Monthly Archives: January 2015

“I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.” by Eleanor Roosevelt.

Are we all happy with that?

I am, because if I hadn’t retired to Phuket I most certainly would not be blogging, I would not be warm( it’s so hot and sunny here), I would not be making my own ham and bacon, I would not be a published author the list is endless.

Why? I can hear you all saying.

Choices, circumstances, call it what you may….. sometimes we have to just be brave, go with the flow, listen to our hearts, be a little selfish…..yes why not…… years ago and I mean years ago I wanted to study Law…..I got these looks, comments…why Carol? you have a good job, you have a family why…all these puzzled looks…..why? for me, because I wanted to……so I enrolled…… time to study!

” Mum, Can I? Mum, can you? it didn’t stop….

Enter my friend Gilly…….My neighbour, confidant, shoulder to cry on, my independent career driven friend who had no children of her own…and my kids were her kids…..for sleep overs, cooking , story telling and she had plenty of those…..

In she came…..like a stern maiden aunt…..even I was a tad afraid…..” Now listen kids; your mum was herself before she was your mum…….when she is studying…because she wants to….YOU….do not disturb her…anything you want you ask before or after ”

To me she said ” you shut the door and you study, you do not answer any knocks, pleadings, wants ”

” Yes Ma’am ”

I miss you Gilly……. so much but your spirit is with me and your pictures ( the painting), The hot air balloons going up, up and away over Weston, my ” Crazy Dancing Cow “SAM_6498 is on my desk…yes she came with me……..you are in my heart, you are my inspiration and we all have so many memories of fun times shared R.I.P my friend.

So in I go,  sat down..books open , pen at the ready….” Knock , Knock, mum”

From me…nada..no response…..it got a bit louder…..then went away……came back and tried again…..but after a few days of this ….they got the message…I got peace and quiet to study…….yehhhh…so I suppose what I have learnt through life is we all love our kids, we want to do our best for them but a door mat we ain’t and we all need our me time and everyone is happier for this and do you know?

35 plus years later.

When one of your children tells you that you are why they are what they are today and they are proud of  YOU ……….you know you have done something right among all the things you got wrong…and no one is perfect..not me, not you..no one……….

So good luck with the choices you make..don’t beat yourself up if they don’t turn out quite as you wanted but a little bit of self belief goes along way…you tried…..everyday is a new day.

AND Saturday for me is a big day….I get to see, to hold, to turn the pages of our book for the first time…my very first offerings to the world in print ……… Now who would have thought…if I had written my future 20 years ago  I would have got it totally wrong!

I would not be living here in sunny Phuket………..again..choices, some say ” lucky you,” You are so brave ( not sure I get that one), some may think very selfish …we cannot please all the people all of the time.

It all goes back to that opening line;

” I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.”

Tonight I dream , Tomorrow I do !

Well I flipping hope so.

I have spent days trying to figure out this linking. Had some great advice thank you, you know who you are.

Thought I had cracked it. Wrong! Published it and nought but blanksimages1EU08Q0GThis picture is soooooo me at the moment. Where’s the vino???????

Rant over.

I’ll start again.

Good Morning everyone what a lovely sunny day it is.

The bacon has been sizzlingSAM_6497 and sampled so as promised here you go folks.

The Recipe:

I used 2 Kilo’s Pork Belly.

For every Kilo of Pork use:

2 parts rock salt to 1 part sugar.

4 cloves garlic.

2 bay leaves

,Bunch of Lemon Thyme.

20/30 Mustard Seeds,

12 Pepper Corns,

Celery Juice.

Method:

Finely slice bay Leaves and lightly crush with other Spices in Pestle & Mortar.

Combine with Sugar and Salt and mix with Celery juice until damp.

Rub into Pork.SAM_6494

Place Pork in a sealed container or bag ( I used a brining bag).

Store in Fridge for 5 Days.

Remove and wash thoroughly .

Cook in oven @ 100c for 2 hours. Cool and slice.SAM_6495

This week I am going to use Pork Loin and am going to add some additional herbs some regular Thyme I think, will let you know but experiment with different cuts of meat and herbs Rosemary may be nice or a bunch of mixed herbs. Let me know it would be lovely to hear some thoughts.

