Wednesday, December 02, 2009


So my friend who is known as Rosamundi in the blogging world has nominated me as a gorgeous person. Which is very flattering. This means that I am to list six things relating to myself that are generally unknown, and mention six blogs or bloggers I consider gorgeous.

First things first:
1. I hate melon. It's an odd thing to hate but I don't like the smell and that effects the taste. Makes me feel sick.
2. I have lost 2 stone. It's a slow slow process but worth it.
3. I can't digest fibre anymore. Radiotherapy damage means that I have to really be careful what I eat otherwise I can be unwell for days. Usually it's things like beans and pulses or whole meal bread, but can be seeds and nuts and other random foods. The last weekend was bad and I have NO clue what it was that triggered it. So I've had to ditch the diet, eat bland stodgy food and I'm feeling better today.
4. I love trashy TV - like things like Next Top Model, Strictly (ok most people know about that one), Dancing with the Stars and so on. But I hate Big Brother. (Gino to win I'm a Celeb. We luuuuuuurve him!)
5. I lived in Brazil as a child and it deeply effected the way I think about life - everything from poverty to politics. If we adopt I'd really like to do that with our children - take them to experience life in a country where there even greater differences than here. I appreciate life in the UK a lot more having seen such poverty first hand. And yet in countries like Brazil and India there is such vibrancy and life and warmth from the people. It's very humbling.
6. I read really quickly. So when I go on holiday for two weeks I have to take at least 3 books and make sure that there are back ups.

Ok so for gorgeous blogs: Well there's Miranda in the US, the beautiful Jess in the Jungle who is someone I met through Jo's and is very special. Tracey who never fails to make me laugh. Bluesoup who thinks too much. And actually that's all. I can't be arsed to think of two more at the moment. Because actually these 4 are all people who I have a lot of time for but don't see often for whatever reason.

PS got a new client today. Am thrilled.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Slow cooker pot roast

I've never been a fan of pot roast until now – this is incredibly easy and delicious.

Brisket in beer with horseradish dumplings - slow cooker

For the Brisket

  • 1 kg brisket off the bone
  • 2 celery stalks – chopped
  • 2/3 carrots – chopped
  • 100g mushrooms (quartered)
  • 1 tbs tomato puree
  • 1 tbs flour
  • 1 can ale or bitter
  • Slug of Worcester sauce

For the dumplings:
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 150 grams suet (I use veggie)
  • 4 tsp grated horseradish – you can use fresh or creamed
  • water
Cooking time: 8 hours minimum

Place veggies, flour, tomato puree into the slow cooker. Pour over the beer and add the Worcester sauce, Stir well. Place brisket on top, so it's partially covered by the liquid. Cook on High for at least 6 hours. Taste and season if necessary.

Then make the dumplings by mixing all the ingredients with some water to make a dough and form into dumplings. Place around the beef and cook for another 2 hours.

Remove dumplings carefully, then take out the beef and slice (will fall apart). Serve with mashed potato and the veggies spooned over and a glass of red wine!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Medical and other things

So I had my medical last week. Strange seeing the doc bring out my notes from when I was a baby onwards. She seems to be happy with my health and has said that she thinks I'm fit to raise a child. Hurrah.

Was a long long form to fill in though - and like most forms had lots of space for totally irrelevant things and very little for the important stuff. You had to say things like if you've ever smoked and taken drugs. One of those things that is odd, because yes I've done both but not very much and are you honest and say yes even though it was a case of a couple of fags when I was a teenager and the occasional spliff in my 20s, or do you just lie by ommission. I opted for the former and was honest, I don't like lying and don't want it to bite me on the bum.

Or will it stand against me? I don't know. It's all very confusing. But I think honesty is the best policy, no one's perfect.

In other news had a lovely journalist come to talk to me about blogging today.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Winter is coming

I know this because I am sat with the TV on and there's football on. It's a boring game. There's moggie mayhem going on somewhere in the house judging by the sound of bells jingling and the occasional thump and then small, yet heavy footsteps charging about.

It was a frustrating day at work - went in at 7.30am to discover that my client was sick and had cancelled and then my free induction did not turn up. But will be a better day tomorrow - quite busy with a mixture of classes and 1-1s. And then hopefully some people will turn up for an induction that I'm running in the evening - might mean that we get some more clients at the Kew studio.

Trying not to feel too over whelmed with my schedule next week - I think it will be ok, but hectic.

Spent what seemed like a life time (but really only a couple of hours) queuing to get a visa for India only to be told that I have to go back another day to pick it up. Frustrating but par for the course really. Was able to go home and watching Dancing with the Stars with Berry and the ironing. Given that the ironing pile was starting to resemble Everest (due to the case of the missing cleaner*), this was no bad thing.

Diwali party at Corky's on the weekend. A last minute thing (Matt whinged that we'll be having a busy weekend again) but it will be fun. Fireworks, food and friends - all to get us in the mood for India. Fab!

Medical for the adoption on Friday... eek.

Z x

* our cleaner, Ania, is very sweet, very young and Polish. She does a good job with huge enthusiasm (some times a bit too thorough like when we got back from holiday and she'd put almost everything through the washing machine; if the cats had been around they would have been cleaned too). Any way she went to Poland to start planning her wedding (date for 2012) for two weeks. Four weeks later and no sign or reply to texts. I finally got through to her sister as I was getting worried (Matt was worried that she had our keys and alarm code, I was worried for her safety).  Anyway, she's finally back and ok. It's good as it will be hard to keep on top of things next week. Though we've survived remarkably well.

Monday, October 12, 2009

4 years ago...

I was diagnosed with cancer and I was talking to some people yesterday and one of them said to me that I've come so far. I am pretty proud of that.

I was reminded today that I haven't blogged in a while. It's been a hectic year as I'm working at Boomerang Pilates a lot - has been mad but a lot of fun. It's now two studios and I'm starting to work more at the Kew one as it's so much easier to get to.

We have started the adoption process. It's taken a while to get to the stage where things are moving forward. It's been a frustrating process just starting. BUT we've found a council who we feel comfortable with, who don't talk down to us or refuse because they are not taking white adopters, and who we feel comfortable about coming into our home and being intrusive. I do feel that there's something not quite right about the situation where there are councils saying that they are desperate for adopters, yet put people off from the word go. A little humility and kindness would go a long way I think.

So we had our home visit and the SW was terrific. We both have to have early medicals - arranged for the next couple of weeks - mine because of the cancer and Matt's because he's Type 1 Diabetic. And hopefully if that's all ok then we'll go on the preparation workshops next year.

Work's getting manic, my boss is away next week and I am covering her work - her schedule is crazy! Still will be good to earn some extra cash before we head to India in November.

In other news we have started karate and had our first grading yesterday - us and the little kids. It felt like an amazing achievement though. Will post some pics soon.