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The Wonder Years..how much of this life can we do? : April 2013

Thursday, 25 April 2013

JLS splitting reminded you of bands that broke your heart!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The Great Ice Cream Debate

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Lets go fly a kite...

Yesterday my husband took me on a date to Willow Farm and whilst perusing the farm shop bought a stunt kite, which we then went a flew... with the blustery weather we've got at the moment, it was near perfect conditions.

I remember being about 11, and having a kite which I think I flew a few times and crashed it, and it ended up in the bin! Yesterday, a similar occurrence happened, although I managed to steer the kite into the side of my husband's face - couldn't have done that if I tried! I had a few slightly better attempts and got such a thrill from that tug as the kite soared high above me. He was of course brilliant and I look forward to future outings. I guess there certain things that men are always going to be better at, are there any famous female kite flyer's?

If you've not done it for years, I'd definitely recommend it - there is sheer joy to be experienced as you whoop away at the sky above, sweetly singing 'Let's go fly a kite' from Mary Poppins.

My hubby and I are both working for ourselves more and I feel now more than ever it's important to have 'time out' - and I'm on a mission to find things that won't cost an arm and a leg.

Kite Flying originatedin China, nearly 3000 years ago. They had all the right materials with silks and bamboo, being perfect for a lightweight framework. Did you know, in 5th Century BC a kite was used as part of a rescue mission. The Romans and Marco Polo were fans of kits and if you've read the wonderful novel The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini you'll know about kite fighting in pre-war Kabul.

I'm hoping there's no kite fighting between me and my man in the future, so i'll need to work on my flying technique to avoid dive bombing him from a great height!

Lets hope I can pick it up as I'd love to do it more often. Who knows maybe I can advance to kite surfing!

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Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Awful at having my picture taken!

I really don't like having my picture taken, I do this sneer, which has always caused a lot of meriment within my family.
On my wedding day it was something i had been worried about but thanks to the brilliant Matt Parry who doesn't shoot 'down the lense' I was thrilled with the outcome of our special snaps which you can view here.


Today though i'm having a photo shoot, for my voiceover work, i've put it off for ages, but now i need to get some head shots. So i'm going to see a nice man called Chelone, who a photographer pal of mine has recommended. She herself has taken pics of me and pained herself with the process of trying to get me to relax, so apparently Chelone is the man for the job. Have a look at his stuff, it's pretty dam cool


If anyone can do it, he can! Watch this space!

Ever wondered when your online food shop goes wrong?

Friday, 5 April 2013

Crazy things kids believe...

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Would you complain to Mr Michelin about one of his restaurants?

Easter weekend was pretty indulgent not for chocolate reasons, but due to a visit to Paris House - Bedford's only Michelin Star restaurant. Thanks to Heart, who'd generously bought The Hubster and I a voucher as a wedding present, we managed to get a table for lunch on Easter Sunday and were really looking forward to our visit.

On arrival, 15 minutes early (a first for the pair of us) we walked through the main door into the compact Lounge and the Maitre d' was addressing a party about how things worked. Instead of stopping for a second and welcoming us in, the pair of us had to hover in the doorway until he finished his patter and then offered us a seat. Not the best first impression.

As we sat, and observed the room, which like I said, is a very small Lounge it was full of a group of people eagerly perusing the menus looking forward to their gastronomy. We sat and waited to be 'greeted' and after 15 mins were offered a glass of champagne. Once everyone else had been shown to their tables, the pair of us were the only ones left in the room accompanied by the empty champagne glasses which remained there for another 10 mins. As we surveyed what looked a bit like we'd missed the party, a waitress came to clear the glasses and the Maitre d' returned, somewhat flustered. He apologised for things being out of sync and proceeded to tell us the Restaurant Manager had left him in the lurch, thus him not being able to find everything. He then convinced us to have a second glass of champagne and left us with the menus.

By this time we had been at Paris House for 35 minutes. After 50 minutes, we were asked if we'd like to be seated and we reminded the Maitre d' about the promised glass of champagne to which he disclaimed 'Oh has it not been served?'. We were dutifully brought our glass, told we weren't going to be charged for it and left to drink it.

We were seated at our table 1 hour after we had arrived.

Now by this point, The Hubster who likes his food and has eaten at many a fancy restaurant was more than vocal to me about what the experience of a Michelin star should be like. Previously I'd eaten at the Chef's table at Paris House which was something arranged through work and it was a really fun experience and I'd been keen to my other half to enjoy it. So far though, not so good..

