Friday Links

Happy Friday! It’s been a sunnier week and as a consequence, I’ve been in a sunnier mood! It’s also been a busy week, I’ve been sowing things and trying to use my evenings better, but it’s also been manic at work too.Since the last Friday Links post, I posted a photo on Saturday, the usual miscellany on Monday, talked about the Joy of Bathing and updated you all on the state of the plot – spoiler – it’s looking good!. Yesterday, I shared my quick and easy method of making mayonnaise.

And now the list of stuff I thought was interesting from other people…

‘No alternative’: Theresa May sends British jets to join air strikes on Syria. Ma and I were talking about the possibility of this on and whether she would recall Parliament first on Friday night. I said that I thought any action would happen over the weekend. So I was unsurprised but still disappointed to find that it had happened early Saturday morning. What the hell do they think this will achieve?

The Syria bombing is a disgraceful act disguised as a noble gesture

They were so desperate to reduce numbers they forgot about justice, and decency and sense and took 6 months to respond to the reports of it happening.

Patagonia vs. Donald Trump

I never minded being part of Generation Rent. Until I was evicted yesterday. It’s not like renters are asking for unreasonable things. Like the author, I’m very lucky but the lack of security is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Labour would rip up the definition of affordable housing. I’d vote for it.

I am bewildered in the aftermath of heartbreak. Jesus, quite literally in this case, poor girl. I can’t imagine how that works, I can’t imagine it happening when you are 25. It can be got over, anything can, but Christ on a bike that is rubbish…

How funding cuts work: first, they come for the furniture

In this golden age of political arrogance, David Cameron is king

Following the Queen’s example, I shall be taking my mum to any interviews to suggest that I should get  the job. Because it seems to be working for her son. I thought they were supposed to set an example!

‘Very angry badger’ causes part of Scottish castle to be closed

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What foods do you always have in the house? You know the ones that your cooking and eating are built around?

Mayonnaise is not one of those foods in my house, at best I bought it because I needed it for potato salad, or because I knew someone was coming who would want it. I had no objections to the jarred stuff because I didn’t really eat it or care.

But recently, I had a craving for coleslaw and as luck would have it, all the ingredients except mayonnaise. So I googled it and came up with this link. Two minutes, all ingredients I have in the house, I had made mayonnaise. Go me.

I’ve made it a couple times since and this is the combination that I like best.

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (from 1/2 a lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 120ml sunflower oil
  • 120ml light olive oil

It couldn’t be easier, add all the ingredients to a tall container that is just wider than the base of your stick blender (this is the one that mine came with!)

Put blender in container, blend until it all emulsifies and looks like mayonnaise.(If you realise halfway through that your stick blender as died, then what I did was transfer everything to the small bowl of my magimix and pray. That worked!)I much prefer it to the stuff you buy in bottles and I will try it in potato salad when summer comes around.


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Allotment Adventures: All by myself

This week, I was abandoned by the weeder-in-chief, who seems to think she should have a social life. I don’t know, parents nowadays.. (although she spent my childhood telling us that she “was put on this earth to me, not just to be your mother” – which is a fair point!)

Anyway on Saturday, the sun was shining and it was a perfect day for working on the plot. Remember the list from last week? Here it is, with what I got done crossed off…

  • build the cloche
  • outdoor sowing
    • more peas
    • beetroot
    • salad
    • parsley and borage
    • flowers?
  • sow indoors
    • cucumbers
    • cucamelons
    • summer squash
    • winter squash
    • marigolds
    • more tomatoes
    • prick out the tomatoes that we’ve sown
  • move leek seedlings into cloche
  • bonfire (weather permitting)
  • last coast of paint for the shed (weather permitting)
  • trim rosemary bush

The first thing I did was paint the shed, which looks great (even if I do say so myself…I also weeded the raspberries and pulled this one up from the broad bean fence

I planted lily of the valley in one of the flower circles (the one under the plum tree, admired my rhubarb which has taken off and sowed afgan poppy seeds in the flower circle between the rhubarb and the gooseberry bush.Check out the leaves on the blueberries…I sowed peas and hopefully protected them from the foxesI also built the cloche and sowed carrots and radishes in bucketsI also sowed beetroot and salad and spinach in the salad beds and covering the beds in fleece more because of the foxes than because I think they’ll need it this week!

