webcowgirl: (Queen Apple)
Great party last night and thank you so much to [livejournal.com profile] booklectic and [livejournal.com profile] djm for hosting! I can't believe how many people were there and how many people I talked to - people were just coming out of the woodwork! Special thanks to [livejournal.com profile] lolliepopp and [livejournal.com profile] babysimon for checking in with me all night - I'd been having a crappy day and it was nice to know they Had My Back. I've posted my pictures on Facebook, which is evil but has great photo uploading technology. Even though it looks like everyone was in costume, in fact only about one third of the people were, but those were the ones I took pictures of because they were SO fabulous, especially [livejournal.com profile] trishpiglet, dressed as the world's last remaining cassette tape. And [livejournal.com profile] notintheseheels was a great Boy George.

At any rate, VERY good evening, and thanks again to [livejournal.com profile] djm for the lift home, which made it possible for me and J to stay later than we normally would and probably saved both of us from incurring debilitating hangovers (well, me, anyway).
webcowgirl: (HotTomato)
I made a yummy cobbler tonight (inspired by [livejournal.com profile] djm saying he was going to pick blackberries and then make a pie with them):


The recipe is from the Morning Grange cookbook my grandma gave me years ago. It was actually a bit hard to find one that used fresh fruit and didn't use self-rising flour. (I also rejected the one that called for a box of butter brickle cake mix, which they certainly don't have in England and which I doubt is even made in the US anymore.) I used a mix of 2/3 apricots and 1/3 peaches.

Latona Hedrick's Quick Cobbler
1 c flour
3/4 c milk
1/2 tsp vanilla (note the recipe doesn't say what to do with it)
1 pound can of cherries, peaches, or pineapple, drained (her note says "I usually use more fruit if I use raw fruit." I also added a splash of cointreau as the apricots I used were dry.)
1 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 stick oleo (I used far less than this, probably a third of a cup)

Dot bottom of baking dish with slices of oleo and melt. Mix four, sugar and baking powder; add milk (I also added vanilla). Pour over batter in baking dish. Spoon drained fruit over mixture, making sure there is enough room for batter to bubble through fruit.

Here's my interpretation of enough room: Latona Hedrick's quick cobbler (with apricots and peaches), b... on Twitpic

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or whipping cream. (This is very good made with fresh peaches.)

And it was good! The cobbler looks done now! It's still bubbling so I'll let i... on Twitpic We didn't even add ice cream.

My day was actually far busier than I should have let myself be, since I'm still sick ... I went to London Bridge to meet my friend Cate and help her organize her paperwork for her visa renewal (since she basically helped coach me into passing the interview for my new job, I most certainly owe here), then trekked up to Walthamstow for a visit with [livejournal.com profile] dreamsewing, who showed me around her new digs and helped me do some strategizing about how to fix an awkward social situation I find myself in. We also had lunch at an adorable restaurant called Manzes which is basically a Victorian pie and mash shop that's been trapped in a bottle on Walthamstow high street for over a hundred years. (Good pie, too.)

I had canceled my evening plans as soon as I got out of the train at London Bridge and realized I'd basically burned through my energy for the day simply by walking to the tube stop; what, really, was I thinking? I swear, I do this thing where I keep pushing myself through my exhaustion over and over again and I'm convinced it's why my damned colds linger so long. Thank God I don't have to go to work this week! Anyway, J and I are both sick and were happy to stay home tonight, him cooking and me somehow washing the dishes despite an overwhelming urge to lie on the sofa. Going out for exercise is a good plan but at this rate it's not going to be happening until next week rolls around.

