Sunday, December 13, 2009

The tree is up!

...and so are my glittery reindeer. :)
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Manchester Christmas Markets

It was cold and lovely. Here is one of the booze tents, where we stopped for a "Hot Witch", which was nothing saucy, but was in fact mulled wine with cinnamon and rum in it. :)

I managed a Bratwurst filled with cheese and smothered in not very mustardy mustard.
And we made the Dutch Cheeseman shop a happy place, with our multiple cheese-related purchases.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Trafford Centre - and its still November!

Naturally the Trafford Centre is all Christmassed-up already, despite it not being anywhere near Christmas yet. They had singing bears, a carousel, a pretend ice rink, and I went to pull my face at the upside down Christmas trees in John Lewis's. I just don't get it. Why would you want an upside down Christmas tree???

Posted by PicasaWe stopped off for a quick Burrito in a bowl (sic) and vey nice it was too. For once the "hot" sauce actually WAS hot. And the smoky Tabasco sauce was lovely. My only complaint is that you hardly get enough cheese on those things, and, judging by the expressions on the faces of the staff, you may get a mouthfull rather than more cheese if you dared ask for it. :)

The Christmas decorations were actually very nicely done - not overly modern or "creative", and I especially liked the silver flying reindeer.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Roche Rock, Cornwall

This is Roche Rock, which I visited on the 17th of October during a trip to Cornwall. A DAY trip. Yes, we drove to Cornwall and back in one day. Him indoors was playing a gig with another band, so it was 6 hours there, play gig, 6 hours back. I did get to see some lovely countryside on the journey, and a glimpse of Jamaica Inn, where I have always wanted to go. One day.
Anyway, I did get to see Roche Roche Rock properly. The Fortean Times has this to say:

The ruined chapel on the summit of the Rock's centre crag was dedicated to St Michael in 1409, but you can't help thinking that the Rock would have had religious or sacred connections from more ancient times, even though, unlike Cornwall's many megaliths, this blob-like structure is an entirely natural phenomenon.


Famous Cornish 17th-century bad man, the cursed Tregeagle (see FT198:40–41), was chased to the Rock by a pack of headless hellhounds. The crooked ex-magistrate had previously been sent to the underworld for his wrongdoings, including robbing an orphan of his estate, but was needed back on Earth when another court case required him as a witness. Tregeagle's ghost promptly appeared and admitted his guilt, effectively saving an innocent man from conviction. The court took pity on his troubled soul, and ordered him to carry out arduous and imposs-ible tasks so his return to Hell would be delayed indefinitely. His first duty was to empty the waters of Dozmary pool using a shell with a hole in it. Understandably tiring of the task, Tregeagle did a runner one stormy night, fleeing to the sanctuary of Roche Rock. Unfortunately, he got wedged in the chapel window and his pursuers, the headless hounds of Hell, got their fangs – there appears to be a bit of an inconsistency here – into Tregeagle's backside. For an unspecified period of time, Tregeagle's screams rang out, terr-ify-ing the chapel priest just as much as the priest's praying terrified Tregeagle. Eventually, the priest saved the beleaguered Hell-dodger and sent him to a beach to make a rope out of sand. :)
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Friday, October 09, 2009

Retro Tolkien!

This is the cover of the edition of The Hobbit that was the first one I ever had. Funny how a book cover can really transport you back in time. I know the drawing is somewhat simplistic, but I think it captures the atmosphere of the death of Smaug beautifully. I am guessing I was about five or six at the time of ownership of this book.

On a similar note, this poster (and I suspect many of us had this!) was a fixture in our house in the 70s. It is doing its time machine job, just like The Hobbit cover, and chucking me right back to the good old days. :)

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Sunday, October 04, 2009

Edinburgh September 09

I love this place. We went last weekend, and I swear I would live there given the choice. The buildings are amazing, the people are nice, the shops are great, oh I could go on.

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Sundy Special

Let's go out for lunch, said I. And for some reason I decided on Frankie and Benny's in Ashton. The last time we went to one was in Livingston in Scotland, as part of a band trip, and I remember it as being actually very good. Or, as good as an eating place can be for a van load of gig-weary musicians and hangers on, desperate for feeding and a cup of tea/glass of wine. Ooo actually, this is a fib. We went on my birthday the other year. I'd forgotten.
Anyway, him indoors had New York chicken (which involved "bbq" sauce, sweetcorn and some very lacklustre coleslaw), and I had Philly Steak Bake, which was really very nice. Rare-ish chunks of steak, peppers, red onions and lots of cheese sauce with penne, topped with more was truly very good indeed, and not what I was expecting. Some olives on the side, and some rather chilly Stella and it made for a very low-key Sunday lunch time, with nice food and chat and zero hassle.

