Friday, 29 March 2013

Good Friday

And what a good Friday it is turning out to be.
This morning I did  a bit of tickling round in the garden, checking seedlings etc..
Basil / Albahaca

Fennel / Hinojo
Bobbi Beans / Judias
  Okra /Okra (AKA Ladies fingers)

Then I baked some more Hot-Cross buns to take to Julie's for lunch:

And now for a lazy evening in front of the TV & PC checking out chocolate! 

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Maunday Thursday

Today I spent a couple of hours in the kitchen this morning cooking up a few goodies  - coleslaw, humus,  a leek mushroom and sweetcorn quiche, and tom thumb cakes.

 The tom thumb cakes in the oven -  turned out more like cookies -but still tasted good.

 Later on we went up to one of the local masias where we met some chums from Supernova for a Barbecue and picnic in the glorious spring sunshine. June had bought some calçots to cook. We weren't quite sure what we were doing, but the locals next to us gave some advice- They'll be living off that story for years -about the crazy Giris that had no idea what to do with a barbie and calçots!

Getting the fire going
 Calçots and Camembert on the barbie
 Eating the spoils
So this was the start to our Easter weekend- and off to a pretty good tsart methinks! And tomorrow we're off to Julie's for lunch....

Wednesday, 27 March 2013


Not a great start to the day when Cuddy kicked me in the head, gashing me- yes it was a bloody start to the day. She didn't mean to hurt me, she was just a little excited -my fault completely, and she was so remorseful when I was groaning as I mopped up the cut.

An update visit to the hospital was pretty much uneventful. The delicious Doctor David confirmed that the viruses that laid me low are no longer in my system, after having expressed concern that they let me 'walk' out of the emergency unit. He was surprised /annoyed that they didn't keep me in for a while. Still never mind I survived and am still here to annoy and enlighten (sic?). My Potassium blood level is still low, so he suggested I eat more tomatoes, and other potassium loaded fruits. OK I can do that.

I've spent some of the afternoon writing two little stories on Writey-Ho - CLEAN and WORKING .  As well as catching up on emails etc.

And as day turns to night I can say that despite the dodgy start we are now all the best of friends and settling down together on the sofa for cuddles, TV, and chocolate.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

On the Up

Tuesday and things are mighty fine at Casa TulStig. Things are definitely on the up here...

Tony and I spent some time down town this morning, doing a little essential shopping (dog walkie bags!, A lint remover roller and wonderweb). The intention was also to get my BP meds, but it seems the computer system was down across Catalonia -the fault of the Generalitat -probably trying to save money somewhere, so we'll have to go back tomorrow. Although I have a Doc check up tomorrow so after my low BP being one of the factors that got me into hospital last month perhaps we'll change the meds anyway.  We also took time to sit in the sun and enjoy a coffee and people watch as we sat.

When we got home I spent some time in the garden planting more seeds - Chives, Cilantro and some flowers. There are many boxes and pots lying in the sun around our patios at the moment, and now many seeds are peeking out and saying hi to the world.

Then I tried another Hot Cross bun recipe, and this time it was successful. The last ones were more like some kind of rock cakes. I've tried one of these and not only do they look pretty good they taste just right too...

I now need to catch up on my writing challenges / prompts, before I get any nagging from followers.  So later on do please check in at Writey Ho and see my scribblings for today. And if you do a comment would be nice to let me know someone is still reading my stories! :-)

Monday, 25 March 2013

A New Week..

After what was quite a challenging week last week, this one has got off to a springy start.

Looking at the freezing weather in the UK I am grateful for the wonderful weather we have had today -sunny and warm -walking the dogs before eight this morning I didn't really need a jacket on.

As the weather improves and spring bundles along I am really enjoying greening my fingers. The seeds planted on the roof in pots and trays are coming through now, and once large enough will be transported up to the Allotment.  Just seeing the little green sprouts sticking their heads through the soil is encouraging and satisfying - a real feeling of 'I did that'. 

