A Weekus Horribilis, A Fabulous Blogging Friend .. and Beetroot Chutney!

The Queen once said that she’d had an ‘Annus Horribilis’ [Latin for A Horrible Year] and I agree that, at the time, she really had.

Now I can’t lay claim to having a horrible year, but  …  last week was absolutely a Weekus Horribilis (well, ten days to be precise).  One thing, then another, then another, then another – all seemed to either get the better of me, spoil things, upset me, or just made me bl**dy cross.

Individually,  they were just annoying or upsetting things which we all get – but we deal with them and move on.   However last week, they seemed to be coming at me like arrows from a battalion of Archers – all at once, – and I began to feel totally snowed under.

THEN, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse,  the cherry on the top of the cake was delivered . . .

I received a text message from the bank.  It said that they had declined a particular transaction for the amount of   £627  – which, they told me,  was an attempt to purchase some tickets for something or other.  The text message asked if it actually was Mr.Cobs or myself trying to make this purchase.

I called the Bank straight away in a right old panic and was put through to their Fraud department.

The lady on the Fraud section told me that someone was trying to use the details of our cards to obtain goods via our account.

Once I’d told her that it wasn’t us trying to buy anything for that amount,  our cards were frozenand she told us to cut them up, – then we had to wait for replacement cards to be sent to us, with different numbers and different security codes.  Happily no money was lost (thanks to the banks security systems which stopped and waved a flag when it saw this unusual (for us) transaction appeared) and we’ve double checked every single thing on our account.  But it scared me at how easily someone had tried to get money/purchase goods out of our account.

Something has to change regarding these types of bank/credit/debit cards.  If it’s THAT easy to do this type of thieving, then the financial organisations need to come up with something way better than we currently have.

So anyhoo . . .  last week had it’s ‘moments’ which would have tried the patience of an Angel with nothing on her mind.   BUT … one truly lovely,  incredibly kind,  beautiful hearted blogger changed all of that around.  She knew nothing of the pains/strains/ and Weekus Horribilis and yet … she turned my world around and made it better.

I follow the blog of Mrs.Craft of Craft and Other Crazy Plans and she’d written a post on her blog called:  Recipe Post – Beetroot Chutney  which I found totally enthralling.  I’ve never pickled or made Chutney or even made Jam before, but I’ve wanted to.  Everything I looked at seemed really quite complicated, so it put me off.  However this post of Mrs. Crafts was written for a numbskull like me.   After reading I was raring to go.  I wanted to go and buy the equipment there and then.

Mrs. Crafts Beetroot Chutney
photograph credit:  Mrs. Craft,  – borrow from her blog post to show you her mixing her chutney

I told Mrs. Craft, (in a comment) how amazing her Beetroot Chutney sounded and that I was going to go on-line to see if I could buy the things she’d mentioned in her post, and Mrs. Craft replied saying she’d found some of the things at Aldi in their weekly specials.   That was it!!!  I went straight to the Aldi site to see what they had left.   After all, Mrs.C had used them, so they must be ok!

What happened next was a magical happening which touched me so deeply that it made me cry.

Mrs.Craft emailed me and told me that she would like to send me a jar of her Chutney!  ME!!  A WHOLE JAR OF HER CHUTNEY!!!  Just for ME

Oh my goodness!  I wrote back to her saying I would love a jar, and that I would pay her for the jar, along with the postage costs,  maybe via PayPal, or even some money in an envelope – but she was having none of it.

I gave her my details and within a few short days a box wrapped up in brown paper arrived.  The scissors were summoned the paper was cut off, and the lid to the box was gently opened.  I was so scared that this jar of delight would have got broken in the post, but no.  There is was, nestled snug in its box bed.  I was over-come with thankfulness, both for the jar not being broken but more importantly to Mrs.Craft.

But it didn’t stop there …  also in the box was one of those special thermometers which you use when making jam, to ensure that you get the mixture to the right temperature!  I had this little gadget on my list to go and buy!

But then … another surprise in the box ….  a Handmade Card with a Unicorn on the front.  Of course, this wee Unicorn looks exactly like the Unicorn I keep in my back garden!  How did she know?  *GASP*

BEETROOT CHUTNEY made by Mrs.Craft b

Mr. Cobs laughed at me as I began to bubble.  Tears welled up in my eyes and tipped over the edge of them and I sat there sniffling and snuffling as he chuckled.

See … here’s the thing;  If someone is horrid to me I cry.  But if someone is nice – well then I cry too.  I blubber and bubble and get all sniffly.  People don’t even have to be nice to me.  Someone being nice to anyone will set me off.  Kindness’s which come from the heart are the things which can start me off and I become like a tap which won’t turn off.

tsk tsk…  like Cobs Snr says …  I’m a blubber baby.  But I don’t care.  I’d rather be one of those than one of the other things.

