Thursday, 31 October 2013

A Halloween Story for All My Friends

"The chimney all sootie would not be made cleane,
     for feare of mischances, too often times seene:
Old chimney and sootie, if fier once take,
     by burning and breaking, soone mischeefe may make."

Witches' Brew Broth  (Serves 6)

12oz haricot beans     1 onion     4 sticks celery     8oz streaky bacon (this is the thin streaky type of bacon, not the bacon that looks a bit like ham!) 2 tbspn oil     4 tbsp concentrated tomato paste     2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tbspn white wine vinegar     3 pints beef stock     2 tbspn dark soft brown sugar     salt and ground black pepper to taste     fresh parsley to garnish

1  Cover the haricot beans with plenty of water and soak overnight.  Peel and chop the onion; slice the celery and bacon.

2  Heat the oil in a pan, fry onion, celery and bacon until tender, then mix in the beans, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, white wine vinegar, beef stock and sugar, bring to the boil.  Season with salt and ground black pepper, cover and simmer for 2 hours.  Serve piping hot, garnished with chopped parsley.

Gunpowder Pot  (Serves 4-6)

12oz leeks     4 sticks celery     1 large onion     1oz butter     1 pint stock     Half a pint of milk     1oz parsley roughly chopped     salt and pepper to taste Quarter pint fresh single cream

1  Clean leeks and celery and chop all the vegetables thoroughly.

2  Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the vegetables, cover and fry gently, shaking the pan occasionally, until the onion is tender.

3  Add the stock and milk, bring to the boil, simmer for one hour.

4  Blend the soup, pour back into saucepan, re-heat, stir in parsley, seasoning to taste and cream.

Spook Soup (Serves 4-6)

Half an oz of butter     1 onion, chopped     3 sticks celery     1lb frozen peas     Half a pint vegetable stock     1 pint fresh milk     3oz pasta shapes, cooked till al dente.

1  Melt the butter and frey the onion and celery until soft.  Add the peas, stock and half the milk.  Bring to the boil and cook for 15 mins.

2 Blend the soup and pour back into saucepan. Add remaining milk and the pasta shapes and reheat without boiling.

The Famous Witches' Brew!  (Makes approx 30 glasses!) (Deadly if consumed in large glasses!) (But very pretty to look at!)

1 pint dry vermouth     Quarter pint lime cordial     Quarter pint creme de menthe     2 and a half pints soda water (sparkling water)   Angostura bitters to taste (optional)     About 24 ice cubes     3 limes, thinly sliced

1  Crush ice cubes and place in a large glass jug or punch bowl

2  Stir in vermouth, lime cordial and creme de menthe, then the soda water. Mix well, and add Angostura bitters to taste, if liked.  Float slices of lime on top, and serve. 

Bonfire Toffee  A rich toffee treat that will keep everyone quiet!  (It'll clamp your jaws together!)  (Makes about 1lb 8ozs)

12oz demerara sugar     4oz soft brown sugar     Quarter pint of water     3oz butter   Quarter teaspoon cream of tartar     5tbspn black treacle    3tbspn golden syrup    oil for greasing

1  Lightly oil a 7in shallow square cake tin.  Place the sugars in a heavy-based pan with the water.  Heat gently stirring occasionally until dissolved.

2  Stir in the butter, cream of tartar, treacle and golden syrup, and bring to the boil.  Boil gently until the mixture reaches 270 degrees C, (132 degrees C on a sugar thermometer).  Pour into the tin.  

3  When cold, use a hammer to break into bite-sized pieces (taking care not to smash your hand!).  You could use a rolling pin if you prefer, but you might still smash your hand!  Wrap in cellophane or waxed paper until you want to eat it.


A little story for Halloween.....


Splat! Splat! Splat!

"Just what part of splat! Made splat! in splat! Indonesia splat! didn't you understand?"

Splat! Splat! Splat!

"And you will never, repeat, never, use a mixture of Vermouth and Creme de Menthe in a punch ever again!"

Splat! Splat! Splat!


What does Halloween mean to you?  Small children dressed as witches, or wrapped around in their mothers' white bedsheets dipping for apples or running around the neighbourhood trick or treating?

