Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Our First Comestible Review of 2021–Taffel Ketchup Balls

Well, there can’t be many people who can resist the lure of  the odd Ketchup Ball, least of all us ……..

IMG_8766

…… to be honest, these were left over from our Christmas comestibles of a snack type nature, we just never seemed to get around to trying them, so, what better time than this afternoon when we are all at a bit of a loose end.

IMG_8768

The first thing that hit us as we opened the bag was the pungent waft of tomato/tomato ketchup, which, it has to be said was quite overpowering. 

IMG_8769

The balls were pleasantly sized for singular insertion to ones mouth, possibly two if you are that way inclined, but three is probably a little overly ambitious.

IMG_8771

They certainly tasted ketchupy, however none of us was very keen on the slightly powdery feeling they left in the mouth, or for that matter, their, strong, cloying, spicy aftertaste that lingered a little too long, which became unpleasant until Darrell’s Polos were passed round

IMG_8772

Yes, they promised much when Darrell spotted them in the continental supermarket up Port Street, but I don’t think we will be making that considered purchase again, which is disappointing, as is our score on our world famous Richter Scale of Noms, which is, I am afraid, a lowly magnitude 4.5 out of 10.33333 reoccurring.

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Nigel Declares This Footpath Open

A few people have been asking what’s been happening with Nigel’s beloved bridge renovations ……..

IMG_8369

…… well, everyone packed up left just before Christmas without fanfare or ceremony, the first we knew was when we saw that the barricades had come down and the air was rendered almost silent, save for birds singing …….

IMG_8361IMG_8362

…… and the swans feeling that it was safe enough  to return to their usual No. 1 snack stop.  Naturally Nigel felt very lost for a day or two …….

IMG_8758

…… and then obviously anxious to see what had been done, but with the river side path reduced to quagmire following our recent slight flooding (with water reaching to the top of our bottom step leading down from The Towers) there was no way Darrell was going to allow a single smudge of mud to sully his precious wooden floors ……..

IMG_8745

…….. so Nigel had to bide his time until he couldn’t wait any longer and I told him to sneak down for a quick peak while Darrell was out shopping for essentials and to hide his boots under a bush when he came back.

IMG_8740

According to Nigel it all looks pretty OK.

IMG_8746

We’ve got a sturdy new fence and pathway, and the fisherman have gained two new posh fishing platforms.

IMG_8744

Nigel has already mooted the idea that when our wild water swimmers return when the weather is a little more clement, that they might even be able use said platforms as a launch pad diving board.

IMG_8749

He also noticed that one platform has a gate leading to it that has been padlocked, which seemed a tad over the top, considering that you can very easily get to it by walking across what Nigel is now calling “the beach” ………

IMG_8746

….. an area that has been widened and flattened along side the river.  To be honest it doesn’t look very beach like to me, but Nigel reckons that once everything start to green up again in the spring it will look much improved and be quite a pleasant spot for a picnic, skimming stones and even getting the crabbing nets out for Iris and Bertie. 

IMG_8752IMG_8756

I guess the real test for all of the work will be when we next get, but hopefully not for a very long time, any major flooding to see if the island in the middle of the bridge stands up against the full force of the water.

IMG_8750

……. but until then our new, improved public footpath and all those who walk upon her has been unofficially declared open by the little fella in the absence of any Evesham dignitaries of an important type nature, with the robust shaking up and liberal squirting of an already opened bottle of apple and blackcurrant Fruit Shoot left over from an I & B sleepover ………. what is he like?

Monday, 18 January 2021

Castle Grey School – It’s Been Emotional

I don’t think either Darrell or Nigel would describe their first week “proper” Home Schooling as in any way romantic …….

3624bc7e-6277-4f30-bf67-d8fb5022c8c2.jpg___1606666178___7776000___iuNrxa0Wm_Y9QIi52bDcE7hlGHmeTWCDWLlNizww0bQyY5YlIHj2WA0dONdomuNrGGQDl0lkrhJ8q8JT6T5qaA

…….. it’s been a very steep learning curve, they returned to The Towers on Friday night totally exhausted, but, they both survived, (just about), proudly holding aloft two printed off certificates that I think at some stage we might need to frame.

8ebe0359-4965-47c3-ad13-66ea5c78b7f1.jpg___1610039100___7776000___OZkeBZdSfvR7rvfbk5jISfK9y1dEK8H-g7f0W52R18aTl8syYSsrIEJXTqLPiWR-MuPqEi43GJ8eNROT7TZyyw (1)

During the week Nigel found that he is quite adept at Cosmic Yoga, giving both Iris and Bertie a supple run for their money …….

IMG_8581IMG_8574

……. having found his inner flamingo, washing machine and hot air balloon …….

IMG_8577

…… and his “happy baby” pose has to be seen to be believed, according to Darrell!

IMG_8636

Darrell in turn has been managing the two Zoom sessions each per day  Iris and Bertie have to log into at their rigid designated times ………

IMG_8635

Typical of  Darrell, he has created some quite wonderful, coloured in, timetables and rotas for us all to follow for as long as we are on call, which, at present, stands at around mid February according to Boris’s last announcement.

IMG_8700

However, Darrell is determined that should we be selected for a random Ofsted inspection, our delivery of the National Curriculum will not be found wanting in any way, what is he like?

IMG_8667

The highlight of their week was a little something from Bertie.  Unbeknownst to Darrell, Bertie had taken great notice in watching Iris and him working on the flags of the United Kingdom, the next day Bertie disappeared for a while ……….

