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Milly & Ella sing

I play all kinds of music, and generally I sing along as well, but the only singer that my Milly-dog ever joins in with is Ella Fitzgerald. For some reason only the divine Ella inspires her to these heights.

Cracks me up every time. I have to hide in the next room to record her, as she’s a shy performer.

So here, for your entertainment (or otherwise) is the sound of my Milly-dog singing along with the wonderful Ella Fitzgerald.

Pickling Cucumbers

My homemade pickled cucumbers

When I was a kid I loved bread and butter cucumbers, but these days the bought ones taste just a bit too sweet for me.

But lately I’ve had a yen for some, and the other day I cracked!
I looked up a recipe on line and decided to make some myself.
Everything was already in my pantry, and I had three Lebanese cucumbers in the fridge just waiting to get pickled!

It was amazingly quick and easy — just slice and salt the cucumbers and onions (I only had shallots), and let then sit overnight in the fridge.
Next day spice up some apple cider vinegar, then add the cucumbers. The whole thing took about 15 minutes — including the slicing.
I used half the amount of sugar and they’re still a bit sweet for me, but very tasty.
I ate the results for lunch — still warm with grated tasty cheese on wholegrain bread. Delish!
I’ll be making this again.

Book Bub Special — The Summer Bride

There’s a Book Bub special for The Summer Bride – $1.99 until the 17th September.  North Americans only (sorry — I know many readers live elsewhere, but it’s my publisher’s policy.)

The Summer Bride is Daisy and Flynn’s story. Here’s a snippet, showing what Daisy wants out of life…

     Daisy had no illusions about herself. She was a little Cockney guttersnipe with a gimpy leg and a foul mouth—though she was working on the swearing, and her grammar. But she loved beautiful clothes and—praise be!— she was good at making them.
     She was going to be somebody, and she was going to do it all herself; Daisy Chance, Dressmaker to the Toffs, with a shop and a business all her own. That was her dream, and she was so hungry for it she could almost taste it.

And here’s a taste of Flynn, in conversation with outrageous elderly dowager, Lady Beatrice. She wants to find out what his plans are, he’s avoiding telling her, and she’s not happy about it.

       She fixed him with a gimlet stare. “Don’t try to butter me up, you rogue! That atrocious tale could have caused me to have palpitations! Palpitations, I say!”
       Flynn smiled. “Palpitations? Never say so m’lad—”
       She thumped her cane on the floor. “I am a frail old woman and not to be lied to!”
       “Ah, you’re as strong as an—”
       “If you say ‘ox’ Mr Flynn, I shall—I shall hit you!” She gripped her cane meaningfully.
       He chuckled. “No need for violence, ma’am. I was goin’ to say as strong as an er, an elf—yes, that’s it, strong as an elf—a delicate, elegant, canny, ageless wee elf.”
        Lady Beatrice snorted. “You’re a silver-tongued rogue and a shameless rascal, Mr Flynn.” 
       “If you say so, m’lady.”
        “I do. I can’t imagine why I ever imagined that I liked you.” She gave him a long baleful stare that did its best to look stern.
        He gave her a slow grin. “Well, milady, that would no doubt be me irresistible Irish charm.”
        Her lips twitched. She pursed them ruthlessly back into an appearance of severity. “Irresistible Irish blarney, more like. Kissing that wretched stone or whatever it is that you Irish do.”
       “Now why would I bother to kiss the Blarney Stone when there are so much more enticin’ things to kiss, milady?”
       A reluctant chuckle escaped her. “You are quite, quite shameless.” Then a cunning expression came into her eyes. She wagged a bony finger at him. “You’re in need of a lesson, Mr Flynn.”

And he gets one.