Ehrmagherd Sner!

Woke this morning to a lovely covering of snow. It was forecast, so not entirely unexpected, but still the number of times I’ve swooshed back the curtains with expectation only to be met with disappointment are too many to count. Now I don’t get me hopes up.

The sky “still looks full of it” as my Mum would say, but it’s supposed to stop around lunchtime. So for now, the cleaning I should be doing seem to have been replaced by lighting some candles and a second cup of coffee. It’s the good snow as well, not the meagre icy needles of doom, but fluffy, feathery, plump wafty flakes that we seemingly only used to get when we were 12 years old back in the 80s. Hubs has a break in his schedule around lunchtime so looking forward to a snowy dog walk before it all goes, as it inevitably will.

You also realise you live in a particularly pretty spot, when your UPS guy has you stood in a blizzard while he takes a 360 degree video of our snowy surroundings. You’re right I thought. I see this view every day and I must take more time to stop and appreciate it. It’s too easy to take your daily life for granted I think, more slowing down and breathing it in needed.

My beloved bulldog is with me here, swaddled in a blanket. The cats are outside skipping about in it somewhere. I imagine they’ll return soon to warm their furry behinds on the kitchen radiator and to shout loudly for second breakfast.

They’ve been in my bad books this week though. We had some chicken thighs for tea a few nights ago, the bones were left on the plates in the kitchen to be put into the dishwasher. At the time both cats were outside. We were watching TV when Barney appeared on the front window sill and hubs let them both in, Figs shooting through the gap in the door when it was opened. A little while later Freya runs into the living room crunching something – a cooked chicken bone! Of course we took it away from her immediately, and had a hard word with ourselves about always clearing the plates because we have cats now, and the worktop stalker is none other than Figaro Sanchez, caught with her nose in the butter more than once. We went to immediately remove the bones from the kitchen plates to find that there were only 3 of the 4 they should be, including the one we took away from Freya. We immediately checked all dogs and cats beds in case it had been squirrelled away somewhere but we couldn’t find it. We don’t think the cats could have eaten it, Sheldon was with me the whole time, so we concluded if anyone had had it, it was Freya. A tense 24 hours ensued, but I am happy to report 3 days on, that everyone is absolutely fine. For non pet owners, cooked chicken bones are an absolute no-no because they can splinter and puncture stomach or intestines. I was so worried. Just like the time she ate a Nytol sleeping tablet. Sucked it straight from the packet, the scumbag. Lots of stressed out googling ingredients from me, but she was fine. And I think she did have a fairly cracking night’s kip to boot. Unlike me……

Christmas decs are down, I just need to untangle the lights and put them away, then they tree needs to be taken outside and sit in the barn for a while before we figure out what to do with it. Currently weighing up the pros and cons of getting a more industrial, petrol powered wood chipper. Given our needs, I think it would have endless use, we already have a pile of branches that is taller than me and about the area of a double decker bus. Buying wood chip mulch here is also expensive, and we could use loads of it too, given an unlimited supply. Something to ponder….. If anyone has one and can recommend it, please drop me a line.

Lastly, I made broccoli and stilton soup yesterday (well, St Agur – when in Rome), nothing unusual about this you say. Well, the recipe called for half a teaspoon of chilli flakes, so to the pantry I went, the French for flakes is flocons, and I spied that on the packet although the rest of the label was obscured. Lobbed it in, cooked everything, blended it and checked for seasoning – bloody hell that’s spicy. Instead of the trusty pack of chipotle chilli flakes, I’d unwittingly added Carolina Reaper. This is the worlds hottest chilli, the only thing higher on the Scoville scale is US army weapons grade pepper spray. I coated my tulip bulbs in it this year to stop the mice eating them……. Dammit though, for all the heat, it is a surprisingly tasty chilli, and we made it through a bowl, eyeballs visibly sweating by the end. There are leftovers for today, but I’ll be adding a liberal amount of creme fraiche this time, to avoid needing to put police crime tape around our bathroom……

And with that….. TTFN xx

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