Thursday, 24 August 2017

In Which We Get GCSE Results, A Glut Of Vegetables, A Close Shave With A Mad Dog And Make Some Things




It's that time of year isn't it? When courgettes morph overnight into marrows and tomato plants go mad. I've given away seven monster courgettes at the gate since yesterday. The most pleasing of these was when of the rubbish men stopped his enormous truck mid-collection, dropped down out of the cab, seized the biggest one and told me with a huge grin I'm having this one! before calmly continuing on down the lane to finish collecting everyone's recycling.

I've made the red toms into this: 


It's from Sarah Raven's Garden Book. I left out the wine and cloves. It's lovely, really rich. We're having it tonight with jacket spuds and sausages, and these for pud....



Made with really dark chocolate. It's the first time I've managed to get the shiny thin papery layer on the top. They are very rich, to the extent that I (famous for stuffing myself with brownies) can honestly only manage one small one. M is marathon training at present, clocking up 70 odd miles this week, so food is being consumed here at a great rate of knots. I can barely keep up with demand and am cooking furiously so there's always something interesting and filling in the cupboards/ fridge/ tins. Added to this I'm also upping my distances as I've got 5 half marathons to run in the next couple of months and I seem to be visiting supermarkets and collecting free food from the hedgerows/ trees on an almost daily basis!

Last night, he ran in the last RR10 of the season, three laps of a university playing field. I didn't fancy it so ran cross country in the morning with the dogs instead and went along last night to support everyone. It makes a big difference in a race having someone cheering you along. I shouted encouragement to the twenty or so members of our club and got waves and grins back from all of them as they whizzed, trotted or trudged past. Elder Statesman Derek said afterwards it had really helped him muster the energy for the final lap. If you're ever watching a race and in doubt about encouraging the runners go for it- they will love you for it and you might make the difference between someone finishing or not.



The dogs and I were out early in the fields this morning; we hit the trail at 7.30 and it was bliss. No one about, only the buzzards and a few deer and what I think was a peregrine having a scuffle with a buzzard. The run was lovely, cool and fresh and strong. The only blip was when a big black labrador came out of nowhere (from behind us), knocked Ted flying and rushed, barking and snarling, phlegm flying from its rather large teeth, at me. It was rather terrifying as we were in the middle of nowhere and I had nothing, not even the dogs' leads, with me to swipe at it. Instead, more because I was outraged at the way it had run straight over Teddy and rolled him like a ball than because of any conscious thought process, I screamed furiously at it, waving my arms about. Fortunately, this worked and it turned round and ran back to its people who were too far away to have seen/ controlled it. It did shake me up a bit because it was entirely unprovoked. Teddy was fine, just a bit nervous afterwards. We got straight on with our run and put as much distance as possible between it and us. Luckily, for the most part, you can see for miles in those fields, so if I ever see it again I'll make sure we give it a very wide berth.

On a lighter note, I've been doing some more sewing...


And am wondering what to make with these...


Finally, L collected his GCSE results this morning. He's done brilliantly and we're all really proud of him. He took RE a year early (last year) and got an A, for which I gave him a bag of chocolate eclairs as a well done I am proud of you present. He grinned when he saw them because one of his friend's parents had forked out 400 quid for the same result. It has become a standing joke between us since then that whenever he does well I give him a bag of chocolate eclairs, so of course, you can imagine what he got this morning. He grinned even more broadly when he received them, informing me that a family he knows told their son he'd get £1000 for every A he produced. I informed him sweetly that the grades were reward enough (although there will be a small cash prize winging it's way to him shortly). We have agreed that I am a terrible mother :o)

Happy Days here (I even forgot to go to Yoga amid all the excitement).

Hope you're all well?

CT x

38 comments:

  1. Well done to your son! Great news and I hope he enjoys the next stage whatever he decides to do :-)

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    1. I'm so proud of him. He's off to do A Levels next. Hope all's well with you.

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  2. Congrats L! A hug from your mum and a bag of eclairs is worth more than money any day.

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  3. Hey CT,
    Huge congratulations to your boy!! I think I bought Sam chippy tea for his GCSE results lol. I haven't made brownies for yonks, partly because I usually eat most of them. Tomato glut here and lots of sayce being made and frozen. And thank you for your moth ID. It seems to be a great summer for all flutters here.
    Leanne xx

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    1. Thanks, lovely girl. It's been super seeing your moth photos this week. Very well spotted. It's worth keeping an eye out for yellow shell moths in the hedges - day flying, I saw one this morning. Xx

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  4. Congratulations to L on his good results that sounds a good reward to me! Sorry you had such a frightened encounter on your run this morning, hope Teddy has recovered. Sarah x

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    1. Thanks, Sarah. We're so proud of him. Teddy seems fine thank goodness xx

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  5. Brilliant result. Who needs money when you can have eclairs. Up to my eyes in visitors at the mo. Looking forward to quiet jam and baking moments. Yours look great. B x

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    1. I'd choose eclairs too! Have fun with the visitors xx

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  6. Well done great results, hard work certainly pays off.
    Your brownies look scrumptious x

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    1. It's nice to have the GCSEs out the way and in the bag, now he can forget all about them!

