Monday, 30 August 2010

All good things come to an end……

or not in the case of Karen Russell's workshop.Last night was the official end of the  course,and Karen left us for good.But we are all such a dedicated,enthusiastic group that we have decided to do it all again,without her.So we will be starting back at week one.And hopefully with people like Melody,one of my fellow students on board we will still have someone to help us if we have a wobbly.

Melody was an inspiration to me on the course.Her photos and knowledge of photography were second to none.If I work hard and continue to practice I will be happy if I get half as good as she is.

Now she writes a blog for her friends and family.She fills it with little anecdotes her children have said through out the day.Each one accompanied by a stunning photo.I’m afraid the only anecdote I have to share with you is not as cute as Melody’s.

Today I was catching up with some ironing and TV.I have just bought the Great British Bake Off cookbook and the new programme has been very interesting.Well it is if you’re like me and like cooking.

I was re-watching the first episode.When Mel the presenter said

“CAKE it is such a tiny word and yet it conjures up a huge enjoyment and expansiveness and luxury…….naughty but nice…….”

To which Hubby replied.She might as well have said “COCK”

I cracked up laughing,and had tears rolling down my face.Especially as Mel is a lesbian.I don’t think she had “cock” on her mind.But then neither do I.I’d prefer cake any day.

Not quite a Melody moment but it's the best I could do…….

Saturday, 28 August 2010

bake a cake, bake a cake,bakers man.

I have been busy using my Kitchen Aid this week.I’ve made batches of lemon cup cakes,scones,flapjack and a Victoria sandwich.All I must say myself were gorgeous.

Some of them were helped along by my first ever try at lemon curd.It was sooo easy.I just had to stir some ingredients together,pop it in a jar of my choice and sit it in my simmering oven for a couple of hours and voila it was ready.

And OMG it was beautiful.

I’m going to give orange curd a go this weekend along with an order for some more lemon curd for Linda.I am going to try an orange/chocolate cake with an orange curd filling.

Thanks to Denise and Sandra for an award and their kind words about my blog.

I have to tell you three things about myself

1.I love flowers around my house

2.I can’t stand ready meals or shop bought cakes

3.I HATE fat chips.

and I have to post a picture I love.

Me cooking last Christmas Eve after 6 hours on my feet.

Oh well,at least it was appreciated .Yeah right………

rain,rain go away

don’t,bloody come back another day.



I spent a very wet day in London with my friend Linda.It didn’t just rain,it poured.But we didn’t let it spoil our day.

We spent the day in our favourite shops along Marylebone High Street ,a spot of lunch in my favourite restaurant,

and then a quick stop to a camera shop to try the Canon 7D I want.It was  rather heavy to say the least.So luckily they didn't have one they could sell me,so I could walk away and think about it.But not before I parted with some money for this lens.

Then it was off to Anthropologie to ooh and ahh over the shop.

This sign they had up is like my mantra.

I couldn’t believe how dark it was outside it was more like Winter,it was still raining hard.So to finish our day we popped over the road to a very unusual restaurant called Sketch




It was getting late and we had missed afternoon tea.So we enjoyed a drink and some nibbles and we shall defiantly be going back another day.It was till raining hard when we left,but at least the doorman brightened up our day



waiting for Mum

Friday, 27 August 2010

I need £20,000.00,please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

blog has been removed at the request of Hubby.

So the answer to that is yes ,but your still not having the money.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

A day out on the river

This weeks assignment for Karen Russell's workshop was creating a checklist when doing a candid/portrait shoot.It was putting everything we have learnt together and trying to make us work quickly.I have got so much better,but I still forget some basic and some complicated ways of using my camera..

My sister came to the rescue for this assignment.We planned a day out in Cambridge,weather permitting.

So to ensure I knew the light in my garden I grabbed my daughters boyfriend before they left for Croatia.

He doesn’t have the nerve to say no to me,yet…..

I was looking for catchlights and perfect lighting and exposure.So the quick session was very interesting and helped me out when the whirlwinds that are my sisters children arrived.

I am warning you this will be an overload of photos as there were some many from the day.




First stop Granchester for a cream tea and a walk by the river.















and then some candid shots







I couldn’t believe my sisters husband had never been to Cambridge.So we gave him a whistle stop tour (well my favourite shops really) and hired a punt.

Dave is like my husband,good at anything he tries and he was an expert punt!!!

