Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Things I do when my husband is away...

J is away for a few days and it got me to thinking how I change my behaviour when he's not around and so I thought it might be fun to share and see what others do/don't do when other halves go missing...

I watch trashy TV and don't feel guilty
I stay up later than I should to try and make myself tired enough to sleep
I eat on the sofa instead of at the table
I cook mushrooms (J hates mushrooms, which is very upsetting, although oddly enough he'll eat Morels...)
I stay late at work as there's nothing to go home for
I think of people to call to talk to because I miss coming home and telling him all about my day
I try and catch up on blogging!
I leave the washing up overnight
I miss him...

So now pray tell, what do you do when your other half isn't around?

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Manon at the Royal Opera House

Last night papa and I went to the opera. We were off to see Manon at the Royal Opera House. This is not an opera I've been to see before, in fact I've not seen any Massenet operas before and I wasn't sure what to expect.

I was therefore delighted by the first few strains coming from the orchastra sweeping through the house and transporting me away from dreary life. The opera was stunning, Massenet's composition is just fabulous and I was so pleased to be seeing an opera I hadn't seen before and really enjoying it. Plus the new production by Laurent Pelly was pretty good, the set a little dreary but the costumes amazing!

We were incredibly lucky with the cast, Anna Netrebko as Manon and Vittorio Grigolo as Des Grieux. Plus a host of other very talented singers. I was especially impressed with Vittorio, as a tenor his voice flows over the orchestra and has a power and richness to it which I often feel is lacking in other tenors. My favourite singers are generally deep male singers, bases and britones.

If you have the time and are quick there might be tickets left, I would highly recommend it. And of course if you do go let me know!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Skinny jeans

My absolute favourite skinny jeans are almost dead... I've had them for a few years so it's no surprise that holes are appearing but I now feel at a loss about what to do. Where to go from here?!

I bought my original ones from Ted Baker, they fitted a treat and were the perfect length (being a tall girl this is not always guaranteed). They were black, the perfect going out jean colour and one which I suddenly found I could not live without.

So here's the crux of it. I need help! Advice on where to get black skinny long jeans, they need to be at least a 34" inner leg. Also if possible not wildly expensive. I've looked in Ted Baker again but nothing there and the Selfridges sale was only selling short jeans so there's another dead end.

Anything you can offer will be accepted with glee and warmest thanks! Xx

Sunday, 20 June 2010

A walk in London...

Last weekend J and I were at a loose end on Saturday and hungry. Struggling to decide where to go for lunch we ended up heading off to the Hawksmoor on Commercial Street for lunch. This was to continue J's quest to find the best burger in London. In my opinion great meat but far too heavy and the cheese which came with the burger was too overpowering. Not sure I would entirely recommend it but the Hawksmoor I would recommend, especially the cocktails :)

So both of us feeling rather heavy after the thumping burger we decided to walk home from Commerical Road to Pimlico. Which meant a walk along the river. I hadn't been along a lot of these sections of the river for a long time and really enjoyed strolling along reminding myself of how lovely London can be.

The roof of old Billingsgate market with the fish detail which caught my eye.

The Monarch's entrance of the House of Lords. And then we were home ready to relax on a Saturday evening instead of going out and about for a change. (Although we did have to watch the England game).
Oh what joy weekends are...

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

V&A Quilting Exhibition

On Sunday I went to the V&A with middle sister. We were off to see the quilting exhibition which is on until sometime in July. Sorry to not be more specific.

It is a very lovely exhibition full of items which made me do a slight intake in breath at their intricacy. The exhibition is not too huge, and sister and I are quick exhibition goers, none of this loitering and staring for us...

There are a few pieces which stick in my mind, one is made by a soldier of the tiniest hexagons and is amazing. Another was made by prisoners at Wandsworth prison and is so very moving. I loved the idea of using quilting to get the prisoners to create a community and express their feelings.

But most of all it inspired me to keep on trying with the quilting to push on to finish the second and start a third. And to think of new ways to use them. I would like to make some cushion covers and also to try some new shapes. I have always loved Arabic geometric patterns and think I could acheive some pretty spectacular patterns and colours using quilting. Perhaps this is all for a time when I have less work and more time but it's nice to feel inspired.

