Chicken Soup For The Soul

I’m a fricking Genius.

By accident , may I add?

The slow cooker is paying for itself already. Yesterday I cooked a chicken in it and had the foresight to leave all the juicy juices, chicken stock and leftovers in said pot.



Jackie recipe :

Randomly dice up one onion, a few carrots, a few potatoes and fry them gently in olive oil for some time. Add the juices from the crockpot plus more Chicken Oxo cube stock and a splash of herbes de provence. Simmer until all the veg is tender.

Let the pan cool, add a few chunks of rescued chicken then bash it all about a lot with a whizzy thing until you get a smooth something – I had to add a bit of milk here to help the whizz.

Season to taste. Lots of salt and pepper.

Fry off some bacon lardons. Add to the mix.

I have some double cream to hand and may go a bit creamy when I add the rest of the chicken and reheat everything about 5pm.


I’d make a brilliant TV cook :o)

Bel-Voir vs Beaver

Getting up at 4am with chronic heartburn has it’s compensations.

Wow. I learned many things in the next 2 (quiet) hours.

This is so linked that it resembles a Gordian Knot.

I’ll explain more when I know more but for now…

Links include :

The Manners Family

George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham


Penelope Devereux, her brother, Robert Devereux – 2nd Earl of Essexand her son, Henry Rich



Titus Andronicus

Robert Dudley

Edward de Vere

Ivan Grozny

Elizabeth I Tudor

Sir Philip Sidney and his sister Mary

James VI & I Stuart

Silly Kate


And Belvoir (Beaver, please!) Castle

Oh. Let’s throw in a Witch of Three like in Macbeth :o)

How NOT To Defrost a Freezer

Switch it off.

Open it up.

Attack it with a hairdryer, a wooden spoon and an iron mallet.

Eldest and I had great fun.

The freezer is about 15 years old and has deep frozen at least one mammoth and two sabre toothed tiger’s at the bottom. Leaving no room for anything else.

Fortunately the dang thing is near the back door so as the boy is hacking the ice, I’m chucking it out the door.

We almost killed Dave the postie with a block of ice embedded with peas and sweetcorn….oops.

Hey. Not everything has to be a boring chore. Right ?


The Strangest of Strange Spanish Connections

Throughout my life it has been said that somewhere in the deep dark past, my mother’s family had Spanish blood. Hence the dark eyes and dark hair that we both share.

I was stunned when my DNA didn’t bring up a single sniff of a Spanish gene. So I dismissed this as family mis-information.



Via New Chronology, I ended up HERE : La història usurpada

My maternal family have been in Norfolk for centuries. We KNOW this via my second cousin Janet who did the whole family ancestry thing in church/parish/family/public records.

Why the excitement?

Ha. Twofold excitement.

I know a little about the History of my country. Even Roman History.

The ancient Catalans or Catalauni were one of the founding peoples of Gaul. However, in this article we will find that they were also from the British Isles. The supposed British tribe of the Catuvellauni or Catuvellans, is actually a branch of the people of the Catalauni or Catalans of Gaul that split due to the arrival of the people of the Belgians in their territory, in the area of the current Champagne (former Catalan or Catalaunian Plains).

The Catuvellauni were a Norfolk Tribe of “Ancient Brits”

Then we have the link with Norfolk and an ongoing obsession of mine (if you’ve been with me from the start, you’ll know this)

The Mabinogi.

Who’d’ve thunk, hey ?


Out of My Head With the ENVY!

How gorgeous.

Yes. It may seem frivolous and totally pointless but who doesn’t love a good old pointless frivol every now and again?

I LOVE French breakfasts. And a glass of Prosecco is OK too :o)

BTW : Walking in a floor length gown takes practice. Spending my life with men, being a girl in HM Forces, I’m used to matching a man’s stride. Nothing dainty and feminine in that, sadly.

A whilst back I spend a day in one of my Historical Costumes and nearly fell A over T about 42 times.

Note to Self : The word is GLIDE not STRIDE.


