Thursday, 27 February 2014

february patchwork month

I've been meaning to make one of these monthly mosiacs for oh so long.

Olympic crochet, patriotic cushion, ferns for design work,
paper snowflakes, lavender fish, blanket in progress,
one day of snow, new pjs, snowdrops and hellebores from the garden.

truly satisfying. now to make sure I take enough photos in March to make one next month.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

the year in books - February. The Fault in our Stars.

I chose John Green's The Fault in our Stars for February's #ayearinbooks mostly because the 15 year old kept telling me I had to read it. When I was a teenager I mostly read science fiction - Arthur C. Clark, Anne McCaffrey, Douglas Adams, crime writing - Agatha Christie, and fairy tales. I found my book of Russian Fairy tales and reread them after watching the Olympic opening ceremony, and seeing all manner of fairy tale creatures in the narrative. As far I as I can tell teenage fiction that is read by my children falls into different categories,action - the Cherub series, Time Riders and the Dark Lord series are all favourites of the boy, whereas the girl flits between books about angels and other divine beings, about hopeless romances and ghosts, (with thankfully not too many about vampires) and amongst them all there is an underlying tone of angst. 

The Fault in our Stars has already been read in #ayearinbooks by that adventurer and 700 words - who said she read it on a train and had to fight to keep back the tears. I read it at home and cried too....... After I finished it, it's a quick read, and not one you want to put down, I found myself rereading certain sections and wondered if I read it from a different perspective to my daughter. You are drawn into the lives of the teenagers within, and feel their pain, but I also felt it from the angle of a parent of teenagers, hence receiving a double dose of tragedy.   Tragedy aside it was also uplifting, and I shall be interested to see the upcoming film to see how it translates as a movie.

What do you think about books that are made into films? Which do you prefer? Does it make a difference if you read the book first? Or does that mean you are always disappointed by the film because the characters aren't how you imagined them to be?

My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations. John. Green.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

liberty love

February half term.
The guaranteed grey and damp weather has occasionally been interspersed with splashes of blue sky, and a break in the bitterly cold winds that make you want to curl up with a book and a cup of tea and hibernate until June.

Splashes of colour are starting to creep in amongst the mud brown and the sky greys, there are bright white snowdrops, fresh green shoots, and a few brave purple crocus petals to be found if you look carefully.

I am finding my own colour in my oh so precious stash of liberty scraps, slowly but surely they are turning into a shoal of liberty lavender fish.

Most of the liberty love this week though is being given to this tiny cushion, a kit that was a Christmas gift, and is being fought over by most of the family, apparently it is "just so cute".

Thursday, 13 February 2014

enjoying the winter Olympics

A recent tidying up of the study unearthed a wealth of unfinished projects. 
A cushion was quickly finished to add patriotic support to the sofa.

A basket of crochet granny squares in varying stage of completion was a project started during London 2012 Olympics. It seemed a fitting time to start it up again, and there is now a satisfying pile of growing squares which correspond to snowboarding slopestyle, half pipe, curling, and ski jumping. Ok I'll admit it. I'll watch any of it.

We made some decorations to celebrate the Olympics

which very briefly summoned our own snow, not enough for any extreme sport, which is fine by me, as I much prefer to watch it, it all looks far too dangerous to consider attempting.

I prefer to sit with a cup of tea, in my new flannel pj's.
 excuse me I have to go, the ice hockey has just started again. 

Thursday, 6 February 2014

a tart

some days you need to have cake.
it is just the way of the world. 

it happens quite often here and on this occasion I knew I had to be a tart.
right then.
which was tricky as I didn't have all the ingredients for the recipes I found.
so I improvised, using what I had and making it gluten free.

there was Way too much filling so the rest of it got dumped on some stewed apple which I found in the freezer. and the children liked that even better than the tart. hence no photo.

as for the tart, comments included;
I don't like the almonds on the top
will you ice it and put cherries on?
can I have another slice?

Saturday, 1 February 2014

balancing out the exercise

just in case you thought that we maybe walked too far around Barcelona, and like my husband wondered how I managed to turn a weekend away for our wedding anniversary into a walking holiday I should like to offer in my defence evidence of copious eating.

any preferences for what you'd like for breakfast? you could start with a boiled egg that you can cook for as long as you want in a little hot water bath, or some cake, bread, croissants, cereal, cookies, jam or honey.

perhaps you'd like some fruit, salami, chorizo, ham, cheese, yoghurt, 

gluten free bread, madelines, or Madeira cake?

and to drink? tea, coffee, cappuccino, juice, hot chocolate, cava?

yes cava. for breakfast. well it seemed rude not to. 

at dinner we applied the rule of "try something you've never had before"
smoked salmon, with horseradish and vodka.
salt cod and fava beans
spinach and chicken with roast squash and mango
tuna burgers