Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Black Beauty – ZX10R Ninja

The Black Beauty11th of March was a very grim day for us. In the morning I discovered that Mark’s bike is no longer in the garage. Someone broken in and took it. After the initial shock, I called the local police and reported the crime. Luckily we had a Tracker fitted to the bike. I called them up and asked them to turn the signal on, in order to locate the bike. To our surprise we were told that there is no ping and they are not able to locate it. We were asked to be patient and give them 48 hours. Some hours later, after the forensics department had finished with us, having dusted the garage and what was left of the garage door, we were done for the day. We felt quite hopeless. We had bought the Tracker so if we ever needed to find the bike its GPS should locate it for us; we had no idea that this might not be possible, the salesman forgot to mention this as an option. The Tracker people were blaming bad weather, snow, thick clouds; later on we were also giving as an excuse that someone might have parked it in an underground garage, which can apparently mute signal…even shipping containers where offered as a possibility for a lack of signal!

Days were passing by and there was no news regarding the location of Marks beloved bike. It was time to make a claim from the insurance company as chances of the bike being recovered by Tracker or the Police were growing ever slimmer.

The Insurance Company arrange for a private investigator to “look after” our case. After a 4 hour long meeting we felt exhausted. We had been asked over and over again the same questions but using slightly different wording, we had to repeat the same story what felt like forever. But… many hours on the phone, 100s of emails and 6 weeks later we received a cheque in the post! The next day after the cheque had landed on our door step, we started the hunt for a new bike. Luckily for me the first advert I looked at was ticking all the right boxes – model, age, mileage, colour… perfect, happy me and so I went to tell Mark to make him happy as well. We called the owner the same evening and arranged to view the bike in 2 days time. We were ready to buy if our “pet” mechanic gives us a green light after a thorough check up of the machine.

On Saturday Mark, Roy and Jonathan drove to the Ace Cafe in London to meet his potential new bike. She was perfect; shiny and without the scratches; the engine making ideal sounds not to mention the exhaust, almost like music. She passed all tests Roy had ready for her without any problems.  So there it is our new Black Beauty!

Mark is like a puppy with two tails again!

The Black Beauty - ZX10R Ninja

The Black Beauty – ZX10R Ninja

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One month blogiversary in numbers

Today I celebrate my one month blogiversary 🙂 (any excuse for a small party in my head)

I have enjoyed this time a lot and when I couldn’t write, due to special friends visiting, I was missing it. I am looking forward to the future and all the stories it will bring to my readers.

I learnt quiet a lot during this month especially that I would love to share much more than I can, due to time restrictions. I am finding myself picking very carefully what to add or write as I cannot do it all in one go. I have a stack of lovely recipes and stories to share with you but lacking time to do it all…

I am quite unsure how my number should look like, so maybe you can give me so idea on how I am doing.

Published pages – 4

Published posts – 35

Total views – 4,969

Total visitors – 2,670

Total comments – 234

Total likes – 286

Number of followers – 97

 

Thank you all for your support.

 

On this occasion I would love to announce the winner of my start-up giveaway for Rosie’s Pantry Hand Finished Pie Set…… and the winner is: MsPink AKA Melanie C on Twitter. Well done! Melanie already confirmed her winning and the parcel will be on its way to her shortly!

 

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Introduction to Bunk

gimme a kiss

 

Hey my name is Bunk, although my great great great great granddad was from Newfoundland I was born in a little croft in the highlands of sausages! sorry I mean Scotland.

In 2 months time I will be 21 dog years old so I am in my prime and I like to …sausages! show everyone that I am indeed the centre of the universe. I am completely driven by my hormones at the moment and apart from… sausages! I am only interested in meeting the ladies. I do not know why but it came over me just a couple of months ago, there I was …sausages! sniffing a flower and I caught a scent, it was intoxicating. I buried my nose deep into the flower and the ground beneath it and filled my lungs with the heady aroma. I could tell so much about her, where …sausages! she slept, what had been eaten who she had licked it was all there to be …sausages! smelt. I had a taste and my teeth started to chatter, I was drooling like an old garden tap, this was it…puppy making time!

ooo something smells good

ooo something smells good

hmmm I wonder what's that smell

hmmm I wonder what’s that smell

ooops mummy calls

ooops mummy calls

Now when we go for walks, whilst Lilly (pretty but daft as a box of frogs) chases the ball for the thousandth time I have a greater mission, to sniff and water every flower, tree, post and bench in the entire park. Maybe if the big puppy in the sky shines on me I will get to meet my dream girl, or any of her mates all of whom are now in my mental “little black book”.