Thank you, Taylor :o)

Royal Flush| Basingstoke | Tri – Sarah Top

My youngest was 3 and a bit years old when he was diagnosed with psoriasis.

It was so bad that he was admitted to Basingstoke Hospital under the care of a Consultant Dermatologist. He had to spend a week there.

I took him. With his cuddly and his favourite toy. Tri-Sarah-Top. A green pointy fuzzy fluffy dinosaur.

I lasted two days and two nights and then drove back a third time and demanded that he come home with me.

I had an Emergency Meeting with the Consultant. She was very anti. Yeh but…No but….

YES BUT I’M HIS MOTHER so I trump all your cards.

He came home. Without his dino. FFS. It’s been scooped up in the laundry and I had to go back yet again to retrieve Tri-Sarah.

Worth it though to see his face. Aaah :o)

This is one of my favourite Only Fools Episodes. So many quotes.

I look like a Free-Range Wally

Is that a Da Vinci?

Peas and gravy.

Burke’s Peerage.

But ‘Iggy ‘Iggins robs banks……..It’s Saturday. The banks are closed.

Taking the Pith

I watch Hannah on and off.

If I had my time again this would be me.

How the eff does she have a Landrover Defender – long wheel base? And a UK one?

When mine had to be sold. Not Jealous…ok – Off the scale Jealous.

I can build too. And COOK. And live alone in the woods – with friends coming over to help.

P.S. Pith?

My childhood was spent with my Dad’s Pith Helmet always showing up somewhere in the house. With a loud verbal warning – DO NOT TOUCH.

P.P.S. Very DRY, Very COLD White Wine and a ton of olives, thanks.


The Misfits

No. Not the film with Marilyn Munroe, Eli Wallach and Clark Gable.

Me and BFF.

We were thrown together aged 11 at Qegs and are still BFFs.

2 and a half hours later on the phone we’ve covered the good, the bad and the ugly.

Misfits? Yup. Landed in rural Lincolnshire, daughters of a Royal Marine and an RAF pilot.

Bugger the bad and the ugly – we had so much fun on with the good.

For 3 years our class was relegated to porta-cabins. Outside of the main building. Why….?

Somewhere in the shit would be either me, Karen or Alex. Or worse – all of us. The dark, the blonde and the redhead.

Hey, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

Way back then – fun was NOT #banned. Even the teachers found us quite entertaining. Perfect DETENTION fodder :o)

Write out 500 lines – Stupid is as stupid does.

The four pens sellotaped together worked every time :o)

Kitchen DVD Boxset of Today : Bottom

Yes. We do crass here. Get over it!

I experienced my very F1RST US vs UK show reactions at Checkpoint Bravo, Berlin in the early 80’s.

WE watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail one night shift and the Americans, two feet away from us, were perplexed. And rather vocally insulting.

It happened t’other way round too but I can’t remember what they were watching. And both the US and the UK ignored our French compatriots at the other end of the desk. Language difficulties only.

I’ve been blasted with certain US sitcoms recently. I’ve always enjoyed Cheers. Frazier is good. Everyone Loves Raymond makes me LOL. King of Queens, meh. And as for that one with Sheldon the geeky physicist… like ….WTF?



NOW. Bottom. Trash Brit Humour at it’s pinnacle.

Mulligatawny Soup

I do it to myself every single day!

What’s for tea, Mother?

Dunno. What do you want?

Youngest spent most of his early/mid 20’s in the Middle East and has exotic food tastes. Brunch was raw carrot sticks and humus.

I just happened to mention Mulligatawny soup – Heinz cans are your Grandad’s fave meal ever.

I had to explain what it was and at the word “curry” he shouted – I’ll have THAT. With cheese on toast.


When his Dad and I were in Karachi we had freshly made Mulligatawny. OMG. To die for.

I’m not a fan of the Heinz kind so I’ve promised to make my own for all of us….Eeeek.

Some days I can be very stupid. Sigh.


Research Recipe.

NEVER…EVER Put Eggs in a Fridge!

These two have been making me smile for a while now.

Everything I’ve seen has evolved around food.

This one is a new experience for them.

