Monday, 18 August 2008

Friday 15th August 2008

Just got back from a few days at Daisy’s new university house. It’s her second year and she is sharing with some fellow rowers. We’ve been there painting and doing up her new bedroom.

Now, I’ve got to this stage of my life with only a flowery hammer and four colour coded, feather embossed screwdrivers to my name; but a short trip to a hardware shop later and I am POWER TOOL WOMAN!

Subtitle – Drill Babe with cordless screwdriver encore!

No shelf, mirror, curtain rail or wardrobe door is safe when I retrieve my power tools from the toolbox. Yes, I also have one of those – it’s pink of course, with a smidgen of home-produced decoupage, as there are limits to my macho DIY exploits!

My first drilling experience was a little circumspect. My drill bit of initial choice was a little thin, so when I drilled into the wall, and pulled it out - I found to my extreme embarrassment, that the bit was still firmly in the wall, snapped off with half an inch left in the drill.

Got the gist of it in the end though– the mirror may only have needed four holes, but it covered up my seven hole mistake quite nicely.

By the time I had finished, Daisy had two rails, a mirror, a removed door (yes, that was meant to happen) and various Ikea flat pack assembled pieces of furniture. I hasten to add that Daisy did actually do an awful lot of painting and assembling. She left me to most of the drilling and cordless screwdriver antics – if only to laugh until she fell over.

One question about student digs. Why do they have to be so filthy? Is it part of the university experience to come out itching?

I have to confess to only taking one shower whilst I was there – and I had to knock back three glasses of wine to launch myself under it.

There are no recipes here – the kitchen was too filthy, hideous and bacterially abundant to do any cooking at all.

Tuesday 12th August 2008

Had a very busy time last week and the blog fell behind!
Today, in the balmy August weather (hah!) the Husseys got together for a picnic at our village recreation ground with the children. It was freezing, but because we are British and made of stoic stuff we made a point of enjoying ourselves. So, we ate our food, drank coffee to warm our numb bodies and whacked the wasps away with an empty jaffa cake box.
We tried and tested various versions of Millionaires shortbread (very important job) and generally ate our combined body weight in calorie induced delights. It was marvellous.
Last time we all got together, we went on our annual Hussey road trip!
This usually involves numerous emails to organise the time and place, supplementary emails to confirm food and drink and then continued witty notes to suggest the time of departure.
This year was no different.
Phoebe was elected in charge this year, and with her family military background, took the job very seriously.
So, for your delight, here are the email transcripts of our third annual ‘Husseys on the Road’!
And so it begins...

By my soul, forsooth and hail fellows well met by moonlight on yon midsummer eve, see details below....
Much Ado About Nuffink, by the Oddsocks theatre company.
7.00pm on July 3rd.
Tickets £15.
If you would like to go let me know and I'll book tickets. We can work out what to bring picnic wise nearer the time.

By sooth, how moon does pass over sun with haste these yonder days. Beseech my comrades, my part in this fair and pleasant night will be for sured. March on good wenches to Waitrose and prepare ye all a feast for many…..
Robyn x

Fore sooth 'n it wot’eva...I'll be there!
Lotte xxxx

Only coming if poncho woman is there with white chocolate thingy
(note: Poncho woman is Caroline – who has a swiss army poncho on her at all times in case of rain. Caroline makes a delicious white chocolate, cherry and nut nibble thing.)
Lissie x (aka Dods, Doddie, Doddy)

OOOooo, feeling a bit nervous now, hadn't realised that getting tickets job included organising food job!! No worries though, sure I'm more than up to the challenge. Looks like we won't be able to meet so let's do it online.
Wot have we got so far??

Lotte's quiche
Robyn's salad
Could Sue do her brilliant startery things again?
Caroline/Doddy any ideas what would you like to add - to either of these courses?

Also need to decide wine etc. (and somebody did a brilliant Pimms job last time) Perhaps let’s see what food we'll have and then factor in booze....

