Good morning dear reader and welcome to another Sunday at Chez Comb. I hope you are keeping well and out of mischief. After last week I am being very careful about everything. On the upside I managed not to trip over a small step whilst carrying a heavy crystal vase full of flowers, (Spouse was sure I would). They were a lovely surprise bouquet from my cousin and a real tonic after a few grey days of drizzly weather. On the downside, I am sporting two deep cuts on my hand due to not looking at what I was doing; not a good idea when wielding a kitchen knife. I am keeping our local chemist shop in business with the amount of dressings I buy. Bless 'em, they are very discreet and never enquire who needs binding up this week.
I gave my lovely friend, ditzy Mary, quite a fright at the beginning of the week. It brings me much cheer every time I think of it. This is not as unkind as it sounds, dear reader. Ditzy Mary and I have been friends since we were sassy young girls. She is my model for Genevieve in Café Paradise. If you think I get into scrapes you should meet Mary, she has perfected the art. But that's by the by and I must not go down that alleyway today. One evening last week there was a knock at the front door. You will recall we have no doorbell, it has finally demised. Although it was early evening it was dark and Spouse was in the shower. I was on the phone to ditzy Mary, so I kept her on the line whilst I answered the door, in case I needed to screech. As it happened I didn't need to. Far from it. A lovely friend and her daughter had called with gifts to bring some cheer to our locked-down lives. It doesn't get much better than that.
A day or two later, it being Mother's Day, we sashayed forth with wine, cards and flowers for this lovely Mama. I texted her on WhatsApp to let her know I would be with her in the next ten minutes. Dear reader, we've all done it - I WhatsApped ditzy Mary by mistake. I received a text back which said, 'Are you coming to visit? Love, Mary.' At first I didn't make the connection and thought she was proposing a weekend visit when we are allowed to travel. It was a good ten minutes later that the penny dropped with me. (I know, not the brightest button in the box). I looked at the text again and realised my, 'be with in ten minutes,' text had gone to her.
Dear reader, Spouse had to pull the car off the road. We laughed until the tears rolled down our cheeks, in the sure and certain knowledge that ditzy Mary would still be in bed and would probably have jack-knifed up out of her slumbers at the thought of us two about to illegally descend on her. I was sorely tempted to answer her text in the affirmative but resisted and put her mind at rest. Ah, but I so wish I could have seen the look on her face, it would have been priceless. When I telephoned her later in the day, our surmises were proved correct. Ditzy Mary did indeed jack-knife out of bed in sheer horror, her thoughts being, where's the duster, where's the hoover, where's my make-up?!!!!! I am pleased to report, dear reader, that I have been forgiven for almost giving her heart failure and I will try to be more careful in the future.
Happily, we have managed to get through the rest of the week without further mishaps, a rarity for us. From the merriment caused by my WhatsApp text we moved seamlessly to consideration of music for our funerals. Was there a connection? Not really, Ditzy Mary survived the shock and all was well. However, Spouse came upon me dancing energetically around the kitchen, (do not visualise, dear reader, my style is 'unique',) and he reached for his earplugs. Yes, the music was extremely loud but 'Classical Gas' by Mason Williams, cannot be listened to at less than full volume. It is so uplifting. I carried on my dervish dancing to the end of the music, ignoring Spouse's gesticulations in the direction of the volume control. When the music finished I collapsed in an ecstatic heap on the floor and Spouse removed his earplugs. 'Brilliant,' says I. 'I want that at my funeral.' Now that did get Spouse's attention. 'Is there something I should know?' he enquired cautiously. 'No ... just saying.' And so, one thing led to another and a discussion of funeral music ensued.
I don't want all doom and gloom. I would like my friends and relatives to remember all the fun and laughter we have shared. Apart from 'Classical Gas', Spouse and I are currently arguing over his objections to 'Oh Happy Day' by the Edwin Hawkins Gospel Singers. I love it. It is a hymn that reflects my faith but Spouse jibs a bit at the 'Oh Happy Day' if he's still around! I have to say I'm not too sure about his starting choices either. 'Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition' from Mafia 2 and the hymn, 'Full In The Panting Heart Of Rome'. Who could keep a straight face singing that? Images of a slavering St Bernard come to mind. Needless to say, dear reader, matters are still under review and I hope our funerals will provide as much fun for others as we have had in the planning of them.
On that happy note I wish you a wonderful week and hope that Spring will spring forth in all her glory soon and we can all stay safe and well to enjoy it.
