Okay, a confession, last year I was really disciplined and organised with Blogtober but this October life has taken over and I am writing this retrospectively. I’m now 13 days behind, but with a few quiet days in my diary and short posts I’m hoping to catch up as I don’t like having incomplete projects.
I am a baker and have always loved to find solace in the kitchen. There are a number of recipes which are my favourites. As a little girl, my grandma taught me how to bake cherry scones and these always remain a special treat, it is the recipe I will pass to my children. My mum wasn’t a baker and I would teach myself from her cookery books, I always remember a recipe from an early Good Housekeeping recipe book for a fruit cake with a surprising addition of melted chocolate, the best recipe for fruit cake I know. I’m gutted the book was thrown away before a house move as I would love to have the original recipe. The only bake I remember my mum making regularly was a kiwi cheesecake from Family Circle magazine in the 1980s, kiwis were new and it was so exotic! In my blog I’ve written of the recipes and flavours I use in my bakes, I am a fan of fruit flavours often with chocolate. When I discovered Nigella’s lemon and raspberry muffins in her Domestic Goddess cookbook , I was inspired to try more combinations and my baking became more seasonal. This recipe book is one of my favourite reads, well thumbed, stained and loved. This week, which is Halloween week due to my tardiness, I’ll be making a seasonal cake with our fresh pumpkin, a pumpkin and ginger bake, rich with treacle and warmed by spices, perfect for dark, cold nights. To me a freshly baked cake is one of life’s little pleasures.
Today’s theme is for #babylossweek. I have never written my full story and I won’t be today, people deal with grief in different ways, to me it is just too heart breaking. I will repost the links for the two posts in which I have mentioned the loss of our baby boy on this blog. By not writing does not mean not remembering, ten years later, I think of him and I love him with such intensity and depth, words simply can’t describe my feelings.
Well this has to be one of the most difficult prompts, I’m not one for either risks or regrets and there’s very little that I would never want to do again. I wish I had a hilarious story of a drunken night where I did something mad and had vowed to never do it again, but I was always the friend who just stayed that little bit less drunk to make sure everyone was ok and safe. I’ve never done anything high adrenaline, no parachuting, parascending, simply because its never really rocked my book, I prefer experiences shared with friends and family. I’ve done things that I’m not keen on, again I wouldn’t do them again out of preference but its not such a strong dislike as intimated in the title.
I suppose the only thing I can think of for this post is never eating meat again. However as I’ve been vegetarian for more than 30 years its also something I can’t imagine now. I don’t like the taste and texture of meat and even as a child I would hide meat under my knife and fork rather than eat it. I’m also not a huge fan of vegetarian meat alternatives, such as Quorn it serves a purpose and is useful in some recipes but my veggie favourites are vegetables and pulses, cheese and eggs etc.. There are amazing veggie recipes which can be made so simply with fresh produce.
First of all, I am choosing films I have watched in pleasure. As a cinema usherette there are some films I watched so many times I could understudy any of the actors, Silence of the Lambs, Terminator 2, Mermaids, etc.. basically anything released between 1991 – 93 I’m pretty familiar with and good for in pub quizzes. However my personal list is slightly different.
I think the list of movies I’ve watched lots has definitely changed since I became a parent, children films feature heavily in my list now but I love them. Children’s films are spoilt on children, they are so clever with brilliant stories and lots of magic. Is there a better way to spend a wet afternoon than watching a favourite film with your children cuddled up next to you? In compiling my list I also realise that a couple are Christmas traditions, Love Actually and Miracle on 34th Street, films can be about a feeling, a belonging.
I can’t decide on my most watched film, it is only between two, Grease and Dirty Dancing, like wise I can’t decide which of the two is my favourite. Music plays a big part in my favourite films, you can’t beat a great soundtrack.
So in no particular order, my most watched films are
Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Toy Story series
It’ll be interesting to see how the list develops over the years, I think Paddington 2 and The Greatest Showman may feature strongly soon.
I’m playing catch up on #Blogtober18, I’m just a couple of days behind so for speed its a list for this post and it may become a bit random. These are a few of the things I’m loving right now ….
Strictly Come Dancing. This is my favourite television programme, I love the dancing, music, costumes, make up, the sparkles and all the feels it gives me. Mr S isn’t a fan so I follow the commentary on Twitter and it just adds a little extra to the show.
My new candle. I picked it up at a local craft show and the sweet orange and chilli pepper aroma is so warming on cooler autumn evenings.
Lauren Laverne of Desert Island Discs. Kirsty is the Queen of Desert Island Discs, but her ‘cover’ in Lauren Laverne is superb and making this series an excellent listen.
Wicked. I saw the musical on Saturday and can’t stop thinking about it. The story was so unexpected and my interpretation of the characters changes the more I think about it. The songs, costumes were all stunning and this musical will stay with me for a long time.
Converse Pumps. I am awaiting surgery on my foot and despite my best efforts to find a shoe to fit, converse pumps are the only ones I am able to wear. I have an old navy pair but have embraced colour with a lilac pair and bright red for fun.
The walk home from school. I always love the walk home with the children, but with the unseasonably mild afternoons and the sensory fun of crunching through the fallen leaves the autumn walk home is one of life’s simple pleasures. I’m also embracing the final year of my two walking home together, this time next year Little Miss will be at secondary and I’ll be missing this time to walk and talk together.
There are so many ways in which I could take this post, misogyny appears a big theme in women’s lives these days. I’ve quietly been a feminist since my teens, we genuinely believed at that time that whilst we were highlighting inequalities, things were improving. Fast forward 30 years and I actually think we were in a stronger position in the fight for equal rights, opportunities in 1988 than we are now. .
I refuse to make this a negative post, because there are some amazing women out there taking on the fight, every day. I could use this post to show my admiration to some of my favourite brilliant kick ass women but their stories are well known. Instead I want to thank women who fight back with grace, style and determination every day, who see prejudice and question it, who act on equality, who challenge and are being the change they want to see. Through social media I see you and I am so thankful and hope that I too can do what you do.
This post isn’t about women doing big things, its about all of us doing little things to advance women’s rights and to promote a fairer and kinder society.
Today’s title seems to be my mantra at present, as my daughter tries to understand and embrace who she is. She is trying to develop her personality, her style and her character, my challenge is to guide her and ensure that she is true to herself and not simply following a trend. Sometimes I feel that I don’t know how to do this, I let her experiment with her clothes and hairstyles within reason and school rules, I admire stylish women praising their individual looks, highlighting their personal touches and emphasise that people are not judged on looks but personality, character and actions. We read books with strong female characters, play songs by amazing female artists and share inspiring stories. But she has a fear, a fear of not fitting in. I was in assembly last week and most of the girls in her class had the same identical side pony tail, its only a tiny thing but she hasn’t yet got the confidence to be different, to be confident in herself, be proud of who she is. I won’t stop trying and hope that one day my daughter will be proud and happy in her own skin.