Monthly Archives: June 2015

Remind yourself that it’s ok not to be perfect.

Oh well I don’t need reminding never have, never will ,actually don’t want to be perfect. Anyone who thinks they are doesn’t belong in my world or anyones really, should they? If you are so perfect it’s the same really as being at the top only one way to go and that’s DOWN.

So me I’d rather be a little less than and then I can go up or if you are really rock bottom then it’s a given you really can only go onwards and upwards….so where would you rather sit?

This week has been a bad week really and for some just awful in fact words cannot express just how awful…I do not want to dwell on this not because I don’t feel sorrow, pain and all those others feelings and I do.

But because I will not feed the monsters.SAM_5501

Sitting at my desk the other day (The above is the view from my desk) my grand son came in ” Nannie , Nannie did you know that in America they have one day, well 12 hours when they can do anything..they can steal, kill anything they want and they will not get into trouble.”

“That’s not true, Aston”

“Yes it is I read it”

” No, that would never happen”

He was insistent! So I asked my friend ” Mr Google” and it’s a film set in 2022.

This turned into an ideal opportunity for me to explain because he was so insistent that he had read it. Showing him..in black and white that it was and also explaining that it was very unlikely to become fact.

Explaing to him that if a friend came up to him and told him this and persuaded him it was true and then you persuaded another friend and  this is how people are brain washed into believing an untruth and also doing something they never would .

He had read it but not read it properly or had read a piece of script from the film and believed it to be true. We had a very good chat on how someone who was clever, articulate could influence a young person into doing something that would normally be against his principles and that he would know  was wrong by manipulation..it made it easy for me as I saw the opportunity as he was so very insistent that he was correct, to initiate this chat and it was very timely given what is in  the news lately, about young impressionable people who are being indoctrinated by very clever people into believing whatever they want them to and that is scary.

I know that a lot of young people don’t talk to their elders as it’s not cool, but I try really hard to pick up on little pointers both good and bad to help illustrate my point and what I think is the right way and hopefully he will talk about things to his old nan for some time to come as it must be every parents and grand parents biggest nightmare that their children will be influenced by something or someone who is less than desirable. Scary world isn’t it especially given the freedom of information over the internet now.

Yes you can use parental controls but I believe it’s better to let them see within limits and guidelines just what is going on in that big scary world out there. Because we won’t always be there to guide and nurture so we need to take responsibility so that they know right from wrong and not be a sheep.

I always used to say to my kids ” don’t ever come and tell me that you did something because someone told you too. Do it because  you want to and have the courage of your convictions.”

And it’s true. Anyway I have preached enough , the good part of my week has been I have pickled more onions, made Mango Chutney and at this moment in time have pastry chilling because I am making Quiche and dinner tonight is  Jacket Potatoes, Quiche and salad..well I am having just the Quiche and salad without the jacket.

A change for me as I always eat Thai Food but haven’t had Quiche for eons so am going to enjoy!

With a nice chilled white it will be lovely.

No recipes this week because I just haven’t but there will be in my next blog.

Love you all and if any of you had or lost loved ones in any atrocities this week then may God give you peace and I am so sorry for your losses.

Until next time love you all xxx.

“Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law.” –

That is all I have to say about the past few days and in this post

Except for:

R.I.P.to all the victims and their relatives and friends.

Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes?

Mosi’s, snakes, centipedes (really fast,hairy ones) scorpions,and more we have creepy’s and nasties in abundance.

As well as Sun, sea and sand so can’t have it all can we peeps?

“Surre Mocke” was  really yummy will be cooking that again..recipe in previous blog but what I was thinking was would it be a good idea to do a weekly catchup so all recipes were on one blog..what do you think?

Today I am going to show you my darker side….are you ready? It is the Prologue to my Novel. I hope you enjoy!

A Father’s Nightmare

By Carol Taylor

Prologue

Freezing cold water was pouring into my mouth, up my nose, and I was gasping, struggling, desperately trying to breathe. Then the realization hit me that someone was holding my head underwater. Whoosh…I was breathing air again, panicking and gulping for breath.

