Thursday, 28 October 2010

Just your average walk to work...

Yesterday I was on a training course in London town, so my work very kindly put me up in an amazing hotel within walking distance from the course venue. I didn't realise that my walk to the course was going to be quite so pretty...

First up is leaving the hotel:

Next up was a sight very familiar to those of us who have BBC news, I almost squealed out loud when I saw this, just like the tv!

The steps leading to the park:

And the gorgeous colours of Autumn in St. James's Park:

Across Horse Guards Parade:

And The London Eye sneaking a peek:

More Autumn brights:

And finally my destination, The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining:

The course was inside a haunted library and the big oak door kept creaking open, definitely added to the atmosphere!

Two other things definitely worth a mention: thanks heaps to Tizz who came all the way into town to meet me for what turned out to be a 35 minute cup of coffee before I had to grab my train back. Love you loads Tizz and can't wait to see you in a couple of weeks!

Secondly, all the lovely photos above were actually taken on my shiny new Redberry as I left my camera at home. And I have to say that I am very impressed with the quality. This could well be the season of the visual posts...

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Do we dare monkey with tradition?

Found out a couple of weeks ago that Wavey and I are going to be on our own for Christmas as my parentals are off to do their grandparent-ly duties and going to stay with my sis, husband, and grotbag nephew and niece. So we started thinking. Hmmmm, shall we think about some kind of alternative Christmas other than the traditional route?

I would certainly welcome the challenge, I do love to try out new foods and I heart to cook muchly. But! Last year we dared to break slightly away from tradition and the Delia-gods looked down on us and broke our boiler. What will happen if we move totally away from a Delia Christmas - I hardly dare contemplate it! Will we be cast out into some alternative non-Delia land where you're only ever allowed to cook non-traditional foods and your boiler will not only break but remain broken forever and we may just freeze to our sad hungry deaths...

But say we were to be brave. What could we do? At first we were thinking of Thai and Moroccan, which delicious in their own rights might not cut the mustard. Today we thought, hmmm how about Italian? I'll bet they have a LOT of courses! Wavey has often had to go to work in Italy and he was once taken out for a meal where they had 7 courses and each course had a different wine. I think I'd have trouble standing after that! But it's definitely a possibility. Being the librarian-y bod that I am I'm going to see if I can find a book, or at least some suggestions of what an Italian Christmas might involve. But if any of you readers have any other suggestions, or could help out with the Italian idea please shout up. I'm open to ideas.

But remember, don't tell Delia. Or we will surely be doomed...

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Times is 'ard

Cat informed me yesterday that as a result of the spending cuts we are now living in austere times. Translated: you get a ladder in your tights, find a way to rock it cos we can't afford new ones...

Monday, 18 October 2010

The gourmet (stuffing) thief

Last night we had a most yummy roast chicken dinner, all crispy skin sprinkled with herbs, mmmm-mmmm. We had quite a lot left over, enough to make me and Wavey butties for today. We even had 3 stuffing sausages left over, not just any stuffing but gourmet stuffing of roasted veg and apple and cider, sounds a bit weird but trust me it was mighty fine! I shredded the chicken and mushed up the stuffing and made the most deeeeelishus sandwich to have for lunch today.

As is the usual practice, I got to work, switched on my PC and emptied my lunch bag of my buttie and yoghurt and headed to the fridge in the staffroom, popped it on the top shelf and went about my day as usual. Just before lunch someone asked me what I had to eat today and I described in great detail exactly how tasty my sandwich was going to be...

...or would have been if some thieving scumbag hadn't stolen it! Yes you read that right. Some effer stole my frickin' sandwich!! I was utterly outraged and couldn't stop going round shouting that someone had stolen my sandwich. When I think about it now I must have seemed like a total loon but I was so angry that someone would do that! It's not like it was some pre-packaged bread thing that could have been bought by anyone, it was very obviously handmade and wrapped inside its clingfilm jacket...see even now I feel my blood boil at the very thought that someone had the bare faced cheek to go into the staffroom, have a root around in the fridge and decide that it was perfectly okay for them to eat someone else's food!!! RAH!

Everybody kept telling me I was having a Ross moment and I'd forgotten how funny that was until I just YouTube-d it a minute ago. And how apt that he should lose his Thanksgiving sandwich and I lost my roast dinner sandwich, almost identical!

There's a big part of me that cannot believe it actually happened. I had about 5 people check the entire contents of the fridge with me, plus the other fridge just to make sure I wasn't going completely bonkers. Turns out that someone else had their sandwich stolen a couple of weeks ago too. And despite being able to see the humour, I am pretty disturbed that I work with someone who clearly has some kind of issue over what is right and wrong...but that's a whole other blog.