Being on holiday this week, and having a lovely sunny day this morning I popped up to the Allotment to check things out as there's little to do there at the moment. It pretty much looks after itself. The plants are all looking okay and the location is perfect for chilling and mind-clearing. This morning Sue and Lilly came with me, and both loved it. Lilly rolled around on the floor, whilst Sue enjoyed the peace and quiet and energy of the place. Apart from our voice all we could hear were birds singing.

Lilly offers me some straw
 The Peppers, Aubergines and lettuce doing fine...

This afternoon I was able to indulge myself reading, and finishing off my latest read - 'The Death Instinct' by Jed Rubenfield - a mix of fact and fiction.

I followed this up with an hour or so's siesta and then hit the kitchen to make some sausages.

AS I said a great start to the new week...

Monday, 18 March 2013

March writing

I am so enjoying my monthly writing challenge and am pleased that the numbers of reads is rising day by day.
So far this month I have written over 13,500 words in 15 mini-stories on Writey-Ho. I've a bit of a catch up to do, having been a bit lazy (with writing) over the weekend, but will be all sorted over the next few days, and if not next week I am on school holidays so should get up to date then. The most popular story is still 'Playing' one of last month's efforts.

The illustrations for 'The Key' are coming along nicely too. So far Ritu (the illustrator) has done three (for the first three chapters). She sends me a pic I make suggestions and she updates it. We're working well together, and with a bit of luck we'll get an amazing book together soon.  Talking at school this evening about the book I warned the students that one day they might turn up for class and I wouldn't be there, I said I'd be in Hollywood talking over the film rights with Steven (Spielberg)! Well you gotta aim high!

Today I've written a second part to one of the stories. Take a look, and let me know what you think

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Beautiful LIfe

Despite the gathering black clouds this weekend I have to say I am surrounded by beauty, and have a beautiful, wonderful life, and just to prove that (should I need to?) here are a few pics of the weekends going ons...

Friday walking to work I was delighted to see the sheep in the unused (unbuilt) estate, 'mowing' the plants.

Before work I had a check up (blood results) at the Docs, and am pleased to report I am back to my normal self (whatever that may be?), and even my cholesterol has dropped below the worrisome level.

Saturday - First of all down the market, then up to Lottie
The planting begins in earnest (Bell-Peppers & Aubergines)
 And a bit of tidying up around the trees

Then dinner out at Pizzeria Cap De Vila, in Sitges- after patronising the place for the last 30 years we still agreed these are the best pizzas we have had anywhere we have been.

Today has been a relaxing kind of day. Although I have made a few jars of Strawberry Jam with the strawberries I bought in the market on Saturday.


Thursday, 14 March 2013

No coincidence...

I love it when things happen ad hoc, or perhaps under the control of the universe.

This morning when leaving class I noticed my phone had switched to 'emergency only' - the only way to change that I had to turn the phone on and off. As soon as I punched in the pin number the phone rang. It was Tony and he was down town, luckily I got the call and we could meet up.

Next while we were outside the greengrocers discussing cauliflowers Sue appeared with Lilly, which was nice.

I came home, jumped in the car and shot down to Lidl. Yesterday I was bemoaning the end of the Raspberry season and wished that I could get some (to enjoy in my breakfast porridge)- and yes you've guessed it Lidl had raspberries on the shelf, and at a bargain rate too.

Whilst 'chatting' on  the other day a picture of someone¡'s rhubarb popped up. I added a comment saying I'd love to grow some here, but wasn't sure if I could. Bam, bam, bam replies came back advising me that I could grow it here and giving me tips. One kind contributor even offered to send me some rhubarb crowns (baby plants) and is putting them in the post tomorrow -all gratis, despite my protestations.

Sitting down to write I had no idea what to write for the prompt 'sound'. Sitting her eat the PC I noticed that the house was almost completely quiet - Tony and the kids siesta-ing -not a sound -and my story (continuation9 jumped into my head.
Walking home I was thinking about the raspberries in the fridge, when a new kids story popped into my head for today's prompt (tasty). All I have to do now is settle down and put fingers to keyboard and post it. SO now I'm off over to Writey Ho, to add today's writing prompt....  (can I invite you to do the same...)