In this household the very whisper of the word 'Halloween' sends shivers down my spine - and right across my bottom!

Dan's birthday falling where it does, at the end of October, drives me into a fevered frenzy of preparation.  Not only are men difficult to shop for, but as the years go by, the challenges of buying presents, reach gargantuan proportions.  Which is why in recent years, I have whisked Dan off on long weekends, to places taking three hours or less to fly to.  Any longer than that, and the pain of modern air travel has a detrimental effect on the benefits derived from alone time with my husband.

So we have sat in the square in the middle of Marrakech watching jugglers and snake charmers, quaffed wines in Montmartre in the shadow of the Sacre Coeur, and listened to the slap of water against the sides of our gondola as it made its way along and under the stars.

How lovely, how pleasant, how romantic, I can hear you all thinking.  But note - I did say "in recent years".

Those three little words omit to describe my last attempt at a traditional Halloween.

I am not one of those organised people.  I try to be.  Very hard.  But there is always something that rocks the boat and upsets the apple cart and causes me to be late for appointments, to lose vital pieces of paper with telephone numbers and addresses written on them, or to cause chaos to what would normally be a calm, detailed and well-planned event.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing!


Winter was coming and Churchill was in a skittish mood.  He finished cleaning his whiskers and paused momentarily, paw in air, head slightly on one side.

The door opened bringing with it a gust of wind from the outside - scents of autumn tantalisingly fragrant.  He sniffed dry leaves, damp earth, the dog who lived around the corner - and a squirrel.

Senses on high alert, Churchill made for the open door.  He skipped through the legs of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, causing the poor man to stumble, throw the sheaf of papers he carried, up in the air, and issue threats in no uncertain terms.

He made it through the door like an athlete primed to run a sprint in record time, and galloped past the legs of the young policeman whose mind veered between the propensity of a large latte or an Americano.

He didn't even bother to look back, but bolted onwards, around the corner and under a fence before scaling a small wall, running across the courtyard of a mews house, and pushing through a beech hedge and into private gardens only accessible to residents with a key to the wrought iron gates at either end.

Naturally, being a cat, Churchill hadn't bothered to consult the weather forecast nor read the page dedicated to such matters in the Times newspaper, pages of which were strewn around the floor of the drawing-room where they had been dropped the night before.  However, being a town cat, he had a good sense of all things meteorological, and he determined to get after those pesky squirrels before the approaching rain clouds arrived.

Unfortunately, his judgement being off, they arrived rather quicker than he had anticipated, and it is a well-known fact that cats hate the rain.  Churchill eyed the squirrel sitting smirking on the branch of a large plane tree far above him, and reluctantly retreated back into the depths of the beech hedge in an attempt to keep dry.

The beech hedge was wide as well as being around ten feet high, and he wove his way between the thick stems, weeds and litter.  The wind blew the rain rather more horizontally than diagonally, and a seemingly huge drop landed right on the end of his nose.  Churchill, mildly panicked, flew into the depths of the undergrowth - and was brought up short.  His beautiful leather collar, with a little disc containing a very important telephone number on one side, and his name on the other, had caught on a sharp and sturdy twig, the thickness of a man's middle finger.

Churchill panicked even more, and twisted and squirmed until he was half strangled.  He pulled frantically against the twig, which had secured itself against his throat and refused to budge.

The rain continued to come down, and despite being well tucked out of sight in what should have been a reasonably dry spot, he was soon soaked to the skin. He continued to struggle and yowl until he had exhausted himself.  No one came to rescue him. Indeed, no one had heard him, nor seen him for that matter.  Churchill gave up and lay silently, miserably, wishing squirrels and all their kind didn't exist.


Autumn had been glorious that year.  We had had one of the hottest and driest summers most people could remember for twenty years or more.  The apples hung from the trees in superabundance, the pumpkins were large and golden, the hedges were garlanded with scarlet rosehips and jewel-like blackberries, and the dewy mornings produced fairy rings of glossy toadstools and delicate field mushrooms.

Halloween fell on a Friday.  The party theme caused me several sleepless nights, until I decided that I could combine Dan's birthday and Halloween, into one grand celebration.

