Tuesday, 16 April 2013

I have been away as my internet connection ran out of steam!!!


I have a pay as you go internet connection and unfortunately it ran out of steam so had to wait till my lovely husband topped it up again. Thank you hubby by the way for that!!!!!. Today my favourite thing about life is my faith in something greater than me. The feeling that whatever happens everything will work out ok . I have had this emotion since I was a child. And through every trial and tribulation I encountered I always knew however difficult the challenge or grave the situation that I would always some how come out of it stronger and in a better place than I had been before. Some people may say this has a simalarity to the popular idea 'the secret' , and I can see that. But I have felt this way all my life and have only read the secret inthe last few years ( care of my dear mum) . And have always found this to be true. So I am thankful for this security I have due to what I call Allah. Which ironicly is the same entity that others call god or jehovah. And this makes me feel more connected with the rest of the world and their faiths rather than disconnected. If we are all praying to the same god, are protected by the same god is it not wonderful that we can all be united in this one most important link. The unifying nature of having that faith is the thing which causes everyday miricles to occur and magical times to come into our lives.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

I got a bit busy yesterday so I will add two favourite things about life today

 
1. Potatoes, the most amazing carb on the planet. Great for a winter warmer. Mashed potato and gravy is amazing when the rain is pelting against the window with no sign of stopping. The wonderful jacket potatoes- crispy crunchy on the outside and warm a fluffy inside absolutely heavenly with a bit of butter. Actually talking about the humble spud I had a bit of a food craving today as I sometimes do. And found myself sat in front of the most amazing plate of egg and chips ever. It took me back to my grandmothers kitchen on "win hill" . Sitting in the warm haze of her Aga. Or fish and chip Thursdays when My dad and me used to disappear into the local countryside with our pungent newspaper wrapped parcels of bliss.
 
 
What a lovely excuse for a comfort food day. mmmmm\
 
 
2.Frosty mornings. When the air you exhale steams into the atmosphere like the smoke from an old train funnel. When the ground is stiff and crispy crunchy when stepped on. The chill in the air which makes you thankful for having a warm coat wound about you.

 
 The beautiful way the frosty flowers sparkle in the morning sunlight. And the way it makes everything look bejewelled.
 


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Woodlands


Today's favourite thing is Woodlands. Especially the woodlands near to my childhood home. The wonderful natural umbrella sheltering me from the elements. The amazing environment for wildlife and plants. And a fantastic place in which magical memories can be made.

 
 
When I was a small child my father used to carry me on his shoulders when we went on family walks together. I remember the endless renditions of 'The Wind in the Willows'  I would cajole him into telling ( only with my own twist on the plot lol) with fondness.
 


This same woods were on the path of Alison Utterly, author of 'Little Gray Rabbit' on her way to the local school as a child. She spent many of her youth living  just above my parents home. Apparently her later novel which was aimed at the adult market was based around her experiences as a child just as her children's books were also inspired by her beloved Boowwood.


I think that it was growing up close to the natural world has given me a great love and respect for its beauty and an even greater desire to protect the environment now and for my son and his children.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Today's Favourite thing about life

Rainy days


 Yes I know its a kind of cliche. But I love rainy days . I love the way it leaves the air smelling outside after a summer rainstorm. How it seems to bring everything to life. How rain make the world a more romantic place where you can imagine the great writers being inspired by the weather to create novels like Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and The woman in White. I will always love the idea of sitting in a cafe on a rainy day near to the seaside smelling the mixture of rain and salty sea in the air. Reading a book over my cuppa and letting the rest of the world dissolve away in the moment.  I remember a wonderful piece of music I once was learning to play on the piano I think It could have been Debussy which was called ' Gardens in the rain' It was the most beautiful piece of music and listening to it you could almost feel the rain falling onto you and see the slow dip of the evening sun and the gracefully bowing weeping willows that line my imagination.
When I was a small child I had quite a heightened sense of smell and could always tell when I was going to rain to my glee and my mothers absolute horror. I used to point the fact on many occasions just after she had finished pegging out the washing.And usually about 30 minutes later the heavens would open up and we would get a down pour.
Nowadays as I am living in the 4th driest country in the world I appreciate water and its scarcity even more than I did as a child. I think living in Jordan has taught me about appreciating what I have now in the moment especially as not so far away there is anything but peace and security. Fortunately Jordan seems to be a no-mans land In terms of disturbance so I am quite lucky in that I feel totally safe. And day to day life is as it ever was despite the many discussions about the conflicts elsewhere.

 
And after a good rainstorm you have to get a rainbow. I took these photos whilst out and about with my dad and bb Zak whilst on holiday in the UK. On this particular trip there was a very heavy rainstorm followed by the most beautiful double rainbow. It was so stunning that all along the road we had stopped on to eat our sandwiches people were just stopping their cars and getting our in the rain to take photos of the wondrous display of nature. I was like our own natural work of art. I counted almost 20 cars which had stopped just to take in the moment and record it for themselves. It was very magical as there was an electricity in the air that made the atmosphere extra special.
 

