Old Sarum

Continuing our Poorly Structured Tour of West Country Historic Sites, we went to Old Sarum. It’s amazing; if you go to see Stonehenge, make sure you stop here too!

It’s best to check out aerial photos online before you go, so you can make sense of the massive structure you’re clambering over. My photos just look like loads of grassy slopes.Old Sarum Old Sarum 2 There’s an airfield nearby, and you can see lots of little private planes flying overhead, banking to take photos of the site. Weirdly, there were lots of parachutists jumping on the day we visited. It was spooky to look up from an isolated spot and see dozens of tiny people falling out of the sky.

The site is also very popular with dog walkers, so if you’re an avid befriender-of-random-dogs, it’s the best day out ever. A dog called Eddie gave us a tennis ball.

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Chris’s favourite frozen margarita

frozen margarita

Chris is crazy for these frozen margaritas; I like them too, but I can only drink half of one before I fall over and cry. This is a boozy mofo but it tastes like fresh lime sorbet – be careful, cocktail fans!

Note: I usually hate recipes that require overnight prep, but the freezing step is the only way to get that super-slushy texture for your drink. Mmm!

Note 2: We honestly did try making these less alcoholic… but it was rubbish.

Frozen margaritas (makes 2 large cocktails)

Citrus juicer
Alcohol measure (we use a 40ml measure, slightly under a UK double measure)

160ml good tequila (4 x 40ml measure)
40ml triple sec (1 x 40ml measure)
20ml sugar or sugar syrup (½ a 40ml measure)
Juice of 2 limes
2 cupfuls of ice

Step 1: Freeze it!

  • Mix together the tequila, triple sec, sugar and lime juice and freeze for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
  • Stick a couple of not-too-delicate glasses in the freezer too.

Step 2: Blend it!

  • Sprinkle salt onto a plate.
  • Get the frozen glasses and place them rim-first on the salty plates. That’s the rudest sentence I’ve ever written.
  • Put 2 cupfuls of ice in the blender and chuck in the frozen margarita mix; it may not have frozen solid, but that’s okay.
  • Run the blender for ten or twenty seconds at the slowest, ice-crushing setting, then when the ice is mostly broken down, crank it to the highest setting to make it really slushy – probably about ten to twenty seconds again.
  • Serve in the salted glasses.
  • Fall over and cry (optional).

Top tip from Chris! It’s a faff to have to make the mix, and not much more difficult to make multiples as to make one, so consider spending ten minutes making up the mix in ready-to-rock batches in small freezer tubs. There is nothing better, on a hot day, than getting home, popping some mix and ice in the blender, and making a fresh, home-made margarita in seconds.

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Super Japan phone cam fun: Part two of many

Let the record show that I’ve had two x-rays in two weeks – I’m expecting my new superpowers to kick in any day now. I keep finding moths in the flat, so maybe that’s it. Mothra the Moth-Finder! I’ll learn to fly, but only directly at lightbulbs.

Anyway, here’s another shaky camera snippet from Japan. We went to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan very jet-lagged and culture-shocked, but we were still totally bowled over by this huge tank and gorgeous whale shark, Yu-chan. I’ve left the sound on for the full effect of EVERY CHILD IN JAPAN standing right behind us.

ETA: Apparently there is already a Mothra. Damn.


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The continuing adventures of the tiny pan

The tiny pan is not just for tiny omelettes! No, you can also use a few boring ingredients:

sweetcorn fritters ingredients

To make fancy Thai sweetcorn fritters!

sweetcorn fritters chilli jam

Er, you may notice that because we left the prawns out of the recipe without doubling the sweetcorn, they are really more ‘Thai pancakes with occasional sweetcorn excitement ‘, but they were still delicious. We ate ‘em with slices of lime and chilli jam. Give it a whirl, tiny pan fans!


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Don’t leaf me this way

japanese maple leaves pressedCALL ME CRAZY, but I really like autumn leaves. So last year I collected loads of fallen leaves* from Westonbirt Arboretum and pressed them in heavy books like a weird overgrown child.

But now look! I’m sticking them in an album so I can look at the lovely leaves whenever I want. Suck it nature! Kiss my Mod Podge! I’m in control now!

pressed autumn leaves

(Chris took photos, like a normal person.)

*Don’t pull leaves off trees, kids.

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The tiny pan

For various tedious medical reasons, I now have to eat more protein and less… everything else. I know, right? What a pain in the ass.

BUT! I have turned this negative into an amazing positive! I am now the owner of this hilarious frying pan:

tiny frying pan

Every morning, I make a tiny single-egg frittata for breakfast. Sometimes I make a miniature omelette for lunch. Chris taught me a good pancake-flipping technique that means I spend way too much time throwing eggs at the ceiling. Even washing the tiny pan is fun!

That is all.


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Spectaclewatch – X-Men: Days of Future Past

If, like me, you are a full-time glasses-wearer, you’ll have noticed how under-represented we are in mainstream movies. Thankfully, the costumiers of X-Men: Days of Future Past are redressing the balance, in spectacular style. Ahaha! Haha! Sigh.

Contains spoilers for X-Men: Days of Future Past. Go and see it!

Continue reading

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