We would have the party on Halloween itself.  Just a small affair with no more than thirty or so people.  I would decorate the house and garden, lay out a buffet in the middle of the kitchen that people would remember for years to come, and obtain the most fantastic witch's outfit to wear myself that anyone had ever seen in their lives.  I would also ensure that Dan was dressed as a wizard, and Merlin instantly sprang to mind.

This time I wouldn't be caught out.  Nothing would come between me and perfection.  No detail would be missed.  My preparation and presentation would be beyond reproach.



All went swimmingly.  Looking back, I can now agree that it went far too swimmingly.  But at the time I was too caught up in the moment.

The buffet was the easiest.  The freezer filled rapidly and any dishes unable to be frozen were planned and written on a list stuck to the fridge with a "We visited the Isle of Skye" magnet.

"What sumptuous little goodies have you planned this year?" Daniel asked as he pushed aside a curl of hair from my perspiring brow, and planted a kiss on the back of my neck.  I finished piping a black spider's web on a Bakewell tart already covered in lurid orange icing, and prepared to pipe in a large spider just off centre.

"Wait and see," I replied.  I swatted his hand as he tried to sample the icing. "Have you sorted out the lights yet?"

"Ami, whatever possessed you to go and buy lights shaped like small pumpkins?  We'll never be able to use them again."

"Yes we will, maybe next Halloween.  Or at least if we should ever have another Halloween party."

"But eight hundred of them?"

"You'll be surprised how few eight hundred really are.  I bet we will scarcely have enough by the time they've been hung around the decking and through the trees near the back door."

"Well, I hope they were bought from a reputable source, not like those cheap Chinese lights they were trying to flog last Christmas on the market."

"Of course they're reputable. I bought them from a proper shop."

I decided that as soon as I had finished in the kitchen I would dash upstairs to where I had put the plastic bag containing the boxed lights, and just check where they had been made.  I hadn't told a lie.  The reputable shop just happened to be the £ Shop!  

Later, as I scanned the strange symbols on the side of the boxes, I wondered nervously whether "Made in Indonesia" would ensure their quality.


Wednesday 29th October, being Dan's birthday, I had arranged a trip to London.  I had booked a room in a small boutique hotel just off Berkeley Square, and secured tickets to Cats, which I knew he had shown an interest in seeing.

We had decided to drive, despite the inner city congestion charges, since the hotel had its own patrons' car park.  For once I had chosen well. The bathroom was all marble and brass accessories. There were thick, white robes and individual dishes full of Taylors of Windsor violet scented soaps, shampoos and conditioners.  It was the sort of hotel where you came back from dinner to find your bed turned down and a handmade chocolate from Fortnum and Mason on your pillow.

We spent the afternoon rambling happily around Covent Garden listening to the opera singers busking for charity, and detoured back to our hotel via a very well known department store.

I resisted temptation to buy.  At their prices, that wasn't difficult.  But I did stop and gaze admiringly at a mannequin dressed as a witch, complete with grey sparkly dreadlocks, a cloak, broom, and the most disreputable black cat you ever saw.  In reality the cat was stuffed; and not very competently.  Its eyes both looked inwards, it had only one very tattered ear, and its fur was patchy at best.

But a thought occurred to me around then.

In order to appear authentic, I needed a feline companion!


Dinner went well that evening, and Cats was marvellous.  I had even managed to obtain tickets reasonably near to the front instead of upstairs in The Gods.

The next morning found us doing many of the touristy things we hadn't done together since dragging our children up to London in a futile effort to introduce a little culture into their lives.

We visited Horseguards Parade and watched the changing of the guard, and in the afternoon we strolled leisurely in the direction of Downing Street and the famous door with the number ten on it.

The wind had got up, swirling the fallen leaves in mini tornadoes along the pavements, and before long the threatening clouds overhead decided to dispense with all attempts at kindness, and deposit their watery load on the good citizens of London.

I pulled my coat tightly around me and reached into my bag for my umbrella. Dan had forgotten his, and nothing infuriates a man more than a woman battling against the wind with an umbrella not up to the task, and dripping water down his neck as a  consequence. He wrested it from my grasp and I had to link arms with him in a vain attempt to keep dry.

