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Showing posts from January, 2015

In Fab-ruary I will Bloom

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After I had such a good Blogmas I took a week off and then I've been pretty regular writing my posts since then. I really enjoyed writing a post a day (ok; publishing a post a day. Lots of them were written at the weekend and scheduled to appear at the right day) and figured that if I saw another thing that caught my eye and made my nose twitch (that's my give away good sign) I'd try again.
Well, a rather lovely blogger called Helen at I Will Bloom is running Fab-ruary. 28 prompts to help me find the Fab, in life and in myself. They appeal to the part of me that likes lists but hasn't put them in one place, and to the part of me that knows happiness comes from recognising what makes me happy. So the plan is to blog a Fab-ruary post every day in addition to my own blog schedule. These might only be a line long, or a short list so I don't see a problem with doing both. 28 days of happies making 2015 the best Fab-ruary ever.

If you fancu joining in, run over to I Wil…

To Kill A Mockingbird; Film on Friday

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What a classic movie this is! Apparently it features regularly in top 100 movie lists and I have read the book, but I have to come clean..... I have never watched the movie. (until now)

To Kill A Mockingbird is a 1962 movie starring Gregory Peck and based on the one and only book that Harper Lee wrote. The book is often read in senior schools as a sort of commentary on race relations in the USA and, I believe, has been banned from some libraries in the USA for the same reason.


The movie follows the book's plot quite closely. In 1932, small-town mid west Jem and Scout live with their widowed father, Atticus Finch, who is a small town lawyer and a really good egg. He is honest, decent and dedicated to helping those in need. You see him at the start of the film disappearing so that an impoverished sharecropper can pay him in peanuts rather than cash he just don't have without feeling beholden or wounding his pride. He teaches his children manners, tolerance and the need to 'st…

Wednesday Wind Up

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What am I reading this week?

I started reading Stuffocation by James Wallman this weekend. It's not a very long read, but it's an interesting one. It argues that although consumerism is bad (for the debt, the environment and our emotional well-being), the opposite is not actually minimalism (which even Thoreau only kept up for two years) but experientialism, which can involve being a consumer, but a thoughtful one. In other words, we should be seeking to build our intrinsic memory and to be creating our life (in a way that suits us) to make ourselves happy, and not in a 'keeping up with the Jones' way, where we compete to be more or do more because we want to seem more. It makes sense to me, although I have already been through the blog envy," why do they have lots of followers, oh no this is useless I'll never be famous" stage and am now at a "this is where I am. Take it or leave it, I like it and I only write to suit me" stage.

What have I watc…

Meal Planning Monday

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Thank you for all the comments about last Monday's meals. I posted the Hung Shao Pork recipe on my food blog and I will post the cowboy casserole recipe as soon as I've made it another couple of times. I like to make sure it's a keeper first.


This week meals are just plain old family food, mostly quick and easy to cook. Lots of comfort food in there, as well. It's still cold, so I hanker for a decent stew or thick soup.

Monday; Pulled pork fajita for me, mince fajitas for the rest of the family. I'm off to a regional quiz for the WI, hoping to do well, and have a 10 minute turn around time between finishing tutoring at 6pm and first collection of passengers. DP or the Princess will cook the fajitas for the rest of the family and I will eat mine..... well, sometime.

Tuesday;Chicken and mash. Tuesday has recently become my free day. Who knew? And by free I mean only free from 2pm, not a whole day including the morning which I miss and long for again so much that holida…

January Colour...

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I think everybody likes a new toy to play with and my (very) late Christmas present came this week; with amazing potential to keep me playing from now until the battery runs down.

I now have a Nikon Coolpix camera; it's got a good zoom but doesn't take up the big footprint of my Finepix camera so it's a good one for taking out. I keep it in my bag, and it will go everywhere with me from now on so that I can capture the sights I see. The Finepix has a much better macro facility, so that will be my home camera for the small and intricate things I take at home.
Playing with a new toy is always fun, and this new camera has a range of inbuilt features that I have really had fun with, most specifically the special effects. Most beloved by me, the colour spotting function. Now I can do a few shots that I have always wanted to and you, my dear readers, will just have to smile and suffer the efforts!








