30 Mar 2012

Hestia screams like a GIRL

She must have seen his acting
Tartarus was definitely NOT coming with me to see The Woman in Black.  Blessed with a stomach that can tolerate cleaning out sewerage pipes with his BARE HANDS, it does not extend to being able to cope with a screaming ghost.  Or Daniel Radcliffe's acting.

So it was with great trepidation that my Day Carer agreed to accompany me to the cinema last night.  The last scary film she watched was Carrie. And that took her many hours and many visits to the kitchen for restorative cups of tea to plough through, eventually reaching the end with a relieved sigh, she stood up to switch off the TV. Only for Carrie's hand to shoot through the soil of her grave and scare the soil out of my Day Carer.

I persuaded her to come by pointing out it was a 12A. 'How bad can it be?' I mocked gently.

Well, I won't give the game away, but it was stuffed to the gunnels with stoney-eyed locals who loomed out of the mist at every opportunity saying things like : We don't waaaant you here. Git back on t'train t' Lahndahn.'

My brief review is this:  Daniel Radcliffe is now a fully-paid up member of the Keanu Reeves Woodwork School of Acting.  There are lots of dead children with white faces.  There is a Woman in Black who pops up alarmingly in a dark and spooky old house.  Victorian Toys are inherently demonic in appearance.  And never, EVER open the front door when you've just seen a muddy apparition approaching it.

I actually said OUT LOUD in the cinema, as I clutched at my Day Carer's sleeve: 'Don't open the bloody door! Are you MAD?' to embarrassed titters from the unflappable teenagers sitting around us.

It's a fine film that ratchets up the supernatural tension beautifully.....taking you to the brink of a VERY scary moment, pulling back and then BAM - faces at windows, screaming spectral women... new knickers required.

And I will never sit in a rocking chair EVER again.

I must get mobilised now to go to church and witness Sonshine's epic performance as Barnaby in the Easter Story.  I am now informed that he also plays the role of Disciple 10.

I know.  Disciple 10.  Very disappointed he didn't get to be Jesus 1.

26 Mar 2012

Hestia .... Spring has Sprung

It's a really beautiful day here at Mount Olympus Towers and I wanted to share something with you:
Tadaaa! The first washing of 2012 hung out.

I know, it's a total state, but that's what happens when Tartarus suggests that HE hangs out the washing while *I* go to the supermarket.  I have superior washing-hanging-out skills.

The clematis in the greenhouse - still flowering its socks off and the whole greenhouse is perfumed with jasmine and hyacinth.

My Mother's Day gooseberry 'bush'.  It turned out to have two roots, both about the length of a grain of rice and the width of an eyelash.  I know.  It doesn't look too hopeful, does it?  

I'm having flashbacks to Wilfred the decapitated sunflower

And lastly, the new baby - well he's about 3 months old now.  He's Tartarus's nephew's baby.  We have no idea what that makes us to him.  But we luffs him.

This photo seems to have captured the only 10 minutes of the whole weekend that he slept.

22 Mar 2012

Hestia and Tartarus

So, yesterday Tartarus whisked me away to one of my favourite eateries - The Loch Fyne Oyster Bar. The drive to the restaurant is through Darkest Argyll, which is really very beautiful.

Indeed the Lochs glittered in the unaccustomed Spring sunshine like Liberace's smile as we twisted our way through the tiny villages en route.

Of course, by the time I remembered to take a photo of my main course, it was securely resting in my tummy. I got the starter pictured though - all those lovely oysters!  Grilled with pancetta, parmesan and cream.....*drools*

My main course was herring in four different marinades.  Actually, much nicer than it sounds, but I'll be burping fishy burps for DAYS.

It was entirely delicious - so score levels:  Nice Tartarus 1:  Annoying Tartarus 0

I have been trying to go out jogging and getting a mile under my belt every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Monday wasn't so good because it was so cold that when I came home I had a migraine.  Can a migraine be a sports-related injury?

I am also still at the power-hooping at least once a week.

I asked Tartarus whether he had noticed any sort of difference in me since I started trying to get fit for being 50 (next year!).  And he said:  'Yes, when you bend over, your waist doesn't become one with your arse any more.'

I THINK that's a compliment.  It's hard to tell with him some days.

Score:  Nice Tartarus now 2: Annoying Tartarus 0

He went to a track day on Sunday and had a whale of a time, throwing the Subaru into corners and basically frightening the bejesus of anyone in front of him.  He got to have a go in someone's TR7.  That made his day.

Breathless with excitement, he told me about another Subaru that he'd seen.  Almost the same as his.  The owner of the other Subaru and Tartarus had got talking and Tartarus was bemoaning the fact that 'my partner at the time wouldn't let me have gold wheel trims because she said that they made the car look like it belonged to a Triad gang member.'

I fixed him with a steely stare: 'You said what?'

