2016 Photo a Day Week 7

This week is a bit of a mish-mash of images starting with a completely missed day.  I have no idea what happened on the Monday but no photographs were taken.  The camera was not even thought about I presume.

Tuesday however was a bit of a grand day out for half term with the youngest stepson.  We took the train to London and up a rather tall building (the Shard) to see the sights.  Not sure it’s worth paying full price for but with the “kids go free” deal at half term, we had a lot of fun.  We also went to the Science Museum which is just an amazing place and I’d recommend the Cosmonaut exhibition to one and all.

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Wednesday, I just liked the moon appearing over the rather tall Scots Pine near home, Thursday was a shot of that day’s cooking project (a delicious chorizo and mushroom risotto – one of this month’s new recipes and cooked entirely by the youngest stepson) and Friday a shot from the vestibule of St John’s in town (I just liked the shape of the windows).  Sunday was the Blackthorn blossom spotted this year.

Saturday’s photo is of a yarn haul.  Slightly geeky but I do enjoy knitting and stuff and it’s helped as a distraction since health got in the way of running and such like.  Anyway, I took a day trip out with the wee one to my first ever yarn show, Unravel.  If you like yarn, it’s a great place to visit.  If you’re not interested in yarn – stop reading now and I’ll see you next week.

The show was very busy, and not good if you take a pram (we had the sling – phew!) but I came back with a stash of lovely things.    While Pink Hazel is based in the Netherlands, the easyknits team are South East London so a bit closer to home.  Not quite sure where the yarn is sourced from but the colour as added not too far away.   Getting somewhat closer – I know that the designer behind CoopKnits and the Socks Yeah yarn is from Berkshire so very local.  I’m not sure where the yarn is sourced but oh it’s lovely and it will become a nice pair of socks soonish.

The little grey sheep is even more local which is great.  They’re based in Hampshire at Well Manor Farm.  The sheep are their own and it’s a great family business.  One of the ladies shears the sheep, the wool is processed in Yorkshire, spun in Devon and then dyed back on the farm.  I think I may need to arrange a day trip to see their shop some time but I may need to leave the credit card behind.  The 5 colours are going to become a hat I think.

A lovely day out.

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2016 Photo a Day Week 6

We’re fairly storming through February, it’s a busy month.  This week was a mixture of images but it was mostly about light starting with the light in the Cathedral at the end of the day.  The stained glass is fascinating – the original images in the stained glass were destroyed by Cromwell and his cronies many many many years ago (I think they threw coffins through the windows).  The glass was collected and the windows rebuilt but not in any discernible pattern.  It’s the most beautiful hodge podge of glass to look at and every time I’m there I spot something different.  Image wise, I couldn’t decide between the majesty of the large window or focussing in on the shards.  I think the full scale of it is pretty impressive.

Then you have the vaulted roof and you can imagine being in there once the sunlight streaming through the windows has gone for the evening and the whole place lit by huge chandeliers of candles.

This was followed by some signs of spring including a daffodil, one of the local swans and a field of snowdrops from Welford Park.

For those of you who like GBBO, Welford Park is a private house which is home to the famous tent for part of the year.  In spring however, they have a Snowdrop Wood which you can visit and wander round.  It’s quite spectacular seeing quite so many snowdrops all at once and I’d recommend a visit next year.

Finally this week we have a wonderful birthday cake made by the youngest stepson for the eldest stepson (it was delicious and did not last very long) and some lovely flowers.

A good week for photos!

2016 Photo a Day Week 5.

This week we had some sunshine.  It’s been wonderful.  The flowers are also starting to come out which makes me think spring might be just around the corner.  I’m not sure it should be like that so early in February but it’s a lovely hopeful sign for me.

First up are the snowdrops, delicate and pretty.  I love seeing them peek through the snow but there’s definitely no snow to be had in the South of England this year so far.

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Then there’s the narcissi in the pots outside the front of the house.

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And as I didn’t believe there would be sun, some cheerful flowers in the house too.

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There were also scenic shots from when out and about on dog walks.

The first was actually of a camouflaged digger (can you spot it?) doing some remedial works on the river bank.  They’ve been re-building reed beds as well … the ducks like it but I think they’ve scared off the kingfisher as I’ve not seen him in a few weeks.

I’m enjoying watching the nearly adult swans lose their grey plumage and turn white.  They’re still watched over by a parent nearly all the time as well.

Then it was just the blue blue sky but I felt it was cheating taking a completely blue photo so included some trees as well.

Last but not least this weekend is a shawl that’s only taken about 18 months to complete … it should have taken about 18 days it was such a lovely quick knit.  Ah well … at least it’s done and the intended recipient can have it one winter late.

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Jamie January

The year my husband and I were married, we had a bit of a fun cooking challenge – one new recipe a week for the year.  We got through to about the end of September before running out of steam and some of the recipes we found we still use today.   I’d been feeling in a bit of a rut again cooking wise so felt like bringing back the challenge in a reduced format.  Two new recipes per month.

Why am I writing about this?  Well, it keeps me sane while the little one sleeps!

For January, purely by chance I ended up cooking two Jamie Oliver fish recipes.

First up – there are no photos as frankly it looked a bit of a mess but it was …. from the 30 minute meals cook book and was Sticky Pan-Fried Sallops with Sweet Chilli Rice and Dressed Greens.  Now with these 30 minute meals, I always allow myself at least an hour as I don’t know how you can cook everything in 30 minutes and I am not the sort of person who prepares everything before cooking.

The scallops were easy enough – hot pan, lob in the scallops, turn them when golden and add chilli, garlic, lemon, honey and butter then finish cooking.  The one miss here was too much liquid so it didn’t go quite sticky enough but oh they tasted good.

The rice was a bit weird, you part cook it then add a mix of egg, soy sauce, sesame oil and olive oil then keep cooking.  At the end you add some corriander and sweet chilli sauce.  It tasted lovely but looked seriously like a dogs dinner.

Will we cook it again – actually yes but need to think a little on the presentation.

Next up was Jamie’s Salmon En Croute from the magazine.  Note – food photographer I am not!  It was surprisingly good and easy to follow if a bit lemony.  I’m not quite sure it needs the zest and juice of a whole lemon and wouldn’t use that much when cooking it again. We did go off piste a little in that I completely forgot the parsley (it’s still in the fridge), we couldn’t get baby leaf watercress so I used a mixed bag of it and something else and didn’t bother with the watercress sauce at all but overall it did work.

I was debating two recipes from the Fishy Fishy cook book for a Fishy february but maybe I’ll try something else….

2016 Photo a Day Week 4

It’s the end of January already … I cannot believe it.  A short week photographically as I’m only choosing 5 images and a short post as it’s Thursday already and I really need to get up and ready for the day.  I did take photographs every day but on two days, they didn’t work out so they will stay unshared.

Anyway, lets start the week with a night scape.  We had clear skies, unfortunately no Aurora that night but still, it was good to nip out and capture a few shots.  It’s amazing using infinity focus, how many you can still get out of focus!

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This is followed by sunshine after the rain.  It had been seriously tipping it down and then there was a break in the clouds and it was just lovely looking over to Cairngorm.

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The next two shots are actually car photography … I just liked them.

And last but not least, some shallots.  More on that in a separate post.

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