Saturday, 30 July 2011

Manchester Wedding

On Saturday we attended the wedding of my old housemate and university chum Claire, she married her long time partner Justin at Manchester town hall with a reception at the Radisson Edwardian on Peter Street. It was a blisteringly hot day with blue skies and there was a festive air about town with the Jazz festival and Comic-Con taking place in Albert Square and at the G-Mex respectively.

Stunning Town hall

Pillars, busts and arches

The bride and groom

Claire with her bridesmaids Alison and Wendy

A Brompton quartet - Bec, Claire, Wendy and Maz

After a long reception and three course lunch I was dead on my feet and so we finally called it a day around 6.30pm and headed to the air conditioned sanctuary of our room at the Radisson.

We had fabulous showers in our wet room/bathroom, snuggled up in the complimentary robes and ordered room service whilst watching the skies darken over Beetham tower. A blissful combination of wedding and relaxing hotel stay, and probably our last 'treat' before little b is born.

The following morning we had a lovely cooked breakfast in the Alto and got to chat with Claire and Justin before they went off on their honeymoon to Italy. Then we were collected from the door by G who had also, ever so kindly, kitty-sat and brought us over to Manchester on the Saturday morning *Thankyou Scrib*

Friday, 29 July 2011

For my best friend and his Mom


Scrib, I love you and am thinking of you today and always.

Mrs G, thank you for giving me this wonderful man,
who I am so proud to call my best friend.
I only wish I had met you in this life,
but I know you are there waiting for us with my Mum and Dad in the next.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Lemony Snickett

Or Lemon drizzle cake to be more precise.....



INGREDIENTS
225g unsalted butter , softened
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
finely grated zest 1 lemon
225g self-raising flour

FOR THE DRIZZLE TOPPING
juice 1 1/2 lemon
85g caster sugar

Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy, then add the eggs, one at a time, slowly mixing through. Sift in the flour, then add the lemon zest and mix until well combined. Line a loaf tin (8 x 21cm) with greaseproof paper, then spoon in the mixture and level the top with a spoon.
Bake for 45-50 mins until a thin skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. While the cake is cooling in its tin, mix together the lemon juice and sugar to make the drizzle. Prick the warm cake all over with a skewer or fork, then pour over the drizzle - the juice will sink in and the sugar will form a lovely, crisp topping. Leave in the tin until completely cool, then remove and serve. Will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Visit from Mrs P

My oldest friend Ellie brought her Mum over to see us today. Mrs P has sadly been battling cancer since last autumn and after a 3 month remission earlier this year is once again undergoing chemo. Not that she lets this stop her for one minute and I have never met such an inspirational and feisty lady. Knowing how much I have been missing Mum of late she made it her mission to visit and I am so grateful for the effort she made.


Keep on keeping on you remarkable lady.xxxx

Sunday, 24 July 2011

How I wish you were here...

Dearest Mum and Dad,


I do so miss you.xxx

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Friday, 22 July 2011

Tap Cat



Jasper...I love my sink

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Favourite TV tonight...



BBC2 Thursdays...Love them.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

GTT

I had my glucose tolerance test this morning. Euughh. Having fasted for 12 hours I had blood taken and then had to drink a large medicine bottle full of a clear syrupy drink. I believe they call it glucola, though it tastes sod all like coke. If I had to describe it then I would say it was like flat, thick, lemonade with the aftertang of something very synthetic and dodgy. I got it down as quickly as possible but had to fight damn hard to keep it there. I haven't felt that sick since the first trimester. It also made me hot and fuzzy and my poor metabolism must have been wondering what the bloody hell had hit it. Thankfully, the nurse let us go home - being that we live nearby and because I promised to sit and do nothing (I'm really good at that). So I had two hours listening to Cabin Pressure clutching my sick bowl and half dozing with the window open and blowing very welcome fresh air in my face. Jon whisked me back just in time for the second blood test and nursey was mercifully swift as I sat there swaying slightly. Finally, we had some food, and, even more important, a big mug of tea :)


Monday, 18 July 2011

Twenty Five

weeks today...which feels very much like a wonderful milestone. By way of statistics this means that little b is now around 35cm in length from head to toe and weighs about a pound and a half.

This also means that there are only fifteen weeks to go....(!)

As with the wedding last year, I suspect that when we reach the 100 days left point - which will be on Saturday, that it will probably fly by. I feel quite calm about what's to come in terms of the planning, though we do have almost everything still to buy and a nursery to paint, I think everything is in hand. All the lists are made and the dreaded spreadsheets are in order, so it's just a case of buying the necessary and the chaps getting out their paintbrushes and ladders :)

Today has also been a day for thinking of others and especially my best friend who had some terribly sad news. As is always the way in these situations I wish I could have done so much more, but I feel glad that if nothing else I got to give him a hug and tell him I love him.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Baking day

We had a busy and productive Sunday afternoon and had a good old fashioned baking session...

Chocolate Muffins

Banana Bread

Pumpkin seed and Apricot Flapjack

Waterwheel chocolate loaf

Focaccia

Graham's new loaf(!)

Let sleeping Boo lie

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Thursday, Crumby Thursday

The tragic tale of the disappearing bread
A story in four acts...by G.

You never think it will happen to you. It's something that happens to "other people". You come home to your bread, it's just a normal care free day...

You slice up your bread, just like any other day. Except... something's different today. You can't quite put your finger on it, maybe it's the paper cut on your thumb, maybe it's that there's nothing to put back in the cupboard. Oblivious to what this really means, you shrug your shoulders and carry on.

