Saturday, 12 March 2016

Days well spent . . .


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With cold, ear ache and chest infections still ongoing, I didn't do a lot of Missionary work this week really.  You can't be out and about spreading your germs, and in all honesty a lot of the people we work with are somewhat elderly and spreading cold germs amongst them is not a very good thing.  I cannot believe that here it is two weeks later and my ear is still blocked and hurting.   I think I need antibiotics, but who am I.  Just a lay person and not a medical professional . . . but I do think if I had had antibiotics it would have cleared up a lot sooner than this and I would not could not still be suffering.

We took advantage of the sunny day yesterday and went for a drive in the Cheshire Countryside.


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I have always maintained that there is no place more beautiful than the British Isles on a sunny day.  It was quite a bit warmer, so much so that we had to take our coats off in the car.  It was nice.


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This is the season of the Daffodil . . . I fear unless I do it soon I will miss the Daffodils at Ullswater . . .  I may have to drag Todd up there more sooner than later . . .  before it is too late.  Perhaps Monday  . . .  we shall see.

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We took ourselves over country lanes and through rolling hills . . .  past greening fields and ivy laced cottages . . . ending up at "The Pheasant Inn" at Burwardsley, and decided to treat ourselves to lunch, which is a really rare thing.  It's not far from the Ice Cream Farm and has real fires, great food and the very best views in Cheshire, all surrounded by beautiful National Trust land with stunning walks for those who are so way inclined.  From the patio and windows of the Inn you can look out over the Cheshire countryside for miles and miles.  When we arrived two horse riders were sunning themselves on the patio with drinks and their horses . . .  beautiful animals.  Where else but here in the UK would you get to see and experience beautiful things such as this???

I love doing things like this with Todd.  My ex always brought a newspaper with him wherever he went . . .  and would spend the whole time reading it.   With Todd I get scintillating conversation and great company.   I had the fish and chips  (I always do) and he had the chicken and tarragon pie.  We were both happy.  The food was fabulous but even better was the company.  Oh I do  love spending time with him.  I am so very blessed to be having these years of wedded bliss together . . .  just he and I.


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One thing this week has brought has been an opportunity for me to be a bit more domestic than I have been in recent months.   I have really been longing for this and to change the focus of my life in some ways . . . perhaps away from the idea of being a master at food blogging and becoming a blogger for bliss instead.  Don't get me wrong . . .  I will always have my food blog and will always be posting recipes on it and food pictures  . . .  but I am taking the blinders off and will be doing it now . . .  just for the bliss of doing it.  I am giving up on the idea of ever, ever being able to make a living at it.   I just lack the technological skill at doing so and I give up.  Having seen others start at it much later than I have and post far less frequently than I have  . . .  becoming much more successful at it, being able to make a living at it . . .  has taken a bit of the wind from out of my sails.  I put all this work into it and . . . well, perhaps that is why it isn't so successful.  I have looked at it as being a job rather than as a pleasure.

At the age of sixty I now want to do things for the pleasure of doing them and nothing else . . .  oh, yes I have enjoyed it all . . .  but I haven't much enjoyed the deadllines and the hijacking of my blog for this product or that product . . . nice but work, and unpaid work at that.  I am going to learn to say no.


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 I also spent several hours yesterday rolling my yarn into balls.   I have two of each colour, so twelve balls in all.  The colours are a lot brighter than what they look here and hold so much promise  . . .  new knitting needles . . .  coloured yarns.  What do I see in my future?   It's quite exciting really . . .  quite exciting.  I have not knit anything in years, and I may not be very good at it.   I made my mother a lovely black cardigan back in the 1980's, and I knit a pullover for my then husband, but I have never knit anything for me or for my home.   We shall see what happens next . . .


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Gathering supplies for some Easter baking.   Cupcakes I think . . .  loving the bright colours, so spring-like in their promise.   Once again . . .  time will tell.   I hope it will all turn out.