My new project this month


I have decided to do some embroidery this month as my main project for April. While I was in the UK during my last visit I popped into a Charity shop in my local town and found a gem of a collection of transfers for embroidery pieces. I have had them carefully stored away in my craft cupboard for the last year or so and have just now rediscovered them. And although the picture didn't copy perfectly onto the material I wanted to embroider Its done well enough for me to complete it well. I fell totally in love with the Pattern I am working on at the moment as the design reminds me of traditional Russian fire bird material. And it is a pattern so full of romantic nostalgia I think I may turn it into a picture and frame it when its finished.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

My favourite thing about life

 
Yes! its coffee!!! I absolutely love coffee. From the foamy cappuccino through the milky latte and on towards the shots of short sharp espresso coffee which just kick start your day. I have to say I have not got a favourite type of coffee as they all have their place and time. The cappuccino and latte for when out shopping, the espresso when I need to wake up after not much sleep lol. The aromatic Turkish coffee for a family gathering and of course the caramel Machiato for moment s of pure indulgence. For me a day out shopping with my mum would never be complete without a moment in the afternoon collapsing in a Starbucks and diving into a steaming mug of coffee whilst viewing the mass of purchases made during the morning. Here in Jordan the Turkish coffees have been the beverage of choice over which marriage proposals have been discussed, family disputes resolved and new births celebrated. The tradition of coffee drinking is just as deeply rooted into society as the customary taking of tea was once to the British. And although I have not totally given up on my cup of Yorkshire tea I have to admit I have been more converted to the drinking of coffee since I moved continent and so I have to acknowledge this is one of my favourite things of being alive.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Afternoon thought....

 
I have decided Starting today to name a favourite thing about being alive every single day. Now this will, at times I know be kinda a challenge but I think that its important to keep a positive attitude.
So with that in mind...
My favourite thing today is ......
Springtime.
Kinda predictable but then again it IS Springtime and I can't miss out the amazing freshness it brings to everything. With the birds building their nests and having new families of their own. The beautiful flowers here that turn the landscape into a lush environment for a short time. The first opportunity to hang my washing outside to dry instead of cluttering the stairs and the wonderful smell it has when I bring it into the house. The comfortably sunny afternoons in which my son can go out and play with his cousins in the garden and I can relax with a cup of tea with my sisters in law. The time of the year I always asses my plans for the coming year and decided roughly what I want to do projects wise . Looking forwards to the time when my son will be able to say goodbye to his pampers and fully embrace the joys of using the loo like his big cousins do!!!. ( Can't wait for that one). Filling my home with the fragrant blooms from the garden rose bushes and enjoying how they make my home look like something from a renaissance painting ( minus the priceless work of art only lol). This spring my sister in law is getting married ( Alhamdulillah = a way of thanking god for the blessings of the event). I love how there is so much hopefulness in the air during this first season for the rest of the year and how no matter what It always feels like its a new beginning for me . A new chapter !
 
So there you are ...no doubt some of them are going to be more mundane things like chocolate and warm slippers but for me each and every single favourite thing has a place in my heart. I thought it would be a nice feature to share them with you ... rather than having a set number as I would never have the time to compile the whole list. Plus it would be greatly restrictive to say only 1000 favourite things so am saying one a day and will review myself so I don't repeat my favourite thing down the line.
 
 

Freshen up your decor with flowers and welecome in the Springtime.

 
I did a bit of springtime decorating and added a bright s[ring bunting to my entrance table. I bought some crazy good value glass plates with shell designs and arranged them with some lovely smelly candles and a rose I cut from the garden. That paired with changing the furniture placement in the living room and a few extra new pieces- a nice new flowery table runner and vase and hey presto my spring decor is doing well. Will do some more tweaking in about a month or so when the weather gets hotter and requires me to place some summery things there indication of the change from spring to summer. I love changing the decor from season to season as it keeps my home looking fresh.
 
 

Blooming Spring!!!!!


Just thought I'd post some lovely pictures as today it seems Spring it finally here. In our garden the flowers  have been showing off in their full glory and the sunshine has been fantastic. Its quite difficult at first to imagine such green plants in what is known as the 4th driest country in the world. But for the few spring months this otherwise parched landscape transforms into a lush land with vegetation which at times reminds me of the rolling fields of  France and Italy .

 
At this time the wild flowers accompany the roses my family in law planted along the drive and the whole place becomes a wonderful colourful mass.
 
 
I am starting to plan my projects for April and beyond and my new study plan for the next year which is going to include exercises care of Tiffany Rothe, language studies care of Livemochecafe and of course fresh knitting and crochet projects to get my teeth into from the legendary Ravelry.com. I can't wait!!!!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

An afternoon in Jordan

I have just been pottering about the house today and thought I'd add a lovely apple and pear crumble recipe and a few pictures I have collected over the last week.

BUT first things first.
Apple and pear crumble

Ingredients

Apples ( it would be great to have cooking apples in an ideal world - but here in Jordan I haven't managed to get my hands on them so have used eating apples)
Pears
sugar to taste
cinnamon
water

for the crumble

Flour 1-2 cups ( but keep your flour around so you can add more if needed)
Butter One packet should do ( but again this is a recipe you can feel it out as you go along)
And sugar 1cup

Method

First de-skin and chop the apples and pears and add to a pan with a little water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add sugar and Cinnamon to taste. Then set aside. Put all the crumble ingredients together and mix roughly until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Get your oven dish and pour the lovely sweet pear and apple mixture in . Then add the crumble on top. Warm in a preheated oven on a medium heat for about 15-20 mins. And for a little extra crunch on top add some brown sugar and grill for an extra 5 mins before serving.
Its lovely for a comfort food moment with a scoop of luxurious vanilla ice cream.




Yummy !!!!!


Having a breath of fresh air as the shadows cross the drive and the evening draws in.