Archive | May, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge: Book 8 complete

26 May

Having read two heavy going books back to back, I picked something a little more light-hearted for Book 8, Roald Dahl’s The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me.  You might think this ticks the ‘book from your childhood’ box but no, I’ve never read it. Instead it ticks the ‘published the year you were born’ box – 1985 to be precise!

What a lovely book for bed time reading. I’ll definitely be reading it to my children when I have them 🙂

It also reminded me how much I love Roald Dahl. I loved his stories when I was growing up and it’s nice to know the charm doesn’t wear off no matter how old you are 😊

After whizzing my way through a few books in May, I’m back to a heavy going one for book 9 – Emma by Jane Austen.

2015 Reading Challenge: Book 7 complete

21 May

After taking longer than I would have liked to finish book 6, I chose a thinner book for book 7 knowing I’d be able to chomp most of my way through it on a 3 hour train journey. 

I was right, I finished it within two days.

Book 7 was a memoir, I Choose to Live by Sabine Dardenne, a truly harrowing account of her being kidnapped by a paedophile as a child.  It was extremely moving, I don’t know how she got through what se did.

It also reminded me to read more of the memoirs I have on my bookshelves. This reading challenge is going pretty well so far!

2015 Reading Challenge: Book 6 complete

18 May

This month’s book was ‘a mystery or thriller’. I chose Gone Girl and boy did it meet all my expectations – and then some.  

Anyone who has ever taken a look at my bookshelf will testify to it being full of chick lit and politics. Oh and the occasional Viking story courtesy of the boyfriend. I own very few thrillers except for the ones I’ve inherited from relatives and have not yet read. I bought Gone Girl because the film was amazing!

I’m not one for watching films based on books unless it’s an accident (I still haven’t watched The Book Thief and The Fault in Our Stars is taking up much-needed space on my Sky planner), but with Gone Girl I figured I was safe; I don’t read thrillers.

It’s not because I don’t like them, I don’t like being scared before bed. Not kidding, I’m such a scaredy cat, I can’t even watch Crimewatch!

Gone Girl was so clever though that I couldn’t resist. And I’m so pleased that the book was not only almost exactly the same as the film, but so much better.

I won’t spoil it in case anyone reading this hasn’t read/watched it. If you haven’t, please do. I’m not one to agree with the Daily Mail but the sticker on my book is right – “read it now, it’s that good”.

I might actually start reading more thrillers, even if they might give me nightmares.

Next on my list? A memoir.

Steaming hot goodness

6 May

Once a month, something exciting occurs for foodies like me. An old factory is turned into a street food palace, packed with treats for all taste buds, for The Boiler Shop Steamer.

  
As well as being a great chance to enjoy some fab food and drink, it’s a really good way for someone like me who’s new to the area to find new restaurants to try.

  
After a few trips to the steamer, I’ve learnt two things. 

  1. Don’t eat before you go 
  2. Pace yourself
  3. Go early – it’s free and less crowded, plus the food starts to run out the later you leave it!

We went at lunchtime, which meant it was free and was full of families, which I really liked. 

I started my meal with a beef dish from Electric East, somewhere I’ve had my eye on for a while and was really looking forward to trying.

 
The boyfriend, meanwhile started his meal with salt and pepper chicken wings courtesy of Coop.
 
Next up for us both were cherry cola cocktails from The Cumberland Arms and burgers from The Fat Hippo – another place I’m dying to try but every time we go it’s full. I’m even more determined to go now I’ve tried the burgers!

I had a plain burger with amazing burger sauce and chorizo, while the boyfriend tried the peanut butter and jelly burger (wow!) 

Both came in a brioche bun. Delicious!

 

(It was so good I forgot to take a picture until it was almost finished!)

No meal is complete without dessert so I finished my wonderful lunch with a Nutella ice cream…
  
Yum!!

Foodie Penpals: Turkish delight

5 May

April brought us a jam packed parcel all the way from Turkey courtesy of Melike.

It meant we had to be a little more patient waiting for it to arrive but when it came it was well worth the wait!

  
Melike had gone to so much effort with her parcel and had taken the time to tell us what was in each packet and how they enjoyed them where she lives.

Our box included a gorgeous sauce from the Balkans which she said was nice on bread (and was right!), a lovely tahini and grape spread, a variety of Turkish delight (yum), some crackers and a traditional Turkish dessert which looks a bit like angel delight that I can’t wait to make (and luckily Melike kindly translated the instructions so I could!)

Troy was eating everything before I even had chance to take a picture!

This was our 4th penpals box and quite possibly our best one yet 😊

Our box, meanwhile, went a little closer to home to a lovely lady called Lisa.

Lisa’s request was simple – a box of goodies to accompany tea. I relish a challenge and this one was a fun one!

Thanks to the discovery of Fenwick’s food hall, I was really pleased with our box. We had biscuits of different varieties, some macarons, chocolates and bubbles for bubble tea courtesy of the Tea Shed, a local company. No tea accompaniment box is complete though without a scone – which we packed with a tiny pot of jam and tinned cream (yes you read that right, I didn’t think you could get tinned cream and quite frankly I think it’s a little odd but hey it wouldn’t be a scone without cream right?)

  
So that’s another successful penpals swap complete. If you’d like more information about joining, click here.