Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Spring snippets..

As Spring has now sprung I have signed up for a May challenge to kick start me back into blogging. I used to post frequently and often and now it feels sporadic and often a gigantic task... I don't want it to feel like this. I love my blog and it has been a lifeline at certain points over the last few years. So I have joined Rosalilium and signed up to blog every day in May.

Each day there is a subject and hopefully you will get to see a little of me that I haven't already shared... Fortunately the list is already in place so that I can plan ahead, otherwise I would be panicking profusely... I still haven't finished my December daily from Christmas 12 so don't hold your breath!.. I have earmarked a day in May to complete that!!... Looking forward to seeing all of his of you that drop by over the next month...

Monday, 29 April 2013

A rugby masterclass

It's been some time since I went to Rugby, but this changed at the weekend when Saracens drew Toulon in the Heineken cup semi final at Twickenham. From the final whistles being blown in the matches of the previous round my figures were poised over the iPad to book tickets.... Why? Because Jonny Wilkinson plays for Toulon and it would mean that he would be running out onto the hallowed turf of Twickenham in a No 10 shirt...alas not for England or Saracens, but I good gaze at the god of greatness on a rugby field in the UK possibly for the last time.

The day was bright if a little cold, perfect rugby weather and the commute from Waterloo out on the train was as entertaining as ever... Lots if fun and banter on the train.As I arrived at Twickenham the RCT bus had just drawn up and the Toulon squad were exiting, Jonny as you imagine received rapturous applause and cheers. Within 15 minutes I was in my seat and amazed to see JW on the pitch warming up and practising kicking ..
This was 90 minutes before the game and epitomises why this guy is as good as he is.I had already predicted the previous evening that it would be a Toulon win and it would boil down to the two No 10's and their kicking ability. Owen Farrell is Sarries No 10 and the current England fly half.  It was like watching the apprentice meet the master...
Wilkinson's game was a sheer masterclass from start to finish and deservedly won man of the match. Sarries lost some silly penalties and with an added bonus of Jonny Wilkinson scoring a drop goal it finished with Toulon 24 Saracens 12.
Although Saracens lost it was a great game to watch if only to revel in the knowledge of witnessing a
master of his craft.... and yummy to boot!


Saturday, 27 April 2013

Marathon Man

Last Sunday my baby brother ( only by 10 minutes!) affectionately known as Bruv joined 36,999 others to run the London marathon. This was M's fourth marathon, of which he admits each one gets a little harder. Having trained in what was the coldest winter through, rain, snow and hail Marathon day dawned bright, blue skies and the sun in the sky... Perfect spectator weather, but a little hard going on the less experienced runners.
As what has know become a bit of a family tradition I joined my SIL, niece and nephew on the embankment opposite the London Eye to cheer the runners on. This year we were joined by my aunt... So it became a big family day out.
This year so many more people thronged the route to cheer, clap and support the runners... I think it was an amalgamation of the Olympic spirit, beautiful weather and a show of unity and solidarity in support of the catastrophic events that had taken place the previous week at the Boston marathon. It was touching to see all the runners as they came past wearing black ribbons in support.
As we were waiting we saw the Paralympic runner Richard Whitehead run past as some speed, which truly astounds me as be is a double leg amputee... Amazing.

Very soon we saw M running towards us, he had some difficulty at 23 miles with cramp, but finished under 4hours completing his 4th marathon all between 3.45 & 3.55. He was a little disappointed with his time this year, but as his sister I am immensely proud of him.
A fab family day out...finished off with a much deserved beer.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Hollywood & Dames..