I also sowed parsley and borage in the herb beds and the coriander I sowed just to see if they would come up are! I’m excited!I was shattered at the end of the day but it looks really good and if the weather stays good this week, we’ll be doing alright.

The last thing I did was picked chard because that has come back to life…I went home happy but dirty…

At home, after I washed my hands, I potted on tomatoes.

Here is the list for next week,

  • sow indoors
    • cucumbers
    • cucamelons
    • summer squash
    • winter squash
    • marigolds
    • more tomatoes
    • sow basil
    • pot on sweet peas and move to cloche
  • move leek seedlings into cloche
  • weed
  • bonfire
  • do another bucket of carrots
  • strim the grass on the edges, I also offered to do Joe’s too!

I can’t think of anything else, but I’m sure that I’ll remember something! 

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The Joy of Bathing

I have taken to a nightly bath.

I’ve been trying to do something about my lack of sleep and a bath is relaxing, in part because rinsing the bath is easier than tidying up after a shower!

Baths seems inherently indulgent and on Saturday nights, after a day of allotment work, when accompanied by a book and a glass of wine, they definitely are!I don’t use bubble bath much but I do use bath oil, I make it myself. Four fl oz of almond oil, with 10 drops each of clary sage, cedarwood and lavender essential oil. Added to the water when the bath is running and a soak of at least 15 minutes.

Yes I’m aware that my feet in this photo are filthy, my top tip for clean feet is not to spent the day on the allotment in your Birkenstocks, how not to have ugly feet is not a thing I can help you with (maybe not have my parents!), I’m just grateful they still work and you can hardly see the scar on the left one!

The trick to a bath being really relaxing I have found is to have everything else you need to have done, that way you can bathe, climb into ‘jamas and go to straight to bed and carry on with your book.

Next on my list to try epsom salts with my chosen essential oils. Anyone tried them?

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Monday Miscellany

Happy Monday and welcome to the 106th day of the year! There are another 259 days left in 2018, so I’m going to try and make this one good!

Also on this day in 1963, Martin Luther King wrote his letter from Birmingham Jail. MLK has been in the news a lot recently as everyone has commemorated the 50th anniversary of his death but that letter should be required reading for everyone..

Miscellany for this week

It rained pretty much every day this week until Saturday when it was so sunny I got burnt! Seriously, I wish the weather would just decide on Spring and I would get back into the sunscreen habit.

Root beer is probably my favourite soft drink (I know everyone else hates it!) and it’s really hard to get in the UK, especially after the EU put a quota on the amount sodium benzoate in soft drinks. I generally I limit my root beer consumption to trips to Bryon. However, the Tesco’s tiny US food section has started selling this one and I am trying very hard not to buy all the root beer, it’s expensive stuff but so delicious…

It’s been a bad week for kitchen appliances Chez Dempsey, my blender has had a huge problem with smoothies this week, the stick blender died (yes ok I’ve had it for over 20 years, it’s the principle of the thing) and then this happened on Sunday night…

For this week, I want to get the squash and cucumbers sowed and not have a migraine (yep it’s that time!), I also would really like to get more than three hours a night sleep, so it may mean just going to bed at 8pm because I sleep better before midnight!


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Photo of the week

This week’s photo was taken on Monday and about sums it up. The BT Tower vanishing into fog…

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Friday Links

Happy Friday! I trust we all made it to the end of the work week with health and sanity more or less intact, even if it’s just blu-tacked together at this point? And for those of you that don’t work Mon to Fri or don’t work at all, that you still get to have some kind of Friday feeling!

A reminder, in case you weren’t around, this week I posted miscellany, an overdue update on my reading in February and March for those of you keeping score, an update on the allotment (go and admire my tidy plot and painted shed, marvel at how much weeding my mother does!)…

Here are this week’s links from other places….

