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Archive for September, 2006

The one with the photography links (and a bit more)

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

I should be catching up on the cleaning and a huuuuge pile of ironing (and I am, honest, guv) but the allure of the internet beckoned so a quick set of photography sites that have caught my eye this last few weeks.

Meanwhile…

Must dash, the kitchen floor needs a-mopping…

Unusual sandwich fillings

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

I rummaged around the fridge earlier, looking for something to put in a sandwich. Tuna, cheese, tomatoes, beetroot, pastrami, nothing appealed. Then I spotted a tupperware of leftover cooked cauliflower from last night’s supper. I’d planned to reheat it tonight with sausages but the man will be late home this evening and probably won’t want a meal so waste not, want not, I heated it up in the microwave, spread it on a couple of slices of wholemeal bread and had cauliflower sandwiches. Delicious! Come to think of it, a rasher of grilled bacon or tomatoes on top would’ve been good too.

It’s always puzzled me that so many people strip away all of the green part of cauliflower and just use the florets. So much of the flavour and colour is in those leaves. In fact, it’s sometimes hard to find cauliflowers with a generous helping of leaves, too many of the supermarkets strip them before putting them on sale but when you do find them, here’s the bestest way to cook it.

Mashed cauliflower

  1. Buy a nice, fresh cauliflower with plenty of green leaves.
  2. Pull the leaves off from the base, peel the soft leafy part and keep in a bowl of water. Discard the thick stalks.
  3. Chop the white florets, rinse and put into a saucepan. Add the leaves.
  4. Add water and salt, bring to the boil then keep on a rolling boil for about 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the cauliflower.
  5. Drain the cooked cauliflower, add a generous knob of butter (and optionally some ground pepper) and mash lightly
  6. Serve as an accompaniment to just about any meal.

I’d like to tell you that this is a really good alternative to mashed potatoes and it is… but the truth is if I’m cooking a roast dinner I cook both. And roasties too. So there.

Where was I? Oh yes, I could really get into the idea of unusual sandwich feelings. I think it runs in the family – my grandfather loved condensed milk sandwiches and a cousin’s daily breakfast as a child was sugar sandwiches dunked in tea (bleugh) but for when I’m short of inspiration, do you guys have any ideas?

Quote of the day, #40

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

…except that I can’t remember the exact quote and google’s no help. It’s something along the lines of “You can choose your friends but you’re stuck with family”. Anyone know it?

Anyway, If I had to choose family I’d pick exactly the one I have. It’s my youngest brother’s birthday today so here’s a little something from the excellent picture generator, Letter James:

Cinema boarding reads Happy Birthday to the best brother in the world

The one with the dog links

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

I meant to post this hours ago but the delay is all her fault: one mention of Prince Edward Island and I’m off to find a copy of Anne of Green Gables. Hours later and I’ve just left Anne with an e reconciled with Gilbert Blythe, looking forward to teaching at Avonlea and sharing a house with Marilla. Wonderful stuff.

And so on to the canine connections.

Inspiration to all would-be dog trainers out there – Simon Says.

Can’t train your dog as well as that? Let’s have a look at Games to play with your dog or some dog training video tutorials.

Looking for a dog to teach new tricks to? I’ve just discovered (and promptly fallen in love with) the Xoloitzcuintli (also known as the Mexican hairless and Mexican coated dog).

Or how about another one of those faces only a mother could love. Unlike this gorgeous wee fellow, a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

You’ll need a comfortable bed for your new companion…

…and if you feed him too many charcoal biscuits he might have a bad case of botty burping. Fear not, help is at hand!

The Dogone Thong – Dog Gas Neutralizing Pad is a comfortable and least intrusive means for deodorizing gassy discharges in a thong design. This will eliminate pet odors and dog odors from flatus or flatulence.

Moving on to the history of dogs, Dateline: Kennel is a lovely compilation of newspaper photos of dogs from the fifties and sixties.

And finally

One non doggie link for the heathens amongst us, the guilty pleasure that is I will survive, the Jesus version.

And one for the idiots.

Night, night.

She who hesitates is lost

Monday, September 25th, 2006

Dammit, dammit, dammit.

Back to linkage then while I concoct another cunning plan. Quack. Quack.
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A book link missing from the last post

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

File under “What a good idea!”, Daily Lit has a service that lets you choose a book and then receive bite size chunks of it by email:

Because if you are like us, you spend hours each day reading email but don’t find the time to read books. DailyLit brings books right into your inbox in convenient small messages that take less than 5 minutes to read. This works incredibly well not just on your computer but also on a Treo, Blackberry, Sidekick or whatever the PDA of your choice. In the words of Dr. Seuss: Try it, you might like it!

You can choose to receive book chunks Daily, Weekly or Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you can even select the time it hits your inbox (good for all you GTDers out there). It’s currently limited to US Eastern but it looks as if you’ll be able to select your time zone soon and not have to rely on the Time Zone Convertor. More information on the FAQ page.

