I hope everyone had a good time on Halloween and watching fireworks on Bonfire Night last night. Our village had a display last Saturday which we watched from our driveway; it was Barry's first experience of fireworks and our nervous little puppy was surprisingly brave. That's not to say he stood with us going "oohh" and "ahhh", instead choosing to head for the safety of his comfy bed where he could watch and listen while playing with his toy. I know fireworks are extremely scary for a lot of pets.
We've had a lot of dense fog this week that hasn't cleared at all some days in our little 'dip' in the Berkshire downs. We've also had a lot of rain this week which has meant I've made the effort to re-stock our freezer with meat that will be perfect for stews and casseroles. We enjoyed a lovely lamb stew one day this week; I love being able to use my slow-cooker. My Nan gave me her old slow-cooker a few years ago and I love it - the older ones are just as good if not better than some of the newer inventions. The settings on mine are very simple; auto, low or high. It has a big ceramic pot that's removable too which is great as it means when I get home I take it out of the slow cooker, make some dumplings and pop it in the oven to finish off the dumplings. If I didn't do dumplings I think Jack would cry! I love dumplings too, very naughty but so good, especially herby dumplings!
My lovely assistant; the slow-cooker
Barry is eager for the weekend to arrive as it means much longer walks in the countryside. These dark evenings mean that our usual walk is somewhat shorter, though he still enjoys a good run around the field in the mornings too when Jack takes him out before he goes to work. We had a nice walk together last weekend, lots of colourful berries everywhere.
I also cooked a lovely Halloween-inspired meal last Saturday; Sausage, sage and pumpkin casserole. It's so tasty and this time I did it with some couscous on the side (great to soak up all the juices). I really like pumpkin and would love to try making a pumpkin soup. What do people recommend I do with the pumpkin in the soup? I was thinking a pumpkin and carrot soup?
Things at work haven't improved sadly, and I don't think it will any time soon. Therefore, my de-stress therapy when I get home is to crochet or read a book to switch off, both of which I didn't make much time for. I'm now making more of an effort to have an hour or so of 'chill time' and my little limpet is always by my side while we wait for Jack to get home from work. Once home, all three of us squeeze onto our tiny worn out sofa which is finally meeting its end. It's been in Jack's family since he was little and was kindly donated to us when we first moved into our own place, before coming here to our house with us. It's now falling apart completely and we have finally ordered a new sofa and arm chair which will arrive before Christmas. We're very excited and I've already called dibs on the armchair, it's a perfect snuggle for me (without little limpet) with a good book, though Jack also thinks it'll make a good gaming chair... hmm. I think we've both already said it's going to be pretty difficult to stop Barry from joining us on the new sofa. I think I'm just going to invest in a good throw (mainly for the bottom cushions) to help protect the new sofa from getting worn. He's only allowed up when invited (as opposed to many dogs that beat you to the best spot in the living room!), but he perfects his "I'm so lonely" face from across the room in his bed when he's not on the sofa with us, so we usually give in!
My little limpet
Final photo I promise; Barry showing off while playing his favourite game we call "patience/frustration"! He loves it and stays stock-still until given the cue to gobble up all the treats!