

A not too daunting list after all!!! I have bought all the ingredients and I might start tomorrow. Today I have to make my Christmas cards, write in them, address them and then tomorrow buy stamps and post them!!! Thank goodness it is a whole week till Christmas and they should make it in time after all. Every year I vow I will try to do a little Christmas thing every week, and every year I fail to do this!! Next year I muSp6_flurry_of_excitement_picturest have a plan  : if I make a spreadsheet that might help, it helps me organise other things.

I have received my final SP6 present from my excellently wondrous SP!! I have a very blurry picture of the wrapped gifts, I was very excited, hence the awful photo!!

Inside there was a pattern book with heaps of ideas, even ganseys, which I am intrigued with, as is Sharon. There were treats for the Labradors, which they ate with relish, although they weren’t 'busy' for very long with their razor sharp teeth!!!! The Labradors have felt very spoiled too!! They even had some of the yummy Jelly Babies – they were very delicious and we have eaten them all instead of real food. There is a Pez thingy of Shrek. I am like The Pretender, ( how I loved that show) I have never before had a Pez dispenser, so I have named it Jarod, after him. JaMy_sp6s_final_gifts_for_usrod has had his lollies inserted and I have taunted the Labradors with his spring-powered lolly dispensing power.  My elbows thank you, SP, for the truly divine Body Butter, in soft green with a green scent too. It is so rich it really is buttery!!! There, I have just anointed my elbows again!!!

And last but not least, there is beautiful hand-dyed 100% soysilk, after which I have been lusting!! It was dyed especially for me – how special’s that??  My SP has pronounced it ‘Eucalyptusy’, and a fine name it is too. It is beautiful and smooth to touch and gorgeous to look at – I think it will make a lovely lacy scarf as well. I have, by default, become a scarf maker, though because it is Summer I don’t wear my scarves. I have 3 already and two on the go, plus this special new soysilk.  I need jumpers and cardigans to match my scarves.

I know who my Secret Pal is, but I am waiting till me very late parcel reaches her before I tell.  She has made the whole SP experience a joy, and I couldn’t have wished for a Better SP!!!!!! Thanks you Secret Pal!!!

Cup_cake_hat_almost_finished Now I am off to tidy the kitchen and make Suffolk Puffs – sewing them, not cooking them!!! Oh and I have almost finished the Cup Cake Hat – it needs the ends sewing in and a pom-pom on the top and maybe some long beads for sprinkles!! It is too cute for words.  You can find the pattern here,  but I modified it to fit someone with a head of  52-55 cm( 21-22 inches) in circumference. If anyone wants to know the  details, just LMK. It kind of fits me!!!!

Oh, some of my blog has reappeared, but not the photos yet......stay tuned!!!

*We Three Kings of York Town Square

Stealing teachers' underwear.

So fantastic, No Elastic:

Twenty cents a pair.

Just insert your town or city and a teacher or friend's name and sing away. We did this at assembly one year and the children all brandished appalling underwear ( clean, of course) at the end. Very amusing and not too disrespectful....

Jingle all the way.......

Close_up_of_the_scarf_sharon_made_me I spent most of Tuesday downloading the new Norton Anti-Virus 2006. Dialup makes this a long and tortuous process. After that there is all the configuring and changing the settings ( Who knew Ebay searches you chose are Spam!!!) In the midst of this I went to the Knitting Coven Secret Santa Affair. After several tries at finding the right house ( it was the right house all the time) I made it and we had excellent afternoon tea, with Prince of Wales Twinings tea for me as I can’t have coffee – Thanks Katt!! – and we exchanged gifts!! Here I have to ask Sharon – are you there? Please bring your socks to the next Knitting Coven  meeting as I forgot to take a photo… Sharon was my KCSS and she made me the most beautiful scarf, green of course, and it is so snuggly and warm and I love it!!! Thank you SS Sharon, it is divine. We all saw socks and scarves and cooked gifts etc and that was it for this year. I made a Sock Tote too. Any other Knitting Coven people want one?? I can sew you one next year, well, after Christmas. Of course, I have no picture, but it is a cylindrical  tote with a zip about 5 cm from the top around the circumference. It has a little handle and is just right for socks, wool, needles and a Acma_made_this_bauble pattern.

I must order some more Bendigo wool – I think some more green, and then 200 g of the 4 ply baby wool to practise my dyeing with jelly on sock style wool before I try for enough wool for a whole jumper!!!!