Just as well, as I am mid-painting doors and door frames now, and not enjoying this part of my Sunday at all. :)

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Sundy Arternoon

After an exhausting two days in Edinburgh, we chilled out in The Blue Cap in Sandiway, after a rather successful run out to a nearby craft place, whose name escapes me for now, but which I shall post when I remember. Suffice to say I came away with some beads and some togs, all of the ethnic variety. :) In the above venue, we shared some anti-pasti and stuffed mushrooms, and I glugged away on a large glass of white wine. That is some posh beer him indoors was drinking. Its a lovely place. Quietish for a Sunday too. And I am a sucker for anywhere where the chairs don't match!

Edinburgh was excellent, and shall have a post of its own shortly.
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Sunday, August 23, 2009

The last BBQ

...of this "summer". Not that I am complaining - I like Autumn best, and am always happiest when I know it is on the horizon. I need to do some painting soon, but in the meantime here is a photo or two of yesterday's bbq. The Autumn Cath Kidston catalogue has arrived, which book-ends nicely with the book I am reading, Tove Jansson's The Summer Book.

And him indoors battling with the bbq, with only a Daily Mirror to protect him! My food was mostly paneer marinaded in yoghurt, coriander and chillies. And halloumi. I LOVE halloumi. And there is something very lovely about burnt mushrooms and peppers. :-) Burnt food is GOOD.
Later on we watched "The London that Nobody Knows", a 1960s documentary thing, presented by the wonderful James Mason. Not very long, but very interesting.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Good eatin'

Well, here is a first. We toddled off the the Trafford Centre the other week, and for the first time ever, went in a TGI Fridays. I expected crass horridness and generic food, couple with excessively bubbly service. I know the staff are instructed to behave in a hyper fashion, but it can get a little overbearing.

This lot were nice enough, and the food was actually very good indeed. I generally eat veggie when I go out, as I like to know where any meat I am eating has come from, and that it has had a half decent life before being eaten. And here I had the vegetable Quesadilla, and boy it was nice. VERY nice.

A bit of a mix up on the decor front. Not sure if it wants to be a Hard Rock cafe or a 50s diner. Surprisingly nice.

Continuing the chain theme, there was then a visit to Chiquitos (NOT on the same day!!). Again, I played veggie and had refried bean enchilladas and rice. And this was also very nice. Lovely in fact!

I stayed away from the crazy cocktails, as I was driving. Boooo!

Him indoors had a sizzly thing, that arrived on a wooden and iron plate thing that was heated in lava. For several years, judging by the sheer ferocity of the heat coming off it. We played a game whereby we dared each other to touch it, but I chickened out. I didn't want third degree burns.

This blog is turning into a food blog coupled with rubbish mobile pictures. I've had my mobile for a while (years in fact) and its rather elderly now. Its got a rather nifty (bought cheap on Ebay) Cath Kidston little stars cover on it these days. And a dangly charm that keeps catching me in the eye when I answer it. :-)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Gallery Oldham - Fairies!

We went off to Oldham on Saturday (it should have been Lindisfarne this weekend but hey ho...), and found Gallery Oldham. And they had an exhibition of Samantha Bryan's fairies!

A lovely surprise for me :-)
The rest of the Gallery is well worth a look at as well.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


The Fab Cafe in Manchester. Where I had a glass of wine and we watched the Tardis light up, last Sunday. :-)
And Waxy O'Connor's in the Print Works, where I had another glass of wine and we looked at the big dead tree in the middle of the pub. Also last Sunday.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Must try harder!

I keep doing things and then forgetting to post them.

There have been a handful of DC/79 gigs, I dyed my hair pink (it washed out after a bit), cooked a lot, went out for meals, the usual stuff. There are photos about the place which I will try and post when I can remember! I suspect old age is catching up with me, and I am now well into the "wandering into a room and forgetting why I am there" stage. Having said that, I have always been like that!

I currently have a cough, for which I am taking Allen's Pine and Honey Balsam, as its the least unnatural thing I can find, and honey and lemon on their own just weren't doing it. It is very effective but it tastes VILE. Really vile.

