Monday, May 06, 2013

BEDM - fail

I am giving up on blogging every day in May. I know, only day 6, that's a bit pathetic. But I'm tired and not organised enough. Sorry.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

BEDM - Fit and Healthy

Fit and healthy is something I am really not. :(

Which is a cop-out of a post to write at 10.15pm. I will elaborate tomorrow.

This is a post for Rosalilium's Blog Every Day in May.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

BEDM - Five Favourite Blogs

I'm out for the day at the zoo, but here are five of my faves:

Cakies: Rubyellen blogs about her life with four small daughters in California. She has much beautiful taste and style. I like the fact she's honest about her life, trying to present the not-so presentable bits as well as gorgeous interiors and crafts.

The Yarn Harlot: One of the best known knit bloggers. Stephanie is funny and wise about knitting and life.

Light and Momentary: I've been reading Jaime's blog since before it was this blog. I'm in awe of how she does life with 4 sons, 1 daughter, 1 husband and an academic career.

Domestic Sluttery: Good fun, lifestyle blogging. My daily dose of pretty things to want. I appreciate their regular round ups of fashion for tall and plus size girls.

It's my Life: I couldn't make a list of favourites without my lovely sister Debs. (My other sister Hannah has a blog, but I can't remember when she last wrote on it, and neither can she, I think. Blog again, HB!). Go there for cute pictures and stories about my nephew and niece. They're awesome!

What are your favourite blogs?

This is a post for Rosalilium's Blog Every Day in May.

Friday, May 03, 2013

BEDM - A day in the life

This is an atypical Friday for me. Normally I'm at work, but it's been a tiring week and I had some spare flexi hours, so I decided to take Friday off to relax and recuperate.

I meant to sleep in, but ended up waking around 9. We've got black out curtains in the bedroom, making it every dark. That means we don't wake up too early, but it does mean I can't see what the weather's like without getting out of bed. I guess that's not a huge hardship. :) Breakfast was muesli with milk, yogurt and banana and a cup of freshly made coffee. I either make coffee with my espresso machine or an Aeropress. The expresso machine isn't working properly at the moment - the control for the steam wand stopped working and it's waiting for a new one. That means the Aeropress gets more use as there doesn't seem much point firing up the machine if there's no frothy milk. :(

This morning there was a big pile of washing up to do. Rob's been doing most of the washing up lately, but we were both tired last night so it didn't get done. I listened to the end of Woman's Hour and the serial and washed up. We've just had a new oven put in. The old one was noisy and didn't work well. It was a fan oven, but didn't heat evenly and the noise! Now we have a shiny new Bosch oven. We split the cost with our landlords. The new oven recommends you turn it on for an hour at full power before using it for the first time, so I did. It's so quiet! It smells of new metal and chemicals.

Our landlord came round to fix a new doorstop for the front door. The old one is positioned such that it doesn't stop the door banging into the fuse box which is mounted on the wall above the doorstop. Bad planning by someone. The flat's full of things like that - little details that the builders and fitters didn't do as well as they could have done.Still, it's a roof and walls and it's home. I decided to bake a cake to christen the new oven. This chocolate cake recipe looked good. So I mixed and scraped and into the oven it goes. I've been making dough for dumplings. Rob's been asking for Chinese dumplings since we watched this video of Matt Granger making dumplings. I intended to buy some dumpling wrappers from one of the Chinese food shops on Mill Road, but googling around, it looks pretty easy to make your own, if fiddly. So, dumpling wrappers, 20 of them, are waiting on a plate in the fridge for me to fill them with pork mince.

While the cake's in the oven, I went to the Co-op for more eggs, veg to stir fry with the dumplings, bananas and a few other bits and pieces. It's beautifully sunny. I wore sandals for the first time this year. I loved the feeling of cycling in the sunshine. The Co-op's not busy and I'm soon back again. The cake isn't quite done. I put some knitted socks and winter accessories that need washing in a bowl of water and Eucalan to soak. I eat rolls from the Co-op with Boursin.

Now lunch is done, the cake is cooked, the wet and clean socks and things are hanging on an airer. I need to wash up again, fill the dumplings. Shall I make a batch of cupcakes? It seems I'm having a very domestic day. Though perhaps what I really need to do is nap. Back to finish this off later I think.

Edited at 2030: So, I finished off my dumplings. The first few looked terrible, but they got better. I washed up again. Rob came home, I cooked the dumplings, and served them with stir-fried vegetables. The verdict? Well done for making them, but the wrappers are too thick, the ratio of meat to wrapper is wrong. So, more work needed. Maybe I'll go hunting for pre-made dumping wrappers and try again.

We're watching Lost together in the evenings. Rob watched it when it was first broadcast, but I haven't seen it before. We're about 8 episodes into Season 2. No spoilers please! Our Lost watching was interrupted by spotting a small bird picking shoots off the curry plant in our window box. It looks pretty. (I identified it as a goldfinch with some help from the internets). It flew off, but a few minutes later, it came back. There followed a time of Rob sitting on the sofa with his camera, waiting for it to come back and pose nicely for him. It did return, but alas, the camera settings were wrong and the pictures he got look like "an 80s webcam" according to him. Oh well. Maybe it will come back again.

Since then, I've been pottering at processing photos and Rob's been watching Youtube videos about computer games, from the sounds coming from the other room. A fairly typical evening. In a bit, I think I'll have a bath and go to bed early. We're going to the Zoo tomorrow and I'd like to be awake to enjoy it.

This is a post for Rosalilium's Blog Every Day in May.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

BEDM - Spring is here!

At last! It's felt like a long winter. I always struggle in the darkness and cold of winter, but this last one seemed worse than I remember. Lights helped. I have a Philips sunrise alarm clock which gradually lights up the room with a warm sunrise glow. I also have a small bright light box which I used ever morning at breakfast. These two things made a difference, more difference than I expected, in enabling me to get up each day and get going.

But in truth, there's nothing like the real warmth and light of spring sunshine. Mornings and evenings are lighter now and it lifts my mood enormously. I love watching the flowers and trees bursting into life. Now is the time of magnolia, cherry blossom, daffodils and tulips. Of course, with the blossom comes hayfever for me. I'm allergic to tree pollen, I think and sneeze from March to May. It could be worse. The itchy eyes and streaming nose are easily treated with Loratadine and they're gone by the summer.

Spring is a time of hope and I'm trying to be hopeful in a few things right now. It's not easy, but Spring reminds me to hope.

This is a post for Rosalilium's Blog Every Day in May.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

BEDM - 5 lines

Five lines makes me think of a musical stave. I learned to read music at school, learning to play the recorder and the cello; the treble and the bass clef. Later, I had piano lessons and attempted to read and play both at once. It's hard. The left hand and the right moving independently, producing sounds to complement one another.

The dots and sticks are so familiar to me, I forget I had to learn them. I still use them, now to sing from, though my sight-singing isn't great. I suspect I mostly learn tunes by ear, but the music in front of me is a good reminder when I can't remember the tune properly.

I don't know where this is going. My writing muscles are long unused and my blogging skills are rusty. Still, that's the point of using 31 days of prompts. Getting back in the habit.

This is a post for Rosalilium's Blog Every Day in May.