Happy Valentine’s Day

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I know some people are cynical about Valentine’s Day, we’ve all heard someone say ‘every day should be Valentine’s Day’, but let’s face it, that’s just not feasible is it? Life gets in the way, and that’s perfectly normal. Others say it’s a made up day for commercial gain, well, you know what, Winnie the Pooh Day’s made up too and I’m not going to stop celebrating that either! What’s wrong with taking the time and putting the effort in to celebrate your love on one day a year?

This time last year we celebrated the day with a meal at one of our favourite restaurants, Los Banditos.

As you can probably tell from the name, this is a Mexican restaurant and the food is always top notch! I nearly always have chicken fajitas. The eagle-eyed amongst you might notice that on my skillet is steak. I remember now that the staff were run off their feet and also dealing with one very large and very demanding table (for demanding read rude) and I felt awful telling them they’d brought me steak instead of chicken, but they swapped it quickly and all was well.

As an aside, I can’t believe how much my hair’s grown in a year! I’ll have to put that jumper on to check, but I reckon it’s down to the middle of the next white diamonds now.

Anyway, I digress. This year’s been a bit different. Obviously we couldn’t eat out and hubby is now at work, and I met my sister-in-law for a walk early doors, but in between times we have celebrated in our own unique way.

First I made us an afternoon tea. Ok, so maybe it’s a bit more relaxing if you don’t have to make the afternoon tea yourself, but the benefit of making it yourself is that you get to choose exactly what’s on it!

Our heart-shaped sandwiches were filled with tuna mayonnaise and sweetcorn, cheese and pickle and cheese and red onion mayo (hubby is still being pescatarian so no meat today).

We also had olives and crisps (Walker’s Sensations Thai Sweet Chilli – the king of sharing crisps!) which you wouldn’t normally get with an afternoon tea.

I didn’t take an individual photo of the scones, but they were yummy. It’s such a shame that for something so delicious, they get overshadowed by controversy! First of all, no one seems to be able to work out how to pronounce them! Is it scone as in gone or scone as in flown? It’s perfectly simple as far as I’m concerned – it has a magic ‘e’ on the end, therefore my scone is flown! But then that theory doesn’t work for gone. No wonder people get confused by the English language! Then we have the cream or jam first debate. Are we supposed to go the Devon way of cream first and jam on top, or do we follow Cornish traditions and slather on the jam first with a dollop of cream on top? I go with Devon. Surely the cream is a substitute for butter, and when would you ever put butter on top of your jam? Also, if you have decent clotted cream, then it will be significantly more dense than your jam, meaning it’s much easier to spread jam on the cream than vice versa. Maybe it depends whether you think of your scone as a savoury treat that happens to have a sweet topping, or as a dessert. I think of a scone as essentially a savoury snack, hence my feeling that the cream is a butter substitute, but if you think of it as a dessert, then I guess the cream would go second in the same way that you would put cream on the top of an apple pie, not the other way round. I don’t think there will ever be a definitive answer on this, but I am perfectly prepared to do extensive personal research in search of the solution!

I may be shot down for saying this, but I always feel that an afternoon tea is too heavily weighted towards the sweet with insufficient sandwiches so I redressed the balance. We had one main cake which was my banana bread which is the easiest thing in the world to make, and I do so most times that we have over ripe bananas to use up, and I made some dark chocolate dipped strawberries to go on the side.

Yum, yum and some more yum!!

After we’d devoured our afternoon tea, we laid out all my craft supplies on the table. Hubby is back at work at the hospital and even though he’s not working on the Covid wards, he’s obviously still at higher risk of coming into contact with the virus so he’s doing his best not to go in shops so he doesn’t inadvertently pass it on, so we decided to make our Valentines cards this year.

Here’s his card to me.

Quite minimalist and tasteful I think …. until you look inside!

Still, he’s thinking outside of the box by decorating the inside of it. He was laughing to himself as he was gluing away and said at one point, ‘you’ll just have to tell people V made it!’ V is my five year old niece. This might be feasible if she didn’t live over a hundred miles away (and she also probably wouldn’t have made me married to a one armed, naked husband). However, I love it and we had lots of fun together making the cards.

Mine to him is a bit more cohesive, shall we say!

It doesn’t have buttons and a ladybird inside though!