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 I bought all of these shortbread tins at Christmas time . . .  not for the biscuits.  Store bought shortbread are always largely disappointing when compared to home baked shortbread.  I bought them for the tins . . .  about 8 of them, with the idea in mind that I would do something with them.   I think I will make one into a mending tin . . .  filled with an assortment of things to do with mending.  Ahhh . . .  the genteel art of mending and making do.  Darning socks . . .  sewing up tears . . .  hemming  . . .  the  mindlessness of it all is quite relaxing.  I thought to turn another into a little house, for a little dog.  We shall see.

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I hemmed a shirt for a friend this week, with Mitzie snuggled right into my side as we sat together on the sofa.   Oh sure . . .  I could have dug out the sewing machine and had it all sewn up in a jiffy, but there was something very therapeutic about us sitting there together in close companionship . . .  my fingers slipping the needle and thread mindlessly in and out of the fabric . . .  Mitzie snoring away next to me  . . .

It was a very simple pleasure and indulgence and very, very fulfilling in it's own way . . .

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 A job well done is it's own reward.


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I watched and listened to Nigel Slater cooking on the telly as I worked.  I could watch him for hours.  He loves what he does and in turn makes you love it too . . .  the clock ticking on the wall . . .  chiming out the hours in Westminster chiming time . . . such a peaceful life.

It is a blessing to be living this life.  I don't think I would be suited to any other . . .


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Oh yes . . .  I even took some time to enjoy a simple lunch of a mug of instant mac and cheese and a game of Cascade on the iPad.  These games are good for the brain.  They make you think.  I had to crumble in a portion of a buttered stale bread roll and add a healthy dose of pepper to the mac and cheese before it tasted good . . .  but then it was the best, and I really truly enjoyed it, so much so that I might do it again one day.

But I bet it will never again taste as good as it did on that day.


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 and there was some traditional baking going on  . . .  a seed cake.  Dorothy Wordsworth's favourite cake.   I remembered our day spent at Dove Cottage whilst I was baking it . . .   I enjoyed  it with a hot drink afterwards.   The caraway seeds were quite pleasant to the taste . . .

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 And I enjoyed sweet plums  . . .  did you know that plums almost have a perfume-like flavour?   I think if you sit and really taste one as you are eating it . . .  drinking it in  . . .  savouring it slowly, you will see that I am right.   That is another blessing in life . . .  being able to eat just for the pleasure of it all . . .  and not just for the life giving sustenance it brings.

And as I look back at my week I see that I had a week filled with many pleasures despite my not feeling entirely well and some of them very tasty ones indeed . . . with crisp beer battered haddock and savoury thick hand cut cooked chips . . .  crisp and hot,  with mushy peas and a delicious tartar sauce . . . delicate seed cake eaten and enjoyed in paper thin slices along with a hot cup of red berry tea . . . instant mac and cheese with a stale buttered roll and lots of pepper served in a Emma Bridgewater robin half pint mug  . . .  and beautifuly scented and perfume flavoured red plums, savoured and enjoyed for all that they were.

And how did you spend your week?

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄ƷღೋღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
"I testify that every human being 
born into this world
 is born with the Light of Christ 
in his or her soul."
~Jeffrey R Holland
 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄ƷღೋღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

Spiritual Enlightenment


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 In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Traditional Seed Cake.  So good!

 Wherever you go and whatever you get up to today, may it bring you joy.  Be safe and be happy and don't forget  . . .

═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════

And I do too!


13 comments:

Suze said...

Good morning Marie,

I have had a better day than usual. I dragged mum out of the house and we explored a bayside suburb. After a fish lunch at a friend's new shop we found a little shop called Dolls and Doileys, I think. I poked around and foudn some doll size furniture made from cardboard. How I wanted to buy some and send it to you. Alas I fear they would be spoiled in the mail. The lady at that shop directed me to a little yarn shop in someone's home. I had some fun there and spent way too much money.

I loved your pictures today. England is so verdant and flower filled. WE are drab by comparison. Enjoy the specialness of spring. Grab the opportunity to make a special adventure when you can because those moments are precious. As for blogging make it enjoyable for you.

