New Year – New Blog

A Happy New Year to you all!

2013 is over.  Not been the greatest of end of year’s on the family front.  Illnesses and accidents involving close family have been very worrying and still are.  Here’s hoping that the New Year will bring better news for all concerned and, where necessary, peace and comfort.

We did have one big celebration this year – mum’s 75th – the week before Christmas.   I decided to get all the big kids together – a rare occurrence!  So, catering for 10 – all prepared in advance – a huge Boeuf Bourguignon followed by Petits Pots de Chocolat, Roasted Pears with a cranberry and date compote.  It was a surprise party and mum was visibly taken aback.  She was thrilled with her present of a mini ipad from all of us.   I just need to give her a few lessons now.  Big thanks went to sister Ali for making a stunning cake.

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The extraordinary weather we have been having, high winds and heavy rain has meant chaos here in little Godalming and indeed, over large areas of Surrey.  We had lengthy power cuts 23 24 and 25 December.  Christmas dinner was very nearly a write off but power appeared at 2.30 which gave us time to throw the turkey in the oven (hastily removed after 10 mins as I forgot to stuff it) and get organised to eat by 7pm.

Its a sad state of affairs that we rely so much on our electricity that we just can’t cope when without.  No communications – phones were out and we don’t have a landline phone, no internet (horror of horrors!) and no radio.  Our neighbour kindly lent us his battery radio so we could keep abreast of the local news.  As for letting anyone know our predicament – tough!  The two girls were bereft without their electronic devices.  If truth be known me too!

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Three times we had to fix back the chicken run tarpaulins – the metal hole reinforcers just ripped out with the sheer force of the wind as it got under and just lifted it.  The bungees just tore off and the run just ended up a mudbath.

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One advantage was that the Golf course where Nigel plays was shut and we were able to take Milo on his favourite walk which took him swimming in a flooded bunker.  The course was just squelchy all over but the bunker attraction has already taken us there three times this week.

Today being New Years Day we have just endured another mini power cut.  Just long enough and worrying enough for us to abort our NYD dinner – a smashing forerib of beef. All being well that will be for tomorrow now.

My day today, aside the soggiest dog walk imaginable, was spent in the kitchen, making Paul Hollywoods Chocolate Marshmallow Teacakes.

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They turned out brilliantly bar the fact that I mixed high percentage cocoa dark chocolate with milk chocolate.  It was still too high and caused the white marbling.

Anyway enough of the food now – need to get back to a decent way of eating – far too much sugar and carbs this Christmas.  5:2 here I come again!

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