Saturday, 24 January 2009

Cheeps, oinks and other tales..

Well, my mood has certainly improved since the start of this week. I'm working temporarily in a lovely clinic where all the animals are lovely and the people are lovely and it's great to be a vet for a wee while. I particularly liked this little peep:

He was so little and if you cheeped at him he did this:

And another mood booster was the pork I made on Tuesday. I am generally not a fan of pork - I eat bacon from time to time but since spending time in a piggery in Australia some years ago I haven't been able to bring myself to eat pork. A friend of Matt's gave us a shoulder of wild pork (well, given the size of the shoulder it was more likely a large piglet) that he had brought back from a hunting trip. It's sat in the freezer for several months but I decided to make it the other night and so looked through some recipe books and found several slightly different recipes for pork and milk. It sounded a little dodgy but I gave it a go - it was stupidly easy - I just put the shoulder into a roasting pan with thyme, fennel seeds and leaves, rosemary, sage, onion and lemon rind....

...and then I just poured milk over the lot and roasted it for, like three or four hours.

The meat was falling off the bone and was yum yum yummo. Turns out pork and milk is a great house-hunting-moping cure.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Monday Blues

Well, the holidays are truly over now... I've even done a few days locuming so I think the Summer of Gin may have ended too. Today I started following up the copies of my CV that I sent out before Christmas, and the whole idea of going back to permanent work is really bringing me down. I don't know where te past two months have gone.

One of the other factors bringing me down is our house-hunting. It's just so depressing when we don't like even one house currently on the market. We had got our hopes unrealistically up regarding one property which wasn't for sale but which we convinced ourselves the current owners would sell to us anyway. Yesterday we realised that this is never going to happen, and it's really brought our spirits down.

I have been trying to boost myself with a bit of crafting, but I'm not inspired to knit or sew, and I can't even bring myself to turn the pile of Akaroa grapefruit on the bench in the kitchen into marmalade. Maybe another day. Sigh.

I have managed to begin one little task that I've had in mind though - a cross-stitch of Matt's company logo.

I'm not sure if he'll display it in public at work, but it's something ot take my mind of the current state of affairs.

ps. if anyone out there has an architecturally designed house built between 1950 - 1980 on the East or South side of Christchurch and you want to sell it at a bargain price then please get in touch.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Flashback - New Year 08/09

This is Boo and her friend Digby the pup. They are kind of in love. This is them playing together on New Year's Eve in Akaroa. Nice view eh?

Friday, 9 January 2009

Hot hot hot

Some of you may have heard about the record breaking day we had yesterday - unofficially it reached 40 degrees in some parts of Canterbury. Very hot for round here, we were not at all ready. We nearly melted, and we didn't even have fur coats on like some members of the family:

Pot is very much a curl up and sleep on the bed or curl up and sleep under the bed kind of cat - it was definitely strange to see her so elongated.

It would have been a lovely evening for lounging around outside but we had tickets to see The Dodos at Al's Bar which we had been eagerly awaiting. They didn't disappoint - despite the temperature still being well above 30 they performed a great set, and now I've been inspired to go get myself a glockenspiel. Oh, and the Ruby Suns were supporting them and they also did a stellar job.

A Southerly is due to come through tonight easing the heat, but possibly ruin tomorrow's plans for tennis and gin.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Time wasting anyone?

Matt discovered a great new way to waste heaps of time - Life magazine has uploaded all of their photographic images online and you can sift through them all here.

Obviously one of the first searches I carried out was for cats.

Wild Bounty

I find it difficult to believe that we've been living here for just short of two years and I'm still finding out about wild produce growing in our garden. This time it's wild cherry plums, which are just like normal plums except they only grow to the size of cherries, and we have thousands of them in the trees right now.

They are lovely and sweet but their size makes them tricky to use for jam (it is far too fiddly for me to remove the stones), but excellent for stewing and having on vanilla ice cream of an evening which is what we've been doing.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Christmas low down

Well what a festive season we've much food, so much gin (and Pimms), so much sun. It was Boo's first real Christmas, she got a fair amount of pressies, and managed to open them all herself. I think she was most impressed by her squeaking HoHoHo bone.

But I was definitely the luckiest gift-getter by far with the arrival of a brand spanking new Kronan bike! She is so fine, she has a basket and a bell and is just a dream to ride. I am the luckiest girl in Sefton right now.

All in all it was a very relaxing Christmas break... my elderflower champagne worked quite well (well, it was fizzy and tasted ok, I'm pretty sure it was very low on alcohol), I read a couple of books (my favourite being The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot diaz), played some scrabble (and won obviously), and generally enjoyed being out of town. Matt and Boo went running around the hills of Akaroa which turned her into the Boo we wish we had all the time (so pooped she did nothing but slept and slept for the rest of the day).

And as if that wasn't enough fun, the following week on the auspicious occasion of my birthday I was presented with a cardboard box full of gorgeous cupcakes! I only managed to eat about 10 of them though (there was a total of 12).

The day was scorching hot and so we had a dip in the Ashley river with Boo too. We are pretty lucky that we can walk down the back of the farm to the river..I had some photos but I am in all of them in my togs and I'm not sure the internet is ready for that yet. Maybe some other time.