On the subject of all things natural, I treated myself to a book off Amazon with a gift voucher they sent me (for having an Amazon credit card). It was for £10.74, so I got a book about making natural beauty products. And last night I made the following:

Yoghurt, Honey and Oatmeal face mask.

1tbsp ground oatmeal (I bought Mornflake Oats, cos of their groovy new packaging, and then ground them up in a pestle and mortar)
1tbsp organic yoghurt
1tsp organic honey

Stir the lot up together and splodge all over your face for 15 mins (whilst in the bath) and then wash off with cool water.

I then ate what was left. :-)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bank Holiday laziness

On Saturday I made vegetable gratin, which was potatoes, parsnips, carrots and spring onions and chillies covered with Stilton and baked in the oven.
We watched THE DEVIL'S CHAIR after that.

Sunday was slob day. But very, very sunny, and I managed the first barbecue of the year. Highlight was halloumi cheese marinaded in herbs and olive oil (thankyou Delia)...Managed to spend nearly all of the day outside reading and stuff, which was very nice. Got some serious knitting in as well. :-)

Today was a visit to the garden center where I got a Japonica, a duck with a life belt round its neck (don't ask) and some lawn seed. We repaired to The Dog and Partridge in Woodhouses

for lunch. I had Goat's cheese salad with balsamic reduction (!) and he had chicken and ham pie. Sat outside in the sunshine and had a lovely time doing absolutely nothing. When we got home, I attacked the garden, cutting down a laurel bush and revealing a snail hotel of biblical proportions in the sycamore tree behind it. Hundreds of the things. Even though they eat my plants, I can't bring myself to do anything bad to them, and I even helped many of them back onto the tree (after they fell off in all the wood cutting)..

Now contemplating a take away curry before I get stuck into another Charles De Lint book...

Funny, life is not so rock and roll these days :-)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Car woes

Well, Jezebel2 (my ancient car) has been in dry dock for two days, forcing me to work from home, and I just found out she is being released later on. To the tune of £391.02!!! Ouch!
We are already feeling the pinch money wise (seems to me its nothing but bills these days, although we are both lucky to still have work, so I am thankful for that at least)...but £391..


Manchester Spring Markets

We went along on Sunday, and very pretty it all was.

I liked the "carpet of flowers"...

and we ate Turkish style for lunch. I had something called Sac Borek, which is like a flatbread with spinach, feta cheese, onions and a coriander and mint salad on it.

In fact, here it is!

The markets were smaller and nowhere near as busy as the Christmas ones, but as it is a new thing, I suppose it will take time to get going. A lot of the Christmas people were there, and we got some weird cheese from the Dutch Cheeseman, and I had a Pimm's punch, which is Pimm's, gin, orange and a shed load of fruit chucked in. It was very nice, and strong too! In fact, I think that is the first time I have ever had Pimm's.

Even better was a trip to Border's on the way home......:-)

Friday, May 01, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Things and that

Well, yesterday was my birthday! We went into Manchester in the morning, and then I bought a shed load of cheap dvds and books from HMV and Fopp. Best of all, I got the film Paperhouse, Stardust (not the David Essex one, good though that is) , Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, Dracula AD 1972...the list goes on. Also got A delia Smith summer cooking collection, The Great Gatsby and Fast Food Nation.

Mum and Dad got me a smashing book called The Fantasy Art of Josephine Wall, which is absolutely beautiful.

I had a halloumi pitta in the Arnadale Market food bit, and we had a drink in the Hard Rock Cafe, which has all changed around and they have some new stuff in at last.

Then it was onto another pub near our house, and then him indoors cooked "yellow fish" for tea, which is smoked fish in a sort of milky spicy sauce thing. With crusty bread and some fizzy plonk.

And that was it really. Very nice and lazy and chilled out. :-)

So, happy day after birthday to me!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Monday Monday

I am in work early today, and I now have living proof that I am rubbish at mornings. Or, at any rate, weekday mornings. I can get up early at the weekend, even if I have been up late. But it is a titanic struggle to actually do it in the week. I HAVE to sometimes, and in the current economic climate it is in my best interests not to mess work about, but I am sooo tired! :-)Or maybe it is my advancing age. I now find myself making lists of things to do in case I forget. Which is increasingly likely....