When I got home I found my camera had been set on the wrong metering all week!!I couldn’t master the depth of field for a group shot and I tended to overexpose a bit too much.But all in all lots learnt for another time.

Why am I so tight?

I have always been very careful with money.Great thought my husband.But it brings hidden problems.It takes me forever to buy myself something .Small things and items up to £350 are no problem,as long as I have the cash in hand.But anything bigger and I baulk.

I have never had an overdraft or a loan in my 46 years.I believe if you don’t have the money you can’t afford it.

I am in the lucky position of being able to buy anything I could ever want now.I have wanted for about 10 years a Kitchen Aid mixer and recently I have coveted a more advanced DSLR camera.My fellow forum buddies on Karen Russell's workshop seem to have no problem buying what they want or they talk of hopefully finding a money tree in their back garden.My problem is I have the money tree,but I can’t go and pick the fruit.I fear the fruit will all be gone one day and won’t grow again.

So along came my friend Hilary to help me.We had arranged to do a session of NLP timeline therapy.Originally to address my eating (SED) disorder,but I was now keen to see if we could help me to part with some cash.

It was very interesting and this is what my timeline looked like.

The one thing I found incredibly interesting was I couldn’t conjure up anything past 5 years on my timeline.My sister and I have real problems envisaging ourselves living to an old age.So 5 years into my future was my max.

However,I could go back in time no problem,remembering and revisiting times in my past very easily.Of course I knew that the route of my problem lay in my past,so Hilary tried to make me readdress my thoughts and beliefs.

Hilary and I decided on a 2 week period,when I can go through all my thought processes I need to go through,to be sure I am doing the right thing before parting with money.

So 2 weeks it is.

I spent the day with my sister on Friday and she marched me to two camera shops in Cambridge to find out about the camera I would like.I first need to know the best deal I can get.I was really excited to hear that my sister is interested in buying my DSLR I currently have.This gave me great comfort as I was worried about having to sell it on ebay.

She told me that our parents would have wanted me to spend my inheritance,and that they would know I wouldn't be squandering it.My Mum would have been thrilled I would be buying a camera and she was always proud of my culinary skills.

So what's the latest then.

What’s that in my pantry?

Now,I’m just waiting for my local camera shop to get my camera in!!!!!!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

rats tails

yep,that is what I am going to have for hair.

Hubby is the proud new owner of an electricity monitor.

Its his latest toy.He’s now monitoring our usage of anything an everything.Our house will soon resemble an Amish household.

As it is I am already the most tightest,conscientious person you could meet.I wear extra clothing,so I don’t turn up the heating.I sit in the kitchen to keep warm even though  the chairs kill my back.I wear my Uggs indoors to keep my feet warm.I walk around bumping into things in the dark ,so as not to turn on any lights.I hang the washing out/inside to not use the dryer.I even will share bath water!!!

He wants us to see  if we can cut down even further!!!Our bills are already lower than last year and in our previous smaller home.So what's a girl to do.

Well,if you see me out don’t be shocked.

Yep,I think hairdryers and strengtheners are next on his hit list.A few days of my hair looking  natural like this, will soon stop his penny pinching ways……..

Talking of rat tails.Here’s another one of Hubbys fascinations.We  have been sharing our garden with a rat for the last year.Hubby has tried blowing it up with baking soda.(rats don’t fart ,so if you feed them a certain mixture they explode!)he’s put enough poison down to kill an army,built his own rat traps.

But no they are too clever for him.They have done us no harm and I don’t mind in the slightest sharing our patch with Mr rat.But Teddy takes umbridge to sharing his patch with another critter.He goes mad when he goes in the garden.

There is no getting him in,if he thinks Mr Ratty is about.He even fell in the pond last week sniffing for him.

So to give Teddy a bit of peace Hubby has borrowed the ultimate tool.A rat trap.

Just take a look at their faces.they were so excited.




So far no success.It hasn’t liked peanut butter or my bounty inspired cupcakes as bait.Its just resulted in Teddy going even more mad trying to get at the tasty morsels.

Monday, 16 August 2010

finding the light.

This weeks assignment is for me to shoot portrait or candid shoots trying to remember lots of the stuff I have supposedly learnt.We had to write a checklist to help us remember what we wanted to accomplish.

I got Tasmins  16 year old tutu down from the loft and hung it up.I knew my friends daughter wouldn’t be able to resist it and then out came the camera.

