Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Too much clutter!

EEK! This is just a snapshot of what arrived with Dad and David on Saturday morning. 8am on Saturday morning, I have to add. Being up and about at that time on a weekend, should be illegal!

24 boxes arrived. Most of them contain books. I think I may have to acknowledge the fact that I have "book issues".

In some ways it has been lovely being reunited with all my stuff again. It feels like some sort of reunification of self. On the otherhand, the clutter is driving me crazy! I've emptied all the boxes and tried to get things into some sort of order. However, we just don't have enough space for everything. I think I'll have to work out what can be stored in the plastic boxes and keep them in the spare room cupboard for now.

It's just been a crazy few weeks on the whole. I feel like I have had no time to sit still. The only respite I can see arrives on Tuesday when the Sheffield trauma is over with. At least, I have Friday off and I'm going to visit my parents and friends at the weekend. That's something to look forward to at least!


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Another traybake adventure!

This is my famous Rocky Road. It really is great stuff and takes no prisoners when it comes to being terribly bad for you ;o)
It's easy to make too. 30 minutes and you're pretty much done. Here's how:

2 x 200g bar of dark chocolate (yes, this traybake really does mean business!)
100g mini marshmallows
100g digestives broken into small pieces
100g rice crispies
50g glace cherries halved
200g unsalted butter/margarine.

Start by lining a baking tray with cling-film. Grab a large mixing bowl and pop all the dry ingredients into it. Give them a good mix. Then, break up the chocolate and melt with the butter/margarine in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering (not boiling) water. Once the chocolate has melted, pour it into the mixing bowl and give it a mix. This bit is good for building muscles in your arms I find! Once mixed well, tip the mixture into the baking tray and flatten out using a wooden spoon. Pop in the fridge and leave to harden. In the meantime, you can lick the spoon for a taste of the delights to come :o)


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Inchies and holibags!

I made my first set of "inchies" yesterday and here they are! I was inspired by one of my deepest loves - chocolate. I get catalogues through from Hotel Chocolat all the time and their choccies really are works of art in their own right.
I was a little surprised by how easy it was to work on such small pieces. They really do look stunning once finished. I feel I may have to experiment some more with these!
My other really fabby piece of news is that Graeme and I have booked our flights to go to Crete! YAY! This will be my first proper holiday in almost 5 years. I am so looking forward to having proper relaxation time with Graeme and seeing some more of the world. Thankfully, work have consented to give me time off, which is awfully nice of them I think. I just know they won't be able to cope without me - lol!
So, yeah, Crete. Now all we have to do is figure out where we want to stay. We've found a nice hotel in Chania on the west of the island. Trouble is, all the archaeological sites are on the east of the island. However, the east of the island is also hideously touristy. Decisions, decisions...

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Weekend of wonders!

Went to Kew Gardens today and we had such a good time. The weather was beautiful and all the spring bulbs were out in force! As soon as we entered the gardens, we were greeted with a beautiful carpet of white and purple crocuses. We were snapping some lovely close-up piccies when a huge bumble bee landed on the flower we were photographing. It was so close to us and we got some lovely photos of a happy pollen-covered bumble bee sitting in the crocus. That was the start to what became a day filled with nature's blessings.

Graeme and I love leaving the garden paths behind and rambling through the trees. It seems to be where the real magic happens. As we were wandering through some Beech trees, we were aware of some rather large birds foraging through the undergrowth. They were Guinea Fowl! I managed to get pretty close to them and there was a lovely moment where it was just me and these four birds feeding. It felt really nice that they didn't seem to view me as a threat.

Our next wonderful encounter with wildlife was this gorgeously coloured beast here! There were several of these ornamental pheasants foraging through the trees too. They were so placid as well and came quite close to us as we stood still.

Our final encounter was with a Red Admiral Butterfly that landed close to us to bask in the sunlight on the pavement. It just sat there and posed for the camera :o)

It really was a fantastic day. I had never seen so many daffodils in the one place before. Down both sides of one of the main walkways was a sea of yellow happiness. I just love spring and the feeling of the earth starting to come alive again after the cold of winter.

Yesterday was a packed day as well. I had a craft class in the morning. It was focusing on soldered charms, which I had wanted to try for ages. I really enjoyed the class - the teacher was fab. The only problem was there was only one soldering iron for the whole class, so it took ages to get through everyone's work. The class over-ran by about 40 minutes! Soldering is really quite therapeutic in a way though. I think I might have to invest in a soldering iron of my own.

After that, Graeme and I went shopping. I say Graeme and I, but really I shopped and Graeme carried the bags. Perfect arrangement I think ;o) I managed to get a lovely dress for Dad's retirement and a Momiji Doll. For the first time in ages, I actually seemed to be spoiled for choice when it came to clothes. I went into the changing rooms and thought everything looked fab. Usually, I don't like anything when I try it on!

So that was the weekend of wonders! I feel that I got a lot done this weekend, which makes a change. Doesn't stop me wishing tomorrow wasn't Monday though ;o)

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Busy times!

Lots of stuff to tell you :o)

The Tuesday before last, I went to see Madam Butterfly at the Albert Hall. The Albert Hall really is an amazing venue and I spent ages just looking around. The performance itself was very good. The set was fantastic – a Japanese water garden which becomes a Zen garden in the second half. I did thoroughly enjoy it but my attention began to wander towards the end. I’ve been so tired recently and trying to concentrate on opera definitely wasn’t helping.

Wednesday before last, I started a new bellydance class. I’m now back to intermediate level, which is where I was when I moved down here. The teacher is really friendly and the class is quite small and seem friendly too. We’re doing stick dancing for the rest of this term, so it should be good fun too. It’s taken me ages to find a class I really feel at ease with and I think this might be it!

On Friday, I bought the new Sims 2 expansion pack, only to find it still had the security lock on it when I got it home. Graeme suggested he could take a hacksaw to it but I declined that offer. Instead, I sent him to the HMV in Putney to get it removed while I was waiting in the Post Office on the Saturday morning.

Saturday saw the departure of my latest CJ on its travels around the UK. It’s one with my team from UKS and I am really looking forward to working on everyone’s CJs. I feel I have a real bond with my team and it will be lovely to have something of their work to keep!

On Sunday, I met up with the wonderful Jaihn for the first time. We chatted for ages and the time just disappeared. I left there feeling more postive about things than I had for a long time. It was just wonderful to chat to someone who's been there and understands :o) We're going to meet again soon for some crafty fun - yay!

This week has just disappeared really. I would say nothing of note has happened but I'm not sure if that's true. I've rediscovered and started to acknowledge parts of my life that I have been denying since moving here. I have embraced my spirituality again and it has never felt so right. I'm trying to dedicate time everyday for me and the things I need to help me in life. I meditated on Wednesday for the first time in ages. I didn't think I would be able to do it anymore. However, I amazed myself at how quickly I was gone. Apart from one interuption where I became super aware of my hands (most odd), I managed 30 minutes solid. I think I must have needed it!

I'm also really enjoying the spring days. It has been sunny most days when I was walking to work, which has been most welcome. I walk through Victoria Embankment Gardens and just drink in the green, the flowers and the sun. We've also got the most beautiful mini daffodils in our window-box along with some feathered friends looking for food (I can't take credit for the photo. It was Graeme who got it. Goodness knows how!).
So, this post has turned into a bit of a ramble really. Nevermind. To sum it all up - good things are happening :o)

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