Wednesday, 29 April 2009

walk to school

In order to try & keep up with my running training, I had to slot in a run at an irregular time - on the way home from school for my lunch break. So that I could do this, I walked instead of my usual cycle ride. I thought I'd fully take advantage of the sunshine & having two hands free, meaning I could carry my camera rather than gripping onto my handlebars for dear life. Here's a few things that caught my eye. I love the colours of Spring.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

I think this is wonderful

This is a story written by the youngest child in the nursery class I work in. She's 3, she's beautiful, she's incredibly intuitive & I think she's a legend...

'Once upon a time there was a princess called Rose Petal. She lived far away in a little cottage next to her Nan's house.

One day she crept through the dark woods to the scary castle. It had lots of pictures of old kings and queens and there was a spider living in a big web with a fly caught in it!

Suddenly a big wolf with sharp teeth and sharp claws jumped out of bed. He chased Princess Rose Petal into the spooky forest.

Princess Poppy (who could fly!) swooped down out of the sky and rescued Princess Rose Petal with her sticky feet!

They went back to her cottage and had a rest and some milk. Then they played dressing up and put make up and jewels on. Then, they played hide and seek.

The end.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

i ran.

I wrote this blog entry into my phone last night just before going to sleep. I had all of these reflections & bold images going around my head that I did not want to lose through the duration of sleep. So this is the form they came out in, and I decided to leave them that way.

Tiny purple dots on the horizon,
the afterimage of the sun imprinted on my retina,
held there only by my fixed gaze. As soon as I move, so will the little purple haze.

I lie down, still feeling the heat generated from my run coarsing around my muscles. Feeling the gentle ache, the effect of running on my body.

Remember the completely intoxicating scent of pollen filling the springtime air, the trees bending their boughs over me as I run through them
ushering their own little greeting
speaking of life overhead.

The sight of a breeze so gentle that I cannot feel it.
I only know of its presence by the leaves overhanging the gorge, set in motion.

Conscious of my breathing, my heartrate.
Conscious that it becomes an unconscious thing under the rhythm of the music in my ears.
Amazed that this can be so.
That my heart can be pounding but I do not feel it.

Monday, 20 April 2009

joys of today

first day back at school
little hands clapping
bright eyed children, delighted to be back at school
intense scent of pollen, thick in the dusk evening air
the smell of barbeques, as people revel in the heat
appearance of a new multitude of freckles on my skin
sunshine, sunshine & more sunshine
freshly baked brownies
the sight of my craft supplies strewn across my living room floor as teenage girls happily decorate new note books, ready & waiting to be written in
crispness of clothes that have dried in the sun

Friday, 17 April 2009

one a penny, two a penny... cross buns. Yesterday I felt the need to bake something of a dough-y nature, and hot cross buns felt like a good idea. Maybe a little late as Easter has now passed, but that's never a reason not to eat the deliciously cinammony-nutmeg-y rolls that we like to call hot cross buns.

The only thing is, as my buns were lacking a cross, I don't think I'm entirely justified in calling them that, but that's what the recipe said they were, and that is what they shall be. These were not your regular size hot cross buns. The buns that came out of my oven were large enough to feed a small family. Eight small families, in fact. Seriously they were huge.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

cranachan revisited

A little while ago I mentioned that I had made a scrumdidliumptious dessert whose name I couldn't quite remember. So I called it 'Canacharan Sundae'
Its real name is Cranachan Sundae - a Jamie Oliver special. Not a big difference in the name, but totally different meanings, and now that I know it's proper name, I figured I might as well use it!

Tonight, I made it for my sister & I.

