Tag Archives: food

2011 Project365 (days346-348)

14th December:

14th December 2011

Since watching The Big Bread Experiment on iPlayer last week HD has been on a bit of a breadmaking mission. He has two loaves on the go at the moment, both different variations of spelt bread. Here they are sitting on the radiator to rise a bit before baking. The last loaf he made didn’t seem to rise in the time it was supposed to so he left it on the radiator overnight, we were a bit worried that it would take over the living room but it rose perfectly and was delicious. I had a very amusing facebook conversation about this, I mentioned that any and all of my previous attempts at breadmaking were hopeless and the bread was inedible, and I was mortified that a schoolfriend remembered how rubbish I was at cookery at school. Honestly, you’d think after 30 years the memory would have faded. I tried really hard, but let’s just say I was never a natural. My family still go on about it (particularly the salty jam tart), though to be fair they did have to eat it.

13th December:

13th December 2011

New uplighter.

12th December:

12th December 2011

Cookies (delicious: I didn’t cook them, obviously!).

2011 Project365 (days 323-333)

29th November:

29th November 2011

We’ve been having seriously good weather for ducks. Glasgow had well over half its monthly average monthly rainfall in less than 24 hours, and don’t forget that in the west of Scotland we already get plenty of the wet stuff. Stirling was even worse.

28th November:

28th November 2011

I drove through a great big puddle too fast and gubbed the electrics, so we broke down just after we turned onto the M8 on the way home. This was taken with HD’s phone, and is of the car while we waited for the man from the RAC to rescue us. Of course by the time he came the car started, but he dried it out and sprayed it with industrial amounts of WD40 and it got us home OK.

27th November:

27th November 2011

I liked the morning sky colour here.

26th November:

26th November 2011

This clematis is by our front door. It’s going to look lovely in the summer.

25th November:

25th November 2011

This (very zoomed) view is not far from our house. As you can see the hills got a dusting of snow.

24th November:

24th November 2011

Confession: I totally forgot to take a picture on the 24th, so I took a picture of white nothing on the 25th. Whoops!

23rd November:

23rd November 2011

These carnations are left over from the bouquet I got from my colleagues (see previous photo) (actually they’re still alive a week later on the 30th too!).

22nd November:

22nd November 2011

I had an interview in the afternoon for a reduced-hours health visiting job, I didn’t get it (though they said I interviewed well), but it did give me the chance to hang around Queen’s Park before it got dark while waiting for HD to finish work. I tried lots of close-ups of the swans, got quite a few pictures I liked. This one had just had its head in the water, hence the dripping.

21st November:

21st November 2011

The best thing about moving house! 🙂

20th November:

20th November 2011

This is our local parish church (which coincidentally has the same name as our church in Glasgow).

19th November:

19th November 2011

This is the best takeaway we’ve had yet here (the Indian and Chinese have been a bit disappointing).

OU

The induction day today reminded me all over again why I like the Open University so much (and that’s before we even got to the amazing – free! – lunch, which to be fair they did tell us not to get used to!). Sitting in a room full of interesting, motivated people (who were in the same boat as me, and all seemed equally daunted by it, but equally up for it too), supportive staff, supportive staff, did I say the staff are really supportive? The OU consistently comes in the top 2 or 3 in the national student survey for student satisfaction, in Scotland and (I think) in the UK as a whole, and I think it’s going to be a joy to work for them. Hooray! Now I just have to find the time to get though the absolute mountain of teaching materials and get my head round the tutoring forums etc.

I was interested to hear lots of people worrying about interacting online, and how different that would be from face-to-face. I had done a bit of that as a student already, for my final MSc module (which feels like a lifetime ago, though it was actually just 5 years), and of course I’ve had the occasional practice at online interaction (can’t think where 😉 ), so for me that feels like the least of my worries. The most of my worries is in finding the time to get through the course materials and have enough of a handle on it that I can best help my students. I have had a brainwave, which if I were God would make life so much easier to handle, but as I’m not will have to muddle on regardless. Basically I think that if time could be captured on an external hard drive (or whatever the time/life/existence equivalent to a computer would be) then I could do my thesis and day job* as normal, and have the extra OU time running concurrently but not get overburdened or go over-capacity. I’m not sure I’ve explained that very well, but it makes perfect sense to me. I expect the techies will be along soon enough to point out the flaws.

And as for the food – mmmmmmmmm. A sit down delicious buffet, we all felt like we were at a wedding reception (and in fact the venue was quite posh and there was a wedding reception going on down the corridor). With proper cloth napkins and everything! Makes a change from the curled up sandwiches and custard cream you usually get at these things.

* whenever that happens – no news yet.

