venetia_sassy: (101 Dalmatians // happy puppies!)
Miss Shadow got up on the sofa again! She is curled up beside me as I type. Mr Nosey was ensconced on one sofa while I was wrapping presents on the floor earlier (Mum looked at the pile and said, 'You are very efficient at this.' Which may explain why I get asked to do it for almost every birthday and most Christmas presents, just like the Christmas lights.) Miss Shadow came in when I was finished and when I was settled on the other sofa, I noticed her glaring at me. She has a very expressive face. It seems she was waiting for an invitation to get up again (have you met a dog who does that?) I put a cotton throw down this time and it seems to make her feel more secure.

*
Roz came by earlier with her new dog (their elderly Staffy died earlier this year), reportedly a kelpie/greyhound cross. Well, he's clearly kelpie/something bigger but I couldn't see greyhound. *shrugs* He's gorgeous though and seems very sweet. Roz has asked if I'll come over soon and do some training with him - he's a bit too interested in the chickens right now but their cat has terrified him into submission although she hasn't realised it yet. Today she came into the room and the poor dog slunk away and tried to climb in Roz's husband's lap for protection.

*
Yesterday was a bit exhausting for me and the dogs but they had a great many cuddles and their photos taken at least a dozen times. We went to one of our regular markets with the hounds in their antlers - and we brought the cool coats with us this time. They were needed although the weather was weirdly changeable and we had to take them off at one because of a sharp wind.

The little Fuji apples are sadly finished (we were buying five kilos a fortnight at one point) but we got the last box of the really good navel oranges, and the first kilos of plums and cherries. Plus corn, cavolo nero, capsicum, chickens, eggs and sausages, plus dried kangaroo tails and lamb bones for the hounds. Mum did some shopping I didn't need to know about, hem, and it took us two hours. If we were just shopping it would be half an hour. But with visiting all the favorite stall holders and stopping for everyone who wants to pat the dogs it takes a while.

Then we went to visit Mum's friend Ivy at her shoe shop so I could thank her in person for the lovely scarf she gave me for my birthday but hadn't opened by the time she left our party. She took photos of the dogs as well as did a customer and we all chatted. Mum may have made a new friend and joined a book club. The other customer was wearing a glorious blue skirt with peacock feather patterns from a shop two doors down and we stopped in there as well. I tried on the skirt and it was gorgeous and comfortable but even the Xsmall was a bit too big (yes, I've lost weight but I swear sizes have gone up. I am not skinny!) While in there a customer from the hairdresser upstairs and across the plaza came down and asked if I'd bring the dogs up because all the girls wanted to meet them! Good thing I keep up their stair practice. Again they had their photos taken but we only stayed a few minutes. They clearly weren't keen on the chemical smells. Then it was home and bed for three of us while Mum was still bright-eyed and energetic.

I try not to assume people are interested in my dogs (even though they are splendid dogs!) but then days like yesterday happen.

*
I was lying on the floor earlier and Mr Nosey had his head on my chest while Miss Shadow had her head against my knee and one paw in my hand.



venetia_sassy: (101 Dalmatians // happy puppies!)
Happy day but very tired. *yawns*

Now carols are always beautiful but if you are sad they can make you feel sadder. (There are some people who always find that beauty makes them feel sadder, which is a very mysterious thing.)

101 Dalmatians
~ Dodie Smith

But after a good day ...



venetia_sassy: (MLP // shake it off)
I can be feeling like utter crap but I listen to this song, watch one of the many fan vids set to it, and I may not be able to get up and dance but I do smile.




The Marvel cast are such delightful dorks.





Santa Paws!

Dec. 6th, 2015 11:47 pm
venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
Here's a happy thing. We took the dogs out in their reindeer antlers today. Now we always get people wanting to pat them and talk to them and ask about greyhounds which is one of the reasons we take them to markets, etc. But add the antlers and it seemed like every second person at least was grinning at them as they walked past. We heard "Oh look at the cute dogs!" "Look at the reindeer dogs!" so many times and they had their photo taken about ten times.

It was nice seeing people smile.

We took the hounds to a nearby market we've only visited once or twice but it got too hot too quickly to linger and we hadn't brought their cool coats. They had some excellent cuddles with various people in shaded areas, took alarm at the extraordinary noises made by some sheep (they know alpacas but I don't think they've met sheep before) and we toured the various stalls but didn't find any potential gifts. Then it was really too hot so we went back to the car and gave the dogs some water - they rarely drink from public water sources, those are contaminated by other dogs, thank you very much. They like fresh water, poured into their own bowl and held for them. It's possible they're a bit fastidious. Or spoiled.

