Can you really claim a salad is a recipe? When it comes down to it it’s just some ingredients mixed together in a bowl. Although at its basic level isn’t all food is just ingredients mixed together in a bowl? And this has got very deep very quickly. Continue reading “Recipe: Halloumi salad with sweet potato croutons”
Sometimes a photo fades from being a way to recall a memory to nothing more than a pretty picture. And others even years later can still take you back to that spot and that time and make you live it all over again.
This photo is the second type and I’m so happy it is because it was taken on one of my favourite ever days. Continue reading “Postcard from Regent’s Park, London”
People seem to think it goes without saying that you have a favourite season. I’m not sure who exactly I’m referring to by ‘people’ but I’m sure I’ve been asked on several occasions and I never have a definitive answer. The only thing I know for sure is it’s never the one we’re in at the time.
I have romantic notions of winter. I picture it as snowy roads, street lights and everyone wrapped in cosy scarves and hats full of Christmas cheer. In reality though most of Christmas cheer is gone by the time winter gets into full swing. Snow turns to slush, slush turns to ice and ice means you have to walk everywhere in fear of falling over on your bum in some embarrassing manner. And no matter how many layers of wool you have on you can never be warm enough. So winter is out of the question.
If all of Christmas cheer is over before winter then it must belong to autumn. But when I think of autumn I think of biting winds and constant rain. Not exactly idyllic.
Summer is nice enough in concept but as a hay fever and heat rash sufferer with pale skin that refuses to tan and needs to stay hidden underneath long sleeves and jeans, summer is much more stress than it is worth.
So that leaves me with spring. A season that for the past 20 years of my life has been synonymous with deadlines and exams. But that phase of my life is over. I can enjoy the frolicking lambs in the fields and daffodil lined lanes (this makes it sound like I live a Thomas Hardy novel which I really don’t – thank god) rather than being trapped in my bedroom surrounded by mountains of textbooks which are somehow magically supposed to be crammed into my brain and then spewed out in coherent sentences in one hectic hour of writing. This year I can look out the window at the blue skies (or heavy rain – they’re not called April showers for nothing) and for the first time properly enjoy spring. So I think it might take the title of my favourite season.
All but one of my small pleasures this week come from the same day – last Monday to be precise. It was just a really good day.
On Monday I visited one my best friends and it was lovely weather, actual sunglasses were needed, so we took a spontaneous trip to Woburn Safari Park. Spontaneous trips are just the best. They can’t possibly be a let down because you haven’t built up any expectations.
2. McDonalds breakfast
The day got off to a great start with some McDonalds drive-through breakfast. I barely ever eat at McDonalds so this felt like a proper treat. And the sausage and egg McMuffin with hash brown and iced mocha really hit the spot.
After a 45 minute queue to get in (don’t you just love Bank Holidays) we finally got to see some animals! But the highlight was the elephants. They were having a special Elephant Appreciation Weekend which meant for a £5 donation to The International Elephant Foundation we could have our photo taken right next to one. After some hurried tidying of the hair and application of make-up (we’d left in a bit of a rush) we were ready to be properly excited about this. And the result is one of my favourite photos of all time.
4. Ice cream
And by the end of the day it was still sunny enough to think ice cream was a good idea. After another 30 minute queue (by which time it wasn’t really sunny enough for ice cream) I got a delicious scoop of chocolate and coconut. And managed to eat it without dripping it anywhere!
And in slightly less exciting news……
5. Rearranging my bookshelves
My bookshelves and I are in an ongoing battle between how many books I own and the physical amount of space I have. But I had a burst of inspiration on Friday and managed to move my books around in such a way that I made room for five more (four of them may have already been bought).
Thank you to Mani for the great idea. You can read about her Small Pleasures here.