Guess where?

February 29, 2008

A Tower, a Sunset and a Ferris wheel.


I’ve just got back from 2 days away on business, but where did I visit?

How was it for you?

February 27, 2008

So, like everyone else in the UK, we were woken around 1am this morning by the rumbling noise that soon became a full on shaking the house earthquake.

“About a 3.5” I thought, as if I knew what I was talking about. Turns out it was just over a 5 on the Richter.

Paul turned to me and said, “It’s an earthquake.”

“Yes it is, now go back to sleep” I replied.

The thing is, although I was appearing calm and reassuring, my heart was actually racing. This is my second earthquake, the last one I felt was about 15 years ago, that shows how uncommom these medium size tremors are here in the UK. I couldn’t get back to sleep and I actually started composing this blog post in my head. It wasn’t like this though, it was much better, I’ve forgotten all the wonderful prose I imagined last night so this will have to do.

On the news this morning this is all they are talking about. People are texting and emailing the breakfast news shows in record numbers. Presenters are reading out gems like, “Hazel from Barnsley says her Cockatiel fell off its perch.”

Lets take a few moments to reflect, a few chimney pots may have come down, however its not exactly on the scale of earthquake disaster we have seen around the world in recent years. I’m really sorry about the guy with the broken pelvis, but nobody has died. Millions of people havent lost everything, and nobody died (again!)

This reminds me of a friend telling us about an earthquake he experienced while on holiday in the Caribbean. He was sitting on the bed when it began to shake. His first thought? The room was haunted! Thats right his first thought was the supernatural, more easily prepared to believe in ghosts than that the earth was shaking. Perhaps that says something about the British attitude to earthquakes, we dont have them so they are not actually real?

I do hope that if the earth moved for you last night, your’e feeling ok this morning šŸ™‚

Sunday Breakfast.

February 24, 2008

Just because its Sunday, Iā€™m having breakfast a little late today, its a fried egg and fried black pudding sandwich on crusty bloomer bread with lashings of ketchup.

Sunday Breakfast

Not everyones taste I suppose and not something Iā€™d eat every day, but its delicious.


I just noticed that I arranged this in the shape of a face, although the ketchup mouth looks like it has been punched!

Teabag vignette

February 22, 2008

Teabags Vignette

Look at this bounty!

I arrived in work a few days ago and found this little lot on my desk.

What a good friend I have, she had been given a fancy bag load of teabags at the freshers fair and hadnt been interested in them.

I’ll mention no names, she knows who she is and I’ve already thanked her profusely.

All I will say is “Jade, why did you wait so long to bring them into work for me?”

Crash bang ……….

February 18, 2008

We heard a crash from the kitchen.

We both ran in to find the plastic lid from the blender had fallen from the draining board.

This is what we had heard clattering on the floor.

Paul said, “Oh god, its only that.”

I said “It must have got fed up and just tossed its self off.”

Sotto voce, I continued, “Which is not unusual in this house”

Oh, how we laughed.

Another soup of the day.

February 18, 2008

Todays soup is a home made Lentil and Vegetable number which I knocked up yesterday. We had a Gammon joint for Sunday lunch, which Paul cooked in a large pan of water. Once the Gammon was removed I hit on the idea of using the water, now wonderfully flavoured by the Gammon, to make soup.

I strained the stock and added chopped Carrots, Swede and Onions and some washed Lentils. I added 3 cloves of garlic and a large teaspoon of dried parsley, it didnt need salt, the meat had taken care of that.

That was it, total prep time around 10 minutes, I brought it to the boil then simmered it for 30 minutes. I didnt blend this one, I thought the texture was pretty good as it was.

Its actually made 3 portions so there is some in the fridge to enjoy later this week.

I’ve just had a portion for my lunch and I can confirm that although it doesnt look anything special, it is very filling and totally delicious šŸ™‚

Lentil Soup

Is this becoming some Soup and Shoes blog?? What a bizzare combination of subjects, I must come up with something more interesting before you all fall asleep!

Another post about shoes.

February 16, 2008

Oooops, I did it again!

I couldnt resist, I just had to have them, I know I only got new trainers at Christmas but still!

I love the Adidas Samba Super Suede and havent had a new pair for about about 2 years so I’m well due, the last pair have almost reached garden-wear status so its good to have a new pair to wear out.

This is one of a line of top selling trainers reaching back decades, the original Samba originating sometime in the 1950’s.

This version is my favourite, navy blue nubuck suede upper and a gum sole featuring the classic Samba suction cups. The over-long tongue, black-on-white Adidas motif on the rear and the distinctive 3 stripes all point towards this shoes venerable heritage. A good looking bumper bar wrapped around the front protects the toes from wear and tear and totally caps the whole thing off.