I was yanked to my feet and my head pushed forward and the ice-cold water hit my face, filling my mouth and nose. I was exerting all my energy but I was not strong enough to get free from the vice-like grip. My breath caught in my throat, I couldn’t breathe at all. Everything started to go black and I was floating, floating. I came back to consciousness still heaving for any air at all.cellar

Abject terror came over me and I shook uncontrollably. Who or what was doing this to me? Fear was choking me too and the smell of decay was strong. Where was I? It was dark, cold, and now very silent apart from my heart pounding like thunder in my chest. I passed out.

When I woke my stomach was churning and my breathing was labored and shallow. I could feel the bile rising and I vomited. I lay trembling, willing myself to stay as still as I could. My fingers were tingling and numb because my wrists were tightly tied.

A scream of absolute terror, unlike anything I had ever heard, broke the silence, a gruff voice shouted, “Shut up bitch. Speak to daddy. Come on girl, speak to daddy.”

The girl sobbed pitifully as she tried to speak. “Daddy, daddy, please come and get me. Daddy please daddy please?”

The child sounded quite young and very distressed. Her voice broke up hiccupping as she sobbed. Her words were coming out raggedly as she tried to catch her breath.

“Daddy my hand hurts, daddy please daddy?”

A slap and a scream… I woke with my neck sore and stiff. My wrists hurt. Looking around, I found myself in the driver’s seat of my car. People were walking past going about their daily business. I looked at my watch. It was 5:00 p.m.

September 10, 2005

My nightmares subsided. Memories of that day faded. I was beginning to convince myself that it was just a nightmare. Could it really have happened? If it did, should I have mentioned it to my security guys? Was something going to happen to Rosie? That child had sounded so much like my Rosie.

These questions kept running through my brain over and over again. I would wake in the night covered in cold sweat. I thought I was going mad. Gradually as the days turned into months, my common sense took over and life settled back into its normal and somewhat mundane routines.

December 15, 2005

Christmas is coming. Today instead of snatching a sandwich at my desk, I was meeting my beautiful wife. In her words she was “beginning to feel a tad neglected.” Of course she had more Christmas presents to buy.  As usual I arrived before her and waited.

She glided into the café looking like she had stepped off the page of a glossy up-market magazine. The reality was that she was as normal as you and me.

“You’re late darling” I said.

“Sorry love. Rosie was busy with a painting and wanted to finish it for you. And that rush hour traffic is horrendous. Rosie show daddy the picture you painted for him.”

Rosie scrambled onto my knee. I loved my little girl. We had waited so long for her to come along and she was a delight. Every day we marveled at how perfect she was.

“Daddy, Daddy, do you like the card I made for you?” Amid restaurant chatter she clambered down and ran to the door just as a lady entered.

Rosie screamed with delight. “Billy, Billy! It’s my friend Billy!”

Time stood still.  I looked at the door to see Rosie following the lady out and running toward a large man holding the hand of a small boy. The boy was pulling back and squealing excitedly.”

“Come on Rosie, quickly.” She caught up with the boy. The large man held out his hand and Rosie took it. They turned and slowly walked away.

The waiter appeared by my side. “I have a call for you, Lord Grey.” He handed me the phone.

A gruff voice spoke: “What a beautiful daughter you have, Lord Grey.”

My wife was screaming hysterically.

In that second my nightmare became a reality.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” by Oscar Wilde.

Yesterday was our monthly Phuket Writers meeting it was also the 1st anniversary of the coup in Thailand and;

The Dragon Boat Festival, also often known as the Tuen Ng or Duanwu Festival, this is a traditional and statutory holiday originating in China.

The festival now occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the traditional lunar calendar, the source of its alternative name, the Double Fifth Festival. The Chinese calendar is lunisolar, so the date varies from year to year on the Gregorian Calendar.  The focus of most celebrations involves eating ZongziZongzi (sticky rice treats  with chopped dates wrapped in bamboo leaves) and Dim Sum both made by one of our newest members Lian who is from China and married to the illustrious Paul who is one of us writers. Both dishes were amazing and Lian explained to us the background to the festival which was lovely and is one of the lovely parts of living here among such a diverse community because we get to share and learn and partake in some culinary gems so  to celebrate we also had a pot luck, the rest of the dishes were from around the world and pretty damn good! So a good time and feast was had by us all.

