Thursday 31 December 2009
The layout here is probably the last one I shall do in 2009. It's the second page from the crop that I missed in December and I thought it was calling out for an old photo so I searched through my trusty box of photos and found this one of my mum and dad on their wedding day. I think it works well with the papers. The little figurine by the side of it was my mum's so I thought that was appropriate to use.
In local news, 2009's most bizarre traffic holdup must have been yesterday. The M11 was shut for 4 hours due to 50 pigs wandering around on the southbound carriageway! Bacon butties anyone? ;-)
I hope that 2010 brings much happiness and good health to everyone, thank you to my old and new friends for their kind comments here. Big thanks to Shimelle for introducing most of us to each other!
Have a good evening, however you spend it. Looking forward to sharing many more blog posts in the new year!
Wednesday 30 December 2009
- A job. I left work to have a baby in 1986 and manage to evade going back to work until 2000. I did do voluntary work at our children's school but declared at one minute past midnight on Jan 1st 2000 that I would go back to paid employment and by February I was working again.
- My little Mini. I love my car. It isn't fancy but I love it! Swapped the VW Polo in 2004 for a silver Mini One. No regrets.
- A conservatory. We toyed with the idea for a couple of years, wondering if we would use it much. Now I wonder how we managed without it.
- Grown up children. Back in 2000 they were aged 13 and 9 and still technically 'young'. Boy, these last 10 years have seen some changes in them!
- A few extra pounds. At 5' 1" I weigh in at 8st 4lb which is absolutely fine but 2 years ago I found myself a stone heavier and enough was enough! I now go to a Rosemary Conley class to keep myself on the straight and narrow as I am easily led astray.
- Grey hair. Well hidden grey hair, but grey nonetheless. Highlights are now an essential rather than a fashion statement!
- A blog. Who'd have thought it? Not sure I even knew what a blog was back in 2000.
- Scrapbooking. Huge thanks to my friend Denise for introducing me to my new hobby
- Renewed friendships with old school friends. Friends Reunited was a great thing in the early 2000s, and we had a few school reunions. It was great to meet up with old friends again. Several of those rediscovered friendships are still going strong through the auspices of Facebook now!
- More free time. Now the kids are 'off hand' - one at uni and one working my days don't revolve around school pickups etc. My job is only part time so I have more time for me nowadays.
So that's my ten things, anyone else out there care to join in?
Last month I missed out going to the crop I normally go to in Welwyn Garden City but my friend Denise picked up a kit for me and this afternoon I've made the first layout using the photo of the Fab Family Females that I took on Boxing Day. Photo at top of page!
Monday 28 December 2009
Sunday 27 December 2009
Thursday 24 December 2009
I do hope that everyone has a happy Christmas. In amongst all the festivities and happy times there is often a quiet moment when some of us remember those who are no longer around to join in the fun. My parents made a huge effort to ensure that all our Christmases were memorable and their generosity knew no bounds. It is for them that I carry on so many family traditions and by doing so, their spirit is still with us.
It's not often that the husband gets a look in on my blog, so this is a rare appearance by him, but I wanted to raise a glass to all the new people I have met this year (blogwise!) it's been great to discover your amazing blogs and I shall be following your stories and lives in the new year.
Wednesday 23 December 2009
I wonder if anyone can guess which little girl in this photo is me? It's such a small photo and hasn't scanned that well so I won't be hurt if someone says it's one of the boys in the back row!
Tuesday 22 December 2009
And then someone brings out the Baileys Cheesecake. With fresh raspberry coulis. Well, maybe I could force down a small slice .....
250g/8¾oz digestive biscuits, crushed
600g/1lb 5oz Philadelphia cream cheese
1 mini shot of Bailey's
100ml/3½oz icing sugar
300ml/10½oz double cream, whipped
100g/3½oz grated chocolate
cocoa powder, to dust
Raspberries, sieved to a smooth sauce with a spoonful of icing sugar to sweeten
1. Melt the butter in a pan and add the crushed digestive biscuits. Mix well until the biscuits have absorbed all the butter.
2. Remove from the heat and press into the bottom of a lined 18cm/7in springform tin. Place in the refrigerator and allow to set for one hour.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Lightly whip the cream cheese then beat in the Bailey's and icing sugar. Fold in the whipped cream and grated chocolate. Chocolate will melt on your fingers, so I tend to hold it with a little foil wrapped around the end. When smooth, spoon evenly onto the biscuit base.
