Saturday, 5 January 2013

In a nutshell

Ok, so I will admit it – I’m a rubbish blogger!!  

I did try, or should I say, I did have the intention to try to be better at it, but as you can see I failed miserably.

So, to make up for my lack of literary competence during the second half of 2012, why don’t just give you a potted version of events, a few photos and the promise to do better in 2013…is that ok with everyone?  Good – here goes then…

For many, the highlight of last summer has to be the Olympics!  In my home town, round the corner from where I was born and grew up, I was a very proud girl!   

To be honest, I wasn’t much bothered initially, I didn’t get into the build-up, I didn’t even go out to see the torch, but once I sat down to watch the opening ceremony, I was hooked!!  I was checking results throughout the day, popping down to the basement at work to catch the events I was particularly interested in, gymnastics, men’s diving etc.  Then when the rowing and cycling were on while I was at home, I was right there in those boats and on those bikes giving it my all to get across the lines, whether first, second or third!!  As for that very special Saturday evening when Jess did it in numerous ways, Greg did it in the sand (for the gingers) and Mo did it over a long distance, what an amazing feeling it was watching and being on Facebook with all my friends raving about it – as a certain Aussie dancing judge might say it was A-MAZ-ING!!!

With a heavy heart and severe determination I tried day after day following the close of the games to get tickets for the Paralympics (‘Plympics’ for short) but I had absolutely no luck.  Then a call came in from some very lovely friends, to ask if I would be able to use their tickets to the opening ceremony that evening as one of them was poorly, “of course” I said,  “anything to help” I said.  So on 29th August 2012 my nephew and I (Andy was working, so unable to accompany me, much to his displeasure) went along to the Olympic Stadium and sat through a really fabulous evening of dancing, cheering and vigorous waving.

The following weekend the same friends asked whether we would like to go along with them as they had some spare tickets, which we did, and a great time was had by all.  We saw some inspiring athletes do amazing things in their chosen fields and it was a brilliant experience!

The rest of the year pretty much went by in a bit of a blur to be honest - however, here are some snippets in a (pretty large) nutshell:

Andy and I like to take advantage of Groupon/Travelzoo deals for weekends away or nice meals, so a few months ago we went to Roux at Parliament Square to experience one of their tasting menus.  It was a good menu and Andy even managed to eat the course with beetroot in it, and he enjoyed it!!  Will wonders never cease?!
Roux tasting menu
Terrine of duck, quail & pigeon

Gurnard, prawn & boudin'Buride'
We also went back to visit Ben and Jen at the Sharing Supper Club, which as always was fabulous.  Their Tuscan evening is a real delight and we are looking forward to going back to sample some of Ben’s other culinary delights in 2013.
Chef Ben at the SharingSupperClub
One of the major evens of 2012 for me was that I went and got myself a new job!  No longer do I walk the floors of the NSPCC National Centre on the edge of the City of London, these days I trundle up and down the creaking staircases of the Young Foundation in Bethnal Green, back in my old manor.  Yep, born and bred, man and boy…who’d have thought I’d end up working 10 minutes walk away from the house I grew up in – not me, that’s for sure!
Arthur & Sammy
In the latter part of the year our branch of the family grew by two - Andy felt the need to have a pet and as I am allergic to cats and most dogs, he decided that guinea pigs were the solution, so in early November we adopted Arthur and Sammy, two very cute and rapidly growing piggies.

Moonstone Cottage
And so to Christmas, which was spent in the most beautiful little cottage in Glastonbury called ‘Moonstone Cottage’.  Andy and I had booked ages ago with a view to having a nice quiet break away from the hustle and bustle of families at Christmas, and I have to say, that’s exactly what we did and we were joined by our friends Tim and Clare, who also wanted and quiet time over the holidays.   Our host Katarina was lovely and made sure we had everything we needed on our arrival, including a bottle of wine, a bottle of bubbly and a scrummy Scandinavian ginger cake.   Our time was spent eating, drinking, watching movies and playing games – isn’t that what Christmas is all about?!

The first Christmas cake I've made since my school days - it was very boozy!

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