It was a dark and stormy night…

Don’t worry, I am not about to do a Bulwer-Lytton on you…

Last night got a little wild and after I was woken by the wind battering the window at 11:30pm, there was little sleep in it. I lay there wondering of the power would stay on… and fretted about my computer. I had left my PC copying files from its two internal disk drives to an external. Both my drives seem to be failing, though that may be only an appearance and a motherboard fault may be indicated. New parts arrived yesterday and Mr L wishes to rebuild my machine asap. We have our digits crossed that all the parts are undamaged (he’s upgrading his own machine too) as the package obviously suffered in transit.

This is the parcel when it arrived and BEFORE we opened it!


The wind reached a crescendo around 3:30 am and we managed a hearty gust of over 80mph. Today the sea is doing its best to encroach upon the garden. High tide was a little interesting but not so interesting as last winter’s event.

The old blog seems to be suffering of late. I cannot help it, my brain is simply mush at the moment and the cause would appear to be the beta blockers. The Future Learn courses have gone entirely by the board. Come to think of it, most activities have gone the same way!

There has however been quite a lot of cooking. With Mr L on holiday there is a little more time for grand productions and his birthday offers the ideal opportunity to push the boat out. I am already piling weight on and need to get a grip quickly. We actually ended up having birthday starters on Sunday — for our main meal.  It was an Antipasti platter – add some ciabatta fresh from the oven and a bottle of good red and it made a fine meal. When Tuesday came around we settled for our main course of Chicken Cacciatore, which I served with roasted fennel and squash and potatoes fried in goose fat with rosemary. The chocolate fondants were not hugely successful, but they were delicious. I had frozen them earlier in the week and cooked them from frozen. They had to leave the oven when the tops were in danger of blackening (burnt chocolate is vile) but the centres were overly runny. Served with a really good vanilla ice cream and some apricots in Amaretto, it went down well all the same.

That was plenty for us but we managed to approach the cheese board after a brief interval and were so glad that we had. The Brebirousse D’Argental was stunning and has become my new favourite soft cheese. We were also very impressed by the Rutherglen The Diamond Tawny 10yo. Awesome stuff – much lighter in style than a “proper” port but nonetheless huge in flavour. Yummy, yummy, yummy.




For spinning group in the morning I knocked up a mincemeat pie and the ladies appeared to enjoy it. Let’s just say that there wasn’t a great deal to take back home to Mr L. He enjoyed what he could.



I took Morgana for an outing and managed to get a fair bit of spinning done – I really enjoyed it.

I thought dinner was going to be spoiled when, just as I was due to start cooking, I had my first ever Scintillating Scotoma. After 20 years of aura-free migraines I was suddenly educated to what “zig zag lines” actually means. Nothing like I had imagined. Very disconcerting. My personal visual disturbance was very reminiscent of one of those incorporeal beings that turned up in the original Star Trek from time to time.  It was brief, thankfully and I managed to cook the meal once I had regained the ability to (a) see the words on my recipe sheets and (b) actually comprehend them.

It was worrying – obviously I was waiting for the pain to arrive, though it never did. Why now? was also very much in my head. Is it related to the beta blockers and do I need to speak to my GP?  I had a quick chat with a nurse-qualified friend yesterday and she was able to reassure me to a large extent and said she would tend not to worry. She has had similar experiences even though her migraines are mostly like my own normal ones – pain in the eye that moves from one side to the other.

I decided to wait and see if it happens again before I trouble my GP.

Today the practice manager rang and the GP had asked her to make an appointment with me. I think it may be relevant that the friend that I spoke with happens to be the GP’s wife 🙂 I think if he thinks there is a need to chat, I’ll get myself in asap. 6pm this evening, in fact.

It may be a hairy ride to the surgery – the road is covered in seaweed and rocks and frost is expected later. Maybe we’ll take the long route.

Apart from the Tuesday spinning I can report progress on my Rivulet. I took it with me to spinning to get some help in assessing how close I am to being finished on the yoke. The answer would appear to be “nowhere near as I thought!” I shall knit on – festive meals, brain mush and visual disturbances permitting.

The bad weather seems set to continue and with more gale force winds predicted for the 25th, our annual dog walk and picnic seems to be off the itinerary. Mr L wishes the pork pie to go ahead so we may well have a carpet picnic in front of the sitting room stove, if we can light it.  High winds have a way of making our stove frightening indeed.

Going to town seems to be too much effort given my mood and the weather, so no great plans are afoot for meals over the holiday. I’ll get what I can from the local shops and marry it to what is in the freezer and see what I can come up with. I’m fancying a nut roast, actually – but have fillet steaks in that will do duty for Hogmanay/Wedding anniversary. There is also a large smoked gammon joint that will bring out my creative side. I do love playing with leftovers. Roast Gammon on day 1 – followed by a quiche or a pie, probably, and a pasta dish, and finally pea and ham soup, I expect.

Today is Post-birthday Penance Day. A simple meal of French Onion Soup, sans les cheesey croûtes.

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