September is my favourite month for many, many reasons.
The end of September always makes me a little sad but but I am always looking forward very much to the next one.
It is filled with lovely things for us:-
It is the month we take our main annual holiday
It is the month of Burghley Horse Trials
It is the month of harvest
It is the month of Sandringham Game Fair
It is a month when we do most of our walking
It is the month when the best fungi appear.
It is the month of Food Festivals across the country. Ludlow being our favourite.
It is the month for Bramble picking & making Jam.
It is the month of Indian Summers when the heat has left the sun but the cold months are not showing themselves yet.
It is the month we got our hound and collected him when he was just 8 weeks old.
And it is the month we got married
When I made the love bugs for valentine’s day last year, I had been undecided about what I would make and bought some heart tart moulds.
With the ingredients required to make a couple of these, I recently had a go.
i’m not very patient with baking but these are really easy and delicious with custard or cream.
400g/14oz golden syrup / treacle
150g/5½oz fine fresh white breadcrumbs
2 lemons, zest and juice
1 free-range egg, beaten, to use as an egg wash
- ready made pastry of your preference (I used short)
I was taken to New York for my birthday at the beginning of the year and it was absolutely amazing.
I just knew we would love the place and we did. Neither of us has been before so it came with huge expectations having heard so many good things and lots of praise for the city that never sleeps.
We weren’t disappointed.
We were based in Mid Town and we walked everywhere from there. In our explorations, we found that we were covering an average of 11 miles a day but those miles flew by in wonder at all the sites and soaking up the incredible atmosphere.
There is so much to see and so many choices to make about what you spend your time looking at each day.
Everywhere we went, we were delighted by new things but what thrilled me most of all (apart from the food of course) was the architecture.
Our gorgeous hotel suite looked out onto the Empire State building and the silhouette of this against the sky greeted us every morning and saw us off to sleep each night. It became my favourite building in New York during our trip.
We didn’t go up the Empire State building but enjoyed the view from our hotel suite and then from the Top of The Rock.
The Top of The Rock is a great location to view 360 degrees of the Big Apple and we were lucky enough to get some lovely winter sun
All the art deco buildings have been lovingly preserved and kept in proud use. They are wonderful feats of engineering and sit side by side with their more modern but no less wonderful young neighbours.
We took over 1000 photos and each one reminds us of something fantastic about the buildings and things around us be it our trip into manhattan, west village or hell’s kitchen. We loved it all.
New York is rightly proud of it’s city and I can’t wait to go back.
JC bought a Go Pro Hero 3 + black edition in August 2014 and has been playing with it and buying bits for it ever since. He is officially in love with this little bit of tech heaven and now our friend’s daughter has one (from Santa) so they can be geeks together.
Geek aside, it is rather sweet to watch them getting over excited about a tiny box of tricks. There are a good few decades separating them.
Anyway, in the interest of Go Pro advancement in our household, our terrier Max has been persecuted with a cumbersome harness and a little camera recording his every move on some of our weekend walks.
To be fair, Max is completely ok with all of this and just takes it in his stride.
I think the harness is designed for a larger dog and some adaptions will be needed to the straps but they get by and Max seems unaffected by it. On occasion, he does try to bury into a straw stack or some undergrowth and can’t quite seems to understand why his progress is limited.
JC doesn’t have much footage that he has chosen to keep yet but he is persevering and we have some half decent stills so far.
Watch this space, our little Go Pro mule might offer some interesting images to show you yet!
I use an iPhone (5) and I love it.
I use it every day for emails, calls, texts, vibe, whatsapp, FB, instagram, twitter, maps, waze, evernote, pinterest, contacts, calendar….. you name it.
I didn’t think that the camera on the phone could be improved as it such good quality already. the iPhone 6 has probably managed to improve the camera further but until I have an iPhone 6, I will have to wait to see.
But I read somewhere ages and ages ago that there was a little attachable lens was available from a company called Olloclip to use with the phone as an attachment, providing more flexibility and giving you a tool that would truly explore the potential of the smashing lens in this little phone.
As an early christmas present to myself, I ordered the 4-in-1 combo. This provides you with a fish eye, wide angle and 2 strengths of macro lens.
I have a canon 6D that I use all the time and have a variety of different lenses for it. It provides such good quality shots that I use it for serious photography and pictures of my work but I have never really considered the iPhone to be a contender for serious shots. As good as it is, how could it possibly be used as a serious working camera?
The review were good but my true expectations for what the addition of the olloclip could do to the camera on the iPhone were limited, but the results have been amazing.
It is tiny attachment and a bit fiddly and would be very easy to lose but if you have the time and the patience along with helpful additions to your camera bag such as a gorilla pod and a clip for your phone, you can set it up to get great photos.
It is great fun and the results are very effective.
Olloclip has an instagram account where people share their images using the olloclip and some are truly incredible.
I need some time to get more interesting shots and I have not taken advantage of the wide angle fitting yet but I’m delighted with the macro results
See for yourself……… all taken with the phone hand held without the support or steadiness of a tripod, gorilla pod or surface
After such excitement over our gorgeous new coffee machine, we have had some disappointments.
Our lovely machine blew something inside and was no longer safe to use with water and steam spewing out everywhere.
We were back to our traditional italian stove top coffee maker for a while and still loving our coffee.
But we missed the frothy milk and the espressos that JC likes. Coffee and hot milk done the old fashioned way just wasn’t hacking it.
After all it is still a bit of a faff using the stove top and a milk pan and even a wonderful morning coffee we can get from our wonderfully seasoned old campaigner hasn’t hacked it really.
We are busy and things need to be as easy as possible really
Having taken full advantage of our lovely friends thorough research, we are now the proud owners of a Nespresso Pixie with aerochino!
And it is wonderful
And it is easy
And there is no mess
And it is cheaper than buying beans and ground.
And we have found a fantastic clever devise for storing our pods that can be fixed to the underside of the kitchen wall cupboard. Right on hand but not seen. Marvellous.
Or mounted on the wall like a piece of art.
Finding the flavours that are right for us but it is fun trying and we have had some very helpful tips.
I feel coffee love again!!!
It’s safe to say that Max does not like the water.
He’s spent an extraordinary amount of time getting wet with weekly baths to sort out his skin problem so I can understand the aversion to it.
But even before the allergy started, he wasn’t the first into the sea or any body of water that you’d throw a stick into.
He might venture into the shallows to retrieve a treat but we have lost a lot of balls and toys on the beaches of norfolk because he just won’t go in to get them if a swim or deep water of any kind is required.
Add a bit of competition though and that is a completely different matter as we found out recently.
We have my sis’s JRT, Hamlet with us for a while again and we took Max for a walk with him to a pond nearby and as soon as there was a chance that Hamlet might beat him to the retrieve, he was right in there.
Swimming no less!!! (well, it actually looked a lot like drowning a lot of the time to be fair).
It was such a lovely evening that we stayed for ages, wearing out the boys and enjoying the sun set.