Monday, 23 April 2012

the Saturday unveiling

Is it a present, is it a cushion, is it a tablecloth?

NO - it's a . . . . . . . 

. . . . . . .  (you'll have to wait and see!!)

'Cos on Saturday morning in our village there was huge excitement - folk gathered at 11am with great anticipation and listened to speeches . . .

until Frank unveiled our brand new shiny Topograph!!!

and so lovely to think this was a realisation of an idea Frank had some 20 years ago finally coming to fruition - to celebrate our magnificant view over as far as the Humber Bridge.

Isn't it beautiful?

And I'm assured it's made out of good old Sheffield steel

Friday, 20 April 2012

a Shoreditch Sunday - 3 weeks ago

Best of sunny Sundays the other week in London - wandering the graffettied streets, people-watching over coffees, plant buying in Columbia Road flower market.

Sweet Peas - THE best smelling flowers ever

an embroiderer in wolf's clothing

and our buys ended up in a Wapping window box!

Monday, 16 April 2012

marvellous Miro

and the birthday didn't end there . . . . .

off to our most wonderful Yorkshire Sculpture Park, just 10 minutes drive up the M1, for the first UK exhibition of Miro's sculptures.  This only opened a few weeks ago but is on til January 2013 if you get the urge.  Not allowed to take pics in the indoor galleries, but here's a few of the larger works in the park.  I also took along my old Contax 139 to shoot a Black and White film.  Not used the camera for ages and it was really hard going back to a non-digital after getting so used to viewing the finished product instantly and deleting images as you go, to say nothing of 'thinking' in B&W.  If any of them work out I'll scan them in later for comparison.

Really playful sculptures and the exhibition about his life was fastinating - and it all started with a local childrens drawing class at the age of 7, totally un-encourgaged by his family!


Is this a horse?  The bottom bit v like a Shire horse collar, which we noticed at the time, but only just thought the whole looks like a horse on 4 legs

We did feel this poor "Personnage" looked in a bad way with leg in pot and arm in sling!

 and the grounds were looking magnificent after the rain . . .

and finally, evening toasts before our fabulous 'taster' menu at the Sheffield Kitchen

and this was our delicious dessert tray from the taster menu

what a totally brilliant day!!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

birthday baking

Lots of fun making these two tasty items for the big 25 birthday (not mine sadly!)

Take a look at the pic in the recipe - I like to think my Watercress and Goat's Cheese tart below made the grade!!

and it tasted fab.  The Chocolate gateau was a bit trickier and required a helping hand from the birthday girl:

We had no idea what caraque was but the recipe said if this was beyond you (it was!) you could make chocolate shavings with a potato peeler to stick to the cream round the edge - and it worked a treat.  The crevases probably weren't part of the package - but who's to ever know as there are no pics in this old cookery book and anyway, our crevases tasted lovely loaded with melted Green and Black's chocolate.

for recipe buffs - the book is The Good Food Guide Second Dinner Party Book.  We've had it for years and years and book one is brill too. All favourite recipes from chefs at Good Food Guide restaurants.  And lo and behold, it's on Amazon for a penny!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

from a Hoxton window

A couple of weeks ago we were in London and I haven't uploaded all my pics yet - but just to whet your appetites - these were the sights from our window in Hoxton.  It was blisteringly hot as the whole of the UK was experiencing an unseasonal heatwave for March

spot the sun worhsiper

. . . and close up

We went on from here for brunch at the Breakfast Club in Spitalfields then to the Whitechapel Gallery to see the Gillian Wearing exhibition and even later to the RA for the Hockney's A Bigger Picture exhibition which was just amazing and so uplifting.  Every hedge full of blossom this weekend in Derbyshire reminded me of Hockney's Yorkshire fields and avenues of trees.  Finished off a perfect Saturday with steaks to die for at the Argentinian restaurant Garufa in Finsbury Park.

Come to realise I cram too much into one blog post - so I'll do our Shoreditch Sunday later.

Bye for now!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Puttin' on the Ritz

Fun packed 2 days with Margaret and Steve in Crich this Easter weekend - but for the first time ever my trusty Fuji Finepix failed me and the 64 beautiful photos I had so carefully and artisticlaly composed were badly corrupted and wouldn't download!

So you won't see the proud photos of Steve showing off his sparkly new kitchen and Margaret with her magnificent simnel cake.

And, after the Good Friday hot cross buns, the photos from our first outing might have been:
  • the geosteps
  • glimpses of, yes, the Earth's very Crust in the deep lagoon
  • the fossil remains of a 75cm long crinoid
  • or even the 19 different drystone walling styles from all over Britain (including, I was thrilled to see, one from the Llyn - see a report of a later sighting here)
So where were we?    Well  . . . . the fastinating National Stone Centre Wirksworth of course.

Later that evening I even got a lovely night-time shot of the amazing Ritz Cinema in Belper as we left.  You have just got to go there to experience the ultimate in luxury, intimate cinema experiences.  Just 99 fantasticly wide comfy seats with bags of leg room and drinks holders, huge quality screen and luxury loos to die for just like the real Ritz!!!  And onwards to the Fresh Ground cafe over the road for great little supper with fruit beers.

Then on Easter Saturday, after a sturdy Derbyshire breakfast with it's famous oatcakes, we headed to Heage windmill where the millers greeted us in full dress, before driving over to the opulant Kedleston Hall where you'll just have to imagine my classy photos of the beautifully curved floorboards and the magnificent corinthian pillars in the great entrance hall.

Few images pinched from other sources here:

Crinoid diagram (from National Stone Centre website)
A hazier photo than the one I took - but thanks anyway to the Peak District Tourist Board for this image

Kedleston Hall, with thanks to

Sunday, 8 April 2012

late night Mull

Last night I drifted to sleep to the sounds of the wonderful Whispering Bob taking us into the Easter Sunday early hours.  Just as my eyes were closing he had a wonderful interview with Colin MacIntyre of Mull Historical Society talking about growing up on Mull and my thoughts turned dreamily to our trip in just a few weeks . . . . .

Wild open spaces, deserted hills and the Atlantic shores.  Beam me up Scotty!!

and you should be able to get the programme on the iplayer for at least a week here: Bob Harris Saturday 7 April