Monday, September 17, 2012

Just discovered recipes for students in the Guardian!

A helpful idea from the Guardian Newspaper. Worth following on Twitter!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Vegetarian pasta: another cheap, healthy meal

Vegetarian pasta

Okay, folks - here's the latest in my series of recipes for starving students.  Quantities are infinitely variable depending how many people you're cooking for.

Pasta - any type, handful per person
Tomatoes - 2, chopped, per person
Lentils, green or red - very small handful per person.  (The red ones go mushier, quicker, or the green ones remain more intact.)  This is your protein, so don't leave it out.
Mushrooms - 4, halved, per person
Courgette, sliced - about a quarter of a large courgette per person.
Dried mixed herbs
Sunflower/olive oil
Salt and pepper

Cook pasta in plenty of boiling, salted water.

Warm oil, fry all vegetables
Add about an inch of boiling water to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and add half teaspoon of mixed herbs. 

When the pasta is done, strain, and stir into the vegetables.  If the lentils don't seem soft enough, simmer the whole lot a bit longer, adding more water as necessary.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wanton Watty McAulay, piper of Port Glasgow

Yesterday, I happened upon a Scottish ballad dating from 1730 about a Highland piper called Watty McAulay, who died in Port Glasgow.  (That's near Greenock and Gourock along the river Clyde.)  So excited was I, that I even tried to determine if there was a death record for him, or record of his exile to Virginia for refusing to join up with the Redcoats.  (I failed there.)

But that's the trouble with being a bluestocking - I just can't help being curious about things!  Anyway, I blogged about poor old Watty McAulay (probably Walter McAulay, I reckon) - so, here's the link if you're interested!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Making the most of it / Theodora FitzGibbon

When I was a postgrad in Exeter - that was the PhD I didn't finish, by the way - I bought a bargain cookbook in W H Smiths.  

Making the Most of It, by Theodora McGibbon (1978)*, was a remaindered paperback.  It had been £1.25 new, but was being sold at a reduced price.  What a bargain!  I loved that book.  I tried to eat very economically in Exeter; even when I worked as a graduate library trainee, I was saving to go to library school, so it was crucial to watch the cashflow.

I couldn't believe my luck when I managed to replace it with a hardback copy off eBay a year ago.  I'd imagined it might be useful to Cello-Man, but maybe cookbooks aren't very appealing to the average undergraduate just starting out.

However, I still have the paperback AND the hardback, and I live in hope that one day, one of my sons might just ask, "Mum, you know that cookbook you had - the one about cooking on a budget ...?"

I didn't get that PhD, but I did get the postgraduate librarianship diploma with distinction.  Proof?  I'm the kind of mother who shares ISBNs with complete strangers in the hope that the book will be just what they needed!

*0099204908 (pbk)
*0091326306 (hardback)
On Amazon - virtually being given away!

And I did get a PhD eventually - 27 years later!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Got up too early

... at 5.20 am, to be precise. Done the dutiful taxi thing, and SuperSpouse is now on the train to Tyneside, so he can visit Beamish.  

Meanwhile, back home, I've fixed packed lunches - but feel like death.  Shame I can't go back to bed ....

In Twitterspeak, #OldAndGrumpy

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Swirling, spiralling out of balance ...

I ate.  I swam.*  I came home.  What was on the agenda for tonight?  Well, I thought I'd deal with a couple of bills and see if I could progress a couple of professional/research things by email.  And order new skinny jeans for MiddleSon, who tripped and tore a hole in an existing pair this morning.  And chase SmalleyMcAulay to get homework and practice done.  And get the bread-machine going.

Chaos swirled around me.  I really ought to go and sit in a darkened room for a while, but I'm not the meditating type.

I now have the bread-machine, washing-machine and dishwasher all doing their stuff, and the kitchen restored to some semblance of order.   When rooms are approximately tidy, I feel better.

The boys have both fixed their supper.  All that remains is for us to have ours, because SuperSpouse wants me to take him to the station at 6.10 am tomorrow.

*  Talking of swimming - apparently one should aim for 30 mins of moderate exercise five times a week.

On Monday, I swam 1k.
On Tuesday, I cut two hedges.
Tonight, I swam 1k.

That amounts to more than 2.5 hours, so do you think I can consider myself suitably exercised for the week?   Mmmmm...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Baking pies? Worth the effort?

