Sunday, 29 April 2012

Sunday Lunch

Asparagus from this week's Riverford box brushed with olive oil and griddled on my cast iron pan, egg soft boiled to Heston Blumnthal's directions and fresh Bordeaux Quay Pain de Campagne from this week's sodden Tobacco Factory market.  Delicious!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Just Vote!

I spent a couple of hours this morning handing out Green Party leaflets on our local high street.  This  Thursday Bristol, along with 10 other English cities, is being asked to decide on whether or not to elect its own mayor.  The Green party is opposed to this proposal.

Following the council's failure to distribute its explanatory leaflet to every person in the city a turnout as low as 20% is predicted.  There were certainly a number of disinterested voters on North Street this morning.  As someone who has always been passionately interested in politics I find this very difficult to understand.  I'd like the good people of  Bristol to say no on Thursday but I'd prefer them to say yes than to say nothing at all.

Friday, 27 April 2012

My Top Ten Cookery Books

Today I bought a new cookery book.  Heaven knows I don't need one but that's never stopped me before and it didn't this time when our Book People rep came calling with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's latest offering.  Besides, it provided me with the perfect opportunity to publish a post I've been mulling over for some time now.

So here it is, my definitive(?) Top Ten Cookery Books

  1. Good Housekeeping -  This was one of the first cookery books I bought and its the one I turn to most often to find out how long to roast a joint, the ratio of flour to butter to milk in a white sauce or the correct way to sterilise jam jars.  It cost me 50p in an introductory offer to a book club in my final year at university and has been with me ever since.  It has lost both back and front covers and its pages are scuffed and stained, but I wouldn't trade it in for any other book.
  2. Real Food (Nigel Slater) - It's not just the recipes but Nigel Slater's attitude to food that appeals to me.  This is solid everyday cookery, the sort of food you would be happy to eat time and time again.  And we do!
  3. How to Eat (Nigella Lawson) - Nigella Lawson is another of my food heroes.  This is a chunky book and it took me a while to justify the expense.  But it's one I've never regretted.  It's the kind of cookery book I can sit and read just for the pleasure of the prose.  And as I read it I can hear her voice in my head.  Gosh, I must have been watching too much TV!
  4. The New Covent Garden soup Company's Book of Soups - We Scots are brought up on soup.  It practically runs in our veins.  I love it.  It's warm and nourishing and easy to prepare and is the perfect way to use up odd bits and pieces lying around the kitchen.  But sometimes it's good to start from scratch and boil up something special and this book has plenty to chose from.
  5. The Good Cook (Simon Hopkinson) - I've come late to Simon Hopkinson, through his recent TV series.  He came across as a gentle man and his recipes are a reflection of his manner.
  6. Indian Cookery (Savitra Chowdhary) - I inherited this book from my mother, although I have a feeling that it was my Dad who made more use of it.  I don't use many of its recipes but it's where I turn for a basic dhal and gajar halwa, my all time favourite Indian sweetmeat.
  7. Mediterranean Cookery (Claudia Roden) - I love the aromatic flavours of Middle Eastern food and Claudia Roden's book is a veritable feast for the senses.
  8. Delia Smith's Christmas (Delia Smith) - No list would be complete without a Delia Smith and this is my favourite.  In  years when I've opted for a traditional turkey dinner I've followed her countdown to Christmas dinner almost to the second.  And it's her mincemeat recipe every time!
  9. How to be a Domestic Goddess (Nigella Lawson)  Nigella's second appearance but as this is the book I turn to first when I get the urge to bake she deserves it.
  10. The Book of Children's Party Cakes (Ann Nicol) - From when they were old enough my daughters have been presented with this book a couple of weeks before their birthdays and asked to choose their cake.  Even the most complicated cakes are simple when you follow the instructions step by step.
So this is my list.  What about you?  Would any of these books feature on yours?  Have you any personal favourites to recommend?

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Review: All Things Moroccan

Last night our humble parish church was transformed into a sumptuous casbah as Vincent Castellano and his team opened another pop up restaurant - All Things Moroccan.

The pillars were draped in shimmering silks, the tables lit by tea lights flickering in burnished lanterns, images of Moroccan life projected onto huge screens and the cupola above the altar, and the strains of North African music wafted over the heads of diners as they arrived.  Traders occupied one of the side aisles, spreading their carpets and displaying jewelled lanterns, polished leather, serried ranks of tagines and shelves of skin products to tempt diners as they milled around waiting for their friends.  

