Wednesday, 29 September 2010
An apple a day
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Will he be a patient patient?
However, now he is home with stitches and slings and bruising and looks so sleepy and sore, I don't have the heart to say the immortal words - 'I told you so.'
Saturday, 25 September 2010
Clean and tidy
I am taking a bit of a risk tonight and although the main course is a tried and tested recipe, I'm doing a couple of desserts and I've not tried either of them before. Could this be a mistake? The first one is a Nigel Slater recipe for almond, apricot and raspberry cake which I am going to serve dusted with icing sugar with a spoonful of whipped cream by the side. It looks good, but you know how they say 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating'! The other dessert I'm trying is a new Nigella Lawson one for a Lemon Meringue fool. I love lemon. I love meringue. So even if no one else wants this ... all the more for me!!! Basically you mix some lemoncello in with lemon curd, whip some cream and fold most of the lemon mixture through so you get a marbled effect. Break up some meringues, mix it all together and then drizzle a little lemon curd/lemoncello mix over the top. Served in cocktail glasses. Sounds easy peasy but you can't make it more than 3 hours in advance. Bearing in mind it is now 6.30 and I'm still sitting here blogging wearing my jeans and no make up, I'm thinking maybe I ought to be getting a move on.
Bon Appetit - hope you are having a good Saturday night whatever you are doing!
Friday, 24 September 2010
That's what Inset days are for ...
Whenever we have an inset day at work, I always have to smile as I remember when my son started school he misheard the teacher and thought it was an Insect Day that they were going to have. This is the same boy who kept telling me about aliens in his work book. The teacher had told them to start each sentence close to the Martians (margins)!
Thursday, 23 September 2010
It is a stressful time for all. And my heart goes out to those parents looking round and trying to make a decision. We are expecting around 500 families tonight, and normally over 300 parents actually make appointments after the open evening in order to get the application forms to apply to the school. To put that into perspective, we only have 160 places on offer.
It seems only yesterday that I was an anxious parent and we were so lucky that both our children went to our first choice of schools. So if there is anyone out there nervously completing their forms and chewing their finger nails until decisions are made public in March - good luck, hope you get the school of your choice.
As for me, well my work is done, INSET day tomorrow so a nice long weekend ahead!
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Using that stash week 3
Started by baking the yoghurt cake that Mel had on her Melshrecipes blog at 7.30am. Well, I was awake and it seemed like a good idea to use my time wisely! Have to say it is delicious. I used raspberry and cranberry yoghurt and the flavour is so subtle. Check it out and try it, you won't be disappointed!
Then I dropped my daughter at work and popped into Waitrose for a bit of shopping.
Came home, decided to follow a recipe for pork belly with plum sauce that was in one of the Sunday supplements. Rubbed all manner of spices into the pork and put it back in the fridge.
I had made a batch of sloe gin the other day and whilst doing that, came across a recipe for blackberry brandy. So, finding myself with the necessary ingredients, decided to give that a whirl too. It's going to be a boozy Christmas!
Went back into town where my daughter wanted me to be her model for a new hair colour. I had no say in which colour it was and I have to say that I haven't been this red for many a year. No, there will be no photos!
Came home, lunch, packed up a wedding present to send to my penfriend in America's daughter, went to the post office to send it off and then finally got to go through a load of papers to do another May Flaum inspired page. I bought the paper with the birds on back in the Spring and I love it so much I haven't dared cut into it. Feeling reckless and determined to follow the brief of using up stuff we have been holding onto, I used it for the frame of the picture that was taken on our recent trip to Bath.
It'll be good to go back to work tomorrow for a rest!
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
What not to do in the staff room
- If you are seen knitting during lunch hour in the staff room, the Textiles teacher might ask you to go in and teach Year 9 girls.
Sorry Mrs House, it's really never going to happen! Me? Teach 13 year olds how to knit? I don't think so. Apparently, no one in D&T can knit right handed and so the girls have to learn from video clips! I'm getting on with my great niece's blanket but the weather has taken a turn for the worse and when they get back from Portugal, I think it's going to be needed so I am knitting at every opportunity.