Now luckily the majority of them came out alright,but at the end I realised I had my white balance in the wrong setting.Erghhh but this is what the assignment was all about.I am determined to try and remember the 101 things I’m supposed to.

and what you may just be able to see from this one,is that she had green eyebrows from being painted a lizard the day before and still had a bolognaise beard around her mouth.

You just can’t get the models nowadays.

Now hopefully Linda, you will like these samples of your little impromptu shoot today.

check out your cleavage!!!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

A whole lot of whoopie going on.

I have spent this last week with my husband doing nothing much but eat.

Yesterday we dodged the rain to chill out  and indulge ourselves with a little breakfast in Starbucks.

Then it was back home for a day of scrapping for me.I tried to finish my Chicago album.But my back and legs gave out on me.

It was a dismal wet grey day so I was glad to be snug next to the aga.I woke this morning to the heating having turned itself automatically on,.That's how cold its been.We were up bright and early with maps already downloaded.We were going to explore Spitalfields market in London.The last time we were at Columbia Road market we  asked a local where Spitalfields was and she had never heard of it!!!!!


So she directed us to Brick Lane instead.It turns out if we had turned right at one point it was right there!!


It was right behind where we ate last time.

I had a reason for picking Spitalfields for a day out.It is right next to a place I have wanted to visit for years.A place I bet you have never even heard of.-

Dennis Severs house on Folgate Street.

Its a house where you go back in time,where the sounds and smells follow you around.In one gas from the lamps,another cloves and oranges and one I recognised from  my carer days.Matured urine from a chamber pot.

It was very interesting,but it was a shame no cameras were allowed.


I must admit I would have struggled with the light,because, there was none.There were heavy drapes and everything was lit by candles.








Our bellies were complaining by this stage,so as creatures of habit we headed back to The Sunday Up market .It has the most amazing ethnic food area.

We headed straight for our favourite chicken satay stand with jasmine rice.As usual it was delicious and at only £4.50 a bargain.We went in from a different side this time and I came across the most amazing cupcake stall I have ever seen-Kooky bakes

And believe me I have seen and tasted a lot.

Now anyone who is in the know,knows that cupcakes are sooooo last season.The fashionable like me are eating whoopie pies.


So I couldn’t resist a Bounty Whoopie pie.

Kim you must check his stall out,his baking was amazing.

Far better than any Magnolia,Hummingbird or Lola's cupcake.Not a dry morsel in sight.Plus very intriguing  flavours.

I definitely want to go back for more.


Know I wasn’t feeling too well,as I had been suffering with a migraine for a few days.I had spotted some Thai masseurs in the main spitalfields market.So as I knew I had a lot of tension in my head/back and neck I thought I’d give it a go.

I hope your not laughing……………..

Any massage can be very painful for me.Especially if the masseur finds a problem area.And believe me I have a LOT of problem areas.Don’t ever be fooled by the tiny Thai women and men they have fingers like vices.Even the area around my jaw killed me when he applied pressure.I have no idea,why that would be????

Oh and elbows.Yep he has just found a spot or two,and thinks a deep push with his elbow will add a little more pressure.GREAT.

Well if nothing else I am sure it all gave you a laugh.

And to finish a picture of the cutest little boy ever.I asked his dad if I could take his picture he was such a natural model and had the most amazing eyes.

Friday, 13 August 2010

check this out

Anna has a fab giveaway over on her blog from CPS Stores in America.

I know a few of you reading my blog are keen cooks so I wanted to share this link with you.I’m like Anna my voucher would go towards a “Dutch oven”.Quite why Americans call casserole dishes this,I have no idea.

Although I could do with a decent frying pan.Since we’ve had our aga,I have been without one.Hubby the other day cooked an omelette in a wok!We have to have special bases on our pans because of the heat of the Aga.You can cook fried eggs,etc directly on the hot plates ,but an omelette would get a bit messy.And I don’t do mess!!!!



O hby the way,this isn’t me! I found the picture on the internet to show you someone frying eggs.




Anna also shares a recipe for a marrow,ginger and chilli chutney,along with some free downloadable  bits and bobs.Now I won’t be making any chutney.I don’t eat vegetables,cold meat or cheese so there is little point in me toiling over something that will sit in the back of the larder maturing………

When I was first married I used to bottle and pickle everything in sight.We had shelves of the stuff.I was like an Amish housewife.I think I used to watch too much Little House on the Prairie as a child.Because there was only Hubby to eat it all and he wasn’t that keen.


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