Sunday 12 January 2014

Making a good start

Things to do at the beginning of 2014...

Book skiing lessons - the prospect of a skiing holiday has become almost irresistible so my plan is to get some lessons at one of the "real snow" slopes before booking anything.
The only time I've ever skiied. Definitely need some practise before hitting some real slopes!

Make more plans with friends - with most living quite a distance away and many now having one or two young children, these things need to be planned well in advance to make sure that they happen.

Regular exercise - sticking to a routine is not my area of expertise! Sporadic exercise is not really doing it for me though - all it took was a busy Christmas and a week suffering with a cold and all my fitness has disappeared into thin air! Right now walking up a couple of flights of stairs is tiring :( Consistency is surely the key. That way I will have the stamina and strength needed for random fun activities (like skiing, paddle boarding or roller skating).

Catch up on my blogging - no explanation needed here. I've been much too lazy about posting. Must do better!

Thursday 9 January 2014

A Christmas pie

Ok, I know this is super-late, but I really wanted to share this Christmas tradition and it's taken me a while to get the post written :) Enjoy

Christmas eve means fish and seafood in my house. My mum usually makes a rice creation featuring prawns, mussels and squid. I like to make fish pie...

Start with hardboiled eggs.

Add a selection of fish, which have been gently poached in milk, and some king prawns. This time I went for salmon and cod; sometimes I use a bit of smoked haddock too.

Cover in a white sauce (made from the poaching liquid).

And then smother in mashed potato and some grated cheddar. I try to be moderate with my cheese usage... I usually get carried away...

Baking time! Note the baking tray underneath to catch any minor eruptions around the edge :)

Oh, it was totally yummy. Not the prettiest of meals, but well worth the effort. This version was one of my best and a good contrast with the massive traditional turkey roast that we enjoyed the next day!

Monday 6 January 2014

A mini Parisian adventure.

Having not managed a holiday during 2013 (except our 26 hours in France), Boxing Day saw us packing suitcases and jumping on a plane. It was a teeny thing that only seats 50 people and had propellers! Added excitement for me, especially as we experienced "the best turbulence we've had in ages"! I do enjoy flying :)
It looked super-teeny when we parked up next to a Boeing 777 at Paris!

The plan was three relaxing days in Paris: Christmas fairs, mulled wine and enjoying the sights. And it was lovely. I thoroughly enjoyed wandering the streets, enjoying the architecture and exploring.


There was also sleeping in followed by ridiculously late breakfasts at local cafes or patisseries. We practised our French (mine is particularly dreadful), shopped and ate much too much.

I enjoyed a crêpe beurre sucre as we walked around Notre Dame.

We paused to admire the vast sea of padlocks on the bridge.

The last evening was particularly wonderful - a dinner cruise down the Seine. One very happy girl :)

I was sad to leave, but normal life must resume...

Friday 3 January 2014

Catching up - Christmas

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. I certainly did, although I caught the traditional Christmas-holidays-cold which rather knocked me for six in the run up to the big day :( But apart from that it was wonderful!

My Christmas tree, featuring this year's new bauble - my sparkly pear:

In the run up to Christmas we took the nieces ice skating outside the Natural History Museum - super fun!

On Christmas eve we had a fish dinner, something that my family have always done and I'm not entirely sure why. Might be linked to my mother having lived in Spain for many years? I made a fantastic fish pie which has to feature in its own post because I took lots of photos!

Christmas Day was fairly busy with church and two families to visit. Luckily, I still managed a few cuddles with my new nephew!

Then Boxing Day was the start of the real adventure... which deserves a post of its own...