The bread

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It looks ok, slightly burnt but I’m sure it’ll add some flavours….

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Do not make bread when you were a ring

This is the lesson of the day. If you want to make a bread loaf, make sure you remove your ring(s) when it’s time to knead the dough. You’ll get dough trapped into your ring and it’ll be next to impossible to get all the bits of dough out of your ring.

Watching the Great British Bake Off on the iPlayer, I missed it on Tuesday, I got inspired and decided to make my own loaf of bread. I made a rather fancy gluten free white loaf. I just didn’t quite think it through as I didn’t have a rectangular tin, so it’s round. And rough looking. It’s currently cooling on the rack. I’m not sure what it will taste like though. I think it’ll go well with some cheese, or a soup? or maybe I’ll wait until the morning and toast it? I don’t know just yet, I just hope it’ll be tasty. 

But first, I’d better give another go at cleaning up my wedding ring!

Home, home again.

I like to be here when I can.

Yeah, indeed I am listening to Pink Floyds while I’m enjoying a last evening in France.

I’ve come back to where I am from, to finally introduced my husband to some relatives that we didn’t get to see in about a decade, and they’re as old as the Queen, so they didn’t travel to London for the wedding. I also took the opportunity of taking my spouse down to my memory lane. He got to see the hospital where I was born, my first school, primary school up to high school, where I went to my fencing classes, where I broke my arm for the first time, where I crashed into a cow…

But as an extra bonus, my lovely husband’s French has come up in leaps and bounds. He’s come to understand where I come from and why I don’t like to be in a field with cows for instance. And it’s been great.

I’m not looking forward to coming back home though. I’m getting used to getting freshly baked baguette and croissants in the morning, have my local cheeses and such. I’ll miss that.

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Going back to school

I have decided to take a leaf out of my husband’s book and enroll in a course. Unlike him, going for a degree, I’m going for a certificate (I’m not in the mood to go back to uni and go for the phD, although being called Dr O. would be pretty cool, but I don’t have the spare £€$ for that!). While he will be studying some really serious stuff, I’ll be studying something more fun, well, it is fun to me because the subject has got to do with children, and that is something that I enjoy learning more about, hoping that it will come in handy and be relevant when I become a maman.

So the little bit of spare time I’ll have will be spent studying for the various modules and working toward getting my certificate. There’s not deadline, no big ask or whatever, so the pressure is definitely off, unlike my dear husband, who I know, will drive me insane when exams time will come around and the like (I know how he’s like when he’s studying…). But yeah. I’m rather excited about this, then again I was always the weird kid who’d be gutted it was summer break, and who’d count the days till it was time to go back to school. That baffled my siblings almost as much as it confused my parents. 

Will this course help me with my current job? Errr no. But it doesn’t always need to be about my current career, especially since I’m pretty sure my days in the corporate world are numbered (give or take 400 days), I might as well focus on things that may come in handy for my next career move.

don’t you agree?

The Great British Bake Off is Back!

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This is one of my favourite TV show ever. Along with Cake Boss, Charm City Cakes, Cupcakes Wars etc. (You got it, I LOVE Cakes!).  I know I’ll be watching every single episode, and should I miss one, I’ll be catching up on the i-player.

 

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Watching these type of shows always make me want to bake. So last night, I baked a bit. Obviously, these have got nothing to the ones I saw on TV last night. They’re cupcakes, nothing show-stopper-y about them. But it was a lot of fun. I always get on with it during the show, because – like a saddo- it make me feel like I’m part of the team effort if that makes sense. 

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I do the sugar craft bits mindlessly, mostly watching the TV, that’s why some are a bit wonky. That doesn’t stop them from being tasty though.

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I made the fancy ones for work, as most of the staff are gone on annual leave, a batch of 24 is enough for everybody to have at least one. I like to bring cakes to the office. Especially on Wednesday. Hump day, or Grumpy Day as it can be referred to. It’s a little thing that makes a boring day, a day that feel like it’s lasting forever, a bit nicer. 

ImageThat Teddy one was my showstopper thing. I had fun. I’m still getting to grip with the various sugarcraft tools I have, but that was pretty easy to do (well, it’s always easy when you’ve been shown how to do those things!)

