margeryk: (Rowing)

I've been trying to use up food in the freezer in a bid to cut our grocery bill this month. Then I splurged out on this today. Swings and roundabouts.I'd got a couple of packs of sausages out to defrost with the plan to make a toad in the hole. And there's a recipe in here so I gave it a whirl. It was awesome.Dan asked if this was to do us two nights or one and I was glee personified when I replied "One!!". We ate it with kale and mashed potato and roasted tomato. Total comfort food. Just what we needed. That's better.

margeryk: (Default)
Fortune cookie wisdom discovered whilst decluttering today (okay, I got sidetracked). My gift to you.
margeryk: (Default)
So which websites do you habitually browse? I am getting bored with the usual suspects [for me that is twitter, facebook, The Guardian, The News & Star (local paper) and goodreads]. I will still be perusing them, but want new pastures. Any recommendations?

Many thanks

margeryk: (Default)
Woke up with a grumbling headache, not too bad, but with the potential to get worse. My dad is staying with us and today we'd planned to head south to Ravenglass and catch the La'al Ratty, which is a narrow-guage railway that takes us up into the fells of Eskdale and a village called Boot. The gloomy weather of yesterday was beginning to clear up, although there was still a lot of sea mist to be burned off hanging around.

Yesterday I had hoped we'd make a swift departure for the Ratty, but what with my headache, everything was pretty slow this morning. Dad had also suggested going into Whitehaven to visit a second-hand bookshop, searching for a couple of books that he'd forgotten the details of. However, thanks to my advanced Googling skills, I was able to find their titles and authors last night, and so we knocked that idea on the head.

We set-off about ten past eleven, and headed south on the A595. Dad spotted the sign to Gosforth and mentioned the bakery that sells scrummy beef pies, I looked at my watch and saw that it was 11.45 and if he did want a pie, we would be getting there before the Sellafield rush. We decided against it and continued on.

Suddenly, there are two police cars with flashing lights - no siren- coming towards us, which I though was odd, as there is no major town south of Seascale that would have a police base, and it was too far north to be vehicles from Millom (or so I thought - now thinking on it, they could well have been from Millom). Dad spots a helicopter that seems to be following the road, right above us. He tells me it's a police helicopter which really began ringing bells with me. Cumbria does not have its own police chopper, so whatever was going on it, it was going to be bad. Generally when I see police action in this neck of the woods, I think there must be an incident or stunt at Sellafield. I wasn't panicking, but intrigued. More police cars are peeping out from every junction and every farm track on the side of the 595. Then I notice that the police down one farm track are wearing helmets and are in fact armed policemen. My mobile phone starts ringing, but it's in the boot, so I keep driving. Reckon it must be Dan with news of the Sellafield incident. Dad's phone starts ringing, and Dan is on the end of the phone, telling us that there has been a shooting in Whitehaven and that there are rumoured fatalities.

More police cars everywhere, and we are turning off for Ravenglass, aiming for the free car park. Only we don't get that far, as police are marshalling cars into the Ratty carpark and telling us to stay there, and stay safe until told otherwise. I'd joked with him as I pulled up, saying that we had to pay for our parking today. He wasn't amused.

As we mull around, Oliver plays on the playpark, we head over to the Ratty arms for lunch, rumours and news are bandied about although everyone is rather solemn and frustrated. More helicopters fly overhead, the occasional siren is heard and my mobile phone internet doesn't work. The Ratty's trains aren't leaving the station, and only one mainline train came through the station. As we finished lunch, one of the Ratty's trains comes into the station from Eskdale.

It seems that the police were trying to locate and catch a gunman who had driven from Whitehaven to Boot in the Eskdale valley, stopping off at Seascale, Gosforth, Egremont and Wilton, and shooting at will. We missed him in more than one place today, had we done things differently we might have been unlucky. By the time we are walking back to the car after lunch, we find out that he is now on foot, in the vicinity of Boot (the destination of the Ratty), and has been identified as a local man, Derek Bird, a 52 year old taxi driver. I begin to wonder if it is one of the taxi drivers I had the misfortune to use before I passed my test. The chap I was thinking of was short and had horrendous BO - when I was pregnant it was particularly awful getting into his cab.

Knowing that this chap was on foot, and a good hour or so away, I propose we head home. With a gunman on the loose, it was unlikely that the Ratty would be running any trains, and Oliver was tuckered out, so we start packing up the car. A Ratty official suggests we stay where we are until the situation is resolved, and so we wait in the car and turn on BBC Radio Cumbria. And then it all starts to make sense and the gravity of the situation hits me.

At around 2pm, the radio presenter announces that a body has been found in woodland in Boot and it is suspected to be the gunman. We take this as our cue to leave (ahead of the hoardes), and drive solemnly home listening to further developments. We pass more police outside a pub on the 595, and Dad spots a body under a blanket. That wasn't there when we drove past this morning.

Back home, and I check the net to see if my hunch about the BO-ridden taxi driver was right. And lo-and-behold I am right.

Waiting to find out who the fatalities are. As far as I am aware all my friends and family are safe. Didn't expect this today when I woke up.

margeryk: (the gatherers)
Anyone read anything by Scarlett Thomas? What would you recommend? Making a note of her name for later.
margeryk: (honeymoon) go to a salsa class wearing a skirt but no tights and your thighs chafe so much you have a rash, (or two!)


