Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Captured moments

Daily December Diary 2014

December 30th and 31st

So the end of another year. Wishing everyone happiness and joy in 2015 and hoping for a more peaceful and less troubled world.

Only completed 32 of my 52 genres, so 20 non fiction genres to go. I will persevere and enjoyed reading genres I would not normally choose. To continue 365 free e books and A borrowed book and add Prequels and sequels to my review repertoire.

I have tried and enjoyed some new recipes and have finished one Mandarin course on Memrise and have made good progress with course number two.

I have gained a penfriend through Postcrossing and am continuing to enjoy the writing prompts in Fifteen minutes of fiction

Plans for 2015
To knit the free advent garland on Ravelry ready for December next year
To complete Na Po Wri Mo in April
To start a photo log " Captured Moments"

Monday, 29 December 2014

Daily December diary 2014

December 29th

Removal of decorations from our Christmas tree to pack away in the loft for next year.Assisted my husband to remove the tree to the patio for disposal at a later date.Our house seems strangely spacious.No excuse now not to tackle the growing pile of ironing!

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Daily December Diary 2014

December 28th

A trip out with my daughter for lunch at a Japanese,Korean,Chinese restaurant called Mino in Kingston. For photos see my daughters food blog The London Meow. She went there the day before as well. We had a mixture of sushi and dim sum. Definitely a restaurant to recommend!! We then saw the Paddington movie which was very enjoyable. A fitting end to her Christmas visit!!

Daily December diary 2014

December 27th

A spot of cleaning, three hours. Satisfying to see the results !! T.V movie and scrabble with my daughter this evening.

Daily December Diary 2014

December 26th

After a great Christmas Day spent with my husband's family, today I cooked for my sister and family. Fun, relaxing day and enjoyed cooking fusion, east meets west food.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Daily December Diary 2014

December 25th

Happy Christmas everyone!!

Daily December Diary 2014

December 24th

A trip to B and Q enabled us to buy a real Christmas tree for the princely sum of one penny ( a large size too] My daughter and I enjoyed buying decorations for it, also at a reduced price. We had fun at home decorating it too!

Daily December Diary 2014

December 23rd

Last food shop! Not as hectic as last year. Delivered last cards.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Daily December Diary 2014

December 22nd

Last Zumba session of the year. A lot of fun and followed by a selection of home baked Czech biscuits and home cooked fudge! Looking forward to seeing our son and daughter this evening.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Daily December Diary

December 21st

The shortest day. Seemed dark and dreary by 3.30 p.m. Completed the fiction prompt on fifteen minutes of fiction. My mood shadowing the weather
                                    A Christmas Haiku
                            Another day dawns,
                            Christmas, she sits silently
                             cold, wet and hungry.

Daily December Diary 2014

December 20th

A visit with my daughter to see my Aunty. Coffee, warm mince pies, laughter and chat. In the post a lovely long letter from my cousin [her daughter] including a fascinating 12 page description of their recent safari holiday.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Daily December Diary 2014

December 19th

The last parcel I ordered arrived today. Bus into town was packed on the way .Everyone busily doing their Christmas shopping. Mine was completed very quickly!

Daily December Diary 2014

December 18th

A long drive across four counties brought back memories of places I visited as a child with views across the British countryside. A very sad and moving celebration of a life lost too soon through cancer and the power of human love and connection.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Daily December Diary 2014

December 17th

Food shopping. Half price clothes sale. Received a lovely newsy letter from Germany.

Daily December Diary 2014

December 16th

A brisk walk to the post Office to post my parcels. Treated myself to the first mince pies of the season.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Daily December Diary 2014

December 15th

Zumba gold, always a a fun activity followed by lunch at a local pub. The Christmas burgers with brie and cranberry were delicious. Hopefully we worked off some calories prior to the meal!!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Daily December Diary 2014

December 14th

A mug of coffee in bed while the heating warms up and a purring cat to start the day !

