Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Heard of the Redhatters?

I joined the London one recently and after a lovely meet at a coffee shop in Oxford Street, I got my name badge and London Redhatters cards.  It has what are known as Chapters in over 30 countries.  Women from all walks of life meet to explore new interests, have fun and meet new friends.
Ladies over 50 are required to wear purple clothing with a red hat.  Those under 50 wear a pink hat with lavender clothing.  On our birthday month, we can wear the colours in reverse, e.g. purple hats with red clothing (I wish it was my birthday month every month.)  Hats remain on when dining out, but it is polite to remove them in the theatre or cinema.
Trips are organised to art galleries, museums, stately homes, parks and gardens, as well as train rides to the country or seaside; even a cruise.
Last week I went to my first outing to a London Art Gallery, followed by lunch in St. Paul's Cathedral.
The official Red Hat Society day is April 25th.
Women who wish to join the society can do so by going to the Red Hat Society website to sign up as a Queen or Member.

This is the poem written by Jenny Joseph an English poet:-
WARNING
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.


Friday, 30 June 2017

Too much time spent watching television?

When stuck in a London flat, without a garden, daily walk done, what is there to do to while away the hours?  Watch too much television I guess.

This Morning – ITV
Thursday saw the live wedding of Paul and Sonya.  It was on the 72nd floor of The Shard Building, 800ft. above ground.  The couple had been together for 20 years and were married in front of their friends and family, as well as This Morning presenters.  The flowers were spectacular.  Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet) sang The Look of Love just before they took their vows.  They were finally given a surprise honeymoon in Dubai.

Coronation Street – ITV
It’s all happening in the Street at the moment.  Pat Phelan, the charmer still not being questioned about the two people he killed.  The introduction of Nicola looks a promising story line.  Eva – is she or isn’t she pregnant or just trying to trick Aiden into giving up Maria?  Brian tries to hide his girlfriend from Roy so as not to hurt Roy’s feelings.  The girlfriend is Cathy who was recently planning to walk up the aisle with Roy.  The big storyline is probably the grooming of Bethany and despite talking to the police, she isn’t out of the woods yet as one of her groomers is a policeman.

Great Canal Journeys, India - Channel 4
This was easy Sunday night viewing, a travelogue with Timothy West and his wife Prunella Scales venturing into the backwaters of India, starting in Kerala.  They visited a ginger warehouse and learned about the spice trade. Prunella, who has dementia, learned a traditional dance of the Enchantress.  A visit to Assam was a highlight.

Riviera – Sky Atlantic
This revolves around a billionaire banker Constantine Clios and his family, living in a sumptuous palace, Villa Carmella.  His second wife, Georgina, played by Julia Stiles, is an art curator.  The scenes switch from the Cote D’Azur, Monaco and New York, ensuring a glamorous backdrop.  The story begins with a yacht being blown to smithereens, a body so badly burnt it could be anybody, and a naked woman being washed ashore alive.  It’s all gloss, glitz and drama.  Is Constantine still alive?

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Do You Remember Mad Cow Disease

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy is a disease of the nervous system in cows and is caused by proteins called prions infecting the brain. The disease affected the UK’s beef industry in the late 80s and early 90s, meaning it wasn't possible to export British beef for years.

Or what about Edwina Currie in 1988 when she was junior health minister in the UK, revealed that most eggs in Britain were infected with salmonella?  Two weeks later, she was forced to resign.  Nowadays Lion branded eggs are considered to be safe to eat by the elderly and pregnant.

What about bird flu?  It hit the headlines in 2004 as a pandemic.  The outbreak originated in Thailand and Vietnam and a large number of people died.

So what do you think about the latest scare regarding sugar?  I used to live in Trinidad and saw the sugar cane growing in the fields.  Is it not, therefore, a vegetable.  What about maple syrup.  Does it not come from a tree?  Does that make it a vegetable?

