Monday, 12 April 2010

Glorious April

I cannot believe how beautiful the weather is at the moment. I went into Blackburn on Saturday with my friend to do a bit of the old retail therapy....... and would you believe it was 25 degrees?????

Probably not hot compared to Winter in somewhere like Australia or Africa maybe - but unheard of over here for this time of year.

The only down side was ........ all the weekend visitors to the village who were hiking had pasty white legs hanging out of the bottom of karki coloured shorts. NOT a great look.
Which made me realise that I need to get a bit of colour into my OWN legs for the coming summer. Im lucky that I go really brown - but following a friend of mine having a skin cancer scare a few years ago, I stopped sunbathing. I still catch the sun on my face and arms - I cant really avoid it given my outdoors lifestyle and occupation. And I usually suffer from "Van drivers arm"........ I always have my right arm resting on the window of my car when Im driving in the summer, so inevitably that goes a lot browner than the left one. MUST stop doing that as they look like "before and after" shots.
But as for the rest of me..........I discovered the wonderful world of spray tans and fake tans.
My first experience of a spray tan wasnt what I expected. I opted for "Fake Bake" as the advertisement in the beauty therapists said all the stars were using it and it gave a natural deep tan with the look of an island holiday.

I dont know WHICH island they were talking about - as I ended up covered in streaks - maybe there is some place in the world called Zebra Island?????

I looked like I was just grubby - rather than tanned. And will say that it was absolutely minging. The worst part of the whole sordid episode was that they make you wear these horrid paper knickers that you can throw away afterwards (like you'd want to keep them?????? yuk) and you have to stand in a cubicle after being sprayed, with your arms out at the shoulder, and your legs sort of bent so you dont end up with 2 white diamonds at the back of your legs if you've got a flabby bum.
Talk about traumatic.
I then forked out another £45 for a St Tropez tan - dear lord - I was a lovely chavvy orange colour and it took ages before I could get the last remnants of it off.
But then - I came across Ambre Solaire spray on self developing fake tan. It's fantastic - and I can recommend it to anyone wanting to look like they have a natural tan rather than like they've been Tangoe'd.
Just one point to make............ DONT apply it when you have dogs around as Lorrie started trying to lick it off my legs last night and Ive woken up this morning looking like a Zebra all over again :-)
.........maybe the jeans will be staying on for a few more days after all!!!!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Vanishing comments !!!!!!!!!!!

I apologise profusely (even though it's not actually my fault) but Ive accepted comments from people on here and when I go back to reply, they aren't anywhere to be found.
I thought when it's happened previously that I may have pressed "delete" rather than publish..... but this morning I accepted a comment from Val and it's disappeared.

So -

Val - here is a reply to your comment hahaha

Why not try Tia Maria instead of Baileys??????? DAMN! I might actually do that myself now hehehe
Oh and the doggies are fine. Lorrie has lost loads of weight, and has got her paws well and truly under the table now. She has lots of funny little things about her (like attacking the Dyson and dragging it - and me - round the room when Im trying to clean up) but they are all what make her, well, her!

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Baileys and White Chocolate Cheesecake recipe

I was going to email this one to Monix - but I dont want to be so selfish that I might deprive the rest of you in indulging in a bit of decadent pleasure. I made this for my friends last weekend as part of my birthday party, and I am sad/proud/disgusted in us all to say that the whole thing was polished off in one go (made up of a couple of helpings each - even serving it with ice cream, extra thick double cream and raspberries). What pigs we were !!!!!
Im giving you the recipe as I found it............


I made the base out of Oreos instead hehehe yum yum yum. Hope you try it and love it xx

3 ½ oz /100g Butter
8 ¾ oz / 250g Digestive biscuits, crushed (or Oreos if you're a complete porker like I am)

1 lb 5 oz / 600g full fat cream cheese
7 tablespoons Baileys liqueur (or do what I did and add more and hope to god the thing sets properly)

3 ½ oz sieved icing sugar
10 ½ oz / 300ml double cream, whipped

3 ½ oz /100g grated white chocolate (I admit this didnt look quite enough chocolate to me for a group of ladies on the wine, so I put more in)
7 in /18cm cake tin with removable base.

