Thursday, 23 July 2009


OK, so I'll never make a domestic goddess, but do I care?
When I am 85 and reminiscing about 'the good old days', you won't hear me saying to David: "Do you remember that Saturday we spent all morning cleaning the house? Didn't the kitchen sink shine? Oh, what a good time we had!"

What you might hear me say is: "Do you remember that Saturday we packed the car up and drove down to Exmoor and had a picnic by that waterfall? Then we walked for hours across the moors and came back with dirty boots. Oh, what a good time we had!"

PS. my kitchen sink does not normally look quite that bad - the picture was taken during the kitchen refurbishment.

Friday, 17 July 2009


I love Googling my own name and seeing what websites I come up on. It doesn't please me that someone from a website called gluttonyisabliss comes up on the first page! It is not so much that they lifted my photo from Flickr without my permission - after all, that is one of the dangers of posting your pictures on the net, and they are not claiming it as their own - it's the name! Do I really want to be associated with GLUTTONY???? Hmph!

You get what you pay for

I hate it when things don't live up to your expectations. Last night we tried out the Moorend Spout in Nailsea, as it came highly recommended by my good friend Penny.

There was absolutely nothing on the great looking menu that I wouldn't be happy to eat, but I finally opted for the Steak and Ale Pie from the "Two for £7.99" menu. It looked great when it arrived, but unfortunaly didn't live up to its looks. Having obviously been reheated in the oven for way too long, the crust was impossibly hard and the edges of the meat were hard and unappetising. The filling itself was tasty with a nice gravy, and the chips were good.

The dessert menu looked equally tempting, with Chocolate and Brandy Mousse being my favourite. It is also something that my mother would be able to eat, so we asked the waitress to reserve us a couple. Just as well we did, because it was the last two they had, so she quickly scribbed N/A against the entry on the blackboard menu.

When it came to ordering the desserts, my dad had obviously missed the lengthy conversation about the last two chocolate mousses and the kerfuffle with the menu, as he wanted a chocolate mousse too. I did the charitable thing and let him have the last one and ordered a mandarin cheescake instead. Just as well. The mousse was a disgrace! It wad the consistency of jelly and tasted of.....absolutely nothing. What a real disappointment!
Chocolate and Brandy Mousse

The old adage is as true as ever: YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!

Long time coming

Today my new kitchen arrives and takes over the entire ground floor of the house. The units will come already constructed from the manufacturer, and of course there is also the hob, double oven, microwave, fridge freezer, sink and dishwasher. We're not going to be able to move! David is removing the last of the old units from the kitchen this morning, and taking the old fridge freezer to the rubbish dump. The kitchen itself will have to be left empty for the fitter's arrival on Monday.

Good excuse to go away for the weekend, don't you think? We found a great deal for two night dinner, bed and breakfast in a 17th century coaching inn, somwhere in North Wales. The weather doesn't look like it's going to be too great, so we're going to have to spend more time in the bar. What a shame.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Meat-free week

I have tried to cook interesting dishes recently without using meat, and it was only today that David noticed he'd been eating vegetarian food all week. Many years ago I had a dinner party where I made a vegetarian casserole for the benefit of the non-meat-eater, and none of the carnivores noticed the lack of meat at all! 

Maybe I am just getting David used to it for when we go to India - many of the places we visit are strictly vegetarian! 

Shallot and Gralic Tarte Tatin

Tree Huggers of Jodhpur

The Bishnoi were the world's first tree huggers in the 15th century, and 363 villagers diedin 1730 protecting the Kherji trees they loved so much. Men sent from the Maharaja of Jodhpur to cut down the trees to use for a local lime kiln, cut the villagers down too when they refused to let go of the trees. 

I want to add a visit to the Bishnoi village outside Jodhpur if I can. I particularly want to see the place where the Khejarli Massacre took place and take part in an opium tea ceremony. The village is only 25 km from Jodhpur, so I should be able to fit it in. Hopefully. 

In Jodhpur we are staying at the Haveli Inn Pal, another Heritage Inn. 


I am sure Sabu will soon be fed up with us (if he isn't already) changing our minds over the India itinerary. Yesterday I thought it might be better to fly from delhi to Jaisalmer rather than the overnight train, as it would allow us more time for sightseeing in Jaisalmer. As well as a night in a proper bed the first night in India. Unfortunately there are no flights from Delhi to Jaislamer that day, so we have to fly to Jodhpur and pick up the car and driver there before continuing to Jaisalmer. It still sounds a better option though. 

The hotel Nachana Haveli sounds awesome. Built by royalty and run by royalty, it's a 300-year old mansion. 

A Wild (but hopefully not wet) Weekend

Disappointed that I missed the conference and what I believe was a fun 80s night at Exeter Uni, I went ahead and booked a weekend away for the two of us to celebrate David's birthday. Saturday we will go to the Yeovilton Air Show - hoping for dry weather, the forecast is not good!

We will spend the night in the Cricket St Thomas Hotel, where the TV series "To the Manor Born" was filmed.

On Sunday we will visit the Cricket St Thomas Wildlife Park. 

Should be a great weekend!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

I can't bear it any more

I have finally finished editing and posting all my bear pictures to Flickr. It has been a bit of a long haul, and became rather tedious towards the end as a bear is a bear is a bear is a.......

Now all I have to do is sort the pictures from Turkey. *groan*

Bear Foreplay

A garlic a day keeps everyone away

Looks like I've been having garlic overload over the last couple of days. Last night I added a whole garlic bulb to spaghetti, today another whole garlic bulb to my stir fried prawns. Which incidentally were rather disappointing. There was very little flavour, despite the garlic and a large knob of ginger. Even after adding some soy sauce it was only average.