Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Hello 30s - Day 109 - 116

New daily photo project update! It is taking a while at the minute, and my week has been taken over by decorating.

Day 109:This is possibly more boring than the photo of the jars, however this random, empty corner is significant, this was the day we finally took our christmas tree down.

Day 110:
My 'To Do" list. I generally make a new list every night, it is a good way to keep me motivated. I also decide before I sleep which things I will start with first, as it stops me dithering in the morning. Starred items are those I begin with, or that need doing. I also have to have tick boxes, there is no fun in a list if there isn't a box to tick.

Day 111:
We arrived at my folks house Friday night, and there was a little pile of things for me to sort through. My mum and dad are hoping to move, so they have started having a clear out. These are some of the books they had found. I did used to enjoy the animals of Timbuctoo, and everybody loved Mr Men, and Lil Miss. I decided these were for the keep pile. This was just the tip of the iceberg though.

Day 112:Saturday evening saw me visiting my sister and her family, and seeing my brother and his family. I had a lovely time, it was great to catch up, and there was more lovely present exchanges. The daytime however, had seen me sitting in my old bedroom, sorting through boxes, that my dad had been sent to fetch from the attic. In case you are wondering what this drawing of a Care Bear is about, this was the costume my sister and mum made for me, for a fancy dress competition, at some point while I was in primary school. It was a sheet with 3 Care Bears on it. I can only assume I was supposed to be Care Bear Land ... I didn't win. I took some photos for the memories, but it had to go.

This fella also bit the dust. I am quite fond of him, but I just don't have the space to fill my little house with all my old artwork from school, college and university. You probably can't tell, but this is supposed to be Thom Yorke, and yes he is made from copper, wire, some bits of fabric, and various parts of a radio :) You may groan at the Radiohead pun, but he contributed to an 'A' in 'a' level art, so I'm not apologising for it. Sadly we have now had to part ways. I did manage to keep George the fish though, from my GCSE coursework. He is getting on to 15 years old now, which just goes to show how far a bit of papier mache and paint can go, but I will save him for another time.

Day 113:
On the Sunday, before returning home, my friend Rachel popped over for tea. She brought me two of the most awesome presents. One I'm not showing you until it is put together, for now I am keeping it safe and boxed until an appropriate occasion??? This was the other, it is her very own screen print Pegasus design, and I absolutely love it. She is so wonderfully creative and talented, and I can't wait to get the decorating done, so I can have it up on the wall :) She has said she might send me smaller prints as she does them, I can't wait!!

Day 114:
I had my clay out, not just for a bit either, the whole day. Here are some extrusions made with my extruder tool. It is the first time I have used it properly since my friend Liz gave it to me, and I am loving it so, so much. It is like magic, and incredibly addictive. Even boyfriend seemed pretty impressed.

Day 115:
A second full day of clay! Lots of blues being played with today.

Day 116:
The last christmas present arrived! Gorgeous soft, soft, dark green wool from BabyLongLegs. Our order had been lost in the post, we had waited until January, on the off chance it had just been delayed, but it didn't appear, so Sarah kindly sent us another. We didn't need it until that week anyway, what with all the snow, and not getting to see people before christmas. So it all worked out really well, and Delia, who received the wool, was very,very pleased.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Christmas Day 2

As I briefly noted in my last 'Hello 30s' update, on Tuesday, Rob and I had a second Christmas Day, where we exchanged presents we had bought for each other. We didn't go anywhere all day, so we really could pretend it was christmas day. We began the day with croissants, then leisurely spent the day cooking a roast chicken and all the trimmings. The postman must have thought we were a really odd pair, when we opened the door with christmas songs playing in January. There was wine, catalogue poses, crackers to pull, party hat wearing, presents, and a lovely day spent together :)

Rob's presents with the notebook that I made for him :)

Rob bought me my American style rag rug tool, and a needle felting kit, very exciting!

After our huge meal we watched the second half of Going Postal that we had recorded (normal everyday tv wasn't allowed). This was followed by Treacle pudding and custard (part of my gift from The Pudding Club), and then a game of Star Wars Monopoly. I lost in a terrible fashion, and we decided to call it a day when I was sent to jail for the twenty-fifth time, and was rapidly losing all my credits to the jail, and the huge monstrous planet and ship owner that was my boyfriend :) We then moved on to xbox Trivial Pursuit - I was beaten twice :)

Three party hats, and three wins later :)

hello 30s - Day 99 - 108

Day 99:After removing all our belonging from the attic at the beginning of the year, I found piles and piles of photos that needed sorting, so I ordered some photo albums from WHSmiths, because they were buy 1 get 1 free :)

Day 100:
You turn you back for 5 minutes... I know it never comes across as well in a photo, but the cuteness of cats climbing into things never fails to impress me.

