Frugal Fursday from the Diamond Geezer himself

Hi All,

Sorry about taking the piss of your accent Steve but as you ARE in possession of a phone video of me dancing like a loon to Prince belting out “Kiss” and I have just outed myself to the entire world in anticipation of me going to town tomorrow and staying with the girls overnight (tonight) and you posting it on either Facebook or Youtube and with the certain guarantee of it going viral (I can gyrate with the best of them…) I feel somewhat entitled to denigrate your “Apples and Pears” cockney accent (you git). That has given me a degree of satisfaction and today’s post is all about making do with what you have (rather like the husband that you have…sigh…) rather than going into credit to buy something new as well as recycling, re-using and repurposing. In fact…not only using what you have, but getting something amazing for your efforts.  I am on a sustainable jag about all things disposable at the moment. I am also on a quest to ensure that we have delicious meals that won’t break the budget. Today being “Fursday” ( 😉 ) is no exception and today is Glamorgan sausage and oven wedge day. We have discovered that King Edward potatoes are The bomb. Fantastic for home-made wedges and as we are adventurous (and cheap) little vegemite’s, we try all of the “new you-beaut” varieties of spud that our local Tasmanian grocer tosses into the market environment. No fear us…we have tried them all! In tossing new varieties into the notoriously suspicious Tasmanian market where vegetables are viewed with suspicion and vegetarians are from another planet… they have to lure the locals to try them with “LOW LOW PRICES”! And low low prices are our favourite sort of prices so we try these new varieties and are often able to purchase 10kg brown bags of spuds for $6. I reuse the brown bag to cart our recycling down the driveway to the recycling bin so nothing is wasted here folks ESPECIALLY the King Edwards! What a delicious spud?! Steve, being an Apples and Pears man himself has a good understanding about potatoes and bought this latest new variety (to Australians King Edwards are “New” to all of you U.K. readers who have been eating them for centuries…) with no qualms. I was a bit sceptical because they appeared to be somewhat starchy and “new spuddy” but MAN they are delicious. We have a crock of goose fat in the fridge…we have a free range lump of a frozen rooster in the freezer and we have pumpkin, peas, the fixings for stuffing and Yorkshire puddings (respectively) as well as gravy and “misc” (anything else required for a top notch chook roast). We are contemplating our very own Christmas in June (without the Christmas…). So if you see King Edward spuds out there…don’t hesitate to buy them…unless you want waxy spuds…in that case buy Dutch Creams 😉

ok heres a picture of our old stool

So on to the Glamorgan sausages. I got the recipe from here…

Ant this is the old coat used to cover it

which is only fitting because these little babies come from the U.K. Wales to be specific…the land of two languages proudly posted together but whenever you are looking for directions…they are only in Celtic Welsh…(sigh). My niece is current holidaying and residing in Wales and my son is soon to be heading for Ireland after he takes a left turn just South of Albuquerque (Texas to be exact). I dare say they will both be eating more meaty comestibles than our humble Glamorgan sausages but Steve is giving them a thumbs up as I type this so they can’t be all that bad.  A perfect frugal meal for a Fursday if ever there was! I have just finished typing out the last of that great cookbook. I finished up with a Constance Spry recipe for Christmas pudding and Cointreau butter…I am actually thinking about making my Christmas pudding soon so that it can mature at its own leisure and be perfect for Christmas time. I am off to my daughters tomorrow (Wednesday) and the Diamond Geezer himself will be posting this for me. I will be dropping off at the Exeter thrift shop for a bit of a nose around sans husband which means that I will have more time to REALLY look…you all know what it’s like girls… you head into the thrift shop fully intent on hunting out a fantastic bargain and your husband stands at the door looking at his watch…rolling his eyes and sighing heavily enough that even the comatose volunteer work for the dole workers notice his obvious desire to be gone. Tomorrow I fossick to my heart’s content. I have to return 2 library books and pick up another one about transition towns. I went to several lectures about Transition towns and am acutely interested in them. I know that utopia isn’t something that any of us will ever achieve or see in our lifetimes and is the ultimate in pipe dreams but a little slice of communal cooperation and mutual respect is perfectly attainable. I get wildly enthusiastic when I hear about entire communities banding and working together to facilitate change to their mutual benefit. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has helped towns get off the grid by combining their funds, applying for grants and building wind turbines that power the entire town. With the huge storm that we just had we could have powered most of Australia let alone humble (and most tiny) Sidmouth.