I’m so happy about this. Ealing council votes for UK’s first ‘safe zone’ around abortion clinic. I think that it’s really interesting that off those opposed only 6.6% lived in Ealing, whatever your views on abortion, once you’ve seen what they do and say to women going into the clinic changes your views, I have a couple of friends who are anti-abortion and even they think a buffer zone is a good idea. I heard the R4 interview and Clare McCullough from the Good Counsel Network, was lying, I’ve seen protesters follow women, offer them rosaries and ask them not to kill their babies outside this clinic. (This has also happened to me at another clinic and I’m still not over it), they do it when they think that no one will do anything, I’ve seen and helped people in tears because they chased after them. They were asked to consider moving back because they cause distress and they refused, none of this is about Christian compassion, it’s about shaming women and I’m proud that I live in a borough where they aren’t allowed to do it.

Britain sees the Commonwealth as its trading empire. It is sadly deluded 

Mum has dementia and now Dad’s dead she will have to sell her home. Why? I have a couple of issues with this. If the author’s mother had cancer, she would receive medicine and treatment on the NHS, but it would not provide her with somewhere to live and the assumption is that cancer is curable, any care home a cancer patient was send to would be to allow her to recover enough to go home. Dementia is not curable and thus the care has to be different, the the NHS would provide any pills she might take to slow the dementia. Ultimately, no it’s not fair and if the argument was for more joined up, sensible care for dementia patients that would be one thing. but this seems to be about money. It’s not fair that my grandad and mum were never well off enough financially to buy a house which I can inherit, it’s not fair that three of my grandparents died before they reached 55. I accept that social care for the elderly and those with dementia is banjaxed but bleating about the unfairness of care because you won’t inherit her money is ridiculous. All my mother’s possessions are hers, for her amusement and care, I have no expectation of a windfall when she dies anymore than she did when her dad died. Get over yourself…

The gender pay gap isn’t the half of it: our economy runs on women’s unpaid work. There has been lots of stuff about the gender pay gap and some talk of women ‘choosing’ to go part time being part of the problem. Overall, the problem is that mothers are the only people allowed not to privilege their work over the other parts of their lives. Fathers don’t seem to have the same option, even with changes to shared parental leave, it’s not really the done thing. We have to work more on flexible working for everyone in addition to the gender pay gap…

Nigel Farage is no fisherman’s friend: he’s been ignoring them for years. What really gets me about this absolute shower of a human being, is that he gets away with it…

Martin Luther King: how a rebel leader was lost to history. The Sunday Service last week was a recording of the service at Westminster Abbey for Martin Luther King and Ma and I were saying something similar though not as eloquent.

Jared Kushner’s $1.2 billion miracle it’s just so blatant…

Labour announces plan for under 25s to have free bus travel So the Tories court the pensioners, Labour go for the 18-25’s and everyone want to talk about hard working families. If you are Gen X and single, you are the demographic politics forgot. I don’t want free bus travel for pensioners and under 25, I want safe, consistent, affordable public transport for everyone, it’s not hard…

Monkey in the news. Well done Emma!

Gulf Stream current at its weakest in 1,600 years, studies show

Come Sunday: how one of America’s biggest preachers became a pariah. I read this and I realised that this is something that I believed pretty much from when I was confirmed. The idea that a loving God would send us to hell is just ridiculous to me, is the world broken? Yes, because we are. I just feel so sad that this guy took so long to get around to hearing it…

but the bishop never turned away from what was, to him, a revelation from God: hell is what humans create for themselves on earth, heaven is for all.

Other people’s blogs – I read quite a few other blogs and thought it would be nice to feature some of the posts I’ve enjoyed this week, maybe you’ll find another favourite blog!

Cassie wrote about practising mindfulness in the garden. Although it’s not the way I do it, I love this and also love Cassie’s plans for her garden, those raised beds are fantastic!

Sarah showed us the contents of her fridge. As a really nosy person, I love posts like this..




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