Monday, 31 January 2011 is 5pm, right?

Once, at primary school, I somehow got a bit confused and ended up wandering out of the classroom at about 2pm and fetching my bag and putting on my coat and generally acting like it was home time. I then suddenly realised it wasn't home time, and had to take my coat off and try to sneak back into the classroom without anyone asking me where I'd been.

I felt a bit like that when I left work today and it wasn't remotely dark. I actually checked my watch to make sure it was five o'clock!

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Balloon animals on the Tube!

So we got on the Central line to head off to Notting Hill for Pete's belated birthday/not belated leaving work drinks. And someone had attached balloon animals to all of the Tube carriages!

Friday, 28 January 2011

Mini treats and mega lentils...

At work, we have a steady stream of people coming to do work experience. We especially like the ones who take note of the fact that we're all obsessed with biscuits and cakes and bring us treats on their last day. So thank you to Lauren for our gorgeous selection of miniature things - we had mini bakewell tarts, mini lemon meringue pies and mini banoffee pies! And they all disappeared by 4pm.

After all that indulgence (I'm telling myself that four - yes, four - mini pies equal one ordinary Mr Kipling bakewell...) I definitely needed something virtuously healthy for dinner. My friend Leonie went to Zanzibar a few months ago and she gave me a bag of incredible spices for my birthday. I'm not sure what's in the spice blend but I can definitely smell cinnamon, cumin and something like cloves or star anise. The label on the bag advised making a spiced rice dish, but I decided to use lentils. It was ridiculously simple - I just fried some onions, added garlic and the spices and carried on frying everything for a bit, and then added a tin of green lentils and about half a cup of water. After it had bubbled away for a few minutes I chucked in loads of baby spinach and I let it cook while I pan-fried a salmon fillet. Strangely enough I'd never pan-fried fish before - I'd always been worried about making the whole flat smell fishy - but I lit a scented candle and went for it, and I'm so glad I did! I love those crispy golden bits of salmon. It was one of the nicest things I've made in ages, and something I'll definitely add to the 'food to cook for guests' list!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Adventures in 35mm photography...

I finally got round to having the first film from my Nikon SLR developed! It was only a 24-exposure one, and I just used it to play around and have a go with the camera, so I mainly took photos of trees. But I'm quite pleased with some of them!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

More DIY...

Last weekend, this chest of drawers arrived. Supposedly only needing 'minimal assembly', it was actually totally flat-packed and I had to put it all together myself! I think I did a fairly good job, though - and it's made my bedroom look so much tidier!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

A glimmer of hope...

It wasn't totally pitch black when I left work! Come on, it's January - I'll take whatever I can get!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Hell yeah...

A new personal best! We've been trying to run a 1:10 for WEEKS (our previous PB was 1:12) and we finally did it! Nine-and-a-half-minute miles!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Blue Monday...

Apparently, today is the most depressing day of the year. The theory is that pay day is still a long way off (thankfully I get paid at the end of the week, but it still can't come soon enough!) and everyone's broken their New Year's resolutions.

But it's OK, because I've just eaten a piece of toast topped with peanut butter and sliced banana and grilled until the banana just started to go brown around the edges. Depressed? Not me!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

La Soirée...

My friend Leonie had a birthday, and she decided that rather than going to the pub, she'd round up a gang of people to go and see La Soirée on the South Bank. And it was fantastic! It's an incredible mix of circus, burlesque, cabaret...all sorts! If you can, go and see it before its run in the South Bank's Big Top finishes!

A new look for a new year...

You might have noticed that I've changed my blog background! I loved the old one, but the excellent, where my background and 'Welcome' button comes from, changed their server and everyone had to update the codes for the pretty things on their blogs. Unfortunately I couldn't find the old background on their website, but I actually think this one might be even nicer! It's a little bit springlike, which I think is good for these dark January days.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

A most excellent Christmas present...

My sister got me one of these for Christmas:

It's a cook's measure and it's so clever - all around the inside there are different markings for different wet and dry ingredients, and you just pour your chosen ingredient in until it comes up to the corresponding level. So, for example, I wanted 50g of risotto rice:

Brilliant, eh? I then made the most fantastic risotto - actually, it was less of a risotto and more of a ton of green veg with a bit of risotto mixed in. I used curly kale and grated courgette, with a bit of nutmeg and a lot of black pepper stirred through at the end along with a little bit of extra-light Philly for extra creaminess. And I had to put a poached egg on top, didn't I!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Sunday, 9 January 2011


Sometimes, I'll spot a recipe online or in a magazine, and I'll want to make it straight away. That happened today, with this lovely tomato and chickpea soup with rosemary on The Taste Space. I saw it, I thought 'I've got tomatoes and chickpeas and rosemary' and half an hour later I had soup! It tastes gorgeous - half the chickpeas are cooked with the tomatoes and stock and then liquidised to thicken the soup, and the rest of the chickpeas go in whole. Yum! I love having soup for lunch so these little pots will be coming to work with me next week!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

One year on...

Yep, this blog is a whole year old! I didn't quite manage 365 photos in 365 days for Project 365, but it's been a fab introduction to the world of blogging and a really fun way of recording the things that happen in my life.

Today's photo has nothing to do with my blogiversary, however - it's just a nice view I spotted while out and about!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Cough, sniff, sneeze...repeat until seriously annoyed...

This has been my survival kit over the last few days. I'm starting 2011 with a cold. Lovely. I wimped out of running last night because I couldn't breathe, but I'm hoping that a combination of soup, hot Ribena, drugs and an early night will have me fit enough to go for a run tomorrow evening!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011


Yes, it's a lamp. No, I didn't make it myself! But I did get back after Christmas to find that it wasn't working. I changed the bulb, but nope, still nothing. I, of course, immediately went into 'Oh great, it's buggered! How am I going to get rid of a massive floor lamp? How am I going to cart another one home?' mode, but my mum suggested checking to see whether the plug had a fuse. It did! So I went and bought a pack of fuses, and (with a little help from Dad on the phone) I changed the fuse and hoorah, the lamp works!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year!

Hope everyone had a fabulous New Year's Eve and that you'll all have a wonderful 2011.

I'll be back soon with all my photos from the last couple of weeks!
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