There were a few wet days at the start. On Monday I came downstairs to make us both a cuppa, looked out of the kitchen window, and was met with this. And so once again the weekly work schedule goes out of the window even before it has begun. I've got very used to this now after 35 years in the business and so on went the laptop, schedule spreadsheet revamped, and two cups of tea are taken upstairs so that we can decide what to do with the rainy day off. Hobie, as you can see, had become a croissant in his usual nightly spot as it is getting very cold at night. Misty, well she could be anywhere, under a bed, in our wardrobe, or behind the toilet. She has even been find asleep in the shower once. While I'm on the subject of cats, we have a catflap, and other neighbours cats. One in particular is a large black and white tomcat who brazenly comes in for the night to feast on our cats food and sleep in the kitchen. Don't get me wrong, if I catch it then it won't be coming back again, but many times have I sensed it there, gone running into the kitchen to grab it, only to see a tail quickly exiting, Hobie trembling on top of the freezer and Misty on the work surface staring wide eyed at where it used to be, absolutely useless the pair of them. We once had one of those strange bald egyptian cats trespassing as well. I caught that one by creeping around the outside of the house in my underpants at three in the morning, and on seeing it eating just through the catflap, shot my arm through and grabbed it. All hell broke loose as I tried to do something with it to put it off from coming back. Firstly it was bald and loose skinned which really isn't very nice to hold, it was wailing, and it was clawing chunks out of me. I did my usual humane thing to try and deter it from returning by howling back at it and hissing. Sprayed it with a water mister, and when my pain became too much let it go for it never to return. Don't get me wrong, I love cats, but the only macho thing Hobie does to defend his territory and food is to pee on everything. We have had many catflaps, all with one way locks, but none strong enough to stop a fleeing cat and all so far have been smashed. Unfortunately I think this black and white one may be winning.
So, rainy day off, Amanda had decided to do some studying, and I wanted to do some pickles and jams.
Shallots were peeled and put into jars with vinegar and my own killer spice mix. Blackberries that we had picked in the wild were turned into jam. Shop bought cherries went the same way. Our redcurrant harvest, although rather small this year, was sealed in a jar with some homemade syrup ready for adding to icecream or something at a later date. And finally a large jar was filled with strips of peppers and cucumber and pickled like the shallots. Hopefully all will be ready for Christmas.
Other than that it has been a strange and sometimes difficult week. Amanda had her practical exam in advanced councelling...and passed!! Very tense in the lead up to that one. A meet up with the youngest daughter after not seeing her for a couple of years. Work, well more leaves. And some other stuff involving church and my faith, and also very difficult stuff involving different friendships. Last night was great, as we met the eldest daughter and her hubby for dinner at Sohos. They do mostly pizzas, and those that know me know that I DO NOT do cooked cheese in any way. Long story, but started with being made to eat boiled egg in cheese sauce for lunch at private school. Here they do all the usual pizzas, but in cheese free mode for weirdos like me.....Yay!! Had a 'Crispy Pig' one and boy was it good!
It's getting late for work now, eight in the morning, and the sky is looking lovely, and the air outside is icy......perfect!