Welcome to my daily 8am morning adventures in Tesco. Bless ’em. It’ll never be the same again :o)

P.S. Eggs. In. Fridge? Noooooooo!

P.P.S. I’ve no room to talk. My trip to Rome and Venice was a “forced” Italian foodfest for my traveller-in-crime. We HAD to eat REAL Bolognese, lasagne, pizza, risotto, Carbonara, minestrone and gelato. She was well-up for it :o)

Why? Why? Why? Mummy….!

I remember (vividly) the exact time that I had no answer for my children’s constant questioning.

Up to a certain age you have a perfectly valid and sane answer to their unending questions.

And THEN………

Comes THE question that blows your brain.

No. Not sex. It can be any question about anything that you are forced to answer with – I DON’T KNOW. If you are an honest, loving caring parent.

I remember VIVIDLY the day my eldest son said to me – “Mummy. Why can’t you answer my question? I thought you knew everything.”

Me. Being ME replied. “My lovely boy, some things are not answerable by me. YOU have to find your own answer.”

That’s why I went through years of distance from the grandparents for not having either of my boys “christened” in church.

Thankfully their father agreed with the total hypocrisy of it all (church christening with all the trimmings and BS) and let me let THEM choose their own faith.

They are both grown men now and I can still threaten to slap their bums. Even though they are much taller and wider than me :o)


And it makes for great, far-ranging, uncontrolled and immensely enlightening discussions!!!!!!

The video below is about teaching his son how to TELL TIME and the difference between Hour and Our.

Jeebuth. I love a person who loves words and how to dissect them :o)

P.S. I was told this morning that I have a mannerism for when I “angry” speak. I always preface with the word ERRRR.

As in Errr – not a hope in hell. Or Errr- Of course, my darling.


I STILL pick them up on words that have 2 T’s in but neither are enunciated.


 “To Harlequin the invisible”

Another day of boring chores but my mind has been elsewhere.

In audiobooks and the gold I’ve found therein.

I’m such a lover of Agatha Christie stories but my knowledge has proved to be extremely limited. Do you all know about Mr. Quin and Mr Satterthwaite?

Apparently they were two of Agatha’s fave characters…and she even dedicated her book of short stories – The Mysterious Mr Quin – as shown in the title above.

I’m on only my second story with these two and a thought just struck me. POW!

Harley Quin (Mr Quin) IS the aged Mr Satterthwaite’s subconscious mind.

Harlequin the Invisible appears and disappears at strange times in the old man’s life. And propels Satterthwaite in deep and mysterious adventures.

I’ve not watched the video below yet.

I don’t want any spoilers :o)

Three Blind Mice

I usually love the quiet.

But today I had something to do that was complicated and not much looked forward to so I put on a yt free audiobook in the background to keep me going.

Midwinter Murder by Agatha Christie.

It’s a series of short stories. Some I know and some I’ve never heard of. The First Story – Three Blind Mice – was totally new. And thoroughly gripping.

Deep mid-winter. A newly married couple who knew little about each other (but it was just after WW2 and so many were damaged by what they’d experienced.)

Molly and Giles are given a gift via a relative of Molly’s. A manor house. They decide to sell it and then (after a few real life realisations) decide to keep it. Victorian furniture and all and set up a Guest House. Charging 7 guineas a week. Meanwhile – in London – there has been the strange and mysterious murder of a woman.

Molly and Giles have no idea what they are doing and accept a few bookings, even though the area is in the grip of 5ft snow drifts and they are almost out of coke to fire the central heating.

Enter a cast of strange characters.

I was entranced….until the end.

If you know Agatha’s work and I say – Poirot’s Christmas, The Mouse Trap, a touch of Endless Night, Greenshaws Folly – you’ll understand the feeling of OK. Whatever.

But I’d still recommend :o)

On to the second story. Oh. I know that one. On to the third story.

Writing The Hero’s Journey

I am first and foremost a writer.

I’ve studied both the art and the craft of writing for decades but everything I’ve read and/or written boils down to one single Universal Truth.


This is the meaning of life. To live that journey.

