That's something you will never catch me saying 'yes chef' 'no chef' '3 minutes chef'. I would be more likely to say:
'What Chef?' 'How many starters chef?' 'I cannot do any more chef'
'make it yourself chef'.........
I am not a natural cooker (as my son calls a chef). I'm ok with that as well as I don't think I have any desire to be a chef or neither have I ever had the inclination. I manage to feed the three of us who live here but apart from that I would break out into a sweat if someone mentioned to me the word 'catering'. My buffet skills go as far as a freezer bag from the local Farm Foods and loaded with an oversized packed lunch, I think I call it a picnic, the kids probably call it an evacuation of the cupboards and fridge. It's also a sign to them we are going on a road trip. They can sniff the countryside, a picnic bench, baby wipes to wipe hands and a bin liner to clear up rubbish. So prepared. I was a girl guide you know!
How do they do it though, these contestants on Masterchef? It is always the timing that puts me off cooking. My beans have gone cold before I even buttered my toast and I never get garlic bread ready at the same time as pizza. I make a brew ok though, it's in my teapot and I have enough time to pop milk in a mug and my sweetener before pouring. I have left it and forgot about it being there or left a teabag in my mug just stewing away before I've realised it's all too late but I'm getting to a funny age. The only time I get hot in a kitchen is because I'm having a hot flush with my hormones on fire, not because my food is burning.
I am in awe of those people who can cook two or three courses on time and for their dishes to just look perfect. Massive respect for their patience and the fact they can just look at shelves of raw ingredients and work out what they are going to magic up and serve. I just don't process that. I have to work to a recipe and then I get impatient and start making my own rules up. I would totally panic in that professional kitchen scenario, I'd beg the chef to sack me and send me on my way or just send me to wash the dishes. The pressure looks immense, I mean these are top chefs with proper big reputations not a casual shift at Little Chef with a quick egg and chips to do (I'm excited as I think I could do that). This is posh poultry with a jus or a coulis and an added garnish of truffle. Dessert is served with a gateau, mousse or tarte au citron. In my house it's pudding and comes in the form of apple pie, crumple, tart or rice pud with a teaspoon of jam dropped in.
What's all this making pasta and popping it through something that resembles a mangle? Did someone need to tell these people that you can buy spaghetti and most pasta's already prepared and ready to cook in about ten minutes? I get my flour out to make a cake (now I do like to bake) but I've never got it out to make pasta.
I'm really just jealous, I'd love to make things from scratch. Since being with Slimming World I have got used to cooking a lot more fresh meals and spending time to do a bit more cooking than I did but it still has to be simple and easy to do. Maybe one day I will challenge myself more and cook kale and experiment with different ingredients. We should all do something outside of our comfort zones now and again. Do something that scares you apparently, an appearance on 'Come dine with Me' would do that for me. That is scary.
So well done if you are a chef or someone who hosts fabulous dinner parties, I take my hat off to you. I will continue to watch Masterchef and when it comes to the final I will get on my knees and say 'I'm not worthy' in a Waynes World style, because frankly I'm not. Good luck to them all and may the best chef win. I will happily come and eat your winning food, now that's the part I like the most.
Thanks for reading, I will be back to recite poetry tomorrow with A Verse for Thursday.....take care now.
Our accommodation on last week's holiday was here at The Sea Lodge, approximately 5 miles out of Inverness. Situated right on the shores of the Beauly Firth, close to the village of Charlestown and North Kessock just 3 miles up the road.
It was a truly beautiful location and the view in the large photo is literally the view saw when we opened the bedroom curtains every morning. There are 3 bedrooms with 1 double and 2 twin rooms each with en suite on one floor. A roomy conservatory which which loved to sit in and admire the many different views according to the weather. There is a utility room with washer and dryer and a dishwasher in the kitchen. It just had everything we needed including the space for the five of us as a family to spread out if we needed to and have some privacy.
This was the first cottage we viewed online and just booked it straight away and so glad we did as it was perfect. It is attached to another property called the Anchor and Chain which used to be a restaurant and has now been transformed into another cottage which accommodates up to ten people. There wasn't anyone in here for the week we had booked so not sure how that has an effect regarding any noise as there is just a dividing door in between the properties. people were just coming into that property as we were leaving and for the short time we were all there together we didn't seem to notice any problems.
The lovely Nikita (ha ya singing the song aren't you?) lives nearby and she looks after the property if you have any problems. We only had a bit of a problem when the heating went off and we had to have a top up of oil but it was sorted straight away and she even was as kind as to give my boys an Easter egg for the inconvenience. Such a lovely lady and only too happy to make sure you have a good stay so this place obviously means a lot to the owners. It does feel at first like you are travelling off the beaten track and in the middle of nowhere but it is the case regarding any property in this area unless you stay in the city itself. If you have transport you can get around quite easily.
The city of Inverness has everything you need. Great shops in the town, lovely places to eat. There is a huge Tesco nearby to this property on a busy retail park. For small items North Kessock has a convenience store so you you are never far from bread and milk. You can travel out of town to Loch Ness, the battlefield of Culloden, Fort George, Nairn is a lovely town complete with beach and travel the coast around the Black Isle for more outstanding scenery. I love Inverness and feel at home as soon as I arrive, my sister lives here with our extended family and I just love to get up and visit when I can. It draws you back, almost infectious as there is so much to do.
For more information on The Sea Lodge go to
I can definitely recommend this and if you have a big party you can rent the two properties together (Sea Lodge and Anchor and Chain) which will accommodate up to 16 people. Wherever you go you will have a great time in Inverness and surrounding areas, so welcoming, you too will not want to leave.
Thanks for reading and I will catch you for a verse for Thursday tomorrow.
Take care for now.......
That's me, pint size Sue! I have become the smallest person in our household.
