Happy Hodgepodge!


Thank you Joyce for another fantastic Hodgepodge this week. Many happy returns to your daughter today. My daughter has a birthday coming in up in a couple of weeks and it’s a big milestone this time. I can’t believe my little baby is already 21 eek!!!

1. On Thursday we pause to remember a dark day in history-9/11. Will you mark it in some special way?

Personally, no. Here in the UK we are probably about as far removed from ground zero as could be but that doesn’t mean to say that the tragic event wasn’t felt by us at the time and in the aftermath. I will say a prayer for those still affected by the tragic loss of life, and I will also pray that lessons continue to be learned about finding peace in this time of global strife.

2. Do you ever/still…listen to an actual radio? Watch a videotape (VCR)? Look up a number in a telephone book? Refer to an actual paper map while traveling? Set an alarm on an alarm clock as opposed to your phone?

Haha I can see where this question is leading! I listen to the radio every single day – we wake up to the radio alarm, Kevin puts the radio on as he prepares breakfast and his lunch to take to work and we have the radio on in the car whenever we travel. I have a digital radio by the side of my bed which we take with us when we go away in our caravan. Love the radio!

No, we don’t watch videotapes any more and I can honestly say hand-on-heart that I don’t miss them one little bit. Fuzzy pictures, having to fast forward and rewind them, having the tracking (remember that?!) shift about and half the picture being lost….nope, don’t miss that AT ALL.

Yes to the paper maps. We have an extensive collection of Ordinance Survey maps for when we walk and cycle when on holiday. We kind of collect them for the area where we are camping each time, and over the years we have amassed quite a number which get referred to all the time. We also use a map book in the car which we use in conjunction with the Sat-Nav.

No to the phone directory and no to the alarm clock. Over the years the local telephone directory has shrunk in size so much that it now resembles a slimline novella and whenever I need a telephone number I Google the company I need instead. And who in their right mind want to have their home number listed any more when it leaves you at the greedy, grasping, intrusive mercy of aggressive marketing companies? And the alarm “clock” is now a combination of mobile phone alarms and the radio set on a timer as previously said.

I think we’re a household in balance when it comes to traditional and technological tools to live by.

3. Is it ever a good idea to discuss religion and politics with people you don’t know?

Hmmm. Good question. I think it depends on the situation you’re in and the setting of the conversation. For example, I wouldn’t walk into a pub for example and start talking about religion and/or politics with random strangers, but I would obviously talk about religion when meeting new people through church.

4. What’s a dish you haven’t eaten all summer, but come September find yourself craving? Have you made it yet this month?

My September dish is my own bacon and lentil soup, which is not usually on the menu when it’s hot because it is quite brothy and thick, and as my Dad says, “it sticks to your ribs”. It is most definitely a winter warmer and is quite cheap to make too, and yes, I have made it twice in the last two weeks. It really is delicious!

5. What’s something you know nothing about?

Good grief, where to start! I know nothing about the back of my own neck, but neither to do I know anything about quantum physics so it’s a bit of a difficult question to answer. How about asking the question “what’s something you know nothing about, BUT WANT TO?”. If that was the question then I would say I would love to learn about stump work (a three dimensional, multi-material, multiple-technique form of needlework), and I would love to learn how to play the accordian but don’t know where to start with either of them.

6. September is Classical Music Month. Do you like classical music? If so, what’s your favourite piece?

I love most forms of music (not the monotonous droning and whining that counts as “pop” music these days) and to me, “classical” music is quite an all-emcompassing term that covers quite a substantial range of styles and forms. It is difficult for me to choose just one favourite piece because I listen to music according to my mood and what is my favourite one day might not match the next and so on. But, there is one piece that never fails to move me, or to change my mood and outlook, and that is the Blue Danube waltz by Johann Strauss II. I find my imagination firing off in all sorts of directions whenever I hear it, and I get swept away by mental images of Viennese ladies and gentlemen in their finery waltzing round gilded ballrooms of yesteryear. Glorious!

I am also quite moved by the finale to Madame Butterfly by Puccini, the Overture “William Tell” by Rossini, any Baroque trumpet music or antiphonal music by composers such as Gabrieli. Here’s an example so you can hear what I mean:

 

7. What’s the oldest thing you own?

The oldest thing I own is probably my Gran’s wedding ring. I have a couple of my Grandad’s law books, but I don’t know if he had those before or after he got married to my Gran.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I will probably come back to this topic in the coming days or so, but the Scottish Referendum debate is really beginning to gather momentum now. It is all over the newspapers and the media is alive with it just now and it is hard to sort out the real nuggets of fact from all the hype and spin on the issues that people are worried about. My own personal feeling – as an English woman – is that the world is in so much turmoil and distress at the moment and by opting to leave the Union the Scots would just be adding to it. There is the threat of wars in Russia and Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria; terrorism and extremism seem to be around every street corner; there are world shortages and violence everywhere; there is instability in Europe with countries in austerity measures and others wanting to come out of trade agreements and the Euro etc. It strikes me that an upheaval on the scale that some Scottish people want, ie dissolving the Union, is unnecessary and is borne out of something else other than the need for a separate identity and economy. It troubles me.

 

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5 thoughts on “Happy Hodgepodge!

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  1. Enjoyed reading all of your answers. Yes the world is in big trouble and it scares me each day. I will be praying for those who lost their lives on 9/11 and also for the world.

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  2. I’ve been reading a little bit about the Scottish vote. It’s also an oft mentioned topic on Twitter. My former across the street neighbor in Maryland is Scottish and I’ve been following some of her links on Facebook. It’s complicated. Having your gran’s wedding ring is special : )

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  3. I love Baroque music!
    You say: I listen to music according to my mood and what is my favourite one day might not match the next and so on.
    I do feel very much so, too, Pam. Music is just wonderful in our lives.

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    1. Yes, love to! It really is quite simple: take an onion, a stick of celery and a couple of carrots. Dice them into bite sized pieces and fry gently in a little oil until beginning to soften. Add about 8 rashers of smoked bacon (I don’t know how big pack sizes are in the US, but here in the UK 8 rashers is one pack) and fry it til the bacon is cooked. Add half a teaspoon of paprika (or smoked paprika if you like it). You could use non-smoked bacon, in which case leave out the paprika or else it will taste a bit redundant. Add your lentils – I use around 250g but I suppose it depends on how thick you want your soup and how many you are feeding. That amount would give us a good 6 portions. Stir it round so the lentils can pick up the vegetable and bacon flavours then add your stock. I would add around 2 litres of chicken stock but again, more or less than that would make it thinner or thicker and obviously will go further if you add more! Bring it all to the boil and simmer gently for about 45 minutes or until the lentils are “falling”. Add two tins of chopped tomatoes (we have 400g tins here, if that gives you an idea of how much to use). The addition of tomatoes changes the colour and the texture of the soup and adds another taste dimension too. Season with salt and pepper according to your own taste, bearing in mind that the bacon will be quite salty. Serve it with crusty bread rolls and lashings of butter and ENJOY!

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