Wednesday, 29 June 2011

courage? a quandary.

Yes I am painfully absent. I was meant to have surgery yesterday but things didn't quite pan out as I expected. Bugger. I will now wait.

Anyhoo, I want to get back into writing. I want to get back into writing a lot. I just don't know how. It's so hard after so long.

I want to be back in the world of weddings. I want to inspire and enthuse. I want, I want, I want. Hmm. Perhaps I will is a better choice?

So I feel I owe you some embarrassment. Anna and her Mouse. I also realise I have never spoken about my hen. So here is bad hen photo number 1! I feel we may have been rather tipsy by this point? What do you think?

So laughing enough yet? Yeah, bad but awesome photo! I love it! However don't stop there. I have a little question to ask!

So here is an another quandary for you lovely people.

I've just realised we've had the video recording (by the family) of our wedding for months and we are yet to watch it.  Crumbs. Oh the fear. I have no idea what it will be like.

How on earth do you summon up the courage to watch it? I know I sound terrible on film and well you know I have some issues with how I look.

As Bean's father recorded it (for the most part) I am expecting lots of shots of feet and the odd argument! 

Do you have any words of courage?

Monday, 20 June 2011

follow your dreams

What can one do when one cannot sleep?

Apparently, this.

At least I can make myself smile.


Friday, 17 June 2011

happy father's day

Well this Sunday is Father's Day but I will not get to see my Papa as his is gallivanting in France surprising some very old friends. 

Quite a weird story, they lost touch with said friends when they emigrated to start a cookery school in south west France. If I recall correctly they were my father's flat mates in olden times. 

They had a string of rather successful restaurants in London. Including an amazing vegan one (apparently) in the late 70s. He was not a vegan and so my father relished him coming home with steak every night. 

Rather randomly my mother's best friend who married an Italian* and lives near Florence, yay!, (a sommelier/wine expert/guide) from school and her son (a wine merchant/broker) mentioned that they were attending the wine exhibition in Bordeaux and always stay with the same people and so Mama and Papa should come and join them for a night because they stay in this wonderful hotel. 

They continued to tell them all these weird and wonderful things about the couple, mentioning that they were English and that they had had restaurants in London and all of a sudden the parents were, 

"Are their names Barbara and Tom"** 

"Why yes"

Oh the laughter and disbelief. It really is quite a small world. So the parents are off to surprise their long lost friends. Life is nice.

(Ok maybe not that amazing a story but it's better when you can tell it!)

So as the father was not going to be here I thought I would bake him a cake, well he doesn't love cake but you know I was in a cake baking mood and he's already got his present of an amp or a sub for his hi-fi so all is fine and dandy. (Also yes, I still have got round to buying manly gel food colourings.)

I got this idea after seeing an episode of That Mitchell and Webb Look.

BBC and the like. Yes, i know, a bad link.

So for my daddy. Or Dad really. (I need bigger cake tins!)

I spent quite a long time "auto-cadding" in my brain and then realised I should have just cut the cake vertically instead of horizontally. Yet the secret was fun anyway. I think it looked better in person. It took quite a while to excavate the cake but I think it was worth the effort. Maybe?!

T'was rather yummy apparently, seeing as half of the cake was devoured in one sitting. I very much recommend blackberry buttercream.

Ta da!***

What do you think? I am loving the idea of  more secret messages in cakes.
I think I've got the hang of the lettering now. Next time I'll manage something rather more spectacular!

Would you like one?

*He adores to tease Bean.
** Pseudonyms or maybe just a "The Good Life" mention. How I want to be Margo. Oh Margo.
*** Would be very willing to bake prettier cakes in exchange for someone to try and teach me how to take a decent picture!

Monday, 6 June 2011

happy birthday bean

Well his birthday was more like a month ago. However fate somewhat intervened and I never got round to baking him a birthday cake.

Luckily, I'm like an elephant when it comes to cake. I never forget. Well Bean certainly doesn't.

Please forgive my rather sad attempts at photography. (I can't seem to get any better. Grr) I promise it looked and tasted better in real life.

I knew I wanted to make something a little special and remembered seeing this on Pinterest and wanted to have a go. Oh how I adore Call Me Cupcake. Seriously swoonworthy food. Very much worth a look see!

You may just be able to make out the Happy 30th! on the little banners!

So what's the surprise?

create avatar

T'was a little too windy for outside photographs.

Ta da!

The excitement was the exciting layer-ness.

I must tell you it isn't as difficult as it might look.

For the cake. Any "white cake" will do. Now white cake seems awfully like an Americanism to me. What's even scarier is that some recipes call for boxed cake mix. Seriously? How difficult is it to make your own cake? Not very. Exactly!

I sort of followed the delicious recipe on Call Me Cupcake but changed a few things and then used the wonderful gel colourings to make the colours so strong. Sadly for Bean I tend to only ever keep pinks or purples in my store so a pinky/purple cake it was! Now the gel colourings are rather strong so only a little drop is needed at the start and then perhaps an extra drop at each stage.

I only had 8 inch tins so this was a slightly bigger cake than I envisaged but ah well!

I (well actually Bean) levelled out the cakes and then I stacked the layers which a yummy layer of blackberry jelly (why is there never blackberry jam) to sandwich them together. In hindsight it would have been even better to use a little of the buttercream too!

