Friday, 23 August 2013

Friday Twaddle . . .

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We here in the UK are proud as peacocks about our weather, or lack thereof.  When I first arrived I didn't quite understand it, but now . . . after almost thirteen years, I understand it fully.  I do believe there is nowhere else in the world which has our weather.

When we have a cold snap in the Winter . . . tis always the coldest Winter on record.  Likewise when we get a rainy patch, or a dry patch.  We give our seasons names . . . and it's not just Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn.  (It's not called Fall here folks!)  We love to keep records and we're always breaking them, or so it seems!

My first year here in the UK was the wettest year on record.  (Up to 2000)  It rained literally every day.   I thought it would never stop.  There was the odd break here and there, but for the most part . . . we were wet.  If it wasn't a deluge . . . it was misting.   Come Winter (the rainy season) there was widespread flooding across the country . . . it was quite devastating.

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That was the year I learned that people don't melt in the rain, and that if I was to wait for it to stop to go anywhere or to do anything . . . I'd be stuck in the house permanently.

We also love to talk about our weather.   In fact that is the first thing you will hear come out of people's mouths up here in the North at least.  Right after you hear . . . "Aright?" . . .  you'll hear the words . . . "Ain't it 'ot?"  (wet, cold, etc.) and we are off and running, and the next fifteen minutes will be about the weather.

Come to think of it . . . I don't 'spose that's much different than most people though.  The first question people usually ask you about when you've been away or if you live away is "What was/is the weather like?"  Clearly as a people (humans)  we have a slight obsession with the weather.

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Mom is predicting a cold dry Winter back home . . . the bees are said to be building their nests close to the ground this year, which is what that means.   I know some would say that is an old wives tale, but there is a lot to be said about old wives tales.   They can more often than not be quite correct and not totally rooted in superstition as one would deem.  They are often based on years and years of observations, and one can usually find a narrow shred of truth in each of them.

We are having a gorgeous summer this year though.  It's been quite hot actually.  This is the August Bank Holiday weekend coming up.  (Bank Holiday is what we call long weekends over here.)  Traditionally this had been the weekend that most people crack open the old Barbeque and throw some steaks or burgers on the grill . . . that last hurrah before we get down to the business of school beginning and autumn arriving and the temperatures cooling.

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I am hoping to go out and buy us a steak today.  We got ourselves a barbeque at the end of the season last year and have only used it once this year.  Not because the weather hasn't been nice, because it has been lovely . . . but because for the most part, we have forgotten that it's there.   My mom talking about my sister's partner Dan barbequing steaks the other night pricked my memory and I thought . . . yeh, that would be nice.  There's no excuse like the present.  I think mom is really enjoying having them there, and for the most part they are enjoying being there.  I know my sister does miss her children.  I know how that feels.

I ended not going in to town at all yesterday.   After I got up and going, I didn't feel up to it at all, and so Todd ended up going in on his own again.  I am hoping that today I will be okay.  I did take a large mayonnaise jar of soup over to our friend Doreen last evening and was fine doing that, so here's hoping I can make it to the  shops today.  I want to pick up that steak . . . and I don't trust Todd to do it.  I know what I want . . . and he doesn't.  It's as simple as that.

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It's no reflection on him as a person.  It's just a man thing.   The grocery shops are filled with men, ears glued to their mobiles, wandering like lost sheep up and down the aisles as they seek "exactly" what their wives have sent them for, their wives guiding their steps via the phone.  Been there, done that . . . it works well for things like mustard and sauce . . . not so well for a steak.  You want to see a steak in person.   Well I do.  I'm a bit pedantic when it comes to steaks.   Not too much fat, not too much lean.  No visible gristle.  Just the right thickness and colour, with a nice marbling of creamy fat to help keep it moist and succulent as it is grilled.   See . . . pedantic.  That's me.  But I know what I want.  Steak is not cheap and so easy to ruin.  If you start off with the right one to begin with . . . that's half the battle won.

Well, I've twaddled on for long enough about nothing now, so I shall let you go, but not without leaving you with something to think about for the day . . .

The life I touch for good or ill
will touch another life,
and that in turn another,
until who knows where the trembling stops
or in what far place my touch will be felt.
~ Frederick Buechner  



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Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Clean Out the Bin Vegetable Soup.   A delicious thick vegetable soup stogged with goodness and cheese.  It really is tasty and economical and filling too.

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• ✿ღℓ σ √ ε ღ✿ܓ
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Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home,
and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest.
~Henry Van Dyke


 Have a wonderful Friday!

 

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