Thursday, 14 October 2021


 This is my first dog, Snowy. I must have been about twelve when this photo was taken. He was only a mutt but I loved him dearly. Sadly my father decided we had too many dogs (we had three at the time) and suddenly one day without prior warning they had all disappeared. He said he´d given them to a friend of his who had a farm, including my Snowy and I never saw him again or even had a chance to say goodbye. I was absolutely heartbroken, needless to say. 

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Tempus fugit

My youngest son has just celebrated his 46th birthday, next son up was 50 in September, my daughter is 51 and my eldest, sadly no longer with us, would have been 53 now. Between them they have presented me with 10 grandchildren, some of whom are already university graduates...

When did all this happen? Time has been playing games with me as I´m sure I´m not old enough to have adult children let alone middle-aged ones - and the grandchildren, well...

Sunday, 10 October 2021

Rainy Sunday

Today is overcast, wet and dreary...what to do? I had planned to go to the market to buy a plant, probably a cyclamen which I love, but I don´t feel like traipsing around in the rain. So I decided to be virtuous and batch cook something for the freezer and what better than a one-pan Mexican quinoa dish. I love Mexican food.

This dish takes far longer to prepare the many ingredients than it does to cook so it kept me busy for a while but it is done now and cooling before I divide it up into portions and freeze it. Smells good!

It is now nearly midday and I am still in my pjs. Oh dear, never mind, one of the joys of living alone is you can occasionally be a slob if you feel like it, but I think I´ll have a shower now followed by a spot of lunch. Then this afternoon, since it is chilly, I believe it will be duvet and Kindle time. I certainly know how to live!

Friday, 8 October 2021

Treasured item

I pinched this subject from John at Going Gently. I liked his idea of showing one´s most treasured possession. This is mine.

I know it looks very nondescript but it is actually a Stone Age flint knife, several thousand years old.

I found it years ago when I was on holiday with my husband. We were walking along a hilly path near Robin Hoods Bay in Yorkshire when I saw it lying on the ground in front of me. Intrigued by its shape I picked it up for a better look. I thought it looked rather like a flint knife but I was sure I must be mistaken and that it was wishful thinking on my part. After all, it was just lying there on the surface, on a well-used public footpath. I put it in my pocket and after the holiday showed it to my tutor at Manchester University where I was taking an extra-mural course in archaeology. To my surprise and delight after showing it to a colleague he confirmed that it was indeed a flint knife.

How it came to be on the path was anyone´s guess. Maybe it washed out of a bank or worked itself to surface, or even was dropped by someone who had found it elsewhere. I will never know. As someone who is fascinated with prehistory, it is certainly my one of my most treasured possessions. I try to imagine who made it, the people who used it all that time ago and it leaves me awestruck.

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Jaboticaba (or jabuticaba if you prefer)...

This is a jaboticaba tree. There doesn´t seem to be a translation, but it is sometimes known as the Brazilian grape tree.

The fruit looks just like a grape and is such a deep purple it is almost black. The skin is not edible but the whitish pulp inside is nice and sweet and can be squeezed out into your mouth as you split the skin. Although it is eaten fresh it doesn´t keep or travel well so is also used to make juice, jams and jellies.

What is different and interesting about the jaboticaba is that the fruit grows not in bunches or clusters on branches but individually on the trunk of the tree.

These are still green as they haven´t ripened yet although you can see some beginning to change colour. I´ll try and get another photo when they are ripe as they look even more striking, although it is a question of timing as the residents here strip the tree pretty quickly when the jaboticabas are ready!

Sunday, 3 October 2021

Good news? Not really...

I read in the news today that a large number of countries, including Brazil, are being taken off the red list later in October. Quarantine will no longer be required for fully vaccinated people traveling to the UK from these countries. Hooray, lets break out the champagne...I had been hoping to spend this Christmas with one of my sons in England.

There is just one little problem that hasn´t been mentioned. The UK only accepts vaccinations given in the UK, Europe or the USA. I am fully vaccinated and about to have my booster, okay mine is the Coronavac vaccine which is not accepted but my daughter who has had both Pfizer shots here is also classed as unvaccinated. So anyone vaccinated in a former red country traveling to the UK will still have to go into quarantine. There doesn´t appear to be any logic in this new ruling.

Friday, 1 October 2021

Plastic water bottles

I try and avoid using plastic whenever possible although nowadays it is not always easy. At least with regard to water bottles I don´t have to worry. My daughter gave me this bottle which I can fill at home and take with me when necessary.


I don´t understand why people feel the need to buy bottled water if they live in a country where the tap water tastes ok and is safe to drink. For example, when I go walking in Spain I never buy water as what comes out of the tap is fine and all towns and villages have public water fountains where you can fill up as you walk through. If the water is not drinkable there is a notice which says so.

Unfortunately here the tap water has an unpleasant mouldy taste and I´d rather not drink it. I buy my water in a 20 litre bottle which is reusable. The chap who delivers it takes the empty one away for re-filling. Our tap water is fine for showers, washing and dishes, etc, and I´ll use it for cooking things which are going to be strained but for tea, soups and stews I´ll use the bottled water because of the taste.

A bottle like this lasts me about ten days and costs around three pounds which I think is good value for money.