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Silent Sunday – There’s a snake in my boot

August 6, 2011

Silent Sunday – Delft

May 22, 2011

Must Have Shoes

December 17, 2010

How about these then, eh?  Stylish or what?  You should try running upstairs in them.

I’m wearing them on New Year’s Eve, along with my wet suit and matching neon orange woolly chav hat and gloves.  That way I can go straight from the Randall’s party to the New Year’s Day dip in the sea!

You’ve heard of ‘ oven-to- table’  and  ‘ day-to-evening.’

Well, this is hip-wear to dip-wear!

Aren’t they gorgeous?

A Bloody Hell

November 14, 2010

This week I had my second annual appointment with the company doctor and nurse, the comedy duo who were the star turns from my previous post: Nurse Ratchett and Doctor Dearth.

It was just as traumatic an event as the last one, only this time, instead of being appalled by the nurse’s total inability to extract any blood from my bulging veins despite poking around in my arm like a prospector digging for gold, I became enraged.  I mean totally furious.

When, yet again, not even a single drop of blood spewed forth from the syringe into the waiting vial, and she swapped to the other arm for a retry, I still managed to be terribly English about the whole thing despite the menacing temper serpent stirring deep within.  I bit my lip and managed to conduct myself with decorum.  The snake did not uncoil.  I  remained composed and calm throughout, although I was keenly aware that she kept glancing anxiously at my face as she poked and swept the pointy end of the needle around and about inside the flesh of my elbow.

“Does it hurt?” she asked me, at least twice.  I couldn’t bear to look her in the eye for fear of actually snarling at her.

“Is the needle in the wrong place?” I asked through gritted teeth.

“No. Yes, it’s strange. You have such beautiful, big veins, I don’t understand it.

Nor did I.  Especially when a sudden, small jet of blood shot out and landed on my skin as the needle plunged in for the second time.  Still, though, no blood in the vial.  Could she have gone all the way through the vein and popped out the other side, I wondered?

I shall spare you further details of the awful half hour spent in the dungeon of torture at my place of work.  I did complain to the doctor about the nurse’s inability to extract blood from me during both of my annual visits, though.  I felt like a human pincushion.

“Well, that can happen.  Sometimes it goes easily and sometimes not.  She’s experienced, so it can’t be that,” was her typically non-committal Dutch-style response.

Turns out my boss had the same experience last year and, showing her mettle to the full, refused to allow the nurse a second attempt when the first prick failed to yield a result.

That’s the attitude I should have gone in with: You snooze, you lose, nursey.


November 9, 2010

Whenever I cook up a new recipe that we like, I copy it into to my little blue book.  I’ve had this book for years now and its pages are getting rather full and sticky, so recently I asked Husband to seek out some sort of virtual recipe storage that would never get ripped, spattered or greasy.  Being the technical whizz that he is, he came back with a few options and my final choice (although not for the name, believe me) was We Gotta Eat. is like a big, cooperative foodie blog.  A blogging kibbutz.  I now have a username (Purplejake, of course) and my own pages where I store and share all my recipes.  If you go there and search for a particular user, and that user happens to be me, then you will find yourself inside my own, personal, virtual recipe book!

This has proven to be quite useful for sharing certain recipes that are oft requested by friends and family.  Now I can just send them the link to the scrummiest banana cake ever or brownies that will make you think you have died and gone to heaven, or an indescribably lush lamb tagine.  Oh, and I always try and remember to give credit to the original source (or sauce, ha ha.)  Only a few are my own creations – most are adaptations of something already in existence.

Ironically, when I’m using one of the old tried,-tested-and-liked recipes, I still revert to the original, sticky, hard-copy version.  The laptop and the kitchen don’t really work together for me – clicking a button with a bolognese finger or splattering the screen with over enthusiastic whisk debris is counter productive whilst being productive at the counter even if, as I look down at the keyboard now, I am horrified by what I see lurking there in those dark crevices.

Cooking for special occasions has always been a pleasure once the menu is selected, unlike the daily grind of producing a palatable and well-balanced meal for a family of four.  If I had a minion who would select the meals for me and then do the shopping, I wouldn’t mind so much.

Nothing compares to the misery of trying to get creative whilst maintaining a healthy balance with kids’ lunchboxes, though.  In fact, I have given up and both offspring suffer from the most dismal lunch boxes imaginable.  Here is a good blog if you have non-fussy eaters and are looking for some lunchbox inspiration  (and I’m not talking about Lynford Christie) although if you are like me you may run the risk of suffering a severe case of Inadequate Parenting Syndrome after visiting the sumptuous pages.  I swear that blog actually gives off the aroma of freshly baked bread!

And finally, to finish on a positive note, here is one of my very own artistic creations made for Eleven on the occasion of his 4th birthday.  Fourteen, (Seven at the time) always maintained it was wasted on him and I should have made it for her.  Ah, that’s my girl!


September 30, 2010

This was the slightly disturbing view through the passenger window driving home from France recently:

The picture I first saw was far more alarming than this as the big chimberly producing the mushroom cloud was obliterated by a roadside bush- the photo was taken several seconds later after I had scrabbled to find the camera.

I didn’t think it was appropriate to ask Husband, who was driving at the time, to do a U-turn.

What is it with cupcakes?

September 24, 2010

How did they come to be so fashionable?  How on earth did that happen, and who is responsible?

Don’t get me wrong, I love cupcakes.  I love the look and how they taste and frankly the more icing the better but why have they suddenly become so popular amongst adults?  Surely they’re a children’s item, usually made by cooks shorter in stature than your average kitchen demon, and most of their charm is due to the fact that they end up looking as though they were made by someone who hasn’t yet achieved full manual dexterity.

The guilty pleasure of eating cupcakes has always been assuaged somewhat by the fact that Little Darling cooked them and it would be churlish and rude to refuse one when offered.

All of which goes some way to explaining my stupefaction at their newly acquired designer status.  Isn’t it just a teensy bit ridiculous that cupcakes can even be fashionable?

I find I’m humming ‘It Wasn’t Me’ by Shaggy now, all due to the fact that a certain little girl I know used to think the lyrics went thus:  ‘Picture this we were both cup-caking, banging on the kitchen floor…’

This got me thinking about ridiculous fads and fashion items – you know, upside down Christmas trees,  poo catcher pants, gold-laminated teeth, drinking urine, eating placenta, 4×4 cars here in the flatlands with their beautifully smooth roads, colonic irrigation and the Atkins diet.  Oh yes, and reality TV, but that doesn’t really count because it’s everywhere and you don’t have to part with your hard-earned cash to get it – not directly, anyway.  I mean, hands up all of you out there who actually saw an upside down Christmas tree on display and thought  “Ooh yes, very stylish.  Must get one,”  and then handed over a wad that would have been much better spent on 3 bottles of bubbly for breakfast on the big day.

So, in a bid to increase my comment statistics, I am hoping to elicit suggestions from you, dear reader, as to what you think should appear on the all-time list of ridiculous things that a good many of us have bought that we really shouldn’t have.

Oh, and by the way, if you bought and actually wore any poo catchers, please please please post a photo…  I challenge anyone to look good in them.