Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Bowl Food

With one thing and another, the house has been a little hectic recently, so I haven't been menu planning and haven't been keeping note of our meals either. I have snapped a couple of things we've eaten over the last few weeks. 

Loads of roast veg, some of which became soup, some went into the freezer and yet more became orzotto.

It looks very pale but hidden in there somewhere are mushrooms, onions, celeriac, chestnuts and squash, really delicious. 

We ate out a few times when we were off celebrating Dan's birthday, I forgot to take pictures of the curry at Wagamama in York, the pizza at Basement Browns in Coventry and the tofish and chips at Lolo's in Ramsbottom. I did remember to snap the soup we had at Little Barista before Burnley v Man City.

Last week, when the bathroom redo was going badly and we were at a low ebb, I headed for the convenience food aisle at the supermarket to pick up some veggie shawarma (spiced soy strips). 

I chucked it in with mushrooms, peppers and onions, then served it with wraps, chilli sauce, salad and houmous. 

The obligatory noodles.

Last night we kept it really simple and had a simple dhal with some brown rice and a leftover wrap from the freezer. 

I take my hat of to those people who stage their food photographs to look wonderful, I'm just too hungry!

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The Good Things

Yesterday Jess wrote a wonderful post about the little luxuries in her life at the moment, and it really hit home that I have so much to be happy about, so I thank Jess for the inspiration and here are a few things that make my life as wonderful as it really is. 

First and foremost my amazing neighbour. Our houses are linked by the garage, so whenever we need to have work done to the exterior of the house it has an impact on the house next door. At the moment they don't have the use of their drive due to us having the house repointed. 

I didn't realise the guy would be grinding out all the old stuff, that didn't happen when we had the same job done at our old house, so yesterday their car was totally covered in dust, as was their drive. I managed to catch my neighbour on their way out to apologise and she was so gracious about everything. A genuinely lovely person. 

Secondly my nieces, they came to visit yesterday, bringing the rabbits a gift of broccoli as well as drawing pictures for me. They were also very happy to see the plumber which made him smile too. 

Speaking of which, the third thing is this 

Finally for today, are those signs of spring in the garden.

Life is happening all the time. 

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Domestic Something

Probably not bliss quite yet.

The plumbers left on Friday. They will be back tomorrow though as they managed to put a chip in the shower tray. Other than that everything looks beautiful, shame the shower doesn't work. All in all I've not been right happy. 

What is making me happy is getting back to normal elsewhere in the house. The living area is back to normal, we decided to not bring the tatty old green armchairs back from the garage so my armchairs from the dining area have be put in their place. 

It's been a very fresh, sunny day today so I am also happy to see lots of laundry flapping around in the breeze. Bit by bit the house is improving, I'll laugh about these setbacks at some point won't I?

Friday, 16 February 2018


When work started on the bathroom I was on my best behaviour, we are now a few days over and I'm pretty much slobbing around in my pyjamas, watching Dexter while eating bourbon creams for breakfast. It's taken a whole two weeks, but today I had bants with the plumber, I don't think either of us could believe it. Hilarious in only the way two people who are really thinking "thank goodness this is nearly over" can experience. 

Anyway, after a start to the day that involved an ill (now recovered) bunny and the dropping of a tin of paprika I decided I should do something to make me feel as though the house might one day be in some kind of order, so I sorted out some books. I've decided to part with a few, if anyone is interested in one of them then let me know, otherwise I'll drop them off at a charity shop.

The Gentle Art Of Domesticity - Jane Brocket

Dozens Of Ways To Repurpose A Tea Towel - Nathalie Mornu

Country Living, Love Stitching - Jan Constantine
Home - Anita Kaushal

Friday, 9 February 2018

Freebie And Bargain of the Week

Not much has been free or cheap so far this year. We have already bought a new-to-us car, had a new boiler fitted and we're halfway through having the bathroom done. They were all needs really, the old car was old and costing us a fortune in repairs, the boiler was 20 years old and the pump was on the way out and the bathroom was leaking and generally in need to something doing to it. 

But there are still a few things to lighten the load.

I bought a dress from the charity shop, all dresses are currently £2.99 so I was happy to snap up this White Stuff tunic. It's a bit more slouchy than I'd usually go for, but a nice comfy, cosy, easy to wear dress is just what I'm after at the moment. I don't tend to wear blue either, but I really like the texture of this one. It'll look great along with something orange!

