Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Viva la Spainia

It should really be Viva la Catalonia, because last weekend we welcomed some lovely Spanish guests: Mario, Pepa, Vero, (Les), Amparo and Janvi from Valencia in Catalonia.

Like the Welsh they have they own language of which they are extremely proud and use and guard as fiercely as the Welsh do. Every morning they produced their own coffee pot for us to heat up - even our espresso wasn't strong enough for these caffeine drinkers and a bottle of olive oil for their toast. I love olive oil but don't think I could do without my toast and butter.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

A Nice Cup of Tea

Is it just us Brits that believe a nice cup of tea cures all ills? My poor husband is a little under the weather at the moment so I made him a nice cup of tea. He will be back to normal in a couple of days but in the meantime I will be on tea duty (which is normally his job). I can go all day on one drink which is not healthy but Les is a real teapot and drinks tea all day. Our obsession with tea is interesting because it is so much a part of our culture yet other countries drink and make tea differently to us. Of all the other places I have visited we seem to be the only nation to make it with boiling water. Everywhere else it’s always just hot and of course it never brews properly. And why is it a 'nice cup of tea' – who would make a horrible cup of tea out of choice – oh yes all those others ones I have had in ……

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Pret a Manger

It seems my days are spent cooking at the present time. With Les’s party to organise I keep baking and cooking and freezing in preparation of feeding the hungry hoards! The problem is when people compliment you on your cooking you feel that you have to keep it up. No ready meals or pre packed food for me – I have cooked the odd fish finger however but is that a fair example of a ready meal. I had a disaster with some wraps this week though (ready made). Les and I fancied Fajitas so I nipped to ‘famous supermarket’ and brought the wraps (big mistake). Came home chopped my garlic; onions and peppers and threw them in a pan with some diced chicken and added spices. Made some guacamole and a bit of salsa, opened a glass of wine and grated a bit of cheese. All was ready just the wraps to open and warm through. Ugh – when I opened the wraps they were mouldy – checked use by date 23rd August – so well within the time frame. Do I really have to make the wraps as well! Still spicy chicken jacket potatoes with guacamole and salsa are quite nice too. Obviously I took back the mouldy wraps to the ‘famous supermarket’ and they were most courteous and called the manager who was also fairly disgusted by my now very mouldy wraps. My money returned, forms filled in and now I just wait for my standard apology letter to arrive from manufacturer assuring me that it won’t happen again. Compensation I hear you cry – if I get a £10 voucher to spend on their products I will send it back!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

A big birthday

My darling husband Les turned 60 yesterday. He was quite laid back about the whole thing. We had a lovely day.
It occurred to me at one point that I seemed to be affected more by this milestone than the Birthday Boy – I felt very odd. I think it was the realisation that life is rushing past far too fast and that 60 is a big event. When choosing my husband’s birthday card I chuckled at many but one in particular amused me and then hit me with its plain truth. ‘At 60 you are no long middle aged’ and the punch line was ‘how many 120 years olds do you know’!

Although I try not to dwell on my own mortality too often, as the years pass you can’t help but ponder a bit. Well today I am fine again – we had a great day yesterday and today the future still looks great – after all it’s the quality of your life that counts (and I still have a few more years till my 60th!) - we are now looking forward to a big party to celebrate the event with friends and family coming from the four corners.

We may not have 60 years left but I am going to make dam sure that I enjoy them however many there might be.

I love my job

Our guests stay with us for many reasons but at this time of year they are mostly on holiday. We mainly meet guests at the beginning or the end of their journey. However last week we had a lovely Swedish family stay with us twice, once en-route for a week’s tour of North Wales and the second time stopping off again on their way back to Liverpool Airport for their flight back to Stockholm.
On their arrival for the second visit it was lovely to see them again and over tea and bara brith I asked them how their week had been. They were so enthusiastic about the wonderful holiday they had enjoyed. They had taken in many of the sites we had recommended on their first stay and it was so nice to hear their very positive comments about all they had visited, where they had stayed and about the welcome they had received everywhere. They left after lots of affectionate farewells, an open invitation for us to visit them in Sweden, and promises of a return visit to see us and more of this lovely country. I love my ‘job’ and well done North Wales.