Seediness

No dears nothing to do with our shabby, worn out government… it’s all about having an abundance of seeds, just like the little sycamore tree at the end of my street. :)

Sycamore Seeds

Sycamore Seeds

I used to love playing with these when I was a kid…

Of course life was so much more innocent in those days with no X-Box or Play Station to corrupt young minds with games like Grand Theft Auto etc…

Parents were happy to let their kids roam free…

And dinosaurs stalked the earth…

Back then us kids were happy to play ‘helicopters’ with sycamore seeds. :lol:

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To the victor the spoils

Guess who proved she isn’t just a pampered lap-dog yesterday? Yeah I’m talking about Tilly, who now fancies herself some kind of super-hunter… naughty girl that she is. I don’t condone domestic pets who hunt and kill for the hell of it and yes I appreciate for the most part they are just doing what comes naturally, but that doesn’t make it right. I won’t interfere with an animal that is hunting to survive, but I would normally stop a domestic pet hunting because it doesn’t need to do so. I feel the same way about Man… if you don’t need to hunt, don’t do it… especially when the object of your hunting is something you either won’t or can’t eat!

So anyway Tilly flushed a rabbit yesterday and instead of running for its burrow the dumb thing ran into open ground way too far away for me to interfere… I think it would still have made it to safety, but the stupid animal suddenly decided to ‘hide’ in the grass and hunkered down… big mistake, that action gave Tilly an easy kill. She pounced, grabbed, shook, changed her hold and shook again and it was all over; Terriers are excellent killers when it comes to rodents, even when they’ve never been trained to it.

Tilly with her prey

A sheepish Tilly with her kill

She knew she’d done wrong, but Tilly was very proud of her kill and loathe to leave it; it’s hard to chastise an animal for acting on instinct so having told Tilly she was a bad dog I left it at that. I console myself in the knowledge this particular bunny was doomed for an early grave… if it hadn’t been Tilly it would have been some other hunter that did for the rabbit. We didn’t take the corpse, we left that for the scavengers; less than 24 hours later there is no sign it was ever there so it is likely the body was taken by a badger, a buzzard or a fox, all of which are plentiful in the area. Nothing is wasted in Nature.

 

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Eyes down

People often talk about the beauty of Autumn colours, especially the turning leaves on the deciduous trees. Sometimes though you miss some of the best colour changes if you only have eyes for the tree-line… what about the changing leaf colours on plants closer to the ground?

Bramble Leaves

Bramble Leaves

How about these amazing bramble leaves? Surely they must be worthy of a mention…

Bramble Leaves

Bramble Leaves

Spotted these leaves yesterday while walking Tilly and thought they were absolutely stunning… couldn’t resist grabbing a couple of images. :)

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Seems such a long time ago

Looking out my window at the dark skies, wind and rain it is hard to believe that just 15 short days ago I was stripped to my trunks, swimming in the wonderfully warm Ionian Sea and lounging in the beautiful Greek sunshine to dry off… trust me I can’t wait for next holiday!

Zakyntos overlooking the Ionian Sea with Kefalonia in the background

Zakynthos overlooking the Ionian Sea with Kefalonia in the background

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Hot stuff

My chilli plants have produced some excellent chillies this year and having a variety of different types has given me so many options when it comes to flavour/heat.

Ripening Jalapenos

Ripening Jalapeños

I usually pick my Jalapeños when they’re green, but sometimes it’s nice to let them fully ripen to a deep red colour… these are still ripening and will be a dark crimson in a day or two. Jalapeños are a medium heat chilli measuring around 2,500 – 10,000 on the Scoville Scale (the scale by which chilli peppers are measured), which is pretty meagre compared to my Bird’s Eye chillies… they come out at 100,000 – 250,000 on the Scoville Scale!

Bird's Eye Chilli

Bird’s Eye Chilli

I have a yen to grow some Scotch Bonnets (rated around 100,000 – 300,000) next year… that’ll be a first for me. I’d also like to have a go at growing the Trinidad Moruga Scorion (rated around 1,200,000 – 2,000,000) just for the hell of it! :lol:

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This made me smile

Can’t possibly be true… can it?

Letter from Walmart telling a customer why her husband has been banned from Walmart stores nationwide

Dear Mrs Green:

Over the past six months your husband, Royce, has been causing quite a commotion in our Lawton store. We cannot tolerate his kind of behaviour and as a result will ban your entire family from shopping in any of our stores if even one more incident occurs. We have documented below all incidents recorded on our video surveillance equipment. As of this time your husband, Mr Royce Green, is banned from entering all Walmart stores nationwide.

Three of our clerks are currently attending counselling as a result of the trouble your husband has caused. All complaints against Mr Royce Green have been compiled and listed below.

