The Midland

About 12 months ago I set up a WordPress site for my local. It didn’t get used much so I stopped updating it.

The landlord has asked one of the bar staff if she could look after the pub’s Facebook page for him so I told her about the WordPress site… But can I remember the password and email address I used when setting it up?

Can I hell!

Ah well, I’ll keep trying. In the meantime here’s the Facebook link.

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Linear thinking

I get some weird ideas when I let my mind wander off on its own. The rusty old wheelbarrow I rescued from a skip some time ago has a flat tyre. I could get some puncture repair gunk from the cycle shop and see if that solves the problem… On the other hand, I could fit the barrow with a flanged wheel, or maybe even just remove the tyre from the existing wheel.

Then the “linear thinking” comes into play. A flanged wheel needs a line of rails to run on, a railway, in this case a monorail. Wooden rails would suffice for the loads to be carried, it could be a permanent line from the garage up the back garden to the compost heap, with portable rails being used through the garage when access is wanted to the front garden.

Maybe I should have posted this in Playing Trains instead of here on B.O.B.

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Another Sunday fridge clearance

The Sunday morning survey of the fridge’s contents revealed a glut of celery, peppers and courgettes as this week’s leftovers. An odd mixture but what the heck.

A curry is now simmering away in the slow cooker. The bulk is as mentioned above. Three chopped pears add sweetness while baked beans, chick peas and mixed veg are thrown in for variety, plus curry powder and chilli powder for heat. The top up liquid is diluted orange cordial, again for sweetness.

The mornings are getting noticeably chilly as the nights grow longer, it’ll be warming hearty stew season before long so the slow cooker will be in virtually constant use soon.

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Sunday Special

Stood looking at the contents of the fridge and wondering what to cook for Sunday lunch. Something different from my staple diet of bean chilli and veggie curry. Something tasty. Something spicy.

I bought a couple of packets of stuffing mix when I did my weekly shop in Aldi last Monday, so I made one of them according to the instructions on the box.

While the kettle was boiling I chopped two large chillies, a small handful of Brazil nuts, a generous handful of chopped mushrooms and about half a dozen pickled olives. This mixture was stirred into the stuffing along with a handful of grated cheese and the whole was put into an oiled baking dish and placed in the oven. The instructions on the box say the stuffing should be cooked for half an hour if spread on a baking tray or rolled into balls, my mixture is a big lump in the bowl so I’ll give it a bit longer.

After about twenty minutes I removed the bowl from the oven and spread a layer of porridge oats over the stuffing. This was topped with grated cheese and lightly seasoned with chilli powder before the bowl was returned to the oven.

In the meantime, breakfast! As the oven is on anyway it makes sense to bake the hash browns, veggie burger, tomatoes and sausages at the same time as the stuffing is cooking.

Who needs a smart energy meter to save money?

Answer to the question above – The energy companies do, so they don’t have to pay somebody to read your meters.
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Ooooh, that hurts so much.

Do you ever have one of those days?

Seen on a model railway forum, where the discussion was originally about modelling the Festiniog Railway’s gravity trains, on a circular layout.

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60

What a day. Wednesday is usually my day off but the other driver is on holiday so I was working yesterday. Sandra and Mandy, the two lovely ladies at Middlewich, gave me a wonderful birthday present, and a helium filled balloon with “60” on it which was in the van cab until I picked Harv up on my way back to Sandbach after the Congleton and Crewe run. When I was leaving work the boss presented me with a couple of bottles of beer. An excellent gesture on his behalf considering what he’s been put through this week (he became a grandfather for the first time yesterday).

After work I had a couple of pints in the Military Arms before catching the bus home then after tea I took Harvey for a walk – OK, to the Midland.

There’s a good reason for walking all the way to Elworth for a pint. In fact there are a few good reasons, not least being the fact that is probably the friendliest pub you could ever want to drink in. I’m driving in the morning so I had to keep a strict cap on my alcohol intake but it was a really enjoyable evening drinking good beer in good company.

As we left the pub there was a southbound freight thundering through the station at some not inconsiderable speed, a proper train, no passengers, and when we got to the old railway line on the way home there was a fox ahead of us. Luckily I still had Harvey on the lead so he didn’t go for it. The fox stopped to watch us as we watched it, then trotted off when it realised that we posed no threat. The “icing on the cake” for a perfect birthday.

My thanks are due for all the kind greetings on Facebook and by email, also to the regulars and staff in the pub too!

And for those of you that call me a grumpy old git – Yep, yer right now, I am officially old.

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How does he do it?

I crushed two worming tablets into a bowl with a bit of broken biscuit to disguise the texture then added a drop of water, to soften the mixture, and stirred it into half a tin of Doggiedins.

Harvey was there as soon as I put the bowl down, he sniffed at it suspiciously and started nibbling. After a while he walked away so I added the rest of the Doggiedins and put the bowl down again.

This time he ate it all… Apart from a residue in the bottom of the bowl that looks like the crushed worming tablets.

More broken biscuit added, this time with a handful of his chocolate drops and a dash of water to soak the residue into the biscuits.

He’s studiously ignoring the bowl now.

That’s just the easy bit, after I’ve had my breakfast I’m going to have to get him to stay still long enough for his flea drops to be applied… And I’ve only got two hands.

Dogs. It’s a good job we love them!

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Lovely photo

The kids had a short break in Wales with my Mum recently.

No prizes for spotting the location.

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Trailblazing across the pampas

(Readers of my other blog will recognise the reference to South American grasslands.)

Harvey will usually bark at anybody who dares to walk past the house or park on the road, yet he’s currently stretched out on the settee happily watching contractors removing the paving stones from the footpath.

So that’s the solution, don’t walk on the pavement, dig it up instead.

Meanwhile, in the garage, I’ve temporarily removed the railway bridge across the garden door. I don’t normally take this bridge down, preferring to duck under it instead, but today it needed to be out of the way.

Bridge out at Cumbre!

One hour later… The workers very kindly dropped eight flags on the front lawn for me. They’re a lot heavier than I was expecting but I’ve managed to barrow them through the garage to the back garden where they now form a V shaped path following the washing lines. Hence the bridge at Cumbre being down.

It’s a start! The next job will be to start cutting the grass… Mañana.

In the hour it took me to cart the eight flags from the front garden to the back and position them as required under the washing lines the workmen dug up about fifty yards of pavement, put it on their lorry and took it away, but there were three of them, and they were using a mechanical digger!

I look forward to having a smooth tarmac footpath on the road past the house, it’ll be a lot better than treading on a loose flag and getting muddy water squirted up a trouser leg and I’ve made a start on reclaiming the back garden.

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Chilli nuts? No, nut chilli

Chilli nuts are a very nice bar snack, available in most good pubs. Nut chilli, on the other hand, is something else completely!

I’ve had half a bag of mixed nuts in the cupboard for a while. It only contained the ones I don’t really like very much, the Brazils and walnuts had all been eaten. So, what to do with it? I took it out to the garage and whacked it several times with a lump hammer to crush the nuts into a suitable flour for cooking with.

I then stir fried celery, spring onion and fresh chillies before adding the powdered nuts along with a tin each of baked beans, butter beans and kidney beans. It was still a bit tame so it had a gloop each of Encona extra hot West Indian and Peruvian Amarillo sauces followed by a squirt of lemon juice and a squirt of lime juice.

Still tame…

… so I added a couple of drops of God Slayer.

That’s done the job, it is now bubbling away on the hob. It would probably bubble and steam just the same without the gas under the pan because it’s a hot one, even by my standards.

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