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Dancing In The Middle Of The Room

On the Threshold of Eternity

On the Threshold of Eternity (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Brothers (The Black Keys album)

Brothers (The Black Keys album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the past ten years I have been firmly behind the door when it comes to good music.  In the middle of a bad depressive illness anything that provoked an emotional response was definitely most unwelcome and music was a huge factor.

Recently, however, as life has become enjoyable and I have acquired an iphone, I have been attempting to make up for lost time (and spending a fortune in the process).  My latest ‘find’ is The Black Keys, who are just so sublime I can’t begin to tell you.  I have just downloaded ‘Brothers’ which is one of the best albums I’ve ever heard.  I was disappointed to find out online that I missed their UK tour dates because I would have lived on bread and butter for three weeks to go and see them.

Another recent discovery is the Alabama Shakes who are equally fantastic – I was dancing in the kitchen the other night, whilst cooking myself a rather nice supper – steak, rocket and watercress salad, wine – and I realised that life is sometimes rather grand and,  in thinking that,  it is now a definite given that I am recovered, if somewhat broke.  Music, as well as steak, is the food of love.

 

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Lazy Blogger

I’ve been feeling guilty about my lack of application to the blogging process but I haven’t cooked anything inspiring for weeks.
Life goes on as usual though, and I enjoy reading other people’s blogs a lot! They are an inspiration with their beautiful photographs and interesting tales of meals eaten, travels undertaken and books read.
So thanks to all those of you who improve my day and keep me thinking that there is so much to do, see, read and eat – there is a small corner of a foreign field that is forever grateful. (apologies to Rupert Brooke).

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Decadence On A Shoestring

Bombay Sapphire

I tried, I really tried, to make this period of fiscal excellence last for a little longer, but for the next two days its back to the chopping board – vegetables and pasta.  I have no specific objection to pasta until I am left with no other choice.  Then I sulk, and dream of strolling around Waitrose without a care in the world like my doctor, who was in front of me in the checkout queue last week, and smiled cheerfully at me as she paid a bill for £177.

How?  Has she got twelve children? One trolley of food costing that much?  At least have some decorum and get some champagne and decent gin in there.  Two bags of Kettle Chips, (sea salt and balsamic vinegar), several bottles of Bombay Sapphire, a six pack of tonic water and three good bottles of Champagne.  Thats how you spend £177.

Anyway, I am currently making a shopping list for Thursday, and I will be back to make Decadence On A Shoestring an actual reality, without going anywhere near Waitrose.  Now I’m off to the doctor’s.  For my tea.

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Cheese fest

This was intended as a quick blog about the recent cheese extravaganza I’ve been on. I haven’t blogged for a while because, in a nutshell, I’ve been on an austerity drive and that has meant a lot of pasta and rice dishes which have been blogged half to death by many other people.
However, there are some things I just can’t skimp on and that includes coffee, especially Ethiopian, and good cheese. So, at midnight I’m sitting here eating a very lovely Brie and watching ‘Bride Of Chucky’ which I have to say is hysterically funny. It got me to thinking about all those lectures my mother used to deliver, one of which is that eating cheese late at night gives you nightmares. I don’t think there’s any concern there. You’d have to be either a child or an hyper neurotic adult to allow this film to scare you. But maybe I’ll lock my teddybear in the wardrobe just to make sure…

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Thank You Carrie Bradshaw

Sex and the City (film)

I’ve spent the past few post-Christmas weeks feeling a bit blue. Grey skies, no fun, even less money – why do I spend so much at Christmas?  There was no way that I was going to be able to cook all the luxurious meals that I’d planned, or buy the new clothes that I actually need.

However, this week has seen my fiscal situation improve, and thus my mood.  Tonight, I sat down in front of the TV and watched ‘Sex and the City: the Movie‘.  I loved the series and the film is equally as enjoyable – so much so that it’s not even a guilty pleasure, just pleasure pure and simple. I love the clothes, Carrie’s apartment, the cod philosophy, all of it.  It has inspired me to get off my miserable backside and finally make an effort to improve things.

I’ve lived here for two and a half years, I’ve never decorated nor have I bought myself any new furniture.  It has to be said at this point that I was struggling with clinical depression when I moved in but I am so much better now that I actually want to decorate, buy bookshelves, cushions, new bedlinen, etc.  Tomorrow, I’m going to make a list of everything I want to do and buy and I shall tick each item off one by one until it’s done.  I may not have the income of a New York socialite but it can still be done.

If there is anyone who knows some really good websites, blogs etc.,  that are home improvement/ decorating related could you pass them on to me?  I’m going to look too but in case I miss something.  Oh, and watch this (living) space.

 

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Happy New Year!!

New Year's Day postcard circa 1900

Just to wish you all a good time tonight and all the best for 2012.  This past year has been quite an eyeopener for me, and if I look back I can see that there has been definite progress.  A radical improvement in health, a definite improvement in happiness – it all bodes well for the coming year.  I do concern myself too much with resolutions but there are some that need to be seen through to the bitter, or not-so-bitter end.  Here’s hoping.

