Bye Bye 2011

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New Years day in this house normally involves a walk and some soup…the soup is unscripted  (and possibly a bit hit and miss) and involves a veg drawer clear out plus whatever “meat” leftovers are in the fridge…

This year  we have a massive pot of carrot, pearl barley and ham soup bubbling away…ham because bad planning meant almost an entire christmas ham was about to go to waste and carrots because every single week for 5 weeks the veg box included carrots (or kale, but I’d rather NOT talk about that!).

Next year I shall overhaul these pages and start afresh but for now Happy New Year everyone, hope 2012 is so much better for everyone…oh and Happy Eatings.

5CB xxx

 

watching

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Shakespere in love.  Will was a local lad, at some point I hope to enjoy the fact that William Shakespeare  came from about 20 miles away…life interferes with the things you think are important at 20…so different at 38.

Tea Estates on the windswept upland slopes of cornwall…

A few weeks ago we went on holiday to the lake district. It rained…a lot !. At one point during a break in the downpour we took Spider and Teenager out to indulge in a guilty pleasure that Husband and I have been enjoying ever since some friends took us and Spider there 3 years ago.

We go to Grange over Sands and feed the ducks. Now this probably doesn’t sound very exciting but it is a very important prelude to the “right let’s go and have a cup of tea”.

There are two cafes in the Victorian parade of shops opposite the park but only one of them has a Tea Menu ! The Hazlemere  Cafe and Bakery not only sells bird food (in case you’ve forgotten to bring some) but it also has a 6 page menu of the different sorts of teas it sells.

On this occasion, having spent 5 minutes deciding what tea to have and then having bartered with Husband as to which of us was having which tea (we had both gone for the same Ceylon tea) and we try to have different ones so that we can share) I was in the middle of ordering when inspiration struck.

“I don’t suppose you have that tea which is grown in Cornwall do you, I think it’s called something like trefusis”

“I’ll just go and ask”

A few weeks ago Twitter had produced something useful, I’d been wittering on about tea and my sunday morning ritual when someone had tweeted me a link to Tregothan who genuinely do grow tea in Cornwall. I hadn’t been able to afford it as paying £9 for 50g of tea (plus postage) couldn’t be justified on the budget so I hadn’t followed it up. Anyway, back to the teashop

“The owner had these in the office, this is an earl grey and this is an afternoon tea”

So I had it. And it was nice (not amazing, but very interesting considering a large percentage of the tea came from Cornwall) and then later the owner came out to ask how we had liked it…anyway here are some shots of people enjoying tea and cakes…oh yeah, and some dinosaurs…august 2009 069august 2009 071august 2009 072august 2009 073and this is a shot of my tea

august 2009 074It wasn’t a cheap cuppa but we were on holiday and it is a guilty pleasure…

What would Dorothy do ?

I am a believer that people are ultimately good. That if you are nice to people generally, then people will be nice to you and the world will treat you well. This is a perhaps a surprising attitude for a lawyer to have, because lets face it, people only come to lawyers when things have gone wrong, we see the bad situations, the problems, the holes that clients need help digging themselves out of.

Well life has been full of ups and downs this week, mostly downs. Last Friday not only did I discover that the Slugs had eaten my basil, but that the wicked witch of the west was suing us for £6k under the laws of trespass and my husbands car is on its last legs which means we need to sort a replacement out by the last week of august at the latest (we have no money so that will be a challenge).

It is amazing how reassured I felt on receiving a parcel earlier this week, reassured that I am right and that the being nice to people is worthwhile. No, this wasn’t another Random Act of Kindness but a prize from the nice people at the Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester for Spider – apparently he was a winner in their spot the dinosaur competition – we had completely forgotten he’d entered it until the prize arrived (spot dinosaurs in shop windows – name them and then finish off the sentence “I like dinosaurs because” – to which he’d replied “you mean there are people who don’t like dinosaurs”). Anyway, seeing his happy face made me feel that perhaps I should write a more conciliatory letter to my neighbour’s solicitors.

What did Dorothy do? She ran away, she tapped her ruby slippers together and went home – well no, she didn’t run away, she didn’t leave until she had killed the witch and freed the Munchkins from tyranny. But throwing a bucket of water over my neighbour is not going to have any effect except to make a bad situation worse. So I am going to be nice….I’m going to be nice and reasonable and point out that we will still have to live next to each other and that aggressive legal action is not going to solve anything. Of course she may simply be one of these people who is bringing an action on point of principle, one of those “I know my rights” people (in my experience they are usually wrong and have misinterpreted the law beyond sensible recognition) – in which case I’ll have no choice but to fight my corner and mention the fact by way of counterclaim that she is obstructing a right of way and breaching the covenants in her deeds.

Does she actually have a case? I have no idea her solicitors managed to “forget” to include the evidence on which she is relying to prove that we have built on her land.

Definately NOT waving

I am drowning in a sea of playmobile and boxes and boxes of photographs that need sorting… then add in paperwork waiting to be shredded and 2 weeks of ironing and I am so so tired.

