The hierarchy of terror…..

Morning all, an early start at Rosbif towers to bid farewell to visiting family before hubs took them to the airport. Its lovely to have company in this big old house and there’s a little period of re-adjustment whenever anyone leaves to go home. Back to the familiar sounds of the fireplace and the dishwasher. The dog gently snoring, the cats padding around to find either a corner to sleep in or mischief to create. I’ve cleared the kitchen and set last night’s chicken carcass simmering in the Instant Pot with an added boost of fresh ginger, lemongrass, garlic and chilli, which will become the base for a spicy Malaysian laksa later. So much lurgy going around that after a week of living on crisps, cheese and booze, the restorative power of something nourishing is needed. I might push the boat out and add some vegetables, it is nearly the new year after all.

Once it’s light enough to see, I’ll go and re-fill the log basket, I hope we have enough in the basket to keep things ticking over until then, it’s 7.42am and still very much pitch black. We’ve ordered more wood to be delivered in the next couple of weeks. Twice as much as we’ve ever had delivered in one go before and I’m fairly sure I’ll panic when I see what that means….. but it’ll be fine right?! You have to get used to ordering wood in bushels and furlongs here, (well, cordes and steres, both probably spelt wrong) and it’s hard to gauge what ordering by volume actually means. Like that time I ordered a full kilo of pink shrimp sweets for our wedding favours and it was a massive sack full. We were eating them for months……

As a footnote, it was our 10th wedding anniversary a couple of days ago. We marked it in the traditional way, by doing absolutely nothing, but as we’re heading to Iceland in a few weeks by way of commemoration, our lack of celebration on the day doesn’t seem too churlish.

Next on today’s agenda, tackle the washing mountain. Our old washing machine in the main house gave up the ghost some months ago, it sounds like a sack of spanners on the spin cycle and would wander across the floor, as far as it’s tether to the water source would allow. So, until we get around to getting a new one (and that day is coming), it’s load up the laundry basket and take it next door into the gite to do the washing. It’s not really that much of a hardship unless the weather is particularly bad, but, like everyone that doesn’t have a tumble dryer, it’s drying it in this weather that’s the problem. We have a large clothes airer and now we have no guests, I’ll pop that up close to the woodburner and we’ll spend most of our time shimmying around it, shooing cats from under it, and it’ll generally be in the way. This is the trouble with being of a generation that was forced to view multiple terrifying public service videos as a child. If you were schooled in the 80’s you’ll have a hierarchy of terror that looks as follows. See number 3 to see what I mean.

5. Never, repeat never fly your kite near an electricity pylon. You. Will. Die.

4. Chip pans are fire traps. Never, repeat, never own one!

3. Tumble dryers just collect fluff and become incendiary devices, never own one.

2. An indecipherable cat called Charlie will terrify you about stranger danger. Listen to him.

1. You’ll be forever terrified of a nuclear attack on Sheffield due to the film Threads. Dear adults, why did you think this was appropriate viewing for 11 year olds? I didn’t sleep for weeks. It exists on-line to traumatise the uninitiated, my advice is – no!

This was supposed to be a nice little reflective blog about the year that’s passed and the year that’s soon to start, but as ever my brain got side tracked and went off to do it’s own little thing. Ah well. I’ll save the sage advice and philosophy for another time. Unless of course I get waylaid by pink shrimps and tumble dryer fires…..I promise nothing.


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