Sunday, February 22, 2015

What's Next?

Sorry for the delay in blogging.  Just when I began feeling almost normal, fell back into deep depression again. But it doesn't last, so hope today I will clamber out of the pit I keep dropping into.

After watching an episode of 'To the Manor Born', thought that it might be a splendid idea for Kathryn to follow Audrey Forbes-Hamilton and start driving a pony and trap to the various localities, especially the village shops.  Would save a lot on petrol and if B & B was an occasional money-raiser, a rid in one of those would be a real bonus to the guests.

Can't say that I found the few B & B visitors we had turned out to be hard work Jane.  Perhaps would be if a regular business, but to me it was no different to having visitors.  There is a interesting series on TV re B & B's, three (or four) residences compete against each other, trying out each other's homes.  Think called 'Three in a Bed' (or 'Four in a Bed'). 

Usually, if the breakfast is excellent, everything else (dust, lumpy beds....) is forgiven.  Myself tried to serve a good breakfast.  On the long, large sideboard in our dining room (in Leeds) there was a choice of cereals, incl. home-made muesli.  A variety of yogurts, fresh grapefruit, a bowl of dried prunes and apricots soaked in Earl Grey Tea and Brandy (a great favourite).  Also jugs of fresh orange juice (with bits in - bought from our milkman), apple juice, and milk for the cereals.

Main meal could be chosen from a menu, anything from porridge, kippers, and a full English (quality sausages, bacon, black pudding, tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, fried eggs, fried bread etc) or eggs as chosen (boiled, scrambled on toast, poached etc). 
Lots of extra toast (brown, white' granary) with home-made preserves (jam, lemon curd, marmalades, also honey, served with butter - or a low fat spread if that is what was desired).  Pots of tea and/or coffee.  Probably other things but have now forgotten. 

Believe in Australia that Vegemite is a favourite spread, supposed to be similar to our Marmite Pam. Both are on sale here, but so far I've not tried the Vegemite. If any reader has, which do they prefer? Or perhaps neither.  Marmite is an acquired taste and I bet there are more people who don't like it than do. 

Having a read about a village (Caton) a few miles away from Lancaster, there was a mention of it needing people to move in who could be self-employed, also that 'rural living' was not very good when it came to the facilities (probably gas and electricity).  Sounds as though a small-holding there would be cheap to buy.

Quite a lot of people resort to using gas cylinders to heat their houses and also use for cooking, but my friend Gill (who phones me each Sunday), used to live in an old Mill House that had few facilities and they bought a second-hand French stove'range (she said it was called a 'Phoebe' or this might be spelled 'Febe'), on which she cooked everything (it made the most wonderful bread).  Every fuel you could think of it would burn, she even burned their old Wellingtons in it!!!  Gill's (then) husband used to go around the farms and offer to remove fallen trees/branches then take them home in a trailer at the back of his car and cut them up to use as fuel in the 'Febe' or burn in the fireplaces in other rooms.

Our daughter and husband - who live in Ireland (Co.Mayo) - have installed a second hand and old Irish range, this also used for cooking, and again burns almost anything, one of the main fuels being peat (a lot of peat bogs around where they live), and am sure they get a lot of drift-wood from the coast when they go for walks.  It's amazing how much stuff can be collected in the countryside that makes for 'free fuel'. 

When we had an open fire in our home in Leeds, it was often kept burning by throwing on meat bones (before and after cooking), dried citrus peel, pine cones, the wax ends of tea-lights, all would burn well for quite a long time.  Occasionally would make paper 'bricks' from old newspapers, soaked in water, then left to dry, and these too would take ages to burn through.   Those were the days.

At the moment I suppose life is too easy for me, all I need to do is go to bed at night, get up, do a few chores, watch TV, then go to bed again.  Boring, boring.  What I need is a real challenge, and am finding it very difficult to find one.   Anyone got any ideas? 

That's it for today, hope to be blogging again within the next few days (if I can raise myself out of my 'fed up-ness') .  I've yet to see any spring flowers in bloom Eileen, if the weather gets warmer may take a wander round the garden. 

Apparently America is again covered with snow (at least in some of the states), so we could be getting some colder weather.  Day temperatures here are around 9C, which sound relatively high compared to the US, although it drops below freezing at night (not necessarily in Morecambe).  My preference is to stay indoors until the outside warms up.  TTFN.