Monday, October 31, 2011

Autumn afternoon in Woodbridge

We kidnapped the inlaws and took them Out on an Adventure (to Woodbridge) last weekend. I took pictures. That's all.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bury Bach Choir: Haydn & Mozart

We're singing in the St. Edmundsbury Cathedral on 19th November - it's going to be an excellent concert (as ever)!

Details below. See you there!

Mozart Motets and Haydn Nelson Mass

Mozart: Adagio & Fugue in C minor
Misericordias Domini
Ave verum corpus
Exsultate Jubilate
Haydn: Nelson Mass

Tickets £23, £16, £14 (reserved), £10 (unreserved), are available from the Theatre
Royal box office on 01284 769505 or via (major credit cards
Half-price concessions for under-25s booking by
telephone, at the box office or on the door, subject to availability.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oliver & S: Jump Rope Dress

When I was in New York, Gabi's mom mentioned that Gabi was going to be Annie for Halloween. You know, red curls and all.

So I volunteered to make her dress. And then at a number of points thought I had bitten off more than I could chew.

I went to Purl Soho. I could have spent days there. Easily. So much color, so many beautiful fabrics. And I didn't even buy any yarn!


Anyway, I managed to find the now-discontinued Oliver & S Jump Rope Dress pattern. SO cute.

I'm not an experienced seamstress. This dress involved my first collar, my first sleeves, my first placket, my first buttonholes, and my first pockets. Um, this could have gone REALLY badly. 

Thank you, Oliver & S, for writing a completely idiot-proof pattern. I loved making it, and it only took me a weekend plus a little bit.

Please pardon the picture - I finished it on a Tuesday night and wanted to get it in the mail so didn't wait for a weekend to take a picture in "real" light. I can't wait to see (pictures of) Gabi-Annie all dressed up!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pasta for Christy

I wasn't sure if I should write about this on the blog or not; it's not really my story. I decided to, because it's something that so many people have gone through, and also because I just really need to write it out.

My friend's mom lost a long and extremely spirited battle with brain cancer on Tuesday. She was given 3 months to live, shortly before this picture was taken, when we were in New York, nearly four years ago.

My friend and I met on the first day of high school - we had both competed in the same regatta during the summer and she was wearing the regatta t-shirt (which I had begged to wear to school that day; my mom had set a "no shirts with writing on them for the first day of school" rule). We started talking ("Hey, where'd you get that shirt?!") and that was that. We were friends all through high school, taking part in musicals (she with the lead, me in the pit orchestra), then kept in touch through college, and then moved to New York City around the same time after college. She was living on the Upper East Side when I was living in Tudor City, and we'd randomly meet up for lunch or brunch or drinks (fabulous 20-somethings that we were).

[As a side note, our dads worked together for nearly a year before realising that we were such good friends. "Oh, you live in New Rochelle, too?" "Yep, I do. My daughter is a sophomore at NRHS." "Really? Mine too!" Then, later, to me, "Do you know a girl called Liz? Her dad and I work together!" "Dad, that's Lizzie. She was here for supper yesterday." (I have since been told a similar conversation happened at their house.)]

My parents were living in Florida when we were both in college, and Lizzie's parents decided that I really shouldn't be left to fend for myself in the Big Wide World on Sunday nights. So we'd take Metro North out together for pasta dinner at her parents' house. I don't really remember specific evenings - they all blended together into one long comforting pasta session with parents who weren't exactly mine but were just as loving and caring.

When I was home last month, we knew that the end wasn't far off, so we spent as much time as possible with them. Mostly brief visits, since we didn't want to wear Christy out, but the day before I flew back to the UK, we spent the whole afternoon together. It was heartbreaking, to see her in such bad shape, but also restoring to see the love surrounding her - whenever we were there, there were family and friends either just leaving or about to arrive.

After she passed away this week, I had an overwhelming urge to go and make pasta. With meatballs. For Christy. Because of all the times that she fed and nourished and loved me, the least I could do from the wrong side of the Atlantic was try and feed and nourish and love my family just a little bit extra. So here they are.

Christy, thank you for everything. For being a wonderful mom, a wonderful not-mom-but-helping-out, a fighter against the horribleness that is brain cancer, and an inspiration to us all. We're going to miss you.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Autumn Weekend

We went to Norwich on Saturday, so James could have a long-anticipated burger at Captain America's. I'd give it a 7 out of 10. The burger was reasonable, the American cheese was excellent, and our fries had mega potential but were slightly under-cooked. 10 out of 10 for the sign out front, though!

