Friday I was making food preparations for a friend's nephew who was coming to do some flat hunting ahead of a starting a new job locally as a dentist.
We learnt he was gluten and lactose intolerant, which pretty much threw all my tried and tested menus out of the window!!
A quick trip to Tesco proved to be very successful and I discovered a whole world I knew nothing about.
I must say, whilst it must be very hard having to make adjustments to your diet, on a daily basis, just to stay well, it would seem now has never been a better time to have food intolerances.
The wealth of choice in the supermarket way exceeded my expectations!
Gluten free flour was always going to be on my list, along with bread, but I was thrilled to see gluten and dairy free ginger biscuits, so our friend would be able to tuck in with a sweet treat along with us, and also a chocolate brownie mix, which would liven up the picnic I was planning for Saturday.
I also found it easy to buy a suitable butter alternative and even cheese too!
The brownies turned out pretty good and had that delicious squidgy middle we all love in brownies.
There was a hint of the gluten free texture but not unpleasantly so.
I made another apple and blackberry flapjack, although learnt later than he has to have gluten free oats as well, I had thought oats were "safe" but not for all sufferers it would seem.
He did enjoy the dessert and I hope he doesn't suffer too much as a consequence!
Whilst I busied myself in the kitchen, Hubby tackled the bay tree...
...and Teen Two tackled some digging for me, in an attempt to level off the ground in this corner of the garden, where our water butt will now be housed.
I made a quick trip to Lidl's and was quite taken with this tin herb garden, it gives a little lift to the corner I think...I just need to find out what herbs they are, one I know is Rosemary, which I have wanted for a while.
...they also had these mini plants, which look like they are hardy enough for me to keep alive!
They actually come in sweet "vintage style" pots but I had bought these tin ones in Ikea for 40p with the sole purpose of finding some plain green succulent type plants, so was pleased to find them so quickly.
Both boys needed a hair cut and with one or two chores still to do before heading out on a special treat, Hubby volunteered himself and Teen Two to do each other's hair!
Teen Two wasn't at all sure about the idea at, both having is dad do his hair and him doing his dad's hair!
However there is little that can go wrong and minimal scissor work, and I must say they did a pretty good job, although in daylight its obvious I will need to do a bit of a tidy up on Teen Two's hair, but for a first attempt it wasn't bad on both accounts!
In the evening we had planned a trip over to the Isle of Wight to see the Red Arrows and fireworks, to mark the end of Cowes week.
We hadn't made this trip before so were really looking forward to it.
I really really love the Red Arrows and this was the best view we have ever had, out in the open sea with nothing to mask our views
We then had a relaxing cruise round...
...which was very enjoyable indeed...
...the shore was starting to fill up with spectators ready for the firework display...
...and we were able to enjoy the sunset from our seats on the top deck...
...along with a hot chocolate from the bar and a caramel waffle each I had packed...next time I think I will take a flask of hot chocolate...many others were well organised having made the trip before and there were no restrictions on what you could take on board...alcohol aside.
The fireworks were amazing, and to have such an excellent vantage point was really the icing on the cake
I am not really a firework fan, but these were spectacular and we would definitely do this trip again.
We returned home cold, tired but filled with happy memories.
Saturday morning we were up early as the builder had promised to come between 8am-9am.
He finally arrived at 10.30am so we could have had a lie in rather than getting up at 7am, however I made the most of the time and busied myself getting the picnic ready.
With salad jars and fresh strawberry jelly jars, we were set for a healthy treat!
Our visitor arrived in good time and we managed to dodge the thunder showers and take him on top of a local hill for our picnic and an impromptu game of cricket.
He is a cricket fan so was delighted with the idea and was very helpful in giving Teen Two some bowling tips.
Teen One and I took on the fielding which thankfully didn't involve too much exertion!
We then took a walk along the seafront and to some historical places of interest, before heading back to the chilli and rice I had waiting for us in the slow cooker.
We spent the evening playing games, which was thoroughly enjoyed by Teen Two inparticular, then after some chit chatting for far too long we eventually went to bed...only to be woken a few hours later by the local school alarm going off!
Today was a trial of gluten free Yorkshires and having asked our friend how his mum's usually turned out, I knew I didn't have to worry to much
"Aim for puck size" he said!
Puck size is what he got!
Sadly I forgot to take a photo but as he is most likely going to be with us for Sunday lunches from next month, you wont have to wait too long to laugh along with us at the sight!