IMG_8733

…….. returning with this.  He had made Darrell and Nigel, in secret and all on his own, a Union Flag for them to wave, he said, when the Eurovision Song Contest, our televisual highlight of the year, was on, lets just say, it got emotional, very emotional, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house ………. and on that note, I think will leave it there as I too am beginning to feeling a little emotional at the thought myself!  Happy Days.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Volcanic Eruptions Felt In Evesham

Following on from yesterdays very successful Castle Grey School, totally non celebrity Bake Off ……… Nigel felt suitably emboldened in trying top Darrell’s choice activity by attempting to produce a volcanic eruption outside Snake Mountain with Young Master Bertie, the common denominator being the use of bicarbonate of soda, all very familiar to Mr D (in Mexico) no doubt, who believe it or not actually taught Tom The Scientist, in his formative years, Chemistry.

IMG_8622

Having the Osbourne book of 100 Science Experiments and a Horrible Science sticker proclaiming him “Professor” made Nigel, in his eyes, more than eminently qualified for such a risque activity.

IMG_8616 - Copy

Ensuring that full personal protective equipment was worn at all times  by Bertie, in the guise of googles and rather fetching leopard skin ear muffs, all was ready.

IMG_8607

Bertie was instructed to carefully spoon bicarbonate of soda  into a facsimile plastic volcano (from a kit), followed by a little washing up liquid and red food colouring to help replicate the drama and romance  of  a full and robust red hot lava flow………

IMG_8609

……. then, when they were certain that everything was in place, a generous glug of vinegar was added, the top of the volcano quickly put back on, followed by some swift but robust and vigorous shaking ……….

IMG_8610IMG_8612

Hmmmmmm, perhaps not quite Mount Vesuvius, but there again, Rome wasn’t built in a day  and as Nigel reasoned,  too great a spuming eruption might have induced panic in a subdued and locked down Evesham.

IMG_8620

Ever a stickler for detail, Nigel then insisted, as a “reinforcement activity” when they came inside, that Bertie talked through what they had done, interspersed with illustrations, including a pyroclastic flow ……… what is he like (Nigel, not Bertie)………….

IMG_8619

……. although I have to say, Young Master Bertie was not to be found wanting, giving Nigel quite a run for his money!  Happy Days.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

A New Take On Pooh Sticks!

While Darrell and Nigel are away for most of this week learning how to home school I, in turn, had a small package delivered from the NHS which, to be honest, I am quite pleased arrived when young Nigel, in particular, was absent.

IMG_8625

Those of you, of a certain similar mature type age and nature, may already be familiar with the box and therefore know exactly what it is …… to wit a bowel cancer screening kit ……

IMG_8626

……. but what I am afraid Nigel would constantly refer to, if he caught wind of it, as my “poo tester”.

IMG_8628

I’ve had one before, which I also managed to keep well under the radar of prying eyes, this seems a tiny bit different, although to the same end, but am just grateful that all the indelicate “things” will have been …… erm ……  all scooped up and sent away before Darrell and Nigel’s  return.  I just need to get to grips with the task in hand, when, I feel the mood is right!

IMG_8629

The last thing I want is to be greeted by knowing looks whenever I come out of the bathroom, only to be then asked, equally knowingly, an hour or so later, if I have anything for the post as one or both of them is nipping out for their lockdown walk and they might just pass the post box on the way!

Monday, 11 January 2021

A Non Celebrity Bake Off

While waiting for school to get its Home School Programme sorted  Darrell and Nigel found that they a little spare time last week for some unfettered culinary activity …….. to wit a non celebrity Bake Off competition.

IMG_8592 - Copy

Needless to say the idea of a decorated cupcake showdown was greeted and embraced with great enthusiasm and gusto by a pair of very ambitious contestants …….

IMG_8595IMG_8594

…… with Bertie opting for a simple, signature, drizzled glace icing and multicoloured sprinkles ensemble ………..

IMG_8598IMG_8599

…… and Iris going for a double whammy Nutella sandwich combo with Nutella spread in the middle as well as on the top along  with a slightly pared back sprinkling of sprinkles

IMG_8601

Naturally, Darrell and Nigel took on the roles of esteemed and learned judges and took the sampling of said comestibles very seriously, but to ensure that no one was disappointed after all their efforts, there were certificates for both categories of cake!

IMG_8600

……..  and how did they taste? Well, it goes without saying that they were truly delicious and totally off the scale on our world famous Richter Scale of Noms ……. and you can’t get much better than that!

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Stepping Up …….. To Educate

Oh my goodness, here we go again ….....Boris really didn't give us much notice, but it goes without saying that, of course, we've stepped up to the plate to do our bit, the school run may have sadly come to a temporary halt, but our commitment to home schooling has to quote The Carpenters “ …..only just begun”. Let’s just say we are primed for action like nobody has been primed before.

IMG_8572

After a robust and vigourous family dialogue with Tom the Scientist and The Lovely Laura we've volunteered our expertise and vast knowledge of all things animal, vegetable, compatible, combustible comestible, typical tropical topical and je n sais pasable as part of the exclusive I & B Home School Team. “You can trust us”, we said, “We will not be found wanting in any department of an educational type nature” …………

IMG_8568

………. although, to be honest, I might be found panting after a Joe Wicks workout!

IMG_8569

As we are already in a pre-formed, tight knit support bubble we will be safely spending our time between The Towers and Snake Mountain, staying over two nights per week to save on unnecessary to-ing and fro-ing Having our  toothbrushes in two different houses, at the same time is just sooooooo exciting and toooooooo romantic.

IMG_8567

Darrell has packed our overnight bag with all the essentials ………

IMG_8573

……… so it’s onwards, upwards, to infinity and beyond on our next BIG adventure as auctioneers musketeers educationeers ……..

IMG_8570

……… with Nigel determined that under his expert tutorage Young Master Bertie and Little Miss Iris will both have A Level Psychics and Gastronomy under their belts by the summer, what is he like?