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text 2019-02-10 22:06
The Sunday Post

This Sunday Post is food-heavy. 

 

No adventuring or cute animal pictures this week as we had quite strong winds this weekend and some of my plans were changed at the last minute. 

 

So, instead, I have had a chance to catch up with friends over some ice cream, browse one of my favourite second-hand bookshops, and go wild with the new cooker - and by go wild I mean try a couple of new recipes that I will last for a couple of weekday lunches. 

 

First off, I had a blast meeting with some friends at our new favourite haunt - the ice cream parlour in town. It's been our first meet-up in the new year and we had a great time, even if (or is it because?) we didn't try the Haggis and Marmalade ice cream that was on offer. 

Yes, I kid you not. They had that concoction - I was offered a taster, which I politely declined, not just because it wasn't veggie, but also because there is no universe in which Haggis & Marmalade ice cream should be a thing.

 

Instead I went for some white choc & coconut and a scoop of creme brulee ice cream. 

 

 

On the way home, I stopped by a favourite charity bookshop. It's one of those gems of a shop that carries more than just your old bestsellers and popular books. There are specific sections for niche interests, antiquarian, and what I also like is that it is frequented by students a lot who also donate books, so there is a great variety of "classics". The shop is also my go to place for passing my own read books on to. 

 

 

I look forward to reading them all, but I was most surprised to find a copy of Jill, which I believe is Larkin's first novel. It will be a while before I get the books and given that most (if not all) of them are a bit bleak, it will take a while to read them.

 

Has anyone got any thoughts on them? Any heads ups I should know?

 

Lastly, we have more food. 

 

While some of my original plans (like going to the movies) were postponed at the last minute, I had some time to spend on cooking while Hugh Fraser narrated some Dame Agatha to me, which is a fab way to spend a few hours.

I somehow ended up with a veggie version of pulled pork. I'm not quite sure how but I assume I picked it up when going shopping while half-asleep and very hungry. 

Anyway, I figured I should try something with it and found a recipe for it. 

 

I eventually settled for this one here, and it was delicious. I have some left overs for lunch tomorrow.

 

 

I also wanted to do some meal prep for this week and try a new soup ... you know, other than just throw things together in a pot and see how it goes. 

 

As it turns out, this Cabbage and White Bean Soup (sorry the picture is not great) was pretty easy and felt a lot like just throwing things together in a pot. So, I loved making that. It is also really, really tasty. I have to say, tho, that I didn't follow the recipe exactly (because I just am not capable of doing such a thing...which is also why I am not a baker). I felt the soup needed caraway seeds. So, I added them. 

 

 

Anyway, this is it for this weekend. 

 

Hope you had a fun one.

 

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text 2019-01-13 18:18
The Sunday Post - Seals and Soup

Happy Sunday!

 

I haven't read much this week (owing to the Great Gaudy Book Hangover), but it has been quite a week in other ways. 

 

My cooker (hob and oven) had packed it in over the holidays and I have been trying to arrange to get this fixed over the last week ... but with busy work commitments, I took some time to get this arranged. Yesterday, finally, was the day. It's still not fixed, but it is now working enough to last me until the new appliance gets delivered. Yay!

 

All of this, of course, had to be celebrated, and what better to do this than to make some soup!?

 

 

The recipe can be found here ... but I had to leave out the spinach as I forgot to pick some up. 

 

In other news, I  really needed the soup today. I've been on a little outing earlier and got soaked through with freezing rain and chilled to bones by that ever-present North Sea wind. 

 

But it was worth it to see the seal colony that has made its home just north of the city. 

 

 

They are so cute, and so impressive. They are completely wild but you would not really know it when they swim up right to the other end to the river mouth (the one that is safe for visitors and seals, and unlikely to distress the colony while hauled out on the other bank). Seriously, they came right up to the edge of the water! They are such nosy buggers! And so cute. Have I mentioned this already?

 

I hope you all had a great day. 

 

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text 2018-10-28 19:59
The Sunday Post - The Run-Up to Halloween

Happy Sunday!

 

Winter arrived this weekend with the first sprinkling of the white stuff just outside the city boundaries and with a significant drop in temperatures.

 

The weather had changed so much, in fact, that my friends and I had to think of alternative options to our planned trip Glamis yesterday to partake in this year's Halloween event. In the end, we just settled on taking extra layers of clothing and getting on the road a little earlier than last year in case the roads were affected. It turned out that the roads were clear, but it was absolutely freezing, which made our walk around the Bewitched Woods at the castle a rather swift wander. 

 

 

The Bewitched Woods were the same as last year, just with different lighting and new spooky sounds and special effects that set off by motion sensor as you found your way through the wood in the pitch dark soon after we started the trail. And I do mean, pitch dark! It was a lot of fun.

 

 

I still love the wood carvings illustrating the story of Macbeth (Shakespeare's version, that is) that are placed along the trail. All of the sculptures were created using a chainsaw and I am simply amazed by the level of detail that the artists (Neith Art) commissioned to create them put into each sculpture. They really seemed to have read and analysed each scene and character that they chose to create.

 

 

The main event was, as it was last year, a ghost tour of the castle. Again, the inside of the castle had been decorated appropriately with skeletons, cob webs, and very real ghouls and ghosties who would pop out from behind doorways or nooks as we followed our guide through the castle. The usual tour packed with history was adapted again to tell of the more ghostly and ghastly history of the former inhabitants, and it was a lot of fun to see some of the characters "come alive" to converse with the visitors. 

One of the funniest things about this all was that there were some kids on the tour - some of which were really quite scared, and some of which put on a lot of bravado and ended up heckling the ghosts. One rather felt sorry for the ghosts. 

