Wednesday, 27 January 2010

simple things - January...

As you will know, today Christina is hosting yet another Simple Things Day. This time for each blogger who joins in she is donating a dollar,(up to £250) to a charity helping the survivors of Haiti.

My simple things are all about appreciating what January has to offer...simple

* The delights of unexpected snow
* Having an excuse to stay snuggled under the duvet
* New beginnings and the stirring of creativity again - ( oh I have so many ideas!)
* Enjoying simple tasks like making bread and soup
* Celebrating the lengthening of days
* Taking the time to pause and reflect...
Head across here to see other bloggers and their 'simple things'.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

simple things for Haiti...

Just a reminder, that Christina is doing another Simple Things day this Wednesday 27th and if that wasn't a good enough reason to join in and play, she has very generously agreed, (along with her family) to donate a dollar for every blog that joins in, (to the tune of $250).
Christina has the most beautifully written and photographed blog and that lady has a seriously big heart.

So come and join us...

Monday, 25 January 2010

lunch today...

Remember how I said I had made spicy parsnip soup yesterday? Well a delicious portion, made a warming lunch today to chase away the dreary weather.

Warming Spicy Parsnip Soup (to chase all dreariness away!)
5 medium sized parsnips
2 carrots
1 large onion
2 and a half pints of good vegetable stock
teeny pinch of chilli flakes
Garam Masala to taste ( i think I used about 4 teaspoons ish)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to season
Double cream if feeling decadent!
* heat a glug of olive oil
* add onions and let sweat in the oil but don't brown
* chop parsnip and carrot into chunks
* once onion is soft add the parsnip and carrot to the pan
* let vegetables get to know each other for about 5 minutes with the lid on
* add good quality vegetable stock
* add a teeny pinch of chilli flakes - just to add a little something, not to overpower
* after about ten minutes add the garam masala - it's best to do this towards the end of cooking
* wait for the vegetables to soften
* when vegetables are cooked enough, buzz in a processor to make a silky consistency
* add more stock if you want a thinner consistency
* add seasoning and cream if you dare!

Soup making is so easy, cheap and satifying, especially in this cold damp weather. Feel free to tweak the recipe as the inpiration strikes you. Yum!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

in the blink of an eye...

No sooner did it get past Sunday, I blinked and here we are again...I really need to get to grips with this blogging lark and post more frequently!

* This weekend I've started reading a new book and finished this one.
* Made some delicious spicy parsnip soup, (Recipe to follow...)
* Played with my new 50mm - I managed to break the last one :(
* Bought a new pair of boots and a pair of black skinny jeans
* Visited a camera shop and held the lovely Canon 7D and 5D as I was curious to their weight *swoon*
* Took Sparky on a snowy dog walk


How about you?

Monday, 18 January 2010

the weekend in a nutshell...

Some things...
:: A log fire
:: Watching this
:: A flurry of snow
:: Trying to sort a problem with my Magic Mouse that wasn't a problem!
:: A lovely lie in and a lazy read of the Sunday papers
:: Sorting my shed after the roof collapsed with the weight of snow
:: Reading this and this...
:: Listening to Florence and the Machine and Bat for Lashes and The XX

kitchen blur

kitchen light
a sliver of wintery sunshine in my kitchen

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

finding a balance...

I've been thinking about New Year Resolutions and goals and after much thought - it really is pretty simple. What I'm aiming for this year is 'balance'.

lights and chair

In a nutshell, balance between the things I have to do, - work, commute, eat, etc etc and the things I want to do - make, play, wish, grow - with maybe a happy overlap between the two.


Not much to ask really - I'll work on the fine tuning as I go along...

Monday, 11 January 2010

back to the real world...

So - the snow finally thawed enough to be able to get out of the village. That meant back to work and into the real world and you know what, a teeny bit of myself was wishing for that lovely snow again. Wishing for that slightly unreal existence that meant trudging knee deep in snow like some Artic explorer just to get to the shop or take the dog out. Or baking bread on an afternoon, or lounging around reading magazines as if it were a Sunday afternoon.
living etc

Or drinking tea complete with chocolate biscuits and just sitting and reading and not keeping track of the days or hours. It was like being on holiday but different because there was this lovely feeling of not actually having to do anything because the roads were so bad and you couldn't get out and about.

I'm sure I would have gone stir crazy if the weather had continued but it felt a little bit like hibernation which was no bad thing at the beginning of a New Year. Time to step back after the craziness of Christmas and think about the year ahead. As to the New Year Resolutions, I'm still pondering...

Sunday, 10 January 2010

slow thaw...

I feel like I'm still getting to grips with the fact that we're in 2010; after the Christmas holidays and the prolonged snowy weather we've been having, it all seems slightly unreal, y'know, (especially as I only managed to get into work 1 day last week lol!) almost as if reality hasn't set in yet.
drip drip drip...

However things are changing, today saw warmer weather that has been starting the drip, drip of a slow thaw. The roads seem a lot better today so, (fingers crossed) we should be able to get out of the village tomorrow and back to the 'real world'.

In fact I might even have to start thinking about my New Year Resolutions soon...

Saturday, 9 January 2010

snow uh oh...

So, the good news is that my test for Mono came back negative, so I must have just had some horrible viral thing. Tuesday was my first day back to work in about 3 weeks, so no sooner was I back and thinking about getting back into the routine when the snow came... Unfortunately since then I haven't been able to get into work because the of the weather, roads have been horrendous, the only bus service cancelled, schools closed and I have 18 inches of snow in my garden!

snow tracks...
Still, it does look beautiful, even if it is freezing, (my neighbour said her thermometer was showing -15 degrees yesterday morning - yikes!)


Still, we have supplies and are warm, so that's a good thing and also pretty much everywhere in the UK is having the same kind of weather. The funny thing is, this kind of weather seems to bring out the best in people - everyone pulling together to help out neighbours and friends, so it seems much more bearable. I hope the weather is being kind wherever you are...

Sunday, 3 January 2010

beginning again...

Happy New Year! I can't believe how long it is since I last blogged. After my last post, I thought I was on the mend and went back to work but unfortunately got sick again with a horrendous cough and swollen glands and ended up off again. Now normally I am pretty healthy, so this thing took it out of me.There is a very slight chance I may have glandular fever, (mono) even though I was sure I was far too old lol! and have to go for a second blood test tomorrow. The good news is that I am feeling so much better that I don't think this is the case and more probable that I just managed to pick up about three viral things one after the other...


So after having a super quiet Christmas and New Year I'm now ready to start again... my new imac arrived, (though it took me two weeks to open it as I felt so lousy, we are now firm friends!) and so all is good and I'm back online.

the magic of winter

I hope Christmas brought you everything you wanted and that the beginning of this new year sees you healthy and happy. I'm still pondering on my New Year Resolutions and will post about them soon, anyone else made any resolutions?