The food arrived, first up yummy amuse bouche of a zingy foamy soup with carrot and coriander, orange zest, served with incredible freshly baked black treacle bread - delicious. Next a melt in your mouth smoked salmon dish with a compressed cucumber amongst other pretty detail ( i ain't no food critic).

Then it was the chicken terrine, which came served with pig skin! I had told the Maitre d' my dietry requirement was that I didn't eat pork products so you can imagine my suprise that this bit of information hadn't made it to the kitchen in such an establishment. He whipped away and brought an alternative, which looked amazing, wonderful wafer thin purple stuff replaced the pig skin, I have no idea what it was!

The main course of Woburn Estate pigeon was the best part of the meal, truly delightful. The Hubster opted for the supplementary cheese dish and the pair of us had to stifle our giggles as the waiter told us the goats cheese had been unpasteurised! Really!

The pre-desert was a little icecream bomb, coating a white choc truffle, dusted in a passion fruit powder which was gobbled down and finally we had a rhubarb dish, which was brilliantly devised in a candy shell, along with other devine bits of rhubarb.  I'm sure I've not done it justice in the description but the whole meal was as you have read was overshadowed by the service.

The Hubster comes from a family of antique silver dealers and when we do dine somewhere fancy he takes great pleasure in giving me the background to any silverware we might have on the table. We were both somewhat surprised to the the Trust House Forte stag logo on the back of the knives and forks, there probably is a reason and this could possible sound pernikity, but as The Hubster pointed out - is all part of the experience.

We weren't asked if we wanted any tea and coffee and had to wait a good while before catching anyones eye to get the bill. By that point the discretionary service charge was almost questioned, but we paid and left, unimpressed.

I have since heard several poor reports of the service at Paris House and having met Chef Phil Fanning, he was so passionate about his food it's hard to believe it isn't being presented properly by front of house and I can only hope something is done, before Mr Michelin hears about it!

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Tuesday, 2 April 2013

First Ski Trip - DONE! Loved it, now need to buy better gear

I did it, my first ski trip ever! This is me somewhere in the 3 Valleys, can't remember where.. We stayed in La Tania which is a lovely little resort. I had my first experience of a 'Chalet' and being cooked dinner every night, which was lovely, although somewhat reminiscent of school dinners. I'd had 4 weeks of lessons at the Snozone in Milton Keynes before I went which i'm chuffed about as the whole idea of trying to get down a mountain was less scary. Still I signed myself up for a weeks ski school with Magic in Motion http://www.magicinmotion.co.uk/ and there was just three of us in a lesson with Richie, who was brilliant. His motto was he'd only give us 2 things to remember, which with my fish like memory worked a treat. During the week i managed to fall of at least four chair lifts, the first actually had to be stopped as I'd not managed to get up and it was passing over my head (that is why you SHOULD wear a helmet!) I also fallen off a button lift, before reaching the top, and my best was not getting up off a chair lift at one point thinking it would nudge me forward

Thursday saw a four hour lesson ending in Meribel and partying at Le Follie Douche a taste of Ibiza on the side of a mountain in Meribel, it was brilliant, with tunage, dancing and i even got up on the table to shimmy in my ski boots   https://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=10151551413432457

Also that day we had a massage and if you're a first time skier, don't hold back on this. The lady who visited our chalet was a soprts physio and really knew what she was doing ,it was  pleasurably painful but meant I could bend my knees the next day!
Thursday was a four hour lesson and we worked on ironing out the bad habbits, and by Friday I was all set to join the rest of my group on a day trip to Val Thoren including my first red run 'Jerusalem' on a Friday, which for a nice Jewish girl was very appropriate.

Saturday, was a trip and an expensive glass of Sancerre in Courcheval, watching the weather Russians and then a little totter down the high street of designer shops to a Pharmacie as i was determined to reward my ski efforts with some Nuxe Products after a French friend introduced me to them years ago. I LURVE them and am even more excited to have found www.escentual.com and have another order coming through.

If you're wanting some inspiration for your ski holiday - check out La Tania as it's a great base. Le Follie Douce should definately be a destination for Apres Ski - make sure you can get back! There's one in Meribel and Val Thoren. My main focus now is getting better gear as my last minute TK Max purchases won't do for my next trip! We're even thinking of going at NY.

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