Don't do it!
Today's blogpost is very, very brief: if you're a student, you shouldn't be baking pies!  Go out and buy one, guilt-free.

Today, I made puff pastry from scratch, and used it in a proper home-baked chicken pie.  Which was, I might add, delicious.  But I spent a long time in the kitchen, and it was devoured in 5 minutes.  I could have bought a ready-made one in the supermarket.  It would probably have been cheaper, too.

So that's my advice to any student getting over-ambitious in the kitchen.  Stop, think, shop.  You can bake proper pies when you've got more time!

Friday, August 10, 2012

How a yogurt makes dessert for 4 students


You need a single-portion pot of any yogurt other than French set style.  A sachet of jelly crystals.  And a 1-pint jug.

The basic principle of jelly crystals is that you dissolve them in as little boiling water as possible.  They must be fully dissolved - 30 seconds in a microwave speeds things along.  (Don't microwave the spoon.). 

Ordinarily, you would then dilute the liquid up to a pint with cold water.  For a yogurt jelly, add some cold water to the jug and stir in, but leave enough room for the tub of yogurt as well.  Tip in the yogurt -top up to a pint with more cold water if necessary.

Use a blender or mixer to combine until smooth.  Put in a bowl or divide between 4 cereal bowls, and refrigerate until set - at least 4 hours.  It may separate into layers - this doesn't matter.

HINT: If you keep your milk in a jug, then you have to cover the jelly with a lid or cling-film, or the milk will acquire a fruity taste!  (If your milk is kept in a bottle, no worries.)


You can do the same thing using a can of fruit and its juice (but don't use pineapple or kiwi - something about the acid prevents the jelly from setting).  Blend or leave fruit whole.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Student's Useful Spicy Tomato Sauce

To go on meat, goujons, or anything else.  Or add to mince for a bolognaise.

  • Can or carton of chopped or unchopped tomatoes (Basics range)
  • Pinch of chilli seeds
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped garlic clove.  (Not the whole bulb - just 1-2 segments depending on taste!)

  1. Fry onion and garlic in a little sunflower oil.  Don't have heat too high, or you'll burn them.
  2. Add other ingredients, get it hot, then turn down heat and simmer 20 mins.  If you used whole tomatoes, mash them up a bit.
  3. If you want a meatier sauce for pasta, fling in a few slices of bacon, ham or garlic sausage.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Lazy carrot and lentil soup

I created a new soup. Introducing ...

' Why peel a carrot?' and lentil soup

In ten minutes flat, I sauted a few spring onions, washed and sliced two carrots, flung in a handful of lentils and a stock-cube, and some mixed herbs. Added about half a pint of boiling water and simmered it all until the carrots were soft. Then mashed it. Believe it or not, it was delicious. So - there you have it. 'Why peel a carrot?' and lentil soup.

There will be people out there who never have peeled a carrot. Good for you! You probably think I need to get a life - well then, I'm trying, see?!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Student's Vegetarian Casserole

Red Bean Bake is a "two out of one" dish from a book by Rose Elliot.   First published in 1975, I bought mine in 1980, when I realised that vegetarian cookery was healthy AND cheap.  (Alas, I might have finished my first PhD - or got closer to completion - if I'd spent less time cooking!  However.)  This is a paraphrase of her recipe.*  Great if you're a vegetarian - or if you've invited a veggie to dinner!

The whole idea of "two out of one" is to make your efforts last two meals.  So -  soak 12 oz of dry red kidney beans overnight, then salt them and boil gently for 2 hours in plenty of water.  (If you have a pressure-cooker, you can speed up the cooking.  But few people have one.)  Drain the liquid off and rinse the beans in a sieve.

Now you have enough beans to make Red Bean Salad AND Red Bean Bake.  The other ingredients are cheap and readily available.  See below.

Salad: add a chopped onion, a chopped garlic clove, 1 tablespoon of wine vinegar (or malt), 3 tablespoons olive oil (or sunflower), 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup.  Mix and stir - leave aside for 2 hours.  Serve with green salad etc.