Oh, and I finished The Ladies of Grace Adieu and other short stories and totally loved it. But now ... I MUST go to bed.
webcowgirl: (Default)
This has been one of the best weeks in memory. It got off to a great start with a weekend of tremendous lazing about in the garden of my flat, then progressed to (Monday) ballet at lunchtime, being taken out to dinner with [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy and fed prodigious quantities of white wine, (Tuesday) more dance at lunch, going to a hysterical show with J, [livejournal.com profile] wechsler and [livejournal.com profile] booklectic at which more white wine was thrust upon me, (Weds) picnic in the park over lunch (my gym membership has expired so laziness has been thrust upon me) then skipping Pilates (Y too hot) in favor of yummy Italian food and red wine, (Thursday) a day in training but NOT at the office, which meant done much earlier, then the evening being fed food and watching True Blood (WOW was there a lot of sex - never watched a cable TV series before), and then today, when lunch was spent chatting with [livejournal.com profile] sniperi and dinner will be visiting an American friend of a friend and then watching some ballet (I scored tickets to a sold out show after hitting f5 every ten minutes - yay!).Dropping EU regs against ugly fruit may explain these bizarre... on Twitpic

And I got a package in the mail nearly every day. For some reason I've got a book from Idaho which normally I'd think was an Amazon order, only it's not a book I bought. Has anyone sent me any books lately? If I find out this one is from my mother in law, it's heading straight to the charity shop.

I've whiled away the afternoon fixing automation, wondering about accomodations in Dubrovnik, and generally getting psyched up for the weekend. I hope it goes as well as this week has. Even though it's been really warm, I'm finding there's a lot to like about this summer.

In other news, anyone noticed how quiet LJ has been lately? I come by here to see what's going on and there are tumbleweeds rolling by. I wonder if everyone's moved to Facebook and Twitter? I still don't really get FB but I've gone completely mad for Twitter.
webcowgirl: (Default)
I'm going to get my review of the Walking in my Mind show at the Hayward written up at some point today, but I wanted to share this picture of the Intrepid Well Spotted ExplorerVane:

Yayoi Kusama: people are getting dotty in the sunshine. on Twitpic

It was a good show and a really fun way to spend a Friday night.
webcowgirl: (Default)
Holy CRAP I am exhausted. Is it because I spent all day in a conference? No, it's because the Master of the Alarm Clock left it set to an hour earlier than normal last night, and only figured it out some time after it had gone out and I had dragged myself into the shower. I _did_ go back to sleep afterwards. I wound up missing most of the first speaker for my conference because of all of this, but I figured it was better to be able to pay attention for most of the day and miss one speaker than to be there for all of it and forget every single thing that happened because I couldn't keep my eyes open.

The conference (a QA conference) was actually pretty good. I say this in spite of the fact that the first two hours were nearly a complete waste of my time. So why is this? Well, of the six talks I heard, four of them were interesting and two of them were actually useful. That's actually really good - I figure one good talk out of a whole day is a good return on value (and it's to be expected that some people just aren't going to be good speakers). I've got a lot to take back to work with me.Walking back from the conference through Regent's Park - it's... on Twitpic

Oh, yes, including this: Friday AM I have a screening interview with Tripadelic. I'm psyched, though I'm worried I'm going to sound like I've spent the last two years mostly rotting. Which, you know, is true, but it doesn't make people want to hire you.

After the conference, I met up with J in Regent's Park (because it's SO pretty there, and the roses are going crazy), then went with him to the Saatchi Gallery. I'd won free tickets off of the Evening Standard (I've got another pair for next Wednesday, let me know if you want them), but, you know, the Saatchi is often so modern it passes me by. We left after an hour and headed back to Tooting, where we gorged ourselves on Karahi Lamb (yes, we do like it hot) and channa masala. Mmmmmm. I love my neighborhood.
webcowgirl: (Default)
Mondays are often a good day for me, as I'm at work with enough sleep and tend to feel more able to handle the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune," as it were. But today is payday, and I've been approved for some training next week (giving me something to look forward to), and I'm going to see a play tonight with my friends C and Josela, so I am feeling pretty good about today.

