Monday, 28 October 2013

Bonus Week from Viv =)

Hi, All I’m the guest challenger this week as it is a five-week month.
I don’t expect to be up to the challenges of the others but I will do my best.
 I thought I would share one of the poems that I enjoy and makes me laugh.
Warning - When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple
By Jenny Joseph
When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple
with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
and satin candles, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired
and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
and run my stick along the public railings
and make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain 
and pick the flowers in other people's gardens
and learn to spit.

 You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
and eat three pounds of sausages at a go
or only bread and pickles for a week
and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
and pay our rent and not swear in the street
and set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

 Jenny Joseph was born in Birmingham and went on to be a journalist. She wrote this poem in 1961 although I didn’t come across it until I bought 
“The Nations Favourite Comic Poems”
I must admit I have never read any other of her poems but now I feel I want to find out more.
In January my craft group made a
Dream board
We cut pictures and words out of magazines that say and show things we’d like to be or do in our future.
Here is mine.

The poem and the Dream Board gave me the idea to challenge you to think about what you would like to do or where you would like to be in the future. 
What do you think?
It doesn’t have to be when you are old, just in your future, maybe even tomorrow or next week.
a dream holiday, a different house, new car, anything really. 
Perhaps also you could take photos this week of works in progress, Family, crafts, something in the home or at work. Whatever you think fits the bill.

Love to you all Vivienne xxx

Monday, 21 October 2013

October Quote Challenge.

October Quotation Week
As I write this today I am getting over with ‘freshers flu’. Sorry Anne I didn’t finish your challenge 
As you know from my blog I have been delivering some cookery lessons to Freshers at Brighton Uni Hastings Campus hall of residence.  Last week at each session there were coughs and sneezes...and yes they did spread diseases to me!! 
I went to bed on Sat night as ‘fit as a fiddle’ and woke during the night with a cough and a temp by Sunday. I have sneezed and coughed felt poorly but no sore throat or runny nose, very strange. Thank goodness I am on the mend and hoping Peter doesn’t catch it before we leave for Italy for 8 days on Tuesday!
My quote for this week in October are 2 quotes on Laughter. I liked them both!
  • A laugh is a smile that bursts” ~ Mary H Waldrip 1907- 1998
  • “ Remember you don’t stop laughing because you grow old,
  You grow old because you stop laughing” ~ Anon
An interesting website 
It says “ we are passionate about laughing. It illuminates life. It is refreshes and invigorates us, enhancing our everyday world. Laughter is the icing on the fruitcake of our existence and too good to leave to chance.
Can you remember the last time you had a good belly laugh?”
What makes you really laugh? Do you laugh as much now as you did when you were younger?
Show us some photos of what makes us laugh or you laughing, not just smiling.  I might find this difficult as I rarely laugh out loud...never have!   So I will be showing you what makes me laugh!

Sorry that I won’t be commenting on your blogs next week but will play catch up when I come home and will blog next Monday before I go!
Love Lynne xx

All fine now Ladies , I added a linky and for people who need glasses like me, it's in bigger letters ! Anne xx

Monday, 14 October 2013

Nostalgia~ A Giant Leap!

Well here I am again, apologising for my lack of chat and blog posting. I can't believe that a month has passed so fast. I have excuses : a trip to visit family and friends in Washington, my boy arriving home the same day as us, still more works going on indoors getting the now non-kitchen back to usability and plenty going on in our business world too.

Part of my reason for being a bit off the radar brings me to my Nostalgia prompt for this month (the list still remains 'misplaced' so I am bouncing off the current affairs for this ..

The kitchen PC has been moved whilst we re-organise and Col treated us to a Windows 8 touch-screen laptop to use there instead.  Then at work we got phone upgrades and (with eyesight not what it was) I plumped for a 'Phablet' / tablet, otherwise called the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. It is the size of a thin housebrick but is just fab..I am quite an excited bunny.

All this technology got us chatting in the office last week..and here's my Nostalgia question for everyone this week:

Tell us about the biggest lifestyle changes in your lifetime..

Tell us how things changed for you from how your Mum lived.. 

It doesn't have to be technology but this is the kind of thing :

Back in my childhood we did not have a telephone of our own. There was a red phonebox about 50 feet from my house and we used to give that number to anyone who needed to contact us. With no TV and so much less noise in the house (no brrrr of the fridge, no constant rumble of a washing machine) you could hear the phone if it rang, through the quietness of the evening air,.. not unless the Archers was on the Radio.. or the Shipping News, both of which were avid listening for a market gardening / fishing family in West Cornwall.

21st Century browsing in the shops..
Fast forward 30 years and I had my first mobile phone, another five and our first computer (the NEW Windows 95 to replace that MS-DOS thing I never did have to get to grips with), then another 20 years and we find ourselves with mini computers / phones / cameras, all with touch screen that amazingly our 2 year old grandchildren expect to be touch screen, even the TV!   