He repeated it, his eyes doing that furtive fuck-i've-fucked-up-and-i-don't-know-what-ive-done look.

You told him that 'your partner AT THE TIME' said that?  *I* was your partner at the time and, as far as I'm aware (the hypothetical existence of Consuela and Jesus notwithstanding), I'm STILL your partner. AM I??? AM I still your partner??? Or has there been someone else slotted in, that I don't know about?'

Tartarus shifted anxiously from one butt cheek to the other.  Squirming.

'You're MAD,' he announced.

But he didn't exactly DENY it, did he?

Nice Tartarus 2:  Annoying Tartarus - last minute late own goal....... 7

Annoying Tartarus wins the day.

Never forget, in relationships, it takes only ONE bad thing to cancel out ALL the good things for about a week.

Especially if you are 'my partner at the time'.

20 Mar 2012

Hestia's Miscellany

First of all - I hope you all had a splendid Mother's Day in some way shape or form.

I got this:

And here's the miscellany bit....
This is not a furry orange tennis ball - it's Nibbles with his/her cheeks absolutely jam-packed with stuff to take into bed for a midnight snack......

Flowers from my greenhouse - I wish I could convey to you how they smell.  Imagine Elizabeth Arden's handbag interior.....that's how gorgeous they smell :-)

Happy, Happy Spring Equniox chaps!!!!

Yes, it's officially SPRING!!

16 Mar 2012

Hestia and Tartarus....the Big Bad Wolves of Parenting

Lying in bed this morning, listening to the rain chuntering down through the downpipes and splattering on to the driveway from our neighbour's roof, we heard what can only be described as a Bit of a Bang from downstairs.

Sonshine was up and padding around in his dressing gown and stripey socks and we had heard him humming a little hum to himself as he disappeared into the kitchen to make his breakfast.  This is usually half a packet of breakfast cereal and 3/4 pint of milk or, a smaller bowl of breakfast cereal and some lightly warmed bread with an inch of peanut butter and jam.

There is always a glass of orange juice, diluted with tap water.

The noise sounded EXACTLY like a glass of orange juice thunking off the floor and depositing its contents up the back door, the walls and carpet.

Of course, we have been known to be wrong, so we continued to lie chatting about the horror of the ladies sitting behind me at The Descendants last night (more of which in another post).

When we deigned to grace the floor-head with our presence about quarter of an hour later, we discovered a large sticky puddle in the kitchen, some light orange juice redecoration up the back door and wall....... and this at the side of the sink:

No, not the knife and a teaspoon - a broken glass.....and a note.....

I couldn't be fagged joogling around the image, so just twist yourselves sideways to read it.

I blame Tartarus because he's a Big Bad Wolf most of the time.  But I am not completely blameless myself, what with being Hestia, our Lady of almost Perpetual Menstruation (And Attendant Grumpy Moods) quite a lot of the time.  

*hangs head in shame*  I did have a go at Sonshine yesterday for doing something wrong when he was trying to help me.  Even as I said it, I knew I was being unfair, yet I didn't bother to apologise.  Isn't that awful?

Parenting.  I think my P45 is in the post.

8 Mar 2012

Hestia impersonates Pan (Not Peter)

I'm SUPPOSED to be the one on the right.
They say that the world is split into two kinds of people....and today those two kinds of people are: Those Who Shave Their Bits Religiously and Those Who Don't.

Reader, I am sure that you are not surprised to learn that I fall into that latter category.

Yes, from the groin down I am as furry as a goaty little Satyr.

5 Mar 2012

Hestia and the land that I forgot....

I am blessed with a polytunnel and a greenhouse.  Neither of them particularly productive.  Probably because I'm not particularly productive. I seem to panic when things need me to look after them (see: children, hamsters and tomato plants)

It embarrasses me enormously to admit to you, dear reader, that I have not been in the greenhouse since last September.  OK, if I'm being brutally honest, July.  *hangs head in shame*

Hestia ...has baking success. At last.

Fourth time was clearly a charm.

Tartarus has pronounced it 'Damn Tasty' which is the ultimate accolade.  And I can confirm that it is a gorgeous slice of sharp lemony moistness.  The cake equivalent of Dorothy Parker.

Please ignore the 70s Holly Hobby cutting board.  I really need to be sponsored by Lakeland Plastics - my kit is so old that it probably wasn't even mine to start off with lol!

I worked out why the camera was taking everything in 'soft focus' - the lens was smeared with butter  *guilty face*

2 Mar 2012

Hestia....stares blankly at aubergines

I cannot tell a lie, after a pant-filling moment at Tescos a few weeks ago when the check out girl had to repeat that my trolley of stuff came to £99 (did not include so much as a chicken leg or bottle of booze)  I have been automatically going to the reduced sections in the local Co-op.

