Brown Owl has published a pamphlet of Useful Sayings to catch the Village Hall Coffee Morning Market. It is full of timely advice for those trudging along The Road to Self-Improvement.
Unfortunately, despite regularly resolving to improve myself so that I might evolve into a fine upstanding villager, this morning I have noticed that far from being healthy, wealthy and wise, I am barely functioning,
As you may imagine, I am determined to:pinpoint exactly how I got myself into this sorry state &
- learn from it
- get a grip for the future.
Where I went Wrong:
Last night after supper, the Agent went to bed and I decided to watch the first episode of ‘The Crown’ on Netflix. Be warned! Newly wise after the event, I now know I made not just one but two bad decisions.
Mistake #1. I signed up to Netflix
Mistake #2. I snuggled up on a bean bag with lots of cushions under a rug, making myself thoroughly warm and cosy.
Having enjoyed Episode 1 very much, I thought I’d quickly watch Episode 2:
Episodes 3, 4, 5…
Episodes 7, 8…..
Episodes 9, 10 …
…ZZZ zzzz zzz zz
Yours vowing never to binge watch Netflix again (but knowing I will do so as soon as Series 2 of The Crown comes out),
It’s been another busy week here in Castle Coop…
The Rev. Rosecombe delivered a vigorous & timely address today on ‘Tackling Resolutions with Resolution!” which was well-received by the congregation. This was Trev the Rev.’s last sermon in St. Mary’s pulpit before a temporary break as he sets off tomorrow for a most well-deserved short vacation. He will be away for a fortnight and we all join in wishing him a happy holiday in Devon where he will be visiting family. For information about Church service times, please contact Brown Owl.
Castle Coop was sorry to hear that Liberty Hen was nearly pole-axed by a nasty shock when she stepped on her bathroom scales:
Luckily she rallied enough to stay calm, regroup and think about the problem logically:
And then succeed in dealing with it rationally:
once and for all.
Colonel Pyncheon has been busy trying to decide what to plant in his vegetable patch . He has drawn up some plans on the back of an A4 envelope for Lady Lohmann Brown to take a look at as she has offered to advise.
Liberty Hen has reported a Room 101 (01) on the Home Front
When applied to for advice, Lady Egality suggested using a slow cooker instead of trying to cook everything at the last minute: this advice seems eminently sensible and well worth trying & the editorial team is delighted to publish this advice in The Awesome Hen in case it helps any other tentative cooks.
The following email has been sent out to the Ladies of the Church Cleaning Rota by Brown Owl:
Having been struck by the horrid thought that possibly her set of bathroom scales weren’t broken after all, Liberty Hen has embarked on a new reducing regime:
Lady Egality and Sir Plym, corresponding from overseas in Cape Town, have emailed Liberty Hen to report that the weather is hot in South Africa and they are thoroughly enjoying watching the Test Cricket Match between England and South Africa. Castle Coop greatly looks forward to welcoming back to the village when they fly in next Wednesday.
Yours on behalf of our crack Editorial Team here at The Awesome Hen,
A Cautionary Tale
Just in case any of you are thinking of Spring Cleaning in the near future, I thought I should post this cautionary tale so that you may take an informed decision as to whether or not it’s a good idea…
What happens when Martha Stewart cleans her windows:
Miss Martha Stewart, America’s legendary home-making guru, instructs:
Dirty panes are no problem when you use rubber-edged squeegees, which are quicker and more effective than cloth or newspaper. They come in a variety of sizes — and a screw-on extension will let you reach high spots.
To start, dip a sponge into a bucket of warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap. Wet window; rub dirt away. Dampen squeegee; starting at an upper corner, draw it down pane from top to bottom. Repeat, overlapping strokes and wiping rubber edge with sponge after each stroke. (For large windows, ”snake” squeegee back and forth; then touch up edges.) Dry windowsills with a cloth.
What happens when I clean my windows:
Feeling inspired, I decided to clean the insides of my windows a while ago. I don’t have a rubber-edged squeegee but I equipped myself with a proper glass cleaner and an e-cloth so I could feel pleasantly like Ms. Stewart.
While I was rubbing a few dirty spots away, I happened to notice a small cobweb just at the top of the window, under the curtain pelmet.
