Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Lights Lights and More Lights

For the past 7 years Daniel and Marie Francoise  from Gaillac, display an ever growing christmas theme in  their garden with spectacular animation sets.  Well I have seen a few houses before where there were a few lights dotted here and there, a Santa climbing the wall and lights with reindeers, well this house takes the biscuit. Absolutely stunning displays that must have taken hours if not days to construct.
They had a sound system set up and were singing carols, sweets and treats were passed out to the kids, inviting people to have their photo taken with Santa and the children could run round the garden which they did and lots of oohs and ahhing were heard. Stevie and Poppy looked terrified at one point but not with the lights, but with everyone taking pictures, they got over it quickly enough and was a great finale to their day.

Hope you all have had a fabulous Christmas and I wish you a very happy and peaceful New Year.

Tant crie-t-on Noël qu'il vient

Monday, December 26, 2011

Dressing the Body ... Barcelona

You know when you have a notion to go and visit a place and then for some reason or another time just slips away and it doesn’t happen, well Barcelona has been on my list for several years and last week finally my DH and I got our act together and went. The transport system there is amazing and you can hop on and off the trams, metro and buses in almost any direction and providing you know what you want to feast your eyes on it takes just a few minutes to reach your chosen destination. Barcelona is filled to the brim with culture, science, entertainment, media you name it Barcelona seems to have it. One trip we made was to the “Museu Textil i d’Indumentaria” (Museum of Textiles & Fashion) a tribute to the influence of Spanish design on the fashion world. Situated in Palau Reial and holds a permanent exhibition on textiles through the ages from 16th century to present day.

The exhibition is arranged along a conceptual and graphic itinerary, a walk through with authentic dresses, which shows great examples of the outer appearance of the body and lets you see historical examples of the absurdity of being a slave to the body and fashion.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Goats Cheese & Walnut Quiche a Beggar and a Cup of Soup

A few weeks back my girlfriend made this amazing quiche and I have since made it 5 times now it is so easy and you can tweak it with changing the cheese and pastry. I have made it with both short crust and flaky  (Sorry I cheat here and buy it ready made) and well you can’t go wrong. So gather your bits and in 40 mins your dinner will be ready. Oh forgot to say this serves approx 4/6

Pastry of your choice to line a 30cm (12”) flan dish
250g of goats cheese or if you prefer brie
8 sundried tomatoes
75g walnuts or pecan nuts (bash them a little bit)
Tablespoon of chopped chives
4 eggs
20cl of crème fraiche ( sour cream)
Salt and pepper

Cut the brie or goats cheese into small pieces. Use absorbent paper to take off excess oil from the tomatoes and chop into smallish pieces. Line your dish with the pastry and prick the base with a fork. Now add your chopped cheese, tomatoes, the nuts and the chives. Add the cream to the eggs and whisk together and add a dash of salt and pepper and pour into flan, (where else would you pour it). Cook for 40 min on 220 0C (gas mark 6) and tada there you have it a fabulous quiche.

Today I received an email from a girlfriend and it cracked me up so much when I read it. I am going to let you read her exact words ( ok  I can't give you her name or she would kill me) but here it is. Too funny.

I'm just back from (my last) shopping trip in town in hurricane level winds where your own hair can cause permanent whip lash scarring and blinding, forehead numbing rain when I saw some poor sod begging in the street, so I doubled back on myself and popped into the Bakery, waited in a queue forever and eventually bought a cup of freshly made lentil soup and a buttered roll took it over and said ‘I don’t have money for you but here’s a lovely cup of hot soup and fresh buttered roll, the beggar turned out to be a woman who just took it and started to moan about the last woman who evidently told her off for asking for a cigarette, now I didn’t give her this food in order to make her fall over with gratitude but to just grab it without a bl***y word was in my opinion a tad impolite, so I said in a loud voice that some good hot food free of charge was a whole lot better the a damned fag and walked of mumbling under my breath ( you ungrateful old hag, hope it chokes you!) Now is that not a story full of Christmas cheer?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Page 25 Third Paragraph

I guess it was my last post that made me think of this idea which is to ask you to pick any book you like and go to page 5 paragraph three (approx) and add that to the ongoing story, well why not it's either that or go and  do something constructive! not a chance it's 18.30pm and I am doing no more and anyway it's playtime.! Ha well if it is anything like my last feeble attempt I managed to get a thunderous 4 comments ( oh to be so popular). So I am going right now to pick the first book that comes to hand and go for it. Be right back

The Black Marble by Joseph Wambaugh 1978 and a Memory

I have been given a few bags of books (love getting books, don't you?) and looking through them discovered a few that I had read and several new ones which is always good news. One book in particular jumped out at me, as I picked it up a memory shot into my head and lingered long enough to create a few chuckles and that day is still as clear now as it was then, yikes must be a good 20 years ago now.

Choose a deserted beach, my DH and I were in Agadir, Morocco where beaches seem to go on forever. Along with a simple packed lunch, a few cold beers and ready to settle in for the day  just soaking up the sun, relaxing with great company and a great book, in my case this was The Black Marble (Joseph Wambaugh). I had been itching to read this for ages but my DH got to it first and kept given me occasional snippets from it. Finally by mid-afternoon  he finished and handed it over, immediately I got comfortable (that was the days when I could lie and read on my stomach.) Page 25, I am engrossed and was reading the following passage. “Then he looked at Mavis, fifty-one years old going on sixty. Skin like sizzling pancake batter, two eye jobs already. Hair dyed the colour of puppy shit, with”..............
And then, I along with DH were drenched in a wave that took us both by total surprise along with our clothes, towels, and everything else that was lying around! The one thing the wave never got was my book as I refused to let it go even when the wave came for us a second time and by this stage it was turning back into a lump of wood. I ran up to a dry spot, placed the book on a stone and then spent the next 20 minutes collecting all our stuff which was floating willy nilly.
For the next two days I managed to read and finish my book by peeling off  each page, scraping of the sand  and keeping one eye on the waves.
I think I might just have to read it again, but a sandless one this time. If your looking for something funny and moving, caustic and sometimes savage, realistic and occasionaly tragic, all very skilfully woven into a novel that is as human as it is dramatic.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The God of Small Things 1997 - Arundhati Roy

The God of Small Things is the debut novel of Indian author Arundhati Roy. A story about the childhood experiences of fraternal twins whose lives are destroyed by the "Love Laws" that lay down "who should be loved, and how.  The book is a description of how the small things in life affect people's behavior and their lives.

The God of Small Things is Roy's first book, and took four years to write. The potential of the story was first recognized by Pankaj Mishra, an editor with HarperCollins, who sent it to three British publishers. Roy received half-a-million pounds in advances, and rights to the book were sold in 21 countries. While generally praised, the book did receive some criticism for its verbosity and controversial subject matter.

I bought a copy for a girlfriends birthday and she has just finished it and in her words.... I have enjoyed The God of Small Things. I stayed awake rather too late last night to finish it. Its one of those books you can’t quite define but you know are going to live on inside you. It was extraordinary and beautiful as well as awfully sad. In one of those moods now where I don’t really want to start to read anything else.

I felt exactly the same way as my girlfriend did after reading this, and if you  have read it I would love to hear your views on it.

Ps: Have started One Moment,One Morning by Sarah Rayner will let you know about it later
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