Category: Good things

Allotment!

Embracing the true spirit of now living in the suburbs we have signed ourselves up for an allotment. This it would seem is either going to be madness or genius. Yesterday to show our intent to actually do something to this allotment we went down there and started to discovery what it is we have actually signed ourselves up for. One short hour of digging and trying to pull out the weeds and grasses which had covered the raised beds and we were beginning to feel like we might be making a little progress. I imagine by next weekend it will look nothing like how we left it, the space we made will likely have been devoured by the weeds we didn’t fully remove but the fight has begun.

To be completely honest we have no idea what we are going to do with this or how. However now we have it we shall have to learn!

When we arrived it looked like this

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After the hour it looked a lot more like what you would expect from an allotment (or to our eyes at least)

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Both photos taken from approximately the same angle. One of the more exciting discoveries at our allotment was some rhubarb! Which is one of my favourites. So now to decide what to attempt, to clear it up even further and to work out what the hell we are doing!

If anyone knows of any good allotment blogs please point me in their direction!

Cooking and some cookbook recommendations

We’ve been cooking again, really cooking. It has been glorious. Finally trying new things, creating delicious dinners, odd but tasty leftovers and everything in between. Partly this is because we’re trying to be a little more frugal so cooking at home is the way forward. Partly this is also because for my birthday this year I received three wonderful cookbooks. I love cookbooks and often flick through them for inspiration but I recently realized that I was getting into the habit of falling back to cook what I knew, rather than trying new things. So new recipes from new cookbooks it is.

The Jewelled Kitchen by Bethany Kehdy This is a beautifully written book with fabulous images to accompany the recipes. Recipes from across the middle east which I really like and inspiring flavours and colours.

The Lebanese Kitchen by Salma Hage  This is almost as much a reference book as a recipe book. Full of a huge number of recipes, some variations on a theme but all simple, straightforward and most importantly delicious. I made a lamb and aubergine stack last weekend which was yummy.

Ottolenghi by Yohan Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi  I’m sure everyone has already heard about this but this cookbook is a delight. Full of great flavour combinations in the recipes, straightforward, good instructions and beautiful mouthwatering illustrations.

Ottolenghi

San Francisco (Holiday!)

We went West for Christmas. It was good, for us both. Although the weather was not all that California weather is meant to be (read pissing rain for many of the days we were there) the enforced inside time and relaxation was a blessing.

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Due to the terrible weather we spent the first day in the California Academy of Sciences. They had an amazing coral reef aquarium with the most beautiful array of fish. I could have watched it for hours.

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Of course there is the bridge, which is as spectacular in real life as it is in your imagination. And it really was that grey for many of the days… Although there’s something about dull, low grey and mizzle which makes me feel so cosy.

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Our friends took us in search of sunshine and find it we did. We even found some Elk. Who knew there were Elks in Northern California, certainly not I. Speaking of Elk we also saw Elephant Seals and hummingbirds (so very amazing).

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And then the last day spent in a blaze of sunshine, seeing the city on foot and enjoying the colours and contrasts that this city provide, old vs new, green space vs urban sprawl, poor vs rich.

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I’m sure we’ll be back.

10 years

J and I have been a couple for 10 years now. 10 years of time spent growing up together, learning about each other, working together, celebrating, commiserating and becoming the people we are now. It felt momentous that moment when we ticked over into double digits.

It’s been another whirlwind year, so much going on since last year and more big changes to come. Thankfully though before the changes we get to relax a little, we are heading off to San Francisco for Christmas and some down time. Time to re-connect, to forget all the stress and crap we have to deal with and to get on with enjoying being together and exploring somewhere new.

I do wonder what the next 10 years will hold and I am looking forward to finding out…

 

Nine years

Eight years

Seven years

Happy thanksgiving one and all!

On our last Thanksgiving in the US (until the next one we spend over here…) I am thankful for:

  • My husband, for sharing his life with me and being an absolute rock of support and love
  • My family, for their understanding, patience and support
  • My friends, both those who I have grown to love dearly in Washington, DC and those I am returning to rekindle my friendships with in London
  • All of you who read this blog and who chatter with me on Twitter and Instagram!

There are many more things I am thankful for, however for now I will keep it brief. Being reminded to think about all you have and all that it gives you is very special. I shall certainly try and bring this celebration back to the UK and to make sure I spend that one day thinking extra hard about all I have and how lucky I am to be where I am and surrounded by so many special people.

Sending good wishes your way, eat, drink, be merry and enjoy an afternoon nap if you can! 

Holiday time…

We’re off for our final holiday of the year, until Christmas that is. Two locations, down to see the in-laws for a few days of relaxing with them and then off abroad for hopefully a bit of sunshine!

Things have been busy but I’m getting much much closer to being able to spill the beans on the Big&Scary, hopefully in a couple more weeks! And feeling a hell of a lot more positive about it all, so all’s good.

Wishing all UK bound bloggers a fabulous long weekend and for everyone else hope you have a lovely weekend!

Babies

I found out this morning that I am now a thrice Auntie and the two most recent additions to my brood have come in the last four weeks. Which has all been very exciting. Both are little girls and both born with lots of hair! (Which I happen to think is very cute in a baby)

But what’s so nice about all of this is that I have been learning (a little) about pregnancy and birth from my sisters. Which both fascinates and scares the s**t out of me. I think pregnancy is such a miracle and all that the body does is amazing. There was a time when I thought about midwifery but I think I’m not cut out for it. Although getting to help with the experience of bringing new babies in the world every day, wow. So for now I shall stick with the delight of babies without actually having one.

This is because I don’t think that just yet I am at that baby stage. In fact I’m more than certain I’m not ready at the moment. There are too many other things I want to do first, which is not to say I don’t ever want to have babies but not just yet.

It gets you thinking though, seeing other people’s babies, especially those related to me, makes me think about my own one day…

Paris

Paris was lovely, just the tonic we needed, we strolled around, chatted, laughed, ate some reasonable food and drank some yummy red wine.

And then it rained all Sunday…