Monday, 26 March 2012

Sugar & Spice & All Things Nice...

I have started re-reading The Wonderful Weekend Book by the late Elspeth Thompson and rather than just reading it, I am determined to actually rediscover the joy of weekends.  To this end, I decided to have a weekend free of housework (!) and I must admit that this is a first for a very long time.  Working full-time, the weekend tends to be my opportunity to catch up on laundry, ironing, house cleaning....etc.  Normally, they are one long round of domestic chores and I'm lucky to be finished by Sunday evening.

I have to be realistic about the idea of reclaiming my weekends, so I thought that I would try to do this once a month.  After all, I'm also on-call one weekend every month too, so I can't expect to have all of my weekends free. 

This weekend was much more relaxing with time to sit and read, watch the birds at the feeder (more about them next time) and generally unwind.  One pleasure which I do enjoy is baking, so I finally found time to make a ginger cake.  The kitchen was filled with the smell of spices and that delicious homely smell of a cake baking in the oven.

I cheated a bit and used my mixer, which proved not to be a good idea.  It did a great job of removing the lumps as the flour was mixed in, but the hot liquid poured into it set on the cold bowl, which made for a rather stickly clean-up.

Still, I must admit that this is probably the best ginger cake that I've ever baked.  For once, I was patient and didn't take it out of the oven too early, only for it to sink in the middle and a lower shelf position resulted in a lovely colour without any burnt edges.  Just perfect for another pleasure: a nice cup of tea to go with it.  Perfection!

Thursday, 22 March 2012


After weeks of unpredictable weather which has included rain, snow, gales, freezing rain and ice pellets, we seem to have bypassed spring, at least for a day and gone straight to summer.  After our trip to Cape George yesterday, we returned to find that the inshore temperature had hit 25 C.  As we drove through town, we saw lots of shorts in evidence and even students from the university sunbathing ~ in March!

With all this sunshine and warm temperatures, I am seeing signs of spring in the garden too.  The bulbs that I planted late last autumn are starting to appear and it seems that there may be flowers before the end of the week.  And just to prove that the boots finally did come off....for a day or two at least.  Roll on spring!


Yesterday, we decided to go out for a drive and headed up to Cape George Lighthouse, which sits on Cape George Point in Antigonish County.  The weather was sunny and we looked out across St George's Bay, where sea ice was still visible as a white line in the distance.

Along with remnants of snow in the more sheltered spots.  The sky was clear and blue; a sight which we have not seen in recent weeks.

This last photograph shows the coastline looking south.  The temperature on the coast was 9 C although the forecast high was a lot higher: the wind keeps the temperature lower by the water.  It was lovely to get out and breathe some fresh air after too long indoors and to take a short break from our packing.  Back to reality today though, as the packing and emptying of our basement continues. 

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Mermaid Drops

Last weekend, we went to the opening of a new boutique in town and I came away with this little package.  They say that good things come in small packages and that was certainly true on this occasion.

Inside I found this pretty blue muslin bag and a hint of the pleasure to come. Even though I knew what was inside, I loved the care taken with the packaging.

These pretty earrings were beautifully displayed in a little beach setting complete with sand and as you can see, each pair was displayed inside a shell.  There was a tag attached which explained that the jewellery is inspired by the timeless beauty of the sea....and the whispers of the mermaids.

As far as I'm concerned, I like to think that they were made by mermaids.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

In The Kitchen

There hasn't been much time for blogging lately, or for anything else now that I come to think about it.  Life seems so busy these days and I do miss visiting all of my blogging friends and reading about your adventures.  I've thought about closing my blog on a number of occasions, but I feel that I still need a place to share my thoughts and creativity (when I have the time to be creative).  For inspiration, I have been watching Kirstie's Handmade Britain, which I heard about months ago, but was unable to access at the time.  In more creative moments, I made Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake for my husband's birthday, which was a hit, although I must admit that I didn't like it.  I found the cake a bit too dense for my liking and it reminded me of the sort of chocolate cake they used to serve at school with custard!  Still, he enjoyed it and got to eat it all.....

A couple of weeks ago, we entertained some friends one Saturday evening and I made a trifle.  I didn't manage to get any close-up pictures of this due to a combination of factors, but mainly because the light was too poor once I actually served it.  It was delicious, though I've had to put in some extra effort with my walking to fitness after too many calories!

As for news, we are moving house again (!)  I know, we must be mad, but after a winter of freezing in a cold house, I started looking for somewhere more modern and found a cosy place which I'm really looking forward to calling home.  We move on 1st May and so I'm starting the mammoth job of packing again this week.  I hope to find the time to visit you all in the coming week, but my visits and posts may continue to be sporadic as I disappear into a pile of packing boxes.  I just hope that I can find my way out....