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Gardening, Writing, Sharing

This morning was my morning to go up to  'Lottie', but the weather had different ideas. When I leapt out of bed (yes almost leapt) there was a thunderstorm in progress. OK I thought let's see if it dries up before I want to go, but no it didn't -so no gardening for me today. I consoled myself with the thought that the weather was great for the ground- yes the ground ,as we still need to get into the planting. Still my tomato plants, cucumber plants, lettuce etc enjoyed the watering. 

THE storm did allow me to indulge in another of my passions though - yes I sat for a while at the PC writing. I hope by now you've all been over to 'Writey-Ho' and checked out some of my stories. A couple of them are gaining in popularity, which is really great, and the stories are being progressed day by day.  I'm enjoying trying different style. I never thought I could write anything that could be classed as a thriller or suspense, but seem to have got the hang of it with the running story of 'FEAR'.  I'm enjoying my writing journey - let me know if you are, especially if you have a favourite story or style you'd like to see more of.

I was also thrilled toady to have been included in Michelle's blog (click link to check it out) with a mention of 'Writey-Ho' on there too.  Thanks Michelle.

So here's a deal - Do you have a blog, web-page, Facebook or twitter account? If you have said yes to any of the above and would be happy to link back to  'Writey-Ho' to help promote my writing (and books) please do so, leave me a message (there or here) and I'll do the same for you.  Let's share and tell the world about us....

 I love to grow the veggies in amongst the flowers and visa versa - Lettuce with carnations.
And the tomato plants and cucumber plants

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Another super Sunday

This morning I was back at the Allotment, after having done a line of washing, prepared veggies for piccalilli (To be cooked up tomorrow), walked the dogs and mopped the back year. Phew Spring is getting to me for sure.

Meeting Bernard and Pepi at the Allotment we got down to a bit of digging - levelling off the raised beds.

Added compost to the top.

Fixed up the irrigation pipes,

and covered everything in straw
 - that way the plants we plant will be protected both from critters and from the burning sun as they start out as little seedlings. It'll also stop the moisture evaporating so quickly, and keep the seedlings warm at night. Ahhh.
Today there were about a dozen people in our section of the whole plot, including one of the German teachers from the school I work at, which was a bit of a surprise.  MY next planned trip is set for Wednesday morning, when I will start a bit of planting...

 And here's another panoramic of the site (click on pic to enlarge)

On arrival home Tony had made a delicious cauliflower soup for lunch. 

I spent part of the afternoon reading and part cooking. I've made a veggie pie for dinner...

All that remains now is to write another story for my other blog... maybe after dinner....

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Something worth shouting about.

I love it when things fall into place, and when things that happen just show you that everything is going along just fine, thank you.

This morning I had a couple of lessons at school. In one I did a listening exercise. It was an interview with an English author (William Boyd). He was talking about the way he writes, how character are formed, the process etc. I have to say that sometimes I don't listen to all the listening exercises, but this one I was more engaged with, and could even share my experiences with my students, some of whom already have House of TulStig books on their bookshelves at home.Into the bargain, one of my students has lent me a book (in Spanish) to read.

ON returning home after school Tony and I jumped in the car and visited the allotment (AKA Lottie). My co-renters had been there during the morning and done a lot of work, and I thought I may not have anything to do when we got there. On arrival we found there was another family (Italian) who were just arriving too (also new Lottie-holders) and were planing on digging one of the communal beds. I shucked off my jumper and joined in. IN no time we had it nearly all done. Interestingly they had lived in Luton (UK) for six years so spoke great English. A new Lottie and new  friends into the bargain. Robbie (The dad) is already planning a summer barbecue for us all, which is already on-site!  Tomorrow morning I'll be popping back up there again to lay plans with my fellow Lottie-holders.