I hope everyone who wants to is managing to celebrate this day of love in the best ways, despite not being able to do the usual kind of things. I’ve probably enjoyed this Valentine’s Day more than any other I’ve ever had.

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My day in photos

I’ve had quite a productive day today, unlike this gorgeous twosome who have spent most of the day snoozing!

I know I’m biased, but I’m convinced we have the two cutest puddy tats in the world. They’re so beautiful, they make my heart flutter a little bit.

I decided to use my extra hour today to make a start on this lovely craft project that one of my favourite people bought me for my birthday.

It’s make your own sequin Christmas baubles. This was all in a kit, but I’m quite sure you could get the equipment separately from somewhere like Hobbycraft.

You need a polystyrene ball, a bauble hanging cap (this is the metal ring that you get in the top of old fashioned style baubles – you could recycle from an old/broken one), sequins, pins and ribbon. That’s it!

After you’ve pushed your hanging cap into the ball you get going with the sequins. You literally just work round in circles, slightly overlapping the sequins as you go. It was actually really therapeutic and I really enjoyed the slow circular rhythm. I found after a while that it helped to balance the ball on a little candle that I have, and, happy bonus, every time I moved it round I got the gentle scent of fresh linen from my candle.

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Heres the finished bauble. I LOVE it. So pretty and sparkly. Can’t wait for December to get the tree out and let it fulfil its festive destiny.

After my dressing room clearout yesterday we decided to go to the tip. I know it’s a bit sad, but I love going to the tip. Although I don’t like clear surfaces and have to have bits and bobs around, much to the chagrin of my lovely hubby who tends to be in charge of the family duster, I find it so cathartic getting rid of junk and clutter. We had three Gousto boxes which are too bulky to go in the regular recycling bin, and various other bits of cardboard as well as a load of rubbish that wasn’t good enough for the charity shop and a mahoosive bag of garden rubbish. All gone now!

I needed to pick up our click and collect shopping, and while I was there I spotted M&S and, inspired by the lovely Butterflies and Boundaries blog post that I read this morning I decided to nip in to get some lunch. Can’t beat M&S ready meals, and this is one of their best.

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Spaghetti Carbonara. Yum!

Whilst I was out I decided to go and get a birthday present for my special friend whose birthday was actually last week, but I’m not seeing her until Tuesday. Obviously I can’t show you what I bought her in case she reads this before Tuesday, but as with any great shopping trip, I also came home with a couple of little treats for myself.

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I’ve been trying to work out all afternoon if this is irony. It’s a Crassula which is toxic to cats, in a cat pot. Is that ironic or just misleading? Isn’t it just typically British to create a concept, that no one is ever actually quite sure how to define. We all know that Alanis Morrisette got it all wrong with her ten thousands spoons when all you need is a knife and all that. The only way that would’ve been ironic is if it turned out at a later date that actually a spoon would’ve done! Is my Crassula/cat pot ironic? Really not sure! Anyway, it had to stay in the car to avoid cat ingestion and is coming to work with me tomorrow.

I also got some new socks. Somehow mine all seem to have holes in the heel. Socks are so expensive! £20 for these nine pairs. Nice though, eh?

Back at Chez Green Girl I decided to construct the second raised bed, despite the absence of my lovely hubby. Not as easy with one, but stubborn to a fault I am, and determined, so I succeeded. I did have to admit defeat when it comes to moving them to their final resting point – that is definitely going to take two (if not three) pairs of arms.

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Ta daaaaa! We will have our own fruit and veg next year!

I had a quick look round the garden, just to reassure myself that everything is ok. It pretty much is, although it’s very sad to see everything starting to shut down for the winter.

My Acer is still tiny, and it is supposed to go red in the Autumn, which is hasn’t really, but you can just about see that it’s trying.

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And my Eupatorium has got some beautiful white flowers. It’s so so pretty waving around in the breeze.

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By now I was getting peckish, so I came in and cooked the first of this week’s Gousto meals – Goat’s Cheese and Red Pepper Pizza with Rocket Salad.

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Delicious! I love goat’s cheese.

Right, time to ease my aching back after the weekend’s exertions in a nice hot bubble bath with the last episode of the Cry on my iPad. I’ve watched the first three today and I’m hooked – I’ve got to find out what the conclusion is!

Toodles!