Joseph Campbell was a great mentor via his books. Robert Graves too. And Myth & Legend. And the Tarot.

Everything in our lives is predicated on The Journey and how we choose to travel.

This journey ALWAYS starts with THE FOOL. The blithe young soul wearing the motley, with a bindle on his shoulder, the rose of love in his hand and a faithful dog at his heels as he steps over the cliff into the unknown.

The Journey always ends with The World. A circle. A Naked Woman and the Tetramorph (the four elements or the Four Evangelists or…)

It is a completed cycle.

Within this journey we face so much. So many trials. The Magic. The Spirit. The Love. The Strength. The Forward. The Backward. The Death. The Rebirth. The Devil. The Angel. The Destruction. The Rebuilding. Justice. Judgement. Light. Dark. Hope. Failure. Loss. Gain.


George Lucas wrote Star Wars based on Joseph Campbell’s Hero With a Thousand Faces.

Luke is the fool. The little man with a strange voice (Obi wan?) is the Magician. Leia is the High Priestess. Darth is just one letter away from DEATH. And Vader is an anagram of RAVED.


I see this within my own life. Though – I just keep going back to The Sacred Fool (Heyoka) and Death is a given.

Don’t Bring Me Down…….

Thanks :o)

And All the Roads We Have to Walk are Winding

And all the lights that lead us there are blinding.

I’m walking down an extremely winding road with signposts taking me from Sufism to Gurdjieff to Morris Dancers to Tumuli to The Old Straight Track.

I’ve been all these places before.

I seem to’ve missed something that needs to be re-researched

Meanwhile – I’m in an Oasis Rumi-nating :o)

RUMI – a Sufi mystic poet?

Run from what’s Comfortable……Oh. Never mind.

He Knows Me Too Well!


We watched the video below very early this morning.


My comment : 28 hours…I’d not even bother to sleep. Too much to see.

His Comment : You’d NEVER eat all that food.

His eyes were huge watching. Caviar on tap. Lobster. Caviar. And a whole caviar menu.


But French bread and saffron butter and croissants and Veuve Cliquot are nice!

I’d be so high on champagne, running up and down the whole train and looking into everything and quoting scenes from all three Murder on the Orient Express films + book that I may’ve been thrown off about 5 miles outta Calais.


P.S. One single word came up with us throughout the entire video.


Watch and see.

LimeHouse Golem

This is the last film that I remember having the time to sit down and watch (alone) from start to finish.

It was way after the release and mates kept telling me that I’d love it.

OK. M’eh. Another Jack the Ripper, Sherlock Holmes rip-off.



Bill Nighy is an actor that I respect….loved him in Shaun of the Dead & Guest House Paradiso and other UK stuff. He’s a familiar face.

This film was NOT what I expected.

Revealing My Bloomers

Not everyone will “get” this.

It’s been such a long-standing joke in our family that I just had to go there :o)

MY bloomers are now made. All hand-sewn and even embroidered.

They are mid-calf length and can be worn under a dress or skirt or apron dress or all alone. Take your pick.

Like so much fake history…..Amelia Bloomer didn’t even invent them. She saw. She liked. She copied. She #won.

Shock, shock, horror, horror. NOT


Bloomers aka Apple Gatherers.

Apple Gatherers are HUGE knickers that cover a good third of a woman’s body. They are so called because they’re big enough to gather an orchard of apples in.

I’ve just found a wonderful pattern and I’m going to make myself a pair…to wear in public. Under the apron I’m making (as shown in the image above)

VerityHope patterns on Etsy.

Next on the list – fake tan to turn my white as milk legs golden brown (so much wrong with that statement) and a pair of pince-nez.

I have a wonderful grey streak in my dark hair, maybe I’ll grow a wart, moustache and a few hairs on my chinny chin chin too.

STFU. Today – ANYTHING GOES, yeah :o)

The Big Yin

This morning, I accidently got to watch something that I NEVER watch – BBC Breakfast News.

I lasted a WHOLE 5 minutes and saw an announcement.

Sir Billy Connolly said he does not let his Parkinson’s disease dictate who he is as he spoke of his honour at receiving this year’s Bafta fellowship.

