Sunday, 28 March 2010

Bye for now!

Well this is it, I'm leaving very very soon!! I'm pretty much all packed, and I think it's fair to say I needed the 30kg allowance! I'm quite nervous to be honest, I've never been in that part of the world before, and the customs are quite different... So mainly baggy linen trousers (very difficult when you have a backside the size of mine!) and long sleeve floaty tops - because I wouldn't want to give any of the locals a heart attack by showing too much "definition" - womanly figure me? Never!!!

Anyway, enough with the babbling. I have no idea if I'm going to be able to log onto Blogger at all while I'm over there. I've been told sites like Skype and Flickr are banned so I'm not getting my hopes up... And so I have no idea if I'm going to be able to keep up with yours either, which is quite a scary thought - imagine if I have to catch up with 3 weeks' worth of all your blogs?!!! But then if I do have access to blogs etc, I don't want to be spending my spare time in front of the computer. I can't wait to wonder around the souqs.

So there, we'll just have to wait and see. I'll definitely miss you! See you in three weeks xxx

Thursday, 25 March 2010

This one's for you

The Girl. Yep, that's right! So listen carefully. Because this post is indeed just for you (my dear other readers, please don't feel offended, read on and you'll understand!!).

Right, here's the story. A while back, I posted about various soups we were making at home because Boyfriend was having teeth problems, so we had to be creative as he was having them every single day. One day after one those posts, The Girl told me she didn't like soup. Actually, these were your exact words The Girl:

"I put nothing in my soup because I DON'T LIKE IT.
I know that doesn't make me normal but I just don't.
I mean I don't hate it I would just rather eat anything else."

I went home that night after work and the conversation went a bit like this:

me: "Hiya!! How are you? Had a good day?"

B: "Hello! Yeah I'm alright thanks, how are you? Got any comments on your blog today?" (hey, don't judge me, getting comments makes me happy alright?!)

me: "Yeah I did, it was really cool. Only you'll never guess what. The Girl said she doesn't like soup"

(and yes, The Girl is referred to as The Girl in my house - what can I say, blogs have taken over my life)

B: having a heart attack on the floor "What do you mean she doesn't like soup???!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

me: "Well yeah, she said she doesn't like soup".

And the conversation went on and on, Boyfriend banging his head against the wall, not understanding how someone could not like soup. Well ok, maybe he didn't bang his head against the wall, but you get the idea. He was in shock. Just. Could. Not. Understand.

And ever since then, I've been constantly reminded about the soup I'm about to give you a recipe for. Well ok, maybe not constantly, but at regular intervals. "Post about this soup, he tells me, and tell her to try it out!!! She can't say she doesn't like soup until she's tried this one!!!"

So here it is. The Girl, you just have to try this. For my sake (well unless you're allergic to lentils or chickpeas of course). To bring this whole thing to an end. Please. And if you say you don't like it, then I promise never to mention this ever again. Cross my heart.

To make this red lentil and chickpea soup you will need:

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • large pinch chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 140g red lentils
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • 400g can tomatoes
  • tin of chickpeas
  • small bunch coriander, roughly chopped (optional)
  • greek yogurt (optional)


  • Heat a large saucepan and dry fry the cumin seeds and chillli flakes for 1min.
  • Add the oil and onion, cook for 5min.
  • Stir in the stock, tomatoes and lentils.
  • Bring to a boil then simmer for 15min.
  • Blitz the soup with a stick blender in the saucepan.
  • Add the chickpeas to the saucepan and heat gently for 5min.
  • Stir in the coriander if using, and serve with a dollop of greek yogurt.

So there. Let me know what the verdict is.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Rescue love

Until the bad news came on Sunday evening, we'd had a really enjoyable weekend. Mostly down to a particular type of creature. The furry kind. The barking kind. Now I know a lot of people like to put themselves in a box, as either a "cat-person" or a "dog-person". I might just been one of the few (?) who can safely say I'm an "anything-furry-or-remotely-cute" type of person. I love cats and dogs equally. For different reasons of course. But anyway, can't have either because we live in a flat, no garden, no easy access to outside space and we're both out all day at work. End of. Well until recently, when we discovered a newly opened dog rescue centre in a nearby village. They needed volunteers to walk dogs. To keep giving them as much of a normal life as possible until they get rehomed. So guess what we did both Saturday and Sunday morning? We went walkies.