The “Suure Mocke” is marinating well, so I will post a pic after Tuesday when it will be cooked.( And of course) eaten!

My very first attempt at caramel for the Creme Caramel turned out ok…..my grandson was on the stop clock as this requires NO stirring just a little swirl of the pan every 30 seconds for 5 mins. It worked folks! Didn’t burn it, just a lovely golden colour..yehhh we are a good team .

I would like also to wish all the daddies out there a great ” Fathers Day ” and to everyone like me who Dad’s are no longer with us a little verse.

Dad… I won’t immortalize you in the stars, because they fade away. I won’t remember you with a poem, for it will be forgotten one day. I will just keep you safe in my heart, so that you are with me in every way. I miss you.

I miss my dad, he was a strict and unaffectionate dad when we were growing up but as he got older and I got older we rediscovered each other and I loved my dad and miss him.

So all of you who maybe don’t see eye to eye with your dad’s just remember we only get one dad and life is too short so maybe say sorry..someone has to…and start again you may be surprised like I was.

That’s it for today..I am still full to the brim from Sunday Lunch…also had a few vino’s so am going to retire with my book….

Until next time love you all xxx

 

If you want to be happy, be. Leo Tolstoy

The theme of my blogging this week has been happiness and I am sure that we all define happiness in so many different ways.

Children get wet when it rains, they don’t just walk in the rain, they run, jump, find the biggest puddles and have fun and are happy…the cost ? nought, nil, zero.

Maybe if we are not happy as adults we should find a puddle and jump. Splash in it and be happy. Who will do that? Can the puddle be likened to an opportunity? I think it can. What about you?

Does money bring happiness? Well stops the worry about bills etc but if I had lots of money and no family or friends would I be happy…..NO.

The upshot of all this is we make our own happiness whether it’s through writing ,cooking, walking, running, reading, playing games, making things with wood or wool, praying to god.  The list is endless but the rewards can be enormous in the respect of our satisfaction which in turn brings happiness.

What makes you happy?

Me… I’m a simple soul..I love my family, cooking, writing, reading, soon it will be Aqua Zumba because I really need to exercise and I don’t like jumping about like a maniac and getting all sweaty it’s hot enough here already so this Aqua Zumba sounds just the thing for me.Will I be posting pics..mmmm I think not!

But I suppose what I am trying to say to all of you who think, I have no friends or I am in a new place , just moved here…I won’t tell you it happens overnight like magic, I won’t tell you that you don’t have to do anything…but think and do what you like to do and the friends will follow and they will.

I have made many here which means lots of lovely recipes from around the world and authentic..yehhhh so I am a happy bunny!

Today it’s ” Suure Mocke” courtesy of my Swiss friend Marianne. It was her fathers favorite dish which her mother used to cook for him on a Sunday.

So here it is it’s in two parts so today I have marinated the meat and on Tuesday I will cook it.

Tip: 1dl equals 100ml.

Sauerbraten ( Suure Moche) is popular in many regions of Switzerland, but the taste is always unique because it is marinated in the local wine. Those that do not have their own wine add vinegar to the marinade and bind the sauce with sour cream.
 
1kg (2,2 lbs) beef chuck, eg. shoulder, 1/2 celery root,1 leek, 2 carrots, 1 garlic clove, 1 clove, 6 juniper berries, 4 cardamom seeds, 4 coriander seeds, 12 pepper corns, thyme 1, Liter (1 gt) wine, 2dl (3/4 C) liquid instant gravy, 3 Tbs butter, 1 Tbs flour, salt, pepper, 2 Tbs sour cream, 1 piece dark bread (end piece)
 
Dice half of the vegetables and cut half of the herbs into fine strips. Bring to boil in 7 dl (2 3/4 C)wine. Place the meat in a deep bowl and pour over the hot marinade. Let stand in a cool place for 5 days. Be sure that the meat is always completely covered with wine.SAM_6938
 
