This morning was the first time we've had proper snow since Oscar came to live with us, and since I'm on back shift today, I got to take him out in actual daylight. It snowed quite heavily, and watching him run about and have a play with other dogs in it was lovely.
Friday, 16 January 2015
Sunday, 11 January 2015
So, after a 2014 filled with glorious summer and autumn and a mild start to winter, the second week in 2015 has brought full pelt storms - rain, sleet, snow, and brutal, Gale force winds. This week, I have pretty much being getting to and from the places I need to be as quickly (and dryly) as possible, and then getting home where it's cosy and warm. That's when I'm not walking the dog in the tipping rain, obviously.
With the horrible weather - the true bleak mid-winter - has come a need for hearty soups and stews. We've eaten well*, we've kept on top of housework, we've watched many, many episodes of Friends (Dave found them on Netflix), finished watching Derek (the second season is pretty brutal in places, but also so funny), and I've started back at college and am on top of college work and enjoying the course. I've managed to fit in a bit of non-academic reading too, including keeping on top of blogs.
*I concur with Hannah of Seeds and Stitches on this one - here's her take - The Case Against the New Year Diet.
Some other posts I've enjoyed this week...
+ Dave has taken to writing again. His post on recent events in France say what I think, much better than I could.
+TYCI Blog's Trailblazers post on Alanis Morrisette.
+The return of Serena to the blogosphere was to my great delight. I've always loved her writing, and this foray into smart, hilarious political commentary does not disappoint. Her most recent post is about the beginnings of the General Election campaign.
+And because it's topical (in Hughesville) and funny, Aparentment Therapy's 10 Decorating Lessons to learn from Friends
I hope everyone else is surviving!!
Sunday, 4 January 2015
The following nine days of holiday were glorious. A weekend of eating leftover Christmas food, watching Christmas telly, easy cooking and magazine reading. A day spent with the kids I used to look after, and one spent having lunch, drinking cocktails, and laughing a lot with my two BFFs from home. A trip to Wales to see Dave's dad and step-mum - wood fires, Hogmanay visitors, food, helping a bit on the farm and a lovely (if rainy) New Years Day walk in the welsh hills. Yesterday, a day spent in the house doing a bit of organising, and then an evening at our friends' eating a delicious meal of roast lamb and a brilliant cheese board and chatting till quite late. And today. my last day of holiday, spent mostly in one place, on the sofa, drinking pots of tea, reading, and snuggling with Oscar while Dave does copious amounts of writing for work.
I can get very caught up in life. 2014 has passed in a blur of work and college and there have been times when I have felt quite overwhelmed. But among this have been lots of evenings and days like the ones I've just described. and there have been weddings and birthday and achievements to e celebrated. Oscar has been an amazing addition to our lives, and we have always had food and shelter and heat and entertainment. There is a lot to be grateful for - an awful lot. And that is what Ill carry with me in this new year.
As so, tomorrow for all intents and purposes, 2015 really begins. Lets see what it holds...
Thursday, 11 December 2014
My gift recipient was Becca, and I made her spiced caramel sauce (basically Nigella's salted caramel sauce, with booze and spices in instead of salt), Black Forest Truffles, and this festive take on a traditional tiffin -Mince Pie Tiffin. I used shortbread to give the sweet pastry flavour and keep a bit of crunch, and mincemeat instead of raisins. Its easy, mostly stirring, and it is ready to go in about three hours. It is also friggin delicious.
for the base
225g good quality milk chocolate
2tsp golden syrup
200g shortbread, crushed
for the topping
100g milk chocolate
2tbsp golden syrup
sprinkles to decorate (optional)
- Line a loaf tin with grease proof paper
- to make the base, put the chocolate, syrup and butter in a pot, heat over a low heat till melted, stirring frequently to combine
- add crushed shortbread
- add mincemeat is 1/2tsp sized blobs
- stir to combine
- tip into loaf tin and spread till the top is even.
- Put in the fridge to chill for two hours
- it will firm up and hold shape, but be a little squidgy (like soft fudge).
- melt the chocolate and syrup for the topping in a pot, and pour over the base, spreading to coat evenly.
- Add sprinkles if you wish
- chill for an hour
Monday, 8 December 2014
|Sideboard - The Christmas Edition.|
|Festive Afternoon Tea - tier 1 of 3!!|
|My teapot, with it's lovely cover|
|The Boys in my life.|
|My Dickens Print from G, alnongside some new paperchains|
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
|My wee pooch!|
|A cold, wintery day at Westferry|
|Not that Oscar minds. He loves jumping.|
|Dave has a new recording majig, there've been a lot of new songs this month!|
|Cold morning walk, skeletal trees|
|Vinyl from a recent gig.|
|Currently reading these short stories one or two at a time..|
Looking forward, I cant wait to get my assignment handed in and get properly into the festive spirit. There has been a small Christmas craft, a couple of mince pies and a Christmas episode of Frasier today. So it begins...
Wednesday, 5 November 2014
My mum died 11 years ago today, on her second favourite day of the year.
This morning, my aunt Ina wrote about her relationship with my mum - as a sister and as her best friend. And it made me think about memories, and how people come with us. I'm an atheist, so I don't believe my mum is with us in a spiritual sense, but what I do believe is that people are carried on in how they impact on other people's lives, and how they are remembered.
Our mum, along with Ina, gave Hazel and I an example of how our relationship should be, and I am greatful for it, because I could not ask for a better sister.
She was our champion. Other than if I'd done something particularly bad, I can't remember her ever saying anything negative to me. I was supported in everything I set my mind to and told firmly I could do anything. I think a large bit of the successes in life Hazel and I have had comes from this encouragement.
She loved us, and our family and our friends fiercely. When I say I was 21 when mum died, people tend to say it's a shame, I was young. But while I'd love to still have her and I miss her every day, I feel lucky for having her for those years, because I was loved for every minute of them.
She saw the best in everyone and was intellegent and kind and warm and funny.
Being honest, she was also bloody stubborn, which is a trait I got. But it also meant she did not give up, and I don't generally either.
That, I think is my mum's legacy; a family who adored and miss her, children who support each other, have self-belief and try to live by her example, and lots of people who have memories and tell stories of a warm, funny, compassionate person.