This year Girl Lacer is going as Amy from the Tom Gates book (ooh I have a love – mostly hate relationship with those books, with the Wimpy Kid books to, I love them because both kids will put down their iPads to read them copiously, I hate them because they’re pretty much the number one choice for story time and I am getting a wee bit tired of reading them, particularly when their bedroom is full of other fantastic books, which they’re not reading because they’re too busy reading Tom Gates and Wimpy Kid). The Peter Pan collar is handmade and ummm, I think I’d get thrown out the door of the Great British Sewing Bee due to the wonkiness of my stitching on that one. I adapted the Peter Pan collar from an old pattern from an issue of Gathered (another craft magazine that’s hit the dust *sob*).
Boy Lacer is going as Percy Jackson, me and Boy Lacer are currently reading the first book of the series on my iPad but then some new Wimpy Kids – Tom Gates made it into the house, so it was bye bye Percy. The T shirt was done with an iron on transfer (so shiny, yuck), I used the Herculeam (sp?) font in Illustrator (reversing it so it was mirror image) and a Pegasus clip art image.
I’ve been on holiday this week (end of annual leave year coming up, so I’ve got quite a bit of holiday coming up), so that has meant I’ve had a bit more time to cook. So I menu planned four recipes this week and I’ve cooked them all in three days. The randomly picked cookbook was the blast from the past that is Ainsley Harriott’s Gourmet Express (whatever happened to him?). My copy of Gourmet Express was very heavily used back in the day, it’s a good cookbook but I hadn’t used it in ages.
Left to right, top to bottom are Ribbled (his spelling) raspberry and white chocolate muffins, which unfortunately were a bit overcooked and therefore difficult to remove from their cases but still nice, Rocket and roast onion salad which called for button onions but I used quartered red onions and it was delicious, Baked pasta with chorizo and taleggio (except I used cheddar), I think I’ve made this before, I remember when chorizo was an exotic ingredient hard to get hold of (about the time this book came out) but I think I managed to find some, anyway, I need to make this more, as it’s gorgeous and finally Deep pan American-style cheese ring pizza crust, oh my goodness, very yummy!
So in summary I shouldn’t let this book gather dust again!
I am currently bang up to date with my sky scarf, it’s so interesting seeing how the weather is changing (Spring can’t come soon enough as far as I’m concerned). For about a week recently the new rows on the scarf started to form much less distinct stripes, as the weather was just generally cloudy, but over the last two days the weather has become more changeable day to day again.
I’m still behind on my mood blanket but I’m catching up, I have about a week to go. Knitted in Rowan’s wool – cotton blend, I’m already loving that the blanket is beginning to feel like it’s got weight. The blanket is still looking on the narrow side but I think it’ll be ok.
Bought on a whim from Audible, this is not quite my usual book, I’m not that into sci-fi in book form (whereas I love it in film and TV) as I find sci-fi books seem to spend way too much time on the world generation and not enough time on the plot, or maybe I just read bad sci-fi books. I also tend to like my sci-fi closer to the ‘everything is almost normal but not quite’ end of the scale, instead of the ‘let’s make this as alien and as different as possible (and spend a whole chapter describing their syntax)’. So 14, set in present day LA in an old apartment block, definitely ticked my ‘everything is normal but not quite’ boxes. The main character, Nate, has just moved in and there’s some mysteries that he’s perhaps a little too curious about. He soon enlists some of the other tenants, as they find out what is behind those locked doors ……
And then towards the end of the book it all changes and the nice urban, present day sci-fi I was reading, wasn’t quite that anymore and it sort of morphed into the sort of sci-fi book I don’t like. I dunno, the premise is really good but I couldn’t help but think if I’d run with a premise like that, I’d have taken it in a very different direction, I’d have also left not quite so many questions unanswered at the end of the book.
It would have been 5 stars except for the change in plot direction but that’s more just my personal taste, so
**** out of 5 stars
I always struggle to find the right balance, I can’t cook from scratch everyday, I work odd hours which often coincide with meal times and I often can’t cook more than the quickest meal beforehand due to the tooing and froing of after school activities. So I live off cheese sandwiches and pasta and although that is probably not going to change I’ve been trying recently to at least menu plan for one cooked from scratch meal a week and so far it’s working.
I try and make a game out of it, so that my many many recipe books don’t get neglected, each week as I do the online food shop, I stand in front of my bookcase, shut my eyes, wiggle my arm around and pick the first book my hand lands on, I then open a page at random and keep going, page by page, until I find a recipe I like the look of.
Left to right, top to bottom, the recipes I’ve cooked recently are Bang Bang Chicken, from Tana Ramsay’s Real Family Food, which was nice (and I don’t even like peanut butter, which was an ingredient), Apple and Blueberry Shortcake from Bill’s Food (which was yummy but extremely fragile and unfortunately (due to my cackhandedness) rustic looking, it tasted lovely and lemony) and (I pushed the boat out this week, two recipes) insalta di radicchio e rughetta (raddichio and rocket salad) and insalata di farro con verdure al forno (farro salad with roasted veg, except I couldn’t find farro so used bulgar wheat as suggested, I also added pancetta) from Jamie’s Italy, both were gorgeous. I do my weekly food shops on Friday, so to have used my planned for recipes already is actually a little bit gutting (which is actually a good sign), although I have plenty of the roasted veg salad as left overs, which would be good for meals before work …. except I’m on holiday this week, typical! I need to slowly encourage myself back to cooking, not over do it, so I end up with a fridge full of ingredients I haven’t used. All the recipes I’ve chosen so far have been relatively quick to make, even the shortcake and the roasted veg salad, which both involved lengthy time in the oven (and in the shortcake’s case, time to rest the pastry in the fridge), the actual hands on time was low, it’s just a case of being organised.
When Daniel’s parents move to Sweden, he uses it as an excuse to delay revealing to them that he’s gay, however the process of not revealing that part of his life has led him to hold back on them in general and he was loosing touch with them. So when his dad rings to say that his mother has been committed to an asylum, it’s completely out of the blue and then to make matters worse his mum rings to say don’t believe a word your father says.
The book had an interesting premise and the ending was very well handled and although I didn’t fall in book love with it I would have given it 3 stars however I really felt like I couldn’t empathise with the character of Daniel’s mum Tilda, and as a key character in the story, that made large parts of the book difficult. As a Swedish citizen who had spent 50 years living in the UK, Tilda’s over eagerness to reintegrate herself into Swedish society was understandable but her obsession with it was grating. I think my reaction is probably more a reflection on my own personal dislike of that sort of person than a reaction about the book itself but for me personally -
** (out of 5 stars)
They’ve been doing digitally, computery gamey type stuff this week at the Victoria and Albert museum for the half term holiday (still on this weekend, so still time to go). We did a really cool create your own Heroes and Villains top trumps type game set, drawing things from the museum that we thought were either heroes or villains (both kids but particularly Boy Lacer, loved this) and we met a computer game designer. We would also have liked to have a go and making our own video game but that was all booked up.
We also saw Xu Bing’s installation in the central courtyard (which is always our favourite spot), which was good to finally see.