 A Panoramic of the site - to the left the forest and mountain, to the right the sea.
 (Click on photo to enlarge)
 My new Italian friends at work. I think their son had just found a fat worm!

 And yours truly at work.

This afternoon I have spent some time reading, and a bit more time writing. I am thrilled that one of the stories on my writing blog (FEAR) has grabbed some of my followers' imaginations. It's an ongoing tale now - into it's third part and third day of storytelling, and yes there's more to come.  If you haven't been over ther click the link and take a peek -even better leave me a comment.

I've also got a cooking bug burrowing away in my head two. I've found a couple of interesting recipes recently that I'm keen to try out. More on those later. Not only that but today Tony got the basics for me to be able to make another batch of piccalilli - It really must be springtime!  And then just the other day I made some beetroot bread, which was delicious with a little butter (and in my case a slither of Marmite).

WE are now getting ready to go out to dinner - Yes my Tummy is much better - in Sitges. This will be our first dinner out in over a month -we are all spruced up and raring to go.

Here I go again - ISN'T LIFE GREAT  - yes I am shouting - it's something worth shouting about!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Catch up with Casa TulStig

Rain, rain, wind, rain, sun - the last few days weather.

School, writing, cooking, writing, TV, writing, walking dogs, dreaming of allotment, bit of gardening - the last few days action.

Golly but I love my life - do you? 

So that's that then - all caught up -any questions?

Oh and here's some Lavender to help you feel relaxed... 

Monday, 4 March 2013

The last couple of days here for me have been earth related -

On Saturday I went off to see an allotment with Bernard , just a little way up in the hills. IT wasn't as big as I expected, but is beautifully located (with views across the mountains and down to the sea) and is well maintained. The cost per month includes irrigation, shared areas, fruit trees, running water , a barbecue right next to our plot etc etc. I can even adopt a chicken or two if I want to for the eggs. All in all it seems like a great idea so I've said yes, and over the coming weeks we will be working to get some plants in and have veggies to bring home as soon as possible. This will be alongside my usual summer crops in the garden of course. 
The bare allotment

On Sunday (yesterday) I thought it was about time to get the garden ship-shape ready for spring so spent most of the morning digging out the soiled soil (Cats use it as a toilet during the winter), pruning back the bushes and bigger plants and generally tidying up.  Altogether there were about 10 bags of rubbish to clear out, but after several hours of fairly strenuous work I was a bit whacked so left that for today.

Phase one of 'Garden clean up'

Today I've been up to the skips with all the rubbish, and then taken a trip down to the garden centre for a few plants to refill the garden, and some seeds for the allotment.  On arriving back I planted some of the plants - let's hope they are at least slightly cat-proof.

 Seeds - a little bit of variety
Garden clear up - phase Two

Friday, 1 March 2013

Here comes March

As I mentioned yesterday today is the twins' 7th birthday and celebrations have been going on all day- well they've been getting goodies to eat -and why not?

Being the start of Spring and a new month, and (well no excuse needed really) I decided to check out the stats for this blog.

First of all yesterday was post 333

Last moth my blog had over 450 views.

Since its inception the blog has had a total of over 8500 views.

The most viewed post so far was posted on 03/06/2012 entitled A Right Regal Day with 40 views.

Comments are a bit sparse, which is a little disappointing, so time for me to drum up some interest, both her and for Writey-Ho, and of course for my facebook pages for HoT.

This month I will be pushing on towards publishing for 'The Key' -a new illustrator has promised an initial illustration for the first chapter this weekend.

Tomorrow I'm going to see an allotment with the possibility of joining a couple of others in growing more of our own (organic) veggies and fruits on what is called an Eco-site. With a bit of luck it will be perfect and this summer (year) we will be supplying our own table and maybe those of others too.

March may be just starting but I am now ready for the challenge of a new month and whatever may get thrown at me... make sure you keep an eye on this space and all our others.  Special offers and ideas will be blossoming this month, after all it is spring.