Tuesday, July 31, 2012

At the beach - July 22nd 2012 (FD)

As I've mentioned over the past couple of days, when Kelly, Kero and I went to the beach for the air show, the weather was beautiful! And I think everyone around here must have agreed, because at least most of the people in the area were either at the Pirate Day event or along the seafront itself!

There were people enjoying drinks at the cafe that's along the seafront, and on the benches along the promanade.  The play area that's down at the edge of the beach in Hastings was full of children playing, while their parents were nearby.  People were sunbathing, or just hanging out on the beach itself.  Others were walking dogs of various sizes; great big ones, and little tiny ones.  And still others were out in boats fishing, while gulls circled nearby waiting for the fish to surface in hopes of grabbing a quick meal.

It was a good day; fun, and beautiful weather! Of course, with the fact I hadn't been walking much in the couple of months before it (because of the anemia issues; dizzyness, etc), I was exhausted and in pain by the time I got home.  It was so worth it though!

Anyway, I managed to persuade Kelly - who was in charge of the camera because of the pirates and planes - to grab some photos for me, and here they are...

People enjoying the beach:

Seagulls flying about:

A tiny little dog someone was walking, which we thought was seriously cute:

There was a great big dog we liked too, but we didn't think to ask if we could get a photo of that one until after we'd put some distance between us (we were going one way, they were going another).

And here's a photo of me and Kero :

I hope you enjoyed the photos! :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Red Arrows' air show

So, why were Kero, Kelly and I heading to the beach on the 22nd of July?

To watch the air show, of course!

The Red Arrows were doing an air show above Hastings for the first time in - if my sources are correct - 25 years, as the grand finale for the olympic celebrations in this area.  We wanted to be there to witness it, so we made our way along the seafront, photographing pirates as we went, so as to be on the seafront near Hastings in time for the show.

It was a perfect day for it; the weather was beautiful! And it was an awesome show (even for someone who couldn't see)!

Kero was an angel, and I was so proud of him!

His ears were constantly up and down (down means he's afraid or unsure, up means he's curious or happy) but other than that he was fine.  He wasn't trembling, and his tail wasn't tucked under him, so I think he was more unsure than anything.  I kept giving him ear rubs and reassuring him the whole time though, just in case.

Anyway, while I was in charge of making sure Kero was doing OK, Kelly was in charge of the camera.  So, here are the photos he took:

A couple of times they came so low over where we were that I almost felt I could have reached out and touched them...

Near the end of the show they did the sign for the olympics in the sky...

Then a heart...

I thought afterwards I could have used my phone to get an audio clip to go with the photos, but it was too late by the time I thought about it... We were at home by then and the show was long since over!

I hope you enjoyed the photos though!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Pirate Day 2012

Sunday July 22nd was this year's Pirate Day.

Yes, that's right... Pirate Day!

See; here's the posters that were up for the event:

It's an anual thing, apparently.

People gathering together once a year to try and break the world record for the number of people in one place in pirate costumes.

Seriously... That's what it's all about.

Apparently they broke the record a couple of years ago; 2009 or 2010 it was, I think.


We didn't find out about it in time to be able to sort costumes and join in; well, Kero has his bandanna, but Kelly and I don't have anything pirate themed we could wear.  But we went down the beach - well, we were going for something else anyway, we just left a bit earlier - and grabbed some photos of some of the pirates who were hanging around there.  I know a certain new online friend of mine who would have been very disappointed if we hadn't. ;)

So, here are some of the pirates who were near the beach when we got down there:

Next year we're hoping to actually go and take part!

It was a nice day to be down the beach; beautiful and sunny! I bet you're wondering why I said we were going there for something else, eh? Well, guess what? I'm not going to tell you.  Well, not today anyway.  But if you come back tomorrow you'll find out! ;)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Mad Tea Party 2012 (FD)

I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date.
No, wait, I have the right time and date; I'm not late!

And you aren't late either... You're just in time for tea...

Ah, perhaps we'll use the kettle instead of the teapot today; the teapot appears to be occupied by our friend the doormouse.

I suppose she thought it would be safer in there?

Willow chases anything smaller than herself (which is most things) so she's probably right. I mean, if the squirrel chasing attempts are anything to go by, Willow enjoys chasing rodents...