We went sailing this morning at Levington with EAST - we were supposed to be racing but the light wind died completely right as we left the harbour. It picked up when we got back into the harbour (after much paddling), and so we went back out for another half hour's sailing. While we were drifting about, I decided I was hot, so I took off my shoes and socks and rolled up my jeans and stuck my feet in the water. My goodness, is the North Sea cold in October!

Before we went out, I took some pics (we had to drop James off at his school's rugby festival at 8:30 so we were rather early to Levington...)

I can't decide which of these two I like better. Votes?

James gave me The Primrose Bakery Book for my birthday (John was miffed - he had bought me a copy and put it away as a Christmas present!), so after poring over it, we decided to make Lemon Meringue Cupcakes.

Amazing. Best cupcakes I've ever tasted. And yes, they have meringue hats instead of normal icing (there's also a hidden blob of lemon curd in the middle).

Here's one of the James' Nazgul, diving in for a cupcake...

I had never made meringues before, but we blobbed the leftovers onto my silicone baking mat thingy and put them in the oven for an hour. Excellent. Only problem...what does one do with 5 egg yolks?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

All the way from New Zealand!

One of my college roomies lives in New Zealand (the other two from our senior-year Mod Quad live in Connecticut and Alaska). I last saw NZ roomie when we were both in New York, back in 2009.

She was in England for a wedding (her boyfriend was the best man), and came and visited us in Suffolk for two days. WOOT!

I took a day and a half off from work - I picked her up at the Bury station, we St Edmunds-ed ourselves, then we went to Ickworth and romped through the gardens and parkland, and then came home and made veggie shepherd's pie. Yum!

The following day, which was the first properly cold and autumnal day we've had, we adventured coast-ward.

We visited Framlingham castle (as windy as I've ever been there - it was tempting to cling to the railings!), and then revived ourselves with tea in Framlingham. A cream tea, even. See? It was excellent.

We then went to the seaside, Mr. Todd, down by the sea! Liz may or may not have serenaded the seagulls and me with this.

We took lots of pictures, including this one, of four seagulls pointing into the wind:

And this rock, which I liked. These were all taken with my new S95, by the way. Look at that blurry background!

And then we met John in Ipswich and went out for a curry at Indian Palace in Ipswich, after a recommendation from our veg box guy. Excellent.

Too bad she lives so far away - we had a blast!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

New York, vol. 4: Rhode Island!

As a small break from New York (and to go on lots of bike rides and swims and eat fried clams and lobster), we went up to Rhode Island. We saw this little guy, guarding a "stay hydrated" honesty box along the bike path. Cute!

Here's my dad at work, protecting the citizens of Barrington! This is the smaller of the two boats that the Harbor Patrol use, but it still has flashing lights and a siren, and is very snazzy.

I couldn't go to RI without stopping for some Del's. At least I got a "mini." It was pretty tiny but still had the requisite lemony goodness. We were trying to get as many Del's logos into this picture as possible. If we had zoomed out a little, there were two Del's trucks parked behind me on the right, but then we would have lost the tiny logo on the cup!

My mom is building a portfolio of watercolour pet portraits for her art business (website to go live as soon as I conquer Wordpress), and she had been trying to get a good shot of her friend's boxer, LuluBelle, for a while. I think this is it! She's such a sweet dog. She was a rescue so is a little bit skittish and was not sure how she felt about the shutter noise on the camera. This was taken after I had been taking pictures for about 20 minutes - she had relaxed quite considerably.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wait, 30?


Yup, 30.

It was always my "Oh, well, I don't have to do that now, I can do it when I'm 30" age.

And now, I'm old, like 30. Except not.

Things I'm grateful for, at 30:

I am married to an extremely super Husband.
We have a (small) boat, a house, and a zoomy car.
My parents are far away physically, but only as far away as the nearest computer (thank you, Skype).
My job is 100% better than it was a year ago, and I have a really excellent team and 2 great bosses.
I weigh less than I did when I was 25 (and am in better shape).

Now to finish baking cakes for the peeps at work (bizarre English tradition: you bring cakes in for everyone ELSE on your birthday)! 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Oh, look, there's a PRINCESS on my blog!

I was asked to be the official photographer at the East Anglian Sailing Trust's visit from Princess Anne, the Princess Royal.

So here is a picture of the two of us. If you zoom WAY in on her sunglasses, you can see me taking the picture (blue shirt, grey trousers). WOOT!!