Saturday, 16 October 2010

Weeknote, 16/10

The sparkly hat! It is done! It will be having its own post on Monday. I finished it on Thursday, and gathered together yarn and paraphernalia for three other projects to take to knitting group today, where I basked for over 4 hours, putting the first inch on the Washington Square Vest, having finally achieved gauge.
I'm back, baby!

Going to:
Parpy Jo's wedding, on the SS Great Britain.

For the occasion, I crafted this rather fetching headpiece and went to the hairdresser to have my hair put up into a big beehive, a style which she seemed incapable of completing to my satisfaction. I wasn't happy, but everybody else said it looked good so I just had to suck it up.

The wedding was lovely; Jo looked radiant, the new Mr Parpy Jo couldn't stop grinning and a good time was had by all. And a lot of wine was had by me. And champagne. I managed to score 4 glasses of champagne in the toasts because most of the people on my table were driving.

I apparently decided the best way to tackle this situation was to down a glass for every toast. This was never going to end well. I won't go into details, but let's just say that it took bloody hours to extract all the pins out of my hairdo because by that point I had lost most of the function in my hands.

I had a hankering for chocolate mousse at the weekend. I made this recipe (in order to link I must apparently put in this piece of text: "Jim Fisher is an English chef who runs relaxed friendly hands-on cooking courses in the Dordogne region of south west France. Contact him via: or Tel: 0033 (0)553 302405" but I can't vouch for him, though his courses look pretty good) because it seemed nice and simple.

320g (12oz) strong dark eating chocolate
30g (1oz) unsalted butter
6 eggs
pinch of salt

Separate the eggs, placing the whites into a roomy bowl.
Break the chocolate into small pieces and put them in another roomy bowl. melt in the microwave. Add the butter and allow to melt, thanks to the contact heat of the chocolate; put back in the microwave for another few seconds if necessary.
Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and whisk to the soft peak (floppy) stage. In a separate bowl, break up the yolks.
When the chocolate and butter have melted and have been allowed to cool for a couple of minutes stir in the yolks. Cut and fold in the whites in three batches until seamlessly combined. Pour into ramekins and refrigerate for a couple of hours to set.

Unfortunately, it didn't work for me. I left the chocolate to cool, though maybe not for long enough, because when I added the egg yolks to it, it basically solidified and getting it stirred into the egg whites ensured all air was thoroughly removed from the mixture.
Added to that, I decided to put this chocolate paste over a few broken up muffin bits sprinkled with Amaretto. Turns out Amaretto will go off, if you leave it long enough. It was a bad job all round, really.

I think next time I will whisk the egg yolks with a little sugar first (I used very dark chocolate and could have got away with a bit of sugar) and then pour them over the chocolate in a steady stream, whisking constantly. I will also let the chocolate get very, very cool.

  • That children, when set a creative homework they do not want to do, will attempt to bribe with cake
  • That when your Asda order gets delivered to the wrong house and then gets redelivered to you, the contents should be checked extremely carefully
  • To swing 20kg of kettle bells! Things are going extremely well with my personal trainer. I haven't lost any weight, but today I discovered I can now remove my jeans without unbuttoning them. Progress, people. And this week I graduated to swinging 2 10kg kettlebells, and I also did lots of squats with a big leather croissant that weighs 17kg (it's called a Bulgarian something). I was feeling pretty good about myself by the end. I think my PT likes me, because I always say, "Hmm, well, I'll have a go."
Obsessed with:
The Kindle. I have been looking at it for a few weeks now. I have a bit of play money leftover from the remarks and was really wanting one, but since I don't have a great deal of time to read these days, I had sort of talked myself out of it.
But, I kept visiting the Amazon page and finding new reasons to buy. Like, I can put PDF knitting patterns on it. If I have a book downloaded to it that I am too tired to read, it will read it to me. I can lie on my back in bed and hold it with one hand. And I can put the Kindle app on my Desire and read on that too.
I succumbed. Kindle should be landing in Bunnyland in the next 3-5 days.

Entertained by:
I have developed a very secret guilty pleasure. It is dreadful and I am SHAMED. Oh good grief, it's so embarrassing I don't actually want to post it. But I must confess.
I enjoyed reading the Daily Mail TV & Showbiz online columns this week *hangs head in abject disgrace*
It's just so calming to read reporters making enormous mountains out of very teeny tiny celebrity molehills. They work so hard to create news where there is none, and I sometimes like to apply this new reality to my own life and imagine the headlines.
'Sally Tweets: "Ultra marathon - where they put two in one packet?" - does new chocolate obsession mark spiral into depression and further fugly flabbiness for our heroine?'

Steadily more drained and a little demoralised, TBH. I had another satisfactory lesson observation this week. I struggle, because people seem to think that I am a good teacher; but this is not backed up by the observations. While I normally don't care, since imo Ofsted criteria are not especially helpful for anything other than making teachers feel bad about themselves, I do have to produce two good observations this year to move up the payscale.
Ian said I could choose which lessons he was to observe and we'd do as many as we needed to to meet the target. I know he was trying to be nice, but, meh.

I think I really need a break from work.

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