Thursday, 27 December 2007
Sunday, 23 December 2007
This is our wall of tickets from everywhere Rob and I have been over the last 4 years together. The tickets cover what would otherwise be a very boring utility cupboard door. There are memories from our honeymoon in Dublin and Co.Wicklow, concerts at Westonbirt Arboretum, winning (and losing) matches at Twickenham, and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers in Hyde Park.
We have been to see James Blunt, Corinne Bailey Rae, James Morrison, Al Murray, Dara O'Briain and Snow Patrol.
There are reminders of films we have been to see together. One in particular stands out from last year, when we were suffering with horrendous hangovers from the night before from a large corporate work do. We had both over indulged hugely on the free champagne on offer on the Friday night, forgetting that we had to do the same thing all over again on the Saturday night, with a different company. So after checking out and travelling from our hotel on one side of london and then checking into another hotel on the other side of london, we had to decide on a soothing afternoon activity to tide us over until we had to don tuxedos and party dresses again. Rob came up with sitting in the dark at the Odeon in Leicester Square and whiling away the afternoon watching Casino Royal. Genius. He got James Bond action (I got Daniel Craig in shorts) and I also got relative quiet and dark in which to suffer, and recover, ready to do it all over again a couple of hours later.
There are our tickets from when we went to see Jools Holland in the park in Shrewsbury with friends, and had a lovely picnic. From when we went to see The Bootleg Beatles at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire, and again had a picnic with friends and family in the sunshine.
Every ticket or menu or receipt is a reminder of something different, like a scrapbook of the year, which we are constantly adding to. There are some still waiting to go up, like the tickets from the Veuve Cliquot Polo day, when Rob, myself and my brother had a wonderful day in the blazing sunshine, people watching, drinking champagne (again) and cheering. I'm still not 100% sure of what was going on with the polo, but it was fun all the same.
Twice now we have been to the VW VanFest at Malvern, where fabulous campervans of all ages, models and colours imaginable decend for the weekend. It's fascinating walking around, seeing how creative people have been, and hopefully one day we will have one of our own....
I know our door has nothing to do with Christmas, but Christmas is a time when a lot of people reflect on ups and downs of the past year and hopefully look forward to the coming year...I walk past our door several times a day but rarely stop to look and appreciate all of the lovely things we have done together. I am sure we will be adding to it next year, although we are rapidly running out of room...!
Thursday, 20 December 2007
Monday, 17 December 2007
The best advice I had beforehand was to take a step back every now and again and drink it all in, to help me remember it all. I can remember everything, from how everyone expected me to be a nervous wreck (as is the norm in potentially stressful situations) and instead I was so excited I could hardly wait to get down the aisle. That must have been a good sign! I hardly ate a thing, again not because I was nervous, mainly because I was wearing a stupid basque under my dress and it hurt to sit down...It was so wonderful to feel like a princess for the day, to wear a beautiful dress and be surrounded by my nearest and dearest. The only person missing was my Grandad, which was so sad, but he was looking after his very poorly wife, which was understandable.
I have got an amazing husband, who makes me laugh, is supportive, kind, and wonderful and I genuinly can't believe how lucky I am. Even when he shrinks my cashmere jumpers in the tumble drier. And as he said today, here's to 300 more years...(am assuming that was because 3 and 30 would be too short a time, obviously)
Saturday, 15 December 2007
In truth I have bought most of the presents. Robs' birthday is on the 30th December so I have that horrid task of trying to decide which presents for Christmas Day, and which for birthday. It seems like I have bought quite a lot, but then I consider these two celebrations and the little pile looks a bit stingy. Maybe I will buy that bottle of aftershave after all.
One of my favourite bits of Christmas is buying the tree, which we did today. It is FREEZING here today and we bundled ourselves into the car and headed off in the direction of one of many tree selling places nearby. I wanted a tree in a pot to save arsing around with stands and water and all that malarky. Last years tree erecting ceremony is still grating on my mind, sadly.
So we found the tree and whilst jumping up and down in the barn that was selling them and trying to be festive we tried to catch the eye of the tree-seller. The guy was obviously catching up with long lost relatives/ neighbours/ people he had never met before/ and fifteen minutes in, with my nose beginning to turn blue I started trying to catch his attention by coughing. He knew we were there but STILL carried on describing the tree, where it had grown, what breed it was (?!) and what he was having for tea tonight. Grrr. Eventually the perfect tree purchasers left and he turned to a guy who wandered in as they wandered out.
"Hello, have you found a tree you want?" I very nearly lost the plot at the point but think the young man saw my strained, frozen expression and the icicles hanging from my chin and very kindly muttered that he thought we were there first. God bless that man.
Tree seller guy then started to describe said squat tree, telling us how popular they have been (it being Christmas and all, obviously) and that even though it was in a pot he couldn't guarantee that it would grow. Hmm. GIVE ME THE GODDAMM TREE BEFORE I GET HYPOTHERMIA. IT ONLY NEEDS TO LIVE FOR ANOTHER TEN DAYS.I DON'T CARE IF IT EXPLODES AT MIDNIGHT ON CHRISTMAS DAY AS LONG AS I CAN GET BACK IN OUR WARM CAR. NO!!! I DO NOT REQUIRE FREE MISTLETOE!!