And what a feast it was.  Five courses - with ingredients sourced from as near as Bristol to as far away as Essaouira!

We started with a Salad Platter.  A tomato, cucumber and onion salad with argan oil dressing, carrot and orange salad with orange flower dressing, and a beetroot and cumin salad, served with sesame seed flecked flat breads.  As on previous occasions, platters were shared between diners to encourage conversation and add to the atmosphere.  It was the perfect opening to a Mediterranean meal - fragrant and refreshing.  Much was made of the argan oil but, to be perfectly honest, I couldn't detect its presence, except to say that whatever it was it tasted delicious.

We moved on to the Spicy Bits Platter.  Lamb meatballs, chicken wings, sardines with sultanas and capers wrapped in feuille de briouat, green and black olives and zalouk.  This is the sort of food I love, tasty morsels to pick and savour.  The sweet and sour sardines encased in filo pastry were a true revelation and the warm spicy aubergine stew packed an earthy punch.

To clear our palates in preparation for the main course, we were served shot glasses of fresh mint crushed ice tea with ewe's milk yoghurt.  The acidity of the yoghurt cut through the minty sweetness of the sorbet and left our taste buds tingling.

Just as well because the Couscous Royale was a feast in itself.  There was a hunk of tender slow cooked mutton, spicy chicken chermoula (stuffed chicken with a crispy spiced rub), a fiery merguez sausage, root vegetables stewed with ras el hanout and half a red pepper packed with couscous.  A side of aromatic honey and saffron chickpeas and carmelised onions was passed between diners.  The fact that I didn't quite clear my plate had nothing to do with the quality of the food but everything to do with my saving a tiny space for desert. 

While we waited for tables to be cleared and the next course to begin we were entertained by the Shiny Ladies, a delightful troupe of dancers who, given the number of costume changes during the course of the evening, evidently like dressing up as much, if not more than dancing.  They performed a variety of traditional, and original, Moroccan dances with great flourish.

The desert was worth waiting for.  A trio of ewe's milk cinnamon cheesecake with poached rhubarb in ginger syrup, spiced orange drizzle cake and sellou.  The latter is an unbaked Moroccan sweetmeat made from sesame seeds and almonds, akin to halva, but infinitely superior to any I've tasted before.

All it needed was a small espresso or a glass of mint tea to finish it off, but the lack of facilities making this impossible, I had to wait until I got home for the next best thing, that is a mint tea bag in a mug of boiling water!

Of course the food's important and, once again Vincent came up trumps, but it's about more than that.  It's the effort put into virtually transporting us to Casablanca, the attention to detail in the menu and service and, above all, the company.  The 160 guests were seated along four long tables, cheek by jowl with people they may have never met before and who they may never see again.  We found ourselves next to a French teacher who enjoys evensong at Bristol Cathedral, a young woman from St Petersburgh with her mother over on a visit and a Baha'i follower from Mexico who may very well have met my sister while living in Edinburgh..  We shared a magnificent meal together ... and went on our way.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Success at last!

Ever since one summer holiday in Crete about 10 years ago, I have longed for a wooden bread basket.  We ate in friendly family run taverna where they served a complimentary square of delicious chocolate cake with the bill, and where the ubiquitous thick slices of custy bread were presented in simple wooden bread baskets.  I fell in love with them and have been looking for something similar ever since.  It's become a standing family joke that I'll insist on checking out every kitchen shop we come across on the off chance of finding one.  There have been plenty of examples, of various shapes, sizes and designs but I've never found one which matched my requirements ... until today, when I discovered this one in the relocation sale of a kitchen shop in my local high street!

I am a very happy girl!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Pasty Presto!

The other day Sue, over at The Quince Tree, made pasties to use up leftovers.  This, and a quick flick through the lovely Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's new book, River Cottage Veg Everyday, resulted in my abandoning my menu plan and baking four veggie pasties. 

There was a turnip (swede to the English) lurking in last week's organic vegetable box and a packet of puff pastry in the freezer.  All the other ingredients were store cupboard basics.

My mum used to make passable Cornish pasties and we gorge on them every year in St Ives, but this is the first time in many years that I have attempted them myself.  Having realised how surprisingly easy they are to knock out, I'm hoping it won't be my last.  Next time I may even include the carrot and onion that I inadvertently left out on this occasion!

