Thursday, December 25, 2008

Bloody Internet or lack there of!

Thankyou for your comments ... I can't respond - grrr! Internet cafe in Cahors here I come on Saturday ;o)

Christmas meme

Ok, I lied/exaggerated ... 176 posts this year - and I scheduled this from home. As far as know they/we are still "sans service/Internet-less" ... it's a bummer it really is! Happy Christmas everyone!!
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? He wraps them.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Coloured. Red this year.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Yes, bought some in Tesco on Thursday night. Let the snogging begin!
5. When do you put your decorations up? Christmas Eve - family tradition.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Potch and brussels with chestnuts and pancetta.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: My first bike. It was hidden in the bathroom because it was too big to go under the tree - I cried with happiness brushing my teeth.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? What truth? What do you mean?
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Never! NO. After breakfast on Christmas Day.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Mixture of old and new - some homemade by me and my brother. Some a little kitsch.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I love looking out of the window and seeing it. I don't want to have to walk or drive in it!
12. Can you ice skate? No, I never learned how to ice skate. I can barely roller skate lol.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? A Tiny Tears - I loved her sooooooooo much!
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Family and then food ;o)
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? I like Black Forest trifle - chocolate muffins, cherries, brandy, custard, whipped cream and shavings of dark chocolate on the top.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Breakfast - it's a proper sit down meal before the cooking begins. I love the cooking!
17. What tops your tree? A star.
18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? Giving! If people are happy with the gift I can cry.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? I like Little Donkey if we're talking carols. But I also love Santa Baby!
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Yuck! I'd rather have a chocolate Brazil nut.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Post 175

So, this is post 175 of 2008 - my posting has fallen by another 40 posts this year ... 295 posts during the bloggy heights of 2005, down to 255 in 2006, down further to 215, last year and finally 175 this year. But ... I hear you ask ... why stop here? Why not continue to blog right up until the 31st of December so bucking the downward spiralling trend Well it's not that I want to stop it's just that this afternoon I am sneaking off a little early from school - ssssh don't tell anyone - the head's given me a note and I am disappearing to SW France pour les vacances and you will know how I have complained over the years about crappy French dial-up ... well this year it's worse. How I hear you shout collectively? NO INTERNET at ALL! Hasn't worked since they returned home from holidays in October! So other than my Nokia E71 - looks like a BlackBerry, costs less than a BlackBerry - mobile phone I will be webless. I am stocking up on the alcohol to help me get through the time!!

So until I get back to civilisation - or make a run for t'Internet cafe in Cahors - take care you lot and have a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Year’s End Meme

Teuchter over in the middle of it all has come up with her very own meme. It's a Year's End Meme so here's the four statements that I have to write about. Right let's get going!

The best things that happened in 2008 …
The worst things that happened in 2008 …
The standout highlights of 2008 …
My ambitions and hopes for 2009 …

The best things that happened in 2008 ... right, well it's not been a bad year, but the very best thing has to be the fantastic week I had in Rosas in May with my parents. We talked and laughed and toured and ate! And then talked some more - it was a real coming together of our relationship ~ we hadn't spent quality time together like that since the previous Summer and times like that always remind me how well I get on with my Mum and Dad. Yes they're my parents but I really like them as people.
I also have to give a memorable mention to a weekend in Wales, when I got to have coffee with Liz - thank you Facebook - AND dinner in Twickenham with an occupational therapist, her Coldstream Guards bandsman husband and two gay men ;o)
The worst things that happened in 2008 ... well it has to be the day of Nana's funeral - she died on Boxing Day 2007. We got a phone call in France just after lunch, my parents left for Wales 2 hours later. Simon and I stayed on for a couple of days and then made our way back to Kent. Because of the time of year things were very slow - the funeral wasn't until January 11th or somewhere around there. It was a horrible day - tears all round but lots of laughter and good memories too! But of course they don't stand out at the time!
The standout highlights of 2008 ... Strangely there's a work one of these! I say strange because it should be leisure/family times that are the "standout highlights" ... I have one of those too! Right, in July we had an OFSTED inspection. It was a horrifically stressful week - we had a phone call on the Monday, they arrived on Wednesday morning and by 4pm on Friday (after a 66 hour working week by that point!) I was a sobbing, snotty mess in the middle of a table in the nursery. Thank goodness it was over! Thank goodness it went well. Thank fuck they're not coming back!!!!
My other standout highlight was my summer, yes the weather was lovely and I thoroughly enjoyed being in France and showing my GBF around the local area BUT it was also wonderful because I got to meet Bev. My Mum's cousin Roy and his wife Margaret came to stay - there's lots of garden Chez le laquet to camp in - along with Margaret and Roy came their grand-daughters and their Mum ... my cousin Bev. I know we're cousins BUT we'd never met before ... but it was wonderful, we clicked straight away - hell, we even look alike!! A new friend. But one who's going to last. Always on the end of a phone - I feel like I've known her forever.
My ambitions and hopes for 2009 ... all the usual suspects I imagine - a continued decline in my weight. An increase in my life-work-balance. And finally continued good health, happiness and love for me and mine AND of course, for you and yours.
Oh and if the lottery fairy wants to look my and get the divine Hugh to deliver the ticket ... well I won't complain ;o)
Yes! It's just an excuse to drool!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Keema gajar with roti

Keema gajar with roti, originally uploaded by Laquet.

