The one with the sombrero and Woo-woo

Dear Reader, Mr Him advised me earlier this week that  we were to go on a date night on Saturday. The appointed day arrived and I used my nails varnish from favourite channel, bathed in rose bath milk, (amongst our managerie we don't have an ass) and since Wednesday I had been plastering myself in a face mask  in preparedness. 

We went to a local,  if you call a train trip local,  Mexican restaurant. 

Starters were frozen strawberry daiquiris with a side order of me wearing a sombrero. Handily the restaurant scatters 'help yourself to a sombreros' around just in case you get the urge to dress up.  Mr Him got the urge that I should dress up. 

 Mr  Him's main was chicken skewers and peppers (no carbs please note dear reader). Mine was a burrito, now with a side order of me wearing a moustache.

Dessert was a delicious popcorn cheesecake which I couldn't finish and I was given a doggy bag with extra chocolate sauce to take home.  To my relief the only side order was a woo-woo and didn't involve dressing up, mainly because the waitress misunderstood him and brought me a cocktail.  Thank goodness. 

I did wear the blouse, and it did make an appearance on facebook. You are to be impressed by the fact that I have made such frequent use of this blouse over the last 6 weeks. 

The Underhand Revenge of the Groceries

You may wonder what made me explore the online world of car parts and groceries at the weekend.  It's a sorry tale, well I was very sorry and so was Mr Him when he found himself on a protein diet.  The tale I will now tell. 
To great gossip our supermarket has lost its frontage, backage and aisledge.  No walls what's over.  In less than a week it had turned from aisles of cabbages and king size sheets  to aisles of cable stalactites. I know this as I've glimpsed inside the carcass that was Oh Great Supermarket,  the Temple of Chocolate and Sauv Blanc. 

I had a plan though cunning as it was,  to go under cover of darkness to the neighbouring town and borrow their supermarket.  It would be a covert and quick operation.   A TVshopaholic could surely pull off such a feat when it involved purchasing.

Dressed in grunge and carrying concealed shopping bags up my jumper  I slipped into my reconnaissance  vehicle which was conveniently smeared with mud.   All the better to slip into the carpark unnoticed.  My car refused to start.  Not even a whimper. I had stalled at the first challenge.  

There was nothing for it but to phone a friend and get a lift to nearest drinking establishment and ponder how to advance the extraction of groceries. 
A  Baileys and sambucca, goodness knows why, later, I had hatched grocery retrieval Plan B.  This was clearly the drink of inspiration, or delusion.   

Plan B was simple but sharp.   Text daughter and organise a lift to next town for dawn raid.  

All was well and the plan was on target  up to the point the clock struck dawn.  At that precise moment  the Baileys struck .  I had been the victim of  a cunning and evil preemptive strike.  The Baileys tore into me all morning and Plan B had to be abandoned. Once I recovered from the underhand and surprise attack of the creme liquor,  around midday, I realised I was beaten.   I was not going to be able to borrow next town's supermarket.  

I needed to investigate other solutions to the status of empty fridge.  It was time for surrender to  online supermarket shop .  Dear reader,  you know the outcome of this. Suffice to say Mr Him is still enjoying his South African protein cereal to build his stamina and sporting prowess.  ( see Motor Parts and Groceries)

As for the car, the young online shopping genius lent me her automotive engineer who told me the alternator had gone in the car. Again I surfed the net and ordered the appropriate part. 

That dear reader is why I'm a TVshopaholic, albeit with the flexibility to explore online and my deal local supermarket when it's necessary.  Dealing with real life 3d shopping in pastures new last weekend merely caused me to enter into subterfuge only to be beaten by the underhand revenge of the groceries by Baileys Most Foul.  

The current status is that an alternator is in a box in the hall, the automotive engineer is due tomorrow if young online shopping genius gives him freedom and I am about to open laptop and submit another online grocery order.  

Motor parts and Groceries

This week dear reader I ventured into a new arena regarding my purchasing.  For the purists among you this may not count as it wasn't from my favourite channel.  However I am not a purist by any feat of the imagination and my favorite channel won't sell alternators however much I email it.  

Yes, I decided I was so successful at TV and online shopping that it was time  to venture into online car repairs. I am now the proud owner of a new alternator.  

