21 December 2010

The Gallery - Love

What a wonderful Gallery theme from Tara at Sticky Fingers to end the year on. Make sure you pop over and check out all the entries, and I'm sure tissues will be needed!


There are so many different types of love, so many combinations of relationship. 
But no matter what the relationship is, when it comes down to it, it's just about the 'giving' and 'receiving' of love. A feeling of 'loving' and/or 'being loved'.

We're 'given' love as children. And in response our love for our parent grows. My love for my Mother is deep, respectful and full of gratitude for having such a loving and giving person in my life. 

For my children it is unconditional and unending. I loved them the instant they were born. Instinctively I would fight, with my last breath to protect my children, even though all of them now tower over me! They have made me laugh and cry, probably in equal measure. They have made me angry and proud. From helpless tiny babies, I've had the pleasure of loving, helping and guiding them to being the four 'grown up' loving, generous, gloriously unique individuals they now are. The love I have for them both soothes my soul and terrifies me. 

Never ending love...

The love my Husband 'gave' me, all the wonderful memories we made and all the love and laughter we shared, is stored safely in my heart. It lives with me and warms me, day to day. His love gives me strength. A strength I now understand I have, for those times when I'm sad or feeling just a little, and sometimes a lot, lost. 

Obviously a photo NOT taken by me, as I'm in it. But this is LOVE...
Don't you think, Love, in all it's countless forms, is a many splendid thing?

16 December 2010

Thrifty Christmas - Chocolate dipped Peppermint Creams

I wrote a post about these sweets last Christmas but thought I would add it again for the 'Thrifty Christmas' idea over at Violetposy.  
They are so, so simple to make, even for little children. It's just like making sweets out of playdough. Maybe something to make with the little ones next week as gifts, to keep them entertained and help stop them driving you insane in the run up to Christmas!
The recipe used is here but have also added it below.



1 egg white
1 tsp lemon juice
400-420g icing sugar, plus extra
Few drops of peppermint flavouring or peppermint oil
Pink and green food colourings (optional) 

In a large bowl, lightly beat the egg white. Add the lemon juice and gradually add the icing sugar, mixing, until you have a smooth, firm dough.
Have a selection of cutters – letters or shapes. My TD used just circles.
Add the peppermint flavouring or oil to the dough and mix together. Divide into 2 and add a little pink colour to one and green to the other, if using. Knead until the colour is even.
Dust a work surface with a little icing sugar. Using a dusted rolling pin, roll the mixture out and use cutters to cut out shapes or letters. Leave to dry on a large, lined baking tray.

My student (read strapped for cash!) Teenage Daughter then chose to half dip hers in melted plain chocolate, using a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Then when set, popped them into cellophane bags with ribbon and tags.

They were wonderfully melt in the mouth, minty sweets, lovely. Enjoy...

Ho Bloody Ho...

Yes, I know it's that time of year. I understand I should be getting into the Festive mood. 

On a positive note, I do have a tree (tick). A shame it's still sitting in the garden. 

I have baubles and beads and glittery things (tick). Er, yep, still in their boxes. 

Christmas cards? (tick). Oh yeah, I should've posted those out already. Not happening.

Presents? Okay I do have a few of those (tick), not many mind, and certainly nowhere near enough for 4 adult children and a large family. Maybe they could share? Kidding? Maybe...

Shopping to buy missing presents? I should (tick) I know. 

Food shopping? Done (Big tick). Could I get away with wrapping Christmas Pud & mince pies do you think?

Having read lots of blogs full of Festive cheer, it appears everyone else has Christmas Spirit in bucket loads. You've all got your Festive Mojo. 

Would you all do me a favour? Pass some this way please? Because I seem to have mislaid mine this year. It gone AWOL or MIA or something.

Thanks...and oh, okay then...Merry Christmas!

14 December 2010


It's just a technorati claim 5KH4PXY38ZK6

8 December 2010

The Gallery - White Whites

The Gallery theme this week at Sticky Fingers is 'White'. Make sure you pop over and check out all the snow photos! There are some absolute stunners.
I decided, purposely, not to use snow photos, because everyone else will have done it so much better than me, oh and the small fact that I actually didn't step outside the house for the day & a half we had snow!

These two photos are sort of loosely connected, in the sense that they are both to do with the Catering.

The first one I took at a wedding I attended in August. I love the perspective through the glasses and the light & shadows reflected on the white table cloth.

The second one is of my Teenage Daughters Chef Whites. Yes, she gets to dress up like a real proper Chef! How cool is that??! Must admit though, the damn things are bloody murder to keep 'white'.

What madman deemed 'White' as the colour for teenagers to wear while practicising cooking hot, greasy food, eh?

3 December 2010

A Fluffy Red Bikini and a Santa hat in the Snow

Oh Matt Whistler! You've made another video...

No tea tray this time, and you have clothes, sort of, on. If you can count a red fluffy bikini, and rather dubious looking stockings worn with, erm trainers? as clothes.
It does make you look very festive though, if a little chilly in the snow!

Surfin' Bird Christmas No.1 2010 starring Matt Whistler from Convict Films on Vimeo.