[livejournal.com profile] wechsler has uploaded pictures from our trip to Nice on his Flickr account. They're awesome! (Also the source of the new user icon, which makes me laugh every time I see it.) I swear that I was reverse aging while I was gone.

Whinging about having nothing to read appears to have been tremendously successful as I now have piles of books winging their way toward me. Some of them winged their way with me after [livejournal.com profile] bathtubgin's do on Saturday, and I've started The Whitby Witches (which she lent to me). I'm not expecting anything genius, just a fun kids' story with magic.

Overall not a bad weekend, even though I spent most of Saturday moping after feeling like I was kicked to the floor Friday night. I wish I could get my happy back faster after people upset me - I hate watching valuable weekend time waste away when I've got so much to do but am to crushed to move. Since it ended well, at least, I'm in a good mood today, and that's what counts.

Also: in a series (in which I read Jo Clayton books around the world): me and Dancers Rise, by Jo Clayton, Entrevaux train station, France.

webcowgirl: (Default)
Bid goodbye to my guests this morning and then promptly went back to bed. Have now had pancakes and am thinking about going back to bed again. However, I need to get laundry going, plant things, clean the house, and then, oh, yes, there are the things I actually had planned for today. I am going to see Company at the Union Theatre Southwark at 3 PM, I've got fantasies about going to the long weekend at the Tate, and then there's the party Chez Blondes that I might actually manage to make it to if I can get back home before it's over.



Though, really, what it looks like is the perfect day to go to Brighton.
webcowgirl: (Travel)
My second full day in Durham was probably just as much fun as yesterday, despite there not being a trip to Rumbletum's in the middle and, er, despite the fact that most of it was not in Durham. [livejournal.com profile] weegoddess and I (and her J) started the day off at the Continental Cafe again, then walked to the train station. From there we were off to Newcastle, from which we changed to the local commuter rail (the "Metro") to go to Tynemouth Abbey. Now, WG had told me that we were going to a ruined abbey ... but LO! what to my wondering eyes did appear at the Tynemouth station but a fleamarket! And not some little pile of tat or acres of cheap Chinese household goods but a wonderful mix of used books, craft stalls, baked goods, vintage and antiques, and of course the requisite piles of crap from China (but that was maybe 10% so not too much). I'm afraid she about entirely lost me to this place, but fortunately the incredibly sunny day we had kept pushing me on. Still, it was probably an hour before we left, and I did buy egg cups, some silverware I can take into work, a cross stitch book, AND a 40's era stacking cake plate which I got not just for 4 quid less than priced but with its friend the lonely non-stacking plate that matched thrown in to boot (because, you know, don't want to break up the family). Somehow this all fit into my bag...

And we headed to the Tynemouth Priory/Abbey, which was really just down the street! It was on a headland on the edge of the sea, and really, just how cool is it ... Me at Tynemouth Priory. Behind is the North Sea.

We were there for probably two hours, and I had a grand time poking around the huge site, which includes a large Victorian graveyard and a battery (gun emplacement) right on the edge of the cliff that had a remarkably well preserved artillery below it.

From there it was off for tea and such (because, you know, I'm on vacation in England, thus I must have 1) full English breakfast 2) tea and scones in the afternoon), then leisurely back to Durham, where some time after we got back (6:30 or so?) it came to light that there was a great exhaustion in the house and perhaps we would not go out to see Wolverine after all. Because, you know, we had chicken pie I'd bought at the market for dinner, and salad to go with, and some nice wine, and some sticky toffee pudding that's still waiting to make our acquaintance. And, er, at least two of us were bone tired. So no movie tonight. Instead I chatted with Mariko, J, and W on the phone (phone! how novel!), had dinner, and expect that soon I will get friendly with the yummy dessert. Ooh, and then write my Peer Gynt review. Better get on it!
webcowgirl: (Twit/ter)
Me: And I ended my Tweet with, "Celebratory shot of Port, meeples?"
W: Wouldn't that be "Tweeples?"
Me: I guess you already tweepled the meeples ... wait, those were camels.
W: Is port a desert wine?
J: LA LA LA! I can't hear this conversation!
webcowgirl: (Default)
At www.dosa-chutny.co.uk for lunch. Masala tea on a cold day!
picture.jpg

webcowgirl: (HotTomato)
The plants make me happy.
picture.jpg

Maybe I'll make some chocolate chip cookies later on today. It would be a good way to use the pecans.
webcowgirl: (Default)
Here's a picture of me during the move from yesterday.