A couple of weeks ago on what I can only describe as one of the coldest, wettest days in London I had the luxury of an afternoon off. Said afternoon had been planned to feature Hollywood and Dames! with some fine dining thrown in between.
My afternoon started in the food emporium of Fortnums, where I joined a select number of ladies to watch Paul Hollywood talk and bake Bread... In answer to many questions.. Yes he was exactly as you see on the TV, his eyes are very blue and he is the only person that can get away with calling Mary Berry "bezzer" in a scouse accent!...
Due to time constraints Paul wasn't able to stay as long as planned so Fortnums kindly refunded the fee, along with plying us with champagne, canapés and a signed copy of Paul's book Bread, which was lovely.
After some time in F&M it was time to brave the elements of the Easter winter and head outside, my ideal of meandering around the west end was dampened slightly by the weather, so sought comfort in the stores on Bond street, before heading to Air street for my pre-theatre reservation at Hawksmoor
Service was excellent and the food was delicious... Hawksmoor being famous for its meat dishes I opted for Potted beef & bacon with yorkshires, Ribeye steak and then peanut butter shortbread with salted caramel ice cream... All from the express menu.
I could not eat it all as the portions were large, the starters was delicious and the yorkshires were light and fluffy and melted in your mouth. Steak was of an outstanding quality cooked to perfection, and finally dessert... oh my!!!... Shortbread was warm and when broken oozed warm chocolate sauce complete with peanuts, accompanied by the salted caramel ice cream it was a feast for all senses... Amazingly yummy!
After rolling out of the restaurant I walked through Piccadilly & Leicester square to St Martins Lane to watch the Dame herself Judi Dench in Peter & Alice. I snagged a £10 ticket months ago for this, completely unaware of how sort after the tickets were.
The play features Judi Dench and Ben Wishaw (aka M & Q from Skyfall) playing Alice & Peter who meet in a bookshop, their lives are entwined by both being the inspiration for iconic childrens stores; Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan.
Here is a small trailer. Judi Dench is one of my favourite actresses, along with Sheila Hancock and Helen Mirren and I am lucky enough to be seeing them all on stage in London during this year.The Dame met everyone of my expectations and more she delivered a dazzling performance and along with the rest of the cast received a standing ovation at the end.
Even though the weather was lousy the glamour of Theatre royalty and a small flavour of Hollywood made my afternoon complete.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Baking Bunny....

Was busy over Easter!... Easter was a flurry of activity for me, involving catching up with friends, family and a little foray to Brighton for Bills & Boe !..
Good Friday was time for me to pull the baking apron on and bake a few treats for friends and family. The afternoon was spent with Brother and co and evening was an impromptu dinner with friends. This years treats featured mini eggs and mini malteaser bunnies!... All boxed in Easter hutches

It was lovely to spend time with both families, relaxing and eating!.
Easter Sunday was spent at friends, where I cooked Easter lunch... Lamb with all the trimmings, complete with Hot Cross bun bread & butter pudding, mini egg chocolate cake, and creme egg brownies.... All delicious, a treat for any Easter bunny!... As you can see the dining room light fixture created a great opportunity to hang my Easter decorations. A little bit of sunshine on a very cold weekend was created with a lovely jug of tulips...

Hope everyone enjoyed their Easter...

Bills & Boe... part1

Easter Saturday, saw myself and two friends head down to to south coast for a day & evening in Brighton... When this was planned we didn't anticipate temperatures just above freezing with snow showers, but alas that is what we got.
We arrived into Brighton early afternoon where we grabbed a coffee and them ambled around the lanes. Even with the poor weather the lanes were busy and offered welcome relief from the sea breeze!.
Late afternoon we headed up to the north lanes where we had a table booked at the legendary Bills . Prior to dining i discovered Berts homestore  which was lethal, thankfully they are only in Hove & Brighton so my pennies are safe each month!
We had a table on the mezzanine overlooking the dining floor, which was great. The staff we attentive without being in you face and we had a leisurely late lunch/early supper which was delicious. We shared a starter of cod cheeks and squid with dips. I opted for the pulled pork ribs, sweet potato chips and coleslaw for mains, which was melt in the mouth gorgeous. The small jug of bar-b-que sauce was the perfect accompaniment. With the girls polishing off a bottle of wine I indulged in a pecan treacle tart and malted banana ice cream, which was beyond words! Yum yum 

The ambience was lovely and the styling eclectic and fun... 
I loved the produce shop and left with a jar of grapefruit & lime marmalade and a pear, apple & blackberry jam.. Now plotting recipes to play with them. 

Thankfully we had a leisurely walk back towards the seafront and the Brighton centre for a pen evening of entertainment with Alfie Boe. 

Bills & Boe .. Part 2

The reason for the day trip to Brighton was that we had tickets to see Alfie Boe at the Brighton Centre. Originally the plan was to have a girlie weekend away, but this was scuppered when Easter fell on the same weekend.
Seated 3 rows from the stage we had fantastic views to watch Alfie, who incidentally rocked the seafront. Who would have thought he was such a rocker.
Didn't really know too much about Alfie before, but have since downloaded his autobiography and its entertaining me lots on my commute. He is incredibly humble to his audience and comes across as a genuine down to earth guy who thanks his lucky stars daily on his fortune... From car paint sprayer to Les Mis, what a journey.
Here are a couple of my favourites from the evening:
If I wasn't much of a fan before, Alfie converted me over the evening and even with a long drive home and the clocks going forward didn't detract from a fun filled day and evening with friends.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Spring snippets..