I’m going to give it a try but I tend to devour books once started and I suspect that I’ll be seeking out the whole book by day two.

Via Gordon.

The one with the book links

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

First up a couple of links for Tolkien fans, especially wedding-day-impending Kirsi. Maybe you guys would like to set up the marital home in The Shire of Bend, Oregon, a housing development inspired by the Hobbit Shire…

You’re right, why would you want to leave a wonderful country like Finland! Then how about a trip to Record Brother who has recordings of JRR Tolkien reading (and singing!) Lord of the Rings. Side 1 is a 2.4mb download, side 2 is 8.6mb.

New blog alert! Vanessa’s The Fidra Blog sounds intriguing – “the ramblings of a book-lover who created her dream job…”. You can read more on the About page but someone who’s keen on books and The Archers is sure to be of interest to at least 50% of us :-)

I like my books either brand spanking new or used, tatty and torn but if you’re interested in learning how to repair books, Fiziwig has collected a wide range of tips from the Amazon.com seller’s forum.

Many years ago my grandmother had a metal, lockable tin fashioned to look like a book that she kept nestled amongst real books in a lovely old walnut bookcase. I’ve been trying to remember the title of the book, all I can remember is that it was dark colours, maybe a pre-Raphaelite painting, and gold script (must remember to ask my father) but since that tin is long gone I might have a go at this tutorial, How to make a hollow book.

One Sentence is:

an experiment in brevity. Most of the best stories that we tell from our lives have one really, really good part that make the rest of the boring story worth it.

I’ve already spotted some favourites, like this one by Johnny Luddite:

As the porter wheeling my gurney down to the operating room took a corner too tightly, crashing my arm into the wall, I reflected that my last utterance on this earth might well be a profanity.

And finally… Mindy’s book is out! Mommy Confidential: Adventures from the Wonderbelly of Motherhood:

Take a woman fresh out of college, plop her down in Silicon Valley, saddle her with a mortgage, let her ride the tech boom, give her three babies in four years, slap her with the tech bust, watch vicariously as her marriage disintegrates, end her career, and hand her a computer. What do you get? Mommy Confidential: Adventures from the Wonder-belly of Motherhood, a memoir in real time adapted from the wildly popular weblog, The Mommy Blog.

Mommy Confidential is a naked, brutally funny, endearingly honest chronicle of family life beset by disaster on many fronts. Mindy keeps her family together through catastrophic illness, four bouts of postpartum depression, financial peril, relationship Chernobyl, familial Waterloo, and job instability. All through it her sense of humor and her sharp, edgy, witty writing keep her together and upright.

If that’s not enough to convince you, you can read excerpts here, here and here. Congratulations Mindy!

The kindness of strangers

Sunday, September 17th, 2006

Well, he’s not a stranger any more but one of the reasons for the trip was to drop off a couple of cameras he no longer uses and has rashly left here on loan. My old camera died a few months back and although Martyn has one, he’s out and about with it so often I very rarely get the chance to use it so it was an absolute joy to get on the road first thing this morning, camera in hand, to take a long walk along the Kennet river. I’ve put some up on Flickr but I was a little too distracted by the thought of lunch at a pub called the Rowbarge Inn in Woolhampton.

Set in lovely surroundings with a river to one side and a canal to the other, the Rowbarge Inn can be found at the end of the village of Woolhampton next to the railway station. This beautiful old 18th Century fronted building was often visited by Douglas Bader and owned in the 70’s by actor Larry Naismith when it was frequented by such famous names as Lawrence Olivier and Cary Grant.

We sat in the garden with other dog owners (a beautiful ridgeback and a wire-haired dachshund to name but a few) enjoying the warm September sunshine and watching the narrow barges go by. Blissful.

Quote of the day, #39

Saturday, September 16th, 2006

I made the mistake* of reading George Orwell‘s A Clergyman’s Daughter this week (having come across an online pdf version at Bookyards).

So, just ten days after her arrest for begging, Dorothy set out for Ringwood House Academy, Brough Road, Southbridge, with a small trunk decently full of clothes and four pounds ten in her purse— for Sir Thomas had made her a present of ten pounds. When she thought of the ease with which this job had been found for her, and then of the miserable struggles of three weeks ago, the contrast amazed her. It brought home to her, as never before, the mysterious power of money. In fact, it reminded her of a favourite saying of Mr Warburton’s, that if you took 1 Corinthians, chapter thirteen, and in every verse wrote ‘money’ instead of ‘charity’, the chapter had ten times as much meaning as before.

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What do the following have in common?

Saturday, September 16th, 2006

One leek and potato soup
One cheese board
Six crusty bread rolls
One pot of Lavazza decaffinated
One frantic bout of house cleaning

A visit from a fellow blogger of course!

Alas it was a flying visit, a stopover on his way from Norfolk to Cardiff but it was lovely to meet him. He was just as I expected and nothing at all like I expected so I hope he’ll make a return appearance so that I can gossip tell you a little more.

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