Una taza de café, por favor

Okay, enough Spanish for now – the title is as far as the Spanish goes for this blog post.

I thought I’d share this with you all on WordPress with you this week.  I’ve already bored everyone about this on Google+ so I thought that I’d spread the joy far and wide 😉

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My imitation Moka Pot in action

Inspired by one of my Google+ friends, I purchased an imitation Moka Pot to make some espresso coffee at home without having to pay a big price in a café for some.  So, I also grabbed some Fair Trade coffee and home I went.

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Some Fair Trade coffee

The instructions that came with the pot were very scant and so it was a good job that the internet could provide me with the finer points of using such a coffee pot.

It was good but Gloria is not too keen on espresso.  She loves cappuccino though and I determined to get a coffee frother.

Coffee frothers are hard to come by in Britain unless you are buying one of those mini handheld whisk type things.  The shops that do stock the nice frothers also charge a big price.

Eventually, I found one at a reasonable price.  That night I frothed up some milk and made some hot chocolate.  It was good for a quick frothy drink.

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The milk frother – it can froth and heat milk or just froth cold milk

This week I combined the two.  My stove coffee pot and the milk frother to make myself a cappuccino in the comfort of my own home.  I prefer cinnamon on top rather than chocolate and so I was able to make a cappuccino how I like it.  Few coffee shops seem to have cinnamon.

The mug was bought for me a few years ago by Yasmin.  She was eighteen years old at the time and it was a reference to a place where she worked at weekends.  It was called Cheeky Monkeez and she dressed up as a monkey during children’s parties.

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The cappuccino in all its glory

Yasmin’s birthday…Valentine’s Day…

I have been flitting briefly onto social media in February thus far.  I type this in explanation of the erratic days that I am posting and visiting everyone’s blogs.

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Yasmin’s outfit for her 24th birthday outing

And why these odd habits these two weeks?  Well, you can blame the two ladies who refer to me as ‘my husband’ or ‘my Dad’ for this.

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Chocolate fudge cake and lager shandy…a good afternoon out!

Yasmin has celebrated her 24th birthday this month.  I’d given Yasmin some money to buy a birthday outfit and it happened that the money was enough for two dresses, perfume and even a little something else.

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With lashings of ginger beer

I also booked her the actual day of her birthday off work to go and help her buy her outfit.  The photo shows one of the two dresses just before I took Yasmin and three of her friends to their night out on the town last Saturday.  In the early hours of Sunday morning, I picked them all back up and drove them back to Yasmin’s place to sleep.

Gloria and I spread our Valentine’s Day celebrations over both yesterday and today.  Yesterday, I took Gloria out for a meal and today she returned the favour.  After today’s food (a Sunday roast followed by chocolate fudge cake) we went to Church with my Mum.

I ended up explaining my earring to a few people at Church this evening by describing myself in terms of being a pirate.  I said that the earring would be used to pay for my burial if I fatally lost a cutlass fight on a small island.

No-one seemed to believe that I really am a pirate.  I don’t know why.

They never really grow up

I’m only going to throw up onto this WordPress site a short blog post today.  Why so brief?  Well…I’ve been feeling rough all day and today was particularly hard at work.  It’s not always the easiest thing to do to reinstall bespoke software and databases on new servers after you wake up with a banging migraine.

No more moaning from me about my ailments.  I have things to be thankful for this week.

After sixteen years of marriage to her mother, Yasmin announced on Christmas Day to Gloria and I that she would no longer be calling me Harry.  Instead she will call me Dad.

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Yasmin and I – you might want to open this photo in another browser window on a smartphone if this falls off the side of the page!

Yesterday, she met me at work as she wanted me to help her renew her car insurance.  I was introducing Yasmin to the Technical Director as Gloria’s daughter – he got on with Gloria well when she was also working at the same place as me – and I realised that I wasn’t sure how to introduce her from now on.

After she left for her flat I exchanged a WhatsApp message with Yasmin (I wish she’d use Telegram) and checked with her how she wants me to refer to her in the future.  She wants me to introduce her as my daughter.

So there you have it.  Yasmin is my little one.  Yes, she’s less than a month from her 24th birthday, but she is my little one.

I would love to have a second little one, but that’s another story.

 

My Mum’s milestone birthday

There are a few phrases which I hear again and again that both make me groan with annoyance as well as smile to myself.

One such phrase was this one that I heard several times in December, “Where has the time gone.  It’s not that long ago since the start of the year.”

I would groan inwardly to myself when I heard this.  I reasoned that the person I was speaking to had let the precious hours within their year slip past them.  They were wasting their life.  If they had filled their time with non-repetitive and worthwhile actions other than sitting watching television or some other time wasting activity, the year would have felt like a year to them rather than a few days that had somehow flowed uninterrupted into each other.  I would also smile to myself that I had had the foresight to not let all of my time escape me without being used – I wasted some minutes but not all.

And so, I always answered in the same way, “Yes, the start of the year seems like only eleven months ago.”

Already, so much seems to have happened to me in 2016 and we have not yet finished the second week of this leap year.  It is true that I have had some help in filling my time.  There was the office Christmas party last Friday (in January…I know!) and my mother’s 80th birthday last Sunday.

Ah, yes, my Mum had a great extended birthday weekend.

On Saturday, she invited Gloria and me to her bungalow for a small afternoon meal.

