Why?

This morning I got up early to go running with oldest child. We managed 2/3 of a mile around the park.

As I was running, with all the grace of a balletic hippo, I thought “why?”

Why do people do this to themselves?

It’s not fun.

But then, as I lay on the Tarmac, gasping for air like a cod on the quayside, I realised why.

It feels so darned good when you stop.

Raspberry and White Chocolate Scones

These came about as a result of a chat I had with Averil (Hi Averil) on Thursday.

Mention was made of a bakers oop north who make amazing raspberry and white chocolate scones.

I just couldn’t get those scones out of my head (Na Na Na, naa Na naa naa Na, Na Na Na,naa naa Na naa naa)

And so, here’s the first attempt at making a southern softy version

You will need

225g self raising flour
Pinch salt
50g butter
25g sugar
75g raspberries
75g white chocolate
1 egg, beaten mixed with milk to make 150ml liquid

Heat the oven to 220C/Gas 7
Grease a baking tray
Mix flour and salt.
Rub in butter until it is like fine breadcrumbs.
Stir in sugar and fruit. Chop the chocolate and add. Stir well but try not to mush the raspberries.

Add the egg/milk mixture and mix together to form a stiff dough.

20140323-145200.jpg

Place on a floured board. Flatten slightly. You can try cutting out shapes with a cutter but this is quite a wet mixture so I found just hacking with a knife was more effective.

Place on the baking tray

Brush the tops of the scones with the dregs of the egg/milk mixture.

Bake for about 12 minutes.

20140323-144856.jpg

Now I know they look a bit, um, rustic, but they taste good. The sharpness of the raspberries contrasts really well with the sweet white chocolate.

And at least they don’t look like cow pats 🙂

20140323-145302.jpg

Ostara

Happy Ostara!

The spring equinox, the days getting warmer, nature bursting forth all over. General jollyness and new beginnings.

Five Signs that Spring Is Here

1. Occasionally being able to expose bare legs and feet to the elements. Possibly the first bit of daylight they’ve seen in, ooooh, 6months.

2. Occasionally being able to wear sunglasses to cut out the glare from the sun reflecting dazzlingly off bare legs and feet (see point 1 above)

3. Chocolate. (Mothers day, Easter Day, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…)

4. Feeling the urge to plan marvellous things for the garden, without actually having to go out and do any of it. Yet.

5. Violets

20140320-213949.jpg

You can’t see one of these and not feel more cheerful. 🙂

Spring Crafts

The recent, unexpected, inexplicable, sunny weather has served to focus my mind.

Focus my mind on the craft show we are due to have a stall at, at Hatton Country World.

The craft show that is taking place in three weeks time.

THREE WEEKS!

How did that happen?

And where did the time go?

It went on

20140316-151901.jpg

Needle cases

20140316-151928.jpg

And Easter decorations

20140316-152007.jpg

20140316-152020.jpg

20140316-152034.jpg

And scented drawer doo-dahs

20140316-152137.jpg

20140316-152154.jpg

20140316-152208.jpg

But still so much to do.

And so little time.

Aaaaargh.

Fiction Friday

Yoga today.

Gordon Bennett!

That’s all I can say.

This Week I Have Mostly Been Reading

20140314-144723.jpg

Another good book! Yay! Isn’t it nice when you get a run of them?

Again, it’s not great literature, but it is a good read.

I found myself irritated by it at first. A detective who has been working on a case for ten years needs a forensic archaeologist to explain references in letters that could have been sent by a murder? References that include such things as Will O’ the Wisps, and quotes from TS Eliot?come on. But once you get past that unlikely scenario this has a storyline and characters that draw you in.

Henges, pagans, bodies in the bog?

Fab 🙂

Next Week I ShallMostly Be Reading

20140314-145418.jpg

The last Kate Atkinson I read was Behind The Scenes At The Museum, ooooh, many moons ago. I’m intrigued to see if this will be as good.

Sprung

Could it be?

Could it possibly be?

4, count them, FOUR whole days without rain?

It has been, gasp, positively warm.

There have been

20140312-130952.jpg
Flowers

And buzzy things

And flowers

20140312-131026.jpg

And tweeting things

And flowers

20140312-131107.jpg

And oh? Did I mention the flowers?

So many flowers that I had a spectacular run of fifteen sneezes on the trot yesterday as the first twitchings of hay fever tickled around my nose.

Hmmmm, Hope there’s no pranayama breathing in yoga this week. 🙂

Fiction Friday(only a bit late…)

Yoga yesterday. Towards the end of the session the teacher said we would try a bit of Pranayama. I thought this would be a new variation on the different forms of torture we go through each week.

It was torture but of a completely different kind.

The Pranayama we tried involved alternate nostril breathing.

So you hold one nostril closed and breath, deeply, in and out of the other. Then you swap nostrils.

If I’d known, I would have brought a hankie.

🙂

This Week I Have Mostly Been Reading

20140308-071315.jpg

I have gone through 45 years in ignorance of the character Loki and then he is mentioned in two books on the trot.

Strange.

Anyway, The Woodcutter.

I thought this was going to be a bit rubbish when I started it.

It isn’t great literature.

But you know what? I enjoyed this. It rattles along at a fair old pace. The character of the Woodcutter grows on you, the story line of murder and mayhem in the 12(13) Fairytale kingdoms, whilst preposterous, is still good fun.

And as someone who grew up reading Grimm as well as the red/green/orange (etc etc etc) fairy tale collections of Andrew Lang it was a fab geeky trainspotter challenge to spot the characters and stories from traditional folk tales.

I know. Each to their own. 🙂

Next Week I Shall Mostly Be Reading

20140308-072618.jpg

Murder mystery featuring a forensic archaeologist.

What’s not to love?

Chilly

Woke up to a very excited older child who was keen to show me this

20140304-120537.jpg

Frost on his bathroom window.

And I realised that, with the seemingly universal use of central heating nowadays, I couldn’t remember the last time Jack Frost had been busy on our (or anyone else’s) windows.

20140304-120810.jpg

You forget how beautiful it can be.

But I do vividly remember the horror of stepping out of bed on a cold winters morning when the only heating was the coal fire downstairs.

Brrrrr.

Turmoil

Back when I was a student, when I actually had time for such things, I used to read a cutting edge, satirical magazine. Unfortunately I forget (a sign of advancing dotage) which magazine it was. Punch? Private Eye?

Viz?

🙂

Anyway, whatever magazine it was, it used to feature a cartoon. Each issue would have a single image and the caption was always the same.

Inner Turmoil.

Well my friends, forget the inner turmoil, we are currently living in complete and utter outer turmoil.

Nay, chaos.

Pandemonium even.

20140302-122028.jpgTurmoil

20140302-122059.jpgTurmoil

20140302-122135.jpgTurmoil

20140302-122201.jpgTurmoil.

But look, did you see it? On the corner of the table in the last picture?

A little slice of normality?

A teeny, tiny corner of civilisation, holding the fort against the onslaught of mayhem and misrule?

Honey scones.

20140302-122355.jpg

From Lorraine Pascal’s Lighter Baking book.

Apparently they’re really good for you then.

Practically medicinal.

In more ways than one 🙂