SPILLS BUT NO THRILLS
Good morning dear reader and welcome to another Sunday at Comb Towers. Thankfully we seem to be inching our way towards Spring and I can't wait to get out into the garden and have a tidy up after the ravages of winter.
To be honest with you, I would be better off working outside, possibly even living outside in Spouse's shed, as every time I have set foot indoors this week, some minor catastrophe has occurred. Am I having a careless week or just attracting trouble? I will leave you to decide that one.
On Sunday evening, my domestic goddess status restored after last week's mishap, Spouse and I enjoyed our evening meal together in great harmony. Thankfully and believe me, dear reader, I take my crumbs of comfort where I can - thankfully, we had finished eating before I managed, with one careless sweep of my hand, to knock over my glass of wine and then the wine bottle as well, sending the red stuff all over the tablecloth, Spouse and thence to drip on to the floor. Why I can't just speak without waving my hands about like an agitated Italian I don't know and look at the trouble it gets me into? When I was younger, (a year or two back!), and blethering away at top speed and waving my hands about, my Uncle Ivor used to grab my hands and hold them tight and say, 'now talk.' And you know, dear reader, I couldn't. I don't know why my hands have to direct my words, a bit like a conductor keeping the orchestra together, but my hands definitely do the directing. Meanwhile, poor Spouse had lost most of his favourite wine and had to depart for a complete change of clothing and I had to depart for mop and bucket for the floor.
Things did not improve on Monday. Can you believe it, by 9.30a.m., my kitchen was awash with milk? My good deed for the day was to make Spouse a cup of coffee. The two litre container of milk shot out of my hand and went everywhere. Poltergeist? Dear reader, do not indulge in this practice as the aftermath involves an almost entire spring clean of the kitchen and then the floor to wash. Talk about Cleopatra bathing in asses milk, I had a Monday morning dousing in cow's milk, not a pleasant experience as it left a cheesy odour as it dried on my clothes. Yet another clean up ensued and I hadn't even been talking when I opened the milk.
I admit that Tuesday afternoon was all my fault. Mea culpa, I own up to this one. I put my oven shelves to soak in a large plastic tray filled with hot water and a couple of dishwasher tablets. They are brilliant at dissolving any grease on the shelves without any rub-a-dub-dubbing from me. After a couple of hours I took them out, now shiny and squeaky clean. Great, so far so jolly good. Now, in the normal course of events I would call for assistance from Spouse to help me in disposing of the dirty water down the sink. But Spouse was not around and so I decided to do the job on my own. I picked up the tray, it was a lot heavier than I had anticipated but, game on, I set off for the sink. Well, my dear reader, by the time I had made the journey from the kitchen island to the sink I had a full blown tsumani going on and not much of the water made it to the sink. En route It swooshed all over the worktops, (like the Monday milk) and all over the floor, with only the last dregs making it to the sink.
My dear Mama often used to call me a complete eejit and perhaps she was right. Or, maybe not. Dear reader, I now have an uber clean kitchen and the silver lining to my Tuesday cloud is that the spilled dishwasher solution cleaned up my kitchen floor tiles a treat, with no effort from me. Win win I think.
And so it was, until I got to Thursday afternoon. Spouse was down in his shed chopping firewood with his electric saws and I was in the house washing up after a late lunch. Usually we do this chore together, he washes, I dry and then ditch the water down the waste disposal sink. Ha, but as Spouse was not on hand I had to reach for the electric waste disposal switch myself and balance the washing up bowl on the side of the sink. The waste disposal requires immediate water over it once it's going or most alarming crunches issue forth from it. Hence balancing the bowl at the ready. I made the reach to the switch but lost control of the bowl with the result that most of it went on the floor, again. Not content with that, I went in search of the floor mop which was out in the garage and as I reached across a few other brushes stacked in front of it, stood on the head of a broom which jack-knifed onto my forehead. For my troubles I now have another clean floor and a lump the size of a hen's egg on my head.
Pity I didn't keep the water. Spouse has just returned to the house with a profusely bleeding hand. (Sigh). Here we go again and there is blood everywhere for the second time this week, from the front door step, through the hall and into the kitchen. I'd better go and get him strapped up; he's only got ten pints and I think one of them is now congealing on the kitchen floor.
I hope you have a good week, dear reader and it is my heartfelt wish that we all keep out of trouble, no accidents, no spills of any kind, just a nice trouble-free week. In my dreams ...
