Archive | July, 2011

How old do I feel?

26 Jul

How old do I feel?

Gingerly placing my feet on the floor on a morning as I get out of bed I could be 92.

I walk on the landing to the bathroom on what feels like tiny pins and lumps of rock, not the soft carpet which is really underfoot. Thankfully on the way back to the bedroom, normal sensations have returned and apart from a bit of careful manoeuvring when sitting down and standing up, during the day, my body allows me to move well, walk fast when required and feel probably younger than my actual age.

Its when I look in the mirror there’s a problem. Who is that staring back? I don’t recognise her. Who is the grey haired lady. The face is similar but its not the face I remember. I don’t like it as much as my old face, or should I say my young face. Where have my lips gone? Thinner lips are a sign of old age too.

 Aged 19  in serious pose !

Probably because I carry a few too many pounds,  my face is quite plump and there’s not too many lines. Friends remark on this. “You haven’t any lines” they say. Its the sagging jowls that give the game away, that and the crêpey skin on a scraggy neck. My Grandma who was actually only 61 when I was 16, always liked a chiffon scarf or similar tied around her neck. “The neck gives the game away”, she said and its true.

Hands too tell a tale. My hands have always had good skin. Not for me the constant applying of hand cream. Having a greasy skin has been good but eventually hands have old age thrust upon them and the test of nipping the skin to see how fast it returns to normal, shows my hands to have old skin on them!

Perhaps the greasy skin along with the plumpness  has helped keep off facial lines and crow’s feet. Nothing ages the skin more than dried out sun tanned skin and lines follow and whilst liking summer and sunny days, I have never been a sun worshipper to the point of laying all day on a lounger till burnt to a crisp.

As a child I was dark blonde which in summer always lightened, even to my late teens, after which I always had highlights or been completely blonde. Now my natural colour is grey. I don’t dislike it and it is certainly easier than keeping up to roots.

The question is, would I feel younger if I looked in a mirror to see myself with blonde hair? I don’t really think so.

Youth is past. Middle age is past. Old age is upon me.

I am not complaining. The alternative to old age is death and I am not ready yet.

I have lots more living to do.









Don’t drag me down.

24 Jul

There is so much doom and gloom around us in the world and each hour it presents itself to us on television, on the news.

Famine, bombs, murder, deaths of well known personalities and all the lies and deceit of the phone hacking scandal.

So much trouble and hate in the world.

I bury my head in the sand and change channels.

No need.

Find something light weight and mindless to watch on tv.

All the time you hear of people dying, out of the blue.

Someone’s loss and someone’s sadness.

I have had my share of personal loss and sadness.

I have moved on  so I can be selfish and say that I don’t need dragging down by everyone else’s tragedies.

Give me a good happy story for a change. Joyous occasions. Good will to all men.

Report on something joyous. Something to make me laugh and put a smile on my face. I need uplifting.

Let me be.

Don’t drag me down!

Pizza Hut, Halifax

23 Jul

This was a good deal.

£5 per person for a regular pizza with free refillable salad bowls (we had a printable voucher which was easy to find on the net)



Kids eat free

with free drink (in our case a 70p Fruitshoot)







Double pepperoni








Heavenly Veg











Child’s ice cream was £1 extra









Pizzas were good.

Service not as good.  Waitress was smiley but was missing when we needed our re fillable drinks refilled and was missing when we were ready to pay the bill and leave.

Evie went away with a free helium balloon and I have brought my left over pizza, boxed up for later.








I just love Pizza Hut pizzas!

Carluccio’s Leeds

21 Jul

Today we ate at Carluccio’s in Leeds






We chose the lunch time 2 courses for £9.95



Richard and 1 chose the Brushcetta,

Fresh ripe tomatoes with oregano, basil leaves, roasted peppers

and extra virgin olive oil on garlicky Italian bread




Helen chose the garlic bread

The serving was 3 pieces but she had eaten one of them  when I took this photo





I didn’t realise that bruschetta was warm bread with a cold topping and when it arrived I was expecting cooked tomatoes and peppers. It didn’t matter though as it was really tasty and both Richard and I enjoyed it. Helen on the other hand said the garlic bread was really salty and she didn’t enjoy it although she did finish it.

For Secundo Helen chose the Penne Alla Luganica

Tubes of pasta with a rich and spicy Italian sausage sauce









I chose the Milanese Di Pollo

Flattened chicken breast, bread-crumbed and fried, with green salad.








Richard chose Ravioli  Homemade delicate ravioli filled with spinach and ricotta, served in the traditional way with butter and sage.



I thought the serving of ravioli seemed quite small and Richard had finished it in no time at all, where as my flattened chicken breast was a good size serving (Rich helped me to finish it)

It was towards 2pm when we arrived in the restaurant and it was still busy although not full.  There was a good atmosphere in the place and we enjoyed the meal and the experience enough for a return visit at some point.





Empty plates, always a good sign!

Wheatsheaf Inn, Little Gomersal

21 Jul


The Wheatsheaf Inn is in a beautiful sleepy village,  Little Gomersal near Cleckheaton.  Little Gomersal is a little gem and on the three occasions I have eaten here at the Wheatsheaf, have really enjoyed my meal.