Music is the same.. Vinyl 45s have given way to cassettes, CDs, mini discs and now downloads.. but who of us can remember the 8-track stereos like the one my Step-dad was so proud of in his car in the mid 70s?

We always seem to think that our parent's generation had seen the biggest changes, the growth of the motor car, planes and the increased mobility and experience this gave our families but the speed of technological advance makes me feel like we too have seen a revolution of our own...makes me feel that I have to stay on the proverbial bus or I will find myself sitting at the bus stop waiting in ten years and find the buses don't run any more!

I hope there is something we can all share; the stories of our parents getting to grips with new things, our own experiences or the questions our children ask us that show just how much things have changed...

Here's the linky thing.. love to all  Kathi xxx

Monday, 7 October 2013

Let's reflect challenge - October

Hello everybody,

another month passed and we are now in October. Eeek !

I think I must have been a Bear in a previous life, because I find the idea of hibernating extremely attractive. You get to eat all what you want in order to put on weight ( and the fatter the better ) and then when the weather gets really annoying ( cold and humid ), you get to sleep and cuddle with your family in a cavern for a good couple of months. 

Well not being a bear, unfortunately, I am trying to prepare for the "naughty " months as I call them and do the best I can with them.

For these last 3 months of the year, we are going to be even kinder to ourselves. This month, our challenge's word starts with I and it's going to be 


This is such a positive word as it only has to do with the nicest things. 

You don't say bad weather is irresistible or catching the flu is irresistible, but a beautiful smile can be irresistible, a cake can be irresistible ( tell me about it ), that little dress or top in your corner shop is definitely irresistible.

So this month, we celebrate the arrival of Autumn and if you don't like it too much like me, we just think about the nicest things so we can go through.

So, what is irresistible for you ?

As of our photo challenge, let it be a bit more " challenging " this week : Let's take a photo of things we can eat, starting with any of the letters of the week days : M, T, W, F, S and if you want to (no pressure), you even can upload the recipe.

I will start with the letter F, a Flan aux oeufs. Of course, it's French. It's something like a creme caramel but much thicker. It's a dessert, it's rich in taste (and in calories too I am afraid) and it is truly irresistible, at least in this house.

This is what it looks like :

Below is the recipe. It's for 6 to 8 people (but we more or less eat it with 4 people, told you, it's fabulous).

So for 4 to 8 people, depending how fond of it you are, you will need :
1 liter milk
220 g sugar
6 to 7 eggs
1 vanilla pod (it's a bit more expensive than liquid vanilla but the taste is sooo much better, it's worth it).
A dish that they can go into the oven ( I used 2, as I didn't have one big enough)
Another big dish in which your other 1 (or 2) will go.

Sorry, explaining very badly, but you surely can understand via the picture.

- Pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees, that should be around 8, I guess.

- Pour the milk in a pot, add the vanilla pod and heat it until it boils. It will take a while but keep an eye on it as it goes out of the pot before you know it. You also probably will get a bit of cream on the top of the milk, I normally remove it with a small colander. You can leave the vanilla pod inside, but don't forget to remove it when you will use the milk.

- Whilst you are waiting for the milk to boil, choose a very big bowl that can contain all of the mix as we will add the milk into it later. Mix the whole eggs with 100 g sugar (just in case: whole egg means white + yellow, but you DO remove the eggshell, LOL). Mix it with a hand whip until the color is uniform.
When your milk has boiled, pour it step by step onto the eggs/sugar mix, very slowly and mixing all the time. Let it rest.

- Take a small pot, put the remaining sugar (around 120 g) and pour 2 table spoons of water on it. At medium heat, constantly turn until it becomes very brown. Congratulations, you made some caramel. If you want a bit less, you can half sugar and water.

- Take the the big ceramic dish and put your final dish (or 2) inside. Share your caramel between the 2 of them, starting from the top of the sides, so it makes a nice design. Then slowly add the milk/egg/sugar mix. Add some boiling water inside the ceramic dish (roughly until 3/4 of the height) as we will heat in a bain-marie. 

- When your oven is hot enough, place inside, in the middle. It normally cooks for 40 mns. Check after 35 mns what it looks like. The top should be very brown and when you put a knife inside, the mix should be "solid". Sounds difficult but in fact, just base yourself on the color of the top.

- When taken out of the oven, let it rest a bit. Some people eat it warm, some people eat it out of the fridge. It's delicious both ways. You can add some whipped cream on the side and then starting with the next day, you can eat carrots for a week to compensate the calories, LOL.

I though that because we live or come from 4 different countries, it would be a good idea to exchange some recipes, but as I said, don't feel obliged if you don't have time.

Let's see what you will come up with and how many kilos we can put on all together. After all, we might not be bears, but it's going to be winter and everybody needs some reserves, right?

Anne xxx