Montreal

Montreal
Cute Houses of Montreal

cocktail

cocktail
A Winter Cocktail

Life changing magic

Life changing magic
The Life Changing Magic

How my garden grows

You know how one of my 31 things was to grow 5 edible things, and another was to eat said edible things, well, I was looking all on course to do that - we had tomatoes, rhubarb, courgettes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, mange tout and redcurrants on the go - all prospering well. And then, well, this happened; 



My almost ready to pick first round of rhubarb, thriving mange tout, redcurrants and blackberries and in-flower tomatoes, raspberries and blueberries are under this mess of ivy and trees and bricks from the neighbours outhouse, and have been, without any light, for a week now.


Luckily neither the boy or the puppy where out in the yard when it happens, which is massively lucky as it all fell down about 12.15 last Thursday lunchtime and they usually are outside at that time - If it hadn’t been for the rain they might have been underneath it. And whilst a brick to the head might not have been the worst thing that could happen to the boy, esp. if it knocked his love of football out of his head – but I am not sure the puppy could have withstood it.

So, I fear the worst for my plants, and a couple of my 31 things goal. By the time insurance companies and the likes have got themselves involved and that mess has been cleared I imagine they might not have survived & it’ll be far too late to plant anything else. If anyone knows of any foodie plants that prosper well in the gloomy English winter and don’t require planting in the next, well, millennium, please let me know.


*I know, last week really wasn’t a great one was it - none gloomy blogging will resume next week – I hope.  
6

Not the weekend I had planned

I should be telling you about an amazing weekend with friends - a weekend of bbq and dancing, otherwise known as 'Meats & Beats'. 
But last weekend we got some scary, out of the blue, news - my dad had a heart attack. So my brother and I had an impromptu trip to Devon. Dad was on holiday on the boat - we're just lucky they hadn't set off across the channel! Clearly, we weren't there for the best of reasons, but he is all fine now. He is back on the boat - not sailing I promise, but claims to be all better. It wasn't the most interesting of weekends, definitely not the weekend we had planned - and was spent mostly sitting in a hospital.
Never one to miss the chance to snap a few shots of the seaside - here are some pics from our 'weekend away';



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Grandmaster Flash

Flash at 8 weeks - he wont sit still for long enough to do this now....I have tried. He isn't playing!
So, we've had our pup for 6 weeks now {although it seems much longer} and he's totally changed our lives. For something so little he has a massive character – he totally thinks he is the boss of the house {I won’t lie, he might be} But, to make sure that when he’s no longer a puppy, we don’t forget just how cute he was, here’s a little round up of Grandmaster Flash, PPV II’s first month at home; 
  • He weighed just over 1kg when we got him – he’s now a whopping* 1.9kg's.
  • He has just about learnt his name - but only if there is nothing more interesting happening - and he's grasped sitting on command - esp. when food is involved!  
  • He will eat the most random foods. So far he’s loved blue cheese, hummus, tomatoes, cous cous, jam, strawberries, lettuce and wolfed it all down! But not celery or mushroom. Weirdo. 
  • One of his favourite things to do is bite you. Feet/hair/hands he’s not fussy, and even if he doesn't mean to be hurty bitey, those little puppy teeth are razor sharp.
  • He’d mastered climbing our stairs after 2 weeks - which terrified me. But he can't get back down yet!
  • He is a massive puppy whore and will charm everyone he comes in contact with – even people who don’t like dogs!
  • He loves snuggling under the bed covers in a morning, especially after his walk. 
  • He thinks he’s billy big balls with older dogs, but playful little puppies scare him to bits.
  • His favourite toy is whatever happens to distract him at that moment - puppy toy, empty bottle, hairbrush, mascara, snail - he's not fussy. 
  • He has learnt sitting at the boy's feet in the kitchen might sometimes result in food - it might be his favourite place to sit!
  • If you want to pull at a gay pride festival – take Flash!
  • If it rains, he won’t wee outside. Helpful in a horrible, rainy June.
  • He doesn’t like walking on the lead much, but will trot alongside you quite happily in the park - once you get him there. 
  • He is a great cuddler - especially as he's falling asleep.
And so as not to just post a stream of puppy pictures and make everyone think I am more crazy about him than I am - you can see some more pics here!

