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Monday, 27 November 2017

Puppies, Pets, Nut Roast, Arundel By Candlelight and other Stuff

I've had animals before.
But never very young.

Mostly rescues.

Judy was an RSPCA rescue dog.
One week away from..well you know.

Proved to be quite a character.
Her hatred of postmen was legendary.

When I adopted my son... .Judy was his best friend.

Jay was going through a huge transition.

Imagine...from one home, in this case a foster home, to another.
Another family...another town, the way of life, values.

 Even how people cook is so different.

Jay was four and a half, bewildered, and.... truly amazing.

He coped well, but there were moments.
Sometimes he withdrew, other times gently sobbed.

And there, through it all, was Judy.
A friend he could put his arms around and tell how he felt.

Whisper softly in ear,
"I feel a bit cryey."

By then we had also taken on the mad Honey

It wasn't planned
We went round to have a drink one evening with
 parents of friends Jay was making at school.
Get to know them, was the idea.

Came home with their Afghan.
And no, we weren't inebriated.

They had rescued her.
But she was proving hard work for a family with 5 children.

We soon loved her and she and Judy got along well.

The sadness we felt when Judy died was awful
and we put all our energy into Honey.

Well, she certainly needed it.
Would disappear for hours on a walk in the early years.

Then as she grew older...when we walked, she
just wanted to sit down on the Arundel riverbank path.
.......And  wait for us to come back.

After a few years, it was me who needed
to wrap my arms around a pooches neck.
Tell her all about separation and divorce.
Cry into her soft fur.
outside our house at the time in Tarrant Street Arundel

I was working at Sion school in Worthing at the time.
Running a veggie lunch bar.

A large black and white stray cat
lived in their boiler house.
Snow was on the ground.
It was bitterly cold.

Well, you get the picture.

As I brought her into the front door,
Jay said
"Oh, Mum, why have you brought a cat home? I hate cats."

By the next day, he had his arms
 wrapped around Jess, the black and white cat.
Who was also called Fatty.

Dog and cat snarled at each other on meeting that first time.
It was only days before Fatty was curled up asleep next to Honey.
They became great friends. 
for obvious reasons
By the time Jay and I lost Honey I had met Nass.

Nass loved her as much as we did.

When he stood by the vets table for the last time,
 he returned home with red eyes.
"No more pets, it's too sad."

But we hadn't counted on a friend bringing us a kitten

Another animal to bring us joy.

Chloe, AKA Bella,
died very naturally about three years ago.

21 she was.

Did all her routine things and just lay down and quietly left us.
We were devastated.

Our neighbours who also loved her
 came in that evening to ease things.

As we raised our glasses and said
"Cheers Bella."

We all looked at each other as we heard,

Just once.

"Did you hear that? Or was it just me?"
Everyone nodded with tears in their eyes.

I'm not even going to try and explain it.
There were no cats in the house.
Outside the doors.
We checked.

So that was it.
"No, no, no, no more."

We occasionally look after next door's cat.

A cat called Mouse.
Well known in the street.

makes himself at home

Lies in the road holding up the traffic
 before looking at drivers with disdain and
 nonchalantly walking away.

If he had fingers.
Well, you get the idea.

Dogs cross the road.

No house is safe.
We joke..... if he could wear a collar with a camera 
we would know what goes on in
 about 20 of the houses in our street.

Makes me think of Macavity in Cats

Well poor old Mouse is a bit miffed.
Once a regular and welcome
 visitor we've asked him to keep a distance
Just for a while.
The reason?


We were going to Portsmouth.
About 3 weeks ago.

To buy for the shop.
Not all antiques... but some great pieces by Sussex artists.

Our friends spaniel had just had puppies.

"Lets just drop in and see the puppies."
 "Just to look. Just to say hello."

Long and the short of it?

She came last Sunday.

So the first week with our new buddie.

We've been told socialise/socialise/socialise.

So that's what we've been up to this week.
That and house training.

Considering it's only been one week she's been pretty amazing.
Loves meeting other dogs, going to the shop.
Cuddles from everyone.

Oh, and she loves the White Hart pub.
I think it will be her local.

Nut Roast

Our friend Amy came over yesterday.
To socialise.
With her dog Clint the daschund.
And yes, he was named after Mr. Eastwood.

After a short puppy type walk.
Amy, Clint and I walked from Arundel to Burpham and back.

It's the most lovely walk.
About 8K

You can get a map at Arundel museum for the Arundel walks.
Muddy at the moment.
But beautiful.
And yesterday was a glorious crisp sunny day.

On the way back, the sky towards Crossbush looked stunning

The line of trees a silhouette on the horizon

Somewhere along the way, we were talking about nut roast.
Who knows why.

How it was very much a veggie staple years ago.

Not so now.
But I still love it.

I was vegetarian chef at West Dean College years ago
 and it was a real favourite with the students.

(West Dean is an extremely upmarket college for mature students.)

Amy was saying about the fiddly recipes to make it.
And how loads of them have cheese in.

By the time I got home I could think of nothing
 else to go with the roast Nass would be cooking later.

He's very much a carnivore so had his meat sorted.

Pulled out some of my old books.

I still occasionally use Cranks and Rose Elliott books.
Makes me feel nostalgic.
I wanted to make the nut roast quick.
Whatever I could get at the local Co-op.
Minimum fuss.
Minimum dirty pots.
And it had to be tasty.

So the books went back on the shelf to gather more dust.....
and I made it up as I went along.

In the magimix I threw an onion and two carrots cut up roughly.

Wizzed it up a bit.

100g bag walnuts.
100g bag almonds
               100g bag unsalted cashews.

Wizzed some more

Threw in 
400g tin of tomatoes (as I had no stock)
2 free range eggs
about 80-100g wholemeal bread.
with a small handful of fresh rosemary from the garden
I love sage but only had dried 
handful of that.

Yep...wizzy wizzy.

Put it into a loaf tin
baked it 200 for about 20 minutes
Took it out, covered it with foil.
Put back for about 25 minutes.

Let it stand for a few minutes and turned it out.

oooh that roast was gorgeous and the nut roast with cranberry sauce

I cut it into slices when it was cold 
and put in the freezer ready to pull out individual portions.

Latest Antiques

Few of our latest stock items.
English and French decorative pieces.

Arundel By Candlelight

This Saturday in Arundel.
It's busy.

I'm telling you there are moments you can barely move.

Exciting and fun though

We will have a stand in the town square.
With all our Christmas cards, Arundel notebooks and diaries
even Arundel wrapping paper this year.

Hope to see you there
Have a great day

Open Fri Sat Sun 10-4
other times by chance or appointment

All contact details on website