Monday, 27 May 2013

Up the Lottie again--

Another morning at the allotment left me feeling charged and energised. It is about he only place I can be working away or just sitting and admiring the views of nature and not have any pain. The energy of the place really fills me up`, an is clearly working well for all our plants too.
 The Rhubarb, specially imported from Ireland (Thanks Nora) is doing well in the shade of one of the trees.
 The leeks are growing at a rate of knots
 The apple tree is fruiting beautifully and looking so green

And today I noticed that one of the trees in our plot is a cherry tree and has a load of fruit on it. The only thing is it'll be about another three to four weeks before the fruit is ripe and I'll be on the Camino then, ah well swings and roundabouts! 

Saturday, 25 May 2013

A few of my favourite munchies

If you've been reading my blog, or been on my Facebook profile I would think that by now you know that I am a bit of a a foodie. Or perhaps that I just love food- preparing it, cooking it  and of course eating it. 

One of the things I really don't think I could live without (well not for long) is Marmite. I love it in all its forms, and being veggie it features in a lot of the recipes for our daily diet. 

 I also have a sweet tooth and since moving to Spain I have taken to regularly making muffins, or all varieties. I especially like ones with fruit in, as they are quite rare here. They are great to share. Tony and I would never get through a whole batch of them so they often end up at school for the other teachers and staff to enjoy. 

Eating out can be a problem here as vegetarianism is still so misunderstood- I DO NOT eat meat or fish -it's all in the name - VEG - so when  we do find a good place to eat we use it regularly and tell everyone about it. Pictured here is one of the best Salad's with goat's cheese that I have had in a long while:

Happily our local market is now stocking more veggie foodstuffs- sausages, burgers and more recently meat(less)balls, with which Tony does a mean spaghetti dish that I love.

Cheese still features (too) high on my foodstuffs I love list. During recent years I have cut down a lot (cholesterol!) but more and more English cheeses are staring to become available here- How could I not go out and buy mature Cheddar, or mature Cheddar with chillies?! 

One of the things we enjoy at the weekend is to make a delicious burger. Burgers from the market, buns from the local bakery and as summer comes round veggies from our garden or allotment. All served with chips and baked beans. 

 To maintain a healthy diet, alongside the heaps of veggies we eat I usually have porridge for breakfast, and to make it a tad more interesting I try to add some fresh fruit. Just recently this has meant adding raspberries, strawberries and/or blueberries- the perfect way to start the day...

And for lunch or dinner with friends I enjoy nothing more than throwing together a spinach and ricotta pie, or a quiche with different fillings. And for gluten intolerant friends I juts leave out the pastry and make a Spanish-style omelette with a variety of fillings. 

Go on then, what's your favourite thing to cook, eat, prepare? What recipe would you like me to share? What are you pet food hates? Marmite- Love it or loathe it? leave me a comment below and join in my foodie fetish...

Friday, 24 May 2013

Another BIrthday

Tony has recently been back in the UK to celebrate another important birthday- that of his mum's who  (I don't think she'll mind me sharing) turned 94 on Tuesday. 
All the family popped round for a sandwich or two and a slice of cake, and if I know those Stiggants a bottle or two of something alcoholic. 

Aunty Fan inspects the spread.

Trevor, Tony and Michael
 Andrew (Tony's nephew) holding the cake for his Grandma to blow out the candle.
Some of the Stiggants Clan 
 Tony done up for the day, relaxing. 

Not only did his mum get a load of goodies to enjoy for her birthday, because of Tony's trip to the UK we got a load of things we don't normally have to munch on too. Yes Tony did a bit of shopping whilst in Blighty

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Birthday Boy

A breakfast of tuna, lunch of chicken and special treats for dinner -what could all this mean but it was Xali's birthday.

Our little boy- little in size that is -well he is a Jack Russell -was 14 year's old yesterday. 