We ate two for dinner.  The others will make a welcome break from sandwiches tomorrow.

PS  I nicked the title of my post from a pasty shop in St Ives which produces an aromatic chick pea variation on the original.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

What's for Dinner?

Today's dinner, chorizo and cannellini bean stew, inspired by Sue over at The Quince Tree, cooked in my recently acquired cast iron pan from Aldi.  One of the delights of blogging is trying out fellow bloggers' recipes and Sue is a particularly rich source of delicious dishes.

I'm two days into the new four week menu plan I drew up over the Easter holidays.  I was fed up of having to decide what to eat every day, deciding on a recipe and then realising I didn't have all the ingredients, making mad dashes out to the shops before they closed, paying over the odds for convenience goods or giving up entirely and ordering a takeaway.  So I did what I've been intending to do for as long as I can remember and drew up a plan.

Now I'm not pretending that it's set in stone and will be followed slavishly from now until whenever.  I've made a deal with my younger daughter that meals will be ticked or crossed and unpopular choices will be replaced by more popular alternatives.  I'm fully expecting it to evolve constantly.  If I persist it will look quite different this time next year.

The plan is also an attempt to eat healthily and sustainably.  Two days a week are completely meat free and Friday is fish day.  I'm hoping to gradually increase the number of vegetarian days but this will have to be by negotiation with my daughter who is rather suspicious of the whole experiment.  Already meals are being swapped to ensure that she avoids the meat free days and doesn't miss out on her favourites.  But I'm up for the challenge of persuading her to expand her horizons.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Granny Squares Blanket - Work in Progress

This post is in response to public demand ... well 'd' asked to see it!

For some time now, longer than I care to remember, I've been crocheting granny squares for a blanket for my younger daughter.  It's for the bed in her attic bedroom, and I've chosen colours that will go with the walls which are a pale blue and a Cath Kidston floral print.

The beauty of granny squares is their simple versatility.  Now that I've memorised the pattern I can crochet away while talking to friends or watching the telly - but not, as I discovered last week, while sitting on a coach.  I shove a couple of balls of wool and my hook into my bag and take them to school to work on during my lunch break, or to a coffee morning.  I can squeeze in a square between other activities or spend the whole day building a small pile.

The plan is to work a row of white around each square, sew them all together and finish the blanket off with a couple of rows around the outside, perhaps with a fancy edge.

I'm not working to a deadline but it would be good to have it ready for her birthday at the beginning of June.  Let's see.  I am completely in awe of Karen over at A Quiet Corner who has managed six gorgeous blankets in one year!  I'm also indebted to Lucy at Attic 24 for her cheerful inspiration in all things hooky!

Easter Holiday Plans Revisited

Now that the Easter holidays are over and I've returned to work it's time to revisit those challenges I set myself.
  1. Spring clean the house:  Well, I managed a few cupboards in the kitchen, throwing out a bag of food dating back to the early 90s.  Yikes!  I also binned a bag of old cassettes and lugged two sacks of clothes down to a charity shop.
  2. Read Colm Toibin's Story of the Night and Tea Obreht's The Tiger's Wife:  I'm still only half way through the first, but I finished the second just in time for our reading group last Friday.
  3. Draw up a 4 week menu plan:  Success!  And it's colour coded, and it comes with a shopping list, and it's now clipped to the fridge door for everyone to see.
  4. Create a sourdough starter and start making my own bread:  Another tick!  My wild yeast starter took over a week to get going but when it did it was quite dramatic, erupting over the sides of the jar and spreading out over the piano.
  5. Knit 5 granny squares a day:  I only met this challenge on one day but my pile of finished squares is several inches higher.
 Well done?  Could have done better?  I'll leave you to decide.

As for me, I enjoyed a break from work, spent time with my family and friends, went to two concerts, saw two films, visited the Tower of London,  ate out , baked buns and cakes and managed to post most days!  I'm happy!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

It's taken two weeks from mixing flour with water to create a sourdough starter to lifting this loaf out of the oven.  The ultimate in slow food!

I'm rather pleased with my first attempt a baking a sourdough loaf from my wild yeast starter. 

Friday, 13 April 2012


I love Rachel Khoo but, just to illustrate my eclectic taste in cookery programmes, I also love The Hairy Bikers, despite (or maybe because) of their devil may care attitude to political correctness.

