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CSH meet-up Sat 21 July 2012
Sat 21-Jul-12
10:11 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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Simon, it was a pleasure big_hug . Thank you too for all your cooking! welldone

It was a lovely afternoon.

Thank you Fiona and Danny for your lovely welcome.

Thank you to everyone there who made it a very enjoyable experience.

Veronica, hoping to seeing some of your photos.

And Sue (pekins) looking forward to trying your venison scotch egg!  ok

brightsparklystuff

"How do you spell 'Love'?" (Piglet). 

"You don't spell it, you feel it" (Pooh).

 'A hug,' said Pooh 'is always the right size!' 

Sat 21-Jul-12
10:16 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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Toffeeapple said:

How WONDERFUL!  Give them all a hug from me please?  Aren't they naughty?

danast said:

wave What a fabulous surprise for you all.  You are right Toni, they are very very naughty, but ever so nice.  big_laugh   big_laugh    Hugs from me too please!!  big_hug

 

It was meant to be a surprise - and so it was - but not naughty  r e a l l y  ........

Driving 170 miles each way would have been horrendous if the weather wasn't good, so it was quite a late decision that worked well in the end !

big_hug to you both - and wish you were both there, too. big_hug

brightsparklystuff

"How do you spell 'Love'?" (Piglet). 

"You don't spell it, you feel it" (Pooh).

 'A hug,' said Pooh 'is always the right size!' 

Sat 21-Jul-12
10:55 pm
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Terrier
York

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Oh I so wish I'd gone, but busy all morning making cupcakes, maede quiches this aft, sandwich fillings this evening, and icing for cakes. Will ice buns in morning

Sun 22-Jul-12
8:11 am
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Elsa - we are delighted to hear about the BU meet-up. Must head over to your blog to read all about it and see the poolside bikini photos!

Thank for your thanks, Jean, Val and Simon. It is we who thank you.

We missed you, Janet. Had faint hopes that we might see you peering through the back door. No worries.

It was a lovely afternoon. In the end, as the church bell rang out 10, it was Celia, Cliff and Veronica, F and myself. I was knacked by then I must confess, after a 05:00 start. There was much to be done that could not be achieved sooner because of the blasted rain.

Never knowingly underfed

Sun 22-Jul-12
8:13 am
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Danny
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Post mortem – part 1

F and I always look back on events like meet-ups and compare notes, fill in bits that the other missed, recall the good the funny and the embarrassing (for us!) moments. She is still sleeping so the PM will happen later today.

It is so lovely to know that people travelled quite a ways to join up yesterday. Like Veronica flew in from Carcassonne (I think Ryanair call it Paris South), Brian drove Val all the way from Calne with a stop-off in Reading to pick up Simon and his smoking kit – a six hour round trip. Roy and Jean jetted own the 73 miles from Boston. Sue and John came 40 miles to check up on the babies (pekins). Celia and Cliff probs 25 miles.

We think and hope it was worth the effort. Sitting in the afternoon sunshine with these great friends was sort of surreal after all the rain.

Simon, your smoked sardine is delicious. A lovely delicate smokiness – not overpowering. And there are only two smoked drumsticks left! Very well done, and thank you for the smoked garlic presents. Several people took home a few. It was extremely generous of you.

And nobody will forget your tireless self sacrifice in volunteering to blend and taste the three competing Elderflower Champagne “products” during the taste test (Celia’s, HFW’s recipe by F, Angela’s recipe by F).

We completely forgot to offer tea at teatime. Sorry to everybody. The resourceful ones made for themselves!

I have to say I was totally gobsmacked when Val appeared, wearing the hat in her avatar! What a fantastic surprise. More anon but I discovered that, if Toni is the Mother Hen of our forum, then Val is the Communications Ossifer. I had not realised how much she keeps in contact with others.

End of part 1

Never knowingly underfed

Sun 22-Jul-12
2:07 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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Actually, Danny, I am not the only one - if you ask around, I think you will find that there are a few of us who keep in contact with others - I think telephone numbers have been shared by many.