The most important one to me is to move house – I’ve been saying this for a while now and it hasn’t happened, but I’ve done my best not to rush at it because the last time I did so it was a disaster! My current flat is lovely but I would love more privacy and a small garden – I dream of being able to get up in the summer and wander outside with a cup of coffee;  to be able to sit in the sunshine with a good book and a nice cold beer.  A bigger kitchen is also desired!!!  How many other people are sitting at home wishing for the same?

However, I will reconsider these things in the cold and hungover light of New Year’s Day – until then, once again, I wish all of you a really wonderful New Year and may it turn out to be your best year yet.

Cheers,

Nina

 

 

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Happy Christmas!

Mince pie on wire rack.

Image via Wikipedia because there aren't any left of mine....

Well, I’m here in East Yorkshire – it’s freezing outside but warm in here.  Just made a dozen mince pies which have been much appreciated and I’m planning to have a beer very soon.  All the presents are wrapped and there’s an 18 pound goose in the fridge for dinner tomorrow, not to mention all the sweets, crisps, cake, pies and various other lovely goodies waiting for me to pounce!

Anyway, I hope that you all have a really lovely day tomorrow and that you get everything you wanted.  I’ll be back in the New Year – with the amount of money that I’ve spent I’ll probably be starting a new blog – ‘How To Cook On A Budget’ or ‘101 Potato Recipes’.  I don’t really care – I’m going to go and drink my beer and enjoy myself.

Toodlepip,

Merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year to you all!!

Nina x

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I Humbly Apologise For Being A Grinch

I have been so bad tempered, its not good. So I apologise. Things are looking up and I’m actually looking forward to Christmas.
One thing that sparked this change of attitude is something I heard on the local radio station today. There was a news bulletin about a family whose house burned down  today. Luckily nobody was hurt but they’ve lost everything, just a few days before Christmas. Anyway,within an hour of the story being broadcast, the staff of the radio station had offered to buy all the Christmas presents the family had lost, a landlord phoned in and offered a house free of charge, and many others have offered all the furniture and loads of money to help the family out. People of South Yorkshire are amazing.

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Last Minute Shopping – Don’t.

When I die I am going to be canonised as the patron saint of Last Minute Shopping – St. Nina of the Gentle Breakdown.  I’m going to ensure that the city council erect a forty foot statue at the top of Fargate, (our main town shopping street), where the benevolent sweep of my outstretched arms shall belie the baleful glare of my ruby eyes.  There will be a pool at my gold plated feet where weary, weeping shoppers can throw their credit cards, (or themselves), and a machine inside my evilly grinning mouth will be primed to deliver a malevolent cackle every fifteen minutes which will terrify screaming, tantrum throwing children into silence for at least three days.

Next year I am going to start shopping in February.

 

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Christmas Is Coming – Bah, Humbug

Scrooge and Bob Cratchit illustrated by John L...

Top Bloke

It’s around this time of the season that I begin to think that Scrooge was a really great bloke with some phenomenally forward thinking ideas.  Trying to shop at this time of year is a nightmare.  Every Consumer Temple from High Street to shopping mall is teeming with Consumer Zombies clutching three feet long lists and pushing two trollies at a time.  Newsflash:  The supermarket is not going to run out of food.  Your children will not run away if you don’t buy them a Playstation.  Just because someone is famous it will not make their perfume smell better. Get.A.Grip.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I am well into my Seasonal Eating Plan.  Said plan is not an alarming indication that I have problems with eating – far from it – but if you could only see the amount of food that I am expected to put away at my parents’ house you would understand the method.  Basically, The S.E.P begins in October, or thereabouts and it involves increasing my food intake, from what would be considered normal for a 6 footer with a healthy appetite, to being able to  accommodate the equivalent of a Sunday lunch for four at one sitting.

 My mother is a wonderful cook.  She is also a great believer in not being able to see the edge of the plate when she serves Christmas dinner.  It’s no good trying to ask for less – I’ve been trying for twenty-odd years but she suffers from seasonal selective-deafness disorder.   Various entreaties, such as “Please don’t give me too much”, or  “No thanks I’ve really had enough” are met with deliberate ignorance and another pound of goose.  It’s no use, either, if I offer to serve instead, she’s not having any of it.  Each plate of  food is a foot high  monument to culinary glory and no-one is going to thwart her.  OK, maybe a foot is a slight exaggeration but  I can guarantee that  Boxing Day will find me plundering the bathroom cabinet for Rennies and making fervent promises to myself that next year I will be in Spain/ France/ the Arctic Circle, eating  3 ordinary meals per day in a hotel room whilst  watching endless crap TV. And no shopping.
So, in the New Year,  I’ll be making my usual halfhearted resolutions to join a gym, a walking group and a therapy circle for Beleaguered Daughters.  Or making plans to emigrate.

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