Part way

I have been thinking about the hall up in Rowella. Rowella is a town divided at the moment. Everyone is waiting with baited breath to see whether this filthy corrupt pulp mill is going to get the funds to start building or will end up bankrupt and slithering away defeated by the David’s to its bully boy Goliath attempts to overrun the decision of the people in the Tamar Valley. There is a lovely hall in Rowella that occasionally gets used for the odd protest meeting but not much else. I have been following the Deviot hall with much interest as aside from being our neighbouring town to the right of Sidmouth; Rowella is our neighbour to the left. The Deviot hall has a committee… a subcommittee…and all sorts of grants and volunteers…the Deviot community is somewhat upmarket and predominately lived in by business people and professionals. Rowella is an eclectic mix of rural properties and small farmlets including an organic walnut farm owned by one of the founders of the group “Pulp the Mill” Ms Lucy Langdon-Lane (lovely lyrical name that one eh what?) and the hall could and should be being used as extensively as the Deviot hall now is with regular basket markets and other market days filling its once empty coffers. There is a large area of flat lawn around the Rowella hall and I was thinking that it would be perfect for farmer’s market days. There is a dairy in Rowella…a salmon farm…that aforementioned organic walnut farm…a lavender farm and several peach and cherry orchards. I dare say we could rustle up enough people with a vested interest in the area to support a regular farmers market. I wonder how we go about doing that. I might just have to have a nose about and see what it takes to get one started as that is just what this area needs to take its mind off the past 7 years of stressful waiting for and fighting this pulp mill tooth and nail.

Getting better

I think I will get Steve (a.k.a. “Diamond Geezer”…cheers Jamie Oliver for that moniker…) to post the photos that we took showing you how we made our leather stool the other day. We had an old pleather (more like vinyl but pleather is a much more lyrical name for it…) 70’s high backed stool that we had used when we were painting the house and that was once a muddy brown but ended up somewhat paint bedaubed and spattered making it something that no-one wanted to lay claim to. Steve quite liked the height of the stool and the foot stool bit and hinted that he could use it in his music room if it wasn’t so blah…so we decided to recover it with some of that leather jacket that we used to cover the book on forest gardening that Earl slobbered the spine into alien like dissolution. We are certainly not versed in the art of upholstery and so set about recovering the stool with only our lateral and problem solving skills and a good dose of artistic flair. I think that we did quite a good job for a couple of unskilled hippies with minimal supplies and am suitably proud of our efforts to reuse the bits of old leather jacket and repurpose the stool. I don’t know what you think of it but it’s now in Steve’s music room waiting to be joined by a plethora of Union Jacks on the walls…Steve has regained his patriotic joy at being from Old Blighty, boosted by the recent queens Jubilee and has vowed to paint at least 1 wall of his music room with a giant accurate Union Jack. And NOW the real fun begins…

1 more piece

nearly done

not to shabby

ta da all done

This is just a quick note to Mr Soulsby Farm…I have recently started wandering around hunting for meat and potatoes blogs to add to my rss feed reader. Thanks to Rhianna, I am stuffing my feed reader to the back gills with amazing blogs…only thing is…just about every single one has been previously found by Mr Soulsby Farm!…I don’t know whether we have very similar taste or hunting abilities or I am being pulled along by some sort of invisible Soulsby Farm net…but he just seems to pip me at the post whenever I find a nice new blog… It doesn’t matter which country, genre or style of blog… it’s been plundered before I get there. Touché Mr Soulsby Farm, I bow to your obviously superior ability to hunt. This is going to be a somewhat small post today. It’s just about 12 at night and I am not usually up and about at this time. The dogs are mentally pushing me to go to bed and the aforementioned Diamond Geezer is fast asleep and snoring on the sofa…no doubt dreaming of the nefarious ways that he could humiliate me with my mad and impassioned impromptu dance routine. I am off to watch The Avengers at the cinema with my daughters tomorrow…we are having a girl’s night out and they are going to make me a slap up meal apparently. Steve will be batching it with the boys, a kilo of sausages, and a bottle of stout and complete control of the remote control to every single device in the house.  I am leaving the posting of this post entirely in his hands and I dare say he will have something to add at the bottom of this post…anything from this point on is entirely thanks to Mr Diamond Geezer and his Liverpudlian/Sarf-end on Sea attempts at entertainment and he can be SURE that I will be checking out exactly what he has posted when I get in from the cinema tomorrow night! (Consider yourself warned sunshine! 😉

ok now we have a little me time here… ok this is steve and i will post a few things here but not the vid i have of the dancing one , i love life to much for that 😉 ok i have no idea what tags i am meant to use here for this blog so i will just make some up and see who wanders by . ok heres a few links to stuff..Steve