Oh I also love sausages…nom nom nom

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Cat emotions

Cat emotionssource What time is o’clock?

cats-emotion

source Food For Thoungt On Animals

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Sunshine Award

Sunshine Award

Lovely Jade from Jade’s Jungle nominated Bark Time for a Sunshine Award. Thank you Jade!

This is the first nomination for Bark Time and me, so we are all very excited and pleased 🙂

Here are the rules:

  1. Include the award’s logo in a post or on your Blog.
  2. Link to the person who nominated you.
  3. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
  4. Nominate 10 Bloggers.
  5. Link your nominees to the post and comment on their Blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.

1 and 2 already done so now it is a time for my questions and answers

–       Favourite colour: Red, always

–       Favourite actor: Al Pacino

–       Favourite TV show: The Wire

–       Favourite movie: Devil’s Advocate, I especially like the long monolog by Al close to the end

–       Favourite food: Chicken, always and in every form

–       Lucky number: 7

–       Dogs or cats: I love them both but if I had to choose just one of them, it would be one for the dogs’ team

–       Holidays – rest on the beach or active time: I would say both in moderation. I couldn’t stay on the beach all the time but I do find it very relaxing

–       Twitter or Facebook: Both, I am not able to pick one over the other ;-(

–       Night owl or early bird: I am definitely not a early bird, I am a night creature, most productive when everyone else is deep asleep and I can have some peace and quiet

That’s it! All answers done and now the part that everyone is waiting for….. My nominations – in no particular order:

Pig Love

Eggton

Poems written by dogs

Colonialist’s Blog

Hooked on Madelines

Live2EatEat2Live Blog

Rumpydog

Lilinha Angel’s World

Lovethesecretingredient

Na Wlasne Oczy

Now that everything is written down all I have to do is inform my nominees and I am done.

Once again thank you Jade for the nomination. Have fun all and happy blogging!

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eBay – Zero insertion fees 27-28 April

eBay logo

From 27-28 April 2013, private sellers that list up to 100 auction-style listings at a starting price of £1.00 or more in an eligible category on eBay.co.uk, won’t pay an insertion fee. Additional listing fees, such as those for adding extra photos, still apply.
To be eligible for this promotion, you must:

Items listed using professional tools, such as Turbo Lister and Selling Manager Pro, are excluded.

For inspiration on what to sell, check out our eBay House.

(source eBay)

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What’s cooking – Black Forest Gateau

Black Forest Gateau by Gina Steer

Black Forest Gateau by Gina Steer

We have a few very special friends over, so yesterday Mark decided to treat us to a special “cake”. We had a fabulous Black Forest Gateau 🙂

This recipe is an interpretation of Black Forest Gateau recipe from Cakes & Cookies Quick and Easy, Proven Recipes by Gina Steer

Ingredients List:

–          250g of butter

–          1 tbsp of instant coffee

–          350ml of hot water

–          200g of plain dark chocolate

–          400g of caster sugar

–          225g of self raising flour

–          150g of plain flour

–          50g of cocoa powder

–          2 eggs (medium size)

–          2tsp of vanilla essence

–          800g of stoned cherries in juice

–          2tsp of arrowroot

–          600ml of double cream

–          50ml of kirsch

Black Forest Gateau

Black Forest Gateau by Mark

Preheat the oven to 150C/300F about 5 minutes before baking. Lightly oil and line a deep 23cm / 9inch cake tin. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Blend the coffee with the hot water, add to the butter with the chocolate and sugar and heat gently, stirring until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and leave until just warm.

Black Forest Gateau by Mark

Black Forest Gateau by Mark

Sift together the flours and cocoa powder. Using an electric mixer, whisk the warm chocolate mixture on a low speed, and then gradually wish in the dry ingredients. Whisk in the eggs one at the time, then the vanilla essence. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the preheat oven for 1 hour 45 minutes or until firm and skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire rack. Place the cherries and their juice in a small saucepan and heat gently. Blend the arrowroot with 2 teaspoons of water until smooth, then stir into the cherries. Cook, stirring until the liquid thickens. Simmer very gently for 2 minutes, and then leave until cold.

