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Monday, 7 April 2014

The last few days

I came down here to Yorkshire last week as my friend, CB, had to  go into hospital for a splenectomy.  His op was on Monday and by Thursday he was home.  He actually asked me to take this picture when he was in HDU, attached to all his tubes and drips!P1070586 (2)

He had keyhole surgery, which left him with three tiny wounds, each about an inch long and neatly “stitched” with three staples!  It’s amazing what they can do now!.  Anyway, so far the op seems to have fixed the problem he had with a low count of platelets in his blood.  The count has gone from between 9 and about 50 to over 300, which is excellent news!  The platelets are what makes the blood clot, when you cut yourself, for example, so obviously having a good supply of them is fairly vital!  It seems that the spleen can actually kill off platelets.  At least it was doing that in CB’s case!

So the last few days we really haven’t done very much, though we had a trip through to Northallerton to get some groceries in, and I trailed him round charity and cook shops (He bought himself a couple of books from one charity shop).  He had an appointment with the haemotology department at the Northallerton hospital today so we were back there again and while CB went to the check up, I went to Argos to buy a new crockpot!  I had decided that my slow cooker would be the most useful of my kitchen implements to bring with me, but, having cooked one meal in it on Friday, on Saturday I transferred the ceramic dish of leftovers to the cooker to heat them up quickly!  Suddenly CRACK! followed by the sound of sizzling liquid on a hot electric plate.  Oops!!  Yes, I knackered the cooking pot!  Darn!!!

The meal was rescued, revealing the large crack along the bottom  of the pot, which of course had to be thrown out.  Actually it might make a good flower pot! 240px-Northallerton_High_Street_ I got a few wee alpine plants in Northallerton market on Saturday, (not my photo.  It’s from Wikipedia) and a few more from the garden centre where CB is to be found most days when he’s well!  Two or three of those would make quite a nice wee display in the crockpot!

So back to the new crockpot – I looked up the internet and found that the Argos store had a nice looking unit, same size as the old one; good reviews online and  - what was best of all  -  cheap, and there was a branch of Argos in Northallerton!!  So that was sorted!


Another kitchen implement I would like to buy for my paleo cooking is a spiraliser, with which you can turn veg and fruit into spirals, rings or spaghetti-like noodles.  Spaghetti squashes are not readily available in our part of the UK, so as I can't have pasta made with flour, I have to try something else and veggie pasta sounds good instead.  My mincer doesn't really do the job, so the spiraliser will be my next purchase, at a later date!  Have you tried spaghetti squash ?  spag squashSpaghetti_Squash_PreparedThe insides come out like strings when cooked and make a good substitute for pasta.  Obviously it doesn't taste the same but that's one of the exciting things I've found about going paleo.  What was once ordinary food tastes different when you are using different ingredients and it’s better for you!  I’ve bought some spaghetti squash seeds for my garden so hopefully I can try them out one day soon!

I took a walk round Paddock Farm's water gardens the other day.  They are several small gardens, each in its own theme, and each having a pond or water feature.  I love looking at the gardens, so here are a few photos I took. 

What do you think of the rickety old wooden hut!  Wish I had one like it, all done up as a holiday cottage, and located in some beautiful spot, on the coast in the western highlands of Scotland, perhaps! 

Then there's the Mediterranean garden which in the summer is sizzling with bright red geraniums!

Come to think about it, the old ruined church garden hasn't got a water feature at all, and neither has the bamboo garden.bamboo garden  There are ornaments here instead, like the Easter Island style head, and the griffin sitting on the top of the ruined wall.griffin

I like the hand giving the "ok" sign.  You'd never know that the little finger got broken off at some point.ok hand




This is the Japanese garden with the koi carp rescue pond!  japanese gardenMost of the koi swimming around here maybe grew too large for their own ponds or were being attacked by mink or herons.  Some are here through being left behind when a couple moved house.  They couldn’t take the fish with them and the new owners didn’t want them.  It’s nice to know they have a good home here, with Buddha overlooking them from the red pavilion. waterfall wild gdn

This is a pretty little bit of woodland garden.  Usually there’s a little waterfall cascading over the rocks behind the pond, but it’s not switched on today!water pot


Another water feature not switched on yet was the fountain in the large pot!  Such a relaxing sound to listen to in the garden. 

Where there’s a pond you’ll likely find frogs, and there are loads of them scattered around the ponds.  About eight of them hopped across the path through the rose arbour when I was heading for the tearoom.  I managed to pick one up for a closer look, and he obliged me by not jumping off , and by sitting in my hand till I put him on the ground again.  frog pairThere’s something about frogs…….frog on path


frog in waterThis is frog-resting-in-water position, back legs stretched to the sides  frog restingThey have a lot of power in these back legs.  Even the tiniest frog can scoot a good distance through water with one kick!  So, just a few flower photos to finish off, and to take your mind off frogs – if you don’t care for them too much!plum2plumcurrant


Plum and cherry blossom and a flowering currant!I love spring!

Talk again soon.


Katrina said...

My aunt grew spaghetti squashes very easily, but she lived in Sussex, it would be worthwhile trying them out in Peebles though.
What great photos, and I'm so glad that they seem to have got to the bottom of your friend's problems at last.

Evelyn/Ev/Evee said...

I certainly plan to try growing them in Peebles, Katrina. When I get home I will have a look at the packet of seeds and see what I can do!
As for CB, his last two blood tests have had his platelets in the 300-350 range!
Hope you are settling in to your new home now.