To garnish:
Cocoa powder lightly sieved
To serve with:
7 ¼ oz / 200ml double or single cream (choice is yours but I went with Sainsburys toffee and honeycomb ice cream and extra thick double cream and some fresh raspberries!)

1. Melt butter in microwave or on hob. Add crushed biscuits. Mix well until the biscuits have absorbed all the butter.

2. Line the cake tin evenly with biscuit mix and smooth with back of metal spoon Place in fridge until set. (You can speed this up by putting in freezer for about 30 mins.)
3. Prepare filling. Lightly whip cream cheese, beat in the Baileys and icing sugar. Fold in whipped cream and grated chocolate until smooth.

4. Take set biscuit base out of fridge and gently slide the biscuit base off the tin base onto a large serving plate. Place outside ring of cake tin over biscuit base.
5. Spoon filling evenly over the biscuit base.

6. Refrigerate and allow to set for around 2 hours .Once set carefully remove outside ring of cake tin. Dust with sieved cocoa powder. (I use a very fine mesh sieve which was a nylon tea strainer for dusting cakes)

7. Put finished cheesecake in front of friends and watch it vanish, as if by magic

Jaks x

Monday, 29 March 2010

Books I loved as a child

Going through the boxes that are STILL sitting in the little pink bedroom, I came across some old books that I had lovingly packed away when I moved house 11 years ago, and never unpacked again.

I thought that I would share some of them, as these were my favourite books when I was a little girl and would read them over and over, until someone managed to buy me a book that then took the "my favourite book" place, and was, in it's turn, read until it was dog eared and worn.

This one was a present from my Auntie Mo (Monix SHOULD remember this one as I think she had to read it to me every single night). I absolutely loved it - and think I was around 3 years old when this one made an appearance, given the "To my little precious, Happy 3rd birthday" which was written on the inside front cover. As a little girl, the thought of a cow wanting to see the world and floating down a canal was wonderful, and I think I drove everyone mad by the number of times I wanted it as a bed time story.

This was a Christmas present from my nan and grandad when I was 4 years old. I loved The Pogles. Little creatures that lived in the forest and occasionally "borrowed" items from people and then returned them. My favourite story was about a toy milk float that they found and used it to carry nuts about in.

This one was another great favourite, although by the time this one was bought for me at 5 years old, I was reading it myself so my family had some peace and quiet as I was always squirreled away reading it somewhere in the house.

Now this one has some special memories for me. When we used to go and spend the whole of the summer holidays with my Aunt and Uncle down in Portsmouth, they had (to my childs eyes) more books than the local library, so on rainy afternoons I would spend ages looking for books along their many bookshelves, and I loved this one. I think I was around 8 years old when I discovered it, and as my nose was always stuck in it, they gave it to me as a present when I was going home one time. I remember being speachless at the time - I couldnt believe that they were giving one of their treasured books to me - and I have treasured it ever since.

And finally, this one. I have no need to tell anyone what it is about as I think 90% of the known world has probably read it or heard about it. But at 8 years old, I started to read it (once again at Auntie M and Uncle N's house). Although I do remember being told "It might be a bit frightening in parts as it's really a grown ups book" and I admit the spiders and the trolls scared me to death - but I never told them, as I wanted to finish the book and was more scared that they would take it off me and not let me get to the end hahaha

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Giggles have set in AGAIN !!!!!!!!!!!

Ive spent a couple of hours on Facebook today catching up with old friends and generally having fun.

At the moment a few of us are having a bit of an ongoing competition to see who can come up with the funniest/wittiest status lines. This has been going on since Thursday. I thought that I would share some with you as they have really made me howl today.

Matt: I just opened the door to a 6ft cockroach. It punched me in the face and told me to **** off. Apparently there is a nasty bug going round

Dee: The kids next door just asked me to have a water fight - so I thought Id come and update my staus while Im waiting for the kettle to boil

Me: Im changing my name to Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz as the only men I seem to attract are either cowards, have no heart or dont have a brain.

Me: I just checked my bank statements and I have enough money to live comfortably for the rest of my life.....If I die tomorrow !

Me: Some people are under the impression that I think the world revolves around me. What utter nonsense. Everyone knows the world revolves around the sun.........which shines out of my arse!