Bake.  With a little butter, fry a chopped onion and 4 tomatoes.  (Or skip the tomatoes and use a tin of chopped ones after frying the onion.)  Mix in beans, 1 tablespoon ketchup, optional dash of red wine, salt and pepper, and make sure mixture is warmed through.  Mash if you like.
Put in a casserole, and top with breadcrumbs (Elliot suggests wholewheat) and grated cheese.  Bake at a moderate heat (about 180 deg C) until cheese has melted and breadcrumbs look crispy.

*Rose Elliot is an amazingly prolific cookery author.  Find out more about her here, on her website:- here.

Who coined that phrase?

When someone's "on gardening leave", they've been suspended from work.  However, to be on ANNUAL leave, and spend it gardening, is quite different and much pleasanter.  So why did they have to take a perfectly nice phrase and turn it into a euphemism?  

Anyway, here I am, using up some outstanding annual leave, and in contrast to yesterday - when the heavens opened - today has been glorious. What have I done this sunny Tuesday?  Not a huge amount.  I've taken Cello-Man to town to get his rail-ticket.  Washed, cooked, and gardened.  That's about it, really.  I dead-headed the hanging baskets, weeded two of the three borders, but forgot to plant Mum's geraniums - they're still in pots.  Must remember to do that tomorrow.

While we were out, Viola-Kid, aka Happy Scholar, got his Standard Grade results in the post. He looked, and saw, and pronounced them good.  They were good.  We were all relieved.  He had been admirably phlegmatic about them, and we had been correspondingly fearful that he was just too laid-back.  We were wrong.  Celebrations are in the offing ...!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Enough, that's enough!

I'm on holiday this week.  And by the end of Monday, I'm socially-media'ed out!  It started off innocently enough - I wanted to share things with my close friends.  And I did.

Then I thought I'd check Twitter and Facebook.  I regard Twitter as a professional, career-based tool most of the time, so really, there wasn't much point in checking it today.  Except that I'd tweeted about Cello-Man's evening of triumph at the Proms last night, and I wanted to see if there were any interesting tweets about that.  So I frittered away some time on Twitter.  

Facebook's different - I limit it to just a few friends and family, so I can't actually spend much time there. Apart, as I mentioned, from wanting to share things with friends.

But of course, I also remembered I needed to update my CPD23 (Continuing Professional Development) blog, Airs and Graces, having neglected it for a few weeks.  Did that too, which entailed finding a few links and details to include in the post.  And then I tweeted the link, because that's what I do.

I am quite sure someone - several someones - must have researched the weird phenomenon  of your concentration span growing ever shorter as you flit from social media site to site.   The only remedy is to turn off the computer.  And do other stuff.

Like this ...

Sunday, August 05, 2012

When I am old

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple - you probably know the poem

But over and above that, I shall buy a Volkswagen dormobile.  I'll paint big, hippy-chick flowers all over it, and drive around the British Isles at my leisure.  (We're talking 2028 or thereabouts.  When I've eventually grown tired of being an employee.  Yes, I shall be seventy.  I plan to be self-employed after that.)

I've warned the boys that they'll be phoning each other to give updates on my whereabouts.

"Watch out, she's on her way.  [Pause.]  You realise, she'll be needing a bath?"

I do hope there will be enough room in the dormobile for a small cooker, my laptop and a camera, casual who-cares kind of clothes, and a single respectable outfit for library and archive visits.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Student's Apple Crumble

As I said before, cook to impress.  This is easy and homely. Great with supermarket basic instant custard, ice-cream, or squirty cream.

2 cooking apples (makes enough for 4 people)
2 tablespoons (serving spoons) water
4 oz flour (plain or self-raising)
2 oz butter or hard margarine eg Stork
1 oz + 2 oz normal granulated sugar (for the apple and the crumble respectively)

Mixing bowl
Casserole (medium)


This needs to be done in an oven, not a microwave.  Turn on at 220 deg Celsius to preheat.
  1. Make crumble by cutting fat into little pieces then rubbing into the flour with your fingertips, so it's like breadcrumbs.  If you have a pastry blender, use it.  (I was married 24 years before I got mine ...)
  2. Stir in the 2 oz sugar.
  3. Set aside while you peel and slice apples.
  4. Put apples in casserole with water and the 1 oz sugar.  Stir in sugar to disperse.
  5. Pour crumble mix over apples - try to keep it fairly even.
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven for 45 mins or until browned on top.
  7. Save recipe to your Diigo social bookmarking account.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Student's Steamed Sponge Pudding

For kitchen kudos, why not make a pudding?  (If you can't spare 10 minutes, save this to your Diigo favourites and make it another day!)

