Tuesday, 31 January 2012


Three pink waterlilies

I am looking forward to starting work by not doing all the things that I really ought to do before I start having only two days off per week. Here are some of the things I have done instead.

I have watched a real live auction, but online. It's amazing. Mum and dad have been unearthing our family heirlooms, and we went through the treasure trove ages ago (in 2009) but stupidly didn't give the stuff immediately to the member of the family who would be most useful in disposing of it. That has now happened, and some of it went into a real auction with an auction house. You can view the catalogues - the pictures made our items look a lot more glamorous than I remember them - and then view the actual auction, either text and images, or with sound, or with video too. It's amazing. Bids are placed in the room, by telephone and online, and it's quite exciting.

And another thing. Completely unrelated. Jamie Oliver's salads are terrific. I bought a Jamie Oliver cookbook for Mr A because he seemed to gravitate towards JO's online recipes when looking for something to cook. The stuff can be a bit over-fiddly (e.g. he grates everything for the fish pie) but usually turns out splendidly. I thought I'd try one of his salads, and his technique, which is to chop everything up quite finely. The first one (cucumber, lettuce, cress, avocado, basil) was astonishingly good, so I tried another this week (carrot, radish, fennel, chicory, lettuce, dill) and together, the ingredients provided a flavour than was far more than the sum of the parts. Wonderful.

The freezer is in its place, but has slightly reduced capacity compared with the built-in one - not surprising, given that there is a space all round this one where the previous freezer completely filled the hole. We are adjusting well to the challenge. It appears to freeze food very well. The new washing machine washes clothes better than the old washing machine. We continue to use our special remote control when we watch TV, and look forward to the next household item that fails.

Last unrelated observation: I noticed some green shoots in the garden, and remembered that I had planted daffodils. Until they sprouted, I had completely forgotten. The joy of gardening. Soon it will be spring, but the forecasters say we have an arctic February to look forward to first.


Anonymous said...

People are getting all excited about that arctic February here! There's a special 11-towns-tour for ice skaters that hasn't happened since 1996 because the ice on the canals and rivers need to be at least 6 inches thick. Now everyone is calculating whether it will finally happen again this year and when and how and even the pumping stations have been shut down in that region (Friesland) to promote ice forming nicely... and I have to say I can't even skate, but I'm already getting excited!

- Marjolein

Lola said...

The ice skating tour sounds wonderful - we have canals, but they have never formed more than a thin skin of ice, even in the coldest weather over the past two years.