Mark: I just asked my granny if she had seen my LSD pills that I left on the table. She said "Sod that. Have you seen that dragon in the kitchen?"

Debbie: just failed to stop a noisy fart leaking out in the queue at Tescos. Helloooooooooooo Asda

Ian: For sale. One parachute. Used once. Never opened. Small stain........

Tina: Freezing tempertures in Liverpool this morning. Reports say it was so cold a scouser was seen with his hands in his own pockets.

Matt: Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see us without an erection, make us a sandwich.

Matt: If you watch Thelma and Louise backwards,its about 2 women with a flying car who slowly realize their place is in the kitchen

Tina: So, is it too soon to ask Whoopie Goldberg if she's heard from Patrick Swayze yet?

Totally irreverant, not particularly PC, but I love every one of my "off the wall" friends x

Shhhhhh !!! Dont tell anyone but.............

Ever been guilty of doing this? It's usually because you have something you are so desperate to share with another person that you just cant keep it to yourself any longer - but you dont actually want it advertising in the national press at this stage.

So it's generally revealed to a close friend. Or at the very least, someone who is totally unconnected in any way, shape, or form to the "news" you are about to deliver.

And woops!!! I did it on Friday.

And double woops!!! It got repeated to someone else with the same caveat attached "Shhhh - dont tell anyone but Jaki just told me that she.............."

Bugger bugger bugger.

Thankfully it's not really about anyone else - it's about me. Well, no, it's sort of about someone else too, but probably not in the way you may think.

Sh*t -Im being too cryptic.

Anyway, needless to say this bit of "gossip" will probably be round the office by Wednesday at the latest. And Im wondering what is the best way to deal with the potential fall-out. And by fall-out I mean repercussions.

They wouldn't be horrendous - as it wasnt bitching or anything. Just that I may end up with a slightly red face and have now got to decide whether to brazen it out, or deny deny deny.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm !

If the person concerned hears this little snippet.......well things could go one of two ways.

I could be writing a blog next week with me dancing around like an idiot and very very happy.

Or I could be curled up al la Bridget Jones drinking vodka and listening to Chaka Khan.

I will keep the world posted. That is, if anyone has even got the remotest idea what Im wittering on about, and would have a clue whether they were following me or not.

Friday, 19 March 2010

I saw the deer. I saw the deer !!!!!!!

Well, actually it isnt the first time that Ive SEEN them - but usually they are just grey blurs and the flash of a white tail as they vanish into the forest.

But every night this week, on our evening walk up to the moors, we have seen one or two on the top track - just before Murphy spots them and then tears off after them into the undergrowth.

Last night, we went right up into the forest - we normally only skirt round the edges, as me being as accident prone as I am, I didnt fancy falling over a log or something and ending up dying of hyperthermia before anyone found me, so we generally stick close to the main tracks within "shouting for help" distance.

But I was feeling a bit adventerous, so myself Murf and Lorrie took off on a mammoth treck. The views from the loggers clearing are spectacular (another reason why I need to buy myself a decent camera), and I didnt realise exactly how high up we'd actually gone until I stopped to look and spotted the village down in the valley.

The dogs were having a grand old time, sniffing everything and running like lunatics in and out of the trees. So we went deeper in, where the trees are so close together that the light is very dim, and the only sounds were the creaking of the pine trees in the wind - which was a bit eerie.

And then I saw them - a little herd of deer bounding through the trees about 50 yards in front of us, heading down the hill towards the tracks and the woods nearer to the village. There were about 10 of them, and it proved a little too much for himself, so he went peeling after them and finally came back panting and wagging his little docked tail, feeling very pleased with himself.

We did another hour through the forest and then rejoined the track and started heading for home as the light was almost gone and I admit Im a bit of a scaredy cat in the dark on the moors (I never did get over watching American Werewolf In London) :-)

And as we rounded the bend near the ruins....... there was a small group of Does in a little clearing. Murf spotted them but my very firm "STAY" made him stand still for a few seconds whilst I got out my phone and snapped the following photo. Now forgive the very very poor quality as it's not the greatest in the world, but if you look in the centre of the fuzzy image, you can see the 5 Does...... just before the temptation became too much and Murphy went after them and chased them back into the forest again