Monday, February 28, 2011

Z is for ...


2 months of daily blogging have taken their toll and I'm planning to have a (little) rest in March

evening shadows in avranches, france

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Y is for ...

You know who you are.

You do something to me - Paul Weller

Saturday, February 26, 2011

X is for ...

xxx kisses xxx

My lovely R is 22 today.

Happy Birthday!

enjoying the view on the golden gate bridge

shopping in san francisco

enjoying the view (again!) ravello, italy

Friday, February 25, 2011

W is for ...


So many photos of windows in the archives, it's hard to choose ...

tucson, arizona - apr 2009
volterra, tuscany - june 2010
san gimignano, tuscany - june 2010
avranches, normandy - apr 2010
fort worth, texas - apr 2009

Thursday, February 24, 2011

V is for ...


We saw this dramatic sculpture by Richard Serra at The Museum of Modern Art in Fort Worth, Texas.

Made of 2" steel slabs 10' wide and 67' tall, twisted, curved, and assembled with a 10' opening on top, the total weight is 230 tons.

When you stand inside your voice echoes round and round

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

U is for ...


Made me think of a film I haven't seen in a long time, with a very haunting soundtrack ...

(Yes, I know it looks as though several men are standing on ladders with hosepipes, but still ...)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

T is for ...

Thameside Tuesday
Back at college today ...

Last week I posted about this wonderful baker. I have to walk past the shop to and from Waterloo East Station.

This week I went in there and bought some spiced apple cake.

This is what it looked like before I ate it!

Monday, February 21, 2011

S is for ...


On the way back from the family wedding in Devon two weeks ago, we stayed the night in Salisbury, Wiltshire.

Did our customary Wandering The Streets thing and found this ...

... next to which was a plaque with the following ...

An important timely point of interest to the passer-by ... In the Year of our Lord 1752 the reformation of the Calendar took place - see the wall dial above dated 1749. This Julian calendar made the year too short, thus the accumulated error amounted to eleven days. England adopted the Gregorian or Reformed Calendar, so the next day after September 2nd 1752 became September 14th 1752.

... then this in the Cathedral Close...

The Walking Madonna.
This was Elisabeth Frink's only sculpture with a woman as subject. She usually concentrated on men and animals.
I'm not that familiar with her work, but I love this. I can see she was heavily influenced by Giacometti.

Also in the Close were these balloons, straining against the nets, waiting to be released into the cloudy skies. They were all tagged for a balloon race in aid of a local charity.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

R is for ...


The cupboard was getting bare yesterday, so we headed out to the supermarket to restock.

It was raining ...

The snowdrops in the churchyard were getting a good watering ...

I liked this ...

As well as being wet, it was cold and I was wrapped up with plenty of warm clothes. Comfort won over glamour - unlike this lady in the rain in Siena last year!

These reflections caught my eye in Washington, DC a couple of years ago ...

and this was taken during a downpour in New Orleans ...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Q is for ...


I'm not sure what the question is, but the answer is almost always chocolate!

Two recipes for chocolate lovers ...

The first is from Delia Smith. Lettuce's sister makes this for special occasions. It's wonderfully rich - a little goes a long way

Delia's Chocolate Truffle Torte

3 oz (75 g) Amaretti biscuits, crushed finely with a rolling pin
1 lb (450 g) dark chocolate (75 per cent cocoa solids) – the best quality possible
5 tablespoons liquid glucose
5 tablespoons rum
1 pint (570 ml) double cream, at room temperature

Start off by sprinkling the crushed biscuits all over the base of the tin. Next, break the chocolate into sections and put them in a heatproof bowl together with the liquid glucose and the rum. Fit the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, then leave it until the chocolate has melted and become quite smooth. Stir, then take off the heat and leave the mixture to cool for 5 minutes or so until it feels just warm.

Now, in a separate bowl, beat the cream until only very slightly thickened. Fold half into the chocolate mixture and then fold that mixture into the rest of the cream. When it is smoothly blended, spoon it into the prepared tin. Tap the tin gently to even the mixture out, cover with clingfilm and chill overnight. Just before serving, run a palette knife round the edge to loosen the torte, then give it a good shake and turn the whole thing out on to a serving plate (don't be nervous about this – it's very well behaved).

To serve, dust the surface with sifted cocoa powder and, if you like, mark the top into serving sections. Have some chilled pouring cream to go with it; if you have any, a couple of tablespoons of amaretto liqueur makes a wonderful addition to the cream.

The second is an old favourite - from a cookbook I bought when we were first married. My father-in-law loves this.

Chocolate Up and Over Pudding

Grease a deep, oven-proof dish approx 1 litre capacity
In a bowl mix together 100g soft margarine, 100g granulated sugar, 2 beaten eggs, 75g self-raising flour and 25g drinking chocolate powder. Beat well to make a smooth mixture. Transfer mixture to greased dish and level the top.
Mix together 25g cocoa powder, 40g chopped nuts and 50g demerara sugar and sprinkle over sponge mix.
Make up 300ml hot, strong, black coffee and sweeten with 50g demerara sugar. Pour over sponge mix, then cook for approx 50 mins at gas 4 (350F or 180C)

When cooking the sponge mixture rises over the coffee, giving a thick fudgy sauce underneath.
Serve hot. Good with cream or vanilla ice cream.

Friday, February 18, 2011

P is for ...


plus a few more random Ps for your perusal and pleasure ...


Pink Floyd (at Live 8 - some of the vocals are a little shaky, but hang in there for Gilmour's guitar)


and parrot

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

N is for ...

New Orleans

What a wonderful city!

We stayed there for a couple of days on our road trip in 2009.

Ate at Herbsaint (if you've never had absinthe in your soup, this is the place to try it!)

Listened to music,

sat and dreamed by ol' man river,

took a boat ride on the bayou

and watched the wildlife.

Wandered through the garden district

and rain-washed streets

until the sun set.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

M is for ...


Further digging in the archives brings the following pics from last year's trip to the Big Apple (like I need an excuse!) ...

1. reflections in glass from the high line
2. cathedral of st john the divine
3. flags after the blessing of the animals at st john the divine
4. street art, SoHo