Monday, 29 November 2010

frolics in the snow

Well, you'll be pleased to know that I've nearly finished coughing and spluttering now, and about time too! Gosh, that took a while, sneezing and sniffing and generally spreading germs about the place.

Still, a nice excuse for some honey.

Things have turned a little wintry round here lately. I ventured to work on the train this morning feeling like an intrepid explorer, and was greeted with this charming scene as I arrived at the office.

Hmm. I was also greeted with a telephone call telling me I needn't come in if I hadn't already set off - 3 hours after I'd set off and 5 minutes before I arrived. But we won't talk about that!

Instead, let's talk about the sun coming out at lunchtime, and the little toddle I went on round the campus.

There, see? That's much more picturesque. Still rather nippy, but Very Pretty Indeed I'd say.

Almost worth all that messing about this morning, I'd say. Mind you, I'm pretty glad I'm working at home tomorrow...

Friday, 19 November 2010

cough, splutter

Well, here I am feeling all sorry for myself. Coughing and spluttering, and curling up on the sofa with a hot water bottle is just about all I've been able to manage for a couple of days. It's starting to get a little tedious - so I'm taking that as a sign that it's nearly over. Fingers crossed!

I took this picture a few weeks ago, when it was still sunny, and realised I hadn't shared it yet. I was standing in the kitchen, looking through to the living room. It's a view I like very much, a little glimpse into the overwhelming red-ness that is the living room, the light catching the guitar on the wall, the stack of old books (red, naturally). Today it's rather gloomy, and I can barely see anything at all in that dark little corner, so this is a nice reminder of what it's like in lighter times.


Outside my window... Grey drizzly foggy dampness - late autumn has well and truly set in here
I am thinking... about how sorry for myself I'm feeling - oh dear!
I am thankful for... not having to go anywhere until next Wednesday, hopefully I'll be well and truly better by then
From the learning rooms... er, learning anything is well and truly abandoned until this brain fog moves on
From the kitchen... hot chocolate, hot water bottles, weetabix, satsumas, and not much else
I am wearing... warm things - scarves, cardigans, and several blankets
I am creating... a trail of poorliness-induced destruction around the house - cast off blankets, half drunk cups of tea, books started then abandoned...
I am going... from bed to sofa and back again
I am reading... nothing at all
I am hoping... that I start feeling a little better soon
I am hearing... the hum of the central heating, Peter musically pottering in the kitchen
Around the house... nothing much is happening at all
A few plans for the rest of the week: I'm hoping I'll be well enough for the Women's Institute tomorrow! I've also got several PhD chapters to write, and Christmas to start thinking about...

Join in the simple woman's daybook here

Friday, 5 November 2010

Oh, the seaside!

Well, would you look at that! Just look at my feet, splishing and splashing in the sea! How utterly splendid, I must say, if a little on the chilly side. But you can't go to the seaside and not paddle, even if it is November. Socks off, I say!

Apparently, the done thing in Aberystwyth is to touch the bar at one end of the prom with your feet, then walk all the way to the other end and do the same thing there. We managed the first end, then got a little distracted by a castle, a lost child (who was fortunately found not long after), and a cake stall (a Women's Institute cake stall, no less! Just like the one we have here, but without the cafe).

Ooh, doesn't it just lift the spirits to see the sea? It certainly lifted mine, it's been a while since I've been to the seaside!

Anyway, a thoroughly marvellous weekend was had by all, despite some rather grim weather. No ice creams either, but plenty of good food and cheery putting the world to rights.

And on Sunday, an able up the road to another little beach, a rather blustery one, which was very beautiful nevertheless. Even more so as the sun was starting to set over the sea.

And would you just look at that sunset? This was taken from the window of the living room of the house we stayed in, looking out over the town and the sea. How jealous was I? Only a teeny, tiny little bit. Sadly our friends are moving out of this house in a couple of weeks, and it was all I could do not to jump right in and offer to take it on myself.

But my sensible side won out, unusually, and we came back to our own house, which is, after all, rather cheery in itself, although I haven't *quite* forgiven it for not giving me a view of the sun setting over the sea...

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

apologies for absence, and limes

Gosh I've been away for a while! Sooo sorry, it really wasn't intentional. In fact, I'm not even entirely sure what happened. Life kind of got in the way for a few days, and then a few more, and then we went to the seaside (the seaside!!), and now we're home and life's doing a jolly good job of getting in the way again.


So, much as I would love to show you all my gorgeous, sunshiney-seasidey photographs, and tell you about all the fun I had paddling in the sea, and running about on the sand, and seeing lovely friends, and family, and generally driving around the countryside ooohing and aahhhhing at the autumnal scenery, I'm going to save that for a day when I have the patience to sort through the hundreds of photographs I took.

Instead, today I want to talk about limes. Do you remember wayyyyy back when I bought all those limes? I've just realised I didn't tell you what happened!

Well, there's not much of a story. An impulse purchase, of an entire box of limes, for £1.85. What a bargain! I thought, not giving too much thought to what on earth I was going to do with an entire box of limes. Sixty one limes, to be precise. Goodness me!

I managed to give 13 of them away to unsuspecting friends, waxing lyrical about lime-filled G&Ts. Another 10 went to a harvest festival (I know I didn't *quite* harvest them myself). Twenty of them went into the biggest pan of lime marmalade I've ever seen, along with what felt like 14 bags of sugar. We then managed to give away two jars, but there's still five left. No photographs, but I think it'll be around for a while.

(and it's brown, not green, but it does taste rather marvellous)

Anyway, the other thing I did was whip up a quick lime drizzle cake, which I was *very* proud of.

Look at it there, all limey in the sunshine! Just an ordinary sponge cake (I never bother weighing ingredients, but if you want to it's just the weight of 2 eggs in self raising flour, margerine and sugar), cooked until done, then the drizzle poured on top.

I've never had much success with drizzle cakes, and it turns out I was rather underestimating the amount of sugar that goes into the drizzling. You might notice I've rather overestimated it in this cake. But it was so tasty, soooooo tasty, that I think I can be forgiven.

So, there's still 13 limes left, evidence of possibly the most daft, and most inspired, impulse purchase of recent years. Another cake might be in order, and several G&Ts. Any preferences?