Looks like Saturday is really becoming curry night! The recipe is in my flickr account with the photos - kind of. Tweak it I say, tweak away!

Unconscious Mutterings #307

I say ... and you think ... ?

Travel :: holiday
Expensive :: not for me, no money
Backspace :: mistake
Traffic noise :: car
Now see here :: stop it!
Vegetables :: soup
Chat :: friends
Your calling :: teaching
Weekly :: regular
Oh! :: Really? Wow!

Do some muttering of your own here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mobiley speaking

Oh my god ... the fog, the ice, a broken contact lens even before I arrive in work! Gonna be a good one :o(

Blogged from the car, crawling along the A2


I've been tagged. By Laura in Paris. It's the 6 random things about you meme - which I was convinced I'd done BUT now cannot find! That's random for starters :o)

Anyways, it goes something like this -
1. Link to the person who tagged you. - check, done that!
2. Post the rules on your blog. - check, done as well.
3. Write six random things about yourself. - check, yep ... not hard
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them. - umm, I don't know whether this is fair, it being Christmas and all ... nah I can't do it, well except I can do it to Fizzy because I keep missing her on MSN and at least it saves me poking her on FB!
5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog. - check, just posted.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up. - check, well, not check exactly, off to do that now!
So six random things about me - as if I don't give out enough randomness already.
1. I suffer from migraines, they make me throw up as well as the pain. The only thing that gets rid of them is a combo of mint tea followed by dark and sleep.
2. Cats make me sneeze.
3. I have to go through my blog roll and the other blogs I read in order from top to bottom. There is no other option.
4. Simon never actually proposed, but we're married - how did that happen?
As I am typing these I can hear the gritter - going to be a cold one people. Boots and woollies today I fear!! Wonder if I've got any wool socks I can find? And I've left my bloody gloves in work - shit!! I'm babbling about the cold because I'm struggling to think of 2 more random things. I know - who'd a thunk it? Me, struggling to be random! Gritter again - looking out of the window there's a full, full moon - cup of tea I think, I'll be right back. Well maybe a slice of toast too :o)
Bugger - no bread for toast and the corner shop is not open yet ... not that I could go over as I'm still in jammies and dressing gown ... did I mention it's cold? Hood on the dressing gown is up Obiwan Kenobi* style. I know - porridge, with sultanas and *ssh don't tell my mother* a dash of golden syrup ~ yum!
5. The volume on the car radio/tv/stereo has to be on an even number. There is no other option.
6. Scallops are my favourite seafood - thank you Pierce - I like them anyway you can imagine, including raw.
So Fizzy and anyone else who wants it, it's over to you!
* Bonus random fact - my Star Wars name is Lanjoa Evaswa ... first three letters of your surname, followed by first three letters of your first name. First three letters of your mother's maiden name, followed by first three letters of the town where you were born. What's yours? Answers in the comment box or on a postcard to ... never mind!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm sitting at my desk in work waiting for my lift to say that it's time to go home ... I don't know how much longer it's going to be BUT I hope it's not to long. Ciara, our acting caretaker is walking around behind me flipping off lights and if I don't let her know that I'm sitting her, pretty soon I could be sitting in darkness!! *shouts* Ok, she knows! I know that most people think that teachers work from 9 til 3.15 and then go home PLUS the whole 39 weeks of holidays every year thing BUT it's gone 5, I've been here since 8 and I figure there's 2 hours of work ahead of me when I get home ... either tonight or as is more likely tomorrow morning at 4.50am

It's a good job I love the job eh?!?
Lift is here :o)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Carrot curry and roti

Carrot curry and roti

1. Carrot curry ... much nicer than it sounded!!, 2. Chapatti aka roti attar, 3. My dough coming together, 4. Leave it to rest, 5. The start of 6 rotis, 6. Carrot curry, now with cooked carrots, 7. Umm, yeh I know it's supposed to be round, 8. Getting toasty, 9. More rolling, 10. Flipped over, 11. 1st roti done, 12. First ever from scratch gauri curry and roti! Simon's serving I did without the samosas, pakora and mango chutney ~ definitely didn't need the chutney thanks to the carrots! Lovely! Aloo gobi next weekend! Go and see the original photos with notes over at Flickr.
Created with
fd's Flickr Toys.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Ugandan stars

The post-man knocked yesterday morning with a parcel that he'd been trying to deliver since Wednesday morning - too big for the letter box AND when I went to the delivery office on Thursday morning untraceable. "We'll deliver it on Saturday they said." And they did - that in itself is enough of a reason for a post ... the Royal Mail do what they say they're going to do. I could end this right here if it wasn't for the fact that the parcel was full of loveliness that I really must share it with you.