I hope those weren't too boring. Just having fun and playing, figuring out wha…

Sherlock Holmes; Film on Friday

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Robert Downey Jr is one of my favourite actors. I love how he plays Tony Stark in Iron Man, that he has the best lines in The Avengers Assemble and that he just is so.... un-Sherlockian at times in this movie and the sequel.  If you are a real Sherlock fan-boy (or girl) then this is so not a faithful adaptation of the books and stories. It is so Sherlock Kicks Ass rather than Sherlock Thinks Aloud. But if you want to see a faithful interpretation then Jeremy Brett is the one you need, and it's brilliant also. But sometimes, just sometimes, it's good to play with an original. Sherlock on BBC shows that. That's a brilliant retelling of the Holmesian legend that has only let me down once in not having the complete and utter logicality of the originality. And this is another. Yes, it's got a bare-knuckled boxing Holmes that kisses Irene Adler, that chases all over London with a rather fitter, younger Watson than even Martin Freeman, but it is a jolly good romp.  I love ho…

Wednesday Wind Up

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What am I reading this week?
I am still reading Clash of Kings, but at the same time I have been reading 'The Year of Living Danishly', by Helen Russell. I am Danish again this year, having really enjoyed trying to live Danishly myself last year. It's been fun to read how the stressed, city-loving Helen and Mr Legoman adjust to life in Denmark (in Jutland, actually; the wilds of nowhere!) and how different Danish life can seem to an outsider!
Then I am also reading 'Stuffocation'. There's a bit of a non-fiction vibe going on, isn't there? Stuffocation is about how we have so much stuff it's dangerous to our health and mental well being. I saw it on display in a book shop, and figured that buying the Kindle version wouldn't mean adding more clutter to my house...



What have I watched this week?
As I write this, I have 'The Eichmann Show' on TV, but my ultimate luxury watch this week was 'Sherlock Holmes', the first Robert Downey Jr film…

Meal Planning Monday

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Another day, another dollar. Joining in At Home with Mrs M.



Monday; Quick noodle stir fry. Probably a beef stir fry with a soy sauce coating and plenty of quickly fried vegetables.
Tuesday; Pasta Bolognese. I made a large pot and froze a portion for a night when coming in and going out were too close together to do anything exciting. Tonight's the night! Wish me luck at Number 2's parent consultation evening. I'm hoping for a reasonable report. Please.
Wednesday; Chilli pot with potato wedges. I like to put some chorizo in as well as kidney beans. Nigella says to put dark chocolate in as well....
Thursday; Cowboy Casserole. That's sausages in a tomato sauce baked beneath a layer of cheesy mash to you and me. We eat sausages probably once a week, so I am always after a different way to serve them. This was an intriguing idea that I'm giving a go. If it's really good it might become a regular feature.
Friday; Hung Shao Pork. Hung Shao Pork is one of those meals you pi…

Apologies; my computer is down!

I won't be able to do posts for about a week while it gets fixed.  I will be back as soon as I'm able to.  I really miss my puter :(
Fortunately I can still read and comment on others posts, so the tea and cake is at your house this week.  OK?

Wednesday Wind Up

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Wednesday again! How soon does the week fly by? And it's time for my wind up. What have I been doing since the last wind up? Here goes!

What am I reading this week?
What am I NOT reading this week! I'm back reading A Clash Of Kings (Game of Thrones 2) and enjoying the winter in Westeros again. I finishedthe Light Between the Oceans at the weekend and LOVED it, so bookclub next week will be fun! I'm looking for an alternate book to read when I need a break from Westeros, so I may well revisit old favourites. When the evenings are dark and the days are still short, it's comforting to re read childhood favourites. Perhaps What Katy Did at School?

Publish and be damned?