Day 101:
The last slice... or more accurately, large mammoth slice of christmas cake (courtesy of Rob's mum) of the year. I would like to say I didn't scoff it all myself, but I did, sat down in front of America's Next Top Model I think (of all the programmes to eat cake in front of), with a giant cup of tea :)

Day 102:
Rob and I went into Guildford, to pick up some belated Christmas treats for ourselves. Rob bought me my Paperchase diary, I get one every year, and I can't live without it. I like them, as they are page per day, and there is always at least one that I find so pretty, that I want to use it, and I think that is key with a diary, otherwise it sits and gathers dust.

Day 103:Photo albums received, and organisation in progress.

Day 104:
I wish this was more interesting than just a group of jars, but it isn't. The point is, I have collected them over christmas, but as yet have made nothing to go into them. I really must get working!

Day 105:This was The Pudding Club that I wrote about in my last post. Here is Lydia concentrating very hard on what score she wants to give her pudding.

Day 106:

The lovely shopper and certificate I received from The Pudding Club :)

Day 107:
Handmade stuffing balls with sausage meat, apple, onion, and chestnuts. They are still raw at this point, we were getting prepared for our feast the following day...

Day 108:
Christmas Day 2! Yes really. In an attempt to be less stressed, and spread the finances a bit, Rob and I didn't get each other presents for christmas. Instead we waited until January 11th, then had another christmas day, but more on that in another post.

Monday, 10 January 2011

The Pudding Club!

On Saturday, my girlies took me to The Pudding Club in Chipping Campden. They booked it for us, as part of my 30th birthday present back in September. It was such a super idea, I mean who doesn't like pudding! The Club is held weekly at the Three Ways House Hotel, and you are able to indulge in 7 different puddings, and what's more if you can stomach it, and as long as your bowl is emptied between servings, you can have seconds, or thirds ... or more!!

This was the range of puddings we were able to try on Saturday. We were also given a main course to begin with, thankfully the portions sizes are kept realistic, so you aren't stuffed before the real challenge begins. I had the Poached Salmon and Creme Fraiche, as I decided it would be the lightest, it was, and it was delicious.

All the puddings are proper old school puddings served with custard, and you can choose in which order you would like to eat them. I began with Spotted Dick. It may be hard to believe, but I don't recall ever having it before, I'm not sure why, but I really, really enjoyed it. I expected it to be heavier, but it was actually pretty light. In hindsight I think this healthy looking portion was somewhat dangerous!

I finished it easily though! :) You then keep your bowls and spoons, and go up to the buffet area with the rest of your table, to collect your next helping.

Here we are going strong after two helpings. My second was the Banana and Cinnamon Pudding, that too felt very light, the banana was there, but not overpowering, although I couldn't really taste the cinnamon, which is a shame, as I love it. Still it was one of my favourite puddings of the night.

I never made it to seven puddings, this was my sixth and last portion. As you can see, by this point the staff had kindly started to give out smaller portion sizes...

... but it still beat me. I do love chocolate, but I could not eat another bite. The temptation was there to finish it, and get my seventh pudding, so I could at least say I had tried all seven, but there was no hope. If it had been Rhubarb Crumble, I may have found the will, but it was Apple, and I couldn't get to my feet for apple :)

As you went through the puddings you marked them out of ten. At the end, everyone handed in the score sheets, and one was drawn out of an ice bucket, to win a pudding to take home. At that point I was actually a little relieved not to win :) My favourite pudding of the night was Passionfruit Charlotte, I don't know if it was the fact that it had a different texture, or that I found it incredibly refreshing after a portion of the rich Lord Randall, but it tasted amazing. Strangely, it is not a pudding I ever would have chosen over about 4 or 5 of the others, so it just goes to show what a great tasting opportunity and experience it was.

The over all winner of the evening was the Stem Ginger Pudding, that had been my second favourite, so I wasn't surprised. The Charlotte was the second most popular pudding.

Here we are at the end, after teas and coffees. I'm on the left, and if it looks like I'm uncomfortable, it is because I was, I couldn't move! I was very happy though.