I do hope you feel better soon. Lurgies that drag on are just awful. God bless and enjoy the day.

Marie Rayner said...

Oh how lovely Suzan. I am glad that you have had a special day. Now I am curious about doll sized furniture made from cardboard. I am intrigued. Yarn and craft shops spell danger to me, lol. I could spend a bomb in those places and I don't have a bomb to spend! Hope your day continues to go well. Love and hugs. xoxo

Cathyjo said...


A most lovely post as always, hope you are better soon, still keeping you and yours in my prayers. So glad that you both got to get out and enjoy life together, makes me happy.oxoxox

Marie Rayner said...

Aww thanks Cathyjo! If you're happy I'm happy! xoxo

Sybil said...

I'm so sorry that your ear is still not cleared up. I think you are going to have to go back to the Drs..like you I'm sure you should have had some antibiotics, I know that they are trying to cut down on us having them but there is a limit, I think if you could have seen a Dr. He might have taken more care. There is nothing worse than going deaf and it could so easily do so perhaps you have had a perforated eardrum...anyway love I'm glad you managed a nice drive out yesterday. I'm getting very lazy about driving these days, I often wake up and think ...I know, I will take Mary a nice wee drive today...but the day ends and I am still just sitting here...hope you get to church tomorrow. It is so sad to think we should have been meeting up a week ago.....dash it for being Mothering Sunday !!....

La Table De Nana said...

I love this post.
Truly.
I never wanted to blog for any other reason than pleasure..and I see w/ the years..GORGEOUS..young designers..stitchers..bakers..etc..they knock my socks off..even Instagram..the huge big photos..
some have blog designers ..:) And the blogs are fab.
Some are tecchie enough to do it themselves..
I still have everything the same.LOL

I love doing this for the pleasure and you will too..
Like this full of everything lovely post

I saw a great video on doctors..I admit some are amazing and kind and sharing..this is for the others..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zovd9eKvy8s

Nuts about your tins..

I stopped into my very local british shop and bought..small cakes..you know mini bakewells..UGH.absolutely terribel..I think I saw that tin:)
I did buy mini Scottie shortbreads:)
Your pics of you area are stunning..I always feel elated w/ a vista and a meal..full of gratitude for some strange reason.
The wool is so pretty..and I might start Easter too:)
Take care of you...:)

Marie Rayner said...

We were going to go to a Baptism last night Sybil, but with the ear I just did not want to go, or to spread germs needlessly. I know we will meet one day soon. We will have to do a facetime maybe sometime? Lets make it happen. It doesn't have to be a long long conversation. Just a wee hello and a giggle. What do you say? xoxo

I have always gotten great pleasure out of doing this as well Monique, but I confess I did have hopes that it might lead to something bigger, especially when I lost my job. I thought I would put more time and money into it with the hopes of developing an income, but alas that did not happen and I have ended up doing oodles of unpaid work for people, and finding out afterwards that others got paid for the same work for the same people, which in the end only makes me feel sad and like I am not very good at it. I hate feeling that way. I've been doing a food blog in one form or another since 2004. I started out on AOL Journals, I am sure I was one of the first. I think I am just tired, and at my age now I just want to have fun with what I am doing, not feel like I am in competition with younger and more tecchie people, so, once I finish the obligations I have now, I am not taking on any more. It's time for someone else to do them. The world will not end, lol, and I will have more fun! I did enjoy this post today, doing it . . . small glimpses taken during my week. It was fun. Oh, how I wish I could show you England and it's beauty. It is very stunning here, all over the place. OH how can people get Bakewells so very wrong. Homemade are best. Store bought a mere shadow of what they should be. I love these tins so much. I have many plans for them. To heck with the cookies inside. I can't eat them anyways! (And Todd really shouldn't!) Love and hugs! xoxo

Barb said...

Hi Marie~

I'm so sorry that you aren't feeling better, I hope that, spring will bring warmer weather your way, I think we all need warm sunshine to feel our very best!