Dog collarage

To (almost) the other end of the M8 yesterday evening, to see Derf – or should I now say, Rev. Derf (well technically The Dr. Rev. Derf, but she’s decided against that for thoroughly understandable reasons!) being received into her new congregation/circuit/parish (they’re a bit complicated, these Methodist types!). What a lovely evening. As soon as I walked in and saw her over the other side of the room in her dog collar I got all weepy (I’m still getting all weepy thinking about it), and although I did hold it together during the service, every time I looked at her I got all emotional. Just seeing someone doing what they were born to do, what a wonderful thing 🙂

The spread the congregations put on after the service was a wonderful thing as well 😀

Wishing Rev. Derf every joy and happiness in her new ministry.

A week of stuff

I haven’t blogged for a week, which has been due to a combination of being too busy doing interesting things or having large chunks of boringness when there’s been nothing to write about. Anyway, things worth telling you about:

* weekend in York. Our best man had his annual birthday walk (his walk 3 years ago was our second date). This year (unlike last year) we didn’t get drenched, so that was good. We started at a village, the name of which I have forgotten (West something-beginning-with-T), and walked about 7 miles mostly along a river through fields and woods, to another village called Masham which has famous breweries (Theakstons, Black Sheep). We had a meal at a hotel next to the Black Sheep brewery when we finished the walk, and I made the mistake of ordering Guinness (my usual beer of choice) instead of something made by Theakstons. I sent the first one back as I thought they’d given me a pint of Coke by mistake as it had no head, and the second one only had about a millimetre of head which had disappeared after a couple of sips, and it didn’t taste as good as usual. I think they were having an off day. Anyway, the walk was good, we got to see lots of friends, and our best man and his wife recently bought a new house with a lovely garden so we got to nose at that too. A lovely weekend.

* interviews. HD has had a couple down south this week and last, we’re still waiting to hear. He thinks one went well, the other not so. Everything is being thoroughly crossed, as it’s getting a bit crucial that we get something soon as I’m about to get my final pay packet from the university. I have an interview lined up at the end of the month for a health visiting job here which I’m not desperate to do but if there’s nothing else going I’m glad I can fall back on it. Still waiting to hear from the part-time jobs I applied for, which I’d prefer if HD gets a job down south as it means I could still be around here a couple of days a week which will be helpful for seeing supervisors/going to the library/sorting out the flat/etc.

* shipmeet. Actually it was also a mini-wibmeet, as 4 of the 10 people who met last night at Ad Lib were also wibloggers. Smudgie and Smudgelet are up for a visit this week, so we had a meal in the evening – unfortunately due to thesis commitments I couldn’t share in their afternoon adventure. It was good to see Smudgie, and also fellow bloggers Surfing and Tractor Girl, and to see some familiar and unfamiliar shippies as well. I was particularly impressed with my pudding – I had a chocolate brownie (which was really really something else, it was gorgeous), but I figured that as it had a strawberry on my plate *and* I declined the accompanying ice-cream, that meant that it was virtually calorie-neutral.

* thesis. Argh. If I could just get my current chapter out of the way then I could get on with something fun (I always think that when I’m at this point in a chapter). Hopefully it will be finished by the end of the week, but only if I step up the drama queen histrionics act. One good thing is that due to the worrying about jobs and money, I really am not remotely fussed about the uncertainty about my thesis extension. I’ve got more important things to worry about.

That is all, I think.

Various

Life has been distinctly unblogworthy of late – that was going to change this weekend as we were due to go to York for a friend’s birthday party, but having foregone our Saturday lie-in this morning we got ourselves all packed and ready only to discover that Dudley (the Saab) wasn’t too well – a belt has snapped (I know *that* feeling!) and something else has jammed, and can’t be looked at until Monday at the earliest, and last-minute train fares were far too expensive, so I had my lie-in this afternoon instead, and instead of going to York the main excitement was going to our local Lidl for the first time (it opened 2 days ago). When I moved here and found that the local supermarket was a Somerfield I was a bit disappointed as I was used to the marginally more up-market Sainsburys/Tescos. Our Somerfield though closed 3-4 months ago and has only now re-emerged as a Lidl, and I’m now at the point where I feel that Somerfield is the height of sophistication in comparison, though to give Lidl its due, I do really appreciate that I can get pasta for 25p rather than £1.something and (hopefully – haven’t tried it yet but just about to) some reasonable-tasting wine for under a fiver.

What about other news? Work-wise, now that I’ve looked at the comments of the peer reviewers I’m at a bit of a loss to know where to start. They only have minimal suggestions for the substance of the article (that’s good), but also want to know a ton of information about my methodology. Having already just about hit the word limit for the article, I’m not entirely sure how to also include information that took 10K words when I wrote my methodology chapter. Sigh, I’m sure it will all work out, but it will require some creativity.