All I can say is I will NEVER understand people who abandon their pets. Tying up a dog to a tree in park? Honestly???!!!! Anyway, before I get angry just thinking about it, I wanted to show you the beauties we were privileged enough to take for a walk.

A beautiful husky (if I lived in the countryside and didn't have to work I would have taken him straight home - so beautiful and well behaved)

A labrador cross husky - Boyfriend walked him on Sunday and said he was really sweet too

And finally the most mental dog ever - this little jack russel - I though he was going to strangle himself pulling on that lead, honestly. And I thought if he doesn't do that, I'm bound to step on him. But fear not, I was careful! Very sweet too, although full of energy, don't be deceived by his small size!

(sorry for the rubbish photo - just wanted to show you why I thought he was going to choke. Look at the size of him. He was PULLING me. Mental)

And if seeing those beauties isn't enough to make you decide to take one home instead of buying a puppy, then think of this. The beautiful husky at the top was a stray found in London. Battersea is full to the brim, so they can't take anymore in. Council kennels are only bound by law to keep unchipped dogs like that for 7 days before they're allowed to put them down. This one had a lucky escape.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Kindness and sweetness

Thank you all for all your sweet comments yesterday. I did take your advice and went home mid morning. It was for the best really, I would have been pretty useless in the office anyway.

So there. No news really. Well apart from this. The best carrot cake muffins you'll ever taste (thank you Butcher Baker). Mine don't look so good because I ran out of icing sugar, so the icing is mostly butter and cream cheese, but it still tasted pretty divine. So moist and light. Oh, and there may or may not be any left. I'm sure you'll guess which one it is. xx

Monday, 22 March 2010

Life and stuff

Good morning my lovelies! I had great plans for today, but unfortunately, one should learn not to make great plans. Things tend to get in the way don't they? I wanted to tell you about something I've been working on recently. Nothing much really, but maybe the start of something new. I hope you enjoy having a little look at it here and I'd love to hear what you think... But last night I had some bad news, a family relative passed away. A very sad thing indeed. So that's all for me today. I'm considering going home early. I mean, it can't be good for anyone having me crying at work in the toilets and coming back to my desk looking like I've just smoked a massive joint. Or just been balling my eyes out. Not a good look. Anyway, hope you all had a nice weekend, I'll see you tomorrow x

ps oh and I nearly forgot, thank you so much for all your comments to my last post! Can't believe the amount of feedback I got to be honest, thank you. I'll let you know what I decide to make with it when I get round to making my mind up!

Friday, 19 March 2010

50 pence

I couldn't resist. How could I??!!!! 100% wool, made in England. And the money was going to charity. But now I have a dilemna. What the hell do I do with it?!! Any ideas most welcome!!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Hello dear readers!!!

Your comments to my last post did make me laugh, I promise to take my camera when I go at the end of next week (yes, I finally have a leaving date!)!! Actually, it's quite a funny thing, but I dreamt last night that I'd gone out there and forgotten it... hmmm I hope it's not a sign!!

Anyway, not much going on in this neck of the woods at the moment. Since I wasn't sure when I was leaving until yesterday, I've really been living in limbo. It was really quite annoying, knowing that I was soon to be sent off, but not knowing exactly when. Well at least, that's all done so I can focus on making the most of the time I've got left here. I can tell you one thing, I'm definitely making the most of my time in the kitchen. Remember these? We're on our second batch of the week. Oops. Definitely not good for the hips. But oh so good for the soul... ;-) They're so yummy though, it's criminal. Last night's batch is definitely a winner. I added 4 tsp of cocoa powder and a large handful of sultanas. They were so moorish!!! We destroyed half of them watching stuff on the internet. I say stuff, but what I mean is Shameless. Anyone else find this hilariously funny? I can understand it may not be to everyone's taste, but we seriously love it. And now that all series are available to watch for free of 4oD, we're racing through the episodes. Love love loving it. Every night of the week if we can. (Obsessive, moi?!)

Right, apart from that, nothing much really. So I'll leave you with this. Enjoy your day, enjoy your food, enjoy yourself. That's what it's all about. (I'm mental I know, but you know what, I just can't wait till it's the weekend. Two more days to go. Ahhh. It's taking its toll. Or maybe it's just the remnants of the sugar rush from the cookies)

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Here it is...

Good morning good morning!!!

How's it going? I'm quite excited here, we just booked some holiday!! A week in Wales in May in a cute little cottage, I can't wait!! You know how satisfying it is when things tick all your boxes? Well it's a bit like that. Just something really nice and relaxing to look forward to.