It's hard to believe that it as so many years ago that we trotted off to Battersea Dog's Home to see if they'd have another puppy for us, after our previous one had died a year previously. Chasca, by the way, was also from Battersea- a Border Collie with a heart of pure gold and personality to match, who I still miss. But we were talking about Xali. Battersea told us they only had a border collie puppy or  a Jack Russell. We didn't ant a Border collie again as we would have been making comparisons, and we thought, like many, that jack Russells could be nasty snappy yappy little dogs. How far from the truth has that been? Xali has a wonderful nature, placid and loving. 


 A  NEW TOY 2006

He has had an adventurous life coming all the way from London with us in 2004 to our new home, and he's settled in perfectly- now having spent more than half his life in Spain. he can be a grumpy old so and so, but so can we. To say we love him dearly can not encompass how much we really care for our bundle of fluff. 

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Camino success

I am thrilled that my new blog about the Camino - Camino Ways - has started off as a really popular site.

On the first day I had 98 visitors, this dropped slightly over the next couple of days, but bumped right up two days ago to 108 views. 

Comments have been slow in coming, but comments on the links posted in various groups over at Facebook are getting quite a few comments back. 

Have you been over to Camino Ways yet? Pop on over and check out my posts - in less than four weeks the site goes  SUPER-LIVE as we head on out for teh Camino Ingles.... 

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Lottie News

This week I've been up the Allotment again for a few hours, and brought home a few more lettuce for consumption. It is so delightful to be eating the produce already.

On the way up there I stopped by the usually dry river bed  which was flooded and rushing across the road in torrents.

I spent some time putting up the canes for the tomatoes and the cucumbers and did a bit of weeding- with the warm weather and raining everything is growing really well, and that includes the weeds. 

Bernard and Pepi went off and cut the canes down the dry riverbed a few days back
 and I put them up: 

Whilst Pepi was there the other day doing a bit of weeding she found a mouse's nest

Whilst up there I met a couple of the 'ladies' that have the plot next to ours and enjoyed a good old chin wag with them. Ursula and Gloria planted some Iris bulbs under one of the trees which should bring forth some beautiful blue flowers later in the summer. 

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Eurovision song contest final

So last night I spent a very enjoyable few hours watching the Eurovision Song Contest final as is our wont here at Casa TulStig. 

Although tony was in Yorkshire for the weekend and I was on my own in the house, of course with the animals, who have been constantly by my side while tony is away,  I enjoyed WhatsApp and text contact with Anna, Nick, Caroline Annie and Sue who were all giving me their opinions on the songs throughout the show.  Nick,  however,  did give up about 3 quarters of the way through saying he was tired and went to bed.

I have to say that if you contest was 1 of the best I have seen for a long time with a whole range of good songs of various types including the usual traditional madness

We were all surprised that Ireland did so badly particularly as we thought it was a good song.

 Bonnie Tyler didn't do that much better but still better than Englebert Humperdinck last year. I have to say that I thought her performance was quite bad and that she was singing quite flat. I will give her an excuse though as perhaps it was because she had been talking and singing too much throughout the week because the clip of a concert that she did a few days before the final was much better. 

Bookies' favourite Denmark went on to win the song contest. Iit was one of my top 10 but not my preferred song, but what do I know about music? 

I still say that Joey Fischer could have done a much better job. Well, who knows, perhaps next year. After all Johnny Logan was wont to say "What's another year?"

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Delivery for TulStig

With Tony gone to the UK to visit his mum I woke alone in bed yesterday morning- Yeah right - Cuddy was snuggled up on one side and three cats had perched them,selves all down my body. I thought I might get a greater share of the bed, but oh no. 

Realising that a lie in was out of the question - Tommy was up first and shouting for breakfast - I dragged myself from under the duvet to welcome a beautiful day. Looking up on my way to the bathroom I could only see blue skies. 

Once abluted I got some washing on, then walked Xali and Cuddy. Xali hasn't been up to walking much lately. I had thought it was because he was getting on (he'll be 14 next week), but when I picked him up this morning I noticed that one of his pads was quite sore. He managed quite a good walk this morning and I've since put some cream on his foot, hoping he doesn't lick and chew it. 