I've been following their latest series (Hairy Bikers' Bakeation) with mixed interest.  I very much enjoyed their journeys through Norway and Eastern Europe, but wasn't as impressed with the others.  Maybe it was the scenery or maybe the recipes.  I don't know.

One recipe that caught my attention was for Pogasca (bacon scones).  I tried them out at our reading group this evening where they were well received.  The handful that are left will go nicely with a bowl of soup tomorrow lunchtime.

The book we were discussing this evening was The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht, set in the Balkans, next door to Hungary, so there was a bit of a theme going on. 

Thursday, 12 April 2012


Yesterday we went to see The Pirates.  Not only were we thoroughly entertained but we were also supporting local business, Aardman being a Bristol company of which we are justifiably very proud.

Our cinema of choice is the excellent Watershed, but it doesn't tend to show films of the blockbuster variety, so we had to venture elsewhere.  We ended up in the Cinema de Lux which was screening The Pirates - and in 3D. 

Now don't get me wrong.  The Cinema de Lux is, as it says on the tin, a very upmarket cinema (plush carpet, sofas, mood lighting, reclining seats, cup holders etc) but I didn't much care for it, any more than other similar complexes.  They're cold and soulless and invariably empty.  No atmosphere whatever.  Give me the Watershed any day.  It's central.  It's friendly.  It's lively.  It doesn't sell overpriced drinks and snacks.  It is comfortable.  It shows good films.  And tickets for afternoon screenings only cost £5.50.  

If only they'd been showing The Pirates! 

Monday, 9 April 2012

Sent to the Tower

I lived in London for 7 years but it's taken 22 years since I left before I returned to visit one of its most famous sights.
It was a cold grey drizzly day so I didn't take many photographs.  Here are the best of the ones I did.

The Queen's House and The The Shard.
I love the juxtaposition of the the ancient and the modern.

I am relieved to report that the kingdom and the tower are still safe.

The Royal Chapel and The Gherkin.
It's that ancient and modern theme again!

One of the many examples of graffito in the Beauchamp Tower.

The infamous Traitor's Gate.

A detail from the Medieval Palace wall.

I like a nice brick wall!

A troupe of baboons, harking back to the menagerie once housed within these walls, with the iconic White Tower in the background.

The White Tower and The Shard.
Sorry, this is the last one in this theme.
But I do love Piano's skyscraper.

The first thing we did was go on a Yeoman Warder's tour.
He was in his everyday uniform which is not nearly as ornate as the ceremonial one, so I had to make do with this poster.

Top tips when visiting the Tower:
  • Book your tickets online.  It's an expensive day out so every pound off counts.
  • Take a picnic lunch.  Three (small) bowls of soup. three slices of bread and two soft drinks cost us approximately £18.  We would have taken a picnic or bought sandwiches on the the way but the forecast was for rain - and it wasn't wrong!
  • If you want to see the Crown Jewels (and they are very impressive, even although I don't care very much for that sort of thing) don't spend hours queueing.  Just wait until an hour before closing and walk straight in!
  • Allow yourself as much time as possible.  We spent five and half hours there and still didn't see everything.
It was a long day but well worth the time and effort.

Sunday, 8 April 2012


Simnel Cake, a rich fruit cake baked with a layer of marzipan at its centre, was traditionally associated with Mothering Sunday, the day on which young girls in service were allowed the day off to visit their mothers.

It is now more commonly eaten at Easter, when the usual decoration consists of eleven small balls of marzipan (representing the disciples, minus Judas) arranged in a circle with a larger ball, representing Jesus, at its centre.

I have once again turned to Delia Smith's recipe.  The layer of marzipan is replaced with nuggets of the paste which lend a gooey richness to the cake.  The balls are ditched in favour of a lattice brushed with egg yolk and toasted under the grill.  The edible gold glitter is my own invention.  And although I managed not to set the smoke alarm off while toasting the almonds yesterday I wasn't so lucky while burnishing the marzipan this morning!

Happy Easter!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Let the Chocolate Fest Begin!

So glad that my daughters (20 and 'almost' 18) are still not too old to appreciate chocolate crispy nests.

I use Nigel Slater's recipe but substitute rice crispies for cornflakes and milk chocolate for posh dark stuff.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Hot Cross Buns

Homebaked hot cross buns on Good Friday have become a tradition in our house and these are my best efforts to date.  The cross is not terriblyconvincing but they were deliciously warm and soft and spicy straight out of the oven.  Like Jane Brocket I never manage to produce them for in time for breakfast but there are enough left over for tomorrow.