Everybody that took part also received a certificate which was a lovely touch, and because I was bought the night as part of a gift voucher, I also took home 3 family sized Pudding Club Puddings (also available from Waitrose I believe), and a lovely Pudding Club Shopper! There will be photos of those in my next photo project update.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Hello 30s - Day 88 - 98

Here is the next installment of the photo project that built up over the festive holiday :)

Day 88:These were my first christmas presents of the year, that I received from the lovely Lydia. I have already gone through a good chunk of the Kirstie book, and can't wait to have some me time, with a bottle of wine, Mr Depp, and some Vampires ;)

Day 89:
I won a candle from one stop pamper shop. I haven't lit it yet, I'm saving it... probably until I have that wine a dvd marathon :) It smells gorgeous though, white chocolate, yum! I had forgotten that I had won it, so it was nice when I received a heavy parcel from the postman, and had no idea what it was :)

Day 90:I made a big batch of oaty biscuits, from a recipe my Nan used to make. I love them, they are so simple, yet so tasty!!

Day 91:
Christmas Day!! I have to admit my camera was a little bit forgotten about over christmas, I kept getting distracted. We had a lovely time stopping at Rob's mum and dad's, and had a lovely christmas day visiting Rob's brother and sister-in-law, where we had the yummiest christmas meal. This was the Smoked Haddock Mousse starter, yum! It was at this point, when I started eating, that I forgot about my camera :) I wish I had remembered to take pictures of the full meal, it was glorious. Afterwards, once sat on the sofa, I literally, but happily, couldn't move! :)

Day 92:
This was Rob's, Mum and Dad's lovely frosty garden. They get a huge assortment of birds flying in to feed from the goodies that have been left out. Here are some Goldfinches.

Apples proved to be very popular, the blackbirds kept fighting over them, amongst themselves, and with some Fieldfares.

Day 93:
We had some lazy days once we got back home, where we didn't do very much at all :) So I took some photos of some of the treats we received over christmas. Every year Rob's mum creates her own christmas crackers, and buys a gift to go in each. This year all the boys received a mechanical tin toy car. I love it, I have a things about tin toys. We are having a sort out at the minute, but once there is a shelf free of christmas decor, this car is going on it.

This was part of our present from Rob's brother and his wife, Sandra always makes wonderful jams and chutneys. We are already half way through the nectarine relish, and there is only two halves of Nectarines in brandy syrup left, as I keep eating them with Nigella's cinnamon french toast - yum!!! I'm thinking that I might make some more oat biscuits, but try adding some of the pear honey...

Day 94:Rob's sister-in-law, knitted me this wonderful scarf. It is so pretty, I can't get over it.

I love the colours and the texture, it looks like it must have been pretty complicated, having said that I think Sandra can knit anything, she's a knitting whiz!

These are what the individual strands look like, I have no idea how she managed to knit with it without sending her eyes funny, or losing patience!

Day 95:
This was an extra christmas day meal gift from Sandra. It is a gorgeous little brooch from Silk Purse, Sow's Ear on Folksy. I am so taken with it, I think I might collect some of the other designs in the shop :)

This was my cracker present from Rob's Mum and Dad, a pretty silver star bracelet, it is absolutely gorgeous! I did feel so lucky on Christmas Day, to receive so many pretty thing to cherish.

Here is my Folksy Secret Santa present. Tell me who can deny loving bunting? Not me that is for sure. It is beautifully made, with patterned fabrics on one side and a plain purple on the other, I am chuffed to bits. Thank you to my Secret Santa Miss Baclart. :)

Here is my present from Rob's oldest brother and wife, lots and lots of gorgeous smelling things. I'm trying to be good and use up all of my left over bit and pieces, but don't we all just want to jump in, and start using brand new, filled to the brim, colourful bottles?

Day 96:
I imagine we weren't the only ones that decided that new goodies, means a clear out is needed. This is what happened to out spare room, when we decided to clear out the attic. It remained like this for two days, I couldn't seem to make a dent in it!

Day 97:
New Years Eve! We were invited over to friends, for the yummiest food and games. We had a lovely time, this was taken in the middle of a Raving Rabbids game. Rob is the one that looks very competitive :) I found out that I can cook and toss a steak very well, but am unable to play drums or race :)

Day 98:
New Year's Day! Still at out friend's house. Technically we had gone into New Year's Day at this point, and while our friends wiped the floor with us playing Articulate, their cute little puppy Memphis tried to see if he could reach his tail - not quite!