Health Benefits:  a nice hot, carb-rich pudding makes it almost impossible to feel stressed.  Even if it's only a temporary solution, it might help you face that essay crisis. 

You need: a medium-sized mixing bowl and a medium-sized casserole (without lid). You're not actually going to STEAM anything, but you do need a microwave.

Right, here are the ingredients (serves 4):-

4 oz (100 g) soft margarine or butter
4 oz caster or granulated sugar
4 oz self-raising flour (or 3 + 1 oz cocoa powder, for chocolate pudding)
2 eggs
4 tablespoons milk (serving spoon size)
3 tablespoons jam, lemon curd or golden syrup
(Instant custard goes well with this.  If you go for the 'Basics' range, you'll find it very cheap indeed.)

Mix everything (except the jam) together in the mixing bowl.  If you have no electric mixer or whisk, you might prefer this way:-
  • use a wooden spoon to cream the fat and sugar first,
  • add eggs - stir 
  • fold in flour (as though your hand is drawing a recumbent figure of 8)
  • gradually add milk and stir after each addition.
Use greaseproof paper and minimal margarine/oil, or an empty butter packet, to grease casserole.
Spoon in jam.  Pour in sponge mixture.

Microwave uncovered for 5 mins.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Parenting skills revision exercises

Been getting lessons in parent power from SuperNana. This morning saw the 'Lunch Will Be At Noon' stand-off. This evening, she reclaimed the telly. Offspring still reeling....

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Wearing my Blog Title with Pride

I got it right for once! We had set off for Norwich guitarless on Thursday. (Apparently my fault - I hadn't realised that what I took for a rhetorical question had actually been a leading one.) Anyway, by Friday evening, I knew. This afternoon, I did a bit of battling at Cash Converters, and emerged with £15-worth of guitar. Result! I can reclaim my title of PseudoSupermum! Oh, yeah!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ho-hum, humdrum

So, what have I done today?  Called the dishwasher maintenance people at 8 am.  Laundry (fourth load in machine just now), ironing (mine), supermarket shopping.  Trips to post office, bank, charity shop, petrol station, and uni library (let's face it, I won't be reading about Iolo Morganwg much in the next few weeks).  Does this sound like a relaxing holiday to you?  Why is it (she asked, shrewishly), that when I'm on holiday, I'm expected to run around doing all the stuff that a Proper Stay At Home Mother would have kept going all along?!  That's why I didn't do everyone else's ironing.  They've got oodles more holiday than me!

Receipt of my latest article submission was acknowledged today; I also got news that my book is in editorial/production.  That's actually quite exciting!  So the inner bluestocking is modestly happy, even though she knows she hasn't DONE anything intellectual all day.

Three of us are heading down south tomorrow to visit my family.  I need to get packed and organise the boys to sort their own stuff out. Surely I'm not procrastinating because I don't want growling and grumbling to begin? Surely that can't be it!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Student's Sausage Casserole

1-2 packs sausages (this determines how many friends you can serve!)
1 onion
2 carrots
Jar sweet'n'sour sauce
Pudding (if hungry) - 'Basics' steamed sponge pudding.  (Follow instructions.  Remove from tin and microwave AFTER you've eaten first course.)

  1. Chop onion, fry with pricked sausages.  Don't burn them!
  2. Peel and slice carrots lengthways, like chunky matchsticks.  Add to pan.
  3. Once everything's a little browned, carefully drain off any extra oil before the next step, or you'll have a casserole with too much oil floating on top.  Which you won't want!
  4. Add sauce, bring to boil, put in casserole and oven-cook for 30 mins 180 deg C. Or turn down heat and just simmer in pan.
  5. Meanwhile, peel, salt and boil spuds.  

Friday, July 06, 2012

Boy fell off a bike

The story of Cello-Man's graceless fall from his bike is too mundane to repeat here.  However, he returned from college a couple of weeks ago, with two suitcases FULL of every stitch he owns, all needing washing.  Amongst them were the trousers and hoodie which had borne the brunt of his tumble, muddy, oily and torn.  

