Sheep

The sheep are back. Must be time to dig out my old Pink Floyd – Animals LP.

The return of the sheep always makes me smile.

Memories.

A much younger Hawklad carefully feeding the sheep. Following the instructions from the farmer on which sheep liked which biscuits.

And yes that’s a puppy Captain Chaos.

Sometimes that wooden fence wasn’t keeping those sheep from those biscuits.

Sheep.

Then there was the first night in our home. My partner was watching the newly unpacked TV and I had come out into the crisp night air to look at the stars. Wow no light pollution here. No street lighting. Pitch black. So many stars. Then suddenly that sinking feeling.

I AM NOT ALONE…..

Somewhere near the fence dozens of eyes fixed on their prey. Me. I took it like a man. Screamed and ran inside, the door bolted behind me. As a modicum of courage returned, I tentatively ventured outside again with a torch and Slazenger cricket bat. I found dozens of sheep stood at the fence, all eyeballing me. Clearly saying ‘Where’s the biscuits..’ That was definitely the SHEEP OF THINGS TO COME. But I guess it was ALL’S WOOL THAT ENDS WOOL. I will shut up now. Don’t to RAM THE POINT HOME, I wouldn’t do that to EWE.

Hemmed in

The first signs of the next storm heading our way. Cold, wet, bleak and punishingly windy. Not a day to be outside. Problem is when I’m stuck inside, that feeling of being hemmed in just gets ramped up even more. Never suffered from claustrophobia but I have done since the world changed back in 2016.

Over those 5 years I’ve learnt that the best strategy is DISTRACTION. Focus on homeschooling. Housework, more housework, even washing the windows. Wow washing the windows. Kinda worked. But they don’t work as well as some four legged distractions.

I have a new movie franchise.

It’s the action movie this time of year has been waiting for since Die Hard. Fearsome beasts meet the festive holidays.

I give you the trailers to JURASSIC CHRISTMAS…

Apex Predator
Carnage
Fatcatasauros

Cat meets Adriene

Too dark inside and out for the old iPhone camera, it did its best…..

Rain, rain, rain with some added rain today.

Roads starting to become streams.

After a super wet walk it’s time for most definitely indoor exercise. Time for yoga. But as I have shown you before indoor, yoga, a yoga mat and a big boy cat don’t really go well together.

First of all, how can one cat take up the whole mat. Second how am I supposed to perform any sort of balletic move with that fella between my legs…..

But today that feline apex predator was distracted. His focus drifted from the ‘funny chubby chap who feeds me’ to the yoga instructor on the iPad. That was it, he was hooked. I think the boy cat likes Adriene. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Cat

How am I supposed to exercise with this lump under my feet wanting his tummy tickled. How can one cat take up half of a yoga mat. Scarily that is supposed to be an apex predator. Definitely the heaviest cat in the vets practice and he is proud of it . I guess the only danger he poses to the local rodent population would be if he accidentally sat on them.

They always say eventually owners start looking like their pets.

I’m there already, well it definitely feels that way today.

Anyone for croquet

Hawklad was feeling anxious. Really anxious. This time next week will be tough for him. It will be a tough call. Classroom or Home….

Sometimes it can feel very isolating just the two of us kinda cut off from the real world. Maybe there is a danger we take root.

So he needed a distraction. Something different. It was time to go hunting in the garage. What can I find. Imagine a place like the shop that Harry Potter got his wand from. Dark, cramped, filled to the brim with things that haven’t seen the light of day in years. Maybe decades. Some objects beyond rational comprehension.

As I rummaged deeper into the recesses my plight became more perilous. I stretched, bent and shakily balanced over box after box. Deeper I went into the precarious jungle of old toys and objects. Then I saw a very large old wooden box. It might as well have been an old precious wand. That will do nicely.

An old garden croquet set that came from his grannies house several years ago.

Yes it was fun. Definitely different. Some of the rules might have been loosely applied or invented. When did croquet become a contact sport. The long grass didn’t help. But the main thing is Hawklad was distracted.

Now was the time to get serious about this martial art called croquet. I got the lawnmower out and carefully cut out a croquet course. Incorporating obstacles. A Mole Hill. An Apple Tree. The Football Goal. Yorkshire Wet Grass.

Captain Chaos was a moving obstacle and introduced his own version of mayhem. Suddenly we have one of Europe’s Finest and Most Challenging Croquet Experiences.

