Saturday, 29 September 2012


This way of busking out of a waste bin is a sure way to get attention...
It has been over a week since I gave any sign here on the blog...
No other excuse than a lot of work going on at the moment.
Should be getting a bit better after next week, I hope
In the meantime, I leave you with some pictures snapped throughout the week taken with my IPhone.
I simply had to try this cake at the cafe/bakery Fitzbillies - it is called Norwegian Crisp - another version of Palmiers actually (made of puff pastry) and not particularly Norwegian as far as I could tell...
A snap shot taken last weekend when The Professor and I walked around the Folly at Wimpole. Just love that place!
On the return from the Folly
The weekend will be busy with more workand a retirement party for a colleague, but I hope the weather will hold and I can clock in another walk at wonderful Wimpole. Might even take a proper camera this time...!
Enjoy your weekend!!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Sunday Evening Bliss

Season 3 of Downton Abbey started last Sunday.
And they did not disappoint!
Below is a trailer with some glimpses of what is in store:

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Time for Wrist Warmers/Mittens

Although it is lovely and sunny, it is getting chilly in the mornings on the bike. Not quite time for gloves yet, but wrist warmers are definitely useful. It can also be rather chilly when doing computer work (which seems to take 90% of my time) in the office as 'the mighty men in the Univeristy' have not turned on the central heating yet... !
So many creative bloggers were making wrist warmers last winter! Hard not to be inspired...! I got some lovely thin and soft Rowan yarn and with crochet hook no 3 it really is a quick job to whip up these wrist warmers. I got the idea from the very inspirational blog Hobbyuglas Hule. Click on the link to her blog for the pattern in Norwegian. She has also translated it into English and I have ruthlessly copied it in below. I kept a hole for the thumb to stick out so they are like fingerless mittens.
A tip - here is a link to a page with the most common crochet terms in Norwegian AND English. Handy for the likes of me who is more used to the Norwegian terminology but often find inspiration in patterns in English!
Yarn: Thin Alpakka from Du Store Alpakka, 25 - 50 g or Soft silk like fluffy  Rowan yarn
Hook: 3mm
Size: Smal (Medium) Large (X-large)

ch – chain
sc – single crochet
dc – double crochet
sl st – slip stitch

Crochet 44 (50) 56 (62) loose ch. (Or use hook 3.5 mm just for these ch)
1. Row: 1 ch to turn with. 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook. Crochet (1 sc in each of next 2 ch, skip 1 ch). Repeat ( ) to end of row. Finish with 1 sc in the last ch. You will now have 30 (34) 38 (42) sc on this row. Turn your piece.

2. Row: 4 ch, 1 dc in 2nd sc. Crochet (1 ch, skip 1 sc, 1 dc in next sc), repeat ( ) to end of row. You will now have 15 (17) 19 (21) ch arch. Turn your piece.

3. Row: 1 sc in first chin first ch arch, 2 ch. Crochet (2 dc, 2 ch, 2 dc in the next ch arch, 1 sc in next ch arch), repeat ( ) to end of row. You will now have 7 (8) 9 (10) fans. Turn your piece.

4. Row: 3 ch. Crochet (3 dc, 2 ch, 3 dc) in first ch arch. Repeat ( ) in each ch arch to end of row. Finish with 1 dc in the 3rd starting ch of last row. Turn your piece.

Repeat row 4 until you reach preferred length
Sew the wrist warmer together.
If you prefer you may leave a hole to the thumb and use them as mittens.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

And Here is Book Number 2!

The second book of my blog has just arrived.
I was a bit late getting around to ordering it this time, but we now have a printed recollection of our lives in 2010 (the first book) and 2011 (the second book).
Really worth it, in my mind as we find ourselves time and time again trying to remember when such-and-such happened and often find clues to it in my entries in the blog. Settles many potential arguments this way... Guests also find it fun to browse through and get a different glimpse of our lives.
I ordered this from SharedBook or Blog2Print (think it is the same name/company). The book arrived within 2-3 weeks and I have a feeling it turned out cheaper this time, not that it is any thinner this time...
Can't complain about that!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Walking With A Good Friend

We had friends from Norway visiting last weekend. I forgot the camera so the pictures are taken with my phone and not very good. I find it hard to see what I am actually taking a picture of when using the phone. Well, better than nothing!
With glorious weather and temperatures close to 30 degrees we didn't spend much time indoors.
On our way to Grantchester we stumbled across a fair.