Sunday, March 22, 2009


This weekend we went to Whitby, and it was smashing.
Up early on Saturday morning, having packed the night before, and we hit the road by 8am. We were going to stop en route for breakfast, but the decision was taken to get there as soon as possible, so we bought a sandwich in Pickering (beef and onion if you are interested!) and ate it as we travelled. By 10.15am we were in Whitby.
The first thing to do was to find some lodgings. The first place we tried refused to answer their door. The second place DID come to the door. A very old Scottish lady told us she needed to ask "Robin" if they had any rooms. Robin failed to materialise, so we moved on to place number three. Which turned out to be a very nice place indeed. The Grantley House, in case you want to check it out.

The next bit of the day was spent trolling around the shops and sights on the West side of the harbour. We had a nice piece of haddock (after all, it is Whitby and fish should be taken!) and then a drink in The Elsinore, then back for a wash and brush up at the B and B.Then back out for some slightly more serious shoping and sightseeing. And a drink in The Board Inn. And then one in The Shambles. After which I bought this lot :

Apart from the smoked kipper pate, which was bought today, but demanded to get in on the photo action!
A couple of games of Bowlingo, which is like ten pin bowling only on a smaller scale (I lost, although in the past I have actually won prizes playing it) and I do believe I had a small hotdog, and we had more fish. And chips. Then back to the B and B (via a pub called The Angel - a theme has developed here I think...) to get changed and head out into the Whitby night.
We had yet another drink whilst watching some fireworks (no idea what they were about, but they were pretty), then a futile trip to the Magpie Cafe.The queues were half way down the road, and we really didn't want to stand about for an hour waiting to get in, so we decided on an Indian. Not one of our better decisions, as it was quite a bland and tasteless meal, although the paratha was nice. I think we are spoiled, what with living in Manchester and having Rusholme on our doorstep, not to mention our wonderful local place, The Desi Lounge. I won't say where we went, as there are a few Indians in Whitby, but although we were keen to steer temporarily away from the lovely fish, in hindsight it was a mistake.
After a shared bottle of wine in someplace with a live piano player as entertainment, we popped back into the Elsinore for a nightcap and then back to the B and B, where a combination of constant walking, sea air, a surfeit of food and a wine too many resulted in deep and blissful sleep.
This morning started off with a full English breakfast, and then a hearty and lengthy walk on the beach ...

And a last mooch about Whitby...

And then we made our way back home. A lovely weekend. :-)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spring is sprung....

And I suppose I should think about sorting out the garden.
Although I have bought meself some nice gardening clogs to get me in the mood. :-)

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Happy holidays

Ooo! I really want to go here. Cannot decide which room I would like to stay in, but its looking like a tie between Krazy Dazy and Merry. Or the Sky Room. I can't imagine I will ever get there, but it is fun to choose the room, what I will be having for dinner...that kind of thing.

Or quite possibly I would go for this. :-)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hedge (not funds)

In the back garden we have a privet hedge. Next door's side is about 6 feet high and orderly. Our side is about 20 feet high and a blinking jungle.So, I am in the midst of cutting the high bits down. Blimey, it is hard going. The hedge is very old and gnarly and fights back with a vengeance. I am covered in scratches and bruises and the job is still only two thirds done. Tomorrow we have to take the debris of this culling to the tip, as well as the mountain of rubbish that I cleared out of the shed. I predict two people, two cars and six trips should do the job. And I am not looking forward to it one bit. My arms hurt. I hurt. So I am having a medicinal glass of red wine and thinking about watching "1408" and trying to get the socks I am knitting back on track. (they went a bit wonky last night, as I was watching QI and not concentrating on what I was doing - its a very lacey pattern that cannot be left unattended.)

Pork chops and new potatoes for tea, with my contribution of butter fried leeks with Blacksticks Blue cheese and fresh chillies.

AND I have just scored the whole series of the Hammer House of Horror tv series on dvd from HMV for £11.99 including delivery! Reeesult!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hello again!

Well, I've been busy. Very busy, it would seem! But now I am back to bore you all again. :-)

Today was spent cutting down a Leylandii tree in the back garden. Two saws, an axe, a chisel and two knackered people, but its down now, and we even took it to the tip. Next up is the sky high privet "hedge", which can get cut back next weekend. I am way too bashed about and tired to do anything else out there. Oh, and I also emptied out the shed, so there is a small mountain of general debris to take to the tip, but for now I will pretend I can't see it.

And, the bluebells are showing the first signs of life, so I suppose it must be Spring rolling around! I love Winter. Autumn is probably my favourite season. The only thing I can say for spring is that the gas bills get lower. Yeah, I am a misery. I think I have that SAD syndrome, only the other way around. :-)