Time Vulture

We hope today finds everybody well. Today finds Team Pugh on the verge of a couple of little mini challenges…………..!

wrapping 8A few posts ago we asked for ideas for new challenges and we were lucky to get several suggestions. Our most lovely email was from a lovely reader called  Frances. Now Frances made a couple of suggestions and after careful thought we have decided to attempt her second suggestion. Now this challenge isn’t something we’ll find all that hard as its not something we do that much anyway but…… none the less it is a good challenge that taking part in will enrich our lives.

Here is the challenge as proposed to us in her email:

‘No TV for a month (I am currently trying this one although clearly the internet is not in that suggestion but I have forced limits on my time wasting on it).  Personally I don’t watch much but do get a bit tied to the tv/internet catching up on endless ‘must see’ series etc to the point of not doing anything else!  I work long hours and think I don’t have any free time when in reality I have found that’s rubbish.  I sat and worked out my times spent on laptop/tv and realised I could have learnt a language/musical instrument/ conquered the world blah blah, etc etc in the time I waste, so I am forcing a limit to it all to stop my lazy self completely taking over making me feel like I do nothing but work and slump in the chair.  It’s early days, but amazing how much I have got done, not to mention the fact that I was always exhausted at work and suddenly awake all day due to….going to bed earlier!’

Now at first we thought actually this will be easy for us as we don’t watch that much TV and the last sentence of the above quote struck a cord with us! We must say that when we were blogging daily we did in actual fact watch less television than we have watch over the last few weeks and whilst a hard challenge it was a good discipline to have. So we have decided to start tomorrow and do a month to the day which conveniently means come Christmas Day we will be allowed to enjoy some festive television.christmas prep

Are we worried? What will we miss? Well……. the answer is no we are excited as in order to keep ourselves busy we have lots of exciting plans, will we miss anything? We really don’t think it will be anything we can’t live without. Lizzie might be slightly sad at the thought of no Peppa Pig but….. we promise to keep her busy with more exciting and lovely things. Thank you so much for your suggestion Frances we hope you don’t mind us quoting your lovely email. Whilst we are not saying TV is bad we are thinking of all the things we could achieve if we stopped ourselves sitting with The Time Vulture on the run up to Christmas. Anyone else fancy joining us?

And…… the second of our mini challenges………

wi 8Well you may remember last year Becksie made Lizzie an advent calendar? Well this year we are filling it with daily fun activities and kindness missions and we thought that we should share them with you in a daily blog marking advent. So join us from 1st December for our advent blogs, you can also join in with the activities and challenges on the run up to the festive season. How very exciting :).

wi 7

One more thing……. here is last weeks shopping which came from Millets farm and weighed in at £27.70p!becka 2

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The Future

future 8So as we approach the end of our year we are becoming a bit de-mob happy, and we have struggled for what  to write about today, we thought about our favourite posts, our most popular post and what Lizzie might have thought about our year (although let’s be honest we would only be guessing), but in the end we started thinking about what Lizzie’s world will be like when she starts buying her own food.

future 6In 17 or so years time (2030 – eek!), what will have happened in the food world? If we both think back 17 years we can remember our parents using a mix of supermarkets, local shops and grow your own, but it seems there were more local shops and far fewer supermarkets.

future 7Although we are sure the next 17 years will go by in a flash who knows what will have happened…..due to population increases and food shortages will food rationing be back in place? Could this help make people healthier, and eat better food? What affect would this have on supermarkets and food manufacturers, and their workers’ jobs?

future 9Perhaps there will be a serious food shortage, perhaps rising fuel costs will make importing food unsustainable, who knows things may go full circle with a resurgence of local shops and a total failure of the supermarket model, with food only available on a small local scale and large-scale buying, selling and distribution impossible.future 5

Maybe supermarkets will continue to drive down food costs and kill off all local shops, perhaps one (every) little (helps) supermarket will monopolise the market, perhaps 90 percent of farmland will become overrun with housing developments and all food will be grown in laboratories, maybe a company called The Soylent Corporation will churn out green meals in the form of biscuits from an unidentified source.

future 4

Maybe nothing all that much will change, maybe we will all get tired of online shopping and go back to enjoying actually choosing the food we buy, maybe good value will become more about quality than low cost.future 2

And what will Lizzie do when it comes to her first food shop when she heads out on her own in the world, will she take a trip to the local shops that she can find or in an act of rebellion head to her nearest supermarche and spend all of her hard earned pennies there, perhaps she will have even earned some of those pennies in a Saturday job at a supermarket, who knows! Also how much is a pint of milk going to cost her?

future 3

We could make wild guesses at all of the points above, but they would just be stabs in the dark, however the world changes in the next 17 years though we are sure we will be very proud of Lizzie however and wherever she does her first ‘big shop’!

