Sunday, 14 February 2016


I posted a couple of weeks ago about making this year's first batch of marmalade - I have now worked my way through all 8lbs (or so) of oranges, and have an impressive-looking stock of jars full of marmalade, like bottled sunshine.

A chance thought as I was enjoying a glass of gin and tonic led me to ponder the possibility of using other kinds of citrus fruit, limes in particular. 

Which resulted in me making 2 small batches of lime marmalade, one lime with Gin and Tonic, and the other Mojito - lime with fresh mint and rum.

I think they worked out reasonably well. 

Marmalade harvest
I have, I think, ended up with a little more than 15lbs of orange marmalade, and around a pound of each variety of lime marmalade. I shall not, of course, be eating it all myself, but will be giving or sending jars to various friends and family members (postage charges permitting) 

I may also use some in baking - chocolate and orange cupcakes,perhaps. . .

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Wind and Weather

As an English person I am, of course, accustomed to talking about the weather, and am also familiar with the fact that people who live in places which have real extremes of weather mock us for thinking we have extreme weather...

But this week was pretty exciting . ..

We've had some very wild and windy weather.

Storm Imogen hit the UK, and while we weren't in the worst hit areas, we were forecast to have winds gusting at up to 62 mph, and while I don't have a weather station on my roof so can't be sure, I suspect we got them - it was certainly very wild and noisy,and there were a lot of floods, although fortunately none which directly affected me, although a couple of colleagues had to make detours around fallen trees and blocked roads.

Things have calmed down a little now, but it's still breezy and wet. Although we have had one very bright and frosty morning.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Blood and Farce

On Friday evening I went to give blood. I nearly didn't, as I had forgotten the appointment (which was later than I normally go), but I did make it.

They were very busy, so the wait was longer than usual, too (Apparently Management has decided that you can fit more appointments into an hour, with predictable results)

All of which meant that it was about 6.45 before I started my donation. All went smoothly until right at the end, when (probably because it was about an hour and a half later than I usually donate, and I hadn't yet had supper) I felt very slightly woozy just as they took the needle out.

So, I mentioned this, and they tilted the chair down so my feet were up and my head down..t which point the farcial element began. You see, the chairs evidently have some kind of catch or clip to hold them in place when they are moved to sit you with your feet up and head down, but mine was either faulty, or (more likely) the nurse couldn't quite reach the catch while simultaneously keeping pressure on my arm where she's just taken the needle out. And, as it turned out, the chairs must be designed to default to an upright-ish position, as it kept swinging back up... The nurse kept pushing it back down, it swung up.

At this stage I was (a) feeling entirely non-woozy (b) starting to get the giggles and (c) beginning to wonder whether sea-sickness was going to set in and (d) protesting that actually, I feel absolutely fine now, and would like to get up and have my free chocolate biscuit, please.

Which they let me do, in the end.

Anyway, all's well that ends well - they got my blood, I got my chocolate biscuit.

And, all joking aside, if you're eligible, do consider registering as a donor, or donating. Wonky chairs aside, it's pretty quick, and painless, and there can't be many easier ways to help save a life. 

If you're in the UK, you can sign up, or find more information  here.