Day one

Apr. 2nd, 2010 04:51 pm
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Biggles - Sopwith Camel)
I had brussel sprouts for the first time ever last night, and even though I made all sorts of mistakes with dinner last night, I thought they were okay. Dinner was potato rosti, pork steak flavoured with freshly ground pepper and good olive oil, gently fryed, and brussel sprouts with chestnuts and bacon.

By the time we ate last night, I was grumpy because my timing was spectacularly off, my slice of pork wasn't quite as thoroughly cooked as I wanted it to be, and I was concentrating on the other dishes, so the bacon, onions, garlic and some of the brussel sprouts and chestnuts were completely black and stuck to the bottom of the pan. And I managed to get a sliver of chestnut skin jabbed under my thumbnail, so my thumb still hurts.

I haven't failed at cooking this much for ages. That being said, I would make all the above again - only with better timing and possibly stronger complementry flavours on the pork.

The assorted baking and cooking for the weekend has hardly been started. I have made sugar syrup, and that's about it. Believe it or not, the only reason I made sugar syrup is because we couldn't find any to buy. The one time I'd rather buy something than make it... Sugar syrup, it turns out, is agressively clear. Water is just clear, but sugar syrup is agressively so. And the way it flows is quite neat as well. I have a 1.5L bottle and most of an old sundried tomatoes jar of the stuff, so that should be plenty. Does anyone know how long the shelf life is supposed to be?

To do before people get here tomorrow afternoon:
  • make hot cross buns;
  • make tea eggs;
  • make brioche;
  • dust vaccum my room;
  • collect, fold and iron laundry; and
  • clean the bathroom.

I've spent most of the afternoon reading (and getting increasingly annoyed with the music on C4 - have just turned the tv off, so that's better).

This is day one with no coffee. I almost had a cup this morning when I got up, but I went back to bed and dozed instead. I'm starting to feel like I might need one, but shall get a cup of tea instead and maybe do something. Or I could nap. That also sounds pleasant.

I'm not giving up caffeine entirely - I will still be drinking tea, but am trying to cut down on coffee, particularly at work.


Oct. 25th, 2009 10:53 pm
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Dead have Highways (Stephen King))
  • go to frisbee practice
  • make pesto
  • plant spring onions
  • cover books
  • polish boots and other shoes
  • pack up dragon tea set
  • make up lego pirate ship
  • catch up on Merlin
  • catch up on Castle
  • polish wood on armchairs
  • handwash heavy wool jersey
  • wash duvet cover to give back to [ profile] maudlinrose
  • other assorted laundry
  • tidy room
  • read

  • To do or failed
  • go to church
  • bake with bananas
  • make crumpets
  • bring up barbeque
  • put away old lecture notes
  • catch up on Dollhouse

I still think that the general ensemble cast in Dollhouse is much stronger than Eliza Dushku, but then, I've been distracted when I've been watching it with the internets. Merlin is crack of the same sort as Xena and should be watched with irreverance. Castle I like as a murder-a-week show, and actually find funny.

One more day off and then back to work. Public holidays are awesome.
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Red Umbrella)
  • wash sheets
  • wash towels
  • general load of darks
  • dry all of the above
  • attach new dryer vent to dryer
  • was duvet cover
  • clean bathroom
  • vacuum
  • lots of study

It looks like more progress than it actually is. The dryer is now set up, so my sheets are in there now. I went to hang out the third load and discovered it was spitting with rain. Given that the air felt damp anyway, I was dubious about things drying, so brought it all in. Some is drying in the sunroom; the towels are waiting for the dryer to be done.

The silver dryer vent hanging out the window looks rather silly, but is doing its job - which is all one can really ask.

It's time for lunch. The aim is to have my books open in the lounge and start studying by 3.00pm...
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Goujun - hand (Saiyuki))
Tonight I have:

  • Made fish chowder for dinner from my shiny new cookbook;
  • Put beef stroganoff in the crock pot for dinner tomorrow;
  • Put the leftover soup into containers to cool;
  • Made tomorrow's lunch;
  • Tidied the kitchen;
  • Packed my gym bag; and
  • Wrapped [ profile] thesane's birthday present for last year

New LA has started at work - she seems nice enough. One of my lawyers is away, so SYB and I are handling most of his files, with another Senior Associate overseeing. Most of it I'm comfortable handling, or I put in a pile for him to deal with when he gets back. If I have time tomorrow, I'll get some of the documents organised for next week, but probably not.