I used Saint Delia's recipe which I heartily recommend. 

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Review: No 1 Harbourside

I've drunk at No 1 Harbourside on several occasions and attended a gig last summer, but today was the first time I'd ever eaten in this waterfront retaurant.

We met early to grab a bite before Exultate's Easter Mysteries' Concert (which was characteristically superb - if you've never heard them keep an eye out for their next performance).

The bar/restaurant/music venue is ideally located with a glass frontage overlooking the harbour and outside seating for when it's warm and sunny.  This evening it was neither so we sheltered inside.  My daughter and I arrived early, ordered drinks at the bar, and read until the others joined us.  I'd hoped for a glass of Apples and Pears but had to settle for a pear cider, which was almost as good. 

The menu appears to change regularly.  It was chalked up on the board with a fuller description on sheets of paper on the tables.  There were five mains and a couple of deserts.  Homemade soup comes free with every main dish. 

Three of us chose the duck (served with parsley mash, greens and a mustard sauce), while my daughter and I opted for the Cornish mackerel (butterflied and served with an onion, tomato and chilli salsa, and bulgar wheat).  Gammon, tempura purple sprouting broccoli and mussels were the other dishes on offer, with prices ranging from £8 to £10.

Food is ordered at the bar and tables identified with brightly coloured appliqued flags.  We were grateful for the quick service, starting with a bowl of delicious root vegetable soup and a slice of decent bread.

The mains were equally prompt and acceptable.  The duck was tender and juicy, the delicate pink perfectly set against the pale green of the mash and the darker shade of the kale.  Our mackerel had a crisp skin and soft flesh, its oiliness cut through with the sharpness of the salsa.  I relished every mouthful.  This is not fancy cooking but it's all the better for being simple and precise.

We didn't have time for desert and I'm afraid I cannot remember what was on offer but if the mains were anything to go by I'm sure they would not have disappointed.

Before I end I must mention the listing flyer, designed by the talented Hannah Broadway, which not only lets you know what's going on but offers a monthly recipe to try at home!  

Review: Woodes

My elder daughter, who is revising for her second year exams, declared that she needed a break from studying at home.  So we headed to the Central Library, she with her laptop and I with the book I need to have read for our reading group next Friday (Tea Obreht's The Tiger's Wife, if you're interested).

Reading and writing are hungry work so, after a couple of hours we stopped for lunch and headed across College Green to Woodes.

Established in 1966 this little cafe is a popular destination for people working or shopping nearby.  The polished wooden decor, the winding staircase and the tarnished mirrors are reminiscent of a Parisian cafe.  The atmosphere is bustling, warm and friendly.

We chose sandwiches from a selection just inside the front door and ordered hot drinks at the bar.  The cafe was packed but we managed to find a table upstairs and stuck into our lunch.  My daughter had brie and cranberry on an olive roll.  I had egg mayonnaise and cress on white bread.  The bread was soft and the fillings generous, and at £2.50 - £3.00 the sandwiches represented good value.  Takeaway prices are lower. 

I drank a cup of tea, no better or worse than could be expected from a tea bag in a mug.  I do prefer my tea poured  from a pot.  My daughter's hot chocolate was hot and chocolatey but was served in a ridiculously tall thin mug, which I had visions of overturning as I negotiated the winding staircase.  Why do proprietors feel the need to opt for style over practicality when it comes to crockery?

My daughter has a sweet tooth and so, after we'd finished out sandwiches, I popped back downstairs to find a slice of millionaire's shortbread from the cake display.  At 95p it wasn't as expensive as some I've seen, but this did little to compensate for the disappointment on biting into it.  It didn't appear to be homemade and it smelt and  tasted of playdoh.  The layers of caramel and chocolate were miserly.  A poor finish to what had otherwise been a perfectly pleasant lunch.

We didn't loiter, mainly because we wanted to fit in a visit to see Leonardo's drawings at the Museum and Art Gallery, but also because it's not the sort of cafe in which to linger.  The wooden seats don't invite you to lounge and the turnover, at least at lunchtime, is brisk.

It wasn't my first visit to Woodes and I'm sure it won't be my last.  But next time I won't bother with a cake!  

