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

My Weekend Starts….Here..! :)

Phew! What a week! I worked a full three and a half days! Believe me, my body has not been used to doing that for a good many months!

I worked my three days at the Royal Liverpool Hospital, meeting many company representatives and people who work in the admin side of Supplies and Nursing in the NHS and on Wednesday I ‘chief’ invigilated my first ‘big’ room exam! I usually specialise in ‘extra time’ exams for students with disabilities but this morning from 10am to 1pm I ran and conducted a medical exam for 20 students! To say I was amazed at myself that I could stand, talk and direct more than 20 people is an understatement. I really did not think I had it in me to stand before people and talk aloud! I am more stronger, more confident than I give myself credit for. I am surprising myself more and more as this year progresses. I always thought myself as shy but maybe I am now, finally coming out of my shell to fulfill my potential???

But today is Thursday and I have Friday and the weekend off! The UK is supposed to see some sunshine and summer like weather again, so I am hoping to spend tomorrow sunbathing before cheering on Andy Murray in his Wimbledon semi-final! On Saturday I hope the sun continues to bask down upon us and my family can enjoy a BBQ. Well that is what I have planned anyway!  🙂

Below you will find two videos I have uploaded to my YouTube channel recently. One is of baby Goldfinches I videoed on Tuesday evening around 7pm. They were making a right racket and the rest of the ‘charm’ were all eagerly gobbling the sunflower seeds on offer in my garden.

The second video is of my Bengalese (Society)  Finches, Chocolate (female) and Romeo (male). This is the first video I have made of Romeo since Caramel passed. (I still miss her.) I think Chocolate is cursing my name as since getting Romeo, he has not left her alone! It is pleasant of a morning to sit listening to him singing. Now, Thursday evening as the sun sets, it is nice to see them finally bonded and sitting on their rope swing together.

Hope you all enjoy the weekend wherever you are! 😀

We have a leak! :(

News from the weekend is that we found a leak in the ceiling of our guest bedroom. The leak is coming from a shared chimney stack we have with our neighbours. We have had the roofers out and they are coming some time this week to re-point the brickwork, but ultimately the stack needs to be taken down. 😦

On a more brighter note, I saw a lone Wren in the garden this evening. Below is footage I took of one last year!

We have had many Goldfinches, Pigeons and Starlings visit over the weekend as well as two Blue Tits and a Magpie. 🙂

The Phantom of the Opera and Home made Custard!

It’s been a busy weekend!

As the title suggests David and I went to a packed Liverpool Empire to see a new production of The Phantom of the Opera. I have seen the musical twice before and wanted to share this with David. I think he was impressed with the stage design.

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On Friday I was invited to Gary (David’s twin brother) and his wife Bilgen’s English wedding celebratory party. The evening went fast enough, but I realised I have nothing in common with anyone! 😦 I came home with balloons and white roses which dressed the tables. It was such a shame to waste them!

Sunday, and I was determined to make a nice rhubarb pie, (after last weeks tart didn’t go to plan). I also decided to make alongside the pie, home made custard with milk, eggs and a very expensive vanilla pod! The result was lovely! 🙂 I will definitely make it again! 🙂

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The day before, after coming home from the Empire I made ‘slow roasted salmon with red wine barley‘ though it wasn’t as tasty as I had hoped it would be, but we have to try these things to see if we like them!

News on the wild bird front: Yes I am still feeding them! The Chiffchaff was spotted in the tree Sunday afternoon, though the Pigeons and Goldfinches chased him away!

It is David and My, seventh year anniversary tomorrow (Monday), I can’t believe how quickly time has past! It seems only like yesterday when he was picking me up from my street corner in a blizzard to see a particularly bad Jake Gyllenhaal film in 2006!

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 🙂

Mr. Dunnock has left my garden :(

Over Christmas I was delighting in the feeding of my local garden birds, though I had a hoard of Pigeons and Starlings, I did have a lovely faithful Dunnock and several Blue Tits.

Since January, a Robin has been on the scene and now after a little respite last week of the Dunnock visiting every morning at 8.45am and singing so beautifully, he has not been seen since last Friday 😦 I am gutted.

Yesterday, all I had visiting were two faithful Blue Tits, and the Robin. I am going crazy with the Pigeons getting into my ground feeder defender which was supposed to keep them out and to protect the little birds, but every day without fail the Pigeons have been entering the cage and eating all the seed!

I’m using Bill Oddies autumn and winter seed at the moment and it states on the packet that it has seeds that are less appetising to pigeons. Wrong!

I keep hoping every morning that I will hear the sweet song of the Dunnock. Let’s hope he visits tomorrow.