Sunday, 13 September 2009

Rude awakening

Why do I snore? I hate it. I went to bed with a nose strip on which usually helps but after being SHOUTED at by the boy too many times I eventually moved to the spare room (just to get some bloomin sleep without being shouted at). So nice and snuggled in the spare room with my favourite bed linen and a double bed to myself I was rudely awaked at 8am by my next door neighbour power washing his car right outside our window. FFS it's 8am on a Sunday morning - you're retired you can wash your car any day of the week why choose 8am on a fecking Sunday morning?

Pah

Friday, 11 September 2009

Lovely Delivery


A while back I ordered a coat and dress from Isabelle Oliver and recently they arrived.

It was all very exciting and the packaging was lovely. So first the lovely box:



Opened it up to find this lovely packaging:



And then the beautiful Coat in a lively bright Pink:







It's so lovely, a great shape and really comfortable. No pic's of the dress but it's a bright blue wrap dress with lovely draping and very flattering over the stomach area.

If only every day could bring lovely post like this.

Finding my inner domestic goddess




So I got a new sewing machine and decided to go for it I've been knitting again since the beginning of the year and wanted to do something else. I have never been what you could call creative being more of a practical sort but recently have wanted to create something.

So after knitting a few scarves (mothers day gifts and my first darn awful attempt for the lovely JD) I decided to sew a dress. I got the pattern from Ebay, it's an original 1950s one. Got my material from the only material shop in Leeds that I knew and set about making. You know what for the first dress I have ever made it's not too bad, I even sewed in a side zip:



It's purple linen, took about 6 hours total and whilst not perfect it fits and I felt pretty proud of myself.

So I decided to make another dress. This time a new pattern and in red linen:



I had to adapt the pattern slightly to fit but again it fits perfectly (both bust and hips) and makes me very happy. If I am honest I have a little bit of finishing to do on it, and with hindsight wish I had lined it (though I still could line it I suppose) but all in all a very good second project.

So what was next, well I went on a trip to John Lewis in Sheffield and treated myself to some lovely materials to make some gifts (yes friends you will be receiving some homemade Christmas gifts this year - apologies) and some suiting material to attempt to make a shift dress for work.

Then I decided I wanted to make a patchwork quilt. We were in Scarborough and nipped in to the lovely Bespoke Country on Bar Street and I picked up some fat quarters of homespun fabric; ordered a large piece and some wadding on line and made this:





So what do you think? Next I will be starting on the aforementioned gifts and my work dress...watch this space.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Our Barcelona Adventure



So as I said The Boy and I went on a whistle-stop visit to Barcelona to see a football match. It was a great trip, topped off by a win for Manchester City so all good.

We set off on the Wednesday morning about 10 after The Boy had been for a run and I had finished my teleconference with work. We flew from East Midlands which is a great little airport. Easy parking, plenty of security check points and plenty of staff (are you reading this Leeds Bradford - this is a real area where you Fail). A few shops to get the essentials (though no MAC in Duty Free which is a bit of a shame but not the end of). Good coffee and bright and clean. We boarded the flight (Easy Jet - interesting scramble for seats but we got on quite near the end and had two good seats in the emergency exit isle so plenty of room) and no fuss about the size of my carry on it was on of these Herve Chapelier but in their largest size (and not that colour).

Flight was on time and no fuss; The Boy was asleep before we even took off (no surprises there). I had been listening to the Learn Spanish CDs that came free with The Guardian & The Observer in the week leading up to our trip so had polished up my limited Spanish a little and managed to get a Taxi easily and inform him where we wanted to be.

The hotel was actually quite nice, very modern with a lot of chrome and glass but in the ridiculous heat the cool and air conditioning was very welcome. So we dumped our belongings and made our way to a Tapas bar the concierge recommended and booked for us. Barcelona in August is empty - it's just to darn hot. So the restaurant was not busy but the food was lovely - the only downside was they has no Pimientos de Padron (I had been dreaming about them) but otherwise very good.

We then went for a wander, had a few drinks and headed back to the hotel to get ready to go to the football. The Hotel was walking distance to the Camp Nou (about 20 mins on a straight road - I do plan sometimes) so we just followed the crowds. This was at about 7pm - kick off was not until 10.15pm but the atmosphere was buzzing with fans all around.

We stopped for a quick drink along the way and then we went in - WOW. I had been to the Camp Nou on a tour when we went there a few years ago but hadn't really appreciated the size. The stadium fits 98,000 in it we were on the top tier. It's one hell of a walk but the view at the top was amazing. The ground quickly filled with 94,000 people and the show commenced. They started by introducing the whole of the Barcelona squad - which was great. Then Puyol and Pep Guardiola said a few words to the crowd and they all erupted.

We eventually kicked off at 10.30pm ish - here are some photo's:







It was a little bit like watching subbuteo at times:





We headed back to the hotel after the game (I was still full of cold and quite fluey) but the next day went for a wander into the centre and had lunch at my favourite Tapas bar (where Lady P & KBW and I spent a lot of time last time we were in Barca) where we found my pimientos and I went home happy:





Gutted that Easy Jet are pulling out of East Midlands - hopefully Doncaster Sheffield airport will get more routes.

Tomatoes

So my parents came to visit in August and then I started work and my blogging has lapsed - whoops. So I am today planning to bring myself up to date (ish) starting with Tomatoes.

M&D came over and we had a lovely (if a little tense due to my mood swings) time. They brought with the a bottle of the fabulous gold medal winning Netto Corbierre that The Boy loved when we were there (€2, 50) and a few bottles of champagne and these:





The beans and courgettes are from my garden but all the various Toms are from their garden in France. They only arrived there at Easter so these are all new plants and only some of this years crop.

So we had plastic bread, lurpack and tomato sandwiches with a nice cup of tea and then they left and left me with a glut of lovely Toms. So I did what I do best and made a pasta sauce.

Finely chopped shallots fried in olive oil until transluscent; bucket loads of Toms (skins on) chopped, fried off with another glug of oliver oil, fresh basil from the garden and a couple of cloves of crushed garlic. Salt & Pepper and nom nom nom.

So then we had this:



Yummy.

Even better heated up in the microwave the next day (so The Boy) tells me.

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