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

A light lunch for those hazy, lazy, summer days

IMG_0466

This is is a light lunch for lighter days.

Ingredients 
A bunch of mixed salad leaves
King prawns
Mooli, peeled and sliced into rings
Two tomatoes chopped
Some cucumber, peeled and cubed
A little shredded carrot
Salt and pepper
Sesame seeds
Olive oil and lemon juice for dressing
Mixed olives
Method 
Mix all the ingredients in a salad bowl, stir with your hands or salad servers

This should keep you going for a while, after some light exercise.  If it is a Sunday, maybe prosecco would be in order!!!

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Negroni, the cocktail of the moment

The cocktail of the moment in London seems to be the Negroni so I have started to have just the one before Sunday lunch which is sometimes a typical roast but more often a takeaway.  They are rather strong, so I prefer just the one.  Unfortunately, I didn't have any orange peel, so haven't included a photo today.  Hopefully, I will add one soon.  The bitter taste certainly gives me an appetite and today we are having Iranian takeaway of Chello Kebab Koubideh which is two skewers of minced baby lamb served with grilled tomato and saffron rice.  My significant other has made a side dish at home of fresh okra topped and tailed in tomato sauce, yummy to pour
IMG_0454
over the kebab and rice with a vegetable towards our ten a day.  I doubt we will make 10 today but we almost got there yesterday with onions, cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumber, cabbage, carrots etc.
Looking forward to reading what others have for Sunday lunch.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Lamb, Courgette and Aubergine Casserole





Courgettes

Completed casserole


Ingredients
1 large white onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 courgettes (zucchini), cut in different shapes
1 large aubergine, sliced in rings
1/2 a kilo of lamb cut into chunks
4 fresh tomatoes cut in quarters
tomato puree
salt and pepper
500 mls chicken stock
A small glass of wine
Olive oil to cook
A little butter

Method
Fry the onions and garlic in olive oil.  Then a tablespoon of tomato purée.  Add the chicken stock and glass of wine.  Leave to simmer whilst you prepare the meat.  In a frying pan, seal the meat in olive oil and butter.  When brown on the outside, add to the other pan and turn the heat to medium for half an hour.  Then add the courgettes, tomatoes and aubergines.  Continue cooking for 20 minutes or so.  I sometimes add oregano or sesame seeds.  Nice served with plain white rice and a mixed salad.


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

A-Z of Cats - The Russian Blue

A to Z of Cat Breeds
Russian Blue



The Russian Blue are a sweet tempered, elegant cat.  They are intelligent and suitable for most cat lovers, being very sociable animals.  There are quite a few breeders in the UK, so finding a kitten should be fairly easy.  Expect to pay around £400 to £500.

A new kitten might be a little timid when first introduced to you and your home.  It's best to provide food and water, plus a litter tray of course and eventually they will seek you out for a cuddle and affection.  They do become very attached to their owners.  They normally get on well with other cats and dogs.  Breeders say it's rare for them to scratch or bite.

As the name suggests, Russian Blues have beautiful silvery-blue fur which is velvety and easy to groom. It's short, thick but fine with a dense undercoat. An occasional brush with a soft brush would be a good idea.  They have vivid almond-shaped green eyes.  The wedge-shaped head is topped with large, pointed ears. The body is long and graceful with long legs, a long, tapering tail.  They have small oval paws.  Their lifespan is about 15 years, although it wouldn't be unusual to reach the late teens.  They are not prone to illness and don't have many health issues.  They can appear to be staring into space or like they had one vodka too many.

It is thought that the Russian Blue was first shipped to the UK back in 1860 by British sailors returning from the Russian port of Archangel, so they were known as Archangel cats. The cats boarded the ships with the sailors and went all over Europe.

Russian Blacks and Russian Whites have been cropping up in litters for years and were first officially bred in the UK in the early 1960s. The GCCF has given preliminary recognition to these cats, which are identical, except for their colour, to Russian Blues.