Archive for May, 2010
May 30, 2010
Filed Under (Garden) by Keith on 30-05-2010
No “Sepia Saturday” again! Two reasons for this, I seem to have mislaid the folder with all my old pictures in it since the last post, not to worry though, I scanned them all a while back and put them onto a disk. I lent the disk to my sister last Christmas because she wanted to make a copy, but I haven’t had it back yet. Oh hum!
The other reason is that it’s “That time of the year” again when I am very busy with the garden. Everything needed a severe looking after during the recent dry spell. Not my garden, mine has reverted back to the jungle, but my sisters and her partners. They have gone to their little house near Nice for two months to open up and re-decorate their
This coupled with my household chores here doesn’t leave me much time to play around with the computer.
What I really need is a domestic goddess to live with me, then she can do the little jobs like cooking, cleaning, washing, decorating, ironing etc., while I get on with the important tasks like computing, watching videos, going out with the lads and generally socialising. Is there a nice young lady out there in Bloggyland who fancys the job? Free board and lodging? No?
The last woman who lived with me was unbelievably lazy. Most mornings I had to shout several times for her to come upstairs to wash and dress me! Tut!
May 25, 2010
Today, 9:05am. Phone rings.
Shit! That’s all I need. Some advertising technique that is; put the fear of God into them first and while they are in a state of shock sell them massive amounts of life insurance! Brilliant!
I presume it was some insurance company. Well, I hope it was, but it could have been one of my creditors who is just about to sent the big boys round with the baseball bats to persuade me to cough up.
Well Stanley, “That’s another fine day cocked up before it’s even started”. Already this week I have heard that a favourite blogger of mine, “Mutley the Dogs Day Out” has died, and yesterday I had the sad news that an old Army pal has gone off with the Grim Reaper. (I hope there are plenty of good pubs in Heaven).
Suddenly I don’t feel well, I think I’ll go back to bed. . . .
May 24, 2010
Just lately all the spam mail coming in seems to be in Russian, at least I think that’s what it is, because my knowledge of that language is nil! Can anyone out there identify it? I dont really want a translation because it will be all crap, porno, con tricks, etc.
It has only just started coming in like that. Do you think that the Russians have just discovered the internet and said (in Russian of course) “I’ve got a great idea comrades, lets send these new-fangled email thingies to all the suckers in Britland and con lots of money out of them before somebody in Nigeria gets the same idea!”
Yes, I know I can set my mailbox up to delete spam instantly, but this does have it’s drawbacks:
May 22, 2010
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Keith on 22-05-2010
Sorry, no photo this week. Now that the weather is better, with warm sunny days (unbelievable!) I have been out and about enjoying it.
I haven’t prepared a picture, or even posted this last week. The computer hasn’t been on except to check the news and my emails; which incidently seem to have hit an all time low. Nobody loves me any more!
I bought a new program yesterday. It’s called “Print Artist 23″ and looks quite good from the flashy box graphics. I have been using “Print Artist 8″ for a long time to create headers, banners and greeting cards (too tight-fisted to buy commercial ones), so I thought it was about time I upgraded.
Print Artist is a good program and it comes with thousands of copyright free graphics for all occasions. The only progam to beat it is Photoshop. When I’m working on webpages or processing photos I use a combination of Photoshop, Print Artist and the good old Windows ‘Paint’, transferring the artwork backwards and forwards between the three programs to do different things.
May 14, 2010
This weeks photo was taken when I was an Assistant Scout Leader many moons ago. I had only just passed my Radio Amateurs exam and my callsign was G6AFTY/T (It changed to G8SUM in 1991, but thats another post!)
No, that’s not me at the controls. It’s G3FUW, Syd, who was instrumental in helping me to the standard required to get a transmitting licence.
From left to right is Syd, with all his ex-army equipment modified to work on the amateur bands, me (when I had hair!), Unknown, and on the right Tony, a good friend who was studying to get his licence at that time.
The JOTA (Jamboree On The Air) is an annual event in which Scouts and Guides all over the world speak to each other by means of amateur radio contacts. Scouting experiences are exchanged and ideas are shared, via the radio waves.
Since 1958 when the first jamboree-on-the-Air was held, thousands of Scouts and Guides have “met” each other through this event. Not only is it fun to talk to Scouts from other parts of the world but it provides also a chance to find out about other countries and about Scouting elsewhere. Many contacts made during the JOTA have resulted in penpals, and recently links on Facebook and Myspace, between scout troops that have lasted for many years.
With no restrictions on age, on the number that can participate and at little or no expense, the JOTA provides an opportunity for Scouts and Guides to contact each other by amateur radio. The radio stations are operated by licensed amateur radio operators. Many Scouts and leaders hold licences and have their own stations, as I did in later years, but the majority participates in the JOTA through stations operated by local radio clubs like “Hinckley Amateur Radio and Electronis Society” (HARES) and individual radio amateurs.
Sadly I’m no longer connected with the Scouts. When I was 65 I had to retire from the movement because that was the rule in those days. I have learned recently that the ruling has now changed because Scout troops are closing through the lack of volunteer leaders, and that they would welcome back the older leaders. I have been out of touch for 8 years now and I don’t honestly feel like tackling todays youngsters in the Scouts.
To visit other bloggers ‘Sepia Saturdays’ click here!