Dan received his birthday parcel from our friend Em this week, as always it was packed full of German delicacies, including some biscuits she'd made herself - her first attempt at vegan baking. Our already full pantry is now bursting at the seams with the cookies, chocolate, sweet and savoury spreads, bread and falafel mixes, sauces, and sweets she sent over. 

No shopping required for a while!

There was also a small package for me tucked inside the box, some beautiful packets of needles, and some buttons, just lovely. 

The front

the back

I can never resist a goat!

When I was unpacking it the bathroom bloke commented that his mates would only just about buy him a pint let alone send a basket of goodies for his birthday. We are very lucky indeed. 

Thursday, 8 February 2018

The Cold, Dirty, Dusty Path

The bathroom redo is underway. 

We had a slight (half day) set back yesterday which means I have to be nice to people on Saturday as well as the rest of the week, but I haven't heard any sucking through teeth or learned of any nasty surprises, which is a very good thing. 

On the plus side, the new boiler went in on Monday so when I can have heating it is very pleasantly toasty indeed. The rest of the room is at this point.

I can't actually believe there was no mould or other grot behind the leaky tiles.

It looks so tiny!

Thankfully we still have the essentials! But when they said the internal wall was probably just cardboard, they were not joking!

I was very concerned about how the buns would manage, and they were a little unsettled on Monday, but they relaxed quite quickly and I think they're used to having someone else here now. Plus we had to move their pen so they're getting some enjoyment from their new location. All things considered, it's going fairly well so far, famous last words! 

To boost morale, we're going towel shopping this evening, does the excitement never stop?

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Adventures in Zero Waste Shopping

I can only conclude I'm doing it wrong, or the zero waste eco bloggers just have better hand to eye coordination, and weather apps than I do.

We visited a shop with serve yourself bins for dried goods, paper bags to put things in, loose herbs so you can refill your own jars, and huge vats of laundry liquid and so on, cheaper than buying a new bottle and all that good stuff. We filled the paper bags with the dried goods on our list (I confess there was a small spillage), paid our money and went on our merry way.

Before we got back to the car it rained. Fantastic. We had also driven 30 miles to get the shop*, so hardly good for the environment in the first place.

I did remember to take my little cotton drawstring bag to hold a bar of unwrapped soap. This too got a bit wet, and was sat close enough to the quinoa to interact. I'll just tell people whatever I make with the quinoa also contains coriander, hence the soapy taste, no-one need ever know. 

It has been suggested that I could make some fruit and veg bags out of an old voile curtain we have in the garage, I have no idea if that's a good plan or not but I'll probably give it a go to pass the time next week when the bloke is here fitting the boiler and hopefully making a start on the bathroom. 

*the shop wasn't the only reason for our visit

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Outside, No Fruit

When I was poorly all I wanted to do was be outside, and eat fruit. Yesterday the weather was glorious so, after a week of exploring things indoors, we went out for a little bit. 

I'd noticed that we were expecting a high tide at lunchtime, so we nipped to Granny's Bay after we'd been to the supermarket, we were a little early but it was still gorgeous. 

 I couldn't see a thing as I was snapping away, the sun was so bright, and when the breeze died down it felt like spring. 

We've been all over the place this week, but yesterday was an ideal day to stay close to home. 

Friday, 2 February 2018

Read All About It 2

The rest of the CET building was rather less glamorous than the top floor of the building, but it was far more interesting, not to mention cold and dark! Here's a selection of my pictures.

For this part of the tour everywhere smelled of metal and dust, so hard to imagine that it was once bustling with hundreds of workers. We plan to return  when the building is full again of hotel guests and staff, a real transformation. 

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Read All About It!

Yesterday we headed off to Coventry to visit the former Evening Telegraph building which is currently being used as an art space before redevelopment, you can read about it here.

Anyway, here are some of my pictures of the time capsule that is the CET building, starting upstairs where the owner had an apartment, it is perfect for fans of wood panels and must have been very luxurious at the time. Apparently, the owner had the apartment as he begrudged paying for city centre hotel rooms. 

My only criticism would be the volunteers, they were of no help whatsoever. When we entered the building we didn't know where we could and couldn't go, there was a turnstile near the door but no clear sign that it was the start of the tour so it was just by trial and error we got started. We also didn't have to sign in, which considering we were wandering around an abandoned building on our own was unusual. In my view being a volunteer is no excuse for poor customer service. There were three people in the cafe/reception when we left and no-one said thank you, good bye or bite my ankle, quite disappointing. 

Despite that we had a great time, well worth the journey, my advice for anyone visiting would be to wrap up well, it is freezing! Tomorrow I'll share a few pictures of the works.