I took some cake decorating lessons, but I fear that if I don’t practice on regular basis, the few skills I’ve learnt will be forgotten.

I know that one of my pittfall is the piping. So I practice pipping any chance I get. Mostly with mash potatoes though. I didn’t get a chance to bake my husband’s birthday cake this year (too busy with work) so I’ll probably bake a surprise cake when things are a bit more settled. His favourite dessert is apple crumble or apple pie (a toss up between the two really), which doesn’t really give me much option for the piping, so I might go rogue and go a Chocolate and Guiness cake. This is a cake that I find totally decadent, and a small slither is enough to keep me going. 

So yeah, I love the Great British Bake Off, Ideally I’d like to bake every week something amazing, like they do on TV, but realistically, it’d be too expensive (yep, getting good quality ingredients is expensive, not to mention time consuming) and well, I sometimes barely have the strength/will to cook dinner after work, so baking… that might be a big ask. But we’ll see…

 

Baby Shower weekend

Well, I’ve attended my first Baby Shower ever. We don’t tend to have this kind of party in France, and not that many of my UK based friends have had babies yet, so that’s why.

Anyhow, it was fun, we had food, we had drinks (obviously virgin drinks for the mum to be), we had some games, and the parents to be were showered with gifts for their bundle of joy.

Baby showers are an interesting concept, although I’m still unsure about it. Part of me is all for it, as times are hard, you need all the help you can get to get all that you need for your baby’s arrival, even more so for a first born, but part of me think that it’s a bit harsh on friends/family as that means double gifts : gifts at the baby shower and gifts at the birth. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being a prick here, but times are hard for everybody. 

What would have helped, would have been for my mates to do a gift list (a  bit like a wedding list when you think about it) only because we can’t guess what they already have and what will be there needs. Plus it’s all about tastes. For instance I LOVE moustaches, but would a pacifier with a moustache be to their taste?

 Would a baby vest with AB/CD from David & Goliath?

It’s hard. But it’s also hard on the parents to be. They didn’t dare telling us what they wanted because they too know that times are hard etc. It’s a vicious circle really.

Will I ever have a baby shower? I don’t know. I like the idea of having my close mates around for like a list huzzah before I settle into motherhood… I think I’ll just want the girls around and have cakes 🙂

Any excuse for cakes heh.

In the meantime, I’m planning a trip to costco to start stocking up on nappies and other babies essential. Not that there’s any baby on the way, but I like to be prepared…

In dire need of new glasses

This is again this time of the year when I can feel my eye sight faltering. I’m starting to get headaches even. Since I don’t have any flu symptoms and  everything seems to be ok in terms of work station, the last stop is to get my eyes checked.

I don’t usually move by much, I can actually see without my glasses, just not too far ahead of me without it losing its sharpness. 

Eyesight is one of those things that people take for granted until BAM they start squinting, get headache, don’t recognise people, can read their books and such.

I don’t mind at all wearing glasses. I actually LOVE wearing my glasses. I love buying new frames as much as others like to get handbags. I never keep my old frames, I tend to give them to vision aid overseas, and get 2 new pairs. Why 2? I tend to get a wacky one (usually something by Vivienne Westwood) and a more serious one, because sometimes wacky doesn’t cut it in the office or for special occasions. I love these ones for instance. They’re not the maddest ones I’ve owned (so far)

 

And I also have contact lenses, but I don’t like wearing that that much, mostly because once upon a road trip, I had a snooze and 2 things occurred:

1- As i didn’t have my glasses on, for a few minutes I thought a miracle had happened and I could finally see without glasses

and mostly 

2- my eyes had gone dry or something and it was near impossible to remove the contacts out of my eyes and I though I’d have to get my eyes gauged out or something (yes very melodramatic…)

So I’m not the biggest fans of contacts. Still takes me forever to put them on/take them off (the fact that I seem to have a mild phobia of getting my fingers anywhere near my eyeballs doesn’t help). I will only put them on (really) if we’re going to see a movie in 3D so I don’t have to double up the glasses to see what’s going on..

 

so yeah, I need new glasses  to get my eyesight checked, hopefully sooner rather than later, because it’s getting painful. 

I think I’ve strained my eyes enough for the day, so as you guys say, toodles. 