Captain Chaos might be on to something. Croquet with a sock…..Yes Croquet is fun. And fun is needed some days…..

No Carrots hurt during baking

We would love you to still take part in the Great Bloggers Bake Off Festival of Love. Please send your baking photos and baking ideas into:

CRUSHEDCARAMEL@GMAIL.COM

Already Mel has received so many fantastic submissions and the occasional disaster 😂😂😂😂.

Ok time for Sunday Blogger Bake Off Entry . A heart shaped Carrot Cake. First problem… No carrots…. I foolishly used them all up while making Sunday Lunch. The garden ones are out of bounds as Captain Chaos has been wee’ing on them. I’m not driving today so just have to make do again. But no viable alternatives. No pumpkin, no zucchini, no pineapple, no coconut. Then the madness set in. Carrot is ORANGE. Cheese is also Orange and can be shredded. Lactose free cheese was added…..

So now it’s a heart shaped cheese cake.

Then the shaping issues. The carefully moulded HEART shaped cake fell to bits.

So I give you a bit of a disaster cake. Presentation needs a bit of refinement. The actual cheese tasting cheese cake is interesting. Think sweet spice. Think cheddar cheese. It kinda works. But do I serve it with custard or with butter.

Socks and Cakes

There is nothing better than sneaking into the open washing machine as it’s being loaded with clothes. Select a lovely sock and then leg it outside. Once the sock is outside then it’s lost to the wilds…

If only some other things could be lost to the wilds.

With the Great Bloggers ‘Festival of Love’ Bake-Off fast approaching it was time for another creation. Yes it was time to move to Def Con 3.

I tried to keep this simple. A basic sponge cake. Dairy and Gluten Free. Well it started well, with carefully measured out ingredients then the first disaster. For some reason my mind mixed up 20ml of tepid water with 320ml…. Talk about a mucky swimming pool. Not quite the smooth batter I was looking for.

I’m sad to say I panicked. I grabbed the flour jar and just poured. But why was the flour brown…. Yes I had grabbed the cocoa tin. Then I checked the next tin, this one had white contents. But as I poured it became clear this was caster sugar. By the time I had found the proper flour tin the cake mic was looking a right mess. Hawklad recommended that the best course of action was now just to randomly add more ingredients. So we added cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, orange peel and maple syrup.

The end result. Well it looks like a cake. Bizarrely it’s feels like a cake. As for the taste….. Well love can take many forms, but this cake probably isn’t one of those…

Do you feel the baking love.

We would love you to take part as well!! Please send your baking photos and baking ideas into:

CRUSHEDCARAMEL@GMAIL.COM

Already Mel is receiving so many fantastic submissions and the occasional disaster 😂😂😂😂.

Visit

There’s a small garden which I like to visit every day on the dog walk. It has the most wonderful flowers. Never fails to deliver. Very relaxing.

Some visits are not so relaxing.

This is what happens when the bedroom door is left open. The pets pay a visit.

They sleep, humans not so.

Bath

You know what boys are like. Any excuse to get dirty. Spraying food and drink everywhere. None stop partying. Any excuse for a game of football.

Well there comes a time when even a boy needs a bath, even worse a hair wash.

Well this one just did and he looks like a rather grand drowned rat….. And nothing better than drinking from your own bath. Boys will be boys.

Then there is only one way to get dry….

Nature

I don’t mind gardening. Yes it can be hard work but it’s mostly enjoyable and relaxing. Problem is that I’m not very good at it. My gardening attempts to make things worse. Over time I’ve figured out that the garden will always look better if nature takes control. With patience it brings you gifts. It always does. So amongst the weeds the gifts keep on coming.

Sadly the ‘leave it to Nature’ strategy doesn’t stretch to the lawn. Nature won’t cut the grass. It just keeps on growing. It becomes a meadow. A meadow without wild flowers, just prickly, stingy things. Balls get lost. Pets go missing. Mine and the dogs hay fever goes into meltdown. Yes the dog had allergies. He takes exactly the same antihistamines as I do. It’s such an odd feeling swallowing my tablet while trying to get the mad dog to take his. So the lawn needs cutting. That’s down to me. But I do leave Nature a few areas of grass to do it’s thing with. You never know what it will do. What wonders it might bring. And it does give the mad dog a great place to hide socks, my socks.