 

While we are on the subject of cooking I gave you a recipe for Papaya salad a while ago, I had an interesting variation when we were down the beach and it was made with Green Bananas instead of Papaya. Blew my sox off or would have if I wore them, but interesting , quite nice  I prefer Papaya but again a substitute if you are unable to get Papaya.

I was the proud Nannie recently as my granddaughter had her 1st Art Expo. She is an amazing artist not that I am biased in any way. Ha Ha.Danni 2015Love the transformation from man to wolf  very clever.

Danni Art expo Jan 2015 Wouldn’t want to meet her on my daily swim.Danni Art Expo Jan 16thWell Done Danni we are proud of you .xxx

Trumpet blowing over, us nan’s love to brag about our grandkids but they will be over in 2 weeks and counting. It’s been 4 yrs so it will be mega hugs. Can’t wait. I just hope they don’t get too freaked out over the other regular visitors to our house.SAM_6057Thank god for screens, although some do manage to  get in little buggers and some not so little buggers, it’s the centipedes I don’t like, still haven’t found one who can swim yet though, He He

Until next time stay safe, have fun and enjoy life.

 

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Life doesn’t just happen, it requires our participation.

……My week has been a mixed bag and  I have got quite engrossed in  ” The Commons” and realised I haven’t blogged since 10th Jan…normally my brain is buzzing and I am away…and not with the fairies…ha ha.

I normally don’t comment on world affairs…but I have been truly saddened and continue to be so at the world and current events …does anyone not learn? why do some make excuses…are we all not in charge of our own destiny? and yes I know about people who are not as well-educated, had a bad or impoverished upbringing but is that really a reason for some actions that have been taken ….Malala Yousafzai the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Prize laureate has been shot and nearly killed has that dampened her quest for peace and education in her country…NO actually…….would I have given up under those circumstances…would you take that same stand she has  …I don’t know……but I do know that we have to be accountable……true to ourselves and I am truly sad and have listened to a lot of the debates etc….can a person just not be truly evil?…….I know 1st hand how one persons life was lived under such a regime where every step, phone call, letter was monitored, recorded…. the fear that if you didn’t conform then not only yourself but your family would suffer……it was endless……did they become what a lot of their country men did …no..they worked hard and tried to be a good person. So although I acknowledge that fear and terror is a large contributing factor , I struggle to understand why well-educated people seem to see some sort of ….phewwww I don’t know…is it the quest to be infamous?..the glory they perceived they will recieve……either here or in the after life……I know politics must play a huge role…and that I don’t want to understand…accept to ask why? Why do people continue to suffer and be killed..children, mothers,fathers it must stop…..will it? No..I don’t believe it will …from inception of our lovely world there has been killings in the name of Politics or Religion and all faiths  and party’s have or are guilty of this through the ages……It is such a shame that in the aftermath of all this that some inflammative articles are in print. Iyad Madani , Former Culture Minister for Saudi Arabia and now head of Jeddah based OIC has a valid point when he says ” Freedom of speech must not become a hate speech and must not offend others. No sane person, irrespective of doctrine, religion or faith accepts his beliefs being ridiculed.” And now churches are being torched around the world and although I have every sympathy for the victims of some of these abhorrent acts of violence, kidnapping’s, hostage taking….. there must be better ways of dealing with these atrocities…….. my mum always taught me never to argue about Politics or Religion as there would never be a winner and I think she is correct…… but it still saddens me …….

 

Normal blogging service will resume  with my next blog…….   I just had to say something……XX

 

Life is short, Smile while you still have teeth!

GRP.( Gibbon Rehabilitation Project)

I have to start with an update on the tiny baby Gibbon…you can actually see how very tiny she is as she snuggles against the person who is feeding her. baby gibbons baby girl @ GRP BEING FED 8th Jan

Unfortunately she could not be left with her mother who was becoming increasingly tired and the baby weaker….she is now being hand reared……..GRP made.this decision for both the mother and the baby’s well being. Both parents are being allowed to come to terms with all the trauma before being released back into the wild…which in this case is the right decision for all I think…..This project does such wonderful work for the Gibbons here and are very successful at rehabilitating and returning as many as is possible back to their natural habitat .This little one is now doing much better I wish her well..awwww so cute.

