An english girl who after six months in the french mountains, has left for Italia, the beautiful country. My thoughts on leaving life as I know it and beyond! Join me as I embark on a life with lots of adventure and a lack of heels!!!!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

So long, Farewell......

       Well I have just 4 weeks tomorrow until my last day at work. I cannot believe it has come round so quickly. As a hairdresser I see my clients every 3-8 weeks so time flies as I am always looking 12-16 weeks ahead. Over the (many) years I have made some great friends and have enjoyed getting to know everyone and hearing all about their lives. I announced that I was leaving at beginning of the year and was pleasantly suprised to get a very positive response (maybe they'd had enough of me!!!!). But over the last couple of weeks I have started seeing people for the last time. It is really quite sad to be saying goodbye, last night I was nearly reduced to tears by one lovely lady, christ know's what I'll be like on my last day!! But I've been giving them all my blog address so hopefully they'll stop by and we'll stay in touch.

      But there is another goodbye today too, some very special friends of Mr & mine's are leaving for Kuwait tomorrow. They are a lovely couple we met in Australia 8 years ago when we were all travelling. We have stayed in contact and it is always great to meet up even if it's not for months on end . They had a lovely little girl a year ago and have made wonderful parents. Then earlier in the year they were offered an opportunity in the middle east which was too good to refuse so off they are going. It is a great chance for them and I admire them for going for it, especially with a little one, but hey you only live once eh? So I wish them a safe journey, and I just know we will see them soon one way or another.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Just a little fix!


       Well for those that have read my blog you will know that I have an obsession with Sex and the City, but after the excitement of the summer film it's been all quiet on the SATC front. Imagine my delight when I came across this,

                         Oh I sooo want this!!! Available from amazon.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Julie and Julia.

    There is one thing I have been meaning to do for some time. I have been desperate to see the Julie & Julia film with Meryl Streep as Julia Child, the famous american french cook, and Amy Adams as Julie Powell, cookery blogger extraordinair!!
     So last saturday night whilst Mr was inebrieated somewhere in London I finally curled up on the sofa  with this most wonderful film. I must say it was every bit as fantastic as I thought it would be, Meryl Streep is brilliant as the charming, full of beans Ms Child and Amy Adams' Julie feels like she would make a lovely friend.

The perfect casting!

        The fact that it is based on the true stories of these two women makes it even more heart warming, coupled with the most fabulous french cullinary masterpieces and Julia's late 1940's wardrobe it is just a winner all round. Factor into it the power of the bloggosphere and it just has you hook, line and sinker!
        Whilst watching it it makes you want to live in Paris and New York (not suprising for moi!!), makes you want to learn how to bone a duck and cook beouff bourguignon ( I am a vegan!!) and  I have become ever so slightly obsessed with looking up Julia Child recipes on you tube and am now putting 'Mastering the art of French Cooking vol 1' and Julia Child's biography on my christmas list!!!

I love that Julia/Meryl is wearing a heart for st valentines!

        I also feel as if I want to follow in Julie Powell's footsteps and attempt to cook the gastronomic creations! On sunday I went out to specifically buy butter, white pepper and white wine in an attempt to make beurre blanc!!!! On sunday afternoon I found a couple of recipes and spent the best part of  two hours making salmon with beurre blanc accompanied by garlic mash and steamed greens. I spent an hour reducing white wine, white wine vinegar and minced onion then adding butter cube by cube only to have the sauce split 5 mins before serving!!!  Meanwhile I simmered garlic cloves in cream for 45 mins to add to the mash a la Julia (once again I must add that I am meant to be vegan!!!). It was delicious!

I am now channeling Julie/Amy!!!

   So you may have gathered that I enjoyed this very much, If you haven't seen it I urge you to grab yourself a copy (mine was £5 in the supermarket) settle down on the sofa with a nice glass of vin!

   Have you seen it??

Monday, 20 September 2010

Things are looking up!

