Thursday, 27 November 2008

with love from you to me

Birthday and Christmas requests/ suggestions

I would be delighted to receive

Slippers (shoe size 4-4.5)
PJs – prob size 12, depends how baggy they look- maybe size 10
Dressing gown
Teasmade – seriously. Would be too embarrassed to put it on a wedding list though
Hot water bottle
Nigella Lawson Christmas cookbook
Fancy liquid soap
Size 6 ½ gloves to match purple coat – so black probably
Writing paper or notelets
Scented candles- or non-scented ones too!
A nice woollen jumper – again size 10 if it looks baggy, 12 if a neater fit; any autumnal / berry shade would be great, though probably not teal (have big cardi) or purple (trying to knit own cardi). Ideally something decent and moderately classy, though ultimately something warm.

I already have/don’t need/no thank you
Clothes from Mackays – don’t think their stuff fits me too well
Any house related / cooking / bed-linen items – I plan on putting them on our wedding list

Saturday, 22 November 2008

The Ugly Sister's Slipper

I was looking on the Draper of Glastonbury website, a company selling footwear, particularly of the sheepskin variety when I noticed this particularly jazzy shoe. A "colourful quartered design" nonetheless. And guess what DoG have named this slipper? Yes, the design is "Emily".

Why are there no cool things called Emily (other than my good self of course)?

kitchen questions

What do you all (ha - Both!!) think of kitchens from Ikea?

I was looking round the place today, and there are some nice designs.
I do think that a key thing would be to have someone fit it who knows what they are doing, and who has fitted ikea kitchens before.

You see, the kitchen is massive, and it will be highly costly to kit out with cupboards and work surface. To my mind, I thought we should put an adequate kitchen in at the moment, one that will last us a few years, but not our absolutely best ever, wowee kitchen, because we can't afford it. Does that seem sensible enough?

The nexus range is quite nice. Wood veneer cupboards- totally plain. No dust trapping ledges. There are 2 colourways that are options; Patrick likes the more orangey mid-brown oak veneer, I like the darker brown stain. Patrick's option does slightly remind me of the kitchen in Hazelbank, but I shouldn't hold on to that image particularly, as a newly fitted, sleek lined kitchen would be a far cry from what we had in Gala.

Anyhow, your thoughts would be appreciated. There are a lot of decisions to be made regarding the house, and some of it is quite daunting. It will be totally magic when it's done though.

PS - we have gone with your idea, Ali of knocking down the outside shunky. Just need to figure out whether we should move the window on the back wall of the kitchen to enlarge and centralise it, or else it will be tucked in one corner and we will be unable to run cupboards into there. Think I may just have answered my own question, but it involves some propping up of the back of the house to prevent it collapsing when the window is temporarily removed. Yikes!!!

This old house

Well, great news on the home front. Nigel, the viewer who was here the other day has arranged a second viewing!!! I am delighted. His house is under a compulsory purchase order so the council can do something with the land it is on, so he has to buy. Also, you get pretty good money in a sale like that.

He and a pal are coming round on Tuesday to have a second look. I am trying not to be too optimistic, because obviously, as soon as he puts his hand to the side of the fireplace he'll feel the damp and may just run out the door. However Patrick thinks Nigel is gay and so maybe he is just coming back round to see old Pat. Frankly, whatever it takes. I need this house sold!

Incidentally, when I had the builder round the other day he was talking about essential work to do in a house, and mentioned DPC!! I was amazed, I didn't know that the crockery of the deceased was as popular here as it undoubtedly is en Ecosse.

Turns out he was talking about a damp proof course.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Boom Boom!!!

Q. Why do builders have clear plastic lunch boxes?

A. So they can tell whether they are going to work or on their way home.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Time for a Tacky Covers reunion?

check these dudes out!!!!

I fancy getting a covers band, who will do some classic rock and not take themselves too seriously. See their cover of "You're the one that I want" as an example. They are playing tonight in Belfast and so I think I'll see if I can persuade Sharon to go and see them...

and also the lead singer is the infection control nurse in the Ulster Hospital, so it is funny to think of red epaulets by day, rocking (or should that be rockin'?) by night.

DIY dunce

Remember I was so happy and pleased with myself when I mended the drawer in the kitchen?
The top drawer, housing the cutlery is knackered.
I suspect partly through over vigourous drawer closing, and partly because the unit itself is wider than the drawer and so the runners weren't that secure. The problem is I can't pull the drawer right out to mend the hinge on the frame, so the thing is banjaxed.
Any suggestions? Glue? Brute force? Shout at any viewer (Ha! That's the real joke!) who tries to open the drawer to check out the "quality" of the kitchen? Prayer?

Friday, 7 November 2008

Ask and thou shalt receive

So, I am sure we all agree that it is preferable to receive something nice at Christmas time, to open up a present and be pleased with its contents. I truly desire to achieve this with you all, chere famille.

To aid me in this please SEND ME YOUR CHRISTMAS LISTS.

I know already who has been naughty and nice, but I don't have a list to check twice yet, so please help me out. I feel that my Christmas gifts in recent times have missed the mark with a few of you and I want to improve. I want there to be happy faces all round at Christmas 08. On a practical note, I may come home on Boxing day rather than pre-Christmas, so I am actually talking about happy faces on 26/12 rather than on the festive day itself. I hope none of you think that is a bad idea. Nothing finalised yet, just thinking through the practicalities.

And speaking of practicalities... apparently John Lewis get up to 12 complaints a day (during busy Christmas times) from customers about the lack of availability of the Teasmade. Apparently they are going to produce a new version. I would love a teasmade, I really would. I haven't quite figured out the milk issue - though in NI it would be cold enough for it to just sit out on the windowsill over night. I would be far too embarrassed to put a teasmade on a wedding list but would love to own one. I have spoken at length with Pat about it, so maybe best to communicate, lest I get enough Teasmade for one in every bedroom on the new house. Least you'd get a cup of tea in the morning when you come and visit!

Starter for 10

Wedding Menu Suggestions arrived today from the Yellow Door. Here are the starters they have offered...

  • Hot Smoked Irish Salmon with Horseradish Potato Bread, Pea Shoots and Lemon Aioli

  • Gravadlax of Irish Salmon With Horseradish Pannacotta, Baby Salad Leaves, Citrus Oil and Vine Tomato Concasse
  • Roast Irish Seafood on Warm Potato Salad With Kilkeel Lobster Veloute
  • Queen Scallop Nicoise with Fried Chorizo, Lemongrass and Coriander Dressing
  • Parmesan Crusted Baked Irish Cod With Grilled Asparagus, Baby Basil and Lemon Aioli
  • Pan Fried Proper Smoked Haddock Brandade Cakes With Garden Pea Puree, Pea Shoots
Don't they all just sound fantastic?! I am particularly keen on the first one I have to say. Although I think the scallop would be nice, I don't think it would be appropriate for the whole gang and the gravadlax doesn't totally rock my world.

Thoughts people?

Did I mention that I was engaged?

It has been so nice to have seen you all after our recent engagement. I am still very much enjoying wearing my engagement ring, and should you wish to see it again - here is a nice pic I took of it stuffed into a houseplant.

the last days of my 20s

Well, we are well and truly into November now.
I have been lighting the coal fire downstairs (my emphysema is coming along nicely, thank you) and generally planning how to celebrate / commiserate on my turning 30. I think I may have a small house party, with some suitably good natured friends, sparkling wine (Sainsbury's have 25% off at the moment) and some canape type stuff.
If any of you fancy joining in the fun, then rock on over to NI on 29th Nov.
Alternatively, feel free to send large cash gift.