Wednesday, July 30, 2008

'She's like a fox - she kills for fun.'

The title of this evening's post is brought to you by the novel I was reading in the cafeteria at lunch today. Sometimes I take my tuna sandwich and my book and eat there all 'Norman no mates' because I think it's only right to leave the desk at mid-day.

Feels like Friday night ce soir. After work I did some errands and got some groceries on the way home and then prepped dinner and made it to BodyBalance so came home feeling all chillaxed, as though all is right with the world. We watched a dvd while drinking tea and I rediscovered my love for cutting felt, all crafty like.

It's been raining a lot this week, but I've been unusually zen about it. We were treated to the most amazing, gorgeous day on the north coast last Saturday and ever since I've been okay with the rain. I think getting a healthy dose of Vitamin D reminded me that sometimes it's a good idea to stop worrying about things and just live a little. Anyway, as long as I'm in the right state of mind, I actually love hearing the rain coming down in the early morning through the open window - a feeling inevitably and tragically spoiled by the dreaded alarm clock.

So here's what put me in such a good mood (for a change) . . .

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Saskatchewan summer

While browsing an old friend's random pics on Facebook, I was delighted to come across these two snaps. Taken in 1994 and 1995 respectively, they are truly the stuff memories are made of. The first pic is on a Pioneer Saskatchewan Camps canoe trip where we giddily decided to give ourselves 'mud baths' on the banks for the North Saskatchewan (don't ask why - we were 14!) The second picture, also on a Pioneer trip (but of course), we had just finished swimming in rapids in the Churchill and I can still vividly recall that exhilarating feeling, evidenced in our smiles! The best part? I still count those lovely faces as dear friends.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Denial is a river in Egypt

I ask you, how could nine whole non-work days have managed to zoom by so quickly? I demand a recount . . .

So we're home from Sligo after a great (very busy) week away. Stu and I were well and truly wrecked (read tired) when we got home on Friday evening but a fairly restful weekend has managed to remedy that for the most part. Skillfully ignoring the laundry and housework, I spent yesterday afternoon trolling the sales trying on many a little black dress for the Ninnygoat's October boda. Happily I found one in Monsoon that I love love love (and it was reduced - even better!) so that's fun.

Am planning an early-ish night tonight in the hope of being all bright-eyed for work (not likely) as the scintillating task of culling emails after being off awaits. Come to think of it, peppermint tea and a chapter of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets might also be in order . . . Par-tay.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cha Ching

Greetings from Sligo! The sun is shining this afternoon for nearly the first time all week, but the even the drizzle hasn't stopped us from having a great time with our fellow New Winos . . .

Heard a really interesting and inspiring presentation yesterday from an amazing organisation called Christians Against Poverty. CAP has 72 debt counseling centres in local churches across the UK. They have provided high quality, in-depth debt counseling to over 17,000 people since starting eleven years ago. CAP stands between the debtor and the person in debt and develops re-payment plans to help most clients become debt free within five years! I was glad to hear that the UK has quite robust laws to protect an adequate level of living costs from creditors (the only problem being that most people who are being harassed by lenders don't know about them!)

It's intriguing (but not really surprising) to think that the service has been so well-used over the past decade which has been one of the most prosperous in the UK. How much more relevant will this charity be in our current credit crunch?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

When there is nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire

Must give proper credit for my post title today - it is just the best line from a Stars song. Heard it on Dermot this afternoon and was struck by blogspiration . . .

While flames crackled across Belfast (including, I would furiously note at the Woodstock Road Library - sorry B!) we were thankfully oblivious. The lovely Stu had booked us into the Culloden for a getaway which included a most scrumptious dinner at the Bay Tree - long renowned for their cinnamon scones, it is now my new favourite place for an evening meal . . . After such a chilled evening, not even the discovery of melted pavement bearing witness to a fire for a bit of craic on our very street(!) when we arrived home could distrub my zen-like headspace (okay, well, if you know me at all you'll know that's not true!)

