Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Is it time for my holiday yet?

Summer seems to be over here in the UK. Not that it ever really got going this year. So much rain. We actually had as such as everyone always thinks we get. And still its not yet time for my holiday.

Not long now though and I am counting sleeps. Jamal is still on his way to Brazil, should arrive on 22nd. Sadly not joining us on  hols this year. Fahed is still in Lebanon but will be back next Monday, ready to fly out again on the Friday. He sounds stressed up to the eyeballs but miraculously his sister is actually looking a little better.

I am very productive with Fahed away and have been stripping the hedge rows and trees, making infusions, beer and now cider. I would prefer to make jam but being diabetic it didn't seem wise. No-one really drinks in our family but we always have lots of Christmas visitors so they can all be my victims :)

Talking of jam I heard a programme of Radio 4 yesterday where someone made jam with 1200g fruit to 400g sugar, which might be something good for me to try. Diana Henry was hosting the programme but I didn't catch the name of the low sugar jammer sadly, so back to google, Or I might even buy her book

Monday, 7 September 2015

Keeping myself busy

Family is still spread out across three continents. Poor Fahed is still sitting with his poorly sister and I wish I could see a good ending for this. And I won't even dwell on poor Fahed's family as i think everyone knows about Syria now.

Jamal is heading south from Texas to Brazil. He tells me he is chasing hurricane Erica. Happy days. I hope the hurricane goes faster than his ship.

So instead I try to avoid the TV and the news pages and keep myself busy.

I bought a fermenter and 2 pressure barrels from ebay for a bargain price, i think it was £16. Inside was also a thermometer, a hydrometer and a funnel. And a kit for making some sort of Mexican style beer. Result. I wont dwell on the fact that no-one around here drinks beer :) I assume it doesn't go off too quick so hopefully I can give visitors over the coming months.

I have gathered more plums, sloes and blackberries from the hedge row. My lvoely best friend came over from the island at the weekend to keep me busy and my parents and eldest son are also dragging me here and there.

I bought some chalky duck egg blue paint to repaint some folding chairs which look rather sad. So far I haven't got far as I need to herd all the cats into a different room before I open the tin or they just come straight over and jump on the chair

Lastly I mentioned before that the fridge died. It was, i think, more than 23 years old so it did well. Its hard to dispose of fridges so I am thinking maybe use it as a smoker, following these instructions from youtube? I mean, what could go wrong??

or perhaps we better stick with this one?

Monday, 31 August 2015

All around the world

For the last few days we are very spread out.

Fahed is in Beirut, Lebanon, Asia.
Jamal in Beaumont, Texas, USA
Me at home in Allbrook
Ahdel was at Waddow Hall, somewhere up North (!), UK

I also noticed that by the time Jamal is home again he will have been to Europe, Africa, America & Asia, in one trip. I asked if he could visit Australia too so that we get all five land based continents in one trip but the ship is due to go to dry dock in China so no chance.

I think I need to get a new World Map to track everyone's wanderings.

So anyway no news from Fahed for a few days so I am taking that as good news.
Here I am just keep myself busy. I have a new 'thing' that I have been doing and it works for me.
I have my notepad and have started to carry it everywhere with me, A simple daily to do list but for me it works better when its paper than on my phone..

I lable up the pages for a few days ahead
Then I add in the definites like pick up prescriptions, book appointments etc
Each night and over my morning coffee I run through previous days list and see what was missed and still needs doing or not, then rack my brain for other additions. Of course if i think of them during the day then they get added.
Plus a section at the bottom for things I need to buy.
And even though this is really really simple it is working. I am getting tons done (maybe because the men are all some place else , hmmm?)
And I know this because day before yesterday I put my pen down someplace else instead of attached to the book and turned back into my usual get a few things done and then get distracted self.

So now I am just looking for a pen (there are many thousands in my house, they are just all hiding) and I am going to update my lists and burst into activity. Yes, really I am.

In amongst all of my activities I painted the wall around my cooker a really lively dark bluey green. Be interesting to see if the old fella likes it :)

Friday, 28 August 2015

We make plans:God laughs

We have plans for our Crete visit. We saved hard, we prefer to use our 'spare' money and not credit, and had enough to get a man with an excavator to do some work for us, some wall building and some other work. All going to plan.

Last night Fahed had a call that his sister suffered a heart attack. 3 arteries are blocked and she is too ill for any operation, even stents or angioplasty, I think because she is also diabetic. What can you do? Well not very much but at the least get out to see her. Thats half my savings gone right there. I wish it could help but it cant, not really, but its good to go for support. Her children are there too. Oh and its not so easy anyway to find an affordable flight to Beirut.

Fahed employers are very kind, he takes these weeks without being paid but they were so good. Hopefully we get our holiday okay too. We have seven visitors joining us so we cant just not go.

Poor old Ameena. She is such a fun and lively person. If anyone is doing any praying then I am sure she would be happy to get a mention. xx  Well actually I guess most of the family would as they are mostly stuck in Syria. I can tell you it makes you very aware of how lucky you are.