Back to school, Backing Books and Back in the kitchen

Whoa! Haul the bus I want to get off!

The past few weeks  have been a mad swirl, like going round the race track in Monza in a F1 car; except I’m not actually in the car, more like being dragged behind it in roller skates, clinging on for dear life. 

Back to school

We’ve had the whole ‘back to school’ drama, of new uniforms, and a list of stationary that will keep Easons in business (even if they don’t sell another paperback) the rest of the year. This is only halfway – because, once bought, every… and I mean EVERY bast***ding thing has to be labeled with a name. <Note to self: I could save a whole lot of time next year by buying ready named pencils>

And I did it, I named e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.– do I get a sticker saying “well done! I named all the stuff”? No 

Do I go onto a Mum’s league table for getting it all sorted? 

Again, no.

Is it too much to ask – a little bit of credit for getting my shit together? (Apparently yes) 

Nobody knows the strain, how against the grain this level of organisation is pour moi. I am – as revealed by lovely Kim from Rhinoceros Dreams – a pantser. Yes it would be lovely to be the ‘panther’ that my spell check is desperate to change that to, but no, ‘Pantser’ it is, and ‘Pantser’ it remains – someone who flies by the seat of their pants. Kim’s reference was specifically for writing, but as I mentioned to her, I am a dyed in the wool, card carrying, lifelong panther and pretty much apply this mentality to everything… except the boys, I try to keep some level of organisation there; if I didn’t the scale of the disorganisation would be truly and very scarily epic. Read Kim’s post

So having ‘named all of the stuff’ so begins the second round; backing books. Bring on the sticky backed plastic. 

Next – Backing Books

You need to imagine Spaghetti Western music, and tumbleweed as me and the sticky back plastic have a Mexican standoff at the dining room table. 

Right, so it’s done. But I used all of the swear words; every last one of them, and made up a few more. Last year I believe I played a blinder and managed to back their books using Pokemon cards, thats 25 cards that won’t be lying on my floor; only 5638 to find another use for then, but this was ruled out for this year, dang & blast!

Jotters and school books backed using game cards
Lets face it – I am a bloody genius

So that was boys back to school, and the bank account emptied.

Next was stepson No. 2 going back to Uni – <enter Stage Left the mother load of laundry>  No bloody wonder his room stank! A full box of laundry powder later, and it turns out he actually went up to the attic looking for yet more gear to be washed. humph. 

Then I had a brain fart, I had forgotten I had promised to make him brownies, and I was almost out of time (I am a pantser remember). So that had to happen. 

I have never made brownies before, this would be broaching new territory.

I am now the Brownie Bitch – they rock! 

Back in the kitchen, baking brownies

The first batch disappeared like snow off a ditch, there was nothing to pack, his Dad and brothers cleared every last crumb. i made another batch, and got about 9 into a tin pretty much immediately. Blinked and the remaining brownies disappeared. Have now made two more batches and there is a run on these as we speak. 

In my head I am now planning a new career selling Brownies by post, and am developing all sorts of recipe ideas, incorporating salted caramel, cherries for a Black Forrest Brownie, and chilli jam for my El Diablo. How can I be naming stuff that doesn’t actually exist? Anyway unlike my allotment, it’ll never bear fruit – but in the unlikely event that anything happens other than me waking my self up snoring – you’ll be the first to know. 

Talking of the plot, it always picks the most inopportune time to go ballistic, which would be the past fortnight. We are in Tomatogedden again – despite not actually planting any tomatoes this year after the last palaver. However it is the cucumbers that are this year’s stand out thugs, and are pushing fruit out faster than Culchies buying Buckfast in a half price promotion. 

I have given loads away, my family are sick looking at them, so are the neighbours; they are great in gin, but if I gave away any more with that in mind I’d be pushing folk into borderline alcoholism. 

two cucumbers
don’t fall for it, these dinky little cucumbers grow enormous

The elephant in the room here is pickling. I had a pickle incident last year when I tried to pickle the green tomatoes. Between you and me – vile! Absolutely disgusting! Not only did the house reek of vinegar for a week, we lost a layer of tooth enamel trying to eat the stuff. I still have three pots of it, just in case I need a present for someone I don’t like. 

Anyhoo, I decided to give pickling another go, using a different method. 

home grown fruit and veg
Just some of this year’s harvest from the allotment

Well, darlings, we have success! I made my own sweet spiced vinegar and have now pickled numerous cucumbers, my onions, beetroot, and carrots. Its YUM! Thank God, because I don’t know what else I could have done! 

Home made pickle
Ta Da!

I have already finished one pot, any excuse and I’ll have pickle with that. Amazeballs!

I’ll put up a recipe post soon for the brownies and also the pickles, just in case you fancy having a go, but I’ll have to wrap this up as I am out of time… again, and will be late with tea, which is a cardinal sin. 


    • Essentially it was 1 cup of sugar, one of vinegar, and one of water. To this I added mustard seeds cloves, cardamom pods and bay leaves. I covered it and microwaved it for 2 minutes. Easily done on the hob too.
      I added the veg to this and let it marinade for an hour, then packed the veg into sterilised jars and topped up with vinegar till it was covered.

      I need to check how long it’s supposed to last – it won’t be an issue here as it’s lovely and will be used long before expiry – but in case anyone asks.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m afraid I shudder at all things pickled after a rugby tour around Bath circa 1981 which involved beer pickled eggs and a decidedly unwise dare. Let’s just say the Roman hypercaust system is remarkably resilient and I believe the once reknowned health spa will be drinkable again in roughly a dozen years and my lower intestine transplant should be approved any day now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad you got the pickling sorted! I would give you a sticker for naming everything! I have failed to do this so far and she only started school last week. So before my little gets dressed I have to check her clothes before she leaves ! I might be more organised next time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is a company I use called Easy2Name and they have a good product tat you stick to the washing label. That can take the sting out of some clothing though I’ll still have to do a couple of sew on’s.

      My youngest has ASD so wee things like naming everything can make life FAR easier for everyone, so def worth it.

      The pickles though – are magnificent. Thank goodness otherwise I’d never be let within 10m of a jar of vinegar again 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ooh I will have a look at that I’ve been writing in biro on the labels and marker pens in shoes 😂😂 I can’t be dealing with sewing when I have to do my OH army stuff grrr

        Win win then no extra vinegar or cucumbers lol x

        Liked by 1 person

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