Monday, 25 March 2013

The python, the gecko and the chef

Meet Frankie. He’s a python and he made a rare guest appearance at our dinner party on Saturday night.

This is Toby. He’s a gecko and he doesn’t like being stroked, but he does like investigating people’s hands.

Samphire salad and scallops were our starters, expertly made by special friend’s partner (he’s a head chef in London).

Pretty, delicate, presentation. The food tasted as delicious as it looked.

Rack of lamb, encrusted with herbs, accompanied with seasonal roasted vegetables and a red wine jus.

The best cheese board ever. Rosemary crackers, rustic bread, and very strong cheese.

It was an exceedingly pleasant evening.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Happy birthday Will

It was a special little boy's first birthday.
My nephew, Will, turned the grand old age of one.

Present time.

Posing with monkey.

Chocolate lollies are the best.

Birthday hat.

First few steps.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Farewell to the polka dot home

I did not cry.
I thought I would.
I was prepared to.
Hubby was convinced of it.
But I was brave, and I did not shed a tear.
Besides, the bare rooms no longer resembled our loving home.
As my eyes swept the plain, clutter free carpets and walls, I couldn’t help thinking how unfriendly the whole place appeared.
Although the happy memories were still floating around in my head.
Plenty of joyful occasions to be remembered.
The first dinner party where the easy chocolate mousse proved not to be so easy. Luckily I found extra chocolate and strawberries in the cupboard and improvised.
Our first Christmas in the polka dot home, decorating the tree with a gingerbread man on top, and the hot and cold family buffet with Rudolph decorated cup cakes.
My girly engagement celebration, sitting around the oak table and drinking a little too much wine.
Oh and how could I forget my tapas inspired evening, followed by venturing to the bar on the corner, where my friend fell off her chair.
Pre-hen night, excitedly preparing nibbles for my long distance friend, and painting our nails shocking red in anticipation for the day and evening ahead.
Sunday sofa days with boyfriend, then fiancée, then hubby, watching films from under the duvet and ordering take aways.
Saturday nights with friends, clinking pink wine glasses, watching the X Factor, and singing along to George Michael until an unsociable hour.
Wedding preparations, trying to choose a first dance from the CD collection, which took far too many nights. Compiling table plans on white paper plates and gluing name tags onto sepia vintage pictures.
Arriving home, as man and wife, giddy with contentedness, surrounded by wedding cards and rose cup cakes.
Packing for our honeymoon, feeling the luckiest I have ever felt in my life, imagining our honeymoon suite with private roof terrace, in sun soaked Santorini.
Arr, sweet, glorious, memories from our polka dot era.
Farwell polka dot home.
I'm going to miss you.
But I'll never forget you.
It’s been a blast.

Monday, 4 March 2013

The King in the car park and other strange tales

Recent occurrences have proved to me that truth really can be stranger than fiction.
One moment you could be eating a banana sandwich and thinking all is calm and fairly uneventful, then WHAM! BAM! Something odd or unexpected can almost have you choking on your crusts.
Or even worse, you could be munching a beef burger, but it’s actually horse meat.
In the UK, unbeknown to the innocent consumer, we’ve been buying beef, because it looks like beef, it says beef on the label, but it’s actually horse.
Costs were analysed, people at the top became suspicious of suppliers, tests were carried out, and fears have been confirmed.
In some countries it’s considered normal to scoff on horse. This is fine, if the meat is safe for human consumption, and if the human is fully aware of the contents on their plate.
But it’s not just food which has been full of surprises.
King Richard 111 of England, he who was killed at the battle of Bosworth field in 1485, has been found in a car park in Leicester.
For nearly 600 years Richard lay undisturbed. And for several years cars manoeuvred and reverse parked, unaware of the famous bones below. Then along came a channel 4 television programme, digging commenced, and an announcement stated that through DNA testing, they’ve found the King with the curved spine.
And what about the meteorite which fell to Earth in Russia? Yep, a 10 tonne meteorite plunged to Earth in a series of fireballs, shortly after sunrise.
Nobody saw that coming – until it was too late. (Luckily, over 900 people were injured but no fatalities.)
And I didn’t see something huge and disruptive heading my way either.
Dear readers, I’m sad to report that at the last possible moment imaginable, after fees were paid, surveys carried out, documents signed, and packing commenced, the vendors pulled out from selling our future home.
So we’ve moved out of the polka dot home (it never really belonged to us in the first place), because we had to honour our notice period and the fact a new couple would be moving in.
We are now co-habiting with my father in law, and all our worldly goods are stored in my brother in law’s garage.
It’s not how I thought it would be.
A little bit of our dream has died.
The period property and beautiful grounds we’d imagined ourselves living in have vanished from our world.
The dinner parties I’d planned and the country walks we’d spoken fondly about are no longer feasible.
The second bedroom for guests to stay, and the views of the cricket pitch are not for us.
They’ve all gone, rudely ripped from our grasp, and crumbled into a black hole of everlasting nothingness.