Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chill weekend

We had an extremely chill weekend - the weather was sort of dreary so we did some gardening and lots of cooking and some movie watching. 

Yesterday James and I planted more of the daffodil bulbs in the front yard, and we dug in some of our very own compost from the bin. I shouldn't be surprised that the peelings and scrapings and general kitchen detritus turns itself into the 'soil improver' that I pay for at the garden centre, but I always am.  I need to NOT put whole potatoes in, though, however rotten and sprouty they are - they just grow into more potatoes in the compost bin.

For all the cooking we did, we took no pictures, which is extremely sad. We roasted a leg of lamb for dinner last night, which we were really greedy about and inhaled. I was going to eat the marrow, but John was worried that I'd get something dreadful like Scrapie, so I didn't. I've looked on the interwebs and it looks like I would have been safe. Next time!

Monday, October 20, 2008

If I had a Quarter for every time...

Well, that's it. My life is complete. I rang my first quarter peal on Saturday afternoon. We did some St. Simon's, some Grandsire, and finished with Plain Bob Doubles. I rang the treble (and should be able to give you more details about how many of each method we rang but I can't).

The 'band': (l-r, below) Morris, Leslie, me, Richard, Jo, and David. My overwhelming thought during the quarter was "Are we there yet?", replaced by "Phew, we DID it!" when we finished. The whole thing took about 45 minutes. I was surprisingly nervous, which made it more difficult, since I was pulling the bell too hard and making it really heavy going for myself.

I also made brownies for the band - I figured we could either celebrate with or drown our sorrows in the chocolate, depending on the final outcome.

 We rang at Finborough - the weather was glorious and it's a really pretty church. The bells are hung a little strangely, though - they're really creaky and the ropes fall in more of a caved-in hexagon than a circle.

After my bell-stravaganza, John and I went on a date!  Dinner and a movie!  I know!!  We went to Bury for Pizza Express (yum), where the service was a little slow but the food was tasty. We had plenty of time, so we didn't mind. Then we went to see Burn After Reading, which I had no expectations for. I'm not a huge fan of Coen brothers movies - they tend to be too dark and gory for me, and I find them distinctly unfunny. I woudn't have even suggested seeing the movie, except for the fact that they filmed part of it in Sutton Manor, where I grew up.  If you've seen the movie, the house where George Clooney's character lives is about 3 minutes walk from my parents' old house. They filmed it right after I visited last summer (I could have met George Clooney!!), and I really wanted to see the neighborhood on the big screen.

It turned out to be a REALLY funny movie - John and I chortled our way through it and I was psyched that there were lots of Sutton Manor shots.

Sunday, I did more bell ringing (normal Sunday morning stuff - my blisters were pretty intense from Saturday), planted some bulbs (thanks, Mom & Dad!), and read The Penderwicks On Gardam Street. I loved this Penderwick book as much as the first one - Jeanne Birdsall has to write them faster!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


We had some leftover bacon tonight and I knew I wanted to make soup, so I looked on the interwebs and in my cookbooks for some recipes. I ended up with a recipe-less mishmash of soups that was really tasty.

I borrowed heavily from two lentil soup recipes in the Covent Garden Soup cookbook, which is SO good, and a Delia Smith lentil soup recipe.  Basically, I fried the bacon with some onions in the bottom of my soup pan, and then added carrots, celery, green lentils, veggie stock, cumin seeds, ground coriander, some chili flakes, and a can of chopped tomatoes.  Simmer until the lentils are done, and poof! Dinner!

John pronounced it 7/10 (the lentils were a little undercooked and the whole thing could have simmered for longer but we were HUNGRY). V. tasty.

I have an Amazon gift certificate that was a birthday present (thanks, M!), that I've been sort of hoarding. I NEVER buy books - it's such a special treat. I think I might have to get the new Seasonal Soup book from the Covent Garden peeps.

I shall ponder.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sarah Palin the Post-Turtle

One of my fellow bell-ringers cut this out for me - it was in Saturday's London Times.
Word of the week: post-turtle
A 75-year-old Texas rancher recently explained this term to a country doctor. The conversation turned to the US election, and Sarah Palin's vice-presidential candidacy, and the old rancher observed: “Well, ya know, Palin is a post-turtle.” The bemused doctor asked what a post-turtle was, and the old man replied: “When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post-turtle.” The rancher continued: “You know she didn't get up there by herself, she doesn't belong up there, she doesn't know what to do while she is up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put her up there to begin with.”
Sufficiently true to be scary.

Monday, October 13, 2008

We rode on the highway (with no cars)

We took James on a bike ride yesterday - we went out of Stowmarket to the southwest (on the world-famous Cycle Route 51), all the way through Onehouse and into Harleston. We went down the hill towards Haughley, and under the new A14. And then found ourselves on the OLD A14 (with no cars). Rumor has it that they're going to turn it into a cycle path - I'll believe it when I see it!

Here are the boys, on the eastbound carriageway.

And here's the view from the top of the hill, again looking west:

After all that riding, we were hungry. John made a very tasty paella. Yum!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Two creations

First, for all of the Americans in the audience, please consider my latest creation:
And then, this week, I had this recipe for German apple cake pop up via Smitten Kitchen in my Google Reader. We're having F&T over tomorrow afternoon for tea, so I made it this afternoon (apparently it improves and is best eaten 24 hours later). John pronounced it 10/10 - it was REALLY tasty. I was a little worried because the consistency of the batter was not as liquid as I'd expected to be, but it turned out ok.

Birthday recap

Last weekend, we went on another bike ride - here's a picture looking from the Stowmarket/Needham Road to the north.

There was much excitement when we went to Tesco - this bird had flown in through an open door and was looking around for a place to perch. Sorry the picture quality isn't great - we only had the point-and-shoot and not the SLR.

Two weeks ago, I got an e-newsletter from the Kate Rusby folks, announcing her upcoming tour. I was super-psyched to see that not only was she coming to Ipswich (SO much closer than Norwich and Peterborough, where we've seen her play), but that she would be there on my birthday (this past Thursday). Obv, we had to go.

In my infinite geekyness, I emailed her record company asking to have a song dedicated to me for my birthday. And she DID! Hooray!! She played 'Where Does The Time Go', which is a single that I don't have (yet), and said that it was for "Kate, or Katie, whose birthday is today, I think. Or tomorrow, or yesterday. Anyway." I felt special. Her she is, in all her blurry awesomeness.

And here we are at the intermission - John bought me a Kate Rusby mug (since I already have a KR t-shirt)

To add to the overwhelming birthday goodness, I am also the proud owner of a new and exceedingly shiny iPhone. My contract was up and I had been coveting one for yonks, so that was that. I LOVE it, with the only drawback being that the battery life is completely crap. My old Motorola Krzr would merrily go 6 or 7 days between charges, but the iPhone barely eeks out 24 hours. I've been turning off some of the push-synching when I'm not using the phone (I don't need it to tell me I have an email at 3am), and that seems to help a bit. I'm having issues with the Apple store, too - as an American, my AppleID is registered to a US address, and so Apple can't comprehend that I might have LEFT the country. Bah. The interwebs have yielded a few suggestions - we'll see what happens. Other than that, though, it's great. Being able to sync my google calendar to wherever I am is awesome, and texting on the 'keyboard' is so much easier than on my old phone.

One final birthday thing - on Wednesday night when John's buddies came round, they brought me some gorgeous birthday flowers. Thanks, guys!! They brought a bottle of really tasty wine, too (no picture, it's all gone).