The 79-year-old comedian, known as the Big Yin, will be celebrated for a career spanning more than five decades at the awards ceremony on 8 May. The fellowship is the highest Bafta accolade given to recognise outstanding and exceptional contribution in film, games or television.

I adore, love and adore again this man. He’s been part of my upbringing for so long. Yes, I agree. He went all establishment. He’s an atheist (or something close to an unspiritual person) and he accepted THE highest “common person’s” validation award – A SIRSHIP.

But – he’s an ex-Catholic who grew up in poverty and was severely physically, emotionally and sexually abused as a young boy. And turned all that trauma into a career that has brought many laughs into our lives.

Not all good is good. Not all bad is bad (?!?)

Dangerous Brian & The NC 500

I’ve known DB since 1984. He’s married to a crazy woman whom he lets travel with me across Europe and the Middle East! Despite knowing how totally stupid she and me are when we get together.

In all that time, he and I have NEVER had anything even approaching a bad word to say to each other. Until he told me that he’d just come back from the NC500.

I pouted quite a bit and demanded why he didn’t take me with him.

Something about motorbikes, slashing rain, freezing cold and very uncomfortable accommodation.

That made me feel a whole lot better….LOL :o)

One day. I will. But in a van with a roof and a comfy bed with about 14 duvets and cooking facilities and a proper loo, a shower with hot water, an open fire. Fact!

But then I’d still need a DB who is an amazing mechanic and can make anything work. He’s only allowed here to stay if he brings his tool box, chainsaw, ropes and pulleys, electrical kit, spanners, hammers and nuts. And his wife – who will be as guilty as me of doing something totally unexpected.

A Jimmy Binge

It’s POETS Day, he’s doing the pee off early bit from work and I’m the designated driver. Again!

Time is too short to start a new project so I’m relaxing with a Welsh Viking.

This subject fascinates me. Why?

Because 99.9% would never even think about thinking about it.

They prefer bubblegum for the eyes and brain in neutral mode.

Also – I’m a bit of nit-picky person too. If things are wrong, misaligned, uncomfortably jarring or downright FALSE – it irks me. Like sand in a sandwich. Irritating.

There is a whole freaking beach in my sandwich right now.


L’addition, sil vous plais

Picture this. Me and three other gals in a restaurant just off the Place Vendôme, Paris.

We had finished an amazing meal (restaurant is upstairs) and needed the bill. The waiter came over and chatted in English. One of them asked out loud how to ask for the bill in French. I mumbled something about an addition.

The waiter was wonderful. He said – I love the English accent speaking French. Absolute truth.

So I said…..

I love the French accent speaking English.

BTW: Castiglione is the restaurant. Amazing food. Been there about 4 times. OK. 3 times. One time me and partner in crime were waiting outside, sat at a table when an older man hoved into view and started his chattychit. The waiter whispered in my ear… come back later – when the letch had gone. We didn’t go back. Creepy vibes.

S.I.B. vs Hunt A Killer

When I was serving in Ulster, I was approached by a Senior Member of the RMP SIB and asked to join.

BUT, But, but…I’d done something extremely stupid beforehand and had to decline :o(

Although an SIB appears to have existed in the British Army of the Rhine in Germany between 1919 and 1926, the origins of the army’s SIB are in 1940, when twenty Scotland Yard detectives were enlisted in the Corps of Military Police to deal with the pilfering of military stores within the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France.[1] The unit was formed on the recommendations of Detective Chief Inspector George Hatherill (who later went on to investigate the serial killers John Reginald Christie and John George Haigh, and the Great Train Robbery) and command was given to Detective Superintendent Clarence Campion, head of Scotland Yard’s Criminal Record Office, who was commissioned as a Major. Campion was hit in the head by shrapnel during the Dunkirk evacuation and died on 20 May 1940, the only SIB casualty of the BEF. After this beginning, the SIB was established on a full-time basis. One of the first group of detectives, Frank Elliott, was sent out to Cairo, Egypt. Under the supervision of Colonel Claude Harper, Elliott managed a 500-man force which investigated crime in Egypt, Palestine and later Libya.[2]

