General

Stuff of Life*

BreadI was inspired to bake some bread last week, largely because the children were still on holiday so I had to feed them something and after our holiday the previous week, I’ve been far too busy catching up with work to shop and besides, the bank account is a bare as…umm…the bread bin. Time being at something of a premium, I cheated and just threw the ingredients into the bread machine and by lunchtime the smell was making it hard to think of anything else. Home made bread, even if it is untouched by human hand, is just so tasty… and irresistible. In fact, this is the main reason I don’t make bread very often or I’d be the size of a house.

*Yes, I am aware that the expression is that bread is the staff of life.

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Snowed On

It was with a mixture of excitement and trepidation that we set off to spend the coldest, snowiest Easter week for years in the Alps North Wales.

You can see my confusion…

Llanberis pass

Llanberis pass

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Sitting on the Fence

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I first participated in the Tarot Blog Hop, hasn’t it flown by? The theme for this Hop is Dancing Between Light and Darkness and the notion that there is a point at which things can be neither one thing nor the other, or both. Initially, this seemed a curious suggestion to me, but it makes a certain kind of sense if you consider that something can be both a hope and a fear or an event can be both a source of joy and of sadness.

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Tudor Day

200px-Red_Rose_Badge_of_Lancaster.svgAs another Costume day at school dawns, you find me frantically putting finishing touches to the outfit and dressing the Tudor girl. Costume day has sometimes been a royal pain in the proverbial (particularly back in the days when you were only given about a week’s notice to frantically knock out a suitable period outfit), but on this occasion (and despite being very busy) I’ve loved it. Tudor is one of my favourite clothing periods (along with Medieval and Victorian) as it has such a variety of sumptuous loveliness and lots of interesting underpinnings and accessories. DD and I had lots of fun making and stuffing the bum roll and selecting pearls, trims and fabrics for the outfit. Sadly, I didn’t have time to make her a penner for her quill and ink, but we managed the rest of the outfit just about in time.

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A Dumpling in the Hand…

Pierogi_07-01…is obviously worth far more than two in the bush. ‘A dumpling, a dumpling, my kingdom for a dumpling’ and so on. Clearly with the cold weather upon us and Pancake Day no more than a distant memory, we still crave comfort food, so let us celebrate the dumpling in all its cultural diversity. The English favour the stodgy suet dumpling, an unstuffed ball which is robust enough to prop up the meatiest stew, the Chinese have Won Ton, the Japanese Gyoza, the Italians have Ravioli, to name but a few, but the Poles have Pierogi, which, quite frankly, knock the rest into a cocked hat.* (more…)

Lies and Spies

advertising-ebooks-authorsWe are constantly being conned by advertising, however savvy we think we are about such things. Whether it is the latest must-have gadget or the game that everyone is playing or some new fad or other that a year ago we wouldn’t have been seen dead in/with, but now the Jo Celeb has endorsed it, we must have one too. Yes, we are all suckered in to that herd mentality of believing the hype somewhere along the line. I don’t give a stuff about celebrity endorsement (I don’t even know who half of them are anyway) and if everyone is wearing/doing it, I’d rather not be, so I do not fall for such things. So how did I get caught, you ask? Simply this: believing that buying bags for a vacuum cleaner was an inconvenience, at least, a greater inconvenience than getting covered in dust every time I have to empty a bagless one.

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Unresolved and Unravelling

Free_Goth_Baby_Belladonna_Creative_CommonsI don’t make New Year’s resolutions. It seems rather bizarre to me to suppose that my will and determination would be significantly stronger on any given date over any other. Neither do I see the point in waiting until the New Year to begin something – if one has already decided to do it, why wait?

The closest I came to a New Year resolution was to have a dry January, for economic and detox reasons to recover slightly from the excesses of the Christmas holidays. I admit I have fallen off the wagon to the tune of two pints thus far, (I made it six days, including New Year’s Day) I will not go in to the reasons, but I’m fine with them and still broadly sticking to the alcohol-free plan, despite continuing to be sorely tried by ongoing and, as yet, unresolved plumbing issues.

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