A Delayed Easter

It's been a while.  I've been busy having back ache. I have also had  Easter. I know it's perhaps a bit yesterday to talk of Easter but that's all I have to talk of at the moment, unless  you want me to talk of ligaments, discs and ibuprofen with a side order to heat packs.

Mr Him decided that he was not cooking this Easter.  Excusable as he does normally do the roasts. So I volunteered the family.  Clever that. 

However I did put the chicken in the oven with butter and herbs.  Then I went to the huge effort of lining up the young adults to prepare the veg.

Miss 22 peeled and washed potatoes. 

Miss 18 chunked them for roasties. 

Mr 26 prepared the sprouts and showed the girls how to do them.  He did say,  ' yes, I can't believe it myself.'  The reason for the disbelief is that  Mr 26 couldn't cook an egg barely when he moved in. Mr Him taught him sprout preparation a couple of xmas' ago and now that's his routine task. 

What did I do?  The chicken. Plus sliced butternut squash.  I cheated and bought the squash pre-sliced.  Hey, it works!

Any guilt was soon disregarded as the girls equally soon got bored and re purposed the kitchen into a skating rink as seen on this video

And that was Easter accompanied by chocolate. 

Steam Trains

Dear reader,  you'd think I'd have had enough of trains with my work week agenda of commuting so to spend a day on them for fun would lead you to think I'd lost my marbles. Maybe I have.  Living with Mr Him would do that.  However in this instance there was a very good reason for such marble lostness.

Our Friend Brave was still with us Saturday morning.  I know, I know,   his bravery knows no bounds.  However we had booked tickets to see the iconic  Flying Scotsman and to ride other engines, which outweighed enduring Mr Him.  You've heard of this iconic engine no doubt.  The first steam engine to reach 100 mph and to cover 422 miles non stop in Australia.  It's covered ground in USA and Canada too. Have you ever seen it?

I took this shot of it as it passed through a station on Saturday. 

I also took this shot of Stepney,  who was having a break from Thomas for Easter. 

We took a ride on another engine to East Grinstead, not the Flying Scotsman sadly, despite Mr Him's voice on the video below.

and here are the pics

on the train

Listen to the chuff chuff on the video below

We were in the first carriage so got a good view of the steam too here

This is Horsted Keynes station. 

spot Houdini's luggage

Horsted Keynes ticket office

The station was used in Downton Abbey.  Horsted Keynes and Sheffield Park stations are both now heritage stations and only service the steam trains on the Bluebell Line.

However the Bluebell line was once part of Britain's rail network joining East Grinstead with Uckfield and passing through Newick and Chailey.  The railway in Britain suffered a major reduction in the 1960s sadly and since then the roads have become busier.  There is a plan to extend this line into Haywards Heath which would then mean there would be a direct rail link between Haywards Heath and East Grinstead, and yes it would be steam.  Can you imagine commuting by steam train every day?

Anyway, time for you to sit back and enjoy the pictures of stations,  memorabilia, trains
and my lunch.

my lunch, pie and mash

control room

Sheffield Park station

luggage display at Sheffield Park station

a locomotive in the shed

Horsted Keynes station in old Southern railway colouring


wouldn't it be good to eat here

I hope you enjoyed the trip.  We did. 

Easter Stroll and Carry to Car

On Friday our 'friend brave ' came to stay with us. He was the one with the courage to join Mr Him on the John Soanes trip recently.  We took friend brave to wander around a village very close to us, Cuckfield.  Pronounced 'cookfield'. 

Our wander took us to the church and I was entranced by the ceiling.  Cuckfield church dates back to 1200.  More information here   

I noticed that the houses in the church courtyard had decorated for Easter.  This is so rare in the UK that I've never seen it before.  It's like the number 9 bus,  you never see it then 3 come along at once.

A Stroll of Lostness in the back lanes behind the church and we saw an orchard in blossom and further along this old shepherds wagon. 

A pretty walk on a pleasant Good Friday.

In the evening we showed our Friend Brave how to shop in our town.

and the service offered by the supermarket after a visit to the winebar.   I think he will visit our town again.

Terry, Gandalf and the Lucky Man - a Pub Visit

Dear reader,  what do Terry Pratchett, Lord of the Rings and the Lucky Man have in common.  The answer magical fantasy in the East End of London, so we discovered.  

But first a walk around the docks and a peek at the narrow boats.  

We were in the Limehouse region of London.  The weather was sunny and warm.  The populace were out absorbing the solar energy whilst they could. 

During our stroll we came across this boat made to be a Trucker of Terry Pratchet fame and called the Great A'tuin

and a lock (just because its the epitome of British canal systems.)

We strolled on to The Grapes (a pub) which was dog friendly indicated by a bowl but we didn't see any. 

What we did see was Gandalf's staff from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  This is no mock up or copy.  This is the real deal.  How?  

The tenant of this pub is Sir Ian McKellen. What better way to use film memorabilia than display it behind a bar for all to enjoy.  I was surprised at the height.  Hard to show you in a picture but looks about 7 foot tall.

We had a drink and bowl of chips then moved on to explore further.

Next stop The Narrow.  A bar and restaurant sitting alongside the Thames.  Quite the place in the know given its popularity at 6 pm on a Saturday afternoon.  Although the weather would have helped. 

I enjoyed my first Aperol or two of the year talking to my friend and Mr Him with a backdrop akin to the opening scenes of Lucky Man.  

Chihuahua Therapy

Work has been so hectic for everyone in the office recently that I decided it was time for chihauhua therapy.

This involves... well I'll let the video on the link below tell you.

Introducing the adventure


The work day begins

Time for walkies

 More laps to sit on 

Time for a snack

Waitrose Happy Air has Arrived in Town

Following on from Miss 18 giving me a bottle of champagne I found alcohol thrown at me from the most unexpected quarters all week.  It was all most enjoyable.

I was given a bottle of champagne from a committee that I have served on for 8 years in the city of London.  When I say champagne I do mean champers and not other bubbly forms such as Cava and the like.  I really could get used to this. 

Then our new Waitrose opened on Thursday and happy air arrived in town.   I wrote of the happy air that would be coming to town here.  I now know from whence the happy air derives.  The Wine Bar located in the store!

Another thing I could get used to. 

Other bits we found in Waitrose.

Steam punk bulbs

A supper club

Easter eggs

Rather nice ready meals

The wine selection

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...