The latest chapter in my very interesting history book* was kinda bleh - I'm not particularly interested in chivalry and how it affected military tactics in fourteenth century France, although the fact King Jean went back to England as a prisoner because the hostage he left in his place escaped (I think it was the Duke of Anjou) was definitely living up to those ideals. But generally, meh.

However, the previous chapter had a very interesting bit on the church in the kingdom of Bohemia in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and mentions The very pretty Chronicle of John Zikza (sorry, I can't get the accents) as a source and I kinda want to read that now, and more about Bohemia in this time period, particularly about the aforesaid John Zikza because, and I quote:

In 1420 Zizka achieved the extraordinary feat of holding Prague against the invaders [Germans]. The following year he became completely blind, but the greatest of his campigns, which brought about the defeat of Sigismund's new crusading armies, was fought in 1421-22.

How cool is that?

Following a recommendation by Lois McMaster Bujold last year, I have slowly been watching my way through Mushishi, which I finished last night. I found it very disconcerting watching something without a continuing storyline, which only had one major recurring character (and two or three others that turned up a couple of times each). It was quite surreal at times and the style reminded me a lot of watercolours. The music was also soothing and quiet.

All this actually worked very well for being something to watch in bed - the lack of any story arc meant that at no point was I in a rush to finish it; the individual plot lines were mostly to my taste; and the music and art were soothing and gentle to the eyes and ears, so I could lie in the dark and watch this and let my body and mind relax.

Now I have to work out what to watch instead. Maybe Last Exile...

*Later Medieval Europe: From St Louis to Luther by Dennis Waley
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Boring being normal)
My parents, brother and sister-in-law are visiting this weekend. As such, some things need doing before I go to meet people at the airport on Saturday morning:

  • Ironing
  • Homework
  • Clean bathroom
  • Vaccum
  • Create Guest account on Annabelle
  • Tidy room
  • Call Te Papa and check the maximum size of bags they'll store in the bag-check room
  • check bus timetables for getting to the airport by 9.30am
  • Wash double sheets used last weekend on the foldout couch
  • Put money on my cellphone
  • My laundry - mostly done

I'm sure there's more, as that seems an awfully short list. The plan is to meet my brother and his wife and go from the airport to the Monet exhibition at Te Papa, buy a roast chicken from the nearby supermarket and head home for lunch. Stuff will happen.

List is courtesy of the handy-dandy link [ profile] maudlinrose posted recently. I thought I'd experiment.

While doing the ironing tonight (this is a habit I gained when living with my parents doing the ironing while watching Star Trek during high school), I watched the anime for FAKE which is an adaptation of a manga series I own about two cops in New York and their romance. It was the most accurate adapation I've seen - there were about four noticeable changes from the plot of Volume 2. It was as though the manga was their storyboard and they stuck to it!

I suddenly have the urge to reread the series...
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (The Dendarii want YOU)
Harvest coriander
Juice limes and freeze juice into ice-cubes
Plant new coriander
Clean and put away barbeque
Chop wood - there's one giant log and some branches left
Finish homework - I have done about half, though, and it's the harder half
Start readings

My day has been quite productive. I didn't drink as much tea as I expected, at least in part because we're nearly out of milk and chai loose leaf tea (which is my long-term tea of choice).

The barbeque came up surprisingly clean. It's my parent's old aluminium round one that we used to take camping but is now our barbeque and part of our emergency supplies kit. When I received it, the top was a silvery colour and the bottom was blacker than the chocolate brownie mixture we made yesterday. After I cooked on it, the top was brown and black with hints of silver and the bottom was even blacker.

The top is silvery again. The bottom is a dark silvery colour. Only the part that the gas goes through makes me want to flinch when I touch it and that's the only part that didn't get washed with hot soapy water while being scrubbed with steel wool.

I feel this is quite an achievement.