Me? Teach? Still makes me chuckle when I try and imagine it. However, she is very persuasive. Last time she wanted me to do something I used to find anonymous little gifts of chocolate in my pigeon hole and in tray on my desk and l eventually caved in. Must be strong. But she knows my weaknesses. And she also teaches cookery. If cupcakes start appearing on my desk - I'm in big trouble. Must be strong. Must not give in.
Monday, 20 September 2010
Lessons learned today
- The IT guy at work gets it wrong sometimes too (he he he!)
- It's still fun trying to do the Guardian crossword with my son via Facebook Chat when he is 150 miles away
- It probably isn't a great idea to have a large slice of carrot cake at work on a day when I have my Rosemary Conley weigh-in in the evening
- It is no good trying to convince myself that the carrots in said cake are part of my 5 a day and are therefore a healthy option
- I have no willpower when it is 11am at work and someone says 'Does anyone want some of my birthday cake?'
- Cream cheese in the icing on carrot cake does not contribute to part of my milk allowance for the day
- It really is time to put the central heating on in the evenings
- No matter what temperature I set the heating onto, my husband will turn it down 2 degrees when he walks past the thermostat as he comes home
The house he is staying in this year must have been wonderful when it was first built. It's a 3 storey Victorian house with sweeping gravel drive, impressive front door with large bay windows either side. But before you get visions of grandeur, remember that it is now STUDENT accommodation! It's been divided up into 18 bedrooms. Yes it is large! 3 flats of 6 bedrooms each. Once you get in through that front door, it loses some of its former glory! Well, quite a lot of it really. But it was clean and simply furnished and within easy walking of uni so he seems very happy there.
I've been a bit preoccupied in the last few days with last minute shopping and cooking all his favourite meals and getting all his washing and ironing up to date, so I've fallen a bit behind with by blog-hopping. Apologies to all for lack of comments, I will be gradually going through what I have missed!
So whilst I was feeling a bit deflated and moping about feeling very 'empty nesty', you can imagine how my spirits lifted to find that the lovely Karen had given me an award. Thanks Karen, it was just what the doctor ordered!
And so I will now pass it onto Amy and Abi . Although I have to say that I would have liked to have passed it onto every one of those friends I have made through blogging - it's so nice to have met you all and I love starting my day with catching up with what everyone has been doing and making.
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
The boy is back in town
So for the next challenge over at May Flaum's class I decided to use some photos I took of him when he had first returned from uni for the summer, just before he left for his month in Europe. 'Why are you taking pictures of me looking at my laptop?' 'Can I not even play a guitar without you sneaking up with your camera?' He clearly did not understand my need to just document the fact that he was home! And those photos needed to be made into a layout.
The shaped, patterned card behind the photos was bought ages ago, and was so pretty I never found anything suitable to put on it. So as I am supposed to be using up things I wanted to use but never did, it was ideal to slice in half and follow May's page on telling a story through simple jounalling.
As I look at those photos I realise how much I love coming home to the sound of a guitar playing and how nice it is to put my head round his bedroom door and see him checking things out on his laptop. And how much I'm not going to like coming home to an empty, quiet house and open his bedroom door and see it looking just how it was when I left the house in the morning :-(
Sunday, 12 September 2010
Using my stash
Today I chose to use a photo I had been meaning to scrap for a long time. It's a picture of the husband and I taken back in June. I like this photo as we both look totally relaxed and neither of us is blinking or pulling a silly face. The challenge that I used for it was to create a page on plain cardstock and use no patterned paper at all. Any patterns had to be created by stickers, stamps or embellishments. I picked out a box of 'bits' from the cupboard and decided that I would only use whatever offcuts I had saved from previous projects in there. I'm not a great stamper or rub-on girl but I liked the finished result using these things to create the pattern on it. Maybe I need to revisit the stamp shelf at the local craft shop .....
Saturday, 11 September 2010
From secretary to student
No, the other reason is because, hopefully, I am going to be learning how to do book binding. I love learning new things and if they are craft related, so much the better. I think the whole paper loving thing must be handed down to me from my dad who was a printer and stationer. Whilst typing up the school newsletter last term I noticed an article from the art department showing books made by the girls in the Gifted and Talented class. They were fantastic and I emailed the art teacher to say how impressed I was and wondered if there was any way that I could learn. She said she was thinking of running an after school class leading up to Christmas and would let me know. When our school librarian left after 25 years of service, they made a book for us all to write in as a farewell gift and it was beautiful. Now I had seen one of the books close up, I was even more impressed.