While I was de-cobwebbing the curtain, I realised that actually there were dreadful cobwebs all over the house so I had to spend ages wobbling about on top of a ladder while wafting around the vacuum cleaner with all its extension tubes attached.
I ended up wearing several cobwebs which is not a great look. The washing machine had to go into overdrive and there was no hot water left for my emergency bath.
Once the walls were de-cobwebbed successfully, I suddenly noticed that they could do with a paint.
While I was painting the kitchen, I saw that the skirting boards were horribly scuffed and needed a good sanding down.
After I’d finished with the sander, I discovered I’d been a bit over-enthusiastic and had to apply 2 tubes of wood filler to fill in the dents I’d made.
Having filled up all the holes and sanded everything down again, I then had to remove all the cupboard doors from their hinges and take off the handles
so that I could paint all the woodwork.
When I took the cupboard doors off to be painted,
I had to tidy up everything in the cupboard before it all fell out onto the floor.
After I had re-hung the doors on their hinges, I found some un-nerving left-overs which I don’t know what to do with.
I also found some paint splodges on the floor and had to steam clean it. As I had the steam cleaner out, I decided to whizz it over the curtains and discovered the lining in one pair had torn and needed replacing. Mending the curtains took up all a weekend I had been carefully saving for better things. When I re-hung the curtains, I noticed that the windows needed cleaning.
I believe Messrs Flanders and Swann once suffered a similar problem and were inspired to write a song called, ‘The Gas Man cometh’ … www.youtube.com
And the moral of this cautionary tale is…
Before you decide to embark on anything rash, do please decide whether you resemble Martha Stewart or me most closely so that you can plan the forseeable future accordingly.
Yours vigorously querying the assertion that, ‘Dirty panes are no problem’,
Mad Dogs and Englishmen…
Early this morning, as it was such a beautiful sunshiny day,
I decided to go for a relaxing spin on my bike.
Yours remembering with heartfelt nostalgia, those summer days back in July when the sun came out & stayed out & my bike rides were so much more straightforward,
The Agent, my dear partner in Life, has been behaving in a most peculiar fashion recently. I can’t think what has come over him. Every now and then I catch him giving me surreptitious odd looks and when we were at the supermarket this morning, he suggested I should stay in the car even though the shopping list was massive. I’m getting quite worried about him and feel guilty that I’ve been too busy to find out what’s wrong.
A busy week:
Since I returned from pedalling to Paris, I’ve been researching nutritious juices and smoothies. It’s been absolutely fascinating. There are several web-sites devoted to whizzed-up vegetables and their health benefits; from them and from books, I’ve gleaned all sorts of amazing facts about green juice, vegetables, vitamins and nutrients.
Just look at all this info!
Apparently broccoli has as much calcium as milk, lots of fibre and vitamin C and is a nutrient powerhouse. Wow!
Source: Innocent smoothie recipe book,
Cucumbers are another powerhouse. They “re-hydrate , cleanse, tone and wash away toxins, strengthening hair & nails and are anti- inflammatory all at the same time”. Multi-tasking!
Source: Carey Kingsbury who blogs at myjuicecleanse.com .
“The health benefits of celery are more than just lowering blood pressure. They also contain at least eight families of anti-cancer compounds to combat cancer”.
Source: Sara Ding of ‘Juicing for Health’ Hurrah!
Ms. Kingsbury & Ms Ding are mines of information about juicing and nutrients.
“Spinach juice contains 3.1 mg of iron per 3.5 oz. serving, which is quite high for a non-animal-based food. Having healthy iron intake promotes blood health and prevents anemia. A 3.5 oz. serving of spinach juice offers 51 mg of phosphorus. This high amount of phosphorus is a particularly valuable spinach juice benefit because … phosphorus supports strong bones and teeth and promotes kidney health.” Magic!
Green juice recipe:
After thoroughly enjoying myself all week, experimenting with juicing different combinations of the above,
I am delighted to report that, should you wish to try a recipe for green juice,
a large cupful of spinach
a very small piece of celery
2 green apples
a small bit of ginger root
small bunch of parsley
a few broccoli florets
all juiced up together, make a delicious and extremely healthful drink.
Warning: IMO, adding too much celery just makes one long for a Bloody Mary.