A good ol gezzers song i think

oh here we go mother brown

The english love there pubs eh

Not exactly ryming slang but a pearler of a sketch i think you would agree

ok time to hand back to Fran and heres a few line from a insightful song to end on…

Keep ’em laughing as you go

Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

A final note happy NYC day you where renamed on this day in 1664 (a day out as you read this though)

And if you are reading this on the 7th then this happened .. for a english man it was a good day ….1557 England declares war on France


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kym
    Jun 06, 2012 @ 22:02:15

    The chair is definitely a triumph! Well done guys it will be a great talking point for future relies 🙂


  2. Pinky
    Jun 06, 2012 @ 23:24:22

    Love the chair re-cover job. Well done Steve on your posting too. It would be great to get a regular weekly farmers market happening at Rowella also. Good spray free produce is welcomed by a lot of folk. You’d be over-run with families I reckon. 🙂


    • narf77
      Jun 07, 2012 @ 18:45:13

      The salmon farm, the walnut farm and the dairy alone would bring people but add lavender, coffee (a local man roasts it) and all sorts of pickles, jams, meat etc. and it could be a real assett to this cash strapped area


  3. christiok
    Jun 07, 2012 @ 01:12:58

    Great job on the chair! And I love the word “fossick”. I think it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who talked about how he preferred neighborhoods to communes…after watching the demise of Fruitlands, etc. I agree, and it sounds like you’ve got the beginnnings of a sustainable, cooperative community there in Sidmouth. Good luck on the farmer’s markets and kudos to you on your work against the pulp mill. And I hope you have a great time with your daughters.:)


    • narf77
      Jun 07, 2012 @ 18:49:53

      I had a great time Christi…I went to the movies and ended up rolling out of the warm cinema into the freezing cold and sharing pizza with the girls at 12 in the city with hardly anyone in site! It was a bit surreal to be honest! I am suffering a bit today though with sore eyes and I might be in bed even earlier than I usually am ;). Most fortitously, Steve picked up the local newsletter and there was a notice about forming a committee to do something about the hall! Sometimes I scare myself! ;). Glad you liked the chair…its amazing what 2 very determined incredibly broke hippy students can do when they want something isn’t it?! I aggree totally about the neighbours to communes. Our neighbours go away for 3 months of the year (both sets of them) and so we can pretty much do whatever we like for the period. Long suffering Frank has headed to Canada so he is almost YOUR neighbour! 😉 the other one is a pilot and isn’t there very often. I love living in the country and it was amazing to get back home and just “feel the serenity”…:)


  4. Kym
    Jun 08, 2012 @ 20:22:49

    Fran you are sounding old lol. One late night and you are cactus! It’s okay I know exactly what it is like 🙂 You must have been sending out market vibes. Hope you have rang the number and put your name down.


  5. narf77
    Jun 09, 2012 @ 06:20:07

    My girls live lives where morning doesn’t start till 9am and their day finishes about 1am. My mornings start at 6am and I am usually falling asleep over a book at 8.30pm so our 2 respective worlds collided and after going to bed at 1am I think my brain melted! I have always thought that doing something in our own community would be a good thing and the hall is a place where a community hub could be created. The only problem is “committee” usually means lots of people with their own specific ideas about what should be done and usually “bugger all” is what eventuates because most of the “committee” is usually comprised of sayers and not doers and they are most vehement about their own ideas and highly uninterested in other peoples. We stopped going to meetings about the creation of a community garden in Beaconsfield because of the very same thing…I don’t play well with others (when they are not willing to think about “other ways” of doing things that is) 😉


  6. Food Stories
    Jun 10, 2012 @ 09:42:15

    Enjoying your site so I’m nominating you for the Illuminating Blogger Award for informative, illuminating blog content. I know not everyone participates in blog awards but I hope you’ll at least check it out because it’s a great way to discover new blogs and meet new web friends. If you’re interested in participating, you can check out the details at my site … … Either way, hope you’re having a great day!


    • narf77
      Jun 11, 2012 @ 06:56:20

      Cheers for that, I don’t tend to participate in awards but I might just participate in this one. I actually have enough blogs that I follow now to nominate other people 🙂 Again, thank you for thinking that my humble little musings are worthy of nominating for an award. I guess the kudos is in the thought 🙂


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