Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple." - Woody Guthrie

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Pesto buns and knicker drawers ...

One of the birthday treats a few weeks back was a theatre trip, to see Matilda.  The view of the stage was excellent considering the tickets were a late purchase and the seats being in the back row of the stalls.  So when I say that Trunchbull's acting was all in the eyes you will realise how good the view was.  I love the theatre, more civilised than the cinema, with people being considerate of each other.  The choreography was brilliant but my favourite character, aside from Trunchbull was Rudolfo, every time he entered the stage I came over all giggly and unnecessary.  Whilst we were enjoying our theatre trip, my husband took a trip to the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square and found himself on a Female Genital Mutilation March and as he is at pains to say "against it!". What with reading Catlin Moran's How to be a Woman I think I may have a feminist in the making!

Talking of making I have treat coming up in a couple of weeks when I join a half day lampshade making class, can't wait. If all goes well I will post some pics.

Food bank volunteering recently included a collection at Tesco.  The generosity of people brings tears to your eyes. Two sweet ladies gave a bagful each, and declared what fun it had been going round the store seeking out what was needed.

My bake club treat pesto buns from here has been a breeze, using my not often engaged Kitchenaid.  Very tasty.   I love bake club but trying to bake when you get home from work between 7pm and 8pm can feel more of a trial than fun.  I may freeze and reheat these on the night, so tempers don't fray.

I have also managed to downsize one bagful of clothes to the charity shop, I do so hate ridding myself of perfectly good clothes but I have to be realistic if they haven't been worn in two years they would be better on someone else.  I registered with the British Heart Foundation for gift aid a while back and I received a letter on Saturday to tell me how much some unwanted items leftover from a bootfair had sold for, so I trotted down there with my carrier bag and hope to hear soon what benefit my old clothes will be to this charity.

Letting go is difficult for others in this household too.  Lots of fuss was heard when clearing out the sock/knicker drawer (which I might add would not shut) belonging to someone who shall remain nameless.  Old pants were flying here and there but I won the day and now we have a drawer of finery that shuts with ease.
Minimalist we shall never be.  xxx

Friday, 7 March 2014

Drink champagne, it's your birthday ...

Well maybe not just yet!
A weekend is planned which includes lots of fun.
Hope yours is good too.

Friday, 14 February 2014

My Funny Valentine ...

After a rubbish week trying to get to and from work, which included collapsed manholes, sinkholes, high winds, dark country lanes and driving rain; a surprise valentines gift, both simple yet practical.  Also the perfectly mixed gin and tonic waiting for me one evening after a  three hour drive home, gives my man ten out of ten.

Continuing the theme of fun, some laughter mid-week was just what the doctor ordered.  Never realised the impact of this comedian, loads of laughs tinged with a very serious message.  I happened upon his previous show; Bravo Figaro! on Radio 4 last year, I recommend you have a listen if you have not heard it before.    Unfortunately I didn't think to bring my camera to show you how lovely the Theatre Royal Margate is but you will get the picture when I tell you it was likened, by Mark Thomas, to doing the show in a box of Turkish Delight.  We are very lucky to have such a little gem on our door-step, apparently it is the second oldest theatre in the country.   Although with all the rain we've had, the thought of the theatre collapse in London did cross my mind!

Finishing off with the valentine theme, a little indulgence for my perfect gin maker.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

A fun month ...

I have been away from here for such a long time that I am only just getting round to the 'resolution' post but at least I can provide a simultaneous review.

Not being one for New Years' resolutions, preferring to take life as it comes, I tend to adhere to a few loose principles which for the month of January included water, culture, and fun.  

My water intake is up to at least two pints a day, easily achieved at work as a sort of ritual screen break.  Culture includes seeing a film a month, January's offering was American Hustle, absolutely brilliant although I think I might now have a crush on Christian Bale, his acting talents of course.  My book intake has also increased to include The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt - I can't recommend it enough, so much so that I have also nearly finished The Secret History by the same author.  A small Christmas gift to myself included the Luminaries, which I had already loaned from the local library but with the three weeks over Christmas being so busy with little time for intensive reading and the book being so good I just had to break my 'I don't buy books' rule.

Fun has included trying new recipes and for January this included; in honour of Chinese new year, Chicken Meatballs in Hoisin Sauce. I have included the recipe just in case you might like to try these yourself.

1tsp butter, 1tsp ginger, 1 onion diced, 200g minced chicken, 1tbsp hoisin sauce, 1tbsp oyster sauce & breadcrumbs (the recipe didn't state how much, so I added half a bag of ready made - I know, I know, not terribly frugal but needs must).

Fry the onion in butter until just softened, then combine with the other ingredients.  Shape into medium sized balls and either deep fry or cook in a hot oven.  Really delicious with stir-fried veg and chilli sauce.

We also spent a lovely weekend visiting family, with a trip to the V&A thrown in. I had completed forgotten how much I love this museum and despite having visited many times during childhood I am still blown away by its scale. 

The weekend was topped off with a lovely Sunday lunch at the the canbury arms in Kingston great food, atmosphere and service.

Generous portions too!

Here's hoping February will be as good.