gark life

Gark Open House 2012

Another year, another open house chez Gark – but this year is a special one! Not only do you need to distract us from our wedding anniversary, but this year you need to try TEN TIMES HARDER on the grounds that it’ll be our tenth anniversary. For those who are planning to bring tin-based goods, please note that it’s unlikely to be cold enough for tin pest to be a significant issue (unless they’re intended for the freezer). Fare will be much as in previous years – cake, mince pies, mulled wine and assorted nibbles. Please RSVP so that we… Read More »Gark Open House 2012

I call it the Marmalagarita

While squeezing some Seville oranges at the weekend (for duck a l’orange, as you do), I realised that what Seville orange juice really, really needs is tequila. I therefore present the following: Marmalagarita 40ml tequila 20ml Cointreau Juice of a Seville orange Dash of orange bitters (Fee Bros. preferred)

Home again, home again

Back from the monster tour of England and Scotland (Southampton to Windermere and back, via Dunblane), and it turns out that we had monster produce waiting for us ( – did I forget to tell you to help yourself?): That’s 7.26 kg of courgette (1st2lb in old money). I had to get the bathroom scales to find that out!

It’s all been downhill since Jethro Tull

The agriculturalist and not the prog rock band, that is. We have an allotment, the one in the NW corner of this map. Many things about it are good, principally the price (£3.58 per annum) and the location (our house is four houses away due west). What’s less good was the state when we assumed the lease: thigh-deep in brambles. We’ve been gradually clearing them – currently about 20% done – but what’s clear is that the previous leaseholders didn’t bother clearing the brambles by hand, preferring to chop them up with a rotorvator. I’m pulling out about a dozen… Read More »It’s all been downhill since Jethro Tull

Dogs playing poker…

…cats, bears, wolves and monkeys playing Uno. (Wolfie has just played a blue 1, and play is passing clockwise; Brown Bear is therefore just about to win. Cat has managed to stitch Monk up something rotten with a few well-placed +4s, and has left him with a hand worth upwards of 120) The keeps asking what Cat and Monk get up to while he’s at nursery, and we’ve started to stage vignettes to indulge him and amuse ourselves.

Our Daily Bread

Last Friday, reminded me that a) it had been a very long time since I’d made bread and that b) the nursery’s attempt to get the kids to make bread last week had ended in abject failure, so I might as well enlist the ‘s help when I made bread at the weekend. I like making bread, but it is time-consuming. Elizabeth David’s English Bread and Yeast Cookery has been one of my favourite cookery books (along with Jane Grigson’s English Food, Diana Kennedy’s Art of Mexican Cookery and the first Moro cookbook) ever since the mother-in-law gave me her… Read More »Our Daily Bread

Toddler for hire

Bumped into while waiting for the bus with and the after work today. Cue the following conversation after Dave left: Why that ? Well, that’s his name. Where is going? He’s on his way home to see . Why? Because he’s ‘s boyfriend! Why he ‘s boyfriend? Because they like each other a lot. That’s why they live together. *nods sagely* I think they need a boy. Pardon? I think they need a boy. What kind of boy? A little boy, like you? Yes. They need a little boy like me.

Toddler Linguistics, part the nth

An account of a conversation while waiting at bus stop with and the : My1 like coiley-wotey. What’s coiley-wotey? Coiley-wotey! Colley Wotty? Coiley-wotey! What sort of a thing is coiley-wotey! *pause* Coiley-wotey! He’s making this word up. Are you making this word up? Is this another silly word? No, coiley-wotey! How big is coiley-wotey? *looks confused* Is coiley-wotey big or small? Coiley-wotey! He’s just saying that! Stop saying that! *has flash of inspiration* What colour is coiley-wotey? Grey. *thinks* What sort of animal is coiley-wotey? He a woof, chase roadroader. Roadroader goes beep-beep! Aha! He’s a wolf! You’re talking about… Read More »Toddler Linguistics, part the nth

Burns 250

The 25th of January this year marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of the most famous son of Alloway (and Scots national poet), Robert Burns. Given that the 25th is a school night, we’re planning a not-quite-Burns Night Supper on Saturday 23rd January from 7pm onwards, to which you’re most cordially invited. The bill of fare will again feature the Lunan family haggis (to Issy’s grandfather’s recipe, and made by yours truly) with the traditional accompaniment of bashit neeps and champit tatties, followed by crannachan. We’ll make sure that we have a vegetarian haggis for the veggies, and we’ll… Read More »Burns 250

Video killed the radio star

Soon after the was born, a little over three years ago, sent me out with a shopping list, as follows: Lansinoh Cotton wool I decided to get these from the big John Lewis in town, on the ostensible grounds that it was marginally closer to the car park than Boots. This also meant that I could browse the AV department. One thing lead to another, and I ended up leaving with the following items: Lansinoh Cotton wool A Humax 9200-T PVR Apart from making a shopping basket that clearly shouts “new dad” (nipple cream + superfluous technology), the PVR has… Read More »Video killed the radio star