Here's a picture of the tree. I love it. Merry Christmas. Feeling much better now.
Saturday, 8 December 2007
I love the silver fish and starfish in particular.
Friday, 7 December 2007
The apartment we stayed in was great, fully equipped with everything we could need and literally just behind where I am stood in the picture above. I particularly enjoyed sitting in the window and looking out over the beach and sea, usually with a book or magazine to hand. (see the envious tourists looking through the window..heehee)
This is my future retirement property..I really wanted to find some buoys on the beach to bring home and hang from the garden fence, but had no luck. Rob refused to steal them from the side of the fishing boats as well. Spoilsport.
We went to Jamie Olivers restaurent, Fifteen on Tuesday for an early anniversary treat.
The food was great, very reasonably priced and worth it entirely for the view...and bizarrely, the hand driers in the toilets, but then I am very easily pleased. (They were so cool, invented by Dyson, and you put your hands into the big machine and they dry them in 10 seconds! Good eh?..don't think the old lady next to me thought so, she saw the dyson sign and thought she was going to lose her jewellery) Anyway. The view!
The restaurent has been designed so that all tables are overlooking the beach, so no one feels hard done by, and the kitchen is open so that you can watch all the chefs hard at work. If you are ever down in Cornwall I would definitely make a booking in advance as it was packed the day we went.
Anyway, we are now home and the bathroom floor is covered in washing, although we have a beautifully decorated living room to relax in. I shall take a picture when it doesn't resemble a jumble sale and you can see for yourselves.
Wednesday, 28 November 2007
There is a pink theme but only because I am going to send two of them to my cousins for christmas, and the others will hopefully be sold. I did get quite carried away, sat on the sofa making bracelets and watching repeats of Midsomer Murders. I really don't understand people who say they think daytime television is rubbish..Midsomer Murders is fab! (although I wouldn't want to live there, obviously) would be quite a good place to work though, I imagine there would never be a shortage in houses to sell with all of those murders going on. I digress...
See how you can wrap them around your arm? Good eh? I like the colours on this one and am quite into silver at the moment.
I really like turquoise but I think its quite a summery colour so may not be as popular as the silvery/purpley ones.
This is my favourite.
We are going to St Ives in 2 more sleeps. I can hardly wait. The washing and ironing is done. The books and knitting are packed. The wellies for surf walking are by the front door. I can almost taste the sea air ....
Saturday, 24 November 2007
I have been wowed by the amount of bloggers 'buying handmade' for christmas. I have struggled so far in that all of the things I have bought handmade I have wanted to keep for myself. That's not really the idea, is it? But I am consoling myself by making lots of presents myself, in the way of jewellery...just have to convince the boys in my life to start wearing bracelets or get theirs ears pierced. Can't see either, somehow.
Maybe I should just stick with the cards for now!
Wishing you all a happy weekend x
Wednesday, 21 November 2007
Tuesday, 20 November 2007
Sunday, 18 November 2007
So for the roasted vegetable soup I chopped up the parsnip, 2 sweet potatoes, a big red chilli, 2 red onions and half a butternut squash into chunks and then throw them in some olive oil and put them on a tray in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until they started to crisp up...
Then discard the chilli and scrape the vegetables into a casserole dish, covering them with boiling water from the kettle. Bring to the boil and add a couple of large spoonfuls of red lentils. Leave to simmer for about 20 minutes and then liquidise. Yum. The soup has got a bit of a kick to it from the chilli, so if you aren't a spicy person then leave the chilli out! I also added a handful of leeks to this recipe just before I added the lentils because I had one from the allotment.
It really is healthy stuff, and the recipe is well worth a try with whatever vegetables you may have.
Sunday, 11 November 2007
And because I then realised that we also had lots of eggs that needed using up I made some fairy cakes...these will definitely be sent to work to keep up morale amongst the troops.
They are far from perfect unfortunately as the cases were a bit squashed up in the muffin tin. Oh well. I have it on good authority from the husband that they taste good. I can't see us having any need for dinner tonight, somehow.
I have had a fiddle about with the beads I bought this morning and I am trying to branch out into different types of bracelets now. A friend of mine gave me a bag of battered old necklaces to pull apart and have a play with and I noticed how lovely the settings and wirings were on some of them. So these are my latest designs, due to be modelled this week. I am quite into green and turquoise at the moment, hence the colour scheme of choice.
I haven't spent long with the red beads which were also purchased, but I have lots of ideas milling around, so for the time being....
Saturday, 10 November 2007
1) Tuna. Yes, I hate it. The smell makes me think of cat food. When I was a nanny one little girl I looked after was particularly keen on tuna lasagne. She hated me, so in an attempt to make amends I decided to spend an afternoon making her favourite tea. Picture the scene, me clad in an apron, rubber gloves and with a clothes peg on my nose. I stood over the sink with a can opener and drained the brine off. Yuck. The lasagna was a success. What I hadn't thought about was the fact that she then wanted it every week for the rest of the year I looked after her. Damn.
