Archive for July 2008


July 30, 2008

Look at what R found on the driveway when he came back on his scooter last evening! He kept this prickly baby in a box, fed it grape and cereal and only showed it me this morning after he declared, “I have a little surprise!”.

We found the baby hedgehog, which looks like a floor brush and is only slightly smaller than a $10-note, fast asleep in the box. At the moment, it’s still dozing in the garage and I haven’t seen its face yet, but hopefully when the nocturnal creature wakes later, I’d be able to take a good look at it.

We went out to buy some cat food for it, and plan to release it to the wild when it eventually comes around.

Oh I’ll miss cute Hedgie! Too bad we can’t keep him.

Rolling in the river. Wye me?

July 28, 2008

How should I start…?

We were just slowly paddling down the River Wye when we hit the rapids at a wrong angle and our two-man canoe capsized. As I went down under, our aluminium vessel flipped over and hit me above my left brow. Fortunately the waters were only up to my knees and I quickly picked myself up.

Cold, sodden and shaken, I looked around for R and the canoe and saw that they were a few metres away at the side of the river. I picked up my paddle and tried to walk on the rocky riverbed toward them. A fellow paddler came to tell me R panicked when he couldn’t see me and wanted to know if I was alright.

When I got to the canoe, some other paddlers were trying to scoop the water out. R lost his glasses when he fell into the water and got pushed downstream by the canoe. We also lost one of the cushion seat pads and his paddle.

Later when we got in and continued our journey, we saw that the other few boats with his colleagues were waiting somewhere nearby to see that we were OK. They also managed to pick up our missing paddle. But R was quite blind without his glasses so I had to navigate us through the rest of the course.

Thankfully it was a very warm and sunny summer’s day so though we were wet, we weren’t cold. Despite our accident, we enjoyed meandering down the dark green river with mallards, swans, ugly ducklings and soaking in the beautiful scenery, as well as soaking in our clothes.

It took about 5 hours to complete 20 kilometres downstream and by the time I got back in the afternoon with a wet bum, swollen forehead, bruised leg, very sore and tender arms, thoroughly soaked and possibly damaged camera and phone, I just collapsed and slept.

A few hours later when I woke I discovered I was hot and a bit sunburnt (I know, how ironic to do that in the UK!), and I could not move my arms without cringing. There was a little crater where I knocked my eyebrow. Feeling quite ill and horrible, I popped a few Panadols.

Luckily much of the swelling and aching have resolved this morning but my electronic equipment has not sprung back to life. R has better luck. His phone is at least working, he’s found another pair of glasses in his cupboard and only had minor cuts and bruises on his body.

“Hey what shall we do next week? Skydiving?” he joked. No, you know what? I think I’d stick to baking.

Happy Birthday, R

July 26, 2008

It was R’s birthday yesterday so I spent the afternoon baking 20 vanilla cupcakes with strawberry buttercream icing topped with chunks of strawberries, chocolate shavings and cocoa powder. He took it to the hospital to share with his colleagues.

We thought the icing turned out really well but that the cake could be softer and more moist. Never mind, I’ll work on it but my next project would be fruit enzymes and strawberry jam!

Soaking up summer

July 26, 2008

The weather has been amazingly wonderful and warm this week so we went for a walk in the countryside just minutes away from home. I met a boy and his beautiful 11-year-old chestnut horse and also sneaked up to a herd of dairy cows standing in the fields. I wish summer lasted longer!

Garden Treasures

July 26, 2008

I found a lovely lavender shrub growing near the pond. Crushing it releases such a wonderful fragrance. Really handy to be able to pick it just from the back of the house!

R saw some frog spawn in the pond some months ago and look what we discovered in the garden when we turned on the hose and watered the plants the other day. Loads of cute froglets hopping around and into the pond. I managed to catch one, no bigger than my very small nails. Grribbit.

Oat and Raisin Cookies

July 21, 2008

The oat and raisin cookies were a hit. I am so pleased that they turned out so delicious the first time I made them. OK, I burnt the second batch because I got glued to the computer but thankfully still made enough to go around.

Found the simple recipe on a bag of Scottish oats and improvised it. They are quick and easy to make so here it goes:

Oat and Raisin Cookies


230g self-raising flour

100g whole rolled porridge oats

100g caster sugar

pinch of salt

1 tablespoon honey

A few tablespoons of milk


In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, oats and salt. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the honey, raisins and sufficient milk to form a stiff dough. Knead well. Place small spoons of the mixture on a lightly greased tin and flatten. Bake in a pre-heated oven 190C for 10-20 mins until lightly golden. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Not so desperate housewife

July 21, 2008

He came back from the hospital after his shift last night and I had his dinner waiting for him. I made haddock and mash.

He hung his coat on the door and said to me, “Hey you know there’s this old lady on the ward who’s been there for months. Suddenly out of the blue today she said to me, ‘Ah you’re looking well! You must be courting!’ How odd!”

We laughed and he had his food after washing up. I’m enjoying cooking dinner and baking cookies while he’s at work. I also try to tidy the house a bit but frankly there isn’t much I can do as most rooms are still unfurnished and the kitchen has yet to be put in.

So this week, I’ve been moping around, reading in bed, going to the supermarket, preparing meals and snacks and waiting for him to come home.

I’m also recovering from a mild case of urinary tract infection (first time in my life and it’s no fun at all) and the antibiotics just make me so groggy that I stay in bed all afternoon. So I’m really like the housewife who does not do housework. Or more like – no housework to do.

Well I’m not sure I’d like to stay this way though I do enjoy having the time to do what I want.

I feel pressured to find employment quick because “doing nothing” isn’t exactly what I want to say when I meet people, because I don’t think my family think “doing nothing” is such a good option, because I do prefer to dress up and get out there and earn my own keep, because I don’t know if I’d like to be a housewife, yet.

He’s been very nice about it and wants me to find something I really like, and not do it just for the money. He said, “If you don’t find anything, or don’t want to ever work, then I’ll support you.”

I think that’s very reassuring so I am taking my time to look for something I like and making it a priority to focus on getting the house in a liveable condition.

It’s nearly eight o’clock in the evening and the summer sun is shining on brightly. It won’t get dark now till about ten. But the British weather is unpredictable. All could change as you turn your back.

I don’t find the unknown or such unpredictability exciting, I am just curious to see how it will all turn out.