The we went off to a nearby shopping district - which turned out to be having a market as well but it was still too hot to take the dogs around much. But we had an appointment to have their photo taken with Santa at the RSPCA for the third year in a row. And when the Santa saw them, she was delighted. "You've brought them back again! I love these guys!" And we have some lovely photos, individual and double, Miss Shadow grinning away and Mr Nosey looking a bit worried at first, then succumbing to cuddles. (We tried to persuade him to get up on the 'seat' and he didn't like that at all. Won't do that next year!) We also met a bouncy, stocky Dalmatian, a French bulldog and a French bulldog/pug who were all lovely and wanted to play.

Home again to pass out (except for Mum) and tonight Kitt and Rena dropped by for an hour to pick up some DVDs they were going to borrow. We wound up talking about various aggravations of modern life/life in general and I said, You realise we're turning into cranky old ladies in our thirties?

Anyway. Despite the heat and the people (mostly relatives) who think we're bonkers for having Santa Paws photos taken, it was a good day. A lot of people smiled.


venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
Merry Christmas!!!

Whether you celebrate or not, I hope you had/are having/will have a lovely day.

I just woke up from a nap on the sofa to hear the dog snoring ferociously nearby (that might have been what woke me) and to find the cat curled against my chest. He has been determined to sit on me today but he finds it difficult if I'm lying on my side. He'll take 'plastered against me' as a second option.

I had trouble settling down to sleep last night - things to do and the weather was still quite warm and humid but I did fall asleep eventually. In the morning I didn't want to get up! I think all my pre-Christmas adrenaline disappeared once the day was here (I'm going, 'Wait, wait, not yet, not yet, let me enjoy it! And I have to make dinner!') plus the sudden change in weather (it dropped 20C in a few hours and it's been raining and stormy all day) combined to leave me feeling very tired and wanting naps.

Anyway, I woke up and opened my stocking gifts (we have new stockings this year! Mum has been complaining about the narrow, knitted ones she bought for years but we still used them. Not anymore! Mum is pleased) and we had croissants for a late brunch. Then I started the pork for our dinner before we sat down to open presents. The cat sat on my lap and refused to move.

Much spoiling occurred and I am relieved to say the various things I found seemed to be received very happily. The I had a little rest on the sofa for a while and the cat was reminded that really, there is nowhere to lie on me when I'm on my side.

After that, we headed across the road for an hour or so to say hello to the neighbours (the daughter had come over while we were having brunch to bring us chocolates and to ask if we would like to join their family lunch on Boxing Day. Very sweet of them but we're going out tomorrow.) Took them some of the Chocolate Saltine Toffee which I can now say is a success!

Came home again to cook. Originally I thought we'd have a late lunch but with my nap and the visit, it wound up being dinner.

And I don't usually say this about my own cooking but it was amazing. Try any of these recipes and enjoy.

Christmas Dinner 2012

Italian Red Wine Pork Roast
Pork Crackling
Roasted Italian Apples and Potatoes

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
Sauteed Green Beans with Walnuts and Cranberries
Apple Cider Pound Cake Bundt with Apple Cider Glaze

(I still don't understand the pork crackling thing but Mum loved it.)

We did not eat the cake straight away however. We sat in the living room and listened to carols and had our first cup of tea from the large Republic of Tea parcel I ordered last month (Mum was delighted.) I made some Holiday Spiced Plum in my new and gorgeous teapot and Mum had hers in the delicate glass tea cup I gave her and I had mine in the pretty blue and white cup Mum gave me for my birthday. Then we had cake before I could fall asleep (and ooh, the crispy top-becomes-base of that cake is so good. I mean, all of it's good but that bit is amazing. Especially hot, right of the oven. Ahem. Bits fell off, okay?)

Then I said goodnight and Merry Christmas to Mum, had a nap and now I am saying Merry Christmas to all of you. Have a lovely holiday.

venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)

After the Shakespeare evening I was tired but wired and didn't fall asleep until dawn so I didn't wake up until late afternoon yesterday. I was going to get a bit of sleep between baking and going to the market in the morning but it was so warm and the weather report looked ominous so I decided to just keep baking, go to the market, then sleep. Which I did through the worst of the 37C day. Feh. Tomorrow is supposed to be 38C (Mum's indignant squawk of 'WHAT' when I told her that was splendid.*g*) but Christmas Day should be much cooler.

