Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Summer photo challenge update #2

It's been a while but I've been in beautiful Italia gathering lots more photos to use for my challenge! I know I'm cheating a little by grouping some photos together...I have no excuses other than these are my favourite photographs!

#2- Sunflare and #11 Macro
#4 Beach and #26 Orange
 #8 Water and #13 Summer Fun
I think this photo of my hubby driving a boat around Capri makes him look likes he's part of a 1960s movie!
  #12- Black and White

#17- Summer drink
Elderflower champagne- yum yum!
 #18 Relaxation and #21 Summer Read

 #22- Shade/shadows
 #23 - Heat
This white against the blue sea always reminds me of the heat of places like Greece and Italy.

#30- A walk
Reconstruction of Abbey Road- except it's in Pompeii!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Summer photo challenge update #1

Hey all,

Well I've been off on travels this last few days including to lovely Wales which has given me the chance to start taking pictures towards my photo challenge. Like I said in my previous post I would love for people to get involved in this and there are details on the post as to how to do it.

So update number 1.....

#6- A Flower

#9-Summer food
What is better than a burger and chips in an English pub garden in the summer sun?

#14 Bokeh and #15 Summer fruits
Lovely apples growing in the summer evening sunlight
 #16 Landscape
I know this isn't strictly a 'landscape' but I love how you get a taster of the landscape in this picture of what is being seen through the cottage window.
 #27 Reminds you of your childhood
Paddling in streams= childhood bliss
 #29 Clouds
These clouds looked stunning as the sun set over the Welsh hills

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Lovely London

Fact #1: I am a country girl through and through. I constantly dream of me and the hubs moving out of London to a cottage in the countryside with a vegetable patch and chickens, and a big farmhouse table in the kitchen. HOWEVER if there ever was a year to be living in London 2012 is that year. We've had the jubilee celebrations which were awesome, and now we have the Olympics. 

Lots of Londoners (including myself) were very grumpy about them beforehand mainly because of potential traveling issues, but it all seems to have gone very smoothly. In fact central London appears to be eerily quiet as apparently too many people listened to the warnings to stay out of London to avoid the crowds!Listening to the Radio this morning as well lots of Londoners were phoning in stating how the amazing opening ceremony had changed their opinion about the Olympics. 

Anticipating the ceremony would be spectacular we had a party on Friday night to celebrate and watch the ceremony together. Despite my usual fretting (E.g. How were we going to fit over 15 people in a flat which feels full with 2 people usually?) we had such a lovely evening. I decorated the flat in red, white and blue and Union Jack bunting, and cooked an international feast including Vodka Jelly (Russia), Eton Mess (England), fried plantain (Jamaica) and Nigella Lawson's take on an American dish of Ham cooked in Coca Cola which is actually incredible despite my reservations. All these feastly delights were accompanied by their country of origin's flags.  

People crammed themselves into our flat and we even had a fly past from the Red Arrows on their way to East London (which I specially arranged of course....). Then we spent the evening round the telly cheering the Queen and Rowan Atkinson, and commenting on jive dancing nurses, and just generally enjoying it.

However the next evening I was super lucky to have been put on a school trip to take some students to see the Artistic Gymnastics (wehoo!). It was brilliant! Since being little and watching the Olympics the one sport I always wanted to see at an Olympics live was gymnastics and it exceeded my expectations. The fact that people can train their bodies to do such incredible moves still astounds me. We were really high up so I wasn't able to get amazing shots on my camera but it didn't matter as by being high up we could clearly see everything that was going on.

Since then I have literally been on the edge of my seat watching some of the events- particularly the men's team gymnastics final where for a fleeting moment we actually got silver before a score was contested. I was not shouting at the TV at this point in a rage as that would make me a mad woman....(does fingers crossed make it ok to fib?).

Anyway what have you been watching on the Olympics?

Toodles for now.


Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Summer photo challenge

Ciao lovely readers! Being a teacher I'm fortunate at the moment to have 6 WHOLE weeks off to recuperate from a manic year. However whilst I am love love loving having some proper free time (most of which I am using to sit in front of the telly and watch the Olympics) I need some challenges to keep me having a little focus at least this summer.