For now, just enjoy the vision of me standing in the staffroom with my hands in the air yelling SOMEONE ATE MY SANDWICH!!!!! Then stomping off to my locker to get my purse to go and buy some cruddy sandwich instead of my much drooled over one. And then stomping through the entire staff area of the library shouting off my mouth about my stolen sandwich...this small event is now so infamous it has been assigned a name by my colleagues: SandwichGate - will the mystery ever be solved? Watch this space...

Sunday, 17 October 2010


Bit of a dip in and dip out kind of day yesterday. We started off in the garden doing something that I wasn't entirely happy about - lopping branches off trees. I love the trees. And I have issues about bits of them being chopped away, but I know it's for a good cause - the greenhouse placement! Plus, it's not like we're just chucking away what we chop off, we're going to use the leaves in the compost heap and the big branches are being chopped up for the fire and the slightly smaller branches will be chopped up for kindling, and the teeny tiny branches will be put through one of those whizzy chopper upper things and then sent for recycling at the tip. Good practical useage all round then!

Next up we decided to head to lovely Richmond town. We have a mission involving doors. Our house needs a new front door. We've currently got one of the UPVC jobbies that come with the double glazing, but we decided that it would be really cool to actually source a door that's right for the age of the house. It's an old cottage and it should have a big lovely wooden door that we reckon we'll be able to find in a salvage yard. This was the first of our trips and it was a bit of a fib really, cos it wasn't what I would call a salvage yard, it was more like a big shop. And it was billed as antiques and it was more a mixture of new crafty stuff with some old stuff thrown in for good measure. Bad advertising people! But it was certainly fun mooching around and I was this close *indicate tiny space between thumb and forefinger* to buying a gorgeous enamel pan that was absolutely immaculate inside, but was just too small for what I have in mind. Next time though as we have about 4 other places to try. I can't wait to see the lovely old wooden door that I can see in my imagination, just hope we find what we're looking for.

While we were there we went for some food in a brand new bistro that had just opened. It was a lovely little teeny place that was all warm and comfy seats and fancy plates and cups, but the food was yummy. I had the carrot and coriander soup that came with warm crusty bread and half a portion of twice cooked fries. That actually turned out to be big fat chips, and they really only tasted like they'd been cooked once, but they were yum so whose complaining. Wavey had some club sandwich that was 3 layers high and had bacon and chicken and egg and mustard, that was tasty too!

After there we had a little walk round the market square but when you've seen one market square in a North Yorkshire town you've seen 'em all. So we headed back to our homeland. And thought, ah sack it might as well go for coffee and cake on the way home. So we had one huge piece of coffee and walnut cake and one huge slice of chocolate caramel pie which is frankly some of the scrummiest pudding I've ever had then pretty much rolled home after such excessive food consumption.

Next up we decided we'd go to our local big DIY chain and pick up some paving slabs for the greenhouse. Conversation along the way of buff versus pink and pretty yellow...turned out buff was the all round winner as it was like half the price of pink and who really needs pink paving slabs anyway, not us!

Then we headed home once again and before we knew where time had gone it was 9pm and we were hungry again. A late supper of veggie sausage sandwiches with fried onion and mushrooms and waaaay too much ketchup due to spurty ketchup syndrome and some catch-up tv rounded off the day perfectly.

I heart weekends so. Too bad I had to ruin it today by volunteering to do some overtime at work. Work on Sunday? Not all it's cracked up to be...

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Hands that do dishes...

On a recent girlie shopping trip to Leeds with T, I found myself in a rather lovely shop who actually called themselves an apothecary - how olde fashioned is that! Inside said apothecary were many many lovely girlie things that were pretty and very pleasing to my girlie eye. A purchase of some kind was inevitable. Little did I know that said purchase would prove to be truly magic!

A little background is required now. I've found that since I began working in libraryland many moons ago I have terrible trouble with my hands. All those books and journals get dusty. And the building is generally either overheated or underheated with never a happy medium in between. Couple that with lots of manual work at theatre and the garden and cooking and my poor hands often start to shed skin. But not just in little ladylike bits. Oh no, entire clumps fall off and I look like some freakish snake, it's not nice. And sometimes it can hurt as the skin underneath is raw and if it gets cold...ouch. And it's usually along the edges of my fingers that do the most work. Are you feeling sorry for me yet?

As you can imagine I have tried many handcreams, some cheap, some relatively expensive. Turns out, my hands? Total snobs. They like expensive stuff! My purchase of the teeny tiny sample handcream has transformed me! At the time of purchase I was in big skin-shed mode (sorry if too much info!) and with the magic yet expensive handcream my hands are restored. In fact, they're really rather lovely. Cue a very happy Dizz. Horrible hands are not good for feeling like a laydee.

