Tillie

Another finished object! Photo taken with my phone’s secondary camera, so I could see myself while I was taking the self-portrait! As you can see the quality’s not quite so good as the main camera. And it’s the only chance I get to use it – I don’t think my network supports video calling.

27042008037

Vitamin D

Yesterday the sun shone on London town. It was by far the warmest day we’ve had all year. Dan is down from Warrington for the weekend, so I decided to take him to Greenwich. I hadn’t been there either so we both got to play tourist. It was so lovely being out in the sun and warmth!

PICT9127

PICT9130

Dan went a little bit pink, but my spf 15 moisturiser did the trick. And the Vitamin D is all good.

Panorama 1

We walked up to the observatory and saw the Greenwich Meridian. Then we had a wander through the park and markets, back to the Thames where we caught a boat to Tower Bridge.

Dan is an engineer so was very interested in the inner workings of the bridge mechanism. The bridge used to be raised and lowered through a steam driven hydraulic motor, but now electricity does the trick and the old engine room is open to the public. We also saw them raising and lowering the bridge twice for a ship to go through.

025

Then last night we went to see Fat Freddy’s Drop at the Hammersmith Apollo (which my parents still call the Hammersmith Odeon). There were Kiwis as far as the eye could see! We bumped into our friends the Greens (who you may recall from the Waitangi Day Pub Crawl) – my friend Claire was there, and her boyfriend Greg who just happens to work with Dan – it was a real Christchurch/London moment. Not to mention the ever-lovely Kat and Lizzie.

The show was sold out and apparently the scalpers were doing a roaring trade. Inside, the place was packed with seating upstairs and standing down. I estimated there were about 5000 people there, and Wikipedia confirms that is how many people the venue holds in that configuration (a point which I must remember to smugly point out to Dan). Some definite Kiwi pride happening!

031

029

028

Thanks for visiting, Dan!

More busy times lie ahead… stay tuned for more trips away and more visitors!

book meme

(this is really to remind myself of what I still have to read!)

What we have here is the top 106 books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you’ve read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish.

Here’s the twist: add (*) beside the ones you liked and would (or did) read again or recommend. Even if you read ’em for school in the first place.

Continue reading

Spanish Harlem Orchestra

The last time I saw these guys was nearly a year ago in New York. Tonight I saw them again at the Jazz Cafe in Camden. They were just as good as I remembered them!

These photos were all taken with my phone, which is handy when I don’t feel like carrying my camera. I’m quite impressed by the quality.

25042008029

25042008027

25042008023

25042008028

Challenge time!

My workplace is encouraging us to take part in a walking initiative run by www.walkingworks.co.uk.  I now have a free pedometer and a chart on which I have to report the number of steps I take every day for the next four weeks!  I’ve wanted a pedometer for a while because I’m really interested to know how many steps I do.  Some days my only walking consists of walking to and from the tube station.  Other days I have dancing or I’m walking all over London.  Stay tuned for my results…

A couple of days ago it was Walk to Work Day.  I didn’t do it but I did look up on www.walkit.com exactly how long it would take me to walk to work.  The result – about three hours!  Three times as long as it takes on the tube.  No thanks!

The Walking Works site also has a link to a brilliant site that I haven’t heard of before, Hassleme: “Tell us what to hassle you about, and we’ll nag you via email at semi-unpredictable intervals.”  I am seeing all kinds of applications for this.  Mind you, my life is already ruled by Outlook tasks, my time recording software and my smartphone (yeah, and a computer that fits in your pocket seemed like such a good idea ten years ago…).  The built-in GPS should come in handy for the walking though!

Tyne Cot

053

056

049

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918 )
Canadian Army

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

054

Best muffins ever

Last week I had some leftover raspberries and some belgian white chocolate, so I made some muffins! I wish I could tell you the recipe but I never use a recipe any more. I beat an egg, add some oil (NEVER canola, its strong and quite horrible flavour is no good for baking or quite frankly anything else. My favourites are sunflower or grapeseed, and both are quite good for you. Then I add a bit of milk, some sugar if I’m making sweet muffins, and finally enough flour to make it a nice battery consistency. Now here is the key to making successful muffins: do not overmix! You should mix it just enough to dampen the flour. Don’t leave it sitting around on the bench either, get it straight in the oven.

If you’re making fruit muffins, now is when you add your fruit. Savoury, add your vegetables, herbs and at least a cup of cheese. Bake them in the oven at about 200 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. Don’t open the door while they’re cooking or they will sink! When they look done, press the tops – if they spring back they are cooked.

Eat! Muffins taste best fresh from the oven.

004