Thursday 13 September 2012

A summer well spent

Summer has gone :( We had our traditionally beautiful weather for the first week of September, but now the forecasts are full of dropping temperatures, rainshowers and high winds.

It was a great summer - I managed to make the most of the nice weather and enjoyed a range of different activities. How did my summer ambitions go?

1) To get surfing again - achieved! On one of my favourite beaches in Hendaye.

2) Do 3 ballet classes in one week - achieved! And I'm now planning to make two classes a week my regular timetable - not easy to do around my other commitments.

3) Spend some quality time working on my Spanish - partly done. I did use every opportunity on holiday to use my Spanish, even when the locals spoke to me in English, only reverting when I was completely stuck. It didn't go completely smoothly (there was one dinner where I didn't exactly order food we enjoyed!), but I at least gave it a go. Still plenty of room for improvement though!

4) See some live music - partly done. With the exception of rigging fireworks behind the stage at Marvellous Festival, I didn't manage to organise this. I would love to see a band live, and did get as far as looking up gig lists, but that was it :(

5) Make sushi - still not got any further with this one (although I have eatten sushi on several occassions). Autumn/winter will have to be the time for sushi.

6) Make more pies - achieved! There was the chicken and ham cobbler, and the slightly disasterous but eventually recovered quiche. Almost pies :)

Additions to the list:
7) Get to work crocheting again - achieved! I have been rippling all over the place!

And now I enter autumn having visited more places, eaten more food and tried some more great activities...

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Ripple-y progress

A quiet blog is a sign of one of two things: either I'm away on holiday or I'm stupidly busy. Last week it was the busy one. I definitely went back to work with a bang. Hopefully things will calm a bit now...

Within the chaos, I've still been taking time to crochet - it's like having enforced relax time. I find that I don't sleep well if I've been busy working late, so no matter how late it is I have to make sure I do a quiet, calming activity before heading to bed.

Crochet is brilliant at this. I've been doing it everywhere...

In the car...

On a train...

Sat in my living room...

On another train...

Sat in the sunshine...

Monday 10 September 2012

Ballet Tweet-Up

Saturday was great - I travelled to a studio in London to meet up with a group of fellow ballet-obsessed tweeters!

It was all organised after an off-the-cuff tweet from someone suggesting that we should get together. A few months (and a whole load of organisation from Becca_Tweet) later, there we were...

We had an absolutely amazing class from Karis at EverybodyBallet - she had obviously put some time into choreographing exercises for us and was infectiously enthusiastic. The barre exercises were especially beautiful - very "dance-y" and performed to orchestral ballet scores. I was stretched, but in a good way, and only wish I could have done them to a higher standard...

balancing at the barre

Monday 3 September 2012

Tonight's dinner

What makes my macaroni cheese healthy (compared with shop-bought/restaurant versions):

  -  It's completely homemade, so I know every ingredient and there isn't any odd additives/flavourings/preservatives.

  -  I control the quantities of cheese and butter (and try to put a smaller amount in).

  -  I can measure the portion size accurately.

  -  I can serve it with plenty of salad.

What makes my macaroni cheese unhealthy:

  -  It's still macaroni cheese...

Saturday 1 September 2012

The pastry games

Compared with the average human being, I probably make pastry quite frequently. And as a general rule it turns out alright. Not this time...

A friend was visiting for lunch and I decided that instead of going out, I'd cook for her. Out came the pie cookbooks and I settled on a quiche.

Hmmm... All I can say is never, ever rush pastry making. I was in a bit of a hurry and misread/ignored the "let it rest in the fridge for 30mins" instruction. I cannot for the life of me remember if this was a conscious decision or the result of rushing too much.

The result...
Oh dear.

Seeing as I was already running late, I definitely didn't have time to start again. What to do?!

We went out for lunch.

P.S. That evening I had a lot more time on my hands and remade the pastry case. It can out much better and the final quiche wasn't bad either :)