May 11, 2010
I want to tell you about a very special plant in my herb-garden, and it’s uses. It seems that not many people know about it in this day and age, although it was very popular in Roman and mediaeval times when it’s main use was as a vegetable. Now its use is mainly as a herb. It’s called Lovage. It’s a large celery-like plant that can grow taller than a man. Part of the Umbelliferae family, which also includes carrots, parsley and dill, it is not often found on sale in garden centres today.
It is easy and rewarding to grow at home as it has two seasons each year. Lovage has a strong, musky flavour similar to celery but with lemon notes. It is best used fresh, and sparingly because it has a strong taste. It is at its best this time of the year when the early shoots have matured. I find that is is also best to use freshly picked shoots rather than the dried leaves you sometimes find in high class stores.
Lovage is a traditional favourite in Scotland, so try it with game such as pheasant, or combine with smoked haddock and bacon or ham. It is also good with chicken. Add a spoonful of the chopped leaves, or the seeds, to savoury, cheesy doughs as you would chives or parsley. Sprinkle the chopped leaves over plates of green beans or peas, or add them to salads. Lovage can be a good substitute for dill, parsley, chervil or tarragon, and can be used instead of basil to make pesto. Soup is another typical use. The stalks can be treated the same way as celery, or crystallised like angelica. There are a lot of pages on t’internet about lovage and various recipes, so I wont drone on about its virtues anymore except to give you my “Quickie Turkey and Lovage Pie” as in the picture.
You will need:
1 packet of ready-rolled shortcrust pastry (Asda)
If you are not in a hurry, or a perfectionist, you can make your own white sauce and pastry, but I’m an idle sod and can’t be bothered!
How to make:
Butter a shallow baking dish, roll out the pastry and use half to line the dish. Light the oven on Gas Mark 5. Saute the chopped onion in the oil until it goes soft and semi-transparent. Set aside. Mix the white sauce with cold water as per the destructions on the packet and bring to the boil. Just before it starts to thicken put in the turkey (chicken), the onions and the lovage. Keep stirring while the mixture thickens, and when it starts to come away from the sides of the saucepan (you should be using a non-stick one, or you’ll be in a mess!) and it looks fairy stiff, spoon it into the pastry lined dish and spread it evenly. Next use the other half of the ready rolled pastry to cover and cut a small hole in the centre to let out the steam when it’s in the oven. Smear it all over with milk to give the pastry a nice golden colour. Bake the pie in the pre-heated oven for approx 25 mins on the centre shelf. Make a cup of coffee and have a fag while it’s cooking.
I find that it tastes much better cold the next day with a Gratin Dauphinois, but then I’m peculiar!
May 08, 2010
This weeks picture is of my mother and father on their wedding day in 1936. This is the only photograph that was taken on that momentous occasion, it was snapped by the best man as they walked away after the wedding looking deliriously happy an full of joy. The reason for this is that they were married in the local Registrars Office because my mother discovered that she was pregnant with me. Oh, the shame of it!
There was no family there, no reception afterwards, no photographer, just a couple of friends as witnesses.
Sex before marriage was frowned upon in those days, and if the woman got pregnant then the man was expected to do the decent thing and marry to the woman to give the baby (me, in this case!) a name. So you see, I’m not really a bastard after all!
Love didn’t enter into the equation at the time, but they must have felt something for each other because seven years later my sister was born. They divorced shortly after that. My mother had custody of my sister and I was “adopted” and brought up by my grandparents. Dad went off and married the woman that he had always loved before he met my mother.
Nowadays morals have changed and the sense of responsibility disappeared, if a man gets his girlfriend pregnant they are not expected to get married. Instead she gets a free council flat and benefits to raise the child courtesy of the taxpayer, and the boyfriend gets off scot-free.
Visit other Sepia Saturdays by clicking here!
May 02, 2010
As you may be aware all comments are moderated before I put them up, this is because of spam and idiots who seem to have nothing better to do with their time.
Because of the number of abusive comments I have received on my “Troop Aid” post I have removed the comment box.
I stongly suspect that these comments (so far I have had 29 since that post) are from one person who is obviously barely able to read and write english because they all have the same smelling pistakes and bad grammar in them; and all are anonymous. I am fed up with having to trash comments calling me a ‘nazi’, ‘scum’ and worse for supporting our troops in Afghanistan everytime I log on to my page.
Apologies to anyone who commented sensibly. I hope the person responsible can now see that none of his filth actually shows up on my page, so ‘go away’ in Anglo-Saxon!
*polite cough* Oh, I almost forgot to mention it but it’s my Birthday today, just in case you wanted to send me a pressie or an eCard. . . .(hint)
May 01, 2010
This weeks picture is of my mother when she was 20. She had three sisters and a brother, and my grandma always arranged for each one to go to a studio when they reached 21 or nearly, to have a series of professional photographs taken for the family album.
When my mothers turn came, she told me, she couldn’t afford a new dress for the occasion because at that time (1933) there was a recession (nothing new there then!) and her mother was stuggling to make ends meet.
Not wishing to look poor by wearing one of her old dresses she picked out her one and only decent dress, washed it and pressed it to look as if it had just come out of the box! If you look you can see the creases in both pictures. The pearls are real though, she inherited them from her grandmother, but had to sell them later when she lost her job.