Thanks for my new badge (added to my 'sourceress'), but which should be awarded to a few more!  big_hug

Thanks for the lovely day yesterday.

Venison scotch egg , followed by chocolate cake for lunch, I think........

"How do you spell 'Love'?" (Piglet). 

"You don't spell it, you feel it" (Pooh).

 'A hug,' said Pooh 'is always the right size!' 

Sun 22-Jul-12
2:17 pm
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Sooliz
Somerset

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I missed you all.......I so wanted to come and finally meet you all face to face cry

As it happens, our car broke down (again! yell) yesterday and will be out of action for a while (just when we need it not to be), so we wouldn't have been able to come even if we were able to come.....if you see what i mean.  Big - no, massive, sigh.

 

Glad you all had such a good time and the weather was kind to you big_hug

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Sun 22-Jul-12
3:22 pm
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SumpRat
Reading

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Just as a P.S. On the journey home we went cross country, much nicer than heading for the nearest fastest road.

 

We came across a gated level crossing with a difference. what_the_heck

It was a DIY level crossing and it goes like this.

Strangely I notice a sharp poke in my right side and a slight kick in my back. whistle

Obviously as front seat passenger is was my 'duty' to open the gates. surprised

 

Check the lights. If the light is green then open the first gate.

If the light is still green then cross the railway line and open the second gate.

If the light is still green then the car crosses and pulls up on the other side.

Now checking the lights, cross back over the track and close and secure the far gate.

This leaves you inside the gate. Now check the light again... AH wait a moment, remember you are inside the gate and can no longer see the lights. doh

OK RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN BACK TO THE OVER GATE and shut it securely.eeek

Get back in the car and try to relax. 

 

OK I'm only joking about the poke and the kick, I was a willing volunteer big_laugh

 

Scared Rat

A well fed rat is a HappyRat    A smile a day keeps the psychiatrist away.

Sun 22-Jul-12
4:30 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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SumpRat said:

Just as a P.S. On the journey home we went cross country, much nicer than heading for the nearest fastest road.

 

 

Simon, that was very polite of you not to tell them that as I was 'map-reading' - or not! - we missed a turning!! big_laugh

......... and since we hit that pothole, our headlight on that side won't work !!

Seriously, that was the first train barrier we've come across in that style. eeek

"How do you spell 'Love'?" (Piglet). 

"You don't spell it, you feel it" (Pooh).

 'A hug,' said Pooh 'is always the right size!' 

Sun 22-Jul-12
6:29 pm
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Michelle from Oregon
Oregon, USA

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7:30 am.

I am madly trying to get myself ready to go to a “Paris Flea Market” (not in Paris!).

My cell phone, which is sitting on the counter in the bathroom while I fix my
hair, “doodle-doo’s” at me.

I look down to see what is wrong now.

Its Val…

“Hi Michelle, just to let you know that Brian & I are sitting in Danny & Fiona’s garden atm, & thinking about you! Love you! Valxxxx” magic

Dan walks into the bathroom just in time to witness me burst into tears. cry

Thank you Val for the text! It was so sweet of you to think of me while you were enjoying yourself!

So glad you all had so much fun yesterday! I wish I could have been there! big_hug smooch 

I will move over to Random Thoughts and give you all an update of how things have been.

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Sun 22-Jul-12
6:30 pm
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SumpRat
Reading

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brightspark said:

SumpRat said:

Just as a P.S. On the journey home we went cross country, much nicer than heading for the nearest fastest road.

 

 

Simon, that was very polite of you not to tell them that as I was 'map-reading' - or not! - we missed a turning!! big_laugh

......... and since we hit that pothole, our headlight on that side won't work !!

Seriously, that was the first train barrier we've come across in that style. eeek

NAH  We didn't miss a turning, we collectively thought the turning we took was the right one. The satnav thought different. Right route, just a different road. smile  Sorry to hear about the light though.  expect its the bulb gone or a loose wire. big_hug

A well fed rat is a HappyRat    A smile a day keeps the psychiatrist away.

Sun 22-Jul-12
8:01 pm
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SumpRat
Reading

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Just before I left I mentioned to Fiona about a lovely book I am currently re-reading.