Ugandan stamps
Firstly there were the stamps ... this told me that the parcel had come from Lizzie aka Gandalady in Kampala. Pretty stamps too an Ixora Hybridia aka pretty red flower and a crocodylus niloticus aka the Nile crocodile. Anyone collect stamps anymore? You want these? They're purdy! Then there was the actual contents of the parcel ...
Beautiful stars
Yep my stars have arrived, all the way from Uganda ... here they are hanging on my "badly needed varnishing until Simon broke a chunk out of you putting a new door knob on, now badly needs repainting bedroom door." Do you like the knob though? Nice and shiny isn't it? Anyway, I first saw the wall-hangings - that's an alright name for them Lizzie - in this post all about Lizzie's Internet shop Sweetshop and instantly fell in love with them. The site is a portal for Ugandans to sell clothes worldwide "giving a fair wage and job opportunities to Ugandan tailors by helping them access the Western market." And with my stars came a note from Eva, the sister of the lady who made my stars.
A note from Eva

I don't know whether you can read what it says - it was difficult knowing which setting to choose on the camera so here you go ...
thank you for supporting my sister who made the stars, it's a great pleasure becasue she has no job but with your buying the stars she can earn something to continue with life. please introduce the stars to your firends so they can also order so she can get more custom.
God bless you
So that's exactly what I'm doing - introducing you to my stars ... "Stars, everyone. Everyone, stars! Look, pretty beads and shells! Loveliness!"
Close up of the beads
What are you still doing here? Go and buy some!

Unconscious Mutterings #306

I say ... and you think ... ?

Love affair :: with food
Bubble :: blow
Pimple :: spot
Knocks :: door
Persistent :: little bugger
Infected :: ill
Yay! :: We did it!
Repaint :: outside
Daily :: paper
Quickly! :: Do it now!
Do some mutterings of your very own over here.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


Spicy Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

I made Spicy Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup for lunch this week ... thank goodness I did because it was so bloody cold and it really hit the spot! There was a lot of chopping and blitzing on Sunday BUT it was worthwhile. There's not a recipe so to speak - I just use random amounts of vegetables ... but for what it's worth, here you go.

Jo's "it changes every time but that's one of the best bits of the surprise"
Spicy Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup
1 butternut squash
Fry light Olive-Oil spray
large pinch of dried chilli flakes
1 tsp of la Chinata paprika
onions, carrots, courgettes, celery, leeks or whatever veg you love/have handy
100 grms of red lentils*
3 tsps Marigold Swiss vegetable Bouillon powder
salt and pepper to taste
1. Cut the butternut squash** in half, scrape out the seeds, spray with olive oil spray and sprinkle with chilli flakes, paprika, salt and pepper. Roast in a hot-ish oven for 40 mins until soft.
2. Put the lentils to soak/wash in cold water.
3. Clean, peel and chop the remaining vegetables and sweat*** them off in a large pan with some more of the olive oil spray.
4. Add the lentils and mix them to coat them with the lovely slippery vegetable juiciness.
5. Cover the vegetables with water and add the bouillon powder, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Then turn down, cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
6. When the butternut squash is cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh out of the shell and add it to the soup along with any juices that are in the pan.
7. Then it's in with the hand blender to take the soup to your desired consistency, check the seasoning and dig right in.

* I measured the lentils because I had to count the points - the rest of the veg were free.
** I don't peel it first - I scrape the flesh out of the skin afterwards ... I don't know why - I'm rather strangely unique/special ... and not always in a good way!
*** My mother says there's no need for this but Saint Delia does it in her carrot and artichoke soup which is the basis for a lot of my soups and if Saint Delia says you have to do it ... then you do it!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Thank you Gurminder

We've just had dinner - tarka dal and rice - yum, homemade from scratch following Shisho's recipe but with one exciting new twist ... homemade garam masala brought to work this morning by a colleague. Bay leaves and cloves and black cardamom and pepper corns and cumin and cinnamon bark ... so fresh and zingy and gorgeous the flavour was wonderful - my masala dabba is restocked with fresh spices and we'll be eating well (vegetable curries) AND cheaply (carrots are looking good) during the recession!

p.s. *preens* I've booked the ferry, sent the nephew's Christmas presents and bought my Christmas cards ... [encouragement needed please] better than last week eh?

Monday, December 01, 2008

World Aids Day

A thunk yo Kent!

A good meal
Everyone gets fed
Whilst in Kwa-Zulu Natal as of a Kent County Council International CPD programme I visited a drop-in centre for Aids victims and orphans. Some of the kids we saw were being raised by their grandparents and/or their siblings. Some of them were eating their only meal of the day. I am sure some of them are now dead themselves. Today, December 1st is World Aids Day ... let's not forget. Let's keep fighting for all of them!
Here, taste this!