This is because, from nowhere, and I think it may because I've watered and fed them, I have two men in my home. It's ok I know them well, I produced them, with a little help.
It doesn't seem that long ago since I was folding them both in half, trying to load them into a car seat and my handbag was a nappy changing bag. Ahhhh I remember!!! But I was the tallest!
I could tower over them and say mum stuff and tell them off, or order them about, I still do a bit but I find I'm having to look up! I'll tell you something though, I may be small but I am still mum and the boss here. I have had to stand on the sofa and get above them to grab my power back, do you know what one of them said to me?
"Mum don't stand on the furniture!!" .....whhhhhaaaaaat???? They are even stealing my lines, I'm the mum that's what I say! My eldest son thinks it is quite amusing and if he catches our reflection in a shop window or mirror he measures me against himself and shouts very loudly 'Mum, look you're smaller than me', yes this could be in the middle of Tesco's or the local high street, to which I admit it reluctantly and swiftly move on.
Clothes become more expensive as they need man clothes and I can't buy their clothes anymore, oh no! I remember when it was so easy to just pop a little 2-3 year old outfit in my trolley at the supermarket, one I thought would look nice in the days when they had no choice. Feet have become bigger and shoes start to stink, as well as arm pits so man deodorant is now dominating my bathroom shelf, as well as shaving products, they're man razors are also bigger than my pink lady razors. Oh there is a pattern emerging.
But hey, they say the best things come in small packages, it's not about size, it's about quality. I remember wearing high heels as a teenager to walk around in, very briefly as I didn't really like them. You know the white stilettos in the 80's? Yep, disco danced in them as well to a bit of Karma Chameleon by Culture Club. Times change, I'm now a flatty, low heel sort of gal dancing slowly to Fleetwood Mac, but I'm comfy.
I'm also comfortable with my height really, I love that I am a mum to two very grown up and beautiful boys. They once looked up to me as an inspiration and role model (someone help them now) and now it's my turn to look up to them and I will with a big smile on my face.
I've loved every stage of them growing up and so lucky to be a part of it all, and hope to continue for a long time yet. They always come and say goodnight, give me a big hug and tell me they love me. That!, my readers......makes me taller than anyone.......with pride!
Be good and I will catch you tomorrow for some poetry. A verse for Thursday.
Well, welcome to 'Whatever Wednesday'. From this month I'm making a few changes and want to complete my week with different posts about my interests on different days.
I've written every day so far for three months and I am loving writing my blog. It's great therapy and gives me a chance to express myself. I wanted it to be a positive place, a place where you have a quick look while you are relaxing and hopefully have a giggle or find some useful information. I also like to keep my posts to a limit as I find long posts can be a bit overwhelming for some people, so I tend to try and keep it short and sweet. Watch this one be the longest ever now.
It's not always possible to be positive and feel tip top especially when you have waited on the phone for twenty minutes earlier today to talk to someone about your rise in council tax but I had planned to write an uplifting post today and I that's what I'm going to do. It's one of those things isn't it? Bills and chasing minor problems but I thought when I came off the phone that, ok it's not fair for anyone and there are increases in bills everywhere. I'm healthy, happy and have a lovely family, luckier than some so I told myself to suck it up Sue, have a brew and move on.
Life sometimes rolls along with fate, with guidance from guardian angels or God if you believe in that. Whatever your faith, it is your faith that keeps you going. That nagging voice inside that says 'come on, it's not worked out the way you planned but lets try a different route'
It is ok to listen to some voices and it's not a real voice just like a force thing from Star Wars or you can imagine Yoda saying it to you if that's your thing. I always imagine my nan who passed away a few years ago now, giving me advice and my grandad who also passed many years ago, telling me off if I've messed up. My grandad had a look he could give you and he gave that look to my nan quite a few times, the type that said 'I despair!!!' When we called round to see them both as young kids his first words would always be 'when ya going home?'......yeah grandad we know you were mucking about. (joking with us - sorry Derby slang).
It's not always there and I imagine some people are reading this going 'where's my blinking voice?' or 'my guardian angel must be having a day, week, month or year off' It takes a bit of belief. It's a belief that you can work your way through a problem and succeed. I've had times when I haven't been able to believe in anything and thought 'you know what? Stuff it, I'm not doing this anymore' but later I feel that a attitude like that isn't going to solve a problem or get things done. I love the feeling when I've tackled something head on and got a result, it's very empowering. It all depends on the problem or the subject and also whether we have got the energy as things these days seem to take a lot of effort.
I always try to think of life like a road with signposts and roads going off the main road, a roundabout here and there. I hate the term 'journey' so I'm not going to use that phrase but life is like popping on your sat nav and tootling along, do you trust the voice on the sat nav or do you trust your inner voice, your gut feeling that tells you that you know a better route? Of course if you go off road, you feel panicky and anxious especially if it looks as though you are getting lost, thats normal but what about that feeling when you recognise your surroundings again, get to where you're going and can shout out yourself 'I have reached my destination'. Feels good eh? Then what you do is just throw the sat nav in the bin because it's as reliable as a chocolate teapot.
So have a bit of faith, trust your feelings, trust others sometimes - those you know you can rely on and take a chance. I'm carrying on writing this blog as long as I can, it brings me happiness and I want to be a better writer. I think the quote in my pic by Mark Twain says it all.....
"the golden age is before us, not behind us"
I also like the saying 'there is a reason why the windscreen is bigger than the rear view mirror because where you are going is far more important than where you have been'
I'll leave you with that and catch you tomorrow for another new feature starting from April - A verse for Thursday. Exciting isn't it?
What to Buy Wednesday
From January 2018 I've decided to shake Wednesdays up and review products that I have purchased so we go from random thoughts to important retail therapy for the new year.