On Friday, we spent the remaining £20 of our anniversary budget on ingredients for a special tea (Mexican-style chicken, which we'd made before ages ago; the sauce involves cocoa powder, it's nommy) and lemon meringue pie, which despite an early disaster with the pastry was nonetheless tasty.
On Saturday we decided to have a cheese feast for dinner so I made some proper rustic French baguettes (froze one), which were delicious. The recipe came from a Women's Institute book that I got a few Christmases ago and every single recipe in there involves ridiculously wet dough, but I'm getting a bit better at handling it (the trick seems to be to let the mixer do a lot of the work...)
On Saturday, we had an adventure with the neighbours' pets... Just before I'd put a load of washing out (yay, sunshine!) Paul was standing at the open back door and suddenly pulled it closed. I assumed there was a giant bee or wasp or something flying at him and thus did not expect his first words to be, "There's a dog in the garden!"
(Paul is scared of dogs, in case anyone didn't know...)
The dog in question was a rather large puppy (possibly a Staffy but I'm not sure - that sort of breed anyway) which was happily bounding around our lawn before running back through the gap in the hedge from whence he came. At another point there was also another little white dog in the garden as well as the giant puppy. Anyway, we knew that the folks two doors away had dogs so Paul went down to ask them if they'd lost one.
It's the first time we'd properly met the neighbour at 87 and he seemed a nice enough chap. He said the puppy was relatively new and had chewed a hole in the fence, which he'd not gotten around to fixing as yet. Anyway, eventually the puppy went back through to his own garden, we heard a distinctive "Get inside!" and a slamming door, and latterly some hammering. As the dog has not been seen since I can only assume he's fixed the fence. :P
The upshot of this was that Zena, the landlord's cat who lives next door, was utterly traumatised. She was standing in our garden gate staring mournfully at the house (she won't come inside; we have tried) and we could hear Anne, the next-door neighbour, shouting for her. Paul shouted back asking if they wanted us to take the cat around to them, then went to collect Zena.
She YOWLED all the way through the house as though she was being murdered at a volume I did not think was possible from such a small animal. (It didn't occur to me at the time, but given her general refusal to come back inside, we probably should have gone via the alleyway instead...) Paul got her to 89's front door and then she clawed him and escaped, running off down the road. As she generally likes me more than him I went to get her but she just kept running off, eventually disappearing under our gate and reappearing in our garden, where she remained for the rest of the evening, still staring mournfully at the house. (At one point Paul did try to chase her under the hedge but she wasn't having any of it.)
I can only assume she eventually got hungry and went home...
On Sunday (as already stated) I finally made a start on my new embroidery. I did a bit more last night using an overhead lamp and that made things much easier to see (and did not result in a migraine) It's already starting to take shape. :)
I also forgot to mention that I didn't go to choir on Tuesday, mostly because at the start of my week off I was feeling generally meh. (I caught up on EastEnders on the Monday, which made me cry and was thus somewhat cathartic.) I am now wondering if it was merely self-preservation, as the week before that some of the choir members went on a trip to Paris.
I couldn't afford to go on this trip, of course, because it was too expensive. Even if I could have afforded to take myself I wouldn't have wanted to go on my own and share a room with someone I don't know that well (I did that in Year 8 for the school trip to see Cats in London and it was bloody awful). I was absolutely gutted about this, especially because the final performance was at Notre-frigging-Dame.
So yeah, I very much suspect that if I had gone to choir last Tuesday it would only have made me ragey with people reminiscing about the trip. I wasn't the only one who couldn't afford to go, but it has rather lumped me in with the student contingent of the members rather than, you know, the actual grown-ups.
Other things. The General Election is rapidly approaching and I'm very much on the fence over who to vote for. If the English could vote for SNP or Plaid Cymru that would be a no-brainer, frankly, but since we can't I'm literally torn between voting tactically or voting for what I actually believe in. I'm basically of the mindset that any vote is a vote against the Tories, which is all that matters, but... yeah. The Greens have some policies I really agree with, but on the other hand they seem occasionally batshit. The Lib Dems also have some good ideas but they've essentially shot themselves in the foot and I'm not sure if anyone will trust them now.
The area I live in is a guaranteed Labour seat so voting Green locally would be pointless, but it seems equally pointless voting Green nationally, too, as they clearly won't win a majority, which makes me think voting Labour would be more sensible just to get rid of Cameron and his Legion of Evil.
I'm also just really scared that Ukip will secure more and more voters, because I'm not sure I want to live in a country run by moronic bigots. I mean, the Tories are obviously evil, but Ukip are so blatantly evil that I can't comprehend why anyone even listens to them. I already said this on Twitter: in forty years' time people will view historical footage of Nigel Farage in the same light as we now look at Hitler, and wonder why on earth people followed him. How can anyone look at this man and not just see a raving lunatic waving his fists at the sky? His entire campaign is to win voters with scare tactics: “IMMIGRANTS! LOOK AT ‘EM! COMING HERE AND STEALING OUR NHS! RARRRR!” Much respect to Nicola Sturbridge for actually calling him on his shit during the debates.
Anyway, that's enough about that. :P
As ever, it’s taken me a couple of days to actually post this, but tonight I am intending to be somewhat productive by printing out my old unicorn-embroidery chart for Vicky and getting it in the post for her, as well as sending her the details of the fan kit. And then hopefully more embroidery of my own.