Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Leaving London yesterday morning, the taxi driver who took us to the airport asked where we were going, and when we said "Greece" he asked if it's warm in Greece at the moment. When I said, "no, it's snowing" he looked quite surprised. Well, I can assure you it is indeed freezing cold (-2°C/28°F at the moment) and very very white. Here are the photos to prove it :-)

Friday, December 26, 2008

A touch of Christmas

Trafalgar Square on Christmas Eve.

Each year since 1947, a Christmas tree has been given to the people of London from the people of Norway in gratitude for Britain's support for Norway during World War II. The tree is usually a Norwegian spruce (Picea abies) 21 metres (70ft) high and 50-60 years old. It is selected from the forests surrounding Oslo several months in advance.

The tree is felled in November during a ceremony in which the Lord Mayor of Westminster, the British ambassador to Norway and the Mayor of Oslo participate. It is brought to the UK by sea, then completes its journey by lorry. A specialist rigging team erects it in Trafalgar Square in the centre of London, using a hydraulic crane. It is decorated in traditional Norwegian fashion, with vertical strings of lights, using energy-efficient bulbs.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

May the joy of the angels,
the eagerness of the shepherds,
the perseverance of the wise men,
the obedience of Joseph and Mary,
and the peace of the Christ child
be yours this Christmas.

Have a Happy Christmas with your families and friends, and if you don't celebrate Christmas have a good holiday anyway :-)

Χρόνια πολλά και καλές γιορτές!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday 40

A Kit Kat advert that hasn't gone down well. I took this on my way home this evening.

Wordless Wednesday 39

Wordless Wednesday 38

I kid you not, this is for real. I took the picture on my way to work this morning.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mmmm cakes!

Caroline sent me this photo of a dessert platter they feasted on earlier this month. Judging by her description, the cakes tasted just as yummie as they look and apparently were pretty cheap too - just over 1 Canadian dollar each (50p)!

Suddenly I feel like emigrating to Canada, even if it's snowy all the time.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Where has time gone?

I don't know what's happened to time; it feels like my birthday was only yesterday, although more than a month has gone by already.

I know it's almost Xmas, but I've not written any cards - and I'd not received any either, until two days ago when 10 landed on my mat at the same time.

I haven't put them up yet, because my birthday cards are still up and I've not got round to taking them down.

Anyone have any ideas on how to expand time?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday 37

Manneken Pis in technicolour

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday 35

Take 2 (anything to improve my WW count)!

Wordless Wednesday 34

Shearwater Sailing Club, Crockerton, Wiltshire

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Comfort food

This weekend we've experienced the first proper wintry weather of the season. We even got a sprinkling of snow on Sunday morning, which was lovely while it lasted (not long enough to take photos, as by the time we got up around 9:30 AM it was already disappearing fast). As neither of us felt like braving the elements, we spent the whole Sunday cooped up indoors, watching videos and eating comfort food.

This is the sausage and potato hotpot I made for dinner. It was delicious with a glass of white wine and a thick slice of freshly made bread. Greek "summer" feels so far away at the moment, even though it was only earlier this month.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Guess where? Guess what?

Now updated with answers :-)

Where was I last week?

Congratulations to those of you who guessed! Yes, I was in Athens. What you see in this photo is not the Parthenon, but a view of the Thisseion area from the Acropolis. From left to right you can see the Temple of Hephaestus, the Ancient Agora (or rather what's left of it - the pillars standing in a row) and the church of the Holy Apostles (Agii Apostoli). The expanse of cement in the background is the modern city of Athens.

And, most importantly, what did I do while I was there?

Oh yes, none of you guessed but I did go swimming. Twice. The weather was extremely mild for early November (24-25C during the day) and the water still warm from summer, and it was beautiful. When I booked my flights, the best I'd hoped for was T-shirt weather. Instead, what we got resembled late spring and we just couldn't resist taking advantage to lie in the sun and take a dip in the sea. Not just one dip either, we were in the water for over an hour on the first day and a good 40 minutes on the second day. The glorious weather didn't last, but it was still quite warm (well, compared to London) for the rest of our stay, never falling below 16C and not a drop of rain either.

The photo was taken in Glyfada, 30 mins drive from the centre of Athens, but in the end we swam a bit further down the coast (Vouliagmeni and Varkiza, for those in the know).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

No more food photos

Today I was at a conference, where I met some people I know from another company and we got chatting. When we broke up for lunch we went to the hotel's restaurant together. The tables were set with white tableclothes and little blue vases with flowers and looked really pretty. So I said: "Oh these look lovely", and the guy standing next to me goes, "take a photo of them"! Which had me going "uh?" since I couldn't work out why I'd want to take a photo of a table. He must have realised my confusion, because he elaborated: "you took photos last time we went out for lunch"!

The conclusions I drew from this exchange are:

1. He must have a much better memory than me, as I don't recall the last time we had lunch together, let alone whether I took any photos.

2. I'm developing a reputation that I'm not sure is very flattering.

3. People must think I'm mad to be taking photos of table settings - but perhaps they'd think I was even madder if they realised I actually took photos of the food.

Ho hum.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Party time

They say that a dirty house is a sign of a brilliant party, and I have to agree. The state of my kitchen proves the point.

There are other signs too.

