Category Archives: Uncategorized

Reasons to be cheerful

It’s been a while since I joined in with #R2BC over at Mummy From The Heart so I thought I’d give it a whirl again this week.

1. The sun is shining and we’re enjoying the school holidays, swimming, exploring and enjoying views like this.

Beautiful view from the covered terrace of a lovely little restaurant we discovered on a recent drive into the countryside.

2. Both the 10 year old and the baby are an absolute joy to be around. They’re both very funny, cheeky and both seem to be changing by the day at the moment – my daughter into a beautiful kind yet ever so slightly hormonal pre teen and the baby into a crazy little boy who is keen to explore (or should that be destroy!?!) everything in sight.

3. I’m attempting to get back on the diet wagon again and am feeling really positive about it. How long that will last is anyone’s guess, but while it does (probably about half an hour) it’s reason enough to put a smile on my face!

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Pork in a creamy sherry sauce

I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for quite some time but never got round to it, having been asked what it is in a comment on my Meal Planning Monday post yesterday though I thought I should pull my finger out. My variation on Nadia Sawalha’s “Posh Pork”

Ingredients

  • Pork chops, or any cut of pork you prefer, escalopes work well too
  • frylite
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into batons
  • 20 mushrooms, sliced
  • 50ml sherry (3 syns)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 4 tsp Dijon Mustard (2 syns)
  • 2 or 3 tbsp quark or low fat creme fraiche

Directions

  • Cook the pork, in the meantime heat the frylite in a pan and cook the onions, carrots and mushrooms until tender
  • Add the sherry and reduce by half
  • Add the stock, ginger and season
  • Reduce until the stock starts to thicken
  • Add the mustard and creme fraiche/quark and serve

This is delicious and you would never guess that it’s only just over 1 syn per serving, (fellow Slimming Worlders)  it tastes really luxurious and definitely one that’s in the family favourites list – and even popular with the fussy 10 year old too!

Out of action

My poor netbook has gone to netbook heaven so I’m taking an enforced break from the blog until I can get it fixed or afford a new one. See you on the other side!

Patriotism

I wouldn’t say I’m particularly patriotic, although born in the UK I’ve never felt that it was home and have always had the travel bug. It isn’t that the grass is greener elsewhere necessarily, it’s probably far harder to live abroad than in the UK, despite people thinking it’s just one long holiday but I never tire of discovering new places, languages, traditions etc.

Throughout this weekends jubilee celebrations I’ve wished I was in London twice, for about the first ten minutes of the floatilla on Sunday before the coverage (and the rain) got really boring and when the amazing fireworks closed the concert last night. I do have the obligatory bunting hanging from my balcony and my fireplace and we went to a street party on  Saturday, which was lovely but to be honest I’m finding the whole celebrating the UK thing a bit rich coming from most people. The majority of the people I’ve seen out celebrating are the same people who slag the Royal family off at the drop of a hat, not to mention “the state of the UK today” and yet you give them an extra 2 days off work and they will quite happily raise a glass and use it as an excuse to have a few drinks with friends, but who can blame them I suppose.

What I’ve found interesting about the jubilee is the information about The Queen and the Royal family. A self confessed history geek, I am already a lover of Kings & Queens of the past and enjoy reading about what the UK was like in their reign, but hadn’t ever paid much attention to our present Queen. I’m no Royalist by any stretch of the imagination, but she is quite a woman when you think about it. She should never have been Queen in the first place, she was third in line to the throne after all but that line of succession would have grown longer had her uncle King Edward VIII not abdicated the throne and gone on to have children of his own to succeed him as expected. However on 6th of February 1952 she heard of her fathers death while away in Kenya and of her own accession to the throne, she was just 25 years old with two young children. I can’t even begin to imagine how she must have felt, her father just died, she was 1000s of miles away from home and had just been told she was The Queen of England. She must have felt like the weight of the world was on her shoulders.

Over the years she has made many a historic visit, one of the most recent to Ireland where she astounded everyone by speaking in Gaelic. She has celebrated her Silver Jubilee in 1977, Her Gold Jubilee in 2002 and of course this year is her Diamond Jubilee. She is the second longest reigning Monarch, only her great great grandmother Queen Victoria reined for longer (63 years) and one of the most successful. Of all the rulers of the UK the three most succesful have been women, our present Queen, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth I – I’m not one to talk about “girl power” but if ever there was a reason for us girls to boast we are better/more successful than men, these three formidable women just go to prove that point. The Queen has been married to her Prince Charming, Prince Phillip for 64 years and despite his notorious gaffs they are still clearly very much in love, they have 4 children, 8 grandchildren and one great grand daughter. Prince Phillip may have given up his career in the armed forces for her, but he is still very much in the driving seat at home, having famously told her to get out of the car if she didn’t like it when he was driving too fast for her liking through Windsor Great Park one day.

I’ve heard people saying these past few days that she doesn’t actually do anything as she has someone to do everything for her. To them I would say you try standing on that boat in the peeing down rain for 3 or 4 hours at the age of 86 and see how well you fare. She might be The Queen but she isn’t immune to the tiredness and aches and pains that being old bring – she’s a little younger than my nan and she certainly can’t stand for longer than five minutes at a time! Add to that everything else she does, which although is not physical work I’ll bet the constant signing things off etc can get to you and leave you feeling mentally drained sometimes.

I guess you could say that this jubilee has given me a new found respect  and admiration for a woman I think deserves just that – respect, no matter what your opinion is on the Royal family.

This post was written thanks to the Britmums recent blog prompt. For more related posts to this and the other blog prompt this week click here

Silent Sunday

Inspired by Silent Sunday from Mocha Beanie Mummy to see more photos this week use the #silentsunday hashtag on Twitter.

Silent Sunday

Inspired by Silent Sunday from Mocha Beanie Mummy to view more Silent Sunday photos this week use the hashtag #silentsunday on Twitter.

Have you seen this girl?

Today is Madeline McCann’s birthday. A day she should be celebrating with her family like any other 9 year old girl. The McCann’s however have been without their beautiful little girl for the past 5 years following her abduction in the resort of Praia da Luz in Portugal.

I’m not about to get into the whys or wherefores of how she went missing, this post isn’t about that. What matters is that this little girl could still be out there and someone knows what happened to her. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would feel like to not be able to cuddle my beautiful children every day but not to know what happened to them aswell would quite simply destroy me.

The above picture is what Maddie could look like now, have you seen her or someone who looks like her – she could have a different hair colour or style to that depicted so remember this image is only a guide. Maybe you haven’t seen her but know what happened to her, it isn’t too late to do the right thing.

Please call your local police force immediately AND Operation Grange on 0207 321 9251 (0044 207 321 9251 if you aren’t in the UK) if you see a girl who looks like the above image. You can also email Operation.Grange@met.pnn.police.uk 

You can also call Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 5551111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org 

Please remember you can also contact Crimestoppers about any other missing child too.