The last few days

Well what didn’t happen! Just finished bath time and our angels have ascended the stairs to bed with relative compliance. We enjoyed a roast beef dinner tonight and Spaghetti bolognese was had at lunchtime. Okay, one amusing thing happened over dinner and that was Tara piping up to Daddy and myself, both sipping a glass of ‘Chateauneuf du pape’, opposed to the black current squash they were all enjoying. She said ‘you’re drinking the blood of Judas’! Hmmmh – I think a couple of biblical stories may have been merged from story time at their C of E School! I had to smile and put her right on what the red wine signified! I do find it awkward talking about religion with them being so young!

Missed country file due to the inclusion of ‘strictly’ to the Sunday night BBC schedule. Not my thing, but there you go! Talking of countryside, that’s where we inhabit and this week saw the children find a frog stuck in the neck of the watering can, then today saw two newts discovered in the brown grass/moss beneath the now emptied swimming pool. Lots of eggs were also there. A neighbour helped carefully move them to their pond, where I believe there is a small population already surviving the rigours of the British elements.

There were many crazy run arounds the living room and kitchen over the weekend, plus lots of shouts, screams and laughs. The compendium (games cupboard) was emptied en masse and hopefully some of the multiple pieces from those various games and puzzles are back in their correct boxes. My rules – one game at a time was ignored by John today as I was spending time Jammin’ in the kitchen making this years ‘Xmas X-rated’ Jam. A delicious combination of rum soaked raisins, pears, sugar, an extra slug of rum, apple pulp and lemon juice, all this complemented with a combination of fragrant, festive spices. A real indulgence and the aromatics should be well infused in their sterilised jars by the time Xmas arrives. Regular strawberry jam was also made this week plus a well set raspberry jelly, sieved to exclude the pips and the perfect marriage to thickly buttered sour dough toast.

Strictly still on in the background. Damn this show is camper than Christmas! Is this really what the nation dines on? Oh dear – these are interesting times aren’t they!

Our Family Routine

It seems that every family has one, doesn’t it? What with Sindy back from her holidays, things are back to (the new) normal. Yesterday saw me dry fresh figs in the dehydrator as they are well priced this time of year. I cooked down a mass of sweet apples to make ‘Dadda’s Apple Sauce’. I really could not look another apple in the face – all of that peeling, tedious! The jars are now sat in the provisions cupboard along side yesterday’s other creation, the home made ‘Tomato Chutney’ all lined up like an infantry of little soldiers, in their shiny, bright, sterilised jars. This year we had a fair amount of home grown tomatoes that went into the cooking pot. Though I made up the volume to 3kg of tomatoes with strained tinned tomatoes. Don’t tell anyone will you?

I’m still in a quandary as to my next ‘project’! I am seriously considering learning to drive. A few of you sent me their kind support on my Facebook page when I suggested that idea.

My new book, an edit of this diary called ‘Thirteen Moons More’ should be complete within the coming couple of months. ‘Eighteen Moons’ tells the story of how my family came to be, so it is only fitting that ‘Thirteen Moons More’ tells you the story of the family that we have become today!

Don’t worry, I’ll let you know when the Kindle and paperback versions are available through your Amazon account. Do you know what? I recently realised why the children love the ‘Beat Bugs’ rendition of the Beatles ‘Paperback Writer’ so much. Duh! Silly me – I wrote a paperback didn’t I! It is also encouraging as they all want to write a paperback book when they are older. A bit of growing up to do first however.

I recently considered a business manoeuvre regarding ‘Dadda’s Jam’ and seeing if a third party (bigger company) might be interested in licensing ‘Dadda’s Jam’ as a brand and sexing up the Jam industry a little. You know, get away from the frumpy, old lady image of it! But sadly the concept fell on deaf ears. With so many funky combos, I’ve decided that my next project may have to be another book. Not just any book, but a recipe book containing all of Dadda’s ‘Jammy Combos’. Mind you, I know nothing of compiling a glossy, commercial recipe book for Jams, pickles and chutneys. But once my new book is out there, I am going to get working on Dadda Gets Jammin’ – I can’t wait!

That’s it for now – I hope you like the pic of me in today’s entry, as today, it’s all about me I guess. thank you to photographer and friend @michellemartinoli

Hot Air Balloon Collage

For the reception year induction, our little ones were asked to talk to their teachers and classmates about their summer holidays. On our meeting with three of the teaching staff last month, we were given three sparkly, refractive cut outs of hot air balloons. Today I chopped up photographs as the printer at home is still not working and pritt sticked the hell out of a few of our summertime memories.

The collages are going into school tomorrow and I believe that when all thirteen children in the class have finished the project (or rather their parents have found the time), they will be talking about their summer holidays to the rest of their class.

Definitely something for the memory box’s ‘additional items box’. Tara and Amritsar’s balloons are somewhere in the wardrobe! Just thinking how big the ‘additions! Box might end up being!

Just a thought – maybe we should attach the balloons to the tops of the baby Boxes now that they are sealed for the next fifteen years? There’s an idea! These memory balloons will be stuck to the wall at school for the next few months, but when they return home – we will have a small piece of time standing still to include in their future historical reminders of childhood. I have to smile xx

Goodbye to the Summer

With today being the ‘Autumn Equinox’, it is fitting to say goodbye to the Summer and thank you to it for so many happy memories. Excuse the pictures, I think this weekends picnic saw just these taken at the West Berkshire County Show. I hope you liked my ‘Fun Fair Frolics’ video yesterday?

Our nanny Sindy was also back from her travels today and resumed the school run, allowing Daddy to return to work and Dadda to once again get Jammin’! Today saw the damson crop pulped and fused with lemon juice and sugar, making this years offering of delicious damson Jam. No pectin needed as damsons, like plums are naturally very high in pectin. I also dried the crop of mint in the microwave instead of my dehydrator, making a speedy process of it! Fused with apple pulp and sugar and boiled until a firm set was inevitable, there now sits 6 jars of Dadda’s mint jelly. Not for buttery toast, rather a roast (leg of lamb) that is sat in the freezer. You know you can’t beat ‘homemade anything’, can you? In addition to this, last years crabapple juice was thawed from the freezer and boiled up with sugar to make the most amazing crabapple jelly, set to perfection and pinky purple in colour – amazing with roast pork and crackling.

The fitness trainer is back in the morning, so I had better refrain from overdoing the calories, but I believe tonight’s spaghetti puttanesca (cooked today) is an extremely healthy overindulgence. So why not go for it?

Aaliyah and Caleb are presently playing catch, running around the new living room coffee table. Now Tara and Amritzy are fighting for lappy privileges.

Sindy has just said to all of the children, just how much they were missed. Nite nite all.