Blackberry and Crumble are the dogs, not a comment on baking. These are, as we always tell people, great names for dogs until you have to stand in a field shouting them, and then you just sound like a bit of a wally...

Welcome to my thoughts, ponderings and crafty adventures.

Monday, 22 July 2013


I have written here before about how much I like a tradition.

 Traditionally we use a home made banner for birthdays in this house.
Equally traditionally, a few days before the banner is required I turn the house upside down looking for it, cursing my inability to put it somewhere that is both safe and memorable after last use. In this morning’s searching I have found:

·         A small PVC greenhouse, still in its box – now erected and waiting to work out where it will live.

·         More spotlight light bulbs that we could ever reasonably use

·         More picture hooks than the Tate would need, in all its locations

·         More curtain hooks than …. a curtain hook shop would ever need

·         Cupboard door handles from 2 kitchens ago

·         A frankly alarming full face alien mask for a small child

·         Literally 100’s of Ikea nightlights

·         The Christmas stockings

·         4 hammers (sorry Dad, I think we probably do have your hammer after all)

·         ID badges from 2 jobs ago

·         My walking boots

For when I inevitably cannot find these items again in the future, I intend to keep the banners  on the top of the bookcase in my office in the currently empty shoebox, the light bulbs are on the top shelf in the utility room, door handles, nightlights, stockings and hammers are in the cupboard under the stairs, ID badge in my office and the walking boots under the spare bed…

The banner was on the shelf in Bob’s wardrobe…. Obvious really.  I also found the sledges, which given the decline in the weather we may need sooner rather than later.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

it's practically science

And almost crafty.

Left to right; ginger, chilli, cardamom, lemon grass and basil in a double measure of gin. Currently in a cool (ish) dark (ish) place while developing, I'll report back. If I was a proper crafting blogger these would be mason jars artfully photographed but I am much more an old jar of pesto with half its label still stuck on kind of a girl...

In other news, Joy was right you can't make risotto in a slow cooker although if flavoured wallpaper paste was what you were after I have a brilliant recipe...

Sunday, 7 July 2013

reduced to a list...

This is supposed to be a blog about being creative… unfortunately I have not been very creative recently so have little to report. I did buy this lovey fabric from lovely friends and have a plan involving cushion covers for the kitchen chairs.

The things that have happened....

The weather – it’s lovely, slightly churlish, but for me it’s a bit too hot.

The gin – the cheap lidl stuff is still good

The tennis – anyone else a bit teary eyed when he won?  His poor mother.

Church – I went for the first time in ages, it did me good and I should go more often

Dissertation – it’s a few words longer than it was – I can make no comment on the quality of these words

Parents – on a cruise, at some point something has been mistranslated and the crew of the ship think they are on their honeymoon

Velux windows – black out blinds are great, unless you sleep with the window open

Food – we continue with the more exciting meal plan – fish pie tonight (I haven’t puréed it to make soup…). Planned for the rest of the week, in no particular order;  toad in the hole, homemade sausage rolls, dhal and smoked fish, Thai green chicken curry, risotto (do you think I can make this in a slow cooker?), field mushrooms and mozzarella burgers.

Flap-jack – I have made lots, and it was declared to be ‘fit’ by a colleague.

Harry Potter – box set of all films acquired and we are working our way through

HWMBO(I) is going to celebrate a significant birthday shortly (starts with a 5 and ends in a zero, I like to think of myself as the much younger, and something of a trophy, wife) and I have NO IDEA WHAT TO BUY FOR HIM – we can’t go away because I have work coming out of my ears (and I’m no fun at the moment), he has no interest in cufflinks and I am suffering from a significant lack of imagination.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013


I know you’ve been wondering… this eating better lark is marvellous. We are eating better food, we are all sitting down together, I don’t have to make any food decisions every night, there are no discussions about what’s for tea, no disagreements. We are only three days in so caution needs to be applied but so far so absolutely marvellous. Tomorrow night’s lamb tagine is in the slow cooker ready to flick the switch before leaving the house in the morning. I’ve also instigated a new tradition (we’ve only done it once so far but you have to start somewhere). Blitzed the left over veg from Sunday lunch to make soup for Sunday tea. Look I even took a photo…. (please, if you can, ignore the piles of stuff at the end of the table, and Bob's wrist complete with now slightly grubby and possibly smelly, thank goodness he stops wearing it tomorrow splint)

I love a new tradition. I can make the statement ‘we have always done X’ when we have in fact only done something twice. We always have a cheese board and port for tea on Christmas eve, we always have Yorkshire tea, we always have boiled eggs for supper on a Sunday… there is nothing exotic or all that exciting but I like our family history to have lots of ‘do you remember when’ moments, its slightly twee to say we are making memories but I do think there is something in that. There does seem so be a link between the memories I want to create for my family and food – my only concern regarding this new eating regime is that we might all put on several stone, we may need to introduce a healthy eating scheme. 

In further food news (honestly I do do things other than think about or eat food) lunchtime today was spent on a colleagues leaving do having a picnic in the park. It was far too cold to have a picnic in the park but we are British and we had planned to have a picnic so we had a picnic. We ignored the fact that anytime someone stood up the gale force winds blew the blankets away and that some of the picnic blankets were used for warmth not floor covering but there is a lot to be said for, as a group, stopping for lunch and leaving the office.

Blackberry is a sad dog – he’s sprained his ‘wrist’ (obviously not actually a wrist, as he doesn’t have arms, although he does have shoulders so does this make the knees on his front legs elbows…). Crumble is sad because Blackberry is sad. I am grateful for pet insurance. (neither dogs are allowed on the sofa...)