I must go and do more homework. Perhaps I can finish catching up on Wednesday...
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Iliad)
To do today:

Harvest coriander
Plant new coriander
Clean and put away barbeque
Chop wood
Finish homework
Start readings

Somehow I'm not sure if the last one is going to be managed, but I will try. I don't have that much to go on the hard section (Legal Ethics), although I have a fair amount to type up.

I handed in questions 1 - 6 ages ago, when I'd done them, and did relatively well, so I don't expect to do badly. I have a lecture for this class tomorrow, but for some reason, my Wednesday one is cancelled. I wonder why.

Is anyone going to a dawn service down at the Cenotaph? I was thinking it might be nice to go to another one.

Already A History of the Jewish People is proving to be much more interesting than The Barbarian West, so I might eventually be able to catch up on the non-fiction reading. I should work out how far behind I am...

There are still some brownies left. I shall have some shortly and drink the first of many cups of tea of the day (for some reason, I always seem to drink a lot of tea when I'm doing homework).

We grew coriander last winter and it went really well and we used a lot of it. It didn't last as long as the italian parsley, but they were about the same size and right next to each other. So when we planted more over the summer, we made sure they weren't side by side. The coriander promptly went to seed and because I hate seeing such things go to waste, I harvested the seeds this morning. They will sit on a tray on the table for a few days drying and then I'll stick them into a spare jar.

...F said yesterday that we'd buy any baking ingredient if it was on special and we'd never heard of it before or could come up with a possible use for it (this was after hearing of our purchase of 72% cocoa chocolate to make hot chocolate out of) and I've come to the conclusion that she's right.

I'm not very good at regular maintenance of a garden - which is one reason why the gorse is starting to grow back and weeds surround the plants - but I do enjoy one-off jobs such as harvesting coriander or making the occasional jar of pesto. Mmmm, pesto.

Hmmm. It could possibly be construed as being lunch time. I can come back and type up notes after lunch, surely...
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Moving cultural passions (Vorkosigan))
It occured to me that since my aborted post on Christmas night, the one I didn't end up posting because I clicked on the close firefox buttong instead of the shrink button, I haven't actually posted for I'm not sure how long. I could check, but that would require effort. And then I come to post today and find a draft to be restored.

Christmas night post )

We still have food. No more cheesecake left, because C took some to her Mum's and I ate the rest, and no more fruit mince tarts, because I made banana-chocolate chip muffins to take to work for morning tea today and took the tarts with them (we needed to use up the bananas) and very little trifle left also. We still have cream and nuts and ham and some lamb on the bone, which I'm not sure if it's edible... And then there are the pringles sitting on my desk along with two lots of chocolate money...

Speaking of money, I haven't been terribly bright this week. See, Dymocks is having a 20% off sale at the moment and I have a chronic lack of resistance to book sales. Especially when there are things that I actually want there. So I am now the proud? bouncy? owner of Terrier by Tamora Pierce, which I reread last night and is very enjoyable and volumes #1 - 4 and #6 - 8 of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga.

What really happened is that yesterday I went into Dymocks at lunchtime, wanting reading material, The Three Musketeers not catching me, and walked out with Terrier and Vol. 1 of FMA. Today at lunchtime I read that volume, walked around the waterfront for a little while and went into the shop on my way back, straight to the manga/comics isle and took most of the rest of the FMA books off the shelf! I would like the art books because they're pretty, but I can't justify it, and I'd be better off getting electronic versions - that way I'd see them when they came up on my screensaver! It does mean, however, that once I get #5, #9 and #10 (I believe the latter two are out), I can collect slowly as they come out. Then I can start on Rurouni Kenshin...

Of course, I need to find room to shelve all these. I'm working out priorities - do I need a new CD/DVD reader/writer, 1G RAM, or a new bookcase first? And can I find an appropriate bookcase at the Sallies (tall, wideish, paperback shallow) for a reasonable price? I have this strong attachment to stacking books vertically and I'm at the stage where I am not only stacking books on top of other books, but needing shelf space for manga also.

For the first time, I have the flat to myself for more than a day. C is in Masterton until Sunday and [ profile] maudlinrose went to Auckland today. I do have a list of things that need doing - the last of the Christmas dishes for one! As well as the usual houseworky things and deciding where I'm going to store the tools I was given for Christmas. Electric drill, yay!

Must get on to all that and dinner besides.


nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Default)

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