Sunday, December 28, 2008

A (Belated) Merry Christmas...

Christmas Day went well - a nice family meal with m'mater, chum #1 and her parents and our friend from uni (many moons ago, seems like). I was quite busy the day before, roasting a ham with maple syrup, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. It was, I am assured, fantastic. The fact that I had to actively fight the collies off to eat my portions would support its excellence. I think I will do this every Christmas; it's cheaper to buy an uncooked / smoked ham and roast it yourself, and it invariably tastes better (even with the cremating oven from Hell).

Nut roast tonight with steamed veggies; pork roast tomorrow (we would have had the pork roast on Christmas Eve - traditional Danish fare - but I didn't check the cooking instructions until about 2 hours before we were going to eat, and it has to be fully defrosted before use. :( But, that means we get it tomorrow and I still have the red cabbage to do as well as the hasselback taters. 's good.)

I haven't done any more on the novel, although I've planned a short story (started out as a ghost story, but I don't think it is now). So I've got more writing to do, as well as a plan of things I want to do / complete in 2009. I'm working on the 30th of December (a librarian's work is never done) but then I'm off again 'til the 5th of January, so it's been a lengthy holiday, which is nice.

I have been blessed with Amazon vouchers for Crimble, so there will be a trawling through the book book - adding titles, deleting some I've decided not get etc. - and then there will be purchasing of books. Yay! Bibliomania will be appeased! And in between everything else I can watch Season 2 of Dr Who. ::blinks:: I need to check that all of the discs are working ::blinks:: Honest.

Anyway, Joy to All & Peas on Earth. Time to go and sort out dinner before the 39 Steps starts!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Adventures in cooking...

Having been given a bag of frozen prawns, squid, and mussels by m'mother a little while ago, I finally decided what to do with them last night. (We won't discuss how long they were in the freezer. It'll be fine.)
Chum #1 is currently suffering from the hanging mucosal lergy and felt in need of zinc (hence the prawns) and I thought lots of nice vitamins and minerals couldn't hurt.

So, sauted onion and garlic in olive oil; added two big handfuls of freshly chopped parsley, and two big pinches of Tuscan herbs (similar to Italian herbs except it also includes fennel seeds - yum).
I added the fish and then I cheated a bit, using one of the (Schwartz?) fish sauces in a bag (tomatoes, olives and rosemary) because I didn't have enough time to let a homemade sauce settle*

Added a small bottle of passata, 3/4 of a green pepper, 1/4 of a red one, a sprinkle of freshly pestled peppercorns, some chopped fennel bulb, and two flat mushrooms, also chopped.

Let it burble for about 30 minutes, added two handfuls of arborio (sp?) rice and let it burble for another 15 minutes.

Lovely. Nom nom nom.

*If you've got the time, and don't have a ready sauce then I would just substitute another jar of passata and add in fresh rosemary, some olives, some capers and whatever other herbs and veg you like and let it burble slowly for a few hours. You can always add the fish later** once the sauce has settled in.
**Otherwise there will be rubber shellfish to chew and your jaws will ache.

Mood: Hungry

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I hate budgets with a great, pointy stick / head-banging / give me more caffiene kind of hatred.

They are all kinds of suck.

I am going home now. Hopefully, there will be cake. I know there will be curry - this is good. If it is followed by cake it will be lovely.

Mood: annoyed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Music: This is Gallifrey - Our Childhood Home : Murray Gold

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


From wilde_tales

You are The Moon

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.

The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Nearly the end of the holiday...

Okay! Only four more days to go of my holiday and I've finally got round to getting the Internet access sorted out. I've made some progress on Model of Perfection, bringing the wordcount up to 16,116 words; I hope to top 20k before I head for home on Friday. I've also mamanged to read a fair bit (although, not as much as I would have liked. Partly because I've seen most of season 1 & 2 of Supernatural this holiday and that took me out of the reading somewhat.)
I have read:
Tempting the Beast - Lora Leigh
The Man Within - Lora Leigh
Elizabeth's Wolf - Lora Leigh
Nymph King - Gena Showalter
Atlantis Rising - Alyssa Day
The Rogue Hunter - Lynsay Sands
Blood Dreams - Kay Hooper
Turbulent Sea - Christine Feehan
Dark Moon Defender - Sharon Shinn
Reader and Raelynx - Sharon Shinn
My Wicked Enemy - Carolyn Jewel
Lord of the Fading Lands - C.L. Wilson
Lady of Light and Shadows - C.L. Wilson
King of Sword and Sky - C.L. Wilson
Sebastian - Anne Bishop
Belladonna - Anne Bishop
1700: Scenes from London Life - Maureen Waller
Women's Costume: The 18th Century - The Gallery of English Costume
The Period House: Style, Detail & Decoration : 1774 to 1914 - Richard Russell Lawrence and Teresa Chris

And also there's been sleeping, eating, dog walking and frisbee throwing; so it's all to the good. Although I wish I had enough holiday each year to be able to take three weeks in a row and not worry about not having much holiday left. And having the money for the cottage for three weeks as well. Photos to follow later because, of course, I forgot the cable for the laptop-camera connection.

The weather's been mostly sunny, with the odd bit of rain and hail - not bad for Pembrokeshire in November / December, especially as most of the rain has been in the evening. I have been palgued by a robin who keeps trying to come into the house for a look round. It had a wander round under the dining table the first time and now it just stands on the step outside looking at me. I usually give in and crumble some seeded bread for it. Giving in to the blandishments of a bird. tut-tut. I also saw, this morning, a bullfinch. First time I've seen one since I moved away from Dorset. They don't appear to be that common in Derbyshire and it was nice to see that they are still around.The only downside to staying in such a lovely cottage is that central heating is included, so of course we have it on. This does mean, however, that when we get home we're giong to be terribly nesh for a week or so as we adjust to a house with a back-boiler and open fire, rather than full on central heating as we have now.

Anyway, that's me and my little update. I shall no doubt spend most of the weekend going through all of my newsgroup digests and trying to clear all of those before I go back to work on Monday. It will be a definite case of hitting the ground running, but after a presentation on the morning of the 18th I can relax a bit and think about Christmas.