Hope you all had a Happy Halloween, with or without birthday cake!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday 31

Time flies when you're having fun.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hubby meme

What is his name?
How long have you been married?
5 years
How long did you date?
Over 10 years (we don't like rushing things)
How old is he?
Who eats more sweets?
Me. He doesn't eat any (only Smarties)
Who said "I love you" first?
It's so long ago, I don't think either of us remembers.
Who is taller?
Who can sing better?
Both the same, but he sings more.
Who does the laundry?
I do. Bah.
Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?
I always sleep on the side that's closest to the door.
Who mows the lawn?
The gardener (yey!)
Who cooks dinner?
I do all the cooking apart from cooked breakfasts, which are his speciality.
Who pays the bills?
He does. I wouldn't know where to start.
Who drives?
He does. I navigate :-)
Who is more stubborn?
Me, I guess.
Who kissed who first?
He did (I do remember that).
Who asked who out first?
We used to go out as friends, so a first date in the convetional sense sort of never happened.
Who proposed?
I did - a couple of times before he said yes!
Who has more siblings?
He does - two brothers and a sister. I have one brother.
Who wears the pants?
We both do.

Thanks, Tina, for the tag!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Love story

I've been having a slow week and not come up with anything worth posting about, then a friend emailed me this short story by Greek cartoonist Arkas. I love the asburdness of Arkas's cartoons and laughed so much when I read this one, I thought I'd share it with you.

Bird: No point in persevering, we are not a good match. You know we are not a good match.
Hippo: I know, but I love you. Let's at least try one last time.

Bird: We are doomed to fail. It's best to stay friends. Erotically, we will never be a good match.
Hippo: But why not? How can you be so sure it won't work?

Bird: I've already told you!.. Because I am an Aquarius and you are a Virgo!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy birthday Lucy!

Yesterday it was my friend Lucy's birthday and today a group of us went out to dinner to celebrate. We set off for a Mexican restaurant that Lucy knew, but when we got there we discovered an Italian pizza & pasta restaurant in its place. Since we had no plan B, we went in anyway, and had a lovely time.

Unfortunately no one was brave enough to be photographed for my blog, so all I have to show you is pictures of the food (and the occasional hand or tummy). But hey, the food was yummy, so it deserved to be recorded for posterity.


Chicken & chorizo pizza


The birthday girl had apple crumble and ice-cream, which looked super delish.

Happy birthday Loops, and many happy returns!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

You wouldn't steal a handbag

Last night a group of us went to see Ed Byrne at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith (somewhere in the depths of West London - £30 in a cab - ouch). It was my first stand-up comedy gig and I loved every minute of it. We all needed a good laugh after our hectic weeks (three of the group work in the City - need I say more?) and a good laugh is what we got, again and again and again.

This is one of the jokes from the show, making fun of the "you wouldn't steal a handbag" clip found at the start of most DVDs these days.

If you're a fan of Ed Byrne, or you're simply looking for a fun night out, he's touring the UK all through October and November and is scheduled to appear in Reading, Exeter, Brighton, Leicester, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol and so on. A full set of dates is available on his website. He is highly recommended by all four of us who watched last night's show.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

What country are you?

You Are Australia

You have an a great life, and you consider yourself very lucky.

Although you're thankful for what you have, you know you're also a bit of an underdog.

You are modest, authentic, and sincere. You don't boast... if anything, you're self deprecating.

You aren't formal, and people consider you to be very approachable. You remain relaxed and casual in any situation.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The food diaries: part 5 - Eurostar

Since we're not going anywhere fancy this weekend either, I thought I'd console myself by dedicating part 5 of the food diaries to train meals.

This is what breakfast and dinner look like on the Eurostar, the train that connects the UK with France and Belgium via the Channel Tunnel.

Dinner may not look too appetising, but it was rather nice, as I recall. The main course was some kind of beef dish with sweet potato mash and (admittedly overcooked) green beans.

I totally loved that mini bottle of vinaigrette. Nice touch, Eurostar people!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Detective Crews is back

One of the best things about autumn is that all the TV shows start again. I've just watched the first S2 episode of Life and can't wait for the next one! S1 finished ubruptly last December with the scriptwriter's strike, so this has been a long time coming. It's also nice to have a quirky alternative to CSI, repeats of which are currently shown every day on a number of channels, making it almost impossible to escape Grissom and his team.

Welcome back Detective Crews :-)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bagless shopping

Seeing as both hubby and I hate supermarkets with a passion, we do most of our grocery shopping on the Internet these days. Fast, efficient, convenient and delivered to your door - how can you fault it?

Not only that, but we noticed the other day that there's an option for bagless shopping, i.e. they put your shopping in a box, you take it out as soon as it's delivered and the delivery man (or woman) takes the box back. Great idea, you'd think, esp. as we are struggling to reuse what carrier bags we have already, without adding more to the pile.

How is it then that when the shopping was delivered - most of it loose, as expected - there were no less than five items packed in -separate - carrier bags, so we ended up with as many bags as if we hadn't gone for the bagless option in the first place? And what's the point of my unpacking mini tins of evaporated milk, oranges, lemons and yogurt pots onto the floor, only to find that a pack of ham or a carton of orange juice is neatly placed in its very own - full size - carrier bag?

I ask you.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The food diaries: part 4 - France

With one thing and another, I've just realised that it's been a month since the last food diary. This time we're going back to France and enjoying some typically French dishes, as well as some north African ones that are widely available. Go on, feast your eyes!

You can't go wrong with onion soup. Mmmmm.

Ham, cheese and mushroom crepe. I asked for one without egg, but they didn't take much notice. Oh well. At least I'm not allergic to them...

A steaming Moroccan tajine. This was my first ever tajine and all I can say is, now I understand what all the fuss is about!!

Couscous expertly prepared by the restaurant owner.

The meat dish that came with the couscous.

Blogging makes me sooooo hungry. I'm off to make a ham, cheese and tomato sandwich. Not as fancy as couscous or tajine (or even onion soup) but our weekly shop hasn't arrived yet and there's not much else in the fridge.