Tee-hee!  I never actually create anything these days, but I must admit I'm proud of my machine-zigzagged darning over the iron-on-inside patches.  Both garments are now clean, fragrant-smelling, and certainly still wearable even if not 'for best'.  And who would wear a red hoodie and beige chinos for best, anyway?

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Thomas the Hardy geranium

Long story, but basically, Mother said I needed geraniums in my front garden border.  I bought geraniums. Mother said, no, they were pelargoniums, and annuals rather than perennials.

The label in B and Q said they were geraniums.

Mother insisted they weren't.  (They died at the end of last summer, so she was right.)

This year I bought more, but from the Boys' Brigade garden plant sale.  Again, the label SAID -- but they weren't.

Taking the air at Grantham
I returned via Cambridge from Norwich yesterday. With a Norfolk geranium from Mother - probably the only geranium ever to spend an afternoon in the University of Cambridge Library.  Recognising its privileged status, I called it Thomas.  (Thomas Hardy ...?)  Thomas the hardy geranium.  Right now he's sitting outside in warm drizzling rain, not yet planted but probably quite contented in himself.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Garden Slattern downs tools

 Lawn?  LAWN?  Not really!

Garden sheds are very vulnerable in our neighbourhood, so we keep our gardening stuff in the glory-hole under the stairs.  And our decorating stuff, DIY, car maintenance, and shoe-polishing kit.  It's stuffed full, in short, but we're grateful it's there.

What we NEED at the moment, however, is grass seed, and I wasn't prepared to buy any until I had established that there wasn't any in the glory-hole.

This morning I emptied and tidied the glory-hole, washed the floor and all kitchen surfaces (having raised a fair bit of dust), did three loads of washing and a generous load of ironing.  I should explain that Cello-man came home from Cambridge yesterday evening, with every stitch of clothing requiring washing.

I also made Sunday dinner and set the bread-machine going.

In came SuperSpouse from playing at church, and I proudly told him my achievements.  'Hmm.  Doesn't look any different if you ask me.  And what do you expect, anyway?  The jobs had to be done.'

Which is all very true, of course, and I am smaller, younger and bendier.  But I'd like to have heard something like, 'Hey, you have been busy!'

We don't have any grass seed, either.  I can say that with absolute certainty.  But we won't be needing any for a while, because I'm too knackered to rake the lawn today.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

To see ourselves as others see us

Friends know me for who I am.  Colleagues know my strengths and weaknesses.  And musicologists can read my scholarly musings and draw their own conclusions.

Others, however, see a short, round, middle-aged, greying nonentity behind a library counter.  Now, the majority of those "others" are nice, decent folk who appreciate that I try to help them as much as I can.  The rest neither know me, nor have any appreciation of the expertise that I bring to my role, but they're polite all the same.

Lastly, there are those who feel so superior that they must stamp on me from a great height, raising their voices as they interrogate me about our working practices, determined that they are Right and we are Wrong.  If someone talks down to me, is rude and does their damnedest to belittle me, then I'm sorry, mate, but you're a bully.  I don't even know who you are, and I've never met you before, but I object to your manner.

Now, having a PhD doesn't make me an efficient librarian. A handful of librarianship qualifications don't prove anything either.  And an old music diploma?  Pshaw!  Irrelevant. Thirty years in the profession?  Put her down, she's past it.  But what would it take to prove to you that I know my job?

I feel mentally battered, but also very angry.  I wouldn't speak to anyone like that, be they senior management or the rawest office junior, so why should I have to be on the receiving end?  I went out and bought smarter, more "efficient, professional" looking shirts today - just in case my plain, beige Traidcraft tee-shirt contributed to my Nonentity Look.  I hate myself for that.  Because actually, I know that nothing would stop a bully being a bully.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Not the first Bluestocking Mum

 A Wet Sunday Afternoon in Glasgow (BBC Radio 4)

Earnestly trying to prove that bluestockings* can cook like the best of them, I've spent my afternoon cooking a chilli (hotter than normal - Superspouse is away), treacle tart and jam tarts.  The jam tarts were an afterthought, to be honest.  As they baked, they oozed strawberry jam all over the place, and I'm astounded I managed to resurrect the bun-tray enough to be used again another day!  Meanwhile, the treacle tart was toothsome enough, but a bit hard.  Still, three hungry teens enjoyed it, so who am I to pass judgement?

Oh, and I've done a couple more loads of washing.  Scintillating stuff.  

