Books!

As you’re reading this, L and I are on holiday! Yippee!! ๐Ÿ˜€

I always take far too many books with me … just in case …

Books for me to read …

Books L and I are reading together …

Too many books! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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A is for Asparagus, O is for Obsession

Right now, I’m obsessed with this fresh, crunchy and green little vegetable!

This is the go-to veggie of the month. For now.

You see, I’m a self-diagnosed Food Phaser*.

* Please note that a) I am not professionally trained in the finer diagnostic points of this condition, so am unable to offer advice and b) it’s a self-created condition and is therefore unlikely to be recognised by clinical dietician. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Although I love cooking and baking all kinds of meals for other people, I’m a bit of a fussy eater in my own kitchen. I like the majority of food and cuisines and will like almost everything cooked for me by others, so I am not what most people think of as “a fussy eater”.

It comes down to me being very particular and quite ritualistic about what I eat day-to-day – did I ever warn you that I’m wierd by the way?! ๐Ÿ˜›

As a consequence of this, I become obsessed with a particular food for a week, a month, then something else catches my eye and it becomes all about this new vegetable, grain or combination of ingredients.

I remember a time in my teens when I would eat noodles any time I could wrangle it in to my week – with butter and garlic, soya sauce or cheese.

Cheese, of course, is a constant food that has stuck in there through every single passing obsession (bar about 6 months, but we’ll choose to forget that ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), so almost all of my food phases have included cheese of some kind or another. Yum. What more can I say?!

Some of my latest obsessions have been cooked vegetables with cheese …

… fresh, crunchy and raw salads (I think there might be some cubes of cheese mixed into this bowl somewhere …) …

… and roasted vegetables …

… all with this strong and zingy sauce of whole grain mustard, lemon juice, olive oil and soya sauce. Try it -it tastes so much better than it sounds/looks, although I am not keen on most salad dressings and would pick savory over sweet any day, so maybe I’m the only one who’ll love this strong and sour dressing! ๐Ÿ˜›

The roasted vegetables (and two largely unsuccessful attempts at making spinach and cheese balls) were thanks to the lovely Katie, over at Yes, I want cake. Several times in the past couple of months roasted veggies have been featured on Katie’s blog, including roasted broccoli. Yup, I know, that’s exactly what I thought!Roasted broccoli?! Ewwww! Wrong – DELICIOUS! I’ve actually survived over 25 years of my life without roasted broccoli. Guess I’ve got a lot of catching up to do!

For now, however, asparagus is The Vegetable. It’s in season over here, so the local vegetable stalls are selling fresh bunches of it at bargain prices! Maybe Katie’s blog had something to do with encouraging my asparagus-obsession, as I just HAD to try this asparagus pizza:

My first trial was made on an English muffin, but then I had the real thing and now I love asparagus pizza! And yes, I love Katie’s blogg too – it’s another one of my obsessions. ๐Ÿ˜€

Last night and tonight I’ve had a pile of asparagus, covered in tomato sauce, some grated cheese and put under the grill until golden and bubbling – scrum-diddily-umptious!

Ok, so the cheese I eat doesn’t really melt properly and go all stringy and gooey, but hey – it’s the fact that it’s cheese that counts, right?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh yes, and the asparagus I’m obsessed with right now! ๐Ÿ˜›

What food are you obsessed with at the moment?!

It’s going to tell a story …

Here’s what I’ve figured out for myself. My life is going to tell a story whether I intend it to or not. It’s going to tell a story that says: This is what a follower of Jesus is, this is what they are about, this is what they believe, this is what they think is important. Because this is going to happen and can’t be stopped, I better make sure I know my role and my job description: A Christian is a living explanation.
~ Charlie Peacock

I haven’t been able to get this thought out of my head for the past couple of weeks … along with the next thought – so what am I going to do about it?

What does this quote make you think about?

Congratulations!!!

