Suspicious Activity Part 2

Saturday saw the Green Machine  depart on a journey of suspicious activity once again.  At precisely 3.44 in the afternoon it arrived driven once again by the Yogurt Churner extraordinaire's mother.  

Into the van this time piled Miss 21, the Automotive Engineer boyfriend and I.  We like to make our suspicious activities a full family experience and give everyone a chance to join in.

At 4 pm, this time in daylight, we arrived at the nondescript doorway. I pressed the buzzer, we passed surveillance and were allowed to pass through.  I led the way along a maze of corridors.  The walls were  blank.  There was no clue to our where-being from the surroundings.  No names on doors, no pictures, no posters.  We were let into a room at the back.

Here,  after passing across of a couple of notes and a few coins, we picked up an article and made our way back to the Green Machine.

By 4.20 we were home and carrying the van's contents into my hallway.

 Part three is on my boring blog here 

Flopping in all its Glory and many Interpretations

How has your Easter season been?  Mr Him has certainly rediscovered his interpretation of flopping.  He's flopped in the lounge on a settee, he's flopped in our bed and got stuck, again, but this time didn't need gas and air.  It was a mini flop I suppose you could say.  Myself and Miss 21 have got very familiar with my interpretation of flopping.  Too familiar. 

All floppings and various interpretations of were interrupted by chocolate on Easter Sunday.  

Storm Edna and Katie arrived and buffetted us.  Miss 21 likes to experience the weather in 4d, with a hot drink. 

My boring style blog will have pretty Easter pics if you wish to hop on over.  I will call the post, Pretty Easter Pics, to make it easy for you.

Mr Him Flops Dramatically This Year

Thursday saw me planning a happy day.  Mr Him had booked a day off work and threatened to flop decorate flop. See more on flopping here.  To avoid a hallway of grandiose colour I immediately joined him in a day off work to make sure that I chose the paint. 

He arose from bed, made us tea, stroked the cat then sent out an SOS  by text.  Help! 
Well of course I went to the rescue. I found him immobile having twanged his back.  We got him to bed, applied volterol and I went to get paint.  Now the previous day the boyfriend of Miss 21, the automotive engineer,  spilt coffee on the stairway wall.  What inspiration!  Lets have a dalliance with another dessert theme, if you recollect the Eton Mess utility room. Let's paint the hall a mocha, I thought. 

I arrived home to find Mr Him stuck. Naked and stuck.  Wedged between sitting and lying and half in and half out of bed.  Now you may well think I'd pay someone to stuck him but not when we had flopping to do and I'd chosen the flopping colour, plus he was in agony. Between Mr Him and I we tried to unstuck him.  He was not budging.  The pain was excruciating and potentially a slipped disc.  He insisted I call 999. I was reluctant but after realising he was in spasm I had no choice but to seek advice. 

A paramedic was recommended and  turned up within 10 mins.   Mr Him was coaxed out of unstuck after a cannister and a half of gas and air.  I did ask if they had cannisters for restucking if I needed it one day.  They don't. Did I think he had gone a bit too far to ensure that this Easter the word flopping took his meaning?  Perhaps.I have had a back in spasm in Spain.  I had waves of contractions and can describe it as giving birth through your back.  Mr Him told the paramedic that as an ex army man he knew pain but this had him in tears, literally.

A specialist  was   called by the paramedic and gas and air first response paramedic left. The specialists arrived in a duo in an ambulance.   They brought co-codamol, diazapam and diclofenac I had the impression that this crew were a different service to the emergency ambulance service  as they came under another service name but I'm not sure how it all works and do not know why they didn't arrive in a car like the first chap. Maybe in case they needed to transport to hospital .  Anyway it was decided it was more efficient to treat Mr Him at home as he did need treatment. 

This specialist crew can not only prescribe but have the supplies on board avoiding the need for a home call doctor, they told me.  They examined him thoroughly and left Mr Him with  prescribed medication for a number of days.

On a serious note I had no idea the ambulance service could provide prescription medication.  I am astonished and delighted with how well they sorted out Mr Him and pleased at how well an alternative to hospitalisation has been developed.  We don't hear enough about what the NHS does well. 

On the painting front I put up the first coat of paint and now feel like I'm living in a milk chocolate mousse. Miss 21 did some of the second coat on the landing.  Cutting in at the edges is tomorrow's plan. 

