Friday, 25 May 2012

Ignorance is bliss
I know some people who are not craft orientated regard me as “quaint” as I enjoy spinning, knitting, crochet, which to them are old fashioned pursuits, but it is these people who are surprised that I am capable to using a computer!  This entry is just a verbal ramble with no recommendations, so if that is why you usually read this, you have been warned and may wish to click on the X button on the top right of your screen now.!

My sister in law suggested on Facebook that I was in the need of an organisation like AA for my addiction to gadgets!  Me? Gadgets?  You bet!!  I am a sucker for them. 
Electronics hold a fascination for me.  I believe in magic, and my computer, tablet, phone, etc all are living proof to me that magic exists.  And I don’t want anyone raining on my parade and telling me they are function as a result of anything other than magic. I am still in awe at the memory capability of my ipod touch.   But then I still find it wonderful that one can flick a switch and a light bulb illuminates the room.  Admittedly I am not so old that the wheel hadn’t been invented when I was born, but I do remember living a very simple life where gadgets were not an everyday part of my life.
The first gadgets I remember are now every day items.  The day my father bought home a vacuum cleaner was a momentous occasion.  The family was gathered together to watch this appliance in all its glory clean the floor.  My father even demonstrated how labour saving it was going to be by sitting in his chair and showing how the vacuum head could still glide across the floor. 
Obviously the gadget gene runs in the family because by 1955 we had a television.  There were two televisions in our street and one was ours.  I can still remember the feeling of wonderment when my dad  turned it on and we waited with baited breath for it to “warm up”.  The picture would be considered very grainy and inferior by todays standards, but in those days it was the bees nether regions!  I still think it was a good idea that the broadcasters shut down between 6 and 7 p.m. giving families time to get their meal out of the way and kids sent to bed.  It was not “good form” to eat in front of the tv.  Announcers read the news in in clothes fit for a chic dinner party.
The tv was watched and savoured and nothing else was pursued while it held court. 
A special atmosphere seemed to prevail as the curtains often had to be closed so that the picture could be appreciated.
Two other gadgets impacted massively on my life style as a teenager, the first was a “gramophone” or record player.  The other was portable radios.  Hitherto the wireless sat in the corner of one room and we listened to the Home Service for serious stuff and the Light Programme for music and comedy.  The portable radio gave the listener the chance to listen anywhere so the bedroom was where many teenagers cut their teeth on the pop music of the day, and the crackly sounds of Radio Luxembourg or Caroline.
Do I hanker for the “old days”?  No.  The internet keeps me abreast of current affairs, has provided me with wonderful sites like Ravelry where I can share my interests with like minded people, my ipod gives me listening of my choice in any location. 
Doesn’t mean I don’t have fond memories of my childhood though, and the one my family must be sick of hearing is how we had no bathroom, so baths were in tin baths in front of the open fire, afterwhich my mother would envelope me in a huge warm bath towel and give me hot cocoa to drink.  The downside of course was having no bathroom meant trips to the bottom of the garden to the loo, and on dark nights, wet nights, even snow, there is nothing magical about that!

I found a site that had old pictures of the street in which I lived as a child.  I hadn’t realised how dismal the whole neighbourhood was! 
So to conclude, my name is Sandra Davidson and I am addicted to gadgets!

Friday, 4 May 2012

 Liberated and Reduction
This week it’s a) verbal ramble, b) Giant cous cous recipe,
Until the last couple of years I have never had long hair.  (Long to me is anything below the ears!!)  So I grew mine to shoulder length and Wednesday went to the hairdressers and had a load chopped off.  Freedom!  Liberation! Thanks Irene.   Felt literally light headed.  So am now convinced that nice as long hair looks on others, it is not for me.
So now I am looking for other things to “cut down” on.  This rationalisation started a couple of weeks ago when I took some books to the Hospice Book shop.  “Some books” in this household makes no dent in the vast collection we have, but I am going to look at my share of them and see if I can reduce them.  On the craft front I am trying to reduce the stash I have by actually knitting it rather than admiring it and musing over what it would be nice to knit with it. 
I am also trying to reduce the other bane of my life, weight.  If I look at a doughnut it decides to make a friend of me for life and never to leave my side, ever.  So not looking for a drastic reduction, but am trying to at least maintain rather than increase.
Inevitably in this situation I am struck with hunger pangs, illogical urges to eat all hours of the day and night.  Battle of the bulge aint the words.  Once I have decided to “deprive” myself of all that lovely choc, cakes, home made bread etc, they suddenly become life’s “must haves”.  Perhaps I should try reverse psychology and try and kid myself to eat everything and hopefully I will lose the appetite!

Finally the last reduction is going to be the amount I blog each time.  So if I do a podcast review I will not be doing a recipe as sometimes I think the content is rather heavy.  So this week it’s a recipe that ends the entry.

Giant cous cous Recipe*
Fed up of chasing grains of tiny cous cous round the plate?  Then try the giant stuff!
I prefer these small perls to the grain type.  It can be a side dish, or served say with rustic bread.  Tonight I am having balsamic beetroots and chips with mine!
You need: about 100g giant cous cous, 2 red peppers (I roast my red peppers and take the skin off, but it is not necessary as the pepper can just be chopped) , 6  spring onions chopped into circles, 6 cherry tomatoes quartered, cucumber -, use about 4 inches of peeled cucumber diced, handful of grapes halves  or a peach destoned and chopped . Fresh mint leaves which can be torn into pieces if the large sort. Seasoning,  Dressing.
Prepare the cous cous by adding hot water into which a stock cube has been added and simmer 6 mins. Then add and thoroughly mix the remaining ingredients:
For the dressing it is best to keep this light, say a splash of balsamic vingegar rather than drenching it in the heavier salad dressing combo of olive oil and white wine vinegar.  But each to their own its best to only put on a little and then taste.  One can always add dressing, but never take away.  (Like haircutting really isn’t it!)
*As always this is a suggestion rather than exact instructions, so if only the normal cous cous grains to hand its fine to use that.