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16 October 2014

Flying Cat - December 2007

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Christmas Birdcake

I hope no-one gets a wrong impression from the title of this posting. The following recipe is FOR our avian chums, not OF them!
This is the time of year when our nice little feathered friends are in danger of falling off their perches due to chill and wetness: they need as much high-energy food as they can get their beaks into, so, as well as the all-year-round feeders full of seeds and nuts, fatballs are a useful addition to their diet. When you see what retail outlets can charge for the very smallest balls, well, fpu just tosses her head and says, "Aye right, with bells on!" and makes the following (with a little help from me and m'Marmalade Chum, who share her keenness for the pretty birdies).
dripping (from the butchers, used to come in waxed paper, but now in plastic tubs. Ptui!)
wild birdseed (best price we know is 20k bags from Birsay Farmers)
peanuts (from BF)
oatmeal (pinhead is best, but we're using up some unwanted porridge oats)
raisins (a bit of an extravagance, so just go for the cheapest.)
Some folk say to add grated cheddar and breadcrumbs, but if you want the cakes to last, don't - they go mouldy quite quickly.
dripping and containers (plastic cups from Red Cross Shop)
nuts and seeds
all ingredients
melting dripping over low heat
add dry ingredients to make a thick mix
a good stir (Tws and mjc are both very good at stirring...)
in the pots
If you live in an un-windy place and want to hang them, use small pots (like individual yogurt pots) and inveigle a string into the cakes during pouring. Here in windy Orkney, we have a very large nail hammered through the floor of the birdfeeding house on which the cake is impaled.
There is a daily battle in Rolling Acres with the rooks, who can demolish a day's supply in a few gulps. A human leaping towards the window waving its arms madly is always entertaining...

Posted on Flying Cat at 15:04

EffCee's Shiny Bits at Yuletide

There's a tiny weeny shop in a not-very-big-place, where everyone should just pop in to say "Cheery!", smell the nice smells, and look at all the shiny things and cast off those deep winter blues. Obviously we can't name this purrfect little cornucopia of delights, as that would be advertising and we don't want to upset Auntie at this Season of Goodwill, but just looking at the pictures might help lift the Glooms for a minute or two. Of course, anyone lucky enough to live in the not-very-big-place can open the door and say "Hi" on their way along the street...If you do it on a Tuesday or Wednesday morning or a Saturday middle-day, my female parental unit will be there enjoying a blether and a bit of silliness with whoever you may be...
Like Brigadoon, this shop only appears briefly (but unlike Brigadoon this occurs yearly, not centennially!)
Mother Christmas's Grotto...








"Mummy, look!" (Thanks to CT for the loan of her Son2, playing the part of Small Enthusiastic but Very Well-behaved Customer.)

Posted on Flying Cat at 17:22

Christmas Carol - Singaporean Snaps

Well, thanks to Carol's blue teeth, we now have photos. Downloading them was fun, because the camera thought it was July and inserted the pics into iPhoto accordingly, so they arrived in summer and had to be told to go immediately to December without passing Go or collecting £200. Then me 'n' Marmers decided to do a bit of tweaking, so we hope we aren't going to get a row from Herself Downunder for that...and THEN we lost the email with all the information, but were so confused by this time they probably wouldn't have got put on the correct photos anyway...and now we're just going to do our best to label them somehow!
Carol can always put us right in Comments and Corrections.
This is surely our last post before Chrimble...
1 Himalayas
4 Straits
5 Singapore
Sing Yum
6 foodhall...surley the bucket isn't a comment on the food in this most antiseptic of cities!
Sing fishyheads
7 stock basics
mmmm fishies
8 yellow fishes
redhot fishies
9 red fishes
Loki din-dins
10 lots of nice fat froggies
11 foodhall
12 nice juicy ducks but not looking at all like porridge (10/10 for correct Scottish spelling)
13 oh not again this is torture!
14 mall
red lights
15 red lanterns
16 it a temple?
buddha of suburbia
17 Buddha on lotus
lotus buddha
18 this isn't Buddha...
19 in a monastery garden...
20 Fullerton Hotel
21 Asia Civilisation Museum
22 Fullerton Hotel
tropical kit
23 of all...a Singaporean one of us.
Thank you Carol for making such a heroic effort to send them to us. All contributions gratefully accepted.
Posted on Flying Cat at 16:24

Solstice Sunset @ Brodgar

Friday the twenty first was the sort of day that, had the parental units known mpu would be off work, they would have booked a ticket in advance to go into Maeshowe and see the setting sun shine along the entrance corridor into the burial chamber. Instead, they drove over to the Ring and saw the next best thing - the sun roll down the left shoulder of Hoy into the cleft, and the moon rise over Harray Loch and the stones.

moon+low stones


stones and moon

stones and moon2

three stones

2 old codgers


Liff may never get better than this...

Posted on Flying Cat at 23:59

Christmas Eve - Yesnaby and Condom Square

No really, this IS the Last Blog of Christmas from Anorak's just the weather has been so very obliging in the drama department, it's proving irresistible to the bipedal carriers of digicam. The first three were taken from that old favourite Yesnaby; the fourth from the hill near Springlands; the fifth and sixth from the end of the Stromness Golf Course road (which, in some quarters, is known romantically as 'Condom Square') and the last is probably the scabbiest bit of mistletoe you ever saw, but it was the last in Florabunda, and when fpu said it was a bit sad and would the cheery shop woman (irony overdrive in action here) take a bit off the £4 asking price, she got it for a quid. Maybe the birds will munch the berries as they hang in Tree Circle and spread them around Rolling Acres...think of the dosh-accumulating opporchancities...
St John
St John's Head, precipitation in sight
St John

Merry Christmas America!
cumulo nimbus - mammatus
cumulo nimbus mammatus - no explanation required...
Hoy from Condom Square
Hoy, the high island
The Ham n Eggs
The Hamnavoe in Hoy Sound. Standing waves. 'Twas joyous to be a landlubber...

Posted on Flying Cat at 15:50

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