One of these challenges is I've found an awesome (or annoying according to the hubby) app for my phone which helps me learn Italian for our impending trip- hence the greeting at the beginning of my post!

The second challenge I've set myself is to further my photography skills after earlier this year I invested in my first DSLR camera. So, I have written myself a summer photography bucket list which I intend to complete during August. The list is as follows.....

More importantly I would love other people to join in my challenge! So there are several ways to do this. Firstly you can upload photos to a Flickr group I've set up here. Secondly you can e-mail me photos that I can upload to my blog (if you do this please give me your name/nickname). Thirdly add comments to my blogs with links to your Flickr accounts or blogs. Fourthly- be creative! Come up with your own way to participate!

I'd rather have more people involved than anything so if you only want to participate in some of the photos then do so! If the only camera you have is your i-phone (and you're addicted to Instagram which is my recent discovery) feel free to join in. How ever much and whatever you want to contribute will be welcomed!

Happy snapping!

P.S. If you can't read the list so well then you can find it on my Pinterest account here or on Flickr here.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

A spot of deliciousness courtesy of my Great Grandmother Gregory

I love cooking but as much as I love cooking, I love baking twice as much. Unfortunately I'm trying to trim down of late so I have to stop myself from baking. However this afternoon as it rained and poured I couldn't resist baking this recipe that has been passed down three generations to me.

It is so scrummy! My Mum used to bake it in batches at Christmas time and freeze and remainder for the rest of the year, but it is lovely anytime of year either with a cup of tea, smothered in butter or if you're from Lincolnshire with a slice of cheese on top (let me state the latter is NOT my preference but whatever floats your boat!). One of the best things about this recipe is that it is so simple to do. So here it is....

  • 2 cups of mixed fruit
  • 2 cups of self-raising flour
  • 1 cup of sugar (I think caster sugar works best)
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/4 lb of margerine (you can use Stork which is much cheaper than butter)
  • 1 egg
1) Line a rectangular tin with greaseproof paper and turn your oven to about 125 degrees celcius.

2) Put your fruit, margerine and milk into a pan, mix together and bring it all to the boil.

3) Add your sugar, flour and egg to the mixture. Mix together really well though be gentle and try and fold the mixture as much as you can.

4) Pour the mixture into your tin and place in the oven.

5) Cook for an hour and a quarter. To test if it's cooked properly put a skewer or knife into the middle. It should come out clean. If it doesn't return it to the oven for a short while but be sure to not let it burn on the top.

6)Allow to cool in tin for a while before letting it cool fully on a cooking rack.

7) Eat and ENJOY!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Queen Liz, what a diamond

I have unashamedly had a day that I will never forget today. Some put down the monarchy as a waste of money and useless, but the electric and party atmosphere that has been particularly throughout London, Great Britain and indeed throughout the world this long weekend has shown the unifying power the British monarchy has over many of us. Millions of people have lined the Thames, the Mall and the London streets this weekend because in our own way we love and admire the Queen for her devotion to her role in society.

Our celebrations began with decorating our house and ourselves in some jubilee bling.

On Sunday me and my hubby tried to make our way to the Thames floatilla and massively failed in our endeavour. We couldn't get near the river despite there being 14 miles of river to line. We eventually made our way down to Picadilly Circus however where we watched the celebrations on the big screen. It also gave us chance to admire how London had been decorated for the weekend.
Last night I curled up with a glass of red wine and enjoyed the big concert which for anyone who didn't watch it was fabulous. Me and the hubby had a few songs dancing round the living room.

Today was the pinacle. My very kind husband offered to indulge me in a day down at the Mall to see the carriage procession. So with a picnic packed we left the house at 8.30 ready to see the procession which didn't even begin till 14:30. Not that we were sat around waiting all that time. We saw all the royals leave for St Pauls cathedral, and then we had a number of marching bands booming down the road, and we even had BoJo (Boris Johnson- Mayor of London) standing opposite us. Finally we had the procession. All throughout the day people were laughing, joking, talking to one another (depsite not knowing one another) and of course celebrating. All this made the time fly by.

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugiene
The Queen!


Prince Charles

Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate Middleton

 God save the Queen!