Before, walls of off white
The first strokes of Dulux Soft Maplewood No 5
The stairway mostly flopped in Soft Maplewood 

Clapham and New Hens

Last Saturday was a day of two contrasting halves.  For the first I donned my go-to jumper from Gap  (no, you aren't reading the wrong blog but I can't help but get fashionista now and then, and yes, every wannabe fashionista has a selfie stick )  

and caught bus, train and  legs .  I arrived at Clapham Junction around 8.30 in the morning and headed straight for Whole Foods Market here on my boring blog.  

Having stocked up on essentials I wandered down the streets of this up and arrived area enjoying the Nottinghill like ambiance. The street market of olive stalls and boulangerie counters was coming to life as vendors set out their taste sensations. 

I arrived at my friends house at 9 am for a fresh croissant and coffee breakfast. 

Not my friends house but the neighbourhood

The coffee was in a plunger.  How that taste was so much more flavoursome then the pods. I imagined my friend  cycling around this Nottinghillesque area at  8 am with a basket on his bike handlebars to collect the pastries and breads. 

After a few hours of chat with friends over this relaxed suburban village breakfast we all went our separate ways.  At home in Sussex my lunch was bits of my delicacies from Whole Foods Market.

In the afternoon Mr Him and I drove across the Ashdown forest to collect new hens.  A farmer has been desperately trying to find new forever homes for 9000 hens that are past their productive life.  This has been a nationwide campaign including TV shows.  I reserved 4. 
Mr Him capturing hens

A few of the 9000

My new hens laid on their first day at home so productive enough for me.  

By way of sealing the deal we were given cupcakes to take home with our new hens.  I see them as an edible booklet of what you too can do with your new chickens.  A unique and clever marketing ploy. 

Suspicious Activity

Dear reader, under the cover of darkness suspicious activity was undertaken last night by Mr Him,  myself,  the yogurt churner extraordinaire and his mother.  In a dimly lit street a van pulled up.  The van,  fondly known as the Green Machine,  was driven by the yogurt churner extraordinaire's mother.  Out of the van slithered the gangly limbs of the 18 year old yogurt churner extraordinaire and the full stomach of Mr Him, which so much didn't slither as flop. Yellow sodium light shed soft illumination as they opened the back of the van.  The yogurt churner approached an unadvertised door.  You could easily walk past it.  Many do. The door was flush to the wall and opened straight onto the pavement. He pressed a buzzer and the door opened.  

Mr Him, the yogurt churner extraordinaire and I carried the van's contents across the street and safely into the building. 

Next week we will do the return journey and all will be revealed.

Out on the Heath

I grew up loving my rare visits to relatives by driving through the New Forest and Exmoor. These areas are scrublands or heathlands, typically due to poor soil, and safeguarded by cattle grids.  Animals roam wild, ponies, pigs, sheep and cattle,within the gridded areas.  Villages in these pockets of heath enjoy the unsupervised meanderings of ponies on their roadways and village squares. Quaint, yes, and  also tourist attractions. 'Common land' such as this has been common or communal of the people for century's for gathering wood and bracken for fires and grazing their animals.  The poor soil means it has never been used for crops.

I have lived in my area of Sussex for 25 years and recently, to my joy, a local nature reserve of heathland has been fitted with  cattle grids and now stocked with heritage cattle, sheep, new forest ponies, wild pigs (I hope not boar but you never now).  These animals roam around the common and roadways within the gridded area as they do in the New Forest.   Its fabulous seeing this land returned to grazing. On Sunday, as I felt somewhat recovered from my infection, we took the dogs to our Chailey Common as its the time of year that the yellow gorse is in blossom.  Gorse is typical to this heath landscape along with the bracken and ferns.

As you may gather this will be a picture blog for you to enjoy our local heathland.  Sadly we didn't come across grazing livestock this visit but we will go back as its only a 15 minute drive.  In case we did come across great horned cows we kept Luna on a lead after he had had his initial run. 

On my other channel I buy two chairs here  imaginately called The Chairs

Mr Him's Retribution and My Chest Infection

Dear reader, much to my disappointment I have been ill this week.  I have been lain down with a chest infection.  It's been strange.  I have not had a cold at all, just serious coughing, headache and temperature.  This is why you haven't heard from me.  Mr Him hasn't heard from me either and is booking my next chest infection as I write.  

This has meant for my family that they cope without me.  Yes, cope, and this, a critical time in Mr Him's new eating regime.  Still he has, it appears, lost 3 lb this week, and without my help!

In my sickbed I have binge watched 'Pretty Little Liars' on Netflix.  Yes, even I am now hooked.  Oh, its for teenagers, you say! Really!   Actually I do only know about the series as my 17 year old was very taken with this series and recommended it to me.  However as soon as I put on facebook that I was sinking to such levels my brother quickly recommended Fargo, the series.  Similarities, yes, murder.  Fargo is grown up, true and quite a story.   Pretty Little Liars is escapism.  