First week of Blogging 101 over enjoyed it in the main especially the interaction on ” The Commons” with other bloggers…awesome.

Just received a picture of my mum with my big boy. taken on Christmas Day before Church.My mum and Sean 2014.…I miss my mum…..although it’s lovely to chat on Skype when I have a signal…..But my boys over soon and can’t wait…..I might have sun,sea and sand  but miss people ..but also it makes you appreciate people more…you don’t take things or people quite so much for granted………. where did that come from…sorry peeps getting maudlin…..

What’s next..thoughts all dried up …….well not really…….been trying all week to get a picture of the  buffalow just down from my house…everytime I go by(without my camera) the heron is on her back and it makes such a lovely sight ( when I have ) said camera it’s nowhere in sight…but perseverance that’s my mission I will get that pic…….Sourced the celery ( or my friend did) so promise next blog I will show you how to make bacon without nitrates…..and it only takes 5 days……. and it’s ready!  Can smell and taste it already………also found a great recipe on someone elses blog for Fish Curry and it looks yummy so will be trying that………But never fear I won’t leave you without a recipe …….  last nights dinner was:prawns………..Uncooked prawns with a blow your head off chilli dip.It consists of very finely chopped white cabbage,finely sliced and halved.khiewchanta.Khiewchanta……arranged round the edge of plate……..Fresh prawns ,cleaned , deveined and soaked in Soda Water…..Fresh mint leaves and finely sliced garlic.

Eaten  with steamed rice and  very lightly cooked squid in a salad with tomatoes,spring onion,coriander,fish ,sauce and lime juice…… so that was dinner and very nice it was  all fresh from the market about an hour before and that’s the great thing about living here everyday there is a fresh market  and I love it  at my local ones I am generally the only farang but they are getting to know me and love it when I sample the hottest of food sometimes and give it the thumbs up………..and if I speak a little Thai…as my vocabulary is limited at the moment the smiles all round… it really makes my day as it does theirs.

Well short and sweet this one…but it’s children’s day today so everywhere there is fun and games  galore….until next time…happy reading x

Day 4. Blogging 101.

Ohhhhh been racking these ole brains for the last hour and I guess with me…. it’s don’t think just start typing and generally as my fingers are an extension of my mouth …that works……

Dream reader?????

Is it???? The best of the best Food Blogger?

Is It????? The best of the best Political Debater…….. Always wanted to be Prime Minister…..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tetk_ayO1x4

And I grew up watching Maggie and have always aspired to being like her…..now you know!

Is It??????  My Mum…cos she would not even know how to switch on a lap top or the like….but I would just love her to read something I had written….SAM_3947 (1)My mum having fun..borrowing said grandsons ( in the background) baseball cap….she is amazing and I love her so much.

Is It?????? well I could go on….please I hear you groan…..Please DON’T.Ha Ha…what’s it worth then?????

Now comes the hard bit for  me….the graphics or add ins/ons  mmmmmmmmm well I am in my dotage..all you young things out there….and I will say…yesterday when I read …loads of blogs ..the most ever… I loved most of them and so wish I had started earlier..so carry on you are all amazing…well some I will say…no names or pack drill..were boring!!!…..

So from one whimsical Lady to all you other amazing Blogging 101 ers I hope to read some of your Dream Reader posts and please feel free to comment on mine.

I wonder what tomorrows Blogging 101 task will be I am excited are you?

New Year, New Resolutions mmmmm sort of, Maybe, Hell no!

come on…own up…which category do you fall in?

Ok then I’ll go first…well events sort of overtook me…….here they come the excuses….do you know what…didn’t make any!  That’s that over with then…….

I am an Author and that’s official……Officially a published author http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RU5IYNS   here is the link for you.

So for those of you who aspire to be an author I’ll tell you my story:

All through the years I have loved and have written( mostly never finished) I was the bain of my teachers life as I remember writing pages and pages for my homework or maybe not ever really  told just imagined at a later date that I must have been.

Read books galore.

If I wrote a letter it was probably akin to War & Peace.

Never imagined anyone would want to read what I had written or even tried to find out, just carried on with my life , raising my children, working, all the things we all do. Excelling at some and failing miserably at others.

