Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Almost ready for Santa! Chicky Babe has been busy dressing the window seat with fresh cushion covers and I've sewn two more stockings ready for Father Christmas to fill. Just a few more presents to wrap and food to prepare for tomorrow's dinner.

  Just a little time for a quick nap on the couch (freshly vacuumed) while no-one is looking!
Look at the expression on Pablo's face.
Opps! Here comes Chicky Babe. I might be in trouble.

Ooooh! Look Father Christmas has been!
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Feeling Christmassy!

I am feeling a little more christmassy this year, thanks to antidepressants and  a lovely holiday. The long list of problems that have needed solving in the first two weeks since I've been back has made my holiday feel like an eternity ago but have not managed to completely extinguish my christmas spirit.
I've finished my christmas shopping, most was done in Europe but none of it is wrapped yet! It is a bit tricky finding time to wrap gifts in a house full of people who happen to be the recipients of most of the gifts!

On my trip I bought a couple of cookie cutters and then while out and about the other day I came across a set of Ninjabread men cutters which I knew my chicky babe would love. So when I went to visit Anki yesterday I was instructed to get her gingerbread recipe, I copied down one from her fantastic little cooking book full of Swedish treats. It is one that closely resembles her mother's recipe but although they are yummy they taste quite different. I used molasses which is very strong. The recipe said corn syrup or molasses and there was no corn syrup in the shop. I actually quite like the slight licorice flavour of the molasses though.

 I made some of my grandmother's shortbread yesterday. One to take to Anki's one to have later with a cup of tea after dinner or for morning tea maybe. By the time I got home it was almost all gone. Luckily I did get a piece for desert but I will have to make another lot for christmas day.
Lucky it is very easy, I haven't made it for years and when I finally got round to it I wondered why I haven't!

I found a little a corner for my tree and added the decorations I bought while on holiday. I love looking at them as they remind me of my trip and the fact it actually did happen! Here are a few of them.

 National Gallery London (from a medieval painting)
 Heaver Castle (Home of Anne Boleyn, but I chose Elizabeth I rather than Anne for the christmas tree as I fancied that I'd rather not have someone with such bad luck on my tree!)
Castle Howard (Brideshead)


Sunday, 18 December 2011

Another magic day in Paris.

Another couple of fab Paris museums..but first a stroll through an open air market with glorious colours and fantastic fresh fish that smelled of the sea all sweet ans salty, not at all fishy.

 Fish, flowers,scarves and CHEESE! We chose a couple of small wedges (it was hard to choose just two!)
 Musee d'Art Moderne in the morning...

 A spot of lunch,
(Coffee from the cafe and bread and cheese from our bag.)

 Shared with the birds.
 Then the Centre Pompidou, til late 9pm close (Yay! Allows for more hours of gallery viewing in a day!)
 A bit of a stop to rehydrate and smear the knee with pain relief gel.
 The views from the outside platform were amazing- that is the Sacre Coeur near our appartment on the horizon there.)

 And the views inside were fantastic too there was an amazing collection of work.

I would recommend putting Centre Pompidou on the top of your must visit list if you haven't already!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Twinkle twinkle little star red hen has a bommy car...Push the button pull the choke off she goes in a cloud of smoke.

Before I went to Europe I had been considering getting a new (or newish) car. My car rattles and makes loud engine noise as you go over 80km/hour - which isn't a problem most of the time as I drive very locally usually not going further than 10km from home, mostly my car is used like a giant wheelbarrow taking piles of school work to and from work. I really should walk to school but the car makes it easier to run away at lunch times when I have half an hour for lunch and no duty! Unfortunately my dearest friend, Anki lives on the other side of the freeway and that requires pushing my poor old car beyond it's comfort (well my comfort) zone as I'm not a big fan of freeway driving. Probably because my car doesn't have very good pick up and doesn't have a very powerful engine and people in Perth are not very polite drivers and the minute you indicate to change lanes that is a signal for those behind you to speed up and not let you change lanes.
So this week my my car started making a squeaking sound in the boot- not the wheels or anything dangerous I have been assured and the car is safe to drive it is just the transmission or something or rather that is on it's way out and will be VERY expensive to fix and the mechanic said it is fine/safe to drive but one day the transmission (or whatever it is) will stop working and we can deal with it then it could be sooner it could be later.
Well I have had quite enough now, I decided last night it was time to buy a new car and I was looking at used cars from last year. Then I found one of 2 2011 Hyundai Getz at our local dealer for pretty much the same price as the 2010 Getzs advertised and in some cases cheaper than ones advertised. This one has a five year warranty fancy things like an engine that zips along and a radio that works. It is not a fancy car but it will be fine for me. All I need is a car that goes and will get me across the freeway and also down south so that Tim and I can enjoy weekends away every now and then- this car will do the trick nicely.
I went down to the dealership this morning and my new car will be ready for me to pick up on Wednesday or Thursday.

Anki, I can come and visit you now without having to worry about the freeway!!!!!! Yay!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Lost in the Louvre.

We spent a good 7 or 8 hours in the Louvre. Much of it was attempting to find our way out. Tim got us very very lost and refused to stop and read a map he just persisted it will be down here or around here...and we would find ourselves in another room going in another direction not at all in the area we expected to be in. I was at one stage wondering if I should have brought him along with me. He was rushing this way and that and I was limping along behind him on my injured knee.
Having said that the Louvre is a delightful place to get lost in, and once we found our way out and got a drink we went back in with renewed vigour and our friendship restored. Luckily it was open till 9pm although we could have spent more time in there easily. There are miles of things to see and we missed some -even though Tim did his best to make sure we saw it all. I read in our Paris Pass booklet a suggested day out it included the louvre and two other art museums in one day with a stop for lunch. I can not understand how this could be possible- then when we got into the Louvre there were big black arrows pointing Mona Lisa this way. That is how it would have to be done put your joggers on scoot past most displays and see one or two pieces in each gallery. The Louvre is huge, it is amazing to think it was once a royal palace. No wonder the people got a little cross.
Here is a snippet of what we saw in the Louvre.
 About midday outside the Louvre.


 It was getting late and we happened upon a tea room. A timely stop for tea enabled us to keep going until closing time!

 Resting my poor old knee!