Wednesday, August 31, 2011

London for the weekend

You can only love it or hate it. I always hated it but as life goes on I love it now.
In London everything is possible. Macaroon and hot chocolate for lunch. Oh, being alone is fun. Thanks to sponsor and babysitter all in one! I'll be back.

back to school

Got new plimsolls and new socks, ready for school.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Meant to post it for a long time: kerbs in Bristol are made of cast iron. This was still being installed in the early 20th Century to prevent iron cartwheels damaging the stone paving. Many sections of the old edging still exist. The iron kerb is almost unique to Bristol, Southampton being one of the few other places.
Kerbs were made by The Douglas Company of Kingswood. They used surplus metal left over from manufacture of their famous motorcycles.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


My favourite:

Florian's favourite:

Olaf's favourite:

Baba couldn't decide so I am making a pick for her:


Saturday evening 7pm. We got surrounded by noiseless intruders. They came from everywhere, peeking into our bedroom windows and chimneys. They almost got entangled in our pine tree, scaring the birds away. And if this wasn't enough they came back in the morning, right after 6am: "Wake up Mummy, BALLOONS! Look Daddy BALLOONS, look, look!

We'll definitely not go to The Fiesta next year as they all came to us!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

potty training attempt no.1

My baby no.2 aged 18 months today is showing all the signs of potty training readiness. If she is ready I suppose I shall be too. Hey, not so easy, I'd prefer my Mum was here!
So today is a day two of pants-only and results of my best of all Gina Ford method are starting to show. Just before lunch there was wee wee twice on the potty and one poo, pea sized that was inspected, crushed and rubbed all over (I hope not tasted) before I've spotted it. I am not so proud of day one as it was all disaster with seven time changing pants and one big shit in the middle of the carpet. Not to mention wet desk chair, wet high chair, wet slide in the park and my sore throat just exhausted with explanation and begging (threatening too).
But there is no way back. She ignores the nappy and pulls it of. She loves her pants even wet. I suppose I should be happy and just wash them in peace - at least, at least she is not using nappies however biodegradable they are they cost a lot.
While she is progressing towards the potty, child no.1 is all excited about passing his potties to Baba and using the big loo.
All for the better, they say, but I just hoped my Mum was here!!!

For today's picture, forgive me no poo-on-the-carpet but lovely cake I made with blackberries that grow everywhere, just waiting to be picked. Nigel's recipe of course.

Do not use almonds, use hazelnuts! The original recipe says hazelnuts, so do so, better flavour and colour.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

rice pudding

As comforting as an old teddy bear.

Nigel Slater Tender II: Fruit

Apple, cinnamon & maple syrup rice pudding

500ml water
150g arborio rice
500ml full fat milk
ground cinnamon
a large apple
3 tablespoons caster sugar
maple syrup

Put the rice in a small pan and cover with the water.  Bring to the boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer until the water has almost entirely evaporated.  You will need to watch it so it doesn't dry out and burn!

Pour in the milk, bring back to the boil, then turn down the heat again and cover and simmer for about fifteen minutes, returning regularly to stir it.  It should be very creamy and the rice cooked through.  Stir in the cinnamon.  Grate the apple, then stir it into the rice, together with the sugar.  Leave for about five minutes.  Serve, pouring maple syrup over the top, and a dollop of Greek yoghurt or creme fraiche if you like.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Everybody knows that you can use tahini for hummus, but not many people know what else could they do with it. We were lucky to came across a great shop (in Easton) where a cute Turkish guy told us how they eat it back home. So, they mix tahini with grape molasses in 1:1 part. Then they spread it on toast/bread. We tried it on crêpes and porridge also. Yum!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

milk time!

Inspired by M-shed exposition of empty milk bottles we decided to give our milkman a go.
Mark Green rules!

the cat flap hunt III

Many people collect owls. I know at least three owl maniacs. Owls are trendy. They look good as a pattern or as a feature or as a toy.
My parents collect them too, maybe not for aesthetic reasons, but simply their surname means Owl. They get them from friends as a gift from faraway journeys. They have never bought a single one. So far I think they have 150 of unique better or worse, ugly or pretty, kitsch or designer ones. I found this owl on my usual weekly search-through-stuff in my local charity shop. I think it is in among the latter group, hard to say. I love the enamel, looks like handmade too.
Now will it end up in a garage in a box with other hundred? Probably, but couldn't resist the £1.50 tag.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bristol Harbour Festival

For me it was all about food. Heaven - I was in heaven, complete culinary ecstasy.

Paella and noodles.

French garlic and smoked garlic.

Bread and ciabatta.

Nuts and fudges.


Custard tarts and Italian biscuits.

Smelly camemberts and block of parmigiano.

Kalamata olives and watermelon.

Nougat cake ans French mustard.