As Spring has now sprung I have signed up for a May challenge to kick start me back into blogging. I used to post frequently and often and now it feels sporadic and often a gigantic task... I don't want it to feel like this. I love my blog and it has been a lifeline at certain points over the last few years. So I have joined Rosalilium and signed up to blog every day in May.

Each day there is a subject and hopefully you will get to see a little of me that I haven't already shared... Fortunately the list is already in place so that I can plan ahead, otherwise I would be panicking profusely... I still haven't finished my December daily from Christmas 12 so don't hold your breath!.. I have earmarked a day in May to complete that!!... Looking forward to seeing all of his of you that drop by over the next month...

Monday, 29 April 2013

A rugby masterclass

It's been some time since I went to Rugby, but this changed at the weekend when Saracens drew Toulon in the Heineken cup semi final at Twickenham. From the final whistles being blown in the matches of the previous round my figures were poised over the iPad to book tickets.... Why? Because Jonny Wilkinson plays for Toulon and it would mean that he would be running out onto the hallowed turf of Twickenham in a No 10 shirt...alas not for England or Saracens, but I good gaze at the god of greatness on a rugby field in the UK possibly for the last time.

The day was bright if a little cold, perfect rugby weather and the commute from Waterloo out on the train was as entertaining as ever... Lots if fun and banter on the train.As I arrived at Twickenham the RCT bus had just drawn up and the Toulon squad were exiting, Jonny as you imagine received rapturous applause and cheers. Within 15 minutes I was in my seat and amazed to see JW on the pitch warming up and practising kicking ..
This was 90 minutes before the game and epitomises why this guy is as good as he is.I had already predicted the previous evening that it would be a Toulon win and it would boil down to the two No 10's and their kicking ability. Owen Farrell is Sarries No 10 and the current England fly half.  It was like watching the apprentice meet the master...
Wilkinson's game was a sheer masterclass from start to finish and deservedly won man of the match. Sarries lost some silly penalties and with an added bonus of Jonny Wilkinson scoring a drop goal it finished with Toulon 24 Saracens 12.
Although Saracens lost it was a great game to watch if only to revel in the knowledge of witnessing a
master of his craft.... and yummy to boot!


Saturday, 27 April 2013

Marathon Man

Last Sunday my baby brother ( only by 10 minutes!) affectionately known as Bruv joined 36,999 others to run the London marathon. This was M's fourth marathon, of which he admits each one gets a little harder. Having trained in what was the coldest winter through, rain, snow and hail Marathon day dawned bright, blue skies and the sun in the sky... Perfect spectator weather, but a little hard going on the less experienced runners.
As what has know become a bit of a family tradition I joined my SIL, niece and nephew on the embankment opposite the London Eye to cheer the runners on. This year we were joined by my aunt... So it became a big family day out.
This year so many more people thronged the route to cheer, clap and support the runners... I think it was an amalgamation of the Olympic spirit, beautiful weather and a show of unity and solidarity in support of the catastrophic events that had taken place the previous week at the Boston marathon. It was touching to see all the runners as they came past wearing black ribbons in support.
As we were waiting we saw the Paralympic runner Richard Whitehead run past as some speed, which truly astounds me as be is a double leg amputee... Amazing.

Very soon we saw M running towards us, he had some difficulty at 23 miles with cramp, but finished under 4hours completing his 4th marathon all between 3.45 & 3.55. He was a little disappointed with his time this year, but as his sister I am immensely proud of him.
A fab family day out...finished off with a much deserved beer.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Hollywood & Dames..