But oh no, the teeny tiny tube has been squeezed to within an inch of its life. Gone! Never fear, I shall buy some online thinks I. Except that every search is fruitless. The site exists. But they only ship within USA. I'll try another. Oh they only ship within the USA too. BOO! I don't live there! Help me help me super librarian skills. Hell I even considered asking some USA person to get it and ship it to me that way. But ah-ha! I wasn't let down. I finally found a UK stockists site and my order for my (eek!) expensive handcream is now on its way to me.

So I might be 30 squids down (again with the eek!) but I shall enjoy my lovely soft and smooth hands. And say a gracious thank you kindly to Lollia as I truly do heart you so.

Sunday, 10 October 2010


Waste not Want not is definitely my philosophy on life. A happy day in the kitchen yesterday, leftover apples became spiced apple and walnut muffins:

Tomatoes that had seen better days roasted in the oven with olive oil dribbled over them, lashings of black pepper, garlic, rosemary and thyme, squish 'em all up and enjoy yummy roasted tomato sauce:

Which went really well with my crispy chicken and roasted veg, for a couscous and pitta bread supper:

Happy 10:10 day!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Date night rules

1. Decide the day before to have a date night, thus eliminating too much planning and organising.

2. Pick on the day the restaurant and movie you will be attending.

3. Select a very tasty restaurant indeedy called Starters where they basically serve, erm well starters. Enjoy super spicy food and ice cold beer. Oh and feel extremely adventurous for trying olives and actually enjoying them, yay!

4. The movie must be action, none of this romantic comedy nonsense. Shooting, car chases, bombs, po-lice, now you're talking. In this instance we went to see The Town, directed by and starring Ben Affleck. And very fine it was too. I'd highly recommend it.

5. Finally, perhaps this should be the most important rule of all. Ensure that you've checked what each is wearing before you meet up for the evening or you might find yourself looking like this:

Howard and Hilda eat your heart out, here comes Wavey and Dizz in identical striped shirts! Priceless!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Entirely inappropriate

I got stuck in one of those moments today when you know that your mouth should stop opening and closing and forming words but you just can't stop yourself. Let me paint the picture for you.

I'm sat at my desk copying and pasting like my life depended on it when our big team boss comes out of her office shivering. To indicate how not cold it was I was sat, as usual, in a teeshirt. She comes over to me and starts chatting, oh how can you sit there like this, I'm so cold I've got three layers on and I'm utterly freezing. I politely shrugged my shoulders and said I'm just fine, warm enough thanks. But it couldn't just stop there. And to be fair, she at this point was entirely to blame. But (and she leans in a bit closer here) I've even got my thermal vest she's not...please no...yes she is. She's actually pulling up her tops to show me her brown thermal vest! Yikes and cripes do not even begin to cover how I was feeling. Again it didn't stop, she started saying how awful it was because it was brown.

Which is when I step in and take over. Well, maybe you should get some black ones cos like black is a bit more foxy...oh dear. Yep, Dizz, you really did just begin a conversation about foxy under-attire to your big boss. Sheee-it. But don't stop there, might as well continue digging yourself into this totally inappropriate conversation pit:
Her: I think I must have thin blood
Me: Go on, you can tell me the truth, you're really a vampire aren't you...

I thanked the powers that be that she actually a) has a very good sense of humour, and b) knows that I am the cheeky one as she actually laughed and chuckled and agreed that possibly she was a vampire yes. But maybe a cup of coffee would do well to warm her up.

At which point we both nodded in a kind of sage manner as if we'd been having an entirely normal chat. Oh dear god Dizz! Stop your mouth girl!

Thus endeth the tale of the thermal vest/vampire saga of today. What will tomorrow bring?

Sunday, 3 October 2010

New season. New do

Well I'd already chopped some of it off, might as well go the whole hog while you're at it! You like it? I am very happy with it. It's funky, it's cheeky and yet it's kind of chic as well. I was totally inspired by Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink. I think I'm going to have a lot of fun picking an outfit out to live up to it. But it will be pretty in any other kind of colour but pink, cos I don't really do pink.

Autumn has well and truly taken off today. It's raining cats and dogs as we'd say round these parts. And it doesn't look like it's going to stop any time soon. Might as well embrace it then. Had an utterly lazy day, got out of bed around 1pm, made delicious coffee and watched the rain fall, baked an Autumn Apple sponge cake which looks...okay I think. Baking isn't really my strong suit, I'm more of a main meal kind of person these days. Heading to my ma and pa any minute now to welcome them back from their hols, then back home in team for sausages beans and mash for tea, a quality choice!

Happy Sunday to you all x