We took a short cut through a square, at the centre of which were some private gardens belonging to the houses that lined all four sides.

A plaintive and strangulated wail seemed to issue from the bottom of the beech hedge immediately to my left. I stopped immediately, jerking at Dan's arm and pulling him to face the hedge.

"Did you hear that?" I asked him.

He shook his head.

"Hear what?"

This time it was louder.  Yes, it was definitely coming from somewhere in the vicinity of our feet.

"That! That awful wailing sound.  There it goes again."

"Yes, I did hear it that time." Dan lowered the umbrella and bent down, squatting and peering into the hedge.  This time there came a distinct miaow that cut off half way through.

I sank to my knees and reached forwards parting the undergrowth.  The miaows were nearer.  I scrovelled into the bottom of the hedge practically on my belly, and I saw the cat.

He looked to be suspended by his collar that had caught on a broken, twiggy branch, and twisted tightly around his neck.  He looked about asphyxiated, and clearly in a dreadful state, his fur plastered to him and covered in dirt and leaves where he had struggled.

I tried unsuccessfully to free him.

"Come out, woman, and let me have a go," Dan entreated.

"No, I'm all right.  Just pass me your Swiss army knife will you?  I need to cut through his collar.  There's no way on this earth I can get him out otherwise."

Much against his better judgement, Dan passed me his precious Swiss army knife.  He always has it about his person somewhere.  You never know when you might need a nail file, or a hoof pick, a pair of scissors, or even a knife itself!

I managed to get the blade under the cat's collar, and after one or two fruitless attempts, it parted and freed the luckless animal.

I grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and hauled him towards me.  My hands and arms were scratched, and my hair was pulled free of its fastenings.  I could have passed remarkably well for a scarecrow.  The cat lay dripping wet and exhausted in my arms, eyes shut and completely oblivious to all the anguish he was causing me.

"We can't leave him here like this, Dan."  My eyes were filled with tears and I stared entreatingly at my husband.  "We have to rescue him.  He could have come from anywhere.  If we leave him here he will die, I just know it."

"Ami, I positively forbid you to remove that cat from this place.  Some poor child will be devastated.  He had a collar.  He belongs to someone." Dan shook his head.  "You cannot have that cat!"


Churchill reclined in front of the Aga, his head resting upon the tartan cushion on his new luxury cat basket. He had just enjoyed his second breakfast of the morning, which he hoped would become a regular event, as he realised he only had to gaze mournfully up at Dan when Ami was occupied elsewhere, and a second helping of meaty munchies would soon arrive in his dish.

After his adventure he had been carried back to the hotel, and secretly smuggled upstairs to Dan and Ami's room, where he had been rubbed down with a thick, white bath towel, before being smuggled back down again and into the back seat of their car, wrapped in several of Ami's lambswool cardigans.

By the time they had arrived back in the countryside, he was fluffy, dry and in such a deep sleep of exhaustion that he only half raised an eyelid as Ami lifted him carefully out and deposited him on a cushion on the sofa.


Friday morning dawned clear and bright, the rain clouds having blown themselves away over the North Sea.  Our rescued feline made a swift sortee into the orchard at the back of the farmhouse before returning, tail in air, to his basket.

It was obvious to me, if not to Dan, that Tiger, as I had decided to call him, was a natural convert to country life.

"It's very opportune," I informed Dan, "that the only thing my Halloween costume was lacking, was a cat."

"But he's not even black, he's striped, and he's far too glossy, fat and well-kept to be the companion for a witch.

"There's probably some poor child desperately looking for "Tibbles" at this very minute.  I am not convinced we did the right thing by bringing him home. Perhaps he even belonged to some little old lady, and was her lifelong companion."

"Oh shush.  We couldn't possibly have left poor Tiger out on a city street in that atrocious weather.  He would never have survived, and you know it.

"Look on the bright side, no one is likely to trace him to our neck of the woods.

"Now Dan, can you help me to get those lights strung around the decking and across to the back door, please?  I am going to put some jam jars with votives in them all along the path.

"And the pumpkins have got to be taken to the bottom of the drive and go up on the gate posts, to welcome people as they arrive and scare off all the evil spirits.  I need to make the Witches' Brew and perhaps you would put it in the cauldron for me?"