I think I'll let the doormouse stay in the teapot where she'll be safe.

But what about the tea?


Not to worry, I'll put the kettle on.

And while I do that, why don't you help yourself to a mushroom pasty; I have several in different shapes and sizes... Take as many as you like!

And how about a choco-hat cookie? Or maybe 2?

Don't feel pressured to take both; if you just want the cookies, go for it, if you just want the pasties, that's fine too.  In fact, if you just want your tea that's also fine!

I can offer you cheese and crackers or something if you're in need of something to snack on while you're here though...

And, if you don't want tea, we have orange juice, water (flavoured and unflavoured), coffee, herbal or fruit teas of various flavours, milk, or cocoa.

Oh, and I have ice-lollies in the freezer if you'd prefer one of those... Plain fruit ones, or ones with ice-cream in them...

Just let me know what you'd like, and I'll see what I can do for you.

OK, now we have the refreshments sorted out, how about some entertainment?

I'm not good with party games, but I personally enjoy a good story telling session, and happen to think that nothing goes better with a cup of tea and a tasty snack than a good book!

How about we take turns reading something?

What would you like to read?

Perhaps "Alice In Wonderland" or "Charlie And The Chocolate Factory"? Or maybe "Carrie's War" or "Goodnight Mister Tom" are more your thing? Or perhaps the poetry of Robert Frost? Or maybe "Wuthering Heights" or "Oliver Twist"?

Ah, but maybe you'd prefer something newer? If so, may I be so bold as to suggest my own works?

"Mr. Pumpkin-Head And Other Poems" is a collection of 40 of my poems, and until the end of this month is available half price with the coupon code "SSW50" on Smashwords; bearing in mind the usual price is only $1.99 anyway.

"Witchlet" is a chapter book (AKA very short novel suitable for children as well as adults) about a young witch seeking acceptance in a world that views witches as warty old women. That one too is usually $1.99 but on sale with the coupon code "SSW50" at Smashwords.

"Bluebell The Fairy Guide" is my newest publication. It's a fairy tale about a little blind girl who gets lost in the woods, and a fairy named Bluebell who needs to figure out how to help her get home. This one isn't on sale, but at only $0.99 it's not that expensive anyway.

To see more details for, or take a look at free samples of - or even buy copies of - any of my books, you can either click on their titles, or go to my Smashwords author page at http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/toriz. "Mr. Pumpkin-Head And Other Poems" and "Witchlet" are also available elsewhere - though "Bluebell The Fairy Guide" isn't yet - and you can find out where by checking out my where to buy my books page.

But, hey, if none of those appeal to you either, we can do something else... You're the guest, so you get a say!

Perhaps you'd prefer some music?

I have all sorts ranging through country, oldies, pop, a bit of stuff that's just instrumental, and some rock too.

Or we could play a game...

Ludo? Snakes And Ladders? Scrabble? Something with cards?

Or we could do some crafts...

Oh, wait, I know...

Let's go check out the other parties going on! I bet they'll have something fun to do!

They'll probably have some more tasty things to eat too... Mmmm!

Yes, let's do that!

Click on the banner below to check out the rest of the mad tea parties going on around the web!

And, thanks for visiting!

P.S. My friend Parsley is also holding a tea party this weekend, so scroll down to check out yesterday's post for a couple of tasty recipes!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Willow's World: photos and weight

Hi humans, this is Willow. OK, so there I was, laying on the sofa taking a nap and minding my own business, when the humans started taking photos of me. How rude! But since they took them I thought I might as well show them to you, so here they are.
Oh and I went to the vet on Wednesday to get weighed again. I don't know why the humans are so interested in what I weigh but there you go. Anyway I still weigh 45.5 kilos, which means I neither lost nor gained anything.  That's a good thing right? I mean, the humans say I need the weight off, but with the Tori human not being well walkies have been shorter since the Kelly human has had to take first one of us then the other, so with the fact I haven't been having the exercise I should, staying the same is good, right? Lots of licks, Willow

Tea With Parsley and me (FD)

Grab yourself a cuppa, and make yourself comfortable.

