Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Inevitable

I came across this wine the other day. A wine with my name on it! What could I do, I ask you. I had to buy a case of it. Fortunately, it's delicious.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Charming and delightful

I've just watched "Begin again", a modest and unpretentious little movie with a big feel good factor. Mark Ruffalo has always been a favourite of mine and here he epitomises rumpled charm. Plus he has great hair. Kiera Knightley is beautiful (and thin) as ever and thankfully goes for wholesome rather than glamorous, and even the obnoxious James Corden gives an endearing performance. The dialogue is sharp and witty and the music is great. I loved it!


I was given this lovely outdoor pottery bowl for the garden yesterday.  I like the way the glaze shimmers and shines.

This stunning red lily is blooming at the moment:

Another picture of the wild poppies in the herb garden, suffering somewhat from being blown to bits by the wind. That's the bee bath in the background.



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Poppies!

Unexpected poppies! I've just come back from a few days up north, and I always like to check on the garden when I've been away. These gorgeous self-seeded poppies have sprung up in the vegetable patch. What a beautiful splash of pink among the green.






Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Literary larfs

I am a person who loves to read, and I read a lot of book blogs and review sites. One of my favourites is Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and it is the smart bitches I have to thank for alerting me to my latest favourite timewaster, Literary Starbucks, a Tumblr run by three students from Carleton College in Minnesota, USA.  This is hilarious. According to their "About" page,
 This page is run by two English majors and one History major who have WAY too much time on their hands. One day we thought, what would all of history’s famous authors and characters order if they lived in modern times and went to Starbucks?
The rest is history.

Give it a look! I loved the George R.R. Martin one, and the Wordsworth one is pretty funny too. The Tolstoy entry reminded me of this scene from the IT Crowd.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Curses!

The arthritis in my hands has been bad today, particularly my left hand. I've completely lost my grip which means I haven't been able to hold my knife and fork to eat, quel horreur! Well, I can hold my knife, but not my fork, which means I have had to eat my lunch the way they do in the movies, holding the fork in my right hand.

I decided a little wine would help with the pain so I hurried off to the supermarket and came back with what I thought was a bottle of pinot noir, only to find on closer inspection that it is what they call "low alcohol"! Who knew there was such a thing? I feel cheated!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Bee friendly



This little video gives a serious message in a seriously cute way.

I'm doing my best to make the garden bee-friendly. No pesticides, and I've planted lavender, rosemary and other plants like borage that bees love. It seems to be working, I noticed quite a few bees buzzing in and out of the lavender yesterday. I've made a bee bath out of an old shallow dish which I filled with marbles and water, so they'll have somewhere to drink during the summer. I bought the marbles in the local $2 shop, the shop assistant raised her eyebrows when a grey-haired granny bought up their entire stock. Small stones would probably make a better landing pad for the bees but I like the way the marbles look. I'll see how it works out.

My bee waterer looks a bit like the one here at this link.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Life's little joys

I was going to call this post "Guilty Pleasures" but decided that was wrong, because I am not guilty at all about any of these little pleasures.


Nairn's ginger biscuits. Especially when eaten with a slice of blue cheese, preferably Kapiti Kikorangi. And maybe a few slices of tart apple, like a Granny Smith or Cox's orange.

Magnums
Not champagne, alas, but icecream on a stick. Preferably the classic vanilla with dark chocolate, though the caramel is good too. I suppose this is something of a guilty pleasure, in that I shouldn't really be eating them, but now and again I can't resist buying myself one of these. Sometimes when I have the right sort of guest I will even serve them for dessert. I was amused to read in an interview that even the great Michel Roux Senior indulges these treats. Two at a time. When asked if he had a guilty food pleasure, he replied "A Magnum ice cream. Each time I stop for petrol, if nobody recognizes me, I buy not one but two. The first I gobble, the second I enjoy. Has to be dark chocolate and vanilla!" (I bet Michel Roux Jnr wouldn't eat commercial icecream, though. He seems like such a purist.)

My Kindle: 
Some people are a tad snobbish about ereaders, as if somehow paper books (or "real books" as they call them) are more worthy and ebooks are a bit naff.  I prefer traditional paper for non-fiction, but for fiction I love my Kindle. Love it. I read and buy far more fiction than I used to before I had my ereader. My Kindle goes everywhere I go.  

Telly:
My name is Judith and I am a telly addict.  I even watch telly during the day, too, if I feel like it, something which scandalises some of my friends who think it is somehow sinful to "waste" the daylight. With MySky I can record what I want to watch and watch it when it suits me, fast-forwarding through the ads and boring bits. As a rule I hate so-called reality television but I never miss "Project Runway", which is nuts because I have absolutely no interest in fashion. (Runway just hasn't been the same since Michael Kors left.) Another thing I never miss is Andrew Collins' weekly online Guardian video "Telly Addict", where he reviews what he has been watching during the week.  Most of the programmes he talks about aren't available here, but some are and Andrew's commentary is always interesting.  Link here.

I could go on.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Stunning

I found this on Facebook, as you can plainly see. Once again I stumble on internet sensations long after everybody else. Never mind, this is just too beautiful not to share. One of my favourite songs, ever.


Post by BBC Three.


If, like me, you don't recognise a lot of these talented people, there is a handy guide to who's who here on Buzzfeed.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fudge

This isn't my fudge, this is the picture that accompanies the recipe (link in the text.) Mine turned out
exactly like this, only not so neat (which is why I didn't photograph it.)
I was puttering about in the kitchen and found a bag of raw cacao powder in the back of the pantry. I don't know how long it had been there, I certainly don't remember buying it. I decided I had better use it up as it was getting close to its "use by" date and found a suitable recipe on Eleanor Ozich's website petite-kitchen.com, which has some interesting recipes though they are mostly a bit too "healthy" for me. I followed the recipe more or less exactly: just mixing together a cup each of cacao powder and coconut oil, half a cup of honey, and a splash of vanilla and a pinch of sea salt. Bunged it in the freezer for 20 minutes and voila! Sweet deliciousness, and easy and quick. Perfect when you need a chocolate hit. "One piece is enough" says Eleanor. She lies. One piece is not enough. Five pieces were not enough. Now I feel sick.