"I didn't know we had a cauldron." Dan scratched his head and I could see he was wondering how he was going to remember all my instructions.

"I got my big jam pan down from the top shelf in the laundry room."

"Oh you did, did you?" Dan was lifting an eyebrow.

In this house a lifted eyebrow is never a good portent. I swallowed nervously.

"How did you get it down, Ami?"

"By climbing the steps," I replied bravely.

"And what happened last time you climbed the steps on your own without me standing on the bottom step?"

"I wobbled and fell off."  I scowled at Daniel.  "But Dan, you weren't around, and I was in a hurry. Nothing happened this time.  I was ever so careful. I didn't wobble at all."

"Too late, my love.  I don't want to come home and find my wife with a broken leg, arm, hip or neck. Come here."

Daniel's eyebrow lifted even higher.  He pulled me over towards him and before I had a chance to think up any more excuses he bent me quickly over the granite work surface and unfastened the press stud and zipper at the front of my jeans, before peeling them down to my knees, taking my knickers with them.  I heard, rather than saw him reach across to my utensil jar and remove a large wooden cake spoon, then I felt rather than saw him apply the aforesaid spoon to my rear cheeks with a professionalism gained only through regular practice.

As far as spankings go, it was over with fairly quickly, but it still felt like I had been attacked by a swarm of bees and made me yelp and rub furiously at my poor red butt the moment he had finished and decided to let me up.

I made a mental note to get rid of every wooden spoon in sight.  Spatulas too. It was something I had long been intending to do.


For the most part, the party was a great success.

Dan made a wonderful Merlin, and Tiger was much admired as I carried him around and informed everyone that he was my familiar.  

When asked how long we had had a cat, I simply said he had turned up out of the blue during a rainstorm.

The part that wasn't quite so successful involved eight hundred pumpkin-shaped fairy lights, that started to fizz like bottles of well-shaken pop the minute they were switched on.  They gave a good impression of a November 5th firework display, and if you are not too sure what I am talking about, just think about 4th July!  

If you can remember far enough back to when kids could walk into a shop and buy a whole bagful of jumping jacks for an incredibly small amount of money, and then how they used to set them off behind the backs of poor unsuspecting souls going about their everyday business, and nearly give them heart failure - then you can imagine the sound they made.  The loud cracking noises they made were better than the background music, and far more thrilling!  Within minutes the garden resembled the black hole of Calcutta.

To keep everyone happy, including Dan, whose eyes had narrowed alarmingly, I doled out substantial glasses of my homemade Witches' Brew to everyone who wasn't driving.

Why was I not surprised as my party rapidly slid into uncontrollable drunken chaos with me sitting on the kitchen floor with my back against the fridge singing Molly Malone at the top of my voice.

Memo to self:  Always remember to hide the French jam spoon with the 2ft handle, at the back of the top shelf in the laundry room, when you have finished jam-making in the autumn!  Leaning over the foot of the bed with a hangover from hell is no joke when your husband is determined to impart a lesson he never wants you to forget!


The following day Dan and I sat sipping our tea and coffee.

The television was on in the corner, as is usual around eight in the morning, so we can watch the news whilst eating breakfast.

I had my back to the screen when I heard Dan choke and his knife and fork clatter down on his plate.  He turned up the volume.

" he rarely ventures outside, he may be unable to find his way back home. PC Harrington who was stationed outside on the day he disappeared remembers seeing him run off in an easterly direction, but assumed he would return when he was ready to do so.

"So far no cats have been reported as being run over, and although the police continue to search, it is feared Churchill has gone for good.  The public are requested to remain vigilant, and to inform the Prime Minister's office should he be sighted."

There followed a picture of a glossy, stripy, well-fed cat.

It was Tiger.

I felt the colour drain from my face.

Daniel swore under his breath, switched off the television and gave me his daggers look.

"You've bloody well gone and stolen the Prime Minister's cat!"

I was rendered immobile, my mouth open in shock.

"But he couldn't be!  He was several blocks away from Downing Street!"