After the 5 days have passed, remove the meat and pour out the marinade. Dab the meat dry with paper towelling. Sauté on all sides in 2 Tbs butter. Add the remaining chopped vegetables, herbs and bread. Let steam briefly, then pour in 3 dl (1 1/4 C) wine and simmer slowly for 2 hours. Add the dissolved instant gravy and reduce slightly. Knead the flour with the rest of the butter and stir into the sauce.
Season with salt and pepper and enhance with sour cream. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
Serve with mashed potatoes.
Wow looks like more rain is a coming so best get the washing in.
Enjoy the rest of your day and until my next blog stay safe, be happy xxxxx

If you think sunshine brings you happiness, then you haven’t danced in the rain.

Low Season is definitely here and we have ” Rain ” in copious amounts and the temperature is down to 25 degrees still not cold just cooler and according to the shipping forecast this bout is going to last until Monday. Upside is the well is now full again, the Klong (Stream) is also full. Once again all is well on the happiness front.

My little Curry Tree Seedlings also seem to be thriving , SAM_6931hopefully they will be well established when the sun starts to blaze down once again.

My first batch of Hummus using my home-made Tahini is now done and in the fridge.I really can’t think why I have never attempted to make some before as it is soooo quick “n” easy.

Combine 1tbsp Tahini Paste with 2tbsp fresh Lemon Juice and blitz in food processor.

Add 2tbsp Olive Oil,1 clove Garlic, half tsp ground Cumin and half to one tsp salt and blitz.

Add half of drained, rinsed can of chick peas and again blitz 1-2 mins. Add other half of Chick Peas and blitz again 1-2 mins.SAM_6932

Put in suitable container or serving bowl  drizzle with tbsp Olive Oil and sprinkle with  Paprika.

Voila it’s now ready to eat with Sliced pitta bread or cut up vegetables of your choice.

This will keep up to 1 week in the fridge.

Enjoy and if you get the dance in the rain it is an exhilarating feeling.

Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open .

Now isn’t that just the truth you can just be sitting, watching the world go by and something, anything no matter how small unfolds in front you and you give an involuntarily smile, it makes you happy and we can all find those little moments on a daily basis and put them all together and looking back we have had a pretty happy day. Made out of nothing, just a brief moment in time that made you happy, a childs smile or when they put their little hand in yours , baby birds newly hatched oh the wonders of nature, a lovely view or a pretty flower, when your cake rises and your dumplings are fluffy….me..i’m still working on that one!

So many moments in our day too numerous to mention but nevertheless make for a happy day. Sometimes it all gets caught up with our day-to-day what we think is mundane, boring , same ole, same ole. Savour those precious moments that catch you unawares and be happy.

Happiness for me on Sunday was searching for Tahini Paste and only getting blank looks, shaking of heads from the  staff in the shop. I find a seriously big pot which was a tad pricey, remembering this would be the first time I have made humus. Am I really admitting to that?  Hell yes! Do I really want a huge pot? No!

Another hurdle was ” do you have a smaller pot? ” mmmm smiles and shaking of heads and that  look, the one that portrays puzzlement at our request. But plus side was happy smiles when customer managed to find what she wanted.

Grandson (10) to the rescue.  “Nannie are these what you are looking for? ”

Sesame Seeds at 22 Thai baht was a seriously better bargain than this pot of ready-made Tahini including the nasties @ 279B.

Into the kitchen a quick toasting of the Sesame Seeds, into the mini blender, 3 tbsp Olive oil and a quick whizz , scrape down the sides another tbsp Olive oil another scrape bit more oil and a quick whizz and voila my first attempt at Tahini Paste made,SAM_6922 I will say I was pretty chuffed, Happy!

The moral of this story is that happiness can be found in many guises, lots of small bursts of that happy feeling throughout your day however brief, are a bonus.

Happiness means something different to us all doesn’t it? What gives you that warm , happy feeling Leave a comment and share yours .

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