Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Local Loves.

I've decided to write this week's local loves about my local park Richmond Park.

 It is not the biggest park or the most spectacular and it doesn't have any lakes or animal farms but it is just perfect for a stroll to get your thoughts together.
I've found these mysterious steps and wondered what they were the threshold to?
We've also begun to enjoy using the swings and playground so no doubt we'll have years more fun playing in Richmond park!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Monday Movie: Populaire.

I ended up not making it to Kino Bambino this week to watch Mood Indigo, instead I opted to watch Populaire on Netflix.

Populaire is a French film set in the fifties about a clumsy girl called Rose who goes for a job as Secretary and gets it on a trial basis.  At the end of the trial her boss asks her to take part in a speed typing competition and in order to keep her job she applies but doesn't win. Undeterred her boss decides to be her coach and moves her into his house to over see her practising.

Basically if you've seen My Fair Lady you will see slightly more modern parallels here with added training montages. I guess it could be seen as a cross between My Fair Lady and the Karate kid but really it's a rom com with rose tinted glasses on (excuse the pun!)

This is a nice film which although slow moving in parts is fun to watch with characters I actually like and empathise with an improvement on last week's film!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Tea and travels...

This week I've been a bit quieter on the blogging front than I had intended as I decided it was time to go for a little holiday.  So I ended up spending much of Tuesday planning my trip and doing a little bit of novel writing and tea drinking. This was followed by mad packing on Wednesday and heading to the north west to visit relatives before heading onwards to the wilds of Wales. (Well Flintshire at any rate!) On Thursday we decided to sample the delights of Llandudno and enjoyed ice cream on the beach.

Once we had done playing on the beach and strolling along the promanade (whilst avoiding thieving seagulls) we headed back to our travelodge before visiting more family members on the way back east on the Friday.

I also failed to blog yesterday as I was busy trying to stop sheep attacking eating the picnic me and my friends were having at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, going for a walk then returning home before enjoying yet more tea with Paul's family and my son.  It's a hard life being social isn't it! Now it's time to drink a tad more tea and get cracking on my novel again whilst the baby slumbers... adios for now!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Monday Movie: Arthur and Mike.

Arthur and Mike was another film shown as part of Kino Bambino which I went to see with my son this morning.

I missed the start of this film due to struggling after a fractured nights sleep... so when I got there the main characters Arthur and Mike had already met. The story is about middle aged Wallace who takes on the name Arthur and skips out on his mundane life to go on a road trip to take up a job as a golf teacher. He's accompanied by Mike also known as Charlotte who is trying to escape her worries as well.

They end up getting to know each other as they travel around and imitate others.  Yet while this is happening Wallace's loved ones try to come to terms with his disappearance and possibly death.

I found this film quite uncomfortable when I think it's supposed to be a comedy. I just thought Arthur and Mike were really selfish. Then again I think I'm not the target audience,  this is like a coming of age film for people going through mid-life crises. Maybe it's a gaining perspective sort of film? I think I enjoyed chasing my son around the cinema more... but at least it was short and followed by coffee!

Friday, 1 August 2014

This & that.

Today I've enjoyed a cuppa coffee in peace at the Steam Yard, a cafe in what used to be Jacks records. Then I had a meeting, browsed some shops, returned a book to the library, did tetrapack recycling, had lunch, fed & bathed the baby and went to my friend's wedding celebration.
So after all that I think I need a snooze! Night!

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Bit of baking.

I've tried out a few new recipes recently but most of them have been from my Ella's Kitchen cookbook, as I try to introduce my son to real non pureed foods.  Unfortunately by the time I've cooked these meals I remember that it would be a good idea to blog about them but by this time the baby wants his tea and so do I!  Every so often recently I've had the chance to do a bit of baking when people have graciously watched my little boy for me.  The most recent thing I baked was some polenta and cranberry biscuits this evening.

I'd been thinking about making this recipe from my Homemade Baking cookbook for a while as I had the ingredients but not the time. Thankfully today my boyfriend finished work early so I got chance to relax and do some baking, just what I need!

The recipe was a bit fiddlier than what I would normally like but I actually found it quite therapeutic tonight to follow all most of the steps properly.

To make these you need:

80g cold unsalted butter cut into smallish pieces
100g fine polenta (as well as a bit extra for dusting)
115g plain flour
50g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
Finely grated zest of 1 orange 2 teaspoons of orange juice with bits
100g sweetened cranberries

So can you tell what I changed? To start I turned on the oven to pre-heat then measured out my dry ingredients into my measuring bowl before adding the butter and rubbing them together into what I seem to remember breadcrumbs should look like.

Then I beat my egg, got the orange juice out of the fridge and added that as well as the egg to the dry ingredients before measuring out & popping the cranberries in. Then I got a wooden spoon out and started stirring only to realise that the recipe said to mix together well with your hands... so I scooped the mix off the spoon and kneaded it all together.

Once I'd got the mixture into a ball shape I put some polenta on my work top, tore bits off the ball of mixture and rolled/formed them into little mini cigar shapes before putting them onto lined baking trays.

When that was done I popped the trays in the oven and turned my oven down to 190c/375f/gas mark 5 and put a 10 minute timer on.  I checked on them after ten minutes but they seemed anaemic so I waited a few more  minutes and got the first batch out.  As I did this I then switched the tray that was in the centre of the oven to the top so that they would get browner faster then took those out a couple of minutes later.

After what seemed like forever the biscuits had become cool enough to not feel like molten lava in my mouth and I tried them. (It's not right to just try one...) They were nice but the polenta gave them a crunch texture which takes a little getting used to, the boyfriend isn't as sure. More for me then! Hehehe!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Local love.

I thought it might be nice to write a bit about local businesses that I am glad reside in this fine city with me and I've decided to start with Birds Yard Sheffield.

It is a business that I've mentioned before but one which I still think is great because it provides a home to a number of independent businesses like Handpicked Books and Poco Nido. Because of this Bird's Yard is a great place to pop in for gifts, clothes, books, jewellery and even baby clothes! Although you can't quite get everything there, it is the perfect place to get something a bit different and it seems there is a sale on at the moment before they move to new premises.

So I wish them all the best in the future and hope that they remain as varied and interesting in their new shop.