Sunday, 23 September 2012

Stress? What is stress?

My life over the past month......two weeks of harrowing jury service which I have always wanted to do and then, when it came to it, I despised every minute. I was seriously confused at one point who the actual criminal was! I was actually told off for being late one morning! The judge presiding over the trial I was on had told us the night before to be back in court for 11AM to continue deliberations.The general rule, unless told otherwise by a judge, is that you have to be there for 10.15AM.  So at 10.12, I stood outside the court, having a last cigarette (because once you're in, there ain't no getting out) when a security guard came out and told me I had to be in the jury room NOW.

The snotty juror officer (who is allegedly there to help jurors) ripped into me as though I had committed a heinous crime! My pointing out that by her own clock I was still not late did not help matters and eventually I walked off to my locker, leaving her still ranting.

So what was this dire emergency that meant I had to be in the jury room earlier than I was told? I'm still not sure and seeing as myself and my fellow jurors were still waiting to be called at 11.30, I don't suppose it was all that dire.

I did have a legitimate excuse - I had been awoken at silly o'clock by a poorly Misty who had a tummy upset and needed cuddles but I saw no reason to make excuses for NOT being late. Fortunately Misty is now over her tummy upset, jury service is finished, I didn't get found in contempt of court for the crime of not being late but the stress at the end of that episode was overwhelming. I tried hot baths, good books, lavender oil on the pillow, but nothing helped. I wish I had had this stress pack from Find Me A Gift but never mind, I got through it and so I'm entering the competition to win it for the next stressful encounter I have.

Link to competition:

Monday, 6 August 2012

Misty is supporting TEAM GB

Despite being Tibetan, Misty has decided to get behind Team GB - unfortunately she has the flag the wrong way round, but I'm sure we can forgive her! She is only a puppy!

Please excuse the random junk in the background, but when you see an opportunity for a cute photo, you just have to go for it!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Misty wins a prize!

I follow Munajuree pet shop on Twitter. A couple of weeks ago, I saw they were running a photo competition for cats and dogs. Well, I couldn't resist entering the yawny puppy photo. Yesterday, I received a "tweet" telling me that Misty had won! She has received £25 to spend on treats for herself!  So proud of my yawny little curly girly!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

My curly girly develops her own sense of style.

Her first "formal" portrait, aged six weeks old.

At seven weeks old, she developed her own fashion sense and took offence to my socks.

"They've gotta go!"


"Hey, Misty, what do you think to my dress sense?" I asked.


Thursday, 29 March 2012

Date and Walnut loaf

This is my Date and Walnut loaf recipe. I found it fun to make, tasty and fairly easy but the best part was the SMELL when cooking. It FILLED the house! It's an old-fashioned, traditional British loaf that goes very, very well with a cup of tea!

There's the finished article - it didn't last long so I'm glad I took a couple of  pictures for posterity!


240g ) Medjool dates (pitted and halved)
310ml  water
100g dark brown sugar
80g butter (chopped up)
300g self-raising flour
1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
2 eggs
100g roughly chopped walnut pieces


Preheat the oven to 170c

Take a medium sized sacuepan and add the:

Put over a low heat and stir until all the sugar has dissolved.

Bring to the boil.

Turn the heat down and simmer the mixture for a couple of minutes.

Pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool for 15 minutes or so.

Whilst you're waiting for the mixture to cool,  brush a loaf tin (mine is a 10cm by 20cm tin) with a little melted butter.

Sieve the flour and spices into a separate bowl.

Lightly whisk the eggs.

Add the eggs to the (cooled) date mixture.

Give it a good stir.

Pour the date mixture into the flour/spice mix.

Use a wooden spoon to ensure it's thoroughly mixed.

Finally, add the walnuts and stir gently but thoroughly. If you are too vigorous, the walnuts will crumble to nothing.

Spoon the mixture into the greased loaf tin and bake in the centre of the oven for about an hour. I began testing mine with a skewer after about 50 minutes of baking. When the skewer comes out clean and the cake feels firm, it's ready to take out.

Turn the cake onto a wire rack and try to resist it for at least twenty minutes.