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  7. Tomatoes just won't ripen this far North, not without a glass house anyway. Shame. Fantastic results for you young man, well done. They work so hard, don't they? So much pressure to get the highest possible marks, I am glad I didn't have this when I was the same age (different country, different system). We don't reward good grades with tons of money, we had a takeaway when Sam got is Highers results. Love your small pouches, I bet they were fun to make. Have a great weekend. x

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    1. I'm not a fan of the way we do exams. I think we should have a simple pass/ fail with one indicating A Level suitability and the other vocational training or btec to get rid of this ridiculous pressure cooker environment so many of the kids suffer under. Anyway, I'm very glad they're now behind us! X

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    2. Actually, I'd change that and remove the word fail altogether and have a system that pointed the way to what the person was suited to doing. I can't bear the thought of youngsters feeling sad because they haven't done as well as their peers. We're all good at things in different ways.

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  8. Congratulations to L!!! I wonder how many A's the child with the parents promising large sums of money actually got. The brownies look delicious! Hope that Ted will be alright after the encounter with the other dog, not friendly for him at all. Give him an Aunty Amy hug! And Pops so she doesn't feel left out!

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    1. I think they weren't expecting any As which is possibly why they felt safe offering it :o).

      Teddy is fine thank you, and says he's very glad for the Aunty Amy hug. I'll wash Pop before she has hers though as she's a bit stinky at the moment! Xx

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  9. My mother dropped me off at a friend of her's small holding for an afternoons shooting, after I had mucked out the stables, as a reward for my O levels. As for getting into university, I got a well done and that was it.

    My mind boggles at anyone who would give a child £1000 for each exam result, no wonder we have a materialistic society, what strange and mad people.

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    1. A Levels are their own reward in many ways aren't they? Much nicer to have an outing you remember such as yours. I agree the financial incentive seemed a bit out of proportion but each to their own I guess.

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  10. Nothing terrible about your mothering skills, you are teaching your son loads of fife lessons, and more important a good sense of humour. I'm glad Teddy is OK, I walk in our local parks and as I am not a dog person, I always tense when dogs off their leads come close, it's OK for the owners to shout, he won't harm you, but sorry not every one is a dog lover. This is a great time of the year, eating home grown produce.

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    1. L is a hoot. He frequently has me in stitches. I so agree about dogs bounding up to people. I'm always mortified if ours jump up, it's bad manners and as you say not everyone is a fan of dogs.

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  11. Fab mothering skills CT....no sense of entitlement lurking in your children. Honestly giving vast sums of money for results is so shortsighted. The feeling of fulfilment should come from the sense of achievement and yes a bag of eclairs!###
    Beautiful sewing....gorgeous fabric.
    Those other fabrics would look nice as some sort of bag or even a fabric pashmena!
    Brownies look delicious. My grandmother used to bake them, leave them in the pantry and we would sneak down and steal them...I think she knew so always baked extra..... loved her for that...
    Happy days and well done L....great result. Well done both parents for support and love.
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks, chick. When does W take his equivalent? Pashmina is a great idea! Hope you're all well. Love to all. Xx

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  12. Wonderful results and a big well done. The future is bright, warm greetings and best wishes!

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  13. Well done L, that's brilliant news, and very well deserved. Yikes, that dog sounds like the Hound of the Baskervilles. Bertie met a French bulldog puppy called Len today whom he loved very much. They laid on the ground nose to nose. Well done on the all the running and the baking. I need to make some pasta sauce as well, I've got plenty of ripe tomatoes in the garden. Have a lovely weekend CT. Just back from hols here so I shall be tackling the laundry mountain and restocking the fridge. CJ xx

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    1. You'll need a holiday to recover from the post-holiday. Love the sound of Len :o) xx

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  14. You are so nice... I would have run back and said your dog attacked me and my dog. Control it !
    thehamish was attacked by a bigger dog and was not quite the same after. He was lifted and tossed. The deep bruising took forever to heal.
    What would have happened if there was a small child ?
    This kind of thing makes me very mad.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I was more concerned to get as far away from it as possible. Hope winston's doing well x

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  15. I only hope that those parents are as freely giving of their love as they are their money. Hugs to Ted. x

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    1. I think it was a little tongue in cheek. L suspected As may not have been on the cards :o). X

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  16. Many congratulations, such a relief no doubt. What a busy time you've had this week. x

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  17. Nasty dogs. Bane of the trail runners life. Don't I know it.

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  18. Sorry that I missed this post - I've been away with E for a few days. Huge congratulations to L - I remember that some of E's year received financial incentives during exams. E wanted a pet fish! I'm sure the chocolate eclairs went down nicely! Your sewing is lovely and poor Ted being pounced on like that. I'm sure you're his hero for defending him! Happy brownie eating. xx

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    1. Hope you had a lovely time together. Teddy is fine thank goodness! X

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  19. A bit late to the party but HUGE congratulations to your boy. My children are always mentioning others' financial rewards for exam results. Falls on deaf ears... :-) I love the little bags you've made. The paisley pattern material would look great as a liner for the polka dot material in a bag. Well done on handling that scary dog – how frightening. I hope you Ted have recovered. xx

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