Yesterday I had my hair cut, a lovely restful past-time and went to the ordinary doctor. Then The Craft Coven went to Pierre’s and I had delicious gourmet fish and chips and a glass of bubbly. We exchanged gifts too and made a date for January to meet again.

I am making ACMA’s niece a Cup Cake Hat with brown ribbing and pink icing : Thanks Katt!!! I have made almost all the ribbing this morning and I hope to be up to the bobbles any hour!!! ACMA’s sister said Niece’s head had a circumference of 21 cm. Now, she is 6 Cup_cake_hat_ribbing and I think 21 cm is far too small. I am making it 21 inches-ish. I hope it will be OK.

The Labradors are well, they have played, romped about and been fed, so now they are sleeping. They have been feeling more than a little neglected as, although they have had their walks, there has not been much attention paid, or games!!! Now I feel somewhat better we can play again!!!

Donkey, donkey, Plod along.....

David_foster_and_tim_abc_cox Today I girded my loins and went to ACMA’s school to cook mini Christmas cakes with her class.  I managed to cook finished cakes with 2 groups , 2 more are ready to put theirs in the oven tomorrow and the last 2 have to put theirs into the cheery cherry muffin papers and into the tins and then they can cook theirs.

BUT the most exciting news is that while I was there the ABC Giving Tree came to school!! Tim Cox, David Foster et al!!!! I usually tote my camera about with me and so I took a bazillion photos, which ACMA downloaded to her laptop for school to use, andDavid_and_tim_as_a_bovver_boy I have some to show here as well!! I won’t show any with identifiable children as this could breach their right to privacy, but I’m pretty sure the Giving Tree people won’t  mind!! I am such an ABC-ophile!!!! I will make sure, next year, that I go on the same day!!!!!!

I am feeling slightly better. I still have another doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, and then I will know whether I have to see the specialists or not. In truth, the thought of specialist makes me feel less well…….I spent yesterday in bed and/or on the couch saving myself for school today. It is hot today, 26 C inside and too hot to even measure in the car : I don’t have air-con.The_lady_driving_the_army_truck_avec_gif

My Knitting Coven Secret Santa is finished, though I have something to cook as well.  I will need to finish this tomorrow as – it IS tomorrow.

I have a parcel at the PO up the road. I think it night be from my Secret Pal. I have misseOh_hokey_pokey_pokeyd the post today – I will post my final SP6 present off tomorrow!! Are you there SP?? I am posting it off tomorrow as I am too hot/lazy/unmotivated to go out again!!!

The Labradors had a swim today and they have constant dips in the paddle pool. I put ice in their drink but then they refused to drink at all, so I had to take it out again and throw it away.

There, I feel better now, I have missed so many blogging days through ill health lately!!! I am off to have a nap now……..

I'm Dreamin' of a Green Christmas....

Where not to Knit ( but no Trinny and Susannah!!)

  1. On an Aeroplane, at least in Australia

  2. In the Car – according to my mum who lives in fear of being speared by a needle in a car crash

  3. In the Doctors’ waiting room – I knitted there with shaky hands this morning and when I came home I had to undo it all!!

Spot_the_christmas_bauble_with_peri There is a bauble nestled in Peri's arms. it is green and sparkly, and just the right size to arry in her mouth!!!

Never knit in the waiting room of someone about to decide your future. It is time and knitting wasted. I have just managed to catch up on all the unravelling. I have also managed to eat something too – my appetite has been a bit up and down over the last few weeks.  Now I have to wait for the verdict from the Board….The Secret Knitting is about 45-50% complete now and I have one other part of The Knitting Coven Secret Santa to make and it is all done. I am going to order some more wool from The Bendigo Woollen Mill next week : some more of the green and 4x200g of white/cream to dye with jelly and food dye. I think a cool day in January will be called for. I could make my own sock wool too!!!! Oh, that would be exciting.

My Secret Knitting pal is organised and sensible and calm and has sent me a parcel. The Labradors are hoping for the nice parcel postman who looks like Santa!!  I am less of a sensible, organised and calm SP and so my poor  patient SP will have to wait!!!!  Tonight I might make a final list of the craft things I need to finish. The Gingerbread_house_decorating_gone_mad Craft Coven ( as I have now dubbed us) are having our Christmas break up ( or breakdown, depending how we feel) at Pierre’s next Wednesday evening. I think a glass of bubbly might be called for. I found a bottle of Brown Brothers’ Crouchen Riesling in the bookcase-with-a-shelf-doubling-as-a wine rack last night. A 2003 Vintage!! I had no idea it was there: a nice surprise.

