31 January 2011

What are you reading?

I'm half way through Crow Lake by Mary Lawson and so far it's brilliant.

Canadian writer Mary Lawson's debut novel is a beautifully crafted and shimmering tale of love, death and redemption set in the eponymous Crow Lake, an isolated rural community where time has stood still. Narrated by 26-year-old Kate Morrison, we dive in and out of the troubled woman's childhood memories over the passage of a year--when she was seven and her parents were killed in a motoring accident, leaving Kate, her younger sister Bo and two older brothers Matt and Luke orphaned. The proverbial can of worms is opened for our heroine when she receives an invitation to Matt's son's 18th birthday. The successful zoologist and professor, so accustomed to dissecting everything through a microscope, must suddenly analyse her own relationship and come to terms with her past before she forsakes a future with the man she loves. She is still in turmoil over the events of that fateful summer and winter 20 years ago when the tragedy of another local family, the Pyes, spilled over into their own lives with earth-shattering consequences.

30 January 2011

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I thought I'd share this recipe with you as it's very easy to make and very delicious to eat. Last week was only the second time I'd made it since making it at school many moons ago.

Pineapple upside-down cake
Serves 8
• Butter for greasing
• 2 x 15ml tablespoons sugar
• 6 slices pineapple from a 425g can, plus 3 x 15ml tablespoons of the juice
• 11 glace cherries, approx. 75g total weight
• 100g flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
• 100g soft butter
• 100g caster sugar
• 2 eggs
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Butter a cake 23 cm cake tin
2. Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of sugar on top of the buttered base, and then arrange the pineapple slices to make a circular pattern as in the picture.
3. Fill each pineapple ring with a glace cherry, and then dot one in each of the spaces in between.
4. Put the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, butter, caster sugar and eggs into a food processor and run the motor until the batter is smooth. Then pour in the 3 tablespoons of pineapple juice to thin it a little.
5. Pour this mixture carefully over the cherry-studded pineapple rings; it will only just cover it, so spread it out gently.
6. Bake for 30 minutes, then ease a spatula around the edge of the tin, place a plate on top and, with one deft - ha! - move, turn it upside-down.

Love from Nigella Lawson

29 January 2011

5 of 52

An unusual headstone in the local cemetery.
I couldn't see the inscription as it was so old but I just thought it must have been two people who loved each other very much as the anchor and flowers were entwined.
But maybe that's just me. An old romantic.

The things you do in your lunch hour just to get a photo for the week!!

25 January 2011

Working v Staying at Home

I've always said that I would love to stay at home and be a housewife and I still stick with that idea. I could quite easily fill my days with housework (limited to one room a day though!!), crafting, crochet, baking and going out for lunch.
But............................. I have to say, with all honesty, I would miss the girls at work and the laughs we have. We've had some good laugh these last few weeks and last week I laughed so much the tears were tripping me.
It's not always fun and games at work but they do cheer me up if I've had a bad day.

In school uniform - Red Nose Day 2009

Carol - my good friend who listens to all my woes and often has some very good advice in return. She's had her ear bent quite a few times over the last year.

Wear it Pink Day 2010
Sharon (in the middle) is always there to remind me that it's not just my house that has a stroppy teenager with a fixation with X-Box!!

Joonie, Elaine and Sharon having a 'swift half' at a retirement do a few years ago.

How could you not love working with these girlies?

22 January 2011

The Tudors

They're back!!

My only criticism is that Jonathan Rhys Meyers is too yummy to be Henry VIII who, by the time he married Katherine Howard, was overweight with a gammy leg!!!

Saturday treat

A small treat today as I was in town bright and early by myself.
A tall, skimmed, decaf, sugar free, vanilla latte.

4 of 52

A Lego R2D2!!

17 January 2011

Happy Birthday Samuel

I can't believe that Samuel is 14. How did that happen? I must have blinked and missed the last few years.

This is beginning to be the usual pose lately!!

All he wanted for his birthday was a homemade chocolate cake with candles.......
and some chocolate brownies (which are on their way to school tomorrow as part of a talk!!)

He really is easily pleased.
He got lots of lovely cards and LOTS of money to spend on new trainers and clothes.

12 January 2011

Poor Man's Interflora

Flowers from my Mum. She always calls these flowers "Poor Man's Inter Flora" but I think they're great. The sentiment is the same, they last more than a week and the colours don't fade. Nothing Poor in that. Thanks Mum ♥

11 January 2011

The death of Major Richard Winters

Anyone who has seen Band of Brothers will know who Major Dick Winters is. I was saddened to hear today that he had died on the 2 January 2011 at the age of 92.

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, Winters commanded a group of American troops who parachuted behind enemy lines onto Utah Beach, where thousands of Allied troops landed for the invasion of Normandy.

Winters and his Easy Company went on to fight in the Battle of the Bulge, the last-ditch Nazi offensive in Western France. He also took part in the liberation of the Dachau death camp and numerous other battles.