A couple of weeks ago on what I can only describe as one of the coldest, wettest days in London I had the luxury of an afternoon off. Said afternoon had been planned to feature Hollywood and Dames! with some fine dining thrown in between.
My afternoon started in the food emporium of Fortnums, where I joined a select number of ladies to watch Paul Hollywood talk and bake Bread... In answer to many questions.. Yes he was exactly as you see on the TV, his eyes are very blue and he is the only person that can get away with calling Mary Berry "bezzer" in a scouse accent!...
Due to time constraints Paul wasn't able to stay as long as planned so Fortnums kindly refunded the fee, along with plying us with champagne, canapés and a signed copy of Paul's book Bread, which was lovely.
After some time in F&M it was time to brave the elements of the Easter winter and head outside, my ideal of meandering around the west end was dampened slightly by the weather, so sought comfort in the stores on Bond street, before heading to Air street for my pre-theatre reservation at Hawksmoor
Service was excellent and the food was delicious... Hawksmoor being famous for its meat dishes I opted for Potted beef & bacon with yorkshires, Ribeye steak and then peanut butter shortbread with salted caramel ice cream... All from the express menu.
I could not eat it all as the portions were large, the starters was delicious and the yorkshires were light and fluffy and melted in your mouth. Steak was of an outstanding quality cooked to perfection, and finally dessert... oh my!!!... Shortbread was warm and when broken oozed warm chocolate sauce complete with peanuts, accompanied by the salted caramel ice cream it was a feast for all senses... Amazingly yummy!
After rolling out of the restaurant I walked through Piccadilly & Leicester square to St Martins Lane to watch the Dame herself Judi Dench in Peter & Alice. I snagged a £10 ticket months ago for this, completely unaware of how sort after the tickets were.
The play features Judi Dench and Ben Wishaw (aka M & Q from Skyfall) playing Alice & Peter who meet in a bookshop, their lives are entwined by both being the inspiration for iconic childrens stores; Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan.
Here is a small trailer. Judi Dench is one of my favourite actresses, along with Sheila Hancock and Helen Mirren and I am lucky enough to be seeing them all on stage in London during this year.The Dame met everyone of my expectations and more she delivered a dazzling performance and along with the rest of the cast received a standing ovation at the end.
Even though the weather was lousy the glamour of Theatre royalty and a small flavour of Hollywood made my afternoon complete.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Baking Bunny....

Was busy over Easter!... Easter was a flurry of activity for me, involving catching up with friends, family and a little foray to Brighton for Bills & Boe !..
Good Friday was time for me to pull the baking apron on and bake a few treats for friends and family. The afternoon was spent with Brother and co and evening was an impromptu dinner with friends. This years treats featured mini eggs and mini malteaser bunnies!... All boxed in Easter hutches

It was lovely to spend time with both families, relaxing and eating!.
Easter Sunday was spent at friends, where I cooked Easter lunch... Lamb with all the trimmings, complete with Hot Cross bun bread & butter pudding, mini egg chocolate cake, and creme egg brownies.... All delicious, a treat for any Easter bunny!... As you can see the dining room light fixture created a great opportunity to hang my Easter decorations. A little bit of sunshine on a very cold weekend was created with a lovely jug of tulips...

Hope everyone enjoyed their Easter...

Bills & Boe... part1

Easter Saturday, saw myself and two friends head down to to south coast for a day & evening in Brighton... When this was planned we didn't anticipate temperatures just above freezing with snow showers, but alas that is what we got.
We arrived into Brighton early afternoon where we grabbed a coffee and them ambled around the lanes. Even with the poor weather the lanes were busy and offered welcome relief from the sea breeze!.
Late afternoon we headed up to the north lanes where we had a table booked at the legendary Bills . Prior to dining i discovered Berts homestore  which was lethal, thankfully they are only in Hove & Brighton so my pennies are safe each month!
We had a table on the mezzanine overlooking the dining floor, which was great. The staff we attentive without being in you face and we had a leisurely late lunch/early supper which was delicious. We shared a starter of cod cheeks and squid with dips. I opted for the pulled pork ribs, sweet potato chips and coleslaw for mains, which was melt in the mouth gorgeous. The small jug of bar-b-que sauce was the perfect accompaniment. With the girls polishing off a bottle of wine I indulged in a pecan treacle tart and malted banana ice cream, which was beyond words! Yum yum 

The ambience was lovely and the styling eclectic and fun... 
I loved the produce shop and left with a jar of grapefruit & lime marmalade and a pear, apple & blackberry jam.. Now plotting recipes to play with them. 

Thankfully we had a leisurely walk back towards the seafront and the Brighton centre for a pen evening of entertainment with Alfie Boe. 

Bills & Boe .. Part 2

The reason for the day trip to Brighton was that we had tickets to see Alfie Boe at the Brighton Centre. Originally the plan was to have a girlie weekend away, but this was scuppered when Easter fell on the same weekend.
Seated 3 rows from the stage we had fantastic views to watch Alfie, who incidentally rocked the seafront. Who would have thought he was such a rocker.
Didn't really know too much about Alfie before, but have since downloaded his autobiography and its entertaining me lots on my commute. He is incredibly humble to his audience and comes across as a genuine down to earth guy who thanks his lucky stars daily on his fortune... From car paint sprayer to Les Mis, what a journey.
Here are a couple of my favourites from the evening:
If I wasn't much of a fan before, Alfie converted me over the evening and even with a long drive home and the clocks going forward didn't detract from a fun filled day and evening with friends.