Monday, 28 September 2015

Refreshing side salad x 2


Iceberg lettuce
large on the vine tomato


Salt and pepper
Lemon and extra virgin olive oil


Simply chop all ingredients into similar size cubes and dress with salt, pepper, lemon and olive oil


Large on the vine tomato
White salad onion (or red)
A few sprigs of coriander


Lemon juice (or lime)
Sea salt and black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil


Slice the tomato, cucumber and onions into rings.  Chop the coriander into very small pieces.  Add lemon or lime and olive oil as well as sea salt and black pepper.  Give a good stir to coat the ingredients with the dressing.

This is great with an Indian meal.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Road journey from Kuwait to England in 1965 (properties in Syria)

Houses in Syria in 1965
I was going through old photos this week and came across this black and white photo I took, probably with a Kodak Brownie in December 1965.  I assumed these were houses in Syria and wrote that on the back of the photo.  We slept in the car one night as towns in the desert were far apart back then.  We stayed at a hotel in Damascus for one night.  In the morning, a local person begged us to visit the town of Hama where there was a beautiful water wheel.  I have a photo of that but cannot find it.

How things have changed.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Notting Hill - the carnival 2015

Rain seems to have stopped play.  This was taken yesterday when it was damp and miserable.  Today, everyone has an umbrella.

Quick mid week roast dinner - sorted


1 small lamb joint
Venezia baby potatoes or any other waxy salad potato
No peel carrots, topped and tailed and cut into chunks, on a slant
Dry thyme
2 oz. of butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3-4 leeks, cleaned and sliced in rings
White cabbage, chopped
Creme fraiche
1 large onion
A splash of white wine
Salt and pepper to season


If you have a rotisserie, then skewer the lamb, brush with olive oil and seasoning.  If not, it will be fine in an ordinary oven heated to 200C.  Turn down to 180C after the first 15 minutes.  This piece weighed 575g so I cooked it for 1 hour.  To have been pink inside, I think 45 minutes plus resting time would have been better.

Whilst the lamb is cooking, the rest is fairly straightforward.  

Mushrooms, bacon, onions in white wine

Peel and slice the onion.  Cut in half and cut into slices and fry in a little butter and olive oil.  Snip the bacon with kitchen scissors and drop the pieces in the pan.  Then slice the mushrooms and add them.  Stir them altogether and cook for about 5 minutes before adding a splash or two of white wine.

 Thyme glazed carrots

 Cook the carrots in salted water until tender.  Drain and return to the pan with a knob of butter, black pepper and thyme.  Simmer for a few minutes until coated.

 Creamy leeks and white cabbage in creme fraiche

Boil the leeks and cabbage in salted water for around 5 minutes, then drain in a colander.  Add a knob of butter to the pan and the creme fraiche, warm gently and return the leeks and cabbage to the sauce with some black pepper.

Venezia potatoes boiled then roasted 

Boil the potatoes in salted water for 10 minutes until cooked through.  Meanwhile heat some oil in the oven.  Drain the potatoes in a colander and place in the oil.  Return to the oven for half an hour at 200C.


 If you aren't keen on lamb it could be replaced by beef or pork. 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Cat's Eyes

Cats are born blind.
They are commonly thought of as colour blind but can see, greens, blues and reds.
Their eyes glow as they have the tapetum lucidum, a reflective outer layer.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

The Maldives, Me and You - A Poem

In my dreams, I wake and walk
Across the room to lift the blind
No need to think or even talk
Just feel your presence close behind
I open the blind to let the sun glint through
Then turn around to stare at you
You catch my eye and I pull the cord
Letting in the sun and the sound of water
I wander out of the room on stilts
Wearing only my bronze silk nightie
Then I sit on the steps and swish
My tanned legs in the calm waters
Here we are in the Maldives
The sun beating down on my shoulders
So early in the morn
Must get dressed and go to eat
Fresh fruit and eggs with
Orange juice and coffee
All laid out on pure white linen
Cannot wait to start our day
I bend over the chest of drawers
Looking for my shorts and vest
When you approach me from behind
Encircling my waist with two firm arms
I reach up and take your hands
You kiss my neck and whisper
Words of love
I feel your strength and tender touch.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Pierre Loti

Pierre was a French novelist and naval officer.

"It is with the approach of WINTER that cats wear their richest fur and assume an air of sumptuous and delightful opulence.

- Pierre Loti