Monday, 21 June 2010

A Paintbrush , Cinnamon and Tangos

Husband's in France for a few weeks , so I decided to paint the kitchen this weekend . It's easier to camp out among the temporary chaos on your own , than with two .

Things got off to a good start . The Dutch equivalent of sugar soap has finally been found and corners are unaccustomedly cobweb free .
But , first things first . Coffee . Filter coffee , Kenyan Masai AA to get me going . It wasn't perhaps the best idea to knock the full filter over the clean , ready to paint surfaces and floor but when I klutz , I tend to do it with full choral backing .... remember the Ratatouille ?

So I go in hunt of clean painting trousers , only find ancient size 16s , find belt , talk to daughter on phone and marvel that though I've lost so much weight , I remain a size 12 , daughter says "Yes , but you can't do much about your hips ", cross said daughter off Christmas card list , put cd on , climb ladder , and get cracking . I'm only doing walls , ceiling and a couple of shelves , so it doesn't take too long to finish first coat .

But I decided that , to hell with saving time , I can't possibly spend all weekend eating only toast and light cottage cheese so clear a space to make some chicken , leek and chick pea soup with a minute piece of chorizo ( cholesterol-laden but essential ) and spinach . The chickpeas were originally cooked with a cinnamon stick which makes it all smell gorgeous and I enjoyed the resulting soup hugely !

Next day , next coat and by lunch time it's all done. For once the paint I used lived up to its name , "Perfect Finish" ! Putting everything back was a pain but finally I could flake out on the sofa with a pile of 1950's Paris Match I'd discovered the other day . And then sleep like a rose .( This isn't me , in case you were wondering . )

N.B. to self : Tangos aren't really the best music choice when you're up a ladder .

Thursday, 17 June 2010



You know how it is, not a sighting of anyone famous (or even remotely z list) for ages and then three celebs are spotted one after the other. I hasten to add, though, that when I told a friend, she said: who? to the first two names, and then cried out in recognition at the third name, but it turned out she thought I meant someone else. Now, don't all of you cry out, who? at once!

First sighting: I am in passenger seat of our car, and being driven through Islington. There is a side street with a range of cafe's and restaurants with outside tables. At one such table I spot Will Young talking to a friend. For those who live outside of the UK, he won the first Pop Idol contest (a fore-runner of X factor). He is as cute in person as he is in the pics or on screen, but I didn't have a camera with me so you will have to trust me on that one.

Second sighting: I am in a pub in Devon and my partner says: 'look! it is that guy from The Restaurant, what was his name?' (the TV series where Raymond Le Blanc makes a chef and front of house combo do a million tests to see if he will open a restaurant with them). Anyway, his name was Alasdair and he is now serving in Jack in the Green (great restaurant, by the way). We start whispering discreetly, then partner's mother says loudly after he has served us: 'I know that face! Why do I know that face?'.

Third sighting: again, in passenger seat, leaving a service station off the motorway somewhere between Devon and London and we spot Rolf Harris. Now, you must know who he is, surely?

Anyway, which celebs/famous have you spotted either recently or ever?

Friday, 11 June 2010

Shhhh , The Football's On .... And On


I don't know about you , but I find a little of the Beautiful Game goes a long way . But it wouldn't pay to say that here . Holland's playing .... nay ! Holland's going to WIN
and the world's gone orange ( that being the national colour ) .
Whole streets have gone orange

Shop windows have gone orange

Dinner's gone orange ( not just any old pizza this , I hasten to add , but Parma Ham and Crayfish Pizza by chef Frank Huson .)

Even the local pet shop has a special offer on very patriotic-looking goldfish tomorrow

But one thing's certain

It'll all end in tears for someone in three weeks .

Sunday, 6 June 2010

From one island to another


My broadband connection has become intermittent, some days I can hop on and others I can't! The engineer's verdict is that the cable has been chewed by animals (foxes, squirrels, and other potential culprits in this urban wildlife hotspot I live in). This has happened before, so it is no surprise. But, this morning, a window of opportunity means that I can blog again.... so a few pics about the bank holiday weekend on the Isle of Wight follows.

We set off from Yarmouth to Lymington:

Braving the deck and its bustling winds. There is something exhilarating about being on the water, even if it is only for about 20 minutes. We hastened to the campsite on the south of the Island, near a pretty village called Brighstone. You have met the camper before, and here she was in her element, the pop-top up to enjoy the warmer weather (a tad optimistc, because there was rain! I felt sorry for those in tents - you should have seen the people wrestling with fly away tents in the wind and rain....):

We were on the edge of the cliff, over this beach:

No dinosaur bones or fossils to be found on this beach, and we had no luck spotting another rare sight in Britain: the red squirrel. We had hired bikes to cycle around the island (given the steep hills - well, to me anyway - we didn't get very far, and I may have been huffing and puffing too much to look out for squirrels). The thing is the invasive grey squirrel has not managed to oust the native squirrels... but I consoled myself with this little chap from the gift shop:

mmm, come to think of it... is this the little critter guilty of eating up my cables?...

And, as the other half was celebrating a bank holiday birthday, we treated ourselves to a local seafood platter:

Now, that alone was worht the trip!