It came to pass that I bought two small aubergines for 39p each and I was determined to do something Ottolenghi-ish with them.  But since I can't quite get my hands on most of their other ingredients, I threw myself upon the culinary expertise of my Facebook friends.

The first up with a suggestion was Anton The Italian.  She regularly posts up yummy looking pix of food that she has prepared and she suggested the following:

Slice your aubergines, fry them until they are soft in a pan.  Tip a can of chopped tomatoes (I used some with ready added herbs), some chilli* and some garlic into a pan and cook into a sauce.

Then pop the slices of softened aubergines into a dish, tip on the sauce and cover with slices of mozarella.

It started off looking like this:

There is clearly something adrift with my camera and honestly, I have not shot all this in soft focus!  The large dark dog-poop looking thing in the middle is two aubergines.  The jar of garlic and ginger I can commend to the house - we use it in everything.  Please don't look at the colour of the chili.  Just let's say that the expiry date was in Roman numerals.

Here are some soft-focus fried aubergines.  They don't half soak up a lot of oil.  I eventually started feeding the frying pan with water to try to cut down the amount of olive oil I was using!

Small white ball is actually a 50p mozarella waiting to be sliced.  Ignore the fallen over empty tin next to the kettle.  Look, I never said that I was David Bailey.

And after 40 minutes or so in Teh Oven.......

It tasted DELISH and I commend it to the house.

*I used chilli oil AFTER the dish was cooked because two small boys were going to eat it and I didn't want to put them off.  The chilli is v important as it really lifts the dish - so give yourself a nice drizzle and enjoy it!!!

Thank you Anton.

And to everyone else who gave me aubergine recipes - they are copied down and I will use them at a later date.

Are you buying from the marked down section of the supermarket too? Do you get a sense of satisfaction from creating a nice meal from inexpensive ingredients?

1 Mar 2012

Hestia and World Book Day

I know, I've been shamefully neglecting you because of boring tat like tidying up for Tartarus coming home and because, rather spectacularly, I've made Sonshine's outfit for World Book Day.

The theme that the school set for today's celebrations was 'Nautical' and other than Captain Jack Sparrow ('mum, there will be hundreds of Captain Jacks'), Long John Silver (suggestion met with an interested eyebrow lift but I didn't think I could whittle a wooden leg in time) or Jim the cabin boy ('mum, no one knows what Jim the Cabin Boy should look like')....he opted to go as his father.

Tartarus may be many things but a character in a book or indeed the skill of authorship are not on his horizon.  Plus, his Chief Engineer's hat (think: officer and gentleman) is languishing in a brothel in Chile and his blazer has an ominously fousty-orange smell from hanging in the wardrobe for the best part of 30 years without being worn.  Plus, if Sonshine took his Chief Engineer stripes to school and lost them, I would be a dead woman.

So he reconsidered his options and went for Popeye.

I have NO clue whether he's ever featured in a book, but I'm pretty sure that there's a DC Comic out there somewhere featuring the spinach-swigging sailor.  Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

And here he is:

I do not know what has happened to the focus, but it's the best I could come up with.  Maybe my batteries are flat.  The answer to most of my life's problems, methinks.

Let me take you through the costume.  The hat was purchased from the only shopping emporium in town, The Factory Shop, for £1.00.  It is too small for him, but it was all they had.  It was this hat or a motorbike helmet - which I'm pretty sure Popeye did not wear.

The top is his black KISS concert t-shirt turned inside out with two yellow buttons (40p for two) from the shop that sells wool and patterns from 1972.

The red material I actually bought from Remant Kings in Glasgow on Saturday when I was up there leading a Tarot workshop.... along with some black ribbon.  None of it is sewn - that God for Wundaweb and a hot iron!  Think the material and ribbon totalled about £6.

I stood in the middle of the shop and said 'I don't know what to do, can someone help me?' and a very nice girl led me to the red cotton and the black ribbon and cut me various lengths.  I hereby recommend them to dress-making virgins everywhere.

The pale blue sleeve edges are a baby's t-shirt from the Oxfam shop that was cut up and pressed into service  at the cost of £1.00.

The spinach tin is actually a tin of butter beans with a spinach label, created by Sonshine.  The Tattoos are biro pen.

THE PIPE is actually made out of a corn on the cob (yes, just like the real one) that I dried in the oven and sanded into a pipe barrel.  I even carved out the inside like a real pipe.  The stalk is a pencil covered in parcel tape.

I actually need to lie down now.

Before I go:  He came home from school and announced that he was playing Barnaby in the Easter Story.  'Barrabas?' I suggested.  Yes! he replied.  Apparently he had wanted to be Judas Priest but someone else got the role.  'Judas Iscariot?' I offered.  'Yes, that's what I said.'

Christianity clearly features somewhere far away from his Heavy Metal ipod playlist.

What are you doing for World Book Day?

Explore the ruined citadel of m'blog: