Wednesday, 26 December 2007

How to pass the BahHumbug days

So to while away the idle hours, Jenny and I have been decorating the spare bedroom which I use as an office. This has been on the cards for some time, and is the last room which still has the original carpet and curtains which we inherited from the previous owners of the house over 20 years ago. Yes, it's due the makeover!

So I have added a new triple spotlamp over where the desk used to live, threading the cable over the ceiling and under the joists from the central ceiling rose. Had to do it that way because the loft has laminated flooring, and I really didn't want to lift all of that to install a new light. Anyhow, the holes in the ceiling have been repaired and the ceiling paper patched, and it's going to look OK.

We've installed new coving and painted the walls, and will paint the ceiling next week. Yes, I know that's the wrong order, but you have to do what you can when you can. The ceiling and coving needed time to dry, so we painted the walls while we were waiting, knowing we'll have some repairs to do later.

There's a carpet due, but I don't think we've got a date for it to be laid yet. And the new bookshelves have been delivered and are cluttering up the hallway as there's nowhere upstairs for them to go yet.

So the latter part of the afternoon has been spent with graph paper and some cut up rectangles of paper, trying out different layouts for the furniture. Why are we doing this, I wonder, when I've already wired in the new light?

Christmas dinner, in case you were wondering, was roast duck. 3 hours on a lowish light, glazed with sour cherry sauce for the last 15 mins, and simply the best duck we've had. Roasties, of course, brussels and roasted carrots and parsnips. Accompanied by a rather nice Wine Society Margaux. Too full for Christmas pud which is still in the cupboard. And could still be there this time next year. Fortunately, it keeps.

Tonight we're having a slow-roasted hand of pork, which we put in the oven some time around lunchtime. Rubbed a mixture of crushed fennel seed, garlic and chilli into the slashes in the skin, then basted with oil and lemon juice every few hours. We'll eat it at 8 or 8.30 when it will be moist and succulent and falling off the bone. I've lined up a Wine Society Pauillac which should go quite nicely with it.


A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Hi Rob, your Christmas food sounds perfect. Hope the pork was as good.
Thanks for the info on how to add pictures and lists etc - as you will see on my Blog, it's now done. I did need the help of my Daughter, but with your notes we managed it! Thanks again, Margot xx

Rob Clack said...

The pork was divine. What's particularly good is that pork is relatively cheap, so this huge joint cost about £15. We cut at least a kilo of thick end of belly off and stuck it in the freezer, but still had a vast joint to roast. There's days' worth of meat going back in the fridge. Oh, and it's soooo delicious!

Really glad you got the blog stuff sorted, too.

So yesterday we watched the Royal Ballet's Romeo and Juliet, which just reduced me to tears, and today we watched Ballet Shoes on BBC1. Radio Times described it as "like perfect chocolate - deliciously sweet, yet not sickly." It was perfect Christmas watching!

DJ Kirkby said...

Ah so thats why you havent been posting! That pork sounds gorgeous, yum. We had Turduken of course.