A Typical Saturday!

Most of my Saturday’s start with a trip to the shops. There is only two of us and Artie (the cat), living in the house, but every weekend the shopping bill nears or exceeds £100!! 😮

Today’s shopping consisted of buying lots of fruit and vegetables and cat treats! 🙂 People say I spoil Artie, but with a face like this, how can I not?! 😀

Artie

Artie

Usually by noon we are home, the shopping is put away and I have attempted some kind of flower display with a new bouquet I have bought!

Recent flower display

Recent flower display

We occasionally have lunch in the living room. David lets the finches come out of their aviary to stretch their wings and fly around the room. Today, Chocolate and Romeo the Society Finches sat on the sofa with me!

Chocolate and Romeo the Society Finches

Chocolate and Romeo the Society Finches

After lunch, it is all about cleaning the house. It can take up to two hours! If I am alone, it can take more! David helps by vaccuming while I do the dusting, dining room and bathroom.

If it is sunny outside then I forego doing the floors until Sunday and go out into the garden and enjoy the flowers, birds and insects.

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Today though, it was cold and cloudy so after doing the chores I listened to Classic FM and noticed a House Sparrow visiting the feeders.

After 5pm I turn my attention to the kitchen. I listen to Saturday Night at the Movies while making a start on the evenings meal. Tonight’s meal was my version of a Mexican Bean and Vegetable Soup with home-made Wholemeal mini loaves. I got the recipe from the Change for Life website/recipe app, though I adapted it.

Recipe for Mexican Bean and Vegetable Soup:

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil for pan
  • 2-3 garlic cloves crushed/chopped
  • 2 small onions chopped
  • 1 chilli chopped
  • 1 pepper chopped
  • 2 celery ribs chopped
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder (I used medium)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 850ml of vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 can mixed beans
  • 1 can sweetcorn or frozen
  • Handful of red lentils (it was a last minute addition)
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander (I got ours from the garden!)
  • Pinch of ground black pepper and salt to taste
Coriander

Coriander

Method:

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently cook the onion until softened.
  • Then add the celery, pepper, chilli and garlic and cook for 5-10 minutes (use your discretion as to when to stop cooking.)
  • Add the chilli powder and the tomatoes and bring to the boil.
  • Pour in the stock and add the tomato puree, mixed beans, sweetcorn (drained if tinned) and lentils (if using). Heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  • Add the coriander (if using) and season with some salt and pepper. Ladle into warm bowls and serve with a slice of wholemeal bread
Mexican Bean and Vegetable Soup

Mexican Bean and Vegetable Soup with Wholemeal Mini Loaves

For the wholemeal mini loaves I followed the recipe I use for easy white bread. I just changed the strong white flour for Allinson Wholemeal Seed & Grain Bread Flour. It’s delicious, I don’t think I will ever go back to baking with just white flour again!

Saturday evenings tend to be a mixture of wine and music while David often plays on GTA5 with his brother and cousin. At the moment I am reminiscing about playing Final Fantasy VII in the 90’s. The story was engaging, had a baddie that you love to hate (Sephiroth) and the music written by Nobuo Uematsu was out of this world too! You can listen to Final Symphony on Spotify, though I actually bought the mp3 from Amazon!

I shall sign off now and enjoy the last remaining light of day.

Goodnight!

© 2015 Christine Lucas

Well I Didn’t Expect that to Happen!

About two weeks ago, I  got an email from Randstad about an Access to Work booking for a client who worked in the Royal Liverpool Hospital. The work entailed reading and replying to emails, taking minutes in meetings and general admin duties for their client. I was umming and ahhing about the post for about a week before I sent in my CV. ‘What the hell’ I thought, ‘it’d be better than going on the dole!’

Then last Wednesday I had a meeting with the lady in the Trust whom the work was to be for and she seemed nice. You can imagine my surprise when about two hours after the ‘interview’ I got an email saying I was successful and the lady wanted me to start the following week!

I have now had my first three days of work in the Royal and I have thoroughly enjoyed it! It has been diverse, different from the work at the University, but ultimately I still get to meet and work with lots of people. I have been working from 8.30 in the morning ’til 2.30 of an afternoon, so beating the rush hour! I hope that the work continues to keep me occupied over the summer!

I am now sitting back and relaxing, enjoying a nice glass of pinot grigio and looking forward to a restful day tomorrow, then wallpapering in the dining room over the weekend, in the final push to get the house ‘ship shape’ before we move in!

During dinner time this evening I noticed six Goldfinch adults at the sunflower heart feeders in the yard and amongst them there was a baby Goldfinch! My first of 2013! I have not been seeing many Goldfinches lately so maybe now they have weaned their young they are starting to show them the feeders? See below for a video of the newcomer!

 

Cunning Pigeons!

The beginning of February 2012 has brought winter at last. Yesterday David and I went to Chester Zoo as we had a day off work and it is nice when it’s quiet. We saw the Sumatran Tiger cubs and Pele and Sofia out in their enclosure together (they are the Jaguars).

In the morning while getting ready to go out, I poked my head out of the window and low and behold I saw a friendly sight! The Dunnock was sitting in the cage eating the crunched peanuts I had left out for him 🙂 I was so happy to see him again! 🙂

Today, 2nd February, I have seen the Dunnock again while getting ready for work and he was eating and then singing as he sat at the top of our big tree. I went to work with a smile on my face and a skip in my step 🙂

Later on that afternoon, I witnessed the’ cunning’ Pigeons at work, showing how they have become one of the most successful species in the world! I have a little hanging house or something akin to the top of a bird table. I had bought it for the Dunnock but the Pigeons have found it out! I was watching them with glee as they flew at the house, knocking it so that it swung on the tree branch spilling its seed on the ground below! How intelligent these birds are 🙂

As well as watching the Pigeons figure out my hanging feeder, I also have a window feeder attached to our patio doors and yesterday we were entertained as one Pigeon flew onto its roof and knowing there was food in the tray underneath, was cocking his head to see how to get to the food. Another Pigeon, more intelligent than the first, while flapping it’s wings landed on the tray below the window feeder’s roof and was busily snatching at the food the other bird was figuring out how to get 🙂 It was all very comical and made us laugh out loud 🙂