So, NOW I can revert to reading about Iolo Morganwg.  I simply can't resist reading about the man - such an intriguing bundle of complexity.  Gee, that laudanum had a lot to answer for!  And, it appears, he knew Joseph Ritson.  (As I do, of course.)  It had occurred to me that they were each as crotchety and cantankerous as the other, but Iolo was the most fraudulent of frauds, whereas Ritson seems to have been congenitally honest to a fault. So, if they knew each other, did they like one another?!  Did they ever meet?, living at opposite ends of the country as they did?  Iolo spent time in London.  Ritson was from the North-East, and I can't remember if he went to London or not.  But he did have quite broad horizons and the wherewithal to travel - indeed, he'd done a grand European tour as a young man.  But he possibly came from a different social stratum to Iolo the stonemason.  

The author Jon Mee wrote a paper for the Iolo volume, A Rattleskull Genius.  Three words in his chapter, literally leapt out at me.  "Iolo knew Ritson" (p.177)  - I simply MUST know more.

I realise, a bit late in the day, that I never bought a Sunday paper, and there wasn't time to fit in a swim.  Oh, fie!  Not to worry.  Iolo is worth it.

*  I am far from the first blogging Bluestocking Mum - there are loads of us.  Good thing I called myself PseudoSupermum instead, isn't it?!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Garden Slattern, aka, The Grim Reaper

Superspouse goes out to the garden once or twice a week, to empty the bin or fetch washing.

"Just LOOK AT THIS MOSS!", he pronounced.  It was an offence to his home-owner sensibilities, evidently.   So we got Evergreen Complete 4 in 1, which was supposed to do the trick.  Waited.  And raked.  Well, I did most of the raking, and this morning I spent another couple of hours on it.  (It's actually a very, very tiny lawn.)

The "lawn" is burnt, threadbare and disreputable-looking, which set me pondering, as I raked.

Who said moss was bad?  I used to look out of the window at the "lawn", and it was green.  Did it matter if it was mossy-green as opposed to grassy-green?  To whom did it matter, and why did it matter?  No-one else can see it - it's a walled back garden. No-one else goes in it, apart from Leon - next door's cat.  He never complains about the moss beneath his paws.  Indeed, he prefers our "lawn" to their woodchip.

So we've spent time and money on eliminating something that was doing no harm being there in the first place.  And I suppose I now have to rake it again, mow it, and then sow grass-seed?

Go figure.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Further evidence that she's not a Supermum

Today, I've baked and cooked, washed laundry and the car; chauffeured SuperSpouse to Gourock (his car wouldn't start), been to the charity shop, done the ironing, and cleaned the stair-carpet.  

Alas, I commited a major faux-pas:  I cooked an inedible beef casserole.  We all ate it - hope it won't kill us.  But Himself pronounced, 'I CAN'T EAT THAT', when he realised that a hurried casserole isn't a terribly tender one.  (Believe me, dear reader, his wife's feelings were considerably less tender than the carrots!)

Note to self.  Two lessons have been learned:-
  1. Tasty casseroles take longer than 75 minutes, even fan-assisted.
  2. Don't agree to hurry up a casserole just to watch a TV repeat!
Oh, and a third lesson: The  distribution of labour needs redistribution.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Disorientated and confused - who is she?

Who is Pseudo Supermum?

Well, she has decided she's not any kind of Supermum, for a start.  Not even a Domestic Goddess; for it seems her baking only succeeds on weekends, but not weekdays.  Whoever heard of Melting Moments that literally FLEW off the plate on Sunday, so light and toothsome were they; and yet the double Monday batch was like a pile of hard little rock-cakes.  Unpalateable.  And then the plain, white 2 lb loaf didn't rise as far as usual, either.

While Pseudo Supermum anxiously awaited news of her book manuscript (she has a contract and has just posted the ms to the publisher), she took a day off as reward to herself.  So, is she an author, then?   Watch this space.  Meanwhile, SuperSpouse decided he felt ill, and took to his bed, sleeping a solid twelve hours to restore his equanimity.  Slightly alarmingly, he was caught practising his Effigy Pose.  All he lacked was the small dog at his feet.  We haven't got a dog.

Thankfully, Lazarus arose, unscathed, in time for his supper last night, and was restored to health this morning.