It did also make me realise how much happens in London which passes me by. So this weekend J and I plan on going to Tate to see their Rude Britannia exhibition. We shall see if we make it!

Apologies for the lack of pictures, I wasn't sure I was allowed so took the safe option of keeping the camera in my bag!

Friday, 11 June 2010

Summer wedding

Last week we attended the wedding of J's cousin. It was held on a gloriously sunny day up in Bedfordshire. It still feels slightly odd going to weddings when I know that I haven't got mine to go to and I can't be sitting there picking up ideas. Instead I can enjoy the day and night and not worry. It was a fun wedding, as evidenced below right before going into the church...

PS The dress I'm wearing I bought in Argentina, it's one of my favourites, especially the colour.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Office move

We've moved offices and I now have a different position in a different office. It's odd, nice to change but strange to be somewhere different. I am of course slightly resistant to it. But I think the change will be good. It's already changed some of my working practices, for the better I think, and I think it will do so more over the coming months.

However it has also made me have much less time for blogging so my apologies for my quietness. I am also recovering a far too heavy week last week with too much drinking. My body is definitely telling me to slow down.

More soon... Once I've caught up on my greens and my sleep :)

Friday, 4 June 2010

Ashburton Coookery School

The real reason for going to Devon was to spend a day on the Gastro extra course at Ashburton Cookery School. This was a one day course which we thought might be fun to do before middle sister has her baby and we'll not be able to escape together so easily.

And it was fun! We started with making a starter of curried mussel soup. A nice light soup packed with flavour. Although neither of us were too keen on muscle so it was a bit more of a curried veg soup with the odd mussel in it! Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of it. We also made yummy bread, which came out really well. A lot better than my bread normally does! I felt like I learnt quite a bit from the bread making bit as it's improved my confidence a lot and taught me a couple of tips.

Our main was pork medallions with braised fennel and a creamy taragon and haricot bean sauce. My only criticism of this was that the haricot beans weren't quite right with the meal to me but the sauce was lovely and the pork good to cook as it's not something I normally cook. Oh and this also came with a shallot tarte tatin! Yummers!! And another thing I've always wanted to make (tarte tatin that is) but haven't quite had the confidence to.

For pudding we griddled pineapple, peppered it, added passionfruit sorbet (which they showed us how to make) and a spiced syrup, which was lovely and had a great chilli kick. Plus a couple of extra bits. Although by this time a little full as we were eating all we made :)

Finally a picture of me and of instructors. On the right is Phil who was lovely and really helpful, on the left James, equally lovely and you might recognise him from the Restaurant on BBC2 or 'Out of the Frying Pan'.
Highly recommended, even if you are relatively confident just to pick up a few tips. I now feel much more confident about my seasoning as we were told that our seasoning was good :) I would definitely go for it also if you have no confidence in the kitchen as they do all levels of teaching and the instructors are great.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

2 days in Devon Part 1

To start my holiday this week I tottled off to Devon. It was a grey miserable rainy day and as I sat on the train I thought just how leaving London was taking some of the stress from my shoulders. And then the sun began to come out and I steadily was getting closer to my destination. I arrived in Ashburton and joined my sister and her friend in a little cafe with a garden. Lunch followed by the yummiest cream tea. Great homemade scones with yummy cream and jam. And to continue the Twitter debate I must admit to putting cream first then jam...

We were staying at the accommodation which the cookery school ran. Our room above we both thought was just lovely. The cookery school was Ashburton Cookery School, of which more on the next post... Then a gentle afternoon, a stroll in the sunshine and catching up with my sister. She's very patient with my moaning but also offers a different perspective on some of the things I moan about. So we dined and then off to bed to make sure we were ready for the next day!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Baby Picture This the results!

Above my beautiful Baby Picture This prints in their new frame from Cargo. Aren't they lovely! Soon to be gifted to a friend of mine as a very belated Christmas and birthday present. Although now I've got them on my wall it'll be hard to give them away!