Daily December Diary 2014

December 13th

A plethora of birds in the garden today on this crisp, cold day. As well as our usual bevy of sparrows we had starlings, a robin,a blue tit and even a woodpecker.
Our concert went well despite a few mistakes. We had a good and very kind audience. A mug of hot chocolate at my daughters home was a perfect finish to the evening.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Daily December Diary 2014

December 12th

Singing for fun went on our annual busking session in our local town centre. Singing lots of seasonal rounds was fun. We even attracted a small audience.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Daily December Diary 2014

December 11th

Dress rehearsal for our concert was intensive and tiring.Christmas card exchange took place.

Daily December Diary 2014

December 10th

Food shopping, completed writing most of my cards and sorted my music for tomorrow. Spent half an hour searching for paperwork I've obviously tidied  away too well whilst cooking a roast dinner.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Daily December diary 2014

December 9th

Ironing, started to write Christmas cards, and caught up on my blog entries!

December Diary 2014

December 8th

Quiet day of recovery!

Daily December Diary 2014

December 7th                      Breakfast at the very comfortable Comfort Hotel
 Sadly our Fjord cruise was cancelled and we got very wet waiting in the rain!! We enjoyed the museum after warming up with hot chocolate in Costa.
                                          Beautiful buildings in Bergen

Daily December Diary 2014

December 6th                         Beautiful Bergen

Friday, 5 December 2014

Daily December Diary 2014

December 5th

More singing today in our singing for fun group. Lots of Christmas rounds in preparation for our busking session next week. Less people than usual due to the busy season. Acquired some Welsh Christmas cards in aid of Parkinsons disease.Managed to buy the black folders in Wilko at 50p per folder. Amazing value. Started Packing!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Daily December Diary 2014

December 4th

Our choir rehearsal, very intensive going through all the songs for our concert.Singing is very therapeutic. Our dress rehearsal will be at the church next week. I received the poem so I can practice and must remember to buy black folders for the newer members of the choir tomorrow. More parcels from online orders arrived too.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Daily December Diary 2014

December 3rd

Made an apple and raspberry crumble using dessicated coconut in the crumble mixture. Maybe not as delicious as using mango but still tasted good!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Daily December Diary 2014

December 2nd

A very grey day, the kind when winter hibernation seems the best option, made brighter by the receipt of our first Christmas card, a 25 % sale on all clothing at our local supermarket and yes , we both succumbed to temptation. My husbands purchase of a Christmas jumper was also a bright spot as he is not, like many men,  enamored with the festive season and finally a phone request out of the blue to ask if I would read a poem at our Christmas concert.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Daily December Diary 2014

December 1st

This time last year I was in Lille !  We have a December jaunt planned for this year too!! Today I attended the annual Christmas gathering of our local U3A where some of us from our singing for fun group sang three seasonal songs, two of which were rounds. We also had poetry readings, a seasonal quiz which most of us did very badly in and carols for all to sing along to. This was not helped by glitches with the laptop so our words disappeared mid verse. This added somewhat to the general hilarity. Tea and mince pies were consumed and raffle tickets sold. A fun afternoon to put us in the Christmas mood.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Recipes to Reccommend

How many of us stick to a few tried and tested recipes? Cooking for friends, I decided to try a few new recipes.

Two desserts to try
 From Oh! you cook!  and on my pinterest board I tried Fruit salad with a honey and lime dressing. This was very easy and quick to prepare. Only three fruits and looked and tasted good.

From Ken Homs' travels with a hot wok, a new take on fruit crumble . I used mango and raspberry for the fruit and less sugar than suggested. The magic ingredient is to add dessicated coconut to the crumble topping. Served hot with vanilla custard , this was delicious. One of my friends had 3 helpings!

From Malaysia Kitchen USA I tried
Mango Salad, Char kway teow  noodles and coconut milk and seafood soup all of which were enjoyed by my friends. I especially loved the soup and will add that to my repertoire of favourite recipes along with the coconut crumble.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

365 free e books

14. The one you really want by Jill Mansell

Light read with engaging quirky characters. Easy and compulsive read. Very enjoyable

365 free e books

13. The measure of Kate Galloway by Serena Miller

After trying to read two crime novels which I couldn 't engage with enough to read more than 20 percent, this was an engaging and very enjoyable read. A historical adventure and love story with an unusual setting. Great story telling.