 

Even tho this was the same event as last year, I am glad to say that the people at Glamis castle again lived up to the challenge of creating an event that can be enjoyed on repeat visits. The ghosts and stories were rather different from last year - there was a lot more shrieking (mostly by the "ghosts") and there were a lot more and different "ghosts", too.  All in all, we had another excellent experience that put everyone in the right mood for Halloween. 

 

 

Of course, we ended our visit with a stop in the old castle kitchens again to sample the pumpkin soup before we made our trip back home. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of the soup. I did make up for it today, tho, when I made some butter bean, lentil and spinach curry ... which I am counting as a soup as its consistency was rather stew-like.

 

 

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text 2018-09-16 23:16
The Sunday Post ... Lighthouses and Soup

Happy Sunday!

 

I've needed today to just relax and do some over-due household chores...so there was not a lot of excitement today. But, I was also recovering from a very, very windswept day out with friends yesterday.

Just as we had the city's Doors Open Day last week, yesterday and today the Shire held a similar event. 

 

So, a couple of friends and I jumped at the chance of a wee road trip on a gorgeous day to see Tod Head Lighthouse.

 

The lighthouse is one of the later Stevenson ones. It was designed by David Alan Stevenson of the famous family of lighthouse engineers, a cousin of Robert Louis Stevenson (the author), and grandson of Robert Stevenson who pioneered lighthouse engineering around these parts.

Tod Head was built in 1897, much later than the famous lighthouses built by Robert Stevenson (such as the famous Bell Rock built between 1807 and 1810), but it follows the same sort of design as the earlier buildings - and you can pretty much spot a Stevenson lighthouse based on the outline shape. 

 

Tod Head was decommissioned in 2007 and has been private property since. This is why it was such a special event to be able to have look at the lighthouse from up close - it is not one that is open to the public on any other day of the year. 

 

 

We arrived at the lighthouse a few minutes early and spent a few minutes braving the strong wind and communing with the resident rescue chickens, while the owners took the opportunity to grab some late lunch. Apparently they had visitors since 10 am and had been rushed off their feet all day. I believe it. It is a fabulous spot and even tho they had organised a booking system (all free of charge but there is limited parking), people just dropped by in a constant stream. 

Anyway, we had some fun with the chickens. They had a lot character and liked shoe laces. When we got back to the front of the building, one chicken had followed us and managed to completely freak out one of the visitors just by freely roaming in the garden. I don't know, but I felt sorry for the chicken more than I was for the lady who apparently was not expecting animals to roam the property...even tho you had to pass by several farms complete with cows and sheep to get to the lighthouse. It was weird. It was also kinda funny. 

 

This is the chicken that caused so much terror.

 

The funniest thing that happened, however, was that just when people started to leave the lighthouse, a couple of sheep decided to go for a leisurely wander on the single road track that led back to the road. And the lady who had earlier been terrorised by a member of the poultry gang was the second car stuck behind the sheep. Luckily, the first car were a couple of young guys, one of whom got out and tried to drive the sheep along without stressing them out too much. 

 

Now, I don't know about you, but from what I know about sheep, I have a feeling the two were doing this all day long - messing with visitors, popping on the road for a walk down to the other field whenever there was a car in sight. 

 

Anyway, the lighthouse was lovely, but the animals made our day yesterday. 

 

Sunday Soup:

 

As I mentioned, I mainly did some home maintenance today, which also included some cooking. I was in the mood for something light, so tried a variation of this Egg Drop Soup.

 

The variation was that I used vegetable bouillon and, just because I seem to simply be incapable of following recipes, I added some sweetcorn and peas and half a fresh red chili pepper.

 

No chickens were harmed in making this soup.

 

It was tasty, but not exactly filling. It did go well with with a sandwich on the side, tho.

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text 2018-08-26 22:28
The Sunday Post: The Last of the Fringe and Soup!

Hello,

 

After the rained out weekend at the Edinburgh Festival last week, I needed to go back to it yesterday because there was a show I just could not miss: Simon Callow starring in De Profundis, a performance of Oscar Wilde's letter to "Bosie" (Lord Alfred Douglas) which he wrote while infamously imprisoned in Reading Gaol. 

 

 

I've seen Callow perform before, so I knew this was going to be pretty good. However, this was my first experience of this particular piece and my introduction to De Profundis (which I re-read in full on the train back home), followed by a little research into the letter.

 

All I'm saying is that Bosie was a little shit.

 

Back to the performance...I loved it. It was very moving and while there were the typical Wilde puns, the title of the letter truly reflects the tone of it: Wilde's insights into his past relationship with Bosie as well as his reflections on his own character. A Simon Callow very much managed to release that distressed, angry, and yet loving and forgiving soul that Wilde confined to his own words.    

 

Afterwards I saw one other show and went for a stroll, but I was just too occupied by Wilde's letter to really pay much attention to any of the other performances. And with that, this year's Festival is over for me. It was fun to see that the crowds turned out well for the last Festival weekend, tho. 

 

Seriously, check the number of people in the pictures. This is what I mean by the town being "busy" during the festival period:

 

 

Anyway, today brought a day full of rain and cold weather so I spent most of the day wrapped in a warm jumper and enjoying books and tea...I came across a lovely little collection of Wilde's shorter stories while wandering around the Book Festival yesterday. (It contains The Canterville Ghost which I have now earmarked for the Ghost square on my Halloween Bingo Card!)

 

Oh, yes, and because it has turned quite chilly today, I made some soup. :D Nothing fancy, just some very simple vegetable and pasta and veggie pieces (which would obviously work just as well with chicken).

 

 

Happy Sunday!

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