Week 2 – TopMan

If we were having coffee I’d tell you about my week,

4 days in a row using the bus, and the lack of exercise really starting to bite now with my head and well being.

Princes street and passing the Top Man store. I’m struck by the 4 mannequins dressed differently, 4 styles, I reflect on which one would be my son. Then my former self, easy to project my style onto him, maybe he’d choose something else which would be fine. Now I wouldn’t even shop there. 30 years ago, I would, a shop for young men…what happened, time slips by……I can tell I’m in a melancholy state of mind typically when I’m feeling low.

The miserable rainy weather, standing room on the bus only, the bad back, the root canal, the demands from work as I feel another restructure coming on is all weighing on my mind.

The 5th day, blue crisp sky, colours are vivid and time to pick up my bike from it’s annual service…..which means…no bus. Half a walk and half a cycle to get there on my own steam and a cycle home. No coughing and spluttering….but it’s too late I’ve been exposed and I feel myself coming down with something.

Saturday morning and I’ve a stonking head ache, can’t help thinking it’s related to the toothache from the root canal….mixed with some kind of lurgy from a bus passenger. I try to put a brave face on. There is painting to be done….the final push on the 3 year house project.

Cooking is taking a back burner whilst I face into the jobs……..I look forward to getting back.

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, and my reflections on a minor lifestyle reboot-as I countdown to 50, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook or my latest adventure then please subscribe at the top right, to either my WordPress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by. Hosted by Eclectic Alli

Weekend Coffee Share – Last One of the Year

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about my lower back pain which started just as I finished up from work for the Christmas break.   I’ve managed to use it as an excuse to not do any of the exercise I’d planed in order to keep the excess away from my body.  I think I overdid it in the lead up at the gym and cursing myself.

Christmas has been and gone in the blink of an eye and I’m starting to think about the New Year.  The resolutions are there looming and I’m pondering how did I get to here without accomplishing the things I’d wanted to and then I’m reminded of the things I have done this year….a family trip to Orlando and a life dream of visiting NASA (which has to be a highlight).  Importantly I’ve kept my job despite a number of turbulent moments.   The house that owns us is starting to feel and respond to our ebb and flow rather than the other way round.

The boys are growing so fast now and an independent 15 year old in the house is both opening up free time and challenging the family of 4 dynamic.   Exams are looming and the need to create study time a constant reality as he hit the books on boxing day.

My food aspirations are ever present and I did manage to tackle a few things from the supplements I’d collected over the last few weeks in the run up.   My highlight has to be the Donna Hay Chocolate Meringue and the Cranberry and Pear Compote from the Waitrose magazine.  Roast Shoulder of lamb (Cumin and Szechuan pepper lamb with steamed aubergine) from Ottolenghi in the Guardian provided us with a few meals, not sure the rub was worth the agro and perhaps just slow roasting au naturale would have wielded just a wonderful result.  The aubergines, steamed and dressed in the juice were pretty tasty though.  The masterclass yule tide log, although simple in it’s constitute parts…assembly under time pressure proved a challenge…..the boys didn’t seem to mind though.

I’ve set myself a challenge of tidying my desk today, filling those things that have built up over the year in order to be ready to hit the new year running.

I hope that you had a peaceful Christmas and wish you a great start to the new year.

I’m a wannabe cook, semi part time blogger!  Please subscribe at the top right. 

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli


I’ve been trying to write this next post for some time, trying to give myself permission from where I left off. It’s been hard to get started, the opening sentence there in my mind, with no moments in time to move my fingers, to get them in line.

The excuses are there, life, work, the house renovations, the end of winter never in sight, motivation and the darkness that consumes it. I’ve not been able to break through or to elaborate what I’ve been through.

Then there is the guilt, a neglected site once again…like a yo yo diet…I’ll start again on Monday. Little and often I hear myself say!

Today though is another day, a Wednesday, a crack in time that I’ve managed to break through….I’ve just started to write without concern about all the stuff in my head.

Stick with me, I’m back!

The New Coffee Pot

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New hob new #coffeepot #coffeeporn

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If we were having coffee I’d be apologising for not speaking for so long, the last few weekends have both been so busy and an emotional roller coaster on so many levels.

Today the coffee is made from a new shiny pot on a new shiny hob and although I’m in love with the new hob, the old coffee pot will not work on it. There is a tinge of regret, the old pot had stories to tell, had nursed us through good and bad times, many seasons and grown a welcoming loved temper around the base that just can’t be created without use and the sharing of a cup of coffee.

Today though is the start of new stories and new tales, we’ve physically moved into the kitchen, psychologically we did last night when we reassembled the family table, placed it in position and sat down with a Negroni each.

We’ve been in and out all week, trying to get rid of the sawdust, the upsetting paint splodges off the new floor in amongst balancing day jobs and the boys being off for school holidays. Meals have been pulled together across two kitchens; the new shiny not quite ready and the makeshift attic where there is no longer an electric supply.

The hob and the oven work like a dream and have pulled the boys into the kitchen like wasps to honey. The novelty of the new tech which won’t last long….but somehow the new kitchen is bringing us together more, a larger family space that I know we are really lucky to have.

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Add the egg and cook for 5 mins before transfer to grill

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The novelty of the new tech which won’t last long….but somehow the new kitchen is bringing us together more, a larger family space that I know we are really lucky to have.

The next time we speak well have unpacked the boxes, with hidden away glasses that make a beer taste better than a beer in an ordinary glass and kitchen utensils that we’ve not seen for a year past. The baking tins, storage jars, hand whisk and blender. It’s time to get the cooking mojo back, maybe next time not coffee but dinner…..thanks for reading.

The Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Part Time Monster

Tyre Change Success

Christmas Eve and the trains are on time, my mum and sister due in 20 mins.  I’d left the perfect amount of time to get there 5 or so minutes late in order to meet them at the side entrance as they came out.  The idea of sitting in the car park long since gone due to a ban on cars, including taxis being allowed down the concourse taking all sense of enjoyment of meeting family with it.   The rain was lashing down as I accelerated into the road….ooh that doesn’t feel right.  I pull over and check the back corner tyre.  I know there isn’t a perfect time for a flat tyre….that definitely wasn’t one!

After two days of rain, Christmas and Boxing Day in between we have blue skies and the nagging itching feeling of having the vehicle to sort can be scratched.  I’ve never changed a tyre before in a good 20 years of being a driver. I know I’ve been very lucky.  So with a precarious jack and a sense of trepidation I took on the 5 wheel nuts.  An hour later and some brute strength I’d swapped the spare around.

I’m bagging it as today’s challenge completed and in a strange way I’m taking this as a huge success for me.  Just nice to take something that’s a pain and turn into an achievement.