Sunday, Mum’s birthday, consisted of a trip to Church in the morning, lunch at my sisters’ house with a guest appearance by my other sister from North Lincolnshire (I was not at this meal); and then an evening service at a different Church with me.  This service was conducted by an old family friend, a Reverend like my late father, who led the congregation in singing ‘Happy Birthday to You’.

Finally, on Monday Mum had her 80th birthday hog roast at yet another Church.  Gloria (and I) baked the cake and my sister’s bloke and his brother provided the hog roast.  Gloria would have been at work but, to my Mum’s delight, she was able to come.

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Mum and Gloria

The reason why Gloria did not go to work was that she was given some emergency time off.  Unfortunately, Yasmin was very unwell on Sunday and after the hog roast Gloria and I collected Yasmin’s prescription and drove up to give it to her.  Anyway, that’s another story.

It was a wonderful afternoon.  Oh, my apologies if you are reading this on a smartphone as you may not see the whole of the photograph without opening it in a separate browser window.

I made one observation.  At the end of the engagement, I was washing up all of the plates, mugs, glasses and cutlery and looked around the kitchen.  Also helping in the kitchen were my sister’s partner, his mother and also my sister’s eldest son who is one of two children from her first marriage.  In other words, we were demonstrating how it’s nonsense that kitchen chores are all women’s work!

I hope that I enjoy myself just as much on my 80th birthday as my mother did.

You Are My Sunshine Award…and other stories

Hmm…the first Thursday of 2016 and seven days into the year.  Time for a blog, I have been thinking.

I’ve been thinking the last few days about what my first blog post for 2016 should be.  I was a little tempted to write something about Epiphany, what with yesterday being ‘Epiphany’, ‘Three Kings Day’ or ‘Día de Los Tres Reyes Magos’ depending on your tradition (or first spoken language).  That post might have to wait for next year.

I’m going to put that post on hold because one of my blogging friends here on WordPress has nominated me for the ‘You Are My Sunshine’ Award.  I’m quite touched, to be honest.  I never thought anyone would appreciate my presence that much.

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You Are My Sunshine Award

So, the rules of this are (I understand that taking part is voluntary) –

  • Thank the person/people who nominated you.
  • Answer the questions from your nominators.
  • Nominate eleven other bloggers
  • Give them eleven questions.
  • You could check out the blogs I nominated and follow them if you like.

So, a big heartfelt thank you to Emz who can be found at Side By Side.  She already has my recommendation as I can be picky about which blogs I read.  Please do look at her blog and also the blogs that I nominate.

First off, I’ll answer the eleven questions posed by Emz and then I’ll list my eleven nominated blogs. If I have nominated your blog but don’t feel like doing this, don’t worry as it’s intended to be a fun thing and no-one will take offence if you’d rather sit this one out.

Anyway, my interview (so to speak) by Emz –

Describe yourself in three words.
Loyal, paternal, easy

What do you blog about?
Things that have been on my mind during the previous week. I can be serious about those things close to my heart but I usually try not to be.

Coffee or tea?
I have to smile now as this is the question that I always ask a stranger. I actually drink both – usually, coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon. ‘How British’ – I know!

Lights on or lights off?
It depends. I prefer lights off and the curtains/blinds drawn back if there’s sunlight to illuminate the room. Sorry, a little gripe at my work colleagues there.

Morning or evening?
I tend to be happier in the morning but I don’t have a preference.

What can you not live without?
My wife and young female relations ie my stepdaughter Yasmin and neices – a daughter would be wonderful, too!

What is your favourite post on your blog? Link it.
This is a difficult one. I’m pleased with every post that I make before I post it and this pleasure never wanes for any of my posts. But my favourite post would definitely be I Stayed Home and Done Something. This post is about something that I was both emotionally linked to and proud about completing.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
People who don’t appreciate their daughters like they should do.

Aside from blogging, what do you do on your free time?
I don’t go out much or play on video games. I base my life around my family, Godmother and close friends. Gloria (my wife) and I also have some meals out with the Reverend from our Church, who is an old friend of my late father…who was also a Reverend.

What is your favourite day of the week?
Maybe, Tuesday. There are less people out in the evening and if you need to go shopping or drop into the pub for a quiet drink it’s a good day to go because of that.

Who/What inspires you?
Malala Yousefzai’s father Ziauddin Yousefzai, and anyone else who encourages their daughter with the same pride as they would do a son.

And now, my eleven nominated blogs and their eleven questions.  I should add that there is no particular reason for the order of my list –

The story of my dreams coming true
A Sneak Peak On The Things I Like
Alluring n Young
Mostly Photos, With An Occasional Garrolous Ramble
The Fish Tank
Beauty Beyond Bones
Goan Imports
Tales Of Chinese Cooking
Coisart’s Canvas
Subacati
The Sprite’s Blog

And now, some questions –
What is the greatest thing about the internet?
Who is your favourite person from history and why?
If you won a million pounds, how would you live the rest of your life?
What is your most embarrassing moment?
If you could choose a particular period of history to be born in when would it be and why?
If God granted you the wish to change one event from history, what event would you change and why?
What is your secret weakness? (I won’t tell anyone, honest!)
Who is the World’s worst millionaire?
What is the greatest household gadget ever invented?
How do you relax?
Which biscuit would you describe as the very best?