"Oh Ami, you know as well as I do that cats travel a long way from home when they are hunting.  I'll bet that's what he was doing, and some how he got caught up inside that hedge."

"Well, the Prime Minister doesn't deserve to have a cat if he puts a stupid collar on it so it nearly gets strangled."  I put my hand to my mouth.  Oh hell, he was wearing a collar.  The very same collar I borrowed Dan's Swiss army knife to cut through.

"And that's not the worst part of it either, Ami.  He's sure to have a microchip and the vets will know immediately who he belongs to when you take him for his injections."

I was shaking so badly I had to sit down.

Dan kept glaring down at me.

"If you think your bottom's sore now, you've got another think coming.  You might as well enjoy sitting while you can.  You're not going to be able to sit for at least six months when I get my hand on your backside!"


Daniel stood over me while I made a telephone call to the Prime Minister's office.  It wasn't easy getting through, and several times they placed me on hold, probably checking that I was who I said I was.

Then suddenly a voice I recognised rather well, not from personal experience, but from listening to the News and to party political broadcasts, came on the line.

He was very good about it all.  With Dan breathing down my neck I could only tell the truth, that I had found his cat in danger of asphyxiation and had rescued him by taking him home on the back seat of our car.  I did explain that I had intended to take him to the vets in order to check for a microchip, but that I hadn't yet got around to it.  Daniel glared harder.  I could feel the vibrations coming off him.

However, I was thanked for my trouble, and a car would be sent to collect Churchill and return him to London.


I put the phone down and fanned myself with a nearby copy of the parish magazine.  I was very much in need of a stiff drink and was wondering if perhaps I dared to check whether there was any Witches' Brew left. Unfortunately Dan had other ideas.

Despite all the convincing arguments I thought I was coming up with, I was sent upstairs with strict instructions to retrieve the bathbrush from the ensuite, and to divest myself of my knickers and bend over the back of the little leather sofa we had in our bedroom.  At least it was a change from bending over the footboard of the bed.

Every step of the stairs was hard to climb.  My feet always develop lead weights when a spanking of this calibre is due.

Dan stayed downstairs for a while and helped himself to the stiff drink I had hoped for. He was not a happy man. I could tell that by the way he held me firmly bent over that sofa, laying into my backside as if he was out to break the world spanking record.

As usual under such circumstances, I went from stoic resignation to gasping, to stamping my feet, to swearing and promising retribution, to howling at the top of my voice, to shrieking that I was sorry, and finally, to sobbing my socks off.

I have been spanked on many an occasion and in a wide variety of locations, but I can honestly say that this spanking came in the top three of the most memorable of all time, and my scarlet behind, which had been tender before he even began, could testify to that fact.

Dan threw down the bathbrush on the seat of the sofa and helped me up before hugging me to him.  I took quite a while to calm down and for my speech to become coherent.

"Well, you never fail me do you?"

I smiled weakly through my tears.  "I suppose you could say it's been a Halloween to be remembered, couldn't you?"

"It's certainly been that." Dan brushed damp tendrils of hair back from my face. "I like Halloween parties.  I do.  But in future, we will be spending Halloween abroad.  Preferably where they have never, ever heard of it.

"And I can assure you, that nothing will be further from my mind than witches and Prime Ministers' cats!"

Things are still very stressful here in the Starsong household with all our 'medical' matters.  So I'd like to dedicate the above story to all my friends in Blogland - what would I do without you?!!!


  1. Hi Ami, what a fab story, please god tell me it's not true. I am sure you could be put in the tower for Have a great Halloween. We do not celebrate it in the Rose household. my boys used to hide as small kids and would still do so as grown men!!! It is a damp squib here. Might make the punch though
    love Jan.xx

    1. Thank you Jan. As I said before, I won't divulge what is true and what isn't in my stories...

      We didn't celebrate Halloween here this year, but I have to admit that it is a great occasion to dress up and create a spooky evening with an interesting menu.

      Our black cat, with chunks out of one ear, is very authentic looking though. I shall have to send you a picture of him!

      Many hugs

  2. Hey Ami, what a wonderful story! Good lord, I'm with Jan, please say it isn't true! Happy Halloween! Thanks for the recipes, think I'm going to have to try the witches brew!