4. Refrigerate and allow to set. Once set, remove and decorate with sieved cocoa powder dusted over the top. Serve with the raspberry coulis
Now you're full!
Monday 21 December 2009
* 2 cups flour
* 1 stick butter
* 1 cup of water
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1 cup of sugar
* 1 tsp salt
* 1 cup of brown sugar
* Lemon juice
* 4 large eggs
* 2 bottle wine
* 2 cups of dried fruit
Sample the wine to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the wine again.
To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.
Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large
fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it's
best to make sure the wine is still OK. Try another cup... Just in case.
Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 eggs and add to the bowl and chuck in
the cup of dried fruit.
Pick the fruit up off floor. Mix on the turner.. If the fried
druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver.
Sample the wine to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or
something. Check the wine. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.
Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or some fink. Whatever you can find.
Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over.
Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the
window. Finish the wine and wipe counter with the cat.
Go to Tesco and buy cake.
Saturday 19 December 2009
So whilst in a cooking mood I decided to try Delia's Sausage Rolls. You know where you are with Delia Smith, nothing too fancy but she exudes a confidence that makes you convinced that you too can make something that tastes and looks great. I saw her make these on her Christmas cookery programme and liked the idea of the 'easy' flaky pastry that needs no rubbing in of fat to flour. You freeze the butter and then grate it in. No mess, no bits of pastry stuck underneath your fingernails, just perfect pastry. And you know what, it works. It is easy, it is deliciously crispy and flaky and the official taster, who likes sausage rolls as much as he likes mince pies, said that they are fab and that I am to make it again. and again, and again.
That's it, I'm all baked out. Takeaway for tea tonight I think!
Friday 18 December 2009
So today I have drunk hot chocolate, sung carols, eaten far too many chocolate biscuits, watched 6th form entertainment and not much else. But that's the end of school for this year. I think the staff are almost as relieved as the students!
Wednesday 16 December 2009
Then, having woken to a world looking beautiful in frosty sunlight, the first flakes of snow started falling. So pretty. Feeling more festive already.
Then, I had an email from Robyn over at Made in Brooklyn to tell me that there was an ebook waiting for me here with a code for a free download. How kind!
All plans for the day now scuppered, ebook now downloaded, inspiration flowing. Oh come on, what would you choose - washing 6 weeks worth of student clothing that darling son brought home with him yesterday, followed by a trek into town to brave the supermarkets to fill up the fridge that aforementioned son grazed his way through last night (No raspberry cheesecake brownies left now I'm afraid) or an afternoon in front of the fire with scrapbook supplies making new pages with new ideas from the photos we took of the Christmas Market in Belgium last weekend?
Tuesday 15 December 2009
Also, school finishes on Friday which is great, ! don't have to go back to work until 4th January - woo hoo! So much work to do in the next few days though, people think it is great to work in a school with all the long holidays but in reality we have to squeeze the normal amount of work into fewer weeks!
Plus - they are forecasting SNOW over the next few days! Wow! Wonder if it will reach us down in Hertfordshire? Wouldn't it be good if we had a snow day for the last day of term ;-)
It's the staff Christmas party on Thursday night, disco night at the local golf club. time for me to call in all my brownie points from picking the husband up after his works parties and get him to do the taxi service!
Sunday 13 December 2009
I found the recipe for Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies over here at Amy's blog. And I had to give it a try. Oh boy. You have GOT to try them. They are to die for. What's not to like? Brownie at the bottom. Baked Cheesecake on top with raspberries here and there. Yum, Yum, and then more Yum. And the raspberries make it a healthy option - one of your 'five a day' ;-)
So then I go over to Mel's page here and she's making mince pies with a sponge cake topping. How good does that sound? And I don't even like mince pies! But I bet I could force a couple of those little babies down.
I think there's a serious need for a scrapbooking/blog/recipe share/site!
Friday 11 December 2009
just fourteen more sleeps
And a feeling of anxiousness
was starting to creep
Lists were appearing
Wherever you went
And the wife had lost count
of the money she'd spent
A feeling of panic
was starting to show
As she realised there were
just 2 weeks to go
'There's so much to do,
Someone help me' she pleaded
But her cries for assistance
All went unheeded
There's turkeys to buy
And mince pies to make
I'll buy them from Tesco
And pretend I did bake
For there's too much for one
Little person to do
So forgive me for cheating
Happy Christmas to you!
Wednesday 9 December 2009
So when she asked if she could buy a few new bits for the tree, who was I to decline her offer? Now I don't know where she has been, or what she has bought but I just looked in her room and the bed is full of baubles and stars and goodness knows what else. We have a different colour scheme each year and I think that this year it may be deep burgundy, plum, silver and white!