Damian Lewis, who portrayed Dick Winters in the mini series said this of him:

It's a sad day today. Major Richard Winters, without question one of the
great heroes of World War 2, has died. His story, and those of the men
of Easy Company came to prominence through the extraordinary HBO series,
Band of Brothers. I was honoured to have played, no, represent him on
the screen. He was unstinting in his support of the project and of me.
He welcomed me to his house in Hershey, introduced me to his loving
wife, Ethel, and constantly exhorted me to "Hang Tough!"
He has died quietly, in private, without fanfare, with the same modesty
that he lived his life as one of the most celebrated soldiers of his
generation. I will miss him and I thank him."


10 January 2011

What are you reading?

On my first trip to the library this year I brought home with me:
Alice Hartley's Happiness - Philippa Gregory = because it's one of hers I haven't come across before.
Blood Brothers - Josephine Cox = simply because I've not read her before and she had a lot of books on the shelves!!
Her Every Pleasure - Gaelen Foley = it's a period drama so I thought I'd give it a go.

Not mind blowingly fantastic reasons to take out a book but as good a place to start as any :0)

On my to look for list are:
Mixed Signals by Liz Curtis Higgs
The Help by Kathryn Stockett (always out on loan!!)
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

That should keep me going for a while.

9 January 2011

2 of 52

A little more snow by the pond.

Happy Birthday

Happy 4th Birthday to my nephew.

Knowing he is a Thomas the Tank Engine fan I made him a cushion, out of felt, for his bed.

It originally just had a face but it looked a bit bare so I added the name to it. John then felt it still lacked a little something so made me some clouds!! Who knew Uncle John was so crafty?

I added the message to the back so he knows who it's from. It's my first crafting item of the year and I'm really pleased with it.

A little tag to say who made it (just to add that extra little flourish) and it was ready for the post.

Hope you have a good day.

8 January 2011

Wish List

We were always told when we we kids that the thing you wanted most should be at the top of your list, so here's mine.

Molton Brown Thai Vert hand soap.


Another delight from Samuel's cooking lesson. Chocolate gateaux.

4 January 2011

Partial Solar Eclipse

Samuel and I were fortunate enough to see the partial solar eclipse this morning on our way to Aberdeen. This photo was taken for the BBC in Aberdeenshire but I have to say at 9.15 this morning we had no clouds just a VERY bright sun and a tiny bit of moon!! At first we couldn't see anything as it was far too bright but John said to make a pin hole in a piece of paper and look through that. You know what? It worked and no sun blindness afterwards. Cool or what?
More info here BBC News

Time for a check

Image from Google

I will be the first to admit that even after being told for years that I should check my breasts, I don't. Or that should be I didn't.

After visiting my MIL (who is recovering from radiotherapy after her breast cancer op)back in October I promised her that if I was ever worried about any lumps, bumps or changes I would go and get them checked out. Who would have thought that a week after getting home I would have a lot of pain in my left boobie? I duly trogged off to the doctor who said she thought it was Fybrocystic disease but would send me for a mammogram anyway.

To cut a long story short. One mammogram and one ultrasound later and everything is OK. The doctor had told me that "Pain is good" so I wasn't too worried that it would be anything too serious but it doesn't stop you worrying yourself to death for two months!!

So ladies -Go get them checked. :0)

3 January 2011

1 of 52

This year seeing as how I couldn't really face another marathon of 1 photo a day for a year I've opted for 52 weeks in Black and White which my SIL Barbara told me about (although after seeing the photos on flickr I don't think mine will be anywhere near as good). At least I can take a few shots each week and just post the one I like best.

I'm starting the year with a photo of pebbles on Cullen beach last week. I just put the camera (gently) on the sand and pressed the button!! Not too bad but room for improvement I think.

2 January 2011

First read of 2011

This is a book that my Mum gave me for Christmas last year and has been on my to read list since then. I only started it two days ago and can't put it down. I know some of you have read it already and have said that it's a brilliant book so I'm off now to read some more :0)

"Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child, she survives by keeping her hatred alive. Then she meets Michael..."

It's an historical romance novel set in the 1850s Gold Rush in California. The story is inspired by the book of Hosea from the Bible. Its central theme is to portray the redeeming love of God towards sinners.

1 January 2011

Happy New Year

I can officially say that I am so glad that 2010 is over. It has been one hell of a hideous year emotionally with family, illness and bad news from friends and it isn't quiet over yet (more about that on the 4 Jan 11). I have learned though, that I am a stronger person than I thought. I can only hope now that 2011 will be the complete opposite. As my wonderful MIL said yesterday. 2010 can stay in 2010 and she is so right.

I would like to say a huge thank you to all of you who still managed to drop by and leave me a comment. They were all very much appreciated and I am hoping that next year I will be able to get back to leaving you all comments in return. I haven’t forgotten you. I just didn’t have enough time every day to get on the computer. I know that this happens to everyone at some point and I am grateful to you all for saying Hi every now and again. Your comments brightened some of my worst days.
Still onwards and upwards next year. I might even get back into my scrapbooking. I already have one book I need to make so who knows.

Wishing you and your families a wonderful New Year and a very Happy 2011.