Netflix is quite new to the UK and we don't yet have the library of the States but getting there. I've also joined Amazon Prime though and taken to downloading to watch on my commute.  I am watching The Man in the High Castle, Lucifer and Mr Robot on Prime. 

Whilst I whiled away my time with Pretty Little Liars Mr Him cooked me evening meals, again to the horror of my facebook colleagues.  Little did they know that a plateful of vegetables was Mr Him's retribution. Oh, what delight he took in cooking me up this, sweet potato, mushrooms, sweetcorn and a side of avacado. 

Luckily Miss 21 brought me morning tea and breakfast,

and with an empty house I made my way downstairs to get lunch, and take it to bed,

and the odd honey and lemon hot toddy, actually not so much toddy.

The most comforting of all was steam inhalation.  Again Mr Him tried to make me suffer but I quickly ascertained something was in the air. I was right, Vicks vapour rub by the bucket load had been added. 

Farmed in Iceland, Not.

Mr Him has taken to new style eating like an elephant to a trampoline.  He's landed with a darn great bump into clean eating.  Before landing and busting the material he decided that if birthdays are in twos and seminars in twos then his 29th February swansong supper would be in twos. He had fish and chips and fish and chips again.  Yes he cooked double. 

I asked if he'd give me one of them but he advised me that he had a separate meal in the oven for me.  He hinted my meal was accompanied with fresh sweet potato fries. All was well, or so I thought, but he went on to say it was crocodile. Yes that great, easy to come by, British traditional food, that we all have lurking in our freezer, crocodile!

I exclaimed that we didn't have any crocodile!  He insisted that we did as he did actually find this, as it happened, lurking in our freezer. We argued a bit about the existence and non-existence of the crocodile but finally I had to believe my eyes and mouth for I was certainly eating crocodile.

We eventually ascertained that Miss 21 had bought it to feed to the automotive engineer.  Well she still has one burger left to feed him.  

 I related the story of the crocodile at work.

  'where did she get it from?' was asked by a general populace of colleagues listening.

 'it's farmed,'  I enlightened them.'Iceland.'

Faces looked puzzled. 'the shop not the country,' I added on realising what was going through their heads.

Mr Him gets his Groove On

Birthday series two saw Mr Him, and this is his words,  'getting his groove on'.  We went to a local fund raiser for the British Heart Foundation. 

The town donated up to a fortune for Mr Him not to 'get his groove on.' The band tried everything from  stopping the music to handing Mr Him and everyone else lollipops to keep him occupied as the rest of us danced to 'My girl lollipop.'   I threatened that if he continued to 'walk like an Egyptian ' I'd get the next camel home. 

Unfortunately he we gyrated until midnight  and my samsung health app went into measuring frenzy mode. 

At this point we decided we'd better go  home for a cuppa to rest our weary bodies.   The next day I could barely walk downstairs.  Luckily Mr Him could and so he roasted two ducks and potatoes and parsnips to accompany green veg and we fed some young family members, Mr Him's son, my oldest miss 21, her automotive engineer and the yogurt churner extraordinaire who is now 18. I made an apple and blackberry crumble using some of the autumn picked berries and apples.  Oats were mixed with flour to make the topping. 

We had a fun conversation over the cooked fowl and then turned to a game of Cards against Humanity. What evil parents we are!

Not Satisfied with One Seminar

This week, dear reader, I was honoured to go adventuring in London. I had two seminars to attend on one afternoon (like birthdays I'm not satisfied with one). One event  was in north London and other the City.  

I planned my agenda to the minutest coffee break. First hour and a half in North London then at ten to three exactly I arose from my chair and left making my way to King's Cross. 

There the circle line carried me to Mansion House tube and a short walk to second venue in time for coffee.  

I was in Painters Hall. 

This is the home of one of the Livery Companies of city of London, The Worshipful company of Paint-Stainers. At this point you are probably impressed, or proud that your Anna is anything to do with Worshipful. I must disappoint you, I'm not. 

You can read about Painters Hall here. The list of livery companies is quite interesting.  I wonder when we'll have a Guild of Bloggers. 

As I arrived just before coffee the refreshment room was empty and gave me a perfect opportunity to capture some images for you, by camera not Paint-staining I add hurriedly. 

We had an evening meal in a similar room to this. It was business attire not black tie.

I know you're agog to know what I wore and whether I spilt drink down me.  Here it is and no I didn't.  

On my other channel Mr Him explores green veg, here

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...