   Just when it feels like the world is against you something happens and all of a sudden things get back on track. With now just 8 weeks till departure everything is finally sorting itself out. The house is SOLD!! (again!) Trying not to get too excited but a very short chain, our buyers have a buyer purchasing their property for their daughter with no mortgage and our buyers have a huge deposit and have their mortgage is good to go. I know alot could happen but fingers crossed!!!

   The next thing is I will finally be back on the road this evening in a big safe 4x4 so any young boys speeding in their little hatchbacks better get out of my way!!!! I am not a car person, as long as it is a dark colour, newish and does'nt look like its designed for the aged I don't really mind or care. I have only owned a few cars since I passed my test 13 years ago as I would rather spend the money on holidays and shoes! But a strange thing is although I consider myself an independent young woman able to say what I think, run a business, do as I please and generally look after myself without relying on a man, car's are where I have a bit of a wobble. I always feel the mechanics, salesmen etc see you coming and think they can pull a fast one. And in all honesty they probably bloody could, who am I to argue? I have not one iota what they are on about or what I am looking for. But today I have successfully test driven, asked the required questions (blagged big time) and secured a rather good deal (hopefully???) all on my lonesome!! What a clever girl! The funny thing is this is the biggest most manly car I've ever owned!!!! It'll probably blow up on the way home!

Should keep us safe in the snow!

 Does anything make you feel like a little girl lost?

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Another favourite place of mine.

   A love affair with Italy, Oh I am in love. Mr and I first went to Italy 3 years ago and it was just the most wonderful place in the whole world. It lives up to every stereo type you ever hear about, gorgeous cities, gorgeous food, gorgeous beaches, gorgeous people........bellisimo!!

Trevi Fountain.

The Pantheon.

Inside the Vatican City.

The magnificent Colliseum.
     Our 1st stop was 3 nights in Rome which was just stunning, I decided after stepping out of the taxi on our arrival at our hotel that this was the place for me. Everywhere you look it just feels like you are surrounded by history and beautiful architecture, amazing. It is simply breathtaking. I feel I could wander those streets forever and never ever become tired of those wonderful sights.

Positano from the sea.

The view from our balcony.

The view from the pool.
     We then had 4 nights in Positano which must be quite frankly one of the most amazing places on the Amalfi coast. Built up in to the rocks and cliff face, the whole place is a maze of little lanes and alleyways crammed with incredible resturants and fabulous shops ( Fendi? Prada? anyone?), all built around the gorgeous little bay and beach. The perfect place to relax and forget all about real life. Sigh.........................  

     Have you been to Italy?

Thursday, 16 September 2010

One of my favourite places in the world.

I love to travel. I love to see new places. I love to immerse myself in new cultures. The sights, the sounds and the smells of a new land is just so exciting. I have been very lucky to travel to lots of wonderful places, some have been holidays and some whilst on a gap year but all (well most) have left me with wonderful memories so I thought that I would share some of my favourites with you.

  One very special place was Morocco, this is where Mr and I spent our honeymoon. We had 2 amazing nights in Marrakech then 5 nights on the coast in Essouria. It felt like we were stepping back in time, but with fabulous decor courtesy of Mr & Mrs Smith.

Our beautiful Riad in Marrakech.

Djamaa El Fna

The Majorelle Gardens, home of the late great YSL.
   Marrakech  really is an assault on the senses, stunning leathers, towering spices, mountains of olives, glimmering metal work and animal intestines dripping on to the path!!  The amazing thing was that everyone selling their wares be it gorgeous lanterns or scrawny caged chickens co-exists without batting an eyelid. You get the feeling things have'nt changed much here whilst the rest of the world is whizzing by. But then you go for dinner and a huge red velvet curtain is pulled to one side and you enter an incredible dining room that would rival those of  New York or London, whilst next door someone is stoking their coals on the doorstep. Just incredible.

Essouria port.

Our terrace in the ramparts, perfect for a sun downer.
    Essouria is little less known which makes it feel like a sleepy fishing town, a very laid back vibe which was very popular in the 60's and 70's with the bohemian crowd and you can see why. Lazy lunches in the afternoon heat overlooking the harbour and strolling along the miles of sandy beach (although a little windy, this is the atlantic after all). Relaxing on the many roof terraces watching the sunset over the medieval ramparts, and all finished off with an incredible meal tucked away down an alleyway in the medina.  Ahh.....
   Do you have a favourite place?  And where did you spend your honeymoon?