Just had to do a mercy dash across the village to sort out a baking powder crisis (Flapjack Queen half way through birthday cake making dropped it on the floor – I only had half a teaspoon – thank heaven for Mums !) having just decided that I am not in a good state for trying to make birthday cakes – fortunately have an hour before work in which time to make 4 sponge cakes and cook them… wish me luck and think of me tomorrow trying to prove that I can, for at least an hour pretend I’m a domestic goddess.

Off to bed

postscript: Cakes were not made friday morning as someone had put the butter back in the fridge – could have melted it in the microwave but I think I was glad of the excuse. Still got an eveningand a morning left…

Larousse Gastronomique

X is difficult. Larousse Gastronomique only has one entry, and quite frankly if that’s all they can come up with then I think I can get away without having anything else.

Ximenia – Type of small plant found in hot countries, of which there are a number of species, among them the ximenia of Gabon which is widespread in Africa. The fruits known as mountain plums or wild limes, are edible…

The devil lurks in the smoke…

London today for a meeting near the curiously (and historically) named Strutton Ground and Perkin Rents… I always love going through Strutton Ground it’s just so busy and wall to wall sandwich and cake shops, the market, people coming towards you from all directions…and unfortunately for me the Oxfam Bookshop and the discount bookshop.

I was almost lead astray in the discount bookshop, I was seduced in by a book on “slow cookers”, felt myself weakening when I saw The New Kitchen:Rose Prince for £3.99 and then I heard the sirens call from the top shelf…I almost gave into the temptation of Falling Cloudberries:Tessa Kiros in brand new hardback reduced to £12.99 but no the money in my pocket was for a purpose, lunch and a gossip with my colleagues.

I have been good all month taking a packed lunch to work, not that it saves me much money as whenever I’ve forgotten to bring lunch in the past I’ve usually just gone without. Normally at meetings lunch is provided, but once a year we go for a late christmas lunch which we pay for ourselves – nothing flash we just go for the 2 for £8 meals in the closest pub – it’s the chat that matters, the none work chat with people I see 4 times a year and email the rest.

My actual treat was going to be some fresh coriander for the second to last of the 4 Leon Slaw’s I have been working my way through…it started with the beetroot I had left over from Hugh FW’s brownie’s – I couldn’t face cooking them again and I wasn’t in a mood for getting the juicer out.

Autumn Slaw – not bad ditched the celeriac as no one was selling any, and changed the red cabbage to white, which I then used in the other slaw’s. The beetroot has quite a strong woody taste which doesn’t really do much for me, but didn’t put me off

Sumptuous Slaw – this was actually my favourite and lasted quite well. A bit heavy on the aniseed taste as it has both dill and fennel in it, although mine was both fennel seeds and fresh fennel (still alive in the garden). Any roughness in the dressing is down to the fact that my wine vinegars are the cheapest I could lay my hands on a few years ago…

Open Sesame Slaw – just tried a taste of this one, this evening. A dairy free mayonnaise type dressing, made with soya milk (borrowed from Dad), left out the parsley and replaced the broad beans with french beans (in the freezer), discovered half way through that I’d run out of peas so made the weight up with sweetcorn.

The only one left to make now is Happy Carrot but that will have to wait until I have found some coriander as both the co op and Budgen’s had sold out…and may not happen at all if the mint in the garden is dead !

RIP Bagpuss 08.12.08

It is a blue blue day in the Bunn household…Oliver Postgate died yesterday.


His creations were loved by all of us, we even managed to indoctrinate Spider, he loves Bagpuss and the Clangers (which he thinks are pink mice). Very sad today


Edit- This site had a lot of hits today because of this post about Oliver Postgate, I hope those that went searching for him found what they were looking for somewhere on the web. I only had a minute to post something before work, and besides there is not a lot I can say that isn’t in the BBC obit anyway.


He created some wonderful worlds, that gave me, along with millions of other small children our own small piece of magic and I am very very grateful to him for adding an extra bit of happiness to my life whilst I was growing up, in regular 5 minute portions. I am happy to share these portions with my Spider (who has a dragon called Idris).

What (no) pictures ? What (no) photographs ?

A number of people have commented over the lack of photographs on these pages, commented with some surprise in fact as they know it is rare to find any member of the family, including Toddler, without a camera.

 

There are a number of reasons for this. The first one is technical ineptitude. I am still trying to work out how to save my pics in the right format so that picture quality remains good without the file being unreasonably large. Managed it once so far but forgot how I did it!

 

The other problem is that when I bake it’s usually quite late at night. Although I hate the yellow cast the kitchen lights give the pics, I’m usually too tired to mess around with alternative lighting. Waiting until the next day is no good as by then the cakes, muffins whathaveyou have usually been partially consumed by the gannets I live with.

 

The final reason is that although what I cook usually tastes nice, its not exactly photogenic…I am not very artistic…

 

Anyway I am going to take a few days away from this blog to do a bit of redesigning and editing of the pages…and also to make a start on Project Brownie – having restocked the cupboards in the kitchen…and I guess I really should do something about Christmas as I probably can’t get away with ignoring it for much longer.