Well done Phoebe – you must know what happens when you put your head above the parapet!
So we have starters (Sue), quiche (Lotte) and salad (Robyn), pudding (Phoebe) so shall I bring potato salad and white choc/cherry? Coffee was good last time so perhaps if we could all bring a flask? Perhaps our table will not look so OTT this time?
Caroline x

Assume I’m bringing table again? Happy to drive as I seem to remember I was one of the drunken ones last year! Just let me know so I can plan baby seat removal…
R x

Can't remember what my brilliant starter thing was ( no - I hadn't had one too many! ) but I will come up with something. Have got two chairs to bring.

Very kind offer, must say. Will there be room? Everyone needs to bring their own cutlery, plate, glass and chair too remember.
Is one table enough? I have another smallish camping table.

Also, booze. Don't think we need a bottle each (!) but need to distribute the cost so someone isn't bringing more than their fair share... any ideas gang?
Sounds good to me. Do we all need to bring a flask? Two or three between us might do it and less to carry. Volunteers step forward now (I'm fwee)

On booze question actually, I see Dodds is still to be given a task. How about bringing along a couple of bottles of wine??

All thoughts/better ideas welcome. Doddy, see my last note re booze. Can add more canapes if you like, but p'rhaps confer with Sue.
Phoebe x

Love you all more than you know for organising... and Phoebe for taking the mantle!
plus, I am hobbling too at the mo due to my gin-soaked poorly ankle!!
What time girls?
Lotte xxx

I reckon 6.00pm latest. It can feel a bit rushed otherwise after we've set up and got everything out etc. How about 5.45pm - setting off 5.30pm? (I'm really getting the bit between my teeth now! If you're not careful I'll have you all marching there and back as well.)

Fine by me!
I'll happily bring a flask and some cups.

So am i just bringing wine and elderflower and fizzy then?

Curtain is up at I would think we would want to get there at about 6, plenty of time for base camp and munching.....



Sue: Some kind of nibbly starter and one flask coffee
Lotte: 1 big or 2 small quiches
Robyn Salad (one flask coffee??)
Caroline Potato salad, chocolate thingy
Phoebe Pudding and one flask coffee
Lissie Wine,elderflower and fizzy
George Cheese plate

All bring own plate, bowl, glass, cutlery and chair. All squeeze into Robyn's car if poss. Robyn bring her table, maybe I bring mine too.

If not report for duty, Thursday July 3rd, 17.30 hrs OR ELSE!
Sergeant Weiland x

Okay...just finished laughing at your brilliant email...tears is wasted me girl on hypnotherapy...YOU should be taking your troops into battle...
Am a little scared though, so going to do two quichey things..bring all the other stuff required and be standing to attention outside my house at the required time and do exactly as I am told...quiver, quiver, shake...!

Thanks for organising it all for us....really appreciated....
L x

So, we are all organised and then I look at the weather, and ruin all those well planned ideas...

Don't want to bring a downer on the evening, but just seen the weather forecast....bit rainy...
Perhaps we should think slightly differently about our food....we may not be able to lay out on a table if it is piddling down!!!
Should we take a weather view (!!!) - tomorrow evening...or perhaps Thursday morning??

Oh Gahd. Find myself wondering about gazebos. Would that be just too much hassle? Agree about taking a view on food. Not sure what an alternative might be. M&S sandwiches and umpteen flasks of coffee??

Weather still looks dodgy....I think gazeeeeeeeeebo might be a pain and also hinder other people's view...other idea....collect food together and portion out for each of us?
...or think stuff it and take it along and just get wet!!
L x

Ok – just conferred with Lotte – what do we reckon on finger food, wine, choc (white choc cherry by special request from Dods) and coffee?
If we all bring a bottle, a plate of finger food and a flask of coffee (or whatever you prefer) it will work wherever we are?
Does Waterperry have a contingency plan for torrential downpour?

Sounds good to me...I could do curried sausage balls!!!
Plus wine and or coffee...