Made the Florentines, Cranberry, White Chocolate and Lemon Biscotti (fabulous!!! The lemon zest makes a big impact) and Rum and Raisin Shortbread (Mum tells me it's pretty good. Not my thing so I'll take her word for it.)

The Sunday market is one we've only been to a few times. Rather than heading towards suburbia the way we do for the Saturday market, for this one we turn towards the more rural suburb where we used to live when I was little (when my parents were married, we lived on acreage and they bred horses) then go further on to the suburb where our vet clinic is. They've been treating our pets (including the horses) for over thirty years now.

We first decided to try the market because I found out that the honey people who had stopped coming to Sunday market went to the other one and I really wanted more of the Butterscotch Honey that had persuaded me that honey could be good. So we went and there was honey but sadly no butterscotch. Apparently it didn't keep very well so they stopped making it. But they have creamed Vanilla Honey which tastes like a cross between the Butterscotch and the Vanilla I was making for myself. Also, a clear Lemon Honey which is wonderful in tea.

On our next visit, they didn't have any Lemon but Mum tried some Chili-infused (...not my thing) and I tried some creamed Ginger (yes, please!) This time, still no Lemon but I bought some Vanilla, Ginger and a new one - Rosemary. Haven't tried it yet.

On our first visit, they were set up behind the little shopping village and it was a fairly small market but a nice mix of stalls (a few from the Saturday market there as well.) Since then they've shifted across the road and more stalls have appeared but on our last trip it was hard to really take it in. It was so hot. Absolutely stinking and we were there later and there were more crowds than today. Ugh. I couldn't think. (One poor woman with a heart condition collapsed from the heat and an ambulance had to be called. Fortunately the RFS and possibly the St Johns people were there with display stalls so there were trained first aid people to help her.)

Today it was very warm but we were finished before it got too bad. Bought some nice green beans and asparagus for Tuesday, tried some samples from a stall selling Eastern European sauces and sausages, bought some Hibiscus Flowers in Rose Syrup (Mum loves them in champagne) and Mango and Boab Chutney from a stall selling jams, etc made from native produce (I've never tried Boab. I'm told it's a bit like water chestnut and very high in protein.) Hmm, what else. Some Chicken, Spinach and Cashew Ravioli for dinner and we tried a sample of fried beetroot ravioli. Huh. Not sure about frying but I liked the flavour. Good canape idea, maybe?

There might have been something else but I can't remember it right now. I do remember that we met some sweet dogs. I patted a lovely Koolie x Husky x who knows. She was fluffy and white with faint brown spots and speckles and very loving. And on our way out we met a young Finnish Lapphund who was still being persuaded that people would want to pat her of their own accord, she did not need to leap on them and love them to death. But she's getting there! She was gorgeous, first one I've met. Her owners said there are only about 400 of them in the country.

Then we bought a few last things at the supermarket, came home and I fell into bed and avoided the worst heat of the day.

Now, Chocolate Saltine Toffee is made ... what else do I need to do? Besides tidy up. Um.

*
Happy thing! I bought this album a few days ago. It's an odd mix but I rather like it. And when it comes to country singers and Christmas carols, the only one I've said that about before is Jo Dee Messina with A Joyful Noise.


venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)

One of the posted-in-November parcels arrived today (Saturday! And there are deliveries tomorrow as well) and while I greatly appreciate the careful packaging of the thin glass coffee cup (I finally broke Mum's last one a few months ago while washing up and we've both failed at finding anything nice in the stores), it was quite the effort to get it unpacked.

Took off the outer layer, cut open the taped box, pulled out mass quantity of packaging ... that surrounded a smaller box which was taped shut. So I cut that open, tried to figure out how to open the box (it was tricky!), got it open, pulled out more wrapping ... and finally found the dainty little cup. Which was also holding a pretty little bag filled with a tea sample.

In the end I think the cup was about 1/8th the size of the original package. If that. But it was intact and it arrived before Christmas so yay!

*
Carols in the Domain was on television tonight. I haven't turned on the TV in weeks, possibly months (and we have two lovely TVs now!) but I watched Jamie at Home with Bells On a few days ago and drooled over the brussel sprouts and celeriac and turkey (but not the dessert.) Enjoyed that more than the Carols. The medley at the end with all the performers together is always fun and they sing Joyful, Joyful as well but I swear the presenters just get more inane and individual singers even worse every year. We gave up after a while and I put a CD on while I started the Florentines. Took a break to watch the final medley and read some fic but now I'd better get back to it.