The tree is up and in position, ready to be decorated within an inch of its life. I am on 'loft duty' being the nominated person to brave the outer reaches of the loft space to bring down the lights and decorations. A fair proportion of which will no doubt be rejected as 'too old' 'too tatty' 'not the right colour' or just not part of the vision that she has! I hope she wasn't watching Kirstie Allsop's homemade Christmas programme last night or else we will be searching for glass blowing places to make our own baubles and scavenging in the woodland near us for foliage to make staircase garlands and fireplace displays.
We both have a day off work today, so the plan is shopping this morning and decorating and wrapping this afternoon. Watch this space .....
Monday 7 December 2009
Obviously since my 17th birthday I have become forgetful and unpunctual ;-)
But here are my updated details:
Hair colour - Still auburn in places but more than 50% artificially so nowadays :-(
My hair style is short and wedged at the back and longer in the front
My favourite brand of make up is Mac
My fashionable item is a deep purple tunic dress worn over leggings
My favourite outfit is a blue and turquoise floaty summer dress
I drive a silver Mini
On Saturday I go shopping - not anywhere in particular, Cambridge is a favourite!
On Saturday night I go out with my husband either with friends or have people over to our house for dinner
On Sunday I relax, once a month I go to a scrapbook crop in Welwyn Garden City
Mon - Fri I work at a Secondary school in the Secretaries Office
My best friend is - actually I don't really have a best friend nowadays, my best friend from way back in Denise, I am still friends with Jill who was my best friend when I was 17 and I guess my best friend from the couples that we go out with is Mandy
My favourite place to go is to my sister's holiday home in Praia da Luz in Portugal
My favourite subject is craft work
When I grow up, I'm not sure what I want to be ....
My favourite drink is Champagne or Prosecco
My favourite food is Lamb in any shape or form
My favourite shop is - not sure I have a favourite, John Lewis is great for browsing and has many franchises in it so maybe that
David Essex never proposed to me, but I am happily married to my dear husband - 29 years together!
My favourite actor - Brad Pitt
Favourite Band - changes frequently, I'm listening to The Script a lot at the moment
Favourite TV - Gavin and Stacey
One thing I want to do but cant is conquer my fear of lifts
Most used form of transport is driving
If I had all the money in the world I would buy homes for my children and a couple of nice places abroad for my husband and I to flit from place to place
I wish I could worry about things less and take more time to enjoy the moment rather than trying to be ready for what lies ahead
Still don't play sport!
This fall/Autumn I went to the Italian Lakes
Still don't dress up for Halloween!
I recently saw - haven't been to the cinema for ages, can't remember the last thing!
Reading Santa Montefiori books at the moment, but I love Marian Keyes and Jeffrey Deaver too
Big newspaper story today is another soldier killed in Afghanistan and the imprisonment of 'Foxy Knoxy' in Italy for killing a British girl
Phew! I'm done, sorry I'm late ... be sure to visit Christy . Tell her it's my fault you've been delayed ......
Sunday 6 December 2009
The champagne bar at St Pancras station in London - what a way to start off a weekend
We tried the local food and drink
And finish the weekend by having a kir royale with our lunch in a restaurant overlooking the River Thames
Saturday 5 December 2009
There is a Christmas Market going on in Brussels and hopefully I am taking plenty of photos to do some layouts on our return.
It's just a very short visit so I'll be back properly tomorrow - Au revoir!
Thursday 3 December 2009
This one starts here and I figure that any trip that starts in a place like that has got to be good! Apparently, if it gets a bit chilly there, the seats are heated and blankets are available. I may never get on the train!
Wednesday 2 December 2009
The taste of Advent calendar chocolate before breakfast
The whistling of Christmas songs while preparing dinner (apparently that can be quite annoying, I don't know what they mean!)
Rehearsals at work for staff entertainment for pupils' last assembly
Trying hard to find dates that everyone can make to have Christmas dinners with all different friendship groups
Then finding somewhere that caters for meat eaters/vegetarians/teetotallers/people who enjoy a drink/people who want traditional Christmas menu/people who prefer Indian food/people who hate Indian food
The stress of trying to find time to go and brave the Christmas shopping crowds
The stress of 'Will that internet order be delivered in time?'
Blaming the husband for daring to have a birthday on December 12th (I ask you, how silly is that?)
The finals of Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor
Yup - it's that time of year again. How did that happen? Where has this year gone?