*Whopping for him, you understand
7

Pop Up Pudding Club



If you follow me on twitter or Instagram you might have seen my excessive tweeting about pudding’s on Tuesday night, but I had a very legitimate reason, the Pop-up Pudding Club! My friend Lizzie asked if I wanted to go as we didn’t do anything for my birthday {yes, the one that was in January! That girl has a good memory!} Now I am not sure if I have been asked a dumber question – do you want to go and eat pudding all night – in a museum? Erm, yes! Hells yes! And so, that’s how we ended up eating and tweeting 5 puddings on a tuesday evening. If you'd like to see our images from the night, you can see the pic's we both tweeted here


It is run by two of the members of our WI, Anna and Blanche, with Blanche’s other half Richard, which is how we found out about it. Anna runs WI supper clubs and Blanche and Richard run a catering company, Coco Catering, so we were bound to be in good hands.
This was the first of their events, and they had the genius idea to hold it in a museum, the Fire and Police Museum, which is somewhere I remember having been as a child, but don’t actually remember.

We ended up sat at a table laden with wine glasses {used by us for lemonade – classy ladies!} and pretty napkins and lots of cutlery. You know it’s a good night when you have a lot of cutlery!



After a little milling about, we were presented with the first of the evening’s deserts – A Peach Bellini Jelly. It was such a light way to start the evening, and absolutely delicious, if not a little boozy!



Second on the table were profiteroles with a raspberry coulis – cue much discussion about how to spell profiteroles. They were light and airy and absolutely delicious & I think these might have been my favourite of the evening, but it’s a close call with pud number 3. 


Which was marinated strawberries, it was a family recipe, but contained strawberries in amaretto, wine, lemon, lime and cloves – I am sure there was something else, but I can’t remember! But it's definitely on my 'figure out how to recreate' list.



Pud 4 was a guest pud from Hunky Dory cakes and was a surprisingly not as dense as it looked Guinness cake with a cream cheese frosting. If the strawberries hadn’t won me at amaretto, this would have been a close contender for 2nd place.



And the 5th pud was a Sicilian pud, a Cannoli – I think this one defo has to place as my least favourite of the evening – maybe it was because I was super pudded out, but I think it might have been the combo of sweet cream and fruit!


We also had the chance between courses to nip out into the museum and play on the fire engines and in the old police cells. No, of course we didn’t resort back to being 8 again. Honest! And no, despite what the pictures may say, we didn't wear any props!
I also got to meet the wonderful Missy Cindz, who runs her own pudding club that I’ve not quite managed to attend yet – but we have some scarily similar pinning and tweeting patterns!



They’re hoping it’ll be a monthly event, if they can find venues – so if you’re in Sheffield and want to attend the next one {but only after I am my friend have tickets you understand} keep an eye on their twitter stream!
10

Shady

The jury is out on whether I could get away with wooden sunnies - I mean will I look too much like a failed Hipster? Will my friends mock me to the point i take them off and they never see daylight again? But I just la-la-love them. 


What do you think? Could someone as un-cool as me pull them off*?


1. Amazing handmade shades from Tumbleweeds on Etsy. Check them out - I think the zebra print ones might be them!
2.Hansel & Gretel Shades - Ginsburgs {you gotta love their sunnies names}
3. And these would be the most expensive - but boy oh boy are they cool - they're from Vuerich B & made from old skateboards! Want want want. 


*If you say yes - I will be ordering some, so be warned - it will be your fault!
9

Fancie book Club



Wednesday saw me attempt to make it to the Fancie bookclub for the 2nd time. Last month I tried, I cram re-read the book {having not realised I’d already read it until I was half way through} I thought carefully about the questions. I tweeted about it. And then I turned up a day late. I know. Massive ditz right? 
But this month I knew I had it spot on with the dates, I'd checked them a couple of times. It was just the reading I wasn’t so confident with*. And so, with the book club on the Wednesday, I started reading on Tuesday morning. As luck would have it, I was so poorly that doing anything but laying on the sofa reading made my body hurt.