Hi girls .I’ve cracked it! Just to let you know I hit Waitrose and I’ve bought:
Mini bagels, smoked salmon and cream cheese (on Lotte’s advice, thanks chef)
Mini scotch eggs
Mini roasted veg kebabs
Hope that’s ok.
Robyn x

Your food sounds perfect...looking at the weather now, we may be lucky! At least avoid a downfall....
I am happy to drive, just let me know what you want me to do...I'm in London til the afternoon...

You sure you lot? If you look at BBC weather for south, it looks quite nice from 7.00pm. No rain indicated and 19 degrees...


OK, I can see I've totally lost control of my troops so have also been to Waitrose and got fruit pud pots and lemon drizzle bites. Will bring coffee flask, but a bit short on coffee cups. Does anyone take sugar?
Am also v. happy to drive. Have seven seats in the car, but not much boot. Can decide that later praps.
Sergeant Major Weiland x

Sorry Phoebe (aka Brigadier commander person) – looks as if the weather will be absolutely fine this evening but Plan B is easier than Plan A and we will not have an embarrassingly overburdened table to shrug off in front of everyone on their rugs with a cucumber sandwich.

Soz. Confused of Lupin Cottage just wants confirming what I’m meant to be doing then

-still want table?
-Are we doing finger food for ourselves only, or converting what we were doing into finger food? Any requests on what I do as try as I might I don’t think I can make a couscous salad finger food!!!

I've completely lost what is going on! I'm guessing it is now finger food so I have made some mini spinach and parmesan muffins and will do baby tom/basil/mozzarella sticks. Tried to get quails eggs for Caroline but no joy in Waitrose or Newitts. I'm down for a flask of coffee too and will bring some plastic beakers
Sue x

Yes, you've got the right idea.
Troops deserted/gone AWOL.
Sarn't Major Weiland demoted to Private. Natives running amok - and you're worrying about quails eggs??

Am at work with loaves of bread and coronation chicken filler and will make then before I leave...will meet you at Waterperry at 5.45....have bought umbrella in Sainsbury petrol station so am ready for all...

Heavily burdened with too much food as usual and after a back breaking ascent up a small path to our pitch, we set up our picnic – aka Base Camp Everest. The food was delicious, we ate until our foldaway chairs squeaked at the seams and we had the best time possible. Oddsocks were completely fabulous and very, very funny. Much Ado was panto style and the cast had the audience hooting with laughter. Even when Sue opened another bottle of fizz mid-performance with an embarrassingly huge pop it was brought to attention in a very amusing way. We’ve never allowed Sue to live that one down.

Hello Girls!!
What complete and utter fun it was last night...thanks so much Phoebe for gathering together your errant troops....
I had a ball.....
Have a look at their website.....
Anyone fancy their Les Miserables panto in December in Warwick! I think it would be hilarious....
I'm up for it

Here here – well done Phoebe and thanks to everyone for lovely grub…..paying for overindulgence this morning though – need to be near loo!
Yes – reckon Les Mis in Warwick would be a proper larf….up for it in principle.

Yes heartily agree, thanks Phoebe, thought it was great fun, certainly popped my cork!
Sue x

Yes, lovely time, fab weather, food, featricals....what more could we ask for? Like the idea of Lane trip to panto. Bout time the kids got to see a decent one. Is Warwick far??

Hear hear on great night, food, company etc. Went to bed feeling like a beached whale.
Les Mis would be hysterical. Count me in!

I wonder just how many emails it will take to organise a harmless panto trip?

Dear Oddsocks
Just wanted to let you know that I think your are all completely brilliant. I saw Much ado last night at Waterperry Gardens and as I said to the Bard I have EVER seen. Hilarious, clever and over flowing with talent...thank you for a bloody marvellous time!
Best Wishes.

Dear Lotte,
Many thanks for your email. Really glad you enjoyed the performance. I shall pass on your email to the cast, kind words such as yours keep the team going when the going gets tough!

All best
Elli Mackenzie
01773 540962

Recipe for Lotte's Quiche - that she usually brings, but this time didn't because of the weather (!) - Available Soon.