For the icing. I wanted something with a little different (which is why it is not a delicious clean white). I decided to make a Swiss meringue buttercream with a little blackberry liqueur. I sort of followed this recipe from Epicurious but only made about a third of the quantity. Also I used salted butter because I think it tastes nicer! I think the blackberry adds a lovely flavour to the sweetness and the salted butter cut through all that sugar!

So what do you think? I am little impressed with the little cake. It was rather tasty. Bean might say, "it's pink, it's certainly pink." Well thanks.

Indeed I am rather inspired to have a go at something a little more difficult. Watch this space. It could go disastrously wrong!

Oh and tomorrow wedding post-ness! Eeek. I'm a little scared!

(I do have to show you the invitations I made for Bean's party. I was rather impressed with myself. Well not so much the invitations, rather their packaging! Soon.)


Friday, 3 June 2011

i have a cunning plan

You may have noticed that I am yet to really talk about "the wedding." A long six months has just passed and I am no closer to starting these posts. My first thought is to just forget about it and move this little blog on or maybe just allow it to shuffle of it's mortal coil* and fall off the radar into delicious anonymity once again. 

However, my father said something to me recently which resonated with my sad little heart.**

And I quote - although perhaps not verbatim.

"I wasn't really sure what to expect from the wedding. I didn't really know what was going to happen. Well apart from you getting married. But I had a really wonderful weekend. One that I will remember and tell tales about for many years to come. It was certainly memorable."

Now coming from my rather unemotional father (I want to write a(n)-emotional - he does seem awfully like a robot at times) was a revelation. I realised that perhaps the wedding was actually rather good and if nothing else it was certainly memorable and by jingo we did actually get married. I know that at least 3 brides in the same area could not make it to their nuptials on that day. Oh the snow.

So what is my cunning plan? I am going to write about the wedding but I am going to do it in a slightly different way from usual. However there will be two stories. The first story will be a slightly rose tinted spectacled*** view of how I think most people felt about the wedding day. Indeed up until a certain point I very much enjoyed my day and then after a certain point I very much loved my day. T'was just a little bit in between that was a little, how should I put this?, "odd."  Hmm yes, odd. I shall include extra posts about my favourite "helpers" and vendors because some of them are simply amazog. I won't shy away from the problems but I shall be positive. I think when I eventually complete an album of the day, these will be the words I shall use to accompany them. Oh and of course I hope to get a Bean action. 

The second will be a warts and all review of how the day actually was, not just rainbows and unicorns. A smattering of regrets but also some hints and tips which should be helpful for the future brides who pop on here. I realise that many of you would not all the details of their wedding out in the open. However as I fear the wedding was a slightly like one disaster after another, I hope it may bring a smile to your face. Please learn from my mistakes. Our wedding was certainly not a sacred solemn event. I need to share that!

Oh and this will be interspersed by some very very special guest posts. Posts which should have been posted last year but due to reasons which are too dull to explain never were published. They are magical.

So in an attempt to be positive about the wedding I am going to post my favourite picture of me. Well perhaps my favourite. Well, I like it. I'm not sure it has been on public show before. So be gentle. I still remember the cold. Although I don't remember being particularly cold. Oh the adrenaline of just saying, I do.

So wish me luck. I hope I can write how I truly feel. It is going to be tough. Is there anything in particular you want to hear or see? Ax

*I do believe it is slightly sentient.
**It's not that sad, just a little sad about how the wedding turned out.
***Although perhaps that is a little harsh. Perhaps it is actually just the truth, without my cynical over anna-lytical**** bias.
****I am terribly funny!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

things i had forgotten i had learnt.

Just so that I don't forget again. Feel free not to read! Maybe I should get a diary? Although please do read the last paragraph!

1. Being yellow = high bilirubin. Or in my case a very high bilirubin (rather embarrassingly high) = itchiness. Oh the itchiness.
2. Stupid brain sometimes forgets that despite not drinking very much you need to go to the loo a lot. Oh yeah, I'm being given 3 litres a day through my drip. D'oh!
3. Cyclizine, gentamicin and morphine are not nice when injected. Wowzers.
4. Tiredness can make me cry. Pain not so much.
5. Nurses can be very nice, HCAs can be even nicer. (Thank you Philippines for producing such wonders!)
6. Midazolam is potent amnesiac inducing drug. Well potent may be the wrong word but it was shockingly effective on me.
7. Codeine may be a weak opioid but by jingo it made me feel "floopy" and blind.
7. Double beds are fabulous. Sadly Bean they are even more fabulous when you are sleeping in another one. (I was in a lot of pain!) I am glad you are back now.

Finally about the karma. I really meant it when I said I need needed to do some good deeds. I'm not all that strong at the moment so would be relatively useless at heavy lifting but I can offer my "brain" and/or heart. No deed too small. I am deadly serious. Karma can be very effective and I really need to fill up on the good stuff again!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

oh check me out!

Somehow I managed to find myself on the quintessentially "cool"* blog East Side Bride yesterday. Bless her heart she thought our wedding pictures are, and I quote, "some of the more adorable wedding photos I've run across EVER."

Oh the validation is warming! (Although I am perfectly aware that it is mostly because of Emma.)

Perhaps you'd like to check it out? Find the post here.

*Hmm cool is most definitely the wrong word because she is far too good for a simple cool.

P.S. Thank you lovely Peonies for leading ESB to the wondrous Sophie, our delicious florist - I Heart Flowers and thus to me! (I am a lucky girl!)


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