Thursday, 13 December 2018

Throwback Thursday

On this day in 1993...

Today was a day designated for skiving (1). We had the first lesson - in which I wrote my "Chapman's Syndrome" (2) - and then we went on a coach to St Mary's to "practise" ringing! (3) We rang a few things and had visits from Mrs Dawtrey, Mr Campbell and Mrs Fothergill (4). This evening we played charades and wink murder and Beccy's dad bought me a fish cake on the way home. So I didn't actually go to the carol service. In the afternoon, I made the teachers' cake, Michelle's truffles (5) and a guitar brooch for Tim's friend. All in all a rewarding and busy day. 

(1) It was the annual carol service. We always tried to get out of it. It was compulsory. In a delicious twist of irony, tonight was my current school's 'compulsory' carol concert. "Do we have to go?" whined my tutees. "Why wouldn't you want to?" I eventually started responding (in spite of Tuesday's resolution), genuinely surprised. Oh, the difference 25 years makes.

(2) No idea, but Miss Chapman was my History teacher so it must have been something History-based.

(3) A small group of us ringers rang the bells for the carol concert and were therefore allowed to stay in the tower for the entire service because it was too distracting for us to come down partway through. An exceptionally good ruse, although you always have to be very quiet in the tower unless you're actually ringing.

(4) The Head, the Deputy Head, my tutor. Anybody would think they didn't trust us.

(5) Michelle was a wealthy girl who constantly offered people money to do things for her. In 1993, she paid me to make her truffles.

Just fell down the usual diary hole. The week before this, I'd gone to a concert at the Guildhall on my own, followed by a bar with my friends, and then walked to one of the seafront clubs to spend the rest of the night. I'm horrified that (a) I managed to get away with this at 15 and (b) I thought walking that distance was OK. That is FAR. Google Maps says it is two miles. I'd definitely uber it these days.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Tuesday Ten

Ten things I'm looking forward to

1. Team Hums Christmas night out tomorrow. We're going to paint pots and drink prosecco.

2. School carol concert on Thursday. I love a carol concert and it's very handy that school just do one for us. My tutor group keep asking if they have to go. I have to avoid asking why they wouldn't want to, since I realise it makes me sound super old.

3. Faux Z Christmas on Saturday night. We're having our Christmas dinner early, so that we can still enjoy leftovers. I need to go and buy some cheese.

4. End of term and related night out. Of course.

5. Christmas night in with the girls. A tradition. We're having it at mine this year so that I can show off the new decor. I'm in the delightful snack-planning stage.

6. Mother Hand coming to stay. She was very ill the last time she stayed with us so I'm excited about her coming back now that she's better, and excited to see her reaction to said new decor.


8. Going to visit Father Hand in Vegas. Skiing. Going to see Lady Gaga. New Year's Eve fireworks. Seeing Max the dog. All so good.

9. The school ski trip. February half term is only 9 and a half weeks away, people!

10. A summer holiday to Copenhagen with Mother Hand. I don't have any other holidays booked yet so that is quite a long way in the future, but I am already excited about seeing a new country. Possibly two, if we get the train to Sweden. Mother Hand was most excited to realise this would involve crossing The Bridge, as in, The Bridge. That was a confusing conversation for a little while.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Finally lemon gin time

The time has finally arrived. It's been three years since we made the very first bottle of lemon gin. It has been agitated daily by Mr Z's car ever since. We did take it out in the summer for a little snifter but dutifully replaced it until last weekend, when we took it to the Parents Z for Sunday dinner and all had a taste.

When we got back, I pulled out the 2016 vintage to do a side by side comparison. This one has been in a cupboard, not a car, although it's replaced the first bottle in the Z car now.

The one on the right is the older one - considerably yellower. In a side by side taste test, the 2015 vintage is smoother and mellower, whereas the 2016 one has more of a kick to it. Now I've been back to look at the blog posts, though, I see that the 2016 was the rind of two lemons and two limes, which might account for it. It might need a bit more sugar, or it might just need a bit more agitation. We'll see next year.

I'm annoyed with myself for seemingly not blogging about my 2017 effort. This is under the passenger seat of my car. I am pretty sure it is just lemons and sugar, because 2017 was the year Sainsbury's decided to stop doing a deal on Bombay Sapphire in the autumn so I resorted to Bombay London instead and decided I'd keep the recipe the same, since I was changing the base gin.

I have downstairs a fresh bottle of Bombay London and three unwaxed lemons, ready to start the 2018 steep. I wonder if I should put some orange or lime peel in this one, for a change. I'd like to try grapefruit but it wouldn't go with lemon, I don't think.

Blue Monday

One from Hampton Court on Friday, when it stopped raining and we made it to the lake outside.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Weekend WIP

I'm very close to finishing the baby Santa jacket.

I have almost finished a ball of funky fur (or whatever it calls itself) so it is tempting to cast off now, even though the collar isn't as long as the pattern intends it to be. I'm going to have a rummage and see if I have any leftover from when I unravelled a previous attempt at a sleeve. I have a feeling I just bunged it all in the bin in a fit of pique. If I can't find it, I think I will just bind off and have done.

Strictly: My Dance of the Night

What a night! So many dances to choose from. I was very worried that there would end up being a dance off between Stacey and Ashley or, worse, Fay and Ashley, but I think in the end, the right person went home. I know there's a lot of kerfuffle about people with previous dance training getting on well in the show but it doesn't really bother me. It's a light entertainment show. I'm entertained. Job done.

Anyway - this was the most joyful of dances. I liked the little tap notes on the bonnet of the car. I am excited about their show dance next week.

Sunday Selfie

I don't know if this really counts as a selfie because a student took it for me, but here I am pretending to be Henry VIII at Hampton Court on Friday.