Wednesday, 6 April 2016


I left you at the end of last month with high hopes for March, but the first couple of weeks were not so good.

We attended the funeral of our sister in law's father, someone who we had known for over three decades. Brian was a generous man who loved, and was very proud, of his family. He enjoyed a good joke and each time we met would try and tempt me, a long term vegetarian, with bacon sandwiches!
Our fondest memory of him, and his wife Pat, were when we were sailing. They'd made several trips to the Caribbean over the years and were visiting St. Lucia when we, unbeknown to them, were in the area (we were aided and abetted by their daughter). Even better, their hotel had moorings just off the beach. We picked up a buoy, dinghied in and invaded their peaceful holiday. Brian (and Pat) could not have been more generous, inviting us to stay for dinner and plying us with rum - it was a magical evening.

The following morning it was our turn to be surprised when Pat turned up at our boat, courtesy of the hotel's tender. Brian had remembered us saying that books were like a currency to cruisers, when you met new boaters the first question was 'what's your name?' and the second 'have you any books?' Brian had remembered this and had sent Pat across with all the paperbacks they'd brought on holiday. It really was a lovely gesture and typical of Brian. He will certainly be missed.

The month also kicked off with a very poorly Mortimer who managed to ingest something toxic. We're not sure what exactly, although there is a possibility it was a daffodil bulb. He had been sick on the Friday morning as I left for the day and by lunchtime Andrew knew there was a problem as Morts was not even keeping water down. He whisked him off to the vet and it was quite a shock when we were told he had to stay in overnight, possibly two, and remain on a drip. Apparently his liver was functioning at ten times its normal level. As you can imagine that night was horrible with my imagination running wild, thinking I wouldn't see him again. Fortunately he improved and we were able to collect him on the Sunday morning, although he was still poorly ( however quite impressed with his diet of chicken and rice). A week later his liver function was still higher than normal but had reduced significantly. Here he is on his return looking sorry for himself.

And here he is, feeling better but also looking out of sorts as Andrew had bought him a waterproof coat. I love the four square planted legs "I'm not going anywhere in this!"

The month did eventually improve. Work continued on bedroom four. We've given ourselves a generous timescale this time, we'd like to finish mid-May so we can then move on to the outside - knocking down part of the garage-workshop and re-landscaping. We are on track and have reached decorating stage, that relentless fill:sand:fill:sand:fill:sand that I think will never end.

I also managed to spend a few enjoyable hours in the kitchen over Easter. I used to try at least one new recipe a week but that has slipped so I thought I'd make a bit of an effort over the holiday break. I am a Pinterest follower and this recipe popped into my inbox and looked interesting. I particularly liked the fact it had walnuts in it as we still have several pounds of our own from last year. Andrew is not overly fond of gnocchi but with this recipe you fry them off which makes them crispy and not stodgy. It turned out to be very tasty (although the recipe photograph is much better than mine- they really are the same dish!) Oh! if anyone is wondering arugula is rocket.

Gnocchi with walnut pesto and rocket
I hope everyone enjoyed their Easter break and I'll be back next month.