It’s Monday folks!

A weekend is supposed to be a relaxing time when you are able to be free from work/ week ties and basically have a good old rest to recharge your batteries! Unfortunately this wasn’t the case this weekend for us, as I may have said last week my father in law was taken to hospital for an urgent operation which he had on Thursday afternoon. In the meantime Mother in law has gone to pieces, so we have in effect been ‘granny sitting her’.  She is unable to do anything basically, due to her osteoporosis and her nerves. But the problem comes is when we try to do something to help – it isn’t good enough. For example, I thought I’d help out by cooking some cheese on toast (I’m not particularly able-bodied myself). So I promptly put six slices of wholemeal bread on the grill pan; only for mother in law to snap at me informing me that the slices should be turned the other way! Another incident was when my wife was ‘putting the clean washing on their airer, she naturally put then over a rail; mother in law snapped into action again “No, they go over two rails” and promptly took over the task herself, while trying to find energy and strength to stand! And in the early hours of Sunday morning she was taken by ambulance to A & E. They said she has mild angina and she was released.

So you’d think with her two siblings and three grandchildren the care of them would be pretty regulated and easy? Wrong. The two brother siblings of my wife, can’t do anything as one works full-time and it’s understandable as he works long hours. But the other only has excuses, and here are a couple of them: “I can’t stay with my as I got to write my shopping list!. “I got to go at 8am as I have a lot to do (washing for one)”. And “I can’t ring up to find out how dad is because I don’t like hospitals”!  You may be asking what about the grandchildren? Well, they aren’t bothered with their grand parents as they have never ever been there for anything for them, and like I say and believe “What goes around comes around”.

Friday’s visit to the practise nurse went OK. She doesn’t think it’s infected (which is good), but took a swab just in case. She says the smell is probably from the dead skin that clings to the area. I need t re-attend next the surgery next week, and book an appointment at the Prosthetic clinic.

In another news I have started another trial of the Graze box (Use code 2F7MT6RD for a FREE box), in my box this time I had delicious Jaffa cake (Nuts raisins and a few giant dark chocolate buttons), White chocolate raspberry cheesecake ( white chocolate buttons, raspberry’s, cranberries and hazelnuts) and two other delicious cartons!  I used them as a treat when having the chocolate buttons (not all have got chocolate in though), even though they might only have three or four buttons in.  was offered three boxes at half price, which I will use and then cancel again.

I have forgotten how many times I have lost money on the lotto, in fact I do it online automatically and in the past six month to a year I have won a staggering £8.50 all told! I keep waiting to get the finger pointing at me and the deep voice saying “It is you”…

If you fancy a ckae why not try this one for a rich fruit cake ring:


* 85 g (3 oz) dried cranberries
* 85 g (3 oz) sultanas
* 85 g (3 oz) dried pears, chopped
* 85 g (3 oz) stoned prunes, chopped
* 85 g (3 oz) dried figs, chopped
* 85 g (3 oz) stoned dried dates, chopped
* 250 ml (8½ fl oz) apple juice
* 50 g (1¾ oz) pecan nuts, chopped
* 50 g (1¾ oz) candied ginger, chopped
* finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
* 5 tbsp sunflower oil
* 1 egg
* 75 g (2½ oz) molasses sugar
* 115 g (4 oz) self-raising white flour
* 115 g (4 oz) self-raising wholemeal flour
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 2 tsp ground mixed spice
* 3–4 tbsp semi-skimmed milk, as needed

# Place all the dried fruit in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the apple juice, place over a moderate heat and bring slowly to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 3–4 minutes or until the fruit begins to absorb the liquid.
# Remove the pan from the heat and leave, covered, until completely cold. Stir in the pecan nuts, ginger, and lemon zest and juice.
# Preheat the oven to 150ºC (300ºF, gas mark 2). Brush a 23 cm (9 in) ring tin with a little oil. In a bowl, beat together the sunflower oil, egg and sugar until smooth.
# Sift the white and wholemeal flours, baking powder and mixed spice into a large bowl, tipping in any bran in the sieve. Add the soaked fruit and the egg mixture, and stir well to combine thoroughly. Stir in enough milk to make a fairly soft mixture.
# Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake for 1¼ – 1½ hours or until risen, firm and golden brown, and just beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tin.
# Leave the cake to cool in the tin for at least 1 hour before running a knife around the edge and turning it out. Wrap in greaseproof paper and foil, and store for 2–3 weeks before serving, to allow the flavours to mature.
# To decorate the cake, gently heat the jam with 1 tsp water, then press through a sieve. Brush the top of the cake with the jam. Arrange the cherries, nuts and candied ginger on top, pressing them gently into the jam. Finally, dust with sifted icing sugar.






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