Monthly Archives: December 2012

Planting trees

Here’s my latest little project working on a dam wall. Nice and steep so I can fall over a lot. Looks pretty hideous, I know. 2 years ago, it was wall to wall weeds. There was so much stuff, I just had to drop and kill. 2 years later and I was able to break stuff up to make it a bit tidier and plant some trees. Then we had a record heat wave and I’m not sure how many survived. It must rain soon.

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Turtles in the Paddock

The number of subjects in the Principality has increased with the arrival of some baby Turtles. Getting a snapshot on my trusty Box Brownie Camera is difficult as these blokes are extremely shy and can see me far better than I can see them. Can’t blame them for being shy as there are plenty of transient visitors to the Paddock who would like to kill them (Kookaburras, Butcher Birds, the Neighbours Dog) And while it only takes a second or two to dispatch a Turtle, it takes a long, long time for Turtles to make a new Turtle. Anyway, I haven’t been able to photograph the baby, but did manage a pic of Mum (or Dad). The baby looks just like this only smaller.

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Kingsley Amis – The Old Devils

Still looking to read all Booker Prize winners and this was my latest. This one almost slipped into the Ben Okri category for me (Booker winners I Couldn’t finish) -but I got through it. It’s about a bunch of older people who drink, whinge about each other, screw around etc. Boys go to the pub, Girls hang around the kitchen. Apparently, it is both hilarious and sad. I just found it sad and a tiny bit nihilistic. If that’s all old age has to offer, then why bother? Perhaps if I were Welsh I might understand it better. 

Oh well, Hilary Mantel is just around the corner for me. Here’s your quote (if naughty words offend, don’t read it)

“If you ask me all the proper Welshman are leaving Wales,” someone remarks.I say, are they really? Well that’s splendid news, by George,” comes the reply. Most blunt (and wonderful) is the invitation: “Show me a Welsh nationalist and I’ll show you a cunt.”


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Still Volunteering

I’m still doing bits and pieces for the Neighbourhood Centre, and will do chores for other mobs too. The local green groups got more funding for more trees So when they had a tree plant to install about 5,000 trees, I went along. Not to plant trees, I do enough of that in the Paddock, but to help feed sausages the volunteers.

Not sure how many mystery bags I’ve fried over the years, but that number increased by about 500 on Saturday morning. And I don’t even eat them. Here’s some pics : 



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Christmas Pud – The recipe

So here’s the actual recipe – 750g mixed dry fruit, a good splash of Rum, (too much is never enough) 250g butter, 500g brown sugar, 4 eggs, spices – whatever you like, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, 3 – 4 cups dry stuff (breadcrumbs or oats etc) See previous posts for how to put it together. Sharp observers will see only 3 eggs in my mix – they were bloody big eggs so I stopped at 3.

Extra tips – tradition says the pudding mix should be stirred with a wooden spoon and that the youngest person in your house should give it a stir – they get to lick the spoon. We put threepenny bits in years ago, but gave it away when they stopped making coins out of silver. Besides, what would a 21st Century kiddy-wink do with threepence? If you want to put in coins, buy some old silver coins and boil them up first. On Christmas day, give it about another half hour in boiling water to heat it. Warm some brandy in a saucepan, pour over and ignite.

You’ve still got time to make one before Christmas, so stop reading blogs and get in the kitchen. As mine is made, I will be watching the cricket. Day 3 and our brave Aussie warriors are well in front.

Here’s one I made earlier – in fact 22 years ago – my brother in law is about to set it on fire.

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Christmas Pud – Ta Da!!

OK, it’s been a long and drawn out post, but making a Christmas Pud is a long and drawn out process.  Like Cricket, you do it over a few days. So, next step, cut out a top and bottom circle for your pudding bowl and grease that bowl really well. Then stuff your mix in hard – compact it (if you’re having trouble, find a manly Paddock Worker with biceps of steel like mine).  Use the back of a metal spoon to smooth down the mix. Don’t trust your lid, I put a couple of sheets of foil over the top before putting on the lid. The idea is to prevent steam from getting in.

Get it into a pot with water half way up the side, fit a lid and boil on the lowest heat for 6 hours. Watch the cricket. Australia declared at 5 for 450 (heroic sporting gesture) and have Sri Lanka 4 for 87 at stumps on day 2 of the Test. Cool for 15 minutes before turning out.

It will take about another 6 hours to cool completely then wrap it up in foil and put it back into the nicely washed up pudding bowl. Refrigerate until Christmas day. Here’s some pics including the finished pud.

The Responsible Adult has wine flu this morning (yes, another party for two last night) so I’m going to watch  Day 3 of the cricket now and will post the full recipe with extra instructions tomorrow.

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Christmas Pud – 2

So, the next step after drinking the rum was to have a small, but very fun party with the Responsible Adult (not shown in this post) A few days later, cream butter with sugar, mix in some eggs from your girls (My girls went missing recently – all I found was a very fat carpet snake), stir in your fruit and rum mix, then add the dry ingredients. Dry ingredients are flour, bread crumbs and oats. You’ll be tired after all that work, so pour yourself a nice Shiraz and have a rest – or another party with your Responsible Adult. Mine is usually up for a party on most nights.

I’ll be popping it on to cook shortly and will let you know how it goes.


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Christmas Pudding – a Job I like doing

Ho Ho Ho. Time to start the Christmas Pud.  Step 1 – Marinade your fruit in Rum. Step 2. Pour a large Rum for yourself. Repeat. Repeat. Wait a few days. More soon.

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A likely suspect

So who took the Moorhen chic? Here’s my chief suspect in the case. It would be nice if the Carpet Pythons just ate Bandicoots and perhaps the occasional possum. (Hint – it is the wriggly thing swimming)

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Moorhen babies

Your Prince just loves it when new subjects arrive at the Paddock (except Bandicoots) and was delighted to notice the arrival of two baby Moor Hens. Sensitive readers stop now and look at the picture.

Unfortunately, by the following day, it was down to one Moorhen Baby. But Moorhens are a hardy lot and prolific breeders so they will continue. The baby is behind the water lilly flowers.

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Categories: Birds, Wildlife | Leave a comment

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