Along came retirement and the opportunity to settle in Thailand. As you do…. you meet people and join groups etc as an expat. Chatting at one such group and someone mentioned she was in a Writers Group..”Oh Really ,I would just love to be able to write”

That my friends was the beginning of a wonderful experience for me……..I was so inspired by the welcome that I went home and put pen to paper and the rest is history. Well except for the other authors who were amazing and gave me so much help and encouragement and for that I am eternally grateful..thank you …you know who you are. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would get to this point………so  I am busy writing my very first novel as one of my short stories will become that novel, Probably the title will change and I am so excited.Through this group I attended a Writers Retreat and short stories galore are flying forth and this is from someone who never, ever read, bought, considered a short story worthy of reading and I have now written a few …so all I will say is never ever give up on your dreams and keep an open mind and like me it may take years but the feelings and pride in my achievement knew no bounds yesterday…..I was euphoric.

Then along came a spider…A Golden Orb Spider.

SAM_6365…my garden is a  never-ending source of photo opportunity’s from, Spiders, Frogs, Centipedes,Termites ,copious armies of red, black ants, the odd snake and scorpion it goes on.

 

My recipe tried and tested and it’s  awesome………. Cauliflower Rice.

SAM_6054…….Now does that not look like the real deal?

And all you need is  a Cauliflower and an Onion.

A little Coconut oil to cook or other oil of your choice.

Sea Salt and a squeeze Lemon Juice.

Either  grate or blitz in food processor ( but not too fine) you want some texture.

Heat pan and keep pan HOT as you don’t want Cauliflower to steam and go soggy.

Use Tablespoon Coconut Oil and put in desired amount of Cauliflower and onion mix.

Cook quickly and then season and add lemon juice.

All in all it only takes a few minutes to cook….. a bit longer if more than one portion but keep pan hot.

If you wish to vary the taste you can add 1 tsp of Cumin seeds to oil before adding Cauliflower if you are eating Indian Food.

If you require colour if eating Mexican……. then add 1/2 tsp turmeric to oil and tsp tomato puree.

This is very versatile and just use your imagination and add any herbs and spices that u like.

To store…I make a batch and keep in fridge for during the week but keep in glass jar or zip lock bag…I think plastic containers may make it sweat too much…..Enjoy…. and if you are cutting the Carbs it is an ideal and yummy substitute for rice and I love rice…… eat it all the time but happily substitute this as I am also a cauliflower lover.

Lastly I will just say to all you readers who have noticed the Blogging 101 symbol at the side of my blog…I am particpating in this to learn a bit more , have already read some amazing blogs which I maybe would not have discovered so if I publish any little musings beween my blogs it is because it is an excercise we have been given and I hope you enjoy.

So until next time…Good Luck with any New Year Resolutions you have made and if you have  strayed then don’t beat yourself up..just scale them down…….Until next time.

Day two: WORDPRESS 101

Shall I change my title…..not ready to do that…why?…because I am Retired! and truly do not feel like I am ..just feel I have so much more to do and more to the point do what I want, when I want and what discoveries and friends I have made along the way.

Must tell you before I burst….Today our Anthology Of Short Stories by Phuket Writers was published on Amazon and Create Space……for me the feeling of Joy..oh yes and tears are bubbling away under the surface…..I never ever in my wildest dreams thought that would happen and I could call myself an “Author”…so please excuse me if I don’t stick whole heartedly to the script for today but my whole body is just buzzing…….

I am jumping around like I have ants in my pants!

Me…yes girl..you……I have had so much support and encouragement from our little group as a fledgling…..you are amazing peeps……so much talent and so giving and nurturing to others..me……My grammar and spelling was the worst! I was soo excited to write I just wrote and wrote…….It is a number of years since I have been at school and when I wrote..I just wrote…but now …much improved and if my son asks me to check the content of one of his business letters I find myself automatically grammar and spell checking…ha ha..thank god I hear my fellow writers say…….I say thank you…..you are all amazing and words alone cannot express that…so you know who you are…take a bow…….

Back to todays task…….. A brief description..that’s a  hard one…..I find myself thinking of a witches cauldron, my recipes, unusual facts, a hodge podge of thoughts and ideas…………