Something is definitely wrong:
I do wish I knew what is the matter with The Agent but I shall try & find out over supper. Having drunk several glasses of green juice this week, I feel absolutely terrific & yet he’s just asked me if I think I could be at all bilious. What on earth has prompted that? I wonder if he’s worrying that he’s coming down with flu.
Perhaps I should book him an appointment to see the doctor just to be on the safe side.
Yours wishing I knew what is wrong,
A brown paper parcel arrives!
This morning Dave the postman delivered a brown paper parcel.
On tearing off the wrapping, I discovered some ankle weights which I’d ordered from Amazon in an effort to use method to improve my fitness levels. I was so excited they’d arrived safely!
As you can see, the model wearing the weights in the picture seems to be walking about quite normally. She does not appear to be in pain.
Apparently, the ankle weights can be worn while striding purposefully through one’s daily tasks as well as while doing strength training and cardio exercises.
Don’t you think they are a particularly cheerful shade of pink? They are certainly very neatly finished off.
The label on the box suggests wearing them for just 8 minutes three times each week should make a difference to overall fitness levels. And, they are ‘comfort fit’ with a contoured design! They will “burn extra calories while aerobic conditioning and at the same time, tone hips, thighs and calves”. Multi-tasking!
What a great idea! Clearly ankle weights are the ideal way to do exercise without any inconvenience or trouble as far as I can see. Hurrah!
All in all, I gather that they’ll be most efficacious and at the same time will also make me feel pleasantly virtuous, whisking about the village taking all this extra exercise.
That was this morning….
A small snag:
This afternoon I tried them on..and hit a small snag.
Striding purposefully through one’s daily tasks? Strength training? Cardio workout? LOL.
I couldn’t even stand up.
Perhaps I can wear them in bed?
Yours while pinned to the floor,
Sumer is Icumen in,
Loudly sing, cuckoo!
Grows the seed and blows the mead,
And springs the wood anew;
A Summer Bank Holiday Barbecue!
The Ox and Moose decided to lay on a beautiful summery Barbecue to enable Castle Coopians celebrate the summer-is-a-coming-in May Bank Holiday. Hurrah! This is what living in a tiny English village is all about! What could be a more convivial way of passing a bank holiday afternoon than chatting with one’s friends and neighbours in the local pub’s garden? Pimms in hand, children and dogs running happily about, delicious scents wafting over from the steaks on the barbecue and the lilac blossom on the trees – what a great recipe for a relaxing village get-together.
Ingredients for the Ox and Moose Village Barbecue:
- A freshly mown beautiful green sward for us all to stand about on and chat together … Tick.
- Tables dotted about the green sward for families to sit at with parasols to give a shade/sun option…. Tick.
- A Bouncy Castle for the little children to jump about on….Tick.
- The Castle Coop Village Barbecue laden with sausages & burgers ready to waft out the requisite delicious summery smells on summery breezes…Tick.
- Countless jugs of wonderful summery Pimms to accompany the scrummy barbecue….Tick.
- The traditional convivial atmosphere of a British village party held outdoors in the sunshine…. Tick.
except…oh dear.. Where on earth was the beautiful summery sunshiny afternoon?.
Revised ingredients for the Ox and Moose Village Barbecue:
- Wellington boots as the Ox and Moose’s beautiful green sward was awash….Tick.
- Umbrellas rather than parasols….Tick.
- A Dripping Bouncy Castle…Tick.
- The Castle Coop Village Barbecue hidden under loads of umbrellas to protect all the sausages and burgers from the driving rain…. Tick.
- Countless cups of hot tea to protect against the chill factor…. Tick.
- The traditional convivial atmosphere of a British village party held outdoors in the rain…. TICK!
&…….. a very good time was had by all!
Summer is Icumen in (revised for our Great British Weather)
Sumer is Icumen in,
Loudly shiver, Brr Brr!
Pours the rain and blows the breeze,
And come our brollies out anew;
Put on your wellies, Squelch, Squelch!
The appalling weather blip going on in Castle Coop at the moment means once again, I am wrapped up in my michelin-man look-alike outfit in a bid to stay warm. I hope you are warmer than I am…
Yours, feeling as if it’s November inside and out,
I am hopeful the Agent has forgiven me for giving him my cold.
He’s sitting by the fire keeping warm.
I see he’s left the last piece in the jigsaw for me to put in…
That bodes well don’t you think?