Feh. Florentines.

*
Happy thing!

Song of Joy from A Carols in the Domain 2010

And the traditional Closing Medley from 2008 and why does DW hate me trying to post two vids or writing a bit about them?!?!?!?!)

 


 

venetia_sassy: (MLP // shake it off)
The Comedy of Errors was hilarious, with plenty of slapstick and bawdy humour. Not my usual style really but it was great - although I hope some of it was whooshing past the kids in the audience (there was a gay sex, doggy-style moment. Antipholus and Dromio, best friends forever!!! I was sitting there going, '... really?' *sporfle*)

I continue to be in awe of the physical fitness of this company, they're always on the move with choreography and rearranging the sets, but they make it look effortless. 

The Tempest was good, with some beautiful singing but while I certainly enjoyed the performance, I really didn't engage with the story or the characters. I liked Ariel and found Caliban quite pitiful (which apparently was not the original intention for the character) but mostly I just didn't care about any of them. 

Once again though, the company showed how to add women into the plays smoothly - Ariel was female, King Alonso and his brother Sebastian became Queen Alonsa and her sister Sebastia. Easy. Having never seen The Tempest before, it wasn't until I got home and looked up the play that I realised the changes.

*
Our own slapstick moment of the day (though not very humorous):

**Loud crash and indignant yell from the kitchen**
Me: *concerned* Are you okay?!
Mum: *annoyed* I'm fine, just VERY MESSY.

Mum was getting a half-full can of dog food out of the fridge, it slipped, hit the tile floor and sprayed everywhere. Well. Mostly over Mum.

The Boyo happily cleaned up the floor but Mum wasn't inclined to let him clean her and she came into the bathroom where I was doing my makeup and I got a look - dog food gravy and bits all over her top, over her shoulder ('I look like a baby's vomited on me', Mum muttered), even up into her hair.

Fortunately, Mum's hair is extremely short (even more so since she'd been to the hairdresser this morning) and thus easily cleaned. I'm trying to imagine cleaning dog food out of my hip-length hair and ... no. Just, no.

Er, cautioning everyone to keep a good grip on half-full cans?

*
Happy thing!

Pets in Christmas Costumes

You just know some of these cats are planning revenge. I do love the Basset Hound (?) gentleman though.
venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
Thank you for the holiday card, [personal profile] turlough! And Lancecat, of course. :)

Still don't know what that weird nap was about but I don't seem to be getting the cold so yay! Not what I need right now. I have baking to plan/do and we're going to see a performance of A Comedy of ErrorsThe Tempest tomorrow night. This will be the third year we've gone to a performance by this company and I'm looking forward to it! We'll also be going to Twelfth Night just before New Year.

Sooo, Christmas baking. I made some of this fabulous Salted Honey and Lavender Shortbread for Mum to give to her hairdressers tomorrow. I probably need to make a batch of Florentines for Dee's family (they love the damn things. Be warned, this is what can happen when you make things for people - they will like them so much, they will keep asking for them.) If I have time, I should make some lemon curd since it's been a couple of months since I've managed any but I probably won't have time. I'm considering some Rum and Raisin Shortbread - Mum would like that, Roz and Dee probably would too ... maybe Cranberry and White Chocolate. Who knows with Brother and SiL, I don't think they've ever bothered to tell me if they liked anything I've made for them.

I've usually decided on recipes way before this. I think all my organisation with presents this year overran my baking organisation.

I do want to make this Chocolate Saltine Toffee. I really want to know what it tastes like.

Dug out the slow cooker that I bought a few years ago, used a few times, then stuck in the cupboard. I kept meaning to use it, I just ... didn't. But I want to make this on Christmas Day so I thought I'd better check that the cooker still worked. (The butcher was apparently quite confused as to why I wanted the crackling separately. Wasn't I going to roast them together? Wait, I was doing a pot roast for Christmas? ... Why? Well, why not?) Having made Sesame Chicken last night, I can say it works very well.

Nearly all the presents I've ordered have arrived except a couple of things that were apparently posted at the end of November (from China and England.) Nothing I can do about it though. Still, there's a couple of postal days to go!

Happy thing! Besides recipes. :)




venetia_sassy: (101 Dalmatians // woeful puppies)

It was 30somethingC today, it's supposed to be 39C tomorrow and  it doesn't feel like it's cooling down all that much in between. Also, I just took a two-hour nap for some reason and I'm hoping it's the heat and not that I'm getting the miserable cold Mum picked up from Nephew #2 last week.

