Monday, 28 December 2015

Yorkshire flood victims

My journey home from Yorkshire to Lancashire took much longer than usual this week. Quite often there are temporary traffic lights as works are done, but that wasn't the case this time.

I was aware of the heavy rainfall and floods - my own area of Lancashire has had problems with lakes appearing suddenly, and roads being partially closed.

However, I have never before driven through streets lined with three piece suites, fridges, freezers, chests of drawers, beds, televisions and sundry household items, all well spattered with mud.

My heart went out to those poor people who were spending hours sweeping out the mud from their homes and businesses. They all appeared quietly determined to get on with it, I didn't see any signs of frustration, although I'm sure many of them must have felt it. Neighbours were helping each other out, people who lived nearby were lending a hand to those who needed it.

So, my journey took longer than usual, but it didn't matter. I was so busy feeling sympathy for those who were experiencing this chaos, and working their way through it that I hardly noticed the time.

I wish them all well and hope that their lives soon return to normal.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Have you noticed the blue tinges to movies/TV shows etc?

I wonder who it was that decided we would all prefer to view programmes with intense blue hues?

Have you noticed the effect? Sometimes it is clearly a blue filter in use - even the whites of eyes have a blue tinge, and the folds in white shirts are blue tinged. It's weird, to say the least.

Other shows seem to have blues very much in evidence, particularly quite bright turquoise blues, fences, sides of houses, clothes, even eyes - it's as if a child has been allowed to pick their favourite shade of blue and incorporate it to their heart's desire.

I can only take so much of it, and then I need to find a programme that is shot using naturalistic shades. Does anyone else find this aggravating????

Monday, 21 September 2015

Delicious Gourmet Vegan Meal at Lucky Leek in Berlin

My daughter treated me to a wonderful 3 course dinner at "Lucky Leek" in Berlin for my birthday. We opted to have the optional "wine flight" with it, so a glass of wine chosen to accompany each course was served to us. This is the menu:


First to arrive was a slate plate with tiny Amuse Gueules, a morsel each of two savouries. A tiny loaf had been baked, sliced thinly and topped with a cheesy mix and home made chorizo, the second mouthful was, we were informed, like a mini quiche - I can't remember what a quiche tastes like, but this was light and delicious.

The soup was a beautiful golden orange colour, and suspended over it was the apple on a skewer. The sweetness of the sweet potato was highlighted by a slight kick of chilli, and a swirl of coconut foam. The apple chunk was coated in nuts, and complemented the soup beautifully.

 The wine chosen to accompany the soup was a rose, which I enjoyed, it had a slight sweetness, but I can't remember the name of it, I'm afraid!

The main course was pasta bon bons, like ravioli filled with a pea puree. The filling was quite substantial and a lovely green. The vegan feta roll was tasty and went well. There were two colours of pepper sauce in the bowl, which were very smooth and light in texture. Some lightly cooked pak choi accompanied the pasta. Laid over the top were ribbons of raw purple carrot. There was a chunk of raw peach, with some berries on one side, but neither of us could really see the benefit of them, they didn't enhance the flavour of the main ingredients, and we thought they were a step too far.

The white wine served with the main course was quite dry, and Rachel enjoyed this more than the rose, whereas I preferred the rose!

The Piece de Resistance was the dessert, which was to swoon over - just feast your eyes on this!

On the left was a square of chocolate layer cake - so light and fluffy, nobody eating it would guess it was vegan. A peach sorbet and peach ragout were next on the plate, then an elderflower ice cream, so creamy. A really splendid ending to a wonderful birthday meal. And the port served with it was rich and warming, and we both enjoyed it very much.

The evening was so mild that we sat outside to enjoy our repast. If I return to Berlin, I will certainly eat there again:)

Saturday, 8 August 2015

No police call out for odd numbered houses!!!

So, if the police are only going to turn up to investigate thefts and burglaries if houses have an even number - will those people who live in an odd numbered house receive a partial council tax rebate?

Just a thought! What do you think?

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Shot at Dawn in Edinburgh - Art Exhibition

Whilst in a windy, slightly damp Edinburgh a couple of days ago, my friend's eye was caught by the statement " A dyslexic man walked into a bra ..." printed on an otherwise unremarkable window.

Naturally we walked over, and discovered that it was the venue for an art gallery. The current, free, exhibition was entitled "Shot at Dawn" by Chloe Dewe Mathews - we entered to have a look - if nothing else it would give us some respite from the rather strong winds.

We saw several large format pictures, which turned out to be photographs. Printed alongside each was a name, or names, a date, then below that another date and time. No explanation was printed as to the subject matter, which varied from a splendid solitary tree in morning mist, to a modern looking school. We decided that the photographs must have been "shot at dawn", hence the title of the exhibition.

As we walked around, examining the photographs a chill went down my spine, and I became certain that the photographs were of sites where soldiers were literally shot at dawn, and that these must be shots of how the areas look nowadays. I was proved correct. We viewed the images with a different intensity.

We spoke to one of the curators, who explained that the artist, Chloe, researched the deaths of several soldiers and over a couple of years spent time visiting various sites of execution to take photographs of the modern site, trying to replicate the time of day and the weather conditions.

Although chilling, there is hope in the photographs, too - the new school built for children who may not exist without the sacrifice of the soldiers, and whose lives would certainly be different, for example.

If you are in Edinburgh before the 25th January, do go and spend some time at Stills, Cockburn St, Edinburgh. The exhibition is also on in London at the moment, and then tours Europe for a couple of years.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Rebellion - free e-book - a fantasy novel

My daughter's first novel, Rebellion, is free on Kindle at the moment - it's a fantasy novel telling of the audacity of a girl who rejects the role assigned to her by her school and the challenges she faces as she sets out to join the assassins.

Rebellion (Chronicles of Charanthe Book 1) by Rachel Cotterill (10 Oct 2010) - Kindle eBook

So, if you'd like something different to read over the summer, or what's left of it, why not give it a try - after all, you've nothing to lose - it's free:)

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Preston Community Choir sings a Christmas carol for a musical Advent calendar

Preston Community Choir is just over one year old, and on Thursday a man with gadgets presented himself at our rehearsal!

Apparently we were to be videoed rehearsing one of our Christmas carols for the Lancashire Evening Post's musical Advent calendar.  Sadly they didn't ask or warn us in advance, so no immaculate coiffures, no fancy clothes - just us, as is, in a rehearsal!

If you're brave enough to click on the link you can see us, still slightly shocked, rehearsing "Believe" from Polar Express.  You may require ear - plugs, or to remember where the "mute" button is on  your pc!  I'm on the far left in first sopranos. Happy listening:)