A fishy tradition

Becksie loves goldfish. She finds them very restful to watch and for most of her life has had a fishy pal in her life. For some reason though since the last fish died before Lizzie came along the fish tank had been put into retirement!

fish 5Yesterday however, we went on a little potter to Lechlade garden centre and came home with some custard powder and….. three goldfish!fish 3

Don’t panic we are not about to share a goldfish and custard recipe but we would like to introduce you to the newest members of our team! Now as part of our goldfish ownership we have a little tradition of naming the pets after Mammar and Da’s friends! The story goes something like this……. We got two fish and named them after Mamma and Da’s friends Colin and Sue – we don’t know why but we did. Mammar and Da’s friends Martin and Mandy got fish namesake envy so we promised the next two fish would be named after them and so on and so forth! So…… we can reveal that the new fish are called:

Bev, Dave and Val after Mammar and Da’s good friend Bev, Dave and Val! We hope you aren’t offended 😉

from left to right: Val, Mammar, Bev and Dave

from left to right:
Val, Mammar, Bev and Dave

fish 6

From Left to Right:
Dave, Bev and Val

Lizzie the dithdens keeper is now also  in charge of the fishes and has so far helped to set up their home, chosen some lovely stones and fairies to put in the tank and has agreed to feed them as instructed.

fish 2

fish 1

All we need to do is make a background for the tank – we’re considering our options but one thing is for sure it won’t be a scene from a supermarket hehe!

Signature dish

Everyone needs a signature dish! Even people who are very tiny still. Becksie was always involved in cooking from a young age and so she was keen that Lizzie joined in as soon as she was able.

Becksie cooking in the early days

Becksie cooking in the early days

So….. we give you Lizzie Pugh’s current signature dish – Rice Pudding! Lizzie its over to you…….

rice pud 4I have now made this dish all by my own a few times now and it really is easy and tasty! The only bit I will let mummy help with is the putting it in the oven bit, the getting it out bit and….. the eating bit!

I was just considering adding currants but decided against it this time although a handful work a treat

I was just considering adding currants but decided against it this time although a handful work a treat

Get all your ingredients out, mine live in the pantry which is just across the kitchen from my me-sized kitchen counter. I gather pudding rice, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg from the pantry, then milk and cream from the fridge and a bowl from the cupboard.

rice pud 3So for the three of us I use the amount of rice I can pour in the time my mummy can say ‘peppa pig’ ‘peppa pig’. I then add as much sugar as I can in the time mummy can say ‘george’. I then mix it up!

rice pud 2Take your milk and add until the rice is covered and then a good few centimetres. Add a glug of cream and a generous sprinkling of nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix it up!

rice pud 7rice pud 6rice pud 5Pop it in a ‘hot hot hot’ (200c) oven for about 45 minutes. If its starting to look dry and the rice is still hard add more milk.

Serve to mummy and daddy with a spoon of my mummy’s blackcurrant jam? Lovely as we are now in Autumn.

Mr Spider Legs

Regular blog readers will know that Team Pugh have, and love several pets, 5 chickens and 3 cats to be exact. It never ceases to amaze us that small furry or feathery animals can co-exist with, communicate with and provide affection to giant human beings (and even little ones)!

We did not start with the chickens, or even the cats, but our first pets as ‘Team Pugh’ were in fact 2 hamster which we had in our first little flat (or not, if you happen to be our old landlord). We then moved on to lovely Katie the cat (again not in the flat, Mr old landlord).

Off for a stroll again

Off for a stroll again

After a move to a house with a garden we adopting a cat we found advertised for free in the local Post Office (helpfully already named La La), who routinely escaped to her old (allergic) owner, meaning we had to troll round with the cat box every 3 days or so for the first 6 weeks to get her, until she eventually gave in to our persistence. Another move and some more small critters, Robert the Guinea Pig and Ray the Rabbit (or Mr Dirty as Ian liked to call him). Robert and Ray headed off to a hopefully better place, and Katie had kittens, two of which were Jake and Jessica.Pets 1

We added the first batch of chickens to the brood and moved the whole lot to our current home of Faringdon. Not long after we moved here we found a spider living on our kitchen window. Neither Ian or Becksie are afraid of spiders, and where they would normally scoop them up and deposit them out of the window, but for some reason neither moved him, and after a few days and quite an impressive web having been spun Mr Spider Legs (as he was known) became an unspoken  Team Pugh pet. We would feed him flies that we had disposed of, tiny meat scraps, and chat to him whilst doing the washing up.  3 months or so went by, Mr Spider Legs grew bigger and bigger, and we were jolly pleased with our new pet. Then one day, completely out of the blue, Katie the cat got up off the sofa, jumped on the worktop, then window, clamped her jaws round Mr Spider Legs and spat his body back onto the window sill. To say Ian and Beksie were unimpressed is an understatement! We are not sure what poor Mr Spider Legs did to offend Katie, but he messed with the wrong cat!

Who, me??

Who, me??

We blogged a little while ago about how Lizzie is enjoying looking after the chickens (today was a 4 egg day, but only 3 made it whole back to the house, oops), and she is really interested in other animals too, from big roars (lions) to tiny ladybirds, all animals seem to fascinate her. This can only mean one thing, lots of pets, and even more requests for pets coming our way. We really want to let Lizzie experience as much as possible, but we have 3 rules; no snakes, no frogs and no ants in the house (once they are in, they are in)! I am sure she will find her own pet spiders, worms, snails and bugs, though we will have to tell her to make sure she doesn’t tell Katie where they are!