No, not because this will be a long post, but because my friend Parsley over at Seasons Of My Mind has invited us all to spend the weekend sharing our favourite recipes over a cup of tea (or coffee, or something else even, I suppose, if you don't drink tea).

It didn't take me long to figure out which recipes I wanted to share.

Oh, yes, I did say recipes... Plural! You see, I've decided to share more than one recipe with you today. The reason being that I think both go well together.

So, make yourself comfortable with your prefered drink, be it tea, coffee, or whatever, and enjoy!

This is my very favourite dessert in the whole wide world... Rhubarb crumble! If I could only ever have one type of dessert I'd pick rhubarb crumble! For one thing it goes well on its own, or with custard, or with ice-cream, or with cream. For another thing, it just tastes so good! Anyway, here's the recipe:

Rhubarb Crumble

1/2 cup butter
4 cups diced rhubarb
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour

1. Wash the rhubarb.
2. Cook the rhubarb on a medium heat until tender.
3. Mix together the butter, sugar and flour.
4. Crumble the mixture on top of the rhubarb in a baking dish.
5. Bake in 350F oven until warm and golden brown.
6. Serve warm on its own, with ice-cream, with cream, or with custard.

And here's something that will go very well with it...

Banana-Yoghurt Ice-Cream

3 bananas
450 g low-fat natural yogurt

1. Peel and slice the bananas and put them in a large mixing bowl.
2. Mash well with a fork until the lumps have gone.
3. Gradually add the yogurt and beat well with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth, runny mixture.
4. Tip the mixture into a plastic freezeproof container.
5. Cover with a lid and freeze for about half an hour until half frozen.
6. Tip the half frozen mixture back into the mixing bowl and whisk with a balloon whisk for about 2 minutes.
7. Return the mixture to the container.
8. Re-freeze until half frozen again and whisk for a couple more minutes.
9. Tip the mixture back into the container and freeze for at least an hour.
10. Remove from the freezer half an hour before serving.

Now, hop on over to Parsley's blog and see what other yummy recipes people are sharing this weekend!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Here comes the train... Choo-choo!

When Kelly, Kero and I came here in October we took pictures of just about everything throughout our journey.  But by the time we got off the last train we were too tired to think about getting a photo of it so you could see the other train too.  We've been on it and past it several times since we live near the station, and use the train to go in to Hastings, but we always either forget to grab the photo, or find we forgot to take the camera with us.  Well, Kelly was crossing the bridge as it was about to come through the tunnel the other day, and actually had the camera with him, so - remembering that I'd said I wanted a photo of it - he grabbed this photo for me to share.

OK, so it might not be the exact train we came down from London on, but it would be one just like it, and Kelly used this one to go to (or come back from; I forget which) Hastings, so it counts!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The story of the cat and the squirrel, revisited

Some of you may remember that back in December I... Er, I mean Kero... Told you about the story of the cat and the squirrel. Well, we got a picture of the cat that very day, but we didn’t get one of the squirrel, and I was determined we would get a photo of it. The squirrel, of course, had other ideas.

We saw it frequently, but were never quite quick enough with the camera.

Until, finally...

That’s right, we caught the squirrel unaware while it was having its morning wash, and finally managed to get a photo of the sneaky little rodent!

It’s only taken us almost 8 months of almost daily attempts, LOL!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Olympic torch - July 17th 2012

As I mentioned yesterday, the Olympic torch passed through here on Tuesday July 17th. It actually passed literally a couple of streets away from where we live. From what I can gather it’s been all over the UK recently, with a few more stops to make before finally arriving in London for – if I’m not mistaken – Friday July 27th.

Look, give me a break, it's sports and I don't really have any interest in sports.  Just be glad I even knew when it was coming through here and leave it at that, LOL!

Anyway, Kelly went to watch it pass and take photos, but I stayed home with the dogs (we figured it would be easier with the crowds of people that would be lining the streets to see it pass). While he was out there he took these photos:

And he got given this flag type thing, which he brought home to give to me:

There was also a rubbery bracelet type thing, but we didn’t bother grabbing a photo of that, since we couldn’t get a shot where you could see the writing on it (something about the fact Lloyds TSB – one of the big bank branches – was sponsoring the Olympic games or something).

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the photos.