Friday, January 1st, 2016 02:16 pm
tourmaline: (coffee)
Ten years ago today I followed many of my friends on the Devoted to Hugh messageboards and set up my LiveJournal. The first post was short and sweet. I don't post very often these days but I'm glad I still come back occasionally, sometimes a longer post is required and it's nice to have somewhere quieter to retreat to.

So, 2016: the Road to Rio 2016 is already well-worn yet there's some distance still to go. Hoping for a decent defence of gold medals won at the Home Games, even though many have retired and many more will no doubt do so after Rio. It's likely to be a closer call in terms of the GB-Australia rivalry though.

Space: I notice Tim Peake looks well settled in on the ISS, his somersaults and flips are more controlled, which is a good indication he's used to moving around in microgravity. A crew swap in March will see the ending of the Year Long Mission, and the end of 2016 will see the launch of Thomas Pesquet, the last of the ESA Class of 2009 to go into space.

Work: Don't want to think about it. There's a reason we eat lots of cake and biscuits in our industry. One work-related highlight expected is a workfriend is to become a first-time Dad in the spring.

Home: I discovered this Christmas how much I prefer my own home-made versions of goodies to the shop-bought stuff. So in order to get them right for next Christmas I need to practice during the year. A friend gave me an afternoon tea recipe calendar for Christmas so I might try some things from that if I'm in the mood to make something new. Also, I am hoping I can actually grow some flowers this year instead of crabgrass.

Screen stuff: Certain articles are hinting that Peter Capaldi is about to give notice on his tenure as the Doctor. I think he's right not to stay too long but he's the best Doctor ever and I don't want him to go.

Week off

Saturday, September 14th, 2013 03:04 pm
tourmaline: (home-made bread)
Today is the first day of a week off work, assuming weekends count, which they do. No major plans yet apart from the usual visit to Birmingham, but hopefully I can incorporate a visit to the Library of Birmingham in my trip (so cool how it was on the front page of Wikipedia for so long). Today's loaf is partly made from polenta flour, and is in its second proving so I'll be downstairs soon to bake it. I made a beer bread loaf a couple of weeks ago which was excellent, but having discovered a bottle of beer (ie pale ale) is enough for two loaves, I might try baking double and freezing half next time. Having shared the leftover beer with Dad, I think I prefer beer to wine, though I'm pretty sure I prefer plain orange juice to both.

So happy for Tokyo in winning the 2020 Games, I hope they have as amazing a time as hosts as we did. Already there's talk of a South African bid for 2024. And I seem to follow more sportspeople on Twitter than space people, but it's awesome cos most of them are Team GB people or British sports associations, and it's great that sport never goes away - each weekend is the start, or the final, of a world-class event.

I saw some online TV coverage of the official meeting & greeting of the next Soyuz crew earlier, they launch in just over a week's time. I hope when it's Tim Peake's turn the BBC provide full coverage. It's an opportunity they cannot miss.

In the garden

Saturday, August 10th, 2013 05:25 pm
tourmaline: (coffee)
Everything is growing well in the garden:

Untitled Untitled

Today is Mum & Dad's 45th wedding anniversary - I've bought them some flowers but they're mostly still in bud so will wait a few days before sharing a photo. I've also baked another quick loaf (mix, 5mins kneading, 1 hour proving in the tin, 35mins baking) with a change to my usual cycling helmet style scoring across the top:

Quick Loaf

It's still not quite fully cooled but was cool enough to sample a slice off the end, and it's totally delish.

And Mo Farah won 10,000m gold at the Worlds! Yay!!

May Day Weekend

Sunday, May 5th, 2013 08:10 pm
tourmaline: (coffee)
May Day Weekend, and future weekends )
Hopefully I will report back again after tomorrow's outing, with photos. And possibly a short review of Hugh's episode of Perspectives.
tourmaline: (coffee)
Since I posted about the round rosemary loaves a few weeks back, I've been baking more, mostly trying out different breads from my WI Bread recipe book. I had one failure (a carrot & sesame seed loaf which didn't really rise enough and so didn't bake inside, though it looked awesome on the outside) but the rest have been good so far.

Last week, I made this white farmhouse loaf, which didn't last long:
Farmhouse Loaf

Today, I've made a brown loaf (flour is half white, half wholemeal) and I don't think it will last any longer than the white loaf:
Brown loaf

The only recent departure from the WI book I've done recently is this sultana loaf, which was from a recipe card Mum gave me:
Sultana Loaf

Now I have to decide what the next loaf will be, so I can shop for ingredients if necessary. Shortlisted are a polenta loaf, which looks nice in the book, but I've never been near polenta before. Sainsburys only have one polenta offering, in a tightly-packed block. Another option is pretzels, which uses the same basic dough as the farmhouse loaf, or something more adventurous such as sundried tomato bread or walnut & raisin bread.

Meanwhile I have also started watching Miranda now that it's on UKGold. Highly recommended - it's old-fashioned in a delightful way (right down to the 'You have been watching' at the end), and Tom Ellis is heavenly to watch. If it comes your way, watch and watch again.
tourmaline: (coffee)
Today is Red Nose Day, but I haven't been watching the Comic Relief TV show, just seeing bits & pieces of YouTubery and TV inserts and whatnot. I think I'm past the optimum age now, back in the early days it was the awesomest thing ever but it's a generational thing, I know many of my favourite comedians from back then are still heavily involved but it's no longer "the gang". I'm sure, though, it's someone else's gang, so I hope the younger generation derive as much awesomeness from it as I always did. Instead, I have been donating by texting and via a QI-associated webpage, which I believe is a subset of Sarah Millican's team.

I have also been baking - like lots of workplaces we had a bake-off and bake sale at work. It was won by someone who baked a chocolate and Guinness cake, but we were told by the judges that she won by a margin of 1 point and that there wasn't much more separating the rest of us. My cake was a variation on carrot cake, with pistachios and orange, and by the end of the bake sale there was just a quarter left. When buying, I chose a red velvet Whoopie pie and a sliver of a cherry chocolate cake with Cadburys fingers around the edge. There was a wide range of cakes - two cherry chocolate cakes of contrasting styles, but none of the rest were particularly similar to any other. Altogether (including the Keith Lemon sweepstake) we raised £250, which I thought was very good considering the office hasn't exactly been full recently. Most of the other cakes were red nose-themed - I claimed mine was the 'breather' in between all the bright colours - but I baked this because I really wanted to join in, I didn't want to be in the general audience thinking 'I could've made a cake'. I'm really glad I did.

I have been baking bread, too. After three attempts at making straightforward loaves in the breadmaker over the past few weeks, which was fine except for the hours spent cleaning, I found this Nigel Slater recipe for rosemary and honey bread in last Sunday's Observer and spent this evening baking, et voila:


They're still cooling, so too late to have any tonight, but should be good for breakfast tomorrow. And the baking process was much quicker and easier than using the breadmaker.


Monday, March 4th, 2013 01:37 pm
tourmaline: (coffee)
Hen nights, birthday plans, and Sherlocking )
So tomorrow it's back to work, then next week it's the baking of my bake-off cake - I hope it all gets sold because I'm rather caked out of it for now, nice though it is.