I’m moving blogs!!!

As those of you who have followed me for a while know, I ran out of photo storage space and decided the best option was to create a new blog! It’s been a while coming, but here, at last is my new blog:

Kicking Through The Leaves

I really do hope that you follow me over from this blog to my new blog and we can continue to get to know each other! Thank you so very much for your faithful following and blog-companionship!!

On trying to decide on a name for my new blog, I had suggestions given – sensible and silly!ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰ – but none seemed to fit. I needed the name to “feel” right and make sure it expressed something about me and my attitude to life …

Along came Kicking Through The Leaves! Autumn is my favourite season and I love the colours of the leaves, the crispness in the air and I adore kicking my way through a big pile of fallen leaves! I started practicing as soon as I could walk and haven’t stopped for the following 26 years ๐Ÿ™‚ I also feel it says something about my view of life – I have some very definite ideas! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Life has so many seasons ofย  ups and downs, struggles and plain sailing and people and experiences coming and going. I have had a pretty good dose of struggles in my life so far, but I have always been determined to laugh at anything funny, find enjoyment from the little things, revel in the good times – even if I have to count in minutes rather than months, and to constantly look for the good in people and life. Ok, so this isn’t easy – I struggle, I despair, I criticise and get angry, I have a cynical side – but every time I emerge from a dark and doubting time, I remember exactly how much good, fun and laughter can be found in every tiny thing. Yes, I’m about to attend a dreaded medical appointment, but right now I’m laughing over coffee with my amazingly faithful best friend R! I’ve had a horrible day with bad news, but my hubby just walked through the door and gave me a massive hug and a bouquet of flowers!

Yup, you’re right – keeping this attitude is a lot of hard work, with many failures, but you know what, it’s worth it when you can laugh at yourself and let other people laugh with you for breaking a jug, singing a stupid song very badly because you thought no one was around or my speciality – realising just too late that what you’re saying has two meanings … ! ๐Ÿ˜› I hope you’ll come and join me on my journey, enjoy laughing at the silly things I do and occasionally get some shared cooking or crafting projects!

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Holidays!!!

We’ve been on holiday! It was a much needed and anticipated rest and the first real holiday we’ve had this year – bliss!! ๐Ÿ˜€

I can’t upload many photos (I’ll explain in a bit), but here’s a little taste ofย  our week of relaxing, resting, visiting Grandparents, sleeping, walking, eating our now-traditional holiday foods and above all – doing nothing but reading!!

L took some of these photos, as he has discovered a love of photography that was lying dormant – now I’m not the only one stopping every other minute to get another shot!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I’m actually surprised I was able to upload that many photos! As you will know if you have visited my blog before, I love taking photos and I include a lot of photos in just about all my posts … so I’ve just about reached my photo storage limit for this blog … yeah … eeek, so I really do take loads of photos … !!! ;P

I can’t buy more storage space right now, so I’m going to have to create a new blog!!!

This WILL be very exciting!! ๐Ÿ™‚

I will of course keep this blog here and link it my new one. I hope that you will follow me over to my new internet home once I have it up and running – I would to keep all you lovely blogging friends! ๐Ÿ™‚

Following me over to my new blog is one way you can help me … the other way is … a new blog name!!

I’m having trouble coming up with a name that feels just right and would love, love, love to have all of your suggestions … please?!? I seriously would love it if you could join in! ๐Ÿ˜€

I will be updating you as things progress. Until then, I hope you have a brilliant week and I will go and enjoy my birthday tomorrow – yaaaayyyy!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

There’s something fishy about fish …

I just commented on a cooking post on Happiness Stan Lives Here and this has made me look at a certain cooking issue I have …

You might not believe it from my posts and anyone watching the food consumed in my house would definitely not believe it, but I speak the truth when I say I used to be a vegetarian! That’s right! In fact, I was the closest that a confirmed, dyed-in-the-wool, addicted cheese-lover can come to being a vegan! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I mean, can you imagine living without ever having a gooey slice of Camembert or a tangy chunk of cheddar again?!? Ok, so I do have a bit of an idea, as my Mum and two of sister can’t eat dairy products and for a couple of months none of us did … um … enough said on that bleak period! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m pretty confident in saying that this timeย  four years ago I was still a vegetarian … with shaky foundations, but still living by the principles … then at a summer youth festival where I was a group leader I had a bite of a bacon sandwich … Oh. My. Flipping. Goodness.

I moved into a shared young-professional-workers house in my city that September and although I didn’t buy any meat of my own, I started to eat meat and fish when I was eating with friends or eating out.

