Friday, 20 July 2012

The Land of the Free

1) Rant,          2) recipe                                                     3) knitting   4)Kindle read                5) Snippet

1)  The Land of the Free

The first time I knew of this description (land of the free)  was when reading a poem by DH Lawrence, who wrote it when his paintings were deemed obscene and the exhibition closed down, prompting him to write
“Oh what a pity, Oh! Don’t you agree
that figs aren’t found in the land of the free!
Figs don’t grow in my native land;
There’s never a fig-leaf near at hand
when you want one; so I did without;
and that is what the row’s about.”
(there is an interesting article on this event here:
And it was the land of the free that occurred to me on hearing of all the constraints being placed on people who have bought tickets to see the Olympic events.  Even what they wear can ban their entrance, or carrying a bottle of water of more than 100ml. Any object or clothing bearing political statement or overt commercial identification is not allowed.  Oh dear all those people who wanted to wear their Dave Cameron is the Greatest P.M. ever, are going to be banned.   I haven’t found out if they would prefer topless spectators!  They are also advised to arrive two and a half hours before the event starts to ensure they get through security procedures.  So if in a queue for that length of time their 100ml of water will be consumed before they get in!  Traders have been in trouble because they have committed such terrible crimes as creating window displays using tissue paper in the form of the Olympic Rings, or horror of horror displaying bagels in the Olympic Ring pattern.  Oh yes, we live in the Lane of the Free alright.
Rant over.  I don’t care as I am not going!
2) Recipe On a more cheery note.  A seasonal salad has bought a smile to my face a couple of times this week as it is my favourite.  I call it Sunshine Salad, as the bananas are arranged to depict sunrays. 
Ingredients for two servings are: a packet/bunch of watercress, 2 tangerines or satusmas, quarter of a cucumber, 2 bananas, 12 dates – stoned and halved, and optional sunflower seeds.
Simply cover the base of each plate with watercress which has had the coarse stalks removed.  Round the edge of the plate place sliced cucumber, place the segments of tangerines, add the date halves.  Then the slices of banana go on the top and finally if desired a sprinkling of sunflower seeds. 

3) Knitting
I was on Ravelry and liked something another knitter had made and then looked at her other projects, one of which was a project I have been queing for ages.  This prompted me to cast on.  I have some carpel tunnel syndrome problems at the moment and cannot knit anything weighty and this seemed a nice idea as it was light with short rows.  So I have done a few inches of it and it is surprising how different it looks  another colour.  Check out on Ravelry the Pimpelleise pattern projects or see here

  I am using sock yarn and will post a pic when it is completed.  I would recommend this as a handy project when travelling as it is certainly portable.  The pattern is easy to understand, and if someone wants to try lace it would be a good starting point. 
I was hoping to join the Caithness Craft Collective KAL to make the  
Adirondack pattern by Sarah Pundeson but am loathe to commit myself to a particular project until I know I can knit for a meaningful length of time without putting my knitting aside due to discomfort. 

4) Kindle Thanks to the newsletters I get about free Kindle Books, I have read another free book that I enjoyed this week.  Henry VIII’s Seventh  by Steve Farndon.
The synopsis on Amazon includes this: What hardly anyone knows is that he actually married one of his mistresses in 1538 so in fact the school yard rhyme should read ; divorced, beheaded, died, murdered, divorced, beheaded and survived.

Read all about his fourth wife, a Lady Mary Shelton.

5)Snippet, finally I found this really interesting and wonder how many other people on statins could benefit by reading it.  Of course, they should check with their own GP before deciding if it is a course of action suitable for them.
I like this blog and read it regularly.  

Friday, 6 July 2012

To Bathe or Not to Bathe that is the question.

We have a house guest who is to decide if he would like to live with us permanently. 
Oliver has been with us just over a week now and we are getting to know each other more as every day passes.  He is a  deaf adult neutered cat which makes requesting him to refrain from doing something problematic.  Having had Siamese and British Short Hair Colourpoints has not fully equipped us to know the vagaries of Birman cats.  So I have been reading up on the subject.  Like everything else on the internet there is a counter argument for everything.  I was surprised to discover that here was a breed that didn’t mind water.  Well, when I say doesn’t mind, perhaps that should be “positively embraces”.  Some sites suggest they should be bathed regularly and other sites do not espouse this theory.  So if anyone has any experience of Birmans I will gladly listen to all advice.    Like most children he has been scathing towards the more expensive toys and likes easily provided freebies such as rolled up tin foil.  He also has a penchant for playing with long shoe laces.  That is ok until the said lace is still supposed to be in use on the shoe one is actually wearing. 
No doubt there will be more in future weeks on “the adventures of Oliver”, as I realise daily there is more to Oliver than meets the eye.  Oh yeah, forgot to tell you he has amazing balancing skills on the very narrow top of our tv.
This week too there is 
Olympic knitting
Kindle corner

Olympic knitting
Unless living on another planet everyone is aware of the upcoming Olympics, and if anyone wants to combine watching these events with knitting then the Rowan site has some suitable patriotic projects to consider, and of course as with any other pattern recommendations on here, the patterns are free!  They include a snazzy Kindle cover, tops to knit for male and female, and home furnishings.
For those who like to knit toys

and for those who want to get in on some action of yarn bombing:

Half and Half Soft Bread Baps
Ideal for burgers, or cool salad fillings, etc.  These are filling and substantial bread rolls.  I used half brown and half white flour, but the recipe lends itself to all brown, or all white, just decide the ratio of brown to white that is preferred
1lb bread flour (all brown, all white, or a mix)
1 tsp salt, 1tsp sugar, 1 packet of easy blend yeast granules.
2tbs margarine/butter 
half pint milk or soya milk
Put the margarine and milk in microwave till warm and margarine has begun to melt.
Mix all dry ingredients.
Add milk mixture gradually to the flour until all of it is incorporated.  If the dough is too sticky add a little flour, if too dry add a little more milk.  (that is why best to add gradually and no extras may then be needed).
Knead well, till soft and pliable.
Put aside in warm place, covered, to rise to double its size.  If warm enough an hour will be enough.
Separate into 6 large or 8 medium size pieces and make into bap shapes. Cover with flour, and set aside to rise for another 20 mins covered. 
Put in oven number 7 for 9 mins and when cooked put them on a rack and cover with clean cloth to trap the warmth and thus keep them soft.

Kindle Corner

I am now subscribed to which is a newsletter advising of free books available that day, and have been pleased with some of the recommendations.  
I have recommended before I know, as a source for free kindle books, and this week I was amazed to get for free a book that is now retailing at £6.36!
It was an interesting read about the royal family, and although much of it is is known there were still some snippets that are new to me.  There are photos that I have not seen in the UK newspapers.  I am not a royalist and that is why I read about them! I need to know my doubts are not unfounded!
This week I have been downloading some spooky books and the jury is still out whilst I wade my way through the first one. (these were downloaded not as a result of newsletters but just my own browsing).