Next challenge is to order an automotive engineer to fit it!  I'm hoping.the young online shopping genius can help me as she has  one. He doesn't come from China but she might keep him in her Ottoman.  In fact looking back on it may be it was two Automans she had wanted not Ottomans.  Oh well I'm not sending them back.  

My other dalliance was ordering my weekly groceries online.  There was something deliciously decadent about receiving a text at 8 am on Sunday telling me my shopping had been packed and was on its way along with Dan, phone number provided to me.  

Oh yes decadence indeed that whilst I slept in on Sunday someone other than me was wandering the corridors of washing up liquid and toilet duck on my family's behalf.  

Dan was due between 9 and 10. After delays in traffic and a flat tyre ( I pointed Dan in the direction of online car repairs)  the groceries trundled up my path at 12.30. 

Mr Him had kindly stayed at home to await the wandering groceries whilst I went out for brunch with relatives. 

He was none too pleased that they were rather tardy arriving not to mention that the cereal I had ordered for him was a South African protein powder to increase his performance,  endurance, survival and sport.  Dear reader, I must confess that I did also aquire for him online a jog around a park.  He can now run around a park at 9 am every Saturday wherever he might be in the world, work or holiday.  He is not yet fully delighted but once the slimline svelt Mr Him breaks out I will be. 

To my credit,  I did bring him home 2 sausages and a bacon slice from my plate, along with a hashbrown which to his dismay I gave to the chickens, advising him that he was on a protein diet, one which to that point he hadn't realised he was on. As if the cereal wasn't a clue!

As a side note I wore the zero cost per wear necklace to brunch which ruined my maths. Cost per wear is now in the region of £30.  I haven't decided whether this makes brunch expensive or the necklace.  There's only one thing for it,  to go to brunch every Sunday and wear said necklace.  There's no need for us to both suffer the diet Mr Him is now on.

Coup in the Coop and other chickens

Dear reader, this week I acquired two chickens.  One was a present from the online shopping genius.  This was from the garden centre and not flown in from China.  It sheds a floral display upon the pavement at night.  The other aquisition will be  in huge trouble if she sheds a floral display instead of eggs.  

 Chicken keeping is not new to me, I am an experienced chicken whisperer.  This started a few years ago when I aquired  two 'point of lay' chickens, Cluck and Scratch.  I need only wander into the garden with a bag of corn and they were genuflecting at my feet.  

 'Point of lay', I saw the point but they didn't.  I whispered, I coaxed, I said please, I demonstrated and  I even placed golf balls into the nesting box as encouragement but lay to them had an entirely different meaning especially if the sun was out.  Oh those two were living the life.  

Then one evening in that summer  My Him showed them red and white cardboard box and miraculously out popped an egg. Cluck was in business.  Scratch followed pretty quickly. 

The summer rolled on and the chickens made themselves at home.  

Yes accidents happened, we left coop shut and kitchen door open and I learnt that chickens improvised.  

As  you would expect from an expert shopper as myself not any hen house would do.  No, I had to have the best for my hens.   I bought the 6 by 6 of the coop world.    I bought  'The Cube', and it was on wheels.  My chickens could go on tour around the lawn. 

However, despite their camper-van existence Scratch one day went on an away day to our neighbour's garden and decided to stay for a sleepover in a hedge.  A fox found her. 

Cluck needed company so I purchased  a Black Rock.  She was big, she was pushy and she won the Battle of the Pecking Order.  She was also a rebel.   The acquisition of  'Big Rock'  was the start of Mutiny in the Coop.  We found ourselves living Animal Farm.   Big Rock refused to lay an egg ever again.  To make matters worse she  extended her revolt by pretending to be a cockerel.   Her dawn crow was enough to bring the garden to a standstill.   Even my washing refused to billow in the wind when  Big Rock crowed.  The revolution grew and Cluck  joined the uprising. She began to lay eggs without shells.  

There was nothing for it but a retirement home.  One day I boxed up Cluck and Big Rock and drove them to a chicken retirement home on Romney Marsh.

On the return journey I picked up two more layers.  

These two I named Chocolate and Caramel.  

They liked to nestle in the herb bed and make themselves oven ready to tease me.   They gave us two years of egg production together and not a sniff of insurgence. 

