Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Annual onion marmalade making session

Take four massive onions from the farmers' market just down the road....

Chop 'em up with a big chef's knife

Throw into your biggest pan...

Cover in brown sugar, red wine, some thyme and butter. Then cook for a reaaaally long time until syrupy.

Pop in some cute wee jars you've got left over from last year's batch and offer up to happy housemates as a delicious topping for delights like bangers & mash, cheese & crackers, or perhaps a slice or two of beef.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Autumn in London

Autumn coat and boots

Yellowing tree

6.30pm sunset

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Dissertation location #1

In an attempt to amass all the motivation I have, and reduce the possibilities for distraction (laundry, sleep, food, tidying, the entire Internet) I'm taking my dissertation on the road.

Yesterday I kept it local. Le Petit Boulanger is about five minutes from my house and has a wonderful collection of sweet-speaking French staff, and a couple of bakers working at their big stainless steel bench, about one metre behind the till.

The coffee is good, and the bread is chewy and crusty, just as it should be. In between my abstract, introduction and an article or two, I got the joy of watching the constant stream of locals coming, eating, and going again.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

The weekly 'Hansel' moment

There's a long, and slightly hazy story as to why this is named after a Grimms' fairytale character, but there was a fair bit of wine involved, so I'm not going to attempt to re-tell it. Let me just say that it was something to do with an old woman called Gretel, socks, trainers and a skirt, maybe some body waxing, and her still quite definitely living life to the fullest.

Anyway, from a slightly drunken work ladies' night out, we constructed the weekly Hansel moment. This is the occurrence or happening in the past week that has made your week a tiny bit special. Even if you've had a week of missing the bus every morning, battling with more monstrous than usual egos at work, all the window envelopes arriving at once, and you spill red wine on your favourite white top; the Hansel moment is the one reason why you don't want this week to be erased from your memory. One thing that has been a move forward, or a first for you; a light in the dark.

This week my Hansel moment was making my first ethics committee application for my dissertation research. For a moment there, I felt like a proper, grown-up researcher.

Friday, 2 September 2011

The tide quickly turns

Usually, on this side of the world, summer tends to slowly step backwards, out the gate, quietly shutting it behind her, before disappearing gracefully into the distance. This year however, she turned sharply on her heel and bolted.

Even though it's the first few days of September, the morning air is chilled, and the forecast temperatures are very definitely in their teens.

I have to say, I feel a bit ripped off really. I've spend a large portion of this so-called 'summer' indoors, working or studying. And due to poor life project management, I've not been on holiday to somewhere that actually has a summer.

But there's no point in mourning a summer lost. There are plenty of nice things about autumn which must be celebrated. Chutney making, 'crafternoons', hot yoga which keeps you warm all evening, our annual Halloween party; and walks home when no one is watching, meaning you can kick the leaves so high they rain down on you.

I might even try and take a holiday this season.