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.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mamma Mia - take 2

Having watched it once already, I went back to see Mamma Mia, this time the sing-along version. It's like a massive karaoke - whenever there's a song in the film, the words appear at the bottom of the screen and you can sing along to them.

This time I knew exactly what to expect and wasn't distracted by the little details, like place names and the age difference between Meryl Streep and Colin Firth. Instead, I took in the beautiful scenery (and I don't mean just Pierce Brosnan & Stellan SkarsgÄrd) and let the music carry me away. And it did. I had a really good time and loved being able to sing along without fear of being hushed.

The only drawback is that the tunes are so catchy they're still in my head! Mamma Mia, here I go again, my my, how can I resist you?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What we did with our spare weekend

As it happens, not a lot. The weather was unbelievably glorious, better in fact that it's been all through August and September so far, so we dug out our summer clothes from the bottom of the wardrobe and set off to enjoy our mini Indian summer.

Our travels took us to a number of drinking establishments with gardens (aka pubs)...

...and when we needed nourishment, we found some at the local Vietnamese restaurant.

The rest of the time, we spent lounging in the sun. All in all, it's been a great weekend, very enjoyable and very relaxing. I even managed to read the Sunday paper from start to finish, including all the supplements, with the sun shining on me.

If I remember correctly, the last time we got this much uninterrupted sunshine was at the end of July.

Friday, September 19, 2008

What to do with a spare weekend?

If only things had gone according to plan, I would now be sitting on a Eurostar train, champagne glass in hand, zooming my way to Luxembourg via Paris for a pampering weekend with hubby. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. Following last week's fire in the Channel Tunnel, getting out of the UK by train isn't an option unless you travel off peak and have a lot of time to spare, as check in and travel times have almost doubled. Eurostar have been advising against all non-essential travel until at least the end of the month, and after much ummming and ahhhing we finally relented and sent in our tickets to claim a refund. Luckily it was all refundable.

As a result, we are financially better off than we were last weekend, and certainly much better off than we would have been after the end of this weekend, but we now have ahead of us a weekend at home and nothing planned for it. Chilling out and doing housework are out of the question as we did that last weekend - we need to think of something else. So far I've come up with the following suggestions:

  • Do major grocery shop (good idea because fridge is empty)

  • Order lots of lovely take aways (ditto)

  • Watch DVDs (while eating take aways)

  • Do lots of baking (mmmm fruit cake, cupcakes, muffins, cookies)

  • Pray for nice weather (so we can sit out in the garden and pretend it's still summer)

  • Can you think of anything else? All suggestions greatly appreciated.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    Sunday, September 14, 2008

    The alphabet quiz

    A. Attached or single? Attached.

    B. Best friend? I have many good friends but not one best friend.

    C. Cake or pie? Cake, cake, cake. And ice-cream.

    D. Day of choice? Saturday.

    E. Essential item? Lipstick.

    F. Favorite colour? Red.

    G. Gummy bears or worms? Gummy bears, esp. Haribo ones :-)

    H. Hometown? London, England.

    I. Favourite indulgence? A facial or reflexology treatment. And ice-cream.

    J. January or July? Probably January, it's a month of promises (and you still have summer to look forward to).

    K. Kids? Not yet.

    L. Life isn’t complete without? A good job, a good man and good friends.

    M. Marriage date? August 2003.

    N. Number of brothers and sisters? One brother.

    O. Oranges or apples? Apples. Best thing about autumn.

    P. Phobias? Heights.

    Q. Quotes? "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar" - Sigmund Freud

    R. Reasons to smile? At the moment, sunshine does it for me.

    S. Season of choice? Spring.

    T. Tag 5 people. I'd like to say the first 5 who comment, but I might just get 0 comments. So I'll say - tag yourselves, that's what I did.

    U. Unknown fact about me? If I tell you, it won't be unknown!!

    V. Vegetable? Tomatoes and carrots.

    W. Worst habit? Procrastination. It drives even me mad.

    X. X-ray or ultrasound? Neither, if I can help it.

    Y. Your favourite foods? Pasta. Soup. Ice-cream.

    Z. Zodiac sign? My rising sign is Gemini.

    Monday, September 08, 2008

    A touch of Folegandros

    My friend Katerina Nomikou visited the Greek island of Folegandros last month and took these gorgeous photos. When I saw them I had to ask for her permission to share them with you.

    Folegandros belongs to the Cyclades, an island group in the Aegean Sea that is made up of 220 islands, mostly uninhabited. Folegandros is one of the smaller and less well known ones, and that, in a sense, is its allure.

    The Cycladic architecture is characterised by flat-roofed whitewashed houses, blue doors and windows, and narrow stone paved streets. Barren mountains and rocky formations, blue sea and striking blue sky make up the rest of the picture. The only place in Greece where you will come across this cubic style is in the Cyclades. The rest of the country is nothing like it.

    It just occurred to me - this is very Mamma Mia, isn't it? You almost expect Meryl Streep to burst in followed by 100 demented villagers and a group of young men in swimming trunks and flippers.

    Now for a poll: guess which book Katerina took to the beach :-)

    Sunday, September 07, 2008

    Dulce de Leche

    Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche ice-cream is out of this world.

    I just thought I'd let you know.
    So what if it feels like we should be having hot chocolate by an open fire? We can still pretend it's summer if there's a tub of yummy ice-cream in the freezer.

    Wednesday, September 03, 2008

    Wordless Wednesday 27

    Photo taken at Lake Travis near Austin, Texas.