Samba Super Suede

Next on my list?

Soup of the day.

February 6, 2008

Over the last few months I’ve really been getting into soup! I take it to work for my lunch most days, heat it up in the morning, stick it in the flask and its still piping hot at lunch time. I’ve mentioned previously that I like to play around with bought soups, adding my own twist by adding extra spices and ingredients.

I though I’d share this recipe with you for the totally home made soup I had for lunch today.

You will need.

500g Carrots
1 Med/Large Onion
2 tsp Dried Basil (fresh would be better)
1 inch of peeled fresh Ginger
1 Clove of Garlic
3/4 Pint of Water
3/4 Pint of Stock
2 Tbs Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Your prep should take about 10 minutes max. Peel and chop the Onions and Carrots, its going to go in the Blender at the end so neat chopping isnt needed. However, the size you chop the carrots will change the cooking time. Chop the Ginger finely, if you dont you may find long string of the Ginger fibres in the finished soup. Peel the Garlic, you can chop or mince this too, in my case I bash it and threw it in whole to be fished out at the end. You want a pint and a half of water/stock, a vegatable stock cube is fine. In this case I used half water and half Chick Pea stock, reserved and frozen from when I last boiled up a batch.

Now the Cooking.

Heat the Olive oil in a large pan and add the Sliced the Onions. Fry the Onions until translucent and just about to start coulouring. Add the Carrots, Basil, Garlic and Ginger and continue frying for a few minutes to soak up the juices.

Add the Water and stock that youre using and bring to the boil, now reduce the heat and simmer for 40mins or until carrots are tender.

I switched off the heat at this point and went to bed. You dont have to, it was 11pm so it worked for me, next time it may not be and I’ll skip this bit šŸ™‚

If your serving the soup right away, blitz it in the Blender in small batches, seriously, you dont want hot soup flying up into your face. If youre doing this when its cold you can be a little more adventurous. Return it to the pan and taste it, you’ll want to correct the seasoning at this point, Salt and Pepper of course and maybe a tiny, tiny drop of pepper/chilli sauce.

I added more water at this stage, you will know how much is right for you when its the consistency you prefer. In my case this made 1500ml of soup, enough for 2 full flasks, so lunch for 2 days. I’m already tweaking the recipe as I sip the soup and write this up, maybe adding a Bayleaf or 2 and less basil in the next version? How about Coriander in place of the Ginger? That would be good. I’m pretty confident that it’s low calorie too, which is a nice bonus.

Carrot & Ginger Soup

Enjoy šŸ™‚

Homosexuals are gay, but the big guy is ok with it :-)

February 6, 2008

Homosexuals are gay Originally uploaded by artelsj.

The Word of God?, originally uploaded by MAWGXXXXIV.

A thought for a friend.

February 5, 2008

A late night, unexpected knock on the door is usually not a sign of good news. Last night at around 21:30, this was proven true yet again. One of our neighbours was at the door and I took one look at his face and knew there was something wrong. I’m trying to avoid using names so this might get a bit confused, its a guy and a gal, they arent a couple, one is gay one not and they’ve lived together for a dozen years.

Its only the other day that Paul and I were saying we hadnt seen much of these neighbours lately. We put it down to our recenty holidays overlapping and the amount of work we had been doing since getting back. In fact, it turns out that the gal in question hadn’t been feeling well but had decided to go on holiday anyway. things got worse and so she went to a hospital in Thailand and paid for an MRI scan. The results came back and her worst fears were realised, they had found a brain tumour.

So the reason we hadnt seen them is that the day we got back from holiday she was (back in the UK) being taken in to hospital for further tests and then a few days later an operation to try to remove the tumor. The news came as a great shock and for me personally it echoed back to my Dad’s brain tumor and subsequent operations to try to remove it. In Dads case, and our neighbours, it wasn’t possible to remove it all, it was certain to grow back.

In this ladies case it’s doubly sad that the operation to remove the tumor has caused paralysis in one leg, there is a small chance this may return but its not looking good. We will be going to see her in hospital this week, its the same Ward that Dad was on, so that may bring mixed memories for me. But its not about me so I’ll try to forget that.

You just never know whats around the corner do you? Just before Christmas these guys were sitting on our sofa having a drink, laughing and joking and looking forward to their holidays. Now, she is fighting for survival and you can imagine that her housemate is in pieces too, although not a couple, they’ve lived together for so long that it adds up to the same thing.

She is very much in my thoughts today, maybe you could spare a thought for her too?

Look after yourselves and those you love and remember that however bad your day is, you still have blessings to count šŸ™‚