In December I started lodging with two different families from my church, which I did for a year, so that was when I started to get used to meat being around in the house and – I have to take my hat of the the lovely ladies who let me take my first faltering steps in cooking meat in their kitchen, to feed to their family no less!ย  – to get used to making it a part of a meal …

For this, the meat my Mum cooked when I was little and my Grandma’s dedication to cooking outstanding traditional English meat dishes, my hubby has much to be grateful for, as he is a big meat man! I very soon learned that no matter the amount of tact he endeavoured to employ, the look of disappointment on his face when lunch or dinner didn’t contain meat was unmistakable! With the exception of cheese toasties or fish finger sandwiches for lunch, two servings of meat a day are a given in this household! ๐Ÿ™‚

There are times when I still crave a soya-sauce-soaked bite of tofu and numerous times where I consume a dish which just so happens to have no meat in it, or prepare an almost-entirely vegetable (and cheese!) salad just for me, but I have to give it to L – he eats a lot of vegetables, beans and pulses to accompany his meat.

Looming over the progress which I’ve made to being a fully fledged carnivorous home-chef is this One Big Issue … I’ve cooked roast beef, stake and chips and full english breakfast … I’ve produced breaded lamb chops, sausages and mash and slow-roasted pork belly … numerous curries with nearly every conventional form of meat, beef pies, sausage pies, prawn risotto and fried chicken and corn … is this little scaly thing called FISH!!

Um, what is it with this stuff?!? It smells, it’s slimy, it often has a head and eyes still on it – I mean, come on, would you eat a lovely, tender ox-cheek stew if you first had to cut the cheeks out of the head while looking into those cow eyes?!! And the difference between that unforgivably graphic description and loping the head off of a dead trout, eyes and all?!

Alright, I admit it – it’s not just the sight of the fish heads that put me off! For some reason, the smell, feel and look of fish is somehow that much worse than raw meat … maybe I know more about combining flavours and cooking meat … maybe fish is simply a massive unknown …

… but whatever it is, with the exception of fish fingers, the occasional can of tuna and a one-time-L-cooking-salmon-dish, in my kitchen, there is still something just too fishy about fish …

The Cake

So what kind of cake does the loving wife produce for her husband’s 30th birthday?

Something that encapsulates boyhood fun and the responsibility that comes with Being A Man … That speaks of maturity tempered with humour … That expresses the wisdom of experience and the hope of more to come … That portrays friendships past, friendships now and friendships still to come …

Umm … no!

Picture a cake I made with best friend R … a cake where I thought I had sugar, but didn’t, meaning R kindly went to the corner shop to get some … a cake where I had to borrow from one of my Mama’s to get the right size tin … a cake where one of the layers stuck in its bowl and needed two pairs of hands and a lot of persuasion to it get out …

… a cake where both R and I worked on that icing again and again and again …

… icing for which I didn’t have enough sugar, so I had to buy some more, put it in the fridge overnight, beat, stir, plead – and still have lumpy, sloppy icing …

ย … a cake which had liquorice Catherine Wheels on it …

… A Flying Saucer Birthday Cake!!!

In short: the best birthday cake for the best 30-year-old! … Shh, I’m not biased!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Happy 30th Birthday!!

That’s my hubby turning 30, not me! ๐Ÿ™‚

Yesterday L and I celebrated his 30th birthday!!

Wow!

L doesn’t think of himself as getting old, neither do I – and that’s not even mentioning how often I forget how old I really am … um, somewhere between 20 and 30?!?

We started off with presents …

… in bed with a nice black coffee. Of course.

Wow! Look at all those chocolates!! Yummy, yummy, scrummy!! ๐Ÿ˜›

Since our holiday in September, we have turned an occasional happening into a nearly daily habit: We curl up on the sofa and I read to L, almost always with a chocolate in hand and sometimes a small snifter of brandy or a wee dram o’ whiskey! ๐Ÿ˜‰

We started the first Christmas we were dating, when L got food poisoning and I read aloud to him the only book I had with me – The Hobbit. We have soldiered through 2/3rd of Lord Of The Rings … and hadn’t read much for a long time. The cottage we stayed in in Cornwall had a small selection of books and we started readingย  … we had to buy our own copy when we got home so we could finish the story! We have read another two books by the same author and have only one more to go before we’ve exhausted his current writings ๐Ÿ˜ฆ However, I snapped up a clearance bargain in the form of a mahoosive book (which is the size of three standard books rolled into one!!) by Tom Clancy, who just happens to be the author of the book “The Hunt For Red October”, which was made into one of L’s favourite films!! Reading books together has become such a habit that last night we watched a dvd together for the first time in about 6 weeks!!

