Thursday, 28 July 2011

Blue skies in N. Ireland


John Alexander Hall 1919 -2011

Jack Hall, my Grandad, passed away on Tuesday 12th July 2011. He was 91 years old and died peacefully in his own bed. His request was that if the day of his funeral was dry and warm, his coffin would be set at the front of his house (the one he built himself many years ago) so his friends and family could gather in the garden and say farewell. It was a beautiful funeral. The weather was warm and sunny and more than 200 of his family and friends gathered, filling the garden and lining the country road on which he lived. My parents dog wandered around, mingling with the crowd in the hope of a tickle. The tribute told of his simple and honest life. He was a man devoted to God, his family and his friends. He will be remembered as a man who didn't say alot but what he said held great worth. He will be missed by many but has left many happy memories.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Broad beans

 We have lots of broad beans growing at the allotment. In previous years I never really craved them, to say the least! Until I found this recipe on the 'Abel and Cole' website. If you have broad beans ready for eating, you have got to try this recipe. It is amazing!!!
P.S. Be sure to shell your beans after cooking, it makes all the difference.

Broad Bean and Feta Salad

Broad beans are delicious combined with these flavours. Other good additions would be roast peppers. Serves 2–3.
  • 225 g/ 1/2 lb fresh broad beans, shelled weight
  • 60 g/2 oz Feta cheese, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Put the beans in boiling water for 3–4 minutes until tender. Drain well and put into a bowl. Mix together the oil, vinegar and mint and stir into the hot beans. When the beans have cooled to room temperature, mix in the cubed Feta and serve.


This week we haven't had very many outings but after the busyness of the past month it was kind of nice to spend a bit of time at home. MJ's creative side is firing on all cylinders. He is also starting to spend longer amounts of time playing on his own. He loves using my camera, telling us how to sit, where to stand and then putting the camera at an angle to take the shot. Then he will view his work and say 'that's very nice' in a little N.Irish accent!  Lj is climbing the stairs and making progress on walking everyday but she is still loves a cuddle too, with her thumb in, of course!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

MJ's 1st sports day

 I'm not sure if my early morning runs influenced MJ's clothing choice for his school sports day. But on getting ready he insisted he wear his 'running' vest and 'shiny' trainers.

His school had done a great job in setting up six different activities for them and had split them into groups of three. As I watched him and the other kids complete the tasks I realised anew just how little he and his class mates really are. Day to day I expect so much from MJ and I don't know if that is a good thing or not. This weekend I read in the news of a three year old caught vandalising cars, so I know that at just three they are capable of violence. In poverty stricken countries a three year old would be expected to help care for their family, so I know that at just three they are capable of shouldering responsibility. But here in middle class suburbia what should I be expecting of my three year old? Hmm time for a muse...meanwhile, here are the photos of his 1st sports day.

 :: Mini assault course

:: Ball dribbling

:: Egg and spoon race

:: Tiger feet

Saturday, 2 July 2011

The picture says it all

 I don't think I need to say anything...the photos say it all...a captured memory.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Pancakes and Milkshake

It always happens...

We have a great day out in London. We meet up with a friend, we find a great play park, we check out the shops, a toy shop, then a clothes shop, then a toy shop, then a clothes shop etc... until we are worn out and ready to catch the train back home. But the next day we are tired, oh so tired, we are snappy with each other and concentration is at an all time low. However, this time I think I have found the cure...homemade blueberry pancakes and strawberry milkshake. Now my tummy is full, I am feeling calm and ready to hit the 'jobs' list.

Thank you sugar and carbs.