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Review: The Old Bookshop

The Old Bookshop is one of the latest additions to 'the other end ' of North Street and a very welcome one too.  It opened it doors in autumn 2011 on the site of what used to be Circle Books, hence the name.

I liked Circle Books, which started out as a secondhand bookshop, but which expanded into a cafe, and was sorry to see it close.  A fondue restaurant opened and closed almost immediately before Ben Gatt transformed the corner shop into the exciting cafe/bar/restaurant/music venue it has now become.

The decor, outside and in, is vibrant and eclectic - antlers, old photographs, vintage typewriters, a wind instrument chandelier, bunting, mismatched crockery, a menu painted on a gold tea tray ...  It's tiny but every last inch is employed without giving the impression of being overcrowded.

The Old Bookshop is open all day every day except for Mondays when it is only open in the evenings.  I regularly pop in with my friend for a cuppa on our way home from South Bristol swimming pool, but today we stopped for Frunch.  This is a new lunchtime menu where, for the extremely reasonable price of £5, we were offered the choice between four dishes with a Gallic influence.  Actually we were only offered three dishes, the Cru Bag(?) (Brixham crab with Scottish smoked salmon, salad leaves, cucumber and a light horseradish lime mayonnaise) being unavailable.  My fellow diners went for the Coq Madame with Coronation Mayonnaise (roasted corn fed chicken breast in a tangy curry, mango and mayonnaise dressing with Mark’s bread) while I (prevented from eating meat by my Lenten fast) opted for the Moules et Frites (mussels in a thyme and cream sauce with chips).  The fourth option was a sweet potato, lemongrass and coconut chowder, again served with Mark's bread.

We requested tap water to drink and it arrived in a bottle with glasses containing ice and a sliver of lemon which was a nice touch.

The dishes arrived promptly.  The presentation was homely but the portions were generous and the quality was good.  My friend and daughter were both pleased with their chicken, the only criticism being that there was too much chicken.  This was from my daughter who has a small appetite so I wouldn't take it too seriously.  My mussels were juicy and there was plenty of creamy sauce.  I could have done with a spoon to sup it, and feel certain I would have been given one had I asked, but I made do with a mussel shell and a crust of my daughter's bread.  My only only criticism  would be that the chips although thin and well cooked were not crisp or crunchy.  In fact, were I to return, and I'm certain I shall, I would ask for a hunk of Mark's delicious bread instead of the frites.

After I'd cleansed my fingers in the bowl of water with lemon provided, we shared a pot of tea before setting off home.

In addition to Frunch The Old Bookshop offers a £5 Curry Night on Mondays, an ever-changing tapas menu from Tuesday to Saturday evenings and brunch at the weekend.  There are regular Saturday night gigs and on Wednesday evenings punters are invited to bring along their own classic LPs to share.

All in all a welcome new entry.

Photo courtesy of Bristol Culture

PS  I'm hoping reviews of watering holes/feeding stations I've visited will become a regular, if infrequent, feature of my blog.

PPS  For a second opinion read Mark Taylor's review in the Evening Post.

Monday, 2 April 2012

The Soundtrack of my Youth

This afternoon, as part of my spring cleaning exercise, I cleared out the shelf under our old sound system and bagged a pile of cassettes ready for the bin men on Wednesday.

But first I made a list of all the albums in case we ever want to replace them with CDs.  This proved to be a right trip down memory lane.  Some of the music has already been replaced in one form or another but there were other singers/bands I'd forgotten about - Joan Armatrading, Pyewackett and Fairground Attraction.  Happy days!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Easter Holiday Plans

Tomorrow is the first day of my Easter holidays.  Weekends don't count in my book.
Now although one of the purposes of holidays is to relax, take it easy and recharge the batteries,  I know, from experience, that I am rather inclined to take this too seriously and reach the end of my break from work without having achieved very much, if anything at all.

So this time I've  decided to set myself some challenges, namely

  1. Spring clean the house
  2. Read Colm Toibin's Story of the Night (in addition to Tea Obreht's The Tiger's Wife which I must finish in time for our next Reading Group meeting a week on Friday.
  3. Draw up a four week menu plan
  4. Create a sourdough starter and start making my own bread
  5. Knit 5 granny squares a day for my younger daughter's blanket
To achieve these goals I will need to be organised and cut down on the time I spent watching the television and surfing the net, which is a good thing in itself.  I will, of course, continue to blog and post regular reports on my progress.