Oh wow, time has rolled past so quickly! A lot has happened since last I posted...we have been blessed and tormented hehe with 3 litters of kittens, two to each litter thankfully and that was more than enough to keep me busy on top of the day job!
Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to train properly for race for life and had to miss out this year...I am making a promise to myself to take part next year and some how I will cajole my mum to get involved as well.
My baking exploits have grown considerably and I've tried quite a few different cakes and tray bakes which I have thoroughly enjoyed. Had someone told me last year that I would actually be taking an interest in anything involving the kitchen and the oven I would have laughed derisively and would certainly not believed them, yet here I am, experimenting with flavours and new combinations! This started off as a surprise back in May/June time for my boyfriend's 21st birthday, I wanted to find a good sized quality cake with lots of flavour but without a ridiculous price tag. Insert light bulb moment as I recalled a conversation in which we joked about putting Guinness in a cake and hey presto, one shopping trip and trial run later, I baked a Guinness cake complete with cream cheese frosting for the foam :-) It was a hit and tasted so good...not that I'm blowing my own trumpet hehe. From there I have made chocolate cupcakes, white chocolate and cranberry blondies, chocolate brownies, coffee and walnut cake (a favourite in this house!), two giant birthday cupcakes - one carrot cake and one cookie dough and choc chip centre - chocolate button cake, several choc fridge cakes, two divine fruit cakes and hopefully plenty more to go as I have asked my aunt for help; she is the Master Baker in the family and she's teaching me to lose the confines of weighing and measuring so precisely and just having fun with it! More posted on this soon :-)
I have been to visit Ightham Mote, a gorgeous old house with lots of history which recently went through an overhaul which was documented by Time Team! Stripped back to the bare bones, the house was repaired and restored to it's full original glory, therefore preserving it for years to come. I for one will certainly be going back, such a beautiful and peaceful place and very inspirational!
I also went on a day trip to Paris with two school friends which was a brilliant experience. I have decided I love Paris and plan to return to visit the Palace of Versailles. The people are friendly and helpful, the architecture is stunning and the history is fascinating. We got to the second level of the Eiffel Tower which was sooo worth queueing in the July heat wave for the stunning panorama! Next stop was the Opera which displayed it's history of dance and ballet alongside beautiful costumes and of course the famous stage and chandelier which were beautiful and so intricate! Onwards to the chocolate museum, an exhibition on chocolate history and then a race to the demonstration of chocolate making and the anticipated taster session ;-) not forgetting the shop stop afterwards for pressies! We made our way to Notre Dame Cathedral which is breath taking with such beautiful architectural detail and that's just the outside, the interior stunned me to silence. We narrowly missed out on the tower tour but that is something I would love to go back and do one day! From there we made our way back outside and hand fed a flock of sparrows which was interesting! Holding up a tiny piece of bread the sparrows decided we weren't a threat and flew in twos and threes to land on our hands and fingers, each taking a few crumbs and making their way to their nests, only to return a few moments later until the bread was gone. They were so very delicate, light and gentle it was quite touching which might be an unusual thing to say about feeding the birds (for free, not tuppence a bag!) but it really was...for me anyway! I managed to traverse and navigate our way through the side streets to an ice cream parlour renowned for it's range of quality ice cream and needless to say we treated ourselves :-)
I was very impressed with the trains; the transport links were seriously good, the Paris underground is clean, bright and huge - no London pushing and shoving here thank you very much!
It was a very long, very hot day but we had lots of laughs, ice cream and hundreds of hilarious photos to remind us of a wonderful day.
And so we roll on towards October and the Great British Autumn, the leaves are turning red and gold, crisp underfoot instead of green and whispering on the branches, bonfires abound, wood smoke fills the cold air, and the rain will drizzle until next year! But there is much to look forward to...more baking, seeing off the last 2 kittens to their new home/s, hearing about a potential job - the interview I went to today was a success; I didn't get confused, trip over my words, or turn a lovely shade of beetroot and managed to explain things in detail when needed...a very good day for me!
So watch this space, I will be much more present than previous months, lots of reading to be done snuggled up in the warm as the weather creeps in, and celebrating 2 years with my wonderful boyfriend :-)
No doubt I will have plenty to say on the political front, world news seems to have gone barmy over the past few months and I have the urge to comment on some of the ludicrous things going on out there...when I have the energy at least! And of course there is Nanowrimo which I plan to take part in again, and I'm being brave and throwing this out there for anyone and everyone who is kind enough to read my posts - I AM GOING TO FINISH THE FIRST DRAFT OF MY NOVEL!
There. I said it. Or rather shouted it into the realm of the internet, apologies I do hope I didn't deafen anyone with that declaration but I felt it need to be done, as a kick starter for me and to get back into the swing of writing again...wish me luck ;-)