Saturday, March 01, 2008


Now, I would love to tell you that I spent all of the last days, weeks and months (yes months!) since my last post tucked up in that bed hibernating.  And like all the buds and bulbs am waking to greet the spring. But it would be a lie.
I had meant to post so many times but just never got around to it and then I sort of fell out of the habit.  Work seriously got in the way - the increased hours, the lack of time, the Christmas panic followed by January sales all took up valuable space in my head and life and craft and blogging took a back seat.  Heck, who am I kidding they never even made it along for the journey let alone being in the back seat! No, they were the ones hibernating whilst I worked my butt off and came down with illness after illness. 
Then as the time goes by and you still haven't posted you sort of fall out of the habit. You think you'll write something tomorrow or the next day and then a week has gone by and then a month.  Then you realise that you have nothing really to say other than how tired you are or what happened at work that day or how poorly you are feeling and I didn't want to bore you with that.  No, that's what the husband is for! 

Well the 1st of March seemed like the perfect time to break that cycle and to try and start to get back with the programme!  I've been catching up with all your goings on thanks to my feeds on Bloglines and my oh my you have been a busy lot.  New arrivals, both human and animal varieties, have been welcomed; birthdays celebrated; homes moved out of and into, and of course lots and lots of crafting.  Next I had to think desperately hard to remember my login for Blogger not an easy feat and thank goodness it didn't lock me out after my numerous attempts.

So now I have started on my journey back to the blogging world, and I need to get down to some crafting but I'll let myself back in gently by browsing through the Spring issue of Marie Claire Idees. 

Thursday, November 08, 2007

this is where I want to be...

yep - I long to be in my bed all snuggled up under the duvet reading my book. It has been a very tiring week and it's not even Friday yet. So am I regretting taking on extra hours and responsibility? No, life is to short for regrets (oh, how easy it is to say that but how much harder to really mean it).

The problem lies in just not being able to sleep properly. This is now the second week of disturbed sleep with no apparent reason for it. Oh well, it means I can crawl into bed early and read my book.

I'm currently reading the Alice Sebold book "The Almost Moon" which is very cheery reading indeed. The blurb at the back, "when all is said and done, killing my mother came easily", gives a fairly good indication of just quite how cheery it is. Then after that I plan to read "Someone at a Distance" by Dorothy Whipple which is one of the Persephone range. Another rather cheery read me thinks - this time the breakdown of a marriage and its effects upon the family - "a brilliant account of fraility and folly".

And now that the nights are getting colder I am very grateful for the extra warmth provided by this quilt.I made it a couple of years ago from plain brushed cottons. It is gorgeously cosy.

Oh how I do love my bed. So goodnight, sleep tight watch the bugs don't bite and pleasant dreams to you all.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

pannacotta and pastitsio ...

so I have now christened both 'Apples for Jam' and 'Falling Cloudberries' by Tessa Kiros.

We had a friend visiting for supper last night and for mains I opted to make the Pastitsio from 'FC'. It was a slightly bastardised version of the recipe in that I had to cut the amounts in half otherwise we would have had way too much for us to eat. I also opted to take some elements from the recipe for Pastitsio in the Waitrose magazine. So I added some chopped celery to melt down with the onions. And I added some grated pecorino to the breadcrumb topping.
It was very tasty and the recipe was written so clearly that I found no problems in making it. And more importantly it all got eaten hence no photos of the finished dish.

Then on to pudding and the chocolate pannacotta recipe came from 'A4J'. And again the recipe was clear and well written so that they were really easy to make. I was a little worried, because of the accuracy issue with the weighing of the leaf gelatine, that they may not set as I erred on the cautious side. But they turned out of their moulds easily and looked just like they do in the photo in the book. And they tasted gorgeous - very chocolately and really rather rich so the tartness of the raspberries helped to cut through beautifully.

So now I'm off to luxuriate in the bath and dream of which recipe I'm going to create next...

Monday, November 05, 2007

5 days ...

So here it is November 5th and 5 days into the nablopomo challenge that some of you have taken up. I read about it and thought what a good idea - the kick in the backside I need to getting me blogging regularly again. But the problem is with all this daily posting by some of my favourite blogs, I am reading rather than writing. So sorry but I will just be as sporadic as ever.

This weekend was the most amazing burnt golden weekend I have seen in a long time. The sun shone and the leaves in all theit autumnal hues glowed like a myriad of gems. Oh dear I seem to be slipping into Romantic Poetry territory but you get the drift. In fact this morning was glorious and I wanted to do a bunk and not turn up for work but rather go down to the park and kick and scuff through the piles of fallen leaves.