When I got home I was putting the washing out, when the doorbell rang. MRW delivery - a couple of packages from - goodies that I'd ordered last week. amazon have recently started a grocery store, including deliveries to Spain. It's bulk purchase, but now and again will be so worth it for the treats.

Today I got Ginger cake, Eccles Cakes (sweet tooth catered for), a book about the English language (recommended by Allie) and a DVD of a book I recently read. (Never let me go -The book was excellent)-

The rest of the morning panned out well too, with a trip to the supermarket in Sitges, and a bit of tidying up around the house. all in all a profitable morning. 

Friday, 17 May 2013

ESC - Part Two

This afternoon I dropped Tony off at the airport, and made a quick visit to Ikea before coming back for school.

School over I rushed home to watch the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest. I am sorry to say that I hardly needed to have bothered. The contestants were more or less mediocre.

Azerbaijan was quite good - Farid Mammadov - He got through...

The Greek entry was a little strange -Alcohol is free, and the group singing wore kilts, but wore them very well! They were through. They've never failed to qualify since the new rules started.

The show concluded with Romania -Cesar singing an Operatic aria type song, wearing the strangest costume too. OF course he's through to the final.

But my favourite of the night was probably Norway - a good Eurovision song, and through

So we just have to wait till Saturday now for the real thing. I'll be glued to the gogglebox will you?

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Date and walnut muffins - TulStig Style

At popular request - well especially for Linda...

300g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
50g unsalted butter
80g caster sugar
80 - 100g of chopped dates 
50 - 80g walnuts
2 eggs (well beaten)
200ml sour cream (or buttermilk)
1 banana (smashed) (optional)
splash of milk (if needed)


  1. Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder together in a bowl.
  2. Add dates and nuts to the flour and stir in, coating the fruit.
  3. In another bowl melt the butter over a pan (or in the microwave)
  4. Add the sour cream (or buttermilk) to the butter.
  5. Add the smashed banana to the other wet ingredients and blend together with a fork.
  6. Add the beaten eggs to the wet ingredients and mix together.
  7. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well. Do not overwork or you'll end up with heavy muffins. Simply stir together until it is well mixed.
  8. Add a little milk if the mix is too stiff. It should be smooth but not wet.
  9. Spoon the mix into bun cases (usually makes between 12 -16)
  10. Cook for 20 minutes (more or less) at gas mark 6 (200ºC/400ºF)
  11. Cool on a wire tray, or scoff straight from the oven.
The buns may keep for a few days in an airtight container, but if you've friends like ours they'll be gone in no time! 

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

ESC Part One

Yes ladies and gentlemen it's that time of the year- It's May and of course the Eurovision Song Contest. 

And of course we watched last night - the first semi final that is. None of the songs blew us away, and some of course surprised us, especially when they got through to the final- what is going on in the Netherlands - a very strange song and performance, but maybe different enough to win?!

One of my favourites was Ireland- and yes Anna was n the other end of the WhatsApp line sharing comments back and forth. I liked it in part because of the drums, and of course the bare-chested drummers, which aren't quite visible in this photo -so check them out on Saturday as, yes, they did get through.

Ryan Dolan - Only love survives

I also liked Lithuania, another good looking young man, who the presenters slated for having expressive eyebrows. I'm sorry but their humour fell flat -they are not Sir Terry!

Andrius Pojavis - Something

both Tony and I thought the Russian entry has a chance, and it was quite a surprise that she sang in English.

Dina Garipova - What if?

The usual gimmicks were on show- rising stages, huge frocks, strange dancers , and this year rapping astronauts. All adding up to an amusing evening's viewing. 

We're still not convinced that Bonnie Tyler can bring it home for the UK, but having heard the song for the first time last night did quite like it. apparently she's well-known and liked across most of Europe so has a good fan-base - well we'll wait and see. in the meantime we have the second semi-final on Thursday...