Monday, 29 March 2010

Home cooked hand made

I'm so glad I took the extra time to cook dinner tonight rather than just slump when I got in (late!) from work.

I'd bought 4 sea bass fillets at the supermarket yesterday as they were on special offer and I vaguely remembered I had a recipe I wanted to try out. Unfortunately I didn't have the rest of the ingredients so it was another quick trip out to the shop for potatoes and mushrooms tonight after work before I could start cooking.

Ever the mistress of multi tasking I even managed to get some chores done while this was cooking.

So now I have a car ready to in to the garage tomorrow, a tidy flat, a full tummy AND 3 more portions to freeze for more dinners in the future.

And yes I am feeling smug since you ask!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Spring forward

I was having a debate with a friend over the weekend about when spring starts. Some people say it starts at the vernal equinox (ie last weekend), while others say it's after Easter (after Spring break). But since British Summer Time officially started today with the clocks going forward an hour, I guess that means we're into summer already. Which by my reckoning makes spring at best a week long. Maybe that's climate change for you?

Whatever the right answer is, there is no question that one of the results of the clocks going forward is that the evenings are lighter (doh!). To celebrate I went for an early evening wander round the great city of Stirling. While this photograph wasn't actually taken on today's walk, it is one of the spots I visited - I'm confessing about the photograph by the way since locals will be able to tell that the sun in this photo is coming from the east, ie it's a morning rather than an evening shot!!

Anyway, it was a lovely evening. The afternoon rain had passed leaving that lovely clear light you get after a downpour, and with the sun starting to set over the Arrochar Alps and Ben Lomond, all of which you can see from this viewpoint in the Old Town Cemetery, it was a great end to the day.

And it wasn't just the natural landscape that was looking good either - a wander round Stirling is always a joy. There are so many fantastic buildings - some of which are captured in my flickr Stirling album - that there's always something new to find. Tonight's discoveries were the Argyll Centre on Princes Street, now closed and on the market if anyone is interested, a rear view of the fabulous Tolbooth building and the open roof on the Church of the Holy Rude, something I've never noticed before even though I've wandered up that direction many a time.

Even losing an hour's sleep didn't seem so bad after that as an early evening adventure! Roll on the summer.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Earth Hour, flying solo

I'm all ready for tonight's Earth Hour when it comes at 8.30 pm.
 Are you?

UPDATE: As you can see I spent Earth Hour with the lights off, plenty of candles on and a very nice glass of Shiraz Rose. I cheated a bit by watching a DVD (Notes on a Scandal, a virtuoso performance by Dame Judi Dench in an uncharacteristically nasty role for her, and Cate Blanchett looking pale, interesting and delicate as ever) but there were no lights on in the flat whatsoever and even the heating was off in favour of the log burner.

What a hardship - candle light, a roaring fire and a glass of fine wine!!

And whilst the act of turning off one's lights is not of itself going to make a difference, it does signify support for more concerted action to prevent further climate change through all of us taking small, yet significant actions to reduce our carbon emissions. In my case I now drive less and walk more, very rarely take plastic bags when out shopping and eat much less meat than I used to. I've not quite cracked the buying less stuff bit yet, but I'm working on it!!

Friday, 19 March 2010

Reasons to be cheerful, part 3

Looks like spring might finally be here!

Bulbs courtesy of my sister after her visit last summer. Thanks big sis.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Reasons to be cheerful, part two

Speaks for itself really!

Thanks, guys xxx

Monday, 8 March 2010

Reasons to be cheerful, part one

A quiet night in with a cosy log fire.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Warm enough to sit outside

At last, a first real glimpse of spring. It's finally warm enough to sit out in the spring sunshine on my back step and remember what it's like to be warm outdoors again.

Long may it continue, although I suspect it may just be a false start and we'll get some colder weather again before spring starts in earnest.

But meantime I'm going to enjoy it!

UPDATE: I managed to stay outside until 5 pm and am now back inside with a cosy log fire going. The bliss that is spring - warm enough during the day to sit out, cold enough at night for a real fire. Mmmm

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Making progress

As you can see, I'm making slow but sure progress with my mohair crochet project.

The added bonus is that it's also helping to keep my lap warm of an evening!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Sometimes I just love my job!

Actually quite a lot of the time I feel lvery lucky to have the job I have. It's challenging, stretching and gives me a sense of value and achievement.

But today was a brilliant example. I got to spend my time looking at stunning views, amidst a magical winter landscape - and be paid for it. What could be better than that?

(In case you're interested, this is the view towards the Gargunnock ridge taken from Sheriffmuir Inn just above Dunblane)