I almost forgot to take a picture of my plate of food and had already added veg and chunky chips when I remembered. I must have been so eager to eat my food.

On this occasion I ordered the Haddock & prawn mornay as did my two friends and our eyes opened wide as the plates were placed in front of us. The haddock fillet was swathed around a filling of prawns, on top of a mound of mashed potato. The whole thing being covered with a tasty cheese  Béchamel sauce.

We ordered side dishes of mixed market vegetables and chunky chips.  What the vegetables had to do with a market I don’t know and were the usual run of the mill veg but there was a great mix and variety, cauliflower, carrots, green beans, broccoli and pieces of new potatoes.  The hand cut chunky chips however were lovely.

Unfortunately I forgot to take photos last week when I ate at the Wheatsheaf. On that occasion I had the steak and mushroom pie. Slightly disappointingly the pie filling came in a dish with a piece of suet herb pastry placed on top.

I like my pie to look like a pie and for the pastry to be baked on top of the filling, but the whole thing was nevertheless  tasty.

When pastry is cooked with the pie filling in, the pastry is steamed from below and it is light and  fluffy. This pastry was rather heavy and solid. I only ate half of the pastry but that was mainly because I was so full. The steak and mushroom filling in the pie dish was beautiful and the food was presented well.  On this occasion I had the hand cut chunky chips which I really enjoyed.

On my 1st visit to the Wheatsheaf  which was in February, I had lamb shank and this was a good meal  too.

I shall eat here again soon.






Making an effort.

15 Jul

I baked bread this morning! It must be 4 years at least since I used my bread machine. It was put away nicely, packed in polystyrene and stored away in its box on the top shelf of the wardrobe in the back bedroom.

I normally don’t have to rush to get up on a Friday as its not one of my days to have Evie (thats Monday and Tuesday) but as I live fairly close to a railway station, it’s quite handy for Richard, my son to park his car when he is going somewhere by train. This being the case this morning, I set my alarm for 7.15 so I was ready to give him a lift to catch his 8 am train.

Bathed dressed and ready for the day, Rich deposited at the station and a full day ahead of me.

I had had a day out yesterday. A bus to the station, a train to Leeds, a bus to Crown Point, looked round the shops, a bus back to Leeds City centre, a walk to Leeds station, a train to Huddersfield, a bus to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and a hospital visit to a friend Charley. I then was given a lift home by Dot, Charley’s partner so I had no need to continue with my public transport marathon.With my bus pass the bus journeys were free and the train journeys were 50p each way (the bonus of being a pensioner)

Today I would do things at home. After dusting down the bread machine box, I washed the baking pan and the bread was being mixed and kneaded by 8.20am.

20 minutes before the bread should have been ready, I opened the door of the kitchen out into the garden and I think the change of temperature in the kitchen affected the temperature of the bread machine and made the loaf sink so I have taken the picture of the loaf from its better angle (upside down).

My neighbour has always had an allotment and when he had a few lettuce and cabbage plants left over, he planted them in an unused plot behind my garage. I have nurtured them, watered them diligently and watched them grow steadily and decided this morning that it was time to cut a lettuce for lunch. I also cut a big, dark green outer leaf from a cabbage leaving the cabbage growing to fill out further.

I put the cabbage leaf, a red onion and a large carrot roughly chopped into the food processor and pulverised it until it was all in tiny pieces and this was the result.

How could 1 cabbage leaf, a carrot and an onion make such a large amount!

I mixed a teaspoon of readymade English mustard with 3 large teaspoons of light mayonnaise and added about a third of the coleslaw mix to it for my lunch .

I had my home grown lettuce , a chopped tomato, added some chickpeas for another texture and with some lovely soft cheese to spread on my new wholemeal crust my lunch was complete.

I don’t always make an effort to make things like the coleslaw or  to bake bread. Sometimes when I am looking after Evie it’s because I don’t have time (playing with a 2 year old takes a lot of concentration) but mainly its because I take the easy option and have something quick and easy because I can’t be bothered.

Today I made an effort and am really glad I did.

My coleslaw recipe

1 large carrot

1 red onion

1 large dark green cabbage leaf

pulverise in a food processor.

Mustard mayo dressing to dress a third of the coleslaw mixture

1 level teaspoon English readymade mustard

3 heaped teaspoons of light mayo

Ginger Oaty biscuits

11 Jul







This is another recipe from my Mother-in-law Elsie who died in 1990 aged 82



1 mug of S R Flour

1 mug of  granulated sugar

1 & half mugs of rolled oats (Porridge oats)

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

quarter pound of margarine

1 tablespoon of golden syrup

1 tablespoon of warm water


Put the margarine and golden syrup in a bowl and microwave for 40 seconds or until melted.

Alternatively put them in a pan and melt over a low heat on the hob.

Add the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, ginger and bicarb)

Also add a tablespoon of warm water and combine all the ingredients well.

Take a spoonful and roll between the palms to form a ball.  Place these on a baking tray lined with baking parchment or a non stick lining, leaving enough room for the  biscuits to spread whilst cooking without touching.

Bake at 180 degrees C for approx 15/20 mins until golden.

Remove from the baking tray with a fish slice. Careful as they will be soft when removed from the oven but will become firm when cooled.

I am sure you will love these!