Black Forest Gateau

Black Forest Gateau by Mark

Whisk the double cream until thick, Trim the top of the cake if necessary, then split the cake into three layers (this part did not work for us so well… we manage only 2 layers, but maybe next time…). Brush the base of the cake with half the kirsch. Top with a layer of cream and one third of the cherries.  Repeat the layering, and then place the third layer on top. Reserve a little cream for decoration and use the remainder to cover the top and sides of the cake. Pipe a decorative edge around the cake (if you can of course), then arrange the remaining cherries in the centre and serve.

Good Luck and Enjoy! (we certainly did!)

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Famous pets

PetPaw-traits

Our Lilly and Mr. Ginger were chosen to be part of a PetPaw-traits

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Humans desperately seek sleeping space

The other day when I spotted the Silentnight Spring Bedroom Makeover Challenge notice, I began to day dream. Imagine a big space, a big bed in the middle, sheets all white and crisp, net curtains billow gently in the breeze as the sun streams in through the vast window. The furniture is stylish and modern and sparkles with newness, space, air and freedom emanate from every corner of the dream… I say a dream, for that is what it is for this is not to be in our lives, reality is a cruel mistress. Let me explain….

We are the proud owners of the following collection of beasties. Heading up the pack is 65kgs of drooling black mass called Bunk, a Newfoundland fully grown male. Lady of the house, Lilly, is 35kgs of leggy blonde Labrador throw in a ginger and black tomcat both weighing in at 5kgs each and we are tipping the scales at 110kgs or bodies.

Zoo in the bed

There is a small ZOO in my bed

We are also the proud owner of a standard double bed replete with scroll back faux leather and an old mattress that still has some life in it once you find the right position.

On a typical day, when it comes to that time when sleep wins the battle, another battle begins in our house. There will for sure be the two cats and Lilly on the bed, snoring, legs akimbo without a care in the world. If the house is cold, say anytime in the last 6 months there is a good chance that in the middle of the bed will be Bunk. One well placed “OI!” and the two dogs begrudgingly remove themselves to the foot of the bed where they take up their sat and alert positions, watching. The two cats have to be physically placed on the floor with a heartfelt “pshhhht “ to discourage any attempts at returning to their warm spots. We remove the pet blanket to reveal a nice hair free bed and climb in to enjoy the warm patches that the former occupiers left. I would like to mention though that this is not a moment of relaxation, oh no, not even a little bit. A momentary loss of concentration and a re-enactment of the English rugby squad all diving on a loose ball comes to pass as all 110kg of bodies leap back onto the bed.

Ding Ding Seconds Out Round 1

Ding Ding Seconds Out Round 1

Let battle commence.

Every square cm of space becomes contested land, the constant ebb and flow of gain and loss. A well timed stretch from a dog can push a cat up to half a bed away, but wait a human fills the gap with a leg, foiled. A good tug on the quilt can cause a stretched out dog to roll thus freeing up valuable space.

I so wish for more bed space

I so wish for more bed space

In time heat makes Bunk give up and go downstairs to the cool, Lilly decides that she wants to sleep not fight for space and leaves to find a chair somewhere less contested. A gentle slow extension of a leg can result in the satisfying bump of a cat leaving the bed, success is near! Open the window and the last incumbent leaves; the bed is ours at last. Now, we can relax, yes tired, but once again, victory. A blissful night sleep lay ahead only interrupted by Ginger banging on the window to be let in, then out, in, out, wait a minute I want in, no out, no in… always the wrong side of a door or window, and unbelievably lucky he has made 5 years of age.

So what would I do to make my bedroom better? Ideally talk a bed making company into building a 2 tier bed with a raised section for humans and a lower section at the foot of the bed for beasties. (rough plans attached)

Our Dream Bed

Our Dream Bed with humans only zone

Failing that buy a bigger bed and a cat flap.

Oh and I don’t like the shade on the main light, would definitely replace that….

* This blog post is part of the Silentnight Spring Bedroom Makeover Challenge

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Like cat and dog…

Mr Ginger and Lilly

 

Lilly and Mr Ginger

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