I have Chuzzle Shoulder and ACMA has Chuzzle Wrist. Between the two of us we just about make one whole, functioning arm. According to ACMA, we are having a Zen Chuzzle battle to 1,000,000 points. Since she is over 600,00 already and I am only up to 200,000 then I think she will win. I think I will win the Mindbender part, which is like 2D Rubik’s Cube.

If you like biscuits, go to Martha Stewart’s site and there are lots of recipes here. Remember that a stick of butter is about 125g and you’re away. Still no sign of my Christmas book : I had opined that I needed a new one, a kind of ‘unwish’ so I expect that is what happened. It has wished itself out of existence.

Here is a recipe for an Easy Fruitcake easy enough for children to make and tasty enough for grownups to enjoy!!!

Easy Mini Fruitcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups various dried fruits as you desire

  • alcohol, tea or juice for soaking the fruit

  • 125 g brown sugar

  • 125 g butter

  • 60 ml  milk

  • 1 egg

  • 225 g cup plain flour

  • 1/4 tsp bicarb soda

  • 1 tspn mixed spice

  • 1 tspn grated lemon/orange rind as desired

Soak the fruit overnight, by placing it in a flat dish and pouring over enough liquid to come ½ way over the fruit. Use  whatever you like, individually or a combination. If you are in a hurry, pour over hot tea and leave fro an hour and the fruit will plump nicely. Reserve the liquid if you like and go ½ and ½ with the milk!!! Preheat oven to 160 C ( 140 ff) You will need a muffin tin and papers. Melt the butter in the microwave, then add the lightly beaten egg and milk, rind and sugar. Sift the dry ingredients and  fold through the fruit.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold through very well. Spoon into muffin papers, decorate with extra cherries and nuts if you like, and bake for  20-25 minutes. Cool on a rack. Even off  the top of any undecorated cakes, top with some rolled fondant icing and decorate with cherries or other festive things!!!

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Gayes_house_2 Gingerbread Houses were duly assembled and decorated. Everyone was so creative. You would look at theirs and think ; ‘I wish I had done that’ and then you would!! We all copied like all get out. We started at 7 and finished at 9-30pm. Aunty Captain Mrs Archer had trouble assembling her house. It was all fine until the roof went on and then the walls kept falling in and the roof sagged. She tried pinning it together with steel rods ( aka needles) but in the end shMarys_house_2_1e took the roof off and it is ‘resting’.  There is a picture of everyone’s house except mine, because I was the only one who remembered my camera. I couldn’t bring myself to delete  the Labradors’ pictures so I only had 12 pictures left.

I will put a photo of all their houses, in no particular order. I think if you mouse over the photo the owner’s name will appear!!!

The Labradors had a walk at the dam this morning. They had a swim in the little creek and chased things : what, I know not.  As the weather is warmer, Harki doesn’t want to play this morning at all and Peri is napping too.

Karens_scaffolding The new Simply Knitting UK is out with some interesting Christmas craft- there will be more next month. That gives us lots of time to prepare for next year!!! There are a few nice things I would like to make, but still a preponderance of ‘fun effects’ yarn. Those UK knitters seem to love it. I don’t like it at all. Christmas is far too close and there is far too much to do still.

I am reading ‘North and South’ by Elizabeth Gaskell. It is the book from which the BBC adapted the mini-series that was on TV this year.  I need to watch the DVD again now.

I have lost my recipe for the gingerbread dough – it is at ACMA or …… somewhere else!! When I finSues_house_2d it I will post it, as it is easy and extremely tasty.  Instead, here is a  recipe for  some biscuits.

Gingerbread Biscuit Ornaments

  • 125 g butter, softened

  • 110 g brown sugar

  • ½ cup golden syrup

  • 375 g plain flour

  • 2 tspn ground ginger

  • 1 tspn bicarb soda

Preheat the oven to 190 C ( 170 ff) and grease and line trays.  Cream the butter and sugar for 8-10 minutes and then beat in the rest of the ingredients. Knead briefly till the dough comes together and wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so.

Roll out dough to 5mm thickness and cut out shapes. Place on tray. Make a hole for ribbon in the top if you wish. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool. When cold, ice and decorate with sweets etc. Thread a ribbon through the hole, wrap in cellophane and hang on the tree.

Ding 'Dog' Merrily on High!!!

A_very_puppy_christmas Joanie the Labrador’s mum made me this decoration way back in 1997. It is very cute. I have a NOEL as well.

Today I made some earrings and a bracelet with my new 3-in-1 Jewellery tool. It has green handles and I am semi-demi-competent with it. I threaded beads and twisted and cut and tied and Voila!!  I think I can make myself another set tomorrow too.

