ME and Ophelia

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

It will be a lovely Christmas

Frost this morning here by the seaside. Now it is foggy and cold. White-out. Cannot see the sea, sky or horizon.

Ophelia's been out on patrol, eaten, done licking her paws and manicure and is nodding off in her chair by the fire. It's her winter bed now. Two knitted mohair cat blankets on cushion with soft baby blankets folded over wood arm rest - other side needs no insulation as it faces the fire. At the moment it's 2.19 in the afternoon. We are nice and cosy and warm. Our seven new windows make it more quiet too. Can't hear the sea at all.

I'm propped up on the couch with a load of feather pillows and feeling the pain of extra household activities and forward planning. Fortnightly delivery of fruit and vegetables arrived yesterday. Today, my lady J sorted it all into five clear "click-and-snap" storage boxes in the fridge; prepared fresh grapefruit and orange juice. 2 lbs of fresh purple sprouting brocolli and spinach were parboiled and are now cooling in portion size boxes ready for the freezer.

This morning, I phoned our local butcher's shop and ordered a fresh 8 lb turkey. It will be delivered at 8.30 am on Monday, 22 December, together with my order of six filet steaks, four pork chops, 2 lbs each of streaky bacon, best pork sausages and minced lamb. The butcher is a two minute walk from here. He is very good and bags up and labels everything into portions, ready for the freezer, and delivers it straight to my kitchen counter.

Half an hour after the delivery, J will arrive to organise it into the freezer, prepare the turkey and stuffing, and pop it into a hot oven. When it's cooked, all I need to do is switch off the oven, open the oven door, cut open the tinfoil and allow it to cool in the oven overnight. Same with stock pot of giblets, vegetables and herbs for the gravy and soup stock. J can prepare the pot for simmering while she is here. There's no central heating in the kitchen so when the stock is ready all I need to do is switch off the hob and leave it to cool.

Next morning, Tuesday 23 December, J will be here at 9 am to carve the turkey into portions for the fridge and freezer; sieve the stock, prepare gravy and set carcass for simmering with stock in a 10 litre pot. Past few years I've used Delia Smith's recipe, which I'll post here to share with you. That way, it will be easier for me to look up next year, along with this schedule.

On Wednesday 24 December, J will arrive at 9 am to sort and store the fortnightly fruit and vegetables delivered the previous day. J will then prepare a white sauce, and vegetables for the soup and meals. Parboil potatoes ready for roasting Christmas Day. Roll tiny meatballs from the fresh sausages - ready for soup stock, after it has been sieved clear. Add vegetables to the stock for simmering. Cool and sort portions for fridge and freezer. The soup should be pureed in food processor but that won't be possible timewise. I've improvised by adding the tiny meatballs. So, any time visitors turn up hungry and not fancying any turkey, I'll have plenty of hearty soup to offer with chunks of freshly baked wholemeal bread from my Panasonic bread maker.

Also today, the last of the Christmas cards were addressed, sealed, stamped and posted. Took me since October to organise it and the addresses. J has entered them into a book for next year - by which time, hopefully, they'll be entered into the computer for printing off onto sheets of sticky labels.

This is the first Christmas I have not sent handwritten notes. By December 1st I had written 120 cards and envelopes but not managed the notes I had planned. Thank goodness for the laptop. Printer ink was low. Used 8 pt font, to fit onto twenty A4 sheets which made cutting the strips more fiddly. Friends are sending me two sides of an A4 sheet of news inside their Christmas cards. Here's the measly little note they're finding in mine. Thank God for this weblog!

Ingrid Jones - address - England, UK.
Telephone: [--] - apologies if this is often engaged, it usually means I am online.
Mobile: [--] - is always near me and switched on, so I can go offline and call you right back on the landline.
E-mail: [--] Weblog:

Greetings, I hope this finds you well. Please forgive this typed note. Last year I managed to send Christmas cards with a handwritten note. This year, I ordered the cards and stamps in good time. Two months ago I started working on addressing the envelopes. Today is 1st December, the deadline I set for posting the cards. This note is to say sorry, as much as I would love to, I am unable to handwrite messages in cards this year, just your dear name and mine with love and kisses from Ingrid and Ophelia xx

PS Since the arrival of my new laptop in June I have created a weblog with the aim of updating it on a daily basis as a way of keeping in contact with people and maintaining my computing skills. Please look in or email me anytime. I’m always here! God bless.


Have you ever wondered how many humans have lived?

Apparently, Carl Haub has the answer: 106,456,367,669.

Saw a hot chick on the bus this morn

Here is an extract from a post by Tony Pierce at Bus Blog:

Saw a hot chick on the bus this morn. She was clearly eating cherries. As you know, there is no eating, drinking, or loud music allowed on the bus.

You're not even supposed to have unnecessary conversations with the operator, but hot chicks can get away with whatever they want.

I've never understood that.

Do we as men really think that if we're simply nice to a pretty girl that she will become overwhelmed with the desire to procreate with us?

I seriously think we do.

Source courtesy of Jay McCarthy

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 12/10/2003
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