Not at all a question to do with pretty homemaking, crochet or anything sensible, but a question I find myself trying to answer; after the murders in Paris last week and the massive march and supportive, journo-centric coverage of the march across many news channels this weekend, how come when Charlie Hebdo decides that a cartoon (quite a nice cartoon, not scary or vile or malicious) of Mohammed is their cover of choice and the only justifiable response to the challenge on free speech....
How come when the cover is a big news story, the news channels are censoring themselves and not showing the cover? Even with a disclaimer or a warning that images will offend? Are they saying yes to free speech and the right to offend and be offended (like the march said) but not doing free speech and the right to offend? The cartoon isn't illegal, it's not blasphemously against the law, because there are no blasphemy laws. It's a cartoon. A picture. Just like any one of many I've see…

Meal Planning Monday

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Joining in At Home With Mrs M.


Second week of January already! Who knew the time could go so fast?

Monday; Meatballs and Mash. I'm out at the WI nearly every Monday for one reason or another, so it has to be quick and easy. Meatballs and mash with peas and gravy makes me think I've been to Ikea even if I haven't been near!

Tuesday; Chilli Beef Noodles with stir fry cabbage. The mince gets browned off with a teaspoon of chilli powder, the noodles get fried with the beef in the wok and the cabbage gets a flash fry afterwards. Another fast meal tonight; school choir has started and any prep time I had has gone!!

Wednesday; Corned Beef Hash. It's such a basic meal, economical and so easy to make.

Thursday; Chicken Traybake. I used advice from Jamie Oliver and Nigella, but really this is a chuck it in and just let it get on with it meal. Chicken pieces, chorizo, red peppers, cherry tomatoes all baked together for an hour and served with fluffy basmati rice. Yum.

Friday; Fish and…

Ta Dah! First project of 2015 finished!!

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Today is a glorious sunny morning. So sunny that getting a decent photo free from extreme black shadow is quite difficult. See the shadow? That's me taking the shot.


 This is my Spring Granny square blanket. I started it back in May.  When I knew the summer was coming and didn't want to be sat doing nothing all summer.

  It's made from Stylecraft special DK, in a mixed Attic 24 pack from Wool Warehouse. It sat on my knee during the summer time, as I created my Hygge spot outside. My poor Hygge spot has suffered in the gale force wind. I am desolate.

It travelled to Wales with me in its own little suitcase. Small squares, just right for the summer holidays when a large blanket is just too heavy and hot to work on.
 I have enjoyed working the squares, and sewing in the ends and joining by sewing as I go along. Watching the work grow was fun. Of course, can I find any shots of the work in progress? No. But I grabbed my chance this week to get as many squares as I could done.

 T…

Night At The Museum 3; Film On Friday

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We were given some Tesco vouchers from a relative that gave us a free cinema trip so last Friday we took advantage of the last weekday of the Christmas holidays to go to Night at the Museum 3; Secrets of the Tomb.

It's only rated as a PG, which explained why we were, once again, the only family minus a child under 10, but it was a whole family choice. We have seen and enjoyed both 1 and 2, and the lads saw the trailer and said that, since this would be the last film in the series and (with added pathos) the last Robin Williams film we would probably see at the cinema, then it would be a fitting thing to see.

The basic premise follows on from 1 and 2. that a tablet of gold discovered with an ancient egyptian tomb has the power to bring everything in the museum to life. However, the tablet has a nasty case of greenitus and things are going bad for the museum. They decide to send it to the British Museum where the Egyptian Pharaoh's Dad's mummy and Mummy's mummy are kept…

Wednesday Wind up....

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No, not really a wind up as in to make you cross, but a winding up of the bits of my life. I wanted to have a nice alliterative name, and finding things that make sense can be hard. Wednesday wound up? Wednesday with bells on? Midweek mash? Made up midweek mischief? I don't know; all ideas gratefully received!

So,, onto  my wind up; Questions, then answers. Nice easy list entry. I don't do a lot of these. Perhaps I'm getting lazy.

What am I reading this week?
The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah. It's the new Poirot. Mr AJ got it for Christmas, but as it's on Kindle I can read it now and still leave him with his own copy!