Post 106. Reasons to be cheerful

Post 81 dated 20 March this year said there wouldn’t be much to talk about during the COVID season. Here we are, almost seven months and 25 posts later.

Have you all cleared space in your freezers for the ices I’m planning in telling you about? I made the mistake of ordering some dog food online without reading the small print recently. When it arrived, I found out that it was frozen, so two drawers in the freezer were out of use for a while. Amazing looking dog food, although I forgot to take a photo for you. I was tempted to heat it up and present it as supper to JD, it looked that good. I trust that you are learning from my mistakes and not repeating any of them yourselves. I’d hate to think that I’m wasting your time as well as mine.

Back at my Penguin books, the latest fashion appears to be books organised by colour (so they look good behind you when making your office online calls). This is no good, how will you know which ones are missing? I am still missing 14, I’ve not hunted for them for a while. I’ve marked up where they will go when I find them though!

Pink Post-its mark missing books

Much of the U.K. has gone back to restricted freedom. We were lucky enough to be able to spend a weekend in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight with some friends the other week. There’s a shot on the header here. I think it was the last week before the weather broke, we now have to drive through large puddles whichever way we turn. I mentioned that Yangtze had given us some presents: two of them are coming in useful now that the rains have started.


I managed to get an X-ray on my thumb the other week as it was clicking and very painful, followed by an actual visit to see a GP! Yes, they are still out there. He diagnosed trigger thumb (I’ve had trigger finger in the past that was not painful and cleared up). Am I trigger happy? Not any more, I had a steroid injection either side of the tendon and am now pain-free, feeling better than I did 20 years ago! Looking at the causes, although there is no one obvious reason, my tendency to fall over and land on it may have contributed.

Rain protection ready

In other news, President Trump tested positive for COVID, was taken to hospital hours later and declares himself cured by God (and some wonderful experimental medicines). Back in Blog Post 100 (24th July) I mentioned my lack (possibly) of Neanderthal genes. This week I read that Neanderthal genes could be linked to your susceptibility to COVID. Maybe ‘The Donald’ doesn’t have Neanderthal genes either.

Determined not to be outdone, Adie returns this week as well. The photos are too gory to show you. She somehow managed to rip a toe nail off completely; imagine taking off your fingernail. However, as JD says, where there’s no sense there’s no feeling (back to the Neanderthals?) so we didn’t realise anything was amiss until we saw the bloody footprints all across the kitchen floor. We found the nail by the outside cat-flap (used by the dogs) so can only assume that she was in such a tearing hurry that she tore off her nail. A trip to the vet, a course of antibiotics and all right as rain.

JD on the IoW (no Adie)

Not quite suitable for a “small, small world” post but I had two coincidences recently. For the first, I was reading ‘Murder and Mendelssohn’ by Kerry Greenwood, which features his ‘Elijah’ oratorio. I turned the radio on and guess what was playing. This is the last of her ‘Phryne Fisher’ books which I may have mentioned before. There’s been a Netflix series (which I’ve not seen) and a film, again not seen.

For the second, my mother did a lot of painting in the last few years of her life (she’s been dead more than ten years). We have a few framed and hung here, but my brother had most of them. I brought them back to have a look through and spotted one with the title ‘George’ which featured two sailing boats, look at the colour of them! She always referred to herself as a white witch, maybe she was able to see into the future?

Grannie Annie’s painting

Enough spooky stuff, JD bought himself a new toy this week. The Dawson Chipping Company will be coming your way soon!

Building a Chipper

I was about to stop there when it occurred to me that I’ve not given you the frozen cocktail recipes. These came about after I tried to poison John’s mam when she stayed with us. I told you about the first mocktail in Post 104 dated 16th September. I omitted to say I’d made a second, mainly of pink grapefruit juice. The first medicine I ever worked on, cyclosporin (for transplants), showed a nasty interaction with grapefruit juice, raising blood levels of the drug and leading potentially to liver or kidney damage. In my defence, it was a LONG time ago, so I’d forgotten that this interaction happens with lots of other more common medicines as well, including one that Nancy was taking. So, I had a lot of fresh grapefruit juice left over which might not keep. I know, let’s make a sorbet. Take some pink grapefruit, add some Campari and sugar, dissolve and freeze. As I had some grapefruit syrup from a while ago, I used this instead of dissolving sugar. Very refreshing in the middle of a meal: we had it during the Chinese banquet that George and Yangtze cooked for us before they returned to London. Then I decided to make an ice cream with the damsons I’d picked so added sloe/mulberry gin, and finally, using some local strawberry and tarragon gin I’d bought, a strawberry and tarragon ice cream with the left over ‘garnishes’ from the G&T we’d had. All delicious.

Grapefruit and Campari sorbets

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