Thank you...I do like a good laugh and my favourite part is the fact so many Brightonians don't seem to bat an eye to your rather odd behaviour, love it!

2 December 2010

A Tea Tray slide down Southover Street in Brighton!

I realise that with all the snow that everyone has been getting over the past week, it can start to get a wee bit booorrrring! And we all get a bit 'stir crazy' stuck indoors, especially if you have little ones.

But if there is one video you watch, make it this one. There are some mad, mad people out there and this guy, Matt Whistler, is up there with the best of them.

So if the snow is giving you cabin fever and you need a laugh, and I mean howling, tears down your face, side gripping laughter, then watch this.
Thank you Matt, you made my day...

...and how did I not know this was going on, I LIVE at the top of this street! God dammit, they threw a party and I wasn't invited...Boo..

Matt Whistler's Merry Christmas 2010 Southover Street Brighton from Convict Films on Vimeo.


1 December 2010

The Gallery - Celebration

The Gallery theme this week at Sticky Fingers is 'Celebration'.

And you'd be mistaken if you think I haven't had much to celebrate this year.
I got married on 22nd Sept, and I wrote a post about it then. If you want to read it, you can do, here.

But what I want to post today is a celebration of life.
Actually, one specific celebration of life. 
A celebration of one persons life. 

Ian, my husband. 

I wrote a difficult post about his death, on 22nd Oct, so I'm not writing about that today.

As soon as Tara announced this weeks theme, I knew exactly which photo/s I would use...I mean, it was already written on the order of service.

I cheated a little this week. I've used quite a few photos. Also as they were all enlarged and printed out, I've had to take photos of the 'photos'...

Below are some of the photos we used for our Celebration of his life.

And my very own personal favourite...Ian's Daniel Craig 'James Bond' impression, way before Daniel Craig was James Bond!

The day was a true 'Celebration' of everything we all knew and loved about Ian.

I also want to add here, our friend Kevin's Eulogy. I take no credit for this wonderful piece of writing, which is probably the best I've ever read or heard, and so very, very Ian...he would've approved, we finished with a laugh. Thanks Kev!
"Right, you bastard.........

Ian Jeffery- Father, Husband, Spy, Surfer, Skateboarder, Sailor, Monty Python fan and all round good egg is no more. He has ceased to be, is bereft of life, has shuffled off this mortal coil. He rests in peace, has kicked the bucket, hopped the twig, bit the dust, snuffed it, breathed his last and gone to meet the great god of surf in the sky. Which,if that's Pedro, will result in some sort of competition to decide who is the biggest wave monster.

And I guess we're all thinking how sad it is that a man of such talent, such capability for kindness, such 'joie de vivre', should have been spirited away at so young an age, way before he'd had enough fun.....

To which I say 'Bollocks'. And the reason I say this is that small insistent voice in my head that kept telling me, as I tried to rip this eulogy off of John Cleese, Toad you've always been an irreverent, slightly sick, bastard – if you go soppy on me now, I'll come back and haunt you.

So, Ian, you weren't my oldest or my best friend-but it seems fitting that having conducted your wedding only weeks ago that I should now say a few words here. You were someone who, if involved mates, alcohol, music, maybe a little smoke, and was outside, could be guaranteed to show up and contribute in some way to the fun that was to be had.

Firstly, lets put this 'spy' thing to rest. No matter how much you protested that you were 'just a civil servant'-we know it was much more than that. This was confirmed when you'd asked Rhino to for a reference. 'Yes, of course' he replied. After a wait of six months-whilst Rhino got a thorough vetting as to his suitability to be  a referee- Colonel Ponsoby-Scratchtwat of Military Intelligence turned up at Tim's and subjected him to a 3 hour interview. After which you ended up with no choice but to be known to our kids as 'Ian the Spy'. In fact take a look at the pictures in the pub afterwards and you'll see where Uber-spy Daniel Craig AKA James Bond got his inspiration from. So, like it or not, we don't believe you. I understand that Her Majesty the Queen still owes you a medal, but you still owe Tim a fiver so I guess that's quits.

Secondly, let's talk about your love of gadgets and trying to fix stuff, which may explain your otherwise inexplicable love of dodgy Italian cars, knowing that things would, inevitably, drop off of them. It always seems to me that whenever I saw you on Queens Park Road you'd be surrounded by bits of Alfa-Romeo.

Who can forget the famous skateboard/windsurf experiment? Not the first man to think of it perhaps, but certainly the first to build one, and subsequently being thrown off the sea front for nearly wiping out so many pensioners. Or how about having 'fixed' the catamaran and subsequently having to be rescued after trying to wipe out Palace Pier?

Thirdly lets talk about love: the love you had for your children, the love you had for your wife, the love you had for your friends and the love you had for life.

Rab Burns summed it up:
“An honest man here lies at rest,
A friend to all, a friend of truth,
A friend of age, a guide to youth.

Few hearts like his, with virtue warmed.
Few heads with knowledge so informed.

If there's another world he lives in bliss
If there's none, he made the best of this”

Cheers Mate....."

And as the quote on the front of Ian's Order of Service says...

'What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others...'
  - Pericles -