This summer Caramel became poorly.  I tried to perk her up with a spa bath knowing that every female likes a bit of a pamper.  She soaked  in a bucket of  Epsom salts  but to no avail.  She died in the summer.  Chocolate  bravely put aside grief and supplied us through the autumn with produce from her rear.  In return we decided it was time for a new friend for her.  On Thursday we aquired a Susssex and called her Allsorts.   We will be on the look out for insurgence but for the moment even the coop ladder has her in a panic.  

Disclaimer .... I have never purchased a chicken from my favourite channel. 

Elegance by Fudge

I understand that there is to be a chocolate shortage.  Do not panic ladies and gents I come to the rescue.  That craving may be satisfied and set a sophisticated tone at the same time. Impossible you say, no, not all impossible.  Read on and see how I achieve elegance by microwave. 

I have taken to serving fudge if we have guests.  To me its lazy poshness.  It makes me appear chic, and means I can avoid making a dessert. 'I have some homemade fudge' I  say to discerning vistors, 'would you like some?'  As soon as the words leave my lips, with a Queen's English inflection, I feel myself take on a gracefulness. My neck becomes aristocratically long, conveniently smoothing out my wrinkles,  and my chin tips up ever so slightly.   

The fudge kit is a purchase I am avidly making use of from my favourite channel.  I enjoy both the consumption of said fudge and the elegant affect it has on me. 

So taken am I with the fudge that I have some step by step pictures to share with you for your salivating enjoyment.  I have not included photos of my elongated neck nor elegance of posture.  That can be left to your imagination. 

Firstly, I use a bit of water, a bit of butter, the packet of fudge mix  and the instructions

I pour fudge mix into my stand mixer bowl with melted butter and water.

I choose my stand mixer head, after stroking mixer a few times of course.

I set my mixer to whir and make a breadcrumb like mass, 

I put the mass in a microwavable bowl and melt the mass to a goo

The goo is then rotated around the mixers bowl again.

After a bit of heating and rotating some more its ready to tip into the supplied container for setting.

After its cooled I cut it and then leave it until I need to serve it.  That means hiding it in a cupboard.

Back up a step! Who said I leave it?..No I test it.....a couple of times to be sure.

Then I securely wrap it to avoid temptation.

Later when required I serve it to guests, using an elegant stance.

and watch it disappear.

Episode Two of many installments...The story continues

Realising how eager you will be for further installments to previous episodes I have  dedicated this page to providing you with the answers to what happened next.  

Of course you know that some knee high indigo sheepskin boots arrived for me.   The new slimmer more feminine foot is everything I wanted it to be, elegant with a touch of wool.  So far they've cosseted  my toes in the  fridge section and whispered calming safe words when I visited the hive, which should not be underestimated . 

More of my daughters winter wardrobe arrived from China and she's experimenting  with styling it.  Shall I wear it with a dog or without a dog?  

Difficult question to answer but I advised that maybe she could carry a small dog in a bag just in case.

The ottoman is a cause of envy in the family. Oldest has asked for two for her birthday. No doubt to store her Chinese winter wardrobe in.


Youngest has not asked for an ottoman.  We have given her a training bin instead.  We hope to take the stabilisers off in a few weeks and let her have a grown up bin

Mr Him and I have made excellent use of the stand mixer  to make, no invent,  a rhubarb sponge pudding between us.  

To be served with hot custard, of course, a British delicacy.  I will provide our recipe for the rhubarb pudding if you ask nicely.

I have not visited a hive again.  I have not worn The blouse again yet but as it's not been on Facebook there is still the opportunity.   The black tie shoes are boxed and back in Mr Him,s wardrobe, along with a boxed Lulu G bag.  He has a new Ottoman.  

The Glamour Wars in London with a bonus underground train

I was invited to a black tie dinner in London which took place on Thursday.  The proximity of such date caused me to realise that my black tie shoes (see the little bows) were not in the Ottoman. 

 I dug around in Mr Him's wardrobe and found them along with 2 pairs of boots I'd forgotten I had.  Yes I had invaded his space.  No man's wardrobe is his own.  Any man, living with a woman,  who thinks otherwise is very much mistaken and better order themselves an ottoman.  Mr Him has!  

