Saturday, 28 June 2014

A post about sticks and swine. Post 1200!

Last weekend my brother and I took our older brother's hounds for a long walk. We were staying in Herefordshire and nipped over the border into Gloucestershire and the Forest of Dean. We visited a good walking spot called Speculation, in the Cannop Valley.

The walk is based around old railway lines built to service mines (the digging out sort, not the kaaabbboooom type) .

Just as we started out, I heard some careful snuffling and foraging about and to my delight, this magnificent wild pig emerged just going about her business. She was about three times the size of Quaddy (the black labrador in the video). Amazingly the dogs did not even get a sniff of her but when they barked, she just trotted away to another part of the forest. You can just about see her here.

video


Later in the walk it was the usual blend of sticks, barking, finding water to sit in and general gooning about. And digitalis digitalis.











Monday, 23 June 2014

The wood pile

My parents' superstar neighbours are moving house :-(

This is a real shame as they are the best neighbours a couple could have. It is also sad because the move has been rather prompted by rapaciously money-grabbing folks in the village creating  havoc converting a barn just nearby. Loads of stress, noise, invasion of privacy and unfriendliness.

In helping them move, and ahead of my brother's wedding (of which, more soon) we were in the village this weekend. My bro' and I helped the neighbours relocate their mahoosive wood pile to the new village. Three chaps in a van unsupervised. Here are some action shots and some wood pile progress. I'd say we hand balled a couple of tons in and out of the van on a 24 degrees Friday. It was great fun with a sense of satisfaction.

Toby the  dog liked taking stuff OUT of the van just when he could reach it after we had put it in!










Friday, 20 June 2014

Chicken links and Happy Birthday

My brother's wedding tomorrow.

I will be wearing my very favourite cuff links, bought for me in affection (thank you and happy, happy birthday to you for today x ), and kept that way too.  

I will also have this glass Chicken in my pocket for the day, a link to a terrific young man who bought it for me in his thoughtful and observant way a little time back.

And this day prior to the wedding? A quiet pint out for the groom and his two brothers , then a walk up Coppett Hill near Goodrich to watch the sun set. That part with the hounds, and wrapping up at about 9.00 pm.

In preparation for this evening , my other brother and I shifted about a ton and a half of firewood across Herefordshire!







Sunday, 15 June 2014

Father's day

It is Father's day in the UK today and in all these countries below as well.

Just off the phone to my Dad and looking forward to seeing him this coming Thursday  (for my brother's wedding a couple of days later!)




Afghanistan
Albania
Antigua and Barbuda
Argentina
Aruba
Bahamas
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belize
Bermuda
Brunei Darussalam
Canada
Cambodia
Chile
People's Republic of China**
Colombia
Costa Rica
Cuba[
CuraƧao
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Dominica
Ecuador
Ethiopia
France
Ghana
Greece
Guyana
Hong Kong
Hungary
India
Ireland
Jamaica
Japan
Kenya
Kosovo
Kuwait
Laos
Macau
Madagascar
Malaysia
Maldives
Malta
Mauritius
Mexico
Mozambique
Myanmar
Namibia
Netherlands
Nigeria
Oman
Pakistan
Panama[
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Singapore
Slovakia
South Africa
Sri Lanka
Suriname
Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey
United Kingdom
United States
Venezuela
Vietnam
Zambia
Zimbabwe

Potato Rosti...could do better.

Today I was taken with the idea of making a potato rosti.

I had a couple of spuds left and they were coming to  the end of their usefulness, so I went for it via a quick You Tube tutorial first. You Tube is great for that sort of thing.

Armed with a knife, a grater , an onion, butter, cumin and some bacon I set out on course. If I'm honest it was a fail and I wouldn't have served it to a guest, but the taste and the principle is in the bag for next time.

Didn't squeeze enough starch out and made the rosti too thick. Enjoyed it though!

Prep' stage


Shredding potato and onion

Making the rosti


And hereafter it went a bit Pete Tong!

Next time?



Saturday, 14 June 2014

Welsh flowers and a train.

This week my work took me to the RSPB reserve in Newport. I was along to sit on an interview panel and to shortlist candidates for a vacancy at another one of my sites. Busy enough day but I squeezed in a 35 minute walk around the reserve. It seems almost ignorant not to when each of the sites I work with is such a pleasant spectacle.

So, here are sone of the things I encountered during the day:

Southern Marsh Orchid

Something in the pea family, akin to Sweet Pea

Oak Eggar Caterpillar
And a fine Class 43!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Thursday Sunshine. And planes!

I thought today would inspire a post about the World Cup . I am not a huge football fan but I am excited about a month of football.

But no, today's post is just about the weather and the view I encountered on heading into the garden this morning. I am at my folks' house and I stepped out to fill up the bird feeders at 07.00. The grass was still wet with due and there were fox or badger trails right across the garden, stopping at the suet ball feeder, and that was picked clean! 

Weatherman says it will hit 24 degrees in some places today and that's pretty much top of the range! 






Monday, 2 June 2014

Complex engineering...

So here we both are, attempting to master a potato ricer (a modern form of mashing)...

We got there in the end and the resulting shepherd's pie was great.

video

Sunday, 1 June 2014

The Lock and Weir for trains and beer.

Having taken a long ride yesterday, neither of us had particularly planned to do so today. However, the sun came out nice and early and it stayed and the day was made.

Different route today but towards Bath in the end, just like yesterday.

Today my bro' and I  headed out along the river Avon path towards The Lock and Weir pub, a route I used to do regularly with old BSFivers (Walshy, Mrs Walshy, Bag and Seamus).

This took us out of Barton Hill, through St Annes and Hanham on onwards towards Keynsham (the factory shown here is the old Cadbury place, soon to become 700 houses).

We arrived at The Lock and Weir at half eleven, some time before it opened so we went on a little bit and then circled back for a pint of Otter.

A really enjoyable ride with a mix of  easy paths, sliding mud, horses, dogs, ducks, trains and ale.

The plan mid week is to get to the other side of the river and get closer to the railway line.