Many years ago I came across a book called Mr God This is Anna. It is a wonderful true story, set around 1935 or so, about an abandoned London girl of  4 or 5 years old being found and taken home by a young teenager called Flynn.

 

I only knew of the one book written by Flynn until very recently. I have now discovered two more; Anna's Book and Anna and the Black Knight.

 

These have been available in one book and can be found second hand on Amazon very cheaply 

I thoroughly recommend these books, it could just change th way you look at life.

Be prepared  to ponder, to laugh, and to cry your heart out.

 

Simon

A well fed rat is a HappyRat    A smile a day keeps the psychiatrist away.

Mon 23-Jul-12
8:27 am
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Post mortem – part 2

Jean and Roy arrived with a flourish of foodie gifts including Boston sausage rolls that did not last long and a few month’s supply of Cornish Fairings (ginger snaps). i_am_hungry 

Jean reckons there is an ongoing debate regarding whether they are best crisp or slightly softer. I am in the softer camp all the way. I dunk mine every time anyhow.

Roy had the misfortune to choose the chair next to the swing seat, which meant he had fetchit duties throughout the afternoon. My panama fell off twice behind the swing seat. Roy dutifully fetches each time. Simon wants to use the BBQ as a platform for his second smoker. Roy is closest! star

Now I can reveal the Veronica is a true party animal. She and Fiona were last to bed on Fri and sat night. Of course, she will blame F but . . tea

Yesterday (Sun) evening F and I ended up fairly sozzled. There was Veronica’s 5 litre box of delicious rosé sitting on the counter top by the back door. Perfectly positioned for a swift refill each time we passed in and out. A refreshing glass was an enticing idea at lunchtime, sitting in the glorious sunshine by the pond. But the box does not have a meter or a STOP sign. doh

Veronica – please don’t forget to post the recipe for your fab chocolate muffins on your blog (amazingly, they contain no chocolate, just cocoa powder, but you would never guess that in a million years). chef

Val’s Brian is great company when he is not dozing in the sunshine like a spectator at a test match. His tales of the places his work took him before he retired are fascinating. Especially Nigeria. Ask him about Nigeria when you meet him. cheers

Val – well, we had to drag her away from doing the wash-up several times (only joking – we encouraged her and passed the dishcloth to give her a hint!). She is just as chirpy and entertaining as you would expect and a pleasure to meet. We hope all of you will have an opportunity to be Brighsparked sometime, maybe July 2013. brightsparklystuff

Your cake is delicious, Val. I started my breakfast grazing yesterday morning with a slice, followed by some of your cocktail sasuages a la Nigella that go very well indeed with cold chicken and ham (breakfast, second course) magic

Fiona had the bright idea of converting the leftovers into recipes, starting with lettuce soup and also salsa from the sliced tomatoes.. Both very good indeed. She used fresh organo that grows wild by the pond in place of coriander/cilantro, which I am not very fond of. We had the salsa with some of the chips that Val brought.

Best get to work now. Monday morning always comes around.confused

End of part 2

Never knowingly underfed

Mon 23-Jul-12
9:26 am
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Terrier
York

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Roy, just realised you were going to be bringing me some jars to the get together, I hope you knew I wasn't going to be able to make it and didn't bring them, and the mahonia - really sorry. Next year I will commit to attending and book it into my diary in lots of time, so that when family ask for my help with stuff I can already have an answer, as I forsee the same problem next year on grandson's 4th birthday.

Val, wave I'm so sorry I never got to meet you, hopefully next year eh?

Sounds like my kind of party, dozing in the sunshine etc.

As for the wine boxes...yes we've learned the hard way that you can't work out how much you've drunk, rows of bottles are much easier to keep a track of.

Mon 23-Jul-12
9:32 am
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Aly
Normandy France

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I'm with you on wine boxes! We thought it was wrong to always finish a bottle so tried a box. It seems to have the same problem but spread out more. It meant we were having a glass or two with every meal so are back to the bottle with Sunday dinner! Boxes are best for sharing I think!

Trying to enjoy life as it is

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