In the meantime, I may be doing a little more travelling, but for work purposes this time. I mentioned this to you a couple of weeks ago, and now I think it's time to let you in on my secret! I didn't want to say anything before it was all fully organised and definite, but it's taking much longer than anticipated, and I just can't hold it in anymore!!! I should be off to Dubai and Abu Dhabi for about 3 weeks from sometime next week, and again around June time. I feel two ways about it really. Of course I'm really happy, I've never been anywhere like that before, but on the other hand I'm getting really irritated with not being in control. I'm not the one in control of the start date, the flights, the accomodation. And having to hassle people, saying no, I'm not being funny, but I'm not staying in "office accomodation" whatever that may be (described to me by someone as a little studenty, sharing with other people from the office) - hum, tempting as that might be, no thanks!! So really looking forward to it. I mean, the food, the souqs, I just can't wait! And hopefully Boyfriend will be able to join me for a few days when I go back in June so that I can show him around. It's really not the kind of place we'd go to on holiday, so it's a really good excuse to get out there and make the most of it.

So there. I'm enjoying my time at the moment, the sunshine, the warmth. But kind of feeling like I'm living on standby. Waiting for someone to tell me I'm leaving tomorrow. Thinking of all that knitting I could get done on the plane if only I get myself organised. And ever so happy I bought these interchangeable circular knitting needles that are allowed on board. Joy ;-)

Monday, 15 March 2010

And I present to you...

The greediest bumblebee of the year so far!!!

And again. I mean look at it, its head is completely covered in pollen!

Because I can. Because I want to. Because I can't get enough of these flowers.

And yes, I did get a few weird looks crouching down trying to get close up photos of these. Sorry. I just hope I didn't have a builder's bum ;-)

Hope you had as much of a sunny weekend as we did here!! x

Friday, 12 March 2010


I know I'm not the only one who loves photos of trees, with their branches forming eerie outlines against the sky.

I often find myself gazing upwards, with a big chubby smile across my face.

I just find it so beautiful, don't you? When the sun is slowly disappearing behind the horizon, it creates such a peaceful atmosphere. Still beauty.

And that sky, so blue, so deep, so pure.

Happy Friday all. Hope you have a nice weekend whatever you're up to! x

Thursday, 11 March 2010


I feel a little bit like this this morning.

Wide eyed and a little stiff. I may have overdone it last night, you see. What with the badminton season officially opened the other day, we decided to rent an indoor court to play to our hearts' content without having to worry about the wind. And so we did. But my total un-fitness came running out the door. Or rather running up my right shoulder blade. And now I feel like I'm 80 years old. Can't really carry anything with my right arm, and turning around is excrutiatingly painful. Honestly. It's ridiculous!!! Having arnica rubbed in last night before going to sleep helped a little, but you know what, it's not good is it?!

Hoping that you're all feeling a little more supple today ;-)

Wednesday, 10 March 2010


A couple of weeks ago, Lucy over at Attic24 made some scrumptious looking cookies. Not one to resist the temptation, I promptly adapted her recipe. I don't have a microwave and I'd run out of sultanas, so I used chocolate chips instead - I know, what hardships ;-)

So here's my adapted recipe - thanks Lucy for the inspiration, they certainly didn't last very long!!


  • 100g butter
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 100g oats
  • a couple of handfuls of chocolate chips


  • Place the butter, sugar and honey in a pan and melt on a low-medium heat until the ingredients are melted. Give a good stir to combine.
  • Add the flour, oats and chocolate chips. Stir well.
  • Place small tbsp of the mix onto a lined baking tray (I managed about 20) and flatten slightly with a fork.
  • Bake at 180C for 12-15min, until lightly golden.

All I can say is that these will definitely be made again - so simple and so so scrumptious!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010


I've got one last soup recipe for you. Spring is coming, but it's still a little cold out there, so soups should not be banished just yet. This minestrone recipe is fabulous. So fresh, so tasty and most importantly, so so filling!! There's quite a lot of chopping involved but it's worth it. And if you make a big batch, you can freeze individual portions, which is really quite handy.