Jan. 30th, 2008 08:33 am
margeryk: (make trade fair)
I'm a virgin trifle-maker. I have ingredients for trifle in kitchen, including jelly. Should my trifle have a layer or jelly or should I stay a purist and just have fruit, custard and cream?
margeryk: (Default)
I think Natasha Kaplinksy has had her lips done.
margeryk: (Default)

You are The High Priestess

Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.

The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

margeryk: (Default)
Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,

This year I've been busy!

In February I put money in [ profile] tweesty's expired parking meter (14 points). Last Friday I helped [ profile] idioteqnician see the light (8 points). Last Sunday I pulled over and changed [ profile] bountifulpots's flat tire (15 points). In July I ruled Asscrackistan as a kind and benevolent dictator (700 points). In October I gave [ profile] valium_veins a kidney (1000 points).

Overall, I've been nice (1737 points). For Christmas I deserve a Lego set!


Write your letter to Santa! Enter your LJ username:

nicked from mashnut
margeryk: (Default)
Yesterday I mentioned to Yoko that I'd been eating the homemade hummus I created earlier this week. For anyone who might like it, here it is:

(This recipe is taken from the "World Food Cafe" by Chris and Carolyn Caldicott)

200g/7 oz chickpeas, soaked overnight in plenty of water
2 garlic cloves (although I used 3!)
juice of 1.5 lemons
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to dress
3 tablespoons tahina
ground cumin, to garnish

Drain the chickpeas and cook in plenty of simmering water until soft. Squash them between your fingers to see if they are done. Drain and allow to cool.

Chickpeas are quite tough to blend, so do this in 2 batches if you have a small processor. Put the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, oil and tahina in a processor and blend until a thick paste forms. Now add a little water, bit by bit, until the hummus becomes smooth and creamy. Season with salt to taste. Turn out into a bowl and sprinkle with ground cumin, then drizzle with olive oil.

ETA - I let the chickpeas burn dry ( a bit!) but this didn't seem to affect the taste. Also, I turned out the hummus into various pots for taking into work with me, and didn't bother with the cumin and extra oil.

At first, the hummus tastes very lemony and I originally thought I should reduce the amount of juice, however, after a couple of days in the fridge, the tastes blend better and it's not so tart.

ps - I should be watching telly, but Yak is talking loudly on the phone, so I thought I would put my time to better use too!
margeryk: (Default)
"Reading Scheme" by Wendy Cope

Here is Peter. Here is Jane. They like fun.
Jane has a big doll. Peter has a ball.
Look, Jane, look! Look at the dog! See him run!

Here is Mummy. She has baked a bun.
Here is the milkman. He has come to call.
Here is Peter. Here is Jane. They like fun.

Go Peter! Go Jane! Come, milkman, come!
The milkman likes Mummy. She likes them all.
Look, Jane, look! Look at the dog! See him run!

Here are the curtains. They shut out the sun.
Let us peep! On tiptoe Jane! You are small!
Here is Peter. Here is Jane. They like fun.

I hear a car, Jane. The milkman looks glum.
Here is Daddy in his car. Daddy is tall.
Look, Jane, look! Look at the dog! See him run!

Daddy looks very cross. Has he a gun?
Up milkman! Up milkman! Over the wall!
Here is Peter. Here is Jane. They like fun.
Look, Jane, look! Look at the dog! See him run!

(Selected from "Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis" by Wendy Cope, Faber & Faber, 1986).
margeryk: (moresby parks)
Elderberries 1

Here are the elderberries ready for processing. It took me about eight hours to separate the berries from the stalks.

Elderberries 2

Some of the berries up-close.

Elderberries 3

The pan.

Elderberries 4

The bottling process.

Elderberries 5

The final product


Sep. 15th, 2006 01:05 pm
margeryk: (Default)
Language Savvy

You scored a 260 out of 400 on language knowledge.
Congratulations! You know your stuff! You've scored higher than most people would and you probably have taken a linguistics or cultural science class to boot. Most likely you are bilingual or even multilingual. You are also probably fascinated by languages and want to learn more of them in the future. When you travel to a foreign country, you make a point to learn some of the language instead of imposing your own. It's people like you who help promote the exchange of languages worldwide. Keep it up!

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 83% on knowledge

Link: The World Languages Test written by jeremie096 on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test


Sep. 14th, 2006 10:02 pm
margeryk: (Default)
A heart that's full up like a landfill,
a job that slowly kills you,
bruises that won't heal.
You look so tired-unhappy,
bring down the government,
they don't, they don't speak for us.
I'll take a quiet life,
a handshake of carbon monoxide,

with no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises,
Silent silent.

This is my final fit,
my final bellyache with,

with no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises please.

Such a pretty house
and such a pretty garden.

No alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises, please.


Aug. 17th, 2006 12:24 pm
margeryk: (Default)
Where on the net might I find evidence of religious tolerance in modern Muslim countries?

Our local newspaper's letters page is full of rancid arguments against the establishment of a mosque in the town, claiming that Christians are being persecuted and killed in Muslim countries.

I am seething.


Jul. 14th, 2006 10:03 am
margeryk: (electric purple)
Yesterday I was looking through an anthology of poems, trying to find one to read out at our reading group meet last night. I stumbled across this one which is so pertinent to me.


There are worse things than having behaved foolishly in public
There are worse things than these miniature betrayals
committed or endured or suspected: there are worse things
than not being able to sleep for thinking about them
It is 5am. All the worse things come stalking in
and stand icily about the bed looking worse and worse and worse.

Fleur Adcock
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