Monday, 23 December 2013

How To Make Mulled Wine, A Christmas Scarf For Emily, Running THREE MILES and Ted By the Fire

Did any of you here in the UK happen to catch the '12 drinks of Christmas' prog that was on t'other night? Apart from nearly spitting out my hot water (see? I was being good and flushing out my liver as I said I would - in preparation for severely dousing it with alcohol over crimble proper) when fifty quid was casually mentioned as a reasonable amount to spend on a bottle of red (what universe? I wondered), the bit I liked the sound of was the mulled wine recipe.

I make mulled wine here every Christmas, because a) it tastes a good deal nicer and b) bought stuff is usually contaminated with orange juice, which is no good AT ALL for my migraines.

So I tried out their recipe tonight (my alcohol amnesty didn't last long did it?) and thought I would share it with you all. Of course, it's tweaked to my own preference, but I did listen when they suggested making it with a decent bottle of red instead of the cheapest you could find (or a nasty one inherited as a dinner party gift, which had doubtless been passed round the hands of all your friends as various dinner party gifts over several years because no one wanted to drink it), so accordingly I invested a £10 bottle of Isla Negra Merlot (purchased for a fiver) into the mix and I have to say it is pretty damn delicious. M states it's the best of my mulled wine efforts yet, so try it if you fancy and let me know how you get on.
1 Bottle Isla Negra Merlot
Generous Slosh of Brandy
Handful of roughly chopped almonds
Handful of sultanas
2 sticks of cinnamon
a shake of mixed spice and ground spice
a dollop of brown sugar
a slosh of cranberry and raspberry juice

Heat and stir and serve. Yum! 

I hope you will all be suitably impressed to hear that yesterday I ran THREE MILES with my husband, along lanes and across fields. My usual distance is 1-2 miles, so this was AN ADVANCE, and I felt pretty good all things considered when we got back: I wasn't out of breath, didn't feel knackered and what's more I wasn't walking like someone who's knee joints had been surgically removed this morning and was able to get out of bed without being pushed.

I was exceptionally muddy when we got back though. And there was one moment when I thought I might just have killed myself, by running up a hill that was far too steep to be reasonable. I couldn't stop because we'd just trotted jauntily past a family out walking and the lady my age had called out as we went by in an impressed voice full of admiration: 'oh well done! You well and truly deserve your Christmas dinner now.'

Bugger (I thought, as my knees started to buckle and my insides started to feel sick), that means I can't possibly stop now until we're round the bend and out of her sight. So we duly carried on and by the top of the hill I was gasping like a bloody fish out of water, seeing stars and wondering whether I might just be about to pass out.
Fortunately, recovery was quick and after a brief stretch of walking we carried on and fairly bounced home. I must have been OK because we went out for another 2 miler today in The Most Foulest Of Weather. A tree nearly fell on our heads and we had to run through a swamp which froze my feet and sprayed mud all over us both. Just call me Superwoman.

I have also been busy knitting today, and have made a Jolly Christmas Scarf for my niece Emily, who is four, has just started school and can already write her own name and various other things with confidence. Here it is...

I've also got some new wrist warmers (should've knitted these too but I'm not up to doing patterns yet). They have barely left my arms today because it has been pouring and foul here all day....

I'll leave you with some pics of the dogs. Here is Teddy enjoying a moment of peace in his bed by the fire...

And Pops, slightly bleached out by the flash but never mind. We think her face is getting whiter. What do you think?

Only One More Day To Go!!! I am Getting Excited Now, how about you?

I hope everyone who reads this in the West of the UK is OK- M is just reading out to me the catalogue of disasters happening there in all this terrible weather. We are thinking of you.

CT x


  1. Well done on the running - you make me feel exceedingly lazy :)

    Thanks for mulled wine recipe it looks rather delicious. We have lots of red wine here given to husband at various times and we don't really drink red wine much so I will try out your recipe with one of the more expensive bottles :)

    I love the last photo of Poppy - SO cute :)

    Very excited here too - just have the mince pies and veggie option to bake tomorrow and a bit of tidying up to do and I am ready :)

    1. We're more or less ready here too, a couple of prezzies still to wrap but other than that....

      Hope you have a lovely day tomorrow x

  2. Yes seriously bad weather here CT winds up to 75mph and so much rain, lots of flooding. I wont sleep properly tonight, still it's supposed to be better tomorrow. That is a pretty scarf.

    1. I was thinking of you last night as the wind tore about the place here. Hope all is OK this morning. We have trees down across the lane and a bit of a flood but nothing too major.

      Have a great day tomorrow x

  3. The wind is getting all fired up again tonight, after a respite this afternoon. Branches down, river very high. But we haven't lost power yet or, even more remarkably, broadband. That's something.
    Great picture of Pops!

    1. Hope you were OK last night Jess- very windy here and lots of rain but we're alright this morning.

  4. I am seriously impressed and ever so slightly sickened by your running prowess, but then I have to accept I am not built for the jogging, so will stick to bopping around the kitchen whilst waiting for my spiced cabbage to cook.

    Glad Teddy go a moment of fireside peace. It must be very trying for our older animals to have a feisty youngster flung upon 'em!

    Have a lovely day tomorrow! From us in Kent to you in Hampshire - cheers!!! X

    1. Kitchen bopping is probably more fun than running, with or without the addition of spiced cabbage :-)

  5. Three miles is a great run! Love the photos of your dogs. And Merry Christmas!

    1. Hi Mary :-)

      Thank you for the follow. My only worry about the run is that now M will expect me to do it again!!

      Have a lovely day today x


Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x