A book collection

Room by Emma Donoghue

This book from the winter warmers collection was compulsive reading. Narrated by five year old Jack, the harrowing storyline slowly unfolds in a stunningly original writing style which creates a psychologically very thought provoking story.  It is very hard to write convincingly from the perspective of a five year old and even harder to portray the struggle to live in the world after living totally in Room. I thought this was a startling and brilliantly conceived book which was very moving as the mother, son relationship changed.

Monday, 13 October 2014

A book collection

This 10 book collection of winter warmers from the book people works out at little more than £1 per book including postage, incredible value.

1. The Saturday supper club by Amy Bratley

Chick lit with an up to date twist. A light and very enjoyable read

2.The language of flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

I loved this book. Unusual , absorbing , redemptive

3. Daughters of Jerusalem by Charlotte Mendelson

At the start of this book, I had to read in small chunks, such was the intensity of negative emotion in the stultifying atmosphere of academia. This was well worth persevering . A beautifully written and very dark tale of hidden desires, and the fine lines between love and hate , repression and expression.
A brilliantly perceptive chronicle of how much is thought and felt , but impossible to express and the negative and destructive consequences .

Friday, 10 October 2014

365 free e books

12. Clarity by Loretta Lost

This book tackles the issue of rape with the added trauma that the victim is blind. This book was very emotionally engaging and be warned that it ends on a cliffhanger, as it also is the first in a trilogy. It was also extremely funny in places and had me laughing out loud, as well as the moments of chilling intensity. I can't wait to read the next two parts.

365 free e books

11. Found by Brenda Lee Harper

Angels and Gargoyles, book 1 in a trilogy. I really enjoyed this and would buy the following two to find out how the story ends.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

365 free e books

10. Stolen child by Laura Elliot

The story of a stolen baby, through the eyes of the two women, and later of the child. The high price of guilt and of broken relationships and the difficulties of reconciliation. A thoughtful and thought provoking book.

365 free e books

9. Firespill by Ian Slater

Don't read this if you are feeling low. A well written , chilling and ultimately extremely depressing read.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

365 free e books

8. Misisipi by Michael Reilly

This is a very cleverly constructed book. It starts as a love story which develops into a mystery, a road trip, a violent thriller and a tragedy. Like a river the story meanders, at times slow paced at times very fast flowing with water flowing through the book as a theme. Even the spelling of the main character's name echoes the misspelling of the title. A brilliant book, but be warned, there is violence and very offensive language. There is also poetry and literary references and some of the horror of  Katrina.

365 free e books

7. Arcadium by Sarah Gray

Zombie tales would not normally be my choice of read, but I have to confess that I loved this book. The characters were quirky and very engaging and the story was fast paced and very readable. I'm not sure if survival would not have had more practical problems to overcome, but a very enjoyable read.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Restaurants to Recommend

Sonning Mill

This venue offers a meal and theatre package in a lovely setting by the river . A converted saw mill, now a restaurant and intimate theatre. The buffet main course was very good with plenty of choice.Desserts and coffee were served at the table. My dessert of fresh berries and ice cream was memorable. Following our relaxed meal we proceeded into the theatre and saw a very funny Irish Farce.

Restaurants to reccommend

Toby carvery Old Windsor. A good roast dinner. Always a favourite and our waitress was very helpful, providing separate bills for each of us on our table. We didn't try the dessert menu, being too full!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

A book borrowed

The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle by Kirsty Wark

I borrowed this from a friend at my singing group and was warned it was sad. Indeed it made me cry. A beautifully crafted and haunting tale of life, friendship, love and family relationships through the eyes of two women of different generations. A memorable book.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Restaurants to recommend

Achak and Popiah
Authentic and delicious Malaysian Food

char kuey teow
beef noodles
nasi lemak
char siew noodles with won ton soup
fried chilli crispy prawn
singapore fried noodles

to fu faa
gula melaka sago