To ourselves … !! ๐Ÿ˜‰

On the first whole day of our holiday, Sunday 11th September, L and I celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary!! ๐Ÿ˜€ In the evening we popped open one of the un-opened bottles of champagne from the toast at our wedding reception, 365 days earlier …

Since before we were engaged we started having a bottle of champagne every time we had something to celebrate … ok, so maybe true wine connoisseurs would turn pale at what we use as champagne, but hey, the point is in the celebrating and making life special, marking achievements, not whether the bottle of bubbly cost ยฃ28.99 or ยฃ4.40, right?! Or maybe it’s just my hubby and I’s lack of understanding when it comes to the finer points of truly excellent champagne! ๐Ÿ˜› The bottles from our wedding were the really “nice” kind, so it was a good treat! ๐Ÿ™‚

I have kept the corks from each bottle of champagne L and I have shared together and one of the corks from our wedding, and the one from our anniversary, have the date written on them … you may call me a soppy romantic if you like!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ However you view this tradition of mine, it is amazing the difference it can make to my outlook on life when, on a day when all I can see are the failures, trials and troubles of life, I see the over-flowing little draw of champagne corks, reminding me of how many things there have been to celebrate and how many things we have achieved.

On the Sunday afternoon we went to Fowey, a Cornish town built on a steep transition from hill-top countryside to estuary waterfront … we parked at the very top of the hill and took a 15 minute walk steeply downhill to reach the harbour seafront – phew! That was fine … it was just the walk back up to the car which was slightly more worrying … !! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Fowey is my Grandparent’s favourite Cornish town, but sadly we weren’t able to have drinks in the bar of their favourite hotel, with views over the boats in the harbour, which was especially recommended to me by my Grandad … we did, however, have cups of tea and a piece of yummy lemon drizzle cake in a cute little cafe where the tea-pots were all different colours and patterns, they had sand picture-makers on the tables, mis-matching pictures on the walls and – get this! – dotty table cloths on the tables!! ๐Ÿ˜›

Neither of us think that the self-portraits I take of us are very flattering … we both think we turn out with enormous heads!! ๐Ÿ˜› But somehow we both look slightly unnatural and very embarrassed in the picture where some very kind and friendly locals took a photo of us … ah well, at least, in some day in the distant future, our grandkids will be able to laugh at these photos and wonder how Granny and Grandpa could ever have looked so stupid … ๐Ÿ˜‰

This first year has been one of the hardest and one of the happiest years we have experienced … here’s to our 2nd year of marriage – may it be filled with God, love, joy, peace and growth!

What did you do/plan to do on your 1st wedding anniversary?!

Where did that come from?!

Left or right?!

Do you ever suddenly become aware of a weird habit you have? Or maybe it’s just a little thing you stick to in very specific settings?

I’ve known since I was much younger that I have many of these – some of which I have thankfully lost over the years! – but sometimes new ones will sneak up behind me and take me by surprise when I’m not expecting it! Where do they come from? When did it first start and why? If I didn’t take a conscious decision to start this ritual, then what was the reason it happened?

Take this one: I’m eating some Smarties as I check out the latest in my little blog world and realised that I never eat the blue ones! Nope, they get put straight back in the tube! Why?!

Yesterday evening I was eating out with friends to celebrate one of their birthdays and was chatting with H. She won’t wear the same colour clothing two days in a row, because … ?

Another of mine is to do with drinks. I always make the morning coffee for me and my hubby and his mug goes on the left, mine on the right. If he makes a cup of tea when he gets back from work and asks which one I’d like, it has to be the mug that’s on the right!

An obvious and much more common one is which side of the bed couples sleep on, or which side you lie on to go to sleep – why does it matter?

If I’m walking down the street with L, my right hand holds his left, the other way around and it just “feels wrong”. Other couples have told me that they have a “right” and “wrong” sideย  for holding hands too!

I always sit at the same place at the kitchen table … always squeeze out the toothpaste with my left hand … always lock the bottom lock on the front door before the top one … have a particular order that I open different internet sites on tabs in my browser …

Some of these things – the toothpaste, for instance – are to do with being left or right-handed, but the others?

I love observing these things in myself and others. It never fails to fascinate me! I have been known, when exceptionally bored on a journey maybe, to think up a couple of different reasons why someone might have a particular habit or ritual … hmm, a little strange maybe! ๐Ÿ˜‰

What habits/rituals have you noticed about yourself? Do you know why they first started?