Good morning dear reader and welcome to a beautifully sunny Sunday at Chez Comb. What a difference in temperature a week can make. Talk about famine or feast. A couple of weeks ago we were enduring freezing temperatures and now we are bathed in glorious sunshine. I am not complaining, it is a most welcome change in our meteorological fortunes.
It's just as well it has been warm and sunny of late. I have been doing a lot of lurking in my garden shed to keep out of Spouse's way. I think he thinks I am trying to kill him. I hasten to assure you, dear reader, that I am most certainly not, just as I am equally certain he could have cheerfully killed me a few days ago. The cause of our marital disharmony? The humble chilli.
I have mentioned in the past, dear reader, that I endeavour to be a bit of a domestic goddess on the culinary front. I enjoy cooking and Spouse enjoys devouring the fruits of my labours. I know, in these enlightened times you might like to hear that Spouse takes his turn in producing a culinary masterpiece for my delectation, but in that case, dear reader, you are destined to be sadly disappointed. Spouse in the kitchen is akin to a bull in a china shop. It is not a deliberate ploy on his part to get out of these duties, he is just an extremely untidy and disorganised chef and whilst he has on occasion produced a masterpiece of cuisine, it involves using every pot and pan in the place with the end result being a kitchen looking like the proverbial bomb has dropped in it. We now have an agreement that he keeps out of my kitchen and I keep out of his shed. Thus marital harmony prevails.
But, unfortunately, not this week. The recent spell of freezing weather put me in the mood for curry. I finally got around to it just as the temperatures began to rise. Never mind, when curry has been thought of it has to be cooked. And so I did, entirely confident in my domestic abilities, as I have created my own recipes - one suited to Spouse's taste and one to mine own. Spouse likes a mild curry, so easy on the chilli and spice blend. I like a good hot one, so a different blend altogether and heavier on the chillies. The trouble occurs when both are cooked up and resting in their tomato based sauces and then they look very similar.
Why, oh why, dear reader, did I use identical saucepans? I know, how ever did I think I would tell them apart, unless by taste? But, over confident numpty that I am, I was quite sure that I knew one from another. And of course, dear reader, I did not.
When I wrote the first book in the Café Paradise trilogy, I included a scene where a man and a woman go out on a first date to an Indian restaurant. He knew very little about Indian cuisine, but pretended that he did and when the lady mischeviously chose a Bangalore Phall he airily went along with her choice. 'Bring it on ... Manfood,' etc. A Bangalore Phall is hotter than the classic Vindaloo and when the poor man took his first mouthful he nearly had apoplexy. Red-faced and perspiring, he poured his glass of beer over his head to cool down. They got thrown out of the restaurant by the way, especially after he accused her of trying to kill him.
When I wrote this scene I wondered if I had pushed things a bit too far, but actually, dear reader, I now know I could have pushed them a lot further. Yes I did get the pans mixed up and Spouse got my hot hot curry. He was extremely hungry after a day spent hauling wood home for our fire. He had discovered a treasure trove of wood in the village and the lady owner was delighted that he would take it away. So, on this particular evening there was to be no messing about. Dinner would be now you see it and now you don't.
Only not quite. Spouse dived in with great gusto and a few forkfuls rapidly disappeared down the hatch, at speed and then ... the full force of those chillies kicked in. Spouse leapt up from the table, scarlet-faced and perspiring just like my character in Café Paradise. He tried to speak but couldn't, eyes bulging and mouth moving soundlessly like a newly-landed fish. He rushed out to the kitchen and was next seen dousing his head under the kitchen tap.
I winced when I saw him emerge dripping from the sink and it dawned on me what had happened. 'I think you got mine,' says I. 'They got mixed up.' 'Oh, did I?' says he. 'Oh, they got mixed up, did they? Really?' He turned to look at the saucepans on the stove and his eyebrows rose almost into his hairline. 'Silly me, of course they got mixed up. They're in identical pans. I don't suppose it occured to you to use different ones and then you might be able to easily identify which dish was which, instead of half killing me with yours. Dear reader, that was only the half of it and I will draw a veil over his comments regarding my lack of grey matter. He is convinced I am intent on doing away with him. Why, I can't imagine. I don't generally display homicidal tendencies.
I know one thing, curry might be off the menu for some time to come. I am still in the doghouse and all food presented to Spouse is carefully examined. I just hope the weather doesn't take a turn for the worse as this domestic goddess doesn't fancy skulking down the garden for much longer.
Have a good week, dear reader and I hope that when we meet again marital harmony has been restored at Comb Towers. In the meantime, is that one chilli or two?