We are getting ourselves organised tonight to head to Sligo for the week to volunteer at a Church of Ireland conference. Randomly our living room is currently well stocked with some serious candy for the conference tuck shop! Many a lovely folk from Willowfield are heading down, so we're looking forward to a fun week with its fair share of madness and late nights.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Oh Happy Day

Stu and I got married five years ago today! This is a very short note as I'm dashing out the door to work (last morning before a week off - hurrah!) but wanted to post a pic on this special day to commemorate half a decade together (and yes, typing that is making me feel old!)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Me likey

I have a bit of a short attention span. No sooner am I two sleeves into a project than I spot the next must have (hmmm - the language of addiction ringing any bells?) Knitty is such a great (Canadian!) resource for free funky patterns. So anyway, who wouldn't agree that the Shetland Shorty is really gorgeous? I even have some purple cotton yarn I got on Freecycle (three cheers!) that would do the job I'm thinkin'. It would be perfect for summer so I'd better get going if I'm to wear it this season . . . drool.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

You are my sunshine

Here's a post about a few totally unrelated things that I've been diggin' lately. And, these days when it seems to rain most of the time, I'll take a little sunshine where ever I can get it . . .

Last week I finished reading The Rose of Sebastopol by Katharine McMahon. (Yes, even though Richard and Judy make me cringe something fierce I read their book picks - so sue me!) It took me a little while to get into, but once I got to know the characters I really enjoyed this book. I like historical fiction and this story is set during the Crimean War in the mid nineteenth century and features the story of the war's nurses including Florence Nightengale, about which I previously knew nothing. Now I know something so that's good. And there's a bit of romance too which I like.

Incidentally, if you've got a bit of time on your hands during one of these rainy nights in, get yourself on Iplayer (by the way, I absolutely love Iplayer - it is the future) and watch a little Mary Queen of Shops. It's like Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares for the clothing industry (and without Gordon's sexy voice over - aww.) Slightly sad and painful to watch sometimes (as in, what were they thinking?) but compelling TV. Mary's cool too.

And finally, true to my word we've been Rebar-ing (is that a word?) Maybe not every day in July so far, but quite a lot. The other night I made this truly amazing chickpea cashew Indian spiced hummous - fragrant and delicate (can I describe it that way without sounding totally annoying? Probably not.)

Bombay Hummous from Rebar
1/4 c canola oil
1 ince piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (Incidentally, I am totally into ginger in a jar and garlic in a tube these days - very handy.)
1 540 ml can chick peas
1/4 c cashews, roasted
juice of 1 lime
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
pinch turmeric
pinch cinnamon
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp chopped mint

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor, and pulse to blend. Blend to a rough puree and season to taste. Get yerself some carrots, get dippin' and wait for the clouds to clear x

Saturday, July 5, 2008

What's goin' on . . .

We saw Smart People at the cinema earlier this week. It was really good - quite like The Squid and the Whale I suppose (which I also liked.) Dennis Quaid and Sarah Jessica Parker were good, but I know I am not alone in love love loving Ellen Page and of course Thomas Haden Church who is just wonderful. The whole movie night outing coupled with a trip to the amazing Boojum (drool!) was arranged by the lovely Stu in an effort to console me after having to say goodbye to C and R at the airport. I'm so not a fan of the goodbyes (but then, who is really?) Few too many of them in my life for my liking!

Today I marketed which was good - continuing to have really good reaction to the wonder that is Knitwear Deli :) and sold quite a few knit kits which was fun. There's really no predicting what will sell and if things will be busy or not, but it's always interesting to see how the day unfolds. The only downside really is having to get up at bloody half six on a Saturday morning - I was especially unimpressed as it was absolutely chucking it down (an apt expression in this case!)

While at the market I bought some coriander/cilantro and basil plants to keep my rosemary plant from R company! Have to say, I am thrilled to bits at the idea of having herbs out my front door. (Here's hoping the neighbourhood lovelies don't see fit to abscond with my planters.)

Tonight we are chilling which suits me just fine. I am drinking wine and listening to Duffy which I just bought with the help of Itunes. I also, but the power of text, got dear Beth to buy me a pair of to die for Camper shoes at the shop in Dublin. Amazing how proficiently I can spend money without even leaving my living room! Genius.