Also work-wise, I have seen a few jobs to apply for (one in the same town as a job HD has applied for, but mostly not, which is a bit of a stress). Today I saw one in Shetland. Which is kind of tempting, though I suspect the weather would be a bit “character-building”.

Finally, this made me laugh today, it reminded me of me and HD. Well, the “lack of hot abs” mainly reminded me of me, if I’m honest, but anyway:

cute pictures of puppies with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures

Bank Holiday

I have enjoyed reading about everybody’s Bank Holiday (at least in the UK) adventures. Unfortunately, the most exciting thing we did on Bank Holiday Monday was wander on down to the greengrocer to stock up on veg, and we managed to get wet just doing that – so yes, typical Bank Holiday weather up here anyway. We’re so rock’n’roll.

We went for a curry on Sunday night, and so just for my own future reference: spicy vegetable korma / Indian vegetable curry both recommended. Mmmmm. I think the nan breads are getting even bigger.

Today after work I went to my book group, having once again not managed to read the book. Fortunately it is not a scary book group so this was not a problem. I do honestly mean to read the book each time, and usually manage it, but as I am getting busier at work and more stressed the thought of having to get to know a whole new lot of characters and potentially get emotionally involved in a draining story means that I keep putting off starting books until it is too late. I’m a bit like that with films too – unless I’ve seen them already and know I like them, or if it’s one I really really really want to see, I find it difficult to commit to sitting down and watching a film (I think HD finds this a bit frustrating, which is understandable). I still do mean to read the book we’ve just discussed (the others in the group are pretty good at not giving spoilers), as they did rate this as a good one (it’s Irene Nemirovsky’s “Suite Francaise”). Unfortunately we now have to move on, and having pulled a title out of the box that none of us had heard of (I think it might have been suggested ages ago by a member of the group who moved to Dundee a few months ago) it is time for a new start. I have just been on to amazon and read the reviews, let’s just say I have a feeling it might be another “Shadow of the Wind” experience. Fortunately there were lots of 1p copies. I read out one of the reviews to HD and he laughed. We both know I’m going to hate this one. Sigh.

A walk in the park

IMGP6777 IMGP6782

This evening we thought we’d take advantage of the blue sky (and lack of rain!) to check on the baby coots in the park and have an ice-cream. We only managed to see one of the coots (once again my photos are too rubbish for public consumption!), it’s quite a bruiser now! There wasn’t any sign of any ducklings or cygnets though – actually I haven’t seen an obvious swan nest so maybe they haven’t bred this year, I don’t know.

IMGP6786 We did have a bit of a show from this thrush – it was swooping again and again trying to chase away a rook that was sat by the edge of the pond, presumably near the nest of the thrush. Eventually the rook got a bit fed up and sauntered off, and then the thrush started on us! (though a bit less dramatically, as obviously it could see we were a bit bigger! We definitely got a ‘look’ from it though!).

The ice-cream situation was a bit disappointing. I had a Feast all planned in my head, but unfortunately the van only did cornets with vanilla ice-cream, which neither of us like that much. I suppose it was better for our waistline, but I really was a bit disappointed – what a let-down!

Shipmeet

This afternoon we had a meet-up of Glasgow-and-environs-based folk from Ship of Fools. We went to a Spanish tapas restaurant up in town called La Tasca and I must say the food was very nice indeed, though I am still experiencing something of a garlicky aftertaste (this is not a bad thing, because I like garlic, and as the only person I am intending to snog is probably similarly afflicted we can cancel each other out). Mostly people I knew already, but we had one new person (who is also doing a PhD in my faculty, and who has to mark essays by the same students!), a new baby and an imminent bump-soon-to-be-baby as well. Had a very useful chat with one shipmate who is a nurse as I need to get my act together about getting work for when the money runs out, it was also fun to share our colleagues-and-nursing-students horror stories as it is always reassuring to know that it’s not just me that attracts the weird/useless/clueless ones.

No photos unfortunately, you’ll just have to take my word for it that we all looked great!

Now I’m back I need to pack for tomorrow’s adventure. I’m off to London till Monday night – staying with friends in sarf London tomorrow night so am really really looking forward to catching up with them, and then on Monday I’m going to a study day at the British Library. I’ve never been there before, and having looked at the various collections on-line am wondering how much of it I can sneak out of so I can look at the illuminated manuscripts and music scores and maps and stuff, as that will probably be more interesting than the stuff I’m meant to be going there for. Actually that’s not true, I’ll be speaking with the area subject librarians who know about Romania and stuff, so with any luck it will be really useful. I’m just a bit concerned as their online Romania collection mainly seems to be quite ancient – I hope it’s not a wasted journey. Well, it won’t be wasted from the social point of view, but it would be good if I can actually learn something as well while I’m there.