You load up each slice with all the good stuff you can find in the fridge. They deserve the best, after all. You still can't shift this uneasy feeling that something's wrong, but you blame it on coffee jitters from the 4 cups you had before leaving work. Besides, there's sandwiches to take care of, time to tuck in :)

It hits you like a ton of dough as you take the last bite... It's gone. It's all gone. But... but... This can't be. It's too soon. A sudden dizziness overcomes you and you stumble against the worktop and slide to the floor. How can this be? Why me? Why now? And then you realise there's only one person you can tell, only one person that will understand, only one person that can help. You fumble your phone out of your pocket, and with shaking hands you email your best friend to share with her the tragedy that has darkened your home today. Your favourite bread is gone.


:)

***This is what happens when you make your best friend a loaf of bread***

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Baby Jon

See my dungarees....

My dearest husband trying out an outfit we got for little b in the pumpkin patch sale.... (!)

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The humble egg

I love it.
Am having one hard boiled every day for my lunch.
I used to HATE them.
pregnancy
is
weird.

Monday, 11 July 2011

V Day and pants

Today is my V day, I know, I had no idea what this meant before either, but apparently It means that as I am 24 weeks pregnant today, little b is now 'viable' - which broadly speaking, means that if (please god this doesn't happen) he was to make an early arrival - he would have a good chance of surviving. I do find it a slightly odd thing to 'celebrate' but as with every monday when I start a new week - I am glad to have reached another milestone along the journey.

By way of doing a little cloth research and just generally looking at lots of gorgeous fluff, I found myself on the wonderful cheeks and cherries website...

and fell in love with this gorgeous swim nappy. I'm so looking forward to taking little b for a dip and it's only fair that he have some kick ass pants to wear :)

Friday, 8 July 2011

Jasper, Boo.........and Hercule(!)


I took these two photographs of our lovely boys today while they were playing/washing on the bed. they're not the best quality as were just snapped quickly with my phone, but you get the idea(!) They do this wash-fight-cuddle thing which I must try and video sometime as it is incredibly cute and funny, it basically consists of wrapping paws around the others neck and licking each other into submission, generally to try and get the other one to move so they can have the whole space to themselves :) - at first glance it looks like they are being incredibly sweet and loving and then you realise it is all a ruse!!

In other news, the weather here has been the strangest I have known. We have had 3 consecutive days of distant thunder, rainstorms and hail, all punctuated by perfectly normal average sun/cloud, then the skies darken suddenly and all hell pelts down upon us. In order to offset this inclemency I have been listening to Hercule Poirot audiobooks, latterly 'Evil under the Sun' which paints such an incredible picture of an English summer on the Devonshire coast and it's cornflower blue sea.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Alien on board



FANTASTIC!
We have just watched this. Loved it and it made us laugh lots.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Holiday collage


I made this for my desktop so that I am reminded of our lovely hols every time I open the netbook. Such blissful relaxation, sunshine and blue skies, I will ever remember.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The Waterwheel

This wonderful guesthouse is where I have just spent two blissful nights with my husband. I found The Waterwheel on trip advisor and thought it seemed perfect as our Ambleside base for our mini babymoon and much needed break. We weren't disappointed.
The house itself is beautiful. A perfect combination of cottage chic and antique charm with all the modern touches you could wish for. It is situated in the centre of Ambleside, yet tucked away down a small ginnel. This means you get the best of both worlds - proximity of everything you could wish for in the town and yet peace perfect peace. The only noise comes from the glorious sound of the rolling millstream that The Waterwheel overlooks.
Our room, Stockghyll, was beautifully decorated with william morris prints, brass bed and a victorian style bathroom suite including a ball and claw bath and thunderbox toilet. Gorgeous extras included complimentary organic toiletries in the bathroom and by way of refreshments, sachets of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cookies, kendal mint cake and a lovely splash of port in the cut glass decanter. Additionally, on the evening of our first day we returned to find a beautiful package of home made squidgy chocolate cake on the bed - perfect to nibble with a cup of tea and just typical of the extra mile the owners go to. Whilst on the subject of food, we had two impeccable cooked breakfasts including locally sourced sausage and bacon, egg, beans, mushrooms and tomato, and a delicious fried slice; accompanied of course by individual pots of tea and coffee and glorious thick cut toast. Prior to our cooked breakfast bonanza we were lucky enough to have yoghurt and home made raspberry compote - the latter, made by the owners the day before from locally picked fruit.
And what of the owners? Julie and Nigel compliment their beautiful guesthouse perfectly. They are both welcoming, friendly and we enjoyed chatting with them enormously. They manage to tread the line between being incredibly warm and engaging without being in the least bit overbearing or intrusive, which is exactly what you want as a guest.
In conclusion, I could not recommend the waterwheel more highly and I urge you to try this hidden gem with it's wonderful hosts while you can, because once it's secret is out I have no doubt that rooms will be booked up months in advance.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Blessed are the cheesemakers...

Brought these beauties back from Booths in Windermere...


All suitable in pregnancy and not a gooey brie or a mouldy blue stinker in site(!)

Friday, 1 July 2011

The Swan at Newby Bridge

When we left Lakeside we called into the very beautiful Swan at Newby Bridge, this incredible hotel used to be Mum and Dad's special place. Somewhere to have a little break and get away from everything. I can see now why they loved it so much.

We ordered sandwiches (beef with parmesan and pesto/chicken with lemon and tarragon) and a bucket of chips to share and they were, as you can see, absolutely delicious.


Afterwards, we just enjoyed sitting by the river, watching the ducks, and the arrival of what looked like a wedding party (obviously getting married there tomorrow) and felt little b kicking up a storm in my belly; it seems he approves of the Swan too.