Yum yum in my tum.

a little round up

For the last 5 days three of the four Barnes family children have been gallavanting in Madrid. Our host: The oldest Barnes child. The one who can cook, bake, create, speak incredible Spanish, whip me up a design for any kind of invite from a black tie meal to a kids tobogganing trip, the legend that is John. Our days consisted of...

cruising on the metrolate night
pizza al fresco
pefect ice cream
inspiring photography by him
blazing sun & a little bit of sunburn
coffee coffee coffee
catholic processions on good friday
old memories refreshed
sibling banter
spanish bilingual children
late nights
photos photos photos

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Thursday, 9 April 2009

Madrid here we come

My sister has arrived safely, though sustained a few injuries on account of the size of our ma-hoo-sive suitcase, and we're all packed up and ready to go. In an hour and a half, we'll be on our way to the airport, and hopefully leaving the rain behind us.

Last night on my way home from looking after my friend's sons for the week, I was blessed with the sight of this sky, planes criss-crossing each others paths, probably miles and miles apart.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

a roundup of my day

So today saw the dawning of another baking afternoon with friends. The vision? I teach a few guys how to bake. Then we package up the goods & deliver them to unsuspecting friends. Beautiful. Well, in theory, anyway...Here's just some of the treats...

Banana & walnut loaf

The legendary Polish Cake. loved by all who meet it & eat it.

all labeled up & ready to go.

The reality was that the baking went brilliantly. We were very speedy bakers, in fact. However, I have had two young boys in my care this week and they decided that they didn't want to do any baking. Fine. By the time it came to delivering the cakes, they were ready to go to bed, and figured that my idea to go and bless people with cakes was the most ridiculous thing they'd ever heard, and why on earth would we want to do that. So, somehow, I got these two reluctant fella's out of the door and into the car. Then we experienced the delights of my navigational skills. Oh joy. (In my favour, or perhaps not, we were trying to find houses based on my conviction of where people lived, but not being entirely certain, and being navigated at points by a 10 year old to the house of a friend from his choir - he didn't know the road name or the house number but was convinced he knew where we needed to go.) We had a basket full of goodies to deliver, and were getting nowhere very fast. With ten minutes, one of the boys had fallen asleep and the other was making enough trouble for the both of them.

Sadly, we ended up resigning ourselves to the fact that there were a lot of people who were not going to have their cake and eat it this evening. It just was not worth escalating the bad moods any further. Oh how different things are when there are children in the equation. It wasn't quite the day I had planned, but I guess that's how it often turns out. And we just have to roll with it.

On a more upbeat note, in less than 48 hours time, I will be in Madrid with two of my brilliant siblings. Bring on the fun & the sun.

mornings like these

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Friday, 3 April 2009

toffee crunch

The start of the school holidays sees the start of me playing mum. Just for 6 days. A good friend of mine has gone to Argentina with her husband and has left her two sons in my charge. Brave lady. So tonight, to celebrate the start of the holidays, it's movie night and they're watching Star Wars. I'm afraid I am not. I don't have anything against it, but I just have no idea of the story line, so the film wouldn't make sense to me. Instead, I've provided the popcorn. Disappointingly, the popping corn did not actually 'pop' in the pan. Weird. I whipped up some toffee sauce to adorn the little husks in, and I have to say, it was pretty tasty, and I don't even like popcorn.

For the sauce:

50g unsalted butter
4 tbsp soft brown sugar
2-3 tbsp golden syrup

Place all of the above into a pan and heat gently until the sugar crystals dissolved. You'll be left with a beautifully runny, buttery sauce. Yum.

sun lovers

So the other day these lovely little notebooks caught my eye. I love spots and I love things tied up with ribbon and I love finding things that are on sale. These babies ticked all the right boxes. I decided to use one of them as a log book to keep track of the books I am reading and that I have read, but before I started scribing on the fresh paper, I thought I'd snap a photo of the two beauties....

Having done so, I untied the ribbon to discover that the ribbon had etched its mark on their covers. Well actually, it'd be more accurate to say the sun left its mark. It would seem that these notebooks had a nice life taking in the sunshine from their spot by the window, suffice to say, they ended up a little faded. But I like it. It adds character...