The SIB (RMP) now consists of about three hundred personnel, including Scenes of Crime Officers and forensic technicians. It is divided into numbered units called Investigation Platoons (for instance, 33 Inv Pl SIB Regt), which are subdivided into Detachments, each usually commanded by a Warrant Officer Class 2. There is a section or detachment on most major British Army stations. There is also a Territorial Army section, made up of CID officers and ex-regular SIB. The Headquarters SIB Regiment is at Campion Lines at Bulford, Wiltshire. Within the RMP, SIB is known as “the Branch” or more commonly “the Feds”.


What had I done? A heinous crime?


I’d got engaged to another RMP a few months before and we were to be married a few months later.

After living with a father who’d been both CID and SB, I kinda knew the life that would be ahead. And it was not compatible with family. Which I also knew through IRL experience!!!!!

BUT : I’ve never lost the thrill of the chase.

Hunt a Killer is so heavily advertised that I’m thinking of blowing a whole week’s food budget on a sub.

To be honest – I have little time to spare and that has been wasted watching yt Trooth Channels and bitching back at bitches for far too long. Too easy. FAR too boring. I need a new challenge.

Will she, Won’t she, Can she ?

I’m so tempted :o)

Black Vaughan : aka Hound of the Baskervilles

The Red Book of Hergest – Read it.

Prayer of the Night Shepherd – Read that too.

Hound of the Baskervilles – Ditto.

The people of my country have wild and vivid imaginations. Our folk-lore is rampant and entwined through every tree and blade of grass.

Which Vaughan was Black?

The main candidate is Sir Thomas Vaughan circa 1400. If he actually lived and did what is said, then there were many who didn’t like him. Hence the Legend of Black Vaughan…..the Black Bull/Fly/Dog of ancient times.


Are we in Wales or England with this? Mmmn. Probably right on the Border Marches where “the veil” is thin and many a ghosty and ghouly roams.

Spooky whooooooh!

I’m Your Best Friend……!

Oh Happy Day.

Is that a song?

Whatever. I’m feeling happy/content/serene/calm/fulfilled.


I need a little madness. I’m used to madness. Madness is my middle name.

OK. That’s not true. Anne is my middle name. After my maternal grandmother.

After Haaans Gruuuber – this is my favourite Alan Rickman performance.

See below, below. Even Eddie (Ade) is an Alan Rickman fan :o)

Negative Space & Bleak House

When we lived in Gib I took watercolour lessons in Bleak House. Our tutor was a huge fan of Betty Edwards.

I learned about Negative Space.

I’m still learning :o)

Bleak House? Have I made that up? Nope. We lived at Europa Point and the big mansion called Bleak House was home to the local library – where my boys and I would spend many a happy hour – and also night school classrooms. And much more.

I’m not a fan of Dickens but I understand his place in the History of Literature.

Monty James : Oh! Whistle and I’ll come to you, my lad.

I’ve been brought to this story by circuitous routes.

I have MR James in book and audio form…a long-term project. This is one story that totally sticks with me.

“Quis est iste qui venit?”

Parkins, the protagonist, is a young Cambridge University professor on holiday in the town of Burnstow (a fictionalized version of FelixstoweSuffolk), on the southeast coast of England. He resides at The Globe Inn for the duration of his stay, and has promised to investigate the grounds of a nearby preceptory for a colleague during his stay, with view to his colleague further exploring the site the following summer.

While investigating a cavity within what he believes to be the base of a ruined Templar platform or altar for his colleague, Parkins finds an ancient bronze whistle. Parkins pockets his find and returns to the inn, noting as he walks along the desolate beach that a “shape of indistinct personage” appears to be making great efforts to catch up with him in the distance, to no avail.

Everything has a link in this infinite chain :o)

AND – Bonus View.

The incomparable Mark Gatiss aka Mycroft (Horror Fan just like me) tells us a story about Monty James.

BTW : I’ll be taking this Ghostly (Banquo) vibe even further today. YAY