Happy things! Red pandas. Red pandas playing in snow. I like this.



venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
... when there are ECHIDNA PUGGLES?!?!

*keels over from the cute*

P.S. Spellcheck does not recognise 'echidna' or 'puggles'.
venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
*yawns again* I will post something of substance tomorrow. And reply to comments! For now - happy things! Well. A bittersweet thing.

JAG - "Ghosts of Christmas Past" with Catherine Bell as 'Jenny Lake' singing "I'll Be Home For Christmas"

I loved this episode of JAG (omg, I bawled. I was wrecked. Yes, I still loved it) and this version of a Christmas song I adore. I had a whole AU in my head about Harmon Rabb Sr and Jenny Lake before I ever heard of fanfiction. *wistful* It was epic.

*yawns*

Dec. 16th, 2012 11:46 pm
venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
My day: slept for sixteen hours, got up, had a cup of tea and a biscuit, realised I couldn't stay upright, went back to bed for an hour, tried getting up again, ate some cherries, still couldn't stay upright, went back to bed and slept for four hours, have now been awake and mostly upright for about four hours and I'm thinking it's about time to go back to bed again since I have (yet another) doctor's appointment tomorrow and it's usually a good idea to be awake for those.

*yawns* Friends were worth it though!

Sadly, I do not look this cute while falling asleep.



Also, lookit the baby skunk - 40 Melt-Your-Heart Sleeping Animal Pictures.
venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
I'm going to pass out now. Here, have some big cats singing Jingle Bells.


venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)

I should be resting in preparation for my friends coming over for afternoon tea tomorrow but because I am a crazy person with no sense of what's good for me I am baking instead. I mean, I said it wouldn't be anything fancy so we're having platters of vegetables with hummus and fruit with chocolate - but I wanted to make a cake as well. And then there were the extra baked goods Christmas gifts ...

So the Honey and Vanilla Cake is the oven, the Chocolate Thumbprints are made (rolled in this Snowflake Sprinkles mix!) and the Chai-Infused Shortbread dough is in the fridge.

I made this shortbread a couple of months ago and it is fabulous (although Mum doesn't like it much, it just doesn't appeal to her. Well, more for me!) I have a jar of Choc Chip Chai from T2 in the cupboard and I don't like it as a drink. But I usually love those spices in baking so I went looking for a recipe that used chai (not just 'chai spices'.)

Chai-Infused Shortbread

Tastes like Christmas to me.

 

venetia_sassy: (101 Dalmatians // happy puppies!)



I don't know if the baby is actually calming down or just going, 'Wtf is that noise?' but hey, it works!

Maybe Brother and SiL should look into getting a husky to get their boys to calm the fuck down because holy shit, those kids do not stop moving. Then again, if two cattle dogs haven't slowed them down, I doubt a husky would!

(Brother and SiL said they thought Nephew #2 would be easy after Nephew #1. Now they are laughing at themselves and figure the universe is playing a very big joke on them.)
venetia_sassy: (Default)
Well, I could say today was a day in which I received 14 injections in one arm, 11 in the other and a further 10 skin pricks, spent two hours overall in the doctor's office, over two hours traveling and wound up walking way too much so that I came home and immediately fell into bed and slept for almost five hours.

Or I could say that today was a glorious day in Sydney and really showed it too its best, I saw some lovely parts of town, encountered a bagpipe-playing busker in Hyde Park, saw the David Jones Christmas windows and laughed at the mouse puppets, visited three large bookstores, two of them independents (including one I'd never even heard of before - Kinokuniya - and it's been there for years, wtf?!) even if I was too tired and muddled by then to decide on more than some linen book repair tape and Seanan McGuire's Discount Armageddon. I had a delicious triple chocolate brownie for morning tea and duck and lychee salad with lime and cashews for lunch - so very, very good.

Happy thing? Last time we were in town we spotted an installation of birdcages in a laneway and thought it was associated with the restaurant down there. We went to have a closer look today and no - the birdcages are a City Art installation, Forgotten Songs. We just stood there for a while, looking at the different names and listening to the different bird calls. It was lovely.
venetia_sassy: (101 Dalmatians // happy puppies!)
Roasted Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup.

That turned out well. I'm not usually a fan of creamy soups (the smoother they are, the less of them I can eat) but I didn't process it into oblivion, the bacon garnish was excellent and I almost finished my bowl. I used low-fat milk and a mix of cheddar and parmesan and it made for a very rich flavour. I cannot imagine using cream in this. Oof.

