This week has held much to be thankful for, in spite of a dip in the middle, and I thought I’d like to take you along with me as I recap my best parts of the week, all of which I am truly thankful for.
Best Bloggy Moment
Without a doubt, the resoundingly awesome response to Christine’s guest post here on Monday. It was a beautiful piece, and just perfectly captured a snapshot of one of the things I love most about her blog – just how GOOD of a life her kids are having, in spite of the challenges, and her absolute commitment to making it work for them all as a family. She nearly topped it with yesterday’s video of the pig escape, but nonetheless, ‘A Fly On Our (Chicken Coop) Wall’ remains (for me) a beacon of hope that there are, in fact, people Getting It Right. Spectacularly so.
Best Silly Moment(s)
Back to last weekend for these (YES it still counts) and to Brighton we go. Moment #1 – finding enigmatically named ‘Tongue Tattooes’ for sale in a sweet shop, buying and trying them. They were zingy and lasted less than a minute (once you put yer tongue back in…) but were HILARIOUS. Mine was meant to say ‘YUK’
Then we continued shopping, browsing through the Laines until we found a cute little hippy-dippy-goth shop, complete with the requisite tye-dye, belly-dancer outfits, Halloween accessories, goth make-up, incense and rad clothing. After watching both my friends try on funky goth-style dresses, I was
persuaded strong-armed into trying on a satin-y, unbelievably low-cut and rather-too-clingy-for-my-liking dress. Which I did with good spirit. And posed for the following photo (as the sweet, bored-looking shop assistant ambled up to see what was going on, then got excited because the style of dress I was wearing was new stock, and she’d not seen it modelled before – I gave her a few twirls) complete with my combats, rainbow shoes* and pink satin gloves. I bought the gloves.
Best Professional Moment
I cycled myself in to the hospital where I’ll be based, tried on uniform (bizarre sizes for each garment, and the polo-top I tried did NOT smell good) and filled out forms ready for Monday. I made friends with a couple of guys on the team, one of whom made the requisite joke about me signing my soul away to the NHS, but who was very helpful in providing the technical information I needed to complete the form I was attempting.
Best Consumer Moment
It’s still the shoes. Nothing has topped that. Nor do I expect it to (until the next pair).
Best Healthy Moment
I admit, I don’t vlog my attempts at being healthy like Lynda, nor have I managed 5 miles solid running like Kerri. Or ten miles in less than an hour, like Andi. But I (now) try. Or at least, I tried this week. And I felt quite respectable about my 8.3k in 59 minutes. Mostly running, with walking-y bits in between (cos I’m a beginner, yo!) and the fact that I beat the time I previously made on this particular course. Now all I gots to do is GET BACK OUT THERE AND DO IT AGAIN.
Oh, and the Squat Challenge is still going strong 🙂 110 today, and the clicking in my knees is really not that scary if I think about it as my joints applauding me (actually, today, one of the knees was decidedly less clicky, so perhaps I’ve managed to grate off any lumpy bits. Or something. They don’t ache, anyway, they just noise.)
Best Hilarious Moment
When, after an hour of netball this evening, we were walking back up the hill to where my friend was getting a lift, and her sweet 7 y/o son (whom I’ve known since babyhood) came up to me, nudged me violently with his elbow, then remarked (at the top of his voice), “Lizzi, your sweat smells like strawberries!!!”
Pro tip – if you’re ever going out to play sport, in company, for enough time to get exhausted, hot and sticky, make sure you wear some kind of perfume first, so that you smell delicious instead of mingin’.
You’re welcome. And for the record, it was violets I smelled of.
Best Married Moment(s)
(i) We were coming home from grocery shopping the other night and for whatever reason, we started singing one of our silly songs, where we narrate whatever’s going on around us, each taking turns to sing a line or a verse, then joining in with the other person where possible. Silly. Fun. Us.
(ii) I completely indulged in my last night of ‘Freedom To Stay Up Late’ yesterday, and stayed up ridonkulously late (as is my wont to do) and when I finally climbed into bed, Husby (still half asleep) reached out and held my hand, and then drifted back off into dreamland.
Best Foodie Moment
My sister sent me a message that she was in urgent need of some of my Lime Drizzle Cake. So I was happy to oblige, and while it was baking, I got to sit, checking my Twitter feed, in my floury apron, licking the bowl (and spoons, and mixer whisks) ALL TO MYSELF! The epic WIN of baking when no-one else is home.
Best Nerd Moment
I spent some of my last day of freedom looking up online and practicing how to win at marble solitaire in 18 very elegant moves (now we have a fancy-schmancy antique set and all) so that next time Neff’s over, I can amaze and astound him at just how clever his Aunty is. I also wanted to amaze and astound Husby when he got home, so I practiced lots, and as soon as he was through the door, dragged him into the living room to show him my new trick.
Whereupon I promptly forgot how to do it after the first four moves.
I forgot FIVE TIMES.
But I’ve practiced more, and I can do it now.
Best ME Moment
As I went to the shops to buy the ingredients for the cake, I found nice cheap limes at a fruit and veg stall, which also offered the BIGGEST PEACHES I’VE EVER SEEN. So I bought some. And later, after I’d finished shopping, I sat on a bench in the middle of the shopping precinct, in the warm sunshine, eating my peach, reading my new Big Issue, and watching the world go by. The peach was delicious and the moment by myself, being still, while everyone bustled and hurried around me, was lovely.
500g lean minced beef
1 white onion (very finely chopped)
1 tsp pepper
Mix ingredients thoroughly with your hands, ensuring the oinion is evenly distributed, then firm it altogether, before splitting into 6 patties and shaping them, coating the outside in plain flour. Place them on a plate in the fridge for 30 mins – 1 day to firm up (if you want to make them beforehand for the next day) then cook in a frying pan in a very tiny amount of oil, on a low heat, for about 15 minutes on each side, or until obviously cooked
Lime Drizzle Cake (not my recipe – it’s from a book but it’s still really good)
150g softened butter (plus extra for greasing the tin)
175g caster sugar
finely grated rind of one lime
175g self-raising flour
FOR THE SYRUP
140g icing sugar
50ml fresh lime juice
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease an 18cm/7″ square cake tin and line with baking paper.
Place the butter, sugar and eggs in a large bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Stir in the lime rind, then sift in the flour and fold into the mixture. Stir in the milk. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin, smoothing the top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until golden-brown and firm to touch. Leave the tin on a wire rack.
To make the syrup, place the icing sugar and lime juice in a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring until dissolved. Do not boil.
Prick the warm cake all over with a fork and spoon the hot syrup evenly over the top, allowing it to be absorbed.
Leave to cool completely in the tin, then turn out the cake, cut into 12 pieces, and (if desired) dust with sifted icing sugar.