Friday, 4 March 2011

Just Catching Up...

Hello there! I hope you're well, and that March has started off lovely and spring-like for you!

Once again, it's a Friday and I'm on annual leave, so here I am with another blog post. Since I don't get chance to blog every day, I try to make a list of the things I want to write about otherwise I'd forget them, but even though I've done that, I still feel like I'm not going to remember everything. Oh well, I'll see how it goes!

Firstly, I've got my monthly garden photos to show you. I've seen a few blogs where people are either doing something like this, or at least taking a photo of their garden on a particularly sunny day, or when it was deep in snow, that kind of thing. Some of these gardens are huuuge, and I've got a little bit of an inferiority complex about ours now! I know I shouldn't feel like that, I should just be grateful that we've got one. I suppose taking a monthly photo of the garden was a strange thing for me to do, because I don't really have any input in it. As I've said before, it's definitely CJ's domain. I sometimes think that I should try and get into gardening and take more interest in it - I'm sure CJ would love it if I did - but I just don't think I'm cut out for it really. You can't force yourself to be something you're not, can you? I keep trying to persuade him to have more flowers in the garden - my latest suggestion was some tubs on the patio, so that it doesn't interfere with his veg plot - but he didn't look too taken with the idea. That's kind of him all over though - he's only interested in things that are practical, not having something just for the sake of it looking nice. That's not a criticism, I'm just saying that that's how he is. So although I'm kind of regretting the monthly garden photo idea, I guess I might as well stick with it, so here they are:

CJ hasn't really started doing anything with the veg plot yet, which may be partly due to him being distracted by his new allotment! I think things are starting to look a bit greener though, and I especially like these two, which are probably the brightest green in the garden at the moment:

The top one is chives, the bottom one is sorrel. So that's the garden for another month!

Last weekend I decided I wanted to make some soup to take to work for my lunch, so we went shopping on Sunday afternoon for a few ingredients. I also bought some tulips and daffodils, which are still looking lovely five days later:

Currently brightening up my kitchen windowsill!

As for the soup, I made some cream of mushroom, and if I say so myself, it was delicious!! The recipe said it served four, so I divided it into four and froze the portions, which worked out just right since I was only working four days this week. I have to say though, the portion sizes were tiny, or at least it seemed so to me. Using a normal sized soup spoon, I bet I could've eaten it in 5 or 6 spoonfuls - does that seem right to you? I must admit, one of the reasons I'm not a skinny minnie is because my portion sizes are probably too big, so maybe the soup portion is normal and I'm just not used to it? In fact, last week I made a gorgeous chicken, mushroom and broccoli risotto, from a British Heart Foundation recipe ( so it must be healthy, I thought). It said it served 4-6, but basically CJ and I split it in half and ate it for our tea that night, and I'd have said it was just enough. So either we're both really greedy (entirely possible) or the BHF's portion sizes are a bit small. Perhaps that's how they get away with saying it's healthy, because you only have about five mouthfuls?!

It did get me thinking about what I eat, and how much, and I wondered if it would be possible to eat the recommended / suggested portion on certain foods. One of my guilty pleasures is cereal - I could quite easily live on cereal, and some days I've had a bowl for breakfast, a bowl for lunch and a bowl for tea, and nothing else all day. But I must admit, I do like quite a big bowlful, with lots of milk. So last weekend I decided to have their suggested portion. If you look in the nutrition table where they tell you how many calories etc is in the product, they'll probably have a column 'per 100g' and then a 'per serving' which, in the case of my cereal, was 40g of cereal with 100ml of milk. So I measured it all out and yep, basically we're talking another 4 or 5 mouthfuls situation! I've kept up with it every morning though, although from the second day I decided to eat it with a teaspoon to make it last longer! I know I do sound like I'm just being greedy, and I probably am. The thing that gets me though is that we're told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but there's no way that a little bowl of cereal like that will keep me going till lunchtime. I have my breakfast at 5.30am, and lunch is at 12pm - 6 and a half hours on 5 spoonfuls of cereal?

I knew I'd end up snacking in between, so I made some granola. I don't think it was perfect, but it wasn't bad for my first attempt, and at least having a square of that mid-morning meant I stayed away from the biscuit tin. Then I had my tiny bowl of mushroom soup for dinner, which wouldn't have been enough if I hadn't taken a breadcake to dip in, and then (if still a bit peckish) another square of granola mid-afternoon. You know, writing it all down like that, I do think that my main problem is that I just eat too much! Do you feel the need to snack through the day, or can you last from breakfast to lunch to tea?

Anyhoo, what else? Ooh yes, reading. One of my 'intentions' for this year was to try and read more - in fact, it was at least one book per month, but preferably more. I don't think I'd started a book before my birthday when I got my Kindle, and since then I've read (on the Kindle) a collection of short 'ghost' stories by MR James, which were quite good, and another one called Ghost Story by Peter Straub, which was a bit of a letdown. Although I really enjoy reading on the Kindle, I wanted to get back to reading a 'proper' book too, so I started this one last night:

I'm sure I've mentioned in earlier posts how much I love Scotland, especially the Highlands/West Coast but my knowledge of the country - it's history, geography, people - is next to zero, so I feel it's only right that I should learn about it. I'm only a few pages into the book, and although I was quite tired when I was reading it, first impressions are that it's well-written and easy to follow and I'm hoping to learn an awful lot from it. I've got quite a few other books about certain moments in Scottish history - the Highland Clearances, Culloden, Glencoe etc - which I'll either read alongside it when Mr Magnusson gets to those parts, or after I've finished.

However, a few nights before I started this one, I also started a new Kindle novel:

Yes, I've finally succumbed, years after everyone else, to the Twilight series. Well, the first one at least. If I enjoy it I'll carry on with the others. I've seen the films so far (CJ is the fan, not me) - I don't know when the next one is out, but I'm hoping to have read that book before we see the film. So I better get a wriggle on!

Did I mention that I was going to try and take part in Facebook Free February? I'm sure I did. Well, I stuck with it for the whole month, which really amazed me! I was sure I wouldn't last, and there were a few moments when I really wanted to pop back on, especially around the time of Arcade Fire winning the Grammy and the Brits. But I resisted, and stayed away for the whole 28 days! Of course, I was straight back on there on the 1st March!

Anyway, typing is getting difficult now because a certain little black cat has jumped on my lap and keeps nudging my hands and trying to lick my chin - something tells me he wants some attention! On the plus side, every time he turns around his big brush of a tail dusts my laptop screen for me! So I guess I better go!

Bye for now!

P.S. If you watched the video below and signed the petition to help save our Children's Heart Surgery Unit - thank you very much. Your support is appreciated more than you know.


  1. Thanks for visiting the yankee teapot and commenting on Sarge, he was an amazing dog. If you like historical fantasy romancy books try the Outlander series they are great, and about Scotland. My daughter is into the twilight series, I havent' read them yet but hear about them alot!

  2. I've read "Cross-Stitch" which I think was the first in the Outlander series - I enjoyed it but not quite enough to want to read any more. The history of Scotland book is really interesting, but very heavy-going; there are so many names and dates to remember that I'm having to go back and re-read pages to try and get it all to sink in! Twilight is going ok; I've seen the films so I'm picturing the characters from them - not sure if that's a good or a bad thing?


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