Drinking tea now. Off to the flat to let in the cleaning service in a bit.
webcowgirl: (Default)
Mama's alright, Cheap Trick
picture.jpg

webcowgirl: (Default)
We end our visit to Morocco with piles of goodies to squeeze in the luggage and nice hot cups of Lipton Yellow Label at the riad. We also have two sandwiches for the plane, because I just couldn't leave without one more taste of that spicy Merguez sausage (though I'm actually having chicken, the joke had to be made). (Actually, the real joke is that we're flying EasyJet, so bringing food is a must).
picture.jpg

(NOTE: apparently there's a bit of a lag between when I mailed these and when they showed up!)
webcowgirl: (Default)
We're killing the hot part of another slack day at the Jardins Majorelles, which are much more gardeny (full of pathways and places to sit) than the Agdal (which was more of a thousand acre orchard with a pool in the middle). This garden is full of cactus and other succulents, as well as too-rich tourists slumming during the slow bits of the film festival. We ate lunch for some £5 today - sausages, omelette, bread, salad, water - then had some kid hassle us for a similar, outrageous amount for getting us out of the souk. Of course, once we got to this garden it was rip-off city time: £5 for a juice and £3 for mint tea. This can be a fantastically cheap place to visit but the feeling of being seen as the white wallet waiting for a shakedown is difficult to escape. On the other hand, we bought a set of pillows for our couch today that seemed nearly free - and some olives that at £1.50 the kilo surely were. They'll go nicely with the duty-free gin we picked up at the airport, I think.picture.jpg

You know what's odd? We've only been online once in five days. I do actually miss being able to keep up with people via LJ (imperfect medium that it is) but I have been talking with J so much that I haven't once been bored. And [livejournal.com profile] bathtubgin, there's a lot of things I wish I could do for you that I can't, but I was inspired by our trip to the hammam to pick something up for you. I hope you like it.
webcowgirl: (Default)
We're halfway through our ride, taking a break at a viewpoint. Lunch was bread, cheese, plain pasta raw bell peppers/tomatoes onoins, eggs scrambled with onions, cold cooked fish, and now dessert of fruit (bananas and pomegranate). And of couse mint tea.
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webcowgirl: (Default)
Holy shit - everything at the restaurant we're at (see picture) just went nuts. They switched from live music to a DJ and suddenly there's belly dancers everywhere, including one with candles on her head. We were just looking for a chill meal post-hammam, but this is great!
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webcowgirl: (Default)
We're sipping mint tea on the terrace of the hotel CTM listening to the call to prayer and this is the view beyond the balcony. Marrakesh so far is a madhouse of tiny streets shares by pedestrians, street vendors, mopeds, and donkey carts. Last night at midnight the donkeys all had their tongues hanging out and semi feral cats were tearing into plastic bags full of garbage. While the streets aren't clean, it seems far more prosperous than Tunis or Cairo. Last night this plaza was full of food stalls, the air lit yellow with clouds of steam rising everywhere, like Bladerunner without the rain, and crowds of jamming Gnawa musicians making a great cacophony. Today the boiled sheep's heads and snail stalls are gone, and its men with monkeys, fresh orange juice, and fortune tellers. Wait, I think I hear the flute of the master musicians of Joujouka way off to the left - maybe it's time to head back down and explore some more.
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webcowgirl: (Default)
I die of full now. The bottle of wine looks like the enemy.
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