So I was thrilled when the art teacher came to see me on Friday to tell me that she was probably going to be starting classes in October and I was top of her list. Yay! Back to school never felt so good!
Friday, 10 September 2010
A change of image
Thursday, 9 September 2010
I knew exactly which photos I would use from our weekend away. Everywhere we went in Bath, we saw these decorated lions. Each was individually designed and painted by sponsors and at the end of the month they will be auctioned for charity. Though, what anyone would do with a concrete lion the size of a pony is beyond me! There were 100 of them in all kinds of places and some were real works of art. Unfortunately they were a magnet for small children and I did have to wait a while sometimes to get an uninterrupted photo!
Things I learnt today:
It will always rain when the school arranges for a fire drill
School dinners always sound better on the menu board than they are in real life
Blog checking whilst in the exams office is often interrupted by students wanting to discuss their results. Can't they see I'm busy????
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
- If something computery goes wrong, it isn't necessarily caused by me breaking it. It's reassuring if two IT helpdesks and the network manager can't make it work either.
- After 6 weeks holiday, every teacher assumes that their work is the most urgent on the secretaries' lists
- Each work minute lasts about 10 normal minutes
- There is no emergency chocolate left in the office cupboard - aaaahhhhh!!!!
- Someone ate the last biscuit
- There is nothing more heartbreaking than a little Year 7 new girl standing at the reception desk with tears in her eyes, bottom lip wobbling and a shaky voice saying she's lost and can't find her friends
- It is very frustrating for the same Year 11 girl being sent down to the office to be reported for uniform infringements 4 times in one day. When will they learn that nail varnish isn't allowed, nor is makeup, knee length does not mean rolling the waistband of your skirt over and over half a dozen times until you show your undies when you walk and a bright pink scarf is not part of our brown uniform.
- Year 10 girls believe that sighing loudly and tapping their fingernails on the reception desk will get the attention of one of the 5 secretaries trying desperately hard to catch up on start of term work.
Back to school. Don't you just love it?
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
Can you keep a secret?
Monday, 6 September 2010
Let me take you back ...
As you can probably guess, the young couple in the photo are me and my husband. Today, on our 30th wedding anniversary we will be travelling back from a long weekend away. But I wanted to schedule a post to celebrate our day.
Sunday, 5 September 2010
In search of Mr Darcy
We've never been to Bath before, but those who have been have told us it is a lovely place to visit so we decided to go for a long weekend. Weather forecast is good so I am hopeful that we will be able to get out and about and really explore the area. Rumour has it that there are some excellent tea shops for traditional English afternoon tea!
Hopefully I'll return with a few new photos to use for my layouts in the May Flaum class. Watch this space ...
Saturday, 4 September 2010
Friday, 3 September 2010
First day of class and how I met my husband
Thursday, 2 September 2010
3 things for Thursday
Anyhow, three things I learnt today:
1. If my friend Julia gives me the recipe for her favourite chocolate fudge icing recipe, I will wake up with the single thought going round and round my brain - 'Must make cake, must make cake'
2. As soon as my son surfaces, he will insist on trying new recipe icing for his breakfast
3 oz Icing Sugar
1 oz cocoa powder
1 1/2 oz butter
2 tablespoons water
2 oz caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Sift icing sugar and cocoa together in bowl.
2 Put all other ingredients in another bowl and microwave until all is melted
3 Pour melted mixture over icing sugar/cocoa and stir quickly until mixed.
4 Try to refrain from putting finger into mixture to see how delicious it is
5 Give into temptation and lick almost empty bowl after covering cake
Wednesday, 1 September 2010
Lessons learnt today
2. 3pm is not too early for a glass of rose wine provided you are sitting in your friend's garden with a slice of her homemade victoria sandwich cake filled with whipped cream and raspberry jam
3. The last week of the summer holidays goes past 3 times as fast as the previous 5 weeks
and most important of all -
4. If one of your koi carp dies at the weekend and your husband is given the job of burying it in the garden, he should dig a hole deeper than 2ft or a fox will come into the garden overnight, dig it up, eat half of it and leave the remains in the middle of your lawn