Friday, 23 January 2009

Nooks and crannies

I think that most homes have places that are not used too often but they still need cleaning from time to time, and that is what I've been doing this morning. This skirting board is well overdue an encounter with the Dyson.

I have mixed feelings about cobwebs. Our domestic spiders are not dangerous, in fact quite the opposite, and sometimes vacuuming the cobweb takes the spider with it. The spiders have definitely moved on from these though.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Staying with friends

As I did last year, I'm down staying with friends in Wiltshire and having a great time; I'm heading home tomorrow but not really looking forward to it. Since I've been here we've visited several pubs; meals at the Quarryman's Arms in Box and The Raven in Poulshot were both very good (I can recommend both, if you want a meal at the Quarryman's it's best to book). But the real pleasure was yesterday when Lorna and I went to The Brewery Inn in Seend Cleeve, not for the food but for the cider. This was very much a 'local' with friendly and very inclusive banter and strong rural accents. There were almost as many dogs there as there were customers and Fergus, an 8 month old Bedlington Terrier who doubled as a licking machine was far too gorgeous to escape a photograph.

Then there was the cider. We started off with the Cheddar Valley, an exceptionally dry scrumpy which was the most extraordinary red colour that I've ever seen.

The we moved on to the Heritage scrumpy, not quite so dry and easier on the palate as a consequence. No unusual colour this time though. Incidentally both ciders were from Thatchers. The cider alone would have been worth the visit but the pub was so exceptional that I'd have enjoyed it almost as much if we'd found that they'd run out of alcohol before we arrived. Congratulations to Norm and Stella who know exactly what a pub should be. Reluctantly, very reluctantly, I recommend the pub; my only hesitation comes from the fear that too many visitors might end up spoiling it.

So what's all this got to do with housework? Well, when I was down last year the Dyson was not working properly, and I had to clear an almost impossible amount of hair and threads from around the brush to bring it back to life. I thought that I'd check it again this time and this is what I found:

Not as bad as last time, but it still needed a good clean out; here's what it looked like afterwards:

Then there's the dishes. Lorna and Mick kindly humour my enthusiasm for washing-up and the dishwasher stays turned off while I'm down with them. The pleasure is all the greater for there being so much more to get through than I would have at home; here's one happy human dishwasher at the sink:

There's a fair amount of drying up to do...

...but finally all done.

Lorna and Mick are always exceptionally generous with their hospitality, so my heartfelt thanks to them. They always feed me too well, I'm going home noticeably bigger than when I arrived so I'll be needing to go on a diet I think.

Lorna has just started her own blog, so go and give Lorna eats out a visit and leave an encouraging comment.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

The year ahead

I'm sorry it's been so long since I last posted; even if the header only promises 'an occasional chronicle' I had always intended considerably greater regularity than I've achieved so far.

Christmas was quiet and no less enjoyable for being so, and 2009 arrived with scarcely any more fuss, so I think I must be getting old. There were two presents under my tree that were pertinent to this blog. Firstly thanks to Kathleen for so kindly making me a wonderful and eminently practical apron (she wants me to retire my green overall you see); I can assure her it will get plenty of use. And then a present from myself, the new iron I've been hankering after for some time. The thanks for that have to go to the Amazon marketplace seller who had it at 60% reduction, enough to weaken any resistance I might have had to buying. A review will follow shortly.

Two New Year resolutions: to be more organised with my housework than I've achieved this far, and to post on this blog more regularly. Hopefully those two intentions will dovetail. In the meantime,I'll wish my visitors all the best for 2009.