Mr Wally Brown
Complaints Department

MEMO Mr Royce Green
Things Mr Green has done while his wife was shopping

  1. November 15, 2013: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly placed them is shoppers’ carts while they were not looking.
  2. November 23, 2013: Set all alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.
  3. December 10, 2013: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the rest rooms.
  4. December 23, 2013: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official tone, “Code 3 in Housewares!” Mr Green stood watching to see what happened.
  5. January 10, 2014: Went to the Service Desk and asked for a bag of M&Ms to placed on lay-away.
  6. January 23, 2014: Moved a ‘Caution – Wet Floor’ sign to a carpeted area.
  7. February 15, 2014: Set up a tent in the Camping Deptartment and told other shoppers he’d invite them in if they’d bring their own pillows from the Bedding Department.
  8. March 5, 2014: When a clerk asked if she could help him, he threw himself on the floor, began to cry and wailed “Why can’t people just leave me alone?”
  9. March 26, 2014: While handling guns in the Hunting Department, asked the clerk if he knew where the antidepressants could be found.
  10. April 2, 2014: Looking directly into a security camera and proceeded to pick his nose.
  11. April 15, 2014: Darted around the store looking around suspiciously while loudly humming the ‘Mission Impossible’ theme.
  12. April 26, 2014: In the Auto Department practised his ‘Madonna Look’ using different size funnels.
  13. May 1, 2014: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled “Pick me! Pick me!”
  14. July 12, 2014: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed the foetal position and screamed, “No! No! Sheila! It’s those damned voices again!”
  15. September 16, 2014: Went into a fitting room, shut the door and waited a while before loudly yelling, “Hey! Somebody help me! I need toilet paper in here!”

Mr Royce Green deserves a medal if you ask me! :lol:

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Contentment

Being a man of simple pleasures it doesn’t take a lot to make me feel content, but this is a sure-fire method to put me in a relaxed mood…

Greek Coffee and Metaxas 5 Star

Greek Coffee and Metaxas 5 Star

What better way to end a perfect evening ;)

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Sea food – hard to beat food

In my experience it is common on the Greek islands to find some excellent seafood on offer in the tavernas… my recent visit to Zakynthos underpinned this. Bream, king-prawn, swordfish and tuna seemed to be the most popular offerings for main course, while calamari, mussels, octopus, prawn and whitebait were popular starters.

I tucked in to fried squid a couple of times (calamari is a favourite starter of mine) and tried something new too;  whole small squid stuffed with feta cheese and grilled… very nice too. I also enjoyed prawn saganaki (fried prawn topped with fried cheese) and garlic prawns as seafood starters.

Most of the tavernas I visited offered prawn and swordfish in various forms, but one eatery in particular impressed me with their use of herbs and spices to lend subtle flavours to their dishes… I’m thinking about To Paradosiako Taverna in Alykes, somewhere I would urge visitors to Alykes or Alykanas to visit.

Prawn Casserole

Prawn Casserole

Just look at this prawn casserole served with orzo pasta and topped with fresh parsley and crumbled local feta… a definite move away from the more traditional Greek fayre, but a beautifully delicate dish so full of mouthwatering flavours. And for those seeking something more substantial, there’s this…

Seafood Platter

Seafood Platter

Described as a Seafood Platter this dish consisted of a man-sized swordfish steak, grilled octopus, seafood risotto, grilled king prawn and prawn croquettes served with a baked potato and salad… a truly huge and very tasty meal.

Incidentally ‘ to paradosiako’ literally translates as ‘traditional’ and to all intents and purposes that’s exactly what To Paradosiako Taverna looks like, a traditonal Greek taverna… don’t be fooled though, once seated you’ll find not only traditional Greek dishes, but also food with an international twist.

To Paradosiako Taverna – Highly recommended by Usky!

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Food for thought

When it comes to dining in Greece I’ve often heard people complain about the lack of variety on the menu. Well okay let’s be honest you are not going to get a fine dining experience in your average taverna, but you will get good, honest food no matter where you are.

Lamb Kleftiko, Zakynthos style

Lamb Kleftiko, Zakynthos style

A favourite among many Greek visitors is Lamb Kleftiko, one of the most traditional of Greek dishes and a must have meal during any Greek island holiday. Pieces of lamb together with vegetable and cheese are slow cooked wrapped in a paper parcel within an earthenware dish… simply delicious!

The Greeks and I share a love affair of lamb cooked in various ways and I have rarely been disappointed by any lamb dish served in a Greek taverna. Whether it be lamb on the spit, lamb in the oven or lamb on the grill, the Greeks always cook lamb to perfection. For the Brit Abroad you’ll even find a Traditional Sunday Lunch:roll:

Roast Lamb with Vegetables and Mint Jelly

Roast Lamb with Vegetables and Mint Jelly

This is not the sort of thing I’d normally eat in Greece, but I have to say it looked so good I couldn’t resist trying it and believe me those two huge lamb leg steaks were melt-in-the-mouth and truly outstanding.

Perhaps a more common dish is charcoal grilled lamb chops with garlic… the choice of vegetables may be somewhat lacking, but those chops were pretty damn good!

Lamb Chops with Garlic

Lamb Chops with Garlic

Don’t make the mistake of thinking lamb is the only thing you’ll find on the menu though, oh no, you’re likely to find beef, chicken, pork, vegetable dishes, fish and shellfish so there is something to suit everyone’s taste. Next time someone tells you Greek food is boring think again… there’s plenty of variety and flavour on offer, especially if you are prepared to eat ‘peasant style.’

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