More often than not, I get so carried away with my present wrapping that the only way to open it again is attacking it with a pair of scissors! ๐Ÿ˜›

In the evening we ate out at L’s favourite restaurant … by which time my poor hubby had developed a severe (and very loud!) case of the hiccups!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

It just so happens that this is the same restaurant where L took me for our first official date … and it just so happens that I managed to get us a table just one table along from the one we sat at over 2 years ago – it’s amazing what the mention of a 30th birthday can accomplish! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The scrummy Italian food got quickly polished off!

The view from our window, over the Cathedral Green, was breathtaking!!

The evening was nicely rounded off with a bottle of the now-traditional celebratory champagne and my first ever viewing of some of The Fellowship Of The Rings – I think my hubby enjoyed watching me jump and react to the film more than the film itself!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Happy 30th Birthday my wonderful hubby!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

11 Questions

That little break from blogging while over the funeral services and business ended up turning into quite a long one, didn’t it?

This is the perfect post to get back into the swing of things over here in my corner of the internet … and for you to find out a little bit more about me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The lovely Lauren over at You Big Eejit tagged me in this fun post, so here goes!

The Rules:
  • You must post these rules.
  • Each person must post 11 things about herself on their blog.
  • Answer the questions the โ€œtaggerโ€ listed for you in her post, and create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
  • Choose 11 people to tag and link to them in the post.
  • Let each blogger know that you have tagged them.

And the questions? I’ll try to be honest! ๐Ÿ˜‰

1. What is your most prized possession?
As far as physical possessions go, no debate: my laptop!!
2. Do you have any regrets?
Would you believe me if I said no?! ๐Ÿ˜‰ One of my regrets is that I never got to learn to play the violin … maybe one day I will!
3. What is your pet hate?
Ha ha One of my pet hates is taking the yucky bits out of the kitchen plug-hole – makes me want to throw up! Another one is blue Smarties.
4. What film can you watch time and time again?
I’ve watched so many new films in the last 5 years that this is a tough one to answer … I’ve watched Shawshank Redemption at least 4 times!
5. How would you spend a fantasy 24 hours with no travel restrictions?
Driving, with frequent stops, across the mid-west of the USA.
6. Any unfulfilled ambitions?
Climbing all the way to a top of a mountain and having kids and are two biggies!
7. Which person has influenced you the most in life?
Oh dear, that’s a tough one! I’m going to count out the usual suspects for this kind of question, so won’t say God or my hubby! ๐Ÿ˜‰ The people who popped immediately into my mind were Jim Elliot and my honorary parents, the amazing Mr and Mrs C!
8. Guilty pleasure?
Cheese!
9. Most embarrassing moment?
I love the fact that this question kindly presumes that there has only ever been one “most embarrassing” moment in my life!!
Ah, one embarrassing moment from a long while ago involved my sister N and these local gardens, with lots of hills, trees and paths. I was on the one path and she was a little higher up the hill. I was tired and being silly, so fell to one knee, stretched my arms toward my laughing sister, quoted those famous lines from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and then launched into this cheesy operatic love-song (from Diana’s wedding in Anne of Green Gables, for those of you who know! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Now, I can’t sing very well at the best of times, but think out-of-tune, mock opera warbling, very loud, lot’s of laughing and you get the picture … at which point this family rounded a tree and walked behind my sister, looking at me as if I was on day-release from the mental institution …!
10. Why do you blog?
To make people laugh, to share the happy and wonderful moments in life, to try to bring a hopeful perspective to the mundane bits of life and to have a platform for my over-abundant ramblings!
11. What is your dream job?
Being a support worker in a young offender’s secure institution, counselling teens around suicidal issues and being a Mama!
I’m now going to cheat in two ways – I’m going to re-use these questions, as they’re good and I have a tired brain and I’m not going to nominate a whole 11 people!
I am going to nominate:
My sister, Elisabeth, from Hope Scribbles.
Trixfred, who blogs at Happiness Stan Lives Here.
The lovely JoJo, who lives at Two’s Company.
Nicole, who can be found at Simple Moments.
And my favourite food-blogger, Katie at Yes, I want cake.
The questions in a nice tidy list:
1. What is your most prized possession?
2. Do you have any regrets?
3. What is your pet hate?
4. What film can you watch time and time again?
5. How would you spend a fantasy 24 hours with no travel restrictions?
6. Any unfulfilled ambitions?
7. Which person has influenced you the most in life?
8. Guilty pleasure?
9. Most embarrassing moment?
10. Why do you blog?
11. What is your dream job?
Enjoy the challenge my friends!!