The bacon I used was a strip of the honey and port cured bacon we buy from the farmer's market. Oh yeah. It's a good trick - there's a stall that sells freshly cooked bacon and egg rolls using the bacon sold at another stall. First time Mum tried one of the rolls? We bought some of the bacon.

*
We were supposed to have dinner at Brother's place tonight. Actually we were supposed to have dinner there last Thursday but there was a big contract in the offing and when Mum saw him at Nephew #1's Christmas Concert, Brother was practically twitching with tension which is ... not like him. So Tuesday? Mum said that was fine but when she went to put it in her diary later she went, 'Er...' and called Brother to ask if he realised Tuesday was the 13th and thus his wedding anniversary.

When she called him again today, he said yes, he'd realised the same thing and how about this Thursday? Mum laughed and said didn't he feel like celebrating his anniversary with his Mum and sister? Brother said he thought he should probably take SiL out to dinner instead.

*snickers* Yes, just possibly.

*
Which mean I am going to be absolutely flattened by Friday. We're off into town tomorrow to see the allergist again. At least a two-hour round trip, mostly by bus this time since car and train were a hassle last time. Hopefully not as much time spent in testing this time. I am looking forward to seeing the city Christmas decorations. I can't remember the last time I was in town in December.

Thursday is the osteopath, another two-hour round trip and I'm usually exhausted and have a headache after an appointment.  Then dinner with Brother and family in the evening. At least with the kids it won't be too late.

I was hoping to see the girls this weekend. Maybe not. Sunday? Maybe. We'll see.

*
Pretty sure I posted this last year but it's still fabulous.


venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
Rabbit and bacon ravioli with a bit of parmesan is niiice. Even better served with green peas tossed with mint, lemon juice and green onion.

We put the tree together tonight (yes, it's fake one, same one we've had all my life) and I was remembering how tall it seemed when I was a kid and how amazing it was that Mum and Brother could reach high enough to add the last branches to it. Tonight I was adding those branches with no reaching involved - and I'm short! So's Mum! Childhood perspective is funny, isn't it?

(We still need the stepstool to add the star though.)

As ever, we were wondering how on earth we'd fit all the ornaments on, since we only decorate the 1/2-2/3 of the tree we can see (it's in a corner) and we do have this habit of spotting at least one gorgeous new ornament every year and just needing to get it. It used to be that Mum would give me and Brother an ornament each year for when we had our own places but at this point I'm using most of mine here. And buying some myself. *g* I said to Mum at one point, 'Have you noticed how many four-legged and two-winged ornaments we have? We're developing a theme here ...'

We always do manage to fit them all on though!

The seven reindeer have been joined by yet another that I found a Christmas crafts market a couple of weeks ago. He has a delightfully winsome expression.

And the first Christmas carols were played - Sarah McLachlan's Wintersong which I bought last year. I still like The First Noel/Mary Mary the best.


venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
It started off as a lovely cool morning but by the time we arrived at the farmers' market I was glad I'd brought my hat. Way too warm!

Bought some fancy sweets for Mum's stocking, some rabbit and bacon ravioli for dinner tomorrow night, some white cherries which I hadn't seen before, a marinated duck Maryland, a gift sampler of doggy treats for The Boyo (well, we get all sorts of nice food at Christmas, why not some for him?) which will have to stay down in the garage until the actual day so he doesn't sniff it out, and some more gorgeous solid purple carrots, some of which I'll use for making Jamie's Indian Carrot Salad. It looks absolutely spectacular made with a mix of julienned purple and orange carrots and it's great with lamb or beef mince.

We also met a gorgeous Akita, with the most amazing plush coat and lovely soft ears. He was taking all the attention as his due, quite calm about it. He was the second - no, third - Akita I've met, the first two were a few months ago, at a dog show going on near to the market. That one was younger and all 'Love me, pat me, oh you're nice people, pat me, cuddles, oh, I like you!' He was blowing coat at the time so every pat resulted in a little puff of hair. His three month old pup was also there, looking like a very sturdy bear cub.

(After that encounter, I must have looked smitten because Mum said, 'No, we are not getting an Akita.' I said, 'Oh, I know, we have completely the wrong lifestyle for one - but ohmygodwasn'theadorable?')

We mean to put up the Christmas tree tomorrow. To start getting in the mood ... have you seen the animals of YouTube singing Deck the Halls? It's hysterical and very cleverly done. But I think Jingle Bells with the laughing ferret and concerned cat is even better.

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