Knitting? There is secret knitting going on for the Knitting Coven Secret Santa. I am doing that, and that is all.

Tonight we are decorating our Gingerbread houses. There will, no doubt, be photos tomorrow. I have to find  and then take my Memory Stick to download some from Saturday too. I will have to make 6 lots of  Royal icing for the assembling and decorating of  said house. Oh and I will need a board too. I have done nothing today!! I have made 2 DVDs and ACMA has ordered  a boxed set of Inspector Rex for my mum. Still, it’s not much, really.Chris_carter_i_made_this_earrings_and_br

I will definitely need a nap before I go out. The Labradors had morning tea with the GardyGardeners, who have to go to Hobart to Lenna to garden next Wednesday so they won’t see them till the 21st. How Harki will contain herself I don’t know. She gets so excited she shivers with joy. Peri sits in the corner and then knocks Uncle Barry’s hat off before he goes. We are creatures of ritual…..

Today’s recipe is extra special Brownie. It is not an everyday recipe. It makes an excellent Christmas gift and freezes well. You can safely double the recipe. Ice with ganache if you so choose.

The Brownie to End All Brownies

  • 225 g butter

  • 150 g dark chocolate, chopped

  • 150 g milk chocolate, chopped

  • 3 eggs

  • 275 g caster sugar

  • 180 g plain flour

  • 60 g cocoa

Preheat the oven to 180 C ( 160 ff) and grease and line a 20cm square tin.

Gently melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave. Mix in the eggs and then the other ingredients using a mixer. The mixture should be stiff, and not pour, so add a little more flour if needed. Spoon into tin and smooth. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Cool in tin on a rack. Slice and serve.

Hark the Herald Angels sing!!!!

Gorgeously_hideous_angel_wall_hanging The only way to tackle Spotlight is under the influence of beta blockers. Honestly, I felt so calm: calm when a customer spent 5 minutes putting the numbers in order when I needed one, calm when the woman serving had to deduct the 25% from each item individually, calm when I had to sit on the floor to sort through the messy pile of Teach Me craft things for ACMA, calm when there were 20 cars circling round the car park like vultures, ready to pounce on any empty space. I can highly recommend shopping at Spotlight while under the influence – of something!!! ACMA made me an angel wall hanging some years ago and I think someone was under the influence of something too!! I like it, as it is very green!!!

What a nice walk the Labradors had today. There was running and diving and leaping about, heads being stuck out car windows and now, a lot of napping.

I am awash with new knitting magazines on the internet and at home. They are all out at once. It is good to be able to plan for the Autumn and Winter now!! I am glad we are antipodean!!! I must order some white wool from the Bendigo Woollen Mill so I can dye it with jelly and food dye. Or maybe I should order a cream colour????

I have a new sparkly green watch. I has been on the lay-by and now it is free!! It is very beautiful and I have only worn it twice. It is tricky to do up and I have small wrists.(yes, that is 2 small parts of me now – wrists and shoulders!) I think because I favour children’s watches that are cooler and greener and much more fun, I thought my wrists were big. I always do the watch up in one of the last holes in the band, but on a proper grown up watch, even with the little do–er upper in the first link it is still loose.  All that writing and typing and holding books must have toned my wrists to within an inch of their lives.

Last week I bought myself a new knitting book to cheer myself up : it is knitting for dogs. I won’t knit the Labradors coats. It demeans them to dress them up, and Peri would probably eat it. The author has knitted toys. I expect Harki could wreak her usual havoc in 2 minutes flat!!!

Here is a great biscuit recipe. I made chocolate and vanilla ones. I New_green_sparkly_watch ‘jammed’ some together with peppermint icing, some with chocolate ganache, you could even cut smaller shapes out and drop in some crushed boiled lollies and make stained glass window biscuits, or stick lollies on with icing – the only limit is your imagination. These roll easily and the dough will keep in the fridge. I think the secret is to keep the dough very cold.

Most Excellent Christmas Biscuits

  • 185 g softened butter

  • 220 g caster sugar

  • 1 ½ tspn vanilla extract OR 40 g cocoa for the chocolate biscuits

  • 375 g plain flour

  • 1 egg

  • 1 egg yolk more

Place all the ingredients into a food processor or the mixer and  process/beat till smooth. Knead a little on a floured surface and refrigerate, carefully wrapped, for at leat 30 minutes. Now preheat the oven to 180 C ( 160 ff) and grease and line some trays.