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Soup Kitchen part 1.

 As mentioned previously I do love to cook and this time of year when the weather starts to turn theres nothing that I like better (well kitchen wise that is) than making soup. Every week I make a different soup for my weeks lunches. So I thought I would share one of my favourites, roasted squash.

2 squash, I used one butternut and one harlequin.
1 tin of chopped tomatoes.
2 medium potaoes.
3 garlic cloves.
1 tbsp fennel seeds.
1 ltr of boullion vegetable stock.
Salt and pepper to season.

  • 1st pre-heat the oven to 200, meanwhile cut the squash in half, remove seeds and season.
  • Place in oven proof dish and roast for approx 30/40 mins until soft.
  • Whilst the squash is roasting dice the potatoes, slice the garlic, grind the fennel seeds and make up your stock.
  • Add the potatoes, garlic, stock and tomatoes to a large pan, bring to a boil then simmer for 20 mins.
  • Add your ground fennel seeds.
  • By now your squash should be done so scoop the flesh out (mind your fingers, hot stuff!) and add to the pot.
  • Simmer for 10 more minutes, then remove from the heat and blend!
  • Season to taste and enjoy with some crusty bread. 

   Hope you like it! e xx

Monday, 13 September 2010

Bad Times.


  I don't like to sound like I am always moaning but blimey things are sent to try us at times eh? At the start of the year Mr and I invested in a practical and safe new car for our journey to the alps in november. We have approx 690 miles to drive so my trusty little corsa was probably not the best choice! We luckily have some friends in the business and managed to get a more sensible car to take with us.
  I've been happily driving back and forth to work in the new vehicle, was quite happy with it and most importantly it was roomy enough for all our belongings (plus, err a few pairs of boots!!). Also it was one of the things on my list of things to do done, all sorted move on to the next item.
  So imagine just how annoyed, let alone shaken up and a little shocked when some young lad ploughed into the side of me at 50mph whilst I was going round a roundabout last sunday!!! Luckily nobdy was injured, god knows how. So with everyone in one piece the police left us to it.

Lucky I was driving really, Mr's leg would probably have got caught in that door.
    I contacted my insurers and was reassured that they would do what they had to do and I would hear from them within 24 hrs about a replacement vehicle. I was stupidly under the impression that that was the worst of it and I could leave it to the proffessionals!!! Oh how wrong was I.
   To cut a long ( I am not kidding) story short, the insurers have decided it was my fault although I was half way round the roundabout, and despite the fact that there are skid marks courtesy of the other vehicle for about 10 meters before he hit me and these were going through the middle of the mini roundabout, and the fact that it is a residential road with a speed limit of 30mph! And we had witnesses. But the bastards had already admitted liability on my behalf before Mr emailed them the photos and then when I (rather furiously) enquired why the hell, they told me the details they had on the system were that I pulled out from a parked position!!!!!! Quite frankly this means I am not entitled to a courtesy vehicle as it was 'my fault'. The car is also deemed a write off. Aghhhhh.
    Nothing is ever simple, we now have a hire car as an act of good will from the insurers as I refused to hang up until I had a replacement car, but if I reject their 1st offer to cover the cost of my car the hire car agreement becomes void!
     So enough about that, we also thought we were on to a winner with the house sale when a couple came round and loved it, even put a note through the door to see if they could come back the next day. Trying not to get our hopes up, they came back, loved it. Had an offer 2 days later, 30k under the asking price! WTF? We then found out their max budget was 25k under our price!!!!! But we do have a secound viewing tomorrow from a couple that have sold, they have told the agent it is their favourite so fingers crossed. We are getting closer to going now and if we don't sell by the end of the month then we will be renting the house out, not ideal but a solution to a problem. Nothing is gonna stop us going now and after all this it can't come round quick enough!!!