2) Olives. I really wish I could like them, and I have tried! I think they look so pretty, piled up in bowls at the deli, and they are obviously the trendy bar snack of choice these days. I just can't figure out why though! They are just....bleurgh....Every time one is offered to me I politely take one, roll it around in my mouth (I can cope with that part) it's the biting into it that I can't do. I am shuddering as I write this.
3) Mashed potato...please read Nancys thoughts on the subject, they are mirrored with my own..www.philosophyoflists.blogspot.com
4) Lager. I would love to get home from work on a hot sunny day and grab a little stubby bottle of beer from the fridge and go and sit in the garden and enjoy it. Nope, it aint happening. I hate the taste sooo much. I have tried it with lime, lemonade, etc.etc. but still can't do it. I am not a cheap date as a result, as am instead strictly a gin and tonic/ large glass of white wine kind of girl. Lager would be great for our camping trips too, as I am sure that everyone must snigger at me sat there with a bottle of sauvignon blanc, chilling in my ice box. Do I look bothered?!
5) Roast Beef. Please stop with the sharp intakes of breath. I just don't like it, ok? It reminds me of sitting at the dining table as a small child on a Sunday, chewing the same piece over and over again, willing someone in authority to tell me I could leave the table. I dislike the texture, the colour, and the taste. Is it wrong to say that I love a good ribeye steak though? Oooh, and yorkshire puddings, yum..
Please note that this list is in progress, and as I obviously have no desire to photograph platefuls of mashed potatoes, olives and tuna (shudder) I am instead going to leave you with this...
A delightfully content and snoozy Montgomery. Please come home soon, we miss you xxxx
Tuesday, 6 November 2007
Given the amount of red stuff in my house I think I may have taken it all a little bit too much to heart...talking of which...
Whilst tidying up and straightening the very small number of rooms in our house I came across an obscene amount of hearts. They tend to hang on door handles, from hooks, anywhere really. I think I was going for a country cottage look. Maybe one day..here is a selection...
If I learnt to sew I could make them and save a small fortune perhaps.
The other red thing I had to photgraph today is the seed head from my Magnolia tree in the garden. Dad rescued this tree about 4 years ago from a garden centre where it was on its last legs (roots?) and it has flourished in the garden. We have had more and more flowers each year, but this is the first year that these pods have arrived. They started off bright green and fluffy, and have gradually changed into this....
I'm not quite sure whether to leave them, or wait for them to dry and try and replant them, maybe if anyone has any suggestions they could let me know.
I came across a book on floristry this afternoon whilst tidying up one of the book shelves. I did a course in floristry a couple of years ago but haven't done much since. I had an inspiring flick through the book and whizzed out to tesco to buy the cheapest flowers I could find. I am really not a fan of chrysanths, but they do last a long time so I fiddled around for a while and came up with this. God they do smell awful!!
Friday, 2 November 2007
However! I dragged myself into work and am glad I did. To start with I made lovely strong cups of tea and then we had our usual morning meeting. A girl from an office upstairs came down with slices of very yummy Guinness cake slathered in very thick chocolate. Because I was still feeling grumpy at this stage I politely declined. By the time she had got to the top of the stairs the voices in my head had started...
"Are you insane? She offered you chocolate covered CAKE woman! Get her back and say yes please!!"
So I did. Oh yummy, it was so very good, far better than my attempt at the same recipe last year, fortunately.
I did have grumpy clients and solicitors but all that was made slightly better by the delivery of a bottle of home brewed damson wine from one of my clients. ( a non-grumpy one, obviously)
It tastes like ribena and is very very gluggable. In fact I have a glass next to me as I type. Well it is friday!
So by now I have had chocolate guinness cake and home brewed damson wine. I do think homegrown/made/brewed things are so much lovelier than anything you can buy. There is a real sense of effort that goes into these things which makes them so very satisfying, in my opinion.
The afternoon did drag by quite slowly, and being friday I was very pleased to leave work to go home. When I got home I had a Nancy shaped parcel on the mat. This was very exciting, as she sends GREAT parcels, always accompanied by a lovely postcard. The postcards take pride of place stuck around mirrors and pictures throughout the house. This parcel was the best yet...look!!
Isn't it fab?! I have sewing envy of Nancy, as she has a sewing machine and is very clever indeed. As someone who struggles to sew buttons on, I am in awe of this lady!! I am yet to decide where to put my strawberry, but am thinking possibly in the kitchen with my red things..but this....
(albeit it a bit blurry-sorry) is going to hang on my cupboard door in the bedroom. I haven't decided what to put in it yet, but no doubt I shall think of something. Thankyou somuch Nancy, you are a star! (check out her blog, it is the first one listed on the left.....)
After all of this excitement I had a long soak in the bath before dinner. And just to continue with the fruity theme of the day I indulged in Philosophys Raspberry Sorbet bubble bath. Bliss. I am so glad I didn't skive off...perfect end to what started off being rubbish but has ended up very nicely indeed.