I have never thought about blogging for money, in fact, when I started my blog, I didn't even know that you could make money blogging! I blog because it makes me happy. I have met some amazing people all over the world, like you, and I love that! Your blog makes me very happy, I always come away feeling like I have been fed, spiritually and emotionally. Your blog makes me laugh and sometimes cry. I think there are lots of us who blog just for the sake of blogging and keeping our journals online, and that's a wonderful thing!

I love the art of . . . mindfulness. There seems to be a whole movement about being mindful these days, and I can see why. Being mindful of the little things in my life has really helped me realize that it's all those little things in my life that count. The life I live, the people in my life, and the way I use the gifts I have been given. People need to find out what makes them happy and what keeps them grounded. Doing everyday things, like mending or crocheting, makes me happy. Being outdoors among nature makes me happy. Staying close to the Gospel, and having my family near me keeps me grounded and happy. Enough of my soapbox! Please continue blogging, you make me happy!

I just loved all the pictures and thoughts today! You live in such an amazing a beautiful part of the world, thank you for sharing!

Have a beautiful Sabbath!

Hugs,
Barb

Susan Rogers said...

Hi Marie,
Just wanted to say that I think your blog is great and it's a shame that it is not easier to make money from it. I agree about the British countryside. I am British but live in Canada. I do miss going out into the country we used to love going to Nat Trust properties and walking in the grounds. Now it is so expensive to visit England, we haven't been for 8 years. I do live in a lovely part of Canada though and we have lots of daffodils and cherry blossoms right now so I am lucky. All the best, hope your ear improves this week. Susan

Marie Rayner said...

Hi Barb! This blog here, has only ever been about joy and the life I am loving living. I only get a few readers and that has always been okay for me because it's never been about the numbers, only about sharing the things I love with like minded people. It is a journal of sorts for me also. Oddly enough I started it because I thought it would be a great way for my children to stay up on what was going on in my life, but they never read it! I love my food blog also, but I find that there is a bit of negativity which is also attached to it. There is a lot of competition amongst food bloggers for some reason and that part is not something I enjoy. I don't like feeling like I am in competition for anything. (Very un-competitive am I!) I simply just like to cook and to share what I have cooked and I hate being made to feel like I must be the best at it. I am not sure if that is a role I have been giving to myself, or if it's been foisted onto me. I have yet to figure it out! Never fear I will be here on this page for a very long time to come, God willing! xoxo

Oh, I am guessing you live on the West Coast Susan! Very similar climate to here in the UK, although I am going by hearsay as I have never ever been there. I love the National Trust and have told my husband that when we finish our mission I want to renew our membership, if only for one year! Thanks so much for your healing ear wishes! xoxo

La Table De Nana said...

I hate competition too and don't partake at all:)
You are so wise:)
To tell you the truth some blogs that have a lot of advertisers,the pages take so long to stabilize..I just don't go anymore:)

Marie Rayner said...

Yeh, I hate ads too. I added those ads to my page, but have seen nothing from them at all, so what's the point. They are annoying. If I can figure out how to remove them I am going to be doing just that Monique!

Julie H said...

Hi Marie, Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. I just read this....it must be disappointing when you put in so much work and you hope for certain things to happen and it doesn't happen. We know everything is in God's hand and He hears the cry of our heart. He is not finished with you and your ideas. I do not have a blog but enjoy reading yours. I look forward to your recipes and your stories you share about your life, present and past. You are very creative...I love your drawings, recipes, and things you create!

I enjoy the pictures of your beautiful English countryside. I live in the US Midwest state of Michigan. It too is beautiful. The town I live in not so much...but I love to grow my flowers in my yard and keep a home.

I am not a doctor, but I am a nurse and I would encourage you to see a dr. about antibiotics for your ear(s). I know you didn't ask my advice but you have had a lot of discomfort for more that 2 weeks.

Sorry for rambling on....I really enjoy your blog and appreciate you (and so many other bloggers) sharing your life. You live so far away and yet I feel like we could be neighbors.

Have a wonderful day!