I have thanked Mrs.Craft, and I take this opportunity to publicly thank her for this incredible kindness which she’s shown me and which has totally blown me away.

Please do go and visit her blog.  I know you’ll love her just as much as I do.  She’s lots of fun, and if she can put up with me then she must be brilliant!  (There are links to her blog, and to the Beetroot Chutney post, above.  They’ll open in another page for you).

BEETROOT CHUTNEY made by Mrs.Craft A

I’ve found a place to buy one of those heavy bottomed saucepans and am planning a trip to buy one, hopefully this week.  So . . . If I don’t poison anyone, expect a blog post about the results.   [insert fearful face]  lol

I made Mrs.Craft a handmade card to say thank you … and I was going to share it with you in this post, but I’ve talked the hind leg off a donkey, so I’ll shut up and share the card with you in another post, another day.

Thank you so much for coming and sharing my Chutney with me.  Oh … nearly forgot to tell you….  I have no idea (yet) what the Beetroot Chutney tastes like because I’m saving it until Christmas, at which point I’ll have the Opening of the Jar Ceremony and all the family present will have a taste with some cheese and crackers.  (Can’t wait!  YUM).

May your Monday have been wonderful and may your tomorrow be truly blessed.

Sending great big squidges from my corner to yours.

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Birds of a Feather flock together….

A couple of days ago, here on the Emporium blog, a couple of  other bloggers and myself were chatting, via the comments thing, and wondering where one of our much-loved bloggers, PaperPuff, or, as we call her, Puff,  had disappeared to.

We knew that she was going to be having a short time away from blogging because she had to look after someone she cared about for a while.  However, that was three months ago.

I along with other bloggers have left little messages on her blog, saying hello, sending good wishes, love and …  I let myself in using the spare door key under the mat and ate a pack of biscuits …. then Flo found the key and broke into the house and found some more biscuits …  (obviously, we didn’t really break in….  we were just playing about and hoping to make our mutual blogging friend laugh if she was readingFlo and I are both gigglers – can I say  ‘two peas in a pod’?).

I do have her email address, and emailed her about a month ago, but haven’t heard back from her.

Sooo when SamanthaMurdoch wrote asking if I’d heard from Puff or if I had any means of communicating with her, it was this question which made me check my emails to see if I possibly might still have her address there.  I couldn’t believe it when I found I still had it.  You see, I delete all emails containing snail mail addresses after I’ve used the address for sending out ‘Giveaways’ or cards for some other reason, so to still have it was like finding a gold nugget.

I told Samantha that I had the address, and wondered if perhaps I should send her a little card or something through the snail mail post to just say hello, or something like that.

Samantha and her friend Gillyflower said yes!  Do it.  So I made her a quick, but fun card today.

Birds of a feather A
Birds of a feather flock together…

Using a few different colours of watercolours, I dabbed some colours onto the card and once dried, I turned them into birds (apart from one, which I turned into a funny furry mouse), and then around the edge, beginning on the left hand side of the card I ‘wriggly wrote’ the message….  “We’ve Looked High and Low …..

and then on the inside…

Birds of a feather B
…  and we can’t find YOU!

… it goes on to say …. and …  we can’t  find  YOU!  Again … with a little, long-legged, watercolour bird on the inside.  It’s all done in a fun, casual, smiley way.  In a way which I know will make Puff smile when she sees it.

I thought I’d send it to Puff, saying that Samantha Murdoch, Mrs. Craft, Gillyflower and myself were all thinking about her, and hoping she was well. (or something along those lines … perhaps a little more of a smile in the words somewhere).  If there are any other of Puffs friends reading who would like their name to be included, please say so, before the end of Friday night at 11pm UK time,  via the comments section of this post, and it shall be done.

Before signing off …

There will be no regular ‘Friday Post’ this week.  Time has run away from me this week and I’ve found myself to be plumb tuckered out trying to chase after it.  So I decided that going to bed was my greatest need over building the Friday Post, (yes, I know … I’m shocked too!  I’ve never deserted my post before!), so that’s exactly what I’m going to do.  I’m off to bed.  A bed covered in freshly washed sheets which were dried on the line outside and smell so pretty.  Ahhhhh…. I can feel that fresh cotton on my legs right nowzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Ooops.  ‘scuse me!  😳

So we’ll look on it as a little holiday.  Normal services will be resumed, when normal reappears. 🙂

In the meantime,  sending love and squidges … oh … and as the famous Jimmy Durante once sang:  …  make someone happy.  It’s so important to make someone happy.  Then you, will be happy, too.  And he was right you know.  It really does work like that.

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