  • 3 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 large potatoes, cut into small dice
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2L vegetable stock
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can butter or cannellini beans
  • 140g spaghetti, snapped into short lengths
  • 1/2 head savoy cabbage, shredded


  • Heat the oil in a pan, add the chopped carrot, onion, celery, garlic and potatoes. Cook on a high heat for 5min until softened.
  • Stir in the tomato puree, stock and tomatoes. Bring to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer, covered for 10min.
  • Tip in the beans and pasta, then cook for another 10min. Add the cabbage for the final 2min.

(Recipe from Good Food here)

Oh and by the way, I forgot to tell you (but I'm sure you eagle eyed readers have already noticed!) I've added a new link at the top of my blog. If you click on My Recipes, you'll get a list of all the recipes I've blogged about with links back to the relevant posts. Just to make it easier for you to find your favourite recipes! :-)

Monday, 8 March 2010

More of the same please!

What a weekend it was!!! I hope you had a nice one, it certainly was very enjoyable here!! Oh so much sun, we just can't get enough of it!!!! I absolutely love it, it was nice and crisp, but not too cold, and actually quite warm in places.

We went for a lovely walk. So refreshing and relaxing. These guys were very cute indeed. I wanted to take one home. Boyfriend wasn't so keen.

Snow drops made my heart flutter. So nice to see spring is well and truly on its way.

And the badminton season was officially open.

Well not here exactly, but anywhere when there isn't much wind. I looooooove it!!
Hope you have a lovely Monday all xx

Friday, 5 March 2010


Last weekend, we used a little shortcut to go from our b&b into Rye town centre. This involved walking over crossing a railway line (sorry, didn't mean to worry anyone there! It was a fully official pedestrianised crossing!). Don't you love straight lines?

They sort of give out this feeling that possibilities are indeed endless, that you can do anything you want, anything you aspire to. And go anywhere you want too.

Well these roads are taking me somewhere new. A new country. A new continent. Practically a new hemisphere (well not quite but near enough!). It's pretty exciting and fairly scary too. More on this later!

Thursday, 4 March 2010


We're in the third month of the year already. Honestly, where has it all gone??? Every year, time seems to go a little faster. It's quite an odd feeling but life does seem to pass through my fingers without me even realising. Not sure what this means really. Anyway, it's March and as quite a few of you have pointed out already, it does seem that Spring is on its way.

Buds are emerging here and there, flowers are starting to pop out, birds are definitely being more vocal.

I'm not sure how long this mild spell will last, I bet we'll have our fair share of more rubbish weather (this is England after all!), but in the meantime, goodness me it feels good! So good to wake up in the morning and it's dusk, good to take the train and it's bright, good to leave the office in the light, and good to come home an hour or so before sunset. Good good good.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Do you see what I see?

Why is it that when I see some of these little white fluffy things...

I think of this?

Sheep, yarn, it's all the same isn't it?! (I think it's called yarn obsession actually...!)

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Some more?

Well I hope you don't mind!! I was looking through the photos that I took at the weekend and selected a few more I'd like to share with you. Mostly buildings. Don't get me wrong, I know very little about architecture, but that doesn't stop me from appreciating it. And some were just quirky, like the one above. That made me giggle. So there, I hope you enjoy coming on this little journey with me!

The last standing gate into the town...

This is the castle, Ypres Tower... I love this photo

And the little pub nestled at its foot...

Finally, some magnificient houses in an old cobbled street...

Right, well now that I feel like I should work for the Rye tourist board, I think I better stop ;-)

Monday, 1 March 2010

Wishing I was there...

Good morning good morning! How are you all doing today? I hope you are fine. I'm good, loving the fact that the sky is blue this morning. Honestly, I saw quite a bit of rain yesterday and it makes a nice change. Although it wasn't too bad because we were somewhere different. We went down to the Sussex coast this weekend and it was so much fun!! Anyone heard of the Rye Scallop Festival? Well let me tell you this, the place wasn't exactly buzzing, but it was so peaceful, so relaxing, and so satisfying (many scallops were indeed consumed!). I love scallops, they are so wonderful, so delicate, and so hard to come by in this country, unless you live around Rye I guess. And what's that about not eating the coral? What's wrong with people? Anyway, no rant for me today, no no, just some pretty photos, I promise!

I don't actually have photos of any scallops I'm afraid, they just went straight into my belly!! But I do have scallop shells as proof though!

This was quite funny, a scallop race it was, local people competing, it was good fun to watch. And then there was a bit of this...

And a little bit of this too (no riding no, just some carrot feeding!)...

There was also an extensive session of shell picking here...

So excuse me while I dream that I was still there! See ya later! xx