Living is easy with eyes closed…

I had a BLAST in Liverpool! This was just awesome, I didn’t quite understand what the locals were saying – seriously the accent is uber strong!- but they were all ever so friendly. I did wonder if the Liverpudlians weren’t sick and tired of all the tourist wandering down the street singing Beatles songs, wearing Beatles shirts and asking which way to Penny Lane… If they were annoyed, they sure didn’t say or show it.

Here are a few snap shots which I think sums up my Beatles week end. The sign at the door for do not disturb was “let it be” and that just cracked me up.

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if you have a chance to get to Liverpool, by all mean do so, a week end will not be enough to go around to seeing everything. We went to the Tate Modern to see the Chagal exhibition, it wasn’t just all about the Beatles! we went to a rather swanky restaurant called Panorama 34 (or Panoramic 34, sorry I forgot), you get an amazing view and a really lovely dinner too.

So yeah, it was great, it was nice to get away from London and see/do something different. I’m not sure I’m fully rested for the week ahead but it’ll be fine. Next week end won’t be as crazy, as I’ve got a baby shower to attend.

Right, time to get some dinner!

Let me take you down, cause I’m going to…

… yes, yes yes, at last, I’m going on a Beatles Weekend!! Heading to Liverpool shortly and enjoy a Beatles’ week end. We’re booked to stay at the Hard Days’ Night Hotel, which is right by Matthew Street (that’s where the Cavern used to be!). So I’m well excited at the prospect of walking the cobbled streets where John, Paul, George and Ringo used to walk and all that. 

I’m a proper Beatles Nerd, so hopefully I’m in for a treat. Fortunately, my husband likes the Beatles too, so it shouldn’t be too much of a drag for him. I’ll just try not to morph into one of those Beatles fans and start screaming/pulling my hair/ crying etc. at the sight of something Beatles related. 

I hope we’ll get to go to Strawberry Fields & Penny Lane, but it’ll be mostly down to whether or not we can navigate our way there as it’s not in the city centre. 

So yeah, I’m off!

Slacker…

Yup, I confess, I’ve been slacking with this blog. Then again, I have a lot of good reasons/excuses for this.

Reason 1 – Work

Work has again taken over my life, working crazy hours mostly spent in the glare of my 3 screens. By the time I get home, it’s late, I’m exhausted and quite frankly I’d rather have a bath and read my book than fire up the laptop.

Reason 2 – Sick

With working stupid hours comes the dilemma of getting good food. That just doesn’t happen, along with going to the market and getting fresh ingredients. My other half works just as manic hours as I do, so there’s been evening when we had to make do with whatever was in the fridge. I’ve learnt that if it says that it’s gone off the day before, it’s not safe to eat it for I will get the mother of all food poisoning resulting in me spending the night bonding with my bathroom. Husband seems to have the stomach lined with concrete as he may say “oh, my tummy feels funny” and yet he won’t be doubled over the toilet bowl expelling everything he’s eaten since he was a teenager (of so it felt like). 

Reason 3 – Friends

Trying to make time to catch up with friends is not an easy thing to do. We’re all working stupid hours in various part of the city or busy minding the children (Which is even crazier than the office I’d imagine) and unable to find a baby sitter. So when diaries and family commitments allows it, we try to catch up for a hearty meal or at least a drink afterwork. It’s fun, but it’s always all over far too quickly.

Reason 4 – Not knowing what to say

It’s not always easy to have something clever or worth sharing with people. Sometimes, it’s easy. Sometimes it’s just a case of “I need to get it out of my chest”. But sometimes it just feels like, “meh, not really worth to talk about that”

Reason 5 – just lazy

That’s probably the most valid excuse of all. It’s just me being lazy. 

Reason 6 – the diet

I believe I mentioned I was trying to follow a sort of diet/sport thing. Yeah it’s not going well. I’ve over done it at the gym, to the point where my previous knee injury’s flared up, so my knee’s back to being the size of a small country. Also, because I’m at my desk so much and can’t exercise, the weight isn’t falling off like it should. Thus making me frustrated. Thus making me crave the things I shouldn’t eat. It’s a bit of a vicious circle. I’m not putting on weight though. I even managed a small loss, but that as due to the food poisoning, so that hardly counts.

 

So see, I haven’t been slacking that much.