Another autumn gem to arrive this weekend was the Persephone catalogue and Biannual which has made for excellent perusing. I think this Christmas I will be adding several of the books to my wishlist - I would so love to have their entire catalogue in my posession as there is never a duff book published by them. And what can I say I covet books.

This evening after work I finally got around to making the Chocolate Pannacotta that I mentioned a little while ago. The recipe comes from the Tessa Kiros book 'Apples for Jam' and when we eat them tomorrow evening I'll let you know if they are as good as they look in the photograph in her book. Although I will state now that I am little concerned that I may have not added enough gelatine. I used the sheet variety and trying to measure 6 grammes of the stuff on my scales was nigh on impossible.
And being the fifth of November what would I be if I didn't leave you with at least one firework shot.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

newness and no photos...

so here we are a day into a new week. A week where I have acquired a new baby - no you didn't miss any pregnancy related posts - this baby is my new black MacBook. It is gorgeous and so spritely quick when it comes to all computer related stuff. Although I have not put any photos on it yet hence this is a photo-less post.

My new work hours started yesterday and so far so good even though the little fella was sent home early from school yesterday. On arriving home he promptly threw up but the man of the house dealt with it all - what a star. That's how I can go back to work because my husband works from home and so any sick days can usually be covered without me having to scoot out of work.

I haven't got to grips with the new element of my work yet - I have a section to look after - but I hope to get down to it properly tomorrow. Although I do find the whole thing rather daunting.
This afternoon as a new member of V&A Friends I went on my induction tour which was fascinating and I got to checkout the Friends' Room where you can enjoy a quiet sit down with a cup of tea and slice of cake. I didn't have time to take in the Couture Exhibition so that will have to be done another day

Just one final thing my husband has been working on a little film. It is a short film for the Daily Telegraph Ford Film Challenge competition. You can go and watch it here the film you are looking for is 'The Tree' and if you feel so inclined you can even vote for it.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

momentum ...

I seem to have been building up quite a head of steam this week - can you believe that I have posted nearly every day this week? Let's see if I can keep this momentum going.

Little Fella's best friend at school is having a rough time of it at the moment. She is in hospital after having to have her appendix removed on Thursday. So we went to visit her today and we took along a little present.
In case you can't guess he's a horse - or maybe that should be she's a horse. She will probably be in hospital until Tuesday so there are more visits planned. It felt very good to sit down last night and make this little gift. He's made from a pair of M&S thermal mens' socks, his mane is lilac wool and his eyes bright shiny brown buttons. I think I can feel the crafting momentum picking up it's pace again too

My thanks for you thoughts regarding my work decision. After carefully considering it I have decided to increase my working hours - an extra two hours a day. But the exciting thing is that I have been given some extra responsibilities which I am really quite excited about. Although I am expecting to get quite highly strung and stressed over the next couple of weeks as I try to get to grips with it all - but it is a great opportunity and I feel flattered to have been asked.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

what a grey day ...

oh dear, the gorgeous sunny autumnal weather has disappeared today and left us with grey drizzly weather. So the only thing to do is settle down with a gorgeous cookery book and dream of plates of divine, warming, heartening food.

Today, I bought Tessa Kiros' book 'Apples for Jam' which I have been meaning to buy for so long now. Like so many others I fell head over heals for 'Falling Cloudberries' as much for the photos and family stories as for the recipes. In fact I haven't cooked anything from 'Cloudberries' despite it sitting on my shelf for a couple of years now but I do use her book 'Twelve' which is full of her Tuscan recipes.

Well, my mouth is just watering as I think of what to cook from 'Apples'. The weekend is my opportunity to do proper cooking and I love the whole planning and procuring process involved. At the moment I'm not sure which main course to choose but I am very taken with the idea of chocolate pannacotta for pud.Enough with all those food thoughts! I need to go and read through some work documents and decide whether to increase my working hours or not. As with everything there are pros and cons I've just got to see if the pros outweigh the cons. And whilst my thoughts are on books and bookshops I am fascinated reading these guys' blog and their exploits trying to set up an independent bookshop in Wood Green, North London.

And what can I say, it seems that we are all very much in the same boat as far as Royal Mail is concerned - isn't it an act of treason to tamper with and hinder the transit of the Queen's mail? I know treason is no longer a hanging offence but hmmmm...