Roll out a little of the dough at a time, to about ½ cm thickness, and cut out shapes. Remember to dip the cutters in flour each time.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden , cool on tray for 5 minutes and then cool on a rack.  These are delicious!!!!

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, you stand in verdant beauty.....

Bread_decorations_from_csj_and_e_1  Yesterday was Christmas for a group of us!! I have kind of merged into the group by sheer association. We were going to the Tailrace Park but Wee Jock’s father watched the park fill to capacity through his binoculars and so we relocated to their house. I bought Wee Jock a Squeaky  Toy on ACMA’s recommendation, as he has allergies and can’t have real treats. He loved his toy!! The afternoon was great. I made everyone a decoration and a card and a large tin of assorted festive biscuits, with extra special ones for the children. My presents were green Olive soap and hand cream, a lovely bolster cushion, a Doris Day double CD ( Huzzah!!!), a movie voucher and pictures of Wee Jock, great green mixing bowls and a mini hamper, a glass bottle full of dried lavender and some excellent dried bread decorations!!! I came Wee_jock_in_hs_room_with_my_present home with marinated chicken and bread too!!!We all left just before the rain came, and I was ever so grateful for the cool evening.

There have been ‘words’ about SP6. I had emails about it. I know what the fuss was about but I just don’t care. I have better things to worry about than a bureaucratic hitch!! Secret Pal has been excellent. I have enjoyed every minute. My SP is wonderful!!! When I haven’t been up to much she has cheered me up, sent me yummy recipes and spoiled both the Labradors and me!! How could this not be a good thing? The email from the Hostesses said that SP6 is now over : who knew? I checked my starting emails and it began on Thursday 15  September, so, pedant that I am, I reckon the 3 months are not up yet. Is it just me??????

Yarn_1_thar_she_blowsThe new Winter Knitty, however, is up. There is not time to knit presents for this Christmas, but I can see some for 2006. I am already knitting things for this Christmas so I have no time left!!! I quite like Tubey ( in greens ) of course!!!

The Labradors are well, though jealous of  the scent of  Wee Jock!! Mind you, he only has one eye, but manages really well. During the holidays we are taking Wee Jock, Harki-Parki-Parker-Posey and Peri Naughty to the Dam so they can play together : What fun!!!

Oh, we have just been to the letter box and the new Yarn magazine has arrived. I have to go and read it now, right now………You can dye with jelly crystals. I am so excited!!!!!

And then they found a little nook in a stable all forlorn...

Acmas_nativity_stable Here is ACMA's stable. It is for her new Nativity that is not coming along very well .

I, on the other hand, have a perfectly good thyroid. What good news. That means that something else is awry. What bad news.  And it is hot too. We are all hoping for a cool change and rain.

The Labradors have been in the paddle pool. Peri has a dip this morning when she woke up!!! There are Harkis_head_peeking_thru_the_dog_door going to be wet footprints over everything till Winter : when you least expect it she is upon you like a wet WMD. Harki likes to bite the water from the hose more than paddling. It makes them feel very cool, and when they are not looking I squirt them !!!

I have made 6 lots of gingerbread dough over the last 2 days. Tomorrow the craft group are making Gingerbread Houses. ACM and I bought a lot of lollies for decorating them.

Peri_can_sit_and_wait_for_a_toy_too That’s all really. Pictures of the Labradors with their toys, no knitting – it’s too hot, and  I have been sleeping or trying to sleep through the humid nights. I missed Harry Potter IV as I was feeling poorly. ACMA said that I wouldn’t have lasted as it was so hot in the cinema.  If she was hot, I would have been boiling!!! I will catch Harry over the weekend. This part of the text has all of a sudden biggered itself. Is it big now? I have no idea why: all the text was the same size???????

And now, a recipe from my Secret Pal who has been sending me her good wishes!! Thank you, Secret Pal!!! I am, perhaps, slightly better!!! These sound delicious. I like pancakes and have never thought to use coconut milk. I might have to make some of these for ACMA tomorrow.....

Vanilla Coconut Pancakes with Mango and Passionfruit

3-4 mangoes
1 cup coconut milk
2 eggs
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups self-raising flour
Pulp from 4-6 passionfruit (or 1 x 170g tin passionfruit pulp)


1 In a bowl, combine the milk, eggs, honey and vanilla. Add the flour and mix to form a smooth batter.

2 Cook pancakes in a non-stick pan sprayed with a little vegetable oil.

3 Serve immediately topped with sliced juicy mangoes and passionfruit.

Hope you're feeling better today.