Some medieval fighting reenactment is often part of these events...
I think one was supposed to be Scottish and one was supposed to be English...
I have no idea who won...
But we left them fighting and continued on our way down to Wimpole Hall
And ended up by the Folly.
One of my favourite destinations!
It is not 30 degrees here anymore.
It was actually distinctly chilly this morning.
Might get a move one and make some fingerless mittens, I think!
Autumn is upon us!
I don't mind, actually!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Lilyhammer - A Norwegian-American Series Now in the UK!

Last night the Norwegian-American series "Lilyhammer" aired on television here in the UK. It is not every day I get to see Norwegian series here (plenty of Swedish or Danish like Wallander and Borgen), so Our Boy and I sat down to watch with great anticipation. The series followed a documentary on the Vikings, so we were really getting our fill of Scandinavia last night!
"Lilyhammer" is about a NY mafia snitch - Giovanni/Johnny - (played by Little Steven from Bruce Springsteen's band) who gets relocated to Lillehammer in Norway. Apparently, he chose Lillehammer as he fell in love with it during the Olympics in 1994 (I also went to see the Olympics in Lillehammer in 1994 and I walked into Prince Albert, but that is another story).
Well, I won't reveal more from the series except there were some funny cultural misunderstandings.
I am however, a little concerned with the portrayal of most of the Norwegian characters as rather gullible and stupid oafs... I guess it is for comic effect, but it doesn't sit well with me fearing that this is the impression the world gets of us...
Oh, I also have to 'admire' Giovanni/Johnny's ability to learn Norwegian so quickly...
Yeah, right!
Ok, I will put these objections aside and have an open mind and look forward to the next episode next Tuesday!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Travel Report: Zurich!

How time flies!
I can't believe it is almost 2 weeks since I came back from visiting friends in Zurich...
This was my first visit to Zurich and I have to say I fell in love with the town. The air is so incredibly clean. You actually feel healthy just breathing there! And I am in awe of how efficiently everything works there... That was a welcome and surprising change from the UK

Our friends have a lovely place close to the forest above the city centre with lovely views of green trees and the soothing sound of a brook below. Although we didn't have the best sightseeing weather I loved seeing the most amazing views of the lake. We ate well and we "played hard"! "Played hard" in the sense that we were working on kitting out the nursery for a little friend due to arrive in a months time.
I was also pleasantly surprised to note that my rusty German managed to surface. Not that I understand a word of Swiss Deutsch, but when people switched to Hochdeutsch I actually managed quite well. Amazing what is lurking and suddenly surfaces from the corners of your brain after not really using it for 30 years...
I didn't find any Hausbrandt coffee, but a few other types were brought home so we are well provided for in terms of coffee. However, the chocolates, cheeses and sausages are all consumed...
Mmmm.... I see another Swiss trip on the cards!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Oreo - Just For Fun...

I like Oreo cookies and use them in baking, but I really love this commercial for the cookies
(no I am not sponsored!!!).
That little 'madame' is really something else!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Tried and Tested: Apple Sauce/Jam/Goodness

A friend of mine has a couple of apple trees in her garden and she lets me pick the apples I want. I started making apple jelly yesterday which I hope to finish today, but the quicker version was to make apple sauce/jam/ or whatever you want to call it. It is really delicious on bread, with meat, to put in a cake or mixed with fresh fruit and a dash of yogurt for a quick dessert.

1 kilo of apples
1.5 dl water
1.5 dl sugar
(add more sugar if you like it sweeter - it also depends on the apples you use)

Peel and cut the apples and bring it to a boil with the water. Cook them till they are completely soft. Mash them while warm and add the sugar. Bring it back to the boil and let it simmer away for 7-8 mins (mind that it doesn't burn).

This filled three jars (which I had cleaned and boiled beforehand). After the Professor's and Our Boy's compulsory tasting sessions and last night's dessert (fruit salad with crumbled weetabix and yogurt) we only had one jar left.
Just as well as they don't keep very long unless you freeze them.

PS: this is my contribution to September's challenge on Sota Saker

Monday, 3 September 2012

One Thing Leads to Another...

I am back again after my final two weeks of holidays for this year. Our holiday year runs from 1 October to 30 September, and I now only have one day left before our new holiday allowance starts.
I think we are very lucky - I get 33 working days off a year (plus public holidays).
A great perk!
So, the family holiday was spent in Venice in July and these last two weeks I have been potting around at home (love it!) and also visiting friends in Zurich.
One of my projects while home was to get the gate to our garden replaced. The old one was rather shabby looking and not very sturdy, so a new gate was aquired and painted while waiting for the man to install it. 
I was very pleased with the new gate, but once it was installed the rest of the fence looked really shabby and the color seemed faded and the algea at the bottom was really showing. So, more paint will now be bought and the rest of the fence will get a new lick of paint so it will all match.
Yes, that is what often happens...
you start touching one thing and it leads to more projects...