Our book this month was ‘When God was a Rabbit’ by Sarah Winman, a title, which despite the pretty cover {my usual reason for choosing a book}, would have put me off if it was up to me. I am not one for reading about religion. But I’ll let you in on a secret – it’s not really about God, or religion, at all. Without giving too much away, and this might be hard as there is so so much that happens in the book, it’s about a little girl and her journey through life with her family, told in the beginning from her, unique, childlike perspective, then we pick up the story again in her adult like. I wasn’t all that sure about the style when I picked up the book, especially about the not-finding-out-what’s-actually-happened-until-a-few-pages-later bit of her style, but I grew to love it. I grew to, not love, but really like the main characters - I could even ignore some of the bits that really annoyed me about the book once I got into it. I laughed, really, actually 'LOL’d' and I’ll admit to having had a little cry but I won't say why in case you fancy a read.  My only complaint would be the sheer number of events and story lines that appear – it had me confused trying to remember them all and a couple of times during our discussions bits came up that I had forgotten about! 

Have you read it? What did you think? I know a couple of people have mentioned that they didn’t ‘get it’ to me, and I think, especially in my skim-reading, illness infused daze I might not have if I wasn’t acutely aware I’d be discussing it!

And so, to my first meeting. 
I love Fancie cakes, like really love them – they’re always really moist and the frosting is uber sickly and sweet – just the way I like it – so I was pretty excited to be having the bookclub at their main {original} store on Sarrowvale. Faith, the super sweet lady who organises the club, even text to ask what cake we'd like reserving {and maybe remind people like me that it was on!} I went with a white choc and berry cake, and a raspberry lemonade, and quietly took a seat on the pretty cushions with the rest of the readers. I have this issue in new situations – I am either that douchecanoe who’s all 'me me me' or I am silly quiet. For the first half hour of the bookclub, as it became apparent some people knew each other, I became the quiet me. I sat awkwardly and observed. I snapped some secret squirrel shots because my ‘can I take a pic for my blog’ me disappeared. But I found me again and I think I managed to hold my own a little with some opinions – some opinions that I hope didn't make me look too eejit-y. I gathered it was the first time attending for a few of us too so I guess they were in the same boat. and a few of us even hung about for a little chat afterwards. 

And I ate cake, and drank pink lemonade. I talked about book geekery. What more could you want?

Next month we have a ‘boy’ book - Our Kind of Traitor by John Le CarreI might even get it on the Kindle – it sounds like the sort of thing the boy might also like to read.  


*Having this puppy seems to be swallowing hours and hours of my time, just poooof gone! How do you people with kids do it? 
6

A poem a day


I found Amy Turn Sharpes' A Poem a Day For a Year I think whilst following links on twitter, maybe a link from the wonderful Mackin Ink, a while ago. 

Years ago, between dreams of sailing the world as a marine biologist and becoming a journalist I thought I would be a poet. I thought my angst ridden, middle class, ramblings were something that would make me famous. 

Eventually, the words failed me and I gave up that dream (along with the others – who knew you’d need a science A-level to be a marine biologist?} but reading Amy’s blog and her daily poems make me want to grab a notebook to hide somewhere, abandon all thoughts of iambic pentameters and pen my deepest darkest secrets and feelings in poetry. Go read Amy’s site and tell me you’re not right there with me……….




2

Run Harrogate



A while back I posted about my friend Sam, and her ridiculous challenges she was setting herself with regards to running – well, she has outdone herself this time and has set up a new running club in Harrogate. 

If you’re over that way and want to go running with some lovely people, you should get in touch. I am gutted I am no-where near her any more as I need a MASSIVE kick up the bum to get out the door and start doing some exercise again!

The run is on a Thursday evening, it's FREE, and there are 3 levels of runners - Laid Back and Lovely, Caught in the Middle and Speedy Gonzalez. Oh, and the run length, its 3k, building up to a 5k run!

If you’re in that part of Yorkshire, you can contact her about it on Twitter @runharrogate or on her blog – 750 Miles.  
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