    1. Thank you very much, Roz.

      Okay, so some could be true, and some not so much. I'll leave it to you to conjecture.

      Please be careful with the Witches' Brew. It looks glorious but it does have its repercussions!

      Many hugs

  3. Sending hugs and good thoughts your way. Happy Halloween! Thanks for all the recipes! :-)

    1. Thank you, Terps. The recipes are all well-tested, but beware of the Witches' Brew! That's all I'm saying!

      Many hugs

  4. What a hoot, maybe not for you, but for us. Loved it.

    Love the recipes too.

    1. Thank you, Leigh. I am glad you enjoyed my tale. I always respect your comments - I need them to help me write.

      The recipes are good, but read what I said above about the Witches' Brew. It's stronger than you think!

      Many hugs

  5. Oh Good Gravy Ami...please tell me that was just a very cute story you made up and not something that really happened? Happy belated birthday to Dan. How is everything going with your shoulder? When does Dan go back for his scans? Thanks for the recipes.

    Sending lots of prayers, healing energy and positive thoughts to both of you!

    Hugs and Blessings...

    1. See, Cat, I even got you going! There are many more stories like that from the Starsong household, I can tell you!

      You know by now I emailed you. We are rather stressed and over-thinking things at the moment. I will be very glad when it is this time next week and the biopsies are in the past.

      Your prayers and blessings mean a great deal to the both of us. Thank you so much dear friend!

      Many hugs

  6. Thank you for the wonderful Halloween story, Ami! :) You write sooo well!! Good grief!! The Prime Minister's cat! LOLOL! I also hope that the bathbrush part was all fiction/fantasy. OUCH!!! And I agree- all wooden spoons and SPATULAS should be hidden! Oh and thank you for the fun recipes too. :)

    Thinking of you both! Sending you many hugs too! Hang in there! We are here for you.

    <3 Katie

    1. Katie, thank you very much; you are much too kind to me. I am quite aware I have a very long way to go yet. But I soooo enjoy relating some of my little adventures, even if I am not at liberty to say what is real and what is fantasy!

      Did you happen to purchase a good, strong, long-handled, wooden jam spoon whilst in France? No? You should've!!!! LOL!!!

      Many hugs

  7. Wow, a great story. Good name for a cat but didn't see that owner coming.
    We don't celebrate here either, but bonfire night, well that's a different story!

    1. Thank you very much, Janey. It is true that the Prime Minister has a cat called Churchill - you'll have to watch out for him as he is often in the news although only in the background as he sneaks in and out of No 10!

      Bonfire night around here was somewhat of a wet squib as it rained all evening!

      Many hugs

  8. Ami,

    Great story. True I take it:)

    We don't do Halloween.

    Thanks for the recipes. Must try the Witches Brew

    Thinking of you both.


    1. Ha Ha! Thank you very much, Ronnie.

      We haven't done Halloween in a while, but I'm thinking that maybe next year we will have a party once again.

      For goodness sake be careful with the Witches' Brew or you'll be visiting with that Mr Cane once more!

      Many hugs

  9. Ami....Ami.....Ami! I bet parts of this fantastic story are true...Loved this so much! You are such a great storyteller. I love the different perspectives!!! LOL.
    "The Prime Ministers Cat!!
    I want to try your recipes!!
    Take care of you and your man, dear!!

    1. Thank you very much, Minelle. I am trying very hard to improve my writing and I appreciate it no end when I get helpful comments. As I said, you never know what is true and what isn't in my tales. I so enjoy writing them. Never a dull moment around here, I can tell you! Just take care with the Witches' Brew. I think if you all try it you will all be knocking on my door lining up to spank me! LOL!

      Many hugs

  10. Ami, what a great story! You certainly have quite the imagination....or is it perhaps just a good memory! LOL

    Blessings to you and Dan,

    1. Thank you so much George! Ha, it could be six of one and half a dozen of the other..... I am quite the pickle and Dan surely has his hands full! But Churchill is truly the PM's cat and lives at No 10!

      Many hugs

  11. Ami, piping in late but wanted you to know how much I enjoyed your story! Clara

    1. Thank you, Clara, you're very kind.

      Many hugs