The shoes were bought 7 years ago and have the occasional outing for black tie events.  When I purchased them pointy toes were in,  during their life pointy toes have been out but I wore them nevertheless. Now I'm delighted to find pointy toes are back and I was right at the forefront of fashion.  Dear reader, you are to be impressed by the canniness of my shopping once again.  Also do note that I have kept them carefully in the original box. 

On the night I adorned myself in finery, a Ronnie N dress,  then sprayed a mist of perfume and was dropped at the station by Mr Him.  I carried further finery in my rucksack,  shoes,  jewellery, business cards (fresh clean ones not the curled at the corner ones) and Lulu G evening bag. 

At Victoria I passed a queue for free something.  What shopaholic wouldn't join such queue immediately!   I did and was thrust an open can of cola life.  This I knew would be a disaster.  It was bound to splatter over my Dennis B coat on the escalator.  I just knew it.  I drank quickly to avoid such disaster and found that by the end I had an entirely different sort of disaster.  I can tell you that by the time I had been jiggled down the escalator to the tube platform I was glad of my Oh so slim lining.  (we affectionately call the underground trains the tube in the UK.)

The hotel was in Lancaster Gate.

My first stop was the ladies or restroom to unpack my further finery and transform from flats and rucksack lady to Glamourpuss.  Judging by the thwacks, clouts and almost total collapse of another cubicle door I wasn't alone, someone else was having a violent dispute with glamour and not winning.  As an opponent Glamour should not be underestimated, I warn you now.   Another lady had a complete suitcase opened out on the floor.  She had brought full heavy duty armour for her match, she was going to wear 'long.'  Having slipped on my heels and organised my clutch bag I left declaring myself the winner in that day's  'Gladiator time trials of Glamourisation.'

Gliding into the hall I accepted, of course, the proffered champagne and found the balloons of green that I was to stand under to attract my hosts.  Immediately I felt at home when a lady in an evening gown, admired my bag.  Its Lulu G I proudly declared,  'I know,' said the gowned goddess of glamour as she showed me hers.  We were immediate friends bonding over red statement Lulu lips. Mine had collagen injection by the bucketload.


Then under inflated numbers, we ate duck, sea bass and sorbet

and played American raffle.  This is where you put your ticket against the prize you wish to win unlike English raffle in which the same tatty box of toileteries circulate from raffle to raffle.

The one with a Blouse and Roast Potatoes

Over the last few weeks I have been out to eat 3 times and efficiently used the same blouse.  Don't panic, ladies.  I realise this might bring you out in a cold sweat but   I wasn't having pictures taken for Facebook. I am on a mission to fully use my purchases if you recollect.  So relax, still that pattering heart and be thankful you aren't on the same venture. 

On one occasion this blouse was styled ( fashion blogger speak) tucked into skinny jeans.  Well modern tucked,  the back out and front in. This was for a casual meal in our local pub at halloween with Mr Him.   (the blouse is George S from The channel for those interested.)

I also wore it with black skinny jeggings for a Chinese meal celebrating a relatives 17th birthday.  

This wasn't all mine and to take the pic I was suspended from the ceiling by a handy belt loop on my jeggings.  Now I know what those loops are for.  Don't ever cut them off ladies, you never know when you might need them. 

Last Sunday I wore the blouse with a suede skirt (D&G) from a thrift shop as pictured above.  

The meal on Sunday was a roast at a carvery. 

There is a chain of these particular carveries in England and basically one says yes Yorkshire pudding, yes turkey,  bring it on roast parsnips,  pile them high roast potatoes, load my plate carrots and vegetables.  Then we submerge the food in gravy and dollop breadsauce and cranberry as topping.  With forklift trucks on standby we take our plates to the table. 

This is all mine. 

What's a Yorkshire pudding?  This.

A huge puff of batter and air  mix traditionally served with roast beef. 

What's roast potatoes?  This. 

Potatoes boiled, shaken around to make fluffy,  submerged in fat and put in the oven to part burn to crunchiness. 

That my friends is Traditional British food. 

That is also why I am wearing the blouse so much now, whilst it still fits me.

Making of Rhubarb Gin

How I made Rhubarb Gin and Mr Him does a BBQ See he's still being sensible. Maybe I should pour the gin down him! No. That would be a...